We recorded a 4-part video series from the Book of John. This is must-see TV for anyone in leadership. Part one focuses on Yeshua’s greatest Challenge. Then, His greatest Cconcern, greatest Joy, and lastly, His greatest Fear. We will add an episode each week.
Archives For Isaiah 2
Israeli youngsters made an impressive showing at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics games earning gold, silver and bronze medals in individual and paired competitions this month.
Swimmer Anastasya Gorbenko led off Team Israel’s winnings on the first day of competition earning a gold medal in the women’s 200-meter individual medley and setting a new Israeli record of 2:12.88. The next day Denis Loktev won the bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle.
The Israeli swimmers appeared on the official webpage of the games after their victories.
“Last night I saw Anastasia win a gold medal,” Loktev said in official Olympic coverage. “I’m very proud because it’s a small country. We have very good youth.”
Yonatan Fridman and Noa Kazdo Yakar won the silver medal in acrobatic gymnastics in the mixed pair category.
Israel’s delegation of 19 athletes competed in gymnastics, athletics, acrobatic gym, athletic gym, rhythmic gym, judo, taekwondo, swimming, triathlon and sailing.
Do you believe that? Do you believe that God has favored you?
When I first came to Israel and started studying Hebrew, I learned a phrase that I absolutely love. It is all throughout the Bible—53 times to be exact: “If I have found favor in your eyes.” It was an expression used when you asked someone for something.
Abraham used it when he asked his three visitors to stay: “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.” (Gen. 18:3) When Samuel’s mother, Hannah, was seeking the Lord, she said to Eli: “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” (1 Sam. 1:18) When David ran from Absalom, he said to Zadok the priest, “If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again.” (2 Sam. 15:25)
Favor comes from the face
Favor, in ancient Israel, was always expressed through the face. The most famous blessing in the Bible is the Aaronic Benediction:
The Lord bless you
and keep you; the Lord make his faceshine on you
and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace. (Num. 6:24-26)
Twice, in these verses, we see the word face: That His face would shine on you and that He would turn His face towards you. If God turns towards you, that is favor—that is blessing. The word turnand the word face actually have the same Hebrew root, PaNaH, because to turn to someone is to face someone.
Psalm 67, one of my favorite passages, highlights this. It speaks of God’s salvation reaching the whole world through Israel. How? Through God’s face!
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his faceshine on us—so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. (Ps. 67:1-2)
- The word for gracious actually means to grant favor.
- The psalmist borrows from the Aaronic Benediction and asks that God’s facewould shine on Israel.
- When God’s face shines on you, He grants you favor. Those that don’t believe can see it. This is how God draws people to Himself.
Testimony “I’ve never seen people who love God like this”
Earlier this week, my dear friend, Paul Wilbur, did a worship concert. The place was full. I had brought a friend who is not a believer. He is an Israeli—he is what we call “traditional.” That means he respects Judaism, goes to synagogue, but is not a super religious person. As he watched people from all over the world worship God through Yeshua, he was stunned. He saw the joy and light in their faces. He saw God’s favor upon them.
He turned to Elana and said, “I have never seen anything like this. I’ve never see people who love God like this.” All he knew was the synagogue and rote repetition. I was once with him, in his synagogue, on a holiday. The rabbi, bless his heart, was selling blessings to the highest bidder to raise funds for the congregation. I have nothing but respect for religious Jews, but I almost started laughing. And then, I was crying. What they so earnestly seek, they could have instantly by truly seeking God.
But this is what my friend knew as ‘religion’—until last Tuesday. Now he is reading material about Yeshua. Please pray for “A.”
You have found favor in God’s eyes
Here is the good news! As a believer, the instant that you put your faith in Yeshua, God turned His face towards you. You found favor in His eyes. You need to believe that! You need to shout it and declare it: “I am the favored of the Lord!”
The word favor in Hebrew is hen. The h is a hard, guttural h, where you might spit a little. It comes from the word to pardon: l’hon. When you honen someone, you grant favor to a prisoner and cancel his punishment. We have received favor from Yeshua and he has canceled our punishment. He paid the price and suffered in our place.
Now, when you are pardoned, there is no place for pride. You don’t say, “Wow, look at me. I am really special. I was pardoned.” No! You are a criminal—a sinner deserving of judgment. It was the mercy of the king that secured your pardon—not your specialness.
Our attitude should be like Queen Esther before the king. He could have killed her, but chose to have mercy. He turned his face to her and granted her favor. But look at how she approached him. She fasted and prayed for three days. She humbled herself, recognizing what the consequences could be. Fasting is not a work or a formula—it simply says to God, I am humbling myself before you. I need you. I can’t do this without you. And this humility releases the favor of God on your life!
The king here is a type or a picture of God. Our fate is in His hands and, yet, He is prone to mercy and favor. There is no fear in His presence. Thanks to Yeshua, “we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Eph. 3:12)
Rejoice today, for you have found favor in His eyes.
Next week, we will look at several Bible characters and how they received favor. You can unlock the favor of God on your life.
Last week I wrote about the danger of supporting Orthodox Jews in the establishment of a third temple. It generated quite a bit of interest and some requested that I continue to share on this subject. One gentleman wrote:
“I agree with most of this article except the part about the third temple. Yeshua will remain in heaven until all things are restored. Without the restored temple, how does Yeshua defeat the antichrist and rule and reign from Mt Zion?”Facebook User
First, the Bible does not say, “Yeshua will remain in heaven until all things are restored.”It says, “until the times comes for God to restore everything.”(Acts 3:21) Some things God has already begun to restore. In the church, we can see that tongues, revival preaching, purity, immersion in the Holy Spirit and the power of God have been and are being restored. Restoration to Israel includes the rebirth of the actual nation, Jerusalem, a place of leadership among the nations as a light of technology, military leader, and the believing remnant of Jews. Yes, God is restoring!
But not everything will be restored before He returns. He remains in heaven not until allthings are restored, but until the time comes for the restoration.
The Third Temple is the Temple of the Antichrist!
But is the third temple a part of that restoration? Simply put, no. The third temple is absolutely a part of end-time prophecy, but that doesn’t make it a blessing. The antichrist is part of end-time prophecy, but I am not praying for his appearance! And I am certainly not excited about it, or giving money to his campaign, as many believers are to the Third Temple Institute. The third temple will be a temple of deception, leading Jewish people back to a pre-Yeshua sacrificial religion.
How the Third Temple is Built
You see, I am excited about the fourth temple. I’ll address that in a minute. First, how will the third temple come about? Well, looking through a glass darkly, this is how I see things.
1. A world leader will arise, possibly out of the massive Israeli military victory prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and bring peace to the Middle East—beginning the seven-year tribulation. This leader will make provision for the rebuilding of the temple. My guess is that the Muslim mosques on the Temple Mount are destroyed in this war.
[The antichrist] will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’ (seven years). In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.(Dan. 9:27)
Refer also to Daniel 11:31 and 12:11, which seems to speak of the antichrist putting an end to sacrifices in the third temple.
In order for him to “put an end to sacrifice,” there must be a third temple. This rebuilding will lead to a Jewish revival and, probably, the persecution of Messianic Jews in Israel.
2. The second part of the verse says that he will defile the rebuilt temple, “he will set up an abomination that causes desolation.” We see this confirmed by Paul.
[The antichrist] will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.(2 Thess. 2:4)
3. The antichrist will suffer (or fake) a fatal wound, but will rise (or appear to) from the dead at this time (Rev. 13:3). This will give him the cred to simply declare himself to be God. He will defile the temple and take it over, causing the Jews at the temple to flee.
So, you can see why I am not encouraging people to get behind the restoration of a Yeshua-less revival in Judaism. I am looking for the end-time prophecies that speak of the Jewish people turning to Yeshua (Rom. 11:26; Matt. 23:39), not to the blood of bulls and goats!
Some have argued that we should get behind the third temple because it will lead us closer to the coming of Yeshua. Personally, I find that disingenuous. That is like loving the Jewish people, just because you know that Jewish acceptance will lead to the Second Coming (Rom. 11:15). Yes, we should long for the Second Coming, but our love for the Jewish people should stand alone, being grateful that the gospel came through them.
As temples go, there is one coming that will be amazing! But it is not the third temple. The Bible speaks of one that will be built in the millennial kingdom. Scholars refer to it as the fourth temple or the millennial temple. It will be constructed only after the Messiah returns, while the third temple is clearly built before the return of Yeshua. (Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:4)
The most detailed description of the Messiah’s Temple (as I call it) is in the last eight chapters of Ezekiel. Ezekiel who witnessed the destruction of the first Temple is taken captive to Babylon. There he has prophetic visions. He is given a tour and instructions by none other than the builder himself, Messiah Yeshua. In chapter 44, He is referred to as Yahweh.
Nations Will Come
It appears that this fourth temple will be a learning center for the nations to be discipled. Isaiah speaks of this:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. The Torah will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”(Isaiah 2:3)
The gospel will be preached during the Millennium. The “survivors” from the nations will need to learn the Word of God. From Jerusalem, the Word will go back to their communities. People will be born during this time and need the message of salvation!
The Dead Sea Lives
Last week, I was at the Dead Sea. It is drying up. It is stunning to see the former shoreline and how far you must now walk to get to water. However, when Yeshua comes back and builds the fourth temple, the Bible speaks of a river coming out from under that temple that will flow all the way to the Dead Sea, making it live! There will even be fisherman!
“This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah (desert next to the Dead Sea), where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”(Ezekiel 47:8-12)
I have a theory: The more the water evaporates at the Dead Sea, the closer we are to the coming of Yeshua.
What happens to the third temple? How do we know we will not simply convert it or renovate the structure? I don’t think Yeshua will use the antichrist’s leftovers.The temple will have been utterly desecrated. It is what the Bible calls, “the abomination that causes desolation.”
Furthermore, we see many references to a massive earthquake in Jerusalem at the time of His coming. One passage (Zech. 14:4) says His touchdown will cause the Mount of Olives to be split in two. The Mount of Olives faces the Temple Mount. Revelation 16 speaks of Jerusalem dividing into three parts.
It is reasonable to assume that the antichrist’s temple will be destroyed along with him, making way for Messiah’s temple.
It is this author’s belief that the third temple is the antichrist’s temple–even though it will be built at the place of the previous temples. It will begin with a Jesus-less Jewish revival and is then taken over by the antichrist. At no time do I see where this temple is used to honor the Lord. Therefore, I cannot see why any believer would send money or pray for its construction. It would be far better to sow those funds into feeding the poor or evangelism. Supporting it is misguided religious zeal. It is the fourth temple, the Messiah’s temple, for which we should be longing.
Footnote: End-times prophecy is never crystal clear. After writing this there was one thing that troubled me. In both 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 11:1, the Temple is called “the Temple of God.” How can it be of God when it erected by anti-Yeshua unbelieving Orthodox Jews and then taken over by the antichrist?
I could not find much written on this. One theory is that even though the Temple will not have much to do with real worship, it is built in the place where both previous Temples stood, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem—thus making it the temple of God. Or, just as the Bible says in Romans, Orthodox Jews are enemies of the Gospel and yet beloved on account of Abraham. So too the third temple can have this dual sense of divine destiny, and yet, corruption. Remember, Paul speaks of the Jewish people having a true zeal, but missing the key component (Rom. 10:1-2)
Either way, it will be the fourth millennial temple to which the nations will stream in the age to come. I am longing for that!
Tomorrow is the big day. I will be driving up to the Sea of Galilee in the morning and then swimming 3.5 kilometers. I am doing this to raise funds for our congregation, Tiferet Yeshua. We are trying to raise $10,000 in monthly support so we can continue to reach Tel Aviv with Yeshua! Praise God, we are more than halfway there! Check out the video below and my cool breathing contraption! Or just go straight to: www.roncan.net/swim.