| Pope's Visit
©May 13, 2009 Asher Intrater
During his visit to Israel this week, the Pope made several positive statements about the Catholic Church and the Jewish people. Those statements included a commitment to reconciliation with the Jewish people, a stance against Holocaust denial, a condemnation of anti-Semitism, and walking out in protest after Islamic sheik Al Tamimi's diatribe against Israel.
Unfortunately the liberal secular Israel press teamed up with ultra Orthodox Jewish rabbis and criticized the Pope harshly for not saying more. Please pray for a backlash of reaction to that criticism from many mainstream Israelis in order to preserve what positive effects could come from the Pope's visit.
Aligned for the Second Coming
©May 13, 2009 Asher Intrater
There is much talk of correct "alignment" in the Body of Messiah around the world today. I agree. We need to be aligned spirit, soul and body. We need to be aligned with God's will.
We also need to be aligned with the Second Coming of Yeshua (Jesus). To be aligned is to be "ready". We need to be aligned and ready for the Second Coming BEFORE it happens.
For the body of Christ to be ready for the Second Coming, it must also be correctly aligned with the Messianic Jewish body in Israel.
Why? Yeshua is returning to Jerusalem. He is not returning just to a geographic location, but to a group of people living in that place. This is why He said: You will not see Me again until you say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" – Matthew 23:39.
Jerusalem is the city granted by God to King David and his descendants. Yeshua will rule from Jerusalem because He Himself is a descendant of David. The declaration of Yeshua that He would not come back until the people of Jerusalem receive Him is based on God's covenant with David.
God promised David that from his seed would come the Messiah, and that the Messiah would rule the world from Jerusalem. Matthew 23 is based on II Samuel 7. Yeshua has a covenant commitment to David and his seed that can not be broken.
Because of the nearness of the Second Coming, God is pulling the body of Christ toward correct alignment with the Messianic body. It is also God's will for the Messianic body to be rightly aligned with the international Church and with His strategies for world evangelism. For this reason some of us will be traveling to participate in the Call2All Hong Kong next month.
This week we had a fascinating time with some Arab Christian brothers who have been sharing the gospel in Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian territories. We pray for them and support them however we can. We can not do what they do, but we want to be in right alignment with them.
When Cardinal Ratsinger (Pope Benedictus XVI) met with Messianic leaders from the Toward Jerusalem Council II board, he said, "If you are who you say you are, we must be a lot closer to the Second Coming than I thought we were."
Covenant loyalty defines right alignment. Covenant gives the lines of alignment. As I have a covenant with Yeshua, I desire to have a covenantal type attitude toward everyone else who believes in Him. I have a covenant of marriage with only one woman, my wife Betty. That covenant defines my alignment with all other women.
We can not be in direct covenantal relationship with everyone. Like connects to like. We have a natural connection with those who are apostolic and prophetic, covenantal and charismatic, revivalist and restorationist. That may be a small part of the overall body of Christ, but that is the "stream" we are part of. It's not enough for Spirit-filled churches just to connect to Israeli politicians or rabbis.
The current leaders of El Shaddai congregation in Maryland (of which Betty and I were the first pastors in the 1980's) remind their members that they believe it is important for them to be connected to a "Yeshua-centered, Hebrew-speaking, apostolically-minded, Holy Spirit filled, Messianic Jewish remnant" in Israel. We have no legal authority in that congregation, but they understand that this alignment is part of the identity of who they are.
God will always be loyal to His covenants. That includes the Davidic and Levitic covenants. It is essential to the opening chapters of Matthew and Luke to understand that Joseph (the adopting father of Yeshua) was a descendant of David and that John the Baptist was a descendant of Aaron. From a covenantal viewpoint, Joseph was the rightful king of Israel, and John was the High Priest of his generation.
Before the Second Coming, there will be a remnant of Aaron's descendants in Jerusalem who will believe in Yeshua just as there were in the first century (Acts 6:7).
We have about a dozen members of our congregation in Jerusalem who are descendants of Aaron or Levy. Each week we ask them to raise their hands and bless the congregants with the Aaronic benediction of Numbers 6:24-26. As we met with the Arab evangelists this week, one of our team members, who is a descendant of Aaron prayed that blessing over them in Hebrew (and then sang over them in tongues).
True Christians around the world will operate as spiritual priests in prayer, praise and prophecy. Let us join together in the high priestly intercession of Yeshua according to John 17 for the body to be one, even as He and the Father are one.
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Please PRAY for our ongoing ministry in Israel of indigenous evangelism, planting Messianic congregations, the discipleship training center, prophetic praise and prayer watches in Hebrew, and financial aid for the needy.