Spiritual Instruction for Those Called to Restore Israel
The Learning & Turning Corner
Index of Articles
This section offers "solid food" (Heb. 5:14) for mature followers of Yeshua.
Our aim is to challenge you to go yet deeper into Him in union and service.
Reader responses are encouraged.
1. The Danger of Falling in the Spiritual Battle
In the attempt to recover lost territory from the enemy, there is a real danger of losing soldiers in battle. Satan is like a roaring lion, looking for people to devour. There are measures you can take to avoid becoming one of his victims.
2. Circumcising Our Hearts: A Call to the Lord's People to Repent
Before we can call Israel to repent and be circumcised in their hearts, we must examine ourselves to see whether we are worthy to bring that call by having done the same ourselves. Otherwise, we are nothing more than hypocrites.
3. The Calling of the Gentiles to Restore Israel
Israel's physical return and spiritual restoration have begun, but both are a long way off from completion. Isaiah tells us that the Gentile believers in Yeshua have a central role to play in this two-fold restoration of Israel.
4: Prophecies Which Must Still Be Fulfilled
Many prophecies speak of situations that G-d will bring about or allow at the end of the age, and we must be able to confirm and support them when they do take place. This applies especially to prophecies concerning Israel.
5: Two Parables of the Restoration
The Scriptures (the Law, the Prophets and also the New Covenant) teach us about the Jewish believers returning to the practice of the Law of Moses. Here are two spiritual pictures that show how this is connected with Israel's restoration.
6: Proclaiming the Kingdom in Judea: Restoring Jewish Evangelism
This is not a guide to improving your technique for sharing the gospel with Jewish people. It is a call to followers of Messiah everywhere, and especially to those involved in Jewish evangelism, to repent. Repent from what? Read on.
7: Knowing the Word of G-d: Not "What" But "Who"
The "inerrancy", "sufficiency" and "authority" of G-d's Word are not found in the Bible's pages. You can, and must, completely rely on the Living Word for all these things. If you do not, trusting in the Scriptures will actually hurt you.
8: "A Most Annoying Shofar" (a Messianic Parable)
During the High Holy Days (10/2011) and the month preceding them, RZ intercessors spent focused time in repentance and mourning for our sins.
For the record, we don't mean some anonymous multitude, where we could hide in the crowd and be one-percent shareholders in "our" group sins. We don't mean a Daniel thing, where we could grieve for sins that we knew others of "us" had committed, and offer ourselves as an innocent stand-in. No, this was a humiliating time of discovering dirty secrets about ourselves... our very own evasions, blind spots and self-serving impulses laid bare, with nowhere to hide and no one else to blame. We will spare you further details, other than to say that these were private appointments with the Lord. If you have ever met Him in this way, you will not want or need further details.
By the end of that time, we were flattened by the knowledge of where we were... in relation to where we had imagined we were. Instead of seeing ourselves in comparison with other believers, we saw ourselves in comparison to HIM: the Holy and Perfect One, who never fails in either Love or Truth, and who deserves so much more from us than He receives.
After being thus stripped of some illusions about ourselves, the Lord gave us a message to share with our brothers and sisters in Israel and around the world. The message took the form of a short story. Although it is creative, it is not fiction. We are sharing how it came about, in the hopes that it will be received in the same spirit in which it was written.
9: "How the Good Samaritan Turned Bad" (a Story about Abuse)
This is a new parable, set in New Testament times. The short story of 12 chapters takes you into the world of the first-century Samaritans and Jews, where honesty and deception, compassion and cruelty, courage and silence collide, as our hero tries to untangle the mystery of why he keeps finding beaten Jews left for dead on the Jericho Road.
As my Forword explains, the story was drawn from my own imagination five years ago. But it's not really fiction. The real-life saga which inspired this creative tale was so compelling, it was not hard to imagine what the Good Samaritan might have faced if he were trying to stop abuses in the Body of Messiah today.
For a year or two, this sequel to "the Good Samaritan" was on a blog. Survivors of Messianic/Christian abuse in other places and times wrote to say, "How did you know what I went through?" I expect the reintroduction of this Parable will bring similar responses, because since its writing in 2007, not much has changed in the way we Messianic believers deal with our spiritual-Family abuses.
10: Bread, Jewish Law, and the Sign of Jonah
This is a response to the thought-provoking piece by Israeli Messianic leader Howard Bass, “Leavened or Unleavened Bread?” (You can access the link in our article.) We are grateful to have seen it, because it pushed us to search the Scriptures and double-check things we thought we knew.
Howard presented the idea that Yeshua and His disciples ate leavened bread during Passover, and that a great spiritual truth can be gleaned from that. Did Yeshua teach that leavened bread is "kosher for Passover"? Was the bread in the Holy Place of the Temple leavened, or unleavened? Which kind of bread was used at the Last Supper - and does it really matter? Read our findings from Scripture and ancient Jewish customs.
11. Christ at the Checkpoint: the Failing Experiment (02/14)
As the great Christian-Messianic-Zionist reconciliation experiment at Bethlehem Bible College geared up for a third round (10-14/march/14), the questions raised by the previous Christ at the Checkpoint Conference returned with added urgency - particularly in light of respected Jewish Messianic Israelis once again appearing as speakers there.
This documented analysis of CatC 2012, from a Jewish Messianic Israeli perspective, was posted a week before the 2014 Conference began. It offers a long overdue assessment of the Conference's controversial messages, its mentoring theologians, and its impact on believers trying to build relationships by speaking there.
12. Christ at the Checkpoint: the Call for Alternatives (07/14)
This 3-part article took more than three months, making sure that the evidence was accurate and untampered by my own interpretations, double-checking and hoping I could soften the message somehow. Instead, I kept discovering more evidence (almost daily) that showed this series is a necessary and timely warning. I am aware of the disturbance I may cause in the Body of Messiah by sharing these findings. But I am more aware of the dangers I would allow by not sharing it. Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
13. That Clip Died for You: the Messianic Storm over a Jews for Jesus video (07/15)
I missed the fact that this short artistic/evangelistic piece, released by J4J in apr/2014, had become controversial in the Jewish Body of Messiah. It was only a year later that I stumbled on the protests that had erupted as the video went viral. A comprehensive reality check of the Messianic reactions revealed a disturbing condition that needs urgent attention from the Body. The report became an appeal to feuding Family members to re-examine our commitment to truth, our source of self-affirmation, and ultimately our identity as redeemed Israel born of the Spirit.
14. Book Review: IF? The End of a Messianic Lie (09/15)
This book was published by Uri Marcus, aka Uriel ben-Mordechai, at the end of 2011. Shortly afterwards, the author wrote to a Messianic dissenter: “Do you know why you won't read my book? It is because you are afraid that you won't have answers to refute the arguments there.” Although I give the Body of Messiah more credit than that, the odd fact is that this condemnation of the Messianic community (and particularly the Israeli Messianic community) has not been answered by a critical review in the 3-1/2 years it's been circulating. Eventually I was asked to take up Uriel’s challenge, by some who see me as uniquely equipped to do so. Readers can also access a linked file of Appendices which compare some the author's specific claims with credible sources.
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