THIS IS WAR

We spend so much time focusing on ourselves and our shortcomings and wallowing in our self-doubt that we effectively remove ourselves from the fight.  That is exactly what the enemy wants.  Once you realize that Christ has completely eliminated the penalty for your sin

then you are freed and empowered to help others.  Those stuck in works-righteousness can never see the forest for the trees because they still don’t understand that the Gospel has decisively solved the sin problem.  We are free.  And now that we are free we can engage in the broader war and help our brothers and sisters in this bloody fight while we try to snatch more from the fire.

The Scenario

1. The world has collectively chosen to reject God and His rightful rule.

2. The world is presently controlled by the devil and his servants.

3. Those who have rejected God are suppressing the truth and bringing the whole world to annihilation.

4. Mankind is in a spiritual, zombie-like state and headed towards destruction because of sin.

5. When we were completely hopeless and powerless God made the first move by springing a trap that caused the penalty of mankind’s sin to fall on Himself (Acts 20:28) thus setting free those who were enslaved to the devil.  From an individual perspective, men and women break free from the devil’s invisible spiritual prison once they accept Jesus’ atoning sacrifice and believe in Christ.

6. Mankind is closer than ever to complete physical and spiritual self-destruction and Jesus is returning very soon to put a decisive end to man’s self-rule and the devil’s tyrannical reign, yet He won’t do it until the Church is complete and the Body of Christ is joined to the Head

For this reason we have a very short intervening time to win a more decisive victory over the enemy and to rescue a few more off the battlefield.

The Objectives

1. Hold faithfully to the truth of the Gospel

until we are removed from the battlefield by physical death or the trumpet of God.  That means rejecting all forms of heresy that are creeping into the Church, which twist the Gospel.  Some heresies stem from infiltrators who push liberalized doctrines like universalism, moral deism, New Age syncretism, and the like.  Equally deadly heresies come from those who purport to be the most faithful and religious – those who to their own doom claim that the Cross was not enough (Gal. 5:4).  These modern Pharisees push works-righteousness, a standard that they themselves never meet.  No two Pharisees ever agree on what the list of requirements is, but they demand that you meet their list.  Woe to them!

2. Snatch as many from the fire as possible before the fight is over.  The time we have left to fight is exceedingly short.  This means finding meaningful ways to share your faith and testimony.  Evangelism is often intimidating, but always easier than it seems.  The intimidation is an incessant satanic illusion.  Evangelism is easy.  If in person, just ask a question… “do you have a faith?”  People love questions and will usually open up.  That gives you an instant, non-awkward “in”.  There are even easier ways to evangelize: 1. Write letters to prisoners.  They are a captive audience and love to receive mail.  2. Share Christian and Gospel material on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc.  All it takes is a click or two and you don’t even have to face anyone directly if you tend toward timidity.  3. Start a website or blog and share your faith.  If God has given you more courage then be winsomely vocal.  Hand out tracts.  Give out Bibles.  Find some way to share publicly.  Give big tips to your servers and write “God loves you… John 3:16“.  Strike up conversations.  Let’s go!

3. Hold down your own fort.  That means to do everything in your God-given power to teach your own children and family the truth of God and His Word.  Make faith a normal subject of discussion.  In a family that doesn’t often discuss spiritual things, talking about God can be awkward, but push through.  It might take time, but the goal should be to get to a place where your spouse and children feel loved and comfortable with making God a normal part of discourse.  If you want your family to live out their faith and stay faithful then you can’t relegate Christianity to Sunday at 10:00 AM.  It should be a normal part of life.  Endure all hardships and beatings with grace.  Be kind, forgiving, and authentic with your children and spouse.  Pray for them daily.

4. Fight the political battles, too.  Most people perceive silence as acquiescence, and Christians have become woefully silent.  Political power is often given to the most active and vocal.  We have to speak out on the issues and present a biblical worldview.  Don’t be silent on current events because God has given you so much to say.  Just remember to be kind and winsome – you’re not trying to win an argument, you’re trying to lovingly persuade and plant seeds.  Everyone is yelling, but let’s be those who stand on the side kindly saying, “look, there’s a better way.”  Try to find ways to be physically active in the fight, too.  Hardly a day goes by without a mass prayer, walk for life, or local mission opportunity.  Search on Google or Facebook for local groups and opportunities and participate.

The Obstacles

1. The Church appears to be overwhelmingly outnumbered on this earthly battlefield and this causes many to lose heart, give in, or give up.  Yet this obstacle is only an illusion, because the truth is that more are with us than are with the enemy (2 Kings 6:16-17, Matt. 26:53, Rev. 12:7-9).  When we choose to fight and engage in the battle we usually win, but we have to fight.

2. The devil has infiltrated our ranks with his own.  They often claim to follow Christ, but they try to steer you away from the Gospel in one way or the other.  Realize that they are usually just confused and ignorant and have simply never known Christ.  They don’t understand the message of the Gospel, which proclaims Christ is the only way and simultaneously that our sin is completely, 100% atoned for.  Whether the ultra-conservative Pharisees or the liberal Sadducees

, if you listen to them they will steal your faith or at the very least, cause you to become unproductive in the fight.

3. Self-doubt.  We’ve been forgiven, freed, and promised eternal life, but so often we remain in our chains, fretting over our past regrets and the seemingly impossible obstacles ahead.  Yet so often the obstacles are purely illusions and the ones that do exist God will trample over if you just step forward in faith.  Regarding your sin and your past, just remember that the darkness is dark.  If you spend all of your time focusing on the darkness then your life will be darkness.  Acknowledge that you are a wretched sinner in need of the Great Savior, but then put the darkness behind you and march forward.  Fix and amend what you can, but accept that Christ’s blood covers you completely and meets your every moral need and then enter the battle so you can help others.

We need not compare ourselves to those we perceive to be more successful in the spiritual fight – the Luthers, Spurgeons, and Grahams.  God gave each of them the opportunities, abilities, and courage to achieve what they achieved and the truth of the matter is that it wasn’t them achieving anything, but the God who they allowed to dwell inside them.  For every Luther or Graham there is a less famous Believer, unknown in the annals of history, who was faithful with what God gave them and because of their faithfulness the Luthers and Grahams came to know the Lord.  They may not be famous on earth, but they are very famous in Heaven.

Some are called to be Pauls who seem to reap a great harvest on earth and others are called to be Stephens who seem unsuccessful in the world’s eyes, but in a single moment of faithfulness achieve a spiritual harvest of equal worth that isn’t revealed until the story further unfolds.  Yet we are all called to fight faithfully, courageously, and with unrelenting fervor.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

– Ephesians 6:12

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

– John 14:12

Allow me the liberty to apply Winston Churchill’s most famous speech to the Church:
I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend the Gospel, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.  At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do.  That is the resolve of Our Lord’s Government-every man of His.  That is the will of Christ and Heaven.  The Church and the Host of Heaven, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their heavenly land, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.  Even though large tracts of earth and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of Beelzebub and all the odious apparatus of satanic rule, we shall not flag or fail.  We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in our homes, we shall fight on the streets and in our schools, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength against the prince of the air, we shall defend the Gospel, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the culture, we shall fight in our churches, we shall fight on land and at sea, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, the Church or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our brotherhood beyond the seas, armed and guarded by divine power, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, Heaven’s armies, with all their power and might, step forth to the rescue and the liberation of us all.

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Rapture and Pre-tribulation Rapture Made Simple!

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The Rapture: What is it? 

It is Jesus coming to claim His bride, the church, and bring her back to His place in heaven.  Why does He do that?  Because we are in a period of time called the church age or the age of Grace.  It initially began with the resurrection of Christ, but “officially” began at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out and indwelt all believers. From that day until now, all believers are born again with the Holy Spirit residing in them during this church age, which has a beginning at Pentecost and an end when Jesus comes for His bride and takes her back to heaven to be with Him.

Why is the church referred to as the bride of Christ? 

A marriage relationship is the strongest, most intimate relationship God has set up.  It is when two become one, and it means this in a much stronger context than simply physical union.  We often say our spouse is our “soul” partner.  We are “two become one” soul partners.  Jesus says in John 14:20 that “I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

That is Divine God being “two become one” through our bride and marriage relationship with God. This is the most intimate relationship God provides.  Not even the angels have this type of relationship with God.  AND since the church is called the bride of Christ, it is important to examine the Jewish betrothal customs to see how this betrothal relationship unfolds.

When a Jewish bridegroom proposes to his perspective bride, he offers her a cup of wine.  If she drinks from the cup, she has accepted his proposal.  Next, the bridegroom goes away to prepare a place for them to live, sometimes back to his father’s house.  When he is through preparing a place for He and his bride to live, he comes back for her.  She has been waiting, not knowing when he will come back.  When he comes back, there is a shout and a blowing of a trumpet or shofar. He gets his bride and takes her back to his place for a wedding and a wedding feast, which lasts seven days.

How does this line up with the church? 

Jesus’ proposal to the church occurred at the last supper, when He had wine with His disciples, and told them He would not drink from the wine cup again until they were in His Father’s house.  He then went away to prepare a place for He and His bride to live – in heaven.  In John 14:2-3 He says, “In my Father’s house are many rooms.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

We, the bride of Christ, are still waiting for Him to return to take us back to His place in heaven.  In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 it says, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” THAT is the rapture, and THAT is when Christ comes to take us back to His place in heaven.

The wedding feast lasts for a week, but in this case it will be for a week of years; and we shall see why in a moment.  Jesus “promised” that He has prepared a place for us and that He will come and get us at some point. The rapture is the fulfillment of that promise.

Is the rapture the same thing as the Second Coming of Jesus?  

No.  What happens at the rapture is that Jesus comes back in the “air” ONLY for His bride, the church, to take her back to heaven for the wedding feast.  It is immediately following the wedding feast at the end of the week-long feast of years in Revelation 19 that Jesus returns to Earth “with His bride, the church;” and THAT is His Second Coming.  Matthew 24 says that every eye shall see Him as He comes back to judge the surviving wicked, and to rule over planet Earth.

He will rule from Jerusalem during a period of 1,000 years called the millennial reign of Christ. It will be an unprecedented time in history. His church, who are now immortal beings, will physically and visibly be reigning on Earth with Jesus.  Human beings will co-exist alongside visible immortal beings.  Only believers who survive the seven-year tribulation will be allowed to enter into the 1,000-year millennial reign of Christ.

What happens between the rapture and the Second Coming of Christ? 

It is important to remember that God “still” has a covenant with the Jewish people, in which He told them that there is a time coming when they will receive their long-awaited Messiah. And they, Israel, will be the “predominant” nation on earth and will be held in high esteem.  This covenant is spelled out in Daniel chapter 9 in what is called the 70 weeks of Daniel prophecy.  This, too, is 70 weeks of years, which begins when the Jews in Israel, who have been in  Babylonian captivity, are allowed to return and rebuild Jerusalem.  And it says from that time until after 69 weeks or 483 years, the Messiah will be cut off or killed.  That lines up in time with Jesus being crucified. The 490-year time-period “clock” of years stops due to the crucifixion of Christ, leaving a period of one week of years, the 70th week still remaining.

This 69 weeks of years is a covenant God has with Israel and does not include the church.  The church never spent one day inside that first 69 weeks of years.  The 69 weeks stopped when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the donkey, and was rejected and crucified.  Up until the church age, God used the nation of Israel to bring about revelation of Himself to the rest of the world through His word, written by Jewish authors, and through the Jewish people, since Jesus is from the linage of David – in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

Following the crucifixion of Jesus, God turned from Israel to the “church” to bring about revelation of Himself to the world, and that is where we still are today.  One of the main reasons for the rapture is for the Lord to bring the church home so that God can now turn back to Israel and restart the 70 weeks clock again. This is in order to fulfill His promise to the Jewish people, to bring them their Messiah and fulfill His other promises to them.  This last 70th week of seven years is also called the seven-year tribulation period, in which God pours out His wrath on Earth and sees to it that Israel will “finally” recognize Jesus as their Messiah (Zechariah 12). They will call on Jesus to save them when they are surrounded by all nations, who want to destroy them at the battle of Armageddon. THIS is when Jesus returns at His Second Coming.  He comes back to save Israel and to set up His reign on Earth for the 1,000 years.

Since the church did not spend even one day inside the first 69 weeks of God’s covenant with Israel, there is no reason to think it will spend even one day inside the 70th week, which is the seven-year tribulation period.  This also shows why it is necessary that the rapture will be a “pretribulation rapture” versus a mid-trib or post-trib rapture.

What other evidence is there that the rapture will be pretribulation? 

There are many, many people who have differing views as to whether the rapture will occur before the seven-year tribulation, during the middle of it, at the end of it, or somewhere in between.  Let’s see what the Bible has to say.

Since the seven-year tribulation period is described in great detail in the book of Revelation, let’s begin there.  As the book of Genesis tells us how everything began, Revelation tells us how everything ends.  In the first three chapters, the church is mentioned around 27 times.  There is symbolism in the book of Revelation, but the symbolism is explained as to what it is.  In chapter 1, John sees seven lamp stands, and they are described as representing the seven churches.  Seven is a number of completion with God, and this is also symbolic as representing all churches for all times.

Chapter 4 begins like this: In verse one John says, “After this I looked and there before me was a ‘door’ standing open in heaven.  [Remember this door for later].  And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a ‘trumpet’ said, ‘Come up here and I will show you what must take place after this.’”

This clearly is a wonderful picture of the rapture: there is a trumpet call, and the bride is called to heaven, and “I will show you what must take place after this,” meaning after the bride is in heaven.

John immediately describes seeing the Throne Room and says he sees the seven lamp stands “again,” which represent the seven churches that were on earth but now all reside in heaven.  Following this is when the scrolls are opened and all of the events of the seven-year tribulation are described.  The church is not mentioned even one time during this seven-year period from chapter 4 to chapter 19, when finally it mentions the church at the wedding feast with Jesus at the end of the tribulation. Immediately following the wedding feast is when Jesus comes back to Earth with His bride, the church, to save Israel in His Second Coming.  This is “strong” evidence in Revelation that shows a pretribulation rapture versus one occurring during the tribulation.

Many people think the church will not be spared the tribulation period, and that we are to be persecuted, but is that what the Bible says? 

First, we need to recognize that Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins and to also save us from God’s wrath.  He took on God’s wrath for us at the cross.  And yes, Christians have suffered much persecution and endured “man’s” wrath from its beginning until now.  However, the tribulation period is described as a period of God’s wrath on Earth – not man’s wrath on Earth. God has already saved us from His wrath that will be poured out on earth during that time.

Rev. 3:10 describes Jesus speaking to the churches: He says, “Since you have kept My command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.”

Twice in the Bible in the Old Testament and New Testament, a day is represented as 1,000 years with God; thus, an hour is represented as clearly a very short period of time.  This clearly has to mean the seven-year tribulation period of God’s wrath that He has prophesied will occur before His Second Coming. He is telling the churches that He will keep us “from this hour of trial that is to come upon the whole earth.”

Another strong evidence for a pretribulation rapture occurs in 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 2

This chapter talks in detail about a time when the antichrist is ruling the earth and sets himself up to be God; but it says that the antichrist CANNOT be revealed until the Restrainer is removed from the scene.  Since the Bible says the antichrist will be a person controlled by Satan, who is it that can restrain Satan?  Clearly, the only one who can restrain him is God Himself; and since God the Holy Spirit resides inside all believers, it is necessary to remove all believers in order that the Restrainer, the Holy Spirit, is removed from the scene. This occurs pretribulation. THEN Satan can bring about his plan to control a one-world leader called the antichrist.

Pre-Fulfillment and Fulfillment

There is a very “interesting” example of a pretribulation rapture in Genesis, Chapter 6.  The Bible has quite a few examples of something happening in the Old Testament that is a pre-fulfillment, and then something much bigger called a fulfillment happening later, often in the New Testament.  A great example of this is when Jesus said in Matt. 12:40, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Jonah was the smaller pre-fulfillment, and Jesus the greater fulfillment.

In Genesis,chapter 6, God refers to Noah and his family as the righteous on Earth. He wants them to enter the ark, for in seven days He is going to bring down His wrath and judgment onto the earth.  This is a picture of God taking the righteous on Earth, Noah and his family, and putting them in a safe place, the ark, for a period of seven days until His judgment begins upon the earth.  This is a pre-fulfillment.

The greater fulfillment is talked about in Matt. 24: 37-41 when Jesus says, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”

This is saying that, just as people were unaware in the days of Noah, so will they be unaware in the end of days; and it shows the rapture represented by the man and woman “being taken” during this time and the other two left.

The greater fulfillment is that the church is considered the righteous on earth; and here we have God taking the righteous on earth, the church, and putting her in a safe place–heaven–for a period of seven years before He comes back to judge the earth.  Of course, this seven years is the time of the wedding feast already mentioned.

We have another example of this in Genesis 19:12 where God is getting ready to pour out His “wrath” and destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He sends His angels to save Lot and his family from His wrath. Indeed, the angel even says he cannot destroy Sodom and Gomorrah “until” Lot and his family are in a safe place. Once they are, then God’s wrath destroys Sodom and Gomorrah.

However, I have saved the best for last.

One of the most powerful, if not “the” most powerful verses in the Bible that talks about the rapture, not only describes the rapture beautifully but describes it point blank as a pretribulation rapture. AND it occurs in the Old Testament.  Isaiah 26:19-21 says this: Verse 19 describes the rapture; “But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise—let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy—your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.” This is clearly a beautiful picture of the rapture.

Verse 20 further describes this as a pretribulation rapture:  “Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you.  [Remember John saying he saw an open door in heaven in Revelation, Chapter 4?]. ‘Hide yourselves for a little while until His wrath has passed by.  See, the Lord is coming out of His dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins.”

This is a strong picture of the church being called up to heaven.  Why?  Because the Lord is getting ready to bring down His wrath onto the earth to punish the people for their sins.  The church is “behind” the doors, and it even describes the time of God’s wrath on Earth as a “little while,” corresponding to the “hour of trial” that is to come upon the whole world (Rev 3:10).

These are all good examples of a pretribulation rapture.  They are by no means exhaustive, but strong enough by themselves to give a pretribulation rapture far greater weight than biblical evidence to support a mid-trib or post-trib rapture.  Post-trib is really a non-issue because, if the rapture occurred at the very end of the tribulation, there would be no “believers” to enter into the 1,000 year millennial reign of Christ, as they would all have just been raptured. The only ones left would be unbelievers who are not allowed to enter the 1,000 year millennial reign of Christ.

I hope this is helpful to those who care about the rapture and “when” in relation to the seven-year tribulation that it occurs.

Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus!

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Torah Commentary – Vezot ha’Bracha – “And this is the blessing” – SCRIPTURES FOR October 14, 2017

Vezot ha’Bracha
“And this is the blessing”
Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12

Joshua 1:1-18

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The Baton Passes On
This Shabbat’s readings mark the end of the Torah cycle. The scriptures we will read are maybe the most bittersweet of all the Torah. Moses finishes his message of Deuteronomy by speaking a blessing over the people he has led for the past forty years. I would imagine that as the words are coming to a close, each one becomes harder to speak than the last. He knows that in a very short time his life will end. Moses has run his race, but has been stopped just short of what he thought his finish line would be. He stands looking into a land he will never enter.
On the surface nothing seems fair. Moses deserves to go in. He made one mistake and it cost him dearly. The Hebrews made many mistakes, but they would soon be enjoying a land they did not deserve. Nothing seems to make sense here. Is there possibly something else to the message of Moses that makes it clearer? Let’s consider it.
When we think of Moses, we think of Torah. In fact, it is called the Torah of Moses. Moses would pass the baton of Torah to a man whose name is Joshua. At least that is his English name. In Hebrew, his name would be very close to the name of Messiah, Yeshua. After the death of Moses, Joshua would receive orders to never allow the Torah of Moses to depart from him. He was to meditate on it day and night. He would also meet a man who was referred to as the Captain of The Army of Yah.   I believe the scripture is very clear through the actions of Joshua that this man was indeed the Messiah, Yeshua. It would be after Joshua’s acceptance of the challenge and revelation of this man that he indeed would enter into the Promised Land with the Hebrews. It would be as he continued in the orders and revelation that he would lead the Hebrews to possess what had been promised to them many years earlier.
So what is the message to us today? Could it be that Yah is telling us that Torah alone will not lead us into the fullness of Yah’s promises? Could it be that simply going through Torah year after year will only bring us to the shore of our own Jordan, but never allow us to cross over? Could it be that we are being told through this account to, with a firm grasp of Torah in our heart, move on? We are to look for a person whose name is similar to the successor of Moses, who will lead us on? A man who not only is the Captain of the army of Yah, but in fact is the embodiment of the Torah?
The message that I see as I look at the complete account is this; Torah alone will not lead us into the fullness of His promises, nor will we ever be allowed to enter in without Torah. It will be as we firmly grasp the Living and the Written Torah, never allowing ourselves to lose focus of the two as one, that we will enter in.
As a final thought leading into our new Torah Cycle I would like to share a quote from Barry Phillips. Please read Psalm 40:7 first for the full meaning. “Torah reveals the Redeemer while in itself offering no redemption.” You may need some time to let that one soak in. (Click to Site)

 

You Are Worthy Of Your Name

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Worthy Of Your Name
You’re my King
My King
Rumors of the Son of Man
Stories of a Savior
Holiness with human hands
Treasure for the traitor
No ear had heard, no eye had seen
The Image of the Father
Until heaven came to live with me
A rescue like no other
Yes You are worthy
You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
Yes You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
Jesus
You did not speak, You made no sound
You died for Your accusers
As Your blood fell to the ground
You redefined my future
On the day when You arose
The darkness ran for cover
For the King of kings has claimed His throne
Now until forever
Yes You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
Jesus
You’re my author, my maker
My ransom, my Savior
My refuge, my hiding place
You’re my helper, my healer
My blessed redeemer
My answer, my saving grace
You’re my hope, in the shadows
My strength, in the battle
My anchor, for all my days
And You stand, by my side
And You stood, in my place
Jesus, no other name
No, only Jesus, no other name
You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
Yes You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
Yes You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
Yes You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
Yes You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
Yes You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
Yes You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
Yes You are worthy
You are worthy of Your Name
My Jesus …

100 Names of Jesus:
Advocate (1 John 2:1)
Almighty (Rev. 1:8Mt. 28:18)
Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:822:13)
Amen (Rev. 3:14)
Apostle of our Profession (Heb. 3:1)
Atoning Sacrifice for our Sins (1 John 2:2)
Author of Life (Acts 3:15)
Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Heb. 12:2)
Author of Salvation (Heb. 2:10)
Beginning and End (Rev. 22:13)
Blessed and only Ruler (1 Tim. 6:15)
Bread of God (John 6:33)
Bread of Life (John 6:356:48)
Bridegroom (Mt. 9:15)
Capstone (Acts 4:111 Pet. 2:7)
Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)
Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4)
Christ (1 John 2:22)
Creator (John 1:3)
Deliverer (Rom. 11:26)
Eternal Life (1 John 1:25:20)
Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11)
Faithful Witness (Rev. 1:5)
Faithful and True Witness (Rev. 3:14)
First and Last (Rev. 1:172:822:13)
Firstborn From the Dead (Rev. 1:5)
Firstborn over all creation (Col. 1:15)
Gate (John 10:9)
Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14)
Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20)
Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14)
Head of the Church (Eph. 1:224:155:23)
Heir of all things (Heb. 1:2)
High Priest (Heb. 2:17)
Holy and True (Rev. 3:7)
Holy One (Acts 3:14)
Hope (1 Tim. 1:1)
Hope of Glory (Col. 1:27)
Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)
I Am (John 8:58)
Image of God (2 Cor. 4:4)
Immanuel (Mt. 1:23)
Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42)
King Eternal (1 Tim. 1:17)
King of Israel (John 1:49)
King of the Jews (Mt. 27:11)
King of kings (1 Tim 6:15Rev. 19:16)
King of the Ages (Rev. 15:3)
Lamb (Rev. 13:8)
Lamb of God (John 1:29)
Lamb Without Blemish (1 Pet. 1:19)
Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45)
Light of the World (John 8:12)
Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
Living One (Rev. 1:18)
Living Stone (1 Pet. 2:4)
Lord of All (Acts 10:36)
Lord of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8)
Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16)
Man from Heaven (1 Cor. 15:48)
Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15)
Mighty God (Isa. 9:6)
Morning Star (Rev. 22:16)
Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16)
Only Begotten Son of God (John 1:181 John 4:9)
Our Great God and Savior (Titus 2:13)
Our Holiness (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Husband (2 Cor. 11:2)
Our Protection (2 Thess. 3:3)
Our Redemption (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30)
Our Sacrificed Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7)
Power of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
Precious Cornerstone (1 Pet. 2:6)
Prophet (Acts 3:22)
Rabbi (Mt. 26:25)
Resurrection and Life (John 11:25)
Righteous Branch (Jer. 23:5)
Righteous One (Acts 7:521 John 2:1)
Root of David (Rev. 5:522:16)
Ruler of God’s Creation (Rev. 3:14)
Ruler of the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5)
Son of David (Lk. 18:39)
Son of God (John 1:49Heb. 4:14)
Son of Man (Mt. 8:20)
Son of the Most High God (Lk. 1:32)
Source of Eternal Salvation for all who obey him (Heb. 5:9)
The One Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5)
The Stone the builders rejected (Acts 4:11)
True Bread (John 6:32)
True Light (John 1:9)
True Vine (John 15:1)
Truth (John 1:1414:6)
Way (John 14:6)
Wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24)
Word (John 1:1)
Word of God (Rev. 19:13)
Do you have praise on your lips?  Are you ready for a praise fest unimaginable?

Psalm 34 (NLT):

A psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away.


I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
    he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
    for those who fear him will have all they need.
10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
    but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, and listen to me,
    and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
12 Does anyone want to live a life
    that is long and prosperous?
13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies!
14 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
15 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
    his ears are open to their cries for help.
16 But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
    he will erase their memory from the earth.
17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
    but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
20 For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
    not one of them is broken!
21 Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
22 But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
    No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
 

He is worthy of His name.  There is none like Him.  None beside Him.
 
Through His unfathomable and unmerited grace and favor I have a new name that has been imputed to me.  Lord knows I need it.


Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.



His name needs no cleansing.  No imputed righteousness.  No redemption.  No justification.  No sanctification.  No adoption.  No separation from sin.  No grace.  No mercy.   No sacrifice.  No atonement.

Our Lord Jesus is indeed worthy of His name and at His name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.


HOLY HOLY HOLY


He is solid, unmoving, unchanging and a friend to sinners.

Hallelujah!!! (Click to Site)

Mark of the Beast 2017 – It Has Begun

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What you are witnessing and what you are experiencing is the beginning of the end of the ways of man. There is an appointed time and season for all to come to pass and you have now begun the time of the end.

It is of the utmost importance that you heed My voice and learn of My instructions, or you will fall prey to the evil one and his manipulative and deceptive schemes.

All those made in My image are redeemable, but the wicked one and those who choose to follow him are forever separated from Me, and will not be permitted to repent or be forgiven for their treachery of the Most High Creator.

Your adversary will continue to make war on the saints until his allotted time is over. He hates you because you are made in My image, but he hated Me first. In his fury, for thousands of years, he has worked aggressively to amass an army for his own so called kingdom, as he will attempt to make himself a god before Me, destroying as many as he can along the way.

For those who will not willingly give allegiance to him, he will accuse and petition against and attack. He has planned the greatest deception for mankind and sadly, many will succumb as they have not taken My Word seriously.

Because satan cannot create beings, he must inhabit them in order to retain control so his plans can be acted upon. This is an understanding you must have for these days upon you, as you are living in the days of Noah.

When the fallen angels came down and knew the daughters of men, My pure and untainted bloodline fell under a curse. The Nephilim offspring and strange hybrids that came as a result of evil spirits mixing with flesh was an abomination in My sight. Therefore, I destroyed the earth with a flood.

Because of the forbidden knowledge that was presented to mankind, many things that were not possible through manipulative knowledge previously, then became known and tangible in this realm.

I am speaking of manipulation of DNA and of the flesh that was created in My image. By mingling evil spirits with the blood of the flesh of men and animals, satan has and is acquiring the hosts he desires to accomplish his wicked design, which is to ultimately be a god and to kidnap as many of those who are created in My image as he can, so they too will be forever lost to Me. (Click to Site)

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

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We have another reader contribution to share with you.  This one is from SilentKnight (thank you, brother!).  I have to say that I find this Scripturally/exegetically convincing for a number of reasons, but time does not permit me to unpack that all myself.  In short, I think that Isaiah 7:14, like Revelation 12:5, speaks both of Christ and His Church.  Both are necessary parts in the fulfillment of these prophecies.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel! – Part 1

In light of Revelation 12 and the upcoming sign on September 23, 2017, there have been many discussions about the woman and the man-child that is to be born. We have spoken about her without a name, though sometimes we call her Israel. We have spoken of the child without a name, though many call him Jesus. Some of the divide between groups of believers is tied to the identity of this unnamed child. For months now, as I have watched the debate about who the child is, I have resisted the urge to shout out his name. But I do believe the time has come to share his name.

The woman is Zion, the child is Emmanuel.

Before you dismiss this too quickly, allow me to take you on a short biblical journey. A journey that will possibly leave you with a new appreciation for what is about to take place and what the sign means for Christ’s Body. You may also chuckle a little with God as He reveals hidden truth out of error!

I know! We’ve all been taught that Emmanuel is Jesus. Amy Grant even sings about it. We sing about Emmanuel at Christmas. Because of the baby. You know, the one that is Jesus.

But where do we get that from? Why do we believe that Jesus is Emmanuel? Would you believe it all comes from just one verse in Matthew? Let’s take a closer look at the first chapter of Matthew and see what might be hidden there.  (Click to Site)

The Metamorphosis

Yeshua’s disciples saw him undergo a metamorphosis before their eyes, but into what did he transfigure and what did it mean?

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As Yeshua prayed, “He was transfigured before them” (Mark 9:2). The Greek text of Matthew and Mark uses the word metamorfoo from which we derive the English word “metamorphosis.” A metamorphosis is the process of substantially changing (or transfiguring) from one physical state to another. In what manner did Yeshua change from one state to another?

From the description in the Gospels, it appears that he became like a luminous being, clothed in light: “His face shone like the sun” (Matthew 17:2) and “His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them” (Mark 9:3). What’s the significance?

We find a clue in Matthew 16:27. Shortly before the story of the transfiguration, Yeshua told his disciples that some of them would not taste death before they had seen the Son of Man coming “in the glory of his Father” (Matthew 16:27). The Bible often depicts the glory of God as visible light. For example, Isaiah 60:1 compares God’s glory to the light of the sun: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.” Likewise, when the angels announced the birth of the Messiah, “glory shone around” (Luke 2:9). The mystics called the light of God’s glory “the radiance of the Divine Presence.” (Click to Site)

Israel and the Nations: A Theological Opinion, Part 1

israel-and-the-nations

Often, well-meaning, Israel-loving people will say to me, “I am Jewish now. I am grafted in.” I never, ever say anything close to, “No, you’re not Jewish.” I focus more on how grateful I am that they love God and pray for the Jewish people. However, it is interesting that the Church went from saying, “You can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus,” to, “All believers are Jewish.”

Which is it? What does the Bible actually say? I will make six statements and then seek to back each one up with Scripture, one blog post at a time:

  1. Jews who receive Yeshua remain Jews, just as a females remains female or a male remains a male, after coming to faith.
  2. Gentile simply means a member of the nations. When a member of the nations comes to faith, he does not become Jewish, but continues to be a member of his or her nation.
  3. However, Jewish and Gentile believers are equal in the sight of God. Jews are neither favored above Gentiles nor discriminated against, in regards to non-Jews.
  4. Salvation is free, but rewards in the kingdom are based on merit, not ethnicity. Intimacy with God is based on the desire and passion of the individual believer, not whether they are Jew or non-Jew, male or female, etc.
  5. Jewish and non-Jewish believers make up the One New Man—a mystery that was hidden in times past. Paul calls this the household of God. In this household, the Gentile believers become joint-heirs withJewish believers—without losing their own ethnicity and without replacing the Jewish people.
  6. Ethnicity is important to God, which is why non-Jewish believers do not become Jews or Israelis (Israelites) after coming to faith. They are called to stand in the gap for their nation.

Blog One: Jewish believers are still Jews

The early believers clearly had zero issues with the idea of being Jewish and believing in the Jewish Messiah. The question with which they wrestled was, “Can a Gentile believe in Jesus, without converting to Judaism?” The apostles, through their lives and teaching, give no hint of leaving Judaism. In fact, rumors were being spread about Paul teaching Jewish believers “to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs” (Acts 21:21). Paul, upon the advice of the Jerusalem apostles, went to the Temple to make a sacrifice so that, “everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.” (Acts 21:24)

Church Fathers turn against Jews

However, the Church Fathers in the second century began to teach that once a Jew comes to faith, he is no longer a Jew. Many were vicious in their accusations against the Jewish people. Peter the Venerable wondered about the humanity of Jews: Truly I doubt whether a Jew can be really human.

Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (98-117A.D.) – Epistle to the Magnesians

For if we are still practicing Judaism, we admit that we have not received God’s favor…it is wrong to talk about Jesus Christ and live like Jews. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity.

They lined up to accuse the entire Jewish nation of killing Yeshua (forgetting that He laid down his life by His own free will for them.) Another, Justin Martyr taught that Christians were the true “Israelite race” and that the Hebrew Scriptures now belonged to the church exclusively. He did not believe you could be both Christian and Jewish. He also taught that circumcision was for judgement (as opposed to being there mark of the covenant of Abraham).

The purpose of [circumcision] was that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours; that only your land be desolated, and your cities ruined by fire, that the fruits of you land be eaten by strangers before your very eyes; that not one of you be permitted to enter your city of Jerusalem. (Click to Site)

Torah Commentary – Re’eh (See) – See, Perceive or Selah – SCRIPTURES FOR August 19, 2017

Torah Commentary
Re’eh (See)
Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
Isaiah 54:11-55:5
1Corinthians 5:9-13
1John 4:1-6

yeshuatheMessiah

See, Perceive or Selah
The title of this Torah portion is translated very simply with the word “see.” This small simple word can be taken for granted by some.  For the vast majority of the people in this country, “seeing” is the first thing they do every morning. People wake up, open their eyes to see, or depending on your optical ability, at least look at the images our eyes are allowing their brains to discern. I question whether there is a difference between seeing or looking?
In Hebrew the word is re’eh. The word has the meaning of looking at something with our eyes, but that is not the context in how it’s being used here. The Hebrew meaning is for us to perceive and consider something so as to bring forth discernment. Many of you may relate to the example I’m going to use to explain my point. Most people wake up in the morning head to the bathroom to begin their daily routine to make themselves presentable before leaving home. Many of us find in the mirror the proverbial “bed head” look with hair going every direction. As one makes sense of the new style their pillow created they might find a few gray hairs that certainly could not have been there the day before.
How you handle these sneaky little gray hairs is what brings forth my point. Will you make a mental note of the location of these sly little hairs to pluck them out, hide them with a new hairstyle or run to the local Wal-Mart to grab a bottle of hair color? Are these little gray hairs a frightful unwanted sight or do they bring you to a place of introspection? Do you just “see” the gray hair or do look deeper to evaluate the Scriptural meaning behind gray hair and how it’s interpreted. Do you perceive what is happening in your life regarding your maturity and reflect on decisions you are making? The gray hair is a sign to us to ponder if we are learning the lessons life has been trying to teach us or traveling around the same mountain of mistakes. Are you gaining wisdom through maturity or just going gray? (Click to Site)

 

TorahScope – V’et’chanan – I pleaded – “Call Upon Him!” – 30 July, 2017

V’et’chanan

I pleaded

Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
Isaiah 40:1-26

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“Call Upon Him!”


by Mark Huey
mark@outreachisrael.net

V’et’channan is one of the most compelling Torah portions in the entire annual cycle. With a reiteration of the Decalogue[1] and the Shema[2] being just two of the many words that are declared, the commentaries written about this critical juncture in the sojourn of Ancient Israel are voluminous. One could spend days dissecting the grand significance of the Decalogue and the Shema, as these two critical pieces from the Bible have doubtlessly molded the thoughts and views of countless followers of the Creator God since. While these studies are definitely beneficial and recommended for the ardent student of the Torah, the aspect of this week’s reading, that seemed to settle in my spirit, is the comment that Moses made regarding the opportunity that God’s people have to call upon Him:

“For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him?” (Deuteronomy 4:7).

There should be no doubt that this week I am being influenced by the distressing affairs that are currently going on in our world. These are troubling times for many who follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. From my limited perspective, if there were ever a time to call upon Him, this is such a time. The fact that these particular Scriptures just happen to be studied this week is not by chance, because our Sovereign God is intimately aware of the circumstances of His Creation. The question that keeps coming to my mind is just how we should all be calling on our God as we each deal with the various challenges of this hour.

As born again Believers, each of us should already know that since we have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father, via the work of the Risen Savior Yeshua, with us being granted the indwelling presence of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)—that we can have the confidence to approach the Lord with our requests (Hebrews 4:16). These following words from David, who knew the Lord and is often referred to as one after God’s own heart, should have much more meaning to you as you experience the presence of the Spirit of God in a redeemed heart of flesh by your faith in the Messiah:

“The LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. The LORD keeps all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever” (Psalm 145:17-21).

One can definitely see a connection between how Deuteronomy 4:7 speaks of those who “call on Him,” and Psalm 145:18, those “who call upon Him in truth.” The noticeable difference, between these two phrases, is how Psalm 145:18 adds the requirement that God’s people call upon Him b’emet or “in truth,” also rendered as “in integrity” (HCSB). Surely, with a knowledge of God’s truth, and a comprehension of His holiness and awesome power, we will be able to properly issue our requests—and most especially our pleas for His mercy and intervention—to Him.

Personally, I have been praying for many different situations this week. Messianic Believers always have the current events present in the Land of Israel, and the proverbial “mess” in the Middle East to pray about. This past week (for 12 August, 2011), though, there has been the growing “mess” in the global economy, and specifically the U.S., to pray about. Uncertainty about the future is running rampant, especially as the value of homes, property, one’s investment portfolio, and confidence in government(s) plummet “down the tubes.” Many people want direction regarding these, and other challenges.

I am reminded that it is often in the broken moments of life, that God finally has the opportunity to reveal Himself. It is when questions seem to go unanswered, that people can come to the end of relying on themselves, and turn to their Creator for mercy, comfort, and even redemption. There is something truly wonderful about seeing that you are nothing without the Lord. When you can honestly confess that you need to totally trust in Him, and recognize that what He is doing or allowing is for your ultimate good—it is then that the understanding witnessed in the Shema can be realized:

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).

To love the Lord your God with all of oneself, means that you totally accept what He is doing in you and your environment. While you might not completely like what is going on, and you might want it to change, the fact remains that He as Supreme Creator is still in charge. He knows the beginning from the end. He is not confounded by the horrific circumstances that have caused turmoil for someone’s financial holdings or stocks this week.

In V’et’chanan, we see a prophecy of how in the Last Days, those who are scattered of Israel will return to the Lord, and be gathered back to the Promised Land. Within this word are ever-critical admonitions about how His people are to turn to Him with all their beings, and how He is astutely faithful to His covenant:

“The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD drives you. There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them” (Deuteronomy 4:27-31).

As you can read, our compassionate God will remember His promises to the ancients. This is one promise we can all rely upon, something which faithful followers have always turned to throughout the remainder of Holy Writ:

“Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness, do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You, which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria to this day” (Nehemiah 9:32).

“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Yeshua our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Yeshua the Messiah, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21).

I would urge you to please take the time to regularly cry out for all of those who truly need Him. Are you one of those people? We live in a world today, where circumstances appear to be getting worse and worse, and are completely out of our control. This is when the Lord can move. Please take the time to call upon the Lord. Pray for all of those being affected by what is happening today, because He is the only One who can bring true shalom, true peace and tranquility, to those whose lives are being turned upside down and into chaos. May we be among those who know that we can call on Him in this time of need!


NOTES

[1] Deuteronomy 5:1-21.

[2] Deuteronomy 6:1-12.

(Click to Site)