Month 3:01, Rosh Chodesh, Year:Day 5936:060 AM|
ROSH CHODESH III (Shleshi haChodesh)
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 21 May 2012
Rosh Chodesh III
A Prophetic Word For All Believers
Chag sameach Rosh Chodesh kol beit Yisra'el - a blessed New Moon Day to the House of Israel!
"I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners" (Isa.57:18, NKJV).
Another Rosh Chodesh has arrived and the burden of providing you all with a prophetic message for the next month falls upon me once again. The message I have from Yahweh is crystal clear and I shall attempt to convey it to you in as simple and concise a manner as I can. I shall not be admonishing you this time to be physically prepared with food, water, medical supplies, and other necessities for the emergency that lies ahead as I am assuming you have already done this. If not, then time is about to run out as I believe the spiral into economic chaos and lawlessness will begin accelerating over the next four weeks and continue to do so. I'll not rehearse what's going on in the world as I am sure you have all done your research and know what's going on. If you don't, refer to the website links in Getting Ready for War.
My message today is a spiritual one. It was given to me very clearly last night and this morning. It is a message of hope for those who have been hanging on and struggling amidst heavy opposition and challenging circumstances. In light of what is happening in the world and its rapid decline into darkness, this message may seem contradictory and unbelievable but it is nevertheless the one I am directed to give. We're going to be reading from the last part of the 57th and the whole of the 58th chapters of Isaiah today:
Now in reading this passage and ones like it I have in the past wrongly assumed that the 'wicked' were unbelievers and therefore the righteous were believers. But as I read this passage again I was convicted in my own lev (heart) that I was the wicked one, and I knew it because of a vision Yahweh gave me some days ago in which I was begging for answers to deep and hard questions and was finding no rest, and in the midst of my prayer I was shown a vision of that very "troubled sea, when it cannot rest" . And I realised that where there are any unresolved sin issues in a soul that these makes that soul "wicked" in Yahweh's eyes until it has repented. And the moment I silently confessed in my lev (heart), 'That's me!' a huge burden was lifted off me and I felt the very same "shalom, shalom" or 'double peace' that Yahweh here speaks of! I cannot tell you the incredible rest I felt this morning.
"For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Set-Apart (Holy): 'I dwell in the high and set-apart (holy) place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the lev (heart) of the contrite ones. For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his lev (heart). I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips: Shalom, shalom (Peace, peace) to him who is far off and to him who is near,' says Yahweh, 'and I will heal him.' But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 'There is no shalom (peace), says my Elohim (God), 'for the wicked'" (Isa.57:15-21, NKJV).
I was reminded that not only was I a sinner, but when so long as I remained in sin, I was wicked too. This was not, moreover, mere intellectual or theological confession - we can all do that and carry on sinning as normal. This was a realisation that penetrated my lev (heart). I, the father, husband, and minister was, and am, wicked. And so are all of us if we do not have that "contrite and humble spirit" for as our Heavenly Father Himself promises, He is absolutely committed "to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the lev (heart) of the contrite ones". Newness of life and revitalisation of the struggling soul comes only on this condition.
Yahweh is rightly angry when we deliberately sin and display wickedness by our lack of emunah (faith) and obedience. But in today's passage we learn something about His lev (heart) and character which offers us hope: "For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made". This is His grace toward us, His undeserved loving-kindness, His unmerited favour which we too are supposed to show to one another in spite of our faults. Without this grace from Him and from each other, our spirits would fail and we would whither up. Like our Father we are therefore to be patient and longsuffering.
This was the introduction to the message I am directed to share with you, so now let us dive into the meat which is contained in the next and 58th chapter of the Book of Isaiah:
Now answer me honestly - how many times have you prayed in earnest, fasted, sought to do right in observing the ordinances of Yahweh like a good Torah-obedient believer and yet your prayers have not been answered? Why has Heaven seemed silent to us at times? Why, when we have sought the tov (good) has Yahweh appeared indifferent? Well hopefully we have, in part, our answer from the last verses of the previous chapter that we began with today. There is something we are not dealing with which makes us, because of unconfessed sin, still wicked. It may be that we have not seen or understood this sinful disposition and if this is the case then it is Yahweh's fondest wish to reveal it to us so that we can deal with it, be done with it, and so inherit the double portion of shalom (peace) that He promises. Why is it a double portion? Why not just a single shalom? Because it is the shalom that is the fruit of making teshuvah (repentance). And repentance is doubly sweet.
"Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the ordinance of their Elohim (God). They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching Elohim (God). 'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?'" (Isa.58:1-3, NKJV).
So why the silence? Why are the heavens apparently deaf to our prayers sometimes? Because the discovery of sin that we have hidden away invariably requires struggle and struggle is best engaged when we sense our very real need. Yahweh is not silent because He is nasty - He is silent because we are complacent, take things for granted, and deceiving ourselves into thinking nothing is wrong with us and so we conclude that there must be something wrong with Him. The moment we believe this we are in the gall of wickedness - we are thinking out aloud like the devil Himself for there is nothing impure or wicked about Most High. The fact that we love and seek for justice is not enough because usually what we are seeking is justice as we understand it relative to our own perceived sense of goodness instead of Justice relative to His holiness. And so we deceive ourselves, inventing our own justice, twisting His Words to conform to our own sinfulness. Listen to what Yahweh next says:
Whatever we may be praying or fasting for, is it what Yahweh wants us to pray and fast for? He continues:
"In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your labourers. Indeed you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yahweh?" (Isa.58:3-5, NKJV).
Have we realised, in reading this, that Yahweh is making a concrete promise to answer our prayers in an unmistakable way? He is promising deliverance - spiritual and physical - if we pray and fast with the right motives. And these consist principally in sharing what we have of ourselves and of our increase with others, whether it be our wealth, time, knowledge, sympathy or counsel. In the first instance, this is a call for believers to take care of their own when they are no longer able to care for themselves, when their resources are at an end having done all they could. That is part of the burden and pleasure of discipleship - in bearing one another up. And until we have this right attitude, that manifests in concrete action, Yahweh tells us plainly: the heavens will remain closed to you.
"Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of Yahweh shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and Yahweh will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am'" (Isa.58:6-9, NKJV).
We cannot obviously feed and clothe the world, even if all believers were of one mind and lev (heart), or to minister to the spiritual needs of everyone (and as you look at the world and its suffering it is just overwhelming, making us see how impotent we really are) - however, we can and must take care of those whom Yahweh specifically sends to us. That is our responsibility and stewardship, not the whole world. He sends people to us whom we have the resources to help and no one else. We can't save the world, it's not even our job. But it is our job to pour what resources we have into those whom He specifically sends or to whom we are sent.
Now whilst this is plainly at its highest level a messianic prophecy speaking of Yah'shua (Jesus) who was yet to come, it's also talking about Yahweh's people acting as proxies for His righteousness and goodness. Again notice the promises if we will but remove any kind of spirit of oppression from our own behaviour, then, we are told concretely by Him that "your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. Yahweh will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul" whether it be in physical or spiritual drought, of which currently there are both. You have His word on the matter that this is how He will treat you if you do what is right and exercise emunah (faith) in His promises.
"If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. Yahweh will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In" (Isa.58:9-12, NKJV).
The chapter concludes with one of those "ordinances" that He spoke of earlier. He is now giving another condition for the kind of good life that we desire, a condition which the bulk of Christendom chooses to ignore and a day that the bulk of messianism follows wrongly because it stubbornly insists on pursuing a false pagan calendar. This is the only ordinance mentioned in the Ten Commandments so obviously it must be important otherwise Yahweh would have relegated it to the next level down of secondary mitzvot (commandments). Do this right and all the rest will follow, seems to be the message. Do this right and you will demonstrate that contrite and humble lev (heart) that He demanded at the beginning of our text today. Do this right and see Him propser you!
I want you to notice that Yahweh does not give a detailed list of what "doing your pleasure" consists of. It is assumed, of course, because it is clearly stated in the Torah, that you're not doing a regular job or otherwise disregarding His instructions on what you can and cannot do. In this passage Yahweh is taking this up one spiritual level by asking everyone to individually look into their own levim (hearts) so that they can examine what they are using this set-apart (holy) time for. All He asks is this question: are you doing what you do on the Sabbath for your pleasure and enjoyment, or for His? In asking this He is challenging you to look into your motives more deeply and do discover that the true purpose of the Sabbath day is. For He asks that you to "not do your own ways, nor find your own pleasure, nor speak your own words". Notice the promises He makes if you get this right: "I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father".
"If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart (holy) day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the set-apart holy day of Yahweh honorable, and shall honour Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of Yahweh has spoken" (Isa.58:13-14, NKJV).
I am not going to say anything more about this because this is a matter for each individual to examine his or her own heart. Beyond a certain point the minister must leave off and the individual must work things out privately between himself and Yahweh. So that is where I will end today.
We can choose to allow Yahweh to make this time of economic depression and social injustice a great opportunity for simcha (joy) and blessedness if we so choose. What we have been discussing today for each individual Yahweh is doing for the whole world - it is a grand opportunity to repent and become rich in Him.
May you seize the opportunities as they present themselves as you reconsecrate yourselves to His service for the deliverance of His children. Amen.
Comments from Readers
"Brother, your Rosh Chodesh message was so important and just in time! It was and is truly prophetic! Thank you...It is so wonderful to partake [of] your bread that you share...Praise Yahweh that He has led me to you..." (SW, Germany, 5 June 2012)
"Shalom. If I may, I want to give a short testimony how the prophetic message for this month was exactly fulfilled. Before this month I was struggling and struggling, crying out to Yahweh, but couldn't get nearer to Him, and many things seemed to be cursed and falling apart or at least not going in the right direction. Then in this Rosh CHodesh message, Christopher, you adressed this struggle, without knowing of my problem. You preached of being contrite and humble, fasting by sharing and reaching out to others again, and YHWH would hear.
And then came this remarkable passage [in your sermon]:
I did not know that I would meet a new neighbour the next day, coming from Scotland, who has lost everything, who has been going for a month everyday to the Catholic Church crying out to God (and without a person there ever bothering to ask him if he needs help!). So Yahweh used me to bless him in a special sort of way. He is so good and merciful.
"We cannot obviously feed and clothe the world, even if all believers were of one mind and lev (heart), or to minister to the spiritual needs of everyone (and as you look at the world and its suffering it is just overwhelming, making us see how impotent we really are) - however, we can and must take care of those whom Yahweh specifically sends to us. That is our responsibility and stewardship, not the whole world. He sends people to us whom we have the resources to help and no one else. We can't save the world, it's not even our job. But it is our job to pour what resources we have into those whom He specifically sends or to whom we are sent."
I had been given a second washing machine some months ago, which I promised someone else, but this person had lost interest, so that my new neighbour could have it finally, who had to wash everything by hand. And I had standing some other things around he could use.
Now in turn, he took me with him to a evangelical outreach on the street in our town (a Bus), who had invited him for a coffee, which turned out to be a small church I had attended a few times, but did not think about going again. Now we have been there two times, had a nice fellowship, and even some small miracles and signs of God's love. And it all began with our Father in Heaven giving my dear Brother a good Word. :) Thanks!" (SW, Germany, 20 June 2012)