What Are We Doing Wrong?

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

Messiah Search“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!

“Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” (Luk 13:34-35)

 

Journal,

Don’t be surprised at the title of this entry, ‘What are we doing wrong?’

Some years ago I subscribed to the Jerusalem Post. One morning while reading the Post, this statement stood out; ‘What are we doing wrong’.

It was part of an ad that had been placed by the Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Tovia Singer. Rabbi Singer was coming against Christianity and against Jesus Christ as Messiah of Israel. He was promoting his anti-Christian audio tapes. This is how the ad read in part -

What Are We Doing Wrong, and What are They doing right?  Why Have more Jews Converted to Christianity in the Last 19 Years than in the Last 1,900 Years?”

I could hardly believe my eyes. If I were a Jewish person reading that ad, I would not be concerned about purchasing Tovia’s audio tapes. I would want to know why so many Jews were converting to Christianity. 

Are you interested? Let’s begin by talking about …

 

The Strange Mix in Israel

Did you know that a great part of the citizenry of Israel is secular and not religious. How can that be?

We know that Israel fulfilled certain prophecies by becoming a nation among nations in 1948. After all, Moses and the prophets foretold of the ingathering of the Jewish people in the latter days.

Since all this was written beforehand, how can it be that so many Jews in Israel are secular, and with a great many Pilate and Jesus2who are either atheists or agnostics?

Does that surprise you that many Jews are atheists? According to statistics a full 37% of the people of Israel are either atheists or agnostics.

This makes the Israel fourth in a list of nations with the highest percentage of atheists.

Yes, Israel is a strange mix. There is even a hatred between the secular Jews and the Orthodox Jews. It got so bad in years gone by that you would often read about a civil war in the making.

It is not as if the Bible leaves all this unsaid. The Bible is the only book in existence that records history before it happens.

Where did it all begin? After all the ancient people of Israel had long believed in the coming of God’s Messiah.

This part of Israel’s history begins with …

 

The Rejection of Jesus and the Sword

Keep in mind that not all Jews rejected Jesus. In fact the early Church was totally Jewish. Yet, Jesus said that His coming would affect Israel so deeply that it would be like a sword.

Take note -

” … whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

“For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” (See fuller context - Mat 10:32-39)

Of course it began with the rejection of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah and the King of Israel. When they rejected Jesus, as a nation Israel lost citizen rights to being the people of God. They had long seen themselves as ‘the kingdom of God.’ That was no longer the case.

Jesus said,

“Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES’?

“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.” (Mat 21:42-43)

They became a people without a kingdom. The term, ‘kingdom of God’, meant the direct rule of God.

This does not mean that the people of Israel would no longer figured into God’s plan for the ages. Quite the contrary. Their rejection of Jesus and God’s rejection of them as His people is well noted in Scripture. But also noted in Scripture is their coming to know Jesus as their Messiah.

But an issues needs to be make clear.

 

It’s Not About Anti-Semitism

I realize that the first thing that is thrown at anyone who would place the Jews in a bad light, is the term ‘anti-Semitic.’ But anyone who reads and studies the Scriptures knows how ridiculous that statement is.

If someone like me is anti-Semitic, then Moses, the prophets, the apostles, and even Jesus would have to be called anti-Semitic. The very things that I share come from the writings of the Old Testament prophets, and the new covenant apostolic writers. It’s all about redemption history.

It goes back to the first books of the Bible, that is, to the writings of Moses.

When Moses was about to leave the earthly scene, Moses sang a prophetic song over Israel. In this song Moses spoke of the falling away of Israel, of Israels wandering through the nations, of their peril of life, and of Israel’s return. The song of Moses actually lays out the history of Israel. (Found in Deu32),

In his song, Moses says,

“They have acted corrupted toward Him, they are not his children, because of their defect; but are a perverse and crooked generation.” (v5) (Peter quotes from this verse of the song of Moses on the day of Pentecost.)

Moses goes on to call them a foolish and an unwise people from whom He will hide His face. He says that God will make Israel jealous with a people who were not a people. He also says,

“Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would discern their future.”

The prophets continue this theme with …

 

When God Hides His Face

The fact that God would hide His face from Israel is a theme that trances its way through the Bible. God speaks through the prophet Hosea, saying,

“I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” (Hosea 5:15)

JerusalemRecall what Jesus said over Jerusalem?

“You will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Yet there is something else I need to share about Moses. Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. Did you know that the rest of the Bible including the New Testament actually work out from the books of Moses? If there were no Genesis, the book of Revelation would make little sense, and thus and so.

I wish I had time to take my readers through the entire song of Moses. Hopefully many of you are already picking up on the prophetic elements in this song.

But that is not the end of the story of Israel. Paul said,

“For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Rom11:15)

Does any of this tell us why Israel is so secular with so many atheists and agnostics among here citizenry? Yes, there is a lot to be said. There are elements that help to understand this dilemma.

Let’s continue with…

 

A Rediscovery of Jesus

The Jews are only of late beginning a true major rediscovering Jesus for themselves. One Jewish writer said that the number one topic of discussion on the streets of Jerusalem today, has to do with Jesus.

For the most part the Jews never knew that Jesus was Jewish or that He and the apostles were ‘sabras.’ (Of the land.) They were left under the impression that Jesus was some kind of Gentile Roman or Greek God. That is changing on a major scale. They have become intrigued with Jesus.

Their rabbis with their Talmudic Religion, had misled the Jews so often that many became turned off by the Jewish religion. The Bible also told us this would happen. God spoke through Isaiah, saying,

“Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; and the wisdom of their wise men [rabbis] will perish, and the discernment of their discernment men will be concealed.” (Isa 29:14)

In the heart of the Jew is a vacancy that can only be filled by God Himself. (Of course this vacancy is in every human.) This is why so many Jews are finding Jesus as their Messiah. And this vacancy will be the turning point of the nation. Keep in mind what Jesus said,

“Until you say, ‘blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’

The prophet Zechariah told us how this rediscovery of Jesus would happen. Israel and Jerusalem are going to face a war in the not too distant future that will bring about this cry for Jesus. I would encourage my readers to read the whole of Zechariah 12.

It is in the time of this war that we read this one verse:

“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of Grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zech12:10)

Paul said that all Israel would be saved.

Do you not find it strange that Israel’s greatest support comes from Christians today. There is a reason for this. Think about it.

If you would like to know more about what is happening between the believing Jews and those Jews who do not believe in Jesus, take time for this debate between two Jewish men, Rabbi Tovia Singer, and, Dr. Michael Brown.

YouTube Preview Image Buddy

2011 in Review – When the Temple Shuddered

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

 

Friends,

Here is an overview of my on-line journal for 2011.

My journal brought in 25,008 visitors along with 71,325 page views. Most of my viewers were from the United States, with the United Kingdom, Canada, Philippines, India, and Australia not far behind.

Here are three of my popular posts (To view each entry, click on the blue web address) -

God’s Wings and the Blue Thread of Heaven http://buddymartin.net/blog/2011/09/gods-wings-and-the-blue-thread-of-heaven/

Jesus, the Wonder and Mystery of the Bible http://buddymartin.net/blog/2009/11/jesus-the-wonder-and-mystery-of-the-bible/

 Beware of Spiritual Counterfeits http://buddymartin.net/blog/2011/11/beware-of-spiritual-counterfeits/

 

The busiest day of the year was May 18th, with the entry entitled, ‘When the Temple Shuttered.’ For you who have not had the opportunity to view that entry, here it is in its entirety ……..

 

When The Temple Shuddered

“And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’” (Mar 15:37-39)

Journal,

When Jesus breathed His last, the veil of the temple was torn. There was also an earthquake, and according to some sources, the foundation of the temple shifted. In this entry I wish to concentrate primarily on the significance of what happened in the temple during the crucifixion of Jesus.

Before the torn curtain, darkness had filled the land from noon to 3 o’clock. The ninth hour (3 pm) was the time of the incense offering. A priest and his attendants would be in the holy place.

The priest would not have heard the voice of Christ on the cross, nor the mockery of the chief priests and scribes, who were chiding Jesus, in saying,

“He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the king of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him.” (Mat27:42)

But this moment was the deepest of sorrows for Jesus. And it is here that we hear the saddest words ever to be recorded by a human pen, when Jesus cries out,

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”

At the moment of the cry, what the priest in the temple saw must have left him quaking. Hearing the sound of tearing, and looking up, the priest saw the vast curtain beginning to rend, starting at the very top.

 

Historical background

Let me share some historical background on both the curtain and the happenings in Israel during the time of Christ. This would explain any nervousness that the priest would have had.

First the curtain – The curtain was awesome in itself. It was 80 feet high, and as thick as the width of a man’s hand. (According to Josephus and later rabbinic authorities.)

Another point of interest is that the curtain had changed in appearance from the original pattern given Moses. The tabernacle curtain had cherubim embroidered in it. But the curtain in Herod’s temple had the heavens themselves embroidered on it. It was like looking at the sky. So when it began to tear, the priest would have thought of the rending of the heavens. And this is truly what was happening.

 

Strange things happening

There is more. According to the Talmud and Josephus, strange things had happened during that time period. Josephus said that the eastern gate, which was made of brass, and which took twenty men to close, would open and close on its own accord.

The Talmud speaks of something similar. It says that forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple doors would open and close on their own, and you could hear voices coming from within. Forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem was when Jesus took up His Messianic anointing. The Master of the Universe walked the land.

Evidently the temple was becoming a scary place. The priest would have reason to go about his duties with some nervousness. But nonetheless, it happened. He looked up and the vast curtain began to tear. The floor began to shift and shake.

It was as if God were saying, “This is it! No more! There will be no more separation! No more blood sacrifices! No more!!!”

It was as if the temple itself was rending her garments. She shuddered.

What is the wonderful secret in all this? It was all about God and man. God has been reconciled to all of humanity. Thus, every person on this planet, saint or sinner, has the right to call on the name of the Lord, and be saved. Sin was dealt with in Christ. Not simply the sins of the saints. All the sins of the world were taken to the cross in Christ.

 

When love walked the earth

Through the fall of Adam, the human race came into league with Satan. But that did not mean that God stopped loving humanity. The Bible is a record of redemption. It is also the story of God’s love for humanity.

When Jesus came into the earth, it meant that He had to leave heaven with all its glory and splendor, and to come into a world that was enshrouded in sin.

Sin was our clothing. Did He come in anger? Did He come with vengeance in His heart? No. He came with a heart full of the Father’s love.
And this is why John 3:16,17 will always be the key message in the Bible. It says,

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

Jesus had to be born as a human. And so He was. Thus we have the mystery of the incarnation. Jesus was the only human ever to walk this planet in whom Satan had no power or authority over. Satan knew that somehow he must get Jesus to sin. But it never happened. Jesus was perfect in all His ways.

 

The message of the garden

Oh yes, Satan never forgot the message of the garden –

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel.” (Gen3:15)

Jesus could have went back to heaven any time He desired. But He didn’t. He walked in our sinful world. He put his arms around sinful creatures. He rebuked the religious leaders for their hardheartedness, and gave nothing but love and acceptance to the most sinful of us all. It still works that way today.
But all this wasn’t entirely new. God’s plan of redemption had been laid out by His holy servants of old, the prophets. In fact the Bible unfolds around God’s Son and the work of the cross.

Hear what the prophet David had to say…

When mercy and truth met together

Somehow mercy and truth had to meet together. Somehow righteousness and peace had to kiss one another. Somehow heaven and earth had to be reconciled. Somehow there had to be the ‘one’ sacrifice that would take away sin forever.

And the sacrifice had to be so perfect that it would remove all the sins of all of humanity, for all time. And somehow, this sacrifice had to become the way for man to return to God.
The Psalmist also spoke of this. He said,

“Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce. Righteousness will go before Him and will make His footsteps into a way.” (Psa 85:9-13)

Listen to the words –

‘Truth springs from the earth.’ This is Jesus born of a woman.
‘Righteousness looks down from heaven.’ The voice from heaven said, ‘This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
‘Righteousness … will make His footsteps into a way.‘ The footsteps of Jesus took Him from the cross and to His rightful place in heaven. His footsteps are now our footsteps.

There is so much more to be said.

But then, maybe this song pretty much says it all.

Take time to listen to John Starns, ‘Love Grew Where the Blood Fell.’


In Christ always,
Buddy

Your Future is Already Planned

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph 2:4-10)

 

Journal,

It is so important to get the message of salvation right. Salvation in Christ is not something we can earn. Nor is our salvation something that we keep by our own personal goodness or performance. Salvation is based on one thing alone. It is based on God’s love. And God’s love displayed on the cross.

The finished work of the cross means that our salvation is finished. There is nothing to be added to it. There is nothing that can take away from it.

The apostle said,

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom 5:6-10)

 

The Major Fault Line

The major fault-line with any belief system that fails to accord with the finished work of the cross will always result in a life of full of doubt and uncertainty. Rather than living in blessed assurance, a  works-righteousness system of belief holds people in the sway of uncertainties. At what point can I really know that I am really saved? 

It is important to understand that God’s love is eternal and that our salvation can never be based on our ability to do points of goodness. The love of God serves as the basis for all His actions towards us. Our salvation was completed at the cross. This is why the apostle John said,

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1Jn4:10)

Paul adds -

“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing by the Holy Spirit.” (Tit3:5)

 

The Lord of Always

The point is that the apostles were given a love message to carry into the entire world. This is why the subject of ‘love’ is found so much in their writings. Paul said it best:

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom8:38,39)

Let’s give a perspective on Jesus being the Lord of always. How about if you could be in your child’s future, always in the background, yet never diminishing your child’s freedom of choice. You would be there to help in whatever the need may call for. Would you be willing to be there? Well, you can’t do that, but God can.

The Lord gave David insight into this awesome area. David said,

“O Lord, You have search me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.” (Psa139)

David said such knowledge was too wonderful for him.

But what is it about God’s love that is so incomprehensible? We know that only too well. We have all found that God’s love surrounds us. God’s love reaches into our pits and draws us out. How we’ve been ashamed of a misdeed, wondering how God could ever love us still, and yet, in our turning to Him, we found He was ever there. In fact He had never left us.

The prophet Micah spoke to this -

“Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love … You will give truth to Jacob and unchanging love to Abraham…” (Micah 7:18-20)

Unchanging love is the catch phrase.

Jesus expresses God’s eternal love in saying,

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you, abide in My love.” (John 15:9)

Yes, we Christians have such passion over the love of God. After all you don’t hear Muslims singing, ‘Mohammed, lover of my soul.’

 

The Mystery of Our Tomorrows

Once again we need to take a deeper look at the finished work of the cross. Herein is a great mystery that goes far beyond our ability to understand. God is the God of our yesterdays, of our todays, and of our tomorrows. This means that God is already in our future before we get there. He has made a provision for every situation we may face.

God has no limitations on time and space. He sees our entire life before it unfolds in time. He knows every trial, every failure, every disappointment, every temptation, and every bad choice we will ever make. Does this mean there will be no consequences for all the bad that we may do? It doesn’t mean that at all. Every choice we make will always bring consequences for those choices, whether good or bad.

But here is the wonder. God is the God of our tomorrows. Even in the life that we have not yet lived, the Lord has provided the wherewithal for us to overcome in all that we may have to deal with. Arrangements have already been made for our future.

Stop and think about it — Every trial we will ever walk through, every sorrow we will ever face, and every bad choice we will ever make, God has already made a way to turn all this into His glory. There is nothing in our life that is left to chance.

This is included is what Paul had to say -

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

 “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:28-32)

How does the story of our salvation end? Do you remember the Scriptures I used in introducing this study? Look at them again. Paul says that we have already been seated with Christ in the heavenly places. The story has already been written. In God’s story you are already in heaven.

Here it is again:

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph 2:4-10)

Be encouraged my friend. Jesus really does love you and He is going to help you see things through to the end.

Take time for this song. The Lord wants to speak to your heart.

In Christ Always,

Buddy

 

Will Israel Turn to Jesus

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! They will be put to shame and even humiliated, all of them; the manufacturers of idols will go away together in humiliation. Israel has been saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or humiliated to all eternity.” (Isa 45:15-17)


“For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery–so that you will not be wise in your own estimation–that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.’” (Rom 11:25-27)

 

 

Journal,

There is a mystery that exists between Christianity and Judaism. If you were to categorize the two religions it would be fairly simple: Christianity rests its case upon Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah of the ages. Judaism does not. The picture can be much more complicated but this is the bottom line issue.

Another reason that must be taken into consideration is that the new covenant was actually made with Israel as a people group. This is plainly stated in Scripture. And so the redemption of the cross began in Jerusalem, it reaches into all the world, and it will fulfill its end in Jerusalem.

Yes, Israel is going to turn to Jesus.

 

A Story not Ended

In this very hour there are untold numbers of Jews who are turning to Jesus as the true Messiah of Israel. The hearts of many Jews are tiring of all the misinformation written about Jesus by their sages and otherwise.

For centuries the Jewish people did not even know that Jesus and all the apostles were ‘sabras’. (Native born Israeli.) It had been planted in their thinking that Jesus was some sort of Roman god, or at best an apostate Jew. Jews everywhere are beginning to realize that Jesus Christ is indeed the Savior of all people.

The heart of the Jew is turning.

It is here that I would like to share the testimony of how certain Jewish notables over time have come to view Jesus. Please take your time to read these testimonies:

 

The testimony of notable Jews, about Jesus…

Joseph Klausner, Jewish author:

“Jesus was a Jew and a Jew he remained till his last breath. His one idea was to implant within his nation the idea of the coming of the Messiah and, by repentance and good works, hasten the ‘end’…. In all this, Jesus is the most Jewish of Jews, more Jewish than Simeon ben Shetah, more Jewish even than Hillel.”

 

Modern Jewish theologian and rabbi, Pinchas Lapide, notes:

“The love of Jesus and the academic interest in him and his impact were implanted in me by Jewish teachers like Joseph Klausner, for whom Jesus was ‘The most Jewish of all Jews,’ Martin Buber, who perceived him as ‘his great brother,’ and Leo Baeck, the last luminary of the German school of rabbis, who in the year 1938 at the time of the Nazi Kristallnacht managed to write of him: ‘We see before us a man who according to all the signs of his personality discloses the Jewish character, in whom the purity and worth of Judaism is so specially and so clearly revealed.’”

 

Heinrich Graetz, considered by many to be the greatest of Jewish historians:

“Like Hillel, Jesus looked on the promotion of peace and forgiveness of injuries as the highest forms of virtue. His whole being was permeated by that deeper religion which contributed to the mildness of his face. He has made humanity honour; he has carried the highest wisdom to the homes of the lowly and the ignorant of the world. He has carried it beyond all barriers of schools and temples, and for this, only, he had to die a death of shame.

“The redeemer of the poor, the teacher of the ignorant, the friend of all that faint with toil and are oppressed with cares must die on the cross. Over the supreme tragedy let the angel of sorrow spread his wings. Veil thy face, sun! Be darkened, sky! Let the earth tremble and men mourn in tears! The most angelic of men, the most loving of teachers, the meek and humble prophet is to die by the death of the cross.

“He felt within himself the call to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel…. He, by word and example, raised the sinner and the publican, and filled the hearts of those poor, neglected, thoughtless beings with the love of God, transforming them into dutiful children of their Heavenly Father. He animated them with his own piety and fervor, and improved their conduct by the hope he gave them of being able to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

 

Moritz Lazarus, philosopher:

“I am of the opinion that we should endeavor with all possible zeal to obtain an exact understanding of the great personality of Jesus and to reclaim him for Judaism.”

 

Christ was the mouthpiece of God…

Baruch Spinoza, the great Jewish philosopher:

“Christ was not so much a prophet as the mouthpiece of God. Christ was sent to teach not only Jews, but the whole human race; and therefore it was not enough that his mind should be accommodated to the opinions of the Jews alone, but also to the opinion and fundamental teaching common to the whole human race; in other words, to ideas universal and truth.”

 

Max Nordau, author and Zionist leader:

“Jesus is the soul of our soul as he is the flesh of our flesh. Who then could think of excluding him from the people of Israel? St. Peter will remain the only Jew who said of the Son of David: ‘I know not the man.’ If the Jews up to the present have not rendered homage to the sublime beauty of the figure of Jesus, it is because their tormentors have always persecuted, tortured and assassinated in his name.”

 

Dr. Claude Montefiore, president of the Jewish Religious Union:

“I cannot conceive that a time will come when the figure of Jesus will no longer be a star of the first magnitude in the spiritual heavens, when he will no longer be regarded as one of the greatest religious heroes and teachers the world has seen….

“The religion of the future will be, as I believe, a developed and purified Judaism, but from that developed and purified Judaism the records will tell, however imperfectly, of perhaps its greatest teacher. Certainly its most potent and influential teacher will not be excluded.

“We Jews do not mind saying that the greatest influence upon European and American history and civilization has been the Bible. But we too often forget that the Bible which has had this influence is not merely the Old Testament. It is the Old Testament and the New Testament combined.

“And of the two, it is the New Testament which has undoubtedly had the greater influence and has been of the greater importance. Jesus is the most important Jew that has ever lived, to whom the sinner and the outcast age after age have owed a great debt of gratitude.”

 

Hans Joachim Schoeps, Jewish theologian:

“The church of Jesus Christ has preserved no portrait of its lord and saviour. If Jesus were to come again tomorrow, no Christian would know his face. But it might well be that he who is coming at the end of days, he who is awaited by the synagogue as by the church, is one, with one and the same face.”

 

Let us Jews be thankful there was a Jesus…

Rabbi Emmanuel Weill:

“Let us then as Jews be thankful there was a Jesus and a Paul. I do not know the secret of God, but I believe that Jesus and Christianity were providential means, useful to the Deity in guiding all men gradually and by an effort, keeping pace with the mental state of the majority of men, from paganism up to the pure and true idea of the divinity.”

 

Rabbi J.L. Levy:

“I have little but contempt for those who cannot see in Jesus of Nazareth something to admire. I have little respect for those who cannot find in the Nazarene something good and worthy of our deep esteem. I personally regard him as one of the greatest spiritual teachers the world has ever known. I look upon him as one of the noblest spiritual teachers the human family has ever had the privilege of observing. We have great faith in the noble character of his life, in the beauty of his teaching that may safely be attributed to him. We have great admiration for the pure life offered for the good of humanity.”

 

Rabbi H.G. Enelow, D.D., reform rabbi, writer and scholar:

“Among the great and the good that the human race has produced, none has ever approached Jesus in universality of appeal and sway. He has become the most fascinating figure in history. In him is combined what is best and most mysterious and most enchanting in Israel — the eternal people whose child he was. The Jew cannot help glorying in what he has meant to the world, nor can he help hoping that Jesus may yet serve as a bond of union between Jew and Christian.

“What does the modern Jew think of Jesus? A Prophet? Yes, crowning a great tradition, and who can compute all that Jesus has meant to humanity? The love he has inspired, the solace he has given, the good he has engendered, the hope and joy he has kindled — all that is unequaled in human history.”

 

Rabbi David Phillipson, Ph.D., reform Jewish leader:

“There is no backwardness nor hesitancy on the part of modern Jewish thought in acknowledging the greatness of the teacher of Nazareth, the sweetness of his character, the power of his genius.”

 

He was a gift of love…

Rabbi Gross of Brooklyn’s Union Temple:

“I, a rabbi of Israel, think we should accept Jesus. I think we should teach Jesus to children much as we teach them about Abraham, Moses and Jeremiah, and the rest of the great teachers and prophets. Jesus, as we all know, was a Jew. He was a gift of love.”

 

Rabbi Rudolph Grossman, D.D.:

“We Jews honor the Nazarene as our brother in faith, sprung from our loins, nurtured at Israel’s knee, a teacher of sweet and beautiful ideals, a preacher whose influence has been and still is among the mightiest spiritualizing factors in the world.”

 

Rabbi Gustav Gottheil, Ph.D., one of the founders of the Federation of American Zionists:

“The keynote of prophetic religion of the Jewish prophets was holiness of life and purity of heart…. To place the Master of Nazareth by their side can surely be no dishonor to him, nor can it dim the luster of his name. If he has added to their spiritual bequests new jewels of religious truth, and spoken words which are words of life, because they touch the deepest springs of the human heart, why should we Jews not glorify in him?”

 

Rabbi Maurice H. Harris:

“Unlike the Messiahs before him — all mediocre men — his name (Jesus) has been treasured ever since as one of the great religious teachers of the world…. Let us not lose our Almighty Father in pantheistic vagueness, merging Him in nature; let us view Him as our Living redeemer, our Saviour, for we often need to be saved –sometimes from the world, sometimes from ourselves.”

 

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Ph.D., founder of the American Jewish Congress and the Federation of American Zionists:

“Even if Jesus had not been born unto Israel, even if he had borne no relation to the people of Israel, it becomes of importance for Israel to determine for itself what shall be its relation to the man who has touched the world nearly two thousand years as has no other single figure in history….It is no mean joy and ignoble pride in us of the House of Israel to recognize, to honor and to cherish among our brothers — Jesus the Jew.”

 

Had it not been for Jesus, the Jews would be little known…

Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of England:

“The pupil of Moses may ask himself whether all the princes of the House of David have done so much for the Jews as that Prince who was crucified…. Had it not been for him, the Jews would have been comparatively unknown or known only as a high Oriental Caste which had lost its country. Has not he made their history the most famous history in the world?”

 

Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler, President of Hebrew Union College:

“No ethical system or religious catechism, however broad and pure, could equal the efficiency of this great personality, standing, unlike any other, midway between heaven and earth, equally near to God and to man….

“Jesus, the helper of the poor, the friend of the sinner, the brother of every fellow-sufferer, the comforter of every sorrow-laden, the healer of the sick, the up-lifter of the fallen, the lover of man, the redeemer of woman, won the heart of mankind by storm. Jesus, the meekest of men, the most despised of the despised race of the Jews, mounted the world’s throne to be the earth’s Great King.”

 

Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, reform rabbi, scholar and author:

“Scores of men have believed themselves to be the Messiah and have convinced many of their contemporaries, but those who believed Jesus to be the Messiah have built a great church upon
the rock of their belief. He is still the living comrade of countless lives. No Moslem ever sings, ‘Mohammed, lover of my soul’, nor does any Jew say of Moses, the Teacher, ‘I need thee every hour.’”

 

Ellis Rivkin, professor of Jewish history at Hebrew Union College:

“Of these Messianic claimants, only one, Jesus of Nazareth, so impressed his disciples that he became their Messiah. And he did so after the very crucifixion which should have refuted his claims decisively. But it was not Jesus’ life which proved beyond question that he was the Messiah, the Christ. It was his resurrection.”

 

Pinchas E. Lapide, senior lecturer at Bar-Ilan University:

“I have the suspicion that Jesus was more loyal to the Torah than I am as an Orthodox Jew.”

David Flusser, professor of religious history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem:

“I do not think that many Jews would object if the Messiah — when he came — was the Jew Jesus.”

Dr. Chaim Zhitlowsky, Jewish scholar and author:

“Every Jew should be proud of the fact that Jesus is our brother, flesh of our flesh and blood of our blood. We desire to put him back where he belongs.”

 

Is it only the Jew who is unable to see and hear? …

Constantine Brunner, Jewish philosopher:

“What is this? Is it only the Jew who is unable to see and hear? Are the Jews stricken with blindness and deafness as regards Christ, so that to them only he has nothing to say? Is he to be of no importance to us Jews? Understand then what we shall do. We shall bring him back to us.

“Christ is not dead for us — for us he has not yet lived; and he will not slay us, he will make us live again. His profound and holy words, and all that is true and heart-appealing in the New Testament, must from now on be heard in our synagogues and taught to our children, in order that the wrong we had committed may be made good, the curse turned into a blessing, and that he at last may find us who has always been seeking after us.”

 

Israel Zangwill, Jewish author:

“We shall never get the future straight until we disentangle the past. To disentangle the past means to re-examine the trial of Jesus — myths woven purposely by our leaders around the greatest and most notable personality in history, only that we may not see and recognize the real Jesus.

“To us, my brethren, in this our day, is given the privilege to reclaim the Christ we have lost for so many centuries. Has not the crucified Christ more than fulfilled the highest and noblest of our greatest prophets? Is not he the incarnation of the essence of what the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets taught?”

 

When Jews become Christians…

Max Brod, Jewish author:

“I am constantly amazed at the naiveté of our teachers and leaders who are surprised when I tell them that the best of our youth, our intellectuals, become Christians out of conviction…. Our ‘leaders’ do not believe it. To them, a Jew never becomes a Christian unless he wants to better his position.

“That Christianity has drawn to itself such noble souls as Pascal, Novalis, Kirkegaard, Amiel, Dostoyevsky, Claudel, etc., etc., and that it exercises a most overwhelming influence on the most earnest truth-seekers among us, of that our teachers know nothing.”

 

Gustav Lazlo, Jewish author:

“The movement for the recognition of Christ by the Jews is not a fantasy arising from (my) brain. In the hearts and minds of many men, ordinary men like myself, traders, men of affairs, the fact that Christ is the only leader who can take us anywhere worth going to is coming to new recognition.”

 

Ernest R. Trattner, Jewish author:

“No Jewish prophet before Jesus ever searched out the miserable, the sick, the weak, and the down-trodden in order to pour forth love and compassionate service. He went out of his way to redeem the lowly by a touch of human sympathy that is altogether unique in Jewish history.”

 

Sholem Asch, Jewish novelist:

“Jesus Christ, to me, is the outstanding personality of all time, of all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today, and that is something you can say of no other man, alive or dead….

“Every act and word of Jesus has value for all of us, wherever we are. He became the Light of the World. Why shouldn’t I, a Jew, be proud of that? No other religious leader, either, has ever become so personal a part of people as the Nazarene. When you understand Jesus, you understand that he came to save you, to come into your personality. It isn’t just a case of a misty, uncertain relationship between a worshiper and an unseen God. That is abstract; Jesus is personal.”

 

Jesus of Nazareth, the Jew of Jews…

Isidore Singer, Ph.D., managing editor of The Jewish Encyclopedia:

“I regard Jesus of Nazareth as a Jew of Jews, one whom all Jewish people are learning to love. His teachings have been an immense service to the world in bringing Israel’s God to the knowledge of hundreds of millions of mankind…. We are all glad to claim Jesus as one of our people.”

 

Harris Weinstock, labor leader:

“Without Jesus and without Paul, the God of Israel would still have been the God of a handful, the God of a petty, obscure and insignificant tribe. Let the Jew, despite the centuries of persecution and suffering,

“…be thankful that there was a Jesus and a Paul. Let him more fully appreciate that through the wonderful influence of these heroic characters the mission of the Jew is being fulfilled, and his teachings are being spread to the remotest nooks and corners of the world by Christianity.”

 

An interview with Albert Einstein…

Saturday Evening Post, in 1929:

“To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?”

“As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.”

“Have you read Emil Ludwig’s book on Jesus?”

“Emil Ludwig’s Jesus is shallow. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.”

“You accept the historical Jesus?”

“Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”

 

……. End of quotes ……

 

Here is a web site with a vast list of notable Jews who turned to Jesus as Messiah and Savior of Israel. Included are testimonies of former Chief Rabbis, of Jewish Nobel Prize winners, Prime Ministers, professors and many more.

http://www.israelinprophecy.org/ENGLISH/live_site/brief_list-most_famous_messianic_jews.html

 

 

There it is. I’ve only scratched the surface. According to one Jewish writer, more Jews have turned to Jesus in the last nineteen years than in the last nineteen hundred hears. Something to think about.

And it has just begun. Paul said that at the proper point in God’s plan of redemption all of Israel will turn to Jesus. Isn’t it interesting that the Bible is the only book on earth that tells history before it happens!

Think on these things. Here is a song for your meditation. ‘Shalom Jerusalem’ by Paul Wilbur.

 



Much love coming your way,

Buddy

 

To Die Without Christ

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“So Pilate said to Him, ‘You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?’ Jesus answered, ‘You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above;

“…for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.’” (Joh 19:10-11 NASB)

 

Journal,

The Jerusalem Sanhedrin represented the supreme leadership of world Judaism. When the chief priests and elders delivered Jesus over to the Roman authorities to be crucified, they set in motion a chain of events that would have negative effects on the Jewish people throughout their generations.

We see this beginning to take form in 70 AD, with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. Was the destruction of Jerusalem a judgment from God? According to the gospels, yes. And according to the Talmudic writings, also a yes. While the reasons given may differ, that it was a judgment from God was accepted early on.

Out of the ashes

Out of the ashes of smoldering Jerusalem would evolve a new Judaism that would have no likeness to the ancient worship of Moses and David. There would be no temple, no sacrifices, and no priesthood. The rabbis set about to fashion a new Judaism where they would become the exalted figures. This new Judaism took on the name of Rabbinical Judaism or Talmudic Judaism. It was to become an expanded continuation of the Pharisees. (The Sadducee and the priestly temple ministry disappeared in the destruction.)

The rabbi who carried the greater responsibility for the reinvention of Judaism was Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai. According to John Lightfoot, Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai knew Jesus and most certainly had encounters with the apostles. He was quite possibly one of the Sanhedrin members who held responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus.

It is important to understand that Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai was one of the top religious figures in Jerusalem during the time of Christ and after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Zaccai lived to be 120 years old. He held such an honored role in Judaism that he became known as the ‘Light of Israel, Pillar of the Right Hand, Strong Hammer.’ Zaccai was well acquainted with the Christian movement.

Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai escaped the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. And in setting about to help create a new Judaism, it was determined that the blood sacrifices were no longer needed, and that prayer, good deeds, and fasting were all that was needed to get God’s forgiveness.

 

The Death of a Rabbi

The Talmudic writings have a record of the death of Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai is. Here is a major religious leader who died without Christ.

“When R. Jochanan ben Zaccai was taken ill, his disciples went to visit him. As soon as he beheld them, he began to weep. His disciples said unto him, ‘O Light of Israel, Pillar of the Right Hand, Strong Hammer, why dost thou weep?’ He answered and said unto them… ‘Now when I am to be led into the presence of the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, who lives and is through all eternities, whose anger — if He is angry with me — is an eternal anger; whose fetters — if He will bind me — are everlasting fetters; and whose death — if He put me to death — is an eternal death; whom I cannot appease with words, nor bribe with money;

“… and not only so, but two ways open before me — the one leading to Paradise and the other to hell (Gehenna), and I do not know upon which of these two ways I shall be led, shall I not weep?‘” (Brachot 28b)

Zaccai had no sense of salvation. Religion cannot give what only God can give. The righteousness peace and joy of God’s kingdom comes from only one place and from one Person. They come from Jesus Christ and they are spiritual attributes (realities) of the kingdom of God’s beloved Son.

 

The Problem With the Golden Calf

Jesus did not come to give us a new religion. If fact He did not come to give us a religious system at all. Religion is what men do. Jesus came to give us a relationship with the heavenly Father. In our new relationship with heaven, the Holy Spirit places believers into ‘flocks’ that function as families. This is essentially what the Greek word for church means.

[ekklesía speaks of the called out, called together people of God; a body of spiritually free citizens who share in a common heavenly citizenship. These flocks would have pastors and other mature godly overseers who can offer guidance and teaching, but never in the sense of being overlords.]

Isn’t it strange how men go about to invent religions? The new Judaism held all kinds of strange notions about God. Much had to do with the self-honor that the rabbis placed upon themselves.

Like any religious system, this new Judaism had its power structure. The rabbis made themselves as the final voice of God. They were above the ancient prophets. This is why the new Judaism is often called Rabbinic Judaism. They even tell the story in the Talmuds how the rabbis outwitted God Himself.

Wherein is the problem? The problem is that people can become so caught up in honoring a religious system that the system itself takes on the form of idolatry. Their church becomes ‘the‘ church. They find salvation with ‘their‘ church and not necessarily with Jesus Christ.

Thus the golden calf of religion. This form of church idolatry takes on the idea of, ‘My church is the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through my church.’ (Don’t laugh. Church idolatry is very real.)

 

The greater sin

What makes the death of Rabbi Jochanan ben Zaccai even more dreadful comes from something that Jesus said to Pilate. Listen again to what the Lord said to Pilate about authority.

“You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” (Cf. John 19:10,11)

Did you catch it? Jesus said, ‘He who delivered Me over to you has the greater sin.’

Why would the Jewish leaders be charged with the greater sin but not Pilate or the Roman soldiers? It was because these leaders knew more about Jesus than they were putting on. Their rejection had to do with knowledge in having rejected Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Many of them knew better and yet they participated in the rejection.

Jesus set forth their great sin:

“Jesus said to them, ‘Did you never read in the Scriptures, “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone; this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes:?’ “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.

“When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet.” (Mat 21:42-46)

 

The Man Who Knew Christ

Let’s see what distinguishes the death of Rabbi Zaccai from another leader who accepted Jesus as the Messiah of Israel? We know that the apostle Paul was formerly a disciple of Gamaliel and a violent persecutor of the church. This man came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. When Paul faced death, this is what we read about him:

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (Cf. 2Ti 4:7,8)

 

Do you see the difference? Rabbi Zaccai was terrified. The apostle Paul was ready for his journey home. What made the difference? It all comes back to the atonement sacrifice. To reject the cross is to reject any hope of salvation. It is not as though Zaccai had no earlier warning. A special letter was sent to Jewish people by an apostolic writer not long before the destruction of the temple. It may have been written by Paul. Zaccai could well have been aware of it.

 

“For if we go on sinning [the sin of rejecting Jesus as Lord and Messiah] willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Cf. Heb 10:26- 29)

 

As a minister of 45 plus years I’ve attended the last hours of various believers. These were precious moments. They had no fear. When it neared the time of passage it was as though they were already experiencing the heaven side of their passage. As for others — Well, I’ll leave that unsaid.

How about you? Will you die having rejected Jesus Christ as Lord of your life? Are you one of those ‘golden calf’ people who have replaced Jesus with a religious system.

Or, are you one of those who truly have a relationship with the Heavenly Father by way of His Son Jesus Christ?

Think about it. Again I ask, is Jesus Christ truly the Lord of your life?

Are you ready to turn to the Lord? Here is a prayer that can help you. Pray it from your heart…

 

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer, please drop me a note. I will be happy to offer some guidance that can help you.

In Christ always,

Buddy

There’s a Promise Coming – Restoration

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” (Act 3:19-21)

 

Journal,

The eyes of the world are on the Middle East. We are seeing a conflagration (uncontrolled fire) working its way out from the regions of ancient Babylon. The heat is intense in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Israel, Somalia, Egypt, Syria, Libya, not to speak of all the ‘***istan’ nations of the former Soviet Union. Keep in view that all these nations with the exception of Israel, are Islamic.

So much for all the diatribe on Islam being a religion of peace.

The apostle Peter told the Jewish people that Jesus had been received into heaven and would stay there, but would send times of ‘refreshing’ [special moves of the Holy Spirit] until the period of restoration of all things.

What did he mean by the term restoration? The Greek term ‘apokatastasis‘ means a restitution of a thing to its former condition. This expression denotes the times when the ‘fullness of the Gentiles’ is completed, and the conversion of the Jewish nation is at hand.

This was a primary concern for the Lord’s Hebrew apostles. Jesus clearly taught that the kingdom of God would be taken away from the nation of Israel until the day came when they would say of Him, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

In Acts 1:6, they asked Him,

“‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ Jesus responded, ‘It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.’”

 

The clock is ticking

This is why May 14, 1948 is so important to redemption history. Israel lost her nationhood in the year 70 a.d. She was brought forth again as a nation in 1948, and took her place among the nations. Thus we have Isa66:8 fulfilled;

“Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.”

Then we have this from the Lord:

“And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles [other nations] until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24)

Some like to think that a nation being brought forth all at once has to do with the church. However, this does damage to the prophecy.  Notice carefully that it is not simply a nation, but also a land that will be born in one day. The Hebrew for land [’erets] speaks of the earth. The land took on the name Israel on May 14, 1948, and land of Israel once again took her place among the nations of the world.

Without laboring this too much we also need to understand that the nation of Israel today is not the nation she is going to be. The Jews returning to the land is at the heart of Old Testament prophecy. Yet Israel today is largely secular, with Talmudic Judaism in charge of her religious affairs. The fact that Israel is largely secular is not a bad thing in comparison to the Christ-hating Talmudic religion.

(Most Jews do not hate Jesus. There are even Jewish-Christian churches and synagogues in Israel. According to my sources, the number one topic of discussion among Israelis today is about Jesus. The Lord is stirring their hearts. Any hatred towards Jesus and Christians comes largely from Orthodox-Talmudic Judaism.)

 

The mystery of the dry bones

When God spoke to Ezekiel about the dry bones, it had to do with the restored captivity of that time. However, it had a deeper meaning that would reach forward to the day when Israel turns to Jesus, and call upon Him as their Lord and Savior..

“He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord GOD, You know.’ Again He said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones and say to them, “O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.”’

“Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. ‘I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.’” (Eze 37:3-6)

 

Now lets combine two Scriptures, one from the old and the other from the new. Both with the same goal.

First Zechariah 12:10:

“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me [This is Yahweh speaking] whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him [Jesus the crucified One], and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him [Jesus] like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”

Now Romans 11:25-27:

“For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation — that a partial hardening has happened to Israel [the Christ-rejecting nation group] until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved [nation group looks to Jesus]; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’”

The sins of the Christ-rejecting Israel can only be taken away when they come to faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ.

The message to Israel has never changed. When Peter addressed the Jewish leadership, this is what he said:

“He [Jesus] is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Act 4:11-12)

No one can ever be saved aside from receiving Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as both Lord and Savior. There are no exceptions.

 

A house restored

Let’s come back to what Peter said about the times of restoration:

“…that He [the Father] may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” (Acts 3:20,21)

The Greek term for ‘period‘ is chronos. It speaks of a particular time or space or season of events.

The Greek term for ‘restoration‘ is a double compound. It is only used here. But interestingly enough it is also used by Flavius Josephus for the return of the Jews from captivity, and for the restoration of the year of Jubilee. That is the how the term was understood during the time of Christ.

The period of refreshing and restoration that Peter speaks of has a dual focus. It includes the Church being refreshed during her journey on heart. And while the Church is being prepared for her departure, the Jewish people are being gathered to the land of Israel to fulfill her prophesied purposes. Hence, God is working with the Jews and with the Christians.

For the Jew there is a period of tribulation they must endure before the Savior comes out of Zion. The Bible also gives place for a pseudo-Church during the last hours of this age. (Pseudo refers to something that appears to be true but is not. A false pretender.)

The true church refers to those who are inborn of the Spirit and will not follow anyone other than Jesus, in spite of signs and wonders. The true Church will make her departure from the earth at the proper time. The pseudo Church will follow after lying wonders.

 

Tears for Jerusalem

Let’s listen to some of the last words that Jesus spoke over Jerusalem.

“When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44)

And again,

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me UNTIL you say, ‘Blessed is He [Jesus] who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Matt23:37,38)

So, will the kingdom of God be restored to Israel? Will Israel really turn to the Lord Jesus and become part with His people? Can it be proved by the Scriptures? I believe it can. For your extra study consider these Scriptures: Isaiah 1:26Jeremiah 23:3-6Hosea 3:4,55:156:1-3.

That’s it for now.

Here is your song. Let the Lord refresh your heart. ‘There’s a Promise Coming Down’ by Joy Gardner…

Blessings,

Buddy

 

The Mysteries of the Ages

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

Journal

There are a number of hidden mysteries in God’s Word. For example the Lord Jesus can be seen throughout the prophetic writings and yet He is declared to be a mystery. The Church is in the writings of the prophets, but is also declared to be a mystery. Then we have the unfolding mystery of redemption.

In this entry I will deal with the mystery of our redemption in Christ Jesus, and how that the believer’s salvation was set forth from the foundation of the world. The entry is a bit lengthy but well worth the reading. It will help my readers understand why Jesus tells us not to be troubled when we see the nations in an upheaval.

Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.


Take time to meditate on the following Scriptures where you will see some of the wonder and mystery of redemption.


A Word from the Prophets


[Moses] “Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb. For I proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He. They have acted corruptly toward Him, They are not His children, because of their defect; but are a perverse and crooked generation.” (Deu 32:1-5)

“You neglected the Rock who begot you, and forgot the God who gave you birth. … Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; for they are a perverse generation, sons in whom is no faithfulness.’ … Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would discern their future!” (Deu 32:18-20)

[This is from the Song of Moses; 1400 years before Christ. Cf. Rev15:3. The Song of Moses is a prophetic outline of Israel, including her rejection of Jesus Christ. ‘The Rock’ is Christ. ‘His work is perfect’ speaks of the new creation. ‘They are a perverse and crooked generation’ speaks to the Christ rejecters. Peter quoted from this. Cf. Acts 2:40]


[Isaiah] “A voice says, ‘Call out.’ Then he answered, ‘What shall I call out?’ All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’” (Isa 40:6-9)

[Isaiah wrote this 700 years before Christ. Here we see John the Baptist’s call to the people, that God’s Word is true. The gospel message begins in Jerusalem with, ‘Do not fear, here is your God!’]


[Hosea] “I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” (Hos 5:15; John 6:62; 7:33,34; 8:21)

[Hosea the prophet also wrote about 700 years before Christ. He sets forth the rejection of Jesus until the time of the second coming. In Israel’s tribulation they will seek the Lord and find Jesus. Cf. Zech12:8-10. Hosea 6:1-3 includes the second coming


[Jesus] “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” (Luk 13:34-35)


[Daniel] “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” (Dan 12:3-4)

The book of Daniel sets forth both the first and the second coming of Jesus. Written 500+ years before Christ. The later rabbis placed a curse on anyone who attempted to calculate the time of Messiah by the use of Daniel.


All the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge

Paul said that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Christ Jesus Himself. This can only mean that these Christ-treasures were not to be hidden from us. They have been hidden for us. In writing the Colossian believers, Paul said…

“… that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col 2:2-3)

It is because of these hidden treasures that the apostle prayed for the Church …

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” (Cf. Eph1:15-23)

And this also is why we should learn to pray the prayer of David, when he said,

“Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.” (Ps119:18)


From the foundation of the world

When David ask the Lord to open his eyes so he could behold Wonderful things from His ‘law’, we need to understand that the Hebrew word for law does not simply mean the Law of Moses. The word ‘torah‘ in Hebrew is a feminine noun. It speaks of instruction and direction.

David is asking the Lord to open his eyes to divine instruction and to the divine things of God. He wants to see into the eternity of God. David also uses the word ‘Wonderful‘ in a unique way. It has to do with the Man called Wonderful. (Isa9:6)

This is a very personal request. It is the kind of prayer we should take to heart.

The Bible has much to say about the things of eternity. The term ‘from the foundation of the world’ is used several times in the new covenant writings to express the eternity of God. Let’s look at them: (Caps are for emphasis only.)

(1) Concerning Messiah, it says, “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” (Matt13:35)

This reflects back on Deu29:29; “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”

When we stop to consider that the Torah of Moses, that is, the first five books of the Bible, are filled with the ‘secret’ treasures of Christ, it gives us pause to consider just how rich the revelation of Jesus Christ is in the Old Testament writings. The entire Bible wraps itself around Jesus as a cloak. He said, “In the scroll [volume] of the book it is written of Me.” (Psa40:7)


(2) As to one phase of the kingdom of God, the King says to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed of my Father, INHERIT THE KINGDOM PREPARED FOR YOU FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” (Matt25:34)

Did you catch it? The kingdom of the beloved Son was prepared long before the world was created. This would certainly mean that all of creation was planned for Christ and for the people of Christ.


(3) Of the Christ-rejecting leadership, the Lord said, “The blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged to this generation.” (Luke11:50)

The Greek term ‘generation’ [genea] can express more than a meaning of time. It includes the idea of a multitude of contemporaries. Hence it speaks to an affinity of communion, or a grouping of people who share the sameness of character. We need to understand that there has always been a wicked element in the earth that has set itself against the Lord and against His Christ.

Moses spoke of this group; “They have acted corrupted toward Him, they are not His children, because of their defect; but are a perverse and crooked generation.” (Deu32:5) — This is part of the song of Moses, which Revelation calls ‘the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” (Rev15:3)


(4) Jesus prayed, He said, “Father….YOU LOVED ME BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” (John17:24)

Jesus said that He experienced the Father before the world was.


(5) Paul says of all believers, “HE CHOSE US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love.” (Eph1:4)

What is left to be said on this one? God determined to gives us His own holiness. All the guilt of our sins would be placed upon Jesus.


(6) The book of Hebrews speaks of God’s rest in the Messiah, in saying that, “HIS WORKS WERE FINISHED FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” (Heb4:3)


(7) Of Christ’s pre-existence in eternity, and with regard to our salvation, it says,

“He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Heb9:26)


(8) Peter says the Christ, “Was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you, who through Him are believers in God…” (1Pet1:20,21)


(9) Both Rev13:7 and Rev17:8 speak of the names of the saved written in the Lamb’s book of life, “from the foundation of the world.”

Wow — How did God know what your name was going to be? Have you ever considered just how deeply involved the Lord has been in your life from here to yon?


(10) The apostle said, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren, beloved by the Lord, BECAUSE GOD CHOSE YOU FROM THE BEGINNING for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” (2Th2:13)



The seal of sanctification

Every believer has a seal of sanctification upon his or her heart. Satan knows it. The angels know it. The seal belongs to God. The seal means,‘This child is Mine.’ It can only be broken by God and He promised that nothing would ever be able to separate us from His love.

Thus we hear God say of Jeremiah,

“Before I formed you in the womb I KNEW you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jer.1:5)

The Hebrew word for ‘knew’ is quite interesting. Yada (yaw-dah’) means to know, to learn, to perceive, to discern, and to experience. It carries more thoughts, but this gives an idea of the strength of what God is saying. He ‘knew’ and even ‘experienced’ Jeremiah before the prophet was formed in his mother’s womb.

David talked about this very thing, and then confessed,

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.” (Ps139:6)

How about you? Do you feel that such knowledge is too high for you? To say that God knew and experienced us before the foundation of the world is an awesome thing to say. This is God thing, a treasure hidden in Christ.

The issue in all this that all believers need to have their conscious life filled with assurances of their salvation. This is what moves our salvation out of the emotional realm, and even the intellectual realm, into the very heart of new covenant salvation.

Jesus Himself said that His sheep walked with Him in a ‘knowing’ relationship. This can only mean that the people of the Lamb have an intuitive knowing about God that is far beyond anything this present world can offer. We have come to ‘experience’ God Himself in the deep of our inward man. We found Him in Christ.

It was Jesus who said,

“I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” (Matt11:25)

Paul said the new covenant experience is based upon a believer’s conscious relationship with the Father. This relationship is brought into reality by the Spirit of God. He said,

“The Spirit Himself testifies [bears witness] with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Rom8:16)

In another place Paul says,

“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’”

The Abba Father cry is not merely our cry, even though we feel it deep in our spirit life. It is actually the cry of Sonship. It is our birthing cry made by the Spirit of Jesus. This cry speaks of a joining of our life to the Father of eternity.

This cry of sonship speaks of God’s eternal redemption that was set in place from the foundation of the world. The prophet heard God say it this way;

“Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, ‘Ask Me the things to come concerning My sons, and you will commit to Me the work of My hands.” (Isa45:11)


The Children of Eternity

We are the children of eternity. We are the work of His hands. We carry in our hearts an eternal perspective. We long for eternal things. We have a grasp of eternal things even when we are unable to put them down on paper. That is just the way we are. Yes, we are sinners saved by grace, but saved we are. We are the children that God’s removes from the earth as part of our redemption in Jesus.

It is wonderful to think about.

Here is a song for your heart, – I’m Redeemed I Am Saved – (By Sounding Joy).


In Christ’s Love Always,

Buddy

Egypt and the World of Islam #3

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” (Dan 12:1-4)



Notes:

(1) The “time of distress” has to do with the great tribulation period. Cf. Dan8:17; Mat24:32-34 (the fig tree is a symbol of Israel); Rev4:1 may well speak to the rapture.

(2) “Those with insight” has regard to end time believers who are given spiritual understanding and prophetic insight into the end times and are thus able to turn many to the Lord. (Includes a great gospel movement into Islam.)

(3) Parts of Daniel would be sealed for the last generation. Not even Daniel understood some of what he was given as prophecy. (1Pet1:10-12) Paul was also given special insight into the end time but was not allowed to share what he heard and saw. Cf. 2Co12:2-4.

Keep in mind that the rabbis placed a curse on anyone who tried to calculate the times by using Daniel. Daniel not only set forth the timing for the first coming of Jesus, he also set forth the timing for the second coming.

(4) “Knowledge will increase” has to do with the flow of revelation and understanding given to God’s end time people from the prophetic writings. It likely allows for an increase of human knowledge on all levels including communication and technology. The revolution in Egypt can largely be traced to Tweeter and Facebook and other forms of communication.

*Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.


Journal,

I want to encourage my readers to preview the two preceding entries on ‘Egypt and the World of Islam.’ (#1 and #2)

The whole world is in wonderment at what is happening in Egypt now. Of course this is only the forefront for the continual unveiling of God’s end time program of redemption. Muslims have been in upheavals for a few years; war in Iraq, in Afghanistan, disturbances in Iran, in Pakistan, in fact all across the Isl?mic nations.

I shared in an earlier entry how Satan raised up Mohammed to create an antichrist religion that has held untold millions of souls in the bondage of darkness. What is happening in Egypt and the middle east is merely a precursor to prophetic events that are unfolding in the days ahead. The end time battle lines have long been drawn. The clock is ticking.

Keep in mind that God’s time clock of redemption did not begin with this revolution in Egypt. God’s time clock was set in motion on May 14, 1948, when Israel became once again a nation among nations. (Isa66:8) It is likely that God’s prophetic seventy year wrap for this age as we know it began on that date. (Go to the entry prior to this one for how the principle of seventy figures into prophecy.)

Here is a quote from my last entry:

The place to begin is to understand the role that Islam plays with regard to the second coming. Here is the scene – Satan has always known that God’s plan of redemption completes itself with the second coming of Jesus to Jerusalem. Therefore his major line of defense has been to create a false gospel that would get around the true gospel. This false gospel would honor Jesus as one of the great Messengers of God. However, it would disallow how the gospel of Jesus saves people. This false gospel would find its center in the nations surrounding Israel. Herein you have Islam.


Leave room for adjustments

With regard to end time events it is important not to nail things down too tightly. Leave room for adjustments. In some prophecies you will see both the first and the second coming of Jesus. Prophecy is not always laid out in an exact time sequence. The Holy Spirit is the One who helps us see how things are falling into place. However, we are seeing the end time prophetic picture unfold in a way never seen.

One thing I’ve tried to stress in these entries is how very important the Old Testaments prophets are with regard to God’s plan for the ages. They often prophesied far beyond their own experiences. As I shared earlier, the New Testament church was not some upstart religion. The Christian faith is literally a fulfilling of what had been spoken by God’s ancient servants.

Consider these Scriptures:

“I sent you [apostles] to reap that for which you have not labored; others [OT prophets] have labored and you have entered into their labor.” (Joh 4:38)

“And He said to them, ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luk 24:25-27)

“ … that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’” (2Pe 3:2-4)


There are two things I want to discuss more fully In this entry. One has to do with what is commonly called the ‘catching away of the church.’ The other has to do with how God’s people should view the events that are now taking place.

Let’s begin with…


The People of Christ

Believers who struggle the most over their salvation are generally those who come from a ‘works-righteousness’ background. What they don’t understand is that their salvation is wholly of the Lord. No person will ever be saved because they became good enough. We are saved by grace alone.

There isn’t much I can add to what this dear sister recently wrote. It took a revelation from the Lord to bring total peace to her life.

Tina is from a Pentecostal background.

 

From a sister in the Lord

I just thought I’d share something that happened a few days ago.  I was thinking about death and having to face Jesus.  I was feeling really scared and wondering if I’d done enough.  All of a sudden, I had an image come into my head of Jesus standing there with his arms open.  Every time I started to tally up my good vs bad deeds, the image would return.  I finally got the message….  He is WAITING for me to come home.

All the good, bad, and ugly will stay here on earth.  My Savior is standing there waiting for me to come home.  Jesus already completed his mission here on earth, now it’s my turn.  He is here in spirit (Holy Ghost) helping me through this journey.  And when it’s over, I’ll be with him…period, end of sentence.

My physical flesh acts like a prison.  It keeps me in the shadows where things sometimes become fuzzy and confused.  I am living in the domain of evil. The lures of the flesh are almost like being tortured.  Sometimes we do things that are wrong before we even catch ourselves or realize that it’s wrong.

The Father knew that, and he planned for that, and sent his Son to make a way for us to be made clean.  Jesus went back to heaven, but he left the Holy Spirit here to act as a guide through the many pitfalls in life.  The HS keeps us on the right track.  When life is over, I will shed this flesh and go be with HIM!

What a blessing when God puts peace in our hearts and lets us know that we are his!  I didn’t speak in tongues or become hysterical, it was just the sweet, presence of God’s spirit that spoke to my heart.  That’s what it’s about. That’s what Paul and the apostles tried to get across over and over and over again in the New Testament.  Men get tripped up over doctrine, and when they do, they completely miss God’s plan for Salvation and life with him.

TinaP~ – Your Truth Place: http://yourtruthplace.blogspot.com/2011/02/eternal-life.html



The Catching Away

The removal of all who belong to Jesus Christ is well taught in the Scriptures. Regardless of the time element involved, and regardless of what a person believes about Pre-trib, Mid-trib, or Post-trib, this truth is well established.

I’ll share just a bit in brief. Note carefully:


For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1Th 4:14-18)
The expression ‘caught up’ is the Greek word ‘harpazo[har-pad'-zo]. This word is used fourteen times in the New Testament, with the sense of sudden removal from one place to another. In this case it states that believers will be instantly caught up to meet the Lord in the clouds. Notice how Paul said that we are to comfort one another with these words. The second coming of Jesus and all that it entails is a time of glory for the Church. Our being caught up has to do with the marriage feast of the Lamb.
x
Jesus spoke of this in John 14. Many don’t realize that what Jesus shared with the apostles in this setting has the Jewish wedding as its motif. The Ancient Hebrew wedding had two parts. The first was the espousal and the second part was for the bridegroom to actually come for the bride. Here is the setting:
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (Joh 14:1-3)

Did you catch it? Look closely. Jesus ascended into heaven and thereby through the cross He has prepared a place for all believers. He is returning at the proper time to receive us to Himself. Because we are already espoused to the Lord, our placement in heaven has already been decreed. Positional we have already been seated with Jesus. Now we are waiting for our full glorification with Him.

There is so much more I would like to share but I’ll leave off for  now. Here is a wonderful song that will minister to your heart. It is titled, ‘There’s Something in the Air’, by the Lanny Wolfe Trio.



In Christ always,

Buddy

Egypt and the World of Islam #2

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare

” … in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.” (Dan 9:2)


Journal,
This is a follow-up entry on ‘Egypt and the World of Islam.’ In my last journal entry I called attention to certain prophecies about Egypt and the world of Islam and to world events that precede the second coming of Jesus Christ. I concluded that entry with a prophecy where the Lord makes His appearance with Israel. Part of the prophecy reads…

“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zec 12:9-10)

I also shared a video that sets forth how the gospel is making powerful inroads into the world of Islam. The gospel penetrating into Islam is a crucial part of God’s redemption program that is to be played out before the second coming. In this entry I want to share more properties about the second coming of Jesus Christ that some may not be aware of.

The place to begin is to understand the role that Islam plays with regard to the second coming. Here is the scene – Satan has always known that God’s plan of redemption completes itself with the second coming of Jesus to Jerusalem. Therefore his major line of defense has been to create a false gospel that would avoid the true gospel. This false gospel would honor Jesus as one of the great Messengers of God. However, it would disallow how the gospel of Jesus saves people. This false gospel would find its center in the nations surrounding Israel. Herein you have Islam.

Here is a quote from my last entry:

“In the Golden Dome [on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem] there is written in Arabic, ‘God has no son.’ The world of Islam has labored under a false gospel about Jesus Christ ever since Muhammad began his religion of the sword. Muhammad perverted the gospel in saying that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, that His death on the cross had nothing to do with salvation, that Jesus was simply one of the great Messengers (prophets), that Jesus would return, would die, and would be buried.”

Did you catch it? Muhammad managed to undermine the saving power of the gospel in the world of Islam by removing the very heart of the gospel. Jesus said He would build His church upon this revelation: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ Yet Muhammad said that God has no son. Muhammad literally created an antichrist religion. {Anti means in place of or over against.]

Listen to the apostle John:

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” (1Jn 2:22-23)


God is Taking Out a People

God is taking out for Himself a people from all the nations. This final movement of redemption is moving swiftly through Islam and will end up at Jerusalem. The redemption movement will increase in the days ahead. Consider these Scriptures:

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Mat 24:14)

“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.’” (Rev 5:9)

“And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken. And it will be said in that day, ‘Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.’” (Isa 25:7-9)

*Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.

 

The Principle of Seventy

The number seventy often carries a prophetic emphasis in the Scriptures. Here is a short synopsis on how the number seventy can be seen prophetically. It is possible that we are in a seventy year redemption time frame. (Place your cursor over the Scripture references.)  …
(1) Jeremiah prophesies of Israel’s captivity into Babylon for seventy years. (Jer25:10-12)

(2) Daniel’s attention is brought to Jeremiah’s prophecy. The time was at hand. (Dan9:2,3)

(3) In seeking the Lord, the angel Gabriel gives Daniel a prophecy that reaches across redemption history and takes in both the first and the second coming of the Messiah Jesus. (Dan 9:23-26) This prophecy of seventy calculated into weeks of years and pinpointed the time of the Messiah. It foretold the cutting off of Messiah until the time of restoration. (Second coming.) The rabbis later placed a curse on anyone who tried to calculate the times of Daniel’s prophecy.

(4) Gabriel left the seventieth week to itself. The seventieth week is known as ‘the time of Jacob’s troubles’ or the period of tribulation. It is understood by many that the book of Revelation largely concerns itself with the seven years of tribulation. This seven-year tribulation is also called ‘the day of God’s wrath.’ (Just as the day of grace is a defined time, even so the day of God’s wrath can be traced through the Scriptures.)

(5) Then we have another interesting notation – The city of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 a.d. Israel ceased to being a nation for nearly 2000 years. Then on May 14, 1948, Israel once again became a nation among nations. (Isa66:8) It may be that God’s time clock of redemption began clicking once again in 1948. And here once again we need to consider the number seventy. No one knows the day or the hour for the second coming but Jesus said that we could know the times of His coming. So, if the seventy year time frame began in 1948, it would then end up with 2018.

(6) The removal of the church.) There are three broad beliefs about what is commonly called ‘the rapture’, Pre-trib, Mid-trib, or Post-trib. If we subtract the seven years of tribulation from 2018, we end up with 2011. This is the Pre-tribulation position. Some take a mid-tribulation position. In this case the rapture would happen in 2014. For those who do not believe in a rapture, for them the time of the second coming would be in 2018.
x
(7) What is important is knowing that the coming of the Lord is near at hand. With this in mind God’s people are not to live in an attitude of fear. The second coming is a time of our completed salvation. But as for the times, there are many prophecies that describe the world as we know it today. As for the proper time itself, be it this year, in three years, seven years, or whatever time the Father has determined, keep in mind what Jesus said, “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luk21:28)
x
Here are some Scriptures to meditate upon


“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” (Joh14:1-4)

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.” (Isa 12:2-3)

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.” (1Th 5:9-10)

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Col 3:1-4)

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev 21:1-2)
 


 



Let this song minister to your heart. ‘Morning Has Broken’ (This is a Christian hymn set to the music of a traditional Gaelic tune known as ‘Bunessan.’

x

In Christ always,

Buddy


 












 


 

The Promise of the Father

Bookmark/FavoritesFacebookTwitterGoogle GmailEmailYahoo MailLinkedInPrintShare


 

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
(Luk 24:49 NASB)

 

Journal,

The Bible uses the term ‘metamorphoo’ to describe changes that take place in a person’s life when they truly receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. [meta = over. morphe = form or shape] At the moment of true faith, the Spirit of Christ enters the heart of the believer and a seal is placed upon the believer’s heart. The seal is called ‘the seal of redemption’.

From that moment on the nature and attitudes of Christ are thus transposed into this person’s innermost being. It is this experience Jesus spoke of when He said,

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” (Joh 7:38 NASB)


The action that places the believer into Christ is called the believer’s immersion into Christ or the believer’s baptism into Christ. It is in our heavenly birth that we are made one with Christ. The apostle also speaks of this action as our being clothed with Christ. In another place Paul says that our life is now hidden or concealed in Christ. Thus we have the miracle of the cross.

This brings us to the major thought in our Scripture reading. What did Jesus mean when He directed attention to the promise of the Father?

 

The Sphere of the Spirit

The promise of the Father reaches back into eternity. We see it played throughout the pages of the Bible. The promise was the promise of a new life to come. Even before the fall of Adam the scene of new life is set forth in creation itself.

Notice carefully how the Spirit of God and the Word of God meet together in bringing forth new life:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” (Gen 1:1-3 NASB)


It is this scene that will be played out time and time again each time a new person is birthed into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. Note the elements:

  1. Formless and void. The sinner’s life of darkness.
  2. The Spirit of God begins to move over the heart of the sinner, arranging and preparing.
  3. Then God says, ‘Let there be light’, and the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ enters thebelieving person’s heart and now we have another child of the living God.


Does this sound like an overreach on my part. Listen to Paul:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

“For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.

“For God, who said, ‘light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

(2Co 4:3-6 NASB)

 

A point needs to be made. Anyone can be religious. Being born again is not an emotional work-up, nor is it simply mental acquiescence. A person can be a church goer all his or her life and be nothing more than religious in nature. It happens all the time. Suddenly this person wakes up. It dawns on them that they have missed the boat. What made the change. The Light of the gospel of Jesus Christ begins to penetrate their heart. Their darkness was a religious darkness. They were simply religious sinners into ‘church-idolatry’. And now they become a truly born from heaven child of God.


The Day of New Life – Pentecost

When Peter began to preach on the day of Pentecost, he called attention to the Father’s promise. Concerning the Holy Spirit, Peter said,

For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” (Acts 2:39)


Then we have this from Isaiah;

For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water.” (Isa44:3,4)

 

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a term that speaks of the covenant experience wherein a believer receives the life of Messiah. The apostle said,

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (1Co12:13)

 

 

The Covenant of Christ

The most beautiful picture we have of the Father’s promise of our new life in Christ is found in the analogy of the Vine and the branches. (John 15:1-8.

Look at it closely —

 

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” (Joh 15:1-8 NASB)


It is easy to misunderstand what the analogy of the Vine and branches is about. The Vine had long been a symbol of Israel’s covenant relationship with the Lord. Over the temple door was the emblem of the vine. Jesus had in view Israel itself. Those of Israel who reject Him would become the rejected branches.

When Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing,” the Greek word ‘meno‘ means to stay in place, or to remain within a sphere.

We have a picture of this when God said to Abraham,

I am God Almighty; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you.” Gen 17:1,2

The word covenant in Hebrew is ‘berith.’ In Greek it is ‘diatheke.’ Both words speak of a declaration of the will of God concerning His own commitment, promises, and conditions by which He enters into relationship with man. God is the initiator and completer of the covenant. This is why the vine is a vivid picture of our new covenant relationship in Christ. The believer is to look to the Lord Jesus for everything in life.

What did Jesus tell the disciples about their vine life?

Without Me you can do nothing.”

Our perfect example for the vine life is Jesus Himself. Not one time in His earth walk do we ever see Jesus defensive or frustrated. His secret is in something He said;

I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 5:30)

 

The flow of new life

It really isn’t hard for a child of God to learn to live in the flow of new life. There are things we need to understand. First, we need to understand that God has a perfect will for all of His children. Secondly, we need to know that God is the only One who can work His will in our life. And finally, we must learn the great principle of new covenant life. Listen:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Gal 2:20 NASB)


It is in our trusting in Jesus that we come to know more about this wonderful thing called God’s providence. There is no part of a believer’s life that the Father is not vitally concerned with. The prophet of old said,

The Lord’s lovingkindness indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lam3:22,23


As we learn to walk in loving submission to the Lord, we are given a promise of fruitfulness. The privileges and experiences of a new covenant child of God are awesome indeed. Where the Old Testament saint relied greatly on a prophet and priest mediator, the new covenant child of God has direct, open, and immediate access to the Lord, at any moment, and under any circumstance.

What do you think about ‘The promise of the Father’. Would love to hear from you.

Let this song minister to your heart. - ‘I Believe in Jesus’.

Much love to be found in Jesus,

Buddy