.; A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those committed to ..praying .. for the restoration of Israel
David’s Comment: Back to Biblical Basics Pt 2 – What is a Covenant ?
Introduction: The Bible (Latin: Biblio) is a collection of 66 books inspired by the Spirit of God and written down by the men He selected to do so. We must remember that most of the Bible was written down 2 to 3 thousand years ago by Jews for Jews, and is primarily about Israel and the Jewish people. The Bible is absolutely relevant for every person, no matter what his or her racial background or the time in which they live. However to understand the Bible and glean truth from it, it must be read with a Hebraic mindset, not a Greek mindset, which sadly has not been the case for the last 1900 years. In his book, Clash of the Kingdoms, Bible translator and teacher Victor Schlatter wrote … Unfortunately, most Westerners and much of the presumed Bible-believing, no-nonsense Christianity within the Western World have become such scrambled eggs of syncretism into a Hellenistic lifestyle that they are oblivious to the fact that their train has long ago whistled past their station. Sadly, the next stop is not exactly where they had intended to get off ! I believe that is a very true and very serious statement
After almost 2000 years of a Greek based understanding of the Bible, we have a situation today where much of the Christian world has little, or wrong understanding, leading to most of the Church being disinterested in Israel, or even standing against Israel’s right to the Promised Land, and to the abomination of the tolerance and even support of same sex relationships, even in Church leadership. The return of Yeshua to set up God’s Kingdom is not far off and it is time for a change. It is time for a Paradigm Shift in the way we read and understand the Bible. To rightly divide the Word of God and discover Biblical truth we need to read the Bible in the correct context. As I said earlier it is written by Jews about Israel and the Jewish people. Unless we read it in that light we can never know the real meaning of what we are reading. For instance, the passage about giving someone a cup of cold water or washing someone’s feet is only relevant if the reader understands the rigors of walking a long distance in the dust and heat of the Middle East. Another example is, that unless a person understands the Jewish celebration of Passover, it is unlikely that he or she can understand the deeper relevance of the Lord’s Supper or Communion.
Over the next few weeks I will be focusing on the basic but very important issues on which we must base our Bibilical understanding and interpretation.
Part 2 – What is a Covenant ? Hebrews 8:6-7 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. (NKJ)
Most Christians understand that the death and resurrection of Yeshua brings us into the New Covenant, but I have the sense that many people don’t really know what a covenant particularly a God made covenant is. I have been attending services for 27 years now and I cant remember ever hearing a message on this very basic and foundational subject. So please read on to see what I believe a covenant is ………..
A Covenant is a contract or arrangement between at least 2 parties. The New Testament is NOT the New Covenant. The New Testament is the writings about the New Covenant. In English the word testament or will is the legal document to inform others what a deceased person has decided to do with his or her earthly belongings. It is not the belongings, but just a paper document about the belongings. Thus it is correct to call the latter part of the Bible The New Testament, but is is not correct to call it The New Covenant. It is the document about the New Covenant. These two names are often used to describe the same thing, but they are very different things A covenant is a pledge or promise, like a contract. A testament is something, usually in written form, that is left behind to make a declaration, like a person’s last will and testament. We are blessed by the LORD to have been personally invited into the New Covenant (Brit Hadashah in Hebrew – Jer 31:31), sealed by the precious Blood of Yeshua.
The New Covenant I hear many Christians, even pastors, preachers and Bible teachers mixing New Covenant and New Testament up. To further clarify the confusion, the New Covenant is the updated way to be in a righteous relationship with YHVH – the God of Israel. The Old Covenant way to be in that relationship was to keep His commandments, and when a person failed or sinned, they would go to the Temple and sacrifice a spotless lamb or goat. The New Covenant way to be in relationship with the God of Israel is to do our best to live by His commandments, and when we fail or sin, we go to the altar and apply the Blood of Yeshua, which makes atonement and maintains our righteous relationship with our Heavenly Father. That is the New Covenant for Jew and Gentile alike.
The New Testament is the book we have that contains the writings left behind by the authors of the four Gospels, and the letters of Paul and one or two others. There is nothing new in the New Testament, which is simply comprised of the four Gospels that tell us about the life and ministry of Yeshua, and the letters which follow, which were primarily written by Paul, a 1st century Jewish rabbi and theologian, to explain the previous testament to the new non-Jewish followers of the Jewish Messiah who are now in a blood covenant relationship with the God of Israel. Also it is important to understand that the New Covenant promises of God, and the New Testament writings do not stand alone or apart from what went before. The New Covenant is the replacement and fulfillment of all the covenants that went before, and the New Testament is the written testimony of Yeshua’s life and ministry, and the explanation of what most people call the Old Testament, or the earlier part of the Bible.
Sealed by blood In ages past most people groups had some form of covenant and most sealed their covenants with blood. In today’s world we like to think we are civilized people and we seal out covenants? by a rubber stamp and / or our signature. When we make a purchase of significant value or borrow the money to but it, we usually have to fill out many forms and the documents are not legal until we? sign or rubber stamp it. The God of Israel does not sign or rubber stamp His covenants. He seals them with Blood. That means something has to die to provide the blood, And blood is holy to God because the life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11) It is very easy to break a covenant – ask Neville Chambelain, the British prime minister who returned home from Germany with a signed pledge of peace from Adolf Hitler – more than 80 million people died as a result of WW 2. But blood sealed covenants are not entered into lightly, and are not so easy to break as they are sealed in the spiritual realm.
The God of Israel is a covenant making God and a covenant keeping God. Deuteronomy 7:9 “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; (NKJ)
I pray that this explanansion will help many of our readers to clearly understand these basic? tenants of true Christianity, and to realise that we must read and understand the New Testament in light of the Old Testament and not the other way around, as I have often heard it being taught.
There is only one God and as I ended last weeks comment, neither Allah nor Buddah, nor Mohammad, nor any other entity that people worship even comes close to the God of Israel when it comes to making and keeping covenant promises
Part 3 next week …………Who is Yeshua ?
The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel. Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom …… David & Josie
This Weeks News Items
1. IDF Lauches Another Attack in Syria
The IDF on Saturday attacked the Syrian military in response to five rockets fired from its territory into the Israeli Golan Heights. The rockets slammed into Israel early Saturday morning, setting off the emergency alarm system throughout the area, but causing no damage or casualties. The projectiles appear to be a result of the internal fighting in Syria. The IDF responded by destroying three Syrian artillery batteries. ?Whether errant fire or not, any future occurrences will force the IDF to intensify its response,? an IDF spokesperson said after the incident. ?The IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible and won?t tolerate any attempt to breach Israeli sovereignty or threaten Israeli civilians? safety,? the spokesperson added. The Syrian army claimed that rebels fired the rockets at Israel in order to cause the IDF to act against the Syrian army. The statement claimed that ?the Israeli aggression? came after ?terrorists had launched mortar shells? at Israel ?to give the Israeli enemy a pretext to carry out its aggression.? Relating to that incident on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Syria that Israel would continue to carry out airstrikes as required by Israel?s security needs. ?Our policy is clear ? anyone who tries to hurt us, we will hurt them,? Netanyahu stated. ?Today, they tried to hit our planes, this is not acceptable.? ?The air force acted with precision, swiftness, and destroyed what needed to be destroyed,? he added. ?We will continue to act in the arena as much as needed to defend Israel?s security.? Pray that Syria will not be foolish enough to start a full blown conflict with Israel
2. Lies and Propoganda Charles Gardner / Israel Today News Oct 21st
As new settlement construction gets underway in Israel?s disputed territories, a fresh wave of condemnation is expected. Accusations that the Jewish state is practicing apartheid, supposedly over its ?illegal occupation? and ?treatment of the Palestinians?,’ will inevitably be trotted out, adding fuel to the fire of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement which masquerades as a compassionate supporter of oppressed Palestinians, but in actual fact is demonstrating another form of anti-Semitism. Before tackling this gross misuse of the ?apartheid? tag, it?s worth saying that BDS has taken a series of knocks of late, both in the courts and in the legislative arena. In Spain, 24 legal rulings and expert opinions were made against the movement and in France, one court decision ordered that a financial penalty be imposed on BDS activists demonstrating outside supermarkets calling on consumers to boycott Israeli products. In the United States, several pieces of legislation against the movement have been ratified. In Texas, for instance, a law was passed forbidding ties with, or investment in, companies that boycott Israel.
Such success has benefited from investment in a legal battle by Israel?s Justice Ministry. Even actress Greta Gerwig regrets putting her name to a letter calling for the cancellation of a play based on a novel by Israeli author David Grossman and funded by Israel?s Office of Cultural Affairs in North America, a letter denounced as ?hypocritical, discriminatory and dangerous? by nearly 50 high-level entertainment industry executives. Creative Community for Peace, dedicated to countering the cultural boycott of Israel and includes Celine Dion, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake among its members, claim credit for persuading Gerwig to retract her support. ?I was unfamiliar with the complexities of the letter and I did not take the time to study them,? she conceded. Meanwhile claims that Israel is an apartheid state are described as ?an absolute lie? and a mockery of the struggle her parents went through, by Olga Meshoe, daughter of a South African MP who grew up under the apartheid system. Pray that the BDS movement continues to be exposed as a fraudulent anti-Semitic organisation
3. Hamas Denounces Trump Peace Plan World Israel News Oct 19th
A senior Hamas leader denounced demands by the Trump administration that the terror group be disarmed, and that its leadership must recognize the State of Israel following the reconciliation agreement between the PA and Hamas. Two weeks ago Hamas and the PA group Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement, forming a united government for the first time in a decade. Following the signing of the agreement, Israel announced that it would not negotiate with the unity government. President Trump?s special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt demanded that in light of Hamas? new position in the PA, the terror group must disarm, recognize Israel, and adhere to all other agreements and commitments the PA has made over the past quarter century. “All parties agree that it is essential that the PA be able to assume full, genuine, and unhindered civil and security responsibilities in Gaza to improve the humanitarian situation for people living there,” Greenblatt said. At a rally in the Gaza Strip, Hamas? second highest ranking military leader not only denounced Greenblatt and the Trump administration?s demand, but declared that Hamas still has every intention of annihilating the State of Israel. “Gone is the time in which Hamas discussed recognition of Israel. The discussion now is about when we will wipe out Israel,” said Sinwar. “No one has the ability to extract from us recognition of the occupation.””No one will disarm us. No one can disarm Hamas.” Prior to the reconciliation agreement between the PA and Hamas, President Trump had pushed for a Middle East peace summit intended to reboot final status negotiations between Israel and the PA, which have been frozen since 2014. Pray that Hamas disappears from the scene in the Middles East
4. 12 Year Old Israel Boy Suffers Head Injurines in Roack Attack INN News Oct 22nd
A 12-year-old boy from the Jewish community in Hevron was injured Saturday afternoon when an Arab hurled rocks at the victim and at two other Jewish children in Avraham’s Spring. The large rock caused a cut to the boy’s head, and he temporarily lost consciousness, falling into the spring. Miraculously, the boy survived the fall. According to local reports, the two other children quickly ran to ask a neighbor for medical help for the injured boy. The unconscious boy was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital for treatment. Hospital staff stitched the cuts to the boy’s head.
The boy is currently suffering head pain, and has been hospitalized for observation, further testing, and continued treatment. Pray that the boy will be restored to full health
5. Israeli Air Force Kills 10 ISIS Terrorists in Syria Attack World Israel News Oct 24th
Israel?s Air Force (IAF) carried out an airstrike in the western countryside of Daraa, inside Syria, killing at least 12 persons. ? most of them members and leaders of Jaysh Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, a terrorist group that has sworn allegiance to ISIS. The attack on the organization?s headquarters left four commanders dead, SOHR reported. The UK-based human rights watchdog estimates that the death toll is expected to rise due to the critical condition of the wounded casualties. Jaysh Khaled Ibn al-Waleed, an armed Salafi jihadist group active in southern Syria, controls a small area in the Yarmouk Basin, adjacent to the Israeli Golan Heights. It was formed by a merger of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, the Islamic Muthanna Movement and the Army of Jihad, all affiliated with ISIS.
SOHR notes that this was not the first attack on the terror group, but it is unclear who carried out the previous attacks. The IDF has remained silent on this latest report, as usual. IAF airstrikes on Syrian targets, primarily against weapons shipments from Iran en route for Hezbollah in Lebanon, have been reported in the past. Israeli leaders have repeatedly vowed to operate to ensure the country?s security interests are maintained. Pray that Israel will continue to take all necessary action to ensure the safety of the people
6. Jerusalem Approves 176 New Homes INN News Oct 25th
A building project planned for eastern Jerusalem was approved Wednesday, paving the way for the massive expansion of a Jewish neighborhood once in danger of being bought out by a wealthy Arab businessman. The Jerusalem housing committee approved an additional 176 homes for the Nof Tzion neighborhood, located next to the Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukhabar in eastern Jerusalem, said Deputy Mayor Meir Turjeman. Nof Tzion, which currently includes 91 housing units, will grow to 267 homes out of some 480 total planned for the development project. In 2011, residents protested the planned buyout of the remaining stages of the project by an Arab-American businessman, Bashar Masri, who sought to market homes there to Jerusalem Arabs. Residents feared that if the development company which owned the land sold the rights to the remaining stages of the project, the 91 existing Jewish homes would be cut off geographically from Jewish neighborhoods in the area, and Nof Tzion would become an isolated enclave. Ultimately, the deal was scrapped, and Israeli supermarket tycoon Rami Levy bought out the rights to the Nof Tzion project. Despite Levy?s purchase of the remaining stages of the project, however, little progress was made prior to the 2016 US presidential election, in part to strong opposition by the Obama administration to Jewish housing projects in eastern Jerusalem. Pray that nothing hinders the building of these news homes, plus many more that need to be approved and built.
7. Germany Preparing to Celebrate Luther Times of Israel News Oct 25th
Germany has plunged into a commemoration frenzy replete with daily radio programs devoted to Luther with pastors, priests, rabbis, bishops, psychiatrists and other prominent individuals. A 95-day morning radio series devoted to Luther starts the day with the song ?I hammer in the morning.? Larger churches are offering commemorative services advertised with portraits of Luther. One local evening school boasts an event entitled ?Germany?s Doom: Luther and Beer,? while a church sponsored a culinary event highlighting meals from the life and times of the reformer. Yet a shocking part of Luther?s legacy seems to have slipped though the cracks of the collective memory along the way: his vicious Anti-Semitism and its horrific consequences for the Jews and for Germany itself. At first, Luther was convinced that the Jews would accept the truth of Christianity and convert. Since they did not, he later followed in his treatise, On the Jews and Their Lies (1543), that ?their synagogues or schools? should be ?set fire to, in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christian.? He advised that the houses of Jews be ?razed and destroyed,? their ?prayer books and Talmudic writings? and ?all cash and treasure of silver and gold? be taken from them. They should receive ?no mercy or kindness,? given ?no legal protection,? and ?drafted into forced labor or expelled.? He also claimed that Christians who ?did not slay them were at fault.? Luther thus laid part of the basic anti-Semitic groundwork for his Nazi descendants to carry out the Shoah. Julius Streicher, editor of the anti-Semitic Nazi magazine ?Der St?rmer,? commented during the N?rnberg tribunal that Martin Luther could have been tried in his place.