Messiah has come!
What joy and hope this gave to those who heard the good news/glad tidings when the angels sang, and the Israeli Jewish shepherds in the field heard the joy of the Father in Heaven over the birth of His only-begotten Son, Yeshua, the King of Israel! And what comfort and expectation it gave to those who were waiting for the long-anticipated Messiah whom God first spoke of to our first father and mother in the Garden of Eden! In the sovereign wisdom of God, this expectation and hope were not fully fulfilled at the birth of the Lord, or even during His life and death and resurrection; no, that fullness of the Law and the Prophets waits for the return of this same Yeshua/Jesus to return in great power and glory, to be Lord of every man, and to whom all must confess that He is YHVH! What a glorious day that will be, and the new song to be sung by the saints and the angels!
Israel was living in a low state at the first coming of Messiah; from God’s viewpoint, Israel and the saints are also living at a low point in world history now, as the spirit and forces of evil conspire together still against YHVH and His Anointed One — against His people Israel/ the Jewish people and against those good things which the Christian believer testifies to through the gospel to the world. Both Jesus and Israel are signs spoken against, and the cause of the rise and falling of many in Israel/in the Church/in the nations, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (Heb. 4:11-13) Jesus is being relegated to at best one of the holy men in history; at worst the very devil himself. Israel is increasingly being regarded as a failed experiment or as an evil invader. It is worth noting that the third woe, mentioned in Rev. 11:14, is the coming again of Jesus to judge the opposers to Him and His Kingdom, and to reward those who have been faithful to Him, as He comes to set up His Kingdom on the throne of David, as one of the key covenantal promises made by YHVH.
Anti-semitism is openly rising; anti-Christian attacks on all that is good and right is increasing; truth is being thrown to the ground as lies and deceit become “equivalent”. Praise God for the truth of Messiah being Jesus/Yeshus, and His plan and victory will prevail! Nations will continue to slide toward “coming against Jerusalem” — even if for now some governments are demonstrating support — but believing Christians who believe what God has said through the whole of the Bible must speak up and out. If not us, who? Israel is an island surrounded by a sea of Gentile powers and empires that have always sought to take its land and destroy the people. We want as many as possible people to be saved now; and as many as do not, then that they would become sheep rather than goats when the Judge makes His separation for who is in, and who is out, of His soon-coming Kingdom. Please pray how you might become a prophetic voice in these darkening days, and not to get caught up in divisive quarrels.
Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation will have it’s celebration of the birth of Yeshua this coming Shabbat. As a congregation we will have no tree, no songs about jingle bells, nor of a white Christmas. Our desire is to honor our God and Savior in spirit and truth, and thank and praise Him for what He has done, what He is doing, what He will do, and for who He Is. Individual families may choose to follow certain traditions in their own homes. We encourage them to do so to the glory of Jesus, exalted above all other things. On Sonday, Randi and I, with some others, will again go to Bethlehem to worship and celebrate with our brothers and sisters there at a church which does not particularly like Israel. We have been doing so since 2003 during the second intifada. But we are there as faces and names to them, and they are faces and names to us: reminders that our Father has redeemed children there and here. For the sake of the testimony of who Jesus/Yeshua is we go: we must show that Jesus is our peace and reconciliation, even when times are tense and difficult. If we can not do that when things are not well, then we have no message to our people even when they are. It is the grace and mercy of God that moves us. Please pray that we would continue to have an open door to enter the ‘other side’. The Kingdom of God does recognize boundaries, and in the Spirit we can respect them, and cross over.
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, December 15, 2018, and reposted with permission.
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Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.