Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Heirs of God, Joint heirs with Jesus Christ - by Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2018/07/heirs-of-god-joint-heirs-with-jesus.html
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."(1st John 3:1-3)
4 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8:4, 15-16)
Of all the passages that Paul wrote, Romans chapter 8 remains one of my favorites. And the Apostle John confirms what Paul spoke of in this glorious chapter. The chapter is full of promises to the children of God. When I look at these particular passages, I become almost awe struck at its implications that speak of the plans that God has for each of His children. But let this passages sink in for a moment as you meditate on its deep meaning. "Heirs and joint-heirs with Christ" and we will be "like Christ" is what Paul and John under the Holy Spirit's direction wrote. What does this mean to the believer.?
I wrote about this very fact in times past about Church Age saints being adopted into the "family of God". It's a most glorious promise to those who have accepted the payment for their sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Besides being our Lord and Savior, our King and our God, Jesus could also be given the title in relationship to other children of God, as our "Big Brother" as He is our "Kinsman Redeemer".
I've heard that expression plenty of times, and I find it very hard to use the term "big Brother" , as I would never speak it to Him as such, since Jesus is God in the flesh, but in the family sense of what God our "Abba" Father has planned along with His Son from the very beginning of time, it is a family relationship that has been planned since before time even began.
Jesus became what Adam could not accomplish. He became the perfect man in His life upon this earth and the perfect sacrifice to cover the sins that each of us could not shed to join God the Father in a family unit. In His resurrection, the old body that Jesus dwelt upon this earth became a glorious body, a body of flesh and bone. Jesus was the second Adam from the portals of heaven, as our common ancestor Adam was the first from born from the earth.
When describing the risen Lord, note that there is no mention of blood. Jesus was not alive as we are, in that the blood is the source of life providing oxygen to the cells of our body. But His life source was the Spirit of God, as ours will be. Note that in scripture, Jesus was able to perform actions that we are not able to perform, such as walk through walls, disappear while men looked upon Him, and rise into the clouds out of the apostles sight and many other actions that John said if they were all recorded, the books of the world could not hold them.
Jesus became our redeemer in every sense of the word. He became what we will become, a new creatures that will follow the trail He blazed into glory. We will become the sons of God. We will be heirs of God's promises made to His Son, and by extension, to those of us who believe in the "One whom God hath sent." (John 6:29b)
WHAT DOES HE MEAN HEIRS AND JOINT HEIRS?
Just think of what Paul is saying when he says we will be heirs and joint-heirs with our King, our God, and our Savior. What is an heir? In Jewish thinking, being an heir speaks to adoption into a family. An adoption would make the adopted one legally eligible for an equal share in the father's estate.
Now Jesus was intended to be the firstborn among many brethren as Paul wrote further in this chapter v. 29-32:
29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (many brothers and sisters) my emphasis.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:29-32)
This is beyond my comprehension, but within a finite mind that only grasp in part what Paul is saying that God will give us all things in an equal share all that belongs to our King Jesus. All the rights of a family member will be given in equal parts to each of those who have been called the "children of God". When we speak of sons or children of God, that is not to say that we will be Gods ourselves, as some so erroneously believe Paul is speaking of here. No, we will be Kings and Priest to our God for all eternity. We will be given duties and responsibilities that any family that is headed by a family Patriarch, will work for the family in following the commands and the will of the Head of the Family. The Head of the family is God our Father, whom we call our Father "Abba", and God Almighty. But I liken it to the phrase, we will be of the "God Kind". We cannot begin to know in complete knowledge or begin to comprehend all that God has got planned for us.
9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."(1st Corinthians 2:9-12)
God, who is a loving God, a Father to all of His children will and has given good gifts to us this side of eternity in this life. But can you even imagine what God who is infinite, without limit, and the Creator of all things will bestow on those that love Him in the next life?
First in this life, we have been pardoned, our sin washed away by the blood of Jesus and given eternal life and future immortality.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.(Romans 8:1-4)
We have been separated, called out of this world to the glorious light of our Savior, who saved us and who loved us, before we even loved Him.
6 "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."(Romans 5:6-9)
Second we have been given an earnest deposit of God's Holy Spirit that seals us as His possession. I liken it to a layaway plan at your local department store. The down payment has been made and the contract signed for purchase. Along the way, more payments are made for the final purchase price until the day of taking possession of the prize. Paul speaks of this in Ephesians:
13 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14)
There is a future reception of more of the fullness of God's Holy Spirit and a future redemption! The Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). The apostle is teaching us that redemption, like salvation, is a process that has begun but has not yet reached its conclusion. Salvation is irrevocable, and God will finish what He has begun. Both of these processes began when we believed and accepted Jesus Christ, but they will not end until we receive God's Spirit in full measure and are glorified in His Kingdom. That will come when we are called either in the removal of God's Church before the Tribulation, or the tribulation saints resurrection and glorification at the end of the Tribulation. This is all part of the 1st resurrection, which Jesus was the beginning of.
WE AWAIT OUR REDEMPTION
But in the meantime, we must be about our Father's business. As Paul writes that we are not of the flesh, but of the Spirit, as we walk after the things of the Spirit and do mortify the deeds of the flesh:
7 "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."(Romans 8:7-11)
This almost sounds like an impossible task, as we are still mortal. I don't know about you, but I sin everyday, because of my flesh even if it's just a thought. Paul had the same problem when he lamented in Romans 7:
14 "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." (Romans 7:14-19)
But fear not brothers and sisters, Paul gives us the remedy for the sin that dwells in our flesh.
"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:24-25)
Each of us, who are the called of God battle the forces of evil. Sometimes, because of our mortal flesh, sin has it's way with us in our weakness. But if God's Holy Spirit rest in your spirit, then you, just as I am, are convicted of that sin, sometimes almost immediately. How do you get victory over sin? You put on the whole armor of God. Brethren, we do not war against flesh and blood, but against powers of spiritual darkness and the evil of this world.
10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Even with the armor upon us, and we fight the good fight as we use the weapons God has given us, we still fail, we stumble and fall...it's inevitable, my brethren, because we still have the curse upon us, called the flesh and this side of glory we will continue the need to repent. John the apostle wrote what we must do when we sin:
"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1st John 1:6-9)
My brothers and sister in Christ, and all who read this message, it is God's Holy Spirit that cleanses us daily. When we fail, we confess. We are not suddenly lost from God's grace, but sin causes loss of fellowship with God our Father. But with remorse and prayerful repentance that relationship is restored, as if the sin never happened. Oh, but some say, "How can God forgive me for I have sinned a great sin?". I imagine that is what King David thought when his sin was revealed through Nathan the prophet and David repented of fornication with Bathsheba and indirectly murdering Uriah, her husband by placing him at the front of the battle. What did David do? David repented in anguish for His sin, and that was before God's Holy Spirit was given in it's fullness at Pentecost. David cried out :
"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee." (Psalms 51:1-13)
Even David, a man God called "a man after God's own heart" was subject to temptation and sin. King David humbled himself, and did not try to hide his sin from God, but confessed it and asked for forgiveness in tears and anguish. God honors a broken and contrite heart, when it is done in genuine guilt and repentance. And God said that our sin would be as far as the east is from the west, and would remember it no more.
Only Jesus and God's Holy Spirit can deliver us from the law of sin found in our flesh. Paul explains this even further in the chapter that I love, Romans 8:
33 "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8:33-37)
WE NEED JESUS MORE THAN EVER, ESPECIALLY NOW
We have evil all around us, and in this day and age, it seems evil is growing exponentially. When I was a little kid, I remember that there were bad people in the world around me, and I was warned to not accept candy from strangers, but most people were basically honorable and moral people in the majority. I would have not fathomed at such an early age, to see what I am seeing after almost 68 years of life.
But OH, how the world has changed, and not for the better. How can the average person on this planet survive the evil that is becoming common place in this country and even more so in other countries around the world? No wonder the suicide rate is growing with people who have lost all hope. Or people who resort to crutches of alcohol, or dangerous drugs (either street drugs, or prescriptions) that rob them of the last shred of hope and security as they try and escape reality. Unfortunately, I see it all the time in the area of my ministry.
People are dying all around us and it seems we can't stop the destruction of people who are determined to bring on their own demise. But every now and then, one is saved from the fire. One person is reached that was thought beyond help. And what is the one thing, the one Person who brings them up out of despair? The answer is Jesus Christ. When a person finally sees that they are beyond hope, beyond fighting for themselves, and beyond anything on this earth used as a remedy. Not drugs, not alcohol, not bath salts, not promiscuity, and not main stream religion, because each fails the individual if its root is not anchored in Jesus Christ. When they hit rock bottom, the burden on their shoulder is weighing them down with their head hanging and the only place to look is up, we pray they see Jesus and someone is there to bring them to a saving knowledge of His mercy and grace. That person must cry out and seek safety from the only Source of that safety.
"I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord." (Psalms 40:1-3)
HAVE YOU FOUND MY ROCK, MY SAVIOR?
To my unsaved friend out there, I say this. Jesus is the only way in finding safety in this life, leading to the next life. You can search from around the world from Los Angeles to New York City, from the USA to the far reaches of the third world and back, but you will be as you were, EMPTY and unfilled. We each have a void in our spiritual lives that must be filled. As mentioned, some search for it in pleasures of this world, in illicit drugs and alcohol, but in the end, many will attempt suicide because they just cannot cope with what is going on in this world.
We all search for a way back to God or their definition of God. They search for peace and a place called Heaven. They put their trust in "religions" and spiritual enlightenment or many put their trust in themselves and don't think they need God. Oh, how wrong each of them are. That void in your heart, that void in your mind, and that void that is searching for what makes life worth living, is found in only one place, AT THE CROSS. (I call this our God Hole, that must be filled with Jesus Christ). That is where our Savior died, my Savior, your Savior if you would only choose Him and repent of your sins and turn to Him in all humility and repentance.
37 "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."(John 6:37-40)
Jesus further told us the truth, when He said in John chapter 14:
6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
And there is no one that can separate you from the love of Christ our Lord, when you profess faith and belief in His saving grace, in His blood and resurrection that began on Calvary's hill and fulfilled at His resurrection from the dead.
We are told by Paul the Apostle in closing the chapter that started this message, that no one can separate us from Jesus Christ after we are saved by grace.
38 "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."(Romans 8:38-39)
I invite you to call upon the Lord Jesus right now. Humble yourself and realize that you can't do it alone anymore. You and I are the same, we are sinners. Only difference that may be between us, is that I have asked forgiveness of Jesus of my sins and as a faithful and loving God, He has done just that. He can do the same for you if you humble yourself and believe these verses that sum up the whole of the Bible.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."(John 3:16-18)
8' But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." (Romans 10:8-11)
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Believe these words of John 3 and Romans 10 in the void found in your heart and mind, and God will make you along with many others who have gone on before you...Sons of God and joint heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ...Praise God.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, proclaiming my Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. My God who came in the flesh and is coming again soon. If I can introduce you to my Savior and provide you with support from God's Word, then give me an email at email@example.com , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , for more biblical instruction in Christian living or the way back to God. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly ear, drop me a line...God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Messianic Tipping Point: Majority of Jews in Israel, New Torah Reality - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
Then, when I have brought you to the land of Yisrael, to the country that I swore to give to your fathers, you shall know that I am Hashem. Ezekiel 20:42 (The Israel Bible™)
The Israeli government recently announced that the largest community of Jews in the world is in Israel. This demographic fact has far-reaching Messianic ramifications in Jewish Law, requiring the Jews to reinstate Biblical commandments that have not been seen in two millennia and bringing redemption one, rather significant step closer.
Last week, Immigration Minister Sofa Landver reported to the Knesset's Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs that Israel had taken America's place as home to the world's largest Jewish population.
It is difficult to definitively quantify the Jewish population since the definition of who is a Jew varies widely between the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform movements. But the United States has been host of the largest Jewish population since WWII, with just over four million Jew in 1945. That number grew to 5.4 million in the 1970's, although the previously rapid growth slowed due to assimilation, intermarriage, and low birth rates. Landver reported that 5.7 million Jews currently live in the US.
The Jewish population in Israel at the state's inception in 1948 was approximately 650,000, less than six percent of the global Jewish population, and grew over the next ten years to 1.8 million. By 1980, there were 3.2 million Jews living in Israel, rising to 5.8 million by 2010. Landver reported that there are currently 6.6 million Jews in Israel.
"Having a majority of Jews in Israel creates a different halachic (Torah law) reality, requiring Jews to perform certain mitzvoth (Torah commandments) they have not had to perform in 2,000 years," Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the nascent Sanhedrin, said to Breaking Israel News. Rabbi Weiss explained that this condition of a majority of Jews in Israel was anticipated in prophecy as the final return of the Jews to Israel. It is referred to as the third inheritance of the land, the first being by Joshua, the second after the Babylonian exile.
The third inheritance refers to Jews' prophesied return from the exile that followed the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE. Jewish tradition holds that this return will usher in the building of the Third Temple, the return of the Davidic Dynasty, and the messianic era.
"But this is not something that will just happen," Rabbi Weiss said. "The Jews returned to Israel in order to pave the way for the moshiach."
When a majority of Jews live in Israel, Jews are required to count the 50-year Jubilee cycle, a mitzvah (Torah commandment) the Sanhedrin reinstituted almost two years ago.
"And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a Jubilee unto you." Leviticus 25:10
The Jubilee (Hayovel in Hebrew) is a Biblical commandment that is observed exclusively in the land of Israel. It is the fiftieth year that comes after a period seven sabbaticals. The year triggers a number of Biblical commandments concerning property rights and returning the land to its original inheritors, the Jews who were allocated the land by lottery. Debts were forgiven and slaves who sold themselves due to debt were set free.
Having a majority of the Jews in Israel will also require the distribution of land and the return of Jewish tribal identity as described by the Prophet Ezekiel.
And it shall come to pass that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you and to the strangers that sojourn among you Ezekiel 47:21-22
The Sanhedrin has made an official ruling on how this should be done and is prepared to do so now that the requirement of the majority of Jews live in Israel and the current situation requires it to be done according to Torah law.
"We are required to have twelve tribes," Rabbi Weiss said. "The land will be divided according to the Biblical territories. Every Jew living in that territory will receive an inheritance and be considered as if he is from that tribe."
But when the Sanhedrin declared the beginning of the Jubilee cycle in 2016, they did so on the basis of their ruling that the majority of Jews already lived in Israel.
"We based our decision on the opinion that the Jubilee begins when there are 600,000 Jews in Israel, like the number that returned to Israel from Egypt under Joshua," Rabbi Weiss said. "When those conditions have been met, as they clearly have, then the conditions for counting the Jubilee has also been met."
Rabbi Weiss explained the Sanhedrin's decision to rely upon the number rather than the majority of the total number of Jews.
"The number of Jews outside of Israel is a statistic that cannot be easily established and it is too easily manipulated," he said. "It involves defining who is a Jew, a point that is a source of fierce debate. There are untold millions of people in countries around the world who are just now discovering their Jewish roots and that will change the numbers as well."
"Most of the Jews who do not deny their Jewish identity are living in Israel today, effectively creating the condition in which there is no Jewish nation outside of the Land of Israel," he said. "The decision not to accept Israel, not to do mitzvoth, not to move towards establishing the Temple, these are conscious decisions to reject the clear reality that we have returned as a nation, which requires Israel to act in a different manner than they have for the last 2,000 years."
Rabbi David Katz, author of Laws of Ger Toshav: Pious of the Nations, is working towards reinstating a classification of non-Jews that is also dependent on this change in demographics: ger toshav (a resident alien).
"Ger toshav is explicitly described in the Torah," Rabbi Katz said to Breaking Israel News, citing the one of the many verses.
If a resident alien among you has prospered, and your kinsman being in straits, comes under his authority and gives himself over to the resident alien among you, or to an offshoot of an alien's family. Leviticus 25:47
"It is clearly true that Israel is required to recognize the ger toshav but this will not happen as long as the rabbinate refuses to acknowledge the new reality and continues to enforce the exile paradigm," Rabbi Katz said. "There are different levels of this classification, including outside of Israel, but the highest level of fulfillment of the ger toshav comes when the Jubilee is declared."
Rabbi Katz noted an increase in recent years from non-Jews who are interested in being ger toshav. He suggested that this interest seems to be spontaneously generated, as if the sudden change in demographics requiring the return of that Biblical status automatically reestablished it in the hearts and minds of people for whom it is relevant. Though this spiritual cause of the reemergence of ger toshav is appealing, the rabbi prefers a more practical cause.
"The demographics have tilted the scales and made Israel prominent in the world in so many ways," Rabbi Katz said. "Because the non-Jews are more aware of Israel in a positive way more than ever before. This leads them to want to connect to Israel in a deeper manner, which is ger toshav."
Rabbi Katz believes that the establishment of Israel was undeniably a part of the geula (redemption) process but he feels that the process has become "stuck" in recent years.
"Everyone agrees that Moshiach ben Yosef is here," Rabbi Katz said, referring to the first stage in the messiah that Judaism believes pave the way in practical means for the second, more transcendent stage, referred to as Moshiach ben David. "We need to break through this klippah (barrier, literally shell) of exile mentality in order to go to the next level."
"The statistics will not make these changes," Rabbi Katz said. "Any change in this approach would have to come from the Temple Mount, not from the exile and not from the political framework which includes the Chief Rabbinate."
Watchman Warning: Living and Learning
- By Hal Lindsey - https://www.hallindsey.com/ww-7-12-2018/
When I wrote The Late Great Planet Earth, I included a section titled, "Do We Really Live and Learn?"
In some areas, we clearly do. A farmer tries a new technique. Even if it doesn't work, he has learned something useful. Learning from mistakes is one of the reasons fewer and fewer farmers feed more and more people. It's true of any successful scientific endeavor.
Sometimes we overlearn. A man drives down a quiet street and suddenly gets caught in a traffic jam. He determines never to drive down that street again. Later, his wife points out that there was a wreck on that street that day, and that it's usually quiet. But the man refuses to ever try that street again. He has overlearned.
In other areas, humanity does not learn. We're like a famous 1950s TV character - Beaver Cleaver. Many years ago, the TV Land network ran a commercial for "Leave It to Beaver" that nicely sums up the problem. "Why doesn't the Beaver ever learn his lesson?" the ad asked. "He is often taught his lesson. He promises to remember his lesson. But the next day he has forgotten his lesson. Is he deliberately ignoring his lesson? Not exactly."
The ad then showed a still close-up of Beaver's face. A graphic was added to the forehead area. It seems to show a vast empty space inside Beaver's skull. A small brain is depicted at the top of the empty space. The word "Lesson" is shown entering the head through one of Beaver's ears, then bouncing around in the almost empty chamber. The announcer says, "New evidence suggests that Beaver's lesson enters one ear, floats around his head a few seconds without any contact with his brain, then floats out the other ear." We then see the word "Lesson" floating out the opposite ear.
Too often, that's us - that's humanity. And it's not just on little things, but big issues like conflict and morality. We don't learn the lessons of past mistakes. Those lessons just float in one ear, and out the other. We keep making the same mistakes.
War makes a great example. History tells us to avoid war if we possibly can. But too many nations are quick to the trigger. History also teaches that you cannot avoid war by ignoring the possibility of it. In fact, ignoring war seems to encourage it. But nations forget that, too.
General Douglas MacArthur said, "Men since the beginning of time have sought peace... military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blots out this alternative."
Or does it?
Humanity has a long history of eventually using every weapon it invents. And today's weapons are devastating. That's true even of non-nuclear weapons, but the nukes are the worst. In just the last year, several nations openly spoke of using nuclear weapons preemptively.
It is by the grace of God that we have not yet experienced a full blown nuclear war. Since the 1950s, we know of dozens of instances when humanity was within minutes of an all-out nuclear exchange. But information on nuclear devices is highly classified by the nations that have them, or plan to have them. So, we only know some of the near misses.
The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 is the most famous close call of the nuclear era. But there have been others. For instance, in 1979, Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, received a call from NORAD headquarters. Their news was unthinkable. They said the Soviet Union had just launched 250 intercontinental ballistic missiles and they were on a trajectory for the United States. They said the time window in which we could respond was 3 to 7 minutes. Then new information came in, raising the number of incoming missiles to 2,200.
In seconds, the US prepared for a full nuclear response. Nuclear bombers prepared for takeoff. ICBM crews prepared to launch missiles. Fingers hovered near fire-buttons. But US officials held back, waiting for satellite data to confirm the attack. Six minutes later, NORAD realized it had all been a computer-generated illusion. A technician had inadvertently loaded a training program into an operational computer. The program simulated a massive Soviet attack.
There are many such stories. The world is still intact - but not because human systems are so efficient, or because human beings are so good. The world is still intact because God is so good. In situation after situation, we see that the hand of God stayed the hand of man.
But it won't always be so. Before one of the major judgments of God on humanity, the flood of Noah, the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever." (Genesis 6:3 NASB)
2 Thessalonians 2 tells about Antichrist and the coming culmination of lawlessness in the world. Verse 7 says, "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way."
"He who now restrains" is the Holy Spirit working through God's people, the Church. At the Rapture, the Church will be taken out of this world and the Holy Spirit's ministry of restraining lawlessness will end. As bad as things seem now, they are going to get much, much worse.
If you have never turned to Christ, received His pardon and joined the family of God, now is the time.
Prophecy is Being Revealed
- Nathele Graham -
"Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." Isaiah 28:16. I often wonder what went through the minds of the prophets of old when God instructed them to write something like this. Did Isaiah think He meant that a building would be built there with a solid foundation and a perfect corner stone? Whether Isaiah understood it or not he knew that these words were from God. The men who sorted through the scrolls to compile the Old Testament must have also thought it strange, but the Holy Spirit led them to include it in Scripture. Centuries would pass before the meaning would be made clear by a fisherman who had followed Jesus and believed in who He was. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded." 1 Peter 2:6. Peter knew that Jesus is the corner stone and foundation that our faith is built upon. The Jewish leaders may have recognized their Messiah if they had believed prophecy, but they were blinded by tradition and misinterpretation. Have we learned from their mistakes? Not really. Many Bible teachers ignore prophecy because it's "too vague" or they try to twist it to fit their purposes. We live in the end times disclosed by Biblical prophecy and we need to pay attention.
A key to understanding prophecy is to believe what God says. Trying to force prophecy to fit human understanding is like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. If the square peg (human understanding) is adjusted to fit the round hole (God's information) then it fits nicely. Throughout Scripture we see that God's prophetic messages are always correct. Daniel was a highly educated young Jewish man who lived in Jerusalem. Then the Babylonian army attacked, Daniel was taken prisoner, and Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. Though living in a pagan culture Daniel never failed to honor God Almighty throughout his life. He had a prophetic letter written by Jeremiah to those who Nebuchadnezzar had taken captive from Jerusalem to Babylon. "For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place." Jeremiah 29:10. Daniel didn't try to come up with a replacement theology regarding who God really meant would return after 70 year, but he believed that God said what He meant. As time went on he realized that the captivity was soon to be over and that the Jewish people soon would be re-gathered in the land and city that God had given to them forever. "In the first year of his reign I Daniel, understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." Daniel 9:2. Daniel took the prophecy of Jeremiah seriously and his reaction was to fast and pray. We need to take a lesson from Daniel. Prophecy is information God gives us and He means for us to understand. There are many end time prophecies being fulfilled today and we need to take them seriously. Maybe we should fast and pray.
Space restricts mentioning all of the end times prophecies, but let me first state emphatically that the "church" has not replaced Israel. We have our own place in God's timeline, but Israel is still the main subject of these prophecies. Let's start by looking back to the time when Jesus began His ministry on earth. Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies during the time He walked through the Holy Land proclaiming the Good News to all who would listen. When Jesus began His ministry He entered into the synagogue in Nazareth and read from Isaiah. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, and set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." Luke 4:18-21. The passage He chose is found in Isaiah 61:1-2a and described His first coming. He didn't read the entire passage from Isaiah but said that this Scripture was fulfilled. What did the rest of the passage say? "...and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn: to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." Isaiah 61:2b-3. Verse numbers were added long after this was written and verses 1-3 are one sentence. The portion of the prophecy that Jesus read tells of the first coming of Christ, which is why He stopped where He did. The rest describes the Tribulation period when the wrath of God will be poured out and also the Kingdom Age. Today we can look back and fully understand that Jesus was the One prophesied, but we also need to understand that the full prophecy will be fulfilled in the future...the near future.
What do we miss by not taking God at His word? For centuries many so called Bible scholars taught that Christians had replaced Israel since the Temple had been destroyed and the Jews had been dispersed to all nations. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's too bad these "scholars" didn't believe prophecy just as Daniel believed it. God said that Israel would be reestablished as a nation and in 1948 it happened. "And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them saith the LORD thy God." Amos 9:14-15. Israel was re-established as a nation n 1948 and the Jewish people are returning. Many nations are trying to wipe them off the map, but God says that this time they are there permanently. I believe God. He also said that when they are brought back the second time they will be one nation rather than two (Israel had been the Northern Kingdom before being conquered by Assyria and Judah had been the Southern Kingdom which had been conquered by Babylon). "Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for Great shall be the day of Jezreel." Hosea 1:11. Today all twelve of the Jewish tribes are returning to the land God had given to Abraham and it's called Israel. There are many more prophecies regarding Israel being re-established. These have been fulfilled and we can be sure that all of God's prophecies will be fulfilled.
I'm always disappointed when I look at the news and see what passes as newsworthy. In America it seems as if the latest Hollywood scandal is more important than what's happening in places like Damascus and how that relates to prophecy. "The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap." Isaiah 17:1. This prophecy speaks of an end time event and today Damascus is nearly a ruinous heap. There are many other happenings in the Middle East that are much more relevant to life than the latest celebrity who hates Donald Trump or who's getting a divorce. Have you been keeping track of the peace deal that Jared Kushner is going to present to Israel and the surrounding nations? I'm not saying that Mr. Kushner is the Anti-Christ. In fact, speculation about that is silly. Christians will be taken Home in the Rapture before the man of sin is revealed. On the other hand we need to look at the signs of the times. There will be a covenant which this evil man will confirm so this could be that covenant, but that's speculation. "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" Daniel 9:27 (Also see Daniel 12:11). This is from a prophecy that was given to Daniel regarding the end of time. The "week" is a seven year period of time that's known as "Daniel's 70th week" and "the time of Jacob's trouble". This prophecy, as well as others, tells us that it has nothing to do with Christians...Christians don't do sacrifices and oblations. The Jewish priests will do these sacrifices in the rebuilt Temple, which must be there in order for the man of sin to desecrate it. "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains": Matthew 24:15-16. Jesus took Daniel's prophecy seriously. By reading Daniel 11:31, Daniel 12:11, and Revelation chapter 13 we know that this happens half way through Daniel's 70th week and marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Today the Temple Institute has everything they need to be used in the Temple as soon as they're allowed to rebuild it. The signs of the times are happening quickly, so watch and be ready.
This brings us to the Rapture...a blessing for everyone who's accepted Christ for salvation. The seven year period in Daniel's prophecy is the final seven years of the age, and Jesus said that the last half of that week will be worse than anything that has happened before. God's wrath will be poured out upon those left in the world who will serve Satan and hate God Almighty. Remember, this is the time of Jacob's trouble, which means that the nation of Israel will be the focus of much hatred. The word "Rapture" isn't in our English Bible but if we had a Latin Bible we would see it. The Greek word is harpazō and means to be seized by force or snatched away. It's used in numerous Scriptures, including John 10:28 &29, Acts 8:39, 2 Corinthians 12:2 & 4, and 1 Thessalonians 4:17. In Revelation we read letters to seven churches which give a prophecy of the church age, ending with the Laodicean church, which is very much like today. Jesus isn't welcome inside the congregation. With that final letter the "church age" is over and the next event is the Rapture. "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter." Revelation 4:1. The Greek words "meta tauta" are translated "after this" and "hereafter" and means first the preceding happens and then the next thing. In this instance the description of the church age is over, the catching up to Heaven is next, and John is told he will see what follows that event. Revelation chapters 4 and 5 tell of Christians in Heaven. It'll be awesome. Revelation chapter 6 begins the judgment of God when the Lamb opens the first seal. The following chapters tell of the horrendous wrath that will be poured out upon those who rejected Christ and haven't been Raptured.
Prophecy is one of the most intriguing subjects contained in God's word. As we approach the final days of world history the prophecies are becoming more clearly understood. When Daniel was given the end time prophecy he wanted to know the meaning. "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel 12:4. In other words, understanding would come when the end was near. We're at that time in history. I've barely scratched the surface of the list of prophecies being fulfilled today. If you're waiting for a better time to give your life to Christ, don't delay. If there's someone you've put off sharing the Gospel with, do it now. As rapidly as prophecy is being fulfilled, God could call us Home at any moment. Only faith in the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross will save anyone from God's wrath. Accept Him now because it will soon be too late.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.htm l
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Divine order or male privilege
- Bill Wilson -
The whole "privilege" narrative these days is somewhat alarming. It was once explained to me that a man walking through a crowded room could go from one end to another and people would move out of his way. If a woman, however, tried to do that, people wouldn't move out of the way. This was labeled an example of male privilege-essentially blaming a lack of common courtesy by those in the room on a man who knew how to move through a crowd. This doesn't set well with my spirit. In this example, a sociological term is assigned to convince others that their right of equality is being violated. It made me think a bit. What is God's order and what does that mean to a people?
In a fallen world, one that would deny God, those who are the deniers and the deceived are always trying to cause separation from God. They are attempting to use their intellect to pit people against people using esoteric ideas and expressions that cause confusion and division. There is a God-given order for those who believe. And, while believers are not perfect in its implementation, God's order is intrinsically balanced and, at the same time, liberty-oriented. It protects both male and female. As Galatians 3:28 says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Privilege, in the sense of those who use it to try to ascribe some sort of guilt or wrongdoing on people, may be better defined as a human condition of entitlement. Those who use the term are often guilty of envy, blame, and strife, wanting to assign a reason to paint an entire group of people with the same brush to justify their own prejudices-or their agenda. This way of thinking is not healthy, but then what can be healthy if it goes against God's order? A society that continuously attacks men and confuses masculinity with labels like "privilege" will eventually reduce itself to a population of base, leaderless, godless sleepwalkers controlled by the very ones who are pointing the finger of privilege. That is their agenda.
There is a Godly order. As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:3, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God." This is not about man-assigned privilege. It is divine order. With that comes responsibility. Ephesians 5:33 says, "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she honors her husband." Ephesians 6:1 says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." Verse 6:4 says, "And you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath." You see, if the world followed God's order, it would be considered an honorable privilege to be a man. And men need to be men-as defined by God, not by men.
Daily Devotion: What It Means to Walk with God - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:8
I like to walk, but I don't like to run. In fact, I hate running. My wife and I will be out walking together, and sometimes she'll try to trick me into running. She says, "Let's run!"
"I hate running."
"Let's just run to the end of the block."
But I already know it will go beyond that. We'll run to the end of the block, and sure enough, she says, "Let's run to the end of the next block."
When I'm walking, I'm happy. But the moment I go into even a slow jog, I move from relative happiness to pure misery.
Ephesians 4:1 tells us to "walk worthy of the calling with which you were called" (NKJV). The term walking that is used in the Bible is an interesting one. Galatians 5:16 says, "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (NKJV), and Colossians 2:6 tells us, "As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him" (NKJV).
When you walk with someone, you talk with them. Sometimes my wife will take walks with some of her friends, and these so-called walks will last for three hours. So when she tells me that she's going on a walk with her friends, I'll say, "Don't call it a walk. Call it what it is. You're going on a talk." They walk together, and they talk forever-in a good way.
When the Bible refers to walking with God, it's the same idea. It's not as though we're trying to beat God in a race. Rather, we want to keep pace with Him. We don't want to lag behind, and we don't want to run ahead of Him. We want to stay in sync with Him. That is walking with God.
FROM THE HEART
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