The God of eternity revealed to Moses what happened on the first day of recorded history:
- And the earth was a formless and desolate emptiness, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening and there was morning, one day (Genesis 1:2-5)
As we read the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, we silently observe God moving His creation from darkness to light, from desolation to good. YHVH describes this process as a separation, creating order out of emptiness, creating history out of meaninglessness.
We humans are able to grasp the reality of this process by means of a mystical spiritual dynamic called faith:
- Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen . . . By faith we understand that the world has been created by the word of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things that are visible (Hebrews 11:1, 3)
In 1 Corinthians 13:13 Paul describes faith as the third of the three greatest qualities, after love and hope. Yet these three qualities seem to be drying up on the vine today.
- In our day things are not looking very hopeful, as Isaiah says: “Therefor justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We hope for light, but there is darkness – for brightness, but we walk in gloom” (Isaiah 59:9).
- In our time love is languishing, as Yeshua prophesied: “And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold” (Matthew 24:12).
Where can we find faith as darkness increases on this planet? How can we walk with hope (see 2 Corinthians 5:7), when our human sight shows us what seems to be an endgame of overwhelming darkness?
Darkness at the End of Days
The prophet Isaiah tells us that the last period before the return of Messiah will be characterized by increasing darkness on the face of the earth, exhibiting a grossness that has not been seen heretofore.
- “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of YHVH has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the peoples” (Isaiah 60:1-2; the Hebrew word for ‘gross darkness’ is ‘arafel’),
The astounding growth of evil in our day is manifest for all to see:
- rioting in the streets (anarchists, leftists, post-Panthers, neo-Nazis, etc.)
- the total collapse of biblical ethics in foundational family areas (marriage covenants, sexual ethics, abortion, and practices that the Bible never even got around to describing)
- the mushrooming growth of corporate fascism joined to pervasive propagandistic media
- the corruption of formerly trustworthy social pillars in the political, medical and media spheres, leading to unprecedented social control and manipulation
- the worldwide spread of economic slavery, something forcefully condemned by both the Hebrew prophets and even by Bob Dylan in his ‘Union Sundown’
- the swelling power of totalitarianism through thought manipulation, personal identity tracking, and civil liberty curtailment à la 1984, Brave New World, and modern China’s QR code systems
- the burgeoning geopolitical power grabs of resurgent Communist superpowers (China and Russia) and Islamist jihadi terrorist forces (like Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood/ Ikhwan, ISIS, Afghanistan, etc.)
MIT Senior Lecturer Peter Senge uses an old proverb purportedly spoken by Mark Twain to note: “Like the frog that will sit in a pot of water and let itself be slowly boiled to death, we are very good at reacting to immediate danger to our survival, but we are very poor at recognizing gradual threats.” (Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline, Currency and Doubleday, New York, 1990).
At what point will we frogs come to the conclusion that the pot we are in is actually filled with boiling water? At what point do ‘the last days’ become ‘our present days?’ How should we then live – today, in these last days?
The collapse of termite-infested Western society
Years ago the cutting-edge Christian philosopher and apologeticist Dr. Francis Schaeffer presented the example of a stately wooden mansion whose outer façade is untouched, yet whose foundations and insides are totally termite-infested and eaten away. A slight shaking of the earth, a freak wind – and the entire edifice collapses. Schaeffer drew the parallel to Western society, once built with firm foundations on biblical ethics, presuppositions and moral behavior. As German theological higher criticism ate its termite-like way through Christian belief in the reliability of the Scriptures, subsequent generations step-by-step dispensed with core beliefs. They questioned and eventually jettisoned:
- the existence of an Old Testament God who requires holiness and obedience
- biblical teachings on the deity of Messiah Yeshua
- biblical teachings on sexual fidelity in marriage and divorce
- biblical prohibitions against fornication and homosexuality
Within a number of generations, the Deutsche Christen (a pro-Nazi Christian movement) founded the fiercely anti-Semitic ‘Institute for the Study and Elimination of Jewish Influence on German Church Life’ (Instituts zur Erforschung jüdischen Einflusses auf das deutsche kirchliche Leben). This institute, headed by Walter Grundmann, denied Yeshua’s Jewishness and called for the removal of any Jewish elements from the Bible and from the Christian faith. Post-Christian Europe had murderously turned on the Jewish authors of the Christian Bible.
The four divine judgments on apostasy
When the psalmist declared, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3), he had some very specific things in mind. YHVH declares in Leviticus 26:14-32, Deuteronomy 32:23-35 and 2 Chronicles 20:8-10 that He brings specific judgments on nations that have departed from biblical foundations. They include war, famine, plague and wild beasts: “For this is what YHVH God says: “How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, vicious animals, and plague to eliminate human and animal life from it!” (Ezekiel 14:21).
When we pray what is commonly known as ‘the Lord’s Prayer’ (but which might more accurately be name ‘the Disciples’ Prayer), we ask the Father to fulfil His will on earth as it is already being done in heaven (Matthew 6:8-10; Luke 11:2-4). Part of His will being done on earth entails His judgment of the wicked (Matthew 3:11-12; Luke 3:16-17).
When Yeshua returns on His white horse (Revelation 19:11), it will be a sharp sword which comes out of His mouth to strike down the nations – not a long-stemmed red rose or a Woodstock-like tie-dye flower arrangement.
As our planet shudderingly grows darker, as the world senses the tremor of approaching collapse, we must seriously consider the coming likelihood of God’s impending judgment. We must be on the lookout for war, shortages of food, increasing diseases and other devastating manifestations of judgment.
Dr. Schaeffer adds a sober word in his magnum opus How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture:
- “Edward Gibbon . . . in his ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ said that the following five attributes marked Rome at its end: first, a mounting love of show and luxury (that is, affluence); second, a widening gap between the very rich and the very poor (this could be among countries in the family of nations as well as in a single nation); third, an obsession with sex; fourth, freakishness in the arts, masquerading as originality, and enthusiasms pretending to be creativity; fifth, an increased desire to live off the state. It all sounds so familiar.”
Let there be light!
Isaiah’s prophecy of amazing Last Days light brings us a context of great hope and faith. When gross darkness (the Hebrew word arafel) has sunk its teeth deep into the flesh of all the nations, the prophetic promise is that YHVH will shine His shekinah glory specifically on the Jewish people (the ‘you’ of Isaiah 60:1).
- Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of YHVH has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the peoples. But YHVH will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
In the immediate context here (Isaiah 59:15-21) we find Isaiah specifically talking about Zion and the Jewish people. This same context is referenced by the Apostle Paul in Romans 11:27, where he also adds Jeremiah 31:33-34 to the mix – the classic passage prophesying the receiving of the Jewish New Covenant by all the twelve tribes.
Isaiah is clearly confiding in us, if we will but accept his promise in faith, that when gross darkness covers the nations more than it has ever done so, God will break through by shining His Holy Spirit light on the entire Jewish nation in a sovereign and stupendous way, bringing life from the dead to the entire world (Romans 11:12, 15) which at present in the stranglehold of darkness.
Don’t be afraid! Press in with intercession for Israel!
Our generation is beholding the simultaneous shaking of the West and of the East. We are smack dab in the middle of great darkness and it will still be getting darker. Our prayers need to home in like a guided missile, penetrating the ‘anti-missile aluminum chaff.’ Let’s focus in on God’s priority focus – the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8; Isaiah 43:3-4).
Israel is the ultimate center of God’s Last Days focus. Jerusalem’s Mountain of the Lord will be the earth’s Last Days’ center, to which all nations will stream (Isaiah 2:1-4). Even now God’s eyes are running to and fro throughout the earth to see who gets His biblical focus and who is willing to bet his or her own life on it. Let’s stay focused and stay on target. Let’s remember that Israel is at the center of God’s prophetic heart. No other focus, be it on Egypt or on any another prophetic movement, will be able to go the distance in this race. God’s prophetic heartbeat is Isaiah’s prophetic plumb line:
- For I am YHVH your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other people in your place and other nations in exchange for your life (Isaiah 43:4-5)
The Star of David is our North Star. Hold On! He’s coming!
- But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you as a servant and a witness not only to the things in which you have seen Me, but also to the things in which I will appear to you, rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’ (Acts 26:16-18)
How should we then pray?
- Pray for the light of YHVH to enfold the Jewish people with revelation and salvation
- Pray for the body of Messiah to receive revelation of God’s strategies for Israel and to embrace them with a whole heart
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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