Month 6:18, Week 3:3 (Shleshi/Bikkurim), Year:Day 5940:166 AM|
TESHUVAH 18/39, 2Exodus 1/40
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 12 September 2014
Repentance, Sukkot and Personality
Continued from Part 17
Nature of the Sukkot Anointing
Key to the Sukkot (Tabernacles) anointing, as I have started to learn, is that it is gift-based. What that means is that it is shaped, as it were, in those who receive it, by the giftings we have each individually received from the Father. It is also distinguished from the Shavu'ot (Weeks) or (wrongly called) 'Pentecostal' anointing (not the one claimed by most 'pentecostals' and charismatics) in that is is not a sudden filling, as was the Shavu'ot filling 2,000 years ago, with its visible sign of tongues of fire resting on the heads of the first talmidim (disciples) and their ability to speak foreign languages supernaturally, but rather is a completing anointing. It builds upon, fill up to the top, the Shavu'ot anointing.
One Day and Seven
Shavu'ot (Weeks, 'Pentecost') lasts one day whereas Sukkot lasts seven. The latter represents a post-Shavu'ot life-long process process and the former a single event. Shavu'ot is the initial 'ignition' for the purpose of empowerment in preaching and witness; Sukkot is the reshaping of the soul in which the betrothed becomes prepared for marriage. Like the seven-day (life-long) removal of sin represented by Chag haMatzah, so Sukkot represents a period of preparation culminating in new life as the Bride.
Another way to view these two anointings is to compare the sudden gushing that is 'falling in love' with the steadily deepening, maturer love that is fashioned in the crucible of suffering. It is the difference between the red flickering flames of a wild fire and the steady white hot glow of coals heated to a very high temperature. It is the difference between the crashing waves on the surface of the ocean and the powerful currents of the deep. This is the difference between the Shavu'ot and Sukkot anointings.
No Two People are Endowed the Same Way
The anointing of every soul is different to the anointing of every other individual because anointings are also shaped and channelled by life's circumstances. Don't ever, therefore, compare your giftedness, abilities or talents with anyone else's, because your life is a unique vessel for the expression of the Divine Will. We may gain inspiration from various qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) and want to imitate them, as is right, but such imitation must only be in the realm of divine principles and emet (truth). For sure, we pick up some of the traits of those closest to us because of the way we interact with them, and this is especially true of children imitating their parents, and yet we remain different and distinct and will continue to change based on our personal choices, the way we commune with Yahweh, and the way we interact - positively and negatively, by choice and not by compulsion - with other people and circumstances.
Therefore the spiritual dynamics of each soul is different from every other soul. We are exceedingly complex in our construction and accordingly very easily damaged when we make wrong choices or others impose evil on us. Natural forces, purposefully designed by the Creator to be prophetically instructive of invisible forces, offer us some good illustrations.
A suitable illustration comes in what oceanographers call boundary currents which are ocean currents with dynamics determined by the presence of a coastline. These fall into two distinct categories: western boundary currents and eastern boundary currents. As we compare them, I'd like you experiment in your mind by making comparisons with different kinds of giftedness and personality, and the way the circumstances of life, including the people in them (the 'coastlines') shape us.
Western and Eastern Currents
Eastern boundary currents are relatively shallow, broad and slow-flowing. They are found on the eastern side of oceanic basins, adjacent to the western coasts of continents. Subtropical eastern boundary currents flow equator-ward, transporting cold water from higher latitudes to lower latitudes; examples include the Benguela Current, the Canary Current, the Humboldt Current, and the California Current. Coastal upwelling often brings nutrient-rich water into eastern boundary current regions, making them productive areas of the ocean. Western boundary currents are warm, deep, narrow, and fast flowing currents that form on the west side of ocean basins due to western intensification. They carry warm water from the tropics pole-ward. Examples include the Gulf Stream, the Agulhas Current, and the Kuroshio. We understand the mechanisms of these currents so well now that in 1948 Henry Stommel created a mathematical formula that can reasonably accurately predict the outcomes of the several interactions.
Have you ever wondered how Yahweh intended people of radically different temprement and giftedness are supposed to interact with one another? Though we meet all types of people in our lives, we tend to roughly divide them into two groups - one with whom we are able to identify, readily socialise with and like, and others who seem the diamatric opposite whom we would prefer not to be intimately acquainted with at all. As far as the latter is concerned, getting to know (and hopefully like) them can be very challenging indeed and require a lot of hard work to understand and appreciate their contrary ways. This is true whether these people are born again or not, though in the saved community of believers the sharp edges of personality differences tend to be blunted and smoothed by the affect of ahavah-love or agapé-type love which dominates those who are properly surrendered to Messiah. The oil of the Ruach (Spirit) reduces the friction between such diverse characters as Yah'shua (Jesus) gradually shapes those who are surrendered and obedient amongst them.
My own household is an interesting mix of passive and active personalities which I think is well illustrated in nature. We are very fond of dogs so I like to use an illustration of what I am talking about in the diametrically opposite of natures two breeds in particular: the hyperactive Jack Russel Terrier and the laid back Blood Hound. I am sure you can think of different kinds of animals that reflect this difference in activity, like the humming bird and giant sloth. When you cross two breeds of the same species that have these wildly different activity characteristics you can get quite a mixed bag of animals! And that is certainly true in my family, amongst children and adults, with widely different temperaments. When people of different temprements meet, sparks can flie - creatively (if you are wise and long-suffering) or destructively (if you are unwise and intolerant).
Seven Personalities of the Ruach haQodesh
There are seven divine Ruachot (Spirits) mentioned in Scripture that are sent from the presence of Elohim (God) the Father into the world which we collectively refer to as the 'Ruach haQodesh' or 'Holy Spirit' each of which are very different personalities (Rev.5:6; 1:4; 3:1; 4:5) whose divine character 'type' may be discerned from the substance that is the seven annual festivals. One of the Names of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is Hochmah or Wisdom whom Scripture describes as being made up of seven pillars:
The Challenges of Personality Types
"Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars" (Prov.9:1, NKJV).
Each one of us is predeominantly one or the other in our nature. Yahweh's compound Nature, Personality or Character is reflected in these seven Ruachot (Spirits). Our differences are therefore purposeful, and learning to live together and thrive together, just as the Seven Ruachot (Spirits) do, is part of the challenge of overcoming. We're all supposed to 'rub off' on one another and not assume that our 'type' is superior and other types 'inferior'. When we start getting exasperated with one another and assigning negative 'categories' like 'she's passive-aggressive' or he's 'active-aggressive' we're actually looking for excuses to justify one Ruach-type as being superior over the other. Like the silly (and ultimately destructive) 'Gender Wars' men and women fight, so we fight just as silly 'Character Wars' based on real or imagined 'type' by pointing out the defects of those personalities when they are clearly just being fleshy.
The Goal Reflected in the Ruachot
Sukkot is purposefully seven days long, like it's mirror Chag haMatzah, because the Creator wants us to understand that the goal is the sevenfold haromony of the Ruachot haQodesh - the Holy Spirits. There is not only a place in the Kingdom for each and every character-type, of which there are seven, but in the Sukkot Anointing they are supposed to actually blend, whereas in the early days of Chag haMatzah they were bouncing off one another like snooker or pool balls because of unresolved sin issues distorting these differences and so causing the 'types' to repel one another. Harmony between the seven types is only possible when there is overcoming of the deadly, sociopathic hostility of the flesh to anything 'different' which too has its seven categories or types.
The Astrology Counterfeit
I am not, of course, talking about astrology, which is Satan's counterfeit, which in he would have you believe that your personality type is set by the alignment of the planets and stars. And though the force fields of the heavenly bodies most certainly impact us, as we know from the biochemical effects of the moon leading to circadian rhythms in nature, I am primarily talking about the spiritual realm here and not the physical. We are indeed affected by electro-magnetic forces of heavenly bodies that may indeed impact our health adversely, as we know when the sun belches out EMP's (electro-magnetic pulses) and other forms of radiation, just as we impact one another by our moods, good and evil.
Are We All Supposed to be the Same?
I bring this subject up in the context of Teshuvah because there are many believers who believe we should all be identical in character - that this is somehow a marker by which we can measure fruits of the Ruach (Spirit). There are, of course, characteristics which identify all true born-again believers, called 'fruits of the Ruach (Spirit)' and these are all the true benchmarks of the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) or talmidim (disciples). If any of these are absent, it is a sign of a character defect that results from sin:
Some Unacceptable Personality Traits
"The fruit of the Ruach (Spirit) is ahavah (love), simcha (joy), shalom (peace), patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal.5:22-23, NIV).
The absence of any of these is not a sign of an acceptable, alternative character or personality type whom we must accept as in any sense 'normal', but evidence of carnality and sin that yet remains unrepented of. The seven godly personality types are what you see when these nine fruits are fully present in a blood-bought life in Messiah. The signs that these are absent if, of course, to be seen in their opposites, namely:
True Personalities and False
- 1. Hate, ungodly anger;
- 2. Misery, sorrow, conflict, disharmony, dissatisfaction;
- 3. Restlessness, storminess, chaos;
- 4. Impatience, resistance, restiveness;
- 5. Lack of sympathy, cruelty;
- 6. Badness, evil, wichedness, unpleasantness, injuriousness;
- 7. Faithlessness, infidelity, unreliability, treachery, disloyalty;
- 8. Coarseness, vulgarity, unrefinedness, uncouthness; and
- 9. Driven, impulsiveness, unrestraint, reactivity, lack of self-control.
Though this ought to be common sense, the flesh always finds cause for self-justification for continuing sinful behaviour. When it comes to that complex mix of traits called 'personality' we have to reaslise that there are both 'natural' and 'spiritual' persons and therefore personalities, and the fact that we were raised in a certain way or born with certain genes never justifies sinful behaviour. We are not the prisoners of our upbringing or genes which is why we are given the mitzvot (commandment) to repent of any character or personality trait that is out of harmony with Scripture and to give Yah'shua (Jesus) permission to supernaturally change us into different persons. Making teshuvah (repentance) is not merely chipping away at some defect but radically laying down our whole way of being in death and allowing Yah'shua (Jesus) to raise us as new perons with new chayim (life). The 'types' that remain after such radical spiritual surgery represent the sevenfold diversity of personality forms that heavenly in nature, all the rest being carnal, sensual and devilish. It is therefore essential that we do not confuse the two.
Categories or Virtuous and Sinful Behaviour
Now obviously with human beings being as complex as we are, given we are made in the image of Elohim (God) (Gen.9:6b), it is impossible to write a detailed list of every virtuous and every sinful form of behaviour, nor should we attempt to do so. However, it is correct to observe certain categories of both, as Paul does (there are others in Scripture), as these are the yardsticks given to us by the Ruach (Spirit) to help us measure where we are and what it is we seek after. The fleshy nature, by definition, does not want to change, but to either remain as it is or to become more lax in checks and restraints preventing a soul's slide into more sinfulness. Ultimately the flesh, like Satan, wants total unrestraint of the self and the total 'freedom' which, it supposes, leads to happiness, but which in emet (truth) leads to chaos and misery. And a tell-tale sign of fleshy activity is that the focus is on self instead of on Elohim (God) and others.
Making proper teshuvah (repentance) as we are called to do at this season means, of necessity, that we examine how the flesh seeks to mislead and deceive us into not repenting by declaring sinful tendencies to be a part of unchangeable, and even necessary, genetic makeup and upbringing. We are none of us brought up 100% correct and such generational tendencies we may have inherited from our parents and ancestors can, and must, be broken by emunah (faith) in the blood of Messiah. Overcoming includes deliverance from such things too. The flesh's claim to entitlements and to be treated as an exception based on personality type is a demonic fraud that has to be exposed for the sake of the salvation of the sinner. We do people no service by yielding to their false claims. As People of the Book we must abide strictly and faithfully by the precepts of that Book, Yahweh's eternal Torah. No believer approaches the Sukkot anointing, in any of its developmental stages, who does not acknowledge this emet (truth) and who is not additionally prepared to do something about it. Amen.
Continued in Part 19
 Wikipedia, Boundary current