Archives For Isaiah 2

On November 29th, we will celebrate 70 years since the UN voted for Israel to become a nation. But there was another amazing event that happened on the same exact day during the vote, that shows how God is watching over every minute of History.

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What a change we see in Abraham from Chapter 12 of Genesis to Chapter 13. In Chapter 12, Abraham, actually, at that time he was still Abram, goes down to Egypt because of a famine. There, he becomes concerned that his life is in danger. His wife, Sarai, is a real hottie and he thinks that if Pharaoh knows that they are married, Pharaoh will kill Abram and take Sarai. He gets Sarai to hide the fact that they are married, from Pharaoh.

It is pretty amazing that Abram was so weak at that time, that he was willing to allow his wife to be in Pharaoh’s bed. In fact, he got rich off the deal. Because Pharaoh thought that they were just brother and sister, not only did he not kill Abram, but he blessed him with “sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.” (Gen. 12:16)

Yet God’s hand was on Abram. Even in his lack of faith, the Lord protects them both. A plague had come on Pharaoh’s house and he realized (we don’t know how) that it was because he had taken another man’s wife. He sends Abram away with his wife and all the goodies he had been given. That could have only been the grace of God.

In Chapter 13, he becomes even wealthier. I think he began to see that this “God thing” was real. He must have recognized that the blessing on his life was supernatural and he learns to trust God.

Then conflict comes. His workers and those of his nephew Lot begin to quarrel. Abram says to Lot:

“So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” (Gen. 13:8-9)

Abraham had come to the place where he understood the blessing and favor of God. He was becoming God’s friend. He knew it didn’t matter which area Lot chose, as God’s blessing would remain on him. Lot chose the lush area near Sodom. It didn’t matter to Abram—if God determines blessing, then blessed you will be.

When I first came into ministry some 30 years ago, a fellow elder opposed me greatly. He would seek to embarrass me publicly. He was threatened by me because he thought we were in competition to one day replace the senior leader. The truth is, it was the last thing on my mind. But he came after me. Finally, when I had had enough, I was going to rebuke him. I shared this with a mentor and he said, “Yeah, you could do that. Or you could pray and fast for him.”

Ouch! Not what I wanted to hear. Clearly, God was calling me to take the low road. I humbled myself and honored him, praying and fasting for God to bless him. Within a short time, he left the ministry. In other words, as long as I was getting offended and taking things into my own hands, the issue remained. Yes, like Abram, God was still blessing me, but this fellow was a thorn in my side. The minute I began to pray for him, God resolved it—and quickly. Years later, God restored my relationship with this man.

I came to the place, however, where I realized that if I humbled myself and trusted God, no one could keep me from His favor and blessing. This principle has worked time and time in again in my life and ministry. Abram learned this in a big way and, after Lot left him, the Lord renewed His covenant with Abram.

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” (Gen. 14-17)

Are there areas in your life that you have not surrendered to the Lord, areas where you don’t trust Him? Learn to live as Abram did, realizing that if “God be for you, who can be against you?” (Romans 8:31)

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Watch! Healing Testimonies

Ron Cantor —  November 13, 2017 —  Comments

This summer was amazing! It all started with a visit to Jerusalem from Todd White. I was able to spend several days with him in Jerusalem. As an evangelist, I was provoked to jealousy by his love for the lost, boldness to minister to them and the presence of God for healing. The Lord had been speaking to me from John Chapter 2, where Yeshua turned water into wine. Just as in that story, I believe He has saved the best for last!

Last month I shared this message at King of Kings in Jerusalem. You can do the miracles that Yeshua and His disciples did. If you need healing, stick around until the end, when we pray for the sick. One woman in severe back pain, emailed me after watching, to share that God healed her!

  1. I don’t know of any groups that come up as intellectually deficient as White Supremacists. The idea that white skin makes you superior, and therefore gives an inherent right for whites to dominate other races, goes against common sense and the word of God, which says all men were made in God’s image.
  2. I do not believe that President Trump is a white supremacist. However, the so-called Alt-right, egged on by Steve Bannon’s (who probably isn’t a racist either, but saw the need to mobilize these people) Breitbart News (how sad to the memory of Andrew Breitbart—a good man) marshalled the forces of these folks to help get Trump elected. That is a fact—just go read the comments section of Breitbart.com before the election. It worked.
  3. In an interview with then candidate Trump, I remember that he would not condemn the racist David Duke, and then flat out lied, saying, he did not know who David Duke was. Why? Because sadly, he felt he needed these people to get elected. The same David Duke said to a reporter (during the rally) that he was there to support Donald Trump’s agenda to take America back—I guess from African Americans, Latinos and Jews. Now, just because he invokes Trump’s name, it doesn’t make Trump a racist, but it does demand radical and regular condemnation from President Trump.
  4. The only reason Steve Bannon has a job in the White House is to appease these people. Trump doesn’t want to alienate them. He needs them in 2020. This is also why Trump gave a placid condemnation, not even mentioning the white supremacy groups, this weekend, and then only under pressure finally called them out by name. This is unacceptable.
  5. However, amongst the progressives, there are too few condemnations of the violent radical left—for the same reason. Hillary, Bernie, Chuck and Elizabeth will need the new Antifa and BLM (Not saying all BLM members are violent, but certainly many) to get elected. It seems there is a lack of courage on both the left and the right to condemn violence from potential voters. The only difference is that virtually every other republican came out and swiftly condemned the KKK and neo-Nazism—even the infamous Anthony Scaramucci chided the president for his toothless statement! I have not seen one democrat condemn the violent Antifa and when they have condemned the violence of BLM, they quickly walk it back because of angry response.
  6. In the video I saw of the fighting in Charlottesville, I didn’t see armed White Supremacists against peaceful protestors (though I am sure there were many local peaceful protestors—and if I was in my home state of Virginia, I may have been one of them). But I saw two armed groups ready to fight. In the short clips on the news, I could not figure out at first who were the white supremacists and who were the protestors.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9AOMXuJSd4
  7. The Alt-Right is a term that racist Richard Spencer coined in 2010 to refer to White Nationalism. It has nothing to do with conservatism. Conservatives believe in small and government, free enterprise, traditional family values, low taxes and limited government regulation. The Alt-Right is focused on white nationalism, nativism (which is funny because they all came from Europe), anti-Semitism, anti-feminism, anti-homosexual and anti-immigration. Conservatives are pro-legal The Alt-Right are not conservatives, but racists.
  8. The rise in violence of both the white nationalists and the radical left is troubling. Martin Luther King was arguably the most effective social rights leader in history and he would not resort to violence. It is clear that both the white supremacists and the protesters were not local to Charlottesville. The killer of Heather Heyer was from Ohio and the BLM New York signs there.
  9. We have a media that is so obsessed with a story that they cannot ignore the racists. After the tragic death of Heather Heyer at the hands of a Hitler-living domestic terrorist, White Power leader Jason Kessler announced a press conference in Charlottesville and the press flocked to give him a stage. Why not just ignore him? Imagine if no one showed up? During the actual march, photographers jumped in front to get pictures of the neo-Nazis so the world could see. Why? Why are you giving the most evil in our culture a stage—and for free!? (I know this is wishful thinking on my part.)
  10. As a normal human being, as I watched some of these bozos making Nazi signs and shouting racist slogans and even carrying Nazi flags, I would have liked to have been there with a two by four. It would taken tremendous self-control not to become violent as someone attacks the essence of who you are, calling you less of a human because you are black or Jewish or Latino. While violence is definitively not the answer, the urge to resort to it is understandable.
  11. President Trump needs to condemn these people in the strongest terms, fire Bannon (who gave them a voice) and distance himself from them completely and forever. There is no question that the media has been unfair to Trump, but he is equally responsible for constantly leaving room for ambiguity—like with his statement this weekend.
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Part 2

Often, well-meaning, Israel-loving people will say to me, “I am Jewish now. I am grafted in.” I never, ever say anything close to, “No, you’re not Jewish.” I focus more on how grateful I am that they love God and pray for the Jewish people. However, it is interesting that the Church went from saying, “You can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus,” to, “All believers are Jewish.”

Which is it? What does the Bible actually say? I will make six statements and then seek to back each one up with Scripture, one blog post at a time:

  1. Jews who receive Yeshua remain Jews, just as a females remains female or a male remains a male, after coming to faith.
  2. Gentile simply means a member of the nations. When a member of the nations comes to faith, he does not become Jewish, but continues to be a member of his or her nation.
  3. However, Jewish and Gentile believers are equal in the sight of God. Jews are neither favored above Gentiles nor discriminated against, in regards to non-Jews.
  4. Salvation is free, but rewards in the kingdom are based on merit, not ethnicity. Intimacy with God is based on the desire and passion of the individual believer, not whether they are Jew or non-Jew, male or female, etc.
  5. Jewish and non-Jewish believers make up the One New Man—a mystery that was hidden in times past. Paul calls this the household of God. In this household, the Gentile believers become joint-heirs with Jewish believers—without losing their own ethnicity and without replacing the Jewish people.
  6. Ethnicity is important to God, which is why non-Jewish believers do not become Jews or Israelis (Israelites) after coming to faith. They are called to stand in the gap for their nation.

Blog One: Jewish believers are still Jews

The early believers clearly had zero issues with the idea of being Jewish and believing in the Jewish Messiah. The question with which they wrestled was, “Can a Gentile believe in Jesus, without converting to Judaism?” The apostles, through their lives and teaching, give no hint of leaving Judaism. In fact, rumors were being spread about Paul teaching Jewish believers “to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs” (Acts 21:21). Paul, upon the advice of the Jerusalem apostles, went to the Temple to make a sacrifice so that, “everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.” (Acts 21:24)

Church Fathers turn against Jews

However, the Church Fathers in the second century began to teach that once a Jew comes to faith, he is no longer a Jew. Many were vicious in their accusations against the Jewish people. Peter the Venerable wondered about the humanity of Jews: Truly I doubt whether a Jew can be really human.

Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (98-117A.D.) – Epistle to the Magnesians

For if we are still practicing Judaism, we admit that we have not received God’s favor…it is wrong to talk about Jesus Christ and live like Jews. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity.

They lined up to accuse the entire Jewish nation of killing Yeshua (forgetting that He laid down his life by His own free will for them.) Another, Justin Martyr taught that Christians were the true “Israelite race” and that the Hebrew Scriptures now belonged to the church exclusively. He did not believe you could be both Christian and Jewish. He also taught that circumcision was for judgement (as opposed to being there mark of the covenant of Abraham).

The purpose of [circumcision] was that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours; that only your land be desolated, and your cities ruined by fire, that the fruits of you land be eaten by strangers before your very eyes; that not one of you be permitted to enter your city of Jerusalem.

Apostles continued to live as Jews

However, it was not like this a century before. Paul continued to identify as a Jew, preaching the Jewish Messiah to the Jew first in every city he went. We never see Paul inviting Jews to enter into another religion. To the Jewish leaders in Rome, he shares, “For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain” (Acts 28:20). Certainly the hope of Israel was not a new religion, but the fulfillment of the Hebrew prophets.

We find Jacob (James) the brother of Yeshua, 30 years after the resurrection, praying daily in the Temple. It was said that he was the most respected Jew in Jerusalem from all the sects of Judaism. He was called the “camel-kneed” for the hours that he spent in prayer for Israel. The evidence is clear that he remained a part of the people of Israel till his death.

When Peter preached on Shavuot (Pentecost), he did not present a new religion, but proclaimed to his exclusively Jewish crowd, salvation and forgiveness through Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah.

Paul says in Romans that the gift and calling of God to Israel is “irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). He says, in Romans 3, that there is “much value” in being Jewish (Romans 3:1-4). Clearly, Jewish believers in Yeshua are still Jewish and part of Israel.

Neither Jew nor Gentile?

What, then, do we make of the oft-quoted Galatians 3:28?

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua.”

Bible teachers have used this statement to say that Jewish believers are no longer Jews. But they miss one major issue. If that is true, then male and females no longer have distinctions, and yet, I have never been able to get pregnant!

So, what then is the point of his passage? That being in Messiah overshadows our other roles and callings. I live in Israel. We have many Jewish immigrants from all over the world. Suppose I brought all the Jewish people together from so many nations and said, “Today, we are not Americans, Ethiopians, Russians or Argentinians, but we are Israelis!” Technically, that is not true. I am still American even though I am also Israeli. But anyone with common sense would understand my intention—that I am focusing on what unites us.

While our roles/callings are important, none of them bring any special favor with Messiah. In other words, God doesn’t reward me for what he made me. He rewards me according to faithfulness to that calling (Matt. 25:14-30)

Any person—Jew, non-Jew, slave, female, etc., can freely come to Messiah. This was a major difference between the Old and New Covenants and what Paul was so excitedly shared with his Gentile audience: “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Eph. 3:12), no matter what your background, race, class, ethnicity or gender.

So, in Galatians 3, he is not saying something negative about Jews, but something positive about non-Jews—that there are no restrictions keeping them from Messiah. As Peter said, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right” (Acts 10:34-35).

In the second part, we will address are second statement: Gentile simply means a member of the nations. When a member of the nations comes to faith, he does not become Jewish, but continues to be a member of his or her nation.

Part 2