Nobody promised us a smooth ride; the way, the truth and the life lie along a rough and steep path with entry though a narrow gate.
Yes the gate is narrow, but it is not selective, anybody can go through it, but first they have to find it, and to find it, one must start looking for it.
For me, I looked around the Christian fellowship, and mentally compared it to what I read in the scripture, it was significantly different. So I started to look at the meanings of the words in Greek and Hebrew, and instead of confirming the ‘fellowship’ picture, they took me further away from it.
That is when I really learned what a time of trouble was, not worldly trouble, but spiritual turmoil.
Christianity believes on the whole, that Yah changes his mind and rewrites the rules from time to time, these times the religious ‘leaders’ call dispensations, and in the one in which we are now living, Christians are the ones who have entered the narrow gate.
In this age of ‘Grace’, we do not have to keep Yah’s Torah because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, so we are not liable etc.etc.
If this is so, then who is it to whom Jesus says “I know you not, you doers of lawlessness (Torahlessnes)?” See Matthew 7 v 21 and subsequent verses.
The roots of ‘Christianity’ do not lie in the scriptures but in the Emperor Constantine’s Universal (Catholic) ‘church’. Even the word church is a deception, the word in Greek is ekklesia and it means an impromptu (political) assemble. The ‘Church’ in the wilderness was at Mount Horeb (Mt Sinai – Acts 7 v 38), so there is nothing new about the Church as such.
Stephen was a Hebrew (Jew), and the ‘living word’ was the 5 books of Moses (the Torah). Seekers of Yah’s REAL gate would do well to read Stephen’s testimony, for hidden therein is the map that leads to the narrow gate.
Act 7:51 `Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and in ears! ye do always the Holy Spirit resist; as your fathers–also ye;
Act 7:52 which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? and they killed those who declared before about the coming of the Righteous One, of whom now ye betrayers and murderers have become,
Act 7:53 who received the law by arrangement of messengers, and did not keep it .’
(Young’s Literal Translation)
And did not keep it!
If you feel in your heart, ‘times of trouble’ think about Stephen’s words. Christianity, tells us that the Torah of Moses is ‘bondage’, Stephen said that it was the “living word” (ibid v38), and in John 1 it tells us that the ‘word’ was in the beginning with Yah and it was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.
I would posit that Torah (debar), the Word (Logos) and ‘the living word’ (Logion) are the same thing, that is that Yahushua is Torah made flesh, and that we have a stark choice; do things Yah’s way and live in synergy with His Creation, or do it Egypt’s way, the way of Adam using man’s knowledge of good and bad, the prime product of the fall.
Having found the narrow gate, we must knock and enter in, that means we start doing things Yah’s way not man’s way; man says we keep Shabbat on Sunday, Yah says it is the 7th day (Saturday), which one do you keep? Man says that we must keep Christmas and Easter, Yah says we must keep Pesach, Shauvot and Tabernacles, which ones do you keep?
If we reject the first principles of Yah we cannot open the gate and enter in because the gatekeeper will say “Get thee hence I know you not – doer of torahlessness.”
It is all there – hidden in plain sight.
So – in times of trouble, and we all have them, look to Yah’s Creation not man’s. Look to your personal revelation of Yah, not to the gobbledygook of the religious functionary that is going to put Stephen to death for telling Yah’s truths.
Man likes the Egyptian pigsty, for him, living in muck is comfortable and there is no need to seek, because all the knowledge (of good and bad) that is necessary has been found already, just ask your Rabbi/Pastor/Priest (but never, ever ask Yah, because his answer is usually different and needs to be ‘interpreted’ by a salaried appointee (please pay at the moneychanger’s desk in the temple courtyard!)).
Times of trouble are also times of opportunity, opportunities to seek FIRST the Kingdom of Yah and His righteousness (His Torah).