September 2012 Yavoh

Electronics in the Great Tribulation

The world we live in today is vastly different from ten, twenty, and thirty years ago. Today, we use cell phones, tablets (iPads), the internet, desktop/laptop computers, and GPS navigation systems on a daily basis.

If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, your life is an open book.

All of this technology has utterly shredded what used to be called privacy. Almost all businesses now employ video technology to monitor all public activity in and around their premises. You cannot go through a toll booth or a major intersection in a city without being video-recorded with a time/date stamp. If, for fun, you decide to go to a casino, you will be scanned with facial recognition software while being video-recorded. Before you make it through the lobby, casino security will know who you are, checked you against criminal databases, have your credit report, and know your personal preferences on social media. This capability is called TrapWire and is used by the government using all video sources, including all public areas.

Recent laws passed by Congress (to protect us from terrorism) have permitted the intelligence services to collect all this electronic data in strategic fusion centers for dissemination to various law enforcement and federal agencies.

Recent news reports have now revealed that local law enforcement agencies now have their own drones to provide real-time airborne surveillance. This includes visual (photographic), infrared (heat signature), and sniffing sensors. They can initially locate anyone by monitoring where their cell phone is (which tower it is ringing off of) and can determine a person’s entire social network (all their friends and family with their locations) anytime it is a high enough priority. Armed drones are right around the corner. This is in addition to the Federal government’s ability to read your wristwatch from an intelligence satellite and their own multi-sensor intelligence drones.

It is not a question of whether the government can track and monitor you; it is only a question of whether you are of particular interest to the government. Whatever you do in the privacy of your backyard can be seen.

We have learned to be very dependent upon the technology we use. We have abandoned the “old” ways we used to do things and some of that old stuff doesn’t exist anymore. Should there be any disruption of service to all this high technology, businesses will cease to function (work stops). Everything literally comes to a halt. In fact, this kind of disaster is more serious than a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or flood. The government will declare a state of emergency from our technology going down faster than a natural disaster. It is that serious.

The primary threat to our high technology is EMP (electromagnetic pulse). EMP can come from a solar CME (coronal mass ejection) or a nuclear detonation. A sudden spike of EMF (electromagnetic force) burns out circuits as it makes its way to ground (O volts). Integrated circuits, computer chips, and other delicate electronics don’t have a chance. They are all returned to nature as crispy bits. Cyber warfare is on the rise. You can be assured that in the next war, cyber attacks will be a major issue for the nation. It is not that we would just have a loss of service; this kind of warfare can seriously damage infrastructure systems that can harm many. Take for example a water purification plant, an airport, a power plant, a chemical factory, or other protected systems. The list of potential targets is more numerous than I can list and the impact is nothing short of devastating.

The government has been preparing a long time for such an event, which means that the general public will be blind and deaf while the government hopefully can still see and talk in an attack. While the general population will be at the mercy of wherever they are, the government will have to implement emergency procedures just to protect the government from its own citizens. Won’t that be fun? You lose your cell phone service and SWAT teams tell you to stay in your house indefinitely.

This is the world we live in today.

Can you imagine the panic and dismay that will come to the general public when their electronics are no longer operating? You won’t want to be there at that time. So what is the point of this little article?

When you get ready to escape in the Great Tribulation...

Close your email account. Delete your email addresses, close out your Facebook account, check out of Twitter, mail your cell phone to a friend in California. If you are in California, mail it to a friend in Alaska or to an island in the Pacific and don’t include a return address. Unplug your computer, remove the hard drive, destroy it with a hammer, and dispose of the parts in multiple places. Whatever you do, don’t bring your cell phone or iPad with you to the “Camp of the Righteous.” We don’t want anyone locating you with those devices.

Tablets are okay and a laptop is okay if it does NOT have a wireless connection. The IP address on your device will give you away just like a cell phone. Also, don’t plan on bringing or using your own “walkie-talkies.” Any transmitted signal will trigger a government sensor array.

Anything that uses a battery should be questioned as to whether you bring it or rely on it. You can’t carry enough batteries for 3 ½ years and you won’t have a plug for your battery charger. A GPS unit is cool but the Lord has promised to be our GPS navigator. He is higher up than the GPS satellites. A radio will allow us to hear the government’s emergency broadcasts, but hearing the Lord’s promises will be better.  An mp3 player can have worship music and you can recharge batteries from a solar recharger or an inverter off of car batteries, but the Lord truly enjoys a joyful noise and worship from the heart.  Your teen's hand-held video game system has no business in the camp. There will be much more important things to focus on. I can assure you that you will not use your electronics once the Lord returns nor in His kingdom. Remember, we are leaving Egypt and going to the Promised Land.

I’m sure that once we are in the Lord’s kingdom, we will look back and think of our electronic gadgets as archaic junk.


Strong & Courageous

Before Joshua and the children of Israel crossed the Jordan and entered the promised land, Moses exhorted Joshua with these words, “Be strong and courageous!” These are wonderful words and, in hindsight, they seem perfect for the setting Joshua was in; but I wonder how encouraging the words were for Joshua and those with him at the time they heard them. They were facing a lot of unknowns, and there was plenty of conflict to deal with.

I believe these same dynamics will face the Tribulation Saints at the beginning of the Great Tribulation prior to their crossing over to the Messianic Kingdom. I say that because the Lord has put me through a training program of my own to understand those dynamics and prepare for them. Let me share my story.

In 1994, the year before Lion and Lamb Ministries began, I found myself in one of the most stressful times of my life. It began with the Lord saying to me that He was going to do something different with me. At that time, I had a very successful career in engineering. But then one beautiful morning I found myself looking out the window of my office through a morning mist with the sun’s rays streaming down. God’s voice came to me quietly, almost whisper-like, and announced that change was coming to my life.

From that day different events began to happen. I found myself having to testify as a witness against my own company in a matter of serious wrongdoing with a customer. Because of my excellent reputation with the customer, the company laid the blame on me to avoid further customer action. My management essentially double-crossed me to cover its own misdeeds. At the same time, I suffered from an attack of severe esophageal stress. Then I was diagnosed with severe depression. Then, while resting at home, I accidently pinched my sciatic nerve and couldn’t stand or walk for several days. I was now on short-term disability with my work. Then my mother passed away. 

Like I said, it was a difficult time for me. Then, one morning I awoke very fatigued and in pain. Severe depression does that to you. In an attempt to get out of bed, I found myself bent over backwards, feet hanging off the bed but unable to rise. That is when I cried out to the Lord, “I’m tired of this lesson Lord! What am I supposed to be learning? Let’s get on to the next lesson!” The Lord answered me in that quiet voice again. He didn’t seem to be very sympathetic.

“If you weary with the footmen, what will you do with the horsemen?” I recognized these words from Jeremiah. I then understood that the Lord was showing me the oppression and hardness that the Tribulation Saints will endure in the Great Tribulation. In that moment God restored my strength and my health. I was healed, but I now had a concept of the dynamics of what would happen. The saints will suffer losses and injuries. Depression will follow, but we must learn not to become weary.
 
Shortly after that, my boss advised me that I was slotted for lay-off in early 1995. He was very concerned for me, but I comforted him by saying that nothing was happening to me that the Lord had not planned. Despite losing things and loved ones, the Lord had shown me His strength and given me courage. He had shown me how I could share that same strength and courage with others in the face of depression, fear, and exhaustion. I now understood that those dynamics were temporary and not permanent.

In the days that followed my job termination, the Lord showed me my new job was to start Lion and Lamb Ministries in March of 1995, exactly 40 days after my layoff. He also gave me a definite task and purpose – to help brethren learn the commandments of the Lord (Torah), the story of the ancient exodus from Egypt (the lesson therein), and to prepare for the Greater Exodus from the nations at the end of the ages.

At the very beginning of the ministry, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do first. To my amazement, he didn’t want me to start a television program, a radio program, a new congregation, or write a book. The first task the Lord gave me was to make anointing oil. I remember announcing this to my wife and her asking if I knew how to make anointing oil. I said, “No, but I am going to learn.” At that point I knew nothing of essential oils; but I did know that the recipe of anointing oil used in the temple was NOT to be replicated.

I obeyed the Lord and blended a recipe of essential oils, with one ingredient distinct from temple oil. The anointing oil offered by Lion and Lamb Ministries is that oil first offered more than 17 years ago. Once the oil was bottled and labeled, I asked the Lord why He had me make anointing oil. He knew that I was not in the habit of going around anointing brethren on a regular basis. I was a teacher. So, why should this be the first product of the ministry? What did this have to do with understanding the trauma and oppression the tribulation saints would endure or how to help them?

He took me to very powerful passage in Isaiah, one quoted by the Messiah Himself.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord,... ISA 61:1-2a

This verse, spoken by Yeshua, explains why He was anointed (the Messiah) and sent by the Father. But the remainder of the Isaiah passage goes on to describe others who are anointed to proclaim something very different.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me... to proclaim... the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. ISA 61:1a, 2b, 3

These words speak of a person being anointed to proclaim the day of God’s “vengeance” as opposed to the “good news.” Yeshua came first as a lamb, now He comes as a lion. The day of God’s vengeance is referring to the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. This person is to comfort all who mourn. It also describes believers being granted a garland, being anointed, and having a mantle placed on them. These recipients are Tribulation saints. What intrigued me the most was the significance of each grant or gift given to them: a garland, anointing oil, and a mantle.

I had just made anointing oil as the first task of the ministry! The Lord showed me that this oil would be used for the saints in the Great Tribulation! This oil would be used to comfort those who mourn in the Great Tribulation.

Why will everyone be mournful? Consider this. Every believer who escapes will know someone (even family members) who refused to escape. They will also know that those folks will most likely die during the Great Tribulation. Besides, they will have walked away from homes, their past life, and from many friends and family. The reality of the Great Tribulation will begin to sink in. There will nothing comfortable or convenient about escaping, surviving, and enduring.

Many in the camp will not have reasons to be happy; they will be full of sadness for others. In that despair, this is why the Lord will offer encouragement that goes beyond understanding. A garland, oil of anointing, and a mantle at first blush don’t seem like much to meet this need, but think about what each is and means.

The garland is placed on the head of a person who is victorious. It means that person has won! It won’t seem like a victory during the Great Tribulation, but it will lead to a victory by God that we will be part of. I can see the day when I will encourage someone by twisting a leafy branch into a crown and placing it on their head, honoring them in the camp.

The oil comes with a sweet fragrance, a fragrance that will be a refreshing moment of joy to lift up a soul. I can see the day when I will pour oil on the heads of those who mourn and watch them experience a refreshing moment of pure joy.

The mantle is placed upon the shoulders and used to cover oneself. It will be a praise upon them. I can see the day when I will take my tallit and wrap another in it to honor their life. These will only be small measures, but they will be the comfort they need in a time of mourning.

I can see the day when many will say, “Be strong and courageous!” These words will be like fuel to an engine, a sharpened blade to a knife, and the fiber to stand straight. These were the same words used three times by Moses to prepare Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the promised land. The first time Moses personally encouraged Joshua.

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. DEU 31:6

The second time was done openly for all of Joshua’s brethren to see.

Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance.” DEU 31:7

The third time Moses spoke at Joshua’s commissioning, charging him with the duty to lead.

Then He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you.” DEU 31:23

However, this particular encouragement was not limited to just Moses and Joshua. The Lord, Himself, then offered this exact encouragement. He tied this encouragement to commandments and objectives. First, the Lord tied it to receiving the promised land.

Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. JOS 1:6

Secondly, He connected it to keeping the Torah.

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. JOS 1:7

Finally, the Lord used it as a hedge against fear and questioning when and where they were to go.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. JOS 1:9

Finally, this encouragement was tied to Joshua’s leadership within the camp.

Anyone who rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous. JOS 1:18

Joshua then used this very encouragement directing it to his fellow Israelites.

Joshua then said to them, “Do not fear or be dismayed! Be strong and courageous, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies with whom you fight.” JOS 10:25

The exhortation to “be strong and courageous!” is the great exhortation of going to the promised land. It is directly connected to God’s presence with us – He will not fail you nor forsake you.

This is the right exhortation for us today. As we sit on the edge of the end of the ages and watch the beginning of the Great Tribulation, we need this exhortation. It’s like taking a deep breath before submerging in water. It’s like cinching up your belt before picking up a great load. It’s like the first steps of a great adventure, having united your heart with your soul. There is nothing “half-hearted” or “lingering doubts” about these words.

There are distinct parts that make up every person. One is their soul where their identity, personality, and intellect reside. Secondly, there is the heart where they have their emotions, feelings, joys, and fears. Additionally, they also have their will. The will of a person is where courage lives. Some people have strong wills and others have small wills. When we encourage someone, we are speaking directly to the will of the person, not their soul or heart. Let me illustrate.

Picture a young boy who wants to go swimming. He has his suit on and is standing at the edge of the pool, but he fears that the water will be cold so he hesitates. There is no need to explain swimming to him (he has sufficient knowledge - soul) nor do you need to give him the desire to go swimming (he wants to - heart). Instead, to overcome his fears it is necessary to offer assurance or challenge him to build up his will (courage).

In the same way, many brethren today understand that the Lord has promised to return and there will be traumatic events prior to His return. Many of the same brethren want (desire) the Lord to return, but like the little boy, they anticipate (fear) things that may be uncomfortable or difficult ahead.

What do we say to those future tribulation saints about what we are seeing today? Yes, we review the prophecies and our shared observations, we wrestle with how despicable the world has become, confessing we would rather be in the kingdom. But, what do we do to encourage the brethren?

Answer: We teach them what God did in the past for His people. We show them the promises God has made even to the last generation – His salvation and deliverance. We lead them to act out their faith by keeping the feasts, in particular the Feast of Tabernacles, to see for themselves how we can live in tents and experience joy in the Lord. We then share the words, “Be strong and courageous” to challenge them, build up their courage, and muster their strength.

Let’s be honest. No one is going to make it through the Great Tribulation because they have the right tent or enough food and water. A lot of things are going to happen in 3½ years. No one can make it unless God helps them by His grace and strong hand.

Preparation does not save us; but it works hand in glove with courage. A courageous person pushes fear away by acting on God’s promises. His faith—believing the promises of God—becomes visible for everyone. This is the kind of faith that James was referring to:

You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; JAM 2:22

Faith that is perfected understands and acts on the prophecies of the Master’s return. That action is preparation. Without preparation, a tribulation saint will be severely handicapped. Without courage, a tribulation saint won’t be able to journey from place to place as the Lord leads. Without faith, a tribulation saint will not make it. What is worse, he will most likely discourage (take other believers’ courage from them) and cause harm to others besides himself.

If James were here today, I believe he would exhort you this way, “You say that you believe in the Master’s return. Show me your preparation and I will show you your faith to believe it.”

Do you remember what just ten of the twelve spies did when they gave their “bad report” about the promised land? They “melted the hearts” of the people. Only Joshua and Caleb were strong and courageous and gave an encouraging word. As a result of the bad report, the people refused to follow the Lord. They told God that it would be better to die in the wilderness rather than go to the promised land with the Lord. The Lord granted them their desire and that generation died in the wilderness.

This is why Moses strongly exhorted Joshua to lead the next generation (their children) into the land. Moses did not want to see them make the previous mistake. This is why we must learn this lesson of the past, since we will face the same challenge to go to the promised land (Messianic kingdom) in our day.

“Be strong and courageous!” must and will become the battle cry for the tribulation saints.