Sermons Series 3:56, 23 September 2006
The Third Wave
Part 10: Yom Teruah 2006 and Baptism of Fire
Click here for Part 9
"Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound [of the shofar]: they shall walk, O Yahweh, in the light of Your face" (Ps.89:15, RSTNE).
I welcome you today to the fifth annual moed of Yahweh and to our special gathering of Yom Teruah or the Day of Trumpets, a festival also known as the 'Day of the Awakening Blast' - so loud, in fact, that it is not only supposed to herald the return of Yah'shua the Messiah but also awaken the dead from the graves - and specifically those who belong to the First Resurrection. It is a joyful sound for those who have been waiting for these glorious events. Because Yah'shua is not coming today, and because this is not the day that the dead are resurrected, Yom Teruah has another much more immediate meaning for us: it's a wake-up call, because in just over a week we enter Yom haDin or the Day of Judgement at Yom Kippur, at which time we must give an account of our annual stewardship and receive the Judgement of Yahweh. Moreover, in addition to being a wake-up call for the whole of Messianic Israel - for those who are still slumbering - it is especially a wake-up call for those born under the Ruach haChamashee who may be asleep, because they, more than all the others, need to be awake: for how can those of Chamashee blow the trumpet to wake up Israel, nudging them further into the fire of Yahweh, if they are themselves asleep and refuse to enter the fire themselves? Those who choose to remain asleep must be replaced by those who choose to awaken. So first of all, this is a clarion call to those who have been called to operate in the anointing of Chamashee, for whom the words of Paul to the Ephesians seem the most appropriate:
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in Yahweh. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Ruach is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to Yahweh. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:
And Messiah will give you light.'
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of Yahweh is" (Eph.5:8-17, NKJV).
There is an unfortunate tendency on the part of carnal human beings to postpone repentance until the last minute and gamble with death. I have seen it far too many times and it has, without exception, been a painful sight - people on the very threshold of salvation and eternal life, literally a hair's breadth away, saying 'no' at the last second and choosing the world and Satan. It is extremely dangerous leaving things to the very end when we have the opportunity to accept Yahweh's good gifts while there is still a relatively large safety margin. I have seen such people crying and begging to enter the Kingdom when Yahweh has already closed the gates to them after they have repeatedly mocked Him and in their vanity thinking they could climb in by 'another way' and spare themselves the discomfort of a full repentance. What they didn't reckon on was a far greater discomfort and mental torture when they found themselves still standing in the dark when the gates closed on them. We recall the five foolish virgins, amongst others, against whom the door of the marriage festivities was closed because they chose to sleep. And so often, when denied the blessings so freely offered before, they turn in recrimination and hate and blame, first, those who tried to lead them to the place of light, and then the King of Light Himself. They follow through with the dreadful words of Job's wife who foolishly urged her husband to "curse Elohim and die" (Job 2:9). They condemn themselves in their folly.
Another error that the willful sleepers often make is to say something like this: "Oh well, I missed the third wave this time, but another one will be along sooner or later and I'll have a second chance." To which I would reply: "How do you know? How do you know that you'll get another chance? What if you really did reject Yahweh in your heart and have made your mind up not to choose Him again?" Well, only Yahweh knows your heart that well enough - you may think you'll do it right the next time but in my experience those who say 'no' the first time and do get a second chance have a much harder struggle the second time round because in the interim Satan will take more and more of their inner territory for having refused Yahweh's grace earlier. And even if He does send another wave around to bless you, how can you know when it will be? It might be in one, five, ten or twenty years time or even on your deathbed - you just don't know. And it might not be such a large wave the next time because maybe He will come offering you a lesser glory than the first one. In short, we dare not trifle with Yahweh! We just can't take the risk. To think that we can say to Him: "Nope, this is not my time, You got it wrong calling me now," is to mock the Most High and say He is inferior to you in wisdom. In a word, this is an attitude born of conceit and pride which Yahweh hates.
If you are detecting a pleading in my voice, you would be right, because I know just how high the stakes are and how insane it is to gamble with ones salvation. Just because Yahweh and His servants have given you lots of attention up until this time doesn't mean that you're 'someone special' or a 'cut above the rest' and that the same will be repeated later but because now is your time to repent and come to Him. We are not given lots of attention because we 'deserve' it but precisely because we don't deserve it. All moves by Yahweh to call, plead and draw us are acts of sovereign grace, not rewards we have earned because we are some special 'elect'. And remember this: He doesn't call you at a particular time because you can't make it and supposedly need a 'second chance' but precisely because you are ready now and don't actually need a 'second chance'. The gift the second time round may not be as great as the first. Remember there are different glories and resurrections - don't make the mistake of assuming that everyone gets the same reward because there are, as Yah'shua said, some who will be called "the least in the Kingdom of Heaven" because of their pride and disobedience (Mt.5:19).
The sounds of Yom Teruah are not supposed to be 'nice'. As you know, we live in a big place here at headquarters and if you want everyone scattered around the building or grounds to hear you, you have to either shout really loud or shout from many different places. That can be pretty tiring especially if people don't respond. How often have people turned up late for meals or meetings because they've thought to themselves: "Oh, so-and-so is always late so I'll wait another 5 minutes and then come." Well, so-and-so may not always be late and then what happens is that everything starts late. What then happens is that if people don't respond to the shouting, I go around with a very shrill football referee's whistle and blow very loud. This is not a pleasant sound and you will often see people coming with their hands on their ears. But you know what? They do at least respond ... eventually if somewhat grudgingly.
Well, Yahweh is exactly like that. At every festival, new moon and Sabbath, the shofar is blown to assemble the people. But this festival - Yom Teruah - is a little different - because the shofar blowing is exceptionally louder and for some very irritating. This festival is all about shofars and nothing but shofars. The shofar is the focal point. The idea is that you're 'blown away'.
Now I don't know about you but if I am in the middle of working on something important, and I am deeply concentrating, to then have someone come a long and say, 'Lunch is served!' and I am expected to drop what I am doing and come straight away - well that can be very annoying. But you know what? There is no need for me to be annoyed if I do what Paul advised and that is to be a good steward of my time. Yahweh gives us all the time we need each day to do what He wants us to do. If we do things His way, guided by the Ruach, then things can run smoothly, even with unexpected interruptions. Things only heap up on us when we don't plan things well or otherwise procrastinate. These days everyone has a watch or a clock nearby. We can plan to start a bit earlier and finish a little before lunchtime so that when we're called for, shouted for, or whistled for, we can instantly respond and not get annoyed or irritated. When Yahweh calls us, we are the servants responding to the Master, not the other way round. Yahweh is not an inconvenience but our very life. If you feel He is an inconvenience and want his servants to be quiet or go away, or if you actually go away yourself, guess what's happening inside? You're refusing to heed His call to repent. You're declaring independence. If you don't know what I mean, consider what will happen if a child refuses to obey the bell at school.
There are also people who love to blow the shofar but hate listening to it themselves. Listening - or being willing to listen - is the first step to repentance. "Hear, O Israel, Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh is echad" (Dt.6:4). Are you listening? Do you know what it is to listen? Or are you one of those people who, when someone else is talking, can't wait for them to finish because you want to say something? Are you so busy asking Yahweh for things that you don't let Him get a word in edgeways? Do you know how to listen? On his death bed, Isaac said: "Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you" (Gen.27:8, NIV). Now as a retired teacher, I know just how poorly people actually listen. People's thoughts are usually racing ahead and can't focus on the here-and-now. For example, I might tell my class: "Today I want you to do Exercise 6" and before I can utter another word, there is such a shuffling of books and clamour to get on that they don't listen any further when I tell them only to do the first three questions and leave the other two out. You know what I mean.
Yahweh wants us first of all to develop the skill of listening. Now I call it a 'skill' because listening is not something we are born with. At least, not listening for a protracted period of time. When I was preaching many years ago in a Baptist Church in the Ukraine I was impressed how both the old and the young could listen carefully for a three hour long sermon. Try that in the West and they normally fall asleep after the first 15-20 minutes. People sometimes complain that my sermons are too long. Our level of concentration is a function of our willingness to listen and our ability to "be still":
"Be still before Yahweh and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes" (Ps.37:7, NIV).
"Be still, and know that I am Elohim" (Ps.46:10, NIV).
"Be still before Yahweh, all mankind" (Zech.2:13, NIV)
You all know the story of the stilling of the storm and most of you have heard the sod or spiritual explanation of that which is to be found in the Olive Branch (OB 268). When your emotions are in turmoil, you panic. When the little fishing boat seemed to be in danger of capsizing because of the raging waves, the disciples panicked and couldn't believe that Yah'shua could just sleep through the whole thing. Their emotions, like the waves, were all over the place and threatened to engulf them. When the emotions get out of control, people say and do irrational things. What was Yah'shua's response to their panic? "Peace, be still!" (Mk.4:39, NKJV). And then everything was quiet. What did Yah'shua say next? "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" (v.40). And what was the reaction of the disciples? "And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, 'Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!'" (v.41). The reason we panic - the reason we get afraid - is because we don't believe. We look at the tempest around us - or the one in our hearts - and we cry out: "Who can possibly deliver us from something as great as this??" And we say these things because we fail to grasp the truth that Yah'shua was the Creator of the whole universe, us included, and is the One who orders it still. Why, then, do we not believe He can bring peace to our troubled hearts? Why then, do we still believe that we have to fix things ourselves when we know, from years of experience, that we have always, and consistently, and spectacularly failed? What rush of irrational thought makes us believe we can still do it when we have proved a hundred times that we can't? And why do we continue to rely on failed methods - methods which cost us great patience, strength and time - when the Creator of the Universe only needs to whisper: "Peace, be still"? What is the motor of this inner stupidity?
Last week in my busy schedule I paused to relax for an hour (a rare treat for me) and watched a documentary film about the Sahara Desert. What a different world that barren, waterless and lifeless landscape is from where most of us live! And if you're not a travelled person, the reality of it will seem remote to your experience. The presenter of the documentary joined a small troop of camels carrying salt slabs over one of the most inhospitable landscapes in the world between Niger and Algeria where the midday temperature is over 55ºC. On one of the days when they were exhausted, dehydrated and desperately in search of some shade, they saw a mirage. The camera picked it up perfectly - it looked like a sparkling blue lake far in the distance towards the horizon. The moment he saw this, hope rose within him and his immediate urge was to surge forward and head for this piece of paradise! Of course, the nomads he was travelling with weren't fooled and had no such surges of adrenaline and so didn't have the disappointment when the presenter realised what it was.
When we are starving - when we are thirsty - and when we have been these for a very long time, the first thing we do is learn a mode of survival. Short of leaving the desert itself, we actually have no choice. For the caravan train of camel drivers, this meant moving very slowly, strictly limiting water intake, and being immobile at the hottest parts of the day. It also meant pushing oneself so that one walked at least 15 hours a day. With such a lonely and bare landscape, with no 'recreation', one is automatically led to introspection, something busy people in the concrete jungle have little time for. Each of the camel drivers took it in turn to occasionally yell or sing a song to prevent the other cameleers from drifting off or slowing down. Not only was there a real danger of hallucinating in this climate but of falling asleep, much as drivers do on long stretches of uneventful motorway where everything looks the same.
There is an important spiritual lesson to be learned here too. When we choose, for whatever reason, to reject Yah'shua, our inner landscape it not at all dissimilar to the Sahara. Then we face the hazards of spiritual mirages and sleepiness, not at all unlike the effects of strong wine. "Then Yahweh awoke as from sleep, as a man wakes from the stupor of wine", said King David (Ps.78:65, NIV). Because it is the carnal tendency to fantasise and fall asleep, Yahweh has very kindly instituted the blowing of the shofar once a week, once a month, and at seven additional times during the year, and very loudly at Yom Teruah. They are physical sounds designed to jolt us. He also sends people into our lives to do the same, who lift warning sounds with their fiery voices that flow from hearts filled with concern and love. Instead, "Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler" (Prov.6:4-5, NIV) because there is an enemy out there setting traps, and one of them is to send you to sleep spiritually. Deserts and motorways can have a hypnotic effect like the cobra swaying its head in front of its prey.
Now the word teruah can also mean 'shout' so we would also be justified in calling this the 'Day of Shouting' - not just for the fun of it, of course, but for the express purpose of the moed which is to awaken the sleepers and warn them of impending danger. Shouting, when done at Yahweh's behest, can also have the very useful effect of causing walls to crumble. Joshua, who is a type of the Messiah, certainly did this and an enemy fortification at Jericho was reduced to rubble. So don't get annoyed if at this time of the year you feel 'shouted' at - it may be for your good. On the other hand, this is not a licence for vulgar and lawlesss people to simply vent their aggression. Remember that there are also triumphant shouts of joy and no greater is to be given than when the Millennium begins, which we celebrate at Sukkot or Tabernacles (Booths):
"Let the desert and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy; let them shout from the mountain tops. Let them give glory to Yahweh and proclaim his praise in the islands. Yahweh will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies" (Isa.42:11-13, NIV).
When Jericho's crumble, their inhabitants perish too. When inner fortifications crumble, the demonic custodians have to leave too. Now in case you're wondering what the effect on the spiritual of the shofar is supposed to be alike at Yom Teruah, we only need to remember what it was like at Shavu'ot or Pentecost and it sounded loudly and Yahweh spoke out of the fire. That shofar made the soul tremble or shake. Well, Yahweh wants to shake you now too, if you'll let Him, and for a reason you'll like. Recall this event from Acts:
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to Elohim, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose" (Acts 16:25-26, NIV).
That was a literal event but it is also a picture of what Yahweh wants to do in your soul today. Do you want to be free? Do you want to be delivered from your spiritual captivity? There is great power in praise and song! Yahweh can have a major impact on our souls of earthquake-like proportions if we genuinely praise Him from the depths of our being. Notice that Paul and Silas were not focussed on their problem - of being locked up in a prison - but on Yahweh. What is, after all, the object of our existence? What is the highest and greatest reason that we have been given life? To praise Yahweh! (Ps.90:14-16) So many people miss this essential truth and think they exist for themselves. We don't! We exist for His pleasure, and His pleasure is to shower us with gifts.
As we cut a swathe through the jungle and undergrowth of false belief so we come to the basic truths that I have been outlining these past few weeks as we uncover some really basic truths that have been obscured by the false traditions of the churches. We see that Yahweh's Torah is a fire of purification for the righteous and a fire of punishment for the wicked. And we understand that if we take our salvation seriously we have to walk right into it. Indeed, what we seek for is the true baptism of fire promised in scripture whilst at the same time being alerted to the truth that if we remain antinomian - if we insist on being lawless - that a false baptism of fire will come from the demonic that will give us a psychic kick whilst keeping us bound in our sins.
Now those of you who have been exposed to Pentecostal and charismatic teaching will know what these groups believe about it, and you will no doubt have heard that a sign of this baptism of fire is speaking in 'tongues', and that 'tongues' is the gibberish and babbling one hears in the meetings of these people. If you have been exposed to non-charismatic teachings then you will probably have been taught that either the baptism of fire was for the early church as a special witness then but which is no longer needed now, or you will have heard that baptism of fire and the new birth are one and the same thing. And if you happen to be a Baptist, you may have been taught that you get your 'baptism of fire' the moment you are baptised in water by immersion. But basically what the non-charismatics teach is that the baptism of fire and your new birth are one and the same.
They're not. The new birth belongs to the Passover anointing of the Ruach haRishon whereas the baptism of fire belongs to the Pentecost anointing of the Ruach haRevee. They're two different things, as the Pentecostals and charismatics correctly teach, but the fruits of this baptism are virtually unknown to them. Indeed they too confuse the Ruach haRevee with the Ruach haRishon but because they're expecting 'more' - usually 'tongues' which comes with Revee and not Rishon - they open themselves us to a false spirit. Yes, 'tongues' is one of the gifts brought by the Ruach haRevee but it is not gibberish - it is the supernatural ability to speak on a known foreign language when it is needed such as when a foreigner is present in a congregation who does not speak the native language of that congregation, or when an evangelist is preaching in a foreign country and does not speak that country's language. Then, as Yahweh wills it (and not as man wills it), He gives the gift through the Ruach haRevee. Strictly speaking this should be discussed at Shavu'ot or Pentecost, but since it's so important for what we're leading up to in Tabernacles, we must of necessity cover it today.
To be baptised in fire does not, of course, mean to be burned alive in literal flame. It was the Molech worshippers, the Catholic Inquisition and certain Swiss Protestant Calvinists who historically resorted to such barbarianism to appease demons or destroy 'heretics'. The fire we speak of was, as Clement of Alexandria well understood, a "beneficent and strong fire, destroying what is base, preserving what is good; therefore," he said, "this fire is called 'wise' by the Prophets ... We say that fire purifies not the flesh but sinful souls, not an all-devouring vulgar [earthly, natural] fire, but the 'wise fire' as we call it, the first that 'pierceth the soul' which passes through it" (Stromata, VII, 2:5-12). In another place, this early 'church father' describes these fiery judgements of Yahweh as being "saving and disciplinary, leading to conversion" (Stromata, VI,6). Now where did Clement and others like him get this teaching? Well, from the Torah of course, Old and New, which teaches about baptism of fire:
"But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then Yahweh will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness" (Mal.3:2-3, NIV).
What did John the Baptist have to say about Yah'shua?
"I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me will come One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptise you with the Ruach haQodesh and with fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor, gathering His wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matt.3:11-12, NIV).
What did Yah'shua say He had come to do? He said:
"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!" (Luke 12:49, NIV).
Now students of the Gospels know full well that there is no record that Yah'shua ever burned anyone with fire. He never called fire down upon His enemies as Elijah did. But during His ministry He did burn the chaff out of those who would listen to Him, and most notably the disciples who did not flee from Him. It was not a literal fire, but the fire of spiritual tribulation, trials, and not a few testings of their faith.
It was a common teaching in the early Messianic Community that baptism of fire was to be applied in two different stages. Firstly, in the present age, when we repent, or accuse ourselves before Yahweh, submitting to His discipline, just as King David did; and secondly, in the next age, when our works are tried by fire (1 Cor.3:12-15). Both occasions were considered to be baptisms of fire. And as we have seen, those who wished to avoid the second one, must submit to the first. In either case, they said, we must enter the Kingdom (or Paradise) by means of the flaming sword of the cherubim who guard the Tree of Life (Gen.3:24). You can't partake of the Tree of Life until you have passed through the fire because it is guarded to prevent the defiled from unrighteous access to it. The only way to the Tree of Life is through genuine REPENTANCE. There are no shortcuts. There are no 'cheats'. Those who try to cheat will be deceived by demons giving a counterfeit experience.
In case you think this concept was 'new', it wasn't. All those trained in the Word of Yahweh in the Old Testament knew of these things because they all went through the same crucible of fire. Didn't Yah'shua say this fire had already been kindled? This is the way Yahweh has always refined His people in every dispensation in order to separate the dross from the gold. He has never used the cheap theatrics of Azuza, Toronto, Pensacola and others which burn no one and just put on a polluted emotional display. For millennia, Yahweh has dealt with His people by this 'fire' and He has done so for two reasons: First, because He wants us to know Him as He really is, because He has only ever revealed Himself to us as fire; and second, to train us for service.
We are all born with hearts that are "desperately wicked" (Jer.17:9). The gold in our heart is alloyed, mixed with impurities not readily apparent until Yahweh sits as the great Refiner. Before that we live under various demonic illusions as to how 'good' or 'special' we are. Yahweh puts our heart into various solutions and begins to stir the mixture, patiently waiting for the big reaction. When the time is right, suddenly a moment of crisis hits, and a lesser metal crystallises and falls to the bottom or foams to the top. The impurities are dealt with one by one, using different solutions, until finally a fine gold powder falls out of solution, ready to be put in the fire to melt it into a solid lump.
Now when people face adversity, they often go to their pastors to find out why Yahweh allowed such awful things to happen to them. The answers they get usually aren't much good but usually the Pastor will try to justify Yahweh in some way. "Don't blame it on God; it's the devil's fault" is a common excuse. Or, "God is obviously angry with you; you must have done something terrible to deserve God's wrath like that". Now one of Job's friends thought that, didn't He? Either way, the wrong kind of fire is being identified. The pastors assume it is punitive fire rather than refining fire. Sometimes it is punitive, in which case you have to take a long hard look at yourself - your thoughts, your emotions and your deeds. But usually, if you are a believer, it is Yahweh's refining fire at work. Everybody - without exception - goes through such trials periodically. And the reason is because we are alloyed - the bad is mixed up with the good, sin is mixed up with righteousness, demons with our own spirits. He does not subject us to the fire for the purpose of destroying us but for the purpose of refining us to teach us righteousness - not our own righteousness because as Jeremiah says, "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isa.64:6, NIV). That means we must stop arrogantly trying to do Yahweh's work for Him - whether on ourselves or as His self-appointed proxies for others - and let Him be about it instead. Yah'shua is well able to be His own "stone of stumbling" and "rock of offence" (1 Peter 2:8, NKJV). Yes, Yahweh does use human instruments, but equally there are far too many men like Job's 'friends' who try to do Yahweh's work for Him when they haven't been called or anointed and who end up as adversaries instead of helpers.
Moses, of course, learned first hand how Yahweh trains His people. Circumstances forced him into the harsh wilderness, where the 'sun of righteousness' beat down upon him, driving him by heat, by hunger, and by thirst into the merciless sand.
One of the reasons so many people refuse the gift of salvation - or who abandon it after a short while - is because they don't want to be driven into the heat of the spiritual desert. They want the comfortable life like Solomon, forgetting that palatial treatment makes men soft and weak and opens them up to dangerous temptation. The brilliant Solomon died an apostate and a traitor to his Elohim and is today burning in a different kind of fire. Moses is today dwelling at peace in 'everlasting burnings'. So I'll not mince words or deceive you in any way: the journey to complete salvation - through all seven stages to a complete glory - requires burning. There is no way you will get the benefits of the baptism of fire without passing through fire because that's what baptism of fire means - whether at the Pentecost or Tabernacles stage.
Moses did not exactly have a 'party' during his 40 years trip through the Sinai peninsular, did he? However, the experience did teach him to rely on Yahweh in numerous impossible situations. We too are currently passing through an 'impossible situation' in which people are doing everything in their power to ruin us, whether our reputations or our very lives. Only last Sunday one person contacted one of our ministers and told him that she hoped our world would 'crash down' on us after first calling him every obscene word you can think of. What she doesn't realise is that it is Yahweh's fire that is roasting her alive. As for us, our world will not crash down, because we are held in Yahweh's arms. And we are learning to rely on Yahweh in one impossible situation after another. We're in such an impossible situation now, with the cold weather already starting and no heating system for the winter and no money to buy it either. We're already wrapping ourselves in blankets and it's still only autumn (fall). But He rescued us from every other 'impossibility' and we're trusting Him to do so again.
Now when you are in trying circumstances and you have no one else to turn to - just as Moses didn't - then there is only one way to handle them: prayer. When Moses emerged from the desert 40 years later with a new generation of Israelites, he was a very different person to the one who first went in. He had been refined 40 years by the fiery sword of the cherubim guarding the 'Garden of Yahweh' - the Promised Land - a land overflowing with milk and honey . He had been refined into the type of man capable of forming a new nation and leading them to their new home. And those of you who want to be a part of the vanguard called to lead and build the Twelve Holy Cities of refuge must be prepared to expect no less today. What we have been through these last years is just the start. People want what we have but they don't want to pay the price of the total surrender of self-sovereignty to Yahweh. And for that reason they will never enter into this work, because the entrance to it is full of fire.
After 40 years of advance training in Midian, Yahweh appeared to Moses in a burning bush and called him to the ministry. Now I am sure you have wondered what the burning bush was or what it actually represents? Let's recall the story:
"Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of Elohim. There the angel of Yahweh appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, 'I will go over and see this strange sight -- why the bush does not burn up.' When Yahweh saw that he had gone over to look, Elohim called to him from within the bush, 'Moses! Moses!' And Moses said, 'Here I am.'" (Ex.3:1-4, NIV).
Here is fire again, and here Yahweh is speaking out of it in a bush on Mount Sinai just like He did at the same location at Pentecost some years later before the entire nation of Israel. Here was a bush that burned but was not consumed. And like other fires - the smoking-flashing oven (Gen.15:17) and the cloudy-fiery pillar (Ex.13:21) - this fire is a self-revelation of Yahweh-Elohim. It is not the 'fire of affliction'. And the angel was not so much 'in' the flame as most translations put it but appeared 'as' or 'in the mode' of a flame. The bush was not consumed because the flame needs no fuel: it is self-sufficient, alive in itself. But what was that bush?
To answer that question I am going to ask you another one: what was it that sustained Moses for 40 years in Midian and then another 40 years in Sinai amongst a continually backsliding and backbiting people? How did he manage to endure all that hardship and opposition? How do any of Yahweh's servants endure - Jeremiah and all the abuse he suffered, the apostles, and even Yah'shua Himself? Once you see what the bush is, you will have the answer. Who can tell me what the bush is? How is one called to service? To what does Yahweh speak when He calls us? Yes, the heart! The bush was Moses' heart and the fire that did not consume was the Ruach burning brightly in His heart. When He saw the burning bush he saw his own heart! - a natural, earthly 'bush' in which was the abiding presence of Yahweh-Elohim - a 'bush' that could dwell with the 'continual burning' and live:
"The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: 'Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?' He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil -- this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him" (Isa.33:14-16, NIV).
We here who stand before you today, who were at the beginning of this work, have had 20 years of training, and those who are coming in must have 20 years of their own. After Moses' training, it became Israel's turn to learn the same lessons in the same harsh wilderness where Moses had met Yahweh. So - those of you coming into this work - do you want to know where you're going? You're going where we have been these last 20 years - it's your turn now, if you are earnest and serious about going up to Zion. So what can you expect?
Well, you'll be happy to know, there are actually few surprises because they're all mapped out in the Exodus journey. The first thing Yahweh did to Israel was to lead them into a trap by the Sea of Reeds (Red Sea). There they were, their backs up against a wall of water, and Pharaoh's army descending on them to enslave or kill them, they didn't know which. He put Israel's gold into a refining solution, and what did that do? It surfaced ALL THEIR INNER FEAR OF PHARAOH. So guess what the first thing Yahweh is going to do to you? He is going to surface in you the fear of man - the fear of worldly powers and principalities - governments and all kinds of 'authorities' that set themselves up against the authority of Yahweh-Elohim. He's going to let all this fear bubble to the surface so that you can choose who you're going to fear. Do you fear not getting approval from the world? Do you fear what the state might do to you? Or your family? And what is the natural, carnal response to this fear? To appease them - to buy them off like Jacob tried to buy of Esau's wrath with presents. Yahweh will make you face that first of all and not before you have dealt with that, and chosen to trust Yahweh, giving Him all control, surrendering your sovereignty, will He then part the waves, give you the Ruach haShleshi, and let you cross to the next stage of your spiritual journey. Now how else could this worthless impurity have been manifest in the children of Israel? How else can Yahweh manifest it in you today? Yahweh did this on purpose not to make them afraid but to bring their fear to the light so that it could be eliminated as dross by the mighty hand of Yahweh. Yes, this is for you, not just the leaders of this work - we've already been through it, or are going through it now, just as Moses did in Midian.
Yahweh led Israel through hunger and thirst and through enemy territory on purpose. It was no picnic on the way to the Kingdom then and it is no picnic now and if anyone tells you the contrary, mark them down as liars and impostors. It was hard training but necessary training. Let me assure you most soberly that Yahweh-Elohim will have no spoiled brats inheriting His Kingdom - no 'King's Kids' off the shelves of Walmart - as the writer of Hebrews reminds us:
"For whom Yahweh loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives" (Heb.12:6, NKJV).
Now be honest - is this the Elohim you have been worshipping all these years? Because if it's not, you have been worshipping the wrong Elohim. I have presented to you the true Elohim, the Elohim of fire, the biblical Elohim that most Christians would rather pretend didn't exist but instead worship a god of their own imaginations and after the beggarly elements of their own spoiled, selfish and unredeemed hearts.
Now if you want to find an easier route to the Kingdom, or if any of you envy the wicked who seem to have it all, bear in mind that this attitude is the mark of an illegitimate son, not a true son of Yahweh, because the father of this kind of heart is Satan, not Yahweh.:
"If you endure chastening, Elohim deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons" (Heb.12:7-9, NKJV).
This work - this Mishpachah - is for and about the children of the first resurrection. We are not here to gather the children of the second resurrection - the faithless ones who want to do their 'own thing'. The true sons of Yahweh and their true wives have a great task ahead of ruling over cities, regions, and nations. Yahweh will give these jobs to those who are called, not to thieves who try to come in by the back door and escape the fire, the refinement and the chastisement. Those who attempt this back entrance will be scourged. And those whom He calls, He trains in the desert of affliction and hardship in order to qualify them for rulership. He doesn't give them mansions, expensive motor cars, executive jets, swimming pools, and millions of play-money. He doesn't make them famous and popular. And so He purges them, sitting as a refiner of silver and of gold. He comes as the Sun of Righteousness to heal us inwardly of the pollution of the world. He comes as a fire to try our faith as gold (1 Pet.1:7) and sets the bushes of our hearts on fire with flames that do not consume us but with fill us with godly passion. This, brethren and sisters, is the true baptism of fire - a fire which He has already kindled on the earth - and not the demonic slop served in the lawless churches of the world who behave like spoiled brats or like animals.
Today is Yom Teruah - the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Shouting - and today I am metaphorically 'shouting' this message of fire-baptism so that people are in no doubt what Yahweh expects of them in these the last few days of the Third Wave. Whatever choices you have made will now come to light and you will reap what you have sown. And if you have sown evil, then you must repent or be swept away. For we have now entered Yamim Nora'im - the ten Days of Awe as we prepare for our judgement at Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement. I have not pussyfooted with you, I have not diluted the message that Yahweh has given to me to give to you, and I have delivered this lava sermon to you as the truth is: what, then, will you choose? Whom will you follow? To which authority will you finally yield? Which side of the dividing line between the Kingdom of Yahweh and the Kingdom of Satan will you be found on? Because there won't be any fence-sitters, there won't be any neutrals. You have to choose one or the other.
May Yahweh bless you and fill you with His shabbat peace as you deliberate on these things today and over the next 10 days. Next Sabbath is Shabbah Shuvah or the 'Sabbath of Return' - our last time to gather our thoughts together as we come to our individual decisions. I shall have more to tell you then. Grace and peace be unto you. Amen.
Click here for Part 11
|Glossary of MLT Hebraic, Greek and English Terms |
For other terms and full details please see the Micropedia
AGlossary Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved
Adon(ai) = Master, a pagan fertility god, Adonis; used by many Messianics but not MLT
(a)eon(ian) = 7 dispensation- or age-long time periods, not forever (see le-olam-va-ed)
Alef-Tav = Alpha-Omega, A-Z, first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet = Yah'shua
Amen = truly, let it be so, written Amein by some Messianics
Apocrypha = Hebraic Scriptures not a part of the Protestant canon (e.g. Baruch)
Anti-Messiah = Hebraic term for the end-time Antichrist or anyone opposed to the Messiah
antinomian = lawless Christian who disregards all or part of Torah/commandments
Ashkenazi Jew = East European Jew descended from the Turkic-Japhethite Khazars
Assembly = church, congregation, ekklesia, community, fellowship, koinonia, gathering
Azazel = the Yom Kippur scapegoat
Baal, Ba'al = any other master than Yahweh, usually demonic in MLT terminology
Bachor(im) = firstborn son(s)
Bar/Bat Mitzvah = Son/Daughter of Commandment, covenant to obey Torah at age 12
being = soul, the whole person (spirit and body), e.g. "my whole being"
Beit, bet, beth = house, e.g. Beit Yisrael (House of Israel), Beth Lechem (House of Bread)
Beit haMikdash = Yahweh's Temple in Yerushalayim
B'rit Chadashah = the New Covenant; B'rit Chadashah Scriptures = New Testament
B'rit Milah = circumcision - abolished in the B'rit Chadashah, replaced by Mikvah
canon = authoritative Scripture (Heb. qaneh, Gk. kanŰn = measuring instrument)
Catechumen = a serious, covenanted investigator seeking Mikvah or Baptism in MLT
Chag haMatzah = Feast of Unleavened Bread, second of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Chavurat Bekorot = MLT's Priesthood Order, Holy Order and Assembly of the Firstborn
Cohen = priest; Cohen Gadol = High Priest (also spelled Kohen)
Council of Yah's elohim = the heavenly Assembly of the Firstborn or Chavurat Bekorot
demon = fallen malek or angel in rebellion against Yahweh (Heb. shad; see l-Shaddai)
derech = the Way, Path or Road - Yah'shua and the Gospel are the Way
Drash = moral or homiletic interpretation of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Echad = One, Union of two or more in one (as opposed to Yachid) - see Elohim
Echad Godhead Doctrine = Father Yahweh, Son Yah'shua and Sevenfold Ruach (Mother)
Êl, Eloah, Elah = God the Father, Yahweh
Êl-Elyon = Most High God, Yahweh
Êl-Shaddai = Master/Lord over all shads or demons
Elohim = God, the Godhead (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), lit. 'Mighty One(s)', 'Ruler(s)'
elohim = Israelite judges, rulers, angels or gods (false deities, idols, demons)
emunah = faith, actively trusting, clinging or adhering to (especially Yahweh or Yah'shua)
emet = truth, Yah'shua is the Emet
Ephraimite = descendant of the patriarch Ephraim and head of Messsianic Israel
Feasts of Yahweh = the 7 annual Moedim (Pesach, Chag haMatzah, Yom haBikkurim, Shavu'ot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot)
Gan-Eden = Garden of Eden, Paradise and state of the purified heart in Messiah
goy(im) = nation(s), Israelites or gentiles not born in or converted to the Covenant
hallelu-Yah = praise Yah(weh)!
Heylel = proper name of Satan or haSatan = the Adversary, the devil
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Hochmah = Wisdom, title of the 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
IDL = International Date Line, false man-made time division in Pacific Ocean
IDL Zone = Area between the true Divine Date Line (Lake Van/Eden) and the false one
Israeli = citizen of the modern Edomite-Khazar Republic of Israel (not Biblical Israel)
Israelite = citizen of biblical state of Israel or a modern follower of the Messiah
Jew = post-biblical term describing descendants of Edomite and Khazar converts to Judaism
Johannine = pertaining to the Apostle Yochanan (e.g. Gospel of John)
Josephite = descendant of the patriarch Joseph, the head of Messianic Israel
Judahite = a person in direct descent from the patriarch Judah, forefather of the Messiah
Judaism = a Talmudic-based religion rejecting Yah'shua the Messiah
Judean = a citizen of the Kingdom or Province of Judah until the 2nd Century diaspora
Kadosh la Yahweh = set-apart or dedicated to Yahweh, 'Holiness to the Lord', MLT motto
Karaites = Jews (from 700 AD) who reject the Talmud and accept only the Tanakh
kashrut = keeping kosher, food laws of Yahweh and correspinding lifestyle
Ketuvim = Writings or Hagiographa of the Tanakh
Khazar = a Turkic convert to Judaism ~700 AD forming the Ashkenazi Jewish community
kosher = clean foods authorised by Yahweh for human consumption
Lashon Hara = evil-speaking, gossip or slander
legalism = false route to salvation through works (self-salvation)
le-olam-va-ed = dispensation- or age-long, aeonian, not eternal, forever or for eternity
Lev = heart, as in Lev-Tsiyon = heart of Zion
Lev-Tsiyon = Heart of the Fortress [of Yahweh], Hebrew name of MLT's founder
Master = Lord, Sir, Adon(ai) - (one in authority, a ruler - a king, husband, prophet, judge)
Malak(im) = Angel(s), heavenly supernatural messenger(s)
manna = wafers of honey, bread from heaven (lit. 'what is this?')
matzah = unleavened bread, see Chag haMatzah
Menorah = 7-armed candlearbra = the 7 annual Moedim and 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
Messiah = Christ; Anti-Messiah = Antichrist
Messianic Community = Body of Christ, sum total of all true believers; all true fellowships
Messianic Israel = all who worship Yahweh, trust in Yah'shua, obey Torah and overcome
Messianic Jew = Messianic convert from Judaism still clinging to Talmudic traditions
Midrash = aggadic interpretation of scripture vi‚ Drash, a scriptural discussion
Mikvah = baptism by immersion of convert into Yah'shua or of wife into husband
Mishpachah = family: nuclear, congregational, tribal or the whole of Messianic Israel
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon = family of the heart of the fortress [of Yahweh]
Mishpat = right-ruling or judgement
mitzvah/mitzvot = commandment(s)
moed(im) = appointment(s) of Yahweh, 7 Annual Feasts, Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh
Nefilim, Nephilim = giant offspring of materialised demons and human women
Nevi'im = prophetic writings of the Old Testament or Tanakh
New Birth = spiritual conversion in the Ruach haRishon, being 'born again' with new heart
Nidah = a woman's menstruation period during which no intercourse is permitted
Olive Branch = collection of revelations, prophecies and visions published by MLT
Paraclete = Comforter, Advocate (NEB), Counsellor, Ruach haQodesh (Gk. paraklÍtos)
PaRDeS = method of textual interpretation (homiletics) - see P'shat, Remez, Drash, Sod
Patriarch = a father who is head of his family, clan or tribe (lit. 'father-ruler')
Pentateuch = first five books of the Tanakh (Genesis-Deuteronomy), also called Torah
peribolaion = headcovering worn by daughters/wives in submission to fathers/husbands
Pesach = Passover, first of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Peshitta = an Aramaic version of the Bible
Prototrinitarianism = early, simplified MLT formulation of the Echad Godhead Doctrine
Prush(im) = Pharisee(s)
Pseudepigrapha = Non-canonical Hebrew writings additional to the Apocrypha
P'shat = literal, contextual, philological, exoteric, outer meaning of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Qadosh Qadoshim = Holy of Holies, most sacred set-apart room of the Beit haMikdash
Qodesh, Kodesh = set-apart, holy (see Ruach haQodesh)
Rabbi = Teacher, term used by Messianic Jews and some Messianic Israelites = Pastor
Refuge, the 12 Cities of = divinely protected MLT fortresses during the 7-year Tribulation
Remez = hint or allegorical level of Hebraic understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Rosh Chodesh = monthly New Moon appointment of Yahweh
ruach = spirit of a person (lit.'breath')
Ruach Elohim = Spirit of God (the Spirit of the collective Godhead or Elohim)
Ruach haChamashee = 5th Ruach presides over Yom Teruah and Yom Chamashee
Ruach haQodesh = the Sevenfold Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (lit. 'Set-Apart Breath')
Ruach haRevee = 4th Ruach presides over Shavu'ot, Yom Revee and Bar Mitzvah
Ruach haRishon = 1st Ruach presides over Pesach, Yom Rishon and the New Birth
Ruach haShanee = 2nd Ruach presides over Chag haMatzah and Yom Shanee
Ruach haSheshi = 6th Ruach presides over Yom Kippur and Yom Sheshi
Ruach haShleshi = 3rd Ruach presides over Yom haBikkurim, Yom Shleshi and Mikvah
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Satan = rebel archangel Heylel, father of lies, devil, chief demon (lit.'Adversary')
Sephardic Jew = West European Jew of mixed blood containing many Judahites
Septuagint = Greek translation of the Tanakh, LXX
Shegal haShabbat = 7th Ruach (Sabbath Queen) presides over Sukkot and Yom Shabbat
Shekinah = Divine Presence and Glory of Yahweh-Elohim
Set-apart = holy, sanctified, consecrated, dedicated, separated (to and by Yahweh)
Shabbat-Shabbaton = High Sabbath (e.g. Yom Kippur)
Shalom = heavenly peace, standard Hebraic greeting invoking Yahweh's peace
Shamash(im) = servant(s), deacon(s), attendant(s)
Shavu'ot = Pentecost or Weeks, fourth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Sheol = grave or pit, euphamism for Hades or hell - also see Tartarus
shofar = ram's horn, blown during Yahweh's Moedim
simcha = joy, keynote of Sukkot
Sod = mystical, anagogic, inner or esoteric understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Sukkot = Tabernacles or Booths, seventh of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Synagogue = Greek word used by Jews and Messianics (but not MLT) for a meeting house
talmid(a) = male/female disciple or student
Talmud = scriptures, teachings and commentaries belonging to non-Messianic Judaism
Tanakh = acronym for Old Testament Scriptures - Torah, Nevi'im & Ketuvim
Tartarus = place of imprisonment under the earth for rebellious angels and Nephilim
teshuvah = repentance, remorse and contrition leading back to Torah obedience
Torah = Yahweh's teachings or Law; New Covenant Torah includes Yah'shua's teachings
Tribulation, the Great = the final 7 years of the present aeon when Anti-Messiah rules
Trinity = Catholic Godhead formula - see Echad Godhead Doctrine and Prototrinitarianism
Tsiyon = Zion, a fortress, a name of Jerusalem and a prominent hill
Tzitzit/Tizitziyot = tassel(s) worn by men in remembrance of Torah
Universalism = salvation of all at the cosmic Yovel, with different rewards and punishments
Yachid = one, single person or item, as opposed to Echad (many in one, unity)
Yah'shua the Messiah = Jesus Christ (the Son)
Yahudah = Judah - see Judahite
Yahweh, Yah, YHWH = the true Name of our Heavenly Father, also carried by Yah'shua
Yahweh-Elohim = LORD God (the Father, Yahweh as Head of the Godhead or Elohim)
Yahweh haQatan = the sent Yahweh = Yah(weh)'shua, Malak of Yahweh's Presence
Yam Suf = Sea of Reeds, the true Israelite Exodus water crossing, not the Red Sea
Yarden = Jordan River (lit. 'meanderer')
Yerushalayim = Jerusalem
Yisrael = Israel (lit. 'ruling with l') = true believers under the New Covenant
Yom Chamashee = 5th day of the week (Thursday, Friday in IDL Zone)
Yom Din, Yom haDin = (the) Day of Judgement
Yom haBikkurim = Feast of Firstfruits, third of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Revee = 4th day of the week (Wednesday, Thursday in IDL Zone)
Yom Rishon = 1st day of the week (Sunday, Monday in IDL Zone)
Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement, sixth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Shabbat = 7th day of the week and Sabbath Rest (Saturday, Sunday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shanee = 2nd day of the week (Monday, Tuesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Sheshi = 6th day of the week (Friday, Saturday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shleshi = 3rd day of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Teruah = Day of Trumpets, fifth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yosef = Joseph - see Josephite
Yovel = Jubilee or Year of Jubilee
Zaqen(im) = elder(s) of an assembly or congregation, or senior members of a community
ZoŽ Life = Greek term for spiritual life in the Messiah
Commonly Used MLT Abbreviations
For additional abbreviations and explanations,
please see the Micropedia
Amp.V(er). = Amplified Version of the Bible
Aram. = Aramaic
AV = Authorised Version of the Bible - see KJV
BCAY = B'rit Chadashah Assembly of Yahweh - see NCCG
BoA = Books of Abraham (e.g. 1Abr., 2Abr., etc.)
cp, cf = compare with
CB(Q) = Chavurat Bekorot
CEV = Contemporary English Version of the Bible
ch. = chapter
CJB = Complete Jewish Bible
CLNT = Concordant Literal New Testament
CYe = Council of Yah's elohim
Eng. = English
ff. = and onwards/forwards
fn = footnote
Gk. = Greek
GNB = Good News Bible - see TEV
Heb. = Hebrew, Hebraic
HEM = Holy Echad Marriage, eternal marriage
HO = Holy Order - see Chavurat Bekorot
HOC = Holy Order Collection of revelations - see OB
HRV = Hebraic-Roots Version of the Bible
ibid. = ibidem (lit. 'in the same place'), referring to a book previously cited
ICJC = Independent Church of Jesus Christ, earlier name of NCCF
ISRV = Institute for Scripture Research Version of the Bible
JB = Jerusalem Bible
JBP/Phillips = J.B.Phillips translation of the New Testament
JNT = Jewish New Testament
KJV = King James Version of the Bible - see AV
LB = Living Bible
lit. = literally or literature
LXX = Septuagint, Greek translation of the OT
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon
Moff. = Moffatt translation of the Bible
MRC = Messianic Renewed Covenant Version of the NT
MS(S) = Manuscript(s)
NASB, NASV = New American Standard Bible/Version
NC&C = New Covenants & Commandments - see OB
NCCF = New Covenant Christian Fellowship, earlier name of NCCG
NCCG = New Covenant Church of God, earlier name of MLT - see BCAY
NCP = New Covenant Press, publishing arm of MLT
NCW = New Covenant Witness, MLT magazine
NEB = New English Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible
NKJV = New King James Version of the Bible
Nor. = Norwegian
NT = New Testament, B'rit Chadashah
NWT = New World Translation of the Bible, unreliable Jehovah's Witness version
OB = Olive Branch - see NC&C
op.cit. = opere citato (lit. in the work cited)
OT = Old Testament, Tanakh
p(p). = page(s)
pl. = plural - see s.
PWNC = Prophetic Words of the New Covenant, revelation cataloging system - see OB
QED = quod erat demonstrandum (lit. which was shown to be proved)
RCF = Restoration Christian Fellowship, earlier name of ICJC
RhQ = Ruach haQodesh, Holy Spirit
RSTNE = Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition of the Bible
RSV = Revised Standard Version of the Bible
RV = Revised Version of the Bible
s. = singular - see pl.
S&G = Smith & Goodspeed Version of the Bible
TEV = Today's English Version of the Bible - see GNB
Vulg. = Biblia Vulgata, Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
WEB = World English Bible
This page was first created on 18 March 2007
Last updated on 18 March 2007
Copyright ©2006 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved