Month 6:1, Rosh Chodesh, Year:Day 5939:149 AM|
ROSH CHODESH VI (Sheshi haChodesh), TESHUVAH 1/39
2Exodus 1/40, 59/70 Firstborn Mourning
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 26 August 2014
Rosh Chodesh VI
The Ear, the Thumb & the Big Toe
Chag sameach Rosh Chodesh Kol Beit Yisra'el and bay the blessings of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) be with us all as we mark the beginning of the sixth month and the first day of the traditional Season of Teshuvah or Repentance before Yom haKippurim (Days of Atonement), which also points to the day when Yah'shua (Jesus) judges those alive on the earth and the dead in the spirit realm. Though the 40 day period of Teshuvah (39 days in the biblical Creation Calendar this year) is not commanded in Torah, it not only accords well with the time we have to prepare for that Final Judgment to come, but but is is also preparation and self-reflection time for the judgment that Yahweh meets out on all the talmidim (disciples) for the previous year's stewardship. Additionally this year, it falls on the latter part of the Days of Firstborn Mourning associated with the Death of Jacob and the mitzvah (commandment) that we put the fleshy nature to death so that Messiah can live in us, as it is written:
Co-existing with Death
"I have been crucified with Messiah; it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of Elohim (God), who loved me and gave Himself for me...those who are Messiah's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Ruach (Spirit), let us also walk in the Ruach (Spirit)" (Gal.2:20; 5:24-25, NKJV).
Death and chayim (life) cannot happily co-exist in a soul which is why Scripture is emphatic - one has to go and it is up to us to choose which. Though we always carry death with us in the physical body, we are not to live for the flesh but for the spiritual nature which, though linked to the flesh as long as we are alive, has an independent existence and continues after the death of the outer man. When we say we say that we are 'repenting' at this time of the year, though we are continuing throughout the whole year the mitzvah (commandment) given and repeated each year at Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread) in which we covenant to get individual sins out of our lives, our goal at this time of the year, with summer ended and autumn (fall) rolling steadily in before the winter comes, is to be done with sin and sinning altogether.
Overcoming the Fleshy Nature
This is a cycle we repeat year after year precisely because the fleshy nature is tenacious and will not easily let go, or we of it, because it has fooled us into believing that it is authentic chayim (life) when it is the ruach (spirit) that is the real thing. If it were no so easy to confuse the two we would not have such long drawn out struggles. When genuine teshuvah (repentance) works in us in its full expression, then what that means is that we are finally coming to the end of ourselves, that is to say, self-reliance and self-exaltation or ego in all its forms. When we are finally done with sinning we finally come into agreement with Yahweh in our spirit, mind and heart, that that there's nothing fun, or good, or pleasant, or exhilarating, or beneficial in sinning - we realise that in and of ourselves we are abysmal failures and that we can only properly function in the way Yahweh intended, in the fullness of simcha (joy), when Yah'shua (Jesus) has full control of our lives - for real. It is then that we also come to realise that so many of the calamities that Yahweh permits the Adversary to inflict on us are to actually bring us to the end of trying to control everything and everyone around us. It is only then, when we see the big picture, that we are finally thankful that He did permit these hardships.
We All Struggle
I speak as one who is by no means there and who is struggling hard...still. You would think that us 'seasoned veterans' would have it all down pat by now, wouldn't you? In that respect, we are all the same. The battle is not over until death takes us to a new realm and we return, Yah-willing, resurrected in the glory we have always aspired to
Reinhard Bonke's Key
Last night I was listening to the East Prussian evangelist Reinhard Bonke preaching. Some of you may know him as a rather fiery Pentecostal preacher whose ministry is largely in Africa. I have wanted to listen to him for some time and finally I did. He preaches in a very simple and effective way of the core principles of the Besorah (Gospel). I was impressed right up until the end until he launched into the charismatic routine. While he was preaching he quoted a passage from the Torah that I have no heard anyone else read before though I did recently read it, a matter of a few months ago, and meanrt to return to it because I sensed it had an important key of emet (truth) for us. In reading it for the first time you might regard it as having little or no importance to us in the B'rit Chadasha (New Covenant) because all it does is describe a Tanakh (Old Testament) ordinance that is no longer required today. As Bonke spoke I could tell he was trying to 'apologise' for reading from the Tanakh (Old Testament) for as you know charismatic Protestants in particular do not have a lot of use for Torah, yet he knew that there was something important in it for us today and was definitely on the right track in claiming that it was pointing to very relevent spiritual anointing under this New Covenant. So we will read that together now.
The Ear, the Thumb and the Big Toe
We will look at two different but very closely related passages:
The Cleansing of Priests and Lepers
"And Moses slaughtered [the ram] and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron's right ear, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. He also had Aaron's sons come near; and Moses put some of the blood on the lobe of their right ear, and on the thumb of their right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot ... The cohen (priest) then take some of the blood of the guilt offering, and the cohen (priest) shall put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. The cohen (priest) shall also take some of the log of oil, and pour it into his left palm; and the cohen (priest) shall then dip his right hand finger into the oil that is in his left palm, and with his finger sprinkle some of the oil seven times before Yahweh. And of the remaining oil which is in his palm, the cohen (priest) shall put some on the the right ear lobe of the one to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on the blood of the guilt offering; while the rest of the oil that is in the cohen's (priest's) palm, he shall put on the head of the one being cleansed. So the cohen (priest) shall make kippur (atonement) on his behalf before Yahweh ...
"Next he shall slaughter the lamb of the guilt offering; and the cohen (priest) is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot. The cohen (priest) shall also pour some of the oil into his left palm; and with his right-hand finger the cohen (priest) shall sprinkle some of the oil that is in his left palm seven times before Yahweh. The cohen (priest) shall then put some of that oil that is in his palm on the love of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot, on the place of the blood of the guilt offering. Moreover, the rest of the oil that is in the cohen's (priest's) palm he shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make kippur (atonement) on his behalf before Yahweh" (Lev.8:23-24; 14:14-18,25-29, NASB).
Like I said, two different ordinances are being described - the first for the cleansing of the cohenim (priests) involving the slaughter of a male ram and the second for the cleansing of lepers involving the slaughter of a male lamb. Both animals represent Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) making slightly different kippurim or atonements. The two sets of ordinances are quite complex and differ from each other with the exception of three particular actions: the anointing of the right ear lobe, right thumb and right big toe - first with blood and then with oil. In the case of the leper this is followed by a sevenfold sprinkling of oil before Yahweh and then a final anointing of the head. Both proceedures lasted seven days.
What Does This Mean?
We could spend considerable time looking in detail at the symbolic meaning of these. However, our interest today is in carefully looking at these two cleansing proceedures, namely, the anointoing of the ear, the hand and the foot. Why these appendages, why only a particular part of them, and why only the one on the right side of the body?
You will recall that when Yah'shua (Jesus) instituted the ordinance of the washing of feet that he washed only the apostles' feet. When Peter demanded that He wash his entire body, he was gently rebuked and intold and that the washing of the feet stood for, or represented, the entire body as if it too had been washed completely (John 13:1-10). Thus a part of the whole represents the whole, the cleansing of the feet and what they represent by the Master representing a cleansing of the whole soul. In the Mosaic ordinance the ear lobe represents the whole ear, the thumb the whole hand, and the big toe represents the whole foot, because the ear lobe is the head of the ear, the thumb the head of the hand, and the big toe the head of the foot. Likewise, the right ear is the head of both ears, the right hand the head of both hands, and the right foot the head of both feet. Those who sit in glory sit on the right hand side, not the left. In the case of the ordinance for the cleansing of the leper, who represents sinful man, the actions of blood and oil anointing are rounded off by a sevenfold sprinkling before Yahweh and finally an anointing of the head itself, which represents the head of the whole body. The reason why women cover their heads with veils and don't cover their whole bosy as Muslim women do is because the covering of the head represents the whole body. When I shake a friend's right hand in greeting it represents a total embrace in symbolic form.
Awakening Spiritual Hearing
It should be at once obvious that there is a divine tavnith (pattern) here where the numbers 7 , 3 and 1 play an important rôle in identifying what is being represented in the spiritual dimension. Today we want to look at the threefold anointing of ears, hands and feet. The purpose of the anointing of these three parts is to render them functional in the spiritual. Perhaps the most obvious, the anointing of the right ear represents the quickening of the spiritual sense of hearing the Davar Elohim (Word of God) that His will might be known to man. And this is the first of the anointings. The eyes are not anointed because emunah (faith) is not by sight but by hearing (Rom.10:17). Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
The Pilgrim Feasts
"He who hears My Davar (Word), and believes Him (Yahweh) who sent Me, has eternal life" (Jn.5:24, NASB).
Hearing, then, is of the utmost importance, so it is our capacity to hear Him that is our first order of spiritual business. It is this hearing and believing that is the first of the three major parts of the Besorah (Gospel) that corresponds to the first annual moed (appointment) of seven festivals that is Pesach (Passover). We are saved by hearing the 'foolishness' of preaching (1 Cor.1:21). The ear therefore represents the first of the Three Pilgrim Festivals - 'pilgrim' because travel is involved which we will see, in a moment, involves the third of the anointings.
The Thumb and Heavenly Assignments
The second anointing is of the thumb and therefore the hand which represent the carrying out of our assignments from Heaven. An assignment consists of an instruction or set of instructions that sometimes go into great detail. Such is the compound nature of the Torah that was given to Israel at Mount Sinai on the Second Pilgrim Festival of Shavu'ot (Weeks) as a Betrothal Contract or Ketubah. They set out the terms and expectations that the Bridegroom has of the Bride for the conduct of our lives here in mortality both in relation to our Father Yahweh and to our fellow man which are summarised in the Ten Devarim or Words more commonly known as the Ten Commandments.
The Big Toe as the Instrument of Living
The third and final anointing is the big toe of the foot and represents the instrument of living out our whole lives by walking with our feet on the Derech or Way that leads to Eternal Life. This means that we must be prepared to relocate ourselves to wherever Yahweh wants us to be as the Bride, including making the required journeys at the Pilgrim Festivals. And indeed, in the Third Pilgrim Festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles), when the Bridegroom comes to collect her, the Bride forsakes her former life and family (Ps.45:10) and goes with the Bridegroom wheresoever he goes as his helpmeet on the Derech (Way) appointed for him and his family.
Anointing the Head
Once the soul has lived out these three symbolic anointings represented by the Three Pilgrim Festivals, it has completed the sevenfold purpose of the Seven Annual Festivals, which in part is why there are seven sprinklings of blood and oil before Yahweh. This is then followed, in the case of the completion of the cleansing of the leper, by an anointing of the head, which represents the Eighth Festival of Shemini Atseret or the Last Great Day which represents is the first day or rosh (head) of a new mellennial-type life and is therefore separate from the other seven. It is a new beginning. The anointing of the head encompasses all the other anointings in the same way that the washing of the feet represented the washing of the whole body. So we see in this complex sequence of anointings another representation of the Annual Festivals which are a description of the Plan of Salvation and the derech or way man must go in his pursuit of redemption and perfection.
Blood, Oil and the Festivals
Anointing with dahm (blood) represents the cleansing of sin through the Blood of Messiah shed at Calvary. Anointing with oil represents the Three Anointings of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) that follow the fulfilment of the spiritual actions of the three sets of seasonal annual festivals - the spring festivals of Pesach (Passover), Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread), and Yom haBikkurim (Day of Firstfruits); the summer festival of Shavu'ot (Weeks); and the autumn (fall) festivals of Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets/Shouting), Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonements) and Sukkot (Taberbacles).
Our cleansing from sin takes place in three progressive stages and our anointing by the Ruach (Spirit) the same. When speaking of the latter, most believers think that there is only one anointing, at Shavu'ot (Weeks), known traditionally (though inaccurately) as 'Pentecost', when there are, in fact two more. The three are:
The Spiritual Maturation Process
- 1. The anointing that takes place at Yom haBikkurim (Day of Firstfruits) which is what results in the New Birth or Spiritual Regeneration that comes from accepting Yah'shua (Jesus) as Messiah;
- 2. The anointing at Shavu'ot (Weeks, 'Pentecost') that enables or activates the spirit of preaching or witnessing; and finally
- 3. The anointing at Sukkot (Tabernacles) which brings the Bride into full, deep and intimate communion with the Bridegroom.
All three anointings are required for completion or perfection and may be viewed as a spiritual maturation process beginning with infancy (becoming a child of Elohim/God) at Yom haBikkurim (Firstfruits), grows into early manhood or womanhood at Shavu'ot (Weeks) as responsibility is assumed, and is completed in the full maturity of later adulthood at Sukkot (Tabernacles).
Listeners and Doers
Thus from ear, to thumb and to big toe, the body is activated, much as a baby first exercises hearing, then grasping with the hand and finally walking - the hardest part of all in many respects - with the feet. Many believers there are who are only listeners of the Davar (Word) but not doers, fewer are those who both listen and carry out their qadosh (holy) assignments, and fewer still are those who live wholly qadosh (holy) lives in every area of their being. Those who refuse to do no more than listen inherit a lesser glory than those who are willing to carry out their assigments; and those who refuse to go no further than carry out assignments without wholly dedicating their lives will inherit a lesser glory than those willing to live wholly consecrated lives. These glories Paul likens to the light emanating from the sun, moon and stars, respectively, which also correspond to three different kinds of resurrection (1 Cor.15:41-42).
Spiritual Stunting from Refusing to Eat Meat
Most Christians make no distinction between these three anointings and stages of spiritual growth and lump everything together. Thus for them there is but one heaven, not three; one resurrection, not three; and one glory, not three in the face of Scripture testifying to the opposite (2 Cor.12:2). And it is amongst these that the 'Once Saved, Always Saved' (OSAS) doctrine emerged making for a very diluted and deceptive Besorah (Gospel) indeed, for the implication of this false teaching is that listening is enough provided there is an impact on the heart leading to an initial Regeneration and New Birth. Unfortunately for those who have fallen for this delusion, there is no sevenfold sprinkling before Yahweh for them nor is there an anointing of the head to complete the journey. Theirs then becomes - if they do not repent from refusing to put aside childish things in order to make way for the maturer - an untimely birth, resulting in spiritual stunting from spiritual undernourishment caused by feeding on a perpetual diet of milk in the belief that there is no meat or that the meat is something bad to be shunned. It was this error that prompted Paul to declare:
No Discernment with a Milk Diet
"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of Elohim (God), and you have come to need milk and not solid food (meat). For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the davar (word) or righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food (meat) is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil" (Heb.5:12-14, NASB).
That is why so many believers lack the wisdom to discern the times and are tossed to and fro by every false teaching that comes out of the pit. It's why they have no grasp of what is going on in the world. How shall we spot these babes? Paul tells us by pointing out the six principles - though vital for a foundation in emet (truth) - that they speak of exclusively to anything else:
"Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Messiah, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of emunah (faith) toward Elohim (God), of instruction about washings (baptisms), and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we shall do, if Elohim (God) permits" (Heb.6:1-3, NASB).
No Perpetual Infancy in the Kingdom
Churches that speak only of these things have progressed no further than what is represented by the spring festivals, and eventually stagnate. They starve and get hungry and eventually whither on the vine. They remain perpetual babes. Infancy is a necessary and a wonderful thing, and a Besorah (Gospel) without them is no Besorah (Gospel) at all. But Yahweh did not call us to perpetual infancy in Him. He calls us to be servants of Torah and thence to be the friends of the Bridegroom. And not many are called the 'friend of Elohim (God)' as Abraham and David were - the rest remain as servants, never maturing into that deeper relationship that comes only of maturing spiritually through obedience: "You are my friends if you do what I command" (John 15:14, NIV). Friends, as we know, lay down their lives in service to their brethren, their one hand giving and the other not knowing of it (Mt.6:3). Yes, there are great and wonderful mysteries in maturity but maturity comes only with discipline (discipleship) and correction, which is one of the functions of Torah.
Walking the Walk
There are those who speak of maturity and of maturing, and there are those who actually get up and walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. It means stepping out in ever greater emunah (faith) for that is the only way we may lead fully qadosh (holy) lives sufficiently pleasing to Elohim (God) that He comes to regard us as trustworthy friends. Such are the "servants of the Davar (Word)" (Lk.1:2, NASB), being owned fully by it and by Him who is the Living Davar (Word), people who do more than pay lip-service to it whilst continuing to own themselves and to control their own lives apart from Elohim (God).
The Trampling of the Gentiles
You will recall - because I have reminded you of it many times now - that in these dark and perilous last days the Court of the Temple is, according to biblical prophecy, overrun and trampled down by the gentiles (Rev.11:2). The court is the third area of the Temple, which represents the third part of the Body of Messiah or Messianic Community (Church) corresponding to the spring festivals, and to the glory of the moon spoken of by Paul. The other two - the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, that correspond to the summer and autumn (fall) festivals, and to the glories of the moon and sun, and to the second and first resurrections, respectively, are preserved from this trampling, a trampling we are witnessing in all its awful horror now in the Christian communities in Syria and Iraq. Baby Christians who reject Torah and refuse to mature are not in the man building of the Temple but in the Courtyard. Why? Because they don't have the proper discernment that an exclusively Milk Besorah (Gospel) cannot give them. They are like small children without parents left to fend for themselves and so become a prey to the deceptions and wickedness of the Evil One. That ought to be reason enough to grow up by being obedient to all the Davar (Word), don't you think?
Nothing to Boast of
I say this not to boast for like Paul we have nothing to boast about save Messiah (Eph.2:8-9). But there are consequences - there is a price to pay - for disobedience, and it is of this disobedience that I am in part called to warn believers of, for their own safety and welfare. This is not a time to refuse to do all Yahweh commands, and it is a time when complacency will not result in good things happening for the Enemy is out for blood. The world has changed, and is continuing to change for the worse, so much so that no believer in his right mind should be content to be merely in the Courtyard of Yahweh's House. Get indoors, get under covering! Repent and obey! Get that old, deadly fleshy nature crucified once and for all. Swallow your pride, learn to be a servant, for you do not jump from being an infant to being a friend of Elohim (God) in one leap - you cannot bypass service. You have first to prove yourself trustworthy. So get on your knees and your face and be willing, like the Prodigal Son, and like Paul who knew how wicked he had formerly been, to become least in the Kingdom of Elohim (God) for righteousness' and humility's sake. As Yah'shua (Jesus) taught:
"Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mt.20:26-28, NASB).
I could say more but I think you have got the point. Present yourselves (Ex.34:2) to your earthly masters and to your Heavenly Masters (2 Tim.2:15) with a broken heart and a contrite spirit (Ps.521:17; Is.57:15), take responsibility for doing those things you have been avoiding which Yahweh has commanded, and get on your knees and your faces. Let ego games come to and end, along with selfish ambition and every attempt to control life and the lives of others whom you have not been given headship over. Get out of that courtyard! It is being overrun, and will continue to be overrun and trampled by the heathen, until Messiah returns - "present your bodies a living and qadosh (holy) sacrifice, acceptable to Elohim (God), which is your spiritual service and worship" (Rom.12:1, NASB). Amen.
Continued in Part 2