Wednesday, February 10, 2016

If You Build It He Will Come | Parashat Terumah | By His EVERY Word


Parashat Terumah 
פרשת תרומה 

“Offering”


Torah Portion: 
Exodus 25:1-27:19
Haftarah:
 I Kings 5:12-6:13

B’rit Chadash/New Covenant: I Corinthians 6:19-20

Shabbat | 13 February 2015 | 4 Adar 1 5776

The Dwelling Place of the LORD
The God of Israel continues to pursue His Beloved. Adonai summoned His bride to the foot of Mount Sinai, ablaze with His Glory, where the everlasting marriage covenant was ratified between Israel and her King. The LORD of All Creation, the Great I AM wooed her with extravagant vows: “I WILL bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I WILL deliver you from their bondage, I WILL redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments, I WILL take you for my people, and I WILL be your God.” (Exodus 6:6-7) 

These promises are so momentous, defining the foundation of Israel’s relationship to her God, that they frame the yearly Passover Seder to this day. 

Israel has seen the splendor and might of her LORD from afar. Now Adonai desires to draw near to His Bride. He will descend from His lofty throne atop that majestic, burning mountain, to  tabernacle with His People Israel.

Moses is shown a heavenly view of an existing structure while in the Divine Presence on the Mountain. This is his inspiration for the construction of the Wilderness Tabernacle, which is a transitional model of the Temple to come in Jerusalem in which the Glory of God will dwell.

“And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually...” (Exodus 27:20) Adonai is forming a people as fervently and judiciously as He is building His earthly dwelling place. For in Israel and through Israel—often characterized as the natural olive tree—the fullness of His glory is to be revealed. 



From Mount Sinai to the Mount of Olives, the Divine oil press will prove and refine, until in the fullness of time, the inextinguishable Light will be revealed.

Through Adonai’s intimate relationship with Israel, all the earth will come to know that He is the
LORD. “My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever.” (Ezekiel 37:27)

This will be a redemptive theme throughout His-Story, culminating in the final, glorious, heavenly tabernacle in the New Jerusalem. “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.” (Revelation 21:2-3) 



And is this not what the Almighty revealed to Moses on the mountain?! (cf. Exodus 23:40)
Join us now at the Father’s table as we keep the rhythm of Israel for more than two millennia, anticipating fresh manna from our God and King. As followers of Messiah we have added a corresponding New Covenant portion reflecting the fulfillment and crown of the Torah.




BONUS: Why Does Moses Have Horns?


Exodus 25  The Dwelling Place of the LORD

The Furnishings


vv. 1-8 “‘Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution. This is the contribution which you are to raise from them: gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair, rams' skins dyed red, porpoise skins, acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece. Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.’”

Our parasha derives its name from the word offering or contribution found in the opening sentence. In Hebrew, offering or contribution is terumah תרומה, which generally refers to an offering to God.

v. 3 “gold, silver and bronze” Before leaving Egypt, the sons of Israel were instructed to request articles of silver and articles of gold from the Egyptians. Exodus 12:36 reveals the Egyptians honoring the request as the LORD had given Israel favor. The purpose for the endowment of gold, silver and bronze is now revealed. The Egyptians have sown into the construction of the Wilderness Tabernacle of Adonai!

v. 5 Porpoise skins? The Hebrew word translated porpoise in verse 5 is takhash תחש. The Jewish Publication Society (JPS) translates it as sealskins or badgers’ skins—possibly a sea creature in existence in the Red Sea in Moses’ time, which no longer exists.
Israel Plundered the Egyptians?
Exodus 12:36 is often rendered, “...the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.” 
This is a mistranslation and makes no sense in the contextespecially in the broader view from Heaven’s perspective. The word plundered is natsal נצל in Hebrew, and is translated: deliver, rescue, save (from sin and guilt) in nearly every usage throughout the Old Testament. 
Conversely, the Hebrew word shassah שסה is used for plunder and pillage. It was entirely consistent for Adonai to request Egypt to send her slaves out enriched according to His standard which will be established in Deuteronomy 15:13-14: "When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you.” 
Egypt had been saved from utter devastation and greatly prospered through Joseph. By the Word of Genesis 12:3, Egypt should have never recovered from the plagues and disaster brought to that land by her wicked king. Perhaps those Egyptians that blessed the sons of Israel with the precious materials for the dwelling place of God were saved, delivered, or rescued, from further devastation—an accurate rendering of natsal. In any case, the text says that the LORD had "given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians."  Certainly plundered is inconsistent with the text.
The Color of Heaven

v. 4 One of the contributions Adonai requested was blue which is tekhelet תכלת in Hebrew. tekhelet blue, known as Divine Blue—identifying Israel and her God—will come to symbolize the hope of redemption with its loss and amazing rediscovery after nearly two thousand years.

Numbers 15:38 established the cord of blue as a necessity for all generations of Israel: “Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue.”

Much of the Wilderness Tabernacle utilized tekhelet blue:

  • Exodus 26:1 “ten curtains of fine twisted linen and tekhelet blue
  • Exodus 26:4loops of tekhelet blue on the edge of the outermost curtain ... likewise on the edge of the curtain in the second set.”
  • Exodus 26:31 “You shall make a veil of tekhelet blue...”
  • Exodus 26:36 “a screen for the doorway of the tent of tekhelet blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen...”
  • Exodus 27:16 “a screen of twenty cubits, of tekhelet blue...”

The sages explain why tekhelet blue is so significant: 
It is like the sea. The sea is like the Heavens. And the Heavens are like the Throne of Glory where the Divine Presence dwells. The symbolism of tekhelet is manifold; the rich blue colors recall the ocean and the infinite sky, reminding us of God’s presence in the world and of the bond between the wearer and God.


Lost and FoundThe Tale of the Snail


When the Romans conquered Israel in 63 BC they seized control of the production of tekhelet blue.  By the third century AD, under the Emperor Constantine, only Romans, and primarily royalty, were allowed to use and wear the tekhelet blue. Jews were prohibited from its use—especially after the Council of Nicaea which established harsh laws restricting Jews (and Christians) from observing biblical commandments from the Old Testament.

Jewish dyers went underground. By around 600 AD, as the Jews were scattered, persecuted, and confined to ghettos, the identity of the creature from which the dye was extracted and the process of producing tekhelet blue was lost all together.

From that time until very recently, tallits, the traditional prayer shawl that held the tzitzit, or tassels, as commanded in Numbers 15:38, on its corners, could not contain the cord of blue
The sages believed the loss of the tekhelet blue was attributed to the disobedience of Israel, suggesting that its rediscovery would be a sign of restoration and signal the coming of Messiah in His glory to Israel.
The miraculous rebirth of Israel in 1948, and the reunification of Jerusalem following the Six Day War in 1967 inspired zeal and renewed hope among the Jewish People. They thought redemption may truly be at hand. The Temple Institute in Jerusalem has painstakingly recreated the Holy Vessels and Garments in anticipation of the rebuilding of the Holy Temple according to biblical descriptions. Missing were the tekhelet blue and the ashes of the Red Heifer.

Tekhelet Restored!

The secret to reviving this ancient formula to fulfill the commandment in Exodus 25:4 and produce tekhelet blue was a riddle waiting until the 1980s to be solved.

The Murex trunculus snail had been identified in the early 20th century by the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel. Ezekiel 27:7 speaks of tekhelet blue from Tyre and the coastlands of Elishah. Archaeologists uncovered mounds of Murex shells in Tyre and the surrounding area that dated to the biblical period. Blue stains on large pots and vats from 1200 BC were tested, and found to be consistent with the modern day Murex trunculus.

However, until the 1980s all experiments on the Murex extract only yielded purple dye ... until one sunny day. Otto Elsner, a professor at Shenker College of Engineering and Design near Tel Aviv, took the process outside in the sunlight, and found that the dye specimen turned a beautiful, perfect tekhelet blue.
Once again—for the first time in almost 2,000 years, the Jewish People are able to fulfill this commandment in the Land of Israel. And once more, they wear a cord of blue in their tzitzit as commanded.
The SanctuaryIf You Build it He Will Come

v. 8 “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.

Sanctuary in Hebrew is mikdash מקדש. It is a sacred place, sanctuary, holy place, the Temple, the Tabernacle (of YHVH).

The word dwell in Hebrew is shakan שכן, meaning abide, dwell, tabernacle.

Among is tavek תוך in Hebrew. It means in the midst, middle, among, therein.

What Adonai is saying here is sublime, profound, majestic and precious! He wants Israel to build a sacred place for Him—for His Name. A place that will remain undefiled for His Holiness, that He may abide or tabernacle with His PeopleHe didn’t say “that I may dwell within the sanctuary,” but rather, “that I may dwell among them.”
Speaking of Yeshua, John 1:14 says “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The Greek word translated dwelt is skēnoō σκηνόω. It is literally translated tabernacle, to abide in a tabernacle. Yeshua tabernacled among us, just like His Father did in the wilderness.
Do we fully grasp this?
Adonai says to us, His people:
  “Be holy, as I am holy,”

...not because He is a cosmic killjoy,
but because He desires to dwell with us!

We are to BE a sanctuary for Him,

...a dwelling place for the Presence of the LORD God Almighty.

vv. 9-17 “According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it. You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and you shall make a gold molding around it. You shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you. You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide.” 


Only the purest and most precious of metals is to be associated with the Holy of Holies. Gold, in Hebrew is zahav זהב, a golden, precious metal, of brilliance, splendor, gold.

Mercy (seat), in Hebrew, kapporet כפרת, refers to the place of atonement (therefore called “mercy” seat), the golden plate of propitiation on which the High Priest sprinkled the seat 7 times on the Day of Atonement reconciling Adonai and the sons of Israel, the slab of gold on top of the ark of the covenant which measured 2.5 by 1.5 cubits; on it and part of it were the two golden cherubim facing each other whose outstretched wings came together above and constituted the throne of Adonai.

From the root kaphar, כָּפַר meaning to cover, make atonement, make reconciliation, cover over, propitiate.


This is the place from which mercy flowedthe atonement for sin—from the Merciful One, blessed be He.


The Two Arks
The word ark in Exodus 25:10 is ä·rōn' אָרוֹן referring specifically to the Ark of the Testimony or Covenant. This is a different Hebrew word than the word used Genesis 6:14 for the ark Noah built. Although our English translators use the word ark for both, they are different words with different etymology and meanings. Noah's ark is the word tā·vä' תֵּבָה which was used for both Noah's vessel as well as the basket vessel in which Moses was placed—clearly referring to boat-like vessels.

vv. 18-19 “You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends.” 
Cherubim, כרוב keruv in Hebrew, (plural, keruvim) are angelic beings, such as the guardians of Edennot fat little babies with tiny wings. These celestial beings are powerful ministers of the Almighty.
v. 22 “There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.”

Thus the Tabernacle is called the Tent of Meeting, in Hebrew, Ohel Me’od אהל מועד.

The Bread of the Presence

vv. 23-30 “You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long and one cubit wide and one and a half cubits high. You shall overlay it with pure gold and make a gold border around it. You shall make for it a rim of a handbreadth around it; and you shall make a gold border for the rim around it. You shall make four gold rings for it and put rings on the four corners which are on its four feet. The rings shall be close to the rim as holders for the poles to carry the table. You shall make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that with them the table may be carried. You shall make its dishes and its pans and its jars and its bowls with which to pour drink offerings; you shall make them of pure gold. You shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times,” 

Leviticus 24:5-9 describes the showbread in more detail. Twelve sacred loaves were to be prepared, one for each of the Tribes of Israel, “on the pure gold table before the [face of the] LORD,” each Sabbath “as an everlasting covenant for the sons of Israel.”
On Friday evenings, we celebrate the biblical Shabbat (Sabbath) with some of the traditional Jewish customs. This space in time is sanctified—set apart by the LORD, and as we meet around the table to celebrate Him, it may be likened unto a small sanctuary.

As priests in His Kingdom, we offer thanks, blessing the LORD, and blessing our family members. On the table is either a menorah—a small seven-branched candelabra, or two candlesticks representing the eternal light in the Temple—and two fresh loaves of challah, delicious egg bread.
 
The loaves commemorate the double portion of manna Adonai supplied on Shabbat for forty years while Israel tabernacled with Adonai in the wilderness.

They are also reminiscent of the loaves of showbread that once graced the golden table before Adonai’s Presence.
Yeshua is at the center.

For when Messiah came, He told us, I am the bread of life

Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 

This is the bread which comes down out of heaven,
 so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
(John 6:48-51) 

I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,
 but will have the Light of life.”
(v. 8:12)
“The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.
(Matthew 12:8, Luke 6:5)


The Golden Menorah

vv. 31-37 “Then you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand and its base and its shaft are to be made of hammered work; its cups, its bulbs and its flowers shall be of one piece with it. Six branches shall go out from its sides; three branches of the lampstand from its one side and three branches of the lampstand from its other side. Three cups shall be shaped like almond blossoms in the one branch, a bulb and a flower, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bulb and a flower—so for six branches going out from the lampstand; and in the lampstand four cups shaped like almond blossoms, its bulbs and its flowers. A bulb shall be under the first pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the second pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the third pair of branches coming out of it, for the six branches coming out of the lampstand. Their bulbs and their branches shall be of one piece with it; all of it shall be one piece of hammered work of pure gold. Then you shall make its lamps seven in number; and they shall mount its lamps so as to shed light on the space in front of it.”

Lampstand in Hebrew is menorah מנורה. The Temple Menorah provided perpetual light, the priests tending to it day and night. The Menorah became symbolic of Israel and the Jewish People. It was to burn continually throughout Israel’s generations, a priesthood tending to the lampstand day and night. When Rome sacked Jerusalem and demolished the Holy Temple in 70AD, a military procession was memorialized on the Titus Arch in Rome, proudly displaying the conquest of the Holy Golden Menorah. The enemy of God believed he had extinguished the Light of Israel forever.








On Earth as it is in Heaven


Did You Catch This?!


v. 40 “See that you make them after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain.” 

Adonai was detailed and specific in His complex plans for each of the elements that would be furnishing His Tent of Meeting. Moses was not only told, but actually shown a heavenly view of what was to be created—on earth as it is in heaven!

Shown in Hebrew is re’eh ראה, meaning to see, look at, inspect, regard, gaze upon, to be visible, to be seen, to be exhibited to.


Did Moses see a glimpse of what John saw when he was in exile on the Isle of Patmos?
“After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened...” (Revelation 15:5)

Exodus 26  The Dwelling Place of the LORD, The Wilderness Tabernacle

v. 30 “Then you shall erect the tabernacle according to its plan which you have been shown in the mountain.” 


























Tabernacle is mishkan משכן in Hebrew, meaning dwelling place. A tabernacle could be a simple tent, or as in this case, a highly detailed and complex structure, constructed exactly according to Adonai’s plan.
In Hebrew, the word plan, mishpat משפט, communicates far more than an architectural rendering. Mishpat means judgment, ordinance, seat of judgment, rectitude, justice, proper, fitting, measure, process, procedure, plan. 
Every detail of every curtain, loop, socket and ring is intricately specified—and detailed from Adonai’s point of view—from the Holy of Holies moving outward.
God’s People are learning that the things of the LORD are to be handled circumspectly—in HIS way, not theirs. HE sits on the seat of judgment, and has called all things into existence according to His plan for His Glory. 


How does that line up with our theology?
With our plans, visions, ministry, strategies and ideas?

Today, His Son Yeshua, sits on a throne at His right hand. Those who call themselves His should not be any less respectful of His glorious Kingdom, or expect His standards to be less lofty. 

Exodus 27  The Tabernacle Courtyard

The Altar of Burnt Offerings

vv. 1-2 “And you shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide; the altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits. You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze.” 
The Rabbis explained the symbolism of the altar by making each letter of the Hebrew word for altar, mizbeach מזבח, the initial of a word, thus: 
  • מחול  forgiven, pardoned—the altar was the channel whereby the Israelite could seek reconciliation with God from Whom he had become estranged by sin
  • זכות meritgratitude, humility, contrition found an outlet on the altar, and by the exercise of these virtues, life was ennobled and merit acquired
  • ברכה blessing—by being true to the teachings that centered round the altar, man earns the Divine blessings and himself becomes a blessing to his fellow man
  • חיים life—the altar points the way of life everlasting, to the things that abide for evermore—truth, righteousness, holiness. From The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Chief Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, 1938
The word horns in Hebrew is keren קרן, meaning: horn, strength, flask or container of oil, rays of light, hill.


Flavius Josephus, the great first century Roman-Jewish historian, described the Second Temple altar as having “corners like horns.” The horns symbolized God’s power, authority, glory, and salvation—His power to protect the penitent, the priest, the worshiper, who came to His altar. Jewish commentaries note that a fugitive (with the exception of a murderer) obtained safety by seizing hold of the horns of the altar.

SPEAKING OF HORNS ... Why Does Moses Have Horns?


Exodus 34:29: “So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.”

In Hebrew, the word shone is karan קָרַן, which is similar to keren קרן except the vowels are different. Keren means horns and strength. Karan means send out rays, as in shine. It can also mean display horns, which would be inappropriate in context.

The Latin Vulgate mistranslated the three verses that use karan in Exodus 34 (vs. 29, 30, 35) as keren, therefore, when Moses came down from the mountain, he “had horns!


This is why Moses is portrayed as having horns in many of the most famous classical sculptures and paintings.

Tragically, the Latin Vulgate mistranslation of the Hebrew word "karan," meaning send out rays, or shine, to "keren," which means horn, also spawned a ridiculous myth that persists to this day that Jews have horns hidden under their hair!

The Court of the Tabernacle



v. 9 “You shall make the court of the tabernacle...” 

Any Israelite who was not unclean, according to the statutes, could enter this outer court. The furnishings of the outer court were constructed of bronze and silver, whereas the furnishings of the inner court, within and closest to the Holy of Holies, were overlaid with the finest gold.
  • Bronze is nekhoshet נחשת in Hebrew. Its definition is varied: copper, alloy, bronze, fetters (of copper or bronze), lust, harlotry.
  • Silver is kesef כסף, meaning: silver, money, metal, ornament, shekels, talents.
  • Gold is zahav זהב, from a root meaning to shimmer. It simply means gold, a precious metal of brilliance and splendor.
Gold speaks of purity, truth, and holiness. 
Silver is the interchange, commerce, and identity of the world. 
Bronze represents mixture, the profane, and sin. The bronze laver stands between the outer court and the sanctuary. Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and feet before entering the Holy Place—symbolically depositing their sin into the brass lavera continual call to consecration to all who would approach the LORD or minister before Him. The bronze altar of burning would receive the sacrifices for sin.
vv. 20-21 “And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the LORD. It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel.” 

Adonai is forming a people as fervently and judiciously as He is building His earthly dwelling place. For in Israel and through Israel—often characterized as the natural olive treethe fullness of His glory is to be revealed! 

From Mount Sinai to the Mount of Olives, the Divine oil press will prove and refine, until in
the fullness of time, the inextinguishable Light will be revealed—the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world.

While in Egypt, Israel was but a child, under the grotesque pagan influences of an amoral culture that worshiped sorcery, idolatry, and death

Human life had no value—slaves in the vast multitudes were routinely sacrificed to build edifices to the pharaohs, who were considered gods

The writings of Herodotus records the death of 120,000 laborers in the era of Pharaoh Necho II (609-588 BC) in the construction of a canal.

Out of this dark, hopeless world, the God of Israel liberates His ChildrenHis Bridethe offspring of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. 
Out of Egypt, YHVH brings forth His own to raise His standard against idolatry, sorcery, and tyranny. The Love of YHVH, the LORD God Almighty will build a HIGHway in the desert—a dwelling place where heaven will touch earth. Only in the wilderness, out of contaminating influence, can Israel shed her clothes of bondage and learn of her God. She will pass through the waters and not drown, through the fires of Sinai, and not be consumed. She will be wed to her God and bring forth His Light to the Nations—that the earth will be filled with the Good News of the salvation (Yeshua in Hebrew) of God and His Righteousness for all men and all nations.

Israel may have lost the Holy Temple Menorah, but Adonai has promised His beloved:
Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
And instead of iron I will bring silver,
And instead of wood, bronze, And instead of stones, iron.
And I will make peace your administrators
And righteousness your overseers.
Violence will not be heard again in your land,
Nor devastation or destruction within your borders;
But you will call your walls salvation,
and your gates praise.
No longer will you have the sun for light by day,
Nor for brightness will the moon give you light;
But you will have the LORD for an everlasting light,
And your God for your glory.
Your sun will no longer set, Nor will your moon wane;
For you will have the LORD for an everlasting light,
And the days of your mourning will be over
Then all your people will be righteous;
They will possess the land forever,
The branch of My planting,
The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.

Isaiah 60:17-21

To be continued...



Haftarah Terumah
I Kings 5:12-6:13

Our Torah portion has been Exodus 25:1-27:19. Here we saw instructions for the assembling of the Tabernacle of God. But to think that God needs an earthly place from which to do His work is ... well you fill in the thought. Actually, God is everywhere. His essence pervades the universe He created. So to think that God must be assigned a particular location and be nowhere else is to only demonstrate a “small” concept of who and what God is.

Consider Jeremiah 23:24: “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?’ declares the Lord.”

And Psalm 139:7-10: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.”

Did we not see as well in Isaiah’s vision, a God whose physical presence extended from His very throne room in heaven down to the physical Temple in Jerusalem, the one Isaiah was standing in: “In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.” (Isaiah 6:1)

So how could we ever think that God needed a structure on earth in which to dwell and from which He would do His business? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, however, would do it differently for His people. He was to show His Presence in a very specific way.

So, in the establishment of this new Jewish nation these people were given a specific worship practice. To accomplish this God gave them the wilderness Tabernacle and ultimately the more permanent Temple in Jerusalem. You’ll recall that from within first one and then the other of these places God exhibited His presence and made His will known. As we move ahead in our Torah reading we will see that God makes it quite clear where He is going to be for the Jewish people, and from where He will speak to them.

In giving instructions on the worship process God says to Moses, “The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and shall offer with it the same grain offering and the same drink offering as in the morning, for a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD. It shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the doorway of the tent of meeting before the LORD, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. I will meet there with the sons of Israel, and it shall be consecrated by My glory. I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar; I will also consecrate Aaron and his sons to minister as priests to Me.” (Ex. 29:41-44)

National Israel was given the covenant blessing of having in some sense the physical presence of God in their midst and speaking directly to them in a way He had never done before. Think of it. In their midst and speaking to them. New to them and a testimony to the pagan world about them.

This is not unlike the relationship the New Testament believer has with God today, only ours is better. Under the Old Covenant God’s presence was in just one place, the Tabernacle or later the Temple. With the institution of the New Covenant, established at the Last Supper (Luke 22:20), God would now look at each individual believer as a temple in and of himself. Not only that, but God would now dwell in that temple to perform His work in each of us. I Corinthians 6:19-20 makes this more than plain when Paul says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
In the Old Testament there was but one Temple that gave testimony to God’s presence among His people, just one place for the world to see God speaking to His people. But in this period of time—that which we live in right now—we each are an individual temple of God’s. He is present in each person who has believed in His Son, Yeshua.
It may be hard to conceive of, but think of your local church service having all those many temples in it. 
What kind of thought-life characterizes your individual temple in that setting?
And how about the reality that each of those temples houses God?
And what of your walk when you're out of the house and in public; you and a few friends, or just you and your spouse... Would an onlooker think of yours as a temple that houses God? 

In your home with just family is another consideration? 

And then there are the unseen angels, as they look on... They watch us to learn more about how we as the temples God resides in, live out the Faith. (I Peter 1:12; I Corinthians 4:9  and 11:10) This is amazing stuff!


YOU are a temple...

God lives in YOU and would speak through YOU...

In this pagan world, does YOUR life reflect the truth that Almighty God does indeed live within you?




B'rit Chadashah Terumah
I Corinthians 6:19-20



























Various portions of Scripture have been suggested for this week's B’rit Chadashah. The fact that that these selections are not tied to tradition (as is the Haftarah) or the weekly cycle of Pentateuch reading (Genesis through Deuteronomy)) gives us some latitude in what we choose to look at. So it seemed good to me to exercise this freedom just a little and expand briefly on the Temple concept in the New Testament.
Let's revisit 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 
The Old Testament period had but one Tabernacle or Temple at a time. Yahweh was from time to time in it, and on occasion He spoke from it, often depending on the level of obedience to the Covenant relationship His people were demonstrating. Today, however, while the concept is the same the practical outworking is far different.

We have already pointed out that in the Old Testament period there was only one Temple in which God dwelt and from which He spoke on occasion. Today whether Messianic believer or Gentile convert we are each a temple. (I Cor. 6:19-20) God now has multitudes of temples in which He has taken up a permanent residence. John 14:16 It is by the lives we live in our own individual temple that He speaks out through us today. (I Peter 3:15) How can this be and how is it done?      

In His farewell message to His disciples Yeshua speaks of the coming permanent residency of God in each and every believer. Concerning the Father and Himself He said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (Jn.14:23) And of the Holy Spirit He said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.” (Jn. 14:16) This is how it can be.

Does this residency last? Yes, it is unbroken until death or the Rapture. But here we get into the discussion of eternal security, a subject for another time. Suffice it to say we are all sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). That task is God’s responsibility, not ours.
And as to how He speaks out through us? It’s our bodies that are His temples. It’s not only in them that He lives, but through them that He speaks. 
Romans 12:1-2 is the gateway through which we understand how this process works. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Consider the process. (1)It is us that has to present our temple to Him for use. (2) This is done as an act of worship. (3) Only transformation of our thought processes, not a stayed conformity to how the world views things, will facilitate this presentation. And (4) the result will be the living proof of what God says is good, acceptable, and perfect. That is God speaking out today, through you. This is how it is done.
We have a challenge here. As a temple that Almighty God dwells in we are to live out His message to the world about us. Though it has its difficulties it is not an impossible task. II Corinthians 5:17-19 says that there is something that sets us apart from those not having God live within them. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
As believers in Yeshua and His work on the cross now ours we are new creatures with the task of reconciliation before us. We are each of us a temple that Almighty God dwells in. We are in a very real sense the voice of God as we live out the life He has called us to. Should we not then ask ourselves how clear is that voice coming through me to a lost world? Doesn’t I Peter 3:15 brazenly jump up and demand you to, “ sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you...”

Each of us have but one temple experience by which to testify of the living God within and His message to those without. C.T. Studd summed up this temple experience of ours when he said,


“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”


Shabbat shalom!

In Messiah’s Love,
His EVERY Word Ministries