Month 7:22, Week 3:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5937:200 AM|
SHEMINI ATSERET, Dedication of Solomon's Temple 8/8
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 26 October 2013
Shemini Atseret 2013
The End and a New Beginning
Continued from Part 7
Shabbah shalom and chag sameach Shemini Atseret kol beit Yisra'el - welcome to 200th day of the 7th month to the eighth and final annual festival of Messianic Israel, Shemini Atseret, that is also known as the 'Last Great Day' of the autumnal (fall) festivals.
The 7th or 8th Annual Festival?
Though the 7-day festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) is over, Yahweh has commanded us to 'tarry' or 'atseret' an extra 8th day which has led many to conclude that this is a chag or festival all on its own and separate from Sukkot (Tabernacles). I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that is is, in which case there are 8 annual festivals and not 7. This means that together with the monthly Rosh Chodesh, the weekly Shabbat (Sabbath), the 7-yearly Sabbatical Year, the 50-yearly Jubilee, and the other 7 annual festivals, that there are a total of 12 types of moedim (appointments) of Messianic Israel, a number that rests more comfortably with me than 11 if there are only 7 annual festivals.
Other Views and the New Beginning
Some, like the various factions of the Armstrongite Churches of God, drop Yom Teruah (Trumpets) as a festival from their calendar, making Yom Kippur their 5th annual moed (appointment), Sukkot (Tabernacles) their 6th and Shemini Atseret their 7th in order to have '7' festivals. I believe this to be an error that is out of alignment with divine tavnith (pattern) both because Yom Teruah (Trumpets) marks the Second Coming of Messiah and because Shemini Atseret, as the 8th annual festival, marks a new beginning - the Millennium - not the 'conclusion' of the annual festivals which was yesterday. It stands out from all the rest because it signals the end of one age and beginning of a new one.
Starting Afresh With New Commitments
The witness I am now getting is that this is the eighth festival of Messianic Israel and that it marks a new beginning for us as a dress rehearsal for the New Beginning for mankind, freed up of a demonic presence on the earth and with Messiah as ruling Sovereign on the earth in the New Jerusalem. This is the Millennium. Therefore for us this is a declaration that we want the demonic out of our temples - our bodies - forever as we live pure lives to the glory of Elohim (God) with Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) truly on the thrones of our hearts and not merely in Name. Is this what we desire, brethren and sisters? I pray it is so, so that we can truly begin anew, so that His will may truly be done and not our own. Then let our prayer be one of renewed submission, in divine tavnith (pattern), to our several heads and to our Head of heads, with new commitments - not in the flesh but in the Ruach (Spirit).
Official Names for the Fellowship
We start today as this central congregation of Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon ('Family Lev-Zion') with 8 souls present here in Sweden, 1 in France, 1 in Germany, 1 in Norway and 1 in South Africa who are either baptised members or waiting for the opportunity to be baptised, making a total of 12. This is the core or foundation of souls united in the common cause which we share in Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) today, at this moment in time, and who are present - in spirit if not in the flesh - with us. And hundreds of others are awaiting to join with us in a new association of congregations to replace the old, which in English we are calling the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh (NCAY), that combines our old Hebrew and Gentile names together, with the option of using a Hebrew version that I spoke to you about a few days ago, but I am waiting for a friend who is fluent in classical Hebrew to make sure I have the correct grammar before I announce that. The Chavurot Bikorim (which we used to call the Chavurat Bekorot) or Congregation of the Firstborn, responsible for the training of the pristehood from deacons to apostles, will reassume its rôle as we have need of it later. We shall retain our nickname of 'Messianic Evangelicals' because it is helpful in explaining what our theology is to those from messianic and evangelical backgrounds. We shall also retaining the designation (in English) 'New Covenant Christians' or it's variants 'B'rit Chadashah Talmidim', 'New Covenant Disciples', 'B'rit Chadashah Qodeshim' and other variations on the same scriptural theme. That way members can use whatever suits their local situation. All of this will be incorporated into our new constitution and website that will replace the current one over the course of the next year, Yah willing.
It is easy, of course, to make such pronouncments but it is quite another thing getting going, as we know from our past experiences. One advantage that we do have today which we didn't before is that we have become seasoned by much opposition and persecution. Additionally, we have a lot more experience and we have, I hope, matured spiritually. We have certainly grown theologically and feel more secure than at any time past. None of this means that what follows will be easy or without difficulties. We know that well enough. We also know that we are absolutely not to rely on numbers, we know that we expect people to come and go - sometimes many times - understanding that the Kehillah, Qohel or Congregation is something in constant flux. Our job is not, in any case, numbers, neither is it to 'build a church' (if I may borrow a phrase in use by certain believers) but it is to convert the lost to Messiah by bringing them the message of salvation, to love them in emet (truth), seasoned with grace, to the best of our ability, and to disciple them diligently in Torah and all the ways of the Master so that we may grow in unity and become echad (one). We will always have people coming from multiple spiritual directions who will require much time, patient counselling and in a lot cases, deliverance, as we help them along the way. We absolutely do not expect all - or even the majority - who come to us to remain with us, a mistake I think we made in the past. But at the same time we shall expect discipline and commitment from those who do chose to remain once they have come up to Shavu'ot and entered their betrothal covenants with Messiah. We are not, in the end, just a vending machine, let alone an entertainment business as so many churchs are. Our goal is to build Messianic ISRAEL by creating theocratic citizens ready for the return of our Master.
The Five Commissions
Our original Five Commissions, given to us by revelation in the first days of our work, remain unchanged:
What We Have Been Doing and What We Now Need to Do
- 1. To make talmidim (disciples) of all for Yah'shua (Jesus);
- 2. To gather those called into the New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh;
- 3. To plant the keys of emet (truth) everywhere;
- 4. To prophetically lift a warning voice against all falsehood; and
- 5. To gather the Ten Tribes of Israel into Cities of Refuge
In our minustry there is always this fivefold stream though obviously everyone will be led by the Ruach (Spirit) to specialise or focus on one or more of these at different times. The fifth commission, to gather the tribes (originally 10, but possibly expanded to 12 at some point), has not, of course, been started and awaits a direct calling from the Master, though we do of course teach about it to prepare the talmidim (disciples) for this first part of the Final Exodus back to the Promised Land immediately prior to Yah'shua's (Jesus') return. The second commission, building congregations, has more or else been in suspension since 1994 while we have been straightened out theologically and in other areas (though congregations continued coming to us after that for a while), and it is this that is specifically being reactivated right now. The other three - making talmidim (disciples), planting keys of emet (truth) and prophetically lifting a warning voice we have been doing more-or-less continuously since we began and this will obviously continue though with more time and resources being now devoted to congregation-planting and -building once more. For those who may remember us back in the 1980's and 1990's when we were then building 'churches', I have to say that we have changed almost beyond all recognition! So this will be a very different kind of congregation-building that we today engage in even if the overall tavnith (pattern) remains unchanged.
We Cannot Foreknow How the Anointing Will Come
One mistake we have made in preparing for this day was, I believe, in waiting for Yahweh to send us a new 'Pentecost' to get us started again. That is not to say that empowerment is unimportant because it is absolutely vital. What it is to say, though, is that we cannot expect empowerment and anointing unless we first reach out in emunah (faith) and commitment. There is no scriptural evidence that I am aware of that says the Sukkot anointing descends upon the believers in the same way that the Shavu'ot (Weeks, 'Pentecost') anointing did in Jerusalem two thousand years ago. Our experience alone should tell us that as Yahweh causes souls to be reborn in diverse ways, from the gradual to the dramatic and sudden, that we should assume it will be no different in the case of the Sukkot experience. We cannot box or loose the Ruach (Spirit) anyway - we have no control and we cannot come having a particular expectation because the first talmidim (disciples) didn't either. They were simply told to 'tarry' or 'wait' in Jerusalem until the appointed time. We read from Acts:
Asking for the Restoration of the Kingdom of Israel
"He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, 'which,' He said, 'you have heard from Me; for John truly baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) not many days from now'" (Acts 1:4-6, NKJV).
Interestingly what the talmidim (disciples) hoped for then, but which they were denied, is most definitely going to happen in our day, or at least in the day of the current young generation:
Much Restoration Required
"Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, 'Master, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?' And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own toqef (authority). But you shall receive power when the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth'" (Acts 1:6-8, NKJV).
It is by no means an accident or an error on our part that Yahweh has laid heavily on our hearts these past years the importance of preparing for the "restor[ation] of the kingdom to Israel". This restoration of proper New Covenant Torah-obedience, that has included the reintroduction of the 12 sacred moedim (appointments) along with the correct calendar, has not been a work in vain but an absolutely necessary prelude to other things, even if at times it may have seemed that we were diverting time away from more important matters like evangelism. It is, after all, important to know the full scope of evangelism which is, as we now know, far more than bringing souls to Messiah (even if that is the prime thing) but to bringing souls to the fullness which is the Kingdom within so that it may come to externalise into eventual theocratic living. There are numerous processes at work and it is not our affair to interfere with any of them. We must simply do what we have been told to do and live in expectancy every day.
Of Former Persecuters
Sometimes we are asked if we would readmit those who have persecuted and savaged us. My answer to that is that when so much trust has been broken that there must be good grounds to trust again. A true sign of making teshuvah is that you preach forcefully and with conviction against the wickedness that you yourself did, that you make adequate and fully restitution. We can expect nothing less. If you committed adultery you must come to loathe adultery so greatly that to do so again would be like killing yourself. It would simply be inconceivable, and the urge to do so would be burned out of you by adversity and contrition. It took a while before the early believers would trust Paul after His muderous activities against them and he only gained their trust by becoming a valiant witness of the emet (truth), preparing to put his life on the line where he had been responsible for taking life before. We will not accept any half-hearted repentance. Those of us who have had our families, careers, ministries and reputations shredded by vipers will not quickly take such to their bosoms again. We are commanded to freely forgive but that is not the same as gaining trust again, which is something that must be earned.
Built Upon the Foundation of Others
To be pioneers and torch-bearers does require specialist training as every new work of Elohim (God) does. And we are building upon the vital work of all those before us over the centuries. We have our tasks and must not rationalise ourselves out of performing them because we, with our limited vision and understanding, feel we ought to be copying others. Had we elected to do that, I suspect we would either have been wiped out as a fellowship long ago or simply been absorbed into some existing work and lost all that had been given to us, and will yet be given to us, for the blessing of thousands. We have no right to be presumptuous, or to dictate to Heaven how we think things ought to be done, but must faithfully and patiently do our part in our corner of the Vineyard.
Supporting One Another
I do know that I have not remotely done all I have been called to do and that there is a lot of catching-up to be done. It looks impossible on the face of it but I, for one, mean to pursue it again and can only pray for support in doing that as I will endeavour to support all of you in your particular callings. The pioneers carry heavy loads of responsibility and we value highly the all support, and especially from those who quietly and unassumingly pray in the background for us. They are our angels in human form. There remains a lot of teaching to be done both to new converts as well as to those coming our different traditions that lack the fullness and who are hungry to change and implement all the emet (truth) so graciously bestowed upon us. We have som many teaching materials to get ready. And we have, I don't doubt for one minute, a great deal to learn from the people now coming to us who have been out in the field, in emunah (faith), trusting implicity in the Master. There are things in which we are 'green' which they are not. We mutually bless one another and meet each other's lack. And I must not neglect how vitally important our spouses are - we cannot function well without knowing that they are pillars keeping families running smoothly.
Finding a Balance Between Eagerness and Patience
There remain so many things that I still do not understand as well as the sense of not being remotely anointed enough. But we cannot let that paralyse us into inactivity whilst at the same time recognising that we dare not attempt to do what we have not been called to do or are not yet ready for. Apathy and inactivity must be defeated but at the same time we must not let zeal overtake wisdom and run ahead of Yahweh, or claim what Yahweh has not yet commanded us to do yet. We must move forward as a fellowship one day at a time, relying on the anointing required for each day. We will get more as we need it but not in advance to consume upon our lusts in misspent ambition.
We are Forever Changed and Changing
I am sure that you, like me, have been praying for much direction and revelation from Yahweh during this past Sukkot (Tabernacles) season. There have certainly been a number of interesting visions, one of which perplexingly was only half given to me, that I spoke of two days ago when I related the vision of the raising corpse. It's full meaning still remains concealed. It has been a lively, though for me a thoroughly exhausting, Sukkot Conference requiring that I work through large portions of the night in order to get sermons out on time for services the next day. I know some of you are hoping that from tomorrow we can 'get back to normal' again. I do have to say, though, that nothing will be 'normal' again after this moed (appointment) has ended even if some of our old routines will resume. We are being called to step out of our comfort zones and into a wider world of missions.
A 19 Year Hiatus
Everything has changed, and will change yet more, as we move out into new pastures. Four days ago I announced that we were finally reorganising again and that our long time of preparation as 'Messianic Evangelicals', walking between the two houses of cutting-edge ministry, was now over. We are looking beyond. We have pretty much been a teaching ministry for the last 19 years, like I said, my last personal evangelising trip abroad being to Bulgaria in 1994 and before that, the Ukraine. I know at least one of you has been out evangelising all over the world and is ready to go further! We have had a lot to learn and even more to change, particularly as we have received instruction from on high about the Creation Calendar and have adjusted to get into the right spiritual stream. Though my burned out flesh screams 'impossible!' my spirit is ready to move out again and I am trusting Yahweh to do the impossible, as He has promised: "For with Elohim (God) nothing will be impossible" (Luke 1:37, NKJV) and "Is anything too hard for Yahweh? At the appointed time I will return to you..." (Gen.18:14, NKJV). That last passage, of course, was that 99 year-old Sarah would conceive and have a child.
A High Sabbath and a Prophetic Word
Today we have received a mitzvah (commandment) from the Most High:
The last six days have been voluntary assemblies. Today's is a mitzvah (commandment) and it is my sacred obligation to bring you a Davar Elohim (Word of God). It came early yesterday morning, confirming something I have suspected but kept postponing because I wasn't sure. It has come not so much as a blinding flash-type revelation, like so many others, but more as a dawning realisation over some months. It came in the form of a prophetic dream which I think you'll see relates to the earlier barrel vision of the other day and where it is we are now headed. First I am going to share the dream and then I am going to explain a very important prophetic symbol which applies not just to my own personal experience and new direction and calling but to prophetic scriptures that are being fulfilled in our own time right now. I think, by the time I have finished, you'll see how everything ties together.
"On the eighth day you shall have a sacred assembly. You shall do no customary work" (Num.29:35, NKJV).
Prophetic Dream of the Horse
I dreamed that I was in some sort of a large barn full of hay and in that barn was a large and powerful horse that belonged to me. It was a very pale brown colour as I recall, almost an orange-brown, and immaculate. It was a very peaceful dream that seemed to flow quite naturally but is hard for me to put into words. The essence of what I was told came as no surprise when I woke up, and it will come as no surprise to most of you either - it was that the horse was worn out and that I was to put it out to pasture for a while to have a much needed rest. Given that I have been so exhausted and unwell over many years now I naturally assumed that the horse was only my natural, physical energy and psychic drive in some way. Yet when at breakfast yesterday my son asked me what the horse symbolised I was tongue-tied and the answer I tried to give him came out somewhat incoherenrly so that both of us were none the wiser as to what the horse symbol actually meant. I put it down to tiredness, for I had been up some 2½ hours during the night in order to prepare some materials for our African conference delegate who returned yesterday afternoon, and told my son that I would have to come back to him with a better answer. That answer forms the substance of my message to you today because it is about far more than myself and this ministry, as you are about to see.
The Mystery of the Chariots and Horses Revealed
When dealing with symbols we must realise that sometimes they have multiple meanings depending on their context and application - we spoke of lions the other day, you will remember. The Bible uses concepts taken from nature to represent spiritual things. The stories of the Creation, the Exodus and various wars all point to different things including the New Creation that we are in Messiah, the exodus from bondage in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land which is all about spiritual deliverance in Messiah from sin, and the spiritual warfare we must all fight to become overcomers and useful to the Kingdom. Likewise, horses go to war as teachers spiritually do with their devarim (words), which is why the calling of teacher is so important and why it is they must get their doctrine correct so as to be the instruments of edification and not of destruction. Those of us who are teachers and who take our calling seriously know what kind of a judgment we come under if we get it wrong. So it is a most sober and weighty calling requiring that we do not act presumptuously or teach what we do not actually know for sure and making sure we make clear what is speculation and what is not.
Ministers and Doctrinal Teachings
Yahweh says that in this age of scattered Israel He will overthrow the chariots and those who ride in them and abolish the proud horses. In Bible symbolism, a horse is a cohen (priest), pastor or teacher, and a chariot is a doctrine or dogma in which many ride. The horses empower and drive the chariot as teachers empower and drive the dogma:
Chariots of Ephraim and Horses of Judah
"And I will cut off the CHARIOT from Ephraim and the HORSE from Jerusalem (Judah). The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak shalom (peace) to the goyim (gentiles, nations)" (Zech.9:10, NKJV).
This is a prophecy about Yah'shua (Jesus) who as we know did not abolish military power in His first coming but will do so in His Second Coming, so there are several prophetic applications here. He did not cut off the literal chariots from Ephraim or the literal horses from Jerusalem (which represents Judah here). What did Yah'shua (Jesus) do in His first coming? He cut off the false teachers who were the Pharisees, Sadducees and Torah-teachers or scribes and proclaimed shalom (peace) to the gentiles through the apostle Paul.
Judah Equipped as a Teacher
In the word "horses" signify teachers:
Authentic vs. False Judah
"My anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the goatherds. For Yahweh of hosts will visit His flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as His royal horse in the battle" (Zech.10:3, NKJV).
As far as the Second Coming is concerned, this is obviously military; but when it concerns First Coming prophecy, it is about the equipping of Judah as teachers. The spirit of Judah is the combined one of teacher and conqueror which is empitomised by the Master Yah'shua (Jesus) and to all authentic Judahites, not those Khazars who claim to be Judah but who are unsaved Edomites of the Synagogue of Satan (Rev.2:9; 3:9). So Yahweh will make true Judah a godly 'horse', a true teacher.
The Adversarial Tribe of Israel
Unfortunately our worst enemies shall be in our own families and households, as the Master taught (Mt.10:36), and one of the 12 tribes is an opponent of Judah (as well as to Ephraim) in this righteous quest to teach the emet (truth) of Yah's Torah:
The Sad Story of the Tribe of Dan
"Dan shall be a serpent by the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider shall fall backward. I have waited for your salvation, O Yahweh!" (Gen.49:17, NKJV).
Dan was the first of the Israelite tribes to apostacise and turn back to paganism. Not content with his allotment next to the Miditerranean Sea (Josh.19:40ff.) with all the Amorite and Philistine incursions, the tribe of Dan pulled up its tent stakes and migrated to the most northerly in the country, seized the Canaanite town of Hazor, massacred its inhabitants, and in its isolated place in the mountains, and abandoned the true emunah (faith) (Josh.19:47; Juudg.1:34; 18:1ff.).
Only a few Danites remained in the original inheritance sandwiched between the safety of Ephraim, Benjamin and Judah, as mentioned in Deborah's Song (Judg.5:17) and it was from this remnant that Samson emerged (Judg.13:1ff.). The northern Danites were now for their aggressiveness and are memorialised in Deuteronomy: "Dan is a lion's whelp; he shall leap from Bashan" (Dt.33:22, NKJV). Irenaeus started the legend that the antichrist would come out of the Tribe of Dan because of a passage in Jeremiah:
The Mysterious Absence of Dan From the Book of Revelation
"We looked for shalom (peace), but no good came; and for a time of health, and there was trouble! The snorting of His horses was heard from Dan. The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of His strong ones; for they have come and devoured the land and all that is in it, the city and those who dwell in it" (Jer.8:15-16, NKJV).
Dan, as you know, is missing from the list of tribes in Revelation 7:5-8 which has tended to reinforce Irenaeus' contention but I am of the belief that this was either a primitive corruption of the text or was altered deliberately to reinforce the myth. As the text currently stands, 'Joseph' and 'Manasseh' have an equal portion, and unless Joseph equates with Ephraim, it means that Manasseh has 1½ portions and Ephraim a mere ½, which does not make a lot of sense, since Ephraim is the chief tribe, not Manasseh. It is my belief that 'Dan' was changed to 'Man-asseh' by some scribe with an agenda.
Dan and the Egyptians
Who, then, are the "horses" in the passages we are examining? Teachers of righteousness! To be bitten by serpents, represented by Dan, is to be deceived by the lowest form of reasoning. Do you remember what Yahweh said to Isaiah?
Teaching Out of Reason Without Spirit
"The Egyptians are men, and not Elohim (God); and their horses are flesh, and not ruach (spirit)" (Isa.31:3, NKJV).
These teachers are natural men and women who do not have the Ruach (Spirit) but teach in the flesh - they operate out of the psyche, out of pure intellect without heart or soul, claiming it to be ruach or essence of man when it is not. This form of reasoning is to be found amongst the unbelievers (pagans and atheists), represented here as Egypt, but also amongst believers who represent themselves as Israel but who are after the spirit of Dan who bite the heels of true Judah - the true teachers in Israel.
Doctrine from Ephraim, Teachers from Judah
Let us learn this important scriptural pair of keys today: horses represent teachers and chariots their doctrines. Notice the division of labour between Ephraim and Jerusalem, between the two houses of Israel. TRUE DOCTRINE COMES FROM EPHRAIM and its TEACHERS ARE JUDAH. The battle is spiritual and it is fought from within the Body of Messiah AND from without from unbelievers, religious as well as atheistic. We fight a war on two fronts, like East Manasseh. The sword spoken of in these prophetic scriptures comes, of course, from Messiah's own mouth:
Our Battle Against Dan and Egypt
"And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him (Messiah) who sat on the horse" (Rev.19:21, NKJV).
We face an ongoing battle with Dan in the 'north' and Egypt in the 'south' - with men who claim to be Elohim (God) but who are not - for they are only gods in their own eyes and conceit - and their teachers are natural men who claim to have the Ruach (Spirit) or the Emet (Truth) but who do NOT. We fight them continually, they oppose us continually, doing the work of the devil both within the assemblies and outside them.
Now listen to this astonishing prophecy and note it well:
Another Yom haHu Prophecy
"'In Yom haHu (that day),' says Yahweh, 'I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, 'The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in Yahweh of hosts, their Elohim (God).' In Yom haHu (that day) I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place --Jerusalem" (Zech.12:4-6, NKJV).
You will recall, I am sure, what Yom haHu refers to from my second Sukkot Conference talk - it's an end-time prophecy that tells us every teacher will be made spiritually blind: "I will strike every horse (teacher) with confusion" (v.4) and "every horse (teacher) of the peoples with blindness". As you know, I not only follow the teachings in the churches and messianic assemblies but as an educator I also follow what's being taught in schools and in universities, and in the last year alone I see more and more confusion. In fact, I collect Swedish school textbooks and try to glean what is being taught in class in a wide variety of subjects, particularly in history, social studies, science and religion.
Trusting in Large Numbers
We are being most emphatically warned not to put our trust in priests, preachers, popes, apostles, evangelists and pastors who are not 100% aligned with the Davar Elohim (Word of God), especially when these ministers reinforce their doctrine by hiding in numbers, because there are many like them who teach the same things or because they give the impression of being spiritual giants:
The Natural Man Reasons by the Flesh
"Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses (teachers), who trust in chariots (doctrines) because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek Yahweh!" (Isa.31:1, NKJV).
Egypt symbolically signifies the natural man who judges and reasons according to the flesh, whereas Israel symbolises the spiritual man - the Torah-obedient overcomer who trusts in Yahweh. This is not to say that we are not to have preachers and teachers but it is to say two things:
Ministers Cannot Save
- 1. Our teachers and preachers must be called of the Ruach (Spirit) and must teach the whole counsel of Elohim (God) and not just those parts of Scripture which agree with preconceived doctrines (Ac.20:27); and
- 2. We are supposed to test everything they say against the Davar Elohim (Word of God) and learn to get counsel, instruction and wisdom directly from Yahweh as His Royal Priests and Priestesses too.
It is critical that we come to understand that our preachers and teachers cannot save themselves us, even if their doctrine is pure, even if "by the foolishness of preaching " souls are save who believe (1 Cor.1:21, KJV) - simply said, we are not to lean on them idolatrously. They are supposed to guide us until we can walk on our own, fulfilling the ideals of Moses and Jeremiah:
Accepting Personal Responsibiluty for Idolatry
"Then Moses said to him, 'Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all Yahweh's people were nevi'im (prophets) and that Yahweh would put His Ruach (Spirit) upon them!" (Num.11:29, NKJV).
"But this is the B'rit [Chadashah] ([New] Covenant) that I will make with the house of Israel after those [latter] days, says Yahweh: I will put My Torah (Law) in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim (God), and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know Yahweh,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh" (Jer.31:33-34, NKJV).
This is a warning to those who would permanently rely on their teachers for the emet (truth) concerning the Davar Elohim (Word of God) but who refuse to go to Yahweh in prayer to find out for themselves! It is the same lazy tendency of the Israelites at Sinai who preferred Moses as a middle-man, promising to obey him but yet always rebelling against him, rather than hear Yahweh directly. The excuse is the same today. Carnal believers would rather rely on their preachers and teachers than find out the emet (truth) for themselves but when these ministers fail or are discovered to be fallible (which every minister is), they blame the minister rather than accept responsibility for their own idolatry.
The Wake-Up Point
For everyone there is an eventual wake-up point but hopefully it will not by then be too late - it usually is:
From Whence Comes Your Safety?
"Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride on horses" (Hos.14:3, NKJV).
In other words, we will not trust in the teachers of false religion any longer. Rather:
Unwarranted Devotion to a Teacher
"Some trust in chariots (doctrines), and some in horses (teachers); but we will remember the Name of Yahweh our Elohim (God)" (Ps.20:7, NKJV).
"A horse (teacher) is a vain hope for safety" (Ps.33:17, NKJV).
This is why we oppose the practice amongst some messianics, borrowed directly from Orthodox Judaism, of a talmid (disciple) sitting at the feet of his teacher and not only uncritically trusting every single world of that teacher but imitating his every mannerism and habit as well. It is from such devotion that cultism is born. It would be a different matter if the rabbi or teacher were perfect and without fault in both character and doctrine, as Yah'shua (Jesus) was, but there is none deserving such total trust when it comes to matters that actually require our effort in finding out the emet (truth) independently for ourselves. As I said, an honest teacher or preacher will confess his limits and be sure to indicate what is, and is not, his personal speculation and opinion. If Paul did this, so ought our teachers:
Labour for Your Answers
"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in" (Rom.11:25, NKJV).
Now I freely confess that I, as a minister and teacher, am often confounded for lack of understanding and when that happens I openly admit I do not know the answer. Sometimes I think my son, who looks up to me for answers as a young talmid (disciple), is disappointed when I say 'I don't know' so often. Sometimes I find the answers later but commonly I do not. Then he is encouraged to do his own research and as every teacher will tell you, a pupil learns far better when he has to work for his answers anyway!
The Long Journey Through the Denominations
I can see in retrospect now why Yahweh wanted me to work my way through literally dozens of denominations and churches when I was a young seeker. In the end I had to give up and get a revelation from Him directly - and it was that which led to me being born again back in 1977. But additionally the long search through all the confusion has given me a tremendous amount of valuable illustrative material for guiding younger talmidim (disciples) through the maze that is the teachings of men and of devils.
Lunatic Doctrines and Mad Preachers
I can tell you, it is total confusion out there. The doctrines are all over the wall and the teachers and preachers sometimes sound like madmen, prancing around the stage like entertainers:
When All is Properly Aligned
"Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not; the noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots..." (Nah.3:1-2, KJV).
This is in sharp contrast with the picture that is painted or the order and shalom (peace) of the nation that is properly aligned to Yahweh:
Importance of the High Priest's Bells
"In Yom haHu (that day) 'HOLINESS TO YAHWEH" shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in Yahweh's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to Yahweh of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of hosts" (Zech.14:20-21, NKJV).
If you are wondering about the bells around the horses, recall how the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) was required to wear them while serving in the mishkan (tabernacle, temple):
All is Well with the Bells
"He made the robe of the ephod of woven work, all of blue. And there was an opening in the middle of the robe, like the opening in a coat of mail, with a woven binding all around the opening, so that it would not tear. They made on the hem of the robe pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, and of fine woven linen. And they made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates on the hem of the robe all around between the pomegranates: a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe to minister in, as Yahweh had commanded Moses" (Ex.39:22-26, NKJV).
Israeli archaeologists two years ago found one such bell from the tunic of the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) from the Second Temple period. The bells would ring as he entered into the Holy of Holies at Yom Kippur so that the people, waiting expectantly outside, would know where he was and what he was doing. His emergence, with the bells still ringing, was the signal that the children of Israel had been forgiven their sins for that year. The ringing of the bells signified that "all was well" just as cow bells do to the herders in Switzerland and Austria. The wearing of bells around horses, who represent in this last passage, teachers, indicate that they are consecrated to Yahweh like the Cohen Gadol or High Priest and "all is well". If the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) did not emerge with bells ringing, the people knew they were in trouble and that their minister was dead!
The Shavu'ot Covenant and Death Release
Our ministers, preachers and teachers are supposed to be set-apart for service by Yahweh for the people and their metaphorical bells, when ringing, indicate they are still in favour and have not been destroyed for teaching false doctrine. Yet as we have also seen, everything and everyone in the Kingdom is supposed to be set-apart to Yahweh! The moment you take your Shavu'ot (Weeks, 'Pentecost') Covenant - the moment you enter your Bar or Bat Mitzvah, the moment you are 'confirmed' - you are set-apart to Yahweh and you are held accountable to a higher standard. Once entered into, you cannot 'leave' your covenant. As the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) was only released when he died, and as a man hiding from blood guilt in a Levitical City of REguge could not leave until the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) had died, so we too are only released from our covenants on earth when we die. That is why marrying a divorced woman is adultery for she can only be released from her covenant upon the death of her husband. It is why Yah'shua (Jesus) had to die on the cross so that the people of Israel could be released from the Old Covenant - only when He has arisen from the dead was the New Covenant inaugurated.
The Horses of Babylon
When scripture speaks of the horses of Babylon it is speaking of teachers bringing false doctrines from false religion, including those who claim to be followers of Yahweh but who are not really:
Baptism in Dust
"For thus says Yahweh-Elohim: 'Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, with chariots, and with horsemen, and an army with many people. He will slay with the sword your daughter villages in the fields; he will heap up a siege mound against you, build a wall against you, and raise a defense against you. He will direct his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. Because of the abundance of his horses, their dust will cover you" (Ezek.26:7-10, NKJV).
Whilst in the p'shat or literal rendering this is speaking of an historical event that was military, which indeed came to pass, in the symbolic it is speaking of a time when the world will run so foul of false teachings that the people will be covered in its "dust", the dust here signifying total baptism or immersion in that which is of the ground - the earth, the flesh. This is the same Babylon spoken of in Revelation 17 where the great Whore is spoken of:
The Judgment of False Teachers
"MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev.17:5, NKJV).
Whether the Jesuits of the counter-reformation or anyone else promoting organised religion that has compromised itself with paganism, all such dogma and priestcraft will come - and is now coming - under judgment. These false teachers, riding the dogmas which are their chariots, are to be overthrown by the King of kings, and the pride of their power will be brought down into the the very dust they have drowned those with credulous ears.
When Elijah was carried away into heaven without tasting death, like Enoch before him, his servant, the young trainee prophet Elisha, declared:
The Testimony of a True Teacher
"My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!" (2 Kings 2:12, NKJV).
As horse or horseman signifies a teacher, and a chariot a doctrine or ideology in which many ride, so Elisha was given a witness that his master, Elijah, has been a true teacher in Israel. Both horse, rider and chariot were truly consecrated to Yahweh.
The Pattern of Inner Living Revealed
What is so important about true doctrine and true religious practices? Unlike all the religious rituals of the priestcraft of false religion which teaches nothing of spiritual realities and meanings within the soul of man, teaching a man "a vain thing for safety", so true doctrine and practice points to the true divine tavnith or pattern within that brings a man or woman into communion with Yahweh and takes him to a full salvation. This is what the 12 festivals of Messianic Israel teach and Shemni Atseret is the fruit of the life journey acomplished by one possessing a shem tov or good name acquired through life-long emunah (faith) and obedience to Torah.
Ephraim and the Chariot of Israel and His Horsemen
When Ephraim is described as riding chariots or horses, it signifies the understanding of the Davar (Word), because Elisha and Elijah (who were from the northern Kingdom of Israel under the headship of Joseph-Ephraim) represented Yahweh as the Davar (Word), therefore they were called "the chariot of Israel and his horseman".
"Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh; so I will put a yoke on her fair neck. I will drive Ephraim, Judah must plough, and Jacob must break up the ground. Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing ahavah (love), and break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek Yahweh, until He comes and showers righteousness on you" (Hos.10:11-12, NIV)
The Contrary Horses of Egypt and Babylon
In the opposite sense, the horses of Egypt and Babylon destroy all emet (truth) and those who trust in them, because "the Egyptians are men and not Elohim (God), their horses are flesh and not ruach (spirit)". The horses of Egypt are proud and strong beasts, they signify the proud and the strongmen, the great men in the eyes of the world and in the worldly churches and messianic synagogues. In this context "a horse is a futile thing for safety". It is said here that their horses are flesh and not ruach (spirit) because their teachers are beasts as to natural affections - as to perception and understanding - and do not possess spiritual affections. "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, and stay on horses, but they look not to the holy One of Israel".
Trusting overly in horses, or teachers, is not a good thing to do, as Satan deceives us through symbolic women, who represent the fallen Eve tempting Adam, who is a type of fallen Israel and of the churches and of organised religion in general. That is why we read in the Book of Revelation concerning the 144,000:
Who are the Women who Defile?
"They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being bikkurim (firstfruits, firstborn) to Elohim (God) and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of Elohim (God)" (Rev.14:3-5, NKJV).
It was in this august body that the 12,000 of Dan are not found in our Bibles, as I mentioned earlier. Now this passage has nothing to do with literal virgins or women - this is not a eulogy to, or celebration of, celibacy as many wrongly conclude, wrongly reading this scripture literally, because celibacy is not the ideal of Israel, and the 144,000 are all Israelites, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes - not Orthodox Jewish men as many evangelicals wrongly claim. When the passage speaks of those "not defiled with women", the meaning is that they are not defiled by any of the false, fleshy, carnal, unspiritual teachings of 'the Woman' - the Whore of Babylon - and all her organised system of religion and indeed atheism too for all false religion is a king of atheism. Rather, these 144,000 follow Yahweh directly, getting their emet (truth) from the Davar Elohim (Word of God) directly and from the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). They are undefiled by religion, whether it be atheistic religion or 'religious religion'. Being defiled by women in this context has a similar meaning to being defiled by trusting in horses (teachers) and chariots (doctrines) and all their prancing and jumping about. Spiritual Israel is to be a nation of cohenim (priests), so that "in Yom haHu (that [Millennial] day) 'HOLINESS TO YAHWEH" shall be engraved on the bells of the horses". That is the eternal hope and expectation we have of the final Shemini Atseret - the Last Great Day.
The Increasing Insanity
Brethren and sisters, this has been a long address but then I have needed to get this message across clearly. As judgment approaches and is even now beginning to fall on the nations, so also is a spirit of madness upon all Torahless 'horses' or teachers who are not properly in the Covenant. You will hear more and more insane doctrines from the pulpits and TV studios belonging to the horses of Egypt, Babylon and Dan. They have been around a while for sure but they are going to multiply rapidly. You will not believe your ears when you hear them. I have heard some pretty outrageous ones in my own time but you young ones in particular will hear far worse, whether it be the Roman Catholic Pontiff claiming that God is actually an Alien or Protestant Churches getting more and more lawless and doing more and more outrageous things. You will see parallel insanity in the political arena as lawlessness multiplies in governments too. And of course we will see the financial collapse happen at any time, bringing yet more chaos. A dark time is soon to be upon us.
I conclude with the interpretation of the prophetic dream of the horse before I end this service. As of tomorrow I am withdrawing from teaching publically for a while both to have some extra physical rest as well as to make more time with Yahweh and to attend to some other business. So there won't be any more sermons, devotionals or teachings for a while - for how long, I don't know. I'll of course continue ministering to my family and local congregation but my presence elsewhere on the Internet will end for now. Those who I am ministering to can of course contact me privately. So with this, I bring this assembly to an end, concluding this year's moed services. I shall also be ending this current series of Lev's Moedim Sermons which has been running now for 13 months. 'Coincidentally', the clocks go back an hour tonight to indicate our passage into winter time as well. May Yahweh bless you all and be with you as I encourage you to seek Him more earnestly and to commune with Him more deeply. Amen.
 Unknown author, What is the Symbolic Meaning of a Horse?