Friday, February 10, 2017

FOR THE INTERCESSORS

This is an offering and word of encouragement for the intercessors who have been hidden in His hand, and are now rising up in great power and authority. He is enthralled with us and breathes in the aroma and incense of the sacrifice of our hearts poured out before Him. We are bearing fruit! Hallelujah!
 
THE WORD AND THE BLOOD
 
The Word and the Blood are all that you need
One is the life, the other the seed.
To see things spring forth that never have been
takes both to be working in darkness within.
Just as there is soil that covers the earth.
Just as there’s a womb, dark and warm, before birth,
Just as there is nightfall that comes before dawn,
A deep cloak of darkness, then the light’s turned on;
So now, though the world in deep darkness is stumbling,
Groping for the light, tripping, falling and tumbling,
I’ll be there to catch those who reach out for Me.
I promise you love—that the blind ones will see.
And KNOW that those whom I have put on your heart
Are also on Mine; they’re the ones set apart.
And so as you mourn for them, cry out and weep,
It truly is this- Deep is calling to Deep.
For as I reside in you, deep, dark within
You are in My tomb with Me, burdened by sin,
Awaiting the moment the stone’s rolled away
When you can announce “It is HERE! The NEW DAY!”
Then you will arise with Me, clothed in My glory.
Then you will ascend with Me, part of the story
That will be retold and retold o’er again.
A story that starts, “Do you remember when…?
But then this thing happened and then we broke through!
We found out there’s NOTHING our GOD cannot do!”
So this is the longing that makes your heart cry
With the moans of a mourning dove, gentle, you sigh.
By you I am moved to compassion and grace.
Because you have wept, people will see My face.
Because you have joined me in this, My desire,
I will touch the earth with you filled with My fire.
Because you have faced what looked like certain death
I will blow My wind through you; they’ll feel My breath.
Because you have walked through the vales and the flood,
I will give to you those things I bought with My blood.
And you will distribute them, like loaves and fishes,
To the hungry multitude, filled with just wishes.
But then they’ll be filled with the faith to move mountains,
And they will go forth as My torches and fountains!
 My torches and fountains, My Word and My Blood!
Nothing can withstand Me; just like Noah’s flood
I will cover the earth as the waters the sea!
The earth WILL be FILLED with the KNOWLEDGE OF ME!!!
For that’s what you long for, the cry of your soul
To see what is broken be made new and whole.
MY dear, please be comforted now in this knowing
That in your own womb this new thing is now growing
And will soon spring forth into the light of day.
Our groaning together breaks open the way!
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

WEAK AND UNAFRAID

 
 
Years ago I was thinking about the scripture in Hebrew 4:15 that states: For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

I had a question for Yeshua regarding that verse, and His answer was a life-changing one for me.

I was thinking about how I feel when people accuse me of doing wrong. I knew Yeshua was to be my example in terms of my response. But when I read in the scriptures of how he handled situations like that,  I saw that He always seemed so unmoved by criticism and the judgments of people. Sometimes he would ask them a pointed question that would put them to shame; sometimes He would deliver a sharp rebuke; other times He would simply walk away. But, it never seems He (unlike me) responded from a place of feeling defensive. He never reacted angrily out of hurt feelings or a wounded soul. So I asked him a question:

Lord? When people point their fingers at me and criticize me, if they aren't 100 percent correct about what they are accusing me of, they may very well be some percentage correct. But when people accused You, Yeshua, You were able to think to yourself, 'They're wrong. I never sin. I never make a mistake.' And you could respond to them from that place of confidence in your own perfection. But I'm not perfect! I can't do that! So how could you have been tempted in the same way I am when people accuse me of doing wrong?”

The answer He gave me was so profound that, after all these years later, I'm still only just beginning to digest it. But, it has challenged me in the way I walk ever since I heard it.
This is what He told me:

Nancy, when people accused me of doing wrong, my confidence didn't lie in the fact that I was perfect, but in the fact that I wasn't afraid of my own weaknesses in front of other men.”

Think about that for a moment. Take it in. He wasn't afraid of His own weaknesses in front of other men. He wasn't afraid of His own weaknesses in front of other men! He wasn't afraid of His own weaknesses in front of other men? Can you imagine that? Take time to try to. What would that look like in your life? What would that feel like?

Oh, what freedom there would be in having that attitude! If I could just take that position in my heart and soul!  A fearlessness regarding my weaknesses; a nonchalant attitude about being discovered and seen for who I really am.  To live without the constant need to defend myself, explain myself, justify myself to those who don't understand or support me. To live a transparent and uncovered life before those who have proven they are not patient with my weaknesses and are quick to judge and criticize me. Seriously, take a moment to imagine what that would feel like. Do you sense the resistance in your soul to it? I do. Just the thought of it makes me feel naked...and ashamed.

I was reading a book recently that spoke of Yeshua's mission as being one of restoring our relationship with the Father to what Adam and Eve had with Him in the Garden before they sinned. Before they sinned, we are told in Genesis 2:25, they were both naked, but not ashamed. After they sinned, the first thing they noticed  was that they were naked; and the first thing they did in response to the knowledge of their nakedness was to try to fashion coverings for themselves.  As we read in Genesis3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
They even hid from God out of fear because of their nakedness, as we are told in Genesis 3:9 & 10: Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Unfortunately, that is our natural response when we realize our own sinful state;  we try to fashion our own coverings and hide ourselves. Those coverings can be made up of our gifts and talents, our anger, our physical beauty, our strength, our pride, our success, our material belongings, our own image and how we project it, our intellect, even our  "spirituality". They are all our own attempt at remedying the fear of being exposed.

But God had a different remedy, even for Adam and Eve. In Genesis 3:21 we are told God clothed them with the skins of animals.  Now we know that in order for them to be covered with animal skins, the lives of animals had to be sacrificed. So, from the very beginning we find the loss of a living thing's life is necessary to cover sin and nakedness. And in that sacrifice we begin to see a picture of the work of Yeshua in dealing with our sin on the tree.  He hung  there naked and exposed to humiliation and, as we are told in 2 Cor. 5:21"For God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." He actually became the embodiment of our sin, then let Himself be destroyed on the cross so our sin would be destroyed with Him. Yeshua's sacrifice accomplished much more than just covering our sin. It made us righteous. 
 
In Hebrews 10:14 we are told: “For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

That means in God's eyes I am perfect because of the blood of Yeshua and the sacrifice He made on my behalf. But, I am still being made holy. My being made perfect allows me to come boldly before His throne of grace to receive grace and mercy in my time of need. My being made holy is the process I go through as I allow that grace to do its work in my life.
 
I know I don't have to tell you that this process of “being made holy” isn't easy. It's a dying to the flesh daily and allowing the Sword of His Word to cut where it has to in order to prune what doesn't bear good fruit in my life. It's also allowing the Holy Spirit to comfort me even as His fire is painfully burning away the  chaff in my life. Yet, it is in the midst of this difficult process, so often done in the sight of others, that I am called to remember I am "perfect" in God's eyes, even while Messiah's character is being "formed in me". As Rav Shaul said to the Galatians who were trying to appear holy in man's eyes instead of standing confidently in the grace of God, “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Messiah is formed in you.” (Gal. 4:19)

God sees me as perfect. Men don't. God sees my weaknesses and has compassion for me. Very often men see my weaknesses and are impatient and critical of me. And I desire to not be afraid of that fact.  I desire to walk as my Master walked.  He was unafraid of His own weaknesses in front of other men. When He was publicly scorned, rejected, mocked, betrayed, beaten, crucified, stripped of his robe, in other words naked and weak  before men, He was not ashamed. In fact, we are told in Hebrews 12:2 “for the joy set before Him He endured the cross, despising it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I would like to be like Him. It would be the most courageous way to walk through this world and this life—unafraid of my own weaknesses in front of other men. And for the joy set before me—that is Him and my eternal hope in Him—I desire to be able to despise the shame rather than so magnify it that I am consumed with trying to appease it and keep it at bay.

We are told in 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Messiah Yeshua, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Therefore as it is written: “Let everyone who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

My prayer for myself and all of us who are His children is that we could let go of what we use to cover our own nakedness and allow His blood and righteousness to be the only covering we have, the only thing of which we “boast”.  When  Rav Shaul cried out to God to be delivered of a thorn in his flesh, he was told by God that His grace was sufficient for him and that His power was made perfect in his weakness. Rather than being dismayed by that answer, Rav Shaul's response in 2 Cor. 12:9 & 10  was one that I hope to someday be able to join him in saying: “Therefore I will all the more gladly boast about my weaknesses, so that Messiah's power may rest on me. That is why, For Messiah's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong!”

Til next time, shalom!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

THE FULFILLER OF DREAMS







     I want you to know that God is a God who fulfills dreams and visions when they are ones that He has given to us. Just as He fulfilled His promise of a son to Abraham and Sarah, taking it upon Himself to make that which seemed impossible, possible, so He does for us.

  I recently experienced this beautiful miracle in my own life. Something that I was “pregnant” with in the Spirit came to fruition in a miraculous, unexpected and marvelous way.

   A little over 3 ½ years ago the Lord gave me vision for a house of prayer that would be called WOWHOP (Watchmen on the Walls House of Prayer). The vision for this house of prayer is that it would ultimately be 24/7 and that the prayer going up from it would be exclusively for the peace of Jerusalem, Israel and the Jewish people. It would be filled with a combination of worship and intercession. I saw that it would be a place where we could help fulfill God’s prayer request for 24/7 prayer in Isaiah 62:6 & 7: I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem. They will never be silent day or night. You who call upon the Lord, give yourselves no rest and give Him no rest til He establishes Jerusalem and makes her a praise in the earth.”

  A small group of us from my Messianic Jewish Congregation began to pray for Israel in the “upper room” of our congregation every Shabbat after services. Then a door opened where I was invited to lead worship/intercession for Israel at the University of Minnesota House Of Prayer (UMHOP) on Monday evenings. Many of our little band of intercessors would come faithfully and regularly to pray for Israel there as well. We prayed there for a year every Monday evening, while still praying on Shabbat. Then, I was asked to lead a worship service in Buffalo, MN and the lovely woman who had invited me asked that I come every Thursday to her storefront and lead worship/intercession for Israel. So we had 3 worship/prayer times for Israel a week.

    All the while, with no obvious way to go about it or get it done, the Lord kept the vision for WOWHOP alive in my heart and mind. Our little band of intercessors would often pray for that time and place only the Lord knew about, but we prayed in faith that He would bring it about.

   A Messianic Rabbi in our community suggested my name to a visiting missionary from India to lead worship for his services. The woman who oversaw his ministry, Lisa, was a lovely woman and we connected heart-to-heart immediately.

  Later on I invited her to be a part of a new woman’s prayer group that a friend had just begun, so we began to fellowship together bi-weekly. This prayer group knew about the vision for the house of prayer the Lord had placed on my heart, and would often pray into it.

   I had been through a lot in the way of receiving ministry for generational curses, and doors opened for me to do teaching on spiritual warfare. As a result, people began to ask to meet with me to pray for them over generational strongholds in their lives. I would invite them to my apartment and a friend and I would team up to pray for people and saw wonderful breakthroughs in their lives.

   Lisa heard about this and told me she had some offices available in the building she and her husband owned in Long Lake for us to use for that kind of prayer. I finally visited the building a couple of months later…exactly 3 ½ years to the week that we had begun praying for Israel. The offices were perfect for the prayer ministry; and then I went around the corner of the offices into a 1000 sq. ft. space that Lisa had told me another vendor in her building was going to be renting. But, now she told me that person had backed off from renting it.  It had been vacant for 2 years. We both saw that it would be perfect for WOWHOP and she and her husband donated the space to us to begin the house of prayer.

  WOWHOP officially opened on May 20th, 2014.  We had forty people come that first night to pray for Israel. The numbers aren’t always that high, but it doesn’t matter if there are forty, fifteen or five…the Lord is always SO present and SO leading us in strategic prayer by His Spirit.

  I wanted to share this testimony with you to strengthen you in your faith to believe for those things He has planted in your heart, even as you faithfully do those things He puts in front of you.  (I have included pictures of the beautiful WOWHOP space the Lord has so graciously given to us.)

Til next time,

Shalom!

  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

HOW CAN WE BELIEVE?





One of the passages in Scripture that has really captured my attention lately is in the 5th chapter of John, where the following words of Yeshua are recorded: “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me.  Yet you will not come to me, that you may have life. I don’t receive glory from men. But I know you, that you don’t have God’s love in yourselves. I have come in my Father’s name, and you don’t receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.  How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God?  Don’t think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope.  For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me.  But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

I know there are those who are following a teaching these days that any encounter with Yeshua apart from the scriptures is deception. Yet, in these verses we find Yeshua telling the people of his day that they were believing that the scriptures themselves gave them eternal life, and he acknowledged that those scriptures testify of Him, but these same people were refusing to come to HIM, the Messiah in the flesh, not just in the Word.

But what really stood out to me in this passage are the two times Yeshua asks how we can believe. The first time he asks  us how we can believe if we receive glory from one another, and we don't seek the glory that comes from the only God. He's telling us that  seeking to be praised by one another rather than by God makes it impossible for us to believe in him! That's something I had never considered before. Where and how we seek to obtain glory affects our ability to believe. I know we have all suffered from this malady of wanting the praise and applause of men more than praise from God. But, Yeshua isn't just recommending we seek the praise that comes from His Father and not from each other--he is equating it with our ability to believe at all!


 But how do we walk this out? False humility, where we are constantly pointing to God when we get compliments about our ministry isn't the answer. We may think we're seeking God's glory in that, but what we're doing is walking in fear--fear of taking glory away from God and fear of not appearing humble before men. It can also be a subtle form of pride that tells the person who is complimenting you that they really need to see more truth and not give you any credit or praise for your efforts. That actually hurts people who are looking for a way to express their gratitude for what God just did through you! It really is OK to hear each other tell each other how the anointing and the gifting God has placed in each of us has blessed our hearts. The correct response is to rejoice with them over the wonder that God would use weak jars of clay to display His glory, and respond with a loving, "Praise God! I'm so glad you were blessed! I was blessed, too!" That is walking in love and humility, not fear. It's all about our hearts' motivations and our needs. Seeking the praise that comes from God is found in spending time with Him in the "secret place" where we find our inestimable worth in his eyes. Only that can leave us satisfied and not seeking our sense of worth elsewhere. Then we are able to take the compliments without them meeting a need that is unmet by God. I believe that is a key to what can deliver us from seeking glory from one another and not from the only God. Yeshua put it this way in Matthew 6:5 & 6:And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

I don't believe Yeshua is saying we should never pray in public. But if the heart motivation is like the Pharisees he is referring to--"to be seen by others"-- then it's time to get into the secret place with God and pray to him there. That is where we find our worth.
I can tell you from experience that when I journal my prayers to God, he pours out praise on me! He just goes on and on about how much he loves me, how he sees me, what I mean to him. I come away from those times with fresh revelation of my inestimable worth in his eyes; and my heart is filled with the love of God!

Another statement Yeshua makes about our ability to believe in Him is that if we believed Moses' writings then we would believe Him. Then he makes a statement that I have never heard a sermon preached on in my whole life. He says "But if you don't believe his (Moses') writings, how will you believe my words?" 

When Yeshua spoke of the Scriptures that were being searched out,  he was speaking of the Law and the Prophets--what is now called the "Old Testament." And he tells us that these scriptures "testify" about Him. He tells us that seeing how the Old Testament scriptures testify about Him makes it possible for a person to come to Him to have life. We see an example of this after his resurrection when he walks with the two disciples who are filled with doubt and unbelief on the road to Emmaus. This is what he tells them as they express their dismay over all that had taken place when Yeshua was crucified, and how their hopes in his being the Messiah had been dashed:  He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Here we see what he had said in John 5 confirmed; we are foolish and slow to believe when we don't know what Moses and the prophets say concerning Him. It kind of makes the doctrine that is commonly preached that all that Moses has said and, in fact, the whole 
Old Testament are "done away with" a dangerous one, doesn't it? So many are taught that all scripture before the Book of Matthew  is no longer relevant to our faith. Yeshua himself has told us the exact opposite---that not only should it not be ignored, but it is vital to know what Moses wrote about him in order to believe in him, and might I add,to know who he truly is!

So in this one passage he speaks of two conditions of our faith, our belief, our hearts that determine our ability to believe in Him and believe His words. One is if we seek praise from each other, and not from God. The other is if we don't believe what Moses wrote about Him. I know the Holy Spirit is at work throughout the earth to bring correction to the children of God in regards to both of these detriments to our believing. May He use my little offering here, which is spoken in love and compassion for all who are seeking to truly believe, to do that work in our hearts.

Til next time,


Shalom!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Strong In Me



You are My loved one and you are My child.

The world you walk in is untamed; it is wild.

Roots on the path make you stumble and fall.

Voices will whisper and night owls will call.

Just know I have walked it, I know every bend.

And for every step you take, My grace I’ll send.

Just learn to access Me with eyes looking up.

I’ve water to give you; just hold out your cup.

I know that at times it is hard just to lift

Your arms up in order to receive My gift.

But if you will do this, and if you’ll oppose

The forces of evil that try to impose

Their will on your feelings; their thoughts on your mind,

I promise you there will be power you’ll find

working on your behalf that was there all along.

My child, I am telling you, in ME you’re strong!

It is true what My Word says. The enemy flees

At the sight of my warriors down on their knees

Entreating and calling on My holy Name.

He flees because he knows that now he’s fair game!

Then all of the darkness that tries to deceive

Returns to its haunts because YOU, child, BELIEVE!

So keep your eyes open. I’m not far, but near.

The moment you turn to Me, you’ll find I’m here.

Just KNOW that it’s true I’m at your beck and call.

I proved that to you when I gave you My all.

So call on My Name and receive what I died for.

Then My zeal will fill you to get what I cried for—

The children of Abraham scattered abroad

Gathered in the shadow of the wings of God!

 

Monday, July 29, 2013

TAKE MY NAME

The Lord recently gave me a revelation about the third commandment that seriously rocked my world.  The scripture in Exodus 20 verse 7 states:  “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” (NKJ)
Now, if you’re like me you were told what that commandment meant was that God’s Name was not to be spoken in a careless way, or to be used as a swear word or as a curse.  But for my whole believing life that never quite sounded right to me. I felt like there was more to it than that. And whenever I would apply the commandment that way, I didn’t feel the Holy Spirit witnessing to it. It was just a few months ago that the Lord dropped this revelation on me (and I keep calling it that, because that is how it felt) about what the word “take” means in this verse. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” He showed me that when a woman marries a man she “TAKES” his name. Her husband gives her his name and it speaks of their unity and the covenant between them. Mark Cohen marries Rachel Sheldon and she becomes Mrs. Rachel Cohen. When people see that’s her name, they know she is in partnership and covenant with Mark. But if she were to start running around paying more attention to other men than to her own husband; if she dishonored him by acting like they weren’t even married; if she rebelled against him, ran away from him and refused to listen to him it would seem she had taken Mark’s name “IN VAIN”.  She would no longer be honoring him, his name or the covenant between them. That is what the Lord was warning the Israelites (and us) against. That if we are going to claim to belong to Him, then our walk and our lives should reflect our commitment to Him and our love for Him.
Now I had to look up that word “take” in the Hebrew to find out if what I was hearing was accurate and truly from the Lord. Imagine my excitement to find that the word translated as “take” in Exodus 20:7 is the Hebrew word תִשָּׂ֛א (tis-sa) which means “to lift, carry, take”. So it can be translated as “You shall not CARRY the name of the Lord your God in vain.” That makes sense since the Lord said He would put His name on the children of Israel.  And what He puts on people they then “carry”.

We see this in Numbers 6:22-27 when God gives the Aaronic blessing to Aaron the high priest and his sons and states that when the people are blessed in this way the priests will be putting His Name on the children of Israel:  And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:  “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”’  “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” (NKJ)

The covenant that took place at Mount Sinai between God and His people is often looked at by the Rabbis as a marriage covenant. As we read in Exodus 19:3-8: And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel:  ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.  And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”  So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him.  Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” (NKJ)

This was the “I do” of the marriage covenant between God and Israel.

This concept of a marriage covenant between God and Israel is confirmed in later prophetic books where God refers to Israel as His bride. In Hosea 2:16 & 17, God speaks of restoring Israel to Himself and part of that restoration is they would no longer be known by the names of the Baals: “And it shall be, in that day,” Says the Lord, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’and no longer call Me ‘My Master,’17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more.” (NKJ)

It's clear from this passage that God wants Israel to call Him her Husband and wants her to be remembered by His Name and no other's.
As New Covenant believers we  have taken the name of Yeshua because we are His bride. We are told to heal people, make requests of the Father, receive little children, rebuke the enemy and touch the world “in His Name”. I do not want to carry that name in vain! I want to represent Him, His power, His authority, the love with which He loves me and the covenant He has made with me through His blood. I want to carry His Name in a way that honors the One whose name I have been given!

Since the Lord gave me light on this I have seen one Messianic magazine article and one Facebook post that expressed this same interpretation of the third commandment. So I know the Holy Spirit is making this known to His people right now. And I want to join Him in making it known by sharing it here. It so blessed my heart and gave me such a determination to carry His Name in the Spirit and love it was given to me…and not in vain.

Til next time,

Shalom!

 

 


 

Friday, March 15, 2013

DUAL COVENANT DECEPTION

 
2 Corinthians 3:6 NLT
He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.



Sometimes it astounds me how many false doctrines regarding God's heart and plan for the Jewish people are preached and find acceptance in the church. Although, since this issue of God's plan and destiny for Israel and the Jewish people is foundational to so many aspects of what we believe about God's character and about his plan for the nations, I shouldn't be surprised that the deceiver has recently introduced a new deception called "Dual-Covenant Theology". People who ascribe to this doctrine believe that the Christians have one covenant and the Jewish people have another covenant, just as "viable" as the one Christians have. It's a convenient way for these people to "bless" Israel while removing the offense of the Gospel and the persecution that follows preaching it. They not only preach that believers in Jesus are not obligated to preach the Good News to the Jewish people, but that they would be remiss in doing so! Where they find this in Scripture I have no idea. You would have to not only throw out the 9th, 10th and 11th chapters of Romans, but you would have to throw Paul, his heart to reach his people with the Gospel, and his conversion experience out with them! If Paul already had a covenant, then why did he need to be saved? Why was he knocked off his horse? Why did he repent? Why was he baptized? Why did he preach to the Jews?  And to make it more personal...why did I have to receive my Messiah? Let me tell you how I was saved, what I was saved from and what I was saved into. Hopefully my testimony will convince anyone who is considering the Dual-Covenant theology to re-think and realize the error of it. I had a conversation with someone who believed in a dual covenant. He said to me, "I would never preach to a Jew! They are all going to be saved in a day!" My reply? "I'm certainly glad the person who preached the gospel to me didn't believe that!"

I was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota; not exactly a Jewish mecca. But, there were around thirty Jewish families and there was a synagogue.  I was raised to love the idea of being Jewish, but didn't have much understanding of why I was Jewish, except that my parents were, and their parents were, and so on. Around the time I was twelve, I desired to attend services every Shabbat, but my parents, leaning a bit more toward being secular than religious, didn't see the need to attend except for the High Holy Days and the Jewish festival days. So, I would often light the Sabbath candles by myself on Friday nights. I was seeking God and would pray to Him, mostly because I was plagued with questions and fears about what happens after we die. I would beg God not to let any of my family members die, bringing each one of their names before him every night.
One day, when I was around thirteen, I read an article in a magazine about reincarnation. Being desperate for some kind of hope after this life, I embraced this belief. Later, that opened the door for  exploration of Eastern religions, astrology, numerology, transcendental meditation, etc. But, in the midst of all of this spiritual odyssey, I felt very lost. Nothing ever gave me peace. Nothing I did, be it stare into candles or sit in a lotus position saying "Ommm" touched the emptiness I felt in my soul. When I was seventeen, I wrote a poem that described this emptiness I felt:

These empty words could never tell
The language that is known in hell.
These empty thoughts could never find
A peaceful place within this mind.
These empty tears could never flow
As far as this despair can go.
This emptiness cannot portray
The emptiness I feel today.

At this point I'd like to ask that if I, as a Jew, already had my own "covenant" with God which would save me and bring me into relationship with God, why would I write a poem like that?

Another struggle I had was that I had no moral compass. I depended on the world to tell me what was right, acceptable and good and what wasn't. Unfortunately, the world I lived in didn't have a moral compass either. Drugs, promiscuity, rebellion, lying...all of it was deemed "Okay" in my generation. I had no sense of right and wrong, evil and good. I was only trying to survive emotionally and spiritually in a world that had things backwards. "Freedom" meant freedom to live a self-centered, self-gratifying life with no thought of how it would or could affect others.

Finally, when I was 18 years old, I actually looked up and asked God a question about my search for Him. I had come to a point where I realized that staring into candles wasn't making me a more humble, loving person. It was one night when I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't get into an argument with anyone in my family. I made it through dinner just fine, but then my sister and I had to clean the kitchen. We got into such a huge screaming match we were almost throwing pots and pans at each other! I went into my bedroom, slammed the door and for the first time looked up and asked God a question that I had been depending on books by gurus to answer. My question was, "How long does this take?"  I was worried I had a few more "lives" to go through to get spiritual enough to know Him! Immediately, I was given an answer. A thought came to me with such clarity, it was almost like a voice spoke inside of me. And the voice said, "Do God's will." I had never considered that before. So, very seriously, I stood up and quietly prayed, "I want Your will done in my life from now on." The next day an old friend called me and told me he wanted to go out to coffee with me. I hadn't seen him in months and couldn't imagine why he wanted to get together.  As we sat in the booth of the restaurant later that evening, he told me he had become born-again and it had totally changed his life. In my infinite wisdom I replied, "That's nice. There are as many ways to God as there are men." But he told me something that would change my life forever. "No," he said. "Jesus said 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)  Well, I was pretty spiritually sensitive since I was constantly searching out spiritual experiences, and when he said that scripture verse and quoted what Jesus had said, I saw something bright white in front of my eyes cut through something grey, like a veil. I said to him, "What? He didn't say THIS is the way, or THAT is the way? He said "I AM the Way?"  My friend replied, "Yes. He said that many would try to climb up from other ways, but they were as thieves and robbers." I put this together with what I had just prayed about God's will in my life. I went home hoping this wasn't the way to get to God. I knew if it was,  it was going to cause all sorts of trouble for me with my family!  But I wanted to know God more than anything. So I prayed, "Jesus...if you are the only way to God, then come into my heart." And He did! The next morning everything looked and felt different. It wasn't long before I realized what it was. I could tell the difference between right and wrong for the first time in my life! I had a choice! I could choose what was right because I could see! I had light to see by! I remember thinking how a person born blind would never know they were blind until they saw for the first time. That's what it was like for me! And love? I felt God's love for me and my love for Him in a way I'd never known was possible. I was like a young girl who had just fallen madly in love with someone! (And I've been madly in love with Him ever since!)

The Lord showed me there are three keys to salvation for the Jews in the way I came to know Him.
The first is that I turned to the Lord and asked Him a question about how to find Him. 2 Corinthians 3:15-16  says speaking of the Jewish people "Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."

The second was that I told God I wanted His will done in my life.  In John 7:17 Yeshua said, "If any man seeks to do God's will, he will know whether My words come from Me or from God."

 And the third was that I accepted Him on an "if" basis. I didn't know "if" He was the Messiah, but "if" He was, then I was willing to receive Him into my heart and life. And He honored that prayer and saved me.

So, when sharing with a Jewish person, encourage them to have a conversation with God, and ask Him what the best way is to draw close to Him. 

You can also ask them if they would want God's will done in their life. If so, you can ask them to pray that with you. It will give them ears to hear God's Word and know it is from God. That is what happened to me. That is why the Lord didn't come to me and say, "Jesus is the Jewish Messiah". He just told me, "Do God's will." Then I had ears to hear!

You can ask a Jewish person another question. "IF Jesus is the Messiah, do you want Him? IF he is the only way to God, would you want to follow Him?"  Because if they receive Him on that basis, He will show up and make Himself real to them, just as He did for me! 

Again, I thank God that my friend who shared the news of my Messiah with me hadn't been falsely taught that you should never witness to a Jewish person. Because I would have missed out on a relationship with God, a new beginning, forgiveness and cleansing of my sins, the joy of knowing how loved I am and the assurance that I  have eternal life.  Please, don't withhold these beautiful gifts of salvation from a Jewish soul. It's easy to say "I love Israel. I bless Israel. I respect the Jewish people." The hard part is being willing to endure the backlash and persecution that often come with sharing the Messiah with them. But Paul thought it was worth it. As you read about his ministry, see how often he went to the synagogues to share the good news of Yeshua with his brethren. And see what happened to him as a result! But it was all worth it to him to see some saved. He even said he made much of his ministry to the Gentiles in order to see some of the Jewish people find the Jewish Messiah.

Don't be fooled. Don't be deceived. The salvation of the Jews and their receiving their Messiah with open arms is what it will take for Yeshua to return to Jerusalem. He told them in Matthew 23:29
"For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”  Let us all pray and labor to that end. For it is God's desire, and it was Yeshua's when He wept over Jerusalem, to gather the Jewish children under His wings. Let's all work to help give Him the desire of His heart.
 
Until next time,
 
Shalom.