Harp and Story

Day 39 of the Counting of the Omer

The Light of Life

Several years ago I was working in an inner city school district as a substitute teacher; it was during the time the Harry Potter books were coming into popularity.  The kids in my classes were reading them and excitedly talking about them; their enthusiasm was quite contagious.  Personally I wasn’t interested in Harry Potter and his activities, but the kids kept asking me questions about the characters in the books, and wanting my opinion on how I thought the story might twist and turn so I decided to read one.  As I read the book I was struck with the awareness that these books have an agenda; the “occultic” seduction of our children.  A huge leap forward by the forces of darkness was accomplished by the release of these books and their subsequent movies.  Separate and distinct Good and evil as in David and Goliath, had been replaced with “good” evil and bad evil.

All my life I have heard people say that as darkness increases, as in wickedness, light must also increase, as in YHVH’s power.  But as I scan national and world headlines that saying doesn’t seem to be holding true.  Molech, the pagan god is still receiving homage by sacrifices of millions of unborn babies killed every year.  There’s an interesting story in 2Kings 3 that is about Israel and Judah defeating the Moabites in a resounding victory until we come to verses 26-27; “When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took with him 700 men who drew swords, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not.  Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the wall.  And there came great wrath against Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own land.”  Remember that old song, “There’s power in the blood”?  We who are believers sing that song in reference to our Messiah Y’Shua; it’s His blood, shed for us at Calvary that is powerful, but the enemy of the brethren also knows the power of shed blood and the more innocent blood that is shed the more powerful he becomes.

Rav Shaul tells us in Romans 1:18 that the wrath of YHVH is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…

Have you ever thought that when evolution was allowed to be taught in our nation’s schools, not as a theory, but as fact, that that was really the beginning of the end of Biblical Christianity?   Genesis chapter 1 ceased being a truth, therefore if creation as reported in the Holy Scriptures is not to be believed then what else is not to be believed.  I met a woman once who told me she had been an ordained pastor in a mainline church, but years later she had received salvation in another mainline church.  I looked at her with puzzlement written all over my face, “How can that be,” I asked, “You were a pastor in the church.”  She looked right into my eyes and said, “You don’t have to believe in Jesus to be a pastor in the ___________church.”  I was speechless!

Rav Shaul goes on to say, “For they exchanged the truth of YHVH for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, whose is blessed forever. Amen.  For this reason YHVH gave them over to degrading passions…  And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge YHVH any longer, YHVH gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper.”

How long can this nation spite YHVH and not expect judgment?  11 state legislatures have now made it legal for same sex couples to marry.  California’s legislature passed a law that is now being battled in the courts, which would make it a crime for trained counselors to help young people resist an alternate lifestyle.  The news is reporting that sexual abuse in the military is rampant; 70 cases a day are being filed and the man in charge of weeding out this abuse is himself now being charged with sexual misconduct.  Can it be that when corruption rules, men act corruptly!  Lying is rampant.  Have you listened to the reports on the horrible tragedy of Benghazi?   To the highest levels of our government we are finding out that what we were told is all lies! 

What to do?  Is light increasing at the same pace as darkness?

I was in a position a while back where the extreme intensity of a light was shining right in my eyes, blinding me.  In the small confines of the space I had been allotted I tried stepping to the right, but I couldn’t get out of that blinding glare, I tried stepping to the left and the same thing; I finally had to leave the area all together and wait in the shadows until someone adjusted the light.  What I had come to that place to do had to be delayed until the issue of the blinding glare had been resolved.

A few days after I returned home from that engagement and I sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to watch the new Alice in Wonderland movie.  “What?” I have never been an Alice in Wonderland fan, but nevertheless I went and rented the movie and reluctantly watched it.  In this movie Wonderland is referred to as Underland, (as in underworld, the place of criminal activity?)   The movie was billed as great fun, entertainment for the entire family, but I found it had a dark and disturbing message; more brainwashing to replace the absolutes of good and evil with “good” evil and bad evil.  Do you get it yet? The Holy Spirit seemed to be saying to me.

 “Please help,” I said, “I know there is something you want me to understand.”  YHVH is faithful to answer us when we ask and this is what was unfolded to me that I now pass on to you, for the historic times we are entering will demand that we make decisions for spiritual life or for spiritual death.

“As I have showed you these three ways it is not darkness opposed to light, one or the other, but what is perceived as “good” darkness and then bad darkness with Light sandwiched between them.  As the “good” darkness expands on one side and the bad darkness expands on the other side, it crowds the Light, causing the Light to become more and more focused and intense; the Light is not growing so much in volume or quantity, but in intensity.  The tendency of most people who call themselves believers in Y’Shua/Jesus will be to try and shield themselves from the extreme intensity of the Light.  The need to move into the darkness will be almost overwhelming.  They will know gross darkness for what it is and most likely not make a move in that direction, but the siren call of “good” darkness, or the shadows, will be strong and many will justify their move into the “white witch’s” camp as necessary.  Necessary for the continuance of my ministry, necessary for the safety of my family, necessary for any number of reasons and their they will perish.”

“Oh YHVH,” I cried, now on my knees, tears falling down my face, “who will be able to stand?”  For I was recalling my own experience in the blinding glare of that extremely intense light and how I had moved into the shadows to escape its intensity.  And then a vision came to my mind; I saw myself in the intensity of the light, trying to stand; I could feel the unbearable pain of my position, wanting to run, but wanting more to stay when suddenly a white-robed figure moved between me and the blinding glare; my shield.  I knew it was Y’Shua, and I instantly knew that as long as I stayed behind Him, in His shadow, I could stand, and bear the intensity. 

Y’Shua is our shield.  Do not betray Him by stepping into the darkness either “good” or “bad”.   Matthew 10:33; “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”  The momentary comfort of the shadows is not worth the eternal price tag.

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to YHVH, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust; for it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.                                                        You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.  A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you.  You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.  For you have made YHVH, who is my refuge the Most High, your dwelling place; no evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.  For YHVH will give His angels charge concerning you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.  You will tread upon the lion and cobra; the young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him 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 Salvation.

If this is where you live you will be able to stand – Have no fear of man, but Fear, stand in Great Awe of, YHVH!

How Did We Get Here?

For Expediency’s Sake

I grew up during a time when parents didn’t think twice about letting their children play on the streets of their neighborhoods; or ride their bikes down the road to the local mom and pop convenience store.  A family was a mom and a dad with kids, not a dad and another man who was mom or a mom and another woman who was dad.  Boys knew they were boys and because they were boys they used the boy’s bathroom and girls knew they were girls and knew to use the girl’s bathroom.  On my street “drugs” was something that you got from the drugstore for a headache or fever or cold.  We hardly ever locked the house and almost always left the keys in the car; our house was never robbed nor was our car ever stolen.  I grew up in a security that I didn’t even think about – it just was.  My teachers at public school started the day with prayer and a reading from the Bible, before we all ate lunch in the cafeteria someone went to the microphone on the stage and offered thanks to God for the food.  No one even thought to propose that somehow this magnificent world came into being by anything less than the Hand of God.  We went to church, we sang songs, we listened, we prayed, we loved our neighbors and took care of them when they needed our help. Children rode in the open back of pick-ups, the wind blowing our hair in wild disarray and when we were naughty we were disciplined, more than likely with a paddle to the bare behind. We loved and rejoiced over all our babies; they might have come at an inconvenient time, but no one I knew ever thought to murder this precious, thriving life.  These blessings to us were more than a mass of tissue leaching a woman’s vitality, they were gifts from God.  We lived God’s commandments as best we could, we paid our taxes and we went to work, we supported our families with what we earned and we never realized a malignant, wicked force was slowly, bite by bite, eroding away what we loved, cherished and valued; until one day, bemused and befuddled we awoke with a startled, “What happened,” and then we realized we had come to the game late, having been lulled into a state of apathy by our own sense of peace and safety. So what happened in the intervening years between then and today?  I think we can find the answer to this question in the story of Y’Shua before Pilate from John chapters 18 and 19. 

Here’s a summary with a bit of commentary:

*  Y’Shua is brought by the high priest’s and officers to Pilate, whose first question is: “What accusation do you bring against this man?”  Every day an assault is brought against the character of Y’Shua YHVH by mankind’s schemes of wickedness, his occult practices, greed, murder, homosexuality, adultery, drunkenness, all manner of perversions, deceit, slander, the hating of Elohim, and inventing of evil and… Those who brought Y’Shua to Pilate were of this ilk.

*  The people respond, “If this man were not an evil-doer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.” And Pilate tells them, “Take Him yourselves and judge Him according to your law.”  But these Jews respond, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” These people don’t want the penalty of judgment on their hands; but they do want their way.  They are vocal, they are persistent.

*  Pilate asks Y’Shua, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And Y’Shua replies, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”  We try to gather facts to help us make an enlightened decision.

*  Pilate answers, “I am not a Jew, am I?  Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You up to me; what have you done?”  Y’Shua answers Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”  We may not like what we find out.

*  Pilate comes back with, “So you are a King?”  Y’Shua answers him with, “You say that I am a king.  For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”  Pilate says to Y’Shua, “What is truth?”  We may try to discount what we hear.

*  And then Pilate goes out to the crowd and announces, “I find no guilt in Him.”  Pilate attempts to get out of this situation by offering the agitators a choice; the release of a convicted felon or their king, but the crowd chooses the release of the criminal.  We state our findings and then maybe we look around for a way to compromise our convictions, hoping the mob opinion will be favorable to ours.

*  At the mob’s insistence Pilate takes Y’Shua into custody and treats him like a convicted criminal.  After Pilate’s soldiers abuse, beat and mock him, Y’Shua is once again brought out to stand before the crowd where Pilate proclaims, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.”  Wearing a purple robe and a crown of thorns, Pilate presents Y’Shua to the people and says, “Behold, the Man!”  But the mob opinion turns ugly and wanting to preserve our own skin we give into a pretense of acceptance hoping that somehow the attitude of the mob will change.

*  But the chief priests and the officers respond with, “Crucify! Crucify!”  Pilate says to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.”  But the Jews are adamant, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of YHVH.”  But the mob seeing a crack in your defense demands more.

*  When Pilate heard this statement he was even more afraid and said to Y’Shua, “Where are you from?”  But Y’Shua did not answer him.  So Pilate responded with, “Do you not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?”  Y’Shua answers this statement of Pilate’s with, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin.”  The camel’s head is in the tent door.  Do we, like Pilate attempt to threaten Y’ShuaYHVH because things have not worked out how we wanted them to? What are we to do?  Give me something to work with, we plead, (something other than His Truth.) 

*  With this verbal exchange Pilate makes efforts to release Y’Shua, but the mob is having none of it.  “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar’s; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar,” they vehemently declare to Pilate.  One last chance, please, listen to reason, but the opportunity has passed to nip the thing in the bud, it has grown into a full-scale take-over by the rabble.

*  Pilate responds to their intimidation by once again bringing Y’Shua out and then sitting down on the judgment seat to render his verdict.  “Behold, your King,” he says to them, but they shout back, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!”  Our voice grows dim amid their shouts like a child’s piano tinkling out “Jesus Loves Me” against the rant of their fury.

*  And one last time Pilate halfheartedly tries to reason with the crowd, “Shall I crucify your King?”  And the chief priests answer, “We have no king but Caesar.”  We finally cower under their threats and intimidation; they no longer hear our voice, because we gave them the microphone. 

*  So Pilate then delivered Him to them to be crucified.  And another principle of Torah bites the dust, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among men has been silenced again.

We, like Pilate will have to make a decision.  We hear the accusation, we may try to not accept responsibility for the action we see taking place, but sooner or later it will demand a response from us.  We may try to deny involvement, or blame someone else or cast doubt or dispersion on credible evidence, but the matter is landed squarely in our lap and there is no avoiding it.  But what is truth anyway?  Truth for you may not necessarily be truth for me, thereby trying to absolve our self from any guilt, perceived or otherwise.  And then for expediency’s sake we compromise; well it’s not really that bad, and then we give in, we adjust and our reality is changed. 

Torah, YHVH’s instructions for life, was given to us for our benefit and well-being; they are a guide that keeps us from injury and harm.  YHVH made a path for us to walk; as long as we stay on that path we are kept safe by the Light of His presence.  Darkness and light cannot abide together; where Light is darkness cannot be.  Go into a dark room and turn on the light, what happens to the darkness – it flees. 

We have to know what we know and then stand on it. Ephesians 6:11-13; “Put on the full armor of YHVH, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the full armor of YHVH that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

 Which side will we take a stand on, or maybe we won’t take a stand at all, or maybe for expediency’s sake we will make a statement that this action is wrong, but then take no action to try and make our voice heard.  We have to, we must learn to stand – to stand firm in YHVH.  As a light set on a hill cannot be hidden so we must let the Light of Y’Shua YHVH shine in and through us so the whole world can witness the glory of His presence abiding in us.  Whether we go into captivity or perish by the sword or by pestilence or famine or if we escape and endure unto the end we must not compromise with evil, we must stand firmly grounded in YHVH’s Truth as revealed by His Ruach; for we shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set us free.

Let Your Light shine in me,

Let Your Light shine in me,

Let Your Light so shine that ALL men might see,

Let Your Light shine in me.

This is my prayer for you!