Month 12:28, Week 4:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year:Day 5936:343 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 20 March 2012
Temple for His Name
III. The Seven Women of Isaiah 4
Continued from Part 2
"And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, 'We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your shem (name), to take away our reproach. In that day the Branch of Yahweh shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped" (Isa.4:1-2, NKJV).
Today we shall finish this short series by tying together some loose ends so that you can see the seamless beauty of divine tavnith (pattern).
We began in Part 1 by asking ourselves what Solomon meant when he declared his intention to build a temple for Yahweh's Name and we shall answer that question by asking an analagous question: what does it mean for a woman to seek a man in marriage in order to be called by his name, and in particular, the seven women of the first two verse of the fourth chapter of the Book of Isaiah?
In Part 2 we learned that in the New Covenant that men and women are the temple in which Yahweh places His Shem (Name) through the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). And we understood that when a woman marries, Yahweh transfers ownership from Yah'shua (Jesus) to her husband, grafting her into his 'branch' even as he is grafted into "The Branch" which is Messiah. And just as a man making his soul the temple of Yahweh's Shem (Name) is the great quest, so a wife making her soul the temple of her husband's shem (name), even as he makes his soul the temple of Yahweh's Shem (Name), is her great quest, the two (or more) thus becoming on a human level a reflection of the Divine Glory and Tavnith (Pattern) above.
Needless to say, the seven women of Isaiah 4 aren't so much interested in getting their husband's surname as they are in obtaining something far more precious - his character and his reputation with heaven and with godly men. Thid tov shem or good name is so important to these women repenting of their waywardness (in Isaiah 3) that they are willing to forego their Torah rights to be provided for materially in order to obtain it. Why? Because they know this is what life is all about. They know that they can only bring forth real beauty and real glory by walking in this divine tavnith (pattern) properly grafted in to a godly husband who will thus take away their reproach.
What is this "reproach"? Most commentators will tell you that the reproach is being childless, and certainly this is how it was viewed on one level. But there is a much greater and more improtant reason. The reproach is not so much in not having children or being single (though these are indeed reproaches) but because they cannot br productive in the divine order for which they were created - to be vessels of righteousness for their husbands in Messiah, bringing glory to him so that he may bring glory to Yah'shua (Jesus) - in this way, they are both fulfilling the measure of their creation: they are both taking away their reproach.
The culmination of the annual festivals is the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot. It represents the grand climax, the quest, the goal, the finale. And it is a marriage banquet. Following close on the heals of marriage, the concept of the 'tabernacle', 'tent', 'temple', 'mishkan' or 'covering' occupies an important place in key biblical concepts on salvation.
"And the Davar (Word = Messiah) became flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and emet (truth)" (John 1:14, NKJV).
Shortly after Pesach in Jerusalem, Yah'shua (Jesus) confirmed that He was in a special sense the actual tebernacle, dwelling place or temple of Elohim (God) and of far greater importance than the Temple of Herod:
An elaborate daily service was maintained in the First and Second Temples that required various ritual performances by the cohenim (priests) of the Tribe of Levi that were pointers to as yet unrevealed spiritual realities. In the New Covenant the sanctuary of Yahweh's Shem (Name) became the physical body with its own performances and services to Elohim (God), as was the original intention:
"Now the Pesach (Passover) of the Judeans was at hand, and Yah'shua (Jesus) went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, 'Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!' Then His talmidim (disciples) remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.' So the Judeans answered and said to Him, 'What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?' Yah'shua (Jesus) answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' Then the Judeans said, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?' But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His talmidim (disciples) remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Yah'shua (Jesus) had said" (John 2:13-22, NKJV).
At this point I want you to understand and realise that the tavnith (pattern) established by Yahweh in the Old Covenant temple was perfect. There was a reason that only male members of the Tribe of Levi were permitted to officiate. Under no circumstances fall for the gnostic heresy that somehow the 'God of the Old Testament' (the 'Demiurge', a mythical imperfect angel) was some sort of woman-hating misogynist who was either later 'ousted' or 'toned down' by the superior Yah'shua (Jesus) who was a feminist and removed the distinctions between men and women. Most Christians deep down think that He did and hold a very disrespectful and blasphemous attitude towards the Father without always knowing it. This wickedness of lev (heart) is just a symptom of our anti-patriarchal age and those who yield their minds and levim (hearts) to its deadly philosophy always miss the way.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim (God), that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, set-apart (holy), acceptable to Elohim (God), which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of Elohim (God)" (Rom.12:1-2, NKJV).
"Do you not know that you are the temple of Elohim (God) and that the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of Elohim (God), Elohim (God) will destroy him. For the temple of Elohim (God) is set-apart (holy), which temple you are" (1 Cor.3:16-17, NKJV).
The Levitical cohenim (priests), though of the male gender, were in submitted relationship to Yahweh and were therefore positionally 'female' just as the rest of the people (a mixture of men and women) were positionally 'female' to the Levites who were 'male' to them. This is, again, a picture of marriage.
||Bride of Messiah/ Believers|
This is the eternal threefold pattern. Notice that whilst men (XY) are required to be 'female' or submissive (X) with respect to Yahweh-Elohim, women (XX) are never required to be 'male' or in authority propositionally expect in respect of their children while minors or 'daughters' in the messianic assembly. Women are never called to be 'male' except as mothers to children whereas men alone are called to be 'male' as fathers, hubands and as elohim (rulers) on theocratic Israel. Male 'femaleness' and female 'maleness' are not therefore equivalent. They represent different orders and types of toqef (authority).
Any other pattern is spiritual prostitution.
We are members of Messiahs 'Body' in the same way that a wife (or wives) is (are) member(s) of their husband's 'body'. They are 'not their own' because they are grafted into the branch (husband) who is grafted into The Branch (Messiah). And Messiah belongs to Yahweh. Anything that is out of this tavnith (pattern) is the spiritual equivalent of sexual immorality which Yahweh says is a grave sin, adultery being next only to murder in its seriousness. Indeed, it is a form of murder, killing sacred relationship. And that is why we are to keep our literal marriages and our allegorical Marriage to Messiah unspotted from all false tavnith (patern):
"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Messiah? Shall I then take the members of Messiah and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For 'the two,' He says, 'shall become one flesh.' But he who is joined to the Master is one ruach (spirit) with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) who is in you, whom you have from Elohim (God), and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify Elohim (God) in your body and in your ruach (spirit), which are Elohim's (God's)" (1 Cor.6:15-20, NKJV).
Satan is here seen to be the author of false tavnith (pattern) and when we yield to it, we are yielded to Satan.
"Do not be unequally yoked (mismatched) together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with Torahlessness (lawlessness)? And what communion has ohr (light) with darkness? And what accord has Messiah with Belial (Satan)? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of Elohim (God) with idols? For you are the temple of the living Elohim (God). As Elohim (God) has said:
"I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their Elohim (God), and they shall be My people (Israel)."
(2 Cor.6:14-18, NKJV).
"Come out from among them and be separate, says Yahweh. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says Yahweh Almighty"
It is critically important for believers to understand that the relationship between Yahweh and His people through Messiah is supposed to be exactly duplicated in marriage and in the home. To follow any other tavnith (pattern) is not only to rob a marriage of its vital essence but to be guilty of IDOLATRY which is SPIRITUAL ADULTERY.
There are temples (tabernecles/tents/coverings), then, on multiple levels in the New Covenant. Every insidividual is a temple of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) on the level of the spring festivals. But the whole Messianic Community is also a temple on the level of the autumn festivals, with the central pivot linking the two which is Shavu'ot, which is the Davar (Word) or Torah (Law). There is no Messianic Bride as a whole without walking in Torah for this is the Marriage Ketubah or Contract/Covenant.
|Wife in Messiah
||Wife in husband in Messiah|
The seven women of Isaiah 4 represent the seven annual festivals (on one level):
and are themselves grouped into three categories per pro the threefold tavnith (pattern) we have been examining today:
We are involved in a huge spiritual construction project - every individual and every marriage - every congregation and the whole Body of Messiah, wherever each may happen to be along the seven steps of the Way of Salvation. The vast bulk of regenerated believers never get past the spring festivals because they reject Torah and they reject divine tavnith (pattern). They believe the lie that they are the Bride of Messiah yet refuse to enter betrothal covenants or to walk in the mitzvot (commandments) in tavnith. Shavu'ot is the boundary marker between the second and first resurrections and few there are who cross it - no more than 144,000 men and their wives because the rest shy away when they are told they must "eat His flesh and drink His blood". Little wonder, as we saw yesterday, that true talmidim (disciples) ask themselves: "Who, then, can be saved?"
As living temples, we are under continual construction and we are not finished until we have come up to the final Sukkot. This holds true for both our individual relationships in Messiah as husbands, and as wives' invididual relationships in their husbands in Messiah. Recall how Paul discoursed on the Builder being greater than the House to once again reveal the correct tavnith (pattern) when he speaks about Yah'shua (Jesus) the Bridegroom building the Bride or Temple for Yahweh's Shem (Name):
This is in fulfilment of the prophecy made to David through Nathan:
"Therefore, set-apart (holy) brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and Cohen Gadol (High Priest) of our confession, Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honour than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is Elohim (God). And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Messiah as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end" (Heb.3:1-6, NKJV).
By analogy, each husband must build up his own bride to the glory of Yah'shua (Jesus), whether it be the seven wives of David, the four wives of Jacob, the two allegorical wives of Yahweh - Israel and Judah, or just a man with one wife. Whether the husband is Yahweh the Father, Ya'shua (Jesus) the Son, or a husband like myself, the task is identical: to build with our wives - literal or allegorical - a kingdom that gives glory to whomsoever is our Rosh or Head, the Ultimate Rosh (Head) being Yahweh. Each Rosh (Head) at each level is the absolute Master of the one he presides over. Each Rosh (Head), in order to accomplish his building task, must wash the one he rules over with the Davar (Word) because he must one day present her (literal or allegorical) to his Rosh (Head) as part of his stewardship:
"When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My Shem (Name), and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever" (2 Sam.7:12-13, NKJV).
As Yahweh's Shem Name dwells in Yah'shua (Jesus), so Yah'shua's Shem (Name) must dwell in men, and a husband's shem (name) must dwell in his wife, that all may be perfected according to divine tavnith (pattern). This is, moreover, no 'once saved, always saved' set-up - it is no more enough for a man say a few words of committment to Yah'shua (Jesus) to be saved as it is for a woman to get her husband to repeat some marriage vows. There is washing to be done by the husband on the wife and surrendering to be done by the wife to the husband, just as the husband must surrender to Messiah even as he in turn is washed by the Davar (Word) of Messiah, which is the Davar (Word) of Yahweh the Father. This is an ongoing dynamic, never static, like the repeating cycle of the festivals that will take us to the fullness if we submit to the tavnith (pattern) that they represent - for "he who endures to the end will be saved" (Matt.10:22, NKJV):
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to Yahweh. For the husband is rosh (head) of the wife, as also Messiah is rosh (head) of the messianic community (church); and He is the Saviour of the Body. Therefore, just as the messianic community (church) is subject to Messiah, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything (no exceptions, no independent stewardships or stakeouts). Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah also loved the messianic community (church) and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of mayim (water) by the Davar (Word), that He might present her to Himself a glorious Bride (church), not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be set-apart (holy) [to him - his prized possession] and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself [because like Eve she comes from him and is him]. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Master does the messianic community (church). For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones" (Eph.5:22-30, NKJV).
For a salvational relationship to be eternal it must be forever growing in and toward Messiah, and for a marriage to be eternal it must be forever growing in and toward the husband as he grows in and toward Messiah. This means that the Messiah's Shem (Name) must be growing in the talmid (disciple) in the same way as the husband's shem (name = his character, glory and reputation in Messiah) grows in his wife, a name which she transmits to his children as the primary caregiver, particularly when they are little. The reason that Seth was so much like Abel who was so much like Adam was because Adam's shem (name) dwelt so deeply in mother Eve!
Grasp the depth of this, brethren and sisters, for as the Shem (Name) of Messiah dwells in us through our yielding in obedience, so that we come to resemble Him in nature - separate as far as individual personalities are concerned, but nevertheless extraordinarily "like" him. Likewise, a wife yielded to her husband comes, in time, to resemble him too in such a manner that they flow together. Just as the sap passes from the vine (Messiah) into the greater branch (husband) and thence into the lesser branch (wife), so the wife comes to be coloured and transformed by Messish in her husband through spiritual transfusion - that unique, unrepeatable combination. Ladies, is that what you want when you marry a man? If you don't, you will be forever trying to plant your shem (name) into your husband which he will both resent and resist, just as no man can ever plant his shem (name) in Messiah and expect the relationship to endure. Rather, this is adultery, because the lesser is attempting to set itself up as the greater.
"Beloved, now we are children of Elohim (God); and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:2-3, NKJV).
Please do not read this the wrong way. This is not to say that the woman is inferior to the man. On the contrary, it is her branches that bear the fruits of the relationship! All the man has to present to Yah'shua (Jesus) is his wife's fruitfulness which brings glory to the husband, brings glory to the Son, and brings glory to the Father. Try not to think as the world does but as Yahweh does by yielding to the biblical tavnith (pattern), for any other way will at best sterilise your soul or at worst shipwreck it.
We are now connecting every level of the Besorah (Gospel) together in a spectacular display of glory. Once you are in this divine tavnith (pattern), the revelation never ceases, the glory never diminishes but grows. It is why my pen never runs dry and why there is always something new to bring out along with the old (Mt.13:52) and why my cup is always full! And when a husband and wife are agreed in these things, and apply them, then they are literally walking with Elohim (God), as Adam and Eve walked together in Eden, imitating heaven's ways and delighting in them.
There is one final tavnith (pattern) that we must consider which I have reserved for my last discourse tomorrow which I intend to make the penultimate of this year's devotionals. This will be about the deeper mystery of baptism which we shall examine by looking at some Jewish traditions about ritual immersion known as mikveh. In the meantime, may you be leavened by these truths and experience something of their glory as you apply them to daily living.
Continued in Part 4