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This 4th July - - be wise and harmless

Especially with our insecure borders and now the homegrown threat of radicalized jihadists right here in our midst, a quick word to the wise: there’s apparently a lot of chatter out there about “something” that could happen at one or more of the various 4th of July celebrations.
Yeshua (Jesus) our Lord set the example. He removed himself from crowds and from dangerous circumstances until it was time to be crucified. Scriptures in a moment.
We should do the same. Warnings are everywhere this year if you watch the news at all. Though I hope we individually and the nation as a whole will not let terrorists win – neither should we be stupid. This is not the time to be purposely exposing yourself or your children to large crowds where Satan-led extremists can’t wait to cause a big headline.
You may say that we have nothing to fear since we have God’s protection. And yes, we do have that protection. But we are also told to follow Christ’s example. We are beginning to enter the time of the end of the end times – and it’s going to get very, very dangerous.
Though we must never be afraid to declare who we are, we must not put ourselves into dangerous crowds that are just an open invitation to the crazies out there who think their moon god wants them to kill people who don’t think like they do. So yes, speak up. Admit openly you are a follower of Yeshua. Speak up against abortion, and for protecting the life of unborn humans. And let's not hesitate to proclaim that we are all for maintaining the God-given definition of true marriage: one man, one woman. Silence will be seen as being complicit or in agreement with the “other side”.
So we must be bold – but not stupid. And I do believe true believers must be willing to speak out, as you’ll see in Yeshua’s examples in a minute, but at the same time to remove ourselves from dangerous situations, or avoid them altogether.
There is a coming persecution and martyrdom of the righteous. Yet we must speak up and not be afraid or ashamed to be identified as a true believer – though you’ll be labeled a nut, or outdated in your opinions and beliefs, and perhaps even be a labeled as a dangerous hate-monger who should be punished! Those days are coming. And some of us will have to go through some very trying and dangerous times. But having said that, let’s not go into dangerous situations with crowds of people – when we’re being warned that the danger threat is high right now.
Click on “Continue reading” to see what Yeshua and others did when faced with dangerous situations (before his crucifixion).

These are real lessons for us today.
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Yeshua was actually a very controversial person. Though he did many good works, and was the son of God, there were many who wanted him dead – and I don’t mean just the religious leaders either. Sometimes even local townspeople tried to kill him, as we shall see. Yeshua spoke his mind – even though it often ended in conflict and trouble. But when the crowd started turning “ugly”, he got out of the area!
For example, after saying a few words in Nazareth that didn’t go over well with the crowd, the people tried to kill Messiah. He slipped away. He didn’t hang around.
Luke 4:28-30
So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.
Now read the story in John 7. This is just prior to the Feast of Tabernacles. Yeshua’s own brothers (yes, Mary had more children, and Yeshua had at least 4 brothers and at least 2 sisters) did not believe in him and they urged him – almost taunted him -- to go on down to Jerusalem for the Feast (John 7:1-7). Then we pick up the story. My point though is this: it was dangerous for Yeshua to be in crowds and so he picked his time and place.
My point is this: even the son of God, who could call down legions of angels at a moment’s notice if he so chose (Matthew 26:53), stayed away from, or removed himself from, dangerous situations until his time to be crucified came. Let’s pick up the story now starting with John 7:8. Yeshua is responding to his brothers:
John 7:8-10
“You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come." When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.
But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
Here are a couple more examples of removing himself from dangerous situations, even though of course he was under Father’s protection!
John 8:58-59
Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
Next, in John 10, he once more speaks controversially. Don’t be afraid to speak truth. But don’t remain in hostile territory after you do so!
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John 10:37-39
“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him." Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.
The apostle Paul alerted the officials of threats on his life and he accepted an armed escort of 200 soldiers. Could he not have just relied on angelic or divine protection? Of course. But he also did what he could to avoid getting killed. (See Acts 23:20-24).
On the other hand, Ezra and his group refused to request an armed escort for his group. So go figure. (Ezra 8:21-23).
Ezra 8:21-23
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, "The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him." 23 So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.
But even here, though they did not request an escort, they did recognize the danger they were in and did nothing before they fasted and prayed for protection and guidance.
There are many more examples… but I hope we have made the point. This weekend could end up being very peaceful, or not. But either way, I intend to enjoy it with my family and grandsons, at home, not in a big group or park with thousands of people -- even as I ask for Yahweh to be merciful to the nation and protect us all from those who delight in killing and mutilating innocent people.
Father, may thy kingdom come -- soon. May your will be done on earth as it is already in heaven. Amen.

Who have you invited into your home?
How many “likes” would you get from Abba?
 

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