Part 2: The Spiritual Warfare and the Conflict in the world around us (Video) (Audio)

Signs of Redemption

  1. Rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.
  2. Bring about the end of war so that everyone can live in peace.
  3. Unite all people regardless of differences like religion or culture.
  4. Bring a true awareness of God to all people.
  5. Signal the end of the world.

Stages in Redemption (Traditional Judaism)

Resources for Jews: The Dead Sea Scrolls are important not only because they offer insight into the community at Qumran but because they provide a window to the wider spectrum of ancient Jewish belief and practice.

Resources for Gentiles The scrolls provide a rich trove of Jewish religious texts previously unknown. ... The Dead Sea Scrolls contain nothing about Jesus or the early Christians, but indirectly they help to understand the Jewish world in which Jesus lived and why his message drew followers and opponents.

The Final Redemption unfolds in two distinct phases.

It is well known that the revelation of the light which shined before the tzimtzum and the revelation of G?d's hidden essence will both take place in the Era of the Redemption. That era will be comprised of two different periods.

This concept that there will be two periods in the Era of the Redemption enables us to resolve several seemingly conflicting Midrashic passages regarding this era. [For example,] it is stated, "In the Future, the Holy One, blessed be He, will make a feast for the righteous," (Baba Batra 75a); and it is said "The World to Come will have neither eating nor drinking." (B’rachot 17a)

...a revelation of a level of pleasure that transcends mortal sensation…

The truth is that they are speaking about two separate periods. In the first stage, there will be a revelation of pleasure that can be sensed by ordinary mortal perception - a feast. This reflects the revelation of the light of the Ein Sof that shone previously. Afterwards, there will be a revelation of a level of pleasure that transcends mortal sensation; this reflects the revelation of the hiddenness of G?d's very essence.

In general, these two periods can be explained as reflecting the differences between the Era of Mashiach, and the Era of Resurrection of the Dead, as reflected in our Sages' statement (B’rachot 34b): "All the prophets prophesied only with regard to the Era of Mashiach, but with regard to the World to Come, one may apply the verse: "No eye saw, but Yours, O G?d."1 (Isaiah 64:3)

Thus it is possible to say that in the Era of Mashiach, there will be a revelation of the light of the Ein Sof which was revealed before the tzimtzum, and in the World to Come (the Era of Resurrection) there will be revealed the level of Eden about which it is said: "No eye saw, but Yours, O G?d," the hiddenness at G?d's very essence.

Based on the above, it is possible to explain that the revelations of the Era of Mashiach are dependent on "our deeds", and those of the Era of the Resurrection are dependent on "our divine service". For the factor which brings about the reward for a mitzvah is the mitzvah itself (Tanya, ch. 37). Thus the mitzvah, the divine service, must also reflect the reward, the divine energy which is drawn down as a result.

Accordingly, drawing down the revelation of the light of the Ein Sof which shone previously is accomplished by the efforts to reveal the true nature of the G?dly soul, for this nature also existed previously. [These type of efforts are referred to by the term] "our deeds."

This brings about a totally new type of divine service

Drawing down the hiddenness at G?d's very essence, which is a new light, is accomplished by the efforts which transcend even the nature of the G?dly soul. This brings about a totally new type of divine service that did not exist even within the potential of the G?dly soul. [These type of efforts are referred to by the term] "our service".

On this basis, we can understand the verse "And it shall come to pass that when you heed these ordinances, and you observe and perform them" (Deut. 7:12), which implies that the Jews will definitely observe the commandments. For it is definitely certain that G?d's intent for a dwelling in the lower worlds will ultimately be realized.(See Midrash Tanchuma, Parasha Naso, sec. 16; Bamidbar Rabba 13:6; Tanya, ch. 36.)

This will encompass both matters mentioned above:

  1. the revelation of the light of the Ein Sof which was revealed before the tzimtzum (the revelations of the Era of Mashiach)
  2. and the revelation of the hiddenness of G?d's very essence (the revelations of the Era of the Resurrection)

Tzadikim are not affected by the darkness of the exile to the same degree…

These revelations are dependent on our deeds and our divine service. Concerning these, it is said: "free choice is granted to every person." (See the statements of the Rambam, Mishna Torah, Hilchot Teshuva, the beginning of ch. 7) Nevertheless, we have been promised, "None will ever be estranged from You" (Sam. II 14:14). 2 Every member of the Jewish people will fulfill the divine intent in "our deeds", laboring in the Torah and its mitzvot beyond the natural limits of the animal soul - and "our divine service", laboring in the Torah and its mitzvot beyond the natural limits of the G?dly soul.

Thus we can understand the connection between the verse "And it shall come to pass…" and the era of "the footsteps of Mashiach". In that era, the promise that the Jews will certainly heed G?d's commandments will be fulfilled. Moreover, the ultimate perfection of our divine service (which will broaden the spiritual horizons of even the G?dly soul) will be achieved by refining the darkness of exile, and in particular, the darkness that characterized the era of "the footsteps of Mashiach".

Tzadikim are not affected by the darkness of the exile to the same degree. Certainly, they do not possess the advantage produced by the divine service of transforming sins into merits. Moreover, the advantage achieved through refining and perfecting the animal soul is not as powerful for them, for their animal soul is not as materially oriented, even before their divine service.

Thus, the manner in which the Tzadikim refine the sparks of G?dliness unclothed within the three impure kelipot is through challenges, and, more specifically, through actual mesirut Nefesh [dedicating their entire bodily existence for the service of G?d].

After several Tzadikim were able to refine the sparks within the three impure kelipot through actual mesirut Nefesh, the heights which they achieved are drawn down to their descendants [as implied by the continuation of the verse: "…and G?d will safeguard…as He swore to your ancestors"]. This also includes those who studied their teachings, for students are also considered as sons. 3 Thus, challenges, and particularly challenges involving actual mesirut Nefesh, will no longer be necessary. The only form of mesirut Nefesh that will be necessary is mesirut haaratzot, giving over one's will.

And they and the entire Jewish people will be able to carry out "our deeds and our divine service" amidst true tranquility and prosperity, with happiness and joy. We will merit the fulfillment of the prophecy "You who rest in the dust: 'Arise and sing (Daniel 12:2, Isaiah 26:19).'" And then we will all proceed upright to our land with the coming of Mashiach, may this take place in the immediate future.

The Red Heifer and the Golden Calf

Jewish tradition explains that this mysterious sacrifice is connected to the sin of the golden calf, which occurred 40 days after the revelation on Mount Sinai (after the delivery of the Torah). According to tradition, the red heifer atones for the spiritual chaos that came into the world as a result of that sin. The Torah, however, does not state this.

The Mishna (rabbinic commentary book) reports that the Red Heifer ceremony has only been celebrated nine times in history: once by Moses, once by Ezra during the First Temple period and seven times during the Second Temple by the Highs Priests. The preparation of these ashes disappeared from the priestly rituals with the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

Purification Through the Red Heifer

Traditional rabbinic commentary on this Parasha admits that how the ashes of a red heifer cleanse a person of contamination is a mystery. How can a solution of water mixed with the ashes of a burned animal purify the impure? This is particularly mysterious in light of the paradox that those ritually pure priests who prepared the ashes were made unclean in the process of their preparation.

At the heart of the Jewish faith, however, there is an openness to the question and, consequently, there is a great debate on the Red Heifer. However, in matters of faith and chukim, which transcend reasoning, there is not always an answer for every question.

When we look at the Messiah's atoning sacrifice, however, we can better understand this part of Scripture. The requirements surrounding the sacrificial process of the Red Heifer (Parah Adumah) have been fulfilled by Yeshua. Not only was he without sin or blemish (2 Corinthians 5:21; John 8:46), but he was killed (by execution on a Roman cross) outside the camp (Hebrews 13: 12-13) and water and blood came out of him John 19 : 34 but one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

Through him we can be cleansed of all uncleanness (1 Peter 1: 2; Hebrews 12:24; Revelation 1: 5; Ephesians 5: 25-6), not with the ashes of the red heifer, nor with the blood of bulls and goats, but with a more perfect sacrifice, Yeshua himself. Through Him, we not only receive purification from the contamination of sin, but we also receive eternal redemption (double time becoming one in Moshiach Yeshua).

“He did not enter by the blood of goats and calves; but he entered once and for all into the most holy place with his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ASH OF red heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially impure sanctify them so that they are outwardly pure. How much more, then, will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to Hashem, (Isaiah 63: 1) purify our consciences from the acts that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God! ”. (Hebrews 9: 13-14)

Pulling down Strongholds: Strategies from Ancient and Modern Israel

The Spirit of Hashem (God) wants each of you to capture any demonic strongholds that hold us captive and strengthen the stronghold of the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) in you.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience to Messiah. These are fighting words! Them’s fighting words...for us! Amen?

Now these fighting words are metaphorical: they speak of weapons, strongholds, high things and bringing into captivity et these are not carnal or worldly weapons, but spiritual ones; not strongholds of stone but of imaginations or arguments; not high things in high towers but high-falutin ’attitudes; not taking into captivity enemy soldiers but enemy thoughts. I think it would be helpful to consider the figurative aspect of the metaphor a bit more.

What is a stronghold? Why are strongholds important in literal warfare?

 A stronghold is a defensive structure: Psalms 9:9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

misgav; properly, a cliff (or other lofty or inaccessible place); figuratively, a refuge:--defense, high fort (tower), refuge.

So a cliff could be a stronghold, because it’s high and inaccessible to one’s enemies.1 Samuel 23:14. David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Or it could be a man-made fortress or tower Ps 144:2 [The LORD is..] my goodness, and my fortress; my high tower [misgab, stronghold], and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdues my people under me.

Why would a "high thing" like to hang out in a high cliff or a high tower, exalting itself? Because it’s safe up there! If an enemy comes, it’s much easier to drive him away from a stronghold in a high place. You can learn about the strategic importance of strongholds in the history of the wars of Israel. I have visited a place called Latrun. It’s right off the main highway from Tel Aviv and the airport heading up to Jerusalem. That was the problem with this place: it’s a stronghold right along the main highway. It also intersects with a highway leading from Gaza up to Ramallah, two major population centers of Palestinian Arabs. The Turks, when they controlled the land, had built this fortress, near a monastery and ancient Emmaus.

That’s right, the road to Emmaus was the road that led up to Jerusalem. The British converted the fortress into a police station. When the War of Independence began, the Arab Legion controlled the Latrun stronghold. From this perch, they could pick off the caravans carrying supplies up to the Jews in Jerusalem. This was one stronghold that had to be taken! It had a stranglehold on Jerusalem!

Five times, five separate times, the fledgling Israeli Defense Forces tried to take it. Again and again the Arab Legion—the best, British-trained soldiers on the Arab side—drove the attackers away. So the Israelis build a "Burma Road" circumventing the stronghold, over rough terrain,         so the supply trains could get through. Thank God for the ingenuity and determination of our people! The Arabs still held this fortress—within five miles of Ben-Gurion Airport—until 1967.

Just before the ‘67 war, Nasser sent Egyptian soldiers to strengthen the Jordanian garrison.     Fortunately, they had to abandon it during the Six-Day War. Now it’s a museum for the IDF Armored Forces, with an imposing display of tanks, bought, built or captured by the Israeli army. So now do you see the strategic importance of a stronghold?

For 20 years that place threatened the security of our people in the heart of the nation. For how many years has a stronghold threatened your security in the heart of your thought life? Isn’t it about time we went up there and captured it? Can it be done? Hey, David took the stronghold of Jerusalem and made it his capital! In 2 Samuel 5:6, The Jebusites taunted David, "You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off." They thought, "David can't get in here." But David was determined; and he got in there all right—Joab broke through a tunnel that led to a spring and opened the gates to the citadel. Ancient Babylon also was built up as a seemingly invincible stronghold.

But in Jeremiah 51:53 declared, "‘Even if Babylon reaches the sky and fortifies her lofty stronghold, I will send destroyers against her,’ declares the LORD." And so he did, sending Cyrus and the Medo-Persians to take the stronghold, by diverting the river that flowed through the city and marching in on the riverbed! Hashem (God) knows all about strongholds and He knows how to take them — and he’ll tell you how to do it, if you’re willing to fight! When you come up against a stronghold in your life, do you just want to give up? Or are you going to willing to fight to take the stronghold?

Strongholds are captured by people who are willing to fight, people with gumption! If you, Hashem (God) will help you. The Word and the Spirit of Hashem (God) will show you how. Amen? One thing you should bear in mind about a stronghold: it’s a place, not a person. A stronghold is only a threat if there are enemy soldiers inside. Indeed, a stronghold can also be a place of comfort, a safe place: For example, in 2 Samuel 22:2-3, David said: The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior--from violent men you save me. The person or persons inside the stronghold could be your enemy or your friend. In a spiritual stronghold, there could be demons or the Holy Spirit. But just as a physical stronghold is not an enemy soldier, nor is a spiritual stronghold a demon. A spiritual stronghold is a habitual pattern of thought, built into one’s thought life.

Satan and his minions want to capture the minds of people: the mind is the citadel of the soul. He who controls the mind controls a very strategic place! Romans 8:5-6: Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. If you want the abundant life and peace that Yeshua promised, you must let his Spirit capture the stronghold up there! Not only is our conscious mind the target: Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."     In Matt 12:34-35, Yeshua said, For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

Strongholds are also storage places, holding food, water and weapons. A stronghold gets stronger as more stuff—more thought—gets stored in there. In the life of the mind, the stuff that you were once aware of gets stored up in unconscious memory, but it can make a stronghold a tough nut to crack!

A stronghold is a way of thinking and feeling that has developed a life of its own in a person. It might be a rut of depression or recurring unbelief or habitually bad temper. That was a stronghold in my life, but with Hashem (God)’s help, not anymore!    

It might be a repeating pattern of failure: Sometimes a stronghold will cause you to provoke others to reject you (without necessarily knowing you’re doing it) It might be a stronghold of resentment or worthlessness. If a child is sexually molested and/or badly verbally abused, a stronghold of worthlessness may build up a stockpile of negative thoughts: "I’m guilty. Nobody could really love me. I’m good for nothing. I’m ugly." She might actually be beautiful — and certainly is beautiful in the eyes of Hashem (God). But a stronghold gets filled with arguments like these:        "Nobody would like me if they really got to know me. Nobody really knows me. Nobody really cares for me. Nobody really wants me for me."

Now all these thoughts may be a pack of lies, but they can be a stronghold keeping out the truth of God’s love. Such a person may hear a message about Hashem (God)’s love, whether from a pulpit or a friend, but it goes in one ear and out the other, bouncing off the walls of a stronghold of rejection or worthlessness. You almost hear the truth come to set you free, and then comes another thought, "Yeah, but what about...?" Or "You just don’t understand...." And out comes another string of lies, excuses, smokescreens, shot down by blocking spirits.

Thus a stronghold creates inner captivity to deception and misery. A stronghold keeps a person from thinking clearly, accepting the truth, repenting of sin, and receiving deliverance. A stronghold can keep a unbeliever from hearing the good news. A stronghold can keep a believer from hearing the fullness of the good news. So how do you take a stronghold? First, you have to see it, so you know what you’re dealing with. It’s kind a hard to take a stronghold you can’t even see. But strongholds of the mind can be hidden—evil things hang out in darkness. Satan is the prince of darkness, but Messiah is the prince of light. You have been called out of darkness into his wonderful light! Nevertheless, if there is an old, sinful pattern of thought in you, that is a place of darkness, a stronghold. Ephesians 5:11 urges us to "have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." If you want to let the light of God expose the darkness, you need an attitude of humility, willing to let the light of Hashem (God) reveal the darkness in you. In Ps 26:2, David prayed, "Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind." Can you agree this request? If not, if you are not willing to let Hashem (God)  reveal any strongholds in your life, then the first stronghold you may have to start tearing down is pride! Who was the first to be guilty of pride? Satan! Massively so! Pride is the armor of Satan — he uses it to keep demonic strongholds hidden. Pride keeps people from ever seeing that they are trapped in demonic darkness.

The Spirit of Hashem (God) is determined to bring down the stronghold of pride. Isaiah 25:11 says, Hashem (God) will bring down their pride despite the cleverness of their hands. He will bring down your high fortified walls and lay them low; he will bring them down to the ground, to the very dust. If pride is bad news, how much more is humility good news! James 4:6, " Hashem (God)  is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." This is a promise: humility release grace, the power of Hashem (God) to save you. James 4:7 continues with another promise: "Submit yourselves, then, to Hashem (God). Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Satan can’t stand humility! It breaks his power over you! But Hashem (God) loves it! "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." The sacrifice of Messiah is a perfect shelter of grace enabling you to look at your needs. Once you recognize the stronghold, the next step to bringing it down is repentance. Be honest before Hashem (God), and humbly let the Spirit expose the stronghold in the darkness. Pray, "Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind." When the Holy Spirit shows you an area of darkness, repent.     You may need to overcome the instinct of defend yourself. You may need to silence the little lawyer who steps out of a dark corner of your mind, pleading, "My client is not so bad." If you let him, that whiny defense attorney will defend you just fine—but you’ll never see what’s wrong in you, nor face what needs to change. Who is the best defense attorney of all time? Yeshua! How does He defend you, how does He justify you? By his blood. So you don’t need to justify yourself. Let him do it. A broken and contrite heart he will not despise. Suppose a stronghold has gotten pretty entrenched and strong? Sometimes a frontal attack on a stronghold doesn’t seem to work. What should you do? Jewish soldiers tried to capture the Old City of Jerusalem with a frontal attack a couple of times in the War of Independence, but as soon as they got up to the gates of the Old City, and were thrown back.

Here’s how the IDF took the Old City in 1967: They swept around the city to the north, then seized the Mount of Scopus, then kept on going up to the Mount of Olives, to the east— I've seen a picture of Israeli generals looking down at the Old City from the east! Thus, having surrounded the city, they were able to cut off supplies and reinforcements. Though the Jordanian army tried to send reinforcements up from Jericho, this time they were thrown back! When the Jordanian general inside the Old City realized he was surrounded, he realized, "resistance is futile," so he cut his losses and fled the city. Then the Israelis were able to break into the city with relatively little resistance. So, this is how successful military planners usually do it: surround the stronghold and cut off its supplies. Does this strategy also apply to spiritual strongholds? I think so....Something like this strategy was at work in the battle of Jericho. Who gave Joshua the strategy for taking the city? The angel of the LORD. What was the strategy? March around the city for seven days then blow your trumpets! Here’s what I think they were doing, in the Spirit:     They were surrounding the city, with obedience to Hashem (God)’s word, with faith, with the praises of Hashem (God). Thus they cut off that city from its supplies, from the realm of darkness. As the power of faith grew in the hearts of the marching people, the power of the walls of Jericho grew weak.     How do you surround a stronghold of negative thinking, bad old speculations? How about praise? Psalms 32:7. "You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." Surround the stronghold with the praise, singing psalms and spiritual songs to God. Demons can’t stand praise! Praise is a powerful way to bring a stronghold. For every negative stronghold, there’s a powerful way to surround it with opposite truth from Hashem (God). If you are struggling with a stronghold of depression, surround it with hope. If you are struggling with a stronghold of rejection, surround it with acceptance from Abba. If you are struggling with a stronghold of unresolved anger, surround it with forgiveness. If you are struggling with a stronghold of fear, surround it with the knowledge of Hashem (God)’s love. If you are struggling with a stronghold of failure, surround it with the victory of the resurrection! Once you’ve identified a stronghold, go to the Scripture, and study the opposite truth from Hashem (God). If the stronghold is rejection, study all that the Bible says about Hashem (God)’s acceptance. Use a concordance or a chain bible or topical bible. Then surround that stronghold with the word of Hashem (God)! Listen, once the enemy sees he’s surrounded by humble submission, praise, and the word of Hashem (God), his resistance will quickly weaken, and if he isn’t gone already! Can we take a moment to pray about this? "Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind." Show me any areas in my life that I have not fully surrendered to you. (If you recognize any area of chronic sin strengthened by negative thinking, take a moment to confess it to the Lord, now.)

Lord, forgive me of compromise. Give me the courage to pull down every stronghold within me without reluctance or willful deception in my heart. Thank you, Lord Yeshua, for forgiving and cleansing me from all my sins, and breaking every curse against me, on the cross. By the power of the Holy Spirit and in the Name of Yeshua, I bind any satanic influences that were reinforcing compromise and sin within me. I submit myself to the light of the Spirit of Truth to expose any strongholds of sin in me. By the mighty weapons of the Spirit and the Word, I proclaim that each evil stronghold is coming down! I purpose to surround this evil stronghold with praise and affirming truth from the Word of Hashem (God). I purpose to take every pattern of negative thinking captive and bring it to the obedience to Messiah. I purpose, by the grace of Hashem (God), to follow through until even the ruins of this stronghold is removed from my mind! I purpose to think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—I will think about such things. I will talk about such things. I will get involved in such things. I purpose, by the grace of Hashem (God), to build up one stronghold within my mind and my heart: the stronghold of the living God! "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous will run to it and be safe." In the shelter of your presence, O Hashem (God) my Savior, you will keep me safe. In Yeshua’s mighty name, Amen.