Signs of the Times

There was a mass shooting at a Florida school yesterday, February 14, 2018.

It is reported there were 17 injured, some who have died, and the shooter is a kid who had been expelled from the school.

This is a terrible thing, and we see these horrible events happening more and more often; and not just across America, but throughout the world.

It is also the sign of the times. Yeshua told us we can tell the weather but cannot see the signs of the times.

As we suffer more and more of these types of anarchy, what people will call for will be a beneficial despot, one with the power to fight anarchy with total control.

Just what the enemy is waiting for.

watch carefully, but don’t get too involved

Watch what? Why, the world, of course. We need to keep our eyes open for the signs of the return of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) and also to be observant of the actions of the enemy as he (or maybe, she?) begins to take charge of the world.

Revelations warns us that as the enemy begins to secure his rule that there will be a time of peace for 3 1/2 years before the real fecal matter hits the air circulation unit. We are also warned that many will be turned from the true faith and follow the evil one, the Anti-Christ, because of the many wonderful and miraculous acts that he (yes, or maybe she) will perform.

Therefore, we need to be aware of what is coming and to look for it. I have heard the political talk that the next administration will be friendly to Israel (anyone would be friendlier to Israel than the exiting administration), and whether or not that proves true, we need to remember the warnings about being fooled, and about the time of peace that is a sign of the coming tribulation.

They says it is always darkest before the dawn, but for us, we should know that it will be a bright and sunny day, it will be peaceful and joyous, and in that environment- when we are happy, financially strong and secure- that is when the foolish and unknowing will be lulled into a false sense of acceptance. That is the way the enemy will fool people into taking the mark: he (yeah, yeah…or she) will provide earthly pleasures; there will be an image of peaceful waters (while Leviathan is stalking us just under the surface), there will be good weather (while storm fronts and earthquakes are forming just past the horizon), and the Anti-Christ will use this to justify the claim that he is the Messiah, to fool us into worshiping him and be turned from Yeshua, our true Savior.

The signs will be deceiving; peace and joy and plenty will be the rule, but you must stay alert and be forewarned: the people will be led like lemmings to their death, like sheep not knowing they are on a strip of tasty, green grass that leads them to the slaughterhouse.

So watch what is happening but stay separated from it, both emotionally and physically. Try to remove yourself from discussion because people are, well… they’re stupid, and if you get involved in political discussions you may be led to believe in something other than what we are told (in the bible) to believe. We are, all of us-  myself, you, everyone- capable of being fooled and seduced by the enemy. Only by remaining separated can we avoid becoming embroiled and trapped in controversy; only by remaining outside the circle of politics will we be able to see the maelstrom forming; only by remaining knowledgeable of, and faithful to, the word of God while constantly trusting in and asking the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) for divine insight and understanding will we be able to avoid the trap falls and snares the enemy will be setting all around us.

Look- I am not a “doomsayer” and telling you that the world is coming to an end…Hey! Wait a minute; actually, now that I think about it, I really am saying the world is coming to an end, so let’s stick with that: THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END!!!

Big deal. We all know the world is coming to an end- even the scientists tell us that eventually, in a few billion years or so, the sun will supernova and the earth will be evaporated. So the news that the earth is coming to an end isn’t anything new.

What we need to be concerned about is not whether or not the earth will be destroyed, but when. And that “when” is coming sooner than the scientists realize.

So, stay aware, be alert, and be watchful. My advice is this: keep your eyes open, but don’t get sucked into the controversy and emotional stir of politics, the environment, or society’s problems because we know they are all going to get worse. Enjoy the peaceful times we will have, and use it to prepare for the Tribulation coming after it. Just as Joseph had Pharaoh prepare during the 7 years of plenty for the 7 years of famine, when we are in the plentiful times of the Anti-Christ’s 3 1/2 years of peace, we need to recognize it for what it is and store up what we need to survive through the next season coming.

This may or may not happen in our lifetime, but if we don’t know what signs to look for by the time we realize what has happened, it will be too late.

Texas Supreme Court made the correct decision

WHAT??? Steve- are you saying that you are pro-abortion?

No. I am not for abortion- it is murder. What I am “for” is common sense, and to expect that a court of law in America is going to uphold a godly position is not sensible.

From a strictly “civil” point of view, it is illegal to force or coerce someone to make a decision that regards their individual rights. In America, like it or not, a woman has a legal right to have an abortion, within the limitations of the law. Those limitations are based partially upon the premise that the abortion does not risk the health of the mother. The Texas Supreme Court said the laws they ruled against were not designed to protect the health of the mother, but simply to make getting an abortion legally more difficult. That is a coercive measure which impede’s a woman’s personal rights, and it is illegal.

Again, from a strictly legal viewpoint, the court made the correct decision.

We, as Believers, cannot expect to have a government formed by humans to be a godly one. If you do, you’re a fool. In fact, as Believers, we should not want any man-made government; we don’t want a representative republic (that is we have in America-if you thought it was a democracy, technically it isn’t), we don’t want socialism, communism, despotism or dictatorships. What we want is a Theocracy- a government that is led by God.

After the Exodus, God ruled the people, with divinely appointed prophets to be His representatives on earth. God ruled through the Prophets, and we saw how He empowered them with miracles and wisdom. This is the Theocracy that all Believers should want and be waiting for.

When Yeshua returns to reign, we will have what we want.

But that is not what we have now, and don’t think that this is a recent event. Read 1st Samuel, Chapters 9 through 12. Samuel appoints a king, which is what the people have been craving. And in Chapter 12, after Saul is established as king and Samuel is ready to go the way of all things, he really lets the people have it. He tells them, in no uncertain terms, how horrendous a sin they have committed against God by asking for a king, and how they will suffer for putting a human over them instead of God.

Since then, history has proven Samuel correct.

In the meantime, we are bound by Torah, by Yeshua’s command, and by legal statute to honor and obey the existing government. All those in power are there by God’s approval, and they will perform His will, whether they know it or not, sooner or later. God’s plan is the one that will survive and be fulfilled.

If you are expecting the United States government, whether federal or civil (meaning state) to initiate and pass laws that are in accordance to God’s laws regarding the rights of the unborn, then all I can say to you is…get real, People!” Governments that are formed by humans will have human laws and be based on human desires and emotions. Godly things, you know, like compassion, respect for others, love, fairness to all, and respect for the Torah- those things have no place in human-formed government. Oh, yeah- we make a big stink about them, talk like we mean to have them and we are all about fair and just, but when it comes down to it, well…you decide. Do you think that our system of justice is honoring the Torah or ignoring it?

When the Jews came out of Egypt, totally under the command and totally obedient to God alone (well, maybe not totally but usually?), we enjoyed living under His sovereign rule and had His divine protection. During the times of the Judges (about 5 Centuries or so after Joshua died), the book of Judges tells us that men did whatever they saw as right. It wasn’t pretty.

Then, as I referenced above, Samuel is told by God to anoint Shaul (Saul) as king: this was the first step to kicking God out of our lives.

Moving forward a few thousands years, we have many religions, all trying to kill each other, and we have many states and countries with different forms of government. Those that said they were for God and wanted to do God’s will are represented by the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Nazi party (yes, the Nazi Party- the belt buckles of the Nazi uniform said, “Gott mit uns”, which translates to “God is with us.”)

Historically, governments that said they were godly were just the opposite.

Today we have kicked God pretty much out of everything- out of the schools (no prayer allowed), out of the courthouse (take those 10 Commandments down- they are religious and we have separated state from church) and out of our families. Today when Jews marry someone of a different religion, it is the Jew that is usually converting. The “Nuclear Family” has done just what nuclear devices are designed to do- blow up. Eating dinner together around the table and sharing the day’s activities is a past relic.

And, as the Texas Supreme Court has upheld, people can legally kill their children. It reminds me of God commanding us not to worship Molech: the sacrifice to Molech, a god of the Semites, was to throw a young child, alive, into the fire. We may not be throwing our children into the fire, but we aren’t that far off- we are still killing them, just sooner than the ancients did.

The world is godless, as it should be- that is, if you believe in what Revelations tells us will happen. I see such horror and destruction- not just of things and people, but of spirit, justice and compassion. Our children grow up stealing cars and murdering prostitutes on the way (video game) or destroying and killing in war (video games, again.) They see violence, satanic beings that are really “okay”, and sexual impropriety every day on the TV and in the movies, and they have become inured to the horror of it all.

They are being prepared for the enemy to rule them.

This is God’s plan, people- this is what is supposed to happen. It ain’t nice, it ain’t pretty, and it is going to get worse- MUCH worse: be prepared to be persecuted if you worship God.

Don’t expect to see justice and fair treatment in the world; at least, not the kind God wants.

The bowls are in the hands of the angels, and the seals are being torn off the scroll. We are going through it, we are about to experience it- can’t you see it coming?

The End Times prophecies aren’t prophecy any more- they are current events.

The Best Self-Help Book in the World

Have you wandered about the Barnes and Noble store lately? Once you get past the Starbucks (only place in the world you can get a good $2.00 cup of coffee for $7.00) and all the kids sitting in the aisles reading, you will see the Self-Help section. You can find “whatever” for Dummies books, DIY stuff, and any number of “How to be a Better You” books. How to overcome grief, how to have grief, how to overcome weight, how to accept yourself and your weight …whatever is wrong with you, or (more correctly) whatever you think is wrong with you, you can find a book written to tell you how to feel better about it.

There is another section, not the self-help section, but in there you will find the best self-help book in the world. Have you figured it out yet?

After all, what does a self-help book do?  It identifies an issue that people have with themselves; you can’t get a book published if there aren’t enough people interested in reading it, so it has to appeal to a number of folks. It identifies the issue, gives you a lot of third-party references to how it has affected other’s lives, and then it goes on to dissect the problem, break it down to it’s basic components, and, finally, tell you how, each piece at a time, to overcome or deal with the separate issues. In the end, the third party stories of success bombard you with how they have overcome their big problem, and you can, too.

Whoopie! For the most part, all the self-help books I have seen are ways for someone else to make money off your problems. They don’t really help. They are like the motivational speakers of the ’80’s who made a fortune telling us why we are OK, how to succeed in selling real estate, or getting better jobs, whatever, and everyone bought their tapes and books. They approached their problems eager to overcome them, they followed the program diligently for about 3 or 4 days, then almost every single one of them quit. Why? I think it’s because the basic problem with a self-help book is that the only one you really can depend on to help you is you, the one who can’t overcome the problem.

There is a story in the best self-help book I am talking about that tells a similar tale. A man was sowing his fields and the seeds fell everywhere. Some seeds took hold and grew fast but when the wind blew and the rains came the roots were too weak to sustain the plants. Others fell in good soil and grew roots but weeds sprung up all around the plants and choked them.

I guess you have identified the book I am talking about by now. Most people think of the Bible as the word of God telling us about how we all came to be, sin and salvation and what will happen in the future. Yes, it does all that. But it does more than that.

What really is the best “self-help” we can have?  Learn to deal with grief? Reduce our weight? Get in better physical condition? Deal with anger?  All of these are good things to do, but how long will they last? At best, only our lifetime. Then what?

I think the best self-help book in the world is one that doesn’t just address issues while I am alive, but carries me into the future, after I am dead, all the way to the end of Eternity!  There isn’t going to be a self-help book in the Self-Help section of B&N that will do that for you. But you will find one in the Religion Section.

I say the Bible is the best self-help book in the world because it does what I want a self-help book to do: make me better now and make that last forever. I never felt good about myself before I knew God, mainly because I knew I was doing wrong but had no real idea of how to control myself. And I had no real motivation, other than to get in trouble less. Religion kept getting in the way of my understanding who God is, who my Messiah is, and how I fit in to their plan.

I now understanding that the book is one book, Exodus through Revelations; that Old and New are not different because both are about God, His people, His salvation through a Messiah, and the Messiah’s life; how he taught us what God has been saying all along and how the Ruach (Spirit) can guide me and help me. This book is the one that showed me a real, effective and doable way to be a better me. I still had to work at it, but with the Bible as my self-help book I am not doing this alone. With God guiding me through His Ruach, I am never alone, and the one helping me is the only one in the universe that can.

The Bible teaches us that what we do is because that’s who we are- sinners. Overall, whether you believe you are too fat or too skinny, if you have anger management issues or an inability to deal with stress, bad at math or good at lying…whatever “problems” you think you have, the Bible teaches us that we are sinners and we all will sin. It also teaches us that without God we have no chance of overcoming the sinfulness of our nature.

How is telling us we have no way to overcome what we want to overcome helpful? Simple: it puts us all on the same level. One of the ways to deal with feeling bad about yourself is to realize you’re not alone. Everyone who lives, who ever lived, and who hasn’t even been born yet is in the same boat- we are born into sin and have sinful natures. You’re no better than I am and I am no worse than you are.

The Bible then tells us how to deal with the sin in our lives: simply let go of it. Give it to God. But you first need to have the relationship with God that will let you do that. And that is the ultimate answer to self-help: don’t do it yourself, let God do it for you. Of course, you are part of the process, in that you need to do a couple of things first: one is to accept you’re a sinner, two is accept God as your God and Yeshua (Jesus) as your Messiah, and three is ask for forgiveness; finally, ask for and accept the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) which will guide you and help you to do T’Shuvah (turning from your sin) and then start walking the path.

That’s it, in a nutshell. Form your relationship with God, and let His Spirit guide you along the path to being a better you. As I have said in the past, I am not a different me since I have been saved, but I am becoming a better me. It is a life-long journey, and knowing that it won’t happen overnight, that there is no easy way out, but that I am not going it alone is what makes it possible to get done, and to last.

The best part is because it is a journey with God as my guide, since He is eternal, my journey will become an eternal one. With any old self-help book the best I can hope for is to “improve” myself until I die; but, with the Bible, I will have what I want for myself for all eternity. I will never, ever, ever be sad or hurt or upset or depressed or feel bad about myself again, and for all time.

Spoiler alert: I will still have issues while I am in this world and in this body, with this nature. That will never change. That’s what the self-help books don’t tell you- you will always be yourself. You see, their sales pitch is that the writer can make you a different person. Bull!!  Let’s get real, people: you are a sinner, you want to sin, you enjoy sin, and sin is the natural and comfortable choice for you.

That’s why the Bible is the best. It tells you like it really is, who and what you are (in fact, what we all are ) and how to overcome it. You can’t change what you are, but you can learn to overcome it. The choice is simple: do I want some human being to tell me, totally on my own, what to do to overcome something,  or do I want the God of Heaven, Creator of the Universe, Lord of Lords and King of Kings to help me overcome it? Gee, let me think about that one. DUH! 

Think about this: you can get a self-help book and deal with your issue during your lifetime, with the only help being yourself and some other person who you will never even talk to, then face God with nothing but your book in hand and the author (possibly) already going to the down staircase.  Or, accept God and Yeshua, receive the Holy Spirit then deal with your issue during your lifetime with the help of God Almighty, who is always there to guide and support you through the indwelling Ruach, and when you face God you will have Yeshua standing next to you saying, “This one is mine, Father.”  Then be blessed and joyful throughout all Eternity. Guaranteed.

Nu? Which seems better to you?

Commitments are Supposed to be Hard to Do

I can’t really sing. Oh, I can hit the notes, usually close enough to blend in with the group, but I can’t sing well. And I don’t like doing things I don’t do well (consequently, I do almost nothing at all!)

What’s this have to do with God? Well, here’s the story: the place where I worship is doing a Sukkot Concert, and because I am a Bass, I was asked to join the chorus by my Pastor. I really didn’t want to do it at first, and still feel very out-of-place in the midst of people who have a nice singing voice and who can hit the notes with proper support and timbre, but I agreed because I can, at least, help fill out the sound.

So, I committed to help. Have I had second thoughts? Oh, gee- the second thoughts were right after I said I would. Then came the third thoughts after I tried to sing the part (isn’t the Bass supposed to have low notes? Almost the entire concert is at the high range of the bass), and now, with about 3 weeks to the concert, I am on the tenth thoughts.

If you’re reading this Pastor Andy, don’t worry- I committed myself to be a part of this and I will meet my commitment. Not because I know I can help, which I can; and not because I love to sing, which I do even though I don’t do it well; but because this is a devotion to God as much, if not more, than doing something you asked of me.

Just because someone asks us to do something doesn’t mean we have to, but when we agree, or when we devote ourselves to doing something for God, that does require us to follow through. Yeshua tells us not to swear by Heaven or Earth, and the Torah is very clear that an oath made to God must be completed. I said I would sing with the chorus, and until someone tells me that my absence is more helpful than my presence, I will follow through.

It isn’t easy. I have my part on CD and practice going to work and driving home, and on the weekend. I do the exercises Andy gave me to help recover the breath control I had as a kid when I played in the band. I hear myself getting a little better, and pray that God will intervene to help me meet this commitment in a good way, being beneficial to the project.

But it’s hard. I have constant thoughts about dropping out, partly from embarrassment and partly from just not wanting to do something outside my everyday rut. Those two things, being uncomfortable and having to do something outside the usual, are the very reasons I need to finish. Because I said I would do this I will, and despite my kvetching and whiny-cry-baby attitude, I am enjoying myself to a degree I didn’t think I would. And I know it will sound beautiful because it is not all about me; I am just part of the group.

We all need to follow through with what we commit to, whether for people or for God (especially for God.) The reason we need to follow through is to strengthen ourselves, mentally and spiritually, as preparation for the Acharit HaYamim, the End Days. We don’t know when they will come, and I really believe we are living in prophetic times. We are seeing the world coming apart, children killing children, earthquakes, floods and hurricanes in fury beyond what we have seen before, all over the world. Wars, and threats of war; all the things that have been happening, not to mention the vast throngs of Jewish people returning to Jerusalem, and the number of  Gentiles that are coming behind Israel and helping people to make Aliyah, all indicate we are close. Because we are close, we need to prepare.

“Chesty”  Puller, one of the most decorated war heroes ever (and a Marine, of course. Uh-Rah!!) used to say, “The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.” That holds true for spiritual training, as well. We need to make sure we are strong, spiritually and mentally. Imagine, if I can’t stay the course with a simple commitment to sing in a group (where I won’t be heard, anyway), how much less will I be able to remain faithful to God when I am standing before the Enemy asking if I want the mark on my head or my right hand? When you are there, and there’s a really good chance you will be, are you absolutely certain  you can stand firm and say “Not a chance, horn-head!”?

Even if I don’t go through the Tribulation, the lead-up will be pretty bad, and we don’t know, not for sure, when the Tribulation will be. There are as many people who are “Pre-Trib” as there are “Post-Trib.” I don’t know which it is, and (frankly) I don’t care- it won’t make any difference because whatever God wants to do, He will. I don’t have a vote, ya’ know? So, why worry? What I can do is get ready. Get that armor of God Shaul talks about in Ephesians all polished up and ready, wear it around every day so I get used to it. David didn’t wear any armor when he faced Golyat because, as he told King Saul, he wasn’t used to it. I, you, everyone of us, need to get used to wearing the spiritual armor that will help us secure our salvation. Revelations tells us that most- not some, not a few, not every now and then someone- but MOST of the Believers will be turned from the faith in the End Days. Most means more than half- that’s a lot. That means my chances of remaining faithful in the midst of the greatest battle of my life has less than a 50-50 chance of success.

That means you have less than a 50-50 chance of keeping your salvation, also.

Commitments shouldn’t be made hastily, and once made, must be kept. If you realize that you made a gigantic mistake, and you committed to something that ends up being illegal or sinful, well, yes- get the heck out now! We all make mistakes, and if you make one, correct it. But for those everyday commitments, and for those major ones where other people depend on you to do what you said you would do, you must meet them. Even if it hurts. In fact, it should hurt. It should be hard to do, otherwise it isn’t a commitment, it’s something you want to do. No big deal doing something you want to do. It’s like when Yeshua said that even sinners do good things for people they like. Commitment has to be hard to do in order to build up that spiritual strength. You develop muscle by destroying muscle. We build up our spiritual strength by using it, by testing it, by stretching it beyond where we are comfortable. This is how we get spiritually stronger and more mature, and it also increases our self-confidence so during tribulations and trials, we can speak out with confidence about our faith.

Make commitments carefully; and, once made, complete them joyfully (don’t whine and cry like I’m doing) and completely. Work those spiritual muscles, develop sinews of Spirit that are as strong as steel.

You’re gonna need ’em.

Spiritual Aspirin

When someone hurts us by being cruel, or spiteful, or just by accident, it is hard to let it go. I know about this because I have been hurt, and seen my children used and abused (given medications they didn’t need and emotionally conditioned) as an attempt to “get back” at me. Now they don’t even want any part of me, except my money. Yeah- it’s OK to send them money but don’t have any other contact.

Sorry, kids- Luv ‘ya but it don’t work that way.

I am sure many of you have had similar experiences- shunned at work, exploited at home, maybe much worse. By strangers or friends, or even family.

It hurts and all we want to do is make it stop hurting. But how?

The cure is almost harder to accept than the hurt: we need to forgive. Forgiving the person who hurts us is, really, the only way to make the pain go away. You may always be a little “sore” but the pain will fade as you get better at forgiving.

“That jerk doesn’t deserve my forgiveness! Don’t hold your breath waiting for me to forgive them.”  Understood. Acknowledged, and I will even go as far as to say I know just how you feel. But it’s not your choice- God commands us to forgive. In Mattiyahu (Matthew) we are told that if we don’t forgive on Earth our Heavenly Father will not forgive us. And the Lord’s Prayer asks God to forgive us as we forgive others; in other words, measure out to us as we measure out to others. That means if we don’t, He won’t. Hmm….maybe I should revisit my attitude.

In Proverbs we are told that we should give our enemies food and drink, and it will be like pouring hot coals on their head. The idea (I think) is not to be vengeful but to wake them up- make them suffer the indignity of what they did to us by being compassionate to them. Perhaps they will do T’Shuva, and save themselves from Sheol.

In Ezekiel God says He gets no pleasure from seeing the sinner die; rather, he would prefer that the sinner turn from his sinful ways and live. Aren’t we supposed to be holy, as He is holy? We can get closer to God by forgiving.

To err is human; to forgive, Divine. DUH !!!

The other thing to remember is that Proverbs tells us not to return evil for evil, but wait upon the Lord. He will judge. If you think that someone doesn’t deserve forgiveness, you are actually taking the place of God. Not something He is very likely to appreciate, ya know?

I have found, for myself, that forgiveness is one of the hardest things I have to do as a Believer. I discovered something that makes it easier, and I would like to share that with you, hopefully to make it easier for you, too.

Pray for them. That’s right- pray earnestly for the people who hate you and have done you wrong; who have hurt you; who have hurt those you love. When I pray for them, I don’t ask God to forgive them because that decision is actually between them and God. That’s not my place to tell God what to do, but I can ask Him to help them come to Him. I pray they find salvation.

Another way I help myself into being able to pray for someone who has hurt me is to look into the future, and imagine what that person will be facing when they come to judgement. The hurt they caused is finite, and the quicker I pray for them and forgive them for what they did to me, the quicker I will stop hurting. Emotional pain is like a log in my eye: when I remove the log (through forgiveness) I can see the truth about what they will have to endure, for all Eternity. That certainly is nothing compared to what they did to me, which will be nothing more than a faded memory, if even that, when I come into His Glory in the Acharit HaYamim.

It sounds easy enough, but so does anything else until you try it. Truth is, I still get angry and feel the pain of certain things. Deep cuts take a long time to heal, and they always leave a scar. But with God’s help (yes, you most certainly can ask God to help you forgive), the guidance found in His Word, and the peace I receive from the Ruach, I am getting better and better at forgiving.

The more I forgive, the less it hurts. Forgiveness is spiritual aspirin that makes the pain go away.

Here’s another way to look at it: when you forgive something it is easier to forget about it. When you don’t forgive, you end up reliving it, and the pain just keeps coming back. It’s like tearing off the scab before it can heal. And here’s a hard truth that you must accept- if you keep reliving the pain, it is not their fault anymore! That’s right- they hurt you, that was a one-time deal. If the person, or people, hurt you over and over, it is still the same thing.  Each time you relive it, you are now the one hurting yourself. Now it’s your fault, not theirs. Rehearsing our anger is like throwing gasoline on a fire about to die.

If you want to stop hurting, you need to stop reliving the event and forgive the person. Start out by praying for their salvation, and move on. Let their ultimate forgiveness stay between them and God; you do what is right in God’s eyes regarding your own actions. He wants…no, He commands… you to forgive those who hurt you. Obey the Lord. It ain’t easy! Man-o-Manischevitz , it is hard to do!  But do it, we must.

Forgiveness is the only way to make the hurt go away. I know it’s a lousy turn of events. First this piece of work, this sorry excuse for a human being, this so-and-so does horrible things to me and now God tells me I have to forgive them. And if I don’t, I will never feel better. It sounds like a no-win situation.

It’s not; in fact, it’s a win-win because when you forgive you not only make the hurt go away, but you receive God’s blessings in your life. He will bless you for your obedience, and you will be so much better off that you will even start to think (maybe) that the sin against you was itself a blessing in disguise because of the spiritual maturity it helped you to achieve.

Okay, maybe that’s a little far-fetched. But not too much.

Look back in your life and see if there are still scabs that are haven’t healed, wounds festering in your heart and hurts that won’t go away. Pray for that person who sinned against you and see if you don’t feel better. Do it honestly, do it heart-fully, do it trustingly. I really believe that you will feel better, because it has worked for me.

Take spiritual aspirin and call on Him in the morning.

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.