Over the past few weeks, the world has watched with much concern as Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine. Many Bible expositors have made reference to the vision of Ezekiel concerning Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38). Others have seen the unfolding events as a sign that the rapture of the church is imminent and that the dark figure known as the Antichrist will be revealed. The invasion by Russia has launched the body of Christ into a frenzy of apocalyptic speculation and interpretation. How should we pray about the situation?
If the events of the last few weeks are in fulfillment of biblical prophecy about the battle of Armageddon then it would be futile to pray against revealed prophecy in terms of changing the outcome of the battle. As always, we pray into the situation that somehow God’s purposes will be accomplished in people’s lives; that it will lead to a greater awareness of God’s sovereignty over the nations; that it will bring God’s people together as one and that the nations may recognize their Messiah. We pray ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.’
Over the coming days, we will begin to look at some deep insights into the current situation and how to interpret them prophetically and accurately. The world is changing rapidly and the church must catch up with events from a historical, theological, philosophical, and prophetic perspective. These insights will help to equip us for what lies ahead so that we can stand strong in the midst of the coming storm.
The Week the World Stood Still – A Call to the Seers
The Psalmist states, ‘Be still and know that 1 am God, I will be exalted in the earth’ (Ps. 46:10). For the first time in modern history, the world stands still as a result of a global pandemic in the shape of the Coronavirus. Schools have been closed; churches have gone online to host services, theatres, clubs, restaurants and gyms have all been told by governments to cease business until further notice. Naturally, people are anxious about the increasing death toll and the virulence of this strain of the virus. At present, there is no known antidote or vaccine that is effective in stemming the tide of death. It is at times like this that people begin to ask profound questions about life. In this time of stillness, self-isolation and social distancing, it is good to rest upon the enduring fact of God’s sovereignty and understand that he is in full control over the present situation- indeed, Lord over all the earth.
A Need for Seers and Prophetic Discernment
In the midst of the general speculation about how this situation could have come about, there is a need for seers who understand the times and seasons. We know that there is no confusion from God’s unique vantage point. Some commentators have missed the mark by stating that the coronavirus is the direct judgement of God upon the wicked. Others overstate their case by trying to identify the coronavirus in a specific verse of the bible. Seers are those who can both sense God’s heart in a situation and interpret the word of God accordingly as a result of their relationship with God and gifting.
God rules the universe by well-defined laws and principles. Any violation of these principles invokes consequences. This is the law of cause and effect. One of God’s many qualities is his objectivity: his law applies equally to all mankind (Acts 10:34). An appreciation of some of these principles is a better starting point in conducting an analysis of the current crisis. The coronavirus indeed is a sign but perhaps can more accurately be viewed as a symptom stemming from an underlying cause. It is almost certain that the cause involves some violation of the basic laws of nature.
Times, Seasons and Symptoms
As mentioned above, seers interpret events in light of God’s laws, history and a close relationship with the Holy Spirit who has granted all gifts (1 Cor. 12:1). Historical dates and anniversaries carry particular spiritual significance and enduring impact upon the present. The Jews understand that time flows cyclically rather than linearly and that successive generations face similar issues. They believe that different generations may have their own ‘satan or adversary- whether Haman or Hitler. For example, September 11th is the anniversary of several significant battles between Islamic and European nations in history. Some scholars even postulate that this might be the birthday of Christ based upon their study of the biblical courses. God’s laws restore justice and balance over generations. The year 2020 has prophetic significance in God’s plan for the world. Prophets such as Amos and Hosea spoke about national injustice and implored the nation to return to God. We will begin by looking at this concept in order to shed further light upon the issue of the Coronavirus and see how God’s sovereignty and mankind’s autonomy interact to produce world history. God has seen the rise and fall of nations across time but shares aspects of his wisdom with his seers and prophets (Amos 3:7).
The Rise and Fall of Nations
The Coronavirus pandemic could be regarded as the fourth global pandemic. Like the second and third pandemics, the origin is thought to be from China or central Asia. Like the ancient philosophers, who described the law of cause and effect, the bible likewise mentions a similar principle of reciprocity (Prov.26:2; Gal. 6:7-9). In particular, the book of Proverbs gives general guiding principles that reflect this idea. There is the constant refrain of keeping God’s law in order for success. God, therefore, judges the nations by their deeds. The Roman empire that enslaved much of Europe was itself invaded and conquered by invading hordes from those territories. The German Empire that caused such devastation throughout Europe was eventually defeated and required to pay damaging reparations. God can use man’s foolish actions. One consequence of the last war was the establishment of the nation of Israel. Yet we see in the bible that Israel was invaded by the Babylonians as a result of breaking God’s laws and restored after a time of introspection and repentance. These laws of justice are therefore written into the very constitution of the universe and bring balance. What lessons can be gleaned from the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus and what should be the response of the nations, the world and the church? It is useful to ask these questions and explore what underlying causes might there be; what laws or principles might have been violated when crises such as this happen. This is the speciality of the seer. He or she closely observes the times, seasons, events, politics, anniversaries and spiritual issues that precipitate events.
Yom Kippur, the Book of Life and the Windows of Heaven
Today marks one of the holiest days in the Jewish new year -Yom Kippur. In Jewish belief, it marks the end of ten days of repentance for sinful thoughts, actions and feelings over the previous twelve months.
Is there anything that Christians can appropriate from this most holy of days? The old testament contains many shadows of the coming messiah. For example, Yehsua was crucified on the exact day and time as the Passover lamb and the Holy spirit was given fifty days after Passover. It is clear that Yeshua fulfilled the law and that these events are no coincidence.
Yom Kippor or the day of atonement is also the day when the sins of the people were confessed before God and two sacrifices were brought to the door of the temple. On lamb was chosen and brought into the temple, placed on the altar and slain. At this point, the sins of the people were remitted. The priest would then wash in the baptismal pool or mikvah as a symbol of cleansing. The priest also sprinkles the blood seven times in the holy of holies. Yom kippor is the only day when the high priest goes into the holy of holies to offer an atonement. The other sacrifice, the scapegoat, was sent into the wilderness to be plunged over the cliff carrying the sins of the nation (Lev. 16:8-10).
It is unsurprising that the portion of scripture about Abraham leading Isaac to sacrifice is read on this year. Yeshua, like the scapegoat, was chosen by lot and stood before the people ready to give himself an atonement for all. This is also the time when the book of life is thought to be opened and God reviews one’s actions over the year. It is a good time to reflect on our behavior and attitudes over the past year. Finally, this is the time when the ‘windows of heaven’ are opened and the devourer is rebuked (Mal. 3:10). It is a time to start anew, to change course, to make things right with your fellow man and God; a time to be blessed again.
Pentecost 2018 -The Kingdom has Come
On Saturday 19th of May, the world witnessed the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The wedding coincided with the beginning of Pentecost or Shavuot. During the wedding some notable elements stood out as making a particular impact on those watching:
- The Lord’s Prayer was prayed before the global audience- a prayer about the kingdom
- A rapturous version of the song, ‘stand by me’ was given by the Kingdom Choir.
- It was the culmination of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s series on ‘thy Kingdom come’ a programme to promote awareness of the kingdom.
- An Episcopalian Bishop spoke about the power of Love. In Jewish thought, G-d’s love is shown through his law; there is no love without law. The sermon about the transforming and redemptive nature of love where love was equated with ‘fire’ and ‘power’ to ‘change the world’ was a message of kingdom.
Pentecost comes fifty days after Passover or first fruits and is symbolic of the law being given from Mt Sinai fifty days after Passover. The act of giving law is a statement of Kingdom; one can only issue law in sovereign territory. There are many aspects of the Lord’s Prayer which allude to the presence and power of the kingdom (in Hebrew, the words, ‘Malkut’ and ‘Memlecah’ representing kingdom are used). Pentecost was a powerful statement of G-ds authority coming to earth through the his church.
There are many aspects to this teaching that are interesting and intricate. Because of the importance of this teaching, YaYiN is making the full teaching, going into the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words freely available to all global Talmidim upon request. This will also incorporate a deep study of the real significance of the coming of the Holy Spirit or Ruach ha Qodesh.
We are also inviting new Talmidim to enjoy the benefits of the courses offered in the Beyt Sefer, the starting point for further progression in YaYiN. So, take advantage of this precious resource and gain fresh insight into the presence and power of the kingdom as taught in the Lord’s Prayer today!
Open Letter to Global Students – 2017 begins your Year of Jubilee and Freedom
YaYiN is calling upon all of the world-wide Talmidim to take full advantage of this year of Jubilee, 2017 or 5777. Knowledge of times and seasons is a key component of study. As an institution which seeks to be both academically and spiritually in tune with what G-d is doing in the earth, YaYiN presents the booklet below which outlines the times and seasons that we are living in. By reading the booklet, you will be able to receive all the blessings that G-D has in store for you.
Don’t miss the opportunity to embrace and learn about this marvellous and blessed time of freedom.
Booklet – Times and Seasons
The Talmidim Awareness Course – A Taster Course in Discipleship
The Messiah, the saviour of the world has come. By his substitutionary sacrifice, he has redeemed mankind and so earned our allegiance. YaYiN offers a great opportunity for those who may not have the time or opportunity to complete the foundation ‘Talmidim Course’ yet wish to have a sense of what it is to be a Talmid. You can begin the Talmidim Awareness Course today. Discipleship is both theoretical and practical. It is loving God with all of your heart and soul and mind. In the Talmidim Awareness Course, you will be given a brief outline of some of the topics and disciplines that more advanced disciples will be engaged in during their time at YaYiN.
Qualify as a Trained Talmid, Take the ‘Talmidim Course’ 2018
Your journey to becoming a true Talmid-disciple of Christ can begin today. The Beyt sefer (under the ‘schools’ link) is the ideal starting place where you can begin to think as Jesus and his disciples thought. You need only begin to engage with the booklets and exercises in the Beyt sefer. This could be one of the most important junctures of your development as a Christian, Jew or other faith seeking to learn more about the Messiah.The first course books will be posted online in January 2018 and you can begin your studies. It would be interesting to learn more about students so please write to YAYIN and tell us a little about your journey and study goals. The Talmidim Taster Course is designed for those of slightly less academic ability or with less time, the Talmid taster course offers a general sense of what it is to be a Talmid. This course briefly explains and summarizes the topics seen in the Beyt sefer, school of Gifting and Knowledge and the Yeshivah. It also gives advice as to a correct approach to study and further development. God bless
Thinking Like Yeshua, Jesus
Jesus engaged the doctors of the law in the traditional style of discussion: question and answers. There were different categories of questions that could be asked and the quality of each question was a keen indicator of understanding. It was therefore a source of amazement that such a young child could have grasped so much of the law and the traditions.
These laws and traditions were later codified into the Talmud and Mishnah which provides an indispensable guide to Jewish thought. It was against this backdrop of traditions and culture that Christ could explain his new teaching in the sermon on the mount.
Great News for All – A New Covenant With Israel, A blessing for the Gentile World
‘Behold the days come saith the Lord that I will make a new covenant with the the house of Israel, and the house of Judah.’ (Jeremiah 31:31)