Month 4:8, Week 1:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5940:96 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Omer Count - Day-After-7th Sabbath #30
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 12 July 2016
The Tapestry of Your Life
Keys to History and Mortal Purpose
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and mishpachah and may the grace of our Master, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), be with us all. I send you greetings from Mississippi, in this the first of two sabbath addresses from the United States. This visit to the Netherlands and USA was not a pre-planned visit abroad and all happened rather suddenly, catalysed by a sudden and unexpected death of a relative in America to be with Yahweh.
The Testimony of Ezra
In the Annals or Chronicles of Israel, written after the destruction of both the southern (Judah) and northern (Israel) kingdoms, Ezra the teacher, writer and cohen (priest), filled with the fire of revival, testified:
Death in a Family
"I know, my Elohim (God), that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity" (1 Chr.29:18, NIV).
Three weeks ago I arrived in Mississippi, USA, and once more stared death in the face and found myself surrounded by people grieving. It was heart-breaking. All, of course, wanted to know why a man in his 50's, though himself very ill indeed and in great pain, had to be taken home precisely at this time, with a large family and many needs and unsolved problems. He had made his peace with Elohim (God) shortly before he died.
The Big Questions
While in Oslo airport, en route to Holland, I rehearsed a well-worn topic in my mind - a very big topic indeed - the whole question of the purpose of life. With economic collapse, social unrest (there have been many policemen murdered in Dallas, Baton Rouge and elsewhere) and war staring the West in the face, this topic is, I think timely. When I got to America, and after the funeral was over, after many delays along with the loss of some luggage, not to mention loss of sleep, I was led by the Ruach (Spirit) to build on the notes I had made in Oslo and once again look at this vitally important question.
The Big Questions
We shall never understand our circumstances here on earth, as hard as we may try and as much as we may plead to Heaven to reveal them. Why was I born that this time? Why was I born in the family whose surname I bear? Why the country whose passport or nationality I hold? Why in poverty or riches? Why in sickness or health? Why generational curses or blessings? Why are we born surrounded by close acquaintances of either good and evil, or of kind or mean, dispositions?
What Does It Mean for Us?
Inevitably, we examine these questions from an egocentric perspective - how it is we are personally advantaged or disadvantaged, as we suppose, not comprehending the divine perspective, purpose or plan. Then, if we are mature enough and not so self-absorbed, we start trying to understand the perspective of the our family as a whole, our local community's perspective, our congregational perspective and - if we are made of philosophical stuff - a global and historical perspective.
The Origin of Giftings and Handicaps
Everyone attempting such a quest for understanding will come up with different, if related, explanations. Why is it we are more successful in overcoming certain things, circumstances or issues than we are others? How do we explain our several handicaps and giftings? We can see some of these coming from parents and ancestors but others remain a mystery. For instance, there are no scientists, writers or preachers on either side of my family - just engineers, architects, masons and artists. And how do you explain a protegé like Mozart?
Wrestling for Understanding
I have, like most, wrestled over questions like these for half a century and doubtless I will continue to do so to my dying breath. But I have received some new answers and insights that I would like to share with you today.
Two Important Understandings
We can only understand our own situations, and those of others, in terms of two things:
- 1. The choices we made in the pre-mortal spirit world (Preexistence) and the assignments we were given there by Yahweh; and
- 2. The choices we continue to make in this physical world and the assignments we have been given here by Yahweh.
The dispositions we acquired from our choices in the first world of spirits hugely impact those we make in the second - now.
Predetermination and Foreordination
Yahweh takes the first set of circumstances - our former life in the pre-mortal spirit world prior to our incarnation - and then pre-determines and foreordains our birth circumstances in this world. These choices include individual and collective (family) agreements reached with Yahweh in the Divine Council (Ps.89:7) or Assembly of the Firstborn (Heb.12:23) particularly in the area of marriage, children, tasks/assignements on earth, and so on.
The Why's of Premature Death
As should be obvious, not everybody lives a life of "three score and ten years". Many die tragically in the womb (through abortion, natural as well as by wicked design), in accidents and war, murder and sickness. The timing of our deaths is in accordance with our life missions, some coming to fruition in this life and some in the resurrection world of the Millennial Earth. The fact that somebody only lives a few weeks, months or years simply means that their primary mission and calling is in the Millennium rather than in this pre-millennial one, though even a premature death has a meaning and purpose that is tied in with the work of helping souls in mortality work out their salvation. Tragedy can, oftentimes, be a tremendous catalyst in awakening slumbering souls and jolting unbelievers to consider the eternities. What is important to realise is that the one exiting this earth 'prematurely', as adjudged by this world's standards and expectations, did so with his full consent in the pre-mortal life, being willing to sacrifice his or her life in whatever grand design the Creator had. This is a choice made in the pre-mortal life.
The Complexity of Life's Equation
Admittedly, this is an over-simplistic picture as there are numerous factors in this very complex equation of life. No one life is 'simple' - it is, in fact, so unbelievably complex that only Elohim (God) can understand and engineer its circumstances to ensure that everybody is in the right place and the right time based on the agency which Yahweh, who is omniscient, knew we would exercise, and how His foreknowledge will always be beyond our comprehension. Our knowledge, at best, can only consist of occasional insights and glimpses of the bigger picture, handicapped as we are, to a huge extent, by physicality which, by its very coarseness in relation to the spiritual, tends to drown out our awareness of the fineness of the spiritual. Disciplining the flesh is therefore an important exercise in maintaining a spiritual perspective and is one of the undoubted benefits of overcoming. It's the only way of discerning reality in a world of massive demonic deception.
The Divine Map
If you have ever seen a map of the brain with its millions of neuronal connections, ever changing, you will get a tiny glimpse of the complexity of all our human interconnections and interactions. We could never map them out but Yahweh can, does and has. Indeed, He had it all mapped out even before we were created, first spiritually, and then physically. He understands the length, breadth, and height of history and its myriad events with its teaming numbers of people in its minutest detail.
The Tapestry Illustration
The best illustration I have ever heard for the human mind to grasp such a vast system is a tapestry, a thick fabric woven with designs and figures. One side of the tapestry cloth is the picture which is visible and comprehensible to the one viewing it and on the other side is the massive network of threads, of many colours, criss-crossing here and there in apparent chaos. The majority of the thread is at the back, with only tiny pinpricks of that thread being visible on the front. But it's the pinpricks, like pixels on a screen, that make up the artwork and which is the reason for all the work in the first place.
The backside of a piece of tapestry has no apparent structure
We Each Have Two Parallel Histories
To make sense of life you have to understand that there are two parallel histories in every person's life occurring simultaneously: one of these is viewable only in heaven (the front side) and the other (the back side) is all we see when on earth. The two histories are connected and are, in reality, one history but they are divided into two faces - one here on earth and the other in heaven, the two separated by a veil. Yahweh and the angelic hosts see both faces, as will we when we return from whence we came. Like a two way mirror, they can see 'down here' but we can't yet see 'up there'.
The Birth of Messiah
This reality is no better illustrated than in the Scriptural account of the incarnation of our Messiah. In one side of the story we see a mortal infant being born on earth with all the troubles of a typical earth life - danger from disease, murderous people like Herod and the Pharisees, and the trials and tribulations inflicted by ordinary two-minded people who are friendly one minute and hostile the next. But in a parallel dimension, as we discover in Revelation 12, there is a terrible cosmic war taking place in what is for us temporarily invisible - the spiritual world. The life of Yah'shua (Jesus) on earth was parallelled by a life in the invisible too for you will remember that Yah'shua (Jesus), though incarnated physically, also had a parallel existence in the spiritual dimension:
"And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which (who) is in heaven" (Jn.3:13, KJV).
Reality Consists of Multiple Parallel Realities
This controversial scripture  tells us that Yah'shua (Jesus) was in heaven and on earth simultaneously, or at least some part of Him was in the latter. Though this is pure speculation on my part, it is my belief that this was the neshamah part of his spirit, the ruach, nefesh aspects of spirit and psyche, respectively, being on the 'earth side' of His incarnation. This is admittedly a difficult concept for the Western mind to grasp as our thinking tends to be 'either/or' rather than 'both/and'. The latter finds its expression (inaccurately and inadequately, in my view) as far as explaining the nature of the Elohimhead or Godhead as the 'Trinity' doctrine which conveys the sense that Elohim (God) is both 'one' and 'many' simultaneously (from which we get the concept of echad (the unity of many-in-one).
If you have ever 'drifted off' while driving a car on a long journey you may understand the human equivalent of how the mind can be both 'somewhere else' as well as physically present in the 'here and now' of time and space. When I first experienced this in a deep way it was quite scary because I then came to understand that we inhabit multiple realities which collectively are a single reality. At the very minimum it has two sides, like the two surfaces of a coin (in actual fact, three, because of the rim) .
Living on the Backside
Like the tapestry nearly all we ever see in mortality is the back. Life's circumstances and choices cause the thread to go here and there, criss-crossing in a way that makes little or no sense most of the time. Most of life, viewed from the perspective of mortality, appears confusing and purposeless. Yahweh is the Master Weaver creating a masterpiece based on our emunah (faith), ahavah (love) and obedience, or lack thereof.
Creating and Supporting the Front
The back creates and supports the front. Without the back there would be no front. Our life and the choices we make in all their complex interactions is either working a salvation or damnation for us. When we choose aright, beauty appears on the front. When we choose wrong, ugliness appears. Repentance means undoing a lot of stitches and starting again in that area of life. And so long as we are alive, we can reform the picture at the front until it becomes what Yahweh always intended it to be.
In spite of the apparent randomness of the threads at the back of the tapestry, certain 'trends' are discernable. We experience this as a 'sense' that we are going in the 'right direction' - the rest is by emunah (faith). In Yahweh we live by emunah (faith) not by sight.
The Invisible Front
Whilst we cannot see much of the front of our personal tapestries, others can often see a lot more than we can of ourselves. They can see whether beauty or ugliness is taking form... and are attracted or repulsed. They can sense whether a character in the formation is good or bad. They may not see much - since they too must live by emunah (faith) - but they can see the general trends -not fully, as Yahweh can, but in part. We will not be able to see the front of our tapestry until we see it reflected in the eyes of Yah'shua (Jesus) as we meet Him face-to-face.
Strive though we may to see the front of our tapestries or to find rational patterns on the backside, we never will because it is utterly impossible with our finite intelligence and abilities. We were not designed to see it save in Yah'shua (Jesus) one day. The occasional glimpses we are given of small portions of the front of our tapestries are given only to reassure us but for the most part we cannot. Our lot in mortality is an outer world shrouded in darkness with only the light within to make sense of our own spiritual reality and the testimony of others to whom we are connected and those nevi'im (prophets) whom Yahweh sends to give us encouraging or chastising devarim (words).
Time and Place-Specific for Individual Salvation
History's only purpose is its climax, ending the present world with its limited purpose at any one moment of time. That purpose is to form a workable matrix for souls who inhabit that place and time so that they can work out their salvation under a particular set of constraints tailor-made by Yahweh for them. Thus for me, personally, I could never have worked out my salvation in 15th century Spain or 2nd century China. I could never have worked out my salvation in ancient Zimbabwe or imperial Brazil. I was incarnated in the Far East of the mid-20th century and was required to move to England, Norway and Sweden to work out my salvation. And you too were born at your time and in your place to work out your salvation in particular circumstances. YAHWEH DID NOT MAKE A MISTAKE! Accept that emet (truth) and you will spare yourself a lot of needless uncertainty and misery.
Impacting and Impacted By
The time and space in which Yahweh put us has been directed and crafted in such microscopic detail that Yahweh has left nothing to chance. The system is so perfect that it reacts to both right and wrong choices even while there are people all around us making similar choices. Most people we pass like ships in the night, never to interact with (or at least minimally) because for us they are but stage props, and we for them. We never interact intimately with more than a hundred of so people in our lives - some of whom we impact significantly, and they us - unless our calling is to have a national (and even international) impact like Winston Churchill (for Britain's and Western Europe's deliverance) or Barack Obama (for the USA's and the world's judgment).
The Meaning of History
Our destinies are like tiny stars in the night sky. Few of those heavenly bodies interact with one another because of the vast distances separating them. Yet each star has a chemical and physical history that impacts any planets and asteroids orbiting it and comets passing it by. Our lives on earth are like that. We are a part of a bigger system though we impact but a small part of it. Yet together we contribute, all of us, to this evolving history of mankind. But even that is not the 'main thing' - we are not here to 'create history' because all of that will one day 'burn up'. We are here first and foremost to 'work out our salvation' and to help others in the same space and time that Yahweh has placed us...and in some cases, through books and electronic media, to influence others further down the timeline beyond our short lives. Think, for example, of the continuing impact of C.H.Spurgeon's books.
Absorbed With the Backside
The world is absorbed with the earthly back of the tapestry, not comprehending the heavenly front, yet for them what they see is everything and so they try to create a history apart from Yahweh and the reverse side. Communists believe the world is incrementally evolving into a socialist utopia and yet these deceived people are used by Yahweh for a bigger purpose, for the judgment of nations and to create restricting (and oftentimes hostile) environments to allow certain of Elohim's (God's) sons and daughters to work out their salvation in a particular place, in a certain way and at a certain time. The first apostles worked out theirs in an unfriendly imperial and totalitarian Greco-Roman environment 2,000 years ago. We are working out ours in an arising global dictatorship run by satanic corporate elites because we couldn't have worked our our salvation in any other circumstances. This time - this day - was custom-built for us. This is what Yahweh wants. It is here-and-now - and only here-and-now - we can truly realise our potential.
Should We Seek to Shape History?
It is pointless striving to shape or control events and history in our own image to make us feel safer or more comfortable. We have to discern what Yahweh's design is and cooperate with it. To resist the divine plan of the other (front) side of the tapestry is futile. Winston Churchill always knew what his task was - to win a war and deliver his country against impossible odds. This his confided to his bodyguard many times. It was his destiny and Yahweh was behind it. Hitler was pursuing another destiny steered by the Enemy and was defeated in war though not in long-term design. The Enemy sows tares but Yahweh uproots and burns them at every harvest judgment. He is about to do the same now.
Understanding the Goal of Your Life
If you will remember what the goal of your life is - to allow the Almighty to create the front-end of the tapestry - you will not resist or bewail the apparent chaos of the backside. He "test[s] the heart and [is] pleased with integrity" as part of the weaving process. There is purpose in all things, dark though some of these purposes may seem to be at the time. We follow the threads, not knowing always where they will lead us but trusting in what is being created on the reverse side of the tapestry of life - for the formation and development of our character as sons and daughters of Elohim (God).
Attending a Funeral
I am, as I said at the beginning, in America attending a funeral and lending what comfort and support I can to grieving parents and the wider family and friends. Some have come to terms and others have not. Some are broken-hearted and are at shalom (peace) while others are broken-hearted and bitter. In each case two different tapestry areas are being formed because of the choices being made - the one sowing to spiritual character development and the other sowing to needless hardship and misery. The latter will have to do some digging up and burning to get on track again and for some it may take many years. Wrong choices always have consequences and untying a knot usually takes longer than tying it.
Saved at a Funeral
All kinds of spiritual processes are at work in this time of tragedy. During the funeral one man was saved, responding to the pastor's brief presentation of the Besorah (Gospel). This tragedy was needed to wake him up. He had to be at a funeral to hear the Davar (Word) preached. Others are being awakened in other ways, if they will respond, as their whole life has to make a major readjustment. New threads and colours must be woven into the tapestry of their life. As for many others...nothing will change because they have not allowed grief to impact them or because they chose to stay away and not deal with reality. Yahweh knows who He has marked and the choices presented to souls at this time.
Brought to Mississippi
Yahweh brought me to Mississippi at this time for myself too. I needed a new perspective in order to see things not easily seen in the backdrop of Scandinavia. It has been a time of enormous revelation for me personally which I will share another time as I am able to verbalise it. I am hoping this will have changed me for the better. That is all Yahweh's talmidim (disciples) can ever do - by accepting the circumstances He places us in and asking Him what He wants to do in them...and responding with submission to His will, both discerned and undiscerned.
May you, the reader, find shalom (peace) in your present circumstances, acknowledging that there is a purpose in them, both to undo and to create, to uproot and to plant. One thing is for certain - Yahweh's Kingdom is never static and calls us to continually move forwards and strive harder in the working out of our salvation, through emunah (faith). Whether your heart is currently pure (Mt.5:8), purified (Jas.4:7), hardened (Mk.10:5), slow (Lk.24:5), fixed (Ps.57:7), deceitful (Jer.17:9), burning (Jer.20:9) or new (Ezek.18:31), it has new places to go so that work on the tapestry of your life can be renewed, completed and presented to Messiah as a godly offering for display in His Temple in the New Jerusalem. Amen.
Oslo, Norway & Mississippi, USA 12 July 2016
 The last phrase, "even the son of man which is in heaven (ho on en toi ouranoi)", appears only in the KJV to my knowledge, and is believed by many to be a gloss. But as one reputable commentator points out, whether gloss or literal saying of Yah'shua (Jesus), this phrase still "emphasises the timeless existence of God's son who is in heaven even while on earth" - Archibald Thomas Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol.V, The Fourth Gospel, the Epistle to the Hebrews (Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennesee: 1960), p.49.
 A slightly different phenomenon (because the whole being is only in one place at a time) would be what we call 'Azotus Travel' (because of the Apostle Philip's experience after ministering to the Ethiopian) that involves instant transportation from one place to another by supernatural means. There is one account of a preacher in the USA being supernaturally transported to Estonia, Europe, where Yahweh sent him to minister to a little girl whose parents were missing. He was there for 20 minutes but his absence at the conference was not noticed in the conference owing to time dilation...that is until they played back the video recording at slow speed at the time he was transported where they found a single frame of footage in which he was most definitely absent. It was only a fraction of a second, too small a period of time for those at the Conference to notice, which Yahweh expanded elsewhere so that he could accomplish his mission. Of course, no human being can be in two places at the same time in mortality, something only Yah'shua (Jesus) can do as Elohim (God). This is also true (being in only one place at a time) of malakim (angels), both heavenly and demonic.