Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tuesday’s Prayers for One New Man (5/31/2016)

ffoz.org/discover/publications/one-new-man.html

ffoz.org/discover/publications/one-new-man.html

“But to truly understand spiritual warfare, you need to remember: Satan was an archangel who understands the government of God. When he rebelled, he became the father of lies and there’s no truth in him. Everything Satan attempts to do is a lying counterfeit of what God does and how God governs.”

He glanced at me, making sure I was on the same page with him.

“Satan’s army wears protective armor just like Christians do, but the demonic armor is the exact opposite of God’s armor. Their loins are girded with lies; their breastplates are unrighteousness; their feet are shod with chaos; they have shields of fear; they wear helmets of eternal doom; and their swords are the lying words of Satan. But there is one important similarity common to both God’s army and Satan’s forces. Can you guess what it is?”

I shook my head.

“Unity,” he said. “Both armies’ success depends on unity. God’s army is unified through faith in God, love of God, and love of the brethren. Satan’s forces are unified in their hatred of God and all Christians – and – their fear of God, Satan, each other, and bold believers.”

(An excerpt from my novel, Jonah by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2012, Amazon eBook)

As long as the Body of Christ continues to be divided into Jewish and Gentile branches, the Church will continue to be defeated by Satan and his demonic army here in America.

My prayer today:

Lord, we American believers admit that apart from You, we can do nothing. So, we need You to move by Your power to graft the two branches of Jews and Gentiles into the one new man, bringing us believers into unity and peace for today’s spiritual battles. (Based on John 15:5, Romans 11:23, and Ephesians 2:15)

Join with me on Tuesday’s to pray and fast for the one new man to finally come forth in the Body of Christ.

…that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace (Ephesians 2:15)

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Why Prophesy if Hardly Anyone Pays Attention? (Part 4)

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It was one of those mornings when the church service sprang to life. The worship team sang songs of celebration and their joyful attitude soon caused members to move out of the pews and into the aisles. People were dancing, clapping their hands and shouting for joy. Youngsters jumped up and down with excitement and expectation. Something great was now happening in their midst.

The pastor clapped his hands and tapped his foot to the music. He turned his head to scan the whole congregation. Then, he saw him, sitting in the second row by himself, near the wall. The middle-aged man was weeping and looked like he had just received news that his best friend had died.

The pastor walked over to the man. “Jeremy, what’s the problem?” asked the pastor, his eyes revealing a deep compassion.

“I just had a vision,” said the man in between sobs, “and in it, I saw our church going through horrendous times ten months from now. Many in the congregation will lose their jobs and the congregation will be reduced by over half. We will be forced to cut back on all of our community programs. It will be devastating!”

“Oh my!” said the pastor, wondering if the prophet would be as accurate this time as he had been so many times in the past.

Ten months later, the church service resembled a funeral. The worship team members sat in the first row, none of them felt like singing and rejoicing.  All felt the crushing agony of the closing of the mill. People were out of work and losing their homes. Everything seemed to be changed forever for the worse.

The pastor sat lost in his thoughts, hoping to stir up a message within himself which would encourage the group. But he had suffered a deep loss when his wife left him because of their financial stress. He wondered if he should resign his position and find a different career.

Then, he looked over the congregation and saw the man named Jeremy standing in the second row, near the wall.  He was jumping up and down, waving his hands and shouting for joy. It looked like Jeremy had just won the Irish Sweepstakes.

The pastor strolled over to the man. “Jeremy, why are you celebrating when the rest of us are suffering such agony?” asked the pastor.

“Pastor, I just had a vision,” said Jeremy, “and in it I saw that eight months from now our church would be bursting at the seams with new members. A foreign  company will buy the mill and enlarge it. And your wife will return to you and your marriage will be better than ever.”

The pastor shook his head. I hope he’s right, he thought. I hope the prophet is right this time.

I have declared the former things from the beginning; they went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. (Isaiah 48:3 NKJ)

(Excerpt from: Get Ready! The Prophets are Coming! A teaching by Larry Nevenhoven which can be seen in its entirety here.)

Prophecy is often out of step with today’s circumstances, which was true for Jeremiah.

(Continued in Part 5…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.)

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Inside Israel

The Shuk in Jerusalem

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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 —

Greetings, sisters and brothers,

I want to share a very special testimony.

I am deeply thankful that The Lord did not let me think I was okay so that my self-esteem wouldn’t be damaged.  I remember when the book, I’M OK, YOU’RE OK, was published years ago which basically stated that we are who we are and it’s okay.

OF COURSE to an extent, this is true.  He made us all with wonderful variations, just as He made the heavens and the earth His way, so creatively.  But I’ve also read and reread and reread again His Book and met Him who said “You, follow Me.” He has been faithful to tell me that I was NOT okay but that I was riddled with sin and desperately needed A Savior Whose Blood ALONE could atone for all that was NOT okay in me. And that I needed to confess and forsake those sins.  He EVEN is willing to gently lead me along the path that brings me over and over again to His True mirror where I can see myself in His Light and again say, “Oh no!  This stinks.  Help!” He is faithful.

One of the areas that I have stumbled at again and again is unforgiveness. I’m so thankful He hasn’t given up on me and I long to walk in constant forgiveness of others.  I have learned that unforgiveness (for me anyway) often clothes itself in nice “poor-me pity party” terms like rejection, victim, hurt, wounded, wronged, etc.  My flesh loves those terms and poor me becomes the focus instead of Almighty God.

The testimony of the woman below is that of an Israeli…NOT YET A BELIEVER…but I believe, a hero.  When “I’m ok and you’re ok” there ARE no more heroes. We don’t need them. They might make one of us feel badly and not so ok.  I am inspired by heroes to walk before Him Who is Holy.  Perhaps you will be too.  May the testimony of Smadar Haran encourage us all in this very upside down world.

 

 

Smadar Haran tells her story, brings journalists to tears.

Survior of the 1979 Nahariya terrorist attack tells her story to foreign war correspondents, who walk away in tears, shock at her lack of hate, and in awe of her refusal for revenge.

When Smadar Haran spoke, not a single pair of eyes around the table at the Rimon Hotel in Tzfat was without tears.

The foreign guests and journalists who sat around her – all of them veteran war correspondents – thought they had already written and seen everything. But this meeting with Haran, who lost who her husband Danny and her daughters Einat and Yael during the terror attack on Nahariya in 1979, somehow managed to shake them up. While with one hand they were writing down every word, with the other, they were wiping away tears.

This was the first time that the Foreign Ministry had ever flown in a delegation of European war correspondents. The purpose of the trip was to expose the journalists to the terror that Israelis have to deal with, and find correlations between the Israeli and European fight against terror.

The delegation was taught about the security arrangements at Ben Gurion International airport, received a tour of the Israeli border with Syria, and visited injured Syrians who were undergoing treatment at Ziv medical center in Tzfat. However, the headline of the trip was with Haran.

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Smadar Haran meets with international journalists in Tzfat (Photo: Israeli Foreign Ministry)

“My story isn’t just my own personal story. It’s the story of the Jewish nation and of the State of Israel. It represents the spirit of the state of Israel,” Haran began.

She continued, “This is a national story, and although I’m a terror victim, I decided not to live like a victim and to re-build my life – just as my mother survived the Holocaust and re-built her life in Israel, just like how the Jews creatively re-built themselves any time there are losses or casualties.”

In 1979, terrorist Samir Kuntar infiltrated Israel on a rubber boat from Lebanon along with three other terrorists from the “Palestine Liberation Front.” The four came ashore in Nahariya, shot dead police officer Eliyahu Shahar and broke into the apartment of the Haran family. There, they took Danny Haran and his four-year-old daughter Einat hostage while Smadar hid in a crawl space with two-year-old daughter Yael.

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The scene of the Nahariya terror attack (Photo: Tzvi Roger)

Smadar accidentally smothered her daughter Yael to death while she was trying to stop the toddler from crying and revealing their hiding place.

Danny and meanwhile Einat were taken to the beach where a firefight ensued between the terrorists and police officers who arrived at the scene. Kuntar shot Danny Haran then smashed Einat’s skull with the butt of his rifle, killing her as well.

“After the attack in Nahariya,” Haran went on, “I thought about my values – what type of person I want to be – and I decided that I want to be a person full of giving, not hate. I didn’t seek revenge, and I decided that wherever my life is stopped or interrupted, I would continue anew.”

“I never left Nahariya, and I live there today – close to where everything happened. A lot of the people who came to mourn my loss were Arabs, and they live together with us. My children knew their children. The lives of the Arabs and the Jews are intertwined like a collage.”

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Terrorist Samir Kuntar, who killed Smadar’s family, being warmly greeted by Syrian President Bashar Assad (Photo: AP)

When asked what she thought regarding the fact that Samir Kuntar, the man who killed her family, was freed by Israeli authorities, Haran said, “When others asked what I thought about Kuntar’s release, I wrote a letter to the prime minister saying that Kuntar isn’t my personal prisoner, and I’m not his personal jailer. I said the decision needs to be made for the greater good and be done with the best interests of the State of Israel in mind. I knew he would return to terror, it wasn’t something that surprised me.”

When she was asked what her feelings were when Kuntar was assassinated, she said, “To my surprise, I didn’t feel anything, but I was happy to know that he wouldn’t be carrying out any more terror attacks in the future.”

The foreign journalists left the meeting with the emotion showing on their faces.

“Smadar is a model to be emulated, a true hero. The thing that really amazed us was her lack of hate and need for revenge after everything she had been through.”

Sincerely,

Your sister J

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (5/26/2016)

 

Last night, Carol and I attended a dinner program which featured speakers from the Guardian Group, an organization that has dedicated itself to ridding America of sex trafficking. The facts and figures the speakers presented to us were eyeopening:

  • Human trafficking is currently the second largest & fastest growing crime industry
  • It reportedly generates a profit of $150 billion every year
  • The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the US is 12 years old
  • At least 100,000 to 300,000 youth are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation annually in the US alone
  • 80% are female and half are children (More facts can be seen here.)

My prayer today:

Lord, I fast before You and pray that You will loose the bonds of wickedness, undo the straps of the yokes, let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke of the sex trafficking industry on our children in America. (Based on Isaiah 58:6)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

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Tuesday’s Prayers for One New Man (5/24/2016)

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ffoz.org/discover/publications/one-new-man.html

Do you need miracles in your life…and actually don’t we all need them? Maybe with health issues or relationships or finances or ministry or whatever.

Here’s something I’ve learned over the last 31 years:

  1. Walk in the seasons of God, which means we need to know what season we’re currently in,
  2. and care about the things God cares about and then His ears will be more open to our needs and wants.

I believe with all my heart that we are in the season when one of the highest priorities on God’s heart is that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the Jew and Gentile, so making peace.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us to pursue peace with everyone,  but especially between the Jew and Gentile, and help us pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. (Based on Hebrews 12:14)

Join with me on Tuesday’s to pray and fast for the one new man to finally come forth in the Body of Christ.

…that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace (Ephesians 2:15)

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Why Prophesy if Hardly Anyone Pays Attention? (Part 3)

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One of the most insightful statements in the whole New Testament was uttered when Philip excitedly told his brother about finding the Messiah. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” replied Nathaniel.

It was bad enough being from Galilee, which was despised by the Jews because its inhabitants lacked culture, spoke with a crude dialect, and lived among so many Gentiles. But the worst dung hill in all of Galilee was the small, poor village of Nazareth, which contained less than two hundred people. Why Nazareth was not even mentioned once in the Old Testament! How could the Messiah come out of such a lowly place?

Nathaniel was shocked to learn the truth.

Young Jeremiah could certainly have related to Nathaniel’s surprise when he heard God say:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)

There had to be all kinds of thoughts going through Jeremiah’s mind before he finally spoke.

He was a Levite, son of a priest named Hilkiah. Jeremiah would have been studying and preparing himself for his Temple and teaching ministry five or so years ahead of him. But he would have also remembered that he was from Anathoth and from the lineage of Abiathar, the high priest who was defrocked by Solomon for choosing Adonijah to be king upon David’s death. There was a stigma upon the Anthoth priests because the high priests now all came from the sons of Zadok, rather than from Anathoth.

So, why would God want a prophet from Anathoth?

Eventually, Jeremiah spoke:

“Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” (Jeremiah 1:6)

Jeremiah was approximately twenty years old at the time. He knew that priests served in the Temple from twenty-five years of age  until they were fifty years old. He also knew there were veteran prophets in Zephaniah and Huldah available to be the Lord’s voice to Judah and other nations. So, his statement about being young was understandable.

God overruled Jeremiah’s objection:

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 1:7-8)

Jeremiah learned quickly that the Lord was boss, but he still had a few other lessons to learn.

(Continued in Part 4….if you’re interested, the full series may be seen here.)

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Why Prophesy if Hardly Anyone Pays Attention? (Part 2)


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Let’s set the stage for the Prophet Jeremiah’s ministry:

The Lord sent His prophets to the northern ten tribes, but Israel refused to turn from their idolatrous ways and return to following Him. Israel so angered the Lord that He removed the northern ten tribes from His sight by having Assyria carry them off into captivity in 722 BC.

Isaiah prophesied to Judah during this time period and continued prophesying through the reign of Judah’s King Hezekiah and also into the early reign of King Manasseh which began in 687 BC. Sadly, King Manasseh did not follow the ways of his father, Hezekiah, and sinned even more than Israel and had Isaiah sawed in half in 680 BC.

King Manasseh was carried off in chains and hooks to Babylon in 650 BC. Manasseh repented while he was in captivity and God heard his cries, bringing him back to Jerusalem in 648 BC. Manasseh then tried to reverse his sinful practices and reform Judah, but he died in 642 BC.

King Manasseh’s evil son, Ammon, became king, but was assassinated in 640 BC.

Then, an amazing prophecy came to pass when eight-year old Josiah became King of Judah in 640 BC. You see, three hundred years earlier, an unnamed prophet prophesied to Israel’s King Jeroboam:

“O altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: A child named Josiah will be born into the dynasty of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests from the pagan shrines who come here to burn incense, and human bones will be burned on you.” (1 Kings 13:2)

I would guess that this astounding prophecy was repeated over and over again to the people of Judah during the early days of King Josiah’s reign. Probably everyone knew it by heart.

Also, two years after Josiah’s coronation, Zephaniah began prophesying to Judah and Jerusalem by saying:

I will stretch out My hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem…The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out…Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy… (Zephaniah 1:4, 14, 18)

Wouldn’t you think that all of these prophecies and prophetic events would cause Judah to repent, never wandering from the straight and narrow path of the Lord?

Well, wait till we study Jeremiah’s ministry to Judah, beginning in 627 BC.

(Continued in Part 3)

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