Sermons Series 3:45, 8 July 2006
Life and Peace in Yahweh
This week has been one of those interesting weeks which doesn't occur very often when it is a struggle to find the sermon Yahweh wants me to give you. This is the fourth sermon I actually prepared for you this week as the Ruach rejected one after the other which I had started. Part of the reason has been, I think, because so much has been happening spiritually these last days with revelation pouring in for many people, including myself. It wasn't until Thursday morning that it was clear what Yahweh wanted me to talk to you about and so what were going to do is jump to the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, which is where we began when I introduced the theme of the Ruach haEliYah or Spirit of Elijah to you.
To begin with, let me point out that the name 'Malachi' is no ordinary name. Here is a man whose name literally means 'my messenger' or 'my angel'. We have studied the life of the prophet Elijah at some length and been struck by the supernatural power that accompanied his ministry as he literally operated in what one might call 'angel power'. Fire-from-heaven was never very far away from him as Yahweh used Him as an instrument both of His wrath and judgement for militant apostasy. Malachi is a human, as opposed to a supernatural, 'malak' or angel. Like Elijah, he was completely devoted to Yahweh and His righteousness and stood as the last prophetic witness of the Mosaic Covenant which would be brought to a complete end by the death of Messiah. Nevertheless, like all of Yahweh's prophets in each and every dispensation, he was looking forwards to the New Covenant that would come some four and a half centuries later, and prophesied the advent of the first of the New Covenant prophets, Yochanan the Immerser, or John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for the first coming of the Messiah. And finally, as we know, he prophesied the coming of the Spirit of Elijah in the end times (Mal.4:5) about which, and in which, we are very eagerly and intimately engaged in.
Today I wish to suggest that Malachi is not only a pointer to the first coming of Yah'shua and his prophet, John the Baptist, but also to the second coming of Yah'shua and to the end-times immediately before it. Let's take a look at this book, so please join with me in your Bibles. I am going to use the Amplified Version as my ground text. This revelation is addressed to Israel, past and present (v.1). And these are the Creator's first words:
"I have loved you, says Yahweh. Yet you say, In what and how have You loved us?" (Mal.1:2, AmpV).
How many, I wonder, are today questioning whether Yahweh loves them, because of the circumstances in which they find themselves? How many who claim to believe in Him question His love for them? How many feel abandoned by Him, disconnected from Him, uncared for and unappreciated by Him? How many feel that their prayers are unanswered, that their prayers bounce echo-like off some giant brass plate in the heavens that seems to block their prayers? How many think Yahweh is too hard to understand, to insensitive to their plight, too distant? How many indeed, who are struggling with major life issues that have suddenly thrust themselves out of the depths of their souls and to the forefront of their awareness like an uninvited and unwelcome guest, are in a state of confusion wondering what is going on? If you feel like that, or have similar thoughts and feelings, then I hope my message today will minister to you.
"I have loved you, says Yahweh. Yet you say, In what and how have You loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? says Yahweh; yet I loved Jacob (Israel), but [in comparison with the degree of love I have for Jacob], I have hated Esau [Edom], and I have laid waste his mountains, and his heritage I have given to the jackals of the wilderness" (Mal.1:2, AmpV).
Yahweh's choice of Jacob over Esau, even before they were born, is recalled by the apostle Paul who uses this as an example of Elohim's sovereignty (Rom.9:11,13). This was not, however, a random selection, but based on the choices that these two men made. The Most High knew what these two men would become - the one spiritual and the other carnal. And whilst in the literal p'shat sense this revelation of Malachi is about the future of two nations - Israel and Edom, and their manifestation in the latter days as the dispersed nation of Messianic Israel and the counterfeit Edomite state known as the 'Republic of Israel' - it is also to be understood in terms of the overlying spiritual principles that lead men and women to be and do. For it is possible to see Israel and Edom here as an allegory of the spiritual and carnal aspects of man born from the womb of Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, whose name means 'flattery'. One thing is very clear though: what Yahweh loves and hates is spirituality and carnality, respectively. The translators of the Amplified Version wish us to understand Yahweh's 'hatred' of Esau as simply a degree of difference in love, in the same way that Yah'shua told us to love Him and 'hate' everyone else (Lk.14:26). Of course, as it made perfectly clear throughout His teachings, this is merely a comparative, so that our love for family and friend, when compared to the overwhelming love we have for Yahweh-Elohim, will appear to be 'hatred' . He taught us to love our enemies (Mt.5:44; Lk.6:27,35) and indeed here, in this passage of Malachi, He is not saying that He hates Esau the person or even the modern Edomite state, but rather the carnality that predominates in their personal and national character. We need never suppose that Yahweh hates anyone - He never has and never will. He hates, rather, all unrighteousness, unholiness and wickedness. He hates such things as divorce, violence, plotting to do evil and swearing falsely (Mal.2:16; Zech.8:17).
"I have laid waste (Esau's) mountains, and his heritage I have given to the jackals of the wilderness", Yahweh said. Indeed the original Edomite state was utterly destroyed, as prophesied by Malachi. Later it's inhabitants were converted at the tip of the sword and forced to convert to Talmudic Judaism and eventually merged with the people of Judah to make one nation. King Herod, who murdered the babies of Bethlehem, was an Edomite. So it is no wonder that his heritage has been "given to the jackals of the wilderness".
The Hebrew word tammim which the translators have rendered 'jackal' is also translated 'sea serpent' in other places. The King James version, in this instant, is more accurate and renders it 'dragons'. They're mentioned as early as Genesis 1:21 where the KJV renders it 'whales'. So what are these tammim? Are they jackals, sea serpents, dragons or whales? I must admit that I incline to Dr. Henry M. Morris' understanding of the word which is a generic term for what we now call 'dinosaurs', either the great marine reptiles or the land dinosaurs, depending on the context, many of which we believe survived the world-wide flood in some form or another. That some of the land-based tammim were fire-breathing reptiles or 'dragons' is highly probable. Listen to this passage in the Book of Job, one of the oldest books in the Bible, which describes a creature called Leviathan:
"When he sneezes, he gives out a flash of light. His eyes are like the rays of dawn. Out of his mouth shoot flames, from him fly sparks of fire. Out of his nostrils come smoke like a pot heated over brushwood. His breath sets coals on fire, and a flame pours from his mouth" (Job 41:18-21, American Translation - Beck).
Some of you may have heard of a species of insect called Brachinus, more popularly known as the bombardier beetle. This amazing creature squirts two bad smelling gasses from two tail tubes at 100ºC (or 212ºF) which, when they mix, create an explosion, thereby persuading a potential predator that they would not make a good meal! So we know that such chemical systems could have existed anciently in what are now extinct dinosaurs. Certainly the many legends of dragons - like the world-wide flood - which are to be found in so many countries across the globe - probably have some basis in truth. One thing we do know, as we turn from the material to the spiritual dimension, is that demons are sometimes represented as dragons. Many of us have seen them. Indeed there is a current craze about dragons in Western culture which is part and parcel of the New Age religion.
So as we look spiritually at our text in Malachi, which reads: "I have hated Esau [Edom], and I have laid waste his mountains, and his heritage I have given to the jackals (dragons, dinosaurs) of the wilderness" we find ourselves confronting what the psychologist Jung called an 'archetype' or symbol of something resident deep in our subconscious and invariably associated with fear. To the secular psychologist this fear is usually of something abstract, something threatening deep from within which can't be touched or understood. But to those of us who know something a little more about the invisible world, this 'dragon' or 'dinosaur', far from being some mere psychological abstraction, has another, more tangible origin. For when you believe a lie, you open spiritual doors to your soul and admit dark invisible entities who steer up fear within. When we dream about them, then what we are experiencing is this alien presence within us which purposefully stirs up fear and inner confusion with a view to dominating and, if at all possible, controlling the psyche.
The heritage of the carnal, unspiritual, fleshy Adamic nature is the 'jackal or dragon of the wilderness", the demonic presence within the soul that lays waste the garden of our heart and turns it into an arid desert devoid of the richness of love that right-relationship in truth with Yah'shua brings. Malachi also mentions a second symbol, the 'mountain' - "I have laid waste his mountains" - and mountains, as you know, can symbolise eternal continuance (Dt.33:15; Hab.3:6) and stability (Is.54:19). This is just a poetic way of saying that the carnal path leads to instability of the soul, confusion and uncertainty. It's a way of saying: you can't build a house on the shifting sands of doubt and fear - you must build on solid rock (Mt.7:24-27; Lk.6:46-49). As Isaiah records:
"Hearken to Me, you who follow after rightness and justice, and you who seek and enquire of and require Yahweh [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole in the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him when he was but one, and blessed him and made him and made him many. For Yahweh will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places, and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the Garden of Yahweh; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song or instrument of praise" (Isa.51:1-3, AmpV).
The message that Yahweh is giving through Malachi is simple enough: the carnal path, symbolised by Esau, leads only to desolation and therefore impermanence. You cannot find a foothold in life through the carnal way - the path of accumulating to self the trinkets of the world and its vacuous and passing praises. Rather we are to let Yahweh reduce us to our basic elements, separate Esau from Jacob, persuade Jacob to stop appeasing Esau in sending presents to him - carnal bribes, as it were - but to become single like Abraham and Sarah and let Him build from there. We are to look from the Rock from which we were hewn, and that Rock, as Paul tells us, is the Messiah Yah'shua (1 Cor.10:4).
The fruit of Esau is King Herod. The fruit of Esau is a state in the Middle East offering itself as an alternative to both the Messiah and His true Messianic Israel. The fruit of Esau is carnality, selfishness and death. The fruit of Esau is fear - fear caused by the blinding and confusing powers of the demonic which either stir storms within or anaesthetise the heart with a fake peace - fear which is born from not trusting in Yahweh, fear from not believing in the truth but in the enemy's lies. Indeed, this fear can seem so great at times that it, instead of Yahweh, becomes the point around which our lives revolve - and what we use to justify our sinfulness and what we try to use to solicit sympathy.
Brethren and sisters, fear is not the solution and neither can we use it to hide behind. Fear does not come from love or from Yahweh, but from a lack of love and the enemy of our souls. Fear belongs to Esau, the carnal man. Fear is not a natural fruit of being human. Fear is inhuman. But, at the same time, what we cannot do is pretend it does not exist or flee from its roots. Fear has a tangible source, and that source is demonic. And the demonic is there before we have believed a lie, for whatever reason - mental reasoning, trauma, abuse, and so forth. But from a lie is comes, and it is in exposing the lie that it may be extirpated and the soul set free.
Indeed, one of our brethren made a most interesting discovery last week about what traditionally we call "the fear of the Lord" or "the fear of Yahweh" as, for example, in this psalm of David:
"The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise" (Ps.111:10, NIV).
He pointed out to me that the Hebrew word we translate as 'fear' here, yirah, which is also feminine, literally means 'flowing' or 'anointing', and is used whenever Yahweh anoints someone with the gift of the Ruach haQodesh. So this passage would be better translated as:
"The anointing of Yahweh which comes from the Ruach haQodesh is the beginning of Wisdom."
And 'wisdom', as you know, is one of the Names of our Heavenly Mother, the Ruach haQodesh. What results is not so much 'fear', as the word is traditionally understood (a feeling of distress or apprehension or alarm), but a deep loving reverence and awe. There is nothing negative about this experience because it comes from the heart of the Ruach.
The effect of this 'heavenly fear', which is really the anointing of the Ruach, is as Yahweh said through Isaiah, the transformation of the inner desert of the soul into a fruitful Garden of Yahweh. Sadly, people do not easily make this choice for the spiritual Jacob and persist in clinging on to the carnal Esau. We read in the next verse in our study of Malachi:
"Though impoverished Edom would say: We are beaten down, but will return and build the waste places, says Yahweh of Hosts, They may build, but I will tear and throw down, and men will call them the wicked country, the people against whom Yahweh has indignation forever" (Mal.1:3, AmpV).
How many times does the carnal man return to his own vomit? How many times does the carnal man return to old demonic scripts and fleshy ways of doing things even after he has received his beating through the lessons of life? Indeed, why does man seemingly not learn his lesson? He makes the same mistakes over and over again, generation after generation, and then wonders why the world is not a paradise but full of war, disease, crime, infidelity, and misery? And how many times does man just ignore these things and carry on in a pipe dream of illusion and fantasy, hiding away in himself and cutting himself off from the realities around him? And if he does show concern and interest, what sort of solutions does he propose and try to implement? Well, take a look at any secular government program in response to social issues and you will understand. A few days ago I was sent this expensively produced government book on how to combat drug problems in schools and society. It had many Band-Aid solutions but nothing to actually combat the real causes. Education about drugs and their harmful effects is good but unless you deal with why people turn to drugs, and solve those problems, which are spiritual in nature - coming as they do from the Edomite way of life - you'll never conquer the drug problem. Indeed, it will only get worse. Good political intentions are not enough. Only the truth, and the scriptural response to truth, will deal with the problem.
I mentioned how mountains are used to symbolise eternal continuity. They are, however, used to represent many different things, and one of them is pride. A characteristic of the carnal man is pride. A whole mountain load of it. Not willing to learn the lesson of his humiliation and the error of his way, Esau rebuilds his nation of wickedness, just as the Israelites and Judahites, when they abandoned the spirit of Jacob and descended to the spirit of Esau, did time and time again. It is the tendency of the carnal soul to go back to what it is 'familiar' with rather than embark on a new journey of exploration and discovery and truth, represented by Abraham leaving Chaldea and heading off to a simpler and more fulfilling life in Canaan, and by believers being told to flee Babylon and the wrath to come (e.g. Jer.15:6). This is because, spiritually-speaking, the carnal nature is lazy. Yes, it may be industrious in other ways, but when it comes to the things of Yahweh, it is indifferent and slothful.
Yahweh, in His mercy, does not however let the Edomite soul do as it pleases. There is the law of ripening and the law of judgement. The destruction of Edom is good both for the Edomites and the rest of the world. Thus Yahweh says:
"Your own eyes shall see this [fulfilment of prophecy], and you shall say, Yahweh is great and will be magnified over and beyond the border of Israel!" (Mal.1:5, AmpV).
And indeed we are seeing it today within individual believers who play the harlot with the flesh. In talking to one of the vices of Edom - the love of money - Yah'shua said:
"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other" (Luke 16:13, NIV).
In other words, you can't have it both ways. Sooner of later you will be forced to choose one or the other. If you are a double-minded believer with one foot in Zion and the other in Babylon, you must either choose Zion or Babylon - Yahweh or Satan - but you can't have both. Will you allow your mountain of pride to be crushed? You can't be saved in pride, because Yahweh "resists the proud, but gives grace (undeserved loving kindness) to the humble" (Jas.4:6; 1 Pet.5:5; Prov.3:34). There are no mountains of pride in Jacob the Overcomer, in Messianic Israel. The 'other Israel' - the carnal, unrepentant, carnal, prideful Israel - is Edom, the heritage of Esau. It's an antichrist, lawless counterfeit.
What we are trying to understand here is what it is truly like to be a Messianic Israelite inside. And what you are inside reflects on what you do outside. We have seen so far the absolute necessity of truth in simplicity and unpretentiousness. When you move from Babylon to Messianic Israel, from Chaldea to Canaan, from Egypt to the Promised Land, from darkness to light, from hate to love, from confusion to order, there are certain basic things happening in your life that are easy to measure. We have seen how Yahweh has told us through Isaiah how we are to look to the rock from which we were hewn - the Creator, our Messiah Yah'shua - and to Abraham our father and Sarah our mother. The New Testament has much to say about both. Abraham and Sarah are given as a model of correct marriage relationships (1 Pet.3:5-7). We become the sons of Abraham as we trust Messiah. It tells us that racial origin means nothing, only a right heart. It tells us to come to Yah'shua like a little child as the only basis of being acceptable in His Kingdom (Mt.18:3; Mk.10:15; Lk.18:17). Indeed, the New Testament, like the Old, is full of instruction about how to be in right relationship with Yahweh and with each other, the covenant to which Malachi is pointing, as Jeremiah did before him.
"A son honours his father, and a servant his master", Yahweh said through Malachi. "If then I am a father, where is My honour? And if I am a master, where is the (reverent) fear due to Me? Says Yahweh of Hosts to you, O priests, who despise My Name. You say, How and when have we despised Your Name By offering polluted food upon My altar. And you ask, How have we polluted it and profaned you? By thinking that the table of Yahweh is contemptible and may be despised. When you priests offer blind [animals] for sacrifice, is it no evil? And when you offer the male and the sick, is it no evil? Present such thing - a blind or a lame or sick animal - now to your governor [in payment for your taxes, and see what will happen]. Will he be pleased with you? Or will he receive you graciously? says Yahweh of Hosts" (Mal.1:6-8, AmpV).
Malachi herein asks the priests or cohanim at least ten rhetorical questions, the first time the dialectic method is used in Scripture. Similarly I asked some rhetorical questions at the beginning of my sermon when I asked you how you were doing in your current struggles. How are you faring? What is your current attitude towards Yahweh? Are you single- or double-minded? Are you happy or miserable? Lost or found? And if things are wrong in your life, have you understood why? Indeed, how come things are a mess? What's keeping you back from the abundance and prosperity of the spiritual life that Yahweh promises those who love and serve Him?
Malachi now addresses the priests of the nation, who were the representatives of the people before Yahweh in the Old Covenant system - a system they brought upon themselves when they refused to go to Yahweh directly for answers but have intermediaries - a system Yahweh permitted Moses to give them because of the hardness of their hearts (Mt.19:8). Yahweh does not like hard hearts. Indeed, hardness of heart - stubbornness and resistance to His love - made Yah'shua angry too because of the blind legalism of those claiming to be the 'children of Abraham' by ancestry (Mk.3:5).
The Levitical system with its priesthood has gone for ever. Abolished, terminated, concluded, in spite of what large numbers of Messianics may be telling you. It's been changed. There are no more Levitical priests. Now there are only Melchizedek Priests (Heb.7) Today everyone is called to be a priest, and every man's wife is called to be a priestess. The Holy New Covenant Priesthood are those who have consecrated themselves - set themselves apart in holiness - as Messianic Israel. They are those who do not stumble because they obey the Message and the Messenger, Yah'shua, and those whom He has sent out (1 Pet.2:4-10).
In Malachi's day the Levitical Priests were polluting their office and high and sacred calling. Instead of offering Yahweh the best, they were offering Him the worst, and in so doing they were showing their contempt for Him. Today we do not offer animal sacrifices because the need for them was cancelled forever by the death of Messiah, but we are supposed to be offering sacrifices, "declar[ing] the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9, NIV) and "offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Elohim through Yah'shua the Messiah" (1 Peter 2:5, NIV). Those "spiritual sacrifices", as I have told you many times, are a "broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart ... which Elohim will not despise" (Ps 51:17, NIV). This does not mean we are to no longer do external, visible deeds of goodness. What it means is that the acceptability of these works of love must be on the correct spiritual basis, and that basis is the right condition of your heart, if they are to count - if they are to be 'acceptable'. For what is not given in truth, love, honesty and integrity is no different from the Levitical Priests making defective offerings in Malachi's day.
And yet these Priests are lying. "What have we done wrong?" they plead. When people become casual and dishonest in their religion, thinking it is of no consequence, they are on the slippery slope to apostasy and rejection. Malachi therefore writes:
"Now then, I beg of you priests, entreat Elohim earnestly and t He will be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand [a defective animal for sacrifice], will He accept it or show favour to any of you? says Yahweh of Hosts" (Mal.1:9, AmpV).
He asks you - as a royal priesthood, a holy nation set apart to serve Him - a nation of priests and priestesses - with what kind of a heart are you making your offerings to Yahweh? Why are you a Christian? Why do you go to church or assembly? Is it a joyful experience or a drudge? Why do you pay your tithes (assuming you do - Malachi has much to say about this topic later)? What are your motives for doing things? Are you seeking the praises of men or the approbation of Yahweh? If per chance your spiritual life has fallen off - if you find yourself in the wilderness, your heart dead and lifeless, or in turmoil and panic, why do you suppose it is so? What is the reason for your spiritual condition? And do you want to do something about it? Yahweh says:
"For from the rising of the sun to its setting, My Name shall be great among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered in My Name, and indeed a pure offering; for My Name shall be great amongst the nations, says Yahweh. But you priests profane it, when [by your actions] you say, The table of Yahweh is polluted, and the fruit of it, its food, is contemptible and may be despised. You say also, Behold, what a drudgery and weariness this is. And you have sniffed at it, says Yahweh of Hosts. And you have brought that which was taken by violence, or the lame, or the sick. This you bring as an offering! Shall I accept this from your hand? says Yahweh. But cursed be the (cheating) deceiver who has a male in his flock, and vows to offer it, yet sacrifices to the (sovereign) Master a blemished or diseased thing! For I am a great King, says Yahweh of Hosts, and My name is terrible and to be (reverently) feared among the nations" (Mal.1:11-14, AmpV).
The anointing and flowing of Yahweh's Ruach through those who are truthful and honourable is a sweet balm, but to those who deceive and cheat, who lie and abuse, so will the fire that brings peace to the righteous bring terror to the wicked. In this instance, it is right and natural to be terrified of Him, not because Yahweh is not loving, but because His righteous judgement is dreadful for those who have spurned His offer of love and instead turned to the hatred of Satan. Such have more to fear from Yahweh than Satan because Yahweh jealously protects His own like a good father, master and husband.
"And now, O you priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to My Name, says Yahweh of Hosts, then I will send the curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings; yes, I have already turned them to curses, because you do not lay it to heart" (Mal.2:1-2, AmpV).
The heart that refuses to love must of necessity swing to the dark side and alternate between coldness and anger. It may try to repress the hate but it will surface when least expected and often when least wanted. Then the inexplicable rage bursts forth like lava being spewed out of a volcano, surprising both the one who is enraged and those around experiencing it. You see, when we choose to believe a lie, and not renounce it - for whatever reasons - then Yahweh "sends [you] a powerful delusion so that [you] will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness" (2 Thess 2:11-12, NIV). That's how He judges us while we are yet alive. When you take perverse pleasure and evil and have no remorse or regrets about it, you are agreeing with Satan and his hosts who do the same. You may not go all the way and become an outright murderer, but you are still in league with the enemy and operating in the spirit or murder. You have made your choice for the kingdom of darkness and the curse of Yahweh weighs heavily upon you.
It is very easy, in reading prophetic admonitions and condemnations such as those issued by Yahweh through Malachi, to assume that Yahweh is entirely negative and thereby miss His true nature. Yahweh's intentions and purposes have always been positive:
"My covenant [on My part] with Levi was to give him life (chayim) and peace (shalom); because [on his part] of the reverent and worshipful fear (mora) with which the priests (cohanim) would revere Me and stand in awe of My Name" (Mal.2:5, AmpV).
The same, of course, is true of the New Covenant Melchizedek Priesthood - Yahweh's desire is to impart life and peace. That's His part of the priestly covenant. Our part is to show "reverent and worshipful fear" and "stand in awe of [His] Name". In other words, the priests of Yahweh are to be in love with His Name - Yahweh- the Name which the rabbis banned around 360 BC and which today few, save some Messianics, honour. Instead we have people standing in awe of 'the Lord', a Roman house-god which derives from the name of an Etruscan sovereign called 'Larth', who were also regarded as gods like the Egyptian Pharaohs. Or they call Him the blasphemous 'Jehovah', a word invented by the rabbis to make sure the Divine Name was never pronounced, by combining the consonants of Yahweh with the vowels of Adonai, a word meaning 'Jah is perverse'. Or they call Him 'haShem', the Hebrew for 'the Name' which could be any name under the sun. Or they call Him 'Adonai', the Hebrew for 'Lord', a loan word from Greek used of the pagan god Adonis. Or they simply call Him 'God', the Babylonian name for Jupiter or Zeus, which was also worshipped by the Canaanites as 'Baal-Gad'.
Now you who are Priests of Yahweh, or claim to be, what will you do? Will you obey the Third Commandment which prohibits us from bringing Yahweh's Name to naught, or falsifying it? Or will you deliberately break it, now that you know the truth, and keep on calling Him 'Lord', 'Jehovah', 'haShem', 'Adonai', 'God' ('G-d' to many Messianic Jews), or whatever your fancy is? Will you obey the commandment in Deuteronomy 4:2 where Yahweh says: "Do not add to the Word which I command you, and do not take away from it, so as to guard the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim which I am commanding you" (Dt.4:2, ISRV). Or will you, in full knowledge of the truth, go and change it by renaming your Creator? Remember what Yahweh said to the false prophets through Jeremiah: "every man's own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living Elohim, the Almighty Yahweh, our Elohim" (Jer.3:36, NIV). Or do you believe you can change His Words at will?
It should be obvious that if we desire true life and peace, then we must stop taking authority Yahweh has not given us by changing His Name to whatever we want. I for one cannot worship, reverence of stand in awe of 'Lord', 'Jehovah', 'haShem', 'Adonai' or 'God'. I may use these terms to communicate with those who do not know His true Name, and use them in other contexts too, but I will not use them in worship. Will you? Or will you be true to the Third Commandment? As priests we must begin at the core of our faith, and the core is to worship the correct Deity, who has specifically given us His Name. Yahweh also says:
"The law (Torah) of truth (emet) was in Levi's mouth, and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should guard and keep pure the knowledge [of My law/Torah], and the people should seek - inquire for and require - instruction at his mouth; for he is the messenger of Yahweh of Hosts" (Mal.2:6-7, AmpV).
Every single believer is called to be a priest and a priestess in the New Covenant Assembly of Yahweh. He is to pursue righteousness and learn how to qualify for priesthood service and the various orders of the Kingdom: the Deacons and Deaconesses, the Elders and Eldresses, and the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Every single husband and father is called to be the priest of his own home and family (mishpachah), and his wife the priestess for his children. Every single believer should aspire to have the Law of Truth in his or her mouth, and every single believer should ensure that unrighteousness is not found on his or her lips. Each priest and priestess of Yahweh is a witness, turning people away from iniquity by the example of their right-living. They should be guarding the New Covenant Torah and be teaching and admonishing those coming into full membership and up to the Priesthood offices. In short, every single believer has a job to do, a witness, a responsibility and a stewardship. All of which must be done in the true spirit of the sons of Levi, not the apostate one that Malachi was condemning. This means, per force, giving of your best to Yahweh, thereby honouring not only His Name with your lips but with your heart and with deeds of righteousness also. As you do these things you demonstrate your salvation both to the nation of Messianic Israel and to the world.
There is not a soul here, I don't believe, who doesn't want life and peace - chayim and shalom. If you want these things then Yahweh is here telling you how you may obtain them. To begin with, you have to enter into a priestly covenant with Him, first as an individual as you surrender your life fully to Him, and then as part of the Messianic Bride serving in His Assembly. Your part of the covenant is to give reverent and worshipful fear to His Name, Yahweh, standing in awe of that Name and all that it represents. You must covenant to always have the Torah of Truth in your mouth and to dismiss all unrighteousness. To do that you must covenant to guard and keep pure Yahweh's Holy Torah and to instruct others of what you know, as they ask it of you, or as it is required of you in your priestly duties. If you will keep your side - do your part - of the covenant, then Yahweh promises you LIFE and PEACE. He will give you a heart full and overflowing with joy and happiness, and a deep, deep inner peace that will sail the vessel of your being calmly through all life's storms. That life and peace is mediated through the Messiah by trusting in His Name - Yah'shua - the salvation of Yahweh, and the atonement He wrought for us.
A great many people hearing and reading me today are going through great and terrible storms. Some are desperate. Some wonder if they will ever have peace. If you find yourself in that position, follow the Levitical code. If you have tried to cheat Yahweh, it is time to repent, so that you may reap the benefits of the Second Wave which is upon us.
We finish today with Yahweh's admonition to His priests:
"Oh, that there were one among even you [whose duty it is to minister to Me] who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on My altar to no purpose - an empty, futile, fruitless pretense! I have no pleasure in you, says Yahweh of Hosts, not will I accept an offering from your hand. For from the rising of the sun to its setting My Name shall be great among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered in My Name, and indeed a pure offering; for My name shall be great amongt the nations, says Yahweh of Hosts" (Mal.2:10-11, AmpV).
We have spoken of worshipping and reverencing Yahweh's Name, Eyeh asher eyeh, "I AM THAT I AM", the One who is completely real. As a priest or priestess of the Most High you too must be real, genuine, transparent, and honest. Do what is right, let the chips fall where they may, and trust Him with your whole soul to bring you through, is my prayer in Yah'shua's Name, Amen.
|Glossary of MLT Hebraic, Greek and English Terms |
For other terms and full details please see the Micropedia
AGlossary Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved
Adon(ai) = Master, a pagan fertility god, Adonis; used by many Messianics but not MLT
(a)eon(ian) = 7 dispensation- or age-long time periods, not forever (see le-olam-va-ed)
Alef-Tav = Alpha-Omega, A-Z, first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet = Yah'shua
Amen = truly, let it be so, written Amein by some Messianics
Apocrypha = Hebraic Scriptures not a part of the Protestant canon (e.g. Baruch)
Anti-Messiah = Hebraic term for the end-time Antichrist or anyone opposed to the Messiah
antinomian = lawless Christian who disregards all or part of Torah/commandments
Ashkenazi Jew = East European Jew descended from the Turkic-Japhethite Khazars
Assembly = church, congregation, ekklesia, community, fellowship, koinonia, gathering
Azazel = the Yom Kippur scapegoat
Baal, Ba'al = any other master than Yahweh, usually demonic in MLT terminology
Bachor(im) = firstborn son(s)
Bar/Bat Mitzvah = Son/Daughter of Commandment, covenant to obey Torah at age 12
being = soul, the whole person (spirit and body), e.g. "my whole being"
Beit, bet, beth = house, e.g. Beit Yisrael (House of Israel), Beth Lechem (House of Bread)
Beit haMikdash = Yahweh's Temple in Yerushalayim
B'rit Chadashah = the New Covenant; B'rit Chadashah Scriptures = New Testament
B'rit Milah = circumcision - abolished in the B'rit Chadashah, replaced by Mikvah
canon = authoritative Scripture (Heb. qaneh, Gk. kanŰn = measuring instrument)
Catechumen = a serious, covenanted investigator seeking Mikvah or Baptism in MLT
Chag haMatzah = Feast of Unleavened Bread, second of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Chavurat Bekorot = MLT's Priesthood Order, Holy Order and Assembly of the Firstborn
Cohen = priest; Cohen Gadol = High Priest (also spelled Kohen)
Council of Yah's elohim = the heavenly Assembly of the Firstborn or Chavurat Bekorot
demon = fallen malek or angel in rebellion against Yahweh (Heb. shad; see l-Shaddai)
derech = the Way, Path or Road - Yah'shua and the Gospel are the Way
Drash = moral or homiletic interpretation of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Echad = One, Union of two or more in one (as opposed to Yachid) - see Elohim
Echad Godhead Doctrine = Father Yahweh, Son Yah'shua and Sevenfold Ruach (Mother)
Êl, Eloah, Elah = God the Father, Yahweh
Êl-Elyon = Most High God, Yahweh
Êl-Shaddai = Master/Lord over all shads or demons
Elohim = God, the Godhead (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), lit. 'Mighty One(s)', 'Ruler(s)'
elohim = Israelite judges, rulers, angels or gods (false deities, idols, demons)
emunah = faith, actively trusting, clinging or adhering to (especially Yahweh or Yah'shua)
emet = truth, Yah'shua is the Emet
Ephraimite = descendant of the patriarch Ephraim and head of Messsianic Israel
Feasts of Yahweh = the 7 annual Moedim (Pesach, Chag haMatzah, Yom haBikkurim, Shavu'ot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot)
Gan-Eden = Garden of Eden, Paradise and state of the purified heart in Messiah
goy(im) = nation(s), Israelites or gentiles not born in or converted to the Covenant
hallelu-Yah = praise Yah(weh)!
Heylel = proper name of Satan or haSatan = the Adversary, the devil
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Hochmah = Wisdom, title of the 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
IDL = International Date Line, false man-made time division in Pacific Ocean
IDL Zone = Area between the true Divine Date Line (Lake Van/Eden) and the false one
Israeli = citizen of the modern Edomite-Khazar Republic of Israel (not Biblical Israel)
Israelite = citizen of biblical state of Israel or a modern follower of the Messiah
Jew = post-biblical term describing descendants of Edomite and Khazar converts to Judaism
Johannine = pertaining to the Apostle Yochanan (e.g. Gospel of John)
Josephite = descendant of the patriarch Joseph, the head of Messianic Israel
Judahite = a person in direct descent from the patriarch Judah, forefather of the Messiah
Judaism = a Talmudic-based religion rejecting Yah'shua the Messiah
Judean = a citizen of the Kingdom or Province of Judah until the 2nd Century diaspora
Kadosh la Yahweh = set-apart or dedicated to Yahweh, 'Holiness to the Lord', MLT motto
Karaites = Jews (from 700 AD) who reject the Talmud and accept only the Tanakh
kashrut = keeping kosher, food laws of Yahweh and correspinding lifestyle
Ketuvim = Writings or Hagiographa of the Tanakh
Khazar = a Turkic convert to Judaism ~700 AD forming the Ashkenazi Jewish community
kosher = clean foods authorised by Yahweh for human consumption
Lashon Hara = evil-speaking, gossip or slander
legalism = false route to salvation through works (self-salvation)
le-olam-va-ed = dispensation- or age-long, aeonian, not eternal, forever or for eternity
Lev = heart, as in Lev-Tsiyon = heart of Zion
Lev-Tsiyon = Heart of the Fortress [of Yahweh], Hebrew name of MLT's founder
Master = Lord, Sir, Adon(ai) - (one in authority, a ruler - a king, husband, prophet, judge)
Malak(im) = Angel(s), heavenly supernatural messenger(s)
manna = wafers of honey, bread from heaven (lit. 'what is this?')
matzah = unleavened bread, see Chag haMatzah
Menorah = 7-armed candlearbra = the 7 annual Moedim and 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
Messiah = Christ; Anti-Messiah = Antichrist
Messianic Community = Body of Christ, sum total of all true believers; all true fellowships
Messianic Israel = all who worship Yahweh, trust in Yah'shua, obey Torah and overcome
Messianic Jew = Messianic convert from Judaism still clinging to Talmudic traditions
Midrash = aggadic interpretation of scripture vi‚ Drash, a scriptural discussion
Mikvah = baptism by immersion of convert into Yah'shua or of wife into husband
Mishpachah = family: nuclear, congregational, tribal or the whole of Messianic Israel
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon = family of the heart of the fortress [of Yahweh]
Mishpat = right-ruling or judgement
mitzvah/mitzvot = commandment(s)
moed(im) = appointment(s) of Yahweh, 7 Annual Feasts, Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh
Nefilim, Nephilim = giant offspring of materialised demons and human women
Nevi'im = prophetic writings of the Old Testament or Tanakh
New Birth = spiritual conversion in the Ruach haRishon, being 'born again' with new heart
Nidah = a woman's menstruation period during which no intercourse is permitted
Olive Branch = collection of revelations, prophecies and visions published by MLT
Paraclete = Comforter, Advocate (NEB), Counsellor, Ruach haQodesh (Gk. paraklÍtos)
PaRDeS = method of textual interpretation (homiletics) - see P'shat, Remez, Drash, Sod
Patriarch = a father who is head of his family, clan or tribe (lit. 'father-ruler')
Pentateuch = first five books of the Tanakh (Genesis-Deuteronomy), also called Torah
peribolaion = headcovering worn by daughters/wives in submission to fathers/husbands
Pesach = Passover, first of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Peshitta = an Aramaic version of the Bible
Prototrinitarianism = early, simplified MLT formulation of the Echad Godhead Doctrine
Prush(im) = Pharisee(s)
Pseudepigrapha = Non-canonical Hebrew writings additional to the Apocrypha
P'shat = literal, contextual, philological, exoteric, outer meaning of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Qadosh Qadoshim = Holy of Holies, most sacred set-apart room of the Beit haMikdash
Qodesh, Kodesh = set-apart, holy (see Ruach haQodesh)
Rabbi = Teacher, term used by Messianic Jews and some Messianic Israelites = Pastor
Refuge, the 12 Cities of = divinely protected MLT fortresses during the 7-year Tribulation
Remez = hint or allegorical level of Hebraic understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Rosh Chodesh = monthly New Moon appointment of Yahweh
ruach = spirit of a person (lit.'breath')
Ruach Elohim = Spirit of God (the Spirit of the collective Godhead or Elohim)
Ruach haChamashee = 5th Ruach presides over Yom Teruah and Yom Chamashee
Ruach haQodesh = the Sevenfold Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (lit. 'Set-Apart Breath')
Ruach haRevee = 4th Ruach presides over Shavu'ot, Yom Revee and Bar Mitzvah
Ruach haRishon = 1st Ruach presides over Pesach, Yom Rishon and the New Birth
Ruach haShanee = 2nd Ruach presides over Chag haMatzah and Yom Shanee
Ruach haSheshi = 6th Ruach presides over Yom Kippur and Yom Sheshi
Ruach haShleshi = 3rd Ruach presides over Yom haBikkurim, Yom Shleshi and Mikvah
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Satan = rebel archangel Heylel, father of lies, devil, chief demon (lit.'Adversary')
Sephardic Jew = West European Jew of mixed blood containing many Judahites
Septuagint = Greek translation of the Tanakh, LXX
Shegal haShabbat = 7th Ruach (Sabbath Queen) presides over Sukkot and Yom Shabbat
Shekinah = Divine Presence and Glory of Yahweh-Elohim
Set-apart = holy, sanctified, consecrated, dedicated, separated (to and by Yahweh)
Shabbat-Shabbaton = High Sabbath (e.g. Yom Kippur)
Shalom = heavenly peace, standard Hebraic greeting invoking Yahweh's peace
Shamash(im) = servant(s), deacon(s), attendant(s)
Shavu'ot = Pentecost or Weeks, fourth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Sheol = grave or pit, euphamism for Hades or hell - also see Tartarus
shofar = ram's horn, blown during Yahweh's Moedim
simcha = joy, keynote of Sukkot
Sod = mystical, anagogic, inner or esoteric understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Sukkot = Tabernacles or Booths, seventh of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Synagogue = Greek word used by Jews and Messianics (but not MLT) for a meeting house
talmid(a) = male/female disciple or student
Talmud = scriptures, teachings and commentaries belonging to non-Messianic Judaism
Tanakh = acronym for Old Testament Scriptures - Torah, Nevi'im & Ketuvim
Tartarus = place of imprisonment under the earth for rebellious angels and Nephilim
teshuvah = repentance, remorse and contrition leading back to Torah obedience
Torah = Yahweh's teachings or Law; New Covenant Torah includes Yah'shua's teachings
Tribulation, the Great = the final 7 years of the present aeon when Anti-Messiah rules
Trinity = Catholic Godhead formula - see Echad Godhead Doctrine and Prototrinitarianism
Tsiyon = Zion, a fortress, a name of Jerusalem and a prominent hill
Tzitzit/Tizitziyot = tassel(s) worn by men in remembrance of Torah
Universalism = salvation of all at the cosmic Yovel, with different rewards and punishments
Yachid = one, single person or item, as opposed to Echad (many in one, unity)
Yah'shua the Messiah = Jesus Christ (the Son)
Yahudah = Judah - see Judahite
Yahweh, Yah, YHWH = the true Name of our Heavenly Father, also carried by Yah'shua
Yahweh-Elohim = LORD God (the Father, Yahweh as Head of the Godhead or Elohim)
Yahweh haQatan = the sent Yahweh = Yah(weh)'shua, Malak of Yahweh's Presence
Yam Suf = Sea of Reeds, the true Israelite Exodus water crossing, not the Red Sea
Yarden = Jordan River (lit. 'meanderer')
Yerushalayim = Jerusalem
Yisrael = Israel (lit. 'ruling with l') = true believers under the New Covenant
Yom Chamashee = 5th day of the week (Thursday, Friday in IDL Zone)
Yom Din, Yom haDin = (the) Day of Judgement
Yom haBikkurim = Feast of Firstfruits, third of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Revee = 4th day of the week (Wednesday, Thursday in IDL Zone)
Yom Rishon = 1st day of the week (Sunday, Monday in IDL Zone)
Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement, sixth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Shabbat = 7th day of the week and Sabbath Rest (Saturday, Sunday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shanee = 2nd day of the week (Monday, Tuesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Sheshi = 6th day of the week (Friday, Saturday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shleshi = 3rd day of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Teruah = Day of Trumpets, fifth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yosef = Joseph - see Josephite
Yovel = Jubilee or Year of Jubilee
Zaqen(im) = elder(s) of an assembly or congregation, or senior members of a community
ZoŽ Life = Greek term for spiritual life in the Messiah
Commonly Used MLT Abbreviations
For additional abbreviations and explanations,
please see the Micropedia
Amp.V(er). = Amplified Version of the Bible
Aram. = Aramaic
AV = Authorised Version of the Bible - see KJV
BCAY = B'rit Chadashah Assembly of Yahweh - see NCCG
BoA = Books of Abraham (e.g. 1Abr., 2Abr., etc.)
cp, cf = compare with
CB(Q) = Chavurat Bekorot
CEV = Contemporary English Version of the Bible
ch. = chapter
CJB = Complete Jewish Bible
CLNT = Concordant Literal New Testament
CYe = Council of Yah's elohim
Eng. = English
ff. = and onwards/forwards
fn = footnote
Gk. = Greek
GNB = Good News Bible - see TEV
Heb. = Hebrew, Hebraic
HEM = Holy Echad Marriage, eternal marriage
HO = Holy Order - see Chavurat Bekorot
HOC = Holy Order Collection of revelations - see OB
HRV = Hebraic-Roots Version of the Bible
ibid. = ibidem (lit. 'in the same place'), referring to a book previously cited
ICJC = Independent Church of Jesus Christ, earlier name of NCCF
ISRV = Institute for Scripture Research Version of the Bible
JB = Jerusalem Bible
JBP/Phillips = J.B.Phillips translation of the New Testament
JNT = Jewish New Testament
KJV = King James Version of the Bible - see AV
LB = Living Bible
lit. = literally or literature
LXX = Septuagint, Greek translation of the OT
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon
Moff. = Moffatt translation of the Bible
MRC = Messianic Renewed Covenant Version of the NT
MS(S) = Manuscript(s)
NASB, NASV = New American Standard Bible/Version
NC&C = New Covenants & Commandments - see OB
NCCF = New Covenant Christian Fellowship, earlier name of NCCG
NCCG = New Covenant Church of God, earlier name of MLT - see BCAY
NCP = New Covenant Press, publishing arm of MLT
NCW = New Covenant Witness, MLT magazine
NEB = New English Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible
NKJV = New King James Version of the Bible
Nor. = Norwegian
NT = New Testament, B'rit Chadashah
NWT = New World Translation of the Bible, unreliable Jehovah's Witness version
OB = Olive Branch - see NC&C
op.cit. = opere citato (lit. in the work cited)
OT = Old Testament, Tanakh
p(p). = page(s)
pl. = plural - see s.
PWNC = Prophetic Words of the New Covenant, revelation cataloging system - see OB
QED = quod erat demonstrandum (lit. which was shown to be proved)
RCF = Restoration Christian Fellowship, earlier name of ICJC
RhQ = Ruach haQodesh, Holy Spirit
RSTNE = Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition of the Bible
RSV = Revised Standard Version of the Bible
RV = Revised Version of the Bible
s. = singular - see pl.
S&G = Smith & Goodspeed Version of the Bible
TEV = Today's English Version of the Bible - see GNB
Vulg. = Biblia Vulgata, Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
WEB = World English Bible
This page was first created on 18 March 2007
Last updated on 18 March 2007
Copyright ©2006 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved