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Restraint
...they sought to restrain Him.
The Power of God
Arrows of Famine

by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
(Ephesians 2:12)

"And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber's razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair. You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them. You shall also take a small number of them and bind them in the edge of your garment. Then take some of them again and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will go out into all the house of Israel.

"Thus says YHVH: 'This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her. She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.' Therefore thus says YHVH: 'Indeed I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations. When I send against you the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread."
Ezekiel 5:5-8, 16

One day, quite by accident the passage in Mark 3:20-21 (click on highlighted words to view content) fell open before me describing how Yeshua left the dinner table to minister to a crowd that had gathered outside. It says His behavior was so erratic that his friends sought to "lay hold on Him" because they thought He was "beside Himself". For the first time in my life, I was curious as to what "beside Himself" actually meant in the original language. I opened up my Strong's concordance and found that the word translated as the English "beside" comes from the Greek word existemi and literally means insane - they thought He had lost His Mind. So much so, that they tried to physically restrain Him. The thought that rose within me was, "What would motivate this Person to behave in such a manner?" I realized that, even after walking with Him for the better part of three decades - I didn't know Him. Not really. Not the way you would know a spouse you had lived with over a long period of time or a friend that had become closer than a brother, where you don't even have to finish sentences with them so innately are you aware of the core of their being. I said, "Lord, I want to know you that way." Immediately, He said, "OK, but there are some things you will have to do first. You will need to throw away everything you have thought you have come to know about Me, everything anyone has ever taught you about Me, everything anybody has ever said about Me and just go back to my Life - what is chronicled in the eye-witness accounts contained in scripture. Immerse yourself in just what the words say on the page - not what you 'think' they might mean, but simply what is there. And if you lack understanding about what they mean, ask Me and I will give you understanding." He then took me to Revelation 19:10b which says, "…the testimony of Yeshua IS the spirit of prophecy." In Hebrew, the word for "prophecy" is naba' which Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines as the "spoken oracles of YHVH" - what Yeshua was conveying in His remark of John 14:24. This means that the testimony of the Life of Yeshua reveals how YHVH's Words are to be construed. Words mean things. It does not matter what we "think" they say - only if what the Words we are given validate what we believe as Truth or not. If what we think the words mean are not found in the Life or Words of Yeshua - at the very least, those thoughts should be held suspect until Spirit is able to give us understanding (Luke 24:44-45). Acts 7:38 also gives us the proper Hebraic persepective of prophecy as being the spoken oracles of YHVH. If we are to use the words of Yeshua as the benchmark by which all other words are measured including other words of scripture, then we need to have a true understanding of what His Words really mean. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that one of the Hebrew definitions of naba' (prophecy) is "to be mad (insane)". Yeshua wasn't acting out of character at all.

For the second time, His Words revolutionized my life. It forced me back into that place of knowing His Essence I found with Him in the beginning (see The Power of God for the first occurance). My eyes became illumined by the Light of YHVH found in the Life of Yeshua (1John 1:5) for I saw that most of what is recorded concerning Yeshua's Life found in scripture is not what is embraced by what is called "Christianity". In fact, most of what is recorded there is in complete contradiction to what is practiced by most of those who consider themselves to be "Christians". His Life was spent, by design, in showcasing what living Truth in the flesh really meant. That Life showed the difference between listening to the Voice of YHVH and the hypocrisy of those who were the keepers of the traditions that men would have others believe as truth. Those traditions of thought bring to "none effect" the Words of YHVH in an individual's life, rendering His Power in our life as null and void as much today as it did then (Mark 7:13).

"Behold, the days come, says YHVH, that I will send a famine in the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of YHVH. They will wander from sea to sea, And from the north even to the east; They will run back and forth to seek the word of YHVH
and will not find it." Amos 8:11-12

As seen in these words from Amos, the famine being discussed is not a physical starvation, but a lack of hearing of YHVH's Voice to be able to bring the Power of YHVH into this earthly realm through our choices in the face of whatever circumstance confronts us (Jeremiah 7:22-23, John 10:27-29, see Authority). Yeshua said men do not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Father (Matthew 4:4).
Fiery Darts
"...above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of wickedness." Ephesians 6:16
Arrows in scripture refer to words or thoughts (Psalm 64:3). The words or thoughts in our mind are what motivate us into action in the physical realm. The battleground, then, is in our mind to determine how we respond to the circumstances and situations as they unfold around us. This is the helmet of our salvation - wielding the sword of Spirit (the Words of YHVH) with which to capture our thoughts and bring them into an obedience to the Truth of His Goodness found in those Words in all situations (2Corinthians 10:5). The famine we are experiencing is a lack of the hearing of His Voice, being taught how to hear His Voice and, subsequently, being able to move by the direction of His Voice. Yeshua said it is in the teaching of the tradition of men as the commandments of YHVH that we bring to "none effect" the Power of the habitation of the Peace of Elohim in our lives (Mark 7:7-8, 13). The Greek word translated as the English "tradition" in that passage is paradosis and means "the act of giving up or giving over to that which is done by word of mouth or in writing, i.e. tradition by instruction, narrative, precept, etc." Matthew 6:13 actually says, "...deliver us from evil" - not "the evil one" as religious tradition teaches. The Greek word, poneros, translated as "evil" in the English version of this verse, means "full of labors, annoyances, hardships" and says nothing about an entity named "Satan". It is the same word used for "evil" in Matthew 5:37 - again, no mention of "Satan". Can you see how man's tradition of replacement theology has overwritten the meaning by inserting its own doctrine in the choice of words used?

"Already you are clean because of the Word that I have spoken to you." John 15:3
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see YHVH." Matthew 5:8

Notice Yeshua did not say "His Word" but "the Word", remaining consistent with His statement of John 14:24. The word translated as the English "clean" in the John 15:3 verse above is the same Greek word, katharos, translated as the English word "pure" in Matthew 5:8 and means "free from every admixture or adhesion of what is false, anything which soils, adulterates or corrupts what is Truth; to purify with fire". The Hebrew word translated as "purified" in Daniel 11:35 is barar and carries the meaning "to purge, cleanse or make bright". To be impure does not necessarily imply some malevolent "evil" but, rather, to have a "mixture" - not separated. Purging is the process by which the pure (Word of Light) is separated from the impure (darkness of self-will). To praise YHVH is the Hebrew word, halal, which means to "flash forth light". As we keep YHVH's Commandments (the definition between what is Light and what is darkness) we cultivate purity in our lives through our behavior which allows us to remain echad (Hebrew for "one") with YHVH's Presence (the purpose of Yeshua's shed blood). The religious hirelings would tell us we can barter holiness for convenience, faithfulness for success, wisdom for sermons, sound doctrine for personal gain and our lives will still be acceptable worship to YHVH. But, Yeshua says that if you are going to be the salt of the world, you will have to remain pure to YHVH's purposes. That means doing as He instructs - not bringing our favorite agenda to the table. As stated, the Hebrew word for "pure" is barar which carries the same meaning as katharos (used in Psalm 18:26 and its derivative, bar, used in Psalm 19:8 to declare YHVH's commandments, His Words, to be pure). Of course, what is cleansed is pure; thus, katharos is the same word we find Kiefer (the apostle Peter) using in 1Peter 1:22 telling us HOW our lives are cleansed and made pure - by obedience to the Truth. That Truth is contained in YHVH's Words, Who IS Truth (remember, Yeshua said He only spoke what He was taught of His Father; thus, Yeshua is the Way to the Truth Who Is the Source of Life). It is in the practice of the Words of Spirit that makes us clean, "bringing forth" the purity of Spirit through our lives into this earthly realm. Interestingly, the only place where salt loses its saltiness is in the crucible of fire. Yeshua came to baptize with ruach ha kodesh (Hebrew for the spirit of holiness) AND WITH FIRE. It is through the committed embrace of the Father's Words in the midst of the fire of life's tribulation that causes the impure to separate from the pure within us. His Words are tempered by fire. Mixing motives for selfish gain, concerns for self-protection, preoccupation with selfish desires and moral "holidays" with the real salt only turns us into Salt Sea salt - salty, but useless in YHVH's Kingdom. The only measure we have been given as to what is "pure" are the Words of YHVH and in Matthew 4:10, Yeshua upheld what the Father originally said in Deuteronomy 11:16 that what we serve, what we give ourselves to, what we DO, what we practice - IS what we worship.

Yeshua invested Himself in relationships among the Kingdom family of YHVH and taught the disciples to do the same (1John 3:16, see how there is no New Commandment). The tradition of men would tell us those relationships are formed by coming together into someone's church. However, it is impossible to form a relationship with someone in a crowd of people while staring at the back of their head. The trap many become ensnared in is the popular concept of "the Church" when, in reality, what is being promoted is but a masquerade of tradition not found in the original words of scripture. Yeshua taught that the Kingdom is within each of those who embrace the Words of His Father and does not come by observation (Luke 17:20-21). Does this mean we should not come together? It would be out of line with scripture to suggest such. The Greek word translated as the English "assembling" in Hebrews 10:25 is derived from episynago. This word has 3 parts: ago means "to lead", syn means "together" and epi means "at or to" - so, synago means to lead or gather together. The word for assembling (epi-syn-ago), therefore, means a gathering together at... - but it doesn't say where or when. To find out where, we need to turn to 2Thessalonians 2:1. "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the presence (or coming) of our Lord, Yeshua haMashiach (the Messiah), and by our gathering together to Him..." Here, we have the same word episynagoge, but this time it tells us where! We gather together - to Him! He IS the meeting place. Yeshua said that whenever two or more are gathered together in Him - that is the assembly, the gathering place because they are meeting together with Him (Matthew 18:20). This also agrees with what Yeshua said in Matthew 11:28. His words were: "Come to me" - not "go to church".

"...sewing fig leaves together, they covered their loins ...and hid themselves from the presence of YHVH among the trees in the garden." Genesis 3:7-8
"Stand therefore, having your loins covered with Truth..." Ephesians 6:14

A side effect of giving ourselves up to the tradition of "church" is to become enmeshed in the concept of needing to be "covered" by another. How many times have you heard a pastor proclaim his job was to "protect the sheep". Notice in this passage from Genesis above, however, that Adam and Eve's "covering" themselves with something other than their relationship with YHVH actually caused them to be hidden from His Presence. How many times have you heard it said among those who are keepers of present day tradition that you need a home church or a group of men or an individual to serve as a "covering" for you so that you can be protected? Yet, if we measure all scripture against the Life of Yeshua, we do not find recorded anywhere in His Life, Who lived as an example for us to follow, that He or the disciples ever built, endorsed or lent themselves to any religion, structure, organization or institution of man (Matthew 20:25-28, 1Peter 5:3). - and there were plenty of opportunities around for Him to become involved with such had that been YHVH's design. While Yeshua 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. When men allow tradition (which is darkness) into the brilliance of YHVH's Presence, the first casualty is the diminishing of the ability to hear His Voice for oneself (see what it means to be Deceived). From the beginning, YHVH's plan and purpose was to have a Nation of Priests with each individual constantly ministering to Him. In fact, scripture says the first thing YHVH did immediately after Adam and Eve's act of disobedience was to remove their own effort to "cover" themselves and fashion "garments" for them - He "clothed" them. YHVH's actions following their disobedience reveal a restoration of His original intention of purpose - a family bearing His Image to the rest of the world. This Hebrew combination of labash (to clothe) and kethoneth (garments) also appears in Leviticus 8:7 and Leviticus 8:13 describing YHVH's instructions regarding the garments Aaron and his sons are to wear - those whom YHVH sets apart (the definition of "holy") as priests. In immediately clothing Adam and Eve, He restored them both as the first Hebrew priests. YHVH's purpose in Adam and Eve was not set aside by their disobedience. It was through their disobedience that YHVH's pre-determined purpose was restored in them when He re-girded their loins with His Truth.

"And he said to them, well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' You leave the commandment of YHVH and hold to the tradition of men." Mark 7:6-8

His Presence
Yeshua's death restored YHVH's Kingdom of echad as it was originally in the garden from Without to Within. Notice what is said in Ephesians 6:14 above - that HE (Truth) becomes the covering (John 14:6). The reason men embrace tradition is because they have some investment in it - financially, prestigiously, manipulatively or ignorantly (they really don't know any other way). The reason they perpetuate it is from a need to justify what they are doing as right in their own eyes. The more people they can align to their way of thinking helps to mitigate their standing (Proverbs 21:2, see What Authority?). But, it is in the act of, the embrace of the loincloth of man's tradition that we "give up" our place in YHVH's Presence and our hearing becomes "covered" by that tradition. Many will say, "well, tradition is a good thing" and, in so saying, they speak into existence and make a reality of the very essence of what He is trying to convey. For most of us, what we believe is what we have been taught by others - that is precisely the definition of what is known as the "tradition which you have handed down". We attempt to make scripture conform to our doctrines, those practices we treasure in our heart, instead of holding everything suspect until we confirm it in the Light of the Essence of His Nature. What we worship is what we hold in our hearts to be true (Luke 12:34). If what we hold in our hearts is not Truth, then we are worshiping vainly. That is to say, we find ourselves worshipping something other than the Nature of Who the Father Is. Vanity means to appropriate for selfish purposes. The fifth commandment says to "not take the Name of YHVH in vain". That does not mean "do not cuss" - it means to not distort, or twist His Essence to suit our own purposes by fashioning something other than what He intended out of those words. Those that do will be held accountable. Yeshua quoted the prophet Isaiah that it is in teaching the traditions of men that we worship vainly (Matthew 15:9, quoting Isaiah 29:13). Many try to spiritualize this shaking in order to distance themselves from the reality brought on by what is this beginning of the most terrible and wonderful Day of YHVH. They envision themselves to be part of a "remnant" of believers who will be somehow "escape" from the awesomeness of that shaking when the Truth is, as we see in the passage above from Ezekiel 5, only those few who are tucked away into the hem of His Garment will escape by a passage through fire. If you have ever been in a firestorm, you know that nothing escapes - everything is consumed (Deuteronomy 5:25). If we are to embrace Yeshua, it can only be in the Way He embraced the Father (John 14:9, see what is the Judgment). It is from this burning away of the dross beginning within the individual that the fire then spreads throughout the entire believing community, burning the chaff separated from the wheat. The words from the passage in Ezekiel above are not spoken to the world, but to "Jerusalem" which in Hebrew means a "teaching of peace" or "habitation of peace" or the "teaching of the habitation of Peace." Yeshua is our Peace (Ephesians 2:14, Isaiah 9:6). So, then, the question becomes, "how do I remain in the Presence of the Father?" First, we must come to an understanding of the Way into His Presence.

"Then said Yeshua unto his disciples: If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself
and take up his cross, and follow me." Matthew 16:24
And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.." Matthew 10:38

Yeshua, who lived in the Presence of the Father, showed to His disciples (not "the world") the Way into YHVH's Presence. If we are to become His disciple, then it stands to reason we should follow the same Way. Luke 9:23 says, "If any one would come after Me, let Him (1) deny himself, (2) take up whatever cross he has to bear on a daily basis, and (3) follow Me." He went on to say in Matthew 10:38 above that those who did not take up their cross daily are not worthy of Him. Worthy comes from the Greek word axios, meaning "having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much". This is not a guilt-thing but denotes more of receiving the same fullness of measure as He did. The Greek word for follow is akoloutheo and means to "cleave steadfastly to, to conform wholly to his example, in living and, if need be, in dying also." To cleave in Hebrew is davaq and means "to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join together." In Paleolithic-Hebrew a picture is painted of what it means to be inseparable - like two sticky mudballs slapped together and molded so as to be indistinguishable except as one. This is the mystery Yeshua claimed as the restorer of the Kingdom - allowing all who would embrace His example of Life to be echad (Hebrew for "one") with the Father just as He is echad (John 10:30) and what He said had been given to His disciples to understand. (see what is the Inheritance). This is the exercise. Three simple steps that become a life-long challenge to maintain - not just to achieve, but to maintain throughout life.

For that remnant in which the fire is initiated, it consumes their whole life - everything and everyone that comes in contact with it are also consumed. When a firestorm passes through a community, it does not discriminate about who or what it touches. If you are in the Way of that Fire - you become consumed by it. This message is not for everyone, but for those who have given themselves totally to the Spirit of the Living Elohim. There have been wonderings and questions about why life has been falling to pieces around you, in spite of your best efforts. It is because somewhere early on you gave yourself, without reservation, to the Father to do with you as He pleases. He was given permission to do whatever it took in your life to accomplish His Purpose in and through you. The Essence of the Father is that He only enters where He is invited and He only stays where He is welcome (Revelation 3:20 - notice that this entire passage is not spoken to "the world" but to those who consider themselves to be "believers"). He is now calling in that vow. To follow Yeshua is to be stripped of everything in this world because He is not of this world. It is preparation for His Kingdom within to be manifest without in this earthly realm (Romans 8:19). Stripping is never pleasant. Stripping is painful. Fire burns. But, by that fire, in that fire are you being fashioned as an instrument to bring His Purposes into being in this earthly realm. Be Encouraged.

FireFireFire

The Power of God Series
Part One: The Power of God
Part Two: Hearing His Voice
Part Three: Arrows of Famine
Part Four: the Godhead

"Because this people draw near to Me, and with their mouth and with their lips to honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear of Me is a commandment of men which has been taught them; therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." Isaiah 29:13-14

???Questions???
Please feel free to email them to me at harold@hethathasanear.com. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.
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