This phrase confirms the credibility of the pronoun Whom. It is essentially good for one to know the source in whom he puts his trust and reliance. Faith in money or positions seemly stable, faith in politicians representing government is to be up for big surprises. Putting faith in anything pertaining to what the world offers is without a doubt, foolish and disappointing. History frequently shows us humanity’s failure in delivering the promise. In the political world, they come with promises and they leave without fulfilling them. Job positions are relevant only upon success one has achieved. It is all circumstantial and transitory, together with what we as humans are. Friends often betray each other’s confidence and the bridge of relationship destroyed. Even the closest to us, as in family, has failed many times causing family to break up. Where then can one go to find the assurance and the certainty he is looking for? The Apostle Paul gives us the sure answer that will never frustrates, neither fails us. In His words, “For I know Whom I have believed,” with these words, he establishes a firm foundation and pillars that will not collapse our faith and belief in time of trials. Amidst Paul’s suffering persecution for the Gospel, he never gave up, because he knew Whom he had believed. I know He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed until that day (II Tim. 1: 12). Faith is not blind; it does not walk with a stick for guidance; it is not ignorant. Instead, Faith is knowing, although not seeing, it is sure, although not touching. Faith is hope, it is proof of things we do not see, it is the assurance of their reality; faith perceives as real of things not yet revealed. Believing in God it is for knowing Him; it for having a relationship with Him. It is to disregard everyone else and everything else in order to embrace His words of promises, especially in our most trying times. “Be still and know that I am God!” The stillness of the soul rests on Him Who can calm the storm and rage of the sea. He rushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still (Ps. 107: 29). That’s our only true God. In Him we can put our trust in confidence. “I believed; therefore, I have spoken.” Words from the Psalmist, who after great time of suffering anguish and grief, said, Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as a Live; the cords and sorrows of death were around me, and the terrors of Sheol had laid hold of me; I suffered anguish and grief; then I called upon the name of the Lord, O Lord, I beseech You, save my life and deliver me! I believed, and therefore Have I spoken (Ps. 116:3-4.10).
When we see a lion roaming around, we come to the realization that he is, without a doubt, the king of the beasts, for his powerful appearance and uncompromisingly strength. None will escape his attack in the strength that he displays to bring its victim down. It is heartbreaking to watch the killing taking place, though. Fear of him is spread all around at the sound of his roaring heard five miles away. In a frightening moment at the dark of the night, one experiences the hair standing up in a chill of death. But that roaring is only expressing his right to the prey he is killing. The success he utters is not for sharing of the meal, but to warn all to stay away. Who cannot help but to feel the vibration of fear all over the spine at his roaring? Running a short distance at 50 mph, no one can escape his pursuit. Majestic and intimidating, the lion stands tall and non-afraid. Although, many of their care givers lost their lives at their claws and mouth, the lion has shown undisputable love toward their owners even when apart from them many years through their affection demonstrated to them. It is hard to believe how he can be so loving and at the same time so ferocious!
YAHSHUA , the “Lion of Judah” came from the tribe of Judah, the most privileged tribe of all the twelve tribes, because it was through this tribe that God chose to send His Son to the world. Therefore, it is through this tribe that the world has been blessed according to the blessing God promised Abraham at the ranges of Mount Moriah after testing him. Judah’s name means praise or thanksgiving. Although, Judah was not an ideal moral man, God’s sovereign purpose was accomplished through his descendants. In Genesis 49:8-10 Jacob, before he died, prophesized to all his sons, and of Judah he said, Judah, you are the one whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down to you; Judah, a lion’s cub! With the prey, my son, you have gone high up. He stooped down, he crouched like a lion, and like a lioness who dares provoke and rouse him? The scepter or leadership shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff between his feet, until Shiloh comes to Whom it belongs, and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. Jacob’s words echoed through the years and will continue to the day when YAHSHUA, the Lion from the tribe of Judah will come to reign and through Him the prophecy will be completely fulfilled. His voice is compared to the roar of a lion, powerful in times of His judgment. Amos 1:2 says, Jehovah roars out of Zion and He utters His voice from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and the head of Carmel withers. We see in the prophetic words of the Prophet Amos confirming and warning the people of the seriousness of God’s judgment. The lion hath roared; who will not fear? The Lord Jehovah hath spoken; who can but prophesy? (Amos 3:8). Even nature in its frailty recognizes the voice of God! There is much to ponder at the sound of the Lord’s roaring. As nature trembles at the sound of His voice, men must realize the tone of judgment in God’s voice and mend his ways.
(I John 5:14-17)
Confidence is the anchor that leads one to success. The winds of life will not overcome it, because it is based not on the tangible, but on the assurance of one’s belief. Confidence is a result of faith, believing in the unseen, when many cannot see. Confidence demands assurance to sustain it; they walk hand in hand; One cannot be confident without being sure. Paul assured the Philippians His confidence on God’s ability to finish the work He started in them, saying: I am confident of this very thing- that He Who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Messiah YAHSHUA (Phil. 1:6). When God saves the sinner, He starts the work of sanctification, a process before glorification. Confident on God’s work, we Christians are sure in the midst of our trials, that He is performing the work of sanctification, for the Bible tells us that He has given us the Spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind (II Tim. 1:7b). Paul, in his assurance of faith, suffered much persecution, confidently of God’s plan for his life. Writing to Timothy, he said, for this [Gospel] I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher of the gentile. And this is why I am suffering as I do. Still, I am not ashamed, for I know Him Whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed [to Him] until that day (II Tim. 1:11-12). For the believer to have spiritual confidence in the promises of God, and assurance of His love, he must know Him through a relationship with Him.
The beautiful relationship between God and man before sin entered into the Garden of Eden, was perfect and pure, for He had made man in His likeness -the only creation to have been created in the likeness of God Himself. He and not the animals could have a relationship with God in the level of understanding and through reasoning he could communicate with God. But Satan had to interfere by planting sin in the hearts of Eve and Adam. The Bible says when men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of all they desired and chose…. There were giants on the earth in those days- and also afterward- when the sons of God lived with the daughters of men, and they bore children to them…. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and the that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually… So the Lord said, I will destroy. Blot out and wipe away mankind from the face of the ground, whom I have created. Not only men, [but] the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air- for it grieves Me and makes Me regretful that I have made them (Gen. 6: 1-7).
This writing can be very controversial, but also very insightful. I hope you will take the time to consider the facts presented in this study.
Will the antichrist be Jew or Gentile?
“And the people of the prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 7:27). We know through history that the Romans were the people that destroyed Jerusalem and the sanctuary. Therefore, we understand from Scriptures that “the prince who will come” will be from Rome. Does it imply any nation from the Roman Empire of those days, since the Roman Empire included all the nations that bordered the Mediterranean Sea, Britannia and more, or that imply only to Rome of today in its revived stage?
According to the teachings of Hippolytus, the most important theologian from the third century, the antichrist would be a Jew. He based his teaching on Deuteronomy 33:22, where Moses described Dan as a lion’s whelp that leaps forth from Bashan; Bashan was a place where the flock of sheep would feed. Let’s look at the meaning of a whelp according to Webster’s dictionary. It is the young of any of various flesh-eating animals; name that defines voracious animals. Micah 5:8b describes a whelp this way: like a young lion among the flocks of sheep which, when it goes through, treads down and tears in pieces, and there is no deliverer. This is how Daniel describes the fourth beast: terrible, powerful and dreadful, and exceedingly strong, and had great iron teeth; it devoured and crushed and trampled what was left with its feet (Daniel 7:7). When Moses identified Dan as a lion’s whelp, was he prophesying about Dan’s position in the far future?
In the words of Jacob before he died found in Genesis 49:16-17, he said of Dan, Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. To judge according the Webster’s dictionary is, to hear and pass judgment on people and in Jewish history is to govern; they ruled for over four centuries after the death of Joshua. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, a horned snake in the path that bites at the horse’s heels, so that his rider falls backward. A serpent carried the devil’s plan and became the symbol of Satan, the deceiver. A serpent is therefore the symbol of the devil and his craftiness; a deceiver of mankind, as we see in Genesis 3:1, Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made.
What links these two in their commonality? I would like to bring to you the most amazing story known to the entire world, not like you have heard before, but according to facts hidden from translations. When we hear about the Birth of Christ story we think shepherds, star, manger, sheep, goats, donkeys, the three wise men, and their gifts. It is a story of light and angels singing; a story of hope of salvation. We understand that and we rejoice that our Savior has been born. “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). However, there are specific insights missing in this wonderful story hidden from us in the past, but now revealed. Thanks to those dedicated students of the Bible. These are specifics of great significance that confirms the divinity of our Savior, YAHSHUA, and His role as the Lamb of God. I have written about this before just in passing, but now I want to bring this story to you in its entirety and meaning. Perhaps you will never celebrate the birth of Christ the same way as before.
The book entitled The Life and Times of Jesus Messiah by Alfred Edersheim (1899) reveals that the Jewish belief and conviction were not only that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, but that He was to be revealed from Migdal Eder- the Tower of Flock. This tower was not a watchtower for the ordinary flocks, which pastured on the barren sheep ground beyond Bethlehem, but these lay close to town, on the road to Jerusalem. They were destined for temple sacrifices and those shepherds who watched over them were not ordinary shepherds either. These watchtowers were like forts from where the shepherds would observe their flocks from the second floor. In the occasion of births, the shepherds would wrap the newborn lambs in swaddling clothes for their protection, keeping them without blemish and then laid them in a manger.
The beauty of this story reflects the report of YAHSHUA’S birth, which we read in Luke 2: 6-12: And while they were there, the time came for their delivery, and she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn. And in that vicinity there were shepherds living in the field, watching over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terrible frightened. But the angel said to them, do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord! And this will be a sign for you: you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. This language was familiar to those shepherds. But they did not associate the Messiah to be the Sacrificial Lamb of God for the sins of the world.
A decree from Caesar Augustus which was sent out to the entire Roman Empire to have all registered, caused Mary and Joseph to go to their own town. They went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David (Luke 2:4).
What seemed a problem to them, supposedly, when there was no room anywhere else for them to lodge, it was providential for them to lodge at a place where sacrificial lambs were cared for. These lambs were without blemish, perfect for the atonement of sin at Passover time. That was the place where only these types of animals were found. Joseph and Mary were not aware of the deep meaning of that place in relationship with their new-born Son- the Lamb of God.
Thirty years later, John would shout in the wilderness introducing Him to the world: Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!
Not far away there were shepherds tending their flock by night. That night of October became the most significant night in the history of humankind. No one knew what was happening that night. The world was asleep, while the Son of God came in the form of a baby. That was not just a baby, but no one knew, except His mother and Joseph. That quiet night soon became festive with celebration from angels. They were an army of the troops of heaven praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased (Luke 2). The shepherds were the first recipients of the hidden message of salvation found in the new-born Baby. “For you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Messiah the Lord!” God’s providential purpose of His Son to have been born in that place served as a sign to the shepherds. The angel told them: This will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]; you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger (Luke 2:13). Sure that any other baby born that night was found wrapped in swaddling clothes. The clue was He was to be found “lying in a manger.” This unusual way to find a baby certified the message and sealed the truth the angel had told the shepherds. Identifying Himself with the sacrificial lambs, YAHSHUA took His position of a lamb in a symbolic way and was born among them.
Just before His trials and afterward His death, YASHUA spent time alone with His disciples comforting and instructing them, preparing them for what was coming. He spent His last hours with them alone to say good-bye in a sense. Disregarding what was ahead of Him, when He had to go through much suffering, His focus was now on the needs of the disciples. His three-year ministry had come to an end; the time had come when He was going to experience death and resurrection to accomplish the will of the Father, for which He had come. Subsequently, His exit from the earth was approaching. But these were news the disciples couldn’t digest for not being able to understand the meaning of it all. It seemed that they stayed in the dark of their understanding, until the Lord’s resurrection, when the He revealed plainly the meaning to two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus: YAHSHUA said to them, O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe everything that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary and essentially fitting that the Christ should suffer all these things before entering into His glory? Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He went on explaining and interpreting to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning and referring to Himself (Luke 24:25-27).
Do not let your hearts be troubled, He starts, you believe on God, believe also on Me (John 14:1). The days ahead were going to be days of uncertainties for all the disciples, with the absence of their Messiah from among them. Believe on God; believe also on Me, because the future holds the promise of deliverance and hope. I will not leave you orphans; I will come [back] to you (vs. 18) … And when I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also; and where I am going, you know the way (vs.3,4). Thomas then asked a leading question in the middle of the Lord’s words of hope. He said, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” which opened the door for YAHSHUA to declare Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:5,6). He is the Way to heaven, and to the heavenly Father; He is the Truth that sets the sinners free, He is the Life eternal. The definite article, the implies that He is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life.
“Timely spoken words are like apples in the platter of gold!” Invisible, but certain, is the work God is performing to save us. Faith applied in these days, when confusion has taken its seat with loud noises, leading many astray, is the most necessary feeling for peace. The tangible things we embrace, hoping to bring relief to the mind of our troubled soul, is just transitory in its existence, they are just things; not able to bring the spiritual comfort and hope we long for. Our cries increase while turmoil continues day by day. We ask, “O God, why do You cast us off forever?” In a desperate cry, with sobs that reached the soul in our anguish for deliverance, we remain in the presence of our God. The invasion of demons has taken over the earth, engulfing many with fear and terror; no longer a comfortable world to live in. The end, perhaps. The end has come and we are not prepared to believe the truth. Longing for the old times, when there were peace and order, and respect for others; when fear laid low, when oxygen was what we breathed in and carbon dioxide was what we breathed out, when we laughed and sang and danced to the tune of the songs we liked; when children were desired and protected; when the food we ate was natural and GMO free. In these thoughts we remain solitary pondering the outcome of all things.
Like the Psalmist however, when his nation was going through difficulties, we must find a song in our darkest night in remembrance of God’s goodness and faithfulness in the past. He said, I will earnestly recall the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember the wonders of old; I will meditate also upon all His works and consider all His deeds (Ps. 77: 11). Therefore, the soul of men must rest in the fact that God is consistently faithful to His Words and will perform that which He promised. Valleys and deserts are places to connect with God in faith and hope, and not to connect to fear and despair. We will see “the light at the end of the tunnel” when our eyes will be directed to God’s promises and strength, even in face of a storm. As the psalmist says, Yet God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth (Ps. 74:2). Many a night we will still face troubles that will make us scared and fearful; many days will come with trouble beyond our control; that will be our way of life until the consummation of all things takes place. However, there is a place of sure peace and security right now near to the heart of God, where we will remain emotionally stable and secure; where we will not be afraid of the terror of the night, not of the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday (Ps. 91).
(I Kings 18)
The Prophet Elijah feared not the multitude of the false prophets he confronted at Mount Carmel. Israel, for the most of its existence, has been submerged in the worship of false gods from the beginning; today it is no different. One can witness the mason’s symbol at the border between Egypt and Israel. It is a sad representation of the spiritual decay the nation is suffering. All through the Old Testament we read about Israel’s stubbornness in heeding God’s call to repentance. Four hundred plus years living in Egypt, Israel was brain washed concerning their beliefs seemingly forever. Nothing has made her to turn around from idolatrous gods. And today, worse yet, Israel is leading the nations on its idolatrous practices. Kabala, mingled with masonic, and other religious practices, (which I will not mention here), has taken the world by surprise. Spread all over the world, Israel is one nation that has influenced the entire world in the name of religion. Such a small nation, with such influential power makes one to wonder. Anti- Semitism is rampart in the nations, for many understands Israel’s influence in the world and they do not like it. As fruits leave a permanent mark on one’s clothes, so the nation of Israel has stained the world; never to leave it.
In the days of Elijah, drought came as God’s judgment on that land for three years. Not perceiving the reason why, they continued on their idolatrous ways. A nation now divided in two nations had lost the essence of their only true God. Embraced by the gods of the nations all around them, Israel became blind and forgetful. Baal, considered a fertility deity, was worshipped in many middle eastern countries, especially among the Canaanites, which God clearly warned Israel against them. The land of Canaan was from the beginning a land rooted in evil. It took its name from Noah’s grandson, Canaan, whose father was Ham, the carrier of a curse for seeing the nakedness of his father (Gen. 9:20-27). Ham’s descendants constituted the roots of Canaan. The Bible registers Ham’s genealogy as follows: Canaan became the father of Sidon his firstborn. Heth [the Hittites], the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Canaanites spread abroad and the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon as one goes to Geerar as far as Gaza, and as one goes to Sodom, Gomorrrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha (Gen. 10:15-19). Canaan was also home for giants, descendants from Anak, and of the Nephilim. Little seems to be of importance to us today, for its ancient history. However, history has a way of showing us the roots where we all came from.