The end is near! So what?
The Harvest is the end of the age. – Mark 13:39
“Work while it is yet day, for the night is coming when no man can work.” My dear friend Marty Shoub heard these words in a dream one night when he was here in Israel working on team at Tents of Mercy. You’ve likely heard them too, because Yeshua made this statement about Himself, in John 9:4. He was anticipating the “night” of His vicious execution on our behalf. But, along with many others, I’ve always applied this verse to our generation, hearing in “night” a reference to the end times.
At a January Bible conference on last days’ prophecy, we spent long and fascinating hours poring over numerous passages to discern the signs. What must happen before Yeshua comes back? How does today’s geo-political landscape compare with Ezekiel 38 and 39? I liked what the study leader, popular author Joel Rosenberg, said. Rosenberg has sold 1.5 million thriller novels, all set in the end times and interwoven with biblical prophetic elements. At the end of all the discussions (filed as 25 pages of notes in my laptop!), he said “So what?” If we are nearing the end of this world’s systems, what should we do about it, personally? With all due respect to the scholars and experts, that was exactly what preoccupied my thoughts during the sessions: “How then shall we live?” That’s the question Peter asks in his second epistle, referring to the fact that “all these things will be dissolved” (2 Peter 3:11).
What should be my priorities, if indeed the end is near? And even if end time pundits are off a bit and Yeshua does not return for another hundred years, my biological clock is running. I am now in my 70s. I know, it’s hard to believe, but tempus fugit (time flies). So, I’m facing the “m” word … mortality. It’s gone by so fast; I hope to have another 15, 20 years but I heard about a childhood friend that passed away in his 50’s. None of us knows our own day or hour of departure. “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). What am I doing with the limited days allotted me to do good on the earth?
He who Reaps Gathers for Eternal Life
Yeshua’s conversation with the woman at the well comes to mind. “Look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest. And he who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together” (John 4:35,36). These verses have gripped me ever since I was a brand new believer, still doing the hippie farming thing in the mountains of New Mexico. We worked hard from the spring thaw on through until the ground itself began absorbing the frost. First, we cleared the fields of rock and scrub oak, then plowed, disced, and harrowed the earth. Seed planting was followed by months of irrigating, mulching, weeding and cultivating. Finally, as long as a freak hail storm or some weird bug infestation hadn’t destroyed our crops first, there came the long awaited harvest. Experiencing a harvest after all that, helps me grasp God’s picturing the end of the age as a final harvest.
“Gathering fruit for eternal life“, “Rescue those who are perishing“, “Those who turn many to righteousness (will shine) like the stars forever and ever“, “At the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up“. All of these Scriptures point to the everlasting reward and satisfaction of having used our time here on earth to bring people to a saving knowledge of Yeshua. So why don’t I spend more time doing it?
I’m busy. I’m “putting out fires.” I’m trying to catch up on undone tasks. People are not always receptive. It’s an entirely new concept for Israeli Jews, so it’s awkward to engage. Momentum carries me away from sharing my faith with new people, not toward it. These factors are all true, but they do not justify my neglect of the harvest, especially when there is “ripe fruit” all around me, dropping to the ground – about to spoil.
How can I Prepare for the Harvest?
So, what can we do to smash the idol of indifference and re-orient for harvest? We need much transformation in order to fully enter the fields which God is already ripening. A great harvest is foretold by Israel’s prophets, timed to occur following our return from exile in the latter days. These are those days, but that harvest has barely begun. That is why I believe God’s focus is Preparation for the Harvest. Here are four keys to that preparation, as I understand their importance.
1 Priestly Intercession
It is one of Heaven’s paradoxes that reaching out to the lost begins by reaching in to God. If I am to bring life to others, I need a personal revival, drawing me to the throne of God, where His passionate love for the lost is found. “Let the priests who minister to the Lord, weep … and let them say ‘Spare your people, O God‘” (Joel 2:17). “Those who sow in tears will reap with joy” (Psalm 126:5).
2 Relief to the Poor and Needy
“Let your light so shine that men may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). How can Israeli society, or any society, know that we really “have the goods”? “By their fruit you shall know them” (Matthew 7:16). We have got to bring relief to the painful lives of the poor and the outcast. Throughout Israel, wherever Messianic believers (usually with substantial aid from believers in the nations) are assisting those in poverty, prostitution, bondage to drugs and alcohol – hearts are opening and the stigmas about Yeshua are falling away.
3 Release of the Spirit’s Gifts and Power
“You shall receive power when the Spirit comes upon you and you shall be witnesses” (Acts 1:8). This vital dimension – God’s Kingdom breaking through – is exactly what He promises Israel at the end of the age. Why? Because history and modern skepticism have erected a thick wall between the Redeemer and His own nation. If the apostles’ generation needed signs and wonders to open Israel’s eyes to Yeshua’s credentials as Messiah, how much more does our generation!
4 Involvement with People Outside the Believing Community
We need much broader involvement in society, both in Israel and wherever we live. It’s time to break down the “Messianic ghetto” walls that separate us from the rest of our people. What will that look like? It will include opening our home to spend time with neighbors, taking time to enjoy conversation with shop-keepers, pausing while walking along the street to ask if someone needs help. It will entail joining clubs or attending school and community functions with a readiness to serve. In this way relationships will unfold, creating a bridge with the community around us. Yeshua described us this way: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). It’s time to shine.
Marty was fired up to pray, the morning after his “the night is coming” dream. His passion for the harvest was catching. As we cried out to the Lord of the Harvest in early morning prayer, something was happening in our hearts. Our busy-ness, distractions, and preoccupation with inessentials were being washed away in the river of His persistent compassion and unrelenting mercy. I long for this to continue. May the anointing of the Ruach rest upon us, to radiate Yeshua’s life and draw people to Him wherever we go.
Eitan is the Founder and Executive Director of Tents of Mercy Network of Messianic Congregations is Northern Israel. He's a published author, having written "What About Us?", which answers the question about Gentile participation in the restoration of Israel.
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Lessons from a (just barely) college graduate
The liberal arts college I attended was highly regarded for its nursing program, but most of the students attending it were on their way to some kind of career in teaching. My second year there I found myself living in a dormitory which was also occupied by several people who were majoring in physical education. Now, there’s an old saying that “those who can do, those can’t teach, and those who can’t teach, teach PE.” Although this is obviously unfair, one does occasionally meet someone who seems to fit the stereotype.
My pal Joe was one such individual.
He was, at that time, entering his FIFTH year of college and still struggling to finish the requirements for a four year BA degree. The college administration didn’t mind too much because he was also a very talented track and field athlete.
He wasn’t a “friend” of mine exactly. We didn’t have many common interests and although he was a pal I didn’t really “know” him, or much about him. Were it not for a particular incident that happened toward the end of that year we lived in the same building I probably wouldn’t even remember him. But because of that incident, I could never forget him.
Here’s what happened.
I was in my room one evening writing a paper for a class when he walked in the open door with a somewhat desperate look in his eyes. Right away I knew he needed something from me and my first thought was that I needed to find a quick way to get rid of him so that I could get back to writing my paper. But he started talking and I soon realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do that.
He told me he had a test the next day that he needed me to help him study for and that he’d already failed the class once before and this was his last chance, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to graduate and then he’d miss his chance for a really sweet job teaching PE and coaching at his old high school. His parents had already made a down payment on a house and he wanted to marry his girlfriend and it was all dependent on passing this test. All that made sense (and explained the desperate look in his eyes when he asked me for help) but then I asked him what class it was and he told me it was…US History 102.
That really took me aback, because he was 23 years old, a fifth year senior in college, and US History 102 was a class most people took when they were an 18 year old freshman. But here he was, so we sat down and over the next few hours I took him through most of the material in the course syllabus. We quit around two in the morning because he couldn’t stay awake any longer but he got up at eight in the morning and managed (just barely) to pass the test and the class. A few weeks later I watched him walk across the stage and accept his college diploma, knowing I’d played a small but decisive part in enabling him to do so. That was the last time I ever saw Joe, although I think about him sometimes because his experience demonstrates a principle which is very important to understand and come to grips with.
Like my old pal Joe, who spent 13 years in the American public educational system and another five in college but somehow managed to never attain a basic working knowledge of the most rudimentary elements of America’s history and/or the political, social and economic life of the country, there are many people who spend decades faithfully attending church and never really grasp the most basic principles of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
It’s important to periodically take stock of ourselves to see if we’re one of those people and if so, to think about what we can do to fix the problem. If someone is still in “Christian Living 102” after decades of attending Church, it’s time to start devoting more time to making progress in our spiritual lives and not just going through the motions. Even if we’re not, it’s still a good idea to periodically think about ways to make our walk with the Lord a more central aspect of our lives, and I’m saying that to myself as well as to whoever might be reading this.
May God give us all the wisdom and dedication we need to take these very important steps.
Aaron is a member of Jerusalem Assembly, House of Redemption.
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King Priest Yeshua came from the family of high priest Zadok of Aaron, a simple explanation
God verified this Truth in His Word in four totally separate places!
1) The King and Great High Priest of Heaven, Melchi Zedek, (my King of Righteousness) said “a body You have prepared for Me!” Hebrews 10:5; Hebrews 8:1; Septuagint Psalms 40:6; Psalm 110:1, 4;
We know that Yeshua’s (God’s Son’s) physical earthly body that He would be born in on the earth would be fulfillment of the line of kings from king David. Therefore, since God always does all things perfectly, and being that He is also the Great High Priest of Heaven, Melchi Zedek (my King of Righteousness), His physical body prepared for Him was also the fulfillment of the highest order of the Aaronic high priest family of Yehoshua of Zadok (righteous) of Aaron. Genesis 14:18; Psalm 110:1,4; Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 24:10; Jeremiah 33:14(17,18)24; Zechariah 3:1, 8 and Zechariah 6:11-13;
Being that Yeshua had no earthly father, He could never be an Aaronic priest, but He is always from the two families of His virgin mother Miriam; David’s family and Zadok’s family of Aaron.
2) The Seed from Eve (Genesis 3:15) that went to virgin Miriam first went to Abram, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Judah, to Amminadab, then to his son Nahshon (Numbers 1:4,7) & then on to king David.
But this Seed also split, going to Amminadab’s daughter Elisheva.
Amminadab’s daughter Elisheva had married Moses brother Aaron. (Exodus 6:23) Aaron + Elisheva had 4 sons. his Seed went to son Elieazar, to Pinchas, and on to high priest Zadok. From Zadok this Seed went to Miriam’s mother, and from king David this Seed went to Miriam’s father. Through intermarriage, this Seed came together in Miriam. To virgin Miriam the Holy Spirit brought the conception of Yeshua in the winter, Kislev 24 (Haggai 2:18, 19). The only begotten Son of God was born 9 months later on Succoth.
To see this proven another way, God showed me many years ago if you were to take three words, right, righteous, and righteousness, where they relate to a specific person in the bible, these people are mainly from two families, king David’s and priest Zadok’s family.
3) The angel Gabriel told Miriam that her Son Yeshua would Reign on the Throne of His father David; (Luke 1:32) this through the geneology of Miriam’s father. And also of her ‘relative’ Elisheva. (Luke 1:36) This word relative is from the Greek and means blood relative. So what family was Miriam’s mother from? The same family as both of Miriam’s relatives Elisheva and priest Zechariah. But what family of Aaron was that? God told us in Luke 1:6 & 1:75, the family that was righteous before God. Only one Aaronic priest family, the high priest family of Zadok could come before God and Zadok meant ‘righteous’. Ezekiel 43:18, 19 and Ezekiel 44:15, 16;
Zechariah and Elisheva and Miriam were all from this Zadokite Aaronic high priest family. For Miriam then spent the first three months of her pregnancy with her closest blood kin relatives, her pregnant relative Elisheva of Aaron and priest Zechariah.
4) The Hebrew word in the Old Testament for ‘Branch’ is Tzemach, found in five places in the prophesies of the Messiah in the Tanakh.
‘The Branch,’ Tzemach is Yeshua, King and Great High Priest!
a) Isaiah 4:2 The Branch (Tzemach) of Jehovah is Yeshua.
b) Jeremiah 23:5, 6 The LORD our Righteousness and the Branch (Tzemach) of Righteousness would be from king David’s family.
c) Jeremiah 33:14-24 The LORD of Righteousness, & the Branch (Tzemach) of Righteousness would be the Man coming from king David’s family in verse 17. But now God says He would also be the Man coming from Aaron’s family, and who is also before God, verse 18. The qualification before God meant that this Man had to also be from the Zadokite high priest family. Verse 24 talks of two families, David’s and Aaron’s family which God had chosen in order to bring forth God’s Son to earth thru the virgin (Miriam). Is 7:14
d) Zechariah 3:1-9 The Messiah would also be God’s Servant, Tzemach, coming from the high priest family of Yehoshua of high priest Zadok (verses 1 and 8). Messiah’s Blood alone had removed the sin of the high priest (verse 4) and cleansed the land (verse 9). Here Tzemach, Yeshua, is being seen as the Son of Man!
e) Zechariah 6:11-13 The Messiah would be the Man Tzemach from the high priest family of Yehoshua of high priest Zadok, whose father is Jeho-Zadok. He (Tzemach) will build the Temple of the LORD (repeated twice), and He will also bear the Glory.
Here Tzemach, Yeshua, is being seen as the Son of God!
God announced this mystery at the time of Yeshua’s Conception.
Why did elderly Aaronic priest Zechariah and his pregnant older wife Elisheva, whom God told us were righteous before God (Luke 1:5, 6) have ever allowed this pregnant and just betrothed (virgin) young woman from the family of David & tribe of Judah, into their home, and for the next three months. The answer is obvious; they had to be Miriam’s closest blood kin relatives from her own family of her mother. For Zechariah must have known the prophesy about the virgin conceiving and bearing a Son, Emmanuel, in Isaiah 7:14.
Why did God, through His angel Gabriel tell this Aaronic priest Zechariah that he had to name his son Yochanan when his future son was not yet conceived. Because God was keeping His promise to the Zadokite high priest family. (See Zechariah 3:1-9 and 6:12) Yochanan was the name of the last Zadokite high priest, around 165 B.C., just before the Maccabees threw out the Zadokite high priest and the rest of the Zadokite priest family, and then took over the Jerusalem Temple, corrupting the Temple’s Aaronic priesthood until the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
[See Art Scroll Publications, Yoma Edition, Volume 9:
Kohen HaGadolim of the First and the Second Temple Periods.]
Priest Zechariah and his son Yochanan were both God’s last Zadokite high priests, while Herod had appointed two phony high priests to rule from the Jerusalem Temple, Annas and Caiaphas.
How can it be proven that they were both from this family of Zadok, and also God’s true high priests? First, only a priest from the Aaronic priest family of Zadok was allowed to come into God’s Presence, as Zechariah had done with angel Gabriel. Ezekiel 43:18, 19 and 44:15, 16; Secondly, to minister at the position of the Altar of Incense was the position God had given to Aaron the high priest, and also to his future sons who would serve Him as the future high priest at this special holy position in the Jerusalem Temple, i.e. at the Altar of Incense. See Exodus 30:1, 7
When God sent His angel Gabriel to speak with Zechariah, Gabriel had then met him at the Altar of Incense. After 165 years of Temple priesthood corruption, Zechariah was shown to be the true Zadokite high priest. Then Zechariah’s future son would also be the next mystery Zadokite high priest, being called by God to a most special ministry, to announce that the Kingdom of Heaven was coming to earth and also the coming Messiah at the Jordan River. “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29
Yeshua also said … “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all Righteouness.” Yochanan submitted to Yeshua; Matthew 3:15 Was that when the Aaronic priesthood became Eternal? “Yochanan came to you in the way of righteousness.” Matthew 21:32
Yeshua began to say to the multitudes concerning John … 11:9 “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.” Matthew 11:7 (repeated in Luke 7:26)
Today, we as leaders in Messiah’s Body have not taught the whole Truth of Yeshua’s full physical identity coming from Aaron. Also we have failed to teach the full revelation of Yeshua’s Blood sacrifice coming from the Zadokite high priest family of Aaron.
What will these new revelations mean for Jewish Salvations, especially the Orthodox religious Jews, regarding Melchi Zedek, my King of Righteousness; who is King of Glory? Psalm 24:10
RIchard has served the Lord full-time from Jerusalem since 1998, having made Aliyah to Israel in 1995. He been a writer for the Lord Yeshua since 1982. All of his books, including the newest one, ‘King Priest Yeshua from the Seed of David and Aaron’, along with other writings are free to read and download from his website.
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Ye’shi Reinhardt, tireless minister to Israeli trauma victims, suddenly passes away
Ye’shi Reinhardt, who tirelessly reached out to trauma victims and others in need from war-damaged Israeli economies, has died.
Described as intense and compassionate, Reinhardt died after landing in New Jersey on Thursday on his way to commence a summer-long speaking tour in the United States. His passing brings the total to three prominent Messianic leaders who have died in the past two weeks including pastor Eddie Santoro and intercessor Eliyahu Ben-Haim.
In 1992, Reinhardt founded Hands of Mercy, a humanitarian aid organization dedicated to helping victims of terror attacks, feeding the hungry and the homeless and providing various kinds of care to people living in the “war-damaged economy” of southern Israel. The organization was based in Jerusalem at first during the intifada, but as rocket attacks on communities near the Gaza border became a near daily occurrence, Reinhardt moved his base of operations to Sderot, one of the frequently attacked cities in the south.
Hands of Mercy also reaches out to those who suffer from PTSD due to living under attack or the constant threat of attacks. His organization provides animal therapy for children, holiday entertainment and food for families, dental care, food for soup kitchens, an outreach to the homeless, and care for people with specialized cases.
According to information from Hands of Mercy new leader, Yariv Goldman, Reinhardt — who grew up in Michigan — served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, an experience that marked him for life. Reinhardt was 72, according to the date of birth listed on his Facebook account.
“He exemplified the strength on how to turn personal trials and sufferings experienced into strength for doing good,” Goldman wrote. “Instead of living a life of victimhood, he chose to work tirelessly to help those who experienced similar traumas of war that he went through.”
As news spread of Reinhardt’s death, the internet was flooded with memories and accolades for his work.
“My brother and true friend, a brave warrior and generous soul who always gave his life for others,” said Elhanan Ben Avraham. “We’ll miss his Shabbat stays at our home and his always smiling face. A light has gone out of the world, and one of the shining stars in my sky is gone-higher.”
Many friends and acquaintances took to social media to bless Reinhardt’s memory and remark on the life-changing experiences they had through working with him. Several people spoke of his passion and his genuine love for people.
“He did not have children nor was given in marriage but the Israelis whom he knew and rubbed shoulders with loved him dearly, They knew that he was a listening ear and had a heart for them,” Renee Shmuel of Ima’s Goodies wrote. “He will be missed greatly.”
Reinhardt was never married but he poured “110 percent of himself into every situation… Hands of Mercy was his ‘child’ in which to do good and leave a legacy of purpose. He put all he had in it,” Goldman said.
Just before he left for America, in the last two weeks, Reinhardt legalized Goldman’s status to take over Hands of Mercy should anything happen to him.
“It was as if he knew, like he felt maybe he wasn’t returning, Goldman said. “He prepared everything and handed over the reins to put me as the head of the organization. He even organized his office, which he never does, right before he left.”
Goldman worried about joining, saying his evangelistic approach could upset people Reinhardt had built solid relationships with over the years.
“Before I agreed to take over I said this could cause you problems because you have good relations with the religious people in Sderot,” Goldman recalled. “I’m all for works of mercy … but I do it in the name of Yeshua. … He told me, on the contrary, he wants to see more fruit, he wanted something more evangelistic.”
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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Guard your heart
BAMIDBAR (NUMBERS) 16:1–18:32
This week’s Scripture portion got me thinking about the importance of guarding our hearts at all times, and not allowing pride, jealousy, greed or any other evil to take root in them. After all, each day is an opportunity to serve and walk with our God, and those vices will only hinder us. They are like heavy weights that bog us down and encumber us!
As I have previously written on this portion Korach, the great grandson of Levi (and cousin of Moses and Aaron), led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron. As a descendant of Levi, Korach was part of the tribe chosen by God to perform the holy work in the Mishkan (Tabernacle — God’s dwelling place). He, along with 250 other influential men from within the tribes of Israel, questioned the authority and position of Moses and Aaron.
It is interesting to note that some of the men leading the rebellion alongside Korah were the descendants of Reuben. Recall that Reuben was the oldest of Jacob’s sons, which meant that people looked up to him and revered him as the first-born. Coming from this line surely carried some prestige, especially considering how important the first-born male was to the Hebrew culture of that time! During this time in the desert, perhaps they found themselves somewhat humiliated by being put “under” Moses and Aaron. Wounded pride can lead us to do desperate things if not surrendered to the LORD…
In questioning the authority and position of Moses and Aaron, Korah and his crew were in essence questioning God’s authority; they questioned His right to put those whom He chose in the specific tasks that He desired. Basically, no one was satisfied with the roles that God had chosen! Moses recognized this rebellious spirit within the Levites and challenged it when he said in verse 9:
…is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them;
The above verse is such an important verse for us to reflect on in our walk with and service to the LORD!
Are you satisfied and thankful for the mere fact that, out of all the people in the world, God chose you to be in relationship with Him, and has removed the veil from your eyes? Or are you allowing pride, jealousy and greed to enter into your life, comparing your walk to others?
If I reflect on my own walk with the LORD, I can see that there were times when I allowed jealousy and pride to enter my heart. I would look at people, who I considered to be great teachers, and instead of learning from them, I allowed a competitive and jealous spirit to enter my thoughts, which gave way to a root of bitterness. It was bitterness toward my brothers in the LORD and toward God Himself.
Eventually, the LORD convicted me, and I confessed it before Him and asked my brothers for their forgiveness. If I hadn’t, it could have resulted in me being spiritually dead and preventing the LORD from working through me with the specific gifts that He had given me. Ironically, as I am writing this blog, I am thinking about the fact that this blog would not exist today if I hadn’t stopped feeling sorry for myself and started being faithful with the gifts He had given me.
You are unique; there is no one exactly like you. This is not an accident, but God’s design. He has gifted you with a specific mix of gifts and life experiences that no one else has. Please do not allow pride, jealousy, competition, and greed to keep you from blessing the world with the specific gifts you possess. Those things will blind you to what God has given you, which will bring about crippling dissatisfaction, preventing you from using your gifts for His glory.
If you are struggling in this area, I encourage you to let go of all those heavy and crippling feelings. He is always faithful to forgive you, and wash away any sin to make you clean before Him. I love the words of King David when he cried out to God to make him clean again:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
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.