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Trials, Tribulation, and Judgment

In this study we are going to examine how YAH tests and corrects the children of righteousness, which are those who have entered the covenant by being purified in the name of Yahshua the Anointed, and diligently keep its laws. The objective of this study is to answer the following questions.

  • How do we know if we're being tested?
  • Are all calamities a form of judgment?
  • Why are we tested and put through trials?
  • If we commit an act of lawlessness are we punished?

Man Reaps What He Sows

    Don't be deceived. Elohim is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7 RNEB)

If we make a mistake or bad decision it will come back to us. For example, we can't decide to gamble, lose all are money, and then say were being judged, tried or calamity has befallen us, we will bear the consequences of our actions and decisions.

Walking In Lawlessness

    Therefore we ought to pay greater attention to the things that were heard, lest perhaps we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and EVERY TRANSGRESSION AND DISOBEDIENCE RECEIVED A JUST RECOMPENSE; (Hebrews 2:1-2 RNEB)

Each act of lawlessness will receive a just return. We cannot openly commit acts of lawlessness and not expect some type of judgment, this however does not mean we cannot be forgiven if we approach YAH with a remorseful heart, but being forgiven does not mean we won't be chastened. Lets look at one of the many examples of this documented in scripture.

    David sent and inquired after the woman. One said, Is not this Bat-Sheva, the daughter of Eli`am, the wife of Uriyah the Chittite? David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in to him, and he lay with her (for she was purified from her uncleanness); and she returned to her house. (2 Samuel 11:3-4 RNEB)

King David slept with another mans wife, this is adultery under the law.

    The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, I am with child. (2 Samuel 11:5 RNEB)

David's act of adultery resulted in the conception of a child.

    David sent to Yo'av, [saying], Send me Uriyah the Chittite. Yo'av sent Uriyah to David. When Uriyah was come to him, David asked of him how Yo'av did, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered. David said to Uriyah, Go down to your house, and wash your feet. Uriyah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess [of food] from the king. But Uriyah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his master, and didn't go down to his house. When they had told David, saying, Uriyah didn't go down to his house, David said to Uriyah, Haven't you come from a journey? why did you not go down to your house? Uriyah said to David, The ark, and Yisra'el, and Judah, abide in booths; and my master Yo'av, and the servants of my master, are encamped in the open field; shall I then go into my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing. (2 Samuel 11:6-11 RNEB)

David was trying to cover up his act by getting Uriyah to lie with Bat-Sheva his wife, but he failed.

    It happened in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Yo'av, and sent it by the hand of Uriyah. He wrote in the letter, saying, Set Uriyah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire you from him, that he may be struck, and die. It happened, when Yo'av kept watch on the city, that he assigned Uriyah to the place where he knew that valiant men were. The men of the city went out, and fought with Yo'av: and there fell some of the people, even of the servants of David; and Uriyah the Chittite died also. (2 Samuel 11:14-17 RNEB)

When Uriyah didn't lie with his wife David sent him to the front lines, so he would be killed, all to cover his sin of adultery. David is committing numerous transgressions against the laws of the covenant to cover up his initial sin.

    When the wife of Uriyah heard that Uriyah her husband was dead, she made lamentation for her husband. When the mourning was past, David sent and took her home to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased YAH. (2 Samuel 11:26-27 RNEB)

David then took Uriyah's wife as his own.

    YAH sent Natan to David. He came to him, and said to him, "There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and raised. It grew up together with him, and with his children. It ate of his own food, drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was to him like a daughter. A traveler came to the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man who had come to him, but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man who had come to him." David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Natan, "As YAH lives, the man who has done this is worthy to die! He shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity!" Natan said to David, "You are the man. This is what YAH, the Elohim of Yisra'el, says: 'I anointed you king over Yisra'el, and I delivered you out of the hand of Sha'ul. I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Yisra'el and of Judah; and if that would have been too little, I would have added to you many more such things. Why have you despised the word of YAH, to do that which is evil in his sight? You have struck Uriyah the Chittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the children of `Ammon. Now therefore the sword will never depart from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriyah the Chittite to be your wife.' This is what YAH says: 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Yisra'el, and before the sun.'" David said to Natan, "I have sinned against YAH." Natan said to David, "YAH also has put away your sin. You will not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to YAH's enemies to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die." Natan departed to his house. YAH struck the child that Uriyah's wife bore to David, and it was very sick. David therefore begged Elohim for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night on the earth. The elders of his house arose, [and stood] beside him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. It happened on the seventh day, that the child died. The servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead; for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he didn't listen to our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead! But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; and David said to his servants, Is the child dead? They said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his clothing; and he came into the house of YAH, and worshiped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he ate. Then said his servants to him, What thing is this that you have done? you did fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, you did rise and eat bread. (2 Samuel 12:1-21 RNEB)

David lamented before YAH and asked for forgiveness, he acknowledged his sin but the judgment that was pronounced over his house still came to pass. We know David was forgiven because YAH considered him a righteous king, but he still had to pay the consequences for his acts of lawlessness.

    Behold, YAH's hand is not shortened, that it can't save; neither his ear heavy, that it can't hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your Elohim, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2 RNEB)

If were walking in lawlessness Elohim will not hear are prayers. When this happens, we need to turn from our unrighteous way and approach YAH with a sincere heart asking his forgiveness, then don't do it again.

When we petition Elohim for a specific need, and he does not answer, it can be because were walking unrighteously, or he has chosen not to answer the request, possibly because it's the wrong time.

    For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them: (Isaiah 59:12 RNEB)

We know what seed we've sown, and we know when were walking unrighteously!

    I said, "I will watch my ways, so that I don't sin with my tongue. I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before me." I was mute with silence. I held my peace, even from good. My sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned: I spoke with my tongue: "YAH, show me my end, what is the measure of my days. Let me know how frail I am. Behold, you have made my days handbreadths. My lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely every man stands as a breath." Selah. "Surely every man walks like a shadow. Surely they busy themselves in vain. He heaps up, and doesn't know who shall gather. Now, Master, what do I wait for? My hope is in you. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Don't make me the reproach of the foolish. I was mute. I didn't open my mouth, because you did it. Remove your scourge away from me. I am overcome by the blow of your hand. WHEN YOU REBUKE AND CORRECT MAN FOR LAWLESSNESS, You consume his wealth like a moth. Surely every man is but a breath." Selah. "Hear my prayer, YAH, and give ear to my cry. Don't be silent at my tears. For I am a stranger with you, a foreigner, as all my fathers were. Oh spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go away, and exist no more." (Psalms 39:1-13 RNEB)

YAH only rebukes and corrects his children when they do wrong.

    Have mercy on me, Elohim, according to your loving kindness. According to the multitude of your tender mercies, BLOT OUT MY TRANSGRESSIONS. (Psalms 51:1 RNEB)

This is referring to the things we have done ourselves, no one makes us do wrong, it's our own decision. No where in scripture do we find the prophets blaming the devil or anyone else when they had sinned, every man has free will and lives and dies by his own decisions, we need to take responsibility for ourselves in accordance with the covenant.

    Wash me thoroughly from my lawlessness. Cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions. My sin is constantly before me. Against you, and you only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight; that you may be proved right when you speak, and justified when you judge. (Psalms 51:2-4 RNEB)

Every act of iniquity we commit is directly against Elohim, if we sin against a brother, we have sinned against Elohim. If we didn't keep a promise, we have sinned against Elohim. If we are treating a brother, husband, or wife wrongly, we have sinned against Elohim. Why? Because it's his law, if we don't keep it in any area we have sinned against him.

    "'If they CONFESS THEIR LAWLESSNESS, and the lawlessness of their fathers, in their trespass which they trespassed against me, and also that, because they walked contrary to me, I also walked contrary to them, and brought them into the land of their enemies: IF THEN THEIR UNCIRCUMCISED HEART IS HUMBLED, AND THEY THEN ACCEPT THE PUNISHMENT OF THEIR LAWLESSNESS; THEN I WILL REMEMBER MY COVENANT with Jacob; and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham; and I will remember the land. The land also will be left by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them: and they will accept the punishment of their lawlessness; because, even because they rejected my ordinances, and their soul abhorred my statutes. (Leviticus 26:40-43 RNEB)

Confession and repentance go together, we should also expect and accept the punishment for our transgressions. Every trespass will be recompense, not only will we reap the fruits of our unrighteous acts, but we also have to accept that we will be chastened.

Tests and Trials

    It happened after these things, that Elohim tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" He said, "Here I am." He said, "Now take your son, your only son, whom you love, even Isaac, and go into the land of Moriyah. Offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of." Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which Elohim had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place far off. Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go yonder. We will worship, and come back to you." Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife. They both went together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, "My father?" He said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Abraham said, "Elohim will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they both went together. They came to the place which Elohim had told him of. Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood. Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to kill his son. The angel of YAH called to him out of the sky, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" He said, "Here I am." He said, "Don't lay your hand on the boy, neither do anything to him. For now I know that you fear Elohim, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son. Abraham called the name of that place YAH Will Provide. As it is said to this day, "On YAH's mountain, it will be provided." The angel of YAH called to Abraham a second time out of the sky, and said, "I have sworn by myself, says YAH, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, that I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your seed greatly like the stars of the heavens, and like the sand which is on the seashore. Your seed will possess the gate of his enemies. In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice." So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Be'er-Sheva. Abraham lived at Be'er-Sheva. (Genesis 22:1-19 RNEB)

Abraham at this time had been serving Elohim for many years, however Elohim never stopped testing him. Man changes, and there is always the temptation to turn to unrighteousness, so we are constantly tested to make sure were remaining faithful. The tests are required because no one really knows a man until we see how he reacts under pressure, will he keep the law, or fall back to his old ways? It's much easier to remain righteous when everything is going well.

    Jacob, a servant of Elohim and of the Master Yahshua the Anointed, to the twelve tribes which are in the Diaspora: Greetings. COUNT IT ALL JOY, MY BROTHERS, WHEN YOU FALL INTO VARIOUS TEMPTATIONS [TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS], KNOWING THAT THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH PRODUCES ENDURANCE [PATIENCE]. Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:1-4 RNEB)

We grow through adversity.

    Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master Yahshua the Anointed, who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Yahshua the Anointed from the dead, TO AN INCORRUPTIBLE AND UNDEFILED INHERITANCE THAT DOESN'T FADE AWAY, reserved in Heaven for you, who by the power of Elohim are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been put to grief in various trials, that the proof of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes even though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Yahshua the Anointed-- (1 Peter 1:3-7 RNEB)
    The children of Yisra'el did that which was evil in the sight of YAH, and served the Ba`alim; and they forsook YAH, the Elohim of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other elohims, of the elohims of the peoples who were round about them, and bowed themselves down to them: and they provoked YAH to anger. THEY FORSOOK YAH, AND SERVED BA`AL [OTHER LORDS] AND THE `ASHTAROT. The anger of YAH was kindled against Yisra'el, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers who despoiled them; and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of YAH was against them for evil, as YAH had spoken, and as YAH had sworn to them: and they were sore distressed. YAH raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who despoiled them. Yet they didn't listen to their judges; for they played the prostitute after other elohims, and bowed themselves down to them: they turned aside quickly out of the way in which their fathers walked, obeying the commandments of YAH; [but] they didn't do so. When YAH raised them up judges, then YAH was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it grieved YAH because of their groaning by reason of those who oppressed them and vexed them. But it happened, when the judge was dead, that they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers, in following other elohims to serve them, and to bow down to them; THEY DIDN'T CEASE FROM THEIR DOINGS, nor from their stubborn way. (Judges 2:11-19 RNEB)

They ceased not from their own doing, in other words they did what they wanted to do, they were forsaking the law.

    The anger of YAH was kindled against Yisra'el; and he said, Because this nation have transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not listened to my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations that Yahoshua left when he died; THAT BY THEM I MAY PROVE YISRA'EL, WHETHER THEY WILL KEEP THE WAY OF YAH TO WALK THEREIN, AS THEIR FATHERS DID KEEP IT, OR NOT. So YAH left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Yahoshua. (Judges 2:20-23 RNEB)

The people of other nations that were following false gods were left in the land as a test for Yisrael to see if they would remain faithful to the one true Elohim. Today were in a situation where we dwell among the lawless, they don't dwell among us, so it's important we stay focused on the laws of the covenant and be diligent in keeping them.

    Now these are the nations which YAH left, to prove Yisra'el by them, even as many [of Yisra'el] as had not known all the wars of Kena`an; only that the generations of the children of Yisra'el might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing of it: [namely], the five masters of the Pelishtim, and all the Kena`anim, and the Tzidonim, and the Chivvi who lived on Mount Levanon, from Mount Ba`al-Chermon to the entrance of Chamat. THEY WERE [LEFT], TO PROVE YISRA'EL BY THEM, TO KNOW WHETHER THEY WOULD LISTEN TO THE COMMANDMENTS OF YAH, WHICH HE COMMANDED THEIR FATHERS BY MOSHE. The children of Yisra'el lived among the Kena`anim, the Chitti, and the Amori, and the Perizzi, and the Chivvi, and the Yevusi: and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their elohims. THE CHILDREN OF YISRA'EL DID THAT WHICH WAS EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF YAH, AND FORGOT YAH THEIR ELOHIM, AND SERVED THE BA`ALIM AND THE ASHEROT. (Judges 3:1-7 RNEB)

We need to look at everything as a test of our faithfulness to YAH, why it's occurring isn't as important as remaining faithful to the covenant as we go through it.

    YAH is in his holy temple. YAH is on his throne in heaven. His eyes observe. His eyes examine the children of men. (Psalms 11:4 RNEB)

We are always being tested, watched and examined.

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it? I, YAH, search the mind, I TRY [TEST] THE HEART, EVEN TO GIVE EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS WAYS, ACCORDING TO THE FRUIT OF HIS DOINGS. (Jeremiah 17:9-10 RNEB)

YAH tests us in order to give us according to our actions and responses, this means we can either receive the rewards of righteousness or judgment for acts of lawlessness. Every trespass will receive a just recompense.

    What is man, that you should magnify him, that you should set your mind on him, THAT YOU SHOULD VISIT HIM EVERY MORNING, AND TEST HIM EVERY MOMENT? How long will you not look away from me, nor leave me alone until I swallow down my spittle? If I have sinned, what do I do to you, you watcher of men? Why have you set me as a mark for you, so that I am a burden to myself? Why do you not pardon my disobedience, and take away my lawlessness? For now shall I lie down in the dust. You will seek me diligently, but I shall not be." (Job 7:17-21 RNEB)

Job complained and murmured before Elohim because of the troubles that befell him, which in itself is an act of iniquity. When we're going through trials we don't want to let depression set in or get ourselves in a cycle of complaining and wallowing in self pity.

    The word of YAH came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face toward Yerushalayim, and drop [your word] toward the sanctuaries, and prophesy against Eretz-Yisra'el; and tell Eretz-Yisra'el, Thus says YAH: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, AND WILL CUT OFF FROM YOU THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED. Seeing then that I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: and all flesh shall know that I, YAH, have drawn forth my sword out of its sheath; it shall not return any more. (Ezekiel 21:1-5 RNEB)

There are times Elohim will do things that impacts both the righteous and the wicked to serve a larger purpose. This life is a testing ground and Elohim places more importance on the next life when the righteous will receive immortality. The short lives we live now are nothing compared to the prize promised to the righteous who endure to the end.

    THE RIGHTEOUS PERISHES, and no man lays it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that THE RIGHTEOUS IS TAKEN AWAY FROM THE EVIL [TO COME]. (Isaiah 57:1 RNEB)

Elohim will sometimes cut off the righteous, so they don't have to see or partake in the calamities to come.

We also need to realize sometimes things happen that don't have anything to do with something we did or didn't do.

    Yosef returned into Egypt--he, and his brothers, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father. When Yosef's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "It may be that Yosef will hate us, and will fully pay us back for all of the evil which we did to him." They sent a message to Yosef, saying, "Your father commanded before he died, saying, 'You shall tell Yosef, "Now please forgive the disobedience of your brothers, and their sin, because they did evil to you."' Now, please forgive the disobedience of the servants of the Elohim of your father." Yosef wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also went and fell down before his face; and they said, "Behold, we are your servants." Yosef said to them, "Don't be afraid, FOR AM I IN THE PLACE OF ELOHIM? AS FOR YOU, YOU MEANT EVIL AGAINST ME, BUT ELOHIM MEANT IT FOR GOOD, TO BRING TO PASS, AS IT IS THIS DAY, TO SAVE MANY PEOPLE ALIVE. (Genesis 50:14-20 RNEB)

This is a situation where Yosef could have easily believed great evil befell him on account of his brothers, however this was part of Elohim's plan to save Yisrael and his family from a seven year famine. Elohim orchestrated this entire situation. This is an example of Elohim's active will, we can also see examples of his permissive will, when things are allowed to take place due to our own errors and lack of wisdom, and Elohim doesn't intervene so we can learn from the situations.

    Then his wife said to him, "DO YOU STILL MAINTAIN YOUR INTEGRITY? RENOUNCE ELOHIM, AND DIE." But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. What? SHALL WE RECEIVE GOOD AT THE HAND OF ELOHIM, AND SHALL WE NOT RECEIVE EVIL?" In all this Iyov didn't sin with his lips. (Job 2:9-10 RNEB)

This is an example of Elohim's permissive will, he allowed Satan to try Job.

    But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. FOR HE MAKES HIS SUN TO RISE ON THE EVIL AND THE GOOD, AND SENDS RAIN ON THE JUST AND THE UNJUST. (Matthew 5:44-45 RNEB)

Good and bad things will happen to the righteous and unrighteous.

    In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; yes, Elohim has made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything after him. (Ecclesiastes 7:14 RNEB)

We should look at life as an on going test, how we react to adversity and prosperity is being watched, and will give account for all the works of our hand.

    It is for discipline that you endure. Elohim deals with you as with children, for what son is there whom his father doesn't discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have been made partakers, then are you illegitimate, and not children. Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? For they indeed, for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness. ALL CHASTENING SEEMS FOR THE PRESENT TO BE NOT JOYOUS BUT GRIEVOUS; YET AFTERWARD IT YIELDS THE PEACEFUL FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN EXERCISED [STRENGTHENED] THEREBY. (Hebrews 12:7-11 RNEB)

Every situation and circumstance can serve to teach and strengthen us, we need to realize this and keep the covenant in the forefront always, so we can respond properly to each situation, and use them to develop patience, wisdom and understanding.

When we get caught up in any act of lawlessness regardless of the situation we need to come before Elohim with a remorseful heart and repent for are actions. Were all going to make mistakes and have lapses in judgment, how we handle ourselves when we realize what we have done is crucial to our salvation.

    I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance. For you were made sorry in a reverent way, that you might suffer loss by us in nothing. For reverent sorrow works repentance to salvation, which brings no regret. But the sorrow of the world works death. (2 Corinthians 7:9-10 RNEB)
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