Harp and Story

What If?

What if life stopped being the way it has always been?

What if tomorrow morning when you woke up you suddenly realized that your life would never be the same again?

Let’s take a look at two scenarios:

1.) As in pre WW11 Holland, we go to bed one night with assurances that our world, as we know it, will be the same in the morning when we wake up. But surprise, in the morning we awaken to discover that hostile forces have taken over our country, the borders are closed and there is no way to escape the harshness and brutality that is being committed on those who do not submit.

2.) You are convicted by the power of the Ruach haKodesh to humble yourself, and pray, and seek YHVH’S Face, and turn from your wicked ways; then your life, out of the necessity of your decision to make Teshuva (to turn), will never be the same.

In both scenarios you have decisions to make – as Francis Schaeffer asked; “How then shall we live?”

The time is soon upon us, I believe, when we are going to be faced with both scenarios – an invasion and the need to make teshuva. In light of these scenarios it would be good to make choices and decisions now, in preparation for the time that is coming upon us – if indeed it is not already here just waiting to manifest its presence.

In the parable of The 10 Virgins all of the virgins fell asleep, but 5 had fallen asleep with adequate provision enabling them to join the bridal party when they heard the sound of the shofar. Have we been lulled to sleep by the constant bombardment of end-time teachers telling us the tribulation is right around the corner, but that particular corner has yet to appear? It was a favorite saying of my husband to our young boys when we went back-packing and they would ask, how much further? Just around the next bend in the trail, he would say. But the bends kept coming and the destination was still somewhere ahead. After awhile they would just sit down in the trail and refuse to go any farther. Steve would then go on ahead to the much anticipated camping place, remove his pack and then come back down the trail to help our young sons with their loads so they could make it to our destination, even carrying them if that was what was required. Likewise for many today, the trail has gotten long and many are weary, some may have become so weary that they have lain down in the path and have fallen asleep, but take heart, our Bridegroom has gone on ahead of us and he has promised to return for us. Keep persevering, hold fast to His commandments, sleep if you have to, but don’t leave the path – that’s the extra oil for your lamp. Sadly some have gone back to the old way of life putting that tribulation thing on a shelf. “Wake me up when it happens, until then I’m going back to my house, my family, my job, my favorite food, myself. I’ll be able to walk away from it all when I hear His call.” But will you? Will you even hear His call with the clamor of the world deafening your sensitivities to YHVH? Yashua said to keep watch, for you do not know the day or the hour. Keeping watch, living a fasted life-style is safety for us. Yashua asked the disciples to keep watch with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but even they fell asleep. The consequence of their not maintaining watch was fear – with the eventual need for restoration. The bride of Messiah is to keep her wedding garments white – without stain or wrinkle, waiting for the day of his coming.

This brings me back to my “what if” questions.

It is quite common in our western, civilized culture to live in the land of “what if”. Allow me to give a few examples of what I mean.

• What if all these wars and earthquakes and terrible disasters are just more of the same, not really, now is the end-time, stuff?

• What if I leave everything to follow Yashua and He doesn’t provide for me?

• What if I quit my job and my spouse leaves me?

• What if I join lock, stock and barrel with this community of like-minded believers and then discover I don’t like them, or that we’re really not like-minded?

• What if I drop my health insurance to rely on YHVH and I get sick?

• What if I take all my money out of the beast system and then lose it?

• What if my children won’t come along with me?

• What if Yashua doesn’t return in the next few years?

• What if YHVH really isn’t who He says He is?

• What if America really isn’t Babylon?

• What if__________? You fill in the blank.

As believers in Yashua haMeshiach, part of the grafting in of Romans 9-11, heirs according to the promise, Galatians 3:29, the land of promise given to Abraham in Genesis is our eventual place of residence. If this is true, as I believe it is, then why are we, as we see the end approaching, entrenching ourselves in the land of our exile. YHVH is shaking things up just like He did with the Israelites in Egypt. Why, because He is getting us ready for a journey. I was reading in the Psalms the other day and I was struck with a revelation in Psalm 78 of the progression of the Israelites from Egypt that it will be the same for us. We will experience some of the shaking of YHVH, but then we will be called out to gather into a place set aside for us like Goshen was set aside for the children of Israel in Egypt, (Exodus 8:22). The first three plagues of blood, frogs and lice were over the entire land, but from the fourth plague on those dwelling in the land of Goshen were protected from the devastation of the plagues in Egypt. If you remained outside of Goshen more of what you had just experienced would befall you. YHVH will bless you with His protection in that one particular place where He shelters us under His wings. It is even recorded that when the plague of darkness came the children of Israel living in Goshen had light in their homes. During the plagues the Israelites were not removed from Egypt, but they were protected. This is the message behind Psalm 91:14-16; “because he has loved me therefore I will deliver him, I will set him securely on high because he has known My Name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold my Yashua.”

From Goshen, where He gathers us, He will lead us into the wilderness. In the wilderness of the first exodus, the children of Israel became a people – a unit. They became betrothed to YHVH and they learned what pleased Him, by being instructed in His ways. YHVH says to, “be holy as I am holy,” Lev 11:44. The same pattern will follow for us. We too will be taken into the wilderness (Revelation 12:6) and in that place we will become a people – the bride of Yashua, we will be instructed in what pleases Him, becoming holy as He is holy. And from the wilderness we will enter the land of promise.

Here’s a possible scenario to think about, I’m not saying this is what is going to happen, I am just presenting this to maybe help you put in focus your “what ifs”:

The nations that are raging at Israel this moment are pretty much listed in Psalm 83. This is a war psalm, an entreaty to YHVH to deal with these war mongers Himself. According to the Geneva Convention an aggressor nation, in the event of winning an armed conflict, has to give back all lands that it acquired during the conflict, but the non-aggressor nation, in the event it wins the armed conflict can keep all the lands it acquired during the conflict. What if this Psalm 83 war is the prophecy that is preparing to be fulfilled, perhaps this summer? And what if in this war Israel is granted land from all these aggressor nations by YHVH? And what if the whistle then comes from YHVH for us to come home to Israel and be the fulfillment of Ezekiel 37? Could this be our Goshen until the abomination that makes desolate is set-up in the temple and at that time we flee as commanded into the wilderness? According to the word of Yashua in Matthew 24:32-33; he talks about the nation of Israel being reborn as a fig tree nation; when you see that know that summer is near.

When is the return of Messiah according to the feasts of YHVH? His return is in the fall, the time of Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets. The nation of Israel we see today is the fig tree nation Yashua told us would come before his appearing, and he also said, the generation that witnesses this rebirth would not pass away until the Son of Man returns. Recognizing this present fig tree Israel as Goshen and the world as Egypt, it is then the only place where we will be kept in true peace and safety while the rest of the world tosses and turns in the foment of “A New World Order”. Are we prepared for YHVH to change our life that completely? What would keep you from answering His whistle? What are your “what ifs?”

Again, the above described scenario is my thoughts. It is included in this writing to help encourage you to think out and pray about decisions that we all may be soon called upon to make.

Note: YHVH prepared a place in the wilderness where He met ancient Israel and betrothed Himself to her; so too is YHVH preparing a place for us today in the wilderness, where, according to the type, He will meet with us and marry Himself to us. If this happens to be what comes about, I for one don’t want any “what ifs” I may be harboring to cause me to miss out on the greatest feast celebration in all of history!

Remain in your place on the wall, stay vigilant, have your lamps ready, so you will hear the call when it comes and like Samuel will respond, Hineni! Here I am!

 

Facing the Giants

1Samuel 16:12; The prophet Samuel is instructed by YHVH to anoint David, son of Jesse, king over Israel. David walked in the power of the Ruach as evidenced by the fact that whenever he played his harp for Saul the evil spirit that was tormenting Saul left. It wasn’t just the skillful playing of David that caused the evil spirit to leave Saul, but the fact that David was anointed of YHVH, and the Holy Spirit was mightily upon him, (vs.13). Where light is darkness cannot be – for light dispels the darkness. I John 1:5-7;

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Yashua haMeshiach his Son cleanses us from all sin.

When David shows up at the war camp of Israel he finds an interesting dynamic taking place – the chosen of YHVH are being taunted and tormented by a giant of a fellow named Goliath. For 40 days morning and evening the Philistines have been gathering in battle array on one side of the mountain and Israel would gather in battle array on the other side of the mountain with a valley separating the two armies, then the champion of the Philistines would come out and the impressiveness of his size and armor would send the chosen of God fleeing back to their camp much dismayed and greatly afraid.

Comparison: We too, as believers and followers of Yashua are chosen of YHVH. We have been told to ask for the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, filling us, transforming us, enabling us to be the fulfillment of Malachi 3:1-4; to serve before Him in righteousness –

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, says the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

David with the Ruach haKodesh mightily upon him (I Samuel 16:13), was sent by his father to the war camp of the Israelites to check on the welfare of his brothers. He arrived at the camp just as the army was going out in battle array shouting the war cry. So far everything looks good and proper, but then the giant shows up. Comparison: We are grafted into the House of Israel, we have an inheritance in the land of promise, Yashua is our soon-coming Bridegroom, the Holy Spirit has been sent to comfort and lead us into all truth, we have the Spirits of YHVH – Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Strength, Knowledge and the Fear (Exceeding Reverence) of YHVH through Yashua available to us and yet, when the giants step out from the crowd into the valley of our life we so often run away from them in dismay and greatly afraid. Day after day, evening after evening they continue to taunt us and torment us. We might look good, we might sound good, but the giant is still standing.

What did David do? He ascertained the situation. I Samuel 17:26; Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”

David’s boldness in the face of Israel’s fear brought condemnation upon him by his brother – basically saying, how dare you rise out of your place with the sheep in the wilderness and suggest that you can kill this giant; you might have killed the lion and the bear, but this is a giant and it takes a giant to kill a giant. But David was undeterred – he knew what he knew – the Ruach haKodesh was well able to take on the giant foe! This knowing brought him before King Saul, the largest man in the camp if not in all Israel, the one man all natural eyes looked to for their deliverance because of his physical size, who also questioned his youth and ability, but David had been in training – well prepared for the confrontation of this day, vs. 36; “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living YHVH.” Vs. 37, And David said, “YHVH who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may YHVH be with you.” But even with this blessing from the king, Saul still wanted to load David down with garments and helmet and armor. David tried them on, but they didn’t work for him, he chose to trust in the tools he had developed expertise with in the wilderness – a stick, stones and a sling.

Comparison: During our time in the wilderness what tools have we become quite capable in using for the slaying of giants? Have we honed our capability in prayer – putting on the whole armor of YHVH with all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit? Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests by made known to YHVH. Have we honed our capability in submission – submit therefore to YHVH, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to YHVH and He will draw near to you. Have we honed our capability in humbleness – humble yourselves in the presence of YHVH, and He will exalt you. Have we honed our capability to rejoice – Rejoice in YHVH always; and again I say rejoice! Have we honed our capability to rest in His peace – and the peace of YHVH which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Yashua haMeshiach. Have we honed our capability to love as He loves us – a new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold, but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

1 Peter 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yashua haMeshiach, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Yashua haMeshiach from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Yashua haMeshiach; whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Have we honed our capabilities by the power of the Ruach haKodesh in us so well that we can walk in the full assurance of the above quoted verses from 1 Peter 1 that they are ours with absolute certainty? David had used well his time in the wilderness and now armed with the tools he had honed his capability on he went forth to meet the giant – not in presumption, just assuming YHVH would help him, but in the absolute knowing where his strength came from, in YHVH Tzvayot.

The Philistine giant came onto the field of battle with his shield-bearer in front of him and when he saw David, he disdained him. Why? Because the giant was looking at the outward appearance of David and he cursed David by his gods. It is good to remember that the gods have no power other than what YHVH chooses to give them, in this instance the curses of Goliath by his gods had no power – for it is recorded in Proverbs 26:2; As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so a curse without cause does not alight. The Philistine made boasts to David, “come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” But David was non-pulsed by the curses and the threats of the giant and responded with an affirmation in YHVH, 1 Samuel 17:45-47;

You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.

When we know that our Redeemer lives and that He shall stand at the later day upon the earth (Job 19:25), then we can like David run quickly to the battle line to meet the giant using the well-honed capabilities we learned in our wilderness to slay giants. Why did David pick up 5 stones as he crossed the creek that meandered through the valley? 2 Samuel 21:18-22 gives us the answer and it wasn’t because David thought he might miss on his first throw, he knew Goliath had relatives and David went prepared to take them all out. Such was his confidence in the delivering power of YHVH.

Comparison: In our own lives do we have giants that taunt and torment us. Do they always come at us with their shield-bearer before them? Does it seem impossible to slay the giant?

Most often the shield-bearer masquerades as fear. Fear is what sends us running in dismay and greatly afraid back to our camp while the giant hurls his insults and curses at us, taking great pleasure in knowing that he will live to see another day. Fear always makes the giant seem more formidable than it really is. Scripture says that love casts out fear – 2 Timothy 1:7; for YHVH has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power; and of love, and of a sound mind. When the giant rose from his place David ran quickly to the battle line and drawing a stone from his pouch put it into his sling and slung it, striking the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. In the power of YHVH when we run at the giants fear ceases to be a relevant factor.

Think about this – what happened to Goliath’s shield-bearer? Scripture doesn’t record his end, but may we surmise that he disappeared – ran off? All he had was a shield against the on-coming David. He was okay as long as the giant could intimidate his foes, but once the bluff was uncovered he ran. Don’t be afraid of fear, don’t let fear control your actions and reactions, go forward in the FEAR – reverent awe – of YHVH and He will make your path straight.

YHVH is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, what principles worked for David will work for us. Do not be afraid, trust in YHVH and He will lift you up.

1 Samuel 17:4-7 gives a description of the giant Goliath. As I read this description I think of a dragon. In Revelation 12:9 there is reference of a dragon; “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and satan, who deceives the whole world; he is thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Goliath is a counter-part of our old adversary the devil. He was playing the game of deception – making the armies of Israel think and believe that he and the Philistine army behind him were unconquerable. Isn’t this what hasatan does with us today? He tries to get us to think that the giants in our lives are unconquerable. There so big, they’re covered in armor, a shield-bearer goes before them, there’s no way I am ever going to conquer that giant. Every day, every evening, I’ll dress for war and go out in battle formation on the mountainside; I’ll yell the battle cry and sound tough – until the giant steps out into the valley and begins to taunt me. Then I run.

Just as the giant is dressed in armor so we too are to dress in armor. Ephesians 6:11 says,” to put on the full armor of YHVH, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” The armor we have been given is armor of Light. Light overcomes darkness. The giant’s armor is brass. Strong’s # (H5178) describes brass as brazen, filthy, base. Revelation 7:14; ”…these are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

When David killed the giant, Goliath, it motivated the Israelite army. 1 Samuel 17:52-53; “And the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the slain Philistines lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron. And then the sons of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines and plundered their camps. And then scripture records that David took Goliath’s severed head up to Jerusalem. In other words, he went before YHVH to worship. When we slay a giant it is important that we go up before YHVH and worship for it is recorded in Matthew 12:43-45;

“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, I will return to my house from which I came; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied , swept and put in order. Then it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”

The evil generation is the generation that chooses to believe deception over Truth. “I can’t be free, my giants are too big, too fearsome.” Yashua came to set us free. It’s time we started believing Him and began acting in that belief. The great God of the universe, YHVH, sent His Holy Spirit to us personally, to comfort us and to lead us into all Truth. For those are the worshippers the Father seeks, those that worship Him in Spirit and Truth. We have been believing the lie of deception for far too long – we can be free of the giants that taunt and torment – resentment, bitterness, hate, rejection, guilt and the list goes on. Put on the armor YHVH has provided, the helmet of salvation – protecting your thoughts, the breastplate of righteousness – protecting your heart of flesh where YHVH writes His Torah, the belt of truth – for it is truth that sets us free, the sandals of the gospel of peace – the power that destroys the authority that creates chaos, the shield of faith – that stops all the fiery arrows of the evil one, the sword of the Spirit – that divides truth from error. And then over all clothe yourself with the cloak of humility that you might stand firm in fervent and effective prayer.

David didn’t run from the giant, because he was clothed in the armor of light. Saul tried to get him to wear his armor of brass, but David had not tested this armor and didn’t know how it would function, but he knew the armor of light for remember in 1 Samuel 16:13 scripture says that from the day of David’s anointing the Spirit of YHVH came upon him mightily. It’s a timeless principle from Genesis 1:2-3 that Light dispels darkness. We are, as believers and followers of Yashua haMeshiach, children of the Light, 1Thes 5:5; Eph 5:8; John 12:36; Ex 27:20; Ex 10:23. Yashua came as a Light into the world, John 12:46, that whosoever believes on Him should not abide in darkness. John 8:12, “Then spoke Yashua again unto them, ‘ I Am the Light of the world; he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.’” John 9:5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”

Come on army of Messiah, take up the full armor of YHVH and walk in the Light that dispels darkness. It’s time to live in Psalm 91.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in YHVH with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.