On Being a “Fool” for Yeshua in Confronting the Forces of Antichrist (Part One)

Recently, I have been asking myself what can I personally do to fight the forces of evil that are taking over this earth unlike anything we have ever seen before. I am a nobody. I have no power or influence in worldly terms. I have little if any financial or material resources. I have little or no platform from which to speak and be heard. I am backed by no organization. So what can I do?

I have determined, by the grace and power of YHVH, to become a one man spiritual revivalist starting with the people one-by-one that I meet every day in the normal course of my life. This is not easy for me to do; it doesn’t come naturally. It takes love, boldness and faith. I have to stretch myself way past my comfort zone to do so. I HAVE TO BECOME A “FOOL” FOR YESHUA like Paul the apostle was… Here’s how:

The Spirit of Antichrist Is Rising Up and Taking Over

Can’t you see it? Can you hear it? The dust clouds and the sound of marching feet from Satan’s foot soldiers who are driven by the spirit of Antichrist intent of conquering the earth. These determined warriors are on a murderous warpath and in the crosshairs of their weapons of mass destruction are the saints of the Most High Elohim. What are the saints supposed to do about this?

The pounding of jackboots of Satan’s fascistic thugs can be heard everywhere as they advance relentless across the face of the earth. They have a thousand faces and numerous front organizations carrying their banner and supporting their nefarious cause. In their wake is death, darkness and the destruction of everything that is good, honorable, decent and righteous: the family, marriage, godliness, law and order, civility, honor and respect for others, love of truth, and the fear of Elohim and his ways. Usurping its place is atheism, secularism, leftism, deprivation of civil liberties, extreme hedonism, lawlessness, licentiousness, anarchy, chaos and death. The driving force behind it all is a rabid hatred of Elohim, Yeshua the Messiah, the Bible and anyone who is remotely associated with these. And no surprise. Yeshua and his apostles prophesied that this would occur in the last days just prior to his return. We can read these prophecies in Matthew chapter 24, the book of Revelation, in John’s first epistle and elsewhere. Moreover, these satanic armies are empowered and financed by the most powerful and seemingly unstoppable forces that control this planet. So is there anything that the true followers of Yeshua can do about this? If so, what should our response be?

In the Face of Evil and Death, What Did the Biblical Saints Do?

The Bible is full of stories of YHVH’s people facing overwhelming odds in the face of their enemies. For example, think of the Israelites against the Pharaoh and his armies, or confronting the Canaanites guarding the Promised Land, or Gideon against the Midianites, Samson against the Philistines, David against Goliath and the list goes on. But let’s be honest. To most of  us, the biblical record of the valiant heroism and victories of YHVH’s saints over their enemies are nothing more than wonderful stories from dim antiquity and have little or no relevance to us today in our present situation. However, if we scroll forward in history closer to our time, we might find some biblical scenarios that are more analogous to the times in which we are now living. For example, in the book of Acts, when the Jewish murderers of Yeshua were on a rampage against the disciples of Yeshua, what was the saints’ response? Run and hide cowering in a corner? No. We read,

Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Yeshua.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of Elohim with boldness. (Acts 4:29—31)

Their prayerful plea to heaven wasn’t, “O Lord protect us from our enemies.” Rather, it was, “O Lord, grant us boldness to preach the gospel with signs and wonders following as Yeshua commanded us to do in Mark 16:15–18 and Matthew 28:19–20.”

The “Foolishness” of Preaching the Gospel

Preaching the gospel seems like a bizarre and foolish if not an insane response to those who are intent on depriving us of our God-given or “inalienable rights… [of] life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” to quote the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. This is because:

[T]he natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:14)

It is also because the ways of Elohim are not the ways of men. 

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says YHVH. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:8–9)

And as Paul stated,

Because the foolishness of Elohim is wiser than men, and the weakness of Elohim is stronger than men. (1 Cor 1:25)

For YHVH has chosen the “foolish” method (in the eyes of the world) of gospel preaching to advance his kingdom and to confuse the world.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of Elohim. For it is written: “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND BRING TO NOTHING THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRUDENT.” Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not Elohim made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of Elohim, the world through wisdom did not know Elohim, it pleased Elohim through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Cor 1:18–21)

Moreover, not only has YHVH chosen the seemingly “foolish” method of preaching the gospel to expose the genuine foolishness of this world’s “wisdom,” but he has chosen the “foolish” people (in the world’s eyes) to do the preaching.

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But Elohim has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and Elohim has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised Elohim has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. (1 Cor 1:26–29)

Are You Willing to Be a “Fool” for Yeshua Like Paul?

So are you willing to be a “fool” for Yeshua? Paul, the great apostle who help to turn the world upside down for Yeshua the Messiah (Acts 17:6), considered this label to be a compliment.

We are fools for the Messiah’s sake, but you are wise in the Messiah! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! (1 Cor 4:10)

One verse earlier, Paul declared that in preaching the gospel “we have been made a spectacle [literally, a public spectacle as in a theatrical performance] to the world, both to angels and to men” (1 Cor 4:9).

This is a pretty heavy duty thing for most people to consider doing. You may be thinking,“What will people think if I become a fool for Yeshua like Paul?” Or, “I’m not cut out for this. This isn’t my calling.” Or, “I don’t have the personality for preaching the gospel to others.” Well, frankly, there’s no end to the excuses that people can invent NOT to do what Yeshua has called and commissioned his disciples to do! Go ahead and rip that  page out of your Bible and ignore Yeshua’s command to “Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel.” If you do, you do NOT have a Holy Bible, but a Holey Bible, the Swiss Cheese Version—one with holes in it with pages that you have ripped out of it. Moreover, what did Yeshua say? “If you [really] love me, keep my commandments…He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:15, 21). One of his commandments was to preach the gospel to the whole  world. The whole world starts just outside your doorstep…

How to Overcome the Evil One

Some of you will stop reading right here, and that’s your choice to dismiss truth that challenges you out of our disobedient and lukewarm complacency. You might be saying, “He has gone too far this time.” Well, your argument is not with me but with the Word of YHVH Elohim and Yeshua the Messiah. He may be your Savior, but his he your Lord and Master? Are you doing what he told you to do, or only those things that suit YOUR fancy? For those of you who are serious about your spiritual walk and about serving Yeshua your Master who bought and paid for you with his blood, read on. Remember, we are discussing how to confront the spirit of this age—the demonic spirit of Antichrist that is sweeping relentlessly across the globe a tsunami. What are you going to do about it? Cower in the corner or run and hide, or occupy until Yeshua until he comes not living your life unto death? Or are you going to confront this evil spirit with the most powerful and life-changing weapon that has the full force and power of the Most High Elohim, the sovereign and all powerful Creator and Ruler of the universe behind it? This is what John wrote of those end time saints who deigned to stand up against Satan and his henchmen:

So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our Elohim, and the power of His Messiah have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our Elohim day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Rev 12:9–11, emphasis added)

A major aspect of overcoming the evil one and his minions in the last days involves “the word of our testimony.” A word is something that is spoken to others and involves sharing the gospel message with others including your personal testimony of what Yeshua has done for you. This may mean that you have to put yourself out there past your comfort zone and even do what doesn’t come naturally to you. In this regard, what has YHVH promised to do for those who step out in faith and obedience trusting him as they share the gospel with others?

Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. (Ps 81:10)

Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of Elohim. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of Elohim.…Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say. (Luke 12:8–9, 11–12)

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of the Messiah may rest upon me. (1 Cor 12:9)

“This is the word of YHVH to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says YHVH of hosts.…For who has despised the day of small things? (Zech 4:6, 10)

Stay tuned for part two…

 

My Notes on Revelation Chapters 20–22 on the Millennium and Eternity

Revelation 20

Revelation 20:1, Bottomless pit. (See notes at Deut 32:22; 2 Pet 2:4; Rev 9:1. Also see notes at Isa 14:18–21.)

Revelation 20:4, A thousand years. This is but one of six references in the Bible to the Millennium lasting for one thousand years. The other references are found in the surrounding verses (vv. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7). Even then, some biblical students still question the idea of the Millennium and categorize it as a NT concept only and, therefore, feel they can relegate it to the realm of the allegorical. An understanding of the prophetic implications of the seventh day Sabbath should settle this question once and for all. In traditional Jewish thought, the seven days of creation picture the time man will be on this physical earth. Six days (for six days or six thousand years) man does his own work, while on the seventh day (or one thousand years) he rests and fellowships with Elohim. This is a picture of the millennial rest, which the Jewish sages have long called the Messianic Era, which is yet to come. The Millennium is not uniquely a Christian or NT concept, but is rooted in Judaism going back before the Christian era. For example, the writer of Hebrews juxtaposes the Sabbath and the Millennium in Hebrews chapter seven when he compares Joshua taking the Israelites into the Promised Land with Yeshua taking the saints into the Sabbath, millennial rest of our spiritual inheritance.

Revelation 20:5, The rest of the dead. This phrase is a parenthetical thought. Before and after this phrase, the author is discussing those who will be part of the first resurrection, which occurs at Yeshua’s second coming. Later in the same chapter, John goes on to discuss what happens to the rest of the dead (vv. 12–13).

Revelation 20:7–21:1, Events after the Millennium. The events in these verses appear to be chronological and occur after the Millennium. In Rev 20:2ff John seems to be receiving a pre-millennial flashback vision. (See my discussion on these verses.)

Revelation 20:8, The four corners. These rebels who will inhabit the millennial earth have removed themselves as far as possible from Jerusalem, which is the seat of King Yeshua’s rule and is at the center of the earth.

Revelation 20:9, Fire came down from heaven. If the New Jerusalem, the seat of Yeshua’s millennial government, is hovering over the earthly Jerusalem during the Millennium, then this is the source of the fire or Yeshua’s judgment against the rebels who dare to defy his divine governance.

Revelation 20:10, The devil…lake of fire. (See notes at Deut 32:22; 2 Pet 2:4; Rev 9:1.)

Tormented forever.The devil as a spirit either can only be contained, but not destroyed meaning Elohim is not all-powerful, or, more likely, Elohim will allow the devil to exist, though in a place of torment, as an on-going example and testimony to his sovereign greatness and power over evil.

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A Quick Summary of the Final Events in the Book of Revelation

What happens after the return of Yeshua to this earth — after he has put down all of his enemies in battle (Zech 14:1–3; Rev 17:14; 19:11–21)? This we know. He shall set his feet on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4) even as he ascended from the same place (Acts 1:9–12), and YHVH-Yeshua shall become king over the earth (Zech 14:9). He shall be King of kings (Rev 17:14; 19:16) and rule with a rod of iron over the whole earth (Rev 12:5; 19:15) for one thousand years (Rev 20:2, 3, 4, 6, 7). This is commonly referred to as the Millennium. This is the earth that Yeshua declared that the meek would inherit (Matt 5:5).

A Quick Overview of the Millennium

What will the 1000 year-long Millennium be like? The Scriptures give us some insights into life on earth during this time.

  • Elohim will live with his people. (Ezek 37:26–28)
  • David will rule as King over Israel (Ezek 37:24–25)
  • YHVH’s annual feast will be kept by all people (Ezek 46:3–6; cf. Col 2,16–17)
  • YHVH’s government will be established on Mount Zion in Jerusalem: Torah will go forth from Mount Zion and the nations will go up to Mount Zion to worship YHVH in the house (temple) of YHVH (Mic 4:1–2)
  • A Highway of YHVH, or a highway of holiness will lead to Zion. (Isa 35:8–10)
  • Whether literal or spiritual, living waters will flow from Jerusalem and Yeshua’s throne. Water was flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (Ezek 47:1; Zech 14:8)
  • On the bank of the river there were very many trees on each side (Ezek 47:6–9)
  • People will live to a very old age. (Isa 65:20)
  • Crowds of people will flock to Jerusalem. (Zech 2:1–4; Isa 49:14)
  • The temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt. (Zech 6:15; 14:20–21; Hag 2:6–9)
  • The Messiah will be king over the whole world. (Zech 6:9–13; Isa 11:1–5; Rev 20:6; 5:9–10)
  • The nations which do not want to serve and obey YHVH will be destroyed. (Isa 60:12; Zech 14:16–19; Isa 9:5–7)

What Happens After the Millennium?

After the thousand years is completed, Satan the devil who has been bound in the bottomless pit (Rev 20:1–3) will be released briefly to test those on earth as to their faithfulness to King Yeshua (verses 7–8). The devil will then be cast into the lake of fire forever (verse 10).

Next is the final judgment day — commonly called the great white throne judgment. At that time, all the dead, and any others who have died in Yeshua and have yet to receive their reward of eternal life, will be raised from the dead to stand before the Almighty. Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11–15).

As discussed earlier, I believe that the New Jerusalem will come into view at Yeshua’s return where it will be hovering over the earth during the wrath of Elohim period and during the 1000 year-long Millennium. However, the Scriptures speak of a new heavens and new earth (Isa 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1).

Before this happens, something very dramatic must first happen.

The Heavens and Earth to Pass Away; Arrival of New Heavens and Earth

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What Is the “Day” of YHVH’s Wrath?

The Day of YHVH’s Wrath

There comes a time in the chronology of end times events that accompany the return of Yeshua when YHVH will pour out his wrath upon rebellious men. The Bible refers to this as “the day of YHVH” or “the day of his wrath” — a phrase which occurs more than two dozen times in prophetic writings of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah and Malachi. What is this day? 

Is the “day of YHVH’s wrath” a literal day, or a time period, since the Hebrew word for day (Heb. yom)can mean both? The prophet Isaiah may give us a clue. In several places, he mentions “the day of YHVH’s vengeance” (or words to this effect). This is the time period when YHVH will judge the nations including Babylon the Great, which is in existence at Yeshua’s second coming (see Rev 17, 18 and 19). In three places, Isaiah indicates that the day of YHVH will last for one year (Isa 34:8; 61:2 and 63:4). Interestingly, in Isaiah 63:4, the prophet couples the idea of the day of YHVH’s vengeance being a year long with the jubilee year — “the year of my redeemed has come.” This occurs as the Messiah (the subject of Isa 63:1–6) judges the enemies of Israel (notably Edom) as he is at the same time about to redeem (i.e. regather and return scattered Israel to its Promised Land inheritance.) It appears that while Yeshua is judging Israel’s enemies at his second coming, he will at the same time begin regathering the lost and scattered 12 tribes of Israel in a major way. Yeshua seems to allude to this in Matthew 24:31

What Is the Wrath of YHVH/Elohim?

In the Book of Revelation, the term wrath of God/Elohim or similar language is found ten times in reference to YHVH’s fierce judgments against unrepentant and rebellious sinners. It is my belief that these judgments are yet to occur and are connected with the end times just prior to the return of Yeshua the Messiah.

But in the context of the full counsel of YHVH’s Word, what specifically is the wrath of Elohim/YHVH?

The term “the wrath of Elohim” or similar language is used in numerous places in the Scriptures, and refers to YHVH’s bringing severe judgments against men for their wickedness. Listed below are all the instances in the Scriptures where the phrase “the wrath of Elohim” or similar language is found.

  • The wrath of Elohim came upon the children of Israel when they rebelled against YHVH (Ps 78:31).
  • All those who are ungodly will experience the wrath of Elohim eventually (John 3:36; Eph 5:6; Rom 1:18; 2:5–8; Col 3:6).
  • YHVH’s wrath was evidenced at various times against the ancient Israelites (2 Chron 24:18; 29:10; 2 Chron 30:8; 2 Chron 36:16; Ezra 5:12; Ezek 5:13; 7:19; 8:18).
  • Elohim’s wrath came against the nations at various times for their wickedness (Jer 10:10; Nah 1:2; Jer 25:15; Mic 5:15; 2 Pet 2:9).
  • YHVH’s wrath was expressed against Jerusalem at its fall (Isa 51:17, 20).
  • YHVH’s wrath was expressed against Edom (Isa 63:3, 5, 6; Ezek 36:5–6).
  • YHVH’s wrath was expressed against the nations for their wickedness toward Israel (Deut 32: 41,42; Mic 5:15; Zec 8:2).
  • YHVH’s wrath will be poured out in end times against his enemies (Isa 66:15).
  • The seven trumpets of the Book of Revelation are the wrath of Elohim (Rev 6:16–17).
  • The seven bowl judgments of the Book of Revelation are the wrath of Elohim (Rev 11:18; 14:10; 15:1, 7; 16:1,19).

As we can see from the evidence, the Bible records numerous “wrath of Elohim” events at various times throughout the long time span of biblical history. Whenever YHVH intervenes in the affairs of men and brings judgment against the wicked, this is the wrath of Elohim. In this study, we are dealing with the wrath of Elohim in the last days prior to the return of Yeshua as prophesied in the Book of Revelation.

When Does the Period of YHVH’s Wrath — the “Day” of YHVH Begin?

As noted earlier in this study, the end times wrath of Elohim occurs after the great tribulation. This we know from Matthew 24:29 where Yeshua describes events that will occur “immediately after the tribulation.” These events (the sun be darkened, the moon not giving its light, the stars falling from heaven, and the powers of heaven being shaken) occur at the sixth seal, which describes identical cosmic disturbances (Rev 6:12), and this event is described as the beginning of the day of YHVH’s wrath (verse 16).

At this time, Yeshua will be coming in the clouds of heaven (Matt 24:30) in the midsts of great heavenly signs and wonders (verse 29; Rev 6:12–14), and he will gather his elect from the four corners of the earth (verse 31; Rev 7:1–16). But the Scriptures still don’t say that he has “touched down” on earth yet. All eyes will see him in the earth’s atmosphere (Matt 24:30). They shall all see “the face of him who sits on the throne” and will know that the time of “the wrath of the Lamb” has come (Rev 6:16). Where else do we see the throne of Elohim and the Lamb together? The Book of Revelation records several instances where this occurs (Rev 5:1, 6, 13; 7:10,17; cp. 21:23; 22:3). Revelation 21:23 and 22:3 tie the throne of Elohim, the Lamb (Yeshua), the temple of Elohim with the New Jerusalem. They are together. What can we make of this? Fasten your seat belts! The answer may surprise you. It is very likely that when Yeshua appears in the clouds, he will be accompanied by the New Jerusalem, the heavenly temple and the throne of Elohim. In other words, in a certain sense, heaven will “descend” into the earth’s atmosphere, and will come into view just after the great tribulation and at the sixth seal. It seems very possible, if my analysis is correct, that the New Jerusalem may be hovering in the earth’s atmosphere (where the clouds are) for all humans to see with their natural eyes!

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The Book of Revelation and the Olivet Prophecy (Matt 24 and 25) Compared

Not unlike treasure hunters examining a map for clues leading to a buried treasure, or an archeologist carefully scrutinizing ancient artifacts for information about lost civilizations, or an engineer diligently studying blueprints in order to construct a mechanical device or a building, we have briefly examined some of YHVH’s spiritual blueprints found in the Scriptures to give us clues about the nature and order of end-time events. Understanding the seven biblical feasts, the seven stations in the tabernacle of Moses and the various steps of the biblical wedding will help us to decode the mysteries surrounding the events pertaining to the second coming of our Master, Yeshua the Messiah.

Introducing the Olivet Prophecy 

Now let us carefully investigate another set of spiritual blueprints: Yeshua’s prophecy in Matthew 24 and 25, commonly called the Olivet Prophecy.

Having a working knowledge of all these “blueprints” will help us to discover who we are as a people in the eyes of YHVH, where we have come from, where we are presently, and where we are going—that is, what the future holds for us, and what our spiritual destiny or divine inheritance is. Only then will we understand the end-time prophetic events leading up to the second coming of Yeshua, and we will learn what our role will be to play in them.

As we begin to examine Matthew 24 and 25, it is important first to note the chronological positioning of this prophecy in the context of the passages before and after this pivotal chapter. The chapters that precede Matthew 24 prophetically speak of precursory events leading up to the second coming of Yeshua, while those that follow Matthew 24 prophetically delineate events that occur after his return.

Matthew 24 sits like a diamond in the midst of a brilliant gold setting. It speaks of the order of end time events pertaining to the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah, our beloved King, Redeemer and Savior. Listed below is a chronology of events as Matthew lays them out, more or less, in the order in which they will occur prophetically. Many of these passages will be elucidated upon later in this book. It is important that we present the overall layout of end-time events here and now before studying the individual components in detail later.

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Deuteronomy 32—A Poetic Prophecy for US

Deuteronomy 32

Deuteronomy 32:1–2, Words of my mouth…rain. Note the phrases: “words of my mouth,” “my doctrine,” “rain,” “my speech shall distill as the dew,” “small rain” and “showers.” Now read compare these phrases with Eph 5:26. What is Scripture talking about here? Israel spent 40 years in a dry wilderness. By contrast, the Promised Land was a land flowing with milk and honey and was well-watered. Immediately before and after the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai (Exod 20), there are references to human thirst and YHVH providing water for his people (Exod 15:22–27; 17:1–7 Num 20:2–13). During the Messianic Age (the Millennium), living waters will flow from Jerusalem (Zech 14:8) and those who refuse to come up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) will receive no rain on their land (Zech 14:16–19). As you relate all these scriptures together, what is the bigger lesson YHVH is trying to teach us here pertaining to water and the word of YHVH?

Deuteronomy 32:8, Children of Israel. The Septuagint (LXX) has “angels of God,” the ESV has “sons of God,” and the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) has “children of God.” The LXX and ESV references could be a reference to the fallen angel, demon-nephilim or sons of Elohim reference found in Genesis 6:2 who along with their descendants founded kingdoms and empires that were opposed to Elohim. This alternate rendering possibly makes more sense, since Israel was not yet a nation when the Almighty assigned the nations to the heathens and the demon-gods or elohim that he placed over them and that they worshipped in place of the true YHVH Elohim. On the other hand, perhaps YHVH arranged the heathen in their countries around the future land of Israel, and those heathen living therein were merely squatters illegally inhabiting the Promised Land before the children of Israel were a nation.

Deuteronomy 32:14, Blood of the grapes. What is Torah referring to in this interesting, rather arcane phrase? Compare this with a parallel passage found in Genesis 49:11, which is clearly Messianic in nature. Now add into the mix Leviticus 17:11; Revelation 1:5; 7:14; Matthew 26:27–28; Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; John 15:1–5 and finally John 6:53–56. In the last passage listed, is Yeshua advocating some bizarre cultic rite involving cannibalism, or is he relating back to these Torah passages that are Messianic in nature and relating them to his redemptive work at the cross, which believers commemorate when they take communion at Passover?

Deuteronomy 32:15, Yeshurun. The name Yeshurun is a poetic name for Israel and means “upright, straight or just.” YHVH ascribed this august title to Israel indicating that Israel was not to deviate from the high standards demanded by YHVH (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 1103). This is a prophecy about what would happen to Israel once in the Promised Land. They forsook the one who had redeemed them and blessed them. Compare this with Yeshua’s admonition to the Laodicean believers in Revelation 3:14–21 (especially note verse 17), which is a description of the contemporary American Christian church, much of which preaches an “easy-believism,” health and wealth, pop-psychology, “come to Jesus and everything will be all right” “gospel” message. Just because you now a part of a more Hebraically oriented congregation does not mean that you have shed off this kind of thinking and its accompanying lifestyle and that this prophecy does not apply to you. Selah (ponder and reflect).

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2 Timothy 1 and 2—Spiritual Power and Boldness From Above in Times of Shaking and Uncertainty

Do you sense that the world is going stark raving mad and crazy all around you? That the Antichrist demonic forces of hell and death have been unleashed and are waging a rabidly fierce battle to the death against all that is good as defined by the Bible? The natural human reaction in light of this is either flee or to fight. What should the saint do?

The Bible makes it clear. There is a time to fight and a time to flee. I don’t believe that now is the time for most of us to flee. Where would we flee to anyway? No. We must pray for boldness to preach the gospel as the early saints did in the book of Acts even in the face of life threatening circumstances (Acts 4:23–31).

Hopefully, these commentary notes, which I have just written this morning, will encourage us to do just that. This manna gleaned from the Word of Elohim has definitely encouraged me.

Be blessed and strengthened in Yeshua the Messiah who has overcome sin and death and made us partakers of his victory!

2 Timothy 1

2 Timothy 1:6, Stir up.What in us needs stirring up from time to time? Simply this: boldness to share the gospel with those around us as we discuss in the next verse. 

2 Timothy 1:7, Spirit of fear [Gr. deilia]. Deilia denotes “timidity or cowardice.” The opposite of deilia is shame (v. 8), but shame of what? The context is clear here. It shame of the testimony or gospel of Yeshua and of standing up for those who are being persecuted for preaching the gospel (v. 8). For fear of what others will think, too many believers fail to share the gospel with those around them. Yeshua referred to this as putting one’s lamp under a bushel basket when, instead, he called his disciples to be like light on a hill (Matt 5:13–15) and commissioned them to take the gospel to the world (Matt 28:18–20; Mark 16:14–18). For too many saints, the great commission has become the great omission!

What have the saints to fear when Yeshua has given them the victory over sin and death (1 Cor 15:54–56)? Nay, through Yeshua the Messiah, the saint can do all things (Phil 4:13), and has become more than a conqueror (Rom 8:37), for greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). After all, if Elohim is for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31)? This means that YHVH will give us the boldness to share the gospel message with those around us, even as he gave the early disciples the boldness to do so when they asked him for it in the face of life threatening persecution (Acts 4:23–31).

Power [Gr. dunamis]…love [Gr. agapē]…sound mind [Gr. sōphronismos]. Dunamis refers to miraculous power or strength. Agape denotes “affection or benevolence” and, in Scripture, refers to the love of Elohim for his Son, for the human race, believers for Yeshua, the saints for one another, and is a fruit of the Spirit.  

Sōphronismos denotes “a well-balanced, self-controlled or disciplined mind.” In other words, YHVH has equipped the saint with everything he needs to counteract the natural tendency toward fear in difficult situations. We have the miraculous power of the Spirit of Elohim working within us, the fruit of the Spirit of love, and a well-balanced and self disciplined mental state that will give in neither to irrational nor to naturally occurring human fear in the face of difficult situations. 

What is Paul saying here in contrast to the spirit of fear or timidity and being ashamed of the testimony of Yeshua (v. 8)? He is declaring that Elohim has given his saints the means, power and ability to share the gospel with those around them and to stand up for the testimony of Yeshua in the face of persecution rather than succumbing to the natural tendency to pull away in timidity or cowardice. 

Elsewhere, John declare that there is no fear in love, that perfect love casts out fear, and that the saint’s source of love is from the Father in heaven (1 John 4:18–19). If we are full of the love of Yeshua for others, then we will neither be afraid of what they think nor will we be ashamed to share the gospel with them, for our desire to see them saved will override all fear including that of criticism, mocking or rejection by others. The example of this can be illustrated by a house that is on fire and that contains sleeping occupants who are unaware of the fire that is about to kill them. Without thinking and in total boldness, a good Samaritan will break into the house, rush in yelling and screaming for the people to wake up and escape. He will do so boldly and without concern for what those in the house may think. In a sense, this should be our approach to those around us who are spiritually lost and in danger of being cast into the lake of fire.

2 Timothy 1:9, Before time began.YHVH Elohim established his plan of salvation for mankind through the redemptive life and death of Yeshua the Messiah before the world began (Rev 17:8; Acts 15:18; Rom 16:25; Tit 1:2; 1 Pet 1:20). Additionally, YHVH has chosen each saint through Yeshua before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:14; Rom 87:29–30; 11:2; Acts 18:38). That is, he knew each person by name who would accept his gift of salvation (Rev 13:8; 17:8) and, by implication, he also knew those who wouldn’t. Moreover, the kingdom of Elohim or heaven has been prepared for the saints from or before the foundation of the world (Matt 25:35).

2 Timothy 1:10, Life [Gr. zoe] and immortality [Gr. aphtharsia]. Zoe refers to life in it all of its aspects both in physical and spiritual dimensions. Aphtharsia denotes “incorruptibility or generally unending existence.” Through Yeshua, the saint has both physical and spiritual life that will extend past the final curtain of physical death and will continue unendingly into eternity. This is the message and power of the gospel in a person’s life through a relationship with Yeshua.

2 Timothy 2 

2 Timothy 2:25–26, Grant them repentance.This verse indicates that sinful humans can’t even repent of sin properly on their own strength. Repentance is a gift that YHVH grants to those who have a heart for it—that they will come to their senses and turn from falling prey to the snares of the devil that have bound them in sin. Moreover, verse 25 indicates that YHVH may or may not grant people this gift. 

Elsewhere we read that YHVH is not willing that anyone should perish, but desires that all men everywhere come to repentance (Acts 17:30; 2 Pet 3:9). From these scriptures, we may conclude that whether YHVH grants the gift of repentance or not depends on whether a person is sick enough of his sin to cry out to YHVH for help in desperation for deliverance. 

This gift of repentance can occur at the beginning of one’s spiritual walk as they are coming to faith, or later down the road when one is repenting of reoccurring sin that, in their own strength, they feel powerless to overcome. 

This gift comes as a result of trusting YHVH completely and not relying on one’s own strength to overcome sin. Faith in Elohim and humility on the part of the sinner is the key that unlocks access to the gift of repentance.