Month 2:15, Week 2:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5940:44 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50, Omer Count - Shabbat #4
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 21 May 2016
Prophetic Loose Ends
& Moving into the Abundant Life
"The word of Yahweh came to me: 'Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears. Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. Keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover the lower part of your face or eat the customary food [of mourners].' So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded. Then the people asked me, 'Won't you tell us what these things have to do with us?' So I said to them, 'The word of Yawheh came to me: Say to the house of Israel, 'This is what Yahweh-Elohim says: I am about to desecrate my sanctuary - the stronghold in which you take pride, the delight of your eyes, the object of your affection. The sons and daughters you left behind will fall by the sword. And you will do as I have done. You will not cover the lower part of your face or eat the customary food [of mourners]" (Ezek.24:15-22, NIV).
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and Mishpachah and may the grace of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) be with you. I pray that you are alert and not sleeping for the time we have been preparing for draws nigh.
Ezekiel Becomes a Prophetic Sign
Every week I come to this pulpit having previously thought to myself, 'OK, I have delivered Your words of warning, Father, and done so many, many times now.' And then I sit down and plan to speak about something I consider to be more 'edifying' along the lines of the salvation message. But so many times the Ruach (Spirit) constrains me to give yet another message of warning. And on this occasion, four days ago, I was taken to today's passage in Ezekiel where the navi (prophet) himself became a sign, and was told to accept something very, very painful indeed - the passing away of his beloved wife in silence - which is then to be used as a prophetic sign to the Israelite exiles in Assyria.
Pride of Power, Delight of Eyes and Heart's Desire Removed
On this occasion the people were told that the Temple in Jerusalem - in the Kingdom of Judah which had hitherto remained an independent state - they were told that Yahweh was about to "profane [His] [own] sanctuary, the pride of [their] power, the delight of [their] eyes, and [their] heart's desire; and [their] sons and [their] daughters whom [they] left behind shall fall by the sword" (Ezek.24:21, NRSV)
Past Glories Mean Nothing Today
Now I don't know what you are proud about in your religion, or in anything for that matter. For the Israelites and Judahites, the jewel in the national crown was the Temple in Jerusalem where Yahweh had once manifested His glory in the days of Solomon. It's presence meant His presence when undefiled. Whatever your denomination's achievements of the past in the Kingdom Task ... whatever your personal spirituality or great works of the past ... whatever your ministry's glory in days gone by ... whatever they may have been, you cannot rest contented on what may have been done before if things today are not right. It is your present state that will take you into a place commensurate in spiritual life in eternity.
Late Pesach and Chag haMatzah
Yesterday was Late Pesach for those who missed the first one last month and today is the first day of Late Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread) for those same late-comers. This is an extraordinary provision, when you come to think about it, because no grace is extended to those who miss the Summer and Autumn (Fall) moedim (appointments). You are being given a second chance - and, in fact, a last chance, to make teshuvah (repent) and sort out what may remain of a life of pride, rebellion, sloth, or whatever your problem may be. The fact that Brother X or Sister Y may be in sin and have escaped judgment so far is nothing to base your tiqveh (hope) in, just as Israel-in-Exile had no grounds for tiqveh (hope) simply because their Judahite brethren were still independent and living in safety.
My Denominational Past and Thanks
I look back at the different denominations that have nurtured me in my spiritual journey. I have much to be thankful for in the Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and Messianic traditions in my own life. But the fact that these denominations once walked in Yahweh's favour long ago, or more recently, to varying degrees, however ignorant they may have been of many things, does not confer upon them an immunity from judgment because of present sins. And this is the warning today - the blessedness of your ancestors, like the Wesley Brothers, John Knox, Charles Spurgeon, Dwight Moody, A.W.Tozer, Leaonard Ravenhill, George Müller, Ian Paisley or anyone else whom Yahweh may have used mightily in the denomination you currently belong to - does not confer any blessedness to either you or to the church you belong to today. We stand or fall on our own merits and faithfulness. We are all judged individually and congregationally and denominationally on our own works today.
The Great Shaking
There is a terrible shaking going on right now and it will not cease until Yahweh has exposed every dark place in those people who claim to be His. Some of you are experiencing that horror either in yourselves, your spouses, pastors, or whosoever you may have close affinity with. And by the time this shaking is over, you will be astonished to discover who is really who on the divine favours list and who is not. I have already been surprised - nay, shocked - to see who, in recent times, has abandoned the emunah (faith) and who has hung on. It has been both distressing and delightful and people need prayer today like never before in our lifetime!
When Life Seems Pointless
If it is you who are being shaken up, and wondering what on earth is going on, why you are in such distress of soul and why do things seem so pointless at times, consider this. Life only seems pointless when your mind, heart and hands are not properly engaged in Yahweh's business. And remember, Yahweh's business is not for our pleasure, but His. This is not a vaccation planet, it's the place that establishes or breaks us in eternity. So much is decided here and it only happens once ... there's no coming back for another go, no reincarnation. When doing His pleasure, though there may be pain because of the sinful actions of others, and losses for reasons we cannot fathom, nevertheless we have shalom (peace).
The Prophet's Job and the Days Ahead
A navi's (prophet's) job is to convey the divine message in its raw form, unrefined, directly, accurately and effectively. The days ahead are not going to be times when anyone can be at ease. Such respites as come your way will be as small oases in the midst of a seemingly never-ending desert. Judgment does not occur in a single day but may stretch over years, in some cases generations. What is happening to the world, and is about to happen, will seem to go on interminably, more so for the wicked and unrepentant who survive. Indeed, the whole period from today until our Master's return will be like this, with wars and rumours of wars, earthquakes and disasters in divers places. The earth itself is being attacked and undermined. The whole of life is being assaulted, on both the physical and spiritual. Our oases must be our families and friends in Yah'shua (Jesus), but even here there will, I'm afraid, be sorrows because not all will come. Nevertheless the prayers of the righteous can and do impact them. The casualty rates will be high, but of those who are true, from their choices to follow the Master and be saved comes much simcha (joy).
The End of Denominational Christianity
The old ways of denominational Christianty are to be scorched on the anvil of Yahweh's radical transformation program so there can be no more revival of what are now, or soon-to-be, toasted organisations. A nation is being rebuilt, a nation is being restored, in spite of the counterfeit in the Middle East. Bereft of its land and its capital, this pretender posing as the House of Elohim (God) is to be exposed and driven back to the place from whence he came. This year of Yovel (Jubilee) sees us returning to our ancestral roots whether to the paganism of our forefathers or to our fathers in the emunah (faith). Only two choices can be made - toward Yahweh or away from Him and they are being made now. Such great surprises are in store, so great that whole theologies and denominations will come tumbling down. The false teachers will either be rooted out or pass over to their natural habitation in the dominion of the Anri-Messiah (Antichrist).
Your Political Leaders Cannot Save You
I hear Zionist Christian minister John Magee is predicting the Antichrist will arrive or appear on 30 August. Predictions are rife, everyone is getting on the bandwaggon because only someone living in cloud cuckooland is unable to see the coming wave of change and destruction. People are getting on this political bandwaggon or that. Brethren, it's too late, the nations have had their chance to repent and have refused, and no national leader is going to turn your country around. The West's hegemony is over and the few decent leaders left, like Miloš Zeman of the Czech Republic, are too few and too weak to do anything. Many of our American brethren are resting their hopes on Donald Trump, a man who is saying many right things but who can do nothing substantial until the American people repent and turn to Yah'shua (Jesus) and His Torah!
Your Daily Tasks
What task does Yahweh want you to do today? A couple of mornings ago I awoke and saw a vision of a hand twice tap one of the planks on the outer wall of one of our buildings. A simple job. Abandoning all other plans I had made for the day, I grabbed a box of nails and a hammer and, together with one of my sons, set about repairing one of the walls. I spent most of the day hammering away until I was satisfied that the building was once again secure from the elements which had warped the wood so badly that water was getting into the wall. It was a job that had been neglected and postponed and needed attending to. So use your summer wisely, if you are in the northern hemisphere. You may never get another one like this one.
Before the Storm Strikes
Before the storm strikes your House - your body (health), family, or any sphere of responsibility that you have - you need to effect any necessary repair work. Fix defective relationships. Come out of the doledrums, our of indecision and procrastination. Nail your colours to one mast of the other but don't stand there with your colours in your hand flapping in your face. Are you in or out? And remember, no decision IS a decision for something, usually not good.
Last Chance for Important Choices to be Made
Are you built on the rock or upon sand? Late Pesach (Passover) yesterday may have been a last chance for some to consider whether they believe and are trusting in Yah'shua (Jesus), the Passover Lamb, who shed His blood for the sins of the world. It may be a last chance for some to get those sins out of their lives that they have been ignoring as represented by Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread) and so qualify for Remnant service. And tomorrow, which is Yom haBikurim (Day of Firstfruits) will be a last chance for many to be anointed for that task. The thing is, what are you going to go through the approaching storm with? Your own wits won't cover you, nor your resourcefulness. Without Yah'shua (Jesus) the sin-bearer and without the Ruach (Spirit) the Comforter you're going to be in for a very rough and dangerous ride.
Pursuing the Abundant Life
Remember, that the abundant life in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) is not something to work for but rather something given to be worked from. Seek that first of all by reconnecting to the time when you first believed and experienced that surge of simcha (joy) and spiritual power. Believe and receive the simplicity of the abundant chayim (life) yet understand also that this only comes once we have experienced the struggle and failure that comes from our own puny and futile efforts to generate it ourselves. Only when we have exhaused all the seemingly promising, yet futile, self-centred carnal options with their illusiory utopians will we finally give up on ourselves and turn to Elohim (God) the Father, through Yah'shua our Messiah (Jesus Christ), whence that abundant chayim (life) comes.
"But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Messiah" (2 Cor.11:3, NIV).
Our connection to, and growth in, the abundant chayim (life) has always been, and will always be, accepting what we have always had from the beginning, from the very first day we sincerely gave our lives to Yah'shua (Jesus). It's there! Just believe it and return to it and then you'll be able to live for Messiah victoriously!
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen" (Eph.3:20-21, NKJV).