The world is in such turmoil right now. We seem to be on the cusp of World War III. Russia is claiming several territories in Ukraine. Other Slavic nations are joining Russia. China is threatening its neighbors. Talk of the U.S. getting involved in several conflicts is brewing. Israel is courting the notion of a “Two-state Solution”, but elections loom there in November, and the people of Israel do not seem to agree with the idea. Five ‘red heifers’ arrived in Israel last week.
None if this is ‘brand new,’ but much of it does seem to fit neatly into the “rumors of wars” prophecy of Yeshua. The presence of a qualified red heifer in Israel is very compelling, much more five of them, considering there hasn’t been one for more the 2,000 years. Add to that the fact that we have been in the season of “Turning Back To God” for the last 28 days, and one who observes all these things becomes very contemplative.
I have been waiting for, hoping for, and anticipating the return of Messiah for most of my life, ever since I received the gospel back in 1976. At one point in 1996-1997, I was ‘almost’ certain we would see it; I never came out and said He would appear at any certain time, but in my youth I certainly hoped for it that year, so much that I called old friends and tried to encourage them to make repentance. Each year in this season of “Elul”, the last month of the chronological year, also known as the season of “Teshuvah”, or ‘Turning Back’, or returning to God, we pray Daniel 9:4-19 and Psalm 27 as prayers of returning [repenting], and my heart yearns to be a better man, to be prepared to see the King, and to reach my brothers and sisters in Messiah, and any lost that possibly could hear the Good News of Messiah to hear it, and turn to Him.
This year, during this season of Teshuvah, on my drive to work, I have been seeing something that has just made me curious. Each morning, as I head directly east into the sun, just before the sun rises above the horizon, I have been seeing a star. I am almost certain it is in fact the planet Venus, Nogah in Hebrew, meaning ‘brightness’. That star moved each morning slightly more south of the due-east line I traveled, until yesterday morning I could no longer find it on the horizon. According to ancient Judaic thought, that ‘star’ is associated with ‘the merriment associated with weddings’. Whether there is any divine truth in that or not, I just found it odd that this year I saw it every morning during this season. I have long taught the relationship of Messiah’s return to a betrothal and a wedding. Yeshua spoke Galilean wedding words of betrothal at the Passover Seder, what most call His ‘last supper’, saying “2In the house of Avi [My Father] are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to me, so that where I am you may be also.” [John 14]. Those were wedding betrothal words, where a Galilean groom betroths himself first, goes away and builds the room onto his father’s house, where he and his bride will consummate their marriage and dwell for seven days in bliss, before then joining the family to live life.
Yeshua spoke concerning His Bride. The apostles spoke concerning His Bride, saying He would return to receive unto Himself a “SPOTLESS” bride, with no blemish or wrinkle. Those words are not speaking of physical beauty, but the physical beauty of earthly brides is compared to the spiritual beauty of keeping His Torah. In a Galilean wedding, the betrothal was sealed with a cup of wine shared between the father, the groom [his future son], and the bride, and the bride signs a “Ketubah”, a written contract, which instructs the bride how to prepare for the ceremony. Yeshua did the very same. He offered the cup of redemption in His Blood, and then told His Torah Students [talmidim, disciples] “If you love me, you will keep My commandments.” [John 14:15] We are to be judged by the Torah [James 2:12]: the righteous will be rewarded according to the good things/works done in the Torah, and the wicked will be punished according to their infractions against it. The Torah is our “Ketubah”, the written contract of the COVENANT every believer in Messiah makes when he/she confesses His Name, death, burial and resurrection in affirmative trust. We ‘covenant’, we ‘agree’ to walk the way He [Yeshua] walked [1 Jo 2:4-6]. He is our groom, IF we agree to His ketubah and PREPARE to live with Him in glory. That is what Yeshua said last about His return, comparing the Kingdom to a groom coming for His maiden. 10 virgins were waiting: all virgins, all expecting the bridegroom. Only five, however, were prepared, and only they went to the wedding room. The principle here is that five brides in waiting were not ready, and did not go. Not everyone will go to the wedding, but only those who are prepared according to His guidance. The others will remain outside, where tribulation abounds. That also is not the utter end of the story, but, I do not want to entertain the other end. I want to be prepared, having the oil of HIS anointing lighting my way to meet the groom, to be carried away in flight to the wedding.
I urge everyone to consider the purity of life Messiah desires in His Bride. I urge myself also. Regardless of when it actually happens that He fetches His Bride, one must alway be awake, prepared, and watching. One does not know if his own life will last until that very moment, but the Groom may require our life from us, and He would expect us to be in that same state of readiness to meet Him, regardless of the prophetic clock.
That is what Teshuvah is teaching me this year. Other than the fact that we are indeed inching ever closer to the end of man’s time fighting against God. Perversion abounds; rebellion abounds; utter rebellion against truth of any form is guiding mankind to the precipice of self destruction, and forcing the return of Messiah to save the remnant from the wicked. His return is close; our return better be active and affective.
Psalm 27 Teshuvah prayer of the “Day of the Awakening Blast”, to escape the ‘terrible days’ before Yom Kippur