NATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY – aka when and how God addresses a rebellious society. And the Yom Kippur invitation, to all, to personal and national repentance.

I’ve read articulate opinions that God only covenanted/covenants with Israel. I believe those opinions are in error, being out of line with biblical revelation.

The door to intimate relationship with God is an open door, to all, both as individuals and I also believe, to nations.

I wish there were better titles for those dispensational writings commonly referred to as NEW Testament and OLD Testament. “OLD” implies “done”. Meanwhile, the Jewish scriptures remain eternal, clearly alive and well, in our times, I firmly believe, within the context of the Messianic fulfillment on Calvary. That very-much-alive “OLD TESTAMENT” clearly presents itself as appearing more stringent and more Israel-focused then the NEW one, and yet look what our/the great God of Israel tells us, even then, to NOT allow: DO NOT ALLOW Gentile exclusion. Verse 3, below, constitutes a pre-emptive strike against the exclusionary-error of no-covenant for the Gentiles/foreigners/non-Jews. That has huge promises and ramifications for all peoples, at all times, including our predominantly Gentile nation, now.

Isaiah 56:3-7
3 Do not let the son of the foreigner
Who has joined himself to the Lord
Speak, saying,
“The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”;
Nor let the eunuch say,
“Here I am, a dry tree.”
4 For thus says the Lord:
“To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me,
And hold fast My covenant,
5 Even to them I will give in My house
And within My walls a place and a name
Better than that of sons and daughters;

I will give them an everlasting name
That shall not be cut off.
6 “Also the sons of the foreigner
Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him,
And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—
Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And holds fast My covenant—
7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
Will be accepted on My altar;
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

These verses speak prophetically to future times, but their invitation is for all times. Ask Ruth the Moabitess. Moab and Israel were fervent enemies. And yet this woman saw God in Israel and fully entered into the Abrahamic faith, and is cited in the lineage of Christ. Go figure. THAT illustrates the heart and hopes of God.

It comes down to individual people, and also to people groups, being invited and in response wanting and willing to come into covenant relationship with God, on His fair terms.

Nationally, without any doubt, Israel is the poster-child for covenant relationship. Always has and will always be. Yet special-Israel, clearly, in both testaments, is not alone in the invitation, both to the blessing as well as the accountability of covenant.

Furthermore, the scriptures make it clear that God works His purposes in all nations.

EXAMPLE TEXT:
2 Kings 5:1
1 Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.

Syria was an enemy of Israel, and yet we see God gave a Syrian army commander victories.

God’s sovereignty over all nations, tribes, tongues and people-groups is biblically asserted and deserves its own writing. Suffice to say:

Psalms 24:1-2
​1 The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
2 For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Acts 17:26-27
26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

It is clear that God’s plans center around Israel – always have and always will, whether the Jewish people are obedient or disobedient will impact how He deals with them. He is in covenant with them and that commitment and intimacy bring about the highest level of both blessing and also accountability.

All that said, let’s go back to Jeremiah and see what the Lord tells us regarding any nation. First the anointed prophet addresses Israel. Then that same anointed prophet, in the same breath of anointing, broadens the span to include all nations, any nations. This is not to be missed.

Jeremiah 18:1-11
1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying:
(Verses 2-6 specifically address Israel. Verse 7 and onward take things broader)
7 The instant I speak concerning a nation (Hebrew: “goy” – foreign nation, Gentile) and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it,
8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.
9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it,

(God is revealing His all-times plan to build and plant Gentile nations – the plan of His heart being to always bring them to Him – Acts 17:27 – including the end-of-age shaking-work to draw them to Himself – Haggai 2:7).
10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

(Verse 11 refocuses on Israel – but we ought not limit Verse 11 to Israel-only application – the invitation to “return” is an invitation to defuse upcoming troubling from the hand of the always-righteous King of kings).
11 “Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.” ‘ ”

America is quite an amazing place. Ethnically/prophetically, it is a coat of many colors. Check out our Olympic teams.

Back to the Israel-component for a moment: America has historically also been THE nation of refuge for the Jewish people. Until most recently, just as many Jews dwelt in America as dwelt in Israel. God’s eye is on America for many reasons. Gen 12:3 is alive and well. America has been blessed for being a refuge to the dispersed Jews. Personally, thank you, America.

God is looking for all men, everywhere.

2 Peter 3:9
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Pilgrims left Europe in search of many things – freedom to worship, freedom from persecution, wealth, adventure, new life, etc. Some were running away from things. Other were running to new things. Likely they all were reasonably desperate, and/or visionary, and/or adventurous. Complacency doesn’t take people thousands of miles on wooden ships, over often stormy oceans.

Intending to land in the Virginia Colonies, weather and sea blew a little ship called the Mayflower to Massachusetts. William Brewster, a pastor onboard, is credited with the writing of the following brief document. The Mayflower was not a Christians-only, praise-the-Lord cruise ship. It was a ship of desperate, visionary, and sober people. More than only the onboard Christians anticipated the perils and jeopardies of new lands, new challenges, new life. They signed a covenant with one another, and with God, Who listens to the words of His people, and enters into covenant with them, even for the general good. Daniel’s chapter-9 prayer owned the sins of his people, and God showed mercy. Saints, in both testaments, divinely function as salt of the earth. It was Israel’s call from the beginning (sadly, for the most part they have failed). In our current Dispensation it has primarily been the call to the Christian church (sadly, for the most part we have failed). Meanwhile, God looks for and rightly expects covenant-people to maintain covenant (it’s part of the deal), and covenant people are sent forth to exemplify His goodness, and to attract others into divine covenant. THAT has always been the plan, and THAT having stalled and failed so often throughout the history of the world, we find ourselves in a world that screams louder, daily, about its condition.

Back to the Mayflower.
Keep an eye on in Whose name it is being written, for the glory of Whom, and what advancements were desired to be undertaken, and why the concept of laws and ordinances was to be undertaken.

THAT is covenant. I’ll help the specific focus of this writing by underlining.

The Mayflower Compact said:
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.

Through the lens of history we can now look back and see that the matters of “King of England” etc. took some violent and (to the Mayflower folks) unexpected turns, but meanwhile the divine intent of the covenant with God remains intact. Nations come and go. God remains.

America has made covenant with God.

America has been blessed beyond measure over these past 400 years (4’s being a notable number in God’s divine math – flood rains, bondage in Egypt, years in the desert, rules of the three primary kings of Israel – Saul, David, Solomon).
Hey – 1620 to 2020 = 400 years. Just sayin’.

BACK TO ISRAEL. Can we, upon whom the end of this age has come (1 Cor 1:10), learn from this particular admonition, below, from Jewish-prophet Isaiah? Here is God, revealing how He will work against any covenant-breaking people group (once again focusing upon Israel, but let’s not lose ground from the broader understanding we’ve come to in this writing):

Isaiah 3:1-12
1 For behold, the Lord God of hosts is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah
Both supply and support, the whole supply of bread
And the whole supply of water;
2 The mighty man and the warrior,
The judge and the prophet,
The diviner and the elder,
3 The captain of fifty and the honorable man,
The counselor and the expert artisan,
And the skillful enchanter.
4 And I will make mere lads their princes,
And capricious children
(pretty much arrogant, unfit-to-rule) will rule over them,
5 And the people will be oppressed,
Each one by another, and each one by his neighbor;
The youth will storm against the elder
And the inferior against the honorable.
6 When a man lays hold of his brother in his father’s house, saying,
“You have a cloak, you shall be our ruler,
And these ruins will be under your charge,”
7 He will protest on that day, saying,
“I will not be your healer,
For in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
You should not appoint me ruler of the people.”
8 For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen,

(HOW AND WHY did they stumble?)

Because their speech and their actions are against the Lord,
To rebel against His glorious presence.
9 The expression of their faces bears witness against them,
And they display their sin like Sodom;
They do not even conceal it.
Woe to them!
For they have brought evil on themselves.
10 Say to the righteous that it will go well with them,
For they will eat the fruit of their actions.
11 Woe to the wicked! It will go badly with him,
For what he deserves will be done to him.
12 O My people! Their oppressors are children,
And women rule over them.
O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray
And confuse the direction of your paths.

I would humbly and in the fear of God put forth that it would require purposeful ignoring of scripture to consider the above admonition of Isaiah as being old, worn-out, no longer applicable to any covenant people. Current events weigh in favor of our acceptance of these eternal truths. Some of the above-cited sad conditions of heaven-sent discipline already appear to be at work in America.

DAYS OF AWE: This is being written between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah functioning as the prophetic “WAKE-UP!!!” trumpeting, by God, to His people, alerting them to the upcoming day of atonement (which comes with repentance). That day is Yom Kippur. The Lord presents Yom Kippur soberly and clearly.

Leviticus 23:26-32
26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.
28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God.
29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people.
30 And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.
31 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”

Verse 31 stamps this holy-day with what appears to be an eternal stamp – a statute forever throughout your generations, observed in your homes. Of course we as believers in Messiah are invited to prayerfully process and observe this most holy-day in the freedom of the Calvary redemption, covered under the blood. Still, it appears we would do well to prayerfully consider, and respond to, what the Lord might expect of us on that day.

Many eschatological (end-times/end-of-age) students feel (I am not in disagreement) that the perfect fulfillment of the SPRING holidays having been fully-filled during our Lord’s first Advent (appearance on earth), we can and should look to and expect the perfect fulfillment of the FALL holidays during His second Advent (in flaming fire, says Peter).

All that to say, the rapidly eroding social, political, family-value, bible-value, financial etc. conditions upon earth, and especially the notable madness and fracturing in our own covenant nation of America ought to point all of us to humility, repentance, and intercession, Jew and Gentile alike. Peter asks how we ought to be living our lives. Rabbi Paul speaks of us warning every man.

These are critical times, critical days, critical moments.
Paul told us to redeem the time because the days are evil.

How much more, now?

Daniel’s chapter 9 prayer is a good model for us all.

Most scripture NKJV. Jeremiah is quoted from NASB.

Posted in Apocalypse, Blessed, End Times Related, Everything, Fear of the Lord, God's Word, Holiness, Israel, Old Testament, Prophecy, Prophets, Repentance, Sabbath, Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God, Word Of God | Leave a comment

A Recent Message RE: Both Testaments

This message was spoken to a small group of hungry interns at a local church.
It’s ground that I’ve covered before. But in preparing the message I did realize its timeliness, its relevance, and also the clear resistance that our adversary would always be exerting to our recognition of the glory, majesty and revealed mystery of the end-of-age plans of God. So I am posting this to refresh us all, challenge us all, remind us all, encourage us all.
Here goes.

BOTH TESTAMENTS = The complete word of God.
OR: The ECHAD of God’s word.
8.12.18

Over the decades I’ve found myself not only teaching the bible, but becoming more and more mystified by its majesty and its Spirit-life. It is not simply A BOOK. It is not simply THE BOOK OF GOD.

It is the LIVING WORD OF GOD, and it IS complete, REFUSES dissection, and it TESTIFIES of itself in its completion.

I personally love the word of God and I personally utilize LOTS OF SCRIPTURE when I speak teach and minister – because I believe in its accuracy, I don’t HAVE TO or WANT TO dance around scriptural truth, and I also can be confident that what I am speaking ALIGNS w the purposes of God – because anything else is a waste of time, and disastrous, and dangerous to ME – because as a minister I tremble at the word, and I understand I am accountable to the word (as are you, even as a reader, btw).

Remember when a student and writer of scripture came to Jesus and asked a profound question:
Mark 12:28-31
28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

JESUS was referring back to Deuteronomy – to a portion of critical Jewish (and now Church) scripture, referred to as the S’hma – it’s how most synagogue services (morning and evening prayer) begin:

Deuteronomy 6:4-5
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! (ECHAD)
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

We don’t have to do this every time we pray, but clearly some of the praying church gets the significance…check out this video of our brethren in Papua New Guinea!

The most important Jewish prayer declares God’s ECHAD – completeness, wholeness, holiness, perfection, “set-apart-ness”, incomparability.
Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One (Echad).

Couple that to Jesus being described in the book of John as Himself being the WORD OF GOD MADE FLESH, and you start seeing that cutting the two testaments in half is not a good thing. It goes much further than that, though.

ALL OF SCRIPTURE is quite frankly alive and well, and in its WELLNESS and WHOLENESS intentionally contains layers upon layers of revelation as well as instruction and admonition and historical accuracy.

The writer of Hebrews – writing to first century Jewish believers in Jesus, said it this way:
Hebrews 4:12-13
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

At the time of writing of the letter of Hebrews, the majority of the Jewish people – the originally targeted audience for the writing of the letter, had for the most part stumbled over the word, not recognizing its “living component” and in that stumbling had fallen into a religious blindness. Some indeed were awaiting the first appearance of Messiah. Most were not. They majority sadly missed the Savior that their entire “OLD TESTAMENT” had testified and pointed to.

We meanwhile, as the mostly Gentile church, need to be careful that we don’t fall into the same trap. I am convinced we have an active spiritual adversary who FEARS any people of God understanding and pressing into the whole word of God.

That stumbling work continues to this day to give the Jewish people huge trouble – and meanwhile THAT SAME word of God is also the ANSWER TO ALL THE MYSTERIES OF GOD – when the Spirit of God is included in the equation, when the veil is taken away in Christ.

I was born Jewish and in Hebrew school was dutifully taught the Jewish bible (Tanach). The Jews do not refer to the OLD TESTAMENT as the old ANYTHING. It is Tanach and Torah to them – the law of God.

But those Jewish teachings, true as they were, were pretty much dead to me because I was without any knowledge or experience w my own Savior – until a little later in life when my girlfriend (now my wife) and I got ambushed by God at a wedding in a small revival church in Southern California around 1973. THAT was the game-changer. It took us 6 months to belly up to the bar and start really surrendering to God, but from that very first experience on that Friday evening, we both knew for certain that Jesus was the Messiah of the world.

The past 45 years have only grown our/my love for God, our understanding of need for a Savior of the world, and our very clear understanding of the truth of Jesus – Y’shua – Jewish Jesus being the one and only Savior, and the soon and coming King.

I’ve been teaching the bible for the past 35 years and admit to continually being overwhelmed by the majesty of God that is revealed in that Book, as one applies himself/herself to dig and study.

Because God is jealous over His word, He defends it vehemently, and also He chooses to:
A. Reward those who will SPEND themselves to come into the place of study and obedience to the word; AND ALSO
B. Work against those who would try to undermine His word, or corrupt or misrepresent the bible or the God who is revealed in that word.

God is JEALOUS/ZEALOUS – QANA – it’s the same word in Hebrew both for ZEALOUS and JEALOUS.
In ENGLISH you can sit on your couch and be JEALOUS. By definition, in Hebrew, there’s implication that when GOD is JEALOUS, He is also ZEALOUS and plans to do something about it.

In this message my goal is:
1. To back up the already-strong statements I’ve made about the WORD OF GOD being alive;
2. To hopefully light you up and inspire you re the great glory of SPENDING yourself on knowing the word of God – giving yourself over to digging deep and truly learning the Word of God, studying IN THE HOLY SPIRIT and dialoguing w God as you study so that you might receive the intended revelation of scripture; AND
3. To fully convince you that the OLD TESTAMENT is absolutely CRITICAL and NECESSARY for you to press into and understand, so that you might better understand the NEW TESTAMENT and the fullness of God’s plans as we head towards to the conclusion of this Age and the appearance of Jesus.

I also want to impress upon you the urgency of the HOUR in which we are living; AND
I want to warn you of the plans of our very real enemy that are exposed in scripture as being plans to deceive, distract and divert us from our successful walks in God.

We WANT to be found IN CHRIST, IN HIS WILL, IN HIS WORD.
And all that is quite possible.
We’ve been called into an amazing life and an amazing journey to glory.
It is not easy. No one ever really said it was easy.
The scriptures clearly do not present the ways of God as “easy”.
But it is THE WAY to go.

PETER SAID IT THIS WAY after Jesus asked Peter this question – after some hard things had come down, and hard things had been said. The gospel goes way beyond: “Jesus love you”. It also points to the fact there is only one successful way THROUGH THIS LIFE and INTO THE NEXT AGE.
John 6:66-69
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

BACK TO EARLIER STRONG STATEMENTS – the power and authority of the fullness of scripture (REMEMBER this is WRITTEN in the “OLD TESTAMENT” – the Word of God testifies of itself):
Psalms 19:7-11
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.

PERFECT means the word is complete – not lacking anything. ECHAD…
CONVERTING THE SOUL points to its living ability to make changes in the soul of man.
REJOICING THE HEART and ENLIGHTENING THE EYES is about happiness and understanding. The confusion gets blown away as truth becomes clearer. LIFE makes more sense when it is processed by a converted mind.
ALL THE WAY TO V 11 – There is great reward in the wholeness of God’s plan – and that plan is revealed in scripture. THAT is how God planned it.

Meanwhile, we are told IN THAT WORD – that we have an active enemy who is campaigning against us and against God.
He is an ACCUSER – accusing
US TO US
US TO GOD
GOD TO US
US TO EACH OTHER

We’re told that ACCUSER will be active until the very conclusion of this age – so we needn’t be surprised at that:
Revelation 12:10
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

We therefore would do well to understand:
THE WAYS OF GOD and also the
REVEALED PLANS AND STRATEGIES OF OUR ENEMY.

Picture this – Jesus is about to begin His own earthly ministry – and Satan shows up.
READ THIS DIALOGUE:
Matthew 4:1-11
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and,
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

There were no “apologetics” spoken by Jesus to Satan.
He went back to the word of God and declared what was written. He also UNDERSTOOD what was written, so that when the Deceiver even QUOTED SCRIPTURE – Jesus understood what it DID NOT MEAN.

What does that tell you about our enemy, his ways, and our successful strategy?

Note that Jesus was quoting the “OLD TESTAMENT” it was all there was to quote in those days. And it WAS and REMAINS as true as ever.

What did Jesus think about the relevance of the OLD Testament as He told us about Satan and OUR TIMES – and as we head towards the conclusion of this age and our Lord’s return?
Matthew 24:21-25
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
25 See, I have told you beforehand.

We are told by OUR JESUS that there will be DEVIOUS EFFORTS to even try to deceive the people of God. And then Jesus reminds us to not forget – He’s already warned us about these deceptive plans. “SEE, I’VE ALREADY TOLD YOU”.

See the critical nature of understanding the word of God?
What did Paul tell his own spiritual son, Timothy – called to be a minister in his young life:
2 Timothy 2:15-16
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

2 Timothy 4:3-4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

The issue will not be that folks don’t want to hear anything, but they will not want to hear the truth.

Converted Rabbi-Paul already saw that there would be works of deception IN THE CHURCH – and he admonished Timothy to do something about it – to make a pre-emptive strike at FALSE DOCTRINE (TEACHING) by studying to understand that which was true.

The days in which we are living are most critical. These are days that have been clearly spoken about in BOTH TESTAMENTS – and these are days that – if we are not aware of the time in which we live – we can find ourselves unprepared.

REMEMBER WHAT PAUL SAID about “how much to do”:
Ephesians 6:10-13
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Had the NT been written in Hebrew, we might have seen some ECHAD’s in these verses, for WHOLE and DONE ALL.

Here’s where things get amazing for us and our topic in this message (I mentioned it a little, earlier):

Part of the plan of the enemy is to keep us out of the OLD TESTAMENT. There is a propaganda campaign, initiated by Satan himself, to keep us ignorant of the OLD TESTAMENT revelations, because without those revelations, we are more apt to fall prey to goofy teachings that CANNOT BE SUPPORTED by the fullness of scripture.

To impress upon you the critical nature of the “OLD” TESTAMENT to the saints of these days, listen to what Jesus told His disciples when He was asked about the conclusion of THIS NEW TESTAMENT AGE – and His return (a return that Peter tells us will be violent, forceful and worldwide):

Back to Matthew 24…

Mark 13:3-19 and
Matthew 24:3-25
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.
18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
25 See, I have told you beforehand.

Jesus – with the words from His own mouth – is looking FORWARD to our days, telling US that WHEN (verse 15) we see something taking place in the temple in Jerusalem, we’re to GO BACK INTO THE OLD TESTAMENT and read the BOOK OF DANIEL!!!

And as if that was not enough, Jesus goes and says the EXACT SAME THING that Daniel himself says about those days of troubling:
JESUS SAYS:
MATT 24:21
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

DANIEL COORDINATES PRECISELY WITH THAT, AND TELLS US:
Dan 12:1
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.

Here’s more of which Daniel wrote re those end-of-age times:
Daniel 12:1-4
1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.
4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

Time prevents me from going into all the detail of Daniel’s amazing prophecy, but looking a little further into this one chapter (Dan 12) – it tells US that the mysteries of God are effectively in a HOLY SPIRIT TIME CAPSULE and will only be revealed WHEN IT’S TIME FOR THEM TO BE REVEALED – at the end of the age:
Daniel 12:8-10
8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.

For someone who would want to limit their study of the OLD TESTAMENT and write it all off as OLD, they would be missing this magical revelation, and in fact would also be missing this global truth about ALL THE MYSTERIES OF GOD:

Deuteronomy 29:29
29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

So we can immediately see that God is offering us instructions as to HOW HE WORKS – and many of those instructions are in the “OLD” TESTAMENT – intentionally placed there to draw us back into those writings.

It is ironic that it is the BOOK OF HEBREWS – written to the Jewish believers of the day, that contains some verses people (who want to discount the earlier Jewish scriptures) use to try to prove their point of the “OLD” Testament being outdated. Great scriptures, used in error.

LET’S ADDRESS THIS HEAD-ON.
The writer of Hebrews says this:
Hebrews 8:7-13
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—
9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

VERSE BY VERSE:
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—

(House of Israel and House of Judah are never terms used to describe the Gentile believer church).

9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. (those were the Jews who were already under the covenant of Abraham, but were about to be under the covenant and laws that were to be given to Moses – LAWS that could not make people holy, but instead could only DIRECT the people toward holy ordinances).

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (this is what God was promising the Jews, and also promising to “whosoever will” come into His family by way of adoption).

11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
(great verse for a teacher to address. This DOES NOT SAY there won’t be teachers – other verses confirm there WILL be teachers – Isa 30:20. This says that the PERSONAL EXPERIENCE of KNOWING – “Yada” – the Lord will be a PERSONAL EXPERIENCE – in this great salvation you can teach OF God, and about the WAYS of God, but the KNOWING has to be a taste and see that the Lord is good experience (per Isaiah).

12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Verse 13 is about the restrictions and demands of the Mosaic LAW covenant. The writer NEVER intended for Satan to use these excellent verses to try to dissuade the NT church out of the “OLD” Testament. These scriptural truths pertain to the Mosaic covenant made with the Jewish people after He had delivered them out of Egypt. God had already covenanted with them in Beersheva, at the time of Abraham. That has not changed, nor have the other eternal truths of the Tanach. The righteous requirements of the Mosaic ordinances were fulfilled in Christ.

HERE ARE TWO GAME-CHANGER PORTIONS OF SCRIPTURE FOR ME – THAT REVOLUTIONIZED HOW I PERSONALLY LOOKED AT THE “OLD” TESTAMENT.

1. One is in the Sermon on the Mount.
JESUS is making a PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE against the rotten and false teaching that the OLD TESTAMENT is no longer relevant to the NEW TESTAMENT AGE:

DO NOT THINK means DO NOT THINK:
There’s all sorts of things we OUGHT NOT TO THINK – but few in scripture are of such extreme importance that they are specifically called out .

Matthew 5:17-20
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

AND HERE’S LINE BY LINE BREAKDOWN OF THIS “DO NOT THINK” SECTION:
Matthew 5:17-20
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

CLEAR – His death and resurrection was the FULL PRICE PAID FOR THE SINS of whoever would choose to accept that sacrifice and walk in covenant w Christ.

18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle (smallest punctuation point) will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

A MASSIVE REVELATION re the “specificity” and accuracy of every prophetic word of scripture – when this is understood and embraced:
A. Many of the false teachings will be exposed as erroneous because EARLIER events failed to FULLY FILL the SPECIFICS of the earlier prophecy – EX: FIRST CENTURY temple destruction and the confusion it has caused when many saints are taught all the “tough stuff” of the OT has already happened. It has not – so we can expect those things to occur – every jot and tittle – of the NOMOS – a word for LAW that Paul even uses in Corinthians when he quotes Isaiah – so it is meant for the whole OT); AND
B. We will see more clearly into YET-TO-BE-FULL-FILLED PROPHECIES.

VERSE 19 is a warning and also a revelation of God’s great mercy – God does NOT see erroneous teaching or erroneous following-of-teaching (either/both w good intent, but wrong) as being a DISQUALIFIER from heaven. Instead we’re told it will diminish one’s reward – which of course we don’t want to do!
19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

AND here we’re actually told the Pharisees, in their “zeal without (YADA) knowledge of what God was truly doing, still had lots right. The bar of righteousness has been set for us:
20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

WOW WOW WOW God.

2. AND 1 PETER 1:10 is the other game-changer re validating the “OLD” Testament for us – but we would be so blessed to read the whole first chapter of 1 Peter, in its completeness

1 Peter 1
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

WHAT TO DO – OUR RESPONSE AND OUR PARTICIPATION
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
because
“All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

LINE BY LINE ANALYSIS – which is always far safer and far more sober than SHALLOW-DIVING into favorite verses.
Verses OFTEN stand ALONE in their promises, but ALWAYS stand up in their CONTEXT. That is a safe understanding as to how God wants us to think as we read.

This is a MASSIVE portion of revelational scripture.
PETER THE FISHERMAN is telling us the OLD TESTAMENT was actually written for the NEW TESTAMENT believers and in many ways not for the OLD TESTAMENT believers. They had the teachers and the prophets that they went to for instruction.
Then Peter tells us that we have much to do with our salvation experience and our holiness, and it centers around our willing obedience to the Word of God, and then he concludes by telling us the WORD OF GOD ENDURES FOREVER – none of it is ever made obsolete, even though some covenants had seasons of activation – such as the requirements of the Mosaic Law.
1 Peter 1
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: (we’ve been set aside for OBEDIENCE and in OBEDIENCE there is grace and peace)
Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

V1 and 2 – PILGRIMS OF THE DISPERSION was a term typically used for the JEWS from times past, who ally – MANY OF WHOM WERE JEWS in the first century, but MANY WERE GENTILES.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(WE ARE 100% FULLY-SAVED RIGHT NOW (we won’t get MORE SAVED later!), but the CULMINATION AND CURL ESSENTIAL OF THE SALVATION EXPERIENCE AND SUPERNATURAL TRANSFORMATION WILL ONLY BE REALIZED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THIS AGE – and for now there’s troubles “DOWN HERE”)
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
10 Of this salvation (THE NT SALVATION EXPERIENCE WE ARE EXPERIENCING) the (OT) prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,

(OBSERVE THE TENSES OF THESE VERSES – PAST PERFECT AND THEN CURRENT IN PETER’S TIME AND THEN FUTURE)
11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand (BEFOREHAND – AS OF THE TIME OF THE WRITINGS OF THE OT PROPHETS, BUT ALREADY-DONE AS OF THE TIME OF WRITING OF THIS LETTER BY PETER) the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

12 is KEY – what WE have experienced is something the angels marvel at. We are the sons and daughters of God, not the angels and now Peter tells us what our response to this revelation ought to be: GETTING OUR BRAINS IN GEAR AND LIVING HOLY)
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
(HERE’S YOUR PARTICIPATION IN YOUR SUCCESSFUL SALVATION LIFE)
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
because
“All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
(THE ETERNAL WORD – ENDURING FOREVER – even enduring false doctrines and teachings that would want to dilute or distract us from the fullness of the complete word)
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

Peter concludes with the confirmation of an Old Testament truth – the word of God endures forever. All of it. Forever.

So what we are seeing in this teaching – which I humbly assert is accurate and taught in the fear of the Lord – is that BOTH TESTAMENTS are for the NEW TESTAMENT believer.

They were WRITTEN for us, AVAILABLE to us, and we are ACCOUNTABLE to the fullness of revelation contained in both of them.

Every single writer of the NT referred back to the earlier scriptures. In reality it is madness to think ONLY THE SPECIFIC VERSES they referred to, pertain to us.

TO THAT POINT – let’s look at what Paul told the Corinthian church (and us). Corinth was primarily a GENTILE city, so would be silly to think Paul would be pointing them back to the OT if his overall intent was to wean people AWAY FROM the Old Testament.

Here’s another one of those “DO NOT THINK” admonitions, written as: “I DON’T WANT YOU TO BE UNAWARE” (same thing):

BEGINNING in 1 Cor 9, since the context begins there:
PAUL BEGINS by comparing our WALK to a COMPETITION where we are all called to win, BUT we need to participate in order to finish.
1 Corinthians 9:24 – 10:13
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

(THERE’S A SOBER WORD re a ministry call not being a free ride into heaven)

AND HERE’S WHAT PAUL TELLS THE NT CHURCH:
1 Cor 10:1-13
1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,
2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
3 all ate the same spiritual food,
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.
7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”
8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;
9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;
10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

AGAIN WE’RE TOLD THE OT accounts were written for OUR ADMONITION, “upon whom the ends of the ages has come”.
And we’re kick-comforted in V13 by being told:
A. We can make it; AND
B. You’re really not going through anything all that unique. Others have made it; AND
C. God knows your capabilities and limits, and He will intercede to make sure things don’t get truly unbearable. THEY IN FACT ARE BEARABLE, as your cross, as part of your participation in the work of the cross.

I could go on – w the writer of Hebrews telling us that “seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of (faithful, OT) witnesses, to other scripture.

Here’s a bottom line – written by Peter, who fully knew the limitations of his own good intentions. By the time he had written 1 and 2 Peter, he was converted and full of the Holy Spirit, submitted, surrendered and sanctified. He under THE DIVINE PROCESS OF GOD:

2 Peter 1:2-4
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

The rest of that first chapters then goes on to lay out a PROGRESSION OF GROWTH AND MATURING that we are invited into and called into, by our great God.

The end of that progression, of course, is a heart of love – something that God is doing, actively, in all who will say YES to Him, over and over again, each and every day.

The MAGIC PRAYER of our Savior was “YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”.
That means we are binding our own wills to the altar of God and inviting His will into our lives.
And in that is great success.

Blessings.

All scripture: NKJV

Posted in Apocalypse, Blessed, End Times Related, Everything, False Teachers, God's Word, Holiness, New Testament, Old Testament, Prophecy, Revelation(s), Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God | Leave a comment

Tapping Out

There’s terminology in UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), and elsewhere – like the somewhat more theatrical (though still challenging and strenuous) wrestling bouts of TV-land, referred to as “Tapping Out”. When one fighter finds himself/(sadly sometimes herself) in a position where (a.) they cannot get out of the grasp of their opponent; AND (b.) if they don’t do something they will end up with something broken, or worse, they make a gesture for the referee and their opponent to see – they tap out. Sometimes they literally bang or tap the mat (hence the name). Other times they might wave their hand or (free) arm into the air. You get it.

They didn’t step into the ring (or fighting cage) with the intent to tap out. They at first thought they had things under control, and that they would win. They had what they thought was a good plan. Situations changed for them. Tapping out was the smartest thing to do.

Sadly, sometimes the most stubborn of fighters do not tap out, or only tap out once something has actually broken. Last week I saw a guy in a televised UFC fight who had a funny shaped forearm. In a previous fight he had been so tough and stubborn that his arm had been broken, and now he has a souvenir to remember that fight.

One of the stubborn Jewish patriarchs was Jacob who wrestled with an angel one long night. His hip socket being out of joint from the encounter, he was renamed Y’israel (to us, Israel). That name means God prevails. It was quite a wrestling match.

Genesis 32:24-25
24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.
25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.

Scripture supports the consistent theme of wrestling with God from the supernatural events of Genesis 32 to the daily challenge of binding our wills to the altar of the King and declaring “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Every day. When you pray, we are told.

Jacob’s wrestling match was a good one. It still left him with a limp. Some of our wrestling matches, and many other accounts in scripture, seem to point simply to our stubbornness.

Throughout our lives we would do well, and do well more quickly, when we learn to tap out quickly to our great God. The revelation of His will to us, whether through the Word or in prayer, or by situation or by revelation,  is our invitation to tap-out.

His ways are not our ways. We’ve been told that.
Isaiah 55:8
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

Job functions as a sports star of scripture (who eventually tapped out after 42 chapters of affliction and testing, theorizing, speculating, justifying and contemplating. Bless that man!)
Job 42:1-6
1 Then Job answered the Lord and said:
2 “I know that You can do everything,
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 Listen, please, and let me speak;
You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.
(BEHOLD: THE TAP-OUT)
6 Therefore I abhor myself,
And repent in dust and ashes.”

Following is a lengthy but valuable portion section of scripture, that teaches us process from stubbornness and religiosity and refusal, to suffering by a corrective God, to repentance and blessings, finally when the folks of God might hear and obey the word of God. Things don’t change.
The word is eternal. The promises remain in place, as does the call to holiness and obedience.
Hosea 5:1 – 6:3
1 “Hear this, O priests! Take heed, O house of Israel!
Give ear, O house of the king!
For yours is the judgment,
(AND WHY?)
Because you have been a snare to Mizpah
And a net spread on Tabor.
2 The revolters are deeply involved in slaughter,
Though I rebuke them all.
3 I know Ephraim,
And Israel is not hidden from Me;
For now, O Ephraim, you commit harlotry;
Israel is defiled.
4 “They do not direct their deeds
Toward turning to their God,
For the spirit of harlotry is in their midst,
And they do not know the Lord.
5 The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
Therefore Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity;
Judah also stumbles with them.
(RELIGIOSITY WON’T COMPENSATE FOR SIN)
6 “With their flocks and herds
They shall go to seek the Lord,
But they will not find Him;
He has withdrawn Himself from them.
7 They have dealt treacherously with the Lord,
For they have begotten pagan children.
Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage.
(THE CALL TO THE PROPHETS – Fear God not man. Speak truth)
8 “Blow the ram’s horn in Gibeah,
The trumpet in Ramah!
Cry aloud at Beth Aven,
‘Look behind you, O Benjamin!’
9 Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke;
Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure.
10 “The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark;
I will pour out My wrath on them like water.
11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment,
Because he willingly walked by human precept.
(HOW WILL GOD MOVE TO INITIATE REPENTANCE?)
12 Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth,
And to the house of Judah like rottenness.
13 “When Ephraim saw his sickness,
And Judah saw his wound,
Then Ephraim went to Assyria
And sent to King Jareb;
Yet he cannot cure you,
Nor heal you of your wound.
14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
And like a young lion to the house of Judah.
I, even I, will tear them and go away;
I will take them away, and no one shall rescue.
(HOW LONG WILL THE SUFFERING BE?)
15 I will return again to My place
Till they acknowledge their offense.
Then they will seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”

(Hosea 6 – THE CALL OF THE PROPHET – AND THE EXPLANATION AS TO WHY THE TROUBLE)
1 Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
2 After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
(THE ADMONITION, THE GLORY, THE BLESSING)
3 Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.

How great is our God?

This of course is not intended to imply that every time we, or our brethren, may suffer, that it has to be a direct result of our (or their) personal stubbornness and disobedience.
The scriptures also clearly tell us that there is trouble on earth, and often the righteous suffer.

God is always aware of our suffering, and promises us that He will deliver us when we suffer.
He defends the innocent, the fatherless, the widow.
He’s all over that. Thank You, Lord.

Back on theme – still, there is much to be learned in the tap out.
It’s why our gracious Lord, teaching His disciples, throughout all times, to pray – modeled the prayer verbalization by saying:
“Your will be done……”.

It’s His will or our will. That is the choice.

Within His will, we are told to entrust ourselves to Him, as unto a faithful Creator.
1 Peter 4:19
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

Suffering out of His will (because we are walking in our will), best is to get back into His will.

I do believe, as we draw closer to the imminent return of our Lord, that the deep-drawing-in work of the Spirit, directed towards the children of God, will take us to places of deeper surrender of our own wills, so that we might further emptied of self, to be further filled with Him. That is when the great exploits of Daniel (Dan 11:32), during the most trying times on earth, will be accomplished, by His surrendered ones.

When we first got saved (in the Jesus Movement revival) there was much street witnessing. I used to think these following verses applied primarily to winning arguments by presenting the truth to the hordes of the unsaved. I have since learned that the thoughts being cast down are primarily my own thoughts, and at the time of my dying to self I can then find myself in the place of anointed authority. I aspire to live in that place of surrender. “When your obedience is fulfilled”. Behold the tap-out.

2 Corinthians 10:4-6
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

All scripture NKJV

Posted in Blessing, Everything, Fear of the Lord, God's Word, Israel, Obedience, Old Testament, Personal Relationship, Repentance, Sin, Suffering, Thanksgiving, Understanding & Knowing God | Leave a comment

SIN: AT ALL TIMES AN OPEN DOOR FOR TROUBLE FOR GOD’S OWN PEOPLE

The God who does not change (Malachi 3:somewhere – read the whole chapter it’s all good) clearly demonstrates how He deals with His people.

Please remember that New-Testament Paul tells us in 1 Cor 10 the accounts of God’s discipline and judgment of His people in the Old Testament were written for us New Testament folks, to invite as well as incite us to holiness, obedience, and success.

With that as our launch-pad, let’s consider a verse in Daniel that begins by looking forward to Daniel’s near-future (in Daniel’s OWN time) vision re the Mede-Persian westward-advancing empire being conquered by the eastward-charging Greeks, and then transitions into related but still-to-be-fulfilled (in OUR time) prophecy of the (evil) little horn that will emerge from one of the four horns that came out of the ram (Greece).

For our topical purpose, notably there’s some first-wording (in verse 12) that we don’t want to miss. Here’s two translations, for your convenience:

#1. NKJV Daniel 8:10-14
10 And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.
11 He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.
12 Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.
13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”
14 And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

#2. NASB Daniel 8:12
12 And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper.

Sovereign God, who has command over the armies of man, confirms the WHY for the activation of these great prophetic troubles: Sin. There are times when the sin of the people of God provoke our righteous God to engage an army to correct His people.

Although the scriptures at all times offer understanding of this tough and sobering truth (to those who would press into the word of God in sincerity and humility), God reveals to us that EVENTUALLY, when Messiah returns, that often-considered mysterious “WHY” will become more evident, both to the nations as well as to His own people.

Ezekiel 39:23-29
23 The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword.
24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.” ‘
25 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name—
26 after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid.
27 When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations,
28 then they (ISRAEL) shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.

This is definitely NOT intended to imply that all suffering is a direct result of our own personal or even national sin – we are indeed living in a fallen and broken world. At the same time, it is wise to note that scripture clearly links the sin of the people of God to a heap of trouble. That did not disappear in the New Testament dispensation (again: 1 Cor 10), and in fact the OT verses of Ezekiel that we just read inarguably look forward to the imminent return of Messiah, clearly a NT event. Any philosophical or theological explanation or rationalization that discounts the accountability of the saints in the NT dispensation (or for that matter any dispensation) is invited to bow to the truth of scripture.

God revealed this Kingdom principle to Solomon, although He had already demonstrated it earlier (pre-Solomon) via the Midianites (in the days of Gideon), and also confirmed it again in the time of wicked king Manasseh.

Pre-Solomon
Judges 6:1
1 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years,

Revelation to David, re: Solomon
2 Samuel 7:14
14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.

Post-Solomon
2 Kings 21:10-13
10 And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying,
11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols),
12 therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle.
13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.

THE ETERNAL TAKEAWAY:
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

CONCLUDING ON A HIGH NOTE, HERE’S PROMISE OF HIS DIVINE GUIDANCE AND GRACIOUS COURSE-CORRECTION, AND THEN BLESSING, SUBSEQUENT TO RIGHT RESPONSE
Isaiah 30:20-24
20 And though the Lord gives you
The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
22 You will also defile the covering of your images of silver,
And the ornament of your molded images of gold.
You will throw them away as an unclean thing;
You will say to them, “Get away!”
23 Then He will give the rain for your seed
With which you sow the ground,
And bread of the increase of the earth;
It will be fat and plentiful.
In that day your cattle will feed
In large pastures.
24 Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground
Will eat cured fodder,
Which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.

All scripture NKJV

Posted in Blessing, Everything, Fear of the Lord, Holiness, Obedience, Repentance, Sin, Suffering, Testing, Understanding & Knowing God, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Excerpts from Avner Boskey’s post re Passover, and some personal thoughts re Passover observance

My dear friend Avner Boskey writes from Israel:

The God of Israel is described in the Bible not only as the Prince of Peace. He is also a God of military warfare and intelligence strategy. Moses shouted out a victory song to this God of the Hebrews on the beach beside the Sea of Reeds (commonly known as the Red Sea). As the bodies of Egyptian charioteers washed up onto the sandy shore, Moses unashamedly declared that “YHVH is a warrior – YHVH is His name!” (Exodus 15:3).

The familiar Passover story also has an angle which may be unfamiliar to some – YHVH’s behind-the-scenes maneuvers and battle plans. These stratagems form the backdrop and catalyst for the mighty Exodus from Egypt.

Pharaoh – a wrench in YHVH’s toolchest

The God of Jacob spoke to Moses quite forcefully, giving him highly specific instructions about what to say to Egypt’s Pharaoh:

Then YHVH said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says YHVH, the God of the Hebrews, Let My people go, that they may serve Me. For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth. For if by now I had put forth My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, you would then have been cut off from the earth. But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth’” (Exodus 9:13-16)

The Exodus story is not a simple clash between Pharaoh the king of Egypt and Moses the former Prince of Egypt. God reveals that one of the main goals of the story is to communicate a message to all mankind – that there is no god in existence who is like YHVH the God of the Hebrews.

This God, this YHVH, was setting up the king of Egypt for judgment and a measure of desolation – in order to proclaim the fact that the God who watches over Israel will judge any nation who raises its hand to weaken or attack the Jewish people

Just to make sure that the point was really driven home, YHVH declared that, by the time this whole process was over, He would not even allow a small dog to bark at or threaten the Jewish people:

“Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again. But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how YHVH makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel” (Exodus 11:6-17)

Strategic-level spiritual warfare

The Tenth Plague was the striking down of the firstborn. This awesome display of God’s power brought the agony of death to every Egyptian household – though all Jewish homes which applied the blood of the lamb to their doorposts were spared.

The God of Israel explains why He was about to bring that plague down upon the nation of Egypt. The Jewish people were (and are) God’s firstborn among the nations. A blow against them is a blow against their Father:

Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says YHVH, Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I said to you, Let My son go that he may serve Me. But you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn” (Exodus 4:22-24)

The power behind the pantheon of Egyptians gods/demons were very real spiritual forces, powers and principalities. “For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but YHVH made the heavens” (Psalm 96:5).

YHVH’s plagues were all directed against specific demonic powers.
The frog was sacred to the idol Heket; Hapi was the spirit for whom the waters of the Nile were sacred;
The sun was sacred to Ra;
The cow was holy to Apis; Horus was considered the son of Isis, as was Pharaoh.

As each plague turned objects worshipped by common Egyptians into cursings, so YHVH was showing His sovereign anger at how the Egyptians were enslaving and harshly treating Jacob’s children.
“For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments – I am YHVH” (Exodus 12:12).

The fearsome judgments of YHVH were directed against both the leaders who cursed Israel as well as against their people the Egyptians. This biblical principle needs to be recovered and taken to heart in our day, for many countries have already aligned against the Jewish people, their land, their city and their welfare

From Pharaoh’s slaves to YHVH’s servants

Every Passover at the Seder table we Jews declare “Avadim hayinu l’Far’oh b’Mizrayim” – we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt (Deuteronomy 6:21). The God of Isaac was our Great Emancipator, freeing us from Egyptian slavery: “And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand YHVH brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery” (Exodus 13:14).

The Scriptures let us in on a secret, though – we were set free from an Egyptian tyrant in order to serve a greater King. “For the sons of Israel are My servants. They are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt. I am YHVH your God” (Leviticus 25:55).

The Exodus is not only a Festival of Freedom; it is a rejoicing that we are now free to love God with all our heart, our soul and our strength, and to serve Him with a full heart. To quote Martin Luther King, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

He brought us out to bring us in

The whole point of the Exodus was to move us from point A to point B – to take us out of the land of slavery and to bring us into the Promised Land. God is the divine people-mover, and He moved the Jewish people out of Egypt in order to bring us into the Land of Israel and to be our God: “I am YHVH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God” (Leviticus 25:38).

God never intended for the Jewish people to stay scattered across the globe and find liberty, equality and fraternity in France or in any other country. The goal always was (and remains) Israel as the only homeland for the Jewish people

YHVH promises to regather His Jewish people back to their land, taking them from every country to which they have been scattered: “For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land” (Ezekiel 36:24).

He even goes further than that and promises to not leave even one Jewish person stuck in the Diaspora/Exile, but to bring each and every Jew home to the Promised Land:

When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. Then they will know that I am YHVH their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land. And I will leave none of them there any longer (Ezekiel 39:27-28)

The Exodus from Egypt in Moses’ day looks forward prophetically to events happening in our day, for YHVH promises to stretch forth His hand a second time (see Isaiah 11:11-16) and restore the entire Jewish nation to the entire Land of Israel.

THANK YOU, AVNER!!
The question that then deserves to be asked, ought to be asked: What about celebration and observance of the Passover today, by all who believe in the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Do the scriptures point to this? I believe they do.

Jesus our Lord tells us this in reference to the “Last Supper” which in fact was a Passover seder.
Luke 22:15 & 19
15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;
19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

QUES: What is the “this do?” Was our Lord speaking only of the observance of the wine and bread? Or might it be a somewhat broader admonition than that, to us?

Back-tracking to the book of Exodus, when the people of God were delivered from the bondage of Egypt, and prior to the gracious and convenient Leviticus 23 bundling and instructions re all the feasts, Passover was not only earlier-declared by God, but it was marked to be an everlasting ordinance throughout all generations (“everlasting” and “throughout your generations” being notable). Also notable is that other feasts are not marked as everlasting, so it implies God has specific intent.

Exodus 12:13-14
13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

This is so “everlasting”, Jesus in Luke 22 appears to be implying the Passover observance and celebration may well extend even into the kingdom age:
Luke 22:16-18
16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves;
18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

All that to say: IF
A. Both the observance of the Passover is cited as belonging to all generations forever, and
B. Our Lord clearly loves the Passover; AND
C. Dear Avner drives home the revelation that the celebration is a prophetic marker of many Kingdom occurrences still to happen at the conclusion of this age; THEN
One might prayerfully wonder whether the church would do well to consider its observance of this upcoming holiday, of course through the lens of the redemptive work on the cross of Calvary. He has passed over us.

Blessings.
Happy Pesach, all.

Posted in Apocalypse, Blessing, Communion, End Times Related, Eternity, Everything, Israel, Jesus, Obedience, Prophecy, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

Jeremiah’s ‘Was And Shall Be’

Jeremiah is often referred to as The Weeping Prophet because his message, of upcoming captivity and judgment for the most part went unheeded, mocked, and/ignored, until it came to pass.

Expectedly, his personal life involved persecution and suffering, as his proclamations were not in line with the upbeat and positive words of temporary false comfort issued by the temporary false prophets (re Jer 23).

Meanwhile, Jeremiah had reasons to rejoice – he was hearing directly from the living God, and the entirety of his word revealed the fullness of God’s plan of eventual redemption for Israel. In the midst of the natural frustrations and physical and emotional angst, Jeremiah was able to see into the spirit realm, through the millenniums of Israel’s self-inflicted troubles, all the way to the redemptive conclusion when Messiah will have completed His grand and marvelous work.

Jeremiah clearly wept, and yet it should be understood and appreciated that Jeremiah rejoiced. His obedience to and intimacy with His great God had postured him to see into the eternal landscape.

THE ‘USED-TO-BE’ BEFORE HIS OWN DAYS:
Jeremiah 2
2 “Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying,
‘Thus says the Lord: “I remember you,
The kindness of your youth,
The love of your betrothal,
When you went after Me in the wilderness,
In a land not sown.
3 Israel was holiness to the Lord,

THE ‘SHALL-BE’ OF EVENTUAL FUTURE DAYS:
Jeremiah 31:40
40 And the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields as far as the Brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to the Lord.
It shall not be plucked up or thrown down anymore forever.”

1 John 3:2-3
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

All scripture NKJV

Posted in Anointing, Apocalypse, End Times Related, Eternity, Faith, False Teachers, Holiness, Israel, Old Testament, Personal Relationship, Prophets, Revelation(s), Suffering, Testing, Understanding & Knowing God, Word Of God | Leave a comment

TEAM EBAL

Something bigger than any one topic in the word of God, is God Himself.
He only does marvelous things (Ps 72:8).
Follow along w me……

The captivity by Babylon was a fulfillment of harsh discipline warned by God in Deuteronomy 27-28 (the blessings and the cursings of the covenant). That captivity, among other things, spawned the recount of Nebuchadnezzar’s “Mother Of All Prophecy” Statue Dream (foreseeing the entire progression of world-rule history through Persia, Rome, all forms of hybrid govts, to the final Anti-Christ to the reign of Messiah).

Back to Deuteronomy 27 and 28.

Having been delivered from Egyptian bondage, the Lord calls for an altar to be built, and proclaims this to His people, Israel:

Deuteronomy 27:9-13
9 Then Moses and the priests, the Levites, spoke to all Israel, saying, “Take heed and listen, O Israel: This day you have become the people of the Lord your God.
10 Therefore you shall obey the voice of the Lord your God, and observe His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.”
11 And Moses commanded the people on the same day, saying,
12 “These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin;
13 and these shall stand on Mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.

For the sake of read-time I will not go into the purpose of the names of both mountains, but let’s look at the tribal divisions as to who was told to stand at which mountain, to represent either blessing or cursing. Understand that the Lord never said entire tribes would be cursed or blessed, but lots of folks standing in front of each mountain provided a clear image that curses and blessings had to do with actual living people. Still the question is asked: Why which tribes at which mountain?

The Blessing-Representing Tribes (at Gerizim): Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin
The Cursing-Representing Tribes (at Ebal): Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali

Afforded the luxury of biblical history, we can clearly see that the first group (Team-Gerizim) provided most of the major players in scriptural progress: Jesus, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Saul/Paul, etc. This doesn’t mean that no one from Team Ebal did anything great, but we can’t help but get the point.

So why the “unlucky” designation, by God, as to who stood at which mountain, especially Team-Ebal?

Again: Team Ebal
– Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali
Reuben – forfeited his inheritance through incest:.
Genesis 49:3-4
3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn,
My might and the beginning of my strength,
The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.
4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel,
Because you went up to your father’s bed;
Then you defiled it—

Gad, Asher, Dan and Naphtali were offspring of concubines, not the legal wives of Jacob:
Genesis 35:25-26
25 the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, were Dan and Naphtali;
26 and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Padan Aram.
Incest and Illegality had sadly placed a mark on those tribes.

And that leaves Zebulun.
What about Zebulun?

The root of the name Zebulun emanates from the Hebrew word for “gift” – connoting an unearned kind of thing. So why was Zebulun drafted by God onto Team-Ebal?
I am looking into this, but my first inclination is sufficient quite frankly for me.

Zebulun may well have been designated by our great God, at Ebal, into a place of “blessing-less” low-position, with the odds against them, so that the glorious and redemptive gift of God, completely unearned, might glorify Him (and encourage us) as later revealed at the cross of the One who bore the curse for “whosoever will”.

Matthew 4:13-16
13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,
14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:
16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.”

Some of us might at times think we were drafted onto Team-Ebal.
We were called to inherit a blessing, and we have, and we will.
That is the plan of God, who only does marvelous things.

Wow again, God.

All scriptures NKJV

Posted in Anointing, Blessed, Blessing, End Times Related, Everything, God's Word, Israel, Old Testament, Prophecy, Salvation, Thanksgiving, Understanding & Knowing God, Word Of God | Leave a comment

THIS IS A TEST

Last week someone seriously blew it in Hawaii – sending out an all-recipients text alert re an incoming nuclear missile when in fact none was coming in.

“THIS IS NOT A DRILL” was the key to mass panic. It was presented, mistakenly (thankfully), as being the real deal.

It reminds us older folks of the 1950’s and 1960’s air raid and defense systems tests, where the Emergency Broadcast System would interrupt our favorite TV programs, albeit with this kind of alert:

For our purposes (including our instruction and admonition), let’s understand that our great God does indeed test His people – our minds, our motives, our hearts, our actions, our reactions. That truth is clearly set forth in both testaments:

1 Thessalonians 2:4
4 But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

Proverbs 17:3
3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the Lord tests the hearts.

1 Thessalonians 2:4
4 But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

Those verses reveal to us one of the Kingdom policies that are in place during this “school of life” in which we live.

BIBLICAL TRUTH #2 (God testing hearts being #1): God sets kings in place. That hasn’t changed. He sets one up and he removes another. Daniel, who was wiser than us, revealed this truth in this manner:
Daniel 2:20-21
20 Daniel answered and said:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.

Meanwhile Paul, writing during the times when the demonized Roman Emperor Nero was utilizing captured Christians for garden torches, confirmed the eternal truth of God’s sovereignty over all men (including demonized leaders) and admonishes us to do the following:

1 Timothy 2:1-2
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Titus 3:1-2
1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,
2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

The bluntly honest scriptures even provide an example in Paul’s own life, where his recognition of a man’s authority required an acknowledgment of honor, and repentance on his part. Standing before a rather pompous and insolent man who had just ordered Paul getting smacked around, the apostle at first told it as he saw it, and then repented when informed of the man’s position.

Acts 23:1-5
1 Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”
2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
3 Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?”
4 And those who stood by said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?”
5 Then Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ”

See what this is leading up to?

Saints reviling our President is a demonstration of our worldliness, our ignorance of scriptural instruction, and our immaturity. It becomes a test that many fail. When we fail a test, God in His mercy (and tenacity) will allow us to take it over again. And again. And again. Until we get it right.

Saints of God cursing those who might curse others, reviling those who revile, pointing out the obvious sins of those in authority, demonstrate to the world (as well to our Lord, and the brethren) that we are not yet fully sanctified in this area of our lives, not yet under the complete influence of the Holy Spirit – whose leading will never ever contradict scripture, and instead we are behaving like the unredeemed in our inability or unwillingness to place a guard over our mouths, or our keyboards, to refrain from speaking evil.

James tell us such action is inappropriate:
James 3:8-12
8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?
12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Someone else’s inappropriate actions or speech do not justify our similar response.

Eventually the government of the world will clearly be upon the shoulders of our Lord:
Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Currently, the government is not yet upon His shoulders, but it will be.
For now, the world is still under the sway of the evil one.
Don’t live that same evil sway. Come out from among them and be holy.

Governmentally, we’re about at the toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream statue (Daniel 2). So do stay tuned (all things will eventually get straightened out by our soon and coming King), and meanwhile do be holy. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.

We’re called to be light, not to contribute to the raging words of darkness.
When we do fall into cursing and reviling a leader, even for their obvious sin, we are failing our own test, succumbing to our own flesh, demonstrating our lack of self-control, and in fact disappointing the One who called us to something way higher.

From prison, punished for doing what was right and holy, Paul wrote:
Philippians 2:5-11
5 Let (ALLOW THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT TO TRANSFORM YOUR MIND) this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Peter 2:21-23
21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
22 “Who committed no sin,
Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;
23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

Please know I am not writing this because I have somehow magically attained to perfection. I deal with my own issues, my own temptations, my own pride, my own sin. But I can’t and won’t dare lower the bar of scriptural holiness to avoid offending anyone, either you nor myself. The scriptures are words of life.

All scripture NKJV

Posted in Anointing, Blessing, End Times Related, Everything, Fear of the Lord, God's Word, Holiness, Holy Speech, Pride, Repentance, Sin, Suffering, Testing, Understanding & Knowing God, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Thanks Again, Bereans

Acts 17:10-12 (NKJV)
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.

After leaving trouble in Thessalonica, Paul and Silas, resisting any claim to spiritual PTSD, instead traveled to Berea (also in Greece), went into the synagogues, and found themselves among a group of Jews who willingly searched the scriptures daily to confirm or deny the reports and teachings of the apostles. Remember: the world Jewish community was in an uproar over the accounts of “religious upheaval” that had been birthed via the wild occurrences in distant Jerusalem. Resurrections will do that.

The result of the Bereans studying the Jewish scriptures (daily) to confirm or deny the unprecedented (but actually prior-prophesied) activity of God, was salvation and revival. That formula hasn’t changed. The word of God always testifies to the activities of God when it is studied in humility, in diligence, and daily.

Our great God loves and honors the intentionality of the chase. Through all times, and particularly in the highly active times in which are finding ourselves, when the unusual might occur in a church or other meeting, the rest of us would do well (and would be blessed) to search the scriptures to confirm or deny “strange” things. On one hand it would monitor much of the silliness, and on the other hand it would serve to diffuse some of our religiosity. His ways are higher and holier than ours, AND our God has a track record of driving and drawing us deep into His word, often in wonderment.

Also notable are that Greeks, including prominent women, clearly were among the receptive, responsive ones. The Jews experiencing salvation in the synagogues exploded outward to city salvation. Thank you still, Berean brethren.

TAKEAWAY: Diligent daily study of the scriptures is not legalistic. It’s legal. And it is fruitful.

Posted in Blessing, Everything, False Teachers, Legalism, New Testament, Personal Relationship, Prophecy, Understanding & Knowing God, Word Of God | Leave a comment

REBLOGGING AVNER BOSKEY

This is a reprint of a recent (today) blog by a dear friend in Israel. If you want to pray for and/or support prophetic boots-on-the-ground in Israel, here’s some holy boots. Info at end of this spot-on writing. Avner’s website is www.davidstent.org

Jerusalem the joy of the whole earth

The glow of tinsel and winking Christmas tree lights are already warming many hearts. But as the Western world prepares for Christmas, the God of Israel is quietly engaged on a secret mission. He is turning the hearts of kings and presidents wherever He wishes, like channels of water in the hand of YHVH (Proverbs 21:1). Jerusalem is the hot button. And once again in response, the peoples are in an uproar. Why do the nations rage and the Palestinians call for days of rage (Psalm 2:1-2)?

What is the significance of U.S. President Trump’s recognizing of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? Does the Bible shed any light on this matter?

Past U.S. positions on Jerusalem

The original American position on Jerusalem goes back to 1947-48 and is based on the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, adopted November 29, 1947 (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_Nations_General_Assembly_Resolution_181).

That Resolution calls for the dividing of the Land of Israel into “independent Arab and Jewish States.” It also calls for “the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem.” All the residents of the city would automatically become “citizens of the City of Jerusalem” unless they opted for citizenship of the Arab or Jewish State.

The plan was never implemented, so on December 11, 1948 GA Resolution 191 restated “detailed proposals for a permanent international regime for the territory of Jerusalem.” This projected Jerusalem area stretched from Abu Dis (East) to Bethlehem (South) and from Ein Karem/Motza (West) to Shu’afat (North).

The plan was never implemented, so on December 9, 1949 GA Resolution 303 restated “its intention that Jerusalem should be placed under a permanent international regime, … established as a corpus separatum under a special international regime and shall be administered by the United Nations.” Corpus seperatum is a Latin legal term for ‘a separate body.’

This plan was never implemented, but since the UN has never revoked its resolutions 181 and 194, it still maintains the official position that Jerusalem should be placed under a special international regime. On November 30, 2011 General Assembly Resolution 66/18 stated , “Recalling its resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, in particular its provisions regarding the City of Jerusalem… reiterates its determination that any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.”

The United States has never officially relinquished its original support of the corpus separatum. “The United States has never recognized such unilateral actions by any of the States in the area as governing the international status of Jerusalem” (344. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to All Posts; Washington, July 5, 1967, 8:55 p.m; 1508. Subj: Jerusalem Resolution in UNGA – https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/d344).

U.S. foreign policy is not controlled by the U.S. Congress. To this day official U.S. documents and web sites do not refer to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

What is the Jerusalem Embassy Act?

On 23 October 1995, the United States Congress passed an advisory Act called the Jerusalem Embassy Act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_Embassy_Act). It stated that “Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.” Another similar law is the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 – Public Law 107-228 – September 30, 2002 (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-107publ228/html/PLAW-107publ228.htm).

Since 1998, the Congressional suggestion to relocate the Embassy from Tel Aviv has been suspended semi-annually by every sitting President, each time stating that this “is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.”

There are two reasons behind the constant and consistent postponements:

•    The first is fear of resulting rioting and terrorism in the Islamic world directed against American targets

•    The second is a constitutional question regarding the separation of powers between Congress and the President

Under the U.S. Constitution the President has exclusive authority to recognize foreign sovereignty over territory (see Restatement (3rd) Foreign Relations Law of the United States, American Law Institute, 1986, §§ 203 Recognition or Acceptance of Governments and §§ 204 Recognition and Maintaining Diplomatic Relations Law of the United States).

In May 1995 the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel (https://web.archive.org/web/20100209074518/http://www.justice.gov/olc/s770.16.htm) concluded that the expected provisions of the Embassy Relocation Act would inveigh against exclusive presidential authorities in the field of foreign affairs and would therefore be unconstitutional. Since the U.S. Constitution reserves the conduct of foreign policy to the President, any resolutions of Congress in favor of legislating foreign policy have been seen by U.S. administrations as extremely problematic if not arguably invalid for that Constitutional reason.

As long as the acting U.S. President and his State Department were opposed to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, they could and did argue that Congress was attempting to usurp the Executive’s authority or power over matters of foreign affairs.

What is President Trump’s White House proclamation?

When President Donald Trump issued a proclamation from the White House on December 7, 2017 recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/12/06/statement-president-trump-jerusalem), he broke with a decades-old stance of the State Department, the Intelligence community and the military. But he aligned himself with decades of U.S. Congressional tradition and sentiment.

Regarding the question of the Islamic world’s threats of violence against the national security interests of the United States, President Trump said, “So today, we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate…The incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance, and terror… (It is) our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations. It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midst. It is time for all civilized nations, and people, to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate – not violence.”

•    President Trump has now altered international debate on the Middle East. The leader of the world’s biggest super-power has gone on record affirming an ironclad connection between the Jewish people, their homeland and their capital city.

•    The majority of the Islamic world (slavishly followed by the UN and the European Union) refuses to acknowledge or validate the intrinsic right of the Jewish people to their homeland and their capital. This is part of the Islamist strategy to weaken and eventually destroy the Jewish state of Israel using both military and political means.

•    Trump’s declaration opens up a strong influence for change in the Middle East equation. It is undoubtedly also connected to strategic planning regarding Iran’s geopolitical threats to U.S. and Saudi influence in that region, as well as to shoring up political good will from both his Evangelical constituency and the more conservative wings of the Jewish community.

“A new king arose over Egypt…”

The Jewish people have seen the rise and the fall of many kings and many empires. Mark Twain wryly commented:

o    “The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?” (https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1898twain-jews.asp).

Two hundred years ago, when a new Tsar arose in Russia many Jews would hold their breath. Would the new king be good or bad for the Jews? The more tolerant Alexander II was followed by the cruel and anti-Jewish Alexander III. In the same way, one U.S. President can be a breath of fresh air and make a wonderful proclamation, but this does not guarantee that the next President will continue the same course or have the same sympathies.

The vast majority of Israeli Jews and most Jews worldwide are thrilled at President Trump’s proclamation and are very supportive of it. The small minorities of anti-Israel or ‘leftist progressive’ Jews are opposed to Trump’s declaration, as they are to most pro-Israel moves.

Jewish fears in the Warsaw Ghetto

A well-known Jewish joke describes a fictional tale during the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto Revolt of 1943. Two Jewish ghetto fighters are captured by Nazi S.S. units. As they are brought before a field firing-squad, the fictitious commander asks them if they have any last requests before being shot. The first Jewish fighter says that he would like a last cigarette. The second fighter turns and yells at him, “For Heaven’s sake, don’t make trouble!”

The black humor in this joke is based on the fact that it is understood that both Jews are destined for death. Yet the second Jewish fighter somehow believes against all reality that if they both scrape and bow, perhaps the Nazi Kommandant might spare their lives.

Some Jews who live in the Diaspora are afraid. If Israel proclaims its freedom and sovereignty too boldly, the anti-Semites of the world (be they neo-Nazi, BDS, Antifa, ‘Socialist Progressive,’ Christian or Islamist) may simply rise up and slaughter the Jews once again. Better to avoid angering the anti-Jewish psychopaths of the nations!

Yet when the threat of terror causes its victims to hide and not to fight, it can be concluded that terrorism has succeeded in its aims. The Nazi juggernaut could not be blissfully ignored, as Mahatma Gandhi once suggested. It had to be defeated on the battlefield. The Imperial Japanese Army only sued for peace after terrible weapons were unleashed against its Empire. In order to vanquish a murderous jihadi attempt to re-establish the slavery of a world caliphate, only decisive and repeated victory will do.

Opening the gates of hell?

The response of the Islamic world to President Trump’s proclamation was expected. Islamist terror groups such as Hamas (www.dailysabah.com/mideast/2017/12/06/trumps-jerusalem-move-opens-gates-of-hell-on-us-interests-hamas-says) declaring that the gate of hell have been opened, presumably allowing the satanic Hamas to kill and destroy Israelis – something they have had no problem doing in the past under more friendly circumstances (www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/hamas-leader-jerusalem-decision-war-declaration-171207083427072.html). Islamic Jihad in Gaza declared that Trump’s proclamation was “a declaration of war…on the entire Arab and Islamic nation” (www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/405059). Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) declared that the proclamation is “a clear challenge to the Muslim world” and encourages its adherents to join in the jihadi struggle on this issue (www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-israel-aqap/al-qaeda-condemns-trumps-jerusalem-move-calls-for-action-idUSKBN1E126H).

World media has raised headlines to a fever pitch, prophesying that the entire Islamic world will nearly immediately break out into violence over this matter, and that Israel herself should get ready for mass violence and casualties. In some cases enterprising newspersons have gone out of their way to film ten Palestinians burning a photograph of President Trump as leading news on their networks. Melanie Phillips explains how Western governments and media are actually catalyzing Islamist violence through their anti-Israel media activism (www.melaniephillips.com/historic-watershed-shames-britain-europe/).

Tell me the old old story

King David once penned a psalm about how the nations of the world would rage against Jerusalem and attempt to frustrate God’s divine strategy for the Jewish people’s capital city.

Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together

Against YHVH and against His Anointed, saying,

“Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”

He who sits in the heavens laughs. YHVH scoffs at them.

Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying,

“But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

I will surely tell of the decree of YHVH:

He said to Me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.

Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,

and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

You shall break them with a rod of iron. You shall shatter them like earthenware.”

Now therefore, O kings, show discernment. Take warning, O judges of the earth. (Psalm 2)

Today we watch the sharks of the nations gnashing their teeth about President Trump’s proclamation. We bless the United States of America for their leader’s bold and courageous stand. We pray for other nations to bow to God’s strategic declaration in Psalm 2 regarding His heart for the Jewish people, their homeland and their capital city.

How should we then pray?

o    Many of the leading lights in the U.S. Departments of State, the Intelligence and military communities are opposed to President Trump’s proclamation. They and influential voices in the oil business are certainly biding their time and planning their next step. Pray for the frustration of ungodly strategies and for God’s revelation to enlighten the eyes of these leaders with His heart for Jerusalem and the Jewish people

o    Pray for God’s wisdom and leading, His protection and discernment for President Trump and his advisors and counsellors

o    Pray for intercessors worldwide (and especially in the U.S.) to receive the divine burden for this moment

o    Pray for Messiah’s body to receive strategies and empowerment in standing with the Jewish people as anti-Semitism and anti-Israel movements increase

o    Pray for the frustrating of all hands raised to do violence and mayhem against Israel, the Jewish people and American interests

Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey

Donations can be sent to:

FINAL FRONTIER MINISTRIES

BOX 121971 NASHVILLE TN 37212-1971 USA

Donations can also be made on-line (by PayPal) through: www.davidstent.org

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