Saturday, December 10, 2011
WOE! WOE! WOE! - It is the season to be HEARING!
Shalom family, “Blessed are the people whose Elohim is יהוה.” He is our Rock, our Teacher, our Tower, our Deliverer and our Shield in whom we take refuge – blessed are we for יהוה is our Elohim, Aměn!
For the past couple of weeks you have been hearing me speak some pretty stern words on the need for us to raise up our voices and proclaim the Truth in order to expose the hordes of lies that so many are falling prey to. And while I may sound repetitive, I firmly believe that יהוה is calling us to stand up and sound the alarm against the reluctant hearers of the Truth. Tonight I present once again the call to raise up the sound of the alarm of the coming Day of יהוה – a Day of wrath, distress and trouble; a day of waste and ruin, darkness and gloominess, a day of thick clouds and darkness as described in Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 1:15. I have wrestled with many passages of Scriptures this week – all of which are concerned with the critical need for us to walk upright and speak up and shine the Light of His Truth in order to expose darkness of sin and lawlessness, calling many to repentance as the Bride must make herself ready! So many today have gone into ‘silly season’ mode with all the ‘jingle bells’ of excitement over Nimrod’s testicles and we need to wake them up and tell them how sick and perverted their worship is!!! In a message tonight called, “Woe, Woe, Woe – It is the Season to be Hearing!” I would like you to turn with me to Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3 (Read).
A few months ago I gave a message from chapter 1 called, “Hidden from complacency” and in effect this entire book of 3 chapters may be small but is oh so powerful. They say dynamite comes in small packages – well this is a dynamite book – of which some have labelled it as the ‘hottest book’ in Scripture. Tsephanyah speaks more about the coming Day of יהוה than any other prophet – in fact the entire book’s message is centred on the coming Day of יהוה with the call to repentance to all who are walking in darkness through their rebellious and lustful living. The more I read through this book the more I come to grips just how alive it is for us today – and so as we look into the mirror of this chapter we have just read I believe that we are able to clearly see the message for us today. Tsephanyah means ‘Hidden by יהוה’ or ‘Treasured by יהוה’ and is a great picture of encouragement to us as we see the promise of protection from those hidden in יהוה.
Tehillim/Psalm 27:5 “For in the day of evil He hides me in His booth; in the covering of His Tent He hides me; on a rock He raises me up.”
The Day of יהוה is not a pleasant picture and while many are singing a drunken rhyme of the rebellious whore, “Ho-Ho-Ho – it is the season to be jolly”, they need to be hearing the Woe-Woe-Woe!!! And it is the treasured and hidden ones of יהוה that are being called to do that! Tsephanyah was born during the 55 year reign of the wicked and rebellious king, Menashsheh. Menashsheh had built all the high places that his father Ḥizqiyahu had destroyed and raised up altars for Ba’al, bowed himself to the hosts of the heavens and worshipped them and built two altars to the hosts of the heavens in the courtyards of the House of יהוה. He made his son pass through the fire, and practised magic, and used divination, and consulted spiritists and mediums and did much evil in the eyes of יהוה, to provoke Him. Yehuḏah had become as rebellious and wicked as Yisra’ĕl under the pathetic reign of Ahab. Menashsheh died and his son Amon reigned for 2 years and was as wicked as his father and was killed by his own servants. Yoshiyahu/Josiah, Amon’s son, was then set up as king when he was 8 years old and walked in the ways of Dawiḏ. Yoshiyahu was the uncle of Tsephanyah and it was during the reign of Yoshiyahu that Tsephanyah prophesied these words. It was after the death of Yoshiyahu that things got worse and the destruction of the temple came 23 years later. Tsephanyah may have been alive to see this dreadful day which was a foreshadowing of the dark and wrathful day of יהוה about which he prophesied. This destruction would prepare the way for Yisra’ĕl to be a light to the nations as he spoke of the end when the exiles will return in peace as יהוה gathers His remnant and true worshippers will come from all over the world as pilgrims to a city that is cleansed form all sin.
Many would not heed the words of Tsephanyah when spoken, just as many today are also settled in their complacent ways rejecting the warning alarm sound of the shofar that will usher in the great and dreadful events of the Day of יהוה, but are instead dancing to the sick and twisted sound of bells of pagan worship practices which is an abomination before יהוה and reveals their wilful rebellion and defilement of His Word.
This chapter begins with a woe to the rebellious, defiled and oppressive – that is to those who do not hear His voice, do not accept instruction and do not place their trust in יהוה, and therefore do not draw near to Elohim!
This woe is as much alive today as it was then – for so many do not obey the voice. I find it very interesting in the application and timing of this message of Tsephanyah, for he prophesied during the reign of Yoshiyahu – which was a reign of restoration and repentance and returning to obedience! Yoshiyahu had a wicked father and grandfather and repented of the lies of his fathers.
The story of Yoshiyahu is of special significance to us of this ministry as we too had a Yoshiyahu (Josiah) awakening as we found the Torah and made the necessary changes in our worship as we stripped away and smashed much of pagan worship that we had inherited. So what I find very critical for us here today is that we too are to heed these words of Tsephanyah, being careful not to become full of pride and settled in our discovery of the Truth but rather we should be continually walking in humility and forsake not our need to be a voice calling many back to Truth.
Today, while Torah is being discovered by more and more – this message is clear – woe to the rebellious – woe to the proud and woe to the defiled. Those who refuse to hear, guard and do are submitting to rulers who are roaring lions and whose judges are wolves who will eventually eat them up. Yirmeyahu describes this about a rebellious backsliding people too:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 5:6 “Therefore a lion from the forest shall smite them, a wolf of the deserts ravage them. A leopard is watching over their cities, whoever comes out of them is torn in pieces. For their transgressions have been many, their backslidings have been numerous.”
Reckless prophets and profaning priests – a common picture today – prophets who say peace, peace when there is no peace and priests who are muddying the waters and defiling the purity of the Word and doing violence to the Torah:
The reference at the bottom of your page in the Scriptures 2009 edition here for verse 4 is a chapter I was too studying this week as it also speaks of those who are profaning the Word:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 22:26 “Her priests have done violence to My teaching and they profane My set-apart matters. They have not distinguished between the set-apart and profane, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean. And they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned in their midst.”
And so what we see happening today is a repeat of what happened in the days of Tsephanyah – Torah was being found and restored by a remnant few while the masses were profaning His Word as false priests and teachers were doing violence to the Truth of Torah – in essence were ‘killing’ it as if it was of no effect and worth! As a result they did not know the difference between the unclean and the clean. It is no different today – the so called priests of today are too doing violence to the Torah by declaring that it is of no effect and has no value – the result is once again a people who do not know the difference between the unclean and the clean, between the set-apart and the profane and so they will easily bring profane fire before יהוה thinking that it is ok. Profane worship or ‘strange’ worship is not ok – unless you want to end up like Naḏab and Aḇihu – being consumed by His wrath of fire!
Verse 5 tells us what is so true today – יהוה is in our midst and He does no unrighteousness! He promises us that where 2 or 3 are gathered in His Name, there He is in the midst of them, and He does no unrighteousness. Think about it for a moment – we are to walk as He walked and we are to remain in Him and follow Him as He leads us, right! Well then He does no unrighteousness – He does not walk against His Word – He is the Word and does not change and leads us in paths of righteousness – He is The Way, The Truth and the Life – so how is it then that so many who claim to be following Him are walking in unrighteousness – who is it that they are following? They are listening to a false ho, ho, ho while they should be hearing the woe, woe, woe! Every morning יהוה brings his right-ruling to light through his prophets and the people still refuse to repent as the unrighteous one knows no shame!!! That is pretty scary if you ask me – those who do not walk in righteousness do not even know shame:
Shame is, “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety”. In other words shame is a painful feeling of having lost the respect of others because of improper behaviour of oneself or one that you are closely associated to. The unrighteous know no shame – if they did – they would be running back to יהוה in a flash.
In verses 6&7 יהוה had destroyed the towers of the enemy and cut off many nations with the desire of letting His chosen see the hand of His wrath on their enemies that would cause them to fear Him and accept His Instruction yet they continually corrupted all their ways before Him, refusing to hear.
When we fear יהוה and accept His instruction, instead of trying to brush it under the rug of whitewashed grace, then our dwelling will not be cut off – we do not want to be the darnel that is gathered and bound into bundles to be burnt but rather the wheat that is gathered to His granary. It will only be at the end where we will see the distinguished difference between the wheat and the darnel that grows up together – may we be found to be fearing יהוה, heeding His Torah and humbling ourselves before Him in loving obedience as opposed to having pride and a stiff neck unable to bow in reverence to the instructions of His Torah!
יהוה resists the proud and gives favour to the humble and as He says here in verse 11 – He will remove from our midst the proud exulting ones! What will be left behind are a poor and oppressed people who trust in the Name of יהוה. The proud will be taken out – the ones who put their trust in their riches will be taken out! The people who gathered to king Dawiḏ at the cave of Aḏullam – who were they? The poor and needy! The oppressed and down and outs so to speak – yet this quality they had – they trusted in a righteous king!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:4 “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death.”
I am not saying that you must be poor – what I am saying is what Scripture tells us, and that is - do not put your trust in that which cannot deliver you – and so those who put their trust in their wealth rather than in יהוה are going to be removed!!!
יהוה will turn unto His people a pure tongue – He will restore us to having one language and so the reversal of the curse of Baḇel where the languages were confused due to sin in their rebellion to His yoke. We will serve Him in unity, as we take on His yoke that is easy and His burden that is light.
It is a remnant that will do no unrighteousness and speak no falsehood having no deceit in their mouth! This is the picture of the 144000 of the Lamb who have the Name upon their foreheads in Ḥazon:
Ḥazon/Revelation 14:5 “And in their mouth was found no falsehood, for they are blameless before the throne of Elohim.”
The closing verses of Tsephanyah 3 speaks of the great joy of Yisra’ĕl that realises and recognises their Redeemer and King – He who has turned aside judgement and has faced the enemy and overcome and will no longer need to fear evil for the Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, יהוה is in our midst – and He sings over us!!!
This shout for joy is a command! Be glad and rejoice with all our heart – can you do that knowing that יהוה is in our midst? We have reason to rejoice!!! יהושע Messiah has turned aside our judgements by facing our enemy and taking our sin upon Himself and defeating death, that we may live with Him forever and this is the woe that goes out to those who rebel and defile His word – you will die if you do not repent and fear the Righteous One in our Midst.
We are to be a joyous people and I would like to commend all of you on that note: Carlien’s dad was speaking to someone at Esteban and Sophia’s wedding this past week – someone who does not know the Torah and finds all the Hebrews names and terminology a bit freaky and he said that the guy must just look at us all – we are happy and there is joy, so he may not understand all that we are doing but let the joy and gladness that is seen speak for itself!!!
We have much to be glad for, aměn! The caution here is that we do not become proud but remain humble at all times, eager and willing to serve the Master and as His hidden treasures, held firmly in His hand may we be bold enough to declare the “woes” to those who are only hearing the “ho’s”, and may there not be found in any of us any falsehood as we live blameless before His Throne as He Himself has put His Name upon us and we have His Sabbath as a sign between us and Him forever!
If you have been rebellious, defiled or oppressive in any way and have been disobedient in any way or form to His voice – that is His Word – refusing to accept His instruction and not able to trust Him, having found it difficult to draw near to Him because of sin/lawlessness in your life – the realise that He is not far off – He is in our midst – fear Him and accept His instructions and rejoice and be glad as He turns His judgements aside and destroys your enemy. If you have whored after the world and it ways and so adulterated yourself away from His Truth then heed this woe of Tsephanyah and return with a broken heart and a crushed spirit which He does not deny.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:4-10 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose? Does the Spirit which dwells in us intensely crave unto envy? 6 But He gives greater favour. Because of this He says, “Elohim resists the proud, but gives favour to the humble.” 7 So then subject yourselves to Elohim. Resist the devil and he shall flee from you. 8 Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded! 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Master, and He shall lift you up.”
It is time for us, His remnant Bride, to stand up and be bold and raise the alarm and sound of the shofar, sounding it against the seemingly secure whose false walls of security will come crashing down.
It may sound like a repetition each week as we have seen the call to speak out against whitewasher and Jezebels, to be the Amos of our day and now the call to the hidden and treasured of יהוה to declare woes to a people who may refuse to hear – but that is what we are to do – now be strong and of good courage for He is in our midst and let us with joy and gladness of heart live upright and speak Truth, aměn!
Especially in respect to the much paganised system of worship reaching its climax at this time of year – get out there and declare, “Woe, Woe, Woe – it is the season to be hearing!”
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you shalom!