Posts Tagged ‘Divine Presence’

Parashah 20: Tetzaveh (You are to order)

Exodus 27:20-30:10

“You are to order the people of Isra’el to bring you pure oil of pounded olives for the light and to keep a lamp burning continually” (Exodus 27:20).

The olive tree is one of the oldest cultivated trees in the world. It probably developed from the wild Mediterranean olive, Olea Europaea, which grows from Portugal throughout the Middle East into the Arabian Peninsula.

The Israelites pounded olives from the olive tree to produce oil. When pounded, the olive loses its physical appearance and only its essence is extracted. Yeshua was beaten, lost his physical appearance, and his life essence was poured out; however, he was only one olive and it takes thousands of olives to produce olive oil. The Menorah, made of hammered gold, already symbolizes Messiah being beaten and bruised. To continue with honest exegesis, the olives beaten into the oil that give the Menorah the ability to shine in the darkness must be ‘someone’ different.

Yeshua talks about the value of oil in Matthew 25 and the Parable of the Ten Virgins. The wise virgins had oil for their lamps when the Bridegroom arrived, but the foolish ones had allowed their oil to run out. While they ran to purchase more oil, their Beloved arrives and they miss the reward of entering the wedding chamber. In the Parable, the lamps are not the Bridegroom or even the Bride, but the Word of Elohim (Psalm 119:105). The oil is the Ruach haKodesh, the other part of worshiping Elohim in Spirit and Truth (John 4:24).

Romans 11 compares Isra’el to an Olive Tree. On this tree there are natural branches along with ingrafted wild ones. Both types of branches produce the same fruit –– olives! The root of the Olive Tree is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the patriarchs of faith. From them came the nation of Isra’el, the natural branches producing olives, who have been relentlessly pounded through the millennia by severe persecution and near annihilation. Their beatings began with slavery in Pharaoh in Egypt, continued with Haman in Persia, Antiochus Epiphanes in the Syrian Empire and the Spanish Inquisitions through the Holocaust in Europe. Wild olives grafted into the Olive Tree have also been pounded through persecutions leading to martyrdom. The next and greatest pounding of all olives will come during the Tribulation.  Some olives will be chosen to proclaim the name of Yeshua to the world; others will lose their heads.  With each pounding of the olives, their essence remains, and the pure oil of their faith continues to light the Menorah that shines brightly in this dark and evil world.

Garments for the High Priest

“This is to be a perpetual regulation both for Aaron and his descendants” (Exodus 28:43).

The Hebrew word for ‘priest’ is cohen (cohanim, plural) and comes from a root that means ‘base’ such as the ‘base of a column.’  The cohanim are the structural support of the Israelite community.  It is their responsibility to carry out the will of Adonai, intercede for the people and keep the community in relationship with Adonai.

Adonai’s calling of cohanim came to Aaron and his sons, Nadav, Avihu, El’azar and Itamar. They were to have holy garments, worn only by them, when they went into the Mishkan. The unique garments for Aaron and his sons gave them dignity and splendor in front of the community bringing them respect as priests of Adonai. When they removed the consecrated garments, they became ‘ordinary people.’ 

As priests serving Adonai in the Tabernacle, they walked on ‘holy ground.’ While they ministered to the people, served at the Altar, and fellowshipped in the Holy Place, they did so in bare feet.

Selah
Moshe took off his sandals when he stood before the burning bush –– ‘holy ground.’

Hebrew Word Pictures
Priest or cohen – כהן – kaf, hey, nun
– open the revealing of life

Priesthood or cohanim – כהנים – kaf, hey, nun, yod, mem
– open and reveal the finished work of the mighty life

Spirit of Wisdom

“If you will turn (repent) and give heed to my reproof, behold I will pour out my spirit of wisdom upon you, I will make my words known to you” (Proverbs 1:23, AMP).

The priestly garments were made by a few craftsmen who were given the ‘spirit of wisdom’ so they could accomplish the work necessary. These craftsmen had to be wholehearted toward Adonai so they could hear His words. At this time, the Ruach Elohim was not inside everyone, but with only a select few. After Yeshua ascended to his Father, the Ruach haKodesh was poured into those who were circumcised in their heart (John 14:15).

It is through the Ruach of wisdom that these craftsmen gained a deep and intimate knowledge of the ‘heavenly’ Tabernacle and their Creator. The Ruach of wisdom is Messiah Yeshua who gives insight into the mysteries and secrets of Elohim.

“But to those who are called, whether Jew or Gentile,  Messiah is the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24).  

“In my prayers I keep asking the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the glorious Father, to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you will have full knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:16-17).

Gold Thread and Fine Linen

One of the projects of the craftsmen was to make gold thread. There is not a gold coating on the threads. These craftsmen had to know how to create thread from gold that would not break and could be worked into fabric.

The process of hammering gold into an extremely thin, unbroken sheet is called ‘goldbeating.’ Egyptian craftsmen recognized the extraordinary durability and malleability of gold and became the first goldbeaters. They pounded gold using a round stone to create the thinnest gold leaf possible.

Most goldbeaters use 23 karat gold.  They put the gold in a pot and melt it in a furnace.  When liquified, the gold is poured into a mold and cast into a bar.  The gold bar is rolled in a mill until it is 1/1000 of an inch thick. After being rolled, the thin ribbon of gold is cut into 1-inch squares as preparation for beating.

The first step of beating is called the Cutch which uses a fabric to interleave the gold as it was being beaten. Originally, the Cutch was made of 150 skins of ox intestine, but parchment or mylar is used today in order to handle the hours of repeated hammer blows needed to beat the gold.

The gold is beaten on a large heavy block of marble or granite.  Beating of the Cutch takes about one hour using a fifteen pound hammer.  The goldbeater follows a pattern and sets up a rhythm of about seventy strokes per minute.  The Cutch packet is rotated and turned to ensure the gold inside expands evenly in all directions to about 4 inches square.  The gold is taken out of the Cutch and each piece is cut into four smaller pieces with a knife and put in a packet called a Shoder which has 1,500 skins.  The Shoder is beaten for about three hours until the gold expands into a 5-inch square.

The gold is taken out of the Shoder and placed on a leather-covered surface.  The gold is now so thin that the cutter can simply blow on it to flatten it out.  Using a wooden implement called a ‘wagon,’ the gold is quickly cut into four pieces and placed in a packet called a Mold for the final beating.  The Mold, coated with gypsum powder to prevent the gold from sticking to the skins, contains 1,500 pieces of gold.  The Mold is beaten with an 8-pound hammer for three to four hours until it is a circle about six inches in diameter.  The finished leaf forms an unbroken sheet of gold with a thickness of 1/250,000 of an inch.

Gold is a symbol of divinity showing the Divine Presence would be woven throughout the articles for the Tabernacle, including the high priest’s garments. Fine linen symbolizes purity. Aaron and his sons were to be the examples of purity for Isra’el, judging and living righteously before the Divine Presence.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Linen or karpas – כרפס – kaf, resh, peh, samech
– to open to the highest authority, the source of support

The Ritual Vest – Ephod

“Calling to mind the sons of Isra’el.  Aaron is to carry their names before Adonai on this two shoulders as a reminder” (Exodus 28:12).

The ephod was made of gold with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn with finely woven linen. These colors are used throughout the Mishkan. Blue symbolized the heavens, purple symbolized royalty, and scarlet was the color of sacrifice through the lineage of Judah. Along with the gold thread of the Divine Presence, the colors foreshadowed the coming High Priest from heaven, the Divine Presence of Adonai on earth –– Yeshua.

Attached to the front and back of the ephod were two shoulder pieces that could be fastened together. It had a belt made by the same skilled craftsmanship. Two onyx stones were engraved with the names of the sons of Isra’el according to their birth order with six names on each stone. They were made as a seal and put on the shoulder pieces of the ephod to remind Aaron of the sons of Isra’el when he came before Adonai. The two stones, called the urim and the tumim, were also placed in the breastplate and used for judging Isra’el. They were over Aaron’s heart and gave him the means for making wise decisions when standing before Adonai.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Ritual Vest or ephod – אפוד – alef, peh, vav, dalet
– first strength, source of the binding to the pathway

The Breastplate

“Make a breastplate for judging. The stones will correspond to the names of the twelve sons of Isra’el; they are to be engraved with their names as a seal would be engraved, to represent the twelve tribes” (Exodus 28:15,21).

The breastplate was made like the ephod with gold thread, blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, with finely woven linen. When it was folded in half, it would be square –– “a hand-span by a handspan” (Exodus 28:16). The breastplate was attached with gold rings and twisted gold chains that connected the pieces together over the shoulder and over the ephod.

The legal term which describes the entire process of justice and ‘judging’ is tzadak and means ‘righteousness.’ In the Septuagint, the word dikaios is used for ‘righteousness’ and describes those who conform to Adonai’s Torah.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Breastplate or choshen – חושן – chet, vav, shin, nun
– protect the mighty binding of life

“Aharon will carry the names of the sons of Isra’el on the breastplate for judging, over his heart, when he enters the Holy Place, as a continual reminder before Adonai” (Exodus 28:29).

Four rows containing three precious stones were to be set in gold. On each stone was engraved a name of one of the son’s of Isra’el so the breastplate would represent the 12 Tribes of Isra’el. The stones listed below are the colors the Temple Institute in Jerusalem believe are the most reliable Biblical stones. It is believed the colors of the stones matched the color of the flags carried by each tribe as the Israelites traveled in the wilderness.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Righteousness or tzadak – צדיק – tzade, dalet, yod, kof
– pull toward to the pathway, what is behind the finished work

The Robe

“Aharon is to wear it [the robe] when he ministers, and its sound will be heard whenever he enters the Holy Place before Adonai and when he leaves, so he won’t die” (Exodus 28:35).

The high priest’s robe was made entirely of blue representing the heavenly realm.   It had an opening around the neck edge with a border woven like the neck of a coat of chain mail, though it was not actual chain mail. Only warriors wore literal chain mail implying the priestly robe symbolized a garment of battle. As the intercessor between Adonai and Isra’el, there would be many battles, both physical and spiritual, to be fought whether from actual physical enemies or the spiritual idolatry that would entice the Israelites.

The position of the high priest was one of great responsibility.  Everything had to be done in perfect obedience to the commands of Adonai or the high priest would die. Along the bottom of the robe’s hem, pomegranates crafted of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn alternated with gold bells –– gold bell, pomegranate, gold bell, pomegranate. The bells were placed on the hem of the robe so Adonai would know when the high priest entered the Most Holy Place and allow him to live.

Pomegranates are found throughout Scripture as a symbol of fruitfulness. They are one of the seven species found in the Promised Land and brought to the Temple as offerings (Deuteronomy 8:8).   Hundreds of pomegranates were carved on the pillars of Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 7:18,20).   The Song of Songs refers to pomegranates in Solomon’s love song to his bride (Song of Songs 4:13, 6:11, 7:12, 8:2).   The pomegranate is found on ancient Jewish coins; and in Jewish tradition, the pomegranate has 613 seeds representing the 613 mitzvot of Torah.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Robe or me’il – מטילֹ – mem, tet, yod, lamed
– the mighty twisting, the finished work of the shepherd

Pomegranate or rimon – רמון – resh, mem, vav, nun
– highest authority, the mighty binding to life

Mitznefet – Priestly Turban

“Because Aharon bears the guilt for any errors committed by the people of Isra’el in consecrating their holy gifts, this ornament is always to be on his forehead, so the gifts for Adonai will be accepted by him” (Exodus 28:38).

An ornament of pure gold was put on the mitznefet or turban worn by the high priest. It was engraved as a seal with the words ‘Kadosh l’yod-hey-vav-hey’ (Holy to Adonai).  It was fastened to the turban with a blue cord on the front over Aaron’s head. Because the high priest wore the ornament, the consecrated gifts of Isra’el would be accepted by Adonai.

Selah
The mitznefet is part of the modern-day infantry wear of the Israeli Defense Forces. It is a floppy mesh cover over the helmet that camouflages the helmet and protects head of the soldier.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Turban or mitznefet – מצנפת – mem, tzade, nun, peh, tav
– consume and pull toward life, the source of the covenant

The Tunic, Belt and Undergarments

Ketonet  is a general Hebrew term for clothes. It is used in Genesis when ketonet or coverings were made for Adam and Eve in the Garden after they sinned.  It is  also used for the unique robe given to Joseph by his father. ‘Clothes’ in the Greek is himation and means ‘robe’ like the ketonet. The tunic or ketonet for the high priest was checkered and woven of fine linen along with the turban and belt.  The ketonet covered the entire body from head to foot and had long sleeves.

According to rabbinical writings, the avnet or belt was long and needed to be wrapped around the body several times.  Though no one knows exactly how it was wrapped, it may have crossed over the heart.  The Talmud explains this was done as atonement for the impure thoughts of the nation of Isra’el.  Yeshua taught that sin begins with iniquity in the heart, and the sash may have been symbolically used for reminding the high priest that the sins of Isra’el began in the heart.

The high priest also wore miknesevad or undergarments consisting of linen shorts reaching from waist to thigh covering his bare flesh.  He wore these ‘boxer shorts’ when he approached the Altar to minister in the Holy Place so he wouldn’t incur guilt and die.  The miknesevad kept the priest from exposing his ‘private parts’ when going up to minister at the Altar. When the Temple was built, there were numerous steps the priests would climb and the undergarments kept their ‘private parts’ from being exposed.

Aaron’s sons, the priesthood who minister at the Altar, also wore tunics, belts, and head coverings to show the dignity and splendor of the priestly position.  They were anointed and set-apart to serve Adonai in the office of cohen.

When I was growing up, my mother told to always wear underclothes: bras, panties, and slips. Of course, I asked her ‘why.’ She explained the priests in the Temple wore under clothes for modesty so we should too. I was young and had never read the priestly regulations, but I never questioned her wisdom. In my adult years, I have had conversations with women, young and old, about wearing undergarments. Many have no conviction about what they are revealing to the world. I am grateful my mother taught me ‘priestly’ modesty that I have tried to pass on to my daughters (and sons). Because I am part of a royal priesthood, dressing with dignity and splendor became central to how I present myself to the world, but more importantly how I dress to honor my High Priest.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Tunic or ketonet – כתנת – kaf, tav, nun, tav
– to cover life’s sign of the covenant

Sash or avnet – אונת – alef, vav, nun, tav
– first strength binding to the covenant of life

Undergarments or miknesevad – מכנסי-בד – mem, kaf, nun, samech, yod, bet, dalet
– the mighty covering of life, proping the finished work of the house and pathway

Preparation for Ministry

“Take one young bull and two rams without defect, also matzah, matzah cakes mixed with olive oil, and matzah wafers spread with oil – all made from fine wheat flour, put them together in a basket and present them in the basket, along with the bull and the two rams… bring them to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and wash them with water” (Exodus 29:1-3).

To consecrate Aaron and his sons for ministry in the Tabernacle, one bull and two rams were to be offered to Adonai along with a basket of unleavened bread, cakes and wafers. Aaron and his sons were washed at the entrance to the Tabernacle.  One by one, each of the priestly garments were put on Aaron: the undergarments, tunic, robe, ephod and breastplate.  The turban was placed on his head along with the gold ornament ‘Kadosh to yod-hey-vav-hey.’ He was anointed by pouring olive oil over his head allowing it to run down his body.

“Oh, how good, how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in harmony. It is like fragrant oil on the head that runs down over the beard, over the beard of Aharon, and flows down on the collar of his robes” (Psalm 133:2).

Aaron’s sons were also dressed in tunics, sashes, and head coverings. The office of the Aaronic priesthood and the high priest lineage was theirs by a permanent regulation, meaning forever (Exodus 29:9). Whenever there is a Temple in Jerusalem, the Aaronic priesthood will serve at the Altar because Adonai made a forever covenant with them. This is the fourth covenant given in Scripture. Just like the covenants given to Noach, Abraham and Isra’el, the covenant with Aaron is not removed or replaced by any other covenant.

“Therefore say, ‘I am giving him [Aaron] my covenant of shalom, making a covenant with him and his descendants after him that the office of cohen [priesthood] will be theirs forever.’ This is because he was zealous on behalf of his God and made atonement for the people of Isra’el” (Numbers 25:13).

The Process of Consecration

The Sin Offering
Aaron and his sons laid hands on the bull’s head and slaughtered it at the entrance to the Mishkan.  Some of the bull’s blood was put on the horns of the Altar with the finger; the rest was poured out at the base. All the fat covering the inner organs, including the liver and kidneys, was burnt up as an offering.  The bull’s flesh, skin, and feces were taken outside the camp and burnt up. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on one of the two rams’ heads and slaughtered the ram.  Its blood was splashed on all sides of the Altar. It was quartered and burnt up on the Altar as a burnt offering.

The Burnt Offering
From the second ram, some of its blood was put on Aaron’s right ear lobe and the right ear lobes of his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands, and the big toe of their right foot.  The rest of the blood was splashed on the side of the Altar. Some of the blood that was on the Altar was mixed with the anointing oil and sprinkled on Aaron’s garments and his sons’ garments so that everything would be consecrated. The fat of the ram, from its tail to the fat covering its inner organs and kidneys, and its right thigh along with one loaf of bread, one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer from the basket was put in their hands.  They waved them as a wave offering in the presence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh.  Everything was burned up on the Altar on top of the bull. “It will be a pleasing aroma before Adonai, it is an offering made to Adonai by fire” (Exodus 29:25)

The Peace or Shalom Offering
The breast of the second ram was waved as an offering and became food for Aaron and his family.   Every breast and thigh or anything that was meant for Aaron and his sons was waved and became the consecrated portion of food for Aaron and his sons. “It will be a contribution from the people of Isra’el from their peace offerings, their contribution to Adonai” (Exodus 29:28).

The consecration process took seven days with sin offerings and atonement offerings made for the Altar each day.   The atonement for the Altar made it holy along with whoever touched the Altar.

The priests were to take a ram of consecration and boil its meat in a holy place. Aaron and his sons were to eat the ram’s meat and the bread in the basket at the entrance to the Tabernacle.  They were to eat the atonement foods –– no one else was to eat this food because as it was holy only for them.   If any food remained until the morning, it was to be burned up.

Daily Offerings

Twice a day, everyday, in the morning and evening, two lambs, a year old, were offered on the Altar with finely ground flour mixed with oil from pressed olives along with wine as a drink offering. “This will be a pleasing aroma an offering made to Adonai by fire” (Exodus 29:41).

A nesek or drink offering was poured out at the base of the Altar and accompanied a burnt, peace, or grain offering.  This practice went as far back as Jacob who poured a drink offering on his standing stone.  Drink offerings of either wine or a stronger alcohol were consumed in the fire of the Altar. The drink offering was given to Adonai and considered His ‘drink’ (Numbers 15).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Drink offering or nesek – נסך – nun, samech, kof
– life supports the pathway

The Divine Presence

“Through all your generations this is to be the regular burnt offering at the entrance of the tent of meeting before Adonai.  There I will meet with you to speak with you.  There I will meet with the people of Isra’el and the place will be consecrated by my glory.  I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the Altar, likewise I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me in the office of cohen.  Then I will live with the people of Isra’el and be their God: they will know that I am Adonai their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt in order to live with them. I am Adonai their God” (Exodus 29:42-46).


Each day with the daily offerings, Adonai would meet and speak with Aaron and the priests. He would meet with the people of Isra’el and consecrate them along with the Tabernacle, the Altar, and the priests. He would live with them and be their Elohim. This is a ‘shadow’ of the restoration of the Kingdom when Adonai’s glory is with mankind and He will live with His people and be their Elohim (Revelation 21:3).

Yeshua is the physical dwelling place of Adonai’s glory. He is the visible image of the invisible Elohim (Colossians 1:15). Anyone who has seen him has seen the Father (John 14:9). Though his glory is veiled, we will see it when he appears because we will see him as he really is (1 John 3:2).

The Hebrew word for ‘glory’ is kavod and means ‘honor, glory, imposing presence or position.’ Though abstract in essence, when it is attached to something that is seen, there is revelation. Through His kavod, Adonai expresses Himself more specifically to His people. His glory was in the cloud and the pillar of fire that guided the Israelites in the wilderness.  In Psalm 24:8, the kavod of Adonai is ‘strong and mighty in battle’ meaning His victory over the enemy can be seen.  In 1 Corinthians 11, man is the kavod of Adonai while woman is the kavod of man. Kavod is used for ‘honor’ in the commandment to ‘honor your father and mother.’ Kavod also carries with it the inference that it has weight or heaviness as to ‘let the weight of Adonai’s glory fall.’ 

The word Shekinah is not found in the Scriptures, but has come to mean the ‘Divine Presence’ of Elohim appearing in a specific locality. The word is derived from the Hebrew sheken and means ‘to settle, inhabit or dwell.’ Mishkan has the same root. Whoever first used the word Shekinah used it as a noun form to describe the physical manifestation of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh that settles in a way that is perceivable. Zechariah 2:8-11 and 1 Samuel 4:21 both support the Shekinah, the divine visitation of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh on earth that comes and goes. The Talmud says, “Whenever ten men are gathered in prayer, the Shekinah rests.”  Yeshua referred to this Talmudic concept when he said, “For wherever two or three are assembled in my name, ’I Am’ there with them” (Matthew 18:20).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Glory or kavod – כבד – kaf, bet, dalet
– to cover the house, the pathway

Shekinah –  שכן – shin, kaf, nun
– consume and open life

Altar of Incense

“It [the Altar of Incense] is especially holy to Adonai” (Exodus 30:10).

Within the Holy Place was the Altar of Incense. It was made of Acacia wood, 18 inches square and 3 feet high. Like the Altar of Sacrifice, it had horns made as one piece with it. Everything was overlaid with gold. Gold rings were put under the moulding at the corners on both sides for inserting carrying poles.   The poles were made of Acacia wood overlaid with gold. The Altar of Incense was placed in front of the Holy Curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place.

Aaron was to burn fragrant incense on the Altar of Incense every morning and evening when he prepared the lamps for the Menorah in the morning or lit them at dusk. No unauthorized incense was to be burnt on the Altar of Incense nor any burnt or grain offering.  No drink offering was to be poured on it.  Once a year on the Day of Atonement, atonement for the Altar of Incense was made on its horns with blood from the sin offering.

“All the people were outside, praying, at the time of the incense burning, when there appeared to him an angel of Adonai standing to the right of the incense altar. Zechariah was startled and terrified at the sight” (Luke 1:10-12 ).

Yeshua and the Priestly Garments

 High Priest, Cohen
“But this one, after he had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, sat down at the right hand of God, from then on to wait until his enemies be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has brought to the goal for all time those who are being set apart for God and made holy” (Hebrews 10:12-14).

Spirit of Wisdom
“But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai, a shoot will grow from his roots. The Spirit of Adonai will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fearing Adonai …” (Isaiah 11:1-2).

Breastplate and Turban
“He put on righteousness as his breastplate, salvation as a helmet on his head; he clothed himself with garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in a mantle of zeal” (Isaiah 59:17).

The Belt
“Justice will be the belt around his waist, faithfulness the sash around his hips” (Isaiah 11:5).

Gold
“Upon entering the house, they saw the child with his mother Miryam; and they prostrated themselves and worshiped him. Then they opened their bags and presented him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11).

Ritual Vest, Heart For Isra’el
“He said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Isra’el’” (Matthew 15:24).

“Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused!” (Matthew 23:37)

The Robe
“A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years approached him from behind and touched the tzitzit on his robe” (Matthew 9:20-21).

Tunic, Undergarments
“After they had nailed him to the stake, they divided his clothes among them by throwing dice” (Matthew 27:35).

Linen
“Yosef purchased a linen sheet; and after taking Yeshua down, he wrapped him in the linen sheet, laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb” (Mark 15:46).

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Revelation Chapter 21 – The Restoration and Renewal

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer there (Revelation 21:1).

This chapter begins with the revealing of a ‘new heaven and a new earth.’ This is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “For, look! I create new heavens and a new earth; past things will not be remembered, they will no more come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17).

The Hebrew word for ‘new’ is chadash and means ‘to renew.’ The Greek word is kainos and means ‘fresh’ like in a ‘fresh start.’ The old heaven and earth will pass away and receive a renewed, fresh start.

Yeshua says that nothing from the Torah will pass away until there is a ‘new heaven and new earth’ (Matthew 5:17-18). This is when Torah will no longer be needed as ‘teachings and instructions’ for life. The least and greatest in the Kingdom will have already been determined by who taught the least of the commandments and who taught the greatest. Those who taught the removal of commandments will suffer great loss. King Messiah will have had his reign from the ‘old’ Jerusalem for one-thousand years with his royal priesthood serving alongside of the Levites. It was not at the cross when the Torah and became obsolete, but at the renewal of the heavens and the earth (Hebrews 8:13).

Nowhere does the writer of Hebrews suggest that the ‘old’ was ‘abolished,’ but says ‘what is old is in the process of aging until it vanishes altogether.’ Hebrews was written after Yeshua’s resurrection so it could not be referring to the removal of Torah or any of the ‘eternal’ covenants. In the ‘new heaven and earth,’ the sacrifices and the Temple ordinances are no longer necessary because there will no longer be a Temple.

According to the prophet Isaiah, several ‘old’ orders will remain into the ‘new heavens and new earth.’ The descendants of Isra’el will continue along with their Tribal names. The names of the disciples will be memorialized. The ‘appointed times’ of Rosh Chodesh and the Shabbat will also continue (Isaiah 66:22-23).

Hebrews 4 says the Sabbath day still remains. ‘Remains’ holds the prophetic vision of the eternal Shabbat being restored while still being a reminder that Sabbath remains from the beginning as a weekly ‘taste’ of Eternity. With church councils changing the Shabbat to Sunday, the only way anyone enters Adonai’s holy day is to embrace His eternal promise by faith (Hebrews 4:1-3).

“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).

The present-day Jerusalem will pass away along with its Biblical history from the days of Melekzedek, the King of Salem, to King David who bought the threshing floor from the Jebusites to Yeshua walking its stone streets. The New Jerusalem, the dwelling place of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh will come down out of heaven to the new earth. The idea that we ascend to heaven is the opposite of what is presented in Revelation.

Isra’el has always been the Bride of Adonai. Through Yeshua’s blood and body, Adonai renewed the marriage covenant with Isra’el. Those who desire to be the Bride of Messiah need to understand they join Isra’el in the renewed covenant; the church that keeps itself from Isra’el will not receive this promise. In the ‘new heavens and new earth,’ the New Jerusalem will be adorned like a Bride dressed for her Husband (Isaiah 54:5-6).

I heard a loud voice from the throne say, ‘See! God’s Sh’khinah is with mankind, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and he himself, God-with-them, will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away‘” (Revelation 21:3-4).

A loud voice from the throne says that the Divine Presence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is with mankind and He will live with them –– Immanu’el.

In Gan Eden, Elohim walked with Adam and Eve in the evening breeze. The wind of his ‘breath’ embraced them; His Light enveloped them. Had they not sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, the intimate relationship between the ‘Husband’ and ‘Bride’ would have continued as the eternal Sabbath.

When the Israelites traveled in through the wilderness, they were promised that Adonai would tabernacle with them (Leviticus 26:11-12). The Torah became the wedding vows that established a marriage covenant. Adonai’s Divine Presence lived with His Bride and appeared in a cloud of glory over the Tabernacle. Yet, even within the ‘shadow’ of this Tabernacle, there was a promise of something greater in the future –– the restoration of the original relationship between the Creator and His creation.

The prophet Ezekiel confirms the promise given to Isra’el that comes to pass in the ‘new heaven and new earth’ (Ezekiel 37:27). King Solomon also says that the hope of a world come to with a ‘new heaven and new earth’ has been planted in the hearts of mankind (Ecclesiates 3:11).

“Then the One sitting on the throne said, ‘Look! I am making everything new!'” (Revelation 21:5).

The Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh continues to remain on His throne and says that He is making everything new. Everything. The word ‘new’ is chadash and means ‘renew.’ The One who was with the Creator in the beginning, the Word that became flesh, speaks everything into newness. A ‘new heaven and new earth,’ will need ‘new’ people to inhabit the ‘new world.’

When born again into the Kingdom of God, each of us became ‘new creations’ in Messiah (2 Corinthians 5:17). We remained in a mortal state, a flesh body that had to die because of sin. At the first resurrection, everyone who put their faith in Yeshua received their promised immortal bodies. As ‘new creations,’ Jews and gentiles receive their inheritance in the ‘new heaven and new earth’ (Galatians 6:15). They become ‘one new man’ in its fullness. Just as the former heaven and earth required mortal beings; the new heavens and earth require ‘new creations’ in Messiah.

“Also he said, “Write, ‘These words are true and trustworthy!’” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the Beginning and the End. To anyone who is thirsty I myself will give water free of charge from the Fountain of Life. He who wins the victory will receive these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son” (Revelation 21:6-7).

The words Yeshua speaks from the throne are ‘true’ and ‘trustworthy.’ The Hebrew word for ‘true’ is emet and means ‘firm, lasting, and reliable.’ The Hebrew word for ‘trustworthy’ is batach and means ‘to have confidence and feel secure.’

Yeshua looks at Yochanan and says, “It is done!” In Hebrew the word is asah and means ‘accomplished.’ When Yeshua died on the cross, he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). His words on the cross have been misinterpreted to mean that all former covenants ended, Sabbath ended, dietary instructions ended, and the ‘church’ replaced Isra’el because Adonai’s promises ended. His words were actually meant that he completed his ‘appointed time’ of Passover: the institution of the renewed marriage covenant with Isra’el.

It is not until Revelation chapter 21 that Yeshua says that everything has been accomplished and has come to an end. Everything prophesied about him in the ‘appointed times’ has been completed. There is a new beginning, a whole new creation living in the Eternal Sabbath.

Yeshua doesn’t call himself the ‘A and the Z,’ the first and last letters of the Latin alphabet because he didn’t speak Latin; he also didn’t call himself the ‘Alpha and Omega’ because he didn’t speak Greek. He calls himself the ‘alef and the tav‘ the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Though the idea of being the ‘first and the last’ letters of any alphabet may not seem important, but it does when put in its Hebrew context.

Found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures are the two letters alef and tav – את – without any particular meaning. Some consider it a type of modifier, but its appearance has no specific purpose. At the beginning and end of Revelation, Yeshua clarifies the meaning of those two letters ‘et’ –– He is the alef and the tav. According to the Hebrew Word Picture, Yeshua is the first strong sign of the covenant found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. He is in the beginning, the middle, and the end. To remove those Hebrew letters, to change those letters into a foreign language is to change his identity between hundreds of words in Hebrew Scriptures.

Hebrew Letter Pictures

‘et’ – alef and the tav – את

א Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ or ‘strong.’

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or covenant.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for et: first strong sign of the covenant.

“But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those involved with the occult and with drugs, idol-worshippers, and all liars — their destiny is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

There are two deaths written about in Revelation. The first death is physical; the second death is spiritual and eternal. Though we all face a first death in this world, the second death is at the end of time. Those who do not have eternal life will be thrown into a ‘lake burning with fire and sulfur’ and experience eternal death.

“Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities [Thyatira]. He who wins the victory will not be hurt at all by the second death'” (Revelation 2:11).

Fire and sulfur were used to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah though the word theion for ‘sulfur’ was translated ‘brimstone.’ Fire is hot. Fire burns. Fire gives off light that is not the light of the Lamb. Sulfur burns blue and smells like rotten eggs. When sulfur is on fire, it is nearly impossible to extinguish. As sulfur burns it produces sulfur dioxide which becomes sulfurous acid when it comes in contact with water –– the lake.

According to the CDC website: “Breathing sulfuric acid mists can result in tooth erosion and respiratory tract irritation. Drinking concentrated sulfuric acid can burn your mouth and throat, and it can erode a hole in your stomach; it has also resulted in death. If you touch sulfuric acid, it will burn your skin.” Sulfuric acid is deadly.

Fire and sulfur had to be used to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of fallen angelic-demonic presence. The Adversary will end up in the lake of fire along with those fallen angels who served him.

The ‘lake of fire’ is the place of ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth;’ it is the place of eternal torment.’ Weeping and gnashing’ of teeth is the place of greatest regret. For people who heard the Truth, even knew the Truth, but chose to rebel will receive eternal consequences: they will be thrown out from Yeshua’s Kingdom into the ‘lake burning with fire and sulfur’ (Matthew 13:41-42, Luke 13:28).

Murderers, sexually immoral, idol worshipers, liars, sorcerers, cowards, and the vile will experience the second death in the ‘lake of fire.’ These people rebelled against Torah, lived lawless lives. Idol worshipers, murderers, adulterers, and liars rebelled against the Ten Commandments. The sexually immoral, the homosexuals and fornicators, incestuous relationships and animal sex will receive eternal death.

The Greek word for ‘sorcery’ is pharmakeia and means ‘the use of medicine, drugs or spells.’ More specifically, pharmakeia means ‘to poison’ and includes having hallucinations from drugs. The noun pharmakeus is translated as pharmacist and means ‘poisoner.’ Pharmaceuticals are ‘drugs’ given by pharmacists to ‘poison’ the human body. ‘Sorcery’ is always used with ‘idolatry’ and placing someone or something higher than Adonai. Those who practice ‘sorcery’ are involved in the occult practice of drugs and will die a second death.

‘Vile’ means unpleasant, immoral, and unacceptable. ‘Vile’ includes actions that are morally wrong, offensive, thoroughly disgusting or obscene. One definition of ‘vile’ included ‘vile humor’ –– something I detest from pastors who think their vile jokes are funny. Movies have gone from teaching strong moral lessons to showing vile, disgusting, and obscene behaviors. Activities that were meant for the privacy of one’s home have become public entertainment.

According to dictionary.com, a coward is a ‘person who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain; a timid or easily intimidated person.’ A coward does not take a stand for or against anything. Recently I was in a discussion about bowing before another man or even a king. This woman said she would bow to anyone in order to save her children. I wouldn’t bow before anyone because I would want my children to see me stand for what I believe –– whether I die or not.

A liar twists the truth. The liar follows the ‘father of lies’ who is subtle in his deceptions (John 8:44). The Greek word for ‘lie’ is pseudes and means ‘to be intentionally deceptive.’ A derivative of pseudes is pseudo which means ‘false, pretend or unreal.’ It is not those of the world who will be deceived; they are deceived already. It is those who know the Truth, but twist it to proclaim the ‘Lie.’

The ‘Lie’ began in Gan Eden with the serpent telling Eve ‘she could be like God.’ ‘The Lie’ included a great deception –– a fruit pleasing to the eye that would bring wisdom. ‘The Lie’ is faithlessness to God’s Word. ‘The Lie’ justifies disobedience to Adonai’s commands. ‘The Lie’ twists the Truth into something that appears to have wisdom, but actually ends in the second death in the ‘lake burning with fire and sulfur’ (2 Thessalonians 2:11).

Yeshua wants disciples who do not cower in the midst of persecution. Yeshua wants followers who will stand for Truth when ‘The Lie’ is disseminated worldwide. Yeshua wants brothers and sisters who love his land of Isra’el, his people the Jews, and the Hebrew Scriptures. He desires a Bride who has a spotless gown, keeps oil in her lamp, and is holy as he is holy (Matthew 10:33).

“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” (Revelation 21:9).

One of the messengers described as one who held one of the seven bowls of the seven last plagues, approached Yochanan and told him to ‘come’ and he would show him the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb. The marriage of the Lamb has already taken place (Revelation 19:7-10). Those wearing white robes were invited to the wedding feast and received great blessing. Those who had oil in their lamps became the Bride of Yeshua. These faithful were given another garment of ‘fine linen bright and clean’ to show that the Bride prepared for her marriage with righteous deeds. In her glory, the Wife of the Lamb who married to the King of Kings is revealed.

“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 [jasper]. 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 21:10-12).

The messenger carried Yochanan in the Ruach to the top of a great, high mountain. The holy city of Jerusalem comes down out of heaven with the brilliance of a priceless jewel –– a crystal-clear jasper. The city reflected the Divine Presence of yod-hey-vav-hey.

Some translations use diamond for the brilliance of the New Jerusalem; others use jasper. Diamonds, which are extremely hard, are formed from intense heat and pressure that cause carbon atoms to crystalize. Jasper comes from the Hebrew word yashpheh and means ‘polish.’ Jasper is an opaque quartz-like stone that can be red, green, brown, yellow or striped. The jasper in the High Priest’s breastplate was emerald-green, is a foundation stone in the New Jerusalem, and encircled the throne of Adonai.

The New Jerusalem has a wall with 12 gates with 12 k’ruvim guarding each gate. Over each gate is inscribed one of the names of the 12 Tribes of Isra’el: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Gad, Asher, Dan, Naftali, Zebulun, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin –– evidence that the names of the Tribes of Isra’el would be eternal. In order to enter the New Jerusalem, the redeemed must pass through a gate with the name of a Tribe of Isra’el.

“There were three gates to the east, three gates to the north, three gates to the south and three gates to the west. The wall of the city was built on twelve foundation-stones, and on these were the twelve names of the twelve emissaries of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:13-14).

Each side of the wall has three gates. This is how the Tribes of Isra’el camped in the wilderness; three on each side of the Tabernacle. The prophet Ezekiel gives a few more specifics about the gates, though the Millennial Temple will be much smaller in size. “These are the city exits; they are to be named after the tribes of Isra’el, three gates on each of the four sides; the four sides each measure just under one-and-a-half [miles]: on the north, gates named after Re’uven, Y’hudah and Levi; on the east, gates named after Yosef, Binyamin and Dan; on the south, gates named after Shim‘on, Yissakhar and Z’vulun; and on the west, gates named after Gad, Asher and Naftali” (Ezekiel 48:30-34).

The wall of the city had 12 foundation stones with one huge stone making up one foundation. On each foundation stone is written the name of one of Yeshua’s 12 disciples. The holy temple, a spiritual dwelling for Adonai, is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:19-20). In the New Jerusalem, this foundation will be revealed with precious stones.

The angel speaking with me had a gold measuring-rod with which to measure the city, its gates and its wall. The city is laid out in a square, its length equal to its width. With his rod he measured the city at 1,500 miles, with length, width and height the same. He measured its wall at 216 feet by human standards of measurement, which the angel was using. The wall was made of diamond and the city of pure gold resembling pure glass” (Revelation 21:15-18).

The dimensions of the eternal city, the New Jerusalem is a cube measuring 1,500 miles in width, length and depth. The distance between Phoenix, Arizona and Richmond, Virginia is 1500 miles. The width of the walls measure 216 feet –– not quite the length of a football field. The wall is made of clear diamond and pure gold that resemble glass. Both diamond and gold symbolize going through trial by pressure and heat to be completely purified.

“The process of hammering gold into an extremely thin, unbroken sheet is called ‘goldbeating.’ Egyptian craftsmen recognized the extraordinary durability and malleability of gold and became the first goldbeaters. They pounded gold using a round stone to create the thinnest gold leaf possible.

“Most goldbeaters use 23 karat gold.  They put the gold in a pot and melt it in a furnace.  When liquified, the gold is poured into a mold and cast into a bar.  The gold bar is rolled in a mill until it is 1/1000 of an inch thick. After being rolled, the thin ribbon of gold is cut into 1-inch squares as preparation for beating.

“The first step of beating is called the Cutch which uses a fabric to interleave the gold as it was being beaten. Originally, the Cutch was made of 150 skins of ox intestine, but parchment or mylar is used today in order to handle the hours of repeated hammer blows needed to beat the gold.

“The gold is beaten on a large heavy block of marble or granite.  Beating of the Cutch takes about one hour using a fifteen pound hammer.  The goldbeater follows a pattern and sets up a rhythm of about seventy strokes per minute.  The Cutch packet is rotated and turned to ensure the gold inside expands evenly in all directions to about 4 inches square.  The gold is taken out of the Cutch and each piece is cut into four smaller pieces with a knife and put in a packet called a Shoder which has 1,500 skins.  The Shoder is beaten for about three hours until the gold expands into a 5-inch square.

“The gold is taken out of the Shoder and placed on a leather-covered surface.  The gold is now so thin that the cutter can simply blow on it to flatten it out.  Using a wooden implement called a ‘wagon,’ the gold is quickly cut into four pieces and placed in a packet called a Mold for the final beating.  The Mold, coated with gypsum powder to prevent the gold from sticking to the skins, contains 1,500 pieces of gold.  The Mold is beaten with an 8-pound hammer for three to four hours until it is a circle about six inches in diameter.  The finished leaf forms an unbroken sheet of gold with a thickness of 1/250,000 of an inch.” (Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah, pg. 195, 196).

“The foundations of the city wall were decorated with all kinds of precious stones — the first foundation stone was diamond [jasper], the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh turquoise [Jacinth] and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, with each gate made of a single pearl” (Revelation 21:19-21).

The foundation layers of the various colors of precious stones will appear as a rainbow of color. The foundation stones of the New Jerusalem have the names of Kefa, Andrew, Ya’akov, Yochanan, Phillip, Bartholomew, Levi, Tomas, Ya’akov, Thaddeus, Simon, Y’hudah engraved in them like the High Priest’s breastplate had the Tribal names engraved on precious stones.

Each entrance gate to the New Jerusalem is made of one large pearl. Pearls come from an ‘unclean’ mollusk –– an oyster. To enter the city, the redeemed must go through a pearl gate showing that no man is considered ‘unclean’ by Adonai.

King Solomon writes about the Eshet Chayil who is the spiritual representation of the Bride of Messiah: “Who can find a capable wife? Her value is far beyond that of pearls” (Proverbs 31:10). The Hebrew word for ‘pearls’ is peninim that means ‘coral’ or ‘pearl.’ Yeshua teaches about the ‘pearl of great price’ with reference to its value in Kingdom. The ‘pearl’ can be interpreted as Isra’el in the field of the nations (Matthew 13:45-46).

Pearls are compared to wisdom suggesting that it is the wise who enter the New Jerusalem for they reverenced yod-hey-vav-hey (Job 28:18, Proverbs 8:11, 9:10). The new creations of Jew and gentile have become ‘one new man.’ The redeemed Jew enters through an oyster’s ‘pearl’ while the redeemed gentile enters through one of the 12 Tribes of Israel.

“The city’s main street was pure gold, transparent as glass. The city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s Sh’khinah gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:21-23).

The main street of the New Jerusalem is made of pure, gold that is transparent as glass. In the Aramaic, those words are translated ‘pure gold as the brightness of light.’ More than being ‘transparent,’ the street reflects the brightness of the Light in the city: the Divine Presence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh gives the city its Light and the Lamb is its lamp.

“I saw no Temple in the city, for Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, is its Temple, as is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:22).

There is no need for a Temple in the New Jerusalem because the ‘old earth’ with it’s ‘former ways’ has passed away. Without a Temple, there is no longer Temple service, sacrifices, or even a priesthood. There is no need for Torah as the ‘teachings and instructions’ have also passed away. The Temple is Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. His presence enveloping the city is the Tabernacle where the Bride of the Lamb and the Lamb reside.

“The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. Its gates will never close, they stay open all day because night will not exist there, and the honor and splendor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:24-27).

Renderings of the New Jerusalem appear as a huge brilliant cube floating in space. Though that may be how exists, it doesn’t explain how kings of ‘the earth’ will bring their splendor into it. It is more reasonable to speculate that as the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, it descends into a ‘new heaven and new earth.’ It is on this ‘new earth’ that kings will once again rule and have kingdoms. They will bring tribute to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The gates of the city of the New Jerusalem will never close because there won’t be day or night.

There will still be impure people, those who do shameful things, those who lie. They will remain outside the gates of the New Jerusalem. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter this eternal holy city where there the Rosh Chodesh and the Shabbat order divine time.

This magnificent New Jerusalem with its diamond walls, rainbow foundation of precious stones, streets of pure gold, Light from the Lamb, and yod-hey-vav-hey living among His people, is the city in which Abraham put his faith. “For he was looking forward to the city with permanent foundations, of which the architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). This begins eternal life in Eternity, in the New Jerusalem.

Chapter 22 – The Return of Messiah

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