FIRST THINGS FIRST
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Mark 1:1-8, “The beginning of the gospel of Yeshua HaMashiach, the Son of Yahweh. 2As it is written in the Prophets:
“Behold, I send My messenger before Your face (Malachi 3:1),
Who will prepare Your way before You.”
3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of Yahweh;
Make His paths straight.’” (Isaiah 40:3)
4John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.””
Notice the first thing mentioned as the beginning of the Gospel of Yeshua: the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. What does this mean to us today? Well, the gospel of the Kingdom of Yahweh begins with us sinful humans repenting of our sins and receiving forgiveness for our sins by the blood of Yeshua. If you don’t repent of your sins, you go no further in the Kingdom of Yahweh. No more revelation, no more illumination, no more guidance, no peace, no growth, no salvation, you get the idea. Why would John preach/teach/baptize like this?
We learn why John began his preaching of the Kingdom with a baptism of repentance from the teaching of Yeshua Himself in Matthew 23:23-28, ““Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law [torah]: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness [torahlessness].”
Here we are at the beginning of another new civil year. We hit the ground running after the holidays, but did we land on the right path? Are we still in the Way? Did we over indulge in self satisfaction over the holidays? We live in a me, my, mine world. We are self-centered, selfish, self-absorbed, self-loving humans. Are we abusing or neglecting our spouse? Our children? Our employees or co-workers? This is a good time of year to repent and turn to Yahweh afresh!
I don’t make new years resolutions. I seek Yahweh every day and let the Holy Spirit show me what I need to repent of and change in my life. Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of Yahweh and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Trying to change or improve your life in your own strength, the flesh, doesn’t work, and will not last. Let Yahweh show you what to change or fix in your life. He won’t cut any sin out of your life without your permission. But if you seek Him, He’ll show you what concerns Him at any given moment and He won’t overwhelm you will all your sins at once! He’s the perfect Doctor and Surgeon. He will deal with you one sin at a time. When He convicts you of the sin, just repent, ask forgiveness, and give Him permission to take it out of your life and cover it under the blood of Yeshua! He’s good and faithful to do it!
Yeshua gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us grow in holiness and righteousness. John 16:7-11, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper [Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11of judgment, because the ruler of this world [Satan] is judged.” Holy Spirit is good and faithful to do His work in us. When He does, we need to respond in faith and repent and turn again to Yahweh our Savior! The world is rushing headlong into apostasy, blasphemy, and idolatry, which will end in death in the Lake of Fire. When we see these things happening all around us, we need to use each new crisis as a stepping stone back into the Kingdom of Yahweh. As the world gets darker, we need to return more eagerly to the light of Yahweh’s word and His marvelous Kingdom!
Let the Holy Spirit give you resolve for the new year, let Him give you plans and goals for your life this year. Let Yahweh guide you into His Kingdom this year, he won’t lead you astray. The world is already astray and can ONLY lead you astray. Pop culture, modern high tech systems, mainstream media, Hollywood, Washington D.C., etc. will never lead you into the Kingdom of Yahweh. This world is heading straight to hell and can ONLY lead you there.
This year, repent, return to Yahweh, His way, His righteousness, His Kingdom. Then we can move on into second and third things. Hebrews 6:1-6, “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary [FIRST] principles of Messiah, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward Yahweh, 2of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead [JESUS ADVENT 2.0], and of eternal judgment. 3And this we will do if Yahweh permits.
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of Yahweh and the powers of the age to come, 6if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of Yahweh, and put Him to an open shame.”
Friends, I believe that in 2013 CE, American Christians will finally face open and vicious persecution similar to what our brothers and sisters around the world have faced for the last 1,983 years. Believe it or not, brethren, we need persecution. It will force us into our Savior’s arms. It will force us to grow up. 1 Peter 4:17, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of Yahweh; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of Yahweh?” Have you never read the Book of Revelation? Millions upon millions of saints will be martyred in the end times. Being murdered, or martyred, for Yeshua is not something to shy away from, or to be shunned. Martyrdom for the cause of Messiah should be embraced. It virtually guarantees your entrance into the Kingdom of Yahweh. We don’t need to seek death, or run to it, but we don’t need to run and hide in doomsday bunkers to avoid it either! Trust me, our enemies will find us. They know who we are, where we are, what we do on the internet, what we speak and text on our phones. Revelation 6:9-11, “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of Yahweh and for the testimony which they held. 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”
Revelation 7:9-17, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our Mighty One who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped Yahweh, 12saying:
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our Mighty One forever and ever.
13Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”
14And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15Therefore they are before the throne of Yahweh, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And Yahweh will wipe away every tear from their eyes.””
So how do these saints COME OUT OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION? They are martyred!!! They will be killed for Yeshua’s sake. They will not be raptured (sorry pre-tribbers), or run away in a Greater Exodus (sorry Messianics)!! We’ve already dealt with the pre-trib rapture theory. We may have to blog on the Greater Exodus theory. But just take a look at the context of Jeremiah 23. The Greater Exodus proponents use Jeremiah 23:7-8 to build their doctrine, ““Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says Yahweh, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As Yahweh lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8but, ‘As Yahweh lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel [you and me] from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”” That’s the Greater Exodus, right? But according to the context, WHEN does this Greater Exodus occur? Look at verses 5-6, ““Behold, the days are coming,” says Yahweh, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: YAHWEH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Well, folks, Who is the Branch, Who is the King, Who is our Righteousness? Yeshua HaMashiach, of course!! The Greater Exodus will happen during the Millennial Reign of Yeshua on earth, not one minute before!!
Friends, prepare for persecution. Prepare to meet your enemy face to face. Prepare to meet your Maker. The beginning of the end of the Gospel of Yeshua is upon us. Believe it or not, Psalm 113 corresponds to 2013 CE, “Praise Yahweh!
Praise, O servants of Yahweh,
Praise the name of Yahweh!
2 Blessed be the name of Yahweh
From this time forth and forevermore!
3 From the rising of the sun to its going down
Yahweh’s name is to be praised.
4 Yahweh is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like Yahweh our Mighty One,
Who dwells on high,
6 Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?
7 He raises the poor out of the dust,
And lifts the needy out of the ash heap,
8 That He may seat him with princes—
With the princes of His people.
9 He grants the barren woman a home,
Like a joyful mother of children.
Notice verses 7-8. Pre-tribbers believe these verses prove our rapture in 2013. May I propose to you that they may prove our martyrdom, beginning in 2013 CE!!
May Yahweh bless you and preserve your soul this year.
Gene Benjamin II
January 11, 2013 CE