Friday, June 26, 2020

333


At the end of last week and into this one, for five sequential days, I have been waking up in the middle of the night, and when looking at the digital clock it was always showing 3:33.  This has also happened a few times in the past, but never so consistently.  Upon waking on the fifth night I did not want to look at the clock, but as I lay awake the pressure from the Spirit was growing to the point that I had to glance at the clock, so I did. It was 3:33 again. Getting out of bed that morning, baffled as to this persistent reoccurring ‘phenomenon’, I began looking for answers. One of the obvious possibilities was to look up scriptures in accordance with this data. I opened up to Ezekiel 33:3:  "and he sees the sword coming upon the land, and he blows on the trumpet/shofar and warns the people". Next I looked up Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell/show you great and mighty things, which you do not know “.  I stood there with Rimona, quite astounded at these scriptures and their meaning. Those were the only two scriptures that I felt compelled to view.  What immediately came to my attention was that, since we are in the days of the fulfillment of much of the prophecies of old, that YHVH is speaking to us as watchmen, just as He did to Habakkuk, who in 2:1 of his book responds thus to YHVH: "I WILL stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved" (emphases added). In other words, while YHVH speaks we are actually seeing what He is saying AND fulfilling, at the same time.  He did not say to Habakkuk that he would first hear His voice, but that he will see His speech experientially.  Thus the “knowing” is coming by experience, just like at Mount Sinai, when “the people saw the voices” (Exodus 20:18, literal translation, emphases added).

 At the end of that day, in a meeting we were at, I shared with the group the above experience.  One person commented that 333 is half of 666, with the thought in mind that we were on the ‘road’ to the tribulation.  Another person commented that the Hebrew letters for three hundred and thirty three are shin, lamed, gimel which makes up the word “sheleg” - “snow”.  He also explained that “snow” can refer to the righteousness of YHVH’s Word.  The following morning I received a WhatsApp message which included a passage from Job 38:12-15.  Because I like to read things in context, I read all of Job 38. To my surprise, Job 38:22-23 says the following:  "Have you entered the storehouses [literally treasures] of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of distress, for the day of war and battle?”

The picture was clearing up: the sword, war, battle, and hail are only a few of YHVH’s righteous judgments, along with what we are experience worldwide with the Corona plague.  The question is, what does YHVH mean by “great and mighty things”?  Could this be like the time preceding the Exodus, with the same signs and wonders which also show up in the book of Revelation, that we obviously have not known in our generation (yet)?  We have been hearing, for example, older people saying, “We have never experienced such weather conditions in our lifetime”, or the reports about record heat and unusual temperature changes in the earth.   What does all this mean, other than the looming events that are to precede the restoration and return of a remnant of the whole house of Israel, along with judgements upon the nations, including Israel?

Birth pangs are always a little deceptive, as some are stronger than others, but the closer one gets to the birth the frequency becomes important.  “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22).  But what is the whole creation waiting for other than for Zion to give birth to her man-child, a corporate body of the redeemed remnant of the chosen seed of Abraham and Sarah - a “One New Man” that will manifest the nature, life, light and fruit of their Redeemer Elohim?  “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of Elohim” (Romans 8:19).  Hosea prophesied this long before the Redeemer of Israel showed up on the scene of history. 

“Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; and it will come about that, in the place where it is said to them, ‘you are not My people,’ it will be said to them, ‘You are the sons of the living Elohim’. And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint for themselves one leader, and they will go up from the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel” (Hosea 1:10-11). 

In the beginning days of the declared pandemic we heard a lot of believers claiming, reading and sharing Psalm 91.  It may be a good idea to take it to heart, as we are moving toward very uncertain days.  Proverbs 3:33 is also quite appropriate: “The curse of YHVH is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.”

Friday, June 19, 2020

Through the Strainer (IV)


How important today is the “faith of our father Abraham” (Romans 4:16)? Does his faith mean anything to us? Does it have any relevance? Do we even consider that when the scriptures tell us that we have the same faith, i.e. Abraham’s, it is because we are of his progeny/seed, through Sarah’s miracle son Isaac (Romans 9:8b-9)? “But the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son’” (Romans 9:8b-9).  There is another term that is attached to the Abrahamic faith and that is “hope”. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 emphases added). YHVH sealed a covenant with our forefather because Abraham’s “belief” was based on this hope, which is a confident assurances that Elohim would carry out what He had promised.

We, as human beings, have the capability to “believe”, which means that we are able to believe anything, even lies, and be convinced that it is truth. This kind of “belief”, however, is not “the faith” of Abraham. For example, many non-Jewish believers profess that they are like Ruth, which means that they compare their attachment to Israel or to the Jewish people to Ruth’s choice to follow Naomi and her Elohim. But, even though it is a heart-warming analogy, it is not corroborated by scripture.  When it comes to the New Covenant books, Ruth is mentioned only once, and that is in the genealogy of Yeshua (see Matthew 1:5). With this analogy inbred into the common doctrines, the believer is convinced that he or she cannot be an Israelite, and thus is blinded to the truth.  There is another doctrine espoused to the solving (or to the dissolving) of the non-Jewish/Israelite identity, and that is to believe that the natural forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are one’s spiritual fathers. Such a viewpoint distorts the word of Elohim concerning those fathers, making Elohim one who does not keep His word, His promises, or His covenants to all the natural descendants.  What is worse, it makes the book of Genesis not as relevant for the non-Jews, and the rest of the scriptures anemic.

There is something even more tragic, and that is that we miss seeing Yeshua the Living Word of the Heavenly Father actively involved in the history of His people, faithfully watching over and guarding every dot and tittle of His Father’s assignment. Do we really know Him - Yeshua - not just from His first appearing in the flesh of man, but also as the Word in the Beginning?  “For by Him [Yeshua the Word] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17).  Again, do we see Yeshua in the Creation, both visible and invisible? “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things (in the natural) that are made, even His eternal power and divinity; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).  We are told to mind the things of the spirit (see Romans 8:5-6) so that we can understand correctly the created things. When we read the book of Genesis do we see the unseen realities of Him who is the Word, the “same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8)?

His divine power gave Sarah something that her old body could not produce.  She was given a “christed” (spiritually anointed) egg; a supernatural miracle on the female side of Man.  In one sense “the Word became flesh” in a tiny egg fertilized by an adamic man, who had the faith/hope that His Elohim could do and accomplish what He had spoken and promised. But this was only the beginning of the destiny of this zera/seed/zygote called “Isaac”.  YHVH, by the power of His word, was calling into being “a father of many nations” [Goyim] I have made you’, in the presence of Him whom he believed, Elohim, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.  In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, ‘so shall your seed be’” (Romans 4:17-18 emphasis added).  Actually, the SPIRITUAL connection to the forefathers is what YHVH provided in Sarah’s womb.

Abraham’s faith/hope in the seed that YHVH was going to bring forth by his son Isaac, in the womb of Rebecca, was made manifest in him whom we know as Jacob. His seed would carry the life of “the Word” into the future progeny.  Jacob’s anointed life and the faith that can believe life from the dead, was to become real in a multitude of people, only after the Father raised Yeshua from the grave.  From Sarah’s womb until Yeshua’s resurrection the faith remained hidden in the life of the scattered tribes of Israel. “But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed” (Galatians 3:23). “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17).  By this very faith of Abraham our father, we are in Messiah, and because we are in Him we are heirs according to the promise (see Galatians 3:29). We are the evidence of that which was not seen.  Oh the faithfulness of the Elohim of Abraham!

“The counsel of YHVH stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose Elohim is YHVH, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance” (Psalm 33:11-12). “For YHVHs portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance” (Deuteronomy 32:9). 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Through the Strainer (part III)


In the course of the last few weeks the Spirit has been impressing on me to read and study the scriptures more and depend on Him to lead, guide, direct and bring revelation-understanding.  Yeshua told His followers that "…the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).  In 1 John 2:27  we read that “…the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him”.

As we know, only the Holy Spirit can bring revelation-understanding of YHVH’s Word.  The main reason being, is that all the fullness of wisdom and knowledge of the mystery of Elohim is hidden in Messiah (see Colossians 2:2-3).  If we depend mainly on human resources for our spiritual food, we may be like the little chick in the nest waiting for the parents to regurgitate what they have eaten, and drop into its mouth.  Obviously everyone starts out as a “babe”, but cannot stay there, growth has to take place.  The Creation itself speaks very loudly about the importance of maturing, for without it, bearing offspring or producing fruit would be impossible.

Paul writes: “I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:2-3).  We are also warned: “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim; for it is not subject to the Torah of Elohim, nor indeed can be” (Romans 8:6-7).  Thus, the “carnal” mind, and its accompanying behavior, is connected to a state of immaturity.

Let us now move on, and place side by side a couple of concepts into the strainer: the wisdom of the carnal mind in contrast to the wisdom of the spiritual mind.  Obviously, as believers our mind can function in both realms.  We can partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or of the tree of life which is the mind of Messiah.  How can we discern the difference?  The above-mentioned scriptures give us some very obvious clues. The fruit of the first tree produces death - killing, stealing and destroying, while the fruit of the other tree yields life and peace.  Shortly after our ‘arrival’ into this world our minds fall victim to the power of sin, and are indoctrinated by the spirits coming out from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which means that for wisdom and understanding we rely on this world’s perspective.  However, as believers we are warned: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Messiah” (Colossians 2:8).

James further characterizes the worldly wisdom:  “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.  This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic.  For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:14-16).  The definition for wisdom, is the accumulated relational experiences with people, places and things, coupled with information, producing a knowledge and understanding of ourselves, others and our culture.  The society, culture and life style that most of us are born into have produced in us good and evil traits and reactions to the situations that we are experiencing or facing.  We are very cognizant of the material world, and very ignorant of the unseen realm.  Only after YHVH calls us out of this dark spiritual kingdom and by grace transfers us to the Kingdom of His Son, are our eyes opened to recognize the difference.  However, the mind, that houses the “wisdom”, has to be renewed: “ Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of Elohim” (Romans 12:2 emphasis added).

“But of Him [the Father] you are in the resurrected Spirit of Messiah Yeshua who became for us wisdom from Elohim—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30 modified). “…The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.  And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:17-18).

“Therefore as you have received Messiah Yeshua the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude…for in Him you have been made complete…” (Colossians 2:6,7,10). “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20). “Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, Elohim will reveal even this to you” (Philipians 3:15).
Applying our mind to the Spirit of the Word of Elohim is wisdom, thus distinguishing the wisdom which is in Messiah Yeshua, the tree of Life, from the wisdom of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is truer now than ever before, which is why we need the Spirit of Holiness to guide us into all truth.