Friday, November 27, 2015

The Lady of Kingdoms

After the Paris terrorist attacks, President Obama announced that this war is being waged against "universal values".  I think his choice of words could not have been more appropriate in describing, in particular, the city of Paris.  For decades France’s capital has been the bastion of the modern world’s decadence, where the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life excelled above many other cities.  She rightly could have earned the title of the “virgin daughter of Babylon” and be called “the Lady of Kingdoms” (see Isaiah 47:1, 5).  Certainly the reaction of the western world, along with that of the United Nations, to her wound is still vibrating through their council chambers.
The four major kingdoms mentioned in Daniel 7:3-7, are all represented in the metropolis that is nicknamed the City of Lights (perhaps “glitter” would have been more appropriate). In Paris is also found the bedrock of modern democracy, and thus in 1886 the People of France gifted the United States with the Statue of Liberty built by the Eiffel Tower engineer.  This liberty, governmentally proclaimed, typically tends toward “doing what is right in your own eyes”, but herein lays the deception.  

The eyes of Man’s heart have been darkened by Sin and the nature of Satan’s kingdom.  The powers and the laws of sin and death are actually ruling not only Paris, but the rest of the world.  The values that Obama is speaking about are none other than Satan’s dictates to his slaves.  How can such a kingdom stand when YHVH has set in motion laws which govern “Sin”?  

No matter how ‘good’ sin tries to appear, through its religious and justice systems, the result, according to law, is death; there is no life in any of its good works.  Nowhere in the entire bible will you read about being blessed by sin, law is law.  Just a side note: we can never understand grace without law.  YHVH does not even have to bring judgment - it is a natural consequence of His law.  A very simple equation is, sin = death.  I might add, even for believers.

The western world’s civilization and culture have been labeled “Judeo-Christian”.  But in all fairness, European Christianity took on much of the Greco-Roman culture, in all of its aspects, and looked up to it to the point of even allowing it to influence Biblical interpretation. Both Judaism and Christianity by the mere definition of “religion” produced, at best, the “good fruit” which grows from the branch of religion, on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Had Western Christianity’s values been sound and eternal, it would have produced a civilization of righteousness and justice (yet history has judged Europe for countless evils committed against the rest of humanity). Thus, instead, both Christianity and even Judaism, which is not untainted either, have actually left a legacy of moral bankruptcy. YHVH said that if His people go astray, and certainly many of the shepherds have led them that way, He would send the hunters (Jeremiah 16:16).  Thus it was only a few short decades ago that Paris was one of the greatest of all prizes given to Hitler by his mighty men, almost in a form of reenactment of Titus marching into Rome after destroying Jerusalem.   Now Islam’s jihadist hunters are descending on Paris and on the rest of Europe, US, Canada, Australia etc.  With the permission of the Almighty One of Israel they will establish sharia law, some of which Mohamed actually stole from the Hebrew bible.  

Will Judah and Ephraim now again experience what the Egyptians, Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Romans committed against their ancestors?  Or will we repent as a nation and turn from our iniquity and sin? The only ones given the mandate to destroy the works of darkness is a united Israel and Judah.  But as long as jealousy, envy, strife and contention (and a lot more) continue to divide the two-house nation the hunters will continue to advance their YHVH-given mandate.   

The jihadists are knocking on the doors of many nations.  These are not “terrorists”, as the news media would like you to believe.  They are the hunters that carry out the curse promised by YHVH in (Malachi 4:5-6). They have a mission and commission from the Almighty Elohim.  Unless we see Who is actually behind them and the reason why they are in our midst, we will continue to rely on our own strength in order to try and defeat them.  Our warfare is not against flesh and blood.  But we do have to leave and flee from the kingdoms of this world (read Isaiah chapters 47 and 48), but live and be in Yeshua’s Kingdom here on earth (Colossians 1:13). 


Friday, November 6, 2015

Sarah Lives

Shalom Fellow Israelite,

This week’s Parasha title, Cha’yey Sarah (“Sarah’s Life”), has a greater significance than what may meet the eye.  You have heard the saying “Am Israel Chai” - “the people of Israel live”.   In recent years a new sound has been resounding – “Yosef Chai” - “Yosef is alive”.  Both Israel and Yosef’s lives are a declaration that “Sarah lives” as well.   A momentous scripture that always stands out when discussing the identity of the ‘seed’ of Abraham is found in Isaiah:  "Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek YHVH: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.  Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him “one” [echad], and blessed him and increased him" (Isaiah 51:1-2).  Notice that even though YHVH multiplies him, he still is “one”. Often the “oneness” suggested here is overlooked as a point of identity in this generation, as do the traits of ‘following after righteousness’ and ‘seeking YHVH’ which characterize the ‘chip off the old rock’ (Abraham and Sarah’s).  
Around 20 years ago or so, a man from India literally chanced by our house and told us that he had a school in his native land, where they taught the “Gospel from Abraham”.  We could hardly believe our ears!  It was a joy to encounter someone who understood the connection between Romans eleven’s “fullness of the nations” to the “fullness of nations” in Genesis 48:19.  But the identity message in Romans does not start there.  It actually begins in Romans 4 with Abraham, who was declared righteous because he believed that YHVH would bring forth life from a dead womb and that this life would be multiplied exceedingly. But the nation and the multitude of nations, which would be the staggering outcome of the promise, would still have but ‘one life’ - echad.  More specifically the life of the son, who was promised to Abraham through Sarah’s non-fertile womb – Isaac (see Romans 9: 6-9) - is mostly still hidden in the field of this world’s humanity. 

Why was YHVH so interested in a dead womb that could not produce an unfertilized egg/seed?  What did YHVH mean when He declared to Abraham, “I will return and Sarah will have a son” (Genesis 18:14; Romans 9:9).  Did He miraculously create an egg in the womb of Sarah?  Did He “give life to the dead and call those things which do not exist as though they did” (ref. Romans 4:17)?  Was Sarah a surrogate mother (i.e. ‘Sarah’s gate’, meaning her womb)? Is this why Elohim calls Israel His firstborn?  “Thus says YHVH: ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn’” (Exodus 4:22).   

YHVH promised Abraham in a covenant, a one sided agreement I might add, that He would watch over this life and sow it, as a seed, in the earth.  In the eyes of YHVH this “life” had great significance, so much so that He compared it to a special treasure:  "For you are a holy people to YHVH your Elohim; YHVH your Elohim has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6 emphasis added).   YHVH’s hidden treasure is the “one” pearl of great price that Yeshua spoke about in his parable (see Math 13:46).  The writer of Revelation 21:21 confirms to whom Yeshua was referring, when he identified the twelve pearly gates of the city as the twelve tribes of Israel.  But in order to get His treasure, YHVH had to purchase the whole field, i.e. all humanity.   

“Doubtless You are our Father, though Abraham did not know us, and Israel does not recognize us. You, O YHVH, are our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is Your name” (Isaiah 63:16).  YHVH has made a new covenant with His firstborn nation through which He will adopt them into son-ship by the working of His Spirit in the inner man.  The apostle, quoting from the prophets of old, repeated YHVH’s words:  "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There they shall be called ‘sons of the living Elohim’. Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: ‘Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved’. For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because YHVH will make a short work upon the earth" (Romans 9:26-28; Hosea 1:9-10; Isaiah 10:22).

In looking into scriptures this week, while writing this article, I made an amazing discovery in the epistle of Yaacov (James):  “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer (a maker, producer, author, doer, performer, one who obeys or fulfills the Torah) he is like a man observing his natural (genesis in Greek) face in a mirror;  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind/type of man he was” (James 1:23-24).   The word that is translated “natural” is “genesis” in Greek, meaning origin, birth, and is used as birth, genealogy, or life.  When we look into the mirror of the Word of Elohim, do we see the origin of our birth/life?  Or do we walk away and forget who we are and the purpose, calling, and destiny that YHVH has ordained via covenant with our ancestor? As it is written, "But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year… Is anything too hard for YHVH? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son" (Genesis 17:21; 18:14).