What’s Coming is Already Here

I have often heard people say that the Kingdom of God is here, it just hasn’t arrived yet. I like the sound of that statement because it offers hope in two ways: first, we can be hopeful because the kingdom is here and second, those who aren’t yet members of that kingdom can be hopeful because it hasn’t arrived yet, so they still have time to become a member.

Today we can say the same thing about the Acharit haYamim, the End Days. They are here but the worst part hasn’t fully been realized in the world.

Look at the regathering of the tribes of Israel back to their land. From the four corners of the world Jews are returning to Eretz  Yisrael. And as the Jewish people return, the land becomes more fruitful and productive. That’s because the End Days are not the time for judging Israel, but for judging the Nations. Throughout the books of the Prophets we read of how, back then, Israel came under judgement for it’s sinfulness. But, as the people are regathered, God will hold the nations that were so destructive to His Elect accountable. Even though Israel will come under attack, it is not from God but from the Enemy through the nations. God says He will judge the Nations in the End Days and the Enemy, still trying to win a battle long ago lost, will try to defeat Israel. God, however, will use this to show His power and might, and glorify His name throughout the world.

If you think it was remarkable that Rocky beat Apollo Creed, wait until you see what Yeshua does to protect Israel when He returns to the Earth in power and glory! One punch, nay- a single word from His mouth- and the armies of the world will be defeated.

I heard my Rabbi, Jeff Friedman, once say that he thinks the word from the mouth of Yeshua at that time will be, “Enough!” I like that- “ENOUGH!!!”  Yup: that is all He needs to say. That’ll do it.

The regathering of the people  is not the only sign: look at the number and ferocity of all the earthquakes we have had in the last decade, look at increasing number of Tsunami’s, there is war in the Middle East and the rumors of war (threats from ISIS, ISIL and the constant racial and political tensions throughout the world.) The world’s forests are being destroyed by acid rain: is that the first trumpet in Revelations? The first couple of trumpets cause destruction to the Earth- just because in John’s vision we are told that the angels sounded these trumpets doesn’t mean that the angels had to be the ones causing the destruction, does it? Remember, this is a vision, a virtual reality, not a word-for-word narration of witnessed, real events. So, that said, the angels may sound the trumpets but someone has to react to those blasts, and we are the ones that have been “loosed” on the planet. God put us in charge of the world, and we have been screwing it up since that time, and we will continue to do so. The terrible weather conditions, oil spills killing sea life, global warming, etc. are all because of our poor husbandry and management of the world God created for us. I think today the world has had enough and is fighting back.

Look at Israel: the land was a wasteland, unproductive and desolate but since the mid-twentieth century, as the people God gave that land to returned, it has prospered. It is now a garden, again, and getting better. The opposite is true of the rest of the world, and that is because now Israel is once again blessed while God sends His judgement down on the rest of the world.

If you study the writings of the Prophets, you can see that they come together and finalize in Revelations. And, when you study Revelations (meaning read it for yourself and let the Holy Spirit guide your interpretation- don’t go on what anyone else says as absolute, including this dissertation of mine, but use it to guide you to your own understanding) I believe you will see that we are already in the End Days. Not a spiritualized type of Tribulation, but the real thing.

It’s here, folks. No longer is there a need to say, “The End is Coming!” because the End is here. If you aren’t on the winning side, it is not too late. You still have time, but no one knows how much time.

I used to sell Estate Planning, and people would tell me that they weren’t ready yet but when they are they will call me. I would tell them,  “I understand. After all, why spend money until you need to, so here is what we’ll do: since this planning takes about 3 months to complete , {as I pull out a calendar}  you let me know the day you are going to die and we will set an appointment three months before then.”

That usually got their attention, and it was a very successful closing line for me. So pull out your calendar and mark the day that you will die, and make sure that (at least) a day or so before then you get yourself right with God.

If you are already saved, then put the calendar away and pull out your Bible, go to Revelations and start to study it- not read it, STUDY it because the end has begun and if you want to know what to expect, Revelations is your guide book.

Two Taboos Too Many

What are the two taboos? Never discuss religion and politics, right? That’s what we are told, and it’s good advice.

The reason I say they are two too many is because when God created everything, His original plan was that there would be only one, non-taboo discussion: Him. The governmental system in the garden was God, the religion was God. That was it. A perfectly run, perfect example of Theocracy.

The de-evolution of this perfect government started with the invention of other gods (man-made, of course) which is what religion has become.

God has no religion. Gee…where have I heard that before?

Then the gods were not enough, so the system split into gods (religion) and human rulership, aka kings (politics), which further devolved the governmental system into the two taboos of today.

We will eventually get back to the perfect Theocracy that God intended, but that will have to wait until Yeshua returns and the Apocalypse is completed.

As the world falls deeper and deeper into revolution, disruption and civil disorder, helped by human intervention with the destruction of our ecosystem and habitats, I can only smile. Not that I enjoy the tsouris, but that I look forward to His return. And I know that won’t happen until things look their worst.

I hope anyone reading this, who is not absolutely sure where you will be after God drops the other shoe, will read some of the older entries in this ministry blog. Go to Category and (especially if you are Jewish) read some of the Jews and Jesus posts, then the Messianic 101 posts. I think that should give you some level of comfort when thinking about who Yeshua, the real Messiah of Israel is (vice that Aryan-looking guy with the blond hair, blue eyes and whose kingdom has been hell-bent on killing the Jews), and help you to understand how things got so separated.

I recommend that we stick to the two taboos, for the time being, and wait until they are one again. Then we won’t need to talk about politics and religion because, well…they won’t exist anymore. It will be just God.

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait.

Do You Always Do As You’re Told?

I was a 1st Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps. During the 3 1/2 years (and 1 year in the reserves) I was on duty I led a platoon of Combat Engineers, had a Truck Platoon, and was the Company XO (Executive Officer: for you civilian types, that’s the person who is 2nd in command of a company, which is made up of 3 platoons. My company was the Headquarters and Support Company for the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and was very large, with about 365 men.) Believe me, I know all about following orders and doing as I am told.

So did the Nazi’s. So did those people who killed for Charles Manson. So do the ISIS terrorists. And on, and on, and on…

We need to obey those orders and instructions that are valid and correct, and we need to know when they aren’t. Sounds easy enough, but it isn’t. There is mob mentality, there is fear of retribution, there is fear of rejection (peer pressure), and there is the legitimate concern about being put in jail or held accountable for breaking the rules.

So how do we know the difference between doing what we are told to do or (as I am leading into) believing what we are told to believe, and rejecting what they say?

Good question…I wish I had an answer for it. The best I can come up with is to follow your instincts. Oh, yes, there is something else you should do: read the Bible regularly so you know what God says is the right thing to do, how God says to treat each other, and ask the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to lead you and help you understand.

The Torah is more than just a bunch of religious rules, or a history lesson. It also defines how we should treat each other. It gives us a penal code so that when we mistreat each other there is a fair and reasonable system of retribution. It treats slavery, which was the way of the world then, with dignity for the slave and accepted slaves as human beings, even though they were, legally, property. It teaches us how to get along (Can’t we all just get along?), and not just how to treat other people, but how to act when mistreated by other people.

The Rabbi, Priest, Minister, Pastor (whatever you call the religious leader of your particular religious organization) should be respected and given a modicum of trust for, if no other reason, the level of education and commitment they have demonstrated to be where, and what, they are. But these things also have to be earned. These people are, after all, still human and subject to human frailties. Listen to what they say, but also accept everything with a grain of salt and verify it for yourself by reading God’s word and asking Him to show you what He wants for you.

The Bible tells us to respect our elders, to honor and obey those put in authority over us, but overall to do as God says. If the “legal” authority is telling you to do something that God says is wrong, you must choose who you will follow. Likewise, if you are being told how you are to worship but you do not verify it for yourself , as I recommend above, you may be one of the blind being led by the blind. Yeshua tells us when the blind lead the blind, they both fall into a hole.

I can’t speak for God, but from all my study and reading and in my spirit, I feel confident saying this to you: when you meet the Almighty at His Throne of Judgement, and you say you were just doing what the (enter title of religious leader) told you, God is going to say something along the lines of, “I understand, but I don’t care what they tell you: it’s what I tell you that counts!”

Chew on that for awhile. It may not taste good, but what the world wants you to do is almost always against what God wants us to do. Like some of the scrolls that the prophets ate, the world tastes good going down but will really give you an upset stomach in the long run.

As for me, I choose God. I have been fortunate and blessed that this choice has not gotten me in trouble yet, but I know it will. I believe we are in prophetic times, and the world is quickly speeding towards destruction. When the Son of Perdition comes to power, I will NOT take the mark. That is going to make life difficult, if I live through it, at all. But I am ready; I am a Marine and I am Jewish; I have the blood and spirit of two of the most fearsome warrior tribes ever known to humankind. Bring it on!

But not just yet, OK?

When I was in sales and people used to meet me at their door and say, “No matter what you say I am not buying anything today!” I would ask them, “Do you make your decisions based on information?” When they told me they do, I would say, “Then why are you saying no to something you don’t even know about? Look- it’s your money, do what you want with it. All I am asking is that you let me tell you about the product so that whatever decision you make, it is an informed decision.”

That’s all I am asking you to do- make an informed decision regarding what you choose to believe. You can’t do that unless you know all about the product, so read the Manual.

Don’t be foolish or lazy about this: where you spend Eternity depends on it.

Am I Praying Correctly?

Prayer is the way we communicate with God. He communicates with us differently- through visions, sometimes audibly, sometimes (as I believe I hear Him) it is a small, quiet voice in the back of my head that tells me what to do. I figure it’s God, through the Ruach, because the answer is usually not what I was hoping for but what I realize I need to hear. If it doesn’t make sense, in a worldly way, then it has a good chance of being from God.

But is it? I ask myself this all the time- I am almost jealous of those people who say they heard God talking to them and He told them what to do. I more often than not write it off to people wanting so badly to be able to brag about being godly that I take all these clams with a grain of salt. It’s unfortunate, too, because I really want to believe that God is talking to people. If he is, then maybe one day I will hear Him, myself, in a way that will leave no room for doubt.

It’s because I doubt, because I need to ask as the man did in the Gospels, to have Yeshua give faith to my faithlessness that I think I may not pray correctly. There are examples in the Manual where the Tzaddikim (righteous ones) asked God to help strengthen their resolve.  Even Yeshua asked God to strengthen Him when He prayed at Golgotha. So who am I to think I could hear God any clearer, or that I could have as much faith as these?

That’s why I keep asking myself, and God, too, “Am I praying correctly?”  My answer is, “No; not really.” I believe I should be in a quiet place, alone and undisturbed, and concentrating on my prayers. Instead, I usually start my morning prayer (traditional Jewish prayers are done three times daily: Shaharit , the morning service;  Minchah, the afternoon service; and Maariv, the evening service) in the car as I drive to work. Before we moved to Florida I worked a 90 minute drive away from home, and sometimes the prayers lasted all the way to work. Sometimes I just do a “quickie”. I think the one thing I do correctly is to start by thanking God and end by thanking God. The problem with this, I feel, is that I am in a quiet place but not concentrating solely on God. I can’t close my eyes  while driving (Thou shalt not test the Lord, thy God) and if I get into it and begin to “auto pilot”, that can be dangerous, too.

I need to really try to sit and pray, alone, before the rush of the day begins. And I need to pray continuously all day, as I feel the need for His Ruach to help me calm myself. Actually, I do that, I mean, pray continuously (didn’t Shaul tell us we should pray that way?) and I try to remember to pray for others.

I am not a good intercessor- I don’t have the compassion or concern for others that an real intercessor has. Now that I think about it, I am really blessed in one way- I am so far from where I should be that I have so much potential. Potential is good, realization of potential is better; so, nu? At least I have potential!

Anyway, back to prayer…it should be honest, heartfelt, and we should approach God with a contrite spirit. David said that a broken spirit and a contrite heart God will not turn away; of course, I am not saying we should only pray when we are down. We should pray constantly  and we should follow the template that Yeshua gave us (see Matthew 6). When His Talmudim asked Yeshua in what manner should they pray, the answer He gave was not just what to pray, but how to pray.

It starts with recognizing God’s greatness and authority, it asks for forgiveness, it reminds us to forgive others, it asks for only what we need (implying our faith in God to provide what we need and when we need it- no need to store up extra) and it ends as it began, acknowledging God as the Almighty.

Maybe that’s all we need to do? Just acknowledge God as our King, and remember to forgive others so when we ask for forgiveness “as we forgive others” we have something to show for it, and to thank God for His gifts and provisioning. Even if we feel that we need more, we should thank God for what we have. Remember the parable about the servants and the talents they were given- even those that have nothing, what they do have will be taken from them. You can always have less, so be thankful for whatever you do have. Even if your life seems to be full of tsouris, you’re alive and being alive means having hope. I feel so bad for those people (when I am feeling compassionate, which does happen now and then) who refuse to accept God’s existence, or my own people who refuse, vehemently, to accept their Messiah Yeshua (which I did for over 40 years, too) because without God and Yeshua, there is no hope.

I know that the Jewish people are fervently praying for Messiah to come. He will return, and for them (I guess) it will be the first coming.  That’s the problem- the first coming has come and gone, and when he returns there won’t be a lot of time to realize they missed the boat. I do pray for my people, not nearly enough, so to you reading this blog I ask that you also pray for Israel and the Jewish people to accept their Messiah. Also for the Gentiles to continue as I see many doing, which is to support Israel and get closer to their Hebraic roots. God has no religion, and we need to come together against the Enemy of God, who will unquestionable have a unified following. If we don’t get our heads together and start to worship God uniformly, without all these traditions and policies and pomp and ceremonies that men created, whitewashing God’s laws and commandments and trying to humanize God with all types of  excuses and reasoning about what he wants and why, we will not stand before the Enemy and his armies.

The Enemy will not allow his followers to be divided, he will not allow them to have free will and he will not allow them to think on their own. He will be ruthless, and if you think Nazi Germany was bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!  We who believe in God, who have been saved by the sacrificial death of Yeshua, and who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob need to unify- God has no religion! When we get religion out of the way, we will be strong.

God confused mankind at the Tower of Babel and said that He did so because if we were left to our own devices, all speaking the same language and all together as one, we could do anything. I think He confused us because it was too soon for us to be that way. But now, with the End Days approaching quickly, I believe it is time, and God is waiting for us to get together again. We have different languages and cultures, but one Torah, one Messiah and the one God. If we become one under God and Yeshua, we will defeat the Enemy, both corporately and individually.

Prayer is how we strengthen ourselves. Even when done as sloppily and incompetently as I do it, my prayer time strengthens me. It helps me stay in touch with God, and if He chooses to answer me in a still, small voice or slap me upside my head, it is His answer.  Even His silence is an answer, in that His silence will make me pray harder and to seek Him more. I know He’s there,  I know He’s listening. It’s like Hide and Seek- sometimes you just have to seek harder.

I guess, in the end, praying to God, no matter how you do it, is what praying is all about. Maybe there really isn’t a “right” way or a “wrong” way. Maybe just praying is what we should do, and since we are all different, if we pray honestly, earnestly, humbly, and constantly God will honor that.

I think that’s good. Just pray from your heart, and you are praying correctly. What do you think?

What’s Holding up Your House?

Anyone who has ever built anything knows that a strong, stable foundation is essential if you want your project to stand on it’s own.

Our spiritual strength, the roots of our beliefs, must be firm and sound, too.

When enough people who feel the same way get together, they form societies with like-minded ethics.

OK, I know. BORING!!! I am not in the mood for Poli Sci in the morning, Steve!  What’s this got to do with God?

Our society reflects who we are and what we believe. Our society defines who we are because it is a reflection of the members that form it. Today, where God fits in is becoming harder to see in our society.

Our comedians always pick on politicians, yet the politicians are placed there by us. So, if we think that politicians are unethical and untrustworthy, since they represent us, what does that say about our society? Are we that blind that we can say politicians are all crooks, and in the same breath be proud that we vote?

I know that as the End Times (Acharit HaYamim, in Hebrew) approach (and, believe me, they are approaching at a fast pace) society will degrade more and more. It was made up of  people with like minds, but the scary thing is that it seems to be reversing, where the whole isn’t made up from the parts, but the parts are being made into the whole (wow- that sounds really “Zen-like”, doesn’t it?)

Society is becoming less Godly and more self-centered, and we who believe in God and worship Him will be shunned as outcasts. We need to deepen our roots, strengthen our foundation and stand firm against the sea of troubles and hardships that will be coming.

I am so blessed: I have a wonderful wife and marriage, a good job that pays well, we own our home, I am working for a good company with nice people, and we enjoy some level of financial stability. Don’t get the wrong idea- we’re not wealthy, and I’m still buying lottery tickets, but I am so blessed. And yet, I expect it all to go away one day. Not because I am pessimistic or fearful, but because I am hopeful in the coming of Messiah. I read the Manual and understand that tribulation will be coming. Israel will have the whole world against it, and there will be nothing but strife, heartache and problems for the Believers. And I mean PROBLEMS!!

Now is the time to work on your foundation. Make sure you know the Word because the Enemy knows it better than you do, and he will use it against you. Our society, once formed by those who were looking for the freedom to worship God and keep God at the core of our ethics and laws, now reject Him and are ripe for the coming of the Anti-Christ. TV, radio, movies, magazines: take a real good look at what is popular. Kardashians, Bridezilla, Hoarders, Cops, Twilight, Marriage at First Site, Wife Swap…I could go on and on. And it’s not the fault of the producers and editors- they are only looking to make money. In an economy based on supply and demand, they are simply supplying what the people demand. And the people demand blood. Ilaya, Fix my Life, My 600 Pound Life, etc. etc. etc. all are showing us people who are suffering. Why are these shows so popular? Because we look at how terrible things are for these people and think, “I’m not so bad off!” We feel good by watching them feel bad. That’s why we are ripe for the picking by the Enemy- we want others to suffer so we feel better, instead of feeling worse when watching others suffer.

Forget about fitting into society- our society is not a robe of many colors; today society is an ugly, moth-eaten foul-smelling rag that is made up of people who would rather be told what to think than take the time to decide for themselves.

Here’s my final rant for today: Yeshua said, in Matthew 7:26, do not build your house on sand because when the wind blows it will be swept away. The world is made up of people, and the people form societies. Today’s societies are based on, and totally dependant upon, technology. Technology is rooted in the silicon chip- that is the very heart of it. And what is silicon?

It’s sand.

Politics and Religion Should Mix

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem (Shalu Shalom Yerushalayim). I hear this, we pray it, it’s written on my Tallit. It is even commanded for us to do, is it not? Yet, in the Acharit HaYamim (The End Days) won’t the whole world come against Jerusalem? Isn’t nearly 2/3 of the Earth (and people) to be destroyed, and a new Earth and a new Jerusalem to be created?

When we pray for Yeshua to return, isn’t that going to happen only at the very end of the near total destruction of the World and of the “religious” center of the Universe (that’s Jerusalem, by the way), according to Revelations?

The Bill of Rights guarantees that there will be a separation of church and state. That is a fundamental right of all Americans. But is that a fundamental right of all believers? It shouldn’t be, should it? After all, isn’t the way God wants us to live politically called a Theocracy? A God-led government? The Torah is our Constitution, it is our Penal Code, it is our Miss Manners, it is our Ketubah (Marriage Certificate) with God: it is all we need.

When the Israelites wanted a King, didn’t Shmuel (Samuel) warn them? Wasn’t having a separation between God and Government, in fact, a rejection of God’s authority in our everyday lives?

When people ask me if I am going to a Pro-Israel meeting or event, I usually refuse. Why? Am I against Israel? Certainly not! I don’t do politics, I do God.

You probably won’t agree, but because I want Yeshua to return as soon as possible, to me praying for the (immediate) peace of Jerusalem is almost tantamount to telling Yeshua to stay away. I know…I know…how can I think that? We are commanded to pray for the peace  of Jerusalem. Well, I do. But not for now. I want Jerusalem to have the ultimate peace, an eternal peace, and that will only come with the End Times. Right now what we should expect is anything but peace.

If you believe, as I do, that we are in prophetic times, that we are getting nearer to the End Times (of course, that’s an oxymoron- since the End Times are in the future, by definition every day brings us closer) I look forward to the return of Messiah. I don’t look forward to what that means to us- tribulation, war, death and destruction on a scale never before witnessed by human beings. Not a pretty picture. Maybe that’s one of the reasons Shaul (Paul) told us to keep our eyes on the prize, i.e, the final victory.

When you play golf and you come to a hole with sand traps and water all over it, the methodology is simple- don’t look at where you don’t want to go, keep focused only on the areas you want to hit to. If you look at the sand trap, you will be in it. Let’s look to the end of the end, the new Earth and the new Jerusalem.

I can’t tell you what to do when it comes to praying for Jerusalem or attending political events. If you want to be told, get religion. They’re good at telling you what to do, how to do it, and what will happen if you don’t. This blog/ministry won’t tell you anything but what I see in God’s Word, and to make up your own mind. I don’t want to put myself on a level with the Prophets , but I feel the same responsibility that they had: God told them if they spoke His words they were innocent of the blood that will be shed for disobedience, but if they didn’t they would have the sinners blood on their head. I want you to know what God says, but it is still me interpreting God’s word for you. And I’m a sinner and a bit of a Shlemiel, so you can’t take what I say as an a priori truth.

You need to make up your own minds because, ultimately, it will be you before God and He will hold you responsible for what you do and don’t do. There are no excuses, and what you do or don’t do is your decision. He gave us all Free Will, and he gave us His word to read and , by reading, to understand Him and what He wants from us. Which means we are accountable for ourselves, and it’s no one else’s fault.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, by all means, if for no other reason than we are told to do so. Which “peace” you pray for, the peace made by men (how long has that ever lasted?) or the peace that God promises, is up to you.