Hearing Twice

Ezekiel 3:10.   Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.

When we only hear with our ears, we receive a carnal interpretation of what was heard. Carnal hearing and carnal thoughts are a distinctly earthly perspective on when and what God has spoken. When believers meditate on the scriptures and receive them into their heart, there is a second hearing, from a heavenly perspective. Paul refers to this as “the Holy Spirit testifying to our spirit.” This is receiving wisdom by being born from above.

Psalm 62:11.  God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.

There are two most popular interpretations of this verse. One is the “idiomatic interpretation”, that is a Hebrew expression that actually means, “God speaks repeatedly”. He must get tired of saying the same thing over and over to people who ‘have ears, but do not hear.’ The more ancient Rabbinic interpretation is that God spoke once on Sinai, and Moses spoke the Torah twice to the children of Israel, Deuteronomy being the second.

How then can you apply this verse from Psalm 62 in a living way to your life? When Ezekiel 3:10 testifies to an understanding of Psalm 62:11, the Holy Spirit is able to interpret every word of scripture from the heavenly perspective, not the earthly perspective. This has been the basis for what I have been teaching for the past several months, most recently ‘Mercy Is Strength”.

Set Before Faithful Men

2 Timothy 2:2. And the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit unto faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

The Memorials of God exist to perpetuate the memory of His intent and purpose. A faithful man understands that his commitment is not only to learn and live in the Remembrance of the Lord, but also to discipleship and the passing on of the doctrine of Christ to faithful men. This is what brought about the calling of Abraham.

To Command your Children and your Household

Isaiah 18:19.   For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

This testimony of God concerning Abraham is echoed in the testimony of Cornelius.

Acts 10:2.  A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.

A righteous man instructs others in the way of the Lord to keep right judgment.

Psalm 106:3.  Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that does righteousness at all times.

To Love what He Loves

Psalm 33:4, 5.  For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in the Spirit of Truth. He loves righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

To love righteousness and judgment is to abide in His presence by the Spirit of Truth; for “righteousness and judgment is the habitation of His Throne.”

A Righteous Nation under God

Jeremiah 22:3. Thus saith the Lord; Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

We stir up our hearts by the Remembrance of His compassion for those who are afflicted.

Psalm 103:6. The Lord executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

Genuine conversion is only accomplished by the righteousness from above.

Isaiah 1:27. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

Born from Above

1 John 2:29.   If you know that he is righteous, you know that every one that does righteousness is born of him.

This is the work of the Holy Spirit through faithful men.

John 16:8.  And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

 

 

Trumpets of Memorial and Remembrance

In Numbers chapter 10, Moses receives instructions to manufacture two pure silver trumpets for general use of calling an assembly and for the movements of the camp. These two trumpets are for the exclusive use of the sons of Aaron, and are distinctive from the more familiar ram’s horn.

The calling of assemblies at the tent of meeting were appointments with the Lord for chosen men and the nature of that calling is prophetic to the church. Christ is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets, and the law and the prophets foreshadow God’s plan for the body of Christ. The original intention for the people of Israel is presented by God in Exodus.

Exodus 19:4-6.  You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.                                                                 

This covenant plan is transferred to the body of Messiah:

1 Peter 2:9.  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.                                                                                                    

In fact, the Lord modified his intentions on occasion during the wilderness trek in response to the obedience of some and the disobedience of others. A kingdom of priests became a tribe of priests under Aaron and his direct line, and his tribe Levi.

We see this again in Numbers 11:16&17, when the Lord establishes a special class of men by removing a portion of the anointing on Moses and placing this upon seventy chosen men . Beginning in Genesis 32, after Jacob wrestles all night with an angel of God, he is given the name Israel. In verse 32, his descendants are first referred to as the children of Israel.

Then in Exodus 12:3, a new term is introduced: the congregation of Israel. The Hebrew word is edah and is derived from the word ad which means witness and is itself derived from ud, meaning to testify. Thus congregation in this sense is better understood as witnesses.

Keep in mind that at the time this reference is introduced, the children of Israel have just witnessed God’s judgments upon Egypt and the Lord is implementing the first Passover in preparation for the exodus.

We also find in Exodus the common expression tabernacle of the congregation. However, a different word is employed here, yet it also is translated congregation in the King James. The Hebrew mo-ad means an appointed or set time, thus the better translation is tent of meeting used in most other translations.

Thus, the trumpets are used at appointed times that they may be established as a memorial; and a remembrance in time of war.

Numbers 10:9.  And if you go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresses you, then you shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and you shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.                                                                                            

Numbers 10:10.  Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.    

The trumpets are said to be used for the calling of the edah, or witnesses in Numbers 10:2 & 3. Keep in mind that this originally referred to all of the people, even as the priesthood. However the people proved themselves to be unmanageable.

In Numbers 11, Moses brings his complaint before God and expresses his preference to by killed rather than continue with a burden that is too heavy for him. (Numbers 11: 11-15).

When Moses speaks to the Lord concerning the people complaining about their diet, the Lord says He will provide flesh for them for a whole month until it comes out of their nostrils and it becomes loathsome. Moses responds: “the people are 600,000 soldiers (plus women, children and the elders) and what can be gathered to suffice them?” (Numbers 11:18-23.)  By this estimation, over two million people would have to gather at the entrance to the tabernacle upon hearing trumpets.

In verse 16, the Lord instructs Moses to gather unto Him seventy men at the tent of meeting, to have a portion of the spirit on Moses placed on them to bear the burden for the people.  The calling of the edah is not every one of the children of Israel, but those who were chosen from among the called, for many are called but few are chosen.

2 Peter 1:10.  Therefore brethren be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, you will never fall.                                           

Then in verse 4 the captains (nasee) of thousands are called upon the signal of one trumpet blown. The Hebrew word nasee is also translated prince, ruler and chief. It means one who has been elevated or promoted, but also to bear up, such as a burden.

In the kingdom of God, rulers are raised up to bear responsibility. When princes in Israel and Judah became like pagans and lived a life of privilege, the nation was undermined. Jesus spoke in regard to John the Baptist: “men in soft apparel dwell in king’s palaces.”

The two trumpet signal calling the witnesses would be in regard to matters of the Law, for they received the anointing to function as judges. The second assembly would pertain to administrative and military affairs and would require the captains of thousands to be in attendance. These are the calling of assemblies for which the trumpets were to be used. The second function is for the journeying of the camps.

In Numbers 9:17-23 is a description of how the entire camp began and ended every leg of their journey. The movement of the camp was always at the command of the Lord as expressed by the cloud upon the tent of meeting. They kept the charge of the Lord at the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses. The hand of Moses is established by trumpet signals described in chapter 10:5&6.

Within these instructions is found another important word for study. The word is translated alarm, blast, and signal, and is blown to initiate the movements of the camp.

The Hebrew teruwah is the great shout that brought down the walls of Jericho, that caused the earth to ring when the ark of the testimony was brought out in battle, and when David and his house brought forth the ark into the city of David, which is Mount Zion.

Even more important than to shout is what is shouted, for a people to shout out in harmony is to magnify the Lord. This cannot be attained if everyone shouts out whatever seems right in his own mind.

Psalm 89:15.   Blessed are the people who know the teruwah. They walk,  O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.                                                       

Numbers 23:21 proclaims over the Lord’s people “the shout of the King is among them!” The Lord has given us a name to call upon Him as a remembrance for all generations (See The Name of Remembrance).

Blessed are the people who know the name of remembrance to shout with the sound (voice) of the trumpet (shofar).

Joshua 6:5. When the jubilee trumpet sounds the voice of shofar, shout a great teruwah, and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend. 

The voice of the shofar is first introduced in Exodus 19:16, and describes the herald of the Lord’s presence on Mount Sinai. This blast of sound is said to draw near the ones whose heart seeks the Lord.

Most of the people withdrew at the presence of the Lord, but the opposite is what was expected. Moses was instructed to set boundaries around the mount, for whosoever touched the border of the mount must be put to death.

Hebrews 10:38 & 39. Now the just shall live by faith, but if any draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.                                           

And again:

Hebrews 12:18-23.  For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. For they could not endure what was commanded “and if a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” And so terrifying was the sight Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.                                  

The voice of the shofar is not restricted to being produced by a trumpet or ram’s horn. In Isaiah 58:1 the Lord declares: Cry aloud, spare not, and lift up your voice like a trumpet (lift up the voice of shofar), and show my people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins. They claim to delight in “drawing near” to God by fasting and afflicting their souls.

The voice of the shofar is the Spirit of the Messiah or Christ. Jesus said:

John 5:25.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour shall come, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. 

And again:

John 5:27 & 28. Marvel not at this, for an hour shall come when all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and those that have done good shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but those that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.                                                                                                

Psalm 47 says God ascends upon the teruwah and the voice of shofar.

Shout unto God with the voice of triumph! The voice of triumph is the shout of the King. The jubilee of reconciliation and drawing near to God, the proclamation of liberty!

Remembering The House of God

John 2:17.  Then His disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for Your house will consume Me.

The Gospel of John has a unique account of Jesus overturning tables of the money changers in the Temple. After all the animals had been driven away and the money poured out, Jesus says “Take these things away, do not make My Father’s House a place for merchants.”

The more knowledgeable you become in the Word of God, the more the Holy Spirit is able to speak to you in every situation. Jesus had created a very perilous environment for Himself and the disciples, and most people under these circumstances would be thinking “let’s get out of here, now!” The disciples must have been captivated to see the Word of God being played out before their eyes.

This was not the first time they were witnessing prophecy fulfilled, and their hearts would soon be broken to watch what they refused to accept. Even though Jesus warned them three times, their minds refused to accept that the Christ would soon be crucified. The remembrance of Jesus’s words would have a devastating effect. Put yourself in the shoes of Peter when he was confronted by the crowd and accused of being a follower of Christ. He began to curse and deny knowing the man, until the rooster crowed.

Matthew 26:75.  And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which said unto him “before the rooster crows you shall deny me three times”. And he went out and wept bitterly.

Oh that we could remember the Word of the Lord before we speak! This is why we must pray like David;

Psalms 19:14.  Keep your servant from presumptuous words, let them not have dominion over me. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my strength and my Redeemer.                                        

For even the meek Moses failed to enter the Promised Land, because he failed to sanctify the Lord before the people and spoke presumptuously at the waters of Meribah.

Psalm 106:32,33.  They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill for Moses for their sakes; because they provoked his spirit, so that he spoke unadvisedly with his lips.  (Numbers 20:10-13).

The Remembrance the disciples experience at this incident at the temple is found in Psalm 69, which is one of several Messianic visions of David.

Psalm 69:5. God you know my foolishness and my sins are not hid from you. Let not them that wait on you, O Lord, be ashamed for my sake; let not those that seek you be confounded for my sake God of Israel.                                        

The anointing of Christ must place a burden of responsibility on the stewards of the Gospel to not offend someone to the detriment of their soul. James wrote:

 James 3:2.  if a man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.                                                                            

We must discipline our tongue before we can ever discipline our flesh.

Psalm 69:9.  For the zeal of your house consumes me, and the reproaches of them that reproached you are fallen upon me.                                                           

The second half of this verse is quoted by Paul:   

Romans 15:2,3.  Let every one of us please our neighbors for the good of edification. For even Christ did not please Himself but as it is written: the reproaches of them that reproached you are fallen upon me.                                                  

This is his overriding theme that began in the previous chapter.

Romans 14 is devoted to the exhortation that concern for our brethren must direct our actions. A zeal for God’s House can now only be expressed through our concern for each other. 

Romans 14:13.  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore but judge this rather that no one put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in a brother’s way. 

The other three Gospels give a different rendering of this event.               

Matthew 21:13, Isaiah 56:7.  “It is written: My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”                                                                    

Then a significant event immediately follows the merchants being driven from the Temple.   

Matthew 21:14.  And the blind and the lame came to Him and he healed them. 

The blind and the lame entered the Temple for the first time because the Lord made the way for them. Their exclusion from the Temple was brought about by a curse spoken by David in anger, and is found in 2 Samuel 5. David and his men went to take Jerusalem from the Jebusites and are taunted by them saying “unless you can defeat the blind and the lame you will not come up here.” They considered the stronghold of Zion to be impregnable, but Joab led the men up the sewer and defeated the Jebusites and slew “the blind and the lame whom David’s soul hates.”

Therefore it became a statute at the words of David that the blind and the lame shall not come into The House. Again, words spoken in contempt by an anointed man of God became a curse that Jesus removed with His compassion.

Zeal for the house of God can now only be expressed through compassion and loving kindness.

Remembrance of His Holiness

Psalm 30:4.  Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.                                                                                     

King David wrote Psalm 30 at the dedication of his house, which is mentioned in 2 Samuel 5. He had already reigned in Hebron for over seven years before the elders of Israel came to him.

2 Samuel 5:3.  So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king of Israel.                                                                                       

However, it was not until he captured Mount Zion from the Jebusites that he choose the stronghold of Zion for his house, and this stronghold came to be known as the city of David.

2 Samuel 5:12.  Then Hiram, king of Tyre sent craftsmen and materials to build David a house. And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel’s sake.                 

Psalm 97:12.  Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.                                                                                    

We enjoy a direct experience of the holiness of the Lord by His everlasting remembrance of us, described in this Psalm.

Psalm 97:10 & 11. You that love the LORD, hate evil: He preserves the souls of his saints; he delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

Remembrance of an Everlasting Covenant

Psalm 112:6.  Surely you shall not be moved forever; the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.                                                                                   

We remain in everlasting remembrance based on the relationship established by the everlasting covenants that exist between God and His creation. After the flood, righteous Noah and his family stood as witnesses to the first blood covenant recorded in Genesis 9. We begin to understand the need for Christ to shed His blood for our sanctification and redemption beginning with the terms of this covenant.

After man had corrupted his ways upon the earth, this brought on God’s first judgment by water. On the first day of his six hundred and first year Noah exited the ark along with all the animals that were delivered from destruction. Gen 8:13. God then blessed Noah and his sons giving them commandment to replenish the earth. Gen 9:1. It was at this time that man was granted permission to eat the flesh of animals with one critical restriction.

Genesis 9:4.  But you shall not eat the flesh with the blood.                                          

The apostles at Jerusalem confirmed the gentile churches and aligned with Paul in not requiring circumcision and the keeping of the Levitical laws. They did demand four ordinances be kept by all believers:

Acts 15:20.  that they abstain from the pollution of idols and fornication and things strangled and from blood.      

This everlasting covenant is a blood covenant, and the basis for understanding this is Genesis 9.

Genesis 9:5 & 6.  And surely your blood of your lives will I require at the hand of every beast will I require and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood shall his blood be shed for man was made in the image of God.                                          

God then gave the rainbow to be the token of an everlasting covenant with not only man, but all of the earth. 

Genesis 9:13.  I do set my bow in the cloud and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.                                                                          

Genesis 9:16.  And the bow shall be in the cloud and I will look upon it that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.                                                          

It is time for the church to fully grasp the nature of this perpetual agreement in order to have a right understanding of the covenants that form the basis for their relationship with God. Consider the serious nature of God’s covenant with the earth from Isaiah’s horrifying vision of judgment.

Isaiah 24:3-6.  The land shall be utterly empty and utterly spoiled for the Lord has spoken this word. The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away, and arrogant people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth and they that dwell therein are desolate; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men are left.                                                                                                        

And how has the earth been defiled? By pollution? By waste? By radiation? Think again. By the spiritual principles of the Bible the earth is defiled by fornication, sacrifices to idols and false gods and the shedding of innocent blood. Man can clean up a toxic waste site, but only by blood can a land be cleansed of blood.

This is the terms of the everlasting covenant; that God would require blood for blood. Only by the shed blood of the Messiah can man be redeemed from the curses of a covenant violation.

The judgment is foreshadowed in the way God dealt with Judah in the time of Jeremiah. This same standard of judgment awaits a church that turns from the everlasting covenants.

1 Peter 4:17.  for judgment must begin with the house of God. 

Jeremiah 7:4.  Trust not in lying words saying: the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord…                                                                                                   

Simply being a church member is no more insurance than having the temple of the one true God in your capital city. 

Jeremiah 7:8-16.  Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, and swear falsely, and follow other gods; and come stand before me in this house which is called by my name… which has become a den of robbers…therefore pray not for this people. 

There comes a time when true intercessors can no longer pray for the church in general because the curse of another gospel is being taught within her buildings.

Revelation 11:18.  And nations are angry and your wrath has come and the time of the dead; that they should be judged and that you should give reward unto your servants the prophets and the saints and them that fear your name small and great; and that you should destroy them which corrupt and destroy the earth.                                                                                                  

The second everlasting covenant became the most controversial and divisive issue for the New Testament congregations. In Genesis 17 God changed Abram’s name to Abraham to establish His everlasting covenant with him. God commanded that circumcision of every male be the token of that covenant. 

Genesis 17:13.  He that is born into your house and he that is purchased must be circumcised and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.                                                                                                      

The apostle Paul was tasked by the Holy Spirit to set this issue in order for the church and is addressed extensively in his letters. The key to a right understanding is in the verse I just included: my covenant shall be in your flesh.

The Law of Moses included commandments pertaining to circumcision, while also acknowledging there was a spiritual component to a full understanding of the covenant law.

Jesus used this as a point to illustrate the greater spiritual truth in understanding the Word of God.

John 7:22-24.  Moses gave unto you circumcision, not because it is of Moses but of the fathers, and you on the Sabbath day circumcise a male. If circumcision is performed on the Sabbath day that the Law of Moses should not be broken, why be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? Judge not according to appearance but judge righteous judgment.                               

The need to ultimately be circumcised in the heart is addressed in the book of Deuteronomy. 

Deuteronomy 10:16.  Circumcise the foreskins of your heart and be no more stiff necked. 

Deuteronomy 30:6.  And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your children to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul that you may live. 

With this in mind we will skip Paul’s in depth arguments and go directly to his conclusions.

1 Corinthians 7:19.  Circumcision nor uncircumcision is not what matters, but obedience to God.   

Galatians 5:6  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working by love.                                                                   

Philippians 3:3.  For we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh.                                  

                                                

The Name of Remembrance

In Exodus chapter three, Moses asks the Lord how he should respond if the children of Israel ask him what is His name.

Exodus 3:13-15. Then Moses said to God,  I come to the children of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you,  and they say to me,   What is His name? what shall I say to them?

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. Moreover God said to Moses, Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.

Here memorial is used for ‘zeker’ which for consistency and application should have been translated remembrance. Keep in mind that the Lord is preparing to bring the congregation out of bondage with a great deliverance. On this historic occasion, the people are given a name for them to call out in all generations for deliverance from their enemies.

This inconsistency translating zeker is repeated in Hosea chapter twelve. After declaring his controversy with Judah, the Lord again declares Himself as Deliverer of Israel in:

Hosea 12:5.  even the Lord God of hosts, the Lord is His memorial (zeker).

Again zeker is translated memorial, rather than remembrance, when the point is to call on the name of the Lord to be remembered.

This is the language of covenant. When Moses first asked for a name, the Lord declared Hayah hayah, I Am That I Am. Hayah is the Hebrew root from which is derived YHVH. In the same way that the name of remembrance is shortened to I Am, YHVH is shortened:

Psalm 68:4.  Sing unto God, sing praises to His name, extol Him that rides upon the heavens by His name Yah (Yahu), and rejoice before Him.   

Yahu is incorporated into many Hebrew names such as Elijah in English translations. In Hebrew though the name is Yahu, Eliyahu for Elijah, Yirmiyahu for Jeremiah, etc. Thus the name of remembrance for the people of God to cry out for deliverance is Yahu!

 Exodus 6:2 & 3. The Lord declared unto Moses; I am the Lord and I appeared unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by the name of God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by my name YHVH was I not known to them.                                                                                              

This becomes all powerful when we acknowledge that when God remembers from heaven, actions result on earth. In Genesis God remembered Noah (8:1), Abraham (19:29), and Rachel (30:22). Prayers were answered and promises were kept.

When we acknowledge our forgetfulness, especially in times of rest and plenty, we can understand what God has provided for us.

Psalms 111:4.  For He has made His wonderful works to be remembered, the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 

Now that the difference between memorial and remembrance has been set before our understanding, we can consider one of the Lord’s most important and final commandments.

Luke 22:19.  He took bread and gave thanks and broke it, and gave unto them saying this is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me.                              

The practice of breaking bread in fellowship became the foundation of Christian fellowship in the book of Acts. Paul writes:      

1 Co 11:23-25.  For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread;  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner also the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink, in remembrance of Me.

This is a true definition of Christian leadership in the Holy Spirit; to receive from the Lord and deliver unto the congregation.  Paul was not a participant at the last supper and had not been welcomed into the fellowship of the church in Jerusalem due to his fearful reputation. Yet the new communities were established in the breaking of bread in fellowship. The breaking of bread is not given to practice as a memorial before God, but a remembrance in the Lord’s sight. Jesus said:                                                                  

Matthew 18:20. “when two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.                                                                                   

This gathering together is initiated by the proper breaking of bread. Continuing in 1 Co 11, Paul warns that not breaking bread properly is to bring damnation on to yourselves. To allow breaking bread to become empty ritual, or to completely neglect the act as obsolete is to deny the very presence of the Lord into your fellowship.

Paul concludes:

1 Co 11:30.  for this cause many have become infirm and many have died.  

From Luke 24 we know that the presence of the Lord in fellowship is essential to a right understanding of His word. After his resurrection, Jesus meets with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and has a conversation which is given to us as a memorial.

Luke 24:30, 31.  Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

After the breaking of bread they knew him for their eyes were opened.                     

Luke 24:32-35.  And they said to one another, Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?  So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those with them gathered together,  saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon. And they told about the things on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

This is the Lord’s remembrance. This is to know Him. Now is the time for believers to enter into the ministry of the burning heart. To break the bread of sincerity and truth. To call on the name of the Lord in remembrance of His mercy.

2 Peter 3:1   Peter said; I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.                    

John 6:33.  For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world.                                                                                                                       

The name of remembrance is used to call on the Lord, especially for deliverance from enemies. Furthermore, to show that this name is a new revelation, the Lord tells Moses: 

Exodus 6:3.  And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name YHVH was I not known to them. 

Yet this Holy Name of God manages to be inserted by scribes into narratives found in the book of Genesis 141 times. Since that time, there has been much controversy over the use of this name. Rabbis teach that use of the Name should be avoided completely for fear of using the name in vain. Out of consideration for this concern, most English translations render YHVH simply as The Lord.

This difficulty was anticipated and  dealt with by the Lord Jesus Christ in a most innovative way. When Jesus spoke of God, He routinely referred to Him as “The Father”. He taught His disciples to pray: “Our Father”. 

The apostle Paul encourages us to be just as intimate with the Father, teaching us:  

Romans 8:15.  For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.                 

While Paul teaches us to be set free from a spirit of slavery and address God as Daddy, it is fear itself that has lead many to avoid the name of remembrance given to Moses. 

The Tree of Life translation has gone full circle and replaced The Lord with Adonai. Adonai is derived from the word Adon, which is lord in a common form. For example, Sarai addressed Abram as “my Lord”, Rebekah addresses Abraham’s head servant the same way when he comes seeking a wife for Isaac.  Adonai is in fact sanctified, being used only in reference to The Lord, but it is not the Holy Name of remembrance given to Moses in Exodus 3. You will need a concordance to know when Adonai is actually used in the original text and when it is substituting for YHVH. In the Tree of Life Version (TLV), Psalm 103:1 becomes: 

Bless Adonai, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.

For anyone who has been taught the English language, this statement implies that the holy Name of God is Adonai. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as the substitution has been made for YHVH. The holy Name of God has been replaced by a Hebrew word that is derived from the common word Adon, for my Lord.

Leviticus 10:10.   You are to make a distinction between the holy and the common and between the unclean and the clean.

Ezekiel 44:23.  They will teach My people the difference between the holy and the common and explain to them the difference between the unclean and the clean. 

Psalm 135:1(TLV)  Halleluyah! Praise the Name of Adonai. Give praise servants of Adonai.

Adonai does not appear in this verse. More importantly the Hebrew halal Yah is found and translated Halleluyah.  This expression is used frequently in the Psalms and is  simply translated Praise the Lord. Yah is a contracted form of YHVH and used 41 times in the Old Testament. Typically it is also translated “the Lord” beginning at:

Exodus 15:1  The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation:             Tree of Life substitutes:  Adonai is my strength and song

So Adonai replaces Yah in most verses, with the exception of when it is preceded by halal. I suppose Halleli Adonai would be pretty awkward, and Halleluyah is one of the most familiar expressions in all of Christianity. Of course, so is Praise the Lord!

The question being asked then, is it appropriate for the original text to be mistranslated to satisfy a tradition of men. 

Ephesians 2:14-17.  For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,  having abolished in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments  in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two,  making peace,  and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.  For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to The Father.

 

                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                 

Memorial of the Firstborn

Exodus 13:9.  And it shall be for a sign unto you upon your hand and for a memorial before your eyes that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt.                                                     

After destroying all the firstborn males of Egypt and sparing Israel, both of man and beast, the Lord claims all the firstborn males who open the womb as His own possession. To eat bread without leaven for seven days is to acknowledge what God sanctifies unto Himself as an ordinance forever. These commandments are for a memorial to the strong hand of the Lord in our life, to direct our actions in accordance with His ways, not our own ability.

Exodus 13:1-8, (abbreviated).  The Lord spoke to Moses; sanctify unto me all the firstborn…remember this day you came out of Egypt, for the Lord brought you out with a strong hand, therefore you shall not eat with leaven….for seven days…and you shall tell your son in that day “This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when he brought me out of Egypt. 

Exodus 13:14, 15.   And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, what is this? You shall say unto him, with a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, the house of slavery…..therefore I sacrifice to the Lord every male that opens the womb but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.                                 

The Lord displays His strong hand in judgment against the strength of man as a display of sovereignty.

1 Corinthians 1:25.   “For the weakness of God is stronger than men.”      

This perception of man invested in the first born male is clearly understood in the words of Jacob in his final blessing upon his sons.

Genesis 49:3.  Reuben you my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.                                     

“The beginning of my strength” is the expression of a man’s virility.            

Psalm 105:36.    He smote all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength. 

On the other hand, God displays His might and the beginning of His strength in creation:

Isaiah 40:26.   Lift up your eyes on high and behold who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one fails.                  

Moreover, this perception of the firstborn male is an expression of the pride of man. In this context, the Lord invests Israel before the witness of Pharaoh (the false man-god) with a severe warning:

Exodus 4:22&23.    And you shall say unto Pharaoh, thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, my firstborn, and I say unto you; let my son go that he may serve me, and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, your firstborn.      

The priesthood had become exclusive to the tribe of Levi after the golden calf incident, and as a result, they took the place of the firstborn redeemed of the Lord.

 Numbers 3:12 & 13.  Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that open the womb from among the children of Israel, therefore the Levites shall be mine because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast, mine shall they be: I am the Lord.                                                                                                  

The census established the number of Levite males qualified to serve with Aaron in the priesthood, the sons of Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. The census of the firstborn males totaled 273 souls above that of the qualified Levite males, and these were redeemed by a five shekel per man redemption price.

Take heed to understand that the church is not exclusive to firstborn males of natural childbirth, but the number establishes a limit to the fullness. God has taken for Himself the firstborn as a reflection of the fact that the Son of God is the firstborn of all creation.

Hebrews 12:23.  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.

In modern day Israel, the government mints a five shekel coin that can be purchased for a family to commemorate a son as the firstborn, by natural childbirth.

Family restrictions in some countries, birth control, abortion and cesarean birth all restrict the number of firstborn males who open the womb, and the church of the firstborn.

Luke 21:24.  For Jerusalem will be trampled upon by the gentiles until the time of the gentiles be fulfilled.                                                                                   

Romans 11:25.  As well the blindness of Israel shall only continue until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.                                                                                 

To be a faithful steward of the mysteries of God is to be aware of this from the scriptures.

To what end is all of this concern for the firstborn, what is the Logos of God revealed to us?                                                                                         

Colossians 1:12-27.  The Father has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the FIRSTBORN OF EVERY CREATURE, for by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him and He is before all things and by Him all things consist. And He is the Head of the body, the church who is the beginning the FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Even the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints, to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.                                                                          

One of the clearest statements of what it means that Jesus Christ, the Son of God is The Logos from the foundation of the cosmos.

Revelation 4:11.   You are worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power, for you have created all things and for your pleasure they are and were created.