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This week, world renown theologian and general spewer of nonsense, Joy Behar, said that people who expect God to speak to them are mentally ill. You know, nutso—hearing voices. Well, here is how she put it.

“It is one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you…that’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”

The Theology

Before we talk about how demeaning this is to the Vice President, let’s just examine her words theologically.

  1. Behar has no problem with your religion. “It’s one thing to speak to Jesus.”
  2. Her problem is when you actually believe that your God is real. It is mental illness if you think that Jesus is talking back to you.

So, according to Joy Behar, it is fine to pretend that God is real, as long as you don’t believe it. The God of the Bible speaks to people. He has sent his Holy Spirit to guide us. John 16:13 specifically says He will speak to us. Paul, the writer of most of the theology in the New Testament visited heaven (I Cor. 12:2), had visions (Acts 16:9), heard the voice of Jesus directly (Acts 9:4) and lived life as if God still speaks to men.

The Offense

Vice President Pence rarely defends himself against a steady onslaught of attacks against his faith. But this time was different. The insulated talk show host, who probably never has real conversations with people of faith, assumes that most of America is like her. Faith is a toy—something to entertain us, but not real. This time Behar didn’t merely attack Vice President Pence for not being willing to put himself in compromising positions, by being alone with women (something I call common sense or wisdom), but she criticized all Americans who believe that God plays a role in our lives and destiny.

Pence defended people of faith.

“ABC has a program that compared my Christianity to mental illness. And I liked to laugh about it, but I really can’t.

“To have ABC maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness is just wrong. It is simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance…It is an insult not to me, but to the vast majority of the American people…My faith sustains me in all that I do…

“It demonstrates how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people that you could have a major network like ABC permit a forum for invective against religion like that.”

The Faux Apology/Excuse

Taking a page out of disgraced comedian Kathy Griffin’s book, she turned this into an attack on comedians. When Griffin committed career suicide by holding up the supposed bloody, decapitated head of President Trump, she sought to say that it was the Trump’s family that was attacking her and that it was only because she is female. “Cut the crap, this wouldn’t be happening to a guy — this is a woman thing.”

Behar too, takes no responsibility for the outrage against her. Instead, she sought to justify her comments, while backtracking, saying she doesn’t think all Christians are mentally ill. Thanks Joy.

“That would make me mentally ill since I’m a Christian myself; it would make my mother mentally ill, my mother, my aunts, my daughter, of course not. I don’t mean to offend people, but apparently, I keep doing it. It was a joke. Comedians are in danger these days.”

First, of course she is not a Christian in the biblical sense. She is a cultural Christian—in name only. She is pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, pro-transgender, pro-everything-not-biblical. Secondly, instead of apologizing for going too far in her comedy (by the way, The View is not primarily satire, but political) she says, “Comedians are in danger these days.” Yes, we should not be offended when she equates our relationship with God as being mentally unstable. It’s a joke! You are hilarious Joy!

This is the same left, that crawls into the fetal position at any perceived micro-aggression.

And she felt the need to say the stupidest, most manipulative thing: “We also have a first amendment in this country.” She takes advantage of her naïve audience by pretending (I hope she was only pretending!) that this is a free speech issue.

Or is Joy Behar suggesting that the first amendment guarantees everyone a million dollar a year job to spout their views on politics and religion, with no repercussions? No one has ever threatened Joy Behar’s freedom to declare her offensive views. She seems to think, if offended believers respond to her hurtful words, it is somehow unconstitutional? So, in her world, the first amendment guarantees her freedom of speech, but not mine or yours, if we want to respond.

Megan McCain got it right before Whoopi Goldberg shut her down:

“As a Republican, I feel like liberals say we need to be tolerant of everyone, we need to be tolerant of everyone except pro-lifers, except Trump supporters, except gun owners, except for everyone in the red and middle of the country.”

Mic drop for Ms. McCain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons from Abraham Part 2

In Part 1, we saw how Abram went from lying about Sarai being his wife, to walking in the favor of God. In Genesis, chapter 12, when he goes to Egypt, he is afraid that Pharaoh will kill him and take Sarai for himself. So, they tell Pharaoh that they are brother and sister and still the favor of God rests on Abram. Even in his lack of faith state—God blesses him.

Then, when he and Lot decide to separate, he tells Lot that he can have whatever area he wants. Abram had learned that it just didn’t matter. If God declares blessing, then Abram could have raised cattle in the desert!

Taking on Five Armies—No Problem

Now, he has a much bigger test: a king named Kedorlaomer is gobbling up territory in Canaan, building himself a nice mini-empire. The king of Sodom, where Lot lived, and three others decided that they didn’t want to be under this dude’s thumb any longer, so they set out to defeat him.

However, things didn’t go according to plan. They were defeated. And Lot, Abram’s nephew, was taken captive.

In reading Genesis 14, it doesn’t appear that our man even flinches:

“When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus.  He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.” (Gen. 14:14-16)

Outnumbered!

Abram was no general. He had no army. It says his 318 men were trained, but how trained could they have been? Until now, we don’t see Abram as a conquering king. They were probably trained in defending the flocks against marauders. And Damascus, do you know how far that is from Sodom? Over 200 miles and most of his men had to have been walking. But Abram, the friend of God, knows that it doesn’t really matter if he has 3,180 men or 318 men or 31.8 men; God would give him victory.

Rejecting Riches from a Wicked King

And then he has this little conversation with the king of Sodom:

“The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”

But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’” (Gen. 14:21-23)

Now put yourself in Abram’s place. You just saved this guy’s kingdom. He wants to bless you with riches. Wouldn’t you be tempted to take the booty? Even if you knew it was wrong, human nature would start trying to figure why God really wants me to take this stuff. I have certainly been there. In fact, I failed.

“I am going to give you a Honda Accord”

When I was in my early 20s and had no money and no car, the Lord spoke to me over and over again, during August of 1987, that He was going to give me a Honda Accord. And then one day, my dad calls me and says, “Is your sister home? I am bringing her a car.”

“Really, what kind of car?”

“A Honda.”

“A Honda Accord?” I quizzed.

“Yes, why?”

I knew that was my car. My sister didn’t like it and he was going to return it to his friend, who owned a used car lot, in the morning. Because of my faith, he was committed to not helping me. And this is where I blew it. Instead of just letting God do what He promised, I went to my father and said, “You know, if she doesn’t want it, I’ll take it.”

“Absolutely not.”

(You have to understand that at that time my father really didn’t like me. I went from being one of the most hyperactive, irresponsible, drug-using, law-breaking kids to being a Jesus Freak. I was an embarrassment on so many levels, and I wasn’t always tactful in the way I shared my faith. I thank God that today my Dad is my best friend. It really is a miracle. Now I am trusting God for him and my mother to come to faith!)

I walked away dejected. I went to take my laundry out of the dryer about 30 minutes later and the Lord spoke to me, “Are you done? Will you let me work now?” Just then my father yelled my name to come to him in the TV room. I honestly thought that he was going to mock me about my faith (this was during the time that Jim Bakker was exposed and it was in the news). As I walked through the door, keys were already in the air, coming my way.

“You can have the car,” he said with an almost defeated tone.

Now, I rejoice in that testimony, but it would have been so much sweeter if, like Abram, I was walking so close to the Father that I knew He could do it without my help.

Walking in God’s Favor

Abram didn’t want money from Sodom. He wanted the world to know that he came from nothing to riches through the hand of God alone. I am sure he knew of the immoral ways of Sodom, and didn’t want his name connected to the evil king. He wanted to walk in the pure blessing of God! Me too! How about you?

 

 

 

 

You must forgive me for the title of this blog, but I am just keeping it real! I mean, when your Israeli taxi driver has a revelation and exclaims biblical truth with joy that he has never known, it doesn’t always come out the way you might expect. Let me back up. I was with some friends from the U.S. Our Taxi driver, Dudu, was full of information, teaching us the history of Tel Aviv.

We began to share with our Dudu about Yeshua. Just before we arrived at our destination, I asked him if he had pain in his body. He told me that his back was giving him trouble and that he had knee pain from an operation. We laid hands on him and prayed for him. He said his knee felt better and we prayed again, but this time I asked God to allow him to experience His presence.

I asked him again about his knee and he said again, that it felt better. But then, it was clear in his countenance that God had touched his spirit. I asked him what he felt inside. He took a deep breath and it was evident by the smile on his face that something had happened. He said, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, …”

I LOVE TO SEE GOD TOUCH ISRAELIS WITH HIS PRESENCE!

By his own confession, the Lord touched his knee—at least to some degree. I only use prayer for healing of the body to get to the soul. What good is a healed knee, if your soul perishes? For this reason, I try to always pray for people to experience the joy of the Lord—the presence of God. They immediately recognize that this is not mere human emotion.

In July, I was in a Starbucks drive-through and I asked God to give me a word for the girl who would soon take my money. Nothing came! Then I said, “Then give me something to say to her!” As I approached, I asked, “Have you ever wondered how much God loves you?” She said, “Actually, yes.” Then I asked, “Have you ever felt the presence of God?” She said, “No, I have not.”

“Give me your hand.” She did and I prayed for about 30 seconds. When I let go, it was clear God had touched her. She looked me and said, “You made my day!” I said, “I don’t want to make your day, but your life! Go home and read the book of John, and learn about Jesus.” Friends, you can do that too! God is with you!

An Unepected Reaction!

Back to Dudu. So…after we stopped the camera, he was still smiling for ear to ear when he exclaimed as if he was having a revelation: Yeshua was Jewish, Yeshua was a “blanking” Jew! The word shocked us, but we were not so religious, that we could not see that Zacchaeus was right before us. I am sure the Lord encountered more startling things as He reached out to sinners and tax collectors. We all laughed together as Dudu took off. But not before I got his phone number. I have been in touch with him on SMS and hope to send him some materials.

Another Encounter

On the way home, we had another amazing encounter. Rachamim (which means mercies) didn’t come across to me as someone open to the gospel. He was in his mid-twenties and was sporting that cool kind of quiet. It had come up that we were Messianic Jews. As we approached Tel Aviv, I asked him, “Are you curious how I came to believe in Yeshua?” Israelis are ALWAYS curious.

He said, “As a matter of fact, yes.” I shared with him my story. When I got to the part where I was explaining the gospel—that Yeshua was a sacrifice for our sin—he surprisingly seemed to understand. I told him that Jewish people think that their sins can be forgiven through fasting on Yom Kippur, but that is only because there is no Temple. When the Temple stood, a goat was sacrificed for the sins of Israel by the high priest. Fasting was merely the humble disposition the nation took, in hopes that God would forgive them.

However, after the Temple was destroyed, a new Judaism was created by Yochanan Ben Zakkai that replaced the substitutionary sacrifice with human works. Instead of falling on his face and repenting at the Temple’s demise, Ben Zakkai created a new, bloodless Judaism (see more www.roncan.net/histmess). I explained that only the shedding of blood could take away sin.

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” (Lev. 17:11)

“That makes sense,” he said. I was kind of shocked that such a young man could embrace a deep theological concept. “I want to learn more about this.” We prayed for him to experience God’s presence and he did! I grabbed about a copy of my book, “Identity Theft” in Hebrew, and gave it to him. He was eager to read it.

Friends, this is my passion—not only to share the gospel with Israelis but to see Israeli believers equipped to share the gospel with healing power. We are seeing it more and more. Pray for these two men that God would continue to work on them and that, when I contact them, they will want to learn and hear more, even visit the congregation.

There was a story about a man who had inherited a substantial amount of money. The problem was that he did not know it, and when he was finally found and told, he would not believe it.

Rosh Hashana begins tonight. We prepare to share the traditional blessing with one another: May your name be inscribed for a good year. We share these words between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur because of the belief that our destinies will be set on Rosh Hashana, based on the prior year’s actions. We are taught that during the ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we can change that destiny, through good works, repentance, giving and prayer.  

Of course this idea is found nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures. Nowhere in Torah is such a thought suggested. It is mere tradition. However, we can be sure that our names are written in God’s Book of Life forever, without the fear of it ever being removed. The only question is will you be like the inheritor who refused to believe a great inheritance was his for the taking or will you open your heart to the possibility that God has something great for you? That all your sins can be forgiven? Continue Reading…

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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 the decades old, failed peace process between Israelis and Palestinians and struck a $350 billion deal with the radical Islamist Saudis. His son-in-law—a man with zero experience in such matters—was put in charge of the peace process and quickly realized that there is most likely no solution. There is no doubt that President Trump had planned to recognize Jerusalem and move the embassy, as the recently ousted, Steve Bannon, just confirmed that he was urging the president to do is, but people, such as Kushner, got in his head and convinced him not to.

And let’s 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 late May Israel trip the Trump administration has been in constant turmoil: resignations, firings, Scaramucci, Charlottesville comments, Donald Trump Jr. Russia meeting, Bannon, etc. Some blame the media and others the newly dubbed, 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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