Whatever You Think Is Holding You Together
Is Probably Just Holding You Back
John 1:29-41 29. The next day, he saw Yahshua coming towards him and said, "Look, there is the lamb of Elohim that takes away the sin of the world. 30. It was of him that I said, `Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me.' 31. I did not know him myself, and yet my purpose in coming to baptize with water was so that he might be revealed to Israel." 32. And John declared, "I saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven and rest on him. 33. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptize with water had said to me, `The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptize with the Set-apart Spirit.' 34. I have seen and I testify that he is the Chosen One of Elohim."
next day as John stood there again with two of his disciples, Yahshua went
past, 36. and John looked towards him and said, "Look, there is the lamb of
Elohim." 37. And the two disciples heard what he said and followed Yahshua.
38. Yahshua turned round, saw them following and said, "What do you want?"
They answered, "Rabbi", which means Teacher, "where do you live?" 39. He
replied, "Come and see"; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with
him that day. It was about the tenth hour.
that the universe came into being some billions of years ago and that human
beings in some form have been walking the earth for only a tiny, tiny slice of
that time: maybe a million and a half years, they say. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of major
civilizations have come and gone in that time, some of which must have been
quite advanced to have left such megaliths as the pyramids. We’ll never know what articles from these
civilizations have perished, for the only history left is in the stones. Indeed, we don’t even understand how past
cultures could have put such gigantic stone buildings together. Modern technology can’t do it.
Speaking of the Pyramids, traditional
Egyptologists tell us that the Sphinx is maybe five thousand years old. New theories based on the possibility that
the erosion of its body was caused by water instead of sand put the
Sphinx at fifteen to twenty thousand years old, which casts it far beyond our
ability to accurately speculate what the statue might mean much less who
could have built it.
And we are very privileged to be alive at this time, because the seventh thousand-year span is a special period with a special name: “The Millennium” (Rev 20). Now you know that, since 1996 or so, you’ve been living in the Millennium.
Millennium is the period of ten centuries in which the Messiah descends from
the spiritual dimension, Heaven, and breaks back into earth’s history,
this time to stay on as King of the World. We know the Messiah Who Is To Come as
Yahshua Messiah. The Gospels record that,
upon his return, Yahshua begins his reign very quietly, rearranging nations to
make the world ready for his public appearance and peace. He doesn’t break a bruised reed or quench a
dimly lit candle. He comes silently,
like a thief in the night. During his
hidden presence, we know he’s setting things up for his public appearance and
rule by a number of signs, some of which I mentioned last week.
The History of Yahshua
We understand from the Bible that King Yahshua was the firstborn of Yahweh’s creation – the Son of Elohim -- long before we ever called him by that title. Yahshua, or more properly, Yahshua ben Yahweh, was with the Creator when our generation of living beings was made; in fact, “all things through him came into being.” We find Yahshua moving in and out of salvation history, as well: when Yahweh walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden, he walked with Yahshua’s feet. When Yahweh came to the tent of Abraham and Sarah, he appeared as his Son. When Isaiah saw the Almighty, he saw our Yahshua.
Somewhere along the line, Yahshua had to make a choice: remain in a state of glory and adulation as the commander of the heavenly legions -- or be born on earth as a helpless babe to poor parents in a third-world country. Though he was righteous, he chose the perfect way of suffering. He made the choice that led him here because he was full of goodness, love and obedience to his Heavenly Father.
Yahshua lived a hard life here for thirty or forty years then was murdered. But long after his death, people continued to see him. He walked with the disciples to Emmaus after his death, he appeared to his doubting family and they believed, he showed himself alive to St. Paul on the Damascus Road and taught him mysteries in Arabia; he appeared to the Revelator and showed him what was to come in his time and in all time. Legend says he went to Rome and to Spain and to the Orient. Legend also says he came to this new world and gathered disciples of the native peoples.
The Son of Yahweh has appeared in the form of Yahshua Messiah to sinners and saints for two thousand years; he personally appeared to some saints and he reveals himself to us in the bread of our Communion and when we feel his Spirit’s warm anointing. He is real and alive, his word is real and alive, and now we are on the very brink of his public manifestation to the world. Will you know him when he comes? You will have no doubt it is he, for then everyone will know him and his name!
Businessmen Choose Yahshua
In our reading,
John the Baptist was the forerunner of Yahshua’ “first coming”; his job was to
herald Yahshua’ appearance and make ready a righteous people for him. John didn’t even know Yahshua as the Anointed
One until Yahshua went down into the creek with all those other people. John then saw the sign and it opened up
his mind; the Set-apart Spirit came upon Yahshua, marking him out as the Savior of
the World. And John even knew that
Yahshua would die by another’s hand; that’s why John called him the Lamb of
the final sacrifice of atonement. So
John introduced Yahshua to his group of followers there in the cold water of the
Jordan River: “I myself have seen and have testified that this man is
the Son of Elohim.”
The Right and The Perfect
Did you notice the
distinction between the right way and the perfect way? Similar in tone to our Millennium, our
watching and waiting, they lived in the time just before the Messiah was
first revealed; the rest of humanity wouldn’t be drawn to him until he
was lifted up on a cross then lifted up back into the heavenly
dimension. Unlike John, Yahshua wasn’t
famous; unlike John, Yahshua hadn’t achieved a reputation; unlike John, Yahshua had
no experience in teaching anything. Yet, at the word of John, these
novices leave him to follow the promised stranger.
You’ve probably already heard the story of the hiker who had a crisis of faith up in the mountains of northeast Alabama. Though he was experienced, as he approached the lip of a deep crevasse, he tripped on his shoestring and fell off the side. He was able to catch a piece of a tree root on his descent. There was no one else there, and he realized that letting go of the root would bring his death. He cried out, “O Elohim, O my Elohim, save me! Save me!” Immediately he heard a deep voice echoing through the canyon, “Do as I say and I will save you.” “OK! OK!” The hysterical man replied, “Whatever you say!” The voice then commanded the hiker, “Let go of the root!” “Who are you,” cried the hiker. “Are you my Elohim?” “I AM!” came the answer, “Do as I say and you will be saved. Let go of the root!” The hiker prayed again, “Is there anyone else there who can help me?”
When they saw the sign, the Gospel writer and his friend Andrew “let go of the root” without hesitation. Some said they were foolish youth flirting with danger, for what they were doing was strictly illegal: the penalty was death. Nevertheless, John, Andrew and Peter, his brother, all lived long, exciting lives. And through such lives was built the foundation for the faith that, within three hundred years, would conquer Rome, and by this Millennium, grow to over a billion souls – the largest group of united people in the world. That’s us! Messiahians! The millions who are worshipping with us this morning are doing so as a direct result of the choice these boys made. It was the perfect choice.
As I mentioned, today we live in a very similar spiritual climate to that of John the Baptist. The day before Yahshua was baptized, all the prophetic signs of his coming had been fulfilled; John and Andrew knew their Bible prophecy, and that’s why they were there – to find the fulfillment of it. Then the next day, Yahshua came out of the water, and they saw total fulfillment, and they let go of the root. Now we hold the exact same root: the same Bible Andrew knew now tells us that all prophecies leading up to Yahshua’ return to earth as King are fulfilled and that the six thousand years allotted to evil are completed. The signs of his presence are everywhere and everything is in place for Yahshua to resurface: not as a babe, meek and mild, but as Commander Yahshua.
The time for choices is running out. Six thousand years of salvation history are gone and the Kings takes charge over the seventh. Though the earth may have been spinning in space for billions; though humankind may have inhabited it for millions; though Adam’s race may have thrived in it for thousands, all of existence is distilled down to one tiny concentrated drop of time – that drop of time is now. You and I are hanging on to the root for dear life; an immediate decision must be made. Most here seem to have chosen the right path, but how many the perfect? If you’ve chosen the path of salvation, you are on the right path. But you will choose perfectly only if your pathway is the cross of total commitment. That road leads to a change in your life style, to greater dedication to the Kingdom of Yahshua and to your church (insofar as your church fulfills the dictates of his Kingdom).Friends, you are living in the most spiritually charged days of them all. Right Now! I’ve shown you the irrefutable signs of his presence. Have they opened your mind to the signs of our times? Of the tens of billions of people who have lived and died on this earth, your eyes may well behold the reappearance of the Great King. If that doesn’t excite you, if that doesn’t attract you committing your life to him, what in the world will? Make the perfect choice. Let go of the root! He’ll catch you up and establish your footing on holy ground.
I looked at the mountain. “It’s too hard, I can’t climb.” “Take my hand,” he whispered. “I’ll be your strength.”
I saw the road ahead. “It’s too long; so rough and long.” “Take my love,” he answered, “I’ll guard your feet.”
I looked at the sky. “The sun’s gone. It’s almost dark.”
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