Saturday, April 26, 2008

Without Leaven

Sunset today designated the end of Pesach (Passover)... the last day of seven in which all leaven has been removed from the home, and anywhere else it is usually found, and unleavened bread has been eaten in place of the leavened (Exodus 13:6-10).
Why such an emphasis on eating unleavened bread and removing leaven from the home? First, it reminds the Jewish people that their ancestors had to leave Egypt in hast in the act of being delivered, which allowed no time for bread to rise. Secondly, leaven depicts sinfulness and the pride that puffs us up.
As the disciples of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah), we see a deeper and prophetic meaning in the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. The Exodus served to show us that the Messiah (HaMashiach), like Moshe (Moses), would one day deliver those who believe in Him from the bondage of sin forever (just as Moshe delivered Israel from Egypt forever (Exodus 14:31). The Exodus depicted the future spiritual deliverance through the Messiah from the Pharaoh's of our lives (whatever form that may take), and from sin and spiritual death.
We are delivered from the bondage of sin and spiritual death when we believe only the LORD is able to provide the power to save us from our enemy (Satan, sin, and men) and defeat the enemy on our behalf. Our only salvation is by and through the LORD. Our salvation never has and never will come via our abilities, nor does it come through the hands of men. No, our salvation is of the LORD. Salvation is at the LORD's right hand... at His powerful and saving hand: Yeshua (Psalm 108:6, Mark 16:19, Hebrews 1:3, 10:12, 12:2).
Without believing in the redemptive work of Yeshua, people remain slaves to sin... slaves to Pharaoh in their own personal Egypt.
"Yeshua" = "God's Salvation" or "Salvation is of God" in Hebrew.
Praise God! Praise God from whom our salvation, Yeshua, came to deliver from sin (leaven) the first time and who will come again to deliver us (Israel and the righteous Gentiles) from the hand of our enemies!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blessed Israel... Recepient of the Promise... What Is Going On?

Months ago, the Israeli government raided my dearest friend's home as well as their neighbor's homes.


I'll tell you why... to confiscate their gas masks. All gas masks were taken from Israeli citizens and from those identified as pro-Israel - those who are absolutely supportive of Israel as a nation.

All gas masks were confiscated from my friends and their children in lieu of a promise to replace them... which has not yet happened.

In addition to the situation with the gas masks, I received an email a couple of months ago regarding the confiscation of guns from Israeli citizens living in "settlements".

Why would the Israeli government confiscate guns and gas masks from its citizens - from those who love Israel and who have sent and lost loved ones for the sake of Israel's existence? Why?

What is the Israeli government thinking?

...The ONLY thing I can attribute this type of egregious line-of-thinking and action to is the fact that God is allowing "men" to expend themselves on all known [self-sufficient] measures in trying to defend themselves and the existence of the Nation of Israel.

Once "men" are at the end of themselves, God will show up. God will follow through. It is God who will follow through on the execution of His promises! Israel, the decedents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, will indeed inherit the promises! Blessed be His holy Name forever!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ami Ortiz Better Than His Enemy....His Father Speaks of His Healing and Forgiveness

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive." - Joseph, Genesis 50:20

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." - Paul, Romans 8:28

"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..." - Yeshua, Matthew 5:43-44

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Never Forget: Stop The Murder of Jews! Who's Pointing Guns at Jews Now?

..."You have become a traitor, that is what you have become," fumed the man. "Now you are no longer a Jew."
"No longer a Jew. How can I no longer be a Jew? I was born a Jew; I will die a Jew. The only difference in me now from last week is that I have become a whole Jew. I have come to know the Jewish Messiah who died for my sins."...
..."I cannot understand," Karl said bitterly, "how after all you have suffered at the hands of Christians, you could do this thing."
"You see," Zvi replied, "I have not joined the ones who hate and persecute us, no matter what name they choose to call themselves. I have read the New Testament through many times, and I find nothing there that tells anyone to do what they have done to Jews. Jesus only speaks of loving and helping, never hating and killing. He sat right across that valley, on the Mount of Olives, and wept for our people."
"I can tell you this, Karl. I am a Jew. Before, I was a Jew with an empty life. Today I am a Jew who has found peace. And who did this for me -- Hitler, Caesar, Pharaoh, the Crusaders, some pope? No! It was One who came to this earth as a Jew -- a Jew who was put to death on a Roman cross; a Jew who, for many years, was followed by believers who were altogether Jewish people. Of course, Gentiles began to believe too. But this did not change how He felt toward Jews or what He, himself, was. What men have done against us and against His own Word cannot be laid at His feet -- He would not have it so.
"My friend, Karl, I cannot help how you feel toward me -- I only wish that I could cause you to feel differently. I will only say this. When we were in the army together, I was reading the Tenach; and I found some words that meant a great deal to me then, as they do now. David said, 'When my father and mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.' I believe this also applies if a friend forsakes you. If I no longer have your friendship, I believe God will do this for me. But I will tell you this, Karl, no matter how you feel about me, or what you believe, I will never cease being a friend to you."
Karl stood for a moment and looked at Zvi. He started to speak but found he could not -- tears were flowing from his eyes. "Zvi," he managed to say finally, "I ask you to forgive me. I have misunderstood. Our friendship should not be affected by what you believe. I will be a friend to you, too, for as long as I live."
Over the years that have passed since that meeting on that street in Jerusalem, these two have kept their pledge.
Excerpts from, ZVI: The Miraculous Story of Triumph Over The Holocaust, by Elwood McQuaid
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Recently, an Israeli Messianic Jewish teenager, Ami Ortiz, was severely injured when a dirty bomb, disguised in a Purim gift basket delivered to his home, exploded in his face. The Jerusalem Post article (see link to JP article in "Human Life is Precious to God" post below) could not definitively attribute the crime to Muslim terrorists but was forced to say that the basket could have been sent by radical Jews as well. Either way, the crime is condemnable!
In the excerpts from the book, ZVI: The Miraculous Story of Triumph Over The Holocaust, by Elwood McQuaid, it is obvious that misunderstanding, tension, and hatred, has been manifested for a very long time, and especially since the Holocaust, in the relationships between Jews who have accepted their Jewish Messiah and Jews who have not.
Today, the misunderstanding between these Jewish sects and a refusal to seek understanding by most perpetuates the tension and hatred... to the point of engendering murderous thoughts. It remains to be seen in the outcome of the Ami Ortiz investigation if murderous thoughts have become a murderous act.
So, who is pointing guns at Jews now? Is it known enemies of the Jewish people, who today comprise those who fundamentally adhere to Islam, or will it prove to be brothers of Messianic Jews? The situation and misunderstanding between these Jewsish sects, those who have accepted the Jewish Messiah and those who have not, sounds so familiar... Cain and Abel comes to mind and much for the same reason: who brings the better offering to God? One brings an offering of his own doing, the works of his own hands, while the other brings an offering he, himself, cannot possibly provide through his own works, but through the sacrificial blood that stands in as a substitution for his own.
No matter who commited this crime, the Ortiz family forgives the perpetrators, Muslims or Jews, and is praying for their enemy. The Ortiz's love for their Jewish brethren remains fully intact while their Jewish brethren remain under investigation.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is compassionate, kind, and faithful - He is answering the hundreds of thousand of prayers that have gone up to Him for Ami ... Ami is recovering rapidly despite the nearly fatal injuries. On Monday of last week, I received an email from my dearest friend who lives in Israel conveying the latest news concerning Ami:
"A week and a half ago, a 15 year-old Israeli boy was injured by a bomb hidden in a gift basket for Purim (Mish loach Menot). The father is a congregational leader in Ariel, who was the likely target. At first the police weren’t sure who it was from because the congregation has had outreaches to the Moslem community as well as their own community. There is great concern that it was from extremists within the Jewish community. The investigation is ongoing and the Body of Messiah is praying that the perpetrators will be caught and brought to justice. We are all praying for Ami, the teenager who was injured. He has gone through multiple surgeries and has an infection. We are praising the Lord that his eye surgery went well and there is hope that his eyesight will be fine. There is concern that he will have permanent hearing loss. He still has shrapnel in his lungs. One major concern is that there is a large bolt that the doctors feel they might have to remove. He has burns as well and will have to have reconstructive surgery. We are praying for him emotionally and spiritually because he is reliving the incident over and over. We are praying that this will be turned around for good since God’s Word says that He will do this for those who love Him. It has brought Messianic Jews into the Media with some recognition that they are still Jews even if they are calling them part of a cult. That is something since in the past they have not been considered Jews any more. The older children are part of the military and the family is viewed as model citizens. They have had visits from the ultra religious community who have come to condemn the attack. The mayor of Ariel has been to visit the family. The police recently took up a collection for the family. So the community is gathering around them at this moment. We pray for the Lord to move in the hearts of the people."
Baruch HaShem! Blessed be His holy Name forever!
Prayers that the perpetrators will be brought to justice prevail; even so, the Ortiz family remains resolute on forgiving the perpetrators regardless of the penalties they will have to pay by the loss of their freedom in prison.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

1 Give ear to my prayer, O God, And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.

2 Attend to me, and hear me; I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily,

3 Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the oppression of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me, And in wrath they hate me.

4 My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.

5 Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me.

6 So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.

7 Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah

8 I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.”

9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

10 Day and night they go around it on its walls; Iniquity and trouble are also in the midst of it.

11 Destruction is in its midst; Oppression and deceit do not depart from its streets.

12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him.

13 But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance.

14 We took sweet counsel together, And walked to the house of God in the throng.

15 Let death seize them; Let them go down alive into hell, For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.

16 As for me, I will call upon God, And the LORD shall save me.

17 Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.

18 He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me.

19 God will hear, and afflict them, Even He who abides from of old. Selah Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God.

20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has broken his covenant.

21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

23 But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; But I will trust in You. - Psalm 55