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?

Shalom from a very dry Negev (which means ‘dry land’).

8 Feb 2009

Shalom from a very dry Negev (which means ‘dry land’).

Despite the extremely dry weather for winter — the driest on record — the flu has been going around. It got to me, so I was laid up in bed for a few days a couple of weeks ago. I also have what must be a pinched nerve in my neck for about a 1/2 year now. For the last couple of months, I’ve been getting some physical therapy, but it hasn’t really released the pinch. I did it to myself while doing some exercises (at the loving concern of my family). Hoping it would go away by itself, I didn’t do anything about it for a couple of months, before going finally for an x-ray. It took more than another month to start some treatment. Anyway, the body ages, while the inner man is renewed day-by-day! Praise the Lord!

The last-days weather patterns are certainly less predictable than just a few years ago. God’s covenant blessings of the right amount of rain at the right times were based on Israel’s obedience with faith in Him. Since this is still not the case, and since the times are nearing for God’s interventions in righteous judgments, then the lack of ‘good’ rain is a means by which He would want His people to repent and return to Him. (Dt 28:12, 23-24) Yet God has promised since the Flood that as long as this Earth remains, there would still be the four seasons (Gen 8:22). And He has further promised that as long as He is in control of our unique solar system within His universe, and that the size of the universe can not be determined, Israel would remain a nation before Him, and His covenants with David and with the Levites would not be broken (Jer 31:33-37; 33:19-26). So we can be assured that Yeshua is going to return at the appointed time to regenerate this Creation and make the Earth a very habitable place during His reign! (Ps 96; Mt 24:32-39; Rom 8:18-25)

Elections
Israel once again goes to national elections for Prime Minister and for Knesset (Parliament) seats. Once again, the elections are critical. It seems that every election here is a ‘fateful’ one. The security of the nation and its integrity is once again the major issue. The economy, which is also adversely affected along with the rest of the world’s countries, has not been discussed very much publicly, yet obviously will have a major impact on our lives. Two of the major candidates, Bibi Netanyahu (Likud) and Ehud Barak (Labor), have been PM before, and each had a major negative impact on the nation. Tzipi Livni, currently Foreign Minister, has risen to prominence through her earlier connection with Ariel Sharon and the formation of the new political party, Kadima. That party was formed out from the more right-wing party Likud, and with a platform to divide the country into two. A fourth major candidate this time is Avigdor Liberman (Israel Beiteinu – Israel Our Home) is running on a platform which essentially requires citizens to pledge allegiance to the State of Israel if they want to partake of its privileges. The Likud and all of the nationalist parties promote with worldly reason the necessity of Israel being a Jewish and ‘democratic’ country.

This sounds reasonable, but has been and will be used against Jews and Christians in other countries. When a Jew is required to pledge more loyalty to his ‘home’ country over Israel, what will he answer? (Ps 137:1-6) When a Christian is required to pledge more allegiance to his ‘home’ country over the Kingdom of God, what will you answer? (Acts 17:7; Jn 18:36; Ps 2; Rev 11:15-18) Will believers in Jesus also be required in Israel to pledge greater allegiance to a Jewish state — that is, a state where Judaism is the supreme religion — over the truth of Jesus being the Messiah, the Son of God, which Judaism rejects? Are we prepared for such a time as that?