Month 4:4, Week 1:3 (Shleshi/Bikkurim), Year 5935:090 AM|
Omer Count Day 26/50
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 5 July 2011
Unity Amongst Believers
An Illustration of Divine Tavnith
The other day I very unwisely got involved in a debate (something I usually avoid because it is so fruitless) with some ultra-messianics who deny the divinity of Messiah. They could not understand what the unity or oneness of Yahweh actually is. Like Talmudic Jews and Islamists they believe that Yahweh is yachid, or one exclusive Being, and not (as scripture witnesses) echad which is a different kind of oneness, being a compound unity of more then one part. It was this kind if unity that Yah'shua (Jesus) meant when He said:
He didn't mean that He was one or two possible manifestations of a single Person (as 'Oneness Pentecostals' might claim) or that He was one of two agreed gods (as Mormons claim) or that He was a demi-god (as Jehovah's witnesses claim). What He meant was that He was fully Elohim (God) with His Father Yahweh whilst being subordinate to the Father. His character and moral attributes are identical to the Father.
"I and My Father are echad (one)" (John 10:30, NKJV).
The question I want to ask today is this: what is the correct tavnith (pattern) that believers should use to become echad or one in order to fulfil the commandment of Messiah? How do we fulfil the famous High Priestly Prayer of Yah'shua (Jesus) which so summarised His goal for His people? Let's first mediate on that prayer:
This prayer is quite unlike any in the whole of the Scriptures, and it's subject matter is unique too - it is a PLEA FOR ECHAD (ONENESS).
"'Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him toqef (authority) over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true Elohim (God), and Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
"I have manifested Your Name (Yahweh) to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your Name those whom You have given Me, that they may be echad (one) as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your emet (truth). Your word is emet (truth). As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the emet (truth).
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be echad (one), as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be echad (one) in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be echad (one) just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect (complete) in echad (one), and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the ahavah (love) with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them'" (John 17, NKJV).
It is not, however, any old echad (oneness) that is desired of the Master but a unique kind, one that is in divine tavnith (pattern). This is not a plea for unity for 'unity's sake' but a plea for a unity which has never before existed in the world and which cannot exist apart from a true relationship in Messiah in tavnith. This is not the unity of football fans, of comrades in battle, or of lovers. It is not the unity that comes from a shared political ideology, a scientific fraternity, or even a theological tradition. This unity is highly special and the road to it is a very, very narrow one - so narrow, in fact, that few ever find it (Mt.7:13).
Today I want to contrast true echad tavnith with false echad tavnith using a common scriptural allegory which compares the relationship between Messiah and the Body of Messiah (the Messianic Community or Church) with a human marriage. To do this adequately we must use as our human marriage illustration that of the founder of Israel, namely, Israel himself: Jacob, the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. And in so doing we shall understand the deeper meaning of the prophecy made by the people to Boaz, ancestor of the Messiah, who blessed Ruth, his wife-to-be:
In the illustrations that follow, Leah, the first wife of Jacob, is designated as 'SW1' and Rachel, the second, as 'SW2' who are also types of Judah and Israel (Ephraim-Joseph), the two Kingdoms that split from one another after the death of Solomon, who became the allegorical 'wives' of Yahweh, for He was Husband of both, until each apostacised and He was obliged to divorce them, first Ephraim, and then Judah. 'SW1' and 'SW2' may also be regarded as two born-again believers in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Thus the Husband ('Husb' or 'H') in this model can be Yahweh, Yah'shua (Jesus), Jacob, or any believing husband with 'SW1' and 'SW2' being Judah and Ephraim (10 Tribes), any two believers, Leah and Rachel, or any man with two wives (like Jacob) - respectively.
"Yahweh make the woman (Ruth) who is coming to your (Boaz's) house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel" (Ruth 4:11, NKJV).
For the benefit of those not familiar with the way the sacred annual festivals of Israel tie into this divine tavnith or pattern, let us first of all view the summary depicting the Way of the Messiah:
We begin with the new life of a believer - the time of spiritual conception that corresponds to Pesach (#1). A seed is planted in the womb of the lev (heart) that must be brought to birth - the new birth - at Yom haBikkurum (represented by baptism in the outer). In the diagram below this is represented by an overlapping of the two circles corresponding to Messiah (H) and the new believer (SW1). Union (echad) has taken place, a spiritual betrothal, that must await its full consummation later on at Sukkot. We'll call this believer 'Leah' after Jacob's, first wife, for this could equally apply to a family like Jacob's.
Quite independently of 'Leah's' knowledge or experience, a similar conception and rebirth is taking place between Messiah and another believer whom we shall call 'Rachel' after Jacob's second wife (SW2). Though Leah and Rachel were sisters in real life, let us assume that these two believers do not know one another yet. They are both in echad union with Messiah, but independently - they are in two separate relationships. Let us imagine that 'Rachel' joins the local assembly (church) that 'Leah' is already a member of, and meet for the first time. They are both 'brides of Messiah' but are not yet echad or 'one' together in Messiah because they don't yet know one another. 'Rachel' is accepted into fellowship by 'Leah' (along with the rest of the congregation) and the two begin their joint service together for Messiah, each operating in their respective giftings to form components of the one Body.
This entry into congregation life, accepting the congregation's bylaws (like the real Leah and Rachel accepting their husband Jacob's family laws) is a communal covenant that corresponds to the covenant festival of Shavu'ot. 'Leah' and 'Rachel' are both in covenant relationship with Yah'shua (Jesus) and with each other but they are not yet echad (one) yet. As they serve their common Master together in fellowship, they begin to be echad (one) with each other IN Messiah, represented by the three-fold overlap (pale-blue in the diagram - #4) which represents the festival of Sukkot, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. Though they are two individual believers, 'Leah' and 'Rachel' are now also echad or one in Messiah and each other, fulfilling the High Priestly prayer we read earlier. And because they are echad (one), they are now viewed also as one Bride or Wife of Messiah, because they are in perfect agreement.
This is a picture of true Tavnith (Pattern) as described by Scripture. It requires that the proper order is followed, and to follow the proper order, the commandments (mitzvot) must be scrupulously obeyed. There is a very clear distinction of rôles in the relationship, the basis of 'Leah' and 'Rachel' becoming echad or one being first and always their one-to-one relationship with Messiah. There is no independent relationship between them outside Messiah. This emet (truth) must be clearly understood if we are to see and expose the counterfeit. Everything must first of all be in the Divine Husband, Yah'shua (Jesus). And had Jacob, Leah and Rachel done it right in real life and not been rivals (in major part because of Jacob's favouritism caused by his resentment at having been cheated by his father-in-law Laban), then the basis of the two wives' echad union would have been because they were already echad (one) with their husband. Indeed, the way things turned out in that family, this echad unity was never obtained for Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin.
Let us now consider the counterfeit and the one which the world along with carnal believers falls for all the time. What they fail to understand (for whatever reason - pride, fear, relbelliousness, etc.) is that our unity or echad as believers is always a function of Messiah. Any unity or echad that fails to recognise in intention and deed the total toqef (authority) of the Head is a false, idolatrous unity; and the 'love' that binds it is false and of the flesh, being out of tavnith, as we shall now see in the second diagram (below).
Everything starts off fine. 'Leah' and 'Rachel' are drawn to, and meet their Master, fall in love with Him, and are born again. But everything starts going wrong at the communal covenant stage of Shavu'ot. Viewing the Mystical Marriage of Messiah as not simply a marriage to Messiah but also a marriage to each other as two separate (though connected) marriages, 'Leah' and 'Rachel' enter into a 'marriage' with each other in addition to the one they have with Messiah. (I do not mean to imply a physical lesbian/bisexual relationship here though there are, alas, those who practice such things - I speak primarily of spiritual/emotional relationships). The result is kind of perverse trinitarianism of 'one for all, and all for one', a communistic type of coheadship amalgam of three marriages - 'Leah' to Messiah, 'Rachel' to Messiah and 'Leah' and 'Rachel' to each other. The tavnith is false because there is no eternal union outside of Messiah! At the centre a vacuum is formed because it is idolatrous, and that vacuum is always filled by the enemy, and in particlar by those demons that pervert gender rôles, Hecate and Lilith (though there are others too). What results is a typical occultic-type echad - false and perverse, and forms the basis of satanism.
This is not easy to see in a monogamous relationship which is why I have used a polygamous one to illustrate since this most closely resembles the uniplurality of the allegorical marriage of Messiah to the Messianic Community (Church) which is many people-in-one - one Bride composed of many individual brides ('uni-plurality'). This is one of the several reasons polygamy is permitted under special circumstances (though not generally) in Scripture, namely, so that we can distinguish between the true tavnith (pattern) and the false one, which I hope these diagrams make very clear. Just as the Mystical Marriage of Messiah is all about Yah'shua (Jesus) the Bridegroom, so human marriage is all about the husband IN Messiah! And if this offends the politicised consciences of any of my hearers or readers, then I invite you to make a serious study of this ministry's position paper on marriage, The First in Your Life as well as the two part series, Holy Echad Marriage: The Mystery of Oneness along with our Holy Echad Marriage website. I also highly recommend Debi Pearl's book, Created to Be His Helpmeet with links on the main marriage website.
Our congregations and marriages are under relentless attack from the world, principally through feminism though through other communistic political philosophies too. The messianic assemblies (churches) and marriages have become a broad highway intead of a narrow path resulting in a feeble, antinomian (lawless) witness to the world and fragile marriages and common-law relationships. And while a lack of authentic ahavah (love) is certainly half the problem, the other half is a lack of sacred tavnith (pattern) that leads to the kind of lawless relationships that are summarised in the second diagram.
I was, like most of us, once fooled by this counterfeit system because it was everywhere around me in the world. Thanks to the revelation that Yahweh has progressively unveiled to me over the years in the Festivals of Yahweh (click here for summaries and lessons), I have now seen through the counterfeit and am permanently resolved only to follow divine tavnith (pattern). My failure to do so in the past has only led to painful mistakes in relationship-building both at home and in the messianic community (church).
It is not an easy thing simplifying this issue but I hope that this teaching will be a step in that direction. This is not some remote intellectual and theological study, moreover, but the summary of 35 or more years of life thus far lived for Yah'shua (Jesus). Its lessons are hard, particularly for those who like the open highway over the wooded narrow path. However, I make no apology for it because the wrong road - the highway - only leads to utter destruction and misery. I want no half-life tied to a false promise of full-life, but prefer to live in the wilderness with the true promise of Yahweh's full life, one of total, 100% consecration to Yah'shua (Jesus), the Living Torah (Law), Emet (Truth), Derech (Way), Chayim (Life), Tavnith (Pattern) and Ahavah (Love). I don't claim to be doing this anywhere near perfectly but I am repenting of my mistakes and I now know exactly where I am headed. I have tested the ground - the foundations - and I know it is tov (good). My prayer is that you also will discover the same. Amen.
Cotninued in Part 2