5 January 2010 (Shleshi/Bikkurim)
The Messiah Within and Around Us
The Daily Blessings of the Festivals of Yahweh
"In [Yahweh] we have redemption through [Yah'shua's] blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Messiah, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - -in Him" (Eph.1:7-10, NKJV).
In this ministry we often speak of gathering. Most, when you speak of it, assume that we are talking about gathering into congregations or gathering into cities of refuge. And certainly that aspect of gathering is very important. We are commanded to gather/assemble on the Sabbath wherever possible and even if we are unable to find other believers we can assemble with, we can - and should - gather with Yahweh in prayer and devotion. It is a time for gathering our thoughts together, gathering our feelings, and gathering any confusion we have so that we can bring it before Him.
The quintessence of what it means to 'gather' is found in this passage we are looking at today. We live in the "dispensation of the fullness of times" which, as Paul explains, actually means the time in which everything is gathered together IN Messiah - He is the gatherer. This gathering is of "all truth" (Jn.16:13, NKJV) into one harmonious whole (echad). Everything that Yahweh has revealed, all that He is now revealing, and all that will be revealed, is gathered up IN Messiah Yah'shua. It follows, since everything is gathered by and in Him, that our only access to it will be through Him...by having Him within us. And the only way we can do that is by dying to self-will, crucifying the flesh (overcoming the carnal nature) and letting Yah'shua live through us.
Amongst Messianics there is currently feverish activity to gather together all Torah knowledge which they speak of as 'restoration'. This is not a bad thing. However, if it is done apart from Yah'shua IN us, if it is done only using Yah'shua's Name symbolically, it will all be in vain. Only the Life of Yah'shua within, that comes from surrender, can Torah-knowledge have any meaning. Without the authentic New Life in Messiah, with the signs of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) following, all Torah-study and application is just dead letter religion. It would be better to just be a simple born-again Evangelical Christian then to carry around a load of dead intellectual doctrine. Better still, though, is to let the Messiah within birth the Torah as living truth and principle. This is the "fullness".
Today I want to talk to you about the "fullness" hidden up in the days of the week. Some of you may have noticed that in the title of each daily devotion by the day's date is are a couple of parenthesises terms: yesterday's were "Shanee/Matzah". The first of these words tells us what day of the week it is in the biblical system (today is "Shanee" which means 'second', that is, the second day of the week, which is Monday in the Roman system (though it begins at sunset the day before, that is, the tail end of Sunday) and the second word tells us which of the annual feasts the day corresponds to - in yesterday's case, to the second annual festival in the spring of Chag haMatzah or the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Today is the third day of the Week, Yom Shleshi which corresponds to the third annual festival, Yom haBikkurim. A table summarising what each day corresponds to may be found on our Festivals Calendar page which I am also reproducing below. If you've never heard of the biblical festivals you might like to follow the links in the chart and learn more about them:
Sunset to sunset*
Midnight to midnight
|Mini Symbolic Moed**
For daily meditation
|Yom Rishon*** (1st)
||Ex.12; Lev.23:5; Num.9:1-14; Dt.16:1-2; 2 Chr.201-1-20; 35:1-18; Ezr.6:19-21; Ps.22;38;69; Is.53; Mt.26:17-29; Lk.22:7-20
|Yom Shanee (2nd)
||Ex.12:15-20; Lev.23:6-8; Dt.16:3,8; 2 Chr.30:13; 35:17; Mt.26:17; Lk.22:7; 1 Cor.5:6-8
|Yom Shleshi (3rd)
||Lev.23:9-22; Mt.28:1-10; 16:1-11; Lk.24:1-9; 1 Cor.15:20-23; Col.1:18-20; Rom.8:29
|Yom Revee (4th)
||Ex.19; 20; 34; Lev.23:15-21; Num.11:24-29; Dt.16:9-12; Is.32:15; 44:3; Ezek.39:29; Joel 2:28; Ac.2:1-4
|Yom Chamashee (5th)
||Lev.23:24-25; Num.11:24-29; Num.29:1-6; Is.27:13; Zac.9:14-17; Mt.24:31; 1 Cor.15; 1 Thes.4:13-18
|Yom Sheshi (6th)
Vendredi (Fr)Viernes (Sp)
||Lev.23:26-32; Dan.17:2; Joel 3:1-2; Zeph.3; 14; Mal.4:1-6; Mt.10:15; 12:36; 12:41; Rom.14:10; 2 Cor.5:10; Heb.9:27; 2 Pet.2:4,9; 3:7; 1 Jn.4:17; Jud.1:6; Rev.20:4,12
|Yom Shibii/ Shabbat (7th)
||Gen.2:3; Ex.20:8-14; 31:12-17; Lev.19:2-3; Num.15:32-36; Dt.5:12-15; Neh.9:14; 10:31; 13:17; Is.1:13-14; 56:1-7; 58:13-14; 60; 65:17-25; Jer.17:21-23; Ezek.22:26; 37; 44:24; 26:3; Hos.2:11-13; Mic.4:1-4; Mt.12:1-12; 24:20; 2:23-28; 3:1-4; Lk.13:14-17; 14:1-6; Jn.5:18; 7:22-24; Heb.4:1-10
Sadly, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants discarded the biblical festivals in favour of pagan ones centuries ago in a bid to make Christianity more acceptable to pagans who were reluctant to abandon all of their traditions. Christmas and Easter are two of them. It is mostly only Messianics and some of the Churches of God who try to be true to the biblical revelation by discarding pagan traditions and returning to Yahweh's commanded observances. There are others who reject both the pagan traditions and the biblical appopintments such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and hold almost no observances at all, arguing that either Yah'shua has done away with all of the ceremonial Torah or that there is only one place that the festivals can be observed, namely, Jerusalem (Dt.16:2,6-7,11,15-16; Zech.14:16-19). What the latter fail to understand is that whilst there will be a central festival gathering point in Jerusalem in the Millennium to which the nations will be required to send male representatives at Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles, that IN Messiah there is also an invisible 'temple' consisting of all believers. And wherever there are two or three believers who have Yah'shua IN them who are gathered in His Name, there He will be amongst them externally too. Therefore in the New Covenant, festivals can be observed anywhere until Yah'shua returns and establishes His Kingdom outwardly.
Yah'shua has gathered the Sabbath, the festivals, the New Moons and every aspect of the Torah IN Himself so that those who repent of their sins, submit to His rulership, and invite Him into their hearts, are given these Torah principles within, written by the pen of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) on their hearts, so that they can then manifest the sabbaths, festivals, new moons and every other Torah-principle outwardly and visibly in their actions whether as individuals or as gatherings of individuals. In the New Covenant everything begins within and then manifests outwardly - it is not just to be bottled inside because "the kingdon of Elohim (God) is within you (in your hearts) and among you (surrounding you)" (Lk.17:21, Amp.V.).
All truth must begin in the heart and then manifest outwardly as a testimony of the Messiah for others. Believing in Messiah inside is useless unless you also confess it outside too:
If you have love in your heart and don't manifest it outwardly, then it will die within you, because it was given to be manifested. Likewise, Yahweh gave manna to the children of Israel in the deseret to be eaten on the day it was given (except on the day before Sabbath) or it would perish. This is a universal truth-principle: all that Yahweh has revealed and given, including the festivals, were to be eternally manifested on the outside. Those who refuse to do so, saying that they are only for inclusion in the heart, are proclaiming a selfish gospel that can only, in the end, perish from them. Even our sabbath resting must be proclaimed - we can't just sit at home alone and have a private sabbath - we are commanded to gather to witness of our inner Rest, Yah'shua the Messiah, and to receive a blessing ourselves that comes from obediently gathering at Yahweh's appointed times. Those who refuse to gather on the Sabbath but who yet proclaim the Lord's Supper are confessing that a gathering must take place 8as it must in order to partake of the communion with the saints) but are at the sametime lawlessly proclaiming that they can do it when they want to (they usually do it on Sunday, following the pagan sun-god tradition).
"If you confess with your mouth the master Yah'shua and believe in your heart that Elohim (God) has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom.10:9, NKJV).
Spiritually, every day is a sabbath for the believer who has the shalom of Yah'shua but collectively only the seventh day is Israel's sabbath. To follow the gathering times of Israel confirms that a believer is of Israel when he obeys all the commandments, and to be Israel confirms that a believer is a part of the Messianic Bride - those who reject Israel (which defines the mystical Bride of Messiah) are walking in disobedience and rejecting the first resurrection in favour of the second.
Each day of the week is a daily reminder of the central importance of the seven annual festivals in particular and of the Seven Ruachs who anoint them. Each festival embodies a revelation of Yah'shua the Messiah which we need weekly reminding of. Yesterday was the second day of the week and reminds us of the second festival, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, and of the need to remove the leaven of sin out of our lives and not, as Martin Luther taught, "to sin boldly":
We do not need to sin boldly in order to merit more grace. We are by default sinners because the uncrucified self causes us to sin. It is out choice to allow it to remain uncrucified by denying Yah'shua IN us access to that part of our life where we sin. Chag haMatazah reminds us that we are to actively pursue sin by allowing Yah'shua to have control of that part of self which is still causing us to sin. Every Yom Shanee (Sunday sunset to Monday sunset) should be a plea to Yah'shua IN us to to show us our unsurrendered parts so that we can get to the root of sin (as opposed to merely dealing with its symptoms) and have Him surgically remove it. The Ruach haShanee has, as Her calling, to guide us in that specifically, and is available in a special way both at the annual festival of Chag haMatzah and every Yom Shanee, to help us overcome in this area - by Yahweh's free grace.
"If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world".
Likewise, today - Yom Shleshi - should be used as a reminder of what Yom haBikkurim represents, namely, the firstfruits of the resurrection. Whenever we repent and lay down a sinning part of ourself in death (represented by water baptism or immersion), we are cleansed of that sin and receive resurrection life. This is the result of being diligent in our search for sin on Yom Shanee which corresponds to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So important is this festival that it last a full seven days! In other words, repenting of sin is so important that it not only corresponds to the second day of the week but is a part of every other day of the week also. Repentance is a daily activity!
May you be blessed by the Ruach haShleshi IN Yah'shua to obtain new life today! Amen.
Comments from Readers
Can we say this also, that Yahushua dwelling within is the 100% perfect Torah of Heart as He is the Heart of YHWH, the Echad/One in Spirit manifested in Him and His righteousness of Spirit of Life revealing that Truth of His Being? And we know we are One/Echad if YHWH is dwelling within us. He reveals how He is being the Word as we learn and allow Him to show of His Heart to renew our Mind and we do outwardly in celebration or remembrance of Him of that inward Torah but always keeping the faith in Him and Hearing His voice. We know His desire is to Keep Him and then He will lead on that life's path into His righteousness where we are fighting the good fight to obtain our reward in the end. To be faithful unto death to receive our crown of life.
Sabbath is a commandment to not do work upon, to do rest, but meaning to Keep Yahushua and that Faith in Him where we find our true rest and can't do any better than He has already done. But, we are free in hearing that voice to honor him outwardly in whatever way he may show us or as we grow from a baby to mature depending upon what affiliation we may have begun our walk in. We learn and stay obedient as we grow by saying Unconditional Yes Always to the revelation of Torah of the Inward Man but only as Messiah Yahushua is speaking Heart to Heart as we know that voice. Discerning to do outwardly only after hearing what Messiah has revealed first. The outward is always secondary to hearing that voice. And those listening to man's voice have to figure out which one to listen to as there are so many different to do's and not to do's out there. In Messiah there is only the requirement to hear His voice and to follow One on One where His burden is light and His yoke is easy and as we show others that emphasis, we find He is telling us all the same things.
And we being restored to a true doctrine know our Messiah in greater and greater understanding of that Torah dwelling within. As we have Full Torah Yahushua all to the 'jot' and 'tittle' of Heart as it is our Messiah within and our Father YHWH, however, growing in Him is the revelation to our Mind of those things of Heart in learning of renewal. And then one day, face to face! Isn't that our desire even now as we seek Him out!
The outward expression of that within is of Love and Mercy and of the Heart of reconciliation where our Messiah is bringing in the lost and the down trodden, the confused and those who have dead doctrines of man into His perfect Shalom. The importance always to lift up our Messiah for all to see. Then He will draw others in. That is where there is Life and Power and YHWH is changing Lives to become redeemed and drawn to His kingdom.
Now, we see many in the emphasis of doing external things, what to do, not to do, even getting into whether or not you can turn the furnace on or not or flip a light switch on Shabbat. In Yahushua as our Living Eternal Shabbat would those teaching such things as being in more importance than keeping the Faith in Yahushua as those kindling their own fires and becoming as sparks to all who won't do as they say? I've seen the debate and strife. Even of many other things and I know our Father is not pleased in the least. Would that be esteeming the Living Torah, the Son of YHWH lowly even trampling Him underfoot and breaking the very commandment they are thinking to be keeping? Not discerning Yahushua in everything?
Now, outwardly we are being a witness of what He has done inwardly when taking time out for Him on Shabbat. It is our expression of His Love and Mercy in showing what He has done and to show that forgiveness to others that they would come to know Him too. It is a wonder there are so many turned off to YHWH's commandments seeing the crazy things some are doing. And therefore if we see these things our Father prompts us to discuss and to allow Him to cut to the quick of the Heart but as even we are taught One on One of the Holy Spirit.
And it doesn't matter if He sends us to church, to sabbath meeting, to bible study, to the library, to the lost wherever they may be on any day, we can witness of him anywhere and are not afraid to even trample on serpents and scorpions as He has overcome All Things! Shalom! (RDR, USA, 5 January 2010)