Month 12:08, Week 1:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5936:326 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 17 February 2013
Interconnectedness & Covenant
"Then King David went in and sat before Yahweh; and he said: "Who am I, O Yahweh-Elohim? And what is my house (family), that You have brought me this far? And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O Yahweh-Elohim; and You have also spoken of Your servant's house (family) for a great while to come. Is this the manner of man, O Yahweh-Elohim? Now what more can David say to You? For You, Yahweh-Elohim, know Your servant. For Your davar's (word's) sake, and according to Your own lev (heart), You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them. Therefore You are great, O Yahweh-Elohim. For there is none like You, nor is there any Elohim (God) besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom Elohim (God) went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a shem (name) -- and to do for Youself great and awesome deeds for Your land -- before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, the nations, and their gods? For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Yahweh, have become their Elohim (God). Now, O Yahweh-Elohim, the davar (word) which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house (family), establish it forever and do as You have said. So let Your Name be magnified forever, saying, 'Yahweh-sabaoth (of hosts/armies) is the Elohim (God) over Israel.' And let the house (family) of Your servant David be established before You. For You, O Yahweh-sabaoth (of hosts/armies), Elohim (God) of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant, saying, 'I will build you a house.' Therefore Your servant has found it in his lev (heart) to pray this prayer to You. And now, O Yahweh-Elohim, You are Elohim (God), and Your devarim (words) are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant. Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house (family) of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, O Yahweh-Elohim, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house (family) of Your servant be blessed forever" (2 Sam.7:18-29, NKJV).
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and may the grace of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) be with you!
Friendship with Yahweh
In today's passage we get yet another glimpse into the great lev (heart) that was David's and understand better what it means to be a friend of Elohim (God). Job, one of the other men of antiquity who demonstrated the same kind of blameless qualities that makes for greatness, said:
Likewise, speaking of Abraham, the apostle James testified:
"Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to Elohim (God); on behalf of a man he pleads with Elohim (God) as a man pleads for his friend" (Job 16:19-21, NIV).
Core Identity Elements of the Special Friendship
"'Abraham believed Elohim (God), and it was credited to him as righteousness,' and he was called Elohim's (God's) friend" (James 2:23, NIV).
What was it that these three men believed in and practiced that made them the friends of Elohim (God)? What is it the consititites that most intimate of relationships called 'friendship'? James reminds us that Abraham qualified for this special relationship not only because of what he believed but because of what he did:
As we look over that heart-felt prayer of David that we began with, we discover what it is that lies at the core of the character of the friend of Elohim (God) that qualifies him for Heaven's highest distinction. There were three things that mattered to him more than anything else and upon which his entire life was focussed:
"You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by emunah (faith) alone" (James 2:24, NIV).
David's Two Questions
- 1. Serving the one true Elohim (God), Yahweh, and acknowledging no other;
- 2. Seeking blessings for his house or family; and
- 3. Seeking blessings for the chosen nation or Greater Family of Elohim (God), Israel.
More than that, it is in these three things that the friend of Elohim (God), King David, finds his identity! He starts off this magnificent prayer, does he not, by asking two interrelated questions:
Introducing Corporate Identity: A Man's Family
- 1. "Who am I, O Yahweh-Elohim?" and
- 2. "What is my house (family), that You have brought me this far?"
I want you to especially notice that while he begins by acknowledging that he is an indepenent being whom he called "I" that he then goes on to identify his family - his bayit or house - as himself. When he declares that "You have brought me this far" he speaks of his own family as though it were himself - inseparable from his person. This scriptural concept may best be called corporate indentity and it is very important. Indeed, there is no proper understanding of the Besorah (Gospel), and no proper living of a life in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), without it. To be a head  is to have a corporate identity. It was this Universal Corporate Identity that enabled the Son of Man to make atonement for the sins of all mankind .
Corporate Identity & Personality
Most people would not have a problem with the idea that we all have various corporate identities. We identity with families, countries, religious and social groups, and even political movements. But that isn't really what I am talking about today. I am talking about far more than 'identity', and so was David. When he spoke of his family he was speaking literally about himself. Though consisting of distinct individuals - his wives and children - he was also speaking of a single individual at a certain level of existence which Yahweh recognised and upheld. If you can grasp this concept by the time I have finished today you will have come a long way in understanding the true lev (heart) of our Heavenly Father.
Corporate Personality and Marriage
As this is probably very new theological territory for those of you steeped in the Western mindset I am going to have to spend some time defining terms. It is critical to our coming to understanding what the Bride of Messiah is and indeed the whole concept of what being echad, or 'one', means. It embraces both what true tavnith marriage is in the eternities as well as our eternal relationship with Messiah in the eternites too. Understanding the principle of corporate personality will take us to the very core of what Holy Echad Marriage is in spiritual and physical reality.
Conflicts with Tanakh Corporate Personality
Though the term 'corporate personality' was coined by the theologian H. Wheeler Robinson , as a concept it goes back to the very beginning of existence and to the lev (heart) of the Creator Himself. For Yahweh-Elohim, our Heavenly Father, and the very First Cause of everything, corporate personality deals with areas of being where the relationships between individuals and the groups they were ordained to be a part of were treated. If there are some things in the Tanakh (Old Testament) that baffle (and perhaps shock) you because they don't 'fit in' with Western philosophical concepts, I hope that I can in some small way help resolve these inner conflicts and restore your emunah (faith) in Yahweh.
The Example of Achan
For example, you most of you have heard of Achan who was caught stealing plunder from the city of Jericho when he knew that all its contents were dedicated to Yahweh. He knew, because the whole nation of Israel was warned through Joshua in advance, that none of the gold, silver or other valuables could be taken by the soldiers in Yahweh's army. Everything was consecrated to El Elyon, the Most High. And yet when Aachan was caught, his whole family was collectively punished for a sin that was primarily Achan's alone. Not only that, but for as long as the sin was unconfessed and undealt with, the whole nation suffered by being defeated at the battle of Ai.
Communal Covenants and the Bride of Messiah
Over the years I have explained these things as being a part of communal covenants. When a group, like Israel, enters into communal or coporate covenants, everyone becomes responsible for everyone else. If one person is blessed for righteousness, the whole community is blessed by a sovereign act of Elohim (God). If one person sins, and does not immediately repent by making confession and restitution, the whole community suffers...by a sovereign act of Elohim (God). Most Christians (and not a few Messianics) do not understand that this was the nature of the Shavu'ot Covenant taken at Mt.Sinai which is still binding on Messianic Israel today. That is why, in terms of the annual festivals of Israel, Christians never get past the first three festivals which concern only individuals and their relationship to the Creator. And so Christians focus on their one-to-one relationships with Yah'shua (Jesus) - as is right - but never enter into the dimension of corporate personality which defines what being Israel - and specifically, Messianic Israel - is all about. Indeed, this is what distinguishes the Bride of Messiah and those of the First Resurrection, from all the other believers who believe but who neither obey Torah nor take on the communal covenants of coporate personality. And I repeat, this is much deeper that corporate identity because you can identity with a person or cause without binding yourself to any covenantal obligations.
So much of the sifting that takes place between the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins occurs at this point of emet (truth) - at the place where 'corporate identity' is distinguished from 'corporate personality'.
The Four Principles of Corporate Personality
To fully understand the Tanakh (Old Testament) and indeed the New Covenant Torah is it vitally important to understand that corporate personality encompasses four things. Alec Gilmore describes them as dollows:
The Pauline Concept of Abraham's Seed
- 1. Indentification: Individuals are never considered to be isolated from the groups that they belong to, and are often treated as representatives for, or even as wholly identified with, those groups;
- 2. Extension: The boundaries of the individual are extended to additionally encompass other people that belong to that individual. This extension can be both in space, from a king to a kingdom, and in time, from a parent to his descendants. Examples of extension include Achan (mentioned earlier), Korah (Izhar's son), and David, where a leader is punished or rewarded by punishing or rewarding those whom he leads;
- 3. Realism: The relationship between the group and the individual is a real one; and
- 4. Oscillation: There exists an oscillation back and forth between the group and the individual. 
The apostle Paul draws heavily upon the concept of identification as far as corporate personality is concerned. For example, he says:
Belonging to Abraham Through Messiah
"And if you are Messiah's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal.3:29, NKJV).
In belonging to Messiah through emunah (faith) and surrender, we also belong to Abraham as a spiritual father (who also belongs to Messiah), and therefore inherit as heirs promises given to that patriarch! This linkage to Abraham's family is a kind of 'sealing' or 'ingrafting' and what it actually means to be a part of Elohim's (God's) "Israel", as opposed to the various other 'Israels' invented by modern Zionists and theologians.
Separate and Yet a Part
"Now He who establishes us with you in Messiah and has anointed us is Elohim (God), who also has sealed us and given us the Ruach (Spirit) in our hearts as a guarantee" (2 Cor.1:21-22, NKJV).
Most rejoice at this thought but fail to realise that with such a sealing comes responsibility and obligations as sons and daughters to those to whom we are sealed!  Thus you will read in the B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament) that we are both "in" Abraham and "with" Abraham - we are both separate from him in our own right as individuals but we are simultaneously a part of him by divine sealing or ingrafting, just as we are "in" and "of" Yah'shua (Jesus)!
The Three Belongings
From these inescapable truths we are forced to conclude:
We Are Not Our Own
- 1. We none of us belong to ourselves;
- 2. We, who are properly surrendered and regenerated by the Ruach (Spirit), belong to Yah'shua (Jesus); and
- 3. We belong to various family heads like Abraham (who is indisputably in Messiah), to our husbands and to our fathers in Messiah.
Put in terms likely to cause a number of people to have anurisms, we physically and spiritually belong to Yahweh, to Yah'shua (Jesus), to Abraham, to husbands and to fathers under certain conditions. To claim a person who thus belongs to another becomes an act of both theft and adultery with dire consequences for those who violate these prohibitions. As you begin to see this, so you will better come to understand the severity of the various penalties for violation of Torah and why only Yah'shua (Jesus) can take that debt note from us when we finally surrender ownership of our lives to Him.
The Group or Community as a Person
"You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour Elohim (God) with your body...For he who was a slave when he was called by the Master is the Master's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Messiah's slave (servant). You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men" (1 Cor.6:19-20; 7:21-23, NIV).
In Yahweh's eyes the whole group - whether a family, clan, tribe, or the nation of Israel as a whole - is considered to be a 'person' at each of these levels. Indeed, as the Tanakh (Old Testament) makes perfectly clear, the isolated individual has no standing apart from the larger body. You can see this concept in action in the Psalms of David, the friend of Elohim (God), where the first person singular ("I") often seems to be an individual and at times a whole community.
That is what is meant by corporate identity and corporate personality which are INSEPARABLE FROM COVENANT. As to what the emphases are between an individual person and a corporate person on the level of family, clan, tribe and nation are concerned, these we will look at in more detail presently, for there are different rights and obligations.
The Statist Counterfeit
I expect some of you have noticed some deceptive similarities between the Divine System and secular statism. Socialism, for instance, insists that the state or government owns the individual. This it does because state ownership is entirely out of divine tavnith (pattern). We are born free to choose whether to belong to Yahweh or not, though of course we are never free of the consequences of not choosing Him. Most choose, when rejecting Yahweh, to belong to themselves exclusively or surrender themselves to demonic statist systems (who in any case give them little choice). In such apparent conflicts of interest for the believer, remembering Whom we belong to is the means of our deliverance and the basis of our inner shalom (peace). The bottom line is that we have the choice to decide whom we belong to. We should not be surprised, therefore, when those who refuse to be owned by their legitimate Owner, Yahweh, die as bitter, selfish, substance-addicted, greed-driven minions of evil who mistakenly thought they were winning the game of life.
Elohim as Ultimate Corporate Personality
I said earlier that corporate personality was inseparable from the biblical concept of covenant. Robinson, who coined the term 'corporate personality', stated:
Emerging from Relationships
"...[T]he fundamental conception of the covenant (b'rit), which can be made the basis of a complete theology of the Old Testament, is inseparably linked to the conception of corporate personality. Since Elohim (God) Himself constituted the Covenant, Elohim (God) Himself was/is the ultimate Corporate Personality. To properly understand the significance of this fact, one must realize that 'covenant' is the biblical term for 'relationship' and/or 'relationality' rather than for an individual or individuals." 
In his treatise on Jesus and the Metaphors of God, Bernard J. Lee articulates this fundamental concept:
The Forging of Relationships
"...[E]very individual is an emergent from relationships...[and,] as my colleague Michael Cowan has often observed, the relational web is the perpetual womb of our becoming. The umbilical connection between individual and community is never severed." 
We are all the products of our connections with others and there is no way we can entirely escape them, less the connections forged at home between parents and siblings which have a deep and profound impact. The same is true of schools. However, wrong connections - relationships not forged in divine tavnith (pattern) - lead to spiritual, emotional and mental dysfunction so we are constantly in the business of trying to undo wrong connections and relationships and establish right ones founded in emet (truth) and therefore ahavah (love).
Aloneness as Dysfunction
No man is an island and those who try to be end up with a peculiar dysfunctiinality all on its own that damages their personality. Corporate personality is built into the fabric of our being and we enter into these relationships whether we are aware of it or not.
A Choice Between Two Fundamental Corporate Personalities
We do it with the government by submitting to its laws and we do it with people by submitting to their social rules. So it's not exactly an alien concept. Rather, we tend to go into denial about the reality of the various corporate personal relationships we enter into when faced with the emet (truth) of what we have actually surrendered to and what we have become in consequence of that surrender. The stark choice we face is what corporate personality we choose to become a part of: Satan's or Yahweh's? For all systems of corporate personality that are not Yahweh's ultimately connect back to the father of lies...inevitably, making him our owner if we choose to operate out of tavnith (pattern).
Corporate Personality as Prophet
We cannot understand what corporate personality is without also understanding it as prophet. Under the Old Covenant, the prophet spoke to the people of Yahweh and therefore connected the communal Elohim (God) with kol Yisrael - all Israel:
"When Yah'shua (Jesus) entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, 'Who is this?' The crowds answered, 'This is Yah'shua (Jesus), the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee" (Matt.21:10-11, NIV).
"Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognising Him. He asked them, 'What are you discussing together as you walk along?' They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, 'Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?' 'What things?' He asked. 'About Yah'shua (Jesus) of Nazareth,' they replied. 'He was a prophet, powerful in davar (word) and deed before Elohim (God) and all the people'" (Luke 24:13-19, NIV).
Why this emphasis between prophet and Messiah? Apart from being a 'prophet' in the conventionally understood sense of the word, it is important to also realise that a corporate person is "a reflection of the indefinable unity (echad) between Yahweh and the prophet — the virtual identification of the human with the divine" 
Corporate Personality as Monarch
More familiar to us, perhaps, is the way people are corporately identified with a head of state like a monarch. Throughout the centuries strong identities were formed behind peoples and their kings. However, this was largely a slave relationship. But to the true Israelite King the subject was a brother - more of that in a moment.
The Threefold Messianic Corporate Personality
As we look at Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) we see the epitome and and full revelation of the corporate head as:
There is no prophet, cohen (priest) or king that we belong to beyond Him save on that day when Yah'shua (Jesus) returns all toqef (authority) back to the Father. Then the Father will be All-in-All.
- 1. final prophet;
- 2. The great and final Cohen Gadol (High Priest); and
- 3. The final conquering King.
Corporate Personality as Priest
Under the Old Covenant it was the cohen (priest) who stood as an intermediary between Elohim (God) and man, speaking to Yahweh for the people. He was a kind of spiritual 'umbillical cord' connecting covenanted Israelites to the communal Elohim (God). The Letter of the Hebrews is emphatic about assigning this final priestly rôle to Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ):
Thus the corporate personality that involves the relationality of the human individual and the human community with Yahweh has been, and always will remain, the rôle of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) as our Cohen Gadol (High Priest).
"Others became cohenim (priests) without any oath, but He (Yah'shua/Jesus) became a cohen (priest) with an oath when Elohim (God) said to Him: 'Yahweh has sworn and will not change His mind: 'You are a cohen (priest) forever''" (Heb.7:20-21, NIV).
Corporate Personality as King
In ancient Israel the king spoke to the people for the people. The king was the representative of the community as a group. Thus Bernard J. Lee declared:
As Robinson himself stated:
"Yahweh makes a covenant with a body of persons, not with individuals. Even the king is a figure through whom Yahweh’s promises and guarantees are directed to his people." 
It is in this context that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) was declared to be the King:
"To every other ancient monarch the subject was a slave; to the Israelite king he was a brother." 
Our Hope and Comfort
"After Yah'shua (Jesus) was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the One who has been born King of the Judeans? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him'" (Matt.2:1-2, NIV).
"Then Nathanael declared, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of Elohim (God); you are the King of Israel'" (John 1:49, NIV).
"In the sight of Elohim (God), who gives life to everything, and of Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this mitzvah (command) without spot or blame until the appearing of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), which Elohim (God) will bring about in His own time - Elohim (God), the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Master of masters, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To Him be honour and might forever. Amen" (1 Tim.6:13-16, NIV).
From this Kim Riddlebarger concludes:
Completed in Messiah
"This, then, is our hope and our comfort — Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is the final prophet, the great high priest, and the conquering king. There is a miraculous cure for the disease of ignorance, guilt, and pollution after all...Believers have found to be true Paul’s saying that 'all the promises of God find their 'yea' and 'amen' in Christ.’" 
Yah'shua (Jesus) is unique inasmuch as He Himself also constitutes both the Divine Corporate/Covenantal Personality as well as the Human Corporate/Covenantal Personality. This is a merger of Heaven and earth, a bridging of the gap between the Highest Sovereign and the most fallen of men. Without this corporality there would be no atonement, no redemption, and no salvation!
All Dominion To Be Returned by the Son to the Father
"For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Elohimhead (Godhead) bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power..." (Col.2:9-10, KJV).
As I have mentioned already, the time must come when Yah'shua (Jesus) returns all dominion back to His Father who is His Head:
The Corporate Issuance of Stewardship: Sons
"But Messiah has indeed been raised from the dead, the bikkurim (firstfruits) of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Messiah all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Messiah, the bikkurim (firstfruits); then, when He comes, those who belong to Him. Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to Elohim (God) the Father after He has destroyed all [enemy] dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death" (1 Cor.15:20-26, NIV).
I cannot underscore the importance of these principles here enough. Let me illustrate further. At some point in time I will hand over my ministry to a son of my appointing, as directed by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), to complete the work I was called to start, and he will accept responsibility for it. At the return of Messiah, he will hand that stewardship (with its power and authority) back to me, I will had it back to Yah'shua (Jesus), and Yah'shua (Jesus) will hand it back to the Father, Yahweh, "each in his own turn".
The Corporate Issuance of Stewardship: Wives
This is how it works. It is an eternal tavnith (pattern). Likewise, the stewardships given by husbands to their wives for the management of households and the raising of children - the instructions, power and autority to act in a husband's place according to set tavnith (pattern) - must at some point be returned to the husbands. The husbands, in turn, must return these family stewardships back to Yah'shua (Jesus) and thence back to the Father. This is the divine order and perfection. Then Yahweh becomes the full Owner of everything again.
Husbands Judged for the Conduct of Their Wives
I have a rather personal experience of this. Many years ago my wife had a prophetic dream in which I was in the presence of Yahweh, while the rest of my family waited out of sight. I was giving account for the rest of my family over whom I was head. The rest of the family was waiting anxious to hear of the judgment, for I, as the corporate family person, was being judged for all of them. It is this same tavnith (pattern) which grants the original Twelve Apostles (minus Judah, plus Matthias) toqef (authority) to judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Mt.19:28; Lk.22:30).
No Escaping Corporate Judgment
There is no escaping this arrangement which is why submission to corporate heads in true tavnit (pattern) is vitally important. No one escapes it. For just as Yah'shua (Jesus) was judged for the actions of all mankind, paying for their sins on the Cross, so heads - whether husbands, fathers, or pastors - assume responsibility for their families and congregations, respectively. This is no small matter! Thus if a wife, for example, runs off with another man and commits adultery, causing that other man to commit theft of her husband's property, she must return alone without the adulterous companion, to be judged by Yahweh through her lawful husband. She cannot appeal to her adulterous lover who will be judged separately as a thief. There will be many surprised and horrified people when this takes place!
The Reason for Plural Marriage
I am trying here to convey to you a heavenly perspective with the prayer that you will adopt it and abandon all false notions of exclusive individuality. We are, as a Corporate 'Wife', a part of one Body - the Body of Messiah, and we are to be judged by the Father in terms of our relationship to His Son! This is not some abstract, remote symbolism - it is real! Thus David's seven wives, like Jacob's four, were, and are, a part of his corporate body. That is why plural marriage was permitted and ordained under special and restricted circumstances by Yahweh to be a living expression of this heavenly corporate reality with the Messiah. In fact, that is the only reason (in the eternal perspective) why it exists.
The Uniplural Relationship That is Marriage
It is no accident, obviously, that the relationship between Yah'shua (Jesus) and His talmidim (disciples) - His Bride - is directly compared with the marriage estate. It is to remind us that we are all, in addition to being individuals, also - simultaneously - corporate entities. We make that uni-plural relationship a reality - we learn its dynamics - both within the marriage relationship itself (whether monogamous or polygamous) and are led by the Ruach (Spirit) to seek out, and minister to, the Body of our Master, His uni-plural Bride, with the understanding that we are intimately a part of it. It is not they who alone are affected by our ministry - we are too. We are all ministers to one another in some way which is why we are all essential, and particularly those we are brought into contact with at any one particular moment in time.
The Purpose of Negative Experience in Corporality
And yes, some of those intereactions with the Body are negative and painful because of the prevalence of sin. Salvation is not only an event past but a continuing process:
Why Achan's and Korah's Families Perished Together
"Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is Elohim (God) who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose" (Phil.2:12-13, NIV).
...Elohim (God) working through other members of the corporate entity which is the Body or Bride...and sometimnes outside of it, especially when we are in need of buffeting and waking up. Prayer and godly correction through those anointed with various gifts is Yahweh's way of leavening His Son's Body - His corporate Bride. Through these interactions, at a family as well as a congregational level, we come to understand (often the hard way) that just as Achan brought a curse on the whole nation of Israel, someone in the family can impact the rest of the family members negatively too, adultery and divorce being the most extreme examples, dealing a death-blow to the family. Can you see why Achan's family perished with him? Can you see why Korah's family perished with him? Does this not strike godly fear in you? It ought to, because it is real, however in denial you may be about it! It is frankly terrifying! And it is terrifying not because Yahweh is in any way unjust or bad, but because it is the opposite of the glory and beauty of its opposite, for Yahweh has ordained that we live both as individuals as well as corporately. So choose your spouses carefully! Better still, let Yahweh do the choosing! And make sure you prepare yourself as the best spouse possible.
No Escape from Corporate Identity
Yes, people are in huge denial about corporate personality even though they are inescapably a part of that reality whether they accept it or not. Just try and isolate yourself from others! Even those ancient aesthetics like Simon Styletes who sat on a small platform on top of a pole in the middle of nowhere had to be fed by people! You cannot escape corporate identity however hard you may try. You are connected to those whom you are around and to the degree you open yourselves to them. It is a fact of life. That is why we are commanded only to open to others in true tavnith (pattern), and not indiscriminately. That is why there are sexual boundaries, emotional boundaries, mental boundaries, not to limit us but to protect us and our families. And it is the sacred responsibility and duty of family and congregational heads to make sure that those Torah-boundaries are taught diligently, respected and enforced. That is why we, as men, are commanded to guard the Torah and to wear tzitzit (tassels) in our awake state to constantly remind us of that. That is why you ladies are commanded to submit to this ruling and those entrusted with rulership over you by wearing headcoverings. These are not trivial or minor mitzvot (commandments) but connect to lofty principles of emet (truth) that can be a matter of life and death.
Believe me, if a husband is doing his duty he is a busy man! For example, if someone in the family has contact objects (for example, jewellry that may have spiritual curses placed on them, as is common nowadays), or if a family member is actively engaging in sin, heads have a responsibility attend to these matters in Yahweh because those contact objects will give the enemy access to the whole family - to curse and trouble it! Likewise, if a pastor is doing his duty he too will be a busy man watching over the husbands and fathers of families, to make sure they don't deviate from the strait and narrow and lead their families into the destruction of Achan and Korah!
You see, what we do matters, not just for ourselves but for corporate entities like families, congregations and indeed the whole Body of Messiah! And ultimately, what we do that is sin, when it is unrepentted, is to recrucify Messiah. Likewise, the blessing of one blesses all by virtue of the communal covenants - by virtue of the corporate identity and personality. We affect one another by what we think, feel and do and especially to our heads who are supposed to be guarding us in prayer and in watchfulness generally. And if the head is failing at his job, then there is trouble for that corporate body - big trouble!
The Council of Yah's Elohim
Earlier I spoke of Abraham and how we become his offspring through faith in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus). What a blessing to be grafted into Abraham because of all the promises made to Abraham! What a blessing to be grafted into Jacob/Israel because of all the promises made to Jacob/Israel! They are my fathers, along with many others who are the Council of Yah's elohim. I cannot describe how unbelievably glorious and wonderful that is because I have communed with them and know these things first hand. I am not, as one brother recently accused me, living with my 'head in the clouds' when I upbraided him for a sin he would not repent of, implying that I did not understand because I was too disconnected in my theological world. Whatever theology I share is with reality and practice in mind - it is tried and tested.
Our Early Attempt to Live the Corporate Way
I do not care for mental games. I have no time for pie-in-the-sky theology. If it isn't practical, it's useless. We lived out many of these principles on a congregational level back in the late 1980's and early 1990's and I can tell you that they caused a heap of problems. That exercise failed because people were either not regenerated or had an aversion to the mitzvot (commandments) or to headship. I learned most of these things experientially which is actually the only way to learn. And I have learned just how revolting the idea of corporate personality is to the flesh and why the enemy seeks to undermine this emet (truth) whenever and wherever He can. Indeed, it has cost me dearly in terms of both health and relationships and the only reason I pursue it with such vigour is because I have tasted the glory of it when it works - I have bathed in that ahavah (love) which is the Council of Yah's elohim! Persuading people to abandon the flesh and fleshy ways of thinking is perhaps one of the hardest aspects of ministry that I know of.
Everything is Family
Everything we do matters not only that we might be blessed individually - for Yahweh adores these principles which were birthed from the very essence of His Being - but so we can see how others are blessed by transference too. It's catching once it gets going! Corporality is family because Elohim (God) is Family. Everything in this big, wide Creation is family! Yes, even on a microscopic level in the very structure of the atoms themselves.
In Business, Community and Nation
This principle of corporate personality affects business and even our local communities too! Think of how Joseph blessed the household of Potiphar until Potiphar's adulterous wife destroyed everything. Think of the household of David and how things were going so fabulously until, once again, adultery and murder destroyed almost everything. Think of the household of Solomon and how things went so wonderfully until he decided to break the mitzvot (commandments) and start marrying unbelievers out of covenant - it spelled the ruin of his own life, his family's, and his kingdom. There are many other examples from Scripture and from the lives of believers I am sure you can think of.
We Choose the Connections We Make
It is our choice what connections we make with people, whether we follow Torah-tavnith or not, and whether we allow the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to join it all together in perfection or whether we yield to the flesh to reap chaos and pain. It's our choice. We are ultimately responsible. We can choose what we want but we cannot choose the negative consequences of bad choices. No man can defy Yahweh's Cosmic Law, His Torah, and remain unjudged.
The Failure of Socialism
Secular socialism doesn't come anywhere near the glory of the Divine Corporate Personality because it operates on the basis of theft and force, being one of Satan's counterfeits. So beware of the philosophies of men:
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Messiah" (Col.2:8, NIV).
This is a deep subject. It addresses deep things within man himself, things placed there by Elohim (God). We can attempt to rewire it if we want but the result will always be disasterous. Do you want to waste an unrepeatable lifetime experimenting with "hollow and deceptive philosophy" or are you going to trust the Master and do things His way according to Torah? There is only one Derech (Way), one Emet (Truth) and one authentic Chayim (Life) (John 14:6) and it is in the Person of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) which is to be found reflected also in man - His image, His tavnith (pattern). Understand how the Divine Corporate Personality works and get stuck into it enthusiastically, asking Yahweh to guide you along the way. Amen.
 See, What is Your Life and Name?
 This is one of the main reasons Calvinism is false because it does not acknowledge a universal atonement - it is only for those who are predestined to salvation
 H. Wheeler Robinson, Corporate Personality in Ancient Israel (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark: 1981)
 Alec Gilmore, Did Steinbeck Know Wheeler Robinson or His Theory of Corporate Personality?
 This "sealing" has nothing whatsoever to do with the legalistic claims made by Mormons and others who claim to have the 'authority' to seal by the laying-on-of-hands. This sealing is entirely a work of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) with signs attending the sealing
 H. Wheeler Robinson, op.cit, p. 34
 Bernard J. Lee, Jesus and the Metaphors of God: The Christs of the New Testament (Paulist Press, New York: 1993), p.59
 Alec Gilmore, op.cit.
 Bernard J. Lee, op.cit., p.62
 H. Wheeler Robinson, op.cit, p. 43
 Kim Riddlebarger, The Triple Cure: Jesus Christ — Our Prophet, Priest and King