Month 11:8, Week 1:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5937:304 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 7 February 2014
The Heart of Torah III
What Yah'shua Most Loves
Part 2: Mourning or Brokenheartedness
Continued from Part 2
- (1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- (2) Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- (3) Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
- (4) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
- (5) Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
- (6) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see Elohim (God).
- (7) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of Elohim (God).
- (8) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- (9) Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matt.5:3-12, NKJV).
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and may the grace of our Master Yah'shua (Jesus) be with us in this assembly. For those you you who have been waiting for over a month for the third part of this series of sermons I have to apologise and explain that the reason for the long delay has been rather a lot of illness.
The Second Beatitude
We continue today with the second of the nine beatitudes of the Master that show us the things which are the most precious to Him when He finds them manifested in His talmidim (disciples). We looked at meekness, humility or spiritual poverty last time and it is not too hard to understand how that is important. The second one, on mourning or brokenheartedness, is at first glance a little harder to understand as being something that Yah'shua (Jesus) loves so we shall get our pickaxes and spades out to break rocks of unbelief and do some deep digging.
2. The Brokenhearted
The second beatitude comes to us in two forms from two different sermons - the 'Sermon on the Mount' and the 'Sermon on the Plain':
Visits to Heaven
- 2a. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (v.4, NKJV).
- 2b. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh...Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep" (Luke 6:21b,25b, NKJV).
I was listening with some interest some days ago to the testimony of the late Oden Hetrick  who, together with his daughter, was shown heaven many times. Ordinarily I have what I consider to be a 'healthy scepticism' toward claims of journeys to heaven if for no other reason than what is described by its claimed visitors varies so widely. For instance, Hetrick says (from what he saw) that only the Seraphim class of malakim (angels) have wings (which is more or less my view) whereas a Nigerian minister who went to heaven after he died said all malakim (angels) have wings. Some are clearly counterfeit experiences in the psychic dimension (astral plane) controlled by the demonic and others are various mixtures of actual experience with fantasy. Without a doubt our theological belief system can act as a filter too, distorting our experience of the reality of that world, not to mention the tendency to 'add' to an experience for dramatic effect.
Use Extreme Caution When Listening to Stories of Heaven
I always advise extreme caution when listening to such testimonies and to make sure that what is claimed actually matches what Scripture says. From the late Percy Collett (whose huge cassette collection I came into possession many years ago) whose prophecy about his own death was false and his visits to heaven bordering on the ridiculous at times (he claimed, for example, 'God' had literal 'feathers' - Ps.91:4), to the numerous cases of near death experiences (believers and unbelievers alike), to those who have actually been brain dead and had some sort of experience that little resembles what Scripture says , and to those like Oden Hetrick (who was fully alive and well when he went to Heaven) and Ian MacCormack's theophany (which I believe was genuine), we are offered a bewidlering array of sometimes contradictory experiences. (Peoples' visions of, and visits to, hell widely differ and seem somewhat tainted by their theological belief system). Nevertheless, in addition to healthy scepticism I always like to be open and I have to admit that Oden Hetrick's testimony rang very true because it matched so well with my own numerous personal experiences in the Garden of Yahweh and in the world of spirits. One thing Hetrick mentioned which I absolutely believe to be true is that there was much laughter mingled with joy in that heavenly place, which is why I raise this subject now.
Two Versions of the Second Beatitude
The second beatitude is given in two forms in two different sermons at two different locations. In the Sermon on the Mount Yah'shua (Jesus) says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted", and in the Sermon on the Plain, "Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh...Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep".
View on Laughter
There are some believers, alas, who associate dullness, glumness and dourness with spirituality. Some nunneries spring to mind. For many of them, laughter  is virtually a sin such that certain scriptures fail to resonate with them:
Extreme Views on Suffering
"A cheerful (merry, joyful) heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" (Prov.15:13).
They emphasise suffering to the point of morbidity and employ a small bag of scriptures, usually taken out of context, which they dip into in support of their colourless existence:
Times and Seasons for Laughter and Sobriety
"Therefore submit to Elohim (God). Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to Elohim (God) and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of Yahweh, and He will lift you up" (James 4:7-10, NKJV).
The point I wish to make, though, is that there are different times for laughter and sobriety. Even James said so:
Different Kinds of Laughter and Mourning
"Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise" (James 5:13, ASV).
As the Preacher (Solomon) reminds us, there is "a time to weep, and a time to laugh" (Eccl.3:4, NKJV) but additionally there are different kinds of weeping and different kinds of laughter. There is godly laughter and ungodly laughter; and yes, there is godly weeping and ungodly weeping:
"If can once get someone to laugh about something immoral you have him hooked. Humour is a psychological condition of acceptance. We laugh when we are relaxed. And what we laugh at is a revelation on how we look at morality in general. It is extremely easy to laugh at something that is mildly immoral. Perhaps it might be a joke about adultery -- or a little innuendo" .
"As one who loves humour I have also come to learn how Satan uses this to desensitise us to the sacred and to ultimately riddicule it. Worse, humour is often used to minimise the emet (truth) about sin until we no longer feel the need to take it seriously anymore" .
"A lot of the forms of humour that we are familiar with emerged after social traumas such as the two World Wars. The First World War traumatised millions of people and following the 1918 armistice we find a new kind of humour appearing like the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, and others, in which we are invited to throw caution to the wind and have a good laugh. Now it is true that a good laugh is a great panacea to the soul but sometimes - rather too often, I regret - we are persuaded to buy into lies in order to numb our senses to the reality of pain in our lives. The same thing happened after the Second World War. We often hide behind humour, some of it less than godly. But because it seems to 'work', we take it. This is not such a good idea, however, if underneath the soul is left traumatised and reaching it becomes harder" 
Degeneration of Humour
After the Second World War a whole new stream of comedy emerged. In Britain, the Goon Show took humour into the absurd and into an extreme form of lateral thinking, and this was followed by a progressive stream of degeneracy such as Monty Python-type comedy. 90% of today's humour is frankly obscene.
Humour in Heaven?
Now I don't know if we'll be cracking jokes in heaven or not but if we are, it will be pure and at no one's expense but our own. Yahweh certainly has a sense of humour. I suspect, though, that what Hetrick reported was the kind of laughter that is comingled with simcha (joy), being the mirror opposite of weeping and distress.
Promises Made in the First Two Beatitudes
The first beatitude, as we saw last time, promises the poor in spirit that they will possess the Kingdom of Heaven in the here-and-now. The second one is a promise for the future, whether in this life or the next one is not specified, but it's a promise nonetheless for either and both. That promise is that those who are mourning or grieving will be comforted. For those who have suffered a long time, and may suffer their whole lives, there is obviously a need for emunah (faith). If you haven't the humility to see the Kingdom of Heaven, then this is going to be a tough one to do. Suffering is what separates out emunah (faith) from doubt and makes it plain for all to see.
Does Yahweh Wants Us to Suffer?
Some of the hardest questions of life are addressed by the beatitudes. The other day a member of my family asked me: "Have you ever wondered if its Yahweh's will for us to suffer, and struggled with that?" My reply was that I try not to delve into unfathomable subjects like that because I know I will end up in darkness. But does He want us to suffer for sufferings' sake? No. Does He wants us to suffer in order to force us to repent? No - there are better ways, but sometimes He permits such suffering because we lack the humility required of the first beatitude to have a right perspective. Does He want us to suffer for others? Not directly, but He expects us to embrace the possibility of that in order to save another and to do so willingly if and when that course becomes clear. Is suffering inevitable? In this sphere of evil, yes. Did He put us here knowing that we would suffer? Yes. If we can be reconciled to this emet (truth) we will get a measure of comfort from the start. Acceptance of emet (truth) is a part of being comforted.
The Promise of Comfort is Absolute
The response I got was: "I have struggled at times if it may be Yahweh's will for us to suffer without being comforted." My reply was that this was a lie because the beatitude disproves that contention. We have the absolute promise that at some point that we will be comforted but so long as we live by the first beatitude! If there was no comfort, there would be no Comforter. If there was no Comforter, the pretended deity would not be a Father/Mother, and therefore a false one like Allah. The comfort may not come in the way or timing that we expect, of course, but it will be there once we are surrendered to the emet (truth) of Yahweh's fatherly, and the Ruach's (Spirit's) motherly, ahavah (love)!
An Outgrowth of Isaiah 61
I don't have the slightest doubt that when Yah'shua (Jesus) spoke the second beattitude that He had Isaiah in mind:
Yahweh Promises What He Would Do for the Brokenhearted
"The Ruach (Spirit) of Yahweh-Elohim is upon Me, because Yahweh has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh, and the day of vengeance of our Elohim (God); to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, that He may be glorified" (Isa.61:1-3, NKJV).
Here, in the Tanakh (Old Testament), Yahweh is prophesying a time when the Messiah would bind up the brokenhearted and proclaim the hour when those mourning would be comforted, when the ashes of their suffering - indicating the feeling that everything has been wiped out or destroyed - would be replaced by a crown of simcha (joy), and their mourning would be replaced with the oil of gladness.
Some of the greatest pain in life is caused by the grief experienced when loved ones die, when debilitating illnesses, abuses, persecution, betrayal, family break-up following divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, homelessness, or national catastrophes such as those experienced by the Israelites and Judahites being driven into exile after the destruction of their cities and lands, occur. Disaster and tribulation strike us in many forms.
Fukushima and Radiation Poisoning
The suffering caused by the Fukushima meltdown in Japan is only now impacting the countries of the Pacific rim where we can expected to see millions die horrible deaths because of cancer caused by contaminated water, seafood, air, rain and snow...from which the pharmaceutical industry will hugely benefit, of course, as it intended to. In the next couple of decades people who are suffering from radiation poisoning are going to be asking, 'Why me?' and 'What did I do to deserve this?' For these and millions of others there will be little hope. We're already seeing horrible mutants from the oceans. 98% of the Pacific Ocean is already dead. The death toll and suffering are due to mount year by year. But why must 'innocents' suffer?
Flee for Safety
First, because Yahweh ordained that responsibility and accountability be both individual and corporate or collective. We're not individual islands but part of a social system. We live among unbelievers and amongst believers who will not listen or obey. The prophets have been warning for years of these things. I have been warning people to leave the coastal areas of the USA and Canada and move east for over two years, but people are not usually inclined to run away from something they can't see, let alone from a danger which may only harm them slowly. My own son was starting at college in British Columbia, Canada, and I begged him not to go there. My prayers were eventually answered, he got homesick, and returned to Europe soon after getting there, before the worst of the radiation hit at the end of last year. That decision may have saved his life or spared him a lifetime of appalling sickness caused by radiation poisoning, as well as bringing grief to those who love, and will love, him.
Looking for Hope
Yah'shua (Jesus) says that it is blessed to mourn because mourning is the natural mechanism created by Yahweh to help us resolve the tragedy that is man's lot in this fallen world. Mourning does this by causing the soul, which chooses to remain open and confront the grief without suppressing it, to look for tiqveh or hope. Hope is what results, and helps us to continue with life, when we understand that there is an overall purpose for our suffering that is connected with Yahweh Himself and our eternal destiny. Without this hope there isn't much to look forward to and the spirit otherwise progressively shuts down getting more cold and cynical.
The Blessings are for Believers' Mourning
Yah'shua (Jesus) is, of course, speaking of the blessedness of Yahweh's people mourning, because in Elohim (God) there is both immediate comfort and an eventual end to suffering. This is not a statement made for the unbelieving because there is no comfort for unbelief. For the unbeliever it is either despair or denial. Notice, though, the emphasis on the collective or corporate believers - in fact, one thing you have probably noticed is that every beatitude is directed to people in the plural. What, then, is the corporate identity of those being spoken of? Israel.
Comfort for Messianic Israel
Israel - Messianic Israel in the New Covenant of Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) - is the Body that is collectively comforted as a nation as well as individually. This emphasis must not be missed because there really is no fullness of comfort unless the Body is working through this together, at any level of the nation, be it family, clan, tribe or nation as a whole.
Mourning the Tyranny of Occupation
The context of the Beatitudes, and in particular the second one we are examining today, concerns first and foremost the humiliation of being occupied and oppressed by a foreign nation because of the sin and rebellion of the past. Specifically, Roman occupation and oppression. The people were in the grip of a ruthless, tyrannical power, because of what they, and their fathers before them, had done in rejecting Yahweh and His Torah.
The new Kingdom of Yah'shua
Yah'shua (Jesus) came to announce another Kingdom to replace the existing ones in the world, including the failed Old Covenant Israelite one of their ancestors. This new Kingdom would begin from within and work its way outwards into daily living and suffuse the whole land if received by its inhabitants. This Kingdom, which was not of the world political, financial, religious and social system was, He said, at hand: it was imminent. His desire was that the people would respond in tears of repentance. He stood ready to fulfil Isaiah 40:1-2:
Sin is the Ultimate Cause of Mourning
"'Comfort, yes, comfort My people!' says your Elohim (God). 'Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from Yahweh's hand double for all her sins'" (Isa.40:1-2, NKJV).
But, of course, she did not collectively repent as a nation, that Kingdom was rejected, and a remnant was removed to become the beginning of a New Kingdom of Israel with Messiah as King. Yah'shua (Jesus) would indeed comfort those who mourn, but the comfort would come not because of revolution as Barabbas and the other zealots wanted, but because He would save them from their sin, which was the ultimate cause of their mourning.
The Universal Application of the Beatitudes
So whilst the Beatitudes have a situational context, they have universal application to all believers who acknowledge the King, the Kingdom, and its laws recorded in Torah. The suffering that Yah'shua (Jesus) speaks of is not therefore just for the vicissitudes and sadness of life but for all the sinfulness that causes it too, personal and collective. If we're only focussed on ourselves and our own woes then we have missed half the picture and can only receive half the comfort promised, for we are to empathise and grieve with others too. The ultimate grieving, therefore, is not just for ourselves individually, but for a world that is lost and ruined, in which Yahweh's will does not prevail. This is what you might call 'mature mourning', the mourning that reaches beyond self to embrace the community. This mourning for the Body of Messiah and beyond for the unredeemed world has historically been called 'travailing' or 'feeling burdened' for other individuals, nations or for the whole world. This is not something passive or intellectual - it is concrete and intimate grieving as for the loss of a member of your own family.
The Source of Solace and Assurance
There is much to be heavy about in this world to be sure and we are not to be insensitive to it. At the same time, were we to open ourselves to its misery without divine covering, support and strengthening, it would utterly overwhelm us. This is why people grow progressively insensitive to the suffering to others - it's either just too much or a spirit of indifference creeps in, motivated purely by self-interest and survival. Those talmidim (disciples) of Yah'shua (Jesus) who do mourn beyond themselves and to others know that their grieving is not without hope and that their Deliverer will carry and bear up their heavy hearts, brining solace and assurance.
The Knowledge That Gives Hope
For one thing, these true talmidim (disciples) know that their grieving and weeping is only for a short time in the span of eternity. They know, because of their emunah (faith) in the Davar Elohim (Word of God), that death does not have the final victory, that its sting is neutralised (1 Cor.15:55-56), that there will be a wiping away of all tears, and that one day our bodies will be raised incorruptible and glorious never to experience suffering, pain and death again. This knowledge that Yah'shua (Jesus) will end the suffering one day is what gives them tiqveh (hope) and comfort as they recall these scriptures:
The Unshakeable Promise
"He will swallow up death forever, and Yahweh-Elohim will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for Yahweh has spoken" (Isa.25:8, NKJV).
"Elohim (God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Rev.21:4, NKJV).
Moreover every believer trusts in this Davar Elohim (Word of God):
There are no 'ifs' or 'buts' here - there are no conditions - Yahweh says that the way He says it, it will absolutely be done. But, of course, if you don't know the One who said this, it becomes hard to believe anything else He said too.
"So shall My Davar (Word) be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void (empty, unfulfilled), but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isa.55:11, NKJV).
Becoming Citizens and the Abolition of Death
So the heavenly promise is, absolutely, comfort and consolation, because the cause of all the suffering - death - will itself be abolished, and its demonic agents incarcerated. This, then, is what citizens of the Kingdom can confidently expect, but first they need to become citizens through repentance, emunah (faith, trusting) and law-abiding citizens through obedience to all the mitzvot (commandments), and not just the ones they 'like'. They can't be selective or make excuses by twisting scriptures that make it appear that the Law-Giver has abolished His own laws in a sudden fit of anarchy, for this is to accuse the Law-Giver of having the nature of that rebel malakh (angel), who is the source of all the world's evil and suffering (2 Thes.2:8-9). Indeed:
He is Making All Things New
"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom Yahweh shall not impute sin" (Rom.4:7-8, NKJV).
Yesterday morning I woke up, after a long night of prophetic dreams and revelations (some of which I hope to share with you in the days to come), and heard Yahweh say the words; "I AM MAKING ALL THINGS NEW". It didn't dawn on me until much later that these were the same words spoken in the Book of Revelation immediately after one of the passages I have already quoted to you today:
"'Elohim (God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.' Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful'" (Rev.21:4-5, NKJV).
What is interesting is that in the revelation yesterday morning Yahweh used a tense to indicate to indicate that He is renewing us now in preparation for the greater work ahead - "I am making all things new" - whereas in the text the tense indicates that whatever He makes is always brand new - "I make all things new"! When our tears and sighing finally cease in that better world to come, everything will be made new and it will remain new permanently. In the meantime, He is waiting to renew anyone willing to become a talmid (disciple) of the King by eumunah (faith, trusting) and repentance, and a citizen of the Kingdom by obedience to Torah. We can therefore look forwards, in spite of our sufferings and the sadness of life, with hope if we have genuinely mourned over our sins and received the divine cleansing. And that will be the sign that we are in the true emunah (faith). Amen.
Continued in Part 4
 Rev. Oden Hetrick - Testimony of Heaven - also see his website, Hetrick House Ministries
 Dr. Eben Alexander, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife (Piatkus, London: 2012)
 See The Garden of Yahweh: The Deadly "If" and a Sense of Humour,
 The Christian and TV Control
 April Fools' Day: It's Not At All What You Think
 Programmed to be Inhuman
 Allen Ross, An Exposition of the Gospel of Matthew, the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12)