Sunday, October 30, 2011
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 12
Shabbat Shalom family! Give thanks and praise the mighty Name of יהוה.
Tehillim/Psalm 35:18 “I give You thanks in the great assembly; I praise You among a mighty people.”
In Him and through Him and by Him we are a mighty people, treasured and belonging to a Mighty Elohim, aměn!
Life is a succession of moments and success is living each of those moments according to the will of יהוה our Elohim as He has clearly instructed us through His Word.
Yehoshua/Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely.”
This was a charge given to a man who would lead the nation of Yisra’ĕl into the Promised land and was encouraged several times to be strong and courageous and be a mighty servant of the Most High EL! In a message tonight called, “Calling Forth the Mighty!” I would like you to turn with me to Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 12 where we will look a little closer at the characteristics of the mighty men who were gathered to Dawiḏ. (Read)
Dawiḏ was anointed by Shemuʼĕl the prophet to be king, yet was driven into a fugitive existence being continually pursued by a jealous king Sha’ul who was still reigning as king over Yisra’ĕl and had set up an established system to which he wanted to hold so tightly on to and not allow Dawiḏ to become king. Dawiḏ escaped to the cave of Aḏullam and was joined by his family as well as those who were in distress, had debt or who were bitter in being and he became head over them. In other words the down and outs came to him!!! Dawiḏ then fled to the land of the Philistines and came to Aḵish, sovereign of Gath and was then given Tsiqlaḡ and he dwelt there for just under a year and a half and was joined there by many of his mighty warriors, and it was also at Tsiqlaḡ that he received news of the death of king Sha’ul.
These mighty warriors that were gathered to him at Tsiqlaḡ became what we could call the ‘forerunners’ in being instrumental in the establishment of the king’s reign. These men, in effect, had ‘prepared the way’ for Dawiḏ’s ultimate establishment as sovereign over all Yisra’ĕl.
These men who came to Dawiḏ at Tsiqlaḡ were mighty in the sense that they went against what we could call the ‘Sha’ul system’ of a man driven fleshly kingdom; and they aligned themselves to Dawiḏ – a fugitive outlaw – one who had been rejected in a sense by his own; and by these mighty men joining Dawiḏ they in effect “burned their bridges” and there was no turning back! They had turned their backs on the ‘established order’ that had promised them security, a future, promotions and a reputation – all of course matters of the flesh! But what we can see from their motivation to go to Dawiḏ in the wilderness was that they showed their loyalty to the one which יהוה had anointed to rule and have an established reign forever upon the throne of Dawiḏ that would usher in the Messiah who would forever rule!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6-7 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His rule and peace there is no end, upon the throne of Dawiḏ and over His reign, to establish it and sustain it with right-ruling and with righteousness from now on, even forever. The ardour of יהוה of hosts does this.”
Dawiḏ symbolises for us the full manifestation of the emerging kingdom of Elohim and he represents for us a picture or type of Messiah and His kingdom reign that will firmly be established here on earth!
In Diḇre haYamim aleph/1 Chronicles 11 we are given a few of the accounts of the exploits of some of these mighty warriors and the immensely great victories they had, which I encourage you to read as I have spoken on this in the past and I will not go into the details now on these very great accounts of outstanding physical bravery. These men not only displayed physical bravery, but also displayed great moral courage in joining themselves to Dawiḏ by forsaking all the seeming comforts of the life in king Sha’ul’s court.
They had selflessly abandoned themselves to Dawiḏ and the very word of יהוה that was spoken over his life, and in one sense it could seem like a gung-ho approach of young, fit and eager men who were very daring. However it was more than that – yes they were very daring that is for sure – but it was a considered commitment to prophetically revealed destiny. They would have been fully aware of Shemuʼĕl’s word over Dawiḏ’s life, as well as the evidence of the Spirit of יהוה that was upon Dawiḏ, who would be crowned king over Yisra’ĕl. And what this awareness and discernment of the prophetic purpose did was nothing less that demand their all!!! The call of the coming kingdom reign wrenched them from their homes and all that was near and dear to them, and this is the same for us today who align ourselves with our Coming King, יהושע Messiah, as we abandon ourselves unto Him.
Luqas/Luke 14:26-27 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and his own life too, he is unable to be My taught one. 27 “And whoever does not bear his stake and come after Me is unable to be My taught one.”
Every relationship, every security and every personal right they had to have lain down in order to pursue the call of the king and his kingdom and this demanded a forsaking of the prestige and position in the ‘King Sha’ul’ regime and it is no different today!
They swam against the tide – they stood their ground while others retreated and they certainly did not go with the crowd! This display of courage and bravery of the mighty is the mark of a forerunner who in the face of impossible odds move into the ‘kingdom’ animated by a force of spirit that others do not possess:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:12 “And from the days of Yoḥanan the Immerser till now the reign of the heavens is violated, and the violent seize it.”
There is a battle on for worship and the calling forth of the mighty of יהושע is here to stand against those who violate the reign of the heavens by establishing it right here and now through total obedience to our King!
These mighty men of Dawiḏ, having responded to the voice of destiny had truly settled the question of ownership – they were no longer their own and were therefore able to be willing to lay down their lives in the heat of battle, offering themselves as daily living sacrifices as displayed in their sacrificial feats of bravery enabling them to see יהוה work on their behalf, and what we can learn from these men in our own lives is the fact that it is true that יהוה plus 1 is always a majority and a sure promised victory no matter the battle! With Him being with us we can walk in the triumphant procession of victory in Messiah declaring His praise and reign, aměn!
For these men, they discovered very quickly that what may have seemed impossible with the natural eye became possible, as king Sha’ul and his established system was taken out of the way and the Dawiḏic order was established in its place!
We can learn a great deal from the very characteristics that are attributed to these mighty warriors who came to Dawiḏ both at Tsiqlaḡ and at Ḥeḇron and I would like for us to briefly look at some of these in order to reflect the very attributes and characteristics that ought to be evident in our lives as we abandon ourselves totally unto our Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah!
Firstly if we look at the Gaḏites that were described in verse 8 we see some clear characteristics of a mighty warrior in the king’s army:
1 – SEPARATED TO THE KING
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.”
The Hebrew word used for ‘separated themselves’ is בָּדַל ‘badal’ – H914 and means ‘to divide, separate, sever, to set apart, to make a distinction, come over’.
Luqas/Luke 12:51 “Do you think that I came to give peace on earth? I say to you, no, but rather division.”
In Mattithyahu 10:34 the word ‘sword’ is used which carries the same meaning – and that is to cut, divide or separate – and it is His Word that does this!!! The call of יהוה separates the mighty who respond with great humility and faith from the stiff-necked who simply harden their hearts in rebellion in order to appease their satisfaction in the flesh and are unwilling to come out and be separate!
As we discussed, these mighty men counted the cost and risked it all and never looked back – how about you! What is important to note is that they separated themselves to Dawiḏ in the wilderness, as we have all discovered through our torah portions that it is in the wilderness where we who are separated unto Him learn to hear His voice and obey His commands. The Wilderness journey is often pictured as a coming out of known comfort zones of the flesh as we learn to be comforted by His very Word in Spirit and Truth!
2 – STRONG - MIGHTY BRAVE MEN
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 2:1 “You then, my son, be strong in the favour that is in Messiah יהושע.”
The two words used here are: גִּבּוֹר ‘gibbor’ H1368 which translates as ‘mighty man, brave man, and valiant warrior, powerful’ and חַיִל ‘chayil’ H2428 – ‘strength, efficiency, excellence, and men of valour, powerful’. This is a double witness of the strength of these men – not only physically but in their character of their fervent commitment to their king.
These were strong and courageous followers of the king – a repetitive call for all followers of Messiah – to be strong and courageous. To ‘be strong’ in Hebrew - חָזַקḥāzaq H2388 - carries the meaning of ‘the ability to seize or to fasten upon, to be strengthened and grasp between the ears and be devoted’ and ‘courageous’ - אָמֵץ amats H553 – means ‘to be alert both physically and mentally, be fully alert – awake and not asleep, be steadfast’.
These mighty brave men were hearers and doers!!! To be strong and courageous is to hear, guard and do the Word of Elohim!
3 – SKILLED
These guys were trained for battle and were not novices – they could handle both shield and spear with great precision and craftsmanship. The shield and spear represent for us both offensive and defensive weapons and speaks of their ability to handle any situation in standing firm in their belief!
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 4:2 “Proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:15-16 “But set apart יהוה Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone asking you a reason concerning the expectation that is in you, with meekness and fear, 16 having a good conscience, so that when they speak against you as doers of evil, those who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Messiah, shall be ashamed.”
Being skilled in sword and shield is not simply a physical or bodily function but is also the ability to show great reverence through being skilled in one’s faith through the application and doing of the Word.
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise is profitable for a little, but reverence is profitable for all, having promise of the present life, and of that which is to come.”
These might brave men were skilled in their following the commands of their king and making their stand firm in every way.
We know that the shield pictures for us faith or belief and the sword as the Word and the two go hand in hand to be a skilled mighty child of the Living Elohim. It is the hearing of the Word that brings the belief and is lived out in the active doing of the Word. Ya’aqoḇ/James tells us that a man is declared right by works and not by belief alone! (2:24)
Skilled for the king is to be a doer of His Word and to do that you have to be trained in His Word and to do that you have to be immersed in His Word, diligently seeking and studying and meditating on His Word, aměn!
4 – SURE AND SECURE
Their faces were like the faces of lions – that tells me that they were fierce looking yet they showed a calm demeanour of men who were very confident in Elohim! They carried a countenance of fierce yet calm warriors – never panicked – and were very terrifying to their enemies. Listen, the enemy does not want to stand against a secure and confident warrior and we know that the enemy is not a lion but is like a lion seeking who he can devour – when we stand firm in the Word and reflect the very character of Messiah – the True Lion of the tribe of Yehuḏah then the enemy will flee when we confidently resist him as we submit to Elohim; and stand firm as the security and sureness of His Word enables us to be sure-footed. That is the other characteristic of these men – swift as gazelles on the mountains. The gazelle is a clean animal that we are permitted to eat and it has a split hoof that is completely divided into two parts enabling them to be sure footed even when the body weight seems to be out of proportion to their skinny legs! The picture of a sure footed clean animal with a hoof completely divided is a reminder to us of whether we are sure footed in His Word or not and do we rightly divide the Truth. In reference to His Appointed Times where we are required to go up 3 times a year is also expressed as ‘feet’ in Hebrew and is a reminder again to keep His Appointments. So to be as swift as a deer on the mountains speaks of being clean – be sure footed in His Word and adhering to His Appointments and be able to ascend rough terrain with confidence and ease!
These men were faithful and trustworthy and these were the guys who passed over the Yardĕn while it was overflowing – they were not afraid to get their feet wet so to speak and this is what is being called for today as we see the day of our Coming King approaching!
The progressive nature of this chapter shows the clear indication of how more and more came to join up with Dawiḏ, and after the death of Sha'ul Dawiḏ then went to Ḥeḇron and here at Ḥeḇron we see men from every tribe being gathered to the king.
It is very interesting once again to see the traits of these mighty men being described and as one looks at each of these tribes it is clear to see more and more the qualities and traits of what a mighty child of faith in Messiah ought to carry.
Here are some traits of a true servant of Elohim:
1 – Armed for battle – v24 – Yehuḏah ‘bearing shield and spear’. Eph’siyim/Ephesians we all know speaks of the complete armour of Elohim – belt of truth; breastplate of righteousness; feet prepared for the Good News of peace; shield of belief; helmet of deliverance and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of Elohim! Are you armed?
2 – Ready for battle – v25 – Shim’on – brave men – it is one thing to be armed but are you ready? Are you brave? As we have discussed!
3 – Leading through service!
4 – Brave and courageous – we have discussed much about that!
5 – Committed and loyal – v29 – ‘guarded the charge’ – Guard the good deposit and remain faithful to our King!
6 – Designated by name! – v31 – Men of Menashsheh were designated by name – well respected and well admired by all. יהוה has called us each by name and designated to us each our role and He has through His blessing paced His name upon us, aměn!
7 – Discerning – v32 – Sons of Yissasḵar ‘understood the times, to know what Yisra’ĕl should do’! I want to just stress this attribute a little more here. This speaks of having a deep understanding and keen awareness with sound discernment – and an understanding of the times! What have most of us come to understand? יהוה’s times!!! As we understand His Times and His calendar we begin to more clearly discern the Scriptures and be able to have a deeper understanding and insight as to what Yisra’ĕl (the Bride of Messiah) should be doing!!! By understanding the times we are no longer enslaved by the establishment of false man-made times and seasons and have greater ability to know the Torah and focus upon the will of our Creator, יהוה of Hosts, and enabled to lead others in the truth!
Hoshěa/Hosea 4:6 “My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children.”
Dani’ěl/Daniel 12:4 “But you, Dani’ěl, hide the words, and seal the book until the time of the end. Many shall diligently search and knowledge shall increase.”
These days knowledge is indeed increasing… but it doesn’t just fall out of the sky!!! It is as many ‘diligently search’ and reverently fear by walking in and not rejecting His Torah!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9: 10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.”
It is time for us to diligently seek יהוה:
Tehillim/Psalm 27:8 “To my heart You have said, “Seek My face.” Your face, יהוה, I seek.”
Are you ‘diligently’ seeking and increasing your knowledge of the Set-Apart One being then able to understand ‘the times’?
8 – Devoted and undivided – v33 – Sons of Zeḇulun – had all weapons, gave support with and undivided heart!
Unity is key – 30 walking in unity is far more effective and can accomplish more than 500 who are all acting apart and doing their own thing! Devotion is only strengthened when there is an undivided heart and mind. A man who is double minded is unstable in all his ways and when this happens there can be no unity. Devoted and undivided is a trait of a servant of the Most High!
These men carried sword and spear as well as all kinds of weapons and were always prepared for all. We too need to be always ready and armed for the fight we fight:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not fight according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, 5 overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
Another important aspect we see in this text is in verse 38 – they all ‘kept rank’. Each one knew his position and didn’t overstep any lines of authority – keeping rank is a sign of unity and respect and great service toward one another as well as the king who had enlisted them! And above all they all came with a perfect heart to set Dawiḏ up as king!
The word used for perfect here is שָׁלֵם ‘shalem’ H8003and means ‘complete, safe, at peace, blameless, whole, full’
Undivided hearts, at peace and safe in the leadership and guidance of their king!!! This resulted in the rest of Yisra’ĕl to have one heart in setting up Dawiḏ to reign.
The challenge for us is this – will we be like these mighty men as described in this chapter? Will we rather go with the flow of the established order or make the break from the ‘Sha’ul man-driven systems’? For us who are here tonight I believe I can confidently say that we all have made the break or at least I would hope so – in other words there is no going back to the ‘established order of man’! We can no longer pursue selfish ambitions but rather pursue and run with the high calling of kingdom living as a body together in unity with undivided devotion and a perfect heart before יהושע Messiah our King!
Will you continue to stand armed to fight the good fight of belief even as we may find ourselves standing in the face of a system or systems that are hostile toward יהוה? Will we truly submit to the circumcision of the heart that tears us away from the ‘King Sha’ul value system’ that is clearly headed for destruction?
There are many today who are looking for what is the ‘right way’ and are beginning to ask many questions as they begin to discover the ‘Sha’ul’ system as manifested through the church among others and is in fact flawed and will ultimately fall despite their attempts at putting up a fight for survival! And may we be aware that when it does fall there will be some who will come out of the woodwork and be joined to Messiah – in the context of this chapter - joined to Dawiḏ’s camp!
In this chapter there were 2 groups of people who gathered – those who came to Tsiqlaḡ and those who came to Ḥeḇron. There were fewer who came to Tsiqlaḡ than the thousands who came to Dawiḏ at Ḥeḇron. The difference – at Ḥeḇron it was after the death of Sha’ul. I believe that there will be many more who will come but we who are in the wilderness at this point are symbolic of those who came to the king at Tsiqlaḡ. Now all the men, whether those who joined at Tsiqlaḡ or Ḥeḇron were all mighty men – who were prepared to forsake reputation, prestige and position. Calling forth the mighty – will you be one and separate yourself totally to יהושע becoming strong, skilled, sure and secure in our Commander and King, able to fight and stand firm being sure-footed in Him, knowing that the crowing of our King is coming when He comes again as the conquering King and His reign be firmly established here!
Times will get tougher and the Sha’ul based systems of the flesh and enemy will constantly accuse and revile us – it is time to get serious and stand mighty in our True King and Saviour, and time to strip away all selfishness and pride and serve each other with great fervency and joy in our Maker and Commander of the Heavenly Hosts!
Calling forth the Mighty – be joined to Him and do not look back – Aměn!
I thought I would leave you with some very interesting insight with regard to the names of the men that separated themselves to Dawiḏ; as you will see below with all the meaning of these names of those mighty warriors that came to him at Tsiqlaḡ - and you will clearly notice that there is not one name that has a ‘negative’ connotation and the majority contain Yahweh or El!!! This is a great lesson for us and wonderful insight for us to embrace – that with His Name upon us we are ‘in Him’ mighty. In Him we find our strength, our help, favour and blessing and when we walk in Him and embrace his Torah we know that he hears us!!! It is a calling forth the mighty – and this will require you all – will you be counted among the mighty – it is worth it – do not be of those who harden their hearts and forsake the calling of the mighty for mere flesh and temporary ‘satisfaction’ but be a mighty child of the Most High Mighty One and joined to our Mighty King, יהושע Messiah, and be totally separated unto Him, aměn!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you His shalom! His Name is upon you – now be mighty in Him and be a willing forerunner in taking up the call and running with great endurance the race set before you in Messiah.
Names of the mighty from Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 12:3-13:
Aḥiʽezer - אֲחִיעֶזֶר H295 = ‘my brother is help’
Yo’ash – יוֹאָשׁ H3101 = ‘given by Yah/Yah is strong’
Yezaw’ĕl – יְזִוְאֵל H3149 = ‘assembly of Yah’
Pelet -פֶּלֶט H6404 = ‘deliverance’
Beraḵah - בְּרָכָה H1294 = ‘blessing’
Yĕhu - יֵהוּא H3058 = ‘Yah is He’
Yishmayah – יִשְׁמַעְיָה H3460 = ‘Yahweh will hear/Yah hears’
Yirmeyah –יִרְמְיָה H3414 = ‘whom Yahweh has appointed / Yah loosens’
Yaḥazi’ĕl – יַחֲזִיאֵל H3166 = ‘beheld of EL/EL sees’
Yoḥanan – יוֹחָנָן H3110 = ‘Yahweh has favoured/Yahweh has been gracious’
Yozaḇaḏ - יוֹזָבָד H3107 = ‘Yahweh has endowed’
Eluzai – אֶלְעוּזַי H498 = ‘El is my strength’
Yerimoth – יְרִימוֹת H3406 = ‘He is Most High’
Beʽalyah –בַּעַלְיָה H1183 = ‘Yahweh is Master’
Shemaryahu – שְׁמַרְיָהוּ H8114 = ‘kept by Yahweh/Yahweh has kept’
Shephatyahu – שְׁפַטְיָהוּ H8203 = ‘Yahweh has judged’
Elqanah –אֶלְקָנָה H511 = ‘El has taken possession/ El has created’
Yishshiyahu – יִשִּׁיָּהוּ H3449 = ‘Yahweh will lend’
Azar’ĕl – עֲזַרְאֵל H5832 = ‘El has helped’
Yowʽezer – יוֹעֶזֶר H3134 = ‘Yahweh is a help’
Yashoḇʽam – יָשָׁבְעָם H3434 = ‘the people will return’
Yo’ĕlah – יוֹעֵאלָה H3132 = ‘may he avail’
Zeḇaḏyah – זְבַדְיָה H2069 = ‘endowment of Yahweh/Yah has bestowed’
Ězer – עֵזֶר H5829 = ‘treasure/help’
Oḇaḏyah – עֹבַדְיָה H6552 = ‘servant of Yahweh’
Eliyaḇ - אֱלִיאָב H446 = ‘El is Father/my Elohim is Father’
Mishmannah – מַשְׁמַנָּה H4925 = ‘fatness’
Yirmeyah – יִרְמְיָה H3414 = ‘Yahweh has appointed’
Attai – עַתַּי H6262 = ‘opportune’
Eli’ĕl – אֱלִיאֵל H447 = ‘EL is EL/my EL is ELohim’
Yoḥanan – יוֹחָנָן H3110 = ‘Yahweh has favoured/Yahweh has been gracious’
Elzaḇaḏ - אֶלְזָבָד H443 = ‘El has given’
Yirmeyahu – יִרְמְיָהוּ H3414 = ‘Yahweh has appointed/Yah loosens’
Maḵbannai – מַכְבַּנַּי H4344 = ‘bond of Yahweh’
Friday, October 14, 2011
IT’S SUKKOT – REJOICE, REJOICE AND AGAIN I SAY REJOICE!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:13-17 / Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:33-44
Shalom everybody, It is Sukkot – the Feast of Rejoicing! Tonight marks the beginning of Sukkot or also commonly known as The Feast of Tabernacles or rather the Feast of Booths. So, as we begin this joyous Feast of יהוה I want to share briefly with you a short message (if that is possible) called “IT’S SUKKOT – REJOICE, REJOICE AND AGAIN I SAY REJOICE!”
Turn with me to Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:33-44 (read).
Well, here we are – on the 15th of the 7th month and we are together as commanded in having a set-apart gathering, doing no servile work - this day as well as the 8th day is a ‘Shabbaton’ – that is a ‘Sabbath-like’ day. The 1st & 8th days are treated like the weekly Sabbath. As you will clearly notice that this Festival is to be celebrated for 7 days and is a law forever! In Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 14 we are told that this Feast will still be celebrated during the Millennial Reign, as those nations that do not come up to Yerushalayim will not receive rain. In Scripture rain is also symbolic for provision, as well as speaking about the two comings of Messiah as the former and latter rains – the latter rains symbolising this time of year when our Provider comes and dwells with us – Forever! Now in also understanding rain as pictured for provision, as we rehearse each year this Feast I too believe that prophetically it also carries for us the promise of His faithful provision in our lives, and so to neglect to keep this Feast would not be very wise as we continue to grow in knowledge and with joy keep His Feasts in expressing our love for Him through our diligent obedience.
Let us be reminded that this is not a ‘Jewish’ feast, but rather it is a feast of יהוה – it is His Feast and we are to keep it – His Feasts, our rehearsals – rehearsals of His Good plans for us – shadow pictures of Good things to come! Celebrating Sukkot is an annual reminder of יהוה’s provision, protection, presence and promise during the 40 years in the Wilderness from Mitsrayim/Egypt to the Promised Land – the land of milk and honey! For it was during these years that Yisra’ĕl lived in tents; and during this journey יהוה gave them water from the rock, manna from heaven in the morning and quail in the evening (all symbolic pictures themselves of the coming Messiah). During that time יהוה was before them on their journey in a pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day.
Sukkot is a festival of REJOICING! And the reason for this is:
1 – It commemorates יהוה’s goodness and provision during the wilderness wanderings of Yisra’ĕl and reminds us that we too are sojourners here as we await the Promise of dwelling in His Presence fully when He comes again.
2 – It commemorates יהוה’s present goodness and provision with the completion of the harvest and reminds us of His daily provision and that we are truly not to worry, but place our full trust in Him
3 – It looks forward to the future and the fullness of the harvest that is to come – He is coming again – יהושע has offered up a first fruit offering of the harvest that is to come, and so as this is also called the feast of ingathering as it was the culmination of the years harvesting of fruits that we have the assurance that we too will be gathered together to dwell with Him forever!
Sukkot, as we see in Scripture, was celebrated at the dedication of the Temple under King Shelomoh/Solomon, as well as at the time of the rededication of the Temple when Neḥemyah/Nehemiah brought Yisra’ĕl back and the fulfilment of this festival will take place when the New Yerushalayim comes down from Heaven and יהוה dwells permanently with His people! And as the voice declares from Heaven as recoded in Revelation 21:3 “See, the Booth of Elohim is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and Elohim Himself shall be with them and be their Elohim.”
This is certainly something to rejoice about!
The command to dwell in ‘booths’ or ‘tents’ is that we are reminded how יהוה made Yisra’ĕl dwell in booths when He brought them out of Mitsrayim. The frail sukkah, or temporary booth reminds us of the frailty of life, and so surviving the winds and elements reminds us of His great love and His favour for us as we become living testimonies of the work of יהושע in our lives as we too are living in a body that is temporary, the flesh which will one day be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and how now as we go through the storms and winds of life, we are guarded by His great love!
The Sukkah is a testimony of our confidence, hope and faith in יהוה Yireh (our Provider) – who is the source of our strength and salvation, and reminds us once gain how we are to depend on יהוה for provision of food, water and shelter, just as He provided Yisra’ĕl in the Wilderness journeys! For יהושע is the Bread of Life, He is the One who satisfies the thirsty through giving of Living Waters and he is our refuge and shelter, aměn!
Sukkah’s/Booths were typically made very rough signifying man’s weakness and they would be made out of branches that Yisra’ĕl had gathered on their journey that would symbolise the various aspects of their journey from Mitsrayim to the land flowing with milk and honey. 1 - Palm branches symbolised the oasis in the wilderness – those places of refreshing and rest from the sun amidst the hot dessert – showing provision in the hottest climate. 2 - The myrtle branches that were in the mountains which reminded them of the rough terrain and mountainous routes that were taken and how יהוה was with them through the rough and hilly times. 3 - Willow branches that typically found at the places of streams or ‘wadi’s’ in the desert – places that they could find refreshing and restoration. ‘En Gedi’ were Dawiḏ found refreshing is a ‘wadi’ in the dessert – a place where there is a waterfall, lush trees and pools of running water where one could find fresh living water and be strengthened for the road ahead and 4 - fruit of good trees from the fertile hillsides – reminding them of יהוה’s provision and the Land they were Promised would be fruitful, as well as the abundant fruit they were to produce in righteous living being offered up before Him with praise. All of these reminded them of the various terrains that had been travelled in the wilderness.
Sukkot is the culmination of all the appointed times and it is to the other feasts what the Shabbat is to the other 6 days of the week, and so it is a fitting foreshadow of the great celebration when we will live in peace under the reign and rule of the Righteous King, יהושע Messiah. Just as Shabbat foreshadows the Millennium, so Sukkot also looks forward to that great age to come, and like all His Feasts, Sukkot foreshadows Messiah.
Turn with me to Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:13-15 (read)
Once again the commands regarding the keeping of this feast – and one thing that you will notice here in both passages we have read – there is a command to rejoice!!!
We are to celebrate! Now people typically celebrate that which they are happy about – well, we celebrate the joy of יהוה and we celebrate the coming of our Redeemer and King – יהושע Messiah! Let me ask you – “Is it a joy for you to celebrate Him?” Again let me ask you, “When you come to celebrate His Feasts – who are you appearing before when you celebrate His feasts - are you just making sure that you are seen by others, so as to appease your conscience that you were there and can tick of a to do list, or are you truly coming to worship the maker of Heaven and Earth?”
What are you bringing to the Creator and King? When it speaks here of an offering made by fire – it speaks here of a worship with passion – wholehearted worship is an offering made by fire to יהוה. It is an all or nothing deal – once again I ask – “Is it a jot for you to worship and celebrate יהוה our Maker?”
We get to rehearse each year the Great Wedding Feast where we His Bride rehearse that Great Day! Often you may see some of the rich today having wedding rehearsal meals where they have an entire function with invited guests as a rehearsal!
Now we as a royal priesthood get to do this at this Feast of יהוה – how awesome is that! יהוה does not want miserable people at His Wedding Feast – especially the Bride!
The essence of Sukkot is joy – being joyful in His provision – joyful in our deliverance.
I am tired of people who have no joy in coming to worship our King and sit under His Word. I am tired of people with the wrong attitude in their approach to worship – יהוה’s Feasts are His Feasts that He has given us and commanded us to partake in. I am tired of people who say things like, “Oh, I will see if I can make it!” Who are you trying to impress? It is about worship unto יהוה, coming before Him with great joy and expectancy – for His joy is our strength and so as we are here to celebrate this Feast, may our joy be complete as we come and rejoice before our Maker!
Rejoice is a command and we know that His commands are good! The Torah is perfect, Sha’ul/Paul tells us – His Torah is good – it is for our good as it keeps us within His provision, protection, presence and promises. If we love Him we will obey His commands! It is as simple as that!
This is a season to celebrate the very Word that was made flesh and ‘tabernacled’ with us. It was at this time when יהושע Messiah was born in a Sukkah – which certainly makes this a time to rejoice. He brought us deliverance which will be fully revealed to us in the culmination of these 7th month Feasts, causing us to enter in to the Wedding of all Weddings!
This is a Feast where we are mandated to rejoice – regardless of what your situation or current circumstances are like.
Just imagine this for a moment – your circumstances suck - you have no home, you are an orphan or a widow, it feels like you have no future, you have financial woes, health issues, relational issues and you are instructed to be joyful!!! You see this is a reminder to us that joy is not determined by circumstances – it is something that is yours because of יהושע Messiah, aměn! They were told go and be joyful – listen up - the joy of יהוה is our strength, not good circumstances!
In those days as well as today we find many people without joy, and do you know what? They are looking for joy, whether they realise it or not, but sadly they are looking in the wrong places – bars, brothels, casinos, shopping malls, exotic holiday destinations; or they are losing themselves in their work – thinking the harder they work and the more they achieve success the more joy they will have. Many today run from relationship to relationship or in a new hobby or false religion seeking fulfilment and joy – and of course these are all the wrong places. We all need to fully come to the realisation that joy can only be found in Messiah!
At the time of יהושע, booths were still being constructed as commanded, however there were some additional ceremonies that were added and carried great prophetic significance. The first of these was the Water Pouring Ceremony. This ceremony involved the priests, accompanied by a procession of singing people that would go down to the pool of ‘Shelaḥ’ (H7975), a word that means ‘sent’ and this was one of the principle sources of water supply to Yerushalayim that originated from the ‘Giḥon’ spring which emptied into this pool.
יהוה was the provider of water and rain and so this abundant source of water was sent by יהוה for His city. The priest would fill a gold pitcher with water and march back to the Temple where it would be poured upon the altar and was symbolic of יהוה’s salvation as described in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 12:3 “And you shall draw water with joy from the fountains of deliverance.” which was prophetically speaking of the Messiah.
Prayers were offered up with the pouring of the water to thank יהוה for His provision in watering the land as well as asking יהוה for rain for the next season’s crops – so Sukkot was a time to also ask for rain and from Scriptures we know that rain was יהוה’s provision for obedience to His decrees, and in effect they would declare their obedience to Him and ask Him to once again bless them with rain. This ceremony also carried with it a deeper spiritual meaning – it signified the hope of the Messiah for the Yisra’ĕl throughout the ages and was also a symbolic picture of the outpouring of the Rûach haqôdesh (Set-Apart Spirit)
And right here at the Feast of Sukkot, perhaps after this water pouring ceremony listen to what Yoḥanan writes:
Yoḥanan/John 7:37-39 “And on the last day, the great day of the festival, יהושע stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me, and let him who believes in Me drink. 38 “As the Scripture said, out of His innermost shall flow rivers of living water.” 39 And this He said concerning the Spirit, which those believing in Him were about to receive, for the Set-apart Spirit was not yet given, because יהושע was not yet esteemed.”
Here יהושע was fulfilling this ceremony at the Feast by declaring that He is the One who gives the water of life!
Now see the fulfilment of this being prophesied as seen by Yoḥanan again in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:6 “And He said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I shall give of the fountain of the water of life without payment.”
Here we see יהושע at the fulfilment of this Feast in a revelation that was given to Yoḥanan that He will give a drink to whoever is thirsty without cost and in Revelation 22 you can read about the River of the water of life that flows from the very throne of Elohim. The pool of ‘Shelaḥ’ – יהוה’s sent water is a prophetic picture of His provision in Messiah to be fulfilled at Messiah’s return where both the Spirit and the Bride will once again say, “Come, whoever is thirsty let him come!”
This Feast is a joyous celebration of What He is doing, has done and will still do in restoring the Tent of Dawiḏ, symbolising a tabernacle of praise and worship – where there is pure rejoicing! I am so excited for His feasts, and my hope is that you too will share this excitement that we may truly experience His great love and joy filling us to overflowing, amen!
And as we are commanded to REJOICE, I would like to briefly share with you some of the Hebrew and Greek words used that speak of our ability to rejoice and be able to fully embrace the need for an obedient rejoicing at this Feast.
First of all in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:40 we see the word for rejoice in the Hebrew here is שָׂמַח ‘samach’ H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’. A derivative of this word is שָׂמֵחַ ‘sameach’ H8056 and carries the same meaning as well as implying ‘to be merry’. Both of these words are used in the command to rejoice in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:14 & 15.
The word ‘samach’ can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!
Other words that we find in Hebrew which we translate as ‘rejoice’ are:
1 - עָלַץ ‘alats’ H5970 meaning ‘rejoice, exult, be in a state of joy which includes verbal expressions of joy and praise’ and in essence can carry the meaning ‘to shout or jump for joy’, used in:
Tehillim/Psalm 9:2 “I rejoice and exult in You; I sing praise to Your Name, O Most High.”
Both ‘samach’ and ‘alats’ are used here
2 - גִּיל ‘gil’ H1523 meaning ‘rejoice, be glad, tremble with exceeding fear’ and also can give us the picture to ‘spin around under the influence of an emotion’ and is used in;
Tehillim/Psalm 9:14 “So that I declare all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Tsiyon. I rejoice in Your deliverance.”
3 - שׂוּשׂ ‘sus’ H7797 meaning ‘to be bright, cheerful, exult, rejoice, display joy’ used in:
Tehillim/Psalm 40:16 “Let all those who seek You Rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your deliverance always say, “יהוה be exalted!”
Both ‘sus’ and ‘samach’ is used here.
Tehillim/Psalm 68:3 “But the righteous are glad, They exult before Elohim. And they rejoice with gladness.”
In this verse you have ‘samach’, ‘alats’ and ‘sus’.
4 - רָנַן ‘ranan’ H7442 meaning ‘to overcome, cry out, shout for joy, give a ringing cry, sing aloud’, often also translated as praise, and is translated as ‘rejoice’ in:
Tehillim/Psalm 98:4 “Raise a shout to יהוה, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:10 “I greatly rejoice in יהוה, my being exults in my Elohim. For He has put garments of deliverance on me, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
This wonderful declaration will be fulfilled at this Feast, and this verse uses both ‘sus’ and ‘gil’. What a wonderful day this will be when we are together as a body dressed in the completed garments of deliverance!!!
Why all the words? Well I believe it is necessary to understand true rejoicing and all it entails and I love this next verse in:
Tehillim/Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; Let them ever shout for joy, because You shelter them; And let those who love Your Name exult in You.”
In this verse we see the word ‘samach’ as well as the Hebrew word סָכַךְ ‘sakak’ H5526 which is translated for us as ‘shelter’ and in other translations as ‘defend’ as this word carries the meaning ‘to overshadow, screen, cover, hedge or fence about or to entwine as a screen’ which speaks of not only as יהוה being our defender and protector but also picture for us His Booth or dwelling with us that brings that protection.
This is wow in terms of this Feast as the word for Booth is the Hebrew word סֻכָּה ‘sukkah’ H5521 which comes from the word סָכַךְ ‘sakak’ which we have just looked at and so this Feast of Sukkoth (Booths) is a wonderful picture of יהוה hedging us in and dwelling with us and so not only do we build booths to realise and recognise the ‘wilderness journey’ of our forefathers as well as our sojourning here in tents and that we place our full trust in Him who now dwells by His Spirit inside of us as a deposit giving us the full hope of our expectation of dwelling with Him forever in person at the fulfilment of this Feast where He makes His Booth here with us and hedges us in for which we can rejoice exceedingly in, aměn!
Now in the Greek, we too see the expression of this rejoicing, giving us a much needed understanding in our ability to rejoice – rejoice and rejoice as we are commanded to.
Kěpha/Peter in describing how we are to allow this sure expectation we have in Messiah’ return and our dwelling with Him to result in praise says:
Kěpha/Peter 1:3-8 “Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, who according to His great compassion has caused us to be born again to a living expectation through the resurrection of יהושע Messiah from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, having been kept in the heavens for you, 5 who are protected by the power of Elohim through belief, for a deliverance ready to be revealed in the last time, 6 in which you exult, even though for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by manifold trials, 7 in order that the proving of your belief – much more precious than gold that perishes, and proven by fire – might be found to result in praise and respect and esteem at the revelation of יהושע Messiah, 8 whom having not seen, you love; in whom you exult with unspeakable and esteemed joy, yet not seeing, but believing, 9 obtaining the goal of your belief: a deliverance of lives.”
The Greek word translated in verse 6 & 8 here as ‘exult’ and often translated in other translations as ‘rejoice’ is ἀγαλλιάω ‘agalliaō’ G21 and means ‘to exult, leap for joy, to show one’s joy by leaping and skipping denoting excessive or ecstatic joy and delight, and it is often spoken of as rejoicing with song and dance’ and comes from the word that means to leap or jump as well as to gush forth like water!
Let me ask you – “How often have you expressed true rejoicing by jumping and skipping with great joy and delight in song and dance?” If not often or perhaps never – then now is the time to start expressing true rejoicing!!!
Just think for a moment how ecstatic Dawiḏ was when he brought the Ark of the Covenant back – he was dancing and skipping and enjoying a great time of rejoicing. He even took off his outer garment so as to have no hindrance in expressing true and pure rejoicing of having the Ark, which represented the very presence of יהוה, back in their midst! This I believe is a wonderful picture for us in throwing off those things which so easily entangle us and quickly restricts our joy-filled worship!
True rejoicing is not a hidden matter – it should be something that is evident to all. I encourage you, especially this week – to not get bogged down with trivial matters or things that often so easily tick you off and steal your joy – throw them off. Even when colleagues or clients or even a member doesn’t like the joy you show and the ability to express pure rejoicing – do not stop. Dawiḏ didn’t let his wife cause him to stop his rejoicing because she was all bitter inside!!! This week is especially the time to hold on to joy and rejoice – it is a command!
Another word in the Greek in giving reference to the rejoicing at harvest time is χαίρω ‘chairō’ G5463 meaning ‘to be full of cheer, be delighted and be glad’ and is used in:
Yoḥanan/John 4:36 “He who is reaping receives a reward, and gathers fruit for everlasting life, so that both he who is sowing and he who is reaping rejoice together.”
This Feast is known as the Feast of Ingathering as it is a picture of the harvest being brought in with great joy after the threshing and winepress phases are completed and the true fruit is offered as accepting. First Fruits was already offered guaranteeing us the harvest to come where we will rejoice with our Maker and Husband, aměn!
Will you obey the command to rejoice? This will mean putting aside your worries and fears; as it is time to throw off all the excuses and simply worship יהוה as He has commanded us too, and embrace delighting in יהוה. Come and give Him your all – do not come empty handed, come rejoicing and let us make this Feast truly a Feast of note – we don’t need pagan festivals of giving, we have יהוה’s – it is now time to rejoice – it is a command – will you obey? It’s Sukkot – Rejoice, Rejoice and again I say Rejoice!
Let us together enjoy this Feast! Can I please have volunteers to read Tehillim/Psalm 113, 114 and 115!
Let us Rejoice – aměn!
יהוה bless you and guard you;
יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you;
יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace!
Saturday, October 08, 2011
COVERED- CLEANSED-REUNITED - A Yom Kippur message!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 & Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 37:15-28
Shabbat Shalom family – Bride of the Coming Messiah! Blessed be יהוה our Elohim who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. Tonight marks the beginning of the 9th of the 7th month – and you all know what that means!!! Tomorrow night will be the 10th of the 7th month – and that is Yom Kippur! Known also as the Day of Atonement or better put – the Day of the Covering!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23:27-32 “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to יהוה. 28 And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before יהוה your Elohim. 29 For any being who is not afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people. 31 You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.”
Just a couple of key things to note from these verses for us:
1 – It shall be a set-apart gathering for you! We will be coming together at 15h00 on the 10th and have a time of prayer, worship and fellowship – do not miss it!
2 – You shall afflict your beings! The Hebrew word used here for afflict is עָנָה ‘anah’ H6031 and means, ‘to be bowed down, afflicted, humbled’ and it can also carry the meaning ‘to be occupied or busy with’. Busy or occupied with what? Well the next word tells us – our beings! That is the word נֶפֶשׁ ‘nephesh’ H5315 which is ‘a soul, a living being, the inner being of a man’. So then it is a day that we are to humble ourselves and be busy with our being – that is to be spending the time reflecting on our life and that which needs to be dealt with must be dealt with. Typically this is translated as the day when we deny our flesh and food or drink and fast with the sole focus on humbling ourselves in prayer before our Maker, and come together as His body united as One! ‘anah’ also carries the meaning of giving an account or an answer. And so carries the picture of the one who humbles himself comes and gives an account of what he has done. This can give us the picture of ‘coming clean’ so to speak and confessing our sin.
3 – Bring an offering made by fire to יהוה! We know that the offering made by fire is a whole burnt offering – that is that we come to surrender all and allow our lives to be presented as a living sacrifice. It is on this day when the work that we have done in Messiah will be tested through fire!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 3:11-15 “For no one is able to lay any other foundation except that which is laid, which is יהושע Messiah. 12 And if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work shall be revealed, for the day shall show it up, because it is revealed by fire. And the fire shall prove the work of each one, what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work remains, which he has built on, he shall receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, but so as through fire.”
4 – It is the Sabbath of Sabbaths! – This is the only day outside of the weekly Sabbath that is actually referred to as a Sabbath. It is a Sabbath of rest to you – שׁבת שׁבתון “Shabbat Shabbaton”. Other feasts are referred to as ‘Shabbaton’ which is a Sabbath like rest but this day specifically is referred to as a Sabbath irrespective of what day it fall on – because this is the Day when יהוה finishes and completes His redemptive work for His ready Bride! Now this Sabbath is unlike the others in that this is the day when we, as I mentioned, ‘afflict our beings’ and the stern warning we have here in is that anyone who does not afflict their being on this day or if anyone works on this day will be ‘cut off and destroyed from the midst of his people’! So – I say this again – no excuses!
This day signifies so much for us, and it is much more than a day of ‘fasting’ as it is a culmination and bringing to completion the work of Messiah in us as His redeemed body!
This is the day when the Master is coming and the talents which He has given us (each one according to his ability); we will be able to show Him what we have made with that which He gave us. Now for many this may not be a very pleasing day as they have only viewed the Master simply from a viewpoint of being a ‘hard man’ and have not lovingly laboured for Him and have done nothing with what they had. But for us who labour daily in Him, working with what He has apportioned each one of us – this will be a wonderful day of hearing the words we all would like to hear… “Well done, good and trustworthy servant”. (The Parable of the Talents is a reference to this very day when the Master comes back and the servants must give and account as their ‘offering made by fire’ – that is their works are tested!
It is on this day when He comes back that we do not want to be found thinking about what we could have or should have done – for it will be too late. And so as we keep this Feast as a shadow picture of what is to come, we should all be aware that it is certainly time for us to take account of our walk in Messiah. Are you walking or running or simply standing still?
In order to share further insight into this Day I would like to look at a couple of more passages in scripture that will give us a better understanding of Yom Kippur in a message called “Covered-Cleansed-Reunited”. Firstly please turn with me to Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 (read)
Yom Kippur – the purification of the Bride – the Day of Atonement. One might ask why do we have this day separate from Pěsaḥ – isn’t that when we were redeemed? This is a good question, yet יהוה’s appointed times are perfect shadow pictures for us and so in understanding these great shadow pictures, it could best be explained as Pěsaḥ symbolising for us personal redemption – it was on that day we were bought at a price and received atonement for our personal sins. Pěsaḥ symbolises for us the personal deliverance from bondage to slavery, as each household would put the Blood of the Lamb on their doorposts, so would they be saved. We each must accept, receive and apply the Blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb personally in our lives. The Day of Atonement speaks of the national redemption of a nation. The day in which the Covenant will be confirmed according to Dani’ěl 9, and a time when Yisra’ĕl will no longer doubt that יהושע is the Messiah.
Atonement means ‘to make ransom for or to cover over man’s sins’. The English word Atonement was derived when the translator wanted best to describe what ‘kippur’ meant as their was not a definitive English word to describe or translate the meaning of this and so what he translated it to was – ‘At-One-Ment’ – therefore later being called ‘Atonement’. This was the best way he could express what this day carries for us – it is when we are made to be ‘one’ with יהוה – be ‘at one with’ Him and finally be fully restored unto Him as a washed and purified body together as ‘one’! So this is also a day where we truly come and remember the ransom that was paid for us by the shed Blood of the Pěsaḥ Lamb – יהושע Messiah, once and for all and reflect on our lives as to how we are living out our covenant relationship with our Saviour.
The Hebrew word for atonement is כִּפֻּר ‘kippur’ H3725 and comes from the root word כָּפַר ‘kaphar’ H3722 and means: ‘to cover over, pacify, make propitiation, atone’. As a noun it can also carry the meaning of ‘a ransom’, ‘gift’, or ‘to secure favour’. It literally means to ‘cover over’ or ‘smear with pitch’ as in the sealing of a ship. Therefore ‘kaphar’ or atonement means to cover that which is bare or naked or shamed, and also means to ‘smear the ship so that your ship will not sink and drown all those aboard’! Wow – we are ‘covered’ – Atoned for by His Blood!!!
Noaḥ was commanded by יהוה to cover the ark inside and out with pitch – he was told to ‘Kaphar’ (cover) the ark with ‘Kopher’ - כֹּפֶר H3724 (pitch) Berěshith/Genesis 6:14 “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with tar.”
‘Kaphar’ also means to ransom – and so we know that יהושע has paid our ransom and atoned for us.
It also means to reconcile with someone who has the power of death over you, and to pacify the one who has the power to do you harm! We must realise that the punishment for sin is death, and no sin goes unpunished. Through the Atonement of יהושע for our sins we are reconciled to the One who has the power to put us to death!
In Wayyiqra/Leviticus, where the priestly service and sacrificial system is presented and discussed, the very word we have been looking at, ‘kaphar’ is used 16 times in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16 and 48 times on the entire book! 39 times, however, it is used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus in the specific description of the priestly service and sacrificial system where the other times are regulation instructions for the Day – this is a wonderful representation for us – for it was the exact number of stripes that יהושע took across His back – and it is by His stripes that we are healed!!! By His Stripes and His sacrifice, we are covered, cleansed, redeemed and reconciled to Him!
Scripture clearly teaches us that atonement involves something which is ‘lacking’ (or leaking in respect to a boat not sealed), and is in danger of judgement (or sinking) – then having that ‘lack’ (which is caused by sin) ‘covered’ with something that will restore and keep it from sinking or being destroyed, just as the pitch applied to ancient boats would keep them from sinking!
It is only by the favour and loving-kindness granted by יהוה, who has the power of life and death over us, that His liberal smearing or covering us inside and out, covering the soul of man with His favour and loving-kindness through the blood of יהושע, our High Priest, that man can be kept from sinking in a relationship with his Creator. When sin occurs, a price must be paid.
Yom Kippur is the day when יהוה will be reconciled with His creation – a day set aside and appointed for Him to pardon, to cleanse and to forgive. It was only on this one day of the year that ‘one’ among the children of Yisra’ĕl were able to come ‘face to face’ so to speak with יהוה and live! – This occurred when only the high priest in office entered the Most Set-Apart place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. And as we read, Leviticus 16 gives for us the entire ceremony, and the high priest was required to bathe/wash - רָחַץ ‘rachats’ H7634 himself a couple of times during the Day of Atonement ceremony and carries the wonderful picture of cleansing and how our High priest has too cleansed His Body by the washing of His Blood! This day was also known as the day of redemption as this day foreshadows a time when Messiah would return and the day of redemption and reconciliation would be fully complete.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, as I also have been known.”
Sha’ul was saying here that we are not yet face to face with our Father, but the time will come as pictured by this day, where we will see Him face to face and then we will know Him fully as He knows us now!
For what we see of Him, dimly, we see in the ‘mirror’ of His Word, and Ya’aqoḇ/James encourages us to not forget what we look like when we look into the mirror of His Word – for we look into the perfect Torah – that of freedom and continue in it, being blessed in the doing of the Torah. We all have a choice when we look into the mirror of His Word – ‘Will we do what it says and remember to guard and do, or simply ignore?” – It is everyone’s individual choice – but that choice will certainly determine whether this Day will be a day of joy and gladness at the fullness of time as the works of our faith are proven to be genuine mirrored by the Truth of His Word through obedience in action, or simply a very sad and painful day when the consuming fire shows up your dead works!
As we see from the instructions given to Aharon as recorded in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16, we see great shadow picture of the work of יהושע:
1 - The work had to be done alone – Aharon had no help from the other priests – only He could perform the required duties on this day, except for the ‘fit man’ who would send the scapegoat into the wilderness by the hand and the one who would burn the skins and flesh of the sin offering outside the camp. This is a wonderful picture of יהושע, for only He alone could pay the price for our sin, once and for all – for He alone is worthy. There is only One that saves – יהושע, there is no other way!!!
2 - The high priest put off his normal clothes – Aharon had to wash himself and change his clothes and put on the set apart linen as a picture of being washed and clothed in righteousness. For these duties Aharon did not wear his usual High Priest garments (the ephod and breastplate) but wore set-apart linen. This is also a wonderful picture of יהושע who came to earth as a man and laid aside His deity. He laid aside His garments of esteem and took upon Himself the form of a servant. His sinless life allowed Him to enter into the Most Set-Apart Place and make atonement for us. In one sense He set aside His deity as described in Philippians, yet being the King of Righteousness who knew no sin and clothed in Majesty was able to enter into the Most Set-Apart place. The linen garments speaks of sinless humanity of the Messiah and His Righteousness, and we know that as we are clothed in Him, we have become the righteousness of Elohim in Messiah, and the fine linen are the righteous garments of the set-apart ones. And so ‘in Him’ we have access to the Most Set-Apart place! We too must put off self and put on Messiah as we daily live our lives as a living sacrifice, clothed in righteousness – doing His will, obeying His commands!
3 - The high priest washed – As I said, Aharon had to wash before putting on the set apart linen and wash again before putting on His garments and offering the ascending offering in making atonement for the people. For the priest this meant getting rid of any defilement and setting themselves apart for service in the set apart place. יהושע tells us in Yoḥanan/John 17:19 that He set Himself apart that we may be set apart in truth. For us as believers this means we are to be washed by the Water of His Word as we approach Him. It is through the Word we are washed and we need to have the Word cleanse us from all impurity and sin!
4 - The high priest offered a sin offering for himself – Aharon did this so that he could be worthy to offer up the atoning sacrifice for the people. יהושע did not have to offer any sacrifices for Himself – for He was blameless, pure, set apart and exalted above the heavens.
5 – The high priest entered the Most Set-Apart Place – high priest entered once a year:
1 – First with the golden incense of burning coals and hands filled with sweet incense and put fire on the incense to cover the lid of the atonement.
2 – Next he took the blood from the sacrifice of the bull for himself and for his house and sprinkled it on the east side of the lid of atonement and in the front of the lid seven times
3 – He then took the blood of the goat - the sin offering for the people and did the same as with the blood of the bull
The censer represents for us the esteem of יהוה and it also represents the prayers of the set-apart ones, so Aharon typifies the ministry of mediator and intercessor. יהושע is our High Priest and Mediator and lives to make intercession for us.
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:12-13 “But He, having offered one slaughter offering for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of Elohim, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are being set apart.”
The Day of Atonement is all about Messiah, the loving Husband presenting to himself a spotless Bride:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, 26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, 27 in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless.”
Let us briefly take a look at the 2 goats and the ram:
The first goat is the goat for יהוה, which is commonly called the elevation offering and represents יהזשע's righteousness being imputed to us as he makes payment for our sin with His Blood. The second goat is the goat for Azazel or the scapegoat. The sins of the people are placed upon it and it is sent into the wilderness, representing for us יהושע taking our sin upon Himself and taking it away. The two goats are a twofold picture that by the Blood of יהושע, יהוה forgives our sin and removes (forgets) our sin for He remembers our sin no more. The sacrificial goat provides the covering for our sin and the scapegoat provides the removal of our sin and the ram offering is the ascending atoning sacrifice for us all. It is also a picture of sin being defeated and Satan being sent into the Wilderness and bound, unable to trouble the Bride anymore!
Now we know that we are “Covered” – by His Blood. But what this Day of Atonement also signifies for us is a time of restoration of the two houses – a reuniting of a Groom with His ready Bride – not half a Bride! And this day calls for us to afflict our beings, to kill the flesh so to speak and so too pray and intercede for the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl. As Iḇ’rim clearly states that this Renewed Covenant will be concluded with the house of Yisra’ĕl and the house of Yehuḏah (It is not with the ‘church’)!
Turn with me to Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 37:15-28 (read)
This passage speaks of a reuniting of Ephraim and Yehuḏah, and from this passage we can see 4 clear pictures that the fulfilment of Yom Kippur brings to us as the body or Bride of Messiah. The 4 pictures not only represent for us the fulfilment of the Bride being made whole, but also what the work of Atonement has done for us individually in our own lives as we earnestly follow יהושע Messiah:
1 – Reconciliation – from division to unity (15-22)
It will be at this time that יהוה will bring the two houses together as ‘one’ in Him and so there will no longer be division, but unity, where once the fullness of the nations has come in, that יהוה will open the eyes of Yehuḏah and they will see the one they have pierced and accept Him as Messiah. We know that by His Blood we are reconciled to Him, and we are to no longer be divided but walk in unity of the Spirit of יהוה!
2 – Redeemed – from rebellion to obedience (23-24)
Rebellion was the root cause for the house to be divided into two – rebellion against יהוה in their worship, and both houses departed from true obedience to His Torah. He is restoring obedience, where Ephraim who has rebelled by worshipping after the world’s ways are being restored to Torah obedience – this will provoke Yehuḏah to jealousy and will cause them to turn themselves from tradition and accept יהושע as Messiah and the Bride will no more walk in rebellion but in obedience to יהוה. The Torah is for our own good – it is the guide on how to live a fruitful life and walk in His protection. Living in obedience to Torah was the way which יהוה’s people were to distinguish themselves from the nations with the purpose of bringing esteem to Elohim. A restoration to obedience will cause the Bride to be a light to the nations in the millennial reign all for His esteem! Being Atoned for brings about a change – a washing that causes us to no longer rebel against His Torah but to walk in obedience to it as a great expression of our love for Him!
3 – Restored – from bareness to fruitfulness (25-26)
Yo’ĕl/Joel 2 speaks of the restoration of all the years that the locust had eaten and Amos 9 speaks of the harvest that is so plentiful. We can only be fruitful if we remain in the True Vine, and Yom Kippur is the day of fruitfulness being restored unto Yisra’ĕl. It is also true that when we as individuals come to the fullness of what He has done for us and allow His Word to wash us that as we abide in Him, we bear much fruit that lasts. We go from being barren to being fruitful – restored!
4 – Reposed – from distress to rest (27-28)
It is after these events that we will enter His rest - reign with Him and rest in Him fully forever! And so we will find rest by pursuing a relationship with יהוה!
Covered and Reunited – that is the theme of Yom Kippur! Yom Kippur is a time of remembering what our High Priest has done for us and what He will fulfil in the future, where we are now covered forever in His Atoning Blood and will one day soon be with Him forever. This is certainly a time to reflect on where your walk is with Him.
In verse 23 יהוה says that He will save Yisra’ĕl from the dwelling places where they have sinned and He shall cleanse them and they will be His people and He will be their Elohim! This is speaking of this very Day of Yom Kippur. There is a cleansing and a restoring of a lost Bride!
This Hebrew word for cleanse is טָהֵר ‘taher’ H2891 and means the following: “to be clean; to cleanse; purify’ made clean”, “properly to be bright; to be pure – that is physically sound, clear, unadulterated, morally innocent”, “to be purged, purify, to declare something or someone clean.”
You get the picture; He makes us clean – really clean – by His Blood! This Word ‘tâhêr’ is also used in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 16:19 where the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the sin offering on the horns of the altar and all around, seven times – 7 as we know signifies perfection and so there is a perfect cleansing, and our perfect reconciliation by the Blood of יהושע!
And so we can clearly see how the picture of Atonement is fully met by His sacrifice and with Him coming again to present to Himself a clean bride.
Iḇ‘rim/Hebrews 9:11-14 “But Messiah, having become a High Priest of the coming good matters, through the greater and more perfect Tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, 12 entered into the Most Set-apart Place once for all, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood, having obtained everlasting redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the defiled, sets apart for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of the Messiah, who through the everlasting Spirit offered Himself unblemished to Elohim, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?”
It is through the one time atoning sacrifice of Messiah that He will ‘tâhêr’ His Bride.
Titos/Titus 2:11-14 “For the saving Gift of Elohim has appeared to all men, 12 instructing us to renounce wickedness and worldly lusts, and to live sensibly, righteously, and reverently in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.”
He has cleansed us for Himself – we are His.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1John 1:7-9 “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of יהושע Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are misleading ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 33:6-16 “‘See, I am bringing to it relief and healing. And I shall heal them and reveal to them the riches of peace and truth. 7 ‘And I shall turn back the captivity of Yehuḏah and the captivity of Yisra’ĕl, and shall build them as at the first, 8 and shall cleanse them from all their crookedness that they have sinned against Me. And I shall pardon all their crookedness’s that they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. 9 ‘And it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and a pride before all nations of the earth, who hear all the good I am doing to them, and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the peace I am doing to it.’ 10 “Thus said יהוה, ‘In this place of which you say, “It is dried up, without man and without beast,” in the cities of Yehuḏah, in the streets of Yerushalayim that are deserted, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, there shall once again be heard 11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who are saying, “Praise יהוה of hosts, for יהוה is good, for His kindness is forever,” of those who are bringing the offering of praise into the House of יהוה. For I shall turn back the captivity of the land, as at the first,’ declares יהוה. 12 “Thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘In this place which is dried up, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall once again be a home of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13 ‘In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the low country, and in the cities of the South, and in the land of Binyamin, and in the places around Yerushalayim, and in the cities of Yehuḏah, the flocks once again pass under the hands of him who counts them,’ declares יהוה. 14 ‘See, the days are coming,’ declares יהוה, ‘when I shall establish the good word which I have promised to the house of Yisra’ĕl and to the house of Yehuḏah: 15 ‘In those days and at that time I cause a Branch of righteousness to spring forth for Dawiḍ and He shall do right-ruling and righteousness in the earth. 16 ‘In those days Yehuḏah shall be saved, and Yerushalayim dwell in safety. And this is that which shall be proclaimed to her: ‘יהוה our Righteousness.’
Hoshěa/Hosea 1:10 tells us that where it was said to them that you are not His people, they shall be called sons of the Living Ěl!
I have quoted a number of Scriptures that clearly speak of a gathering of the Bride – the Great Reunion which will be fulfilled through the feast of Yom Kippur. ‘Kaphar’ and ‘tâhêr’ – we have been covered and cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb and we will soon be with Him forever. Yom Kippur is a time for us to reflect and remember what our High Priest has done for us and that we are to walk as His spotless Bride as He cleanses us through the washing of His Word. This is a day to afflict your beings – why? Well it is a day to realise and remember that we are to lay down our lives – to put to death the flesh and intercede for the rest of the lost Bride, as we embrace His work of salvation that will be made complete on this Day of Yom Kippur, and so as we continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, may we not take lightly the importance of this Great Day where יהושע took His Blood into a temple not made with human hands and offered His Blood on the altar perfecting for all time those who are set apart.
Therefore let us draw near with a true heart in completeness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water and hold on to the hope we have for he who promised is trustworthy, amen!
Covered, Cleansed and the Great Reunion is what Yom Kippur is about – a Bride being made clean and reunited with her Groom forever – Be cleansed in Him as we wait for Him… Put off the flesh and clothe yourself with His righteousness – walking in obedience to His Torah as we eagerly await with great anticipation His return! So in obedient rehearsals of the good things to come let us certainly be obedient in keeping this day where we lay aside the flesh and humble ourselves before our Master ready to give and account and be washed in His presence by His Blood as He has imputed to us his Righteousness that we must clothe ourselves in daily!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face toward you and give you peace! Aměn!