THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STONE

Gary Wilkerson – November 11, 2019

“Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away” (Matthew 27:59-60).

When Jesus was placed in the tomb following his crucifixion, he left the disciples heartbroken and baffled. When the massive stone rolled in front of the doorway to seal the tomb, everyone had a sad sense of finality. After all, Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and then he bowed his head and died.

Jesus’ faithful followers believed he was the hope of the world, the salvation of Israel, the light of the Gentiles. He was the great healer who raised the dead, set captives free, and preached the good news to the poor. And then he was gone!

When Jesus pronounced, “It is finished,” his followers must have thought he meant that it was completely over, the end of the story. Their reaction to his burial bore out their sense of hopelessness — but they did not know what was happening just on the other side of the stone.

Too often, as Christians endure the trials of life, they also experience feelings of despair. All they see is a stone permanently rolled into place, separating them from hope. But just like the followers of Jesus, they are looking at things from this side of the stone. Inside the tomb resides resurrection life — a miracle just waiting to happen!

The devil may declare victory, but a powerful shaking is beginning. Jesus is on the move and at some point, in his glorious timing, he will step through that doorway into your life and your trial will be changed in an instant. Satan does not have the last word. Death no longer has its sting. Light has conquered darkness and the love of Jesus has conquered all evil.

Is there a stone standing between you and God’s deliverance right now? God is present in your life at this very moment (he is never not at work), and the stone is being rolled away. He has triumphed over all the powers of darkness and by faith his victory is yours. (Click to Source)

 

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DRIFTING INTO DANGER

David Wilkerson (1931-2011) – November 7, 2019

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away” (Hebrews 2:1).

The sin of drifting away from Christ is the most tragic, dangerous sin of all — and no believer is immune. Even the most devoted believer can begin drifting by getting lazy and passive about the things of the Lord. Once that begins to happen, it becomes harder and harder to get back into intimate communion with Christ. You may know certain people who were once tender, loving Christians yet today they seem like different people. Most drifters do not recognize themselves as being in danger.

The history of God’s people has been one of backsliding, neglecting and forgetting God. Moses and the prophets seemed incredulous at the tendency of God’s people to quickly forget the Lord and drift back to their old ways.

Just before he died, Moses looked back over the history of God’s children in the wilderness. Nearly an entire generation of complaining, backbiting, unbelieving people had been wiped out by God’s judgment, consumed in the hot desert. But a faithful remnant — tried, tested, separated — remained true to the Lord. Moses told them, “Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal Peor; for the Lord your God has destroyed from among you all the men who followed [idol worship]. But you who held fast to the Lord your God are alive today … For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?” (Deuteronomy 4:3-4, 7).

Moses was essentially saying, “You stayed true in a time of great apostasy! You never gave in to idol worship, as those did who were destroyed. And no one has had God nearer to them than you have.” These were the ones who entered the Promised Land — into the Lord’s fullness.

Do you remember a time when you felt nearer to him than you do now? When you felt his presence more readily and heard his voice more clearly? It might be time to examine your heart to be sure you are continuing to press in with Jesus.

 

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Beth Yeshua International • Monday • October 14, 2019 Feast Service: Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

 
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Jesus “Used to Be Jewish”? That’s Not What the Gospels Say

By Bernard Starr / HuffPost.com

When I interview Christians and Jews, I repeatedly hear “everyone knows Jesus was
Jewish.” But when I dig deeper, I discover that “everyone knows Jesus was Jewish”
really means “He used to be Jewish.”

Many believe that Jesus was born Christian and that He launched a new religion. For example, Jane, educated in Catholic school, agreed that Jesus was Jewish. But when I followed up with, “Did He remain Jewish throughout his life?” she answered, “Oh, no. He became a Christian and started Christianity.”

“When did that happen?” I asked. “When He was baptized by John the Baptist,” she answered confidently. “It says so right in the Bible.”

Noah, a young Jewish student at a small New England college, asked his Christian
fraternity brothers, “What was Jesus’ religion?” They stared at him as if he were an idiot.

After he pressed for an answer, they declared, “Christian, of course.” In fact, Jesus was born into a family of practicing Jews dedicated to Judaism. As prescribed in the Torah, He was circumcised on the eighth day after His birth. Throughout His life He was thoroughly committed to Judaism, the Torah, and Jewish practices.

He prayed in synagogues and taught Torah to “multitudes” of fellow Jews. And John the Baptist only baptized Jews to purify them for the expected arrival of the Jewish Messiah.

All this is stated clearly in the Gospels; Jane’s quote is not. To address the crucial question “Did the Jews kill Jesus?”—a charge that has echoed with deadly consequences since the crucifixion—we look at the Gospels’ accounts of Jesus’ arrest, trial and the events leading up to them.

The Gospels state explicitly who killed Jesus (John 10:17–18). Have you ever wondered what Jesus might say about virulent and enduring anti-Semitism? Indeed, what would the thoroughly Jewish Jesus have said to Church leaders, monarchs, and others who launched murderous acts such as the Crusades, the Inquisition, and genocides in His name?

Christians today, especially evangelicals, are eager to let go of long-standing
antagonisms and are reaching out to Jews in a spirit of reconciliation. But
memories of unspeakable persecution over many centuries are a barrier for
Jews to participate fully in the healing process.

Given this new environment, I appeal to my fellow Jews to drop the “Jesus”-phobia and accept Jesus as a faithful Jew—without having to embrace the claim that He was the Messiah.

To encourage this mindset, I point to the pantheon of false Jewish Messiahs
throughout history, many of whom were destructive to Judaism but are still
revered for their teachings, while Jesus is rejected. (Click to Source)

 

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PREPARED FOR BATTLE

Gary Wilkerson – August 12, 2019

 

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against … the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places … Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:10-12, 18).

In the first five chapters of his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul recognized the wonderful things the Holy Spirit had accomplished and rejoiced at the spiritual growth that had taken place in their lives. In this concluding chapter, he issues a word of caution to them about the opposition coming their way — and their need to be prepared.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul very carefully instructed the Ephesians in spiritual warfare. First, he warned them that the powers of darkness would come against them to rob them of their inheritance — and he repeated the word against several times. It was not if the enemy would come against them, but when and how often and how hard. So, he told them to be strong in the Lord and depend on him because trying to fight in one’s own strength is never sufficient.

In Ephesians 6:14-17, Paul describes the whole armor of God that would fully equip them:

  • The belt of truth
  • The breastplate of righteousness
  • God’s shoes for your feet
  • The shield of faith
  • The helmet of salvation
  • The sword of the Spirit

You need to understand that you are fighting against spiritual forces of evil. You are a citizen of heaven, a Christian who believes in the truth, and will fight for the truth. To live the life of an overcomer, put on “the whole armor of God” and prepare for conflict. Study God’s Word, pray in the Spirit, and you will be able to stand as the victor after the battle, giving all glory to the Most High God.  (Click to Source)

 

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Keith Green – When I Hear the Praises Start (Lyrics)

 
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Beth Yeshua International • August 3, 2019 • WHO IS YESHUA? • Part 4 IS HE GOD IN THE FLESH ?

 
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