CONT., page 4
TWO PITFALLS TO OBEDIENCE
In the opening section, I said that I would share another testimony regarding my disobedience which has prepared me to obey. We have already seen causes for failure in Yahshua's parable about the sower; let me now share my own experience in failure.
And let me add here, and this is an important thing to note in life, that Yahweh lets us fail on lessor points, to prepare us and cause us not to fail later on more important points! The agonizing pain we feel in our failure, causes us to respond correctly later; thus He uses our failure for our good. You will see this truth in what I am about to share. But on the other hand, you will also see here what the consequence will be for one's failure to obey Yahshua and His command to give up all of one's possessions. I hope you will not fail on this vital point.
In 1971 when I gave my life to follow Yahshua, shortly thereafter He spoke to my heart about starting a Christian coffee house near the University in the town where I lived. I met with my pastor and began looking into this. But, winter classes were about to begin and I wanted to finish my education, and subsequently told him that I was going to help start the coffee house, but I would not run it. His response to me was that if God had called me to start it, He had also called me to run it. But I wanted security, and felt that a degree would provide that security; thus I told the pastor no. He did not argue with me or try to convince me otherwise.
I then went on a seven day fast for God to send someone to help start and run the house, and during that time a young evangelist in Dallas, Texas, was clearly moved to come to the town where we lived. Interestingly, his name was Gary as well. Connections were made and the coffee house soon began; but, I was not involved in any of it, for my education became priority.
I received my degree, got a good job, and began my secular employment. To make the story short, seven years later Yahweh gave me a dream, and in it showed me that when I told the pastor no, I was telling Him no. And because I told Him no, this cost me seven years of my life!
This disobedience and the cost thereof made a lasting impact on me, and I determined then, and have reaffirmed henceforth, that I will never miss Him again and tell Him no. Following those seven years of loss, He then led me back into the ministry and eventually into the care of the poor.
My decision then to tell Yahweh no, was based on a desire for security; yet even when I was in school before that, I had heard Rod MacKuen say - "You can't really live until you make yourself vulnerable." I was not yet willing to be vulnerable.
Today, you and I face the same test - Will we opt for "security" in this world, or will we trust in Yahweh and live completely and solely for Him and for the return of His Son? As for me, I have already gone down the road of rejecting His call, and lost seven years of my life, and have absolutely no plans to go that way again! I will trust in Him on this, even if I fail. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, at the sound of the music I will not bow down to the golden image of the king of mystery Babylon for anything. If I perish in the fire, so be it; but I will trust in Yahweh, and have the confidence that I too will not be disappointed but will lose the bonds that hold me and walk in the presence of the Son of God. This is your graphic choice today - whether to bow down to Christianity's Babylonian image of gold, or to pass through the fire.
I fully believe that I went through that failure just for this moment, and that it is no mistake that the price of my disobedience was seven years of my life, or the mark of the beast. In The Issue - II, we clearly see that the mark of the beast is the number seven, calculated from the number 616 in Revelation 13:18 and confirmed in NUMEROUS places throughout the Bible. (To read about 616,click here; to read about the mark of the beast, click here.) I went through that failure so that (1) I would not fail and would get the victory today in a far more important time in my life, and (2) so that you too can be delivered from the fate of telling Him no regarding this vital invitation. I was and have been "poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith" (Philippians 2:17), so that you will not fail. And if the loss of seven years of my life was the lesser point, then how much greater importance is the matter at hand? Infinitely far greater! But even given this sacrifice, this matter is still your decision, and the consequences remain with you, even as mine were with me when I told the pastor and God no.
If you want to trust in the "security" of this world and not sell all and give up all your possessions in order to be Yahshua's disciple, even as He commanded, then you too will follow the same fate to which my own disobedience led - you will remain under the mark of the beast 7 and stay in the body of Christ. You will be like Lot's wife who looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, or become the worthless salt about which Yahshua warned after giving us that MOST clear instruction:
"So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (Luke 14:33-35).
Do you have ears to hear concerning your choice today? The choice before you now is the same determining choice that had to be made nearly 2,000 years ago at the beginning of the church. You must either obey the words of Yahshua, give up all your possessions, pass through the narrow gate/the eye of the needle, even the fire, and follow Him, or you will remain in mark of the beast Christianity and not enter into immortality at the first resurrection. Let us look more fully at that in which you will remain if you tell Yahshua no to this call.
There are numerous testimonies regarding the relationship of the number seven with the mark of the beast that exists on Christians. By looking at these, you will see what you are choosing if you will not heed Yahshua's words and sell all. And what will be shared here is not by any means all there is regarding this relationship of seven and Christianity and the beast, but will give you at least a sampling of what this means.
To begin with, and the one example we will deal with the most, is that which is found in Matthew 12:43-44 and Luke 11:24-26. Here we find Yahshua telling a parable about an unclean spirit going out of a man, passing through waterless places and not finding rest, and returning to the "house" to find it "unoccupied, swept, and put in order." Then the spirit went and took "seven other spirits more wicked than itself," and they lived there, "and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."
This is an account of that which has happened to the church, and even in individuals who come into the church, and reveals the immense difficulty of Christians to accept the words of Yahshua, particularly evidenced now when it is time to obey Him in selling all. When Yahshua came to this earth, He "swept, and put in order" the house of the church, the temple, more particularly by casting out the moneychangers, to which He graphically testified as recorded in all four gospels. SO, the unclean Spirit was cast out, and it remained out up to the stoning of Stephen. But with Yahshua gone, the head of the house was no longer here (He was in heaven) and the house was thus unoccupied. So what did Satan do? Upon Yahshua's absence, he went and got the mark of the beast to bring into the house. Stephen was stoned, the church ceased holding all things in common, and the mark of the beast was placed on the church. This is the attesting seven spirits that cause the state of the church to become worse than at first.
How hard is it to cast out that moneychanger spirit that is in the house? It is very hard and requires the most radical and aggressive actions ever taken by Yahshua. And for many, those seven spirits are more binding than any other before. Because their purpose is to cause strong devotion to corrupt worldly religious Christianity, those spirits are unrelentingly binding and will keep the vast majority from becoming a true disciple of Yahshua by giving up all of their possessions. Thus, the religious spirit of Christianity, the mark of the beast that allows them to buy or sell (Revelation 13:17), works against the teachings and practices of Yahshua and the first Remnant, causing the latter state of being a Christian to be worse than their former in their ability to obey and follow Him. Anyone wholly enmeshed in Christianity is thoroughly possessed by those spirits; but it is those who have already begun to see the corruption of Christianity and know its futility, who are free of those spirits and can obey Yahshua. Even as Yahshua said to the religious leaders during His time, it is equally true today - "Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves" (Matthew 23:15).
What is it that must happen for any person to come out of Christianity and come under the covering of holding all things in common? How is the mark of the beast to be removed? Here we see the answer in these continuing testimonies relating to the number seven - the mark!
One must be like Mary Magdalene and have the "seven demons" cast out (Mark 16:9). One must be like the young son of the Shunamite woman who died and Elisha laid upon him twice and the lad sneezed seven times and opened his eyes (2 Kings 4:33-35). Or one must be like leprous Naaman who was instructed by Elisha to wash in the Jordan seven times, to which he reluctantly consented and his leprosy was healed (2 Kings 5:8-14). Or one is to be like the woman who equally at Elisha's instruction went to be among the Philistines for seven years because of a severe drought on the land (the drought of truth that has been on Christianity for 2,000 years), and when she returned made an appeal to the king and received back everything she had lost (2 Kings 8:1-6).
This "seven" is the testimony of Christianity that is the ark of the covenant equally among the Philistines in Dagon's temple, this time for seven months. Here we find testified the Spirit of Yahweh placed in the presence of corrupt flesh and the devil for the period of the abomination of desolation and the mark of the beast (1 Samuel 4-6). And finally, Christianity is likewise the seven loaves of leavened Pentecost bread that fed the multitude, with seven baskets left over. As we learned in the writing,Bread in the Baskets, this is mark of the beast, Pentecost originated, Christianity with its leaven, of which Yahshua warned to beware (Matthew 15:32-16:6). And this is the leaven of which you are to beware today that is the seven spirits that will prevent you from obeying Yahshua in His command to give up all your possessions in order to be His disciple - the door of hope. If you fail to obey Yahshua in this, then you choose to remain under the work that is identified with the number seven mark of the beast, even as my disobedience cost me seven years.
This is your choice today, even as it was my choice back in 1971. But today, I hope you will not fail. I failed because of the desire/temptation to seek worldly security over the kingdom. Yahshua said to seek first the kingdom, and all these things will be added to you. This must be your priority if you desire to reign with Him in His kingdom.
Another temptation that one might have is to shrink back because of fear. Fear is something that Satan is a master at using, especially when one might become weak or disappointed or discouraged. But once again, let me share with you something that Yahweh showed me that I hope will help you.
The first vision I ever had was specifically about this matter of fear. Undoubtedly the first-place priority of this vision was evidence that the temptation of fear would be a very real threat to me and something that I cannot give in to. This vision has OFTEN been a help to me, and I would like to share it with you.
In the vision, I was standing at the base of a tall mountain that was made of boulders and was shaped like an inverted golf tee. I noticed that at the very top of this mountain was a bright light, and as I looked more intently at it, the light seemed to be and was emanating from Yahshua. I gazed more and more intently at Him, and thought that if I looked hard enough, I might be able to see His face. Shortly, I realized that as I had fixed my gaze upon His face, I was in fact ascending alive in the air towards Him. I then looked away from Him to the mountain and saw the great boulders below me; and fear gripped me that I would perish upon them! I also realized that my rate of ascent was now slowing down, and that my ascent upward was tied to keeping my eyes fixed upon Yahshua. Thus, I forced myself to once again look at Him, and had to continue to force myself to not look at the rocks.
Having now redirected my attention back on Him, and not on the rocks, my ascent once again quickened; and though I initially had to discipline myself to not look at the rocks, soon I was drawing closer and closer to Him and became so enraptured with His face, that the rocks meant nothing to me. I ascended to Him, He drew me to His side, and He then motioned with His right arm to everything that I would receive - a beautiful and spacious valley with a winding river, with trees growing on both sides of it.
If you place your eyes on problems, like riding a bike or driving a car or any other activity in which you are steering, you will soon find yourself precisely where you were focusing. You will hit the problem! If you look at problems and let fear capture you, you will perish on the rocks where you are focusing. But, if you turn away from looking at the problems and look to Yahshua, you will eventually overcome them; and as His appearance draws nearer, the problems will totally fail to exist.
So if you are fearing all the potential and even threatening problems associated with giving up all your possessions, keep your eyes on Yahshua. He is the One who clearly instructed us to do so, and He will thus take responsibility for this. Again, we are simply to obey. He is standing at the top of that mountain of rocks and will cause you to overcome the lurking perils of trusting in Him, to rise above those seeming perilous problems, if you keep your eyes on Him. And in the end, you will receive the promise of His kingdom, which I saw and was presented at the top of that tall mountain as I was drawn to His side (Revelation 22:1-2).
Continue to page 5 of Upon What Foundation ... forFAITH
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