The earliest believers in Yeshua first quoted Tehillah 2 [Ps 2] back to the creator as part of the first recorded ‘corporate’ prayer. This occurred after Yokhanan and Kefa had been arrested for declaring the resurrection of Yeshua. They said to the religious Jews, “Whether it be right before Elohim to listen to you more than to Elohim, you judge…” This verse went through my mind this morning during meditations. And I thought of many facets of our ‘struggle’ as believers in Yeshua, and of the confidence we need. And that led to further contemplation of this chain of events. After Kefa and Yokhanan were released, they returned to the brothers and recounted the events, and then they all prayed:
“O יהוה , You are Elohim who has made heaven and earth, and the seas, and all that is in them; You are the One who spoke through The Ru’akh HaKodesh by the mouth of Your servant David when he said, ‘Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings and the rulers of the earth have revolted, and have taken counsel together against יהוה , and against His Mashi’akh.’ For truly, they assembled in this very city, together with both Herodus and Pilatos and with the Goyim and with the people of Yisra’el, against your Ben Kadosh, Yeshua, to execute whatever Your hand and Your will had previously decreed to take place. And even now, O יהוה , look and see their threats; and grant to Your servants that they may freely declare Your D’var, just as Your hand is freely stretched out for healing and wonders, and Your miracles which are done in the Name of Your Ben Kadosh, Yeshua.”
Their ”Emunah”, their ‘firm trust, faith’, was great that day. They knew they were doing right. They knew factually that Yeshua was a man risen from the dead. And they knew their mandate to declare that fact before even kings. And before the religious order of Jews, who were opposing that Truth. They were so convinced, that after their prayer was completed, we read, “And when they had petitioned and made their supplications, the place in which they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with The Ru’akh HaKodesh, and they spoke D’var HaElohim boldly.”
I ruminated over that prayer some two + years ago, and a ‘war hymn’ was birthed in me, and we call it “Lamah?” “Why?” It is not a plea of ‘oy veh,’ but one of ‘O my,’ of ‘How foolish are the leaders of this world!’ to fight against the truth of the Resurrection of the Salvation of the World, Yeshua the Messiah! That song has apparently become a favorite in our congregation.
The people of this world have still all taken counsel together, they have collectively DECIDED NOT to believe in Yeshua, the Son of G-d, and in His resurrection. It is NOT that they do not ‘see’ that the evidence is there, and overwhelming! It is NOT that they do not know that their world view is wrong! It is that they do not like the Biblical world view, they do not like the ‘counsel’ of the Almighty, nor anyone who truly follows the King of Israel, Yeshua Ben Yosef. The end of that Tehillah warns the world, “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when suddenly His wrath is kindled. Happy are all they that take refuge in Him.”
The thought processes of MOST people today are against the simple instructions of G-d. Because of the abundance of iniquity, which is the lack of, or being outside of, the Torah, the love of most people has turned cold; their hearts have hardened. They are jaded; bitter. And this causes mankind to turn on itself. The result? All the things G-d tells us NOT to do become “honorable” and ‘tolerated’: tyranny, murder, gluttony, adultery, uncleanness, abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, drunkenness, lewdness, and all manner of sin. And anyone who dares to point to the righteousness of G-d in any way, but especially in regard to the Torah observant Jew, Yeshua the Messiah, is marked a criminal against mankind. In places where truth has already been snuffed, believers are indeed criminals. In our country, we are being painted as criminals, and if ALL who SAY they believe in the Son of G-d do not REPENT, and turn from these evils, we will soon not only be painted with the brush of condemnation, but imprisoned for trusting in Him. Too many believers are putting their hope in Trump, and not G-d. Don’t get me wrong, I do think, in small part, Trump has been a reprieve, a bit like Jonah was to Nineveh. But, Nineveh was later destroyed for not remaining faithful. Many are happy to revel in the financial benefit Trump has been to our country, but are yet not willing to ‘turn’ from their sins.
The ’power’ of Yeshua is NOT so much in shaken buildings. That was a manifestation of His approval of THEIR TRUST in His Word. The power of Yeshua is in a heart turned to repentance. Turned to following the WAY of Messiah. In spite of what the religious class thinks. In spite of what the kings and rulers of the earth think. And it hinges on the resurrection of a man once dead. A man who is now alive and seated at the right hand of the Creator of the universe.
The Jewish religious leaders KNEW that Messiah would be declared the “Son of G-d.” Apart from what has already been quoted from Tehillah 2, we also read there: “I will tell of the decree: יהוה said unto me, “You are My son, this day have I begotten you.” And in Mishlim 30:4, familiar to those ancient Rabbis, we read: “Who has ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in his garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His Son’s name, for you will know it.” That is ONE Name! That name is יהוה , the Name given to Yeshua. Kefa had just declared in Yerushalayim, “Therefore let all Beit Yisra’el know assuredly that Elohim has made this very Yeshua, whom you have executed, both יהוה and Mashi’akh.” And Sha’ul tells us: “and every tongue shall confess that He, Yeshua HaMashi’akh, is יהוה , to the glory of Elohim His Father.”
It is on THAT declaration that we stand, after having TURNED to His Ways. And in THAT confidence, we stand against all powers. We fight the sins described above, to keep ourselves pure in His Way, the SAME way Yeshua did: by declaring His Word, D’varim!
If we know the mitzvot, as Yeshua surely did, and our enemy comes at us with ‘temptation,’ of any kind, we simply declare to our enemy His Mitzvah. Yeshua was tempted to perform miracles for show, by miraculous provision, and resisted, declaring D’varim 8:3 [deut]. Yeshua was tempted to ‘see’ if G-d really loved Him by testing Him, and He declared instead D’varim 6:16. Yeshua was tempted to become wealthy and powerful beyond his lot in life, and he quoted D’varim 6:13.
No matter at all what the temptation is, if it goes against a mitzvah, declare that Mitzvah! And TRUST in His Truth, in SPITE of what our flesh says, or what our friends say, or what the kings and rulers say, or what the false religious leaders say! HIS TRUTH is POWER. And it is POWER over sin!
The hard part for us as humans is to believe that what He says is right is right! Because our flesh wants otherwise. And most people are unwilling to leave the flesh and its passions behind. It is an epic struggle. Yeshua put it this way:
“And this is the judgment: that light [Torah declared by Yeshua] has come into the world, and yet men have loved darkness more than light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does abominable things [Lev 11, 17-22] hates the light, and he does not come to the light, because his works cannot be covered. But he who does HaEmet [The Truth/Torah] comes to the light [Yeshua’s teaching of Torah], so that his works may be known, that they are done through Elohim.”
We just declared in our Synagogues around the world, “Khazak V’Ematz!” Be strong and resolute. I pray that for every reader who has already repented of his sins. Do it again, if you have faltered, no matter how many times. He is full of compassion! For those who have not, I implore you, turn from the ways of this world. Trust in the Son of G-d, whom G-d raised from the dead, and whose blood was shed to purify all of us from our sins. Desire to be pure. And then become so by His blood, and remain so by your confession. No matter how hard the fight is. Fight.
Happy is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה ; and in His Torah does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does he shall prosper. Not so the wicked; but they are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the Tzadikim. For יהוה knows the way of the Tzadikim; but the way of the wicked shall perish.
I have been very, very busy of late! So I haven’t had much time to write!
We are in the latter part of the fall Mo’edim, working toward day 4 of Sukkot.
Yom Teru’ah was again a ‘blast,’ Yom Kippur was great, and the easiest fast I’ve had; and the first three nights of Sukkot, along with the day 1 assembly, have been unmatched in regard to the joy my wife and I have been given…
What is striking to me is that all the many ‘little’ things that the Creator has done on our behalf add up to so much ‘proof’ of His affection for us. Several times over the last few months different ones have asked me if I ever doubted our faith, the core of what we believe: That there is a Creator; that man was created in perfection, and sinned, losing the Divine Presence he had in Gan Eden; that the Creator chose Avraham, and his descendants, to bring the B’sorah [Good News/Body of the Lamb, His Son] into the world. That Yeshua Ben Yosef of Natzrat, a Jew, is the Son of G-d, our Messiah, who died on a tree as a final, atoning offering for all of mankind, particularly those who would receive trust in that Truth; and that G-d raised the MAN Yeshua from the dead, and He now stands at His right hand on the throne of Glory; and that He will come and gather the Khasidim [devout ones] to Himself, in our near future. These are those who TRUST, and OBEY, and are given a deposit, a taste of what Adam had, the Divine Presence, with a promise of even greater than that at the resurrection of the dead, those who trust and are faithful.
I can honestly say that there is not one shred of doubt in me about any of that. But, I do sometimes ‘tremble’ that I might blow it, might wander, might falter and go too far; but EVERY time I ‘feel’ that way, I am reminded by His Word of HIS faithfulness, of His GREAT compassion [which is truly beyond our comprehension, and any measuring stick we use]. And each time that I am reminded of that, my ‘joy’ in Messiah is restored.
I have indeed no trust in mankind. Mankind has proven too often to betray.
But the brothers in Messiah have been redeemed out of mankind, OUT of “Adam”, and have been ‘recreated’ in the New Man, the Second Adam, Messiah Yeshua. I know that a brother, one redeemed by Messiah, who understands the price paid for himself AND for others, will ALWAYS remain ‘faithful’ to his brothers. No matter what. One who is recreated in the New Man is not weighed down by the products of this world, the sins of mankind.
The ‘theme’ that I am seeing in this Sukkot is that of the newness of life. We are at the time of year when life begins to ‘die’, in regard to plant life. Animals begin to hide, for warmth and safety. The world is harvesting its food, and creating new wine, and setting up stores for the cold season; the days are growing shorter, and colder, and darker. And it is at this time of abundant harvest that Elohim has us assemble together and CELEBRATE LIFE for EIGHT DAYS. Yeshua was born on the 1st day of Sukkot; he was circumcised on the 8th Day, the Great Day of Rejoicing in The Torah; he received His Name, Yeshua, SALVATION, on that day! And Salvation will be COMPLETE at the beginning of the 8th Millennium, after Messiah has ruled for 1,000 years on earth, and a new heaven and earth are created, with the current ones being ‘rolled up like a scroll’. People who remain in the ‘first adam’ cannot wrap their heads around that; and they scoff. But, it is going to happen. And at the 7th Millennium, just before it starts [likely within 50 years], the events that bring about His Wrath on earth will begin; and that will happen sooner than any of us want.
America is tumbling fast into the abyss of selfishness and sin. People of faith are going to have to decide soon with whom they will stand. Yeshua said He did not come to bring ‘shalom,’ but a sword, to DIVIDE even families! And that division will be over who HE is! And over what is Tzedaka! And that is happening fast in our country already. The issue is, there are so many false teachers out there who do not know they are false. And so their followers do not know they are false. And they will not be prepared for what is coming on mankind.
However long He leaves His Bride among the wicked, we must be prepared; because there will come a day when He will snatch her out and bring her to Safety in His Mountain. And so few are prepared and ready for the Groom; so few are dressed and ready for the wedding, actually having oil in their lamp. The ‘lamp’ is the Torah, and the oil is The Ru’akh, given by the Second Adam to those who truly trust. And those who do TRUST, will OBEY HIM, and NO other. That is what ‘trimming the lamp’ is. That is a simple message that so few ‘hear and understand,’ and it was Yeshua’s message from the beginning to the end of His ministry.
Our ‘appointed times’ with the Creator teach us these things, and remind us year after year, and refine our walk. And I have found that in each season, HE challenges ME, to ‘prove’ to ME that HE is changing me. And this causes me to ‘check myself’ and see IF I truly am in THE Emunah [Firm Faith/trust] as defined by His WORD; the evidence is whether I am changing, becoming more obedient to Him, more like Yeshua. “Blessed are those who do His Mitzvot [commandments of the Torah], that they may have the right to Etz HaKhayim [Tree of Life, a pseudonym for Torah, and for Messiah Yeshua], and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
The ‘gates’ are opened on Yom Teru’ah, the first day of the year. The gates of the New Universe will be opened on the first day of the Eighth millennium, and NEVER CLOSE. Simkhat Torah is a rehearsal of “eternity”/infinity, the eighth millennium that will never end…. And that is how we always feel on Simkhat Torah in our little Synagogue; not wanting it to end. “Sukkot” is about Messiah being ALWAYS WITH US.
I so look forward to Simkhat Torah this year. I wish that everyone even remotely aware of me as a person and of us as a congregation would consider coming to share in the culmination of the Season of Our Joy. Yeshua entered into the covenant as a human being on this day 2,000 years ago. And we will enter into the PROMISE of that covenant with Him very, very soon; I wish everyone could be there; especially YOU.