Month 5:1, Rosh Chodesh, Year:Day 5939:119 AM|
ROSH CHODESH V (Chamashee haChodesh),
29/40 Fast of the Firstborn, 29/70 Firstborn Mourning
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 27 July 2014
Rosh Chodesh V
Where are All Yahweh's Men?
"'As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,' declares Yahweh, 'so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,' says Yahweh. And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against Me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind'" (Isa.66:22-24, NIV).
Chag sameach Rosh Chodesh kol beit Yisra'el and may the blessings of the Father Yahweh be upon all those assembling during this extended Shavu'ot (Weeks) Summer Conference here in Sweden and in Kenya and elsewhere in the homes of the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones). Grace and shalom (peace) be upon you all in Yah'shua our Messiah (Jesus Christ).
Gathering to Worship on Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat
As you will see from today's passage which concludes the Book of Isaiah, New Moon Day or Rosh Chodesh, like the Sabbath, is a heaven-ordained day of worship. Yahweh here declares that all mankind, with one accord, will one day worship Him on these days. Five times each month - on one New Moon and on four Sabbaths - mankind will assemble in obedience to the mitzvah (commandment). This, then, is one of the signs of true Israel, a sign by which true believers are to be identified, both now and in that day when the world is fully subject to Yahweh once again. And as we learn elsewhere in the Scriptures, this is a day on which the nevi'im (prophets) speak to the people, guiding them in the ways of Yahweh.
Every Head a Prophet
How many churches and messianic synagogues are obeying this mitzvot (commandment)? How many actually meet together on this Day of the New Moon? And how many actually have nevi'im (prophets) in their midst who are hearing the Davar Elohim (Word of God) for the assembly and are declaring it to the people? The nevi'im (prophets) are not just preachers, they are men of Elohim (God) who receive authentic revelation for the clans of Israel assembled in the proper order. Every household head is the pastor, navi (prophet) and cohen (priest) of his family and it is His responsibility to hear the Davar Elohim (Word of God) and to proclaim it - both those devarim (words) already received for Israel as recorded in Scripture and those devarim (words) fresh from the Throne of Elohim (God). Was this not the prayer of Moses, and more, when he declared:
Walking in the Heavenly Fire
"I wish that all Yahweh's people were nevi'im (prophets) and that Yahweh would put his Ruach (Spirit) on them!" (Num.11:29, NIV).
The fathers and husbands of families must be nevi'im (prophets) and so ignite that Ruach (Spirit) in their wives and children that everyone has the spirit of prophecy! Then all will know the Davar Elohim (Word of God) and be able to worship in the fullness of emet (truth). Then every New Moon and every Sabbath the Congregation of Israel, trusting in Yah'shua (Jesus) and obeying the Torah (Law), will be made complete. It is not enough to just assemble - Yahweh wants us on fire for Him, and we can only be on fire for Him if we walk in that heavenly fire. Needless to say, we do not have to kindle that fire - we don't need to work ourselves up as the pagans do by getting psyched up with music or dance - the fire is already there. Our part is simply to step out of our spiritual fog and right into it.
The Rain Came
Last night I could not sleep because it was so hot. We have been having a heatwave here. So I went downstairs to prepare this sermon around 3 a.m. It was hot, sticky, and swealtering. I did not know what message to bring you today. My spirit was barren. And then the message began to come, and as it did so, it began to rain outside, and this gloriously cold air began to waft into my office, making it a pure joy to write this message. I repeat, you do not have to work up this fire. If you do, then the fire is almost certainly not going to be the real heavenly thing. You don't have to stoke heaven's fire up - it's always there. But you to have to get up out of laziness or apathy and walk into it. We do that by arising from slumber, as I arose with some difficulty in the middle of the night to prepare this message, and then walking over and sitting at the feet of our Navi (Prophet), Cohen (Priest) and Melek (King), Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and listening to Him.
Prophets, Priests and Kings
Every man is the navi (prophet), cohen (priest) and melek (king, ruler) of his own household. He is called to be a King David, a Zadok the Cohen (Priest) and a Nathan the Navi (Prophet) rolled into one (1 Ki.1:32,44). At any time a member of his household must be able to approach him for wise and righteous judgment on a matter. At any time a member of his household must be able to approach him for pastoral counsel. At any time a member of his household must be able to approach him for a prophetic davar (word) from the Prophet, Priest and King in Heaven until he or she is doing so for him- and herself by imitating his spiritual and temporal discipline. And though prophecy is not by man but by the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God), it does not come unless a man is trained to be submitted, trained how to listen, trained how to put that Davar Elohim (Word of God) into action in his own life.
Like King David
A man's titles and offices are not given to him simply so he can lazily sit on a throne and have everything done for him - they are given because he is supposed to be living out these offices by setting an example. King David was not chosen to be king because he had some fancy throne to sit on or a golden crown on his head but because he was a man of the people, a man of the earth, a humble shepherd capable of imitating the Great Shepherd in Heaven.
Like Zadok the Priest
Zadok the Cohen (Priest), whose name means 'righteousness', a descendant of Aaron, was not a minister simply because he held a title by right, but because he was a minister who had practical responsibilities - he looked after the Ark of the Covenant (2 Sam.8:17). That Ark is in our temples that are our physical bodies, and that ark is our heart, containing Torah and other witnesses, and we are to maintain it in purity before Elohim (God). The Zadokites are set-apart historically from all others because they were entirely innocent of apostacy under the monarchy (Ezek.44:15ff.).
Like Nathan the Prophet
Finally, the head of a household is a Nathan the Navi (Prophet), whose name means 'He (Yahweh) has given', one who is not afraid to speak the emet (truth) even if it should cost him his life. And Nathan, you will remember, not only spoke boldly against David's adultery and murder, but, having previously agreed with David's plan to build the Temple, had to retract his opinion and boldly proclaim that the King could not build the Temple after Yahweh spoke through him and told him that the king was unworthy to do so. A head of household, as a navi (prophet), must be prepared to speak to things his wives and children that are not popular, and which they may resist and complain about, and he must do so for the sake of the Davar Elohim (Word of God). His job is not to be popular but to fearlessly denounce sin and proclaim righteousness.
No Easy Matter to be a Head
No, sir, it is not an easy matter to be a household head, or a congregational head like a pastor. It is not supposed to be easy, let alone fun, for heads serve to please Elohim (God) alone and never the flesh of those he heads. Therefore he must be fearless and bold in proclaiming and implementing Yah's order. If he does not, then he will be a failure. And like I said, he does not have to create the flames of Yah's Fire - he simply has to step into it and stand firm.
Over the years, as I have walked in this headship rôle, both as a husband, father and minister, I have had to endure abuse and make myself unpopular because I would not compromise the Davar Elohim (Word of God). And when I did compromise it, and, I am ashamed, I have done so more often than I would like to admit, I always lost authority, and chaos resulted. I have seen entire congregations walk away, most never to return. I have seen wives and children walk away, some of whom have still not returned. It has cost dearly to walk this narrow path. But now I do not fear men's opinions of me any longer. I do simply do not care any more if they wish to be abusive or complaining because my eyes are not on them but on my Elohim (God). I care only to be a true ruler, navi (prophet) and cohen (priest) and if necessary I will do so alone. Only that way have I found strength, only that way have I learned to fear Elohim (God).
Yahweh wants a nation of nevi'im (prophets), strong men who will not buckle under the face of criticism and opposition. He does not want weak little men who are all talk and no walk. He does not want shadows of men who simply delegate all their responsibilities to others while he does nothing basking in the fantasy of his own glory. He does not want spiritually anaemic men who wallow in self-entitlement and self-pity who are useless not only to themselves but to everyone else too. He wants them to repent and step into the fire and let Yahweh burn that dross of cowardice, and of murmuring, and of indecision, and of indifference out of them. He wants men to step up to the challenge to be who they are called to be. He does not want men to spiritually wear women's skirts and lipstick and go around waiting to be taken care of because that is not his calling or function. He wants men to be men, women to be women, and children to be children and to not confound or confuse their rôles. And if men were proper men there would not be all this insane gender confusion and promiscuity in the world. There would be strong and loving families everywhere.
The Shunammite Woman
Now we ought to be consulting the nevi'im at all times and at any time but because we are all by nature lazy Yahweh has ordained that we deliberately do so five times a month to ensure that we actuallyget the job done - on the first day of the month at Rosh Chodesh or the New Moon and on the four Shabbat's of every month. Every Israelite knew that these were in part what the New Moon festivals and Sabbaths were for. When the Shunammite woman, who served Elisha the Navi (Prophet) who prophesied she would have a child - and when that child subsequently died and she asked her husband to help her to go to Elisha for counsel and help, do you remember that her husband's response was?
Children Must Imitate the Prophets
"Why go to him (Elisha) today?...It's not the New Moon or the Sabbath" (2 Ki.4:23, NIV).
He said this because that was when the nevi'im (prophets) were consulted as a matter of course. And that has not changed. Everyone knew that you consult the nevi'im (prophets) at the New Moon and on the Sabbath. Yahweh never changed that rule. If households or congregations have no navi (prophet), then those households and congregations are in trouble! The nation of Messianic Israel is supposed to be swarming with nevi'im (prophets) like bees around honey, but if there are no husbands and fathers dedicating their lives to Yahweh and stepping up into this calling, how can their children imitate them? And no, I am, not saying you have to be like Elijah or Elisha who had national callings as nevi'im (prophets), nor am I saying that having a testimony of Yah'shua (Jesus), which is the foundation of the spirit of prophecy, is enough either:
Hear, Learn and Implement
"For the testimony of Yah'shua (Jesus) is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev.19:10, NKJV).
It is never enough for the heads of households and heads of congregations to have "the testimony of Yah'shua (Jesus)" for they are called to hear the Davar Elohim (Word of God) and proclaim it to those under their headship. They must hear, learn and implement. Then prophets and prophetesses will arise in his household and the messianic community will be swarming with them until everyone is a navi (prophet), as Moses so coveted!
Meaning of the Dead Bodies
As we end this teaching this morning, may I remind you of the concluding part of today's passage under study:
A Metaphor for Weak Men
"And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against Me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind".
Though this pertains to an actual historical event, it is also a metaphor in the prophetic tradition of the condition of men who refuse to stand up to the office they have been called to. Those men who are heads of households and congregations who will not step into the fire in order to be prepared to be nevi'im (prophets) are not in a happy condition - they are dead spiritually because they are in rebellion against the very life force Yahweh has put into them. And when it says "their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind", it means on one level that they have a troubled conscience and cannot find shalom (peace) and they will be despised and loathed for being mere shadows of men because their spirits are so un-masculine, so non-men, and therefore unattractive. No true woman of Elohim (God) wants a feeble, disorderly, spineless man like that - she wants him to be a strong and capable leader in Messiah.
The Destruction Caused by the Hippie Generation
The problem we have today, in our age, is that men have remained boys and women, girls. They have never been nurtured into maturity. And once you have a generation of spoiled, immature men and women, the future is stacked with problems for them, and nations become morally weakened. We are in such a generation, for the men and women hippie generations of the 1960's and onwards walked away from their responsibilities and chose lawlessness, leaving a legacy of spiritual poverty to their children. It is not universal, of course, but it is especially bad in the former Christian West. That is why our leaders are such snotty little tinpot dictators throwing tantrums whenever they don't get their own way. That is why today we are once again on the brink of a World War once again, and you will remember that a hundred years ago tomorrow the first of those ghastly world wars broke out in 1914 that would destroy so much of the good that was in our civilisation. And as the West dies, led as it is by precocious and unaccountable children, so new powers arise who never new Messiah. Through the carelessness of my generation and the ones right after it, we have opened the door to a massive invasion of dark powers on the earth.
A Famine of True Leadership
There is a famine of true leadership in the Messianic Community today because there are so few real men anymore. The question is, what are you men going to do about it? And how can you women support them as they learn to be what their fathers never taught them to be? Men and women need to occupy their respective rôles but they cannot do so alone without each other, and they certainly cannot do it without proper fathers and mothers to guide and support them. The Church of Brats must be transformed into the Messianic Community of true godly men and women in Messiah. We are here to help but we will not pussyfoot around with you. You will hear the emet (truth) spoken bluntly and without apology. If you want to run away whimpering and complaining, that is your privilege, but we will not chase you with carnal gifts to win you back. But if you will stand your ground and accept discipline, then Yahweh can use you to do a mighty work and a wonder for Him. Otherwise, you are but a dead weight to the Kingdom, holding everyone back. It is not for nothing that Solomon wrote:
"The eye that mocks a father or scorns a mother's old age will be plucked out by magpies or eaten by the vulture's young" (Prov.30:17, NEB).
Pappa and Mamma, Brother and Sister
In one sense he speaks also of those who are "old" in the spirit because of their experience and wisdom. I love the African tradition of calling all older people 'Pappa' or 'Mamma' as though they were their own parents for this is absolutely right, or 'Uncle' or 'Aunt' if the relationship is not quite so intimate. In the same manner the older people should be calling all the younger people 'Son' or 'Daughter', and the younger people should be calling one another 'brother' or 'sister', and the older people calling one another 'brother' or 'sister' too. Everything outside this is therefore either 'husband' or 'wife' and these are those who are actually married to one another, for the only metaphorical 'husband' is Yah'shua (Jesus) and the only metaphorical wife is us as the polygamous wife of Yah'shua (Jesus), even as David had seven wives, Jacob four wives, and Abraham at least two. For we are all the children of Abraham by emunah (faith):
"So those who have emunah (faith) are blessed along with Abraham, the man of emunah (faith)" (Gal.3:9, NIV).
May I leave these thoughts and counsels with you to ponder soberly over the days ahead? For you are most surely going to need them if you are going to stand and be useful to Yahweh when the collapse comes, which Yahweh is permitting both to judge the nations as well as to serve as a disciplinary corrective for these and other maladies that so afflict the Body of Messiah today, so that the fire may be ignited again - not with all the false psychic babble and mumbojumbo of the charismatics, nor with the philosophies of men and of devils of the liberals, but with the true flame of the sons of Zadok, the sons of Righteousness, the flame that burns in the presence of Elohim (God). May it be so, in Yah'shua's Name. Amen.