Posts Tagged ‘Bride of Messiah’

Priestly and Bridal Garments

“Therefore, since we have a great cohen gadol (high priest) who has passed through the highest heaven, Yeshua, the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we acknowledge as true” (Hebrew 4:14).

The priestly garments, according Exodus 28, were comprised of blue, purple, scarlet, and linen threads.   Yeshua, our High Priest came from heaven represented by the blue and was the royal King of Kings represented by the purple. The scarlet represented his blood sacrifice for the sins of the world while the linen represented his sinless purity.  Woven through the blue, purple and scarlet yarn was gold, hammered so thin, it became a thread.  The gold represented both Yeshua’s divinity as the Son of God as well as his humanity as he was beaten and hammered.

The high priest wore black onyx stones on their shoulder engraved with the names of the 12 Tribes of Isra’el in their birth order.  In Hebrew, the word for ‘engrave’ is charasso and means ‘set free’.   The engraving was done like a ‘seal’ for a signet ring foreshadowing Yeshua who would set his brothers and sisters free from sin and the darkness of the world represented by the black onyx.

“I am so joyful in Adonai!  My soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me in salvation, dressed me with a robe of triumph, like a bridegroom wearing a festive turban, like a bride adorned with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10-11).

Isaiah, in Hebrew is Yeshayahu and literally means ‘salvation of Yah.’  The book of Isaiah has 66 chapters.  The first 39 chapters of Isaiah speak of Israel’s need for redemption while the last 27 speak of Elohim sending salvation or yeshua to Isra’el.

Isaiah describes the wedding clothing of the bride of Messiah.  Along with the priestly garments mentioned above, the Bride wears a festive turban.  The Hebrew word for ‘wear’ in this verse means ‘to mediate’.  The priestly turban had a gold seal with “Holy to Yahweh.”   Wearing a festive turban, the Bride will be Holy to Yahweh because she has ‘meditated’ on her Bridegroom and was ready when he arrived.

The bride wears several garments.  The first is her garment of salvation representing her faith in the atonement of her Bridegroom.  This is like her undergarment.  It is the first piece of clothing she receives.   Her second garment is a ‘robe of triumph’ symbolizing her victory over sin and death and her righteous sanctified life.  Though there is a positional righteousness given to each of us by faith, there is also the practical righteousness of daily obedience to the Father’s commands.  Yeshua is not looking for a lawless bride who does what she thinks is ‘right in her own eyes.’  Yeshua is looking for a set-apart, holy, sanctified Bride.  This garment of triumph is worn over the top of her garment of salvation.

“Then you will be called by a new name which Adonai himself will pronounce.  You will be a glorious crown in the hand of Adonai, a royal diadem held by your God” (Isaiah 62:2-3).

“Then, when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive glory as your unfading crown” (1 Peter 5:4).

When our Bridegroom returns, he will adorn his Bride with jewels and give her a new name.  It will be like a glorious crown and a royal diadem.

“For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)” (Revelation 19:7-8). 

The Bride will be given one more garment, a wedding dress.  It is made of fine linen and stands for the ‘righteous acts of the saints.’  It represents her testimony of the Bridegroom in her life as she lived out the commandments of his Father.   She has persevered with patience and is rewarded accordingly.

When the wedding feast of the Lamb and his Bride arrives, it will be a celebration like no other, an ‘appointed time’ of Yahweh.  In Hebrew, the word ‘bride’ is challah. Every Sabbath evening Jewish families eat a special braided bread known as challah.  It is not called lechem or ‘bread’, but the bride.  This bread makes the Bride of Messiah central to the prophetic vision of the eternal Sabbath where Yeshua is not only present, but rules and reigns for all eternity as King of Kings with his redeemed, sanctified and glorified Bride at his side.

©2017 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Proverbs 31 – Eshet Chayil

Proverbs 31 is called the Eshet Chayil in Hebrew meaning the ‘woman of strength.’ The Eshet Chayil is an allusion to the Bride of Messiah and her worth to Him. This proverb begins each sentence begins with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alef-bet. Using the Hebrew letter pictures with the Orthodox Jewish Bible reveals some unique insights.

Alef – Ox (strong, powerful leader)

“Who can find an eshet chayil (a woman of valor, an excellent wife)?  Her value is far beyond that of pearls.”

A man is looking for a strong, powerful, brave, and courageous woman who has the value of a valuable pearl. 

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for fine pearls. On finding one very valuable pearl he went away, sold everything he owned and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46).

Bet A Tent (family)

“The lev of her ba’al (the heart of her husband)  securely trusts in her so that he shall have no lack of gain.”

The eshet chayil will keep and protect the heart of her husband. 

“He told him, “‘You are to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength‘” (Matthew 22:7).

Gimel Camel (lift up, self-will, pride)

“She will do him tov (good)  and not rah (harm) all the days of her life.”

The eshet chayil will not walk in her own self-will and pride, but will lift up her husband in goodness as long as she lives.  

“So Yeshua said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM [who I say I am], and that of myself I do nothing, but say only what the Father has taught me” (John 8:28).

Dalet – Door (entrance, pathway)

“She procures a supply of wool and flax and works with willing hands.”

The eshet chayil is the pathway of life for her family. She works with her hands during times of cold (wool) and heat (flax).   

Wool and flax represent the salvation/redemption message.  Wool is the covering of the lamb through which we receive the atonement for our sins.

“They were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands; and they shouted, “Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10).

Hey Man with Arms Raised (look, reveal, behold)

“She is like those merchant vessels, bringing her food from far away.”

The eshet chayil travels like a merchant ship looking for the best nourishment for her family revealed in faraway places. 

“Yeshua answered, “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

Vav – Tent Peg (secure, binding)

“She rises also while it is yet lailah (nighttime), and provides food to her bayit (household) and a portion to her na’arot (servant girls).”

The eshet chayil  brings security to her home even in darkness and is bound to generosity to those who serve her.  

“You will be confident, because there is hope; you will look around you and lie down secure …” (Job 11:18).

Zayin – Weapon (divide, cut, nourish)

“She considers a field, then buys it, with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”

The eshet chayil is rightly divides the needs of her family and works with her hands so that she can bring forth nourishing fruit – planting a vineyard. 

“You will recognize them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16).

Chet – Fence (separate, protect, inner room)

“She girds her loins with strength and strengthens her arms.”

The eshet chayil protects her family’s inner room with all her strength.  

“Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences” (Proverbs 4:23).

Tet – Snake (surround, twist)

“She sees that her business dealings are good; her ner (lamp) does not go out at night.”

The eshet chayil keeps herself and her family from from the darkness of the evil one (snake).  She is wise and discerning and surrounds herself with those who do not twist the Truth.

“Your word is a lamp for my foot and light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Yod – Arm and Closed Hand (finished work, throw)

“She puts her hands to the distaff with the flax; her fingers to the spinning rod.”

The eshet chayil keeps all things spinning and weaving so as to complete her work. She keeps to her own affairs, busy in her own home, teaching the next generation.

“Therefore, get your minds ready for work, keep yourselves under control, and fix your hopes fully on the gift you will receive when Yeshua the Messiah is revealed” (1 Peter 1:13).

Kof – Open Hand (allow, bend, open)

“She reaches out to embrace the poor and opens her arms to the needy.”

The eshet chayil has an open hand of hospitality, taking care of the widow and the fatherless.  She bends to the poor, the homeless, and those in need.  

“The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world” (James 1:27).

Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff (leader, one who guides)

“When it snows,  she has no fear for her household; since all of them are doubly clothed.”

The eshet chayil looks toward the future and prepares.  Her household is ready for winter and everything that comes with it: snow, cold, illness, provisions.

“Therefore you too must always be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you are not expecting him” (Matthew 24:44).

Mem Water (water, mighty, chaos)

“She makes her own coverings;  she is clothed in fine linen and scarlet (purple).”

The eshet chayil not only makes coverings for her family’s needs, but also for herself.   She covers herself as is appropriate for a mighty ‘queen’ in linen and purple. 

“For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his Bride has prepared herself — fine linen, bright and clean has been given her to wear.” (“Fine linen” means the righteous deeds of God’s people.)” (Revelation 19:7-8).

Nun Fish (life)

“Her husband is known at the city gates when he sits with the leaders of the land.”

The eshet chayil brings forth life to her husband giving him the liberty to sit at the city gates with leaders. 

“I am the gate; if someone enters through me, he will be safe and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).

Samech -–To Prop (support)

“She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchants with sashes.”

The eshet chayil supports the community and the local merchants with her talents.   

“All the women who were skilled at spinning got to work and brought what they had spun, the blue, purple and scarlet yarn and the fine linen” (Exodus 25:35).

Ayin – Eye (see, understand)

“Oz (strength) and hadar (dignity) are her clothing; and her smile is toward the yom acharon (coming day, future).”

The eshet chayil is a woman who understands integrity and dignity.  She sees that she is prepared for the coming days – physically as well as spiritually.  She has prepared herself, her family, and her husband and can smile at the days ahead. 

“Adonai gives the command; the women with the good news [of the kingdom] are a mighty army” (Psalm 68:12).

Peh – Mouth (speak, words, mouth of a river)

“When she opens her mouth, she speaks wisely; on her lashon (tongue)  is torah chesed (loving instruction).”

The eshet chayil is a river of life with her wisdom, always instruction God’s words of life through love. 

“They should teach what is good, thus training the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to take good care of their homes and submit to their husbands. In this way, God’s message will not be brought into disgrace” (Titus 2:3-5).

Tzadik Fishhook (desire, pull toward)

“She watches how things go in her house, not eating the lechem atzlut (bread of idleness).”

The eshet chayil does not pulled toward the ‘rat race’ of life.  Her home is her desire and her focus is there.  She does not become ‘caught in the fishook’ of  gossip and slander that accompanies idleness.

“Your beauty should not consist in externals … rather, let it be the inner character of your heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit. In God’s sight this is of great value” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Qoof – Back of the Head( setting of the sun, what is behind,  final)

“Her children arise; they make her happy; her husband too, as he praises her:”

The eshet chayil never looks to what is past and uses her time wisely.  She is blessed as the sun sets on the horizon of her day (yom), week (Sabbath), month (Rosh Chodesh), year (Teruah), and lifetime.   

“The righteous live a life of integrity; happy are their children after them” (Proverbs 20:7).

Resh – Head of a Man (first, authority, head)

“Rabbot (Many teaching women) have done wonderful things, but you surpass them all.”

The eshet chayil surpasses all other women because her spiritual life comes first and her authority is her head.

“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is the Messiah, and the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of the Messiah is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Shin – Teeth (sharp, consume, glory)

“Chen (charm) is sheker (deceitful), and yofi (beauty) is fleeting, but an ish Yirat Hashem  (a woman who fears Yahweh), she shall be praised.”

The eshet chayil is consumed with her faith (fear) of Yahweh; there is no deceit found in her as she brings glory to God. 

“Trust in Adonai with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him; then he will level your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Tau – Two Sticks Crossing (sign, covenant)

“Give her of the p’ri (fruit) of her yadayim (hands); and let her own works praise her at the city gates.”

The eshet chayil has the sign of the covenant, the sign of her relationship with her husband.  She is a woman who is known at the city gates because of the work she does in her home and community while providing for her family and servants, preparing food and dealing with business in the market square. 

“Also I saw the holy city, New Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

©2013 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Two Adams: A Rib and a Bride

“If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.  So it is written ‘The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.’  The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual” (1 Corinthians 15:45-46).

The Body and Bride of Adam

“But for Adam there was not found a companion suitable for helping him. Then God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the person; and while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and closed up the place from which he took it with flesh. The rib which Adonai, God, had taken from the person, he made a woman-person; and he brought her to the man-person. The man-person said, “At last! This is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She is to be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:20-22). 

When God made man, the Hebrew word ish, from the dust of the ground, He observed that man was alone and this was not a good situation.  So He made a companion for the man from his rib or more correctly translated “flesh from his side.” The helpmeet was called woman or in Hebrew isha. Thus from the body of Adam came Eve (Chavah), his companion and wife.  When Adam saw the woman Adonai brought to him, he exclaimed she is “bone from his bones and flesh from his flesh.”

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Adam was the first husband.  Chava was the first wife.  Together they became the first married couple in the natural, physical realm.  Through them all humanity, men and women, came to being.  Through Adam came the ‘body of mankind.’

“The first man was of the dust of the earth … as was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth …” (1 Corinthians 15:44-49).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Adom (Red Earth) or אדם – alef, dalet, mem

– first pathway of the mighty (water)

Chavah (Life) or Eve or חבה – chet, vav, hey

– inner room (heart) tie revealed

The Body of Yeshua

“The second man is from heaven.  People born of dust are like the man [Adam] of dust, and people born from heaven are like the man [Yeshua] from heaven;  and just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, so also we will bear the image of the man from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47-49).

Yeshua is called the second Adam or ‘last Adam’ who brings spiritual life.   Though he was born physically like a man, spiritually he was birthed from heaven.  When each of us are born again by water and Spirit into the Kingdom of God, we become spiritual people and part of the Body of Messiah Yeshua (John 3:5-6).

“Now you are the body of Messiah, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:2).


As part of the Body of Yeshua, each of us begins our new life in the Kingdom as spiritual infants. We drink spiritual milk which gives us the basic nutrition we need to grow in faith and walk in the Spirit.  This is called being taught the elementary truths of Elohim for understanding the foundational life-path of righteousness.  Like infants we are dependent on others for nourishment and incapable of discerning good from evil.  Some who are born again never leave this stage of growth and remain spiritual babes growing fat on formulas or milk.  They are tossed back and forth by every wind of doctrine and are easily deceived (Ephesians 4:14).

“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit, but as people are are still worldly – mere infants in Messiah.  I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

“In fact … you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.  You need milk, not solid food.  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.” (Hebrews 5:12).


After being nourished on the pure milk of the Word, some spiritual babies grow and become spiritual children, spiritual brothers and sisters of Yeshua.  In this stage of their born again life, they learn about their Father’s love (1 John 3:1).  They learn what it means to be a child of their Father (1 John 3:10).  They learn about the the rules in their Father’s house (Torah), and they learn about sin and forgiveness (1 John 2:12, 3:4).  They learn what it means to obey the household rules and are disciplined when they fall short  (1 Peter 3:14, Hebrews 12:7). They also learn  that love is more than mere words, it includes actions (1 John 3:18).  As spiritual children they learn about idols and how to keep from falling into idolatry (1 John 5:12).  They learn about the Adversary who desires to win their soul (1 John 2:18).

“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to bring you back again into fear; on the contrary, you received the Spirit, who makes us sons and by whose power we cry out, “Abba!” (that is, “Dear Father!”) (Romans 8:15).

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8:29).

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward” (Colossians 3:23-24).

The Inheritance and Reward

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Messiah Yeshua!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  This inheritance is kept in heaven for you …” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

Spiritual infants and children receive the free gift of eternal life.  They will stand before the throne in heaven waving palm branches and praising Elohim for their salvation.  They will attend the ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’  as guests because they are children of Abraham (Matthew 8:11).  They will praise the Elohim’s majesty in the earth and His glory throughout the heavens.  They comprise the multitude from every tribe and tongue whose praises establish a stronghold against the enemies of God and silence the foe and the avenger (Psalm 8:1-2, Matthew 21:16).

“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9-10).

“After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:  ‘Halleluyah!  Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments ….’  Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters  and like the peals of thunder shouting: ‘Halleluyah!  For our Lord God Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come …” (Revelation 19:1-2, 6).

Mature Adults

Growing into maturity should be the goal of everyone who enters the Kingdom.  Maturity comes through eating solid food, the meat of the Word and walking in the Spirit.  Each believer is given unique spiritual gifts in order to bear spiritual fruit for the Kingdom (Galatians 5:23-24).  As a mature spiritual adult, they leave the elementary teachings found in Hebrews 6 and become transformed into the image of Messiah.  They have wisdom of Messiah that is not of this world (1 Corinthians 2:6).  They will stand firm and completely confident devoting their entire lives to God’s will (Colossians 4:12).  They will discern the difference between good and evil, light and darkness (Hebrews 5:14). They will press on toward the upward high calling in Messiah (Philippians 3:14).

Spiritually mature adults are not contaminated with the world and its carnality.  They walk as Yeshua told the woman at the well – in Spirit and in Truth – not one or the other.  They live by faith in obedience to the commands given to them by their Father.  They do not worship idols or embrace the ideologies of false gods because they have separated themselves and made themselves ‘holy.’ They have been thoroughly trained in righteousness. They are pure and refined.  Their garments are not stained or wrinkled.

“Just as Messiah loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this … to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

“I promised you to one husband, to Messiah, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.  But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Messiah” (2 Corinthians 11:2-3).

Maturity is important when it comes to being part of the Bride of Messiah.  No human man marries an infant or a child.  An adult man chooses a woman who is mature and capable of being his helpmeet.  Just as a rib portion of a mature man’s body (Adam) was formed into his bride (Chava), a rib portion of the Body of Yeshua, those who have attained maturity, will be formed into his eternal Bride.

Significant to the creation of Eve was that the body of Adam slept.  The same will be true of Messiah’s Bride.  While the Body of Yeshua is lulled into sleep through complacency and even great deception in the end times, only those who are mature and wise will be taken into the wedding chamber and formed into Yeshua’s Bride.

Wise and Foolish Virgins

Yeshua tells the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins in Matthew 25.  They are preparing for the arrival of their Bridegroom.  They all have lamps, but only the wise have oil.   In the Parable all of the virgins fall  asleep, but only the wise virgins are able to light their lamps when they hear the Bridegroom arriving.  Only the wise virgins are prepared to go into the bridal chamber with their Bridegroom.  The foolish virgins ask the wise virgins for oil, but the oil cannot be shared.  While the foolish virgins go to buy oil, the Bridegroom arrives and takes the wise virgins as his Bride. He shuts the door and the foolish ones lose the greatest reward.

All  ten virgins were part of Yeshua’s Body.  All ten virgins were betrothed to Yeshua.  All ten virgins had the Word as a lamp (Psalm 119:105).  However, only the wise had oil, a symbol of the Spirit of God.  Only the wise virgins maintained their pure and sincere devotion to Yeshua while waiting for his return. Only the wise virgins were prepared with enough oil in their lamps when the ‘appointed time’ for their Bridegroom’s return arrived.   They had made themselves ready and only a real Bride makes herself ready.

“For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.  Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints)” (Revelation 19:7-8).

What are the righteous acts of the saints?  ‘Righteous’ acts according to Vines Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words means ‘those who are upright and conforming to God’s law (Torah).’   Righteous comes from the Hebrew word tzdek and those who are righteous are tzedekim.   The righteous obey Elohim’s instructions just as Yeshua taught in Matthew 5.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Righteous or tzdek – tzadik, dalet, kof

– desire what is behind the door or pathway

Saints, according to Vines,  comes from the word hagios and means ‘holy’.  This word ‘holy’ means ‘separated from sin and consecrated to God.’  Saints are sanctified people, set apart for God by the way they choose to live, grow and understand the righteous ways of Elohim.  The Bride of Messiah chooses to live a consecrated life while waiting for her Bridegroom.  She lives her life preparing for a marriage ceremony and the wedding supper o the Lamb.  Her reward is a beautiful white linen gown and she sites beside her Bridegroom to rule and reign with him for all eternity.

Rewards and Crowns

There are several crowns Yeshua gives as rewards to his people.  Crowns are given to royalty and those given authority to rule.

“Now every athlete in training submits himself to strict discipline, and he does it just to win a laurel wreath that will soon wither away. But we do it to win a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:25).

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. All that awaits me now is the crown of righteousness which the Lord, “the Righteous Judge,” will award to me on that Day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for him to appear (2 Timothy 4:7-8). 

“How blessed is the man who perseveres through temptation! For after he has passed the test, he will receive as his crown the Life which God has promised to those who love him(James 1:12).

Not only is the Bride given fine linen along with her robe of salvation and crowns,  but she is transformed into the New Jerusalem in the new heavens and new earth.   As the Bride of Messiah, she becomes the glory of the whole universe.

“I am so joyful in Adonai! My soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me in salvation, dressed me with a robe of triumph, like a bridegroom wearing a festive turban, like a bride adorned with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10).

“One of the seven angels having the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues approached me and said, “Come! I will show you the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb.” He carried me off in the Spirit to the top of a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city, Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God. It had the Sh’khinah of God, so that its brilliance was like that of a priceless jewel, like a crystal-clear diamond. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates; at the gates were twelve angels; and inscribed on the gates were the names of the twelve tribes of Isra’el” (Revelation 21:9-12).

Just as Elohim created a wife for Adam from a rib portion of his body, so He will prepare a Bride for His Son from a rib portion of Yeshua’s Body.  It should be the desire of every believer, young or old, to grow into spiritual maturity for Yeshua will not marry an infant, toddler or rebellious teenager.  Yeshua will marry only the wise virgins, the foolish ones have a different fate.

“When they fall, they will receive little help [have to buy their own oil], and many who are not sincere will join them [the way is wide that leads to destruction].  Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end….  Many will be purified, made spotless and refined … those who are wise will understand” (Daniel 11:34-35, 12:10).

©2010 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Hebrews 6 – Maturing in Messiah

“Therefore, leaving behind the initial lessons about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of turning from works that lead to death, trusting God, and instruction about washings, s’mikhah, the resurrection of the dead and eternal punishment. And, God willing, this is what we will do” (Hebrews 6:1-3, Complete Jewish Bible).  

The Maturing Seed

“The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature” (Luke 8:14).

In the Parable about the sower, Yeshua mentions four ways the seed of God’s Word is planted in the hearts of people. The first seed lands by the path, but is stolen by the Adversary who keeps the individual  from hearing the message of salvation and receiving it by faith.   Another seed lands on rocks, but never takes root.  When this individual’s faith is tested, they fall away from the truth.  The third seed is choked by thorns. The fourth seed falls on rich soil and the individual hears the message with a receptive heart and through perseverance brings forth a harvest.

The third seed is choked by thorns.  Because of the worries of life, desire for riches and personal pleasures, the seed in this individual’s heart does not mature.  The phrase ‘they go on their way’ implies they do not follow the ways of God, but their own ways or the ways of the godless.   In Matthew 6:31-33, Yeshua describes what the godless worry about:  food, drink and clothing.  God knows we need these things, but we must have the proper perspective of seeking God first so we follow the Way that He has designed for our lives.  When we seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, the thorns will not longer choke His Word from our lives and we will mature.

Infants and Milk

“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.  In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).

A physical infant needs the nourishment of milk.  It can either drink from its mother’s breast or have formula.  Even without parenting, an infant will grow up into adulthood.    A spiritual infant, however, can remain a spiritual infant.  Formula, manmade milk, will never mature a spiritual infant.  They need the spiritual milk of the Word that teaches them about righteousness and righteous living to transform from being a baby into a mature adult (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

In the Hebrew ‘righteousness’  is tzadek and means ‘honest, right, and true.’ In Greek the word is dikaiosyne and means ‘doing what is right’.   The word ‘training’ in 2 Timothy is the present progressive tense showing that righteousness is not given to us automatically, but is an ongoing process throughout our lives while we learn to live rightly, to be honest and true.  After years of knowing the faith, these Hebrew believers should be teachers, but are still stuck in the elementary teachings.

“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly – mere infants in Messiah…. You are still worldly.  For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly and are you not walking like mere men” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

In Corinth, Sha’ul addresses the believers as infants.  They are still babes who cannot digest the solid food in the Word. They are unspiritual worldly immature men and women. They have not learned to discern good from evil.  They remain untaught, unable to be corrected and definitely not trained in righteousness.  Like toddlers, they throw tantrums that are rooted in a lack of discipline (discipleship) jealousy and quarrel.  The only way for them to grow up into maturity is to digest the spiritual milk and begin to chew on solid food.

The Maturing Believer

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).

An infant is tossed around by every ‘wind of teaching’ and ‘cunning craftiness’ of those who lead them.  This deceitful and scheming work of the Adversary consistently tries to kill the seed of the Word.   Foolish arguments do not advance the work of God nor bring unity of faith; they are unprofitable and useless for maturing a believer (Titus 3:9).

“So Messiah himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,  to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Messiah may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Messiah” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

Only sound doctrine gives an infant what it needs to grow into maturity. A growing believer will not listen to those who teach what their ‘itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).  They will study the Word of God and learn to discern false teachers, prophets and messiahs and not be led astray by their feel-good teachings.  They will come to understand that a walk of faith encompasses more than Yeshua’s death on the cross. They will study his Words in the context of his Father’s instructions and learn to walk in His ways just as Yeshua did.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

A maturing believer depends completely on the Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit of God) not only to  transform their heart, but also their mind and soul  (Philippians 3:20-21).   They will stop living according to the evil ways of the world and leave behind their godless traditions and lifestyles.  Old thought patterns will be discarded until they can see God’s will for their lives – the good, pleasing and perfect will of their heavenly Father.

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.  We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing” (1 Corinthians 2:4-6).

The power of God’s Spirit in Yeshua enabled him to walk fully in the Spirit with the wisdom of his Father.   Because of the Spirit of God in him, he was able to oppose the Adversary, heal those who were sick, and raise the dead (Acts 10:38). The power of God’s Ruach HaKodesh gives us the same wisdom to overcome sin and discern good from evil.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Messiah Yeshua took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Messiah Yeshua” (Philippians 3:12-14).

Maturing believers press on toward a heavenly goal that has a reward.  Sha’ul is not talking about being justified before God because he was already born again into the Kingdom. He is writing about growing into maturity and receiving the reward of glory, the Bride of Yeshua, that will be given with our Bridgroom’s return.  Sha’ul strains (and trains) for what is ahead.  Straining implies struggling, laboring, toiling, and making every exhaustive effort to reach a goal.  Sha’ul desires the prize of Messiah more than anything else in his life.

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done” (Revelation 22:12).

When Yeshua returns, he will reward each person according to the work they have done on the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets.  He will test each person’s building materials with fire.  If an individual builds using gold, silver and costly stones, their work will stand; but if an individual builds with wood, hay or straw, their work will be destroyed.

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Yeshua the Messiah. Some will use gold, silver or precious stones in building on this foundation; while others will use wood, grass or straw. But each one’s work will be shown for what it is; the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire — the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If the work someone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward; if it is burned up, he will have to bear the loss: he will still escape with his life, but it will be like escaping through a fire(1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

Persevering Through Trials

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

Maturity comes through persevering through trials, the seed that has not fallen on the rock, but taken root in good soil.  As we focus on the prize, family, friends, well-meaning pastors, teachers of elementary truths and the Adversary will try to inhibit our race to the goal line. To stay on track, we must always look to Yeshua, the Rabbi of Rabbis, who taught us that ‘man doesn’t live on bread alone,’ but on the solid food of the Word of God – the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings.   As we leave our spiritual childhood, we must leave behind the milk toast of infanthood so we can receive a glorious eternal reward.

“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.  So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:32-36).

Maturing believers in Messiah live in the assurance of what they have attained in their walk of faith through effort, persistence, perseverance, and progression. They eat the meat of the Word by using the whole counsel and wisdom of God’s Word to learn His good, pleasing and perfect will for their daily life.  They walk in the power of the Ruach HaKodesh putting behind the ways of the world and their fleshly desires.  Even when trials are placed in their path, they don’t stumble and fall or lose their way.  They look to Yeshua who is their hope for resurrection.  They run the race toward the goal focused on the prize the Bridegroom will bring with him when he returns to marry not an infant tossed around by every wind of doctrine, but a mature Bride who has trained herself in righteousness.

“All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.  And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained”  (Philippians 3:12-16).

©2005 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.