God Keeps Covenant Day 1

Blog - God Keeps Covenant by Wendy Beckett - tells a 4,000-year-old love story between the Sovereign Lord and the Jewish people.

God Keeps Covenant Day 1

by Wendy D. Beckett

A Thirty-Day Study on God’s Love for Israel 

A LOVE STORY

“His love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:2) 

“…give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love.” (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31)

“The Lord your God has chosen you … to be his people, his treasured possession… because the Lord loved you.”

(Deuteronomy 7:6 & 8)

From the first pages of Genesis, we see the holy, just and righteous God wanting fellowship with human beings. In fact, He created them for that purpose. He delighted in their company in the cool of the day. Then, by preferring their own way to His, they lost that close companionship.

There were exceptions. Genesis chapters 5 & 6 record that Enoch and Noah walked with God. But after the flood and before Noah’s death, mankind had already returned to violent, evil ways.

Then the Lord set His focus on Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as the nation that grew out of this family. We watch this love story unfold throughout the rest of the Old Testament. In the passage above from Deuteronomy, the Lord was assuring the people of Israel of His “unfailing love for them. He spoke to Israel at times as a father but even more often as a lover and husband longing for them to return the love He felt for them.

When God found a tender heart like David’s, He expressed with immense delight, “I have found David…a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22) He even exclaimed to Israel, “I will sing for the one I love.” (Isaiah 5:1)

When the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon, God’s love for His people was so evident to her, she asserted, “Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel…” (1 Kings 10:9)

Even when Israel turned away from the Lord, His love for her remained. Hear His tender, deep lament in Hosea 11:8, “How can I give you up…?”

The heavenly Father calls His Hebrew people, “My beloved,” (Jeremiah 11:15) and “the one I love.” (Jeremiah 12:7) He declares, “You are precious… in my sight…I love you,” (Isaiah 43:4) “my unfailing love for you will not be shaken.” (Isaiah 54:10)

The love of the Lord Jesus for His people, Israel, is never more poignant than on the day of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. “As he approached… the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace.’” (Luke 19:41 & 42)

Even though the apostle Paul was sent to the Gentiles, the Lord gave him such a love for “his brothers…the people of Israelthat he states he could wish himself cut off from the Lord if it would mean that they would come to Him. (Romans 9:3)

——————-

Lord, we thank You for such extraordinary and eternal love for this people, Israel. We do not understand all the reasons why You chose to set Your love on a particular people but we trust You, our just, wise and faithful God. Your plan is perfect! You will reveal to us what You want us to know.

SHAKING OF ALL THINGS – Merrill Bolender

the shaking of all things by Merril Bolender

SHAKING OF ALL THINGS

Merrill Bolender  – Revised March 2020

I believe the Lord God wants His people to understand the times and know what He wants to accomplish during this world-wide shaking.

The sons of Issachar understood the times, they also understood the spiritual and political times.  The sons of Issachar could discern what God was doing and when He was doing it. They knew when one move of God was ending and another one was beginning. 1 Chronicles 12:32 (Paraphrased)

 “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken— that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.  (The only thing that cannot be shaken is the Kingdom of God.)  Hebrews 12:23b NIV

God’s Shaking Is Including “Every Facet Of Society” World-Wide

  • Social world – distancing – quarantine
  • Business world: Economy, stock market
  • Educational world
  • Sports world
  • Entertainment world
  • International and cruise ship travel
  • Medical world overwhelmed
  • Religious world
  • Church world

Things God Wants To Accomplish During This Shaking

Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. Isaiah 26:26:21 NIV

  1. I believe God wants to wean His people from our idols of mammon, entertainment, pleasure and earthy securities.

The love of the world has crowded out the love of God. Some of the pleasures and entertainment of the world can be all right if kept in moderation, but our priorities need to put God and His Kingdom first place.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John 2:15 NIV

We need to take this time of isolation from the distractions of the world and have a personal revival where our focus is the only thing that matters, Jesus and His Kingdom.

  1. Change our priorities from seeking and living the American dream to

“…seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness

and then all these things will be added unto us.”

Matthew 6:33

  1. Cleanse His church:

“Be you holy as I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16 It’s a family trait.

“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways (repentance), then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

During this time, just like the plagues of Egypt when God sent plagues that touched their idols of everything they worshipped, God has taken away everything we worship.  Is God saying,

  • “You want to worship athletes, I’ll shut down your stadiums.”
  • “You want to worship musicians, I’ll shut down the Civic Centers.”
  • “You want to worship actors, I’ll shut down the theaters.”
  • “You want to worship mammon, I’ll shut down the economy.”

Today this invisible plague has touched, worldwide, the idols of mammon (economy), entertainment, pleasure, hedonism, as every facet of society has been affected. Most of these things are OK when kept in moderation, but for many, they have become a priority focus.

The American Dream can be an idol if the love of the world crowds out God’s first command, to love the Lord with all our soul, mind, and strength.  God is shaking every facet of society  worldwide preparing the way for the great harvest and latter rain.  Pentecost was the former rain that precipitated a harvest. The latter rain will bring on the final harvest…then will the end come…!

God Wants Us To Stretch Our Thinking To the Restoration of All Things… (Acts 3:20-21)  Let’s focus on the church world and the shaking of all things. I feel that the Lord is moving the churches from large man-made denominational organizations, mega-churches, large gatherings and even conferences to small groups. The early church began in homes and  small groups and in these “last days” will return to the homes scattered among the neighborhoods in the cities and rural areas.

Years ago, I heard a speaker make a statement that challenged my thinking as a minister.  He said, “Sunday morning preaching and teaching can be informational and inspirational but not necessarily life changing except in the context of small groups where there is commitment, transparency, accountability, practical caring for one another and evangelism.

It appears to me that what we are experiencing may be Phase 1 of this happening. We need to pray and fast for discernment, direction and flexibility. We need to encourage and strengthen the small groups.  Phase 1 still allows us to be together corporately by Streaming”.   Phase 2 might be when our utilities and electronics may be cut off making our corporate meetings impossible.  Phase 3 when meeting is no longer legal. The church will need to go underground.

This happened in China, when the churches were torn down, pastors and leaders of the flock were killed or imprisoned, Bibles were taken and burned, and hymnals were burned along with teaching materials. The church leadership fell into laymen’s hands meeting secretly. Here in the West when no news was coming out of China, we thought the church had died. Only decades later, we learned the church has multiplied rapidly, with a unity never before experienced in China. Evangelism exploded with many miracles, signs and wonders confirming the Word of God. In small group necessity and concept, the church in China grew from approximately 3 million to 100+ million in a few short decades.

That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27

I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18b

The early church flourished and multiplied faster under persecution than when it was safely living in Jerusalem. When persecution began, starting with Stephen’s martyrdom, it spread in Judea, Samaria and then to the uttermost parts of the world.

Could this be the time…?

For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”  

Romans 9:28 NKJV

FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS

God is orchestrating the affairs of men and nations accomplishing His purposes, working through unrighteous as well as the righteous people.

When it looks like everything is falling apart…in God’s plans and purposes, they are all falling into place during the consummation of this age and preparation for His return. The stage is being set for seemingly worst-case scenario, when it looks like all is lost.

Let me say, up front, I believe the Lord is far more interested in completing the harvest, the restoration of Israel and the preparing of His Bride more than our enjoying the American Dream with our freedoms, our liberty, our peace and prosperity.

What the church is experiencing here in North America with our liberty, freedom, prosperity, and pleasure; it is going to be taken away, as much as we enjoy it. It is not normal church life as compared to the teachings of Jesus and the example of the early church.

He (the Father) may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive (will retain) until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:20-21 NKJV

This final harvest will prepare the way for Jesus Christ’s return to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.

“God’s ways are not our ways!”

If you would like a Hard Copy of this book – please call the National Office at 716.681.6300.

You can download Merrill’s Book FREEWhen the CROSS becomes a SWORD here.

Offering Hope in an Age of Genocide

Dr. Susanna Kokkonen shares with us about "Offering Hope in an Age of Genocide," a message much needed in the face of rising anti-Semitism worldwide.

Offering Hope in an Age of Genocide

“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 

Genesis 12:3 NKJV

In August, we had the privilege of hosting a zoom conference call with Dr. Susanna Kokkonen. She spoke to us about “Offering Hope in an Age of Genocide”; a message we all need to hear. Especioally in the face of rising anti-Semitism worldwide.

Dr. Kokkonen has her degree in Holocaust Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and worked as the Director of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem from 2008 to 2018. She frequently travels around the world speaking about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and the persecution of Christians.

The word brought to us by Dr. Kokkonen gave hope to everyone on the call that night, including our team here at Operation Exodus USA. We have made this call available for you to watch online so you may be encouraged and blessed by this word of hope.

Purim – Celebration of God’s Faithfulness

Purim - Celebration of God's Faithfulness

Purim – Celebration of God’s Faithfulness

February 25 – February 26, 2021

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”

Psalm 126:2 NIV

From Thursday evening at Sunset until Friday evening at sunset, Purim will be celebrated. 

This holiday is a reminder to our Jewish friends and fellow Christians that no matter how difficult things seem, especially through the uncertainty of these difficult times, that our God is there to carry us through it all. 

As we read through the book of Esther, a beautiful tapestry emerges as we see glimpses of God’s everlasting love and faithfulness. Throughout the events taking place, we see how intractably involved God is—although behind the scenes—reversing the murderous plots of the enemy of His people. His desire is always to rescue, deliver, and save His chosen people. 

Esther, a young Jewish orphan girl was adopted by her cousin, Mordecai. He raised and esteemed her as his own daughter. Under Mordecai’s care, she was well-loved and protected and grew up to be an obedient girl with great beauty. Through a series of events, she became crowned queen (wife) of King Xerxes of Persia. It is clear and evident that the favor of God was upon her life—positioning her at the royal courts for a higher purpose. She was hand-picked by the Providence of Almighty God to rescue her people.

Mordecai had forbidden Esther to reveal her Jewish roots in the king’s courts, and she obeyed his instructions just as she did throughout her childhood. Mordecai set at the king’s gates—uncovering a conspiracy to assassinate King Xerxes. He told Queen Esther about the plot, and she in turn reported it to the king. This plot was investigated and found to be true, and it was all recorded in the presence of the king. 

 As we read on, we learn of Haman the Agagite’s plot to destroy all Jewish people living in every province of the kingdom. Haman held the highest seat of honor over all other royal officials in the courts of the king. As commanded by the king, all other officials and people knelt down and paid honor to him. Haman was told of Mordecai, the Jew, who refused to show him honor. Mordecai’s refusal to kneel before Haman enraged him, filling him with great hatred not only for Mordecai but for all Jewish people. He devised a murderous plot and got permission from the king to issue a decree to destroy all Jews.  

When Mordecai learned of Haman’s plot and the king’s decree, he tore his clothes, and went into mourning, crying loudly throughout the city. Queen Esther was informed of what was happening with Mordecai and was greatly distressed. Mordecai instructed her to go to the king and plead for mercy for her people. Queen Esther was very reluctant to go before the king without being summoned by the king first as it was against the law and punishable by death. In the verses below, you will read the exchange of communications between them during a time of extreme danger to them personally and to all the Jewish people of their day.

“…Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.
Esther 4:13-17 NIV

We know how the story ends. God’s reversal of the enemy’s plan was brought about by the actions of two people.

Mordecai lived an honorable life. He was used by God to raise Esther, preparing her to accomplish her Godly purpose and destiny. He exposed the wicked plans to murder the king and would not bow down to Haman, the Hagagite, and the enemy of the Jews.

Esther grew into a beautiful young woman with a humble spirit, kind, obedient, and very courageous! She was loved by all in the courts of the king. She gained the king’s favor and love. She stood ALONE before the king, at great peril to herself, on behalf of her people!

Because of their actions, they were mightily used by the Hand of God to put an end to the enemy’s plan to destroy His people. God’s faithfulness and mercy were displayed in such a magnificent and powerful act of deliverance for His people of the day! The enemy was utterly exposed, humiliated, and destroyed! 

The story of Esther—the celebration of Purim is a great reminder to Jew and Gentile that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is faithful. He is a God who keeps His covenant with His ancient people. He is a mighty deliverer!

In 2021, this holiday is an opportunity for all of us to remember and celebrate the faithfulness of our God, especially as we live through these uncertain times. To know that He cares about us, that He is intimately involved in our lives, that He has a plan for us, to teach us, and to help us through every plot of the enemy against us. Our God is with us, especially in the moments when we don’t see or feel Him nearby. What can be more meaningful, bring us more joy and shalom than a reminder that our God is always there? He is a faithful, loving Father!

Purim is also a celebration of God’s protection and promise to deliver His covenant people. God’s faithfulness is with His children, no matter where they are. We witness this as our dear Olim go through the challenging process of preparing to make Aliyah. 

Let us pray and ask the LORD to give us boldness and courage to take our posts, to STAND with our Jewish brothers and sisters. May each of us be ready to respond in obedience to our God as He calls us to play our role in bringing about the fulfillment of His purposes for His holy work of Aliyah. 

Thank you for your ongoing support. We appreciate and value your prayers and your giving as a blessing to our Jewish friends making Aliyah from our nation. 

Prophecy and the End Times

Prophecy and end times

PROPHECY AND THE END TIMES

Israel & the Nations

by Daniel Ioannides
National Coordinator Cyprus, Ebenezer Operation Exodus International

It seems that twenty-first-century man has forgotten what God remembers. God made an ancient promise to the Jewish people that He intends to keep:

“Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.” Jeremiah 23:7-8, NKJV

Many Christians have concluded that the Jewish people and the modern state of Israel play no role in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. God’s dealings with the children of Israel involve His faithfulness more than their faithfulness. We should carefully examine God’s promises concerning the Jewish people on the basis of who made those promises, not on whether or not the recipients deserve them.

No one deserves the mercy and grace of God, but He extends them to His children anyway. God keeps His covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments. He remembers His covenant forever. (Deut. 7:9, Ps 105:8). He made many promises to the Jewish people, some of which have yet to come to pass.

The Lord in the Midst of His People as They Return

A year or so ago, I was reading Psalms 114 and 77 when I saw in a deeper way, the Presence and Power of God in His deliverance of the children of Israel.

“When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah became His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion. The sea saw it and fled; Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams, the little hills like lambs. What ails you, O sea, that you fled? O Jordan, that you turned back? O mountains, that you skipped like rams? O little hills, like lambs? Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of waters.” Ps 114:1-8

“The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were afraid; the depths also trembled……Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps were not known.” Ps 77:16-19

The Red Sea trembled and fled, the Jordan turned back, the waters saw the Lord and they were afraid, the depths also trembled! The Lord was in the midst of His people as they came out of Egypt chased by the formidable Egyptian army. Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever”. (Ex. 14:13). The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, in order to journey by day and night.

Prophecy and end times

It is evident from the prophetic scriptures that the last great exodus of the Jewish people from the nations will eclipse the first exodus from Egypt in magnitude and in greater miraculous signs and wonders. Already some 6 million Jewish people have returned from the nations since Israel became a modern state in May 1948. There are still some 8 million in the nations. Aliyah remains a constantly flowing stream and is gaining momentum since the beginning of this year with the onset of COVID-19 and increasing antisemitism in the nations, which is expected to trigger the release of many hunters “… and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks” (Jer. 16:16).

As with the first exodus from Egypt, the Lord will be in the midst of His people as they return from the nations in the last great Aliyah. He will go before them and He will be their rear guard. We can confidently expect to see signs, wonders, miracles, and every means of transportation and provision which the Lord will richly supply.

“Therefore behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them’. For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.” Jer. 16:14-15

Understanding the Last Days in the Light of Prophesy

Undoubtedly, we live in the end times and it is vitally important for us as God’s people to know how to order our lives rightly as we see the unfolding of His plan. It is crucial, in understanding the last days, to immerse our lives in God’s purpose. Every revelation we receive must be in alignment with the Word of God. We know that the Holy Spirit is the Author of the Scripture through chosen men who were inspired by God. (2 Tim. 3:16).

Prophecy and end times

The prophets of Israel were people of insight and foresight, by the Holy Spirit. They knew the terms of the Mosaic covenant with Israel, and that violation of that covenant would lead to judgment and Israel’s scattering. The prophets actually lived through periods of devastation and yet, they saw and spoke of Israel’s future restoration to the land of Israel and to God Himself. They looked forward to an age in which the purpose of God would be fulfilled concerning their land. They foresaw a time in which God’s glory would cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. (Isa 11:9).

Isaiah prophesied: “He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isa. 11:12). The prophet foresaw Israel’s restoration to the land, bringing about the establishment of God’s Kingdom, His law, and justice over all the earth.

The heart of God, spoken through the prophets, is that Israel, His firstborn nation was chosen to bring the whole world to the knowledge of God. The veil will be removed from all nations and the Kingdom will come in fullness.

Prophecy and end times

Excerpt from “Prophecy and the End Times – Israel & the Nations” by Daniel Ioannides, L’HITAMEK 7th Edition, 2020

Fixing our Gaze

FIXING OUR GAZE

FIXING OUR GAZE

Dick Leggatt

In these current times of unprecedented upheaval, where are we to place our focus? If we look around us, the world seems to be in crisis at almost every level. Perhaps you and I need to fix our gaze elsewhere.

When Enemies Gather

In these uncertain days, I have turned often to one of my favorite passages: 2 Chronicles 20. In this chapter of the Bible, an amazing story unfolds regarding the children of Israel under Jehoshaphat’s leadership.

At the beginning of the chapter, the King of Judah receives notification that the armies of three countries are mustering against his little nation. We can all understand how this information might strike fear in his heart. Even so, Jehoshaphat set all of Judah to corporate fasting to seek the Lord together. 

Then, he himself stepped forward to lead his subjects in prayer—first declaring God’s power and might, then recounting the many acts of divine faithfulness. Next came his reminder to God of what He Himself had directed His people to do: in times of disaster and crisis, they were to come to His holy temple and cry out to Him for help.

The Cry and the Response

Jehoshaphat’s discourse ends with these words from verse 12: “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.

Their determination to gaze at the One who had promised to deliver them from disaster resulted in an outpouring of prophetic encouragement and direction. 

They heard words like, “Do not be afraid or dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” They heard, “You will not need to fight in this battle.”, followed by specific prophetic instruction as to what action they should take.

In the end, a looming disaster turned into a dramatic deliverance.

Our Focus in Hard Times

Where are we to turn our eyes when everything in the world seems to be aligning itself against us? We gaze upon the One who alone is able to help us, rescue us, and deliver us—by His power, not ours.

A New Testament counterpart to what Jehoshaphat modeled in this story is Hebrews 12:2, which in the New American Standard version begins with these words: “fixing our eyes.” The original Greek translation of that phrase means this: “to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something.” 

In desperate times, we intentionally turn our eyes from everything that might cause us to shrink back in fear. Instead, we look confidently at the One who can help us, and we focus solely on Him.

A Time for Aliyah

How do all these examples about fixing our gaze on the Lord relate to the role and necessity of Aliyah in these turbulent times? 
One fact is undeniable from world history. National crises tend to place our Jewish brothers and sisters in heightened peril. Enemies of God’s chosen people tend to coalesce in such times to target them specifically and increasingly.

With eyes fixed on the One who is able to prevail by His great might, let us trust Him to open the way, fight the battle, and accomplish a great deliverance.

A cry like that of Jehoshaphat could understandably go up from his modern-day brothers and sisters: “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

With eyes fixed on the One who is able to prevail by His great might, let us trust Him to open the way, fight the battle, and accomplish a great deliverance.

Dick Leggatt
President
Derek Prince Ministries-USA

ONE NATION HOLDS THE KEY TO THE DESTINY OF MANKIND

THE KEY TO THE MIDDLE EAST

Discovering the Future of Israel in Biblical Prophecy

by Derek Prince

 

Operation Exodus USA highly recommends that you make time to read this book in the coming days. It brings a wealth of revelation to what God is doing in the earth and particularly in the Middle East. Our generation has a unique opportunity and privilege to honor God by praying for Israel and the Jewish people. You will discover God’s will as it is revealed in Scripture. Let us align ourselves with His purposes, especially during current events taking place around us. The uncertainty of our times requires our total obedience and dependence upon God — it will bring stability and strength to our lives. One thing is for certain — nothing can stop the fulfillment of God’s eternal plan to restore the land of Israel and restore His people to Himself.

This book will enrich and bless you. We encourage you to please call our National Office (716.681.6300); we will mail it to you for a donation to support the work of Aliyah. You can also obtain the book directly from Derek Prince Ministries:  https://www.derekprince.org/

Understanding Prophecy

Understanding prophecy

UNDERSTANDING PROPHECY

Understanding prophecyI have in my possession Webster’s New International Dictionary printed in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, in 1926. It is a big volume with 2,600 pages in small print on India paper, weighing almost 3.5 kg. It came to me when my aunt passed away in 1991. She spent several years in southern California as a companion and caregiver to an elderly artistic lady.

On page 1718 I find the entry for the word, prophecy: “1. The work, function or vocation of a prophet; a. inspired declaration or revelation of the divine will, including moral teaching by warning, consoling, exhorting, giving an example of fellowship with God; b. A declaration of something to come; a foretelling; a prediction; c. The power of prophesying, or foretelling the future.”

I am pleased that the definition is so broad and not limited to just foretelling the future. There are many people who have such a narrow understanding of the concept, and it seems to me that many Christians do as well. A statement on the internet claims that one third of the Bible is prophecy in this sense.

But if we use the full definition from Webster’s Dictionary above we can definitely say that the Bible as a whole is prophecy: inspired revelation of the divine will, including moral teaching by warning, consoling, exhorting, giving an example of fellowship with God. And some parts of the Bible deal with future events and the Lord’s plans, purposes and actions for the coming days as part of the broader understanding.

We read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

This broader understanding of prophecy and the Bible will also serve as a protection against unfruitful speculation regarding the future. The Lord wants us to walk in fellowship with Him, humble, doing His will. Dead works displease Him – how could we serve the living God with dead works? No, the blood of the Messiah cleanses our conscience from dead works. He has made us alive together with the Messiah. He has saved us by grace through faith – it is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works (so that we could boast).  But we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua “for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:5-10).

There are, however, a great number of passages in the Bible where the Lord speaks through His prophets regarding the future. But how does He do it?

We find a clue in Hebrews 9:11 – “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.”   I understand this to mean that when Yeshua gave His life for us on the cross, as the perfect Lamb of God, something of eternal importance took place simultaneously in a tabernacle not of this creation, i.e. entirely outside our time and space. This makes me believe that the Lord in His eternal dwelling, eternally present, sees the past, present and the future of mankind all at once!

So from His perspective the Lord simultaneously sees events that for us will happen tomorrow, a year’s time, a hundred years, or three thousand years into the future. And He not only sees the events, He moves and acts, sending His angels to help and intervene in countless ways. He prepares good works beforehand so that we as His children can walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

From time to time He reveals some of His intentions and plans for an individual, a family, Israel, or the entire world: “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). These revelations are very accurate!

Prime examples are all the prophetic words concerning the Messiah: His birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension. The Gospels abound with expressions like “for thus it is written by the prophet”.

Another area of major importance is aliyah, the return of the Jewish people and the restoration of Israel. We find numerous scriptures throughout the Tanakh where the Lord not only foretells the return of the Jews but also brings consolation, comfort, hope and encouragement.

The Lord does not limit Himself to speaking through the prophets and the Scriptures; He speaks through His servants today as well. During our international conference in Jerusalem on 23 January 2016 the Lord gave a word through Paul Clark regarding the burden to bring the aliyah message to the Church. Here is part of the message:

“Commission My faithful servants and anoint them for the work of Aliyah.  Time is short and there is much to be done. In 48 months the world will be a very different place! In this period of grace My church needs to hear that it has a calling to help with the mass Aliyah that is on the horizon … In four years it will be very different and My church has to hear about Aliyah. … there will be great challenges but My grace will be enough …”

Exactly 48 months later, on 23 January 2020, the Chinese government placed the entire city of Wuhan in quarantine.

“Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

“… he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” (1 Corinthians 14:3).

Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10).

Let us continue to bring the aliyah message to the Church!

Philip Holmberg
Board Member
Operation Exodus International

Then God brought Abraham outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Genesis 15:5

If you would like to make a donation to Operation Exodus USA to assist Jewish people moving to Israel, please click the donate button below. On behalf of Operation Exodus USA, thank you!

The Feast Of Purim

Feast of Purim

PURIM – CELEBRATION OF GOD’S DELIVERANCE AND PROTECTION

 

Every year, our Jewish friends celebrate the Feast of Purim, also known as the Feast of Esther.  During this day of celebrations, they remind themselves of the deliverance of their people in the days of the King of Persia. This year it starts from sunset, on Monday, March 9, 2020, until sunset, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. On this day, the Jewish people celebrate with great laughter and joy because God has turned despair into hope! As they read the whole history of Queen Esther, they recognize the enormity of what God had done for them and then they burst out in great laughter and joy!

This Feast, recorded only in the book of Esther is read in its entirety in synagogues throughout Israel and in many nations on this one day. People dress up, armed with toys and whistles that can make much noise in celebration of God’s protection and promise to deliver His covenant people. The story of Purim is a clear testimony of God’s hand of protection upon His children. Even when things do not look good, God is there!

A Purim service in the Synagogues is a noisy place. Kids specially enjoy taking part by blowing whistles, banging on drums and shouting with loud voices when the name of Haman the enemy is read. In the past, I attended Purim services in Israel. It always reminded me of the following words …“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” Psalms 126:2 NIV.  This scripture also reminds me of when Olim return to Israel, their lives are changed and we hear their testimonies. Their living in the Land is filled with joy, peace and, yes, laughter, celebrating God’s provision for them to make Aliyah, to go home to Eretz Israel!

Purim teaches our Jewish friends and us as well, that whatever we may face, if we ask for the courage to trust and obey God, no matter what the circumstance, all things will work together for good. The real hero’s in the Megillah (scroll, long complicated story) is not Esther or Mordecai, but God, who was working behind the scenes, and using ordinary but willing men and women to preserve the Jewish people against all odds.

Esther – the feast of Purim teaches us and all peoples and nations, that God will not abandon His people, He will and is fulfilling His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

To God be the Glory!
Chag Purim Sameach!! Happy Purim Holiday!!

Please download our Scripture Brochure, God’s Purposes of Aliyah.