At the beginning of Israel as a nation, God established the law of two or three witnesses against the accused person. He said, One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity of any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established (Deut. 19:15). The importance of more than one witness in any case is necessary, for it provides protection for the innocent accused of things he has not done, especially in a court room when the accused faces the judge with his sentence: condemned or acquitted. If every court in this world would practice this law, there would be fewer innocent people sent to jail. A false witness, the Bible tells us, is an abomination to the Lord (Prov. 6:16-19).
Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial, which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth (Rev. 3:10) YAHSHUA’S words to the church of Philadelphia.
God’s promise of deliverance for His faithful church has been established from the beginning under the condition, “Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance.” Conditioned as in, “forgive and you shall be forgiven.” What does it mean? The phrase the word of my patience, “Refers not to individual commandments to patience, but to the entire gospel message. The general whole of the word of YAHSHUA the Messiah communicated to men. The whole gospel, then, is so named inasmuch as it all records the patience which Christ exercised; it means that nothing in sorrow, nothing in trial, nothing in temptation, no antagonism, has the smallest power to divert us from doing what’s right.” (Maclaren’s expositions) ‘The word of My patience’ means “the word of Christ which requires patience to keep it; the gospel which teaches the need of a patient waiting for Christ.” (Vincent’s word studies).
The conditions in which qualifies the believer to escape the wrath of God are summarized in these words: “guarded and kept My word of patient endurance.” The Word of God throughout teaches endurance and patience. Two difficult things to apply to our Christian living. Without patience there will be no endurance to keep going, as in waiting for the Lord. Many so- called Christians have lost the patient and endurance of faith, to follow their ways contrary to God’s word. They walk in darkness and embrace whatever they hear from TV. They lost the very essence of God’s promise and continue walking far from Him. They lost hope in the fact that the Lord is coming, because, like the unbelievers, they do not believe in the promise and have become scoffers of it. The Apostle Peter wrote, … You must know and understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, walk after their own fleshly desires and say, where is the promise of His coming? For since the forefathers fell asleep, all things have continued exactly as they did from the beginning of creation… nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day (II Peter 3:3-4,8). Men forget that God is eternal and there is no limit of space of time for Him. He exists outside of the measure and frame of time, in an everlasting, forever in an infinite and unmeasurable time: a thousand years as a day, a day as a thousand years.
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.
(I Corinthians 15: 52; I Thessalonians 4:16)
The trumpet is an instrument of great significance in the Bible. It served Israel when in their pilgrimage through the desert: to call to assemble, to move on, to announce the new year, to call to war, and to proclaim victory, and more. Of all the instruments, God chose the trumpet to establish order, warnings in many aspects in the lives of the Jewish people. God also established the Feast of Trumpets for the nation to carry on the tradition He established for them. We read it in Leviticus 23:24: Say to Israelites, On the first day of the seventh month (almost October), you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial day announced by the blowing of trumpets, a holy assembly. When God descended to Mount Sinai to covenant with Israel, at the beginning of their journey, He expressed Himself to them through a loud trumpet sound. That was not a sound the people enjoyed, but a sound that caused them fear to the point of asking Moses to speak to them instead of God. That was a sound that echoed God’s holiness, purity and judgment, as 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. (Exo. 19:18-19). That was also the symbolic sound of the tribulation’s trumpets bringing judgements upon the earth for its wickedness.
At Mount Sinai, a trumpet sound sealed the covenant between God and Israel, and God’s trumpet future sounding will finalize His promise of redemption for His church. We also see in this chapter of Exodus the picture of the bride of Christ being taken away in verses 13 and 19 which reads, When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain; as the trumpet blast grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with a voice; the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai to the top of the mountain, and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain and Moses went up. Let’s compare this passage with the one in I Thessalonians 4:16: For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud summons, with the shout of an archangel and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first; then we, the living ones who remain, shall simultaneously be caught up along in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always we shall be with the Lord! A cry of summons, a shout and a trumpet and this time, the trumpet of God, will resonate for the rapture of the church of Christ, the one whose Chief Cornerstone is YAHSHUA her Lord. The trumpet of God is a specific trumpet to be used to call His bride home, as opposed to the seventh trumpet of Revelation which will be used to bring judgment upon the earth. This is the reason why the need for the bride of Christ to be removed from earth. The rapture is the means by which God will use to save the Bride of Christ before His wrath is poured on earth, just as He did for the righteous Noah before the flood and Lot before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. There would not have been a reason for the rapture of His bride, if there would not be a world-wide tribulation, or God’s wrath to punish the wicked people of this earth.
(Matt. 24:32-35; Mark 13: 28-32; Luke 21: 29-33)
From the fig tree learn this lesson: as soon as its young shoots become soft and tender and it puts out its leaves, you know of a surety that summer is near. So also when you see these signs (24:1-31) all taken together coming to pass, you may know of surety that He is near, at the very doors. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away till all these things taken together take place. Sky and earth will pass away, but My word will not pass away (Matt. 24:32-35).
This parable of the fig tree representing the reestablishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the space of generation of forty years in its relationship has been miss- interpreted by many, with the belief that in that generation of forty years after the birth of Israel, the Second Coming can happen.
According to the book, In the footsteps of the Messiah by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, there are two errors in this belief: (1) the Bible does not limit the period of a generation to be forty years, for the term “generation” can be twenty, forty, seventy, eighty and one hundred years. The only place where the term generation is given a specific time is found in Genesis 15:13-16, which is one hundred years. It says: And [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. But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions… and in the fourth generation they shall come back here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete. “And in the fourth generation” of one hundreds Israel shall come back to their land.
Life is many things in time and season for all of us. For some, life is joyous and fulfilling; for others, life is searching its meaning. But life is for us all, waiting. Sometimes in lines, sometimes for time; sometimes to grow up. Waiting, as a matter of fact, is life wrapped up in gray hairs, in hope and faith until death separates the spirit from the body. It will always exist in our life-time. Life without time to wait, is fast and unsecured. The Lord YAHSHUA assured us with the promise of His return for us by saying, Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. 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 (John 14:1-3). A familiar passage we often mention to boost our hope in His promise, but at the same time, many of us are waiting not for this promise, but for the false messiah to be revealed. While we wait for Him, our hearts must not be troubled with anxiety and worries over the evil happenings in the world. Our hearts must be filled with faith and belief in God and in YAHSHUA’S promise of His return for us, when He will take us to Himself. This promise was the hope of all who came before us, without seeing it being fulfilled. This promise has been given thousands of years ago to the prophets of old. They too did not see it fulfilled in their life time, but it is still alive today, supporting and uplifting us in this troubled world.
Life sustaining in that small sparkle of condensed water called dew is formed when the temperature is low and the atmospheric vapor is condensed. When we walk in the early mornings being greeted by those crystals like drops of water, with the sun barely shinning its light on it, making its sparkle more visible, we think nothing about it. But in reality, these little drops speak of life. It is life sustaining for the grass and plants, especially in dry climate, as in the desert.
Anxiously, the vegetation waits for them to fall over them in the dawn on the day to be refreshed, after a day of intense heat, for their roots depend on its water which slowly, slowly penetrates deeply enough to moist them, for it is the only source of water they have for sustenance, besides occasionally some rain. Its silence contrasting with the noise of the rain, is gentle; it nourishes the vegetation one drop at a time. If we could only take the time to learn the importance of little things as dew, we would appreciate God’s wisdom in His creation and His love toward us, in His care for us by providing means to sustain life through a small drop of water, called dew. The word dew is mentioned more than thirty times in the Bible, symbolizing blessings. Used poetically and symbolically, dew is light out of darkness, as it comes with the dawn of a new day. It speaks of bounty, as we see in Isaac’s blessings over Jacob: May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine (Gen. 27:28).
The death of John the Baptist, lead YAHSHUA to withdraw to a solitary place by Himself. It was a time of reflection; a time alone with the Father, not because He did not know John’s future, but to consider His position in the world without his forerunner, who openly declared that him to be the Messiah. The timing for all to happen was perfect, as His ministry reached out with healings to all who needed them; not only physical healing, but also spiritual. It was a busy time for YAHSHUA and His disciples. The news about Him had reached far into Israel, as well into other countries at the time of John’s death. It was a solemn hour for Him, nevertheless, enough to want to spend a time alone. YAHSHUA must have spent the entire night praying, as it was His custom to do. The crowds came in the morning and stayed with Him all day until the day was over. He satisfied them all with healings and with food in a miraculous way. They counted about 5,000 men without the women and children. That was the perfect timing, indeed for Him to manifest Himself as the Messiah through the supernatural happenings that only He as the Son of God could do. When the crowds heard where He had gone, they followed Him on foot. That in itself confirmed the importance of His ministry. He looked at the crowds with His heart and He was full of compassion. He saw the matter of the hearts of those who were there anxiously waiting for their healing.
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 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; The time of the singing has come! (Song of Solomon 2:10-13)
At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left; two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken and one will be left (Matt. 24: 40-41).
When the disciples privately asked YAHSHUA important questions pertaining to the destruction of the temple, His return and the end of the age, YAHSHUA, before answering them, warned of several things that were going to take place previous to the end: false messiahs who will lead many astray, wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, all these will precede the end of the age. YAHSHUA also warned them of persecution, the rise of the false prophets, and lawlessness. To this He said that the love of many will grow cold. That is, the love for God and for righteousness. We are witnessing lawlessness everywhere we go in increasing measure in our time. We see in this the words of Paul, and Jude being fulfilled in reference to people’s behavior and attitude. Paul prophesied that in the last days there will be perilous times of great stress and trouble, for people will be lovers of self and utterly self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by and inordinate desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boaster. They will be abusive disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, without natural affection, relentless; they will be slanderers, intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good, [they will be treacherous, rash inflated with self-conceit, lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lover of God. For [although] they hold a form of piety, they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it (II Tim. 3:1-5). And Jude confirmed the words of Paul by saying, they will be scoffers, following after their own ungodly passions, agitators setting up distinction and causing divisions – merely sensual, devoid of the [Holy] Spirit and destitute of any higher spiritual life (Jude 18-19).