Month 8:7, Week 1:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year:Day 5940:213 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 6 November 2016
The Big Change
How Yahweh is Preparing You
Shaking for Preparation
Are you tired, frustrated, maybe even desperate with your current situation? Right now Yahweh is probably shaking you to ensure that any rotten fruit falls off your branches. He's turning you inside-out so that you can see yourself as you really are. He wants you see what you're made of, what is solid, what is vacuous, what is sinful and what needs changing. Why? Because He wants you to be fully prepared for the big change.
The Quantum Choice
An extremely fundamental choice is being required of us - all of us, young and old believers, great and small - because the choice has by its nature no respect of persons. Indeed, it really doesn't matter where you are on the 'maturity scale', or even where you think you are, because the Remnant as a whole has to make a quantum change from its present state to the expected one as a single Body. That means everybody, no matter who they are, has to get going. And as Israel left Egypt at the same time as a single Body, so too much Messianic Israel right now.
The Test Begins
If you think you have been tested over the last weeks, months and years, you have. However, the test is not yet over. Indeed, it is just beginning and it will last for the rest of your life:
Loyalty in a World of Hostility and Persecution
"The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don't. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? A servant is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted Me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to Me, they would listen to you. The people of the world will hate you because you belong to Me, for they don't know Elohim (God) who sent Me" (Jn.15:19-21, NLT).
Your loyalty to the Master hasn't been fully tested yet. In the passage I have just quoted, Yah'shua (Jesus) reminds us what true loyalty to Him means in a world that is hostile toward Him. One of the US presidential candidates has already stated openly that if she wins, she is coming after Christians in no uncertain terms. She means to force them to conform to the satanic agenda of her controllers. The pretense is over. That means that if we are truly loyal to Yahweh and His priorities and values, we will have to take a firm stand against sin. And even if the other candidate wins the election, we will still have to face a very hostile and beligerent segment of the population already inflamed by the threats and rhetoric of the hostile candidate.
What this means in practice is that we will find ourselves alienated from those people and groups who see sin as acceptable and even normal. The restraints will become increasingly removed. Alienation often leads to rejection and persecution. And this will be the most pronounced in those places - most particularly the cities - where sin is the most entrenched and where life could become extremely precarious for the believer, the breakdown of society caused by a financial collapse, a global natural disaster or war notwithstanding.
Where Not to Be Found
Belonging to Messiah - and I mean beloning to Messiah for real in both word, deed and lifestyle - will invite the world's hatred, and again, especially where the world system is the most concentrated - in the cities. Because cities are coming under judgment, where the enemies of Yahweh are the most concentrated, this is not where true believers should be found, save for Ruach/Spirit-guided evangelism.
Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?
Belonging to the world - the world system - is an open invitation to Yahweh's Judgment. If you are not experiencing alienation and persecution, you must honestly ask yourself if you are more a part of the world than a part of Messiah. It might therefore be a time to evaluate carefully where your true loyalties lie.
How to Belong and the problem of Zeal
You can belong to Yah'shua (Jesus) wisely or recklessly. What do I mean by that? There are some, who are unwise, who just throw themselves recklessly into situations, often with great courage but without the permission of the Ruach (Spirit), who may end up forfeiting life or limb. That's called undisciplined zeal. Zeal is wonderful when it is combined with its balancing opposite - but alone it is recklessness. Paul said:
A Choice of Driving Forces
"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving Yahweh" (Rom.12:11, NIV).
There is a qualitative difference between being zealous or enthusiastic and being "fervent in ruach (spirit)" (RSTNE 2e) because while the latter is driven by a heavenly power, the former is invariably psychic and of the flesh. Note that the psyche here is not a bad thing provided is is linked by spiritual power. And that spiritual power is must assuredly linked with "tenderness and compassion" (Isa 63:15, NIV). The difference being spoken of here is between hot-headedness and intelligent and compassionate fire.
The Rest of the Equation
This includes, as a corollary:
Attentive, Sensitive Obedience
"Rejoice in tiqveh (hope), be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer" (Rom.12:12, NRSV).
Yahweh does not need or want reckless cavalry charges. He wants our attentive, sensitive obedience so that we attack problems and issues with pinpoint accuracy and then withdraw in spite of unrestrained zeal which would carry us onwards until we are pierced through with the Enemy's lance. Thus the need for wisdom.
Bless, Rejoice, Weep and Live in Harmony
Paul's counsel includes other key elements that contribute to a balanced and well-rounded soldier of Messiah:
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haugthty, but assoociate with the lowly (those of low rank or position in society); do not claim to be wiser then you are" (vv.14-16, NRSV).
This is part of tempered zeal:
When to Be Like Elijah and When Not to be
"Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of Elohim (God); for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says Yahweh'" (vv.17-19, NRSV).
I like the way this translation words it: "leave room for the wrath of Elohim (God)", meaning, don't try and do Yahweh's work for Him and so mess up His plans and your future. Unless you happen to be a navi (prophet) or operating in the bona fide spirit of the nevi'im (prophets) issuing a revealed Judgment such as calling down fire from Heaven as Elijah was told to do, heed the instruction:
Three Important Things
"If you enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (vv.20-21, NRSV).
Three very important things to understand here:
Location is Important
- 1. The purpose of sowing good by feeding your enemy is to stir up (or 'heap coals upon') his conscience and so lead him to teshuvah (repentance) and salvation;
- 2. The only time not to do this is when led by the unambiguous spirit of prophecy to announce Judgment and demonstrate that you have been called as Yahweh's Executor by calling down that judgment there and then, thus demonstrating you are operating in the spirit of prophecy; and
- 3. If the person or persons will not make teshuvah (repent) and Yahweh has not given you the Ruach Eliyah (Spirit of Elijah), with the accompanying signs), then any attempt on your part to execute judgment in your own flesh will demonstrate evil on your part - therefore He says, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good." In that case, you should probably not have been in that situation in the first place.
This is why I stress, again and again, to make sure you are where Yahweh wants you to be - not just for the present emergency but hereafter in all situations in what is going to become a very dangerous world to live in, requiring accute discernment.
Consequences of Being in the Wrong Place
Now I can't give you counsel for every situation you may find yourself in, for whatever reasons, because of your obedience or disobedience. Clearly if someone is about to rape or murder your wife or child, you don't go and offer the attacker food and water - you shoot them, or use whatever weapon is at hand that is legal. (If you live in a country or state where weapons are illegal you're probably in the wrong country or state). This is where you have to exercise wisdom and common sense. I would seriously wonder why you would find yourself in such a situation for I do not believe that if we are obedient and responsive to Yahweh's instructions that we will find ourselves or put our families in such dire straits. If you stay in the city when Yahweh tells you to leave, or go anywhere Yahweh has not told you to go to, and find yourself in such a life-threatening situation, then you may be forced to take desperate action that otherwise you would never have been required to do because you did right and were in the ordained place of safety.
The Ultimate Sacrifice
There may be a time to lay down your life for the King and His Kingdom but it must be His choosing when, and if, you do, and not because you were over-zealous or hot-headed, lacking wisdom. Unfortunately, you will encounter such reckless believers whose bravery may deceive you into being impressed when such is, actually, futile, irresponsible and suicidal.
Knowing Who to be With
You are going to meet all kinds of people in the days ahead, both believers and unbelievers. All will be in different places spiritually and you will need to exercise keen discernment. You women must rigorously stay under your men's coverings. Some Scriptural instruction will be challenging in difficult and dangerous times. We are to "welcome those who are weak in emunah (faith), but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions" (Rom.14:1, NRSV). Weakness is OK but you do not want to be around the contentious and the quarrelsome - they will trip you up and endanger you. If they cannot hold their tongues and abide in shalom (peace) with you, separate from them.
Similarly, "we who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves" (Rom.15:1, NRSV) but again there are certain lines which must not be crossed which distinguish the Remnant from the disobedient. Again, to be weak is OK but to consistently demonstrate a contentious and rebellious spirit is not. If you take in the latter, you will jeapordise your own safety and the safety of your families. You have to be firm and tough to be wise. Whilst we are not to please ourselves, we must please Elohim (God) and do what He says. Strictness in ahavah (love) is not harshness, it is both wisdom and an absolute necessity in dangerous times. Sadly many perish in times of Judgment because they do not understand the balance. They are either too soft or too hard. They have simply not matured in the Ruach (Spirit) or are dealing with unresolved issues and lies. That's why you have to fix these things now.
Great Care in Life and Death Situations
This is the counsel I want you to take to heart today. In life and death situations, of which there will be many, you cannot afford to blunder by walking around in spiritual blindness. Nor must you be led by the nose by those who claim to have authority over you but do not. It's every household for itself. You mustn't judge as the world judges and you mustn't judge according to the traditions of religious men and women. You have got to know the Ruach (Spirit). If you have guns or other lethal weapons, I pray you never have to use them. But if you do, you must not hesitate:
No, they shouldn't have to, but this is what happens in consequence of disobedience and rebellion in dire situations. Make sure you're not in those situations by being humble, submissive and obedient. Otherwise you will have to be decisive in making difficult and scary decisions.
"Should [disobedient] women eat their offspring, the children they have borne? Should [faithless] cohen (priest) and [false] navi (prophet) be killed in the sanctuary of Yahweh?" (Lam.2:20b, NRSV).
As a Last Resort Only
No, it should never be necessary to kill another (and then only as a last resort in self-defence) and will not be required of those who are humble and obedient and therefore in the right place. So I pray you will be wise. I pray you will seek Yahweh without ceasing and get 100 per cent right with Him. Then, He says, "I will remove disaster from you" (Zeph.3:18b, NRSV) and "I will deal with your oppressors" (v.19a, NRSV):
"They will call on My Name and I will answer them. I will say, 'They are My people'; and they will say, 'Yahweh is our Elohim (God)" (Zech.13:9b. NRSV).
May we have courage and gentleness mingled, be firm and, when necessary, have "a brow [like] bronze" (Is.48:4, NKJV) yet filled with ahavah (love). Then we shall pass through the fire with rejoicing in victory, we and our families, giving a faithful witness, to the glory of Elohim (God). Amen.
Comments From Readers
 "It (this sermon) was for me. Thank you!" (MLK, Estonia, 6 November 2016)
 "Very timely. This sermon [addresses the] current situation" (SW, Germany, 6 November 2016)
 "Thank you pastor. We heed your advice. It's coming from our beloved YHWH Elohim. We appreciate and love you in Yah'shua's name! We trust that you too will be very alert at all times" (AMN, South Africa, 6 November 2016)