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THE TASK IS UNFINISHED.  MHG #38.  MARCH 2010

 

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD!

 

CONTENTS

* THE TASK IS UNFINISHED

* REPORTS OF THE GOSPEL’S PROGRESS

* HOW  LONG?

* MARCH  2010  -  SOME VERY INTERESTING DATES TO WATCH

* SOME MAJOR CURRENT EVENTS

* Q/A   THE HEBREW SPRING FESTIVALS

* Q/A   THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

* WHAT DOES THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST MEAN TO US?

 

THE TASK IS UNFINISHED

by fred  d. jarvis

 

Let us not be content to bask in the sunshine of God’s love and light — and allow the masses of men to languish in darkness and sin! How the angels must weep, how heaven must grieve — that we do so little to save a perishing world from hell.

 

In this age of speed and hurry, may we feel the sacredness of our trust and the urgency of our task. Christ’s Commission is binding upon Christians everywhere and for all time. Obedience to this unchanging Commission is our supreme obligation. The church that plays down this obligation — is a contradiction! 

“And Y’shua came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age’.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all Creation’.” (Mark 16:15)

The task is unfinished! The need is urgent! The Commission is compulsory! Men around the world are under the curse of sin. They are born, live and die under it.

How sad that the treasured truth of the remedy in Christ — will never once reach the ears of most of them — unless WE awaken to our responsibilities — and speed out with the Gospel messages!

A little boy was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” His reply was, “Alive!”

Millions are wondering today how long they will be alive. No wonder our children ask, “Is the world coming to an end? Will we all die soon?” In these terrible times the world seems to be moving from one maddening crisis to another.

We have listened to so many warnings — that we are living in the death throes of our age — that we cease to be moved by them.

The threat of total disaster no longer terrifies us. Even the church is caught up in the sweeping currents of compromise. Cold Christians with empty hearts sit in cold, empty churches carefree, contented and comfortable. They are unaware that they are spiritually paralyzed and powerless.

How sad that so many of our churches are dwindling and dying. Though many Christians still give lip service to the Cross as God’s way to heaven they do not follow it as His way of Life. We wear, instead of bear the Cross.

We repeat the Apostles’ Creed but not the apostles’ deeds. Too many iceberg Christians with their petrified religion, only warm benches in our Gothic churches. The ring and reality of inspired worship has given way to dead ritualism and icy form and ceremony.

The cheap grace of easy believism has been substituted for the costly grace of Calvary. The gospel of happiness has been substituted for the gospel of holiness. The upper room has been converted into the supper room.

Candid preaching has often turned to candied preaching. The salt of the earth has become the sugar of the earth. We have tried to court the favor of the world and carnal Christians by clever programs and compromised standards. We have tried to influence the world by being like the world; instead of being transformed by the Lord. Honor from one another is more sought than that which cometh from God only.

“How are you able to believe, when you receive praise and glory from one another and you do not seek the approval and glory that comes from the one and only God?” (John 5:44)

It is time for us to examine the world in which we live and re-think our responsibility to it. It is time for courageous Spirit-filled prophets to call God’s people back to surrender, sacrifice and whole-hearted Bible Christianity.

Not only the world, but the church, is ripening for judgment. Too many have been following the philosophy, “take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” (Luke 12:19)

Too many are “wicked and slothful servants” hiding their talent in the earth. (Matthew 25:25-26). How tragic that many have to admit that “our lamps have gone out.” That we are like foolish virgins that took no oil! (Matthew 25:3, 8)

May God revive our cold hearts, breathe on our dry bones, and give us a new filling of power and love.

God has given us a luminous legacy of light! Let us not be content to bask in the sunshine of God’s love and light — and allow the masses of men to languish in darkness and sin!

Let us bombard every sin-sick, sin-darkened part of the world — with the life-giving, light-spreading, life-mending Gospel of Christ!

How the angels must weep, how heaven must grieve — that we do so little to save a perishing world from hell! May we get down low before God and fully repent of our complacency and unconcern!

How profoundly dissatisfied we Christians ought to be with the status quo. There is no place for rocking chair Christians. The Great Commission does not say, “Go into half the world and preach the Gospel.” It does not say, “Go inside the church and stay put.”

The Call Is For Action!

Lost souls are weary of their wandering and must be reached at all costs! We must do our best to send our best men to the front lines of action!

World evangelism is not a peripheral undertaking. We are under orders. The Commission is clear. It is essential and not optional. All must be participants in the fight, partners in the task. To reject our responsibility is to reject God’s will and favor. Every life must be invested in the Cause that counts.

Millions of blind, blighted, bound, Bible-less souls live in sin-darkened lands, not knowing why they were born, why they live or how they are to die. We cannot but plead the cause of these millions!

Their darkened minds must be enlightened with light from on high. Their sightless eyes must see the King in His glory! Their dumb ears must hear the sweetest Name that men can ever hear — the Name of Jesus!

Christianity Means Commitment!

We are called to forsake all and follow Him. May God help us to accept afresh the true terms of Christian discipleship. We must fully follow the Lordship and Leadership of Jesus Christ! God’s will must be done upon earth as it is in heaven! (Matthew 6:10)

If our Gospel is true we must tell it! If our experience is real we must spread it! Our conduct must match our creed! His precepts must become our practice! Our walk must match our talk! Life is a battleground and not a playground!

The crowning glory of the church is winning souls!

Unfortunately, Ichabod (the glory has departed) is written over too many of our churches. The only way this rebellious world will ever turn to Christ — is for the reprobate church to return in deep repentance to God!

God has a plan to fulfil, a world to warn, a message to deliver — and only a short time in which to do it. Non-compliance with God’s plan is a foul miscarriage of justice. Missionary Mark Maxey in Japan put it on the line when he wrote:

“The local church has been concerned with the task of world evangelization. That this is true is so obvious that it should not have to be repeated. The 10% of the budget many churches pride themselves on giving for foreign evangelistic work is only a sop. Actually it is another sponge filled with vinegar and offered to a Christ who died for all men everywhere.

“If any human business organization spent 90% of its income just to keep its own business operating and only 10% for expansion and growth of that business, it would soon be bankrupt.

“But the church is very proud of giving this amount for evangelization of the world and confidently expects the Lord to bless this kind of selfishness.

“When it comes to providing the evangelists to do the task, the church’s unconcern for its primary task is even more revealing. Only 4% of the men trained to preach the Gospel are sent on world-wide evangelizing.

“96% are kept at home to preach the Gospel again and again to the same people who have heard it all their lives. It would be laughable if it were not so tragic!”

Our tragic failure to evangelize a lost world does not arise out of our lack of man-power or money. It’s not the shortage, but wastage of man-power that is regrettable. We bottleneck the message in Gospel-hardened lands instead of spreading it to Gospel-hungry lands!

We substitute ecclesiasticism for evangelism, professional clergymen for volunteer laymen. In the early church, “daily in the temple and in every house they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42). They “taught . . . publicly, and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20). They “sounded out the Word of the Lord.” (1 Thess. 1:8)

We have ceased to follow the divine blueprint and have walked in our own way. Instead of preaching Christ where He has not been named, like Israel, we have “forgotten our Maker and built temples.” (Hosea 8:14)

There was no such thing as a church building in the first two hundred years of Christian history. They took the Great Commission seriously. Of course, we need churches, but the billions of dollars that we have invested in fancy churches, plush pews, expensive organs and lavish stained glass windows — are doing more than anything I know, to drain off money that should rightly go to carrying out the Great Commission!

“There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owners to their hurt.” (Ecclesiastes 5:13)

This verse can be applied not only to the individual, but to the church as well. This business of making Christ known is the greatest business on earth!

We must keep everlastingly at it until Jesus comes! May we give the loaves of our lives to be broken in His hands, and to be shared with the hungry multitudes!

Now is the Supreme Hour Of Challenge!

The cup of God’s preparation overflows. Glorious opportunities urgently beckon us. Millions are within easy reach of the Gospel. God’s great trumpet sounds out a mighty call to advance! It is time for us to rise and shine, to give and go!  It is an honor to be God’s instruments to finish the greatest task on earth!

As loyal laborers for the Master, let us move forward in faith and do our very best to reach the untold millions still untold. -  from Herald of His Coming

 

REPORTS OF THE GOSPEL’S PROGRESS

IN THE 10/40 WINDOW

 

THE 10/40 WINDOW is a term used to refer to the countries in the 100 to 400 latitude north of the Equator – the countries from north-west Africa, and across the Middle East and Asia as far as  China and Japan – basically the Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and Chinese communist world. 

In this heavily populated “window” there has been an amazing work of grace in recent years. Here are some 2009-10 reports from various sources:

EGYPT. During the 1990s, the Egyptian Bible Society used to sell about 3,000 copies of the JESUS FILM each year. In 2008 they sold 600,000 copies, plus 750,000 copies of the Bible on tape in Arabic and about a half million copies of the Arabic New Testament.

A huge cave on the outskirts of Cairo accommodates the largest church in the Middle East; 10,000 meet weekly for worship, and a prayer conference there in 2005 hosted 20,000 believers.

IRAQ.  More than 5,000 Muslims have come to faith in Christ over the past four years. There are 14 new churches in Baghdad and dozens more in Kurdistan, some with up to 800 members.

AFGHANISTAN.  Eight years ago there were only 17 known Muslim background followers of Christ. Today there are more than 10,000.

CHINA. In 1950, when China closed to missionaries, there were about one million Chinese believers. Today there are an estimated 100 million believers and 28,000 new Christians in China every day! There are as many followers of Christ in China as in North America.

The Communist government has printed 40 million Bibles over the past 20 years at its official Amity Press. The Bibles and New Testaments are distributed at 55,000 distribution points throughout the country. But still many in rural areas have no Bible, but they share handwritten portions with many believers.

IRAN. At the time of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 there were possibly only 500 Shi’ite background followers of Christ! Today, many Iranian pastors suggest there may be as many as one million. More Iranians came to Christ between 1980 and 2005 than in all the previous 1,000 years.

TURKEY. One-third of the converts to Christianity in Turkey say they came to Christ because He appeared to them in a dream. God is at work even where there are no missionaries!

SUDAN. In 1960 only about 5% of southern Sudan was Christian. Today, after decades of terrible warfare and persecution, the figure is close to 70% Christian.

INDONESIA. More than 60,000 house churches have sprung up in recent years. The last religious census in the country was taken in 1979, when it was determined that 20% of the population were followers of Christ. That statistic so concerned government leaders in this populous Muslim country that there has not been another religious survey since.

NEPAL. Over the past two years the Hindu monarchy has been removed, and Nepal has been declared a secular nation. Today, the Gospel is spreading rapidly across this Himalayan republic. 40 years ago there was only 75 known Nepali believers in Nepal.

Today there are around one million, and 8000 churches throughout the country. In Kathmandu alone, there are 500 churches and 300 fellowships. Growth is amazing. A group will start with a few believers, and within a couple of months it can number 50; and growing.

INDIA. In east India, 95% of Nagaland’s three million people confess Jesus as Lord. The Nagaland Church recently vowed to send out 10,000 new missionaries to India and beyond. Those once unreached are now becoming senders.

S. KOREA. Once deemed ‘impossible to penetrate’ by missionaries, Korea has experienced dramatic church growth in the last century. South Korea is now 30% Christian with 3,000 churches in Seoul alone. Several of these churches have over one million members.

ISRAEL. More Jews have embraced Jesus/Yeshua as Messiah since 1967 when the Jews took control of Jerusalem than in all the years between 100AD and 1967.  – Sources: Joshua Project, 20/20 Vision, Operation World.

                                                                                                   

EVERY HOUR, 3,000 PEOPLE START

 FOLLOWING CHRIST

                                                                                             

The Joshua Project, a collaborative missions effort that focuses on unreached people groups, reports that an average of 160,000 a day hear the message of redemption that is in Christ, for the first time. Every hour 3,000 people decide to follow Christ.

In 1800, those who had never heard the Gospel were almost 75% of the globe’s population. Today the percentage of those who have not heard is 28% - a major move forward.  However, that means about 1.5 billion people have still not heard the Gospel message even one time.

So while the current outreach and response is very encouraging, it does not justify any carelessness, slacking off, or sleeping in the church worldwide. 

In a number of countries, including Tibet and Mauritania, there is still only a very few believers.

The task is still unfinished, as the old missionary to Japan, Fred Jarvis, maintained in the challenging article you have just read.

 

HOW  LONG?

                                                          

These are the days when believers who are on the alert, are asking, “How long?”

The old hymn, which most of my Senior readers will no doubt remember, was asking the question more than 100 years ago:

              It may be at morn, when the day is awaking

                When sunlight through darkness and shadow is breaking

                That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory

                To receive from the world His own.

                       O Lord Jesus, how long?

                        How long ere we shout the glad song

                            Christ returneth, Halleluyah!  Halleluyah, Amen!

The writer of that hymn, and the expectant prophecy teachers of that generation, could be included in the honour roll of the Book of Hebrews, where we read:

“All these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had planned something better involving us also, so that they should not be made perfect without us.” (Heb. 11:39-40)

Well there are a lot of events happening in Israel, in the Middle East, and around the world today, which are all pointing to the approaching end of the church age, and the pending 70th week of Daniel 9 – the Day of the Lord. And I will mention some of them below.

But as I was meditating on the words, “How long?” many scriptures came to mind, so I made a little study of this phrase. And it is not only home-sick, arthritic believers sighing, “How long?”

     The question is also asked in the Book of Daniel:         

                               

“And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, ‘How long will it be until the end of these wonders – these astonishing things?’”

The answer was a mystery to Daniel.

“The man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and I heard him swear by Him who lives forever, that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.

“As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I asked, ‘My lord, what will the outcome of these events be?” He said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time.

“Many will be purified, cleansed and refined, but the wicked will continue to act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.” (Daniel 12:6-11)

Now that we have the words of Y’shua in Matthew and Revelation, we can understand that the revelation to Daniel was concerning the events of the second half of the Great Tribulation.

And what Daniel saw afar off, is now very near!

Habakkuk the prophet felt forsaken, and cried out:

How long, O YHWH, must I call for help, and You do not hear? I cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ yet You do not save.”  (Habakkuk 1:2)

Habakkuk could well have been describing the 21st century as he goes on:

“Why do You make me look at iniquity, and cause me to see perversity? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention flares up. Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous, so that justice is perverted.” (Habakkuk 1:3-4)

Like the righteous man Lot centuries before, whose soul was tormented day by day by what was going on in Sodom, the prophet cried, “How long, Oh Lord, do I have to see all this.”

And so do God’s righteous people cry out today!  But we have the word of the Y’shua the Messiah that says, in the days just before He returns, the conditions on earth would be like the days of Noah, and the days of Lot. (Luke 17:26-30)

“But when these things begin to take place, straighten yourselves and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28)

          The Psalmists, in the midst of anguish, also asked,      

                 “How long, O Lord?”

“And my soul is in anguish. But You! - O YHWH, how long? Turn, O YHWH, deliver my soul; save me because of Your unfailing love.” (Psalm 6:3-4)

How long, O YHWH? Will You forget me for ever? How long will You hide Your Face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, wrestling with my thoughts, and with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?”  (Psalm 13:1-2)

“YHWH, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, my only life from the young lions.”  (Psalm 35:17)

How long, O YHWH?  Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire?”  (Psalm 79:5)

“O God, how long will the adversary revile? Will the enemy despise Your Name forever?”  (Psalm 74:10)

Well, the psalmists could find a lot of assurance in the Torah. And today, when we find ourselves in such times of anguish, we have many magnificent promises and explanations, such in this passage from the Book of Peter:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Master, Y’shua Messiah, who, by His great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Y’shua the Messiah from the dead, to be born again into a living hope, into an inheritance which can never perish, or be corrupted, or fade away, that is kept safe in heaven for you, and for all  who, through faith, are being protected by the power of El Shaddai, Almighty God until the coming of the deliverance that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proving of your faith - which is more precious than gold that perishes, though tested by fire - may be found to result in praise, glory and honour at the revelation of Y’shua the Messiah.” (1 Peter 1:3-7)

 

The Martyrs also cry out

“And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, How long, O LORD, holy and true, will You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth’?” (Revelation 6:10)

Elijah challenged the irresolute people of Israel:

“And Elijah came near to all the people and said, How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If YHWH is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.’ But the people did not answer him a word.”  (1 Kings 18:21)

No doubt the Lord is asking the same question to our present generations, for we may have set up many Baals and “high places” in our lives and societies!

Isaiah asked how long the spiritual stupor of Israel would last:

“Then I said, ‘Sovereign Master, how long?’ And He answered, ‘Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, until the houses are without people and the land is utterly desolate; until YHWH has removed men far away, and the forgotten places are many in the midst of the land’.” (Isaiah 6:11-12)

Maybe the Master is asking us today, “How long will you sleep when you know that I am coming soon; and while there are many perishing souls all around you?”

YHWH the LORD also asked Moses, and Israel:

How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions?” (Exodus 16:28)

And can our Master say to us at this crucial time:

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) ?

And we say: “Who?  Me Lord?”

Y’shua said: “My Father ... not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

And the Master exhorts us today:

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service and spiritual act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is....” (Romans 12:1-2)

Paul said: “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that I might by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the Gospel ...” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23)

He who is wise wins souls.” (Proverbs 11:30)  AMEN!

 

 

MARCH  2010  - 

SOME VERY INTERESTING DATES TO WATCH !

                                                                                                               

THIS MONTH, WATCH for developments on several significant dates in Israel. 

March 15. The rebuilt Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem will be dedicated and officially opened. This is the third time this synagogue has been rebuilt. An interesting point is that a Rabbi, Vilba Gaon, in the 18th century prophesied that after the Hurva synagogue was rebuilt a third time, construction would begin on the third temple. 

March 16.  A recent report said the Jewish Rabbinate has already announced that the plans for rebuilding the Jewish Temple will be presented to the nation of Israel and the Jewish people, on March 16, 2010.

March 29-30. In my recent booklet, All Eyes on the Temple Mount, I reported that the Temple Institute had begun building the sacrificial altar for the Temple worship. A recent report says the altar is now finished, and it is likely to be used during the coming Passover.

Since January, the Korban Pesach, a committee of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, has invited Jews from all over the world to come to Jerusalem for Passover this year, (March 29-30), to reinstitute the literal sacrifice of the Pesach lamb exactly as specified in Exodus 12.

They plan to buy enough lambs so that every Jew who attends will be able to partake of the Korban Pesach (Passover offering), and they anticipate that at least one million Jews will attend.

KorbanPesach.org explains that the absence of a Temple does not prohibit Jews from offering Passover sacrifices; it gives a number of examples of Passover sacrifices that have been carried out after the destruction of the temple.

A new Sanhedrin Initiative is in the forefront of a drive to renew the Korban Pesach. It assumes responsibility for ensuring that the commandments are performed in conformity with Jewish religious law, and it will also coordinate the practical details with the appropriate Israeli governmental authorities.

These developments are all indicating that Israel’s allotted “70th week” - (the Time of Jacob’s trouble) is drawing very near indeed.

 

SOME MAJOR CURRENT EVENTS

 

“THE MIDDLE EAST  -  WAR IS IMMINENT”

This is the conclusion of the editors of a number of Arab dailies, and a lot of other informed observers.  The threats being traded from both sides are more than rhetoric, and they certainly portend the onslaught of a horrific war. What is expected is not a world war, but a multi-pronged conflict involving, Israel, Hamas, Hizb’ullah, Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

The chaos that follows could possibly be a lead up to the emergence of the Antichrist - the “Peace-Maker,” and to the 7-year treaty of Daniel 9:24-27.

“NEXT WAR WITH ISRAEL WILL BE RUINOUS”

Syrian PM Naji al-Otari has stirred the coals of conflict once again, warning Israel that any new Mideast war would be catastrophic for the region and beyond.”

Syria’s FM warned Israel earlier this month that any new war would reach Israeli cities, to which Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman responded that the Syrian army would be defeated and its regime would collapse in any future conflict. - The Jerusalem Post / Feb 20/10

Statements from Arab Daily Newspapers:

“The war would change the face of the region, and the fate of Israel’s occupation would be like that of the Nazi regime after World War II. If Israel Attacks Iran, Syria is likely to fire tens of thousands of missiles at Israel, some with chemical and biological Warheads.”

Ahmadinejad’s assessment is that a war will break out in the Spring or Summer. If Israel attacks, he says, the resistance and the countries of the region will crush it.

Others also suggest Spring or early Summer is the more suitable time as tanks can bog down in rainy seasons.

“IRAN NOW A NUCLEAR STATE”

President Ahmadinejad’s declaration that his country is now a ‘nuclear nation,’ and that it can enrich uranium to above 80%, exposes the real aim of Iran’s nuclear program  – that is, to produce nuclear warheads.

IRAN RAMPS UP NUCLEAR PROGRAM, THREATENS ISRAEL!

On the same day that Iran announced it would begin enriching its uranium stockpile, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei declared that not even the might of the West can save Israel now.

Iranian media cited Khamenei as telling the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement that Israel’s destruction is imminent according to the will of Allah, and that the support of America and certain European nations could do nothing to thwart the Jewish state’s downfall.  - Israel Today News / Feb 8/10

The latest IAEA report proves Iran is capable of making a nuclear weapon. With their enrichment program going from 20 to 90 percent; the process would take just six months.

RUSSIA TO DELIVER  S300 TO IRAN     

In mid-Feb, Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow, where he asked the Russians to cancel a contract with Iran to deliver  and  install  the S-300 system.

Israeli newspapers quoted sources in Netanyahu’s entourage stating Russia agreed to cancel the sale. But in spite of this assurance, Russia still plans to deliver its S-300 advanced air-defense missiles to Iran, according to a senior Egyptian security official.

The S-300 PMU1 is a mobile system designed to shoot down aircraft and cruise missiles. Analysts say the S-300 system would make any Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities more difficult. 

“FINISH OFF ISRAEL IF IT REPEATS MISTAKES”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said any attack by Israel on countries in the region would lead those nations to “eradicate” Israel.

In a telephone conversation with the Hizb’ullah secretary general, the Iranian President said: “If these criminals make the mistake again, the regional countries will need to finish them off once and for all,” he said. 

He went on to say that “the Iranian nation will stand side by side with the nations of the region and Lebanon in this regard.

SYRIA SENDS HIZB’ULLAH MISSILES TO DESTROY ISRAELI CITIES

The secret transfer of the mobile surface-to-surface Syrian-made Fateh-110 (range 250km) missile to Hizb’ullah has raised the alert to “very dangerous.”  

Israel has warned Syria against allowing Hizb’ullah to use this lethal weapon, which is capable of reaching almost every Israel city. The Fateh-110 is more lethal, accurate and dangerous than the SA-2 and SA-3.

Israel is now confronted with a Hizb’ullah armed with a solid-fuel propellant, road-mobile, single-stage, short-range ballistic system weighing three tons with a half-ton warhead and a range of 250 kilometers.

Messages carried by the Spanish FM to Syria said, if Hizb’ullah ventured to fire the Fateh-110, Israel was determined to hit back at strategic and military targets inside Syria.

“ISRAEL’S AIRPORT WILL BE BOMBED”

Hizb’ullah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, threatens to bomb Israel’s airport if Israel attacks Lebanon’s airport.

INTENSE MILITARY BUILDUP

In the meantime, the combatants are all building up and expanding their military capacity.

ISRAEL has developed a fleet of Heron TP unmanned aerial vehicles. These pilotless drones can fly for at least 20 consecutive hours and are used mainly for surveillance and carrying diverse payload, and they put Iran within range. They can fly high, reaching more than 36,000 feet.

Israel has also developed the “Iron Dome” anti-missile defence system to counteract short range missiles like the Kassam rockets that are being fired from Gaza. And it is rapidly installing the system in strategic areas. But there are fears that a barrage of rockets from three different sides all at once, may prove more than the Iron Dome can handle.

Reports are coming out of the Arab Media that two Israeli “Missile Boats” passed through the Suez Canal, on February 6th, en route to the Red Sea. Speculation is that the ultimate destination is, in fact, the Persian Gulf. - www.rightsidenews.com      

Hizb’ullah has restocked and refortified its military with weapons smuggled in through Syria from Iran. Syria has built up its reserves with weapons from Iran as well. Hamas in Gaza has not lost any time during this past year’s cease fire, smuggling bigger and more sophisticated weapons, and now has rockets that can travel 60 kilometers and put Tel Aviv in striking distance from the south.

IRAN has conducted successful tests on an advanced air defense system and a new unmanned “advanced” attack drone, and is constantly developing new long-rang delivery systems, satellite communication systems. It also recently commissioned its first locally built naval destroyer.

THE US is placing “defence shields” (anti-missile systems) in the Persian Gulf - in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE.  It also wants to place such a shield in Turkey, but Ankara has rejected a US appeal to deploy a NATO missile shield that would block an Iranian attack on Europe. PM Recep Erdogan has ruled out the prospect that Turkey would host missile defense systems to intercept an Iranian attack.

Erdogan’s rejection was supported by the Turkish military. Sources said Erdogan and the military’s General Staff agreed that the deployment of a NATO missile defense shield would anger Iran, a leading energy supplier to Turkey.

“Both Russia and Iran will perceive this as a threat,” a Turkish military source said. 

RUSSIA SEES NO PROBLEM IN ARMING IRAN

The Russian government sees no problem selling weapons, including advanced anti-aircraft systems, to Iran, saying that arms sales are fine so long as there is no UN weapons embargo on the Islamic Republic.   - CNS News Feb 8/10

Everybody seems to be arming someone with weapons these days! Well, armaments is the world’s greatest business. And besides, what does the Scripture say?

“Proclaim this among the nations: ‘Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up to attack! Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears. Let the weak say, ‘I am strong!’  Let the nations be aroused and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.” (Joel 3:9-10, 12)

                                                                                                              

THE VALLEY OF DECISION

Here is another verse from Joel 3. 

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of YHWH is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:14)

This is a very serious call to all true believers, for the Valley is not just the Valley of Y’hoshafat in Jerusalem. The Valley of Decision is right there in your town; and in every town!

Multitudes around you are perishing. The majority of them seem to be making the wrong decision; and it’s no wonder! They have been conditioned by the current secular worldview. Our society - especially our younger generations - are being bombarded by TV, Internet, Movies and Digital “Games,” and brainwashed by secular humanism and every type of new age, or old age, speculative philosophy and anti-God invective.

As Fred Jarvis said, there’s “Millions of blind, blighted, bound, Bible-less souls who live in sin-darkened lands, not knowing why they were born, why they live or how they are to die. We cannot but plead the cause of these millions! If our Gospel is true we must tell it!

And our beloved Master said: “If you love Me, keep My commandments!” (John 14:15)

Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation – every living person.” (Mark 16:15). “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations …” (Matthew 28:19). “Be My witnesses… to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

“Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to what he has done.” (Revelation 22:12)

                       

                QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

 

THE HEBREW SPRING FESTIVALS

Q: What are the Biblical Spring Festivals, and what relevance do they have for the church?

A: The Festivals of the LORD should be of interest for Christian believers as all the seven Festivals are fulfilled in and by Y’shua the Messiah, and thus they hold a very real spiritual relevance to all believers.  The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers:

Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast.”  (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)

The church already celebrates in various ways or degrees; Passover – Redemption at Calvary; the Firstfruits - the Resurrection; and Shavuot – Pentecost.

It is not mandatory for the church to celebrate the festivals as Jews do, for we are living in a new dispensation. But there are edifying lessons to be learnt from a study of The Festivals of the Lord, like the lessons learned from the Tabernacle, for they are all types of Christ and His work.

To the Jews, Passover looked back to Egypt, but also looked forward to the Redemption to come through the slain Lamb of God. To the believer today, Passover looks back to Calvary, and it is celebrated through the regular Breaking of Bread and drinking of the Cup, and for many, on Good Friday; and for others on 14th Nisan.

The feasts we read of in Leviticus 23 and Exodus 12.

There’s 3 in Spring Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits  (or the Waving of the Sheaf).

1 in Summer -  Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)

3 in Autumn Trumpets,  Day of Atonement,  Sukkot (Booths or Tabernacles)

But our question is about … The Spring Festivals.

All three occur within 8 days, in the first month of the Biblical calendar - Nisan.

Pesach (Passover), on 14 Nisan, celebrates the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Passover is fulfilled in Christ’s sacrifice for us. Messiah was the Pascal Lamb who died to deliver us from Egypt (the world), and to redeem us from the condemnation of our sin.

The Unleavened Bread is a week of sanctification when there is a cleansing of the house, and a removing of all leaven (sin).  It is held from 15 to 21 of Nisan. The Messiah is our unleavened Bread – the Bread of Life – and in fellowship with Him, we are cleansed and sanctified and have newness of Life. (1 John 1:9). And at times we need a thorough spiritual spring cleaning. (Psalm 139:23-24)

The Waving of the Sheafthe Firstfruits - occurs on the day after the Sabbath following Passover. That means it always occurs on a Sunday.  Firstfruits was a harvest festival where the first of the barley harvest was presented to the LORD on that appointed day. The fulfilment of Firstfruits was in the Resurrection of Y’shua. As Paul says: 

“But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, and He became the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep - (believers who have died)…. The Messiah is the firstfruits.” (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

And the living Messiah is the guarantor of the resurrection to glory of all His people.

This year, (2010) the Biblical dates of these three spring festivals correspond to the following dates on our English calendar:

PassoverMarch  29/30  - Monday sunset to Tuesday  sunset.  

Unleavened BreadMarch 30 to April 5  -  Tuesday sunset to Monday sunset 5.   

Firstfruits  - April 4  - Sunday.  (Saturday sunset to Sunday sunset).

The dates for Good Friday and Resurrection Day on the common calendar were set arbitrarily by the early Roman church which did not seek to follow the Biblical calendar exactly, but set approximate dates on the Gregorian calendar. Only occasionally the “Christian” dates coincide with the Biblical dates.

This year the Resurrection Day and Firstfruits are on the same day -  Sunday April 4.

THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST -

ON THE 3RD  DAY or AFTER THE 3RD DAY?

Q: In the Gospels it is written that JESUS rose on the 3rd day,’ but it is also written, after 3 days He would rise.’  Why this discrepancy? 

A: Two verses indicate the Resurrection took place ON the third day (not after).

Matt 16:21 -  “on the third day”; 1 Cor 15:4 - “raised on the third day.” 

But Mark says AFTER three days:

Mark 8:31 … “after three days.” Mark 9:31 ...  “three days later.”

These statements of Mark can be taken in the sense of, “at the very end of the three days,” or, “after the three days the resurrected Saviour would be seen alive.”

“3 DAYS & 3 NIGHTS” & THE DAY OF THE RESURRECTION

Q: There is confusion as to which day the Saviour was crucified?  Can you clarify?

A: The Master’s prophetic statement in Matthew 12:40, says:

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

Some teachers believe the three days/nights here means 72 hours; others, including Ryrie Study Bible, believe “three days and three nights” does not necessarily require a full 72 hours, as the Jews reckoned a part of a day or night, as a whole day or a whole night.

To fit 72 hours into the crucifixion to resurrection equation, is, I believe, impossible. To make it fit, some have maintained the crucifixion was on Wednesday. But 72 hours from the death of Y’shua at 3pm on Wed would bring us up to 3pm on Saturday. And clearly, the resurrection did not take place on Sat afternoon.

Matt 28:1-11 indicates two Marys came to the tomb near dawn on the 1st day of the week (Sunday). Then a severe earthquake struck, the stone rolled away, and an angel sat on the stone. The guards shook with fear and were like dead men. The angels said to the women, ‘Don’t fear. He has risen.’ They then ran to report this to the disciples. Y’shua met them on the way.  And the guards went and reported the events to the chief priests. This indicates that the resurrection was just before dawn on Sunday morning.

Now for argument’s sake: if we insisted on 72 hours, and if the Lord rose around 5am on Sunday, then the 72 hours would have started around 5am on Thursday. But clearly that was not the time our Lord died. He gave up His spirit at the 9th hour (3pm) – Matt 27:46-50.

Some have suggested the 72 hours began with the burial of Y’shua - about 6pm on Wednesday and was completed at 6pm Saturday night - which would be the beginning of the 1st day of the week.

But the account in Matt 28:1-11 indicates a Sunday morning resurrection - not one on Saturday evening.  So it seems 3 day and 3 nights are not saying 72 hours.

If Matthew 12:40 simply said, “three days” we might say, “that’s part of Friday, Saturday, and part of Sunday – three days.” But the Lord indicates three days and three nights.

A Friday crucifixion, 3pm to Sunday 5 am would be only two days and two nights.

A Thursday crucifixion however, would allow for three days and three nights - Thurs -day  Thurs - night  Fri - day Fri - night, Sat - day  Sat - night.

(And Saturday night was the beginning of the 1st day.)

ONE OTHER CONSIDERATION – PALM SUNDAY

On the Biblical calendar, Passover took place on 14th Nisan.  But on the tenth of Nisan, according to the Mosaic Law, the lambs to be slaughtered at Passover were chosen. They were kept for four days during which they were examined to prove that they were unblemished.

In fulfilling the Passover, the Master was first “chosen” - on Palm Sunday - and then for four days, He was publicly examined - and no fault was found in Him, as Pilate proclaimed. (John 19:4)

I am not able to prove that the Messiah’s ride into Jerusalem on the donkey was on Sunday. But if, in that year, the 10th Nisan was indeed a Sunday, then the Passover on 14th Nisan must have been Thursday.

(Of course, the Passover - crucifixion day, was not on the same day every year, but it was always on the 14th of Nisan, regardless of what day it was.) 

A good commentary on this subject can be found at:

http://www.tedmontgomery.com/bblovrvw/C_4a.html

                                                                                                   

DANIEL’S 70TH WEEK AND PALM SUNDAY

As a matter of great interest, Sir Robert Anderson, a great Biblical scholar, more than a century ago, wrote a remarkable book entitled The Coming Prince. He was a brilliant detective, and the head of Scotland Yard at the end of the 19th century. He was also a humble believer in Jesus Christ. He knew the Bible and he knew Bible prophecy.

After his retirement Anderson worked on Daniel 9, and he was able to show that Daniel’s 69 “weeks” were fulfilled on the very day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was acclaimed King of Israel. April 6, 32 AD – 10 Nisan - Palm Sunday.

 

 

WHAT DOES

THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST

MEAN TO US?

 

                                                                                                             

1. It means our Representative is alive. He is indeed our living Saviour.

            Alive, alive, alive for evermore.

            My Jesus is alive, alive for evermore.

            Alive, alive, alive, for evermore.  Y’shua is alive.

 

2. It means the Messiah’s word is absolutely true and dependable.

“Y’shua answered them; ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again’.” (John 2:19)

“He was teaching His disciples and telling them, ‘The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and on three days after being killed, He will rise again’.” (Mark 9:31)

 

3. It means we have truly good news to proclaim.

“The words that I preached as Good News to you … for what I received I passed on to you as of first importance, that the Messiah died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day.” (1 Corinthians 15:2-4)

 

4.  Because Y’shua is the Resurrection and the Life, all who believe in Him will live eternally.

“Y’shua said to her, ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me, even though he dies, he will live; and whoever is living and believing in Me will never die’.” (John 11:25-26)

 

5. It means that believers have a living hope – a guaranteed inheritance.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Master, Y’shua Messiah, who, by His great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Y’shua the Messiah from the dead, to be born again into a living hope, into an inheritance which can never perish, or be corrupted, or fade away, that is kept safe in heaven for you, and for all who, through faith, are being protected by the power of God until the coming of the deliverance that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

 

6. Christ is the Firstfruits of the Resurrection. He is the Guarantor of resurrection life for all His people.

 “But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came into the world through a man, the resurrection of the dead has come also through a Man. For just as all through union with Adam die, so all who are in union with the Messiah will be made alive; but each one in his own order. The Messiah is the firstfruits; then those who belong to the Messiah, at the time of His coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

 

7. The Messiah is able to live out His life in His people.

“I have been crucified with the Messiah; and I no longer live, but it is the Messiah who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

“The mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been revealed to His set-apart people, to whom God has chosen to make known among the nations, the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Messiah in you, the hope (assurance) of glory.” (Colossians 1:26-27)

The true Christian life is not trying to do our best to follow Christ; it is Christ living His life in us!  Amen!

 

8.  It means that we have access to the Throne of God

“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Y'shua - by a new and living way which He consecrated and opened for us - a way through the curtain, that is, through His flesh - His torn body, and since we have such a great high priest ministering over the household of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled with His blood and cleansed from a guilty conscience, even as our bodies have been washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)

 

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