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God is never far from us

“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him – though he is not far from any one of us.” – Acts 17:27

Reaching God

God is closer than we think.

How do you know if someone truly loves you? By testing their love.

Anyone can say, “I love you” with their lips, but do they really mean it? Do they ever call you or try to communicate with you in some other way? Do they find ways to spend time with you, make you happy or demonstrate their love? If not, their love is just empty words – void and meaningless.

God wants us to genuinely love Him – revere, honor, trust and obey Him, with all our hearts. That’s why He purposely tests our love by hiding himself from us for a time, in order to see if of our own free will ,we will seek for Him. He wants us to hunger for His presence and search for Him through prayer, the study of His scriptures, by honoring Him in word and deed, and by worshipping Him through music and song.

After our Heavenly Father is convinced that we genuinely love Him, He reveals Himself to us, and says, “Here I am; you’ve found Me. Now I know you really do love me and want to enjoy my fellowship.”

When God tested Abraham, He asked him to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. At the last moment He told Abraham, “Stop. Do not harm the boy. Now I know that you really revere, honor, trust, and obey Me, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” – Genesis 22:12

In what area of your life is God testing you? Do you want to experience God’s greater presence today? Show Him that you really love Him. Don’t be content with shallow religion; seek for all that God has purposed for you. Go deeper in God than you’ve ever gone before.

– Luis Josephus

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to know and love You in a greater way each day. Show me new ways to demonstrate my devotion to You. Bless me with a fuller revelation of your presence today. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

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Our belief in one God.

Abraham, the father of our faith.

Abraham, the father of our faith.

“Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD.” – Deuteronomy 6:4

New Testament believers can gain a deeper understanding of our faith in God and Jesus our Messiah when we study the history of Abraham, the “Father of our faith” (Romans 4:11). Abraham was the man that God personally chose to begin a new nation of people who would willingly separate themselves from the worship of false gods and follow the one true (YHVH) God, Creator of the universe. Yahovah God wants a people that would devote themselves to Him alone, and teach others the same. He is to be the sole object of our love, obedience and worship.

“The LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” – Genesis 12:1-3

In God’s divine purpose to redeem fallen humanity, Abraham became the first person of his generation to know, teach and follow the one true God. As a result of Abraham’s faithfulness, God promised to bless him and his descendants – far above all other people of the earth, and greatly multiply his offspring to become as numerous as the sand in the sea and the stars in heaven. Through him all nations have been blessed that believe (Genesis 17:1-5).

Monotheism in the Old Covenant.

Abraham’s monotheistic* faith was unique in his day since most of the people around him were pluralistic in their religious beliefs. They worshipped multiple false gods such as Dagon, Baal, Molech, Chemosh, Ishtar, Horus, Isis, Gilgamesh, Marduk, Tammuz, and so on.

God taught Abraham to separate himself from all this religious confusion (babel) and superstition, and discontinue the idolatrous practice of bowing down to graven images made of wood and stone, gold and silver. He was also to teach others to worship the one true God in Spirit and truth.

The new monotheistic religion that Abraham founded later became known as “Judaism”, and the enlightened people he fathered became known as the “Nation of Israel.” Today, under the New Covenant, all believers in Jesus the Messiah are the true Israel of God, and spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham.

The Mezuzah, traditionally hung on most doorposts which contains the SHEMA prayer.

The Mezuzah, traditionally hung on most doorposts which contains the SHEMA prayer.

The Shema prayer

For thousands of years, the holy people of God have recited the SHEMA prayer as a reminder and affirmation of their belief in the one true God. The Shema prayer comes from Deuteronomy 6:4, “Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheynu Adonai Echad”, meaning, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD [Yahovah] our God, the LORD [Yahovah] is one.” Even today, the Shema is the central prayer in the Jewish prayerbook and is often the first prayer a child learns. Many Jews recite the Shema at least twice daily: once in the morning and once in the evening. The Shema is also written on a small scroll which is then rolled up and put inside a Mezuzah attached to the front doors of many homes.

Abraham preaches the one true God.

The Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, relates how God used Abraham to teach many in his day about the importance of monotheism and the worship of the one true God, Yahovah, also referred to as YHVH or Yahweh or Jehovah.

“When Abraham was 75 years old, he left the land of Chaldea, by the command of God, and went into another country called Canaan. He was the first to declare boldly that God, the Creator of the universe is ONE…Because of these opinions, the Chaldeans rose up against him, and so he migrated to Canaan with God’s help.’

It is interesting to note that his own countrymen in Ur of the Chaldeas, where Abraham was born, got so angry at him for preaching the truth about a “one true God” that they chased him out of their land. He probably escaped with his life. If it had not been for God’s protection, he might have been murdered by his own countrymen. These Chaldeans and Babylonians were pantheistic idol worshippers and resented being told they were wrong in their religious beliefs. Many likely refused to give up their worship of multiple gods and became furious with Abraham for pointing out their error.

Abraham then fled to the land of Canaan, and later Egypt, where he also preached the truth. Flavius Josephus doesn’t mention whether Abraham experienced the same type of religious persecution in these other nations, but it is very likely that he did. Although God always has a remnant of people in every nation that will receive the truth and worship Him alone, the majority it seems will turn a deaf ear. The apostle Paul described these type of people in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4…

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world system [Satan] has blinded the minds of them which choose to believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Messiah, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Have you been persecuted for your faith?

Has God called you to ‘come out from among them’ and separate yourself from those who are living in religious darkness? Are you being persecuted for refusing to participate in idol worship and pagan practices? Be encouraged by Abraham’s example of courage against the opposition that comes from those who believe not. Remember that all who will live godly in Messiah will suffer persecution.

Our Lord taught us, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:11-12

– Luis Josephus

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*Monotheism: From the Greek monos, meaning “single”, and theos meaning “god.” Are you worshipping the only one (YHVH) God, Creator of heaven and earth?


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Pleading with God

HEBREWS 11:1

HEBREWS 11:1

“…she said, ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment.” – Matthew 15:27-28

In the story about the Canaanite Women’s faith, Jesus taught us the importance of pleading with God for answers to prayer.

The woman was following Jesus and His disciples to seek healing for her demon possessed daughter. Apparently, her persistent cries must have gotten on the disciples nerves. They urged Jesus to “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us” (vs.23).

Finally, Jesus reacted and told the woman that He was only sent to the Jewish people, the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Since she was a Gentile Canaanite, it was not right to take the children’s bread (spiritual food) and give it to the dogs (non-Jewish people). Jesus’ words were not intended to be harsh or racist, He was simply testing the genuineness of her faith. Jesus loves people of every race and nationality, and He died to save all who will put their faith in Him as Savior and Lord.

The Canaanite Woman would not accept “No” for an answer.

Most people would have given up at this point, but she responded, Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters table.” When Jesus heard this He was pleased at her response and persistence. He felt compassion for her and declared to everyone present that this woman’s faith was strong and worthy of His attention. As a result, her daughter was healed from that very moment.

God is not legalistic, rigid or unbending.

He is merciful and open to reason and always doing what is good and right and true. Abraham was able to reason with God about the number of people to save in Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 18). In the story of the Canaanite Woman’s prayerful pleadings, Jesus bent His own rules in order to show her compassion and honor her faith. She received her miracle because she refused to give up pleading with God.

Are you believing the LORD for a special answer to prayer? Maybe it seems like God is not listening. Don’t give up. Keep praying. Keep believing. Be persistent until you see the answer. Keep pleading with God until the answer comes. Show Him by your great faith that, you too, are a child of Abraham and worthy of God’s favor and compassion.

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, I thank you for hearing my prayers and being my loving and compassionate Savior. I know that in Your own way and perfect timing you will answer my prayer. I’ll keep pleading with You and trusting You for the answer, no matter how long it takes. Amen.

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

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RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com


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Is war between Israel and Iran imminent?

According to the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit in Washington, DC this past weekend, war between Israel and Iran appears to be imminent. In one speech Benjamin Netanyahu declared:

“In the 20th century, the Jewish people have transformed from being defenseless and stateless into a strong and proud nation, fully capable of protecting itself. The Jewish state will never allow those who seek its destruction to hold means necessary to achieve such destruction. As the Prime Minister of the Israeli government, I will never have my people live in the shadow of annihilation.”

If we read between the lines, it appears that a preemptive strike by Israel against Iran to destroy their nuclear weapons is suggested by Netayahu’s statement, “…I will never have my people live in the shadow of annihilation.”

Previously, Iran has openly declared its intention to “destroy Israel off the map”, therefore, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that it will use its new nuclear weapons to do so. If that is the case, I don’t believe it would be wrong for Israel to protect itself before it is eventually attacked by Iran. Please pray that this war can be averted at all costs. But if it cannot, pray that Yahovah God, the Lord of hosts, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, will protect Israel and the Jewish people from all its enemies. They are still His chosen people and no weapon against them shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).

–         Pastor Luis Yosefus

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com

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This person Likes this.Comment from Sue Gordon: “Pastor Luis, I like your comments…”

Comment from Brenda Groendyk Schmid: “Did anyone else listen to Netanyahu’s speech last night? Sobering, indeed! Praying for peace in the Middle East and the safety and protection of the nation of Israel!”

Comment from Christians United for Israel: “We believe that when it comes to defending Israel and the Jewish people, Prime Minister Netanyahu cannot defer to anyone else’s judgements, red lines or timetables. The Prime Minister must resist pressure from any and all outside forces.”

Comment from AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr: “For twenty years, Israel has sounded the alarm about the dangers of Iran becoming a nuclear power in an attempt to avoid military confrontation by anyone. Israel has never treated force as the first resort. It has always been – and still is – the last resort. But Israel does not control the path Iran is on. If at some point, Israel – or anyone – must act – only Iran will be to blame.”


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Please Stand In Solidarity With Israel

Pray for the peace (shalom) of Jerusalem; May all who love this city prosper (Psalm 122:6). Write your congressman and protest the Obama Administration’s irrational proposal to have Israel return to its 1967 borders. www.RealJesus.net

PASTOR LUIS COMMENTED: ” As an American evangelical Christian I believe the Bible is inspired by God and I take it’s warnings seriously. I am a strong supporter of the State of Israel and I pray for the peace (shalom) of Jerusalem (Psalms 122:7). Therefore, I am concerned that if the Obama Administration continues to pressure the State of Israel to give up the land that rightly belongs to them, the anger of God will be aroused against America and the curse pronounced against those who curse (or harm) Israel will come upon us (Genesis 12:3). ”

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El Shaddai

El Shaddai in Hebrew means “the Almighty” and powerful Yahovah God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. He is the only One and True God, Creator and Lord of the universe. Worship Him today.

– Luis Yosefus

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net

Thanks to David Filcon’s translations of Hebrew terms: El Shaddai: God Almighty, El Elyon: The Most High God, na Adonai: O Lord, Erkahmka: we will love You.

El Shaddai

Written by Michael Card and John Thompson
Sung live byAmy Grant

 
El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
Erkamka na Adonai,
We will praise and lift You high,
El Shaddai.

Through the years You’ve made it clear,
That the time of Christ was near,
Though the people couldn’t see
What Messiah ought to be.
Though Your Word contained the plan,
They just could not understand
Your most awesome work was done
Through the frailty of Your Son.

View alternate music video with lyrics:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuXB1a3NBCw

View alternate music video in Spanish:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4BvkBPztkQ

www.MyChristianJourney.info


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Reverting back to the law of Moses brings a curse.

Reverting back to the law of Moses brings a curse.

Christians Are Not Under the Law of Moses - By Luis Yosefus

During the early days of the Christian church, the Galatian believers (both Jews and Gentiles) were in danger of falling from grace. Certain false teachers labeled as “Judaisers” had secretly infiltrated the church and were convincing the naïve new Christians that they needed to be circumcised and follow the Mosaic laws to be saved. When the apostle Paul heard about it, he was extremely alarmed. He pronounced a curse on these Judaisers and anyone who preached anything but the Gospel of Grace.

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” – Galatians 1:8

Although the apostle Paul was a believing Jew himself, he was appalled that other Jews had come into the Galatian church and were preaching “another gospel”, confusing the young believers, and causing many to revert back to the Mosaic system that had become obsolete after Jesus the Messiah came and instituted the New Covenant. Tragically, I see this same problem occurring in many Christian churches today – particularly in Hebraic and Messianic congregations who want to become so Jewish in their worship of God that they go completely overboard and become immersed in the Old Testament Mosaic system. As a result, they end up extremely “Hebraic” in their style and practice of Christianity and they “turn off” most Gentile and Jewish prospects alike. The Christian church should be a melding of people of all races – both Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus the Messiah. Whether you prefer to call Him Jesus, or Yeshua, the bottom line is, Jesus died to save people of all races, languages, and nationalities, and combine them into “one new man”, the universal Body of Christ.

Beware of falling from Grace.

Almost the entire Book of Galatians was written with the intent of exposing the false teachings of the Judaisers and prevent Christians from falling from the Gospel of Grace by reverting back to the Old Testament Mosaic system. The apostle Paul had strong words for the Judaisers and called them “accursed” of God. He also labeled those Galatian Christians who were following the false teachers “foolish”, and declared they had become “bewitched” by the Judaisers. He rebuked them, saying:

“Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth? Did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the law of Moses, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish that having begun your [Christian life] in the Spirit [by faith], are you now being made perfect by the flesh [the law of Moses]?” – Galatians 3:1-3.

He also asked that if salvation could be achieved by the keeping of the Old Testament Torah (Law), then what was the purpose of Jesus’ sacrificial death?

Did Jesus die in vain?

The apostle Paul went on to argue that we are NOT justified (cleared of our sin guilt) by keeping the Torah or the Mosaic ordinances, but by faith in Jesus Christ, the anointed Son of God — by the vicarious, atoning sacrifice He made on our behalf. He added:

“that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by keeping the Mosaic law; for by the works of the law no flesh (no one) shall be saved.”

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if salvation and righteous standing before God comes through the Mosaic law, then Jesus Christ died in vain.”

–         Galatians 2:16-21

Salvation by grace through faith – not Torah-keeping.

God’s free gift of salvation comes by way of faith, and faith alone in what Jesus did for us, not what we can do for ourselves through the keeping of the Old Testament laws.

Only by faith, do we receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. And only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we progressively become perfected. The moment we revert back to the keeping of the Mosaic laws for our justification, we are grieving the Holy Spirit, and place ourselves in danger of falling from our foundational position of salvation and justification by grace.

Was Abraham justified by faith? Or, by the keeping of the law?

I ask those of you who want to become so Jewish in your talk and practice of your Christian faith: Do you remember the example of Abraham – the father of the Jewish race? What do the Scriptures say about his justification before God? It calls Abraham “the father of faith”. “Abraham believed God,” and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Galatians 3:6). Therefore, salvation, justification, and righteousness – both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, have always been by faith. The prophet Habakkuk declared (while still under the Old Covenant), “For the just (justified) shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4). The apostle Paul also quoted this same verse in Galatians 3:11.

Come out from among them.

Beloved, I pray that you will heed the voice of the Holy Spirit and come out from among any church or group that is deceiving you –that is preaching “another gospel and another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4). The true Gospel of of Jesus Christ is a gospel of salvation and justification by grace through faith in Christ’s redemptive work for us on the cross. Do not listen to the modern-day Judaisers who claim they have a new or better revelation from God, or who teach that you must revert back to the Mosaic system – touch not, eat not, keep Torah, and so on. Salvation has always been by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and not of works, lest anyone should boast in their own righteousness, and nullify the work of Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-10).

For further study of this subject, we encourage you to order our free booklet, “Christian Are Not Under the Law of Moses” by Luis Josephus. Order additional copies to give to your friends and loved ones who are caught up in the deceptive teachings of Judaizers and legalistic churches.

With your donation of $10.00 or more to our ministry, we’ll send you the gift of this book.

Mail your checks to:

4JESUS OUTREACH
P O Box 842
Fort Pierce, FL 34954 USA

May the LORD richly bless you for supporting God’s work through 4JESUS OUTREACH!