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?

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.