Month 11:22, Week 3:7 (Shibi't/Sukkot), Year 5935:309 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 14 February 2012
The Blessed Tree Stump
Visions and Prophecy for the End Time
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el! Today's message has been brewing in me for several days to which Yahweh has been steadily adding but not until last night did I know that the overall theme and purpose of the Davar (Word) that I am to share with you today is based on the 6th chapter of Isaiah and especially the last verse, which is a key to an understanding of what Yahweh is doing in our own time.
"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw Yahweh sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:
And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said:
'Holy, holy, holy is Yahweh of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!'
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:
'Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of hosts.'
Also I heard the voice of Yahweh, saying:
'Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.'
Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'
'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?'
And He said, 'Go, and tell this people:
Then I said, 'Master, how long?' And He answered:
'Keep on hearing, but do not understand;Keep on seeing, but do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their lev (heart), and return and be healed.'
'Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate, Yahweh has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. But yet a tenth will be in it, and will return and be for consuming, as a terebinth tree or as an oak, whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump.'"
The 6th chapter of Isaiah begins with the death of a potentate - a king, Uzziah. The death itself is not so important as the fact that it is a time marker signalling the beginning of a new ministry of the prophet Isaiah. Sometimes prophets must wait long periods of time for a key change in the political world before the people and nations are ready to hear a particular message. We have actually been waiting for a very long time for such an event in our own time, an event orchestrated by Yahweh Himself that will be the green light for something special. But before any prophet is qualified to be released for his task, there are certain things that must first happen in his own life, for a prophet unprepared is a ministry that must necessarily be aborted, for it will otherwise benefit no man, and especially not those for whom Yahweh has prepared the message.
In the vision that Isaiah, who is being prepared for his mission, is shown, a twofold revelation on the nature of Yahweh of Armies - or Yahweh of Hosts - is revealed. The revelation the prophet receives is not theological but experiential - this is something he must absolutely know for himself before he is sent out, because it will fix his mind and lev (heart) in all that he does. Of what do I speak? I speak of the glory and the grace (undeserved loving kindness, unmerited favour) of Yahweh-Elohim.
The prophet had lived the whole of his life up until this moment in the reign of Uzziah. From his childhood, when Isaiah contemplated the thone of his people, he thought of the throne that had been occupied by this man. As the prophecies of his reign show, the prophet was perfectly familiar with the corruption of his people. Though we are not told directly, we are led to understand that the reign of this king began well. We also know that because he was afflicted for many years with leprosy, government must have passed out of his hands to caretakers. So when Uzziah died, Isaiah must have been aware that national trouble was on its way, because caretaker governments that have held the reins of power for a long time tend not to be willing to relinquish power to another. The throne was vacant and Jotham, a man of personal goodness but lacking governing influence, was about to succeed (2 Chr.27:1-2). In this political environment, Isaiah has his incredible encounter with Yahweh.
When our minds are focussed on political events, and particularly on events where there is a manifest abuse of power, it is easy to lose focus on the real Power that runs the universe. Today as I speak to you we are rightly concerned about an illegetimate tyrant who rules the United States in whose hands the fate of the whole world currently lies. We are on the brink of war with Iran which threatens to erupt into the Third World War. Indeed we have not been at such a critical moment since the Cuba Missile Crisis under that great American Presient, John F. kennedy who, in spite of his many weaknesses and foibles, did at least believe in liberty, and paid for his life because of it. At that time, with a Soviet nuclear weapons build-up in America's back yard threatening to unravel into a holocaust wiping out the whole human race, the world held its breath. Today, as navies steam into the Persian Gulf with the American nuclear submarine flotilla alone possessing the capability of annihilating the world, we face no less a serious crisis. Added to this is the impending implosion of the global economy and numerous other threats so large and so wicked that were people to glimpe a vision of their extent, their hearts would undoubtedly fail. So just as the death of King Uzziah was a hinge year for the people of Judah, whose sins had stacked high into heaven, so we in our time are facing an exactly parallel situation. The leaders of the world may be evil but the peoples of the world, we must remember, have have both earned these despots as well as having put them there. The sins of the world are stacked high today too. The people deserve what they get.
With all that was going on in his time, Isaiah was made aware of the supremacy of Elohim (God). His response in calling Him "Master" upon seeing Him seated on His Throne is surely evidence of this. Thus in the hour when the sceptre fell from the hand of the only earthly king Isaiah had known, and the throne was empty, he saw the Living One, from whose hand the Sceptre never falls, occupying the Throne which is never vacant. This fundamental phase of the vision was calculated to fill him with courage, born of assurance that however corrupt the government of earth had become, everything was still under the authority of Elohim (God).
I want you to remember this as you consider the despots on the 'thrones' of America, Britain, China, Russia and elsewhere. I want you to remember this when you consider the corruption of the American Senate and the British Parliament who, as Israel's foremost nations, are supposed to be setting an example to the world, not acting disgracefully. I want you to remember that Yahweh has allowed these despotic governments and their wicked rulers to come to power in order to reward the people for their own corrupt deeds. Obama is no accident, anymore than any ruler has been an accident throughout history. And though he is Satan's servant, he still remains a pawn in the hands of El Elyon, the Most High. He can do nothing that he is not given permission to do.
As Isaiah gazed upon this vision of Yahweh seated on His Throne he saw the seraphim, and heard their song. They stood above, or over, or around Yahweh, in the attitude of service. Their attitude suggests reverence and activity, as it is said of each of them that "he covered his face" that he might not see, and "he covered his feet" that he might not be seen, and "he flew" in the action of ceaseless service. The song of the seraphim or 'royal malakim (angels)' was the result of their vision, and its first note is the threefold affirmation of the holiness of Yahweh, with the second that His glory consists of the fulness of the whole earth. To them, notwithstanding the failure and corruption of human affairs, the Divine purpose is the supreme matter; and the form of their song suggests their assurance of its ultimate realisation, an assurance based on their consciousness of the character of Yahweh.
No prophet can minister who does not have this emunah (faith) and assurance, and assuredly as it was true then, so it is true today. And anyone claiming to be a prophet who does not have these things - experientially - will be swept away for the presumptuous imposter that he is.
The final consciousness of the prophet in the presence of the vision was that of the shaking of the foundations of the thresholds, and the filling of the house with smoke, signifying the transitory character of the material, and the infitite mystery and distance of the Being of Yahweh, the sovereign Master.
Are you ready to have the ground shake udner your feet? A week ago I had such an experience, which you may recall:
For the last couple of years I have been warning of such an impending event and today we are at its very threshhold. If you are not fearful of the implications of what is about to happen in the world, then your souls are either numbed, or you are in denial, or you have deliberately tried to keep yourself in ignorance. The ground, brethren and sisters, is about to be shaken under all feet, not just mine! You ought to be afraid...unless you fear Yahweh more than you do the combined works of man and the devil.
"I had quite a disturbing experience in which I both saw in vision and felt within my being the ground moving under my feet. A vast mass of material - earth and rocks - was being lifted slowly from the rest of the ground I was standing on and was being re-orientated which I understood very clearly to mean that I need to prepare for a huge shift in awareness and doubless change in direction too. I have been sensing this for some time but became especially aware of the enormity of this change as a result of this experience. And whilst advance conceptual preparation is a great help, it's nothing compared to the big change when it actually occurs" (More and More 'Ezal: The Abundance That is in Yah'shua).
Following the revelation of Yahweh's glory to Isaiah, there followed a revelation of His grace which is just as remarkable. In the presence of the unveiled glory of Yahweh, the prophet uttered the cry of his own need. Made conscious of the holiness or set-apartness of Yahweh, he became conscious of his own sinfulness, and of the sinfulness of the people in the midst of whom he dwelt.
This crie de coer was immediately answered as one of the seraphim, acting unquestionably under the direction of the Master, whose sevant he was, flew to the prophet, bearing with him a live coal, the cleansing fire taken from the altar; and touching the lips of the suppliant, declared that by that touch of fire his iniquity was taken away, and his sin was purged.
Perhaps what is even more amazing than the act of forgiveness itself was the speed at which it took place! Do we realise how quickly Yahweh is willing to forgive us if only we will confess and seek pardon? The sigh of the man conscious of his sin reached the ears of the Master, and the song of the adoring seraphim ceased, that the sigh of the suppliant sinner might be answered. The figure or image is that of the Israelite Temple but the fact is much larger than the figure. The temple seen is the true dwelling-place of the Master, in which is the throne high and lifted up. The fact that in the temple there is an altar, interpreted by the symbolism of the worship revealed through Torah, reveals the abiding principle of sacrifice, whereby Yahweh is able to extend the pardon of grace to sinning men. The nature of that pardon is profound. The iniquity or crookedness of outward action is taken away because the sin or condition from which that iniquity springs, is expiated or atoned for by sacrifice. As you meditate on today's passage you will discover that no more wonderful unveiling of the grace of Elohim (God) occurs in the Torah.
Immediately after this vision, the prophet hears the voice of the sovereign Master. The first Davar (Word) is Isaiah's commission or calling, and the second, an answer to a question the prophet had asked. Yahweh is in need of a messenger to transmit His Davar (Word) to the people, and reveals two important facts as to the qualification of that messenger. First, he must be sent by the Master and not himself or some other agency, and second, he must be willing to serve of his own free agency.
Isaiah did not hestitate: "Here am I! Send me!" And in so saying, he yielded his allegiance to the Master. The next thing he was told was that his mission would be a failure so far as human measurements or appearances go. Indeed, because of the condition of the people, that of hearing continually without understanding, and seeing continually without perceiving, the effect of the ministry upon them would be that of increasing their spiritual dulness. Isaiah never forgot these words. And that is why he repeatedly described them as having eyes, but no vision; having ears, but no hearing; until finally the consciousness expressed itself in the language of the ideal Servant of Elohim (God): "Who has believed our report?" (Isa.53:1, NKJV).
Those of you called into the ministry, and especially those of you called to be prophets, must understand clearly that the period of time that we have been in, and are now entering into in our own day, is no different from that of Isaiah or Jeremiah or any of the other many prophets of the Tanakh (Old Testament). As adjudged by human measuring, your mission - and mine - is going to be a failure. The response to our message will be virtually nil. Our comfort and our simcha (joy) is now - and will not be in the general response, but in the reaction of the tiny remnant who do respond. And how tiny this remnant is, you have little idea. It is not large at all. If you could gather its members altogether you would probably not be able to fit them into more than a dozen small settlements or villages. That is how few those who are spiritually awake really are. Nevertheless, our mission is not only to them, but also to the vast masses who will reject us and turn against us.
True prophets are not just gathering their little flocks - they have a far greater target audience even if they are not expecting anything good for them. Their call is to make sure everyone receives a chance to hear the Besorah (Gospel), whether they accept it or not. And I don't mean the watered down or corrupt versions of the Besorah (Gospel), but:
Now anyone receiving such as charge as Isaiah received must be filled with a sense of awe, and in this prophet's case, it provoked an understandable question: "Master, how long?" We all want to know the answer to that question! Yet Yahweh immediately answered Isaiah, and while the answer is a revelation of the awful judgment about to fall, it nevertheless indicates a limit to the process of judgment, and ends with a promise suggestive of ultimate deliverance and restoration. The cities are to be laid waste without inhabitant, the houses without man; the land is to become utterly waste; Yahweh will have removed men far away, and the forsaken places will be many in the midst of the land. This prophetic ministry of judgment is to continue until that time.
"...the everlasting Besorah (Gospel) to preach to those who dwell on the earth -- to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people -- saying with a loud voice, 'Fear Elohim (God) and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water'" (Rev.14:6-7, NKJV).
In saying this, I am warning of what is about to come. If you think the chaos and bloodshed in Libya was bad enough and what is now being threatened in Syria and Iran, I have to tell you that this is nothing. The wicked cabal snugly secured in London, Washington and elsewhere, may think that because of their great underground hideouts that they are safe, but they are sorely mistaken. They may think that the vast amounts of money they have robbed from the people will buy them anything they need, but again they are sorely mistaken. They cannot possibly hide from the judgment of Yahweh-Elohim - it is impossible! They are but ants, microbes even, before His hand.
I repeat, the words pronounced in Isaiah 6 were not just for the prophet's time, in which they were fulfilled to the letter - they are for ours too, because there is a parallel track of history occuring here amongst Israelite nations scattered across the globe. Zionist Christians and Messianics are so preoccupied with a false Israelite entitity in the Middle East that they are not even, for the most part, considering what is about to happen in their own back yard. Do you really think that America and Britain, not to mention scores of other nations, are going to be untouched by what is going on in North Africa and the Middle East...and worse? They have no idea of the destruction that is coming!
Yahweh tells the prophet that the desolation coming to Judah is not to be final. There will be a tenth who survive, but even that will be eaten up. Why a tenth? Because it represents the tithe that the people have stolen from Yahweh - and because they have withheld that, even the tenth of people who should have been dedicated and set-apart to Yahweh as a holy offering of obedient and loving people (but who were not), will be removed. Indeed, the destruction of this tenth is to be like the terebinth or the oak, whose stock or stub, or substance, or life principle, remains, even when the oak is felled. The stump survives.
I am not just talking about nations here today. I am talking about churches, ministries, assemblies, messianic synagogues - the lot. They too are about to be felled en masse. You have no idea how final their destruction is going to be! How many, you may ask, are going to be felled? All of them! All of them? Yes, every single one of them. Not one organisation you can see today is going to remain, even those claiming to be 'Israel restored'. That includes ours. Indeed, we were felled some time ago
Yesterday I understood for the first time why Yahweh has been showing me so many visions and dreams of felled trees and their stubs. The picture above consists of a couple of sketches I made of visions He showed me. I have literally seen dozens of these. Speaking to the people of his time, John the Baptist said:
Which brings me to a third kind of tree and stump, namely, people. Yahweh is not here just talking about nations and ministries but also individuals.
"And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire" (Matt.3:10, NKJV).
I have known for a long time that some of these visions referred to me personally and to others. I have known that I have had to be cut down, because sin prevents fruitfulness. If we are not fruitful for the Kingdom in all the areas of life to which we have been ordained, then we must be cut down. We must all be reduced to our true size which frankly isn't much when measured up against the Saviour, yet we often think we are towering trees! Yes, Yahweh is obliged - for our own salvation - to cut us down. However, not all are axed at the root - that is final - it is the end. But His own, whom He loves and has chosen for salvation, He cuts down above the ground. Thus the process of destruction does not end in the annihilation of Yahweh's own people, for the holy seed is the life substance of the Messianic Israelite nation, and that will not be destroyed. This Yahweh does in recognition of His determination to accomplish His purpose of shalom (peace), even through judgment, and why it is we must all pass through Yom Kippur every year. It also recognises the Messianic potentiality of the born-again and growing people of Elohim (God).
Now the Holy Seed here is, on the first level, Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself. The nation, though decimated, is being spared so that Messiah might come forth at the meridian of time. This holy seed is also in everyone truly born again, who has Messiah in him, which is why the ax is not laid to his root but above ground where new life by again sprout after judgment.
If Yah'shua (Jesus) is to own us and live through us fully, then the rest of the rotten tree of our life, which produces no spiritual fruit, must at some point be hewn down.
Yahweh has ordained this year that both Christmas and St.Valentine's Day fall on a Sabbath to give us the oportunity to make a complete severence with paganism - not just outwardly but especially inwardly. One or the other has to have your complete devotion unless it is a festival High Sabbath in which case the two naturally converge. We are called to be single-minded in our worship:
Part of the realisation that people are getting as they discover more and more of Yahweh's emet (truth) is just how much they have been leaning on the teachings of individuals and institutions instead of Yahweh's own Davar (Word). Inevitably we pick things up from the people we meet and listen to, and there is nothing wrong in that, but we do have an obligation to both test everything against Scripture as well as to habitually search for Yahweh's mind and lev (heart) generally. And this is, of course, a lifetime's endeavour. Only yesterday, for example, a woman told me that all religion was bad no doubt because of indoctrination in evangelical circles. But Yahweh says there is nothing wrong with religion per se, only with that kind of religious activity which you perform in order to be saved instead of because you already are saved. Indeed, we are commanded to follow good religious practice:
"You cannot drink the cup of Yahweh and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of Yahweh's table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke Yahweh to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?" (1 Cor.10:21-22, NKJV).
By contrast, Paul remarked to the pagan Athenians:
"If anyone among you thinks he is religious (which he is supposed to be), and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own lev (heart), this one's religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before Elohim (God) and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world" (James 1:26-27, NKJV).
There is nothing wrong in being religious but if your religion is wrong rather than right! True religion, according to the apostle James, is what? Helping orphans and widows, and keeping pure from the world (the Chag haMatzah mandate), which would include its way of thinking, feeling and behaving. Today we have that opportunity by totally expunging the pagan licenteousness which lies behind Valentine's Day. We already have our marriage and romance festivals given by Yahweh directly - Pesach (Passover), Shavu'ot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles) which correspond to Dedication (Engagement), Betrothal and Full Marriage, with plenty instruction about getting sinful thoughts and behaviour out of our romantic life (Chag haMatazah) as revealed in divine tavnith (pattern). And for those who have been following this sacred tavnith (pattern), there's a bedroom instruction manual in the Song of Solomon. It's all we need.
"Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious" (Acts 17:22, NKJV).
The silent times are over, things are moving at an ever increasing pace and we can either go with Yah'shua (Jesus) or be swept away by the tide which is the world system that even now is being driven by the Devil to the brink. All of us have to change - and are changing - and our choice is whether we go uphill or down. You may think Valentine's Day is nothing and even joke about it but nothing that offends Yahweh is funny - we have to stop joking about both sacred and profane matters because adding humour to sin is really just another way of still holding on to it inside and a round about way of declaring that you are double-minded. Everything that is unfruitful - and the works of the devil, however well sugar-coated, are always unfruitful - will require felling at some point.
When I first started receiving visions of felled trees I admit I was a bit scared. I really though I had completely messed up and Yahweh was saying that it was all over for me. That is not, however, His lev (heart) at all which is to save us, giving us grace-upon-grace until the very last possible minute when it cannot be stretched by Him any more because of the requirements of justice. But we cannot play the double game, we cannot afford the instability that comes with double-mindedness (Jas.1:8) because it spoils all kinds of relationships, both with Yahweh and with spouses, family and friends. And I suspect part of the reason we keep on this double track is we have swallowed the atheist/humanist lie, drummed into us at every turn, that a mark of maturity is tolerance of everything. Being tolerant of people - accepting them where they are, so long as they don't try to force us to be like them - is something else, but passively accepting that anything and everything is alright, as is expected in our depraved politically correct environment, is manifestly not alright. We have to stand our ground in emet (truth) and righteousness which alone is pleasing to Yahweh.
Any human system will eventually dehumanise the very people it seeks to serve and those it dehumanises the most are those who think they lead it. Yesterday I sat face-to-face with a government official who expected me to sign a document signing over my children to more state parenting in the education system. I politely refused precisely because I do not want my children dehumanised by them. Here in Sweden, where subservience to the socialist state has been drilled into people now since the 1920's, they are neither accustomed to, nor like it, when citizens stand up and say no. It's unheard of in conformist states. Indeed, they are invariably confused and disorientated because they do not understand the concept of personal responsibility and liberty that they have been instead claiming for Big brother now for so long. The more extreme respond with revenge, as we well know from some of the horrible things that have been happening to families all over the world who refuse to surrender their independence.
Yahweh expects us to have this single-mindedness for Him but without knocking those who are still ignorant. We ourselves, when we were ignorant of certain truths, resented it when people attacked us for our false beliefs. We are here to patiently guide and help those who ask for it, not ram the Davar (Word) down their throats, for this will in any case simply make them more hostile and drive people even further away from Yahweh. Yes, we need to care more what Yahweh thinks of us than what anyone else does but we must also remember to treat others the way we would have wanted to be treated in the days of our ignorance - with love, care, respect and patience. Unless you have been given a call like Isaiah, in which case you had better first have stood in His Presence and bathed in His glory and in His grace, and not called yourself, for you will be swatted down by Him if you have.
There is so much more that I need to say but don't have time for today, so it will have to wait another time. My prayer is that this will be a special sabbath for us all as we await the further Davar (Word) of Yahweh which is waiting now to pour down out of Heaven as we respond to what he has said before and move into the action already expected of us. The Final Gathering, at least in its very earliest stages, will soon be underway (it will take a generation to accomplish) but first the felling of people, religious systems and nations must continue, and there is going to be much of that in the coming biblical year. Get prepared for much will be expected of us. Amen.