The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Living & Dying Unto the Lord

Posted by israeliteindeed on January 29, 2017

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My husband and I have entered the longest, darkest valley we’ve ever been in. He was diagnosed with cancer. We were told he was cancer-free after surgery, but shortly after that, 5 tumors were spotted in his abdominal soft tissue. We went the all natural route with a very clean diet and supplements, detoxing, etc. But a month ago, the unforeseeable happened. A tumor burst through my husband’s skin. Until then, he was doing very well, even working full time. After this, his health rapidly declined, and the tumors began to grow extremely fast, bursting through the skin one by one. In one month’s time, he went from feeling “normal” to seemingly at death’s door. He spent 8 days in the hospital. We are beginning new treatments this week, along with continuing to try to nourish him with foods like moringa, turmeric, coconut oil, etc.

Nothing can prepare you to watch someone you love lose his strength, his muscle, his size, his energy, his skin (the tumors are eating the skin off his stomach).  Even his voice has been reduced almost to a whisper. I have to remind myself that even “Jesus wept.” It hurts.

But…God has saved him. He is redeemed. He is my brother. He has eternal life. He is committed to Jesus.  How do we assign value to this? Even as I weep off and on during the difficult days, I see the value of my husband’s redemption, and I feel its tremendous comfort.

And so into the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death, a Light shines. A Light bright enough to carry us all the way home if necessary, goodness and mercy trailing behind us. Some truths we understood in part; now we more fully understand. I expect the picture will grow clearer and clearer over time.

Unfortunately, sickness has a way of bringing miserable comforters to your side. They have good intentions, but they don’t understand what God is doing. See the book of Job. His friends insisted Job must have some sin in his life, or he would be healed. God corrected them. I’m so glad that book is in the Bible. Job still speaks comfort to the righteous all over the world who are suffering!

Someone gave us a book that claims physical healing is included in the atonement, and therefore any Christian can demand a physical healing, and God MUST heal them. If they don’t get healed, they must not have the right faith. This doctrine is false.

If we can command God, then we are God, and He is not God. He is God, and we are His sheep. He commands us, and He leads us where He wants because He’s alot wiser than we are. Sometimes He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death because it will bring a greater good whether we are eventually healed or not. Those who love Him follow Him wherever He goes, and He sustains them whether they live or die.

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. (Rom. 14:8)

We will have neither sorrow nor pain nor tears nor death AFTER WE ARE RESURRECTED.The “second death” has no power over us (Rev. 2:11). But all are appointed  to die once in this temporary life, and after that the judgment (Heb. 9:27). We have all been dying since we were born.  One day, something–or many things– will quit working, and these bodies will expire. If you have not yet realized that all flesh is like the grass, quickly fading, in time you will see this truth. It is hard to truly grasp until it happens to you.

The doctrine that if you aren’t healed, you lacked faith, very often condemns the just and makes the heart of the righteous sad, whom God has not made sad (Ezek. 13:22). Thankfully we have the Truth upholding us and the presence of Jesus surrounding us like an impregnable fortress. It’s ironic that we have to hold our shields of faith up to stop the fiery darts of the wicked one (that come through professed believers) saying, “You must have no faith.”

He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. (Prov. 17:15)

Satan has created a false “faith” that says we can, like God Himself, name it and claim it. That’s not faith; it’s paganism.  Faith trusts in God’s promises–all of them–including the ones that promise we will suffer, but one day our sufferings will cease forever.

God has been preparing me for these days for two years. I didn’t understand the preparation time until now.  He’s been tearing away from me all obsession with this life. This life is beautiful even in a sin-cursed world, and yet the redemption of sinners and the building of God’s kingdom is the ultimate goal as we dwell in tents of perishable skin. I haven’t always had the right priorities. The world teaches us to seek after food, clothes, health, wealth, power, beauty. These are nothing but dung compared to knowing Jesus and making Him known. If I knew this before, I know it better now.

I believe God can do anything. He can heal with a Word. He does heal today. And He WILL heal if it brings the most good to the most people. But He alone knows what will bring the most good. I know if it was up to me to wave some magic wand and get everything I thought I needed, I’d be a self-centered narcissist. That’s not good, and it’s not what I need. I would never elect to go through the fire, but God knows we need refining. God values our souls more than our temporary bodies. His ways are higher than our ways. We are invited to have the mind of Christ, and to assign our bodies and souls the same value He does (Matt. 10:28).

I know and confess that God is good even if He doesn’t heal my husband of cancer. He has forgiven us our sins. He has reached through the confusion and pain of this life to give us the truth that healed our rebellious hearts. He has given us such a beautiful marriage, and precious children and grandchildren.  Even now He continues to bless us, but we need our spiritual eyesight sharpened to see it. That’s ok. On the days our eyesight is poor, He sends a godly friend with a word in season, and the picture clears. He is a good Father, our Healer, our Redeemer, our Provider, our Life, our peace, and our joy. The Friend that sticks closer than a brother. The One who wept at the tomb of Lazarus is not forgetting any labor of love we ever did, and our tears are in His bottle. “My soul magnifies the Lord”!

If you love the Lord Jesus, will you please pray for our family? Pray that my husband’s faith does not fail, and that our lights continue to shine brightly no matter what. Pray we glorify Jesus in this trial, as we should. Pray for the unbelievers in our lives that we may influence because of our circumstances. I am asking my Father to touch and heal my husband and give him more years here, but I trust that He knows what is best and will do it.

God bless you!

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Old Testament Faith vs. Modern Judaism

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 22, 2016

I have written extensively about how the Old and New Covenants are one continual revelation of Jesus Christ–the salvation of mankind; and how the New Covenant Church is the continuation and fulfillment of the Old Testament faith, by virtue of its being an Olive tree that joins together Jew and Gentile people of authentic faith into one Body for eternity.

Confusion is introduced when Bible teachers claim that New Testament faith has its “roots in Judaism.” The truth is that New Testament faith has its roots in the Old Testament faith, for they are both pure faith in Yahweh and His Messiah Jesus.

However modern Judaism is a religion which actually contradicts both Old and New Testament faith. While modern Judaism does still borrow from Old Testament faith practices when convenient (such as circumcision, meeting in temples, etc.), it has added to them myriad traditions and laws God never spoke, many of which completely obscure the purpose of God’s law and/or create loopholes around God’s law.

Michael Hoffman gives us an example of such a confusion-bringing teaching by Presbyterian theologian Douglas Jones–

“…consider the case of Abraham, that ancient father of Judaism and Christianity…One of the best ways of beginning to think about the nature of Christianity is to think of it in the light of Judaism. Today, we so often think of Judaism and Christianity as two distinct religions, almost like Buddhism and Islam. But early Christianity never saw itself in that way. The earliest Christians saw themselves as faithful Jews simply following Jewish teachings. In fact, the first main dispute in the Christian church was whether non-Jews, the Gentiles, could even be a part of Christianity! Christianity self-consciously saw itself as the continuing outgrowth, the fulfillment, of true Judaism. As such, Christianity didn’t start in the first century but long before with King David, Moses, Abraham, and ultimately the first man, Adam. Everything in older Judaism was building up and pointing to the work of Jesus Christ. Over and over, the early disciples explained that Christ was the fulfillment of the ancient promises of Judaism…So when we start thinking about Christianity, we have to understand its very Jewish roots. We should assume that Christianity ought to look and sound like Judaism except when it explicitly claims to change something. We should expect that the Scriptures, institutions, basic principles, laws, meditations, family life, etc. of Judaism would carry over into Christianity, unless Christ, the final prophet, authoritatively changed a practice….Christianity’s Jewishness is pervasive indeed.”(1)
 While Douglas Jones properly tied the New Testament church to Old Testament saints like David, Moses and Abraham, his improper use of the term “Judaism” to describe their faith is a dangerous misstep. Christians have fellowship with all the righteous–that would certainly include David, Moses and Abraham. But we do not have fellowship with the unrighteous–those who follow another spirit and another gospel–such as is found in modern Judaism.  Mr. Hoffman explains–

By improper application of the words “Jew” and “Judaism,” the preceding statement of a leading modern conservative Presbyterian’s view of Judaism, extols a palimpsest of confusion. First and foremost, by terming the Old Testament religion of Yahweh  as “Judaism,” an inexorable connection is inevitable and established between the religion of those who rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and the Old Testament religion of His Father, Yahweh. The reader is given the distinct impression that modern Judaism bears within it the seeds of the religion of the Old Testament, that it is the Old Testament religion without Christ. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing could be a greater source of delusion. To ascribe to the ancient Israelite religion the term “Judaism” is a grave lexical and hermeneutic error. It gives to the creed of the entire Twelve Tribes of Israel and their Covenant Elohim, the title of a perverse man-made tradition that flourished among one segment of the offspring of the fourth son of the patriarch Jacob (the tribe of Judah). The word “Jew” is a corrupted form of the word Judah. It refers to two of the twelve tribes of Israel, Judah and Benjamin, and does not even appear in the Bible until II Kings 16:6, and then again in 25:25 and II Chronicles 32:18.

Paul’s allusion to the “Jews’ religion” in this context is instructive. Paul’s reference in this regard is negative: “And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.” (Galatians 1:14). The hallmarks of the “Jews’ religion” according to Paul, are two-fold: persecution of God’s Church (I Thessalonians 2:14-16), and allegiance to the “traditions” of men. 

The Pharisees asked Jesus why His followers disobeyed the Talmud (at that time known as the “tradition of the elders” and not yet in written form), by refusing to engage in ritual hand-washing: “Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread.” “But Jesus said unto them, ‘Why do ye transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (Matthew 15: 2-3). How can it be said that “Judaism” (the “Jews’ religion”) is the root of Christianity, when according to Paul, it is a religion of man-made traditions and according to Jesus Christ, Judaism’s traditions of men made the Law of Yahweh of “none effect”? (Matthew 15:9). How can it be said that “Judaism” is the root of Christianity, when in the Old Testament there was no “Judaism”? One searches in vain for the term, yet modernist Christians today use it almost exclusively to describe the religion of the Old Testament, of Yahweh and His people.

After some Jews rejected their Messiah they formalized the tradition of the elders condemned by Christ as the very nullification of the Law of God, and that new religion is accurately and properly termed Judaism: “This new system, treated at first as simply provisional because of the surviving hope of restoring the Jewish commonwealth, had soon to be accepted as definitive…Then it was that Rabbinical or Talmudical Judaism fully asserted its authority…the Mishna ‘Oral Teaching’ completed by Rabbi Juda I, committed ultimately to writing in the form of the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds and expounded by generations of teachers in the schools of Palestine and Babylonia, held undisputed sway over the minds and consciences of the Jews. In fact, this long acceptation of the Talmud by the Jewish race, before its center shifted from the East to the West, so impressed this…Law (Mishnah) upon the hearts of the Jews that down to the present day Judaism has remained essentially Talmudical both in its theory and in its practice…Orthodox Judaism…distinctly admits the absolutely binding force of the oral Law…” (2)

  Hopefully, you can see that neither Jesus nor Paul accepted Judaism as authentic faith, but instead a corruption born out of rebellion against God. Remember that Jesus told the Pharisees God would require of their generation all the righteous blood from Abel to Zechariah, whom their fathers had killed.  Not only did they refuse to enter life, they hindered others from doing so by “taking away the key to knowledge.” (Lk. 11:45-52) Their spiritual children continue to do this to this very day, obscuring and perverting the Word of God with their legions of laws and traditions.

Thankfully their physical children can repent and be converted, and become the children of God!  Paul is a prime example, and we also have the example of Nicodemus going to learn from Jesus in John 3. It appears that Nicodemus did become a follower of Jesus, forsaking the traditions of his fathers for the living Truth. He later publicly identified with Jesus by helping to give Him a proper burial (John 19:39-40), an act which surely burned the bridge between himself and the Pharisees.

God bless you as you continue to seek clarity on these issues!

(1) Hoffman, Michael. Judaism Discovered: A Study of the Anti-Biblical Religion of Racism, Self-Worship, Superstition and Deceit (Kindle Locations 2473-2483). Independent History and Research. Kindle Edition.

(2)Hoffman, Michael. Judaism Discovered: A Study of the Anti-Biblical Religion of Racism, Self-Worship, Superstition and Deceit (Kindle Locations 2484-2513). Independent History and Research. Kindle Edition.

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The Torah of Judaism

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 21, 2016

Introduction

There is a book by Michael Hoffman which every Christian should read in order to understand the religion of Judaism and how it relates to authentic Christianity. The book is Judaism Discovered: A Study of the Anti-Biblical Religion of Racism, Self-worship, Superstition and Deceit. It can be downloaded (here) to kindle for about $10.

Now some will be put off by the title alone because they imagine that Judaism is the adherence to the first 5 books of the Bible, commonly called the Torah by Christians. Such is not the case, and Michael Hoffman brilliantly unmasks this deception.

When we understand today’s Judaism, we will also understand the strong rebukes that Jesus leveled against the Pharisees of His day, for in those days, Judaism was in its infant stage. The teachings of the Pharisees had not yet been put into writing, although they were orally laid upon the shoulders of the common Jews as heavy burdens they could not bear, often nullifying the Word of God (Matt. 15:6; 23:4). These oral laws were later committed to writing; then many more were added over the centuries.  Very few know the true satanic nature of these writings, or how much they contradict the Old Testament, as well as the New.

I will be sharing bits and pieces of this book in future posts in order that we may better understand what modern Judaism is, so we can ascertain biblically what our relationship to it should be, and call others out of deception.

Today, I will begin with a few quotes showing that the “Torah” observed by Judaism today is not Old Testament Scripture, but rather the imaginative and sinful words of men which oppose the Scriptures.

All quotes are taken from this source: Hoffman, Michael. Judaism Discovered: A Study of the Anti-Biblical Religion of Racism, Self-Worship, Superstition and Deceit. Independent History and Research. Kindle Edition. Kindle locations will be noted below, with the abbreviation KL. I have added a few notations in red for clarity.

How does modern Judaism define Torah?

Torah. This word is wielded like a weapon. It is Judaism’s badge of authority. The rabbis boast that they have the Torah, they have mastered the Torah, they base their laws on the Torah and that they are Torah-true. Actually, these claims of theirs are a play on words, for the “Torah” they study, base their laws upon and truly uphold is the formerly Oral Traditions and Laws of the Pharisees which is known among them as the Torah SheBeal Peh. Consequently when the rabbis are telling the gentiles all about their relationship with the “Torah,” the gentiles imagine that the rabbis are referring to the Hebrew Covenant or Old Testament, known as the Torah SheBichtav.

Judaism is not true to the Torah SheBichtav, but rather to the Torah SheBeal Peh. If Christians and gentiles could keep this hester (concealed) distinction uppermost in their minds when dealing with rabbinic claims, demands and boasts of authority and knowledge, it would go a long way toward clearing up the spiritual and epistemological smog that is at the very heart of Judaism — its posturing as a Biblical, i.e. “Torah” faith. When faced with this claim on the Torah, one should always ask the claimant, which “Torah” is it to which you are loyal? According to Jesus Christ, one cannot be loyal to both (Mark 7:9). (KL 1714-1723)

Judaism’s Torah is NOT the Pentateuch–

Judaism did not exist before Christ. Before Him, there was the faith of the Israelites as it gradually decayed and was subverted by corrupt teachings such as were transmitted by the Pharisees and Sadducees….

This corruption was greatly escalated when a portion of the Israelites rejected the Messiah, Yashua (Joshua, i.e. Jesus), after which their leaders eventually made their way to Babylon, where the corrupt and reprobate, oral occult tradition of the elders was committed to writing and compiled as the Mishnah, comprising the first portion of the Talmud…

It is the pagan Talmud — consisting of abominable wickedness, prodigious filthiness and superlative vileness forged in the melting pot of rabbinic Babylon — which is the hermeneutic system of Orthodox Judaism. According to Robert Goldenberg, Professor of Judaic Studies at the State University of New York: “The Talmud was Torah. In a paradox that determined the history of Judaism, the Talmud was Oral Torah in written form, and as such it became the clearest statement the Jew could hear of God’s very word. (KL 1842-1871).

>Mishneh Torah [the Pharisaic additions to Scripture] and Shulchan Aruch [A compilation of the old Pharisaic laws and laws that were invented in later centuries] are binding on all Orthodox Judaics. (KL 2093-2094).

Judaism is not just Talmud, it is Talmud and Kabbalah [a collection of occult writings], as well as a mountain of successive texts. (KL 2102).

In Judaism, the Pentateuch is considered the least of the Hebrew writings, and in some cases has been banned.

The three levels of study in Judaism–The Bible is the lowest form. The next best is the Mishnah [the oral traditions of the Pharisees]. The highest is the Talmud (the Gemara). (KL 1737-1738).

Moses Mendelssohn published his German translation of the Bible. Rabbi Hirsch Jacob Janow imposed, in 1779, a ban on it: “The Chief Rabbi of this city has pronounced a ban on every Jew who will read the translation of the Pentateuch whose author is M. Mendelssohn of Berlin…” (KL 2125-2127).

The Mishnah, Talmud and Kabbaleh are considered the interpreters of the Pentateuch, and therefore are given greater authority even when the Pentateuch is given lipservice. Truly Jesus said that if the Jewish leaders had listened to Moses, they would have become Jesus’ followers. Instead, by their rebellion to and suppression of the Word of God, they made themselves children of the devil who would die in their sins.

The Torah-observant Leaders despise those Jews who reject the authority of the Talmud, and some have even praised Hitler for destroying some of these!

The rabbis want to murder and destroy the am ha’aretz, the Judaics who reject the Oral law/ Traditions of the Elders. We see this in their praise for their agent, Hitler, who they hail as an “avenging angel” who executed the Judaic “sinners” who had rejected the authority of the Talmud (the majority of the Judaics of Germany were “sinners” along these lines).

Another rabbi who has praised Hitler for cleansing the earth of Talmud doubting Judaics is the distinguished Israeli, Ovadia Yosef: “An eminent rabbi who heads Israel’s third biggest political party sparked an uproar in Israel for saying that 6 million Jews perished in the Holocaust because they were reincarnations of sinners.” (KL 629-653).

Modern Judaism has no relation to Old Testament faith or Christianity, except that it stands in opposition to both.

Judaism is not the religion of the Old Testament or of the God of Israel, but rather that Judaism’s gods consist of the Talmud, the Kabbalah and racial self-worship. We further assert that Christianity is the only religion that represents the Old Testament creed of Yahweh, being the continuation and prophetic fulfillment of the Old Testament in the Gospel of the Messiah of Israel. (KL 1832-1834).

The early Church recognized Christianity as having been founded by Israelites and representing the only true religion of the Bible. It is Christians who are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…” (I Peter 2:9). Judaism was not viewed as the repository of the spiritual truths or knowledge of the Old Testament, but as a post-Biblical, Babylonian cult totally at variance with Biblical Christianity. True Israelites could only be Christians, not followers of Judaism. The followers of Judaism are antiBiblical; they had to violate the Old Testament in order to reject Jesus, for the “Scriptures testify of me.” (KL 1922-1926).

A Judeo-Christian Amalgamation is Impossible

We hear the term “Judeo-Christian heritage” all the time, but such a thing is not possible and must be rejected. Judaism is opposed to both Old Testament faith and Christianity (which are one and the same faith, the latter being the fulfillment of the first). As all other false religions, it can appear as a lamb, while speaking as a dragon (with lies) in order to deceive. Satan’s purpose is to get Christians walking in the counsel of the ungodly and standing in the path of sinners, that he might ensnare them and destroy their gospel witness. Has God really said we mustn’t have fellowship with the works of darkness, or yoke with unbelievers? (Eph. 5:11; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Jn. 10-11) Yes, He has, and He means what He says.

Michael Hoffman offers us the reason why apostate Christian leaders call upon us to blend Christianity with the leaven of modern Judaism–

That Christ and His Gospel are betrayed by those who declare an alleged “JudeoChristian” tradition, is of no discernible concern to the ministers, popes and pundits thus engaged. They are Jewish Pharisees in all but name, engaged in the standard modern apologetic misinterpretation of Judaism [claiming it is benign or Biblical], out of “fear of the Jews” and a need to ingratiate themselves with the “god of this world.”(KL 1933-1936).

Summary:

Judaism is not the faith of the Old Testament, nor does it hold the first five books of the Bible as authoritative, except and unless they are interpreted through the lens of Pharisaic traditions/changes/deletions/nullifications, etc.

The Oral traditions of the Pharisees–which were additions to God’s Word, and therefore cursed–were written down as the Mishna, which became the first part of the Talmud. To the Talmud, followers of Judaism have added volume upon volume of writings, including the deeply occultic Kabbalah. These evil books, written in defiance against Yahweh and His Messiah Jesus, have come to be known as Torah to Judaics.  Most Gentiles equate the Torah with the Pentateuch, but this is not what is meant by Torah in Judaism.

First Century Christians, many of whom were Jews according to the flesh, taught that Christianity was a continuation and fulfillment of the Old Testament pure faith of Abraham. Those who rejected Jesus–in favor of the false religion of Judaism–were cut off from that one-and-only true faith and its promises.

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Answering the Charge of “Replacement Theology”

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 10, 2016

Introduction

In this post, I will endeavor to answer the false charge of “replacement theology.” Those who charge thus do not understand the following truths in Scripture:

  1.  God made a distinction between faithful and unfaithful Israel. Only the remnant (faithful Israel) would be saved.
  2.  Faithful Israel has always included Gentiles
  3.  The Old Covenant (with Israel) has been replaced with the New Covenant (with Israel).
  4.  Faithful Israel was not replaced, but carried into the New Covenant, where it remains to this day:
    a. The Olive Tree into which both Jews and Gentiles can be grafted by faith
    b. The foundation of the New Covenant Temple, which is the Lord’s Body
  5.  Unfaithful Israel has been “cut off” from faithful Israel, just as the Lord promised in the Old Testament. The kingdom was given to faithful Israel, which includes all Gentiles who join themselves to the God of Israel.

We will look at each of these points in more detail.

God Made a Distinction Between Faithful and Unfaithful Israel

God’s distinctions between faithful and unfaithful Israel can be seen in the following verses. Please do look them up!

Faithful Israel is beloved of God–Ex. 15:13; Deut. 33:3; Ezra 3:11
Unfaithful Israel is not beloved of God–Lev. 3:16; Jer. 12:8; Jer. 16:5; Hos. 9:15

Faithful Israel is the children of God–Exo. 4:22; Deut. 14:1; Isa. 1:2,4; Isa. 63:8; Hos. 11:1
Unfaithful Israel is not the children of God–Deut. 32:5; John 8:39-44

Faithful Israel is the kingdom of God–Exo. 19:6; 1 Chr. 17:14; 1 Chr. 28:5
Unfaithful Israel is not the kingdom of God–Matt. 8:11-12; Matt. 21:43

Faithful Israel is the people of God–Exo. 6:7; Deut. 27:9; 2 Sam. 7:23; Jer. 11:4
Unfaithful Israel is not the people of God–Hos. 1:9;  Jer. 5:10

Faithful Israel was the priests of God–Exo. 19:6
Unfaithful Israel was not the priests of God–1 Sam. 2:28-30; Lam. 4:13-16; Eze. 44:10-13; Hos. 4:6; Mal. 2:2-9

Faithful Israel was the vineyard/vine of God–Isa. 5:3-7; Jer. 12:10
Unfaithful Israel was not the vine of God (it was a degenerate, alien vine)–Jer. 2:21

Faithful Israel was an Olive Tree–Psa. 52:8; Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6
Unfaithful Israel was not the Olive Tree (but branches to be consumed)–Jer. 11:16

Faithful Israel was the Bride of God–Isa. 54:5-6; Jer. 2:2; Eze. 16:32; Hos. 1:2
Unfaithful Israel was not the Bride of God–Jer. 3:8; Hos. 2:2

Faithful Israel was counted as the children of Abraham–2 Chr. 20:7; Psa. 105:6; Isa. 41:8
Unfaithful Israel was not counted as the children of Abraham–John 8:39; Rom. 9:6-7; Gal. 4:25-30

Faithful Israel was chosen–Deut. 7:7, 10:15, 14:2; Isa. 43:20,21
Unfaithful Israel was not chosen–Deut. 31:17; 2 Ki. 17:20; 2 Chr. 25:7; Psa. 78:59; Jer. 6:30; Jer. 7:29, 14:10

Faithful Israel was circumcised in heart–Gen. 17:10; Deut. 30:6
Unfaithful Israel was not circumcised in heart–Jer. 4:4, 9:25-26; Rom. 2:25-29

As you can see, God has always made a distinction between faithful and unfaithful Israel. Another term designating “faithful Israel” is “the remnant.” Isaiah wrote:

For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness. (Isa. 10:22)

Paul, in quoting Isaiah, equated Israel’s “returning” with “being saved.”

Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. (Rom. 9:27)

Faithful Israel has always included Gentiles

Israel was never a “pure race,” as some teach, but a people who were called to worship God from a pure heart. Please read Gentiles Included in Old Testament Israel  in order to understand this.

The Old Covenant (with Israel) has been replaced by the New Covenant (with Israel).

Yes, in this case, there has been a replacement!

Dispensationalism attempts to have the old and new Covenants operating at the same time. This is false doctrine at its finest, for the writer of Hebrews states that the old Covenant has been rendered obsolete (Heb. 8:13). Now that the Lamb of God has been slain, He is forever the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:11-15). As a sign that the New Covenant was now in operation, the temple veil ripped from top to bottom at His death, opening the new and living way….through the veil, that is His flesh (Matt. 27:51; Heb. 10:19-20). There is no other way to the Father but through Jesus Christ.

Many people do not realize the New Covenant was made with Israel and Judah! (Jer. 3:31-34) That is, it was made with the faithful of Israel and Judah, for the unfaithful were blinded and stumbled because of their disobedience (I Pet. 2:6-8). Therefore any Gentile who enters the New Covenant, is now a citizen of the Commonwealth of [faithful] Israel (Eph. 2:12-18).

When Jacob blessed his sons just before dying, he prophesied that the scepter would not depart from Judah UNTIL Shiloh (Jesus) came. At that point, the gathering of the people (God’s faithful Israel) would be to Jesus.

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. (Gen. 49:10)

Jesus is King of kings. He has claimed David’s throne, and rules faithful Israel from Mount Zion forever (Isa. 9:6-7). The obedience of God’s people is to Him (not to Judah). Those who have not gathered to Him are not in covenant with God.

Faithful Israel was NOT replaced, but carried into the New Covenant, where it remains to this day.

a. Faithful Israel remains the Olive Tree into which both Jews and Gentiles can be grafted by faith

For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? (Rom. 11:16-24)

The root of the olive tree is holy because the root is faithful/obedient Israel! Unfaithful Israel was cut off, just as God promised. God does not graft us (believing Gentiles) into an unholy people, for we can have no fellowship with darkness. If the unholy repent of their unbelief, they can be grafted in.

I beg you to see that no “replacement” is being taught here. Faithful Israel has never been replaced. The throne of David is occupied by an eternal King. The faithful Israel of God has increased by the influx of people from all nations, just as God had always planned.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote about how Gentiles could be established “in the midst” of Israel–

And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people. (Jer. 12:16)

And so they have!

b. Faithful Israel remains the foundation of the New Covenant Temple, which is the Lord’s Body.

Upon faithful Israel, the new temple was raised, which is the Lord’s Body (the continuation of His Church).

Isaiah testified that foreigners would be gathered to Israel, and must not consider themselves “separate” from God’s people:

Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord speak, saying,
“The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”…Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant—even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him others besides those who are gathered to him.” (Isa. 56:3-8)

A foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord is not separate from God’s faithful people, nor has he replaced them. Listen to Paul:

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Eph. 2:11-22)

Faithful Israel, far from being replaced,  is the very foundation of the New Covenant temple (the Church), holding up the entire building. The Church has not replaced faithful Israel, but has been made a partaker in her promises.

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. (Gal. 3:16)
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:29)

Unfaithful Israel has been cut off from faithful Israel, just as God promised.

Unfaithful Israel will not inherit the promises. Ishmael became a symbol of this spiritual truth, according to Paul in Galatians 4. He wrote that the unbelieving Jews/unfaithful Israel shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman (Gal. 4:28-31).

The charge of “replacement theology” largely comes from children of the flesh (Ishmael) persecuting the sons of promise (Isaac) out of jealousy. They despise the idea that Gentiles can be grafted into God’s Israel, while they themselves are cut off due to unbelief. They see things through carnal eyes, trusting in race or nationality, just as many Jews did in Jesus’ day. Nevertheless, God’s Word is true–they are cut off from Israel until they repent and believe. The kingdom has been taken from them and given to a nation bearing the fruits of righteousness (Matt. 21:43). Unfaithful Israel will not be heir with faithful Israel.

How tragic that so many western Christians take up and repeat the delusions of those who have been cut off, twisting the Word of God. They “stand with” the spiritual Ishmael (unfaithful Israel) instead of Isaac (faithful Israel). May God open their eyes.

The doctrine that Unfaithful Israel is in any way accepted by God is antichrist. Jesus struck down this lie in John 8:37-47; Matt. 8:10-12; Matt. 21:33-45. John the Baptist struck it down in Matthew 3:7-12. The apostle John struck it down in 1 John 2:22. Peter struck it down in 1 Pet. 2:4-9. Paul struck it down in too many places to list. Only through repentance and faith in Jesus can a member of unfaithful Israel be translated into faithful Israel (the kingdom of God).

Let us agree with the Word of God, even if others refuse. (See Cut Off for more information.)

Conclusion

I think this quote by Sam Storms perfectly concludes this paper:

Jesus saw the realization of Israel’s true destiny in the circle of his disciples. They are not to be thought of, however, as a “new” Israel, but as the “true” Israel, the “true people of God.” With Jesus’ offer of the kingdom came the fact that acceptance means the realization and fulfillment of the promise. This offer was accepted by the disciples and thus was realized and fulfilled in them. They constituted neither a new Israel nor a separate body of believers: rather, they were the believing remnant within the unbelieving nation.

This “Church” (Matt. 16:18-19), therefore, is not a wholly distinct and completely new creation or purpose of God, separated from his people of the Old Testament, Israel, and in some sense “replacing” them. Rather, the Church of the present age is simply the continuation and maturation of the believing remnant of Israel, namely, the disciples and all others who received Jesus as Messiah. Thus, the fellowship or Church established by Jesus stands not in opposition to but in direct continuity with the Old Testament Israel. This body is “true” Old Testament Israel: the remnant! (Kingdom Come, Sam Storms, p. 343)

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Gentiles Included in Old Testament Israel

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 8, 2016

Introduction

This paper will show biblically that Old Testament Israel was a body of believers in the true God, a called out “congregation,” who were not all of one race. To remain in the Body of Israel required obedience to the covenant, and any “stranger” (Gentile) who did so, was considered as “native born” and granted full privileges, including marrying into Israelite families and receiving an inheritance.

 

The Promise to Abraham–All the Families of the Earth Shall Be Blessed

Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen. 12:1-3)

Specific Gentiles in the Old Testament shown to be true worshipers of God and/or included in Israel:

Melchizedek was called “Priest of God Most High,” although he was the king of Salem, a Canaanite. (Gen. 14:18)

Abimelech, the king of Gerar, called God “Lord” and pleaded for his “righteous nation,” vouching for his own integrity in having taken Sarah, not knowing she was already married. God confirmed the man’s integrity and kept him from sinning. God gave further instructions to Abimelech, which he carried out obediently. (Gen. 20)

When Moses led the people out of Egypt, a mixed multitude went with them also (Exo. 12:38). Who was this mixed multitude?–Egyptians, and perhaps other nationalities who had been dwelling in Egypt, who now feared the Lord and joined themselves to Israel! As God-fearing people, they were included from that point on. They married into the family of Israel and their descendants were eventually given a portion of the Promised Land with everyone else.

Moses married Zipporah, the daughter of the priest of Midian, Jethro. Zipporah and her father were both Gentiles. Zipporah was resistant to the ordinance of circumcision at first, and for this reason, God almost killed Moses! But she did obey God, and He let Moses go (Exo. 4:24-26). Later her father Jethro confessed that Yahweh was greater than all other gods, and offered sacrifices to Him. He ate with the leaders of Israel “before God” in full fellowship with God’s people. (Exo. 18:7-12)

The Canaanite Rahab confessed the God of Israel was the Lord and gave aid to the spies (Josh. 2). She married into the family of Israel and was in the direct line of Jesus Himself (Matt. 1:5). (With such Gentile inclusion, the idea of a “pure race” of Israel after the flesh must be ruled out.)

Ruth the Moabite married an Israelite, and after his death, she joined herself to Israel and the Lord by declaring, “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16) She then married another Israelite Boaz, and became the grandmother of Israel’s renowned king David, from whose line Jesus came. Were David and Jesus “pure” in race?

There were whole Gentile nations who were submitted to David while his own son Absalom was in full rebellion against him, including the Cherethites, Pelethites, and Gittites (2 Sam. 15:18). The Cherethites were Cretans who lived among the Philistines, and the Pelethites were most likely related to the Philistines. The Gittites–“men of Gath”–were Philistines. These are a picture of the Gentiles who in the future would submit to King Jesus (who now sits on David’s throne), while some of His own family would remain in rebellion.

Of David’s close band of mighty men, some were Gentiles. Ittai the Gittite was David’s commander of the Gittites, and called a “foreigner,” yet he determined to be with his king wherever he would go (Read 2 Sam. 15:19-21. Recall Rev. 14:4–“These…follow the Lamb wherever He goes.“) Uriah (the husband of Bathsheba) was a Hittite faithful to David, as was Ahimelech (I Sam. 26:6). Ithmah was a Moabite, and Zelek was an Ammonite (I Chron. 11:46, 49).

After Esther was used to save her people from the evil plot of Haman, Scripture records that “many of the people of the land became Jews.” (Esther 8:17)  Became Jews?!  But we are told Jewishness is a racial thing?  Not according to Scripture, and Paul later confirmed that anyone with a circumcised heart to the Lord is a Jew in God’s eyes (Rom. 2:28-29).

Peoples God Was Dealing with in the Old Testament:

When God prepared to take Israel out of Egypt, He told Pharoah that His purposes were these:

1. That Egypt might know there is no one like Him in all the earth (Exo. 9:14)
2. That God’s name might be declared in ALL the earth (Exo. 9:16)

God’s heart was to save not only Egypt, but all the earth! I could end this section here, since “all the earth” includes every nation. The prophets gave warnings to surrounding nations of Israel, not just Israel. God wanted to save them all!  This perfectly coincides with the promise given to Abraham in order that “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” As stated previously, a mixed multitude followed Israel out of Egypt. Gentiles have been “going up to Zion” to worship the true God since the beginning (Isa. 2:3).

The book of Jonah tells the story of God’s love for Nineveh, a Gentile nation. Israel was “chosen” for the good of all the world, just as any Christian today is “chosen” for the good of the world, not for the good of himself only. Therefore God sent the Israelite prophet to warn a Gentile city to repent. Thus Jonah is sometimes called “the first apostle to the Gentiles.” The city was spared from judgment for a time because its king and people repented. I think it safe to assume, or at least hope, that some people in Nineveh remained true to the Lord after that, although the city was destroyed in a future generation for returning to its wickedness.

The book of Daniel records the story of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, who, after being thoroughly humbled by God, magnified the Lord and His eternal Kingdom in Daniel 4:34-37. God was still trying to reach the Babylonians in Daniel 5, when He wrote a warning on the wall and slew Belshazzar for not turning to God although he knew better because of God’s previous dealings with Nebuchadnezzar.

Isaiah prophesied of a time when a portion of Egypt would “speak the language of Canaan and swear by the Lord of hosts,” and have an altar to the Lord in its midst. Assyria also would join with Egyptians in worshiping the Lord, and the Lord would say, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” (Isa. 19:16-26)

There are many more portions of Scripture in the Old Testament that declare God’s heart for all people, and intent to gather people from all nations into His congregation (Israel), but these will suffice.

Laws and directives for “strangers” (Gentiles) who were part of Old Testament Israel:

Directly after the Exodus from Egypt, God gave laws to Israel concerning the Passover feast. And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and HE SHALL BE AS A NATIVE OF THE LAND. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. (Exodus 12:48) Notice that the stranger was to be counted as a native of the land, so long as he participated in the true worship of God. (See also Num. 9:14)

And if a stranger dwells with you, or whoever is among you throughout your generations, and would present an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord, just as you do, so shall he do. One ordinance shall be for you of the assembly and for the stranger who dwells with you,an ordinance forever throughout your generations; AS YOU ARE, SO SHALL THE STRANGER BE before the Lord. (Num. 15:14-15) Do you see that?–No difference between the stranger and the native born. (Paul later asked, “Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also.” Rom. 3:29)

And whatever man of the house of Israel, OR OF THE STRANGERS WHO DWELL AMONG YOU, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. (Lev. 17:10) If a stranger dwelling among the Israelites ate blood, he would be cut off from “his people”–Israel. The stranger (Gentile) was considered an Israelite with full rights and responsibilities unless he broke covenant with God.

In giving rules for the Feast of Weeks, the Lord commanded, “You shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the STRANGER and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide.” (Deut. 16:11)

And Moses commanded them, saying: “At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, when ALL ISRAEL comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, AND THE STRANGER WHO IS WITHIN YOUR GATES, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the Lord your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land which you cross the Jordan to possess. (Deut. 31:10-13)   Notice that the stranger living within Israel’s gates is considered part of the ALL ISRAEL, and was to continue obeying the Law when he later possessed the land.

The next passage makes it clear that Gentiles were given land among the tribes of Israel, and were considered as “native-born.”–Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel.  It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, AND FOR THE STRANGERS WHO DWELL AMONG YOU AND BEAR CHILDREN AMONG YOU. THEY SHALL BE TO YOU AS NATIVE-BORN AMONG THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL; THEY SHALL HAVE AN INHERITANCE WITH YOU AMONG THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord God. (Ezek. 47:21-23)

The prophet Jeremiah wrote about how Gentiles could be established “in the midst” of God’s people Israel–And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people. (Jer. 12:16)

Isaiah was equally clear–
Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord speak, saying,
“The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”; nor let the eunuch say,
“Here I am, a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord, “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, even to them I will give in My house, and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant—even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him others besides those who are gathered to him.” (Isa. 56:3-8)

Let’s unpack this powerful passage:

1. Any foreigner could join himself to the Lord, and was not to say he was separate from God’s people. So long as the foreigner served God and obeyed the covenant, he would be brought to God’s holy mountain (Heb. 12:22).

2. The man that loved God, but could not conceive children (eunuch), would be given an everlasting name that would never be cut off. This is significant because it shows that possession of the Promise was not based on producing heirs who could then claim land.

3. The house of prayer was for “all nations,” and God explicitly says He will gather people from other nations “to him”–to Israel. Israel would not be a “pure race,” but a people who served God from a pure heart.

 

Remain in Israel, or Be Cut Off

Any person living in Israel, whether native born or a stranger, could be cut off for disobedience. To be cut off was to be no longer an Israelite. This concept is all through the Old Testament and completely obliterates any notion that being in a certain bloodline was a guarantee of benefits (just look up “cut off” in any Bible search tool, and study how may ways an Israelite could be cut off). I have written previously about this here. Israel was always a congregation of people that worshiped the true God. To depart from true worship resulted in being cut off from Israel, from God’s perspective.

 

Conclusion

There were always “strangers” sojourning with Israel, and they were accepted as native born provided they worshiped the true God with obedient faith. Israel was not a “pure race” of people according to the flesh, even in the Old Testament. Some of the included Gentiles were purposely mentioned in the genealogies of King David and King Jesus, demonstrating God’s masterful sidestepping of man’s desire to mix racial supremacy with religion. God did choose one faithful man (Abraham) through whom to bless the world with the fulfillment of all promises–Jesus Christ. That family, which Gentiles could and did join, was the Old Testament family of God.

With the ratifying of the New Testament in Jesus’ blood, and the cancelling of the Old, that Old Testament family of God remained the foundation for the New Testament temple which is still being built. In Jesus, all the promises are yes and amen. All who are obedient to the terms of the New Covenant are grafted into the Israel of God. All people–whether Jew or Gentile–who disobey the terms of the New Covenant, are cut off from the Israel of God until such a time as they stop continuing in unbelief (Rom. 11:23).

God bless you as you seek the Truth!

Please see also:

The True Vine–Israel was a vine, Jesus claimed to be the true Vine (Israel that is true to God)

Out of Egypt I Called My Son–Jesus is the absolute fulfillment of Israel

Born in Zion–How can one be born in Zion?

Jesus, Door to the Promises— The promises are fulfilled in Christ

Named Israel, Named Sodom and Gomorrah–the significance of the name, and how God names us according to our works.

Who the Jews Are–How does God define a true Jew?

The Works of Abraham–Who are the children of Abraham, according to God?

The Unfolding Revelation of Salvation–There has only ever been 1 people of God

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Avoiding Persecution at the Expense of the Gospel

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 3, 2016

Ever since I began to read the Voice of the Martyrs magazine* years ago, I have had the conviction that the western Church has much to learn from the Church in the rest of the world, and particularly from the suffering Church. This is not to say that the non-western Church has no errors or weaknesses. We know from reading Revelation 2 & 3 that churches can have both. They need rebukes, exhortations and continual guidance by the Great Shepherd. Sometimes they go so far astray, they are under threat of having their lamps darkened forever.

However the non-western Church has an advantage, in that her faith has survived wars, poverty, social upheaval and persecution. In most cases, she has not learned that persecution must be avoided at all cost, or that Jesus died to give her prosperity and earthly security. Jesus did not lie when He said it was hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God, and we in the west are rich. There is a great blindness and apathy that seems to accompany prosperity and ease, unless we are very careful to cast it off. I believe that listening to these foreign disciples–and watching how they live out their faith–is akin to going to Jesus for some much-needed eye medication.  We have much to learn.

With that in mind, I’d like to share a message with you from a Christian evangelist who works in Tyre, Lebanon among 95% Muslims. He was born a Muslim himself, but became a follower of Jesus at a young age, due to the influence of a Christian church in his neighborhood. He lived for some time in the USA, after being flown here when his life was threatened because of his preaching. But he went back, and he opened a mission which openly admits with a sign that it exists to proclaim the gospel.

Mohammad Yamout tells his story and delivers some powerful exhortations to the western Church in the video below. Here is a transcription of part of it:

“Any Christian who thinks he can avoid persecution, I think that is not possible…We’re in the devil’s den. You’re attacking the fortress of the devil. The devil is not going to kiss you if you attack him. He’s going to attack back…

And any time you will try to avoid persecution, you have to do it on the expense of the gospel. You will compromise your stand in order to avoid persecution. I don’t want to compromise my stand. I don’t want to compromise the gospel to avoid persecution.

Many people, under the pretext of wisdom, say, ‘You have to be wise.’ I don’t know how wise you can be. I don’t think you can be more wise than Jesus Christ. He came, and He had to be persecuted. And He had to die. There was no other way.

For the gospel to spread out, and for people to know the truth, we have to die too. For the Muslim people to know Christ, we have to die. There has to be a line of martyrs in the future, I think, before these people understand that there’s a God that loves them. If we’re not ready to pay that cost, I don’t think anything’s going to happen….

Christianity was spread in the first century church by the blood of the martyrs. People died, that’s how Christianity was spread. That’s how we conquered.

Today in order to conquer, we have to be ready to die. People ask me in churches, ‘What makes a good missionary?’ And my answer is always, ‘Are you ready to die?’ If you’re not ready to die, pack it and go home…This was the life theme of every successful missionary–they were ready to die for Jesus.”

I hope you will set aside time to watch the entire video. God bless you.

*Note: While I credit the VOM magazine for helping me to better understand the worldwide church, and I respect its founder Richard Wurmbrand, I can no longer promote the ministry due to some revelations that Richard Wurmbrand’s son brought to light.

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The Way You Know

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 2, 2016

“And where I go you know, and the way you know.” ~Jesus (John 14:4)

Jesus is the Way. If you truly know Him, you know the Way.

There are many voices in this world wanting to be followed as potential “ways.” Entirely false religions as well as false voices claiming to be from Christ, seeking to lead us by degrees to other gods. Prophets and dreamers, false accusers and soothsayers.  Even well-meaning people with blind spots can be used by the enemy to divert us from the course He has given us.  Our own thoughts and feelings can be shifting sand. Don’t be distracted by all the noise. Don’t turn to the right or to the left. Look unto the Word of God, your Redeemer, your Rock of Salvation.

If you know Jesus, if He has saved you, if it is Him–the Living Word–you are following, then the way you know. The way may be hard, but the way you know. There may be people who despise, condemn, or misunderstand you; but the way you know. You may not know exactly how the current trial will play out, but the way you know. You may not know what will happen to your country, your family, or your own body; but the way you know!  If you are truly His, I pray this fills you with holy comfort.

A beloved sister, Patricia White, maintains a faithful witness at the blog Hoshi’ana. She has been enduring trials recently, and shared a testimony with friends of how the Lord has been faithful, and how she will continue to stand in Him. Here it is:

Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So!

I will follow Jesus until the day I die. No devil in hell, no liar or wicked person, whether they be male or female, family or friend, politician, religious leader or teacher, will cause me to veer off course, will remove me from this Highway of Holiness, or will take my crown; though they try, oh how they try!

Jesus Christ rescued me from the pits of hell; He gave me His Name; He gave me His Holy Spirit; He gave me His Word and His promises. Jesus healed my body in more ways than I can count and opened my barren womb and gave me a son. He taught me the Truth and gave me revelation of the scriptures. He taught me holiness and repentance; faith and endurance; joy and peace.

The best day of my life was when, in a vision, I saw His face and received my calling. That event taught me the fear of the Lord in a greater way than I had already known and caused me to walk even closer to my Savior. Since that day, the trials of my faith appeared and continue to. Sometimes the cross is exceedingly heavy to carry, but He is faithful and comes along and lifts the burden from my heart. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Jesus opened the door to true fellowship and through the years I have been blessed by godly relationships, some near and some far. I have found friends that stick closer than a brother and have taught me through their patience and humility. Thank you for their lives, Lord.

Please let this not be seen as my boasting of self. Let it not be seen as I am anything at all, but that all glory and thanksgiving goes to my Lord. It is He who died for me, and it is He who redeemed me. This is a simple proclamation of faith and testimony to share with you all today – that, as many of you do know – God is good. His mercy endures forever. Keep climbing that Holy Mount friends. The end of our faith isn’t far away.

Peace be with you.

Praise God for the faith of the saints. Though they endure sufferings, they cling unto the One they know! He has been faithful in the past, and He will be faithful yet again.

Samuel raised a stone called Ebenezer to remind God’s people of the Lord’s faithfulness thus far:

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” (I Sam. 7:12)

“Here I raise my Ebenezer,
Hither by Thy help I’ve come,
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.”

From “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

Raise your Ebenezer today, saints of the Lord. Recount how the Lord sent His Word to heal you, how He rescued you from Egypt, how He overcame your enemies, how He filled your mouth with truth, and your heart with joy and peace. Between here and eternity are struggles; but we know the Way! Keep to the Way, and you will make it home.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Paul knew that in every city, chains and tribulations awaited him (Acts 20:23), yet he confidently raised his Ebenezer before King Agrippa, a faithful witness to the end–

Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great… (Acts 26:22)

May you always do the same! The Way you know; the Way is Jesus!

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Offering God Service

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 1, 2016

These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. (John 16:1-3)

Jesus foretold a time when unbelieving religious people would persecute Christians, throwing them out of their synagogues and even killing them. The crucifixion of Jesus Himself stands as a stark confirmation of His words.

But it’s interesting that these killings will be done in service to God. Think about that.

Jesus said they do these things because they have not known the Father or Himself. They are trying to serve a God they don’t know, or serving a false god.  Beloved, if you ever hear a voice telling you to kill anyone for God, you can know for sure the voice is not the voice of the Shepherd Jesus. I don’t care how politically correct and widely accepted it might be. I don’t care how many churches condone it (to their eternal shame). I don’t care what the justifications are. If a man knows the Father through Jesus, he will not side with the destroyer against other people.

How many killings today are offered as service to God?

When a Muslim shouts “Allahu Akbar!” while killing, he is plainly saying he is killing for God.

When a “Christian” soldier inscribes Scripture on his machine gun, and agrees to use it on other people, he is saying he is killing for God, or at least with His approval.

How many mothers and fathers in the news have killed their little child, claiming the devil was in him. In their demon-possessed madness, they think they did God service.

New Age religion admits that one day all Bible believers will have to be killed, but they too twist their premeditated murder into a service to God by claiming they are in fact saving the Christians they kill.

Demented abortionists claim that God has given them the calling to kill babies. Link here. (Note: I don’t endorse the catholic theology at that link.)

Over the centuries, nation after nation has claimed that God is on its side, while doing the devil’s works for him. False churches have arisen and proudly harnessed the power of the beast to persecute the righteous. The beast and the false prophet like to work side-by-side. And why not?–The same dragon inspires them both.

There have been comparatively few individuals who loved Jesus and obeyed His commands, laying down their lives for others whatever the cost to themselves. But I praise God–there have always been a few! And their testimonies continue to inspire God’s children today, and to bear fruit that lasts.  Dear Lord Jesus, let me be counted among them.

I hope you will take 5 minutes to watch this re-enactment of a true story. Pray for both the persecuted and the persecutor. How will the persecutor know what true service to God looks like, if we aren’t willing to walk in the steps of Jesus?

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Put Up Thy Sword

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 27, 2016

The following is Chapter 18 from Samuel Logan Brengle’s book, When the Holy Ghost is Come.

The Sheathed Sword: A Law of the Spirit
by Samuel Logan Brengle

‘ Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.’

Just as the moss and the oak are higher in the order of creation than the clod of clay and the rock, the bird and beast than the moss and the oak, the man than the bird and the beast, so the spiritual man is a higher being than the natural man. The sons of God are a new order of being. The Christian is a ‘ new creation ‘. just as there are laws governing the life of the plant, and other and higher laws that of the bird and beast, so there art higher laws for man, and still higher for the Christian. It was with regard to one of these higher laws that govern the heavenly life of the Christian that Jesus said to Peter,’ Put up thy sword.’

Jesus said to Pilate, ‘ My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight’ (John xviii. 36). The natural man is a fighter. It is the law of his carnal nature. He fights with fist and sword, tongue and wit. His kingdom is of this world and he fights for it with such weapons as this world furnishes. The Christian is a citizen of Heaven and is subject to its law, which is universal, wholehearted love. In his Kingdom he conquers not by fighting, but by submitting. When an enemy takes his coat, he overcomes him, not by going to law, but by generously giving him his cloak also. When his enemy compels him to go a mile with him, he vanquishes the enemy by cheerfully going two miles with him. When he is smitten on one check, he wins his foe by meekly turning the other cheek. This is the law of the new life from Heaven, and only by recognizing and obeying it can that new life be sustained and passed on to others. This is the narrow way which leads to life eternal, ‘ and few there be that find it’ or, finding it, are willing to walk in it.

A Russian peasant, Sutajeff. could get no help from the religious teachers of his village, so he learned to read; and while studying the Bible he found this narrow way and walked gladly in it. One night neighbours stole some of his grain, but in their haste or carelessness they left a bag. He found it, and ran after them to restore it ‘for ‘, said he, ‘fellows who have to steal must be hard up.’ And by this Christlike spirit he saved both himself and them, for he kept the spirit of love in his own heart and they were converted and became his most ardent disciples.

A beggar woman to whom he gave lodging stole the bedding and ran away with it. She was pursued by the neighbours, and was just about to be put in prison when Sutajeff appeared, became her advocate, secured her acquittal, and gave her food and money for her journey.

He recognized the law of his new life and gladly obeyed it, and so was not overcome of evil, but persistently and triumphantly overcame evil with good (Rom. xii. 2 1). This is the spirit and method of Jesus; and by men filled with this spirit and following this method He will yet win the world.

He came ‘ not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many’ (Mark x. 45) His spirit is not one of selfseeking, but of self-sacrifice. Some mysterious majesty of His presence or voice so awed and overcame His foes that they went back and fell to the ground before Him in the Garden of His agony, but He meekly submitted Himself to them; and when Peter laid to with his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus said to him, ‘ Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it? ‘ (John xviii. 11). This was the spirit of Isaac. When he digged a well the Philistines strove with his servants for it; so he digged another; and when they strove for that, he removed and digged yet another, ‘ and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth (room); and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. . . . And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed’ (Gen. xxvi.22, 24).

This was the spirit of David when Saul was hunting for his life; twice David could have slain him, and when urged to do so, he said, ‘As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed’ (I Sam. xxvi. I 0 I I).

This was the spirit of Paul. He says, ‘Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat’ (I Cor. iv. 12, 13). ‘The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men ‘ (2 Tim. ii. 24). This is the spirit of our King, this is the law of His kingdom.

Is this your spirit? When you are reviled, bemeaned and slandered, and are tempted to retort, He says to you, ‘ Put up thy sword into the sheath.’ When you are wronged and ill-treated, and men ride rough-shod over you, and you feel it but just to smite back, He says, ‘ Put up thy sword into the sheath.’ ‘ Live peaceably with all men’ (Rom. xii. 18). Your weapons are not carnal, but spiritual, now that you belong to Him and have your citizenship in Heaven. If you fight with the sword; if you retort and smite back when you are wronged, you quench the Spirit; you get out of the narrow way, and your new life from Heaven will perish.

An officer went to a hard corps, and after a while found that his predecessor was sending back to friends for money which his own corps much needed. He felt it to be an injustice and, losing sight of the spirit of Jesus, he made a complaint about it, and the money was returned. But he got lean in his soul. He had quenched the Spirit. He had broken the law of the Kingdom. He had not only refused to give his cloak, but had fought for and secured the return of the coat. He had lost the smile of Jesus, and his poor heart was sad and heavy within him. He came to me with anxious inquiry as to what I thought of his action. I had to admit that the other man had transgressed and that the money ought to be returned, but that he should have been more grieved over the unchristlike spirit of his brother than over the loss of the five dollars, and that like Sutajeff he should have said, ‘ Poor fellow! He must be hard up; I will send him five dollars myself. He has taken my coat, he shall have my cloak too.’ When I told him that story, he came to himself very quickly and was soon back in the narrow way and rejoicing in the smile of Jesus once again.

‘But will not people walk over us, if we do not stand up for our rights?’ you ask. I do not argue that you are not to stand up for your rights; but that you are to stand up for your higher rather than your lower rights, the rights of your heavenly life rather than your earthly life, and that you are to stand up for your rights in the way and spirit of Jesus rather than in the way and spirit of the world.

If men wrong you intentionally, they wrong themselves far worse than they wrong you; and if you have the spirit of Jesus in your heart you will pity them more than you pity yourself. They nailed Jesus to the Cross and hung Him up to die; they gave Him gall and vinegar to drink; they cast votes for His seamless robe, and divided His garments between them, while the crowd wagged their heads at Him and mocked Him. Great was the injustice and wrong they were inflicting upon Him, but He was not filled with anger, only pity. He thought not of the wrong done Him, but of the wrong they did themselves, and their sin against His heavenly Father, and He prayed not for judgment upon them, but that they might be forgiven, and He won them, and is winning and will win the world. Bless God!

‘By mercy and truth iniquity is purged,’ wrote Solomon (Prov. xvi. 6). ‘ Put up thy sword into the sheath ‘, and take mercy and truth for your weapons, and God will be with you and for you, and great shall be your victory and joy. Hallelujah!

‘HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? ‘

Posted in "Christian" Zionism, Christian Life, nationalism, persecution, Suffering | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Striving Against Sin

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 26, 2016

30217You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. Heb. 12:4

My family knew a man who told us he was “struggling against the sin of pornography.”

It turned out he kept a big box of porn under his bed. He opened it when the urge hit, and then he felt some guilt afterward because he knew it was wrong, but his guilty feelings never drove him to change. When challenged with Scripture, he justified his sins by saying we all sin.

My friends, this is not striving against sin. This is making provision for the flesh and living after the flesh. He provided for his flesh by keeping the box beneath the bed when he already knew it was wrong. And he lived after the flesh by repeatedly obeying the urge to open the box. This man deceived himself that he was a Christian involved in the “struggle against sin.” He was actually a repeat-sinner in ongoing rebellion against God, experiencing worldly sorrow–a sorrow that does not lead to repentance and salvation (I Cor. 7:9-11).

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Rom. 13:14)

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Rom. 8:13)

Can it get any clearer? Unless we put on the LORD Jesus Christ, and put to death and mortify the deeds of the body, we will die. Period.

I could post the whole chapter of Romans 6 here. But here are some highlights–

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (1-2)

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. (5-7)

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (12-16)

Either we are dead to sin and no longer living in it, or we are still obeying sin and headed to an eternal DEATH. We have a choice to make. To whom will we present the members of our bodies?–Sin or God? To truly be under grace is to be freed from the dominion of sin. If you are under the dominion of sin, you are separated from grace and need to die with Christ that you may also live with Him.

Jesus depicted the struggle against sin very graphically–

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matt. 5:29-30)

If you are offering your eye, your hand, your mouth, or your mind to sin, dare you believe that Jesus will accept your excuses after this stern warning about the peril of sin and its consequences?

“We all sin…”
“If my spouse/parents/children/problems were different, then I’d be different…”
“People hurt me, so I can’t help…”

Jesus won’t accept these excuses. He said cut off the hand or pluck out the eye. Do whatever you have to do to escape being cast into hell. Because you WILL be cast into hell unless you get the victory over sin. And the victory over sin comes through Him, but He doesn’t hand you victory on a silver platter while that wicked box is still under your bed, friend. Until you truly sorrow over your sin to the point that you are ready to fight to the death, the victory will not come.

Do you want to strive against sin and win? Here’s what that looks like–

March into your bedroom and pull that wretched box out. Take it outside and set it on fire. Confess to the Lord that you have done wicked things He hates. Confess that you deserve His judgment and there is no excuse. Ask Him to break your heart as His is broken over sin. Ask Him to show you how your sin exploits and hurts others (He will). Call up a strong Christian and tell him what you just did. Ask him to check up on you regularly and hold your feet to the fire. Give him access to your future internet searches. Search out and find every verse that exposes and condemns that sin, and post them around the house. Memorize verses about holiness, obedience, and victory in Jesus. Make a covenant with your eyes that you will not look lustfully at women (Job 31:1), and daily walk out that covenant. When you want to stop at the convenience store that sells dirty magazines, REFUSE to stop. In fact, don’t go to those stores. Don’t hang around people who look at porn. When you drive past a seductive billboard or half-dressed woman, train your eyes to look away, refusing to offer your eyes to unrighteousness. When you accidentally see an image that tempts you, immediately replace the image with Scripture or a remembrance of what Jesus did for you on the cross. Pray and take the way out by obeying Jesus no matter how strong the temptation is. Teach others that porn will take them to hell. If the internet is a problem, GET IT SHUT OFF. This is not too harsh, friend. This is not yet resisting to blood, and you have to be serious in the fight if you want to overcome.

When’s the last time you fasted from food and meditated on Scripture all day, so as to bring your body completely under subjection and get the victory over that evil thing you keep doing? It may take that. Do whatever it takes.

When you’re engaged in this kind of struggle, you can be sure that the Lord will come down and fight for you. He will not let you be tempted beyond your endurance, but will provide a way out. But too many are offered a way out and don’t take it. You must train yourself to take the way out. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Sin crouches at the door and desires to rule over you, but YOU MUST RULE OVER IT. You must! And you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, but if you ignore the way out provided and make provision for your flesh, you will fail of the grace of God.

I was delivered from cigarettes many years ago, when I cried out to the Lord and He told me to crush my cigarettes to bits and discard them. I had been praying for deliverance for a couple months, while asking my spouse to leave me a few cigarettes per day. As long as I made that provision for my flesh, I couldn’t quit.  But when I acted on the Lord’s command and crushed them up, told my spouse not to leave me any more, and also refused to ever buy a pack ever again, that was it. I never smoked again.

Of course the tempter tried to get me to return to my vomit. A few months later, I woke up on a summer night. The first thought that popped into my mind was, “There’s a pack of cigarettes on the counter (my spouse still smoked.) If you get up and smoke one on the porch, no one will ever know.” At that point, I had a choice to make. I could smoke it and blame my spouse for tempting me. Or I could resist the devil and REFUSE to even get out of bed. I chose the latter. Staying in bed was the way out. And I’m happy to say the tempter fled and the urge passed. God’s Word is true.

A dog  feeling a bit sad about devouring his vomit, and a washed pig “sorry” to have fallen in the mud again, is not a struggling Christian. Such a person was better off before knowing the truth–

For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 2 Pet. 2:20-21

Now maybe you don’t drink, smoke or chew, or go with girls who do. Maybe you pride yourself in that porn is not a problem for you. My question to you is this:  How is your character? Is it like the character of Jesus Christ? Are you rude to your coworkers? Do you steal time from your employer by being lazy? Are you impatient with your spouse or children? Do you let ungodliness come out of your mouth when you’re irritated? Do you have road rage? Do you harbor unforgiveness toward others? Do you threaten others, rather than entreat them? It’s easy to judge ourselves by a few externals and think we are doing ok compared to others. But comparing ourselves to others is not wise. Let us compare ourselves to Jesus, and the standards given to New Testament believers. Let us not be happy with external changes if our hearts are still darkened. White washed tombs are still filled with death. Let us pray that God will show us any wicked way in ourselves, and then begin to earnestly strive against sin.

If you are lustful, angry, violent, unthankful, lazy, greedy, impatient, unkind, etc., it’s time to crucify your flesh with its passions and desires. It’s time to fight like you’ve never fought before. It’s time to cry out to Jesus like you never have before. It’s time to flush your deceitful excuses and make humble confession to those you’ve been hurting. It’s time to stop hiding in the shadows and step into the light; God is not fooled, and those close to you are probably not fooled either. It’s time to fill your mind with all the Scriptures that apply TO YOU, not to your neighbor. It’s time to meditate on the Word day and night, and stop letting your mind fill with thoughts that lead to sin. It’s time to figure out what the way out looks like, and start taking it. It’s time to cut off the hand, pluck out the eye, memorize Scripture, become accountable to strong believers, fast, agonize, make it right with all those you’ve offended, and learn to do good.

If you continue in sin,

Your professed faith in Christ won’t save you.
Your excuses won’t save you (ie “The woman you gave me…”)
Your church attendance won’t save you.
Your exposure of false churches won’t save you.
Your doctrinal knowledge won’t save you.
Your Christian friendships won’t save you.
Your good reputation before others won’t save you.
Your exposure of OTHER people’s sins won’t save you.
Your “balancing the scale” with some good works won’t save you.

You might even have a blog like this one, and work hard to expose all sorts of things. You might witness on the streets or give money to missionaries. But if you don’t deal with that sin that you know about, and if you don’t change your behavior, Jesus’ stern warning about hell applies to you.

Sin desires to have you, but YOU MUST RULE OVER IT (Genesis 4:7). It is not those who hear the Word of God, but those who do it, who will be saved.

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