Month 6:29, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5937:178 AM|
TESHUVAH Day #29
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 4 October 2013
Reality & Accountability
Getting Right With Yahweh
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and may the grace of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) be with us all as we gather for the last Sabbath and day of the current sixth month and the day before the autumnal (fall) festivals begin. It is also the 29th day of Teshuvah (Repentance) in which we are called to make a close examination of our life over the past year before we are brought to annual judgment at Yom Kippur. I know you are looking forward to the assemblies to worship and hear the Davar Elohim (Word of God) as much as I am, more so as we will hopefully have several international guests this year from Germany and Africa.
An Uncomfortable Thought
I want to begin today's assembly with an uncomfortable thought for many believers, and one we all have to wrestle over at one time or another, and it's this: we have nowhere in Scripture been given the licence to exercise emunah (faith) in telling Elohim (God) what to do.
No One Orders Yahweh to Do Anything
There are out there in the Christian community - and right here in our own lying, deceiving flesh - various false doctrines amongst which one is most pernicious: namely, that we tell, command, or order Yahweh on the toqef (authority) of the Davar (Word) to make us rich or healthy. Thousands of preachers - both the deceived sincere and a good number of wicked charlatans - are promoting this doctrine and hundreds of thousands on every inhabited continent are lapping it up in the vain expectation that they will become wealthy and healed of sickness by issuing various commands in faith. What tends to happen is that some of the ministers become stinking rich and the ordinary members remain poor. Much healing is faked, many believers do irresponsible things like neglecting conventional medicine and remain ill, become iller or die. A week or two ago I was looking into the claims of one of the charlatans in Nigeria who is responsible for the deaths of thousands of gullible followers.
True vs. False Divine Health and Wealth
Now I am not at all saying that Yahweh does not, cannot, or has not - made believers wealthy and healthy, because He has and still does. Ours is an Elohim (God) of miracles. But what He is not is an Elohim (God) of the whim of man's will or flesh. He does not do our bidding no matter how much 'faith' (wishful thinking) we may believe we have. We are to do His bidding, not the other way round. It is Yahweh who gives and it is Yahweh who takes away. When, why and how is not for us to determine, let alone try to fathom.
Life's Bad Circumstances
I, like you, wrestle over hard things - over hard circumstances in life - and the more thinking among you know that there can be multiple causes or reasons for the bad things that happen in our lives, some of our own making and some of others', but it is Yahweh who orders, permits or denies these things for reasons only He knows. If you try to fathom His mind and lev (heart) I guarantee you will either go insane or lose your emunah (faith).
Understanding Exodus 15:26
What, then, are we to make of those passages of Scripture like the following one which the Prosperiry Preachers love to cite?
"If you diligently heed the voice of Yahweh your Elohim (God) and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His mitzvot (commandments) and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am Yahweh who heals you" (Ex.15:26, NKJV).
Firstly, context is everything. The context here is ancient theocratic Israel in a deeded land under a particular Covenant that expired on the Cross. Many of the laws and statutes no longer apply to us as New Covenant believers (such as blood sacrifices and circumcision). The 'health and wealth' brigade conveniently overlook the mitzvah (command) to keep all Yahweh's Torah statutes! - not some, not many, or even most, but all of them. That was the original condition. How many of these charismatics who claim the right to order Yahweh to heal or prosper them obey even a fraction of the Torah?
Are You Obeying the Jerusalem Council?
How many even obey the initial New Covenant Torah statutes issued at the Council of Jerusalem?
Wealth While Walking in Disobedience
"But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality" (Acts 21:25, NKJV).
So how many of you from a non-Hebrew background are draining the blood from your meat and following the sexual laws in the Torah? If you're not doing even these basics you are living in disobedience no matter how much you claim to be following the New Testament. But how many of you even obey the Ten Commandments? How many of you even know what all the Ten Commandments are? There are very few, even amongst Messianics, who know what the seventh-day Sabbath even is, let alone live it, assuming it to be the Roman 'Saturday', because they follow a paganised Jewish calendar. So if they are getting wealthy in disobedience - some might call it outright rebellion - from what spiritual source do you suppose the wealth is coming?
The New Covenant's Greater Demands: A Ministry of Suffering
We are under a New Covenant "established on better promises" (Heb.8:6) that makes greater demands on us. One of those "greater demands" is that we suffer for the Messiah if called upon to do so, for whatever reason Yahweh has ordained:
No 'Name It and Claim It' Permitted
"But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of Elohim (God): in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), by sincere ahavah (love), by the Davar Emet (word of truth), by the power of Elohim (God), by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things" (2 Cor.6:4-10, NKJV).
There is no acceptable "name it and claim it" based on man's arbitrary will and feelings or pretended ownership of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit): we own nothing and we certainly do not control the Ruach (Spirit)! Rather, we are owned by Elohim (God) lock, stock and barrel, and whatever we do in His Name, when done rightly, is done IN Him and not in any degree apart from Him. And if Yahweh tells us to pray for something through the Ruach (Spirit), then He will give it to us; but if He does not, and we continue to demand in expectation because of some carnel sense of entitlement, then we will remain unheeded from heaven but quite posible heeded elsewhere and given that which is impure and cursed.
The Right Approach
Through Yah'shua (Jesus) all the consequences of sin will be dealt with, including ill health. We know from the demonstration of His ministry that He had the right and power to remove sickness and end poverty. And the hope is held out that one day they will be eliminated forever. Nowhere in the B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament) is the promise made that a true believer will neither get sick nor poor. When Timothy got stomach problems, did Paul tell him to 'name and claim' health? No, he told him to take some medicine! (1 Tim.5:23) No blank cheque has been signed by Yah'shua (Jesus) for everyone for health and wealth in this life but in eternity - we are promised a time, in the resurrection, that we will live in abundance and free of pain and sickness. Until then we are to endure.
The Abuse of John 14:12
Many modern preachers are fond of quoting John 14:12 in which Yah'shua (Jesus) says:
O how this passage is twisted and taken in isolation from numerous other passages that make it clear that we are only to ask for anything that is in His will! We are told not to ask for anything to consume upon our lusts. So what are the "greater works" that are being spoken of here?
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (John 14:12-14, NKJV).
What Yah'shua Actually Said
I want you to notice two things very carefully:
The Two Stipulations for Having Prayer Answered
- 1. "He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also"; and in the next verse,
- 2. "If you love Me, keep My mitzvot (commandments)" (John 14:15, NKJV).
Two conditions are clearly stipulated here. To receive anything we ask of Yah'shua (Jesus) we must:
Complete Submission Demanded
- 1. be doing what Yah'shua (Jesus) did, and
- 2. be obeying the mitzvot (commandments).
Yah'shua (Jesus) obeyed His Father's mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah (Jn.8:28) and we are to be doing the same. When we are walking as He walked, in complete submission to the Father, Yahweh, not seeking our own will but His, then whatever we ask for will be given to us. Do you see how different an attitude this is to the egotistical 'name and claim it' mindset which, like a child having a tantrum, demands blessings to consume upon its own lusts? These people typically want health so that they can resume sinning where ill-health has, in some cases, checked them and prevented them from doing worse.
Conversion is the Main Thing
The emphasis in the Besorah (Gospel) is always on the mighty work of conversion. Healing was always incidental to this main purpose. And conversion - full conversion of mind and lev (heart) leading to a Torah-obedient lifestyle in emunah (faith) - remains the primary thing.
What 'Greater Works' Did the Apostles Do?
It should also be obvious that none of the apostles did greater miracles than Yah'shua (Jesus). Can you name one? He raised the dead, and so did they. But He stilled storms, they did not. He rose from the dead Himself, but they did not. So what are the "greater works" that He promised we would do? First and foremost, GREATER CONVERSIONS!
Greater Wonders to Come
Now I am not saying that we won't see greater physical miracles in times to come. One hears reports of Christians excaping their persecutors in Asia who were enabled to run on water. And we know that the miracles which took place during the Exodus will pale by comparsion to the wonders that will accompany the return of the twelve tribes to the Holy Land immediately prior to the Second Coming because Scripture says that these will be remembered at Pesach (Passover) rather than the Red Sea crossing and all the other wonders. Nevertheless, the greatest and most important miracles than can be done are always conversion of the soul!
People are in a Rush
Beware greatly of the 'Prosperity Gospel' - flee from it! It is very much a child of this narcissistic, fast-food mentality age in which people want everything for the minimum of effort, and they want it yesterday! Nobody is prepared to wait for anything anymore.
Everything Must Be 'Instant' - the Problem of Food
People don't save any more, they get instant credit. People won't give their bodies time to heal by eating proper, natural, unpolluted, unprocessed, GMO-free kosher food and sensibly exercising them - they want to carry on polluting the Temple of the Ruach (Spirit) with poisons because they don't want to take the time and effort to grow and prepare their own healthy food! But anyone who has done any serious research on how terrible our factory-produced food is really doesn't have any choice unless they are of a mind to ignore the emet (truth). Those who care know they have to get back to basics and sacrifice some time and effort to make sure that they and their families get proper nutrition. The way health services are declining in the USA with one safety net after another disappearing, the only responsible thing is to eat well and preclude medical attention we may soon not be able to afford to get.
If we are to obey the mitzvot (commandments) and want decent health, we need to take healthy eating more seriously. Goodness knows I have been guilty of failing to do that all my life and have paid dearly with chronic illness, and I have been impatient for healing. Only this last few weeks have I made any serious effort to do something about this. No one seriously expects someone to heal from cocaine addiction if they continue taking cocaine and then expect Yahweh to just 'heal' them. And whilst Yahweh most definitely does supernaturally heal people of drug addiction - I know many people whom He has rescued from death and healed - He does expect addicts to actually make the effort to change their lifestyle and trust in Him! The promises are always conditional upon obedience to the mitzvot (commandments) - His grace in permanent supernatural healing is to be viewed within that commitment. So why should it be any different when it comes to bad health caused, for example, by the fast 'food' lifestyle?
Don't Blame Yahweh
Coming to terms with these truths will spare you the inevitability and consequences of much unnecessary atheism, that is, blaming Elohim (God) when He doesn't deliver according to our conditions and timetable. There must first of all be faithfulness to Yah's Davar (Word)! There's no circumventing it - there's no way you'll manage to get around it and prosper in any other way! There are mitzvot (commandments) and there's a divine tavnith (pattern) for chayim (life) to be followed. Ignore it at your own cost.
Resurrection Power vs. the Cross
Another mistake that believers make is to put resurrection power (real or imagined) before the Cross when it comes to the divine tavnith (pattern) for Christian living. Yah'shua (Jesus) made it very clear that unelss we were willing to take up His cross that we could not be His talmidim (disciples) (Lk.9:23). You see, the Cross speaks of death, not resurrection power. Paul said that we always carry around the death of the Messiah with us (2 Cor.4:10), not in some morbid or moribund sense, but for His glory and our shalom (peace). Indeed, did He not say that the evidence of His resurrection power in us would be that we are sharing in Yah'shua's (Jesus') suffering? (Phil.3:10)
The Two Greatest Miracles of All
The greatest miracle that can happen in a person's life is to be plucked out of spiritual death and into placed in abundant chayim (life) when Yah'shua (Jesus) washes the sinner clean, takes him out of the Kingdom of Darkness and squarely plants him in the Kingdom of Light. The second greatest miracleis that He can, and does, keep us there! The authentic Christian life is not always easy and does not pretend to be. Our flesh opposes Yahweh's discipline, does it not? And yet, by His grace - His undeserved loving kindness, His unmerited favour - we remain faithful and true! If you are a true believer you have known, and know, both these resurrection-power miracles! If you don't, you haven't even started an authentic spiritual life yet. I speak of the miracle of spiritual regeneration and the power to maintain it.
No Other Gospel
ANY OTHER BESORAH (GOSPEL) IS A FALSE ONE AND WILL TAKE YOU DOWN THE PATH TO RUINATION. Whatever other miracles Yahweh may do in your life are always secondary to these two. Of course there is more to come. But don't get greedy and impatient or succumb to the will of the flesh. Wait patiently on Yahweh for the rest. And I promise you, if you re-orient your hopes and expectations based on this tavnith (pattern) you will find that otherwise elusive shalom (peace) that is denied us when we try to race ahead and end up falling into the pits of doubting and unbelief
My Own Testimony
I have a testimony of my own in this connection that I want to share with you today, and it is very recent. In fact it happened yesterday. As many of you know, I suffer from progressively worsening chronic fibromyalgia which prevents me now from not only being able to lie down for any length of time but from sitting down for very long either. The cumulative lack of sleep has left me hyper-exhausted and unable to concentrate in order to do much of anything at all. Whereas I used to produce the equivalent of a sermon or devotional a day in addition to all my other duties and responsibilities, now it is a struggle simply to churn out a single weekly sermon. I have to prioretise the things I can still do very carefully.
The Horror and Suffering of Mortality
This illness has led me to the point of desperation more than once and caused me to question the goodness of Elohim (God) as well as to entertain some atheistic doubts from time-to-time. Every piece of news of the personal illnesses or disasters of others has multiplied the sense of desperation and futility as I have tried to carry all of these tribulations on my shoulders, demanding answers amidst the apparent meaninglessness. Almost every day I hear news of some faithful believer going down with this or that life-threatening illness and not a little anger has stirred in me - of a faithful prayer warrior who has supported me in times of illness when it has felt that everything would collapse, of a newly married brother and father-to-be suddenly struck by a debilitating virus, of the devastated families of those who have had their children kidnapped by the state, of marriages collapsing and children caught in the middle of these painful relational conflics (including my own), and much more...the list just goes on. As a part-time journalist and researcher trying to keep abreast of everything going on in the world, witnessing the triumph of evil everywhere, it has been hard to keep afloat emotionally, and at times I have just had to shut these feelings down just to get by. I have been reading of the horrors of the Bosnian War of the 1990's and of man's inhumanity to man. You do desperate things with your psyche in order to survive. I had even turned to eating unwholesome amounts of confectionary for comfort which, as I have mentioned, I have now had to almost totally quit too, as this was also contributing to the decline in my health. So with this and the anger of the apparent 'injustice' and hopelessness of it all, my health has failed even more. These and other matters have simply weighed heavier and heavier on me to the point where I could no longer continue physically or emotionally.
A Sermon Unfolds
Then two nights ago I arose around 3.30 in the morning, unable to lie down, and began writing the first part of this sermon. It was as I was doing that that I began to realise that I had not only demanded 'explanations' but also healing from Yahweh as a condition for continuing in the ministry - in His service. And in so doing I had unwittingly started missing the whole point of the Besorah (Gospel). You might say that as this sermon flowed, a re-awakening occurred. The theologian (one who studies the Davar Elohim/Word of God) began to see the Theos (God).
Dream of the Rotten Pear Tree
When I went back to bed around 5.30 am I prayed, repented of my attitude, and slept soundly for a couple of hours. I had some profound dreams which I want to share with you. I found myself in the garden of my parents' former home in England and to my dismay my father was cutting down a pear tree we had at the front. We never did get many pears so it was extra special because of that. To me, as to my parents before me, the cutting down of a fruit tree is a heinous crime - it's a source food, it takes years to grow, and so is a bit like cutting off your own leg. When we sold a parcel of land for development many years ago we were horrified when the new owners chopped down two very old and productive apple trees, the surplus from which we were able to bless our friends with. So I protested most vehemently to my father in the dream when he started chopping down this very old tree. He then took hold of the one remaining branch that he had not yet cut down and pulled it hard. It snapped off loudly and revealed a rotten inner core. I understood at once and accepted that this tree was bad and had to go after all. I yielded to his better judgment.
The Muddy Flood
Then I found myself back in Sweden and next to an earthen embankment nearby a plot of land we own that borders on a neighbour's house. Water was flooding in large amounts over the embankment from the garden in England and was pouring into this Swedish ditch at the foot of the bank which quickly filled and spilled over to make, first, a large pond and then became a flowing river some meters across. The water was thick with mud. I then began to uncontrollably slide down the bank, made slipperly by all the mud, and I ended up in the water-waiste deep. The current was really strong and it was all I could do to remain on my feet, steading myself every now and then with some vegetation near the bank.
The Crayfish and the Healed Waters
The next thing I remember was being next to a big white plastic container full of very large red crayfish and without so much as a thought I started emptying some of them into the dirty pool that was now a river because that's where I felt they were supposed to be. As they entered the water I had some doubts that I was doing the right thing, remembering that these were unkosher creatures, but the sense that this was right outweighed any hestitation. I wasn't, after all, going to eat them. Within a very short time the water turned crystal clear and every trace of mud and impurity was gone. It was then I awoke.
A Generational Sin Exposed
It did not take me long to understand the prophetic nature of this dream - indeed, like the water, the meaning was crystal clear to me. The pear tree was a rotten tree, something bad I had inherited from my father's family - a character trait or generational sin, if you will, and the 'father' within me had recognised that it was so and that it had to be chopped down because it was destroying me within. Once I, as the 'son', realised that it was indeed bad, I did not resist the tree's destruction. I just knew it had to be done and was in full agreement.
Meaning of the Waters
As a result of this choice, new living mayim or waters moved back from my past in England - from my childhood - and ran down into the present in Sweden. A lot of soil or 'dirt' was washed into this ever growing pool by the mayim (waters) which symbolise the lev (heart), feelings or emotions which had been polluted by the effects of the dark generational tree. The pear is not a biblical fruit so has to be understood from my own English cultural background where it either represents affections between people (preserved in an old Christmas song about a pear tree) or immortality on account of the longevity of the pear tree, and in this situation, clearly signified damaged or impure affections.
The Crayfish as Cleanser
The crayfish, though not food for us, is Yahweh's gift to freshwater as the lobster is to salt water. It serves a function like the pig. Both crustaceans, along with shrimps and prawns, are scavengers, cleansing the bottom of the sea, lakes and rivers, and as a result purifying the water too. Thus the crayfish cleansed the pool of water of my emotions - it represents the cleansing action of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). And there is no doubt that I feel a cleansing has started to take place to deal with the bitterness caused by accute illness and the bitterness caused by the appalling experiences of myself and of my friends and acquaintances. It's a beginning to be sure but for me an important one, and all linked to the theme of this sermon. The point is, you too can receive the same healing once any atheistic perspective of Elohim (God) has been recognised and rejected. That's critical. We must first get our thinking right and then affairs of the lev (heart), which take longer than the mind to be fixed, will be taken care of in due course.
The Vision of Gershom
I wanted to finish today by sharing, in barest outline, one of several experiences I have been having this last week to, as it were, round everything off as we move tomorrow into the new month and the first of the autumn (fall) festivals. I also hope it will help you interpret dreams and visions better. They connect with what I have been talking about - the need to get right with Yahweh before the Day of Accounting falls upon us at Yom Kippur.
The Vision of the Desolate City
It happened four days ago (Day 6:26, 1 October) when I saw a vision upon waking in the middle of the night. I had not been thinking or praying about anything in particular the evening before and indeed I had had one of my usual painful, sleepless nights. It was during this time when I was tossing and turning that I saw a vision of a ruined city in which not a single building or tree was left standing. I was looking down on it from the air and could see the streets. All was ruins, piles of bricks and wood, a desolate scene indeed. As I was looking at this city, wondering where it could be, I heard the voice of Yahweh say most clearly: "GERSHOM".
The Four Biblical Gershoms
Those of you who are students of biblical geography will know that there is no such place name as 'Gershom' in the Holy Land or in the surrounding nations. Rather it's the name of three persons and a whole clan (also spelled Gershon with an 'n' at the end). The first Gershom was the elder son of Moses (his younger brother being called Eliezer), born in Midian (Ex.2:22; 18:3) and the name commemorates Moses' exile when he fled from Pharaoh after accidentally killing an Egyptian taskmaster who had been abusing a Hebrew slave. Yet in this wilderness of Midian he met and married his second wife and raised a family. Gershom's own sons were counted as Levites (1 Chr.23:14-15). The second Gershom was a descendant of Phineas the cohen (priest) (Ezr.8:2) whom we otherwise know nothing about. The third Gershom was a false cohen (priest) in service of some Danites (Judg.18:30). And the fourth and last Gershom was a son of Levi.
Bearers of the Tabernacle
In the wilderness the Gershonites had the responsibiluty of carrying the tabernacle, tent coverings, hangings and cords for the door, court, and gate and received two wagons and four oxon to help in the task. When the Holy Land was settled they received 13 cities of refuge (Josh.21:6). Under King David the Asaphites and Laadanites, both Gershonite families, had special singing and treasury duties (1 Chr.6:39; 23:1-12; 26:21-22). They are mentioned at the bringing up of the Ark (1 Chr.15:7), at the cleansings of the Temple under Hezekiah and Josiah (2 Chr.29:12; 35:15), and as serving under Ezra (Ezr.3:10) and Nehemiah (Neh.11:17). Bear these things in mind as we analyse the meaning of the vision.
The etymology of the name 'Gershon' is clearly what is of primary importance here and consists of two parts: ger, meaning 'stranger, 'alien' or 'sojourner', coming from the verb meaning to 'abide', 'gather', 'dwell' or 'be a stranger' and appears in other Hebrew names like the city of Gerar and Abraham's wife Hagar. The second part, shom, may either be sham, meaning 'there', or shem, meaning 'name' and appears as the names Shem (son of Noah whose descendants are the 'shemites' or 'semites' whom we believe to be Melchizedek who gives his name to the Messianic or Melchizedek Priesthood), and Shemuel, better known to us in English as 'Samuel', meaning 'heard of El (God)'. It has been suggested that Gershom may therefore mean 'stranger there' or 'stranger in His Name'. A third suggestion is that Moses may have been thinking of the verb garash, meaning 'cast up', 'drive away', 'divorce' or 'expell' "indicating an effective separation between persons or groups, i.e. 'expulsion'" . In other words, Gershom means 'Exile' showing that Moses, in exile from Pharaoh, was of the same category as Adam and Eve in exile from Eden, Cain in exile from Yahweh's people, and David who was in exile from Saul as well as because of his rebellious son Absalom.
Interpreting Dreams and Visions
"A beautiful derivation of this verb is the noun garash (geresh), 'something yielded' or 'put forth'. This noun is used only once, in Deuteronomy 33:14, where it denotes produce which is 'thrust' up out of the ground (lit:) 'by the moons'" .
Those of us gifted with seership learn early on that our interpretation of visions and dreams, if we don't know what they mean right away, should by default begin with ourselves. So I considered first of all that this scene of desolation represented myself. Certainly there was a case to be made that it was because parts of my life had been rendered desolate by calamity; but because of earlier dreams and visions I had had earlier during the week, it was clear that this vision was pointing to someone else who had earlier been called to be a metaphorical 'bearer of the tabernacle' in the wilderness but who had gone into voluntary self-destructive exile because of sin and unbelief. Nevertheless I was closely connected to the person whose departure from us had been - and still is - very painful. So there was certainly mutual indentity with the vision. I had a fourth vision this morning confirming the identity of the person who was in considerable distress and even at times suicidal  so things are undoubtedly coming to a head.
The Sorrows of Life
Just as I had been in a kind of exile because of a 'bad tree' inherited from my ancestors, so all of us at one time or another end up eating destructive fruit that can bring sorrows into our lives. But Yahweh, in His mercy and loving-kindness, never stops working on us, and patiently waits for us to embrace the light, repent and change. But until we do, we are left desolate - in whole or in part, in some aspect of our life or maybe our entire life if we have really gone out of the Derech (Way) that leads to Eternal Life, as we are reminded in this passage from Zephaniah that speaks of rebellious Judah:
"Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, to the oppressing city! She has not obeyed His voice, she has not received correction; she has not trusted in Yahweh, she has not drawn near to her Elohim (God). Her princes in her midst are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave not a bone till morning. Her prophets are insolent, treacherous people; her cohenim (priests) have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the Torah (Law). Yahweh is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails, but the unjust knows no shame. I have cut off nations, their fortresses are devastated; I have made their streets desolate, with none passing by. Their cities are destroyed; there is no one, no inhabitant" (Zeph.3:1-6, NKJV).
We can take this one level of meaning up to the world in its current situation and I am sure you will agree. The news just gets worse and worse, doesn't it? As I speak the American government has closed down and many are wondering if this portends the financial collapse we have been so long waiting for. I don't think it is just yet, but it is close, and we should not relax our diligence in getting prepared. There is no time to waste when it comes to getting things right with Yahweh, with each other, and materially for hard times ahead because in reality we just don't know how much time we have got. Tomorrow we may not even be in this dimension any longer - there's talk of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood having used some nuclear device against Coptic Christian, and we have all heard about the chemical weapons in Syria. One way or another - whether it's this world as a whole through which we are just passing as 'aliens' and 'strangers', 'yielded' to Yahweh, or whether its personal because of sin we are grappling with to overcome it - we are in the Wilderness of Mortality and we all have our callings, duties and responsibilities to perform. We are bearers of the Tabernacle of Yahweh or as the cohenim (priests) who minister within it. Let us resume making teshuvah (repentance) as the first of the autumn (fall) fesivals - Yom Teruah - arrives tomorrow. I look forward to seeing you then and pray Yahweh's blessing on all of you in Yah'shua our Messiah. May you have a restful Sabbath for the rest of today. Amen.
 Arie Uittenbogaard, Meaning and etymology of the Hebrew name Gershom
 Arie Uittenbogaard, Ibid.
 Vision of the Black Bear and White Two-Horned Sheep; Prophetic Dream of the Left Horn of the White Two-Horned Sheep; Prophetic Dream of the Three Lightning Bolts & the White Two-Horned Sheep; The Last Party: A Warning to the Rebellious; The Burning Table I: Vision of a Covenant-Breaker; The Journey Home: I. Visions of Judgment & Gathering; The Journey Home: II. Revelation of the 7 Pools