Chag sameach Rosh Chodesh kol beit Yisra'el!
"'Yahweh will roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise will come to the ends of the earth -- for Yahweh has a controversy with the nations; He will plead His case with all flesh. He will give those who are wicked to the sword,' says Yahweh" (Jer.25:30-31, NKJV).
Brethren and sisters, I welcome you to this gathering for the beginning of this fourth month of the year and a month that is going to see more huge changes to this world and to the lives of everyone in it. To be at the cusp of history, when things are moving so rapidly, can be a frightening thing.
Yesterday when I was in town in a restaurant I watched the TV for a while as one crisis after another was being discussed. The worried look on the face of Chancellor Angela Merckel of Germany, without doubt the most powerful leader in Europe at the head of the most prosperous and fiscally sound nation in perhaps the whole world, was evidence enough that those in positions of power over the nations are not at all confident about the future. They're running very scared as the €uro, like the dollar, hovers on the edge of destruction.
It is, moreover, easy to get sucked up into this building-up tsunami of economic chaos, and the inevitable social chaos that will follow, and to panic - or simply to completely dismiss it out your mind and pretend, irrationally, that everything is going to be just fine and to continue as 'normal'.
As I pointed out yesterday, when I quoted Ayn Rand:
That will always be true, and painfully so for those in denial. It is a hard, hard thing to face up to the emet (truth) when you have been in persistent denial about it, whether it be the truth of our world economic system and how it is disintegrating before our eyes or the saving emet (truth) of the Besorah (Gospel) of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). What, then, should we do? How can we cope without panicking?
When it comes to the financial crisis, things will have gone a lot easier for you if you had prepared earlier. The trouble is a lot of people, suddenly admitting the truth, will not necessarily be galvanised into action even at this late hour, and will cling to the excuse that "God will take care of me" even though they made no effort to do practical things which only they can do. There are those who will be so paralysed by their own fear that their capacity for action will have dried up, much as a bird freezes before the horror of an impending strike by a snake. Such ened a resounding metaphorical slap to wake them up.
Today, though, my message is not about the world crisis as it was in my last sabbath address and in yesterday's devotional but about the state of the soul. Many people at this time of crisis are wondering, as they do at nearly every crisis, whether Yah'shua (Jesus) is about to return or whether they are about to be whisked away in some magical 'rapture'.
Bruce D. Allen once wondered about the same and recounts an incident he had when He asked Yah'shua (Jesus) this very question. The answer he got back was: "Do you really want to know when I'm coming back?" to which he, of course, replied: "Yes, Lord, I do". The answer he received took him aback: "I am coming back today".
Now you can well imagine how Brother Allen felt when he got that answer. "Today??" he responded shocked and nervous? "Yes," replied Yah'shua (Jesus), "today is all anyone has. If you live every day with the expectation of My return, you'll be fine" .
When I got up this morning I had no message from Yahweh for you today. I knew that one was needed and that it would be important for me as much as for you. I began questioning the condition of my lev (heart), wondering if it had grown cold and senseless to the Ruach (Spirit) and that this was perhaps the reason I was not receiving anything.
You will recall yesterday that I admonished my readers to be in a place where they could hear Yahweh's personal revelation to them so that they could respond appropriately for their families in this crisis. I did not want to be in the situation of not being able to carry through what I had been counselling others to do. So I was worried this morning - worried that I was not in right relationship with Him and so not in a position to hear His Davar (Word).
I showered and got no inspiration. I went downstairs and ate my breakfast, still no inspiration. In vain I searched some Scritures for some prompting and finally left to go and take care of my mother feeling somewhat despondant.
As I crossed her large lawn I came across two sparrows about ten feet apart. Upon seeing me the one, which I soon realised was the mother, took off in alarm making a terrific racket. As I approached the other one I saw that it was a baby sparrow, the fledgeling, probably fresh out of its nest. Upon approaching it, it ran and tried to fly but could get no more than a few inches off the ground with its tiny wings. My heart leaped for it as I looked anxiously around for our cat whom I knew would not think twice about making making a meal out of it. I knew that this little thing was terrified of me, this huge towering monster the likes of which it had never seen before, probably only ever having known its mother and siblings and perhaps seen the occasional large predatory bird fly overhead. I tried to speak to it in soothing tones and approached again, and did this several times, realising that it would never have peace about me or know my true intentions. At length I drove this weakening little thing to the long grass where the cat or a predatory bird would, I hoped, not see it and where hopefully no snake was lurking either. All this time its frantic mother was flying around and jumping around next to me, staying at a safe distance, besides herself and doing all she could with her little squeakey voice to frighten me, the best way she knew she could protect her little one, as she herself did not know my true intentions either.
Satisfied that the little one was as safe as I could make it, I set off back to my mother's house in the warm sunshine, praying that Yahweh would look after this creature and protect it from predators. And as I did I heard Him speak to me, saying: "Now you know the condition of your heart." I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear that from Him!
We're like those little sparrows, aren't we? And often, when Yahweh approaches us to protect us, we view Him as some terrifying monster especially if we have not known Him beforehand, or have forgotten Him and have come to believe lies about Him. I am not - though I would love to be - like St.Francis of Assisi who had a way with animals - one of my sons is more like that, they seem to adore him, even though I love animals, as do all my family. But just because Yahweh is so much, much bigger than we are, it does not mean we should fear Him as those two little sparrows feared me. He invites us to make a connection with Him so that we can really know what He's like. Looking back at the incident this morning, I realise I should probably have crouched down so as not to look so scarey, just as Yahwah did for us in sending His Son down to earth in the likeness of man. We have to learn how to appear less intimidating to others by lowering ourselves voluntarily. Paul expresses this idea in these words:
This counsel is, itself, in imitation of divine tavnith (pattern), being performed by the Messiah Himself on our behalf:
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil.2:3-4, NKJV).
We have to remember - and this is really the core of Yahweh's Davar (Word) to us today - that whilst it is necessary for us to engage in aggressive spiritual warfare for the right that we must also remember, simultaneously, in order to have a right lev (heart) toward Him that we must remain humble, soft, teachable and amenable to the promptings to the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) round the clock. If we are to live as though Yah'shua (Jesus) is returning today - as we should - then we have no choice but to live this way always because today could be our last day - it is the last day for ten of thousands dying of old age, for tens of thousands dying in wars, in accidents, in murders, in sicknesses, in natural disasters, in abortions, of all ages and circumstances. Even now hundreds of thousands are slowly dying from radiation sickness from Fukushima in Japan, north America and around the world who don't yet know it. Death can steal up on you when you least expect it. And there is going to be a sudden increase of it as the world plunges into greater chaos this year and/or next...and likely in your own back yard, in your town or city.
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus), who, being in the form of Elohim (God), did not consider it robbery to be equal with Elohim (God), but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore Elohim (God) also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Yah'shua (Jesus) every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is Master (Lord), to the glory of Elohim (God) the Father" (Phil.2:5-11, NKJV).
We have to get our priorities straight. Preparadness is essential but spiritual preparedness is even more critical, and at all times. We should make both part of our habitual lifestyle if we're serious both about our future on this earth and, even more importantly, if we're serious about our future in the eternities into which we could be usshered at any moment.
I wonder what major changes Yahweh wants you and me to make in the days ahead? I assure you there are many. What doctrines might we have to change in the light of a fresh encounter with Him? Who can say - I only know that many of my beliefs have had to be modified over the years and continue to be because of closer encounters with Him personally and because of deeper revelations from His Davar (Word). The important question for everyone is this: ARE YOU PREPARED TO CHANGE AND BE CHANGED? Are you willing to have your whole world view fundamentally adjusted if needs be? Are you willing to change jobs, churches, denominations and theology? What about your view of science?
Today I had word from a brother, who has not been following these devotionals because he ahs no computer and so has little idea what I have been teaching lately, that a ministry he has been supporting is moving out of the city and into the countryside where he plans to join them and that they are going to start implementing some of our teachings and using our name. And not only them, but other groups throughout Europe. Yahweh has been preparing those who have been listening to Him. It is good to get confirmation from others.
Please keep us in your prayers as we keep you in ours. Of late, I have been joining with many believers from all kinds of denominations in mutually supportative prayer across the world. I am trusting that we will all be brought together in the unity of the emunah (faith) and that our part is to be a mutual support to all those who have met and Name our Messiah. Huge changes are underway above, on and under the earth. A mighty battle is already taking place, the first skirmishes have occurred, and there is about to be a ferocious locking of horns in both visible and invisible worlds. You need to take sides and to do so swiftly because this is not going to be easy or pleasant. There will be no fence-sitters. There will be casualties, lots of them.
In the meantime we are here for you as we hope that you will be there for us in mutual support. Where there is communication and trust there is a mutual bond of unbreakable ahavah (love) where people don't need to control one another precisely because Yah'shua (Jesus) is in control. This is the way the Messianic Bride is supposed to work, no matter where each individual member of His Body is in his or her journey.
Grace and shalom (peace) to you all as you make this day the First and the Last Day, the Alef and Taw, the Alpha and Omega day of your life...and every other day hereafter. Amen.
Bruce D. Allen, Gazing Into Glory: Every Believer's Birthright to Walk in the Supernatural (Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg, PA: 2011), pp.80-81