Shabbat Chol Hamoed (Exodus 33:12-34:26)
Maftir: Numbers 29:20-25
Haftarah: Ezekiel 38:18-39:16
This week is the final Shabbat of the Torah reading cycle. We actually finish the reading of the Torah on Simchat Torah later on next week. Because this Shabbat is during the feast of Sukkot, there are special readings. This year we have concentrated on the haftarot, so this will be the final prophetic passage we study, as of next Shabbat we will return to discussing the weekly parasha.
The haftarah this week is the famous passage from Ezekiel dealing with the war of Gog and Magog. There is just one point that I want to speak about from this passage. The point is the futility of fighting against G-d. You might think this point is painfully obvious and does not warrant even a discussion, but I would argue that daily we war against HaShem’s will. Paul speaks of this inner battle in Romans Chapter 7, expressing that the very things he does not want to do, he does; and the things he wants to do, he does not. He closes this section with the key to having victory- Messiah Yeshua. Here again a Biblical truth that we already know. However the problem is that most of the time we do not realize that what is going in our life is spiritual warfare.
In reading the passage from Ezekiel one learns that this war (Gog and Magog) is also the war of Armageddon. The text clearly places this war immediately prior to the establishment of Messiah’s millennial reign. The text reveals that a great number of people will join on the side against Israel. In fact the vast majority of individuals will choose incorrectly and in the end will perish. Why is this? The answer is small deceptions. Satan is not foolish; in fact, he is very wise and he knows that to move people to serve him, it takes time. Satan’s patience and little deceptions begin with compromise. People slowly and seemingly innocently begin to compromise the instructions of the Word of G-d and little by little they find themselves, unbeknownst to them, far removed from serving G-d. How much can one have their mind deceived by Satan? Yeshua tells us.
“…Yea the time will come that whosoever kills you will think that he is doing a service to
G-d.” John 16:2
This is the time that we are fast approaching, when the “church” will become so apostate (See II Thess. 2:3) that it will become an instrument of the enemy of the True Body of Messiah. If this seems farfetched to you, then consider many of the positions of institutions like the World Council of Churches. Check out where they stand politically on things such as homosexuality, Israel, interfaith relations, abortion, etc. You may be most surprised how many of the main line denominations and even a growing portion of evangelical Christianity are changing their positions and embracing doctrines that violate some very basic teachings of the Bible.
If you think that you are not in a spiritual battle, then you probably have already been defeated.
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