Salvation

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This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.’ And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him.”

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you; because we have heard that God is with you.’ ”
(Zechariah 8:20-23
NIV)

By God’s design, for nearly a score of centuries, Jews have stubbornly resisted the gospel. The few who come to acknowledge Yehovah (Jesus) as their Messiah are either converted to Christianity or they become “completed Jews”. To be converted means forsaking the rites and rituals of their forefathers and adopting those of the church they attend. Forgetting the apostles and early disciples were all Jews, many Protestants and Catholics believe conversion is the only way a Jew can be saved.

Becoming a Messianic or completed Jew is the preferred alternative to conversion. A completed Jew receives Jesus as their promised Messiah and, as a result, finds new meaning in the laws, ordinances, feasts and sacrifices handed down to Israel. They do not reject their heritage; rather, the completed Jew embraces it. They discover that the New Testament sheds divine light on the (Old Testament) Scriptures (i.e. The Book of the Law and the Prophets), particularly as it relates to prophecy.

In Chapter 11, the Apostle Paul wrote to The Romans about the Jewish rejection of Christ. The chapter begins with the question: “Did God reject his people? By no means!” is the answer.

Gentiles were/are the grafted in branch until their full number is reached. Then all Israel will be saved because God’s gifts and callings are irrevocable (Romans 11:25-29). This soon-coming salvation clearly includes the Jews since they comprise two (Judah and Benjamin) of the twelve tribes of Jacob (Israel). What has not been as clear is the relationship between the Gentiles who follow Christ and the lost ten tribes of Israel. They are, in fact, one and the same. Paul refers to it as God’s mystery.

When the light goes on and Gentile believers realize they, too, are descendants of Abraham and heirs according to the promise, then perceptions of the Old Testament and the Torah radically change. So what should we Protestants by heritage, do? Should we convert to Judaism? No, that would involve too much unnecessary baggage. Becoming a completed Christian would be the wiser option. That’s what Peter, James, John, Paul, John Mark, Barnabas, Timothy, etc., were in reverse. They did not keep the Law to obtain salvation, but followed God’s statutes because they were blood-bought saints.

Prophecy, such as we read in Zechariah (see top), speaks of a glorious restored temple in Jerusalem. Ten men, representing the ten lost tribes who were assimilated by all nations and all languages, will stream to the Holy City to worship the Lord their High Priest and King. (Read Isaiah 2:1-5 in this same context.) The ten will take firm hold of the hem of one Jew’s robe pleading to go with him into the temple of God. There will be much for the Christian to learn that our Jewish brother knows.

The Prophets of God blog urges Christ’s followers to get a head start on where He is leading his people. Ditch the Christmas and Easter thing and stop calling Sunday “the Sabbath”. Instead, assimilate (put into practice) God’s laws given to the Israelites from Sinai. Get hold of a Hebrew Religious Calendar. Learn how to observe the Holy Days. Why not strive to be the first completed Christian among your friends and family? Try it and see if you are not the most blessed person you know.

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” Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, endures all things. LOVE NEVER FAILS.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, NKJV).

Today is a commercialized celebration of love amid varying degrees of amorous affection. People celebrate Valentine’s Day with that “special someone”. Others are broken-hearted because there is no significant other. For the people of God, the Trinity is the complete desire of our souls. God loves each of us so much that His own beloved Son became the perfect sacrifice; allowing every person the opportunity to share in the complete fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (John 3:16).

The love that the Lord has for us is shown in the Gospel of John. Twice, scriptures refer to John as the apostle whom Jesus loved. (John 20:2, 21:7). What is interesting is that in the first reference, the Greek word (phileo: to be a friend to/fond of) is used while agape is used in the latter verse. Agape love is the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle and propriety. When we put both those words together, we get a complete picture of the way Jesus loves us: both from the mind and in the heart. Nothing is more complete.

In the book of Revelation, John greets the 7 churches in Asia Minor with the grace and peace of the Lord. He reminds them of the true love that freed us from the bondage of sin and death.(Revelation 1:5). For the overcomers, God’s promise is that even those from the synagogue of Satan will worship at our feet and will know that the Almighty has loved us.(Revelation 3:9)
Indeed, the end of all things is at hand and we need to be serious and watchful in our prayers. The fervent love for our brethren will cover a multitude of sins.(2 Peter 4:7-8). EJ

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“My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:27-30 NRSV).

Eyeglasses help us see clearly when our eyesight is otherwise distorted. Scratches, smears and dirt on our lenses work against us. Clarity is essential to navigate our path, escape dangers and avoid obstacles.

It is the same way when we study Scripture. The lens of prophecy offers the gift of vision of the future. Observing “The 5 Basic Rules of Biblical Interpretation” (See our “Book Excerpts” section, Rules of Interpretation) is key to properly comprehending God’s Word.

Take Hanukkah for example. Today is the 5th day of the “Feast of Lights” which celebrates the Dedication of the Temple of God. Contrary to what many may believe, there are references to this feast in the Old and the New Testament. Note the reference from the New Testament’s Gospel of John: It was on the Festival of the Dedication that Jesus was in the portico of Solomon. There, in this area of the temple, he was asked if He was the Messiah (John 10:22-23).

Our Lord’s answer pierced his adversaries. ” I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me, but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.” (John 10:25-26 NRSV).

Our King went on to declare that those who belong to him will hear his voice and will not perish (10:27-30). Because Jesus and the Father are One, the faithful cannot be snatched out of His hand. The Greek word that John’s Gospel employed is harpazo” (“to snatch”, “pluck”, “catch away”). It is identical to the word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 with regards to the rapture of the saints. (“Rapture” is taken from the Latin for “catching up” or “taking away in an upward direction”.)

Something amazing and prophetically significant is revealed, if we make the connection between the Feast Day and Jesus’ claim of authority. On Hanukkah, Our Lord not only affirms his oneness with the Father but alludes to his future coming. This is evidence the Festival plays a big role in the last days as well as in the age to come.

Hanukkah’s history will be explored in the next post, Part 2. EJ.

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Question 10- How important do you feel it is that people read The Prophets of God?

Answer 10- It couldn’t be more important. This is salvation we are talking about and what is more important than that? We are close to a time of great deceit. We will be surrounded by wolves in sheep’s clothing—perhaps even angels declaring another gospel—and most are unprepared. God will send his prophets but many will refuse to hear their message because they won’t be cool or charismatic. Many will perish because they believe the lie. What I have written is not an exhaustive study on what is about to take place, but it gives everyone something big they need to think about. I hope others will come along and pick up the subject and take it further into the Word.

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Question 10: Is knowing the tribulation is coming enough? What must Christians do to prepare for these difficult times?

Answer 10: Knowing is not enough. It is only half the battle, but an important step nevertheless. We have to clear our head of false ideas or we will be unprepared for the distress Jesus says the elect will endure prior to his coming. We must study and teach prophecy. That was Paul’s encouragement to the church in Corinth.  The prophets have the revelation we need. Gather with others who dig into prophecy using the rules I referred to earlier. Develop Christian communities that are self-sufficient. Do all the things Jesus says or we won’t pass our future test. Nothing can be done for those in denial. They will likely fall away because they put their trust in a lie.

   No one can afford to ignore prophecy. Heads must come out of the sand. This is all about salvation. Our Savior wants us to be saved to the uttermost. He wants our bodies and souls to be saved from what will soon come upon the whole earth. His Son Jesus is coming as the deliverer of his people. He is coming to establish his reign and rule over the earth and those he saves from out of the time of great distress will make up his kingdom and his priests. That is the future salvation that is written into Scripture in Revelation. Christ will demonstrate his glory and God will reveal his Sovereignty. He will punish those who alter prophecy for that reason. For those alive today, there is nothing more important than to know the truth. Why are we confused or in the dark about it? I suggest there is a diabolical answer to that question.

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