by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
"Now concerning the coming of our Lord, Yeshua haMashiach, and our gathering together unto Him; we ask you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the Day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that Day will not come, except there first comes a falling away from the faith and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction (perdition), who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called YHVH, so that he takes his seat in the temple of YHVH, proclaiming himself to be YHVH." 2Thessalonians 2:1-4
There is a folder on my computer full of prophecies circulated over the past several years, all of which predict dire consequences of one kind or another befalling mankind as proof of YHVH's impending judgment on the error of man's ways. All of them proclaim immediate, stockpile your pantries, grab your children and run for the hills type wrath of God looming over us like a dam full to the point of bursting. These prophecies have come through men and women of renown from every quarter of the "Christian" community. The most recent of these being the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico indicating the sounding of one of the trumpets of YHVH described in the book of Revelation. All of these prophecies have something in common - they are all based in fear and none of them have come to pass. Yet, still they come without any of these so-called "prophets" held accountable for their false words. They continue to roll off the tongues of those who claim to be in the know. The truth is, in spite of their proclamations, if they truly knew the Father that the Son proclaimed - they would not be making these kinds of statements see Raptureology - click on highlighted words to view content).
So, then, how are we to know when the Day of the Lord and Yeshua's appearing is drawing near? According to the scripture from 2Thessalonians above it will be when there is "a great falling away from the faith and the son of lawlessness appears". No wrath, but an appearance of lawlessness accompanied by a departure from Truth. Isn't that interesting? To look for the Day of the Lord through the lens of physical events occurring in the earth only serves to give us a very skewed aspect of YHVH's Plan and Purpose. There is, however, an aspect given to us in scripture about what to be looking for - from the perspective of the Father:
|"Therefore My People shall know My Name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am He that speaks: behold, it is I. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, which publish peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that says unto Zion, Your Elohim reigns! Your watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when YHVH shall bring again Zion. " Isaiah 52:6-8|
When the watchmen together sing the same song, when the watchmen together see eye to eye, then shall those that KNOW HIS NAME hear what He is speaking - then shall the Father bring again the Kingdom of Zion. Yeshua's appearing will not be soon because what we are hearing today is a cacophony of discordant voices, none of which publish Peace among the brethren. Most of the voices today are calling for vengeance and retribution that stems from a misunderstanding of (a not knowing) the Essence of the Nature and Character of the One True Elohim of Israel, who is full of compassion, mercy and grace - kind to the unthankful and to the evil. It also comes from a misunderstanding of (read - a "not knowing") the true nature of judgment. YHVH is not coming to destroy the world or men in it - He is coming to restore Zion in the hearts of those who will embrace Him for Who He says He is. Would it not make sense, then, that if we want to hear when He speaks, for us to come into an understanding of His Nature - to KNOW Him for Who He Is that we not mistake His Voice for mere thunder? (Luke 6:35, John 12:28-32).
To Know is translated from the Greek ginosko and means to learn to know, come to know, to become known. But in Hebrew, from where this verse was written, "know" is yada` and means to be made known, to be or cause to know, to be revealed. Doing the words of the Father by revealing them in our lives causes them to become part of our being. It results in knowing them and, thus, knowing Him. (see what it means To Make Manifest His Name).
Undoubtedly, we have entered into a dimension of Spirit like no other. Although that dimension has a correlation with events in the physical realm, it is not defined by those events. The Father is not waiting for an unfolding of physical events on the earth for Him to be revealed - nor is He deliberately creating havoc on the earth for the despondency of mankind. He is in the process of manifesting His Nature in this earthly realm in the midst of these events. The Way He is being revealed is in the manifestation of His Name, His Nature within the Sons of YHVH that through them He becomes a Light to the nations of a world caught up in the inevitable consequence of sin. Events unfolding in the physical realm are but a consequence of the actions taken by men to further their own determination - not YHVH laying in wait to punish them. True judgment occurs within the hearts of men as a result of their choices to remain in darkness, separated from Light. YHVH is Light. (Romans 8:19, 1John 1:5, see the One Covenant series).
|"For YHVH so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. YHVH did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned (judged), but whoever does not believe is condemned (judged) already, because he has not believed in The Name of the only Son of YHVH. And this is the judgment: The Light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than The Light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates The Light and does not come to The Light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But whoever does Truth comes to The Light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in YHVH." John 3:16-21|
YHVH is not sitting in judgment of mankind. How do we know this? We know this because Yeshua, who is the embodiment of the Name of YHVH, plainly said in this passage that He did not come to judge the world. Mankind is bringing judgment upon itself as a consequence of their choices of behavior that separate them from the Essence of the Nature of the One True Elohim of Israel. In contrast, Yeshua came to restore the Kingdom of YHVH in the earth. That Kingdom is not some mystical, ethereal, wispy, far-off place but rather, a manifestation of Who He says He Is made through the choices of behavior of those who would embrace His Life, which is the Light of men. (John 1:4, Matthew 6:10, see what it means To Believe).
If the restoration of His Kingdom is His Purpose - what, then, is that Kingdom? Romans 14:17 tells us it is the peace and joy that results from righteousness exhibited through Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit). That Kingdom is defined by our behavior - what we embrace and manifest as Truth. Where does that Kingdom abide? The Kingdom of His Righteousness abides in the hearts of those who have embraced Yeshua's Way, His example of The Life on this planet. The Kingdom of YHVH is within, but the Kingdom of YHVH becomes manifested in this earthly realm through our behavior. It is through this embrace of Who HE says He is that the world will be saved. It is in the manifestation of His Light, His Righteousness in and through Yeshua's Body that darkness is exposed - first in the hearts of those embracing The Light and, secondly, in the world as others come in contact with The Light manifested in the Sons of YHVH. Those who embrace and manifest The Light carry Judgment within them. The root word from which judgment comes is the word "judge". In both the Hebrew and the Greek to judge something means to decide. Yeshua said men bring judgment upon themselves because of their decision of refusal to bring their deeds to The Light to see if those deeds have their origin in YHVH - or not This is what He said was the Judgment. (Luke 17:20-21, John 1:12, Ephesians 5:13-16, see how heaven is within in The Fulfillment).
Righteousness comes from the Hebrew word tsedachah and its definition (derived from Isaiah 33:14-16) means rectitude, virtue and justice in behavior. In the Greek, righteousness is translated from the word dikaiosyne, meaning integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking and acting, the condition acceptable to YHVH. (1John 3:7, see the Righteousness of the Law).
What we serve is what we worship, that is, what we behaviorally give ourselves to is what we believe in. This is the First Commandment of the Ten given to us to define the difference between darkness and what The Light is - LIFE, the Essence of the Nature and Character of YHVH. We often think of worshipping an idol as bowing before some object or figurine representing a deity other than the One True Elohim of Israel. While this is one expressive form of worship, it is not the only one; If we consider that YHVH's definition of worship is what we serve, what we give ourselves to behaviorally, then those idols become manifest in many different outward forms. Greed, lust, hatred, lying, covetousness, etc., all constitute outward forms of darkness that define our worship of those things. (Deuteronomy 8:19).
From a Hebraic perspective (which is where all the books of the Book are written from), there is no proper worship unless it is in accordance with YHVH's instructions for worshipping Him. What is revealed about Him in the Book is the only way we can know what proper worship is. In other words, we are not free to make up any approach we wish to worship. We must worship Him as He specifies. Anything else, even if is directed toward the One True Elohim, remains idolatry. In Hebrew, it is not simply the object of worship; it is also the method of worship. That method is contained in the Ten Commandments. Worship is behavioral - we worship Him in the manner of life that we demonstrate. (1John 3:24, see Who's Word for a more in-depth explanation).
|the Keys to the Kingdom - Deuteronomy 30:11-20|
|"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven." Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18-19|
Think of the Ten Commandments as a fence separating Light from darkness. There are two ways to look at a fence. A fence can be considered to be something that constrains or hems in - or it can be considered a protection that keeps predators out. Notice that keepers of the gate on the fence, those who hold the keys, bind or loose in heaven (within) by whatever they bind or loose by their behavior (on earth) - not the other way around. It is by the outward behavior we condone (both in our lives and in the lives of our household) that determines what we allow within (heaven). If the gate is left open through inattention or abandonment, that is an open invitation for spirits of darkness to enter and cause mayhem in our lives. But, as long the responsibility for keeping the gate closed is maintained, then the fence is sealed and nothing can come in to snatch us out of the Light. The Way we close the gate is by our behavior. Too many seek Yeshua to heal and deliver them from the torment of darkness they perpetually allow in their lives when all they have to do is to close and lock the gate on the fence. If two agree as to what behavior they will allow to transpire on earth within their sphere of responsibility - they are gathering together unto Him who is within. This is how the Kingdom of YHVH is defined within and then, subsequently, loosed in the earth. (John 10:27-30, Exodus 15:26, Luke 17:20-21).
Most of those proclaiming to know "God" speak of a god of mankind and have lost their bearings concerning the One True Elohim of Israel. They are adrift because they have cut their selves away from the moorings of the Commandments. These Ten are what ground us in knowing Who He Is. Yeshua said to know the Father, Who Is the Source of Life, and the Son, the embodiment of that Life - is to know Life. To know Life, Who is Truth, sets us free from the bondage of sin and the consequence of death as a result of that sin. Death is apartness from Life. The Commandments are Life because they speak of Who He Is, the Essence of His Character and Nature. They make the distinction between Light and darkness, Life and death. Without them being sealed in our heart - the gate is wide open to the pasture of our heart, allowing anything to come in. So far adrift are we that most proclaiming faith in "God" can not even tell you what the Commandments are, much less live by them. (John 17:3, Matthew 19:16-22, Luke 10:25-28, also Mark 10:17-21, Luke 18:18-22, what are the Commandments?, see No Other God).
Allowing the Father to restore the Kingdom in our lives by adhering to His Standards frees us from the law of sin and death - not the instructions that define what Life and death are. Embracing the Life found in Yeshua frees us from the law, the consequence, of sin that says anything separating us from the True Essence of the Holy One of Israel, the Source of Life and Light - is darkness, sin, and brings death. The Life Yeshua exampled frees us from the consequence of sin because He extends to us the same authority He was given by the Father. That authority is over all flesh - not the physical elements of the world. We want to impose that authority over others when it is meant to first be imposed on ourselves. The Greek word for authority in scripture is ecksousia meaning "power of choice" which, when accompanied by Ruach haKodesh, empowers us to be able to exercise that authority over our flesh, giving us the power to choose whether we live in His Light - or not. It is in the choices we make in our lives that defines the fence and frees us from the power darkness previously had over us to destroy us. That is the war the Father has already won for us by the Resurrection of His Son. Death has been defeated. (John 17:2, 1Peter 4:17, the Law of Grace).
All scripture will be fulfilled just as it is written - every jot and tittle, just as it was with Yeshua's first coming. However, just as it was with His first appearing, few will see it because the manner of His appearing will not be as the many perceive it will be. Most looking for the coming of the Messiah over 2000 years ago were expecting a ferocious King to swoop down, destroying His enemies with a vengeful sword and rescuing the righteous to a place of safety. Does this scene sound familiar? It should because that is exactly the event that most who call themselves "Christian" are looking for today, supported by perpetual prophecies of doom and gloom. What most do not recognize is that in His first appearing, He fulfilled the prophecies of conquest by defeating His enemy. But that enemy was not a physical army - it was death itself. As with His first appearance, those looking for an event will miss the Person Who is already here and dwelling among us today. That He will appear again is totally supported by scripture - it will be in His Manner of Appearing that most will not realize until after it happens, just as it was with His prior appearance. You see, He is not coming - He is already here, living in the hearts of those who have chosen to embrace the Way of His Life. He is waiting to be fully manifested by choice in the Sons of YHVH just as He manifested the Father. That is the prayer of One He asked the Father for in us. (John 17:20-21),
Read closely the battle of Armageddon as described in Revelation 19. It tells us that Yeshua will defeat those armies with a Word. No sword - except the Sword of His Mouth. What, then, will cause blood to run so deep in that valley as to rise to the horses bridles which is also described in that book? It is pure speculation of course, as no one can really know the way it will unfold until it occurs, but it could be as the precedent set in 2Chronicles 20 where those armies arrayed against Israel became confused and fell in upon themselves. Scripture tells us the slaughter was so great that the Israelites were three days in picking up the spoil. We have a tendency to perceive war in the way men wage it - but everything is not as it seems. (Matthew 8:16, Revelation 14:20).
It is instructive to point out that the Hebrew word for a military engagement, krav, is derived from a word meaning to draw near (gather unto Him?). As we draw near to the Truth of Who He declares Himself to be, we are privileged to work in concert with Yeshua in loosing the Kingdom of Heaven, which is within, into this earthly realm. We have yet to fully comprehend the Power that emanates from His Word spoken in the authority of agreement from the collective "cloud" of witnesses accompanying that Word. The exercise of that faith by His Body, who are totally given to His Way in keeping the gates closed on the fence of the Kingdom, is what creates the environment of faith that the Father can only operate in. This is what it means "to gather together unto Him". Gathering together to Him means to exercise a faith that gives no place to the enemy, the "accuser of the brethren". (Revelation 12:7-11, Ephesians 4:27, Hebrews 11:6).
No one knows for sure how all of these things spoken of in scripture will play out. All we have to go on are the words of Yeshua who said that there will be few that will be saved. Those who will be saved are those who have erected the fence of His Nature in their lives. It is in the defining of Light by the behavior of their lives that the distinction of darkness is defined in the world. The sharper that distinction becomes in their lives, the sharper the consequence of drift from that distinction becomes in the world. This is the judgment Yeshua described. We are living in the time of times when great and terrible things are befalling mankind because of the consequences by their choice of actions are reaching their full measure. It is a time for each person to look closely at what they hold dear; to measure it against and to hold fast the testimony of the Life of Yeshua, Who is the benchmark by which all things are measured - even other scripture. (Luke 13:22-24, Revelation 19:10, see Arrows of Famine).
The consequences of men's actions make this world is a terribly broken and sorrowful place. No amount of human investment, no influx of economic assets, great vision or political agreement is going to change this. Certainly we can bring relief to some. We can rescue some. We can save some. But the world is corrupt, sorrow is not going away - not under our watch. YHVH does not ask us to escape the sorrow of the world. He asks us to find Him and His direction in this sorrow. To be in the world is to reside where men and women hurt. How can I show them the stripes on my back, the nail prints in my hands and the wounds on my feet if I do not walk the dusty roads with them? No believer has his best life now. No follower of the Messiah reaches his full potential here. We run the race to exhaustion among the maimed, crippled and heart-broken that they might see and have access to the Life we have been given. We do not ride in chariots or limousines. We are either covered in the dust of the Rabbi or we are not following Him at all. The Way the Kingdom is to be restored on earth is to first be sealed in the hearts of men (see who is the Bride and the Children of the Bridechamber).
There is a second definition to the Greek word ecksousia, translated as authority (also translated as "power"), that is equal to the first definition of "power of choice". It is "power of influence". To be saved "from the tribulation to come" does not mean being taken away from it, but learning how to walk in His Shalom (the authority to bring order to chaos - from Paleolithic Hebrew) in the midst of that tribulation for the benefit of others. It is we who bring Life into the dark brokenness of despair by the Light we exhibit through our behavior that judgment (decision) is delivered in the world around us. Our role should not be as the poster boy for the wrath of a God that punishes mankind - the consequences of sin are punishment enough. Our focus should be to exercise the Nature of His Compassion before the few who will hear. For most of us, there is enough despair right in our own sphere of influence, right in our own backyard, to keep us busy for a lifetime. We don't have to go look for it in far away places - most of the time we can find them right under our feet and right at our doorstep, living in our household. Let us be resolved to be a Light in this very dark place for as long as we have opportunity. (Deuteronomy 4:30-31, Matthew 10:34-36).
|"Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of YHVH AND their faith in Yeshua haMashiach." Revelation 14:12|
Please feel free to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.