THE RESISTANCE SECRET
IT WAS EARLY morning. The sun hadn’t yet risen, and I would never have been up had the teacher not scheduled our time together for that hour. As we walked through the school grounds, we came to an open space in which several students were engaged in morning exercises.
“Notice that one,” said the teacher, pointing to one of the students exercising with weights and straining under the pressure. “He’s lifting weights. Why?”
“To become stronger,” I said.
“The principle of resistance. The man resists the weight by exerting his strength against it. The resistance causes him to grow stronger. And so it is with God.”
“What do you mean?”
“God calls each of us to grow . . . to grow in faith, in righteousness, in love, in joy, in hope, patience, peace, perseverance . . . in godliness. How do you do that?”
“Not by lifting weights.”
“But you do,” he said. “You grow stronger in these by doing just that.”
“What causes the weight lifter to grow stronger? Resistance. And what is it that makes you stronger in these things? Resistance. When you exercise the qualities of God against resistance, it causes you to grow stronger.”
“But with what weights?”
“The weights are whatever goes against the motion of what must grow stronger. So that which goes against love is the weight, the resistance that enables love to grow stronger. When it’s hardest to love, and you love regardless, your love grows stronger. When your circumstances are not conducive to joy, but you rejoice anyway, your joy increases.
When it’s hardest to do what is right, but you do it anyway, when it’s hardest to hope, but you hope anyway, when it’s hardest to be holy, but you turn down what is not holy, when you feel like giving up, but you keep going, and when all hell comes against you but you shine with the light of heaven, that’s when you grow stronger in God and in all these things. So don’t despise the resistance, but give thanks for it . . . and make the most of it.
Use every measure of resistance to exercise the good. They are the weights of your training that you might become one of the mighty.”
The Mission: Today, embrace the resistance. Seek out that which will challenge you, stretch you, grow you, and strengthen you in the Lord.
Romans 5:3–5; James 1:2–4
Pumping Spiritual Iron
THE SPECTRAL MESSIAHS
WE WERE IN his study. The teacher had placed a glass prism near the window causing a rainbow of light to appear on the opposite wall.
“The prism causes the light to break up into its individual parts, the colors of the spectrum.”
We walked over to his desk and sat down.
“Have you ever heard of the two Messiahs?” he asked.
“No,” I replied, “never.”
“In the books of the rabbis are writings that speak of two different Messiahs. The one is called Mashiach Ben David or Messiah Son of David.
This Messiah, they write, will fight for and deliver His people, sit on David’s throne, and reign over Israel and all the earth in the age of peace on earth, the kingdom of God. The other is called Mashiach Ben Yosef or Messiah Son of Joseph. This is the Messiah of sorrows . . . who suffers and dies for the redemption of His people.”
“Where did the two Messiahs come from?”
“From the prophecies of Messiah in the Scriptures. The prophecies only speak of one Messiah. But they couldn’t put it together, a Messiah who reigns victoriously and a Messiah who suffers and dies. So as the prism breaks up the light into the colors of the spectrum, the rabbis broke up the Messiah into differing images. But what happens if we put Mashiach Ben David and Mashiach Ben Yosef back together again?”
“One Messiah, two works, two appearings . . . two comings.”
“And which work,” asked the teacher, “and which coming would have to be first?”
“He can’t reign victoriously forever and then suffer and die. So the second appearance and coming would have to be that of the reigning Messiah. And the first would have to be of the suffering, dying Messiah.”
“It would have to be that way. And peace on earth can only come after making peace with God. But how can Messiah die and then reign forever?”
“By one thing only,” I said. “By resurrection.”
“Even the rabbis implied that the suffering Messiah would rise from death.”
“So the two Messiahs of the rabbis are really two witnesses of the two works and appearings of the one Messiah.”
“The one Messiah, Yeshua of Nazareth . . . who alone is true and all in one.”
The Mission: Messiah is the light in which all the colors of the spectrum become one. Bring everything in your life into Him—and it will become light.
Psalm 2; Luke 24:26–27; Revelation 5:11–12
The Rabbinic Mysteries I–VI…
THE POWER TO CAST A FOREST
I HAD TO WALK a bit to see what he wanted to show me. It was a forest, not far from the city, man-made and carefully tended. As we walked through the forest he began to share.
“A question,” said the teacher. “Could you uproot this entire forest and then throw all the trees at once into the distance?”
“Of course not,” I replied.
“But what if you could?”
“But it’s impossible.”
“No,” said the teacher. “It is possible . . . but you need to learn the secret. It’s all a matter of timing. If you tried to uproot this particular forest and throw it, in its present condition, it would, of course, be impossible. But if you tried to throw it at an earlier stage . . .”
“What earlier stage?”
“The seed stage,” he said. “If I gave you a bag of seeds, seeds which, if given root, would grow into this forest, and told you to throw the bag, you’d be able to do it. You would, in effect, be throwing an entire forest, the same forest, just at a different stage. But if you let the seeds become the forest, then you could never do it. It would take heavy earth-moving machines, countless days of hard labor to clear even a small portion of it. Or you could toss the bag of seeds. Thus, by doing so, you possess the equivalent power of all those earth-moving machines combined, and more. You would be, in effect, stronger than Samson. It would be as if you were living with (superpowers).”
“Assuming I’m not going to move a forest,” I said, “how do I apply this secret, this power, to my life?”
“In every way,” he said. “The way to deal with sin, every temptation, every evil thought, anger, gossip, lust, worry, bitterness, anything, is not to deal with it after you’ve let it take root and grow to become a tree or a forest. The more you allow the seed to take root, the harder it becomes to remove it, and the more energy, time, and effort it takes to get rid of it. But rather deal with these things when they’re only seeds, the moment they rear their heads. Practice this secret and you’ll save yourself countless heartaches, problems, and hours. And you’ll live with the equivalent of superpowers . . . the power of one so strong . . . he can throw a forest.”
The Mission: Today, practice dealing with every sin and temptation in its seed form and moment. Throw it out, and be glad. You just cast a forest!
Deuteronomy 29:18; Hebrews 12:14–15; James 1:14–15
The Sledgehammer Principle…
THE MYSTERY OF THE PLURALITIES
WE STOOD ON the flat top roof of one of the school buildings from which we took in a vast panorama of the surrounding desert landscape.
“Today,” said the teacher, “we bring together the pluralities . . . those mystery words of Hebrew that can only be expressed in the plural. Tell me what you remember of them.”
“Elohim,” I said, “the word for God.”
“God, who transcends all things and all that we think He is.”
“Chayim, the word for life.”
“That life is more than this life and, in God, is unending.”
“Rachamim, the love of God, His mercy and compassion.”
“That there is no limiting of God’s mercy and no end to His love.”
“Shamayim, the word for heaven.”
“That there’s always more to heaven than you think there is.”
“Jerusalem . . . Yerushalayim, the City of God.”
“That there are always two Jerusalems, that which you see and that which is beyond seeing, that which is, and that which is yet to come. Do you see any pattern,” he asked, “anything that binds them all together?”
“They all bear the property of transcendence.”
“They do,” he said. “And together they bear another revelation. Chayim, life everlasting. Where will we spend it? In Shamayim, heaven. Where specifically? Yerushalayim, in the New Jerusalem, the Jerusalem above, which is yet to come.
And what will be flowing in that city? Mayim, yet another of the pluralities, the river of living waters. And what will fill up the New Jerusalem? The Panim, the Face of God. And what will be the essence of heaven and that which fills up its every moment? ”
Rachamim, the infinite, overflowing, never-ending love of God.
And what will it all center on? It will all center on Elohim . . . God. For what are all the pluralities about? That which is beyond. And so they will all be part of the beyond. And they tell us that the things of God are beyond containing and beyond the end. God is beyond all that is spoken of God, beyond all that is thought and imagined of Him, and beyond all the praises that are lifted to Him. He is beyond even the beyond. For His love to us . . . His love to you . . . has no limits and no end. It is beyond all things from everlasting to everlasting.”
The Mission: Take time today to meditate and dwell on where you will dwell forever, and on all its never-ending and everlasting pluralities.
1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 3:20–21; Revelation 22:1–5
The Hebrew Mysteries I–IV…
Excerpt From: Jonathan Cahn. “The Book of Mysteries.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/v7hZdb.l