Praise God for Secret Churches in Saudi Arabia!

Happy Lord’s Day, friends!  Ready for some praiseworthy news?  Me too!

I know many of you pray, as I do, for the Prince of Peace to make Himself known to those in the Middle East.  The Lord of Heaven hears our prayers…and He is becoming known in Muslim-dominated lands.

Check this out…then praise God for these dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

…and the Shofar Blows!

 

This evening at sundown the shofar will blow, signaling the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish civil New Year.  Jewish people around the world will celebrate one of the most joyful days of the year.

Biblically speaking, though, it is the Feast of Trumpets…also a most joyful time!  If you follow this blog, or have heard Biblical teaching regarding the seven major feasts of Israel, you know that each feast points to Jesus, the Messiah…and Jesus fulfills each one.

But consider this: the four spring feasts…Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits and Pentecost…have already been fulfilled.

  • Jesus was the Passover Lamb, sacrificed for our sins.
  • Jesus was striped, bruised and pierced for our transgression, symbolized by unleavened bread.
  • Jesus was the First Fruit, raised from the dead to redeem us from the curse of death.  We will follow Him in resurrection.  (Keep reading to understand!)
  • Jesus ascended to heaven, leaving us the Holy Spirit to guide us.

Yes, Jesus has fulfilled those feasts!  However, the feasts of Israel are God’s calendar, so we need to examine what comes next.

The Feast of Trumpets, the celebration of which begins at sundown, is highly significant.  The Bible tells us:

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
~1 Corinthians 15:51-57  (Emphasis mine)

Dear friends, when that trumpet sounds, we (believers) will be snatched out of this world to meet Jesus in the air. (That is called the rapture.)  Death has no reign.  Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, so we who die before the rapture will be resurrected to eternal life.

God’s calendar is 100% accurate.  Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb, He was pierced and bruised for our transgressions, He was the first to raise from the dead (preparing the way for us), and He left the promised Holy Spirit to guide us.  We are awaiting the next event…the trumpet, signaling the rapture!

If you are reading this and do not know Jesus as your savior, today is the day.  We don’t know when the rapture will occur, but it could literally be any moment.  It is the next thing on God’s calendar, and those who miss it will be left to endure the tribulation…hell on earth, followed by eternal hell in a place beyond what can even be imagined.  Don’t miss your opportunity.

The Bible says:

There is someone reading this RIGHT NOW who is struggling to find meaning in life.  If that is YOU, stop what you are doing and read each of the verses linked above.  Then, pray this simple prayer, inviting Jesus to be your Savior:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.  Amen

Those words are not magic, but if you prayed sincerely, asking Jesus to do those very things, you ARE now a child of God!  Welcome to the family….and keep your ears open for that trumpet sound!

PS: The best thing you can do now is tell a Christian friend, or go to a Bible-teaching church and let them know that you prayed that prayer.  We all need help to grow in our new lives and that’s where you will find it!

Be blessed my friend!

Why DOES Israel Matter?

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Pull up a chair and hang out for a bit.  This week we are concluding our study, Why Israel Matters and we have covered lots of ground.  So, we’re pulling it all together this week.

Early in the study we discussed some reasons Israel matters.  Do you remember some of those reasons?  Let’s jog the memory.  Israel matters in many ways, including:

  • Socially.  The desire of Israelis to make the world a better place (tikkun olam) is demonstrated in the way they treat other nations.  Often first on scene for natural disasters around the world, a leader in helping third world nations provide food and water for their citizens and sending aid into places like Syria are common for the Jewish state.
  • Geopolitically.  Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East, guaranteeing freedoms not possible in other lands in the region.  She is a city on a hill, shining brightly in a dark area.
  • Intellectually.  The “Innovation Nation” is a world leader in medical, agricultural and technological advancements.  The genius of that tiny country impacts the entire world.
  • Militarily.  The IDF (Israel Defense Force) is one of the world’s elite militaries.  Couple their innovation and technological prowess with the commitment of young men and women who clearly understand what they are fighting for and you have the most dominate military in the region.

We’ve discussed those and other reasons why Israel matters.  However, perhaps the most significant reason is because Israel was chosen by God to carry out a unique role in history.  In Genesis 12:3, God promises to bless Abraham and make him and his descendants a great nation.  Beyond that, He vowed that all the people of the earth will be blessed through Abraham.  That blessing is salvation, the greatest blessing ever conceived!

Our Father in heaven knew what it would take to implement that blessing, and it came in the form of a triumvirate of covenants, all of which must be in play in order to obtain salvation:

  • Abrahamic Covenant: the covenant of decision.  God decided before the foundations of the earth that He would devise a way that would allow every person to obtain the blessing of salvation.
  • Mosaic Covenant: the covenant of instruction.  Because the world failed (and still does) to see the need for salvation, God gave the law to Moses.  It’s purpose was to serve as a tutor, to show us our need for redemption.
  • New Covenant: the covenant of ability. God had to design a way in which we could enter into the blessing of the Abrahamic Covenant.  Thus, He sent His Son to die for our sins and resurrect to give us new life.  That is the essence of the New Covenant.

All matter, and all are essential.  Just like a 3-legged stool, if you remove any of the three, God’s blessing of salvation falls short!

To add excitement to the mix, the New Covenant has a reward!  One day, Jesus the King will return to earth to rule and reign in righteousness.  All Israel will have been saved during the tribulation and they, along with all believers in Jesus the Messiah will reign with Him during the Millennial Kingdom.  Here is how Revelation 19:11-16 describes that coming:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

At Jesus’ first coming, the Jews were looking for a conquering king…one who would save them from the oppression of Roman rule.  Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey was symbolic of a king coming in peace, thus they did not recognize Him as Messiah.  The next time He comes, He will be that conquering king, and they will surely recognize Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Hasten the day, Lord Jesus!

We’re not done, my friends, so come back tomorrow as we continue our study together.  See you then!

You Don’t Hear About it, but Israelis are Coming to Know the Messiah!

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Earlier this month, Joel Rosenberg hosted the Epicenter Prayer Summit in Jerusalem.  Participants of that prayer summit heard teachings from various Christian leaders, as well as testimonies from Jewish and Arab believers.

One of those testimonies was of Anastasia Okhrimenko, a Russian Jew whose family had immigrated to Israel.  She shared her story of growing up in the West Bank and coming to know Messiah.  Now, Anastasia serves on staff at One for Israel, a Jewish organization boldly proclaiming Yeshua as Messiah!

The founder of One for Israel, Erez Soref, also shares his testimony of coming to Messiah, then founding the ministry.  It is an intriguing story, and one of great encouragement that the Lord Jesus…Yeshua…is definitely alive and working in the midst of the Jewish people.

Those in Israel tell me that talk of the Messiah is increasing by leaps and bounds in Israel.  I believe God has called those such as Erez Soref and the One for Israel staff to bring the Good News to Jews and Arabs alike, for such a time as this!

Take a few minutes to hear those faith-building testimonies here.

Shabbat shalom!