Month 10:1, Rosh Chodesh, Year:Day 5936:266 AM|
ROSH CHODESH X (Ma'aser haChodesh)
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 13 December 2012
Rosh Chodesh X, 5936
The 12 Monthly Fruits of Heaven
Chag sameach Rosh Chodesh kol beit Yisra'el! Today is the beginning of a new day, a new month (the tenth), and a new four-day sabbath cycle. It is our monthly opportunity to realign ourselves to Yahweh the Father and to our own earthly fathers and husbands. It is one of the twelve annual Days of the Patriarchs.
The Three Temples of Jerusalem
A few days ago the importance of the monthly cycle was impressed on me when I came across a passage of scripture in the 47th chapter of Ezekiel concerning a miracle that will happen in the Holy Land in the future. The chapters before it speak of a future restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem. It is often called the 'Third Temple' to distinguish it from the 'First Temple' built by Solomon and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and the 'Second Temple' rebuilt after the Babylonian Exile and expanded by Herod the Great. This 'Second Temple' was where Yah'shua (Jesus) was dedicated, taught, and cast out the money-changers. It was later destroyed by the Romans and there has been no temple in Jeruslam now for two thousand years.
The Branch of Zechariah
The Book of Zechariah, written in about 500 BC, tells that a man called "The Branch" would one day build a temple in Jerusalem. "The Branch" would be be no ordinary man for he would have combined in his offices those of both 'King' and 'Cohen Gadol (High Priest)', offices which only the Messiah may possess together:
How Many Temples Will There Be?
"The word of Yahweh came to me: 'Take [silver and gold] from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the Cohen Gadol (High Priest), Joshua son of Jehozadak. Tell him this is what Yahweh Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of Yahweh. It is he who will build the temple of Yahweh, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a Cohen (Priest) on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two'" (Zech.6:9-13, NIV).
This passage is therefore a dual prophecy pointing to the Second Temple and future Third Temple that the Messiah Himself will build. Notice that the name of the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) is Joshua or Yehoshua, a form of Yah'shua (Jesus). I will not today go into all the different theories about the 'Third Temple' for there are those who claim that there will be four temples in all. And though I have not the slightest doubt a false temple will be built in Jerusalem, in which the Anti-Messiah or Antichrist will proclaim himself to be Elohim (God), we are not here concerned with any temple structures save those that are truly Yahweh's. As I speak now, Talmudic Jews are conspiring to build a 'third' temple of their own on the spot today occupied by the Muslim Dome of the Rock which they plan to demolish if they are able. That in itself would start a bloody religious war in the Middle East.
The New Jerusalem vs. The City of Hagar
But whether you believe or don't believe there will be three or four temples in total, one thing we do know is that the last one will be descending out of heaven along with a complete city. It is known as the New Jerusalem and will completely replace the 'City of Hagar' as the present worldly Jerusalem is described by Paul upon which many Christians and Messianics have their eyes wrongly focussed. Paul said:
"One covenant (the Old Covenant) is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written:
Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Ruach (Spirit). It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? 'Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son.' Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman" (Gal.4:24-31, NIV).
'Be glad, O barren woman,
who bears no children;
break forth and cry aloud,
you who have no labour pains;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband.'
I believe that Ezekiel's temple, unlike the New Jerusalem with its Temple that comes from heaven, is not necessarily a literal one for many reasons, one of these being the imagery that I wish to talk to you about as it pertains to today's theme of 'months'. So let's go to Ezekiel and read about the prophet's vision:
The Two Rivers
"The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side.
"As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in - a river that no one could cross. He asked me, 'Son of man, do you see this?'" (Ezek.47:1-6, NIV).
Two rivers emerge from the Temple that, as we will see in a moment, clearly possess supernatural qualities. One heads west to the Mediterranean Sea and the other east to the Dead Sea, the lowest lake in the world and all but dead to life because of its high salinity except in the estuaries where fresh and salt water mix to form brackish water.
The Fruitful Trees
Let's now see what the effect of this eastern river that comes from the temple has on the Dead Sea:
Literal or Symbolic...or Both?
"Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, 'This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds - like the fish of the Great Sea. But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing" (Ezek.47:6-12, NIV).
It's hard to know whether this is literal or symbolic, isn't it? The geographical terms are all of real places and yet what fruit trees does anyone know of whose leaves have healing properties? Or will these trees be transformed because of the supernatural nature of the water? That aside, and before we move on to our last scripture, I want you to notice that these trees all bear fruit every month because of this regular supply of water that comes from the temple at Jerusalem.
The New Jerusalem of the Book of Revelation
We now jump to the last book in the Bible, the Book of Revelation, and to the 22nd chapter. In the chapter before this, the apostle John, who is seeing a vision as Ezekiel was, describes the New Jerusalem. He writes:
The River and Tree of Life
"I did not see a temple in the city, because Yahweh-Elohim Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of Elohim (God) gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its (12) gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honour of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Rev.21:22-27, NIV).
And then John leads us into a description of part of that place which you will immediately recognise as either being similar or identical to the one described by Ezekiel:
From Ezekiels's Duality to John's Unity
"Then the malak (angel) showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of Elohim (God) and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations" (Rev.22:1-2, NIV).
Whatever the nature of the Holy City (New Jerusalem) is, it does not seem to obey the same dimensional laws with which we are accustomed to here. This ought not, of course, take us by surprise because the Realm of El Elyon, the Most High, is of a much higher order than ours. And though the New Jerusalem will be set in the midst out own space-time continuum consisting of three dimensions and time, it itself will be of a much higher order. According to Ezekiel the Temple of the New Jerusalem, whose temple Revelation tells us is Yahweh and Yah'shua (Jesus), will send out two rivers, one of which, the River of Life, nourishes trees possessing extraordinary properties that bear fruit each month, twelve times a year, whose leaves posess healing properties for the peoples of all nations who come up to this temple. According to the Hebraic original texts 12 different fruits are produced, presumably either one different type each month or a mixture of all 12 each month. I suspect the former is the actual arrangement. Whatever this tree is, it isn't 'natural'.
The Spiritual Dimension
Because we are dealing with multiple levels of earthly and heavenly reality it is not easy to get a mental handle on what is being described here. My take is that literal rivers will proceed out of the New Jerusalem on earth and heal the world physically but that there is also a spiritual river here, the Tree of Life, which is depicted as a single river because the higher realm is not one of duality but of unity. There is no left and right in the eternal dimension because everything is a complete circle. Thus in the spirit dimension you can see all around you even though you are facing in one 'direction'.
The Twelvefold Division is Eternal
Whatever differences there are in time in physical and spiritual space, one thing is made abundantly clear, namely, the eternal nature of the twelvefold division of time as months each of which will, one supposes, still be marked by a Rosh Chodesh or New Moon .
The Number of Governmental Perfection
12 is the number of Governmental Perfection or Rule, and specifically, Yahweh's Rule over His Creation. Our obedience to the divisions of the years and Yahweh's method of reackoning time, His moedim or appointments, is a sign of our submission to Him in all dimensions.
Honouring Patriarchal Headship
There is, according to the passages in Ezekiel and Revelation, fruits to be had and enjoyed each month and with them healing of the soul because these time divisions are not merely abstract ideas but are literally fed by the River of Life. When we honour them, we honour Yahweh, we honour His Patriarchal and Governmental Rule, and we enter into the rhythm and tavnith which is His Lev (Heart). To enter into this monthly cycle is to enter the pulse of Eternal Chayim (Life) itself as represented by the River of Chayim (Life) that animates and feeds these trees! So important is this twelvefold tavnith (pattern) that Yahweh has placed 12 gates on the Holy City and set 12 Apostles as the Judges of the eternal 12 Tribes of Messianic Israel. Our submission to the Principle of Twelve indicates whether we are submitted to Yahweh's Government over our lives or not.
The Essential Time-Setting Device of Rosh Chodesh
Rosh Chodesh is not, therefore, some minor observance but is actually pivotal. If we are not yielded to divine and divinely-appointed Toqef (Authority) and Government then our ahavah (love) becomes anarchistic because it lacks the proper channels to be directed. Rosh Chodesh sets up and establishes the precise cycle of the four weekly sabbaths in the Creation Calendar which few in this world obey, let alone are aware of, prefering or knowing only the Roman pagan one that rules in the world system. Indeed, the Fifth Mitzvah (Commandment) telling us to obey the Sabbath cannot be properly observed without the Rosh Chodesh time-setting device and not can the shalom or peace of Sabbath be obtained without it being properly set in the patriarchal governing principle represented by Rosh Chodesh.
We, as believers are, with Elohim (God), also a part of that final Temple. We must be fitted together as that Temple of Elohim (God) an an Echad-Bride, bringing Him glory in our unity. We learn how to do this in the marriage dynamic as the proper patriarchal principles and tavnith (pattern) are learned and applied, drinking as we must from the River of Chayim (Life) and eating from the 12 fruits of the Tree of Chayim (Life) fed by that River, which is Yah'shua (Jesus). And though we are individually temples of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) (1 Cor.6:19) this is only a shadow of the Greater Temple, the Temple of Elohim (God) which is the entire Holy City. We can only be filled and He can only be revealed completely in this echad unity that comes about as the days are ordered into the weeks, the weeks into the months, and the months into the years in perfect tavnith (pattern). This is a huge subject but I hope this morsel has been tasty enough to encourage you to probe deeper. May you enjoy the rest of your Rosh Chodesh! Amen.
 The fact that the New Jerusalem does not need the sun or moon to light it (because Yahweh is the light and Yah'shua the lamp) does not mean the sun and moon cease to exist, for they will continue to illuminate the earth outside the Holy City. Therefore the months will be reackoned as today.
Comments from Readers
 "Another clue that Rosh Chodesh and Sabbaths are eternal is [to be found in] Isaiah 66: 'As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,' declares Yahweh, 'so will your name and descendants endure. From one Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) to another and from one Shabbat (Sabbath) to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,' says Yahweh'" (SW, Germany, 13 December 2012).