The Days of Noah or The Days of Elijah? (1)
“Much of the church has acted, and still acts, as though it has been grafted into a Christmas Tree – flashing its attractive lights and decorations, but unconcerned about its loss of roots and wondering why it is spiritually drying up and dying.” Those challenging words came from Chuck Colson, in his book “Roots of our Faith.”
Roots are vital to our faith. Roots hold us safe and secure and dig deep into our foundations and protect us from the mudslides of life. They draw sustenance for us. Through their vital action our faith grows.
A few thousand years ago, God spoke to Noah and told him a massive flood was on the way. He told Noah to warn the people and to prepare an ark for their safety and survival. But the warning was ignored. As a result when the flood arrived only Noah and his family were rescued along with an Ark load of animals.
Noah must have felt severely pressured by the disinterest and stubborn ignorance of the people.
Despite the lack of support He put the rejection from the people behind him and chose to trust the Lord.
Jesus whose Hebrew name was Yeshua summed it up. “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely on account of Me.” (Matthew chapter 5, verses 10, 11).
In the Middle East today there is a very obvious flood. It has already arrived and hundreds of thousands of Christians are being murdered, abused and painfully treated. This is what observant believers would see as a sign of the times.
Among the flood of refugees spreading throughout Europe and elsewhere, Christians are seeking a safe place. Strong’s Concordance says that persecution means ‘to pursue, follow after, or press toward.’ Vine’s Expository Dictionary says it is ‘to put to flight or drive away.’
Yeshua specifically indicated that times to come, would be like The Days of Noah! “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew chapter 24, verses 37b to 39.
Noah knew a storm was coming. Amazing to learn, at this point in history there had never been rain. Noah could only imagine what was this thing called rain would be. Nevertheless he was certain he had heard from God, and he went about building the ark despite the negativity and derision he received.
Jesus declared: “For the a coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.” (Matthew chapter 24, verse 37) He may have simply said, “Don’t miss the boat!”
We should all be living with a sense of expectancy for His return. We have never experienced such a tumultuous event before but if He said it, we can believe it.
Just like Noah wondering about the rain, when it arrived he understood why the Lord told him to build an ark.
The Hopeless Story Of Noah
“And the Lord said unto Noah: “Where is the ark which I have commanded thee to build?”
And Noah said unto the Lord: “Verily, I have had three carpenters off ill. The gopher-wood supplier hath let me down—yea, even though the gopher wood hath been on order for high upon 12 months. What can I do, O Lord?”
And God said unto Noah: “I want that ark finished even after seven days and seven nights.”
And Noah said: “It will be so.”
And it was not so. And the Lord said unto Noah: “What seemeth to be the trouble this time?”
And Noah said unto the Lord: “Mine subcontractor hath gone bankrupt. The pitch which Thou commandest me to put on the outside and on the inside of the ark hath not arrived. The plumber hath gone on strike. Shem, my son who helpeth me on the ark side of the business, hath formed a pop group with his brothers Ham and Japheth. Lord, I am undone.”
And the Lord grew angry and said: “And what about the animals, the male and the female of every sort that I ordered to come unto thee to keep their seed alive upon the face of the earth?”
And Noah said: “They have been delivered unto the wrong address but should arrive on Friday.”
And the Lord said: “How about the unicorns, and the fowls of the air by sevens?”
And Noah wrung his hands and wept, saying: “Lord, unicorns are a discontinued line; thou canst not get them for love nor money. And fowls of the air are sold only in half-dozens, Lord. Lord, Thou knowest how it is.”
And the Lord in His wisdom said: “Noah, my son, I knowest. Why else dost thou think I have caused a flood to descend upon the earth?”
God has spoken. He has warned us, and He tells us to obey His wisdom.Are we living in the Days of Noah or the Days of Elijah?
I have no problem with joy-filled, Spirit inspired praise and worship but if we are the family of God, I believe the Lord requires that we have heartfelt concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Previously I wrote about ‘the Saturday people and Sunday people.’ In the second part of this series, I will attempt to reveal the evidence has become a present day reality and wise believers will not ignore the signs
21.3.18 – The Days of Noah or the Days of Elijah (2)
Are we seeing the biblical signs, described by Jesus’ disciple Matthew?
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.
“At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Matthew chapter 24, verses 7-13
This is not airy fairy bible talk is it? “And they were unaware until the flood came and swept them away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew chapter 24, verses 32-33)
I previously wrote about the flood of Noah. People laughed when Noah was building the ark. They ignored the warnings and they perished.
The New King James Bible translation of Isaiah chapter 59 verses 19-20 says this…… “When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. The Redeemer will come to Zion….“
Bible believers know a day of reckoning is at hand. We often moan and decry the brutality that seems to strike despite the best intentions of governments and security services.
How big a bomb do we need to contain the onslaught? How great an army?
Some reading this may say I am beginning to preach. So what? Noah did too. He was ignored and the outcome was tragic.
The Prophet Isaiah announced – The Sovereign Lord will come with power (Isaiah chapter 40 verse 10). The Teachers Commentary points out from Isaiah “The Holy One of Israel will bring judgment on the earth. (Isaiah chapter 41 verses 14-15)
The English Standard Version Bible translation of Isaiah chapter 59 verses 19-20 says: “So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun;for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the LORD drives. And a Redeemer will come to Zion.“
A redeemer is one who buys back property. A redeemer is one who buys back a family member who has fallen away. The word go’al translated ‘redeemer’ means avenge, revenge, do the part of a kinsman.
David says in Psalm chapter 71, verse 1, “In you O Lord, I have taken refuge. Let me never be ashamed.” That word has been steadfast proven time and time again in the survival of the Jewish people”.
How is it they continue to be successful? Even prosper? Over 300 years ago, King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great Christian philosopher, to give him proof of God. Pascal answered, “Why the Jews, your Majesty, the Jews!”
Mark Twain, an agnostic and self-acknowledged skeptic, penned this in 1899 in Harper’s Magazine:
“Other peoples have sprung up, and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out and they sit in twilight now or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal, but the Jew. All other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?“
Winston Churchill – Prime Minister of Great Britain “Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.”
I researched the amazing contributions by Jewish men and women and found them in Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, Economics, Computer – Hardware and software, Agriculture, Energy – of course defense and even in water conservation.The evidence comes as no surprise to believers.
God spoke to Israel saying:”And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, And so you shall be a blessing.” (Genesis chapter 12 verse 2)
Jews and Christians are children of Abraham. Today more than ever we share together in persecution.
Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, was once 90% Christian. Today it has a 65% Muslem majority.
The only place in the Mideast where Christian communities continue to grow is in the Jewish State of Israel.
Non-believers may deny and ignore the Bible but that does not give them immunity.
David summed it up at the very beginning of Psalms. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm chapter 1, verse 1)
Think about the many who ignored Noah. They missed the boat. God continues to reach out in troubled times and He always offers a new beginning.
28.3.18 – The Days of Noah or the Days of Elijah (3)
The Jewish wise man Maimonides said, “Each and every Jew should strive to become as great as Moses.“– (Maimonides, Laws of Teshuva 5:2).
Christians are instructed to grow each day to be more like Jesus! (Ephesians chapter 4, verse 15)
Rabbi Noah Weinberg wrote: Here’s the real secret of success: Regardless of our mortal limitations, our potential for greatness is unlimited when we have the power of the Almighty behind us.
Do we seek to do mighty things? Do we see our full God-given potential?
The Jews have always had a ‘God-code.’ They trace their faith, their future and their destiny in systematic study of the Torah. They seek their identity, goals and dreams in the promises of God.
The word Torah means ‘teaching.’ They believe it to be the wisdom of heaven revealed and shared with the world.
This God-code has been handed down from Jewish father to son for more than 40 generations. The unbroken link of reading, teaching and instructing has brought success in secular, social, civil and spiritual life from generation to generation.
The Israelites were given a covenant and they embraced it despite the problems, the challenges, the setbacks and the enemies.
While Abraham (then called “Abram”) was living in Ur of the Chaldeans, God appeared to him in a vision instructing him to leave home and move to the land of Canaan.
At age 75, Abraham followed this vision. During his journey, God appeared to him several times, revealing His divine purpose for Abraham and his future heirs.
God Told Abraham That: • he would become a “great nation” (Gen. 12:2) • he would be a “father of many nations” (17:4) • nations and kings would come out of him (see 17:6) • in his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed (see 22:18).
I believe a study by Christians of the continued prosperity and success of Israel and the Jewish people will be a great guide for us to succeed in the face of the persecution now aimed so vehemently at us.
Richard Booker is an author who’s significant work is published through The Sounds of the Trumpet, Institute of Hebraic Christian studies. He called for Christians to return to our Roots. He wrote: “We are living at a time when the Lord is calling both Jews and Christians back to their biblical roots.
“The biblical root of Christianity grew from an everlasting covenant God made with Abraham. Christians become part of that covenant through faith in Jesus (Yeshua). The more we can learn about our Hebraic / Jewish roots, the more blessed we will be in our Christian lives.”
CHUTZPAH: headstrong persistence, brazen impudence, unyielding tenacity, bold determination
Maybe in this hour we must learn to understand a famous Jewish word – ‘chutzpah!’Yiddish dictionary: “Chutzpah (pronounced huuts-pah) is a Yiddish word that is used by Jews and non-Jews alike to describe someone who is particularly audacious or has a lot of “guts.”
I like what Dr Brad Young wrote about chutzpah: “The word chutzpah is difficult to define in a single word. It means headstrong persistence, brazen impudence, unyielding tenacity, bold determination or what in current English terms might be referred to as raw nerve.”
Do we Christians have chutzpah where our faith is concerned? Do we stand with Paul saying ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel?“
Dr Brad Young in his book ‘Jesus, the Jewish Theologian’ wrote: ‘Jesus viewed the Kingdom of heaven as an active force in the world, a force energized by God’s power.‘
Jesus responded when he saw people making faith-filled choices.
He ‘saw’ their faith and healed the paralytic (Mark chapter 2 verse 5).
He again observed their faith in Luke chapter 5 verse 20 and said to them ‘my friends, your sins have been forgiven.”
Right now the world needs to ‘see’ our faith. We are not meant to live quietly and unobtrusively as Christians. Some good old-fashioned chutzpah will put our faith on display.
We do not need to be doing spectacular things. People observe when we say thanks. They notice when we give someone our spot at the supermarket checkout.
HOW MUCH?: How much chutzpah do you have?
In many places Christians seem to be the secret agents in society. Instead we are called to be the city on the hill, observed by everyone. Jesus said, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” (Matthew chapter 11 verse 12)
“Take it by force‘ means ‘they seize it for themselves.‘
Dr Brad Young points out a deeper understanding of what Jesus said. He argued that the translation ‘the kingdom of heaven suffers violence‘ the phrase should say ‘the kingdom of heaven breaks forth.‘
In the King James Bible the Hebrew word ‘biazo’ is translated ‘suffers violence.’ But the NIV translates the same word as ‘forcefully advancing.’
The reason for the difference is simple. The KJV is a passive translation but the NIV is active.
Dr Young said: “Moreover, the Hebrew background of this saying of Jesus actually denotes an action of breaking out with strong force.“
My question to the Church today is this – Are we being lulled into something other than an active faith?
In fact, have we been trapped into passivity and even surrendered to the fallen world standards in which we live?
In an absorbing study Young said of Christians who respond to the Lord – ‘they actively pursue the divine purposes in life with all their strength.“
Are We Living In The Days Of Noah Or The Days Of Elijah? BOTH!
Rejoice in the power and the anointing provided for you as overcomers in the world today. Be aware of the events taking place around you and at all times be ready to make a stand for the Gospel.
In these amazing days we should all be those who ‘pray without ceasing.’ And rejoice for the day of the Lord, is at hand.
About Ron Ross
14.3.18 – The Days of Noah or the Days of Elijah (1)
21.3.18 – The Days of Noah or the Days of Elijah (2)
28.3.18 – The Days of Noah or the Days of Elijah (3)