Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yom Kippur...Forgiveness

Tonight, at sundown, (Tishri 9 or September 25, 2012) Israelis will humble themselves before God in prayer, fasting and abstaining from any kind of work or personal pleasure. All forms of entertainment shut down, restaurants and businesses close. It is the highest Holy Day of Israel, Yom Kippur, and the nation of Israel observes it together as one people. While it leaves them vulnerable, I believe God surrounds them with His hand of protection, and we have the privilege of covering them with our prayers.

Leviticus 16:29 "It is to be a permanent regulation for you, that on the tenth day of the seventh month, you are to deny yourselves and not do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you. For on this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before Adonai from all your sins. It is a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you are to deny yourselves.

Leviticus 23:26-32 Adonai said to Moshe, "The tenth day of this seventh month is Yom-Kippur; you are to have a holy convocation, you are to deny yourselves, and you are to bring an offering made by fire to Adonai. You are not to do any kind of work on that day, because it is Yom-Kippur, to make atonement for you before Adonai your God. Anyone who does not deny himself on that day is to be cut off from his people; and anyone who does any kind of work on that day, I will destroy from among his people. You are not to do any kind of work; it is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live. It will be for you a Shabbat of complete rest, and you are to deny yourselves; you are to rest on your Shabbat from evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening."

God was emphatic about denying oneself...it was to be a day of repentance and seeking forgiveness for ones sins. Jews today fast, do not bathe or use personal cosmetics of any kind, engage in marital relations, or wear leather shoes. This is to show a sincere, humble attitude toward God. No food or drink keeps ones mind focused on God and fosters sympathy with those who are poor and without basic needs. Refraining from bathing and using personal body and beauty products is a reminder of those who do not have such comforts. Denying marital relations lets one feel for those who are lonely and without someone special or family. Refraining from wearing leather, which comes from a slaughtered animal, shows a respect for God's creation while seeking His forgiveness.

At the time of the giving of this commandment until the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies through a heavy curtain of separation and make atonement for the nation of Israel.

As true Believers in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Messiah), we know His death on the crucifixion stake (cross) rent the veil of separation, and with His resurrection from the dead, we now have Yeshua as our High Priest, who made a way for us to enter the Holy of Holies into God's presence. For us, observing Yom Kippur is not a matter of works for salvation, but rather a celebration of a righteous holy God accepting the sacrifice of His righteous, holy Son, Yeshua/Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins.

May it at least be a day of intense prayer for our nation and for the nation (not state) of Israel.
Shalu Shalom Yisra'el/Yerushalayim~Pray for Israel, Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
  In His Love,    
Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Today, good people sometimes struggle with pain and uncertainty due to unforeseen circumstances in their journey through life. Unexpected and overwhelming obstacles blocking their path...many of which can be in the form of financial, health, employment, relationship issues, and more...are sources of great concern and heartbreak to them. Many folks are desperate, and do not know which way to turn.

Perhaps I can understand some of what they might be going through because I have also faced formidable trials more than a time or two during my life. Yes, there were times when I found myself in a deep valley with a steep mountain blocking my pathway. But, do you know what? God is in the business of moving mountains for us if we have placed our complete faith and trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord of our life. Although none of us can know what tomorrow might bring, He knows of all our tomorrows and beyond.

In Jeremiah 29:11-13 we read: "'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.'"

That is a great promise for all who have committed their life to Him! Jesus’ hand is always outstretched and ready to receive all who are willing to reach out by accepting Him as Savior, and by declaring Him Lord of their life. Take His hand and hold on tightly! Ask Him to lead you each step of the way through the dark valleys, and He will do it according to His plan for your life. Cast all of your concerns on Him and trust Him, for He desires to have a day-by-day personal relationship with His own. He cared for me in my times of need...and He can do the same for you.

Perhaps you already possess the heart knowledge of salvation, grace, and the comfort He freely offers to all who would choose to accept it. If so, you need to praise God and thank Him! But if not, then, turn to Him today. Reach out and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life. Place your complete faith and trust in Him and His promises. Then, follow in His footsteps as He leads you out of the dark valleys and into the sunshine on the mountain tops.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Not Backing Down on This... It's That Serious!

Deception in Disguise
by Heidi Swander
February 24, 2011

"Mormon leaders call their empire the 'Kingdom of God.'  However, their 'God' is an extraterrestrial from [the planet] Kolob, definitely not the God of the Bible; and the 'Zion' to which their spirit-brother-of-Lucifer Jesus Christ will return to reign, is Independence, My kingdom comeMissouri." So writes author and former Mormon Ed Decker in his book My Kingdom Come.

"It is the Mormons' claim to be the true Israel," Decker states in his book.  "Mormons believe that they are the only true Jews on Earth today.  They also believe they come from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, and that they have the true blood of Israel.  Mormon males are ordained into what they believe are both the Leviticus and Melchizedek priesthoods.  They believe that when they are baptized, their blood actually changes from Gentile blood into the blood of Israel."

According to Decker, a Mormon for 20 years of his adult life prior to embracing true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Mormon Church (aka The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or "LDS" for short) espouses rituals that have "significant parallels with Freemasonry, the occult, and Luciferianism."

In an endorsement to the book Mormonism's Temple of Doom, Dr. Walter Martin, well-known Christian counter-cult apologist, wrote, "Controversy has arisen over the book in that some people have understood the authors to be saying that Mormonism is a lineal descendant of specific occult organizations (i.e., Freemasonry).  I can understand how that conclusion can be reached.  The authors have stated that 'undeniable similarities exist between Mormonism and other occult organizations' . . . They contend that disciplines such as Mormonism, Freemasonry, and Wicca are streams of the same Satanic river.  This can be substantiated as fact."

In light of this, it is alarming to note that there is a movement afoot today, in so-called evangelical circles, to embrace Mormons as fellow Christians.  One example: The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has chosen to hold their semi-annual board meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, this spring, for the express purpose of dialoguing with LDS leaders to "deepen our understanding of the Mormon faith and contribute to the on-going work of evangelicals in Utah."  Read that sentence again.  Please take note that that sentence assumes that Mormonism and Christianity are synonymous.  They are not.  Therefore, a statement by NAE president Leith Anderson expressing a desire to find "common ground on issues" with LDS is futile.  There is no common ground between Christianity and Mormonism.

It is vital that every true believer in Jesus Christ grasp the myriad and eternally-significant differences between Mormonism and biblical Christianity, because the alternative is to be easily deceived into an unequal yoke with unbelievers.  This knowledge is particularly essential today because, at present, America has a number of prominent Mormons adorning our television screens and influencing American policy including Governor Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck, Senator Harry Reid and Senator Orrin Hatch. 

Jerry Johnson, founder and president of The Apologetics Group, Inc. says, "I have known a lot of Mormons.  In fact, my grandfather was a Mormon, and they are some of the best and most moral people I've ever met . . . They have wanted to, really, kind of be equated with historic evangelical Christianity, when everything they believe is antithetical to what the Bible and the church has always taught.

Because Mormons are morally upright, true Christians easily gravitate to them.  Because Mormons use verbiage that sounds biblical, Christians can be easily duped.  Decker explains that, "The Mormon leadership will not tamper with the definitions that have separated them from Orthodoxy for over 170 years.  They will spend their time trying to look as Christian as possible so that they can draw in the converts needed to keep the great caravan rolling, however crooked its path."

The Mormon Church began because Joseph Smith had a vision of "an angel of light" calling himself Moroni who explained to Joseph that all the churches of his day were wrong, all their creeds corrupt.  Then, Moroni gave him directive for a brand new religion to promulgate: Mormonism, with all its occult practices and unbiblical doctrines. 

I cannot commend to you highly enough Ed Decker's book, My Kingdom Come.  You will not recognize the deception, when it comes, without understanding the foundation and fantastic doctrines of this increasingly-accepted and deceptive cult.  The Apostle Paul clearly warned of such a thing:  "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8-9).

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Psalm 87:1-3 NKJV
1 His foundation is in the holy mountains.
2 The LORD loves the gates of Zion      
         More than all the dwellings of Jacob.
3 Glorious things are spoken of you,      
         O city of God! Selah

After another busy day, I finally sat down to relax and watch some TV - hoping to catch up on the latest news. However, my channel surfing stopped when I came upon a repeat performance video of a Bill Gaither concert filmed a few years ago in old Jerusalem. It was titled, "Israel Homecoming".

Perhaps some of you have seen it before. With the music, the scenery, the worship, and with the Biblical historical and future significance Israel will surely play in the days ahead, it's very moving - bringing tears to my eyes. If you have a love for those things, as I do, I would recommend seeing the video when you have the opportunity. It is very well done and would bless your heart.

As a Bible believing child of God, I have a deep love for Israel and the Jewish people. I would have loved to visit there sometime during my life. Just the thought of breathing the air that Jesus breathed, standing on the ground where He stood, seeing the sights He saw, walking the same dusty roads He walked, and savoring the sweet fragrance of the Holy Land in bloom is overwhelming. I can only imagine.

Also, it would be humbling beyond description to see the places where He performed His miracles, the Garden of Gethsemane, Mt. Calvary, the Mt. of Olives, the empty tomb of our risen Lord, and so much more - not to worship or idolize those places, but to simply stand in awe of my Savior, Lord and Master, Who was there and will return soon as King of Kings and Lord of Lords - just as He said He would.

Praise God and hallelujah! What a glorious day that will be for all who belong to Him!



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