Month 2:22, Week 3:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5936:051 AM|
SHABBAT 2:3, Omer Count Sabbath #5
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 12 May 2012
The Connection I
Understanding the Purpose of Life
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el!
While I was out dropping my daughter for her music lesson the other day I came across a store in town which I had never paid much attention to before. It was not located amongst other shops and looked sufficiently grubby as to give the appearance of not wanting to be noticed anyway. What caught my eye was a small American flag fluttering over the entrance. For some reason my curiosity was piqued on this occasion and as the door was open I decided to drive very slowly past and look in. The place consisted of crude ceiling-high shelves on which were stocked boxed automobile parts for American cars - endless numbers of them - presumably to service the needs of American car enthusasts in the country.
Had I gone in, I expect I would have found them arranged in a certain order and labelled so as to be easily found. Amongst these dozens of boxes were probably parts to make a car. And yet there was no car in that shop - only separate parts. And that got me thinking. That shop contained dead cars, the parts needed to make cars separated from each other.
We're a bit like those boxed auto parts separated from each other and separated from Elohim (God). In the Bible death is described as separation as opposed to extinction. And we are separated from each other - unconnected - because of our separation from our Heavenly Father.
The other day my eldest son at home asked me to explain the purpose of life. Now he's been taught the Besorah (Gospel) all his life but he is still connecting the various parts together. Even adults ask that question because we still haven't joined all the dots. Actually, to answer the question, 'What is the purpose of life?' we must ask other questions too for it is only in asking the right questions that we arrive at the correct answers. But before I do that let me give you as clue as to what the answer to the question, 'What is the purpose of life?' might be: (holds up electrical power cable)
While you wonder how that question is answered by a simple power cable let me continue a while by asking some similar questions: 'Where does the meaning of life come from?' and: 'What is the goal of our existence here on this planet?' And the answer to all these questions comes in understading connections as represented by this power cable.
Now the only way I can understand electricity is by connecting something to an electrical supply, like a lamp. Then I can understand the purpose of electricity. Life, like electricity, is only understandable though connections. Likewise I can't make much sense of trains without first understanding the tracks they run on and, more importantly than that, what these tracks connect - namely, towns and cities. The train only makes sense once we see the connections between which it was created to move. A train on its own has no meaning whatsoever - it's simply a gadget or machine with no particular use.
When people ask Christians and Messianics what the purpose of life is, we already know it has to do with some very specific connections. Since life - our life - is connected to the biosphere of a planet, and the planet is part of a solar system, and the solar system is part of a galaxy, and the galaxy is part of the universe, and the universe is (some say) doughnut-shaped or a continuous circle - then to know what the meaning of life we must also know the beginning of the universe and its end - both in time and in space. If you ask an atheist he too is bound to go to the beginning (which he believes was a 'Big Bang') and to the end (which he believes is contraction leading to a total collapse leading to another 'Big Bang') and he is bound to tell you that life has no purpose - it was simply a random occurance, an accident. But believers like me and you know exactly what the beginning and the end of the universe is - both the visible and invisible universes - because we are told plainly what they are:
If Yah'shua (Jesus) is the beginning and the end of all there is, then the purpose of life is, quite simply, to be connected to Him.
"I [Yah'shua/Jesus] am the Alef (Alpha) and the Taw (Omega), the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last" (Rev.22:13, NKJV).
But there's more than that because, you see, Yah'shua (Jesus) isn't alone. He's a Son, and sons are connected to parents - obviously. He is connected to His Heavenly Father, Yahweh, and to His Heavenly Mother, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). Every son has a Dad and a Mum, and Yah'shua (Jesus) - who is the Beginning and End - is no exception.
Thus the meaning of life is to be connected to the Son who is connected to the Father and the Mother who are connected to Each Other. Indeed, this connection (or relationship) pre-existed our own relationship to any of Them. This was made clear by Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself when He said:
In this astonishing passage we are told what the nature and substance of that connection is - it is ahavah (love). The connection between us and Yah'shua (Jesus), and between Yah'shua (Jesus) and His Heavenly Parents, is ahavah (love). And we're even told what the ahavah (love)-connection is for: it is so that we can become perfect.
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their davar (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 echad (one): I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect 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" (John 17:20-24, NKJV).
Perfect as humans, that is. With the same ahavah (love) that Yah'shua (Jesus) loved Yahweh and the Ruach (Spirit) "before the foundation of the world", He now loves us.
They were a Family before the universe and people were created and we were created to be a part of that Family.
The purpose of life is to be connected together in divine ahavah (love) so that we can become perfectly connected together as an Eternal Family. Yahweh is revealed to be a Father and His primary connection is with His Son Yah'shua (Jesus). That basic tavnith or pattern is reflected on every level of existence and is the reason for every living thing down to the amoeba.
The purpose of everything is connected family-in-ahavah (love). This is why we were created. Families multiply, and with that multiplication comes a multiplication of connections so that that ahavah (love) can flow between those connections. We see this basic imperative in nature every spring as plants burst out of the ground with the sole purpose of making flowers to multiply their kind and so fill up all lifeless spaces. And the same is true of animals. The purpose of life is therefore to multiply ahavah (love) in the universe by colonising its vast empyy spaces which were created for that very purpose. This is why, if we follow our natural impulses, we are driven to start families generation after generation. And in doing this, we are simply following the original Divine Drive when Yahweh took the Sevenfold Mother out of Himself - the Seven Ruachim (Spirits) in the same way that He took Eve out of Adam. Then the members of the two families became Husbands and Wives, respectively. Yahweh did not become a Father until He had His Son.
Interestingly, there is no such thing as a husband without a wife, or a father without a mother - and specifically, the connections between them. That is why Paul said:
"Neither is man (husband) independent of woman (wife), nor woman (wife) independent of man (husband), in the Master [Yah'shua/Jesus]" (1 Cor.11:11, NKJV).
Why? Because of the necessity of the connection along which ahavah (love) is supposed to flow.
The nature of the connection does need to be defined in more detail. Just as the proton and electron are different not only in charge but in mass too, so the difference between husband and wife, and between father and mother, are different too, even though they are 'male' and 'female'. The difference is perfectly illustrated by this power cable which has 'male' and 'female' ends - indeed, in electricians' jardon, these are called 'male plugs' (having protruding pins) and 'female plugs' (having a socket-type connection). There is an order which both are dependent on - and therefore each other - for the connection to work. And it has to do with the direction of flow.
Incidentally, you will never find power cables with two male plugs or two female plugs. I'd like to leave you to think about that as to the reason why because it is an unconscious projection of divine gender tavnith (pattern). Imagine, if you will, that this cable had two male plugs - do you see how dangerous it would be? Once you had plugged one male part into the wall socket (which is female) you would have exposed pins with the risk of getting an electrical shock. Likewise, if you had a cabře with two female plugs at the ends, you would need a male wall-plus to fit the female cable in - again with the risk of getting a lethal electric shock should you accidentally touch the pins.
Adam learned pretty early on that being alone in the Garden of Even was not tov (good) for him - he needed a companion. So Yahweh made the woman out of the man by taking out a rib and using that as a template to construct woman. Her very nature can only be understood by this creative tavnith (pattern). There is a reason that this is the required order - He could not have made Eve first and then taken Adam out of her otherwise she would have become the husband and protector for which woman was not designed. The two 'ends' of the connection, while absolutely depending on each other for the connection and therefore for the movement of electrical-like ahavah (love) back and forth (which as we have seen is one of the main purposes of life) are arranged, sybolically speaking, not horizontally but vertically because the initiating ahavah (love) must move from male to female. That is why Paul reminds us:
This does not mean that man is more important than woman only. It simply means that Yahweh has created each gender with different rôles in order to make the connection work and be creative. And the way we give glory to Yahweh is by honouring these rôles so that authentic ahavah (love) can flow and not mere psychic energy which passes away at death.
"Man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man" (1 Cor.11:8-9, NKJV).
Elohim's (God's) central rôle is that of Father. Satan's counterfeit reverses these and makes the central rôle that of the divine mother. That is why in Wicca and occultic nature religions in general the central figure is the so-called 'Mother Goddess'. So what does it mean to be a 'father' or a 'mother' in terms of the connections and the ahavah (love) that is supposed to flow along them? Maybe I can answer that best by being personal.
I am the father to my seven children and what happens in our lives is an extension of my fathering connection to them. Moreover, the children wouldn't even exist without the connection between father and mother - the children are a fruit of the connection between husband and wife. The connection is everything. Thus if there is no cable between the power socket and the lamp, what is the point of either? Then questions as to whether the power-source or the lamp is 'more important' or 'less important' than the other become foolish because the only meaning that either have is in the connection!
Now, in addition, this house, the car, the lawnmowers, the library, TVs, computers - everything in or a part of this property - are also extensions of this connection between us! Now I wouldn't have bought the house, car, lawnmowers, library, computers, TV's and other things here if I had not felt a need to provide for my family, would I? Even though I, as head, am the owner of everything here, my interest isn't in any of these things but in my family members. My primary interest is in making sure that your needs are taken care of. These things are owned by me only because of, and for, the connections! And in exactly the same way, everything that exists in the universe is in some way a product of Yahweh's connection to Yah'shua (Jesus) as His Son. While it may not be immediately apparent, the reason that stars exist, or planets, or trees, or animals, or oceans or anything here, somehow gets back to the ahavah (love) that flows from the Father .
Without grasping this central emet (truth) you will not make sense of anything. The Father creates, and owns, and rules, only for one purpose - realisation and externalisation of the Primary Drive in His Character - it is so that His love ahavah (love) can flow in the connection He has created with His Son, and between Himself and the Sevenfold Heavenly Mother, to Yah'shua (Jesus) so that it in turn can flow to us.
That is all. It is not because He wants to trample anyone down or rule over them as a despot as feminism would have you believe. And to change this tavnith (pattern) or order is simply is to destroy the connection and prevent the proper flow of divine ahavah (love). This is why Paul said:
It is not because the woman is stupid or incapable of independent action when it is needed but because of the nature of the divine connection. Yes, other kinds of connection can be made - and are indeed made - in the world but divine ahavah (love) cannot flow through them but only a counterfeit demonic kind which does not expand the universe in divine tavnith (pattern) but which rather contracts it and so contributes to its chaos and (were Yahweh not to intervene in the end, as He will) its ultimate destruction.
"I do not permit a woman to teach, or to have toqef (authority) over, a man" (1 Tim.2:12, NKJV).
Now this male-female order does not just apply to husbands and wives because there are symbolic male and female relationships between those of the same gender, for example, as between a mother and her daughter. Here, while the daughter remains unmarried, the mother is in male position symbolically and the daughter in female position, thus maintaining the purity of the connection so that pure ahavah (love) flows long it. That is why Paul says:
Notice that this obedience is qualified by the phrase "in the Master", meaning that the tavnith (pattern) set by the parents must be after the heavenly sort: in ahavah (love) and according to the mitzvot (commandments) of Torah.
"Children, obey your parents in the Master (Yah'shua/Jesus), for this is right" (Eph.6:1, NKJV).
Now not only what we have, but what we do, is a product of our connections. For example, when I used to work as a teacher, part of the reason for my commuting to Oslo every week and working hard was to provide an income for my family. What we do in our leisure time and how we sit down to our meals is once again an extention of these connections we have with one another. Similarly, we discover that our activities as believers are supposed to be extensions of our connection with Yahweh through Yah'shua (Jesus) and the kosher (pure) connections with our heads (husbands and fathers). All of the things that Yahweh, acting as Elohim (God), does or expects of us are expressions of some meaning of His connection toward us. Yahweh doesn't just do things because He feels like doing them on a whim. Every act of Yahweh is a purposeful expression of His ahavah (love) for us.
To summarise, then, all of what exists and who Yahweh is and what Yahweh does is an outgrowth of His connection to Yah'shua (Jesus) as a father. Indeed, the Messiah is described as our "Everlasting Father" (Is.9:6) because of His positioning relative to us, that is, above us in headship. This connection existed before the foundation of the world and tells us mountain-loads about the character of our Heavenly Father. It tells us, as the Bible confirms, that "Elohim (God) is ahavah (love)" (1 Jn.4:8,16). And what that means, at its most foundational level of His being, is that Yahweh has a committment toward connections. They mean everything to Him. However, they must be His kinds of connections and not Satan's. They must be in tavnith (pattern) and not out of it. They must be shaped by Torah and not lawlessness. It is for this reason that true fathers and husbands guard the tavnith (pattern) of Torah commandments with determination, persistence and jealousy against all who would twist or overturn it. To the true godly male headship-in-ahavah (love) is everything and to the true female submission-in-ahavah (love) is everything. How is a male to exercise this headship rôle in righteousness? Because he, like the woman, but be occupying female positional rôle toward Elohim (God) as a submitted allegorical 'wife' and 'son' - and the connection between the submitted and the ruling headship rôles is what defines his character as either a godly or ungodly man. Thus we can observe such a man to determine whether he has a shem tov or good name or not. Then we may know whether he is a good husband and father or whether he is just some petty tyrant demanding submission from his family but refusing to submit to Yahweh-Elohim.
Yahweh not only loves Yah'shua (Jesus) in tavnith (pattern) but loves each one of us in tavnith (pattern) as well. Yahweh's commitment to this connection is first to His Son and then equally to us. The meaning of our existance is our commitment to this connection to Yah'shua (Jesus) and is an extension of Yahweh's commitment to His connection with us.
The family and, by extension, the larger family which is the Messianic Community (Church) or Body of Messiah, is a network of committed connections in divine tavnith (pattern), and exists among Yahweh, Yah'shua (Jesus) and all Yah'shua (Jesus)-trusting and Torah-obedient believers. This organic network of living connections in which pure ahavah (love) flows is the goal and purpose to which all of our efforts and activities as believers are supposed to be directed. This is the ultimate purpose of life. This is what makes us or breaks us and it's what determines which resurrection we shall finally inherit.
This is the purpose of life is seen to be both very simple and quite complex. It's basics can be understood by a child but its fullness requires maturity that comes only as a result of surrendering in divine tavnith (pattern)
We'll continue this theme next Sabbath as we have only scratched the surface today. May the Ruach (Spirit) in the meantime quicken this emet (truth) deep within. Amen.
Continued in Part 2
 Oneness Pentecostals and Messianics, Unitarians, Muslims and others fundamentally miss the point about Elohim (God) and the purpose of life when they fail to acknowledge that Yahweh-Elohim is a Family. Ironically, the original pre-Muslim pagan Allah had a 'family' that included three daughters called Lat, al-Uzza and Manat before they were stripped away to create the artificial 'monotheostic' religion of Islam. Indeed, the original unedited version of the Koran mentions them in Sura 53:19-20 and referrs to them as 'goddesses'.
 Keith Intrater, Covenant Relationships: A Handbook for Integrity and Loyalty (Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg, PA: 1989)