Our portion in the Jewish community this week is about the Kavod, the GLORY of G-d abiding with Yisra’el.
So many people are in pursuit of that ‘glory’ today, and they follow after MAN for it, expecting it to be in a miracle.
A miracle is defined as something that otherwise could not happen in the realm of science/natural law.
In truth, the cloud and the fire hovering over the camp of Yisra’el was NOT something ‘out of the ordinary,’ in regard to the power and glory of G-d, but simply His making visible what is always true!
Today, in circles of ‘faith,’ which in reality can be circles of controlled insanity, people chase after the next ‘feeling,’ or the next ‘healing,’ or the next ‘movement’, in order to ‘prove’ that they ‘move’ in the ‘glory,’ that their faith practices are approved by G-d because they have ‘manifestations’ in their midst. They chase the miracle. [most of the time it is self deception]
This is another case of not listening to Messiah.
“It is a WICKED GENERATION that seeks after a ‘sign.’”
The GLORY of Elohim is NOT affirmed by His doing miracles among us. Miracles are chump change to Him these days. He did miracles in Egypt in order to prove to Egypt and Israel that He had chosen Israel. He did miracles through the prophets to prove that the false gods Israel was worshipping were in fact false. He did miracles through Yeshua in order to show that Yeshua is Messiah. He did miracles in the Shlikhim in order to establish His congregation. These were foundational acts of wonder, but NOT the norm in the life of any believer. Ever.
And, yes, He does, at times, do miracles today. But, Israel was SUPPOSED to respond to those miracles by then obeying Him and showing the world His REAL glory: His Tzedaka! The compassionate, loving, and pure CHARACTER of G-d IN His people!
The GLORY of G-d is HIS presence IN HIS PEOPLE, such that His people are TRANSFORMED from what they were before He found them toward the image of perfection He has shown us in His Son.
This does NOT mean that His people are ‘perfect,’ but it does!
We are, right NOW, PERFECTED by Yeshua’s sacrifice for us, by the blood that He shed for those who trust in it, in regard to our ‘legal standing’ before G-d, our ‘justification.’ But, before mankind, we still have imperfections. And we, by beginning to OBEY HIM and being transformed by HIS WORD ALONE, are showing forth the praises of G-d to mankind, by volunteering and submitting to being changed, contrasting ourselves against our human nature and obeying the new nature of Messiah IN US.
The part that mankind has missed, confused, even dropped the ball on, is HOW to cause the NATURE of Messiah in us to ‘grow’, so that we actually are ‘transformed.’
This is the ‘discipline’ part of actually being a ‘disciple.’ The Hebrew word for ‘disciple’ is TALMID, which comes from the root word LAMAD, which means to ‘study’/’learn’.
The Hebrew idea of study and learning is far different from the greek model most of the west runs on. Lamad [bottom above] is made up of three letters: Lamed, [a staff] mem [mayim], and dalet [door]. One of the word pictures we get, then, from the Hebrew letters is “Shepherd the people to the door.” In the Jewish mind, a “Talmid” is one who STUDIES/LEARNS the TORAH.
Yeshua, the ‘good shepherd,’ said “Go into all the world and make “Talmidim,” תַלְמִידִים , which is a plural noun based on that same three-letter verb root. Its word picture adds a tav on the front, and a yod before the dalet, and then a yod-mem on the back of the previously mentioned letters. “The sign of shepherding the people of Yah to the door is Yah IN the people!” Where did I get that? A ‘tav’ is a ‘sign’, and a yod is the first letter in the Name of Elohim, and in Yeshua’s Name.
Sure, this may be a reach, especially if one does not know/believe that Hebrew’s meaning goes way beyond just the surface of the text. But, it matches what Scripture says is the greatest miracle, the greatest MYSTERY in scripture!
Sha’ul writes in Kol 1:24-29
“And now, rejoice in my sufferings for you, and make up that which is lacking of the sufferings of Mashi’akh in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the congregation, for which I became a shammash [servant/minister] according to the stewardship of Elohim which has been given to me for you, fully to declare Davar HaElohim [The Word of G-d] everywhere. Even the Sod [MYSTERY] which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is revealed to His K’doshim [set-apart ones]; to whom Elohim wanted to make known the riches of the GLORY of this Sod among the Goyim; which is Mashi’akh IN YOU, the HOPE OF OUR GLORY. HIM we declare and teach and make known to every man in all wisdom, that we may cause every man to become perfect through Yeshua HaMashi’akh; and to this end I labor and strive through the help of the power which is given to me.”
Again, the purpose of His Glory, and the ABSOLUTE TRUTH of it, is NOT in miracles, so much as it is in OUR BECOMING PERFECTED in Him in THIS LIFE. While I am by NO means anywhere near comparable to Sha’ul, I yet feel a kinship to him, as the founder and co-overseer of one of the congregations of Yeshua. We [the overseers of Bat-Tzion] STRIVE, in prayer, and in leadership, and in correction, and in teaching, and in doctrine, to help ourselves and those who submit themselves to Messiah in our care to become perfect in Him. And, like Sha’ul, though we are not yet perfect, we PRESS ON!
Others look at us and ‘think’ we are a bunch of nuts trying to look Jewish. They THINK we are trying to ‘earn’ our salvation. They THINK we are ‘under the law,’ simply because we choose to obey and follow Yeshua and not the popes or rabbis. [when in fact being ‘under the law’ means to know it and break it, add to it, or take away from it] NO! We are a collection of misfits who have been redeemed from the SIN and the corruption of this world, and have been given the very POWER of LIFE, the power of creation itself, and we are learning that it is to be used first on OURSELVES, in regard to being transformed into the image of His Son, so that others will SEE and KNOW that we belong to the Creator, and to His Son, by whom He created all things. And if we do that, then yes, HE will do miracles through us [and He has, many times]. But, we are NOT a part of the wicked group who only seeks a miracle, who need miracles like a spiritual drug, always wanting another ‘hit’ in order to affirm their faith, while ignoring the simple beauty of Torah obedience. Many times, they deny reality, claiming a miracle that does NOT EXIST, and write off the incredulous as having no faith. No, the indcredulous just have common sense, and can see through the ruse and the self-deception. These people NEVER CHANGE. They THINK ‘pressing on’ from ‘glory to glory’ is getting the next ‘hit’ of the spiritual drug, another episode of shondai rondai, another healing, another ‘word’, another ‘good cry’, equating emotion to His Ru’akh. They have no idea of the GLORY of being transformed FROM WITHIN. They are truly ‘tossed about’ by every spirit of doctrine that they cannot be transformed. They’re too busy moving and shaking, such that they cannot be still and KNOW Elohim is G-d.
I write this as a public affirmation of the GLORY that I have seen in our congregation over the last year or so. While we do ‘suffer’ at times, even though not near to the level of our founding Jewish forebears, and certainly not to the level of Messiah, suffering in death on a tree, yet we do undergo various trials and tests, personal and congregational. And over the last year or so, I have made note of GREAT successes in Messiah in many of our members. While we lost a few to bad doctrine, or to laziness [lukewarm], or to personal, petty grievances, we yet GREW in STRENGTH because so many were challenged, and yet prevailed, UNIFYING with the Body of Messiah in our local congregation. There were many who were challenged by bad doctrine, corrected not only by the leadership, but also by Messiah Himself, who humbled themselves and UNIFIED with Bat-Tzion! There were those who were challenged by their own petty grievances, who were challenged back by the leadership and shown how small their concern was compared to the overwhelming LOVE of the congregation, and they humbled themselves, and learned the true meaning of “khen,” and of “khesed”, and of “rakham” [grace, compassion, mercy], and learned to give those beautiful endowments to their brothers. And there have been those whose lukewarm, lackadaisical attitude toward fellowship was replaced by a refreshed zeal for and care for the assembling of the brethren. And to those who showed us, your leadership, those endowments of the Ru’akh, we are grateful for not expecting perfection of us, just yet! To all of you, your leaders in Messiah are GRATEFUL for your response to teaching, and to correction, and to encouragement, and to spurning. THAT is the TRUE GLORY of Messiah Yeshua! THAT is the ‘proof’ of the Shepherd leading by His hand the people to the door of LIFE. THAT is the true ‘sign’ of Yah, Yeshua, being in our midst! For those who left Bat-Tzion over their petty grievances, I feel great pity, because they are missing out on the real glory of the Congregation of Messiah: Being TRANSFORMED as individuals, and being KNIT TOGETHER is a single Body.
Yeshua said He would be in our midst. He is. And the proof is manifest. Our people are genuinely being transformed, and conformed, and unified IN TRUTH. While others seek ‘vain glory’ through the fancies of men and of this world, we seek the true sap and fatness of the Tree, the very LIFE of Messiah Yeshua, that helps us to defy our humanity and become Sons of Elohim in TRUTH. Mazel Tov, Bat-Tzion! V’hatzlekha! Keep up the good WORK!