Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Blessings to you again and may this letter be to His glory, faithful, and edifying to you.
Twenty years ago, on our first Yom Kippur in the land, I wrote my first letter to bare witness to what I was seeing and hearing. This morning in my meditation verse of Revelation 1:5, I sat before The One Who sends grace and peace, Yeshua h’Meshiach, “The Faithful Witness.” I asked Him to measure my faithful witness against His and to conform me into His Image. A big, grandiose prayer perhaps, but not too big for Him Who calls us all to be nothing less then faithful witnesses of Him in this upside down world.
That Yom Kippur 20 years ago was a shock to my system. Although I was blessed to have experienced deep silence in Alaska, in rural California, and in many other places, I (who had been born in NYC) had never experienced the drama of a city turning off its engines and vehicles. It’s difficult to know how much sound motors make until they suddenly stop. I experienced the “great blackout” in NYC in the 60s when everything electrical stopped, but the vehicles continued.
That sunset, 20 years ago, I was struck by the SUDDEN, DRAMATIC silence as it was ALL unplugged. Yom Kippur is not like Shabat, even then, there are many sabbath breakers…but not on YOM KIPPUR.
At that time we lived in the neighborhood of Gilo, just below us was a mosque. Shortly after the city fell silent, the minaret began full blast and I mean full blast. I did not need to understand Arabic to realize that there was an angry and incriminatory diatribe being preached intermingled with Koran readings. As opposed to a normal day, this continued for the entire 25 hours of the fast. In the morning I got up and took my Scriptures and went out on to the merepeset (balcony) and read out loud facing the minaret. It was my first glimmer of the ancient battle between God Almighty, The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, God The Father of Yeshua, against the god named Alla (one of the names of His ancient foe.)
There was another spiritual battle that my eyes were opened to on that day, which I had not at all understood before. This was the battle between certain parts of the Church and God’s plan concerning Israel and the Jews.
At the time we were sharing the apartment with a lovely couple from New Zealand or some place near there. They volunteered to live here for a season. I have often heard that people should have their spiritual house in order before coming here because the spiritual warfare is so tough, particularly for people with hidden sins. They are often overthrown and fall into great confusion when they live in Jerusalem. I have witnessed that this is true.
The husband began some secret drinking. So as the Yom Kippur fast approached, he announced that there was no way that he was going to take part in a heathen fast because he knew he was saved by The Blood. We explained that we also knew that truth and were not fasting for our own souls. Instead, we humbled ourselves to pray for the people of the land as they sought Him and also to identify as Paul wrote:
“ For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;…” (1 Corinthians 9:19-20)
This poor man became furious and began to rage that he would not fast (which none of us insisted on him doing), and he didn’t. He also got quite drunk. I did not understand at the time. In fact, I wondered what we had done to offend him. No one had required him to fast and surely no one was being judged by whether he did or did not. I just didn’t understand that other things were at work, such as sifting and exposing of hearts.
But it did not take many years for me to understand that, like it or not, what the Church does with God’s purposes for Israel and the Jews is some sort of plumbline in these latter days.
It is now heading toward 4 p.m. and the synagogues are full, people having fasted and prayed. Some stood for the full night and day. Yesterday from 2:00 onward our airport, Ben Gurion, was closed to all traffic, incoming and outgoing flights were halted until 10 p.m. tonight. We became a nation cut off from the outside world…a nation closed in to seek God.
My reading today included time in Jeremiah, turning my heart to cry out for our people still in darkness, still veiled, still seeking according to traditions and yet blind. MERCY is HIM. My heart trembles before Him.
My reading also took me to Hebrews and I read chapters 8-10. I worshipped Him Who MADE THE WAY INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES. What perfect chapters for today!
We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”[ 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. (Hebrews 8-10)
What wonderful chapters, reminding me of the joy that awaits my brethren after the flesh when Romans 9-11 and Zecheriah (just to name some) are fulfilled and they are set free and fully cleansed by The Atoning Blood of Yeshua. How wonderful that there will be no need for a third temple made by human hands – and even if it were to be built it could not be fulfilled since it was The Lord Himself Who filled the Ark of the Covenant with the 10 commandments, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the pot of manna. They are gone. For we learn in Revelation 11:19 –
“Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.”
BUT THE LORD IS BUILDING HIS TEMPLE HERE AND NOW, HIS BODY. For we are the temple of the Living God. Although HIS TEMPLE was destroyed 2,000 years ago and the people dispersed from the land, we are back.
Isn’t it good that our times are in His Hands??
Blessings to you dear sisters and brothers and BLESSING AND HONOR AND GLORY AND POWER TO GOD WHO SITS ON THE THRONE AND UNTO THE LAMB.
Lovingly from still quiet Jerusalem,
your sis J