Week 11 – Looking for the Blessed Hope

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Welcome to our last week of Why Israel Matters, study friends!  You probably noticed this week’s session is entitled Looking for the Blessed Hope.  For me, it seems it always comes back to that!  So, not only is that the name of this blog, but our study culminates with the same thought: we are to live well as we look for the return of our Blessed Hope…King Jesus.

Over the past two weeks our focus was on bringing the King home (though we know this world is not our home!)  Indeed, Jesus will return to culminate each of the three great covenants (Abrahamic, Mosaic and New), initiating the Davidic Covenant.  Let’s begin this week’s study with a look at Hebrew 8, where the writer describes a “better ministry/covenant.”  Primarily, that “better covenant” refers to the New Covenant, which was better than the Mosaic covenant of law.  Consider these things:

  • According to verse 1, where is the High Priest seated now?  Given that, who do you believe the High Priest is?
  • Verses 4-5 indicate that priests on earth “serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things.”  I think of the covenants and of the Jewish feasts…all are copies and shadows of the heavenly things.  Jesus left this earth to go prepare a place for us.  A place filled with SUBSTANCE, not SHADOW!
  • Take careful note of the promises of God in verses 7-12.  What are some of those promises?

Now, while thinking of those promises, consider what the prophet wrote in Ezekiel 36:24-27:

For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

God is serious about His covenants with His people!  Today, the Jews are restored physically to their land (though many have yet to return home).  But one day, they will be restored spiritually.  Oh what a day it will be!  That will happen when the eyes of the Jewish people are finally opened, they recognize their Messiah, all Israel is saved and they invite their King to return!

I want to share a new release from Aaron Shust, who debuted this song at an ICEJ celebration of the opening of the US Embassy in May.  I think it will set the tone for us to close out our study this week.  Please listen carefully to the words, and perhaps even go back an look up the verses at a later time.  Enjoy!

Word from Jerusalem – August 2018

From terror tunnels to rocket attacks to fire kites and explosive balloons, Israelis living in the area around the Gaza Strip continue to endure.  This month’s edition of Word from Jerusalem details the response of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.  President Jurgen Buhler shares an interesting fact about Israelis living in that chaotic area:

“On our recent visit to the area, our team was astonished to see the resilience of the local inhabitants. Personally, I was concerned that many people would begin to leave the area, but I was surprised to hear that most communities along Gaza are growing! Kfar Aza, for example, is building housing units for 40 more families to join the community. This represents an increase of 30 percent, a remarkable growth rate for a small border Kibbutz in the midst of troublesome times.”
~Jurgen Buhler, ICEJ President

Other articles include:

  • The Battle for Truth – the eschatological battle between Satan and the Kingdom of God over who controls the airwaves
  • The Journey of Dreams – the return of the lost tribes of Israel
  • Quiet Desperation in Ukraine – the surge of Ukrainian aliyah due to oppression of the Russian government
  • Future Proofing Israel and Reaching the Younger Generations – helping Israel maintain a qualitative edge
  • How Should Christians Respond to Israel’s Calling – 5 Scriptural principals Christians should know

Enjoy those articles and more in this month’s edition.

How Should Christians Respond to Israel’s Calling?

Shabbat Shalom, my friends!  I just received an article from the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem entitled How Should Christians Respond to Israel’s Calling?  It echoes the very things we have been studying over the past several weeks, and I encourage you to click on the link and take 2 minutes to read the article.

Have a blessed weekend!

Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord

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“Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” (Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.)

Friends, that will make no sense if you haven’t been with us this week.  If you haven’t, it’s easy to catch up: just scroll back at least to yesterday (if not to Monday) to catch the discussion.  You will be blessed by God’s Word!

Jesus is waiting to hear the invitation, and very soon the Jewish people will invite King Jesus back with the words above!  He will arise as the Bright and Morning Star and will take His rightful place on the throne.  This will usher in the Millennial Kingdom (Messianic Age), and Jesus Himself will bring to culmination all the great covenants we have discussed.

  • The Abrahamic Covenant – covenant of DECISION (God decided to offer salvation to the world).  Followers of Jesus, including all of Israel (Romans 11:26), will benefit from God’s decision.
  • The Mosaic Covenant – covenant of INSTRUCTION.  No more need for instruction, as Jesus will be in our midst and we will rule and reign with Him.
  • The New Covenant – covenant of ABILITY.  We will have arrived in the presence of Jesus Himself, thus no longer a need for the ability to do so!

What a glorious day when Jesus culminates them all, and the Davidic Covenant commences.  But meanwhile, we (Christians) still have a part to play.  As former ICEJ Executive Director Malcolm Hedding once said:

“As the Morning Star rises in our own hearts, we must pray faithfully for Israel to fulfill her destiny, the great and final purpose of God: to bring the King home!”

Believers in Jesus, let’s not sit around waiting for the Jews to “do their thing” by inviting the King home.  Instead, let’s pray…let’s be watchmen on the wall…let’s be about our Father’s business!

With or without us, God is preparing to establish His Kingdom in a 2-part process:

  1. As the Morning Star rises in our hearts
  2. As Israel declares “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” (Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.)

Pray for the Jewish people to offer that invitation soon!