Month 5:29, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5939:147 AM|
2Exodus 1/40, 57/70 Firstborn Mourning
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 24 August 2014
From the Rooftops
The Proclamation of the Word
"What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ears, proclaim upon the housetops" (Matt.10:27, NASB).
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and may the grace of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) be with you all in this assembly today.
An Enigmatic Passage
We begin this morning with a rather enigmatic passage of Scripture which Yahweh led me to three days ago in which Yah'shua (Jesus) instructs His talmidim (disciples) to transmit any revelation they may receive from Him clearly and distinctly to all who will hear it. The wording at first sight seems very strange indeed, belonging more to the kind of esoteric sayings recorded by John rather than the more pragmatic Matthew. What is it that Yah'shua (Jesus) reveals in the darkness, and what indeed is the "darkness" here? Considering that it is contrasted with "light", which invariably translates as "truth", the darkness here does indeed appear to refer to a time, or a place, or to circumstances in which emet (truth) is scarce or absent altogether. Looking around at the world today, where emet (truth) is hard to come by, and where Yahweh's servants are surrounded at every hand by spiritual darkness, it is not at all hard to understand what the Master meant: when He tells, or speaks, or reveals to His servants in times of great spiritual darkness where others fail because of the darkness - because of the scarcity of emet (truth) - His servants must speak out of the light of emet (truth). Equally, where little emet (truth) is to be heard in the discourses and communication of the world system, Yahweh's servants must listen attentively to the still small voice of the Ruach (Spirit) whispering within and then proclaim it loudly on the metaphorical rooftops for all to hear and be blessed by.
A Parallel and Opposite Passage
What is also interesting about today's passage is that there is a parallel one in the Gospel of Luke warning us of the reverse activity - the proclaimation of lies - by false ministers:
A Time of Full Exposure
"Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops" (Lk.12:1b-3, NASB).
Here the ones speaking in darkness shall have their words exposed in the light of emet (truth), and whatever has been whispered secretly shall be exposed by being broadcast for all to hear. In both reports the emet (truth) gets out - in Matthew, the emet (truth) of Elohim (God) which a world in darkness needs so desperately to hear, and in Luke emet (truth) about the falsehood of lying preachers and teachers used to deceive the world is fully exposed.
Use All Media
The "housetops" in both scriptures are the flat roofs of the houses that were commonplace in those days two thousand years ago in the Holy Land. Flat-roofed houses remain common in the Middle East and indeed it was not uncommon anciently to sleep on the roof and to build sukkot or shelters on them during the Feast of Tabernacles. As the highest place in a house and therefore offering the best view, the "housetop" here serves metaphorically as a raised pulpit from which to speak to a wide audience. Some nevi'im (prophets) of old would preach from the city walls to reach an even wider audience that could afforded by a mere roof of a house, but the sense is the same, with the wall becoming a "rooftop" for proclamation. What Yahweh gives us by way of prophecy or revelation we are to proclaim from such a high vantage point too which today might be viâ Internet, TV, radio, newspaper or book. Whatever the medium we use, it should be the most effective in conveying Yah's message far and wide. Equally these days such media are being used most effectively - and the Internet in particular - in exposing the evil of false preachers and secular rulers to the whole world. That is why we use this medium in particular and is why the powers-that-be wish to wrest it into their own control to suppress the truth, whether it be of the Besorah (Gospel) or the revelation of their own evil deeds.
Proclaiming the Life
In Jerusalem, the talmidim (disciples) most frequently proclaimed Yahweh's message from the House of Elohim (God) itself. On one occasion, the false religious leaders in the days of the apostles - in this case the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection and the nevi'im (prophets) - were so "filled with jealousy" on account of the powerful and persuasive preaching of the early believers, that "they laid hands on the apostles, and put them in a public jail" (Acts 5:17b-18, NASB) in an attempt to quench or silence the light which was exposing their own darkness. We are told that "a malak (angel) of Yahweh during the night opened the gates of the prison" (v.19, NASB) in the same way Brother Yun in our time was supernaturally set free from a communist Chinese prison, "and taking them out he said, 'Go your way, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole measure of this Chayim (Life)'" (v.20, NASB). And that is precisely what they did, in the "housetop" that was the very House of Yahweh where false rulers and teachers held dominion. And one of our sometimes pleasant but very necessary tasks is to do the same by proclaiming "the Derech (Way), the Emet (Truth) and the Chayim (Life)" (Jn.14:6, NASB) that malakim (angels) enable us to preach, as they did for those first apostles, that is the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
Proclaiming to Modern Sadducees
We are to proclaim on the "housetops" whatever revelation the Master has given to us, whether it be our testimony of the New Life we have received, or of true doctrine, or of repentance from dead works. It is not an easy matter but it is a necessary one, for who else will hear the Davar Chayim or Word of Life if it is not from us? We are not here to join hands with modern apostate Sadducees or their ilk but to proclaim the emet (truth) however much it may upset them, and it will, and does. We cannot make common cause with lies nor with the spirit of murder for these people do not wish us well when their lies are exposed and if they refuse to repent and change.
A Distinct Fellowship Required
That is why we exist as a distinct and separate fellowship with a distinct name, not because we wish to sow division, but because the emet (truth) must have a pure vessel in which to be promulgated amongst men and there must be a rallying point for all defenders of that emet (truth) and for those seeking after it. It would be grossly negligent on our part were we to be the instrument of converting souls to Messiah if we were then to send them to some church or synagogue where they would be instructed in an admixture of emet (truth) and lies. When Yah'shua (Jesus) and the apostles led souls to salvation, did they send them off to the Sadducees, Pharisees and Torah teachers (Scribes) for instruction, or did they gather them out into separate New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh? If you discover a vintage wine and wish to serve it to your friends, you serve it in your own cups and not in the cracked or filthy ones of those who disown that wine.
Our commission, then, is to proclaim from whatever "housetop" that is available to us, and by any godly means at our disposal, that Light Yahweh gives to us in times of darkness, emet (truth) that is whispered to us in the silent times of our prayers or in the dead of night in prophetic dreams while we are asleep or by means of visions when we are awake, or by impressions of the Ruach (Spirit) as we read the Scriptures in the privacy of our "closet". We have to speak this Davar Elohim (Word of God) out because so few are receiving it and even fewer are proclaiming it.
Which leads me to speak of a couple of visions gave to me three days ago to share with you today because they depict our time and the difficulty of sound discernment. These were seen in the middle of the night around 1.20 am.
Vision of the Melting Road: Will You Remain True?
In the first I was shown an area in the wilderness, more like a desert I suppose, and through the desert there was a brand new tarmac road. The heat of the desert was so intense that the road was melting and losing its shape making it nearly impossible to travel along. And though the road was melting and contorting, it was not destroyed. The heat here depicts the persecution that believers in the desert in some parts of the world are going through. We think of the Assyrian Christians of Syria and Iraq in particular who are being tortured, raped, sold into slavery, and beheaded by the Islamic State (IS), formerly called ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). I spent the better part of last night seeing the demonic forces behind these evil people close up, and it was not a pleasant thing. And though this is for those of us in the West somewhat distant, and only sporadic for now for our brethren in Africa, it will come to us eventually, and then the question all believers must face is whether to be faithful and remain on the scorched road that is Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), or to depart into the wilderness of spiritual darkness. Will you, therefore, remain true?
Vision of the Ship and Insect-Infested Sky
The second vision pertains to this work in particular. In it, I was in the prow of a ship that was entering a harbour but the sky was so infested with flying insects as it make it virtually impossible to see ahead save by emunah (faith). The flying insects here are depictions of demons, and you will know that Satan is described in Scripture as "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph.2:2, NASB). This is to be understood both literally as well as symbolically, the air representing the realm of thoughts and whisperings. The media are today crowded with the thoughts and words of lying demons, misinformation and blatant deception, making all 'offial' news sources almost totally unreliable. The public is not being shown reality at all but only a twisted, deliberately scripted version of it. In the case of this vision, I was being shown that in spite of all the 'noise' around us, making it apparently impossible to navigate our course, that we in fact have a Helmsman at the wheel of the vessel in the Person of Yah'shua (Jesus), which is this work, and that we are simply to let Him steer and bring us to the place that He wants us to be.
Message from the Temple of Yahweh
So my message to you from the Temple, as it were, is to continue exercising emunah (faith) in both the Saviour of our souls as well as to the mission He has entrusted to us in the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh and to remember two things:
The Need to Speak Louder
1. To listen carefully to what Yahweh is telling us as He whispers to us in the current darkness of the world, and to proclaim it loudly upon the "housetops" to all the world by whatever medium of communication is open to us to use; and
2. To go the the House of Elohim (God), to the Body of Messiah, where false preachers jealously and murderously guard their deceived flocks, and proclaim the fullness of the Besorah (Gospel) to all Christians and Messianics, and again through whatever medium is available to us, whether we go in person and speak to them face-to-face or whether we use the Internet and publications, as we have always done.
In spite of the evil day, our witness is to go out with equal vigour as before in more peaceful times. Indeed, the need is to speak louder and more boldly because a great and terrible judgment of the nations is being executed even as I speak, and a great and terrible economic crash, possibly accompanied by world war, is going to suddenly suck all of us into very different and difficult circumstances for which we have been prepared if we have listened dutifully to the nevi'im (prophets). If you love your life, and the lives of your families, you had better be prepared for what is to come at any time now.
Brethren, the NCAY ship is safe and sound in the hands of the Master. He is steering it and it is simply our task to remain on board and not abandon ship and find ourselves with no compass, no matter how hot the road, no matter how impossible it might appear to continue walking on it. "Go into your inner room (closet)," as I did preparing this sermon this morning at 5 am, "and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you" (Mt.6:6, NASB) for your diligence, as He has indeed blessed me today as I hope He has you. May His shalom (peace) continue with you today and in the challenging days head. Amen.