Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Real Judah's Glory

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, '', 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.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Anatomy of Belief that Attains Salvation

This column will occasionally be used for "Random acts of Bible Studies"---I have so many Bible studies running online, that I am reluctant to open another, but once in awhile I find something so 'cool' or clear, at least, while studying that I want to write a little study, but it doesn't fit topically into the continuing studies, so, for now, here in Judah's Glory Blog, I will offer a few vignettes here and there which I hope are helpful to those using the other Bible Studies on Judah's Glory.

I have been writing often on the topic of the Healing of Messiah, and the way he approached people he wished to heal: those studies may be found at, an ongoing study. However, the other day, while studying in the Gospel of John, at the raising of Lazarus, I noted a little more than before in Yshua's dealing with Mary and Martha about the death of the brother both they and Jesus loved.

Jesus (Yshua), Mary, Martha and Lazarus

Jesus knew and loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, the brothers and sisters who show up more than once in his life and teachings, showing faith, belief, attending to the good things of God and true friendship and hospitality. It appears he stayed often in their home at Bethany right outside of Jerusalem, and at least once cautioned Martha not to rebuke Mary for sitting at His feet, attending to the most important things in the Kingdom of Heaven, before the cares of this world.

Exactly who these three siblings were, we know only a little, save for Mary being the Mary who washed the Savior's feet with her tears and precious ointment, and while the two are not directly tied, the poor beggar at the rich man's gate who goes to Heaven to Abraham's bosom while the Rich man suffers in hell, is named Lazarus, not a small coincidence if it be one given the miracle attending the events in question.

A Blind Man Sees, and the Pharisees Cry for Darkness

Jesus has just performed the miracle of centuries: he has healed a man born blind since birth which in and of itself is the pronouncement prophesied for centuries, that He is indeed the Messiah, the Meschiach, King of Israel, for none before, even a prophet or 'nabe' could have done that. It caused such a stir that many believed, and the Pharisees, many of whom had illegally obtained their positions, immediately seek to find out who this is, and even with the most amazing evidence of His Messiahship, they look to devise ways to 'do him in' and even kill him, although in the process they show that they

1)have only a little knowledge of the Scriptures and
2) would do the Messiah in if it meant keeping their position.

Plotting to kill Jesus, that one man might die for Israel, they serendipitously declare his purpose, in a Deliverance which most of Israel cannot see. But just as the "Light of the World" has sent light into a blind man's eyes, and opened the eyes of spiritually blind Israel, Yshua HaMeschiach, Jesus, is about to show that he is the Light and the LIFE, and if one thinks no greater miracle could be done, He is about to do it: the raising of one several days dead.

It may seem at this point that this bible study is yet another among thousands about merely the raising of Lazarus, but instead, it is of interest, the pattern of belief and the manner of faith which Jesus sought and cultivated, deep enough to exact Salvation. Most today who accept Christ, or 'get saved' a term which doesn't do justice to the atonement, nod in acquiescence but too often do not trust and believe with the fervent faith which really exacts the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which is the earnest of our Salvation. The conversation among Mary Martha and Jesus when Lazarus dies, teaches a great deal about that 'leaning in', 'leaning on' type of faith, and the work of God which was brought about, because of the faith.

Now, faith IS the work of God! When we go looking for God's will, so often we are looking for something to do: does God want me to go on a mission's trip, or take that job, or buy that house, or work down at the shelter, etc, etc, and we are looking for a 'work of God' that we can take as an assignment and get busy. The real work and will of the Father, though, is not as much doing, as BELIEVING. 'Doing things' will follow, but the WORK OF GOD is BELIEF. And the FAITH, which pleases God, is not of ourselves, but is given to us. (Eph 2:8).

Lazarus Has Died.

The incident Jesus encounters as he leaves the healing of the blind man, is Lazarus' sisters pleading with Jesus about his sickness, and when Jesus hears he says

This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. John 11:4

Yshua, Jesus, however does not go immediately to see his beloved friend, their brother, but continues his ministry, during which time, Lazarus dies. The backdrop for this miracle, and this discussion of saving faith, is hardly one which any would expect: it seems just the opposite. Mary and Martha, trusting the Messiah, their friend and Rabbi, believe above most of Israel and certainly above most of the world, that if Jesus says it, he will do it. If Yshua says that Lazarus will not die, he will not die, but Jesus will come and heal him.

Jesus though did not say that Lazarus would not die: only that the sickness was not unto death, so it must have seemed that when Lazarus died, that Jesus had to have been wrong. So often in the Scriptures and in our own lives, even when we are sure of a command of God, we balk, or back up seeing what looks like impossibilities, or we feel that he has asked of us something we cannot do or that is not even possible. Many, think a promise of God could not possibly keep under some circumstances, just as Abraham did raising the axe above Isaac: the promises kept though, and faith was rewarded, then as in this case.

Along the way back to Bethany, though he reminds them all that He is the light in 11:9-10. And then he makes a most remarkable statement:

Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. John 11:11

The disciples do not understand his use of the word 'sleep', so Jesus plainly states:

Lazarus is dead. John 11:14

Belief and Unbelief

In the very next statement, though Yshua, Jesus declares just what this overwhelming miracle is about: BELIEF. He states his intent clearly in 11:15:

"And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the INTENT YE MAY BELIEVE..."

When Yshua arrives in Bethany, Martha states both utter faith and disbelief in a short sentence:

"Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." 11:21

That statement is curious because even after Lazarus' death, Martha his sister, the more 'worldly' one, still declares her faith in the Messiah: she does not say, 'you're not for real', this sickness was unto death, I don't believe'---no, instead she affirms that even though the events do not make sense given what is before them and what Yshua said previously, that she still knows, that he is the healer, and has sovereignty over illness, disease and death. She must have also known that he never dealt in half-truths, only truth, so her bewilderment comes at seeing what she surmizes could not have happened with what Jesus said, but did nonetheless, yet rather than cast herself to despair and doubt, she merely states that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died.

The Anatomy of Saving Faith and Belief

In the next few verses we see the Savior himself, "The Life" extracting belief and faith in the course of divine intervention, of the most wondrous sort mankind had ever seen: raising a man from the dead. Most brands of Christian faith have alot less trouble with the Cross than with the empty tomb. Crosses hang on every altar, and countless songs mourn our redeemer's pain and suffering rightfully so, but when it gets to the resurrection, we add it as a footnote, and yet that is what makes our faith not just a 'faith' or religion but belief in THE way of God: the Messiah led captivity captive by OVERTAKING DEATH: he delivered from sin, death and hell. He did not just suffer an ethereal martyrdom which somehow gave us a 'handstamp' that allowed us into heaven, but he CONQUERED death, laying it under foot. It has no power, now, in belief, and no victory. There would be no gifts of the Holy Spirit without the resurrection, there would be no indwelling of the Holy Spirit, no victory over darkness nor no salvation without the "Life" overcoming Death, just as the "Light (of the world)" overcame darkness.

Here then, is the 'anatomy'(perhaps a poor choice of words) of the Belief and Faith Jesus was cultivating :

1. Statement of Faith:

In 11:22 Martha says "but I know that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee." 11:22

The statement of faith shows that though the event of his death makes no sense, Martha knows , she KNOWS God will do the thing, and that Jesus and His Father are one. That is not wavering faith.

2. The Declaration of God

Jesus' response is her reward:

"thy brother shall rise again" John 11:23

This is how God is, this is how he speaks. No 'ifs, ands or buts' he declares the resurrection of her brother. Now Israel had heard most of its life about the resurrection at the end of time, when all arise to the judgment of God, to the 'Book of Life' (remember David prayed 'blot me not out') and the faithful awaited it as a basic tenet of doctrine. Yshua , the King of Israel and LIfe though is saying much more, "thy brother shall rise again" meant a contemporary thing, not a 'maybe at the end of time thing' (there is no 'maybe'). And Martha, confirms this true belief of Israel of the endtimes, not understanding the fullness of what Jesus has said, by

3. Confirmation of God's Declaration- belief

"...John 11:24 I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

Note 11:24b: the 'resurrection at the last day': she indicates belief in God's way and doctrine, but her belief in the living word, the Living water in front of her is incomplete. However, even this little faith, genuine and the 'real article' is then fed by what Jesus says next, an astounding truth requiring one's whole self, heart, spirit and soul to believe:

4.Jesus Declares the Fullness of God: I Am the Way, The Truth and the Life:

John 11:25:... I am the resurrection and the LIfe: he that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live:"

Here is the 'step' up in faith, though it is more of a Mt Kilamanjaro of faith: Jesus does not point to the resurrection, he is not merely the 'agent' of the resurrection, HE IS THE RESURRECTION, so great a statement, that one either enters into a greater faith and heavenly plateau in knowing God, or one quits and turns back. Yshua is saying 'believe and live' and He is about to show that this is no mere religious ordinance or requirement, but a living thing with real power: he continues with the second part , which is the promise of Resurrection,


John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

Living and believing go together. Life is in belief and belief is in life: all else is death, despair and doubt. Life and belief go from level to level, growing greater in the gift of faith from God: doubt and despair in those refusing living waters also grows greater and greater, till one cannot see God or the life he offers.

And Jesus then asks the question "Believest thou this?" There is the question, which leads one into citizenry in his Kingdom, into conversation with Him, into the Love of centuries: "Believest thou this".

I walked for many years in unbelief. I was in academic environments and we were too 'sophisticated' and 'educated' we thought for such things as 'faith' although the truth is, most of us knew very little of faith. Faith is not based upon IQ though: faith in the "RESURRECTION and the LIFE" has been held by simple children and such scholars as CS Lewis, and Blaise Pascal. That 'substance of things not seen' , faith is a language of belief, and a divine economy , a divine reason and wisdom apart from human reasonings: the faith of God requires a stepping out in trust and grows with each confirmation. Jesus has asked for centuries: "Believest thou this", and when Martha steps up to the greater faith she replies:

6. The Belief Unto Salvation

"Yea Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ
the Son of God,
which should come into the World. 11:27

Observe what she confirms in this rather hard task of belief: that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, that He is the Son promised even in Psalms, and that God sent Him into the World. That's an enormous faith before Pentecost. But here is the task of belief we all face: the Messiah has told us who and what He is. He has shown us every proof and fulfillment of every prophecy. He has shown us he is the LIFE and Resurrection, today, now, not in some distant future. And his requirement? "Believest thou this?"

There will be more to believe before Yshua is finished his ministry: there will be one most substantial requirement: to believe He is the Lamb of God, the one Isaac and Abraham saw on Moriah, who would take away the sins of the world, by an act so divine it can be seen only by faith. But then, that's the ensign God required, and He can do it his way, can't he? Mary and Martha, and soon Lazarus would need also to cast that trusting faith in the blood of the Resurrection and the Life, sealing the Covenant of God forever, the covenant of eternal life.

Lazarus, A Tomb and a Promise

There is yet one more critical thing to this 'anatomy' of belief: Jesus has promised LIFE, and that right present. When this Dialogue of Belief takes place, Martha has completed the work of God that Messiah had for her: belief in what He asked, belief in Him. The result? Against all belief and in what must have been one of the most frightening moments of all Israeli history , Jesus walks to the tomb,and shows Martha what faith in God can mean:

Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" John 11:40

and in John 11:41-42, He confirms again it is for the sake of BELIEF that he raises Lazarus from death:

"Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that THEY MAY BELIEVE that thou hast sent me.

And He says "Lazarus Come Forth", and the dead man, his beloved friend is quickened from the dead. I noted one thing that is not often noted: He is bound hand and foot and his face covered. He did not 'walk out' of that tomb, the suddenness and power of God's voice appears to have caused a man dead 4 days with the liniments of death encasing him and any way he could have breathed, must have meant that he abruptly stood up: they had to unbind him. Jesus commands "Loose him and let him go" in 11:44, and well, the list for the Passover dinner the next week was increased by one very important visitor.

BELIEF. Mary and Martha saw the reward of their faith: their brother was returned to them alive, but even more than that, they had come to know the Messiah as the Resurrection and the LIFE: the MESCHIACH of the God of Israel, who could deliver even from death. Belief is the Work of God.