Though believers and non-believers alike suffer, what makes the called out ones different is that suffering normally causes us to draw nearer to Yahuwah. I’m reminded of numerous astonishing testimonies’ that have come out of great suffering. Some believers actually became believers due to their suffering. Now that is amazing! For instance, one brother was in an accident that really did a number on his leg. He couldn’t work. Instead of becoming a television junky he chose to study the Scriptures. As his leg healed so did his spiritual being. He learned the importance of the Qodesh Names, the Sabbath, Seven annual Feasts and much more. Those of us who have a love for Torah know that He formed each of us before we were placed in our mother’s womb. Yahuwah’s timing is perfect, why would it not be since He is the creator of time. Therefore, would He not know how to call each of us? Of course He knows E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! I speak a truth, way too often we get in the hustle and bustle of life that many forget about the Creator. Or we just don’t make that special time with Him. I myself have failed in this area before. That is why the Messiah, Yahushua told us about the Sower. Remember, the cares of this world would draw some away. Let us recap this parable especially those seeds that land on the thorns:
“And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:” –Matthew 13:7
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”-Matthew 13:22 (KJV)
So the thorns are those that let the cares of this world draw them away from Yahuwah along with the work in the vineyard. Thus these seeds become unfruitful. What we should pay special attention to is the fact that the seeds are indeed children of the Kingdom:
“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;”-Matthew 13:38 (KJV)
The fact remains that at times us called out ones have let the cares of this world draw us away. Considering all this let us deeply ponder on Yahushua’s words:
“What man among you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and get after the one which is lost until he find it? “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she finds its? (Luke 15:4; 15:8) (KJV)
Brothers and Sisters, we cannot ever put the Mighty One of Yisra’el, in a box. He knows how to knock on the door to our hearts and grab our attention. You see when life is honky dory some tend to neglect or spend less time with our beloved Bridegroom. This does not mean the person is not keeping Torah but just that they are not dedicating their time as they should. In result of this they may need a wakeup call. The point of the matter here is that not all suffering is the result of sin or even an evil spirit.
Yet great suffering can and does bring enormous spiritual growth. Even in your own life you may recall how personal suffering brought you closer to Yahuwah. At an early age, I indeed sought Yahuwah due to the extreme suffering of my childhood. If I may share I was eight weeks premature due to my mother having T.B. (she lost a lung because of it) and my physical body suffered greatly. By age two, witnessing family members getting shot, including the murder of my mother by my dad, was enough to cause major emotional suffering along with traumatic stress. Being taken from the only family I knew and forced into a foster home brought physical abuse. If matters could not possibly get worst, the next thirteen years brought a suffering that is sure destruction of the entire person. Sexual abuse of a child is devastating. This form of suffering literally steals the entire being (body, mind, and spirit) of the child. Most do not overcome this form of suffering. Nevertheless, halooing (crying) out and seeking Yahuwah the child can endure that suffering. The child can also be fully restored. Let us never forget, that each of us, is an over comer through faith in Yahushua! This means in the midst of chaotic situations a normal person may totally be defeated yet the disciple of Yahushua, through the power of the Ruach Ha Qodesh can walk away stronger!
Those that are in full time and even part time ministries, actually suffer quite a lot. That fact remains that while working in Yahuwah’s great vineyard, we are bound to come across a few bees and spiders every now and then. Those pesky creatures do hurt when stung or bit.
Just forget about those fundamentalist preachers that are always shouting, “Prosperity.” To further expound on this practically, every single F.O.Y. publication was made while suffering. For instance, the book, “Doctrine of Nicolatanes” was written within two weeks while suffering in bed. “The Eight Tabernacles of Yahuwah” again was written while suffering with pneumonia while in bed. “The Imposter” book was written in eight months with extra ordinary suffering. Hindrance after hindrance yet we pressed forward. The making of “The Imposter” movie oh man, you would not believe what we went through. The movie also took eight long months to complete, working six days a week with abnormal suffering. All this suffering the F.O.Y. ministry endured in the long run helped many. Therefore, if you are trying to get a message out there and it seems bad matters are occurring take the matter to Yahuwah. Do not listen to others telling you that the work you are doing must not be Yahuwah’s will since you are suffering. No one should ever assume such things.
Speaking of this, to my surprise we are seeing more and more believers jump on this band wagon called self righteousness. Way too many are claiming all forms of sickness and disease are the results of sin or an evil spirit. This simply is not true. Time and time again, we learn from reading the Scriptures that many of the children of Yahuwah suffered. Their suffering was not because of sin but because Yahuwah was going to be esteemed through their lives.
To further explain, let us take a peek into Joseph’s life. We all know how this humble servant of Yahuwah was raised up to the highest position throughout all the provinces of Mitsrayim next to Pharaoh. But did you ever stop and walk a mile in his shoes? Ok, I know that is not possible however have you ever considered how he suffered? How miserable and terrifying that must have been to be sold into slavery by your own brothers! Ponder for a moment, the pain, anger and grief Joseph went through. I’m sure he thought we would never see his beloved dad, brother or home again. That alone could have caused great bitterness, depression, grief, distress… in essence, he suffered. Some would claim that sin is what caused Joseph to become a slave to a gentile.
In a moment his life drastically changed. Even the grief poor Jacob went through upon seeing Joseph’s clothes torn, covered in blood believing a wild beast had indeed killed his beloved son. People might have easily blamed Jacob as doing some awful sin because his son died. Yet, that was not the case at all. Let us not overlook the suffering and guilt Joseph’s brothers had to live with. Seeing the father’s sorrow they caused on Jacob must have been almost unbearable. Yet there was no turning back. What was done was done!
Despite one sinister act that caused multiple sufferings, they were not forsaken. Yahuwah had a plan much greater than they could ever comprehend. Even though they could not see past the horizon, the Great I Am was moving mountains. Unlike them, as the page turns we see what lied ahead for them. Who’d imagine that one act of selling young Joseph into slavery would lead up to showing the entire world how Yahuwah is the Mighty One of Yisra’el!
“And for this reason I [Yahuwah] have raised you up, in order to show you My power, and in order to declare My Name in all the earth.”
This was not just for that generation but for every generation throughout world history.Wow! Oh HalleluYah! Shout it out, Praise Yahuwah! I don’t know about you but I can hardly contain myself…I am filled with so much joy! This is so much bigger than what they could have imagine.
Many called out ones are quick to erroneously blame suffering and disease on sin. Therefore let us see if we can locate at least two witnesses from the Scriptures that say otherwise.
In the Tanak we come across the story of Job/Yob. How many of us can relate to just a little of what he experienced. I know I sure can. The suffering of Job/Yob is a great example of how one can suffer without having some type of sin. The Scriptures say he was a pious man (Job 15:4). This means that Job/Iyob showed a strong reverence for Yahuwah. This man loved Yahuwah so much that he even made burnt offerings on behalf of his children. (Job 1:4-5)
In one terrible night he lost his cattle, wealth, most of his servants and his children. Upon hearing this devastating news, he didn’t ask why nor did he think about all that what if’s, instead he tore his garments, did obeisance and said, “Yahuwah has given and Yahuwah has taken away. Blessed be the Name of Yahuwah!” (Iyob 1:21). If all that was not bad enough, matters got much worst. The adversary then attacked Job’s health. He deteriorate quickly. Suddenly his body was afflicted with loathsome sores from his head to his feet (Job 2:7). When it seemed matters could not possibly get any worse, his helpmate vehemently turned on him. She told him to curse Eloah and die. As this perfect man opened his mouth wisdom echoed, “…should we only accept good from Eloah and not accept evil?” Job 2:10.
Being forsaken and sick Job truly suffered beyond human understanding. Moved by compassion his three closest friends decided to visit him. Scriptures tell us that for an entire week they didn’t say a word. They truly believed Job had done some sin to deserve all this evil. Eliphaz goes so far to say,
“…Who, being innocent, has ever perished? And where have the straight ones ever been cut off? According to what I have seen, those who plough wickedness and sow suffering reap the same. Through the breath of Eloah they perish, and through the Spirit of His nostrils they are consumed.”
Job’s three friends were greatly mistaken. Yahuwah was trying to show them and us that we must not ever be swift to pass blame. This is a wicked matter amongst the body of Mashiach. This matter desperately needs to be addressed. I’m sad to say that way too many are so quicken to judge those that are working in Yahuwah’s great vineyard. The fact remains that we are not all going to agree on all matters. Nevertheless, putting our little differences aside finding common ground is much better than beating each other up!
Let me take some time here to share how the recent May 17th accident can be a stepping stone for all of us. One matter we all can learn from is that Yahuwah is still in the business of doing miracles! Can I get a HalleluYah? Despite the present circumstances you might be going through, put your trust in Yahuwah. As believers, we were astonished and moved with great joy in seeing the Body of Mashiach come together. Thousands of believers from all over the world came together lifting a daughter of the Most High up in prayer. Each one of us can be very thankful that there are indeed faithful believers out there that will pray when asked.
Yet we also saw that the spirit of Eliphaz is still amongst the Body. For those who claim that the Father said this or the Father said that, when the outcome turned out to be different was not good. I beseech each of you; please test the spirit before wanting to be the barer of bad news that never even occurred. To make erroneously claims that this accident occurred because we are causing a stumbling block by telling people the Father and Son’s Name, is so far from the truth. The entire Great Commission work is just that, proclaim the Besorah of Yahushua! The Scriptures I read has told me to go into all the earth telling the lost about Yahushua. We were also told to immerse them in the name above all names.
The Greatest Conspiracy of all time is to suppress the name and bring it to naught! Some still want to hide the name. Even the prophets of old spoke, “Thus said Yahuwah!” And that is exactly what the F.O.Y. ministry will continue to do. Then there was the one that actually thought we made the entire accident up, “If you’re telling me the truth that your daughter really got hit by a truck, if she really did…” Why would we want to bare false witness? Then there were the ones that claimed if we didn’t repent Felicia would die, the false prophets signed it, “Love Yah!” Despite this, all we have to say is, “Yahuwah forgive them for they know not.”
I speak of these matters not to put down but to somehow build up the Body. Before anyone can pass judgment I humbly ask each of you to stop and ponder, what am I doing to proclaim the Besorah? Am I proclaiming? Am I doing what Yahuwah has called me to do or am I just a bench sitter, running my mouth? Sure it is easier to sit on the side lines putting down others who are indeed laying their lives down daily to spread the Besorah. The Body of Mashiach, must not hold the same ideology as Job’s three friends had. Brothers and Sisters we cannot knock one another down with self righteousness. Job’s friends truly believed Job’s suffering was because he sinned. To them, he must have sinned to receive such harsh punishment. To the human mind good should always be rewarded whereas evil should always be punished. However, that is not necessarily Yahuwah’s ways though. He tells us that, “..My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares Yahuwah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than yours ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Yashayahu 55).
As for Job, he eventually finds comfort in Eloah. He walks away from this suffering stronger than ever before. As the situation turns out, in the end Job actually ends up praying for his three friends. He even makes burnt offerings on their behalf. Job truly suffered and was a great example of how suffering does not always mean the sufferer has done some terrible sin.
The best example of one suffering without sin, is of course the Messiah Yahushua! Job was a shadow of how Yahushua would come as a humble suffering servant. The following verses give us a glimpse of what Yahushua would have to endure:
“Who has believed our report? [Do you believe?] And to whom was the arm of Yahuwah revealed? For He grew up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or splendour that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should desire Him- [Yahushua was not some macho physique looking movie star as Hollywood would have Him betrayed] despised and rejected by men [have you ever been rejected, it hurts doesn’t?], a man of pains and knowing sickness [He suffered]. And as one from the face is hidden, being despised, and we did not consider Him [Again not the Hollywood macho man]. Truly, He has borne our sicknesses and carried out pains [He carried all this for you and me]. Yet we reckoned Him stricken, smitten by Elohim, and afflicted [The suffering servant]. But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our crookednesses [Thank you Yahushua for what you done for me]. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed [HalleluYAH!]. We all, like sheep, went astray, each one of us has turned to his own way [Forgive us Yahuwah, let us each have full repentance]. And Yahuwah has laid on Him the crookedness of us all [Thank you for sending Him!]. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, but He did not open His mouth [The humble servant]. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter [Yahushua is the Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world], and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, but He did not open His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment. And as for His generation, who considered that He shall be cut off from the land of the living? [The perfect example how Yahuwah’s ways are higher than ours. Many thought when the Messiah came He would physically fight for Yisra’el destroying the Roman Empire. This was not the case as Yahushua has told us, “My reign is not of this world…” (Yohannan 18:36)], For the transgression of My people He was stricken. And He was appointed a grave with the wrong, and with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was deceit in His mouth. But Yahuwah was pleased to crush Him, He laid sickness on Him, that when He made Himself an offering for guilt, He would see a seed, [Do you feel it…? Right in the pit of your being? Get’s me every time. Do you see, Yahuwah loves us so much that He allowed Yahushua to suffer for us!] He would prolong His days and the pleasure of Yahuwah prosper in His hand. He would see the result of the suffering of His life and be satisfied [Let all the earth Praise Yahuwah!]. Through His knowledge My righteous Servant makes many righteous [Again, Praise Yahuwah!], and He bears their crookednesses. Therefore I give Him a portion among the great [For He is indeed great.], and He divides the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His being unto death, and He was counted with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” –Yashayahu 53:1-12
Beloved ones, this is the greatest love story ever told. As a matter of fact this is the creme of the crop of everything known to man! Comprehending this is wisdom. Every time I read those words, my eyes fill with tears. All I can do is be thankful while praising Yahuwah. He was indeed our Passover unblemished spotless perfect Lamb (1 Peter 1:19). His blood is what makes atonement for our sins (Hebrews 9:12). Rejoice with me! Truly, Yahushua suffered immensely. Listen to His words:
“And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and falling on His knees He was praying, saying, “Father, if it be Your counsel, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My desire, but let Yours be done.” And there appeared a messenger from heaven to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He was praying more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”-Luke 22:44
Yahushua knew….He knew the suffering He was about to go through. He could of ran and hid. But like a faithful servant He totally submits to Yahuwah’s will by saying ‘not my desire but let Yours be done.” As He laid down His life, many mocked Him. At the very moment when He gave up His spirit, He did the biggest act in all of History. Nothing will ever compare to what Yahushua did for mankind. We are forever grateful. Through His suffering He becomes the chief hero of all time.
Another witness of how suffering does not always mean one is sinning is the story about the poor blind man.
“And passing by, He saw a man, blind from birth. And His taught ones asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” Yahushua answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of Elohim might be made manifest in him.” –John 9-1
Hmmm, neither this man nor his parents sinned! Exactly! The main reason why we suffer is that through our weakened earthen vessels, Yahuwah will be esteemed. Upon understanding that it is HE that has the final say so in all matters, that person has gained great wisdom. In all His splendor and esteem, our human minds can never fully fathom His power or His ways! Considering the depth of such matters, instances will occur down here on planet earth that we just do not comprehend or fully understand. However, we can trust that all matters work out for the good of those who love Yahuwah as described in Romans 8:28.
Whether the suffering is because of some sin bringing the sufferer to repentance or if it is just a test of faith, members of the Body need to be compassionate. Instead of coming against the sufferer we should show sympathy along with practicing the fruits of the Ruach towards the sufferer. Let us not be like the spirit of Eliphaz.
The Body of Mashiach must understand that this present earth age is a time of trials and tests. Each of us, shall be refined. As we approach these last days now more than ever the called out ones, must comprehend that Yahuwah is in control! The issue of just because something bad occurs in a believers life does not necessary mean it is the result of some sin or an evil spirit.
So the question remains, must we suffer? To those of us who freely choose to pick up our staff and walk as Messiah Yahushua walked, yes we will suffer. Ponder on the following:
“For to this you were called, because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:22)
“But you be sober in all matters, suffer hardships, do the work of an evangelist, accomplish your service completely.”
(2 Timothy 4:5)
“As it has been written, “For Your sake we are killed all day long, we are reckoned as sheep of slaughter.” –Romans 8:36
So we will suffer. Not necessarily because of some terrible sin. But you see, by us suffering, Yahuwah will use this to prune and refine us. Never shall we forget that we are simply clay and He is the Potter. Let us therefore, keep ourselves pliable. By doing this, the Potter can continue to mold and shape us. If it is His will for us to suffer then let us be strengthened through the suffering. Despite our present circumstance, we can rejoice knowing that we trust in Yahuwah!