Messiah the King
As the calendar goes, so go the people.
Be thankful that now you know his name. You name-knowers are but a "little flock" "who by patient continuance in well doing seeks for glory, honor and immortality." (Rom. 2:7)
Daniel 2:20. Daniel said: "Blessed be the name of El for ever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. 21. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; 22. he reveals deep and mysterious things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. 23. To thee, O Elohim of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for thou hast given me wisdom and strength, and hast now made known to me what we asked of thee, for thou hast made known to us the king's matter."
The Last Week of the Year
Year after year, the Christian calendar plays out the life of our Savior, Yahshua of Nazareth, from his pre-existence in heaven, through his birth, life and teachings, acts and death on a stake. The calendar takes us past death and on through Yahshua’ resurrection from death, then far into the many facets of his Kingdom, culminating in his second coming as Messiah the King of the World. I’m sure you’ll recognize the seasons of the Christian calendar as I list them: Advent, Xmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, 666-ster, Pentecost, Kingdomtide.
If we follow the Christian calendar, we are reminded daily of events in the life of our Savior, and what we should be doing to emulate his life in our world. I once listened to a lecture by Bishop Adler of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. He suggested that though much good had been restored in the revivals of the 20th century, there has been one grave loss that affected our American culture permanently. Adler said that as True Believers moved out of the old-line churches, they discarded the Christian calendar as a vestige of the dead church in favor of the national or secular calendar. As the calendar goes, so goes the people and so goes our youth. Who knows when Epiphany is anymore, or what it is? Seventy-five years ago, most in this country could tell you. But today, the influence of Christian season is nearly lost.
Today marks “Messiah the King” or “Reign of Messiah” Sunday, first day of the last week of the 2001st Christian year. We wrap up the Christian year by celebrating the soon-coming one-world government, with Messiah the King on its throne, reigning from the New Jerusalem. And although we light the first advent candle this morning, next Sunday actually begins the Advent season and the new Christian year.
This Past Year
Certain events of Kingdomtide 2001 season have changed the course of humanity. Americans have been taught just how helpless we really are and many have turned back to Messiah the King as the only recourse. Many others have, through tears, questioned the Almighty, saying, “Elohim, how could you let this happen?” The question seems hard, but the answer is easy, we need only look to Israel. There, terrorist acts are everyday occurrences. If Yahweh’s nation of Israel is terrorized, then such evil acts must be part of a divine plan. Yahweh can redeem all evil, for the old must be torn down for something completely new to be built! Believers know that this world system will be entirely destroyed by Messiah the King so that a new humanity may be built upon its ruins.
Today’s Headlines Old News
The Bible records today’s headlines as old news. His-story is unfolding according to plan. We have no fear because we know the end from the beginning. Yahweh foresaw the sad condition of the human heart in the 20th and 21st centuries and foretold that it would culminate in worldwide violence, decadence and destruction. We are living witnesses of fulfilled prophecy. In the 20th century, over 275 million people lost their lives to violence. That’s more than the entire population of this country! Yahweh predicted that the weak would claim to be strong and the poor rich (Joel 3:10). Indeed, the boastful weak and the poor are the source of terror: even now they taunt the superpower and human hearts fail for fear (Luke 21:26). Yahweh predicted an increase in knowledge would accompany this unprecedented trouble (Dan 12:1-4). Technology now doubles every 18 months; knowledge is exploding exponentially.
Yahweh also told us that Michael the archangel would bring Israel back to statehood during this time of knowledge and trouble. Never before has a nation been obliterated, its people disbursed for thousands of years, then re-gathered and re-established. Even the enemies of Israel proclaim this to be the greatest single miracle in all of history. Should such a miracle of the Almighty draw violence, terror and retribution from the human heart? No, evil is out of control.
There are two sources of evil. The first is humankind’s natural bent to sinfulness. The other is the demonic army of Satan. Listen! We can’t tell the extent of evil that Yahweh has already prevented. It may be that the world would have already been destroyed in 1960 or a hundred other times had it not been for his intervention. We can’t know what hasn’t happened. But since Yahweh has not prevented all evil, there must be a reason for its permission. Maybe he has a plan!
He created the planetary systems to move mechanically and plant and animal life on earth to behave instinctively. But humans were created differently – with a freedom of choice: a free will. The Almighty wants people to live together in a heavenly world where all things work together for love and good, and that scenario has always been a possibility; believe it or not. But we choose which master we serve. The choice is not up to Yahweh; he would always choose the good. The choice is entirely ours.
It’s easy to follow our instinct toward sinfulness. It’s easy to allow demons to help us sin. But Yahweh wants us to learn right and choose rightly. To love him, his kingdom, his people, and to do right, must be the results of choices, else we wouldn’t be human at all. So why does the Almighty allow evil to reign? Why a holocaust? Why a terrorist attack? He allows it only because we allow it. Evil exists to teach us righteousness. Those who choose rightly are Yahweh’s elect whom he set aside for the King.
The Ultimate Remedy
During Holy Week of the Christian Calendar we remember the death of Messiah the King. His death was at the hands of evil. If he is powerful, why did the Father allow his beloved son to be a victim? The answer is that Yahshua’ death was to be "a ransom for all to be testified in due time" (1 Tim 2:6). The word "ransom" means a corresponding price to be paid. Adam and Eve were never supposed to die. Yahweh created them perfect, to live forever. But when they willfully chose evil over good, they died. Death was passed on to all humanity. Satan holds us captive by the fear of death. Freedom required that a ransom, or corresponding price, be paid: perfect man for perfect man. This universal law was already in motion before anything was created. Yahweh had a choice to make -- to ransom the world by sacrificing his perfect son, or just to leave it alone. Yahweh has free will, too. He didn’t have to ransom anybody. But he chose to pay. Why? Because it was the right thing to do. Paul explains this in Romans 5:18:
When one man sinned, all mankind became condemned. But, in the same way, through one man came an act of righteousness. It could bring life and make all men right with Elohim. (SEV)
The Fate of Humanity
Yahshua’ death was "a ransom for all to be testified in due time" (1 Tim 2:6) not just for religious people -- but for all. In my judgment, it wouldn’t be worth sending the Son for the sake of just a few people like us, as wonderful as we are. The Bible says that Yahweh loved the whole world – all the people – and that his plan was designed for the whole bunch. Redemption of a ransomed world comes in three stages:
The first stage is the choice: some wise people choose to obey the call of the Almighty in all things and circumstances despite the fact that they live in a vile world and may suffer for it. Messiah the King has been revealed to test our mettle, refine our character, remold us, teaching us to become his kings, queens, bishops, knights, castles and pawns for play in the great end game. Consider the words of the King’s brother James in regards to this selection process:
Acts 15:14. (RSV) …Elohim first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written, 16. ' I will return, and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, 17. so that all the rest may seek the Lord.'
This prophecy has been fulfilled, for a small group from all nations has chosen to become "a people for His name," just like James said. And what is Elohim’s name? (Yahweh.) How can we be a people for his name if we don’t know it? Be thankful that now you know his name. You name-knowers are but a "little flock" "who by patient continuance in well doing seeks for glory, honor and immortality." (Rom. 2:7)
The second stage is the rebuilding of David’s dwelling, Jerusalem. The Kingdom will be established when Messiah the King makes his presence known to all. And the “little flock” will serve the King by making his name known to the residual of humankind. Yours will be a dynamic mission to the whole world! You and I will be powerful in heralding the good news of the great ransom and return of Yahshua of Nazareth to Jerusalem. Many will inherit eternal life through your words and acts.
The majority of people lived and died without ever knowing about this great ransom, meeting the Savior, reading the Bible or learning the Sacred Name. These choices were not available before they went to their graves. But even the dead of all ages have a place in the great ransom! How could he send his Son to save all humanity if the dead are forgotten? But they have not been forgotten! Yahweh is incapable of forgetting. He knows every hair on every freckle on every bump on every noggin! When he is revealed, Messiah the King will require the attendance of every single human being who ever lived. This will call for the raising of the dead, all the dead: and impossible and marvelous idea, isn’t it? But the King says,
"Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in the which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth; they that have done good to a resurrection of life and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of judgment." (John 5:28-29, KJV)
When Messiah the King and his royal entourage are revealed, the dead will all return here. There will be plenty of time for righteous judgment, for time as we know it will cease to exist. Billions will arise to life for their “day in court.” You may judge thousands. You see, the court date for you and me is in this present life; the Holy Spirit draws us to the truth and we gladly accept the ransom price paid on our behalf, then we watch and wait. But the court date for the rest will be later on, in the thousand-year reign of Messiah the King. During those glorious millennial years, the dead of all ages will be popping up all over the world. There will be no devilish roadblocks to salvation (Isaiah 35:8-10). For Messiah the King and his magnificent saints will work feverishly, breaking the selfish, stony hearts of men and women with his piercing word, making them into loving hearts of righteousness, comeliness and peace. What kind of judge will you make? Will you be merciful? Righteous? Will you be prepared to make hard choices?
Messiah the King will rule the world in righteousness, and the "knowledge of Yahweh will cover the earth as the waters cover the deep" so that all will know him (Isaiah 11:9). Yes, in those brilliant days, "the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness" (Isaiah 26:9), for evil will be chained away (Rev. 20:1-3). In his generosity, Yahweh’s Son will abundantly bestow the blessings of life, peace and prosperity upon all who will proclaim him King of Kings and Lord of Lords, for every knee shall bow and tongue confess him then (Phil 2:11). The influence of his government will transform the world, for
“I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take out the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep my laws: and they shall be my people, and I will be their Elohim." (Eze 11:19-20)
The Desire of All Nations Shall Come
In spite of a century of demolition, we who have been ransomed have great cause to rejoice, for we are at the very threshold of the promise and its eternal blessings (Heb. 12:28). The wrecking ball of destiny is in full swing against the corruption of the world system. And when Messiah the King is revealed, you and I will look back upon this present darkness and see the purpose of it all as clear as the crystal sea. For just as today’s terrorism was predicted and has come to pass, the resurrection of all is assured by the one who can’t lie.
"I will shake all nations,” says Yahweh, “and then the desire of all nations will come: and I will fill this house with glory" (Hag 2:7). What are the desires of all nations? Easy answer: In the Kingdom Come, you will ask a family of Afghan refugees, "What is your desire?" They will tell you, “If only we had a tiny shack in which to dwell." You will then tell them, "Our new King says, ‘You shall build houses and inhabit them; you shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit’” (Isaiah 65:21-23). You will meet the infirm and you will ask them, “What are your desires?” They will cry to you, “If only there were no cancer, blindness, pain, suffering or death." And you will tell them, “Our new King says, ‘Nobody in my kingdom will say “I am sick,”’ for ‘the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped, the lame shall leap, the dumb sing for joy.’" (Isaiah 33:24; 35:5)
In the Kingdom of Messiah, you will meet tough mercenaries on the battlefield and you will ask them, “What are your desires, men?” You will find that they aren’t so tough after all, for they will tell you, “We’re terrified of dying in this desperate struggle! If only we could live in peace.” And you’ll gladly proclaim, “Soldiers, our new Commander in Chief says, ‘You shall beat your swords into plowshares and your spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall you learn war anymore’ (Micah 4:3). Here’s your ticket. Go on home.”
You will meet the mother of a youth killed by a terrorist and ask, "What is your desire, lady?" and she will say, "If only I could hold him once again; just once. If only . . ." And you will reply, “Mother, Yahweh Sabaoth says: ‘Stop your crying: for your work shall be rewarded and your children shall come again from the land of death’ (Jer 31:16). Furthermore, mother, ‘All Yahweh’s ransomed ones will return with singing and everlasting joy: sorrow and mourning shall flee’" (Isaiah. 35:10). These are but a few of the fervent desires of the nations that will be satisfied when the world proclaims Messiah the King; and his will is fulfilled on earth and heaven.
Oh, let me mention one more universal desire to be fulfilled; that all who perished in the terror of today, yesterday or a thousand years ago will be reunited with their loved ones, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Messiah shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:22). You will inherit your loved ones. You will know and be known. You will have power to teach them the new way of truth. What do you think of that? Is this good news? Yes. The Bible and the Christian calendar agree: his appearance will be soon, sure and unexpected by most. Messiah the King proclaims, “This generation will live to see it all” (Luke 21:21-32). Will you make your election sure on Messiah the King Sunday, or will you again leave this dwelling place unsure and unsteady, unready for the judgment of your deeds that is coming as sure as he is? No, sir. You will be ready. Today is his day, but it’s also YOUR day. Let us pray.
November 25, 2001