Letting Go of the Root

Whatever You Think Is Holding You Together

Is Probably Just Holding You Back

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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."

35. The 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.

40. One of these two who became followers of Yahshua after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. 41. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and say to him, "We have found the Messiah", which means the Anointed...."

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The Nazarene Acts
of the Apostles

Also known as
The Recognitions of Clement

Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?

 

All Time

   Scientists say 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. 
 

Quest of the Historical Yahshua (First complete edition)
By Albert Schweitzer / Augsburg Fortress

In this revised translation and retrieval of the full text of the revised German edition, Schweitzer describes and critiques 18th and 19th century attempts at retrieving the "Yahshua of history" and stands at the crossroads of the 19th and 20th centuries to bring closure to the former, and to open the latter for New Testament scholarship. Schweitzer saw the problems of historiography, theology, and politics in the ways the issues were formulated and the answers proposed and refocused attention on Yahshua' "eschatology" in a way abandoned by his predecessors. Issues of the messianic secrets, the nature of the kingdom of Elohim, and Yahshua' mission are addressed. Because of the new invigorated study of Yahshua in his first-century context, informed readers will desire Schweitzer as the reference point for the mistakes of the past and the possibilities of new direction.

   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.
   “Modern” history therefore consists of only the last six thousand years beginning at the end of the ice age: the events of the times before that are fuzzy at best.  The Bible records some history, but it’s primarily an account of salvation history; that is, the history of how people groups have been preserved from extinction by a higher power named Yahweh Elohim.  Furthermore, the Bible instructs humans from the viewpoint of that Power how they can be preserved for far longer than their average lifespan. 
   The Bible record deals with seven thousand years only, from the end of the ice age forward.  Very little of what happened before, which the Bible calls “the world that was,” is described, and even less of “the world that will be,” after the seven thousand years, is explained.  Of these seven thousand years that the Bible reports and predicts, six thousand are used up and gone forever.  How do I know this?  Because the Bible and the calendar document time very accurately.  The Jewish people have ticked off 2,160, 712+ days (two million, one hundred sixty thousand, seven hundred and twenty plus days), since the Almighty created Adam.  Six of seven thousand years plus one and a half years have passed.  Less than one thousand years of salvation history remain.  We may rightly conclude that we are now living at the beginning of that last thousand years of Bible history.

 

The Millennium

   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.

   Briefly, The 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. 
   But two of these signs are so unique and undeniable that I want to mention them again today.  Yahshua said that right before the Millennium, the entire world would be at war.  It wasn’t until the last century that the world could be at war at all.  The entire world has been at constant war for one hundred years. 
   The other sign: Jerusalem is no longer occupied by non-Jewish powers.   Yahshua implied that his coming would happen within 40 years, one generation, after this unlikely event.  It miraculously came to pass in 1967 when Jerusalem was liberated from Arab rule and 40 years from that occurrence is 2007.  Maybe some of you all now understand why we are privileged to be living at this time.  If the Bible is true, there is a remote but real possibility that some here may not experience physical death.
   When Yahshua makes his appearance public, he will disarm the warring nations of the world, exalt his people to positions of importance in his government and impose equitable justice in every quarter of the world.  The Bible promises that if a nation fails to comply with the new order, King Yahshua will simply turn off the water to that country until it does (Zech 14:16).  Sounds like a pretty effective way to quell rebellion to me! 

 

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 Elohim, 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.”
   In those days, you didn’t go to the seminary to study religion.  You found yourself a teacher and linked up with him.  You left your family and you paid your own way.  John happens to be standing with two of his protégés.  These two guys were serious about their spiritual life.  They weren’t paupers; they were successful businessmen on a pilgrimage of faith.  They hooked up with a famous teacher to learn.  They were very close to him – right beside him -- when John made his most important announcement. 
   When their teacher referred to heralded Yahshua as the Anointed, these guys immediately leave John and start following Yahshua, who they didn’t even know.  Remember, they’re paying their own way.  One was the Gospel writer.  The other was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.  This sudden choice led them from the right way that they were already pursuing onto the perfect way.  This one choice determined the trail they would hike for the rest of their lives and how they would ultimately die.

 

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. 
   The fact that they were paying their own way makes this a significant act of faith.  They certainly wanted to get the best bang for their buck, I suppose, and I doubt that they thought they’d ever end up martyrs.  Mature men and women sometimes must make quick landmark decisions.  In leaving the right way for the perfect way in a time of great stress was a courageous move.

   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.

 

Today’s Choices

   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.”
“Take the lantern of my word,” he whispered.  “That will be light enough.”

We climbed.  The road was narrow and steep but the way was bright.

And when the thorns reached out for me, they found his hand before they touched mine.

And when the path grew rough for my feet, he cushioned the blows and held me up.

But I grew tired.  “I can’t go farther,” I told him. 

He answered, “You can.  Night’s gone.  Look up, child.”

I looked and it was dawn.  Green valleys stretched below.

Then I saw the marks: “You’re wounded.  Your hands are bleeding, your feet bruised. 

Was it for me?”
He whispered, “I did it gladly.”

Then I fell at his feet.  “King Yahshua, lead me in your perfect pathway,” I cried. 

“No road is too long, no valley too steep, if you are with me.  I will see you through to my perfect world.”

We walk together now in that wonderful land, and we forever shall.

Based on Ruth Margaret Gibbs

 

Jackson Snyder, January 18, 2002

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