The Clarion, Jan. 2021
We would like to start by wishing everyone a blessed New Year . A new year gives us a new beginning. New beginnings are great because it gives us a new chance. A new year is like a book. Every year we write a 12 chapter book. Every month is a new chapter. Every one of our books has 365 pages to it. And guess what, God has a copy of each of our books. Revelation 20:12 tells us, “ And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” Psalm 139:15-16 also tells us, “My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully formed in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my formless substance; and in Your book were written all the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” And do you know what else is new every day? Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
So Happy Writing!
Can a Nation be Born in One Day?
Wednesday, January 27th is International Holocaust Rememberance Day, so we want to remember, but maybe in a different way. All throughout Scripture we see God, time after time warning His people before the coming judgement. But what about His warning before the Holocaust? Well, maybe there was no warning, because the Holocaust was not a judgement from God, but an all out attack from Satan. I want us to look at Revelation 12. In Revelation 12:1-2 it tells us, “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was pregnant and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.” Now over the centuries many Bible scholars have said that the woman represented the church or even Mary the Mother of Yeshua. Yet the church did not give birth to Messiah or Mary did not have anything that would represent twelve stars, so we have to look at Scripture to give us the answer. Gen 37:9-10 tells us the answer, “ Then he (Joseph) had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” Luke 1:30-33 says, “But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Yeshua. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.” Yeshua was Israel’s son, the descendant of King David. We know by Joseph’s dream that the sun and moon and the twelve stars represent the nation of Israel which consists of Jacob’s twelve children. Joseph’s dream was actually prophetic, for he was foretelling the coming of the Messiah. Last month in the Clarion we had an article called “May The Star Be With You.” In that article it speaks of the constellation that appeared at the time of Messiah. It was the constellation Virgo (the virgin) which rose in the morning skies, clothed in the sun and the moon was at her feet. Revelation 12 :5 tells us this, “And she gave birth to a Son, a male, who is going to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her Child was caught up to God and to His throne.” But before that day that Messiah will rule Scripture tells us this in Revelation 12:-3-4 , “Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven crowns. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her Child.” Scripture, in its writing, can be poetic and even out of sequence, for we see in Revelation 8:12 , “ The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.” So is this a reference to Revelation 12 or a different time? It could be actual or it could also represent Israel, because Israel was called to be the Light to the Nations, in fact that was the name of the Menorah in the Tabernacle. So will this be an attack on Israel in the future? Maybe! We see here that the dragon wanted to devour the Child. We know that when Herod heard from the Magi that a new king was born that he was very angry. We see this in Matthew 2:16-18 , “Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent men and killed all the boys who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.’” Revelation 12:5 tells us that the Child was taken up to God to His throne. Again we see the story was not written in sequence. We do know from Scripture in Matthew 2: 13-15 this, “Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him.’ So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod; this happened so that what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son.’” So you may be saying , “What does this have to do with the Holocaust?” Well, all throughout history peoples and nations have risen up against Israel wanting to destroy her. With the birth of Messiah, Hebrew children were killed. We know at the time of Moses’ birth Pharaoh had all the male children thrown into the Nile River. And we can go on and on discussing Israel’s enemies. It goes back to the Garden of Eden, the devil hates God’s people. In tragedy God turns things around for good. Joseph told his brothers this in Genesis 50:20 , “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to keep many people alive.” Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 this, “ And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Now in no way am I minamizing the tragedy of the Holocaust. It was a brutal display of hate. But good did come from it. God turned it around so that Israel’s enemies would not have the victory, and we will see why. Isaiah 66:5-9 tells us this about the coming of the nation of Israel. “Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word: “Your brothers who hate you, who exclude you on account of My name, have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, so that we may see your joy.’ But they will be put to shame. A sound of uproar from the city, a voice from the temple, the voice of the Lord who is dealing retribution to His enemies. “Before she was in labor, she delivered; Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be given birth all at once? As soon as Zion was in labor, she also delivered her sons. Shall I bring to the point of birth but not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.” On November 29, 1947, with much difficulty, (labor pains as they were) the UN Resolution 181 was passed in the General Assembly of the United Nations. God delivered and Zion was born. In one day Israel became a nation just as it was foretold. Even in the apostle John’s day he tells us this, 1 John 2:18 , “ Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.” The dragon in Revelation 12 is the Antichrist. Many antichrists have come and gone. Hitler was an antichrist of his day. He shows us why we have to remember the Holocaust, because in Revelation 13:7-10 it tells us this about the last antichrist, “It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority was given to him over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slaughtered. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.” One last thing that we need to look at is in Revelation 12:13-17 , “And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time, times, and half a time, away from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent hurled water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon had hurled out of his mouth. So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Yeshua.” Isaiah 59:19 says, “ So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” There will be a time, most likely during the beginning of the final peace agreement that will be made with Israel, when God will protect Israel from the dragon (Satan) AKA antichrist. But he will persecute the believers in Messiah. We must prepare our hearts today because we know that this will happen. Yeshua tells us in John 16:33 , “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” Revelation 2:7 says this , “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.” And again in Revelation 2:17 , “ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” Revelation 2: 26, “He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations.” Revelation 3:5, “ He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Revelation 3:12 , “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.” 1 John 5:4-5, “ For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Yeshua is the Son of God?” Let us remember the courage of those who lived and died in the Holocaust, and let us remember that the devil will never win over God’s people as long as they have faith in Him. He will turn it around for good. Pull out your shield of faith and your sword of the Spirit, the Word of God and be overcomers, and let us run and lift high the banner of the Lord for He is faithful.
Excerpt from a Guidepost article written by Corrie ten Boom on forgiveness.
“It was 1947 and I came from Holland to a defeated Germany with the message that God forgives. It was the truth they needed most to hear in that bitter, bombed-out-land, and I gave them my favorite mental picture. Maybe because the sea is never far from a hollander’s mind, I like to think that that’s where forgiven sins were thrown. “When we confess our sins, “ I said, “God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever.” The solemn faces stared back at me, not quite daring to believe. There were never questions after a talk in Germany in 1947. People stood up in silence, in silence collected their wraps, in silence left the room. And that’s when I saw him, working his way forward against the others. One moment I saw the overcoat and the brown hat, the next, a blue uniform and a visor cap with its skull and crossbones. It came back with a rush: the huge room with its harsh overhead lights, the pathetic pile of dresses and shoes in the center of the floor, the shame of walking naked past this man. I could see my sister frail from ahead of me, ribs sharp beneath the parchment skin. Betsie, how thin you were! Betsie and I had been arrested for concealing Jews in our home during the Nazi occupation of Holland; this man had been a guard at Ravensbruck concentration camp where we were sent. Now he was in front of me, hand thrust out; “ a fine message, fraulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea! And I, who had spoken so glibly of forgiveness, fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me, of course-how could he remember one prisoner among those thousands of women? But I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. It was the first time since my release that I had been face to face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze. “You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk”, he was saying. “I was a guard in there.” No, he did not remember me. “But since that time,” he went on, “I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fraulein”-again the hand came out- “will you forgive me?” And I stood there-I whose sins had every day to be forgiven-and could not. Betsie had died in that place-could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking? It could not have been many seconds that he stood there, hand held out, but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do. For I had to do it-I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. “ If you do not forgive men their trespasses,” Jesus says, “neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” I knew it not only as a commandment of God, but as a daily experience. Since the end of the war I had had a home in Holland for victims of Natzi brutality. Those who were unable to forgive their former enemies were also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that. And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion-I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. “Jesus, help me!” I prayed silently. “I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.” and so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. “I forgive you, brother!” I cried. “With all my heart!” For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then. And having thus learned to forgive in this hardest of situations, I never again had difficulty in forgiving: I wish I could say it! I wish I could say that merciful and charitable thoughts just naturally flowed from me from then on. But I didn’t. If there’s one thing I’ve learned at 80 years of age, it’s that I can’t stoe up good feelings and behavior-but only draw them fresh from God each day. Maybe I’m glad it’s that way, for every time I go to him, He teaches me something else.” Corrie was not totally free, because from time to time, she found it hard to forgive, for the devil always lies to us and tries to trip us up. But she did overcome because she found it in her heart to forgive. Maybe that was because the seed of forgiveness was planted that day when she forgave her worst enemy, the concentration camp guard where her sister died.
This month’s recipe is how to make sense of the things that make no sense. There is no justification or reason when it comes to crimes against humanity. God is love and Yeshua tells us it is the greatest commandment to love God and our fellow man. The absence of love is hate and hate brings death. For our souls to live, they must live in love. We must combat hate with love and this means that we must love our enemies, those who do us harm. When we see true injustice we must speak out, we must lend a helping hand, we must be part of the solution. Protesting does not bring this about but true love does, and true love means that it will reach out and touch a life and even change a life. In the Holocaust there were people who reached out to save lives and they will not be forgotten by the Jewish people, nor by God. 1 John 3:18 tells us this, “Little children, let’s not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” Truth is the most important part of this recipe because I am not speaking about Social Justice but God’s Justice as is written in Micah 6:8 , “ He has told you, mortal one, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” God’s Justice is to love, be kind and to walk with God in humility. It is a quiet justice..one where the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. When you put this all together what you get is love that is pure and true. Today if you see your brother and he needs a helping hand, then help him. If he needs a friend, then be a friend. If he is lost, help him find his way.
The letter Chet sound like a H in challah bread The letter Chet is the eighth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It has the numerical value of eight. Eight is the number for grace and wisdom. Chet is the letter for life. The Hebrew word for life chayim starts with the letter chet. Chet is a combination of Vav and Zayin and so Chet looks like a wall or a fence. Chet also is the letter for light. Vav represents the Yashar which is the descending light from God and Zayin represents the chozer light which is the light that returns to God, so chet is the doorway of light from heaven. Because the word chai is short for chayim life and chet resembles a doorway and together is represents the doorposts where the blood of the lamb was placed during the first passover, Exodus 12:7 The word Chai sort of resembles a lamb and so we can say that the lamb gives life when applied to the doorway of our hearts. Chet is also the number of new beginnings. Circumcision is on the eighth day. Eight people were saved in Noah’s ark. David was the eighth son of Jesse. Chet is also a picture of a yoke and we are to put on the yoke of the kingdom.
In My Dark Hour
Lord, in my dark hour, You lifted me out of my despair.
In my dark hour, You shined Your light upon me.
In my dark hour, You comforted me.
In my dark hour, You wiped away my tears.
In my dark hour, You gave me hope.
In my dark hour, You filled me with peace and joy.
Sandigram/ Storms Copyright 2010