Month 8:8, Week 1:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5940:214 AM|
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 7 November 2016
The Radical Paul
Opening the Grant Secret
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el and Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon! Grace and shalom (peace) be upon you all on this last sabbath before the critical American Presidential election in two days' time.
Radical Then, Normative Today
Today we are taking a break from all the preparedness sermons and consider an important message from Yahweh. What I want to do now is to share with you some insights I have had into Paul and his theology and in particular to show how, in his time, Paul stood at an important juncture in time not unlike our own. Everywhere Paul went and taught, there were riots. Everywhere teachers of Pauline doctrine go today, the people nod in assent and then have lunch. Paul, in his day, was radical, so much so that people wanted to kill him for opening his mouth. The Remnantin our day, is equally radical, and wherever we go, we can expect a similar reception. Today I hope to tell you why.
Cliché Theology Today
Go into any church or assembly teaching Pauline theology and you will meet fairly standard areas of theology ranging from incarnation to justification by emunah (faith). The vocabulary of Pauline theology has become pretty cliché. Declaring that we are justified by emunah (faith) is good and necessary, of course, but unless we understand what the content or substance of that emunah (faith) is, how can we possibly know how to be justified?
Indignance of the Scribes
The Judahites of Paul's day, who regarded themselves as exemplary scholars and the bearers of Yahweh's finished revelation to man, were indignant that there could be any more. And the thought that the promises given to them viâ the Old Covenant might be superceded by a New one, better in every respect, must have struck - and did strike - not a few raw nerves:
If you don't believe me, go and tell a Jewish rabbi that and see what reaction you get.
"Yah'shua (Jesus) has become the guarantee of a better covenant" (Heb.7:22, NIV).
Of Theology and Physics
Paul was not, of course, only preaching to Judahites - he was also preaching to a gentile world radically different from the world of Judea. For the Greeks, theology was merely a sub-branch of what they called 'physics' - and 'physics' to them was the study of everything there is. But theology in the New Testament sense is not merely a 'study', it is also an activity.
Fully Revealed in Torah?
Judahites of the past and modern Jews today do not characteristically 'do' theology in the way that we do - what they do is Torah which, as it stands in the Tanakh (Old Testament), does not encourage further exploration as to who Elohim (God) is. Why? Because, to them, Yahweh has already fully revealed Himself to Abraham and in the events of the Exodus and to, and through, Moses. For them that is enough, or so they imply, though in truth they veer off into occultism, inspired perhaps by Solomon's forbitten and unfortunate wanderings.
When Was He Coming Back?
In Paul's day, the Judahites did not ask how they could understand Elohim (God) more. Rather, their major question was, 'When is He coming back?' For them, Yahweh had left the temple when it was destroyed by the Babylonians on account of it having been defiled by their ancestors. There was a promise He would come back but throughout the literature of the Second Temple Period, nobody ever said that He had come back. Malachi and Zechariah said He would come back, echoing and quoting prophecies from Isaiah, but for centuries nobody said He actually had. That's important to remember.
Taking Israelite Theology Even Further
Elohim's (God's) coming back, incarnated in a human being, in the person of Yah'shua (Jesus) is, of course, part and parcel of New Covenant theology, along with the promise that He will come back again, a Second Time, but this time in glory. That kind of theology, which we find in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament), continued very much in the vein of classical Hebrew thinking. But that's not where New Covenant thinking ends. Paul doesn't stop there. He takes Israelite theology so much further into what Pauline scholar N.T.Wright describes as "a blend of Jewish narrative with quite fresh analysis". Paul goes beyond the classical Torah narrative, giving us vistas of a new and exciting revelation about Yahweh.
The Wisdom of Solomon
The nearest to this kind of theological expansion, and from the time immediatly before Paul (specifically in the inter-testamental period) would be the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon, whose study I highly recommend and to which I was attracted way back in the late 1970's as I immersed myself in my new found emunah (faith). It's only now, in retrospect, that I see the parallels between the author of this book (unlikely to have been Solomon though no doubt borrowing from him) and the Pauline writings. What I like about the Wisdom of Solomon is that it forms a natural bridge between the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament), as if almost anticipating Paul. This is, in part, a reason why I am such an enthusiastic student of Pauline theology, and why I am baffled by those radical 'messianics' who reject him. And yet I am not so surprised that some do because I can see how these proud (and not infrequently arrogant) anti-Pauline messianics  are, in truth, still stuck in the mutilated Tanakh paradigm of the Talmudists and are, in consquence - because of the dark spirit that infests it - unable to see the greater revelation beyond. Yahweh has left the veil over their eyes.
The Extent of Paul's Mind and Heart
It is incredible, in some respects, that there were no Christian/Messianic theologians before Paul, and if there were, we have long since lost sight of them. He wrote a third (more, if you count the Epistle to the Hebrews) of the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament), a huge contribution. How slim it would be without his letters! This was a man who had great depth and breadth of intellect, and equally as much power and passion of heart. His heart and head come together in an extraordinary way leading to a magnificent exposition of the Besorah (Gospel). People like that are very, very rare, and though you may search through the annals of theology over the last 2,000 years to find someone comparable, you will not easily find him, because Yahweh chose to alone anoint this man with the Ruach (Spirit) in such a way as to give us the magificent bequest of Scriptures that are now immortalised in our Bibles. Yes, John was amazing too (and I am as much a fan of John as I am of Paul), but in a very different way. They present the same Besorah (Gospel) but from completely different angles.
Nothing Really New in Paul
Yet Paul doesn't actually tell us anything new. What he preaches and teaches was already present in undevelopped form. The accusation by some, for example, that the first talmidim (disciples) never taught that Yah'shua (Jesus) was divine until Paul 'invented' that theology just doesn't hold any water. That Yah'shua (Jesus) was, and is, and always will be Elohim (God) is not a Pauline invention. He takes what is a 'given', what was already known by the first talmidim (disciples), and explains it in a different way.
Why Paul Didn't Create a Catechism
So why did Paul develop this new theological 'activity'? Why did he address the topics and why did he reach the conclusions that he did? Why didn't he just develop a fixed 'catechism', telling everybody what to believe and how to behave? Why not just create some brief dogamtic statements and some moral guidelines, spread them widely, and thereby ensure uniformity of belief throughout the messianic congregations? Isn't that what we do best as teachers and preachers? Yet that's precisely what Paul doesn't do. Why?
Well, for one thing, he wasn't us. He was a divinely commissioned apostle and he was divinely commissioned nearly 2,000 years ago at a particular juncture in history, relaying a Davar Elohim (Word of God) that would be both comprehensible and applicable in all subsequent generations until the Second Coming. Paul was, obviously, located in a particular space and at a particular time - again purposefully. To understand him does require some homework on our part so that we understand his worldview which is not the worldview of the 21st century West. Not remotely. N.T.Write said:
Taking Off Our Worldview Eye-Glasses
"Paul's worldview [was] not what he looked at, but what he looked through, a grid of what he took for granted, a web of implicit narrative and cultural symbols." 
That grid or matrix is critically important to understsanding Paul because it doesn't exist today, even in theological seminaries. How can we get a grasp of that grid? It's a bit like wearing eye glasses. What a scriptorian or theologian has to do, so as not to twist or misunderstand what Paul is writing, is take off his eye-glasses or spectacles and have a close look at them - that is, the eye-glasses. That could, of course, cause problems, if in so doing you can't see what you're looking at! In that case, we may need a magnifying glass to inspect them, in other words, the equivalent of another worldview, and specifically, Paul's worldview as it was in first century Palestine and eastern Europe. Then we can see the contrast.
When Disorientation Intrudes
We all of us view the world through a grid of what we take for granted, a web of implicit narratives, of cultural symbols, which help us bring the world into focus...until something happens to disorientate us. At such a time, usually with some assistance from others, we may need to take off our worldview eye-glasses and either adjust them or get a new pair altogether.
The Operating System Illustration
Perhaps I may be permitetd to use a different illustration. A human mindset has been likened by one philosopher, Mike Cernovich, to our personal, biological 'operating system', the software of our brain - our beliefs, our values, our attitudes about the world, and the way we interact with the world. We all have beliefs about the world and reality that have been programmed inside us by the society we grew up in - its culture. So your mindset, which is a product of your culture, is your biological operating system. For most people that operating system is static - it doesn't change very much - aside from a few upgrades that are uploaded into our minds by mass media, TV and what the political or ruling class tells us to think. That is also true of the modern way in which theology is taught in the churches.
We Have the Power to Update and Upgrade
What most don't realise - or don't want to realise - is that we have the power to control and modify this mental software. At any one moment of time, this brain software is a mindset or view of the world. It's our eye-glasses or spectacles. This software naturally affects not only how we think but also how we feel. This software, though, is much more complicated than Windows or the Mac operating system used by the vast majority of computers today. In my life I have experienced a great many Windows upgrades. I can remember, as an IT teacher, starting with Windows 3 around 1990 and then moving on to NT, 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP (which I still use on some machines as it's my favourite), Vista, 7, 8 and now 10. I am sure those of you who are old enough will recall most of these. In between there were all sorts of minor upgrades or versions, variations on the same theme. And before all of that I was using the simple MS-DOS system and before even that I was using the primitive BBC C-MOS system which operated on a maximum of 32k of RAM! Each upgrade was exciting and innovative in the DOS and Windows operating systems until Windows 8 came out and started becoming intrusive. Personally I can't stand to two latest versions.
These days, and for some years now, the operating system gets updated without your knowing about it. (I wasn't even asked when I was upgraded from 8 to 10). Aside from being told to reboot now and then to reset your PC, you don't even know it is happening. Society and theology are just like that. We are constantly being reprogrammed with incremental upgrades in our thinking and it's only as you look back and compare how you used to think and re-view the world or your former theology that you suddenly realise, oh my gosh, my thinking has changed even without my really knowing it or even wanting it! It's actually a kind of brainwashing.
A Tribal Response to Mac
My first encounter with a Mac operating system shocked me. I didn't like it because it was different. I had been told it was really good and far better than Windows in certain respects (graphic designers love it) but I never got the hang of it because I didn't want to. It was unfamiliar. Without realising it I had become tribal - I preferred what I was familiar with, irrespective of how much better the Mac operating system might have been in certain areas, and didn't want the hassel of having to change operating systems and learn how a new one worked. In the place I worked there was a big division as to whether to have 'all-Mac' or 'all-Windows'. I was a loyal Windows supporter, totally prejudiced, mostly (I now realise) because I was too lazy to seriously consider Mac. I didn't want the extra work. Fortunately the matter was settled by economics as Mac systems tend to me more expensive than Windows systems. A few Mac's were retained which I continued to treat as 'untouchable'.
Breaking With Windows
Last year some of my family decided to break with Windows and change to Linux. It was free, less bulky and therefore much faster, and not subject to virus attacks by hackers, so you didn't need to buy expensive anti-virus programs. My tribal intincts negatively reacted and I took an instant disliking to it - I wanted to stick with Windows no matter what. Others of my family thought I was silly and they were probably right. So now we have various versions of Linux and various versions of Windows...and somewhere there's still an old BBC-B computer using C-MOS!
A Modern Swedish Lutheran
Why am I telling you all of this? Because in life we are born into cultures and acquire a mindset from our parents, from the government at school and from the media that we watch and listen to. Someone born in liberal, secular Sweden thinks and behaves very differently from someone born in conservative, Islamic Saudi Arabia. And if you're a Christian or Messianic, you might be horrified to learn what modern Swedish Lutheran theology and practice is like compared to actual Biblical teaching. It's really just an appendage of the atheistic Social Democratic Party (SDP) and inbeed many of its leaders are (surprise, surprise) atheists. We're worlds apart. And when you put people together with radically different mindsets, there is a tremendous communication issue, because our two sets of software are totally incompatible. And clashes result.
The Effect of Multiculturism
The vast wave of immigration into Europe and North America from the Middle East and North Africa have caused a major culture-clash here, as we all know. Indeed, the attempt by our progressive rulers to create something new by melding the diverse cultures together has caused a major social meltdown. Multiculturism is causing the whole of society to crash just as trying to combine Linux, the Mac O/S and Windows would do the same to a computer.
Changing Operating Systems
In life we can either stick with one mindset - one 'operating system' - and experience lots of continual upgrades over many years - or we can scrub one mindset or 'operating system' and install a completely new one. When you are born-again, a completely new spiritual 'operating system' is downloaded into you and when you install it, clashes occur with the remnants of the old one if you have not properly erased the latter. And until the old one is completely scrubbed, there are going to be problems. One Linux operating system comes with a Windows look-alike adjunct to enable you to do some things the 'old way'. That can help somewhat with the transition, to be sure. But in the end the old, fleshy mindset has to be completely erased so that the new spiritual one can operate smoothly without having systems clashes and crashes.
A Christmas Illustration
Let me give you an example, one that many of you will be able to relate to. Most of us came from a Protestant cultutural and religions background where certain festivals, like Christmas, are deeply engrained. Indeed, it's been part of our European ancestors' mindset for centuries. Realising that Christmas is pagan and overwriting it with Yahweh's feasts, is often a process. Yes, we can stop assembling on 25 December and doing all the 'christmassy' things but there's still programming in there that lingers because of pleasant memories of light, food, song and family.
The Christmasisation of Hanukkah
One year our family made the mistake of trying to 'christmasise' Hanukkah, a Jewish festival that occurs at roughly the same time of year. We had candles, glitter and presents. My new messianic programming instructed my fickle conscience that this was wrong but a part of the old evangelical programming liked it - and liked it even more when the children enjoyed it! It 'felt' one way, because of the old programming but it was, in reality, another way, as shown clearly by the new Torah-programming. It didn't survive in our family, and nor did Hanukkah itself when we realised we had been served a virus-infected (semi-pagan) Messianic Jewish 'operating system'.
Another example might be attitudes towards sexual morality. The first believers coming from a pagan gentile background struggled with this even if it was no problem for those converting to Messiah from a Torah lifestyle with its unambiguous sexual rules. Yes, Messiah had to be completely uploaded, and a lot of rabbinic additions to Torah had to be deleted. No matter what we did, no matter what changes we made, friends using different 'operating systems' (worldviews) got upset with us. Some were openly 'racist' and would have nothing to do with our 'operating system', some 'agreed to disagree' (as I had once done with the Mac-users in my place of work) and others, in time, saw how much better the new Messianic Evangelical 'operating system' was and progressively adopted it.
There are a lot of different human 'operating systems', worldviews or mindsets out there that are jealously guarded by tribal instincts, sometimes violently. That's reality, however unpleasant. I was blessed, in some ways, to have been brought up in a country (Malaysia) with many human 'operating systems' in use - Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Catholic, Protestant, agnostic and atheist, and we basically had to get along with each other. That was great preparation for me. But not all 'operating systems' can do the same things, and only one can actually produce eternal life. The great challenge after conversion - after spiritual regeneration or being born again - is to make sure, through discipleship and sound teaching, that the old 'operating systems' or mindsets get fully erased and give way to the one that saves and brings shalom (peace). It must, of course, be by personal choice. An operating system installed against the computer's will is an inoperative operating system still. (I know, that's a bit corney).
Imposition of Identity
Let's take this analagy one step further. As, I think, the illustration shows, having a particular 'operating system', worldview or mindset gives you a personal identity. You may look the same computer or person on the outside, but inside you're different. Society - and specifically, the people at the top who guide and direct it, want you to identify in a particular way. However, this kind of external imposition of identity is not necessarily who you really are. That is why when we become teenagers we shart to challenge the way our parents brought us up but without always realising it, we simply exchange one kind of operating system, worldview or mindset for another.
I grew up in a fairly conservative, nominal Christian home, but society as a whole was even then changing rapidly owing to the hippie rebellion. From the 1960's onwards there was an ever widening generational gap as pressure was brought to bear by the incessant indoctrination of the state educational system and media to think and behave in a totally different way, in essence, throwing off all the restraints of the moral Christian society of our parents. The spiritual aspect of the Christianity of my grandparents had been thrown off largely by my parents' generation but the operating system, worldview or mindset was still sufficiently 'Christian' to make it very distinguishable from the hippie generation. Today we live in a post-Christian society where nearly all self-restraint has been thrown off. Working with a 'millennial' - someone born since 2000 - who has chosen to follow Yah'shua (Jesus), and to upload the Torah-lifestyle in him, has in consequence become a radical operation and takes time because the gap between the old and new 'operating system' is so huge. This is true as much as for coming out of a 21st century secular mindset as it is of coming out of a totally different religious mindset like Islam, Hinduism or Occultism.
Every human beings has the power to choose what he or she wants. We can choose how our personality forms, particularly as we grow into our teens. Beyond a certain age parental responsibility for education ends and it is up to the individual to decide what he keeps and what he doesn't. As each generation gets closer to the emet (truth), there will be less and less to reject of what our parents taught us and more and more of worth to hang onto. But you yourself must choose. Nobody else can choose for you. If you allow someone else to define your personality, you become a shadow of your true self, lacking substance. We must reject the definitions that have deliberately or accidentally been programmed or had imprinted on us and accept Yahweh's definitions.
For example, if someone has told you that you're worthless and will never amount to anything, you don't have to own that. Indeed, you musn't own it. Rather, you must accept Yahweh's definition of you which is that you are of infinite worth and that you can become everything He has called you to be. Equally, at the opposite end of the mindset spectrum, if you have been told you are unconditionally wonderful at all times, when you are in fact behaving like a spoiled, self-entitled brat, that too has to be rejected and unlearned. You, and you alone, must decide what your values are (what is now called 'individuation') based either on what others say you are or what Yahweh says you are. You are a child of Elohim (God), loved, treasured, and destined to great purpose by means of the Messiah-based Torah lifestyle.
I hope all of this is fairly self-evident yet you'd be surprised how easy it is to be blinded. I have known people go in full reverse, remove the mindset or worldview eye-glasses of the Besorah (Gospel) and return, for example, to atheism or to the former religion they once abandoned. It's a bit like going back to an earlier operating system. I admit I still use Windows XP on one or two computers. It's abominably slow now, there are no more upgrades, and I can't use it for watching movies or anything like that, but it remains useful as a workhorse.
Understanding Paul's Mindset
To understand the Bible - and specifically today to understand Paul, whom the apostle Peter admits - even though they shared a common mindset or worldview - is "hard to understand" (2 Pet.3:16), means we have to understand the 'operating system', worldview or mindset of Paul's time. It's unavoidable or you'll end up going down a number of unfortunate rabbit trails to dead-ends like Calvinism and the ridiculous 'once saved, always saved' doctrine which totally distorts and (in my view) horribly damages our view of Elohim (God).
The Pauline Symbolic Universe
What was the centre of Paul's symbolic universe? Yah'shua (Jesus)? The cross and resurrection? Yes, of course. But even they are imbedded in a specific matrix which was the Torah (Law). Eating kashrut, observing the Sabbath, New Moons and annual festivals, the temple, the Israelite community, and so on, were all components of this literal and symbolic worldview - and you cannot understand Paul without viewing his teachings through this set of eye-glesses or spectactles. In N.T.Wright's view, the messianic community (church) is the main symbol of Paul's theological universe, united, echad (one) and qadosh (holy, set-apart). In other words, that which is visible to outsiders, which will tell them in no uncertain terms that something new has burst in upon the world - a new reality let loose upon the earth - which appears in a certain way. Paul says:
The Audience Identified
"I am the very least of Elohim's (God's) people. However, He gave me this task as a gift: that I should be the one to tell the Gentiles the besorah (good news, gospel) of the King's wealth (riches), wealth no one could begin to count. My job is to make clear to everyone just what the secret plan is, the purpose that's been hidden from the very beginning in the world in Elohim (God) who created all things. This is it: that Elohim's (God's) hochmah (wisdom), in all its rich variety, was to be made known to the rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly places - through the Messianic Community (Church)! This was Elohim's (God's) eternal purpose, and He's accomplished it in King Yah'shua (Jesus) our Master (Lord)" (Eph.3:8-11, KNT ).
Now pause and think about this for a moment. Here is Paul decribing his mission - his job or calling. What's the audience to whom Yahweh is making a demonstration through the Messianic Community (Church)?
The Bride as a Demonstration Piece
- 1. Everyone, or "all men" (AENT); and
- 2. The heavenly principalities and powers.
We are called to be a demonstration to both mortals and immortals, to human beings in earth and to malakim (angels) in the heavenlies. Israel failed in that calling but Messianic Israel - the true Messianic Israel or Bride (Remnant) - will not! We are called to be a demonstration to all sentient creatures in all dimensions, both the good and the wicked, of what the resurrected Messiah IN us can be and do. We are to be on open display!
Creation of a New Family
Now I don't know what you feel about that or even if you are aware of it. Yahweh has created a new family - not the old Israel, which failed miserably and whom He divorced (both parts, Israel and Judah), but the new Israel - in order to demonstrate what He has done and is doing through His Son Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Human rulers and kings have tried unsuccessfully to do the same - Lenin, Stalin and Mao through the 'Communist Man', Hitler through the 'National Socialist Man', the Caesars through the 'Roman Citizen' - but they have never succeeded, and never could. By bringing the spiritually regenerated and Torah-obedient qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) into this new family of Messianic Israel through Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), Yahweh has created a visible sign, to all created beings, of His power, His ahavah (love), the revelation of the "secret plan" of the ages.
Who are the True Lords?
This is the calling and purpose of the Messianic Bride - to demonstrate that Yah'shua (Jesus) is Master (Lord) and that the rulers of this world are NOT. The Messianic Community, then, is the symbol of what this worldview is all about. That is the pair of eye-glasses or spectacles that he wants his readers to view the world through. This is "the wisdom of Elohim (God) in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which Elohim (God) ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Master (Lord) of glory" (1 Cor.2:7-8, NKJV). It is the mystery of "Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and Him crucified" (1 Cor.2:2, NKJV) manifested in the Bride, the Remnant.
The Reason for the Mass Immigration
The Mediterranean world in Paul's day was even more pluralistic a society than the one we live in today. I don't doubt many of you are wondering why (apart from punishment from sin) Yahweh is allowing every nation of the world to pour into Europe and Northern America? Whatever it is you think you are trying to preserve, that is long gone and irreversibly so. We live in a reconstituted, polyglot (multi-lingual) and multicultural Roman Empire - to be exact, the Western Roman Empire in Western Europe, the USA, Australasia, and a few other places, and the Eastern Roman Empire in Russia.
The Purpose of the Repeating Prophetic Historical Cycle
History is repeating itself, the prophetic cycle has come full turn again. So what is Yahweh doing? (Please note this well) - Yahweh is raising up the Remnant to be a REPEAT Bride in a RESTORED polyglot and multicultural Roman Empire steeped in idolatry and sin to demonstrate before ALL MEN AND WOMEN and ALL HUMAN RULERS and ALL HEAVENLY RULERS what you get when the RESURRECTED MESSIAH DWELLS IN HIS BRIDE and how this BRINGS GLORY TO ELOHIM (GOD) and UNSEATS ALL OTHER POWERS AND AUTHORITIES that are out of alignment with the One and Only Heavenly Power and Authority which is in Heaven AND WHICH HAS COME TO THE EARTH TOO THROUGH THE BRIDE. It is for this reason. and this reason alone, that Yahweh is raising up and will empower the Bride to be a DEMONSTRATION OF WHO HE REALLY IS
The Bride Coming Out of the Wilderness
This is the overall message of Paul and this is the message of the end-time Remnant. We are to be put on display for His glory and for the shaming of Satan and all his earthly kingdoms. And if you think this has begun yet, think again. The Bride is still in waiting, keenly watching out for thr arrival of the Bridegroom. And, no, I am not talking about the Second Coming - though this is the culmination of the Bride's mission - I am talking about the years immediately before the Second Coming. The Bride has yet to come out of hiding in the Wilderness, the thing Satan now fears the most, because he knows that when she becomes visible, it truly is the end-time for him.
The Little Remnant Bride Revealed
This was Paul's message. This was Paul's 'operating system', mindset and worldview. Messiah in the Little Remnant Bride, in full view, radiant, glorious, powerful and submissive. The Bride is the instrument of the shaming and judgment of the fallen rulers and principalities in this world and in the heavenlies. Are you prepared to be a part of that? More important, are you prepared to sacrifice enough of yoruself to be a part of it, obedient to Him in all things like a true wife to a husband?
"Wives should submit to their husbands in everything" (Eph 5:24, NIV).
The Purpose of Marriage Model
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah loved the messianic community (church) and gave Himself up for her to make her qadosh (holy, set-apart), cleansing her by the washing with water through the davar (Word), and to present her to Himself as a radiant messianic community (church), without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but qadosh (holy, set-apart) and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies" (Eph.5:25-28, NIV).
And that is what marriage is for, as the testing and preparation ground for the Bride of Messiah, the Remnant, and why it is we have been given the Holy Echad Marriage (HEM) revelation without which the Remnant Bride cannot be properly prepared. And when either the world, or the fallen Church views holy echad marriage with disdain and contempt it is because she is reflecting the same disdain and contempt shown by Satan himself, for the one thing he does not want to see is the Bride raised up in glory in divine tavnith (pattern).
In True Relationship
How is the Bride to be raised? Not by somebody sending you a list of correct doctrines and teachings which is what we might have perhaps expected Paul to have done had he been carnal like us (important and necessary though obedience to correctly understood and applied Torah is). No, she is to be raised first and foremost by knowing who the true Elohim (God) is and being in an empowered relationship with Him though perfect submission and obedience. To know Elohim (God) is also knowing the people of the true Elohinm (God) because they walk as echad or one in Him. They're so closedly connected and linked, in fact, that they are the equivalent of being 'one flesh' in a regular marriage. And that is why this realtionship is depicted as an allegorical marriage. What you do to the wife you to do the husband. Or that is how it ought to be.
Paul and the Wisdom of Solomon
I'll end with some thoughts from the Wisdom of Solomon (WS) and you'll see just how like Paul it really is. The book begins with the rulers of true Israel and the way they are to conduct themselves:
"Love righteousness, ye that be elohim (judges) of the earth; think of Yahweh with a god heart and in simplicity of heart seek Him" (WS 1:1, KJV).
Have you ever wondered where Paul might have got the elements of his spiritual armour parable?
A Final Warning to This Generation
"Put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of a helment" (WS 5:18, KJV).
As a final word to this generation, and particularly to those who call themselves 'Christians' or 'Messianics':
"It was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of Elohim (God), but through living in great strife due to ignorance, they call such great evils 'peace'. For whether they kill children in their initiations, or celebrate secret mysteries, or hold frenzied revels with strange customs, they no longer keep either their lives or their marriages pure, but they either treacherously kill one another, or grieve one another by adultery, and all is a raging riot of blood and murder, theft and deceit, corruption, faithlessness and perjury, confusion over what is good, forgetfulness of favours, defiling of souls, sexual perversion, disorder in marriages, adultery and debauchery" (WS 14:22-26, NRSV).
Does that not sound like our world today? And was not the apostle Paul saying exactly the same things? The parallels are stark. So, knowing what it is to which we have been called, and understanding the plain revelation of Paul to everyone in his day and in hours through a proper grasping of his worldview, let us ready ourselves for the Great Display and brace ourselves for the onslaught, not forgetting the Sukkot empowerment and the Covenant of Wonders, is my prayer in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. Amen.
 See the series, The Anti-Paulists
 N.T.Wright, How Paul Invented Christian Theology, a lecture given to Laniet Theological Seminary, Houston, Texas, 21 March 2014
 Kingdom New Testament, the translation made by N.T.Wright