God’s banner- the protecting and comforting covering over us is His love. Under His wings we find a place of refuge and strength as the storm passes by, with faith, believing that He is preparing us a place; and someday, not far away, He will come for us with the loud cry of summons, with the voice of the Archangel and with the blast of His trumpet. (John 14:1-3; I Thessalonians 2:16). Under His wings, oh glorious feeling that is, being covered with His peace! The Lord has promised complete peace for those whose minds are set on Him with trust. In the midst of chaos and confusion, YAHSHUA’S promise is certain and comforting: Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God believe also in Me….I am going to prepare a place for you, come back to fetch you, so that where I am you will be also.(John 14:1-3). The beauty of God’s love through YAHSHUA’S words fills our hearts with peace. Under His presence we find comfort and refuge in times of storm. Only by being close to Him will we be the recipient of His protection. There is no better place to be than close to Him, as we read in Psalm 91:1: those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty.
(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.
Walking day and night
Hidden from human eyes
Eyes of hate and despair
Against God, against her faith
She lives holding unto
The strength of Him whose
Strength is all sufficient to
Carry on her journey heaven bound
History untold holds
The windows closed
For the world not to see
Her suffering beyond human mind
Buried and burned alive
Forsaken and raped
For the cause
Many dare not to die!
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.
(Luke 10: 38-42; John 12)
Now while they were on their way, it occurred that YAHSHUA entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching (vs.38-39). Bethany was the village where Martha, her sister and her brother lived. It was located on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem according to John 11:18. Today Bethany’s name is el- Azariyeh, meaning the place of Lazarus and it is a ruinous village; a village separated by wall where tourists no longer have access to it. But it remains with a beautiful and silent past, for our Savior often visited it and had supper with His friends, Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Lazarus was brought to life there and many came to believe in YAHSHUA. Bethany will always shine its past!
After the death and resurrection of Lazarus, YAHSHUA was invited to supper with them. While Martha served, Mary anointed Him with a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume] six days before His death. Spikenard or nard, according to Wikipedia, is “a class of aromatic amber-colored oil. It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the tabernacle was located in the first and second temples.” This perfume-oil was very significant in the action of Mary when she anointed the Savior six days before His death. It speaks volume concerning Him as the Lamb of God being prepared for the Passover sacrifice. Mary had no idea of the prophetic meaning her action had. She was only expressing her gratitude to Him, but at the same time, she was being part of the fulfilling of God’s plan for His Son. The Lord defended her action against those who criticized her and confirmed the purpose for her action by saying, Let her alone. It was [intended] that she keep it for the time of My preparation for burial (John 12:a). The Lord blessed Mary in return. Her action did not go unnoticed. He rewarded her by saying, Surely I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the entire world, what she has done will be told in memory of her (Mark 14: 9).
(Song of Solomon 2)
The Song of Solomon is for most part misunderstood, because of lack of understanding of its meanings. The carnal and human mind in their interpretation misses the point and the context for what it was written. It is impossible to read this book and understand it outside its spiritual sphere. One cannot read it with a carnal mind as one reads any book. The author of the Song of Solomon’s book is the Creator of man and woman, the Designer and the establisher of marriage between the two. Song of Songs is a depiction of marriage as God intended for it to be; it is a love song. It exalts the virtue of love between a man and a woman- husband and his wife. It shows the intimacy between the two, their hard times and the ultimately victory in their union.
Chapter two expresses a beautiful dialog of love and caring between the two. The bridegroom, in his desire to have his bride with Him, invites her to come up. The place He invites her to is close to Him. He says, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away; For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing as come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land; the fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away (2:10-13). It is the season when life is expressed everywhere in the spring of life. The season to celebrate. The horizon springs up with new colors of life. This is figurative of Christ’s and His bride’s relationship. Winter, a thing of the past in color of lifeless grey is no more. For it symbolizes hardships and trouble.. “Rise up My love” implies the rapture. His invitation comes with eternal blessings in His presence. It is the time for His bride to celebrate her redemption! A time to sing. The intimacy of His words compels His bride to respond in a loving way. “My Beloved is mine and I am His.” YAHSHUA, as the church bridegroom, finally takes complete possession of His bride, whom He has bought with His own blood, by calling her to her new home. As Paul mentioned, “And so always we shall be with the Lord!” In His priestly prayer our Lord YAHSHUA prayed, Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; You loved Me before the foundation of the world (John 17: 24).
(Exodus 39; 40: 34-38; I Cor. 6:16-19; II Cor. 6:16)
The ministry of Moses in the wilderness was one of sanctifying the people to present them holy to the Lord (Exodus 19:10-11). In Israel’s experience of Mount Sinai, when God descended to the Mount to meet with them, they experienced the unapproachable holiness of God: thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain…Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, for the Lord descended upon it in fire; its smoke ascended like that of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly (Ex. 19:16,18). God, desiring fellowship with men, formed the nation of Israel to be that vehicle through whom God would review Himself to the nations. They in return, would come to know the existence of the true and holy God. Forty years in the desert, a frame of time seemly long, but not in the mind of God, it took for the nation of Israel to be set apart and consecrated holy unto Him. Although they never achieved the position of complete holiness, they came to experience the extent of God’s holiness when trembling with fear, and falling back at the holiness of God, said, You (Moses) speak to us and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, lest we die (Exodus 20:18-19).
The Bride of CHRIST has never experienced such extent of God’s holiness; we have never realized the awfulness of sin and its power to destroy us, or we would have hated sin. In His holiness, the Son of God completed, paid in full the price of our redemption, satisfying His Father once and for all, so that we would be regenerated unto holiness and ultimately unto glorification. Living to satisfy the flesh’s sinful desires, defeats the purpose for which YAHSHUA died on the cross; Like Israel in the desert, the bride of CHRIST is left here for as long as God’s determined purpose of holiness will be accomplished in every believer’s life. For that reason, the Promised Holy Spirit came to earth to sanctify Christ’s bride and present her blameless and holy unto the Lord. As we think on how holy our God is, we find ourselves undeserving of His love and undeserving to come close to Him. As the Holy Spirit guides us, Moses guided the people to do what was right through their pilgrimage through the desert. When Israel chose to satisfy their fleshly desire instead, Moses faithfully stood before God to intercede for them, saying, Oh, these people have sinned a great sin and have made themselves gods of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin- and if not, blot me, I pray You out of Your book which You have written! Moses, as a go in between, offered to take the punishment of the people, so that they would not have to suffer the consequences of their doing. This is a true picture of what was to come in the Son of God, when He took yours and my place on the cross. Even though Moses’ ministry was not that of a substitutional ministry, He was a prototype of what was to come in the person of the HOLY SPIRIT. Until his death, he led the people in the direction God had shown him – the direction to God’s holiness.
(Song of Solomon 2; Psalm 91)
The beauty of this Song lies on the fact that this is a picture of a marital relationship with spiritual roots and meaning between Christ and His bride. She confesses to finding delight under His shadow, the secure place for her to be, as Psalm 91 so declares: He who dwells in the Secret Place of the Almighty shall remain fixed and stable. While the bride of Christ delights to be in His presence feeding on His Word, she makes a proclamation that His fruit was sweet to her taste. His Word, like a fruit, nourishes and satisfies the craving of her soul. I will say of the Lord: He is my refuge, my fortress and my God, in Him I will trust. He delights in covering His bride with His love. In His presence, she experiences the abundance of a banquet- a spiritual banquet. While He spreads His love over her she is sustained, and protected, refreshed and completely absorbed in Him. She is enveloped by His embrace, a symbol of complete protection from all evil. He covers her with His pinions and under His wings she finds refuge. No one will be able to harm her. His truth and faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. He is to her a Protector and a Defender. Therefore, she will not fear terror, arrow, pestilence, and destruction that attack and surprise at any time of the day. Even though a thousand may fall at her side and ten thousand at her right hand, nothing will even come near her. Secured under the shadow of the Almighty, she becomes only a spectator or a witness of all that is happening around her.
The Lord’s deliverance of Israel before judgement fell on Egypt is a type of the rapture. In it we see the consistency of our God saving His people before judging nations. Israel had been in Egypt for 400- 430 years. From the time of famine in the land and their deliverance by their brother, Joseph, Israel never went back to Canaan. According to the words the Lord God spoke to Jacob, Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will there make of you a great nation; I will go down with you to Egypt and I will also surely bring you up again.. (Gen. 46:3-4). In obedience, Jacob moved to Egypt with his family of seventy total. That’s when the 430 years stated for Israel’s permanency in Egypt. Thirty years of freedom and 400 hundred years of slavery. That was to be fulfilled according to what God had told Abraham when covenanting with him (Gen.15:13). God said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs, and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years (Gen. 15:13).
A family of four fled the famine in the land in the time when the judges ruled the country. There were four of them: husband, wife and their two sons. Theirs was a life of tragedy and misfortune in the period of ten years while in the country of Moab, where they made it their home for a while. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah, a place linked to prophecy concerning the birth of the Savior of the world. But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans or rulers of Judah, out of you will come for me One Who will be Ruler over Israel, whose coming forth from of old ( Micah 5:2). Nothing in God’s calendar happens by mistake. Although circumstances pointed out tragedy, His plan of old, from eternity was firmly established through the lives of this family, although indirectly, for it was not going to be from them, but from a Moabitess woman and a kin of the husband, that Bethlehem was going to be exalted above the heavens.