7 March 2011 (Shanee/Matzah)|
Day #356, 5934 AM
Nothing Apart from You
A Revelation About Ivory Towers
Ever since we decided to follow the true biblical calendar tavnith or pattern the heavens have been opening up in all sorts of unexpected ways as new idolatries are revealed that need dealing with. One thing I am sure of is this: whenever we judge ourselves, even when it is 'based', as we suppose, on Yahweh's Word, we always overestimate our own righteousness and underestimate Yahweh's grace.
We are very protective of our sinfulness, it would seem, because the flesh will always try to persuade our repenting lev (heart) to keep back at least a small portion of sin each time the flesh loses ground...'for old times' sake', as it were. No wonder - Yahweh doesn't say that the human lev (heart) is just "wicked" but "desperately wicked" as well as "deceitful":
To both accept and understand that we are by natural disposition 'anash or "desperately wicked" ought to humble us all, and yet the truth is we desperately want to be viewed as 'not that bad really'. We want to be able to claim that some part of us is naturally righteous and that we can take some sort of credit for it. We can't! That false claimant is called Pride and it is the spirit of murder because it is claiming independence from Yahweh in a way that is willing to nail Yah'shua (Jesus) back on that cross. How do we do that? By claiming to be good in any way, for it was because of that conceit and pride that Yah'shua died for us. Until we have come to the shocking revelation that there is nothing instrinsically good in us we are in denial of Messiah and His atonement. We're claiming to be able to do it without Him.
"The lev (heart) is deceitful ('aqov, fraudulent, crooked, polluted) above all things, and desperately wicked ('anash, frail, feeble, melancholic, incurable, sick, woeful); who can know it? I, Yahweh, search the lev (heart), I test the mind (kilyah, lit, 'kidneys' as an essential organ, the insides, reins, mind), even to give every man according to his ways (derek, lit.path, road, fig. 'course of life', 'mode of action') according to the fruit of his doings (ma'alal, endeavours, inventions, works)" (Jer.17:9-10, NKJV).
Everything - absolutely everything - that is good in us comes from Yah'shua (Jesus) - everything! Not a single impulse to do good comes from 'me'. Even before I was saved and filled with Him, those impulses that led me to do good came from the Light of Messiah within that accompanies every man and woman coming into the world (Jn.1:9).
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells" (Rom.7:18, NKJV).
This morning I had, like I said, some shocking revelations. The theme was not new, but the immediacy of it - the closeness of it - was enough to make me recoil. In my dream I was at a former place of employment which by its very nature was a kind of 'fraternity' of educators. There was a gathering, like a dinner (or so I supposed), until I realised that my fellows were all donning lavish, mysterious looking robes and hats. Until this moment I had had no idea that they even 'did' this sort of thing. The robes were symbols of a special fellowship as well as a loyalty. By being in this fellowship you had to demonstrate your loyalty. As a believer in real life I had felt very much 'apart' from my collegues even though I wanted to be a part of the group - to be accepted as 'one of them' - you all know that feeling. I was soon to learn what being accepted entailed.
I rushed off to my 'initiation' - a tower with a spiral staircase. I leapt up those stairs like a frisky hart with apparently no effort at all until I came to a room at the top. There was nobody visibly in it but there was a 'presence'. A very deep, resonating voice, that wished to convey authority, declared: "I am your MASTER!". And I was expected to affirm it. Instantly I knew that this was utterly impossible, that I only had one Master (Lord), Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and I left immediately and without a moment's hesitation.
When I woke up I understood what I had known in my head already but now in my spirit. All allegiances and loyalties that are not founded on Emet or Truth, be they to men or demons (for they are one and the same) are submission to Satan. In our yearning to 'belong' and be 'accepted' one of the greatest temptations to sin and deny Messiah is to capitulate to the terms the world offers for fellowship. It is a very powerful force indeed but it is evil. I saw this in the core of my being for the first time, and for the first time I 'knew' with my spirit the lie that the enemy tells.
The lie is that we can obtain merit - favour, acceptance, peace - all that the soul craves - WITHOUT MESSIAH and WITHOUT EMET (TRUTH). It is the greatest idolatry that we commit and yet everyone is tempted to do it - again and again - until they have finally surrendered to Yah'shua (Jesus). Once they have authentically surrendered to Him, calling Him 'Master' ('Lord') and 'Deliverer' ('Saviour') cease being mere lipservice but become genuine reality:
Do you realise how easy it is to do this? Your ability or inability is not, moreover, a function of age, experience, knowledge, or anything else that you 'obtain' or 'get' but merely a function of surrendering - completely yielding sovereignty in your life. Until this has been done you are worshipping the Most High with your lips but not your lev (heart).
"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honour Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men'" (Matt.15:8-9, NKJV).
All Satan wants is your worship. If you will give him that by acknowledging that he is 'master' or 'lord', he will give you a small portion of what he offered to Yah'shua (Jesus):
The "glory" that Satan here speaks of is the honour, riches, power, attention, recognition, approval, and acceptance of the world! He says: "Look, I will satisfy this fleshy craving of yours to be loved and accepted by everyone if you will but climb this ivory tower of pride and accept my toqef (authority) over you! Accept me as your Master! Then you can wear these robes of my ownership of you and be accepted by everyone else who wears them! Stand tall and be proud!"
"Then the devil, taking [Yah'shua/Jesus] up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, 'All this toqef (authority) I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours" (Luke 4:5-7, NKJV).
I suggest to you all today that this is the major temptation that everyone faces, including and especially believers. To walk with Messiah (Christ) is at times a very lonely walk. There is absolutely no recognition from the world, just its contempt, hatred and persecution - and until a believer is reconciled to that...and he never will be until he has fully surrendered his life to Messiah...he will be tempted over and over again until finally he breaks down and caves in to the world. Moreover, he can never be reconciled to this until he has been born again and knows the ahavah or love of Messiah! Without this ahavah he will never have the strength to walk as a fully surrendered talmid ir disciple - it just can't be done! He may 'hold out' for years and years but a point will come when he is forced, by circumstances that Yahweh has either engineered or permitted, to make a choice for chayim (life) or maveth (death).
I cannot stress to every one of you how important this message is. Without this full surrender it is impossible to be saved in the final sense. I don't pretend it is easy. It isn't. But without it, there is absolutely no hope for eternal life. The issue - the bottom line - is, as we have seen from one of the temptations of Messiah - one of TOQEF - AUTHORITY . Under whose toqef (authority) do you come, not just in your verbal declarations and intentions, but in the full disposition of your being? Who do you really want to belong to? There can be no half-heartedness about it, no partial yielding of self-sovereignty. To belong finally to Messiah you have to give all. To belong finally to Satan you have only to retain a little for yourself.
Yesterday I had a blow. I have been working in the political arena now for about a year with a group of people to secure some important liberties. Actually, I have worked very hard indeed in the cause. Yesterday I was told to 'do it their way' or get out. It hurt...for a short while until I realised that though the initial cooperation was right, I had become too dependant on their approval. So I quietly withdrew and resolved that I would trust in Yahweh alone. My shalom (peace) came quickly. So I suspect this might, in part, have been the stimulus of my dream last night. Whatever the origins, I know Yahweh had a message in it - first for me, and then for all of you. It's either Him all the way or none. Likewise for wives - it must be all the way for their husbands in Messiah or none. It's literally that black-and-white.
Without this total surrender to Yah'shua (Jesus) we'll never make it intact through the tough times ahead. Millions of lawless believers are going to lose faith. They're going to choose the Ivory Tower of Pride again and again in order to win acceptance from a crowd. There are going to be fewer and fewer of us as the fire of refinement heats up. I promise you this will be so. And those who were once brothers and sisters will turn against us with a greater vengeance than those who never knew Messiah - the worst is always dished out by our own families, biological and spiritual. I have been there and am there now as I am sure many of you are.
But in all of this, those who are fully surrendered have ahavah (love), simcha (joy) and shalom (peace)! And we get stronger and stronger the more we surrender. Our vulnerabilities are safely hidden up in the sukkah (tent) of Messiah. These are the Sukkot Children of Elohim (God).
Say no to the world, say no to eternal destruction:
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of Elohim (God) abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17, NKJV).