Saturday, December 31, 2011
Vision of Naḥum
Shalom family, we lift up and continue to give praise to our Mighty Elohim, יהוה of Hosts, aměn!
Tehillim/Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that יהוה is good; blessed is the man that takes refuge in Him!”
Have you been eating your lawful bread? Have you been looking intently into the mirror of His Word? Taste and see how good He is – we are blessed in taking refuge in Him! In a world which places emphasis on success being gained by being ruthless, conniving, and deceitful, with a win at all costs and the ends-justify-the means mentality, it is often hard to stay afloat as we who follow the Word will typically go against this corrupted standard of promotion and temporary success. Without יהוה as our Refuge we would never be able to survive the onslaught of the world’s ways pressing down on us to be conformed to its standards of corruption and sin. But praise be unto יהוה, our Elohim, who is our refuge and strength, our help in times of distress and our Deliverer, aměn! We simply have a choice – choose יהוה, or choose the world – and as we know our choices have consequences. In a message tonight where I would like us to be strengthened in our Refuge, יהוה of Hosts, I would also like us to be warned against the temptations of following after the world’s ways to which there will be devastating consequences and to do this we will look at the book of Naḥum as we overview the vision he saw and the message he gave to a backslidden city. In a message tonight called, “Ninewěh Revisited”, please turn with me to the book of Naḥum the prophet. (Read).
Such a power packed book that carries great significance and lessons for us today in terms of what lies ahead with the pressing urgency to ensure that we place our Trust in The Name that Saves, taking refuge in Him, or else we will face the consequences of His wrath.
The setting for this vision is as follows:
Ninewěh was the capital of the once Assyrian Empire and this message of Naḥum to Ninewěh came at least 100 years after Yonah had delivered his ‘turn or burn’ message of repentance where the entire city repented and turned to follow יהוה. So Naḥum was sent back as a prophet to Ninewěh after the initial repentance wore off in as little as 100 years or so – that is how quick a nation can fall back into lies and hypocrisy – it just takes one generation! Now think how vital and alive this message is today that we, as His remnant, must declare to a people who have been under lies for many centuries!
The location of ancient Ninewěh was situated in current day Northern Iraq, east of the Tigris, and remnants of this ancient city can be found in modern day Mosul. It was one of the most populated cities of ancient times with fertile lands that were good for both agriculture and pasturing of animals. The ruins of the palace of King Sennacherib were found in 1847, and according to various resources, it was regarded as the main city of the worship of Ishtar as far back as 1800 B.C.E! ‘Easter’ was been worshipped at least 1800 years before Messiah came to give His live as a ransom!
Ninewěh means “house of Ninus” who according to historical writings founded Ninewěh and his wife was Semiramis (Ishtar). Ninus is none other than Nimrod and so Ninewěh means ‘house of Nimrod’, who built the tower of Baḇel and after which we can clearly see the context of the corrupted system of worship of Baḇel that can be attributed to this wicked man who, as an agent of our adversary, has too tried to build a house for himself.
Naḥum means ‘comfort’ and comes from the root word ‘naḥam’ which means ‘to sigh or breath strongly, and by implication to be sorry, console, comfort or avenge’. This message was a comforting one to some while a vengeful breath of wrath to others.
The entire theme of this message given by Naḥum is basically this: “The fall of Ninewěh”, or better put for us today – the fall of the House of Nimrod and as we see the picture or foreshadow of things to come of what was decreed in this message and also accomplished in part as a direct foreshadow of the fall of Baḇel which we read of as being declared by the messenger in Ḥazon/Revelation 18:2: “Baḇel the great is fallen”. And the reason for my message called, “Ninewěh Revisited” is exactly what is coming. Here is a city that was as corrupt and violent as can be, and repented after a reluctant Yonah did what he was told, only to find that 100 years later they had gone back to being a wicked nation.
יהוה had certainly used the Assyrian Empire to discipline Yehuḏah, yet Assyria took it one step further and ravaged them and grew wicked against them to which יהוה came to pronounce great judgement and wrath upon them.
I find a great picture being given us here between the message of Yonah and this message given by Naḥum, picturing for us the 2 comings of Messiah! Why do I say that – well Yonah for me is a picture of Messiah’s 1st coming to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins – Yonah means ‘dove’ and when יהושע was immersed Yoḥanan said he saw the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove and remain on יהושע. We know He came first as a suffering servant and now with His second coming He is coming as a conquering King who will execute wrath upon His enemies from which a double edged sword will come from His mouth, and the oracle or message of Nahum declares just that; while in the midst of it all there is a promise of protection to those who take refuge in יהוה.
The message of Naḥum is one of comfort and console to a set-apart called out people, while to a rebellious and stiff-necked people it is one of great destruction and despair for which no one is able to stand before the rage of יהוה!
In these 3 short chapters we see in essence a 3-fold message being given to a corrupt and unrepentant people who had caused the Torah to cease and grew more wicked and perverse than before.
In Chapter 1 we see DOOM DECLARED, in Chapter 2 we see the DOOM DESCRIBED and in Chapter 3 we see DOOM is DESERVED! Doom declared, described and deserved – a summed up message of the righteousness and justice that are the foundations of the Throne of יהוה. יהוה does not just do things unannounced as He reveals it through His prophets – He had declared, described and given reasons why!
In a nutshell – you receive, accept and continue to be steadfast in living in the first message of His coming that will protect you at His second, or else. He came so that we could be saved from destruction and He came to remove the veil from our eyes that the House of Nimrod, through its twisted teachings, has cleverly weaved over so many and those who refuse to repent and have the veil removed and see the Truth and walk clearly in it have the imminent and real threat of these words of wrath.
Yoḥanan/John 3:17-18 “For Elohim did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged, but he who does not believe is judged already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only brought-forth Son of Elohim.”
Yoḥanan/John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son possesses everlasting life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of Elohim remains on him.”
Here we see once again belief and obedience go hand in hand – the disobedient will not see life but rather the wrath of Elohim remains on Him! He who does not ‘obey’ shall not see life and wrath remains of him! Sadly so many miss that critical point of obedience!
Let us briefly run through some key points in these 3 chapters:
CHAPTER 1 – DOOM DECLARED
In verse 2 there is no beating around the bush – straight up we are reminded that יהוה is a jealous Ěl; He is a revenging Ěl and a possessor of wrath who will take vengeance on His enemies. Straight up we see Naḥum announcing the character of יהוה and His unrivalled power. All too often the twisted teaching of the House of Nimrod, portrays Elohim as this meek and mild father who will not really punish – and that is a lie that even form the 1st century a man named Marcion began to teach that the Elohim of the so-called ‘O.T.’ was not the real Elohim as He was too cruel and he rejected the Hebrew Scriptures and יהוה as Elohim and believed that the wrathful Hebrew Elohim was a separate and lower entity than the all-forgiving Elohim of the N.T. Sadly the root of this erroneous teaching has produced so much wicked fruit that we see almost 2000 years later being widely accepted at large by those who have rejected the necessity and validity of the Torah as being applicable today! And those who fall into this trap need to heed the words of a jealous and consuming Ěl.
Praise יהוה that He is patient – for if He was not where would any of us be today? He is great in power – but He does not leave unpunished!!! If He did then why would He come and die for us – there would be no need! Oh, but He does not leave unpunished – the difference is simply this – we who call upon Him and continue to stay in Him escape His punishment of death for He Himself took our punishment – punishment was not set aside completely – He took it upon Himself and all who do not believe and obey will certainly receive the right and just punishment! He turned aside our judgement by taking the punishment for us who call upon Him and take Refuge in Him. There is only One Elohim and He does not change or lie – so Marcion’s pitiful theories are lies, lies that still cause so many to stumble today as they grope around in the dark, ignorant of the Truth veiled through deceit and lies taught by a wicked house of Nimrod!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 30:5-6 “Every Word of Eloah is tried; He is a shield to those taking refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His Words, Lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar.”
Sha’ul tells us in his introduction to his 2nd letter to Timotiyos that Elohim does not lie and Shemuʼĕl said to king Sha’ul when he tore the garment of Shemuʼĕl that the reign of Yisra’ĕl had been torn form Him by יהוה, who does not lie. He does not change:
Mal’aḵi/Malachi 3:6 “For I am יהוה, I shall not change, and you, O sons of Yaʽaqoḇ, shall not come to an end.”
This is a wonderful verse – because יהוה does not change we have a secure hope and future. Think about it – if He did change we would be in a spot of bother for this verse tells us clearly that because He does not change, the sons of Ya’aqoḇ – that is the Tribes of Yisra’ĕl – that is you and we as we have been grafted in – shall not come to an end – we have a promised and sure hope of eternal life – because His Word is sure and does not change!!!
Ya’aqoḇ/James (1:17) quotes a portion of this verse declaring that every good and perfect gift come from above from the Father of lights who does not change!
יהוה does not fail to accomplish what He has declared! Some may understand it as slowness, yet it is His favour, desiring that all repent and turn form their wickedness:
Kěpha Bet/2 Peter 3:9 “יהוה is not slow in regard to the promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward us, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
His fierceness and anger is described here in chapter 1 and even the best and most flourishing places will wither and languish – Bashan and Karmel are the most fruitful places in Yisra’ĕl and Leḇanon was known for its huge trees yet had now withered and when יהוה speaks in rage who can stand or rise on the heat of His displeasure? The answer is simply – no one! Amidst this declaration of doom, wrath and fire we are comforted by the Truth that יהוה is good and a refuge to all who call upon His Name and those who call upon His Name and find their refuge in Him and walk in His ways are safe for they turn away from unrighteousness; for which there is great punishment coming upon those who persist in unrighteousness, which is lawlessness!
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 2:19 “However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal, “יהוה knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteous-ness.”
We all here name the Name of Messiah – have you turned away from unrighteousness – for if not you have taken His Name in vain!
He declared that Ninewěh would be destroyed and flooded and the counselor of Beliya’al will be cut off and the name of the wicked house of Nimrod will no longer be sown and Yehuḏah would once again keep the Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה and able to perform their vows of obedience unhindered. This we have in Messiah who has cut off the name of Ba’al from us – and this we are to proclaim, aměn!
CHAPTER 2 – DOOM DESCRIBED
In verses 1-7 we see how the siege and capture is described and the furious preparation for battle that takes place and how resistance to the coming onslaught is futile! יהוה would turn back the splendour of Ya’aqoḇ, which is not a wonderful thought, because due to sin and lawlessness and ruin bringing about a great emptiness through worthlessness the splendour would be turned back from a people who were to be robed in His splendour. We do know that for those who take refuge in Him has the assurance that He will fill us once again – He will fill us who have been emptied of Truth by the emptiers! The emptiers have emptied and ruined the vine branches!
In Yoḥanan/John 15 יהושע tells us that He is the Vine and we are the branches and we who do not bear fruit are cut off and thrown into the fire. The branches here in verse 2 of this second chapter of Naḥum describes how the enemy has ruined the branches to a point of being empty and unable to bear fruit – leaving them as prey for destruction and fire.
The house of Nimrod and the counsellors of Beliya’al – that is the House of Nimrod’s false teachers and preachers are emptying and ruining many branches through their twisted prosperity and false grace messages as they are simply draining so many from the True sap of the Vine and cause ruin and destruction to set in. For those who take refuge in יהושע, The True Vine, will have His splendour restored but those who fall prey to worthless teachings will have the splendour of Ya’aqoḇ turned back! Beliya’al means ‘worthlessness’ and so those who have been emptied out of the Truth by the worthlessness of a Baḇel system of falsified worship will have the splendour removed, but we who call upon and take refuge in Him will be filled and splendour restored.
יהוה is against the wickedness and empty vain teachings and all those who follow after it and He will cut off the voice of worthlessness.
CHAPTER 3 – DOOM DESERVED
The very stern woe given in verse 1 is due to sin. The wrath of יהוה and His declared Doom upon His enemies is not without just cause.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”
We are either with Him or against Him and to be with Him means we agree and walk in Him and His ways, any other way contrary to His Truth is simply against Him and is one who scatters and does not gather. Those who are against Him will be put to shame and exposed before all and all of the worthless teachings that were held so fast onto will be revealed for its fruitlessness and it shall be declared, “Ninewěh is laid waste”, with no one to mourn for her and more specifically no one to comfort and would be destroyed just as No-Amon in Mitsrayim was destroyed.
Amon means ‘to nourish or be faithful’ and ‘No’ means’ disrupting – No-Amon was the ancient capital of upper Mitsrayim, built as a center of worship to Thebes their pagan deity, which fell to the Assyrian onslaught and were unable to stand. Ninewěh were no better than No-Amon – a city who simply disrupts the ability to flourish and be fruitful through worthlessness and idolatry! And they shall be laid waste! It is declared here that all the wealth and strength would not be able to save Ninewěh from that which was declared! The House of Nimrod would be destroyed and the peoples rejoice at her destruction! The Assyrian Empire was destroyed by the Babylonian Empire and in fact Ninewěh was not only destroyed but flooded and laid waste, so much so that for centuries many walked and passed over land that had covered her without realizing it as ruins of Ninewěh were first discovered in 1847. The Assyrians had done wrong to so many people that when she was destroyed people ‘high fived’ each other and rejoiced.
In Ḥazon/Revelation 18 as I mentioned earlier we see again the similar language of destruction being decreed, yet we see that the fall of Baḇel will be mourned!
Baḇel would not directly conquer and displace peoples like the Assyrians did; she would allow other nations to surrender, then make up with those they had conquered by respecting their finest men and giving them high positions in the Baḇel government, treating them very well and making them wealthy, which is one reason most Yehuḏim did not return from there when they were permitted. Baḇel would wound then heal, like a counterfeit shepherd, making it indispensable to everyone, and this we are to be warned against as we call out for many to “Come out of her!”
Sadly the reality is that instead of rejoicing her downfall, many will mourn and I believe that there is a lesson here for us – we who have come out must not look back and mourn and so in some subtle ways try to hold on to past theologies and try to justify them as well meaning and partially correct – partially correct is still wrong – we must rebuke Baḇel as we see in Hoshěa/Hosea and not mourn the loss of her influence – but rejoice and be glad that we take refuge in יהוה and that He repays!
Tehillim/Psalm 137:8 “O daughter of Baḇel, who are to be destroyed, blessed is He who repays you your deed, what you did to us!”
What we can take from this powerful message of Naḥum is that we are to understand the sovereignty of יהוה, understand His goodness, favour and the hope we have in Him; and this we do as we walk in His Word for understanding comes in the doing and we “do” that which we hear and guard, aměn!
We must be careful to not be stiff-necked in any way and not be closed to correction as this stubbornness will only lead to destruction:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:1 “One often reproved, hardening his neck, Is suddenly broken, and there is no healing.”
How often have you been reproved yet continue to harden your neck and refuse to bow in humble obedience? Be warned by this book that destruction is coming swift upon those who forsake His Torah and are busy building in vain the House of Nimrod that will fall when the storm of יהוה’s wrath upon the wicked comes.
Sha’ul summarizes it all for us in this statement:
Romiyim/Romans 11:22 “See then the kindness and sharpness of Elohim: on those who fell sharpness, but toward you kindness, if you continue in His kindness, otherwise you also shall be cut off.”
This he said in speaking of us who are wild branches that were grafted in and how the natural branches were cut off due to unbelief and worthlessness – It is His Kindness that leads us to repentance and we must continue in His kindness to remain in the Vine and bear much fruit of righteousness, which is to guard to do His commands, and allow the words of Naḥum be a comfort to us who take refuge in יהוה, as opposed to the sound of righteous judgement of wrath upon the lawless!
This is a message that is very much alive today – one we must declare and in so doing we too must be sure that we have come out of the House of Nimrod and all her worthless teachings as teachings the commands of men, only to be found clinging to the Torah and being steadfast to remain in Him; for keeping the Torah is the refuge in which we will hide under the shadow of His wings, as we walk in His Torah out of a loving obedience with great joy and great delight, ready to confidently call many out of the soon to be destroyed house of the enemy into the House of the Living Elohim of which יהושע is our King, our Redeemer, our Wonderful Counsellor, our Strong Ěl, our Father of Continuity and our Prince of Peace!
Ninewěh revisited – יהושע is coming again in vengeance for His set-apart Bride – many who have heard the 1st message and repented have not stayed in the kindness of Elohim and so strayed and will be revisited. Perhaps you too have found yourself having slipped into worthlessness and deceit under the influence of the teachings and ways of the House of Nimrod – then may this Word tonight revisit you where you are at and set your feet back upon the straight and narrow path of obedience in Messiah – the Living Word that when He revisits Ninewěh you will be found in Him as a refuge and shelter from the storm. This is the comfort and assurance we have in Him and we have to bring this message of Ninewěh to an ignorant people who are being emptied by the emptiers and headed for destruction, while there is still the time of the kindness and patience of יהוה.
Ninewěh Revisited – where will you be found – be found in Him who is our Refuge, aměn!