Month 1:15, Week 2:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5939:15 AM|
2Exodus 2/40, Messianic Countdown 72/15
Gregorian Calendar Friday 3 May 2015
The Great 2015 Dedication XV
Unleavened Bread 2015
Ingredients of the Incense
Continued from Part 14
PART A - MORNING SESSION SERMON
Shabbat shalom and Chag haMatzah Sameach kol beit Yisra'el and may the grace of our Father Yahweh-Elohim be upon both those celebrating the Feast of Unleavened Bread abroad and those of us at Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon who are in remembrance of it while we are about the business of completing the Dedication of Messianic Israel.
Cleansing During the Pesach Season
Yah has so ordained this Cleansing and Dedication that it incorporates the first three days of the Pesach or Passover Season, and specicially its three main elements: Pesach (Passover) itself, Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavaned Bread) and Yom haBikkurim (the Day of Firstfruits).
These three elements have been an essential component of the cleansing and dedication process. First, the blood of atonement, which aligns with the Brazen Altar of the Courtyard; second, the daily removal of sin through the Washing of the Davar (Word) which aligns with the Brazen Laver; and third, with the power of resurrection which aligns with the Sanctuary. Only two days of Chag haMatzah (Unleavened Bread) correspond with the the Cleansing and Dedication because after we leave here we must continue in the same spirit until we reassamble in about three weeks' time for our actual Passover Celebration which will commence with a Sacred Meal. That meal aligns with the Table of Showbread in the Qadosh (Holy, Set-Apart) Place in the Sanctuary. So when we return for the Pesach (Passover) Meal we shall be partaking of a physical ordinance that has been carried over from the Old into the New Covenant in a new form.
The Pattern for the Second Month
So I don't want you to think when you return to your homes that Hezekiah's Dedication is over - indeed, it continues in the Countdown and beyond its final day to the first of the Second Month and to an Overcomer's Ordinance of sort, the Jericho March. So we shall be passing seamlessly from one type into another. Additionally, we shall be recapitulating these 16 days, of which this is the 15th, as the Remnant both overcomes one of its major obstacles at this time in the Jericho manner, concerns itself with boarding an Ark of safety against the ever greater mounting troubles in the world, and prepares for a literal Meal on the 14th day of the Second Month which is the seal of the Firstborn.
Incorporating the Cleansing Each Rosh Chodesh
You see, these 16 days have, as it been were, been a 'spiritual ignition' - a wake-up call. Yahweh appeared to us on Aviv 9 at the Emet (Truth) Gate. Those five pillars at the entrance, representing emunah (faith), prayer, tiqveh (hope), reverential fear of Elohim (God) and Worship are to be an ongoing focal point as we begin every New Moon. We have been given the keys to Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) renewal. As we honour our Master Yah'shua (Jesus), by approaching in the correct way in sacred tavnith (pattern), making the proper presentation, so too we are to approach husbands and fathers each month so that we may receive the blessing of shalom (peace) and be brought into echad (oneness) with them. At Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) Jacob-Israel is to wash the feet of his four wives Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah who correspond to the four sabbath days of each lunar month to demonstrate that his headship and rule is founded on service. By this means the Remnant shall be established in the Ruach (Spirit) according to divine tavnith (pattern) and shall obtain the ongoing, ever multiplying, blessings of these 16 days. As our homes become built in the right fashion, so this ordinance will be extended further to the congregations. But this year - which is the first year of the establishment of the Remnant in true temple order - shall be for the consolidation of families so that they may function in true heavenly ahavah/agapé (love).
Remembering These Days
As we operate more and more in the Ruach (Spirit), renouncing and forfeiting the flesh and its destructive ways, so the Body of Messiah shall be build up beautiful, submitted and strong. It is important we never forget what has happened - and will yet happen - here. And though it be but a beginning - a stirring of the Bride out of her slumber and into a new walk with the Master, it will come to be viewed by us as foundational. There are still two days left and we must not waste them whilst at the same time applying one of the lessons we have learned the last two weeks of never forcing anything. We have none of us been compelled to come here - we chose to come.
Monitored by the Enemy
There is, however, something else that I must mention to you before start before immersing ourselves further, and it comes in the form of a warning. We knew, from the moment we started this Dedication, that we were being watched by those hostile to our mission to see if we would be any threat. There have been watchers both of our online presence as well as inside these bodies of flesh, where they have had legal rights to see.
Perceived as No Threat
I can tell you that they now believe that what we are doing is quite irrelevent and certainly no threat to any of their plans. I can hear them, and their duped human vessels, using the same mocking tone as Sanballat did when those returning from exile were scorned by him as they set about rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and the temple which lay in ruins. We too are rebuilding walls, the walls of the temple of Messianic Israel with the battered materials of human life. Let me remind you of what happened:
Apparently Feeble But Not
"But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall [of Jerusalem], that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Judahites. And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, 'What are these feeble Judahites doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish -- stones that are burned?' Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, 'Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall'" (Neh.4:1-3, NKJV).
Sanballat and Tobiah had no idea that what Yahweh ordains is neither feeble in its spiritual outcome nor can it be opposed without dire consequences for those who come again, with a view to oppressing, the people of Elohim (God). We read further:
Fight for Your Brethren
"Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our Elohim (God), and because of them we set a watch against them day and night" (Neh.4:7-9, NKJV).
Carnal men - believers and unbelievers alike - have short memories and whilst we are few and feeble by earthly standards, that does not matter we actually are when we walk under the covering of the Creator. Indeed, the fewer and the feebler we are, the better in some respects, because when the Enemy does come against such a work of Elohim (God), it is always at a great coste them, because they are dealin with the Creato; and when they are defeated and confounded, Yahweh gets all the glory! This does not mean we will not face troubles, oppositions, tribulations and pressures of divers kinds - what it does mean is that if we walk truly, we shall be shielded just as the White Horse was, and is, during this time. So I have to ask you - are you prepared for opposition for the sake of this work? How much are you willing to pay? Will you stand or flee? Will you be loyal or will you turn away to save your skin? In response to the threatenings of the enemy, the navi (prophet) Nehemiah admonished:
Submissive and Valiant
"Do not be afraid of them. Remember Yahweh, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses" (Neh.4:14, NKJV).
Are you a fighter? Because if you are not, you must learn to be one, fighting for your brethren, children, spouses and homes. We are not called to be dogs who would roll over at the command of anyone who seems to have some kind of authority. If you are one of those who rolls over or runs away, you cannot be a part of the Remnant. The Remnant is like Abigail (one of myu heroines), the wife of David, who possessed that rare quality of being both being submissive and valiant. It is that quality I spoke to you of yesterday, that defines Ephraim and Judah in echad (oneness). It is that brilliant and yet ever so challenging combination of Lamb and Lion lying down together in shalom (peace) in the Millennium, the two aspects of our Messiah - meek and mild like the lamb on the one hand, but a powerful conquering warrior on the other. Israel is not without one or the other. You must learn both, to be both soft and tough but only Yah'shua's (Jesus') way, for the enemy has his deadly counterfeits that kill off mind and heart. You will learn more of these things in the years ahead as Yahweh places you in situations that would develop these divine character traits. You will be challenged and stretched but it will be good, if you do not flee.
The Almighty Power of Elohim
Now I am not saying that anyone will necessarily come up against us any time soon, though they might. Some of our enemies will remember their former comrades who are no longer with us, and because of that, hesitate. Nothing has changed in that regard. There will always be new blood in the Enemy's ranks, hotheads who are inexperienced and who do not know what it is to be crushed by El Elyon (God Almighty) when they have apparently been getting away with murder. We know the almighty power of Elohim (God) because we have been witnesses to it over the years. And though we are greater in numbers now than we were back then, we still have to come before Yahweh with the same attitude of total dependence on Him. The Enemy always gets bolder when he is flushed by his successes in the world. The Remnant will remind him that he is not omnipotent, but that our Elohim (God) is.
Softness and Toughness
Those of us who have been through the trying grounds are also much stronger than we were, even if outwardly it might not appear to be so because of increasing years and sickness. External appearance isn't, in any case, even the point. Some of you who are new have yet to be 'broken in', as it were, and we will be here to back you up and guide you if you stand your ground. May you not make the mistakes we did and so spare yourselves much unnecessary pain! If you approach the opposition in the right way, with that beautiful combination of softness and toughness, submission and boldness, you will come out the victor again and again, and rejoicing. But balancing these two is not an easy lesson to learn as the passions of youth have to be tempered and formed into the sublime passion of maturity.
We Will Eat Our Own Bread
Brethren and sisters, if we have not already fallen back to the Courtyard, we are before the Golden Altar of Incence, unless any of us are pretending in which case they will walk away from these last two days spiritually unchanged and sterile. This Golden Altar is so important that it may rightly be said to be the very heart and spiritual stature of Messiah. It is here, in the place of prayer, one of the five pillars of the Qadosh (Holy) Place, that we learn about the power and attributes of the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus). It is here that Yahweh wants to take of our essence, the heart of our very beings, and make it echad (one) with the heart and Shem Tov or Good Name of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). But we will only be able to do this if our names are good too, if we are walking in tavnith (pattern), if we can say, like the seven women who wished to called by the shem tov of the man they sought union with:
Character Attributes of the Remnant
"We will eat our own lechem (bread) and wear our own clothes, if only we may be called by your shem (name); take away our disgrace" (Is.4:1b, NEB).
As applied to the Remnant of the Body of Messiah, this much quoted passage in this ministry tells us something very important: these women come with an attitude of service, not of entitlement or of rights, arising out a the deep sense of gratitude for obtaining the covering of a shem tov (good name) and personal responsibility that comes from a sanctified conscience. They do not allow beautiful, freely given Christian charity to mutate into an ugly egotistical right.
Above and Beyond
This character attribute is one of the qualifying markers of those who are of the Remnant. They take responsibility for their needs above and beyond that which would normally be expected in a marriage relationship, because the Remnant must go 'above and beyond' what the non-Remnant part of the body expects and does. It must go the extra mile. If the Remnant loves the Messiah that much, she will not hesitate to do this, because she has grasped the essential meaning of what it is to be a mature talmid (disciple). She has passed beyond being obsessed with what she can get to being concerned about what she can give. The Remnant is not for babies who refuse to grow up. It is for those who, in spite of their problems and limitations, are determined to overcome them no matter what the cost. This is an essential characteristic that separates the Remnant from all the rest. She is not some spoiled brat who pouts and self-justifies when she doesn't get what she thinks is owed to her. She carries no debt notes.
The tavnith (pattern) of service at the Golden Altar is particularly interesting because the cohen (priest) was commanded to burn incense, much as Catholics and Orthodox Christians still do today. However, physical incense itself is not what interests us as much as what that temple incense represents spiritually. Certainly we have no need of physical incense today and shall not resurrect the outward forms of the Old Covenant. Like the 5 pillars that define what lies beyond the Emet (Truth) Gate that guards and separates the Sanctuary from the Courtyard, so there are 5 ingredients to this incense, all of which are important to understand.
Construction Plans of the Golden Altar
Let's see what those 5 ingredient were and why Yahweh was most particular that only these ingredients be used! First, let us consider the construction:
"You shall make an altar to burn incense on; you shall make it of acacia wood. A cubit shall be its length and a cubit its width -- it shall be square -- and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay its top, its sides all around, and its horns with pure gold; and you shall make for it a molding of gold all around. Two gold rings you shall make for it, under the molding on both its sides. You shall place them on its two sides, and they will be holders for the poles with which to bear it. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you. Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before Yahweh throughout your generations. You shall not offer strange incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering; nor shall you pour a drink offering on it" (Ex.30:1-10, NKJV; also see 37:25-28.
"He also made the holy anointing oil and the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the work of the perfumer" (Ex.37:29, NKJV).
Divine Tavnith Must Be Maintained
Divine tavnith (pattern) is, once again, essential and we shall see why presently. Moses was warned four times to make the Tabernacle exactly as told, without variation. One false element would have destroyed the perfect picture Yahweh was painting of His Son. Why was Yahweh so upset when Moses smote the rock twice? It wasn't just because he took the credit for the miracle - the greater sin was that his repeat action distorted and destroyed tavnith (pattern) because Messiah was smitted only once for our sins. It is the Catholics who smite the rock again and again in their blasphemous masses everyu week when they claim to be recrucifying Christ for our sins.
The Ingredients of the Incense
Now to the incense itself:
"And Yahweh said to Moses: 'Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each. You shall make of these an incense, a compound according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure, and qadosh (holy, set-apart)" (Ex.30:34-35, NKJV)
The first is called stacate which was a kind of myrrh. Regular myrrh was obtained by making a deep incision into the heart of the myrrh tree so that the chayim (life) and sap would flow out. It was stronger than the myrrrh required for the incense because of the deep source requiring incision. The stacte was known colloquially as the 'tears of the myrrh tree' because it was not extracted by force, being a voluntary giving of the tree itself. The little drops of chayim (life) just oozed out and stood as tears on the trunk of this tree. As Yah'shua's (Jesus') incarnation and sacrifice for us was voluntary (Phil.2:5-8), so our intercessory prayers must be voluntary too. They cannot be forced, expected or demanded. We interceed because we choose to do so, out of ahavah (love). That requires humbling yourself, and in the process of humiliation, spiritual tears of myrrh are extruded on our spirits which are gathered by the Ruach (Spirit) and are presented to Yahweh as an acceptable sacrifice. These are the tears of the heart that are so precious to our Father, Abba.
The Nine Fruits and Nine Plants in the Tears of Myrrh
Out of these tears proceed the 9 fruits of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), that correspond to the 9 plants that the Bridegroom found in the garden of His Bride in the Song of Solomon (Song 4:13-14), which is a study all in itself!
These corresponds to the 9 fruits of the Ruach (Spirit) because they will always be present in a true cohen (priest) operating in holiness before the Golden Altar of Incense:
"Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices" (Song 4:13-14, NIV).
The Five Channels of the Human Spirit
"But the fruit of the Ruach (Spirit) is ahavah (love), simcha (joy), shalom (peace), patience, kindness, goodness, emunah (faithfulness), gentleness and self-control" (Gal.5:22-23, NIV).
Yahweh wants the 5 channels of our spirits to be fully open in our prayers - worship, prayer, tiqveh (hope), emunah (faith) and reverence so that we are of one heart with Messiah's humility. Only when we are in that fivefold condition can we ask for anything and receive it because we will be in His Ruach (Spirit) and therefore in His will. Even as it is written:
Name It and Claim It is Anti-Torah
"And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you" (John 16:22-23, NKJV).
How Christians twist that scripture to make it mean that all you have to do is name something and claim it, and claim it, and, 'Abracadabra', it is yours, no matter what it is. You see, we cannot understand Yah'shua's (Jesus') words to us outside the context of Torah - ever! That is why we must study it diligently, learning divine tavnith (pattern) so that we can approach the true Messiah and not the false one with the 3 missing stones that belong to Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin.
This evening we shall look at the remaining four spices and then approach the altar again in preparation for the last Day of Dedication tomorrow.
B. YAHU-AHAZ AND THE HEZEKIAN REFORMATION
Teaching Notes by Brother Gabriel Ljungstrand
(NCAY Gothenburg-Sweden Mission)
According to the 'Damascus Inscription' Ahaz, the father of King Hezekiah, was originally called Yahu-Ahaz, but on account of his great wickedness in leading Judah into deep apostacy, part of his name (Yahu) was removed and excluded from the Scriptures. Ahaz offered his children up in the fire to the abomination of Molech (1 Ki.16:1).
Following an invasion by Rezin of Aram (v.6), Ahaz took the gold out of the House of Yahweh and other treasures in order to hire the Assyrian monarch for protection against Rezin. Whilst visiting Damascus he was so impressed by the splendour of a pagan altar there that he decided to make a replica of it and replaced the one in the Jerusalem Temple with it. Having installed this blasphemous altar, he proceeded to make offerings on it. He went so far as to clear the Sanctuary of its furniture and replaced it with the Brazen Altar from the Courtyard, thereby completely destroying the symbolism of the House of Yahweh. Not content with this, he sawed off the base of the Laver and installed it on a pavement of stone. He removed all the vessels from the Temple, cut them into pieces, locked the doors on the Sanctuary and proceeded to set up pagan high places and altars in the corners of Jerusalem (2 Chr.28:24).
This is a reminder that Hezekiah's Great Reformation occurred at a time when Judah's spirituality was at its nadir and its apostacy was at its greatest. Ahaz is a type of what is happening today. Though supreme monarch, Hezekiah possessed the humility to consult with and listen attentively, submissively and obediently to the navi (prophet) Isaiah who was his contemporary. Because his father had been so wicked, he took the exceptional step of refusing his father burial alongside the earlier kings of Judah and Israel, an instance where dishonouring your parents is apparently justified so as not to dishonour Yahweh. Sometimes we must break a lesser mitzvah (commandment) in order to obey a greater one.
PART C - EVENING SESSION SERMON
Myrrh in Female Rites
Shabbat shalom chaverim and welcome back to this evening session. We have started a study on the ingredients of the incense used under the Old Covenant at the Golden Altar and understood that stacte is a form of myrrh. Like frankincense, it is a reddish gum that also has medicinal properties that comes from a shub which in the Holy Land could attain a height as great as 20 feet. What I didn't mention to you this morning is that it was also used for female purification (Est.2:12), remembering that the Body of Messiah is positionally 'female' (submissive) to Messiah (which is why we are collectively called a 'Bride') in the same way that the Son is positionally 'female' (submissive) to the Father.
We now come to the second ingredient, onycha, which literally means a 'scale' and is not a herb at all but was obtained anciently by burning or roasting the claw-shaped valves closing the shell appertures of certain molluscs which today we call Strombi. This roasting produces the aromatic empyreumatic oil needed for the incense. Why did Yahweh command that this particular ingredient be used? Thanks to our understanding of the biology and biochemistry of this resin we now know that the odour that was needed comes from the mollusc feeding off spikenard which you may remember from this morning was one of those plants listed in the Song of Solomon.
Spikenard and Shalom
Spikenard is a plant that produces an aromatic amber-coloured oil known as nard or muskroot which was used anciently as a perfume. So technically the onycha comes from spikenard. So why didn't Yahweh command that the resin be be directly extracted from spikenard? Because of the way it was to be extracted, through roasting in fire. If you compare the spikenard with the fruits of the Ruach (Spirit) described in Galatians you will find it is likened to shalom or peace.
The Importance of Roasting
We must not miss the symbolic importance of the extraction method. What kind of shalom or 'peace' is made available to us through 'roasting'? It was not enough for Elohim (God) to just come in the flesh but there had to be the added suffering or 'roasting', a reason we are commanded to eat roasted Lamb at Pesach (Passover). Boiled Lamb is not acceptable. It must be roasted in fire. That 'roasting' type was fulfilled on the cross for our sins so that shalom (peace) might be created between Yahweh and man, as it is written:
Breaking Down Walls of Partition
"But now in Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus) you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah (Christ). For He Himself is our shalom (peace), who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation" (Eph.2:13-14, NKJV).
I want you to carefully note that this wall of partition wasn't gently dismantled but "broken" or "destroyed". The Greek verb here is luo which means to 'break up' or 'destroy'. It is not a passive word. Neither is the removal of idols. We were commanded to remove all idols from the Tabernacle - from our bodies, our lives - assemble them in a heap in the Courtyard and then carry them off to the Kidron Valley to be smahed and burned. This was a precondition to rededicating the Courtyard and the Sanctuary. No living soul in the Body of Messiah can become a part of the Remnant who has any such idols remaining and those who only pretended to remove them at the beginning of this Dedication and who faked their worship will be broken unless they make teshuvah (repent) before tomorrow is ended. You can't make an omlette without breaking eggshells and you cannot make a sanctified Remnant without smashing idols.
The Peace of Blood Covering
The cohen (priest), if he had incense on the altar for its fragrant perfume, was forever reminded by the onycha of the shalom (peace) brought by the blood covering. There was no need for him to be afraid on account of his own imperfection because the incense spoke of the coverning he had, just as we, in our prayers have His shalom (peace) because we are aware of the blood covering made by our Redeemer.
Peace With Elohim
We obtain the shalom (peace) in the forgiveness of sins and in being reconciled to Yahweh which Paul expressed in these words:
Peace From Elohim
"Therefore, having been justified by emunah (faith), we have shalom (peace) with Elohim (God) through our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)" (Rom.5:1, NKJV).
This is shalom (peace) with Elohim (God). Then there is another kind of shalom (peace) which is the shalom (peace) from or of Elohim (God). Have you ever been in a room filled with perfume which which someone else is wearing, and it 'sticks' to you even after you have left? Well, Yahweh wants us to dwell in the Qadosh (Holy, Set-Apart) Place under the fragrance of the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus) so that it 'sticks' to us. He wants us to absorb the odour, which is the nature of His Name, so that it is absorbed into our being, so that we might know the practical and experimental working of the power and shalom (peace) of His Name in our every day lives. I repeat, this is not the same as that shalom (peace) that comes from having shalom (peace) with Yahweh. We obtain that knowing that the blood sacrifice has brought us near. The second kind of shalom (peace) is that kind of shalom (peace) that comes when something of Yah'shua's (Jesus') nature becomes a part of us by absorption or osmosis. It comes from bathing in His presence in prayer. It is a transforming agent, a kind of existential 'knowing' that comes with familiartity. That's why John would write:
Coming to Resemble the Saviour by Assimilation
Our recongition is not by physical seeing (since no one really knows what He looks like anyway) but is more a question of like being drawn to like. We will know Him because He has dwelt in us and has changed us to resemble Himself. "We shall be like Him" and as a result of this we will be able to "see Him as He really is" and not according to how we have imagined Him to be through trying to piece Scripture together or through the hearing the testimony of others. We must literally become impregnated by His nature and the means by which happens is by absorbing the fragrance of the onycha at the Golden Altar of intercessory prayer so that we assimilate it.
"It has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2, NKJV).
An Analogy from Human DNA
Scientific studies have now shown that there is DNA in women that comes from their male sexual partners through having children with them but not vice versa:
Women who have not had children with their partners have, moreover, also been tested positive for male microchimerism (as it is called) so it is the imtimate contact that changes the woman. The same of true in our relationship with Messiah. As the woman receives the DNA of her male partner, so the believer receives the Name (and therefore Nature) of his or her Messiah through absorption in His presence.
"This DNA, clearly distinct from the mother's, has been shown to persist in her body for decades after pregnancy. It's presence not only may have health effects, but also exemplifies the deep biological union between a man and a woman, facilitated by the children they have together" .
From New Birth to Covenant Obedience
We are conceived at Pesach (Passover) and born again at Yom haBikkurim (Firstfruits) when we admit Yah'shua (Jesus) into our hearts but in order to be transformed totally we must enter the covenants of Torah-obedience at Shavu'ot (Weeks) and be trained properly as to how to walk in tavnith (pattern) as cohenim (priests), and a large part of that involves training how to properly present ourselves before Yahweh in true tavnith (pattern) so that we can enter the Sanctuary to serve at the Altar of Incense.
The Sacred Smell
The fact that born-again believers are constantly worried, agitated or fretted only proves our great need to be in the Qadoesh (Holy, Set-Apart) Place of the Sanctuary bathing in the aroma of the fivefold Ruach (Spirit) there at the Altar of Incense. There oure spirits are perfumed with His shalom (peace) which others can tangibly feel just as we can smell the perfumes others wear. You can literally 'smell' who are of the Remnant and who are not just as you come to recongise the smells of family members which become familiar and natural to you over time.
Constant Contact With Grace and Peace
We must never forget, though, that this shalom (peace) came only through roasting of suffering on the cross - the roasting of the Onycha shell - when Yah'shua (Jesus) poured out His chayim's (life's) blood in order to purchase that shalom (peace). Have you noticed how Paul always opened his epistles by invoking "grace and shalom (peace)" from Elohim (God) on his readers? In other words, He was encouraging them to grow and mature in these spirituall essences though constant contact with them. Did you know that spikenard, also called the 'plant of shalom (peace)', was used as medicine for frazzled nerves? Well, we can obtain a better medicine from the Golden Altar of Incense that comes from beyond our own soul than we can from medicinal herbs. This is why Paul said:
Counterfeit Bandaid Peace
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to Elohim (God). And the shalom (peace) of Elohim (God), which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus)" (Phil.4:6-7, NIV).
When this shalom (peace) is absent, then sin is at the door or may already have broken in to plunder your soul. We are called to be peacemakers - not any old 'peace', but shalom (peace) - not trouble-makers. If the 'peace' we make is out of divine tavnith (pattern) then it is counterfeit 'peace', a bandaid solution that lasts only as long as the bandaid doesn't fall off.
The third element of the incense was called Galbanum (chelbenah in Hebrew) and its purpose was to increase the perfume of the incense and to support it, causing it to 'tarry' or remain much longer. It points to an aspect of Yah'shua (Jesus) as a 'support' or 'foundation'. When we say that a friend or loved one is a 'support', what we mean is that we lean or rest on them. The foundation of the building is the support for the rest of the building. Paul said:
Supports and Foundations
"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)" (1 Cor.3:11, NIV).
The galbanum not only supported the other ingredients but caused them to renmain longer, pointing to the enduring quality of the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus). All other names have failed the endurance test, secular as well as religious, but the Name of our Messiah will never fail!
What this means is that our prayers made at the Altar of Incense will endure before the Throne of Elohim (God) - they won't vapourise away, like our earthly words, but 'hang' there.
"You, Yahweh, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
They will perish, but You remain;
And they will all grow old like a garment;
Like a cloak You will fold them up,
And they will be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not fail" (Heb.1:10-12, NKJV).
The Tabernacle in Heaven
The imagery of the Tabernacle persists in the New Testament showing that the physical types have an object reality in Heaven and that the power behind them should never be treated lightly:
The Divine Performance of Human Prayer
"Another malak (angel), who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the qodeshim (saints), on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the qodeshim (saints), went up before Elohim (God) from the malak's (angel's) hand" (Rev.8:3-4, NIV).
This is a wonderful emet (truth), is it not? To know that the precious Name of Yah'shua (Jesus) performs our prayers and makes them acceptable before Yahweh our Father and His Throne?
Deep Incisions Needed for a Full Salvation
Now unlike the myrrh, which you remember was collected as 'tears' from the outside of the myrrh tree, galbanum was collected by making deep incisions into the heart of the tree. That which is good and of an enduring quality can only be obtained by deep cuts being made into the soul. So it is with that which has everlasting endurance, the cuts of the tree being a type of the deep cuts in the body of our Messiah upon the cross that were made for you and me. The deep cuts are needed to support those sinners standing on the sinking sands of sin and death. Only one Name can save such a soul:
Adding the Incense of His Name
"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12, NKJV).
The sinner who comes to Yah'shua (Jesus) discovers that his Messiah is the Rock, the Support and the Foundation that will carry him safetly into the Kingdom of our Elohim (God). It is the Name of our eternal Cohen Gadol (High Priest), supporting our prayers even when they are weak, by adding the incense of His own Name to them! Now that is a glorious thing to know! For how many of us have wondered if our prayers made it because we were weak, or exhausted or ill, or short on tiqveh (hope)? If you have been praying for someone for a long time and have apparently got no answer, do not be discouraged, for Yah'shua (Jesus) is the supporter of your prayer and He will cause it to endure before the Throne of Elohim (God) the Father until Yahweh gives the answer, that is, provided you are praying for something that will give the glory to Yahweh and not for something that will only give glory to yourself because it is only something you want to consume upon your own lusts. This, then, is the meaning of galbanum.
The fourth ingredient, franklincense, we have already spoken of before. It is the seventh plant in the Bride's Garden in the Song of Solomon (4:14) and corresponds to the seventh fruit of the Ruach (Spirit) which is emunah (faith/faithfulness) (Gal.5:22). Yahweh has endowed man with 5 spiritual senses - emunah (faith), prayer, tiqveh (hope), reverential fear, and worship - so that finite man might have the capacity for fellowship with the Infinite Elohim (God).
Tasting Yahweh Through Prayer
Emunah (faith) is the eye of the ruach (spirit) with which man can understand, comprehend and see the things of Elohim (God). Prayer may be said to be the way we 'taste' the ruach (spirit). Through prayer and the offering up of the sacrifice of praise the born-again believer can taste the sweetness of Elohim (God) in his ruach (spirit).
Smelling Through Hope
Tiqveh (hope) is like the sense of smell which in the natural can stir a man up - the smell of good food wafting in from the kitchen can stir you up into alertness and anticipation of the meal that is coming. When we smell the perfume of flowers we are likewise aroused. And so when the tiqveh (hope) of man is fed there is a spiritual stirring that takes place that encourages us to press on. When this channel is fed by the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) and the Davar Elohim (Word of God) then the whole spiritual man or woman is stirred up to "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which Elohim (God) has called me heavenward in Messiah Yah'shua (Christ Jesus)" (Phil.3:14, NIV).
Hearing Through Godly Fear
Reverence or the Fear of Elohim (God) is the means by which we hear and respond in obedience. If a child does not fear consequences for disobedience he will cease hearing his parents. Obviously this is not the same kind of fear that Satan brings, gripping a man and throwing him into the thralldom of terror, but is the means by which the believer is held in awe of the greatness and glory of Yah.
Touching Through Worship
Finally, worship is the spiritual equivalent of touch, for as we worship the Father in the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus) the Son, our ruachot (spirits) are able to touch Yahweh. All of these channels or senses Yahweh made for Himself from the very beginning so that we could commune with Him.
The Purity of True Faith
We could potentially talk about emunah (faith) for hours but I am assuming that everyone has a good grasp of that already. By means of frankincense, Yahweh wants to paint a picture for us of the purity of the emunah (faith), hochmah (wisdom) and binah (understanding) that comes in the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus).
Frankincense is White
The word 'frankinscence' actually means 'to be white' which speaks of purity - the purity of Messiah's Name, Understanding, Wisdom and Emunah (Faith):
Yah'shua Declared Worthy
"But the hochmah (wisdom) that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then shalom-loving (peace-loving), considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" (James 3:17, NIV).
When the wise men brought frankincense to Yah'shua (Jesus) at His birth (which, by the way, was yesterday) they were were declaring that He was worthy of all hochmah (wisdom), emunah (faith) and binah (understanding). It is this allegorical picture that we are given of the Bridegroom in the Song of Solomon:
Coming Out of the Desert Smelling Sweet
"Who is this coming up from the desert
like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and incense
made from all the spices of the merchant?" (Song 3:6, NIV).
This is a picture of the soul who has been in intimate communion with Yah'shua (Jesus) - the myrrh speaking of the humility and the frankincense speaking of the binah (understanding), hochmah (wisdom) and emunah (faith) of the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus). The wilderness or desert speaks of the testing and trial of the derech (way or journey). And how did this soul come out of that experience? It emerged with the humility of Yah'shua (Jesus), with the light of His knowledge, emunah (faith) and understanding.
Leaning on the Belovèd
So let me ask you all this question: how do you emerge out of the desert experiences of life? Do you emerge with the sweet perfume of humility, acknowledging Yahweh's will in permitting you to walk that way? Do you emerge walking by His eye of binah (understanding), emunah (faith) and da'at (knowledge)? Or do you emerge from the desert leaning on your Belovèd?
Poor and Crippled
"Who is this coming up from the desert
leaning on her lover? (Song 8:5, NIV).
If you are leaning on your own understanding then you will emerge as a poor, crippled person on crutches murmuring and complaining! But when you are leaning on the arm of the Belovèd, you will have a simcha (joy) shining through you and there will be found there humility and thanksgiving to Him, for you will be leaning on His binah (understanding), of His emunah (faith), knowing that "all things work together for good to those who love Elohim (God), to those who are 'the called' according to His purpose" (Rom.8:28, NKJV). It is only in the Qadosh (Holy, Set-Apart) Place that you will obtain the revelation of the binah (understanding) and hochmah (wisdom) of His Name.
5. TEMPERED WITH SALT
Finally, these four ingredients were to be tempered or rubbed together with salt. We spoke of salt a few days ago in the Meal or Grain Offering. The four ingredients, Yahweh said, had to be of equal weight or portion, showing the evenness and the importance of each part of the revelation of the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus). So what is so special about salt here? Notice, first of all, that these 5 ingredients come from three different categories which in science we call 'kingdoms':
All Offerings Must Be Salted
- 1. Vegetable (Stacte, Galbanum, Frankincense);
- 2. Animal (Onycha); and
- 3. Mineral (Salt)
Salt was an essential ingredient in ALL offerings to Yahweh:
Salt as Covenant Love
"Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the b'rit (covenant) of your Elohim (God) out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings" (Lev.2:13, NIV).
Salt represents COVENANT because the fruit of righteous covenant-making always results in purity of friendship and freedom from corruption. Please carefully study the articles on the B'rit Melah  or Covenant of Salt. We speak of COVENANT LOVE or B'rit Ahavah because it is the foundation of all true marriage, whether earthly or marriage. 'Covenant Ahavah (Love)' is 'Salt Ahavah (Love)'. Speaking to Aaron and his sons of the priesthood:
A Portion for the Priests
"I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever; it is a covenant of salt forever before Yahweh with you and your descendants with you" (Num.18:19, NKJV).
All the cohenim (priests) were given a portion of the offerings for their food. New Covenant Melchizedek Cohenim (Priests) are not supported in that way today because all are called to be cohenim (priests) else we would end up like that vast cohort Tibetan Monks who refused to work and sponged off the poor. Everyone has to earn his daily bread for himself and his family. So what Yahweh is saying is when salt is involved in any offering that He promises to feed us forever!
The Salt That Makes Us Thirst for the Word
"To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and cohenim (priests) to His Elohim (God) and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever" (Rev.1:5-6, NKJV).
Yahweh gave Yah'shua (Jesus) for a Covenant of Salt, a covenant to love the world. In the same way we are under a Covenant of Salt to love and serve the brethren as He loved and served us. What was it that caused Yah'shua (Jesus) to become Saviour of the world? It was His undying, incorruptible ahavah (love) that made Him go to the Cross. We cannot possibly meditate on the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus) in the Qadosh (Holy, Set-Apart) Place without feeling this precious incense of ahavah (love) beginning to permeate our very spirit and being, and just as salt makes us thirsty for water, so when the salt of His ahavah (love) begins to permeate our beings we begin to sense a depth of thirst for the living Davar Elohim (Word of God). Until a soul has spent time in the Qadosh (Holy, Set-Apart) Place and feasted on the sweet incense of the salt of ahavah (love), his soul will not cry out for Elohim (God) and for His Davar (Word) as David did. Do you remember how He was leading us there on Aviv 11? Do you remember the experiences three of you had with deer which became the basis of a whole morning's meditation and study? Let me remind you of David's words:
Salt as Fire
"As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O Elohim (God).
2 My soul thirsts for Elohim (God), for the living Elohim (God).
When shall I come and appear before Elohim (God)?" (Ps.42:1-2a, NKJV).
Salt is a bit like fire. I am, sure you have experienced salt in an open wound. It burns like fire! But is also cleanses. It purifies. So is the salt of Yah'shua's (Jesus') ahavah (love), it will burn out the corruption of our love and affection for the world, if we are willing to spend time in the Qadosh (Holy, Set-Apart) Place and get acquainted with the sweet incense of His Name. It will not accommodate our worldliness but challenge it. And if we refuse to let the salt cleanse, Yah'shua (Jesus) will draw back. Yes it will hurt, for a bit. If you choose not to enter because of that pain, then you cannot be a part of the Remnant.
Get the Salt Inside!
We have commanded by Yah'shua (Jesus) to get the salt within ourselves. Paul likewise said:
Salt and Honey are Incompatible
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" (Col.4:6, NIV).
Notice he does not say that our words should be seasoned with honey! That is not, in any case, 'seasoning'! There is plenty of 'hone'y being spoken in the pulpits of today's churches and messianic synagogues and they are sliding into hell because of it because they are not getting served any salt. Notice that grace - Yahweh's undeserved loving kindness, His unmerited favour - is not companion to honey in any temple ordinabce but to salt. Here Christendom and Messiandom are in large part in grave error. Salt is a key ingredient of ahavah (love) which means that our salted words will hurt sinners because of salt's spiritual/medicinal properties which is why it must be accompanied by grace always. Emet (truth), like salt, brings both pain (to the sinful man) and simcha (joy) (to the righteous man). So Paul admonishes:
Truth and Salt are Bearable
"Instead, speaking the emet (truth) in ahavah (love), we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Messiah" (Eph.4:15, NIV).
We do not in the end love anybody if we do not tell them the emet (truth). Spoken in ahavah (love), the pain will be bearable provided we do not harden our hearts and choose stubborn pride and resist it.
The Saviour is our Savour
The Saviour is the Savour! He is the salt and if we are to be like Him when He comes, we too must become salty, mixed in with the other four ingredients of the incense. The mixture is the main thing. We can't separate them out.
Warning! Do Not Mess With Yahweh's Tavnith!
And so we end with a warning. Yahweh said that this incense had to be tempered PURE and QADOSH (HOLY, SET-APART), which is another way of saying it must be UNADULTERATED with any foreign substance and was to be reserved exclusively for qadosh (sacred) use. Man has tried to substitute other incense, just as wicked King Ahaz substituted Yahweh's altar for a pagan one he saw in Damascus, rearranged the templem, destroyed the implements and then locked the doors. There is no other Name by which we may be saved and there is no other Derech (Way) on which the talmid (disciple) is called to walk.
The Bloodless Heresy
There is a very, very dangerous heresy arising in the Messianic Movemant that would take out the blood of atonement of which we must be aware and oppose. Any changes, any subtractions or additions to His Davar (Word) provoke the righteous anger of Elohim (God) because by this means men - well-meaning as well as malicious - pervert the image of the Saviour and change the reality of who our Messiah is. The Name of Yah'shua (Jesus), just like the recipe for this incense, is reserved for worship only! It is never to be made light of. It took the fire from the great Brazen Altar in the Courtyard, on which blood sacrifice was offered, to release the sweetness of the incense. Remove that and the blood sacrifice for atonement and you have no sweet incense, just a sickly sweet substitute that brings no shalom (peace) and no redemption. Without it man remains in sin.
The Lesson of Nadam abd Abihu
You will remember the grave warning in Leviticus 10 which records how the two cohenim (priests), who had the incense, tried to release its power but with disasterous consequences:
Power of the Censer
"Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane (strange) fire before Yahweh, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from Yahweh and devoured them, and they died before Yahweh" (Lev.10:1-2, NKJV).
The churches are full of this "profane fire". They are preaching a Yah'shua (Jesus) with the three stones of Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin missing, using a satanic ephod. Beware! Do not tamper with the ingredients of the Divine Name - I speak not of its pronunciation (over which Messianics have pointless quarrels) but of its spiritual attributes reflected by the ingredients of the incense! Do you not realise the power in the cohen's censer?
The Fire That Burns Up the Profane
"Then the malak (angel) took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake" (Rev.8:5, NIV).
This is qadosh (holy, set-apart) fire and this is what it does to the profane! It is hurled in judgment against those who blaspheme who changing the ingredients of holiness and then promote the false mix and in so doing proclaim a false Messiah. It does not matter that they use the same Bible as the Remnant does, or claim to be following the same Messiah, because the ingredients of their incense and the false tavnith (pattern) thereof, reveals their sin.
Reformation Must Follow Apostacy
In our discussion after the sermon this morning Brother Ljungstrand reminded us of the apostacy of Ahaz, the father of Hezekiah the Reformer in whose footsteps we are following today. Ahaz not only substitued the divine Altar but put the Brazen Altar inside the Temple (2 Ki.16:1-18)! He redesigned the Brazen Laver changing the divine tavnith (pattern) before sealing up the Sanctuary altogether. This is the spirit of apostacy and when apostacy pollutes Israel a reformation (restoration) must take place so that the whole Covenant is not severed. Satan, who lets no opportunity go by, promotes his own reformations and restorations which either donät go far enough (like Luther, Zwingli and Calvin) or are themselves competing corruptions (like Mormonism).
Separating from the World
We have gathered here to undo a parallel evil in our time. We are not here to either acknowledge or compromise in any way with the false tavnith (pattern) in the churches and messianic assemblies. We are here to separate from them and if anybody has come up here with any other mind than this they have not understood. We are not ecumenical. That said, we embrace all believers with whom we share common ground in that area where we have commonality but we do not embrace any of their churches or messianic synagogues or organisations. We cannot if we do not wish to become part of the great consumption of fire which is the present and coming Mishpat Yahweh or Judgment of Yahweh. Have we understood this clearly? That is why no one who is not willing to follow this tavnith (pattern) or to at least to honestly investigate it can ever be invited into our moedim (appointments) or partake of the ordinances we are commanded to guard. If you want some ecumenicism then there are ten thousand different groups you can go off to. Neither does this mean we are retreating from the world - we know we are to be in it, just not of it, so we aren't about to go and hide away in remote communities, save in times of crisis and anarchy, when government breaks down, if we are called to do so. We are not here to befriend the world system though we will be friends with anyone who is willing to accept us as we are and vice versa. So we testify with the apostle James:
Honest Seekers Welcome
"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward Elohim (God)? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of Elohim (God). Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the Ruach (Spirit) He caused to live in us envies intensely? But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: 'Elohim (God) opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble'" (James 4:4-6, NIV).
All honest seekers are welcome here wherever they may be, but if they then say they believe us but do not change, how can we receive them back? It is impossible. They must pursue the path they have chosen to remain in. We are a fellowship of change, and that change is manifested in our willingness to obey the mitzvot (commandments) in the type of ahavah (love) that is described in the ingredients of the qadosh (holy, set-apart) incense. This we proclaim, this we aspire to. This is the spirit of the Remnant. Anything else is of the the world that is dying.
With this intent, we therefore declare that this is the standard of this congregation of Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon and its daughter New Covanant Assemblies of Yahweh around the world. Twenty years ago I preached a salt sermon on family idolatry and today I have preached you another one. The first sermon set off a chain reaction that finally ended our first mission and paved the way for this one. Today we face other, greater idolatries, this time in the Messianic or Christian Community as a whole. It is therefore my task to make this declaration on behalf of all our congregations everywhere - that we declare ourselves separated from the wider, corrupt body that refuses to reform so that we may be released to pursue the holiness to which we have been called. We acknowledge, everywhere and anywhere, those who aspire to the same things, and seek them out. And because pride is at the root of idolatry, I therefore, in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name, take all idolatry in these New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh and place it on the anvil of Yahweh's Emet (Truth) - His Davar (Word) - and I smash it with the hammer of the hammer of Yahweh's Judgment, that no root of evil may remain amongst us. May every hiding demon be stirred up and exposed and cast out of every repentant soul in Yah'shua's Name. May we, thus cleansed, approach Yahweh tomorrow on the last Day of Cleansing and Dedication, and come before Him to worship Him and to offer prayers of righreousness at the Golden Altar of Incense again, is my prayer in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. Amen.
Continued in Part 16
 Kathy Wallace, Becoming One Flesh in Journal of Creation (Vol.29 (1), Queensland, Australia: 2015), p.120
 Not to be confused with the B'rit Milah or Covenant of Circumcision
 B.R.Hicks, Precious Gem in the Tabernacle (Mexican Inland Missionary Society: 1961)
 Alex W.Ness, Pattern for Living: The Tabernacle, Priesthood, Offerings and Feasts (Christians Centre Publications, Downsview, Ontario, Canada: 1979)
 Kevin J.Conner, The Tabernacle of Moses (City Christian Publishing, Portland, Oregon: 1976); The Tabernacle of David (1987); The Temple of Solomon (1988)