Monday, May 31, 2010
WHERE DO YOU TURN FOR ENCOURAGEMENT?
Where can you find Christians wholly devoted to the Lord who have an easy,trouble-free life? Show me a Spirit-led, God-filled, anointed servant of theLord, and I'll show you one who is chased, chastened, often baffled, and familiar to deep waters and fiery furnaces. Those who seek to avoid difficulties seldom get the revelation of God's fullness. They attempt to use faith to exempt themselves from crisis, not realizing they are robbing themselves of the greatest opportunity to find out what is really in them. Then one day when trouble can no longer be avoided, they cave in, having no proven source of inner strength. Paul wrote, "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man" (Ephesians 3:16).
These days the Lord needs Christians who are not tossed about by every wind and wave of doctrine; who are not being made merchandise of; who have discernmentand are not being deceived; who need no special teacher with some new revelation; who do not need a human shepherd to guide their every step; who do not have to depend on someone else for their happiness or spiritual strength—but who have been tested and tried and have proven that the very life of God is in them, providing grace and mercy to help in every need. Christ has been revealed not only to them, but in them.
They are drawing on the strength of their inner man, according to the riches of His glory. We can learn valuable lessons from King David's experience at Ziklag. " David encouraged himself in the Lord" (1 Samuel 30:6). It is imperative that we learn to encourage ourselves in the Lord because of the troubled times just ahead. Brothers, sisters in Christ, I beseech you in the name of the Lord, to open your eyes to the mighty power of God at work in you, and to appropriate the fullness and completeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. No matter what fiery furnace we may be cast into, our supreme Lord will walk us through it.
Read this devotion online: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/devotions/2010/where-do-you-turn-for-
the Joy of the Lord, 05.17.10http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/coverletter/2010/maintaining-the-joy-of-the-lordBrokenness,
04.26.10http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/coverletter/2010/brokennessWe See Jesus, 04.05.10http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/coverletter/2010/we-see-jesus
Sermons By David Wilkerson===============================================================================The The River Is Rising, 08.27.06http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/2237
A Call to Anguish, 09.15.02http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/sermons/david_wilkerson/call_to_anguishThe
Cup of Trembling, 02.10.08http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/2635 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For More sermons by David Wilkerson visit our Pulpit Series Newsletters[http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/pulpit_series_newsletters] and Sermon MediaCenter [http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/sermons]
Saturday, May 29, 2010
"…Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Dan 3:17-18 (emphasis added)
"But see, there's a problem when Grandma prays to be healed and she isn't healed. She thinks she doesn't have strong enough faith or that God doesn't love her. What about Grandma?" - An anonymous skeptic
There are many times in our lives when we say, "God, if You love me, You will do X, Y and Z." We mistakenly believe that if God doesn't answer our prayers the way we want, it's because He doesn't care about us.The Bible is very clear that God loves us (John 3:16, 1John 4:10, Jer 31:3, Rom 8:35-39). God's Word declares that He loves us more than we can possibly know, that He IS love (1 John 4:8).
Perhaps we would experience more miracles if we went to God with confidence in His love for us, ready for whatever glorious things He wanted to do in us and through us. That's the heart of God. No matter what happens, though, we can still trust Him implicitly. More Miracles: In January of 1992, Tony Darmanin went for a ride with Jeremy Benson in his sweet 1973 Chevy Nova hatchback. Jeremy and his father had spent a year fixing up that Nova for Jeremy's 16th birthday, and he loved it. Jeremy hadn‘t had his license long, though, and inexperienced teen boys with muscle cars generally spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
On a rainy winter evening, Tony Darmanin climbed into Jeremy's Nova with Brandon Wright and Billy Walters. As soon as Jeremy started up the engine and took off, Tony knew he was in trouble. They sped down North Shore Drive in Bellingham, Washington at speeds worthy of the car, but unwise considering the weather conditions. They came to a hairpin turn, Jeremy hit the brakes, and the car naturally hydroplaned on the wet pavement. Tony said, "So, we're not slowing down, and now Jeremy can't steer."
They shot off the cliff edge and flew through the dark night air. They should have all died. A tree at the bottom of the 40-foot deep ravine helped save the young men's lives. The car smacked the tree, which changed their trajectory just enough to keep the car from landing upside down and crushing all its occupants. Instead, the Nova nose-dived into the ground. Tony dangled in the back seat by his seatbelt. The hatchback had popped open and its cover had slammed down into his neck and back. His internal organs were gashed by the force of the seatbelt, and his ankle was injured.
Tony only knew that he'd never felt that much pain in his life. Billy had cracked the windshield with his head and his brain had started to swell. (After temporary blindness, he would recover.) Miraculously, Jeremy and Brandon climbed out unharmed and went for help. Tony woke up outside of the car in the rain. He knew he had to get some help quickly, and he saw no friends around. He began to pull himself a little bit at a time out of that ravine in excruciating pain. As soon as he reached the top, flashlights shone in his face. People in a nearby house had seen the Nova's headlights fly off the cliff and had already called 9-1-1. At The Hospital: Tony's mother Alice Darmanin raced to the trauma unit at St. Luke's Hospital ahead of the ambulance. When they brought in Tony on the gurney, she thought he was already dead.
He wasn't moving and he was a grey color, and my heart just sunk. Of course they couldn't tell us anything. We sat there praying and praying, and the kids were calling everybody they knew to pray. We still didn't know anything about Anthony. Finally they told us that there was so much blood in the pictures they had taken, they couldn't could tell if it was his liver, his kidney or spleen that was bleeding. They said , 'If he survives the next half hour we'll take another set of pictures.' I only heard the 'if he survives' part.
Instant Healing:Tony was conscious as the doctor probed his stomach and felt for damage and took him in to get a CAT scan. All he knew was that there was serious internal bleeding. "If you do not go into surgery in 15 minutes, you will die," the doctor told him. "Do we have your consent to take you to surgery?" Tony gave the doctor permission to save his life while a sense of excitement filled him. In 15 minutes he could be standing in the presence of Jesus. If they did surgery and he got better, that was great, and if he died, he realized that was also great. Tony told us, "It makes you realize the significance of 'O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1Cor 15:55)'"
Already his veins had started to collapse and he felt pins and needles through all of his extremities. Even as they sent Tony in for a CAT scan, though, he knew people were praying for him. "I felt their prayers. It was the first time in my life where I could actually feel the prayers of people praying for me." About 45 minutes after she'd first visited them, the doctor returned to the Darmanin family in the waiting room to give them the relieving and unexpected news that their son was okay. According to Alice:
All she says is, "Do you want to see your son?" We walked back there and he's sitting up. The doctor said, "I don't know what to tell you, but we don't know what happened. We don't know where the blood came from. We don't know where the blood went." There was no blood. There were no wounds. She said, "He has a very nasty crack on the back of his neck."
Actually, he should have died from that. The crack was on the hangman's vertebrae, and we were told only one in a thousand survives that.
The doctor kept Tony overnight, For the next few days Tony had some soreness, but that was it. He never had surgery. Pain Remains: Tony noted:
But even though God did that miracle and healed my internal organs, for the past 18 years I have lived every day with pain in my back and neck from when the hatch slammed into me. I've gone to chiropractors, done physical therapy and deep tissue massage, and I'm still in constant pain.People tell me, "You just don't have enough faith. If you had more faith God would have healed your whole body." And I think, "No… I have faith." Or they say, "You have unconfessed sin, that's why you're not healed," and I think, "No… I have my faults, but I don't have unconfessed sin." No, this is what I've learned. I've learned that pain is not the enemy. I have learned that God has allowed me to have this pain for His reasons and for His purposes.
God's Love In Every Detail: A year later, Tony was at college living in the dorms when he ran out of all his toiletries at one time. "I squeezed out the last of my toothpaste. I used the very last of my shampoo and conditioner (yes, I condition) and even my deodorant had been completely used up. All on the same day." Tony walked down to his bank to see if he could take out five dollars. When he checked the ATM, though, he had only $3.67 - too little to draw out on a Saturday afternoon. "Well, Lord," Tony said, "If You don't want me to be stinky, please help me out here." He walked back to the dorms. As he was heading to the door, his friend Margaret walked up to him with a paper bag in her arms. She said, "I don't want you to be offended, but while I was at the store shopping this morning, I really felt God wanted me to buy these things for you." Tony took the bag and looked inside. It held shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and deodorant.
"And after all these years," he said, "It still brings tears to my eyes. Because it told me that God really cared about me, even in the little things. And it wasn't that she gave me money. Anybody can hand you money. She handed me the very things I needed." It's Not About Toughness: People often think that the proper response to pain is to be tough and pony up and push through it out of sheer determination. But, that's not the heart of God. Everything He does is for good, and He desires that we learn to completely depend on His love for us, no matter what things look like. He is willing to give us all we need, down to things as seemingly small as toothpaste. Almighty God who created the stars and calls them by name cares even for the sparrows.
"But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." - Luke 12:7
The fact is that God cares intimately about me and knows about the smallest details of my life, and yet He's allowed me to live with this pain for the past 18 years. It's not that He's doing these things - He didn't cause my suffering. But, He's allowed me to suffer pain. None of us escape it. It's part of the territory of being human. What God has promised is He'll never leave us. He'll never abandon us. And He'll never let us suffer more than He can carry us through. Some people ask why does a loving God allow pain? And I've learned that it's because of God's love that I can live through the pain.
Is suffering always God's plan? Of course not. Jesus had great compassion and healed people constantly, and he promised that we would do greater things than he did (John 14:12). God wants us to know Him and He wants to form us into the image of His Son (Rom 8:28-29). He wants us to trust that He loves us, and when we go to Him for help, to go boldly (Hebrews 4:16). And whatever happens, as the Hebrew children said before Nebuchadnezzar threw them into the fiery furnace, "But if not" - But if not, we will still trust Him, we will continue to follow Him alone. Whatever He decides, we need to have confidence that nothing is able to separate us from His great and perfect love.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 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 8:35-39
Excitement on Temple Mount as Rabbi Prostrates Himself
by Gil Ronen
A large group of hareidi-religious Jews ascended the Temple Mount Tuesday and received friendly service from the police there – unlike the harsh police treatment that Jews typically receive on the Mount in recent years. One of the Jews was even allowed to fully prostrate himself in prayer, facing in the direction of the location of the ancient Temple – where the Muslim-built Dome of the Rock now stands.
Unlike previous Jewish ascensions to the Mount in the recent past, and in contrast to this group's last ascension on Passover, in which their entry to the Mount was blocked, police on the Mount were courteous and friendly. The group was allowed in promptly upon arrival and without delays. They were gripped by excitement when one of the rabbis prostrated himself facing the presumed location of the Temple's Holy of Holies in ancient times. Police allowed this religious act as well.
Jews are usually forbidden from openly praying or even mumbling prayers on the Mount, as part of an Israeli policy of complying with Muslim Wakf's demands in this matter. It is not completely clear whether the friendly police attitude Tuesday was a fluke or a sign of changing attitudes.
Temple Mount activist Yosef Rabin told Arutz Sheva that the event is a significant one. “There has been a long running effort to bring hareidim to the Mount and now it is starting to take root,” he said.
Rabin noted that ever since the liberation of the Mount in 1967, hareidi-religious Jews have usually preferred to avoid ascending it, and that the ones who went up to the holy site were Jews of the national-religious ilk. However, he said, “the image of the type of people that go to the Mount is starting to crack. It seems that everyone has followed the hareidi lead when it comes to Har HaBayit [Temple Mount], and now that hareidim are starting to go, we might start seeing a tremendous wave of all types.” Most of the renowned hareidi rabbis are against going up on the mountain, as was Rav Avraham Shapira zt"l of the zionist flagship Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, for fear of treading in places that are forbidden.
The group of Jews was led by Rabbi Yitzchak Brand of the city of Emanuel and Rabbi Yisrael Ariel of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. The rabbis say they intend to bring ever-larger groups of Jews to the Mount with the purpose of eventually holding a Passover sacrifice there.
In ancient times, Jews who ascended the Mount fully prostrated themselves as part of the prayers there. The regular Jewish prayer services in synagogues include several instances of bowing in the direction of the synagogue's Torah Ark, and partial prostration is carried out on some holidays.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2010
A PLACE OF NO REPUTATION
At one time, Moses had been held in high esteem, respected in high government places, great in reputation and prestige. He moved among the wealthy and was one of the best-known men of his time. But when God spoke to him out of the burning bush (see Exodus 3:5), Moses had decreased to zero point.God couldn't use him until he tore him away from his worldly attachments. Who knew Moses now?
Hidden away, out of sight—silenced and without influence. He had no outlet for his great energy. But the very moment Moses reached zero point—when his reputation was totally lost and there was nothing left of the old, self-assured Moses—he was on holy ground! How long did God wait by that bush, ready to break forth in a glorious new revelation? Only until that final, breaking moment when Moses truly no longer cared about his work or his reputation.
When he gave up the last scraps of self-reliance, he found revelation.The Lord Jesus stood on this same holy ground. The Scriptures say, "He made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant..."(Philippians 2:7). Shunning reputation and becoming a servant was a willful choice. Thank God for those who once again are being called to such holy ground, seeking to decreasethat he may increase, and prepared for servanthood.
One great man of God wrote, "The man of God who truly preaches the Word will finally give up the idea of being known. If he preaches Christ, his reputation will constantly decrease and Christ will increase. True prophets die unknown. God gives them their dues only after they die.
"I believe that if we seek a larger, more wide spread reputation, something is missing in our message. Self is too prominent. Christ should be gaining and we should be losing recognition. We should be less known as the years go by until, like Paul, we end up shut in with God. May we all decrease! May he alone increase! God help us to get back to this holy ground.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Moses was tending sheep when God called to him from the burning bush, commanding him: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5).Holy ground is not a physical place, but a spiritual one. When God commanded Moses to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground, he was not referring to a two-by-four piece of real estate—he was talking about a spiritual state.
A holy God must have a holy man on holy ground; in fact, God can't use a man until he gets him on holy ground.The place was holy! What place? The place was the spiritual condition Moses had finally come to, a place in his growth where God could get through to him. He was finally at the place of reception, ready to listen, mature enough to be willing to respond to the dealing of a holy God. Please don't think for a moment that Moses alone was on holy ground. So was all of Israel, even though they were at the end of their hope.
I have never believed God would keep an entire nation under slavery just to give Moses time to mature into a gracious leader. Our Lord is no respecter of persons. God, in those forty trying years, was preparing Israel as well as Moses. By way of loving judgment, the Lord was driving Israel back to holy ground—back to a hunger for Jehovah.
While Moses was on the mountain being stripped of all his rights—because that is what was meant by the removal of his shoes—Israel was in the valley being stripped of all human strength. Moses would have no rights; Israel would have no strength.
God could prove himself strong on their behalf in no other way.The great I AM was being revealed! We will have to go the same route to usefulness. That is, stripping of all self-pride and self-confidence.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
Take with you words,
and turn to the LORD;
say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously;
so we will render the calves of our lips. "
It is so easy to be so intertwined with the world that it is difficult to take with us proper words when we go into the presence of our God. It is as if a mental cleansing has to take place before we even think we can enter into His presence with any effect.
The television is on Good Morning America with the latest news of Dancing With The Stars or Survivor, the economic news continues to be grim, oil is continuing to pollute the Gulf and possibly the ocean beaches on even the east coast. We battle forces in our finances and places of employment. The day is filled with anything and everything that can possibly enhance or encourage our time with our Father, who is in Heaven.
But Christ says the Spirit of God is within us! How does He get out into our daily lives? WORDS!!
The enemy tries to convince us otherwise, but rest assured, He hears every word we speak. If we walked around every day cursing God and our circumstances, we have no doubt in our minds that God hears, that He will punish us and eventually leave us to our own devices. Why do we not understand that in the midst of the messes we find ourselves in, whether of our own making or cast upon us by others, He also hears our plea for help, comfort and assistance?
He hears every word! He does not forsake His own children. If He did so He would be forsaking Himself.
In the days of Ezra the Children of Israel had become so intertwined with the worldly system that they were even marrying and giving in marriage to the heathen, unbelieving nation to which they were driven. The last chapter in the Book of Ezra gives an excellent picture of their situation.
Not until Ezra realized what was happening did the situation begin to change. He was so distressed that he pulled out his hair, cast himself on the ground and wept before God and repented on behalf of his people. What would happen if a minister, one perceived as a high priest in Christianity in the United States would do this today? Is it that serious yet? Have we become so intertwined with the worldly system yet that this is necessary or do we wait longer?
We can do this on a personal level. Revival starts with people; one or two people shut in with God in repentance and a broken heart bring true revival. Not a revival for television on some Christian television show with the camera scanning to crowd, but a personal intimate revival of repentance and contriteness before God Almighty. This can happen even as we push a dust mop cleaning a classroom at a school on our job. This can happen as we clean house or drive our vehicle.
Has society fallen enough that we should be concerned yet? Are we thinking of the words we will take before God? When we do, remind Him of His great mercies and compassion's that never fail. His great love for us that He even sent His only Son to die on our behalf to cleanse us of all of our sin. Present your case before Him and rest assured that He hears every word. Enter into His presence with thanksgiving for what He has done and for what He will continue to do.
Just as in the days of old when the Priests performed daily cleaning functions in the Temple, so to we must daily clean out the sin and stains of the world that have become attached to us as we journey in our pilgrimage through this troubled planet. He is faithful and true to forgive us of all of our sins. Do not believe the lies of the enemy that the day of grace has passed, that it is too late. Our salvation and assurance of such is through Christ Jesus. All who come to Him He will in no wise cast out! THAT IS HIS WORD TO US!!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2010
UNDER THE RULE OF GRACE
The prodigal son needed what the apostle Paul calls the “renewing of the
mind.” I love reading these words from the parable: “But the father said to
his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on
his hand, and shoes on his feet…bring out the fatted calf, and kill it; let
us eat and be merry” (Luke 15:22-23).
The prodigal had a mindset of condemnation, and it was put on him by Satan.
Today, the same thing happens with many of God’s children. Our Father
rejoices over us, embracing us with loving arms. Yet we think humility means
telling God how bad we’ve been, digging up our past sins rather than trusting
his expressions of love. And all the while we think guiltily, “He has to be
angry with me. I’ve sinned worse than others.”
When the father’s servants brought forth the best robe in the house and put
it on the son, it represented his being clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
Then the father put a ring on the boy’s finger, signifying his union with
Christ. Finally, he put shoes on the boy’s feet, representing being shod with
the gospel of the peace of Christ. This loving father was showing his child:
“Away with those rags of flesh, those shreds of self effort to please me. Let
me show you how I see you. You are coming into my house and into my presence as
a new, kingly, royal child. You’re not coming as a beggar or a slave, but as
my son, who delights me! Now, enter in with boldness and assurance.”
The same is true for us today. We have to be renewed in our thinking about how
God receives us into his presence. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to
enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he
hath consecrated for us, through the veil…let us draw near with a true heart
in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19-20, 22 italics mine).
The word for “boldness” here is derived from a root meaning “an
emancipated slave.” It means no longer being under the law of sin and death,
but under the rule of grace. In short, it is by the love of the Father—by his
mercy alone—that we are qualified to go into his presence. And here is the
qualification: “Giving thanks unto the Father, who hath made us meet
(qualified) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who has
delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of
his dear Son” (Colossians 1:12-13).
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This Wednesday marks "Jerusalem Day" in Israel and commemorates the 43rd anniversary (on the Hebrew monthly calendar) of the liberation of Jerusalem on June 4th, 1967. The return and re-conquest of Jerusalem by the Jewish people was prophesied by Yeshua in Luke 21:24. (See also Zechariah 12:6).
Unfortunately, Islamic Jihadists and Secular Humanists see this event not as a liberation, but as an occupation. The issue of Jewish ownership of Jerusalem has become the most controversial topic in international politics. The fact that this issue would become the center of conflict was itself prophesied in Zechariah 12:2-3.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims look to Abraham as their father of faith. The biblical account opens in Genesis 12:1 with God's instruction to Abraham to go to a place he did not know. That place, of course, was Jerusalem, also known as Mount Moriah. It was there that Abraham was instructed to "sacrifice" Isaac (Genesis 22).
Rabbinic commentary on Genesis 12:1 states that "all of Abraham's journeys were toward Jerusalem." Islamic belief is that Abraham offered not Isaac but Ishmael. Jerusalem (or Zion) is mentioned over 800 times in the Bible. It is not mentioned even once in the Koran. Muslims look to Mecca as their "Holy City," and when Muslims in East Jerusalem pray, they turn their backsides and their feet to the Temple Mount in order to bow toward Mecca.
Jerusalem is seen by the Hebrew prophets as the religious and political center of the Messianic kingdom (Isaiah 2:1-4; Micah 4:1-8). It was the capital of David and Solomon's kingdom and the location of the priestly Temple. In John's apocalypse, Jerusalem is portrayed as the place where heaven and earth are joined together and the Garden of Eden restored (Revelation 21:2, 10; 22:2).
In Christian tradition, the heavenly aspects of Jerusalem are given more emphasis, whereas Jewish tradition focuses on Jerusalem in its geographic location. Here are a few examples of the centrality of Jerusalem in Jewish culture (Begun, Machon Meir):
In the Jewish prayer book, the daily list of 18 prayers includes the restoration of Jerusalem as David's capital.
The Passover meal (seder) is concluded with the wish for "Next year in Jerusalem."
Every Jewish wedding concludes with the breaking of a glass and the proclamation, "If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget… Let my tongue cleave to my mouth if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy" – Psalm 137:5-6.
In the daily blessing after the meals, religious Jews pray for the restoration of Jerusalem.
Around the world, Jewish synagogues are built so that the Ark and the direction of prayer are toward Jerusalem.
In the New Covenant Scriptures, Jerusalem has just as much a prominent place if not more. Prophecies about the coming of Yeshua are given in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 1:10-11, 2:25, 2:36). Yeshua is circumcised in Jerusalem (Luke 2:21). Yeshua cleans the Temple and teaches there (Luke 19:45, 20:1). He is crucified in Jerusalem and raised from the dead there. From Jerusalem He rose into heaven and to there He promises to return (Acts 1:10-11).
In Jerusalem the Holy Spirit was poured out on the first disciples (Acts 2:1-4), and from there they launched their mission of world evangelism (Acts 1:8). The council of the apostles in Jerusalem was seen as the center of spiritual authority for the early churches around the world (Acts 15:6, 22, 30).
The importance of Jerusalem in the New Covenant is not only what happened 2,000 years ago, but its place in future prophecy and the coming of the Messiah. From Jerusalem will spread a revival that will cover the world (Acts 2:17). From Jerusalem the end times' Messianic movement will cry out, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" – Matthew 23:39 – to invite Yeshua to return.
The fact that Yeshua will return to Jerusalem and that He made the Messianic revival in Jerusalem a pre-condition to His return, gives importance to this city beyond what happened in David's kingdom, what happened in the gospels, and what happened in the early church. God's plan for the human race comes to its culmination in Jerusalem.
For this reason, Jerusalem is such a controversy today, both politically and spiritually. All the prophecies of the end times speak of a period of tribulation, culminating in a great war in which all the nations will come against Jerusalem to attack (Zechariah 14:1). At that point Yeshua will return. His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). He will destroy all the nations that came against Jerusalem to battle (Zechariah 12:2, 9, 14:3, 12), and set up a kingdom of peace and prosperity (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:4-6, Joel 3:17-18, Zechariah 14:14).
The battle over Jerusalem is not primarily for a city. Jerusalem represents the capital of Yeshua's kingdom, His authority on earth. The controversy has to do with God's right to determine who will run the government on this planet and how that government will operate. "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Messiah" – Psalm 2:2.
God has chosen a Man (Jesus) and a Place (Jerusalem). The rejection of one of those, or both of them, is ultimately a rejection of God's authority. The lordship of Jesus and the location of Jerusalem are the points of confrontation between God's authority and mankind's rebellion. "I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion" – Psalm 2:6. It is God’s right to choose whom and how He wants to govern (Psalm 132:13, 17).
I invite you this week to join together with us for "Jerusalem Day" and to "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; May they prosper who love you" – Psalm 122:6.
Children from across the nation descended on Jerusalem Tuesday – filling the parks, crowding the sidewalks, clambering up the slopes of Mount Zion and flooding in through the gates of the Old City.
And it will be festive: The next 24 hours will be marked by ceremonies and speeches on Ammunition Hill and in the Tower of David, hora dancing in the city’s public squares, marches through the streets, all night music concerts and prayer meetings at the Western Wall.
But as music fills the air and drumbeats echo off the golden walls across the valley from my home, people in other capitals around the world are watching these celebrations through glowering, resentful, even hate-filled eyes.
Jerusalem Day 2010 has been preceded by intensifying gentile efforts to force Israel to stop building here. Spearheaded by the increasingly openly hostile Obama administration, the international community is galled by the “effrontery” of Jews’ administering, developing and growing their own flagship city.
Rejoice with Jerusalem - all you who love her!
Monday, May 3, 2010
This chapter in the book of Isaiah gives a profound picture of the Messiah and His work in doing the Father's business. It says that it is a small thing that the nation of Israel would be restored and brought back to the purpose of the Father. This issue was deemed so small in the eyes of God that He said that Christ would also be a light unto the Gentile nations; the people that did not fall under the Covenant of Abraham.
When this work is finally accomplished, over 2000 years later and counting, the kings and princes, the mighty ones of the earth will arise and also worship because the LORD has been faithful in the restoration of Israel, as He has promised. The restoration will be so profound that every breathing thing on this planet will be astounded at His workings over the centuries.
God also does this on our behalf; those who have been grafted into the commonwealth of Israel. God says that in an aceptable time He hears us; in the day of salvation He helps us. He preserves us and has given Christ as our covenant. We will be established in the earth and the desolate heritages, the sins, shame and pollution will be removed and restored as in the Garden of Eden when this thing all wraps up.
There are many who have been taken captive by the world systems, addictions and sins. Verse 24 of Isaiah 49 gives great hope for us in that regard! It says that the prey shall be taken from the mighty of the earth; the lawful captives shall be delivered! In foolishness I have become captive of many things in my 56 years of life. From a worldly sense it could seem to be hopeless and helpless. For Believers it matters little the reason for the captivity from our Father's perspective. He has declared that we would be set free, not by our doings or striving, but from a word that He utters and declares from the heavens.
Do not dispare. He promises that even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for He will contend with those that contend with us, and He will save His children. On that great day, or possibly days of deliverance, He said those who oppress us will be fed with their own flesh, they will devour themselves and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as wit sweet wine; the deliverance will be so profound that ALL flesh shall know that the LORD is our Saviour and our Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
Notice that He calls Himself the Mighty One of Jacob in this verse. The name Jacob gives a picture of one that tries to work things our for himself; through cunning and deceit he tries to " make things go his way"...I have been guilty of this and the enemy reminds me of this constantly. But this verse, these words of God give great comfort and are a picture of His forgiveness, His mercies and His compassions. The Mighty One of Jacob sent One who died for our sins and shortcomings; He is willing, able and eager to save.
The blood of Christ cleanses of all sins, even the sins of the world. He gives us the desire to live for Him and to strive to be holy, even as He is holy. The Spirit of prayer, praise and worship of Him is in us 24 hours a day; every day. Call out to Him for He is holy. Pray to Him for He cares and interceeds on our behalf. We do have a Great Advocate with the Father who even now listens to our every word. He has carved our name on the palm of His might hand.
Do not fret; the greater the captivity the greater the deliverance! The stronger the burden the more wonderous it will be when the burden is lifted. Christ said to pick up our cross and follow Him. Even He, after the beatings, torture and unbelievable night He had stumbled and another helped Him carry His cross; a man named Simon. We have a far greater One to help us!
Christ has been there; He knows. He has made precious promises of deliverance and assistance. He will do a new thing in our lives one day soon and we will be amazed at the journey as we look back and realize that it was all necessary. Do not lose heart, never lose hope; He who promised is faithful and true.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
In our effort to become independent of oil exports from the Mideast, in which we give nations that seek our destruction billions of dollars every year, of which they use a sizable portion of the proceeds to fund terrorist acts, build mosques that preach violence and hatred, we have determined to become self sufficient in our energy needs. There have been bills passed by Congress and signed by presidents that seek that goal. It seems a worthy goal from the perspective of a citizen who hates violence and hatred.
But as a nation will we ever reach this goal? This morning I was thinking of what the Prophet Zechariah said in chapter 12 of his prophetic book. There God says that He will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone and all who burden themselves with this city will be cut to pieces. Think about this! What is the burden? Jerusalem! What is becoming the policy of the United States government? To divide Jerusalem and Israel and give the portions that are left to the Palestinians and leave the rest for the Jews.
Why? Because the battle over Jerusalem and Israel is interfering with our dire need for energy - oil. Oil is the burden! God has used our addiction to oil as the hook in our jaw, and not only our jaw but the jaws of the nations of the earth to do everything possible to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
God said HE MADE Jerusalem the stone of burden. Our dependence on the oil from the Mideast is from Him; this is the hook in our jaw.
Why? Verse 6 through 14 says so that Israel will know that they survive because of Him. Not the USA, not nuclear weapons, not their military power. But because of Him! God said that even if all the nations of the earth gather for the defeat of Jerusalem and Judah that Israel would be made a torch among a wood pile. The issue would set the whole world aflame. The inhabitants of Israel will say in their heart that the inhabitants of Jerusalem will be their strength and the LORD of Hosts will be their God.
There will be not a shadow of a doubt on planet earth who God is on that day. The false tin gods of the nations will be exposed for what they are. They have eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear and hearts that cannot perceive. The Holy One of Israel will be known by all on that day.
We will not become energy independent as a nation. The focus will be on oil from the Islamic nations until that great day of battle. God has set it up this way. As Daniel the Prophet said, " ...the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will. ( Daniel 4:25) Furthermore it says in verse 35 that God does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What are you doing? "
I think oil is the burden. When the nuclear sites are destroyed in Iran, and they will be soon, and gasoline goes to 5 dollars a gallon, the nations, the peoples of the earth will seek to settle the burden of Jerusalem once and for all. Why? Because their way of life depends upon it. Not because they want to do God's will and bless Israel, but the ease of life on earth is of more importance that following His will and desire.
The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is an example that God will have His way. I think He has determined that we will continue to be dependent upon imported oil and the great showdown in the Mideast is just around the corner. We will never be able to circumvent God's declarations. There is a heavy price to pay for such foolishness.