TIME FOR SELF-RESPECTING JEWS TO STAND UP – 21 July 2013

According to the inspired Word of God given to us in the Bible, YHVH, the one and only true God, created Jacob, Israel, and all called by His name, for His glory.  He alone is the only Savior who forgives sin.  He only is the Deliverer  from enemies and foreign gods.  YHVH, the Holy One of Israel, is the  only One who knows all things from the beginning through beyond their end. (Is 43:1-15)

The revelation from God that the Jewish people are a creation (as was Adam, and as is the born-again believer in Jesus) makes them unique among other people groups, races, clusters, ethnicities.  Despite all the mixture that is acknowledged (i.e., no pure-blood credentials), there remains the historic identity and collective memory, with a lineage and civilization that has set us apart, that has been the subject and object of specific recognition, honor, and attack, and that has survived in a distinct way which still differentiates the Jewish and Israeli people from others.  The God of Israel is the living God!  Without Him, we are not, for it is He who has made us.

The news is rife with all manner of attempts and efforts to eradicate the acceptance of this God — without Whom none of the opposers of the truth would even be living to oppose!  The Bible (both Old and New Testaments), the record given through the Jewish people of this true God and Savior, is constantly under attack from those who do not want the Lord to rule over them in any way.  The truth of Him being the Creator has been attacked without pause by Jews and Gentiles who do not want to glorify YHVH (including Jesus/Yeshua) as God, nor are they thankful for the wonders of His creation.  From the time of Pharoah till today there have been those despots and envious rulers seeking to destroy the Israeli nation and Jewish people, who are witnesses to all that YHVH is God.  They reject His claims through His people for His land and for Jerusalem, His city.

Once the spirit rises to defy Israel’s God, it works to defy the Jewish people’s history and identity and distinguishing features:  just this past week, Poland has sought to ban the ritual slaughter of animals in a manner consistent with Jewish law for acceptable (kosher) animals and meat. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4404308,00.html  ; see also  http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/02/12/outlawing-kosher-meat-and-europe%E2%80%99s-profound-semite-loathing/   Under the Law of Moses (the Torah), God made a distinction between different categories of animals, which He had created, as to whether it was acceptable for Jewish people to eat or not, as well as forbidding the eating of blood (which He also did for all humanity after the flood in Noah’s day, and again in the New Testament for both Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus.  The NT brings freedom with respect to the type of animals which can be for food to believers in Yeshua/Jesus).  Banning the manner in which Jewish meat butchers have traditionally slaughtered animals for food preparation, based on an ‘animal rights’ sensitivity, is one example of denying the Jewish people a ritual which can be traced back to God’s commandments for them.  God cares more for the well-being of animals than even some of His prophets! (Jonah)

A year ago, Germany sought to ban the Jewish covenant ritual of circumcising 8-days old baby boys, which is a covenant sign between YHVH and the physical descendants of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.  In seeking this ban, which other countries had already done, Germany was denying one of the most significant signs of Jewish identity, and which carried with it belonging to this particular and specially created people group — the Isreli/Jewish people — by the very Creator Himself.  http://www.timesofisrael.com/three-months-after-local-court-banned-circumcisions-german-government-to-legalize-rite/  ;  http://streamsinthenegev.com/latest-news/circumcision-ban-26-july-2012/   These bans are based on the humanistic UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, much of which is suitable anywhere in the world, but which places its own understanding above the Creator God’s own particular declaration of human responsibilities, rights and liberties, and judgments and punishments, when it touches on His covenant (including New Covenant) commandments and prescriptions.

The Islamic authorities have for years been denying and re-writing the history of this land to seek to deceive as many as possible with claims that there has never been a Jewish presence here, including the two Temples which were so central to Israeli life up through the life and times of Jesus the Messiah and the nascent church.  http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=487  It is a ‘non-violent’ way to seek to wipe out Israel from being a nation. (Ps 83)   All the while, archeological finds continue to show that on ‘every centimeter’ of this land there is evidence and proof of the Biblical history.  http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/artifacts-and-the-bible/the-tel-dan-inscription-the-first-historical-evidence-of-the-king-david-bible-story/

Last week, the European Union passed a resolution to not recognize any Israeli Jewish claim to what is called Israeli-occupied territory within the borders of this land lying between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.  http://www.timesofisrael.com/eu-publishes-guidelines-limiting-israel-funding/  The EU is denying and rejecting already existing legal status for Jewish people to live within this area, whether or not Arabs and other people also live there.  The legality of Jewish access and rights within Judea and Samaria (the ‘West Bank’), and within east Jerusalem, go back to the Balfour Declaration in 1917; to the San Remo Treaty of 1920; to the League of Nations Palestine Mandate of 1922; the United Nations Charter of 1945; to the international laws of war which continue to be considered an exception to Israeli victories in its series of wars with the Arab nations surrounding her.  All this conflict is again connected with the historic identity and redemptive hope of the people called Israel today, or the Jewish people, to whom YHVH promised to their fathers and to their physical descendants this land which was once the land of Canaan, became the land of Israel, had its name changed to Palestine more than a century after Jesus died and rose again, and is today disputed because of unbelief and unacceptance of God’s terms of peace and reconciliation by all the parties involved.

There is also the intellectual and/or ideological assertion that the the world without Israel would be the answer to all that troubles us, and not only by radical jihadist Muslim leaders.  It is a bit like the prophet Jonah, who knew that if he were thrown overboard, the storm would be abated.  In the current case, however, it is the troubled who are thinking up such a scenario for a hopeful end, not knowing what they are doing.  The venerable BBC radio has taken this scenario seriously enough to bring it up in a popular interview program:  http://bbcwatch.org/2013/03/07/bbc-mainstreams-the-concept-of-a-world-without-israel/   And here you can read a well thought-out analysis of the sentiment, an article by Josef Joffe, originally published by Foreign Policy magazine in January 2005:  http://www.soliya.net/download/world_without_israel.pdf   Without a marker, we all go astray and need a Shepherd to find us and bring us home safely before the vultures will get their satisfaction.

And so,  just yesterday, once more, there is another round of ‘peace talks’ arranged by the U.S. administration with the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority leadership.  http://www.timesofisrael.com/kerry-announces-renewal-of-direct-peace-negotiations/  This effort to solve the age-old feud will not give satisfaction, even if an agreement is accepted.  Until GOD is satisfied, no one else will be.

Will all Jews, the children of Israel, who care about who they are, and why they are, please stand up and be counted?!  Our Father God is waiting with open arms.

INVENTIONS, HISTORY, HYPOCRISY – 11 Dec 2011

Yesterday, in an interview on a U.S. cable network, Newt Gringrich, a Republican Presidential candidate, said that the Palestinian people are “invented”.  This, of course, raised an outcry from Palestinian Arab political, religioius, and intellectual leaders.

After all the claims by Palestinians delegitimizing Israel’s right to exist, the Islamic repudiation of any Jewish history connected to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the denial even by many (if not most) Palestinian Arab Christians of God’s everlasting covenants connected with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob and their posterity . . . it is the utmost hypocrisy for them to call “despicable” and “very racist” the remarks made by Gringrich regarding their identity and history.

Israel and the Jewish people have a long recorded history written in the whole of the Bible, and also in extra-Biblical sources.  The Israeli people from the beginning has never been about a “pure race or bloodline”:  there has always been mixture, yet with a clear sense of belonging to and identity with this particular people and nation.  This has been so in religion and peoplehood, for Israel’s existence comes from YHVH God Himself.

I know many Palestinian evangelical believers in Yeshua as Lord and Messiah, yet who do not know where they come from or who they are — other than to say that they are Palestinian Arabs, because their families were born in Palestine — a name given to the Land of Israel by the Romans after the final Jewish revolt in 132 AD, a name which derives from the Philistia (Philistines), and which means ‘invaders’ in the Hebrew Holy Spirit-inspired Scriptures.

These brothers in Messiah/Christ admit to not agreeing that they are necessarily Semites (from Noah’s son, Shem), which would mean that they are not then sons of Abraham.  They do not accept necessarily that they are sons of Ishmael — which of course they would not be if not sons of Abraham.  They do not accept any lineage with Esau/Edom.  They do not know who they are, but accept being a mixed race (which the word ‘Arab’ actually implies — ‘mixture’), and want us Israeli Jewish believers to be confused as to who we are, too, since we are also mixed through intermarriage with Gentiles.  (Again, Biblically, there has always been mixture within Israel, yet still an identifiable nation with detailed genealogies over centuries and thousands of years, one of the proofs as to who Jesus Christ is in the flesh.)

Apart from the Biblical record in the Old and the New Testaments, there will always be ‘inventions’ and confusion if we ignore the truth, and for those who do believe in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God, the Bible is supposed to our primary source for information, and the Scriptures are written for us living at the end of the age.

Judaism and the Jewish people also attempt to revise and re-write history with respect to the truth of who Yeshua/Jesus is and of His resurrection.  Islam and Muslims in their holy book, the Koran, have re-written history connected with the name of the true God, with Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, with Jesus being the Son of God the Father, with His virgin birth and His death and resurrection.  Christians have gone beyond what is written in showing hostility toward the Jewish people and God’s faithfulness to restore them to favor in the Land of Israel which He promised long ago to be an everlasting possession, but not a “Jews only” state.  Even Jewish believers in Yeshua are not without inventions, not willing to accept many truths which the Holy Spirit has taught the predominantly Gentile church over the last 2000 years.

Stereotypes such as all Jews are Christ killers; or all Christians are anti-Semites; or all Muslims are terrorists are not helpful when true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ are taught to speak the truth in righteousness and in love.  Most inventions of the mind or of lying spirits are an effort to give dignity and significance to ourselves or to our nation or our religious beliefs, especially when we think God or history writing has been “unbalanced”.  Just as the serpent beguiled Eve to think that she would be like God through disobeying Him, so is it foolish human pride seeking to find purpose and value through any thing other than the truth of the God who created us, spoke concerning callings and destinies of many peoples, and loves us to give us living hope of glory through repentance from our unbelief and rebellion towards faith in Him and His Word.

In this season when the birth of the King of the Jews and the Savior of the world is traditionally celebrated — especially by believers who can worship God in Spirit and truth — let us remember that Jesus died asking the Father to forgive us, especially for being ignorant of all that we have done and still do against Yehovah, and against His Anointed One.  He is coming again, and will bring righteous judgment against all who oppose Him and those upon whom is His goodwill.

THE ANSWER TO JESUS’ PRAYER IN JOHN 17

9 Jan 2009

                                                                                             (Article for www.comeandsee.com at their request during Israel’s War in Gaza against Hamas)

Jesus knew that His Father loved Him because He always did that which pleased Him.  What will it take for God the Father to answer His Beloved Son’s prayer?:

“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them by Your truth.  Your Word is truth.  As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

“I do not pray for these [apostles] alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word (their teaching and preaching while they were still alive, and the New Testament writings we have that they wrote):  that they all (born-again believerss) may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. . . .

“O righteous Father!  The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.  And I have declared to them Your name (i.e., Father), and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

YHVH God, the Creator of the heavens and the Earth, is, by that very fact and truth, Sovereign over all things.  There is none like Him – never was nor ever will be – for nothing exists are was created and made except by and through Him.  Can the mortal human being, or any other created thing, comprehend such a thing!?  Certainly not!  But it is by faith we must believe that God IS, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, and it is through genuine faith in this one true God and in His Word – what He says – that we can begin to understand that what He reveals to us in His Word is truth.  The fear of YHVH is the beginning of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

We are living in Bible times!  Does not the Word and Spirit of God speak to us that we are towards the end of the last days?  Are not the Scriptures written for us, upon whom the end of the ages is come?  Are not prophecies being fulfilled today – both ‘pleasant’ ones and ‘unpleasant’?  The days of the Bible did not end 1900 years ago, but we are even now living in days which the prophets and apostles were given to see long ago!

I remember when I was an unbeliever that I would ask Christians why there is not peace if the Messiah/Christ had already come, if, as they say, Jesus is really the true Messiah whom the Jews have so far rejected but are supposed to believe in for salvation.  It is both tragic and amazing to me how those Christians had no clear answer for me!  Once I became a believer and was saved, I began to read the whole Bible as being the Word of God, and not as just some special book put together by men, nearly all of whom were Israelis (the exceptions being Job and Luke).

Once I began to read the Bible with faith that it IS God’s word, I also began to repent from some of my own thinking and started to believe what the Holy Spirit communicated from my Father in Heaven.  It was painfully clear that He and I had not been thinking alike on quite a number of things!  That included the issue of war and peace.  The Lord plainly says that even though Messiah has come [the first time; another one of those things where we had not thought alike], there will be not only rumors of war, but actual wars until the end – until the same Lord Jesus Christ comes again.  I read this in Daniel, in Psalms, in the ‘Olivet Discourse’, in Revelation. . .all right there “under my nose”!  The Scriptures give the simple and straight-forward answer to the often asked question, “Why isn’t there peace if the Messiah has come?”  And this applies to other often asked questions as well.

The present war in Gaza by Israel against Hamas has again brought to the surface the deep divisions within the Body of Christ, especially close at home here in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority.  Try as we may to be reconciled to one another, there are some serious underlying issues that we carry with us so long as we only do our best to understand, to forgive, to be forgiven, to “give it to the Lord”.  Clearly, something more is required which only the triune God can provide by His grace above and beyond our best desires and efforts.  Otherwise, if it were so simple for us to just engage in serious and heart-felt reconciliation ministry, we would take credit for that which required a true prayer in the Spirit by the only-begotten Son of God, who, even now, as the Son of Man for us at the right hand of the Father, intercedes for us (not for the world).

Yeshua/Jesus/Yasu is the only one who can heal these deep, deep wounds of our histories, of God’s sovereign will and choices, of our own particular experiences and perceptions of those histories, of our feelings of acceptance or rejection by God the Father Himself.  On the cross, Yeshua bore our sins and makes healing possible for our spirit, soul, and body.  HE has done it!

The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth is sovereign Lord of all.  Jesus tells us that He has received all authority from the Father over all things in this creation.  And there is war in the heavenlies, and on the Earth.  Should we who believe, despite all, not rejoice that our Lord and Savior is God of Hosts (Armies)?  He knows how to lead in battle and victory, despite serious and heavy losses on the way.  He has been there Himself. . .and overcome!

When we complain and murmur and falsely accuse, we are really saying that we do not like the way God manages and oversees His affairs.  Rather than us maturing into sons of God who can faithfully cooperate with Him in His business and be faithful witnesses as we represent Him in the world, we tend to let our own ‘wisdom’ and personal interests rise back up (although they are supposed to be reckoned as dead, crucified with the Lord when He died for us) when things get too difficult for us to understand or to explain to others without fear or embarrassment.  We revert too easily and quickly to our unredeemed and unsanctified viewpoints, rather than abide in God’s overall and far better viewpoint.

There is a peace which the world gives.  The only wise God and Savior tells us that the peace He gives is not the same, and not only within individual hearts of those who believe.  (Remember, Jesus says that He did not come to bring peace to the world, but a sword.  In the prayer of Jesus, He declares that those who come to saving faith are no longer of the world.)  The peace which Jesus wants to give also applies to nations and people groups.  For this, He is coming again, and in righteousness He judges and makes war! (Rev 19:11)  To be called sons of God for being peacemakers, or pursuers of peace, can only be so if it is the peace of Jesus that we are speaking about and acting upon.

As believers together in the truth of Messiah being Jesus, the Son of God the Father, we have been given authority to become children of God.  Our identity and unity are both fully realized IN Messiah, and not in our particular emphases – cultural or otherwise – on other subjects of great interest and importance to us within the vast treasures of God’s world that He has created and made.  Each of us has been given a calling and gift, and even perhaps a ministry.  We can tend to make what is given to ‘me’ the “most important”, while denigrating and diminishing that which the Lord has sovereignly chosen to give to others.  We are one body, but many members.  Christ is not divided.

What this current war in Gaza has brought out WITHIN THE BODY are strong sentiments based sometimes on one’s own interpretation of God’s plan, which, when false, leads brethren to ‘excommunicate’ others from even Heaven’s gates for those who do not see it their way. We all can try to justify ourselves, but God clearly tells us that all our own righteousnesses are as filthy rags!  That is why our unity is only truly found IN MESSIAH, in whom is all of God’s righteousness.

How can a Jewish brother, for example, say to any other Christian that, unless he understands and accepts God’s continuing purpose for Israel as a nation, he is not in the Body of Messiah, not saved!?  How can any Arab brother, for another example, say to any Jewish or other believer that, unless he is willing to nullify Israel’s legitimacy as a nation (which YHVH God for His own holy name’s sake has pre-determined to restore) in order to satisfy their sense of justice, he is not a true Christian?!

The perfect Father in Heaven is, if I may reverently say so, looking down at His squabbling adopted children, saying, “This one is My son/daughter, and this one is My son/daughter.  How can you be saying to each other that you are not my sister or brother!?”  Believers are commanded to love one another – those within the household of faith – in a higher way than we would love our own unsaved loved ones or people, or than we would love our enemies.  God also loves all these different ‘categories’ in ways that are only begun to be discerned once we believe and know the truth.  We are to love one another as Jesus has loved us.  He got pretty annoyed (but not in a sinful way) with His own people because of their unbelief. (Mt 17:17), yet He willingly gave His life for them/us all in His primary love for His Father.

What will it take for us to trust the Lord – in His holiness and wisdom and love – so completely that the work of the blood of the cross and the Holy Spirit in us brings us to that place where Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane at the peak of His testing and temptations:  not my will, but Yours, Father, be done?

What will it take for the Father to answer Jesus’ intercessory prayer for us?  I do not know, but I do know I want to be in the answer, overcoming the world in the joy of my Father and my Lord.  As Yeshua prayed, it is for the glory of the Father, and the Son, and those who become one together with and in Him.