2 2. Mystery of the BrideSo because Yeshua was doing these things on shabbat, the Judeans persecuted him. Yeshua said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” John 5:16-17He didn’t deny he was working on shabbatHe claims the Father has been at work even on shabbatQ: So then, what is lawful work on shabbat?A: My food,” said Yeshua, “is to do the will who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest?’ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” Jn 4:34-35What did G-D not finish at creation?The New Creation in the Bride… The harvest of the sons of G-D“Even now he harvests the crop for eternal life” Jn 4:36Rom 8:14-16 Because those who are led by the Spirit of G-D are sons of G-D For yu did not receive a spirit that makes you slave again to fear , but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of G-D.”Psalm 45:9-15 The Brideship of Christ must be seen as a coveted promise for those willing to forsake all. David clearly shows the distinction between the Bride or Queen and the guest at the wedding. Notice carefully the prophetic words, "Kings' daughters were among thy honorable women: upon your right hand stood the Queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear; forget also your own people, and your father's house; So shall the king greatly desire your beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. Gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace." All of this beauty is a work of grace and redemption that the King Himself wrought for her when He stepped out of eternity to enter the winepress of wrath as our sacrifice for sin. What a prophetic picture of the "Bride of Christ" soon to enter into her glorious triumph of the ages.Isaiah 26:19-21 Isaiah saw her rising from the dust of death to enter her chamber of nuptial glory and said, ". But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer.Malachi 3:17 The prophet Malachi spoke for the Bridegroom and called her "My Jewels." He stated, "They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.Ephesians 5:24-27 The Ephesians church heard this clear call to be His chosen. "Therefore as the church is subject to Messiah, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."Book of Revelation. The climax of this great event is best seen in the Book of Revelation. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is His unveiling of Himself and His bride. We are in the very center of this unveiling. He identified His espoused Bride in five different offices in this one book. First, we are seen as His church in Revelation chapters one, two, and three. At the very moment that chapter four begins we are called elders sharing in the unveiling of judgments to redeem the earth. After the seven years of the Great Tribulation (chapter :4), we are called His army (chapter 19:14) as we return with Him to subdue the kingdoms of the earth. During the millennial reign we are positioned as His servants and priests to reign on this earth with the King Himself. In the last two chapters, we become His Bride for eternity to enjoy with Him in our New Jerusalem. What a breathtaking picture! Listen as the words of prophecy from the lips of our Lord Himself are proclaimed by one of His redeemed elders: " Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God." (Revelation 19:7-9).The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of G-D to be revealed. Rom 8:19
3 The Covenant of Sacrificial Love The Test of True LoveHe loves me, he loves me not? It’s all about me... huh … you …?Hide & seek = Idolatry is AdulteryLove covers a multitude of sinsThe Meeting Place: To be fully knownTryst (secret place) = HaMakom (sanctuary)House of peace (safe place): No rest, no nestFear of intimacy removed, capacity for intimacy restoredCovenant Exchange & LoyaltyPartake with me, partake of me: Wholly Giving and ReceivingNo weapon shall prevail against you, thus says the L-RDIn sickness and in health until death do us apart? No. Better!In matters of love we are all bipolar. Bipolar disorder is a condition where erratic mood swings transport us between extreme emotional states of exhilaration and misery. People who “fall in love” show all the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Lovers easily become fools given to fits of anxiety and depression, suspicion and jealousy. It is easy in the confusion to lose track between self-centeredness and other-centeredness. Human love is rarely unselfish or sacrificial for very long. Falsehood creeps in and with that many chains.CS Lewis (from The Four Loves): “When we see the face of God we shall know that we have always known it. He has been within all our earthly experiences of innocent love. All that was true love in them was, even on earth, far more than ours, and ours only because His.”If the bridegroom is G-D, the bride is the corpus of believers. The Bridegroom is the Way, the Truth and the Life. How do I know it is true love? His Love covers a multitude of sins. Whose sins? The bride’s only in this case. Not only does He woo His beloved, but He restores in her the capacity for intimacy with Him, He removes our fear of intimacy. Where does love ever stop giving and start receiving, or stop receiving and start giving?Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Jn 6:54Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of G-D
4 The Bride’s Response Faith = Knowledge born of love She is drawn to Him because He, the Fountain of life, draws her to HimselfShe is ravished by His gaze and enthralled by His presence“Because He first loved us”: True love is undeserved and unfathomableBridegroom of blood – Circumcision of the Ex 4:25; Jer 4:1-4; Php 3:3; Rom 2:25-29“The Lord is My Portion”: She chooses HimTrue Israel: A after G-D’s own She guards her heart against lifeless counterfeits (idols)She prepares Herself = “zeal with knowledge” Jer 31:34She trusts and seeks intimacy with Him (yada) Phil 3:10-11She delights in His voice and is washed by His WordShe proclaims Him worthy and follows Him (she obeys)She recognizes the beauty of His holiness (broken & poured out for her)He makes her holy by His word & Spirit (she is also broken and poured out)!She puts on the clothes of His choosing Rev 19:8She grows in His likeness and bears kingdom fruit (righteous acts of the saints)She aligns her will to His Will = submission based on faith, hope in HimYour will be done on earth as it is in heavenShe honors her bridegroom as L-RD – Your kingdom come Psalm 45:11She welcomes and yearns for His kingship over the kingdomShe shares in His Name “Lord of Righteousness” Jer 23:6 - Jer 33:16She as a city and a people takes on the attributes of her KingHe is the foundation of all being. In Him alone there is life hence the attraction Righteous acts of the saints = repentance, reconciliation, unity, g-dlinessBridegroom of blood: Ex 4:25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched [Moses‘] feet with it. "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said. (gesture: Zipporah touched her son’s foreskin to Moses’ feet)Circumcision (brith milah) of males on the 8th day (today performed by the mohel) was a consecration (not purification) rite prescribed by G-D to all males of Abraham’s tribe (Ex 22:28-29; Lev 22:26). It is accompanied by the naming of the boy (identity-destiny). During the naming portion the mohel repeats twice Ez 16:6 (Then I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, and I said to you: and I said to you, In your blood you shall live. And I said to you, in your blood, live.” Traditional greetings of birth in the Middle East: In the early anthropology of the holy land (Palestine), even Egyptian fellahin (peasants) greeted the birth of a child by calling the “blessing of the bridegroom and the bride.” Offers of betrothal might be issued or accepted by the father while the child was still a child. The covenantal circumcision of the sons of Abraham was the betrothal of Israel to the L-RD. G-D needed to aggressively force Moses, the future recipient of the Law for Israel, to comply with circumcision. Both Abraham, by the act of circumcision (which represents holiness as both a blessing and a wound) were consecrated so they could fulfill their divenely appointed tasks, which made them fruitful: The fruitfulness of Abraham who sired Isaac, the seed of promise seed made complete in Yeshua, the redemptive seed, and the fruitfulness of Moses who birthed the Israelites into freedom from slavery (also made complete in Yeshua) Hence Yeshua is in essence the true bridegroom of blood and Zipporah represents the bride who says, you are a bridegroom of blood to me. However circumcision is only a sign of the wounding of the flesh that means nothing without the wounding of the heart (self-denial). It means nothing without the circumcision of the heart. In Luke 1:59; 2:21, Messiah (Christ) underwent an eighth day circumcision. But the sign of the covenant is crucifixion, the cutting off of his whole body and blood for the purpose of atonement. Messiah is bothe priest and victim who offers his body and the early Christians (Justin- Dialogue with Trypho) understood crucifixion to culminate and replace circumcision. It does not replace it but amplifies it by adding meaning to the duty of each follower to bear his or her cross, which is akin to living lives with circumcised hearts. Paul argued that external distinctions between circumcised and uncircumcised were meaningless (Gal 3:27-29; Col 3:11; 1 Cor 7:19) but one argument he could have used ( and never did) to prove that external circumcision in and of itself does not make one righteous is that the rite confers the covenant only to men and not to women. That women are not circumcised separates the rite from righteousness, argued Justin, and Cyprian, the mid-3rd century bishop of Carthage, contrasted the uselessness of circumcision for women with the universality of the rite of baptism. Where Christianity could have abandoned circumcision to celebrate the body (of the bride) and promote a world of gendered equality and dignity, rather it was used primarily as ethnic erasure, to render Judaism null and void. Both Augustine and Aquinas reflected on the timing of the two bodily wounds Christ submitted to willingly, circumcision and crucifixion, which occurred on the eighth day of the week, which symbolizes resurrection or rebirth and point to the new birth available through the New Covenant. Rather in the Medieval times, the symbolism was corrupted into eroticism and idolatry such as turning Christ’s foreskin as a relic (carne vera sancta) based on Yeshua’s words in John 6:27 “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” Many churches boasted they possessed Yeshua’s severed foreskin… Circumcise your hearts: Jer 4:1-4: "If you will return, O Israel, return to me,“ declares the LORD. "If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, 2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, 'As surely as the LORD lives,‘ then the nations will be blessed by him and in him they will glory." 3 This is what the LORD says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: "Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done—burn with no one to quench it.Psalm 45:11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.Our first desire as we enter into this glory is to give honor to the Bridegroom Himself as the Messiah that came, the Sacrifice that died, the Intercessor that prayed, and the Father and the Lamb that has earned all redemption rights becomes the first order of the Marriage Feast celebration.She gives Him all that she is because she wants to receive all He is and all He has prepared for the chosen. Including her identity!Make herself ready: How? By abiding in Him so she may live for Him. (G-D in us prior to G-D for us)The wedding garment, not withstanding what the wife has done to make herself ready, is provided by the Redeemer Himself. His grace is complete to make us absolute holy, but that grace is only given to the surrendered will. The Bride is made of overcomers whose faith stood strong against every temptation of the world. To them is granted the "fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."The Bride is soon to reign with Him. "... Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb ..." (Revelation 19:9) This is the reward of being the Bride to the King.Is being part of the bride only a reward for some of the believers? Some misunderstand the meaning of the bride preparing herself and reason that being part of the bride is a reward reserved only for a select brand of believers. Several biblical quotes are invoked Ex: Luke 21:34-36: “The Son of G-D said, "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." These, according to them, are not the saints of which Apostle Paul said, "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (I Corinthians 3:15). You may indeed repent and be saved, but you will not get a second chance to be a part of His Bride. Some will be part of the bride, others will be saved as virgins that attend to the Bride at the wedding. If you cannot lose this reward, the ultimate Brideship of the Bridegroom, what reward can you lose? Apostle Paul said, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." (Philippians 3:10-11). This refers to the first resurrection, the one that precedes the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9). This is pure speculation based on a misunderstanding. It is difficult for us to understand that the bride is not one person but the body of believers, a corporate being. The bridegroom’s offspring is part of the bride, who is composed of the remnants of all nations. All attend the wedding banquet. Either one is part of the bride or one isn’t. The benefits of the bride are the benefits of all true believers, resurrection and living in His presence forever. Intimacy with Him is a gift for all believers. For they shall all know Him (Jer 31:34).She takes on His Name “Lord our Righteousness”: The Hebrew text for the name LORD used in Jeremiah 23:6 is "YHWH" (commonly rendered "Jehovah"), clearly referring to God (and not a social position of man). The King described here is called, "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS," signifying his deity. 1 Whereas Israel's good kings and bad kings alike were sinners, this descendent of David would be holy and righteous.In Jeremiah 33:16, the same name, "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" is applied to Jerusalem. Some point to this to say that the name in Jeremiah 23:6 also refers to Jerusalem. However, given the geneological reference of Jeremiah 23:5 and the fact that Jeremiah presents this righteous King as a contrast to the wicked Kings of the past, this verse clearly indicates a person and not a city.2 Why is the name "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" given to Jerusalem in Jeremiah 33:16? Because One who rules with righteousness like no other is upon the throne in Zion. Jerusalem will be ruled by a just and righteousness King and the city itself will take on these attributes. The city is immersed in the glorious radiance of a holy King and cannot help but be transformed and reflect the righteousness bestowed upon it. Who is this king? It is Jesus, King Messiah, our savior, and our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). All believers in the saving work of Jesus become His bride, and just as a bride takes on the name of her husband, so Jerusalem takes on the name of her King, "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."1. Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum in his book "Messianic Christology" writes that while there were people throughout the scriptures who had names with "Jehovah" (rendered "LORD" in the King James translation) in them, "It needs to be realized that in none of these cases are all four of the letters YHVH found. Usually twos letters are found, sometimes three, but nowhere are all four letters of the name of God ever used in relation to a human being."2. Dr. James Smith, in his book "What the Bible Teaches About the Promised Messiah" notes that the Jews interpreted "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" in Jeremiah 23:6 as personal Messianic title, and that it is recorded as such in the Targum, Midrash, and Talmud.I am not loved by G-D because I am valuable. I am valuable because I am loved by G-D
5 G-D for US What, then, shall we say in response to this? If G-D is for us, who can be against us?He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?Who will bring any charge against those whom G-D has chosen?It is G-D who justifies. Who is he that condemns?Messiah Yeshua, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of G-D and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah?Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Messiah Yeshua our L-RD.Rom 8:31-39His plan from the beginning of our creation was to intercept history to redeem us from bondage and make us worthy of the inheritance He has for us. There are saints (righteous ones) in many cities and throughout history who have prayed very much for the Kingdom of G-d to be Fully Manifested on this planet. And they have sacrificed very much out of their poverty to live for Yeshua wholeheartedly seeking FIRST the Kingdom. As you might remember to pray for one another, also pray for all those who have not "bowed their knee to Baal." Pray for them because we are part of them also. Maybe it's important to understand that if there is anything we are able to serve one another with, it's the product or the outworking of all of their lives together with our lives every day. The things that Yeshua shows all of us--here and everywhere--are the products of putting our arms around each other and helping each other. The times when sin is challenged in our lives, the times when our weak arms are lifted up by those around us, those times are what make us who we are. If there is anything we could ever offer, it only comes because others have tried to help us. Keep in mind that you are seeing not a few hundred or a few thousand people, but many thousands who have all contributed mutually to one another's lives.
6 G-D in Us Our Identity: “In Messiah” “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” John 6:56-57We can’t live for Messiah unless we abide in Messiah.Yeshua said that the way all men will know we are HIS disciples is that they will SEE our love for each other. He didn't say that the world "will know" by how loud we sing on shabbat, or by how well we preach, or by our meetings--but by how we love one another daily. THAT is how all men will know that something is from heaven. The world MUST see us loving each other. They cannot see us through the walls of a room a few times a week when we are all dressed up and on our best behavior. They will see us loving each other when they see us carrying each other's loads, when they see us taking care of each other when we are sick, when they see us giving each other the best things we have. This is how all men will KNOW that we are His disciples--not just by what we believe, but by how they see us loving each other. This is the call of God for His People today. Take action, today, to change for Yeshua. Don't just think about it--ACT on it. Yeshua said that this is building on the Rock--putting His Word into practice and not hearing it only. Don't let anyone, ever, steal your Dream to See Messiah's Life Manifested Daily "from the least to the greatest" in a Visible, Connected Corporate Life of Believers--SINCE IT IS, IN TRUTH, HIS DREAM!!! No matter the setbacks, no matter how many times you may have been "hurt," no matter who goes with you, or doesn't go with you...be one of the few with "the faith of Abraham" who will remain "unwavering, fully persuaded, giving glory to God!" even if you are "as good as dead." That's when He does His best Work. :)Look at what people become and you see the character of their g-dWe can’t live for Messiah unless we abide in Messiah
7 Our Destiny: “for Messiah” “… Messiah loved the church and gave himself up for herto make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, andto present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” Eph 5:26-27Once identity is clear, so is calling (for such a time as this)Messiah’s: to be the light of the world John 9:5Bride’s: to be the light to the world Mt 5:14-15And our inheritance which is also in MessiahNew life in the eternal kingdomAssist as servants in His eternal reignThe book of Ephesians is all about the mystery of Jews and Gentiles as heirs together in Messiah which he calls the Mystery of Messiah (v. 4) which through the bride/ church (v.10) reveals the manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and authorities of the heavenly realm. In ch. 5 the imagery of marriage is given. It is obvious that the mystery there has to do with the mystery of "oneness" (i.e. reconciliation within the Bride is impossible without oneness with the bridegroom)Esther is the type of the first hidden then revealed bride who glorifies the bridegroom
8 Being Fully Known G-D for US We in G-D Only if you are fully known can you be fully loved…G-D for USG-D in USWe for G-D1 Cor 13: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.We in G-DNow we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.1 Cor 13:12
9 The World: The Bride Emerges… To be an example to the nations of His righteous kingdomHe allows, sets & removes rulers to exercise justice Rom 13:1-7; Dan 2:21World peace comes through G-D’s Law & nations embracing Messiah Is 2:2-4; 9:6-7He fashions the shapes & destinies of nations but warns them firstLike a potter Jer 18:7-10; Prov 21:1; 1 Sam 20:9He allows wicked rulers Jer 27:6; 1 Kgs 12:15; John 19:10He planted the seed of “theocracy” in ZionHe set one nation above the others to be their G-D & King Dt 26:19David calls all Israel & nations to praise the L-RD Ps 67:2-4; 108:3Eternal kingship promised to a descendant of David 1 Chr 17:11-14He exercises perfect justice and mercy, fulfills all hope John 5:19In Zion, He is enthroned as the Great King forever Dt 12:5; Ps 9:11; 1 Chr 22; Chr 2:5; 2 Chr 5:13-2 Chr 6; Is 18:7; 2 Chr 20:5; 2 Kings 19:15G-D has stripped all rulers of their final authority, except His Son“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry” Psalm 2; Is 11:3-5; Is 14:5-11; Is 42:3-4The Spiritual destiny of a nation is carried by the remnant of believers within that nationRemnants submit for the Lord’s sake until His Kingdom comes 1 Pet 2:13-14Every knee shall bow before the King of Kings Rev 19:11-16; Rev 21:23-27He will shake all the nations & bring them in for judgmentIn the valley of Jehoshaphat Is 2:4; Hag 2:6-7; Joel 3:2,12; Heb 12:26-29Remnants of all nations will worship King Messiah, enthroned in Zion Zec 14; Is 61:11The bride emerges from among the nations, drawn and chosen by Him. He both woos her and is enticed by her. She is an object lesson for all the angels in heaven. She is submitted to Him. Rulers of nations are not submitted to Him or their submission is mixed. But as the bride emerges, she is told to submit to worldly rulers out of reverence for G-D as instruments of G-D. Rom 12:4 “He [the civil authority] is G-D's servant for your good.” Mexico: “Alejandro Dominguez was the only person brave enough to be police chief. Hours after he took office, assailants riddled his body with dozens of bullets in this city wracked by a turf battle between Mexico's two main drug gangs. The streets were virtually empty Thursday, a day after the killing, with only a handful of federal police armed with rifles and automatic weapons. . . ‘We are defenseless,’ attorney Zorina Medrano said at City Hall. “It's obvious that the criminals are better organized (than the authorities.) They sent the national army and even they weren't respected. Who else can we ask for help?'” That's a small snapshot of what the world would look like without G-D's common grace of civil authority. What would you do if 911 didn't answer? If there were no police. No firemen. No national guard. Only gang members stealing and murdering without any restraint or retribution. The spiritual position of true believers is above the rulers of governments (see Ephesians 1:3, 1:20-23, 2:6, Jeremiah 1:10). in prayer we have a certain authority over them as spiritual priests. We are to be a prophetic community, influencing for good the government and society in which we live. The key to this prayer is for justice and righteousness to prevail. We pray for God to direct government leaders, whether they believe in Him or not (Proverbs 21:1). We pray for social conditions to be improved, for peace, for law and order, and for a society of religious freedom where the gospel can be shared.Excerpt from: The Destiny of Nations by Asher Intrater (Messianic pastor in Israel - summarized) “Every nation has two groups of people in it: the general population, which is seen by God as being in rebellion to His authority (Psalm 2); and the remnant. The spiritual destiny of a nation is carried by the remnant of believers within that nation. We cannot understand God's purpose & destiny for a nation by the unbelievers- even though the unbelievers are usually the majority population within the nation. Example 1. We cannot understand the spiritual destiny of China by looking at the communist regime of Mao Tse-Tung. That is only the carnal exterior of China-the chaff! The "wheat" of China is the approx. 100 million believers in its underground church. When God looks at China, He sees both the wheat and the chaff. Without spiritual discernment, we only see the chaff, which is visible to the natural eye, communist China and not the fruit of God within the underground Chinese church. It is only the believing remnant that carries the purpose and destiny of God for China. In the end, God will separate the two. So it is with the Palestinian Christians & the Messianic Remnant of Israel. The destiny of Israel is found within the believing community, not in the unbelieving majority. If you want to understand what God is doing in Israel, the first place is to look within the Messianic Remnant. Some look at our unbelieving politicians-right wing or left wing, or by our unbelieving rabbis-Orthodox or Reform. You must look past the outer shell or you will fall in one of 2 extremes. Either you become an "Israel-worshipper"; you then start believing that a right-wing politician or religious rabbi is saved just because he can quote some things from the Bible. Or, you end up in "Replacement Theology" rejecting God's plan for Israel altogether as you say, 'These people are not spiritual and not believers in Yeshua. Therefore they can't be Israel; and God has no special destiny for this nation.' Both Israel idolatry and Replacement theology are errors from the having missed the role of the Messianic remnant within the nation. The Messianic Remnant provides the correction for both Israel idolatry and Replacement theology. This remnant of evangelizing believers is how the kingdom of God is increasing. That reality is no less true in Israel than it is in every other nation on the face of the earth. We must have God's vision for the nations carried in the believing remnant of that nation. There are 2 possible destinies for the peoples in every nation: the good one comes from God and its perversion from the devil. In Zec 14 the phrase "all nations" is used twice to show the 2 destinies. (V. 2-3) "For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle" and they will be destroyed by Yeshua at His second coming.” Then (v.16) "...every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem" shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles." The struggle between those two destinies is what spiritual warfare is all about. You as a remnant believer carry the destiny that God sees for your nation. You contain within you a vision for the salvation of your nation.A King is nothing without His kingdom, His people, His willing servants, His bride!
10 Israel’s History Rocks & Rolls A Jewish Love Story (2) Gan Eden: A Holy Creative DesireBridegroom & bride predestined from the foundation of the worldTo walk with G-D, not hide from himThe L-RD’s Desire for His Bride in hidingFrom seeding faith at Mamre to oaks of righteousness in Zion Gen 18; Is 61:2-3Shavuot: Test & Betrothal at Sinai → “My portion is in My people” Dt 32:9Israel, the chosen Bride: I will be your G-D, you will be my people, my treasured possession a nation of priests Ex 19:5; Dt 7:6, 14:2, 26:18; Ps 135:4; Mal 3:17A Rocky Betrothal: The Unfaithful Bride cast away… will be restoredThe Bride’s troubled origins and prostitution Ezekiel 16, 23He espouses & woos her: Provoking her to jealousy Hosea 1:1-10, Hosea 2:18-23Exile: is she given a certificate of divorce? Ez 20:32-34; 22:1-4,13-16: Jer 3:1-11Come out of her my people, only repent, and I will your husband again Jer 3:14He is faithful in spite of her unfaithfulness Jer 3:14-18Betrothal Sealed with the Bride price: The Bride Cleansed at PesachThe pregnant virgin bride who was no whore Luke 1:35"How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. Matt 9:15The Bridegroom pays the ultimate bride price in a covenant of sacrificial loveIs 61:2-3 To proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.Ezekiel 16:27, 30, 34 The bride’s origins and her unfaithfulness are revealed: “I delivered you up to the desire of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd conduct (v. 27). How languishing is your heart," declares the Lord GOD, "while you do all these things, the actions of a bold-faced harlot.” (v. 30) Thus, you are different from those women in your harlotries, in that no one plays the harlot as you do, because you give money and no money is given you; thus you are different. (v. 34) Israel was given the torah, Israel was rich, but she was jealous of the nations who did not have the torah, who were not under the burden of their husband in the way they were. They invited neighbors for free to prostitute themselves in g-dless adultery with their gods.God, the husband‘s judgment: therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, even all those whom you loved and all those whom you hated So I will gather them against you from every direction and expose your nakedness to them that they may see all your nakedness. 38 "Thus I will judge you like women who commit adultery or shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 39 "I will also give you into the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your shrines, demolish your high places, strip you of your clothing, take away your jewels, and will leave you naked and bare. 40 "They will incite a crowd against you and they will stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. 41 "They will burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women Then I will stop you from playing the harlot, and you will also no longer pay your lovers. 42 "So I will calm My fury against you and My jealousy will depart from you, and I will be pacified and angry no more. (v ) "Behold, everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb concerning you, saying, 'Like mother, like daughter.' 45 "You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and children. You are also the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.Compared to Sodom, Sodom’s captivity restored results in humiliation of Judah by daughters of Edom & Philistines (v ) because Judah opened her lips with pride (v ), but interesting side note: they will be given as daughters of Judah in a New Covenant (v ) The bride’s pride will be shut up when He opens her lips to declare what she has become, i.e. the living gospel (=fruit of our lips).Hosea. Achor means trouble Jezreel means God plants Lo-Ruhamah means not loved one Lo-Ammi means not my people. History of Israel’s unfaithfulness continues after the return from Babylon, after the visit of the Bridegroom. The cleansed bride will understand that “God loves to the point of folly” Richard Wurmbrand (The Unreasonableness of God. VOM. Nov 2006)Ezra 10:2-17 Sin of marrying foreign women? Mal 4:But for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. Isaiah 8:14; Ps 118:22
11 Bride Divided, Bride Divorced? Judah & Joseph, Jews & JoesJacob’s blessingsDavidic Kingdom DividedBoth divorce and exile are temporaryExile & Return (seed somewhat preserved)“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone” Ps 118:22Scattered through nations (mixed seed)Visible Jews as scapegoatTwo sticks reconciledDouble blessingBirthrightIsrael DivorcedJudahExiledYScattered (but visible)Scattered (mixed seed)Judah is the purple line, Joseph (Manasseh, Ephraim) is the greenIsaiah 28:14-18 Covenant with death annulled by messianic prophecy Is 28:162 Corinthians 3:6-8 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?Romans 6:20-7:3 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord. Do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to men who know the law—that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? (v. 2) For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. By Yeshua’s death, the former marriage to faithless Israel (and Judah) is annulled, but by His resurrection, the betrothal is renewed.Deuteronomy 24:1-4 If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the LORD. Do not bring sin upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.(Note the wife has 2 witnesses against her, her 1st and 2nd husband)Jer 3:1-18 Judah and divorced Israel’s judgment. Israel restored in still betrothed Zion.The law of Deut 24:1-4 does not undergird a theology of bridal replacement whereby G-D rescinds his promise of marriage to Israel and betrothes another, the church. Israel remains the original bride purchased with the bride price, sanctified and augmented, as expressed in Isaiah 49:5-6. Since here the bridegroom himself dies (bride price) in order to secure for Himself His bride in Zion, the remnants of Judah & Israel are united and all the branches are made kosher grafts in the olive tree whether cultivated or wild.Isaiah 49:5-6 And now the LORD says— he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength-he says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.Regathered As OneResurrected Bridegroom has lawfully betrothed Israel so the Jewish bride’s offspring among Gentiles is a legitimate graft & the natural olive branch can be regrafted!
12 The Prodigal Bride Israel’s Destiny Reshaped in Yeshua The self-righteous application of “separation unto holiness”…Pharisees: clubs of Chaverim “law keepers”Am Ha-Aretz: the rabble “law breakers”… Prevents G-D’s offer of redemption and inclusionTo sinners (those who need it the most)To self-righteous (unaware of their own need for repentance)Yeshua the Bridegroom associates publically with sinnersHe did not join the chaverimHe was accused of “welcoming sinners & eating with them” Luke 15:1Nature of repentance = All the lost have to do is accept “being found”3 parables of true repentance: Lost sheep, lost coin, lost sonProdigal’s return is still self-serving: he abandons all schemes to redeem himself by becoming a hired servant Lev 25:35-41Costly Love in an Honor/Shame-Based SocietyThe only active agent of repentance is G-D, whose love is measured in costly sacrifice (Father shames Himself in public before the townspeople perform the kasatza “cutting off” ceremony)“I am not worthy to be called your son” Luke 15:21 in context: vDeemed worthy to enter freely into reconciliation as a son, and not as one who owes anythingTrue repentance is realizing our fundamental predicament is not having broken the law, but having broken fellowship with G-DThe Older son and “those who need no repentance”More rejoicing in heaven over 1 who repents than 99 who don’t Luke 15:7: Ezk 14:11-16Eldest’s unforgiving : willing to break fellowship with his father because mercy was granted without cost to the prodigal Is 57:15,19Repentance is utterly the work of the L-RD: come out, LET YOURSELF BE FOUND!So that I may gain Messiah and be found in Him Philippians 3:8-10Kenneth E. Bailey. Jacob & the Prodigal: How Jesus Retold Israel’s Story. Downers Grove: IVP, 2003Mixed Repentance: Prodigal does not earn his father’s forgiveness through his repentance as commonly interpreted, but accepts the grace of reconciliation bestowed upon him at his return by his father and abandons all schemes to redeem himself by becoming a hired servant (Lev 25:35-41)JOY of Restored Fellowship All three stories end with a meal celebration of joy to celebrate this element of repentance which consists merely of being found and eloquently as being resurrected in the words of the father, “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:24). Hence true repentance is realizing that the fundamental predicament of the human race is not having broken the law, but having broken fellowship with God.Repentance: Yeshua aims to reveal the Father’s outlook on the worthlessness of man’s efforts at repentance acquired on their own terms while ignoring the price paid by the Lord Himself to find and redeem them.Father to Eldest: “We had to celebrate: this brother of yours was dead and is alive again”Bailey summarizes Yeshua’s response to the Pharisees’ as essentially, “Things are much worse than you imagine. I not only eat with sinners; I run down the road, shower them with kisses and drag them in that I might eat with them. Let me tell you a parable in three parts to explain how it works.How does the drama of the prodigal relate to the nation of Israel as a whole and to the human predicament? Bailey proposes, “Rebellious sinners become Jacob, righteous sinners are presented as the new Esau. The father, as symbol of God, evolves into a symbol for Jesus, who at great cost offers reconciliation separately to each type of sinner. When it becomes evident to him that only a few catch the vision of the new story, he weeps—over Jerusalem! According to Bailey, in the saga of Jacob, the crucial point is where Esau & Jacob finalized their separation. Yeshua does not want the separation to be repeated. He wants the family to be brought back together. The repentant sinners are included into Jacob/Israel and Yeshua’s audience becomes the potential new Esau, if they do not reconcile with their younger brother, i.e. Jacob reborn. It would be easy to interpret this view into a new form of replacement theology if the younger brother is defined as the inclusion of Gentiles who become the true Israel and Judaism as the new Esau, but this is not what Bailey says. Truly the parable demands a response from all sides, Jewish and Gentile, beginning with the Jewish side. The Jewish exile into Gentile lands and the trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles is an indictment and an opportunity for both. The theme of return from exile for the Jews means great blessing for the Gentiles, just as the inclusion of the Gentiles into the People of God means great blessing for Israel. But those who understand are unfortunately few, i.e. a remnant among the Jews and remnants within the nations.The Father humbled Himself to find his lost son! He gives the prodigal the best robe, a signet ring and sandals for his feet!
13 The Drama of Messianic Church History A Jewish Love Story (3) I go and prepare a mansion for you (Firstfruits)Predestined as wife for the bridegroom from the foundation of the worldPredestined as g-dly offspring for the Father from the foundation of the worldFor eternal life and intimacy with the L-RDMy sister my Bride (Sarah, Rebecca, Song of Songs)I will build up my Bride (Shavuot)I will write my law in your heartI will equip youI will prune you so you may bear fruitI will not leave you like orphans (Time of Gentiles)I will send the Comforter who will guard, guide and remind you of me (chaperon)My peace I give to you not as the world gives: In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the worldI will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (as nothing can separate us)Prepare yourself for the wedding feast (Sukkot)Send out My invitation to the whole worldStay awake and watch for MeI will judge those who persecute you because of MeMy sister, my bride refers to the bride telling her bridegroom in the last chapter: of SoS, “If only, ypu had been my brother, then I would have known early on when I was a child” This is an endearing way of saying, I wish I had known you forever, from the very beginning …
14 The Mystery of Esther G-D’s Prophetic Plan I Xerxes (The heavenly King or G-d) desired to show his glory through Vashti’s beauty to the sinning world.Vashti (Israel) refused to hear his voice and be a vehicle of his glory. Embroiled in hostessing the wives’ banquet, she placed her immediate concerns and activities above the King’s command.A lot of religious activity and tradition has been more important to Israel than a serene relationship with her eternal King (erecting the fence of Torah) and than her mission to the lost sinners.A new queen is sought by the King who will display the qualities of obedience Vashti was lacking. An invitation to the banquet is given to all nations.Esther, a remnant of Israel displays the qualities that the King’s chamberlain Heggai (Holy Spirit) knows the King is looking for.Groomed from birth by Mordecai (the Son) Hadassah keeps her Jewish identity hidden, is renamed Esther. During her time of preparation, she selects those things that Heggai approves as appropriate for her entrance into the King’s chambers.Esther, an orphan, remembers she is redeemed by Mordecai, and displays the qualities the King looks for thus pleasing him, but she keeps her Jewish identity secret as promised to Mordecai.Similarly the true church remembers she was purchased from a life of sin and given eternal life.Source: OLSEN, Frank J., with Larry PILEGGI & Faith REYNOLDS. The Mystery of Esther: God’s Prophetic Plan. Shippensburg, PA: Companion Press, 1994.
15 The Mystery of Esther G-D’s Prophetic Plan II The King bethrothes her in a New Covenant that builds His bride in the Holy spirit (7 eyes: Presence, Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge, Fear of the L-RD) by writing the Law in her heart.This represents the New Covenant bride born of those built up by Yeshua, her Redeemer and guided by the Holy Spirit. Esther represents the church whose name and identity seems to be gentile for a while.Mordecai sits by the king’s gate and discovers a plot against the king. With Esther’s help, the plot is made known to the King and foiled.Teresh and Bigthan’s plot typifies the ancient conspiracy that challenges God’s sovereignty in the earthly and spiritual realms by substituting human political & religious systems that deny G-D’s existence and G-D’s Law.Yeshua by his death and resurrection and the triumph of the church over the ancient pagan Empires exposed and foiled the plot forever.In the end of days, there is final effort to set up a world government & a world religion where G-d is dethroned and replaced by man, proclaiming himself G-D.Haman represents Satan who accuses the brethren before the heavenly throne and is angered that Yeshua who is sitting at G-D’s right hand never rises in his presence just as Mordecai refuses to bow before Haman.Source: OLSEN, Frank J., with Larry PILEGGI & Faith REYNOLDS. The Mystery of Esther: God’s Prophetic Plan. Shippensburg, PA: Companion Press, 1994.
16 The Mystery of Esther G-D’s Prophetic Plan III Haman receives the King’s seal and issues a decree to destroy the Jews as the Antichrist will try to destroy all Jews & Christians in the days of Jacob’s trouble.Mordecai warns Esther she has come to royalty for such a time as this and she enters the throne room with her petition after 2 days (2000 years) of fasting and praying. She invites the king & Haman to a banquet, then delays her request until the next day.The king remembers he has not rewarded Mordecai for foiling the plot againd Him. After 2000 years, as the Antichrist sets up his New World Order and decrees death to Israel, G-D remembers it is time for Yeshua to don His royal robes (his reward).Just as Haman’s scaffold is raised for Mordecai, and the edict of genocide for the Jews has gone out, so the New World order is rising swiftly with its anti-G-D message. Yet he thinks he has not lost favor when he is summoned to Esther’s 2nd banquet.Swiftly the tables are turned as Esther reveals her Jewish identity and exposes Haman, who begs for mercy. The king turns away for a moment then sees him seducing her and condemns him to his own gallows.Source: OLSEN, Frank J., with Larry PILEGGI & Faith REYNOLDS. The Mystery of Esther: God’s Prophetic Plan. Shippensburg, PA: Companion Press, 1994.
17 The Mystery of Esther G-D’s Prophetic Plan IV The bride is made ready when the church is aware of her Jewish roots and Israel is aware of her gentile offspring in Messiah. She then points to the Antichrist before the King of the universe, “He is the man who decrees death to me and my people.”Satan is expelled from the throne room, infuriated knowing he only has a short time. Heaven rejoices at the exposure of the plot and grieves for the inhabitants of earth. Rev 12:12The Great Tribulation is cut short for the sake of the elect as Esther and her people are rescued (raptured) and the Bridegroom descends to exact vengeance upon her enemies.Israel is allowed to defend herself in that day and 1/3 will survive and none will prevail against them. The World Order is defeated as the fear of Israel overtakes allrulers and principalities Esther 9:2-3; Zec 14:193The scepter is extended again to Esther as she co-rules with the Messiah in the true New World Order, the Bridegroom’s Millennial Kingdom inaugurated by the Lamb’s Wedding Banquet descended from heaven on the foremost of all mountains on earth in Zion.Source: OLSEN, Frank J., with Larry PILEGGI & Faith REYNOLDS. The Mystery of Esther: God’s Prophetic Plan. Shippensburg, PA: Companion Press, 1994.
18 Names of the Bride Segullah (My own possession) My Sanctuary (mamlechet kohanim vgoy kadosh)Temple of the SpiritMy BelovedPeople of G-D: My flock, my peopleFaithful Remnant(s)Israel (Overcomer)“Desired One” HepzibahJerusalem (Zion), city of truthCity on a Hill, salt & lightMy Body (given for you)My Kehilah (Church)New EveNew Creation (G-dly offspring)New Jerusalem Rev 21:9-14Rev 21:9-14: One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.Rev 22:14: Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.The names of the redeemed are in the Lamb’s Book of Life
19 M E S S I A N I CR EM N A NT SIsrael is not a “model” nation in an ethical sense.Israel is a prototype example to warn the nations of God’s purposes in blessing & judgment before the Day of the Lord.3 “A”s: Antisemitism of Nations, Anti-Judaism of Church, Anti-Christianity of nations (including Israel) are of the devil3 types of remnants: Israel, Church and Nations: Remnant of Church are true believers (tares excluded)Rom 10:16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”Mt 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ ‘Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ ”Luke 6:46 "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?”= Conclusion, only remnants will be saved of all nations, of Israel and of the Church (Kehilah, Ecclesia)These remnants are at the yellow center (those who are saved in Yeshua)Bride as ‘the remnant’: These are not denominational remnants. SDA in a very anti-Catholic website which seems to imply on its website that it is part of the ‘REMNANT’ because they are more Torah-observant than the churches (in keeping the Shabbat). But the true remnant are not those who keep the law in order to authenticate their membership of the remnant but those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb whether they keep the Shabbat or worship on Sunday. There are remnants within all denominations who do not define themselves solely by their doctrinal righteousness or by excluding other denominations entirely due to doctrinal error. The L-RD sees the heart means among other things that the fight for the faith in Yeshua to the end cannot be equated with doctrinal legalism and heresy hunting.Reconciliation needed is not just between Christians and Jews and Arabs & Jews, but between Christians and Christians on the topic of Israel. Zechariah 12:3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.Randal Price posted this statement on his website: We believe that the Jewish people are the people of God by an unconditional covenant, that they have a divine right to the Land promised to the Patriarchs, that they must believe in Jesus as their Messiah to be saved, and that Jewish believers in this age become part of the Church while remaining a part of Israel.“Does this mean that he does not take note of the Messianic Jews – the Olive Tree into which the Gentile Church is (to be) grafted – or does it mean that he does not consider the Messianic movement to be ready yet to take on the role of the Olive Tree? He may think that the Messianic movement does not YET have the theological resources compared with many hundreds of years of theological and NT (OT?) studies in order that the olive tree may carry the weight of the Gentile Church? His statement is ambiguous and could lead to unfortunate misunderstandings. Should he not write that Gentile believers in this age become part of the Messianic believers ?The bride is composed of remnants who do not idolize their own doctrines or nations, who do not become legalistic heresy hunters, chauvinistic patriots or racists.
20 Brides of Christ?The Bride of Messiah is not woman Title “brides of Christ” misappropriatedBy nunsBy Pentecostal cult (Åsa Waldau)The Bride of Messiah is a corporate bodySubmitted to the head which is the BridegroomOffspring of Messiah is the church grafted into IsraelThe church is born of His Word come out of ZionName of Bride is Zion, the place where His word is plantedZion is also the people in whose heart the Law is writtenThe L-RD will dwell among His peopleThe Body is a new CreationGrafted into the Root (Holy One of Israel)Transformed (circumcision of the heart = mystery of godliness)Made One (echad = mystery of reconciliation)
21 Israel the Overcomer The Bride is Transformed & Renamed Who are you fighting? Flesh and blood? The devil? Or G-D Himself?From Jacob to IsraelJacob the “deceiver” tried to “help” G-DThe usurper in us = face we show the worldBut face to face alone with G-D…= Honest Fight: No more tricks & gamesHe has/is the Last Word.We win only when He winsExpect a test of truth beyond past liesDon’t quit without asking for blessingHonest Blessing → Honest NameNew Name: Israel the “overcomer” Gen 32:28Jacob is overcoming with, not against, G-D & menFace we try to hide = Face G-D wants to lift upG-D covers our face with truth, not flatteryPersistence with G-D means no compromiseIt earns protection and power with G-D & menIf He is for us, Who can be against us?Unlike Esau, Jacob was a peacemaker Gen 27:39-40; Mt 5:9; Jas 3:18In Messiah YeshuaFight the clean fight of faith Reward= A New Name only between You & G-DCycle of Jacob begins:Genesis 32:24-28 "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go; for the day breaks. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? and he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." Excerpts from Beth Moore’s Bible Study “The Patriarchs” Lesson 6:Jacob was terrified to face his brother whose blessing he had taken through deceit.We are who we are without our gang of admirers and our game (schemes to hide the truth we fear)We cover ourselves with people or activity to cover our lies, selfish schemes, rebellion, or habits of failureWe role play what we wish to be and when games don’t work, we nurse our grudges & guilt => depressionUntil we are alone in a face to face encounter with God (Games are over)Jacob did not realize until dawn that his encounter was with GodGod taught Jacob how to face up (fess up) and fight honestly. When all is said and done…It’s not who fought the hardest, but who comes out clean and without mud from the fightFight a clean fight whether the one you wrestle with is willing to do so or notDirty fighting goes where it hurts the most: It’s important to win and have the last word, or is it?When God allows or invites us to wrestle with Him, His constant goal is to make us overcomersHe wants to release from what we dread the most, our deepest inner fears and replace the vacuum with HimselfEven when God appears to be against us, He is for us. He wants to end our self-sabotage so He can bless us.I hate to have to hurt you… Bend your knee so I don’t have to break your leg… You’re going downHe opposes the proud, and gives grace to the humble… What causes us to resist His blessing has to go…He will “touch” the areas we have set up as blocks between Him and us even if they are for our “survival” (lie)Few things define us more than HOW we struggle… Tempted to compromise ends with means (“My way”)?When we struggle thru the crisis with God all the way to the blessing, we are gloriously redefinedPs 3:3 He becomes the lifter of my head; He covers my face with truth, not flatteryThe New Name we get is just between you and Him, not those who weren’t there in the struggleRev 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. Rev 3:5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. Rev 3:12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.In this world you will have trouble… But take heart! I have overcome the world.
22 With Joy The Bride Will Draw From The Well of Yeshua “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” Is 12:3Joyful labor: Are we drawing waters to give others freely and joyfully?Moses, Rebecca, Jacob drew waters to give freely for others’ sheep or camel and were soon rewarded with a spouse!The Fountain of Living Waters is forsaken for broken cisterns Jer 2:13The Samaritan woman who had lived with 5 men draws from Jacob’s well for Messiah Jn 4:4-42Promised Waters Is 55:1; 44:3; Jn 7: 37-39; Rev 7:17; 21:6; 22:1,17Courtesy Iris HirmasJer 2:13 My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.Is 55:1 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.Is 44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, Is 44:3 and my blessing on your descendants.Jn 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.Rev 7:17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."Rev 21:6 He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.Rev 22:1,17 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb … The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life Jn 4:14
23 The Hidden Bride Beth-El Mizpeh Gilgal Samuel’s circuit Ramah Samuel’s circuit from Beth-El to Gilgal to Mizpeh to Ramah:Beth-El House of G-D where Jacob received his first revelation of G-D Gen 28:15 Behold I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you till I have done what I promised you.”Gilgal: Josh 5:9: The the L-RD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you, so the name of that place is Gilgal to this day” 1st camp after crossing the Jordan entering the Promised land (manna stopped, time to fight and work, people circumcised) Base of operation from which they went to fight enemiesMizpeh: ‘mazpen’ is compass which shows direction and guides to our destiny which is to glorify G-D, ‘mazpun is conscience which helps us discern G-D’s will and obey it. ‘Zafun’ means hidden: When we follow the leading of our mazpen (compass), and when our mazpun (conscience) is true to Messiah in the Holy Spirit, we are dead and our life is “hidden” with Messiah in G-D. ‘Zofeh’ watchman on the mizpeh or “tower” where we can see most clearly: Ezk 33:7: “I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from my mouth, and give them warning from Me”Ramah: ‘high place’ a mountain top represents our heavenly home our eternal destiny: Having completed “his circuit to Beth-El, Gilgal and Mizpeh, Samuel returned to his home in Ramah.”Ramah“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Messiah in G-D. When Messiah, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Col 3:2-4
24 The Garments of Salvation Naked we come into this worldSwaddling infant in bands of linen (Ez 16:4-5)Naked we go out of this worldWrapping corpse in bands of linen (Jn 11:33-34)Isaiah 61:10I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, (Is 59:17) and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.Revelation 19:8Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints)Swaddling infants & corpses: Job 38:8-9; Ezekiel 16:4-5; Ecc 7:1-6 (4) = (sign of mortality & care)Birth of Yeshua, sign to shepherds: Luke 2:10-12Linen around Lazarus unwrapped: sign of resurrectionJerome, speaking of a womin who had been unjustly put to death, says, "They wrap the bloody corpse in a linen cloth" (Epist. ad tnnoc. 12). … Great quantities of linen strips were used to wrap Egyptian corpses. Woven linen being a gift of Neith, this goddess was one of the protective deities of mummified corpses. More specifically, the goddess of weaving Tait was considered to be the maker of all mummy wrappingsFirstborn of Miriam = Firstborn of the dead. Linen found folded in tomb.Isaiah 59:16-18He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due.
25 Four Tasks for the Faithful Bride Discipleship MandateRestore covenant relationshipsLive the Messianic kingdom ruleBe light and salt & reflect Messiah (yada yada yada)Stewardship MandateEquipped & pruned to bear fruitManage the Messianic kingdom resourcesPractice servant leadership in His houseProphetic (Missionary) MandateAmbassadors of the King out of Zion to the worldAnnounce the good news of the Messianic KingdomJoin in the harvest while there is still timePriestly (Spiritual Warfare) MandateRoyal Priesthood of Believers intercedesProclaims the Messianic victory (acceptable sacrifice)Brings kingdom light where darkness reignedThe Trousseau: Properly dressed, the bride can accomplish all tasks
26 Royal Priesthood of believers Emissaries of the Gospel G-D, The Great KingRoyal Priesthood of believersEmissaries of the GospelMediationMessageKingsInterpret LawMake LawExecute justice?PriestsProphetsPs 9:11: Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.Also 2 Kings 19:15 (Hezekiah) 2 Chr 20:5 (Jehoshaphat)Offices or positions in the Kingdom are essentially the same from OT to NTThey require humble submission to authority (Micah 6:8)Levitical priesthood became the royal priesthood of believers under Yeshua, the high priestProphets became the emissaries of the Gospel of the Great King (Great Commission)Rom 2:6-11 God will give to each person according to what he has done, to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.Democracy is the least of all evils in any human authority structure until the time comes when the King of the Nations will set up His rule on earth.Theocratic Model: Yeshua is the Head of the EkklesiaAnecdote:When Fenelon was Almoner to Louis XIV his majesty was astonished one Sunday to find, instead of the usual crowded congregation, only himself and his attendants, the priest, and the other officers of the chapel. "What is the meaning of this?" said the king; the prelate answered, "I caused it to be given out, that your majesty did not attend chapel to-day, in order that you might see, who came here to worship God, and who to flatter the King."Represent men before G-DPeopleRepresent G-D before menThree Offices: Priest-King-Prophet(Three branches: Judiciary-Executive-Legislative)
27 Discipleship Mandate: “Follow Me” Restoring Covenant Relationships Rules – Relationship = RebellionCovenant relations: Intimacy with Father regardless of earthly upbringing Ps 27:10; Heb 7:3Trust & Love: Can a father entrust himself to the children he loves? No. John 2:24-25; Mt 7:6Mentoring Disciples = Grooming Friendship for TrustworthinessFirst speak to their with words of wisdom & correctionThen allow them freedom within limitations to make choices Lk 19:17; Mt 25:23Consistency breeds trust & protects the rest of the flock: Discipline without delay Ecc 8:11Patience Persuades … Discretion Overlooks OffensesChanges take time 1 Th 5:14 ; Luke 13: 8-9; Prov 25:15Changes begin with self Mat 7:1-5; 1 Cor 11:31; 2 Cor 13:5Slow to anger Prov 19:11; Pr 11:13; 17:9; Prov 16:32Let G-D avenge Dt 32:35-36; Rom 12:19; 1 Th 4:6; Heb 10:30; Mt 5:41-42Gentle Confrontation Aims for Heartfelt ConfessionFirst confront in private face to face in order to preserve honor Matt 18:15-17Taking responsibility overcomes blame-shifting (1% = 100% my fault) Jas 2:10Don’t let focus on technicality divert from basic issue: attitude, motive Is 6:10; Jas 3:13-17Reconciliation Rests on the Ability to Ask, Extend & Receive ForgivenessAccept rebuke = swallow pride to discern good intent. Forgive = choose love over resentmentOnly the one sinned against can forgive, but knowing the full forgiveness from God enables releaseProof of Repentance is in Efforts at RestitutionRestoration requires tact Lev 19:17-18; 1 Cor 13:4; Pr 21:22; Matt 5:23-24When making amends is not possible, full repentance + humble acts of selfless service helpLeave Ultimate Resolution to G-D‘Let G-D judge between you and me’ Gen 16:5; 31:43-50; 1 Sam 20:23,42; 1 Sam 24: 12-15G-D’s promise: All who turn their to Him will be perfected in faith, sanctified & vindicatedAsher (Keith) Intrater’s book Covenant relationships: A Handbook for Integrity and Loyalty.Stages of responsibility and covenant loyalty: DiscipleshipOf all the ways God would have chosen to describe Himself He picked "Father." The heart of a loving father is the closest thing to the true nature of God. Yeshua spoke to God in prayer with intimacy and trust, as a son would speak to his dad. As God looked over eternity at all the souls of men who were to be created, the man with the instinct and inclination closest to His own heart as a father was Abraham. But God wanted more. He wanted to "squeeze the juice" of the fathering spirit from this man in order to impart it by faith to all generations. God's "squeeze" had three steps: 1) Promise Avram to become the father of many nations, in fact, of all the nations of believers. 2) Make him wait and wait and wait and wait and wait for 100 years. 3) Ask him to give up his son as a test of love and faith. What did Isaac see in his dad that enabled him to climb up on that altar in perfect trust knowing he was about to be slaughtered? I believe the answer is in two words: Integrity and Intimacy. Isaac knew how true Abraham's love was for God; how Abraham would only want what was good for Isaac. He knew of his gentleness and generosity. He knew his dad's faith in God was deep, healthy, and secure. He was not a religious fanatic, but a man of covenant loyalty. The trustworthiness of his dad's heart was more real to him than the knife in his hand. Being a good father is the most important task in the world. It is more than a science; it is an art. In the nature of God we see intimacy, authority, wisdom, patience, generosity, a desire to play, provide and protect, and a willingness to self-sacrifice. There is a deep satisfaction in the heart of God to spend time and communicate with His children. He is happy when we are just with Him. The art of fathering is just as much at work in discipleship and mentoring as it is in a physical family. Paul referred to Timothy as his "son" in the faith (Philippians 2:22, I Timothy 1:2, II Timothy 1:2, 2:1) as well as Onesimus (Philemon 1:10). He referred to his own pastoral work as a father (I Corinthians 4:17, I Thessalonians 2:11). So did John (I John 2:1, 18) and Peter about his disciple Mark (I Peter 5:13). May we be good children to our heavenly father (Proverbs 10:1), and may we be good spiritual parents to the children and disciples He has given us.“As a father, I demonstrate love towards my children without entrusting myself into their hands. Certainly, while they are small, they are in no position for me to be able to entrust my own life to them. I train them to obey me so that I can bring them to the point of becoming as adults my closest friends and trusted companions. Every area of responsibility serves as a trial run for the next area of greater responsibility. Jesus taught this increasing stewardship in the parable of the 10 talents (Lk 19:17; Mt 25:23)“As the principal of a covenant high school, I have had many opportunities to analyze the motivations of teenagers. One excellent method is to gather the adolescents together, speak sincerely to their hearts with words of wisdom and correction, and then allow them freedom within limitations to make choices. They will follow those words of wisdom or reject them. Within that sphere of freedom to choose, one can observe how the adolescents react with the words of direction: that is the test of character. Some will perform the absolute minimum required by the letter of the words. Some will rebel and break the instruction. Others will seek to understand what was said and fulfill the heart of wisdom contained in the words. It is the struggle with the words of instruction, to digest the spirit of what was intended, which demonstrates a high level of motivation and character. When a young person can be seen meditating on the words and seeking to fulfill them, as he grows into adulthood, he will be a likely candidate for a trustworthy covenant friend2. Maintaining integrity in covenant relationships: Sin is not a thing done for itself, it is debt to another… God’s business is to repair fractured relationships. We are on a Mission: Seek and Restore!When confronted with issues of right and wrong the guilty party tends to press the issue of technical violation of procedure (“legalistic foul”) in the hope the case against him/her will be disqualified. The guilty spirit tries to divert attention from what he or she did. Ex: Pharisees focused their attention on what day of the week it was and whether or not the disciples washed their hands rather than forgiveness and healing.Isaiah 6:10 quoted in John 12:40 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.Making amends: I cannot back my brothers who are dead, but I have you. Come and become my business partnerJohn 15:14-16 You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.In full covenant partnership with the Father, the Bridegroom repairs broken walls and restores the bride to wholeness
28 2. Stewardship Mandate“Where in all of Egypt could I find a wiser man than you! Surely the Spirit of God is with you! I will put you in charge over my house and all the land of Egypt.”We all have dreams & ambitions“A dream … depends in part on the action of the dreamer”We are fully equipped. Gifts submitted to G-D = True charisma → produces character → True character is evidenced by fruit of SpiritGrow in discernment & wisdomThe L-RD can empower for public service & influence in ways that exceed one’s educationWe need the Spirit of G-D for discernment & wisdom.Dressed in humility: the way up is always downDiscipline: G-D opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble Prov 3:34 G-D humbles those he intends to exalt Mt 23:11-12Humble yourselves, therefore, under G-D's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time 1 Pet 5:6Nothing serves us better in high position than our lessons learned in low positionWork ethics: Give it all you’ve got (your best)Never mistake the harvest years for the leisure years“Enlarge my borders” (Prayer of Jabez) – But am I serving in the borders He has given me?Those faithful in a few small things will be put in charge of much more Mt 25:21A dream together with its interpretation is only a prediction, a potential but not yet an actual event. Its realization depends in part on the action of the dreamer” -Jewish Commentary (Gen 41:33-49)Property vs Dominion: Property is a tangible object that may be owned privately (toothbrush), jointly (house) or in common (roads). Dominion is what I am responsible over (stewardship), including property, time, space, rights, and privileges.Mt 23:11-12 The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.THE SEED In the Far East the emperor was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided to do something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.” The children were shocked, but the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today - one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor.” One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it, carefully. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Ling didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by -- still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick at his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other children laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey, nice try.” When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today one of you will be appointed the next emperor!” All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. He thought, "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!” Then Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he Is the one who will be the new emperor!” If you plant honesty, you will reap trust. If you plant goodness, you will reap friends. If you plant humility, you will reap greatness. If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory. If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony. If you plant hard work, you will reap success. If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation. If you plant faith, you will reap miracles. So be careful what you plant, now; it will determine what you will reap tomorrow. The seeds you now scatter will make life worse or better for you or for the ones who will come after you. Someday you will enjoy the fruits or you will pay for the choices you make.Two thousand years ago someone else told the same story with fewer words, "What you sow, so shall you reap". If you know who said this, nothing else needs to be said. -- Author UnknownIt is to my Father’s glory that you bear much fruit Jn 15:8
29 3. Missionary Mandate Ambassadors of the King Missionary credibility Jn 17:21-23Love one another in unity Jn 13:34-35No other Gospel: Missionaries must come from a community of believers united in a common confession of faith on all fundamentals of the Gospel Gal 1:8-10Disciple all NATIONSFrom Jerusalem → ends of the earthTo be a faithful witness to the Risen One to all apart from denominational affiliationAccomodation, Not SyncretismPaul’s principle 1 Cor 9:21-23Ecclesial polity & Unity 1 Cor 10:28-30Teamwork Luke 10:1Covenant alliance – Eccl 4:9-12Prayer – Matt 18:19-20G-D’s Order: To the Jew FirstMissionary Credibility & Paul’s Principle of Accomodation (today renamed ‘contextualization’)1 Cor 9:20-23 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.Controversial Challenges in Missions:- How to avoid contextualization from opening the door to syncretism that threatens to dilute gospel so basics are lost- How to avoid the slouching of ecumenistic approaches towards apostasyNetworking as an effort to replace ineffectual interdenominational cooperationThe Padua Declaration, German/EnglishMay they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:23
30 4. Priestly Mandate Royal Priesthood of Believers Overcomers discern because they have no more identity crisisDiscern the spirits: oppressed, not demon-possessed, perplexed, not despairing Cor 4:7-9Garment of salvation = Put on Messiah = give no confidence in the flesh Is 61:10-11Greater is He that is in you than He who is in the world 1 Jn 4:4Overcomers approach the throne boldly in prayer, then face the enemySubmit to G-D, resist the enemy Jas 4:7Stand on the Rock with full armor, walk in truth Eph 6:13-18; 2 Cor 6:14Wrestle not with flesh, but with spiritual forces 2 Cor 10:3-5; Eph 6:12Overcomers glory in the L-RD’s goodness & seek His face alwaysRoyal priests mighty in praise rejoice 1 Pet 2:9; Lk 10:20Overcome evil with good Rom 12:21Watchmen on the wall & guardians of the bride’s Is 61:6-11 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. 8 "For I, the L-RD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the L-RD has blessed." I delight greatly in the L-RD; my soul rejoices in my G-D. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign L-RD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.2 Cor 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor 4:7-9 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 1 Cor 4:4-5 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. Jude 9-10 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them. Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.Delegated authority = “By My Spirit”The L-RD rebuke you – Jude 9-11The Battle is the L-RD’s – 1Sam 17:47Badge: Seal of Holy Spirit – Eph 1:13The Bride is dressed with the fruit of the Holy Spirit