December 12, 2012
Yom Tov, Fellow Pilgrim,
(Heb., “Good Day”)
It could be that the subject of this photo adorning my home page is familiar to you. If not, please allow me to fill you in on the essence of what you are viewing by way of a cursory overview.
This site in Old Jerusalem (Israel) is known in phonetic Hebrew as “HaKotel,” or “The Kotel,” more commonly known in English as “The Western Wall.” The wall is positioned westerly of the Temple Mount (the golden dome over the previous location of the Ark of the Covenant, which can be seen in the upper-left of the photo) and is an actual remnant of the Second Temple, the construction of which began approximately 19 B.C., under the direction of King Herod the Great.
Hundreds of millions of prayers have been prayed at this site, for over 2,000 years. The subsequent spiritual dynamics intrinsic to this wall are very difficult to define. Having personally prayed at this wall on many occasions (to include just under two weeks ago, at the time of this writing), I deem these experiences to have been of the most precious of my lifetime, for it was at this wall upon a previous visit to Jerusalem that I experienced a spiritual heart-cleansing that would alter the course of my life. In fact, I would go so far as to assert that without exception, everyone who prays at the Western Wall is changed with each visit, to one degree or another, whether knowingly or unknowingly. As I say this, I would grant that the endless encounters at this wall could very well be due solely to the heightened expectation and anticipation of those praying, for God very often responds to the same–with His presence—where ever that happens to be. At the same time, one must also wonder what an infrared x-ray heat-score within an inanimate object looks like–after millions upon millions of prayers have been prayed over such.
Old Jerusalem and the remains of Solomon’s Temple can, theologically speaking, be deemed “the holiest place on earth.” One could readily counter this statement by arguing that theologically as well, wherever God happens to dwell is “the holiest place on earth,” for God dwells throughout the universe—He is omnipresent. I would have to agree with the latter, even going so far as to say that one could actually experience God’s presence in Cleveland—of all places. Nonetheless, the Western Wall yet remains host to the most permeating presence of God that I have personally experienced in the 32 years that I have sought to draw nearer to Him (to also include the many seasons in which I have run from Him).
It is worth noting that my experiences at the Wall during 3 separate journeys to Israel were preceded by a 21-day fast. Such laid the intrinsic groundwork for my profound experiences therein. When one fasts, their spiritual antennae (if you will) move to the fully extracted position, enabling them to more clearly see, sense and hear the ebb and flow of the Holy Spirit. If is for this reason that my journeys to Israel, and especially my prayer-time at the Western Wall on many occasions, have been embedded in my memory for a lifetime.
With my personal experience in view, I may sporadically allude to the Western Wall and Old Jerusalem in subsequent posts, and will as well devote a span of a book I’ve just finished drafting and will soon publish, to my experiences herein. With the above in view, I will hereafter take liberty to speak very candidly about the impetus for the creation of this simple web site.
“Teshuvah” (תשובה) is a Hebrew word, which means literally, “to turn,” as well as to “return,” and connotes a posture-of, or a call-to, repentance.
“Tzion” (ציון) is an ancient Hebrew transliteration of the word, “Zion,” as found for example within the transliteration of Psalm 137:1. Tzion means, in its rudimentary form, “the pure of heart.” It also connotes the location of the ancient City of David, as well referred to as “Mt. Zion,” or simply, “Zion.”
With the above cursory word-study in view, the words “teshuvah” and “tzion” (my web site address, and that irrespective of any perceived violation of proper syntax as the words are lumped together) is rendered:
“Return—to a place of purity of heart.”
It is therefore teshuvah—the call to turn, to repent, and to then return to a place of purity of heart, which will remain central to my offerings on this site.
My mission and message could not be authenticated without the underlying reality of my personal repentance—ongoing. And it is my personal repentance which took on a new form, measure, intensity and velocity on November 4th of 2008 (presidential Election Day). For it was on November 4th of 2008 that I retreated into a period of deep introspection, with the intent that I would submit myself once again to God’s thorough housecleaning of my heart—every figurative room, corridor, chamber and closet. I thereafter discovered that God’s personal dealings with me in this regard would be pointedly prophetic of His call to the nation, the U.S., and namely the Church in the U.S., to do the same.
I often share my beliefs with 4 primary levels of honesty: 1) politically correct and socially acceptable honesty; 2) mildly disconcerting honesty; 3) rather uncomfortable honesty; and 4) brutal honesty—which can be shocking.
With the above levels of honesty in view, I will share that I have been forced to be brutally honest with myself, with others, and with the Western Church at large, in the wake of the unmistakable sign of God’s hand of markedly intensified judgment upon the U.S. as of 11/04/2008.
With the goal of ongoing personal repentance, as well as that of influencing and spawning national repentance, and that over many years at this stage; I have discovered that chief among issues of national repentance is that of the failure of our country, since 11/04/2008, to bless the nation of Israel, and to rather curse the nation of Israel. As we, as a nation, continue to ignore this one critical key, we will ensure the complete destruction of the foundation of this once-great-nation. Please understand that as I iterate the call to “bless” Israel, I am not by any means challenging the reader to condone Israel’s present sins, which are many. Much to the contrary, I refer to that of blessing God’s sovereign End-Times workings therein–as He beckons to the Jewish Nation to accept the free gift of salvation in and through His Son–Yeshua–Jesus.
Barring my inclination to expand at length upon the exegetical and expository facets of Genesis 12:3; I will simply quote the verse, and with equal simplicity seek to impart spiritual sobriety in conversational terms, regarding the essence of this one verse, which reads:
“I will bless those who bless you [Israel], and I will curse those who curse you [Israel].”
In but cursory terms, the promise herein is first to the Jew, initially in the form of the blessing of the inheritance of Eretz Yisrael—the ancient prophetic promise—the “Land of Israel” — an inheritance in the form of witnessing the End-Times re-gathering or gathering-in of the Jewish Nation at large — a gathering as prelude to a collective bowing of the knee to the Lordship of Yeshua—Jesus. And secondly, a blessing to the Gentile, a spiritual blessing, in the form of the spiritual understanding and revelation of God’s habitation in their midst—the blessing of the fullness His presence and anointing upon the work of their hands as they so seek to serve Him while also honoring the “Apple of His Eye”—the Jewish people. This is the very real blessing of having been “grafted into the commonwealth of Israel” and the “covenants of promise” (see Ephesians 2:12).
What is, precisely, “the commonwealth of Israel”? It can first be defined as literal geographic Israel. It can secondly be defined as the extended Body of Christ—Christians who have been joined-at-the-hip with their figurative “older brother”—the Jewish people at large, who, according to Romans 11:25-28, though presently “partially hardened (blinded),” will eventually meet the Deliverer, Who has covenanted to take away their sins, and Who calls them His “beloved, for the sake of their fathers” (v.28).
Once again, let the reader please understand that “blessing Israel” does not by any means call for ignorance of the sin of the Jewish people at large or the geographic nation of Israel presently. For those with finely honed discernment can readily see the grave sin lurking within the shadows of the nation, on many fronts. Much rather, the blessing of Israel, the Jewish people, and the geographical nation, as a Christian, means firstly praying for the peace of Jerusalem: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you” (Psalm 122:6).
“Blessing Israel” secondly, means sharing the love of God—the love of Yeshua—Jesus, by demonstrating the love of God to the nation. In saying this, I again allude to Romans 11:25-28, which reads in part: “…a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written…this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”
Western theology has long espoused this notion that at one stage in the End-Times God will figuratively wave a wand and the eyes of “the blinded Jews” will instantly be opened to recognize the Lordship of Jesus the Messiah. Consider this; what if the “fullness of the Gentiles” not only refers to the completion of world evangelism, but connotes this “fullness” to denote a level of Christian maturity so potent that all who come in contact with such (including Jews) are convicted by the power of God as they see the “fullness” of Jesus the Messiah at work in their hearts? May I say that it is my deep conviction that the eyes of the Jewish people will be opened as the result of their collective encounters with the profound love of God working through Christians who have allowed God’s love to so move through them—into the hearts of the “Apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8) that their hearts melt like wax in His presence.
My conviction herein is rooted in many personal experiences on Israeli soil, and over a period of several years. For it is when the love of God and the presence of Yeshua—Jesus resides in one’s heart so deeply that this love oozes and overflows at every turn, that those who witness such are spiritually arrested and seek to draw near to what it is they are witnessing. For within Israeli culture, what a person does, as demonstrated by a Christian, speaks far more profoundly than what a person speaks, as a Christian. This could certainly be applied universally, but especially so in Israel.
When one demonstrates the reality of Jesus, spiritual blindness begins to dissipate, and those being healed of such blindness begin to draw near and thereafter ask for an explanation as to what they are witnessing. At this stage the Believer, the Messenger, has earned the right to add words to their deeds—which then equates to raw power—power which heals spiritual blindness: “…my [Apostle Paul] message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
The call to salvation is most certainly going out to the ends of the earth via the Great Commission, and to every tribe and tongue, for God is willing that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9). My focus upon the Jew is that in countering the shocking level of hatred toward the same, even among Christians, a hatred which is beginning to look like the re-emergence of Nazi Germany at this juncture. At its core is Satan himself, and His hatred of God’s ancient (i.e., long-standing) love affair with the Jewish Nation. Herein lay the most direct answer to the 70 year old question as to how and why the Nazi Holocaust came to be. It was Satan, unleashing the fullness of his hatred toward the Jew, through one man initially, who was wholly yielded to the same.
For the sake of brevity (and the waning attention span of the average American); “blessing Israel” means understanding and acting upon the reality, the spiritual reality, that God’s heart for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel is one which acts with vengeance upon those who seek to destroy the same. This said, it is startling to discover and understand the ongoing and irrefutable correlation between major “natural” catastrophes which have afflicted the United States, and the secret deeds of our government done in the shadows to forsake Israel. The evidence is irrefutable, in the form of an astonishing timeline of curses upon Israel and the subsequent curses upon us, as a nation.
As the subsequent events of November 8th of 2012 have woefully unfolded, the United States has once again defiantly turned their collective backs upon Israel—further evoking the “curse” promised in Genesis 12:3. It is hereafter that the remaining fragments of the soul of this once-great nation are at high-risk of being excised and cast to the wayside, making way for the further establishment of a tyrannical government at war with God Himself. This grave condition is in large part the result of the collective resolve of our nation to curse Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, the Jewish Nation, and the Apple of God’s Eye (Zechariah 2:8).
A vital element has been missing from much of the Western contemporary Christian experience, and which has been purposefully obscured by much of the Western, Americanized Church. And no, it is not “Zionism” as it is commonly understood. And no, it is not the corresponding and erroneous beliefs in Dispensationalism and a “Pre-Tribulation Rapture.” Nor is it the undue focus upon a rebuilding of a Third Temple in Israel. By the way, I happen to believe that the answer to the question of the Rapture is “hidden-in-plain-sight,” in the form of John 16:33, and the words of Jesus: “…in the world you will have tribulation…” There are many excerpts of Scripture which readily affirm my conviction (the entirety of Matthew Chapter 24 and 25, for example). Sparing the reader the exegetical departure however, I will simply assert that very often the answer to the most complex question is that which can be found in very simple terms; terms simple enough for a child to understand them (see Matthew 18:3).
Herein find the prophetic cup of coffee that a large cross-section of the Church in America has woefully ignored. For the fruited plain of this nation is adorned with thousands of “mega-churches,” multi-million dollar ministries which manufacture hype and hoopla on a weekly basis, spoon-feeding the masses “Christianity Lite,” and which when empty, lay barren and devoid of the fullness of God’s habitation—in part because of their unveiled disdain (curses) toward the Nation of Israel, among other corporate sins. Their failure to acknowledge and further discover the ancient jewels represented within the treasure chest of the foundation of their very faith—their Israeli-Hebraic roots—prevents them from stepping into the fullness which God has in store for them as a ministry or congregational body. No, I am not alluding to, espousing and selling the “Hebrew Roots Movement” nor the “Messianic Movement.” I rather underscore the reality, as stated earlier, that the Christian is figuratively joined-at-the-hip with the Jewish people, and the geographical nation of Israel, having been grafted-into the commonwealth of such: “…He [Jesus] made both groups into one…that He might make the two into one new man…” (Ephesians 2:14-16). Equally, “…you, being a wild olive, were grafted in…and became partaker of them with the rich root of the olive tree…” (Romans 11:17). And, not unlike Siamese Twins, wherein one meets the Lord and the other wars against Him; I see pressing need for the redeemed twin to offer the free gift to the other–with such love and conviction and fiery authority that it is simply irresistible.
There is therefore the ethnic Jew, the practicing Jew (whether ethnic or not), and the spiritual Jew–the Christian–who is often wholly unaware that they are joined-to-the-hip with the ethnic Jew (i.e., “one new man”). Laterally, consider this from the Apostle Paul: “…he is not a Jew who is one outwardly…but he is a Jew who is one inwardly…” (Romans 2:28-29).
The welfare and destiny of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel is intrinsic to the life of the Christian. To ignore such, or worse, to become angry and hate-filled whenever the words “Jew” or “Israel” are mentioned, is not unlike pursing a healthy body through a diet rich in fruit and vegetables—while laterally chain smoking and drinking a bottle of whiskey a day–and while expecting to remain in perfect health. Hello?
It should be noted at this point, that I am not advocating that Christians deny their faith and rather embrace Judaism. Hardly, what I am advocating is that of the discovery of the riches within the history and culture of our “older brother” — the Jewish Nation, Israel. The Apostle Paul himself stated, “…no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come, but the substance is to Christ” (Col. 2:16-17). Yet hidden within this “shadow” is historical substance and tradition, much of which represents tremendous prophetic significance, and which enriches our understanding of the panoramic view throughout the ages of God’s dealings with the “apple of His eye,” as well as the implications of such for us.
The Western Church readily acknowledges and affirms the Believer who “feels called” as a missionary to Africa, or Chile, or China, or Russia. However when a Believer voices “feeling called” to Israel, to the Jewish people at large, suddenly Christian onlookers are filled with rage, and even hatred. Ask yourself why this is (?). It is one thing to debunk and expose the erroneous theological tenets commercial Zionism; it is one thing altogether different to then go on to scorn, ridicule and condemn the Nation of Israel and every Christian who holds a deep love for the Israel and the Jewish people at large.
An often overlooked verse within the “Tanach” (Heb., Tanakh), the Old Testament, and which is known within practicing Jewish circles in a division of the Tanach known as “The Prophets;” we find nestled deep within the Book of Jeremiah, a verse from chapter 50, and verse 5, which reads:
“They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.”
Interesting to note, is that the name “Jeremiah” in Hebrew literally means, “YVWH throws.” And as I deem Jeremiah 50:5 to represent a “prophetic pearl” for this hour, realize that a pearl has been “thrown” your way—a pearl which I encourage you to closely examine for its authenticity as you continue reading.
I deem Jeremiah 50:5 a “prophetic pearl” for this reason: The historical context of this verse places it within the framework of the ancient destruction of Babylon. Following such, and emerging from the dust, rubble and debris, is a picture of a sea of shell-shocked survivors crying:
“Please show us the way to Zion!”
Recall that Zion means quite literally, “the pure of heart.”
In addition to the two instances in history in which literal Babylon (Iraq) has fallen in great measure (past tense), messianic scholars yet look to another instance of literal Babylon falling in the future. Personally, I hold a very different view of the “Mystery Babylon” alluded to in Revelation 17 and 18. I contend that there is both a literal Babylon, and a figurative (“Mystery”) Babylon. Please bear with me as we alight upon this theme for just a moment, that I might in turn “point the way to Zion” – a place of purity of heart.
With historical context in view, I take license at this stage to offer you in addition, an expository application, a prophetic application, which I believe speaks rather profoundly of much of our planet at this stage in history, and certainly very pointedly of the country in which I currently reside—the United States (potentially rather known as the United Socialist States). For through our repeated defiance of God; the protracted and marinated state of our lukewarm-ness as a Church nationally; and the collective decision as a majority to repeatedly turn our backs upon Israel; we are quickly marching into the very destruction depicted in chapter 50 of Jeremiah, and doing so as figurative “Babylon.”
I have for maybe 20 years or more felt that the United States is the very “Mystery Babylon” and “harlot” spoken of throughout the Book of Revelation; wherein but “one hour” she is reduced to fiery ashes.
The economic underpinnings of this nation are collapsing, not unlike a series of dominoes. The economy (as I type, in 2012) has never actually recovered from the crash of early 2009. Mainstream news media (the Establishment Media, to be more direct) for example suggests the unemployment rate is “5.6%”, when in fact it is all of 23%–and climbing. As the economic underpinnings continue to topple, so the superficial underpinnings of much of formalized religion will topple, as most of such represents nothing more than a business, perpetuated by cunning marketing practices, and that wholly bereft of God’s favor and endorsement (i.e., His presence). Many of these religious structures and organizations are personal ministry empires—woefully removed from God’s purposes. As these structures topple under the pressure of financial strain, so millions of disillusioned Christians will emerge from beneath the dust, rubble and debris, also crying:
“Please show us the way to Zion!”—the place of purity of heart—the place nestled within the epicenter of God’s ways and means—His perfect will—discerned only through a posture of contrition, brokenness and humility before Him.
What the masses will be crying-out for, is that to know and experience the full, authentic habitation of God in their midst, and to dwell within the Church “not made with hands.” It is at this stage, as this nation and people are brought to our knees in desperation to know God’s full habitation, that Zion, “the pure of heart,” will emerge in the form of thirsty spiritual pilgrims—repenting en masse, that God have mercy upon the calculated Marxist destruction of the nation, and corresponding mercy upon the end-product of hirelings and harlotry within the Western Church. It is at this point in history; a point in history that I see unfolding upon the horizon; that I will continue my resolve to point the way to Zion (a place of purity of heart before the Lord), and to challenge each and every soul that is capable, to make a personal pilgrimage to their figurative Western Wall–a meeting place between them and God alone–to carry out a profound measure of teshuvah—a turning away from impurity, and a turning-to a place of purity of heart.
Barring a physical journey or pilgrimage to the Western Wall; what and where, may I ask, is your Western Wall? Where is that wall of circumstances that will force you to stop, and to turn—to embody teshuvah—a turning away from that which defiles—and a return-to a place of purity of heart? Where is that holy place which makes way for such transformation? This setting below, is a good start:
Many lovers of Scripture who reside in the U.S. have remained puzzled as to why the United States appears to have no significant place of mention within the framework of eschatology (the End Times or Last Days, as found in Scripture). Though I realize this comes as a sting to one’s national pride, I must be honest in saying that the reason the U.S. appears to have no significant place of mention or role in the latter stages of the End Times, is because it is presently, as I type in fact, subtly sliding-into a state of global irrelevancy, as the result of God’s judgment herein, which in turn is the result of a nation which, as a majority, has repeatedly turned its back upon the Jewish Nation–instead of speaking redemption to the same–in and through declaring the Lordship of Jesus therein. The ancient-to-modern history of the Jewish people is a life-lesson to the Christian. For God’s profound dealings with the Jewish people, your figurative “older brother” who has gone before you, is critical as you continue to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
I have by necessity limited much of what I have shared to but cursory glimpses of much deeper discussions which I’ll take greater liberty to speak to in subsequent writings. And, as I close this introduction and welcome to my website, I will allude to what I often refer to as the “spiritual kaleidoscope” of revelation available to us—which first begins at the Cross of Yeshua—Jesus, and ends with the complete surrender of the remainder of our days—to His perfect will for our lives.
As we fully yield ourselves to God’s ways and means, and we daily practice the posture of “waiting at His gates and the posts of His doors” (Proverbs 8:34) by stilling ourselves before Him and contending for His voice, we are given the gift of elements of revelation which, when formed together with many other elements, produce a panoramic view of God’s handiwork throughout the globe. In this context, it was the Apostle Paul who, within the “B’rit Chadasha” (Hebrew for New Testament), stated that “we all see in part…know in part…prophesy in part…and look into a mirror dimly…[or]…as through a glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:9-12). As such I will concede that my message to you herein is one within a spiritual kaleidoscope of messages that must be heeded in this hour. This to say that I do not expect the reader to don my personal spiritual lenses, as again, we all “see in part.” I simply ask you to meditate upon the “part” that I see, and see where it fits within the kaleidoscope—the kaleidoscope which begins at the Cross.
Do consider asking God that He Himself would affirm to you personally, the truths within what I have shared with you.
I look forward to dialogue with many of you as time unfolds.