(Acts 1: 6-12)
Mount of Olives is a very significant place in the prophetic pages of the
Bible. Its past in the time of Solomon was used by him for idol worship. I
Kings 11:7-8: Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abominable idol
of Moab, on the hill opposite Jerusalem, and for Moloch the abominable idol of
the Ammonites, and He did so for all of his foreign wives, who burned incense
and sacrificed to their gods. From the
distance we only see white sepulchers; nothing that shows life. Death is
written all over it. We cannot understand why that mount was used for such a
purpose, since it is located in a desirable area for all to see. In spite of
this, Mount Olivet is also a place that speaks of the future pointing to the
time of the end.
(I Samuel 17:40-49)
When we hear the name Goliath, immediately, we associate him with David and his sling in a battle between the two nations. The story here is one of a series of wars between the Philistines and Israel. The Philistines were descendants from Ham (one of Noah’s son). They were Canaanites whom God told Israel to destroy. They were the Jebusites, the Amorites, and the Girgashite, among others. Their territory extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Adamah and Zeboiim as far as Lasha (Gen.10). In their quest to keep their land and their people, they fought Israel. Because Israel did not rid themselves of their enemies entirely earlier, they had to face them through battles to preserve their lives. In this particular battle, the Philistines relied heavily on their champion by the name of Goliath of Gath. He was not an ordinary man for he was a giant. The Bible registers his height as being six cubits and a span [almost ten feet]. He wore a bronze helmet on his head and a coat of mail, and the coat weighed 5,000 shekels of bronze [about 125 pounds]. He had bronze shin armor on his legs and a bronze javelin across his shoulders, and the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; his spear’s head weighed 600 shekels of iron [about 15 pounds]. And a shield bearer went before him (I Sam 17: 4-7).
Faith is a beautiful endowment to men. It is a spiritual gift enabling actions pleasing to
our Lord YAHSHUA. In fact, the Bible says that without faith it is impossible
to please God (Heb. 11: 6a). This gift is given to those who believe that
YAHSHUA is the Son of God. It takes us places where we experience God and His
presence in the midst of tribulation and hardship. There is nothing impossible
to achieve when our faith is focused on the promises of God. “Though the earth
should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas,
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling
and tumult” (Psalm. 46:2-3), faith sustains and uplifts above all
circumstances. However, the human
tendency is to be fearful in hard times. YAHSHUA often dealt with the disciples
for their lack of faith, for even when He was physically with them, they would
fear the unknown. We are no different than they were. When the test of our faith arrives, we often
fail, and like them, we become overwhelmed even when the Word of God says, Let
be and be still and know that I am God (Psa. 46:10a).
when they came near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage at the Mount of Olives,
YAHSHUA sent two disciples on ahead, saying to them, Go into the village that
is opposite you, and at once you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her;
untie them and bring them to Me.
The day that that colt was born, one more page was turned forward on YAHWEH’S book. In the obscurity of His plan to His disciples and everyone else, even though the prophets of old had mentioned the things they were experiencing, their eyes were closed and their understanding was dull to the Light that was shining prophecies being fulfilled right before their eyes. Heaven however, was connected with YAHSHUA, and so were Moses and Elisha when they appeared to Him at the Mount of Transfiguration and discussed His exodus from earth in that year of A.D. 33. Five days before the Jews’ Passover our Lord makes a royal entry into Jerusalem in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, you King comes to you; He is just and having salvation, patient, meek lowly, and riding on a donkey, upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
(Deut. 2: 7,
Life on earth is a wilderness filled with surprises at the moment our forefathers sinned. They had it so perfectly, but temptation took the best of them and life became what it is. They were thrown out of the garden, their comfortable and beautiful place to wander through the earth. Life became hard and challenging for them. They conceived the first murderer, who God marked with a sign, which no one knows what that was. Man’s blood line turned corrupted and iniquity traveled from generation to generation without end. So life here on earth is uncertain and full of surprises – good and bad. It is fast as a flower, springing in the morning and withering in the evening. In Psalm ninety Moses describes life in a nut shell: The days of our years are three-score years and ten or even, if by reason of strength, four score years; yet is their pride only labor and sorrow, for it is soon gone and we fly away. So teach us to number our days that we get us a heart of wisdom.
12:28; Luke 17:21)
praise, adored and thanked, O Lord, the God of Israel our [forefather], forever
and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the
victory and the majesty, for that is in the heavens and the earth is Your; Yours
is the Kingdom, O lord and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all. Both
riches and honor come from You and You reign over all. In your hands are power
and might; in Your hands it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now
therefore our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name and those
attributes which that name denotes (I Chronicles 29:10-13) – a prayer of David,
the servant of God.
Now a new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph (Ex. 1:8). There is a lot to consider in this few words, for they take us to the beginning when Joseph was sold to an officer of Pharaoh as a slave. However, God was with him and through all his life in Egypt, he prospered to become second to the King. Finding favor with him, Joseph moved his family from Canaan to Egypt, where they stayed 430 years. The Israelites, after so many years in that land, prospered and never returned to Canaan. That seemed to be the story of Israel throughout history after they were taken captives to another land. Not until pressure of persecution to the point of their death, do they return home, but not all. Let’s remember Hitler’s day. How many were killed? How many are still in that land today, including the whole of Europe? What will take them to realize the way home? History has being repeating itself over and over in the lives of Israel; today they call it anti-Semitism. After the slaughter of many of their ancestors in Hitler’s day Israel has said, “Never again.” But it will not be so, until they go home.
For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days because you will do what is evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands. Moses spoke these solemn words to Israel at the end of his journey through the desert. He had seen and experienced many things from his people as he led them to the Promised Land. It grieved him to see the indifference of the people toward obedience to God. From those many years traveling together, Moses could perceive the evil hearts of the people and through a song he prophesied about Israel in the latter days. He also prophesied concerning Israel’s idolatry and departure from God after his death: But Jeshurun (Israel) grew fat and kicked. You became fat, you grew thick, you were gorged and sleek! Then he forsook God Who made him and forsook and despised the Rock of his salvation. They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons, not to God-to gods whom they knew not, to new gods lately come up, whom your fathers never knew or feared…you forgot the God Who travailed in your birth (Deut. 32:15-18).
Therefore if any person is in Christ he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come (II Corinthians 5:17). The new creature we become is born of the Spirit, the Spirit of YAHSHUA. He said, I assure you most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God… What is born of flesh is flesh; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit… you must be born anew (from above) (John 3). And what must we do to be saved asked the jailer. Paul answered: believe in the Lord YAHSHUA the Messiah and you will be saved you and your household as well (Acts 16:31). This new spiritual birth is something one cannot understand, only when one goes through it. You will definitely know when it happens to you. It is the most beautiful experience when man acknowledges his sin before God with repentance and brokenness, and heavens celebrate it. When that happens, God seals him with His seal of approval – His Holy Spirit.
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.