December 12, 2012

Yom Tov, Fellow Pilgrim,

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 but 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. or B.C.E, under the direction of 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 my initial visit to Jerusalem that I experienced a spiritual heart-cleansing that would further 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.

Old Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple can, theologically speaking, be deemed the holiest place on earth. One could 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. With this admission I will share that I was once approached by a rabbi at the Western Wall, during my first pilgrimage of 2010, and asked: “Tell me dear pilgrim, is God in Satan’s heart?”

David: “I would have to think not.”

Rabbi: “But is not God everywhere?”

David: “I would have to concede that God is in fact, everywhere.”

Rabbi: “Then God resides in Satan’s heart, does He not?”

David: “I’m afraid you’ve got me there, contemplative one.”

The rabbi then rendered a deep guttural chuckle, slapped me on the back, placed his arm around me and said with a smile, “Welcome home, pilgrim.” And in truth, I had never felt more “at-home” in all my life.

Should you favor the posture of an exegete or an apologist, you may find yourself grinding your teeth at my admission of the rabbi’s good-humored conclusion. To placate the wrinkles in your forehead therefore; I yet do not believe God resides in Satan’s heart.  Perhaps someday I’ll have the blessed opportunity to share a vanilla latte at the nearest Cafe Hillel with the good rabbi, and implore him to concede that God cannot possibly reside in Satan’s heart at this stage.  Israeli rabbis are groomed in “yeshivas” (paces of study—the study of the Talmud and Torah) wherein among other things; they are encouraged to argue—for the purposes of sifting through the rubble of subjectivity—to ultimately arrive at objectivity—the object of HaShem (“The Name”)—God.

Notwithstanding the good-humored posture of the rabbi, 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 near to Him (to include the many seasons therein in which I have run from Him). With my personal experience in view, I will sporadically allude to the Western Wall in subsequent posts, and will as well devote a span of a book I am currently writing, 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 humble web site.

“Teshuvah” (תשובה) is a Hebrew word, which means literally, “to turn,” and 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 word-study in view, “Teshuvah Tzion,” the title of my web address, and that irrespective of any perceived violation of proper syntax, is rendered:

“Return—to a place of purity of heart.”

It is therefore teshuvah, the call to turn, to return, and to repent, toward a place of purity of heart, which will remain central to my offerings on this site.

My 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 6th of 2008. For it was on November 6th of 2008, that the gravity of God’s judgment upon the U.S. came to bear upon my heart in such a way that I felt my heart was being squeezed by the very hand of God (it was in January of 2007 that I was forewarned of this probability, and it was then that I began sounding the alarm, only to be met with scoffing and ridicule by the masses). It was thereafter 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 room, every corridor, every chamber, every 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.

It was during my new season of pointed repentance with fasting, that my wife Gigi began to revisit with me the events of some nine years previous; the events of 09-09-99—September 9th, 1999. For it was on 09-09-99, during a literal and figurative “mountaintop” experience in Moravian Falls North Carolina, and during an extended fast, that I experienced one of the more profound “epiphanies” of my life. It was on this date that I experienced what felt like a hot cattle iron branding my very heart, with an iron in the shape of the Megan David (“Shield of David”), or more commonly known as the Star of David. It was thereafter that I realized I had been “branded” with a profound love for Israel, for the Jewish Nation, and for the spiritual foundation represented in Judaism.

“System-Overload” is a term or phrase which inadequately describes what occurred to me during the “branding” to which I have alluded, above. My wife Gigi will readily attest to the reality that it took me nearly two weeks to regain my faculties after leaving the mountains of Moravian Falls. It was thereafter, some nine years later, on November 6th of 2008, and in the wake and the brutal sting of the reality of the nearness of God’s national judgment upon the United States, that I buckled-under personally, and caved-in to the weight of the truth that I had personally been living a lie in many ways, and for many years, to include the denial that God had in fact charged me with pointing the way to a largely shrouded path to personal and national repentance, for failing to bless our “older brother,” the Jewish people, the Nation of Israel.

I will refrain hereafter, from expanding to the point of replicating the work of my current book-in-process, by working toward a conclusion which will be but a small capsule of a much larger message, reflected in subsequent articles on this site. The “capsule” that I refer to is embodied in the following phrase which I have personally coined: “The Genesis 12:3 Key.”

Barring my preference to expand upon the exegetical and expositional facets of Genesis 12:3; I will simply quote the verse, and with equal simplicity conclude this introductory letter by stating the essence of the message herein. Genesis 12:3 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 Land of Israel. And secondly, to the Gentile, a spiritual blessing in the form of the spiritual understanding and revelation of God’s habitation—the blessing of His presence and anointing upon the work of their hands as they so seek to serve Him and honor the Apple of His Eye.

It was during my pointed season of fasting and repentance following November 6th of 2008, that I began to more visibly declare “The Genesis 12:3 Key” to an apostate nation (the U.S.), and an apostate Church (the mainstream Christian church in America).

Flash-Forward, and as the subsequent events of November 6th 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 will be excised and cast to the wayside, making way for the further establishment of a government at war with God Himself. This grave condition, dear reader, 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.

As you personally resolve to bless Israel; and that far beyond “lip service”; you will step-into the fullness of God’s habitation, favor and anointing upon the work of your hands as you seek to serve Him—with your whole heart. Until you do opt to bless the Apple of God’s Eye, there will be a mysterious element, a critical element, missing from your midst. 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,” multimillion 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—as the result of their failure to bless the Nation of Israel; 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—Judaism.

A lesser known verse within the “Tanach,” (Heb., Tanakh) the Old Testament, which I prefer to call the “First 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.

I deem Jeremiah 50:5 a prophetic pearl for this reason: The exegetical and 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 sea of shell-shocked survivors crying:

“Please show us the way to Zion!”

In addition to the two instances in history in which Babylon has fallen in great measure (past tense), we look to another instance yet to occur. I save the discussion of the future “fall” for a later date.

With historical context in view, I take license at this stage to offer you 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 U.S. For through our repeated defiance of God; the protracted and marinated state of our lukewarmness 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.”

The economic underpinnings of this nation are collapsing, not unlike a series of dominoes. As they continue to topple, so the superficial underpinnings of much of formalized religion will topple, much of which represents nothing more than a business perpetuated by cunning marketing practices and that wholly bereft of God’s favor and endorsement. Many of these 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!”

What the masses will be crying-out for, is 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. It is also then, that the deceptive veil of Replacement Theology will be lifted from the minds of the masses, and it is then that millions of Christians will discover that they have not replaced Israel, contrary to demonically-inspired doctrine. They will rather discover that they are in fact a spiritual extension of Israel, having been grafted into the “olive tree” of their “older brother.” With this revelation will come the discovery of the jewel within Genesis 12:3, and the subsequent passionate love of Israel, and the deep desire to bless the Nation of Israel. It is at this point in history; a point in history that I see unfolding very soon; that I will continue my resolve to point the way to Zion, and to challenge each and every soul that is capable, to make a personal pilgrimage to The Kotel, the Western Wall, to carry out a profound measure of teshuvah—a turning away from apostasy, and a turning-to the blessing of Israel.

Many lovers of scripture who reside in the U.S. have remained puzzled as to why the United State appears to have no significant place of mention within the framework of eschatology. And 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. has no significant role in 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 Israel, subsequently “cursing” the nation of Israel.

We should not despise God’s chastisement however, as the end-result will produce an emergence of a precious remnant who are fully yielded to God’s ways and means—a collective posture which will foster the deepest revelation of purpose, mission and vision thereafter.

In closing, dear reader, I wish to thank you for enduring to the end of this introductory letter. 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 musings. And as I close, I will allude to what I refer to as the “spiritual kaleidoscope” of revelation available to us.

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 Rabbi Saul who, within the “B’rit Chadasha” (Hebrew for New Testament), or which I prefer to call the “Second 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.” 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.

As mentioned previously, I have refrained from the temptation to offer greater depth into the discussion of the Abrahamic Covenant, Eschatology, Replacement Theology, the “One New Man,” etc, I have done so to rather keep our focus upon the meat-of-the-message herein—teshuvah.

I will say equally that I have paid a dear price, a price which you may find difficult to believe, to carry the gist of this message abroad. I therefore ask that you would prayerfully meditate upon what I have shared with you; 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.

Your servant,