Have you ever been in a situation when you have said, I do not know what to do? Crossroads ahead causing a moment of confusion in the midst of fear in the situation, as if your world shrunk to only you in it? You are not alone. Learning how to get our problems off our shoulders at the beginning of things, is a good thing, so not to suffer the consequences that will follow the worries. There is a path however, a narrow path, not visible at first, but nonetheless, a path we must look for to alleviate the mind from the control of fear; hear the Lord speaking, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” This is the only path to victory; the path that God has directed us to go through. “Though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” The confidence of faith elevates us above circumstances and opens our eyes to its spiritual reality, giving us the certainty that God is ever so present with us. So, never fear, God is near.
Iniquity, the condition of men’s heart, runs deeply into generations from the beginning of time. Its roots reach far into generations, controlling men’s behavior and bringing them generational curses of diseases. Because men sinned, they are the recipient of its evil fruit. Iniquity is the inherited weakness in men’s DNA and in his soul. Therefore, Paul said, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, because all men sinned (Rom. 5:12). The transfer of sin from generation to generation constitutes the sin of iniquity. It is its power taking over our desire to do good. David said, Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me (Ps. 139:5). Iniquity, is above all other definitions, the root of evil. It remains with a generation even to the third and fourth generation. (Ex. 34:7). Iniquity is willful sin; it is the hardness of the heart toward following what is right. The Prophet Micah gave this warning: Woe to those who devise iniquity and work out evil upon their beds! When the morning is light, they perform and practice it because it is in their power (2:1).
Mankind under such condition, is hopeless, and seemly without a way out of it. That’s why man needs a Savior, a Redeemer to uproot this evil from all of us, for we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23); we are condemned to die spiritually when without our Savior YAHSHUA’S redemption. Paul said, For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am doing… O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from this body of death? O thank God! He will…(Rom 7:18-19,24).
(Acts 16: 9-12; 16-34)
A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man from Macedonia stood pleading with him and saying, Come over to Macedonia and help us (vs. 9)! On the way to answer the “Macedonia call” Paul and Silas had to go through the “fire” being struck with many blows to the point of bleeding; they were thrown into prison (dungeon) with their feet fastened in the stocks (vs. 10). They faced many stumbling blocks, but none of them kept them from losing the focus of the call to Macedonia. Yes, they were bleeding and hurting physically, and their feet were fastened in the stocks, but they were strong spiritually to face the enemy’s weapons with praises to God, proclaiming His love to all who were listening to them in jail; and their spirits were free in Christ to proclaim the goodness of God.
That was the beginning of the fulfillment of the call. That stumbling block in front of them didn’t indicate a stop sign or a change of calling, but a yield sign in the calendar of God; an introduction to what God had in store for them. Their submission to God followed by praises to Him caused heaven’s door to be opened for God’s Power to be expressed through a powerful earthquake, where human powers could do nothing to stop it.
Moses starts this Psalm by saying, Lord, You have been our dwelling place and our refuge in all generations. A testimony he could seal in truth throughout the years he and his people walked through the wilderness, facing enemies of all kinds. He, unlikely other prophets, had a very close relationship with God, Who spoke to him face to face. God said of him, With Moses I speak mouth to mouth. Clearly and not in dark speeches; and he beholds the form of the Lord… (Num. 12:8). Forty years wandering in the desert was indeed plenty time for Moses to reflect upon life in its limitations. He experienced all kinds of perils to realize that it was by the grace of God, and not by his own effort that he survived them all. He watched many suffer God’s judgments and even death at their lack of faith and disobedience. Life seemed to Moses fragile and short and uncertain. His knowledge of human’s limitations brought an awareness of its short span. Life, is really just a breath away from death in its time frame on this earth.
Your dead shall live [O Lord]; the bodies of our dead [saints] shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For Your dew [O Lord] is a dew of [sparkling] light [heavenly, supernatural dew]; and the earth shall cast forth the dead [to life again; for on the land of the shades of the dead You will let Your dew fall] (Isaiah 26: 19). Resurrection unto life with YAHSHUA is the promise that rings eternally in the heart of all believer. Here the Prophet Isaiah assures the promise with words that connect to the words of our Lord when He said, I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, although he may die, yet he shall live; and whoever continues to live and believes in Me shall never die at all (John 11:25-24b). For the believer, death can only touch the physical part of the body. It has no power over the spirit. Life is in the spirit of the believer, although physical death has been ordained for men because of sin. Paul said, the body that is sown is perishable and decays, but [the body] that is resurrected is imperishable; it is sown in dishonor and humiliation it is raised in honor and glory. It is sown in infirmity and weakness it is resurrected in strength and endued with power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a supernatural body. [as surely as] there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body (Cor. 15:42-44). Paul referred YASHSUA as the first born from among the dead because He was the first to experience birth after death through His resurrection, so we will too. He will die no more. Many people experienced resurrection but had to die again. In the book of Revelation- the revelation of YAHSHUA the Messiah, John also referred to Him as the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the First-born of the dead… (Rev. 1: 5a). Because we were given the right to become the children of God by believing in His name, we owe our birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh nor to the will of man, but to God [we are born of God] (John 1:12), even though we died physically, we shall live.
“For Your dew is a dew of light” That implies life coming from heaven in a supernatural dew. When YAHSHUA rose from the dead in the powerful resurrection power, the tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep in death were raised to life and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people (Matt. 28: 52-53). We know that these people were not resurrected in their glorified bodies, either to eternal life and like the rest who came to life, they died again. That was not the “heavenly, supernatural dew.” The impact of the resurrection of our Savior YAHSHUA- the author of Life, was so great and so powerful that caused life to enter into the lives of those saints. If they were recognizable, I presume they were saints who had died recently. I am just speculating, of course, for the Bible does not tell us whom they were.
(Matt. 16:16; Luke 9:20; John 19:19)
After having healed all those that had come to Him and fed the multitude of thousands with seven loaves of bread and a few fish, YAHSHUA asked a very important question in two folds: Who do people say that the Son of Man is, but Who do you say that I am? The conjunction but emphasizes the importance in the clear understanding of the knowledge the disciples must have of Whom YAHSHUA was. He directs the first question in the third person – the Son of Man is, but when directed the question to them, He asks them in the first person, but Who do you say I am? Or How about you?
The Samaritan woman, after talking to YAHSHUA, went to town and she began telling the people, “Come, and see a Man Who has told me everything that I ever did”! She concluded with a curious question, Can this be the Christ? Many believed the words of the Samaritan woman enough to come and meet Him. And perhaps out of curiosity they came. But when they heard Him, they said, Now we no longer believe just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ (John 4:42). Hungry for more of His words, they asked YAHSHUA to remain with them and He did stay there two days (John 4:40). Two days represent the period of two thousand years God was giving to the Gentile nations to hear the Gospel and turn to Him. In contrast with these Samaritans, the Jews of those days, in spite of all that they had witnessed in miracles, they could only conclude that He was perhaps John the Baptist, Elijah or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets (Matt. 16: 14).
In the midst of chaos, YAHSHUA performed yet great miracles as He was letting go of His life to prove men that He was Whom He said He was. Embed by pains from His head to His toes, from His inner soul to His spirit, He, even though God, suffered as man in every sense of the word, for He was condemned as man by His Father, when He took upon Himself the sins of the world. However, He never stopped being God. Nature knew and reacted in the form of trembling. It was as if it could understand and perceive what was happening to the One Who had created it. The miracles that surrounded the atmosphere were vividly proclaiming to men that that Man was not an ordinary man, He was God! Nature could not be quiet about it.
First, the sun, the chief light of the day, decided it would not shine its Creator’s agony to sinful men. For the three hours YAHSHUA suffered His worst pain; it was as if God was hiding from the eyes of men the sufferings of His Son by turning the sun’s lights off. He had already suffered enough physical pain from the hands of sinful men. But His last agonies were hidden from the world, so that it would be a moment when they would stop mocking and making a spectacle of Him through the cruelty of their sinful nature. Three hours of darkness must have made men ponder about the meaning of it. Except for the Roman Centurion and his guards, nothing we read about men’s reactions that showed significant meaning toward knowledge of YAHSHUA’S divinity and their repentance.
The number three shone during the trials and crucifixion of our Lord. That meant that the “Three in One” all suffered the ordeal YAHSHUA suffered. He was crucified at nine o’clock in the morning; nine is 3X3. From twelve until three o’clock in the afternoon darkness ruled the land. Twelve is 3X4. On the third hour of darkness, YAHSHUA cried with a loud voice, expressing the worst pain He ever suffered in that ordeal- the separation from His Father, when He suffered hell for us. It affected the religious site of the Jewish nation when the curtain of the temple was torn in two opening the door for all to enter the presence of God, that is, those who would accept Him. Interesting thing is that YAHSHUA being God, even there on the cross was the one Who tore the curtain, as He took the position of our High Priest. The curtain of the temple was six feet long and thirty feet wide, with the thickness of the palm of a man’s hand. It was made from 72 squares woven from thick material. No man could ever tear it with bear hands. It was without a doubt the work of God. The most fascinating fact was that it happened at the time when YAHSHUA died and also when the priests were in the place of the Holy of Holies performing their priestly duty, facing the curtain. It was torn in two equal parts. It just happened right in front of their eyes. As a result, the Bible reports that great many priests accepted their Messiah. Acts 6:7 says: And the message of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem; and a large number of the priests were obedient to the faith [in YAHSHUA as the Messiah, through whom is obtained eternal salvation in the kingdom of God]. YAHSHUA not only reconciled men to Himself, but also opened the door for them to enter into His presence at any time. That is a great honor given to men. Undeserved as we are, punishment should have been ours, not blessings. With His death, even when we were his enemies, He reconciled us to God (Himself) (Rom. 5:10a). When He tore the temple’s curtain, He gave us full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies by the blood of YAHSHUA (Heb. 10:19). It happened by the power of His blood, not the blood of animals, which were being sacrificed at the same time.
Earth revolted when it witnessed the death of its Creator, sending shock waves radiating to its surface from underground as in an earthquake, splitting the rocks, creating panic in many people who did not understand the cause, especially those who had rejected Him and given Him up to be crucified. It even brought to life saints, who had died some time ago. The power of YAHSHUA’S life, even when physically dead, shocked the earth and it stirred up the dead saints to life. Where His presence is there will be life, no matter what. That was a powerful miracle. No one should ever have doubted the reason for it; no one should ever have doubted the meaning of it. We see here YAHSHUA’S power of resurrection, which will happen in the future at the time of the rapture of His church, when only those “in Christ” will come to life. Note that not all dead came to life in His death, only the saints; and not all will be brought to life in the first resurrection, only His bride. YAHSHUA, when facing the death of Lazarus, introduced Himself to Martha as the Resurrection and Life. He was and is the solution for every problem man has. He said, I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, although he may die, yet he shall live (John 11:25).
Another significant miracle that happened at the death of YAHSHUA was the conversion of the Roman Centurion and his guards. Interesting to note is that those Romans had no knowledge of Whom YAHSHUA was; YAHSHUA, when they were crucifying Him, said a prayer of forgiveness we must not forget to whom it was directed. It was directed to those soldiers who hammered the nails in His hands and feet, who speared His side, who carved His brains with a crown of thorns, who whipped Him to the point of breaking His body through the skin, muscles reaching the bone, causing His body to be out of joint. It was to these cruel and godless Romans to whom YAHSHUA’S prayer of forgiveness was offered. Ingrained in their culture and religion, they were lost without YAHSHUA’S prayer on their behalf. But because God so loved the world to the point of giving His only begotten Son, these Romans were part of the plan of salvation, even if they were the ones killing God’s Son. They well represented the “world” and that prayer was necessary to bring them in too. Matthew reports that when the Centurion and those who were with him keeping watch over YAHSHUA observed the earthquake and all that was happening, they were terribly frightened and filled with awe and said, truly this was God’s Son! What a proclamation coming from a pagan, godless mouth! No longer had that, now these men witnessing the miracles at the foot of the cross, believed YAHSHUA to be the Son of God. Salvation is a result of a confession that YAHSHUA is Lord; Paul said, For with the heart a person believes and so is justified, and with the mouth he confesses and confirms [his] salvation (Rom. 10:9a-10). When our Savior YAHSHUA went to the cross, He went with the purpose to save men from eternal death. He took our cross and with His shedding blood He washed all who wanted, clean, including the thief on the cross, who had acknowledged Him as Lord and to be an innocent man. After he defended YAHSHUA against the other thief, He then asked Him, Lord, remember me when You come in your kingly glory! And YAHSHUA answered him: Truly, I tell you today you shall be with Me in Paradise (Luke 23:40-43). This was a promise for a thief at the end of his life for having believed YAHSHUA, and for all of us who will receive Him.
What’s the meaning of blood and water flowing out from YAHSHUA’S side? Have you ever wondered why and the meaning behind it? The truth of the matter is that we never stop to wonder why and what’s the significance behind it; we go on with minimum knowledge, not perceiving how little we care to know the reason behind it, to understand the extent of YAHSHUA’S suffering on our behalf. I believe that knowledge, as a glass window, will make possible for our eyes of understanding to see clearly and to change the way we see Him in His sufferings, and in relation to blood and water flowing out from His side when He was pierced. There is much to consider in the case of blood and water being flown from His side that is very important in the physical and in the spiritual realm to all those who are called believers in YAHSHUA.
John reports that, since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from hanging on the cross on the Sabbath- for that Sabbaths was a very solemn and important one- the Jews requested Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first one, ad of the other who had been crucified with Him, but when they came to YAHSHUA and they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs, but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out (John 19:31-34)
The Prophet Isaiah prophesized that YAHSHUA’S sufferings inflicted by Jews and Gentiles were marked on His appearance. His face and His whole appearance were marred more than any man’s, and His form beyond that of the sons of men-… (52:14a); He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, and a man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces, He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him (53:3). David, in his poetic writings, prophetically described the extent of YAHSUA’s physical as well as emotional sufferings in Psalms 22: Eli, Eli lama sabachthani? (My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is softened and melted down with me. My strength is dried up like a fragment of clay pottery my tongue cleaves to my jaws and You have brought me into the dust of death, for [like a pack of] dogs they have encompassed me; a company of evildoers has encircled me, they pierced my hands and my feet, I can count all my bones, …they part my clothing among them and cast lots for my raiment… (Psalm 22).
My soul is very sad and deeply grieved so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me… all of you must keep awake and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthews 26:38,41b).
YAHSHUA, in His anguish at the Garden before He was arrested, took with Him Peter, James and John saying, Stay here, keep wake and watch with Me. Suffering as a man, YAHSHUA needed support in His darkest hour on earth. That was, without a doubt, His most difficult hour, as He expressed to His disciples: “My soul is very sad and deeply grieved so that I am almost dying of sorrow.” That was His hour of decision. The tempter arrived at the garden at his “opportune time” when YAHSHUA was physically and emotionally weak. His betrayal was at hand by one of His disciples. His nation was going to hand Him to the Romans to be punished, the merciless Roman way. His nation, as a whole, had rejected Him; even one of His disciples was going to deny knowing Him. The ultimate rejection He experienced was on the cross. The hour had arrived when He had to face His enemies face to face- Jews and Gentiles, who would decide on the way He was to die. That was His dark hour. Although an angel came to comfort Him in the garden, nothing else was going to happen to free Him from His ordeal. It was that time!
Fear, is a thing that eats the emotion, destroys the body and mind, and ultimately controls the lives of those who feed on it. A spirit, the Bible calls it by name, is not given by God, but by the enemy of the soul. Through the spirit of fear, doubt takes over the mind and leads us to a hardening of the heart toward truth. A dangerous place to be, for it is there that we will lose the chance to repent, if we keep hardening our heart toward God. A dangerous wall made of lies, keeping truth unacceptable, blinding the eyes and hardening the heart.
The spirit of fear does not work alone; it has many other spirits working along with it. It is by the hearing that doubt penetrates the soul; it is seeing and not believing that the heart closes itself to truth. In the days of Noah before the flood, God gave that world 120 years to repent through the warning of judgement, for He is a compassionate God, not willing that men should perish. But the message Noah passed on to the people was to them as if a tale told children. Wherever there is truth, doubt is sure to hide in the heart and in the mind. The danger of doubt is the hardening of the heart. In Romans, Paul warns us concerning that. When God gives the doubter up in their doubt, for refusing to hear the truth, nothing will change that, but the repentant heart.
Fear, working its way to bring doubt in the heart of men, has led many to eternal destruction, because when our forefathers chose to accept the message from the serpent, doubt entered not only their hearts, but the entire world suffered the consequence. In choosing to believe Satan’s message, they forfeited God’s message and the world became Satan’s kingdom. We see the evidence of it all around us. Antagonism, hate, jealousy, envy and many more spirits permeating human as well as in the lives of the animals. For fear of the truth, doubt found an opened door to control the mind; for not wanting to believe truth, men rejected it. The spirit of unbelief attaches itself onto the spirit of doubt. Whenever we doubt God’s words, we manifest the spirit of unbelief residing in our mind. The disciple Thomas was rebuked by YAHSHUA when he doubted His resurrection. Because he saw he believed, he was not praised for that, but rebuked by our Lord YAHSHUA saying, reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but believe (John 20:27).