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

Prepared to Flee

Matithyah (Matthew) 10:23
“But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next; amein, for I say to you, you shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man has come.”

There are several truths which Mashiach Yeshua taught His followers that are pretty much ignored today. We need to bring these truths out, dust them off and set them before us so that we may obey our Master in all things. The principle that Yeshua set forth in the above verse seems to be one of those truths that is pretty much ignored today. Instead, what one finds in its place is political activism. People are always attempting to fix, i.e., make more righteous through political means, the society in which they live. This is simply not what Mashiach Yeshua commanded His followers to do.

What we are to be active in doing is building our Master’s kingdom, but nowhere are we commanded to be active in Babylon or the Babylonian system. In fact, we are commanded to come out of Babylon. The problem is that either this is ignored, or most do not even have a clue as to what it means to come out of Babylon.

Gilyana (Revelation) 18:4
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her My people, that you do not partake in her sins, so that you receive not of her plagues.”

The clear indication of the above passage is that those who participate in the sins of Babylon will also receive of the plagues which YHWH shall pour out on her to destroy her. Now, how does one participate in Babylon? Is one not participating in that system when one tries to fix the system? However, it is a system that cannot be fixed. In fact, we know that it will be destroyed along with all those of that system. We are commanded not to participate in this system trying to fix it, but we are to get out of it completely and totally. Otherwise, those who don’t should rightly expect to receive of the same plagues that YHWH will pour upon that system in judgment.

What Mashiach Yeshua actually taught His followers is that they are to be ready to flee. If one receives persecution, then he is to leave that city and go to another city. The type of persecution that Yeshua is speaking of is persecution that would lead to one’s imprisonment and/or death. If one’s life or livelihood is threatened, then he is to flee. Nowhere is one commanded in Scripture to attempt to fix this unrighteous Babylonian system.

Please also take note of this passage with regards to fleeing.

Matithyah (Matthew) 24:15-20
15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that reads understand),
16 then let them that are in Judaea flee to the mountains;
17 let him that is on the housetop not go down to take out things that are in his house;
18 and let him that is in the field not return back to take his cloak.
19 But woe to them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days!
20 And you pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on a Shabbat.”

There are several things which are noteworthy from the above passage in this present study concerning what Mashiach Yeshua taught about fleeing. First, please briefly consider the abomination of desolation which is first mentioned by Daniel. It has been taught by some that this passage has already come to pass when Titus destroyed the temple in 70 C.E. However, one should reconsider such a teaching. Let us back up to the time when Daniel gave this prophecy somewhere around 538 B.C.E.; so one would expect to see a fulfillment of this prophecy sometime after this date. In fact, one finds the first fulfillment of it in 168 B.C.E. under Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) when he desecrated the altar of YHWH in Jerusalem. When he did this, many pointed to this event as a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. It was not until Yeshua taught His followers that there was another fulfillment coming, that the idea of another fulfillment was even considered valid by most.

In considering what Yeshua taught, please pay close attention to what He said, and in particular the order in which He said it. Please note that He taught that when one sees the abomination of desolation, then he is to flee. When Titus was coming to destroy Jerusalem in 70 C.E., those who followed Yeshua fled before he arrived and laid siege to the city. They fled before the abomination stood in the Holy Place. So, while Titus is a type of fulfillment, just as Antiochus is a type of fulfillment, it is not the fulfillment which Mashiach Yeshua was actually warning about in this passage concerning the latter days.

There have been and continue to be many anti-Mashiachs. Both Antiochus and Titus were in this category. However, there is one who is coming who will be the epitome of all the previous anti-Mashiachs and he will be the ultimate fulfillment of the abomination of desolation. It is this man who will make war against the people of YHWH. This is ultimately what Yeshua is warning about in the latter days.

Another aspect of this passage that one needs to take into prayerful consideration is that Mashiach commanded His followers to pray that their flight not be in the winter. While this has some very practical applications in the pashat (literal) level of understanding, as it would not be a pleasant experience to flee and be on the run during the cold winter months, perhaps our praying that one’s flight would not be in the winter has even greater meaning than what one finds on the surface. Let’s please consider this next passage.

Shemot (Exodus) 12:11
“And thus you shall eat it with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste; it is YHWH's Pesach.”

First, please consider the meaning of this passage in the context of this first Pesach. YHWH had poured out upon Egypt nine plagues up to this point. As YHWH gets ready to pour out this tenth plague of the death of all the firstborn of Egypt, of both man and beast, He also commands Israel to be ready to leave Egypt. In doing so, they are to be fully dressed (loins girded); they are to have their traveling shoes on their feet and their staff in or at hand. They are also to eat their meal with great haste and trepidation. They are to be ready to go. In modern language and understanding one might say that they were to have their bags packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

In our study on Pesach we discuss at length that the commandments of Pesach are from generation to generation; they are eternal.

Shemot (Exodus) 12:14
“And this day shall be to you for a memorial, and you shall keep it a feast to YHWH; throughout your generations you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.”

So throughout the generations of Israel, we are to eat the Pesach meal with our loins girded, our shoes on our feet and our staffs in our hands; we are to eat this meal with our bags packed and be ready to go. Perhaps what we have not seen up to now is just how literally we should take this commandment.

Yirmeyah (Jeremiah) 16:14-15
14 “Therefore, behold, the days come,” says YHWH, “that it shall no more be said, ‘As YHWH lives, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt’;
15 but, ‘As YHWH lives, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the countries where He had driven them.’ And I will bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers.”

We know from this passage as well as other passages that there is another exodus coming, an exodus of His people not out of just one country as before when YHWH brought us out of the bondage of Egypt, but rather an exodus of His people from all the countries of the world where He has driven us because of our sins and lack of repentance, or, to use a Scriptural phrase, from the four corners of the earth.

What one does not want to miss here is that there is coming another exodus, an exodus that will be greater both in scope and magnitude! So, when we keep Pesach from year to year, we are actually rehearsing for this coming exodus that has been prophesied long ago. That is, we are rehearsing for the coming exodus if we keep Pesach according to His commandments rather than according to the traditions of man.

When Mashiach Yeshua came in the flesh about 2000 years ago, He was hung upon a cross at the time of the Pesach. When this happened He began to fulfill this feast in a way that would ultimately bring all of His people back to Himself and back to the land which He promised to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’aqov. Why do we say “began” to fulfill? We say began to fulfill, because in the type and pattern set forth in Egypt at the first Pesach, the lamb was slain and the blood of that lamb was then applied to the doorposts and lintel of each home. Likewise, Mashiach was slain as the Pesach Lamb of Elohim. We can have His Blood applied to the doorposts and lintels of our own hearts in preparation for when He “passes over” all the earth to reap it.

Gilyana (Revelation) 14:15-19
15 And another messenger came out from the temple, crying with a great voice to him that sat on the cloud, “Send forth your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap is come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
16 And he that sat on the cloud cast his sickle upon the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 Another messenger came out from the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another messenger came out from the altar, he that has power over fire; and he called with a great voice to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, “Send forth your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.”
19 And the messenger cast his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and cast it into the winepress, the great winepress, of the wrath of Elohim.

The completion of what Yeshua began to accomplish 2000 years ago at the time of Pesach is being described here in this passage. For, we do not want to miss that the culmination of putting the blood of the lamb on the doorposts at the time of the first Pesach ended with the death of all the firstborn of Egypt.

Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 1:9
That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.

YHWH works in types, patterns and foreshadowings. If one truly wants to know what YHWH is doing or going to do, then he simply needs to look at what He has already done. The tenth plague in Egypt ended with the death of all the firstborn of Egypt. The “firstborn of Egypt” are a type of the first fruits of Babylon, i.e., those who belong to Babylon, are from Babylon, and who never separate themselves from this unrighteous system, nor do they have any desire to do so. In this way this foreshadows what one sees recorded in the book of Revelation above with YHWH reaping the earth; furthermore, those who are reaped are the unrighteous, for they experience His wrath as stated in verse 19 above.

So, as YHWH begins to open one’s eyes to His appointed times and seasons and he begins to understand the importance of keeping and doing His feasts, he is actually rehearsing on a yearly basis what is to come in the latter days. It is in this context that he needs to understand these words of Mashiach Yeshua.

“And you pray that your flight be not in the winter.”

The literal meaning of this commandment is simple and to the point; we are commanded to pray that our fight would not be in the winter. I wonder, do you pray this prayer? Yeshua taught us to pray this. Don’t you think that it would be a good idea for each one of us to pray this prayer? So, what are you waiting for? Pause right now and pray this verse, and also include that our flight would not be on the Shabbat.

At a deeper level of understanding, when we look at this command to pray that our flight would not be in the winter, Yeshua is actually telling us something very important about when our flight in the latter days will actually be when we understand it in the context of the yearly festival cycle.

Let us remember now that we are to celebrate Pesach each year forever. When one celebrates Pesach according to Scripture it always comes each year in the spring. This was the time of the first exodus. This is the pattern that YHWH has set before us so that we can understand when the season for the second exodus will come upon us. So, when we are commanded to observe the Pesach with our loins girded, our shoes on our feet and our staff at hand, which quite literally means that we are to have our bags packed and be ready to go, we are actually rehearsing for the time to flee the coming abomination of desolation.

Now I will confess to you that in the past I have had my shoes on and a staff at hand but that has been about the extent of it. However, since YHWH has increased my understanding to include that I should have my bags packed and be ready to flee, I also include my bugout bag as well. We should actually be doing this each and every Pesach as it is an eternal commandment. What this will do for us spiritually is to help us to keep a right perspective on the events in our world and not to grow too attached to so many things in our lives. If you can’t carry it, then it is not that important. If it will not help you survive in the wilderness, then what good is it? This commandment to eat Pesach with our loins girded, our shoes on our feet, and our staff at hand, and then to eat it in haste and trepidation, is very similar to the commandment at Sukkot to live in booths for seven days. This is to teach us the transitory nature of our existence in this world and that we are to be focused upon the Olam Haba - the world to come.

Here is the thing about the coming exodus, it is prophesied and it will happen at some point. Humans being what they are, have a tendency to think that, when something is far in the future, it will always be far in the future. However, we seem to have entered into a time when the second exodus is quickly coming upon us. Do I think that it will be this next Pesach? I honestly do not know. But this is what I do know. We should be ready to go, because He commanded it! I mean that quite literally. For consider this passage.

Matithyah (Matthew) 24:16-18
16 then let them that are in Judaea flee to the mountains;
17 let him that is on the housetop not go down to take out things that are in his house;
18 and let him that is in the field not return back to take his cloak.

One of the truths that Mashiach Yeshua taught us is tha,t when it comes time to flee that is not the time to go and pack one’s things, for there will not be time. One of the things that Yeshua is impressing upon His followers is to be ready to flee at all times, particularly during the season of Pesach.

So here is what seems prudent that we all should do. We should each one get a pack, like a backpack and put together some elementary survival gear. Put in it those things that one would need to survive in the wilderness. For when that time comes, we will not have the ability to go to any store or to buy or purchase anything at all. Let us not forget this passage.

Gilyana (Revelation) 13:17
and that no man should be able to buy or to sell, except him that has the mark, even the name of the beast or the number of his name.

We will need to discuss exactly what the mark is in a separate study, but what we need to understand for this study is that there is coming a time when those who follow Mashiach Yeshua will not be able to buy or sell anything. So, if you need something, now is the time to get it and put it in your pack. Now is the time to get ready and stay ready. If you put something in your pack that is time sensitive, like pain relievers, then rotate your stock in your pack from time to time. When you run out in your medicine cabinet, then put what is in your pack in the cabinet and get a new bottle for your pack. Don’t forget to replace what is in your pack!

It is not my desire to sound like an alarmist! What is my desire is to teach His word. Furthermore, it is my desire to live His word and for you to do the same. It is not being an alarmist to obey His written word or to obey the sound of His Voice, even though those in the world would think differently. We are not of this world and it is time that we get out of its system and live fully for Mashiach Yeshua.

I have been hearing increasing reports of YHWH impressing upon people to do certain things, like moving. Some of those people are waiting. Brothers and sisters in Mashiach, if YHWH is impressing upon you to do something no matter how great or how small it is, then now is the time to do it. Do not delay!

Habbaquq (Habakkuk) 2:3
For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hastens toward the end, and shall not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay.

While all the things that have been prophesied from long ago have tarried up till now, the day quickly approaches when these things will come to pass.

Kepha Bet (2nd Peter) 3:1-4
1 This is now, beloved, the second epistle that I write to you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by putting you in remembrance;
2 that you should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of YHWH and Savior through your apostles;
3 knowing this first, that in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts,
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming?” For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

As Kepha writes even just a few decades after the death of Mashiach there were those who had already begun to doubt that Yeshua would return as He promised to do. Do not believe those who mock in this fashion, for even though He delays in His return, He will come again. In the grand scheme of things, according to YHWH’s clock it has only been two days since His departure. Kepha even makes this very point in the verses that follow the passage above.

Kepha Bet (2nd Kepha) 3:8-9
8 But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with YHWH as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 YHWH is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

The return of our Master is as sure as the rising and setting of the sun. But there are those who use His delay in coming to take advantage of His people.

Luqa (Luke) 12:45-46
45 “But if that servant shall say in his heart, ‘My master delays his coming’; and shall begin to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
46 the master of that servant shall come in a day when he expects not, and in an hour when he knows not, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint his portion with the unfaithful.”

Just as Yeshua taught in this parable concerning those who are leaders over their master’s house, so too, when He sets a person over His house, if such a one is not faithful, then Yeshua Himself will cut him off. I know of instances where there have been those “leaders” who have declared that the time to flee was at hand and that all those who followed that leader were counseled to sell all they had and give the proceeds to him. Brothers and sisters, this is wrong! We may certainly sell some of the things that we possess, but we should use those proceeds to make preparations in one’s own family first for these coming days.

This does not mean that we are to be selfish with what we have. On the contrary, there will be those who flee who did not make the same preparations and as such there will be plenty of opportunities to share at that time. The main thing is this, we need to follow closely Mashiach Yeshua and listen to and obey His Voice. We need to walk according to His Spirit. If His Spirit directs us to do something, then that is what we need to do as we respond to Him in loving obedience.

The times that we live in grow more perilous each day. As such, we need to have verses such as this in the forefront of our minds and hearts.

Matithyah (Matthew) 10:16
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore you be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

Now a dove can do no harm to anyone or anything. They are completely harmless. However, a serpent can bring harm to just about anyone or anything with their venom. Scripture also says this about serpents.

B’reshit (Genesis) 3:1
Now the serpent was more crafty than any wild animal which YHWH Elohim had made.

This particular serpent who Satan spoke through used trickery and cunning to get Chavah (Eve) to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. Likewise, we as followers of Mashiach Yeshua need to be as equally cunning in dealing with the beast system and those who are a part of that system. What you plan to do concerning your flight, do not share with just anyone. Be wise in who you share this with. Why?

Matithyah (Matthew) 10:17
“But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and in their synagogues they will scourge you;”

Let us remember that in the time and culture during Yeshua’s day the synagogue did double duty. Not only was it a place of worship and study, but it was also a house of judgment. It was a place in which men went to receive a verdict of judgment in disputes. Today we would call such a place a courthouse. Yeshua tells us that this will happen in the interim while He is absent from His people. In fact, the delivering up of one man by another will grow worse and worse as the time of His return grows close. But, not only will other people do this to those who follow Mashiach Yeshua, but well-meaning relatives will do it as well.

Matithyah (Matthew) 10:21-23
21 “And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his child; and children shall rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake; but he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next; amein, for I say to you, you shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man has come.”

If a person truly loves YHWH and desires to live for Him and actually steps out in faith and does his best to hear and obey His Voice, then not only will the world hate him, but even members of one’s own family will hate him because they do not understand the true cost of following Mashiach Yeshua; for they are being held in the grip of the beast system. It is for these reasons that Mashiach Yeshua taught one to be wise as serpents. Yes, we love our family members and we do not want to see them perish. However, this does not mean that we are to bring those who are not true followers of Mashiach Yeshua into the “inner rooms” of our lives and let them know everything that He is leading us to do.

Matithyah (Matthew) 10:34-37
34 “Think not that I came to send peace on the earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I came to set a man against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in-law against her mother in-law;
36 and a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he that loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

Brothers and sisters, do not use human wisdom in dealing with family members who are outside the covenant promises of Mashiach. We must use His wisdom and walk in His Spirit. Otherwise, surely the members of one’s own family could easily be the demise of a talmid of Mashiach Yeshua. That family member most likely would do so out of a misplaced love and concern for us. But the beast system has stepped up its assault upon families, attempting to divide them and to set one against another. There are few families in which this is not true, for we all have relatives who do not understand our walk and the seriousness of our commitment to Mashiach Yeshua. There may even be those in our families who are equally committed “Christians”, not understanding that “Christianity” is actually a part of the beast system and that we are commanded to come out of it.

One final thought.

Luqa (Luke) 22:35-36
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you forth without purse, and wallet, and shoes, did you lack anything?” And they said, “Nothing.”
36 And He said to them, “But now, he that has a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet; and he that has none, let him sell his cloak, and buy a sword.”

The truth is that we have an obligation according to Torah to protect our family and loved ones. This does not mean that we go out seeking trouble, but that when trouble comes, we are ready to defend our families and loved ones.

Are you ready?

Will you get ready?

It is time to get ready!

May YHWH give each one of us of His wisdom in knowing what He wants each one of us to do to get ready in these days! Furthermore, may each one of us do so in a timely fashion so that when Pesach comes this year, we are ready to go like never before!

ABBA YHWH, pour Your Spirit upon us and fill us up to overflowing that we may walk in complete and total obedience to Your Voice; in the name of Yeshua our Mashiach we pray.

Amein and amein.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah