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A Broken Heart
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     The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia indicates that a person with a broken heart is one “who feels his spiritual bankruptcy and helplessness, and who longs for the help and salvation of Elohim. Such people,” it continues, “are in the right condition to be met and blessed by Elohim.”
Ending Hardships
     After years of waiting for our assembly’s conflict to be resolved, my heart remained broken; and I am convinced that broken-heartedness continues to exist in those to whom I am now speaking. I am continually before Yahweh, and He knows my sins. He knows my folly, my filthy rags of righteousness, my worldliness ... and, He knows my love for and dependence upon Him. He knows my uprightness, too, for He has made His truth known to me, and I cannot reject His call or the Spirit which He has planted within me.
     We were rejected by brethren and were separated from our congregational home, if you will. The same fate befell all of Yahshua’s Apostles when they spoke the truth. Dishonor and shame have been placed upon my head ... by the same authority that acted to impale our Redeemer. Yahweh has used the Adversary to bring me to Himself that I may be saved from the folly of the proud, the unrighteousness of the flesh and the poverty of the treasures of this world. And, I am glad to be worthy of the righteous discipline and discipleship of the Father as He sets apart His chosen people from those who violate the Commandments of Yahweh and who despise those who disagree with their false doctrines.
Yahweh Will Restore
     I rest in the assurance that Yahweh will protect His children from all evil and will lift up His chosen in the appointed time. In the name of Yahshua the Messiah, I pray that Almighty Yahweh bind, with fetters of iron, the spirits of deception, division, false witness, false worship, destruction, pride, arrogance and ignorance which have blinded our brethren; may Yahshua remove these evil spirits from those who have fallen to their influence; and may He cast these evil spirits into utter darkness. And, may You, Yahweh Rapha, restore our congregation with the peace that can only come from Your healing strength. May You cause the spirit of brokenness, humility and contriteness to fall upon Your entire congregation. May You keep this remnant of Believers to Your fold. May You increase our understanding and silence our fears. Grant us, Father, the courage to do Your Will. In Yahshua’s name, we praise You, Yahweh!
     A Psalm of David. Save me, O Elohim, for the waters have threatened my life. I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me. I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail while I wait for my Elohim. Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies; what I did not steal, I then have to restore. O Elohim, it is You Who knows My folly, and my wrongs are not hidden from You. May those who wait for You not be ashamed through me, O Sovereign YAHWEH of hosts; may those who seek You not be dishonored through me, O Elohim of Israel, because for Your sake I have borne reproach; dishonor has covered my face. I have become estranged from my brothers and an alien to my mother's sons. For zeal for Your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me. When I wept in my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. Those who sit in the gate talk about me, and I am the song of the drunkards. But, as for me, my prayer is to You, O YAHWEH, at an acceptable time; O Elohim, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, answer me with Your saving truth. Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink; may I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters. May the flood of water not overflow me nor the deep swallow me up, nor the pit shut its mouth on me. Answer me, O YAHWEH, for Your lovingkindness is good; according to the greatness of Your compassion, turn to me, and do not hide Your face from Your servant, for I am in distress; answer me quickly. Oh, draw near to my soul and redeem it; ransom me because of my enemies! You know my reproach and my shame and my dishonor; all my adversaries are before You. Reproach has broken my heart and I am so sick. And I looked for sympathy, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none. They also gave me gall for my food and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. May their table before them become a snare; and when they are in peace, may it become a trap. May their eyes grow dim so that they cannot see, and make their loins shake continually. Pour out Your indignation on them, and may Your burning anger overtake them. May their camp be desolate; may none dwell in their tents. For they have persecuted him whom You Yourself have smitten, and they tell of the pain of those whom You have wounded. Add iniquity to their iniquity, and may they not come into Your righteousness. May they be blotted out of the book of life and may they not be recorded with the righteous. But, I am afflicted and in pain; may Your salvation, O Elohim, set me securely on high. I will praise the Name of Elohim with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. And it will please YAHWEH better than an ox or a young bull with horns and hoofs. The humble have seen it and are glad; you who seek Elohim, let your heart revive. For YAHWEH hears the needy and does not despise His who are prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them. For Elohim will save Zion and build the cities of Judah [Yahudah, “worshippers of Yah”], that they may dwell there and possess it. The descendants of His servants will inherit it, and those who love His Name will dwell in it, Psalm 69 NASU.
     The above psalm contains the words of a desperate man. We, too, have felt that type of desperation. David was a man of blood, though, and had no aversion to asking Yahweh to perform vengeance upon those who betrayed him. It is obvious that he honored Yahweh’s right to issue such judgments and fulfill such punishments. Yet, I can hear between the lines of his writing his own desire to take the law into his own hands. Yet, we are called to march to the beat of a different drummer, a Drummer Who beckons us to follow Him to the hill of Golgotha; to the place of sacrifice; to the death of materialism and worldliness; and to a resurrection into a new person, one who eschews the temptations of anger, greed, pleasure and power over others. We are those who are called to be a voluptuous, sweetsmelling orchid in the midst of a putrid swamp, starkly absurd in a background of mire and muck.
Who Will Rescue Us?
     The Spirit of the Sovereign YAHWEH is upon me, because YAHWEH has anointed Me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of YAHWEH and the day of vengeance of our Elohim; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of YAHWEH, that He may be glorified. Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks, and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers. But you will be called the priests of YAHWEH; you will be spoken of as ministers of our Elohim. You will eat the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, everlasting joy will be theirs. For I, YAHWEH, love justice, I hate robbery in the burnt offering; and I will faithfully give them their recompense and make an everlasting covenant with them. Then their offspring will be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them because they are the offspring whom YAHWEH has blessed. I will rejoice greatly in YAHWEH, My soul will exult in My Elohim; for He has clothed Me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped Me with a robe of righteousness, as a bride-groom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Sovereign YAHWEH will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations, Isaiah 61 NASU.
What Is His Name?
     Of Whom are King David and the Prophet Isaiah speaking?
     Who hath believed our report? And to Whom is the arm of YAHWEH revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of Elohim, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and YAHWEH hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? For, He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased YAHWEH to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of YAHWEH shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors, Isaiah 53 KJV.
     Luke 14:27 [Yahshua speaking]:
     And whosoever doth not bear his STAKE, and come after Me, cannot be my disciple. KJV
     “Stake” is Strong’s #4716, stauros (stow-ros'); a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specifically) a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment); figuratively, exposure to death, i.e., self-denial; by implication, the atonement of the Messiah.
     Therefore as you have received the sovereign Yahshua the Messiah, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to the Messiah, Colossians 2:6-8 NASU.
     By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked, 1 John 2:5b-6 NASU.
     So, of Whom are King David and the Prophet Isaiah speaking? Yahshua. To whom else are they referring? They are painting the picture of those who are called of Yahweh to walk as His Son walked; in truth and in hope, though shamed, humiliated, rejected, abandoned, mocked and put out of the city. Though evil men may have their way with us, we are called to remember Yahweh and His promises of redemption and restoration. We are called to love those who despitefully use us. We are called to trust in Yahweh alone. Praise be to Yahweh and to His Son, Yahshua, Who, only, have power to save.
Oh, To Be Saved
     Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of YAHWEH. Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of YAHWEH are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of YAHWEH is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and YAHWEH hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. YAHWEH is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but YAHWEH delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. YAHWEH redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned, Psalm 34:11-22 NKJV.
     Praise YAHWEH! For it is good to sing praises to our Elohim; for it is pleasant and praise is becoming. YAHWEH builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Sovereign and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. YAHWEH supports the afflicted; He brings down the wicked to the ground. Sing to YAHWEH with thanksgiving; sing praises to our Elohim on the lyre, Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food ... Psalm 147:1-9 NASU.
     So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of YAHWEH is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of YAHWEH." Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. ... Luke 4:16-22 NKJV.
     A Psalm of David. In You, O YAHWEH, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; in Your righteousness deliver me. Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; be to me a rock of strength, a stronghold to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; for Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me. You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O YAHWEH, Elohim of truth. I hate those who regard vain idols, but I trust in YAHWEH. I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul, and You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a large place. Be gracious to me, O YAHWEH, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my body has wasted away. Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many, terror is on every side; while they took counsel together against me, they schemed to take away my life. But as for me, I trust in You, O YAHWEH, I say, "You are my Elohim." My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me. Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; save me in Your lovingkindness. Let me not be put to shame, O YAHWEH, for I call upon You; let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol. Let the lying lips be mute, which speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt. How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. Blessed be YAHWEH, for He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city. As for me, I said in my alarm, "I am cut off from before Your eyes"; nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried to You. O love YAHWEH, all you His righteous ones! YAHWEH preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in YAHWEH, Psalm 31 NASU.
     Thus says YAHWEH, "Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being," declares YAHWEH. "But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. But he who kills an ox is like one who slays a man; he who sacrifices a lamb is like the one who breaks a dog's neck; he who offers a grain offering is like one who offers swine's blood; he who burns incense is like the one who blesses an idol. As they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations, so I will choose their punishments and will bring on them what they dread. Because I called, but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen. And they did evil in My sight and chose that in which I did not delight." Hear the word of YAHWEH, you who tremble at His word: "Your brothers who hate you, who exclude you for My Name's sake, have said, 'Let YAHWEH be glorified, that we may see your joy.' But they will be put to shame. A voice of uproar from the city, a voice from the temple, the voice of YAHWEH Who is rendering recompense to His enemies. Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can alandbeborninoneday?Cana nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons. Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?" says YAHWEH. "Or shall I Who gives delivery shut the womb?" says your Elohim. "Be joyful with Jerusalem and rejoice for her, all you who love her; be exceedingly glad with her, all you who mourn over her, that you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts, that you may suck and be delighted with her bountiful bosom." For thus says YAHWEH, "Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem." Then you will see this, and your heart will be glad, and your bones will flourish like the new grass; and the hand of YAHWEH will be made known to His servants, but He will be indignant toward His enemies. For behold, YAHWEH will come in fire and His chariots like the whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For YAHWEH will execute judgment by fire and by His sword on all flesh, and those slain by YAHWEH will be many. "Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go to the gardens, following one in the center, who eat swine's flesh, detestable things and rodents, will come to an end altogether," declares YAHWEH. "For I know their works and their thoughts; the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory. I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations: Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Tubal and Yavan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they will declare My glory among the nations. Then they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as a grain offering to YAHWEH, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem," says YAHWEH, "just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of YAHWEH. I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites," says YAHWEH. "For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me," declares YAHWEH, "So your offspring and your name will endure. And it shall be from new moon to new moon and from sabbath to sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me," says YAHWEH. "Then they will go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched; and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind," Isaiah 66 NASU.
     I pray, brethren, that the words of Yahweh are sufficient to quell any anguish, torment or anxiety that somehow, sometimes over-whelms our knowledge and understanding of the absolute might and power of the Almighty Yahweh. We have no reason to fear what man can do to us. We have no reason to feel hopeless in our quest to guide others to the paths of righteousness. We have no reason to feel betrayed, for we own nothing save our power to understand and love Yahweh. We have no reason to feel disconnected from our Heavenly Father and His Son, because we have been adopted into His household through His covenant signed in the blood of His Mashiach. May we grab hold of His vision for us, and may we grasp His hand as He leads us into His presence. In Yahshua’s name, HalleluYah!
-Elder John Fisher

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