Dearly Beloved in Messiah,
This newsletter, written in early October, due to the time necessary for proofing, printing, and mailing, reaches you after the election of November 3, 2020. My heart tells me that whichever candidate won, one half of our country will be unhappy, disappointed, or worse. There is no telling how peaceful it will be in Washington D.C. or around the U.S. this month. Only a Sovereign God knows.
As I meditated on the upcoming month of November, I came across an article in our local newspaper that explained how anticipating pleasant activities such as travel enhances our well-being. Cancelation of most travel, due to Covid-19, has meant that many people have nothing to look forward to. “When we’re focused on day-to-day responsibilities and the latest tragedy in the news, it can be hard to be excited about the future. And yet, devoting attention to the future is key to receiving the benefits of anticipation…” (Sun Sentinel, Sun., 10/4/20).
We, as Messianic believers, have GREAT THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO: OUR KING IS COMING! Yeshua, King of kings and Lord of lords. We are encouraged to “love His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:1), and to be people who are “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Yeshua HaMashiach” (Titus 2:13).
While we have an earthly president who sits at the head of our government, there is a Greater One, who rules over all nations now, and in the future. The prophet Isaiah spoke of Him, the Messiah Yeshua, 700 years before He was born, anticipating His future reign: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the GOVERNMENT WILL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER [emphasis mine], and His name will be called Wonderful [Pele], Counselor [Yoetz], Mighty God [El Gibor], Everlasting Father [Avi Ad], Prince of Peace [Sar Shalom]” (Isaiah 9:6).
A Glimpse of the Coming King
Psalm 72 speaks of our God as our future King (Melech, MEH-lekh) and His Kingdom (Malchut, Mal-KHOOT).
“Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness.
May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice.
May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness.
May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor.
May he endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations.
May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth.
In his days may the righteous flourish and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.
May he rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.”
(Ps. 72:1-8, NIV)
A GREAT REFRESHING IS COMING.
“Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? (Melech HaKavod, MEH-lekh HaKah-VODE)
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle…
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.” (Ps. 24:7-8, 10, NKJV)
The Prophesied King-Priest
Psalm 110, quoted in the New Covenant fourteen times, more frequently than any other Old Covenant passage, portrays the Messiah as both king and priest. “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.‘ The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!” (Ps. 110:1-2). David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, describes a King, who is David’s Lord, and who sits at the right hand of God. This King can be no other than Messiah. He is a Divine King who reigns from all eternity, and who has an everlasting priesthood. Yeshua actually attributed Psalm 110 to Himself in Matthew 22:41-46.
T. Ernest Wilson, in The Messianic Psalms, quotes an interesting observation on Psalm 110 by Max Isaac Reich: “The 110th Psalm gives us the key to history. The One who alone can right the wrongs of earth, hush its storms, break its chains, heal its wounds, straighten out its crookedness, dispel its darkness, is hidden in Heaven, because there was no room for Him on earth. Sitting at the right hand of God, the exclusive privilege of the Son and Heir, He is patiently biding His time, till the hour when God will intervene on His behalf on earth, making His enemies the footstool of His feet.”
Yeshua is at the right hand of God the Father right now. Do you know what He is doing? He is praying for you and me. Take comfort. Be encouraged. God will surely answer the prayers of His Son! “Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).
T. Ernest Wilson explains in his book that “Sit Thou” (vs. 1) and “Rule Thou” (vs. 2) of Psalm 110 refer to the millennial reign of Messiah, which will last for a period of one thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6). There will be a coronation day in which a scepter will be placed in Yeshua’s hand. As Sovereign, He will have all authority in government. To quote Wilson: “In millennial days Christ will be an absolute monarch with supreme powers and control.” It will be wonderful to be ruled by LOVE!
King of the Nations
While the President of the United States of America is “king” of one nation, God is King of ALL NATIONS. He is Melech HaGoyim (הגוים מל, MEH-lekh HaGoy-EEM). “…There is none like You, O LORD (You are great, and Your name is great in might), Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? For this is Your rightful due. For among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You” (Jer. 10:6-7).
In the Book of Revelation, the LORD continues to be proclaimed as the supreme ruler over all the nations. This happens after the beast, its image, and the number of its name are defeated. The King is victorious. God gives harps to overcomers who sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. FOR ALL NATIONS SHALL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU [emphasis mine], for Your judgments have been manifested” (Rev. 15:3-4).
Look forward to Yeshua’s victory over all the nations. Begin to worship our Holy King now in anticipation of His future reign in power. Praise defeats the enemy. Try using the title “King” or “My King” in your prayers. It is one way of ascribing greatness to our God. (See Deuteronomy 32:3, Psalm 68:34). He is Melech HaOlam, MEH-lekh HaOlam, King of the Universe.
This theme is found in both the Tanach and the Brit HaDasha. Psalm 45 is a Messianic Psalm which speaks about the marriage of the King and the glories that follow. Some Bible commentators (Wilson) link Ps. 45 with the last days. Others (Adam Clarke) see a prophetic reference to the conversion of the Gentiles. All see a magnificent description of the beauty, valor, justice, and truth of the Divine Bridegroom, as well as the beauty and magnificence of His bride. (Heb. 1:8-9 testifies to the Messianic interpretation.)
Psalm 45 has been one of my favorite Psalms for many years. I wrote a song based on it in the 1970s. It propelled me into my study of the Song of Songs in the 1980s. Psalm 45 is really a Psalm for today, a love song. Yeshua is coming back for a bride. It is time for all of us to focus on His return, to anticipate the joy of seeing our Beloved face to face. “You eyes will see the King in His beauty; they will see the land that is very far off” (Is. 33:17).
Read all of Psalm 45 when you have a quiet moment. Some of my favorite verses: “You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever” (vs. 2). “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (vs. 6-7). “Listen, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your own people also, and your father’s house, so the King will greatly desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, worship Him” (vs. 10-11).
Our Bridegroom-King Yeshua has gone to prepare a place of us in His Father’s House. He will come back for us at the midnight hour, and we will have the trip of a lifetime—an ETERNAL LIFETIME! (See Jn. 14:2 and Matt. 25:6.) Nothing will prevent His coming for His bride, at an hour known only to the Father (Mark 13:32). Song of Songs 2:8 tells us that HIS VOICE PRECEDES HIS COMING: “The voice of my beloved [Kol dodi, kohl doe-DEE]! Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.” As I mention in my book A Kiss a Day, we see examples of God’s voice preceding His coming throughout the Tanach. (See Psalm 40:6-8.) And our King is speaking today. Listen for His voice. It is a voice of truth, not lies, of comfort, not condemnation, of faith, not fear. God speaks; then He comes. Our Messiah is speaking by His Holy Spirit to those who have ears to hear. Then He is coming again. [One Messiah, two comings.] He came from the “ivory palaces” of heaven (Ps. 45:8) the first time to redeem mankind, and is coming again on clouds of glory for His waiting bride.
Thanksgiving to the King
A traditional Jewish book, My Father, My King by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, includes a chapter on gratitude. The words are meant to come from Avinu Malkeinu, Our Father, Our King (ah-VEE-new Mahl-KAY-new) to His children. I thought it appropriate to include some of this chapter this month, since we celebrate our national holiday of Thanksgiving—and WE, as children of the King, know who to thank.
“Hear your Father, your King, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, saying to you:
Live with gratitude. Be grateful to anyone who says something kind. Be grateful to those who help you repeatedly, and to those who help you only once.
Be grateful to those who have gone out of their way for you, and to those who helped you when it was easy to do so. Express your gratitude in words and deeds, bearing in mind that gratitude consists of more than polite words of thanks. It is an inner sense of awareness for how this person has benefitted you. There will always be something to resent and always something for which to be grateful. Choose an overall pattern of gratitude. When you are grateful to people, you will be grateful to Me. And when your mind is filled with gratitude to Me, your life will be full of joy.”
And now, from the Bible: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned” (Rev. 11:17). “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Messiah Yeshua for you” (1 Thes. 5:18).
King of Kings
“King” and “Government” are synonymous in Hebrew thought. There is, and always will be, only one perfect King—God’s Messiah Yeshua. He is King of kings—Melech HaM’lachim (MEH-lekh HaM’LaKHEEM). The word Messiah (Mashiach, Mah-SHE-akh) refers to God’s anointed King. Yeshua is that King, the Messiah, prophesied in Jeremiah 23:5-6, “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth…now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Adonai Tzid’keinu, Ah-DOE-nai Tzid-KAY-new) [emphasis mine].'”
When Pilate asked Yeshua if He was a king, Yeshua answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world…” (Jn. 18:37). King of Israel. King of the Jews. Born a King and worshipped as King. But the coming of Messiah as King usually refers to His second coming, when He will establish His Kingdom reign of righteousness. (See Isaiah 11:1-10; Micah 4:1-5.)
Yeshua is pictured in the Book of Revelation, clothed with a robe dipped in blood, with the armies of heaven following Him on white horses. He is coming to rule the nations. “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:16). What a glorious, triumphant day that will be!
The King and His Kingdom
When Yeshua appeared on the scene, He immediately began to speak about a kingdom. He preached saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). While He came as a King, descended from the line of King David, Yeshua was not a warrior king. He came as a King of love, to usher in a kingdom of the heart. He articulated the principles of His kingdom in His Sermon on the Mount (see Matt. 5). Happiness would result from being poor in spirit, from being persecuted for righteousness’s sake, from being meek and hungering for righteousness. Mercy and purity of heart were qualities that would lead to being “blessed.”
The kingdom of God was not like the kingdoms of this world because Yeshua was a different kind of king (Jn. 18:36). His followers are called to be different as well. Our King is blessed and honored when we are humble, merciful, pure in heart, patient in tribulation, loving, and kind. Yeshua even said that unless we are converted and become as little children, we will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:3).
The day is coming when the King will separate the sheep nations from the goat nations (Matt. 25:32-33), with the sheep on His right hand and the goats on the left. “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…‘” (Matt. 25:34, see the rest also, verses 35-46).
No matter which way the USA goes, if you are a child of the King, if Yeshua is your Lord and Savior, the kingdom of God is within you, and a glorious future awaits you. Enjoy the anticipation!
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Tim. 1:17)
Love in the King of kings,