A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label End Times Israel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label End Times Israel. Show all posts

March 17, 2024

God Is Not Through With Israel! Warning To Those Who Interfere With His Plan

One of the most defining experiences of my faith was when I discovered Romans, Chapter 11. It began 16 years ago, and has proven to be a thoroughly captivating effort to know my God at a deeper level -- both from an intellectual standpoint, but more importantly, at a heart level. Sadly, this journey did not come about because my church pointed me to it; nor any church I have attended since. This was a singular exploration ignited by a Christian friend who suggested that I might want to read this chapter if I was seeking to know more about God. 

And as we grow ever closer to cataclysmic events in the world that threaten to destroy the nations, Romans 11 is so crucial to understanding God's heart for His people, and how He will respond to us, depending on if we can see and understand the significance of this revealing chapter in these days and the days to come. Therefore it frustrates me immensely to realize that the majority of the Body of Christ do not perceive its relevance. Furthermore, it saddens me to witness the failure of institutionalized Religion to teach the faithful the truth of this foundational directive. It will have consequences for all mankind!

As we watch the delicate balance of the world's governments lean towards war and destruction, and as we particularly observe the increasing tension between our country and Israel, I want to share what Romans 11 cautions us about God's plan for Israel, and how it affects us; primarily as Christians, and secondly, as a nation. So, let's dive in!

The Western Church has done a good job of relating how God has blinded the Jews for rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. But there's a whole history that precedes that event, and one that has continued after the Lord's crucifixion for daring to claim that He was the Son of God, who could forgive mankind's sins and rebellion. The Church has been so hyper-focused on the state of the Jew's unbelief that it has even created its own religious theory called Replacement Theology, which claims that "The Church" has replaced Israel as God's chosen people! That is a heretical charge that will only lead to dire repercussions for those who act on it. And it's one more reason why it's important for you to read and understand Romans 11, which completely debunks this theory.

From the first verse in the chapter, the Apostle Paul confronts the very question of Israel's standing with God. I love the Amplified version: "I say then, has God rejected and disowned His people"? Paul's answer: CERTAINLY NOT! And he speaks as an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin; as one who originally agreed with rejecting Jesus. He was known as a persecutor of the people of "The Way" [who were followers of Jesus who believed in His divinity]. He makes it very clear that God has known and specifically chosen Israel for His purpose. And then Paul relates the story of the prophet Elijah [whom God called to minister to Israel] and who pleads with God against Israel for their disobedience -- for tearing down God's altars and killing all the prophets, until only Elijah is left. 

Paul then asks the question of the reader, "But what is God's response to him [Elijah]"?  The answer? Among the disobedient, unfaithful, and rebellious Israelites, God has kept for Himself a remnant; a small believing minority according to His choice. Paul points out that Israel failed to obtain God's favor by obeying the Law, instead of His favor through belief in Jesus as the Messiah. But we see God's plan in the fact that there were a chosen few who did receive His favor. The rest became hardened and callously indifferent. Sadly, it continues until today. But lest you believe that this blindness is the ultimate fate of Israel forever, Paul continues his reasoning... has Israel stumbled [in order] to experience eternal spiritual ruin? Again, Paul answers his own question: CERTAINLY NOT! 

And here is where Paul reveals God's Divine Plan for mankind .... Because of Israel's rejection of Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, Christ's sacrifice has brought the opportunity to receive the gift of Salvation to the Gentiles [who were the unbelieving pagan peoples] in order to make His chosen people, Israel, realize what they forfeited, and hopefully jealous enough to seek Salvation for themselves. Then Paul puts forth a proposition for us all to consider: If Israel's rebellion and rejection of Jesus has brought us the richness of Salvation and a relationship with God ... how much more will we receive when their fulfillment and reinstatement takes place!! 

Paul, in a masterful stroke of debate, then addresses the Gentiles [us]. He confirms the thought that since He perceives God's plan for the ultimate fulfillment of Israel, and is bringing the Good News of Salvation to the Gentiles, he is actually increasing his ministry to his fellow Jews. He can speak to them as a Jew, revealing God's reasons for their hardening and hopefully, stirring them up so they will seek God's truth, and thereby see some of them [a remnant] saved. And he points out that "If the first portion of dough [offered as the first fruits of the harvest of souls] is declared holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root (Abraham and the patriarchs) are declared holy, so are the branches (the Israelites). We must remember that the first Believers in the Body of Christ [Christians, if you will] were Jewish -- that includes all the disciples and most of the authors of the Bible. So, if the conversion of these Jews [the first portion of the dough] was holy and good, then the whole batch will also be holy and good, when the complete harvest is brought in. And it is the complete harvest at the end of the age that we are awaiting!

Romans 11 then addresses the familiar passage about broken off branches and wild olive shoots, and the merging of the two through grafting. I have heard so many different explanations for what this passage means, but at its heart, it's really very simple. It reveals the entire olive tree as a picture of the people of God. The "Branches" are the Jews; the "wild olive shoot" represents the Christian Gentiles; the "nourishing root" is made up of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), who were the ancestors of the Israelites, called by God. We need to understand that our grafting in was by the sovereign will of God; it was not a natural occurrence to graft in a wild shoot to a natural branch. That would only result in an unfruitful harvest. But this grafting was by Divine Providence; not by anything we did to deserve it. In fact, Paul cautions the Gentile Believers, "Do not boast over the [broken] branches and exalt yourself at their expense... remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root that supports you".

This is where the modern-day Church has often missed the boat. The Christians who believe in Replacement Theology feel that Christianity and Christians are superior to Israel in God's eyes. Not true! We must understand that they were temporarily broken off because of their unbelief, and we were grafted in because of our faith. It is only by God's grace and kindness that we now enjoy His favor because we have believed in the truth of Christ's deity and sacrifice. We must see and understand that God did not spare the natural branches, not only because they continued trying to secure God's favor through their works of the Law, but also because of their rebellion in rejecting Jesus's deity.

BUT, I want to take a moment to take a look at a principle that must be discussed at this juncture in the post ... Here's an addendum to the understanding of the olive tree narrative. We will only remain grafted in [and seen as God's people] if we continue in our faith and obedience to Him. Paul says, "otherwise you, too, will be cut off ". If we, as a person, or a nation, think we are secure in God's kindness and grace because we call ourselves a "Believer", or "a Christian nation", and yet we do not respect the understanding that a future remnant of Israel will once again resume their place of honor in God's plan to save the whole world, then just being Saved will not deliver us from God's judgment. It is worth repeating Paul's words again: "Appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God ... continue in His kindness [through faith and obedience], or otherwise you, too, will be cut off". I am not saying we lose our Salvation. But I am saying we are jeopardizing His protection and His deliverance from judgment. Think very seriously about that! 

So, how do you think we, as a nation, will fare with God when you consider how we are treating Israel in the present circumstances in our world? It doesn't matter whether Israel and its leaders are acting righteously -- or not; if they currently see Jesus as their Messiah yet -- or not; if they resemble the righteous remnant that God says He will always have in Israel -- or not. It matters that there IS a remnant that will step into their position when God wills it! We must continue to exhibit our faith and obedience, strengthening that remnant for their position in world history! That is our purpose in God's plan!      

Now, I want to return to Paul's conversation, and one that I don't believe many Christians have been taught or discern ... Paul says if the unbelieving Jews do not continue in their unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again As Paul so eloquently articulates, "For if you [Gentile Christians] were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature, were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these who are the natural branches back into [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree"? Paul then lays out the foundation of his argument. We must not think ourselves wise enough to see the whole picture, but recognize that God [through Paul] was revealing what had before that moment in time, been hidden ... a partial hardening/blinding has [temporarily] happened to Israel [to last] until the full number of Gentiles have received Salvation. And only God knows what that number is, which is why we must continue to witness of the saving grace of Christ -- because it is all for the sake of Israel!!

You read that correctly! It will be because of us and our spreading of the Gospel that all Jews who have a personal faith in Jesus as their Messiah will call on the Name of the Lord and be Saved! Hallelujah! As hard as it may be for you to see God's plan, it is brilliant and full of mercy and love for all people! Yes, Israel and the Jews are [at the present time] enemies of God for our sake -- so that more may receive Salvation! But from God's standpoint they are still His chosen people and greatly loved by Him for the sake of the Fathers of our faith (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). And here is the verse that you need to grasp with all your heart and mind ... "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. [That means irreversible; binding; everlasting]. He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call". 

Know this! All of Israel who believes in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God will be Saved! It has always been God's plan that we understand this mystery. It has always been His plan to save the whole world through the fullness of Israel as His chosen people to carry out His plan. That fullness involves: 1) the full number who will be saved by calling on the Name of the Lord; 2) they will operate in full power from God; 3) they will operate in the full character of God; 4) they will enter into their full purpose as the world leadership who will shepherd nations to faith in Christ. 

So, can you understand that even though it may not look like it at the moment, God is working His plan! Israel's future is connected to His plan for the Body of Christ. And woe to those people and nations who interfere with that plan or work, hoping to destroy Israel. I am personally aware of the small remnant of Israelites and Jews who are stepping into their Divine role. I see God at work and trust that He will bring His kindness to those who support this holy remnant, and His severity to those who come against His chosen remnant. Pray that we as people and a nation make the right choices. Now is not the time to be disobedient and ignore God's warnings. For from Him and through Him all things live and exist; and to Him all things are directed. To Him be glory and honor forever! Amen.

Jeremiah 30:24.     The fierce [righteous] anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has fulfilled and until He has accomplished the intent of His heart [mind]; In the latter days you will understand this.    


November 21, 2023

The Cost of Being A Jew Today

Before I get to the point of this post, I want to share a particular testimony ... There are times I discern something in my spirit so strongly and unexpectedly, that I know without a doubt, that it is coming from God. Somehow, I know that the thoughts I am experiencing are not my thoughts, and their sudden emergence is either from God or Satan. This happened to me in 2015 during a visit to #Holocaust Museum Houston. My husband and I had visited the much larger national #Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. in 2012, and it was a specific story that drew us to its counterpart in Houston.

The pictures and possessions of the children and parents and grandparents who were incinerated in the ovens broke my heart, and my emotions were overwhelmed as I noticed how many of the photos [of those who survived] were donated by their descendants who were part of the huge Jewish population in Houston -- and I recognized some of the names of college friends from my days as a University of Texas student, making it even more personal. But it was the little known WWII story that had compelled Mark and me to make the trip to this honored Museum.

There was to be a rededication of a WWII Danish rescue boat, named #Hanne Frankwhat the Houston Chronicle called "a rare World War II artifact that was part of an even rarer effort". The article when on to report ... "While the Nazis were marching across Europe, the Danes made a remarkable decision. They were going to make sure the German war machine did not take Danish Jews to concentration camps. Denmark was the only country to make a nationwide effort to save their Jewish population with fisherman ferrying more than 7,200 Jews to safety in Sweden.' They never considered themselves heroes,' said Consul Anna Thomsen Holliday of Denmark. 'They were just doing what was right.' " I invite you to read the entire #article for a detailed picture of what this boat meant to the community. 

It was this exhibit and its story that preceded the strong prompting that my spirit received. I found myself approaching the docent at the Museum. I told her, "This is going to sound strange to you, but if you would consider it, I would like to leave our name and phone number, because I believe there will soon come a time when we Christians will once again need to protect Jews -- only it will happen here in our own country". Well, you can imagine that she looked at me like I was a lunatic, and stammered some polite response, but took down our information. Once again, God had called us to be #Watchmen on the Wall; to warn of some impending event that He wanted His people to be made aware of.  As I look back at that moment 8 years ago, no events were in sight, yet like the Danish boatmen in WWII, Mark and I just wanted to make ourselves available to "do what is right".

Today, my prompting no longer seems so crazy or impossible. The rise in anti-Semitism around the world is climbing at an alarming rate. As the American Church, there are many Christians who automatically assumed that the nations of the world would rally around Israel in her time of need. And Christians assumed they knew who Israel was, but I invite you to read a couple of recent posts I've written about the #history of Israel in the Middle East, and the reality of #who Israel is today.  Above all, I urge you to read and study your Bible! I am amazed at how little Western Christians know the Biblical Truth about God's chosen people, and the near total lack of understanding [by Christians] of spiritual Israel versus worldly Israel.

Mark and I have been blessed that God has led us to people who have deep connections with #Messianic Jews and their faith organizations in Israel. So, we have been able to get their perspective on the war in Israel and how this minority population of Believers in Jesus [as the Messiah] are faring in the midst of rising persecution. I'd like to share the thoughts of one of the Messianic ministers in Israel [in his own words]. Rather than relying on the news media and social media to tell you what the reality is for a believing Jew in Israel, let Youval Yanay of #Revive Israel share his truth .... 

"The Word of God describes a great war that will break out in the last days, a war in which all nations will gather, lay siege, and attack Jerusalem and Judah. This war will be an intense and cruel war, the mountains will be filled with the bodies of the dead, and cruel acts will take place in the cities (Ezekiel 30-30, Zechariah 12, 14, Revelation 16:14-16, Revelation 19:19-21, and more).

Over the years, when I read these prophecies, such a war seemed unimaginable. After all, while we have many enemies, there are so many countries that would never attack Israel. Following World War II and the atrocities committed during the Holocaust, countries throughout the West became loyal friends of the State of Israel whom we believed would never turn against us.

Today, we see something different, a wave of anti-Semitism spreading like fire throughout the entire world, even in countries once considered loyal friends of Israel. 

In the well-known and esteemed Harvard University, where many world leaders are shaped and educated, the slogan #“From the river to the sea” has emerged as a prominent rallying cry in today’s protests against Israel. It is prominently displayed throughout this university campus. But what does this slogan signify? It refers to the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. For anyone familiar with the map of the Middle East, this slogan implies Israel ceases to exist, conveying a message for the destruction of Israel.

Will this wave of anti-Semitism calm once the war ends as has happened in the past? Maybe this time something different is happening before our eyes. For every nation to engage in an attack against Israel, there must be widespread hatred toward Israel, compelling them to attack. It will include leaders from every nation, people of culture, intellectuals, and academics with educated and influential leaders leading their nations to war against Israel. The present circumstance doesn’t currently exist, but are we witnessing the initial stages of a process that could give rise to such a situation? Is this a seed of hate that, when cultivated and matured, may lead to decisions triggering the prophesied great war at the end of days?

Before World War II, anti-Semitism was widely tolerated in Western societies. While not everyone was anti-Semitic, there were varying degrees of anti-Semitism. Some wanted to see the destruction of Jews while others didn’t like them, or just found them unpleasant. 

World War II, and the shock of what happened during the Holocaust, delegitimized anti-Semitism. For several decades, it became much more difficult to publicly express anti-Semitic tendencies and be considered a member of culture. For several decades, anti-Semitism was marginalized. It didn’t disappear but was pushed to the margins. It was a golden age that allowed for the rapid growth of the American Jewish community, and its unprecedented prosperity, and an era that allowed some communities in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Argentina to exist with a sense of security.

A few years ago it became clear that this era was coming to an end. The Second World War, a vivid and recent memory for the preceding generation, has become in this generation a historical event that is far away. Demographic, ideological, and geopolitical changes allowed anti-Semitism to rise. First, hesitantly, and now suddenly in capital cities throughout Western Europe. You have to rub your eyes to really believe what you are seeing: Jewish homes in Paris marked with the Star of David and respected academics expressing satisfaction with the brutal murder of Jews.

Is this something that will pass until another time or is it here to stay—setting the anti-Semitism bar to a new and higher level? If so, how high will this bar be? Is it now, once again, possible to express anti-Semitic ideas and still be considered an educated person of culture, just as it was before World War II? Are we standing at the beginning of the great war at the end of time (Mark 13:33)?  

Maybe, maybe not. We need to be careful to make such predictions. Our part is to pray, study, read the Word, and be busy with what God has prepared for us:  Draw near to Him, long for His presence, listen to Him, and obey His commandments as we leave our old selves behind, conform to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29) and proclaim His Kingdom (Acts 1:8).

When we do these things, we prepare ourselves, our family, and our community for whatever is to come. In peace or war, we have nothing to fear, our strength is in the faithfulness and love of Jesus"....

You have just heard the heart of a faithful Messianic Jewish man, who is not even respected in his own nation of Israel. He is hated by the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community; despised by the majority of his fellow countrymen, who are secular; and discounted by the political non-religious leaders of his government. But he knows the Bible and the prophecies of the End Times, and he understands what is coming; he recognizes it because the warnings are in his DNA. 

I pray that we have not yet reached the level of Satan's hate that will come against the Jews and Christians. I pray that mankind might yet turn back from evil and seek the Most High God and His forgiveness. But, I'll be honest, I see the prophecies unfolding rather quickly and like Youval, I am trying to prepare family and friends for whatever may come, while remaining strong in obedience and faithfulness to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And I pray that my prompting of 8 years ago -- to make ourselves available to harbor Jews during another holocaust and persecution --  will not be necessary. May the Lord protect His #Jewish remnant until all who will call upon His Name are identified and fall to their knees and worship Him.

 #Holocaustmuseumhouston #Holocaustmemorialmuseum #hannefrank #watchmanonthewall #historyofisrael #biblicalhistoryofisrael #messianicjews #reviveisrael #fromtherivertothesea #jewishremnant #godsisrael 

Zechariah 14:2-3    For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured and the houses plundered and the women ravished; and half of the city will be exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.