On the man.
The Covenant of Abraham.
The Covenant of Moses
The New Covenant
This is the day that the Lord has made
Yeshua - The Salvation
pseudo-Christian betrayal of the Israelites - Part 1
Jesus at work to fulfill his promises in Israel? - Part 2
defend the Gospel against the "Friends of Israel". -
Part 3 Discourse 1113
teaching of the Messianic Jews - the Analysis. -
Part 4 Discourse 1114
God’s covenant with all human beings
Jacob Damkani grew up in Israel. His parents were Jews who immigrated from
Persia. As a young man he found his way to Jesus. Today he is a confessing Messianic Jew, and
maintains a service in Israel under the name “Trumpet of Salvation to Israel”. This service is
aimed at the goal of making the Jews acquainted with their Jewish Messiah Yeshua. In Hebrew, the
name Jesus becomes Yeshua. Messianic Jews like to speak of Yeshua even when using other languages,
because the European pronunciation of Jesus is often incorrectly transposed by Jews into Hebrew as
“Yeshu”. This word is an abbreviation for “jemach schmo we zikhro” (“May his name and
memory be blotted out”). In a Jewish context this is the equivalent of a term of abuse, and is
associated with the Christian persecution of the Jews
The Lord is calling whosoever hear him, to set himself apart for Him and that is
when the life becomes so beautiful and so colorful, with a great purpose and you just go through
life way above the world that continuously chase after vanity. There is such a joy in the holy walk
that if this world knew anything about it, they would search for it. The holy walk that really
brings joy and gives meaning. What a privilege it is to be people who are determined to set
themselves apart for God, when no one knows, no one sees, set themselves apart for God. And I know
this is your heart’s desire, or otherwise you wouldn’t be here. This is your heart’s cry or
otherwise you wouldn’t have gone through all this until here.
We are going to learn about evangelism, how to really relate the Jewish gospel to the Jewish people in the Jewish way. There is not a certain technique. We can not tell you how to start a conversation, which words to use or what to say. The most important thing is for you to understand the heartbeat of this people, why they think and feel the way they do towards Jesus, the church, the Christianity. And if you will understand the mindset of this nation and where they are coming from, then the sky is the limit of how you, in your own way can relate the gospel for this people.
To my sorrow, most of the church has very limited understanding of how Jews think, why they feel the way they do, how they perceive Jesus, the church or the Christianity. Very few people in the church really understand the very foundation that lies in the heart of the Jewish nation. It is very important that you will really understand this people. And then God will show you the way. God will give you the ability to really bring truth to them from the Old Testament, from where the Jews are coming from. Unless a person is convinced from the Old Testament that his identity is not being jeopardized, they will not listen to any religion you might want to pass on them.
To my sorrow, a lot of Christians do not really understand that Jews do not have to
be converted to any other religion; they do not have to leave their heritage and their Jewish faith,
because if God gave identity to any group of people, He gave a really clear identity to Jewish
people. It is not meant for them to leave their identity and to become something else, to become
Christians. In the mind of Jewish people the Christianity is something else than what you think that
the Christianity is.
For us to really understand these people, we want to take a look at the covenant that God made with Israel. If the person doesn’t understand the character of God and who God really is through the covenant that He made with Israel, we misunderstand Him. We will not get a clear picture of God. We want to take a look at the covenant that God has established with Israel. We will learn about the covenants in order to really understand these people, what God called these people to be and how He brought salvation, blessing and light to all the nations through them.
Before we get to Abraham, I want to touch the subject of Adam and Eva briefly. When
God created Adam and Eva, everything was perfect until they were disobedient to God. There you see
the marvelous character of God, the holiness of God. It was the holiness of God who could not
tolerate sin, which pushed Adam and Eve from his presence. In other words, God must bring sin to
judgment. Sin separates us from God. He could not tolerate Adam and Eve now. God and his holiness
pushed the sinful nature away from His presence. Other gods may tolerate sin. There are all kind of
gods, but the true God we are talking about, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can not tolerate
sin and He pushed Adam and Eve away from His presence.
As God is holy, God is also love. These are the true main attributes, perhaps the only attributes. When there is love, there is patience, there is humility and all the rest, but the main issues of God, the main attribute is that He is holy, holy, holy, the Lord God Almighty. And what the holiness of God rejects, His love can not embrace. And God so desired to embrace the man back to himself. To bring man back to the very place from where he had fallen from. Before Adam and Eva had sinned, they walked with God, they talked with God, and they felt with God, it was just a marvelous union between God and Adam. He wants to bring them back. He wants to bring Adam – you and I – to the very place where we have fallen. His love is beginning to long for Adam and Eva to come back.
So what is He doing? How is He going to do that? He is choosing Abraham. He is choosing Himself a nation. He wants this nation to reveal Himself to the entire world. This is the heart cry; the desire of God’s heart that the man will come back to the union with Him in the spirit for God is the Spirit. He is not set of rules, traditions and ceremonies. He is Spirit. He wants to come and to dwell within us. He wants to guide us as He did with Abraham. He wants to take us by hand and show us the way. He wants to guide us as He guided David. He really wants to guide us and to bring us to union with Him by the Spirit and to give us the life and abundance. Overcoming life, congruent life. He wants us to be true children of His.
God loves us. He greatly loves us, with great love, with unfailing love. Our love is
very much conditional; our emotions are changing, our attitudes change, our personality changes. He
does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His love is surpassing our tiny little
mind that we have. His love is something magnificent, awesome, powerful, true, and everlasting. And
He loves us so much, that He created us to His own likeness, to His own image. He wants us be
confident about that love, and to trust in that love.
It is awesome to get to know such a God who accepts us the way we are, wherever we are in this life; just to know that He accepts us just the way we are. Let the complex attitude of “am I holy enough, good enough, righteousness enough” be over the religious people. He has come and He has won all these other gods. People are really fearful and are trying to please god with all kind of nonsense, but He is calling us to absolute confident in Hs love and He begins to prepare the way that we will come to this love.
We will go through a covenant in which we see how He begin this marvelous path that He is lying before us that we might be able to recognize Him through the covenants. And come to Him confident not because of someone whispering into our ear “you are beloved, you are ok, you have done well”, not because we look certain way, or dress certain way and have a certain money in the bank or have a certain position but because we will really hear Him; ugly or beautiful, poor or rich, sick or healthy, white or black, whatever we are; however we look like, that we can come to Him with absolute confidence and again, with real assurance God is love. He loves us as we are.
The history of Israel begins with Abraham in Genesis, chapter 12. Here He begins to bring the promises He was talking about in Genesis chapter 3: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel”. God is now paving away how Messiah is going to crush Satan's head. We are told, how He is going to come, where He is to born, when He is to arrive. All the information of the Messiah, who will really crush the serpent is given us in the Scriptures, in the Old Testament. God is really going to war, to crush Satan's head and to bring Messiah into life, to bring Him on earth. He is choosing a nation, through which He is going to come and bring the victory over Satan and establish this victory in the heart of man that he will simply come to the loving God.
We begin with Genesis chapter 12, the first three verses, where the history of Israel started: “The Lord said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” That is where the history of Israel actually begins. Beautiful! Now we are going to talk about this covenant. What do you see God is promising Abraham in this marvelous passage, that is the very foundation for all the rest of the covenant, which God established with Israel? This is the very foundation on which all other covenants are being built upon. God is promising Abraham a country and this is a particular country, the particular piece of land that God has chosen for Himself, known as Israel. We are not going to talk about the borders but this particular piece of land that God has chosen for Himself. And now He is telling Abraham to go from his country to this land, the land God will show him.
God is also promising Abraham a seed. Isaac was not around yet, and Abraham and Sara were old. They had no children, no heritage, nothing. But God is promising him a seed, “ you will become a nation”. A seed through which a nation will raise; later on as you well know, Isaac, Jacob, the twelve tribes, Israel. And God is also promising that this nation will be a blessing to all the families of the earth.
You come to understand that God is a missionary God. He is a missionary. Here in Israel the missionary word is very evil word. If you tell the religious that you are a missionary, they will kill you! The missionary word is in a wrong context. But God is a missionary. When He chose Abraham, he thought about all the families of the earth. Man may twist things, take the things of God and twist them, but God is a really missionary God. Later on in the words of the prophets He promises: “Your nation will be a light to the nations”. So no matter what people say about missionaries, about how we are not allowed to do missionary work in Israel, it is only because these people do not really have a message. Anyone who really has a message, anyone who has experienced God in the spirit, cannot hold the marvelous news for himself, cannot keep it for himself. Just like the Apostles told the Sanhedrin: “Judge yourself, shall we obey you or God”. We cannot hold this news for ourselves. There is arisen Lord, the Lord who has come to redeem, to forgive, to reconcile man to Himself. There is the Lord who has come to provide all that the heart of man ever needs. We cannot hold silent, we cannot keep this to ourselves. We have to go and tell it.
Even when in rabbinical Judaism of today the word missionary is destroyed word - they think that you destroy souls if you are a missionary - it is only because they do not have a message. What can they tell people, tell the Gentiles? Separate milk from meat? Cover your head? Get into all the ceremonies that the Lord has clearly come against? What is the message apart from Yeshua that Israel can give to the Gentile world, to the nations? Bunch of ceremonies of how to really become a Jew? All technical issues about Judaism when all the Lord really desires is to take the heart of stone and give us a new heart and a new spirit?
It is important to understand here that this covenant is an unconditional covenant. This is really important. An unconditional covenant. This has nothing to do with Abraham, nothing to do with his descendants, but everything to do with God. We must understand this. It has everything to do with God and nothing to do with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob or the twelve tribes, nothing to do with Israel as a nation but everything to do with God Himself.
In other words, God has chosen this nation to show the world, to show all the creation throughout the ages that He is more than capable of speaking into the heart of this nation, into the life of this nation, capable of fulfilling everything He spoke of them, and capable of bringing it to pass. God is showing here when choosing the nation that He can speak ahead of time into the life of this nation and bring all His promises, all of His word to pass concerning this people. When you look at the relationship of God with this nation you can really see that this God is all wise, powerful, almighty, the sovereign God, the ruler of the universe. He has spoken to this nation for 4000-5000 years now and everything He spoke about them came true. Can’t you see that I am God? Where is a god who can speak about the nation and bring everything he spoke about to pass? Where is such a god in this earth but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who spoke about that nation and everything He says has become reality? That is why we can be sure that the rest of His promises, which is about 20 percent, will become true, too. 80 percent of what He spoke about have come to pass and this is concerning Israel as a nation and 80 percent of His promises concerning Yeshua as a person also have been fulfilled. If anyone with a head on the shoulders would examine the Scriptures and see the relationship between the word of God to the nation of Israel and to the person of Yeshua, he ought to see that there is a capable God, God who speaks and what He speaks He fulfills. Such a God we have.
This is one and perhaps the only reason for God to choose Israel: to show Himself mighty, to show Himself indeed souvenir, capable and most powerful. The life of this nation has really proved it as well as the life of Yeshua. The unconditional covenant.
The Jews are very funny people and they are always trying to take the credit for themselves. They have a lot of stories about why God chose Abraham. They don’t recognize the fact that it is just the grace of God, which has nothing to do with Abraham. All of a sudden God was talking to Abraham. He chose this man. Surely God saw his heart, truly God knew that this man would respond to Him but really it has nothing to do with Abraham. You cannot give any credit to Abraham and say that Abraham was a great, righteous; holy man with a beautiful heart and that is why God chose him. This is nothing but grace. Just like you cannot tell anything about yourself. None of us can say anything about ourselves concerning God’s choice. It is nothing but the grace of God and the love of God who opened our eyes and it is nothing but grace of God that chose Abraham and took him to be useful to His purposes upon the face of the earth.
Jewish people have this story that the Father of Abraham, Terah, was an idol-worshipper and he was building idols and statues and selling them. One day Abraham saw one of the idols broken got up in the night and broke them all. When Abraham’s father came to Abraham and asked him what had happened, Abraham told him: “If they were gods, they could have taken care of themselves; why do you worry about such gods.” According to rabbis that is the reason why God chose Abraham. Nice story to have some credit for ourselves.
Take a look at Abraham now; how God is building up faith in the life of this man. He calls him from Ur of the Chal’dees, which is Iraq of today. In that country people always lived by the riverside, where the water was. God is calling Abraham from his homeland to the desert. He actually brings him to Be’er Sheva, to the place without rivers and likes, to the place where he really is going to be dependent on God. A place where He is going to grow in faith, establish his faith and really be dependent on God. God brings Abraham to a place, where He actually wants him to be.
I want to go through a few verses. Take a look at the character of Abraham. What a beautiful character when he just really recognizes God for who He really is. Perhaps Abraham was like that and that is why God chose him. Perhaps the fact that God had revealed Himself to Abraham had really worked this marvelous character in Abraham. When the split between Abraham and Lot took place, Genesis 13:9 Abraham tells Lot: “Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” What a heart we see here! A heart that does not demand his own way. A heart that is willing to go an extra mile for a person just to preserve peace, just to really have peace. Blessed be the peacemakers. This is one of the most beautiful things that we can establish in our own hearts: to be able to give rather than receive, as the Lord says. Giving is far better than receiving. I am willing to give you; you go to the right, I’ll go to the left or you go to the left, I’ll go to the right. It does not matter that there is green there and desert here, it does not matter that there is rivers and the green pastures there, I’ll go to the desert. I am trusting God, He is going to take care of me. I am not going to have a fight with you. It always takes two people to make a fight.
When you are in the street, and you begin to share the gospel with people and someone comes and starts having an argument with you with a nature of fight, you will not stand there with the nature of fight. You will not argue back. If you will be humble enough and you will recognize the confronting spirit of fighting, use humility and humbleness and walk away. A person will become violent once you begin to really argue harder and harder and getting him even madder. Such a person can work himself into physical violence. His eyes begin to change, the tonus of his voice begins to change, and before you will know, he becomes violent. The whole idea is to talk to someone who is open and willing to talk. Talk to him. Open the Scriptures. Share with him. If he wants to fight, go away. Shalom, shalom.
Let’s look at the chapter 17. We will take a look at the nature of the covenant here. We learn a lot when we take a look at the word covenant. In this chapter you realize that the Lord repeated the word covenant twelve times with Abraham. He wants Abraham to be sure that He is going to keep His part of the covenant with Abraham. The only thing Abraham and Jews have to keep in this covenant in order to remain within the border of this covenant is circumcision. So you take eight-day old baby and you circumcise him. Does this baby know anything about the Law of Moses? Does he know anything about eating pigs, keeping the Shabbat, or about the temple service? Eight-day old baby does not know anything about all this. You circumcise him in the flesh and he enters into the household of Israel. He enters into the covenant and becomes a Jew, a Hebrew. It is about becoming a Hebrew, from the word avar, to pass. He is passing from one place to another. He is passing from this world to another world. He is passing from Egypt to the Promised Land. He is passing from the ways of this world to the ways of God’s world, Hebrews. It is not for nothing that the word to do with Israel is Hebrews. The Hebrew language is marvelous when you get into the meaning of the words and into what God really means when He calls them Hebrews. He wants us to pass from this type of life to the life with God. So when the eight-day old boy is circumcised he enters into the household of Israel, he becomes a true Hebrew, and if you like a Jew, which is a story in itself.
Who then is breaking that covenant? We see Gen. 17:14, which says: “Any
uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he
has broken my covenant.” So who is breaking the covenant? Only an eight-day old baby - or actually
his father, who is not circumcising him. Only a person who is not circumcised is not in the
covenant. As long as you are circumcised as an eight-day old baby, who does not understand anything,
you are in the covenant. It has nothing to do with the law, nothing to do with any commandments,
nothing to do with any rituals and traditions, nothing to do with the teaching of any rabbi, nothing
to do with anything expect from God. Can you take a look at that? And praise God for His
unconditional love and covenant! It has nothing to do with you, but has everything to do with Him.
He has never forsaken or left His nation. They are still His people and they will ever be His
people. This has nothing to do with them.
There are certain things in some Christian people that drive me crazy. To my sorrow there are people in the church who really think and believe the certain way. You meet them around the world. These people are telling me: “My grandmother was a little Jew, I am a little bit Jew as well, I have some Jewish blood in me” and so on. I do no understand how people are looking for that Jewish blood to have some joy or pride over their ‘Jewishness’. We need to understand, who we are in Yeshua the Messiah and that we were born of the Spirit of God. We received the circumcision of the heart. The circumcision that we read about here is a shadow of something greater that God has promised to bring and it has happened to you! If we only understood the magnitude and how awesome and beautiful this circumcision of the heart is! The circumcision of the flesh is for God to show who He is in the midst of the nation Israel. Because in Israel He is going to show all of His glory, all of His might and through His people He is going to bring judgment upon the earth.
The first coming of Yeshua had to do with Israel. Yeshua did not come out of the blue. The second coming of Yeshua also will have to do with Israel. Through this nation God is going to bring the Day of Judgment, the day of the Lord, which the Bible speaks about from the beginning till the end. It is to do with this nation, and to do with them even if they are in the flesh, because it all has to do with Him, with His plan and with His purposes.
To my sorrow most of the Israel has no clue about why God has chosen them and what they are all about. There is a lot of misunderstanding of who is a Jew. Many Jewish people would tell you: “I wish God had chosen the Swiss people, the Americans, the English people. Why us?” They do not really understand that it all has to do with the holiness and the might of God to bring the day of the Lord that has to do with this nation.
They are still His people even if they are away from Him, turning their back on Him,
spitting on Him. Here we are, born of His Spirit. It does not matter if you have Jewish blood in you
or not. You are born of His Spirit. You are far higher and far in a greater place with living God
than any Jew. You are indeed living children of God to whom you can really call Abba in the
In Genesis chapter 15 the Lord is repeating His covenant with Abraham 12 times making sure that Abraham understands that this is it. God is giving Abraham His word. In fact, to make sure that Abraham really understands, God puts Abraham into a deep sleep in chapter 15. I want to get a picture of what is going on here. Genesis 15:9-10 says: “So the Lord said to him, ‘Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.’ Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half.” God is asking Abraham to cut all those animals, except the birds and He is moving in a pillar of fire among those animals while Abraham is in a deep sleep. And again God is swearing in His name and again He is establishing the covenant, again to show us that “it has nothing to do with you Abraham, nor with your descendants. It has only to do with me”.
We see this in verse 12: “As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.” Abraham was in deep sleep. In order to get a picture over the situation, we will take a look at the verse 11: “Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.” This picture is literally a picture about what the enemy wants to do in our lives. The enemy is trying to steal away every blessing that God wants to bless us with, everything God wants to bring to our lives. But Abraham would drive the birds of prey away.
Here while Abraham is in a deep sleep, and God is establishing the covenant with him, God also tells Abraham that Israel will be 400 years slaves in Egypt, and that He will take them from there. It seems that God has a strategy. Before the crown comes the cross. Before the crown comes a real suffering. He does not give Israel the crown just like that, because they are His people. They would need to be slaves for 400 years before getting into the Promised Land.
We like instant blessings and crown, we think just to take them like that without the cross. But the cross comes before the crown, not only in the life of Israel, but likewise in the life of a true believer. No glory and no honor before you have been despised and put to shame. No blessing before persecution. Blessed be the persecuted. He tells in Matthew 5 that we will be persecuted. Israel likewise. Before God gives Israel His kingdom, which they have not received yet, they first of all go through slavery of 400 years. We as a nation have been going through tragedy after tragedy. And it has to do with our behavior and with our turning our back on God. But finally this nation will come to a proper place with God. As sure as God is God this day will come.
In Genesis 19:11 we see an amazing verse. This has nothing to do with the covenant, but I want to
bring it to you. This verse gives us a picture about what type of people we are dealing with in this
world. It was like that at that time of Sodom and Gomorra but it is the same even now, at this time
of history. Nothing has changed. The heart of man has remained the same. This is an establishing
verse: “Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness
so that they could not find the door.” After they had been so struck with blindness, you think
they would search themselves and realize with whom they had come in touch with: Almighty God. But
no, they keep looking for the door. Blind, and keep looking for the door. When man is being consumed
with sin, he has no eyes to see, no heart to think, no mind to use. It is unbelievable. These guys
have been struck to blindness and rather than walking away shamefully, with really understanding
that they have something to deal with, they keep looking and trying to find the door. What does that
tell us? That people are so consumed with sin that you can really share the gospel with them day and
night and they just will not listen. They just will be careless.
But the fact is that we do not know what kind of type the people are, unless we start talking to them. We will start conversation with whomever God will bring to our way, and see the respond. We will get wisdom from God, whether we are to continue or not. Whether we are to build stone upon stone in their hearts or whether we are to leave them. There are people that you can tell everything, and even do all the signs and wonders, but who still do not want to see anything. It is important to understand that when we go into evangelism, we need the wisdom from God to know, when to enter into a conversation and when not. It is beautiful to have a privilege to share to gospel with people.
There are a few more important things to understand about the Covenant of Abraham before we go to the next covenants. In Genesis 22:5 there are some real diamonds I thought talking to you about. This has to do with Abraham taking Isaac to the altar. When we speak about worship, many of us have different kind of understanding of what worship is all about. I want us to know what is worship in the sight of God. What worship, if you even like a prayer, what it really is in the sight of God. Yeshua commanded us to pray in Matthew 6: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…” He does not tell us in which kind of form to pray, He does not tell us to get on our knees, or to lift up our hands. He does not tell us to dance. He does not tell you to pray this way or that way. A person can pray in so many ways; fall on your knees, lift up your hands and so on. People have many forms of praying. Yeshua does not tell us in what kind of form to pray, neither does He tell us where to pray. But God is looking for people who pray in Spirit and in truth. Sometimes we feel that someone who is praying with great voice, aloud, dances or shouts, is really praying and worshipping. Get out of this nonsense. Somebody who is really quiet, and you think is might need a spiritual awakening, may be much more alive than someone dancing and shouting. It can be the other way around, too. We will never know. But do not demand from anybody else to pray in your way. And do not think someone is less spiritual than you because you pray in a certain way and you think this is it. Yeshua never told us how to pray, and in which form to pray.
So what is the worship all about? The first time the word worship appears in the Bible is in Genesis 22:5. It is written: “And Abraham said to his young man, Abide you here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” Abraham is feeling agony in his heart. He is going through such things that it is even impossible to describe. He is going to put his son, Isaac, on the altar. This is an act of worship. Real and absolute obedience to God. “You stay here”, he tells to this young man, “I am going to worship God.” Such worship that has nothing to do with singing, nothing to do with dancing, nothing to do with whatever else you might think the worship is in the church. He is going to worship God and take Isaac to the altar, to obey the holy One of Israel, and giving the one thing that is so close to his heart and to his life, the one thing that means to him more than anything else, his beloved son Isaac. He is going to worship God; he is going to give Isaac on the altar. An act of worship.
Today we think that worship is something else. I am not saying that singing and dancing is not worship; it is a beautiful way of worshipping. But worship that has to do with obedience to God’s will in the life of His children pleases God the most. This is the worship that moves the heart of God. A prayer that you can pray continuously when you are doing the dishes, walking or driving. You can pray anytime and have time of worship with the Lord, in silence when you are in your bed, taking a shower, on your knees. People think that you need to be in a particular place in order to worship, and that there are places which are unclean for worship. But forget about it! Wherever you are, sing unto Him and worship Him.
Lord, we come before with thanksgiving for this marvelous covenant that You have established with Abraham, later on with Isaac and Jacob. How great You are. How faithful You are, Lord. May we now the covenant of blood You have established with us by the blood of Yeshua. May us understand how beloved we are in Your sight, that we are the object of your love and affection. How we have indeed become your friends, your children, redeemed, stamped in the book of life. How we have become the apple of Your eye. Partakers of the promises of Israel. Yeshua, thank You. To the glory of God, our Father, may You establish and root deep in our hearts who we are in Your sight, God. Let us understand this whole covenant, which You have established with Abraham, and later on with us, as we continue to see the covenants that You have established with Israel and with mankind. In Your name forever and ever. Amen.
Briefly again, the covenant of Abraham is unconditional. I want you to remember
this. That covenant has nothing to do with Israel, but everything to do with God.
The next covenant we will learn about is the Sinai covenant, the covenant of Moses. It is really called the Covenant of Sinai. We will take a look at the differences between these two covenants. A number of years have passed since God made the unconditional covenant of Abraham and now Israel is coming out of Egypt, slaves coming out of Egypt, and receiving another type of the covenant as a nation. But this covenant is totally different.
I will share with you all these matters of these covenants so that you will understand where the Israelis are coming from, why they feel the way they do, why they think the way they think. When you will understand their mindset and their heartbeat through the covenants, hopefully you will know how to relate the gospel to them from the point they are coming from.
You can see the Sinai Covenant in many different passages and forms, but here we will take a look at it in Exodus Ch. 24:3-8, which says: “When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice: ‘Everything the Lord has said we will do.’ Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said. He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offering to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded: ‘We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.’ Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.’”
The covenant of Abraham had to do with blood. When you take an eight-day old baby and you circumcise him, blood needs to be poured out. The mochel, the circumciser will make what ever it takes to squeeze blood from the baby, or otherwise it is not exactly entering to the covenant of Abraham, to the covenant with God. There must be blood. Blood is essential for the covenant. With Moses likewise, he is sprinkling the blood on the altar and on the people. He really is sprinkling the blood to establish the covenant because every covenant that God established with His people has to do with sacrifice, with the blood.
What makes this covenant different from the covenant of Abraham? It is essential for us to understand in order to understand the Israelis. They might not understand it from this point of view but when you will understand this, you will understand these people.
This covenant is very clear. It is a conditional covenant, unlike the covenant of Abraham. There is a great deal of conditions in this covenant. This is a big difference between these covenants. How did God convey His grace to His people in the Sinai covenant? If you sin in this covenant, you will pay for it, if you sin, you will die. There are all kinds of real punishments for sinful people. The price of sin is death. There is a lot of law and judgment here and if you will not keep it, you are to be judged.
But God gives a way to escape. God gives a way with His grace. We have a merciful God. And how is He going to convey grace to His people in the framework of this covenant? We have the priest, we have the high priest, and we have the altar and the sacrifices. Rather than you dying for your sins, you will bring the sacrifice, you will lay your hands on the sacrifice, you will confess your sins, and you will sacrifice the animal. The animal will die for you, for your sins, and this should move you with a repenting heart, with real fear and the change of heart when you will recognize that it should be you on the altar, dead. But God by His grace is putting that lamb in your place that you might repent.
Here God gives us a way to escape: rather than you dying for your sins, the lamb will die. And you realize that Israel has brought the sacrifices and made a tradition out of it. We kept bringing the sacrifices to the temple, but our heart was not turning to God. And this whole issue of sacrifices, which is so firmly established in the Law of Moses has become nothing more and nothing less than a tradition. God sent the prophets and He is calling the people of Israel for the repentance: “I am not pleased with all those sacrifices, I want your heart, give your heart to me.”
This is not it, because actually the sacrifices were the shadow of the real thing, of Yeshua Himself. And so the prophets come and give us the prophecies about the day to come, when God is going to put an end to this temple, which is made out of stones, silver and gold. God will put an end to all these sacrifices and He will bring the ultimate sacrifice. He will come and unity you finally with Himself. He will circumcise you in your heart, take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. He will give you a new birth by the power of His Spirit. He will bring you the ultimate sacrifice of which all these sacrifices of the Old Testament were a shadow. They were a shadow of the real thing, Yeshua, about whom the prophets give us the identification into precise details: when He is to come, where He is to born, what He is to do, how He is to suffer, that He is to arise from the death, how He will provide forgiveness and on and on.
The Israelis have a lot of stories about why Israel was to receive the Law, and not another nation. There are a lot of fairy tales and legends, which take away the truth of God. Rabbis tell a lot of legends and to my sorrow many people listen and give their heart to such stories. You will try to bring them off from these stories but sometimes it is more real to them than the Word of God. Their grandparents did believe in these stories and they do also. I believed in them in one point of my life until I recognized the truth. Then I realized that these stories are just fairy tales.
It is essential to understand the sacrifice in this Law. Deuteronomy, chapters 28 and 29 are very essential chapters in order to understand the nature of this covenant, how it is a conditional covenant. There you have the blessings and the curses. Here the God Almighty says: if you obey, if you keep my commandments, if you keep this Law of Sinai, you will be blessed. If you do not keep all of them, you will be cursed. The law of Sinai is more than the Ten Commandments; we are talking about 613 commandments from the Scriptures here. And if you do not keep them all, it is very clear: cursed you will be. The sword will be on your back, the nations will justice you, and the land will throw you up. If you will not keep it, woe unto you. In the Hebrew it is a really strong word, ‘arurim tihiyu’, cursed you will be.
Let me make clear that the history of Israel is an indication of the fact that God is not joking; He means business with what He says in the Scriptures. When you take a look at the history of Israel, you will realize how true God is to every word persuading out of His mouth. The history of Israel is the sound of the trumpet in to the ears of the human race; if they only took a look at the Bible and the history of this nation, they would see how real God is with His word. How is it that people cannot see the reality of God, the true God, and the existing God when taking a look at the history of this nation? The land has bucked us from this country, once, twice, and as a matter of fact three times if you take the ten tribes into the consideration. Three times this land has bucked us out. First Amos came to the ten tribes and warned the nation: “Repent, turn to God”, but they did not listen to him, they just really scattered in the world. Then Judah was thrown out for 70 years; the land puked Judah out for disobedience. They came back after 70 years, rebuild the temple, rebuild Jerusalem. Then came the Messiah, and again there was disobedience. This time God gave the final revelation in Messiah Himself. But again they are despising Him and so the land puked the nation out once more.
And He brings us back again. Why does He do that? Do you remember the Covenant of Abraham? It seems as if God is bringing Himself to some kind of dissolution. On the other hand there is the Covenant of Abraham – no matter what, you are my people. This is your land, nothing to do with you, everything to do with me. The next Covenant says “woe unto you; you will be cursed if you do not keep all of the Law, and the land will puke you out. Soon we will see, how He solved the problem. As if God has any problems…
But there is this question sitting deep inside the hearts of the Jews: why are we going through all that we are going through? Why all these troubles? We are the chosen nation but for what did God chose us for, to suffer so harshly? When you really understand the covenants you can explain them, why this nation is going through all this. If they want to listen or not, is another matter. But at least you will have some details to work with in explaining them why are they going through all this because this is the question every Jew asks. Every Jew asks: if God chose us, why all this is happening to us? And in the end of our studying through the Covenants you will have an answer to all this. Biblical and true answer.
So this Sinai Covenant is really much conditional covenant. If they will not keep it, vow unto them. I want to share with you a very important incident I had when witnessing to one soldier in Jerusalem. I will never forget it and I think it will give you some marvelous insights to your own heart and to your relationship with God. This happened many years ago and I will never forget it. I was approaching a young soldier, very nice-looking man, tall and beautiful in every way, with a knitted kipa on his head. In Israel you have the ultra orthodox wearing black kipa and the religious nationalist who are serving in the army and wear a kind of knitted kipa on their head. He was one of those nationalists. Usually some of those guys would be in an elite unit in the army. When they go to the army, they really give themselves, precious men.
I began to share the gospel with him and there was a connection between us. This man was so interested. You could really see a serious and sincere man who desired to increase knowledge of God with a person who was standing next to him and talking to him. And he was hanging to every word coming from my mouth. First of all he was very surprised that I could caught him on the Scriptures. I know most of the Scriptures relating to Yeshua in the Old Testament by heart. And I began to really give him an understanding of what kind of Messiah we are to expect. I gave him Isaiah 53, Jeremiah 31, Daniel 9, Micah 5 and gave him a marvelous picture about the type of Messiah that the Scriptures promised to come for the first and foremost to redeem us from our sin, to reconcile us to God before He would bring His kingdom on earth. He was so tuned with me.
The point I really clearly draw to his mind was that we need the sacrifice, and the sacrifice is Yeshua. He is the end of all the sacrifices and He is the end of the temple made out of stones, silver and gold and if you come by faith to Him, you are justified through faith just like Abraham. Abraham was justified by faith. “Abraham believed in God and it was counted to him righteousness.” God called him to be a father to many nations; already knowing that through Abraham will come that seed, Yeshua, who will be a blessing to all the families of the earth. And He will make whoever comes by faith to be a partaker of the promises given to Israel, one with Abraham, a father of many nations.
I had explained him all about the need of faith in that sacrifice and also that salvation comes through faith and not through the work of the Law. No one will be justified by the work of the Law. We are all condemned, we are all guilty, and we all fall short. It is only through faith, and we have to put our faith to what God gave to us, the ultimate sacrifice, which the Old Testament so precisely speaks of in details.
When I finished my explanation, he looked at me and he asked me, if I knew, what does the word ‘kurban’, really means. Kurban in Hebrew means sacrifice. He asked me, if I knew what was this word really all about. I asked him to tell me about this word. He began to give me the roots of this word and explained me, what did the word really mean. I was astonished, first of all by his attitude and by his commitment to truth, as he understood it. What a committed man to truth. This word in Hebrew is made out of five letters. In Hebrew every word has the root of three letters in it. These letters create the root of the word. This man began to cut the word for me. Hebrew is a marvelous language, and you cannot do that with any other language but Hebrew. You can try to do this with any other language, but you can never do that as you can in Hebrew.
In this word kurban, sacrifice, the meaning of the word comes out of the word karev. The three letters of the word kurban are Hebrew letters kuf, reish and bet, (k,r,b) which is karev. Karev means come near. He tells me: “Look, kurban comes from the word karev. There is nothing more important to me in my life than to be near to God.” Karev, near, is the very root of the word kurban. And this man goes on: “Near God; there is nothing more important for me in my life than to be in the presence of God, to be near God. And the word kurban to me means that I will give everything and anything that might stand between God and me so that I might be near Him. I will sacrifice and to bring to my altar everything and anything that stands between God and me. I want to sacrifice it. That is kurban. I want to kill, sacrifice and give up everything so that I will be near to Him.”
The same spelling of the word karev, literally means also krav, fight. Nowadays of our history we always here about krav, about fights in different places where soldiers have died. The word krav, fight also is derived from the word kurban. And this man tells me: “If I really want to be near God and to sacrifice everything standing between God and me, I have to put a good fight. If I really want to be near God, I have to fight a good fight of my own heart and soul. I must fight the good fight.”
This word also comes from the word kravaim, which means the very inner being, the gut feeling. If I want to be in my inner feeling, deep inside, really close to God, near God, I am to put a good fight and sacrifice everything that stands between God and me.
This man looked straight into my eyes. I will never forget that. And he told me: “If I believe in what you are telling me now that Yeshua is my sacrifice, I am afraid I will no longer fight a good fight. I am afraid I will take it easy in life. If I put my trust in this Yeshua, my fight will not be real and I will perhaps take this grace of God for granted.” And he walked away. He walked away. And I could just cry out and scream all I wanted to him: “Oh, if you only understood the word of Paul that if you will really receive that grace, you will put a better fight. You will really fight a better fight with the Spirit of God than alone. When God will circumcise your heart and give you a new heart and a new spirit, you will be able to put a much better fight with the Spirit of God than you can of your own.” But he was gone.
Now, you have to ask yourself a question, beloved. Do you put the best fight that there is to put? What kind of walk do you walk with God? How important it is for you to be near God, to fight every matter of sin, everything that stands between God and you? What kind of fight do you fight in order to continuously be in the presence of God and rejoice the holy walk? Near God at all times. To my sorrow I think so many in the church have really given up of fighting the good fight for the Lord. And rather than us influencing the world, the world is influencing the body of Messiah. Rather than us walking the holy walk and having another type of live upon the face of the earth, and influencing the society, the society is influencing the church. This is very sad, but it is the truth. When you take a look at the religious people in this country, and when you realize the kind of life they give into what they believe is the truth, they can put to shame most of the Christianity. How vivid, how real and how serious they are with what they believe and with what they think is the truth, how they give their life to it, although it is all ceremonials, and rituals, traditions and although so much of it is man-made religion. If we gave our lives the way these religious do, to what we know the truth is, we would have a mark on this society, and a mark on this world.
We are talking about provoking them to jealousy. We are called to provoke the Jews to jealousy. When you take a look at the religious people here, they can provoke most Christians to jealousy with how much they are devoted, and how sincere they are with what they think the truth really is. This is very important for us to understand.
This covenant is a conditional covenant. Beloved, it is very important that we will
fight the good fight for the glory of God, for the honor of God. Life will become so colorful, so
purposeful and so much more beautiful. We will be a way above this world when we are determined to
fight the good fight, not taking the grace of God for granted, not taking the blood of Yeshua for
granted. Not thinking that the sacrifice was given and that’s it; we can go on with live, enjoy
salvation, enjoy your name being stamped in the book of life and that’s it; let us wait for the
day of the Lord for salvation, we are saved, the kingdom is to come and we are waiting for it. No.
We will be people that the Lord is describing in Matthew 25: People who are not only waiting with
the lamb full of oil but with their hands on the plow, using the talent, which God has given us.
That is why these talents, these two parables are appearing one after another.
It is important to understand this chapter 25 in the gospel of Matthew. We are not to be people who are only expecting the kingdom to come, with lamb full of oil and just waiting like the five wise virgins. Right after that parable there is another parable, which the Lord brings very purposefully, the parable of the talents. You will just take the talents God blessed you with. Everybody is gifted in one way or another. In one way or another every child of God is blessed. Take those talents and put them into good use in the good fight that you fight for the Master, for the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, for Yeshua. Let us not be people who are only fighting the good fight, who just forget about His coming and are work-alcoholic. The work becomes a habit; a tradition and they loose the touch of love with the Lord, waiting for His appearance. They forget all about love, about the personal touch with Him, about the union and communion with God. It is nothing for them now; they just want to work hard, to use the talents. That is not good. But neither it is not good only to wait for Him. These aspects need to be together. With a longing heart I am waiting for my groom, my lover, the lover of my soul to arrive. I am waiting for Him, I am in communion with Him, I am one with Him, I enjoy being at His presence. And at the same time, my hands are on the plow, serving Him. Both of these things together will make the life really exciting.
Let’s summarize all this briefly. We have the Covenant of Abraham, which is unconditional, no matter what. We have the Sinai Covenant, which is another thing all together, vow unto you Israel. As we talked about it, the fact that Israel has gone through all what it has gone through, their history is a solid declaration of the reality of God. God who speaks and performs what He speaks.
Father, we praise Your holy name. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. We thank You for the peace You have brought in reconciling man to yourself. We thank You for that everlasting peace, for that true peace that You have given us when we responded to Your call. We praise You that You have called us by Your grace and worked within us to respond to Your heart cry, so that man will return back to You, so that we would have peace deep within, first and foremost with You, then with mankind. We praise You for that peace that You have worked out in the Messiah, reconciling man back to You, Jew and Gentile alike, one family from every tribe, tongue and nation. You have accomplished Your promises to Abraham to be a blessing to all the families of the earth, the light to the nations. Blessed are the men, who will not stumble to the stone that You have lied in Zion. Father, forgive Your people for still rejecting that stone. We pray that the day will come Lord, and Your people will recognize You for who You are, Lord. Thank You for all Your love, for Your faithfulness and for the way You have kept Your promises to Your people. Speak to us Lord; keep enlarging the tent of our heart, and the knowledge of You so that we will get to know You as You really are. Thank You Father. Make us understand, who You really are through the covenants You have established with Israel so that we would become to realize Your holiness and Your righteousness, all that You are in reconciling man to Yourself in Yeshua the Messiah. To Your glory forever and ever. Amen.
We have come to understand really clearly that the Covenant of Abraham is an
unconditional covenant. Apart from the circumcision of the eight-day old baby, entering the
household of Israel, we have no conditions at all. We have taken a look at this marvelous covenant
that God has established with Abraham, and later on in the very same way with Isaac and Jacob. This
covenant has to do with God and God alone. All what has to do with Israelis is the circumcision of
the flesh, which really is a shadow of the circumcision of the heart, which God has promised to this
nation. In Ezekiel, chapter 36:25-26 we read a marvelous promise: “I will sprinkle clean water on
you, and you will be clean: I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I
will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.”
In the law we understand that God again and again commanded Israel to circumcise their hearts but in the end of the Law, Deuteronomy 30 He says, that He will circumcise the heart of the Israelis. God promises: “The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live” (Deut. 30:6). This is a marvelous promise and we are going to take a look of how the Almighty has accomplished that.
I want to start with the very last verses of the Old Testament. We will take a look at the book of Malachi, the last prophet of Israel and see, how the Old Testament is being finished up with a solid warning that this prophet gives to the people of Israel. Malachi, chapter 4:4-6, says: “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” We looked at the Covenant of Moses, the Sinai covenant, which very much is conditional covenant, opposite to the Covenant of Abraham. Please, read also the two chapters of Deuteronomy, chapters of 28 and 29. When you read these two chapters you come to realize how savvier this Sinai covenant is, in which God really gives Israelis such a warning: “If you do not keep this whole, the very details of it, you will be cursed”. We talked very carefully about the history of Israel, which is a solid way of God showing us, the mankind, that God means business with His word. He is not joking. The law was given us to show us how much we are in a desperate need of grace and of His salvation. The Law only shows us, how much we fall short from arriving to the holiness and to the righteousness of the Holy One of Israel.
Here Malachi is relating to Moses covenant. The last word in the Old Testament is the word ‘curse’. If you do not keep it all, according to Deuteronomy, the sort will be on your back, God will buck you from the Land, the nations will justice you, and you will see no peace. That is how savvier the Law of Moses really is. The Law of God given in Sinai.
400 years of silence after Malachi and we have come back from Babylon, build the
Temple and rebuild Jerusalem. we have come back and all of this has to do with the unconditional
covenant god made with Abraham. in other words, he may kick us out of here million times because of
the law of Moses, but he will bring us back here forever because of the unconditional covenant.
Because it has to do with his name, with his purposes, with his plan to bring the final redemption
and salvation: kingdom on earth that has to do with this nation he chose for himself. so no matter
how many times this nation will turn their back on god, they might be kicked out of the land but he
will always bring us back because of that unconditional covenant he has established with Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob.
After 400 years of silence we have come back home and all of the sudden Yeshua appears in the scene. Yeshua appears in the scene after the period of 400 years without prophets, 400 years without words from god. all of the sudden something great is taking place in this country. I will tell you a bit about things that happened here in the time of Yeshua, in the time of the second temple.
There were four groups of people in the land of Israel back then. The largest group was the Pharisees; the second group the Sadducees, then the Zealots and finally the Hessians. Those were the four groups of people living here back then. I will tell you a little bit about them. The heart cry of the Pharisees was that the whole nation would really obey the Law. By now the Law had become the set of rules and regulations, things that were not from the Scriptures. Even today there are external laws and more external laws and in the gospel you see how this group of people attack Yeshua, how they come against Him, blame His disciples for not washing their hands, or for picking up things in the Shabbat. They really took the spiritual Law of God and made something external out of it; something ceremonial and something that has missed the real thing of the Spirit, the oneness with God.
When you take a look at David you see that he was not so much about the issues of the law. he was so much caught up with god that he could come and eat from the showbread. he could eat the showbread and it was not a big deal for him. he knew his heart for god and he was walking with god.
The Pharisees come and their heart cry is that the whole nation would obey the Law of Moses, believing that if we can keep that Law, we will be fine. Everything will be fine in this Land; everything will be the blessing and not the curse. And remember that by that time their Law was far away from the biblical truth.
The Saccades were another type of people. They did not believe in life after death. For them life was here and now – get out of life as much as possible. It was important to them and that is why they got together with the Romans, got into political issues with Rome. The Pharisees were ready to give up their life on the earth to gain the eternal life, to gain the kingdom of God. For them the life after was really important and they were willing to arrive somehow into the life after. For Saccades life was here, now and today.
The Hessians were fed up with the corruption and the hypocrisy of the Temple. That is why they wanted to go to Qumran, to the caves of Judea, and have a holy life there. It is easy to be holy in the cave, when you are set apart from the people. But the Lord asked us to be in the world, but not of the world. The Lord called us to be the salt and the light of this world, to be in the midst of the world. God’s heart cry is that the men will turn back to Him, and to go the people and tell them about Him. How are you going to bring the world to God when you are somewhere in the monastery, or in some ghettos or in caves?
The Zealots were another type of people. They were fed up with the Romans and they wanted to have a revolution. They wanted to revolute against the Roma and set the nations free. For them it was all about the revolution.
These were the four groups of people in the Land of Israel when Yeshua appears in the scene. The Pharisees say: “Let’s go back to Sinai”. The Saccades say: “Let’s go ahead, let’s go on”. The Zealots say: “Let’s go against, against the Romans”. And The Hessians say: “Let’s go away!” This is the ways they looked at live in a nutshell.
In His teaching Yeshua really put the nation against the wall and made them realize that if they wanted to fulfill their destiny as the nation, which God had called for His own glory, it got to do with Him, Yeshua. If you want to keep the spiritual side of the Law, it is about Him. It is not about something external. Where your heart really is, that is where your treasures are. You can do all the external work, all the ceremonies, but it is about your heart. This is what the prophets kept on crying for: “I am not interested in your sacrifices and in your ceremonies, I am fed up with that, I want your heart to turn back to me”. Read the book of Amos for example.
To the Pharisees Yeshua says that the Law is not about the outwear appearance, the ceremonials, and the external work; it is about the inner man, the true worship of God inside you when no one sees. It is not about showing off with all these ceremonial issues.
To the Saccades Yeshua says that the world can go ahead and the fashion can change, but we are not to keep on with the way of the world. “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life. It is all about me. If you want to have the true way, you have to come to the map that God gives us through the Scriptures. The Law and the Prophets spoke about me, it is about me. I am the way. When you come in touch with me, you realize who I am, you will receive the Spirit and you will have the way, which God has paved in your heart. I have the way for you, and this is the way. I have come as the Prophets have promised. It is about me.”
To the Zealots He says: “It is not about the revolution, it is about the true worship. You learn to worship God.” In John 2 we see how the Lord began His ministry. For the first thing, He goes to the Temple and turns the tables upside down. During the first week of the Lord’s ministry, He is going to the Temple, turning the tables upside down: “How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” And He casts the money exchanges away, turns everything upside down with holy anger against the hypocrisy and corruption that was taking place in the Temple. He does the very same thing in the last week of His life. Right before He is to go to the cross, once again He goes to the Temple and does the same thing. You may wonder what is the point of this, because surely right after Yeshua left the Temple, they brought back all the business, the money changing, and the animals to sacrifice. At that time you could not bring your own sacrifice. If you brought your own lamb from Galilee, the priests would tell you it was not good, it was unclean, and so you needed to buy from them, with the cost which was about ten times more than the price of the lamb. This court, where the animals were, belonged to the Gentiles. The high Priest really sold places where people were able to sell their animals.
Yeshua comes and tells them: “If you really want to be people who will arrive to their destiny, you’d better worship God in Spirit and in truth. It is not about the revolution. The Romans are not the problem, just as the Arabs are not the problem of today. Your problem is that you are turning back to God. When you will get yourself straight with God, He will take care of your enemies. God will send your enemies away. And it is all about true worship.” So Yeshua tells those Zealots that it is not about the revolution, it is about the true ministry. He begins His ministry with the turning of the Temple upside down and He finishes His ministry with the turning of the Temple upside down, trying to bring the nation to understand the reality that they’d better worship God in Spirit and in truth, away from all these ceremonies and rituals, which have nothing to do with the Spirit and the teaching of our Lord, the Almighty God.
To the Hessians He says the same things: “It is not about where you are, it is about where your heart is. You can be in the desert, you can be in the cave and still your heart needs redemption. Your heart needs salvation. No matter how much you hide away before the Holy One of Israel, you are sinful. There is not one person in this earth who has not sinned before the Holy One of Israel.” The problem of man is that we are trying to justify our lives before Him with all kind of ‘do’ and ‘do not’ –commits and we will never match to the holiness of God and to His righteousness. Therefore He has come, He has provided righteousness, He has provided salvation and He has provided redemption that no man would boast but praise Him and give Him glory for the gift that He provided for the mankind, for the Jew and the Gentile alike – salvation. There is not such a thing called one truth for the Jew and another for the Gentile.
The Old Testament ends up with the word ‘curse’. When Yeshua became His ministry, in Matthew chapter 5, He turns everything around for His people if they only listened and obeyed. He begins with: “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I will share a few words about the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom is promised to Israel. When God chose Israel, brought them out of Egypt and gave them the Law, He never attended to give Israel a king. It was all about the judges, all about the prophets, all about the priests. These are the offices God has given to the people of Israel. We have entered the Promised Land, and not long after that the people of Israel come to Samuel and tell him to give them a king. “We want to be like the rest of the nation.”
Originally god wanted to rule over his people and be their king. Samuel was crying out loud and whipping but god tells him: “stop crying. they are not rising up against you but against me. they do not want me to reign over them. give them a king.” and you remember Saul, David, Salomon and on and on.
Time in the sight of god is an important element. In the fullness of time He comes
again. This time it is not about another Moses or another Isaiah; this time the Messiah Himself
comes and offers them the Kingdom. From the beginning of His ministry until the end of it, Yeshua
speaks about the Kingdom. The parables have to do with the Kingdom and His teaching has to do with
the Kingdom. From the beginning till the end He offers Israel is the Kingdom of God on earth. And as
you well know, once again, they refuse Him. They refuse God, who brought them out of Egypt and they
ask for a king; they refuse Him when Messiah comes and offers them the Kingdom. But did God give up
on His people? Did He tell them He would replace them with Gentiles, with a bunch of Christians? Did
He do that? No, God forbid! If that had happened, maybe one day He would have come to these
Christians to tell them they were not good enough and would have passed on to Muslims instead.
But we believe in unchangeable God. His word to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is an
everlasting word. Israel missed the mark in the first round. And again, in the second round, when
Messiah Himself came, they missed the mark. But the prophets are very clear: He will come back
again. And when He will come again, in the third round, every knee shall bow and every tongue
confess. They will recognize Him. They will recognize Him to be of their own flesh and blood, not a
blond, blue-eyed 'Yeshu'. They will come to understand who He really is, just like the brothers of
Joseph. Do you remember the brothers of Joseph? They first wanted to kill him, then they ended up
selling him as a slave to Egypt; they were in hunger and in thirst, and came to buy some bread. They
came to ask for bread from Joseph. When they looked at him all they could think of was that he was
an Egyptian, a Gentile. Just like the Jews look at Yeshua, and all they can think about is blond,
blue-eyed Jesus, Gentile, European, something the western world has developed. But when He will come
back, they will look at Him and recognize, who He really is and Israel as a nation will repent, and
as a nation will accept Him for who He is. There will be a great revival in this country, when He
comes back and this time gives them the Kingdom. And they will not be able to do anything but to
weep and to cry, and to understand that He is not Yeshu, He is Yeshua. He is not something the
Gentiles have invented, but He is the blessing of God to all the families on the earth. He is the
light to the nations, He is the Promised One and there is no other.
In Zechariah 12:10 we read a marvelous passage, which speaks about the final battle, when the Lord will bring the nations against Jerusalem, the battle called Gogen Magon. The verse says: “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” He will come back as promised in Daniel 7:13. He will come back with the clouds of glory and a real revival will take place in Israel. In Zechariah 13:1 we read: “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.” On that day they will look on Him, they will recognize Him, they will repent as a nation and a fountain will be opened for this nation. Israel will be saved as a nation, about which Paul talks in Romans 11. It is awesome.
Yeshua comes, and through His teaching speaks to all of these four groups of people. He speaks to Saccades: “It is not about your way, I am the way.” He speaks to the Zealots: “It is not about revolution, it is about worship. If you do not worship God in Spirit and in truth, woe to you, you will remain with your curses.” And to the Hessians He says: “It is not about where you are, it is about where your heart really is.”
In Matthew 5 we read about the Kingdom: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” He turns the tables around for the people of Israel. When they are finished with the curses, He tells them they will be blessed. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for there is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt. 5:3-12)
Take a look at how the Old Testament is finished and take a look at the very beginning of Yeshua’s ministry. He turned the tables around. If Israel came to Him, they would be the head and not the tail. Tomorrow we celebrate Rosh haShana, the Jewish New Year, and you will understand, why do the people of Israel eat the head of the fish.
Only Yeshua can take a person such as Matthew, a tax collector, a traitor of Israel, co-operating with the Romans and have him to eat and to drink, to sit and to serve God with the Zealots, with Simon the Zealot. If you know anything about the Zealots, they would take a tax collector such as Matthew and cut his head off. Traitor of Israel. Only Yeshua can bring together two people with such hatred, and make them one before the Holy One of Israel. Only Yeshua can do that.
All this is the foundation for us to go and to understand the differences between the Covenant of Abraham, the Covenant of Moses and now the New Covenant, which we are going to look at in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 31:31 saying: “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the Lord.” This does not say anything about the Covenant of Abraham, which will remain forever and which is the Covenant we are to keep forever. But He comes and He says here: “You have broken the covenant, which I made with you when I took you out of Egypt.” Which covenant is that? The Sinai Covenant. We broke it. So what is God to do? He is not going to give up on His people or to forsake them, because they broke it up. He swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He cannot break His covenant with His people. Although they have broken it and turned they back on Him, have not kept the covenant but made all kind of external laws out of it, He is still going to forsake His people. He is going to establish a new covenant with them.
In this covenant He is going to keep His promises to Abraham, to the father of many nations. Justification through faith. God is going to justify His people the way He justified Abraham: through faith. Righteousness that comes through faith. He comes and He tells now that He is going to come and establish a new covenant with them.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” How is God going to establish such a promise? How is He going to ‘spit’ to His own law, God forbid? In the Law there is forgiveness only through sacrifice. He comes and He promises here that He will forgive and redeem from sin. Can He do this without a sacrifice? He provides a sacrifice that Isaiah speaks very clearly about in chapter 53. It speaks about the lamb, which will go to the slaughter. He tells that Israel as a nation will despise Him. But it was not some good beginning with Yeshua with a bad ending. It was not a surprise for God when Yeshua went to the cross. It was told us ahead of time exactly and precisely.
The Lord comes here and says: “Look, Israel, you might turn your back on me but I have a marvelous solution for you; solution for all mankind. I am going to provide a new covenant.” This new covenant again is an unconditional covenant and brings us back to the Covenant of Abraham. The gates of heaven are open now to the Gentile world likewise, to enter and inherit the promises given to Israel. God invites the Gentiles to be blessed by the promises He promised to His people. He invites the Gentiles to be partakers in the blessings, in the light and in the promises given to the people of Israel.
Isaiah 14:1 also has to do with this marvelous New Covenant, which Jeremiah is talking about. “The Lord will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them and unite with the house of Jacob.” This verse is here to show us that God did not choose Israel to have a dominion over Him. The problem Israel has is that they think they have the dominion over God: it is about our God; it is about our Law; it is about our Land. They think they have a monopoly over God. God has chosen this nation to be an instrument in His hands, a tool in His hands to bring all nations to the full knowledge of God.
The Law is given for us to understand how much we are in a desperate need of the grace and the salvation of God. That is where the scarification system enters into the picture with the high priest, priesthood and the altar. This was given so that when the ultimate sacrifice would come, people would really understand. That people would see and understand that God is finishing the work by giving final salvation, redemption and grace to whoever come to Him humble. That is why salvation is for the humble, for one, who has come to face the reality that he cannot face the holiness of God and that he is in desperate need of the grace of God. God does not leave us orphans. He comes and says: “Come to me, I will forgive you. I will redeem you. I have come to take the heart of stone and to give you a new heart, and a new spirit. Come! Jewish first. But also the Gentiles. For I am the God of all mankind. For I love all mankind.”
There is a challenge to the believers. To those who have experienced the grace of God, who have come in touch with the reality of God’s forgiveness and God’s final redemption, the climax of God’s revelation in Yeshua. To those who really understand that the challenge is to move Israel from Sinai Covenant to the better covenant about which we read in the book of Hebrews.
When Israelis look at the New Covenant, it looks as something really Gentile and Christian to them. They are scared of it, they do not want to touch it, they do not want to read about it, neither do they want to have anything to do with it. In fact, Israel holds Christianity and the New Testament responsible for our tragedies. All this because of the history. And can you blame them? With inquisitions, with crusaders, with all what the church has done in the name of Jesus, as a reflection of the love of God. Can you blame Israel for feeling the way they do, for thinking the way they think, with such a tragic history of the church that has taken the most marvelous message of the mankind, twisted it all around, and made something else out of it?
Please understand we have it much harder than Paul, Peter, John and James. they did not have to deal with 2 000 years of church history. The minute you start speaking about Yeshua to people, you need to deal with such a church history. This is exactly how I felt the first time I came to touch with the issue: the crusaders, the inquisitions, the Dark Ages. What do I have to do with Yeshua? We have Moses! Yeshua is for Gentiles. Yeshua the Jew, Yeshua the prophets spoke very clearly about, Yeshua, which God had promised to all mankind is looked by Israelis as a traitor and as a one who brought all the tragedies of our history upon us. You realize that a lot of Israelis hold Yeshua responsible for our aching, painful and sorrowful history. And what does He have to do with that? If He came to the church, He would get the shock of His life! He never meant for things to be that way. With the same breath I can tell you that if Moses came to Mea Shearim for example, he also would get the shock of his life. He never meant for things to be that way. Moses never meant that Judaism would be in that kind of fashion. And Yeshua never meant the church to be what it is in the most parts of the world today. Praise God for people like you who really have the understanding of the true revelation of God in Yeshua haMashiach who have not come to bring a new religion to the world.
Yeshua has come to reconcile man back to Himself. And those of you who believe in Him know you have been reconciled with God, as God has promised. You know you have peace with God. You know your name is stamped in the book of life. We are entering the Jewish Rosh haShana and the Day of Atonement, which are the most sacred days in the life of Israelis and the heart cry of these people during these days is: “Lord, may us know that we are stamped in the book of life!” A rabbi cannot come of out the synagogues in the end of the Day of Atonement with an assurance of heart that he is forgiven, that he really is forgiven. None of them can. Not even the head rabbi of the whole Israel. But blessed be the man who humbly come and receive the forgiveness, which God has provided and spoke about very clearly throughout the Scriptures. Blessed be the man who will not fall on that stone, which the Lord laid in Zion. The challenge is that this nation will finally come face to face with Yeshua, as they post as Yeshu; with Yeshua, which they post as Jesus, and recognize Him for who He is. I praise God for each and every one of you that you have opened your heart and received redemption and salvation from the faithful and loving God of Israel.
Father, I want to thank you so much for the covenants, the Covenant of Abraham,
Sinai Covenant and the New Covenant, which are all established in Your wisdom. All established by
Your grace, Your mercy, Your might and Your power. I pray that we would all grow in the knowledge of
Your love, in Your unshakeable love, Lord. All grow in the knowledge of Your faithfulness and in the
peace that You have established in our hearts as you reconciled us in the blood of the Lamb, Yeshua.
We have talked much about the stone that the Lord has laid in Zion; the stone that
the builder rejected, the stone that has become the corner stone. We will take a look at that and
then move to the book of Romans in order to understand more and more about the plan of God with His
nation Israel; understand that final redemption, the plan of God for the world that has to do with
Israel. We start with Isaiah 28:16 in which we very much have the key verse that has to do with the
plan of God for salvation and redemption. While Israel is in disobedience, while they are turning
their backs to God, while they really are not tuned with the Lord, in the midst of such backs
treating, the Lord comes and He gives them a marvelous promise. A marvelous promise. The verse says:
“So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious
cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” The almighty God
comes and says that He will lay a stone in Zion. Yeshua is revered as the stone, which the builders
rejected, and has become the corner stone. Consider God, the almighty God, who really loves the
all-human races and wants to give a fair change for all mankind.
Suppose you grew up in the slums of Harlem. Suppose you grew up in some criminal neighborhood, in the middle of a family, who could not really pave a godly way at your footsteps. Suppose you grew up in the black countries, you were a black man, a poor man, someone who really did not have any opportunity to have a better life, to climb on this ladder of life to get a better life or to get a better position. People are in a race to arrive somewhere in this life, to get higher and higher to the peak of life: peak with education and peak with positions. Everyone wants to make something out of this life and get higher and higher up there. And there are other people who do not have the chance, who grew up in the certain neighborhood or families, who never really had the chance to get anywhere with their life.
Consider God and His love for mankind. He comes and He says: “I am going to lay a stone in Zion. I am going to pave a way for all mankind. He whoever comes to that stone that I will lay in Zion, is actually coming to me and the sky will be the limit of what I can do in the inner being of that person. I can take the life of that person from wherever he is: poor, sick, black, white etc. and make him a diamond. I can take him and make him a pearl. I can take him and he will never be disappointed. He will never be ashamed of his life. He might not have a possession, he might not have beauty, he might not have anything. But if he comes to me, I will give him everything he needs to have an overcoming life, to have a congruent life, to have a lovely life, to have a life with purpose, with beauty of its’ own.”
God comes and says He will lay this stone in Zion and all you have to do is just to come to it. You come to that stone, which I lay in Zion and leave it up to me, and the sky will be the limit of what I can do with you because if you come to that stone, I’m going to give you a new heart, I’m going to give you a new spirit, I’m going to come and make you a habitation of my very presence. If I dwell within you, what can go wrong with you? If I dwell within you, you can overcome everything, you can be joyful no matter what, you can count all joy and be thankful all the time because you have a relationship with me, because now we have become one, because now it is just you and I in the spirit, moving on in the course of history. And we will make up a story. God is making stories throughout the history, and now we are going to make them together with Him. We make history. All we have to do is to come to Him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Isaiah comes to the people of Israel in the midst of the backs treating situation and God speaks and says: “I am going to lay a stone in Zion, a foundation.” When you come to that stone, Yeshua, who is the corner stone, the Lord is laying a whole new foundation in your inner being, and in your heart. Now it is up to you to begin to build up life with that new heart and a new spirit that God has given you. The foundation is fairly placed in your heart with that stone. Get to that race, move on and the sky is the limit of what God can really do with you.
When you come to that stone, one of the things the Lord is asking us is to build our life on that rock, not on the sand. We come to the rock and we start building our lives on that rock. I want to take a look at the stone that the builders rejected, in the book of Psalms 118:21-27. Before we read this verse, I will talk a bit about the Last Supper because we are talking about the Passover in these verses. It is written gospel that the Lord and His disciples read through the halel. What is this halel that they read during the Passover? This halel includes the chapters 113-118 in the book of Psalms. This is the halel, which they did back then and which they do today. This is something that the tradition really keeps and so much of it really has to do with Passover. When you read the context of these Psalms, you realize that these are marvelous words of deliverance that God has promised His people. The verse says: “I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine upon us.”
You are all familiar with the song ‘This is the day’. This song is often heard in the church. Most people, while singing this song are only able to think about today. The Lord made this day and we are to rejoice this day, today. Very few people really have the real true understanding, the true revelation of the passage here. David was not just a king but he literally was a prophet. He is giving us a marvelous prophecy here and we will take a look at it. He speaks about the stone that the builders rejected. We know this stone is Yeshua haMashiach. The builders are Israel. God has really chosen this nation to build his name on creation, to be an instrument in His precious, marvelous hands, to be a tool in the hands of the living God, to make the Holy One of Israel known to the whole world as the water covers the sea. So that everyone might know God. This nation was not chosen for any other reason - to be builders of the name of God upon the face of the earth.
But the builders, Israel, have rejected the stone, which the Lord laid in, Isaiah 28. But the Almighty God did not take all this as a surprise when Isaiah told us the Messiah would go as a lamb to the slaughter, as Daniel told us He would be cut off, when Isaiah told that Israel as a nation will despise Him, forsake Him, turn their back on Him, spit at Him. For God it was not a surprise when the builders, Israel, rejected the stone, which the Lord laid in, as a firm foundation. He comes and He makes out of that stone a chief corner stone. This is Lord’s doing. This is not a beautiful beginning of Yeshua healing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, purifying the lepers, speaking great wisdom, and raising the dead. This is not something great that happened and had a tragic end. It is not about a beautiful and marvelous beginning and a tragic end. This is not the case at all. This is the Lord’s doing, it is the purpose of God, the way God is providing salvation, redemption: laying a foundation for anyone who comes to the stone, which God laid in. This is the Lord doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.
There are a few cases of witnessing to people, which I remember. You talk to so many people, you hardly remember. But there are a few who really are stuck in my mind. I told you about this soldier in. There is an elderly lady, to which I was talking to in America. I remember her reaction when I started sharing the gospel with her. She looked at me, and realized I was a foreigner in the States, strange-looking guy, a Middle-Eastern looking guy. After I was talking to her about the salvation, suddenly she asked me where I was from. I told her I was from Israel. She asked me if I was a Jew. I told her I was, and you should have seen her face, how her facial expression changed in one second the moment she heard I was a Jew. “You are a Jew? You have killed my Messiah! You have killed my God! You have killed Jesus! How dare you come and tell me about Jesus?” Can you imagine? She was a catholic women and she came against me with such anger, holding me responsible for the killing of Jesus. But this is the Lord doing! If she only understood that. This is the Lord doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.
To my sorrow most of the church, primarily the catholic church hold Israel
responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, with a lot of persecution against Israel, not
understanding that if Israel did not take the Lord to the cross, where would you be today! There
would be no salvation, no redemption, no forgiveness, no reconciliation of man back to God apart
from Yeshua going to the cross. No one can blame Israel because the Romans are not less guilty and
the gospel makes it really clear to us that both the Jews and the Gentiles are guilty. But
Christianity holds Israel responsible and this nation has been persecuted again and again by the
Church in the name of Jesus. But this is the Lord doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.
I tell you this for you to understand that when you come to Israel to share the gospel with Israelis, you need to understand why they feel the way they do and why they think the way they do. This is for us to understand that this is the Lord doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. Take a look at the verse 24: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” David is talking about the day when Yeshua is going to the cross. When we sing that song, it is not about any day or every day. It is about the very day, the builders rejected Yeshua, the stone, which God meant to be the corner stone. It is about the day that the history has been looking for; the prophets have been prophesizing about and promised how it is to come, when it is to come, where the Messiah is to be born.
This is the very day that the prophets have spoken about, told us ahead of time. This is the day that the Lord has made. We can rejoice every day because of that day. Only because of that day we can really rejoice every day. Before the cross history was looking for it, Israel was looking forward for it, the prophets spoke about it. And now when the cross has come, we look back to it. This is the day that the Lord has made. This is the focal point of all history. There is not a day more important than that day in the history. This is the most important day in the whole history. To my sorrow, Jewish people do not understand that Yeshua changed the course of the calendar. When you speak about the year 2000, 2001, 2002 you literally say: Yeshua, you say His very name. You say: “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Before that day everybody was looking forward for that day and after that day everybody is looking back to that day. This is the day that the Lord has made for reconciling man back to Himself.
You realize that in this passage you have the verse that Matthew is talking about in chapter 23:37-39, which says: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’”. Yeshua tells they will not see Him, the stone, which they have rejected, again until you, Israel call: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. The Lord does not say these kinds of words to any group of people in the earth. This is not to Washington or to ; this is not said to or to. These words are not said to any other country in the world but to Israel. And the heart cry of God all throughout the ages is for all mankind to turn back to Him but the Almighty God has a very special corner in His heart for His people Israel, for them to return back to Him. The prophets were crying out to them to turn back to Him, the Messiah Himself cried, the Apostles were crying and now you are crying for the Almighty God to bring His people back to Himself, because it is when these people will call upon Him that we will have a real salvation in the earth.
God is pushing this nation to the corner just like in the book of Judges. In this book every few years the people of Israel turn their back to God and Israel is crying out as God is bringing the enemies against them. They are turning their backs, the Lord wants to get their attention and that is why He sends them Moab, Amman, Edom and Amalek. He brings them to their knees, to the end of their road, and they weep and they cry out for deliverance. “Sent us the Deliverer!” We are living in the times when all these things that you see here in Israel, all the pressure that is coming upon us are just God’s strategy. It is just like in the old days. It is not Moab or Amalek today. Today it is Syria and Iraq, Libya, Iran and the Palestinians. But God has His way to pressure this nation and to my sorrow they are going to every possible direction: to New Age, to religion, Buddha, to, you name it. What a challenge the Church has to stand up and to call Israel to true repentance, call them to their own Messiah, let Israel understand Yeshua in His Jewish Context and bring Israel face to face with the reality of who Yeshua is. It is not something that the Gentile world has invented.
It is not about a new religion, Christianity that the Lord wanted to bring upon the earth, religion
that will be against His own people. The cry of the Prophets, the cry of the Apostles and now,
praise God, your cry for the return of these people back to God is awesome. The Almighty God is so
thrilled for everyone in the Church who wakes up to the reality of salvation to the Jew first,
Romans 1:16. We praise God that you have come to really share the gospel with this nation. Blessed
is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. The Almighty God is going to bring this nation face to
face with the reality of Yeshua in His Jewish Context, thanks to people like you who care, who love,
who are willing to fight the good fight. This takes the revelation; we cannot really be bitter or
resentful towards the rest of the Church. They simple did not have the privilege and the grace to
have this revelation. Here you are taught things that very few in the Church really understand. You
are taught things that are far away from the Church. They are so many doctrines in the Church, but
there is only one truth. We are touching the heart of the truth as we study the Word here and as we
look into the plan of God concerning this nation and the salvation that finally will come, the of on
earth. Come, Lord Yeshua.
1. Peter 2:3 says: “Now that you have tasted that the Lord is good, as you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in the Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, ‘the stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, and a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the message – which is also what they were destined for. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Father, we thank you. We praise Your Holy name, we praise You that You have come and reconciled us to Yourself as You have lied the stone in, the better covenant, Lord. We praise You Father, for this reconciliation and making of us a royal priesthood, a light in this dark world. I pray that we will indeed understand that we are a vessel to carry on Your Spirit within us, Lord. To be the people you desire us to be, Lord to Your glory and Your honor, Father. I pray that each and every one of us will continue to grow in the revelation of who we are in Your sight. How much beloved and accepted we are. How much indeed we are united with You in the blood of the Lamb and nothing can ever separate us from you because You are true to Your covenant that You have established with us in the blood of Yeshua. In Your name we pray, Father and may our hearts keep dancing from joy of who we are in Him. Forever and ever. Amen.
This passage is relating to what we talked about in Isaiah, chapter 28 about the stone, which the Lord has laid in It also speaks about the stone, which the builders have rejected, as we read in Psalms 118 from the halel. I want to take a look at the fact that here we are the royal priesthood. When God chose Israel, He chose Israel as a nation to be a royal priesthood, in Exodus 19. Israel as a nation was chosen to be a royal priesthood. has turned their back on God, they have not really come into the fullness of God’s promises at this time of their history. God is calling to Himself people, to come to the stone and raising a royal priesthood from every tribe, tongue and nation. It is no longer just about Israel to be priesthood. It is for everyone who comes to the stone that the Lord has laid in You realize that you are priests in the hands of the Lord. It is not about the priest in the Catholic Church that you need to go and confess you sin and then he will forgive your sin because you come to him. Confess of sin has to do with the person you have sinned against. You go and ask for forgiveness from the person you have sinned against, not from some priest who sits in the church. We all are priests. We all are the priesthood in the loving and faithful hands of our God. For what have we become priests, a royal priesthood? To go and speak about the exultances of God. You are the chosen people, a royal priesthood that you may proclaim the exultances of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Beloved, remember you once were not a people. You were without covenants, without hope, without God in this world, without promises. But it is because Israel did stumble over the stone which the Lord has laid in that now you have become a people. Israel has stumbled over that stone and God told us ahead of time that this exactly will happen. What a privilege it is to be ambassador in the hands of God. We have come together for this one reason: to be ambassadors in the hands of the living God. Of course you have not come here to be an ambassador, you have been ambassador already at home, wherever you are from. The minute we have recognized the stone, the minute we have come to the Almighty God, we have become ambassadors. The only question is if we are willing to be partakers of the suffering of our Lord, to be true ambassadors, not to be moved or shaken by the rejection or despise of people. Not to be moved by people who tell us: “You are Christians, what do you want from us? Let us live our life here, we live in the 20th century, we are here to live life for it’s fullness, what do you want from us? Leave us alone.”
It seems like when you are confronting the people with the gospel and with another way of life, with the fact that there is another source to have joy, satisfaction and a meaningful life, which is in God that people look at you as if you were a lunatic and crazy. And it takes us boldness, courage and willingness to be partakers in the suffering of our Lord, not to be moved and not to be feeling bad when someone rejecting you or looking down at you. To be a real priest in the hand of God, to be a royal priesthood takes the willing heart to pick up the cross and follow the Lord and to deny yourself.
Sometimes people ask me how can I go on in this ministry years after years. What do you need to keep pressing on? What do you need in order to be a man with your hands in the blow? To keep pressing is when we really understand what it is all about to pick up the cross and to deny yourself, to be willing to share the suffering of the Lord. The suffering we are talking about is not suffering that really has to do with shortcoming in life that you are suffering from, but suffering from the results of preaching the gospel. Often we tell someone whose husband is an alcoholic to pick up her cross. Often someone goes to the troubles in life that have nothing to do with the righteousness of God, nothing to do with presenting the Law or the righteousness or with the kingdom God and we think that this is picking up the cross. To pick up the cross really has to do when we are suffering for the name and for the sake of the Lord and the gospel itself. That is the true suffering. Many people suffer in this world and so much of this suffering we cause by making wrong choices or making wrong decisions. This cannot be called the cross. We cannot call this self-denial. A true picking up of the cross is when you are suffering for the sake of the Lord and for the righteousness of God and the of on the earth. This is the true suffering that the Lord is talking about and calling us to be partakers of. Not just any suffering, which is a result of sin or wrong choices in life. The cross we are talking about really has to do with suffering you have when you are presenting the gospel for the sake of the King Himself and for the sake of the of that He so much wants to present to this dark and dying world.
Imagine you are the Ambassador of Haiti. You come to the United Nations and you are not really happy to present your poor country in front of them. You cannot stand there bold. But imagine you are the Ambassador of America. You really have a nation to represent. Try to imagine how the Ambassador of America stands up in the United Nation when he speaks. He knows who stands behind him. What a nation stands behind him as he speaks in the United Nation. Consider yourselves – Ambassadors of the Living God! America is nothing but dust in the wind compared to the Living God of Israel. Here we are the Ambassadors of God. Are we to be ashamed of anybody? Are we to take any rejection, curse or spitting from anybody? Are we to be shaking or moved when someone looking down at us? We know who we are and in whom we trust our lives and who we represent in the earth. Let that sink deep in you that no cursing, no spitting, no violence and no rejection of any kind should really move you one millimeter from who you are as the Ambassador of the Living God.
It is awesome to know that, to believe it and to act according to it. Not just to
believe it and to sleep on it and enjoy it by yourself, but to believe it and act upon it. This way
you move to another layer altogether. When you just believe it. True faith influences your mind, the
conduct of your life and moves you in your thinking and doing. And it is important to take that
faith and do something about it and that is why we are here. We are not to be shaken about anything
going on in the streets: screaming at you, shouting at you, cursing you, spitting at you, whatever.
Count it all joy; consider yourselves as ambassadors of God, as the royal priesthood. Consider the
privileges as well as the duties God has given you.
Let’s look at some privileges God gave us as a royal priesthood, as His ambassadors, as His men and women upon the face of the earth, as His light and salt.
First of all, the most precious, the most beautiful privilege that we have is
union with God. If men only knew about that they would want that, too. Can we ask for more than
be united with God, the Almighty, being a true ambassador, a true instrument in the hand of the
Lord, the union with God? We have an access to the Father, like no one else. We are not religious
people. We do not come to Him with rituals, traditions, ceremonial systems, rules and regulations;
we have an access to the Holy of Holiest. He has invited us to come, He just asks us to make our requirements known to Him. And when our life is busy with the Kingdom, God is so faithful to answer the prayers of His saints. When our life has not to do with our selfish motifs and selfish ambitions and selfish heart desires but when our heart and life is set above His kingdom: you pray and you have an access to the Holy of Holiest and God is there to answer.
So much of the prayer of so many people in the congregations and churches has to do with private personal things when the heart of God is: “Get out of yourselves, so your life will arrive and arise to a new climax”. Access to the Father we have. We have security. We are all looking for security, especially in Israel. People are looking for security. If they only knew where to find it. The security that the government can give changes from day to day. Tomorrow you might loose the security your job can give you. The security that the money or your bank account gives can be great today but you see so many people who are millionaires today and tomorrow everything is gone. What better security can you have than the security of being in union with God? Being secure because God is God and you are His child. The privilege of having affection with God who really cares, and who is the lover of your soul.
When God created Adam and Eve He gave the dominion over the world. We lost it because of sin. But once we get back to Him, we take it back. He gave us the dominion over all the creation when He created Adam and Eve. He created this whole world for us. We lost it when we felt in sin and turned our back on God. But as soon as we unite ourselves with Him, we get that dominion. I experience that every time. No one can shake me or disturb me. People in the street can scream and shout, but I know in the hands of whom my life is trusted. They might kill me, take my life away, but they can never touch my spirit. I really belong to Him.
When we go to the army basis, imagine this Galilean boy going to the high commander and asking for permission to come and sing to the soldiers. You come with the authority and sure he recognizes it; how do you approach to him, how do you talk to him. He realizes who is standing next to him, his spirit realizes to which spirit he is talking. In 99 percent of the meetings the commander would just open the doors and invite us to sing for the soldiers. It has to do with who you are and whom you are representing. This commander is nothing but a vessel in the hands of God. We have much greater position than this commander. He might have the dominion over his platoon of soldiers but we have the dominion over the whole world. If we really are with God, He has given us the dominion when we come back to Him. Let us recognize that. It is not about name it and claim it; it is not that because you have come back to God you can just name and claim everything.
But it has to do with God and with the things that have to do with the of, with the righteousness of God. You can name and claim all the Mercedes and Cadillac you want, God will only smile at you and ask you when are you going to wake up to His reality of the gospel. You can claim all these territories, walk around the piece of land and say God you want to have that land. If it has to do with your selfish ambitions and selfish motifs God will just keep on smiling at you and ask you, how long will it take for you to wake up to the reality of His Kingdom, to what He needs. Whenever it has to do with the of and with the will of God, God will honor that. He wants us to do the best we can with His power within us for His glory and for His honor.
What a privilege to know we are holy and righteousness! You are holy, a royal priesthood, a holy position of God. You cannot be more holy than you already are. You can be no more righteous than you already are as the Lord looks at you through the blood of Yeshua. It is only our responsibility to work out this holiness and this sanctification. He sanctifies us and He wants us to work out this sanctification, which He already has established in our lives and given to us in Yeshua.
There are some songs in the Church that my mind does not agree with. I sing them but my spirit does not agree with some of the songs we sing in the Church. Such songs as ‘More power, more love, more of you in my life’. When we sing these songs I think to myself: What more can I give you? I cannot give you more power. Can I give you more love? I died for you; can I give you more than that? I cannot give you more grace than that. I have come and redeemed you and I loved you unto death. Why are you asking for more when I gave you everything there is to give? You come and take it! And if you take it and do something with it, more of it will be applicable in your life. You would be able to experience so much more if you started doing something with what I gave you. Do not sing and ask for more of what I have already gave you. This is the principle truth. And we keep shouting and screaming for more, we ask the Holy Spirit to come but He already is within us. Just do something with it. And if we do something with it, then we will grow and we will rise.
We live here by the sea. When you go to the water, try to stand there on the shore where the waves are coming at you. Do not move, just stand. You will sink very quickly; it is a matter of minutes. Your feet will sink; you will sink as you stand. You can stand all you want, you can sing and ask for more power, more love, but you will just sink. But you can take what God already has given you and established in you and begin to move and get your feet into water. Then you will see how much more God is able to do with you. You might fall, stumble but He will be quick to pick you up as long as you are willing to move on with Him. That is what it is all about. There are too many of us in the Church that sit and ask for more and more but God wants His children to run a race.
Holiness. We are already holy, because He sanctified us. We are as holy and as righteous as we can be in the blood of the Lamb. It is now up to us to live in that holiness. Possession. He has given us the possessions. In Him the compassion of God is set upon us. On the top of all that there is the privilege of being over-comers and congruous.
Did Israel stumble over that stone in order to them to fall? Israel has stumbled for God to open to door for you to be that royal priesthood. For Jewish, too. Now the door is open for everybody. The door is open for whoever comes to the Holy One of Israel. The door is wide open to anybody upon the face of the earth for God created all man in His image and His likeness and His heart cry is for everybody. God has chosen Israel as a nation, as an instrument in His hands to pave a way and to bring all mankind back to Himself. So He has done as He brought Yeshua to Israel. Israel has rejected the stone that He meant to be the corner stone.
What are we going to do with the stumbling Israel? For 2 000 years we left them all alone. But I want you to understand that you are becoming the heart cry and the answer to the prayer of Paul. It is about you. The one thing that Paul really cried for is that the Gentile who comes to faith would provoke Israel to jealousy. Provoke them to jealousy, Romans 11. That is why we are here. And I praise God for this time of history when more and more people like you are waking up in the Church and coming to this country, to Israel and having Israel to understand Yeshua in the Jewish context. So it is all about provoking Israel to jealousy. As a royal priesthood as you are you have come to do just that.
The reason we are going through this teaching of covenants and of the stone that the
Lord laid in Zion, is to make us understand how much the gospel and the salvation has to do with
Israel. There are a lot of Christians coming to this country and no matter how much you explain them
to be aware of how to present the gospel to these people, they keep talking about Christianity. They
keep talking about how to become a Christian. They keep trying to persuade them to become
Christians. But Yeshua has not come to bring a new religion to the world. Yeshua was promised to
Israel within the framework of the Covenants, within the whole issue about the stone, which the Lord
laid in. Israel has rejected it not to stumble over it but to provide salvation for the Gentiles;
not to bring a new religion to the world but to reconcile man to God.
It is very important to understand that we are not presenting Christianity, but the biblical truth opposed to rabbinical law and religion. This is the heart cry of our mission, and far better, the heart cry of God that His people would come to face the reality of biblical Judaism as opposed to rabbinical Judaism. That’s what the fight is all about. That was the fight when Yeshua confronted the Sanhedrin and the religious system of His time. It is also the fight of our time as we confront the religious system of Israel today. That is exactly what we are doing. They know what we are doing and they fight that. I am not going to enter to the details about anti-missionary organizations that the religious people have and are established and supported not only by religious people but also by the government itself, not being aware of what they are really doing.
We are not presenting Christianity in the streets. We are presenting biblical Judaism and we are not trying to take them away of whom they are to something new but have them to be complete in their faith. You are a real miracle, coming to the Messiah of Israel. Remember what happened 2 000 years ago. Peter had a vision here in Jaffa. The Lord had to appear to Peter to convince him that it is fine to go to Cornelius, to the Gentile house and to bring him the gospel. Most Christians take a look at that vision and think it is a license to eat pork. But this vision has nothing to do with it.
You can use some other passages for the eating of the pork but not this one. Peter never touched or ate the things that were on the sheets; they went back to heaven time after time. He never ate of it. It was given to him as a permission to go to Cornelius. It is fine to go to the Gentile home because the separation between the Jewish and the Gentiles back then was so obvious and existed in the depth of the society that Peter had to have a vision in order to feel free in his spirit to respond to that man, Cornelius, sent to Jaffa. He needed that vision in order to tell them he was coming.
Do you remember what happened when he came? He came to Cornelius and the whole household was saved. Then Peter went back to the Apostles in and they make an issue out of it with him. They were shocked. Gentiles coming to believe in the Messiah of Israel? Gentiles coming to our Messiah, to our King? They got the shock of their lives. So it is more of the miracle that you come to the God of Israel than if a Jew does. And now after 2 000 years they look at a Jew coming to Yeshua as being a strange chicken. You are a Jew but you believe in Yeshua? 2 000 years ago it was different and the question was: you are a gentile and you believe in Yeshua? How things can become twisted over the spirit of time.
We are not bringing the gospel to the Jewish people in order to make them Christians, Lutherans, Baptists, whatever you determination is. Forget about it. You are more Jewish than you could ever be Lutherans or anything else. It is a blessing to me to have sisters and brothers like you and to know that I have such a big family from every tongue and nation. I wish so much that Israelis would understand that. I keep running to Israelis who are so concerned, so fearful of loosing their family, loosing their friends, loosing their contact with people because if they come to faith they might be looked as strange chickens in the family and they would be rejected. If they only knew what God has in store for them.
If they only could comprehend to what kind of household they are to enter if they come to the Father of heaven and earth. What a family! You can be in any place upon the face of the earth and feel at home when you come to the body of believers. It is heart breaking when I face Israelis who are struggling with this. If they only had the revelation about the family they are going to enter, it would be awesome. The Jews need to have the revelation of what God has come to do; breaking the barrier between the Jew and the Gentile and making Himself one family from every tribe, tongue and nation.
You realize we are in Israel and in this country we have a society that goes in two main streams: the religious society and the traditionalist who mainly are secular. If you have a burden for the religious people, and God is calling you to the religious section of the society then you might want to consider taking more and more of their rituals and things upon yourself to be religious to the religious. When I look at the body of Messiah in Israel I realize that most of the people who come to faith are people from the secular background: people from kibbutz, atheists, and secular people. Again, for the very same reason that we read in the Scriptures that those who are religious people have such a self-righteous attitude that makes it hard for them to come. It is so hard for the self-righteous to enter the Kingdom.
I like talking to religious people when I am on the street alone and not with the group because then I can put all of you in the danger. When I am alone, I can cope with them very easily. I rather speak to a religious person when I am on the street because we have a lot in common. This guy at least believes in God, and perhaps believes in the Scriptures. For sure he believes in the rabbis, many of them believe in the rabbis more than in the Scriptures themselves. That is so sad that they would take the words of the rabbis above the prophets. That is unbearable but true. For me talking to religious is a delight.
I look at the body of Messiah in Israel and it is growing, praise God. I look back and 20 years ago there were only a few hundred believers; everybody knew everybody and there were only a few congregations in the country. Today there is around 70 congregations, 7 000 believers and the amount is growing. For you it is a drop in the ocean but for us it is a great development. The body is growing. Remember the time of Elijah the Prophet, when there were only 7 000 people who did not bow down to the ba’al and the ashera. In the time of Jeremiah there was a handful of people who were truly serving the living God. All throughout the history, most of the nation went their own way and only a few were really loyal to the Lord.
We are approaching the secular people. They are fed up with the ultra-orthodox, who do not serve in the army while all men serve for three years and women for two years; they do not pay taxes; much of the budget of the government money they take and often with a lot of pressure on the coalition. That is the way the government of Israel is being set up. In other words: You give us what we ask for or otherwise we are going to quit the coalition. And if they get out of the coalition the government falls down. We have two main parties here: The Likud, the right wing and the Labor, the left wing. We have 120 seats in the Knesset, the government of Israel, and 15 parties more or less. If the Labor party wins, they cannot really form a government without the coalition of a few other parties. If the right wing parties win, they cannot form a government without some other parties. Whoever wins the election is in a desperate need of the religious parties in order to build a coalition. So these religious parties are holding
Let’s take a look at Romans 11.
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We live in the country where people hear the word Jesus and think about guy with
blond hair and blue eyes. When Yeshua was in the earth, nobody called Him Jesus. He was called
Yeshua. The word Jesus comes from Greek. They took the Hebrew word and they changed it around. But
Yeshua heard the name Yeshua throughout His whole life. He heard His real name Yeshua. And it does
Him only justice to call Him by that name, Yeshua. When you understand the root of the word, you
understand how powerful is this word. What does the word Yeshua means? Salvation. In English Jesus
means salvation? It is the word Yeshua in Hebrew that means salvation. Yeshua in Hebrew means
salvation. We should get more into calling Him by His name Yeshua, especially when witnessing to
people in Israel, when testifying and speaking of Him.
Sometimes when you speak about Yeshua people might think that you are speaking about Joshua Ben Nun, the servant of Moses who later on led Israel to enter the Promised Land. In Israel people are calling Yeshua Yeshu. They took out the last letter of His name, the letter ain. Ain in Hebrew is an eye. They took the ain away and they call Him Yeshu. Ever since they took the ain away, the eyes, they have eyes and they do not see. Now we really are to bring back the last letter of His name. Yeshu is a curse – Yimach Shmo Vezicro, meaning may His name and His memory be wiped out. May His name be wiped out from our memory. It is an awful curse. Most of the Israelis know that when they call Him Yeshu. That is because they hold Him responsible for the tragedies that took place in our history; be the crusaders, be the inquisitors, be the Dark Ages. Remember that in the Dark Ages they could took the whole community of people, push them into synagogue, blame them for killing some Gentile children and drinking the blood of them in Passover. They could took the whole Jewish community, put the to the synagogue and put the synagogue on fire. This is history. It happened everywhere in Europe. Every child in Israel learns this in history. When we grow up in school here we learn that this is Christianity, that this is Jesus. You meet people on the streets and that is how they think of Him. That is why they wish and hope that His name would be wiped away. Because of Him we have gone through all the tragedies in our history. We cannot really blame them for that hatred and anger.
Let’s take a look at Deuteronomy chapter 13:1-11. Perhaps this will help you to understand why the people feel the way they do. “If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says “Let us follow other gods, gods you have not known and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you. If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “let us go and worship other gods”, gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other, do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the Lord you God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.”
When people read this passage, particularly the religious people, do think that -
although Yeshua did signs and wonders, did all the marvelous works - all they can think is that He
has come to take us away from the God of Israel to other gods. That He has come to bring us the
stones, woods and statues of clay, medals and glasses that you see in the churches. All they can
think about is that Yeshua has come to mislead the people of Israel to worship other gods. When
looks at the church today, especially the Catholic Church, coming and bowing down before the cross,
doing crucifixion above their heart, coming and bowing down before the statues. Israel literally
thinks that this is worshipping of idols and statues might by hands. When they read this passage,
they think that this is what Yeshua has done. Yeshua has come to take us away from the God of Israel
who took us out from Egypt and He has brought us other gods, which are made by hands; statues,
crosses of wood. And do you understand the punishment that the Law is taking about here? You take
such a person and you stone him to death. Literally, that is what they think. They think we are
coming and presenting Yeshua who is betrayer of the God of Israel, who is bringing other gods in the
midst of Israel and should be killed. Thanks to God, we are living in the democratic nation and they
cannot do it nowadays.
There might be days when they might really do it; this country is moving fast toward where Teheran and Iran are. The religious parties are gaining more power and room in the Parliament of Israel. They get more seats in every election and have a powerful leverage on the Government of Israel. This is all due to the hunger and thirst, which exist in heart of this nation. Where do people go? They go to the religion. There are a lot of religious seminars taking place and many secular people take part in them. They are moved by preaching of those rabbis into absolute fear to repent better to the Law of Moses. It is getting harder and harder in the streets. Some people can get very violent. The religious people have at least seven radio stations and they keep talking about us in the radio stations. My name is being declared over the waves of the radio. They have such a system that when we are sharing on the beach or in the market place it only takes one religious guy to take a look at us, to make a telephone call to the radio station and they will announce it to people. It is the matter of minutes before around 20-30 religious people come from every direction to attack you. Can you imagine what a network they have built in this country? But the Lord is ahead of all this.
pseudo-Christian betrayal of the Israelites - Part 1
Jesus at work to fulfill his promises in Israel? - Part 2
defend the Gospel against the "Friends of Israel". -
Part 3 Discourse 1113
teaching of the Messianic Jews - the Analysis. - Part
3 Discourse 1114
God’s covenant with all human beings