KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD

David Wilkerson (1931-2011) August 9, 2019

 

There is a thrilling Old Testament story that best illustrates what it means to be kept by the power of God. We find it in 2 Kings 6.

Benhadad, king of Syria, declared war on Israel and marched against them with a great army. As his forces advanced, he often called his war counsel into his private chambers to plan the next day’s strategy. But the prophet Elisha, moved by the Holy Spirit, kept sending word to the king of Israel, detailing every move of the enemy troops. On several occasions, the Israelites escaped defeat because of Elisha’s warnings.

Benhadad was furious and he called his servants together. “Show me this traitor! Who is revealing our plans to the king of Israel?” “One of his servants said, ‘None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak” (2 Kings 6:12).

Benhadad immediately dispatched forces to capture Elisha. They went to Dothan by night and surrounded the city, intending to take the old prophet by surprise. But Elisha’s servant awakened early and saw that “there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots.” Terrified, he ran to Elisha and asked what they should do. “[Elisha] answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:16-17).

Elisha, like the psalmist, could stand in the midst of crisis and say with absolute assurance, “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around” (Psalm 3:6).

Let your prayer be that of Elisha: “Lord, open my eyes that I may see the mountains filled with horses and chariots of fire — the Lord of hosts!” Beloved, there is hope! The Lord of hosts is with us. He alone is our keeper. He will not let his children slip or fall. We are held in the palm of his hand. Be assured that he is with you to protect, guide, and refresh you in a new way today.

 

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EMPOWERED BY GOD’S PRESENCE

David Wilkerson (1931-2011) – July 26, 2019

 

Scripture provides endless examples of how the presence of the Lord empowers his people to live for him. Take Moses, for example. He was convinced that without God’s presence in his life, it was useless for him to attempt anything. When he spoke face to face with the Lord, he stated boldly, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). He was saying, “Lord, if you’re not with us, we are not going to make it. We will not go a single step without the assurance of your presence.”

God’s presence is what sets us apart from nonbelievers. The Old Testament is filled with accounts of great blessings that came to those who had God’s presence with them. For instance, God’s presence was so evident in Abraham’s life that even the heathen around him recognized the difference between their lives and his. The heathen king Abimelech said, “God is with you in all that you do” (Genesis 21:22).

God promised Joshua that no enemy could stand against him when his presence was with him: “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage” (Joshua 1:5-6). When God’s Spirit is present in your life, you can be a conqueror because you trust his promise to be with you in everything you do.

God shared with Isaiah a special promise he makes to those he loves: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine … I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior … Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 43:1, 3, 5). With God’s presence abiding in you, you can go through any fire and not just survive, but be kept safe and protected through it all. Just as it was with Moses, Abraham and others, you have a powerful testimony of God’s presence in your life today. (Click to Source)

 

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God’s Presence is the Difference

Gary Wilkerson April 22, 2019

 

When we look at Abraham in the Old Testament, we witness a man whose life was so filled with the presence of God that even the heathen around him recognized the difference between their lives and his: “Abimelech … spoke to Abraham, saying, ‘God is with you in all that you do’” (Genesis 21:22). This heathen king was saying, “There is something different about you, Abraham. Surely God is with you wherever you go.”

In another example of the presence of God, an angel told Gideon, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12). And the Lord himself told Gideon, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” (6:14). Gideon considered himself a coward, but God called him a “mighty man of valor.” The Lord wanted to prove what one can do when his presence is with that person — even if the person considers himself to be insignificant.

God makes a special promise to those he loves, as we see in this word to Isaiah: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God. The Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1-3).

What a wonderful promise. When the Lord’s presence abides on you, you can go through the fires of life and not just survive, but you will be kept and protected through it all.

These accounts from the Old Testament are not just dead-letter stories. They are meant to encourage us to trust God for his presence at all times. Like Abraham, Gideon, Isaiah and many others, we have a powerful testimony of what God’s presence has done for us.

I encourage you today to seek the Lord’s presence and allow him to guide your steps, open doors, move obstacles, and lift your cares and fears. (Click to Source)

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

Jesus Never Fails

Gary Wilkerson April 15, 2019

 

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me from the foundation of the world” (John 17:24, my emphasis). Jesus prayed for his disciples — and that includes us. He asked the Father that we may see his glory, meaning that we would know him.

At certain times in the Old Testament, Jesus revealed himself in human or angelic form, with varying results. For instance, Jacob’s hip was broken when he tried wrestling with the Lord. And when Moses said to God, “Please show me Your glory” (Exodus 33:18), the Lord told him, “I have to cover your face and hide you behind a rock, and then you can see only the trailing afterglow of my presence.” In other words, he had to protect Moses from the full revelation of himself.

In the New Testament, when the apostle John heard the Lord’s voice and received the Revelation on the island of Patmos, he fell on his face. The normal response of men and women when they saw Jesus was awe and wonder. I wonder what would happen if we saw him in all his beauty and splendor as Moses or John did.

The truth is, Jesus is beautiful in a sense far deeper than our usual usage of the descriptive word. We remark that someone is lovely or handsome, but Jesus is far more. He is glorious, wonderful, separate, unique, special. He is also tender, kind, precious, full of majesty. He is wondrous, strong, mighty, powerful, wise, outstanding. And he never fails!

Even in his human nature, Jesus remained sovereign, one with God (see Colossians 2:10). Consider some of his beautiful attributes: full of justice (John 8:16); perfectly righteous (John 8:46). And he is love (John 13:34) — a love that is unfathomable.

We are totally undeserving of this love, but that is the beauty of our amazing, incomparable Savior. Give him praise today for his unspeakable sacrifice and gift of salvation. (Click to Source)

 

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

English Bible Versions and Today’s Messianic Movement

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What English Bible version should you use as a contemporary Believer? This is a topic that can not only be rather confusing, but is something that can also evoke some rather strong emotions. Very few English Bible readers, who are committed to a steadfast faith in God, ever stick with one single Bible version or translation to employ in their studies. At the same time, though, it might also be said that various Bible readers can get a bit too comfortable examining a particular version, because they just get too familiar with it, or they are too stuck reading a particular Bible with their personal notes in it, or they get too acclimated to a particular version for some other sentimental reason.

Given both the changing dynamics and components of modern English speech, as well as the immense publishing venue of English Bible translation, we cannot hope to probe all of the pros and cons of various contemporary English versions. We can, though, have a much better idea about the kind of English versions we should be employing, and most especially what to do when we encounter various verses or passages of importance.

Today’s Messianic people are widely astute and aware of how each English Bible version, whether it be Jewish or Christian, is going to have some kind of translation bias to it. Jewish versions of the Tanach in English are not likely to translate various Messianic passages in support of the Messiahship of Yeshua of Nazareth, whereas Christian versions will. Various Christian versions of the Apostolic Scriptures, or New Testament, will not typically translate various passages about the Torah or Law of Moses in favor of its continued validity in the post-resurrection era. Yet, both Jewish and Christian Bible versions are used and employed by the broad Messianic movement. And, the Messianic movement itself has produced several Bible versions of its own which are employed within its ranks. Today’s Messianic versions tend to widely uphold the Messiahship of Yeshua and the validity of the Torah, but may have other limitations.

This article will attempt to explore some of the key details which today’s Messianic people need to be aware of when they encounter various English Bible versions. We will be reviewing some of the contemporary Jewish and Christian versions which are used in sectors of the Messianic movement. Also important will be a review of some Messianic Bible versions, particularly of the Apostolic Scriptures, which tend to be encountered. (Click to Source)

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How America Just Built an Altar for Satanic Worship

By David Hoffman

offer-up-child-on-altar-of-baal-molech-2-color-300x180

Things are shifting in America before our eyes. The state of New York recently passed a bill legalizing abortion right up the moment of birth. The name of the bill was the Reproductive Health Act. It had previously been blocked for years when Republicans controlled the State Senate in New York. Because the Democrats recently took both houses in the New York legislature, it was quickly passed. The Senate passed it 38-24. In the Assembly, it passed by a 92-47 margin. Gov. Cuomo quickly signed into law Tuesday night.

This is an ominous sign concerning the direction of abortion in our country. This bill could play a role in opening the floodgates in the future, as inevitably, other states begin to follow New York’s lead. We cannot take the passing of this bill lightly. Some people may argue that the pro-life movement is stronger than ever, however, just days ago an Iowa judge struck down a state law banning a woman from obtaining an abortion once a fetus’ heartbeat is detected, saying it violated the state’s constitution. There is still a very strong, vocal and bold resistance to the pro-life movement. We must remember that the legalization of gay marriage began with one state which then led to other states adopting similar laws. We have no future guarantee that the same trend will not occur regarding abortion laws in our nation.

As Christians, we have an obligation to stand in the gap for the helpless, and the most helpless lives are the lives of the unborn. Abortion is not just a societal issue. It is not just a cultural issue. Abortion is a moral issue, and all moral issues, at the end of the day, are actually spiritual issues.

When we look at abortion purely from a spiritual lens, abortion is satanic worship. There is truly no way around this reality, and in the following paragraphs, I will explain why this is so.

If we as believers are to be in the truth and in the light, we have to acknowledge abortion for what it really is: the shedding of innocent blood.

The shedding of innocent blood is a clear violation of the fourth commandment, which states in Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.” Proverbs 6:17b also says God hates “hands that shed innocent blood.” The right to life is the most valuable right that has been given to any human being by the Creator. This is why from the beginning of human history, the devil has sought to twist people’s hearts and to tempt them to murder. Murder is always inspired by Satan, whether it be in the womb or outside of it. The shedding of innocent blood is a form of satanic worship. It honors Satan. It never honors God.

Many pagan cultures throughout history had child sacrifice as part of worship to their gods. They would sacrifice children to idols in the hope that it would bring favor, blessing and a better life. The modern abortion industry, at its heart, is no different from the child-sacrifice rituals of the ancient world and pagan cultures. The only difference is that in ancient times they didn’t sacrifice children while they were still in their mother’s womb.

In 2004, the Guttmacher Institute anonymously surveyed 1,209 post-abortive women from nine different abortion clinics across the country. Of the women surveyed, 957 provided a main reason for having an abortion. 92.5 percent of those survey gave purely selfish reasons for why they decided to have an abortion. That means that 92.5 percent of these children were sacrificed in the hope that it would result in a better life for the mother.

We as believers cannot allow culture and the mainstream media to define abortion in our minds. Abortion truly is not an issue of reproductive rights or women’s health. An extremely small percentage of abortions are performed to save the life of the mother. Half of one percent of abortions are done because of rape or incest.The majority of abortions occur because it is the most convenient option for a woman who does not want deal with the consequences of having a child.

The Old Testament deals with this topic of child sacrifice. In biblical times, one of the gods mentioned throughout the Old Testament was Molech. This was a god of the Canaanites and Ammonites. One of the primary ways ancient cultures showed worship to this god was to sacrifice children to it. They would place the children in the idol’s metal hands, which had been heated up to the point that they were red and smoldering hot, or they would just throw the children into the fire pit below the idol.

God judged Israel harshly for participating in this satanic ritual. Jeremiah 32:35-36 says that Israel offered up its sons and daughters to Molech and that God would judge and lead the nation into captivity for doing so. There are other instances where God warns Israel about participating in this practice. It is not a one-time occurrence.

Psalm 106 says, “They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. They defiled themselves by what they did.”

Instead of sacrificing children on an altar to Molech, today, children are sacrificed on the altar to “self.”Therefore, there truly is no way around calling abortion what it really is. It is satanic worship. Satanic worship, in essence, is the love of self above all others. This is what abortion is. Abortion is the love of self above the love of the child that has been conceived. It is an abomination in God’s eyes.

This struggle against the abortion industry will be a long-haul in our nation. This struggle does not look as though it will end soon. We as believers must stand up against abortion and stand for the lives of the unborn. We must always speak unashamedly concerning the issue while conducting ourselves lovingly with those on the other side.

We cannot back down on this issue. We must stand steadfastly for the lives of the unborn. We cannot afford to be on the wrong side of history concerning this issue. Abortion is a moral issue. It is a spiritual issue. As believers, we must understand that there is a real spiritual battle for the lives of the unborn, the lives of the mothers aborting them, and for the future laws of our nation. Our voices matter. Our votes matter.

Ultimately, abortion also hurts the mother who aborts her child. Jesus Christ offers grace and forgiveness to whoever comes to Him in humility and repentance, no matter how big the mistake.

So, as we stand boldly, uncompromisingly, and with the full conviction of truth and righteousness on our side, let us also stand in grace and love as we minister to those who are considering abortion or have already had one.

May we not give up. May we not be discouraged. May we not water down the truth about abortion. And may we one day see an end to abortion in the United States, by the grace of God. (Click to Source)

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How America Just Built an Altar for Satanic Worship

DAVID HOFFMAN

reuters-one-world-trade-center

The One World Trade Center, pictured above, was lit up pink after New York passed a horrific abortion bill. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

Things are shifting in America before our eyes. The state of New York recently passed a bill legalizing abortion right up the moment of birth. The name of the bill was the Reproductive Health Act. It had previously been blocked for years when Republicans controlled the State Senate in New York. Because the Democrats recently took both houses in the New York legislature, it was quickly passed. The Senate passed it 38-24. In the Assembly, it passed by a 92-47 margin. Gov. Cuomo quickly signed into law Tuesday night.

This is an ominous sign concerning the direction of abortion in our country. This bill could play a role in opening the floodgates in the future, as inevitably, other states begin to follow New York’s lead. We cannot take the passing of this bill lightly. Some people may argue that the pro-life movement is stronger than ever, however, just days ago an Iowa judge struck down a state law banning a woman from obtaining an abortion once a fetus’ heartbeat is detected, saying it violated the state’s constitution. There is still a very strong, vocal and bold resistance to the pro-life movement. We must remember that the legalization of gay marriage began with one state which then led to other states adopting similar laws. We have no future guarantee that the same trend will not occur regarding abortion laws in our nation.

As Christians, we have an obligation to stand in the gap for the helpless, and the most helpless lives are the lives of the unborn. Abortion is not just a societal issue. It is not just a cultural issue. Abortion is a moral issue, and all moral issues, at the end of the day, are actually spiritual issues.

When we look at abortion purely from a spiritual lens, abortion is satanic worship. There is truly no way around this reality, and in the following paragraphs, I will explain why this is so.

If we as believers are to be in the truth and in the light, we have to acknowledge abortion for what it really is: the shedding of innocent blood.

The shedding of innocent blood is a clear violation of the fourth commandment, which states in Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.” Proverbs 6:17b also says God hates “hands that shed innocent blood.” The right to life is the most valuable right that has been given to any human being by the Creator. This is why from the beginning of human history, the devil has sought to twist people’s hearts and to tempt them to murder. Murder is always inspired by Satan, whether it be in the womb or outside of it. The shedding of innocent blood is a form of satanic worship. It honors Satan. It never honors God.

Many pagan cultures throughout history had child sacrifice as part of worship to their gods. They would sacrifice children to idols in the hope that it would bring favor, blessing and a better life. The modern abortion industry, at its heart, is no different from the child-sacrifice rituals of the ancient world and pagan cultures. The only difference is that in ancient times they didn’t sacrifice children while they were still in their mother’s womb.

In 2004, the Guttmacher Institute anonymously surveyed 1,209 post-abortive women from nine different abortion clinics across the country. Of the women surveyed, 957 provided a main reason for having an abortion. 92.5 percent of those survey gave purely selfish reasons for why they decided to have an abortion. That means that 92.5 percent of these children were sacrificed in the hope that it would result in a better life for the mother.

We as believers cannot allow culture and the mainstream media to define abortion in our minds. Abortion truly is not an issue of reproductive rights or women’s health. An extremely small percentage of abortions are performed to save the life of the mother. Half of one percent of abortions are done because of rape or incest. The majority of abortions occur because it is the most convenient option for a woman who does not want deal with the consequences of having a child.

The Old Testament deals with this topic of child sacrifice. In biblical times, one of the gods mentioned throughout the Old Testament was Molech. This was a god of the Canaanites and Ammonites. One of the primary ways ancient cultures showed worship to this god was to sacrifice children to it. They would place the children in the idol’s metal hands, which had been heated up to the point that they were red and smoldering hot, or they would just throw the children into the fire pit below the idol.

God judged Israel harshly for participating in this satanic ritual. Jeremiah 32:35-36 says that Israel offered up its sons and daughters to Molech and that God would judge and lead the nation into captivity for doing so. There are other instances where God warns Israel about participating in this practice. It is not a one-time occurrence.

Psalm 106 says, “They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. They defiled themselves by what they did.”

Instead of sacrificing children on an altar to Molech, today, children are sacrificed on the altar to “self.” Therefore, there truly is no way around calling abortion what it really is. It is satanic worship. Satanic worship, in essence, is the love of self above all others. This is what abortion is. Abortion is the love of self above the love of the child that has been conceived. It is an abomination in God’s eyes.

This struggle against the abortion industry will be a long-haul in our nation. This struggle does not look as though it will end soon. We as believers must stand up against abortion and stand for the lives of the unborn. We must always speak unashamedly concerning the issue while conducting ourselves lovingly with those on the other side.

We cannot back down on this issue. We must stand steadfastly for the lives of the unborn. We cannot afford to be on the wrong side of history concerning this issue. Abortion is a moral issue. It is a spiritual issue. As believers, we must understand that there is a real spiritual battle for the lives of the unborn, the lives of the mothers aborting them, and for the future laws of our nation. Our voices matter. Our votes matter.

Ultimately, abortion also hurts the mother who aborts her child. Jesus Christ offers grace and forgiveness to whoever comes to Him in humility and repentance, no matter how big the mistake. So, as we stand boldly, uncompromisingly, and with the full conviction of truth and righteousness on our side, let us also stand in grace and love as we minister to those who are considering abortion or have already had one.

May we not give up. May we not be discouraged. May we not water down the truth about abortion. And may we one day see an end to abortion in the United States, by the grace of God. (Click to Source)

 

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A Response to Andy Stanley’s ‘Irresistible’ Replacement Theology

BY 

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Anyone who lives on the north side of Atlanta, like I do, and is connected to the body of Messiah has likely been impacted in some way by the ministry of North Point Community Church and Pastor Andy Stanley.

Pastor Andy founded North Point in 1995, and it has developed into the second-largest church in the United States (according to Outreach magazine). Each week 38,000 people gather at six campuses to attend North Point services. Online North Point has a massive impact globally. Many thousands download Pastor Andy’s sermons and watch his TV show. His books and conferences are popular as well. He is unquestionably one of the most influential Christian leaders in the world today.

I have lived in Atlanta since the late 1990s. I have engaged with Andy Stanley’s church and ministry on various levels. While not agreeing with all that I have heard from Pastor Andy through the years, my opinion of him and North Point has been generally positive. The church has been innovative and caring (and sometimes controversial) in how it has tried to get people to turn back to God, Jesus, the Bible, and church.

Through the years I have conversed with many people in North Atlanta who have been deeply blessed by Pastor Andy’s leadership and the ministry of North Point. Many of them have told me how they had given up on the church but that their time at North Point revived their interest and connection to God. I have also witnessed the great generosity of North Point. Therefore, despite my criticism of Pastor Andy’s new book that I am about to communicate, I felt that it was important to give some relevant history and personal perspective regarding the positives I have witnessed and experienced from Pastor Andy and North Point Church.

In 2018, Pastor Andy preached a sermon series called Reclaiming Irresistible. This series generated a significant response across the body of Messiah. Various Messianic Jews and Gentiles expressed their ire when Pastor Andy communicated that he thought Christians needed to “unhitch” the Old Testament from their faith.

I have several relationships with high-level staff at North Point. I expressed my own concern to them about this statement and other comments that Pastor Andy had made in this series regarding the relationship Christians should have to the Old Testament. In the course of these exchanges, they told me that Pastor Andy would be releasing a new book that would further elucidate his viewpoints. This fall the book Irresistible was released. The subtitle is Reclaiming the New That Jesus Unleashed for the World. As soon as the book was available, I read through it. Sadly, after reading it, my concerns that had been raised during Pastor Andy’s sermon series were not only confirmed but significantly increased.

Pastor Andy conveyed three major problems in Irresistible:

1. Pastor Andy advises that we create a disjunction between the Old and New Testaments (which he mostly uses as synonymous with old and new covenants).

On page 245, Pastor Stanley says, “To love the way Jesus called us to love requires a complete break with the inspired but retired, beautiful but obsolete, old covenant. As long as we continue mixing old with new, we will never be free to love as we have been called to love. Until we dispense with the old and embrace the new, our love will be leverage. And love that is leverage is no love at all.” On page 208, Pastor Stanley says, “When Paul writes, ‘But whatever were gains to me,’ he’s referring to old covenant accomplishments and pursuits. His whatever bucket was categorized and organized around the Jewish Scriptures. Our Old Testament. Paul dismisses the primary relevance of the Scriptures he grew up with.” But throughout his letters, Paul quotes the Tanach that he grew up with as a relevant and primary source of standards for holy living for his emerging communities of disciples. This viewpoint from Pastor Stanley is simply not defensible.

2. Pastor Andy advocates for a strong and clear version of replacement theology.

In my dialogue with a friend who serves on staff at North Point, he told me that Pastor Andy does not believe in replacement theology (the belief that the church has replaced Israel) and that his new book would make that clear. The book did make Pastor Andy’s viewpoint regarding replacement theology clear; unfortunately, what Pastor Andy spelled out was that he indeed believes that God’s covenants with Israel are finished. On page 65 of Irresistible, Pastor Andy says, “This [Israel] was his nation. The nation God had raised up from one man for one purpose — to bless the world. But that chapter was drawing to a close [in Jesus’ day]. God’s covenant with the nation had served its purpose. It was no longer needed … Ancient Israel was a means to an end. The end had come. The new was just beginning.” I respect Andy’s honesty and explicitness. However, this viewpoint is clearly supersessionist (a more theological term than “replacement theology” that refers to the church “superseding” Israel). Many biblical texts speak of God’s continued covenant with Israel.

3. Pastor Andy’s anti-Judaism perspectives can lead to anti-Semitism.

On page 146, Pastor Stanley says, “[Paul] knew the legalism, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and exclusivity that characterized ancient Judaism would eventually seep into and erode the beauty, simplicity, and appeal of the ekklesia of Jesus.” I don’t think Andy Stanley is an anti-Semite. But this kind of rhetoric, which speaks of Judaism as something that has been replaced and that is characterized as “self-righteous” and “eroding” the ekklesia can and has led to common negative Christian stereotypes of both Judaism and Jews. Too often throughout history, such stereotypes and characterizations have led the way toward hostile, violent, and destructive actions toward the Jewish community by the hands of Christians. Pastor Stanley’s words are dangerous.

Again, despite my respect for Pastor Andy in other areas, I found Irresistible to express a deeply flawed viewpoint. I am an avid reader. However, I cannot remember reading a book in which I found so much with which to disagree. Sadly, the reality is that what Pastor Andy expressed is what many Christians believe but cannot articulate with the same clarity and boldness.

Those of us who are supportive of a Messianic Jewish viewpoint could respond to Pastor Andy’s book by dismissing it as irrelevant to our world. But I don’t think we can do that. Pastor Andy’s impact and reach are too significant to treat as unworthy of serious consideration and sufficient response. Since we are Christians and Messianics who stand against supersessionism and replacement theology, it is important that we be aware of what Pastor Andy is disseminating. More importantly, we need to be prepared to respond graciously and clearly with an answer that points out the errors and dangers of all forms of replacement theology—especially a kind that is as bold, forthright, and erroneous as Pastor Andy’s. May HaShem help each of us to be ready for such conversations if given the opportunity. (Click to Source)

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Why Messianic Judaism Isn’t Anti-Semitism

COMMENTARY – By Myra Adams
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While Americans are collectively grieving over last weekend’s horrific mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, a related controversy involving Vice President Mike Pence is sparking headlines and national condemnation in the media.

Monday night, at a political rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., Pence invited Rabbi Loren Jacobs to offer a prayer for the 11 worshipers who were gunned down by a Jew-hating madman. Jacobs began his prayer by saying, “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, God and father of my Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, and my God and father, too.” Continuing, Jacobs asked, “Lord, please work so that instead of division in our nation there is unity and peace.”

Unfortunately, instead of unity and peace, Jacobs’ prayer ignited a firestorm in the Jewish community since he is not a traditional rabbi but a “Messianic rabbi” – one who believes that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah.

It is unclear whether the vice president initially knew that about Rabbi Jacobs. If so, inviting him to the stage was tone-deaf considering the raw emotion of this national Jewish tragedy. Either way, Pence’s actions have cast a negative light on Messianic Judaism, and for this writer — a Jew who also believes that Jesus is the Messiah — it is all very personal.

Although I found much of the media coverage about Messianic Jews riddled with mischaracterizations, exaggerations, and inaccuracies, I resigned myself to letting the storm pass. However, late Tuesday night I read an article in The Hill that embedded a tweet from Steven I. Weiss asserting flatly, “‘Messianic Judaism’ is antisemitism.”

Such incendiary descriptions are nothing new. In over four decades since I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I have experienced various degrees of hostility and insults from my own Jewish family and fellow Jews.

Although every Messianic Jew can attest to similar treatment, we all have unique and fascinating conversion stories. Here are some highlights from mine — shared in the hope that traditional Jews who have read this far will open their hearts and minds and reject the absurd and offensive claim that “Messianic Judaism is anti-Semitism.”

First, let’s begin with some Bible-based facts. Jesus was born and raised a Jew. He preached from the Jewish Bible (Old Testament) and worshiped in the temple. After his crucifixion, he was prepared for burial according to Jewish customs. The major theological differences between Judaism and Messianic Judaism (along with all Christian sects) are the beliefs that Jesus was the promised Christ — that He was resurrected from the dead, is Messiah, Lord, and Savior, and will return someday.

How did I come to believe this? Born and raised Jewish in the Boston suburb of Needham with the last name of Kahn, my parents were culturally Jewish, but religious practice was virtually non-existent in my home.

Growing up I knew only two basic religious facts: I was Jewish, and Jews did not believe in Jesus. I was without faith, but during my sophomore year in college at Ohio State University, Jesus came to me. He pulled me to Him as if He had inserted a ring through my nose. Doubt and resistance were never options nor contemplated. Without ever seeing or hearing Him speak, I instinctively knew that this powerful force was Jesus. I had no choice but to follow Him even though I knew absolutely nothing about Him.

Over the years I have often been asked about my conversion. After describing the “ring through the nose,” I always add, “I had faith before I had knowledge.” Even after 43 years as a Jewish Christian, my quest for Biblical knowledge continues, but I call myself a “completed Jew.” This term is popular among Jewish believers and stems from the notion that the Old Testament prophesies and teachings are “completed” or fulfilled by Jesus and the New Testament.

With my background established, here is why I believe that it is highly offensive for Messianic Jews to be called anti-Semitic — defined as producing hostility, prejudice, and discrimination against Jews.

First, such acts and behaviors toward Jews are evil, sinful and contrary to Jesus’ teachings in Mark (12:29-31) when he quotes from Torah’s book of Leviticus (19:17-18) and declares, “Thou shalt love your neighbor as yourself” is the second greatest commandment. Therefore, Jews who follow Jesus would not knowingly engage in behavior toward traditional Jews that is anti-Semitic — by definition.

Second, Jews believing that Jesus Christ was who He said He was, i.e., the Messiah, does not make us “anti-Jewish.” On the contrary, besides being “completed” in our faith as previously discussed, believing that Jesus is the Messiah makes us proud and privileged to be Jewish disciples of the greatest Jew who ever walked the planet. We also benefit knowing that His Spirit dwells within us. Messianic Jews can’t possibly be anti-Jewish since we follow a Jew who positively impacted and changed the course of human history, and still changes lives every day.

Meanwhile, Jewish believers in Christ, as do all Christians, fully acknowledge that over the centuries mankind has committed evil acts while evoking the name of Jesus — acts that Jesus Himself would never approve of and from which He must be disassociated.

Finally, some loving advice to my Jewish brothers and sisters: learn about the Jewishness of Jesus. Read about His life and teachings in the New Testament without fear of “conversion.” Familiarize yourself with numerous, fascinating Old Testament Messianic prophesies that foretold His birth, life, and death centuries before He was born.

In addition, specifically educate yourself about why the great majority of Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah as opposed to the standard “Jews don’t believe in Jesus,” period.

Throughout my life, I have met many Jews who were unaware that Jesus was Jewish or who thought that He was an enemy of the Jews. Such ignorance only fosters hate and division, resulting in more Jews who believe that “Messianic Judaism is anti-Semitism.”

Most important, learn why “Jesus is love,” because the world could sure use more of that right now. (Click to Source)

Myra Adams is a media producer and writer who served on the McCain Ad Council during the GOP nominee’s 2008 campaign and on the 2004 Bush campaign creative team.

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Mega-Church Pastor: The Ten Commandments No Longer Applicable, Un-hitch From the Old Testament

By Nate Brown — @natebro21 —  See Comments

Region: Georgia Published: September 28, 2018  Updated: September 28, 2018 at 7:32 am EST
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Andy Stanley, the Mega-Church pastor, located in the suburbs of Atlanta is now claiming that the Ten Commandments are no longer applicable months after previously stating that Christians need to unhitch themselves from the Old Testament.

According to the Pastor, Jesus rendered the Ten Commandments null and void, because He issues a one new law “as a replacement for everything.”

“You’ve heard the story before: A group of Christians puts up a monument of the Ten Commandments in a public space or on government property,” begins Stanley in his article titled, “Why do Christians want to post the Ten Commandments and not the Sermon on the Mount?” “Someone says it violates the separation of church and state. The Christians say taking it down would violate their freedom of speech. There’s some back and forth in court and both sides say some not-so-great things about the other. Rinse and repeat. But how many times have you seen Christians trying to post the text of the sermon on the mount in a public place? Or the all-encompassing commandment Jesus gave us? ‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another — John 13:34 The one commandment! Doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? But if we’re going to create a monument to stand as a testament to our faith, shouldn’t it at least be a monument of something that actually applies to us?”

Stanley then continues that the Ten Commandments are from the ‘Old Covenant,’ which he says; “played a significant role in God’s creation of the nation of Israel. It gave them moral guidelines and helped separate this new nation from their neighbors. This was part of the formal agreement (or covenant) God created with his people, but Jesus’ death and resurrection signaled the end of that covenant and all the rules and regulations associated with it. Jesus didn’t issue his new command as an additional commandment to the existing list of commands. He didn’t say, ‘Here’s the 614th law.’ Jesus issued his new commandment as a replacement for everything in the existing list. Including the big ten. Just as his new covenant replaced the old covenant, Jesus’ new commandment replaced all the old commandments.”

Stanley’s comments directly contradict what Scripture says; In Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus says: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Stanley is teaching his 34,000 member congregation replacement theology. Also, Stanley is teaching his congregation to discard three-quarters of the Bible and only to interpret what’s left.

Furthermore, after Stanley’s stunning commentary he then concludes; “While Jesus was foreshadowed in the old covenant, he did not come to extend it. He came to fulfill it, put a bow on it, and establish something entirely new. The “new” Jesus unleashed made the faith of first-century believers formidable. Their apologetic was irrefutable. Their courage, unquestionable. And the results were remarkable. Dear Christian reader: Why? Why? Why would we even be tempted to reach back beyond the cross to borrow from a covenant that was temporary and inferior to the covenant established for us at Calvary?”

Stanley’s new book, which is available on Amazon, called ‘Irresistible,’ is currently ranked at Amazon as one of the most popular books in the “Church Leadership” category.

The theology presented by the Mega-Church Pastor is precisely what Jesus warned believers about in Matthew 24:5 “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Click to Source)

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