John and I have tried reaching our neighbors and other new friends in the past few months with the beauty, joy, and depth of our intimacy with Yeshua/Jesus and our Hebrew understanding of the Scriptures, and for the most part it has resulted in people pulling AWAY from us and NOT wanting what we had to share. In fact, as I sought the Lord at 3:30 this morning, the Spirit told me, "MANY still recoil from anything that sounds JEWISH. They are rejecting ME, not you."
I listened to Joel Richardson this morning, teaching on Revelation 10. He opened up to me the deeper meaning of those verses and suddenly SO MUCH CLEARED UP IN MY UNDERSTANDING OF THESE DAYS WE ARE IN RIGHT NOW. Joel explains that the little scroll of Revelation 10 represents the BOOK of GOD'S STORY, beginning with the beautiful first coming of the baby in the manger, the first coming of the Messiah and His redemption and reconciliation of all who would believe. SWEET AS HONEY! But then the scroll finally opens to the Last Days, the horrors prophesied in Revelation, the suffering, persecution, pain and death of the believers – and it turns SOUR.
And so, as Joel said, “Only a few are willing to EAT THE SCROLL and spend the time in all the prophetic scriptures of these last days, carrying the burden that feels HEAVY and SOUR in our stomachs." I just wrote in my journal a few days ago that I don’t feel like eating. My stomach has felt SOUR. And as I thought about all this, suddenly I clearly saw what is happening to us right now. We ARE spending much time in the prophetic endtime Scriptures, studying, wanting to be equipped for what is coming, wanting to prepare the way for the KING! We know it means we have to BUILD UP OUR FAITH AND OUR COURAGE, preparing to STAND. We are EATING THE SCROLL and many with whom we are trying to form relationships do NOT WANT TO GO THERE. They want to watch football and soccer and Netflix and some want to “play church.”
Suddenly I really understand why people cannot identify with John and me and why they are shunning us. When they enter our home, they encounter the Angel who held the scroll, the Mighty Angel, the Root of David, who is robed in a cloud with a rainbow above His head, His face like the sun and his legs like fiery pillars! And it’s as if they cry out, “No! Don’t get any closer!” and then they flee from us. But it’s really that they flee from HIM.
In the middle of the night, as I wrestled with my perceived feelings of rejection and loneliness, I got still before the LORD and asked Him to speak to me. Here is what I heard:
"Oh my child, stop fretting! Stop fretting! Not all will see, not all will hear. Not everyone can receive what is deposited in you. Many will be offended. Remember that the devil himself is still trying to erase the Jews from the earth because he wants to erase ME. I AM born of a Jewish woman. I AM the Torah incarnate. I AM the Passover Lamb. God chose to bring My seed through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Men are not offended by you, but by ME. Do not let them steal your joy. Do not let them question your faith. I AM the Lion of Judah and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star. I AM your Bridegroom-King. Do not be ashamed of Me or shrink back from My Word. You are my Hephzibah and I take delight in you!"
What a precious Word - one that we all should take to our hearts. Revelation 10 verses 6 and 7 joyfully cry out to us: “There will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to His servants the prophets.”
Amen! Let us eat the scroll and then experience the sweetness and joy and assurance of the honey in our mouths, the pure message of atonement in the blood of Yeshua and eternal life in His resurrection – and then let us be WILLING to eat the scroll and thank You for the persecution and the pain and the suffering that may envelop us in the future, Lord, as we await Your deliverance, Your return on the clouds, amidst Your voice like a lion, the seven thunders roaring and the lightning and fire flashing across the sky!
Yes, we are waiting. And in the waiting period we are called to stand - and sometimes (often) that means we will stand alone.
It has been a LONG time since I've written about the precious baby boy named John (now affectionately known by all as "JJ," whom God brought to my husband John and me for day care. That beloved little guy is about to turn three years old! Words cannot express what a gift he has been to us, especially in the midst of my husband's journey with Dementia. With little ones there is no Dementia; there is no skin color, there is no gender confusion, there is just a bubbling, happy desire to play and greet everyone and LOVE without discrimination.
Do you remember the old musical "South Pacific?" It incuded a song about this and here are the lyrics to that song, which has been resonating in my spirit lately:
You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!
Today the temperature really rose for the first time this summer so we got out the little kiddie swimming pool and enjoyed playing and splashing with JJ. His continuous, contagious laughter filled our afternoon and I couldn't stop thinking how blessed we are to have a three-year-old who calls us Nana and Papa John (even though we are not really grandparents) and who fiercely loves us as if we were! A child doesn't know who is in his family tree. A child just knows he is loved - and boy, does he love us back!
In the first month of his life we got the news that his paternal grandmother had passed away from cancer. Now his other grandmother's life is being threatened by kidney disease. and her husband is in assisted living. He is so very young to lose his grandparents and never get to learn from them and experience their love. But God! The Word says that He "sets the lonely in families" (Psalm 68:6). I have always cherished that verse, knowing that Jesus Himself modeled it for us when his disciples told Him, "Your mother and brothers are outside," referring to his blood relations; but He replied, "Who is my mother and who are my brothers? For whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven is my brother and sister and mother" (Matthew 12:50). He was illustrating for them and for us that God will place us in spiritual families who will love us with HIS love and walk with us on this faith journey.
It was time to lift JJ out of the little pool, wrap his soaked body in a towel and bring him inside to dry off. As I was changing his clothing I scratched at a red welt on my leg and said to him, "Ouch! A bug bit my leg and it hurts!" He stopped the frolicking and rolling on the bed, drew very near to me, his small hands cradling my face, and with a tone of deep compassion he said, "Oh Nana, I'm SO SORRY!" Then he put those little arms around my neck and hugged me very tight, wanting so much to make my bug bite all better. I was undone! It was such a genuine, God-given love that he shared with me. And all I could think of was the time that Jesus' disciples basically told him to send the children away, and He rebuked them. Luke 18:15-17:
People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Oh, little JJ, you demonstrated the pure Kingdom of God toward me today! Your face showed such deep concern for me and your embrace caused His love to explode all around me! You have not been taught to hate; hopefully you never will be taught such things as prejudice, or God forbid, "Critical Race Theory." JJ is simply pouring back the love into me that I have poured into him, and he understands the Kingdom of God in a way that I probably lost a long, long time ago. But I am moved to strive toward receiving the Kingdom like this almost-three-year-old, who has given not only love, but purpose and meaning to both John and me, in a very powerful way.
Kelly Ferrari Mills