Jer 13:11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.
Ana Jans, one of the great Martyrs of the Swiss Anabaptists, refused to recant her true belief in the Messiah of Israel, "Judah's Glory", and was renounced as a heretic, by indulgence-selling priests, who chained her, cut off her hair, and forced her to hand over her newborn son to others to raise. She must have balked at the moment, wondering if a God who is not just OF Love, but is Love, would possibly ever want her to hand over her infant son, and suffering the humiliation of a death of burning at stake, called a heretic by church officials, deemed a liar though she spoke the truth or claiming just how real God was to people who did not really want to know, and then feel the intense heat of fire consuming her, a punishment dealt to witches and infidels. Trusting though, in the true Messiah, and a blood bought salvation, and healing to God, she chose not to recant, but to hand over her son, and suffer death by fire on a Martyr's stake.Before being taken to trial and death she wrote him a letter.
The letter she left, to be read at some later point in his life, regarded how to find the true church of God, the one he had died for, the one he had suffered to see in her glory. She knew her son would grow up raised by others of faith, but those far more willing to just 'go with the flow' so to speak, to shrug off everything men in power in any church do, and basically believe in God, but not too much, not to the death, not with your life and heart and soul, but only a little with your mind, as most still do today.
The True Sons and Daughters of Judah's Glory
The Letter essentially said, that as he grew older, if he wanted to find the real church, the church of believers that Yshua, Jesus died for, not to look in the grand palaces called cathedrals or Basillicas, not to attend to the mighty men in gold trimmed robes, not to seek the Holy Spirit in candles, indulgences, incense censors, bells and hosts, not to seek God's will in holy rules of ordination and such, but to look where he, her loved son last as an infant saw his mother---
in fire and flames, in suffering and sorrow, in hardship and yes, even poverty (take that prosperity preachers), and where there are only a few, not many, for in this world which is best described as a Consummate Lie, most fall away when faced with the great sufferings that soldiers of the Messiah in this world eventually all find.
Another day for Judah's Glory
I have on occasion thought what became of that child, if he lived at all, knowing what I know now about how welcome our God of Love is in this world. He is so welcome that a new president wishes to have him written out of the oath of office in the days following prayer saving 145 people on a downed airplane with no life lost.
He is so welcome, that the standard for faith is whether you are lined up with so-and-so's doctrine or church of tv ministry rather than the Word. He is so welcome that to say "I am the Way , the Truth, and the Life" out loud, may cause you to be wiretapped, investigated and declared an enemy of the truth, since that kind of power intimidates even the Kings and Presidents of this world.
I wonder if the child lived, and was given the letter, if he sorrowed at what his mother went through and respected her and her gift, or if he cursed her for leaving him to those cruel other parents, for a 'foolish' religious ideal. Couldn't she just have gone along a little with everyone else and bought and sold the Gospel as merchandise, trusting in little rituals to buy heaven in the end? Did he rush for the small persecuted body of believers on the edge of town meeting in secrecy, peering out the window to see if the King's men were coming, or did he choose the polished pews of a Christ-Mass and Easter 'theatre' of some heroic Prophet-Martyr instead of a love that begs all other love on earth to cease comparison. Was he willing as his mother to face even death to stand for the truth, no matter what it cost, trusting that much, in Heaven and her King, that much in our 'conversation' and citizenship in an eternal abiding place of Joy, Hope, love and faith?
Judah's Glory 2009
Before studying my Bible today, I took a few minutes to write this, being literally cursed and mocked for it. Cursing and mocking are not particularly new to doing the Lord's work, but it does get to a person now and again, especially when facing other odds. In 1985, I became a Christian, growing in depth over the years and growing in the Word. I began within the first couple of years the seeds of what has grown into my ministry on the internet (not exactly the Garden of Eden), what is now very well established among messianic ministries on the net, 'judahsglory.com', which while still a little cluttered and morphing styles every few years has offered for-free Bible Studies, Music, Artwork and Web graphics, Children's materials, Jewish Feasts, etc with tracts, publications, coloring books and so forth. It was meant in the beginning to teach children about heaven but within the first year became a Messianic ministry, due to seeing the need to teach the 'gentile' House of God who our Savior was and is, who we become, and what not just our roots are, but what our faith is.
A Heart Purpose
I have had since the beginning, one heart purpose: to eventually provide quality materials and 'methods' [I'm not comfortable with that term exactly] to study the Word of God, to praise God, and to make Jesus, both clear and real to a generation who has forgotten the real Gospel, and forsaken his ways. I also have continued a heart committment to provide FREE materials only, to meet in need in low or no-budget churches who cannot afford the exorbitant costs of the slick materials from big money ministries out their today. For 23 years I have continued in this effort, often mocked and ridiculed as no one could believe someone with a doctorate in Psychology would turn to coloring books, Bible studies and Christian music as a life pursuit instead of climbing the corporate or academic ladder.
In the beginning there was more to laugh at, because our efforts were 'all heart' and not much more, but my children and I began to grow and develop skills and mature in the Lord and the Word, and over the years we have grown to several successful websites, blogs, music endeavors etc, and lately to published Bible Studies for use in Sunday School and preaching, but still as always, freely given. The real persecution though set in as our materials got better, but we would not participate in the scramble of nonstop merchandising which has so displaced our LORD in the Church, as to have created a 'neo-christianity' but not the real thing at all.
Marvel Not That the World Hate You
I always thought though that basically, I would be left in my little corner doing my thing, merely thought of as another nutcase with a website and substandard materials, until my eyes began to be opened to the 'way this whole thing works'. When you do right, even if it is simple, even if it is amateurish, people get mad. They get really mad. Some will hate and cruelly slander. Others will rob you blind to stop you from doing the right thing. Some will 'bury you alive', so to speak to make sure your seemingly insignificant point of view is not heard. There are some who become so incensed with a 'real' Gospel, they will physically hurt you, just to placate their own feelings about the world not really being the way they have always thought. It's a war out there, not a sweet quiet place to preach a gospel of peace safely. A Bible study can start every demonic activity known to roll to your door, and all of a sudden, though you have hardly ventured out, you find yourself with national tv preachers at your door behind the scenes, or ex-church members trying to market your work , slandering and 'erasing' you from life to make a buck, or former pastors giving your work away, or persons of cultic faiths or merely other denominations, or even the government.
When some of this happened at first, I was bewildered. Most of what I did seemed very innocuous. Occasionally someone would read something into something and find it sinister, but that error has been made almost every time anyone has stood up for the gospel. Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans in WWII had their letters detained and deciphered by the Abwehr, thinking she was passing secrets from the front. People will make you sound dangerous just to get even because they do not want a Gospel that under an anointing, turns the world upside down--unless it is by them.
Jealousy, pride, division and merchandising is so hampering the real Gospel today that it is seldom seen. The Holy Spirit is grieved in dissension and one cannot bring souls into the life and love of the Messiah by slick articles, methods and pamphlets. One brings souls to life in Christ, by preaching the Messiah.
Sir, We Would See Jesus
I knew a preacher once who really lived his faith. His name was Harold Sightler from Greenville SC. He built homes for orphans and widows and often dined with the children, preaching a real gospel in depth. He was a man of grace even with those he vehemently distrusted or disagreed with, though I encountered him only a few times. Still, he kept on his podium a sign that said
"Sir, we would see Jesus"
a brief excerpt from one of the gospels. He understood that Salvation comes not by CONVINCING a godless agnostic world of how true the Gospel and Yshua, or Jesus is, but in simply preaching the truth, lifting up as Moses did the ENSIGN of a Savior who died on a Cross and rose, and preaching in truth and reality a Jesus that the world seldom hears and has assigned to archetype and myth, though it all trully happened. He heals, he saves, he comforts, he protects and delivers, and why would we turn to doing his work, the world's way? I cannot. And why, having left everything in the world, would I ever turn to stealing, selling, ripping off, finding a 'better person' (what is that?) to do the work, or turn to worrying about incorporations, beating others out of their work, backstabbing, 'privatizing' funds, arguing for longer vacations, better benefits etc. I am standing, whatever the cost for the real "Judah's Glory".
Freely Given, Freely Give
Judah's Glory, the ministry will remain for free. I don't know, I may actually take the plunge after 12 years on the net and go to a mostly white site just so it won't be called Judah's Gory, or as one insane little person called it 'judious glorius'.
Still, it is a little flagship of Messianic Christianity, a segue from traditional worship into Messianic understanding, and really, is there any other kind? I am not going to let JW's have it, though I may have to check my coffee when I study the Bible. I am not going to sell it to Moody, Calvary Chapel, Temple, or any Church I have been a part of or let them take and rewrite the concepts 'their way' even if I have to fight it. I am not going to let it or myself be called insane because I disagree or even stress out here and there from constant attempts at ruin. Having done all, I am going to stand. I wrote it. I studied to write it. I designed and conceived of it. The Lord blessed, taught, inspired and showed, and it is getting better unlike most things in life. I am going to hold to that old 'Antioch'-Jerusalem Gospel just as it was preached by Judah's Glory no matter what opportunities I have to give up or who does not like me. I am aging and am not so lovely as when I was younger, but I know the Lord better than those who think those things matter. I would rather wear the same clothes every day with the uncomfortable haircuts I keep getting without my permission, and preach a real gospel, than wear evening gowns and float across some decorated stage with poodles. Not kind? Neither was the Cross, where Messiah was given nothing to wear with his beard plucked out, beaten half to death.
In Hebrews 11, the REAL saints of God, did not go home with large congregations, bigger TV or Radio markets, photos on Time magazine or interviews with Larry King. Instead, their interview was with the VERY King, and the chapter notes they were 'sawn asunder' and
Hbr 11:36-7 And others had trial of [cruel] mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
but what they were able through the Messiah to do on this earth, was exact Faith, the work of God, and do what we are all called to do: Lift Him Up, not ourselves.
Judah's Glory is the Messiah and Resurrection. He said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no man cometh unto the Father but by me." My little web/home ministry is being used righteously, and I will not turn it into a marketplace. Anybody with me? Doesn't matter---I know the "Real Judah's Glory".
Elizabeth K. Best
Child of Yshua.