The Clarion, Sept. 2020

Volume 1, Issue 5     www.judeochristianclarion.com               September, 2020


GREETINGS!

This month we begin the Fall Feasts. This is the name given to the Biblical Appointed Times which take place in the autumn, as opposed to the others which take place during the spring. Rosh Hashana begins at sundown on September 18 and lasts until sundown on the 19th. Ten days later, at sundown on September 28, the holiest day of the year begins: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. You can find more information about these holidays on our website.


RUNNING WITH HORSES, PART 5

We want to continue looking at our series, “Running with Horses.” Jeremiah asks God this question in Jeremiah 12:1-4, “You are always righteous, Lord, when I bring a case before You. Yet I would speak with You about Your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts. Yet You know me, Lord; You see me and test my thoughts about You. Drag them off like sheep to be butchered! Set them apart for the day of slaughter! How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished. Moreover, the people are saying, ‘He will not see what happens to us.’” In Jeremiah 12:5 God asks Jeremiah this: “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?” Over the last several months we have been looking at each of the seven seals as we look at God’s response to Jeremiah. Revelation 6:12-17 tells us, “I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” We have seen the intensity of these seals as they have been opened. The last line of this passage is what we want to zero in on, and it has to do with God’s response to Jeremiah: “For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” That question is for us today. Will we be able to stand? If we find ourselves having a difficult time dealing with what has been happening over the course of the last several months, what will we do when things only get worse? God wants us to be overcomers. It’s the overcomer that He will bless. I think we can find the answer in the last seal. Revelation 8:1-5 says, “When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” Yeshua told His disciples all they needed to know on how to overcome in chapter 24 of Matthew. Briefly, He told His apostles that many would come in His name, but they should not be deceived. He also told them that when they see the abomination that causes desolation (referring to the book of Daniel), if they were in Judea then they were to flee to the mountains. Well, this happened in the third Jewish revolt. One did come saying he was the Messiah, and people followed him. The abomination did come, and those who heard Yeshua’s warning knew that they must flee to the mountains. Everyone else followed the false messiah in the revolt against Rome and were all killed. We must know the Word of God, but we must also know His voice. He will lead us, for He is the Good Shepherd and He will show His sheep the way (John 10:27-28). Matthew 24:42 tells us, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Luke 12:35-37 says, “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.” Proverbs 12:7 says, “The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand.” So, how do we stand? We see that the angel has a censor full of prayers. We must be praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Messiah Yeshua for you.” This is God’s will, that we never stop praying. Ephesians 6:18 tells us that after putting on the full armor, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” We will go into all of this in more detail, and more, in part 6. But for now, remember this: “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be His God and he will be My son” (Revelation 2:17).


COUNTRY OF THE MONTH

Every month our ministry prays for a specific nation in which Christians are experiencing persecution. This month, we are praying for Uzbekistan. The secular government of Uzbekistan keeps a tight lid on religious groups, and those who do not register are considered illegal, subject to fines, confiscation of property, and imprisonment. There is also strong social pressure for those who would convert from the dominant religion, Islam.

• Pray that Christians in Uzbekistan will be encouraged and protected despite the harsh difficulties they face.
• Pray that ministries such as Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs will be successful in providing Bibles to believers.
• Pray that those who are sharing their faith will be protected and successful.
• Pray that Uzbekistanis (including the persecutors) will come to know the truth and receive salvation through Yeshua.


SANDIEGRAMS—”I Can’t Escape My Lord”

By Sandie Balistreri, Copyright 2010

Lord, if I climb the highest mountain,

I would find You there.

If I went to the bottom of the sea,

You would still be there.

In the brightness of the day,

You walk beside me.

I can feel Your presence in the stillness of the night.

In time of joy, You smile down upon me.

In time of sorrow, You comfort me.

Sweet Jesus, I see You always in the faces of people I meet

Along the path of my life.

I can never escape Your love.

Your love is vast like the universe.

Your love is gentle and soft like a beautiful flower.

Your love is sweet like pure honey.

Because of Your great love, I am able to love in return.

My love for You is like a circle: never ending.

My heart sings with joy, for I am tied to You forevermore.


EXCERPTS ON DISCIPLESHIP AND PRAYER

We want to look at a few excerpts from a book called Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor. He felt strongly that he had a religious responsibility to do all that he could to stop Adolf Hitler. Here we do not want to go into that part of his life which brought him to prison and a concentration camp (and eventually he was hanged along with others who believed like him), but we want to look at some excerpts from his teaching on discipleship. Bonhoeffer believed that there were two kinds of grace. One was cheap and the other was costly. “[In cheap grace] the world finds a cheap covering for its sins—no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God. Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything, they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. . . . Costly grace is the sanctuary of God; it has to be protected from the world, and not thrown to the dogs. It is therefore the living word, the Word of God, which He speaks as it pleases Him. Costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Jesus, it comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and the contrite heart. Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow Him; it is grace because Jesus says: ‘My yoke is easy and My burden is light.’ To deny oneself is to be aware only of Christ and no more of self, to see only Him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard for us. Once more, all that self-denial can say is, ‘He leads the way, keep close to Him.’” “‘….and take up His cross.’ Jesus has graciously prepared the way for this word by speaking self-denial. Only when we have become completely oblivious of self are we ready to bear the cross for His sake. If in the end we know only Him, if we have ceased to notice the pain of our cross, we are indeed looking only unto Him. If Jesus has not so graciously prepared us for this word, we should have found it unbearable. But preparing us for it He has enabled us to receive even a word as hard as this as a word of grace. It comes to us in the joy of discipleship and confirms us in it. To endure the cross is not tragedy: it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ. When it comes, it is not an accident, but a necessity. It is not the sort of suffering which is inseparable from this mortal life, but the suffering which is an essential part of the specifically Christian life. It is not suffering per se but suffering and rejection, and not rejection for any cause or conviction of our own, but rejection for the sake of Christ. If our Chrisitanity has ceased to be serious about discipleship, if we have watered down the gospel into emotional uplift which makes no costly demands and which fails to distinguish between natural and Christian existence, then we cannot help regarding the cross as an ordinary everyday calamity, as one of the trials and tribulations of life. We have then forgotten that the cross means rejection and shame as well as suffering.” “The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the calling to abandon the attachment of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with His death—we give over our lives to death.” Next we want to look at an excerpt from the book Destined for the Throne by Paul E. Billheimer. We want to say that God has partnered with His people in prayer. His people are His representatives here on earth. We have been commissioned to do God’s bidding. He has given us His authority. For it is God who has sent us out into the world. So why prayer? “By delegating His authority to her (the church) for administering His decisions and enforcing His will upon the earth, God placed the church in apprenticeship for eternal sovereignty with Christ. By practicing in her prayer closet the enforcement of heaven’s decisions in mundane affairs, the church is in ‘on the job’ training for co-sovereignty with Christ over His universal empire. She must learn the art of spiritual warfare, of overcoming evil forces in preparation for her assumption of the throne following the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. To enable her to learn the technique of overcoming, God devised the scheme of prayer. To give her ‘on the job’ training, God delegated to her the authority to enforce His will right here on earth. In order to enable her to acquire the character and the ‘know how’ she will need as co-sovereign, He has placed upon her the responsibility and authority to enforce God’s will and administer His decisions in the affair of earth.” This is what John Wesley said: “God will do nothing but in answer to prayer.” S.D. Gordon said that, “The greatest thing anyone can do for God and man is pray.” This is why he also said, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed.” This also explains his statement, “Prayer is striking the winning blow . . . service is gathering up results.” It likewise explains the statement of E.M. Bounds about prayer: “God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil. . . . The prayers of God’s saints are the capital stock of heaven by which God carries on His great work upon earth. God conditions the very life and prosperity of His cause on prayer.” So then, “the entire responsibility for prayerlessness or ineffective prayer falls entirely upon us.” Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” God is calling us, His people, as Ezekiel 22:30-31 tells us, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. So I will pour out My wrath on them and consume them with My fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.”


JEWISH RECIPE—JEWISH APPLE CAKE

A tasty dessert that can be enjoyed to celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana.

INGREDIENTS

5 cooking apples (Rome or Jonathan)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2-1/3 cups sugar (divided)

1 cup margarine

4 eggs

3 cups sifted flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup orange juice

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

2. In a mixer, combine margarine and 1-2/3 cups of sugar. Cream at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to batter. Add juice and extracts. Combine until batter is smooth.

4. Peel, core, quarter, and slice the apples. Combine apple slices, cinnamon, and 1/3 cup of sugar in a bowl. Mix well.

5. Place a small amount of batter in the bottom of a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Arrange a layer of apple slices over batter. Continue layering, ending with batter.

6. Bake for 1-1/2 hours or until cake is done. Cool on a wire rack.

INTERESTING FACTS

The Biblical feast day of Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) starts on the evening of September 18 this year. It is traditional to eat apples and honey on this day, as well as other sweet foods. It would be possible to simply enjoy this as a tasty treat, but to do so would ignore the deeper symbolic meaning. The reason for eating the apples and dipping them in honey is to evoke the idea of sweetness and connect it to the celebration of the new year. Just as eating this food is pleasant to the senses, so too it is the hope and prayer of those who celebrate this festival that the new year will be a sweet one. In a way keeping this tradition is a means of immediately obtaining this desire. The inaugural moments of the new year are spent in prayer and the enjoyment of sweet foods, effectively starting the year off on a high note.


QUOTE

The motive for repentance should not be fear of the pangs of hell, but ‘the sorrow for our own soul which has fallen from its highest state to the depths of sin, from God’s palace to the lower places of impurity.’— Paul Philip Levertoff


HEBREW LETTER

In each newsletter, we will teach you a new Hebrew letter and give you a little information about it. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. This month, you will learn the fourth letter. The name of this letter is dalet, pronounced “dah-let.” In Hebrew, each letter also has a numerical value. If you open up a Hebrew Bible, you will notice that the chapter numbers will be Hebrew letters. The numerical value of dalet is 4.

ד

Dalet makes a “d” sound, as in “dog.” An example of this letter in a word is below. This word consists of only two letters. The first (remember, in Hebrew you read right-to-left) is dalet. You’ll notice there is a dot inside of the dalet, but just like last month’s letter this dot does not affect the pronunciation. The second letter is gimel, which you learned last week. This word is pronounced “dahg”, and it means “fish.” It was a דָּג which swallowed Jonah in Jonah 1:17

דָּג

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