Month 6:19, Week 3:4 (Revee/Shavu'ot), Year:Day 5940:166 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50 - Teshuvah 19/39
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 20 September 2016
Knowing the Remnant
and the Mystery of Spiritual Music
Who are the Tribes Anyway?
The final gathering of the Twelve Tribes of Israel has been the subject of a lot of discussion and debate over the years but without a lot of understanding of how it is supposed to take place. Most, if they're honest, have no idea 'where' the tribes are or even what 'tribe' they 'belong' to. For now people are simply content to be 'born-again believers' or 'Torah-obedient believers' (or some kind of mixture thereof) and make arbitrary divisions based on historical evolution - such as 'evangelical' vs. 'messianic' - which are then arbitrarily assigned to the 'tribes' of 'Ephraim'and 'Judah', respectively - rather than on any kind of spiritual principle. Such divisions are almost entirely carnal.
Manufacturing the Tribes
What do we even mean by a 'tribe' in the New Covenant? There is no longer any such thing as a pure descendant of 'Judah', 'Ephraim', 'Zebulon' or any other Israelite tribe. Everything is so throughly genetically mixed everywhere that you'd never be able to produce a genetically pure 'tribal member' anyway. Why would it even be desirable, save in the very basal sense, to 'get' 12 different tribes for the sake of 'fulfilling prophecy'. And make no mistake, there will be 12 distinct Tribes of Israel, because the Daval Elohim (Word of God) says so...therefore it must be so. But for what purpose?
How About a Homogenised Nation?
New Covenant Messianic Israel is not, as we know, about race at all. The apostles made that clear two millennia ago. It's not about race, gender, age, nationalism or anything that the carnal man deems important. We are now all supposed to be 'one' or echad - but one 'what'? What's in the mix? Why would twelve tribes be even necessary? Why not just one homogenous nation like the Jews? (Though they're not actually homogenous at all - Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Ethiopian Falasha, etc., quite apart from not being related to Jacob at all most of the time).
Diversity and Complexity
So why no homogenised nation? For the same reason that Yahweh does not want homogenised genders and why Satan wants to destroy nations and sexuality...look around, that's clearly the Enemy's agenda! We're supposed to be a symphonic piece of diverse instrumentalists and singers, not a giant solo. There is supposed to be difference and variety whilst working in harmony and in concert. Yahweh is an Elohim (God) of tremendous variety. And if Creation has not already born testimony to you of this, then you have missed something vitally important. For those who may have missed it, the Universe is not simply a giant gas cloud of hydrogen or helium. It is infinitely more complex.
Of One Accord
I am going to suggest that what Messianic Israel is actually about is spiritual music. Eleven times in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) we are told that the early believers were "of one accord" ('omothumadon) . For instance:
"Therefore if there is any consolation in Messiah, if any comfort of ahavah (love), if any fellowship of the Ruach (Spirit), if any affection and mercy, fulfill my simcha (joy) by being like-minded, having the same ahavah (love), being of one accord ('omothumadon), of one mind" (Phil.2:1-2, NKJV).
This word 'omothumadon is a musical term and the picture is one of a chord which, though playing different notes, are nevertheless in harmony. The fact that the notes are different is not a contradiction because the same emet (truth) can be expressed in different ways, including with different devarim (words). The important thing is the spiritual harmony or music being played.
Those of you who are musical will know that there are twelve keys (from A to G-flat or F-sharp). I can play the same piece of music in 12 different keys. Not only that but in each key you can play a cord in the major, minor, seventh, augmented or diminished forms:
Operating Within the Same Musical Rules
Each key - from A to G♭/F♯ - corresponds to each of the 12 Tribes of Messianic Israel. (Don't ask me which ones at this stage because I don't have a clue). Every tribe 'sings' the same Messiah and Torah emet (truth) but in a different 'key', making them distinguishable from each other. Some of the great classical composers masterfully switch between keys in their symphonies and concertos to great artistic effect. Likewise there is spiritual variety within each tribe. There are also clans within each tribe with certain characteristics, families within each clan with certain characteristics and individuals within each family with certain characteristics. No two regenerated believers are the same (because we are all individual personalities) but all follow the same Torah or Rules of Spiritual Music. We all operate within a certain band of spiritual frequencies and observe the rules of spiritual harmonics.
Upping the Scale
I use a piano as my illustration here but you can extend that with an organ with its huge range of sounds to illustrate my point. Expand this to a mighty orchestra and then to a heavenly instrumtnalised choir and maybe, in some small way, you can approach what I am trying to get at. At the end of the day there will be 12 gates into the New Jerusalem, each with its own spiritual key or signiature, which each tribe will know and enter by.
The Remnant in Many Different Places
The reason I am bringing this up is to underscore the importance of the Remnant, which is in many different places right now, missing one another because we are all 'different'. Some groups may only be playing a single note, some simple chords of two notes, some three, some with two hands, some in one key, some in major and minor, some as solos, duos, trios, quartets, quintets, ensembles, concerti and symphonies. What unites them - or will united them, cautiously at first - is the system of spiritual harmonics. And nobody is static! The repertoire is constantly changing as more instrumentalists are incorporated and skills are honed.
An Uneasy Coming Together
Just as there is a single Musical Law-Maker (Yahweh) so we must keep within the fence of divine tavnith (pattern) and Torah. This means we should not expect all the emergent parts of 12-tribed Messianic Israel to be the same. We have got to learn to 'sing' and 'play' together in spite of our diversity and observe what Yahweh can, and will, do. No single individual, family, clan or tribe is going to 'get' the whole picture (with perhaps the exception of the 12 princes and some others) - it's only as we start coming together that we can start leavening one another and growing. If you create a solo model and try to force-fit everyone into it, you will end up with a horrid spiritual mess. Like a marriage, adjustment needs to be made as all mutually submit to one another in emet (truth). And, yes, it will sound like schräge Musik or 'strange music' at first because it's all very new and different, not to menion unexpected. We are going to have to come out of our mental and emotional bunkers and explore one another's journeys, however 'strange' and disjunctive with our own prjudices and ignorance they may at first seem.
Welcome the Odd-Balls
Many will be coming from solo 'John the Baptist' backgrounds dressed strangely and eating weird diets. That's because they have had to bring many parts of the puzzle forth in the loneliness of isolation. Don't look down on such - they will bear many spiritual jewels that the gregarious can never find. Some will come as married couples, some multiples, some as families with children, some as small groups. I doubt there will be many larage congregations but who knows. All I am saying is, don't prejudge the 'oddballs' because you may appear 'odd' to them too - we'll all probably appear 'odd' in in some way to one another. But that's OK. We have all suffered deprivations. We have, in many cases, lacked and desperately needed wider fellowship that the bigger mile-wide but inch-deep fellowships in regular churches and messianic assemblies take for granted. So welcome the Remnant which though may be only inches wide but miles deep, and do so with big hearts and not small minds. That doesn't necessarily mean accepting everything they believe in. And yes, the Enemy will try to infiltrate false ones in, of course. Just accept where they are and unite on the basis of the shared goal of wanting to please Yahweh by submitting to Him in everything.
Get to Know Them as People
A wise sister once asked the question: "Do you know why we don't trust Elohim (God)?" Her reply to her own question was "because it's hard to trust someone we don't know". So the first rule of the meeting of Remnant qadoshim (saints, set-apart ones) is, don't prejudge but get to know them - invest time, remembering that knowing someone isn't the same as knowing a lot about them. (We must be strict on observing Yahweh's lashon hara rules too as so much evil is spoken about Yahweh's folks especially by nominal believers). So be wary of what others have said, which may or may not be true, and get to know the 'John the Baptists' and 'Elijahs' for yourself, forgetting the camel's hair coat and the strange 'honey and locusts' diet. People coming out of the wilderness have a lot of adjustments to make - be kind to them, particularly those of you coming out of the urban life are going to have to make some wilderness adjustments of your own.
The Things of Elohim are for the Children of Elohim
Yahweh wants us not only to know Him but to know one another too. You don't get to know someone from a casual chat but from intimate conversation about the things that really matter to them. Believe it or not, the details matter, which is why Yahweh records the details about Himself in Scriptures that he wants us to pay attention to. Evangelicals are often baffled by messianics because the latter are so pre-occupied with the moedim appointed times, typically jumping to all the wrong conclusions. Yet whatever Yahweh is occupies and shares with His people must be understood to specifically be His that he is sharing with us. If, for example, the weekly sabbath, the annual feasts and the kashrut on diet are His (and you'd be very foolish to conclude they were not since He went to a lot of trouble to institute them), and if we belong to Him (as we claim), then these things are for us too. Obviously. And if they are for us, then Satan isn't going to want us to have them because Satan hates everything from Elohim (God). They are a part of the divine melody, of the music of the divinely sanctified life.
The Torah is About Who Yahweh Is
Yahweh gives His Torah - His Law, Doctrine or Teaching - to those He wants to be close to, because that Teaching reflects who He is. They are from Him and from Him. Acquaintance with it becomes a door to acquaintance with Him. Living it helps us move in His chayim (life) - the spiritual life. It's the spiritual lifestyle. It's the habitual way - the heavenly rhythm - of the talmid (disciple). Yes, it's weird to the world, but isn't everything heavenly weird to the world? Yahweh is 'weird' to the world. So what? Are you worried about how the world views you? You'll never be able to please the world until you have discarded everything that is of Elohim (God) and even then the world will still discard you, because the world is about the self, and the self is dead. The world is anti-chayim (life).
The Quest for Spiritual Intimacy
Yahweh, our Father, wants spiritual intimacy with the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones), and He wants the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) to be spiritually intimate with one another. He wants us to be qadosh (holy, set-apart):
The Old and the New are in Agreement
"For I am Yahweh your Elohim (God). You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be qadosh (holy, set-apart); for I am qadosh (holy, set-apart)" (Lev.11:43-44, NKJV).
Was that just an 'Old Testament thing'? No!
Make Torah Music for Yahweh!
"Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ); as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is qadosh (holy, set-apart), you also be qadosh (holy, set-apart) in all your conduct, because it is written, 'Be qadosh (holy, set-apart), for I am qadosh (holy, set-apart)'" (1 Peter 1:13-16, NKJV).
That's a mitzvah (commandment) reiterrated in the New Covenant because nothing has changed as far as holiness is concerned. Notice the active "be" - it's something you positively do. It doesn't just 'happen' any more than getting up, washing, dressing and eating 'happens' each morning. Your day is to be filled with holiness because that's what He wants you to do. You are to metaphorically 'dress' in Torah every day, living the lifestyle that is pleasing to Him because that is what intimacy with Him consists of, not to earn your salvation (Yah forbid) but because you are already saved by and in the blood of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). That's the music you play every day, the music you listen to, the music you sing and the music you dance to, because that's the realm of the Divine Ruach (Spirit). It's what all the true qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) do. It's the rules of music and you are commanded to make music pleasing to His ears! By that means you glorify Him every day and in every way.
Man's Lawless Substitutes
There shouldn't be denominationalism. Denominationalism only exists because man wants to do do things his way instead of Yahweh's. So he invents customs and traditions and then tells his children they are 'holy'. No they aren't because they are not of Yahweh - they're not 'Him' and they are not how He is known. Think about it. Yahweh gives tremendous detail about His chosen lifestyle in Scripture and universally it is ignored and scorned! Some of it is printed in small typeface in some of my Baible translations! So man invents his own feasts instead - Christmas, Easter, lent, Halloween, Valentines Day, Hanukkah, Purim, Rosh Hashanah, Sunday Sabbath, Saturday Sabbath, and so many more, and then calls them 'Christian' or 'Messianic'. He invents his own rules on morality, marriage, eating, etc. and makes Elohim (God) out to be a liar! How can this be 'holiness'? It isn't. It's unclean, dirty ("the filthy lives of lawless men" - 2 Peter 2:7, NIV), and tells us more about Satan's lawless heart (2 Thess.2:8-9) than Yahweh's pure one.
The Smearing of Yahweh's Character
That Yah'shua (Jesus) would come to destroy, change or replace all that characterises and identifies our Father and Heaven would be an absurd thought and yet that is precisely what rebellious Christians and Messianics do when they change His moedim (appointments).
Satan has fooled us 'right and proper' as they say in parts of England. We have been 'had', we have been fooled in a big way. Worse, we have been persuaded to view Satan's corruption of emet (truth) as something 'lovely' and 'holy'. Repentance is urgently needed as Yahweh's character is smeared by such wickedness.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Torah (Law) or the Nevi'im (Prophets); I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill (complete, fully preach, demonstrate) them" (Matt.5:17, NIV).
Not all Torah Has Been Fulfilled
The annual festivals are a case in question. Four have been fulfilled by Yah'shua (Jesus), three (Yom Teruah, Yom haKippurim and Sukkot, connected with the Second Coming, Final Judgment and Millennial Reign) have not. Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
Not Knowing the Father
"I tell you the emet (truth), until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Torah (Law) until everything is accomplished" (Matt.5:18, NIV).
So tell, me, have "heaven and hearth" disappeared yet? Nope, then Torah is still in force. Has Yah'shua (Jesus) fulfilled all the festivals (including the thousand-year Sabbath Peace)? Nope, then Torah is still in force. So who told you that it's been 'done away' with? If you honestly believe heaven and earth have 'gone' - for real - then OK, but frankly, if you do, I would like to suggest that you might just be a candidate for a lunatic assylum because you're in denial of reality. It really depends whether you believe in Yah'shua (Jesus) or not. If you're a Bible-believing Christian, then you need to believe in Him and do what He says. What's frightening, if you insist on being in denial, is that you don't know the Father. And that's scary.
Marcion, the First Bible Critic
The very first Christian heretic of any prominence was a man called Marcion. He was the first serious 'Bible critic' with a following that we know of. He was the son of a Bishop, no less, who was a wealthy ship-owner from Pontus. This was in AD 140. He challenged the integrity of the Scriptures, specifically the Tanakh (Old Testament) and tried to 'prove', like so many moderns (who aren't actually so modern), that the Elohim (God) of the Tanakh was 'evil' because he was not the 'Elohim (God) of Love' of the New Testament. He was the very first to try and pit the Old against the New Testament, and to separate the Torah from Ahavah (Love) as though the two were antagonistic. He therefore repudiated the Law. Indeed, He was the first of the antinomians - those who hate the Father's Law. He went so far as to accuse Yahweh of being 'fickle, capricious, ignorant, despotic and cruel' and not remotely like the 'Loving Father' that Yah'shua (Jesus) spoke about.
Marcion the heretic
Excommunicated for Gross Immorality
This sneakey lie is what corrupted Christianity and opened the door to massive heresy. Why did Marcion turn on Yahweh? We'd have to ask his father that question because the good Bishop excommunicated his own son for 'gross immorality'. This was before he started his career as a 'Bible critic' so there you have his motive. Your guess is as good as mine as to what his 'gross immorality' was but I don't think we'd be too far off in guessing it had something to do with sexual sin. It often is, and was in those days of crass paganism. And those guilty of such tend to have an aversion to 'law' and 'rules', don't they?
The Promise to the Torah-Keeper
Marcion is dead as are generations of 'higher' Bible critics while "heaven and earth" remain in tact. So how about some plain emet (truth)?
The Fruits of Lawlessness in Evangelical Christianity
"He who has My mitzvot (commandments/Torah) and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him" (John 14:20-21, NKJV).
Did you notice the promise given by Yah'shua (Jesus) in this passage to those who obey the Torah? "I...will manifest (reveal) Myself to him"! Obedience to Torah and personal revelation are linked. Little wonder that one group of evangelicals is 'cessationist' (e.g. baptists), not believing that Yahweh gives new revelation any more, and the other does but is so corrupted by false spirits that its followers have been reduced to behaving like animals in public (e.g. charismatics). Those are two different, though related, fruits of lawlessness - the denial of further revelation and false revelation. No wonder Marcion hated John's Gospel and Letters because Torah-obedience is linked to ahavah (love)! It's also why Luther hated the Letter of James, the 'Straw Gospel', as he mocked it.
Yahweh Expects Your Response
Let us understand, then, that the feasts and the Torah as a whole belong to the FATHER, not to the 'Jews' or anybody else. Let's admit it, confess our ancestors and their traditions were wrong and let us publically abandon those false traditions. If Yahweh has shown you these truths then He expects a response from you. You must be willing to let go of the customs and traditions and instead teach His EMET (TRUTH). That is your obligation. How else can you be one (echad) with the Father in the way that Messiah commanded? How else can your life play His spiritual music? Do you really believe Yah'shua (Jesus) when He says that "I and the Father are one (echad)" (John 10:30, NIV)? The one we are trusting for our salvation as good evangelicals is telling us that we must obey His Father's Torah (Law) as good messianics! Therefore become a good messianic evangelical!
Recovering False Teachers
Finally there is no shame in having been wrong if we repent and put things right. As Scott Hillman, one time Assemblies of God minister and now Torah-obedient (to the best of his current ability), said: "We are all recovering false teachers". For those of us who are evangelists, pastors and teachers especially, this is an ongoing process.
Holiness as the Authentic Response of the Saved
Understand that Yahweh gives His Torah to those He wants to be close to. If Yahweh is qadosh (holy, set-apart) and commands us to be the same, then who are we to argue? If Torah sets Yahweh apart, making Him qadosh (holy, set-apart), then as I do these things, guess what happens to me? I become qadosh (holy, set-apart) in the way I eat, dress and behave, having the heart of Yah'shua (Jesus) through my trusting in His salvation by emunah (faith), not of myself, not of works. Holiness is the authentic response of the saved and it is defined - so that none may be in any doubt, so that no counterfeits can deceive - by Torah, the Lifestyle of Heaven. We live this way for His pleasure so that we can be like Him and come to intimately know Him.
The Mandated Practice of Yahweh's Righteousness
Read carefully the second and third chapters of the First Epistle of John that tells us how to practice righteousness, and forget about Marcion and his modern-day followers. The reason Yah'shua (Jesus) cleansed and purified us was so that we could be restored to the Ways of the Father. When we 'do Torah' we're not doing our righteousness but His righteousness. When we observe all the pagan festivals like Christmas and Hanukkah (for example), we are doing our own righteousness, not the Father's. Worse, it's usually inspired by Satan.
So we now know what loving Yah'shua (Jesus), who has saved us through our emunah (faith) in the work of the Cross, actually consists of, and we know why the Father loves us. And we also know on what condition Yah'shua (Jesus) manifests Himself to us day by day (John 14:21). Those who agree with these things, as the first believers did, are those who are "in one accord" and are playing the heavenly music in their souls. That's the visiting card of the Remnant which is coming forth, one here and two there. And that is how the Final Gathering starts. Why not be a part of it? Get in contact.
 Acts 1:14; 2:1,46; 4:24; 5:12; 8:6; 15:25, etc.