Month 3:15, Week 2:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5936:074AM|
SHABBAT 3:2, 7 Sabbaths + Omer Count Day #7
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 4 June 2012
The Connection II
Finding Fellowship and Communion
Continued from Part 1
Shabbat shalom hol beit Yisra'el!
Today we are going to take up from where we left off three weeks ago when we examined the meaning and purpose of life and the importance of connections. We agreed that for the believer in Yah'shua (Jesus), the meaning of our life comes from our connection to Elohim (God) and with Yah'shua (Jesus). One thing I want to stress from the outset today is that the relationship between Yahweh as Father, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) as Mother, and Yah'shua (Jesus) as Son came before our connection to Them.
When the Father and Mother are acting in concert or in echad (oneness) then they are known as El Shaddai. This very interesting title of the Elohimhead (Godhead) is, regrettably, translated in our English Bibles as "Almighty God":
But the word Shaddai, that comes from the Hebrew root shadad, is more complex than that, because it has a twin set of meanings. It literally means 'to overpower' and can also mean 'to overpower a demonic power'. El Shaddai can therefore be correctly translated as "El or God overpowers or prevails against all shaddim or demonic powers". This is the masculine side of Elohim (God) as we see in another passage:
"When Abram was ninety-nine years old, Yahweh appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am El Shaddai ('Almighty God'); walk before Me and be blameless" (Gen.17:1, NKJV).
However, the word Shaddai is also derived from the Hebrew root shad which means 'breast', revealing the female, maternal, merciful side of Elohim (God). With what do we associate the woman's breast? Nourishment and Comfort to her children. In his patriarchal blessing to his son Joseph, Jacob said:
"Wail, for the day of Yahweh is at hand! It will come as destruction from Shaddai (the Almighty)" (Isa.13:6, NKJV).
Therefore Shaddai is seen to have both male and female components. This does not mean, as some wrongly suppose, that Yahweh is some hermaphrodite possessing both genders and or neither, which is actually one of the propositions of occultism, but it does mean that Elohim (God) is a connection between two Persons, male and female, our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. The Book of Genesis testifies, does it not, that man was created in Elohim's image, male and female, as two separate entities, and not as an hermaphrodite being . Adam was made in the image of the Father Yahweh and Eve in the image of the Mother Ruach (Spirit). Therefore Elohim (God) is both Father and Mother.
"By the Elohim (God) of your father who will help you, and by Shaddai (the Almighty) who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb" (Gen.49:25, NKJV).
I wish to underline this emet (truth) because we will never conderstand proper connectness apart from this family tavnith or pattern. The whole of the Cosmos, in all its glory, stems from the connection between Father and Mother, and from Father and Son. To understand our relationship to Elohim (God) we must properly understand this Father-Son connection. Yah'shua (Jesus) prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His arrest:
An essential part of understanding Yahweh the Father is to see Him as being in a relationship with someone else. Yahweh is seen to be a Father in echad (oneness) union with a Mother, and Their primary relationship is with Their Son Yah'shua (Jesus). Because the Father is Head of this relationship, for simplicity the relationship with the Son is described as being with the Father.
"And the glory which You gave Me I have given them (the talmidim/disciples), that they may be echad (one) just as We are echad (one): I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in echad (one), and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:22-24, NKJV).
So whenever we think about Elohim (God), we can only properly understand it as being a connection or relationship, something which is absent from both Islam and Judaism. In Islam, Allah is not viewed in personal terms at all - he is alone and distant. In Talmudic Judaism, Yahweh (known by them as 'Adonai' or 'Lord', a loan word from Greek paganism and the god Adonis) is also alone, a motherless and sonless 'father' of sorts. However, fatherhood, as must be obvious, cannot defined alone. To be a father is also to be the father of someone. The word 'father', like 'mother', implies a connection, because fatherhood cannot be in and of itself. Before Yahweh took the Sevenfold Ruach (Spirit) out of Himself and before He begat His Son, He was not a Father, anymore than Adam was a Husband before Eve was taken out of Him. Fathers are not born - they are made by virtue of connection with Mothers who have together produced a seed. Throughout the Bible you will therefore find that Elohim's (God's) core nature is unfolded as that of a Father.
In my family, I am the father to my children and what hapens in our lives is an extension of my fathering connection to them. Children cannot exist without a connection between a husband and wife - they are a fruit and extension of that connection. Additionally, the house, car, lawnmowers, computers, library, and other physical items are an extention of our connection. Indeed, I wouldn't have bought most of them had it not been for the need to provide for my family. My primary interest is not, of course, in these physical items but in the members of my family. Likewise, everything that exists in this universe is in some way a product of Yahweh's connection with Yah'shua (Jesus) as His Son. While it may not be immediately obvious, the reason that stars, planets, trees, animals and oceans exist somehow connects back to the ahavah (love) that flows from the Father to the Son and thence to us.
Not only what I provide for my family but also what we do as a family is a product of our relationships or connections. The reason I used to commute to work was to provide an income for my family. What we do in our free time and how we sit down to meals is also an extension of our connections with one another. And in exactly the same way, we also find that our activities as believers should be an extension of our relationship with Elohim (God). To look at the reverse, all of the things what Yahweh does, acting as Elohim (God), are expressions of some meaning of His relationship toward us. Yahweh doesn't just do things because He impulsively feels like doing them on a whim. Every act is a purposeful expression of His ahavah (love) for us. Thus when proper tavnith (pattern) is being followed, all ahavah (love), toqefim (authorities) and stewardships in a family like ours are supposed to be an exact reflection of the same ahavah (love), toqefim (authorities) and stewardships in the heavenlies. That is why Yah'shua (Jesus) said: "You...have loved them as You have loved Me" (John 17:23, NKJV). His love for us as His children is simply a continuation of His love for His Son. His commitment to connectivity is first for Yah'shua (Jesus) and then equally to us. Therefore the meaning of existence - the purpose of life - is our commitment to being connected to Yah'shua (Jesus) which is an extension of Yahweh's commitment to being connected to us.
Everything is, quite simply, about family relationships...which is why Satan does his utmost to destroy families whether directly or through state philosophies. And this is why Satan is in the business of weakening and finally breaking up connectiveness between us and Yahweh and between ourselves. The entire mandate of the Besorah (Gospel) is plain:
The purpose and meaning of life is the creation and maintenance of this spiritual, emotional and mental network, perfectly organised in ahavah-tavnith (love-pattern). This network of connections is the goal to which all our efforts and activities as believers are supposed to be directed.
"That they (the talmidim/disciples) may be echad (one) just as We (Yahweh and Yah'shua/Jesus) are echad (one)" (John 17:22, NKJV).
The connectiveness of the Divine Family - the Elohim in its broadest definition as Elohim-elohim . This goal is stated in a slightly different way by the apostle John:
I repeat, the entire goal of life - that which gives life meaning - is to have set-apart (holy) fellowship, communion, communication, connectiveness or relationship in kosher ahavah (pure love) in the divine order of Torah-tavnith (Torah-pattern) by first establishing that fellowship with Yahweh-Elohim and then with each other. For without that divine connectiveity, there can be no deep and meaningful connection with each other. Any time a ministry, church, congregation or assembly extends its goal beyond that by, for example, focussing on correct organisation or theology as the main objective, has gone beyond the very goal that it was designed to produce. Once things like ministry, church, congregation, or assembly and their programss assume a position ahead of this goal then the ministry, church, congregation, or assembly has become its own god and the people are committing idolatry.
"That which we (the apostles) have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). And these things we write to you that your simcha (joy) may be full" (1 John 1:3-4, NKJV).
In other words, the goal is to produce spiritual fruits and not religious nuts.
Yah'shua (Jesus) did not say that it would be by our correct theology, efficient organisation or congregational programs that the world would know that we were true believers (important though these things are in their own place) but by our ahavah (love) and commitment to this supreme goal of connectivity to Yahweh and to one another. Indeed, isn't it true to say that building these connections is the most effective and efficient form of spreading the message of the Besorah (Gospel)? And in a dysfunctional society made up of dysfunctional families and individuals, people usually turn to busy outward achievement to try to create an appearance of security. Much of what is done in the world today - seemingly great achievements in business, technology, education, medicine and science - are really just the outcome of a certain person's insecurity. And the thing about insecurity is that it can produce enormous frenetic (distracted, frantic) energy, which can lead to great accomplishments, but these accomplishments are false by their very nature. Why? Because unlike the true Derech (Way) of the Master, they are not "rooted and grounded in ahavah (love)", a love that can only come into existence when "Messiah...dwell[s] in your levim (hearts) through emunah (faith)" (Eph.3:17, NKJV) - not any old 'faith' or 'believing' but the kind of active trusting that establishes eternal connections.
Our connectedness to Elohim (God) and our trusting fellowship with other believers gives us a certain rooting, groundedness and security in who we are. When we are secure in our identity, we can then act out of obedience to the Ruach (Spirit) and not simply by external constraint. If we are insecure, our actions come from an energy that is soulish, psychic, psychological or of the fallen nefesh man in origin. And since this energy is impermanent, it is like trying to build your life on water instead of on rock.
Did you know that one of Yahweh's titled is Tzur, meaning 'Rock'? He is known as Tzur Yisra'el or the Rock of Israel. Of what does that Tzur or Rock consist? It consists of shadad - the power to overwhelm, conquer and destroy the shaddim or demons but a rock that is also shad, the breast of divine nourishment and comfort. Is that not a tov (good) foundation for connections between people, rather than soulish psyche which is like a storm at sea which threatens to drown both the one seathing with it as well as those whom that soul comes in contact with? We are attracted to the one kind of energy and repulsed by the other because the one builds connections whereas the other seeks to overwhelm and absorb.
We are saved or delivered not by achievement or by works, effort or accomplishment in managing to obey the mitzvot (commandments) in out own psychic strength and energy, but by grace - Yahweh's undeserved loving kindness, His unmerited favour, when we finally surrender or yield to Him and allow Him to link us to Him in divine tavnith (pattern). He is offering us a channel, a connection, fellowship, a relationship, a highly personal and luscious energy source if you will, an amazing cocktail so complex and intricate that no human being could ever manufacture it by his own will. He is offering it not on the basis of us doing this or that for Him but of our surrendering to Him much as a glass yields to female position of submission while the male bottle or jug pours and pours until that glass is filled. We can do nothing whatsoever to merit that connection other than to surrender and once connected we are then enables to obey Torah, and to obey Torah with simcha (joy)! We connect and remain connected and desire to remain connected only when we come to understand that He is a loving Elohim (God), that we can turn back to Him to be accepted and restored to full fellowship and communion. Salvation by grace, or salvation by connectivity, is at the centre of the whole Besorah (Gospel). Any teaching that misses this central emet (truth), however brilliant it may be in other respects, has totally missed the point and is not immersed in the ruach haB'rit Chadashah - the spirit of the New Covenant - but in that unstable, fickle, ugly, fallen, carnal psychic energy that cannot last.
Are you striving hard to accomplish something inside that makes you anxious, something that perhaps you don't even know what it is? Whatever that inner striving is, it is, if you trace it back to its origin. Seeking to accomplish something that would have merited an ultimate approval or acceptance, as of a child by its earthly father or mother. But no amount of achievement can fulfil the need for acceptance, and that lack of fulfilment and a striving for approval that drives so many nominal believers and unbelievers alike is the central witness in their lives that they do not actually know Yah'shua (Jesus) even though they think they do because they have accepted Him propositionally or intellectually. Once you meet Him - once you connect - all that striving and anxiety ceases...instantly...because the soul then knows that it is loved and accepted wherever it may be in its spiritual journey. But having thus connected, we have something else that we must also do - we must continue to walk in the acceptance of Yahweh by emunah (faith) because that subtle and dangerous temptation to begin to act again on a performance basis is always lurking in the fleshy nature.
I say these things as one of the millions who falls into the same trap again and again. Abiding in the connection is the only effort we have to make, and that effort consists of resisting all lies from the Enemy and from the flesh that persistently try to force us into works-based acceptance.
We'll continue with this theme next Sabbath, Yah willing. May the remainder of this one be devoted to re-establishing those vertical and horiziontal connections in this very plain and simple emet (truth) that is the heart of all a true believer ought to be doing and preaching. Amen.
Continued in Part 3
 I should point out there that Adam, before Eve was taken from him, was not a male/female hermapohrodite possessing both genders, but male, from whom a female was taken out of him.
 That is, the Elohimhead (Godhead) of Father, Son and Sevenfold Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) in echad union with Yah's elohim (rulers) consisting of the saved of the human race and the loyal malakim (angels), presided over by the Council of Yah's elohim - a kind of 'elohimhead' (under the Elohimhead) over the elohim: namely, the children of the first resurrection (the firstborn) over the children of the second resurrection.