Month 3:15, Week 2:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year 5935:071 AM|
SHABBAT 3:2, Omer Count Day 7/50
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 16 June 2011
The Confidence That We Must Have
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el!
"For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?" (1 Cor.14:8, NKJV).
Every now and then I like to summarise the essentials or core of what this ministry believes both to help keep me focussed as well as to let our new friends and partners know where we stand.
These, then, are the Seven Essentials upon which we stand or fall:
In order to do this requires another, rather critical, focus which over the years I have found to be the key to success in every endeavour that maintains this four-fold standard. And where this focus has at any time waivered, however little, it has always needlessly resulted in both ministerial as well as personal difficulties:
- 1. We seek the Kingdom of Elohim (God) before all else (Mt.6:33);
- 2. We seek to do everything in the Name of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) (Col.3:17);
- 3. We seek Yahweh's approval rather than men's (Gal.1:10); and
- 4. We seek to do Yahweh's will with all our lev (heart) (Eph.6:6)
This is the bedrock of my life and that of this ministry. Furthermore, this declaration is not made in any boldness of arrogance or pompousness but in the boldness of the assurance and confidence that results in putting these seven principles into practice consistently over many years.
- 5. We will not doubt the absolute emet (truth) of the Written Word of Yahweh, the Bible (2 Ti.3:16);
- 6. We will not doubt Yahweh's capability (Jas.4:12); and
- 7. We will not denegrate Yahweh's character (Ps.34:8).
Henry M. Morris III says:
"Biblical certainty is not the same thing as intellectual or scientific certainty. Perhaps it can be said that intellectual and scientific certainty are either unobtainable or too easily obtainable" (Acts & Facts, Vol.40, No.6, June 2011, p.5).
Understand also that this confidence and certainty does not come by accident, nor does it come easily - it requires, no, demands, complete, unshakeable emunah or faith in the toqef (authority) and accuracy of the written words of our Creator.
I say this as a scientist and as one-time Oxford academic who has learned to view the world through both sets of lenses. They are not remotely the same. Complimentary, yes, but not of the same order. I am a talmid (disciple) first, a scientist second, because the scientific method brings no absolutely certainties. And I have no intention of guessing or relying on my puny intellect in the realm of the spiritual.
I dare say that our emunah (faith) has yet to be tested to an even greater degree than hitherto in the years ahead. In fact, we expect it to be. It would be both unreasonable and folly not to. And that goes for every talmid (disciple) wherever they are in their walk, whether novice or seasoned elder.
Ultimately this is not, in any case, about your personal strength or spiritual development, or mine. It's about whether our message - our witness - is useful or fruitless if we are to find our purpose in life. If the trumpet blast - our call to the world to repent and embrace Yahweh and His Son - sounds with uncertainty, no one is going to feel confident to get ready for battle. Will our word be bold enough, humble enough and truthful enough to persuade men to come home to Yahweh? And what does it take for our word - our witness - to have the desired effect, the sought-for drawing power?
The spiritual child must know the ahavah (love) of Yahweh advance to his Bar/Bat Mitzvah but he must also know His terror (yir'ah - fear, reverence, dread) as a spiritual adult. He must walk confidently under His sure protection as Israel did at Pesach, Chag haMatzah and Yom haBikkurim as a juvenile but he must also walk in fear as he did when he quaked at the foot of Mt.Sinai at Shavu'ot as Yahweh's voice thundered and pierced his whole soul, covenanting to obey even before he knew what that obedience would entail, as man will shake when the final silver trumpets sound at the last Yom Teruah and when he is brought before the Last Judgment at Yom Kippur. Only then will he finally grow up and mature into the complete allegorical Bride that will be glorified at the last Sukkot! Only then will he not be ashamed for he will have been fully cleansed:
"Knowing, therefore, the terror of Yahweh, we persuade men; but we are well known to Elohim (God)" (2 Cor.5:11, NKJV).
What is that Day? It is the day that culminates in the autumnal or fall festivals. It is the day that begins with walking in His love and continuing as we walk in His yir'ah (terror, fear, reverence, dread) until we have finally overcome the flesh and know Him as He really is. We have to know both to be effective witnesses, and in the correct order, an existential duality that cannot be sidestepped. Those who miss this mark either cannot blow the trumpet effecitively for they will either drive people away because of their lack of ahavah (love) or they will deliver a watery, wishy-washy gospel that cannot ultimately deliver because it lacks that deep fear of the Almighty that brings wisdom and strength:
"For this reason I also suffer these things (trials and tribulations); nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Tim.1:12, NKJV).
Do you want confidence? Do you want wisdom, balance, completeness and maturity in your Gospel life? Then these seven groundings are essential. May you embrace with fervour and with emunah (faith, trusting). Amen!
"The yir'ah (fear, reverence, dread) of Yahweh is the beginning of hochmah (wisdom)" (Prov.9:10, NKJV).
Continued in Part 2