Month 7:20, Week 3:5 (Chamashee/Teruah), Year:Day 5937:198 AM|
SUKKOT VI, Dedication of Solomon's Temple 6/8
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 24 October 2013
Sukkot VI 2013
Called to Move Mountains
Continued from Part 5
Chag sameach Sukkot kol beit Yisra'el and welcome to this sixth assembly of the Feast of Tabernacles! Today we are going to have a short address, like yesterday, and then we are going to devote the rest of the assembly to scripture reading, prayer and intercession.
Things are Not as They Seem to Be
For a number of days since about the third or fourth day of the chag (festival) Yahweh has been speaking to me in a number of visions which I have not shared as they concern individual people, so we have been in intercession for them. One thing you learn early on as a minister, if you are serious about your calling and are discerning what is going on around you, that not only are situations rarely what they appear to be but that people are rarely what they seem to be either. Most people are unaware of what is going on around them or even in themselves and I think it would be true to say that most assume that 'all is well', particularly believers.
Of OSAS Believers and the Bride
One of the dangers of the 'once saved, always saved' doctrine, which I spoke briefly about the other day, is that it makes you spiritually lazy and complacent. So many Christians believe that once they have made the effort to respond to an alar call and have recited the sinner's prayer, that all is well and that nothing much else needs to be done because, as they suppose, 'Christ has done it all'. Yet as we have seen a couple of times during this conference, the life of a believer is one of struggle, because struggling leads to overcoming, and overcoming leads to a place in the Bride of Messiah.
Brought up to See in a Certain Way
We none of us have much of an idea just how much struggle life consists of, especially when we are young, energetic and optimistic. So it is a huge blessing if early on - while you are yet young - that you make a committment to Yahweh not to simply accept the way things are, or appear to be, but to seek earnestly for what Yahweh wants you to see. Our spiritual sight is conditioned to a large extent by our upbringing, the way our parents saw, the way our peers saw, the way our school teachers saw, and whilst the seeing of many, most or even all of these might have been right, we ourselves can never actually properly 'see' until we have committed to to do our own seeing and not to simply accept on emunah (faith) what others have told us is visible to them.
We Have to Learn to Seek and See Anew
Both honest and dishonest, sincere and insincere, good and wicked people cross our path and insist that things are the way they see them. But we have spiritual eyes that must learn the discipline of seeing as Yahweh sees and not as others say we must see. King Solomon wrote:
Seaching is Tough
"I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task Elohim (God) has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised (afflicted, burdened, wearied)" (Eccl.1:12-13, NKJV).
Though Solomon was given the incredible gift of wisdom and used it for the blessing of his people as a wise ruler - before he fell into apostacy and started dipping his hands into forbidden things - he testified that seeking and searching for all emet (truth) is not an easy task. Bible translations render the experience as being "afflicted", "burdened", "wearied" and "exercised" for it is a heavy responsibility. What we discover brings us a mixture of both simcha (joy) and distress and there is no way that you can have the former without the latter.
Self-Entitlement Breeds Laziness and Selfishness
The modern generation largely believes that it should have its blessings served to it on a platter, that Elohim (God) is a sugar Daddy, a vending machine who just pours out gifts without an effort on our part. We have been born a system that encourages people to be selfish and entitled. And whilst salvation truly is a free gift that we can never even begin to earn, spiritual growth is not. And whilst it is true that, as Yah'shua (Jesus) said, "the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:9, NKJV) - that is, He seeks us out of His own initiative - it is also true, as He also says elsewhere in Scripture, that we have the responsibility, which requires effort and time committment, to "ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matt.7:7-8, NKJV).
Born Again to See
Never assume that being born again gives you perfect vision in everything. Being born again gives you the ability to see the Kingdom as Yah'shua (Jesus) taught Nicodemus:
Seeing the Kingdom
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3, NKJV).
They say that 'seeing is believing' and that is certainly true in some circumstances, but seeing the Kingdom does not mean you own it yet. 'Seeing' in this context means understanding or comprehending something that you were once blind to. But seeing the goal - the object of your desire - does not mean that you have made it an integral part of yourself. It's a bit like buying some clothes but they have not served the purpose for their creation until you have put them on and are wearing them. As we also saw earlier in Conference, we are not supposed to see or understand everything otherwise we would no longer be walking by emunah (faith), yet we are not supposed to walk in ignorance either, but are to earnestly keep on seeking both before and after our initial salvation.
Historical Events Leading to Plainer Sight
Some of our seeing is dependent on historical events. "Blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in" (Rom.11:25, NKJV). Only now, at the end, are we, for example, beginning to understand how this world is really run and the extent of the deception that humanity has been walking in for all these painful millennia. The understandings the people are getting could never have been possible two decades ago, and the revelations we are obtaining as Messianic Israel required that certain events take place to open up our understanding.
The Kingdom: Within and Around
The Kingdom of Elohim (God) is a great mystery to those who are not born again or only partially born again. Most Scripture translations, like NKJV, say:
Yet this is not an adequate representation and as far as I know only the Amplified Version of the Bible gets the true sense across, when it says that "the Kingdom of Elohim (God) is within you (in your hearts) and among you (surrounding you)" (v.21, Amp.V). The Kingdom manifests around you - in your environment, in the people you interact with - as it emerges from your awakening spirit. It is far, far bigger than you ever dreamed and and what you have seen and experienced so far is but a drop in the ocean, for it must grow, like a mustard seedling, until it has reached its full stature.
"The kingdom of Elohim (God) does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21, NKJV).
Growth Through Overcoming
Unfortunately for the one who is lazy, or for the one who still clings to untruth, steady and healthy growth is only guaranteed provided we seek and overcome the obstacles of unbelief, ignorance and sin within. Just as neglecting to water a plant causes it to wither and eventually die, so inadequate discipling, prayer and Scripture study will retard our souls and cause them to shrink and die to the new birth if we do not feed them with emunah (faith), tiqvah (hope), ahavah (love) and emet (truth) that keeps them vibrant. And as Solomon warned, this search - this overcoming - is tough.
Vision of the Barrel
Early this morning Yahweh showed me a vision which I want to share and briefly talk about before we move into prayer. In the vision I sitting down on a chair and wearing typical West African clothes, with a hat, only the material was all white and not the colourful patterns one normally sees. Opposite me, on my right, was, I suppose, an African woman, also seated, whom I did not recognise as I never saw her face, and between us was a large barrel. I don't know what was in it though during the night I had a long dream in which I went to tremendous efforts to secure and move it over a long distance. It was filled with something which I assume was water as it was very heavy. The barrel was obviously not literal but symbolic of something spiritual.
The Barrel of the Woman of Zarephath
The barrel is not a biblical item like clay jars or flaggons which were used anciently to store food and water although the word for this vessel is wrongly translated 'barrel' in the KJV and (oddly) 'bin' in the NKJV. Let me share the context which is well known miracle of the multiplication of flour and oil:
"Then the word of Yahweh came to him, saying, 'Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.' So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, 'Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.' And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, 'Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.' So she said, 'As Yahweh your Elohim (God) lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin (barrel), and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.' And Elijah said to her, 'Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says Yahweh-Elohim of Israel: 'The bin (barrel) of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day Yahweh sends rain on the earth.' So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin (barrel) of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of Yahweh which He spoke by Elijah" (1 Kings 17:8-16, NKJV).
A New Level of Tragedy and Miracle
This is a wonderful story of Yahweh's provision when it seems that we are about to perish because we have so little in the days of our poverty. As the economy plunges and the world is thrown into poverty and famine in our time, we need to start thinking and acting like the widow of Zarephath to whom Elijah became as a father. Though death escaped her house through this miracle, her emunah (faith) would be challenged again when her son died and all the kavod (glory) of what had happened before seemed to pointless. But Yahweh ever desires to stretch our emunah (faith) so that He can do ever greater miracles!
Miracles for the Faithful
"Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. So she said to Elijah, 'What have I to do with you, O man of Elohim (God)? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?' And he said to her, 'Give me your son.' So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. Then he cried out to Yahweh and said, 'O Yahweh my Elohim (God), have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?' And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to Yahweh and said, 'O Yahweh my Elohim (God), I pray, let this child's soul come back to him.' Then Yahweh heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, 'See, your son lives!' Then the woman said to Elijah, 'Now by this I know that you are a man of Elohim (God), and that the davar (word) of Yahweh in your mouth is the emet (truth)'" (1 Kings 17:17-24, NKJV).
This, brothers and sisters, is the stuff and emunah (faith) of the Kingdom of Heaven by which the sleeping or dead spirit is revived and brought back to life again after a trial of its emunah (faith). And one of the fruits of this testing is, like Sukkot (Tabernacles), simcha (joy). The barrel in my vision represents the supernatural multiplcation of our natural resources that is promised as our provision if we serve with emunah (faith) with the proper sacrificial heart, as the woman of Zarephath.
Our emunah (faith) must now grow to meet the growing power of the Enemy in the earth:
This is not necessarily a reference to literal mountains, of course, because of the mishcief that might be done if a believer of great faith suddenly moved Mount Kilimanjaro from Kenya to Ghana, or Mount Fuji from Japan to Sri Lanka, or the Himalayas from Nepal and north India to Uruguay! Though the moving of a literal mountain is by no means excluded in this passage, its application is chiefly in the realm of kingdoms or governments, as Joseph moevd the government in Egypt and Daniel in Mesopotamia. We may yet, through emunah (faith), do miracles in modern nations too. Indeed, one of the brethren is now ministering to the ambassador or one of the nations.
"If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you" (Matt.17:20, NKJV).
Vision of the Raising Corpse
A few days ago I was shown another vision in which I was hovering over the earth, maybe three to four feet, and I felt this power in my chest reaching out into the ground below, and out of the soil a corpse emerged, pulled by this power. I was not shown the conclusion of this vision for reasons best known to Yahweh, but I am again reminded of the story I have just shared with you of the widow's son, and what it is we may soon be called to do. There are many things that are dead within us that need raising to life by the power of Yahweh-Elohim through faith in His Son Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and there are the literally dead who must be raised to demonstrate the power and ahavah (love) of the living Elohim (God). No work of Elohim (God) is complete without it and whilst it should never be sought for its own sake, we must be prepared to exercise the emunah (faith) necessary to activate it when it is divinely called for especially at a time when Satan is duplicating - and will increasingly duplicate - such things but without the true miracle of a changed life within.
So I share these things with you to prime your emunah (faith), as it were, and to challenge you to struggle, overcome and present yourselves as vessels to be used by Yahweh to further His Kingdom on earth.
May Yahweh bless us as we meditate on these things and as we hand over this assembly to Him for prayer and for interecession. Amen.
"Therefore [the apostles...spoke] boldly in the Master, who was bearing witness to the davar (word) of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands" (Acts 14:3, NKJV).
Continued in Part 7