What is Useless Faith?

10 04 2020
Amy Israel 1

Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee       Photo – Amy Wolf

Both Passover and Christian Passion Week culminate in firstfruits. For Jews it is the beginning of the barley harvest. For Christians it the beginning of eternal life and the defeat of death’s power over believers. Yeshua, our Messiah, did not stay in the tomb. He was raised from the dead. He is alive! His resurrection was the absolute vanquishing of Satan’s final trump card. The phrase “useless faith” is self-contradictory, it is an oxymoron. It is no faith at all. There is no more critical foundation of our faith than resurrection from the dead and eternal life with Yehovah God through His Son, Yeshua ben Yehovah. Anything less is totally useless faith. It is no faith at all. We don’t follow Jesus because He was a great teacher or did miracles. We serve Him because He paid the price for our sin with His own blood, death, and resurrection. We will live eternally because He lives!

The Resurrection of the DeadBut tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.  1 Corinthians 15:12-20 NLT

Hallelujah! Pray for the peace of Jerusalem through Jesus, Prince of Peace: Yeshua Sar Shalom! And pray for rain to fill up the Sea of Galilee this month.

Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists                 (Read more)





The Ultimate Antidote

7 04 2020
5f81a06083ad4a57f89917e144b65c57--steampunk-home-decor-steampunk-bathroom

 

THE HINGE OF HISTORY

 

As humanity battles “the invisible enemy” Coronavirus, a much more deadly disease threatens our eternal destiny. While there is no vaccine yet for the virus, Yehovah has provided the antidote for sin that seeks to block our eternal relationship with our loving Father God. His plan is revealed in the Passover and Resurrection Day. We celebrate both this week. (See: 2020 Passover at Home). Each has three parts revealing God’s purpose of redemption.

Passover’s three parts are unleavened bread, the passing over of the death angel, and firstfruits. Each point to the Lamb Messiah. He was unleavened by sin, He died in our place, and He rose from the dead. The Exodus account is a prophetic look ahead to the actual historic reality of Jesus two thousand years ago. How ironic that Passover 2020 mimics the conditions of the first Passover. They were given the “stay at home order” just as we are today. We too, must apply the blood to the doorposts, not only of our doors but on our hearts.

THE HINGE OF HISTORY When Yeshua finally came there were also three key elements. I call His “Passion Week” the Hinge of History. Every hinge has three pieces. One piece attaches to the door and one to the doorpost. The third is the pin that connects the two. It is critical that we understand the cross broke the curse and delivered us from death through the shed blood of the Lamb. But redemption would have failed without the other two pieces.

Jesus was tempted to save His own life in the Gethsemane prayer. Three times He asked His Father for another way, yet each time ended with: “Not my will, but your will be done!” Without that prayerful surrender there would have been no cross.

Likewise, when He died, if He had not been raised, Satan would have won. Death would be victorious. But He did not stay in the grave. He lives! Death was defeated for all who embrace Him as the Messiah Lamb of God. (Please read all of 1 Corinthians 15)

And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.  1 Corinthians 15:17 NLT

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins, and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.       1 John 2:1-2 NLT

Jesus, the Son of God, or as said in Hebrew: Yeshua ben Yehovah is the antidote!

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for rain to fill the Sea of Galilee.

Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists                       (Read more)

Notice I do not use the name: Easter. That is the name of a pagan goddess, and should have no association whatsoever to the resurrection of Jesus. The season is called Passover and is rich with deep meaning that ultimately connects believing Jews and Christians as one new man through the Messiah.





God Will Make a Way!

4 04 2020

“God will make a way where there seems to be no way!” Doreen and I remember one of our best family vacations was in the mid-eighties. We had a brand new car and took a wonderful road trip from Florida to New England with our three girls. It was  notable for two things (in no particular order). My Mom sent along her famous peanut butter fudge, which we sampled each time we crossed a state line (love New England). The other was that every morning we started the day with our favorite song, God Will Make a Way. Watching Pastor Randy & Peggy Morris share that song this morning released tears of worship and thankfulness for God’s faithfulness. Every book I have written has that foundation. God is faithful. Yehovah is faithful.

We learned a new song with the same message while ministering in Kenya. Carol Achieng led the worship and Michael Masambu led the PDA Youth Conference (Purpose, Destiny, Achievement). Here are the lyrics:

“Who has the final say? Yehovah has the final say. Who has the final say? Yehovah has the final say. He turned my life around. He turned my life around. He makes a way where there seems no way. Yehovah has the final say!”

Doreen and I watched as our rental house burned down with all our possessions in 2001. The miraculous presence  of the Holy Spirit ministered supernatural peace at that time. That gave rise to my paraphrase: “peace that doesn’t make sense.” Logically we had every right to “freak out” and fall apart. But no, God was faithful. He was right there with us through it. It was real. We still have that peace and never did fall apart, even though some thought we would after the shock wore off. But, rather we have experienced over and over and over that He is faithful. Hallelujah!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.2 Timothy 2:13 

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for rain.

Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists                    (Read more)

(Why  do I use God’s literal covenant Name: Yehovah? Here is a link to a simple explanation, from my friend, Keith Johnson. Also, I explain it in my book: The Hebrew God Who Has No Name.)





2020 Passover at Home

31 03 2020

Dry Bones 2020 Passover

Exodus 12:3 describes the original Passover as being held in one house per family. Today it is usually a community event. But originally each family was quarantined in their own home, with blood on the doorposts, until the death angel passed over their family. Our  2020 Passover is more like the original one than ever.

I love the Dry Bones take on current events. Just click on the picture to go to his site. The Israeli cartoonist, Yaachov Kirschen, has a knack for taking the Pharisee religious spirit down a notch or two. In this cartoon he reveals the tension between the global virus threat and observing Passover religiously. The Passover table always has an empty cup for Elijah because of this verse:

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yehovah. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children,  and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6

But what are we going to do about Passover? Is it okay to observe it later? Why can’t we do it at home? Both are options. Our local Messianic congregation, Shalom Peniel, has simply postponed their observance till May, “Lord willing”. The other option may be even better. How can you observe Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits at home? Let me share some ideas.

First, I suggest you anoint your doorposts with oil and pray for Yehovah’s protection and healing from the virus, through the blood of the Messiah Yeshua.

Second, rebuke fear and stand in faith. Firstfruits points to the resurrection. Since we have eternal life, we do not fear death. And if you eliminate the devil’s main threat of death, why would you fear anything?

Third, why not experiment with your own family Passover? Here is a link to a free download from a Messianic (believers in Yeshua as the Son of Yehovah) congregation in Israel. Yeshua’s Inheritance is a Messianic congregation in Beer Sheva, in southern Israel.

Remember that we worship in Spirit and Truth, not as a religious obligation. You get no points for doing this, it is about our personal relationship with Yehovah God, through His Son, Yeshua ben Yehovah!

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, healing of the sickness, and for rain in Israel.

Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists           (Read more)

 

 





Israel Election SHOCK!

27 03 2020

Gantz

Breakthrough! Shock, bombshell, and earthquake are all words that describe the miracle turn of events ending the Israel political deadlock. The leader of the opposition, Benny Gantz, has agreed to join with Netanyahu in an emergency unity government because of the coronavirus. This is good news.

We have prayed for a more than a year against the spirit of Haman and for the rising of an Esther who would courageously declare: “If I perish, I perish.” This is what Gantz has done. His slogan has always been: “Israel, above all else.” By choosing to be a statesman and put country first, he has completely cut off his political future in the left wing. They are already turning on him like vultures, but Netanyahu lives on as Prime Minister. The agreement has Gantz sharing the PM role after Netanyahu serves the first 18 months.

I have always seen Avigdor Lieberman as a Haman. He is now relegated to irrelevance in the opposition. His political coup gambit has failed. In addition Yair Lapid, Gantz’ former partner in the Blue & White party, has been exposed also as a Haman. The road ahead may be rocky, but now Israel can have a fully operating government with PM Netanyahu for the next 18 months. Continue to pray for Yehovah’s blessing on His chosen people.

Here are several insightful articles for more analysis:

Defying ruthless, deadlocked politics, Gantz sacrifices everything for stability – With Lapid continuing to maneuver despite the national emergency, Gantz willingly gave up on his political career to ally with Netanyahu in hopes of helping his beleaguered nation.

To place ‘Israel before all else,’ Gantz threw away his insurance policy – Blue and White head no longer has centrist alliance to return to if unity talks with Netanyahu go south, and most of his former Knesset supporters have turned on him.

The Gantz must be crazy: 6 things to know for March 27 – Benny Gantz joins Netanyahu, eliciting indignant anger from his former boosters, and a whole lot of questions from everyone else.

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 1 Timothy 1:1-2

Notice that we are to pray not only for the leaders, but for all who are in authority. We pray for Netanyahu and for Gantz. We pray for Trump and Pelosi. God can do His work in the heart of anybody that the Holy Spirit chooses. Pray for ALL.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray and thank God for His rain. (Sea of Galilee levels reach 16 year high.)

Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists                      (Read more)





Corona Virus HOPE

24 03 2020

Dry Bones Passover 2020False prophecy, gain-sayers, and media hype all have something in common. It is like bloggers who try to generate clicks. There is an ulterior motive. They want followers, viewers, and readers for their own agendas. This is a particular problem with the present virus pandemic/panic. Today I offer a less apoplectic and less apocalyptic opinion. There is hope in the numbers. What if Trump is right and the W.H.O. is wrong?

It just may be that the terrible numbers in Italy and Europe do not apply to the U.S. Our model seems to hold the same promise as South Korea which has leveled off. Italy has ten times  the deaths (to date) as we do, yet with only a small difference in positive cases. Consider this report from yesterday, March 23.

Israeli Expert: Trump Right, World Health Organization Wrong on Coronavirus Death Rate In the final analysis, mortality rates for coronavirus originally cited by President Donald Trump are going to be proven more accurate than the higher numbers claimed by the World Health Organization, according to an Israeli expert in epidemic modeling.

I know we are all tired of the never ending coverage, but we need to favor hope over panic, faith over fear, and life over death. Of course Satan only came “to steal, kill & destroy;” but Jesus brings life. That is not only eternal life, but life now in the midst of the testing and trials of our earthly existence. Turn to God in these times. Don’t give in to the exaggerated predictions based on exponential formulas. Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us. Trust Him. Trust Yehovah God and His Holy Spirit. Jesus said:

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  John 10:9-10

NOW ABOUT THAT HOPE:

For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 10:13-20

Will your anchor hold? Have faith to trust Him. Hold on to His shalom. And pray for the shalom of Jerusalem, along with prayer for rain in Israel. I am praying for a turning point by Passover and Firstfruits.

Les Lawrence, a Voice of Christian Zionists                   (Read more)





Invisible Enemy or Test?

20 03 2020

Test 327301 2President Trump calls this virus pandemic the “invisible enemy.” But is it? Or, is it a test? The virus is indeed invisible, but is there a spiritual component?  The familiar message of Ephesians 6:10 NLT declares:

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

That text reminds us of spiritual warfare. Indeed, Satan is certainly out to kill us, and there are specific tactics for our response. If we are attacked by a demonic spirit, we bind and loose in Jesus’ name. Derek Prince used to say: “You can cast out a demon and you can crucify the flesh, but you can’t crucify a demon or cast out the flesh.” So, we first must diagnose the problem.

Is this virus an attack of the devil or is it a test of our flesh from God? Could it be both? How are you responding? If we are rebuking the devil and it doesn’t stop, maybe we should examine our own hearts. This quarantine is the perfect time for having our own little “listening meeting” with the Father. Recently I  heard the Lord emphasize Revelation 3:10:

“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.”

You may say “My God would never do that.” Well maybe you need to grasp how Yehovah works with His people through even bad circumstances. Here is a verse that may shake your world. It the one before that famous one that we are already hearing for this present virus crises.

At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NLT

According to this verse, God Himself may send terrible circumstances our way. It is not my place to argue whether or not God is doing it, but to focus on my response. It is not about accusing God of unrighteousness in the sending, it is about my wickedness that must stop. So how should we behave in quarantine? Is it time to seek our Heavenly Father? Humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and repent; then He will hear, forgive, and restore!

Hallelujah! He is faithful. Call on Him first. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for rain.

Les Lawrence, a voice of Christian Zionists                      (Read more)

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