MY SCRIPTURE STUDIES

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It's not about Religion

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Prophecies of Asaph



Tomorrow is Yom Kippurim, it's the day of atonements called Judgment Day.

Perhaps it's time we turned to listen to the cymbals of the prophecies of Asaph. They can be heard if we will just listen.

Asaph means "gatherer".

1Chronicles 16:4-5 tells us he was the chief Levite musician appointed by King David to minister before the Ark of the Covenant. He led with music from cymbals. It seems that his job was to get the attention of all the worshipers.

But at that time the ark was not in Jerusalem, it was located in the town of Gibeon.


Today, Gibeon is also called al-Jib,
it's located just a few miles due north of the Temple Mount
in the 'so called' Palestinian territory.


If you'll take a moment to look at the satellite image [at Google Maps] you will see what appears to be a small round, flat topped hill in the center of Gibeon. Perhaps, it is where Asaph stood in Gibeon before the Ark with his cymbals.

In the Book of Joshua, we learned Gibeon was also the very place where the Sun stood still and even still today it is where we can learn from Asaph the Levite:
"And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel: Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obededom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals" 1Chronicles 16:4-5
This is interesting, his assigned duty was to record. That's the Hebrew word 'zakar", it means to be brought to remembrance, to recall. 2Chronicles 29:30 also tells us that in addition to his assigned duties, to thank and praise YHVH, the God (Elohim) of Israel that Asaph was a visionary and a prophet.

Today, there are other Asaphs. I have heard them speak about repentance, about God's promises to restore His word, even His language to His remnant people.

Let's look and consider some of the prophecies of Asaph's 12 psalms. The first records a promise, it is seen in Psalms 50...
"Call on me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you will honor me."
Get ready, because Asaph uses cymbals, he does not play a harp when he gives a warning from God to those that say... God did away with His instruction and teaching, it no longer applies. If we believe this God calls us guilty:
But to the guilty God says, "What right do you have to declare my statutes, That you have taken my covenant on your lips, Seeing you hate instruction, And throw my words behind you?
To the one that points a finger of contempt at those that hold to the Torah, Asaph says...
"You give your mouth to evil. You harnesses your tongue for deceit. You sit and speak against your brother."

"You have done these things, and I kept silent. You thought that the "I AM" was just like you."

I will rebuke you, and accuse you in front of your eyes."
This is serious folks... READ this again:
"You thought that the "I AM" was just like you."
Many have thought Jesus, the One that came as "I AM", hung the law on the cross. Yet, in Psalms 73, Asaph warns of the future lament of those that got lost in their life journey and slipped as they 'thought' they were following the walk of Messiah when instead they were lured by the teaching of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Fortunately, a remnant now are awakening to the sound of Asaph's cymbals near the Ark of the Covenant under the Mercy Seat. They realize now that God is at work in the restoration of truth.

God is changing hearts, He is pruning the olive tree. The Spirit of "I AM" is calling and guiding people to repent so that they can return to God's instruction. They are realizing why Jesus said not one jot or tittle has passed from the Torah and Asaph write these words for you:
"Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped." Psalm 73:1-2

"For my soul was grieved. I was embittered in my heart. I was so senseless and ignorant. I was a brute beast before you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you. You have held my right hand. You will guide me with your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory." Psalm 73:21-24
Asaph tells us in Psalm 74 that Yeshua, the one many have called Jesus is the Jewish Messiah that held the cup of redemption at Passover:
"For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth."

"For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red... in Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel."
The thing about the 74th Psalm that is so striking is the fact that Asaph served in David's court before the Temple, the Beit HaMikdash was ever constructed in Jerusalem, yet his prophecy was that it would be destroyed by fire. This happened twice, once in 586BC at the hands of the Babylonians and again in 70AD by the Roman Legions. Asaph records the future:
"They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground." Psalm 74:7
Psalms 77 contains Asaph's prophecy of the incredible awakening to truth that many are experiencing today. That awakening is that God is our Savior and His words stand forever, unchanged since the beginning and people are returning to the ancient root of the tree of life, the Torah.

People are coming to realize God does not change and He wants us to remember if we want to be like Him as a redeemed people, we need to do what Jesus did and walk like Him. Jesus aka Yeshua led and taught His disciples from the Torah, he never started a new religion.

Asaph's prophecy says:
"I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times."

"And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph."

"Thou lead thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron."
Asaph bangs his cymbals again in Psalms 78 as Ephraim, "the generation to come" to arise and not be a stubborn and rebellious generation any longer, but one that steadfastly turns back and repents 'before' the battle comes!!

We are not to be like the old Ephraim that turned away. We must not make the same mistake and refuse to walk in God's teaching and instruction...
"Give ear, O my people, to my law (Torah): incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know [them, even] the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God. The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his Torah..."
In Psalm 79, Asaph turns his prophetic word toward Jerusalem as he points toward the words of John in the book of Revelation:
"O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.

We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us. How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?

Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name. For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place. O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake."
We see the plea for salvation and forgiveness:
"Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake."
As we turn on to Psalms 80, we can see Asaph's cry for the Savior's return, "the man of the right hand" that is clearly described in Mark 16:19, Acts 7:55-56, Romans 8:34 and Hebrew 10:12:
"Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts...

Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou made strong for thyself. So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved."
Asaph declares the 'Day of Trumpets' in Psalm 81.

It is a day, an appointment with God that has been re-discovered today by a remnant of Joseph. But Asaph also laments of those that still walk in their own ways:
"Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony...

Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me; There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!"
Asaph continues the lament in Psalms 82 for those that still walk in confusion.

He hints that perhaps it is this latter day walk in darkness that brings the shaking of the Earth prophesied in Matthew and Revelation:
"They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course."
Finally, in Psalms 83 Asaph gives us the headlines that it seems we can easily read today building in the headlines.

The news stories tell us Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map. The U.N. wants to divide the land, and the Palestinians fire rockets from The Gaza all while the radical Islamic world leagues against the Jewish people:
"Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah."
Asaph calls on God 'to return' as He was when He journeyed as the fearful whirlwind and Pillar of Fire in the wilderness with Israel, and incredibly, Asaph calls for judgment so all will know His name is YHVH.
"O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O YHVH."
What does this all mean?

It means that if we want to share this message we need to be like Messiah and know the Scriptures given to us by our Heavenly Father. Just look at Matthew 4:4-10. Study Matthew chapters 11, 21 and 26 too. Messiah's response was like that in Joshua 8:31, 1Kings 2:3 and Psalms 40:7:

"It is written..."

It means we need to know "The One Called Jesus". Really know Him and His teaching which is the whole Bible, not just the back of it. It means that it is now time for all of us to repent and return as Believers, united in unison with God's covenant word. It means we must repent, return to hear and do His word if we are to walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your coming assignment as you are called by His Spirit to be set apart for His service.

God is a sovereign God. He is a loving, unchanging God and He has provided a way to offer you His salvation though grace. You can accept His gift of life. Consider carefully what your own life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua - Jesus Christ. Do it now and open His instruction manual for living life His way!

Today is the time. If you know you need to get your life right with God, don’t wait for tomorrow, get it right with Him now!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17
And if you have done this, ask God in faith to send His baptism of the Holy Spirit on you so that your life will spiritually shine as a witness to others with the love and light of Messiah as dark days ahead stare our nation in the face. Take a stand.

May God Bless as you seek your oil to light a fire pleasing to Him!

Shalom.

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