Monthly Archives: January 2012

Bring Back The King

*Attention: This is not a post about Elvis, Michael Jackson, or even that goofy looking character from the Burger King commercials.*

This post is about a hope and a prayer, that I pray and hope will turn into a plea by Yeshua’s (Jesus’) brothers and sisters according to the flesh (i.e. The Jewish People) really soon in the coming days. Amen! These thoughts are primarily drawn out of the 16th Chapter entitled Life from the Dead in Michael Brown’s book Our Hands Are Stained With Blood.

For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23:39 ESV)

Yeshua (Jesus) spoke these words in sadness to Jerusalem not too long before his death. These words come after a long litany of warnings to the oppressive and unbelieving leadership of the Jewish people in Yeshua’s day. Yeshua’s words as recorded here in Matthew are insightful and indeed prophetic. These words are magnificent and the implications are probably beyond our full scope of understanding until they become the reality that will usher in the Age to Come. And yet with clarity, there is an aspect and an event in view that all believer’s should understand right now in this present age – The Jewish People play an integral part in the 2nd Coming of Yeshua!

Ever since I can remember, in my lifetime, there has always been talk of the Lord’s return to this earth. This is popularly known as the 2nd Advent or 2nd Coming. This desire and speculation of Yeshua’s return has not just recently become the hot topic of believers, but it is true of my parent’s and grandparent’s generation as well. In fact, the imminent expectation of Yeshua’s return goes all the way back through every generation of the last two thousand years, even to the very generation(s) in which the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament) were written. But, have we really had genuine reason to believe that He could return at anytime? I suppose that each and every generation could validate and give “evidence” for His return in some form or fashion. Some of the “evidences” of our modern times (most of which I agree with) are the formation of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish control of Jerusalem for the first time in almost 2,500 years in 1967, Tens of thousands of Jewish people coming to faith in Yeshua in the last 40-50 years, the increased frequency of natural disasters, the increased frequency of wars and rumors of wars, the explosion of knowledge and technology, etc, etc. Yeshua talked about many of these things being a “sign of the end”, but there is still a caveat, there is still something else that must happen before his return – Yeshua said so, very plainly, himself. As Brown makes note of  in his book “He will remain in heaven until Jerusalem welcomes Him back. That is how it must be!”.

So it is with this caveat in mind that I write this post; that Yeshua will not return until his own people, the Jews, welcome him back as Melech Mashiach (King Messiah).

Brown brings up a portion of Scripture from 2 Samuel, having to do with King David, in which he suggests is prophetic in light of Yeshua’s words in Matthew 23. At this point in David’s life, he had been on the run after his son Absalom had stolen his throne. David had previously left Jerusalem out of fear for his life, but now his son Absalom has been killed and David was ready to return and resume his kingship from the City of the King. After hearing of Absalom’s death, the Israelites argued amongst themselves saying;

“The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?” (2 Samuel 19:9-10 ESV)

King David took their sentiments a bit further and went right to the source of contention. He sent a message straight to the leadership in Israel at the time and said;

“Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel has come to the king? You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ (2 Samuel 19:11-12 ESV)

“You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ These words could easily reflect the attitude of Yeshua to his brothers and sisters in the flesh. All the nations of the world are represented in wanting to bring back the King (including Messianic Jews), but until Jerusalem (represented by Israel and the Jewish People as a whole) receive and welcome Him back – He will not return!

So this is one of the great challenges and opportunities we face! Some might say Mission Impossible, it can’t be done or it won’t be done until Yeshua comes back, but wait, according to Yeshua’s own words it must happen before He returns – not after! Many Christians might be surprised to learn that religious Jew’s pray for their Messiah’s return daily, as well as it being a central tenet to their faith (though currently they reject Yeshua as this Messiah).

The 15th blessing of the Amidah (daily standing prayer) is called The Kingdom of David and it appeals to God to bring the Messianic King to sit on David’s throne:

May the seed of David thy servant flourish speedily and may You exalt in Your salvation. For in Your salvation do we hope all the day. Blessed are You, Lord, Who brings forth the horn of our salvation.

The 12th principle in Maimonides 13 principles of Jewish faith states; the belief in the coming of Messiah and the Messianic era.

How can we challenge and change the status quo of long-held assumptions about who the Messiah is? What part can you play in this Divine objective?

For starters, we can all join in prayer a la Psalm 122:6; Pray for the Peace and Salvation of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will not experience true and lasting peace and salvation without her true Messiah, Yeshua.

Second, we must understand Paul’s words in Romans 11 and keep them continually on our heart and in focus:

Christians (non-Jewish believers from among the nations) must understand that it is only in part to Israel’s stumbling that we are able to proclaim God’s amazing grace as grateful believers today.

So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. (Romans 11:11 ESV)

To me, this is also one of the lost callings of the Church and Christianity in general. We have hardly provoked Israel to jealousy by showering them with the love of Christ, but instead, historically speaking, we have persecuted them in Jesus’ name as Christ killers! All believers everywhere must repent for ourselves and our ancestors in the faith. We must take a stand against and denounce all anti-Judaic and anti-Semitic behavior and theology. 

Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean! (Romans 11:12 ESV)

I believe that many Christians are eternally thankful to God for “calling them out of the darkness and into His marvelous light”. “For O’ the depths and heights” of God’s blessings that he has bestowed upon us and yet this is only a taste of the mutually universal blessing that will be showered upon all believer’s once Israel is brought back into the fold under her Messiah.

For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? (Romans 11:15 ESV)

This portion of Scripture penned by Paul through the Holy Spirit is astounding! Israel’s rejection enabled all the nations of the world, you and I, to be brought into a personal and corporate relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The I AM who spoke to Moses, the God of Israel, the Tetragrammaton – YHVH! Meditate upon this, all of this was done because of Israel’s (temporary) rejection! We should hardly be able to contain ourselves at the thought of Israel’s future acceptance and welcome message back to her King “Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai”, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”! For this message is about one of our primary and eternal hopes – The Resurrection!

The Resurrection is a central tenet to the theology of Christianity and Judaism and is something in which we are all eternally hopeful. Again, from Maimonides 13 principles of Jewish faith; #13 – the belief in the resurrection of the dead.

Finally, I believe that it is to this end that the modern Messianic Jewish movement has arisen in these last days. I believe that Messianic Judaism will be the great bridge of reconciliation between Christianity and normative Judaism. I believe that it is the high calling of the Messianic Jewish movement to prepare the remnant of Israel with all believers from the nations alongside her in love and prayer to proclaim the message “Bring Back The King”!

May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the name of Yeshua the Messiah!

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2011 In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for my blog. I’m pretty sure you’ll want to read about it:-)!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,600 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people. Ladies and Gentlemen, All Aboard – It’s time to jump on board the Messiah Connection Light Train and take a little trip!

Click here to see the complete report.

2011 is officially history now!

It happened as of about 10 hours ago as I sit writing this post! It’s a time to feel good about a new beginning, a clean slate, a fresh start, new opportunities and adventures. This feeling will last at least until about your 2nd day back to work or school and you realize that for now things are not that much different in reality than they were the last week. Time will tell and there’s always hope. Here’s to wishing you and yours the best in the year to come!

Welcome to 2012 and Happy New Year!

2012 is undoubtably the most hyped up year in the “apocalyptic/end of the world” sense that this world has known since the year 2000. The year(s) leading up to 2000 were hyped up by the fact that we were entering a new millennium, which is in fact a rarity, since it does only happen once every one thousand years. The year 2000 was also hyped up by the Y2K scare, which was basically a theory that the world’s computer systems would not know how to handle going from 12/31/99 to 1/1/00. And this “numerical glitch” would send our post modern world and technology back to the turn of the 20th century. This real life “back to the future” scenario would make our electrical grid non-existent, world financial markets would crash, airplanes and satellites would fall from the sky, food supplies would stop, the mark of the beast would be initiated, world-wide anarchy and chaos would ensue, and on top of all this, aliens would probably attack our poor state of existence. Looking back, this sounds ludicrous, but at the time I heard all of these theories from respectable, educated persons. I knew people at the time, who had been preparing “hideouts” in the country, stockpiling canned food, water, and weaponry (yes, guns and lots of ammunition), for the mass hysteria that would be our existence at 12:01 am, January 1st, 2000. At the time, I worked for a mobile paging and phone company. The owners of the company were planning to “camp out” in the server rooms on New Year’s Eve 1999 in case there was any “technical difficulty”. I was also in a band at the time and we had a gig on NYE in a town about 30 minutes from our hometown. One of our band member’s parent’s was “extremely concerned” about us “traveling” 30 miles to play a Rock n’ Roll show on this most fateful of nights. On the way to the gig that evening, we spotted numerous bonfires and camping sites off the highway in the distance, safe from all of the world’s troubles (though these self-proclaimed hide-outs could hardly be verified as such since they were only 200 yards from the highway!). As a group of teenagers, we could feel the excitement in the air that evening and we all hoped “something might happen”, and we all thought it would be “very cool” if it did. How awesome, we thought, would it have been to be on a stage, playing a rock n roll song, when the world stopped turning! That’s how a 19-year-old thinks, or at least that’s how I thought.

None of that happened of course. The New millennium and Year began just like all the rest before them and by the time September 11th, 2001 happened, the world had all but forgotten about the perceived threat of our existence with Y2K, as a new era of reality and fear in the name of Terrorism had begun.

2012 is another one of those types of years. It has been hyped as such for at least more than a decade. I remember seeing a tv show (I forget the channel) in 1998 about the end of the Mayan calendar  on December of 2012. Why didn’t they date past that date? What will happen then? Does it predict the end of mankind’s existence as we know it? Why? What? Why? How? When?

Here is what I do know; There will be shocking things happen in 2012. There will be unbelievable events happen in 2012. It will be the end of the world for millions of people in 2012. I can guarantee that. But, does that make me a prophet, a modern-day Nostradamus? Does it mean that 2012 will be all that it’s hyped up to be in the doom & gloom department? Probably not, at least not according to the popular view of it. I do believe that we are getting nearer to the Lord’s return (everyday in fact), and that leading up to this nearness, there will be birthpains before the birth of a new age. The Messiah said so in Matthew 24:3-8. The Biblical view of these things is vastly different from the popular view though. For in the Bible, the end of this age doesn’t signify the end of mankind and all death and despair. Though that is a reality in the Bible, what is in greater focus is the Age to Come, an age of increased peace and joy due to the Messiah’s rule and reign over this earth with Justice and Truth. The end of this present age will segue into the Age to Come when the Messiah returns and sets up His world government from Jerusalem.

I hope to publish a post about Yeshua’s (Jesus’) return and the peace of Jerusalem in the coming days. I hope that you would add these two things to your prayer requests/resolutions for 2012. Maranatha!

To end on a lighter note, I heard a joke a year or two ago about the Mayan Calendar that went something like this:

                      

Happy New Year everyone and many blessings to you in the Name of the Lord for 2012!

May grace and shalom be multiplied upon you in the name of Messiah Yeshua!

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