Month 6:29, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5940:176 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50 - Teshuvah 29/39
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 30 September 2016
Departure in Hope and Joy
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and mishpachah and welcome to the last sabbath of this sixth month. With tomorrow marking Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets, Shouting) and the beginning of a three-day period we have been told to diligently prepare for, it remains for me to bring you a final message in this 30-part series of daily counsel, admonitions, anecdotes and weekly sermons. Short of getting personal revelation for you, which cannot happen, I think I have probably said all I could possibly say as far as preparedness is concerned without becoming tediously repetitive.
Gale-Force Winds in Sweden
It therefore remains for me to tie up everything I have been saying for the last month by giving you a word of tiqveh (hope) for the troublesone times that lie ahead. Almost prophetically, I think, we here in Sweden had a ferocious storm yesterday with virtually gale-force winds that sent things in our garden, including large stacks of chairs, flying all over the place, and there was one point, when a chicken coup tarpaulin got shredded, that I was half expecting a chicken or two to go flying by too. It's still bad today.
Can We Expect Meteor Impacts?
There has, I am told, also been a spate of prophecies of imminent meteorite impacts made by some Christians, and whilst I cannot say whether these are true or not, it is a fact that the Bible says such are coming at some point though who knows whether this will be caused by débris from Nibiru, asteroids or whatever. I certainly had a vision a ehile back, which some of you may remember, of a meteorite-like object crashing into a neighbour's house, though given the plainly symbolic content of some other parts of the vision I can't be sure that this isn't symbolic too. Time will tell. Australia seems to have had a few meteorite impacts of late.
A Word from Job
What I'd like to do now, if I may, is share with you an extract from Job which both foreshadows and points to the Besorah (Gospel) as well as containing a prophetic element that will be of benefit for us all as we go through hard times. This is the passage:
"Oh, that You would hide me in the grave (Sheol),
There is Hope for the Repentant
That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait,
Till my change comes.
You shall call, and I will answer You;
You shall desire the work of Your hands.
For now You number my steps,
But do not watch over my sin.
My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
And You cover my iniquity" (Job 14:13-17, NKJV).
Generally, and rightly, regarded as a lament over the limits of mortality, and therefore applicable to every man and woman's life, it also offers hope for those facing painfully levelling experiences and perhaps even judgments who are of a mind to repent. Those who refuse to repent have no tiqveh (hope) but for those who are bendable to the divine will, Job remarks:
Some Suffering the Righteous and Wicked Must Share
"For there is hope for a tree; if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil; yet at the scent of water it will bud and put our branches like a young plant" (Job 14:7-9, ESV).
In any Judgment of Yahweh, such as we are facing, loss of divers kinds will be experienced by both the righteous and the wicked, especially if the righteous have not separated themselves out from the wicked as judgment is being executed. We remember the separation of Lot's family from Sodom. Though no separation absolutely can guarantee that there won't be 'cuts and bruises' along the way, and maybe even worse, such separation is obviously better than passing through the fire with those being sorely chastised for stubborness and wilfull rebellion. There is a promise here that Yahweh inspired Job to make that "You would conceal me until Your wrath is past", presumably from utter destruction rather than from discomfort and pain, since Job experienced so much of the latter, as we know, as a special witness to the malakim (angels). But these are not the same as the discomfort and pain experienced by the wicked who are not going to have restored what will be taken away from them, and in many instances their very lives. For we know how it ends for Job. His life afterwards is even better than before.
Hiding in Yahweh During the Storm
Similarly, the believer is hidden with Yah'shua (Jesus) in the grave (represented by baptism by full immersion) while Yahweh's righteous wrath against sin comes at the Judgment. Being hidden in Messiah, by applied emunah (faith), makes us immune from the brunt of that wrath and judgment. The apostle Paul taught that we died and were buried with Messiah upon surrendering to Him and making teshuvah (repenting). And so, in Yahweh, we hide in the metaphorical grave until the coming judgment has passed.
Remembering the Promise in the Storm
Some of these thoughts were going through my head yesterday as I was wrestling outside in the fierce winds. I was worn out at day's end - it required a mighty exertion and fight on my behalf but I trusted that Yahweh would spare us from any material destruction. A tree by the road above our drive was blown down and blocked the way for a while though I was able to collect a brother for the festival alright because there are two entrances to our property. If one way is blocked, Yahweh will ensure another stays open. The tree was cleared pretty smartly so by the time we drove back it had been removed. So in the midst of a storm we must patiently wait until it passes, remembering the promise:
Losses for All
"If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, until my renewal (relief) should come" (Job 14:14, ESV).
There will be loss even for the righteous and those who have prepared and relocated having done all that Yahweh commanded. It can't be avoided. Our lifestyle will change. Yes, we may have to live far simpler for while and do without things we have taken for granted, but what I am trying to say is that not all your family and friends will respond as I hope we will. There will be losses, sometimes painful losses. Goodness knows, there have been losses already! Many of you are already crying under the burden of loss! So I cannot promise you that all your loved ones will make it through on the other side of the coming bad times either alive or in one piece. I wish I could. All I can promise, as Job did, because Yahweh promised it to him, is that even if you suffer loss, you will be restored if you are true and faithful. And it is not inconceivable that many of the righteous will be taken home for reasons known only to Yahweh. A dear brother of mine only died the other day, someone I so looked forward to walking with in the years ahead. But it was not to be. The Good News is that the dead in Messiah rise in a future resurrection to everlasting life! So we must maintain the bigger perspective.
We do have to be realistic and not expect what Yahweh has not promised whilst clinging on to what He has promised. And He promises "renewal" (v.14, ESV), "release" (NRSV) and "relief" (NKJV) for the survivors. Whatever happens we are 'safe' in Yah'shua (Jesus) - therein lies our tiqveh (hope). One way or another we shall be safe until the wrath is passed, whether in this life or the next.
Walk in Yahweh's Assurances
I realise this may not be a very satisfactory answer to the questions about the future many of you are asking at this time. At this point you must walk in the assurance Elohim (God) personally gives to you by revelation through your communion with Him. Everything ultimately reduces to emunah (faith), and from that emunah (faith) comes our tiqveh (hope). Paul pleaded:
Abounding in Hope
"May the Elohim (God) of tiqveh (hope) fill you with all simcha (joy) and shalom (peace) as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with tiqveh (hope) by the power of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)" (Rom.15:13, NIV).
I do not know whether I will be around after the present crisis is over, or whether you will be around still. However, either way, I have tiqveh (hope), one of Yahweh's chief attributes. As a consequence of the divine inbreathing a seed or a spark of this 'Elohim (God) of tiqveh (hope)' resides in the depths of our being. How it is catalysed or brought to birth in any individual only Yahweh knows, but it is most assuredly there, and may be accessed and cultivated irrespective of our circumstances or the circumstances of those whom we love. It was Paul's fervent wish, as it is mine and I hope yours, that this tiqveh (hope) may be fanned like a flame until it becomes vital and alive in a way that brings you simcha (joy) whatever may happen in the months ahead. It should be our prayer that we may abound or overflow in this tiqveh (hope) by the power of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit).
Against All Odds
Don't look at the odds that may be stacked against you with the carnal eye. I know some of you regard your current situation as hopeless. But consider Yah'shua (Jesus), against whom the odds were also overwhelmingly stacked, and remember that because He was rooted and grounded in tiqveh (hope) that He not only rose from the dead but went out and transformed the world through His faithful talmidim (disciples). His work still goes on and is entering a new phase in our day. We are all invited to be a part of it and to keep our eyes transfixed on that.
Not a Tragedy
So no more woe-speaking because your situation looks bad. "The hopeful cannot be tragic figures", said Eric Hoffer  so don't be tempted to make a tragic drama out of your situation. Rise above it. Keep things simple, yet profound. Keep in Yah'shua (Jesus). And may I remind you to look in the right place for deliverance:
The solution is inside, ultimately.
"Ah! if man would but see that tiqveh (hope) is from within and not from without - that he himself must work out his own salvation" .
The Last Train
And as my wife often likes to remind people who are afraid that they may miss the train, He always provides the ticket before the train pulls out of the station, even if it's at the last minute! So don't stop hoping for the ticket just because it doesn't come to you when, or in the way, you have been expecting it. And remember, in a time of crisis such as this, it may be the last train leaving, so don't miss it!
Two Earlier Prophetic Dreams
May I, in conclusion, remind you of the prophetic dream I had in January 2015 of the great train and then of the last train in June of this year? If you have never read these, or have forgotten them, may I cordially invite you to read them now or again? For this is now the time of the departure of the last train. It may have been too slow or fast for your liking, but here it is right now.
The raging storm that was outside my house yesterday has calmed substantially and the sun is out now. I believe Yahweh has used nature to remind me that though the raging storm is coming, it will subside and the sun will come out again. Just don't lose hope when the curtain of events closes off the light for a while and it looks as though there will never be an end to the darkness. Board the Remnant 'train' by covenant and by sacrifice and go forth into the storm in Yahweh's care in tiqveh (hope) and simcha (joy) with the same mind as the psalmist:
"You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with simcha (joy),
that my heart may sing to You and not be silent.
O Yahweh my Elohim (God), I will give you thanks forever"
 Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind (Secker & Warburg: 1956), p.112
 R.Rider Haggard, She (William Collins & Sons & Co: 1957), p.199