Month 8:22, Week 3:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5936:228 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 5 November 2012
Your Belt of Truth
Everything Else Depends On It
"Teach me your way, O Yahweh, and I will walk in your emet (truth); give me an undivided lev (heart), that I may fear Your Name" (Ps.86:11, NIV).
Grace, mercy and shabbat shalom (Sabbath Peace) in Yah'shua our Messiah (Jesus Christ) kol beit Yisra'el (all the house of Israel)!
Aftermath of Halloween
The present season of wickedness (Halloween) ended yesterday - I wrongly said it lasted 19 days...it's actually 23 days long and extends into November to the 4th, though it does vary from coven to coven. So those of you who were spiritually alert may have picked up continuing activity even after Halloween. I certainly did.
Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy is mercifully over too while the northeastern USA recovers from the aftermath of the disaster and its people try to live without electricity and essential emergency items for the next few weeks, and cope with looters. Those who heeded the advice to get provisions for the collapse will have hopefully made good use of them. But they must restock - Sandy was but a foretaste of the bigger diasasters the world faces in the coming months. As they say, 'you ain't seen nothin' yet'. So the various trials and tribulations continue.
Fukushima and Other Dangers
The Fukushima nuclear disaster is far from over and there could be some major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to come. There are so many trouble spots currently, from Syria to North Korea, the €uro teetering, and with the outcome of US General Election tomorrow likely leading to anything from civil unrest to civil war. Terrible though Sandy was, we must not allow the élite to distract us from the main issues of the day or take us away from critical battle fronts. There remains much to do on a personal level too. More about that in a moment, if there's time.
Vision of the Bright Green Belt
There were potentially several different themes I could have talked about to you today as Yahweh laid many on my lev (heart) throughout the week. One vision stands out very, very strongly, that I saw on the morning of last Yom Shleshi. What was special about it is that it lasted for a very, very long time. Even when I switched my attention to something else and it faded away it immediately returned to where it had been before.
What I saw was the torso of a man in three-quarters profile, of the same build as myself, surrounded by darkness but wearing a belt that shone with a brilliant green fluorescent light. It was the only illumination in the area. The colour of this light baffled me at first, the belt of course representing emet or truth, one of the essential elements in the spiritual armour of the talmid (disiciple) of the Messiah (Eph.6:10-18)). What I think confused me about the fluorescent green colour is a negative association I have with it because of the New Age movement which tends to favour it in its art. It can also symbolise toxic hazzards and in Torah, disease (Lev.13:39; 14:37). It never occurred to me until three days ago, on Yom Revee, that there were other meanings. What, then, is the connection between emet (truth) and fluorescent green?
Colour Symbolism of Green
Firstly, we must look at the colour green itself, which is primarily associated with plant life, and therefore of natural growth and chayim (life) in general . Specifically, the colour green depicts shalom or rest (Ps.23:2), chayim or life (Is.15:6; Ps.23:2; Ezek.17:24; Lk.23:31), growth (Ezek.17:24), fruitfulness (Jer.11:16; 17:8; Hos.14:8; Lk.23:31), freshness and undefiledness (Song 1:16; Lk.23:31), maturity (Job 15:31-32) and frailty (Ps.37:2). However, fluorescent green is also a pale green which depicts youthfulness, the colour of fresh plant shoots and leaves .
The Strange Nature of Some Visions
People sometimes wonder why Yahweh gives me visions in the way that He does as they tend to be a little 'out of the ordinary'. I have often wondered myself and have come to the conclusion that they are so designed to make me dig deep in my search for meaning and understanding and so dovetail into a disposition He has given to me. I am a passionate searcher after emet (truth). I am usually directed where to search and once I get my teeth into a 'problem' I tend to be as thorough as I can be, leaving no stone unturned. I guess that is what led me to be a scientist when I was young. And I have to say that the search is both tremendously fun as well as illuminating. And you never forget what you have invested time and effort into finding. The effort and fun of the search are essential things a teacher must have if his teaching is to be edifying for others.
The Neon Component
No sooner had I done some basic research into the colour green than I was immediately led to take a look at the element Neon. What I discovered pleasantly surprised me. For one, Neon is one of the rare noble gasses discovered in 1898 that literally means, in the Greek, 'new one'. Are not those who are born again in Yah'shua (Jesus) 'new ones'? It also has an atomic number of 10 reminding us of the ten commandments, Yahweh's condensed version or summary of the whole Torah or mitzvot (commandments), the spontaneous obedience of which is a sign of the new birth.
Spiritual Covering and the Vision of the Red Cape (Sagum)
Another thing you have to remember is that this vision was received at the height of Samhain or Halloween when proper spiritual covering is important because of all the curses and hexes sent out against believers by satanic covens. The following night I had another vision (one of many) in which I was shown myself wearing a bright red cape, representing the blood covering of Yah'shua (Jesus) on those who have emunah (faith) in Him and who seek to diligently obey the mitzvot (commandments). Interestingly, Roman soldiers (on whose armour Paul's illustration in Ephesians for spiritual warfare is based) also commonly wore a dull red cape known as a sagum, a bright scarlet cape being worn by officers. The sagum in either case was a symbol of war in contradistinction to the toga which was worn in peace.
As overcomers and soldiers for Messiah we are obviously on a war-footing all the time so seeing myself wearing this sagum did not come as any surprise. What did surprise me was becoming aware of an intense anger within me against the adversaries which could, if symbolised, also be represented by the colour red.
I could not, in this second vision, see if I was wearing a belt or not as I could only see my shoulders from the front.
Coming Out of Defeat
I think there is a built-in fear, acquired from certain interpretations of Christianity, to be angry with unrighteousness or aggressive with spiritual powers. It is not for nothing that we are compared to soldiers numerous times in Scripture. The instinct in boys to fight is not something bad or 'fleshy' either - what's important is that it is directed for righteousness and given its proper spiritual dimension, so that they do not grow up to be bullies, thugs or worse. Neither is our warfare to be carnal. Paul insisted most emphatically:
Does this sound like passiveness or weakness? No, not at all. But it does have to be carefully balanced against what Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in Elohim (God) for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments (arrogance) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim (God), bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled" (2 Cor.10:2-6, NKJV).
The context here is quite clearly the soldiers of the Roman occupation because they could force their subjects to do work for them, such as carrying heavy burdens, and is one of many applications of the earlier verse which reads:
"Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles" (Matt.5:39-41, NIV).
Resistance Must First Be Spiritual
"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matt.5:16, NIV).
That is why Yah'shua (Jesus) instructed His talmidim (disciples) not to resist the occupation, much to the fury of the zealots and other 'patriots' like Barabbas (and, less openly) Judas. And it is perhaps as well to remind ourselves in these politically dangerous times of our mandate as believers as to our proper conduct toward evil people. We are to wage warfare but primarily of a spiritual nature. Judea came under military conquest and occupation because of the wickedness of the Judahites - our own nations are experiencing woes for exactly the same reasons. Does anyone suppose that Yahweh is not ultimately in control of all that's happening? However, there are special blessings and privileges for the remnant faithful - they are not to sit around passively but to engage in spiritual warfare against the demonic powers behind evil men, resorting to physical self-defence on behalf of their families only as a last resort. And they can avoid the latter if they listen to Yahweh and ensure that they and their families are in the right place at the tright time. Men are to be changed from within first and foremost, swords are to be beaten into ploughshares:
Only in very exceptional circumstances, in times of apocalyptic judgment, is the reverse to be done as we read in Joel:
"They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks" (Mic.4:3, NIV).
Nevertheless we are to be engaged in spiritual warfare continually.
"Beat your ploughshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears" (Joel 3:10, NIV).
Escape vs. Offering the Other Cheek
You will also recall that Yah'shua (Jesus) did not allow Himself to be arrested or stoned to death before His time - He made numerous escapes. His final yielding to the evil powers of the day was not because He wan't 'resisting' them on principle but because they were Yahweh's chosen instruments in bringing to pass the redemption of the Cross that required such a yielding, not according to evil men' designs but according Elohim's (God's). It would, for example, have been plainly wrong for Him to have yielded Himself for stoning after He had announced in a local synagogue the fulfilment of a messianic passage in Isaiah concerning His own person, or when he declared in public that He was Elohim (God):
How Your Light Shines
"'I tell you the emet (truth),' Yah'shua (Jesus) answered, 'Before Abraham was born, Ani hu (I am)! ' At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Yah'shua (Jesus) hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds" (John 8:58-59, NIV).
Was it wrong for Yah'shua (Jesus) to have slipped away at that time? No, because it was not His time to die at that moment. Yet some might accuse Him of failing to "offer the other cheek" or of being a coward - but there is sometimes a fine line between cowardice and cleverness, or cowardice and a higher purpose. The secret of the success of the famous Red Baron of World War I fame was his philosophy not to engage the enemy unless he could be sure to win. There is no credit in recklessness or in a meaningless death for no other cause than to react defensively against someone else's taunting.
The emet (truth) is, Yah'shua (Jesus) offered everything that He had but not according to Satan's will, but Yahweh's, and not to Satan, but to His Heavenly Father. He surrendered Himself to death when Yahweh required it, not because of the death-lust of some demonised people. When Elijah fled from the fury of Queen Jezebel, he admittedly wasn't trusting in Yahweh as he ought to have done, but neither was it his time to depart this world. Indeed, it was Yahweh's will that he not die but be caught up into heaven like Enoch. The bottom line is: what causes your light to shine, giving glory to the Father? Maybe it is to be killed in the devil's arena but maybe it is not. Eleven of the twelve apostles died martyrs but John died a natural death. How our light shines and how we depart is up to Yahweh to decide and us to respond to in obedience.
Many Naïve Ideas About Abusing Believers
Many are those who have come against Yahweh's servants believing that Yahweh would not hinder their evil purposes because of the apparent 'commandment' to believers to never resist. Well, we are still being struck, having our things stolen from us, we are being forced to pay ungodly taxes and do other things like national service by wicked governments, and some are indeed killed. We have been told not to violently resist such things. Evil persons will always assault the people of Yahweh but they are never given a completely free hand. None of us ever has a completely free hand to do whatever we want.
Amazing Deliverances and Final Departure
Those who walk in emet (truth), wearing that belt, and those who hide under the blood covering of Messiah, may be thrown into lions dens or into raging furnaces but emerge unharmed. Armies may press on defenseless people and be swallowed up beneath the closing walls of Red Sea's. Many an overwhelmingly numerically superior army besieging Yahweh's own City of Jersualem has been decimated supernaturally. Hundreds have been slain by ox-jaws, enemies have been tricked into destroying themselves instead of Yahweh's people, and I am sure that you can think of hundreds of stories in the annals of our emunah (faith). I have been delivered many times from those who have sought violence against me. How I go finally is in Yahweh's hands but in the meantime I am under His protection. So are you. And were you able to see it with your natural eyes, you would be astounded. Nevertheless, as I have already said, we are under continuous and relentless assault. Learn to acclimatise yourself to it - it's the way-of-life of a career soldier.
The Right Attitude to Emet (Truth)
We do have to learn about the spiritual armour available to us if we are to properly use it. Above all, we must have a proper attitude:
"Stand therefore, having girded your waist with emet (truth)..." (Eph.6:14, NKJV).
One of the reasons that evil is sweeping America and the West so fast is that good men are not standing up to resist it. They have been sitting by passively, distracted and numbed by wordly entertainments and the like. The Greek word for "stand" here is stenai, meaning to 'stand upright':
"...the image [is] of one who is so confident that he is standing with his head held high and his shoulders thrown back. Paul obviously has a Roman soldier in mind - the kind of soldier who is very proud to be a soldier" .
Such a man has reason to be confident and to stand up straight! He is wearing the red cape of Yah'shua (Jesus) and the belt of emet (truth) shining brightly represented by the 10 Commandments (and all they summarise) and power of the 'New One' who brings newness of chayim (life). He is not a weakling, nor an apology of a man - he is brave and courageous knowing what is behind him backing him up all the way. He may, and ought to be, gentle in his bearing, as Messiah was, but when aroused he should be like a lion, like Messiah too.
Invisible But Essential
Interestingly, that 'belt' must at times seem the least important of our "armour". It was completely invisible under a full set of Roman armour. And yet as anyone who wears a belt knows, remove it and your pants come down, you trip over yourself if you try to move, your shirt comes untucked and you look a complete mess! What does this mean spiritually? The moment you abandon emet (truth) you FALL APART. You might not think it important but without it you're a 'gonner'. No Roman soldier on the battlefield could function without it as his entire set of armour would have fallen apart without it. Without emet (truth) you can have no confidence in fighting, let alone victory. And fighting in and for the emet (truth) is a man's job, defending and protecting his own.
The Belt of Emet as Davar Elohim
What is this "belt of emet (truth)"? It's the Davar Elohim, the Word of God. Not only that, you can physically hold it in your hands. It's the Bible and of course anything else that Yahweh speaks directly to you. It follows that if you neglect your study of the Davar (Word) that you are exposing yourself - making yourself vulnerable. The Scriptures are the most important piece of weaponry that we have. That is why the Ruach (Spirit) inspired Paul to write about the belt of emet (truth) first. You may not always have a private Davar (Word) from Elohim (God) for yourself but you will always have the Written Davar (Word) if you bother to study and learn it. So, please, don't neglect your own private scripture study unless you want your pants to fall down on the battle field - if you want to be defeated. It's how Yah'shua (Jesus) defeated Satan in the Judean Wilderness.
Your Heart Must Be Right
You cannot function as a spiritually-endowed believer without the Scriptures having an active, central rôle in your life. You may run on a little steam from the past but it won't take you very far. Your spiritual tank needs constantly refilling. And it has to be under your own initiative because unless you actually enjoy it, it will be of little profit for you. If you find it dull and uninteresting, then there is something fundamental missing: you lack that contact with Yahweh in prayer that vitalises the soul and moves it into seeking these things. So spend more time with Him in prayer until your lev (heart) is right!
Abandoning Yahweh and the Belt of Emet
There are those, sadly, who make the fateful choice to remove that belt of emet (truth) when they turn away from Yah'shua (Jesus) and abandon the Besorah (Gospel) and then wonder why they fall apart spiritually. You know many such people. You have seen the evil fruits in their lives when they have abandoned Elohim (God). Once they do that, demonic attacks break through that invisible barrier that Yahweh ordained for our protection, and chaos takes over.
What is the Foundation of Your Life?
What are you building your life on? And what are you pastors reading me building your churches or assemblies on? Many build on praise and worship. Many build on love. Many build on good works. Many build on prayer. Many build on social gathering. And important all of these are, they are not the foundation of the Kingdom of Yahweh - none of these are the belt which holds up everything else! Only the belt will hold these in place, in their proper order and tavnith (pattern), and that belt is unadulterated, pure, concentrated EMET (TRUTH)! It's the most important piece of armour that we have. Believe it and act on it. For that is why Paul said:
"All Scripture is Elohim-(God-)breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim.3:16-17, NIV).
Please notice that the apostle did not say "some Scripture" or "your favourite Scriptures" but "ALL Scripture", including what your flesh thinks is 'boring' or 'useless' Scripture. It's all there for a reason, so don't skip any. So it's really quite outrageous when some translations, like a Revised Standard Version (RSV) printing that I own, puts much of the Torah and vast chunks of the Chronicles in a smaller typeface to de-emphasise them and to encourage the reader to hop over them! Instead, if you have issues with any Scriptures, ask Yahweh why they are important for you, because He promises:
It's Not Nearly As Easy As You May Think
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim (God), who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in emunah (faith), with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from Yahweh; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:5-8, NKJV).
Let none suppose that embracing emet (truth) is easy either because it isn't. Emet (truth) exposes all our idolatries, and idolatry is always reinforced by demonic strong-men who will not let go unless you wage spiritual warfare against them. Demons hate emet (truth) and any lie you believe in will be guarded fiercely by such a dark spirit who will not go unless you repent and acknowledge the truth. People cling onto all kinds of lies because they are afraid of the consequences - the lifestyle-adjustments - of embracing emet (truth). Some are terrified of rules and so flee Torah; some are terrified of the sabbath because of their jobs and so pretend it doesn't exist or lean on the authority of tradition; some are terrified of moral accountability and so choose to have their conscience remain numb; others are terified of plural marriage for fear Yahweh might call them into it, and so demonise it; some are afraid of self-surrender and so exalt themselves. Whatever it is, people are afraid of the emet (truth) because they won't trust Yahweh to see them right. That is why Paul starts with this piece of armour because without it, all the rest will eventually fall apart.
So Many Different Belts
The fact of the matter is, we are constantly experimenting with different belts in our lives, belts which are different mixtures of emet (truth) and error. Every belt of this kind falls down at some time leaving us vulnerable and open to real defeat. When people complain of their woes, they invariably fail to acknowledge that they are still idolatrously clinging onto lies. And so they mnust learn the hard way until persuaded that All Truth - Yahweh's emet (truth) - is the only real safety in life that there is.
So, yes, those half-truth belts have to come off, the armour has to fall away, and you have to be re-dressed by Elohim (God). Put another way, you have to be lovingly corrected. If not, you are going to be humiliated by your carelessness again and again until you finally get it right, until you stop trying to twist emet (truth) into an image of your own fallen flesh.
Truth as Character Attribution
Emet (truth) is the most potent thing that there is. And I am not just talking about 'facts' but about the existential and the moral - of emet (truth) as the attribute of a person. Joseph's brothers were detained in an Egyptian prison so that "your words may be tested to see whether there is any emet (truth) in you" (Gen.42:16, NKJV)- in other words, so see whether they were dependable, consistent, and of reliable character.
Emet and Emunah Used Interchangeably
Indeed, it is interesting how both emet (truth) and emunah (faith) can be used interchangeably - that is, faithfulness is a function of truth and vice versa . Indeed, the Tanakh (Old Testament) thinks much more of the basis of emet (truth) IN a reliable person than of the mere facts of the case. This reliability is basically an attribute of Elohim (God)  and therefore of godliness in humans. If we are not faithful (reliable), then the emet (truth) is not in us, we're not wearing that belt, and we are completely naked to the attacks of the enemy.
Truth as Consistency, Dependability and Uprightness
Yahweh as Elohim (God) is consistent, both in His loving care for His children (Gen.32:9ff.) and in His implacable histility against sin (Ps.54:5). That is the basis of His truthfulness and it is the same basis in authentic talmidim (disciples). Consistency is Truth's right-hand. It is dependability, truthfulness and uprightness of character. It is the absolute sense of that which is real and complete as opposed to what is false and wanting (Mk.5:33; Eph.4:25). It is no appearance, no copy of anything.
Hold On, Don't Turn Back
Once you have fixed the belt of emet (truth) onto the centre of your life and faithfully ensure that it stays in place, everything else comes together. Refusing to do so is a choice for anarchy and dissolution. It is a negation of righteousness. It is a disavowel of the whole basis for a happy and fulfilling life. You may have ups and downs, doubts may intrude and destabilise for a while, but so long as you hold on and don't turn back, Yahweh will back you up and see you moving forwards.
The Covenant Confirmed
Brethren and sisters, I want to conclude my address to you the morning with my testimony of what we have been called to do. It's been a rough few years, if the truth be known, what with opposition mounting more strongly than ever before, and I would not be being honest with you if I said that I have not been strongly discouraged at times. I have certainly learned, over the years, the absolute truthfulness of A.W.Tozer's words, when he said that "you cannot carry a cross in company", to which he added that "society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross. No one is a friend to the man with a cross".
The Double Rainbow
But it is precisely when we are carrying such a cross alone, as our Master once did to Calvary, that we come to the final place of surrender and thence to liberation. Some days ago, feeling the intense weight of my own cross, and the loneliness thereof, I made my way to my mother's house in the pouring rain deep in thought and prayer, having been seeking a word of reaffirmation and reassurance from Yahweh as to the status of my relationship with Him. As I arrived at the door, the downpour suddenly ended. I turned to look over my left shoulder and was completely bowled over by what I saw - the most intense rainbow I had ever seen (two in fact) arching over my house (and therefore family) from one edge of the property to the other. I know in that instant that His Covenant with me was secure and doubly so, with the intensity of the revelation so great and the Ruach (Spirit) so strong, that I hopped with simcha (joy) and exclaimed "Wow!" again and again in my astonishment! It was a huge and timely blessing.
My prayer is that you too, if you are struggling with trials and tribulations, may also have such assurance, knowing that Yahweh is both there and that He is the Deliverer at the Last Moment, just as He was of Moses and the Children of Israel as they had their backs to Yam Suf (the Red Sea) as Pharaoh's Army descended on them with extermination in their levim (hearts). Keep that belt of emet (truth) firmly strapped on and do not compormise it! He is faithful to those who do. Amen.
Continued in Part 2
 Edible plants (Genesis 1:30; 9:3; 2 Kings 19:26; Job 39:8; Psalm 37:2) and trees (Exodus 10:15; Deuteronomy 12:2; 1 Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 16:4; 17:10, 2 Chronicles 28:4; Psalm 37:35; 52:8, Isaiah 37:27, Jeremiah 2:20)
 Associated symbols include grass - man/flesh (Ps.37:1-2; 92:7; Rev.8:7, 1 Pet.1:24, Is.40:6-8; 51:12), weakness (Ps.102:4; 102:11, Revelation 8:7), growth (Ps.72:16; 92:7, Job 5:25), trees - coverage (Ps.37:35), trust (Ps.52:8), man (Mt.3:10; 7:15-18, Mk.8:24), the Cross (Ac.5:30, 1 Pet.2:24)
 Exodus 3:4; 6:3; Isaiah 41:4; 43:10,13
 Rick Renner, Dressed to Kill: A Biblical Approach to Spiritual Warfare and Armor (Teach All Nations, Tulsa, Oklahoma: 2007, p.259)
 Deuteronomy 32:4 (RSV); Hosea 2:20
 Psalm 31:5; Jeremiah 10:10