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
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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.





Pass – over Easter?

19 04 2019

Passover Lamb

Do Passover and Easter conflict with each other? As a Christian Zionist, this is important to me. There are three reasons they agree and one huge reason they conflict. It’s really not that complicated. The original events commemorated are in total agreement. It is only the later traditions added that confuse the issue.

So let me explain. Have you heard of this saying about the Old and New Testaments? “The Old is in the New revealed and the New is in the Old concealed.” This is a summary of the concept that, as Yehovah God was revealing His purpose, first with Israel and then all the nations, it was a progressive revelation.

Passover, and the other feasts of Yehovah in Leviticus 23, are the pattern for the entire Bible/human history. Before the Messiah came, the possibility of relationship with God was primarily national. After He came it was revealed to be intimately personal. This was not a new plan, but was hidden in the Torah, or Old Testament, all along. Abraham was saved not for who he was, but because he believed God. For example, here is a paragraph I recently wrote for a small group in my home town:

Celebrating the resurrection is certainly Biblical because it is the fulfillment of First Fruits, the third feast of Yehovah on the morning after the Sabbath. See Leviticus 23.  Yeshua (Jesus) is the Passover Lamb. He is also the Unleavened (by sin) Bread, and then the first fruit from the dead. Hallelujah! (FYI – I personally do not use the name “Easter” because it comes from the name of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, goddess of fertility, and thus the rabbits and eggs.)

So, the three feasts of Passover week are fulfilled in Jesus with perfect symmetry. The same is true for Shavuot/Pentecost, and the Fall Feasts. (I gave a ten-minute summary of each Feast in this radio interview. Listen to the first part about Passover.)

The big deal about the clash between Passover and Easter, is certainly not about Scripture, it is about tradition. As I said in the above quote, Easter is a name traced back to the top Babylonian goddess, a pagan deity of fertility that appears by many names throughout history. This was never originally associated with the resurrection of Yeshua. It was later added intentionally to divert from Jesus.

The crazy fact is that even though the name Easter came into use many hundreds of years after Jesus, the name actually appears in the King James Bible in a mega translation error:

And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Acts 12:4 KJV

This is terribly unfortunate because virtually all other translations make the correction. The Greek word is “Pesach” which literally means “Passover.” If you look at the preceding verses in the New King James you see a direct reference to Passover (Unleavened Bread) in verse 3.

Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover. Acts 12:1-4 NKJV

As for me and my house, we will celebrate two glorious historic days of deliverance this weekend. We will thank our Father God for the fabulous night almost 4,000 years ago that the death Angel passed over every house, which had the blood of a spotless lamb on the doorpost. We will also celebrate and worship the living Lamb of God who died and rose from the dead after three days; whose blood has washed over us who believe, so that we are clean before God. Death has passed over us by the gracious unmerited favor of God over all who believe in Him, who is the Living Passover Lamb.

HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY!

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for rain.

Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists                     (Read more)





Miracle Sign of the Messiah

2 05 2018

318189_385200644856014_100000982451242_1074244_222476338_nJews and Christians are both eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come soon. One of the most astounding signs is already revealed. Israel is alive! Am Yisrael Chai! Yet, many Jews and most Christians don’t get it. After nearly 1900 years of no national state, a miracle happened. Israel was reborn, on May 15, 1948. This year we celebrate 70 years as a modern state.

For believing Jews, it the first coming of the Messiah. For Messianic Jews and Christians, it is His second coming. That distinction is the major issue. There is a greater distinction between believing Jews and non-believing Jews. The same is true for Christians. Many Jews and Christians are not actually believing in the Messiah. They are just nominally following a religion. But there are millions of Jews who know the God of Israel, worship Him from the heart, and are waiting expectantly for the Messiah.

The same is true in “Christendom”. Many are Christian in name only and don’t know Jesus. They do not believe He is coming soon. Yet, millions of Christians know the God of Israel and the Bible. They eagerly look for the Messiah Jesus to return. I submit that the believing Jews and Christians have more in common than their un-believing brothers and sisters.

What motivates Yehovah? Did God bring Jews back to Israel from all over the world to just destroy them? No, that is the mantra of Iran. Did God originally choose Israel as a means to reject the world? No, His motive was to pave the way for all the nations to be blessed through Israel. Did God later choose the Church so He could find a way to completely and permanently reject Israel? No! He never gave up on them. He vowed to restore them and we have seen it in our lifetimes. (See Romans 11 for the full explanation.) Blessing Israel

The miracle resurrection of Israel is a great sign that the end of the age in near. Add to that the restoration of the people to the land, the resurrection of the Hebrew language, the liberation of Jerusalem, and even the restoration of the personal name of the covenant God of Israel: Yehovah! What a day to be alive. What a day to be His child!

If God raised a nation from the dead, don’t you think He can handle your problems? If you have not believed, isn’t it about time? Put all your eggs in one basket. Trust in God and His promised Messiah. This is the season of His appearing.

Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Or shall a nation be born at once?
For as soon as Zion was in labor,
She gave birth to her children. Isaiah 66:8

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of Yehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Isaiah 2:2

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10

Pray for the coming of the Messiah and pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Les Lawrence, Voice of Christian Zionists               (Read more)

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








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