Blessed are the Peacemakers (Bringing Peace to Chaos)

Today we have many who cry out that those who seek peace are those who are willing to compromise truth. I find this conclusion to be more than troubling, especially when Yeshua said, “blessed are the peacemakers.”

The word shalom is the Hebrew word for peace, and it appears in the Tanach (OT) 236 times. The Greek counterpart to shalom, eirene, appears another 92 times in the Apostolic Writings (NT). Combined we see the word peace or a related concept 328 times in the bible. With that great city known as Jerusalem carrying the meaning of “teaching of peace,” with Isaiah using the name “Prince of Peace,” and Paul using the descriptive phrase “Lord of Peace,” do you think the idea of peace is important to God?

What exactly is peace? Some dictionaries define it as being free from dispute, or lacking stress, disturbance, anxiety, or agitation. It is, seemingly, a state of quiet or tranquility. Sometimes the best picture of the concept a word carries is found when we find a word or words that appear to portray the opposite conditions. In this case, war would be a word that described a lack of peace. Others would include fighting, arguing, corrupting, manipulating, using force, etc. It is an interesting side note that I very well could add the word heresy here, because the underlying Greek word from which we get heresy (hairesis – G139) means, “to storm a city; to take by force.” In biblical context, a heretic isn’t somebody who simply disagreed with any mainstream statement of beliefs, which is how heresy is defined today, in English. Historically, a heretic was one who tried to force others to accept his own understanding. In an odd twist to our modern definition of heresy, it wasn’t the heretics who were being beheaded or burned at the stake; the heretics were the ones who gave the orders for the axes to be swung or the matches to be lit. Heresy is a lack of peace and it should be noted, peace is one of the character attributes of Holy Spirit.

There is another word we have in our language that paints an opposing picture to the concept of peace, that word is chaos. The idea of disorder and confusion, which both stand in direct contrast to being free of stress and anxiety, is how chaos is defined. Disorder and confusion, however, are the hallmarks of the modern condition of the faith. With 40,000 denominations and sects within Christianity (not to mention however many home groups there are), and great polarization and division within the Hebrew Roots or Ephraimite movement, using the word “chaos” or the phrase “lack of peace” are sadly two of the best ways to describe the condition of our House. Where we should stand as one, joined by the core beliefs that we all share, we instead create division and animosity among a body over minutia and minor doctrinal points that, when it comes to the welfare of our assembly, are perhaps not as important to God as they are to us. When we factor in that our Scriptural understanding comes as a gift from the Holy Spirit, how do we not profane the gift, and gift giver, when we use our understanding as the litmus test by which we judge others? That action disrupts peace because that action was not God’s intention.

The Psalmist said we should “seek peace,” which I think is captured in a NT verse that includes, “being of one mind and one accord.” Perhaps we misunderstand what “one mind and one accord” means? Was it that we were supposed to look, think, believe, and act alike in every way, or be one in function, purpose, or intent? If we are to seek peace, and keep ourselves free from dispute, disturbance, anxiety (etc.), then clearly being of one mind and one accord is us laying aside any differences so that we can function together as God intended for the good of the body at large. Agreeing on every detail of doctrine and understanding is simply not a reality while we continue to exist in a fallen state.

Today we have many who cry out that those who seek peace are those who are willing to compromise truth. I find this conclusion to be more than troubling, especially when Yeshua said, “blessed are the peacemakers.” I don’t believe that he was overly concerned with national and international politics, I don’t believe he was speaking about the world system, his entire message was wrapped around the call to repent, to begin to turn the hearts of the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel back toward the God of Israel, and toward the Kingdom to come. Therefore, “blessed are the peacemakers” was a statement he made that was dealing with those who strive to bring peace to the faith, peace to the House to which we belong…. peace among the brethren.

Today we stand at a time in history where God is doing an incredible work of changing paradigms and drawing people closer to Him and His will and instruction for our lives. Yet, there are facets of our body that seem to look for reasons to divide or stand alone as a rogue islands with no sense of community at all. The idea that we are part of the same nation is simply beyond the grasp of some at this time and this causes disunity, disruption, agitation, stress… a lack of peace. I submit that we keep these people in prayer and leave open doors to communication between us and them praying that God would compel them to repent and establish meaningful discourse. Beyond that, and until then, I submit that it is time for those who seek and love peace and who are willing to decrease “self” for the good of the body as a whole, to rally around each other so that together we become a voice of reason and balance in a world that almost seems to derive it’s energy from chaos. We cannot change hearts, only God can do that. What we can do is join together in love and peace while standing as beacons of hope; pointing to a God who loves peace among brethren. We should be reflecting His character attributes to the world around us while letting Him work on the hearts of those who don’t see the blessing of living together in His shalom. May our lives be filled with His shalom.

Proverbs 6: 16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: (17) A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, (18) A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, (19)  A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

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Time for a Revolution for Restoration

We are to draw closer to each other, to acknowledge each other for what we are – family, separated a very long time ago. We need to begin working together, but only within the framework of mutual respect – with neither of us trying to change the other one.

What if there was a ‘secret’ way to understand the eternal messages of the Prophets of Israel? You know, a timeless message to countless people, ‘ hidden’ in the text; by HaShem – by God, Himself, to His people. But, one that was ‘hidden’ in plain sight – would you want to know about it? Would you want to understand things the way they’re supposed to be understood? Be careful what you wish for – it may come true…

For me personally, a moment like that happened back in April 1994. It was then that I began meeting people who told me that they believed that they were part of the people of Israel. Not Jewish, they had come to the feeling/belief/understanding that they too were part of Israel – descendants of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Yes, the fabled, “Ten Lost Tribes.”

Yeah, you heard right…How is that even possible, right? Well, first let’s start at what we know. Let’s go back to the glory years of the United Kingdom of Israel under the leadership of the House of David. King David followed by his son – King Shlomo (Solomon). With Solomon’s death, due to the mismanagement of his son Rechavam (Rehoboam), the kingdom split into two. Rehoboam’s was comprised of the tribes of Yehuda (Judah) and Binyamin (Benjamin) (along with Levi). The kingdom was in the area from Bet El (slightly north of Jerusalem) and all the area south; that was the Kingdom of Judah. The rival kingdom comprised of the remaining 10 tribes was led by Yeravam (Jeroboam). It comprised the territory north of Judah and was called the Kingdom of Israel (later referred to as, Ephraim – after the largest tribe which composed the new kingdom).

Jeroboam forced his people to stop going to the Temple in Jerusalem and built calves for them to worship instead. The split within our nation was truly final…Our one people had become two separate nations – Judah and Ephraim. This gulf between our formerly one people, led to wars, hatred and competing alliances with foreign powers. The Northern Kingdom slid into a life of idolatry, and the die was cast – they were to be punished for their sins.

The Assyrians attacked and destroyed the Kingdom of Israel in the year 722 BCE – carrying the surviving population off into exile. And from there, they seem to have disappeared from the pages of history – mentioned only from time to time – a whisper in history – perhaps merely a fable. But, the tribes didn’t disappear – they were dispersed throughout the world, to the corners of the earth – “…then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, who caused them to be led into exile among the nations…” Yehezkel (Ezekiel) 39:28. They were destined to forget their identity, “…for you are not my people…” Hoshea (Hosea) 1:9. But they never were actually lost – because Avinu Sh’bashamyim – our Father in heaven never loses anything or anyone – rather they were hidden away; put aside.

But the promise of their return and reunification with their brothers and sisters is a theme that is consistent throughout the Tanach (the Hebrew Bible). We read in Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 32:41 that, “…and I will truly plant them in this land, with My whole heart and with My whole soul.” In fact, it is the one single time in the entire Tanach where HaShem (God) that He will do something with ALL of His heart and soul. This is the only instance where HaShem promises to do anything with His whole heart and whole soul. The restoration of His people is that important. So, it’s clear that Ephraim (also referred to in Scripture as Israel, Samaria, or Joseph) and Judah WILL reunite, that the entire people of Israel will be RESTORED. “Fear not: for I am with thee; I will bring your seed from the east, and gather them from the west; I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, keep not back: bring my sons from far and my daughters from the ends of the earth…” Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 43:5-6.
What we weren’t given was a roadmap of where the exiled Israelites were hidden away and what they would actually “look like.”

Throughout recorded history, representatives of the Jewish communities traveled the globe in search of their “lost” brothers and sisters of Ephraim. It was rumored that they were hidden behind some vast mountain ranges or the mystical river, Sambatyon. A great warrior kingdom that was one day going to be reunited with the Jewish people – the known part of the people of Israel. The search went on, across the known world, until the age of exploration was over. At that point, when even Australia was explored, it was assumed by some that the tribes were truly lost – never to be returned. But God Himself does not make mistakes and when He promises to return and restore His people – He means it!

But, then, within the last few decades, a phenomenom has begun occurring worldwide – where people have begun been awakened to the understanding that they are part of His hidden people – part of Ephraim/Israel. This has been a totally spontaneous awakening – not caused by hearing the same teachings, reading the same books or watching the same DVD’s. It has only been His divine inspiration that has enabled people to reach this understanding; this insight. People have walked away from the churches they grew up in, the family holiday traditions they were raised with and even from family relationships. When this first began occurring during the 1990’s it was at the same time of the rise of the Christian Zionist. Bnai Noah (Noahides) and Hebraic Roots movements as well. No one quite knew what to make of these people, let alone who they were. This movement is sometimes referred to as the “Two House Movement.” A reference to the two Houses of Ephraim and Judah. “…and I will restore you from your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from the places I have driven you…” Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 29:14. Two Houses that were to become one, once again.

They have been led to study and begin to lead a life of Torah and are having their hearts drawn to the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. It has almost been like people who have been locked away, trapped in darkness, who have come streaming into the bright light. They are shaking off more than 2,700 years of exile; they realize that they don’t belong to the world that they have been part of for their entire life…People who otherwise would have gone through their entire lives as part of some Christian denomination, were now driven to something else. Instead of thinking that they were part of just some denomination, they began to think of themselves as being part of a Nation… the Nation of Israel.

Can you even imagine what was going through their minds, let alone those of their relatives, friends and Church buddies? They thought these people were delusional, misguided or perhaps, “Jewish wannabees.” How could they even begin to understand the clear path to understanding Scripture that these people now had? That they were now able to understand key principles of faith that people had told them were no longer to be observed? You know, the Sabbath (Fri night – Sat night), Kosher food laws, the very Torah itself! Instead of it all being “done away with” – rather, it was actually to be what they were to be basing their lives upon.

How could they think that they were actually part of Israel, after having been cast into exile 2,700 years ago? IF they had been part of Israel, once upon a time, how could they think they would be reunited, returned, restored? “For, lo, I will command, I will sift the house of Yisrael among all the nations, as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” Amos 9:9 Listen, we don’t believe in a God who can’t keep His promises, right? So, we really shouldn’t be surprised that this entire, amazing reawakening is occurring. But we are, because it’s not just happening within a ‘foreign’ people in some distant land. It’s happening to that person in the mirror; it’s happening to us…
Instead of being hidden away in some far away place, we’re the witness to the ultimate in Divine irony. No, Avinu Sh’bashamayim – our Father in Heaven didn’t hide Ephraim/Joseph/Israel/Samaria behind some mountains somewhere. He hid His (temporarily…) exiled people right in plain sight – some of them in Church pews around the world… the one place that your Jewish brothers and sisters never would have thought of looking for you…Hidden away until He decided that their time of punishment was over. The time when they would be ready to accept their correction. Yes, that time when they were once again to be restored as part of His people. Yes, when He would restore ALL of His people. “And I will strengthen the house of Yehuda (Judah), and I will save the house of Yosef (Joseph), and I will bring them back again for I have had mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them. And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: and their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.” Zecharya (Zechariah) 10:6-7

But, wait a moment – how come no one had come to this realization sooner, or recognized that we were from the same family? Well, it obviously wasn’t time yet; His time for ending the exile of part of His people. But, it also is very much like the story of Yosef – Joseph. Remember, Joseph has been sold into slavery in Egypt and through an amazing series of events becomes the second most powerful man in that country. He hasn’t seen his brothers since their treachery, but here they are, once again, in Egypt, desperate for food. Now he knows who they are – but they are clueless to Joseph’s identity. Remember, he doesn’t look like they do, he’s dressed like an Egyptian. His hair is cut in the style of the Egyptian ruling class. He speaks like an Egyptian and after all – he’s the 2nd in command of Egypt! They would never ever even think that he could be their brother – not the way he looks, acts and sounds, right? And that’s just like us, today… You’re looking at the Jewish people, who are your brothers and sisters, and we don’t act like you thought we would. And we’re looking at you and frankly, you’re not looking and sounding like we thought you would be, either…but, for whatever reason, that is part of His plan, too…

But this process of our reunification is not quite as simple as it sounds, is it? Over the last several thousand years, our one nation, which became two people has morphed over time into two distinct religious groups. Two groups which appear to have contradictory views; so, which one is it going to be? Which one of our two constituent parts has to give up their beliefs in order to become the other one, so we can join together to be reunited, once again? Well, that’s just it, we don’t change…we accept each other as we are – the way HaShem made us. And, we deal with each other with mutual respect; not trying to change each other into a clone of who we are, and wheat we believe. Remember, when Judah is forced to become Joseph, or when Joseph is forced to become Judah – then we cease being who we were put on the earth to be. We each have a function, and depend upon each other – “And the house of Yaakov shall be fire and the house of Yosef flame…” Ovadya (Obadiah) 1:18

Where do we look for an answer to that question? Well, to Scripture, of course! We find our answer in the following prophecy that so many of us are familiar with: “Behold I will take the stick of Yosef, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Yisrael, his companions, and will put them and it together with the stick of Yehuda to form one stick, and they shall be one in My hand.” Yehezkel (Ezekiel) 37:19 You see, we can only become one again, in His hand…it is up to HaShem to sort out any religious differences between us; we are His people, after all. It is not for each of us to try to change or “correct” each other – that is what He promises He will do: “…but correct thee in due measure.” Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 46:28 Think of it this way, how well does it work in any family when siblings attempt to ”correct” each other? It doesn’t; that’s what the father is for…And so too, with Avinu Malkenu – Our Father, Our King.

We are to draw closer to each other, to acknowledge each other for what we are – family, separated a very long time ago. We need to begin working together, but only within the framework of mutual respect – with neither of us trying to change the other one. Our focus needs to be on what we have in common – which is FAR greater than anything that could potentially divide us – the Torah of Israel, the land of Israel and the people of Israel – the Jewish people AND Ephraim. This is where we start. We are told of a time when, “In those days the house of Yehuda shall walk with the house of Yisrael…” Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 3:18. I believe that ‘those days’ are NOW! Are YOU ready to walk together?
(originally published in GTN – Gathering the Nations magazine’s Preview Issue as:The Time for Restoration has Begun)

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Dying in the Wilderness

We are part of Israel; we are children of the Most High God. He loves us, He will care for us, He will sustain us… and He will leave us in the wilderness with our spiritual baggage intact unless we learn how to get beyond the minutia that we allow to divide us.

Every story that God has seen fit to place in Scripture is there for a reason. It might be to preserve our understanding of history. Perhaps it is being used to edify and encourage as we walk through life in modern times. Some stories speak to us about future events; they are more prophetic in nature. Or, it might also be that a story is all of these things and more. One thing is for sure, God wasted no ink. Each word, sentence, paragraph, and book is there for a reason.

There are a few stories that I believe are particularly relevant at our current point in time. The book of Job stands out from others. Job is unique in that his story truly transcends time. Every human being has gone through a trial or a pain and the story of Job shows us that there is light at the end of every tunnel when we fix our eyes, and keep them, on the Lord. But two other stories really stand out as related not just to this Hebrew Roots Movement we see today, but also to this growing desire to see and be a part of the restoration of the whole House of Israel. Those two stories are Joseph’s life (Genesis 37-50) and the story of the Exodus. It is the latter story I would like to focus on today.

When Israel was in Egypt (read “world” or “nations” here) they were as a dormant tree. They were Israel, but there was no life in them in regard to their relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God sent a Prophet back into the land (a picture of messiah) and an awakening began. Picture a tree coming out of its winter slumber. There was a time of trial (perhaps the word “tribulation” can be used here) before they ultimately were able to leave Egypt and head toward a land of promise. Their trek was rough, they were chased, but ultimately they were delivered, if you will, and they made it safely through the water and to Mt. Sinai. There they received instruction (you might call that “discipleship”) and God sustained them.

For most of these Israelites, this story doesn’t end well. The Israelites walked in fear, they were insecure, and that manifested itself in the form of murmuring, back-biting, and idolatry. It is as if the Israelites simply came out of Egypt with too much spiritual baggage to fully walk as God intended for them to walk. A decision was ultimately made: those who were 20 years of age and older at the time of the exodus would not see the Promised Land. Instead, they would be cared for, loved, even sustained, but would ultimately die in the wilderness they wandered in.

The Messianic Movement

In a sense, the Messianic movement began just over 100 years ago when the newly formed Hebrew-Christian Alliance of America (HCAA) gave a voice to Jewish Christians as they determined to retain their ethnicity while living as Christians. As time went on, the HCAA would inspire other groups, like Jews for Jesus, but the final form of that inspiration became the early face of what is now the Messianic Movement. That group, the Messianic-Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), exposed the more Jewish aspects of the Christian faith. The thought was predominately to show a more Jewish Jesus to Orthodox Jews. That action, however, had a side effect; it began to open the eyes of many non-Jewish Christians around the world to a more “Hebrew Rooted” faith. Indeed, Jesus was Jewish and his followers were too. In fact, the entire NT is a very “Jewish” book, a fact that becomes clear as one reads through a more Hebraic perspective.

Slowly over the years more and more “gentiles” began to trickle into Messianic synagogues but they were never fully accepted as part of the family. I am not seeking to lay blame on anyone or make statements that might question intent or inflame others, I simply believe the focus was on the Orthodox Jewish community and the non-Jews were simply not part of that plan. Thus, over time, independent non-Jewish congregations began to develop around the country and eventually the world. This sub-culture that came from this seemingly combines mainstream Christianity with aspects of Judaism, and is what has became known as the Hebrew Roots Movement. Today, there are literally thousands of congregations around the world and probably hundreds of thousands (or more) Christians who also identify with the more Hebraic aspects of the Christian faith. These people continue to see Yeshua (Jesus) as messiah, but also embrace the commandments while believing they are at least a part of Israel. This is not replacement theology; it is just a people seeing the depth of what it means to be part of the family of God.

One might view all of this as a revival or an “awakening” similar, perhaps in part, to the awakening of Israel in Egypt. Yeshua told a parable in Matthew 24:32-34 about a fig tree. He depicts the fig tree as asleep, in its winter slumber, hibernating if you will. He states that when we see it bring forth new life, new stems and leaves, and it begins to grow again that we are to know that summer is near. He went on to say that the generation that sees this happen won’t pass away before all is fulfilled. Most scholars believe the fig tree to be Israel but they have mistakenly interpreted the point of the parable, in my humble opinion, to Israel becoming a nation in 1948. While that event is of great importance and God’s hand has been clearly on it, the nation state of Israel is secular, messiah is not King at this time, Torah is not the law of the land, and God’s Israel awaits it’s reunification with the entire family of God. In other words, the parable is not speaking about a secular nation but rather is speaking about a people awakening to who they are and what their part in God’s plan is. In one sense, these are the “Lost Sheep” regaining their identity and desiring to walk in the statutes and commandments of God. I said, “in one sense,” because I do believe this parable is dealing with the whole House of Israel and not just those in the nations who, until now, have not understood what it meant to be part of Israel.

Old habits die hard

When these groups of Hebrew Rooted Christians were still part of mainstream Christianity, they were not taught methodology. By that I mean they were not taught hermeneutic rules (rules of interpretation), nor languages, nor historical analysis, nor anything else that might have helped them reach their own conclusions as they worked through Scripture. Instead, they were taught facts and they were taught how to repeat the facts, as each denomination understood them. Instead of the teacher giving the student the tools necessary to reach his own conclusions, the teachers were in a sense cloning themselves, perhaps inadvertently, and perpetuating the denomination in the process.

This lack of methodology and the parroting of facts didn’t change when most of these Christians began to walk this more Hebraic path. These followers of Yeshua were given additional insight by the Spirit, and they were allowed to see an additional truth or two. This awakening (or perhaps a “paradigm shift”) is a work of God, not the work of diligent man and his improved study habits. Thus the student, who still lacks the ability to methodically make connections biblically and historically, goes down the same road of polarization that we have seen between the denominations. The moment our facts are shown to be in conflict with the facts of others, the Hebrew Rooted Christian does what has always been done in the church when it has been confronted with conflict. We get mad, we lash out, and then we divide from other brethren. The reason there are over 40,000 denominations and sects of Christianity is simply because we never learned to sit down with somebody who comes to a different understanding than we do, and just TALK to them. Instead, we yell, fight, name call, polarize the situation and ultimately burn bridges of communication. We remove any chance of “proving all things” because we were too insecure and ill-equipped to fairly and prayerfully “consider all things.”

Throughout all forms of social media, which I still think is a great way to network and share information, we find people who did not properly inspect where the information they are now accepting as truth came from. This isn’t their fault as they lack the tools to properly inspect the information themselves, forcing them to rely on the work of others. The result is when a person like this is confronted about a particular conclusion; they lack the ability to defend it. Remember, they didn’t dig out the facts and prove them, they simply read them in a book or on a website, thought it made sense, and repeated it as truth. So, their response to conflict is to lash out and cause strife and division because they have no ability to defend, nor explain in detail, what they believe. Thus the Hebrew Roots Movement, which I maintain has reached some great truths, is exposed as an immature movement full of spiritual baggage, just like it was when Israel came out of Egypt. Because of pride, insecurity, and a lack of quality discipleship, the movement, which is part of a great awakening of God, fights against itself as well as the rest of the church. Ephraim (Israel in the nations) can’t get along with Ephraim! How then can he possibly think he can get along with people who don’t see Yeshua as he does? Does Ephraim not see that the covenant is made with the House of Judah AND the House of Israel? At least at this time, Judah does not see Yeshua as messiah and yet God is still going to include them in the covenant. That means the line in the sand that we have drawn based on our understanding, needs to be revisited. To do so would mean fighting against the culture we were born into, one that demands that everything look, think, and act like we do, or we reject it.

Will we die in the wilderness?

We are part of Israel; we are children of the Most High God. He loves us, He will care for us, He will sustain us… and He will leave us in the wilderness with our spiritual baggage intact unless we learn how to get beyond the minutia that we allow to divide us. The division, brethren, is preventable. Throughout the history of the church right on through the current state of the Hebrew Roots Movement, most division is based on our own understanding, or lack of it. Doctrine has become the litmus test as to who should or should not, be considered family. Not to weaken the need for sound doctrine, but our understanding, especially in this fallen state, should never have become that litmus test, and yet it is. We seemingly look for things to use as fodder in a fight against our brethren. A sword does not sharpen in a sword fight, that chips and dulls the blade. We sharpen a sword when the metal is rubbed smoothly against other metal, patiently.

I know many of you who are reading this understand what I am saying and have gone out your way to re-open doors of communication with those we once alienated over our perceived superior understanding. These were doors to family and friends who are now where we were, not all that long ago. And let us not forget that our understanding is a gift from God, a gift we profane, when we use it to beat down others! Still, even today, we all know many who are still stuck in the quagmire of destructive behavior which continues to paint the efforts of us all in a bad light. As Paul wrote:

“But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and striving about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.” (Titus 3:9)

Indeed, not only unprofitable and useless, but if we can’t rally around the weightier matters of God’s Law, and cease dividing over things only we think are important, we will have some very serious repercussions to deal with. In addition, we will answer for all we have said and done especially as it relates to how we treated others. I fear the result of our actions will be that history repeats itself and that we will be left in the wilderness while the next generation walks into the Kingdom where messiah will reign as King. Stop for a moment and imagine how the Israelites felt who went through the entire Exodus and Sinai experience only to find out they were too spiritually damaged to see the Promised Land. That might be us; we might have a little too much Egypt in us to be part of what is yet to come. God will not allow us to profane a Holy thing and right now too few of us know how to handle a Holy thing.

Yet brethren, we do have hope, we CAN do this… I am truly convinced of this! But it will take work, it will take love and patience, and a willingness to let it be about everyone else but ourselves. When we can get to that point, when we can remove “self” and make it about God and His Israel…. then we will see the Promised Land! If we don’t, well, if we don’t history will repeat itself but this time we won’t be reading about it, we will be living it.

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