The purposes for the great tribulation are clearly stated in the book of Daniel chapter nine: to finish transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place (vv. 24). Summarizing all, it is to make an end of wickedness and wicked ones. When YAHSHUA came in the period of the sixty-ninth weeks of the seventy weeks of years given to the Jewish nation, He took upon Himself the penalty of our sin and iniquity, He suffered the pain of the tribulation and of hell, so to deliver those who would accept Him. Those who believe in Him go through the process of regeneration, and sanctification and ultimately glorification through the new birth. As He told Nicodemus, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you that unless a person is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; 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. God so greatly loved the world that He gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life; for God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; but he who does not believe in Him is judged already, because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God; The [basis of the] judgment lies in this: The Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works were evil” (John 3:16-19).
YAHSHUA, after teaching the famous sermon on the mount, came down with a multitude of people following Him. From that crowd, a leper shows up and begs Him to be healed, as he prostrating himself and worshiping Him said, “If You are willing, You are able to cleanse me” … YAHSHUA then responded, I am willing and healed him. His day begun reaching out to a spiritually hungry and thirsty crowd. These were as if sheep without a shepherd. They always seemed to know where to find YAHSHUA. It was as if they had an appointment with Him. That day was no different. On His way to Capernaum, a Centurion came up to Him begging Him to heal his servant. He expressed the anguish of his servant by saying, Lord, my servant boy is lying at the house paralyzed and distressed with intense pain (Matt. 8:5-6). This Roman Centurion, without out a doubt, had heard about Him and now came to Him believing Him. It only took the first step for him to receive the result of his faith. In fact, YAHSHUA marveled at his faith and as a result, his servant was healed. Entering Peter’s house, He found Peter’s wife sick with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her. After that, many who were under the power of demons came to Him; He drove out the spirits with a word and restored to health all who were sick. The Word of God concludes, Thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases (vs.14-17). Those were very busy days for Messiah YAHSHUA. Compelled by love, compassion, He healed diseases- all kinds of diseases, He freed many from the power of demons. Those were physical, emotional, and spiritual storms people brought to Him. None who came to Him left emptied handed or disappointed. Out of His fullness, as John said, they had received one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift upon gift (John 1:16).
Is there any truth left in this world one must follow? Or is it dead? What is really truth? Outside of its spiritual meaning, truth is conformity with facts and reality (Webster’s dictionary). Buy the truth and sell not; not only that, but also get discernment and judgment, instructions and understanding (Prov. 23:23). Where truth has fallen, falsehood, lies and dishonesty have taken its place. Paul warned us in II Thessalonians 2 that the coming of the lawless one is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of miracles and signs and delusive marvels, and by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved. Therefore, God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false (II Thess. 2:9-11). We live in the days of errors, misleading, lies and confusion. These are days precursor of the tribulation time, when the devil will take control of this world through the antichrist. What we are experiencing right now is the introduction of Satan’s way of governing the world. Evil, seduction, errors. Many are believing and following the delusion, by believing lies and fighting the truth. The Prophet Isaiah writes about Israel’s spiritual condition in chapter 59: 12-15 which is also a picture of today’s world’s spiritual condition: justice is turned away backward and righteousness stands far off; for truth has fallen in the street and uprightness cannot enter [the courts of justice]. Yes, truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. And the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice (Vs.14-15). The time will come when the Lord will not observe the growing evil in this world without judging it. He is longsuffering, not wanting that men should go to hell; He keeps waiting for them to have a change of heart. But it will not be forever. Right now, judgment is at the door.
(Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:13)
And YAHSHUA went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry (vs 2). At the point of YAHSHUA’S need, Satan appeared to Him with his suggestion, knowingly exactly Who YAHSHUA was. “If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made bread” (vs. 3). Trying his sarcastic and doubtful way, “If you are the son of God” to entice YAHSHUA to fall into his trap. YAHSHUA knew Who He was and so did he. This was a temptation within a temptation. He used the old scheme when he first tempted man with doubt. To Eve he said, “Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1) He created the need for Eve and Adam to fall into the temptation of being like God.
YAHSHUA was and is the Bread of life that satisfied and continues to satisfy all who hungers after Him. In His humanity, He was hungry, but His Spirit could never have been weak in the sense that He was God. As He said bread alone does not maintain life, but every Word that derives from the mouth of God. Man’s needs are both in the physical as well as in the spiritual levels. Bread alone does not satisfy the need of the soul neither will it meet the spiritual need of men. Seek first the Kingdom of God, YAHSHUA commanded us, for the physical need to be met. It will be from the spiritual level that our physical needs will be met.
Mouth, Tongue = Words
(Proverbs 13:3; Psalm 19:14; I Peter 3:10)
“He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” A loose tongue has the power to destroy a city. It is like fire out of control when no one can tame it. Solomon said these in the book of Proverbs: These six things the Lord hates; indeed, seven are an abomination to Him. (1) proud look (2) a lying tongue, (3) hands that shed blood, (4) a heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans (5) feet that are swift in running for evil (6) a false witness that breathes out lies and (7) he who sows discord among his brethren (Prov. 6: 16-19). Out of seven three has to do with the tongue – mouth, being the seventh the one God abominates. When the human heart is evil, evil will come out of the mouth. The mouth is the door from which the heart expresses itself. When rebuking the Pharisees of His time, YAHSHUA said, You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things. But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle word they speak. For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced (Matt. 12: 34-37). When we perceive evil coming out of someone’s mouth, we understand that his heart is full of it. Although one cannot see what is going on the heart of man, one can see it through the hearing of the ears.
(Genesis 22; Job 1:8-9; I Peter 1: 7)
Blessed is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).
“For when he has stood the test and been approved” there will be a crown waiting for him, the crown of life which has been promised by God Himself to those who love Him, shown in action of obedience and endurance. The crown of life is the crown that will be given to those who endure trials and martyrdom for their faith. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).
In his testing of faith, the Patriarch Abraham answered the Lord’s calling by saying, Here I am! This is such a gesture of submission it cannot be ignored. Abraham had a friend’s relationship with God. His walk of faith confirmed it, and the fact that God Himself so expressed in Genesis 18:19: For I have known him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him. Abraham did not know about the test of faith he was about to go through at God’s calling his name. “Here I am” he answered. The Lord then commanded him saying, Take your son, your only son, whom you loveand go to the region of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell you ( Gen. 22:2).
(John 16:21; Matthews 24)
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that you shall weep and grieve, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy, a woman, when she gives birth to a child, has grief because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she no longer remembers her pain, because she is so glad that a man has been born into the world (John 16:20-21).
YAHSHUA’S analogy is well fitted to the subject of end times. There are no pains worth going through that do not produce a result and relief. When Eve sinned, God punished her with pain in childbirth (Gen. 3:16) He said to the woman, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children…. A woman’s labor pain is caused by contractions of the uterus’ muscles and by pressure on the cervix. It affects several parts of the body, for the entire body has to accommodate to the change that is happening for the sake of giving birth. Labor contractions are necessary for the body to push the baby out. They grow in intensity and constant as the baby nears the birth canal. But the woman is relieved after it is all over. She rejoices when she hears her baby crying, which is a sign of life. And as YAHSHUA said, she no longer remembers her pain because joy floods her soul with the thought of have given birth to a child. So the end time or the end of ages pains are compared to birth pain, because it gives birth to the fulfillment of prophecy of the Scriptures. YAHSHUA advised us to look up when we see those things are happening, because our redemption is on its way.
And Israel said to Moses, you speak to us and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, lest we die… And the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was (Exodus 20:18-24).
When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid themselves from the presence of God, at the sound of His voice while walking through the garden (Gen.3:8). A routine of the day when God would come to commune with them in the cool of the day, became a fearful experience. Peace was replaced by fear and guilt, when they made the decision to believe the serpent, instead. Sin had taken them away from the presence of God and robbed them of their relationship with Him. No longer could they feel comfortable in the presence of the holy God. What was so important to them, they lost in the decision they had made. Now, instead of welcoming God in their midst, they hid from Him as if to tell Him, leave us alone. When Israel experienced the holiness of God marked by thunders, smoking mountain, lightning, they feared Him and begged Moses to speak to them, instead. It had been three months since Israel had left Egypt in a supernatural and powerful way, when God expressed His love, His faithfulness through miracles and signs, when He walked ahead of them providing shelter from the sun and light for the night through a pillar of clouds and fire, when He opened the Red Sea and guided them through it in dry land and at the same time killing their enemies. But seemly, Israel lacked God’s holiness, and in their sinful condition, they acted like Adam and Eve – fearful.
As He was going into one village, He was met by ten lepers…and they raised up their voices and called, YAHSHUA, Master, take pity and have mercy on us! Vs.12-13. That was a cry that came deeply from the hearts of those ten lepers. Leprosy is an infection caused by the bacteria called, myocardium leprae. This bacterium causes damage to the nerves, respiratory tract and to the eyes. It is a slow, and progressive disease. Leprosy overshadows their victims for long period of time, depraving them from the joys and normality of life. They have no life at all; their isolated life defines them as rejected and forsaken by society and the world. Away from family, friends and society, they live in caves, while they watch their bodies deteriorate one limb at a time. Every morning they wake up to a hopeless day. These lepers were in desperate need of the Lord’s touch. A day had finally come for these ten lepers with shinning hope; hope found only in the One Who could heal them. These lepers were in desperate need of the Lord’s touch. However, their pain was not hidden from YAHSHUA, Who on His way to Jerusalem, He took the route that would lead to them, which was through the border between Samaria and Galilee. Going to a certain village, YAHSHUA was met by these ten lepers. Not being able to approach Him, they cried loudly in desperation, YAHSHUA, Master, take pity and have mercy on us! The cry of these ten lepers echoing through the waves of time, with just a few words, was heard in heaven, as they directed it to YAHSHUA, Master. That was the most important prayer of their lives in connection with their health situation. That reminds me of another cry and this time from a blind man when he heard that YAHSHUA was nearby. Although censured and reproved, he kept on shouting out all the more, You Son of David, have pity and mercy on me! (Mark 10: 46-52) In his cry this blind man proclaimed YAHSHUA to be the Messiah when he shouted, “Son of David!” It was Amazing! This blind man was physically blind, but he could see beyond with his spiritual eyes. His faith sparkled brilliantly when He announced YAHSHUA to be “Son of David.” At that, the crowd rebuked him, but he would not stop shouting the tittle, “Son of David” have pity and mercy on me!
When YAHSHUA saw the ten lepers, He said to them, Go and show yourselves to the priests. And as they went, they were cured and made clean (Luke 17:14). At YAHSHUA’S command, Go, they went. That was the step they had to take to receive their healing. No hesitation, no doubt and then they were clean! Something was missing in their lives however, when they did not return to thank YAHSHUA, except one, who upon seeing that he was cured, turned back, recognizing and thanking and praising God with a loud voice; and falling prostrate at YAHSHUA’S feet, thanked Him and he was a Samaritan (Luke 17:15-16). Interesting observation YAHSHUA made, when He asked the question, Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was there no one found to return and to recognize and give thanks and praise God except this alien? That was a rebuke to the Jewish nation, represented by those nine lepers. Out of ten, only a Samaritan turned around to acknowledge his healing; praise and thank the Lord.
In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem of Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, his wife, and his two sons. But Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and so did her two sons.
In this apparent voided of happiness story there is a prophetic and beautiful end. We see in this story not only the picture of God’s love embedded in His plan for the Gentile nations, but also Ruth as a type of the gentile bride of Christ. Call me not Naomi, she said, call me Mara [bitter]. While Naomi was drained in her unhappiness, God had a beautiful future for her life; one that would make her forget all her past losses. It all started when her family moved from Bethlehem duo to a famine. There, she lost her husband and her two sons. After she had lived in Moab ten years, she decided to go back home. Apparently, she had had enough However, both her daughters-in-law showed the desire to follow her to Bethlehem, but when she persistently refused the idea, one of them left her and went back home. Ruth however, firmly said, “urge me not to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go, and where you lodge will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God,” Naomi finally agreed to let Ruth go with her. In her words “Your people shall be my people,” Ruth showed great faith. There was more to her words than she realized. There was a prophetic meaning by being part of the nation of Israel she could never fathom. That would be a beautiful plan God had for her life. So, what compelled a young woman to give up her family, culture, and religion to follow her Mother-in-law, whose culture and religion were different from hers? Perhaps Naomi, as her mother-in-law had a good influenced in her life, and as a result, a good relationship between them to compel Ruth to leave all behind to follow Naomi. But beyond the tangible, God was working His plan through Ruth’s life, to bring His Son into the world many years to come.