The Grace of God

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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

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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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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Two Kingdoms

Posted by israeliteindeed on December 21, 2014

The following was written by my friend Steve Thomas, and is posted here with his permission.

The Bible Describes TWO KINGDOMS – We each belong, individually, to one, or the other:

1.) The Kingdom of Heaven & God (in and amongst the disciples of Jesus)
2.) The Power of Darkness (operating in the ‘children of disobedience’).
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Many proponents of Christian Zionism & Messianic Judaism would have us believe the primary distinction on the earth, is between Israel and the nations – Jews and Gentiles – as it was under the Old Covenant. It seems many are living according to the terms of the former covenant still (which is a bit embarrassing if not fatal) as it has been displaced (by God!) – replaced with the New Covenant, 1984 years ago.)
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Jesus came to lift humanity from the flesh (fallen & mortal) to the spirit (righteous & eternal in Christ). Opponents, some operating in an antichrist spirit, tend to demean anything that (as they say) ‘spiritualizes’ the physical. They complain when Christians ‘spiritualize the promises’. By this, it is usually meant, allegorizing, or making into an imaginary thing or an unreal thing. And normally, in a bid to defend the political / military / cultural restoration of Israel as the center-piece of God’s (alleged) intentions today.

But the work of God is done in the Spirit, by His Spirit, in union with the born again spirits of regenerated saints of God. God *is* a Spirit. Those who worship him must do so in Spirit and truth – not now in the mountain of Zion on earth, nor in the derelict & non-existent remains of the former stone temple. Flesh and blood will not inherit the Kingdom of God – but only those who have been born of the Spirit – born again in the image of the heavenly man – Jesus Christ, (not the earthy man – the ‘first Adam’).
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The Apostle John described the antichrist spirit. Much is written and said about ‘the antichrist’, but in fact we have noticed there are only four references to antichrist/s in the entire Bible, in just three passages – all of them in the first two epistles of John. In a nutshell, the antichrist spirit works in tandem with human antichrists – basically anybody who denies the Deity and Lordship of Jesus Christ, or operates in another spirit contrary to the gospel and truth of Jesus.
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Jesus knows those who are his – those who love him and talk with him, and draw off his wisdom, living in his Spirit, in communion with him in their regenerated spirits, in reverence for God. These are the ‘chosen people’ of God – his own children – those who walk now after the Spirit, not after the flesh – not according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.
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John the Baptist was very clear in his warnings to Israelites and Judeans, (and anyone who would listen) to not even say within themselves that they had Abraham as their father. The very thing that many today in the CZ / MJ movement are placing at *top priority* – John, the greatest prophet of the Old Covenant (according to Jesus) – told us effectively to not even THINK! – let alone to teach it as a central and primary doctrine, defining our fellowships according to this criteria – emblazoning it across our ministry materials.
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Faith in Jesus is the only given way to God. The only way to be his child. It is the way of the CROSS – not the way of the blue & white HEXAGRAM!
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It is said that God is displaying his power and glory in the nation of Israel today – that this nation is his chosen vessel to honor and sanctify his name. Whereas we do not single out Israel for particular opprobrium amongst other nations of this fallen world, and whereas we maintain a positive outlook towards her citizens – holding out the hand of friendship; There is no recognition (amongst CZ/MJ groups) that any application of such statements regarding her elevated position in the eyes of God, in the bible, pertains specifically to the former nation under the old covenant, leading up to Christ. Little or no recognition is in evidence that the planned SHIFT **from Judah to Christ** occurred at his first coming (Genesis 49:10) – and now unto HIM is the gathering of the people – all people.
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Jesus said his kingdom is *not of this world* – not from here. (I think he meant it.) He said this in Jerusalem – in front of the Roman world power of the day and the gathered Jewish leaders seeking his demise – Almost his last and final statement before his death. Thus removing all grounds from the ones who seek to establish a power structure, or physical kingdom, on this earth, in the present age (- and certainly not in his name!).
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Two kingdoms: We each either belong to Jesus, or to Satan. God, or the devil. The way to tell, is to ask somebody who is their Lord – their God. Who do they worship? Who/what do they live for? [and, what do they primarily focus on in conversation, private reading, viewing, conference attendance etc?] If they say Jesus Christ, (in public,) chances are they belong to the Kingdom of God (if they are living for God in the secret place as well – relying on the blood of Jesus for their eternal justification before our righteous God.)
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But Israel, as a corporate secular entity, is no way even *remotely* in submission to Jesus Christ. Thus, sadly, she is (predominantly) under the power of darkness – satan – the devil – the god of this age – the spirit of antichrist. Of course the grace of God *is* towards her, and her citizens – grace upon grace – an open way to be restored to right standing for each and every one.
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I have managed to identify just 2 Members of the Knesset in Israel who self-declare as Christian, out of a total of 120.

=> Basel Ghattas – an Arab Christian from Rameh
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basel_Ghattas
=> Hana Sweid, an Arab Christian from near Nazareth.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hana_Sweid
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Whereas this is a good thing – being thankful for their presence – How is Israel, in truth, especially in it’s Jewish aspect, remotely the nation of God? With zero Christian Jewish presence (as far as I can tell – please correct and I will edit without hesitation).
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Can we imagine the entire collective of Judah returning from exile in Babylon, in complete denial of the Lord who sent them to the nations to purge them of their sins, and humble them to bring them back to himself? (which did happen as described – in fact, this the given reason for the God-defined *biblical* Diaspora.)
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What happened to the Israelites leaving Egypt? That entire generation (except faithful Joshua & Caleb) fell in the desert, in their negation of the work of God in their midst. What has changed? Why are Christian Zionists and Christian lovers of Israel not issuing forth clear & persistent warnings to the nation they love – to not fall after the same example of disbelief? As if it matters not a jot. Preferring instead to post anti-Arab propaganda, support for militarism, technology, and Israeli political prowess. Fawning over the marvellous Bibi Netanyahu, Lieberman & co. (like they are Zerubbabel, Ezra and Jeshua…. or Moses, Joshua and Caleb)
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God is the same yesterday, today and forever. His calling and drawing of men is as it always was. If God would simply convert a nation en masse, would he not have done so at Pentecost? *The gospel* was given as the power of God unto salvation – then as now. There is no indication this will change between now and the day of the Lord, at his coming in power and glory to judge the world – the living and the resurrected dead.
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I dare to say the Christian Zionist Israel-centred paradigm is flawed in far too many places to stand up. Nobody seems to be willing to come forward to hold a decent conversation to show the veracity and clarity of the biblical foundations of this belief system against even the most moderately presented questions. Try as we might, whenever we almost embarrassingly are duty bound to expose false claims, misapplications of prophecy, the clearly mistaken context of OT statements cut and pasted over today’s nation – the protagonists generally evaporate. Delete then block. The power of deception must be very strong, as doors are bolted, and barricades erected against the biblical truth, when it is laid out with genuine respect and care and friendship.

Steve Thomas. 17.12.14

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Jesus: the Door to the Promises

Posted by israeliteindeed on October 27, 2014

Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:

“For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles,
And sing to Your name.”

And again he says:

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”

And again:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!”

And again, Isaiah says:

“There shall be a root of Jesse;
And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In Him the Gentiles shall hope.” (Rom. 15:8-12)

What promises did Jesus confirm when He became a servant to the circumcision? He confirmed the Old Testament promises. Jesus told the Jews that the Old Testament Scriptures wrote of Him, and that even Moses had written of Him (Jn. 5:39;46).

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Lk. 24:27)

Unfortunately most Jews rejected His claim, and as always occurs when we do not receive a love for the Truth, they embraced lies based on nationalism, genealogy, or ritual; and this has continued to this very day. What is even sadder is that much of the Gentile church in the west is so apostate today, she is lending her support to the works of evildoers and thinking she serves God by doing so. But whether they join hands or no, they will not inherit the promises.

Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. (Gal. 4:30)

It is in Christ that ALL the promises find their fulfillment:

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (2 Cor. 1:20)

Now notice in the Romans 15 passage, what effect the fulfillment of the promises would have on the Gentiles. They would be rejoicing “with His people;” they would hope in Him, and they would submit to His Kingly reign along with the believing Jews. We don’t see a cutting off of all God’s Hebrew people, but instead a grafting in of Gentiles with those Hebrews who are faithful. (Same language we see in Rom. 11) Certainly, Paul does not have every single Gentile in view here, but those who are converted to Christ.

The believing Gentiles are grafted into the Olive Tree, which is God’s chosen people–a tree which was stripped of many (but thankfully not all) Jewish branches due to their unbelief (Rom. 11:17-24). (This is not the first time the Olive Tree was pruned; see also Jer. 11:1-17 for an earlier time. One can also see the death of the first generation of Israelites in the wilderness as a pruning, as well as smaller judgments which swallowed up particular families, etc. We must endure to the end to remain in the Olive Tree.)

The Olive Tree is a picture of God’s kingdom.

How can a kingdom (the Israel of God) be made of people from all over the earth?! Christ’s kingdom is within every believer, and is not something that can be observed in this carnal realm or advanced through carnal means (Lk. 17:20-21). But oh, how the carnal man rankles at this teaching, always seeking to set up something that satisfies the lust of his eyes and flesh, and his pride of life.

Herein is the mystery of God revealed, and how the Israel of God shall be populated with the saved–by faith. God’s Kingdom is the Israel of God, and it is not of this world. Away with these lies that keep repeating that His kingdom is of this world! Away with these foolish statements that we must strengthen the hands of evildoers to be blessed! (“We must bless the modern earthly state of Israel to be blessed”=satanic lie.) To enter the kingdom which Jesus came preaching, and to be blessed, every man is commanded to repent of sin and believe upon Christ. When he does so, he becomes an heir with Jesus of the promises.

There is NO PHYSICAL JEW OR GENTILE in Christ! The flesh profits nothing–absolutely nothing. In Christ and His kingdom, there are only “True Jews” and “Israelites In-Deed” who have entered the kingdom of God by loving and submitting to its King (Rom. 2:28-29; Jn. 1:47). He is the only Door to the Promises.

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The Glory of the Latter Temple

Posted by israeliteindeed on September 28, 2014

This paper will be looking at some key verses in the short prophesy of Haggai.

The prophet Haggai finds the returned exiles to Jerusalem too busy about their own business to be finishing God’s business. Through him, God reminds this remnant of His prior judgments on their blessings, and exhorts them to put Him first and get the house of worship completed. He meant a physical house, as the New Covenant had not yet come. However this physical building never did attain to the earthly glory of the first house built by Solomon. These were the days of “small things” (Zech. 4:10)–not to be despised, but also not to be thought of as the full manifestation of what God was accomplishing. The old men who had seen the former temple wept to see this new foundation laid (Ezra 3:12), perhaps remembering the former glory, which was even now passing away (2 Cor. 3:7). Soon the covenant which was centered around the earthly temple would be obsolete (Heb. 8:13), and Jesus indicated such to his disciples when they asked Him His opinion of the temple in their day–

Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matt. 24:1-2)

Keeping in mind Jesus’ future words about the destruction of the earthly temple, let us look at Haggai 2:5-9, wherein a wonderful promise of future glory–pertaining to the temple–was made:

‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

First, notice that the Spirit was promised to be with those who were now obeying Him, just as He was with those who previously came out of Egypt (before they backslid). The remnant had endured 70 years of exile. Many unbelieving branches had been cut off and thrown into the fire (judgment), but the remnant “people of God”–the called out ones–the congregation of the Lord–had survived (Jer. 5:10; 11:16-17; Ezek. 19:10-14; Jn. 15:1-8; Rom. 11:1-27). After the first generation of redeemed Israelites had perished in the wilderness, it was needful for the survivors of the following generation to know God would be with them. And now, after so many Israelites had been vomited out of the land never to return again, it was needful for this small remnant to know that God would again be with them. Regardless of how many are “cut off,” God will always be with the remnant who returns to Him in truth!

Second, God promises to shake ALL the nations, that the treasure of the nations (indicated by silver and gold owned by the Lord) would come to “the Desire of all Nations.” The Desire of all Nations is undoubtedly Christ Himself, the redeemer of all men. The gold and silver treasures are those from the nations who would hear His voice and come to Mt. Zion to be redeemed of the Lord and dwell peacefully with Him and His people (Isa. 2:2-4; Mic. 4:1-5). The writer of Hebrews tells us the international Church is the fulfillment of these promises (Heb. 12:22-23). These treasures would be refined and purified by the Lord Jesus, as gold and silver in a fire (Zech. 13:9; Mal. 3:2-3) to become vessels of honor (2 Tim. 2:20-21).

Third, the glory of the coming latter temple would be greater than the former, and peace would be given in this place. God cannot have meant the second temple built by the returned remnant, for even after Herod refurbished its buildings in Jesus’ day, Jesus gave no honor at all to these, but promised they would be destroyed (and they were.) He spoke mysteriously of His own body being a temple, which would be destroyed by men and raised again in three days by His own power (Jn. 2:19-21). The Lamb (Jesus) is the temple in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:22). When Jesus rose from the grave, new construction began in the Spirit! The cornerstone was laid once and for all in Zion. Justice was the measuring line and righteousness the plummet. Hail swept away the refuge of lies (“I am a child of God because of my ancestry”), and waters overflowed the hiding place (“God won’t take my sin into account.”) (Isa. 28:16-17) Listen as Paul describes both the glory and the peace of the latter temple:

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)

Notice that converted Gentiles were (past tense) aliens from Israel, but in Christ Jesus, they have been brought near (to be grafted into the olive tree.) Jesus Himself is our peace, and we and other saints (both Jewish and Gentile) are being built together and growing into a holy temple! Jesus is the Cornerstone, and the apostles and prophets make up the rest of the foundation upon which we all must be built. This is the absolute fulfillment of Haggai 2:5-9. The nations are being shaken, and God’s treasure is coming to the Desire of All Nations. God’s temple is glorious in the earth–much more glorious than anything built by the hands of men could be, for God does not dwell in temples made with hands, but in His people (Acts 17:24; I Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16). Jesus has given peace to His disciples, a more lasting and true peace than the world gives (Jn. 14:27); He is their peace, and He has given Himself to them.

Peter also echoes this truth in I Pet. 2:4-9, reminding believers that only those who come to Jesus are God’s chosen people because they have come to the Chosen One–

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,

“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”
and “A stone of stumbling

And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

In conclusion, the glory of the latter temple is already present in the world, and construction is ongoing. When we see the light shining in the faces of our brothers and sisters–and when we see them at peace while the world falls apart, we see a bit of that glory. It is treasure hidden in earthly vessels, to be sure, and carnal eyes will overlook it, but God chooses the weak things to confound the mighty. We need not look for a temple made with hands in the Middle East, as some are falsely teaching–such a temple would be blasphemous in light of the revelation of Jesus Christ and the temple He has been building (His Body, the Church). When the temple is completed and every living stone has been set in its walls, then shall be revealed to every eye the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2).

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They still say, “hate your enemy”. But I say to you…

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 19, 2014

The following post is much needed. I recently saw a “Christian minister”–someone who preaches “holiness” to others–calling for crusades. Here are his words: “Christians around the world are being slaughtered. Hopefully, this will be a wakeup call to the church, which has been largely neutralized by a pacifist mentality. Where have you gone Pope Urban II?” Then he posted the following pictures in support of his call for the church to “wake up” from its “pacifist mentality.”

Notice the American flag on the forehead of this Crusader? Do you really think Jesus is pleased by this?
religious 5 christian crusader

This is Joan of Arc, a woman who heard “voices” telling her to go to war.
religious 6 Joan of Arc

This depicts the siege of Acre 1291.
religious 7 crusades

When reminded of Jesus’ words in Scripture, and how Jesus and the apostles responded to violence, he answered with this:

“I expected that this post would bring the pacifists out of the woodwork. Wait a minute; they are the woodwork.”

In other words, those who refuse to kill others have no value to him. His words were meant as an insult to those who obey Christ’s teachings. He went on to say, “Many a faithful soldier has died on a (military) battlefield fighting for the cause of Christ.” No, sir, they have not. Those who fight for the cause of Christ do not war after the flesh. The Crusades were not led by the Spirit. They were and are no different than Islamic Jihad, and SHAME ON ANYONE WHO CALLS HIMSELF A SERVANT OF JESUS who is preaching this fear and violence! This so called “preacher of holiness” would do well to consider that there are two parts of this verse–

Pursue (1) peace with all people, and (2) holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14)

Witnessing Encouragement

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?” From Matt.5

Papal Crusades and Jihad are the same thing. They are the very same spirit of war and killing Dominionism.

I saw this quote today:
“They are killing our people in the name of Allah and telling people that anyone who kills a Christian will go straight to heaven: that is their message.”

Here is a link where this quote is stated: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/08/isis-persecution-iraqi-christians-genocide-asylum

In both the Crusades and Jihad…

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Out of Egypt I Called My Son

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 13, 2014

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. (Hos. 11:1)

Through the prophet Hosea, God makes this wonderful statement. He goes on to paint the lovely yet sorrowful picture of a God who took “Israel” by the arms, healed them, drew them with gentle cords, took a yoke off their neck, and stooped to feed them. But they were bent on backsliding from Him. They sacrificed to the Baals, refusing to exalt Him in truth. Though they had encircled Him with lies and deceit, yet His heart churned within Him, and He cried out, “How can I give you up?!”

Yet in verses 10-11, the prophet makes this prediction:

They shall walk after the Lord. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, then His sons shall come trembling from the west; they shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt, like a dove from the land of Assyria. And I will let them dwell in their houses, says the Lord.

Now before we decide that everyone from apostate Israel would come to walk after the Lord, and be physically restored to “dwell in their houses,” let us remember how Matthew interpreted Hosea 11:1–

When he [Joseph] arose, he took the young Child [Jesus] and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Matt. 2:14-15)

Matthew says Hosea 11:1 was “fulfilled” by Jesus! Please take some time to think about what that means. If we were reading Hosea alone, we might not have even realized that this verse pointed to Christ. But there are many passages in O.T. prophecies that point to Him and find their fulfillment in Him.

According to Matthew, the fulfillment of Israel being called out of Egypt is Jesus, God’s Son. Now this sheds much more light on the subject of Israel, does it not? Remember, national Israel drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. It is Christ who came out of Egypt, leading His people out of bondage! (I Cor. 10:4) BUT–

With most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (I Cor. 10:5-11)

And so we have this glorious picture of Christ (the True Vine) coming out of Egypt (the world), roaring like a Lion, and His people following Him into that kingdom which is not subject to this world or its god (pictured by Pharaoh). And with it, we have a warning from history, that unless we are faithful, we too shall not inherit the promises. For to remain in the true Israel (Jesus), we must abide in Him and keep His word. Many branches have been cut off already!

Every person who forsakes the world and enters Christ, goes on a spiritual journey–they walk after the Lord, as Hosea said they would. He roars like a Lion, and His sons come trembling after Him. And who are His sons? You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26) They follow Him to Mount Zion (Heb. 12:22), and they dwell in their houses under His protection, for your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God. (I Cor. 6:9) They also dwell in the corporate House of the Lord itself, as living stones in its very construction, and members of a holy priesthood. (I Pet. 2:5) They are given a place in Christ/Israel, for He goes to prepare a place for them, that where He is, they may be also (Jn. 14:2-3). Though Paul says believers are already spiritually seated together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6), the inheritance will be fully and finally fulfilled when Christ returns and our mortal bodies are changed, so as to be able to inherit the kingdom which flesh and blood cannot inherit (I Cor. 15:50-54).

These promises were seen “afar off” by those who died in faith (Heb. 11:13). They did not receive the promise in their lifetime, for God has prepared something better–we shall all be made perfect TOGETHER in the end (Heb. 11:39-40).

Yes, out of Egypt, God called His Son. He, and those married to Him through the covenant in His blood, are the Israel of God.

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Greater Love

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 5, 2014

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13)

This is a profound statement by Jesus, but like most of His profound statements, it is being twisted today in order to justify disobedience to Him.

I have been told that a person who kills other people “for his friends” is demonstrating this “greater love.”

But is this what Jesus meant by His statement? Is this the example He demonstrated in His own life? It is not.

Jesus claimed the Father would have sent Him twelve legions of angels to protect Him from physical harm, had He but asked! (Matt. 26:53). He rebuked his own friend Peter for using a carnal sword on a man, saying, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (vs. 52)

Simply put, the Word does not say “Greater love has no one than this, than to take other men’s lives for his friends.”

It says (my paraphrase), “Greater love has no man than this, than to LAY DOWN HIS OWN LIFE for his friends.” There is a huge difference between the two statements.

And let us not forget that He laid down His life for those who would become His friends at a future time, and He did it while they were still His hateful enemies!

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)

The question before us is this: Are we willing to demonstrate this kind of love to people while they are still sinners? Christ desires this in us, for He wrote,

But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (Lk. 6:32-36)

Worldly love is meted out only to those who seem to be deserving. It is shallow, easily offended, and retractable whenever “self” feels threatened.

The love that God can shed abroad in our hearts is a love that is willingly given to those who aren’t deserving. It is willing to be spent for the souls of others, even if the love is never returned (2 Cor. 12:15). If we want to be sons of the Most High, we must have this love while “hoping for nothing in return.” If we want to be sons of the Father, we must bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute us (Matt. 5:44-45). These are deliberate acts of love done in spite of whatever wounded feelings and heavy sorrows we might have. Though this sounds very difficult, and it is (for the flesh), when we die to ourselves, Christ makes us alive and well able to operate in this kind of unselfish benevolence.

This kind of love is the most powerful force on the earth. This kind of love plundered the devil’s kingdom, and is still plundering it today. This kind of love changes people from the inside out. If we see any lack of this in our lives, let us pray that God in His mercy will help us to be more like Him, and to walk exactly as Jesus walked.

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. (I Jn. 4:17)

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The Whole World Under the Sway of Satan

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 30, 2014

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. (I Jn. 5:19)

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

The kingdoms of this world have a glory, and they are all under the sway of the wicked one. They elevate man, man’s desires, and man’s power. Whether they are socialist, Islamic, democratic, or something else, they hate God and war against Him, competing with Him for the loyalty of souls. They love death, oppression, and material things. The freedom they claim to offer men is a false freedom. These thrones of iniquity, which devise evil by law, have no fellowship with God (Psa. 94:20-21). Every nation that forgets Him, and refuses to kiss the Son, is turned into hell (Psa. 2, 9:17; Isa. 14:9).

We can be given temporary power in the world’s kingdoms by worshiping the devil. Worshiping the devil takes many forms, and most of them do not involve burning candles or black magic. All we have to do is follow his many servants and love this present world to worship him. Many entertainment stars have gone on record as saying they’ve sold their souls to the devil, or they know the devil is controlling them and helping them to be popular. Many of satan’s children are leading the apostate church, masquerading as angels of light, and leading people to worship the beast. But of course, they claim to be doing God service. Political players who directly serve the beast always claim to be working for peace even as they destroy, but patient believers will eventually see all the pomp and glory of earthly kingdoms come to nothing. The drowning of the Egyptian army while Israel looked on (unarmed) is a wonderful picture of this. The meek shall inherit the earth.

Ancient Israel allowed itself to be swayed by the god of this world, when that nation demanded a king “like all the nations” had. The Lord told Samuel that in asking for an earthly king, they had rejected Him, that He should not reign over them. (I Sam. 8:4-22) Jesus repeated this theme in Luke 19:11-27, teaching that those who rejected His rule would be slain before Him. Nevertheless, when given the choice between their righteous King and the murderous patriot Barabbas, the people chose against their heavenly King once again, even shouting, “We have no king but Caesar!” (Jn. 19:12, 15)

However the heavenly King could not be defeated even by the co-operation of Jews and Gentiles to kill Him. In His very death, He “disarmed principalities and powers,” and “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. 2:15) The King is on His throne forever; let all the earth fear Him and give Him glory.

God uses the kingdoms of this world, and allows them to have power, just as He allows satan to go about roaring like a lion, seeking whom he can devour. They are vessels of wood and clay, vessels of dishonor. They have not been cleansed and prepared for “every good work,” but God will use them (2 Tim. 2:20-21) as He tests the hearts of men. He will use one nation to punish another, and then punish the punishing nation. The motives of every heart will be manifest, and every soul will receive according to his works.

Jesus told Pilate, who boasted of his power,

“You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” (Jn. 19:11)

Whatever satan is allowed to do, he answers to God. Remember Job, and how God told satan the exact boundaries in which he could operate. Satan, in turn, gives power to his servants–those who do the lusts of their father, who was a murderer and liar from the beginning. We know that God has allowed peace to be taken from this wicked earth, and a sword has been given by which ungodly men kill one another (Rev. 6:4).

At the same time, we know that the people of God are people who pursue holiness and peace with all men. They have been delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of the Son (Col. 1:13). They are divinely protected from spiritual harm–even as they are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake–for their King cares for them. They do not fall in line behind the devil, who holds the world under his sway. A stranger’s voice, they will not hear. They do not take up his carnal sword against flesh and blood; they wield the Sword of the Spirit against lies. They understand that the power of kingdoms is temporary, and men have power to kill the body, but only God can destroy the soul. Their eyes behold the next life, and their hearts trust in the One who is their Life. Whether they live or die, they are His.

Men who reject the King of the world must and will be ruled. If they will not be ruled by the good and loving King, they will be ruled by tyrants and despots and crafty politicians who fight each other even while they all bow to the same god. They will be ruled by their own lusts, snapping up every baited hook offered by satan, until they are ruined. The freedom of choice God has given man has boundaries. And when men insist on crossing the boundaries, massive chaos and destruction results. Sowing and reaping are built into the fabric of the universe, and judgment for sin is inescapable. This is what we are seeing in the world today; the destruction is swallowing up the whole earth. This must continue until the end, but he that endures all things for Christ to the end will be saved.

There is one Hope offered, a solitary way of escape from this City of Destruction: Repent of your sins and trust completely in Jesus Christ. Follow and obey Him to the very end of this life. Those who do this will overcome the world and inherit all things (Rev. 21:7).

God bless you!

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If Your Eye is Good

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 22, 2014

Sandwiched between two of Jesus’ warnings against seeking after riches is this nugget of truth:

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matt. 6:22-23)

I woke up this morning considering the first part: If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

In my life, I have focused on many things at different times. As a young unsaved person, I focused on romance, acquiring things, trying to get established in this world, and mostly–I focused on my SELF. I ran after everything that promised to make me feel happy.

I didn’t know it then, but my eye was bad. My focus was on the wrong things, and I completely ignored my Creator. My whole body was so full of darkness, even my best “light” was darkness. The things I thought I knew for sure were all wrong. My best advice to others was wrong. It is a very great darkness when a person trying to lead others doesn’t know she is blind too.

But this is the state of the world we live in. If you turn on the news, you will see people trying to make sense of the great evil that abounds, and trying to figure out how to fix the mounting chaos. They talk and talk, and they consult the experts. And after all the “wise men in the land” weigh in, still nobody has been enlightened. God waits patiently for them to notice Him, for them to notice His laws are being ignored, for them to notice that none of their cures ever work. He waits for them to admit that they know nothing, and that the focus of all their vain investigations has been wrong. He waits for them to confess they can’t see at all and need some help. But they rarely do. They are getting paid to pretend, and very few will ever leave the stage that keeps the world spellbound.

I was as blind as everyone else, but thankfully, the Son of God drew me to Himself and gave me the ability to see. I don’t claim to see everything, but I see well enough to know I must follow Christ or perish trying.

Everything here on this earth is dying, heavily weighed down by the curse of sin. It makes me sad when professing Christians around me seem to be as captivated by this vain world as unbelievers are. I have to warn them that they are, in fact, making themselves enemies of God (James 4:4). But I confess I have had my times, even since knowing Christ, that I let my focus drift away from Him. Sometimes the object of my attention was not a bad thing in itself. But it became the thing I cared about to the point that I left my first Love. This is the spirit of adultery. We must carefully guard against it if we are to wed the Bridegroom when He comes. Jesus wrote to those who were in this dangerous predicament:

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. (Rev. 2:4-5)

Yes, it is possible to have your body filled with light, only to later lose that precious light. And so we are to remember “from where we have fallen” and examine ourselves to see if we have sailed off course. Consider what it was like when you first believed, how much you hated your sins, and how “single” your eye was–how captivated by Jesus you were. If we repent of leaving Christ, if we repent of having too much affection for things in this world, if we cast those idols aside again, and if we sincerely cry for Him to enlarge our hearts to love Him more–He will help us.

Very often He does this work in us by taking things away we thought we had to have. This is not a pleasant thing, but like a weaned child, we learn to be at peace without the thing we were counting on. We learn that He is our peace, and He is our life. We learn that the things that commanded our focus were unworthy of our focus. The form of this world is passing away (I Cor. 7:31), and every life–though precious in God’s sight–is a vapor. Our best “flourishing” on this earth is comparable to the short existence of a fragile flower which is so soon gone (Psa. 103:15-16).

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psa. 90:12). A heart that refuses to focus on anything but Jesus, reserving itself wholly for Him alone. A heart that lays its treasures in heaven, counting all things below as nothing compared to knowing Christ. A heart that carefully keeps a “good eye,” that the body can remain full of light.

May we be blameless and harmless children of God, without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we shine as lights in the world, holding fast the Word of Life. (Phil. 2:15)

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