Little Less than Angels (Parts 1-6)
Whose voice do we listen to?
It could be that of our church (but who does our church listen to?); our pastor (take care no pastor worship allowed); the church board (do they hear and obey or just quorom?); could be the voice of custom (the only "law" Twain said we humans consistently follow); the voice of our flesh (oh be quiet- we know you); or demons (those bad angels on shoulders, quaint relics most say); or the voice of Uncle Milty (uncles know everything).
Or- now get this- how about the voice of God- He still speaks! Read More...
Re. Health Care Reform: Why not go for Federal legislation requiring minimum standards as to universal coverage and public option in all states, subsidized by Washington on per capita basis. This would foster state by state innovation and build on already in place state initiatives, rather than throw a massive and potentially errant and costly curve ball to the entire health and social welfare system? Health and welfare until very recently in our nation's history was clearly and primarily a state concern.
Brother Tobin E. Hitt
WE'RE ON A PILGRIMAGE UP TO ZION AND A STRONGER, HIGHER AND DEEPER FAITH
Welcome to Zion Pentecost Mission (ZPM). We invite you to partner with us for the gospel of Jesus Christ, that every person, in all the world, would soon hear the good news and make the decision for our universal Jewish savior, Yeshua Ha Mashiach. Zion is Israel's hill of strength where she withstands all enemies. It is also the final destination of all the faithful, both gentile and Jew alike. We will reign and rule with Jesus from Zion forever (Zechariah 14,5,16; Jl. 3,5, Rv. 14,1).
It's our discernment at ZPM, amidst the apparent apostasy and idolatry that weaken so many of God's people, that all of us need a "Zion Faith" which can withstand this widespread rebellion against God, the lack of reverence, and lukewarmness- this just within the church! We need to ascend to a Zion faith (Gn.13,1), to come up and out of Egypt. And out of all that is Babylonian, for we are God's Holy people, Zion, seeking the safety of physical Zion like our exiled Jewish brothers of old: "Look out! Make your escape Zion, now living with the daughter of Babylon." Zc. 2,11. We, the Zion faitfhul, ready ourselves for our permanent reign from Israel. Yes, we, the set apart, the Zion of God, need a Zion faith, a strong, aware and rooted faith that can persevere through judgment.
What does this Zion faith mean in practical terms? Firstly, a new and explicit respect for baptism in the Spirit, as the Apostles enjoyed, and as prophesied in Joel 3. Without it how can we stay set apart for God in the present evil day, let alone equip folks to spread the gospel?
Secondly, it means a new found respect for our roots in the Hebrew Scriptures (often mis-described as the "old testament") and the faith of Israel. How can we from non Jewish backgrounds understand these latter days, and all the still valid prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures, or even appreciate the words of Jesus, and fully know who we are, if our faith doesn't regain it's footing and foundation in Zion, in Israel, and the word of God to Israel (Is. 28,16, Rm. 9,33). Yes Israel's faith must be roused to Jesus (Rm. 11.8ff), but we "Christians" too have to be roused to reject our ignorance of our Jewish faith patrimony and instead eagerly seek the fulfillment of God's entire word.
Why is a considerable portion of our worship, teaching-preaching, and doctrine coming across as superficial, or dumbed down, or too easy when Jesus' teaching was that of a prophet- profound, wise, yes often challenging, even difficult?
Because up until recently many of us in the church have ignored the fullness of faith that came to us through Israel and the teaching of the entire gospel, and instead have accepted only the bits and pieces that gratify our own churches' doctrine, and our flesh. Well, as God has been re-gathering Israel back to Zion, there is a fullness of grace, a universal restoration (Acts 3,31) that has come upon the Christian Church and Israel and all the nations (cf. Jl.2-3,Rev. 12), to see more and hear more and understand more. So that we in the final body will be ready for our final harvest-birth in Zion, our final Pentecost, when the Lord appears and shall be a wall of fire around the enrtire saved people of God (Zechariah 2,9 or 5).
Zechariah prophesied this period of fullness-restoration with ten gentiles grabbing one Jew by the sleeve because we want to know more about our shared God and follow the faithful Jew home to Zion (Zc. 8,22). And similarly God is so good, and loves all his creation, that even some of Israel's present enemies will worship with the rest of Zion when finally peace reigns eternal from Jerusalem (Zc.14,10).
Yes dear friends- the Jews are returning home which means God has not given up on them. We love them. We continue to learn from them. They are his prodigal son and he is running out to meet them. The times of the gentiles are ending. He's planning the great final harvest feast of Pentecost, for all his people, all those who accept the mercy of Yeshua and are hungry for a Zion faith, who will enjoy the firewall protection of the final Pentecost-salvation harvest there in Zion.
Thirdly, Zion faith strength comes from mission, not from holing up in our particular church, each more or less prone to worldliness. Oh how Paul, Peter and John grew in faith strength by their commitment to mission. Christ's body is suffering stagnation from within while Satan roams the earth seeking souls to devour. We're like athletes who practice, practice, practice, either showing off to each other or nitpicking amongst ourselves, but when game time comes we are too tired and busted up to play.
Our vision and our purpose are complete accord with scripture. We look to Psalm 87,5 for lift off inspiration: "And of Zion it shall be said, this and that man was born in her; and the highest himself shall establish her." This is God's promise that that every person, Jew or gentile, can and should be born in Zion, into the strength and fullness of salvation that comes with Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
And Acts 4,10ff. Peter after Pentecost and after the cure of the man born lame proclaims salvation is only in the name and person of Jesus of Christ. Verse 10: "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him does this man stand here before you whole." Then, in verses 11 and 12, Peter declares that our mutual Yeshua is the strength of Israel, the head of Israel, the foundation stone of God's faith house, centered in Zion, and the salvation of his entire faithful people.
So we welcome you again to Zion Pentecost Mission. Come up to Zion with us! Check out our vision and purpose, from the first of our "Founding Documents", and the present day faith lessons of the three altars of the Jerusalem Temple. Read the "Just a Christian" columns, the first of which describes the faith example of a Jew who believes in Yeshua Ha Mashiach who simply and fully describes himself as "Just a Jew." He shows us "Christians" how to Be "Just a Christian." Then read about "Israel's Intractable Hope" a great example for us Christians. Intercede with us for Vermont's Jewish community and all the Jews in the United States, whom we love, and owe a debt of love. Listen to "Faith Brings Life" audio, which starts with "Love the Jews and Learn About Jesus" and "Prophecy, Israel, and Endtime Restoration" and is filled with the other basic and Spirit filled preaching (there's also some great singing from Lucero Davalos Tirado).
Test the spirit that birthed this mission. Pray for us and the restoration of all God's blessings for all His people. We welcome your comments, your prayer cover, your counsel, your fellowship, and above all, the favor and protection of our Lord, Yeshua Ha Mashiach, brother to us all.
Bro. Tobin, Zion Shepherd