Month 10:30, Rosh Chodesh, Year:Day 5937:297 AM|
ROSH CHODESH XI (Shemini haChodesh)
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 31 January 2014
Rosh Chodesh XI
The Fishermen Have Been Called
"Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them, 'I must preach the kingdom of Elohim (God) to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.' And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee" (Luke 4:42-44, NKJV).
Chag sameach Rosh Chodesh kol beit Yisra'el and may the grace of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) be upon this assembly as we seek a prophetic Davar (Word) for this new eleventh month in Yahweh's Creation Calendar.
Brethren and sisters, the many of you at home and abroad, the day that we have awaited for so long is practically upon us. As we see in today's passage, the Master began His ministry in His home province of Galilee. He sought out a deserted place in which to pray but He was pursued by the crowd. They were determined that He should remain as a permanent fixture in their lives, be their standing minister, as it were, but He had to gently remind them that He had preaching responsibilities elsewhere too. There were other cities in the nation that had to hear the Besorah (Gospel) of the Kingdom of Elohim (God).
The Ministry Begins
Having spoken these words, everything was about to change. Having been through his desert temptation, rejected by His own people at Nazareth after He had declared Isaiah 61:1-2 fulfilled in their midst, and experienced the first attempt on His life, He began a deliverance and healing ministry. He healed Peter's mother-in-law and many others before declaring that He had to move on. Those who had come to trust and rely on Him did not want Him to go, and no doubt with eloquent and self-seeking words mingled with genuine ahavah (love) urged Him to remain.
Journey to the Cross
You can imagine, I am sure, what would have happened had Yah'shua (Jesus) remained in provincial Galilee. He would have ended up a local deliverance minister, healer and preacher with a regular circuit. But these were but signs or pointers toward a much greater and more important mission. He would continue delivering people from demonic oppression, healing the sick and preaching the Besorah (Gospel) over the coming three years but everything would be heading for the climactic event of the Cross for which He had been born and for which the prophets had anxiously awaited for generation after generation.
Moving on to Our Primary Mission
For many, many years we have been teachers, preachers and deliverance ministers. And we will continue doing these things until our time too is completed. But that is not what we are primarily here for. We have our prophetic appointments and we dare not miss them. We have five commissions to fulfil and some we have barely begun, if at all, because the time had not come.
At Your Word
As Yah'shua (Jesus) was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, He spied two empty boats standing by the lake. Its occupants were on the shore too, washing their nets. Climbing into one of the boats, He asked the owner, one Simon Peter, to move a little way from the land, and then sat down on the boat and began teaching to the growing crowd on the shore (Lk.5:1ff.). Once His sermon was over, instead of asking to be taken ashore again, He told Simon Peter to head for deep waters and to let down the net for a catch. This request was met with an element of exasperation, I suppose, for as you know they had been fishing all night but had caught nothing. Yet Simon Peter, despite His protests, did not disbelieve Him either, for doubtless he had heard of Yah'shua's (Jesus') miracles:
In the King's Timing
"Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your Word I will let down the net" (Lk.5:5, NKJV).
'At Your Word I will let down the net'... How many times have we presumptuously launched out to do the work of the Kingdom under our own direction and wondered why our nets have been empty? How many times have we allowed ourselves to be guilted because of apparent inactivity in some areas of the ministry forgetting that it was not yet time and that to labour without His signal is always doomed to failure? We have been anxious, feverish, and hard working only to produce no results. The work of the Kingdom has to be in the King's timing - always. That is not to say we should ever be inactive on the missionary front, unless it is a sabbath rest, or an assembly like this Rosh Chodesh or one of the annual feasts. Our witness is not, in any case, exclusively in words but primarily in the way our character shines.
Nets Suddenly Filled to Bursting
You all know what happened next in the lake. The catch was so large that the nets were in danger of breaking and the boats sinking to the great astonishment of everyone. And Yah'shua's (Jesus') response and commission you also know well:
Timing is Everything
"Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men" (v.10, NKJV).
Now you may wonder why, perhaps, you have not been successful in your service for Messiah. And, yes, part of the answer is in the timing. For those fishermen had fished in deep water, toiling all night, with no results whatsoever. Then, the next day, at a precise moment known only to the Master, they lowered their nets a second time and what had been a zero catch in their own timing and effort the night before suddenly became a massive catch on the Master's timetable. Timing is everything.
Fishermen Cannot Be Fish
Or is it? Charles Spurgeon once said that we cannot become fishers-of-men if we remain among the men in the same element with them. The fishermen are to be in boats afloat and separated from the water, but the fish are in the vast realm of the water. The fishermen and the fish are in different elements. The sinner will not convert the sinner and if you are too much like the ones you are trying to convert, what manner of men do you suppose you will be? Not fishermen to be sure! You will be fish trying to catch fish and yourself be in the very element you are trying to get the fish out of! The ungodly will not convert the ungodly nor the Torahless the Torahless! Oh, there are many professing fishermen out there, or claiming to be, but they are as lawless as the lawless ones they are trying to save, and Yah'shua (Jesus) will have none of it! First the aspiring fishermen must repent:
Authenticating the Fishermen
"Draw near to Elohim (God) and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your simcha (joy) to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of Yahweh" (James 4:7-10, NKJV).
There are far too many false fishermen out there who recuit followers as lawless and as impure as themselves! They think that by winding themselves up with a bit of zeal and spouting the right words from the Bible that they are suddenly ministers. No, there must first be repentance, there must first be total surrender, there must first be purification of the heart, there must first be authentic, regenerated conformity to the Davar Elohim (Word of God) in every aspect of life. And then there must be an authentic calling, as Aaron was (Heb.5:4), and at the timing of the Master. The worldly minister will never convert the world. How could he? Speaking to His Father in Heaven about the true fishermen, Yah'shua (Jesus) said of true believers and ministers:
Visitors from Another World
"They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world" (John 17:16, NKJV).
They are like beings from another world visiting this world only for the purpose of finding those of this world who will return with them to the world they came from. They find no identity with the world system in any of its endless, shape-shifting forms that serve only the flesh and the master of flesh. And this is not something that makes them very popular, is it? For what is the view and attitude of those of the world who refuse to come with the true followers to the other world?
Proclamation vs. Stealth
"If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (John 15:18-19, NKJV).
If you are of the world, if you are enamoured by it and seek to be accepted by it, then the world will love you and embrace you, but such a one cannot save the world, let alone be saved himself. If your soul is dark and belongs to the kingdom of darkness, you yourself will be unable to remove the darkness. If you march with the armies of the wicked one, you will not be able to defeat them. One reason why the Body of Messiah or 'Church' has so little influence on the world is because the world has so much influence over it. And that influence includes, naturally, the tendency to moral, ethical and lifestyle lawlessness and anarchism. We have been called out of this dark body of false believers who so resemble the world as to be virtually indistinguishable from it so that we can do what we have been sent to do in full visibility and in great discomfort, irritation and ire to those who prefer the darkness. You have to be visible lights on a hill, not parked invisibly under a table.
The Gospel is Sudden
Sudden uncomfortable proclamation (the Way of the Besorah/Gospel) is not gradual infiltration by stealth (the way the world). When Yah'sha (Jesus) comes - whether to each individual soul or to the whole world at His second coming, He comes "suddenly...to His temple" (Mal.3:1, NKJV), not sneaking in or creeping about in the shadows as the devil does. Yes, He announces His arrival at the Feast of Shouting or Trumpets (Yom Teruah but it's only a matter of days thereafter that He is upon the world! And so it is with the fishermen.
Parable of the Labourers
You are all familiar with the Parable of the Labourers (Mt.20:1-16). I have often quoted it in connection with the principle it teaches about fair wages and how there are two classes of believer - those who want, as it were, a 'written contract', and those who trust the Master enough not to need one. There are, of course, other prophetic aspects to this parable that have to do with the seasons of the earth and those from the 'other world' sent to minister to it. You'll recall that after the contracted labourers were sent out to work in the vineyard, the Master assembled others at the 3rd, 6th, and 9th hours without contract.
The Eleventh Hour is Upon Us
"And about the eleventh hour He went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, 'Why have you been standing here idle all day?' They said to Him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive" (Matt.20:6-7, NKJV).
Brethren and sisters, this is dawning of the eleventh hour and I am called to remind you that it is so on this the beginning of the eleventh month of this current year. There is but one prophetic 'hour' left, until we begin in earnest, and this is an immediate heralding of it, so life will change beyond recongition and there will be much to do. If you think you have been occupied fully up to now, just you wait and see what happens when the dawning becomes high noon!
A Prophetic Dream for the Fishermen
I want to now remind you of a prophetic dream seen by one of the brethren, Herman Rustad, on 17 November 1998, 16 years ago. We did not know many years would have to pass before it was realised and this caused many to wander off and lose faith. Many are the impatient brides who head back for the world and into darkness:
Prematurely Announcing the Time
"I am standing on the beach of a lake with several others behind me. Without anything telling me to, or any apparent reason, I suddenly shout to people on the other side of the lake: "Lots of fish, come and help us!" Even if I can't see anything, there is great rejoicing on the other beach. People run to prepare themselves. I shout, "Hurry!" They start running into the water which is very shallow between me and the other beach. It is about twelve inches deep. I was afraid this would drive the fish in the wrong direction.
"Suddenly I shout to them, explaining: "There is a net in the water which is keeping the fish in the cove". At the same time a net, without help from anybody, rises up by itself several meters above the water. The net is standing in thin air and is keeping the fish in the cove between me and my unknown friends across the water. The net is held up and steered by invisible hands.
"Next to the net there are several boats. I cannot tell who are in them because I can only make them out as dark shadows. Then, while I see the net standing in the shallow water, I notice that the people from the other beach are running in the right direction -- towards the most shallow part of the water, and at the same time I can see several shoals of many hundreds of fish, heading in to the cove. The water is crystal clear, but the bottom is dark and muddy. (This kind of evenly coloured greyish brown, muddy ground is typical of lakes that are shallow a long way out -- when you step on it your feet sink into the mud).
"By a little bonfire on my beach, there are some transparent glasy/silver-pure, apparently living fish that are surrounded by a heavenly light from above, which is focused only on the fishes and the bonfire. Strangely enough, the fishes seem to thrive perfectly. (I cannot describe these fishes in any other way than as heavenly). Standing there on the beach by the bonfire, they look like small statues made from transparent glass with silvery patterns. These fishes are actually talking to each other, and are apparently the fishes first caught in from this enormous catch and are telling me how wonderful this catch is.
"Where the fish, the net, the boats, the bonfire and the fishes on the beach are coming from, I don't know -- it seems like if everything is coming from nowhere out of the darkness. The hills and the wood around me, and even the beach I am standing on, is in complete darkness, as in the middle of the night, with a black sky, but the shallow cove where all of this is taking place is nevertheless bright as in the middle of the day. It is obviously a sudden event and it is happening fast! The dream ends as I see the fish closed off in the shallow cove, but still in the water. -- Praise the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Lord Jesus Christ). Amen." 
Brethren and sisters, this last catch is to be made while the world is in complete darkness. Back in 1998, we had no idea how quickly the world would descend into the twilight world that it is in now. Back in those days, in the summer of 1998, I prematurely announced that this day had come. I was in a hurry, racing ahead of His appointment, and not in divine timing. For my presumptuousness, I got a lot of egg on my face, and was given a further 16 years of preparation. But I am here again, 16 years on, to announce that that time has finally come. You will see it with your own eyes in the days ahead and there won't be a shadow of doubt in your minds. All that will then be left is to "repent... [or] perish" (Luke 13:5, NKJV).
It Has Begun Already
It's already begun for us, actually in East Africa, and though the ministers there are already feeling overwhelmed by the sudden scale of conversions, it is nothing compared to what's coming. In fact, the other day one of the pastors asked me to stop pointing congregations wanting to associate or join who were poor because we are so cash-strapped ourselves. But we are not to disctriminate on the basis of wealth or poverty but are to trust in the Master to provide - we are to turn no one away. Did the Master not prophesy that those who would come in the last day would not only be the beggars off the street but that they would be compelled? Did He not say that the Father would call these because the wealthy would have nothing to do with the Kingdom? It's important we recall the story:
Who are the Eleventh Hour Qodeshim?
"'A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.' And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.' Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper'" (Luke 14:16-24, NKJV).
Who are these people spiritually-speaking? The poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind! It is not for us to make our own artificial selection based on wealth or inner wholeness! Recall Yah'shua's (Jesus') words when He said:
Who are the Poor, Maimed, Lame and Blind?
"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (Matt.9:12-13, NKJV).
Now obviously being poor, maimed, lame and blind do not qualify a person for the Kingdom of Heaven. They also have to be willing. Willing to do what? To repent, surrender, and be obedient like every other talmid (disciple). These are not the proud and puffed up, whether they be rich or poor, maimed or healthy, lame or mobile, blind or seeing. We have come to the point in the history of this world where only the desperate and incapacitated in body, mind and soul are being called. But why would they need to be compelled? Because they wouldn't otherwise come, not because they don't want the King and the Kingdom but because they don't feel worthy of the King and the Kingdom! They feel outcast because they have been cast out by the world, rejected and despised. And obviously with so many coming home during this last hour will require the fishermen to be especially endowed.
The Sukkot Anointing
Yes, brethren and sisters, you're going to see an anointing - the Sukkot anointing - unlike anything that has ever been seen before. So don't go trying to model your ministries on what has happened in the great revivals of the past because this is going to be of a wholly different and new dimension of the revelation of Heaven. And though I can prepare you to some extent, I cannot tell you exactly how it will be, only that it will be. So if you're more concerned about converting the wealthy, the well-to-do, and the influential, forget it, even if a few will come here and there - we are here to open the gates to all those throw-aways who have a right heart, a humble heart, a broken heart, and indeed all those whom the Master describes in the Beatitudes. But it will not include those who are poor, maimed, lame and blind who display the attitude of those things which Yah'shua (Jesus) most hates - hypocrisy, spiritual pride, impurity, indifference to human need, and unbelief, which the rich largely have a default problem with, and for which reason it is hard for them to enter the Kingdom, professed believers and unbelievers alike! (Mk.10:25)
So who are we to turn anyone away? Elohim (God) provides as we receive. We have simply to exercise emunah (faith) and remember how Yahweh has provided for His people in the past. So the Davar Elohim (Word of God) today is to get prepared to receive all those who are being gathered out of the spiritual gutters and compelled into the Kingdom, with or without our approval. If you're a fisherman - for real - then you need to have a right attitude toward these people who belong to the Kingdom as much as we do. So get right with Yahweh now! Shalom! Amen.
 Herman Rustad, Prophetic Dream: The Fish Net - Revival Imminent in the New Covenant, translated from the Norwegian version