Month 8:7, Week 1:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year 5935:207 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 2 November 2011
The Distant Scene
Learning Patient Waiting in Messiah
Continued from Part 2
Years ago, when I first entered the ministry and moved from my British homeland to Scandinavia to serve Yahweh, we had an elder who decided to leave us because, in part, we didn't have all the exact same gifts as the first Messianic Community did - and in particular, tongues and instant healing. Because the charismatic churches claimed these gifts, he decided to make his home with them instead. Though I tried to reason with him, explaining that gifts come in the soverign will of Yahweh and not because men 'expect them', and though I showed him that many of the supernatural things happening in the charismatic movement were counterfeit, carnal, psychic and soulish manifestations - and often demonic - he would not listen and made his bed with those people. A lot of people are, alas, like him, and want everything now.
"All these people kept on trusting (believing, emunah) until they died, without receiving what they had been promised. They had only seen it and welcomed it from a distance, while acknowledgding that they were aliens and temporary residents on the earth. For people who speak this way make it clear that they are looking for a fatherland, Now if they were to keep recalling the one they left, they would have an opportunity to return; but as it is, they aspire to be better fatherland, a heavenly one. This is why Elohim (god) is not ashamed to be called their Elohim (God), for He has prepared for them a city. By trusting, Avraham (Abraham), when he was put to the test, offered up Yitzchak (Isaac) as a sacrifice. Yes, he offered up his only son, he who had received the promises..." (MJ/Heb.11:13-17, JNT/CJB).
Today's passage of scripture was given to me two nights ago. To be precise, I woke up in the middle of the night and heard Yahweh's voice speaking to me (something I don't experience that often), simply saying "Hebrews 11:13-17". I scrawled the reference down in my bedside notebook in pitch black and the following morning checked up the verses in the New Testament version I had lying nearby.
We are often impatient for both biblical and personal promises to be fulfilled in our lives, are we not? Evangelicals, hooked onto the rapture myth, constantly listen to false prophecy like the recent one made by Harold Camping and so go out expecting the Second Coming to happen ahead of time. Others, mistaking the Republic of Israel to be a prophetic marker, do the same and end up making false predictions. A lot of people get disillusioned and lose emunah (faith) because of this presumptuous false prophecy. Yah'shua/Jesus is coming back - the same way He left - but we cannot 'demand' that it happen in our generation. It is more important that we live as though He were returning tomorrow than to concern ourselves whether He will or not - and whether He comes tomorrow or not, today could conceivably be our last day on earth anyway. One way or another we'll be with Him, and that's the main thing.
In today's passage those men of great emunah (faith), like Abraham, often did not see the fulfilment of prohecy that they longed for, and the ones they did witness fulfilled did not take place until the end of their lives when their fulfilment seemed impossible - like having a child at 100. And whilst I don't want to get into Abrahamic tests that all true believers must pass through, it's important to remind everyone that each test will be uniquely specific to you and that you will not be able to anticipate and so prepare for it other than in a general sense by staying close to Yahweh. And there's no guarantee that your sacrifice will be stayed at the last minute either. People suffer and people die for Messiah and we can't expect to escape that possibility. Every generation has its unique challenges, trials and tribulations, and so does each talmid (disciple).
In my experience most people coming to this end-time work, who are either not called or not properly surrendered, flee as soon as they are confronted either by the meatier doctrines (our 'hot potatoes') or by all the lashon hara (evil tongue, gossipping) and horrible things said about us by those filled with anger and rage because of what we preach and practice. Whereas this used to once upset me, I now view it as Yahweh's providential protection to make sure that only the elect find their way to us, because much emunah (faith) will be required of them once they have come. Finding us and coming to us is the easy part! A little opposition never did anyone any harm - rather, it builds solid character. In connection with these observations, two things stand out prominently in my mind:
As far as the second point is concerned, something a brother wrote yesterday reminded me of the rage that those who protest silently against abortion often experience. How right John Calvin was when he said that "when tyrants cannot prevail by craft they burst forth into open rage", remembering that the real tyrants are the demons who, because they have so deeply integrated themselves into the psyche of sinners, often make us forget that the rage we are seeing in them is not the natural state of the people angry at us but something very unnatural and alien indeed within them - "principalities and powers" (Eph.6:12) - and it is these who are our real enemies whom we must fight with emunah (faith, trusting) and prayer.
- 1. The 'hot potatoes' of yesterday cool off to become the staple diet of tomorrow, with Yahweh bringing forth another level of 'hot potatoes' as His people are taken more and more out of the lies that are the world system and into the wholly pure and beautiful emet (truth) of His Kingdom;
- 2. Anger and rage is the natural response of the carnal (demonic) man so we ought not to be surprised or intimidated by it.
In today's passage, the writer of Hebrews reminds his readers that those of emunah (faith) like Abraham only got that way because their eyes were firmly focussed on the heavenly "fatherland". They regarded themselves as exiles and strangers on earth. Those who get comfortable with their earthly home and forget the heavenly one, rarely possess the emunah (faith) to do as Abraham did. Others, principally Messianics, make the equally dangerous mistake of investing their hope and aspirations in going to the earthly Jerusalem, the City of Hagar which "is in bondage with her children" (Gal.4:25, NKJV). The fact that the Heavenly (New) Jerusalem will come down to earth and occupy the place where the present City of Bondage resides for the Millennium is actually immaterial to our emunah (faith) for that will come when it comes, but only when the earthly one has been removed. Therefore we must all of us, including those living in the Promised Land, metaphorically look up with spiritual, and not horizontally with physical ones.
Patiently waiting is one of the hardest disciplines of the true emunah (faith). Abraham and Sarah had to wait their whole life for the promised seed and other promises they saw afar off they never did experience, nor those who came after them, for they lay centuries in the future. And whilst the Millennium is not that far off - a generation at most - it is hard in many ways to be the penultimate generation with a reduced spiritual armoury. You can only imagine how Moses must have felt not being able to step onto the soil of the Promised Land after faithfully waiting for 40 years in Midian and then serving an ungrateful rabble for another 40 in Sinai. Many believers are impatient to inaugurate practices that are reserved for the last generation (save for a small handfull of leaders who must chart the way for them). Whether it be the desire for transmaterialisation or 'Azotus Travel' (as I call it), the re-establishment of Israel, great signs and wonders to combat the growing evil around us, plural marriage, or the building of communities (cities of refuge and the Final Gathering) - we must patiently await Yahweh's timing, and accept that some things are just not for us. David's consummate desire to build the Temple of Yahweh had to be relinquished to his son and successor. And so those in my generation, who are pathfinders for the last days, must be prepared to do likewise.
Besides, Yahweh has shown me one vision of myself in the Millennium and what that place will be like, and I can tell you it will be glorious. Though having a beard and turban may take me a little while to get used to, the rest will be more than compensation for not having seen the amazing things my children will witness in their time in that final battle against evil! So be satisfied with what you have and remember to always LOOK UP!
Comments from Readers
"While reading this, I had a thought come up - part of the people being spoken to in the book of Hebrews were people who came from the Hebrews that had been saved, and one can assume part of them may have been in Jerusalem or where 'earthly Israel' is today ... with that, thought of where they were being spoken to of being out of place, waiting for their 'fatherland' - the heavenly fatherland when Yah'shua comes again ... and how this may have been told to them even while being physically in 'the earthly land of Israel' that some may wrongly idolize as 'the fatherland' today. Our hope and desire needs to be Yahweh-Elohim, and what's good and off Him, while being careful not to make idols of wrong things, including 'earthly Israel'" (DP, South Africa, 2 November 2011)