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   Peter, Paul, and all the other Apostles had to deal with mockers in their day, as we will in ours. People today, for the most part, ignore Yahweh and His Word.
   Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with [their] mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For [ever] since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation,” 2 Peter 3:3–4. New American Standard Bible used unless otherwise noted.
   It’s interesting to note, that these are evidently believers in a Creator and have knowledge they are descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the fathers of Israel. Some, though very few, are coming out of Babylon, as we are told to do in Revelation 18:4.
   In the Messiah’s day, there was much more anticipation for His coming than there is today. There also was more of a calling – as with the early rain in its season – than there is today.

The Promises
   Peter [said] to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the Name of Yahshua Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as Yahweh our Elohim will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” Acts 2:38–40.
   We tell the world the same things. This message began to be preached with John the Immerser, and was taken up by the Messiah and His disciples to our day. Yet, the Message wasn’t new. It was introduced thousands of years earlier. The Apostles understood and thoroughly explained it.
   [Remember] that you were at that time separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without Elohim in the world. But now in Messiah Yahshua you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah, Ephesians 2:12–13.
   “Excluded from the commonwealth?” “Strangers to the covenants?” “Having no hope and without Elohim?” That’s why the world is in such sad shape! Yet, there is hope through the promises of the Messiah.
   And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that Elohim has fulfilled this [promise] to our children in that He raised up Yahshua, as it is also written in the second Psalm “YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU,” Acts 13:32–33.
   It was remarkable to everyone who heard this message, that Yahshua Was, and Is, the prophesied Messiah, even the Son of Yahweh.
   From the descendants of this man (David), according to promise, Elohim has brought to Israel a Savior, Yahshua, Acts 13:23.
   Many in Judah were expecting a Savior. Maybe even some from the descendants of the ten northern tribes were expecting Him (see John 4:25). Yahshua was the answer to their wondering how Yahweh purposed to save and bless all (or even a remnant) of Israel.

The Mystery Revealed
   And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Messiah, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; [to be specific], that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Messiah Yahshua through the evangel, Ephesians 3:4–6.
   The manner by which this would occur, was revealed by the messenger Gabriel (thought to be an archangel) who spoke directly to Zacharias, that of his seed one should come (John the Immerser) to prepare the way.
   And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed [be] Yahweh Elohim of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant – as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old – salvation FROM OUR ENEMIES, and FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US; to show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear (of wrath or death eternal), in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on BEFORE YAHWEH TO PREPARE HIS WAYS; to give to His people [the] knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our Elohim, with which the sunrise from on high will visit us, TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF TDEATH, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel, Luke 1:67–80.
   This was spoken to Israel, and reminds us of whom the Messiah came for – “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). (As a review, read Genesis 17 and Luke 1). Read also our ministudy entitled, The Hope of Israel.

Promises to the Fathers
   The Apostle Paul stood accused of preaching the resurrection of the dead, and specifically, of Yahshua’s resurrection from the dead (Acts 24:13).
Rightly defended himself, he said, And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by Elohim to our fathers; [the promise] to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve [Elohim] night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews. Why is it considered incredible among you people if Elohim does raise the dead? Acts 26:6–8.
   Paul’s defense before Festus and Herod Agrippa focused upon the covenant promises made to the fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and, to David, through whose seed the promise was fulfilled in Yahshua the Messiah.
   For I say that Messiah has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of Elohim to confirm the promises [given] to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify Elohim for His mercy; as it is written, “aTHEREFORE I WILL GIVE PRAISE TO YOU AMONG THE GENTILES, AND I WILL SING TO YOUR NAME.” Again he says, “bREJOICE, O GENTILES, [WITH] HIS PEOPLE.” And again, “cPRAISE YAHWEH ALL YOU GENTILES, AND LET ALL THE PEOPLE PRAISE HIM.” Again Isaiah says, “dTHERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE, AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE.” Now may the Elohim of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, Romans 15:8–13 (a2 Samuel 22:50; Psalm 18:49; bDeuteronomy 32:43; cPsalm 117:1; dIsaiah 11:10).
   Yahshua, being a descendant of David and of the lineage of Judah, is fulfilling the promises of Yahweh to the patriarchs of Israel, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
   The invitation, however, is to all:
   Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David, Isaiah 55:3 NIV.
   Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost, Isaiah 55:1 NIV.
   Yahshua, too, on the last day, the great day of the feast, stood and cried, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37).

Promise of the Holy Spirit
   Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of Elohim, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear, Acts 2:33.
   In Him (Messiah), you also, after listening to the message of truth, the evangel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of [Elohim’s own] possession, to the praise of His glory, Ephesians 1:13–14.
   The Holy Spirit is the Promise and Seal of the New Covenant, establishing what was promised thousands of years ago. What is occurring here, is an adoption into the commonwealth of Israel of whom, and for whom, are the Law and the promises (Eph. 2:12) – for the native born as well as for the stranger (Acts 10:35; Exod. 12:49; Num. 15:15–16).
   These are clear promises to those who walk in righteousness. Therefore having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of Elohim, 2 Corinthians 7:1.
   Who decides what is defilement of flesh and spirit? Who decides what is holy and what is not? Yahweh is the Sovereign. He sets the rules.
   For, What agreement has the temple of Elohim with idols? For we are the temple of the living El; just as Elohim said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR ELOHIM, AND THEY SHALL BY MY PEOPLE. Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says Yahweh. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; and I will welcome you. And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says Yahweh Almighty, 2 Corinthians 6:16–18.
   We are given the same instruction as Israel, as they prepared to cross over the Jordan into the promised land.
   Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, to love Yahweh your Elohim and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, Joshua 22:5.
   Loving Yahweh, fearing Him, walking in His ways, keeping His commandments – the whole duty of man (Eccl. 12:13) – was confirmed by Yahshua as the greatest of all tribute men may accord to the Almighty One (Matt. 22:40). Nevertheless, today most ignore and reason away Yahweh’s commandments.

   Yahweh knows the days of the blameless, and their inheritance will be forever. They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, and in the days of famine they will have abundance, Psalm 37:18–19.
   We see today, a famine of hearing the Word of Yahweh. Nevertheless, we preach the message, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2).
   But the day of Yahweh will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and righteousness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of Elohim, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells, 2 Peter 3:10–13.
   We understand Yahweh is merciful and extends His Hand out still. We are looking for that day when righteousness will be, the news of the day, every day – no longer, the bad news of unrighteousness.
   “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares Yahweh, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11.
   A future? A Hope? Very few are taking hold of either – the covenant and the promise – now, doing Yahweh’s will and occupying until he sends His Son back to establish the coming Kingdom (Luke 19:13).
   “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, the things which Elohim has prepared for them that love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9 NKJV).
   Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior Yahshua Messiah, 2 Peter 1:10–12 NIV.

-Elder David Brett

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