Would You Come To This Conference? – 17 Mar 2014

The “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference has ended.  There is tension within the ranks of the Body of Messiah here in Israel.  We pray for healing of strained or broken relationships through humility, repentance where necessary, forgiveness as commanded, transcendant love for our heavenly Father and our Lord Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ.  This is all part of our sanctification, and is also a part of God’s righteousness to nullify our own.

I was thinking about another conference, but with an opposite orientation.  If such an imaginary conference were planned, would you come?  Taking the 12 points of the CATC Manifesto as a basis, I have changed some of the wording to plan this ‘what if’ conference:

1.  The Kingdom of God has not fully come, and will not until the return and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from Heaven:  Yeshua said that His kingdom is not of this world; the devil is the prince of this world; the whole world lies under the power of the evil one; the Kingdom of God is not now by observation, but within those who believe; the animals are not at peace; Israel is still the enemy of the gospel, and beloved for the fathers’ sake.

2.  Reconciliation recognizes and willingly submits to the sovereign will of the Father, and also recognizes the image of God in every person.

3.  The Jewish and Israeli people, as the descendants of Jacob, are those to whom the Promised Land of Canaan is given by YHVH God for an everlasting possession.

4.  The Church — the Body of Messiah/Christ — must continue to bear witness to the truth of God regarding His land, and to intercede and act on His behalf for His will to be accomplished.  This witness and testimony began in Israel and has continued to this day.

5.  The Scriptures (the  Old and New Testament) are clear regarding God’s exclusive ownership of the Land of Israel, and He has promised it to the descendants of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob — to the “all Israel” that will be saved when iniquity is removed from “Jacob”.

6.  Sovereign nations have the moral, God-given responsibility to justly use the power of the sword in protection of its citizenry, and of its borders.

7.  Israeli believers in Yeshua must not lose the capacity of self-judgment in the light of God’s Word if they want to be prophetic.

8.  There are real injustices taking place within Israel and the Palestinian Territories by those who refuse to accept God’s covenantal promise of the Land of Israel to Jacob and the Jewish people, whom YHVH God is bringing back to this very land, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, in these last days.  This promise is confirmed by the resurrection of Yeshua from among the dead, and without belief in Him, no one will receive the birthright and blessing.

9.  For all people, unbelief and lack of reconciliation towards YHVH God and His Word are the core issues of the conflict.

10. Any challenges of the injustices taking place in the Holy Land must be done in Christian love, and with a prophetic voice calling for repentance to our respective leaders.  Care must be taken not to add to or to take away from the whole of the Word of God as written to us in the Bible.

11. Respectful dialogue between Israeli and Arab believers in Jesus must continue with the centrality of the cross and the pesonal coming again of the Lord to rule and reign taking precedence as a framework for discussions, as we learn to obey the commandments to love and to forgive for Yeshua’s sake and the gospel truth to the world.

12. Christians must understand the Jewish objections to the gospel due to historical Christian excessive harshness and self-righteous accusations against the Jewish people and nation.   Although the Jewish leaders and people have borne false witness against Messiah to do Him evil, and although this has returned upon our own heads, we identify with our Jewish people and find them justified for their refusal to repent and believe the gospel and the New Covenant in which God forgives them of their sin, transgression, and iniquity against Him, whom they pierced.  Although we did not believe in Yeshua before there was a predominantly Gentile Christian church, nonetheless we hold Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and their disciples and followers as the main cause of stumbling for our people to change our minds and attitudes towards God.  And even though the name of Christ is upon all who believe in Him as Lord and Messiah, we want to be identified, not as Christians, but only as Jews, Messianic or otherwise, so that we might find favor in the eyes of our people.

Does this “manifesto” promote truth and understanding?  Could there be a fatal flaw in these underlying assumptions that betray some confusion or self-orientation?  Is there a mixture of truth and error here that ought to be lovingly confronted?  Would I need to look a little deeper regarding my own need to repent, that I might better appreciate the great need of my Savior, going outside the camp and bearing His reproach?  Would you — dear Jewish, Arab, or Gentile believer in Yeshua — participate in such a conference?

The Holy Spirit is working to bring to pass all that is written in the Scriptures, that every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD!  Praise His Name!  The prayer of Yeshua for true love and unity within His own body of born-again believers will be answered, fully realized in the first resurrection.  Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!

CATC 2012 Manifesto – 12 Mar 2012

The CATC conference in Bethlehem ended on Friday evening, and the controversy going into the conference continued in its going out.  The organizers put out a ‘manifesto’ (which you can read on their own website, www.christatthecheckpoint.com ), which says nothing about evangelizing anyone, nor of any hope in the coming again of the Lord to bring GOD’s righteousness and justice to the whole of His world which He made; nor does it accept YHVH God’s on-going covenant faithfulness to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — to whom He made many promises that also are intended to bless all nations.  This — under whatever name people want to use or not — replaces God’s Word with their own understanding, just as the Jewish people have done.  It makes the one true God a covenant-breaker, which He is assuredly not, but the last days are characterized partly by those who are, and the anti-christ will make league with covenant-breakers.  Rejecting the on-going relationship of God with not only Jewish people, but also with the nation of Israel, is simply the same thing as saying what I heard all my life before:  The Jews killed Christ; God is finished with the Jews. 

The conference has brought to light stated positions, and put them on the table.  With all the appearances of giving a hearing to a pro-Bible (to use the phrase of another) perspective in order to be ‘balanced’, the manifesto all the more shows that the ‘elephant in the room’ is still disregarded.  However, there were some good indications of a calmer tone than in the first conference in 2010, and some positive input from some of the Israeli participants and attendees at this year’s conference. 

In the meantime, there is loud silence over the year-long atrocities in Syria, and no denouncing of the rocket attacks on the southern cities of Israel, which is now in its fourth day.
The battle is the Lord’s;  Pray that He will break through the impasse/roadblock/checkpoint, to take us forward from where we are.  Yeshua/Jesus/Yasu is the believer’s living hope in the midst of conflict.

CHRIST AT THE CHECKPOINT – 5 Mar 2012

There is a conference beginning today in Bethlehem, which is named Christ At The Checkpoint.  There is much controversy over this conference within the Messianic Body here in Israel, and also from those abroad, including regarding the participation of two local pastors.  The secular Israeli media that has reported on the conference sees it as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.

The conference website is very clear that the purpose of the conference — despite having the two Israeli pastors speak — is to express a Palestinian perspective which denies that the return of the Jewish people back to this land has anything to do with God fulfilling His Word (which, again, is forever settled in Heaven – Ps 119:89-91), written and affirmed in both the Old and the New Testaments.

This week of the conference falls during the Jewish holiday of Purim (coincidence?), made famous from the Bible book of Esther.  With respect to the conference, do pray that God will bring good out from it — even within it — as only He can.