Month 7:18, Week 3:3 (Shleshi/Bikkurim), Year 5935:189 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 15 October 2011
Sukkot 2011 IV
In Search of the Heavenly Country
Continued from Part 3
With all the tension over a possible Israeli attack on Iran to knock out its nuclear facilities and weaponry once again getting media attention, it has been tempting to devote a discussion to the dangerous prospect of such an action pushing the already unstable financial markets over the top and into hyper-depression. The élite are desperate and are using all their cards to keep on top of events. But this is Sukkot, I have not been told anything by Yahweh about Iran yet, there is much to say about more spiritual matters, so I am going to resume where we left off yesterday.
Having, I hope, been convinced of the importance of shadows, and that the substance or kernel of the realities behind them are seen only by emunah (faith), and to find protection under them, let us now start trying to understand them. The Mishkan or Tabernacle, Yahweh's Sanctuary in the Wilderness, was a shadow or type of the City of Yahweh-Elohim. This city was not, moreover, Jerusalem, nor was Jerusalem (known earlier as Salem) the city that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sought for. The city yearned for by the patriarchs was not down on earth at all:
The great yearning of the people of the Jewish religion has been to return to Jerusalem. At the end of their version of the festivals, they recite, "Next year, Jerusalem". This hope for an earthly city and country has sustained them in their wanderings. Millions have immigrated to the earthly Jerusalem, but the country they won is not the same one that Moses and Joshua did, but they obtained through violence and wickedness. The earthly Jersualem has not brought them peace at all but multiplied violence throughout the world. Indeed, they have come to imitate their former persecutors in all but name. I repeat, this was not the city that Abraham, Issac and Jacob yearned for, and had they been alive today, they would not have viewed either Jerusalem or the Israeli Republic as 'God's own'. They would have regarded it as yet another untaken Canaan using their language only.
"For [Abraham] waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is Elohim (God). By emunah (faith) Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude -- innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. These all died in emunah (faith), not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore Elohim (God) is not ashamed to be called their Elohim (God), for He has prepared a city for them" (Heb.11:10-16. NKJV).
Once we have understood that the Mishkan was not a type of the earthly Jerusalem but a city constructed in heaven for the Millennium, we will not waste time going around in circles looking for similarities. There was a Holy City, long before David captured Jebus and renamed it Jerusalem, that had the attributes of the Heavenly Jerusalem, the City of Elohim (God). It, and its ruler Melchizedek, are briefly mentioned in Scripture. It was not the Canaanite stronghold of Jebus. This monarch's full title was King (Melchi, actually Melek) of Righteousness (zedek, actually Zadok) and Salem (Peace, or Shalom). He was also a Cohen Gadol or High Priest. That's quite a big clue in itself as to who he was a shadow or type of - Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) who has these kingly titles and priesthood office. Those who don't understand what shadows or types are speculate that Melchizedek was an earlier incarnation of Yah'shua (Jesus), which of course is impossble unless you are into occultic reincarnation. Indeed, I am of the firm belief that Melchizedek (which remember is a title, and therefore without genealogy) was none other than the Patriarch Shem, one of Noah's three sons and ancestor to the Hebrews and to Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself. They lived a long time in those days so it is not unreasonable to suggest that Abraham paid tithes to his esteemed ancestor. Today we are under an identical priesthood order, namely, the Melchizedek, which predated the Levitical one. Most messianics yearn for this defunct, preparatory Aaronic Priesthood that shows how bound they are to the shadows still. Evangelicals have at least understood that that order is gone for good.
If you are still confused about the two Jerusalems then I ask you to carefully read Hebrews 12:22-24 and Galatians 4:26. If you read these openly, without all the messianic and zionistic blinkers on, you will see that true New Covenant believers have no interest in the earthly Jerusalem or the surrounding land prophetically-speaking. Those caught up in the communistic, Illuminati lie called 'Zionism' will be lost in the shadows and totally miss the greater reality. This ministry is not interested in the modern events of the Middle East because they are counterfeit prophetic pointers - they are the brutal story of Esau and Ishmael and have nothing to do with the authentic Hebrews.
Those who are focussed on the Heavenly City are also focussed properly on its King. The Ruach (Spirit) bears witness of this City Above which is a Kingdom of Righteousness, Shalom (Peace) and Simcha (Joy):
Please note this well! The Kingdom of Elohim is NOT eating the drinking! Then why are we eating and drinking and feasting at Sukkot? Because this activity is a shadow of a higher reality. It represents an eating and drinking and fellowshipping of a different kind altogether. What is the Kingdom, then? And where is it? If you remember the vision I shared with you yesterday of the woman's womb you will understand these words of the Master:
"For the kingdom of Elohim (God) is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and shalom (peace) and simcha (joy) in the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)" (Rom.14:17, NKJV).
And it's BIG! It's not the real estate called Israel, Palestine or the Holy land which you can see with your eyes for that is but a shadow or manifestation on a lower level of reality. The Amplified Version of this passage gets the original sense over well:
"The kingdom of Elohim (God) does not come with observation (seeing, doing in the physical); nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of Elohim (God) is within you" (Luke 17:20-21, NKJV).
Who or what is in your levim (hearts) and surrounding you? Well, the most obvious answer is Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself for He was both in the levim (hearts) of His talmidim (disciples) and among them when he spoke these words. But there is the added sense of Him being wherever His talmidim (disciples) are from within, as has been the case since He returned to Heaven. Therefore the Kingdom, being Yah'shua (Jesus), is within our levim (hearts) and manifested wherever we live and act. The Kingdom, therefore, has two components - inner and outer, but it always starts within, just as New CovenantTorah does. Performing Sukkot or any other moed therefore has no meaning unless Yah'shua (Jesus) is within first of all, or it is dead religion. The Kingdom is not a shadow like Sukkot - it is the Ultimate Reality within man. Recall also the promise of Yah'shua (Jesus):
"The Kingdom of Elohim (God) is within you (in your levim/hearts) and among you (surrounding you)" (Lk.17:20, Amp.V).
Yah'shua (Jesus) cannot be present at Sukkot until He is authentically in the levim (hearts) of true believers assembled in His Name at the correct time and in the correct tavnith (pattern). Then Heaven had descended into the Sukkot gathering. For an authentic Sukkot these elements are therefore essential:
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" (Matt 18:20, NKJV).
The fact that Jerusalem was chosen to be the site of Solomon's Temple (another shadow) is immaterial to the New Covenant. It is, though, an interesting study in and of itself. Solomon was supposed to be a Shadow King of Shalom (Peace) and Righteousness, a reflection of Yahweh's Glory on earth - he started out well but thereafter it went very badly. He was not another Abraham and the country he presided over at his death was far, far removed from the tavnith (pattern) of the Heavenly Country it was supposed to reflect. Paganism, idolatry, corvée slavery, inequality, materialism, over-indulgence and many other things made it more like Babylon than Heaven. It may have been the pride of its people because of its wealth and the fame of its king, but it was far from the ideal. And the temple itself, though accepted by Yahweh, had additions to it not found in the original tavnith (pattern) of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Therefore it is to the Mishkan (Tabernacle) that we must go for the first, unrevised 'edition' if we are to properly understand what is above waiting for us. I am not returning to Solomon's Temple when I die but to the heavenly Mishkan (Tabernacle) - therefore I want to learn from the closest representation of what is above from this shadow. This we will begin doing tomorrow.
- 1. Authentic born-again talmidim (disciples) with Yah'shua (Jesus) in their levim (hearts);
- 2. They must be gathered in Yah'shua (Jesus') Name so that He can be present in the assembly;
- 3. They must be Torah-obedient;
- 4. They must be observing Sukkot according to Scriptural tavnith (pattern) and not man-made Jewish traditions;
- 5. They must be expecting the the return of a Heavenly City, a New Jerusalem, and therefore be looking above, and not to the eartly Jerusalem or to any soil, dirt or dust surrounding it; and
- 6. They must be operating in the Melchizedek Priesthood, not the Aaronic/Levitical, which is no more.
In the meantime, it is important to get your spiritual house cleaned out of all the lies that would distract your attention from the celestial place where Messiah reigns. Messiah, when He returns, will not be living in the present City of Jerusalem. That city will be gone - annihilated, vapourised, along with all its monuments and historical sites - when the New Jerusalem comes down:
A decision needs to be made today as to whether you will keep your eyes on that unholy, un-set-apart pile of dirt in the Middle East, however historical that dirt may be, or whether you are going to transfer your gaze above. And don't for one minute think you can do both because the earthly one is not a shadow if the heavenly one - it is Hagar, the slave woman, defiled, of the world. For messianics it means staying well clear of Judaism and Zionism, and for evangelicals it means yielding to the tavnith (pattern) of New Covenant Torah. I do hate to drone on about this but until you do, the Sukkot's you observe will be pale psychic counterfeits. You may eat, drink, laugh, have a good time, hear some sermons and do some Jewish cultural items, but you will still be in the flesh and living the hollow substance of a shadow.
"Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My Elohim (God), and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My Elohim (God) and the name of the city of My Elohim (God), the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My Elohim (God). And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Ruach (Spirit) says to the assemblies (churches)" (Rev.3:11-13, NKJV).
"Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from Elohim (God), prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the mishkan (tabernacle) of Elohim (God) is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. Elohim (God) Himself will be with them and be their Elohim (God). And Elohim (God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.' Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new'" (Rev.21:1-5, NKJV).
"Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, 'Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife.' And he carried me away in the Ruach (Spirit) to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the set-apart (holy) Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from Elohim (God), having the glory of Elohim (God). Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve malakim (angels) at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. But I saw no temple in it, for Yahweh-Elohim (the Lord God) Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of Elohim (God) illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honour into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honour of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life" (Rev.21:9-27, NKJV).
Please bathe yourself in the three passages I have read from Revelation and ask Yahweh to reveal to you the reality behind the shadows of Sukkot. Sukkot is a great time for fellowship but I would rather fellowhip in the Ultimate Reality than in the shadows. Wouldn't you?
May Yahweh give you shalom and lead you into all righteousness in Yah'shua our Messiah (Jesus Christ) as we contemplate these things before returning tomorrow. Amen.
Continued in Part 5