Tag Archives: Prophecy

God’s Love Must Torpedo Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 9)

I have used the fictional story about a black preacher walking into a small town with mainly white citizens to hold a healing crusade many times in the past. (See here.) But today, I want to offer a fictional take-off from that one and write about a white prophet going into an inner city to speak the word of the Lord to its black citizens. 

Can you imagine an old white guy driving a red Ford pickup into the middle of a crowd of people at a rally? And honking his horn at the same time? I couldn’t imagine something like that ever happening until it did last Saturday afternoon.

Maybe I should start at the beginning and tell the whole story, okay?

My name is Jalen Simmons. I write a syndicated newspaper column entitled, “Unashamed Angry Black Voice.” The column appears in sixty major newspapers throughout our nation. I also appear on TV as a contributor on inner city happenings.

A week ago, a friend suggested I should attend a black activist rally taking place in West Englewood at Ogden Park. This inner-city area of Chicago is the city’s most dangerous neighborhood where poverty and crime are off the charts and lives matter little to police and politicians.

On that day, I positioned myself in the middle of the crowd, estimated at five thousand black people, to better hear and understand the crowd’s reactions to the fiery speakers. The first three speakers raised their voices against the city of Chicago, its police department and white supremacy for the wrongs done to black people. Each moved the crowd closer and closer to its emotional edge.

But just as the militant keynote speaker, Deshaun Lewis, was being introduced on the platform, new sounds could be heard. A honking horn. An engine being revved up. And people screaming, “Look out! He’ll run us over!”

I looked over my left shoulder and saw a red pickup truck heading straight toward me. I jumped out of the way along with the rest of the crowd. The truck stopped right in front of me.

The driver, a seventyish white male, jumped out of the Ford pickup and into the back of the truck almost in one motion. He held a wireless microphone in his right hand which was connected to a speaker system.

“Listen up,” he said, “I have come here today to speak to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

A united “No” was shouted by the crowd. Black men stepped forth to remove the so-called white prophet and his truck.

“Do not touch my truck or the hand of the Lord will come upon you and strike you blind for a time,” said the white man.

The crowd laughed until twenty-three men touched the pickup truck and began screaming, “I’m blind. Help me! Help me!” Then, the laughter stopped and fear gripped the crowd.

“Men, keep quiet. Sit down and when I’m done I will lay hands on you and your sight will immediately return.”

The twenty-three men sat down.

The old white man had the attention of the whole crowd. Everyone stood in silence, even those on the speakers platform.

“The Lord has sent me to tell you,” proclaimed the white man, “your problems are not caused by the city of Chicago, its police department or white Americans. Your problems are caused by your sins and your bitterness. You need to first ask the Lord for His forgiveness and then most of you will have to ask forgiveness of white Americans for your hatred toward them, too.

“If you choose to humble yourself before God and men, God will pour out a blessing on West Englewood. Murders will stop. Crime will end. Jobs will open up. You will be able to walk on the sidewalks of your neighborhood without fear once again. West Englewood will be known as a place of light and a refuge for all.

“But if you ignore these words and continue in the direction you’re heading, your streets will be covered with the bodies of your dead sons and daughters. And this will happen soon!”

He paused and looked around at the crowd. His blue eyes looked right into my heart.

“God’s words to you are the same ones Moses said to Israel, ‘I have set before you life and good, death and evil.” Now, you must choose which way you will walk from this day forward.”

The white prophet jumped down onto the ground. He laid hands on and prayed for each blind man. They all received their sight again.

Then, he climbed into his pickup and drove off.

Was he a prophet sent by God?

Twenty-four men have no doubts and I pray all of the crowd will agree with us.

(Continued in Part 10…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Inside Israel

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 with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiakh* May He be blessed and glorified, and may you be blessed and edified.  May He take this small offering for His glory alone and the edification of those to whom it is sent with love.

Elul is the last month of the modern Hebrew calendar.  The month of Elul will end on the 29th of September this year, ushering in Rosh h’Shana (the day of the blowing of trumpets, now celebrated as the new year), followed closely by Yom Kippur (the day of atonement – repentance – the most solemn day in the Hebrew calendar of fasting and prayer) and then the wonderful  7 day feast of Sukkot (feast of tabernacles). Autumn (‘stav’ in Hebrew) is upon us with the fall feasts rushing in!  How suddenly summer ends.

School began here in Israel on the 1st of September (yes, Sunday is our ‘Monday’ because Saturday is our Sabbath (shabbat) and being that today (Tuesday) is my day off from work, I smiled with joy as Eric and I walked our 5 and half year old Granddaughter Maya to ‘gan ho’veh’ (or ‘advanced kindergarten’ for those who get to go again).

Our daughter was taking 2 and half year old Nuria to gan, which she began on Sunday – one excited little cookie!  ‘All in our places with sunshiny faces’ was all I could sing as we made our way along with the throngs of parents and grandparents taking all of those little shiny excited faces to their respective schools or ga’nim (kindergartens).  I was totally absorbed in watching Maya on her scooter chattering joyfully to me when I tripped over part of our notoriously choppy sidewalks and fell smack on my knees, injuring my pride terribly but thankfully otherwise not doing anything serious.

‘Oh Tata! Tata!  Are you ok?  You scared me!’ (Maya couldn’t say Sav’ta when she was tiny and Tata stuck)

‘I’m fine!’ I assured her as we continued on and I introduced myself to the ga’ne’net (teacher) so that we could get through security to pick her up.  Isn’t the love of a child amazing?  (To you parents…it gets WAY better when you are grandparents believe it or not.)  May we BE like them, that tender, simple and honest love to our Abba God!

 

The past couple of weeks have been ‘belegan’ here in Jerusalem.  The last two weeks of summer vacation there is no kay’tin’ah (sort of summer ‘day camps’ that most children attend.  They are specialized and can be just play or sport or art or science, language or history , all sorts of age classified enrichment activities).

As you know, our economy here is different than in the west, a huge portion of this tiny country’s  resources  go to very necessary defense, so it is pretty rare for a family to be able to survive even simply on one paycheck. Most parents honestly HAVE to work, not to get ahead, but to survive.  HOWEVER, the last two weeks of summer, ‘someone’ needs to be home with the children (if retired grandparents aren’t available), and most vacations are taken then.

Consequently, the streets of Jerusalem have been PACKED with large families (religious families are particularly large. As I have said before, our son in law is the oldest of 14).  The time is spent getting school supplies and being out on ‘te’oo’lim’ (‘trek’ or ‘trip’, outing).  The lite rail and all buses were packed way beyond capacity as families enjoyed museums, parks, the zoo, the Old City, shops and restaurants.

Our dear friend Janet is staying with us for awhile and I have so enjoyed reading her updates (although she has been here on and off for many years, she always sees things with new eyes. I can’t help but borrow from her beautifully written letters:

She mused about large families dressing their children in identical clothing and I hadn’t thought about that for a while but I always think of them as big gardens.  The pansies are planted here and the daisies are there, then there are the sweet peas.  I think it really solves many problems:  First, like school uniforms, it solves the fashion problem.  ‘Here’s your ‘dress’ for the year girls’ and each one gets what Ima (mama)  picked out.  You surely can see your whole family in a crowd without losing any easily.  And when they are all on sale it’s a win-win situation for the family.  Often though it is a bolt of material that is on sale, and one pattern.

I’ve often wondered at the resilience of the people of this country, how it continues life in the midst of all of the stresses, threats and challenges. There is a philosophy or a culture that has been planted in the people. Perhaps a survival skill.  I heard so many stories about how people survived in the death camps of the Holocaust.  I was told by a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto about the schools that they set up, about how, in spite of starvation, slavery, degradation and death everywhere, they set up a functioning society with phony money to use to keep themselves from being penniless and to keep an order. Concerts performed by those who could sing or make instruments from garbage.  Humor and other forms of entertainment. Doctors and teachers continuing their trade so that they could encourage one another to life.  This way they kept themselves from despair and from degradation.

 

Our borders are heating up.  I know that I say that to you often, but things erupt here suddenly.  On Sunday we had a skirmish with Hizbollah in Lebanon sending residents of the North into shelters and sealing off the roads.  It did not erupt into the war …yet.  There is MUCH background fighting going on and as our Prime Minister has openly announced often, he (we) will not compromise Israeli security and will strike at all threats.  We have been doing that with missions and raids in Syria and Lebanon and in other places.

Iran has been playing a chess game against Israel, using other counties as pawns since they have no border with us, but their proxies – Syria and Lebanon do share our borders and Iran has been based there.  It has been a game of cat and mouse so to speak as Israel identifies threats (sophisticated weapons and deadly projects) and eliminates them.  Drones and drones heavily armed with highly destructive smart weapons have entered the arena.  To admit it, Iran has to expose their presence, which is illegal, so it has been covert.  But it has been intense and building.  Added to this toxic mix is Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Isis in Gaza and in the Sinai, infiltrating Judea and Samaria – our heartland – called by the world media “the West Bank.”  With continuing active riots on the Gaza border every Friday, our southern population is frayed but not Afraid

“Be strong and of good courage”…”DO NOT FEAR NOR BE AFRAID” are probably THE most oft repeated COMMAND given throughout the scriptures, particularly the Torah (the first 5 books of Moses) when the fleshly REASONS to fear were ABUNDANT.

In my 44 years of reading and re-reading through the Scriptures I am strongly struck by the irony of this command. Perhaps it is one of the PILLARS on which our faith rests. YES, the giants are there!  YES, the Sea is before you and the Egyptian army behind you. YES the inhabitants of the land are fierce and we are as grasshoppers in our own eyes and probably theirs. YES there is no water and YES there is no food and YES we are surrounded by armies far larger than we are and YES!  IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT LOOK UP!  THOSE WHO ARE WITH US ARE MORE THAN THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST US, as Elisha told his servant when the Syrian army was coming down upon them.

I listen to some who seem to feel that faith in our God is a “get out of jail free” ticket and we will be always physically well and safe but in Luke 21, Yeshua says something very interesting that bares understanding and the context of the whole chapter is helpful:

“You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.  And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.  But not a hair of your head shall be lost.  By your patience possess your souls.” (Luke 21:16-19)

SOME OF YOU WILL BE PUT TO DEATH, BUT NOT A HAIR OF YOUR HEAD SHALL BE LOST.  May our values be His, our perspective HIS.

We (as a part of the body of Messiah here) have been through fire lately in the loss of 4 beloved members.  Eliyahu Ben Haim and the three members of the Rosetsky family.  These were all people walking in the will and the ways of The Lord and living completely for Him, aside from 2 month old Itai, who had as yet done not right nor wrong). They ARE safe with not a hair of their head being lost.

His ways are not ours. His thoughts not ours but it is a wake-up call for sure.  One sister remarked to me last shabbat that “We weren’t yet back to normal’

I said, “I don’t think that we are SUPPOSED to be ‘back to normal.’  A very precious sacrifice was placed on the altar and I believe that He wants us all changed by what we have witnessed.”  

We don’t know what lies ahead, but we are NOT afraid.

We are told to fear ONLY GOD and we believe that.  Our upcoming re-elections are scheduled to be held on 17th of Sept.  Lord knows what lies ahead, we don’t.  But one thing we know (both you and us) is that the ONLY safe place in this world in IN HIM.

Our pastor is faithful to remind us time and time again to turn our faces to Him.  Run into Him!  Look to HIM! THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH!

My years are running into one another and I surely never expected that, did you?  May we ALL be found IN HIM IN (HIS) PEACE!  May His Word be a living two-edged sword in each of us.  May we be dangerous to the enemy for His sake.  May we be kept from deception. Oh may we be humble in the fear of The One True God, The Lord of heaven and earth!  May we be purified for His glory.

Lovingly,

your sister J

 

*Small note.  Lately transliterators have been writing ‘kh’ instead of ‘ch’ to indicate the sound that is like ‘clearing your throat’.  For years it has been written ‘ch’ but we know that in English ‘ch’ is pronounced like the beginning of  ‘child’ and that leads to much confusion.  I am joining the pack, so I spelled (Messiah) Meshiakh instead of Meshiach.

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God’s Love Must Torpedo Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 7)

The Apostle Paul’s greatest adversary was not Satan or the Romans, but instead, it was the Jews, his fellow countrymen. In fact, many believe, including me, that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was not a sickness, but a Jew or a group of Jews that followed and stalked him so that he was continually persecuted wherever he went. (Paul used the words “messenger of Satan” to describe his thorn.)

Five times, Paul received savage beatings from the Jews. He was stoned by Jews at Lystra, drug out of the city and left for dead. More than forty Jews took a vow not to eat until they had killed Paul. Almost every city Paul entered to preach the gospel, the Jews caused riots against him.

If ever a person had a good reason to hate a specific group of people, it was the Apostle Paul, but read what he wrote:

For my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters, I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. (Romans 9:3)

It’s so easy to skip over this verse and believe that Paul was using an analogy to describe his love for the Jews, but he wasn’t. The two verses before this one describes his feelings and heart desire about this.

That’s right! Paul was willing to give up his salvation and go to Hell for the sake of the Jews. Now, that’s agape love!

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15)

There are more Christians percentage-wise in the inner cities of American than in any other location, but ironically, there are more homicides committed in the inner cities than any other place. In fact, if you removed the homicides committed in the inner cities by blacks (94% of which are committed against other blacks) from the statistics, the murder rates in America would drop in half.

Most social justice leaders, politicians and others give various reasons for why there are so many murders in America’s inner cities, but none of their answers seem to help. So, what’s the problem?

I believe the main problem is the deep-rooted hatred blacks have toward white Americans. No doubt, it’s easy to justify this black hatred because of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and countless other slights by whites, but still, justifying a sin does not stop the consequences from taking place.

(Continued in Part 8…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 4)

“American Christianity would collapse if the pastors were removed.” (Frank Viola)

The Greek word poimēn is translated into the English word pastor(s) only one time in the New Testament.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11)

The other seventeen times the Greek word poimēn is used in the New Testament, it is translated into the English word shepherd(s), as in –

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. (John 10:11)

But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. (John 10:12)

There is no evidence in the New Testament of a pastor – or shepherd – being the scripturally chosen person to preach a sermon every Sunday to a church and also being the CEO in charge of the affairs of that group of believers. Not one mention!

Even Paul in his letters to the churches did not address his messages to pastors. He wrote to all of the believers. Only in one letter did Paul make a special reference to elders, and that was a fleeting one in the first verse of Philippians.

So, how does a modern pastor justify his position as the CEO of a church?

Mainly through tradition.

Where did the tradition of the pastor begin?

Martin Luther dropped the title of priest from himself during the reformation and added the title of pastor instead. From that point forward, pastors became the heads of the Protestant churches.

Now, just so you know, I do not disagree that God has used many pastors over the centuries as His anointed leaders. Yet even so, we are in the last days, and I believe God wants His Son to take His rightful place in His body —

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, ( 1 Timothy 2:5)

I think Frank Viola exaggerated a little bit about American Christianity collapsing if the pastors are removed because many hundreds of thousands of strong believers have already walked away from the traditional church. These believers would not be affected by pastors being removed from the religious scene.

But if Viola would have narrowed his focus and said, “Black Christianity would collapse if its pastors were removed,” then I believe he would have been closer to the truth.

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers for American Church System (7/18/2019)

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 2005

We can learn much about the Kingdom of God and also the Church by looking at God’s first kingdom venture on earth (after the fall): Israel.

God’s desire for Israel was that the nation would have no king and no standing army. God would be the Israelites’ King and their defense. Israel was divided up into twelve parcels, one for each tribe. The leaders for each tribe would be elders, heads of families and families. Israel was set up to be a loosely governed confederation of tribes and families, unlike any other nation at the time.

In approximately 1043 BC, the elders came to Samuel the prophet and said, “Samuel, you are old. Now make for us a king to rule over us like all of the other nations.”

Samuel felt bad, but God told him, “Listen to the people. They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should no longer reign over them.”

God warned Israel, telling them all that the kings would do to abuse their authority over Israel. Yet, the people of Israel still said, “We want a king so we are like the other nations.”

From 1043 BC with King Saul until the fall of Jerusalem under King Zedekiah in 586 BC, Israel and Judah had a government headed by a king. They were like the other nations with a hierarchal governmental system. It was a total failure.

Why?

God said it would fail and it did.

Okay, now let’s look at the American Church system.

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

Thousands of American believers are praying for revival, which they hope will bring a move of the Spirit to America’s churches and change our nation. Hey, if it happens, I will join my brothers and sisters in celebration.

But…I don’t believe it will happen.

Most of America’s churches resemble Israel with a hierarchal government reigning over them. The New Testament name – pastor – sounds better than king, but make no doubt about it, the American pastor is generally an overlord in charge of the membership. He’s the CEO! This type of church system has been in place since Martin Luther reformed the church in 1517. Five hundred years!

Now, many will say that God has often revived the Church in times past. And yes, He has, but He also sent some good kings to Israel and Judah until He didn’t send them anymore. Maybe the American church system is in the same season that Israel was when its hierarchal government failed.

So don’t stay with the same-o same-o attitude about traditional churches just because God has not reformed the wineskin in times past. Seek the Lord.

I believe God will totally reform the church, preparing it for the End Times.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us American believers not to be conformed to this age and its traditions, but to be transformed and changed by the entire renewal of our minds and attitudes so that we may know what is Your good and perfect will for Your Church. (Based on Romans 12:2)

Join with me to fast and pray for America’s churches.

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Prayers for Senior Citizens (6/6/2019)

 

One of the greatest geezer preachers of all time was Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947).

Wigglesworth was born in 1859 in Yorkshire, England. His parents were so poor that Smith had to miss school as a child and work to help support his family. Even so he became born again when he was eight years old. Later, he became an apprentice and then a plumber.

He married his wife Polly in 1882. She taught him how to read and encouraged him to preach, but he was tongue-tied and couldn’t speak in front of crowds. So, his wife was the anointed preacher until her death in 1913.

When Polly died, he was so grief-stricken that he commanded death to leave her. She came back to life, opened her eyes and said, “Smith, the Lord wants me. It’s your season now.”

Smith looked into her eyes. “If the Lord wants you, I will not hold you,” he replied.

The day after the funeral, Smith Wigglesworth threw himself on his wife’s grave and wept. The Holy Spirit spoke: “Smith, get up. It’s time for you to travel the world and preach the gospel.”

Then, an argument followed between the Holy Spirit and Wigglesworth. He refused to get off the grave because he was too heart-broken and didn’t want to minister without his wife.

Finally, Wigglesworth said, “Lord, I’ll get up and go to the world, if You’ll give me her anointing, too.”

That day, Smith Wigglesworth, fifty-four years of age, began his ministry to the world and continued until he died at eighty-eight years of age.

Because of Wigglesworth’s lack of schooling, he normally spoke with a working-class cockney accent, hard to understand. But when he preached and ministered, he talked like an Oxford professor. Perfect English.

There has never been a man like Smith Wigglesworth. As many as nineteen people (some say only twelve) were raised from the dead through his ministry. Tens of thousands were healed and saved in his meetings.

And he did all this while he was a senior citizen.

What’s our excuse, right?

My prayer today:

Lord, Your word states that You do not show favoritism toward one person over another. So, I ask You to move on the senior citizens here in American and raise up dozens of people who will walk in the same anointing that You gave to Smith Wigglesworth. (Based on Acts 10:34)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for Christian Senior Citizens in America.

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Will We End Up Being A Part of the Great Falling Away? (Part 2)

In His second year of ministry, Jesus taught His most important parable – the Parable of the Sower – to the multitudes. Afterward, when they were alone, His twelve disciples asked Him the meaning of the parable.

Jesus explained to them the various soils in the parable, especially the third one:

Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (Mark 4:18-19)

Now, by this time, Judas Iscariot was the treasurer of the group and was siphoning off funds for his own use. He was a thief!

Since all of the twelve disciples inquired about the parable, what was going through Judas’ mind when he heard Jesus explain about the deceitfulness of riches?

Or maybe Judas’ heart was so filled with trampled down, footpath soil that Satan was able to easily remove all of Jesus’ words about this parable? 

As we all know, Judas eventually went to the chief priests and negotiated a sum of thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus.

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

Let’s be honest, okay?

None of us think we would ever be guilty of falling away from the faith. Why – we attend church, have Bible apps on our phones, listen to all of the latest worship songs – so this can’t possibly refer to any of us, right?

But remember this: Judas traveled with Jesus for three years, fellowshipped with Him, saw His miracles and heard His words, yet Judas was never delivered from the deceitfulness of riches.

Paul’s prophecy about the great falling away will be fulfilled by some of us. It’s going to happen! Even though I have walked with the Lord for 34 years, I don’t lightly skip over the prophecy. I have a reverent fear of the Lord about it.

So, what can we do to prepare ourselves ahead of time?

(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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