Discipling our Youth

A weekly compilation of news reports from Israel for those who love and pray for Israel

For the week ending June 23rd  2017

David's Comment:  We Need to be Very Concerned About & Pray For Our Young People
1 John 5:19 The whole world lies under the influence of the evil one

This week's comment is really a follow on from last week. I believe that this is one of the most important comments that I have felt inspired to write. It concerns the spiritual well-being of the children, youth and people under age 30. As far as the off-spring of secular people in the Western World is concerned, the vast majority are seriously spiritually lost. Not only have they not been taught by their parents or educators about the true GOD and His Son, and know nothing about the Bible, they have been totally brainwashed by the media, the music, movies, and computer games industries, to believe that what used to be considered evil are in fact good, and the things that were once considered good and pure, are in fact evil.

Over the last 50 years, the Devil has been working overtime to deceive the younger generations away from any kind of reverence towards GOD, and away from any form of Biblical righteousness in their lives. He has systematically lowered the age group that he has been targeting. In the late 1960's, 1970''s and 1980's, he targeted the late teenagers and 20 -30 age group with sex, drugs and Rock N Roll. Then he focused on the school age and early teens with Harry Potter and other occult entertainment. You can see the fruit of his wicked influence by the tattoos, piercings and general appearance on so many of the younger (and not so young) people in our societies today. A few years ago only sailors and motorcycle gang members had these demonic things. Now he is even attempting to deceive preschoolagers with the cartoons and other TV programs that are broadcast in the mornings when all of the older children are at school. If you turn the TV on after the morning breakfast programmes are finished, you will see that the programs for the under 3 year olds are full of witches, fairys, monsters, violence, and subtle suggestions of rebellion.

Sadly the younger generations in the Body of Yeshua are also being seriously affected, or I should say disaffected by the influence of the world. Even in the Messianic Jewish world, a significant number of young ones who have been brought up to know the truth, have been deceived by the lies of the secular world. Josie and I are immensely blessed and grateful that both of our sons are following the faith. Now Stefan and Keren are doing an amazing job of bringing our grandchildre Avigail and Danielel up in the ways of GOD, and doing everything they can to protect their daughters from the wickedness of the world they have been born into.

Whether we realise it or not, we are all involved in the war between YHVH and Lucifer, for our souls and for the souls of our children and grandchildren. We all need to aggressively contend in prayer and spiritual warfare for the spiritual protection of our future generations. Josie and I began to pray daily for our grand-daughters from the time they were conceived and we continue to pray every day for their protection from evil influences and for the fulfiillment of their GOD given destiny and calling on their lives. When they are with us at our place, we pray with them and encourage them to pray for us,
 
The sole purpose of this comment is to encourage all of our precious ministry partners to take this message very seriously and increase the intensity of prayer for your family members and friends, your neighbours and the people who you work with but especially the young ones. Here are some suggestions for prayer in the Name of Yeshua the Messiah of Nazareth ........

1. Take authority over and bind the spirits of doubt and unbelief
2. Take authority over and bind the spirits of temptation that are raging all over the world, and aiming specifically at the younger generations
3. Take authority over and bind the spirits of peer pressure that stops people coming to faith in Yeshua
4. Break the power of the lie of evolution that the young people have been brainwashed with all their lives
5. Break the power of the internet and social media over the young people

The good news is that the Devil is already a defeated foe. Yeshua will soon destroy him by the breath of His mouth. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming 2 Thessalonians 2:8

The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel.  Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God.  Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.  
 
Shabbat Shalom ......  David & Josie

To criticise or no to criticise that is the question

Today I read that to criticize Islam is to be an offence under UN Law. Islam is about to become the only religion in the world protected from statements made against it. In the Netherlands people are found guilty in a court of law for questioning the behaviour of the people of this faith. In Australia a Pastor was put on trial for speaking about Islam in a negative way. In Germany the government is silent and in Sweden, well it has become the rape capital of the world. In the Middle East and Far East you can be killed for what is seen as blaspheming Islam and around the world honour killings are taking place and the governments do nothing. Terrorism does work, people are so scared they will be next, they submit to Islam, which means submission, they win. Watch the TV and we see them crying out for the destruction of the west.  Christians are dying in the thousands at the hands of these people and the world stands quiet. Even in our own country a Christian family claiming asylum from persecution were sent back to the land they fled from. Having lived in Bethlehem, I have seen the persecution first hand.  It is time for us to start praying; pray these people will see the error of their ways and will cast aside their jihads and start to live in peace and they come to know the true Messiah Yeshua/Jesus before it is too late.   

What's in a name?

Dear Friends and Family,

 
This week I have been very busy and just needed a rest from the weekly message writing. So I have done something different due to a discussion with Pastor concerning the name of Israel in the time of Jesus and today.
What I am sending out is an article I wrote for a Christian News Paper a few years back. We need to know what is going on and have the information to counter anti-Semitic and anti- Israel statements. Please feel free to forward this article.
 
CAn I all so remind people that we have two weeks to vote for my book. Just go to www.bookoftheyear.net 

 

Blessings to all and a special birthday prayer to all those people who are having their birthday on the 29th February just like our son Darrin.

 
Dennis and Penny

What’s in a name Israel or Palestine?

 

Today the name Palestine is related to the land of Israel by most of the news media as if Israel has no right to exist. The sad thing is that many in the Church take the same attitude towards Israel. Even many of our Bible maps tell us that the world is right and the Bible is wrong, with statements such as “Palestine” in the time of David and “Palestine” in the time of Jesus. So how and when did this name come about in regards to the Land of Israel and how is it being used today?

 Between 132–135 CE, Simon Bar Kokhba led a revolt against the Roman Empire, controlling Jerusalem and the surrounding areas for three years.  As a result, Hadrian sent Sextus Julius Severus to the region, and he brutally crushed the revolt and retook the city. After crushing the revolt, the Roman Emperor Hadrian named the area Syria Philistia in an attempt to suppress Jewish national feelings and as an insult as the name was the name of their enemies, the Philistines a sea people from Asia Minor and not Arab, who lived in the coastal area of the southern part of the land.  It was an attempt to disassociate the Jewish people from the land of Israel, to remove any connection the Jewish people had with the land and its history and the name Palestine is still being used for that purpose today. This name was not widely used after the Romans left. It does appear on ancient maps, as one of the many very small military areas under Moslem rule when the Moslems first conquered this area back in the 5th century.

 When the Crusaders arrived they did not know that the Temple had been destroyed and presumed that the Dome of the Rock was the Temple. (Jerusalem – Stone and Spirit by D. Bahat and S. Sabar) so they are not likely to have known about the name, Philistia Syria.

 During the Turkish rule, the land of Israel was simply called “The Land” (from the book The Arabists), it has been credited to Napoleon Bonaparte for the resurrection of the name Philistia when he invaded the land. However I felt to research this further because of so many church leaders and Bible scholars plus the labelling of maps in Bibles, using the word Palestine instead of Israel. This is not a difficult exercise for people today with the bible concordances available on Google. In my recent research I have discovered the name Philistia is used in every English translation of the Bible except two. They are the King James Bible of 1611 and the American King James Bible. With the King James Bible so widely used in the English speaking world we can see why this term slipped in to the English vocabulary.   

 The name Palestine was used in many of the conferences about the future of Israel, as it was the English Government who conducted them. The Jewish people living in the Land at the time of the British Mandate were called Palestinians, and many still have old passports to prove it. In the early part of the 20th Century, the Jewish people did not have enough manpower so many Arabs came into the Land for the work that was available. Most of the ancestors of the Arabs in the Bethlehem area came from Egypt and the Arabic spoken there is Egyptian.

 The Balfour Declaration of 1917/18 stated that there should be a Jewish state in the Middle East. After the First World War Britain was given the task of the mandate to work towards this goal. However a lot of pressure was brought on Britain by the Arab nations and in 1922 they divided off Jordan from their mandatory area. 77% of the then ‘Palestine’ was divided off to become a Palestinian State in Jordan.  It was decreed that this land was just for the Palestinians and no Jews were allowed to live there and to this day this situation remains.  The people in what we now call Jordan wanted to call it Palestine but the British Government did not allow them to do this or have Jewish people come and show them how to work the land as they had done in their own areas with much success.

 Up to approximately 1938, Arabs did not like the term Palestinian as it inferred they were Jewish. About this time they came to realise that to be called a Palestinian had its advantages as this put a claim on the land. The name Palestinian for the Arabs did not really come in to vogue until after the Yom Kippur war in 1973 in an attempt to change history and claim the land through the media.

 In 1947 the vote for partition was passed. The Jewish people did not like it, as 60% of what they were given was the Negev Desert. However what they were given was better than nothing. There were in fact several attempts to divide the land: - 1917 The Balfour Declaration, which was confirmed in 1920 at the San Remo conference, the Peel report 1937 and in 1939 the Woodhead report a variation on the Peel report, followed by the Commission report of 1943 and finally the Partition Report 1947.  Each one was rejected by the Arab states. On the final attempt to divide the Land to give both the Jews and the Arabs their own areas the Arabs attacked the Jewish areas, and from the results of this war we have the demographic layout of the land we have today. If they had agreed to the Partition plan they would now have two things. The first being peace and the second, half of what is now known as Israel.

 The Arab nations stated before the partition vote in 1947, “If a Jewish State is formed in this area they would destroy it.” The day that Israel declared itself a state it was attacked by five Sovereign Arab nations, with two other Arab armies. (See Revelation 12) They did not accept Israel’s existence then or accept it now; they wanted it all as they do today as stated by the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) Charter.  The fact that PLO stands for Palestine Liberation Organisation, is a very important point, this point of liberation is not about the people but the land. According to their website they want to liberate all of Israel, from Metula in the north to Elat in the south and from the river to the sea. They want to push the Jewish people out of all of Israel and not just what is called the West Bank.

 In 1963-64 - and it is important to note this was three years before the 6-Day War when Israel took over the “West Bank” of Jordan - the Palestine Liberation Organisation was formed and one of its early acts was to try and take over Jordan.  King Hussein declared at that time – ‘Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.’ (In 1994 Shimon Peres said that the people should not be reminded of this fact).  After the Six-Day war of 1967 and up to the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the term Arab Palestinian started come into vogue as a means to dissociate the Jewish people from the Land.  There never has been a Palestinian State on the Land of Israel.  After the 1948 war Jordan occupied the “West Bank” and in approximately 1951 annexed it as part of Jordan, which was never recognised as a State either by the League of Nations or the U.N. The UN did not sanction this act and there were only two countries that agreed with this annexation and they were Pakistan and England.  There was no call for a Palestinian state during the British Mandate or during the 19 years of Jordanian occupation. The call for a Palestinian state only went out after the Israel had defeated the Arab armies who had tried to destroy them because now the Jewish people could have the homeland they had been removed from some 2000 years before.

 The cry today is to give up East Jerusalem so we have to ask why? Why East Jerusalem what is so important about this minute piece of land? For the answer to these questions we have to go to the Word of God. Acts 1:11 tells us Yeshua will return to; The Mount of Olives. Zechariah 14:4 talks about what will happen in the future on the Mount of Olives. Where is the Mount of Olives, it is in East Jerusalem. So here we have one last attempt of the evil one trying to prevent the return of the Messiah for His Bride. Clearly this is a spiritual battle and in our prayers we must all ways remember this very important point. Ephesians 6:12

 As Christians we have to be very careful about dividing up God’s land as we are warned not to do so in Joel 3:1-3 and to call it Palestine is to do just that. To call the land after the enemies of God, the Philistines, as did the Romans, is to clearly go against the Word of God and therefore God Himself. There is only two ways for there to be true peace in this land. One is if all the people both Jew and Gentile come to know the Messiah Jesus, or when the Lord returns and then every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Romans 14:11. So we must always “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” Psalm 122, and not the division of it. Joel 3:1-3

 When we were leaving Israel on one of the many tours we took to the Holy Land. I made an early morning visit to the Western Wall. Before I left to back to the Hotel a Rabbi quoted a Psalm to me. I really believe the Lord was giving me a message that I should never forget and to today that scene has been firmly in my mind. The Psalm was 137:5-6

 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy.

 Contact: Dennis McLeod – dpmcleod2@icloud.com

Apology

I now belong to a writers club and they have competitions asking the members to write short stories on certain topics. This time we have been asked to right to a person we do not know but who is suffering persecution for their faith in Jesus.

 This is what I wrote; Greetings my friend, my name is Dennis and I have been told you are having more than a few problems as a follower of Jesus in your land. I would like to encourage you to keep strong and always remember the one who gives us the strength to climb every mountain and cross every raging river that may cross our path. I know from my own experience it is not always easy to stand firm and our faith can waver when things go against us. Jesus, He is our strength, Jesus He is friend and He is our Salvation, the light of the world and the bread of life. Remember friend we are all in a spiritual battle and the Lord Himself quoted scripture when confronted with this same enemy so like Him be strong in the word. My friend you are not alone, yes Jesus is there for you and so are we. I have sent out your prayer requests to my church and friends. We love you and we promise to pray for you every day so know friend even if we have not been through what you are going through you have a family here in New Zealand supporting you in every way we can.

 On reflecting on this I started thinking again about a people who have been persecuted for their belief in God. Some even do not believe in God but have still been killed and raped just because of who they are. From the time God spoke to them and brought them into being as a people, some four thousand years ago they have been the subject of scorn and worst. These people have been removed from their homeland on more than one occasion through the invasion of their land. They have been scattered to the four winds and been chased from village to village. They have been hunted and killed by the church as they have seen them through the eyes of jealousy for who they are.   They have been locked in buildings and the buildings set fire to and even been forced to change their ideas of God by force.

 They have been forced from country after country. They have been locked in camps throughout Europe and even in their homeland. They have even been held up in ships on the high seas with nowhere to go. They have died in their millions at the hands of their enemies and now yes, even now in this so-called modern era they are still being killed just because they are Jewish and are living in the land that God gave to them so long ago as an everlasting covenant. [Psalm 105:6-10]

 My question is this: Isn’t it time we should be writing to a Jewish person, someone we do not know, a letter of support, a letter to show them they are not alone?

 Let’s see, it could start with something like this.

 Greetings my friend, my name is Dennis and I have been told you are having a few problems as a Jewish person just trying to live and support your family. I would first like to say I am sorry, we are sorry that we have not been there for you in your hour of need in the past. You are chosen by HaShem and we not only have to respect that we also have to honour HaShem’s word in every detail.

 I would like to encourage you to keep strong. Always remember the One who gives us the strength to climb every mountain has brought you through when there seemed as if there was no hope and He will continue to do so.

 I know from my own experience it is not always easy to stand firm in our belief that we are where we are meant to be, where HaShem has placed us and we can waver in that belief. But be strong, as the HaShem of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will never allow you to be removed from the Land of Israel again.

 My friend you are not alone, we are with you in all things and at all times and may HaShem give us the strength to do so. I have sent out prayer requests to my church and friends I have sent letters through an organisation called Christian Friends of Israel, to many many churches reminding them of our responsibility towards the Jewish people. We love you and we promise to pray for you every day, so know friend even if we have not been through what you are going through know you have friends here in New Zealand supporting you in every way we can.

 We as Believers in the Jewish Messiah, [Romans 10:9] the One born in a Manger in humble beginnings in a little town called Bethlehem in Judea, [Matthew 2:1] as prophesied, [Micah 5:2] have a responsibility towards God’s people [Ephesian 1:15] and to be frank if we want blessings in our lives we are commanded to support the Jewish people. [Genesis 12:3] We read from the same book, yes the same book. But you say they do not read the New Testament. Well in many cases we do not read the Old Testament and there is the problem. If we would take time to read the Old Testament we would see that most of what we are reading in the New Testament is coming right out of the Old Testament. So if this is the case, surely it comes to reason that if a Jewish person would read the New Testament they would see where we get our information, information that confirms just who the Messiah is, [1 John 5:5] where He came from, and what He did for the salvation of the world. [John 3:15-17]

 Reading from Genesis to Malachi we see time after time clear passages that occur in some form or another, either in the Gospels, the Letters or the Book of Revelation. There are just far too many for me to quote in this writing. But it is time for Christians to start reading the Scriptures through the eyes of the Holy Spirit [John 16:13] and not the eyes of any form of replacement theology or the local newspaper.

 The Scriptures are our only source of truth [Psalm 33:4] about how we are to act towards the Jewish people. [Romans 15:27] Of course they are not perfect but neither are we. [Romans 3:23] Of course they need to turn to God for all truth but so do we, [Psalm 25:5] and of course they need a full understanding of who Yeshua is but so do we. [Mark 8:29] The fact remains as long as we act in a non-Biblical way in our lives are the Jewish people ever going to take note of the message of salvation we project to them? Are we fulfilling Romans 11:11?

 As this age draws to a close God Himself will soon stand on the mount of Olives [Acts 1:11] with the land split in two and with the water of life following down to the Dead Sea. [Ezekiel 47:1-8] Will we be looking to the local paper for what is happening or will we be looking into the Word of God? [Psalm 119:105]

 Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My Mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! Zechariah 14:3-5

 Ps: If you would like to write to a Believer in the Land of Israel. You could send me an email headed with, Letter of encouragement, and I will send it on to my many contacts in Israel.

 

Blessings

 

Dennis.

Climbing our Mountain

Have you ever climbed a mountain or a high hill just for the sake of it, just to look at the view from the top? I once raced to beat another runner up a very steep and long hill. I managed to achieve what I set out to do but when I reached the top and was able to start breathing again I had no interest in the view from the top, as the effort had been too much.

 That is what the situations we face in life can be like. We find ourselves at the bottom of a hill knowing we have to climb it and when we do we are so busy recovering we fail to see the view from the top of how the Lord was there carrying us through every step. [Galatians 5:25] Each step got harder and yet for each step we failed to call for His help and thought we were doing it all on our own.

 We need to stop as soon as the mountain appears and ask God for the strength to proceed. We need to stop and ask for the wisdom to proceed and we need to stop at the bottom and ask for the faith we will need to complete the task. [1 Corinthians 13:2]

 We can read in the Bible where people required all three of these gifts from the Lord to be able to continue with the task set before them. Some called on God [Psalm 116:4-6] others did not. [Psalm 53:4-5]

 Abraham was half way up the mountain and then faltered and took matters into his own hands. [Genesis 16] Moses was on the way to the Promised Land and then faltered by not obeying God. [Numbers 20:12] Elijah won a great victory for the Lord by defeating the four hundred prophets of Baal then fled from a woman, [1 Kings 19:3] I will say no more on this, and God had to speak to Him and tell him he was not the only one serving Him. [1 Kings 19:18] Something we are all inclined to forget from time to time.

 Countless people have served the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob down through the ages, people who we have never heard of, or will ever hear of.  Thousands have been martyred for standing firm on the word of God. I am sure they did so because they knew who Yeshua was, [Mark 8:29] what He had done [Matthew 14:14] and what He will do in the future. [Acts 1:11] It is this living faith that gives strength in those darkest days when all seems lost and when we are facing our biggest mountain.

 It has been reported some 100,000 German Christians died for their faith in Yeshua and refused to stop helping the Jewish people within their land. A Priest took the place of a Jewish man destined for the gas chambers; yes he died in his place. The man, a father of several children, survived the war. This is the sort of love that is written into God’s Word, unconditional love in life and to the end no matter what the cost. [2 Thessalonians 3:8]

 We all face mountains to climb but none like the Jewish people, ours are there but then they are gone, through one reason or another. The Jewish mountain they have been given to climb, started from the time they were first chosen as a people. [Book of Esther is a good example of this.] Every step they have taken over the ages has been criticised and just when they look like they are reaching the top they find it is only a false crest and there is more to come.

 How would we feel if every thing we did was seen as wrong in the eyes of world, the eyes of the governments and in the eyes of the church? This must really hurt as we read from the same book as they do. I personally know what it is like to have the church against me for standing by the Word of God. Even those who agreed with me did not want to get off side with the Church authorities. How do I know this? They told me. When you attend a church meeting and you stand by yourself and no one wants to be seen talking with you. When you are criticised by the leaders and are attacked from all sides all because you say there is no other way to salvation but by confessing Yeshua as Lord. It is a lonely world in this situation but there is one I came ever closer to and that was my Lord and saviour, Yeshua.  [John 15:18]

 This time for me lasted about two years, which is a lot shorter a time period than the four thousand years the Jewish people have been persecuted by the world powers and the two thousand years by the Church.  By reading God’s Word and knowing in my heart God’s love for the Jewish people [2 Chronicles 9:8] demonstrated by the countless miracles that have occurred in Biblical times and in modern times protecting them. I know it has to stop and stop now or we will continue down the same slippery path Germany did in the 1930’s.

 We need to know the Jewish people are not our mountain and they have not created any we may find in our lives. Many of these mountains have grown out of jealousy, pride or envy. All these situations are listed within the Ten Commandments, but with the world, state and the church doing away with these ten simple and easy to keep commandments, there is no guidance for the people of the world or the people of the church.

 This was demonstrated very clearly recently when a shop attendant said he did not like the Christian youth coming into their shop after their youth group meetings. When asked why, he said because of their general behaviour, language and attitude. He said the non-Christian youth were better behaved.

 We need to wake up to the plight of the Jewish people. They are, at the moment, building a fence all the way around their country to protect themselves from their enemies. But as we know they have a greater fence and that is the one the Lord has placed around them. The Word tells us to love all people; it tells us that the Jewish people are there to stay [Amos 9:14-15] so why is the church so bent, as it was in the 1930’s, to work against the Jewish nation? Maybe it is a fulfillment of the scriptures. [Zechariah 14:12]

 In doing this we are the ones building our own mountains, we are the ones creating our own trouble and it is not going away any time soon if we keep up agreeing with the world that Israel should not exist. In fact the mountain is only going to get bigger. [Genesis 12:3]

 Watching a Christian quiz show the other night, the contestants did not know that Yeshua was born in Judea as they said Judea was on the eastern side of the Jordan River and these were the finalists. We need to get back to the Word as it is written, we need to stand firm as those who have gone before us did and who stood with the Jewish people even at the cost of their own lives. The effort for them would have been too tough I am sure without the love of the Lord supporting them. We too can have the same support we just need to ask.

 The reward that is coming is for those who have reached the top by standing firm on the Word and have walked hand in hand with the Lord and who are standing on top of the mountain with the view of Heaven before them. They are there waiting for the reward that comes by finishing the race according to the rules. [2 Timothy 2:5] The rules that are laid out in the Good Book which are there for you and me to follow and in doing so we are following in the footsteps of the Lord. I know from the mountain climbing manual, the Bible, that all who conquer that mountain will stand with Him and see the place that is lit by the Light of our Lord and Saviour Yeshua, and that is the New Jerusalem. [Revelation 21:2]

 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bondservants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.  And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them and they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:1-5

 

Why I believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah

This weeks message is in the form of a letter to a ex-New Zealand army friend who immigrated to Israel and joined the Israeli defence force some years ago. He has questions and I believe I am to answer him on these questions. Please pray for him (David) that he will be lead by the Holy Spirit to not only read the letter but to look up and read the scriptures.
 
Thank you
 
Dennis and Penny
 
PPS. The word HaShem (The Name) is the name that many Jewish people use instead of the Name God.
 
Dennis
 

Dear Friend,

 I would, if I am able to have a little of your time, to try and answer some of your concerns. Concerns that you can be justified in taking on board through the actions of people in history and even now by those who claim to be Christian but forget what that means when it comes to the Jewish people. [Genesis 12:3]

 You mentioned Revelation 22. As a teacher for over forty years I never failed anyone who had reached the required standard. The student knew from the outset what was required of them and they knew the work they had to do to pass. If a student did not reach that standard I just agreed with them what they already knew.

 I believe HaShem works in a similar way; He has set a standard for us to follow, if we fail in that task it is not I or any other person who sends a person to wherever, it is them self. They did not want to be with HaShem on this earth so why would they want to be with HaShem in the next?

 One of the first indications of that standard comes from the Tenakh where HaShem tells the people to repent so that He can forgive them and heal their land. [2 Chronicles 7:14]. Yes it is true I do follow the Jewish carpenter, born in Bethlehem as prophesied in Micah 5:2, born of a young woman [Isaiah 7:14] and whose name would be wonderful, councillor, Prince of peace, Almighty God. [Isaiah 9:6] Yes it is true I would like everyone to experience the wonder of His love that I have experienced over the last thirty-five years. [Psalm 52:8] But this is a personal choice and should never be forced on anyone as has been done in the past. Of course God can get unhappy if His children turn from Him and go their own way. [Exodus 32] But HaShem is always there waiting for them to return.  [Ezekiel 33:11]

 People have trouble in understanding that HaShem Himself can walk on the earth in the form of a man. We can believe that HaShem is all-powerful and all knowing. We can even believe He parted the sea for the Israelites and brought water from a stone. [Exodus 17:6] We can even believe that HaShem created and put the stars in place. [Psalm 8:3] But walk on the earth? Why do we limit God to our thinking? [Job 11:7]

 I have in the past had a glimpse of this power and love on a few occasions. One of these times was a few years ago while visiting a Messianic Fellowship in Israel. I was asked to lift the Torah Scroll from the Ark, as the Pastor could not because of an injury to his back. As I lifted the Scroll I felt the power of HaShem flow over me, the power of His Word [Genesis 1:6] and it did not leave me until I placed the Torah Scroll back into the Ark. The Word is truly a Light unto my feet and a Lamp unto my path. [Psalm 119:105]

 More of the wonder of HaShem in our lives can be read in my book Small Beginnings. Which can be purchased through my website; www.smallbeginings.com 

 The Tenakh clearly states that HaShem has walked on the earth. Abraham met the angel of the Lord at the entrance to his tent. [Genesis 18:1-3] Moses stood in the cleft of a rock while the glory of the Lord passed by. [Exodus 33:23] Job said HaShem would walk upon the earth and in his flesh he would see HaShem [Job 19:25-26] and we read in Zechariah 14:2-5 that HaShem Himself will stand on the Mount of Olives.

 Abraham was called upon by HaShem to sacrifice for a covenant between him and HaShem. Once the sacrifice was completed HaShem placed Abraham in a deep sleep before passing between the sacrifices laid out on the ground. [Genesis 15:12-17] The covenant was complete, or was it? All covenants require an action from both parties but where was the action from HaShem? Can I suggest this came many centuries later? As HaShem said “Is my arm too short to save?” [Isaiah 59:1]

 We know from the Torah there has to be a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. In Leviticus 16 we read about the scapegoat at Yom Kippur, the atonement and the names in the Book of life where the blood alone is the source of life. So sooner or later HaShem Himself would have to do something as no man or animal is worthy to be the one true and living sacrifice that allows all people to go before HaShem.

 The Torah and the Tenakh state many things about the coming Messiah. Even the ancient Rabbis said the two dreams interpreted by Joseph, the cupbearer and the baker, was one and the same dream. Both represented sacrifice, one the lifeblood, the wine and the bread, both symbols of sacrifice.

 They also state that Isaiah 53 is about the Messiah. It is the modern Rabbis that have turned this towards Israel. Daniel spoke of the Messiah being cut off [Daniel 9:26] and of the Messiah being the Son of Man, the One of the ancient of days. [Daniel 7:13-14]

 These are just a few of the reasons I follow the Jewish Messiah. As you have rightly stated you want to remain Jewish and I could not agree with you more. There is no way in any of the teachings that you would or should be anything else.

 In the Brit Hadassah we can read two things. Firstly if we go to the Hebrew, they were firstly called Messianics [Acts 11:26 Complete Jewish Bible] at Antioch, not Christian. Agrippa asked Saul, “Are you trying to make me a Messianic?” [Acts 26:29 C.J.B.] Because of the actions of ‘Christians’ once they took over the movement of “The Way” as it was called, this word has become a barrier and divisive to many and not the blessing we were commanded to be. [Psalm 133:1]

 The Second Testament talks of those who claim to be Christian but are not. [1 Corinthians 5:11] Yeshua spoke of those people who do not support and love His Brothers in Matthew 25. Yeshua being Jewish obviously was speaking of His Jewish Brethren.    

 As for whether people change from being Jewish, I put it this way and I pray I can explain it clearly on paper so to speak.

 We have two people one is Jewish and the other Gentile. Between them is a wall built with bricks by the Jewish people. Where have these bricks come from, they are the bricks that the gentiles have been throwing at them for the last eighteen hundred years. Enter the Messiah who touches the hearts of both the Jew and Gentile person. [Ezekiel 36:26] The wall now comes down and both people turn to the Messiah. [Jeremiah 31:31] The Jewish person does not become a Gentile and the Gentile does not become Jewish, but we can walk arm in arm as Messianics, as Jewish Messianics and Gentile Messianics walking together as one new man in the Messiah. 

 It is because of what I have written that I would rather be called a Messianic Gentile because I want to be a blessing to the Jewish people and not a stumbling block. For these reasons I follow the One many believe is the Jewish Messiah, the one born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth and who ministered to the people in Jerusalem. Who became the Passover Lamb so we could all be set free of our sins, both Jew and Gentile, together as one as it was meant to be from the beginning.

 Many Blessings

 Dennis McLeod

 

Love or Hate which is it to be?

Jewish people being put on to the trains to Atlit Haifa Israel

At this time of the World Holocaust Memorial Day I have been thinking about what it must have been like for the people who were taken a way to the camps in war torn Europe. What would they be feeling as they were forced into a train carriage with no room to sit and or even breathe for some as many died on the way and people say they were the lucky ones. For they did not have to stand in the snow for hours on end and that is if they survived the selection process to decide who would live and who would die.

 As one man said after the war, “We sang our songs louder as the trains approached to drown out the cries of desperation of the people”. Mankind’s inhuman actions towards their fellow human beings never cease to reach new levels. This we can see today with the Islamic tide of terror sweeping the Globe.

 People are coming up with all these excuses for these people, but the fact is the one thing that can change the situation and people’s lives is the one thing that is under greatest attack, the Word of God. [Psalm 18:30] Yeshua came to change lives, [Luke 4:18] the lives of all who are made in the image of God. [Genesis 1:27] But if you believe, as Islam does, that we are not made in the image of God then surely it is almost impossible to take on the traits of God. But the argument they put forward to say we are not made in God’s image is back to front. They ask how can God be in our image.

 God is not made in our image and therefore does not take on our problems, likes and dislikes or any of our sins. We are made in His. We are to become more like Him not He us.  [Galatians 3:27] This means reading His word and coming to several realisations: God is love, [1 John 4:16] He has loved mankind since the day we were created. [Genesis 1:28] Therefore we should try to be more like His love, unconditional, not our love that is based on our feelings. With his love in our lives how can we possibly do the things to people that have been done down through the centuries in His name and so called still being done today. A Hamas man once showed my Penny his Hamas card. She told him that it looked like death and destruction but God is love and we are to love our neighbours. His reply was very much to the point; “It is NOT YOUR BUSINESS to love your neighbour.”

 In this one short statement was a summary of their philosophy because if we cannot love then we cannot possibly know the real God in our heart.  

Because the true word of God says to love thy neighbour. [Leviticus 19:17-18]

 If we cannot love it is only logical to presume the opposite and that is we hate. If we hate than we are guilty of murder in our minds so it is easy to take this to the next level, the level of action on those people we hate. [1 John 4:20-21]

 This hatred that caused the Holocaust has also caused the genocide in Cambodia and Rwanda.  There is only One true and living God. [Jeremiah 10:10] There is only One who has given us His Word to live by and that Word. [John 1:1] And only One who did something for our salvation. [John 3:16-17] You see there is the difference, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the only one who died for us. Whereas other religions say that they have to die for their god.

 God is calling us to Him and he wants to see no one lost. [2 Peter 3:9] But the evil one is getting very worried. The Jewish people are still under attack and Christians are under attack more today than probably since the time of the Disciples of Jesus. And I would suggest it is all in line with the Word and the Lords return.  [Revelation 12:17]

 I have never been to any of the death camps of Europe. I have never had to look at the world through barbed wire fences wondering if this is my last day on the earth, so I am not qualified to make comment on the horrors of such a place. But I have been to Atlit, near Haifa in Israel, where many of the Jewish people on arriving in Israel were taken. Where they were sprayed with DDT (disinfectant) and then taken to the showers.  It is very sobering to stand where these people stood and wondering what was going to through their minds as they waited for the showers to be turned on, wondering what was going to come out of the shower nozzles? I have seen the train carriages that brought them to the camp and the razor sharp wire the people were locked behind and why were they put there? Because they were Jewish and wanting to return to the Jewish land promised to them all those centuries ago. [Deuteronomy 34:1-4]

 The treatment of the Jewish people down through the ages and which is continuing today is beyond understanding and the only explanation for it is, they are the chosen people of God. [Isaiah 65:9] I would suggest that whatever race of people God had chosen to show His glory and power through, they would have suffered just as the Jewish people have.

 What is happening in the world today may seem to be a physical war between good and evil. But this is not a physical war, as we do not battle against flesh and blood but against the principalities within the heavenlies. [Ephesians 6:12] The evil one knows his time is short. From the time he deceived Adam and Eve in the garden, he has known his time will come to an end and now he is trying to take as many with him as possible. [1 Peter 5:8] We need to stand firm and know it is our business to love our neighbour. It is our business to love as God loved and to forgive as God forgave us. It is our business to be as God wants us to be and to have the mind of Christ. [1 Corinthians 2:16] We need to take a moral stand against what is going on in the world and especially the Church today towards the Jewish people and Israel.

 God’s tears must be falling on a dry and thirsty people. A people crying out for answers and yet not looking to where that help comes from. [Psalm 121:1-2] Are we a people so tied up in the things of the world that entertainment and socializing is taking the place of God in our lives? Churches stopping services to watch sports events accepting, as the Cole Porter song said, “Anything goes,” which was written in line with his very un-Biblical life style.

 Hatred breeds hatred, which is very evident in the world around us. Every day we can see the placards held up high, death to -, death to -, written upon them. This sort of hatred is what led to the Holocaust, it also led to the genocide in Cambodia and Rwanda and many other places. It is what has caused the last Jewish family to flee from Iran. Hatred pulls down first the person where the hatred has been cultivated through whatever means and spreads from there. [Proverbs 15:17]

 I have been through three Holocaust Museums, New Zealand, Washington DC and Jerusalem Israel and each one shows what hatred can do when there is no love of God in the life of the people. God sent His Son to talk to the people about the love of God. To remind them who God was and is and will ever be. [Matthew 22:34-38]

 We need to try to live as God commands, yes commands, we need to look beyond our needs and look towards God’s needs. The need for us to love and to live as shown through Yeshua is so needed in the world we live in. Hatred for people reigns and it has to stop and stop now before it is too late. We do not have to stand behind a barbed wire fence to know our end will come some day, we have no idea when that day will come but it will come so we need to be right with God when He does come. [Acts 4:19]

 Is the Messiah’s return near? I have no idea, but what I do know is He will come and when He does will he find people in the image of God or will they be too busy to come to the banquet feast? [Luke 14:16-24] Will the people be too busy hating and destroying instead of loving and building up? [Matthew 22:8] In the world today there is too much hatred, let us stand together in prayer and in love. We have seen what hatred can do now let us see what love - God’s love can do. It is a time to build up and not pull down it is time to say: “Let us prepare for the coming of the Lord, it is time to get ready to cry out in one voice;

 The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

 

Jesus is who He is

Recently I was told a Pastor announced from the pulpit his views on the destiny on the final resting place of a Jewish person, who did not fall into his way of thinking. The problem is that most Pastors in the church do not know the teachings of the First (Old) Testament and don’t want to know, as it is the teachings they may have received at Bible College that this book is no longer relevant.

 However the first lesson we all should learn if we have a calling to be a pastor is the pastor congregate relationship. That is whatever is said in private conversations should stay private. Otherwise no person would ever feel they would be able to speak to a pastor on what they were going through. I as a pastor have been told some things that I would rather not have heard. But my role was to minister to the person at their time of need and therefore I had to have some information to do that. Once I received that information it stayed with me, I did not even share it with my wife because why should I place on her some of the things I had been told and told in confidence.

 It is the same if we are ministering to Jewish people, we must have some idea of where they are coming from and the teachings they have had from the modern Rabbis, which can be different from the ancient Rabbis. But one thing I do know they hold the name and deity of God in much higher stead than a lot of Christians. In the Church many treat Him as some long lost uncle that comes to visit now and again. To the Jewish people God is untouchable, and so mighty in deeds, and awesome we cannot possibly miss use anything of Him or His Word or especially His name.

 This is great in some ways but can be a stumbling block in other ways. If only the Christian church held the name of God in such high esteem, I am sure there would not be the things going on in the church that does go on.

It is very surprising that the church does not study the First Testament so they can answer the questions so many Jewish people ask. I guess that is where replacement theology comes in, where the church has replaced the Jews. I have been questioned on Jesus and Him being the Messiah and I answered them from the First Testament and they saw through their own Tenakh, (Bible) that He must be the Messiah. So God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation is still useful in all situations today.

 In this case we have someone who could not see, from the teachings he was receiving that Jesus was and is God and that God could walk upon the earth. I know that in Israel today there are people confessing Jesus as Lord and therefore are saved, according to the scriptures, but have not come to the realisation that He was God on earth.

 In the words of one pastor, “It is one thing to show the people that Jesus is the Messiah, but it is far more difficult to get them to understand Jesus was God on earth.”

 I am sure this comes about from the scripture, if you look upon my face you will surely die. [Exodus 33:20] However there are several other scriptures that people did look upon “God” and did not die. Jacob for one who said, “I have seen God face to face and lived”. [Genesis 32:30]  The difference between when Moses wanted to see God, it was his request and he asked to see God face to face in all His glory [Exodus 33:18-23] Where as God wrestled with Jacob, it was not Jacobs request so I suggest God did not reveal Himself in all of His glory. The clue to this is the fact that God touch Jacob’s hip and it went out of place. [Genesis 32:25]  Just imagine what would have happened if God had brought all His power upon him.

 So from their teachings many have much difficulty in coming to terms with the fact God could and did walk on the earth as a man. The question is, are we any different? A short time ago I was spoken to on several occasions by a pastor and told that Jesus was not God and His good works is what saved Him. Something that I totally disagreed with because this statement was not biblical, as our works cannot save us we are saved by faith. [Ephesians 2:8]

 Did Jesus say He was God or indicate in any way that He was God on earth? I will attempt to answer this by first showing that the First Testament says He would be; before going to the words of Jesus Himself.

 Isaiah 9:6: Wonderful councillor almighty God, He would save us from our Sins [Psalm 103:3] something only God can do and rise from the dead. [Psalm 16:10] Name deeds and actions reserved for God alone as the Rabbis of the Second Testament declared. [Mark 2:7] Then we come to Jesus Himself. Before Abraham was I Am, from such a statement they tried to stone Him. [Matthew 8:58] Before you this day this scripture has been fulfilled and again they tried to throw Him over a cliff. [Luke 4:28] He raised the dead [John 11:43-44] and healed [Matthew 14:14] and forgave sins and accepted worship [Matthew 21:9] something that was for God alone. [Luke 4:8] He controlled nature and calmed the storms [Luke 8:24] and brought forth fish when there were none [Luke 5:5-6] and had food appear from nowhere, [Matthew 16:9] in other words He created.

 When He gave a glimpse of His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, of what was to come, I am sure, even at this point of His ministry the disciples where only given a small indication of His glory or they would have not been able to look upon His face or stand in His presence. 

 These are the things that should be taught to people who doubt the deity and divinity of Jesus. But if they are not taught these things how are they ever going to know [Romans 10:14]

 Then there are; I am the way and the truth and the life,  [John 14:6] I am the living water [John 4:14] I am the resurrection [John 11:25] I am the bread of life [John 6:35] I am the beginning and the end and I am the one who holds the key to ever lasting life. [Revelation 1:18] If I stop these people even the stones will worship me. [Luke 19:40] If you love Me then feed my sheep [John 21:16] a direct quote from Ezekiel 34:11-16, God speaking, feed my sheep.  

 And finally when He was arrested, Judas indicated whom they were to arrest. As the people moved forward to arrest Him we read, they fell to the ground, as they could not stand in His presence. [John 18:6] Small pictures each one separate may have meant little but all put together like a jig-saw and we end up with a true picture of who Jesus could be, was and will ever be, God on earth.

 I find it all most too vast to understand that; the God of the heavens and the earth. The one who created life, the one who knows our every weakness and the one who breathed His life into us. The one who is all-powerful, [Genesis 1:1] all knowing [Psalm 139:1-7] and is all present. [Psalm 139:7] Is limited by people saying God cannot do all things. If He is all of the above who are we to say God cannot walk on the earth in human form. He did it with Moses He did it with Jacob. So why can He not do it in Jesus?

 So let us not limit God to conform to our thinking, let us give Him free reign to do His will and not ours. Let us open His Word and read of His wonder, strength and power and the things He did, is doing and will do in the age to come. He has come before and scripture tells us it will happen again, let us be ready for that day.

 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! Zechariah 14:4-5

 

Discernment do we have it?

Discernment, the Word tells us to have discernment. [Hebrews 5:14 N.I.V.] Solomon asked for discernment, the Psalms speak of discernment and yet today in the Church I believe this is the one thing God told us to have but is lacking in the church. Today I received a news item that tells how the Methodist church of America is placing Israel in line with Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, North Korea, and Syria. Therefore they can no longer trade with their banks and are selling all the stocks they have in the Israel banks.

 I stand aghast first and foremost that Israel, the only democracy in the middle east, the only country in the middle east that has equal rights for every religion, women and even gays, can be placed in the same category as countries that will not allow the Bible, women are treated in many cases, as baby making machines and with no rights whatsoever.

 Where is the churches discernment in these matters? Are we so blind to the things of the Word of God that we would not only go against God’s Word we would actually teach against it? [James 3:1] I have spoken before about the judgment that is coming on the world as it did on the Pharaoh of Egypt at the time of the exodus. We read of the plagues that came upon the land and the people of Egypt. We in the church need to understand what all these plagues were really about. The attack against the Nile River - it was a god to the people. The covering of the land with frogs and the trouble they brought to the people because frogs were gods as was the land and the Pharaoh, they were all gods and God brought judgment upon them.

 The Book of Revelation is just that, it is a book of the judgments that are going to come upon the whole earth for what has been done through our own ways, our own man made gods. Those who have followed the Lamb of God and washed their robes clean will once more come to the tree of life, [Revelation 22:14] but those who do not confess Yeshua as Lord will be lost. I did not say it, I am just repeating what the Word of God tells us.

 So how does discernment help? I looked up in the dictionary to find the correct meaning for this word and to my shock and horror the first word that came up was judgment. The one thing that the church teaches we should never do, the one word that is used to shut down every discussion regarding what is going on in the world today. Same sex marriage, homosexuality and many more other debates are shut down by that one word, judgmental.

 The Word teaches that we should not judge as we would be judged, in other words clean up your own act before you tell someone else they are doing wrong. This is true but what is the difference between judgment and discernment? I suppose the world would say:

 Discernment understands something is wrong and we should not do it. Judgment is seeing someone else doing something wrong but we should not tell them, as this will make them feel bad. Ezekiel 33 speaks of this situation and God makes it very clear of the consequences within our actions on the matter in this chapter.

 The church talks a lot about us having discernment and 1 John 4:1 tells us to test every spirit to ensure it is from God, but just don’t say anything about what you see.

 How will they know they are doing wrong if nobody tells them? [Romans 10:14] What is the role of the church? Surely it is to direct, teach and encourage people in the faith. [2 Timothy 4:2] Surely the church needs to be seen to be different from the world. [2 Corinthians 6:17] The world’s rules are different from God’s rules so the first discernment lesson to be learnt once we start to live as children of God is the difference between the Kingdom of God and kingdom of this world. We have to be selective, we have to judge right from wrong and we have to be sensitive to what is of God and what is not.  If this is to be judgmental of a situation then so be it. Yeshua told us very clearly that it is the next Kingdom we are storing up treasure for not this one. [Matthew 6:19]

 As a Pastor I would have people come to me with the problems they had gotten themselves into.  If I was unable to discern or judge between what they were telling me and what was the truth and what they needed to do to fix the problem, what good was I as a pastor? To judge is not the same as to condemn, two words that are very much mixed up. Condemnation was taken care of on the Cross for those in Christ Jesus. [Romans 8:1]

 Even in society we have this lack of discernment between right and wrong. Just this week a person drove their car into the path of a motorcyclist and then blamed the intersection. If this was not bad enough many people started blaming the intersection and the council for what had happened. In other words it was not the fault of the driver who did not stop to ensure everything was clear. The public could not and would not consider that the driver of the car may have been in the wrong; they had no discernment of what was reported. Then on the other hand a news reporter for Russia Today resigned on air because of what she was required to report when she knew it was not the truth of what was going on.

 This is the discernment and integrity we require in the church and we need people to stand up for the truth and not fall into line behind the half-truths and lies that are being reported about Israel and the Jewish people. When we started working for Christian Friends of Israel in New Zealand after returning from Israel, I wrote to every mainstream church in the country about our work. I simply asked if I could come and speak to their assemblies or councils or ministers about the work and about what God was doing in the land. Not all replied, others said they leave it to the individual churches on these matters and one said they get their information from the church in Israel. Having lived in Israel and knowing the attitude of this particular church, I knew what sort of information they would be getting and it showed their was no discernment [Psalm 119:66] at all and no testing of the spirits.

 We cannot work on emotions we have to have that discernment knowing the difference between right and wrong. So what is an easy way to test the spirits that may be confusing our thoughts? If the Word of God tells us it is wrong then it is wrong and if the Word of God tells us it is right then it is right. But other scriptures must back each scripture because it can be very dangerous to rely on one scripture by itself, but that is another lesson.

 We need to discern, we need to be sensitive and we need to be able to judge between right and wrong. Wide is the road that leads to destruction but the road that leads us to the Father is narrow and if we cannot tell the difference we can easily choose the wrong one. Jesus called all to repentance [Mark 1:15] but we can only repent if we truly judge and discern between the right and wrong in our lives and we need to do it today.

 “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. “Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” [1 Kings 3:7-9]

 Let us pray

 This day Lord we pray for more discernment, as the world seems to be heading headlong down a path that sounds OK but it does not match your word. [2 Timothy 4:4] We require your help in this area of our lives, as we want to follow you and not the world, please Lord give us more discernment. Amen.

 

Reading the Word

Have you considered Job? [Job 2:3] Job could not be touched without God removing the hedge of His protection around him. [Job 1:10] I would suggest that hedge remains around Israel as history has shown through many trials and tribulations. However the battle is far from over. Today some anti Israel information appeared on my Facebook and the boycotting movement is heating up all around the world. The hatred I encountered from someone I have spoken to recently was something straight out of Hitler’s book Mein Kauf. [Psalm 7:6]

 But what is new?  Ever since the idea that Israel should be rebuilt there has been resistance to what God has planned. But again this is not new either. Before the spiritual, the physical must take place and this occurred many centuries ago in the time of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was given permission to restore the physical Jerusalem [Nehemiah 2:4] and experienced much resistance. [Nehemiah 4:1-3] But at the same time Ezra was being used to restore the spiritual. [Ezra 10:1-2] All this was to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. Part of the mission was not just to restore the spiritual it was to change the attitude of the people towards the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Ezra read the Torah and spoke to God about what to do next [Ezra 9:10] and what he did may have seemed harsh, but when he related the situation to King Solomon the people got the point. [Ezra 10:3-5]

 King Solomon was rewarded by God [1 Kings 3:10-12] and yet in time turned far from him because of his own desires. [1 Kings 11:4] The result being that God removed his kingdom from his son [1 Kings 11:12] and it was all down hill from there. Jeroboam moved the feasts from Jerusalem [[]] so that the people would focus on him and not Jerusalem. [1 Kings 12:26-29] This spirit is still in the church today, a spirit I call the Jeroboam syndrome. However God used two men to ready the people for what was going to happen in the future, the coming of the Messiah.

 Two and a half thousand years later we once more have the state of Israel and the resistance to its existence is getting stronger as each day passes. The physical state of Israel has been and is being established as we speak. The Spiritual has been taking place side 1967 and today more Jewish people follow Yeshua than in any time in history since the Gentiles took over the teaching of the Gospel.

 Today even the Arabs are turning to the Lord throughout the Middle East, so what is happening? God is moving but are we listening? Israel is here, the land is restored and the people are turning to their Messiah. Surely the returning of the Lord is near with all that is going on and we do not have to be a prophet to figure that out.

 So the question that remains is, are we being spiritually renewed in readiness for the Lords return? We look at what is happening in the world and come up with all these ideas and listen to all the prophecies and wonder ‘what’s next?’

 Ezra read the Torah and the people listened, [Ezra 10:12] we have God’s Word on our bookcase but are we taking it down and reading it, when the world tells us what is about to happen, and reading God’s plan.

 It was once said to me by a non-believer, “How dare you presume to know what God is doing”. I don’t but I have a fair idea, I read the Word, something apparently only about ten percent of Christians do on a daily basis. We need to open the Word and as the Late Derek Prince once said; “Scripture is our daily medicine.” Surely then, to take one scripture every day with prayer could be a very good guide for the future. Reading scripture is the only way to have any idea of what is going on in the world today.

 The attacks come on Israel in many forms, from declaring there will never be any peace with Israel - as was done by the Arab League in 1967 and continues to this day, to showing your youngest generation maps without Israel shown. Then there is the Church, which supports boycotting Israel and vilifies those who support Israel. There is a new twist on the call to those who support Israel it is “What are you doing for the Arabs?” Well now it seems I work for the Mossad because I work with the Jewish people and I am - well never mind - as that is not repeatable. But nobody said I must work with Hamas when we worked for the Arab people.

 All of this abuse came from a person who claims to be a Christian and yet is filled with hatred for the Jewish people. God’s word is clear - if we hate we are guilty of murder. [1 John 3:15] We need to get back to the Word, the Word of truth [John 17:17] from a God who never lies and is all truth. [Numbers 23:19] The battle is around the corner and I believe it is going to get worse before it gets better. Christianity, to some, is the worse form of people there are. We are being told to be forgiving and tolerant but there is little of this for us. [Psalm 38:20] When the Israelites were first in Egypt everything went well for them but as the years passed they were placed into slavery, which prevented them from leaving [Exodus 1:8-10] for the Promised Land. Now the Promised Land is under attack and the world is rising up against it, so is this a sign that the journey to the final Promised Land is about to start? 

 When the Messiah returns for His Bride what is He going to find? Will He find people as in the days of Noah? [Luke 17:26-27] or the people gathered around the golden calf? [Exodus 32:7-8] or will He find the repentant people of Nineveh? [Jonah 3:5-9] The people in Nineveh heard the message and repented, the people in the time of Joshua repented and the people in the time of Ezra repented. When the Book was found and read in the presence of King Josiah they repented and the Passover was finally carried out after 400 years. In every case they repented from going far from God because they had not read the Word. Is it any different today? Well may be it is because the people of the past did not have access to the Word as we do. What is happening today is the Word is being distorted to meet the situation instead of changing the situation to come in line with the word. For example the word tells us to love all even the unlovable and yet we discriminate on whom we love, such as the Jewish people. It is time to take note where we are with and in the Word of God. Are we living the Gospel as per the Cross of Yeshua? Yeshua died for all people regardless of who or what they were, there are no exceptions and if we believe there are why do we believe such a thing? Where did we get our information from, the world or the Word of God?  It is ours to choose whom we will serve this day, [Joshua 24:15] the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or the golden calf? Yes it is ours to choose and choose we must before the return of the Lord. The battle has been won before it is to be fought as death has been conquered and Yeshua has the victory for all who confess His name [Romans 10:9] and follow Him on the narrow path, [Matthew 7:13-14] we cannot have a foot in two camps. The hedge remains around Israel and its people are still the Apple of God’s Eye [Zechariah 2:8] and they will never be removed from the Land again. [Amos 9:15] God’s promises will last as long as there are stars in the sky. [Jeremiah 33:23-26] Yes there are times of punishment for sin, but for all who repent [2 Chronicles 7:14] after darkness comes light [John 3:21] the Light of the world, [John 8:12] The Light is returning and when He does He has told us beforehand what to expect.

 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. ”Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. Revelation 22:10-17

 

Our expectations Verses God's Expectations

Another year is ending and so do all the expectations we had for 2015 that never happened have also come to an end. The New Year is upon us and with it comes new expectations along with the ones from the previous year, oh dear what a year it will be! But is it time to stop trying to do the things our way and give them over to the One who knows all things and can do all things? [Jeremiah 14:22]

 We put these expectations upon ourselves and continue to worry trying to fulfill them. [Philippians 4:6] In the meantime we forget about the expectations that God has for us, [Hebrews 13:21] the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who created all and holds all things together, the Great I Am. [Genesis 15:1] He put the stars in place and named them all. [Psalm 8:3] We just need to look around and we can see all this before our very eyes. He has created a beautiful world for us to live in, but to God I am sure this comes a distant second compared to His care and love for us. [1 John 4:16] God created us in His image [Genesis 1:27] and I believe God expects us to live up to that image. [Romans 8:29]

 So what does God expect of us as each year rolls around? It is a question we should be asking ourselves. He created everything perfectly but we messed up and changed the image He created to one that reflects the world. Now if we reflect the world and its view of life then surely there is a possibility of placing worldly expectations on ourselves that possibly cannot be met. There are enough expectations placed on the people without ourselves adding to the stress that these place on us. I would suggest that a lot of the problems throughout the world that cause lack of self worth, marriage breakups and many more things like drink and drugs addictions, are all caused by worldly wants instead of looking at Biblical needs. [Psalm 23:1-3]

 And yet God does let us go our own way as He never forces Himself on to us but He is waiting for us to ask for His help. [1 John 5:14] God is love [1 John 4:16] and He showed His love to Adam and Eve by not destroying them for being disobedient. He showed it to Cain by protecting him [Genesis 4:15] and again to Moses and to King David. People still did not get it so He had to show His love in reality in the form of Yeshua. His love was shown to all as He walked the earth in the form of Yeshua. The scriptures tell us so much about the love of God and speaks of what that love did for us. [1 Thessalonians 1:4]

 It is within this act of love [John 3:16] that the Lord has the right of expectation upon us, for us to live as He has written within His Word, as He showed us when Yeshua hung on the cross, suffering in pain, pain that none of us can ever understand. This gives God the right of expectation on our lives, to live them in a way that shows that Yeshua's sacrifice was not in vain. [Hebrews 10:18] Yeshua died to set us free from the worry of this world [Galatians 5:1] and if problems do happen and yes they will, we have but one perfect advocate with the Father [1 Timothy 2:5] who is there for us when we do. [1 John 2:1]

 I know this is true in my own life. Once when something happened I asked Penny to bring me the Bible and I started to read and read. After a few minutes my heart settled and a peace came over me. No the situation did not just disappear but God's word prevented me from having an implosion. There is strength in the Word of God that can calm the greatest storms, [Psalm 107:29-30] when all is building up on us and trying to load us with expectations that we can never meet in our own strength instead of turning to God. [Isaiah 33:2]

 So as 2016 dawns let us look more at what God expects of us than we do of ourselves. It is only in His strength that we can achieve all things. [Ecclesiastes 2:11] I would like to suggest God will help in all expectations that are based in prayer and in line with the Word and with His will. Each Person has a life to live and God knows all so let us surrender our life to Him and let Him help us to meet these expectations that God has placed on our hearts. Let it be that our desires are His desires. After all we live in God’s Kingdom not ours and it is exactly that we pray when we pray: “May your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”.

 Therefore before we look forward to a year ahead let us thank God for the year passed. Let us give thanks for the little things, food on the table and clothes on our backs, for shoes on our feet and for a roof over our heads. And as the New Year progresses let us place all expectations at the foot of the Cross of Yeshua and know that whatever happens in 2016, Yeshua is still Lord of lords and King of kings. [Revelation 19:16] His expectation is for us to seek the Kingdom of God first and foremost [Matthew 6:33] to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength [Mark 12:20] and to seek His will and to pray God’s Words into our lives:

 Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins, as we also have forgiven those who sin against us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

 [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’] Matthew 6:9-13

A Child is Born

Unto us a child has been born unto us a Son was given. [Isaiah 9:6] Whether our Lord was born at this time of the year or some other time, the fact is He was born into this world. The saviour who was promised to Simeon [Luke 2:25-32] and Anna [Luke 2:36-38] had arrived and the world would change forever. God was no longer someone separate from the people, He was showing Himself to be real. He had now come to walk and talk among the people of the world. [John 1:14] He was born in such a humble situation and yet there was a fanfare for his arrival [Luke 2:8-14] as there will be for His return in a time to come. [Matthew 24:31] Immediately lives were changed, an Angel appeared to the shepherds and told them what had happened so they decided to go and have a look. After they had seen the King of glory, yes He was only a baby but I am sure the power of God shone out of Yeshua as it did when He was just twelve [Luke 2:47] and again when He was arrested when the people could not stand in His presence. [John 18:6] The Shepherds came back praising God for what they had seen, [Luke 2:20] probably the first people to have their lives changed so dramatically by just being in the presence of the King of Kings, [1 Timothy 6:15] the Saviour of the World. [1 John 4:14]

 The Word that once was, [John 1:1] had come into the world to prove to all who would listen that the Word of God is living, it is alive and it does bring life. [Hebrews 4:12] The proof that this word that came into world is alive is the way lives have been changed. People have encountered the Lord at the lowest time of their lives and after their encounter their lives have changed in a way nobody could imagine. My own life was no exception, I had been through a burnout at the age of seventeen and through a tough time in life and my peace had gone. I was angry and thought everyone was against me. Even when I met and married my Penny a lot of this I kept within me. It took for me to have my own personal relationship with Yeshua before my life changed. The One who loved, [Mark 10:21] the One who forgave, [Luke 7:47] the One who said “Come unto me and I will help you overcome.” [Matthew 11:28] Yes when He came into my life I could see how much He had been there in my life even when I did not acknowledge Him. But knowing Him just switches on a light, the light of life. [John 8:12]

 We visited a friend the other day and who told us they were very spiritual as young people but now his wife is so skeptical of the truth of the Word. But no matter what she said the surety of the truth of what we have experienced could counter her lack of faith in the Lord God. You see nothing can take away from us the glory of our testimony in the Lord. [Revelation 12:11]  My testimony of hearing the voice of the Lord, to being saved from a sickness that kills so many people, from lying in the fields at night looking into the night sky and watching the stars and the meteorites shooting across the sky, to seeing that beautiful Sun rise while out running early in the morning. His beauty is there for all to see, all we have to do is open our eyes to His truth. This is His testimony that no one can remove from my life. [1 John 5:9]

 When we witness the very first breath of newborn babies and watch the breath of God go throughout their little bodies, to seeing them take their first steps and reach out to Dad when they start to fall. Why should we ever doubt the wonders of God? When we take our first breath in the new Kingdom the Kingdom of God, we are born again. [John 3:3] Born not of the natural father but within the Kingdom of God as adopted children. [John 1:12] In this we have a Father who is there when we fall, He is there with a outstretched arms [Exodus 6:6] to help us if we are prepared to take His hand.  Our Father in Heaven does not want any that the Lord has been given to fall. [John 17:12]

 The Son of God had arrived; the lowly shepherds visited this small baby in a shed set aside for horses and animals. The Messiah, the Great Shepherd of the World had been revealed to earthly shepherds, was this a sign of what was to come? This baby would one day be the perfect sacrifice without sin [Hebrew 4:15] the one who would be the First fruits from the dead [1 Corinthians 15:20] who had been revealed to those who kept the Temple Sheep in Beit Lechem, the House of the Bread, Bethlehem. Yeshua born this day who one day would reveal Himself as the Bread of Life. [John 6:48] Many years later when John the Baptist saw Yeshua coming towards him he declared: “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” [John 1:29] A prophetic statement of what was to come, just thirty-three short years later.

 The next to come to acknowledge this newborn King were the wise men from the east. Herod had got wind of a king being born and being the very insecure King he was, he asked the wise men to come and tell where this King was to be found. [Matthew 2:1-12] Was it this King’s curiosity or the evil one hunting out the One that would one day destroy him forever? I would like to suggest it was the latter, the evil forces in the world were now faced with the reality of what was predicted in the Garden of Eden, that satan would be destroyed, [Genesis 3:15] this was about to take place. From now on the battle to prevent these things from taking place would become more serious and the attacks would increase, as they have. What we are seeing in the world today is a continuation of that battle to stop the Lord from fulfilling His task to return for His Bride. [Revelation 19:7]

 The Wise Men from the east were men of standing and most likely well off shown by the gifts they brought for this new born. They bore gifts that told a story of the future that this baby would be involved in. Frankincense, oil for anointing as all earthly Kings are anointed for the role they are called to do. So now this baby was being anointed for His future role as the King of Kings. There was gold, the property of Kings, riches a sign of the riches, not as the world sees but as the Kingdom requires. He would bring richness into the world to enrich the lives of both the young and the old, both rich and poor, men and women. Then there was Myrrh, oil commonly used in relation to burial at the time of Yeshua. [Matthew 2:11] All these items were to show what was to come. Something the people probably took little notice of at the time while looking down at a baby who had a lifetime ahead of Him. Nobody would have been thinking in thirty-three short years it would be the spices the women would be bringing to the tomb to anoint the body of Yeshua after His death on the cross.

 All this was the beginning of the end, the end to being lost in our sin and a beginning to an everlasting life, [John 3:16-17] life in all its fullness, a life here and now enjoying the wonders of the promises revealed in the Word of God. A life of preparation of what is to come. Yes Yeshua came as a helpless babe born in a manger but we must always remember, He grew up and taught and lived the Kingdom while on earth. Then He died and returned to the Father to prepare a place for those who believe. [John 14:3] And finally Yeshua will return not as a helpless baby but as the Lion of Judah, the only one able to open the final seal and He will come in all of His glory.

 I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” [Revelation 5:1-5]

 

Faith - Gift or Learnt?

I have been asked how I learnt to have such a faith to trust God? An interesting question which I have thought over for several days. I suppose the question is, is faith learnt or is it a gift? It is probably a combination of the two as Romans 12:3 clearly says it is a gift of God and like all gifts, can be given by the Creator to those who ask. Having said that Hebrews 11:1 says – “Faith is those things we hope for but are unseen.” Noah had faith in something unseen and built an Ark to save his family. Scripture does tell us that Noah was a righteous man and walked faithfully with God. [Genesis 6:9] It is obvious that through that righteousness he was blessed with faith in an unseen God and His promises.

 Another question is did Abraham ask for faith when he left the security of family and home and walk out into the unknown? Scripture just says he left and went to a land he had never been to or seen before. Abraham took His only son Isaac to sacrifice him when told to and in faith knew that God had a plan, [Genesis 22:14] a plan Abraham had no idea about but fully trusted that God knew more than he did. [Hebrews 11:19]

 These two men are just two of the famous people of the Bible who lived demonstrating a faith in an unseen God. During and since Biblical times there have been countless people who have lived and died for their faith in the hope of a better future, a future here and now and a future to come. Yeshua Himself demonstrated this future. He came to earth and taught, [Mark 12:35] healed, [Mark 1:34] suffered and died [John 19:18] and on the third day rose from the dead [1 Corinthians 15:4] and was seen by over five hundred people [1 Corinthians 15:6] and then rose into heaven. [Acts 1:9] The disciples all died - except one - for a life and a future shown by the one and only Messiah to walk this earth. Abraham and the prophets longed to see this day [Luke 10:24] but their faith transcended far beyond what they could see and probably because of all the wonders of God they had seen in their own lives.

 Today, thousands have died and are dying for the faith they have in the Living Word - Yeshua, through the written word and visions of the Messiah and the miracles that have occurred around them. Every day we can look out on the world and see miracle after miracle. As the old song goes, “Every time I hear a newborn baby cry or touch a leaf or see the sky, I believe.”

 I was once asked, along with others, to go outside and collect something that showed God’s glory. One person walked back inside with nothing. When they were asked what they had, their answer was, themselves! I brought back a seed from a large plant remembering that from little acorns do mighty Oak trees grow. We take a small seed place it in the ground and water it and have faith it will grow. God has planted a seed in our lives it is called faith. He waters it with His Word and stands back and waits to see it grow. [1Corinthians 3:7] If it is a bit slow in growing He applies a little more of His Word and nurtures it into life with miracles and answered prayer. Little did I know at the time of the scripture about a seed of faith that can move mountains. [1Corinthians 3:2] To some faith comes when they are but a child and others like myself a believer in Yeshua for several years before I knew what real faith was. 

 I suppose it is one thing to read about faith in others but something different to learn it for ourselves. I guess it came about with us through the little things. There was the belief and trust that started by realizing that God brought Penny and I together. An understanding that a word spoken and because an answer came, must have been heard by someone. As there were too many words spoken and answered to be a coincidence every time. 

 Faith in itself is a gift from God but it is something to be learnt as well, faith in the Creator, faith in His Son Yeshua and faith in all the promises given. [Romans 10:17] Faith is taking a step into the future when there seems to be no future. Faith is placing the Cross before us and leaving the world behind us at all times. It means to ask God in all situations, trusting that He knows best and then no matter what, acting on the answer, whether it is yes or no. Following a yes answer can be very stressful but obeying a no answer can be even more difficult, especially when we think the answer should have been yes. Walking in faith of what is to come is to look at the here and now and see what God is doing now. There is a greater world to come, [Luke 18:30] scripture is very clear on that but if we only look to the when, how can we ever see what God is doing now.

 Leaving the worldly things to the world and only partaking in the things of God is not easy but scripture once again is very clear that this is what we are to do. [Matthew 6:32-33] That does not mean we don’t make a living, but it has to be in a Godly way. It does not mean we are not to enjoy our families but it does mean we have to do it in a Godly way. It does not mean we cannot enjoy life but we must do it in a Godly way.

 Sometimes people have to come to their lowest point before they call out to God for help. They probably, but not always, got there because they tried to do it the worldly way and even in my own life I can relate to this statement very clearly.

 Learning to walk in faith is like that long journey we once took, it started with one small step. With each following step we learned more and more as the journey continued and when the journey was over we had learnt so much for the next trip. Walking in faith is like that, with each small step we learn to trust God just that little bit more. [2 Corinthians 5:7] Of course mistakes will be made, I have made enough, but unlike steps in the worldly way, God is there for us if we do it His way. However if we never take that first small step or plant that very small seed, will we ever see growth? will there ever be growth? Neil Armstrong stated when he stepped on to the Moon from the landing craft: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Maybe God is saying one small step in faith of mankind is one giant leap into a glorious future.

 God took a massive leap of faith when He created Adam and Eve who soon let Him down. [Romans 5:12] But God persevered and mankind continued but also continued in letting Him down. [Genesis 9:21] So instead of once more destroying it all as in the time of Noah, He set out on another course. There was only one thing for it and that was to send a sacrifice to take care of the sins of the world once and for all time. The Sinless One took on the sins of the world to set us free [Galatians 1:4] from the things of the earth so that we can walk in the real Light of the world, Yeshua. [John 8:12] A walk that is full of faith, [Titus 1:1] faith that He died, faith that He was raised from the dead and faith that one day He will return for His Bride. [Philippians 3:10] A faith based on the Word of God and also sometimes on the Godly lives of those who have gone before us. Of all those who walked by faith and not by sight.

 Faith is a gift and it can be learnt with every small step as long as we learn from each step and trust where our feet will be planted as we walk and talk with Yeshua along the narrow path. When the world is falling apart as it is at the moment, it is time to place our full trust in the God who is the same forever, to walk in the faith that only can come from God and learn with each step we take that He is always faithful [2 Timothy 2:13] to us so we should always be faithful to Him.

 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8

Jerusalem

We have arrived home after a long journey and speaking about Israel and the book has been very successful with many sales. Praise the Lord. By the time we returned home we had travelled over 4000km and met many old friends and made many more new ones. As we have travelled we have marveled at the beautiful country God has given us to live in but it is nothing to where the Lord would like to see us reside in the future. The miracle creating God was at work again while we travelled. Several times we saw the hand of God working, such as getting Google maps on my iPad with no internet connection, a GPS operating from the back seat of the car with no full address entered. Plus other times we just knew God's presence in the meetings.

 The main theme that the Lord gave me was Jerusalem and the Lord’s return. Of course only He knows when that will occur but with Rabbis telling their people not to travel because the Messiah is about to arrive and the seeing of wars and rumours of wars and nation rising up against nation and the Muslim invasion of Europe, there must be something stirring in the heavenlies. Before one meeting I believe the Lord reminded me that Jerusalem was restored a few hundred years before Yeshua arrived. [Nehemiah 2:5] While Nehemiah and his men worked others complained about what he was up to. [Nehemiah 4]

 Letters were sent to the King of Babylon to stop the building of the city. [Ezra 4:8-24]. Yes a clear message that the enemy was against the rebuilding of Jerusalem. What has changed over the last 2500 years? Jerusalem is still under attack. Every partition plan from the 1930s until even today, there is plan to remove the Jewish people from the City of the Great King. [Matthew 5:35] Two thousand years ago our Messiah stood in Jerusalem and tried to put the people back on to the correct path. [John 6:32] He spoke to the Pharisees [Matthew 23:26] and He spoke to the people, He healed and released those in bondage. [Mark 1:34] Some listened but many did not and we know from history that the leaders turned Him over to the Romans to be crucified. [Luke 24:20] Nothing has changed and the people of the world are still trying to crucify Him, the Word of God is once more under attack in many areas of the world.

 Another time while we were returning home the Lord gave me a similar message. It was the day we left Israel at the end of the first tour group we took there in 1997 so I went to the Western Wall for prayer before leaving. While there a man approached me and said; “Never forget Jerusalem” and then we both continued with:

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget her skill. Psalm 137:5

 The greatest of these attacks is against Israel itself. God said that Jerusalem would become a stumbling block to the world [Zechariah 12:3-4] and this has never been more so than today. Once more Jerusalem has been rebuilt to the glory it once was, in the words of the late Teddy Kolech, who was the mayor of Jerusalem for twenty-five years, "If the messiah is coming to this city then we have to clean it up." It was said back in 1839, that to describe Jerusalem all they had to do was read the Book of Lamentations chapters one and two. Even when Jordan occupied the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948 until 1967, they used the Western wall area as a rubbish dump. Throughout history since the destruction of and expulsion of the Jewish people in approximately 138AD Jerusalem has been just another city of the Middle East. But once more it has become the focus of the entire world who have one goal and that is to once more remove the Jewish people from the city where God told the people to go three times a year. [Deuteronomy 16:16] This is the very place where the two temples of God stood and where Yeshua ministered to the people.

 The battle for this city is not over and will continue until the return of the Messiah and why? To get an understanding of this we go to The Book of Zechariah Ch.14 and read what is prophesied on what will take place within the area of this city. The very place where our Lord left this earth to go to the Father to prepare a place for you and me [John 14:1-3] and where one day He will return to the very same place - the Mount of Olives. [Acts 1:9-11]

 The world has tried and is still trying to remove the Jewish people from this place so that they will not be there to welcome the King of the Jews. [Mark 15:9] The calls to boycott Israel is a return to the 1930s, and the calls to remove them from the area which was illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 until 1967 is a clear indication the enemy is getting worried.

 Israel is the apple of God’s eye, touch His people and we poke God in the eye. [Zechariah 2:8]  The Word clearly states that we cannot speak against God’s anointed. [Numbers 23:1-12] The Jewish people are a chosen people, chosen by God for a purpose. [Deuteronomy 7:6] A people chosen I would suggest to show God’s glory. Since the time of Esther the enemy has been trying to destroy them and the miracles that have occurred to keep them as a people are too numerous to count.

 With the building of Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah and then the coming of the Messiah and now Jerusalem being restored to the Jewish people in 1948, is the return of the Messiah on the horizon?  Maybe He is preparing to come but this is something only the Father knows. But the one thing we as believers should know and expect, is: He will return when we least expect His return.  [1 Thessalonians like a thief in the night 5:2] The battle is heating up, every day there is news of war and rumours of war, there are floods and destruction throughout the world and once more the earth is being shaken. We are living in perilous times and I truly believe this is a time for us to look clearly at the Word of God and evaluate exactly where we stand according to the promises to those who do so.

 Do we love God with all our being and trust that He has everything under His control? Are we living a life pleasing to God and living as if we are in the Kingdom and not the world? Are we living as Yeshua said we should in Matthew 22:19? And, if we are not what are we going to do about it? Something we all have to ask ourselves every day as we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. [Romans 3:23]

 If we were to face the Lord tomorrow would He find that we have done as He commanded:

 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘you shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets.”  

 

Israel Lives

Israel is once more under attack; people waiting for a bus or walking through the Old City of Jerusalem are in danger of not reaching their destination. There are videos being put out by Hamas and the like showing how to kill Jews. There are Muslim leaders in Mosques waving knives around as they scream hatred. Arab children as young as two or three years old are being taught to kill in the most gruesome ways. Then the news media turns around and tells us that this is Israel’s fault for occupying the land. OK that is where this message comes in.

 When I read the Word of God I see such things as, I will give you all the land you can see.[Genesis 13:15] I see in Psalm 105:5-11 a confirmation of this statement and many more scriptures telling us the same thing. [Jeremiah 32:1-15] When the Israelites left Egypt they knew where they were heading and that was to the Promised Land, the land God promised Abraham and his descendants. They entered that land at the point of Jericho [Joshua 24:11] and took control of the land as commanded by God. [Joshua 3:7-12] So where is the problem and how did we get from there to the situation we have today?

 There is no easy answer to this or short story connected to what has happened. However to keep things short, the presence situation started over four thousand years ago when Abraham got impatient and took matters into his own hands. [Genesis 16:15] There was a promise God gave to Abraham, but through his own thinking, because of his age, thought the promise given to him by God was impossible [Genesis 18:9-15] and Ishmael was born and the trouble started. Then the idea came to the nations that what God had said was wrong and that this land does not belong to those God said would have it, “but it is ours they cried!” This spirit has controlled mankind's thinking ever since but to fulfill this thinking the Jewish people would have to be destroyed, because if they are not then the promises of God remain visible for all to see.

 The promise continued through Jacob and not Esau. Esau showed he was not the right person through his life style and his actions by giving up his birthright all for a bowl of soup. [Genesis25:29-33] Jacob went on a very long journey before the promises of God were fulfilled and the people finally reached the place where the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, wanted the people to be, the Land of Israel. That place is a little strip of land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. A strip of land that would even fit in to New Zealand about ten times. New Zealand is a small land so this shows just how small Israel is.

 Many times the invading armies went through this land and many times they came across the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. Whenever a plan was boasted against the Jewish people in came unstuck. [Isaiah 54:17] Take Haman in the time of Esther for example, he came up with plan to destroy all the Jewish people in Babylon [Esther 8:5] but God turned things around and Haman was the one who was destroyed and the Jewish people lived. The Angel of the Lord destroyed the Invading armies coming against Israel [2 Kings 19:35] and many others who thought they had conquered the land for good, but they only lasted a short time and were gone. To see this we only have to visit Caesarea on the coast of Israel and within this area we can see the evidence of these people, from the Greeks to the Crusaders and more. All these people are now gone but Israel not only remains it is surviving against all odds.

 The greatest miracle in my lifetime, having been born in 1943, is the full re-establishment of the state of Israel. The greatest miracle seen by the generation born since this event is the survival of Israel against overwhelming odds.

 This brings us to Church times and what people call replacement theology, that is where people within the church claim all the promises that were given to the Jewish people now belong to the Church. For this to happen we would have to change much of the Bible, well I suppose many have tried to but we must remember the last two verses in the book of Revelation that warns all from doing such a thing. [Revelation 22:18-19] The Bible is so clear that the promises to the Jewish people will stand forever and anybody or nation that tries to destroy them will never succeed. [Joel 3:1-3]

 So for hundreds of years people have tried to destroy and conquer Israel. From before the arrival on earth of the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, until the present time. First of all it was an attempt by the evil one to stop the Messiah coming to the Jewish people. [Romans 1:16] Then when this failed the plan was to stop the people coming to the Messiah. Well now we have come the full circle and once more the world and sadly even people in the church are working hand in hand to destroy the Jewish nation which in turn, in the view of the evil one, will stop the return of Messiah Yeshua.

 At the moment The PLO, Hamas, many in the Church and even the UN plus most of the countries around the world are against the Jewish people controlling what is called east Jerusalem. [Zechariah 12:3] Over 3000 years ago King David made this city the Capital of the Jewish State. Up until 1948 it had never been a divided city. The city became divided during the war of independence when seven Arab armies tried to destroy Israel and the Old City was taken by Jordan creating the east and the west Jerusalem. In 1967 the city was re-united as one city as it had been for thousands of years. Now the world is telling Israel to give it up.

 To understand why the evil one wants the Jewish people to give up the Old City and what is now called east Jerusalem, you have to understand what is in “East Jerusalem”. Our Lord and Saviour arrived in Bethlehem [Matthew 2:1] and grew up in Nazareth [Matthew 2:23] but died in Jerusalem. [Hebrews 13:12] To be exact, in the eastern part of Jerusalem, right by the Old City. Three days later Yeshua rose from the grave and for forty days ministered to the people. [Acts 1:3] Yeshua appeared and spoke with His disciples both in Jerusalem and the Galilee. He told Peter to feed His sheep a direct quote from God talking in Ezekiel 34:15, showing exactly who He was and is. This is the one returning for His Bride, you and me and He is going to return to exactly the same place He left from, the Mount of Olives. [Acts 1:9-12] The question is where is this place that people call the Mount of Olives? It is in the area the world calls east Jerusalem, the very area the people of the world are trying to make Israel give up. It is in the very area that for many weeks now the cry has gone up from the Muslims that their god is greater and they have been attacking anybody who has stepped on to the Temple Mount. The people kept going to the Temple Mount so the attacks have become more violent.

 Yes the Mount of Olives, the point where the Messiah will return is in this area so from what is happening; to me this is a clear indication that the evil one is trying to stop Yeshua, the Saviour of the world, [John 4:42] returning to the people. But more importantly I would suggest it is a clear indication the return of Yeshua is on the horizon.

 We are living in an exciting time, may be just may be, in our lifetime we will see the return of Yeshua and all of His promises completely fulfilled. The plan and signs have been there since God said the head of the devil would be crushed and the heal of Adam bruised; [Genesis 3:15] something the ancient Rabbis say is one and the same event. We can see this was fulfilled when Yeshua died and rose again. [1 Corinthians 15:12] When Joseph interpreted the dream of the two prisoners, the wine taster and the baker [Genesis 40:9-21] two separate dreams but the same event according to the Rabbis. The wine and bread, seen as a symbols of life and sacrifice, and according to the Rabbis, a messianic prophesy.

 Yeshua said look up and when you see all these things your salvation is near. [Matthew 24:4-8] The evil one is getting very angry is it time for us to get very ready? One thing I do know is that the plans of man will come to nothing where our God is concerned [Proverbs 19:21] and it is time to get to know Him like never before. For when Yeshua stands on the Mount of Olives the Mountain will split in two and the water will flow from the Temple to the Dead Sea where it will make all things come alive. [Ezekiel 47:8] A clear symbol of what is to come when the Lord returns, He will bring a dead earth to life and all His glory will be revealed. Then every knee shall bow and proclaim Him as Lord [Philippians 2:10] and the Books will be opened and the names of the saved shall be proclaimed. [Revelation 20:11-12] The question remains are we going to follow the word of God and stand by His promises regarding the Children of Abraham Isaac and Jacob or are we going to fight against these promises, the choice is our to make. Are we going to answer the age old call recorded in Exodus 32:26, all those for the Lord step forward. And, choose this day who you will serve. [Joshua 24:15]

 Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. The LORD of hosts is His name; great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds. Jeremiah 32:17-19

 

 

God's plan's are not our plans

Several years ago I was speaking to a group about Israel. I was not ready for the statement that came from one of the church members attending. It was only a few days after we learnt one of our grandsons had cancer so I was not in the right frame of mind to receive and did not expect someone, especially a Christian, to say: “The Jews got the land through false means”. All these years later I would like to think that young lady has come to realise God’s word is true in every way. [John 1:14]

 Sadly, this young lady is not alone in the Christian world when it comes to the Jewish people being in the land of Israel. I have just listened to a speaker at a conference in Jerusalem where he said that even Born Again Christians are speaking out against Israel and joining the boycotts of the Jewish people. I am sorry but I am going to be bold enough to say, especially after reading scripture, anyone who is vilifying the Jewish people and saying they should never be in the land of Israel, is not born again.

 Now why do I say this? Back as far as Leviticus 19:18 God tells us to love our neighbour which Jesus repeated in Matthew 19:19. God is a God of love and wants all people to walk in His light and come to realise we are sinners, as mentioned throughout scripture and as we read in 1 John 1:5-10

 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

 We are all sinners as mentioned in Romans: “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. [Romans 3:23] And again in the book of John 17 – ‘they will love as You have loved Me and Me them’. Jesus Himself said if we want to see the Kingdom of God we must be born again [John 3:3] and that means to take on the mind of Messiah. [1 Corinthians 2:16] Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to correct and to guide in all things [John 15:26] and without the Spirit of God in our lives we can be blinded by the darkness of the world around us. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit we cannot be called born again. Without the Spirit of God we can never know the deep things of God. [1 Corinthians 2:10] So before we start speaking against the things of God we need to go to the Word and find out just what these things are. Someone once said, gossip is a sign of jealousy of the achievements of the person the gossip is being spread about. Well having lived in Israel, which included Bethlehem, I can assure you most of the “gossip” I hear about the Jewish people and Israel, is simply not true. And yet Christians continue to spread things that they hear without ever having been in Israel or checking the facts.

 Israel is there where it is, even after all the things they did wrong, because God said they would be. God went further than that He said these things would happen because of His holy names sake. [Ezekiel 36:22] I for one listen very carefully to the scripture that tells us to never speak against one of God’s anointed ones. [2 Chronicles 36:16] So to speak against the promises of God to the Jewish people could land us in very big trouble. [Genesis 12:3] King David set us all a lesson in this area. He not only refused to speak against King Saul, when Saul was right in front of David he refused to lift a hand against Saul because Saul was God’s anointed. [1 Samuel 24:5-7] We do not have to agree with everything a country, in this case Israel, does, but before we start down the road that many Christians have decided to take in condemning and boycotting Israel as totally responsible for what is going on, we should step back and take a look at ourselves and ask what would we do in their situation?

 Israel has just once more celebrated the 9th of Av. This is a very important date in the Jewish calendar; it is the date that many disastrous events throughout their history have occurred. This includes the destruction of both temples, the expulsion form England in 1292 and the start of the Inquisition in Spain in the 15th century. The scriptures tell us many times in Isaiah and Jeremiah that one day the world would see a State for the Jewish people again. Amos tells us they will never be removed from the Land [Amos 9:15] and Joel 3 warns the World to keep their hands off the Jewish people. We as Christians should take note and continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem so that both Jew and Arab can live in peace in God’s land. [Psalm 122:6].

 We should never speak on such matters as the future of anything that God may be doing, without the wisdom of God being consulted through the Spirit of God. [1 Corinthians 2:13] The things that God is doing in the world, which Includes Israel, cannot be understood by a person who does not have the Spirit of God, they are foolishness to them because they can only be discerned by the Spirit living within us. Therefore these people vilifying Israel cannot understand what is going on and therefore cannot be born again. [1 Corinthians 2:14]

 We hear people saying: “ God has a plan for your life.” But what we forget is His plan for the World but this does not seem to fit within the programs of many Christians. I have said it before and I will say it again, God does not want to see anybody lost, [Ezekiel 33:11] but there is one who does and that is the evil one, and unless we fully surrender to the will of God through the saving grace that He showed on the cross, we can be deceived. [Mark 13:22]

 Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? No one; but we are to have the mind of Messiah. [1 Corinthians 2:16]

 The Jewish people have sinned and fallen short of what has been required of them but, and remember it is a big but, so have we. And yet I hear time and again how the Jewish people sinned so therefore the promises to them are now ours, the Christians. Well there is some bad news in this area and it comes directly from the Lord Jesus. Twice He warns us, firstly He said to the disobedient people, get away from me I did not know you. [Luke 13:22-30] Then Jesus said, what you have not done for the least of my brothers, [Jewish People] you did it to Me. [Mathew 25:41-46]

 Jesus is returning and when He does what is He going to find? Is He going to find Christians living as in the time of Noah [Luke 17:26-27] rejecting God’s plan as the young lady did, or will He find Christians upholding the word of God and loving as He loves? Are we going to be living as He has commanded us to live or is Jesus going to find that we are continuing to reject the Jewish people? or find people who know what a privilege it is to be chosen by God and grafted in to the tree of life by becoming part of the Bride of Messiah. [Revelation 22:12-14]

 “Behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city”.  

 

 

True to the Word

Many years ago the Lord had me study the new age movement and what it would mean to us who are Christian. This was a movement to replace God in whose image we are made to making God into our image. Sadly many of those things I learnt of this worldly system is alive in many church areas today, from the idea that God of the Bible is old and out of touch with modern society, to there are many ways to find God. Firstly God is never out of touch as His Word is as relevant today as the day it was written. [1Peter 1:24-25] It is the same as the day it was written to the day that Word became flesh and dwelt among us. [John 1:14] As for there being many ways to God, well in a way this is true. Whatever path we choose we will all end up at the Judgment seat of God. [Romans 14:10] There we will be asked one simple question: “Did you accept and confess Jesus as Lord?” [Romans 10:9] You know, the one I sent into the world, [John 10:36] not to condemn the world but to save it. [John 3:17] Do you believe there no is other name under Heaven and earth by which you can be saved? [Acts 4:12] Not difficult questions but important ones to know and understand because God did not send His Son to be ignored and killed. [Matthew 21:33-39]   Did not God declare, so long ago, that He and He alone would save all mankind by His outstretched arm? [Exodus 6:6]

 God knew what had to be done for us to be redeemed from the worldly things that we found ourselves in. Throughout the Word of God He has painted for us a picture, in fact many pictures of what was to happen. He said his heel would be bruised and He would crush the head of satan. [Genesis 3:15] Two events of which the Rabbi's of old have said; these two events are one and the same event. Jesus crushed satan's head the day He was nailed to the cross, satan had no power over us from this day forward. When Joseph interpreted the dreams of the cup bearer and the baker again the Rabbi’s say this was one and the same, two dreams, but the same event. [Genesis 40:9-23] They say the bread signified the death, as without bread we die and the wine the blood of life. For the life is in in the blood. [Leviticus 17:11]

 There will be a virgin with a child, [Isaiah 7:14] an action fully fulfilled in Mary a thousand years later. [Matthew 1:18-25] To us a son will be born, a son would be given and the government would be upon His shoulders and He will be called: wonderful councillor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace. [Isaiah 9:6] All these and many more making it quite clear that when Jesus did come to earth, the people would know exactly who He was and is and will be forever. [Hebrews 13:8]

 We do not have to invent new ways to understand God. He is as real today to the searcher of truth as He was to the early Israelites crying out to be set free from the yoke of the Egyptians. [Exodus 2:23] It seems the easier life becomes the more we want to change God into our lifestyle instead of fitting into God’s vision for our lives. A teacher I was listening to recently reminded us Jesus never called for a Bible study and the reason? He lived every day the scriptures. Neither did the Disciples sit to study the Word they knew it, they saw it in Jesus and they lived it. Just as we should day in and day out so others around us can see that the Bible is true because the Word of God changes people. It is the living word of our lives, [Psalm 119:105] showing directing and teaching [2 Timothy 3:16] and showing to us exactly what Jesus said: “I am the way and I am the truth and I am the life. [John 14:6] I am the Light of the world and those who follow Me will never walk in darkness”. [John 12:46]

 This is the truth but as Pilate asked  “What is truth?” [John 18:38] Truth is the reality of God demonstrated on the cross where Jesus suffered and died then He rose from the dead [1 Corinthians 15:4] to give us a hope and a future now and forever more. [Jeremiah 29:11] This is the reality of God, simple and basic with no need of creating something new just because time has passed since the crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus died on the cross because we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. [Romans 3:23] But there is a promise, through the love of God we have been set free and the last enemy has been defeated, even death - so that we may live. [1 Corinthians 15:26]

 Yes there are many ways people try to find God and yet are unwilling to admit there is something bigger out there than themselves. Even in the Church we have people agreeing that God can do anything. He made the universe, He created all the beauty we see around us and He created people and all life on this planet. And yet they restrict what God can do into their own thinking rather than remembering that God is all knowing, God is everywhere and God is all powerful. God is loving and kind but He is also a just God and has to honour His word. [Isaiah 45:21] If God says we should not do something I believe He knows the reason behind that command even if we don’t. If the Word of God tells us to be saved we have to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour then He expects us to accept this command. If we choose not to then that is our choice but God has given us enough evidence to show us why we must accept this command.

 As sinners we cannot come into His presence [Ezra 9:15] so there has to be some means by which we can enter into His Heavenly Kingdom just as there was for the High Priest to be able to enter into the Temple’s Holy of Holies. [Leviticus 14:19] Aaron’s sons disobeyed the rules laid down for entering the Temple and were destroyed. [Leviticus 10:1-2] What has happened in the past has clearly laid down a pattern for us to follow. God was going to do something extraordinary to bring salvation to the world. One might ask, why not just forgive people and accept them anyway? I believe the answer lies in the fact that we have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Therefore there has to be a positive action on our part to indicate we are truly sorry. There has to be a confession of faith and a turning from that life style. For this to happen there had to be something we can look upon and say: “Jesus did that for me! Then I need to do something for Him and that is confess Him as Lord of my life and invite Him into my heart”. This is what changes people, this is what changes lives and brings about changes in attitudes.  This is what changes the hardest criminal facing life in prison and the person in the street just struggling with life.

 So when that day comes when we are asked the question: Is Jesus Lord of our lives and you follow no other? We have to be able to say: “He is and there is no other”. Because God has gone through a lot of heartache and I am sure many tears to get us to the point of salvation and He has to be true to His Word. So when every knee bows before Him [Romans 14:11] there will come a time when God will separate the sheep from the goats. The goats will go to the left and the sheep to the right. [Matthew 25:33] The sheep will go through the narrow door the door God created through Jesus’ sacrifice and only those who chose this way in life can enter through it on the Day of Judgment. [Luke 13:24] As there is now one way and that has been created by the perfect sacrifice that has enabled for those who accept Jesus, to enter not by a temporary way but a way open for all time. [Hebrews 10:20]

 So no matter how tempting it may seem to change the Word to suit our situations we must always remember that final Word in Revelation Chapter 22:10-21 where it reminds us who can and who cannot enter the New Jerusalem and that we are never to change the Word of God as it is written. Because one day Jesus will return and there will be a ‘new age’ that will last forever one not created by man but by God Himself.

 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Serve the Creator not the Created.

I was talking to someone on the phone and they were having trouble getting the information for me because their computer would not work properly. This got me thinking to a time long gone where we paid for an item worth 15 pounds six shillings and six pence with a Twenty-Pound note. The shopkeeper pressed a few buttons on the cash register and quickly gave the correct change every time. It did not matter whether the shop assistant was straight out of school or ready for retirement, they all knew how to add and subtract such figures in their heads. When we went to decimal currency this may have been a little easier but it was still done with much ease. So what happened? We got technology.

 First it was the computer and then the hand held calculator, then the cell phone and now the greatest of them all, the iPhone. I sit here and with the aid of this computer write this message. Yes it is easier to get the messages out to all the people who receive them but it would not be impossible to send them by mail, more expensive yes but not impossible. But I have become reliant on the computer. My calculator sits in the draw and I use Excel to do my accounts. As for my cell phone I may have used it once in the last twenty-four hours but it is there when I need it. And, we all say “Aren’t these things great” but you know what? None of them would exist if we had not made them.

 Now these items rule our lives, we lose our cell phones and it is the end of the world. The power goes off when we are in the middle of watching something on our computers and the power companies are the worst people on the planet. Our server goes down and we move all things to get them to straighten out their act. In other words these things that we have created have come to rule our lives. These gadgets would never exist if it had not been for the intellect and ability of mankind and yet the world stops if they are not working. They rule our lives like nothing else ever before throughout the history of mankind. We have created them and now we serve them. [Romans 1:25]

 Let me tell of something else that has been created: us, you and me; we only exist because God made us. God created man in His image, male and female He created them. [Genesis 1:27] God created us for what purpose? In one church statement it is to know Him, [1 John 4:6] to serve Him [Philippians 3:3] and to love Him. [Matthew 22:37] God has given every creature and person who has ever walked on the face of the earth - life. [Colossians 1:16] We have been given life and a life in all its abundance.

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-4

  We have been created in the image of God and He saw that we were good [Genesis 1:31] and wonderfully and beautifully made by God. [Psalm 139] We can breathe we can talk, we can enjoy the beautiful world around us but there is one thing we do not do and should never do and that is try to control our creator. Unlike whatever we create, which we allow it to rule our lives, anything from a computer to a business, they can end up controlling our every move. 

 But here we have the most wonderful Creator who made everything we can see or touch, yes even that iPhone. Why do I say that? Because God created our intelligence that gives us the ability to do what we do and still God gets no credit for it. Apple, Samsung and many others, have these big world media launches to show the world how clever they are without a thought to how they were able to come up with such ideas.

 God created the heavens and the earth, He put the stars in place [Isaiah 42:5] and He made you and me and yet so many people pay no attention to their Creator but at the same time bow and scrape to something that has been created by man. [Exodus 32:4-6] We have built our temples and idols and at the same time ignore the very one who placed Jesus on the cross. There was once an elderly man found crying in a car park, when asked why he was crying he replied:

 “I spent my whole working life building up a company, which was to be my gift to the country. I worked so hard at it I lost my wife, my family and my health. To me this did not matter I had this company, it was mine and it was operating just the way I hade planned it. One week after I had retired I returned to get something from what was my office. I soon found they had changed everything I had put in place for a monument to what I had done. It was all gone in just one week, a life time of work gone.”

 Our idols come in many different forms, anything from items, jobs or even family. We let them all control the way we live but completely ignore the One who gave us the ability to live. Is it any wonder Hosea wrote what he did about the unfaithfulness of Israel? Is it any wonder Jeremiah tried to warn the people of what was to come as they moved further and further away from God? Is it any wonder that King Solomon wrote that all is but vanity, [Ecclesiastes 1:14] when he saw at the end of his life that all the riches he had and all the power he had had left him empty because he had moved away from The God, the One who had given him all that he had. So instead of worshipping the creator he worshipped the created.

 "Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, and they cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good." "Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they and they cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good." Jeremiah 10:5

 There may be fathers in this world who just do not want to know their families but this is not our Father in Heaven. [Psalm 136:23] Our Heavenly Father wants to have that personal contact with His children. [John 1:12-13] He longs for us all to come back home to Him and loves us beyond belief, yet we still turn to the created rather than the Creator to rule our lives. This God who is a Father who wants to be involved in every aspect of life from the moment we are conceived to the day He takes us home. How many times has it been stated just how much God loves us. [Psalm 117:2] This love was demonstrated when He placed His Son Jesus on the Cross. It is shown by the resurrection of this same Jesus who died in our place, who sat and talked and ate with the disciples. [Luke 24:42-43] Who rose in the flesh [Luke 24:39] to show the truth of His word and the promises enshrined in that Word. [Isaiah 53]

 It is time to place our hope and trust in the one living God. [Proverbs 3:5] It is time to place Him and Him alone as number one in our lives. [Exodus 20:3] It is time to be reminded that our God is the Creator and we are merely the created. No created being can have the grace, salvation and forgiveness of sin without the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. [Acts 4:12] There is nothing under heaven or earth that can compare with what Jesus did for us and is still doing, so the question remains: why would we want anything or one to rule our lives other than God, through the power of the Holy Spirit sent to reveal all truth? [John 14:26]

 Salvation comes through our God who has given us His living Word. [John 1:14] The word talks about gods that have a mouth and cannot speak and ears but cannot hear. [Psalm 135:16] But when Jesus walked the earth God had a voice to teach and He had ears that could hear of our problems but most of all He had a heart, a real live beating heart. Not a heart made of plastic and circuit boards but a heart of love for all He had created, a heart of feeling, of laughter and of sorrow, a heart that can feel as you and I feel.  This is the God who will one day send His Son to gather up the elect and take them home to be with the Father. For this promise and many more, this is where our focus should be now and forever. Amen.

 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. “Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. John 17:1-8