Reader Question: Do you believe Israel is facing the same challenges today just like in the times of the Old Testament?

Reader question: OK. I have never asked a question on this page before, but I feel inclined to ask something. It is obviously about Israel and ministry which is why I am using this page. I have been reading the books of 1 and 2 Chronicles lately. I guess my question to you is this. Do you believe Israel is facing the same challenges today just like in the times of the Old Testament?

Absolutely, while history does not repeat itself — it often rhymes! We know that in the Old Testament, the Bible talks about Antiochus Epiphanes Daniel. The Greecian King desecrated the Temple, erected an altar with a pig, and called for the destruction of all the Torah Scrolls.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),”

The Lord was referring to what took place under Antiochus … so this is a definitive scripture talking about how the prophetic future will “rhyme” with its ancient past!  :)

God bless,

George

Letters to the Editor: Why is the Electoral College so important?

If an election is done by a popular vote, then those trying to steal an election would only need to stuff ballot boxes in a few States they control.  So theoretically, ballot stuffing that takes place in places such as Texas, New York, or California could decide who becomes the President of the United States.

Also, the electoral college is relevant because, without it, cities would be dictating the politics of the entire nation.  This is a typical US electoral map by county by county to see who won the 2016 election.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the same election results however it is displayed in 3-D.

As you can see, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami as well as other major cities would determine the “nations” politics.  This is what the Framers of the Constitution feared and created a “republic” allowing a voice for all.

Letters to the Editor: God says for us to be perfect

Dear George:

These are your words and God does expect us to walk perfect or He would not had said them.
Your words…… (God isn’t expecting perfection from us — His Son has provided that.)
I have counted 94 scriptures with the word perfect in it but Rev. 3-2 got me below when he was talking to the angel of the Sardis church and there were a few who have not defiled their garments and would walk in white and found worthy. And Jesus was talking to supposed Christians.
Here are 2 scriptures from God to tell us tobe perfect….but there at 92 others in the Blue Book..,
1. Matt. 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

2. 1 Kings 8:61 Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.

My response:

The idea of perfect is probably better translated — blameless.  This is a snippet from the “Midrash Key” which probably can better explain the idea of blameless at the time of Jesus.

Aiming for God’s Standard (Deut. 18:13; Matt. 5:48) Jesus addresses another topic, that of “perfection” or “blamelessness.” In Matthew 5:48, Yeshua practically paraphrases Deuteronomy 18:13; note both passages: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) “You must be blameless before the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 18:13). The similarities when reading Deuteronomy 18:13 in the Septuagint are even more evident: “You shall be perfect before the Lord Your God.” Yeshua probably spoke and taught in Mishnaic Hebrew.
About two centuries before Jesus, a team of Jewish scholars translated the Hebrew Testament into Greek. This translation is called “The Septuagint” and is abbreviated “LXX” because 70 scholars purportedly did the translating. We often fail to remember that Yeshua’s words were translated by the Gospel authors from Mishnaic Hebrew into Greek. This is why a comparison of Jesus’ words in Matthew with the LXX of Deuteronomy is particularly relevant; both are translated from Hebrew into Greek. The original word used in Deuteronomy is probably also the same word spoken by Yeshua, best translated into English as “blameless” rather than “perfect.”
The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, is derived from the root word shalem, which means “wholeness and completion.” It is bound up with the word shlemut, perfection – the goal towards which we can only aspire.
So to be “perfect” is to be at complete peace with God and others, at least as much as possible.160 We are at peace with God when we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ and when we subsequently walk closely with him. Yeshua knows we are sinners and can never be blameless in the practical, absolute sense. Does he make this seemingly unrealistic demand merely to convict us of sin and remind us of our depravity before God? Although we cannot prove his intent, perhaps part of his intent was to reinforce the idea that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But, on the other hand, people can and do earn the title “blameless” in the Biblical sense, and I think Yeshua’s primary intent leads us in that direction. Individuals labeled “blameless” in Scripture are still obviously sinners.  Thus blameless is not the equivalent of “sinless.” In some ways, the Biblical concept of blamelessness is exactly opposite of traditional Wesleyan “holiness” views.
The Role Model Approach
Yeshua takes the command to be blameless and attaches it directly to the character of God. God Himself is the standard of blamelessness his disciples should emulate. Rather than a mere code of 613 mitzvot, the very character of God is the rubric. With the incarnation, Jesus demonstrated how Yahweh would live if confined to mortal limitations. Yeshua had no sin nature but was human like the pre-fallen Adam, and could be tempted.
Thus his character becomes worthy of imitation; we do not imitate Jesus’ life, for we have neither his authority nor unique mission. We have no authority to turn over tables, nor are we to roam the countryside with bands of disciples. Yet we are called upon to imitate his godly way of living, his truly perfect and blameless walk.
Thus Jesus’ character helps us to understand how to “be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect.” If Yeshua is indeed restating and amplifying the mitzvah from Deuteronomy (to pursue blamelessness), we must remember that the sinner saved by grace can only be perfect in the sense of legal (forensic) righteousness. God chooses to view us as sinless because we are engulfed in the righteousness of the Savior. At conversion, we legally exchange our sinfulness for the righteousness of Jesus.
Yet if the Messiah is talking about the earthy walk (as I believe he is), Yeshua is not saying that we can be as perfect as the Father; he is, instead, setting a goal for us to strive toward.
Helpless Before God in Sin
Those who are labeled as “blameless” in Scripture are usually blameless in their attention toward obeying the Torah and honoring God in their lives. The actual condition of our souls is another matter. Romans 3:23 explains the believer’s past: “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The believer’s present is described by I John 1:8 (NASB), “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” The believer’s future is perfect Christ-likeness: “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2). For we who are born sinners, complete holiness is a future condition, not an earthly one. We see this contrast between blamelessness marred by the reality of sin in the lives of devout believers, including Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Of Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, Luke pens, “They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6). Yet this same Zechariah refused to believe the angelic messenger! To believe that his wife Elizabeth and he would parent a child in their old age was not without precedent, so it was not that hard of a thing to believe (especially at the hand of angel!). The text further implies that the angel became angry at Zechariah’s unbelief and disciplined him by making him mute until John was born.
Thus “blameless” people still sin, even to this extent. Included in the idea “blamelessness” is the concept of amending sinful failures. Part of “blamelessness” is properly handling sin when we fail.
Amending Our Sins
Through saving faith in Jesus Christ, we have legal righteousness and peace with God -now. Yet in our relationships toward God and others, we are not always at peace; sometimes those tensions are caused by our sins. Thus we have the provision of confessing our sins to God and seeking reconciliation with those we have wronged.  Legally, the Christian may look like a new pristine blanket in God’s eyes. From the human perspective, the truly godly believer resembles a quilt repaired by many patches. It is amazing what God can do with our lives, considering the pull of our sinful natures!
Vasicek, Edward. The Midrash Key (pp. 97-102). Aleph Alpha. Kindle Edition.

 

Reader Question: Why did you post a story about stripping on Worthy News?

Shalom everyone,

Yesterday, there was an article in the UK Telegraph entitled, “Girls urged to strip to support Vladimir Putin as President” which I ran, however we had some people wonder why we would run such an article.  So I thought I would explain my reasoning behind it.

First of all, it was only a text article and absent of any kind of photography that would be a stumbling block for a believer. [Editor’s note: From the time we posted it, they’ve added a video and thus we removed it when this took place!]

I debated whether or not to run the story, but as I prayed about it, all I could think about was the Russian women stuck in brothels in Tel Aviv.  Most people are completely oblivious to the sex trade industry, and until there’s real respect toward women starting from the heads of government, nothing will ever change.   When heads of state endorse such behavior, it’s a reflection of the direction a country is heading.

This is a portion of a report about the exploitation of Russian women by the mafia in Israel.

The non-profit Israel Women’s Network estimates that 70% of prostituted women  in Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial center, come from the former Soviet republics, and that about 1,000 women are brought into Israel illegally each year. At any one time, as many as 100 women may be awaiting deportation in Neve Tirza women’s prison near Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport, a prison spokeswoman said. (Elisabeth Eaves, “Israel not the promised land for Russian sex slaves”, Reuters, 23 August 1998)

The Russian mafia has moved into Israel to profit from trafficking and prostitution. Police in Israel have been keeping around 30 organized key crime suspects under surveillance. (Kevin Connolly, “How Russia’s mafia is taking over Israel’s underworld,” BBC, 3 April 1998)

And this is the shocker for many, but prostitution in Israel is LEGAL, but organized prostitution in the form of brothels is prohibited.  –Wikipedia

So when I saw this article in the UK Telegraph about women encouraged to “strip” for Putin, I thought about a possible connection between Putin and the Russian mafia.  The women that would be ‘encouraged’ to do so, would probably be those already connected in some way to the sexual trade industry — which is run by the Russian mafia.  Then it’s plausible that this article is just touching the tip of the iceberg of the corruption within the Russian government.

And so this is why I decided to run the story.

Until next time…

What version of the Bible are you using?

Hello!~ And, may God find you all walking in the spirit and in the shield of protection from the evil one. My husband and I gave our lives to God nearly 40 years ago and we look forward to your devotions every day. My husband has asked me to write you and ask what version of the bible you are using so that he may obtain a copy of that version. We work a lot with young people who don’t have a dad and your version would be great to use with them, (and we love it too)!~

Praise God for you and your family in the Sinai Desert!~

Your Brother & Sister in Christ,
Ezra & Linda

Shalom Ezra and Linda,

I’m not using a standard translation — I’m translating each passage myself each day. I have a problem with many of the omissions in the newer translations, so to fulfill the request by many of the readers to a more modern translation while at the same time keeping the integrity of the Hebrew and the Greek — the only way I could do both without compromising was to translate the text myself. Actually as I’m translating the text — it’s almost like a 2nd devotion the Lord speaks to me through since there’s soo much lost in translation.

God bless,

George

Reader’s Question: I’ve noticed other than KJV lately?

I’ve noticed other than KJV lately – will you continue to do so. Blessings, aL

Personally, I’m a King James preferred reader and I’ve used the KJV as the scripture for Worthy Devotions for years, however, we’ve recently changed to accommodate the 10,000 or so daily Worthy Brief readers whose native language is not English.

I’m always amazed how the enemy will use this as an issue to divide the body.  The reality is that the only PERFECT Bible is in the orginal Hebrew and Greek.

Most people, don’t realize that when the United States was founded — it was founded by Pilgrims and Puritans many of which refused to use the King James Version.  The Bible they used was the Geneva Bible, because they had serious problems with the Church of England from which the King James Bible is derived.  Why? Because they were fleeing persecution from the Church of England!

So logically you’re next question would be — well if George isn’t using the King James version, which version is he using?  Well, honestly it depends on the verse!   In many of the newer translations, I have some serious concerns with portions of scripture that have been omitted that clearly should be in the translation. So I’ve done my best to choose which version that accurately portrays the Scripture as it was intended.

For example, the other day I had a dilemma and so I checked the Greek and made an alteration to the NKJV to better bring the concept of what Paul intended.

KJV version of 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 says this,

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Now the New King James Version of the same passage says this,

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Now the New King James Version was easier to read, however there’s a word that I disliked and so I altered it when I sent out the devotional.  The word was — arguments.  Not truly the best word here.   The Greek word here is log-is-mos from which we get the word — logic!  I actually couldn’t find in either the THAYER’s GREEK, or the STRONG’s concordance whereby this word was ever defined as “arguments.”  The best rendering for this word, would be thoughts or imaginations.  So what to do?  So I did my best to accurately convey the heart of the message when I sent out the devotional in a fashion that was a little easier to read.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

So I tried to remain faithful to the original meaning while at the same time making it just a little easier to read for our readers across the globe.

I hope this answer the question adequately, however I realize this is a highly controversial subject and the decision to accommodate readers across the globe wasn’t taken lightly and prayerfully considered.

Until next time…

Reader’s Question: Jesus spoke of destroying terror – what does that mean?

dear george,i was reading my bible this morning and jesus talked of DESTROYING TERROR,and i do not know what that means,and daniel talked of it too.oh well,please respond if you can,thanks and god bless…

It took me a little bit to figure out what you were referring to, but I did an online parallel Bible search on the word “terror” and I believe I found what you were referencing in Matthew 24:15.

Matthew 24:15 “Daniel the prophet spoke about ‘the destroying terror.’ You will see this standing in the holy place.” (You who read this should understand what it means.) — New Century Version

In this particular passage, Yeshua (Jesus) is referring to the events prior to His return as referenced in Matthew 24:3 —

Matthew 24:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

The verse you are referring to is a picture of an event that already took place, yet a double fulfillment is in store since Yeshua mentioned it specifically in Matthew 24.  So in order to understand this particular passage, you have to study a little bit of history.  This is a brief description of what happened roughly 2,150 years ago.

Over 150 years before Jesus’ birth, a group of Jewish warriors led by Judah Maccabee, defeated Anticochus IV. Though terribly outnumbered by their foes, the Maccabees triumphed over the Grecian Syrian Empire. This led to the establishment of Chanukah — the feast of dedication.

Judah entered into Jerusalem only to find the Temple desecrated by a sacrificed pig and an idol of Zeus. Upon seeing this, he immediately began to cleanse the Temple. — read more at Worthy Devotions

So the “abomination of desolation” was the worship of a pig in the midst of the Temple.  We know that Paul talks about the rising of the man of sin (anti-christ) and how he sits as God in the Temple of God, a picture of a coming “abomination of desolation”.  In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, it says:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,  who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

So ‘the destroying terror’ is a picture of the anti-christ rising to power in the future, becoming a type of the “abomination of desolation”, and the means by which he deceives the entire world.  Obviously, I could go into greater detail, but I’m limited in time today.  May the Lord richly bless you as you continue to study His Word!

Until next time…

by George Whitten, Watchmen in the Wilderness

Reader’s Question: Can you recommend a book on the Biblical Feasts?

Love your website have been reading it for a while now. I was looking for a book telling me all about the Jewishness of our faith, and especially all the feasts, and  the importance of each. Could you recommend one that would best have all this so I could purchase it. Thank U  for  your time and ministry.  Maranatha Donna

Yes, there’s quite a few books out there that discuss the Biblical Feasts and their prophetic significance.  These are two that I would recommend.

Fall Feasts of Israel by Mitch Glazer
The Fall Feasts of Israel by Mitch Glazer.  The following is a description of the book.

Understanding the purpose and traditions of the Jewish feasts will give you a deeper appreciation for your God, your heritage, and the gift of redemption provided by the sacrificial death of Christ.The Fall Feasts of Israel will help you understand three of Israel’s most significant festivals: Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. A complete examination of each feast includes a look at its biblical institution, its celebration in the time of Christ, and its observances by Jews today.’The feasts and laws of the Lord were a tutor to lead the Israelites to the Savior …. The festivals find their fulfillment in Christ and His New Covenant.’Understanding the purpose and traditions of the Jewish feasts will give you a deeper appreciation for your God, your heritage, and the gift of redemption provided by the sacrificial death of Christ. The Fall Feasts of Israel will help you understand three of Israel’s most significant festivals: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. A complete examination of each feast includes a look at its biblical institution, its celebration in the time of Christ, and its observance by Jews today. The Fall Feasts of Israel will give you insight into what God originally intended for the sacrificial offerings.

Feasts of the Lord by Howard and Rosenthal
Feasts of the Lord by Howard and Rosenthal.  The following is a brief description of the book.

Isreal’s feasts are infinitely more important than just a series of cultural observances. These feasts are appointed by the Lord, and they are owned by the Lord. He calls them “my feasts.” Together they form God’s prophetic calendar, outlining the work of history’s most important person…Jesus, the Messiah. As such, few themes are more timely or rewarding for God’s people today.

The Feasts of the Lord covers all aspects of the biblical feasts…historical background, biblical observance, and prophetic significance. Yet, this book is not just another reference book on the feasts. It is written from the Hebrew Christian viewpoint, helping you to see the feasts through Jewish eyes.

The words of the Savior, His messianic claims, and Bible prophecy will all take on a rich, new relevance for you against the exciting backdrop of The Feasts of the Lord.

If you have a question, feel free to ask!  Until next time…

by George Whitten, Watchmen in the Wilderness

Reader’s Question: Is the Church Ready for Hard Times?

George, Do you think that the Church is adequately prepared for hard times – or do you feel the Church has any need to be concerned about it? … If we should be concerned about it, what kind of preparations would you suggest?

First of all, let me say that I don’t believe anyone is truly prepared for the hardest times — however I believe those who are truly walking with the Lord will be given the power to overcome even the toughest times.

Personally, I believe there’s too much credence given to an escapism mentality that doesn’t perfectly align with Scripture.

For example it says in 1 Peter 4:17-18 (NKJV)  For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?  Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

If you truly want to be prepared for tough times, I believe the Lord answers this question Himself in Joel 2.

Joel 2:11 (NKJV) The Lord gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; Who can endure it?

Joel 2:12-13 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.

So the first step of any type of preparation is a “spiritual one”!

Until next time…

by George Whitten, Watchmen in the Wilderness