Archives For Faith and Life

Is President Trump a Cyrus?

Ron Cantor —  August 16, 2017 —  Comments

 

Against all odds, Donald Trump became President. He won big in the electoral college. Which caused me to wonder, Does God have a plan here? I certainly hoped so and do pray for him regularly. Many people have said that he is a Cyrus. What does that mean? I am not opposed to saying, “God has called him/her to be a Ruth” or “The Lord has put a Cyrus anointing him,” or “He has a heart like David.” For instance, regarding my good friend, Don Finto, I would have no trouble calling him a modern-day Ruth, for the way he has connected himself to the Jewish people.

So, is Trump a Cyrus?

First, who was Cyrus? He was the king of Persia who allowed Nehemiah to come back to Israel and rebuild Jerusalem and her wall. Isaiah amazingly prophesied about this long before he was alive. His prophesy came 150 years before Cyrus was king!

“who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’” (Is. 44:28)

It is about Israel

While Cyrus was a powerful leader of an empire, God raised him up to stand with Israel—to help restore the Jewish nation.

“For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name [Cyrus, see v. 1]
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.” (Is. 45:4)

Furthermore, Cyrus was not a believer. And yet God chose him to, “rebuild my city and set my exiles free.” (Is 45:13).

One well-known prophetic speaker says that Trump’s action against Syria shows that he is a Cyrus—that he was moved by compassion. But there is nothing in the Cyrus prophecy about Syria or his compassion. Others think the idea of Trump being a Cyrus has to do with delivering America from liberal/progressive policies. But in context, a Cyrus is a political ruler who protects Israel against her enemies.

Cyrus, the King of the Persian Empire, attacked Babylon. Babylon was God’s instrument of judgement against sinful Israel. But it was time for the Jews to return to Israel. Cyrus liberated the Jews and allowed them to return and rebuild their country and of course the Temple.

Three Reasons why Trump might be a Cyrus

  1. He has the authority to recognize Jerusalem (rebuild the city) and move the embassy (rebuild the temple). The second one is a stretch, but taking that action could be seen as foundational. At the very least, a Cyrus would be extremely favorable towards Israel.
  2. He may come to know the Lord. Cyrus doesn’t initially “acknowledge” the Lord. We see that twice (Is. 45), but we also see that God does all these things through him, partly “so that you may know that I am the Lord.” (Is. 45:3) Of all of the prophecies that I heard before President Trump won, there was one that seemed to really touch my heart, going all the way back to 2007.

“Listen to the word of the Lord, God says, ‘I will put at your helm for two terms a president who will pray, but he will not be a praying president when he starts. I will put him in office and then I will baptize him with the Holy Spirit and my power, says the Lord of Hosts. There will be a praying president, not a religious one. For I will fool the people, says the Lord. I will fool the people, yes I will.’” Kim Clement

Well, based on President Trump’s behavior, it is safe to say that the first part is true. Some people have said, hey, he is a baby believer. When I was a baby believer, I could not shut up about Yeshua and the same can be said about many new believers. I was so excited about my new faith. Donald Trump has never confessed his need for forgiveness and, in fact, stated that he has never asked God for forgiveness. I don’t say this to condemn him, but show we need to pray for his salvation.  We need to pray that he has a mighty experience with God!

  1. He is an unlikely choice for president. Nobody gave Trump a chance. Cyrus’ grandfather tried to kill him twice because he was afraid he would replace him. The Lord foresees confusion amongst those who serve him regarding His choice.

“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
those who are nothing but potsherds
among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
‘The potter has no hands’?
Woe to the one who says to a father,
‘What have you begotten?’
Or to a mother,
‘What have you brought to birth?’” (Is. 45:9-10)

Surely the Israelites desired a Jewish savior—maybe someone from the line of David? God anticipated the reaction and basically said that He is God and will do His will as He pleases. And likewise, Trump—not a lifelong conservative, with a  checkered past—seemed an unlikely choice.

Is it conditional?

Not all prophecies or promises are unconditional. It may be that the Trump/Cyrus connection will depend on both his actions and our prayers. I know that are many believers praying for him. But, while God may have called him to be a Cyrus, he is not off to a good start.

The stage was set for him to favor Jerusalem. He was in Israel in the hours leading up to her 50-year anniversary of reunification. It seemed like a no-brainer that a Cyrus, raised up to favor and restore Israel, would recognize Jerusalem. But instead of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. Embassy, he focused on seeking peace between Israelis and Palestinians and struck a $350 deal with the radical Islamist Saudis. His son-in-law—a man with zero experience in such matters— was put in charge and quickly realized that there is most likely no solution. There is no doubt that he had planned to recognize Jerusalem and move the embassy, but people got in his head and convinced him not to.

And let me be clear—there is nothing in the Cyrus prophecy about him brokering peace between the Israelites and her enemies—just about Cyrus favoring Israel. So while many have blindly said, “he knows what he is doing,” or “he will fulfill his promise to move the embassy in the future,” you cannot call him a Cyrus while he pressures Israel to give up land. Joel speaks judgement over such leaders who divide up Israel’s land (Joel 3:2).

Cyrus was raised up for one reason—for the restoration of Israel. Please read for yourself in Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1-13.

And then we must ask, what will happen to the man who was called by God to bless Israel? Since his May 22 Israel trip the Trump administration has been in constant turmoil: resignations, firings, Scarimucci, Charlottesville, etc. Some blame the media and others the Alt Left, but I have to wonder how God would have blessed him had he fulfilled the Cyrus role in May. There is still time to pray for him to fulfill this calling.

 

 

 

 

 

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I think I made my concerns loud and clear when it comes to Neo Nazi’s and the KKK in my blog yesterday. And I did not hold back criticizing President Trump’s less than clear condemnation. However, there is a greater issue that threatens the very fabric of our society. It could actually result in the end of America as we know it.

The issue is the stifling of free speech. The Constitution is meant to be our Bible, so to speak, regarding the United States. It is meant to tell us what laws are legal or illegal. It guarantees our personal freedoms. However, unlike the Bible, the Constitution can be changed. But it is very hard.

It’s so hard that it has only been changed 17 times since the initial Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments, were adopted shortly after the Constitution was written. The first of the ten says this.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

We now live in a society were the first amendment is being ignored and it appears that the Charlottesville police did not do their job in protecting the rights of the disgusting white supremacists. Being Jewish (and human), I have nothing but disdain for the KKK, Neo-Nazis, David Duke, Richard Spencer and the like. They are the worst of Americans. And yet, they are American.

The is why the super-far-left-progressive ACLU took Charlottesville to court to fight for the right for the racists to have a rally. In other words—the freedom of speech and to peaceably assemble is so important, that the ACLU when to court for Nazis. (It can definitely be questioned as to whether or not their assembly was peaceful…riot gear?)

Hate Speech?

Someone asked me yesterday, “What if it is hate speech?” Yes, the constitution protects hate speech. Free speech scholar Eugene Voloch writes in the Washington Post:

I keep hearing about a supposed “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment, or statements such as, “This isn’t free speech, it’s hate speech,” or “When does free speech stop and hate speech begin?” But there is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment. Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas. One is as free to condemn Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal aliens, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or Socialism or Democrats or Republicans.

But it’s the Klan!

Today it is the Klan, tomorrow it will be pro-lifers or Planned Parenthood. Once we start making exceptions for other citizens to arm themselves and attack those exercising free speech, we begin a slippery slope towards a dictatorship or Stalinist styled government, replete with secret police and citizen spies.

In 1986, I was walking in Manhattan with Dr. Michael Brown. I was a student and Dr. Brown was speaking in New York. We came upon a group of Black Hebrew Israelites (I think that is what they called themselves) and they were spewing every kind of hate you can imagine. It was chilling, but that is their right under the first amendment.

And let’s be honest, it is easy to want to stifle the rights of hate groups of all kind. When I saw several people with Nazi flags at the Charlottesville rally, my blood boiled, but as disgusting as it is, it is their constitutional right. It is illegal to take up arms against those using speech we disagree with, as the Antifa groups did this weekend. You can protest against someone else’s speech, but you cannot silence them or attack them for that speech—only in the rarest of cases can the police stops someone’s speech.

  • Fighting words—where one is threatening someone else
  • Incitement to violence
  • A few other minor areas

But it makes me so angry

Someone wrote me and said something akin to, “These people, the Antifa, believe that they are the only thing standing between the KKK and lynching.” I disagree with the statement, but either we have a country of law and order or anarchy. I know there is tremendous distrust of police and the more we hear, the more it seems that they did a horrible job of separating the two groups in Charlottesville, but the Police are there to stop people from being lynched (and come on—when was the last time we had a real lynching in America? It was 1981, if you really want to know).

We have fostered a generation that believes that if anything offends them, then they have to lash out. Goodness, I have been lashed out against several times just today (and it is only 1:00pm) and I don’t feel the need to fight someone or challenge them. Maturity is not getting offended. Proverbs says, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

Slippery Slope

So, my question for the pro-Antifa folks is, when is it not okay to show up armed to prevent someone from exercising their first amendment right to free speech?

  • When I see BLM activists chanting “Pigs in a blanket, fry’em like bacon,” (which actually may be a violation of the First Amendment rights, because it is a call to violence).
  • What if there is a pro-abortion rally? Can I show up with sticks and chains to shut them up?
  • Can I stop people from protesting for hire wages?
  • Can bosses attack union members who strike?

The answer is no (in case that wasn’t clear). Might point is that once you silence one group through violence or the threat of violence, then it is only a matter of time until all speech is silenced.

American’s Unique Place Among the Nations

What makes America great is our freedoms and liberties. That is why we rebelled against England. It is why we have a Constitution that is for every person. That is why the rebels risked their lives, as they wrote the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

Once we start limiting the rights of some citizens, it is not long before we limit the rights of all citizens.

How ironic, that Charlottesville, of all cities, host a Freedom of Speech Wall where citizens can express their views. (https://www.visitcharlottesville.org/listing/freedom-of-speech-wall/2211/)

Testimony of Baruch

Elana and I were flying to Prague for Awakening Europe. I have really changed the way I live. Every day I expect God to use me. Not because I am special, but because He so loves this hurting world.

For years, I prayed this prayer:

I expect divine appointments in my life. I expect kingdom connections to take place daily. I expect to lead Israelis to Yeshua. I expect the gift of healing to work in my life with Israelis! I expect angels to be active in my life, working on my behalf for the glory of God. 

It is a powerful prayer, but I rarely acted on it. I have been a passive evangelist—walking through doors when they opened. Now I am a pro-active one. Now I am seeking out people.

Healing at 30,000-Feet

In the middle of our flight to Prague, a young man (26-years-old) came to front of the plane. He complained to the flight attendants that he was not feeling well. He came several times and I could tell that they were losing patience with him. I thought to ask him if he wanted prayer, but I had a check in my spirit that the timing was wrong.

I waited about a half hour and then began to sense the Holy Spirit’s presence. He was sitting one seat in front of me. I got up and sat beside him across the aisle and asked, “Are you not feeling well?” I asked him if I could pray for him. He said it would not help. I said, “God can do anything and sometimes when I pray for people, they get healed.” With that, he took my hand and allowed me to pray for him. His name was Baruch, which means Blessed!

“I Feel Love”

After I prayed, I asked him what he felt and he looked at me and said, “I feel love…I feel love coming from you.” I sat down with him and shared my testimony in Hebrew. Then he gave me his ‘take’ on God, which was not biblical, but then he added something very interesting. He told me, “God uses people. Sometimes we pray for something and God sends someone to you and you don’t realize that this person is God’s answer to your prayers. Look at me. I came to the flight attendants and they did not want to help me. Yes, they gave me water but really they hate me…they hate me! But you saw I was not feeling well and you decided to do something, and now I feel wonderful and I am having a great conversation with you.”

Small Risks, Big Dividends

It’s so much fun to share God’s love with others through the miraculous. But you must take small risks. These small risks can have huge payoffs. What was the worst that could have happened? He doesn’t get healed and he is still grateful that I prayed for him.

I have Baruch’s email and have sent him my testimony—which has in it, a clear Gospel message—in Hebrew. Pray for Baruch!

That evening in Old Town Prague, we met an American couple looking for someone to take a picture of them. We talked for a while and then Elana looked at Margaret, the wife, and asked something very strange: “Can I pray for you to conceive?” I have been around my wife long enough to know that she was being led by the Spirit. I am jealous with a godly jealousy of her ability to hear the Lord.

Margaret teared up and said, “Yes.” And then, “Oh my gosh, I want to hug you.” Amidst the tears, Elana prayed for her to get pregnant.

Roni the Pizza Guy

Finally, this happened today: I was just leaving the morning session of the conference. The presence of God was as wonderful as I can ever remember at conference—of course I always feel that way when God shows up. Worshiping with 10,000 to 15,000 people is always amazing. I can only wonder how heaven views it.

I left the meeting, almost in a cloud of ‘wonderful confusion’—if that makes sense. I was searching for lunch and ended in the hotel restaurant. The waiter at the other hotel restaurant had told us that the chef is Israeli. Elana had already met him. I looked at the guy behind the counter and realized he was the Israeli. Within minutes I was talking to him about Yeshua. He had already encountered several of the believers at the conference and was so open.

He told me that when he met Elana the other night, she came in with glow upon her. I told him that it was the presence of God. We had a great talk and then I asked him if I could pray for him. This is huge key in outreach. Always ask if you can pray for the person because you never know what God is going to do. As I prayed he lit up and smiled, as the presence of God came upon him. I got his email and sent him my testimony in Hebrew.

The in the evening Elana and I came to eat. He came and sat with us poured out his heart. He has two sons with whom he is not in contact. He longs to see them but one is not interested and the other has been prevented by the mother. We prayed for him—that God would show himself strong. I said to Elana, “The idea that a couple of Israelis would not only talk with him, but listen to his story and pray for him, is surely not what he is used to.” The lonely chef was so happy just to speak Hebrew. Please pray for him that as he reads my testimony and that would see Yeshua as his salvation. What a joy to be in Prague and having divine appointments with Israelis!

UPDATE: He just emailed me saying that we gave him hope! Hallelujah! Yeshua gives hope!

Share with us your story of how God is using you. I know He wants to! Take a small risk.

 

Some teach that there is no immersion of the Holy Spirit or Second Blessing. However, we can see clearly in Acts 8 (The Samaritan Revival) the distinction between the salvation experience and the Holy Spirit coming upon believers.

“When [Peter and John] arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been immersed in water in the name of the Lord Yeshua.” (Acts 8:15-16)

No Sinner’s Prayer in Acts

Immersion in water, a very common Jewish practice at the time, was the sinners’ prayer of the book of Acts (Acts 2:21, 8:12, 36, Acts 10:47-48) and there was no such thing as “Baptism Classes”. It was the immediate, first expression of your new faith. When you went into the water, you were saying, “I believe in Yeshua, that He is the Messiah and died as a sacrifice for my sins.” (Acts 8:15-16)

But then the apostles came down to lay hands on the Samaritans and see them also immersed in the Holy Spirit, because, “the Holy Spirit,” although He was in them, “had not yet come on any of them.”

First, Salvation

The purpose of the two distinct experiences is clear. The first is for personal salvation; forgiveness of sins. We see this in Romans 6, one of my favorite verses.

“We were therefore buried with him through water immersion into death in order that, just as Messiah was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)

Immersion in water was the perfect picture of dying to the old way and being raised to newness of life. The water symbolized a grave. What an awesome picture of death and resurrection! Can you imagine on the day of Shavuot, thousands of Jewish people all over Jerusalem going into the, more than 100, mikvot (immersion tanks) in the Old City, only to rise up out of the water, free and forgiven!

Why do we need more?

So why do we need the second blessing? The first blessing, salvation, is for you. But the second is to empower you to reach others. God would come upon these new believers with His Spirit so they could preach with conviction and do signs, wonders and miracles. The best picture of this is Simon Peter. This fellow cut off a guy’s ear and denied he knew Yeshua just 50 days earlier. When they met in Galilee he was dejected. But after the Holy Spirit comes on him in power, he stands on the Temple steps and proclaims Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, saying, “Men of Israel…”

His message was so powerful that his hearers were cut to the heart, and 3,000 Jewish men, plus women and children, came to faith in Yeshua. (Acts 2) And then, he sees a crippled beggar. He prays for him and the paralyzed vagabond jumps up, praising God. That is the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

Have you received Yeshua? He is ready to forgive you and receive you and give you newness of life.

Have you received the Holy Spirit’s empowerment? If not, ask God for it. It is his great joy to “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)


Please consider a gift to Messiah’s Mandate. We just committed to up our giving to our Tel Aviv congregation by 2,000 a month. We can only do that with your partnership. God is doing a great work at Tiferet Yeshua! Thank you.

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I was lying down, just resting and suddenly I had vision or a dream or maybe drevision. I was walking along Israel’s main highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with someone whom I did not know. He told me that the newest lane, the outside lane—actually the shoulder—would soon fall into the ground because of sinkholes or erosion of the land. I was walking as far outside as one could get while still being on the shoulder. I felt a pull, like a magnetic force, pulling me off the road and into the brown grass.

Then I realized it was a vision.

Interpretation

The road is our life. The area off the road—dead grass—is sin, temptation, addiction, etc. If the road was going to fall into the ground on the side, why was I walking there? I should, at least, have moved to the other side of my companion, if not hugged the center of the highway.

The warning and encouragement is to not walk too close to the flame, lest you get burned. Or as Solomon rhetorically asked, “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without burning his clothes?” (Prov. 6:27) The words the Lord spoke to Cain come to mind:

“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Gen. 4:7)

The key to ruling over sin is not merely resisting. Notice I said merely. Yes, resisting sin is part of it. James does tell us to resist the devil and he will flee. (James 4:7) (Ironically the same chapter and verse as the Genesis passage.) However, resisting is not enough.

In His Presence

If sin is represented by the area off the road, then the opposite of sin must be in the center of the road. Yeshua lives in the center. His presence is in the center. The key to overcoming sin or “ruling over” sin is spending time with Yeshua. There is no sin in His presence. There is life, love, forgiveness, joy unspeakable and a peace that passes all understanding. It is hard to give into temptation, much less sin, when we are in His presence.

I once remarked to a repentance preacher, “Holiness is not the absence of sin, but the presence of God.” The key to overcoming lust is not found in human effort, but in our desire for God. When we are hungry for God, we will not be hungry for sin.

How ‘Bout Them Apples

I remember when I started eating healthy. For snacks, instead of cake or a candy bar, I was told to eat an apple. I rarely ate fruit. I didn’t want an apple. But amazingly, after a few days of eating apples, I began to crave apples. In the same way, if you give yourself to seeking God, hungering after Him, you will find your appetite for sin decreases and your need for His presence increases.

Angels

And when we overcome sin, we can expect His presence. Many have taught about how Yeshua overcame temptation in Matthew 4—three times Yeshua fights off the enemy—but I have rarely heard anyone comment on what happened next. After He resists the enemy, something special takes place: “Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Matt. 4:11)

When we overcome sin, we can expect angels to come and minister to us. You can be sure of this: God loves you and wants to help you in your struggle. It starts with strengthening that relationship with Him. Build up a hunger for healthy God and don’t give in to destructive sin. And though you can’t see them, angels are ministering to you.

We have to stop walking so close to the edge and get closer to Yeshua. When someone asks, “What is the least I can do and still get into heaven,” they are missing the point. That is like having 50-yardline seats at the Super Bowl, but hiding in the bathroom. Yes, you are there, but you are missing the best part. God is fun. God is joy. God is victory and life and love.

In the World, not Of the World

“But if I separate myself from the world to be with Yeshua, what good will I be?” Good question. Walking far from the edge doesn’t mean that we don’t have contact with sinners. Hello. Look at Yeshua. He walked so close to the Father—to the point that He said that He could only do what He sees His Father doing (Jn. 5:19)—and yet, He spent His time with prostitutes and tax collectors.

You can walk far from the edge and yet be right in the midst of those who need Yeshua. In fact, that is where we are to live. Just as Yeshua intimated—we are to be in the world, but not of the world.

“I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14-16)


God is doing an amazing work at Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv—a Hebrew-speaking congregation dedicated to reaching Israelis with Yeshua’s message. We are hungrier than ever before for a move of God. Stand with us in prayer and support as we share the bread of life to our people here in Israel.

 

 

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