HOLOCAUST AND DELIGITIMIZATION – 1 May 2011

This evening in Israel marks the beginning of Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The Holocaust of the Jewish people, in particular, by the Nazi regime during WWII is unique in its scale and impact.  There is really no other effort at genocide that compares historically.

Holocaust is a Greek word meaning “whole-burnt offering by fire”.  This is a term for one of the sacrifices offered unto YHVH God by Israel under the Law of Moses.  It is also the word used to describe the sacrifice of Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah in His crucifixion. 

The sacrifice of approximately 6,000,000 Jews — unwilling though it was on their part — was the catalyst to move the principalities and authorities of the world to grant the Jewish people a sovereign homeland in Palestine/The State of Israel by a large majority in the United Nations in November 1947 — 30 years after the Balfour Declaration proclaimed by the British Government during WWI.

In our day and generation there is a growing movement in the world to de-legitimize the reality of the Holocaust — either by denying it altogether, or by minimizing its scale and scope, or else by making it comparable to other genocides.  This movement even has adherents among some Jews and Israelis and some Christians.  If the Holocaust can be de-ligitimized for what it was — despite all the evidence to the contrary — it helps in legitimizing the de-ligitimization of the “resurrection” of the State of Israel’s right to exist and its right to continue to defend itself.

About 2000 years ago, the Israeli Jewish people as a whole de-legitimized the uniqueness and impact of the “holocaust” of the Messiah, the Son of God.  By so doing, our people also continue until today to deny or minimize the reality of the actual and unique resurrection of Jesus, proof that God justified Him during His life and through His being put to death.

Just as the one true God is active today to bring His people Israel back to Himself through their repentance over our ultimate rebellion against Him, so, too, is the same God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob working to bring the nations to accept HIS JUSTIFICATION of the re-establishment of a nation of Jews back in the very land which He promised to those Fathers and to their descendants as an everlasting possession.  God’s long-suffering over His own beloved people is for the purpose of salvation, that many more would be saved by repentance and faith in His gospel.  This same attribute of our God is working to bring salvation to many more Gentiles, i.e., non-Jews/Israelis, and to bring both Jews, Christians, and nations to fear Him who alone forgives sins.

The salvation of all depends on their relationship to Jesus Christ, and is connected in some measure to their relationship to the least of His brethren.  (I will leave that an open comment.)  The inheritance which the God of Israel offers to nations is connected to the salvation of ‘all’ Israel, His first-born among the nations.  There are others which will become His, but not without the first-born.

Holocaust Remembrance Day offers much to chew and to meditate on.  Yeshua Messiah is Lord of all history, and He is the Keeper of His people — both of the flesh, and also of the Spirit.

DOMINION – 19 Apr 2011

Today is Passover in Israel.  Most Jewish people around the world remember that YHVH delivered His people Israel out of slavery in Egypt to bring them liberty to serve Him in the promised Land of Canaan. 

Beyond that, though, YHVH demonstrated by His great power that He alone is the one true God.  He defeated all the gods of Egypt, and showed Pharoah and the people that none of their so-called gods can compare with YEHOVAH, the Creator of the Heavens and Earth, and the Redeemer and Deliverer of His people out from the nations!  Jesus Christ has been given all authority by the Father — by virtue of His crucifixion and resurrection from among the dead — of things in Heaven, things on the Earth, things under the Earth and in the seas.  Jesus Christ is LORD!  The Lamb of God is risen indeed!

History has a way of repeating itself, perhaps with different clothing but with the same inner essence.  There is nothing new under the sun.  As the Jewish people at the time of Yeshua’s first coming wanted the Messiah to give them dominion now over their enemies and the nations, so too do many Christians today, as the day of Christ’s return nears, want Him to grant them the kingdom now as if His coming is either delayed or irrelevant.  Even those closest to Jesus, such as Judas Ishcariot, one of the apostles, seemed to be motivated in his betrayal by the desire to rule on his own terms what he clearly undestood to be God’s promises.  Judas took a truth and misapplied it.  Yeshua/Jesus Himself will come to restore the Kingdom of God back to Israel and over Israel and the nations.

But, in the meantime, there is a kingdom which we have been given authority to rule:  The Kingdom of God is within you.

It is written in Proverbs that “one who controls his/her own spirit is stronger than one who takes a city”!  Part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control/self-government.  Why should God give us control over other people and nations when we have not yet learned to control ourselves — our appetites, our tongues, our greed, our stubbornness, our anger, our presumptuousness?! 

God does not intend to give over again to sinful men dominion over the works of His hands, and Adam and Eve were not given dominion over other humans.  (Even though born-again believers are justified through faith, we still have our old man contending with the Spirit of God within us, and, sadly but true, we do find ourselves giving into it at times.)  The Son is still bringing many others into the Father’s household to give us together who are His the privilege of ruling and reigning with Him.  “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.  Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”    We, by His grace, shall reign WITH JESUS, not instead of or apart from His actual return and presence, or of our own personal bodily resurrection

There is for us a present kingdom and dominion:  control our self!  “…reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.  And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves alive to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.    For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

After the power and signs and wonders of the Passover; after the power and signs and wonders of the cross:  Does the Lord Jesus Christ reign in your heart and mind?

Surveys and Commentary – 5 Apr 2011

In recent days there have been interesting items in the news and opinion pages, which we as believers in Israel would do well to heed as realistic attitudes.  One is a survey of Israeli young people; the other a couple of paragraphs of an insightful commentary by Caroline Glick.  She found it pertinent to express her views about Messianic Jews in her article concerning a Jewish problem.

In an article published April 1 in the online JWR (Jewish World Review), “Jewry’s Jewish Problem”, Caroline Glick, whose commentaries I generally find to be very incisive, makes use of her perception — and that of most Jewish people everywhere — regarding Messianic Jews to make her point.  Here is an excerpt from the article:  

According to the AJC and Brandeis surveys, less than ten percent of American Jews tend to accept the Arab line against Israel. Given the wall to wall support for Israel among American Jews, why do American Jewish organizational leaders refuse to do what their members want them to do? Why are they taking Jewish communal funds to finance activities and causes that are offensive to the Jewish community? Why are they pretending that the call to end communal funding for anti-Israel activities is a call for an abrogation of free speech?

To get a sense of how unprecedented this is, it is useful to consider the American Jewish community’s response to Jews for Jesus. While Reform and Orthodox rabbis agree on almost nothing relating to Jewish laws and practices, since the emergence of Jews for Jesus in the 1970s, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis have been unified in their rejection of the Christian missionary group’s protestations of being Jewish.

Everyone understands that while Jews have a perfect right to change their religion, they have no right to force the Jewish community to accept Christians as Jews. That is they have no right to change the definition of Judaism to include people who worship Jesus. So-called Messianic Jews falsely call themselves Jews to undermine the community from within. But no Federation feels compelled to invite a representative of so-called Messianic Jews to proselytize on stage as part of a panel discussion in order to “welcome multiple voices.” Hillel organizations have rightly refused space and funding to Messianic Jewish groups.

But today, American Jews find themselves helpless when a marginal group of anti-Zionist Jews demands —like the Messianic Jews of their day—communal funding and space for their anti-Israel activities.

The anti-Zionist groups make the same arguments as the Messianic Jews. They call themselves pro-Israel even as they engage in activities aimed at harming, defaming, weakening and delegitimizing the Jewish state. They claim that refusing them communal funds constitutes a violation of their free speech rights.

Yet while communal leaders did not hesitate to call the so-called Messianic Jews’ bluff, they cannot find the way to expunge anti-Israel groups from their umbrella organizations. The explanation for this behavior apparently is apparently social. Federation leaders don’t mind disappointing evangelical Christians. But most of their friends are leftist. Consequently, the perceived social cost of taking action against groups like Theater J, J Street, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence and Jewish Voices for Peace is too high for many American Jewish leaders to bear.

As a present election of grace, we Jewish believers in Jesus are a proof of God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises to His people, and we establish the truth that Jesus says He has come to fulfill all that is written in Moses and the Prophets.  We are not here to impose His Kingdom before the time, but rather to call people out to Him now, and be spared the wrath to come.  What the Jewish Israeli apostle to the Jews preached to all the people of Israel after he was baptized by the Holy Spirit at Shavuot/Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago still remains the essential message of God to His largely unrepentant people.

The other article of interest shows the attitudes of young Israeli people to what they perceive as the most important issues facing the county:

A survey carried out by a German foundation finds Israel’s youth has become more nationalist and does not expect peace. Some 1,200 Jewish youths and 400 Arab youths (not from the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas and not between the ages of 18 and 21) were polled. The survey shows that a third of Jewish youth in Israel say Judaism is the most important goal for the State of Israel – up from only 18% a year ago. Only 14.3% of Jewish youth said democracy was Israel’s most important objective. Over 40% of the Jewish youth identify politically with the nationalist parties, with another 20% expressing solidarity with the “moderate” right-wing. Only 11.5% identify with the left-wing. Among Arab youth, 35% said they “don’t know” their political affiliation – approximately four times more than in the Jewish sector.  Some 41% of the Arab youth said their most important goal was to build a happy family, and 3% said it was to contribute to society.  Among Jews, it was 65.5% and 8.5%, respectively. Nearly three-quarters of Jews felt that security concerns must “always” or “nearly always” take precedence over ideals of democracy if they clash. (INN)

There is a revival of religion and nationalism around the world.  When these two combine —  together with fear, envy, and hatred — an explosive and unprecedented outbreak of violence can be expected.  May the Lord help us “be still, and know that He is God”.

MORE TERRIBLENESS – 24 Mar 2011

Early yesterday morning at 5:15, we were awakened in Beer Sheva by the sound of the air raid siren.  Another rocket from Gaza was fired our way, hitting in a residential neighborhood in the center of the city.  Thankfully, it missed a direct hit on a house, but nonetheless caused injury and damage.  Schools were called off that day, and once again the Mayor made the right decision:  another rocket hit around 9:45, when children would have been in school.  Other rockets were fired into other western Negev cities and towns.  The Islamic Jihad took credit; the Palestinian Authority and Hamas claim that they are against escalation of the simmering conflict at this time.

Later yesterday, around 3:00, the terror of bus bombings returned to Jerusalem.  One person has died so far; others are still in critical condition, with many wounded or traumatized.

The woman killed in the terror attack was a Christian who had been working for 20 years translating the Bible into the language of a tribe in togo.

Mary Gardner was from Scotland and she came to Israel at the beginning of the year to hone her translating skills at a ministry here called the home for Bible translators (Assoicated with Wycliffe Bible Translators)

Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl, CBN

We know and have been forewarned that lawlessness will be increasing as we get ever nearer to the end of the age and the coming again of the Lord.  Terror produces fear and anxiety.  May the grace of our God work in us the fear of the Lord and complete trust in Him.

UPDATE ON ARAD DEMONSTRATION – 20 Mar 2011

The demonstration in Arad took place, and Channel 1 news covered it.  Here is a link, which also has English sub-titles: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnR6DYmHdOI

Praise the Lord for the neighbors, and the other residents who joined with them to protest against the religious oppressors!  This is what we need to see more of in Israel if there is going to be a breakthrough in the ranks of those in control:  local, Hebrew-speaking, ordinary Israelis — and those not so ordinary — standing up and speaking out against the baseless taunts and accusations of the opposers of the believers, who represent that which is good and right in the truth of our Lord and Messiah.

OF ROCKETS AND DEMONSTRATIONS – 25 Feb 2011

Last night around 9:40 (21:40) a grad rocket launched from Gaza hit near our neighborhood in Beer Sheva.  The rocket was the first to hit a major city in Israel since the 2009 war against Hamas, which Israel  launched near the end of 2008 because of eight years of thousands of rocket attacks against cities both near to and farther out from Gaza.  Thankfully the warning siren worked properly and lives were saved, even though houses and cars were damaged.  The Islamic Jihad group took ‘credit’ for the attack; Israel responded with air strikes against launching sites.

This overt provocation comes at a time when the whole Middle East (Near East for the Europeans) and North Africa is a powder keg, with uprisings in several countries, and violence a too-characteristic way of dealing with fear and despair.  Instead of brotherly love, we have civil wars and brotherly hatred.  All of these events could be setting the stage for wars and tribulation as prophesied for the end-times, such as what is written in Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38, Matthew 24:3-14, 2Thes 2:3.  Many Muslims from these Gentile nations willl, by the sovereign grace and wisdom of God, be saved by the only Mediator and Savior whom God has given for any person or nation. (1Tim 2:1-7)  They will be truly and radically revolutionized with a new heart and a new spirit from the one true living God, who alone gives and fulfills promises of righteousness and peace and Godly joy!

Who really identifies with his people and nation and homeland?  Who really cares for the well-being of their people — both old and young — and fears and trembles at upheavals within the social order?

Next Tuesday evening, March 1, a major demonstration by a sect of ultra-orthodox Jewish people is planned against the Messianic community of believers in Yeshua in the small Negev town of Arad, situated between Beer Sheva and the Dead Sea.  The police have given permission for 200 (after rejecting the initial request for 400) Hasidei Gur adherents and yeshiva (seminary) students, and Yad L’Achim activists and paid ‘volunteers’, to protest the presence of believers in Jesus in Arad, and this in front of the private home of a widow and foster mother who lives in a cul-de-sac (dead-end street).  The Arad Messianic/Christian community has exhibited much patience and general self-control through nearly seven years of being daily harrassed, cursed, having their peace disturbed even in their homes and public places, while the religious and civil authorties have till now conspired together to protect them. 

The believers are fasting and asking for prayer seeking God for the salvation of many of these precious souls for whom Yeshua died to offer God’s forgiveness of their sin of unbelief in Him, which thing leads to all kinds of sins.  The Hasidei Gur do not even believe that the State of Israel is legitimate because to them the Messiah has not come, and only He can bring redemption, which includes the return of the Jewish people to their own land as promised by YHVH God to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob and their descendants.  Praise the Lord, Messiah has come, and is fulfilling His redemptive plan to save His people and to fulfill all of His promises pertaining both to the Land of Israel, and to the whole Earth!

INTIFADA – 13 Feb 2011

As the events in the Middle East take on some historic proportions, I am reminded of the beginning of the first Palestinian intifada (uprising) which began in 1987 here in Israel.  It brought such an earthquake of change in the whole perception of the conflict here, and its consequences world-wide, that I had to seek the Lord for His answer in the Scriptures.  And the Holy Spirit led me to Gen. 27:40b specifically, but within the whole context of the conflict of the “two nations” born to Isaac and to Rebecca.  When I perceived the significance of the prophetic word here spoken by Isaac to Esau, it was both exciting and fearful.  I asked an Arab brother what this verse means in Arabic, and particularly the Hebrew word tarid (which is the same root word for rebel and for dictator), translated as “become restless” (NKJV; NASB), or “shall have the dominion” (KJV) in English.  He looked in his Bible, and told me “intifada“! 

The time had come for these events spoken of nearly 4000 years ago to openly and aggressively begin to come to pass in our generation!  Those who think or feel or believe that they are unjustly or unnecessarily under the yoke of another ‘family’ member, of another religious moral code, of a political form of government — the time will come when they will do all in their power to shake and throw off the ones holding the reins of control, the reigns of power.  We have seen it in the two Palestinian uprisings; we see it in Islam seeking to overthrow Jewish-Christian-Western supremacy over their people and cultures; we see it in lawless agitators stirring up the multitude to overthrow normative rules of law and order, especially in those countries where the few elite have abused those rules to subvert whole nations under their military, political, or religious dictatorships; we see it in the overthrow of all moral restraint with respect to normative marriage and families, the feminist movement, the homosexual agenda to make that which is sinful and unnatural to be accepted as equal with God-blessed and natural.

Intifada is something that we as believers need to be concerned about within ourselves.  Are we continuing in rightful and whole-hearted submission to the Lord Jesus and to His word, or are we casting off restraint to do what seems right in our own eyes, or to what ‘feels good’, to what satisfies the fleshly or soulish pleasures, the lust of the flesh? (Tit 3:1-8)  There are those who express themselves publicly as having “No Fear”:  when we cease to fear God, we cast off restraint, not keeping the law!  This is the very word written in Proverbs:  “Without a vision, the people become unruly; but happy is he who keeps the Law.” (see also Lk 12:42-46; Ex 32:23-25)

The Scriptures are clear that in the last days, lawlessness will increase.  Intifada does not stop at overthrow of those keeping unbounded liberty in check; it takes on a violence which takes away any sense of peace and security, and produces fearfulness and anxiety,  and a vexation of righteous souls. (Gen 19:4-9)

Ps 2:2-3   The kings of the Earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against YHVH and His Anointed One (His Messiah/Christ):  ‘Let us break their bonds in pieces, and cast away their cords from us!’

2Thes 2:6-12   And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only that which now restrains will do so until it is taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all  may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness

2Tim 3:1-5, 12-15   But know this, that in the last days perilous times will comeFor men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!  . . . Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Messiah Yeshua will suffer persecution.  But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But you (we) must continue in the things which you (we) have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you (we) have learned, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you (us) wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Cancer is a fearful and dreaded scourge in our generation, and begins hidden within the body before it erupts in a destructive and lethal manner if it has not been diagnosed and subjugated in time.  T. Austin Sparks has written with great insight, “What is cancer?  Well, I cannot answer all the research on that matter , but I can tell you what is known:  that cancer exists because of the loss of one central governing and regulating authority.  It is something that has broken away from authority and ignores controlling and regulating authority in the organism, and becomes an authority in itself, becomes some thing that is something in itself, and has absolutely refused that central authority regulating and governing within the organism.  It has taken things into its own hands.  It is cancer, the great scourge!” (taken from “The Second Man…The Last Adam”)

These are the end times of the last days.  Even our bodies are fomenting an intifada, the deadly revolt of sin overthrowing what God has fearfully and wonderfully made.

When will true believers in the Anointed One of YHVH God begin to earnestly seek the only one who is a truly benign Dictator; (Ps 2:8-9; Rev 2:25-29)  the only one who is truly a King whose throne is established by righteousness and justice (judgment); (Ps 45:6-7; Heb 1:8-9)  the only one who is truly a good Shepherd to His countrymen (Ezek 34:20-31; Jn 10:7-16), and a good Father to His people? (2Cor 6:14 – 7:1); the only one whose yoke is easy and His burden light; the only one who heals all of our diseases and sinfulness; the only one who is holy, holy, holy?!  Even so, Come, Lord Yeshua! (see 2Tim 4:8)

THE BURDEN AGAINST EGYPT – 5 Feb 2011

This last month has seen the beginning of rumblings in the Islamic nations of North Africa and the Middle East.  There is an uprising against the entrenched leadership of the Arabic Muslim rulers, beginning with the ruler of Tunisia, and moving on to Egypt, and threatening Yemen and Jordan, with other rulers and nations worried about the repercussions within their borders.  Israel, the only non-Muslim nation in the region, is rightly concerned with the outcome of these uprisings:  only Egypt and Jordan have peace agreements with Israel, and these “peaces” are more cold than warm, but they have held for more than 30 years.

YHVH God has always warned His people Israel not to lean on Egypt for help, yet with Egypt being the leading Arabized nation (Egyptians are not Arab in their origins), Israel has always sought quiet borders on her south side with the nation God used to make a nation for Himself.

What is striking about these uprisings so far is the cry of people in these countries for their deposed leaders to get out.  This is a sad testimony that these rulers have not led their people as a father to their nations, but as lords and benefactors who enrich themselves at the expense of the common welfare.  Islamic fundamentalists, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, are set to take advantage of these uprisings through so-called democratic processes — rousing the passions of disaffected citizens and of lawless trouble-makers —  and this does not bode well for Egypt herself, or its relations with Israel or with the Christians within Egypt and the other Muslim nations.

I am reminded of an Egyptian church leader I heard speak at a Middle East conference held outside Cairo in 1993.  He spoke from Isaiah 19, and reminded all of us that the day will come when not only Israel will be the “People of God”, but also Egypt will be called by Israel’s God, “My people” (v.25).  This preacher spoke prophetically then that those who oppress Egypt (Is 19:20) are not Egyptians, but Arab Muslims who have come in.  Egypt, from the Biblical record, is named from Mizraim, one of the sons of Ham, a son of Noah. (Gen 10:6)   (The Arab peoples originate from Abram/Abraham, a Semite, and his Egyptian concubine, Hagar, whose son was Ishmael.  In Hebrew, the word for Arab denotes ‘mixture’.)  After the gospel went out from Israel, many in Egypt became Christians, and the Copts today continue that heritage.  The burden which these “oppressors” bring will be used by the Lord to turn the Egyptians to call upon Him for a Savior and a Mighty Deliverer.  It may also be worth noting that the “land of Judah” (Israel today) is a “terror to Egypt” (v. 17), and despite the peace treaty between them now, Egyptians are brought up to fear Israel as a hated and cruel enemy.

It is interesting that in Egypt they do not teach their children or people about the Israeli exodus from Egypt, led by Moses.  This Exodus made YHVH, God of the Hebrews, “famous”. (Ex 9:13-17)  It was also the plagues which YHVH brought upon the Egyptians to bring out His people Israel with signs and wonders that are memorialized in the Passover, and which demonstrated that the gods of Egypt are no gods.  Israel, likewise, does not teach her children or people about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for in His death and resurrection He made a show openly of all satanic and human opposition to Himself and to the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Both Egyptian and Jewish historical chronologies are distorted so as to divert attention from the true account and historical records given in the Bible.

So as the rulers of Egypt continue to mislead their people as to the true God (v. 11-13), He will bring them all into disarray, that they may call upon the name of Yeshua/Jesus for salvation, and know that YHVH alone is the one true God.  As more Egyptians are saved, the day draws nearer for the salvation of Israel and the coming again of the Lord. (Rom 11:25-27)

The Word of God given to us in the Old and New Testaments is always up-to-date to shed light on current events and insight to their significance.

KAY WILSON, KRISTINE LUKEN, AND AMI ORTIZ – 27 Jan 2011

Praise the Lord that the news black-out on the arrest of suspects involved in the murder of Kristine Luken and the severe wounding of Kay Wilson has been lifted with good news!  Thanks to Kay’s lucidity and excellent descriptions of the two men directly involved in their case, the police have arrested a gang of Palestinians who had decided to kill Jews and Israelis, especially since the killing of a chief Hamas operative in Kuwait last year.  Kay is being described as a “hero”, and as someone who knew how to act in such a grave situation.

Here are a couple of links to stories:

http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=205401

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4019519,00.html

Please also remember the Ortiz family, whose son Ami was very seriously injured in 2008 from a bomb attack against the family.  Next week on Feb 3, the court is once again scheduled to convene to determine if the confessed “Jewish terrorist” is mentally fit to stand trial.  Here is the last update from the Ortizes:  http://www.amiortiz.com/leahsupdates.cfm

God bless you all for standing with us in your love for Jesus/Yeshua.

A DIM LIGHT – 31 Dec 2010

Yesterday, the eighth and former President of the State of Israel, Moshe Katzav, was convicted as a rapist, sexual harasser, perjurer, and an obstructer of the judicial process.  http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=201648 

While this reflects favorably on the Israeli system of law — that no one is officially above it — it also demonstrates the sad state of affairs in a country which would allow such a man to rise to such a position of power and influence over a period of many years.  Not only is rape, sexual harassment, and adultery too often dismissed in this generation and society — placing many victims into the position of feeling like the perpetrators, which sometimes may also be the common truth — but a nation which has been called and chosen by the Creator and Redeemer of the Heavens and the Earth to be a holy people continues to dimly reflect this reality.

It is often said that Israel is called to be a “light to the Gentiles”, but the Scriptures actually show that the Messiah Himself — the true Servant and Elect One who embodies all that Israel is to be — HE is the One given as the Light:

Is 42:6-7   I, YHVH, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand;  I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people (Israel), as a light to the Gentiles; to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house.

Is 49:5-6   And now YHVH says, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him (For I shall be glorious in the eyes of YHVH, and My God shall be My strength), indeed He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the Earth”.

The whole of the Bible shows clearly the spiritual condition of God’s people — whether Israel/Jews or the Church/Christians —  and our need of repentance unto salvation and/or unto humble obedience in the fear of God.  Israel’s democracy is flawed, as are others who consider this form of government to be the ideal.  Yet God has not called Israel to emulate the Gentiles, but to be a kingdom of priests, and to return unto His righteous rule, with YHVH Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah) being her King in truth.  The ignoble conviction of Israel’s “Public Citizen #1” only further testifies to that.

Israel is in need of new birth, not merely correction and fixing.  She is in need of healing, not outwardly and physically only, but inwardly and spiritually.  She needs a new heart and a new spirit, even the Spirit of the God and Savior who still loves her for His holy name’s sake, and for the sake of the fathers — Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel.

Israel’s reflection of the true light is dim indeed:  she has preferred the works of darkness, rather than come to Him who is the True Light, whose life is the light of men.  All of her contributions to the benefit of the world’s peoples are as dead works, since they are done for her own praise and not for the praise of Him who has enabled her.  The former glory is fading and passing away, that the true glory may shine in its eternal fullness!

2Pt 1:19   And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Yesterday’s harsh verdict against the former Israeli President, Moshe Katzav, is a self-indictment:  we can not save ourselves however we may wishfully hope.  God has made it profoundly simple:  there is only one name by which anyone can be saved — Yeshua/Jesus!  Thank God for His love and faithfulness to keep His covenants, and may this next year see many more Gentiles and Jews come to His Light, shining like the sun in its strength.