Harp and Story

Changes Coming

Psalm 62:5-8, “My soul, wait in silence for Elohe only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On Elohe my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in Elohe. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; Elohe is a refuge for us. Selah!

Oswald Chambers, author of My Utmost for His Highest, wrote; “To wait upon YHVH is the perfection of activity.”

I don’t know about you, but for me waiting is one of the hardest things to do. As people of action to wait for something is the epitome of non-action. Do you enjoy waiting… If you want something, you want it now, not in some far-distant, unknown future time, right?

Think, for a minute, about the life of King David. The prophet Samuel, at YHVH’s command, had anointed David to be king over Israel, thus striping the kingship from the house of Saul. David, when given repeated opportunities to kill King Saul and assume his place as Israel’s anointed king, refused to force YHVH’s hand. Long years of running and hiding from the endless pursuit of King Saul ensued for David and his followers. Do you think he might have wondered, “How long, O YHVH!”

With practically instant access to pretty much anything we might want these days, waiting has become an often frustrating and annoying experience. Instant gratification is the need of our flesh; and if what we want can come more quickly than instant that would be even better! Yet, Isaiah 40:31 says, “…those who wait for YHVH will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”

YHVH is not about instant gratification, but He is about teaching us to wait on Him to bring about His plan and purpose for our life. What did those years of running and hiding in the wilderness do for David, the anointed king of Israel? I believe we can find the answer to that question in 1Chronicles 11:16-19, “…David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David had a craving and said, ‘Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!’ So the three [mighty men] broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David; nevertheless David would not drink it, but poured it out to YHVH; and he said, ‘Be it far from me before my Elohe that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives? For at the risk of their lives they brought it.’ Therefore he would not drink it.” His flesh wanted that water, he craved a drink of Bethlehem’s water, but when presented with this gift, which was gained at great jeopardy of life, he did not satisfy his own desire, but poured it out as an offering before YHVH.

We see a similar story with Yashua and the Samaritan woman. Yashua asked her for a drink and she began talking about the anomosity between her people and the Jews. Yashua cuts to the heart of the matter and says, “If you knew the gift of Elohe, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water… Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Both this exchange with the Samaritan woman and David pouring out the water from the well at Bethlehem is about worship. Yashua said in verse 23 and 24 of John 3, that “an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship The Father in spirit and truth; for such people The Father seeks to be His worshipers. Elohe is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Instead of gratifying the flesh both David and Yashua chose the greater glory — the worship of waiting on YHVH. David waited upon YHVH and YHVH called him a man after His own heart; Yashua waited upon YHVH — “my time has not yet come” — and went to the cross, the Savior of mankind. If we were to emulate David and Yashua I wonder what might be said of us… Are we worshiping while we wait…

Extreme Sports

What makes people push themselves to the absolute limits of their physical, mental and/or emotional strength? Is it a deep, down-need to conquer the unconquerable, push back the outer limits of consciousness, explore the deepest depths all in a search to find meaning in the seemingly meaningless mundane of everyday existence? Is participating in extreme sports really just a search for purpose then, trying to find meaning in life?

The story of the clashing kings of the north and south of Daniel 11, says in verse 32, that the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. Synonyms for the word ‘exploits’ include: feats, adventures, heroic activities, daring acts. If it is true that our God — YHVH — is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, that He changes not, He is absolute, we can count on Him to hear us when we call and act on our behalf according to His will for our life, then it would have to follow that what He did for and through our Biblical forefathers and mothers He can and will do for us!

As I have been reading my Bible this year I am taking notice of what I am loosely labeling “God’s extreme sports and humankind”. Take for example Samson; Israel’s strong man during the time of the Judges. In one instance Samson pulls a city’s gates and their pillars out of the ground and carries them to the top of a mountain because he didn’t care for the way the people of that town treated him. (Jdg 16:3) Or Judges 15:14-15, “And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.”

And how about this one from 1 Kings 18, the story of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. When Elijah’s prayer was answered and all the people beheld YHVH’s Great Power and proclaimed YHVH as their God, YHVH sent rain. Verse 46, “And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” And Ahab was in a chariot pulled by horses. That was some running, Elijah!

One more example from Matthew 14; after a full day of teaching and performing miracles, Yashua had sent his disciples to go ahead of Him to the other side of the sea while He went up into the mountain to pray. But the boat, now in the midst of the sea was being tossed by the wind. At the fourth watch of the night, sometime between 3 am and sunrise, Yashua came walking toward them on the sea. Having never seen anything like this before the disciples were terrified and cried out in fear, but Yashua said to them, “Do not be afraid, it is I.”

Peter called out to this specter walking on the water and said, “Lord, if it is you, invite me to come out onto the water with you.”

And Yashua said, “Come.” And Peter got out of the boat and he walked on the water to go to Yashua.”

Matthew 14:30-33, But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that Yahweh is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.”

It is the need of every person to live a life full of purpose. Without purpose we will shrivel up and die. But far too many try and find their life purpose within the limits of their own ability. To truly live and do “exploits” it is absolutely necessary to be born again in Yashua with the indwelling presence of the Ruach haKodesh or Holy Spirit leading and guiding us into all truth; only then will we know our real life purpose and how to live out that purpose.

As Believers in Yashua our life purpose is not about gratifying our sensual desires, but about exalting the Name of Yashua above all names!  Let me share an example I write about in my book, God’s Power Lines of great exploits of the Holy Spirit in us; myself, my husband and a friend were on a prayer mission in northern China. Taking the train into Beijing from Puyang we met two Chinese men that we were able to share the gospel with and give them a “Jesus” video. They, in turn, offered to help us get through the Beijing train station and find a taxi into the city. The Beijing train station is enormous and we were thankful for their help. Once outside the station we had to navigate our way through several hundred families huddled over campfires before we finally made it to the taxi lot where there were thousands of tiny, yellow taxis, but we needed something larger that would accommodate five adults with luggage. Our new-found Chinese friend found a sedan that would be big enough and as my husband put his bags in the trunk, our friend and myself set our bags at our feet while we waited for negotiations to conclude between the driver and our Chinese friend. Without warning the driver suddenly reached in the trunk of his taxi and picked up a steering wheel club and swung it in an arc, just missing my face by a mere millimeter and with a mighty blow laid it across the back of our Chinese friend. This hit doubled him over and without missing a beat the driver then turned on our other new-found Chinese friend and punched him in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. In the blink of an eye we were in the middle of a riot with more taxi drivers than we could count surrounding us with flying knives and jacks and clubs. One second we were in the midst of that free-for-all and the next instant we were a 100 yards away, on the other side of the perimeter fence, standing on the sidewalk, all five of us with all of our bags in our hands. “What just happened?” was the immediate thought that came to our minds; we could hear the riot continuing on the other side of the fence, but here we were standing on the sidewalk, all five of us with our bags in our hands. The second Chinese man’s face was already turning black and blue, his eye swelling to a mere slit; I reached my hand to his face and asked Yashua to “take care of this for him and let him know You”. We then parted, they running one direction and we the other. One day we will know the results of this incredible intervention of Yashua to save us!

Nothing compares to the living, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in one’s life! You can climb Mount Everest, walk a tight-rope across the Grand Canyon, jump over two dozen cars on a motorcycle, run a marathon, swim the English Channel, spend the night on El Capitan; if it is all only for your personal gratification it will serve you no purpose when you stand before YHVH and He says to you, “I don’t know you.” (Mat 25:12)

Great exploits will happen when we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit! And these Holy Spirit exploits can happen anywhere with anyone! Whatever we are doing, whether it be climbing Mount Everest or swimming the English Channel or climbing El Capitan; the question one must ask is: “Why am I doing this and who is receiving the glory?” (Think of Eric Liddel in the movie, “Chariots of Fire”)

Matthew 25:34-36, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me.”

Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, in-as-much as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.

“And I say unto you…”

 

The Torah is the “Yes” of YHVH to Israel. The Prophets are a: “Yes, but what if…” The Torah establishes the consensus, but then the prophets raise questions which break or challenge or criticize the consensus for the sake of a new word from YHVH.(1) This is what Yashua did to the prescribed legalism of the Scribes and the Pharisees. It is what happened to Saul on the road to Damascus; it is what happens to every believer that is born again of the Ruach haKodesh; the consensus of how we live our life is broken, challenged, or criticized. We are forced to look at our life in new ways. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Scripture has many examples of, “this is how it is, but wait, let’s look at that through this lens.” (Yashua was a master at turning stone into flesh!) One example: “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. And this is the manner of remission; every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because YHVH’s remission has been proclaimed.” Deuteronomy 15:1-2

But Yashua expanded that scriptural understanding by telling His followers that forgiveness of debts was a daily lifestyle “…your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then in this way: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:8-13

“For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. ,”Matthew 6:14-15

What amazing statements these were concerning the command of Torah to grant remission, or forgiveness of debt, at the end of every seven years! Is it any wonder that later Peter asked Yashua how many times he should forgive his brother – seven times, he asked, but Yashua said not just seven, but seventy times seven and that every day if need be!

What was the purpose of Yashua’s birth; taking on the form of humankind to live among us, suffer with us, die for us, experience resurrection and ascend to once again sit at the right hand of YHVH?

After returning from Babylonian exile the Jewish people were so intent on never letting that happen again that they made obeying the commands, statutes and ordinances of YHVH a matter of strict adherence. It was the letter of the law or else. This is reflected in Yashua’s words from Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light.” The people of YHVH were hard-pressed by the burdensome requirements added to the instructions of the Torah.

Yashua, at every turn, was breaking, challenging or criticizing the consensus for the sake of a new word from YHVH! At the end of His earthly ministry Yashua left us with this promise:

“…I will send the Helper to you, and He, when He comes will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.” John 16:7-8,14

The New World Order; Yashua’s? Today, I witness more and more people trying to live by a strict adherence to the commands, statutes and ordinances of YHVH. There is a need to live to the letter of the law, to be, as it is defined by those, perfect as YHVH is perfect. They tie themselves up with their own manufactured rules and regulations about observances and festivals and dress code and diet and order of service so much so that there is no room for the Helper/Holy Spirit to disclose anything to them. In their own puffed-up knowledge they think they have all their bases covered and whoa to the one who doesn’t agree with them!

Then there is the Dominionist who think that it is their task to make the world a “perfect” place so that Jesus can return. If it is to be, it is up to me! The end justifies the means! They hold to the understanding that Jesus can’t return until everything around the world is in perfect order; governments, businesses, media, education, entertainment, churches, everything. And then on the extreme end — Jesus won’t need to return because there will be no need. They too, have returned to the commandments, statutes and ordinances of Torah, albeit with some twists and turns.

Both of these opposites want the same thing, a new world order fashioned after their likeness! I doubt if any would admit this startling observation, but actions do speak very loud.

Is it any wonder that Yashua said the road that leads to eternal life is narrow and few there be that find it. We, as humans, want to “do” something. We want a formula to follow that will give us proven results. We, actually excel at works; which makes it difficult to really believe that a relationship with Yashua is free for the asking!

People do ask, but then most go about setting out to Yashua the life they want to lead and then expect Him to put His stamp of approval on their plans. And that is why we have so many people with so many views of the way to live! Yashua said in John 14:26,  that the Father would send the Helper, Spirit of Truth, who would teach us all things, and bring to our remembrance all that He has said to us. Yes, we study scripture, and we let the Holy Spirit direct our life. He will not contradict YHVH’s Living Word, but will make the living Word come alive in us!

It seems to be the tendency of human nature not to trust what we cannot control. Letting the Holy Spirit take control is a matter of trust.

The Holy Spirit is the One who does the “work” in us. He asks us to give Him things that are not pleasing to YHVH. He is the One that refines us as silver and gold is refined; fit for the Master’s use. We shema — listen and obey; we do not dictate! We think we know best, but we do not.
I pray that time is close for the second coming of Yashua. The world grows darker by the second as more and more men and women are opting for their own truth and thereby rejecting the leading of the Holy Spirit. Could this be the unpardonable sin?

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!