Given that the Worship Gatherings are specially-designed times with a spiritual purpose, it is of the utmost importance that all those taking part are sufficiently of one mind spiritually and theologically.
When presenting ourselves to the Lord as we will do, the condition of each of our personal lives will affect the overall dynamics of the group. Unresolved issues in major areas of our lives would likely hinder us from being fully able to give ourselves and could render us vulnerable to spiritual attack. As far as you know, can you say that your life is free of any unresolved major issues that might be a hindrance to the flowing of the Spirit through you? Some areas to consider would be: marital problems; habitual sin issues; major financial or employment issues; and unresolved relational issues with those in our close circle.
In order to come before the Lord with one heart, it is not necessary that we agree on every point of doctrine. There are, however, a number of scriptures on the subjects of Israel and worship about which we think it would be important for you to know some of our thoughts.
Though this is a very well-known passage, the full meaning can only be fully grasped from the Hebrew text. In the translated versions it essentially reads, “…and I will curse him who curses you.” The more accurate rendering of the Hebrew text reads, “He that lightly esteems you I will bitterly curse.” This takes us far beyond speaking evil, wishing someone evil, or outright cursing. We understand the implication of the Hebrew words to include withholding blessing or any honor or recognition rightfully due. It is our understanding that to not esteem the children of Israel as God does would result in a bitter curse. The fact that the majority of professing Christians worldwide are either unaware of this fact or opposed to it would mean that in some way a curse would likely rest upon them. The blood of Messiah does not keep us from the consequences of not walking in God’s ways…which are as changeless as His nature.
Matthew 25:31- 46
We have come to believe that the ones Yeshua is referring to, as the “least of His brethren,” are in fact His natural brethren the Jews. The implications of this perspective are dramatic. How “they” treated these brethren of His determined their eternal destiny. Let’s walk it through. Yeshua separates all the peoples into two groups…spiritually alive and spiritually dead — those that are His and those that are not. He speaks to them about another group in such a way so as to indicate that these brethren are not numbered among the ones He is addressing. In speaking with the “saved,” He refers to this other group as His brethren…not your brethren or our brethren. We are convinced that if they were spiritual brethren they would have been in the group of saved individuals and referred to using different terminology. Consequently, we conclude that since the word translated as “brethren” can be either physical or spiritual, they can only be His natural brethren. We had always understood this passage to be referring to the less fortunate in society. Coming to see that this parable refers to the Jewish people was so monumental that I (arni) could not speak of it for two years. We are not coming from an intellectual standpoint, but out of a conviction that correctly understanding this parable will affect how we view the significance of of Israel in God’s plan and of our gathering together in the Land.
“…for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
This passage is largely understood to mean that the return of the Lord will not come to pass until the eyes of a critical mass of the children of Israel are opened to recognize that Yeshua is the Messiah…the Son of God.
“…through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.”
In other words, God’s primary purpose or first concern in making the Gentiles keepers of the revelation of salvation is that they would make the Jews envious. It is a good but other discussion concerning what would make them jealous. We would focus on the point of where this matter is or isn’t on the priority list of believers in the nations.
“For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”
We therefore conclude that all the power of the kingdom of darkness will be set to keep this from happening and that Israel’s recognition of Yeshua is a primary key to releasing God’s glory in the world.
“…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service….”
The following thought was presented in a former letter but we feel to restate it here. It expresses the heart of the purpose of our gathering and is likely a perspective that differs from the way many would be inclined to approach such a time. We are not coming to receive anything for ourselves. (Which doesn’t mean we won’t). We would ask you to please think about what such an experience might look and feel like. Beloved, worship is the response to the presence of God. It is our response to what He has already done and not something we are doing to get more. If otherwise, how could it then be called a sacrifice?
“… a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?” Yeshua responded, “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
If we were to choose one example from Scripture to exemplify what a living sacrifice looks like and portray the heart of these gatherings, it would be this one. In Yeshua’s entire earthly ministry, this is the only recorded incident where someone came to Him to give and not looking to receive anything. Not even His closest disciples understood what was taking place.
Isaiah 62:1-7…especially 1,6,7
Our Father is sharing something from the depth of His being. Can you imagine how He feels? Please share with us is in a few sentences how this impacts you.
We look forward to hearing from you. Please address your answers, comments, and questions to your group coordinator and also to firstname.lastname@example.org.