A few days ago I was looking up something in Rebecca Brown’s books. This author is or was an American Christian, a doctor, who helped rescue one of the top US witches from Satanism. Then Dr Brown and former Satanist Elaine went on together to help untold others out of the evil of this worldwide cult. Her books have been a source of untold wisdom and encouragement to me in my Christian walk. About a year before I read Rebecca’s first two books in 1993, Australia had its own Satanism scare in country New South Wales. Some children left by their parents in Family Day Care had been taken to a coven, placed in coffins, and forced to endure other dreadful experiences. The public broadcasting of this resulted in many people leaving the cult. There were reports of young women being impregnated and forced to have babies that were never registered, instead being used for Satanic sacrifices in the covens.
I didn’t find what I was looking for at the time in Rebecca Brown’s books, but I did come across something else of interest. To be crucified with Christ, she pointed out, as all Christians are, means we must follow Him to martyrdom or other death if necessary. This is not just bearing up under our earthly trials, but committing EVERYTHING we have to YHWH. Satan will then petition Father for it in the Heavenly Court, and like with Job, the Most High Judge may grant Satan his petition.
It is not understood by many why a loving Father such as YHWH in His Word is said to be, would ask Abraham to sacrifice his son–any child–let alone his ONLY son. Abraham already had a head start on this. He knew Isaac was going to be the one through whom the promises would be given, BEFORE he was asked to sacrifice this beloved son. So ultimately Isaac had to be either saved or restored to life. What we don’t see is that Christians are sacrificing loved ones, jobs, and possessions every day when they suffer a death in the family or jobs and possessions are lost.
However these deaths and losses are often as a result of the Christian’s UNWILLINGNESS to give them up entirely, so Satan succeeds with his petition. Father knows our hearts, but Satan inevitably knows them too, and our hearts are often not as sincere as we think . Job had, after all, as the book of JOB reveals, secret fears and pride.
Rebecca suggests making a list of everything in our lives that we value, or hold dear. Everything: people, possessions, work, health, future, finances, reputation. Commit them all to YHWH, and KNOW for sure, you will be tested and tried on them. As we stand by our committment through the trials, our faith grows. As all doubts are thrown out, there is an effect in the spiritual realm, a victory won that results in more souls being saved. There is no getting away from the spiritual battle once we become Christians. We discover YHWH is YHWH and we cannot question Him. When Job finally caught a glimpse of YHWH, nothing mattered to him anymore. He realised that for 37 chapters he had spoken too much; he shut up and repented.
Last century, maybe even the one before, a group of Seventh Day Adventists, I think, calculated somehow that Yahshua was going to come again very shortly. They apparently sold everything they had and went to await their Saviour’s advent on a mountain. He failed to show. Many mocked them and the story is still told today, as I just did. As a result of these sorts of disappointments, few Christians now would prepare for the return of our King so mercilessly to their houses, possessions, and jobs. I don’t happen to think there was anything at all wrong with what they did. Having sold almost everything myself on occasions, and knowing others who have done so to go to the mission fields or to live a nomadic existence on the street, I find it commendable. We also know some will be taken by death from us to save them going through the coming tribulations: “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come” (IS. 57:1). One of my friends recently lost his wife, his elderly mate, and his little dog in a short space of time. He referred to this Scripture when I rang him to offer my sympathy and prayers.
As the time for Yahshua’s next visit draws closer, personally I will be selling or disposing of everything except absolute necessities, not including my children of course. We have some time yet, for there are definite signs described in the Bible to occur before His next coming. One is the revealing of the man of sin, the son of perdition, that wicked (II THESS. 2:3). This man cannot be the beast or the false prophet, as is commonly thought, for these two personages are cast ALIVE into the lake of fire when Yahshua comes for His FINAL visit at the end of the Seven Years of Tribulation. The man of sin, instead, Yahshua shall CONSUME with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His (next) coming (II THESS. 2:8). THIS coming is at the BEGINNING of the final Seven Years when our Messiah comes to gather together His Elect from the four winds (MATT. 24:31), to which Paul refers at the beginning of this II THESSALONIANS’ passage: Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Saviour Yahshua Messiah, and by our gathering together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled…(2:1).
I believe this man is the Jews’ false messiah, to be brought to public attention in the nation of Israel in not too many years from now. Like the Christian’s in Galatia, when this man is revealed, the Christians also will be led away by him, for as Paul explains, his coming will be with all power and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness… And for this cause YHWH shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie… (II THESS. 2:9-10). How many Christians look for signs and wonders as evidence of healing, deliverance, miracles, Father’s will in their lives, faith, and their obedience? I have been guilty of this myself. Yet Yahshua answered the scribes and Pharisees when they asked Him for a sign: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Yonas (Jonah)…so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (MATT. 12:39-40). This sign has already been given when Yahshua spent those three days in Hell.
I am not saying YHWH never gives us signs. He does. But I believe they are bonuses, not something to base our life on. For isn’t Satan himself transformed into an angel of light (II COR. 7:14)? And YHWH is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (JOHN 4:24). There are no physical signs in a spiritual kingdom. Everything must be received by faith.
Another sign which will herald our King’s next visit will be the destruction of secular Israel. Many have prophesied of a coming war involving Israel and the Middle East. I am not their judge, but a nation or race cannot claim to be YHWH’s ‘chosen people’, yet kill their closest neighbours with impunity when His Law says to love thy neighbour as thyself (LEV. 19:18), the second greatest commandment (MATT. 22:39).
John Paul Jackson, eleventh-hour prophet, has received the revelation also of a coming world-wide turning against the Jews. He prophesies that the OPEC countries will refuse to sell oil to anyone who supports Israel. In addition, as each regime in the Islamic/Arabic nations is deposed, a worse one will replace it. ISAYAH 17:1 tells us Damascus will be taken away from being a city. Damascus is the capital of Syria, another of Israel’s neighbours. When I was living in Israel, I could see Syria from the kibbutz on which I worked. My friend’s dog once jumped the fence into the no man’s land border strewn with land mines between the two countries. Blessedly, he jumped out again without blowing up himself or us as we desperately called him from nearby.
Damascus has never in history been destroyed, so that word from Isayah is yet for the future. Presumably Israel will be the means by which this city ceases to be a city. Assad, the current leader of Syria is a tolerant leader I hear, sympathetic to all religious persuasions including Christians, despite not being painted so in the press. If Israel were to bomb Damascus, and I have read in news articles they have been encouraged to do so, it could precipitate a war, or at least the world turning against Israel and the Jews.
If this was to happen and the Jewish people become the persecuted, I urge all Christians to take them in, protect them, and to share the GOSPEL OF THEIR TRUE MESSIAH WITH THEM. If you know or meet a Jewish person, acknowledge they were YHWH’s chosen people (whether they still are is debatable), and ask them what He chose them for? They probably will not know, but the answer, of course, is that THEY WERE CHOSEN TO TAKE THE MOMENTOUS NEWS OF THE TRUE GOSPEL OF YAHSHUA MESSIAH TO THE NATIONS.
There are two other events scheduled to occur before the man of sin is revealed. The first is that the Elect of Yahshua Messiah, the ones to be gathered by Him at the beginning of the Seven Years of Tribulation, already mentioned above (II THESS 2:1, MATT. 24:31), are to be called and come out of the false church. This is also referred to in II THESSALONIANS 2:7 as: until he be taken out of the way. But these words are inaccurate. The literal Greek reads until out of the midst it comes and means until he is born out of her: until the Elect or man-child is born out of the woman, the church. BEFORE she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain (of the Great Tribulation) came, she was delivered of a man child (IS. 66:7-8). Here is a woman giving birth to a child BEFORE she experiences the pain of labour and normal delivery. Somewhat like a redeemed birth, don’t you think? For the Elect are the redeemed from the earth (REV. 14:3).
The other event concerns a man called The BRANCH. He has, according to ZECHARYAH 3:8, a number of friends or counsellors. Because he is the then high priest in Yerushalem, and shall sit and rule upon his throne (ZEC. 6:11, 13), this man is commonly believed to be Yahshua. But this cannot be. Yahshua is not a branch of the royal line but a direct descendant through David. This man IS in a branch of another royal line, and is in sin–filthy clothes–until he answers his call, at which time he is saved or plucked out of the fire (ZEC. 3:2-3), like Paul the apostle on the road to Damascus. When that happens, The BRANCH and his fellows will be men wondered at: accompanying them will be wonderful deeds and authenticating signs (ZEC. 3:8). To my understanding they will be YHWH’s counterpart to the son of perdition. More about these last two signs are to be given in a future post.