Dedicating Your Life to the Kingdom
Sabbath Day Sermon, Saturday 8 January 2005
Brethren and sisters, I welcome you in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. I remember not so long ago coming before you in the wake of the disaster that struck the World Trade Center in New York when terrorists hijacked and crashed two civil airliners into it. We all agreed then that the world would never be the same. Ever since that time the Western world has been bracing itself for more terrorist attacks, never knowing where the enemy would strike next. But little did anyone expect that a massive under ocean earthquake a couple of weeks ago would create one of the biggest and deadliest tidal waves in recent memory apart from the great volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in the 19th century. The latest reports suggest that over 120,000 people have been killed so far. Reports in are telling us that some islands have disappeared and some have been split in two.
On the 5 January, just a few days ago, I received a revelation from Yahweh which informed me that the time for gathering was now urgent and that we should be prioritising this goal above all others. It has never been far from our view and yet it has seemed remote to us because of a lack of resources. That time, I believe, is at an end. I shall not repeat the whole revelation to you, as you can read it for yourselves, save to quote one or two short extracts. The theme is unmistakable:
"Behold, the day of wrath, of trouble, of distress, of wasteness and destruction, of darkness and gloominess, of clouds and thick darkness in the heavenlies, is upon you. For I am bringing distress upon all men, who are walking as blind men, saying and doing what they know not, because they have sinned against Yahweh their Elohim. And nought but repentance, even a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which leadeth unto obedience to My Son Yah'shua (Jesus) and to My Torah, will save them, for I, Yahweh, come not unto those whose hearts are darkened" (PWNC 050104:9-11).
As human beings we have a tendency to forget quickly. When disaster struck America, the USA was in greater shock than Europe because Europe lived through the mass destruction of the Second World War. America was traumatised when just three buildings and four aircraft were destroyed yet this had happened a million times over in Europe. Today we can watch our TVs and see pictures in newspapers of the disaster that recently took place in Asia, and unless you have friends involved (as we do in India), the impact will not be that great - life will go on as usual. But for those Asians who have lost loved ones, or whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by the tsunami, they will not forget quickly. The spectre of epidemics, hunger and death haunt them.
It surprises some to learn that these events have been prophesied in the Olive Branch. Back in 1990, prior to the Yugoslav Wars of Independence, warning was given of the disappearance of nations as political entities. The revelation was fulfilled and Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union ceased to exist. But what the majority of readers probably didn't notice, because their eyes were on political wars, was something else that revelation said. I quote:
"Ye marvel at the tumult in the nations ... but rather ye should marvel at the greater divisions that shall be seen, not of nations, great and small, but of the earth herself. For islands shall disappear and mountains shall be laid low. Nations shall disappear beneath the waves, and new lands shall appear. There shall be a groaning and a heaving in the earth which hath not been seen since the days of Peleg. Rocks of ice shall fall out of the heavens and slay multitudes, and man in his boastfulness and arrogance shall be powerless to halt them. For this is the beginning of the time of the Great Levelling in all things. And man shall curse Yahweh for it, knowing not that these are his own judgements against himself" (OB 267:1,4-10).
What happened in Asia is what the Bible calls "birth pangs". Paul the Apostle records in his letter to the Romans:
"... the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now" (Rom.8:21-22, NKJV).
Ever since the fall of Adam, when the earth was cursed by Yahweh-Elohim for man's rebellion, the earth has been in pain. It has been yearning for its own deliverance from corruption, and desires the "glorious liberty of the children of God". Now that is quite an interesting concept, is it not? The earth is actually described as possessing the attributes of personality, having desire, wanting what saved men and women possess - the liberty that comes from a transformed life in Yahweh. The planet has, since the Fall, been going through the equivalent of human labour. It has experienced earth pangs. It experienced massive continental changes in the days of Peleg and was ruptured at the time of the Flood when the fountains of the deep burst forth. In many ways that is not at all unlike the breaking of a woman's waters prior to the actual labour itself. As the meteorologists amongst you will know, our whole climate changed after the flood, and all the storms and movements of the earth's crust are echoes of that terrible time. What we see around us is basically a continuation of earlier events.
The earth is unstable in spite of the illusion of stability in between the disasters like the recent Asian tsunami. We are deceived because we tend not to have a prophetic perspective. But Yahweh knows all things in advance, which is why He is able to give us revelations and prophecies warning of that which is to come. What happened in Asia was no accident, even though sinful man would like to comfort himself and insist it could have happened 'anywhere' and to 'anyone'. He is half right, as we have seen, since these things will happen everywhere on the face of the earth. The second revelation in the Olive Branch, and the first of our own, warns of the destruction of the Norwegian city of Stavanger. That was back in 1981. That whole city will sink beneath the sea but will any one believe this prophecy until it occurs in all its brutal reality? As it happens I have family members there - like the American couple who tried to avoid the Second World war before it started by emigrating to Iwo Jima, the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of World War Two, so some of my family have fled their duty and returned to what will be a scene of terrible carnage and destruction. But they do not believe even though prophecy after prophecy recorded in the Olive Branch has been fulfilled.
I mentioned that there is a direct parallel between world disasters - past, present and future - and the actual redemption of man. Every work of Yahweh is one of great suffering and pain. To get good, you must suffer. To build something that has a rocky foundation, you must be prepared to pay for it. It has been so with us, will yet be so, and has always been so with the children of the Most High. Follow with me now the words of Micah lest we miss something important for our own salvation:
"Now why do you cry aloud?
Is there no king in your midst?
Has your counsellor perished?
For pangs have seized you like a woman in labour.
Be in pain, and labour to bring forth,
Like a woman in birth pangs.
For now you shall go forth from the city,
You shall dwell in the field,
And to Babylon you shall go.
There you shall be delivered;
There Yahweh will redeem you
From the hand of your enemies"
In these short verses we have an encapsulation of the whole purpose of life. We are born into the world to suffer, choose the right, and grow - or to run away and perish. Indeed, we face such a situation every day of our lives. One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of your life, a day that should be consecrated to Yahweh for fruitfulness, because each day's works determines the quality of the next day's, and the day's after that, and so on. Every small decision you make, even if it is to be idle, determines what sort of person you are going to be tomorrow. What you do today sets a precedent, creates a pattern of behaviour, that will either aid or impede you in your mission in life.
So please, as Ralph Waldo Emmerson wisely said: "Guard your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life." Every single one of you is a gold mine full of untapped talent. But like gold, you can't just sit around and expect it to ooze up to the surface and become transformed into ingots. You have to dig it up, smelt it, cool it and form it. Like all good things it takes time and effort.
"No horse ever gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunnelled. No life ever grows until it is focussed, dedicated and disciplined" (Harry Fosdick). And yet what are people doing? Letting time slip through their hands as though there was no tomorrow. They are engaging in useless pursuits that a natural disaster, in just a few seconds, could wipe away, just as it has done in Indonesia and the surrounding nations. Are you "redeeming your time, because the days are evil" (Eph.5:16) or are you flitting it away? Paul said: "Walk in wisdom ... redeeming the time" (Col.4:5, NKJV). Are you doing that?
Our time is not ours - it belongs to the God who gave it to us. Our very lives do not belong to us. The Torah says:
"And when a man dedicates his house to be holy to Yahweh, then the priest shall set a value for it, whether it is good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand" (Lev.27:14, NKJV).
Although this is referring to a domicile, a building, it can as easily apply to our physical bodies and indeed our whole lives, for these too are called 'houses' in Scripture. The latest revelation says much about this. And what Yahweh is telling us is that our lives are of no value until they are dedicated to Him! The Priest here stands as Yahweh's representative. Under the New Covenant, Yah'shua (Jesus) is our High Priest, the Priest set over His other priests, His ministers - the apostles, evangelists, bishops, pastors, teachers and others. We become valuable when we dedicate our lives to Yahweh but it is the priest who puts the value on it. Why? Because it is the Priest who issues the call to Kingdom Service. The apostles call the pastors, the pastors call the Elders and Deacons, and, in partnership with the spirit of revelation, assigns them work in the Kingdom. Torah also says:
"What man is there who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it" (Deut.20:5, NKJV).
What if you die, your soul undedicated to Yahweh, your life a silent witness of having done nothing for the Kingdom? What then will happen to you? Yah'shua (Jesus) tells us a parable about this - the Parable of the Talents, which I alluded to last week, reminding us that if we do nothing with the talents He has given to us, that they will be taken away from us and given to another. Your gift and calling to serve the Master in His Kingdom will be given to another if you do nothing about it. So what are you waiting for? Dedicate your life to Yahweh lest you lose everything. And in case you have forgotten, all dedication in the Kingdom is done with blood (Heb.9:18) - in the Old Covenant, with the blood of animals, and in the New, by the precious Blood of Yah'shua (Jesus). So I repeat, your work - your service - is useless if it is not dedicated to Yahweh! And do not think that you can dedicate any old thing to Him. Will he accept a man who dedicates his porn business? Of course not! Will he accept the man who dedicates the 'marriage' he has obtained by adultery? Of course not! We may only dedicate that which is lawful else it is in vain. And more importantly, still, we can only dedicate that which Yahweh has called us to dedicate. Because to dedicate something means to set it apart for Him - to make it holy. We can never dedicate that which is unlawful.
People often marvel at the enormous NCCG.ORG website that has been created. They consider it impossible. That website exists only because it was commanded by revelation and the task was focussed, dedicated and disciplined. People have called me a liar when I tell them I have largely done it all by myself. It exists only because I knew it was Yahweh's will and did not allow myself to be distracted by things that seemed good but which would have taken me away from it. And from that website has been born this work. It has done nearly all the evangelising that has happened. Until a few years ago, when the site was even then enormous, there were only 6 members in this Church. People said it would disappear. But it has not, and will not, and cannot, because it is dedicated to Yahweh. Yahweh is sending those to it who have been called - to the priests He has set over it to give value to the work of those who desire to serve in it. If you have been called by Yahweh into a Messianic Jewish congregation or a Baptist Church, then that is where you should be dedicated and it is where you will get your value - there your talent will multiply as you invest your life into labour for Him. If you have been called into NCCG, then this is where you will get your value too - here - and only here - will your talent multiply as you invest your life in the Kingdom work. We have set an example for you and you have seen what is possible. And it is only the beginning!
I do not wish, however, that any of us, leaders or led, to believe we have won our laurels and can sit back. No one sits back until Yahweh calls us home. There is still work to be done. And in the remaining years I still have, I intend to keep working with all the strength that the Most High grants to me. The latest revelation does not pull any punches - some of the existing apostles are especially singled out for rebuke and chastisement. So what I am saying here today is for all of us, myself included.
I like the thought that Benjamin Franklin gave utterance to for he said: "Work as if you were to live a hundred years, pray as if you were to die tomorrow." None of us knows how long we are going to live - some of our own people in India are now dead, taken away by the tidal wave. You just don't know. That volcano outside Stavanger could blow any day and the city disappear for ever. You just don't know. A terrorist could detonate a nuclear device in London, Oslo, Stockholm, Washington, Moscow - anywhere. An earthquake could strike your home, even in an unexpected place. So if you love the life Yahweh has given to you - a life for His service, valued by His ministers in the Kingdom - then do not squander your time, for that is the stuff that you life is made out of. Do not waste it in doing useless things that are of no value to you or anyone else. Dedicate yourself to that which has worth. Repent of your rebelliousness and change your life around. Don't waste your life in doubts and fears - dedicate it to useful Kingdom work - save souls and build Zion. For your right performance on this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or days or years that follow. Don't be like the five foolish virgins without the light of life in your lamps for if you are not prepared at the critical hour - whether it be the call to gather to the Twelve Firstborn Colonies, your death, or indeed the very day of the return of our Lord and Saviour Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) - then your life will have been in vain. And even if you are in the last days of your life, there is still plenty you can do. One day of servive for the master is better than 80 years of having done nothing.
NCCG is not, as Edward Elson puts it, "a company carrying a bunch of keys to unlock the doors to all our problems, but a people with a master key to the whole of life". Zion is about the whole of our lives - every facet of it - because that is what the world to come is going to be about, and that is what we are preparing for. Are you? What are you preparing for? Or do you suppose, contrary to every evidence of life around you, that the Kingdom will just be served to you on a dinner plate?
I personally to not want my life to have been in vain. I know that not everybody agrees with the choices I have made but I am in no doubt about them. I know exactly where I am going and I intend to invest every last particle I have into my calling. Are you afraid of failure? Don't be. "There is only one failure in life possible, and that is not to be true to the best one knows" (George Elliot). And what do we know? (And if you don't know this, you can know it any time you wish - you just have to make a decision for Christ). We know that life has a purpose. It is not aimless. We know that the good and the bad have a purpose if we let Yahweh do the interpreting for us, and not our own finite minds. We know that we are here to choose Yah'shua (Jesus) and grow through serving His people. I honestly think I can say with Thomas Edison that the work I do for the Kingdom is not 'work' in the sense that the world understands it - it is incredibly fun! It brings me joy, not because of the achievements and successes necessarily (because there are plenty of failures and heartaches too) but because I know I am doing what Yahweh wants me to do. That gives me enormous security and certainly. When you are doing what you know He wants you to do, then you will lose all fear and uncertainly. You will have peace. Your life will be focussed, dedicated and disciplined.
If you are a married woman, your place is by your husband's side, to be his helpmeet. That is your calling. If you know you are married to the right person (and you'd better know!) then you can be 100% sure that what your husband is doing is what you are called to be involved with. And in that you can find peace. If you have run away from home - and there are several who were once a part of this work of have done that - then they are called to return home where they belong, to Yahweh's labour, to the place where they can obtain real worth. For outside there is only ultimate disappointment when they are called by Yahweh to give account.
I hope you will all study the latest revelation carefully which is being released today. It has much of importance for us all. It ends with words I wish to end with now:
"The humble shall stand and shall be blessed, but the proud, and all who do wickedly, shall be as stubble and be burned up. Amen." (Op.cit., v.76).
This page was created on 7 January 2005
Last updated on 7 January 2005
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