Month 5:15, Week 2:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year 5935:129 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 14 August 2011
Sash in the Euphrates
Prophetically Understanding Our Times
A definition of insanity which my wife reminds me of from time to time is the insistence of doing something in one way and expecting to get the desired result when time and time again we do not. And one of the things I have learned about drug addicts, to give you an illustration, is that what they think and feel they absolutely need to be well again, they absolutely do not. An alcoholic never needs just 'one drink' to soothe his nerves. His problem is that his illness gets him to think and feel in the wrong way so that he never gets rehabilitated with out a strict régime of help.
This is little different from the human condition in general. We pursue courses in life which we absolutely believe will deliver the goods we have been wanting only to discover again and again that they absolutely do not deliver. The fallen man pursues goals and gets locked up in cycles of futility and despair because he will not receive the one derech (way) that absolutely does work. And so he stubbornly clings on to his addictions, whatever they may be, and in vain tries to escape from them at the same time using failed methods. If that is insanity, then the whole human race is insane and going nowhere rapidly.
I have wrestled a day and a night to find out what Yahweh's prophetic message for us all was today and the reason I could not get it before now was because my mind and heart were closed off to some essential truths about our world today and the way Yahweh deals with people at different times. Pretty much since the time I woke up this morning at about 6.30 a.m. Yahweh has been telling me that our day and age - our time - is more or less similar to that of the prophet Jeremiah's.
However, there are some big differences. For one, Israel is not an independent theocratic nation located in one geographical spot. As a people and a nation we are scattered across the length and breadth of the earth in many nations and nowhere do we have our own, not even in the Republic of Israel, so-called. We are split into many factions with many leaders who are not, in many cases, even united on the essentials. We are a patchwork quilt fraying around the edges and the patches themselves are detatching everywhere, with many patches claiming they are better than others and some even claiming they are the whole quilt!
Secondly, the false prophets are not, as they were in Jeremiah's day, sycophants trying to stay in the favour of a corrupt king and a corrupt court whose itching ears only wanted to hear good news. In the absence of any visible princes of Israel, who in any case are not recognised by the squabbling, divided Body, or any with de facto power, the false prophets are behaving as if they were kings themselves and are pandering to carnal believers in search of followers, fame and money. Many of them think they are, and behave like, celebrities.
Not so long ago we were served up a false prophecy from America by a highly esteemed radio evangelist about the end of the world and imminent rapture. A false prophecy emanating fron Norway claimed that yesterday an earthquake would take place under the North Sea and generate a vast tsunami that would devastate the east coast of Britain, the Norwegian coast, Denmark, Holland and some other countries. I told our people at the time that Yahweh had not told me anything and that I could not endorse the claimed revelation even though I have been expecting one or more devastating earthquakes in Norway for some years, and some seismologists have said that Norway is due for one. The nearest we have got to that so far is a small earthquake off the south coast of England a week or two ago.
A lot of people think that the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming are just a matter of a few years away. Some even think a few months. End-time fever tends to strike the Christian and Messianic communities every time the earth is engulfed in war, epidemics, economic crisis and natural disasters. True, all of these are occuring now on an unprecendented scale and simultaneously, enough to press the panic buttons of most. Given our carnal tendency to over-react and assume the worst, whether because the flesh has a sensationalist aspect or whether because of fear or whether because we have had enough of the world system and want Messiah back deperately enough to try to wish-fulfil a new world, we need to be careful and sober-minded. What actually is going on and what exactly is Yahweh's Word for us today, generally-speaking? And what does He wants us to do?
Two things stand out especially clear to me today which I want everyone to take especial note of:
One false doctrine that has to be scrubbed right off the doctrinal and prophetic list is the mythical 'rapture' which only ever saw the light of day in recent times - it was unknown and unpreached by the apostles. So long as this lie continues to be believed, Christians and Messiancs are going to be left sprawling on the ground prophetically-speaking. Of all the false doctrines circulating in Christendom, this is one of the worst and is blinding millions of people to false timetables and false expectations. When Yah'shua (Jesus) returns we will meet Him and the rest of the 144,000 in the air as resurrected beings and then return at once back to the earth for the Millennium - we are absolutely not going to be spirited away to avoid the persecutions like some spoiled pets while hundreds of thousands of other more worthy believers before us have died martyrs to the cause. Those who cling on to the escapist myth are going to have a rough ride and many will lose faith because of all the unfulfilled man-made prophecies about it. We have to show people the emet (truth) about this lie.
- 1. There are going to be changes in the world, they will be big changes, and they will be quite soon - but don't be mistaken, they will not be signalling the end of the world...and that includes the fabled 2012; and
- 2. We need to prepare ourselves for a relatively long haul before Yah'shua (Jesus) returns - He isn't returning tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or for quite a few years yet - start thinking in terms of about a generation.
A second false doctrine that has to be scrubbed off the doctrinal and prophetic list is that pure revelation is going to flow to those with the prophetic gift who refuse to obey all the mitzvot (commandments). These people will sometimes hear Yahweh but they will also be hearing the enemy's voice. They will be getting mixed revelation which could be fatal for many - there are many such in the Evangelical Movement. Satan always gains access to people because of the legal grounds we give him when we refuse to obey the plain Torah. And prophets in these last days will need to be tuned in each true Sabbath and each true Rosh Chodesh or New Moon - and not just those in the prophetic office but every husband and father for it is responsibility of the head of every family to walk in the prophetic office for his own family. This is one of the heavy burdens that leaders are obliged to carry for the sake of their loved ones - no exceptions. This means recognising not only that observing the Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh devolve upon New Covenant believers but also getting the calendar right! It means we must cease using the Roman Calendar and and stop following the pagan Saturday or following the Talmudic Jewish system of reckoning the New Moon by the first crescent for you are going to miss your moedim or appointments with Yahweh if you do. I don't care what clever theological arguments are used because the test of the pudding will always be whether you are receiving genuine prophetic revelation on these days or not. And don't think you will get by by making up prophecy to defend your false time-keeping or theologies for Yahweh will expose all falsehood!
Please understand that I am not saying this in order to persuade you that my patch on the messianic community quilt is the only authorised one in heaven - I'm not! I want every patch back in the quilt occupying its place in purity and in emet (truth). I have no 'church' or 'following' to protect for Yahweh stripped that away from me a long time ago to make sure that I focussed on getting the emet (truth) out and not on people-collecting. And though we will be buidling congregations again in the near future, and there will be a final gathering, it won't be before Yahweh says so.
There is something else that Yahweh is doing currently that I want to make you aware of and to do - and this is perhaps the most important thing I want to share with you today - but that I am going to let Yahweh tell you Himself through something He commanded Jeremiah to do:
What is Yahweh doing to us? Why are we as we are? Why are doors sometimes shut? Why are believers experiencing so much difficulty and tribulation? And why are those who have forced open doors ahead of time rushing to their doom? It is because Yahweh is dealing with the cardinal sin issue in us all, that I spoke to you recently of (and have yet to say more), which is PRIDE. If we refuse to deal with the issue of pride, Yahweh will ruin us until we do until we finally decide to cling to Him in place of the fallen fleshy nature "that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory"!
"Thus Yahweh said to me: 'Go and get yourself a linen sash, and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water.' So I got a sash according to the word of Yahweh, and put it around my waist.
"And the word of Yahweh came to me the second time, saying, 'Take the sash that you acquired, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole in the rock.' So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as Yahweh commanded me. Now it came to pass after many days that Yahweh said to me, 'Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the sash which I commanded you to hide there.' "Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the sash from the place where I had hidden it; and there was the sash, ruined. It was profitable for nothing.
"Then the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh: 'In this manner I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who follow the dictates of their levim (hearts), and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be just like this sash which is profitable for nothing. For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,' says Yahweh, 'that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory...'" (Jer.13:1-11, NKJV).
You are, as I have said before, going to see renowned ministries come tumbling down because they won't repent of their prideful idolatry and others cleansed and endowed from on High because they will. What use can we possibly be, let alone be owned by Yahweh, as long as we cling on to the master sin which is Satan's defining nature? So long as we are clinging on to the gods of self-glory in any form, Yahweh will ruin such futile ambitions until we are properly clinging on to Him. So long as those who claim to be believers cling on to false gods, the prophets are commanded:
The Book of Jeremiah is sometimes a harsh book because pride is a harsh sin and a harsh taskmaster. This is not because Yahweh is hard-hearted and does not love His people but because He knows that the only way to be quit of serious sin is by means of harsh methods. Having recently been following the case histories of alcohol- and drug-addicts, I can testify that the measures for dealing with deep issues usually run counter to our sentimentality and require much fortitude and resolution based on will-power, knowledge and faith. You don't let alcoholic and drug-addicts do whatever they want - the 'medicine' for their cure is harsh, just as the cure for pride is, and those administering the harsh are periodically hated for it. Nevertheless, what is Yahweh's lev (heart) with respect to the people He is angry with because of their gross sinfulness?
"Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence" (Jer.14:11-12, NKJV).
Sadly, only a severe blow will bring us to our senses sometimes, because the dark enchantment is so great. Yahweh is waiting for the right lev (heart) response before He will leap in to our situation and pull us out of it, but not before. Thus we read the desperate words of His people and the response He waits for:
"Let my eyes flow with tears night and day, and let them not cease; for the virgin daughter of my people has been broken with a mighty stroke, with a very severe blow" (Jer.14:17, NKJV).
For those who are energetic, dynamic and go-getters, waiting can be hell. Nevertheless, if you rush ahead as the children of Israel did at Kadesh-barnea, even after they had disgraced themselves, you will be defeated. So learn to wait long enough to see how disgustingly rotten that sash of pride is so that you finally rip it off and cling on to Yahweh instead for everything.
"Have You utterly rejected Judah? Has Your soul loathed Zion? Why have You stricken us so that there is no healing for us? We looked for shalom (peace), but there was no good; and for the time of healing, and there was trouble. We acknowledge, O Yahweh, our wickedness and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against You. Do not abhor us, for Your name's sake; do not disgrace the throne of Your glory. Remember, do not break Your covenant with us. Are there any among the idols of the nations that can cause rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are You not He, O Yahweh our Elohim (God)? Therefore we will wait for You, since You have made all these" (Jer.14:19-22, NKJV).
Those who refuse to repent, Yahweh ordains one of four outcomes. You may not accept them or want to believe them but the truth is they are happening all around us even as we speak - there are only four outcomes:
Disease, warfare, hunger or enslavement are the four outcomes for those who insist on rebelling even after they have known the emet (truth).
"Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity" (Jer.15:2, NKJV).
And what, in the case of historical Judah, was the first cause of all this woe?
"'I will appoint over them four forms of destruction,' says Yahweh: 'the sword to slay, the dogs to drag, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. I will hand them over to trouble, to all kingdoms of the earth" (Jer.15:3-4, NKJV).
Who remembers who King Manasseh was and what he did? The son of righteous Hezekiah and Hephzibah, his reign began when he was 12. For 55 years he had to deal with the terror of Assyria but instead of dealing with this enemy by turning to Yahweh as his good father had before him, he became fascinated with Assyrian religious cults and ended up blending paganistic Baalism with the true faith.
"Because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem" (Jer.15:4, NKJV).
Before long the true faith was overwhelmed by the cult of Astarte (Ishtar, Mother Goddess worship), just as it is being today. He became absorbed with astrology and worship of the astral bodies, just as the world is today though in new, sophisticated, scientific-sounding forms. And he became absorbed with spiritism and divination, consulting the supposed dead and demons...just as the world is today. With each piece of religious syncretism he introduced, his crimes grew worse and worse, just as the crimes of governments are today in our world. He erected pagan altars in Yahweh's Temple, and burned his sons alive as offerings to Molech in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, the most abominable of all sins, just as the world's leading politicians, banksters, industrialists and other powerful people do in Bohemian Grove in California every year and as the mushrooming devil-worshipping cults do throughout the year.
Manasseh is here singled out because of what he led his people to do from his position of power and authority. It only takes one rotten apple in a strategically located place to ruin thre whole basket of apples. That is why husbands and fathers have got to get their act in order - what they do affects their children! And not just the fathers of families, but the spiritual fathers (pastors) of congregations and the fathers of industry (CEO's) and politics (Presidents and Prime Ministers). Pity those under them when they are corrupt and wicked as Manasseh is!
Now Manasseh (a descendant of Judah) was not, of course, the same as the son of Joseph after whom one of the Twlve Tribes is named, but it is of interest to note where the greatest upheavals today are happening, and have happened in the last century, that is rocking the stability of the whole world. First East Manasseh (Germany) lay at the heart of global woes in the first half of the 20th century, and now West Manasseh (the United States) in the second half of the 20th century and in this 21st. For West Manasseh has been the indisputed global leader now for nearly 70 years - and when it collapses, as it is about to, it will take the rest of the world down with it. Each of the 12 Tribes has had its day of rulership on this planet, the Ephraimite (British) star sinking following the Second World War and now rapidly disintegrating into anarchy. All the tribes, both in biblical times and today, have imitated the evil ways of King Manasseh. And the result has always been one of the four punishments. And I say this so you know what is coming to our nations.
Obviously (though some might disagree) captivity is better than death by disease, sword or hunger. At least while in captivity there is still an opportunity for repentance. The Israelites who repented when Yah'shua (Jesus) came and were saved were the descendants of those Judhites and Benjamites who were taken into Babylonian captivity in the days of King Zedekiah. And the descendants of those Northern Israelites who were taken into captivity by the Assyrians and scattered across the face of the world became, for the most part, us. So there are obvious advantages to captivity rather than death for then Yahweh way work repentance, reformation and conversion in a remnant. We are, if you like, the children of captivity, every one of us.
Today Yahweh awaits the prayers of the penitent to free the captives, as in this prayer recorded in Jeremiah:
Pride is all but absent in this prayer, isn't it? And this was Yahweh's response:
"O Yahweh, You know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In Your enduring patience, do not take me away. Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke. Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Yahweh-Elohim of hosts. I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, for You have filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, as waters that fail?" (Jer.15:15-18, NKJV).
Brethren and sisters, know that Yahweh is working in all of us, and if we will make the right choices, renounce sin and cling to Him alone, He will not only deliver us but prosper us as well. This is the very clear word that he has given to me for us all today. Let us take it to heart, get right with Him, surrender self-sovereignty and be done with that rotten sash. And may it only be for His renown, for His praise, and for His glory! Amen.
"'If you return, then I will bring you back; you shall stand before Me; if you take out the precious from the vile, you shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, but you must not return to them. And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; and they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you,' says Yahweh. 'I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible'" (Jer.15:19-21, NKJV).