To Be Seen
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Yeshua teaches about the Ten Commandments, explaining the true heart motivation that should be the foundation of our understanding and obedience to "Torah." The Mount of Beatitudes interprets Mount Sinai. When dealing with spiritual leaders, Yeshua repeatedly addressed a certain attitude of the heart: the desire to be seen.
"Beware that you do not do your charitable deeds before men in order to be seen by them" (Matthew 6:1).
Even our good deeds can be tainted by this subtle motivation. How much of our "ministry" is motivated by a desire to have people honor us and see us as righteous?
"Do not be as the hypocrites, who love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners in order to be seen by men" (Matthew 6:5).
In worship times and congregational meetings, are we secretly hoping that someone will notice how spiritual and "anointed" we are?
"When you pray, do not heap up words like the Gentiles, thinking that they will be heard for their many words" (Matthew 6:7).
When we pray or teach or lead meetings, are we fascinated by the sound of our voice and think others love listening to that sound as well?
"Do not be like the hypocrites, for they change the appearance of their faces in order to be seen as fasting by men" (Matthew 6:16).
Do you have a certain "super-spiritual" look that you put on your face when dealing with spiritual topics? Do you think that you will impress people by the way you look to think that you are serious and sincere, holy and loving, caring and concerned? Yeshua calls that "hypo"-"creed", false or phony faith. Ouch!
And in rebuking the Pharisees, He added:
"They do all their good works in order to be seen by men" (Matthew 23:5).
There seems to be a certain desire, prevalent among spiritual leaders, to have others look at us, or at least look at us with honor. (It's almost like the reverse of the desire of the eyes to look upon a woman with lust - Matthew 5:28.)
I wonder why Yeshua repeats Himself so much? He seems to be awfully redundant here, don't you think? Perhaps He repeats Himself so much because the problem repeats itself so often among so many spiritual leaders in so many different situations.
Yeshua also said that we are to desire that our good works be seen:
"Let your light so shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
The issue is not whether we are seen, but why? To what degree are we doing "good works" for God's glory alone, or subtly deceiving ourselves to garner part of that glory for ourselves?
This article was previously published 01May15 here on the Revive Israel website
Over the past 25 years, drug rehab centers have risen up all over Israel. Beit Yeshua (House of Yeshua/Salvation) in Jerusalem has been open to addicts for the past 10 years. The ministry leaders witness to addicts on the streets, praying for them and inviting them to join a one year program where they study the Bible and learn practical skills. Almost all those who complete the first month of the course end up finishing and coming to know Yeshua.
Thanks to your financial support of Revive Israel, one of our staff members, Roni, serves weekly at Beit Yeshua. Last week he had the privilege of immersing three ex-addicts!
Please pray for Roni and the ministry of Beit Yeshua as they shepherd and tend to the participants who not only receive freedom from their addictions but also spiritual freedom.
To Be Seen
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel
The book of Daniel can be divided into two main sections. Chapters 1 through 6 contain stories of the experiences of Daniel and his friends while serving in the governments of Babylon and Persia. Chapters 7 through 12 contain a series of visions about the kingdom of God and the end times.
In terms of the progressive revelation of the Israelite prophets, Daniel represents the most advanced stage. His vision of the coming Messiah prepared the way for the Gospel; his visions of the end times provide the background and context for the book of Revelation. Chapters 7 through 12 contain 4 major visions:
1. Chapter 7: first year of Belshazzar – vision of the 4 beasts and the Ancient of Days
2. Chapter 8: third year of Belshazzar – vision of the Ram (Persia/Medes) and the Goat (Greece)
3. Chapter 9: first year of Darius – prophecy of 70 weeks and Messiah being "cut off"
4. Chapters 10-12 – third year of Koresh (Cyrus) - summary of the end times by the "Man of Fire"
Daniel's understanding of his own visions was limited. He was told that their fulfillment would come at a later time, and therefore the meaning was "sealed" until then (Daniel 8:26, 12:4, 9).
In each of these four major prophecies there are direct references to Yeshua as: "Messiah," "Commander of the Hosts" and "The Angel YHVH" (Daniel 7:13-14; 8:11, 15, 25; 9:25-26; 10:5-6, 20-21).
All of these prophecies mention two strong demonic powers engaged in spiritual warfare against the kingdom of God: Paras (Persia) and Yavan (Greece). Persia is located to the East of Israel, and Greece to the Northwest. It is difficult not to see the end times connection in our day with Islamic extremism to the Persia-Iran spirit, and Western, atheistic humanism to the Greek spirit.
Yet, while the demonic principalities over Paras and Yavan are evil, the leaders of the nations in the areas under their influence can sometimes do good. Both Darius and Cyrus are praised in Scriptures; and the civilizing accomplishments of Alexander the Great from Greece (actually, Macedonia) can also be seen in a positive light. The Angel YHVH (Yeshua) figure is seen as fighting for Darius (Daniel 11:1); and Cyrus is called the "anointed" (mashiach, Messiah) of God as he decrees the restoration of Jerusalem (Isaiah 45:1).
Intercession and Prophetic Fulfillment
Notice the historical context of Daniel's last prophecies: the first two took place during Belshazzar's reign, who was the evil son of Nebuchadnezzar. He was the one to whom the "writing on the wall" appeared (Daniel 5). Daniel predicted Belshazzar's downfall, which took place immediately after the writing on the wall. Belshazzar's kingdom was conquered by Darius.
Daniel was able to do his greatest work by serving as a kind of prime minister in the reigns of Darius and Cyrus (Daniel 6:29). It would seem that Cyrus' decision to support the restoration of Zion came as a result of the political influence, intercession and prophecies of Daniel during Cyrus' reign.
How We Can Affect History
Daniel studied the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and began to pray for their fulfillment in his generation. Likewise we are called to read all of the prophetic Scriptures and pray for their fulfillment in our generation. Let us receive a similar anointing and understanding as Daniel – to pray, fast, intercede and repent as he did; and also believe that we can affect history by faith and prophecy as well.
This article was previously published 17Apr15 here on the Revive Israel website
© Copyright Tikkun International Ministries. All rights reserved.