Month Aviv 1:19, Week 3:4 (Shavu'ot/Revee), Year:Day 5937:019 AM|
Passover Season Day #6/8, Chag haMatazah Day 5/7, Annual Moed #2
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 28 April 2013
Chag haMatzah 2013 V
The World of the Counterfeit Leaven
Continued from Part 2 (Leaven)
Continued from Part 5 (Passover Season 2013)
Chag sameach kol beit Yisra'el and welcome to this informal assembly on the fifth day of Chag haMatzah, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
A Potent Symbol, a Suicidal Impulse
Leaven or chametz is one of the most potent symbols in the Scriptures of both chayim (life) and anti-chayim (anti-life). At this season of Chag haMatzah (Unleavened Bread) we are commanded to get all sin out of our lives and very clearly; and from the symbol of chametz (leaven) deliberately employed, we are to understand that though this sin-principle is anti-chayim or anti-life it is not inorganic: it proceeds from a living being, Satan, who, though 'alive', represents anti-chayim (anti-life). And as anti-chayim (anti-life), he represents the epitome of the universal paradox: a living entity seeking to destroy all living things, a suicide-impulse, as it were, because the end must ultimately be not only the extinction of his own demonic cohorts but his own extinction too. He is driven by blind rage and cannot see the contradiction. He wants people to remain unsaved too so that they will engage in the same self-destruction.
The Pay-It-Forward Principle
History is replete with examples of anti-chayim (anti-life) movements posing as chayim (life). The whole gruesome abortion business is a perfect example of this because in the name of an illusiory form of egotistic chayim or life for self, the future of the individual in terms of her progeny is sacrificed to Moloch, the child-consumer. It is anti-Cross because the Cross puts the interest of others before self just as true parenthood puts the interest of children before self too. It's the "pay it forward" principle of that inspiring movie of the same name.
For those of you who have not seen the movie, young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favour not back, but forward -- repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him.
The Multiplication Principle
The "pay it forward" principle is a perfect example of the Kingdom of Heaven in action, at least on the horizontal level of human interaction. It reflects the multiplication principle we talked about yesterday and the path to character perfection or wholeness which Yah'shua (Jesus) admonished us to follow:
The Pursuit of Self-Happiness
"I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matt.5:44-48, NKJV).
The chametz (leaven) of sin which at this season we are reminded to remove from our lives, is the exact reverse of this. All sin ultimately traces back to a satanic nature which is egotistical, selfish, prideful and ultimately murderous. It thinks only of self and is willing to sacrifice - often brutally - the interests of others in order to perpetuate the perceived needs of self. It is the pursuit of personal happiness without regard for the happiness of others. And once the soul realises that the happiness of others cannot be pursued without the revelation and empowerment of the resurrection of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), who Himself gave up His Chayim (Life) that we might have Everlasting Chayim (Life), then we are compelled by ahavah (love) to share the liberating message of Messiah crucified and resurrected to all who will hear it.
What is Your Primary Driving Force?
This, then, becomes the primary driving force in our life until we are consumed joyfully by it, clothing it in Torah-obedience as the way to both happiness and perfection. As Yah'shua (Jesus) has "paid it forward" to us, investing His chayim (life) in us, so we, on a human level, are to do the same to others. This is the Besorah (Gospel) in action. But to do that, we must get the anti-chayim (life), or active sinning principles that derive from the devil and his corrupt, selfish nature bent on suicidal destruction, out of our lives. The two life-forces cannot happily co-exist for they will war the one against the other, and we must finally choose the chametz (leaven) of sin and Satan or the chametz (leaven) of righteousness and Yahweh.
Unfortunately, as we saw yesterday, there are also false leavens that can be used to mimic the real. Though there is nothing, for example, intrinsically sinful about Sodium Barcarbonate or Baking Soda, it is lifeless, giving the illusion of multipication because of the way it releases Carbon Dioxide gas, causing a 'rising' to occur. This is something that we, as believers, have to be very, very careful of. In the world of counterfeit spirits, there is plenty of 'activity' giving the appearance of chayim (life) because these activities and operations (like tongue-speaking, for example) give a momentary 'kick'. But it neither endures not does it multiply the soul in righteousness. It has the appearance of good but is not, because it is not living.
The Psychic Deception
Such is the world of the psychic, that mortal, invisible part of us that acts as a kind of interface between the physical and the spiritual. It is not usually discerned until later when its failure to generate the authentic chayim (life) which all people seek one way or another, leaves us empty and cold. Like the heightened moment of physical passion in marriage, it gives you a brief 'high' but then fades away leaving nothing of eternal value in its wake. It may be confer some temporary temporal advantages but it does not have an eternal dimension. Only the infilling of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) lasts and grows like the living chametz (leaven) that Yah'shua (Jesus) compared to the Kingdom of Heaven (Mt.13:33).
Yah'shua is the Only Source of Everlasting Life
Just as Sodium Bicarbonate has its place in chemistry and in cooking when desires, and just as the psyche has its rôle in the emotional life, Sodium Bicarbonate cannot replace authentic, living chametz (leaven) and psychic heights cannot substitute for spirituality. The only source of living chametz (leaven) is from Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) on the terms He gives: repentance from sin and total surrender of your being to Him as a talmid (disciple). You can rebel against this notion and try to find this living chametz (leaven) elsewhere in false religion, psychic titillation and fleshy persuits but you will never succeed. Better to realise that now than to throw away your entire life seeking a phantom as your own life-force ebbs away in old age and sickness.
Vision of the Three Dead Trees
I had a vision the other day of an elderly person who had sought to be good without that living chayim (life). I saw that person standing on a muddy field, without any green life on it whatsoever, staring at the remains or three large trees standing next to each other on the edge of the field. The branches had long rotted and fallen away leaving only three very old and lifeless, hollow trunks showing the hallmarks of severe external weathering. The person wanted the three trunks removed because they had come to realise that their pursuit had not brought the expected and hoped for happiness. Trees, of course, represent people, and mortal, finite people are neither Elohim (God) nor are they the source of chayim (life). Happiness is not to be found in worshipping any human image of Elohim (God) but in worshipping the Creator who made those people in His image. Though the person in question in the vision is very old, it is never too late to have the slate cleaned and to receive Everlasting Chayim (Life).
Idolatry Kills Chayim
Many are the counterfeit examples of chametz (leaven) in life which I shall not trouble you with. But basically anything that does not put Yah'shua (Jesus) into the cockpit of your life is going to lead to counterfeit experiences that seem to be spiritual, and to ultimate disappointment. It does not matter whether the counterfeit is lawful or unlawful in Yahweh's eyes - it can even be a passionate love for people! But if you put it before Yahweh, it will cut you off from the heavenly chametz (leaven) and connect you to the deadly form that we are commanded to rid ourselves of at this time.
May you continue to be blessed as you meditate on these things over the remaining days of this spring season of festivals! May you ever and progressively yield more and more to the blessed divine tavnith of Yahweh's Derech (Way) and find the fullness of simcha (joy). Amen.
Continued in Part 7 (Passover Season 2013)