Tuesday, May 31, 2016

After the Tribulation, Connecting the Testaments

In the Gospel of Matthew, the now famous chapter twenty-four, verses 29-31, Y'shua tells us:

“And immediately after the tribulation of those days, 
‘the sun will be darkened 
and the moon will not give its light, 
and the stars will fall from heaven, 
and the powers of heaven will be shaken.’

And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect together from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other end of it.

Was Yeshua (Jesus) making a new claim, or reinforcing an old Israelite hope?
What did the Rabbi Shaul (aka apostle Paul), teach?  
We see in a letter to the believers in Thessalonica:

"For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who remain, will be snatched away at the same time together with them in the clouds for a meeting with the Lord in the air, and thus we will be together with the Lord always." 1 Thess. 4:16-17

Zechariah 8:2-8 2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.' 3 "Thus says the LORD, 'I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.' 4 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. 5 'And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.' 6 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?' declares the LORD of hosts. 7 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; 8 and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.'

So we see, reading our Bibles contextually, that Y'shua did come to fulfill the Messianic hope.  He is both Messiah ben Josef, and Messiah ben David, still to come in glory and conquering power!  The Protestant and Catholic churches have been steeped in the tradition of men for so long that there is a difference, a separation between the first and the Renewed Covenant (Jer. 31:31-33), that for many, the Old Testament is not a serious object of inquiry (to their own destruction).

But in truth, the Bible contextually has one theme throughout, and Yeshua came to restore the lost ten tribes (Mat. 15:25, 10:6), to reunify the tribes of Israel (Ezekiel 36:22-28)) under Torah (Zech. 14:16: Is. 2:3; Mic. 4:2).

The Gentile Church is not a separate people from the Jews, nor should it be.  Any simple student of history can verify that Sunday observance by the Church shifted formally under the reign of Constantine.  The early church kept Sabbath, observed Yahweh's feasts (Lev. 23) and observed the teaching of the clean and the unclean.  Who the Gentiles are... is that they are now the prophetic fulfillment of Ephraim, who was prophesied by our father Jacob to be the "fullness of the Gentiles" (Gen. 48:19).  As the one who received the blessing of the firstborn (along with Judah), Ephraim was also known as the head of the ten northern tribes (the "lost tribes").

This is why, Jeremiah tells us, the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-33) is for the house of Israel and the house of Judah (no one else is named).  But the tribes were to be dispersed through all the world and mixed with all the peoples (Hos. 8:7) so that they could be brought back in to Covenant with Yhwh, and walk in His commandments (1 John 2:6).

Y'shua lived a sinless life, by walking according to the words of life, Torah (Deut. 30:15,16).  All who follow Him are commanded to walk as He walked (1 John 2:6).

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ramadan: Month of Jihad - Prophetic Convergence?

As the month of Ramadan comes in, many Muslim groups are calling fellow Muslims to unleash upon their infidel neighbors in whose midst they dwell.  Many news sources report this.  Breaking Israel News, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, just to name a few.

Some are disenchanted, having grown numb by all the all of jihad and rumors of war from so many quarters.  Indeed, is this not what Yeshua, the very Word of Elohim said would happen in the last days.  Matthew 24:6  6 "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end."

That is not yet the end!  That is but a setting stage for the entrance of the Instead-of-Messiah.  Some call him Maitreya, the world teacher.  Others are looking for Mahdi or Christ.  But the holy Bible, which has been and IS accurate in all of its prophecies, says he will be the man of Lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:3).  

What is Lawlessness by which we can distinguish this man/being/creature with a Savior complex?  "Lawlessness" is the English translation of being without the "Law" of God, Yhwh, Elohim, the God of the Bible who revealed His Memorial name to Moses.  The English word translated as Law is more properly translated as "Instruction," as is more fitting of a Father giving direction to His children.  But this word, "Law," is translated from the Hebrew for "Instruction," which is better known as "Torah."

Both Protestant and Catholic Churches throughout the world believe and teach that believers were set free from the Law in our Gentile understanding of the scriptures.  They are right in saying that we cannot earn our salvation by keeping the Law.  True enough, Paul makes this abundantly clear in his beautiful exposition in Romans 3, where he tells us that the whole world is under the Law, yet no one is manifestly able to keep it, for we all fall short of the glory of Elohim.  

But, he tells us that we are justified (declared righteous) through grace, by the redemption which is in Messiah Yeshua, whom Elohim displayed publicly as a propitiation (Rom. 3:24,25).  But then he asks in verse 31, "What then?  Do we nullify the Law through faith?  May it never be!  On the contrary, we establish the Law through faith!"  Romans 3:31 is one of the least expounded verses in the Protestant Bible.

Believers in the Jewish Messiah are to KEEP THE TORAH!  The Apostle John tells us in his first epistle, "He who commits sin commits lawlessness.  Sin is Lawlessness" (1 Jn. 3:4).  So when Scripture declares the coming deceiver/one-world leader the "Man of Lawlessness," we can also translate/understand that as the "Man of Torah-lessness."  So we see his spirit is already among us, and the church is in position spiritually to fall right in line with him.  

But back to the prophecies.  There was a rabbi not too long back leading a group in prayer for the nation of Israel, meeting at the cave of Elijah, who fell into a trance and had Elijah appear to him, and warn of a war coming in the south of Israel, moving northward, in which the lives of many Jews would be lost.

More recently, a New York rabbi received a message from the divine telling him that after Shavuot (the feast of Pentecost), there would be a major civil-war in America.  In the article covered by Israel Today, he is quoted as saying:

"Listen to me carefully dear Jews," said the rabbi, "whoever has in his hand to get up and go and go to the Holy Land Israel as soon as possible while it is still is possible, this includes leaving large parts of South America and most of Europe … also the United States will be a place of danger in the war and it is still too early to say which states within the United States will survive, but many parts will be destroyed and poisoned, even civil war will break out in the United States and states will cut themselves off from the federal government … the Land of Israel will be the safest place to survive the war, although there will also be terrible difficulties there."

And there are more prophecies given of rabbis concerning the end.  Yhwh is not through with His people, nor His Torah!  Read how Messiah will rule upon His return!  Torah is not dead, nor a curse.  It is the Truth (Ps. 119:142)!  The Most High still communicates through dream and vision to His prophets and rabbis.  He is warning us.  Will we listen?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Whose Identity is More Important, the Man, or His Lawlessness?

In recent months, something has become more and more apparent to me, as countless people through the pas decades and centuries have been named or considered as candidates of the Antichrist, that there are any number of people who could be that person... but to what avail is identifying him before hand?  In that day it will be evident enough!

What is more important, I think, is being able to identify the Lawlessness to which he is ascribed (2 Thess. 2:3).  This seems to be a topic that is largely untouched by the mainstream church, and much to its own detriment!  Biblically speaking, this is not a hard topic to figure out.  But I think because of its blinders towards the Law of Yahweh, the modern church cannot see it, and again, much to its peril!

For the student of scripture, they know that Law, as translated in most English bibles, is the translation of the word "Torah" in Hebrew, which more accurately means, "Instruction" rather than "Law".  Through certainly the past century, there has been a gradual drifting away from the Law within the church as binding upon believers lives.  Gradually people began less and less to see the world upheld and governed by the Laws of God, and more and more of a Gentile understanding that Jesus came to set us free from the Law, because it is a "ministry of death, written on tablets of stone" (2 Cor. 3:7).

This is an example of a Gentile (non-Hebraic) misunderstanding of scriptures.  Of course the Law (Torah) is a ministry of death to people, because of our sinful nature and attitudes.  We would much rather follow the law of Crawley, "Do as thou wilt..." rather than keep the Law of Yahweh, whose very words are life:

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 15 "See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 "But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 19 "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."

So we see from the Torah, in Dt. 30, that Yahweh commands his covenant people, the Israelites, and the sojourners among them, that His word is life!  To obey Yahweh's word is life and prosperity, and to deny it, to disobey it, is death and adversity.  And so we see the proclaimed Church in the world, proclaiming that we have been set free from the Law by the very one who claimed to be the Word of Elohim in the flesh, the Messiah, Son of David.

But what did Yeshua teach?  He taught:

Matthew 5:17-19 17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Yeshua said that He did not come to abolish the Torah, but to fulfill it.  And he did fulfill some of it, known as the Spring feasts (mo'edim).  But he is still to fulfill the Fall feasts!  That is, "until heaven and earth pass away, not the [least part] shall pass from the Torah, till all is accomplished!

Did anyone see if heaven and earth passed away yet?  Oh wait, ok, we're all sitting here, the heavens and earth are still all around us.  Ok, it didn't pass away.  Whew!  I'm so relieved!  Aren't you?  So why then do we think the Torah passed away?  Can anyone say Gentile Dummies?  Yes, that is what we are, and have been for the past two thousand years! Because in our anti-Semitic bias, we have refused to see it, and we have spurned, and kicked against the word of God, all the while proclaiming a love for God and his people (except the Jews, His people).

For two thousand years, we have had Gentile leaders of a Semitic religion.  The Gentiles really did hi-jack Christianity, and morphed it into our anti-Semitic, Greek/Roman/Babylonian form!  And so that brings me back around to the theme of the blog, whose identity is more important, the man, or his lawlessness?

I think as a follower of Messiah Yeshua, my brother and king from Judah (yes, he was a Jew, not a Palestinian), that identifying the Lawlessness is far more important, especially when God's word, and obedience to it are life!  Didn't Peter say to his rabbi, "To whom shall we go?  You have the words of life!"  For the orthodox Jew, this has the ring of Torah (Deuternomy 30) to it, and again, a Messianic confession!

The apostle John, the beloved of Yeshua, warned his readers about the spirit of lawlessness in his day:

1 John 2:18-19 18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
1 John 2:22 22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

In my Gentile understanding, brought in a Southern Baptist church, I used to think that this meant those who had left the Church, that is, the Protestant Church.  Now, understanding that "the secret of Yhwh is for those who fear Him, and to them He makes known His Covenant (Ps. 25:14)," I see that the Jewish apostle was writing of those who were "leaving the Church" of his day, those who were turning away from the sound doctrines of scripture, that is, Torah/Tanak.  John tells us that they had/have a spirit of antichrist!  He tells us in 3:4 that sin is lawlessness (torah-lessness)! 

So today, what do we have in most churches across America?  We have the spirit of antichrist, the spirit of lawlessness, where the pastors proclaim confidently and unashamedly to turn people away from the Law of the Most High, through which He will reign again upon His return (cf. Ezek. 40-48).

The Great Deceiver in our midst has already proclaimed that the Cross is to no avail, and it "did not work!"  And he is gathering all his children to him already! 

So how about you?  Are you in a church where they proclaim Jesus set us free from following the Law (Torah)?  You should flee from there, get yourself into a congregation of believers who want to keep the instruction of Yahweh, who want to keep His word, His Sabbath, and His Mo'edim, as He proclaims in His word!  Are you a pastor preparing people to accept the anti-Messiah, and his doctrine of lawlessness?  Even most of America's big-name, celebrity preachers are doing so, leading people astray, they are wolves in sheeps clothing, ravening the sheep.