by haRold Smith
from Jerusalem, Israel

�But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
Matthew 24:36-39

Today - Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 at 12:00 pm EST - change has arrived.

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The whole world has been clamoring for, eagerly awaiting and anticipating this 'change'. Today, the Lord God Almighty, the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the One Who raises up and the One Who puts down is granting the desire of the nations and is giving them change (Psalm 75:6-7, Psalm 78:29-32, click on highlighted references for the scripture).

Mark this day for we will never be the same again. The forces loosed upon the globe today are irreversible and will have far-reaching consequences across the soul of mankind - consequences and effects never before imagined in the hearts of men. If you think what the world has been enduring over this past year has been intense, hang on - for this shaking has only just begun. The Kingdom of Light is advancing on the kingdom of darkness and at the point of interface, where those two entities converge, will be turmoil such as the world has not known from the day of creation (Mark 13:19-20). Everything that can be shaken will be shaken so that all that is left standing is only what is secured to the Rock (Hebrews 12:26-27).

We must remember that, just as it was in the days of Noah, men have no idea what the result of their desires hold in store for them. The reason men scoffed at Noah was because before the flood, they had not yet experienced rain (Genesis 2:5-6). They could not imagine what Noah was warning them of. God has much that He has not yet revealed to man - things that surpass human comprehension. That is what makes Him God. The things men were doing during the time of Noah, such as marrying and giving in marriage, seemed perfectly all right to them - but, there must have been something fundamentally wrong with the way they were engaged in those actions for God to look upon them with repentance in His heart for ever creating man (Genesis 6:5-6). Today, a new era of 'change' is being invoked cloaked in the highest nobility of the human spirit. That is all well and good - except for the various attachments affixed to that agenda that will cause an eruption engulfing the affairs of mankind such as has never been seen before.

Yeshua said when you see these events begin to transpire, lift up your head and Rejoice, for your redemption is near (Luke 21:28). It will appear as though darkness is triumphing, but scripture says that where evil and darkness abound, there grace and Light abound that much more (Romans 5:20). If we look for the hand of darkness, we will find it. But, for those who look for the Hand of the Lord, for those who abide in the secret place of the Almighty, He will be found there in the midst of that darkness (Psalm 18:11).

Becoming Yeshua So, then, how do we as followers in the Way of Yeshua, function in the midst of darkness we see enveloping us? We follow His example that He gave with the Life He led before us. We BECOME Yeshua in this place of turmoil (1John 4:17). It is within this turbulence that the Righteousness of the Saints will shine. For as many as there are embracing 'change', there are many more who will become disillusioned with promises that can only remain unfulfilled in this time of global upheaval and expectations of an order that will be radically altered from events yet to transpire. To them, we appear as a beacon of light set upon a hill in the individual relationships we can build with them because the chaos eclipsing their lives has propelled them to now become seekers of Truth (Matthew 5:14). Start looking, they are all around us. They have need of knowing the assurance of what it means to have the Refiner's Fire at their doorstep - that He is near to us in judgment (Malachi 3:2-6). This outpouring will be great, but it will not come by observation - it will not come as an 'event'. Only those with eyes to see and ears to hear will even know of its existence in the hearts of men (Luke 17:20-21).

There are many who believe we are now on the brink of Gog-Magog, precipitating the Armageddon war described in the Book of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation. However, before the events of Ezekiel 37 through 39, there must first come (Ezekiel 34) - the judgment of the Shepherds. These who have positioned themselves over the flock of God to line their own pockets fleeced from the wool of the sheep, subjugating themselves to the world (see and compromised themselves by not preparing the flock of God for what is to come (see "Prepared for the Coming Tribulation") are going to find themselves outside what the Lord has for His Flock as He has promised in Ezekiel 34:10 - and all those who follow them (Matthew 23:13).

Matthew 7:16-20 tells us HOW we are to discern the true shepherds among us - by the fruit in their lives, not by their giftings, their largess or the status of their popularity. Matthew 7:22-23 says that simply because people are able to maneuver in the Spirit realm, dies not mean they KNOW Him. To know Him is to hear His Voice, to exhibit His Nature and Character and to teach others how to do the same (see, then click on "The Work of the Ministry").

The work of the ministry is not in developing a 'place to come to', it is in developing relationship in people's lives where they are at. If it were up to me, I would bulldoze all the buildings, sell the property and give the money to the poor - it would be more effective. Anytime you are involved in a traditional, hierarchical structure you will have contention - it is unavoidable because that structure is designed to elevate men. Wherever you have contention, you will have every evil work (James 3:16). To survive what is coming, we must come out from among the entanglements the world would offer us and listen to the Rauch haKodesh (the Holy Spirit) speaking to us through His Body (Romans 12:2). This means we have to find ways to embrace one another in the unity of the Spirit of Christ and Him crucified He has already placed among us, laying aside the doctrines dividing us (Mark 7:7-9).

I recently heard a testimony from a person who survived the holocaust of the Jews during World War II. He made the comment that to the captors in the Nazi ghetto or concentration camp, it did not matter what stripe you were of - what religious sect you came from, what doctrines you believed in or rituals you practiced. In that place, he said, everyone was viewed as being the same.

Teaching in the Temple In His Life, lived as the example for us to follow, it is not recorded anywhere that Yeshua built, endorsed or lent himself to any religious structure, organization or institution (Philippians 2:7). While He was in the temple daily (Luke 19:47 and elsewhere because that was where the people were), He did not become part of the religious structure that tried to control them. He did not try to replicate what the religious leaders of His day had constructed. We have allowed a mindset to enter into the Body of Christ that 'church' is programs, projects and structures - all of which require enormous resources to establish and maintain. And yet, nowhere in scripture is it recorded that Yeshua used such measures. He invested Himself in 'relationships' (John 17:9). We are 'Church'.

The trap many are ensnared in is this thought that the Church is visible to the natural eye while, in reality, what is being promoted popularly as 'the church' is but a masquerade. Yeshua taught us that the Kingdom is within each of us and does not come by observation (Luke 17:20-21). What has become a 'popular' pattern for 'church' is just not found in scripture. There IS a scriptural pattern for gathering together in an orderly fashion as seen in (Acts 2:44-47).

That they were together meant they were in close proximity to one another - close enough to enjoy the breaking of bread on a daily basis, feeding one another on the teachings of the apostles. There were times when many came together for a specific purpose, as space would allow, but there is not a single instance where scripture says they combined their resources and built a central structure. They met in the 'temple daily' because they were Jews living in Jerusalem and it was their custom. Once they were dispersed, however, there is no indication, no record of a structure being built to house their 'worship'. That is purely a phenomenon born out of the intellectual conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine in the 4th century and, subsequently, propelled by the Catholic Church (this is historical fact, easily researched). When they DID speak inside of an existing structure someone else had built, they were subsequently "asked to leave." Scripture does say WE are the temple (1Corinthians 6:19). Those early believers understood that principle, having experienced the Day of Pentecost. Their resources were pooled to assure that no one of the believers had lack (and that is meant, specifically, for food and clothing as the Lord taught), for feeding the poor, as was the Lord's example to gain their attention and admiration, and caring for the widows and orphans (James 1:27).

Yeshua The specific 'churches' Paul addressed were the Body of Believers in a particular city. The 'Church' at Ephesus was those believers living in that city or region of Ephesus. Paul understood the church to be people - not buildings (1Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 2:21). WE are the temple, the church - not structures, whether they are seen or unseen. The way you bring people into the 'church' IS to help lead them to become disciples of Yeshua where they live - THEY then become 'the church'.

Scripture says to forsake not the gathering or assembling of ourselves (Hebrews 10:25) - but how many constitutes an assemblage? Yeshua said "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20). That is 'church' and we are going to need the Light within one another to see our way through the darkness with our faith intact.

"But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them�and you will be hated by all for My name�s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved�A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub how much more will they call those of his household! Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known."
Matthew 10:17-26