Monthly Archives: December 2016

Light Revelation

light-shines-in-darknessLight is essential for our survival, both physically and spiritually.  At this time of year, we celebrate light in the darkness.  The menorah symbolizes the light of Yeshua (Ps 119:105, John 8:12)  Arlene Sheldon provides an interesting study on Yeshua’s miracles that correspond with His “I AM” statements ( http://www.wellofbethlehem.witnesstoday.org/menorah.html ) as the living menorah.  The light of the Father poured forth from Yeshua.  Yet, Yeshua tells us that we are the light of the world (Matt 5:14).  What is light? How are we to be light in the darkness?

YHVH created light on the first day, but He created the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day.  What was the light that YHVH created?  Some ridicule the Bible and say that it contradicts itself.  How could YHVH create light but not create the sun until day four?  In his article entitled Sunlight Before the Sun, John D. Morris, PhD. from the Institute for Creation Resource points out that there are many types of light such as short-wave light including ultraviolet light and X-rays and long-wave light including infrared light and radio waves.  Perhaps YHVH created the materials for light on day one and then chose different combinations of materials for various types of light.  YHVH provides various combinations of spiritual light within us as we draw closer to Him, the Source of light.

We can be misled by what we do not see.  For example, when we turn on an incandescent light bulb, we may think that the light we see is the only light produced by the bulb.  However the incandescent bulb emits only around 10% of its energy as visible light and the remainder is infrared light (“Light,” Wikipedia).   We are to be light in the darkness.  Are we incandescent bulbs?  No, we are light in the sense that there is ignorance or defiance of YHVH’s truth and we can reflect the light of YHVH’s truth to those living in the chaos of darkness.  We may think that the light we provide to the world is small and insignificant, but perhaps we are unaware of the various kinds of light that YHVH is able to produce through us.

Light can also mean understanding or comprehension of Scripture.  Psalm 119:130 states, The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple (ESV).  When we read or study Scripture, we can interpret or comprehend on four levels. Peshat is the surface or literal meaning,  Remez the allegorical or symbolic meaning,  Daresh  the comparative meaning given through similar occurrences and Sod is the secret meaning given through inspiration or revelation.  Light can penetrate through layers of darkness.  As we comprehend Scripture and it becomes part of us, we emanate its light to those around us.  Light and truth are closely related to each other.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God (John 3:21 NIV).

YHVH Himself is light.  1 John 1:5 states …God is light, and in Him there is no darkness.   YHVH has many mysteries hidden in the dark and as they are revealed, YHVH will be more fully revealed.  How do we reveal YHVH to others?  Isaiah 58:10 says If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness and your darkness shall be as the noonday.

By steeping ourselves in YHVH’s light through His word and through personal relationship with Him, the oil of the Holy Spirit will keep our lamps burning brightly in the ever increasing darkness of this world.  Our light will shine through our words and actions to others.  Let your light shine in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matt 5:16).  We will not only survive in the darkness, we will thrive.

 

Gedi Star Teachings

gedi-the-goatToday we are going to explore another of the amazing signs that YHVH placed in our heavens from the beginning of Creation.  The sign is commonly known as Capricorn, which translated from Latin literally means a horned goat.  However, as I have mentioned in the past, we cannot trust modern Greek and Latin names of stars or constellations, as their names and meanings have been corrupted over the years from the original Hebrew meanings.  In Hebrew, this sign is called Gedi, which means kid goat, but is sometimes translated as sea goat, due to the strange half-goat/half-fish image portrayed in ancient drawings of the sign.

The image we see in Egyptian, Indian, and Phoenician drawings is of a fish that is weak and dying at the head, but alive as a healthy fish at its tail end.  The stars in this sign confirm the meaning associated with this image: ma’asad: the slaying; dabih: the sacrifice slain; and sa’ad al nashira: the cutting off.  As with many Hebrew words, gedi (kid goat) has a second meaning: to be cut off.  This sign, then, represents the sacrificial Goat of atonement, Yeshua, who was slain to redeem us from our sins, was “cut off” (crucified) to bring us salvation, healing and deliverance from evil.

The fish portion of the goat’s body represents us: the people for whom the sacrifice was made.  Other star names in this sign also point to Gedi as being the goat who was sent into the wilderness for remission of our sins (so that they would be sent away as far as the east is from the west).  We know that Yeshua fulfilled both of these goat sacrifices!

To complete this awesome picture story, the three constellations associated with this sign give more of the details. The 1st constellation is Sagitta, means “the arrow of Elohim sent forth” – this connects with Psalm 38:2 where it says “Your arrows have struck deep, and Your blows are crushing Me”; and also Isaiah 53:4-5: “He was stricken, smitten of God & afflicted; He was wounded for our transgressions”.  Aquila (the eagle) is the 2nd constellation in Gedi – the stars in this constellation convey the meaning of “the smitten One falling”, “the One who comes in the Shekinah glory of God to shed His blood as a sacrifice”; and “the One who was wounded in the heel” (Gen 3:15).

The third and final constellation in Gedi is Delphinus, the original name meaning “the dead One rising”.  It is shown in ancient Zodiacs as a fish full of life, always with his head pointing upwards.  This represents Yeshua’s resurrection as “the first-fruits of them that sleep” (I Cor 15:20).  The Hebrew name is Dalaphin, which means Dolphin and also “pouring out of water”.  We see from this word picture that Yeshua fulfilled the prophecy to pour out the Holy Spirit on all flesh, symbolized in Scripture as the “fountains of living waters”.

The brightest star in Gedi is actually a double star named Deneb Al Giedi – “the Judge who is the sacrifice.”  When we think about Yeshua’s dual role as our Messiah, we know that He came to save us from our sins in His first coming to Earth, but that He will be our ultimate Judge in His second coming. As Yeshua says in John 3:36: “Whoever trusts in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but will remain under God’s judgment”.  Draw close to Yeshua and He will draw close to you; get to know Him intimately and your greatest desire will be to trust Him with your life, walk in His way and lovingly obey all of His commandments.

Righteous Oaks

righteous-oaksWhen YHVH promises in the beginning of Verse 3 of Isaiah 61 that He will give us: “Beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of the spirit of heaviness”, His end goal is not just to give us temporary help to get us through a crisis in our lives. Ultimately, God is building us up to be trees [oaks] of righteousness. We are the “trees” God is planting in the place He desires us to bear fruit.

Oak trees are known to be the strongest, most sturdy and resilient of all trees on Earth. They can withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, droughts and floods better than almost any other type of tree.  God likens His children to oak trees and says we can be just like them in our character and integrity: “They shall be like great oaks of righteousness”.  These are not the words of a long-ago prophecy that have no meaning for us today. This is the expression of God’s heart for His people down through the generations. God wants us to be strong and enduring and He has given us clear insight in His word as to how we are to make that happen.

The average large oak tree needs as much as fifty gallons of water per day, so the root system is large and goes deep to reach that water. The root system not only brings the needed nourishment to the tree but it provides the anchoring base that allows the tree to withstand all kinds of assaults, from the wind, the rain and the shaking of earthquakes.  The root system of a mature oak tree can total hundreds of miles, and the roots of an oak tree extend out underground up to two and a half times their height.  So how can we as YHVH’s children ever hope to have such deep roots?

Jeremiah 17:7-8 is a powerful amplification of what Isaiah is talking about: “But blessed is the person who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit”.

Both in Isaiah 61 and here in Jeremiah, it is clear that YHVH plants His seeds purposefully. He does not take His seeds and scatter them to the wind, disregarding where they fall.  God picks a perfect place for each of us, personally putting the tender shoot in the ground, knowing exactly what lies ahead. God knows every detail of our lives and the place of our planting and He does not make mistakes; we were not planted in the wrong part of the garden!

We were destined to display the “splendor of the Lord.” It doesn’t matter how you feel, you are destined to display the splendor and majesty of YHVH. There are days when you may not feel that you are reflecting God’s glory to others in your world, but if you have deep spiritual roots and are standing tall in constant relationship with YHVH, you will be displaying His majesty.   In fact, He will “rejoice over you with gladness” (Zephaniah 3:17) and even “protect you from trouble and surround you with songs of victory” (Psalm 32:7).

Trees do not instantly develop deep roots, and neither do people – both must go through difficult times of physical or spiritual drought and hardship, and must be patient until their roots develop.  In the case of God’s people, we must be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and grow in our faith and spiritual maturity, learning to trust YHVH more and more for strength to overcome the attacks and temptations of the world.

Trees contribute greatly to purify the air, and render it fit for us to breathe. When the air around us passes through leaf surfaces, it is purified and invigorated.  In the same way, there is a moral atmosphere around us.  When the air around us passes through our spirit and soul, we have the ability to speak life or death, blessing or curse to those around us.  As YHVH spoke in Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, loving the LORD [YHVH] your God, paying attention to what He says and clinging to Him — for that is the purpose of your life!

As YHVH’s children, when we trust in Him with all our heart and follow His ways and His instructions, our roots will go down deep into the “earth” of the Holy Spirit within us, enabling us to withstand all the trials and tribulations of life, bearing much fruit and glorifying Him through our lives.  As YHVH says in Jeremiah 17:7-8 about those whose confidence is in Him: “we will be like trees planted by the stream, that send our roots deep: we will not fear when heat [persecution] comes; our leaves will always be green. We will have no worries in a year of drought and we will never fail to bear fruit”.

Building Plans

working-together

Exodus 35 paints a beautiful picture not only of the past but of the future as YHVH’s plan unfolds.  In Exodus 35, Moshe had already received the blueprint of the tabernacle to be built for YHVH’s dwelling place on earth.  Now, the people were contributing their goods, time and talents according to what YHVH has provided for each person.  All the people were working together for the glory of YHVH!

There were no distinctions or exclusions among the people.  Every person was invited to participate if  he or she was willing.  Each had something to contribute.  Men and women were both included.

When the Israelites left Egypt, there was a mixed multitude (Ex 12:37-38).  YHVH’s demonstration of His power and the powerlessness of the false gods awakened more than just the Israelites to recognize the one true God.  An unreported number of Gentiles were in the group.  All the people were told to keep the Shabbat and the other appointed times.  YHVH, who is a God of relationship, provided in His plan set times for a family reunion three times a year after they were settled in the Promised Land.  While they were in the desert, they could all meet with YHVH each Shabbat as well.

Today Jews, lost tribes, and Gentiles are being called to help establish and be part of YHVH’s kingdom.  In this case it is not Moshe who has the blueprint, but the Holy Spirit. All are called to participate. All are called to the appointed times YHVH has provided for us.  Each person has an assignment in the work and each person is called to contribute according to the provisions of  goods, time and talent that YHVH has provided. There is  neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor freeman, neither male nor female; for in union with the Messiah Yeshua, you are all one (Gal 3:28 CJB).

Every person is important to the work of YHVH’s kingdom building.  Every person is needed and has a specific role to play, a specific assignment to carry out.  In the wilderness, as the people were building a tabernacle, YHVH was building a community, a family.  So it is today.

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought (1 Cor 1:10 NIV).

Tending the Garden

producing-fruitAt creation, humans were placed in an enclosed garden and were given dominion of the earth and the assignment of tending the garden.  There was at this point no barrier between YHVH and those whom He created in His image and likeness, so it is fair to assume that there was communication between YHVH and Adam and Eve.  YHVH is a God of relationship.  Among other things, perhaps YHVH was giving advice and guidance on how best to tend their garden home.  After all, He is the Creator of all things and knows how everything best functions.

Since the fall of Adam and Eve, we are assigned another task, an additional garden to be tended, the garden of our souls.  When we are born again, our spirit is perfect and sealed (John 3:6, Eph 4:30, 1 Pet 1:23), but the soul and body remain unchanged and must be renewed or improved by our deliberate cooperation with the Holy Spirit.  Scripture tells us that our bodies will be resurrected and transformed (1 Cor 15:50, 53), but what about our souls?  Our souls are made up of mind, will and emotions.  It is here that we must do our greatest work of yielding to the Holy Spirit (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:22-23, Col 3:1-3).  Just as Satan entered the Garden of Eden with evil intent and deceit, so he sends his workers to enter the garden of our souls to wreak havoc of all sorts, especially through deceit.

Just as Adam and Eve had dominion (management) of the Garden of Eden and therefore could have ousted the intruder, hasatan, we have dominion of our souls and can yield ground either to YHVH or to His enemy.  We must oust the enemy in every part of our soul garden so that YHVH is welcome to reside there with us (Rev 3:20).

The Holy Spirit walks with us each day to provide assistance.  With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, it is our job to remove the weeds of guilt, doubt, fear, envy, selfishness, pride, and strife.  It is in these areas that we “do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do.” (Rom 7:19).  We must also seek the Holy Spirit to help us identify and heal soul wounds which are deep emotional pains and injuries.   It is in these areas that the enemy can sow new seeds by planting new lies.

We cannot be totally possessed by the devil when we are born again for there is at least one part of us already sealed and off limits.  However, in areas of our soul where we have built false strongholds, we have created a place to welcome and harbor demons.  What is a false stronghold?  It is any attitude or pattern of behavior where we are still in charge or where we rely on anything or anyone other than YHVH to help us.  Strongholds are built of lies and misconceptions and are places of darkness within the soul.  Demons are active in encouraging us to erect strongholds, for this is a place where they can live and get a solid foothold in their work of stealing, killing and destroying (John 10:10).

If demons have infiltrated and taken possession of part of our gardens, they must be removed through deliverance.  Many people avoid this step because of fear of the unknown.  Also, many have seen the drama that can be involved in deliverance.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  Deliverance under the guidance of the Holy Spirit can be quiet, civilized and completed in a very short time. It is our duty to remove the enemy from our garden.  Afternward, it is crucial that we identify and tear down the false strongholds that we have built.  Thus we destroy any “homes” for the enemy and can invite the Holy Spirit to move into those areas.  It is in dying to ourselves and yielding control to YHVH in every aspect of our mind, will and emotions that our soul gardens will flourish and prosper.

When we are tempted to neglect the tasks involved in tending our garden, we would be wise to read and meditate on the following Scriptures:

So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.  Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions (Matt 7:19-20)

Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire (Matt 3:10).

Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt 10:28).

Let us take seriously the tending of our soul gardens and yield good fruit so that our Father may be glorified.