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Hanukkah and Yerushalayim

From the days of Abraham,  Yerushalayim (Jerusalem in Hebrew) has been the center of the known world.  Malki-Tzedek, the righteous king who has no beginning or end, ruled from this city called “Shalem” meaning ‘complete, safe, and peace’ (Genesis 14:18).  Throughout Biblical history, proven through archaeological digs, Yerushalayim was the center of Israel, the capital, where the God of Israel dwells, the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the I Am.  

“In the courtyards of Adonai’s house, there in your very heart, Yerushalayim. Halleluyah!” (Psalm 116:19).

“Blessed be Adonai out of Tziyon, he who dwells in Yerushalayim! Halleluyah!” (Psalm 135:21).

King Solomon built the first Temple in Yerushalayim.  It was destroyed by the Babylonians.  A second Temple was built in Yerushalayim at the command of the prophet Ezra. This is the one that the Syrians desecrated.  They knew and understood from history the significance of Yerushalayim and how the Temple was central to the Jewish faith.  It was for this reason that they forced the Jews to offer sacrifices elsewhere; then desecrated the Altar.  Their purpose was to destroy the Jewish faith and assimilate the Jewish people into their idolatrous worship.

Yet, a remnant of Jews remained faithful and fought for years with Judah Maccabee against assimilation into a foreign religious system and the destruction of their One-God centered faith.  The miracle of Hanukkah is that the faithful remnant had victory over the great oppression by the Syrians, who were part of the greatest empire on earth.  Because of these faithful Jewish men, women and priests, Yerushalayim remained central to Israel and the Temple was restored and rededicated.   More importantly, the Jewish people were not annihilated.  The result: Yeshua, salvation for Israel and the world,  could be born through a Jewish lineage, teach in the Temple courts in the city of Yerushalayim.

Yerushalayim is found 773 times throughout the Holy Scriptures, but only 9 times in the Koran.  This is a huge discrepancy between the two major religions, but one that the world refuses to acknowledge.  They would rather the two ideologies assimilate, or better yet, the one with the proven history in Yerushalayim disappear from the nations altogether.

“They say, “Come, let’s wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Isra’el be remembered no more!” (Psalm 83:4).

The enemy of God, Satan, knows that if he can remove Israel as a nation and Yerushalayim as its capital, then he proves to the world there  is no God of Israel.  If he can destroy the Jewish people and their millennia of faith, then he really prove to the world, there is no God at all.  He also knows that without the Jewish people, there is no one to welcome the Messiah back into the holy city and Yeshua cannot return to set up his Kingdom.  However, Satan’s plan has a flaw.

“This is what Adonai says, who gives the sun as light for the day, who ordained the laws for the moon and stars to provide light for the night, who stirs up the sea until its waves roar — Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name: “If these laws leave my presence,” says Adonai, “then the offspring of Isra’el will stop being a nation in my presence forever.

Unfortunately for Satan, who is ultimately the spiritual force behind chaos and destruction, he will not only lose this battle, he will lose the war.  Though he will continue to use the nations to fight against Yerushalayim and Israel as the ‘father of lies’ and deceptions, his destiny is already determined (Revelation 20:10). 

“Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain? The earth’s kings are taking positions, leaders conspiring together, against Adonai and his anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2).

“A prophecy, the word of Adonai concerning Isra’el — here is the message from Adonai, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth and formed the spirit inside human beings: “I will make Yerushalayim a cup that will stagger the surrounding peoples.  Even Judah will be caught up in the siege against Yerushalayim. When that day comes, I will make Yerushalayim a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who try to lift it will hurt themselves,  and all the earth’s nations will be massed against her” (Zechariah 12:1-3).

King Cyrus of Persia was used by God to deliver the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity.  They returned to Yerushalayim and rebuilt their city and the second Temple.   With the help of a modern-day King Cyrus, Yerushalayim is  acknowledged to be, by the largest nation in the world, the eternal capital of Israel.  This modern-day King Cyrus has also called for the rebuilding of the Temple.  When that happens, the greater exodus of Jewish people from the nations will follow (Jeremiah 16:14) along with a great apostasy and a false messiah in sitting in the Temple. 

Hanukkah is not only a memorial to the miraculous events surrounding the Maccabean revolt, but is prophetic to our day.  As the return of Messiah Yeshua comes closer with each passing day, the shaking of the nations will escalate, but also will the promises of God to His people.  As the nations of the world continue to stand against Israel and fight about Yerushalayim, more and more Jewish people are accepting Yeshua as Messiah.  They are being prepared to cry out: “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” and welcome Messiah back to Yerushalayim (Matthew 23:37-40).

“Adonai is rebuilding Yerushalayim, gathering the dispersed of Isra’el” (Psalm 147:2).

Soon, Yerushalayim will no longer be a city of assimilation of false gods, Greek, Roman, Baha’i, Muslim, and multiple religions.  It will be restored and rededicated to the glory of the LORD.  All the nations of the world will come as one to Yerushalayim and worship the God of Israel on the appointed Feast Days in the Temple of Messiah Yeshua, and Yerushalayim will become, as it should be, the city of our Great King.

“Look at Tziyon, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Yerushalayim a secure abode, a tent that will not be removed, whose pegs will never be pulled out and whose guy-ropes will not be cut. But there in his splendor Adonai will be with us…” (Isaiah 33:20-21).

“Many peoples will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Adonai, to the house of the God of Ya‘akov! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of Adonai from Yerushalayim” (Isaiah 2:3).

Psalm 48

Great is Yahweh  and greatly to be praised,

in the city of our God, his holy mountain,

beautiful in its elevation, the joy of all the earth,

Mount Tziyon, in the far north, the city of the great king.

In its citadels God has been revealed as a strong defense.

For the kings met by agreement;

together they advanced.

They saw and were filled with consternation;

terrified, they took to flight.

Trembling took hold of them,

pains like those of a woman in labor,

as when the wind out of the east wrecks the “Tarshish” ships.

We heard it, and now we see for ourselves

in the city of Yahweh-Tzva’ot, in the city of our God.

May God establish it forever. (Selah)

God, within your temple we meditate on your grace.

God, your praise, like your name, extends to the ends of the earth.

Your right hand is filled with righteousness.

Let Mount Tziyon rejoice, let the daughters of Y’hudah be glad,

because of your judgment [on the enemy].

Walk through Tziyon, go all around it;

count how many towers it has.

Note its ramparts, pass through its citadels,

so that you can tell generations to come

that such is God, our God forever;

he will guide us eternally.”

©2017 Tentstake Ministries

November 14, 2017 – The Ox and the Manger

Proverbs 14:4

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.”

In the Hebrew alphabet, the first letter alef coincides with the first commandment, Exodus 20:2-3:

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  “You shall have no other gods before me.”

The Hebrew word picture for alef is an ‘ox’ symbolizing ‘first, strength’.

In this Proverb, the ‘ox’ is ‘the first’, the LORD your God.  Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty.

However,  from the ‘strength’ of the alef comes an abundant harvest. 

Elohim is plural for ‘God,’ but not in that there is a plurality of gods.  When it is used in Scripture, it is found with the singular article.  Yeshua, part of the essence of Elohim is the Word of God that became flesh.  He the ‘strength’ of Elohim and through a manger will come an abundant harvest, because there is an ‘ox’, the Yahweh Elohim.

©2017 Tentstake Ministries

January 29, 2017 – The “Wall”

“On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent” (Isaiah 62:6).

In ancient times, walls were built around cities to protect them from their enemies.  Gates in the walls were closed to invaders and opened to allow its citizens to come and go.  Watchmen sat on the walls watching and guarding the city to prepare its citizens for any attack that might happen to come their way.

There is a lot of discussion in these modern days about ‘the wall’ and ‘refugees’. I’ve seen some people compare ‘the wall’ to the Berlin Wall, but this wall is not being built to separate nationals, it’s being built to protect a long, and nearly impossible part of the United State’s perimeter.

For anyone who has traveled outside of the United States, you know that entering another country, you have to go through Customs.  Some countries are more rigorous than others, but you do not just get off the plane and suddenly you’re walking the streets of that country.  You have to go through Checkpoints.  Passports are viewed, VISAS are checked to make sure they’re current or issued at that time, and sometimes you’re even asked questions to ‘profile’.  Yes, other countries ‘profile’.  It’s not invasive, but it is profiling nonetheless. They don’t care about ‘offense’ when they are wanting everyone entering their country to enjoy their time as tourists and not have their citizens become victims of terror attacks.  It’s just a no-brainer.  The ‘wall’ between Mexico and the US will just siphon people from every nation that want to get into this country on foot to Custom Checkpoints rather than allowing everyone to just cross the border and take advantage of American privileges. 

Some people are concerned about the cost to build the wall.  Though many may not like the idea that the US is going to stop funding international abortions, the UN and even the PA which funnels money to terrorist groups, the money that has been saved in just 10 days will more than cover the cost of ‘the wall’.  Not only that, but that money will stay in the US and build the US economy.  I’m not sure why it is important that hard-working Americans want to give their money to other countries rather than the people in their own nation.  I don’t know why it is so distasteful for other Americans to want their hard-earned money.  Moreover, the debt that doubled over the last eight years in the previous administration may actually be dwindled down.

For anyone who has ever traveled to the Middle East, you know that there are certain countries with VISA restrictions.  Yes, certain countries do NOT allow you into their country, American or not, if you have a Passport or VISA from a ‘forbidden’ country.  This is why Israel no longer uses a VISA stamp in a Passport,  but gives a separate VISA card.  It can be removed from the Passport if someone wants to enter a country that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.   In fact, 16 countries refuse entry to Israelis and many of those countries do not allow tourist VISAs from Israel into their country.  Several years ago, we met several international students from around the Middle East.  Each year they like to ‘meet up’ and reconnect, but the Israeli cannot go to Algeria, the UAE or Pakistan.  So, they meet in France or Jordan. 

I find it very ignorant of Americans to think that we’re the only country in the world who vets and checks who is coming into the country.  Even when I was in high school and we went from France to Italy, our Passports were checked and we received a VISA stamp.  When we traveled from Brasil to Argentina, we had to go through a check point, have our Passports checked and receive a VISA stamp.  I do not understand why this is such an issue for those who are legally trying to enter the US with the proper identification and paperwork.  This includes people from Muslim countries that do not harbor terrorists.  

As for ‘profiling’, it is not such a horrible thing.  In 2002, before the requirement for a Passport, as our family was crossing the border from Canada back into the US, the Customs person asked our small daughter if she knew us.  At five years old, she misunderstood what he was asking and said she did not know us.  What ensued was crazy as we all tried to find pictures of our daughter so they would believe she was ours.  Our situation ended okay, but the man told us that a week before he had asked a little girl the same question.  She also answered that she didn’t know her family.  They further interrogated to find that she had indeed been kidnapped!  She was returned to her family and the kidnappers arrested.  This is what borders are for – to protect innocent people.  If someone isn’t innocent, then they deserve to be caught and deported.

As for refugees, every IMMIGRANT or REFUGEE in the early days of the US had to pass through Ellis Island.  Everyone was checked out – even just for contagious disease.  This is the way it should be with anyone from another country.   Today, however,  that system has to be modified because of terrorism. It’s grievous that honest refugees may be turned away because terrorists infiltrate their ranks.  Yet, in the past few years, cries from Christians who have had family members, children even,  murdered and beheaded in Middle Eastern countries have been ignored while those fleeing their own country’s civil wars are absorbed around the world.  Sadly, not all are absorbed; not all can be absorbed.  If they had the same rights as Americans, for example the right to own weapons, perhaps they could fight back and regain their country.  But, America is unique and everyone in the world knows it.  

I don’t know the answer to all of these issues, but obviously 60,000,000 people were tired of the way things were going and voted for something different than the past 8, even 16 years.  We have one ally in the Middle East and that is Israel.  Our Muslim Israeli friends are Israeli citizens with the right to vote, work in hospitals, banks and even hold offices in Israeli government.  To believe whatever the media is selling is just ‘fake news’.  Before we take a stand against Israel, perhaps we need to discern who is trying to kill them, kill us and infiltrate our society and change it from within.   From my life experience it seems that those who immigrate to America and become naturalized citizens, learning the language and assimilating into the ‘American’ culture, tend to love the freedoms they have in the United States far and above those who enter illegally, refuse to assimilate and take advantage of rights promised to citizens in the Constitution of the United States and benefits that Americans work hard to obtain. 

Last week I shared some of these views with a liberal who called me all sorts of names, said I should never have been allowed to pro-create and spewed profanities at me.  He never once asked if I even voted for Trump (which I did not, nor did I vote for Hillary), but assumed my ignorance when he had no solutions, only verbal abuse.   Many times there is more than one solution to a problem.  In order to find out which ones work, we have to try them for the sake of our nation, its people and it’s melting pot culture.

The prophet Ezekiel also had words for those ‘on the wall’.  I will paraphrase, “If you fail to warn the people of impending war or death and it comes, then their blood is on your head.  However, if you warn the people of impending war or death and they don’t listen, then the blood is on their head and you will save your own life.”   The news around the world has been full of ‘impending’.  We can respond and live or refuse to hear and then our demise is only on us.

©2017 Tentstake Ministries.

November 9, 2016 – A Biblical Platform

Israel and the Nations

Balaam learned through a donkey that no one curses Israel.  My candidate loves Israel. 

“When they [Israel] lie down they crouch like a lion, or like a lioness — who dares to rouse it? Blessed be all who bless you [Israel]!  Cursed be all who curse you [Israel] !”  (Numbers 24:9)

On Murdering Babies

The greatest war on women is making them believe their bodies are little crematoriums and the unborn have no value.  My candidate is all about life and life abundantly.

“The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,“When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”  The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live…. So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God they were given families of their own” (Exodus 1:15-16).

Health Care

There are many alternatives to disease maintenance in this country and forced ‘health care’ and should include being able to make personal health decisions and being affordable.  My candidate is THE Healer.

“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases …” (Psalm 103-2-3).

“Worship Yahweh your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span” (Exodus 23:25-26).

“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil [frankincense, cedarwood, cyprus, hyssop, myrrh) in the name of the LORD” (James 5:14).

Social Programs

Certain segments of the population need help.  My candidate tells me who to support.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).

Immigration

There are those in any country who want to join it or destroy it.  My candidate knows the motive of everyone’s heart.  

“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17). 

“I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of nations; they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your shining splendor (Ezekiel 28:7).

Economics

Those who work hard deserve their money; those who don’t, need incentive to work.  My candidate promises rewards.

“Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it” (Proverbs 13:11).

“He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it, but he who hates being a guarantor is secure” (Proverbs 11:15)

“For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,”  and “The worker deserves his wages” (1 Timothy 5:18, Luke 10:7).

Taxes

Taxes are part of this world’s system.  My candidate understands that his kingdom is not of this world.

“Show me he coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius,  and he [Yeshua] asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:19-21).

Leadership

Winners and losers are all part of a divine plan.  My candidate’s time is coming.

“First of all, then, I counsel that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all human beings, including kings and all in positions of prominence; so that we may lead quiet and peaceful lives, being godly and upright in everything. This is what God, our Deliverer, regards as good; this is what meets his approval” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25).

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). 

The Coming Kingdom

“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord [Yeshua] will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:25-28).

“[The Seventh Trumpet ] The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

The Coming Victor

King Yeshua and His Kingdom is what I hope for and expect soon.

“On his [Yeshua’s]  robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and lord of lords.

“A King will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice” (Isaiah 32:1).

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”  (Revelation 7:9-10).

And now, if only … 

People would understand that Yeshua came not to condemn the world, but to save the world through himself, then there would be no racism, bigotry, hatred, anger, bitterness and there could be ONE World Religion where Truth and Justice really do exist.

Once, on being asked …  when the kingdom of God would come, Yeshua replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). 

©2016 Tentstake Ministries

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