©March 8, 2013 Revive Israel Ministries
By Roni Rejwan
I used to have a critical attitude toward King Solomon for having 1,000 wives. This was such an obvious sin and clear violation of Scriptures. Then once I was in a prayer meeting and looked at one of the young ladies with lust in my heart. The Holy Spirit reproved me, "You're no better than Solomon. He did what he did as he had the power to do so. You're thinking the same thing, but just don't have the power." Looking at a woman with lust is equivalent to adultery (Matthew 5:28). I had done that 1,000 times myself, and had been wounding my wife's heart unknowingly. The rebuke of the Holy Spirit helped set me free.
What about you?
Power of the Cross
By Asher Intrater
The message of the gospel contains power. If salvation was only legal permission to go to heaven instead of hell, then no essential power would be needed. The power is to change us – to change us from within, to change our character.
The word for salvation (sozo or soteria) includes defense and deliverance. The power makes us whole; heals us; brings moral purity and the fruit of love.
The power of God can be likened to a kind of spiritual electricity. Electricity has a positive and a negative pole. For the electricity to work, there must be a perfect balance between the positive and negative charge. All the power comes from God through Yeshua (Jesus).
The positive charge is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
This power or anointing heals the sick (Acts 10:38), drives out demons (Mark 16:19) and gives boldness to preach (Isaiah 61:1; Acts 4:29). Through this power we can move mountains (Mark 11:23), prophesy (I Corinthians 14:31), bring the kingdom of God into the world (Luke 11:20), and even be glorified (Matthew 17:2, Acts 6:15).
The negative charge is the cross. Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we experience the resurrection life of Yeshua; through the cross, we experience the atoning death and sacrificial love of Yeshua.
The cross deals with the very root of sin in the human race going all the way back to the tree of knowledge (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29, Deuteronomy 21:22). By the cross our old selfish nature is put to death (Galatians 2:20). The cross changes every curse to blessing (Galatians 3:13); it nullifies lust within us (Galatians 5:24) and the evil influence of society around us (Galatians 6:14).
The cross is a two way street. On the one hand, Yeshua did everything for us. We did nothing. We just receive by faith. It is total grace without any righteous deeds on our part. He takes all of our bad and gives us in exchange all of His good.
Yet at the same time, He calls us to take up our own cross as well. He took up His cross for us. We take up our cross to demonstrate it to others. He showed us sacrificial love; we are to show others sacrificial love on His behalf. The cross means a daily lifestyle of self-denial.
We tend toward self-indulgence much more easily than self-denial. Yet denying ourselves and taking up our cross is part of our life of faith. On the cross Yeshua obeyed unto death, even unto pain and humiliation (Philippians 2:8). And through the cross, He calls us to follow His same example (Philippians 2:5). We are to obey unto death as well.
We need to have both the power of the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit. One without the other is imbalanced. The cross without the Spirit would cause lifeless, self-deprecating, religious toil and servitude. The Spirit without the cross would cause superficial, self-centered seeking of supernatural experiences. With both, the power of God produces real results and real change (II Timothy 3:5).
The border between Israel and Syria runs 80 kilometers north to south along the east side of the Galilee and Golan. In 1974 the UN established a narrow demilitarized zone along the border, at its widest 10 kilometers and at its narrowest 500 meters. In recent months, in light of the civil war in Syria, instead of strengthening the area, the UN forces have dwindled down to less than 1,000 soldiers.
On Wednesday a group of rebel forces, called the Yarmouk Martyrs, seemingly connected to Al Qaida, kidnapped 21 Philippine soldiers of the UN peace-keeping forces, near the town of Jamla, just 5 kilometers from the Israeli border. The kidnappers are trying to use media coverage of the event into a spin against Israel.
The kidnapping raises the concern that the UN will simply abandon the demilitarized zone and that Al Qaida connected terrorists will take over the sensitive area along the Israeli border.
At the same time, UN refugee representative reported that up to 1,000,000 Syrian refugees have already fled the country, with half of them children under the age of 15, and that the number may well increase. [adapted from Yediot Aharonot articles by Yossi Yehoshua, Smadar Perry and Itamar Eichner]