The Destiny of Israel and the Church …. Installment No. 1


In the next several postings/articles I would like to highlight and acknowledge one of the individuals who has greatly shaped my biblical understanding of Israel and the Jewish people, Derek Prince.

His love for The Land, unparalleled grasp of scripture and understanding of prophecy as it relates to Israel is second to none. So I commend to each and every one of you; his books and teachings which are readily available through Derek Prince Ministries. To whet your appetite we are excerpting below from the book; The Destiny of Israel and the Church 1992, 2007, 2016 by Derek Prince Ministries-International, published by Whitaker House.

“God’s prophetic Word reveals that this present age will culminate with the restoration and redemption of Israel. The nearer we come to the close of the age, therefore, the more intense will be the pressures surrounding Israel. 

A major part of satan’s strategy against Israel has been to obscure the truth as revealed in the Bible. It is amazing that so much confusion has existed, and still exists, in the church today concerning God’s purposes for Israel. The battle for Israel is, in fact, the battle for truth. 

Essential truth is usually simple. And the truth is, Israel is Israel, and the church is the church.

… Any writer or preacher who introduces a different application of the term Israel forfeits the right to claim scriptural authority for what he or she has to say about Israel. 

Israel’s Restoration Predicted … The prophets of Israel certainly do make clear, specific promises of a restoration of Israel that will take place in two phases; first to their land and then to their God. I always put it in that order because I see in Scripture that God purposes to bring most Jews back to the land unredeemed, not in faith, in order that He may deal with them there. 

Historically, this has always been true of God’s dealings with Israel. He has consistently related to them not just as individuals but as a single people, joined by a covenant both to God and to one another. This is how God intends to deal with them at the close of this age – as a single people. In order to do this, however, He must gather them once again in one place. 

God’s promise to restore Israel is not based on anything good they have done, but only that God may be glorified through it.”

Good Stuff!!! More to come ….

Our hope and prayer is that you will not only fall in love with Israel and the Jewish people but that you will build a STRONG biblical foundation based on the truth of the scriptures as it relates to The Land.

DPM Books on Israel:

The Key to the Middle East

The Destiny of Israel and the Church

Our Debt to Israel (14 page booklet)


Jerusalem …. A City Like No Other


In March of this year we were able to host two tours, one the first of the month and the second at the very end, stretching into April. With a two week break in between the two trips we decided to rent an apartment and stay in Jerusalem; what a joy to every day walk the streets of the City of our God and take in the wonder of what He calls “the apple of His eye”. Jerusalem truly is a city like no other and what better way to describe it to you than to hear what His Word says about it ….

The scripture tells us that He has installed His King upon Zion (Jerusalem), His holy mountain … The Lord dwells in Jerusalem, it is where He has chosen to live forever, it is His resting place, He desires it … The joy of the whole earth is Mt. Zion, the city of the great King … He is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back … He loves the city of Jerusalem more than any other city (shouldn’t we do the same)… The Lord is great in Zion and sits in majesty in Jerusalem, exalted above the nations … His love for Jerusalem is passionate and strong (how about yours) … God will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem … God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers, revealing himself as its defender … He will defend this city for His name’s sake … The Lord of heaven’s armies will come down and fight on Mt. Zion … The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem ..Zion, your God reigns! 

In every Jewish home at the end of the Seder (Passover) meal the declaration is made; “Next Year in Jerusalem!” Sounds like a good idea to me; how about joining us and experience firsthand; the wonders and glory of the “eternal city”. Psalm 84 tells us; “What JOY for those who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.”

Let me close with this scripture – Isaiah 62:6-7; “Watchmen … remind the Lord, take no rest … until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” Let’s be faithful to our calling.

 

 

 


Did You Know ….


Writing in the sand

Did you know “That He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps?”

Did you know that knowing your facts, having good sources, and being self-educated  helps you to develop your own narrative about Israel?

Did you know that the “West Bank” you hear about in the news is the biblical heart-land of Israel and contains Judea & Samaria?

Did you know that Anti-Zionism is the new Anti-Semitism?

Did you know that Israel has become the Plumb-line for the Church?

Did you know that a note in an NIV Study Bible says; “Ultimately, how a person treats Jewish people will reveal whether or not he is saved.”

Did you know that “land for peace” did not work to stop WWII, it has never worked, and it will never work; actually on two different occasions the Palestinians have been offered over 95% of what they wanted and they turned it down?

Did you know that no Israeli Jew has ever blown themselves up on a Palestinian bus, killing innocent women and children?

Did you know that the real question or battle isn’t about pre-’67 borders or right of return; but it’s about Jerusalem, the City of the Great King?

Did you know that “all who love Jerusalem will prosper”?

Did you know that the blood shed on Calvary was Jewish blood? Think about that next time you take communion.

Did you know that on Israel rests an “ancient anointing” and there are blessings that can only come to you and your family by blessing Israel?

Did you know that one day He is going to gather all the nations against Jerusalem to do battle and that He will return and His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives and there He will do battle with the nations?

Let me end with a “Do you?” instead or a “Did you?”

DO YOU CARRY JERUSALEM IN YOUR HEART?


These are the days of Esther


Clay Jar

For sake of time and space, join me as we jump into the pages of scripture already part way through the Book of Esther.  Haman, a noble of Artaxerses, becomes filled with rage toward an entire race of people (God’s chosen ones) just because a single man, a Jew named Mordecai, would not bow down and worship him. Even though he was a man of riches, honor and power, Haman states that none of that means anything as long as he saw Mordecai the Jew sitting in the palace gate.

The mere fact that Jews exist infuriates people in the Middle East even to this day. Haman, who takes many forms in today’s world, is openly plotting to destroy the entire Jewish race and subsequently the nation of Israel. The amazing thing is that these insidious plans are being hatched in broad day light for all to see – or so one would think. Haman got the king to send letters detailing his plans to eliminate the Jews throughout 127 provinces of the kingdom stretching from India to Ethopia. The enemy used the media then, as they are using it today to advance their evil schemes. Haman’s wife and advisors cautioned him against this plan to destroy the Jews but he was “hell-bent” (literally) on their annihilation. The Hamans of today would be wise to heed the advice of scripture that warns what will happen to those who touch the “apple of His eye.”

God had told Queen Esther earlier in our drama not to reveal to anyone that she was a Jew; you see, God had a plan – He had one then, He has one NOW. God is giving the enemies of Israel enough rope to literally hang themselves. Also, in His great mercy, He is given them time to relent and repent of their actions. Decision day came for the queen; she had to put her life on the line and publicly stand with the Jews. These are the days of Esther, a time of decision for the Church – are we ready to stand with Israel, the Jews, no matter what it costs?

As with the King’s initial letter, things have been set in motion by the Prince of Persia (the devil) that I believe will not change. But another Voice, stronger and clearer emanating from the King of Kings and Lord of Lords that will have the final word.

I believe the Lord is challenging each of us: “Where are the Mordecais? Where are the Esthers who will count being identified with Jewish people more precious than life itself?” I don’t have a problem signing my name to the bottom line. Is there another?


2010 Feast of Tabernacles Report


This year was the 30th year of the Christian celebration on the Feast Of Tabernacles hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. As usual, I went expecting to hear definitively from the Lord as to direction and purpose for the next year. In the Word the number 30 means “the marking of the right moment.” For example, Jesus was thirty when He began His ministry, Joseph was thirty when he was presented to Pharaoh, etc.  Indeed this was the marking of the right moment for me.

Feast of Tabernacles

I love the nations coming to a worship celebration and presenting their nation to the God of the whole universe – so opening night was thrilling as over 5000 people from 90 nations were there in the prophetic act of celebrating the Feast in response to the commandment of the Lord. It is truly a rehearsal for eternity. At this opening night celebration a wonderfully talented black American singer began the song “Ain’t No Rock Going to Out Praise Me” and the dancers started doing the most amazing dance. It was altogether awesome. I was awed by the talent. The worship team was amazing – strong voiced and confident. Everything was working at its strongest. I heard a still, small voice say “Jeanne, if only you knew what My purpose is in the creation of each nation. When each one operates in its purpose, the result is amazing. Here is a sample.” I was overwhelmed and awed as representatives of the African nations revealed a part of their purpose through worship song and dance. Then the team switched to “He knows my name” and I heard that voice again: “Jeanne, if only you knew what My purpose is in the creation of each individual.” I was broken, truly broken, for those who will never reach that potential, because they do not know Jesus. I was broken too for believers, because they have no confidence in themselves nor ultimately in the Lord. The evening became freer and freer as time went on and we were singing a song about freedom and EVERYONE was suddenly and truly free if only for a moment (a visual overload as everyone – dancers and audience alike were momentarily set free). God, if only I could remember that freedom forever. It was truly a foretaste of the divine.

The remaining days of the Feast were wonderful. The speakers were excellent, but most importantly the time of corporate worship was amazing – from (almost) every tongue, tribe and nation. To be in Jerusalem, worshipping the King of the Universe, in the place He chose is simply too marvelous to imagine. The speakers told us of coming trouble all over the earth but most importantly they spoke of the Remedy for those troubles!

Somewhere towards the end of the Feast I heard the Lord again. I heard that from now until He returns, Christian Zionism is going to become so politically incorrect that it will amaze us how soon we will be out of favor in the Church. I heard the admonition to be strong in the Spirit because Charlotte, NC would become an epicenter in the fight over God’s purposes in Israel. This struck me as strange until I heard about a movie that was patently against Christian Zionism (support of Israel) that was done by a well known person who was in ministry in Charlotte. It is called “With God on Our Side” and is full of half truths and thinly veiled anti-Semitism. I have since heard of many other projects set to burst upon the Church which will follow this movement. I really hate this. We are going to be publishing a “talk back” piece on this movie in the next few weeks. Please watch for it!

To sum up the Thirtieth Christian Celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles let me just say that if this is the pale earthly shadow of an eternal Feast, I cannot wait for the real thing!


Times and Seasons


“Times and seasons.” These words are so familiar to Christians and so much a fabric of our lives that sometimes we forget the larger picture. In my personal life, God has a way of demonstrating physically the spiritual truth He is working in my life.
In the two weeks before I left for Israel to be gone for five weeks and to lead two groups back to back, I retired from the company I started over thirty-one years ago, I bought (and moved into) a new home, and moved my office to The Obed Project’s new offices. I am finally now able to devote full time to Obed – which pleases me. However, all of this change caused me to have to touch everything I own, make decisions about each possession and either give it away, throw it away, or box it up for moving. It did not take deep spiritual acuity to see that I was in a changing season in my life. I knew it and had been praying for wisdom in the transition. I never suspected that everything would happen so fast!

Although I lead groups often (65 trips so far!), I am always amazed and astounded by what the Lord does and the powerful lessons He teaches us.

During the first group, we experienced record high temperatures, comfortably lower temperatures, dust storms, and desert winds – all in all, just regular June Israel weather. We traveled around the country and, as always, I fell in love with the land once again. One of our goals at The Obed Project is to show Israel to the traveler through a biblical lens, thus causing the searching Christian to see the everlasting, faithful, covenant relationship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has with the land and the people of Israel. This always happens. Each time. To me.

The second group was very small. We had a smaller bus and a very intimate feeling (it is hard not to feel this way when you are bouncing around in a smaller bus!).  From the beginning, some truly unusual things happened.
To understand the miraculous nature of what I am about to tell you, you first must know that the rainfall in Israel follows a most basic pattern. It only rains in the winter. It never rains in the summer. Here is a quote from a Jewish site which says it better than I:

“For starters, you can leave everything outside during the summer months — laundry, bicycles, furniture, grill. It does not rain in the summer. Ever.

The first rain will hit sometime during the High Holidays. It doesn’t matter if the holidays are early or late, it will rain sometime, often during Sukkot. The corollary to this is that it is impossible to find umbrellas, rain boots or raincoats in the stores until after the first rain.

The last rain will hit right around Passover, usually on seder night. “

So, from about April till about October, it simply does not rain (thus the concept of the latter and former rain).   I remember thinking on my first trip to Israel in September of 1983 that the guide was arrogant when he said: “I can guarantee you that you will have no rain while you are here.” I wondered how he could promise something like that with such authority. Then I learned what is second nature to Israelis – rain means winter in Israel.

Our second group spent the first three days of our tour at the Dead Sea. On the third day, as we exited our hotel for the day’s activities, we noticed that all of the Israelis, including our guide and driver, were looking up and talking excitedly (O.K. – I admit that all people speaking Hebrew sound excited!).  We looked up and saw some fluffy white clouds in the sky. This did not seem worth getting excited about to our group who were mainly from the southern USA. But to the people who know Israel, this was very unusual. When I got on the bus, the driver told me that it was already at 8AM over 40 degrees Celsius. (This is a daily calculation for me – Celsius to Fahrenheit.) I struggled and then came up with a temperature of 104F. The driver, guide, and I also discussed the clouds – with such wonder that a tour member asked what was the big deal about the clouds. The guide then spoke to the group about the fact that there are rarely clouds in the desert in the summer (not much in the winter either!).

The Lamb

We stopped at Qumram to discuss the Dead Sea Scrolls and the group called the Essenes. We were standing outside in the sun (baking) when suddenly we felt drops of water. The guide stopped speaking and the group knew the wonder of rain – in the desert – in Israel – at the very end of June. Amazing.

These clouds (and very light showers) followed us into the Galilee but in a few days had disappeared. It was a lesson to the group about how closely Israelis are tied to their land and the seasons of the land. And it was a huge confirmation to me that truly now is a time of change of seasons. This season change is happening to all of us, whether we acknowledge it or not. God has announced a change of seasons on the earth. Let us all pray and discern our part in this change.


Are We Next?


Jerusalem dove

This month let’s take a quick look at history using one ancient and one modern example to see if we can’t get a glimpse into the days that are before us. Travel with me, back to ancient Egypt.  The time has come for the children of Israel to return to the land promised to them long ago. Moses approaches Pharaoh with his exit strategy but Pharaoh says no. One of the things that I love about the Lord is His wonderful mercy. God gives the nation of Egypt ten different warnings and chances to bless His people, but what did their leadership decide? Oppose Israel! It was a bad choice; their decision to resist God’s plan for His chosen people proved disastrous.

Fast forward with me to the 20th Century after World War I when Britain sets up a mandatory government in Palestine. God’s plan again rises to the forefront of human history as He attempts to bring His people back and settle them in their Land. The role that Britain took in opposing this plan is very similar to that of Egypt many years ago; they not only did not cooperate with His plan, they actively opposed it. In the first part of the 1900s Great Britain was the largest empire on the face of the earth. Not so today.

Zechariah 12:3 says; “ … I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.

Let me ask you a question: did Egypt injure herself? Did Great Britain?

Derek Prince in his book, Promised Land writes, “For any nation or government, it is expedient to gain the favor of Almighty God, but it is extremely inexpedient to incur His disfavor.”

ARE WE NEXT? What path of destruction has America chosen in opposing the will of God in regards to the Land of Israel? Today our leadership actively reaches out to try and displace the “immovable rock” by partitioning the land that was given to Israel as an eternal covenant by God. It does not bode well for our future. In His mercy, He is trying to get our attention.  Will we not learn from the lessons of history and the warnings of His word? If we do not turn back we will suffer the fate of those who have gone before us. Pray! Pray! Pray! for our president and his advisors. Are we next? I fear the answer to that question is yes.

Jerusalem is the city of the “great King”; hands off.


The Lamb


Many years ago I read a book by J. Sidlow Baxter that had a strong effect on me. The premise, as I remember it, was that there were many “themes” in the Bible that followed to the end, would strongly revolutionize your understanding of God’s plan. One of these “themes” was on the lamb. Here is what I remember.

In the Bible there are some notable passages in which the concept of the Lamb of God are highlighted. They seem to be progressive and they light our understanding as we look at them.

The Lamb

1. Abel and his lamb (Genesis 4)
2. Abraham offers a lamb (Genesis 22)
3. The Passover lamb (Exodus 12)
4. The Lamb as a sin-offering (Leviticus)
5. The suffering Lamb (Isaiah 53)
6. Jesus is the Lamb (John 1: 29-36)
7. The lamb is Messiah (Acts 8 )
8. The lamb is resurrected (1Peter 1)
9. The lamb is enthroned (Revelation 5)
10.The lamb reigns (Revelation 21 & 22)

In Genesis 4 the emphasis is on the necessity of the Lamb.
In Genesis 22 the emphasis is on God’s provision of the Lamb.
In Exodus 12 the emphasis is on the slaying of the Lamb.
In Leviticus the emphasis is on the character of the Lamb (without spot or wrinkle).
In Isaiah the emphasis is on the Lamb as a Person.
In John 1 the emphasis is on Jesus as the Lamb.
In Acts 8 the emphasis is on Jesus the Lamb as Messiah.
In 1 Peter 1 the emphasis is on the resurrection of the Lamb.
In Revelation 5 the emphasis is on the enthronement of the Lamb.
In Revelation 21-22 the emphasis is on the Kingship of the Lamb.

In Genesis 4 He is our Propitiation. (One sacrifice)
In Genesis 22 He is our Substitution. (For one person)
In Exodus 12 He is our Protection. (For one family)
In Leviticus He is our Absolution. (For one nation)
In Isaiah He is our Expiation. (For all the elect)
In John He is the Removal of sin. (For the whole world)
In Acts He is our Salvation. (For whosoever)
In 1 Peter He is our Redemption. (For all history)
In Revelation 5 He is our Government. (For all the universe)
In Revelation 21 & 22 He is our Glory. (For all eternity)

For me, the progression of these themes is thrilling and very satisfying. The picture of Jesus in the Scriptures is progressive and deep. He is the Word of God. The universality of Jesus becomes more and more personal until we have to accept or reject Him on our own as our sacrifice before the God of the whole universe. We must accept Him as the Messiah of Israel before we can accept Him as our personal salvation.

It blesses me beyond measure that in all of the pictures presented in scripture of the Lamb, the shadow of the reality of the sacrifice of Jesus are manifest. As one example, the ram caught in the thicket in the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac was caught in the thicket by his horns – a crown of thorns was on his head!


What’s in your wallet?


What's in your wallet?A popular credit card company ends their advertisements with that penetrating question: “What’s in your wallet?” Obviously, they’re hoping it will entice you to rush out and secure one of their cards so that you can buy a lot of stuff you don’t need and can’t afford so that they can charge you exorbitant interest on the unpaid balance.

It is however true that you can tell a great deal by looking at someone’s wallet. Try it sometime. If you looked at mine you would immediately know that I’m too cheap to go out and replace it even though it’s ragged, old and beginning to fall apart. You would discover that I buy Shell gas, am a blood donor, grocery shop at Harris-Teeter, vote in Mecklenburg County, work for The Obed Project, and am somewhat obsessive-compulsive since I sort my money by denominations & have them all facing the same way. By looking at my driver’s license you will see that I am blessed with good looks.

In a related matter, let me ask you another question: what is in your “tithe & offerings” wallet? Investors tell us that we need to have a diversified portfolio. I would echo that in regards to your giving; not only should you support the local church you attend but your giving needs to include the things that are near to the Lord’s heart. I believe that each and every one of us should have specific-targeted giving as it relates to the poor, world missions and Israel.

As you can well imagine, my point of interest here is Christians and their giving as it relates to Israel. What does the itemized giving on our tax returns under Charitable Contributions say about our heart for Israel? Do we care about the land and people that scripture calls the “apple of His eye”? Are we sacrificially giving to make a difference? Let me encourage you to get involved with ministries and churches that are actively supporting and ministering to the Jewish people and the land of Israel. Hopefully the treasures you’re storing up in heaven include some shekels.


ISRAEL – GOD’S PLUMBLINE FOR THE CHURCH


plumbline“For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.”    Joel 3: 1-2

I have long been convinced that, in the end, Israel will be one of the factors that divides the Church. The spirit of anti-Christ is virulently anti-Semitic and that spirit is afoot in today’s church. We have much Christian “theology” that replaces Israel, downgrades her physical significance, and totally appropriates or negates the covenants and promises of God towards her. Many Christian theologians have tragically fallen into this anti-Christ spirit.

It is interesting to see the Hebrew word used for “divided” in this scripture. It is “chalaq” which is a root word which means “to be smooth”. The implication a deal done by flattery – to take away a portion; to smoothly divide and part. This certainly describes the world’s attitude towards Israel and the Lord’s judgment for this duplicity will be terrible. The Lord could have used many other words for divide or part but He chose this one.

We have been warned.

“Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame.”    Zephaniah 3:19

The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”    Joel 3: 16


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