One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

I have told you in advance."

Chapter 15:
Mental Preparedness

Studying the written word

In order to be mentally prepared for what is to come, one must have a good understanding that he will, in fact, face the Anti-Messiah. This means that he must know the difference between the wrath of YHWH, and what it means to undergo tribulation. A good working knowledge of the subject is needed in order to continue to live a victorious life. One must have complete dependence upon the Holy Spirit to have the understanding needed to prevail under the pressures that this life so often delivers upon mankind; especially, it seems, upon the followers of Yeshua.

This chapter will distinguish between YHWH’s wrath and tribulation. Comprehending this difference is crucial to gaining and holding onto a victorious life, particularly during the tribulation period at the end of the age.

YHWH’s Wrath

YHWH’s wrath is that unfailing opposition of His holy love, and that steady holy displeasure (Revelation 14:9-11) directed at sin (Revelation 14:19), which originates from within the very nature of YHWH Himself (Romans 2:5). Because YHWH is a holy Elohim, He must punish sin and evil. He is so holy, that sin and evil cannot come into His presence. The Scriptures teach that it is the unrighteous (Romans 1:18), the unrepentant (Romans 2:5), and the disobedient (Romans 2:8), who will experience the wrath that is to come. Each person at one time, if not presently, was subject to this coming judgment. However, if a person believes upon Yeshua Messiah, he is no longer a child of wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9), because Yeshua has taken upon Himself (Ephesians 2:3) that penalty (wrath), so that they might be spared (escape) and have eternal life (Romans 6:23).[32]

YHWH’s wrath needs to be distinguished from the great tribulation or persecution. YHWH’s wrath is reserved for the wicked and non-disciples. However, anyone can experience tribulation, especially disciples in Messiah (John 16:33). While YHWH poured out His wrath upon the people of Egypt, the children of Israel (YHWH’s people) suffered tribulation at the same time. The suffering of this tribulation was due in large part because of Israel’s association with YHWH, and the Egyptian’s putting the blame upon them for their plight. This was not only true then, but it has been true throughout the ages, and will be true during the great tribulation. YHWH can, and has, poured forth His wrath and protected His children from His wrath, in the midst of that wrath (Exodus 8:22-24; 9:6; 9:26; and the Passover 12:23ff.). This is made possible by the Blood of the Lamb being applied to the heart of the disciple. In addition, as a result of that wrath being poured out blame will be fixed upon the people of YHWH, and they will suffer persecution and tribulation as a result.

Testing Of the Saints

The norm of the life of a disciple is one of trial and testing, much of it coming from YHWH Himself. Peter admonishes that this should not surprise the true disciple.

1 Peter 4:12, 13
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Messiah's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Please note, that this testing of disciples will continue until the revelation (APOKALUPSIS) of Yeshua Messiah. These things come upon disciples of Yeshua that they might share in the sufferings of Messiah and be found worthy of eternal life.[33]

James echoes this same truth, that disciples are to be joyful in these hard times (1:2-4). That sounds like a difficult thing to do. No one likes to suffer, so to have joy while going through a trial, almost seems contradictory. However, James goes on to say, they have the privilege of asking for wisdom if they do not know how to have joy in their trials (1:5).

James 1:2,3 (NAS)
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

Romans 5:3
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

In both of these passages, we are to exult in the hard times, because this produces endurance or perseverance, something which we all have need of (Hebrews 10:36), “so that when you have done the will of YHWH, you may receive what was promised.” The writer to the Hebrews further teaches on enduring when he says,

Hebrews 12:7 (NAS)
“It is for discipline that you endure; YHWH deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”

Notice that the discipline that YHWH uses in the life of the disciple often comes in the form of trial, tribulation, or suffering. That is not to say that all suffering in the life of a disciple is discipline from YHWH. It can, at times, seem rather harsh, but YHWH always applies the needed discipline with love, care, and compassion. He will do what is necessary to make His people into the image of His Son for the sake of His kingdom, as He continually sanctifies each and every disciple.

Those who take the name of Messiah may suffer at the hands of those who do not believe; i.e.,“persecuted, but not forsaken” (2 Corinthians 4:9). The world may throw its worst at His own, but He shall never forsake them or leave them. Nor will He allow the disciple to suffer more than he is able to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The early disciples counted it an honor to suffer for the name of Messiah (Acts 5:41). Paul even wrote to the disciples at Philippi that there was “fellowship” in the sufferings of Messiah (Philippians 3:10). Then Peter wrote that,

1 Peter 3:14
But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

Finally, the enemy, the Devil, comes in all his might to tempt YHWH’s children to do evil, to disobey the Spirit that dwells within us. However, YHWH is mightier than he who dwells in the world; and He has provided the way of escape for them in advance.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NAS)
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and YHWH is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

What is “the way” of escape? Knowing the answer to that question is probably the key to understanding this verse. Notice that “way” is not plural, indicating that there is only one way. The question then comes to mind, “What is ‘the way’ of escape?” John 14:6, states that Yeshua is “the way”. The way of escape is Yeshua! The way is not a what, but rather a Person. The only victorious way to deal with one’s troubles in his everyday living can only be found in the person of Yeshua. Yeshua is the only Person who ever was able to resist temptation and not sin. He is the only One who can help one not to sin. When temptation comes, whatever the form, He will not allow one to be tempted beyond his spiritual maturity. Not only this, but He has been tempted in all things, and knows how to help His people in that hour of need. The temptation disciples are dealing with has plagued all of mankind. That common temptation is to not obey YHWH. Nevertheless, each person must choose to obey Him, because they love Him. This is where the spiritual battle is the fiercest in the life of the follower of Yeshua.

Temptation needs to be distinguished from tribulation, persecution, trials, and troubles, suffering, and testing. When a disciple enters a test, YHWH is teaching that person a truth that he cannot afford to miss. However, with each test comes the adversary to tempt the disciple to fail the test, to tempt him to be disobedient to YHWH. Learning to recognize the test early on will not only help speed the learning process, but also shorten the test, as well as lessen the chance of succumbing to the temptation.

Then, notice that having examined testing, trials, suffering, tribulation, persecution and now temptation, one is brought back to the need for enduring. To have these truths fixed in one’s mind, will go a long way towards preparing one for the hardships that are to come. If a person knows sufferings are coming, and is not surprised by the onset of such normal things, then it becomes more likely that he will be able to endure to the end without faltering and coming up short of the “upward call of YHWH in Messiah Yeshua.”

Being mentally prepared is not a substitute for being ready spiritually, nor is it a substitute for the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the disciple, but rather, in conjunction with it. This will be dealt with in the following chapter on Spiritual Preparedness, and more in the last two chapters of this book.

[32] Beacon Dictionary of Theology, Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1983, Page 552.

[33] This worthiness is not a result of works or actions on the part of the disciple, but upon the holiness of Yeshua. However, it can be clearly shown in Scripture, that no person can have eternal life who is not obedient to YHWH by obeying His commandments.