by Asher Intrater
Last week the US Congress and Senate passed a compromise plan to deal with their debt and credit crisis. This weekend, despite the US plan, the international credit standing for the US was dropped one category from AAA to AA+.
Many nations use what they call "deficit spending." Deficit spending is an illusion. It is buying and spending when one doesn't have the money to cover the expense. Every family should know that this is not possible. Debt is to finances what sickness is to the body.
Deuteronomy 28:12-13 - … to bless the work of your hands and you will lend to many nations and you will not borrow.
This verse to ancient Israel is relevant to all nations today. It is together a promise, a commandment and a warning. As a nation, you shall not borrow. I wondered if someone should start a new political party in the US, the GOOD party. Get Out Of Debt. Someone has to take responsibility. I would have thought the first step would be to cut the salaries of all Congressmen, Senators, Cabinet members, etc. You can't have authority without responsibility.
Should there be a major economic crash, there would be many international ramifications, including a rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Hitler ran for elections with the Nazi party in 1923. He lost. He ran again in 1933 and was elected. One of the differences was the US stock market crash of 1929. What happens in the US will affect the world economically, politically, and spiritually.
The early "prosperity" teachers in the US during the 1970's always taught that God could not bless if there was debt. It seems later that the temptation of prosperity overrode the biblical warning against debt. This sin became widespread throughout the body of Christ, in the US, and in the whole world. Greed, lust, indulgence, and comfort-seeking have blinded believers as well as unbelievers.
I write this on Sunday, some 24 hours before the opening of international stock markets and banks on Monday. Let us cry out in prayer urgently for repentance, for responsibility, for wisdom, for grace, and for truth (reality).
Adopting the International Church
God changed Abram's name to Abraham, meaning "the father of many nations" – Genesis 17:4. God was referring not only to Abraham's physical sons, but his spiritual ones. Who are Abraham's spiritual sons and daughters? True believing Christians around the world (Romans 4, 11, Ephesians 2-3, Galatians 4).
With Abraham's name change, came a change of identity as well. That change of identity included a change in his attitude toward the Gentiles. He saw the future believers in all nations as his spiritual children. They were to be his extended spiritual family. Bringing non-physical children into one's family is called "adoption."
True born-again Christians are adopted through Yeshua (Jesus) as children of God. They are not orphans. Yet Christians were also "adopted" by faith by Abraham two thousand years beforehand. Abraham adopted them on the human side in God's fore-knowledge and pre-destination. True Christians are adopted both into God's family and into Abraham's (which ultimately should be the same).
Abraham went through his change of attitude toward Gentiles at the moment of circumcision. That was part of his heart circumcision (Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6, Jeremiah 4:4). Unfortunately, circumcision has become for many Messianic Jews a symbol of rejecting Christians instead of adopting them. Abraham's name change reinforced his original calling that "all the families of the earth will be blessed through you" – Genesis 12:3.
The Messianic remnant in Israel is going through a parallel change of identity and attitude toward the Church. We are to "adopt" the nations. This is a circumcision of heart. The Church is no longer separated from us, but has become part of Abraham's extended spiritual family. I feel the Holy Spirit urging me to "adopt" the Church. To adopt means to have a positive attitude, a desire to bless. It means to share ownership and identity. It means to take care of, support, and provide.
God started with one "faith" family, the family of Abraham. That family grew into tribes and then a nation. At the time of Yeshua, this faith family took a quantum leap into an international community. There was no concept for this idea, nor even a word for it. The Greek New Covenant coins a word "Ecclesia."
[This word was used in the Septuagint for the Hebrew word "kahal," as in the Book of Ecclesiastes, yet it is far beyond that meaning. Ecclesia is the group of "called out" ones from all the nations. The creation of this international Ecclesia is a central aspect of the Pauline revelation.]
The Ecclesia is a fulfillment of the prophecies and promises to father Abraham, a product of his faith. There is a covenantal relationship between Israel and the Church. The Church is the spiritual extension of ancient Israel, not a replacement of it. If the Church is an expansion of Israel and not a replacement, then we Messianic Jews should see the Church as an expansion of our spiritual family.
Housing Demonstrations in Israel
By Mati Shoshani
For the first time in many years, Israel has been washed by a wave of demonstrations by the middle class. The protestors are requesting that the government act to solve the housing crisis in the country, which has made the purchase of an apartment an unachievable dream to the working middle class. Hundreds are camping out in tent cities in the center of major cities.
On Saturday, August 6th, an estimated 300,000 demonstrators gathered in Tel Aviv requesting change. We've seen several large scale social protests in past months in response to the rise in the cost of living.
It seems the source of frustration fueling these events is the disillusionment of the middle class who has come to a realization that their dream of owning a home, a car, and living a comfortable life is steadily becoming less realistic.
There is also a political aspect to these demonstrations, and the coverage they’ve received in Israel media. Many of the protestors and journalists are taking advantage of the legitimate civil uprise to further a leftist and anti-governmental agenda.
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