Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Fading Voice

…The Fading Voice…

We’re not to bend the Word of God to our lives,
but to bend our lives to the Word of God.[1]

(John 21:25 NET)
There are many other things that Jesus did. If every one of them were written down,65 I suppose the whole world66 would not have room for the books that would be written.67 [2]

The time is between 60-70 A.D. The Apostles of Yeshua are dead, dying or scattered…

·         Ya’akov, son of Zebedee (James) was killed by the sword under orders from Herod around 44-45 A.D.

·         Shim’on Kefa (Peter) is crucified in Rome 64 A.D.

·         Andrew will be killed in Achaia (Modern Croatia) around 70 A.D.

·         T’oma (Thomas) will be martyred in India about 70 A.D.

·         Philip is killed in Phrygia in 54 A.D.

·         Mattai (Matthew) is beheaded shortly after writing his Gospel in Nad-Davar around 60-70 A.D.

·         Natan’el (Nathanael, also known as Bartholomew) was flayed and crucified in 70 A.D.

·         Ya’akov (Brother of Yeshua) was thrown from the top of the Temple in 63 A.D.

·         Shim’on (the Zealot) preached in Egypt, Cyrene, Africa, Mauritania, Britain, Libya and Persia; he was crucified in Syria around 74 A.D.

·         Y’hudad (Judas Thaddeus) was beaten to death by pagans in Mesopotamia around 72 A.D.

·         Matthias (replacement of Judas Iscariot) was stoned to death while hanging on a cross in Ethiopia around 70 A.D.

·         Yochanan (John) died a natural death around 95 A.D.; his was not without suffering- he was repeatedly beaten, stoned and boiled in oil.

·         Sha’ul (Paul); he listed his own travails: (2Co 11:23-27 CJB) Are they servants of the Messiah? (I'm talking like a madman!) I'm a better one! I've worked much harder, been imprisoned more often, suffered more beatings, been near death over and over. Five times I received "forty lashes less one" from the Jews. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea. In my many travels I have been exposed to danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the desert, danger at sea, danger from false brothers. I have toiled and endured hardship, often not had enough sleep, been hungry and thirsty, frequently gone without food, been cold and naked.  
Paul was beheaded in Rome around 65-69 A.D.

·         Yochanan Marcus (John Mark, writer of the Gospel of Mark) was drug through the streets of Alexandria Egypt in 68 A.D. for celebrating Pesach [Passover].

·         Barnabba (Barnabas, companion of Paul) is said to have been martyred in Cyprus 68 A.D.

·         Sila (Silas, also a companion of Paul) is believed to have continued his ministry into Turkey; no account is recorded for his death.

·         Loukas (Luke) is said to have died peacefully at the age of 84; and just for the sake of clarity, in my opinion, Loukas was more than likely a Jew…

Figure 1Map - Traditional Locations Where the Apostles Preached and Died
Key: + - the traditional place(s) of death of the Apostles and John the Baptist
Most of the locations where the Apostles preached and died come from various ancient traditions.
Paul's travels are recorded in Acts [3]

Their voices were vanishing; the accounts of Yeshua, heard by thousands around campfires, in villages, along the road and in the synagogues were being stilled by the opposition to the truth. The oral traditions of the disciples of Messiah, taught to them by the Messiah would soon pass away if not for Mattai who wrote the first Gospel shortly before his death. Yochanan Marcus and Loukas relied heavily upon some aspects of Mattai’s Gospel, yet the greatest source of the gospels seems to come from an outside source, a compendium of Yeshua’s sayings and teachings. Who wrote this source (commonly known as the “Q” document) no one knows. The point is this; the Apostles were dying, and were scattered. The Jewish voice of Messiah had begun to fade…

Now the dates listed above can be disputed and have been. I am not here to say that my sources agree at all on the timings or the manner of deaths the Apostles suffered. That they did die, some peacefully, others cruelly, is without dispute. They died for what they believed, and no man dies for a lie. Yeshua lived, He taught, He laughed, He wept, He died and was resurrected. This is what I believe; there are those who have different opinions, who, you could say, “wear different shoes”, no matter to me. All come to the feet of the Master in the end. The Word of God says:

(Isa 45:22-25 Complete Jewish Bible)  “…Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God; there is no other. In the name of myself I have sworn, from my mouth has rightly gone out, a word that will not return -- that to me every knee will bow and every tongue will swear about me that only in Adonai are justice and strength." All who rage against him will come to him ashamed, but all the descendants of Isra'el will find justice and glory in Adonai…”[4]

And also again: (Rom 14:10-12 CJB) “…You then, why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For all of us will stand before God's judgment seat; since it is written in the Tanakh, "As I live, says Adonai, every knee will bend before me, and every tongue will publicly acknowledge God." So then, every one of us will have to give an account of himself to God…”[5]

In the end all will come to believe, some to judgment, some to everlasting rest. What matters in the here and now what voice we are willing to listen to.

There are many voices out there. Some are harsh, filled with hate and rage. Some are smooth and soothing, but the venom they drip is no less poisonous than the voices of hate. Some are filled with cries of piety, yet a hint of hypocrisy drips from their lips; others will tell you exactly what they think and defy you to shout them down. These are all the voices of the world, not God. Oh they may say they speak for God, yet, their own worlds reveal a different truth…

(Jer 14:14 WoY) “…Then Yahweh said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart…”  [6]

So what voice do we need to hear, to heed? It is the fading voice we must return to, the voice that returns us to the original context and meaning of Yahveh’s Holy Word; His voice, the Hebraic perspective, the Jewish voice of the Living Elohim.

There are many voices out their, Jewish, Christian, Messianic; theirs are voices among the other voices, each calling out a particular message, spun in a particular way. The true voice of Yahveh is found in the Hebraic, the “lashon kodesh”, the sacred tongue of God. Only God’s voice is clear, and it never contradicts His Word.

Nay, the voice God spoke in was to His people, the Jews….

(Rom 3:1-31 CJB)
Then what advantage has the Jew? What is the value of being circumcised? Much in every way! In the first place, the Jews were entrusted with the very words of God. If some of them were unfaithful, so what? Does their faithlessness cancel God's faithfulness? Heaven forbid! God would be true even if everyone were a liar! -- as the Tanakh says, "so that you, God, may be proved right in your words and win the verdict when you are put on trial." Now if our unrighteousness highlights God's righteousness, what should we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict his anger on us? (I am speaking here the way people commonly do.) Heaven forbid! Else, how could God judge the world? "But," you say, "if, through my lie, God's truth is enhanced and brings him greater glory, why am I still judged merely for being a sinner?" Indeed! Why not say (as some people slander us by claiming we do say), "Let us do evil, so that good may come of it"? Against them the judgment is a just one! So are we Jews better off? Not entirely; for I have already made the charge that all people, Jews and Gentiles alike, are controlled by sin. As the Tanakh puts it, "There is no one righteous, not even one! No one understands, no one seeks God, all have turned away and at the same time become useless; there is no one who shows kindness, not a single one! "Their throats are open graves, they use their tongues to deceive. Vipers' venom is under their lips. Their mouths are full of curses and bitterness. "Their feet rush to shed blood, in their ways are ruin and misery, and the way of shalom they do not know. "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Moreover, we know that whatever the Torah says, it says to those living within the framework of the Torah, in order that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world be shown to deserve God's adverse judgment. For in his sight no one alive will be considered righteous on the ground of legalistic observance of Torah commands, because what Torah really does is show people how sinful they are. But now, quite apart from Torah, God's way of making people righteous in his sight has been made clear -- although the Torah and the Prophets give their witness to it as well --and it is a righteousness that comes from God, through the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah, to all who continue trusting. For it makes no difference whether one is a Jew or a Gentile, since all have sinned and come short of earning God's praise. By God's grace, without earning it, all are granted the status of being considered righteous before him, through the act redeeming us from our enslavement to sin that was accomplished by the Messiah Yeshua. God put Yeshua forward as the kapparah for sin through his faithfulness in respect to his bloody sacrificial death. This vindicated God's righteousness; because, in his forbearance, he had passed over [with neither punishment nor remission] the sins people had committed in the past; and it vindicates his righteousness in the present age by showing that he is righteous himself and is also the one who makes people righteous on the ground of Yeshua's faithfulness. So what room is left for boasting? None at all! What kind of Torah excludes it? One that has to do with legalistic observance of rules? No, rather, a Torah that has to do with trusting. Therefore, we hold the view that a person comes to be considered righteous by God on the ground of trusting, which has nothing to do with legalistic observance of Torah commands. Or is God the God of the Jews only? Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is indeed the God of the Gentiles; because, as you will admit, God is one. Therefore, he will consider righteous the circumcised on the ground of trusting and the uncircumcised through that same trusting. Does it follow that we abolish Torah by this trusting? Heaven forbid! On the contrary, we confirm Torah.[7]

The voice of God is the voice of Torah, given to the Jewish people, and correctly interpreted by the Jewish Messiah Yeshua. Yeshua took it, the Torah, back from the hands of man and elevated it into a place of honor once more..

(Isa 42:21 MKJV)
  [Yahveh] is well pleased for His righteousness sake; He will magnify the Law [Torah] and make it honorable. [8]

Yeshua, as the Living Torah, has been magnified… yet has He been honored? Do not all the competing voices change and somewhat nullify the message of the Son of God, if we continue to take Him out of the context that the Father placed Him in, namely as the King of kings, the Holy One of Israel, the King of Israel, Israel’s redeemer and King? Has the voice faded so much from our ears, have we become so dull of hearing that we listen to ALL the voices in the sea of humanity yet fail to heed the One True Voice that can bring sanity and righteousness back into this cold, dark world? What truly are we listening too?

Let us see…

(Psa 42:7 KJV)  Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

Ponder with me, if you will, the deeper things.  Do you know the times?  Do you feel the shift, the balance of power swinging back into its first order?  The natural is giving way to the supernatural.  The darkness is digging in, but no matter how deep it digs, the light is uprooting it.  The death throes of the enemy have increased, as he struggles to take all he can with him down to the pit of hell.  Can you feel it?  Deep is calling out to deep.  The deep things of God are shouting down the things buried deep in the earth.  The mysteries of Yeshua Ha’Machiach are being loosed, the things Daniel sealed up till the end are being revealed to the elect of God.

 Look closer:

(Job 12:22 NIV)  He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.

(Dan 2:22 NIV)  He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.

(Dan 2:28[a] NIV)  but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come.....

(Amos 4:13 NIV)  He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth-- the LORD God Almighty is his name.[9]

The former things and the latter are all about to be shown.  Deep is calling out to deep.  Can you hear the deep?  Ponder the voice, for it is the voice of God.  This is the same Yahveh Elohim of heaven that has never stopped speaking to His people, the same Elohim of eternity past, present and future that has always told His children what was to come.  The words of God resound in the heavenly realm, and the darkness is trembling at the sound of that voice from High.  Time is running out.  The day of grace remains, but the force that withholds the lawlessness is loosening its grip to shower this unbelieving world with His righteous judgment.  Some don’t want to acknowledge what is happening, not even some who hear the voice and understand the times. 

The calamities that are occurring worldwide, the storms, the earthquakes, the floods, the droughts, the famines, the wars, the diseases, these are all the fore-runners to greater tribulation.  God is speaking to these nations, and ours.   

It is as if He is saying “Behold turn from your ways or worse than this will come.  When the trouble comes, do you turn to Me for safety, for rest, or do you curse me, do you shrug it off and attribute it to “natural” causes? There is nothing natural about it!” says the Lord.  “Turn, turn, turn!” calls the voice of the King of heaven.  Look to the heavens for the answer, not within yourself or without.  We have been warned, make no mistake, He calls. 

The tears of God wet His face.  He wants none to perish.  None.  It was not for destruction that He breathed life into clay, and formed man.  It was for life, and love, a divine love that knows no bounds, no limits.  But man has turned away, listening to the voice of destruction, listening to his own voice and not the voice of truth.  DO NOT BE DECEIVED!  You say you listen to no one - that you are in charge of your own life!  You are mistaken.  Either you hear the voice of Yahveh, or you hear the voice of death, there are no other choices.  Our minds, our souls, our spirits hear one or the other.  Make no mistake any longer.  You serve the most High God, or you don’t.  Ponder the voice you hear;  it is life or death.  The time is now, the place is here.  Choose who you’ll serve, but choose wisely.  Ponder the times, the signs…  Ponder the path He set before us all, the Torah that leads us to Messiah, and the way to walk with a Holy God…
Are you listening?

1 Kings 19:11-12
11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.[10]

The voice of God; do we hear Yahveh at all?  If we can hardly hear one another at times for all our posturing and shouting, how can we hear God? 

I wonder about this for there are the times I seek the quiet, the stillness, to hear from God and yet, His voice as well as the quiet eludes me.  What I see, and hear, day to day, is not only myself but others always trying to be heard above the fray, above the noise.  We raise our voices to make our ways known to others around us, to justify our positions or feelings, to voice our displeasure and our opinions, and at no time do we take the time to stop, shut up, and hear what is being said by one another, let alone the King of the universe.  If we do listen, it is usually with an attitude, because the other person is either saying something that makes sense, makes no sense, or is just plain contrary to what our take on the situation is.  With all the clamor, bluff and fury, we hear nothing at all unless it suits our agenda. 

It is no wonder in the midst of all this noise that we fail to hear God’s voice, for we crowd out His words with our own, we discount His counsel because we say to ourselves, “ Well, I don’t know if it was really the Lord, or myself, or the (fill in the blank)...”  So instead of going quiet, we make presumptions and go our own merry way, missing out on the very wisdom we needed at that time because we just didn’t want to hear.  In my experience God doesn’t speak quietly.  There is nothing quiet about God, and God has never stopped talking.  When He wants something done, He sounds off from heaven and waits to see if anybody is listening.  Maybe He’ll speak to 100 people and only one will hear.  How can you miss His voice?

Job 37:2-5
2 Hear attentively the roar of his voice, and the murmur going forth from his mouth. 3 He sendeth it forth under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. 4 After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency, and holdeth not back the flashes when his voice is heard. 5 God thundereth marvellously with his voice, doing great things which we do not comprehend. [11]

He does great things with His voice which we do not comprehend....  Have you ever given any thought at all to God’s voice, to the voice of the One who loves you?  That voice from afar, that fading voice; we wander aimlessly, lost without a vision, for we don’t seek His vision for us, but we hearken to our own voice and its advice.  How can we ever expect to grow as a body if we are locked in the ways of our own making, never reaching for God outside of the little box in which we are comfortable in.  You call yourselves disciples, but what do you seek?  Do you come near to Elohim to hear, or do the things around you blind you to the greater things that Yahveh and his Son have waiting, those great things which we do not comprehend.  We miss Their voice because we won’t be still, we won’t let Their voices be heard beyond the confines of our own.  If we truly seek to hear from God, is it by pressing in on a matter, petitioning God till we hear from Him as the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8:
Luke 18:1-8

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:  3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? [12]
Do you pray and then faint away?  How can you expect to hear from God in this fashion?  No matter whom you are, layman, disciple, clergy, or leadership, how you listen for God’s voice determines the answers you get or the ones you think you get.  So many times, in the past have I sought guidance from God and in the process thrown down a golden fleece for Him to give me a sign, when in reality all it was an attempt on my part to get Him to rubber stamp the decision I had already come to.  How many times have I tried to fit God into my plans, when in truth it should have been myself submitted to the Master’s plan.  And yet, through it all, He remained faithful to hear me in my cries, in my distress, and He replied:

(Ps 18) 6     In my adistress I called upon the Lord,
And cried to my God for help;
He heard my voice bout of His temple,
And my ccry for help before Him came into His ears.
7     Then the aearth shook and quaked;
And the bfoundations of the mountains were trembling
And were shaken, because He was angry.
8     Smoke went up 1out of His nostrils,
And afire from His mouth devoured;
Coals were kindled by it.
9     He abowed the heavens also, and came down
With thick bdarkness under His feet.
10     He rode upon a acherub and flew;
And He sped upon the bwings of the wind.
11     He made adarkness His hiding place, bHis 1canopy around Him,
Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.
12     From the abrightness before Him passed His thick clouds,
Hailstones and bcoals of fire.
13     The Lord also athundered in the heavens,
And the Most High uttered His voice,
Hailstones and coals of fire.
14     He asent out His arrows, and scattered them,
And lightning flashes in abundance, and 1routed them.
15     Then the achannels of water appeared,
And the foundations of the world were 1laid bare
At Your brebuke, O Lord,
At the blast of the cbreath of Your nostrils. [13]

For too long, believers have tried to hear the voice of God, and yet, we truly don’t want to give Him a chance to respond.  If we did, except in the times of our deepest troubles, He just might not give us the answer that we want.  His word contains all the solutions we seek, so why can’t we hear His voice?  Do you really think that God is quiet, so quiet that it is hard to hear Him?  Guess again....
Psalm 29:3-11 (HCSB)
3 The voice of the Lord is above the waters. The God of glory thunders— the Lord, above vast waters, 4 the voice of the Lord in power, the voice of the Lord in splendor. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion, like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord flashes flames of fire. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the woodlands bare. In His temple all cry, “Glory!” 10 The Lord sat enthroned at the flood; the Lord sits enthroned, King forever. 11 The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace. [14]

If anything, God is not quiet!  The problem isn’t God’s voice, for it is mighty!
Psalm 68:33-35
33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.  34 Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.  35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God. [15]

No, the reason we have trouble hearing is simply that we have hardened our hearts, and turned off our hearing aids.  Our hearts are hard for we want what we want, not what He wants.  We mock His worship, we play at His praise.  We cast our own decisions, and not the Lord’s lot; our knees remain un-bowed and though we have eyes and ears to see and hear with, we choose not to use them.  He has called out to us, in His Holy word, time and time again:
Psalm 95:6-11
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you will hear His voice:
8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”[16]

Is this the price that we as the body of Messiah are willing to pay for not hearing? Why do we insist on not hearing as He says? Why do we not hear His “lashon kodesh”?Why cannot we hear His Law?
 We go about throwing stumbling blocks in each others way, thinking we’re helping each other “face” whatever problems they have.  I push your buttons so you can see what you have to work on, you push mine...  Madness.  This is simply madness.  This is a selfish, vain attempt to play God.  My liberty, my freedom stops when I hurt another.  This isn’t freedom, not the freedom Yeshua paid so dearly for, for in testing one another, we test God.  It is His place to change me, it is His right and His alone.  If I’m truly listening to His voice, I am seeking to edify, striving to bring peace and to lift up and serve my brothers not constantly tearing them down so that they can see what they “need to work on”. 
How does that serve the will of Christ?  The Holy Spirit will make sure I realize my shortcomings; I don’t need anyone else provoking me to find this out. 
God’s mercy and grace extend beyond my weaknesses....

(Psalm 103)     1     aBless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His bholy name.
     2     Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And aforget none of His benefits;
     3     Who apardons all your iniquities,
Who bheals all your diseases;
     4     Who aredeems your life from the pit,
Who bcrowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
     5     Who asatisfies your 1years with good things,
So that your youth is brenewed like the eagle.
     6     The Lord aperforms 1righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are boppressed.
     7     He amade known His ways to Moses,
His bacts to the sons of Israel.
     8     The Lord is acompassionate and gracious,
bSlow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
     9     He awill not always strive with us,
Nor will He bkeep His anger forever.
     10     He has anot dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
     11     For as high aas the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who 1fear Him.
     12     As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He aremoved our transgressions from us.
     13     Just aas a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who 1fear Him.
     14     For aHe Himself knows 1our frame;
He bis mindful that we are but cdust.
     15     As for man, his days are alike grass;
As a bflower of the field, so he flourishes.
     16     When the awind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its bplace acknowledges it no longer.
     17     But the alovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who 1fear Him,
And His 2righteousness bto children’s children,
     18     To athose who keep His covenant
And remember His precepts to do them.
     19     The Lord has established His athrone in the heavens,
And His 1bsovereignty rules over 2all.
     20     Bless the Lord, you aHis angels,
bMighty in strength, who cperform His word,
dObeying the voice of His word!
     21     Bless the Lord, all you aHis hosts,
You bwho serve Him, doing His will.
     22     Bless the Lord, aall you works of His,
In all places of His dominion;
Bless the Lord, O my soul! [17]

If I continue to choose not to follow God, but to force my own walk upon others, who do I serve, God or self?  If I hear His voice, do I offend, or do I reprove?  If I hear His voice, do I trouble another’s soul, or in love correct, and show mercy?  Is the word of God all, for Yeshua is the Word, and do I despise the full counsel of God by rejecting Him as my All-in-All?  What god does my own counsel bring?
Jeremiah 7:21-27
21 Thus saith Yahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt-offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat ye flesh. 22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices: 23 but this thing I commanded them, saying, Hearken unto my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and walk ye in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you. 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day, I have sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: 26 yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff: they did worse than their fathers. 27 And thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee. [18]

If we listen and hear, what is the result?
Jeremiah 11:4
4 which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Hearken unto my voice and do them, according to all that I command you; so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God: [19]

And whom shall we hear?
Luke 9:35
35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. [20]

The price has been paid for our hard-hearts and deaf ears...
Luke 23:46
46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last. [21]

Today, who are you listening to - the voice of your own counsel, your own pet beliefs, or the voice of the One that sits on the throne of heaven? Do we hear the fading voice of the Hebraic perspective, do we hear the Jewish Messiah and if we do hear, do we listen?  The voice of God peels back the darkness in our lives and releases the power to love, not provoke.  Counsel is given, counsel that will bring us to the fullness of Yeshua Ha’Machiach, but only if we are listening. 
O Body, hear the head.  Today is the day, the acceptable day.  All around you this day is a choice, for layman and leader to stop what we are doing and hear from God..
Hebrews 3:7-19
7 Wherefore, even as the Holy Spirit saith, To-day if ye shall hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, Like as in the day of the trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tried me by proving me, And saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was displeased with this generation, And said, They do always err in their heart: But they did not know my ways; 11 As I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. 12 Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God: 13 but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin: 14 for we are become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end: 15 while it is said, To-day if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For who, when they heard, did provoke? nay, did not all they that came out of Egypt by Moses? 17 And with whom was he displeased forty years? was it not with them that sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that were disobedient? 19 And we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief. [22]

He has warned us time and time again, Today, do not harden your heart.  If you will hear His voice, all will change.  We will find rest.
Hebrews 4:7-16
7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. [23]

The throne of grace and mercy awaits those who hear His voice.  No rest awaits those who choose their own path.  Be warned; stop and listen.  God is speaking. The fading voice there for all to hear.

Are you listening?

[1] From the article “The Hebraic Perspective”, by Avram Yehoshua,
[2]  65 tn Grk  "written"; the word "down" is supplied in keeping with contemporary English idiom.
 66 tn Grk  "the world itself."
 67 tc Although the majority of MSS (C2 Θ ΨÀ13 œ lat) conclude this Gospel with ἀμήν (amhn, "amen"), such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom_16:27; Gal_6:18; Jud_1:25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding ἀμήν in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, ἀμήν is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant. Further, excellent and early witnesses, as well as a few others (א A B C*,3 D W 1 33 pc it), lack the particle, rendering no doubt as to how this Gospel originally ended.
 sn The author concludes the Gospel with a note concerning his selectivity of material. He makes it plain that he has not attempted to write an exhaustive account of the words and works of Jesus, for if one attempted to do so, "the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." This is clearly hyperbole, and as such bears some similarity to the conclusion of the Book of Ecclesiastes (Ecc_12:9-12). As it turns out, the statement seems more true of the Fourth Gospel itself, which is the subject of an ever-lengthening bibliography. The statement in Joh_21:25 serves as a final reminder that knowledge of Jesus, no matter how well-attested it may be, is still partial. Everything that Jesus did during his three and one-half years of earthly ministry is not known. This supports the major theme of the Fourth Gospel: Jesus is repeatedly identified as God, and although he may be truly known on the basis of his self-disclosure, he can never be known exhaustively. There is far more to know about Jesus than could ever be written down, or even known. On this appropriate note the Gospel of John ends.  (NET Bible® Notes - copyright ©1996-2007 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C.)
[4] The Complete Jewish bible, translated by David H. Stern ©1998 by David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc, Clarksville Maryland, electronic edition, eSword® Version 10.1.0 Copyright ©2000-2012 by Rick Meyers; All rights reserved worldwide.
[5] Ibid…
[6] Scriptures taken from “The Word of Yahweh” published by the Assembly of Yahweh; 2nd edition (2003); electronic edition, eSword® Version 10.1.0 Copyright ©2000-2012 by Rick Meyers; All rights reserved worldwide.

[7] The Complete Jewish bible, translated by David H. Stern ©1998 by David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc, Clarksville Maryland, electronic edition, eSword® Version 10.1.0 Copyright ©2000-2012 By Rick Meyers; All rights reserved worldwide.
[8] The Modern King James Version, by Jay P. Green, published by McGraw-Hill; First Edition edition (1962); electronic edition, eSword® Version 10.1.0 Copyright ©2000-2012 by Rick Meyers; All rights reserved worldwide. Textural corrections in [ brackets] by David Robinson.

[9] All Scripture from  eSword® Version 10.1.0;  Copyright ©2000-2012 by Rick Meyers; All rights reserved worldwide.
[10] The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.
[11] Darby, J. N., 1890 Darby Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.
[12]The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
a  Ps 50:15; 120:1
b  Ps 3:4
c  Ps 34:15
a  Judg 5:4; Ps 68:7, 8; Is 13:13; Hag 2:6
b  Ps 114:4, 6
1  Or in His wrath
a  Ps 50:3
a  Ps 144:5
b  Ps 97:2
a  Ps 80:1; 99:1
b  Ps 104:3
a  Deut 4:11
b  Ps 97:2
1  Or pavilion
a  Ps 104:2
b  Ps 97:3; 140:10; Hab 3:4
a  Ps 29:3; 104:7
a  Ps 144:6; Hab 3:11
1  Lit confused
a  Ps 106:9
1  Or uncovered
b  Ps 76:6
c  Ps 18:8
[13]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[14]  The Holy Bible : Holman Christian standard version. 2009. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
[15] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[16] The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.
a  Ps 104:1, 35
b  Ps 33:21; 105:3; 145:21; Ezek 36:21; 39:7
a  Deut 6:12; 8:11
a  Ex 34:7; Ps 86:5; 130:8; Is 43:25
b  Ex 15:26; Ps 30:2; Jer 30:17
a  Ps 49:15
b  Ps 5:12
a  Ps 107:9; 145:16
1  Or desire
b  Is 40:31
a  Ps 99:4; 146:7
1  Or deeds of vindication
b  Ps 12:5
a  Ex 33:13; Ps 99:7; 147:19
b  Ps 78:11; 106:22
a  Ex 34:6; Num 14:18; Neh 9:17; Ps 86:15; Jon 4:2; James 5:11
b  Ps 145:8; Joel 2:13; Nah 1:3
a  Ps 30:5; Is 57:16
b  Jer 3:5, 12; Mic 7:18
a  Ezra 9:13; Lam 3:22
a  Ps 36:5; 57:10
1  Or revere
a  2 Sam 12:13; Is 38:17; 43:25; Zech 3:9; Heb 9:26
a  Mal 3:17
1  Or revere
a  Is 29:16
1  I.e. what we are made of
b  Ps 78:39
c  Gen 3:19; Eccl 12:7
a  Ps 90:5; Is 40:6; 1 Pet 1:24
b  Job 14:2; James 1:10, 11
a  Is 40:7
b  Job 7:10; 8:18; 20:9
a  Ps 25:6
1  Or revere
2  I.e. faithfulness to His gracious promises
b  Ex 20:6; Deut 5:10; Ps 105:8
a  Deut 7:9; Ps 25:10
a  Ps 11:4
1  Or kingdom
b  Ps 47:2, 8; Dan 4:17, 25
2  I.e. the universe
a  Ps 148:2
b  Ps 29:1; 78:25
c  Matt 6:10
d  Ps 91:11; Heb 1:14
a  1 Kin 22:19; Neh 9:6; Ps 148:2; Luke 2:13
b  Ps 104:4
a  Ps 145:10
[17]  New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
[18] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[19] Darby, J. N., 1890 Darby Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.
[20] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[21] The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.
[22] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[23] The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

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