Shabbat Shalom family, may the joy of יהוה continue to strengthen us to be a praising people, who with great zeal cling to Him and walk steadfast in Messiah!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:3-4 “My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the proving of your belief works endurance. 4 And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.”
These verses are often widely quoted and are one of the more well-known in Scripture, yet I wonder how many who know this and recite this verse, actually do what the verse says! For many of us, if not all, trials have been coming hard and fast from all sides and for each one the trials we may find ourselves falling into can often seem like a dead end street with no way out, and the imminent threat of stress and panic often seizes one to the point of feeling insecure and helpless – can anyone relate to this of late? If this is true then I ask whether you are actually counting it all joy? The Greek word used here for ‘trials’ is πειρασμός peirasmos – Strong’s G3986 which means, ‘an experiment, trial, temptation, testing’ and speaks of an enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from desires or from outward circumstances; as well as the condition of things, or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin; or to a lapse from the faith and set-apartness. This word can also be understood as some adversity, affliction, or trouble that is sent by Elohim with the purpose of serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, and set-apartness.
So whatever the trial you may find yourself falling into, be it from a circumstance as a result of choices that result in causing you to be tempted to a lapse of faithfulness or whether it is simply a method of proving sent by Elohim to grow you – we are instructed to count or consider it all joy! While this may be often easier said than done – the fact remains that we have absolutely no excuse to not be a joyful, praising people – regardless or the current situation we find ourselves in. Having said that I want us to look at a chapter that speaks of what is to come, and for many may sound like doom and gloom, yet when we consider the reality of who it is we belong to, and recognize the need to cling to יהוה without letting go, we can endure that which is to come with a steadfast joy that comes from Him as we walk in Messiah, aměn! While we may certainly face and fall into many trials on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis, we need to ensure that we grow stronger and stronger in our ability to count it joy, so that our endurance is strengthened for the days to come, where the pressures and persecutions will increase tremendously before our Messiah comes to take up His faithful remnant Bride! In a message tonight called, “PRAISE יהוה IN THE LIGHT OF FIRE!”, please turn with me to Yeshayahu/Isaiah 24 (read).
This Chapter speaks very loud and clear of the wrath of Elohim that is coming upon the earth, as the result of man’s wickedness and lawlessness. No matter who you are or what position you may have, and no matter how much wealth you may or may not have – all will be affected by these events, as the earth will be completely plundered – and this is the Word of יהוה that has spoken – and therefore it shall be!!!
As a result of the outpouring of His wrath which we can further read about in Ḥazon/Revelation, we are clearly told that יהוה will make the earth empty and a waste; and in verse 4 we are told that the world shall ‘languish’ and the haughty people of the earth shall ‘languish’! The Hebrew word for ‘languish’ is אָמַל amal – Strong’s H535 which means, ‘to be weak, languish, decay, fade away, wither, to be or grow feeble’. The word used for world is בֵּבֵל teḇel – Strong’s H8398 which means, ‘inhabited world’ and the word for ‘haughty’ is מָרוֹם marom – Strong’s H4791 which means, ‘height, above, exalted, haughty, lofty, proudly’ and comes from the word רוּם rum – Strong’s H7311 meaning, ‘to be high or exalted, to become proud, rebelled’. What we see from this is the clear fact that the ‘worldly’ and those who are proud and lofty and have built for themselves a life that is dependent upon self and the world will be brought low and decay!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 2:17 “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the pride of men shall be brought low. And יהוה alone shall be exalted in that day”
Verse 5 further stresses the fact that the earth lies defiled because of its inhabitants that have transgressed against the Torah of Elohim and have changed the Torah and broken the everlasting covenant! The Hebrew word translated as ‘defiled’ is חָנֵף ḥaneph – Strong’s H2610 meaning, ‘to be polluted or profane, turn to lawlessness’ and the word translated as ‘broken’ is פָּרַר parar – Strong’s H6565 which means, ‘to break, frustrate, annul, nullify, make ineffectual, split, divide’. I hope this makes the picture clear as to why the earth is already in such a defiled state and not functioning according to the Creator’s design – it is because man has turned to lawlessness and made the Torah of Elohim ineffectual as a means to govern His creation – and this is why it lies defiled! When the Torah is disregarded and thrown out as the primary instructions for living then the result is only one of a devastating defilement that is decaying; and this principle that is being pictured here for the earth, applies to our individual lives too – for when we break the Torah and change His Torah by substituting it with tradition, we defile ourselves, and render our garments of unrighteousness as garments of decay.
The result of this defilement of mankind is that it will be consumed under a curse and die in the fire of the wrath of Elohim. All very gloom and doom stuff I know – yet this is real people!!!
Yet what we see here in verse 6 is the promise of a remnant that shall be left!!! Yes a remnant – that is the faithful few who are in the world but not of the world – the remnant few who endure under trials and guard the commands of Elohim and the belief of יהושע:
Ḥazon/Revelation 14:12 “Here is the endurance of the set-apart ones, here are those guarding the commands of Elohim and the belief of יהושע.”
The name of the son of Yeshayahu is שְׁאָר יָשׁוּב She’ar Yashuḇ – Strong’s H7610 which means, ‘a remnant shall return’.
The remnant in Scripture are regarded as those who guard the commands of Elohim and possess the witness of יהושע Messiah – and it is the remnant against whom the enemy will launch a great attack:
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of יהושע Messiah.”
The days ahead will get so intense that those in the world who are carrying on in the ‘merry’ little ways, as they indulge in their lawless lifestyles of satisfying the flesh, will come to the point where they wish they were dead and they will put away their party gear – not by choice – and in the process many will blaspheme Elohim and prefer cry out for the rocks to fall on them.
In verse 10 we are told that the ‘deserted’ city shall be broken down – and the Hebrew word translated as ‘deserted’ here is תֹּהוּ tohu – Strong’s H8414 which means, ‘formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness, empty space, futile, meaningless’. The KJV translates this as ‘the city of confusion’, and what we see here is the direct reference to the counterfeit Yerushalayim – Baḇelon – which has caused so many to inherit that which is futile and formless, and has led the world into a great confusion as the masses do not know יהוה.
This word תֹּהוּ tohu is used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 59:4 “No one calls for righteousness, and no one pleads for truth. They trust in emptiness and speak worthlessness; they conceive trouble and bring forth wickedness.”
In Verse 12 we are told that the city is left in ruins and the gate is stricken with destruction! The gate of a city was the place where the judges an officials of the city would sit and right-ruling would be given, and so by this clear picture of the gate being stricken with destruction we can see the reference to the fact that the proper right-ruling of Elohim has been discarded and there is no more a call for pure righteousness and truth.
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 5:1-2 “Diligently search the streets of Yerushalayim, and please look, and know and seek in her open places if you find a man, if there is anyone doing right-ruling, seeking the truth, then I shall pardon her. 2 “Even when they say, ‘As יהוה lives,’ they swear falsely, for certain.”
Yeḥezqěl /Ezekiel 32:29-31 “The people of the land have practised oppression, and committed robbery, and have wronged the poor and needy. And they oppressed the stranger without right-ruling. 30 “And I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the breach before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it – but I did not find one! 31 “Therefore I have poured out My displeasure on them, I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath. And I have put their way on their own head,” declares the Master יהוה.”
There is no substance to the worlds ways of man-made doctrines and traditions that have attempted to change the Torah – and the reality of this will be exposed and therefore cause the crying out for the wine of lies and the gladness of the earth to be removed as the lies are uncovered and exposed for what they really are!
Please turn with me to Ḥazon/Revelation 18:2-21:
“And he cried with a mighty voice, saying, “Babel the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, and a haunt for every unclean and hated bird, 3 because all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her whoring, and the sovereigns of the earth have committed whoring with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the power of her riotous living.” 4 And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 “Because her sins have piled up to reach the heaven, and Elohim has remembered her unrighteousnesses. 6 “Render to her as she indeed did render, and repay her double according to her works. In the cup which she has mixed, mix for her double. 7 “As much as she esteemed herself and lived riotously, so much torture and grief give to her, because in her heart she says, ‘I sit as sovereigness, and I am not a widow, and I do not see mourning at all.’ 8 “Because of this her plagues shall come in one day: death and mourning and scarcity of food. And she shall be burned up with fire, because יהוה Elohim who judges her is mighty. 9 “And the sovereigns of the earth who committed whoring and lived riotously with her shall weep and mourn over her, when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance for fear of her torture, saying, ‘Woe! Woe, the great city Baḇel, the mighty city, because your judgment has come in one hour!’ 11 “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their merchandise anymore – 12 merchandise of gold and silver, and precious stone and pearls, and fine linen and purple, and silk and scarlet, and all citron wood, and every object of ivory, and every object of most precious wood and bronze and iron and marble, 13 and cinnamon and incense, and fragrant oil and frankincense, and wine and oil, and fine flour and wheat, and cattle and sheep, and horses and carriages, and bodies and lives of men. 14 “And the fruit that your being longed for has gone from you. And all your riches and splendour are lost to you, and you shall find them no more, not at all. 15 “The merchants of these, those who became rich by her, shall stand at a distance for fear of her torture, weeping and mourning, 16 and saying, ‘Woe! Woe, the great city that was dressed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! 17 ‘For in one hour such great riches was laid waste.’ And every shipmaster, and every passenger, and sailors, and as many as work the sea for their living, stood at a distance, 18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’ 19 “And they threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and mourning, and saying, ‘Woe! Woe, the great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she was laid waste.’ 20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you set-apart emissaries and prophets, for Elohim has completely avenged you on her!” 21 And one mighty messenger picked up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “With such a rush the great city Babel shall be thrown down, and shall not be found any more at all.”
Back to Yeshayahu/Isaiah 24:
We can relate what is being written in Ḥazon to these words of Yeshayahu, and what I want to emphasis very clearly here is that the Day of יהוה is not fun and games, as we read in:
Yo’ĕl/Joel 1:15 “Alas for the day! For the day of יהוה is near, and it comes as destruction from the Almighty.”
Yo’ĕl/Joel 2:1-3 “Blow a ram’s horn in Tsiyon, and sound an alarm in My set-apart mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the earth tremble, for the day of יהוה is coming, for it is near: 2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains – a people many and strong, the like of whom has never been, nor shall there ever be again after them, to the years of many generations. 3 Ahead of them a fire has consumed, and behind them a flame burns. Before them the land is like the Garden of Eḏen, and behind them a desert waste. And from them there is no escape.”
Here in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 24:15 we are clearly instructed that in light of all this that is coming we are to ‘praise יהוה in the east’! the Hebrew word translated here as ‘east’ is אוּר ur – Strong’s H217 which actually means, ‘a flame, fire, fires, light’ or ‘light of fire’. The KJV translates this as ‘fires’. It is from this verse that I chose the title for this message – PRAISE יהוה IN THE LIGHT OF FIRE! For that is exactly the point of my message tonight – in the light of fire we are to be praising יהוה! The plural of the word אוּר ur is used in:
Shemoth/Exodus 28:30 “And into the breastplate of right-ruling you shall put the Urim and the Tummim, and they shall be on the heart of Aharon when he goes in before יהוה . And Aharon shall bear the right-ruling of the children of Yisra’ĕl on his heart before יהוה , continually.”
אוּרִים Urim – Strong’s H224 means ‘lights, illuminations’ – this was placed in the breastplate of right-ruling of the High Priest, together with the תֻּמִּים Tummim – plural of תֹּם tom, and carries the meaning of ‘perfections’
While there is no evidence to clearly tell us what the Urim and Tummim consisted of, be it stones or any other substance, what we can see is that the High Priest would use these in order to get right-ruling and so speaks of seeking the perfect truth from יהוה. What is very interesting and worthy of noting is that the first letter of ‘Urim’ is the א ‘aleph’ and the first letter of Tummim is the ת ‘taw’:
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, beginning and end,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:6 “Thus said יהוה, Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and his Redeemer, יהוה of hosts, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim.”
What are the urim and tummim? They are the things that illuminate and perfect. We know that יהושע is the Light and He was the Perfect Lamb, and so this represents for us our need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be perfect before Elohim, for He is perfect and we are called to be the salt and light, which we can only be when we seek out His Right-Ruling and walk according to that which is to be upon our heart – His Torah (notice the positioning of the Urim and Tummim in the breastplate – by the heart!!!)
He writes His Torah on our hearts and so it is our hearts and mouths that we may do it!
So to praise יהוה in the light of fire calls us to recognise what must happen and why, as He pours out His righteous right-ruling against lawlessness and sin, yet as we cling to Him and walk in Messiah we can be sure of the promised hope of our deliverance, as we continue to praise Him, knowing that he delivers the righteous from all distress:
Tehillim/Psalm 34:19 “The righteous cried out, and יהוה heard, and delivered them out of all their distresses.”
Tehillim/Psalm 37:39 “But the deliverance of the righteous is from יהוה, their strength in time of distress.”
Tehillim/Psalm 58:10 “The righteous rejoices when he has seen the vengeance, He washes his feet in the blood of the wrong”
Tehillim/Psalm 118:15 “The voice of rejoicing and deliverance is in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of יהוה is doing mightily.”
As we cling to יהוה, guarding to do all He has commanded us, then we may confidently raise up the voice of rejoicing and deliverance.
In verse 16 we see that while there will be songs of rejoicing from the ends of the earth, to which Yeshayahu declares a huge WOE!!! The treacherous betray, with treachery the treacherous betray!!! The word used here for ‘treacherous’ is בָּגַד bagad – Strong’s H898 which means, ‘to act or deal treacherously, act deceitfully, faithless, transgressor’ and this verb is used to denote unfaithfulness in several different relationships; and it is used in connection with unfaithfulness in marriage – and more specifically how Yisra’ĕl has acted treacherously toward Elohim:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 3:20 “But indeed as a wife betrays her husband, so have you betrayed Me, O house of Yisra’ĕl,” declares יהוה.”
In this verse 16 of Yeshayahu we find that this root word בָּגַד bagad is seen in 4 words, with a fifth word having the root of a word that comes from בָּגַד bagad, which is the root of the word which is translated as ‘treachery’ and in Hebrew is the word בֶּגֶד begged – Strong’s H899 which means, ‘treachery, to deceive’ and can also give reference to any kind of garment, from the robes of the rich and mighty to the rags of the poor and the leper. It is also used as a reference to the cloth used to cover the Tabernacle furniture (Bemiḏbar/Numbers 4:12-13). So what we see here in Yeshayahu is a clear play on words that reveals the counterfeit messiah and his worship system that has acted deceitfully and caused many to be clothed in unrighteous garments of betrayal and deceit as they disregard the Table of Elohim and trample underfoot His Torah; yet firmly believe that they are clothed with righteousness! Yeshayahu exposes this deceit here in proclaiming the very big woe!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’”
In verse 17-18 the message is clear to those who are of the world – fear and the pit and snare be upon them! We who are in Messiah are in the world but not of the world!’ And nobody shall be able to escape the coming destruction when the windows of heaven are opened and the earth is shaken under the hand of the Most High!
Yeshayahu is clear on this great shaking that is coming and how the enemy will be bound up and be punished after many days. This may be a reference to Satan being bound up for the 1000 years while Messiah reigns, yet this also speaks of the many sinners who have died and will be punished at the Judgement seat after the Millennial reign!
He ends this chapter with the clear picture of there being no more need for the sun and moon to show us His Appointments for He shall be in our midst and this reference to the moon blushing and the sun being ashamed also speaks of how the importance of them will be diminished, and while many may have worshipped them in the past, they will be shown up as things that should never be worshipped! All form of pagan worship will be destroyed as יהוה’s reign is firmly established here on earth!
And in the renewed heavens and earth we are told that the city will have no need for sun and moon for Elohim lights it and the Lamb is its lamp!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 25 continues into a song of praise by the remnant at the deliverance of יהוה.
While all of these events to come may sound very frightening – and indeed they are – we need to be sure that we are able to endure the trials we find ourselves in today, so that endurance may have a perfect work in making us complete in Messiah and lacking nothing! May we be a praising people in the light of His righteous refining fire!
The Hebrew root word translated in verse 15 as ‘praise’ is כָּבֵד kaḇed – Strong’s H3513 which means, ‘to be heavy, weighty or burdensome, to give high esteem and respect and honour’. This word is used in the 10 words (Commandments) when we are told to ‘respect’ our parents; and what is in effect being told to us is that we must carefully consider and ‘give weight to’ the Word of Elohim and so we must weigh up the consequences of the inherited lies and mistakes and be careful to not follow in the same mistakes, and guard the Truth in order that we may live long in the land which יהוה is giving us, and not be kept out or expelled as our forefathers were.
Therefore as we consider the days that lie ahead, may we be encouraged by the words of Messiah given to the assembly in Smurna:
Ḥazon/Revelation 2:10 “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. See, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, in order to try you, and you shall have pressure ten days. Be trustworthy until death, and I shall give you the crown of life.”
As we sojourn here and now as strangers and foreigners, let us hold fast to our identity in Messiah and be bold to sound the alarm and blow the shofar, for near is the Day of יהוה; and as we face or fall into many trials along the way, may we count it all joy and praise יהוה in the light of fire, that all esteem and praise be given to Him in every way.
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved ones, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that is coming upon you, to try you, as though some unusual matter has befallen you, 13 but as you share Messiah’s sufferings, rejoice, in order that you might rejoice exultingly at the revelation of His esteem.”
May the proving of our belief be found to result in praise, respect and esteem at the revelation of יהושע Messiah.
My sober warning and great encouragement to you tonight is to give respect and esteem to the commands of Elohim and guard His charge as a called out and set-apart people, ensuring that no matter what we face, we are able to praise יהוה in the light of fire! If we cannot get that right here today, how will we stand in that Day – stand firm in Messiah now and forevermore, aměn!
Perhaps you have allowed some of the many trials get you down under the intense heat of the pressures that surround you and enclose you in from every side – know this that יהוה sits as a refiner and His eye is constantly on us and we can find refuge in His Name, counting it all joy as we get strengthened in His joy.
I remind you all to be fervent in encouraging one another each and every day and let us not forsake the gathering, but be more fervent in loving our great and mighty Elohim and loving each other as we carry each other’s burdens with a fighting faith that does not let the fiery trials consume us as we stay in Him and guard His Word as we allow the ‘lightings and perfections’ of His Torah to be upon our hearts that we may by our fervent walk of faithfulness make the strong call for righteousness and plead for truth as we sound the alarm and blow the shofar calling many to come back to the Covenants of Promise!
Maybe you have, maybe you have not – and you may even feel that you cannot – yet I urge you to heed this clear non-negotiable instruction to praise יהוה in the light of fire!!!