Who can prophesy?
“Surely the Lord YHVH does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants, the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear! The Lord YHVH has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:7-8)
Yeshua is the Anointed One (Psa. 2:2): He is the Prophet, High Priest, and King. We who are born-again by the Holy Spirit are in Messiah, in Christ, in the Anointed One, and have an anointing from the Holy God. (1 John 2:20-29)
God reveals what He is doing to His servants, the prophets. Yet, He also says through Amos that He has spoken, and that all can prophesy! In other words, if we believe what God says, and understand it in our times, then we can all be ‘prophetic’, with the anointing that we have each received. The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Yeshua/Jesus. We do not need to be caught unprepared for the things prophesied to come, as Israel was because of not believing what YHVH spoke to them.
Let us all be on guard against deception by abiding in the truth of what the Lord has said, and that is written for us in the whole of Scripture.
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, June 2, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.
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The outlook from Mount Carmel
Josie and I are back home on Mt. Carmel after a month of ministry in our native New Zealand. New Zealand is literally the ‘end of the Earth’ away from Israel and it felt strange to be so far away from the action that has been taking place close on Israel’s borders with Syria and Gaza. Now we are home, we once again have the border with Lebanon in clear view, a mere 30 km or 20 miles to the north, but thankfully the situation seems to have calmed down significantly, and we are hoping it will stay that way for the foreseeable future. It is nice to be able to be optimistic about the future, but as we continue to monitor the news, we see that all is not well on Planet Earth. Here is the situation the way it appears from the top of Mt. Carmel.
Israel and Iran: As the celebrations of Israel’s 70th anniversary and the moving of the US embassy back to Jerusalem approached, PM Netanyahu directed the Israeli army and air force to seek out and destroy all Iranian military sites in Syria. That mission is almost fully accomplished, with a high number of Iranian military personnel being killed in the process. Thankfully Iran refrained from striking back and it is now being reported that secret negotiations between Iran and Israel have been taking place in Jordan, not eliminating, but reducing the probability of a devastating conflict between the 2 nations in the months ahead.
Israel and Lebanon: Israel’s real problem is not with Lebanon, but with the Iran backed terror organisation Hezbollah, which is entrenched in the south of Lebanon, very close to the border with Israel. It is believed that Hezbollah has more than 100,000 missiles in its arsenal, including a number of chemical and biological warheads. The leaders of Hezbollah share an intense hatred of Israel with its backer, Iran. I believe that the only thing that holds Hezbollah back from starting another war with Israel is the fact that Israel has made it very clear that any aggression will be met with the full force of the Israeli military, however the threat of those 100,000 missiles is always there.
Israel and Hamas: The people of Gaza voted for the Iranian backed terror group Hamas to be their government. Now they are firmly in the grip of the radical Islamic regime, who rule by fear, and have the entire Gaza Strip under their control. Hamas will never acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, and under direction from Iran continues to prepare for terror attacks against Israel, producing rockets, smuggling in weapons from Iran and building tunnels which Israel is able to detect and destroy. As we saw earlier this week, Hamas is intent on provoking a war with Israel, firing 130 rockets at Israel in 24 hours. The rockets have stopped for the time being, but they willl come again. If it chose to do so, Israel could totally defeat Hamas in a day, but for now chooses to uses very limited firepower against the Hamas regime, as the Israel government and the IDF do not want to harm innocent people, and is also very aware that the eyes of the world are fixed on what Israel does, and is not slow to voice its disapproval of Israel’s actions of self defense and self preservation.
Israel and the World: Surely we are in the days that the Bible prophesies when the whole world comes against Israel. Apart from President Trump and less than 10 other world leaders who stand with Israel, the rest of the world is increasingly coming against Israel. The nations continue to (falsely) accuse Israel of using disproportionate force against those who attack us first, while at the same time ignore the fact that what Israel really does disproportionately is to bless the with scientific and technological advances, not to mention the awesome tasting fruit and vegetables that we export every night of the year except on Yom Kippur. Of course we must not stick Product of Israel stickers on the produce or the silly BDS people will stop the products being sold. These foolish and very deceived people are only hurting themselves while God continues to prosper Israel. Biblical history shows that the more the nations oppress Israel, the more the God of Israel prospers her.
God’s Response: YHVH tells us very clearly in Genesis 12:3 that He will curse those who come against His people. He also tells us in Zechariah 2:8 that Israel is the pupil or lense of His eye. That means that everything that God sees, He is closely observing the everything that I have mentioned above, and surely He is not amused. Could it be that the shaking that is going on in many parts of the world is YHVH venting His displeasure and performing His word? The weather continues to be extreme and often unseasonable, and the eruption of the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii looks like Dante’s Inferno. And the world’s major financial markets are almost as shakey and volatile as the volcano!
Strategic times indeed for the world and for the Kingdom of God – let us increase our prayer and intercession and our readiness accordingly.
This article originally appeared on Out of Zion Ministries, June 1, 2018, and reposted with permission.
David together with his wife, Josie, founded Out of Zion Ministries, whose mission is to fulfill God’s call on Israel as His ‘Chosen Nation’ to be a light to the Nations as well as to encourage the Church to fulfill God’s call to the Gentiles to assist in the spiritual ingathering of the Jewish people.
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Commentary of Parashat Behaalot’ha (When You Kindle)
Bamidbar (Numbers) 8:1–12:6
As I was reading the Parasha for this week, one verse jumped out at me:
They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it.
In Hebrew, this verse is:
לֹֽא־יַשְׁאִ֤ירוּ מִמֶּנּוּ֙ עַד־בֹּקֶר וְעֶ֖צֶם לֹ֣א יִשְׁבְּרוּ־ב֑וֹ כְּכָל־חֻקַּת הַפֶּסַח יַעֲשׂ֥וּ אֹתֽוֹ׃
I would like to translate the verse slightly differently than most translations do: “They shall leave none of him until morning, and a bone they shall not break in him, according to all of the statutes of the Passover, they shall make it….” While this verse specifically refers to the Passover Lamb that the Children of Israel were commanded to eat in observation of the Passover, does this not sound like an account that is recorded in the book of John 19:31–37? Let’s take a look at that passage:
The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other man who was crucified with Him; but coming to Yeshua, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN.” And again another Scripture says, “THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED.
My dear brothers and sisters, this is yet one more proof of the amazing work of our Messiah. HE is the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb that was foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures. HE alone completes the work of redemption in His death and resurrection from the grave!
This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel and is reposted with permission.
Moran is the Founder and Executive Director of Hope for Israel, which is a service and resource-providing ministry that aims to bring the hope of the Messiah back to Israel. It is also a resource center for current and timely news updates concerning Israel that provides daily prayer alerts, Bible teachings, and weekly blogs in order to help believers across the world understand what God is doing in the Land, how to pray for Israel and filter everything through the Word of God.
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Torah leading Israel and the Nations to Yeshua
Recently the internet has been filled with the discussion of the place and value of the Old Testament for believers in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). Who it was that started the discussion is not nearly as important as the fact that the discussion is taking place. Honestly, I have to say I am thrilled to see so many of my friends in the Christian world having this discussion. It is a discussion that has been going on among my Messianic Jewish friends ever since I became a believer in Yeshua as Messiah.
As I said above I am thrill that this conversation is taking place and I hope that the dialog continues as more and more believers take the time to open their Bibles and reinvestigate the Old Testament and its implications upon the modern New Testament Believer.
While as an outside to this conversation I have enjoyed the position of being the proverbial fly on the wall reading, listening and watching as well-known and well-studied, Christian leaders allow iron to sharpen iron. I wanted to throw a thought out for those discussing to consider as you work through the Sacred Texts to find the place where you stand concerning the Old Testament.
I would like to submit a viewpoint of a well-known series of verses from Galatians chapter 3 to see if it helps you place the pieces of the Bible – Old and New Testaments – in their proper places in the puzzle so that the final result is the clear picture that the Designer intended.
In Galatians 3:23-29 we find the famous “Schoolmaster” verses. (As a side note please look up the word that is translated schoolmaster because a proper definition aids in proper interpretation.)
Now before faith came, we were being guarded under Torah—bound together until the coming faith would be revealed. Therefore the Torah became our guardian to lead us to Messiah, so that we might be made right based on trusting. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. For you are all sons of God through trusting in Messiah Yeshua. For all of you who were immersed in Messiah have clothed yourselves with Messiah. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female—for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua. And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed—heirs according to the promise.
These verses tell us that the Torah was given to guard us until we were lead to Messiah and were made “right” by trusting. Verse 25 tells us that now that we have come to faith we are no longer under the guardian, which is absolutely correct. We as believers are redeemed completely and only through faith in the atonement of Yeshua. The problem with the understanding of these verses is that most people discussing the verses are viewing them through the lens of can one be saved by legalistically observing Torah? The answer to that question is made clear in the text absolutely not. However, Torah was never a matter of observance it was a matter of covenant. Torah was a covenant promise made by G-D to Israel. It was never about how to be saved! Israel was already saved from Egypt when the arrived at Mount Sinai. Torah was a covenant made by G-D with Israel to that Israel would through it lead people to Yeshua. Every commandment, judgment and statute was designed to point all those who witnessed Israel walk out the covenant towards the one who died for all mankind Jewish and non-Jewish.
Once those early Jewish believers came to faith in Messiah they had found what they were looking for they found redemption through the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. But their finding the Eternal Treasure didn’t complete their mission. They were to fulfill the Great Commission “
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matt. 28:19-20
Notice that the commission is go into all the world and teach all that was commanded until the end of the age. These words are similar to
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.” – Matt. 5:17-18
The Laws were not abolished or done away with. It was the curse of the Law that was removed or nailed to the Cross. In other words the believers had followed their guardian to Yeshua and were redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. But because they had now found their way does the purpose for the guardian end. I submit to you the answer is no emphatically no. Why? Because those who do not yet believe in Yeshua still need the guardian (The Torah) to lead them to Messiah.
As we read in Galatians 3:17-18 Once G-D makes a covenant a new covenant does not cancel the previous covenant or make it ineffective.
What I am saying is this: Torah, which came 430 years later, does not cancel the covenant previously confirmed by God, so as to make the promise ineffective. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise. But God has graciously given it to Abraham by means of a promise.
The purpose of the Torah was always so that Israel would be a light to the nations and that Torah would lead Israel and the Nations to Yeshua. As long as there are still people in Israel and the Nations who have not been lead to Messiah than the Old Testament is still necessary and Torah is still guarding and guiding people to Yeshua.
Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, #ManWisdom, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians, God Has No Plan "B", and his most recent book Galatians in Context.
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Ears, eyes, heart
“It is time, Lord”, I declared this morning, as I meditated on Isaiah’s cry: “How long, Lord? Until when?”
Isaiah just wanted to tell everyone of the Glory he had witnessed, but instead was commanded to proclaim a severe punishment upon our nation, the punishment called “Hidden Faces” (Isa. 6:9-10).
How can one ignore an ultimate Truth when it is right in front of their eyes? How can we not hear and see the real thing, even when miracles are happening? I tended to think it is impossible – to be that deaf and blind… until I checked my own heart and realized how common this phenomenon is.
I have been battling an ear infection this past week. The pain started going up towards my right eye and down towards my jaw. Since I was preparing for an adventurous journey to Jordan that starts today (will share more with you when I come back next week), I wanted to get my health restored quickly. So I begged the doctor to prescribe some antibiotics. But he would not agree. “I can’t find anything wrong. Both your ears and throat are clear, so I cannot prescribe anything!” Ouch!
This morning I finally got the point. It’s my spiritual ear that is battling with infection, not the physical one. No wonder the doctor could not find anything.
I realized that God was pointing towards my own spiritual deafness, and also using the pain to recruit me to pray for the eyes and ears and heart of my nation. This week is a powerful and exciting one for Israel. We are 70 years old (plus a few thousands), we dealt so professionally with an Iranian threat from Syria, America just moved its embassy to Jerusalem, and we even won the Eurovision contest.
The line seems to tend in our favor in many other fronts, but does it transform our hearts? Does it put an end to our dulled ears and closed eyes? I would love to believe it does, but I think I should better recruit your prayers specifically for that.
In face of everything that is happening now, it is time, I believe, for the heart and eyes and ears of the Jewish nation to soften, to look at the real reality, to see His mighty hand pulling the strings and to listen to His heartbeat.
Answering Isaiah’s painful cry, God gave him a historic time line, that explains when we will see and hear and understand:
“Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken. And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land” (v. 11-13).
Indeed, our land laid in ruin for centuries, her children were in exile, she was like a widow – forsaken and in waste. Now this old oak tree is being revived as the holy seed is being restored. This is the time we live in.
I am choosing to turn a soft, listening ear, to the Beloved of my soul. To align my heartbeat with His, and not to focus on my own beat and plans. “What is it that you are saying now, and I am struggling to hear?” I asked.
I think He is saying: “It is time!”
Will you pray with me? The Feast of Pentecost will be celebrated this coming weekend. In the synagogues they will be reading the book of Ruth, so once more let me use a couple of images and symbols of this timely account, as I recruit you to pray…
- That the wrinkled, old, bitter widow – Israel – will soften her heart and will incline her ears and eyes to see the Redeemer in the story.
And in preparation for the journey I am about to start, I would ask you to pray for the relationship between Israel and her surrounding neighbors:
- That we will reconcile with the various Ruths around us.
- That these nations will wake up to their true calling, and choose to be a part of the Big Story of Restoration.
- That they would not insist to remain an “Orpah” – the one who turned her neck towards the destiny of Naomi and went back to her comfort zone, but out of the story.
This article originally appeared on Ot OoMofet Ministries, May 15, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Orna, born and raised in Israel, is a lover of books, and especially The Book. She is fascinated with the Hebrew language and with the God who created the world through the mere expression of Hebrew words. In 2003 she established Ot OoMofet Ministries (Hebrew for “A sign and Example”), whose main focus is turning stories of brokenness and hardships into stories of victory. Besides ministering to the broken hearted in Israel, she now teaches worldwide about the widowhood of Israel, the role the church plays in its restoration and on a variety of other subjects.