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Add in the 30,000 Jewish believers who live in Israel, and the many others who live in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere, and there are now about one million Jewish followers of Jesus in the world today.
That's an astonishing number, especially when you realize that in 1967 there were fewer than 2,000 Jewish believers in the entire world.
I'm grateful to be one of them. Yet, I'm constantly asked -- especially by Jewish people -- how in the world this is possible.
“Dude, how can you be Jewish and believe in Jesus?
I love this question. I was first asked it in November of 2002. I had just released my first novel, The Last Jihad. I was doing a telephone interview on a hard rock radio station in Rochester, New York, the city closest to where I grew up in Upstate New York. And the radio host, a guy who called himself “Brother Weese,” asked me this very question.
I've been happily answering it ever since.
A nine-minute version of story of my spiritual journey — how I was raised by a Jewish father and Gentile mother, and how I came to believe that Jesus is, in fact, the Jewish Messiah, foretold by the ancient Hebrew prophets — was recently released online by a ministry called, “One For Israel.”
Part 4 — my father’s spiritual journey, and then how I came to faith
Part 5 — how I learned I was Jewish, and then my crisis of faith in high school
Part 6 — the conclusion of my story, and so what? Why should any of this matter to you?
My hope and prayer is that as you listen to the story, it will encourage you in your own faith, and that it will be something you can share with family and friends to help and encourage them, as well. Thanks, and on this Passover / Easter weekend, may the Lord deeply bless you as you open the Bible, read the Holy Scriptures, and seek a personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
“THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING
IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.
'EVERY RAVINE WILL BE FILLED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL WILL BE BROUGHT LOW; THE
CROOKED WILL BECOME STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH ROADS SMOOTH; AND ALL FLESH WILL
SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD.'" Luke 3:4-6, NASU
In 1973, the year of my
high school graduation, the movie Godspell hit the theatres. In my
senior year, attending Columbus High School (Catholic) in Waterloo, Iowa, I
went and saw it. Somewhat out of curiosity, but mostly because I liked some of the
songs I was hearing on the radio. Though I didn’t care for every scene or song,
I still think the Lord used it to reach ones who didn’t attend church or
synagogues. At least I hope it did.
So why write about a
secular movie production, or a play on Broadway, which it also was? Because
even in these types of artistic displays, our God is reaching out to get the
attention of those He has created. After all, He even used a talking donkey to
speak His word, because that was what was available.
And yet even today in 2019,
He is still using the words, “prepare ye the
way of the Lord”(listen to the
movie version below). I woke up one morning, and during preparation for the
Sunday morning congregation gathering, during which I would help lead worship
as a vocalist, the song came into my head. And it happened to be the start of
Passover week, and on the Gregorian calendar, Palm Sunday. This was the
historical day Jesus (Yeshua) rode into Jerusalem on a colt (donkey also), as the
people hailed His kingship. Only to later, in that same week, witness His crucifixion.
I also recall the song I
have sung many times as a worship leader, written by Forrest Richard Betts and recorded
by Robin Mark, the wonderful worship leader from Northern Ireland, on his Revival
in Belfast album (1999), entitled simply, “Revival.”
I remember it well, as I
loved to sing the lyrics beginning the song, without instrumentation:
“I hear the voice of
one calling, prepare ye the way of the Lord.
And make His paths straight in the wilderness
And let your light shine in the darkness
And let your rain fall in the desert.”
The song also had a
special impact on me, being within the year my Dad passed onto heaven, having suffered
through lymphoma cancer, and my Mom telling me some of the lyrics struck her,
particularly, “to the widow walking
through the veil of tears.”
And now Paul Wilbur,
on his latest CD release in March 2019, Roar From Zion, includes an old
favorite of almost everybody, Days of Elijah, which includes, once
again, the words, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord1” (and he also has the
worship team sing it in Hebrew.)
I say all that to say
If we haven’t already begun, now is the time to prepare ye the way of the Lord.
As the Lord was
speaking in the 1970s and the 1990s through these two songs, He is yet again
speaking, loud and clear for those who have ears to hear, that now is certainly
the time we as believers need to be preparing for His coming revival, that
which will be manifested with millions of the lost coming into His salvation,
making entry into His kingdom.
consistent, gathering together in prayer, be it two or three, or full congregations
at one time; through the proclamation of His truth as recorded in His Word, the
Torah, the Bible, in written and spoken realms (especially social media!); in
addition to producing godly movies, singing Spirit-led songs, and taking back
the lost ground that we as believers allowed the enemy to take while we have been on our watch; in
all areas of education, medicine, government, the arts, and every area of life
that touches our spirits, souls, and bodies.
The Lord Jesus Christ,
Yeshua HaMashiach, is calling out to us and wanting to proclaim it through us, “PREPARE
YE THE WAY OF THE LORD!”
We don’t have five or
ten years anymore to sit back and do nothing. Today is the day. Now is the time.
So now think on this.
and ahava (peace and love in Hebrew).
Love For His People,
P.S. And the Lord knows,
I hope to have the opportunity to sing “Revival” once again. Loud and clear!
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