Month 1:21 (Aviv), Week 3:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year 5935:021 AM|
CHAG HA-MATZAH (Unleavened Bread) ANNUAL MOED 2:7
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 24 [Red] April 2011
Chag haMatzah 2011 VII
No Need to Be in the Desert So Long!
Continued from Part 6
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and welcome to the final day of Chag haMatzah, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is a High Sabbath on which no regular work may be done. We are approaching the end not only of this feast but of the whole cycle of spring festivals too. The long count of seven sabbaths follwoed by 50 days has already begun as we look forward to Shavu'ot, the pivotal summer festival. We have discussed a lot this week and, hopefully, there has been as much spiritual movement for you as there has been for me.
I always feel a heavy responsibility on the last day of a long festival like this one before I dismiss the assembly and people go home and I struggled in vain yesterday to know what words to share with you. My long and copious notes for a deep discourse on Matzah have not been called for so I must put them aside for now. Our 'last minute' Elohim (God), true to form, withheld His message from me until this morning. So I will get to the point and share the message He gave me for you without further delay.
Chag haMatazah describes a period of time right at the beginning of Israel's wandering in the desert. If the people had remained in tavnith or divine pattern, properly submitted to their Rosh or Head, Moses, and to Yahweh above, they could have journeyed a short while longer to Mr.Sinai, received their Betrothal Contract, the Torah, and entered the Promised Land. That was the plan, that was the hope. And yet as we all know, of that vast multitude, only three men had right hearts towards Yahweh - Moses the Levite, Joshua thre Ephraimite and Caleb and Judahite, and even Moses failed the final test which would prevent him from doing any more than standing on Mt.Pisgah and viewing the land which he was not permitted to enter. Only two, then, of that vast mass of people, ever saw and entered the Promised Land. And that is the way it has always been, and always will be, because nearly all people prefer to follow the flesh rather than the ruach (spirit).
You see, we don't need to waste vast amounts of time struggling through sin issues. We really don't! Our success or failure is a function of obedience or a lack of it. And our obedience or lack of it is always a function of whether we come to Yah'shua as a Pesach-child or not. It's really that simple and yet we all choose to make it more complicated than it really is. We believe the lie that we have to do some Herculean task for Yahweh in order to be accepted. I suspect that is the biggest lie of all that mankind believes. We don't. To be accepted all we have to do is run to Abba (Father) as a trusting child. But to do that demands the death of pride and the embracing of innocence.
I think, for some people, a metaphorical 40 year trek in the desert has becme a matter of esteem and pride. They enjoy looking back and boasting what they have been through, their adventures, and how they 'got through', as they either suppose or hope. Brethren and sisters, the 40 year wandering was not a part of the original plan and there is no glory in it and certainly nothing to boast about. Yahweh would far rather have you skip it altogether. He would far rather have you as a Joshua or a Caleb. He is not looking for martyrs to suffering because of sin (they're actually fools, not martyrs) and He certainly isn't going to admire you for it. The Joshua's and Caleb's certainly won't.
The focus of Chag haMatazah is not supposed to be all that rotten leaven we want to get rid of but Yom haBikkurim which is Yah'shua (Jesus), the Resurrection and the Chayim (Life). Yom haBikkurim, the Feast of Firstfruits, was supposed to be 'it', the 'main thing'. There was supposed to be a short one 'day' journey to it from Pesach and then another one 'day' journey on to Shavu'ot and then another one 'day' journey on to Sukkot! We have to stop looking narcissistically at the 'trials and tribulations' as though the ones we created for ourselves were unavoidable and start looking at the attitudes and tavnith (pattern) of the Joshua's and Caleb's around us.
Something else Yahweh told me this morning when I got up: He reminded me that Joshua the Ephraimite and Caleb the Judahite not only only did not need to go through the desert for themselves but that He called them to go through the desert with the others who did need to be taught, instructed, encouraged, admonished and corrected them. Do you think Moses needed to go through the desert? He had already spent 40 years in another one in the land of Midian! Those going through the desert of affliction because of rebellion need to remember that they are, because of that rebellion, forcing others to accompany them who have not rebelled. And those who don't need to be going through the desert for themselves need also to remember that they need to be there for their brethren for no other reason than Yahweh's demand that we manifest unmerited favour and undeserved loving-kindness, namely, grace to them as He has to us.
Those who want to become ministers need to remember two important things. First, they can't become leaders until they have been through the desert themselves; and second, those who want to become leaders have to go through the desert twice like Moses. The first desert experience they needed for their own salvation; the second, for ahavah's (love's) sake. And if you don't want to go through a second desert of affliction for your brethren, then you don't have enough ahavah (love) to be a minister.
Yah'shua (Jesus) did not have to be baptised because He had nothing to repent of, but He did in order to walk with us by setting the example for us to imitate. We need our Yom haBikkurim immersion, our Red Sea baptism, to die to the desire for the world and the flesh. What was the atonement if it was not Yah'shua (Jesus) repenting for us vicariously? If you want to be a minister - and every one is called to be one to one degree or another (since we are all called to the Royal Priesthood, men and women), even if it is not necessarily to be a pastor, evangelist, or apostle - then you must say 'yes', with ahavah (love), to two desert wanderings. At a minimum everyone is called to be a deacon or deaconess - a shammesh or servant!
Every single one of us, if we are serious about our walk in Messiah, is called to two desert wanderings ... unless we have the faith and obedience of a Joshua or a Caleb, in which case we have one. Remember also, as you go through your first wandering, that someone is going through it with you who does not need it for him- or herself. So, please, don't exploit those accompanying you when all you need to do is cease rebelling and repent.
I had a dream this morning which was the clue for what Yahweh wanted me to talk to you about today. There was a mother with her child in a bus driving through the desert with others. I know them well in real life. There was nothing but sand in sight no matter what direction you looked in. I was following this woman and her child while flying through the air as I was not on this desert journey myself. At length the bus came to a halt in the middle of nowhere so the passengers could stretch their legs and do their ablutions, I suppose, and the mother and child disembarked to wander around. I descended from the sky above to the ground and went to them. I have been following them spiritually in my prayers for some years now. Then the mother turned in rage toward me, dropped to my feet, not to bless them, but to curse them, and I heard the demonic speaking through her. The vehemence shocked me, though it should not have done, for I know how she has turned against Yahweh and His Torah with bitter hatred. I knew then that she had some way to go yet. She wanted me to walk the desert with her because the curse was that I should no longer be able to fly but suffer even as she was suffering, as she supposed I deserved. We must, however, suffer for, and repent of, our own sins.
I repeat, we can choose how long or short our desert wanderings shall be but one thing is absolutely certain, and this is something no one must delude themselves about: the desert wandering does not end until you die to self. The passing away of the first generation of Israelites, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, is supposed to remind us of this vital truth: all self-will has to die, all rebellion has to die, all hate has to die, all self-pity has to die, and all that is of the flesh has to die until we are worthy to enter into our final Sukkot. And we will return, year after year, to Pesach, Chag haMatzah and Yom haBikkurim, until we have learned that lesson and chosen to die. If we don't, we will go up to each Shavu'ot and rebell as the children of Israel did when they made a golden calf because they grew weary of waiting, instead of dining on the top of the mountain with Yahweh as Moses and the Elders did. They wanted to take short-cuts. They attacked the Promised Land in a state of rebellion and were roundly defeated by the Amalekites at Kadesh-barnea. They saw giants as bigger than Yahweh as those who rebell see the power of Satan as greater than Yahweh, and so yield to the enemy of their souls, being recruited as his canon-fodder to attack Yahweh's people. Don't forget this! There are no short-cuts to heaven - NONE! It doesn't have to be a long agonising journey but equally there are no short-cuts! You still have to leave Egypt, cross your Red Sea, go up to Sinai and then go up to the Promised Land. There is still journeying to do even if you have the lev (heart) of a Pesach-child but you don't have to wander for 40 years and die as a rebel. Remember that!
The enemy keeps us in defeat by convincing us we have to flagellate ourselves, hunger, thirst and get bitten by poisonous snakes in the desert. He wants us to believe that self-inflicted punishment is is a sign of humility and literally a 'good work' with which we can earn His favour. It is such a lie! Yahweh does not want us in defeat and we do not have to take years and years and years to overcome. Our deliverance can be - and ought to be - as quick as a small child running up to Abba and sitting on his lap. But we are too proud to accept that - we so much want to do something to prove ourselves. That is not the Gospel of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
Many Messianics make the mistake of believing they must obey all the mitzvot or commandments to be acceptable to Abba Yahweh. They need to become Evangelical Christians first. We are accepted as a trusting Pesach-child and on no other basis. If we have learned this one lesson during these spring festivals then we will have done well, because that's what they're there for. At the same time, we are not supposed to remain as a child - we have to go up to Shavu'ot and receive Yahweh's next blessings - the blessings of a Betrothal Covenant that requires a new level of submission and trusting of us involving both an anoitning of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and our obedience to Torah.
There is, unfortunately, today such a shortage of Joshua's and Caleb's in both Houses of Israel (Ephraim and Judah) that most ministers are having to go through the desert for the first time together with their flocks. This can be quite discouraging for the flocks who need strong and steady leadership grounded in pure emet or truth walking in divine tavnith or pattern and much ahavah (love). Not everyone is like Joshua or caleb who were fresh out of Egypt - many are like Aaronc who caved in to popular pressure instead of jealously guarding emet (truth). Ideally ministers should be cleansed first in their own lonely yet fulfilling Midians as Moses was. It is because there are so many unregenerated, impure and lawless ministers that there is chaos in the Body of Messiah. And it is because there are so many unregenerated, impure and lawless husbands and fathers that there is chaos in so many marriages and families. However, that is the reality, which means that the true Joshua's and Caleb's are not only in short supply but also in much demand. To be successful, they must do as Jethro conselled Moses - teach and set-apart other ministers to assist them. Right now, that is the priority of this ministry - to train up pastors, evangelists and apostles in the ways of our Father and to that end we are starting to get very busy. Once again a gathering of Torah-obedient apostles is slowly getting underway again.
This task is made all the more difficult by the fact that there are so many false, lawless and unregenerated apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors in the Body of Messiah today. Until the leaders are purged of the leaven of sin, Israel as a whole will wander aimlessly in the desert, every man having to fend for himself, which is not a good place to be in with so much wickedness and so many enemies in the world today. So the required de-leavening must begin with people like myself and every husband and father in Messianic Israel! Until we're fixed, the Body will meander like the River Jordan. So you men must muster!
That said, I have to state categorically, so that we are under absolutely no illusion, that most Christian and Messianic leaders WON'T repent - but then, at the same time, I also have to state that most of the ordinary membership of Messianic Isreael won't repent either. There is going to be no general world-wide repentance and revival of Christians and Messianics - it isn't going to happen. There will be no fulfilling of the false 'Kingdom Now' doctrine which says the world will progressively become believing by the time Yah'shua (Jesus) returns. That's a lie. There is going to be less emunah or faith, not more! Yah'shua (Jesus) said that when He returns it will be like the days of Noah all over again. Believe Him. So, no, this message is for the remnant even though we will, and must, deliver it to all, so that their blood is not on our heads. Only a few will repent of the four deadly leavens.
The end-time assembly and final gathering has to start from scratch. There is not going to be last-minute reformation of the existing church and synagogue systems. The end-time remnant must start from scratch just as it did in Yah'shua's (Jesus') day because the whole regilious system has to be dismissed - it's already owned by Satan and it will be absorbed into the antichrist system. It's already well integrated with it with most churches and messianic assemblies infliltrated one way or another. Those who try to cling onto the old system, whether it be the 'Christian' church system or the 'Messianic' synagogue system, are simply remaining in their 40 year wanderings in the names of their denominations, associations or leaders.
The Messianic Israel in the wilderness right now is like that dream I had this morning of the mother and child, cursing Yahweh and cursing His servants, those who are watching over them. She will not repent until she has come to the end of herself and has stopped relying on her flesh for salvation. In the meantime we must continue ministering however we can, even if it is only in prayer. Not until she has admitted her defeat and Yahweh's supremacy, as Job did, and as Pharaoh was forced to, and as Satan and his demons will be forced to at the very end, will she become an Isaiah 4 woman that searches out for the Man with a Tov Shem or Good Name, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and ask to be His Bride.
These things are yet to happen but are not far off but first they must begin with us. You men must obtain a tov shem by yielding to Messiah completely so that your women will desire your good name and submit gladly to you, just as we are all required to submit to the Son of Man with the Tov Shem who takes away our reproach through the paschal blood of His sacrifice for our sins. I urge you, therefore, to prostrate yourselves before the Most High, repent, and go to Him as a little Pesach-child and get out of the desert. Don't listen to the grumbling Korah's and other rebels who yearn for the bondage of Egypt and believe the lie that it was better off back in the world and that the 'grass is greener on the other side of the hill'. It isn't - it's just more desert. That is death. It reminds me of a dear brother who was obsessed with the desert, got lost in it and ended up committing suicide. We must not imitate him!
"And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, 'We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your shem (name), to take away our reproach.' In that day the Branch (Remnant) of Yahweh shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped. And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called set-apart (holy) -- everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When Yahweh has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, then Yahweh will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a sukkah (covering). And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain" (Isa 4, NKJV).
Get down, repent, get up, leave quickly, trust and obey, and head for Shavu'ot (Pentecost)! That is where I am headed and I hope you will join with me. May Yahweh bless you until we assemble for the regular creation sabbath tomorrow. Amen.