Category Archives: Think Holy

Tearing Down Monuments

Tearing Down Monuments

This is a very interesting topic for me. Not because these recent events are  particularly interesting but the motives  and rationale are intriguing. I see both sides of the argument and am pulled to both sides.

These racial issues are like that aren’t they? As they should be. In Christ, we are all one race and genetically all just different shades of brown. So of course, we would all feel “torn”.

But aside from that, it’s also intriguing because of my past.

Embracing Dark Times

You see I spent a year in jail. It was a terrible time. The year or so before that was pretty awful too.  I was enslaved to sin and distractive habits and then caged in a county jail. It was a terrible season. But it was a stepping stone to the life I love now. A life filled with redheaded treasures.

I don’t think I would’ve been here where I am now without that season of my life. I wouldn’t want to erase that whole season of my life. I wouldn’t want to pretend that it didn’t happen.

And just the opposite some of my sweetest  Times with the Lord I remembering  how he loved and cared for me through those dark times.  It causes deep worship to arise.  So I embrace the darkness times. I don’t despise them.

There was a time that humanity was a slave to sin.  We were under the law.  But even god did not erase the old testament. As he could have.  We embrace the old testament because it points to the New Testament.

The Other Side…

Now from an American history standpoint, I’m ignorant. I have little idea the significance of these men with monuments erected in their name. So it seems s probably a lot more complex than I’m making it, but…

I had a journal from that dark time. It contained a lot of terrible dark poetry, song lyrics… suicidal demonic stuff. I threw it away. I didn’t need that around. I didn’t need that reminder.

If a monument brings shame and bondage, it is loving and kind to remove it.

There were times that God commanded in the old testament that his people and kings tear down erected monuments. Now these were usually monuments erected toward demonic Gods and used for worship or sacrifices.

Again, probably more complicated than I’m making it, but just saying “tearing down monuments” has a biblical basis as well.

 

So what do you think?  Are these monuments something that is a reminder that causes pain?  Or a dark season that we have triumphed over that we should embrace ?

Response to Election: Tears & Prayer

“To receive the gospel is to receive an entirely different view of reality where Christ is the epicenter of all things.”  Paul Washer

A word on abortion. I celebrated every step of my pregnancy.  From conception to delivery, I was amazed at every level of development. Did you know at 28 weeks an unborn baby begins dreaming?  “Brain wave activity measured in a developing fetus shows different sleep cycles, including the rapid eye movement phase, the stage when dreaming occurs.” (WTEWYE) She or he is a life with dreams.  And yet just a few weeks before this stage, we are still allowed legally to murder him/her.  It’s just a choice like cereal or eggs for breakfast.

Pro-choice is insanity. We live in a country that has made it legal and even supports putting our right to convenience over life.   I am praying that even now God will pour out visions of 50-100 MILLION slaughtered babies.  Or maybe those same babies who have been robbed of their destiny crying out for justice in heaven.  We have put ourselves first.  It’s our right to have an unencumbered life without a pregnancy or infant to slow us down. We have watered down the word by saying that some children are NOT a gift from God.  There is an ongoing genocide in our country, and we did not vote to stop it.   Not all.  But majority.   I pray for revival in our nation.

When Barak Obama was first elected, I cried.  I was so happy at how far our country had come.  To think that in such a short time we had come from the ignorance of slavery to electing our first black president.  But this election I also cried. Not from happiness but because this president will NOT stand for life. Our country that once devalued the life of blacks in ignorance has adopted that same ignorance about the value of life of innocent babies.

It’s time to pray harder for our nation.  The heart of the king is in God’s hands.  He has used secular kings in the past, and He will do it again.  The future of our country does not rest in a government but in God & his praying church.   Of the increase of His government there will be no end:  this is what was announced by the angels when Jesus was born.  We must declare it with our prayers of faith and trust in His leadership over our nation.

 

Passion for Politics

Tuned in to FoxNews or CNN, our eyes turned to the White House, heated debates, firm stances. Our passion for politics and government is God-given.  We have been made kings and priests unto God to rule with Him now & always.  Jesus government will continue to increase and expand forever.  Forever!  Across the nations, across the galaxies.  And it will be a government of peace, justice, truth, righteousness. 

He rules His kingdom by and through intercession.  He created … well creation… through the spoken word.  Now we have been given this same authority to speak to God and create shifts in reality according to His will.  The government and politics are run from the central point of God’s throneroom.  This same throne we are told to approach with boldness.  Today we are made to govern the world by faith through the power of prayer.

In the coming age, the faithful lovers of God will be placed in seats of government to rule according to His righteous ways and guidance.  This reward is promised to us both in the Millenial Kingdom and in eternity.  It begins now but it will go on forever.

So, don’t despise interest in american & international politics and governments.  It’s only natural. But remember always that the true power and authority goes out from a real throne room in heaven now & always.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders…Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.  Is 9:6,7

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. Rev. 3:21

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years… Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. Rev 20:4, 6

And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.  Rev 5:10

Obama's Quote

You know…. I like Obama.  There I said it.  A southern Christian, (bible belt even) that likes Obama. If I could vote, I probably would have voted for him (convict –>me), but the very reason I would have voted for him is bothering me now.  He seemed to propose parts of the sermon on the mount that the other guy did not. He said that we should care about each other and help one another.   This quote today really aggravated me:

“To the people of Haiti, we say clearly and with conviction:  You will not be forsaken.  You will not be forgotten.  In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you.  The world stands with you,” he said. Source

That’s God’s language.  You will not be forsaken nor forgotten. Why is he mimicking God’s language?  Then he inserts America and the World in God’s place. Sneaky deception.  If he was going to use God’s language, you would think he would mention Him.

Should We Evangelize the Jewish People? Catholic View

Below is a interesting link to a letter I found from a converted Jewish woman to Cardinal Keeler,  the U.S. bishop’s moderator for Jewish relations.  This open letter was regarding the controversial document on whether catholics should evangelize the Jewish people.  Since this controversial document’s release, the Catholic church released a statement to offer clarification.

Dear Cardinal Keeler:
I am grateful, your Eminence, that you have encouraged serious reflection on the statements of the document by Jews and Catholics throughout the United States, and I beg you to bear with me as I try to convey to you the things so heavy on my heart. (All quotes below are from the document unless otherwise indicated.)

Having been born and raised in a Conservative Jewish home, I have deep love and respect for the Jewish people, many of whom see me as a traitor now that I’m a Christian (or, more specifically, a Hebrew Catholic). While I fall far short of the depth of Paul’s heart for his kinsmen according to the flesh, wishing himself accursed and cut off from Christ for their sake (cf. Rom. 9:3), I anguish yet at Israel’s unbelief in the Messiah who came for them, though them. One of the most heartrending statements to me in all of Scripture is that of our Lord as he wept over Jerusalem: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem. . . . How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not” (Matt. 23:37.

Yet Israel’s lack of belief is not so great a mysety to me as my belief. That we are born in original sin, which plunged us into darkness, is a fact, however sorrowful. That, in addition to our fallen condition, “a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in” (Rom. 11:25) is another. But that the love and grace of God should have penetrated my heart and drawn me to him is a mystery for which I will sing God’s praises through all eternity.

Though the document was “meant to spur reflection,” it caused me considerable distress. I agree with much of what it says, and I am grateful for the love of the Jewish people that is at its core, but I believe the conclusions it reaches are opposed to the temporal and spiritual welfare of this people. I beg your forgiveness if, in stating my thoughts so forthrightly, I offend you in any way. That is not my intention…LETTER CONTINUES HERE

'The Truth': Barack Obama depicted as Jesus

obamaElijah Friedeman, the Millennial Perspective

The Truth. That’s the title of a painting by Michael D’Antuono that is going to be unveiled in New York City’s Union Square April 29th, Obama’s hundreth day as president. The painting, which depicts Obama with his arms outstretched and wearing a crown of thorns upon his head, isn’t the first picture that depicts Obama as a messiah, but it is the most blatant portrayal of Obama as Jesus.

The artist claims that the painting is open to “individual interpretations”, but the outstretched hands and the crown of thorns on Obama’s head don’t leave a lot of room for interpretation. The title of the painting also is rather unnerving. It’s not absolutely clear why D’Antuono entitled the piece “The Truth”, but the press release for the painting said that “‘The Truth,’ like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder”.

Truth is in the eyes of the beholder? This is the problem with our culture and with our world today. People think that truth is relative, that truth can be decided on a personal level. Nothing could be less true. There is one Truth, one Savior of the world and His name is Jesus Christ. No political figure, no party affiliation, no moral code can save you. Only a relationship with the true Messiah will save you.

Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House Request

Photo of Gaston Hall stage that shows symbol IHS that was covered up during President Obamas speech to accommodate a White House request. (Wikimedia photo)

Photo of Gaston Hall stage that shows symbol "IHS" that was covered up during President Obama's speech to accommodate a White House request. (Wikimedia photo)

CNSNews.com) – Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS”–symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ—because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there…Read full story here

The Israel Mandate

There are two question often asked in response to understanding Israel’s mandate:

  • To whom is the Bible referring when it uses the phrase, “All Israel”?
  • What does the verse “Not all Israel … is Israel” really mean?
Who was Paul referring to when he used the phrase “all Israel” (Romans 11:26)?

There are only a few possibilities. First, “all Israel” some say means every single Jewish person that has ever lived. The logic is that God’s covenants are eternal and are made with ethnic Jews and His promise to bring the nation of Israel into a place of spiritual revival is unconditional. Therefore every Jewish person is granted salvation on the basis of God’s covenants.

Second, others say “all Israel” refers a specific eschatological time in the future prior to the Second Coming and it refers to every single Jewish person alive at that moment in time.

Third, still others say that “all Israel” refers to a specific group of Jewish people that comprise a Believing remnant and although this will be a substantial number of Jews that are living when the Lord returns … it may not be without exception “every single” Jewish person alive on the planet when the Lord returns. I believe the answer to the second question is helpful in answering the first.


What does the verse “Not all Israel … is Israel” (Romans 9:6) really mean?

The problem we run into with the name “Israel” on the front end is that it is a multi-dimensional term. Meaning that Israel is: (1) A geographic area (2) A distinct ethnic group and (3) A spiritual entity comprised of two separate groups; namely believers and non-believers. To further complicate things the believing group is comprised of believing Jews as well as believing Gentiles, hence “not all Israel … is Israel.” Thus, there are those who are ethnic Jews whom God disqualifies when it comes to being identified as a true Israeli. These are clearly non-believing Jews.

This reality in no way takes away from nor does it diminish in any way God’s unique calling and promises that have been specifically given to ethnic Jews who live in a geographic region called Israel. (NOTE: This obviously includes and applies to Jews living elsewhere.) The promises that God gave to Abraham and his offspring were given specifically, however not exclusively, to the Jewish people (direct descendants of Abraham). God also included very specific promises that were given to a geographic area in the Middle East called Israel. His promises were always focused on both the people and the land. Be aware that Israel has never fully occupied her God given inheritance and will not do so until the next age. Although Israel is often mentioned in the press as occupying Arab land—the truth from scripture is that the Arabs are currently occupying a huge portion of Israel’s rightful inheritance. Just for the record.

Subpoint: I believe that a portion of “All Israel” that is rarely addressed are Gentile believers who have been, in the grace of God, called and set apart to join themselves to the Jewish people in an extreme way and are thereby recognized by God as Jewish, in the fullest sense of the word. The Old Testament term is “stranger” and “foreigner” and these were Gentiles who joined Israel (i.e. Ruth) and were granted full citizenship. These individuals feel compelled to celebrate the Feasts, Shabbat and other Jewish customs. This calling has been massively misunderstood and has caused much confusion and disruption in the Gentile Body of Yeshua. I believe this is a legitimate call and needs to be recognized and understood. For the record—I’m not one of them. I love being an “observant” Gentile. By “observant”, I mean a card-carrying member of the Acts 15 club.

I believe that “all Israel” (Romans 11:26) is a specific term and in this context applies to believing Jews who turn to the Lord before Jesus’ Second Coming. However, in a general sense we need to be aware that included in “all Israel” is a subset called believing Gentiles, we’ll look at Romans 9:6 and Galatians 6:16 in a moment. The scenario presented in Ezekiel 20 suggests that not all Jews will believe and receive Yeshua as their Messiah. Some Jews will continue to resist Him and are labeled “rebels” and will be restricted from entering the land of Israel. Not sure if their final fate is “the Lake of Fire” or exiled somewhere other then Israel but allowed to live during the Millennial Kingdom.

The Danger: Including believing Gentiles under the banner of Israel is a bit tricky and can at first glance appear to some to be a statement supporting Replacement Theology. However, unlike RT that attempts to transfer all the covenants and promises given specifically and in some cases, eternally to Israel; what I am referring to are the promises that make a clear statement that Gentile believers are now “grafted in” and have become “adopted” into the family of faith with Abraham and his natural off-spring.

Where we miss it:

  1. We have not been called to replace but rather, God, in His great mercy has opened a door called “faith” for those who believe in His Son and we have been adopted into things that were previously only available to the Jews.
  2. Their rejection of God, His covenants and their Messiah has done nothing to alter God’s original plan in the slightest. In fact, He saw it coming and went to extravagant measures (the cross) in order to promote a people (mostly Gentiles) who would fast, pray and provoke His people to reconsider the claims of Christ. Their destiny in God is stunning.
  3. The covenants and promises God made with ethnic Israel and their land are still securely intact. Nothing has been added or taken away.
  4. However, His promises to the Jewish people must be believed and appropriated by faith. Whereas being Jewish is contingent upon biology and DNA, being a true son of Abraham is conditioned upon believing the promises and covenants and by receiving their Jewish Messiah. Case and point, without faith in Messiah genealogy is meaningless when it comes to the issue of salvation.
  5. The Gentile church has been strictly warned (Romans 11) not to explain away, spiritualize or minimize the unique role that God has assigned to the Jewish people in redemptive history. That role has never been reassigned and will be fully appreciated in the next age. Their place in the plan of God is to be highly esteemed and supported, as it is the passion of God’s heart.
  6. Having an authentic love for God while carrying contempt for His people is an oxymoron.

Conclusion: To whom was God referring when He used the term “all Israel” in the context of end-time salvation in Romans 11:26?

A. “All Israel” I do not believe means “every single Jewish person alive when Jesus returns.” I think we need to be careful about giving that impression in the light of Ezekiel 20. “All Israel” I believe rather refers to every single Jewish person who genuinely puts their faith in their Messiah, which appears to be most at the end of the age. If we could insert one word it would make this verse a little clearer. That word would be “believing” or “spiritual”. In other words, I believe the thought Paul is conveying here is that “all believing Israel” or “all spiritual Israel” will be saved. It’s the equivalent of saying that “Every sincere believer will be saved.” I would add some strength to that by saying that Zechariah 12:10; Ezekiel 37; Romans 11:26 and numerous other passages, make a strong case for a corporate awakening. I still maintain that although this will affect most of the Jewish people alive at that moment in time, not every single one will yield to that revelation, however, most certainly will. I just feel a bit uncomfortable declaring unconditionally that every single surviving Jewish person will surely turn with their whole heart and follow Yeshua. I would be overjoyed to be totally off on this one.

B. The reason Paul said, “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham”; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called” was because there is a distinct criteria for being identified with true Israel, spiritual Israel, believing Israel, One New Man, the Body of Yeshua, the “Israel of God” or whatever other term we might want to tag on it. The truth is there have always been believing and a non-believing Jews. Every generation has had a mixture of both. There is a spiritual component to being affiliated with the name Israel and Gentiles are certainly included in that title, but it must be clearly stated when we make that claim what it is we are really talking about. The name Israel is mentioned over 2,200 times in the Bible and all but two of those references, from my studies, are speaking specifically about ethnic Israel or the Jewish people. This is an extremely difficult concept for most believers to grasp.

What If They Are Wrong Regarding Zion?

God’ Heart for Israel

About 6 months ago, I began praying about Israel–not for her, but for an understanding of why I should pray for her to begin with.  The media told me that she was evil and the opinion of many of the people I encountered was also a very negative one.  I continued to pray because I did not want to be wrong on this one matter.  Many times I have found that the majority opinion is not the correct stance.  So I continued to seek truth.   As I did, I found that an unveiling like never before of scripture revealing God’s heart for Israel and our Jewish brothers.    I took comfort in this fact, as a crescendo of revelation fell before me over the next few months from elders, scripture, in prayer time, and from many people that serve God with a whole heart. I was reassured at this point and very joyful that God had answered my prayers so quickly on this matter.

God had answered most decidedly that his love affair with the descendants of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac was forever.   Throughout the old testament, we read of this tumultuous relationship between God and Israel, but not once does God change.  The basis of replacement theology states that because the Jews rejected God the covenant with them was also rejected.   But this occurred repeatedly throughout God and Israel’s history.  Not once did God break his convenant or stop seeking this people.   It was David’s prayer that God keep his promise forever so that God would be great ( 2 sam 7:22).

God loved Israel first and spoke of his love for her many times.  If this has changed, then He is not the God I serve.  For my God never changes.  Would God make a promise and then replace it with a different promise or give new conditions that would allow Him to disengage from his first promise/covenant?   God does not change nor does his character.  His feelings toward Israel and the descendants of Abraham are just as strong today as they were 1800 years ago.

Division Among Christians: Replacement Theology

Then I began running into countless individuals that not only were not supportive of Israel but were actively opposed to Israel.  These fellow believers felt justified under the premise of replacement theology or fulfillment theology.  Two of these men were not only believers, but were theology scholars.   Both of these men had at one time believed in supporting Israel and of the Jews special place in God’s heart.  Over time and with more advanced study, each of them had moved away from this belief and towards the views of replacement theology.

For a moment, I began to look into the scriptural basis for replacement theology.  But moreover, I found that it’s basis was founded in pulling specific scriptures from writers such as Paul.  Ironically, Paul’s words are also the foundation of Zionists and Evangelical dispensationalists. The views of replacement theology, although presented as very scholarly and supported, are not supported within the character of God and Jesus.

In this world, if a person is intelligent and well-studied, we would trust that opinion over another.   But in Christianity, we must look at the heart.  You know their heart by their fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.   As I looked at the two replacement theology-supporting  individuals I had interaction with, I began to look for these gifts.  In their presence, I did not feel love and acceptance, but disapproval and disregard.  This was not the way that I ever felt around men of god who spent much time in the presence of God.

God is Not an Author of Confusion

Could it be that these scholars had somehow lost the child-like love that they once had with Christ?  Had they traded theological knowledge for the knowledge of knowing Him intimately?  I cannot judge their faith, but I did immediately consider the verse:

But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong.  1 Corinthians 1:27

These scholars are very much set in their understanding of the scripture in stating that we are the new Israel and that the new covenant replaced the old covenant.   But what if they are wrong?  What if they are risking being blessed with greater intimacy with God and prophetic power by turning their back on God’s people?  Why are they willing to take such a risk?

For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (Romans 11:13–15)

For Paul the mystery of Israel is a key component for walking in apostolic power. It is a key component to walking in the fullness of the anointing that Gentile believers a longing for. The Israel mandate is foundational to walking with apostolic authority in missions that will provoke Israel to jealousy.

In a day when God is amazingly fulfilling prophecy and bringing the Jewish people back to the Land according to
Ezekiel 36:24 and preparing them to receive the New Covenant, this replacement teaching is terribly
unfortunate. It robs the Church of its glorious role in making Israel jealous. It steals our rejoicing in the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. In a day when the saved remnant of Israel is growing steadily in numbers and quality, how can there be such blindness?

Israel will be a Dividing Line

As the last days move forward, Israel will be a great divide among believers.  I believe as more Christians seek God’s heart and are led by the Spirit, the truth about Israel and the Jewish people will be revealed.   Paul was a man so close to God’s heart.  He gave up everything for his love of Christ.  And here is what he has said about Israel:

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved… (Romans 11:25–26)

The Key to Truth: Prayer

As truth is revealed in these last day, global missions outside the context of having a theology of Israel, at the end of the day will not make sense. The mystery of Israel will fuel and energize world missions as Gentile believers get gripped with an apostolic burden and revelation like the one Paul expresses in Romans 9–11.  I hope that everyone that seeks truth will spend more time in prayer than researching anything else.  This way the heart of God will be revealed to them in the scripture.

We can not disregard prayer for that neglect is the means which deception enters.  Jesus would stay up all night praying to the Father.  When is the last time that you did this?  When is the last time you fasted sleep to pray to God?  Jesus spoke to the Father incessantly and unscripted.  His communication with the Father kept him from deception and in line with the Father’s heart and desires.  We must also follow his model and make prayer not study our highest priority.

Further Notes on Rom 11:25

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved… (Romans 11:25–26)

Wesley’s Notes

11:25 St. Paul calls any truth known but to a few, a mystery. Such had been the calling of the gentiles: such was now the conversion of the Jews. Lest ye should be wise in your own conceits – Puffed up with your present advantages; dreaming that ye are the only church; or that the church of Rome cannot fail. Hardness in part is happened to Israel, till – Israel therefore is neither totally nor finally rejected. The fullness of the gentiles be come in – Till there be a vast harvest amongst the heathens.


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