True unity and brotherhood – Key to victory in the coming revival and great harvest of souls
John 15:12 “This is My Commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 15:14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15:17 These things I command you, that you love one another!”
1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 4:21 And this commandment we have from Him (Yeshua), that he who loves God must love his brother also! 1 John 4:8, 16 God is Love!
God is Love. We are commanded us to love our God and also our fellow man. Therefore our first step towards sonship with Almighty God is in our obedience. God commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and also to love the stranger in our land as ourselves. (Leviticus 19:18, 34) Yeshua also commanded us, “But I say to you love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
To the degree that we disobey God and do not love any of our brothers or sisters in Yeshua’s Body, and are critical, judgmental, or belittling toward anyone in Messiah’s Body, by thinking we are better than another, that we have the only right answer, and we close down our hearts towards anyone, then we are stopping the flow of God’s love going to others. The result is as members of Yeshua’s Body, to that degree we have closed down to Yeshua. We must repent, and forgive each person, and love them, in order for us to have Yeshua’s Life again flowing through us. This also applies to us if we do not love, forgive, and pray for all our enemies.
Matthew 6:15 “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Psalm 133:1 A song of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 133:2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. 133:3 It is like the dew of Hermon, descending on the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing, Life forevermore. [True Unity is in Yeshua’s Blood by the Holy Spirit!]
Because God actually lives in us, for His Holy Spirit is always with us in our spirit helping us daily, than we have the possibility of coming into true unity and brotherhood that Yeshua prayed for.
John 17:20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be One in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 17:22 And the Glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be One just as We are One; 17:23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in One, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
We are truly all part of One Body, Messiah Yeshua’s Body! Only the Potter can change our clay. The clay cannot change itself. So we must come daily into God’s Presence and allow the Holy Spirit to change us, as we deny ourselves, confess our sins, and allow God to make us all that Yeshua died for, to perfect us into His image and likeness. We must do what Yeshua’s Word told us repeatedly to do, to deny ourself, and put off our sin nature, our pride, selfish behaviors, comparing ourself to others, all of our self will, our rebellion, our fleshly appetites; and to put on Messiah.
Matthew 6:33 “Seek 1st the Kingdom of God and His rigtheousness.”
Colossians 1:27 Messiah in you, the hope of Glory!
John 20:17 Yeshua said to her, “… go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”
The Mystery of how Yeshua’s Body will come into true unity and true brotherhood for the coming Great Harvest will only come through the Holy Spirit and through Yeshua’s Blood changing us daily.
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the Blood of the Messiah, who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Zechariah 4:6 So he answered and said to me, “This is the Word of the LORD to (you), ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
John 6:53 Then Yeshua said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no Life in you. 6:54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has Eternal Life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 6:55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 6:56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 6:57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 6:58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The Words that I speak to you are Spirit, and they are Life.”
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
To really love and respect each other, we cannot be a hypocrite by pretending to love a person only when we interact with them in public, and the rest of the time just ignoring them, their phone calls, texts, emails; and never really wanting to have real fellowship with them. This is not love, but hypocritical behavior, and God knows it.
Matthew 23:8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah, and you are all brethren. 23:9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in Heaven. 23:10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Messiah.
Does this same principle Yeshua spoke of, apply to our titles and our positions and our works for Yeshua in His Body. Yes it does!
Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors, and teachers, 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Messiah, 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah; 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head, the Messiah, 4:16 from whom the whole Body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the Body for the edifying of itself (Messiah’s Body) in love.
Luke 22:24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 22:25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 22:26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 22:27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.”
John 5:44 “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?”
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. (What does love really look like?)
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 13:5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 13:6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 13:8 Love never fails.
Revelation 17:14 “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful!”
John 15:14 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times …
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Messiah. 6:3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Ephesians 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 4:2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 4:3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4:4 There is one Body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
Ephesians 5:21 … submitting to one another in the fear of God.
1 Peter 5:5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Yeshua, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 2:32 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls.”
Amos 9:13 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed. The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.”
Ezekiel 34:26 “I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing.”
All true believers are priests in the Melchi Zedek Priesthood of Heaven. In the Aaronic priesthood, only sons of Zadok of all the sons of Aaronic priests were allowed to come into the presence of the Almighty God in His Sanctuary, and offer blood sacrifices that He would honor. Also only Aaronic priests with the Zadokite blood were allowed to teach the people the difference between the holy and the unholy and to make judgments and to issue decrees before God. See Ezekiel 43:18, 19 and Ezekiel 44:15, 23, 24
But our Great High Priest Yeshua is the physical fulfillment of the Aaronic high priest family of Zadok through His virgin mother Miriam. This can be easily proven from four different and separate places in both the Old and New Covenant Scriptures. For Yeshua’s Eternal Blood Sacrifice as Melchi Zedek, our Great High Priest, physically carried within Himself the fulfillment of the bloodline of high priest Zadok and also the bloodline of king David in the Body which God, His Father, had prepared for Him. Hebrews 10:5
What this means is that ‘born again’ believers in Yeshua carry in their spirit, by the Holy Spirit, Zadokite blood as part of Yeshua’s Eternal Blood Sacrifice; this is another reason why we as Yeshua’s true believers are able to come boldly into God’s Holy Presence.
During the days of the coming great Jerusalem Harvest, shortly after the Ezekiel 38-39 War, the Orthodox Jews will be up on Zion hill at Mount Moriah area building their Temple to do their animal blood sacrifices to God. But in 70 A.D., the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed, along with all of the Aaronic priesthood records. Therefore today no Aaronic priests know who is really from this Zadokite high priest family, which bloodline our Lord Yeshua has totally physically fulfilled. Zechariah 3:8, 6:11-13, Jeremiah 33:18
Therefore soon, when the Orthodox religious Jews of the newly formed Sanhedrin’s Aaronic priesthood have their Temple up and operating at the top of Mt Zion hill, doing their daily animal blood sacrifices before the God of Israel, with no response coming from God, while they are persecuting Israeli Messianic Jews. They will wonder why God is Pouring out His Spirit of Love, and with great numbers of amazing signs and wonders and miracles on multitudes of the Messianic Jews and Gentiles gathered together below them at the base of Mt Zion hill in the ben Hinnom Valley, below Mount Zion hotel. These are the Jews whom Orthodox Jews and the Israeli
Government have said are no longer Jews because they believe in Yeshua as their God, and also as Israel’s true and Living Messiah.
Perhaps this picture reminds you of a scene from God’s Word: The Aaronic priesthood up on Mount Zion hill ranting and raving for God to move, but down below in the ben Hinnom Valley God moves, by pouring out His Spirit on the Melchi Zedek Priesthood of Jews and Gentiles… sort of like Elijah and the prophets of Baal.
Psalm 24:3 Who may ascend into the Hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? 24:4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. 24:5 He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his Salvation. 24:6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face. 24:7 Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of Glory shall come in. 24:8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 24:9 Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 24:10 Who is this King of Glory? The LORD of hosts. He is the King of Glory!
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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Following God’s vision for your life
Paul Calvert share’s his story of how he ended up living in Israel.
It’s a new year, but I wonder how many people have already broken their New Year’s resolutions?
You promised to give up smoking, but the temptation is great. You said as soon as the clock strikes 12am, you will begin your diet, but things haven’t gone so well.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t want to make a promise to do something I am going to fail miserably at.
To me a promise is very important. If I make a promise then I have to keep it. You can’t just give up half way through because it is too hard.
The Bible says “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37) So I would rather not make a promise than make one and break it.
But a new year is a good time to reflect.
Look back on the past year and see how well you have done. Did you grow? Are you becoming more like Jesus? Or for some reason did something get in the way and you went backwards?
Reflecting on the year ahead helps you to set goals that you would like to achieve for the coming year.
Praying for God’s blessing and guidance means that we not only ask for help, but put God at the forefront of any plans we may have.
God may plant a dream or a vision into your heart for 2019. This year could be the start of a great big adventure.
God called me to come to Israel and after 17 years I am still here!
It’s amazing that I have had the privilege of living in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. I am writing this article now in my house in Bethlehem. I can look outside and see the hills and valley of the city.
It’s an amazing journey, but it started with a vision.
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“Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart…” (Deut. 10:16)
When we became believers in the year of 1991, one of the amazing things that happened to us was that God has given us love for non-Jewish people. This was an amazing revelation to our heart. During all of our life until then, we were influenced by Rabbis who forbade any connection with non-Jews, because according to the Rabbis they are impure…. (Unfortunately, they still think like that until today). When we came to faith we understood that the believing non-Jews are our brothers and sisters in faith, who are also chosen by God as we are, because they circumcised their heart by faith in Yeshua. They confessed their sins, repented and received forgiveness of sins from God like us.
Unfortunately, today we hear from non-Jewish believers from abroad, who claim to feel inferior to the believing Jews. Some of them even want to be seen like Jews by using outside features like yarmulkes, prayer shawls and fringes (tzitzit). We are sure that this is not the right way and we understand that it is not acceptable to God who looks at the heart and not at the outward appearance.
In the New Testament there is a detailed description how we, Jews and non-Jews, should behave when we accept the faith. In 1 Cor. 7:17-19 it is written: “ But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters”.
Already in the Torah (the Law) God tells us about the circumcision of the foreskin of the heart. In Deuteronomy the Lord is speaking to the people of Israel and says: “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart…” Those of the non-Jews who are joining the people of Israel through faith in Yeshua, are commanded the same thing, because “The heart is deceitful above all things. And desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9), and that means the heart of all of us, all human beings, Jews and Gentiles alike.
These scriptures in the Torah, the Prophets and also in the New Testament show us that what is really important in God’s eyes is the circumcision of the heart, because from the heart comes thoughts and from thoughts works (Matt. 15:19).
In the New Testament this subject of ‘circumcision of the heart’ is mentioned in six places!!! That shows us how really important this subject is in God’s eyes:
– In Gal. 5:6 Paul speaks by the Holy Spirit: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”
– In Gal. 6:15 Paul repeats this again and says: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.”
– In Rom. 2:28-29 it’s written: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”
– In Col. 2:11 it’s written: “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh (of the sins), by the circumcision of Christ..”
– In Col. 3:10-11 it’s written: “ and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”
– In Eph. 2:11-13 it’s written: “ Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision made in the flesh by hands (a physical covenant), that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (a spiritual covenant).
While the Old Covenant involved the shedding of blood by the circumcision of the flesh (as a physical covenant) of an 8-day old infant until today, which is a shadow of the spiritual covenant in the New Testament, the New Covenant is a spiritual covenant of the heart. It is the circumcision of the heart and it involved the shedding of Yeshua’s blood for us (a spiritual covenant). The believing non-Jews are called from now on Jews according to the heart, because they circumcised the foreskin of their heart through faith in Yeshua, who shed His blood for them and of course for us. Therefore, those who believe in Yeshua from among the non-Jews and us, the believing Jews, are called children of God and God is our father. Together we are partners in His blessings and in His promises according to His word.
From now on, non-Jewish brothers don’t have to behave, to dress and to live like Jews. They don’t have to imitate the Jews, not to envy them and not admire them, because through the blood of Yeshua, God already has accepted the non-Jews. Praise God! They have been grafted into the olive tree according to Rom. 11:17: “… and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree.” Yeshua is the root of the tree and that is the important part that all of us are connected to.
Yeshua is also the corner stone of our Building of faith. The believing Jews and the believing non-Jews all together form the building and grow and work together until it becomes a holy sanctuary for God. “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit..” (Eph. 2:19-22).
Therefore, if you, the non-Jewish blievers, have been grafted into the root of olive tree (Yeshua) and also have been joined to the building, where Yeshua is the corner stone, then we are together partners in God’s plan and Yeshua is the center of our life.
He is also the root of our faith, therefore we, the Jews and the non-Jews, who are coming to believe, do not need to look for our roots in the past, because Yeshua the Messiah is the root of our faith, He is the basis and the source of our life. Yeshua says about Himself in Rev. 22:16: “…I am the Root and the Offspring of David…”
We, the believing Jews don’t need to boast and glory in our Judaism by using external features (skullcap, tallit and fringe), so much so that the believing non-Jews will want to imitate us in order to look like Jews on the outside. This behavior could rebuild the wall of hostility and separate us, the believing Jews and non-Jews. This is against God’s Word. “For He is our peace, He making us both one, and He has broken down the middle wall of partition between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity (the Law of commandments contained in ordinances) so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, making peace” (Eph. 2:14-15)
By the same token, non-Jewish believers should not look down on the Jews who are temporarily removed from the olive tree, because the Jewish people still are a part of God’s future plan. God’s covenant with the Jewish people is an eternal covenant and will remain forever. “And I will betroth you to Me forever. Yea, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies” (Hos. 2:19).
All of us are waiting for the moment when the people of Israel will proclaim to Yeshua: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” and accept Him as their Savior and Redeemer. We understand that those who declare this will be the remnant of the people of Israel.
Meanwhile, we thank God who sent to us His son Yeshua to bring all of us to Him. We are all sons of God as it’s written in Gal. 3: 26-29: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
So, all of us, believers in Yeshua, Jews and non-Jews, are Sons of Abraham, he is “a father of many nations” according to the Old Testament and “the father of faith” according to the New Testament. All of us together are part of the seed of Isaac, who is the son of the promise. “…But, in Isaac shall your Seed be called…the children of the promise… are counted for a seed“. (Rom. 9:7-8).
Therefore the believing non-Jews (‘Jews’ in their heart spiritually) are also children of the promise with us the believing Jews, and together we are God’s chosen people.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; you who then were not a people, but now the people of God, those not pitied then, but now pitied” (1 Peter 2:9-10).
Praise and Glory to our God!
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Genesis 1 – 12: Introduction
Ps 19:7 (8 Heb) The law of YHVH is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of YHVH is sure, making wise the simple.
Why study Genesis 1 – 12? The whole of the Bible is under attack from those who never believed it for what it is, and from those who have fallen from the truth they once held. This attack has become the very fabric of the educational and intellectual spheres of influence, and has infiltrated down to the general public. We want to be equipped to be faithful witnesses and stewards of the mysteries of God.
The Book of Genesis is part of the Torah, the five books of Moses. Genesis means origin, creation, birth, firstly. In Hebrew, the word is Beresheet, meaning ‘in the beginning’. It is the beginning of the Word of YHVH, God’s revelation to man. All Scripture is God-breathed and good for our learning; what was written to Israel is for our instruction and admonition. These 12 chapters cover about 2000 years of history; the rest of the Bible covers about 5000 years, till the end of the Millennial Kingdom. If we do not believe what God says in the beginning of His Book, we will probably not believe what He says in the end; and we become like others who do not have a Bible to read.
The Bible is written with a beginning and an end in a manner called inclusio: Gen 1-2 and Rev 21-22: the beginning begins with the Creation, the garden of YHVH in Eden, a marriage between the man and the woman; the ending closes with a new Creation, the City of God, and the marriage of the Lamb and His Bride. In Gen 1 – 12, God the Father is introducing Himself, and His Son – YHVH, the Creator of the Universe, and King, Judge, and Savior – to His intended Bride.
Truth (God’s Word), righteousness, love: these are all known from the Bible, and known in the soul personally through faith and obedience. What God tells us in this first book of the Bible is fundamental to knowing Him, where we come from, why we are here, what to look forward to. God is sovereign; He wants us to let Him govern our lives; He is worthy of our love, and of our worship. YHVH is a personal God, who knows us, cares for us as a Father and a mother, who has given us dignity by being created in His image and likeness, and tells us of His thoughts and plans, so that we can command our children in His Way.
In these early chapters of Genesis, we learn about the Creation and nature (which every person is fascinated by!), the uniqueness of the God who is one in a plural unity, the uniqueness of human beings, marriage between one man and one woman, the devil, sin and its consequences, grace, God’s judgment against sin and sinners in the Flood and at the Tower of Babel, God’s salvation of the righteous, the reason for the many languages, Melchizedek, God’s covenants and promises, God’s chosen people and family.
Moses wrote Genesis; Ch 2 not a different account, but an account from another perspective, focusing on man and the Garden of Eden, and not the general order of things, as in Gen 1. Deuteronomy is also thought of as a ‘second Torah’, repeating some things, and also bringing in new details. (Mal 4:4; Jn 5:46)
The Book of Genesis is the seed bed for the rest of Bible; Yeshua is the Sower of the seed; Genesis is the seed and root of the whole counsel of God; Revelation produces the holy fruit. God has given us a solid foundation upon which He has built and grown the rest of history, and of the righteousness of His judgments and redemption. The Scriptures give comfort, patience, hope, and wisdom unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (Rom 15:4; 2Tim 3:15)
God is looking to those who humble themselves and who tremble at His word, and He strongly declares that He has created the Heavens and the Earth. (Is 66:1-2)
After Joshua, Israelis forgot the great works of YHVH, and followed other gods like the pagans did. (Jg 2:7-10) This generation today, the third after the Holocaust, do not remember it and its great impact on the Western world and civilization.
God wants us to praise Him and His wonderful works to the next generation (Ps 145:4), but if we have forgotten them, then we may pass them on as ‘facts’ – or theories or opinions — but without much emotion or conviction. Our faith not in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God, in whom is wisdom (Pr 8; 1Cor 2:4-6)
Doctrinally, many Christians say that they believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and in the second coming of the Lord; but their hearts are not stirred.
We who know that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah/Christ, or that YHVH is the name of the triune God, may not discern the danger of His name not being mentioned, but only referred to as Christ/Messiah, or as LORD. In earlier English translations of the Bible, the translators removed the name of YHVH and wrote LORD in all capitals. Some more recent translations do not even capitalize it and only write it as Lord, not distinguishing anymore that it is referring to a personal name, which they are not making known. How will those who have not heard know His name?
We do not want to be afraid or ashamed to speak about controversial issues that pertain to the teaching of Scripture, for it is a matter of importance to our being chosen as witnesses of YHVH, and of Yeshua/Jesus (who is YHVH), and of His word – what He has said. Has God really said? Do not speak in that Name anymore!
Whether or not the explanations of facts discovered by science are true or not; or whether the explanations of facts by scientists who believe what God says about the beginning are always accurate is not the main issue: but whether what God says is truth. The virgin birth, and the bodily resurrection from death and the grave of Jesus (or of anyone else, for that matter) are not something that the natural mind can prove or accept. Yet Paul writes that if someone who is called a believer does not believe that that really happened, then he becomes a false witness of God, and his faith is vain, and he is not saved. When we believe what God says, the Holy Spirit gives us many proofs that it is true. But if we doubt or seek ‘rational’ answers only, then we listen to what others say that might make human sense, but may contradict what God says. And once we do actually believe that what the Lord says is true – because His is GOD! — then we also realize how what we had thought was reasonable is actually not.
If it becomes accepted that there is intelligent design in the universe, the question remains: Who is the Designer? If those who believe and know that it is YHVH (even Yeshua/Jesus), but do not mention His name because that is “religion”, then we teach our children and others only about an “Unknown God”, whom Paul wanted to make known so that some might be saved and come into a personal relationship with the Father and the Son, the holy and righteous God, Creator and Maker of Heaven and Earth and the seas, and all that is in them, which He created and made in six days. The Lord says that His people have forgotten His name because of the false prophets, and they do not permit us to teach or mention the name of The Name! (Jer 23:25-27)
There were (and are) myths and fables in all cultures about Creation, Paradise (the Garden of Eden), the Flood, the Tower of Babel; then God gave Israel to know the truth about these things, and to make it known to others. On the matter of origins and the beginning, it is as God rebuked Job (in love): where were you when I did all these things that I am telling you about!? (Job 38 – 42:4)
If we reject Gen 1 – 12 as historical truth, are we worshipping the Father in spirit and truth; or are we worshipping Him on a high place of the mind, of our intellect, along with believers in other gods? (Acts 17:22-31; 1Kg 11:7-11; 2Kg 17:9-12)
YHVH God is eternal: He Is. We will never know how that is possible. But at least He has told us that this is the truth. Evolution teaches that we all have a common ancestor, but can not tell us who or what. By faith, we can say that this is also true: YHVH God created all things! But each thing according to its kind, and in God’s order, which is not the same order either that evolution teaches. Evolution is not only about the past, but is already planning its future: man is “creating” machines in its own image (AI), seeking to be God instead of, and against YHVH, just as Satan enticed Eve to believe while still in the Garden of Eden. The foolish irony is, though, that what God does is authentic and real; what man is doing is artificial, not the real thing. This is the power of the lie and of deception. Satan is the god of this world and age, and he is exploiting the children of disobedience for his own evil intentions. (2Cor 4:1-6; Eph 2:1-3; 5:1-16)
I say all this as we begin to look at Genesis 1 as the true and enduring Word of YHVH God. Our children are growing up in a generation that has forgotten God and His mighty works, whether we are Jews, Christians, or people in general. Believing parents have the primary responsibility as stewards of their children whom God has given us to pass on to them the praise of the one true living God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – and of His wonderful works. The Creation is a message from God to all humanity throughout all generations, even if they have never heard the gospel or know any Jewish people or Christians. (Ps 19; Rom 1) Paul writes that the created order, what we call nature – whether on the Earth or in the skies – is a testimony of the truth of a Creator God who is wise and powerful, and that all persons are called to account as to whether they worship the Creator, or whether they worship any created thing. This subject affects everyone in the world, believer or not. I remember a long time ago, before I was a believer, I came to the conclusion that if the Bible is true, then evolution is not. Once I was born-again from Above, I knew that this is true.
God is always right, and there is wisdom in His being right. It is for us to humble ourselves and receive from Him, the source of living waters, who has the words of eternal life. If we do not believe that Jesus knew the truth when He said that from the beginning of the creation, God created Adam and Eve as the first human beings, then our children might not believe Him either when He says that no one comes to the Father but through Him. There is no salvation in any other name but in the name of Jesus/Yeshua (the name of YHVH under Heaven). Is that reasonable? Yes!, if you know in your heart that Jesus is really Immanuel — God With Us — and believe what He says, and realize the reason why that is the truth, and not just a statement of doctrine. It is not true because it is a doctrine; it is doctrine because it is truth.
For many centuries, Christians taught that God has finished with the Jewish people and with Israel as a nation. Now, in the last days – and especially with the reestablishment of the homeland of the Jewish people here in Israel — much has been written to show from the Bible that that is not so, even though many of those Christians were using the Bible to ‘prove’ their error and lie. So, too, with evolution. For many centuries Christians had doctrines and dogmas about nature without scientifically supporting it, but simply because the Scriptures say so. But now, in the last days, there are many scientists who believe in a ‘young Earth’ and have researched and written that it is true, even scientifically. We have a choice to make about whom we will believe: those who seek to uphold and support the Word of God as written, or those who say it is not so.
This is what we learned about heresies – that there is a choice involved as to what we teach, and what we choose to learn and believe. As we saw in 2Pt, he wrote that in the last days will be scoffers/mockers willingly forgetting that God judged the world by the flood in Noah’s day, and that flood explains much of the natural world and proofs that uphold the Word of God about age and length of time. Peter also wrote that the world was created by the Word of God. (2Pt 3:5; Heb 11:3; Gen 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26,29) Let us fear and tremble at His word, even as we sit in wonder at His feet. We look for New Heavens and a New Earth. (2Pt 3:10-13; Rev 21:1-5) Can God create these in a moment, or will the saints be waiting while He takes millions or billions of years to do it after the destruction of the current Heavens and Earth?!
YHVH is holy; there is no other true God, for He is the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and all that is in them; and He is the Redeemer and the Savior of all who believe and of His creation which He created and made/did. He deserves our worship and praise for all the He is, and for all that He has created and made and does.
Those who would make the creation account a myth open the door for those who say that it is only a myth that the Jewish people are God’s chosen people. There was no Passover and no exodus from Egypt. They would say that there is no center, and there is not “specialness” of anything, not even human beings, whom God uniquely created in His image and in His likeness. But YHVH has chosen this ‘planet’ as His focal point in the universe which He created. How can we know? Because it was here that the Son of God came to shed His blood on the cross as a sacrifice for sin, and to cleanse all things on Earth and in the heavenlies. (Heb 9:23-28) He has chosen a particular man, Abraham, through whom He promised a chosen people and an inheritance, and to be a blessing to all the families of the Earth; He has chosen a particular land for that inheritance; He has chosen a particular city within this chosen land as His City; He has chosen a particular tribe of this chosen people through whom the King whom He has chosen will establish His kingdom from that city in this land; He has provided one mediator between Himself and humanity, and one way of salvation by the forgiveness of sins in order to be justified for inheriting eternal life together with Him.
Our God is holy, and He is Sovereign. Heaven and Earth will pass away, but His word will never pass away!
Messiah/Christ is made unto us wisdom. Let us be fools to the world, and wise unto God, as we study the beginning of The Way on the narrow road that leads to everlasting life.
1Cor 1:26-31 For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in YHVH.
This is also written, as is YHVH’s testimony of Creation: that he who glories, let him glory in Yehovah – in the Father, in the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit. We are in a spiritual war in these last days in which “the world, the devil, and the flesh” are all marshalling their forces against the true God and all that represents Him: light, love, good, right, Israel, believers in His Son. There is order in God; those who reject Him and His order will find themselves increasingly in darkness and chaos – just as the universe was at the beginning of the Creation, before God put in order all that He created and did – all according exactly to His will. (Rev 4:8-11)
Let us believe in our God, and believe Him when He speaks. He will bless us for our love for Him and for our faith in His Word; and we will be filled with His joy. This is a promise from Him.
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, March 10, 2019, 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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Skateboarding taught me how to be an artist
Back in the 1980s, a guy named Craig Stecyk became the art director at Powell Peralta skateboards. He had one rule: print ads for Powell Peralta will not feature any skateboarding. This was unheard of. How can you advertise a skate company without showing its team riders skateboarding? Craig’s decision had a far-reaching impact on skate culture, and on many aspects of Western culture today (including many of today’s big brands). What can Craig’s decision teach us about making art? And how can we, as artists (that means you, buddy) create a place for others to get lost in?
This episode talks about:
- The need to restrict yourself in order to be able to make art consistently.
- How doing the minimum can still establish you as an artist – as long as it’s consistent.
- How the biblical concept of vineyards applies to us today.
- What we can learn from the movie “Inception” as artists.