It was close to YAHSHUA’S last Passover, when He sent two of His disciples to a definite place to prepare it for His last Passover Super with them. He said, to them, go into the city, and a man carrying an [earthen] jar or pitcher of water will meet you; follow him. And whatever [house] he enters, say to the master of the house, The Teacher says: Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples? And he will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready; there prepare for us (Mark 14:13-15). He had come to the end of His earthly ministry and needed a time alone with those called apostles to warn and to teach them and to prepare them for the ministry He was leaving behind for them to continue. That was the time and place when YAHSHUA, alone with His disciples, ministered to them by washing their feet; the time when He constituted the new covenant of His blood; the time when He gave a new commandment- to love one another as He loved them; that was the time and the place where He uttered His priestly prayer for them and for us. There were many disciples who followed Him, but He chose only twelve to be His messengers. These were the ones He explained the meaning of the parables to, who experienced a deep relationship with Him as His friends, who experienced the mount of transfiguration, and who witnessed His anguish at the Gethsemane Garden in the crucial moment of His decision. The last words from YAHSHUA to His disciples were printed in their hearts to change yesterdays and today’s world. Peter’s life was changed from a coward to a courageous outspoken man for the sake of the message he was given to tell; The doubtful Thomas died as a martyr in India for obedience to go and preach to all the world the message of salvation. John died on the Patmos Island, after they tried to kill him by putting him a caldron with boiling water. All died as martyrs for their Messiah. Nothing would stop these disciples from taking a stand for their Master, after the upper room experience.
Music is the most effective relaxing method available to the troubled soul, because it scares evil away from the mind and heart. One example of this is found in the life of King Saul. When the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented and troubled him, Saul’s servants said to him, Let our Lord now command your servants here before you to find a man who plays skillfully on the lyre; and when the evil spirit from God is upon you, he will play and you will be well. One of the young men said, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who plays skillfully, a valiant man, a man of war, prudent in speech and eloquent, an attractive person; and the Lord is with him. So, Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, Send me David your son, who is with the sheep. and David came to Saul and served him. Saul became very fond of him and he became his armor-bearer; Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David remain in my service, for he pleases me. And when the evil spirit from Gpd was upon Saul, David took a lyre and played it; so, Saul was refreshed and became well, and the evil spirit left him (I Sam. 16:14,16,18-19,21-12).
“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).
Time is a space given us to live here on earth, until eternity takes over that space and time is no more: No clock, no days of week, no night. No more division between light and darkness (day and night). Time is a well-organized concept to accomplish what we need to do, so that life will be worthy living. It does not wait for us to get ready; it constant moves forwardly. Tomorrow never gets here, for when it comes, it is no more tomorrow, but is today. The things we must do in the today’s space of time, we’d better finish it, if we want to see results today. Sometimes, we get ahead of time in its purpose, not realizing the confusion and despair that will follow in circumstances we did not expect. So, it is that we, not knowing the future in its short or long term, battle to get ahead of time disregarding the results in our life and in the lives of others. Time then, becomes a blame game in the words, “There was no time or I did not have time.” Why, under the sun, don’t we consider the relationship between our space of time and God’s sovereignty over our time?
Time is registered in a calendar where we mark our future plans. It is also registered on clocks, on our watches, indicating when we should proceed with our plans. However, God’s timing for everything must be considered. Reasoning our space in time outside of His timing, is very wrong. Leaving Him outside of when the fulfillment of our plans should take place, is with certainty, a failed plan. Solomon said, The plans of the mind and orderly thinking belong to man, but from the Lord comes the answer of the tongue (Prov. 16:10). Getting ahead of His timing to accomplish our plans when we want, and not when He wants, is foolish. The word WAIT is an important word in this scenario. What does it mean to you and to me? The twiddling of the thumb, which is the visible expression of what is going on inside of us, expressing frustration? It shouldn’t be so, for the word wait renders submission, it renders peacefulness of heart, in the stillness of the soul before God, as we wait for Him to perform His perfect plan in us and through us. In this fast computer age, fast airplanes, fast cars, fast everything, molding us to fast pace, it does us great harm in the spiritual side of life when it comes to waiting. Nevertheless, our space in time means to wait, we liking it or not! Life is waiting, waiting for time to come, waiting for the bus, waiting for food to cook, etc. etc. James puts God’s timing in perspective: He said, Co me now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. Yet, you do not know about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are but a wisp of vapor that is visible for a little while and then disappears; you ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that (James 4:13-14).
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).
The direction in which the eyes take us is the place where we will end up. Sometimes in a ditch, when our eyes are focused on the phone or something else while driving, walking or running. As a result, death happens on many occasions when it happens while we are behind the steering wheel. It is a responsibility that weighs on each of us when we get in our vehicle. Our eyes, the light of the body, must be in tune with the brain to perform in the way that is safe. Distraction before disaster is a sure thing, as “pride is before one’s fall.” How many times do we utter this phrase, I wasn’t thinking when something happened that didn’t have to happen? The mind, the most precious body’s utility, is the master-in-chief of all decisions we make in life. In hearing bad news having a personal affect, it takes the mind hours and days processing the whys of circumstances, reasoning the facts which in many cases, were in part, results of our bad decisions. The whys flow in the gray cells without stop, robbing us of peace, all because we are setting our mind in a horizontal position, while the Bible tells us to set it vertically, for it is from above that help will come. Paul instructed us to do so, if in fact we have been raised with Messiah YAHSHUA, through our new birth in Christ. Why then should we lose our spiritual position when we are confronted with trials? Has our Lord forgotten us in our most needed time? Where are we spiritually positioned when all seem to fall apart, why can’t we remain with Him, and why is it so difficult to do so?
Reasonable questions must have answers to re-direct us to where we must be at all times. Psalm 91, well known to all seemingly Christians, gives us the foundation of the answers we are looking for. For us to benefit from the promises this psalm offers, we must be seated with YAHSHUA Who is sitting at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly sphere (Eph. 2:6). It is as the psalm states, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty (vs. 1). From there, we can testify that the Lord is our refuge, our fortress, therefore in Him we will trust (vs. 2). Spiritually or physically, we will be affected one way or the other, depending where we find ourselves to be when facing our troubles. Be found in His shelter is the sure way to be the recipient of His protection from all harm, even in our own trials. If we are in Messiah for reason of the new birth, then we must fix our mind on Him not only in times of our struggles, but at all times. That’s the only way our faith will not falter. Paul told Timothy, constantly keep in mind YAHSHUA Messiah. When we experienced the new birth, we died for the world, and our life is [now] hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3) (paraphrased). To be hidden in Christ, it is to dwell in the secret place of the Almighty (Ps. 91).
Life in its entirety is empty without the desire to know its Author. When the Creator walked this earth, many rejected Him, although His life was a beam of light, comfort and healing for all who met Him. From blindness to the lifeless unto life, YAHSHUA stood tall and confirmed Who He was. The masses followed Him and few had to struggle to see Him, as Zacchaeus for being short in stature, as the woman with the blood flux, could only touch Him to receive her healing. Without the help of the media, the world in those days depended very much on word of mouth. YAHSHUA was so sought for, that sometimes, He had not even the time to eat. The Samaritans asked Him to remain with them a while, after His encounter with a Samaritan woman at the well. Two days He remained with them at their request, for the harvest was truly ripe. People upon hearing about Him, came from far places to see Him. The Greeks in particular, who went up to worship at the Feast; they came to Philip, and made the request, Sir, we desire to see YAHSHUA. Philip together with Andrew told YAHSHUA (John 12:21-22). It is not registered if they had a chance to see Him or not, but the fact remains that their desire was to see YAHSHUA, even though, their theology was polytheistic; they assumed that there were many gods and goddesses. The Apostle Paul when in Athens, was grieved in spirit when he saw that the city was full of idols; Acknowledging their theological obsession, he addressed them by saying, Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, to an unknown God. What therefore you worship in ignorance this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things (Acts 27:16, 22-25). It was that God, the only true God that the Greeks desired to see. It was the “Unknown God” Whom they wanted to see and know.
(I Thessalonians 5)
Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is one of the earliest of his writings. In this letter, Paul offers comfort in the midst of their persecution, by teaching concerning the return of Christ. The subject of the second coming of Christ permeates the letter, which brought encouragement for them all. Verse ten, we read, And look forward to and await the coming of His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead- YAHSHUA, Who personally rescues and delivers us out of and from the wrath which is coming and draws us to Himself. The coming wrath of God, long time been taught, is certain as is the deliverance of His people from it. The world today, has turned toward its destruction in an unprecedented way and so fast, everyone is in awe! Peace, is the cry. The more it cries for peace, the more chaos is created, as to shape the world into one order, under the power of a few, and ultimately, one leader. The world’s government’s sovereignty is now challenged, and pressured into doing what has been dictated. The news sounds the same everywhere. The world, as it is today, dresses alike, eats the same foods, and now it is working on one religion system. Unity, as in one order of government, and one religion, applied to the entire world, is their way to bring about “peace” through one man, the antichrist. That’s what they think and are working hard toward that goal to make it happen on their watch. The Bible says, When people are saying, all is well and secure and, There is peace and safety, then in a moment unforeseen destruction will come upon them as suddenly as labor pains come upon a woman with child; and they shall by no means escape, for there will be no escape (vs.3). In the words of YAHSHUA, But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to this life and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; for it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. Keep awake then and watch at all times, praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man (Luke 21:34-36).
When yet in our unformed substance, all the days of our lives were written in God’s book. Our destiny was established at that moment. Circumstances presented to us often require choices. Life is full of choices. They determine our success or our failure. The choices we make also determine our future. From the time we learn how to walk and talk, choices are before us. We as parents, have guided the lives of our children in every way exposed to them. Either by words, behavior or actions. A child left to decide for himself will have a hard time following directions in the adult life. He will wander through life, not knowing what he wants; he will however, follow the pressure of friends, and become like them or worse than them. That’s when parents have lost their good influence on their children. Because we are carriers of our ancestor’s iniquities and curses, we tend to be contrary to sound teachings, until we are transformed by the Word of God.
We start writing our lives’ stories from the time we learn to walk and talk. The first pages are gibberish and laughter. The things we do in our innocent age are really funny in the eyes of an adult. Sometimes they are funny, but sometimes they are indicative of developing rebellion. It is important for a parent to correct the child even in his innocent behavior, for the pages of his book to reflect the love of his parents. The Bible says, Even a child is known by his acts, whether [or not] what he does is pure and right (Proverbs 20: 11), and again, Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him (Proverbs 22: 15). When discipline is applied to the child he becomes the crown of his grandparents and joy to his parents. At the end of his life, if accepted the corrections, the pages of his book will reflect wisdom and discernment and well guided decisions.
(Romans 7:18-25; 8:1, 2, 14-18)
The heavenly court has decreed that there is now no more condemnation for those who have been acquitted by the blood of the Lamb of God; for those who live by the demands of the Holy Spirit, and have accepted the complete work done by YAHSHUA at the cross, Who fulfilled all the demands of the law. There is now no more condemnation, says the heavenly Judge, after hearing the Defense attorney, who had taken the guilt upon Himself, offering to pay with His own life. The offer was accepted and the Judge stamped with the words, Paid in full!
Paul acknowledges his weakness under the demands of the law and cries, O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24) When we stand condemned by our own guilt, is because we have not accepted God’s forgiveness; with that, we have made the decision to stay in the unhappiness, miserable state of mind. Forgiveness is a beautiful gift, wrapped in a beautiful box, that when one accepts, it multiplies to more wonderful gifts, as in salvation, freedom, peace, love. It is the key that releases us from the chains of all sins, great or small; no size is too great or too powerful that the blood of the Lamb cannot wash away. He paid for our sins and confirmed by saying at the end of His ordeal, It is finished; it is all paid in full! Paul, after acknowledging the power of sin in his life under the law, asks the question, Who will release and deliver me from this body of death? Not because he didn’t know it or hadn’t had the experience of forgiveness, for he answers the question by saying, O thank God! [He will] through Jesus Christ our Lord! The transitional word, therefore on the first verse of chapter eight, gives us light to know that there is victory through YAHSHUA in his complete work of fulfilling the law – O thank God, YAHSHUA will! In accepting His forgiveness, there will be at that moment no more condemnation of any kind registered in the books of the heavenly court, only forgiveness (Romans 8:1-2).