Thoughts On The Eve Of FOT10

I was thinking this week about the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles we are about to celebrate as a church. While listening to Renee explain from her heart what this time means biblically, I started thinking and meditating about where our church finds itself this year at FOT10 (Feast of Tabernacles: Year Ten).

I started thinking about the nation of Israel when they were journeying through the desert waiting to enter the Promised Land that God had spoken to them about many years ago. I could see them walking around, preparing and waiting, year in and year out for what they would walk into and occupy sometime in the future. Then one day after years of waiting, someone would see the edges of the Promised Land in the distance. I can imagine the joy that flooded the hearts of the people of Israel at the news of what they were soon to enter within the next several months.

It was around this time that Israel would stop and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. Normally the feast every year was to remind them that it was God who delivered them out of bondage and would lead them to a promised land, but that year it meant something a little more. It was more than a reminder of Who delivered them from Egypt. It was a time to realize that the same God who delivered them was faithful to fulfill His promises to them. With the same hand that He led them out of Egypt, He would lead them into all that He had promised them. It was to remind the people of God’s previous miracles to strengthen the faith of the people for the upcoming battles and challenges that were now soon to come.

Likewise, as a church we have spent years waiting and preparing for the fulfillment of the promises of God and now we stand on the edge of our promised land. We see the plans, the people, the building and many other things that will be established in the next several months and the joy in our hearts is growing everyday as we near the fulfillment of His promises for us.

It is at THIS TIME that God calls us to the Feast of Tabernacles, to meditate and remember that the One who brought us this far will be the One who faithfully brings us to the end, all for His namesake and glory.

I am excited to see what God will do this upcoming year!

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Supporting Missionaries

God has been dealing with me about supporting people and ministries these last few weeks. Tonight we had a missionary from Ezra International in to speak. I love any person who talks about, supports and serves Israel. After he spoke our pastor came up to take an offering. That’s when God started speaking to me again.

He has been challenging me to “put my money (also life and heart) where my mouth has been”. I say I support Israel and missionaries in word, but how much do I give and really pray for them? The answer: very little.

I’m thankful that God is changing that in my life. He has started burdening me for those in the mission field. I know they covet my prayers and desire my financial support. In the past I made a lot of excuses, but now He’s helping me say “yes”, especially in a small ways. No one starts out giving a large portion of their income to missions (which is my desire). No one starts out devoting hours of their day to prayer on behalf of those serving in the mission field. God works in us over the months and years; conquering greed, selfishness and stinginess in our lives until He brings us to that place of humility, love and giving.

I know that if I say yes to support missionaries in small ways, that one day God will help me reach my desire.

My Challenge To Replacement Theologians

In my last post, “Reconciling Scripture”, I talked about how people are living lives and believing things based on half-truths. This causes a  problem because it causes  mass deception and strikes a blow against the kingdom of God. It also sets the person up to be sifted (or taken out) by the enemy.

I talked about how God wants us to reconcile scripture: to simply believe all what the Bible has to say about a certain issue. He desires us to wrestle with the issue until all that the Bible says about it the issue is joined in one cohesive belief. There wouldn’t be arguments regarding the Word of God if we let the Bible state our theology instead of making the Bible conform to what we want (or was raised up) to believe.

In saying that, here is my challenge.

I am asking all people who believe in replacement theology (the belief that the church has totally and permanently replaced Israel in ALL aspects) and all those who believe that Israel has nothing to do with God’s plans anymore to simply reconcile some scripture. I have heard most of your verses and I can reconcile those (for those writers who don’t delete my comments after “moderation”). Yet I haven’t had anyone try to reconcile mine. So here they are:

In response to “God has broken His covenant with Israel”:

And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. (Genesis 17:7) [There are many other references. Just know that God didn’t say this once.]

I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. (Ezekiel 37:26)

For behold, in those days and at that time, [the end] when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it. (Joel 3:1-3)

For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:39)

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! (Romans 11:1)

So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. (Romans 11:11)

I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins. (Romans 11:25-27)

There are some of my scriptures. I ask you to leave all questions, replies and scriptures you have for me as comments in this post. Please check back later because I will reply as soon as possible. If you are going to post some of your scriptures that back what you believe, I ask that you reconcile it to the ones I already posted. This is not a mud pie fight. Let’s not just throw scriptures at each other but together reconcile what God’s heart is for Israel.

Reconciling Scripture

After reading some blogs I realized something:

People don’t believe in the Bible.

That may sound harsh but I think many people don’t believe in the Bible. They believe in parts of the Bible but they don’t believe in the whole thing. I find this to be the case with myself as well. I know I have had verses that I like and hold dear to my heart. Then there are verses that I don’t care to read and I file away under “that was good for them to hear back then”.

I had to write about this because I will be issuing a challenge tomorrow about this issue. This issue is so prevalent in the Christian culture, especially among end-time and Israel theologians.

Here is the issue.

The Bible, as unified and perfect as it is as a whole, seems to have many contrary or paradoxical verses/thoughts in it. There are places that seem to directly conflict with other portions of scripture. It’s not just between the Old and New Testament. Some of Jesus’ words seem paradoxical to other things He said. .

For example:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

But then later He says:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

How can something so hard to find and make it to the end be so easy? How can God tell us to run after Him with all we got yet “be still”?

Here is where the problem and answer comes. Many people decide to give up and just forget the scripture is there.  God desires us to reconcile scripture and let it form our theology. That’s the problem with many people (and something I have to be careful of) is that they try to make scripture match their theology instead of reconciling everything that is seemingly paradoxical. We need to reconcile it until it flows naturally together. Many people leave out pieces of what God’s Word says about issues. Therefore they build wrong theologies about things that seem scriptural at first. Yet there are some contradictory scriptures that they can’t give an answer to because in reality their theology is based on half-truths. God calls these half-truths lies.

I encourage you to take the time to wrestle with what the Bible actually says. It may go against what you grew up believing but reconcile it till you can prove it by scripture.

Remember:

“All scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. So “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

My Defense For Israel, My Response To Cathy (giannina)

i told you it was coming. lol  i stumbled onto this post while “tag surfing” and i chose to write my response to the blog here as well as a comment on the post. you can read the blog here. i also had to do it this way because obviously my previous comments were taken off after being “moderated”. i encourage anyone to say anything when it comes to commenting on my blog, cause if i disagree, either i’ll post a reply comment or i’ll write another post about it (if it is necessary). but deleting comments because they differ from your beliefs is wrong (that’s what i believe 🙂 )  so here we go:

in response to the article “who is abraham’s seed?”:

how can you talk about the promise by only quoting two old testament verses? but if you want to go new testament then…

romans 11 says much about this (in fact romans 8-11 says a lot about this).

“I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew…” (romans 11:1-2a)

“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, God gave them a spirit of stupor,eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear,down to this very day.” (romans 11:6-8)

“So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.” (romans 11:11)

“Then you will say, Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in. That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.” (romans 11:19-20)

“For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers:a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” (romans 11:24-25)

and then the clincher:

And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion,he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins. As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. ” (romans 11:26-29)

so let’s recap. paul asks if God has rejected His people. he replies no. then paul asks if israel has stumbled to the point of falling (meaning never to recover). paul answers that as no. paul then states that BECAUSE God hardened israel’s heart, salvation was able to come to us (cause God wanted us too…not just israel) and we should live to make israel jealous. paul encourages the gentile church in rome not to be haughty in all of this because we can be cut off too. but then paul says how glorious will it be when God reconnects them to the vine, for “God has the power to graft them in again.”

paul goes on to say that one day “ALL OF ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED.” and why? because GOD’S GIFTS AND CALLINGS (also meaning covenants) ARE IRREVOCABLE. the things God promised abraham are still in play because He made an everlasting covenant with them (“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. ” – gen 17:7). if God were to break His covenant with israel, that would make God a liar and cause Him to contradict His character (which God cannot do according to 2 timothy 2:13 – “if we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.“)

also God has made one other everlasting covenant…

“When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (genesis 9:16)

that’s the covenant He made with noah saying that He would never flood the earth again. so next time you think that God can break a covenant (like israel’s), just remember the flood. if God could break a covenant, He would of flooded the earth already again (cause we as unbelieving nations are far more worthy of judgment). and if you desire God to break an everlasting covenant, doesn’t that mean your wishing death upon the world? cause if He breaks covenant with israel, he breaks all His covenants…including the flood.

i challenge you to research how important the word “covenant” is in scripture.

i hope this didn’t sound too harsh, but i did want to make it firm. 🙂

Just A Late Night Update

i just wanted to throw this note out to everyone. it is 12:10am right now and i’ve been working for over 15 hours now straight. i plan on going home soon but i am waiting for my computer to finish a couple tasks…which gave me the time to throw up this quick update.

so the last few days, my israel post has become extremely popular. but more importantly, i am burning with a fire i can’t explain…it’s a fire to defend israel and the promises of God concerning the people and the land. i have been reading other blogs and am shocked to see how many people are so anti-israel (especially christians!), and my heart goes out to israel to try to defend them.

now i am very unskilled in this arena of “debate” (though i don’t take it that way) when it comes to my knowledge of what God says about israel…but this fire in me is making me search out the scriptures to see what they say about israel and the endtimes. so i just wanted to say that in the coming weeks, expect more “israel” focused posts and comments. it’s time for the church to understand “why israel?”

to clear up any future rumors…i have not gone out looking for a fight or debate. i have been stumbling onto good sites with a wrong view of israel, and instead of holding my peace…i have decided to stand up and speak out for the “little guy”….my “younger brother”.

what does everyone think of this? what are your views or issues with israel? please feel free to share your thoughts.

Israel And Scripture In Correct Context

i’ve been thinking about israel a lot these last few weeks in detail (the whole “israel issue” has been on my heart now for over a year). i think that although there were physical things that may have triggered some thoughts in me (such as the “master builder” production and our 72 hour retreat…which israel was a big focus), i believe i have been nailing things out in regards to israel and my beliefs in my personal devotion time with God. He is the One i believe that has caused questions and thoughts to surface in my mind and life.

one of the things i have been really pondering is scripture that we have taken in the church and have ran with…that in its original context…were promises for israel or were talking in someway about israel. i believe the Word of God is two-sided and speaks to many peoples and issues at the same time (something i will be addressing soon) but i believe the church as a whole, for years, have thrown away all the original context to some of our “favorite scriptures”. here are some i have been reading in the last day or so (these scriptures have been resounding in me…therefore any “!!!” i write in this post are directed to me…lol…i’m really blogging to myself):

For the Scripture says,”Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

these are some frequently quoted passages from romans 10. but what people don’t realize is that from romans 9 (acually paul starts this talk at the end of chapter 8…”what can separate us {including jews} from the love of Christ…) to romans 11 (and beyond), paul is talking about israel’s purpose in this world. how they have NOT been replaced or thrown away…but “one day all of israel will be saved.” (romans 11:26)

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (romans 11:29)

here paul is not talking about God giving you awesome basketball skills whether or not you use them for His glory (although it can apply to that). paul is talking about the covenant position and calling of israel…from the days of abraham.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (romans 12:1)

this is probably one of the highest quoted verses in all the Bible…but it comes on the heels of paul’s thesis for israel. he was speaking about how we we saved to entice the jewish people to God through jealousy..SO present your bodies to God…and live holy….that’s how we will entice them!

Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities. (isaiah 54:2-3)

this is a verse quoted regularly for church building campaigns. we love to take this “word of God” for ourselves. but this prophecy is for the Jewish people!!! it’s saying that israel will be ruling the earth…it will be the greatest nation on the earth one day. this prophecy has not come to pass yet!

no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.” (isaiah 54:17)

this verse kills me. it talks about the protection God offers His servants…but specifically…ISRAEL. but there is one portion of scripture that is a knife in my heart (in a good way…lol):

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. Then they also will answer, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? Then he will answer them, saying, Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (matthew 25:31-46)

did you see the emphasis? Jesus was talking to the jews ABOUT THE NATIONS (that’s you and me) at the end of the age. Jesus talks about judging the gentiles (nations) and what does He judge them for? HOW THEY TREATED HIS BROTHERS…THE JEWS!!!!! so for those of you that only believe what’s in red…there you go. lol that verse alone (but i have many others) has sent my life on a quest to always remember and reach our thout to the jewish people. i know the promise (due to its part of God’s EVERLASTING covenant with abraham…and therefore israel) is still active..that God will bless those who bless israel (whether by word or deed) and curse those who curse israel (whether by word or deed).

i encourage you to think on these scriptures and when you read the Bible…to see the original context of the passages. to see that God still loves israel and that they are in the very center of God’s endtime plans. the “replacement theology” view that has been so preached in america is literally the thoughts of the anti-christ spirit. it will most likely be the anti-christ’s thesis one day on why he should destroy the jews.

God, forgive your church (the elder brother) for hating and despising your longing for israel (the prodigal son / younger brother) to return back to you.