Yom Teruach Golden Gate

The Day and the Hour Which No Man Knows

Tonight, Sunday, September 13, 2015, the new moon is expected to be seen in Israel. The new moon will officially mark the beginning of Yom Teruach! Many people incorrectly know this day as Rosh Hashanah or “the Head of the New Year.” However, Biblically, this day was known as Yom Teruach or the Day of Trumpets. Because of this deliberate change, many people miss out on the true meaning of this important High Holy Day.

The Anti-Christ and the Changing of YHVH’s Timetable
According to YHVH’s Word, the new year is actually to begin in the spring time at Passover.

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evenings, is the Passover to YHVH. Leviticus 23:5

YHVH called the month in which Passover occurs the “first month.” The month we just began, Tishri, is the seventh Biblical month and is not the new year but, rather, the month containing the 3 fall feasts of the 7 annual feasts of YHVH.

Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you have a rest, a remembrance of blowing of trumpets, a set-apart gathering. You do no servile work, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to YHVH.’

And YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to YHVH. And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before YHVH your Elohim. For any being who is not afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people. You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.”

And YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Booths for seven days to YHVH. On the first day is a set-apart gathering, you do no servile work. For seven days you bring an offering made by fire to YHVH. On the eighth day there shall be a set-apart gathering for you, and you shall bring an offering made by fire to YHVH. It is a closing festival, you do no servile work. These are the appointed times of YHVH which you proclaim as set-apart gatherings, to bring an offering made by fire to YHVH, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a slaughtering and drink offerings, as commanded for every day – besides the Sabbaths of YHVH, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your voluntary offerings which you give to YHVH. Leviticus 23: 24-48

So how did this change occur? Daniel 7:25 tells us that the spirit of the anti-Christ is to change the appointed times of YHVH. By changing YHVH’s appointed times, or getting rid of them altogether, the enemy keeps us oblivious to the season we are in. If we don’t know the season or times we are in, we can’t properly prepare. If we don’t properly prepare, we risk being caught unaware when the Bridegroom comes for His Bride.

and it [the beast] speaks words against the Most High, and it wears out the set-apart ones of the Most High, and it intends to change appointed times and law, and they are given into its hand for a time and times and half a time. Daniel 7:25

In 325 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea. The result of this council was a new religion that blended the Nazarene faith (the belief in Torah and Yeshua the Messiah which the early apostles and who we call the first “Christians” would have actually have been called) with Mithraism (paganism) and created what we now know as Catholicism. This council is where modern Christianity got it beginnings. Constantine and his council took the true faith and gospel of Yeshua that the disciples had preached (which never parted from Torah) and mixed it with their pagan religion to create a new form of sun/son worship. This new religion changed the holy days of YHVH to the holy days of sun worship…hence Sunday being the new holy day/Sabbath.

As we read in Leviticus 23, YHVH had already established His timetable and His Holy days. The Feast Days of YHVH, or moedim in Hebrew, are the timetable YHVH uses. Significant events in His story always coincide with the Feasts. In Matthew 16:1-4, Yeshua admonishes the Pharisees and Sadducees for understanding the signs of the weather but not understanding the signs of the God. Let this not be the case for us. May we humble ourselves and seek after YHVH’s times and not our own.

What is Yom Teruach?
Yom Teruach is the Day of Trumpets. When you see the word “trumpet” in the Bible, it is almost always referring to a shofar or a ram’s horn. The sounding of a shofar signifies a significant event is about to take place. A shofar was blown to gather all the tribes of Israel together for a meeting with YHVH, religious ceremony, or battle. It was used in battle to direct soldiers. It is also frequently used to wake those who slumber from their sleep. On Yom Teruach, the shofar is blown 100 times and is blown every morning during the previous month of Elul in preparation. It is truly a wake-up call to those who have ears to hear.

Yeshua warned us of a future Yom Teruach.

And immediately after the distress of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Adam shall appear in the heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of Adam coming on the clouds of the heaven with power and much esteem. And He shall send His messengers with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. And learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that the summer is near. So you also, when you see all these, know that He is near, at the doors. Truly, I say to you, this generation shall by no means pass away until all this takes place. The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall by no means pass away.

But concerning that day and the hour no one knows, not even the messengers of the heavens, but My Father only. And as the days of Noah, so also shall the coming of the Son of Adam be. For as they were in the days before the flood, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also shall the coming of the Son of Adam be. Then two shall be in the field, the one is taken and the one is left. Two shall be grinding at the mill, one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Master is coming. And know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Because of this, be ready too, for the Son of Adam is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him. Matthew 24:29-44

Many people who do not have an understanding of Torah inaccurately explain that Yeshua was telling His disciples that we can never know the day He will return. This is why it is imperative that we not only understand but also live Torah. It is the basis for everything we say we believe. It is YHVH’s timetable and compass that will point us to our Messiah.

The “day and the hour which no man knows” was and still is a Hebrew idiom or nickname for Yom Teruach. Why? Yom Teruach is the only feast that begins on the first day of it’s month. In order to know when a new month begins, the new moon must be spotted in the sky. In Biblical days, a watchman would stand outside every night in his watchman’s tower and look for the sliver of the moon that indicates the new month had begun. Even today with our fancy NASA calendars and advanced technology it’s still impossible to know exactly what day the new moon will appear. This explains the nickname the day and the hour which no man knows.

When Yeshua said this, it would have been no mystery to the disciples or anyone obeying Torah to understand what He meant. They would have immediately known He was referring to a future Yom Teruach.

In Biblical days, once the watchman spotted the new moon, he would then blow the shofar and word would spread across Israel that the feast of Yom Teruach had begun. Because it is a holy day and treated as a Sabbath, all workWatchman New Moon would immediately cease. Therefore, when Yeshua said that two would be in the field and one would be taken and the other left, He was saying that one would leave His work and head to the Temple and the other would ignore the shofar and stay in the field. Most Christians are sadly taught that this is referring to the rapture. Again, without understanding Torah and YHVH’s timetable, it’s near impossible to truly understand prophecy, the words of Yeshua, or decipher the times and seasons we are living in.

Yom Teruach and the Fall Feasts
Yom Teruach also marks the beginning of the fall feasts. As we read in Leviticus 23, we celebrate Yom Teruach on the first day of the month, then on the 10th day of the month we celebrate Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and the 15th day Sukkot (Tabernacles) is celebrated.

The 10 day period between Yom Teruach and Yom Kippur is called the 10 Days of Awe. This is YHVH’s mercy to His Bride as she prepares to come before Him on Judgment Day. It is believed that the Books of Life and Death are opened by God on Yom Teruach and they are closed on Yom Kippur — the righteous being inscribed in the Book of Life, while the names of the wicked are “blotted out.” As I’ve mentioned in other posts about Elul, the month of Elul is a month to emotional healing and repent/forgive. If, for whatever reason, you still haven’t finished this process, YHVH gives you 10 more days before Judgment Day to make things right.

After Yom Kippur, Sukkot is celebrated. Sukkot is known as the Wedding Feast and is a week long celebration. It is an extremely joyous time! Having this understanding of the LORD’s feasts and His timetable makes the connection between “the day and the hour which no man knows,” Judgement Day, and the Wedding Feast of the Lamb a little more clear and interesting doesn’t it?

YHVH doesn’t want His people in the dark. He doesn’t want us groping around in confusion trying to make sense of His plan. He is not a God of confusion, but, rather, of order and organization. He gives us clear instructions and signs to guide us in our journey. But in order to understand these instructions and road signs, we must first have an understanding of Torah. Sadly, we have been taught that Torah is a burden and something that doesn’t apply to us, but without Torah, it’s nearly impossible to truly understand the words of Yeshua and the New Testament.

Most of us keep Torah whether we know it or not. We believe murder, adultery, stealing, lying, cheating, etc. are all wrong, yet we allow ourselves to get hung up on just a few points. But if we take a step back, and really consider what Torah entails, we see that “this command which I am commanding you today, it is not too hard for you, nor is it far off. I am commanding you today to love YHVH your Elohim, to walk in His ways, and to guard His commands, and His laws, and His right-rulings. And you shall live and increase, and YHVH your Elohim shall bless you in the land which you go to possess.” Deuteronomy 30: 11, 16

Let us not be like the Pharisees and Sadducees who could not discern the signs God had given them. Instead, let us awaken from our slumber and prepare ourselves that we will not be found unaware when our King returns. Let us not be like those outside the House of God who do not know and understand the day and the hour in which we are living. Let us rejoice, celebrate, and give thanks to YHVH for His loving-faithfulness and continue doing the hard work in these last 10 days before Yom Kippur.

Gemar Chatimah Tova! May your final sealing (in the Book of Life) be good!

 

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Awakening the American Dreamer

It was a sunny day, clear and a million, 14 years ago on the day the country swore to never forget. It was a day much like today — clear blue sky, sun shining through. A whole new generation of eyes was opened to war, terrorism, and to the fact that we are not untouchable by evil. We swore to find and punish those responsible. We unashamedly prayed in public and “God bless America” became our national mantra — our war chant. Much has changed since that day. We have changed since that day.

We have gotten so caught up in the “American Dream” that we have fallen into a deep slumber where reality no longer prevails. We have become a generation of American Dreamers where “social” media is not fun and games but where it’s a way of life. Where we can hide behind a perfectly-posed picture and screen name and pretend that everything is ok. Where we can say, and do, and be anything we want. Where our actions carry no responsibility. We see what we want to see. We ignore what makes us uncomfortable. Social media is fueling the fire of division and a culture of irresponsibility and is artificially creating problems that weren’t actually there to begin with.

We are fighting battles of misplaced ideals and we can no longer perceive reality. We feel entitled to anything and everything we want – with no regard for how our actions affect the lives of others. We are selfish and self-centered. We say we want to love everybody but wind up loving no one but ourselves.

We now believe that police officers are the bad guys. That white people should suffer for the slavery of the past. That we should be judged by the color of our skin and not our actions and character. That people who believe in traditional marriage should be fined and “rehabilitated.” That you cannot and should not do or say anything that will offend anyone. That disagreeing with someone is a form of hate.

Israel is under constant threat from missiles being fired into their sovereign borders, mortar shells hurting or killing innocent people, tunnels being dug into their territory, and suicide bombers blowing themselves up in busy areas. Israel is worried about Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria invading their borders. They have Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood all trying to sneak in and do as much damage as they can.

Syria’s dictatorship has gotten so bad that it’s literally UNLIVEABLE in the country…as witnessed by the thousands upon thousands of refugees fleeing the country hoping to be taken in by any country who will have them. Iran is one step closer to getting a nuclear weapon. Women can’t drive and can’t be seen in public alone. Women can’t report rapes or abuse for fear of being punished. Russia is occupying Ukraine. China is building secret military islands in international water and is cyber-attacking America while also manipulating their currency causing our stock market to have more mood swings than a bipolar patient off their medication. North Korea still won’t tell anyone what they are doing or how they treat their people, but a recent UN Commission of Inquiry found North Korea to be unparalleled in their violations of human rights.

Greece’s economy has failed (again). Europe is trying to deal with the surge of Muslim immigrants that are now trying to impose Sharia law. ISIS is rapidly spreading across the Middle East destroying historical artifacts and brutally murdering men, women, and children in their effort to spread fear and terror across the world.

And then there’s America – where the citizens whine and complain that someone hurt their feelings or offended them. We have been taught to believe that good is bad and bad is good. Where everyone can do whatever they want – as long as they don’t hurt anyone else.

Everything our forefathers sacrificed and fought so hard for is being unraveled by this new “enlightened” generation who thinks they are entitled to anything and everything they want; that they have a “right” to live the lives they want but then criticize our military and police officers who put their lives on the line for the very rights they espouse. It’s such a twisted generation we live in and it’s spiraling out of control quicker each day.

Our world is falling apart and all the distractions our culture offers is keeping us from doing anything about it.

But in the midst of this, there is hope.

I firmly believe that social media and the social “wars” we are taught to believe we are fighting are just a way to keep us distracted. If those in charge can just keep us distracted with anything but the truth, it makes it so much easier for us to be deceived and miss what really matters.

But as believers, our attention should not be focused on what we saw on Facebook that day or even what the mainstream media was told to report today. Our focus and attention should be firmly fixed on YHVH and His Word alone. In a world full of distractions meant to steal our focus, I know it can be hard. But if we press into Him and make Him our strong tower, He will lead and direct our paths. He will reveal the truth. He will lead our footsteps in the way we should go and the battles we should fight.

In this month of Elul, it’s time to awaken the American Dreamers from their sleep. It’s time for believers to wake up and let the light of God reveal what’s really going on around us. It’s so easy to get caught up in these distractions and lose sight of the signs and warnings all over the world. It’s easy to stay asleep and not see the truth of what’s coming.

Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust, for Your dew is a dew of light. Isaiah 26:19

And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather convict them. For it is a shame even to speak of what is done by them in secret. But all matters being convicted are revealed by the light, for whatever reveals is light. That is why He says, “Wake up, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Messiah shall shine on you.” See then that you walk vigilantly, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are wicked. Ephesians 5:11-16

One day, YHVH will return and make everything right. But for now, we must find a way to live set apart lives in a corrupt and fallen world. When we fix our gaze solely on Him, it allows YHVH to cover us with His truth, love, and righteousness — instead of being so easily distracted by the evil that surrounds us. When YHVH alone is our focus, it creates a sanctuary of safe haven where we can run and escape the darkness that surrounds us. It allows Him to awaken us from our sleep and to reveal the steps that we should take. It allows us to “walk carefully and vigilantly, not as unwise, but as wise.”

As Americans, we also have a patriotic duty to never let ourselves get so distracted we miss what’s truly important. Being offended at every turn, using the politically correct gender terminology, and being so focused on our own little world of selfies is not what we should be focused on. We should look outside ourselves and our own world more often. When we don’t, we miss the suffering of others and they miss the help we could have given.

Let’s not do a terrible disservice to those who have lost their lives in the fight for freedom and justice by giving away our freedoms because we were too distracted to realize what was happening. We have the opportunity to make a real difference in the world – but only if we will awaken from our sleep and realign our focus to the issues that truly matter.

So on this day, when we promise to never forget, let’s really mean it and do something about it.

“Let’s roll.”

 

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Elul: A Season of Forgiveness and Repentance

During this time of Elul, we ask YHVH to search us and reveal ANY wrongs that we have not yet made right, any areas of our lives we still need healing in, and any issues we have not yet resolved in order to make them right. Most often, teshuvah, is translated as “repentance;” however, this doesn’t accurately capture the fullness of this word’s meaning. Teshuvah means to return – to God, to His ways, to our original state of purity as intended by God.

Inevitably, hurt and pain enter our lives. We become broken and parts of our original-self are strewn about, seemingly beyond repair. We do what we can to try getting past the pain; we “forgive” the person who hurt us and we allow God to heal us. We ask for forgiveness and repent for what we’ve done. So why, then, does it seem that there are some people and circumstances we can’t seem to get away from? Why does it seem like we keep going around the mountain again and again over the same issue?

The only way we can truly be mended is to make teshuvah or return to YHVH. Even when others hurt us and we feel we aren’t at fault, the hurt and brokenness we experience creates a disconnect between us and that person, which in turn creates a disconnect with YHVH. It is only through turning to God and allowing Him to walk us through the process of forgiveness/repentance can the necessary healing take place.

One of the most difficult parts of Elul is realizing there are still hurts and wounds in our life we thought had been addressed years ago – hurts that have both been inflicted on us and that we have inflicted on others. Often times we allow for surface level healing or forgiveness to take place without ever addressing the root of the issue. We pick the flower off the dandelion but never pull the root out of the ground. As a result, the weed keeps popping back up. It can be hard to revisit these old wounds but by facing them, and not avoiding them, true healing and forgiveness can occur.

In the Hebrew tradition, there are three levels of forgiveness/repentance. While the levels are connected, they each offer their own unique challenges. The cycle of forgiveness is a living process that is completely dependent on our actions, so you may find yourself going back and forth through these phases as you forgive/repent.

Slichah
The first stage in the process of forgiveness/repentance is slichah. In Hebrew, this means to pardon. In fact, if you ever spend time in Israel and need to say “excuse me,” you will actually say “slichah.” It is the most basic level of forgiveness/repentance. Its primary focus is on man; specifically the other person involved in the situation. When in this initial phase, it can often feel chaotic and difficult to make sense of things. Before we can deal with the root of the matter, we must forgive/ask forgiveness of the other person in the situation.

When we look at the gematria* for the word slichah, the picture we get is that through faith, grace, mercy and our confidence in YHVH, covenants of new beginnings are established between men. Furthermore, the Shepherd teaches the man who surrenders how to build a wall that divides him from the outside chaos.

This is a beautiful picture describing how pardoning someone/asking for pardoning can bring healing and new beginnings in a relationship. More so, through the process of slichah, God can also teach us how to build walls that keep us from outside chaos. However, these are not the emotional walls that we put up to keep people and relationships out but, rather, these are the walls that keep us in the Father’s House and stop us from returning to the hurt we have experienced or inflicted.

These walls are comparable to being in the Father’s House. There is a wall that divides us from those on the outside of His house. This is similar to the parable of the wedding feast. Inside are the honored guests who accepted the invitation to the marriage feast; outside the wall are those who rejected the invitation where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If You, LORD should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness (slichah) with You, that You may be feared. Psalm 130:1–4

Mechilah
The second level of forgiveness/repentance is mechilah, from the root word mochul meaning circle or cycle. In Hebrew, this word means to abolish or wipe away. In this phase, God teaches us how to let go; to be free from the power that others hold over you. The focus of mechilah is on you. In my opinion, this is the hardest level of forgiveness because for most of us it is very difficult to get over the obstacle of one’s own self.

Many times we hold on to the hurts and justify why shouldn’t let them go. Or we hold on to the guilt of what we did and refuse to believe that we could be given forgiveness. When we let go of this hurt and guilt, we are finally able to receive a vital piece of healing within ourselves. We are letting go of the power that others hold over us and instead returning that power back to YHVH.

The gematria* for the word mechilah gives us this picture: The coming plan of YHVH for new beginnings brought through confidence in YHVH’s covenants of faith, grace, and mercy. Further, the Shepherd becomes the wall that divides the man who surrenders from the outside chaos.

By allowing the hurt and guilt to be wiped away, YHVH can then bring about His new beginnings through faith, grace, and mercy. By completely surrendering to His healing, we also see that YHVH becomes the wall that divides us from the outside chaos. Notice that in this level, there is no mention of others like in the first stage. In this stage, you let go of everything else and come face-to-face with YHVH alone.

Show me favour, O Elohim, according to Your kindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out my transgressions. Wash me completely from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You alone, have I sinned, and done evil in Your eyes; that You might be proven right in Your words; be clear when You judge. See, I was brought forth in crookedness, and in sin my mother conceived me. See, You have desired truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You make me know wisdom. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I am clean; wash me, and I am whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness, let the bones You have crushed rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my crookedness. Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:1-10

Kapparah
The third and final stage of forgiveness/repentance is kapparah, which means to make atonement. After doing the hard work in the first two stages, it is in this final stage that we can be made whole again. While we certainly need YHVH’s help in every stage, it is this stage where He takes center stage and where only He can do the necessary work. In this stage, we must let go of the broken pieces of our lives — other people, ourselves, guilt, shame, and hurt — and let YHVH take over and make us whole again.

The gematria* shows us that kapparah is the faith, grace, and mercy that will restore the balance between us and others and us and God through new beginnings. And also that the man who completely surrenders and allows his mouth to be tamed by YHVH will be raised up as the head.

This tells me that when we allow ourselves to forgive and be forgiven, we are made whole again, we have balance restored in our relationships, and we are given a new beginning! That is true freedom! We can also see that the person who completely surrenders to the process of forgiveness/repentance and allows their mouth to be tamed, will be raised up by YHVH.

The Word tells us, “out of the mouth, the heart speaks.” For this reason, YHVH tames and softens the heart of the one who forgives/repents. This means that once you have truly forgiven/been forgiven, you cannot bring up the matter anymore. It is over and done with. You cannot make snide remarks or hold it against people in any way. You cannot allow the enemy to use it to bring guilt and shame on you any longer. By surrendering to forgiveness and the softening our hearts, we let our hurt, anger, guilt, and shame go. It is as far as the east is from the west. Only then can YHVH make us “the head and not the tail.”

On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you. Leviticus 25: 9b-10a

Coming Full Circle
The process of forgiveness/repentance is not easy – it takes a healthy dose of courage to make it through. But once you do, the end result is a beautiful, spotless, whole Bride – purified through the refiner’s fire.

Did you notice some common themes for the different levels of forgiveness/repentance? Faith, grace, and mercy are concepts we can see throughout the process. It took me a while to see the connection, but now I understand that it takes an incredible amount of faith, grace, and mercy to forgive someone for what they’ve done or to forgive yourself for what you’ve done. But just as Yeshua extended faith, grace, and mercy to us, so we must now extend it to others and ourselves. It’s no wonder that all along the way YHVH reminds us to never lose sight of these.

New beginnings also had a prominent role in the forgiveness/repentance process. I believe this is because YHVH doesn’t want us to remain stuck where we are. He wants us to move forward – always growing stronger through the purification and refining process.

I think this also shows us that YHVH has a different perspective than us on what forgiveness/repentance truly means. We tend to view our hurt or guilt as something that sticks with us and never really leaves us. We pick up the pieces and try to move on, albeit a little worse for wear.

But YHVH wants us to completely move forward! To never look back, to never be that person again, and to never let anyone but Him have power over us. In His infinite mercy and grace, He gives us a completely new beginning! It’s up to us to take hold of it by making teshuvah and returning to Him.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19

Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

*In Hebrew, there is a depth to each word that is missing when translated to English. Each Hebrew letter has a word picture and a numerical value attached to it. The gematria, as this is called, allows us to see a deeper level full of rich meaning for Hebrew words and the Scriptures. If you would like to learn more about gematria or are curious how I arrived at my conclusions, please email me or comment below.*
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Elul: The Month of the Bride and Emotional Healing

The sixth Biblical month of Elul is often considered “the month of the Bride.” It is a special time of tenderness between the King and His Bride; a time where Bridegroom and Bride can connect in a very intimate and different way than in the rest of the year. In fact, Elul is considered to be an acronym for Song of Solomon 6:3, “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine. Ani L‘dodi V‘dodi Li (אלול).”

Before her wedding day, a bride goes through a time of preparation. She must make sure everything is ready and in place; that the food is prepared for her guests and that her dress is perfect to meet her husband. But there are inward preparations she must make as well. Is she ready to be a wife? Is she prepared to be joined to another person for the rest of her life? Is she prepared to be her husband’s helpmate? For us, as the Bride of Yeshua, we too go through a time of preparation during the month of Elul which includes a time of emotional healing.

Kidneys
Biblically, emotions are closely connected to the kidneys. Often times, the word for kidney is inaccurately translated as “heart,” “mind,” or “soul” in the Bible. Certainly there is some overlap between the kidneys and the heart, but it seems that the kidneys are more restricted to the emotional center of man, while the heart is more concerned with the thoughts and attitudes of man. Consider the first use of “heart” in Genesis 6:5: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Other verses seem to confirm this idea.  Genesis 8:21 “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”; Genesis 27:41 “…and Esau said in his heart,”; Psalms 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.”; “out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders….”

In Hebrew, the word for “kidney” is kilyah. It is the feminine form of the word kelîy – which means tool, vessel, or weapon. In a literal sense, kilyah is the kidney organ. Figuratively, it is the seat of man’s emotions. In Hebrew psychology, the kidneys are viewed as the seat of man’s emotions, the innermost being, the soul, the central location of the passions, the seat of human joy and grief, as well as the seat of moral & ethical character. As the Creator of this moral and ethical capacity in each of us, YHVH examines the kidneys to determine each individual’s attitudes and motives, and to determine the appropriate reward or punishment. Appropriately, the kidneys figured prominently in the offering of sacrifices upon YHVH’s altar.

Because of the important connection to man’s emotions, it’s important to examine the function and role of the kidneys not only in our physical health but our emotional health as well. Keep in mind that what happens in the physical is often a mirror of what happens in the spiritual — so be thinking about the spiritual application of the physical ailments and the kidneys as our emotional center as we go on.

Kidney Damage and Emotional Health
Physically, the kidneys filter out waste from the body, so when the kidneys’ functioning is impaired it quickly becomes a dangerous situation. Some kidney problems happen quickly, such as when an accident injures the kidneys. Losing a lot of blood can cause sudden kidney failure. Some drugs or poisons can make the kidneys stop working. Acute Kidney Injury may lead to permanent loss of kidney function. But if the kidneys are not seriously damaged, acute kidney disease may be reversed.

Most kidney problems, however, happen slowly and over time. A person may have “silent” kidney disease for years and never know. People with Chronic Kidney Disease may go on to develop permanent kidney failure. They also have a high risk of death from a stroke or heart attack. Think about it…a person with long-lasting kidney/emotional damage is at a high risk for stroke or heart attack. A stroke kills the brain/mind and a heart attack kills the heart.

There are two major causes of kidney failure: diabetes and high blood pressure. Diabetes can be caused by poor diet, being overweight and emotional stress, among other things. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the body and it contributes to hardening of the arteries and the development of heart failure. While diabetes is the result of not being able to properly process and high blood pressure is the result of excessive amounts of pressure, both can be caused by factors related to emotional stress.

So let’s think about this in a spiritual sense. If we experience emotional trauma, whether in a specific situation or over a long period of time, we are at risk for shutting down emotionally and becoming emotionally unhealthy. When our emotions fail, our mind and heart fail as well. However, if we maintain a healthy lifestyle of being in the Word, drinking the living waters of life, and strengthening our spiritual muscles, then our kidneys will work as designed: to flush out the toxins and poisons that inevitably enter our bodies.

Kilyah and Emotional Healing
In Hebrew, there is a depth to each word that is missing when translated to English. Each Hebrew letter has a word picture and a numerical value attached to it. The gematria, as this is called, allows us to see a deeper level full of rich meaning for Hebrew words and the Scriptures. Below are the word pictures and numerical values for the letters that make up the word kilyah or kidneys.

כליה

כ (Kaph): open palm; to bend, open, allow or tame

ל (Lamed): shepherd’s staff; teach, yoke, bind, toward

י (Yod): arm/closed hand; work, throw

ה (He): man with arms raised; look, reveal, breath

 *To bend and allow to be tamed by the shepherd’s staff which teaches, yokes and binds us to the work revealed to the man with raised arms.*


 כ (Kaph) 20: – balance between YHVH/man and man/man ten times over

ל (Lamed) 30: covenant ten times over

י (Yod) 10 – confidence in YHVH

ה (He) 5 – faith, grace and mercy

*Kidneys restore a balance between YHVH & man and man & man ten times over and establish a covenant of confidence in YHVH of faith, grace and mercy.*

What we see from the gematria is that our kidneys/emotional health determines if we will yield ourselves in complete surrender to the Shepherd and the work that must be done. When we completely surrender to the work of emotional healing during Elul, our kidneys then restore balance in our relationship with God and others. When our kidneys/emotional being is healthy, we can then filter out waste and allow the purification process to take place.

Kilyah and the Month of the Bride
So what do the kidneys and emotional health have to do with the month of the bride? In order for the Bride to be prepared for Judgment Day she must be found to be without spot or blemish. She must also wash herself clean and be clothed in white for her Bridegroom at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. This requires her to remove any spot or blemish from her life.

The month of Elul is a gift from YHVH in which He gives us the time, opportunity, and circumstances to accomplish this cleaning and repentance. Our Bridegroom is not only concerned with our physical and spiritual health, but with our emotional health too!

Our mind-body-soul connection is undeniably important. However, as believers, too often we get so focused on our spiritual health that we neglect our physical or emotional health. While they are all connected, they are also uniquely individual. Emotional healing is just one aspect of our health that YHVH may choose to address during Elul — but emotional wounds are often the most neglected because they are the most difficult to uproot. Whatever area of your life YHVH chooses to shine His spotlight on, I encourage you to fight the urge to downplay the issue as “not that big of a deal” or to dismiss the way God chooses to get your attention as merely a coincidence. But as Gibbs from NCIS would say, “Rule #39: There’s no such thing as a coincidence.”

Field at Sunrise

Elul: When our King is in the Field

On Sunday, July 16, 2015, the new moon was spotted in Jerusalem. This marked the start of the sixth Biblical month of Elul (pronounced E-lool). The month of Elul is a time of teshuvah or repentance. It is the preparation time before the High Holy Days of Yom Teruach (Day of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Coverings/Judgement), and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). Elul means to search, as in to search our hearts through introspection. It is a time to reflect on the past year and to prepare for the “Days of Awe,” a time marked by repenting from the failings of the past and resolve for the future.

This is also traditionally the time Moses spent on the mountain in preparation to receive the tablets and is considered the month of the Bride. A shofar, or ram’s horn, is traditionally blown every morning during the month of Elul to serve as a wake-up call for those who are spiritually asleep, to awaken the people from complacency, and as a call to repentance.

The month of Elul is a difficult one. It’s marked with trials, pressing, and testing. It’s a time when we ask YHVH to search us and reveal to us the wrongs we have committed in order to repent and correct these issues. During the month of Elul, YHVH relates to us in a more open and compassionate manner than He does during the other months. This is the month where our King is in the field.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi offers this anecdote:

The king’s usual place is in the capital city, in the royal palace. Anyone wishing to approach the king must go through the appropriate channels in the palace bureaucracy and gain the approval of a succession of secretaries and ministers. He must journey to the capital and pass through the many gates, corridors and antechambers that lead to the throne room. His presentation must be meticulously prepared, and he must adhere to an exacting code of dress, speech and mannerism upon entering into the royal presence.

However, there are times when the king comes out to the fields outside the city. At such times, anyone can approach him; the king receives them all with a smiling face and a radiant countenance. The peasant behind his plow has access to the king in a manner unavailable to the highest ranking minister in the royal court when the king is in the palace.

When our King comes to the field, He communes with us in our environment and circumstances. Every other day, we must go to Him and abide by the rules and protocols of the palace. But during Elul, He comes to us and meets us in our environment. Our circumstances become tools that are used in such a way that we are taught important lessons that we otherwise wouldn’t learn or that would take much longer to learn. The purpose of these lessons is to 1) make us ready for our encounter with our King at the wedding feast of Sukkot, 2) to bring us to repentance, and 3) to draw us closer to Him.

Often times during Elul, things that seem out-of-the-blue or random will happen. For instance, that person you haven’t heard from in years suddenly calls you or sends you a text. You hurt your back doing something you routinely do. You have a random fight with the person you’re closest to and never fight with. All of these things seem random and out-of-the-blue, but during it Elul it could actually be God trying to get your attention.

It is important, however, to see these events and circumstances with the right mindset. YHVH isn’t trying to punish you for something you’ve done wrong; rather, He may be trying to shine His spotlight on an area in your life you haven’t been able to see.

For instance, the back can represent carrying a burden that is too heavy. The lower back, in particular, usually represents anger. Perhaps God is trying to shine light on a burden you shouldn’t be carrying, a burden that is too heavy for you to carry alone, or your anger in a specific area of your life. Perhaps YHVH wants you to mend the relationship with the person you randomly hear from after years of silence. Maybe YHVH used your closest friend to push a button on an issue you never dealt with in order for you to finally deal with it.

This is a time of introspection and fervent prayer. As we draw close to YHVH, we are to ask Him to search and reveal to us the areas that need attention in our lives. YHVH is faithful to reveal our issues to us through circumstances, through the people He has put in our lives, and through revelation in prayer. But in the midst of things, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. I would encourage you to keep some sort of journal or take notes on what happens during this time. It can be difficult to process and connect the dots between everything that happens but a journal can help you refer back and give you some perspective as you work through it all.

Elul is a very trying time. But if we can persevere to the end, our reward will be great. I’m reminded of the 10 virgins in Yeshua’s parable. Five of the virgins were foolish and hadn’t prepared themselves to meet the Bridegroom, while the other 5 had prepared and made themselves ready. Their reward was joining the Bridegroom at the wedding feast.

So even in this difficult month, I pray that we will all do the hard work of cleaning out our hearts and removing the junk that YHVH reveals to us. If we will be the faithful and obedient Bride that prepares herself, our Bridegroom will be faithful to meet us at the Wedding Feast of Sukkot.

Elul - A Season of Repentance and Teshuvah

Elul: A Season of Repentance and Forgiveness

Have you ever felt like the time in early fall was an especially difficult time of year? As if things always go wrong during this time? Or that the spiritual pressing and testing intensifies somehow? If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re definitely not alone!

The month is Elul. It is the sixth Biblical month. And it. Is. Tough.

During this time, YHVH uses our circumstances in a way that “presses our buttons” and forces us to examine unresolved issues in our life. Often times, this process involves the relationships and people that YHVH has placed in our lives. YHVH uses these people and relationships to show us the issues that need our attention and the areas of our lives where we need emotional healing. (To read more about emotional healing, check out “Elul: The Month of the Bride pt2).

So when your spouse, parent, child, or best friend says or does something that hits a nerve, try to not react out of anger but realize that YHVH is using your circumstances to make you healed and whole! It’s hard…believe me, I know…but it’s so worth it to be able to present yourself spotless before YHVH.

During this time, we ask YHVH to search us and reveal ANY wrongs that we have not yet made right, any areas of our lives we still need healing in, and any issues we have not yet resolved in order that we can make them right. One year, YHVH showed me how I had hurt someone years before and had not apologized for the hurt I caused. I asked YHVH why He would show me something that seemed so far in the past and how something so small could be such a big deal. His answer was, “When you present yourself to Me on Yom Kippur and Sukkot, I want you to be perfect and spotless. It may be a tiny spot but I don’t want to see any spot or blemish on your garments.”

Needless to say, I called that person immediately and apologized.

So you might be asking, “Why does YHVH do this? And why during the month of Elul?” Well the short answer is to bring us into a state of repentance before we enter into what are traditionally known as the High Holy Days.

The High Holy Days
This “High Holy Day” season begins with the month of Elul. When Elul is over, we celebrate Yom Teruach – “Day of Trumpets.” This day is inaccurately referred to as Rosh Hashanah – “the head of the new year” — in modern Judaism. After Yom Teruach, we enter the 10 Days of Awe or Repentance. These 10 days are a final chance to repent and make things right, not only between you and other people, but also between you and YHVH. After the 10 Days of Awe, Yom Kippur – “Day of Covering” aka Day of Atonement or Judgment Day – occurs.

Ultimately, everything from the beginning of Elul to this point is to lead us into the Festival of Sukkot – “Tabernacles.” Occurring five days after Yom Kippur, Sukkot is known as the Festival of the Ingathering. It is a time when the nations with gather together and when the lost sheep of the House of Israel will return to be reunited with Messiah Yeshua.

Sukkot
And the Word became flesh and pitched His tent (or dwelt) among us, and we saw His esteem, esteem as of an only brought-forth of a father, complete in favor and truth. John 1:14

When the Word says “pitched a tent” or “dwelt among us,” what it is actually saying is “He tabernacle among us.” The word “tabernacle” in Hebrew is sukkah. It can mean tabernacle, dwelling, or booth. So when Yeshua promised that He would come and tabernacle among us, what He was really saying is that He would celebrate Sukkot with us!

Revelation 21:3 also points us to a future Sukkot.

And I heard a loud voice from the heaven saying, “See, the Booth of Elohim is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and Elohim Himself shall be with them and be their Elohim.

Sukkot is also known as a time of great rejoicing and celebrating. After making ti through Elul and Judgment Day, I suppose there is plenty to celebrate! For all these reasons, Sukkot is generally seen as the Wedding Feast of the Lamb! Now, I don’t want this post to be all about Sukkot – there will be plenty of time for that as we approach Sukkot.

Rather, I say all this to emphasize just how important Elul and the time leading up to Sukkot really is. If we haven’t done the hard work and made things right with God and man, how can we expect to stand on the Day of Judgment? And if we can’t stand on the Day of Atonement, how can we expect to rejoice at the Wedding Feast?

The Process of Repentance
So how do we make things right and resolve our unresolved issues? Well it all starts by being humble and submitting to the process. When YHVH allows circumstances to test us and uses the people He has put in our lives to speak to us, don’t fight it. When your buttons get pushed and He places His thumb on a nerve, don’t stiffen your neck. Rather, humble yourself and submit to the process of repentance that brings forth healing. Forgiveness plays a huge role in this process.

A quick side-note clarification: when I talk about YHVH using the people in your life, I’m not talking about everybody. I’m only referring to the people that you know YHVH has placed into your life. The people who always turn you back to Him. The people who encourage you to walk in His ways and to seek after His face. Now, YHVH has used a donkey so I’m not saying it’s impossible that He would use other people, but more often than not, His pattern is that He will strictly use the people He has specifically put in your life. The other people may just be a distraction.

There are three separate levels in the process of forgiveness. The first is known as slichah. The second is mechilah. And the third is kapparah. Each level has it’s own focus and objective that must be met. The cycle of forgiveness is a living process that is completely dependent on our actions, so you may pass between these phases at any given time during the entire process.

Slichah
The first stage in the process of forgiveness is slichah. In Hebrew, this means to pardon. In fact, if you ever spend time in Israel and need to say “excuse me,” you will actually say “slichah.” It is the most basic level of forgiveness. It’s primary focus is on man; specifically the other person involved in the situation. Slichah

If you take a look at the picture, the chaos and darkness is kind of what its like when we start the process of forgiveness. Its dark, chaotic, and hard to make sense of anything. So it is with slichah. Before we can deal with the root of the matter, we must forgive the other person for their role in the situation.

When we look at the gematria for this word, this is what we learn.

ס : 60 Man’s number, ten times over
ל : 30 Covenants, ten times over
י : 10 Confidence in YHVH
ח : 8 New Beginnings
ה : 5 Faith, grace and mercy

Man’s covenants through confidence in YHVH for new beginnings of faith, grace and mercy

ס : A prop, support; To turn
ל : Shepherd’s staff; To teach, yoke, bind, toward
י : Arm/closed hand; To work, throw or make
ח : Wall; Outside, divide, half
ה : Man with raised arms; To look, reveal, breath

The arm that turns the shepherd’s staff to teach the man with raised arms how to build a wall that divides himself from the outside chaos.

 

Notice that the first picture relates to “man’s covenants.” Remember that the focus of this particular stage is the other person…so it’s appropriate that the word picture would describe covenants with man.

The gematria also describes a wall. These are not the emotional walls that we put up to keep people and relationships out but, rather, these are the walls that keep us in the Father’s House and stop us from returning to the hurt we have experienced. Once we have extended forgiveness to someone and started the process of forgiveness, we cannot return to the place from which we started. Remember, once you extend this level of forgiveness, the focus shifts from the other person to you. Notice that this level requires the person to learn how to build these walls. These are the “baby steps” that are being taken; it’s a learning phase.

These walls are comparable to being in the Father’s House. There is a wall that divides us from those on the outside of His house. This is similar to the parable of the wedding feast. Inside are the honored guests who accepted the invitation and the wall separates them from those who rejected the invitation and are on the outside where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mechilah
The second level of forgiveness is mechilah. In this phase, the person learns how to let go; to be free from the power that others hold over you. The focus of mechilah is on yourself. In my opinion, this is the hardest level of forgiveness because for most of us it is very difficult to get over the obstacle of our own self.

Mechilah

Many times we hold on to the hurts and justify why shouldn’t let them go. When we let go of these hurts is when we are finally able to receive a vital piece of healing within ourselves. We are letting go of the power that others hold over us and instead returning that power back to God. Notice this picture for mechilah. The colors have returned and things are beginning to take shape. The picture isn’t complete yet, but you can see it beginning to take form.

The gematria for mechilah shows us the following picture.

ם : 40 The coming plan of YHVH, ten times over
ח : 8 New beginnings
י : 10 Confidence in YHVH
ל : 30 Covenants, ten times over
ה : 5 Faith, grace and mercy

The coming plan of YHVH for new beginnings brought through confidence in YHVH’s covenants of faith, grace and mercy.

ם : Water, chaos, overpower
ח : Wall, outside, divide, half
י : Arm, closed hand; To work, throw or make
ל : Shepherd’s staff; To teach, yoke, bind, toward
ה : Man with raised arms; To look, reveal, breath

The wall that divides the overpowering chaos from the man with raised arms which has been yoked by the shepherd’s staff to YHVH’s strong arm.

The picture we see in this stage is one of new beginnings through the coming plan of YHVH. When we learn to release the power that others hold over us through unforgiveness, we make YHVH free to release those new beginnings in our lives. When we surrender (the man with raised arms), YHVH becomes the wall that divides us from the outside chaos and, instead, keeps us in His perfect peace.

Kapparah
The third and final stage of forgiveness is kapparah. In this phase, a person is made whole again. Kapparah’s focus is on YHVH. Now, while every stage requires YHVH to help learn the lesson, it is this stage where He takes center stage and where only He can do the work necessary. In the first two stages, the work that needed to be done required the other person or yourself. In this stage, however, we have let go of the other person and our own self and finally let YHVH take over and complete the process of forgiveness.

The gematria shows us the following about kapparah.

כ : 20 Balance between man & YHVH, ten times over
פ : 80 New beginnings, ten times over
ר : 200 Balance between man & YHVH one hundred times over
ה : 5 Faith, grace and mercy

The faith, grace and mercy which restores the balance between man and man ten times over and the new beginnings which restore balance between man and YHVH a hundred times over.

כ : Open palm, arm; To bend, open, allow or tame
פ : Mouth; Speak, open or word
ר : Head, person, highest
ה : Man with raised arms; To look, reveal, breath

The strong arm of YHVH which tames the mouth and reveals the man with raised arms as the highest or the head.

This level of forgiveness starts and ends with balance but the end does not come back empty or void but instead increases a hundredfold.

Notice we see the pictures of a mouth and a head. The Word tells us, “out of the mouth, the heart speaks.” For this reason, YHVH tames and softens the heart of the one who forgives and has been hurt. This means that once you have truly forgiven someone, you cannot bring up the matter anymore. It is over and done with. You cannot make snide remarks or hold it against them in any way. By surrendering to forgiveness and the softening our hearts, we let our hurt and anger go. Only then can YHVH make us “the head and not the tail.”

When we allow YHVH to take us through the entire process of forgiveness, we receive the healing we so desperately need. The chaos is released and the final picture can finally come together.  Kapparah

Click here to listen to Matthew West “Forgiveness”

The Month of the Bride 4

Elul: The Month of the Bride pt 3

So now that we’ve discussed the characteristics of the Bride and the role of the kidneys/emotional healing in the preparations of the Bride, let’s take a look at what it really means to be the Bride of Messiah.

The Bride in Torah
Genesis 24 gives us a look at the first bride we read about in Torah. This is a very important chapter in understanding the Bride because it is the first marriage that we as the reader see from start to finish; it is a foreshadow and picture of Yeshua and His Bride.

Much in the same way Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for his son, so does Abba YHVH send His servant the Ruach Elohim (the Spirit of God) to find a Bride for His Son Yeshua.

The servant had criterion the Bride must meet. As a sign that she truly was the bride, she had to give him and his camels water; she had to be a servant. Therefore, the possibility for any of the young women of the village coming at that time to get water was open but only Rebecca was obedient enough to shema (hear and obey).

If She Refuses…
There were also instructions for the servant if the woman who met the criteria refused to be the bride.

And if the woman refuses to follow you, then you shall be released from this oath; only, do not take my son back there. Genesis 24:8

And I said to my master, ‘What if the woman does not follow me?’ But he said to me, YHVH, before whom I walk, sends His messenger with you and shall prosper your way. And you shall take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house. Then, when you go to my relatives, you are to be released from this oath. And if they do not give her to you, then you are released from my oath. Vs. 39-41

If she refused then she is not the Bride and they both were released. YHVH will not force us or anyone else to be the Bride. We must choose to be obedient and listen. Only the Bride has ears to hear and a spirit to obey but if we choose not to listen and obey, YHVH will release us from the call.

The Servant Remained Silent

And watching her, the man remained silent in order to know whether YHVH had prospered his way or not. Vs. 21

The servant remained silent while she did the work required by the covenant before she received the gifts given to the bride. The teacher always remains silent during the test. In the same way, YHVH remains silent when we are being tested…in order to know the intentions of our heart.

…for YHVH your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being. Deuteronomy 13:3

Let’s not forget that these times are like pop-quizzes and tests. YHVH will look over our work and correct our answers so the next time we can get it right. The final exam is yet to come and all that we study, practice and are tested over now will be exactly what is on the final exam. Will we be ready?

The Bride Knows Who She Is

And I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Naḥor’s son, whom Milkah bore to him.’ Then I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. Vs. 47

She knew whose daughter she was; she knew who she was and was sure of her identity. Because of this, the covenant was established and the matter was established.

And Laḇan answered – Bethuel too – and said, “The matter comes from YHVH, we are not able to speak to you either evil or good. See, Rebecca is before you. Take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as YHVH has spoken. So they called Rebecca and said to her, “Are you going with this man?” And she said, “I shall go.” Vs 50-51, 58

It was established as a matter from YHVH. When she answered, “I shall go,” she abandoned everything and everyone, not recklessly or blindly, but because it had already been established as a matter from YHVH.

Listen, O daughter, and see, and incline your ear, and forget your own people and your father’s house. And let the Sovereign delight in your loveliness; because He is your Master – bow yourself to Him. Psalm 45: 10-11

We are to leave everything behind for our Husband. But how do we really respond when our Husband calls?

And Rebecca and her young women arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebecca and left. Vs 61

She followed the servant back to her husband. She didn’t just find her own way after doing all the work. Even after hearing and accepting the call and establishing it as a matter from YHVH, she still didn’t try to finish the task on her own. She continued to follow and we too are to continue following the Spirit as He guides us to our Groom. We don’t stop following just because we heard, obeyed and accepted the calling.

Let’s now take a look at some words in Hebrew to help us understand what it really means to be the Bride.

Bridegroom
The word in Hebrew for bridegroom is châthân. It means bridegroom, husband, or son-in-law. The root word is châthan (I know they look incredibly similar but I promise they are different.) This root word means to give in marriage; to contract affinity, similarity, resemblance or likeness by marriage. Remember the idea that a Bride reflects her husband from part 2? It comes from this concept of contracting affinity by marriage. So through the purification of the kidneys, the Bride can mirror or reflect her Husband.

When we look at the gematria* for the word châthân, we see that the Bridegroom is

“A wall to surround and divide the heir from the offspring; a wall to contain and surround the heir. The Châthân brings new beginnings, the judgment of YHVH and faith, grace & mercy ten times over.”

Bride
The Hebrew for bride is kallah. It means bride, daughter-in-law, or spouse. Spouse is an interesting word because it is not gender specific…meaning the Bride could be male or female. The root word for bride is kalal, which means to complete or make perfect. When we look at the gematria for kallah, we see that being the Bride means

“To allow yourself to bend and be tamed by the shepherd’s staff through the raising of arms which reveals the breath of life. The Bride brings balance between YHVH & man and between man & man ten times over through covenants of faith, grace & mercy.”

Are You the Bride?
To sum up all that we have learned about Elul being the month of the Bride, the Bride is

  • A Warrior
  • Trusting
  • Fearless
  • Joyful
  • Loving
  • Strong & Courageous
  • Face-to-Face with YHVH
  • Aligned with YHVH
  • Walking in “The Way” of YHVH
  • A Mirror of her Husband
  • Emotionally Healthy
  • Appointed
  • Sure of her identity
  • A Follower of the Spirit

To be The Bride means to allow yourself to bend and be tamed by the shepherd’s staff through raising of arms which reveals the breath of life. To surrender yourself to your Husband who will breathe life into you.

 

*For the sake of time I have not shown the details of how I arrived at this conclusion. However, if you would like more info, please email me or leave a comment below.
The Month of the Bride 4

Elul: The Month of the Bride pt 2

If you read “Elul: The Month of the Bride pt 1,” you’re probably curious to find out what the kidneys have to do with the month of Elul and preparing the Bride. Read on to find out!

Kidneys
The word for kidneys is inaccurately translated as “heart”, “innermost being”, “mind”, etc. most often in the Bible. This word is found 31 times in the Word; once referring to the “fat of the kidneys of wheat,” 13 times referring to the seat of man’s emotions, and 17 times referring to the animal sacrifices.

So what is the difference between the “kidneys” and the “heart”?  There appears to be some overlap, but it seems that the “kidneys” are more restricted to the emotional center of man, while the “heart” is more concerned with the thoughts, though our thoughts can also be accompanied with emotional overtones. Notice the first mention of heart in the Bible.  It is found in Genesis 6:5 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Other verses seem to confirm this idea.  Genesis 8:21 “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”; Genesis 27:41 “…and Esau said in his heart,”; Psalms 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.”; “out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders….”

The word in Hebrew for “kidney” is kilyah. It is the feminine form of the word kelîy – which means tool, vessel, or weapon. In a literal sense, kilyah is the kidney organ. Figuratively, it is the seat of man’s emotions. In Hebrew psychology, the kidneys were viewed as the seat of man’s emotions, the innermost being, the soul, the central location of the passions, the seat of human joy and grief, as well as the seat of moral & ethical character. As the Creator of this moral and ethical capacity in each of us, YHVH examines the kidneys to determine each individual’s attitudes and motives, and to determine the appropriate reward or punishment. Appropriately, the kidneys figured prominently in the offering of sacrifices upon YHVH’s altar.

The root word of kilyah is kalah, which means “to end — as in to cease, to be finished, to perish, to end — as in to complete, prepare or consume; a verb meaning to complete, to accomplish, to end, to finish, to fail, or to exhaust.” It can have positive connotations such as the awesome goodness of YHVH’s perfected and finished creation or the completion of the building of the tabernacle. However, kalah is more often used in a negative manner such as when YHVH threatened to consume mankind for their disobedience.

In the physical, the kidneys filter out waste from the body. In order to do this, the kidneys need water. Keep in mind that what takes place in the physical also happens in the spiritual…so be thinking about the spiritual application of the kidneys as our emotional center, our innermost being, our soul, and the seat of joy and grief as we go on.

Kidney Damage and Emotional Health
Some kidney problems happen quickly, such as when an accident injures the kidneys. Losing a lot of blood can cause sudden kidney failure. Some drugs or poisons can make the kidneys stop working. Acute Kidney Injury may lead to permanent loss of kidney function. But if the kidneys are not seriously damaged, acute kidney disease may be reversed.

Most kidney problems, however, happen slowly and over time. A person may have “silent” kidney disease for years. People with Chronic Kidney Disease may go on to develop permanent kidney failure. They also have a high risk of death from a stroke or heart attack. Think about it…a person with long-lasting kidney/emotional damage is at a high risk for stroke or heart attack. A stroke kills the brain/mind and a heart attack kills the heart.

There are two major causes of kidney failure: diabetes and high blood pressure. Diabetes can be caused by poor diet, being overweight and emotional stress, among other things. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the body and it contributes to hardening of the arteries and the development of heart failure. While one cause is the result of not being able to properly process the other is the result of excessive amounts of pressure, both can be caused by factors related to emotional stress. The link between the kidneys and emotions is amazing, not only as we see in the physical but also in the spiritual. Do you see now why it’s so interesting that the kidneys played such a prominent role in the animal sacrifices?

So let’s think about this in a spiritual sense. If we experience trauma, whether in a specific situation or over a long period of time, we are at risk for shutting down emotionally; for being emotionally unhealthy. When our emotions fail, our mind and heart fail as well. However, if we maintain a healthy lifestyle of being in the Word, drinking the living waters of life, and strengthen our spiritual muscles, then our kidneys will work as designed: to flush out the toxins and poisons that inevitably enter our bodies.

Kilyah and Emotional Healing
When you look at the gematria (the assignment of numerical and pictorial designations to Hebrew words or phrases) for the word kilyah or kidney, we see that the kidneys mean “to bend and allow oneself to be tamed by the shepherd’s staff which teaches, yokes and binds us to the work which is revealed to the man with raised arms.”

The numerical picture of kilyah shows us that “Kidneys restore a balance between YHVH & man and between man & man ten times over and establish a covenant of confidence in YHVH of faith, grace and mercy.”

*For the sake of time I did not show the details of how I reached that conclusion, however, if you would like to know more feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.*

So we see that the kidneys filter out waste and allow for a purification to take place. In the same way, as the seat of all emotions, longings, desires and moral character, the “kidneys” must filter out the waste in our lives so we can be completely in-tune and aligned with YHVH. When we allow this process to take place, then and only then can we be the Bride that is FACE-TO-FACE, ALIGNED WITH and WALKING IN “THE WAY” OF YHVH. The Bride’s desires, longings, emotions and character will then MIRROR those of her Husband.

So now that we see the role of emotional healing in our preparations as the Bride, let’s take a look at what it really means to be Bride of Yeshua in “Elul: The Month of the Bride pt 3.”

The Month of the Bride 4

Elul: The Month of the Bride

Along with being the time when the King is in the Field, the month of Elul is also known as the month of the Bride. This is the month in which the Bride of Messiah takes the time to prepare and make herself ready for the coming of the Bridegroom at Sukkot.

Adorning the Bride

Isaiah 61:10 “I greatly rejoice in YHVH, my being exults in my Elohim. For He has put garments of deliverance on me, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Jeremiah 2:32 “Would a maiden forget her ornaments, or a bride her headband?”

Ephesians 5:10-18 “For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength. Put on the complete armor of Elohim for you to have power to stand against the schemes of the devil. Because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against authorities, against the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual matters of wickedness in the heavenlies. Because of this, take up the complete armor of Elohim, so that you have power to withstand in the wicked day, and having done all, to stand. Stand, then, having girded your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace; above all, having taken up the shield of belief with which you shall have power to quench all the burning arrows of the wicked one. Take also the helmet of deliverance, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of Elohim, praying at all times, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watching in all perseverance and supplication for all the set-apart ones.”

The Bride is a Warrior fighting in battle both daily and in that day.

The Bride is…
The Bride is TRUSTING. This trust allows the Bride to be FEARLESS. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in YHVH with all your heart and lean not on your own understandings, in all your ways know Him and He shall direct your paths.”

1 John 4:18 says “perfect love casts out all fear.”

In Joshua, YHVH consistently reminds the people

“no man is going to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Mosheh, so I am with you. I do not fail you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous….Only be strong and very courageous, to guard to do according to all the Torah which Mosheh My servant commanded you. Do not turn from it right or left, so that you act wisely wherever you go. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, not be discouraged, for YHVH your Elohim is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:6-7,9

This is because fear is what kept the children of Israel from entering the Promised Land, the Holy Land the inheritance of their fathers. Therefore, YHVH continually reminds them to be strong and very courageous. The Word tells us that “the joy of YHVH is our strength.” Therefore the Bride is also JOYFUL, which allows her to believe the good report. This shows that there is no doubt in her because she completely trusts her Husband. When there are doubts in our lives, there is no room for trust in our Husband.

The Characteristics of the Bride
Because the Bride is made FEARLESS through the perfect LOVE of her Bridegroom, she is then able to be STRONG and COURAGEOUS. She becomes STRONG and COURAGEOUS through the JOY of her Bridegroom which makes her DOUBTLESS and reflects her full and complete TRUST in her Husband.

We Instinctively Know to Trust YHVH
As I read more Scripture about trusting YHVH, I realized that we instinctively know to trust YHVH. From the time we were formed, every bone, every muscle, every tendon that holds us together, we know to trust our Creator. It’s amazing how in the womb and while we were still at our mother’s breast we could easily and naturally trust Him but as we get older and fill our minds with our own thoughts, we have trouble trusting Him.

Psalm 22:8-10 says, “He trusted in YHVH, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, seeing He has delighted in Him!” For You are the One who took Me out of the womb; Causing Me to trust while on My mother’s breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s belly You have been My El.”

Psalm 139:13-16: “For You, You possessed my kidneys, You have covered me in my mother’s womb. I give thanks to You, for I am awesomely and wondrously made! Wondrous are Your works, and my being knows it full well. My bones were not concealed from You, when I was shaped in a hidden place, knit together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body. And in Your book all of them were written, the days they were formed, while none was among them.”

Jeremiah 17:7-10: “Blessed is the man who trusts in YHVH, and whose trust is YHVH. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and does not see when heat comes. And his leaf shall be green, and in the year of drought he is not anxious, nor does he cease from yielding fruit. The heart is crooked above all, and desperately sick –who shall know it? I, YHVH, search the heart, I try the kidneys, and give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Jeremiah 20:12: “But, O YHVH of hosts, trying the righteous, and seeing the kidneys and heart, let me see Your vengeance on them, for I have revealed my cause to You.

So what do the kidneys have to do with the month of Elul and preparing the Bride? Read “Elul: The Month of the Bride pt 2” to find out.

Elul - The King is in the Field

Elul: When the King is in the Field

Ok everyone. It’s that time of year again. The time when our pressing and testing gets even harder. The time when we are spiritually and emotionally pushed to our limits. The time when we get to show what we are really made of.

The month that we have just entered into is called Elul. It is a month of preparation, repentance, and forgiveness.

Elul means to search, as in to search our hearts through introspection. This is traditionally the time Moses spent on the mountain in preparation to receive the tablets. A shofar is also traditionally blown every morning during the month of Elul. This is to be a call to wake the sleepers from their sleep; to arouse the people from complacency; a call to repentance.

Elul is a time to reflect on the past year and to prepare for the “Days of Awe,” a time marked by repenting from the failings of the past and resolving for the future.

In the month of Elul, YHVH relates to us in a more open and compassionate manner than He does in the other months. This is the month where our King is in the field.

As those that have been walking in Torah for at least one year can attest, the month of Elul is a difficult one. It’s marked with trials, pressing, testing, and tears. It’s a time when we ask YHVH to search us and reveal to us the wrongs we have committed in order to repent and correct these issues.

Elul is the month of the Bride. It is the time when she prepares herself to meet her beloved. She is making sure that she is found spotless when her husband comes for her.

But Elul is also a time where the King is in the field. So what exactly does this mean?

Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi puts it this way:

The king’s usual place is in the capital city, in the royal palace. Anyone wishing to approach the king must go through the appropriate channels in the palace bureaucracy and gain the approval of a succession of secretaries and ministers. He must journey to the capital and pass through the many gates, corridors and antechambers that lead to the throne room. His presentation must be meticulously prepared, and he must adhere to an exacting code of dress, speech and mannerism upon entering into the royal presence.

However, there are times when the king comes out to the fields outside the city. At such times, anyone can approach him; the king receives them all with a smiling face and a radiant countenance. The peasant behind his plow has access to the king in a manner unavailable to the highest ranking minister in the royal court when the king is in the palace.

When our King comes to the field, He communes with us in our environment and circumstances. Our circumstances become tools that are used in such a way that we are taught important lessons that we would otherwise not be able to learn; or lessons that would otherwise take much longer to learn. The purpose of these lessons is to 1) prepare us and make us ready for our encounter with our King at the wedding feast (the Biblical feast of Sukkot), 2) to bring us to repentance, and 3) to draw us closer to Him.

This is a time of introspection and fervent prayer. As we draw close to YHVH, we are to ask Him to search our lives and reveal to us the wrong in our lives. YHVH is faithful to reveal our issues to us through circumstances, through the people He has put in our lives, and through revelation in prayer. Be aware of your relationships with others during this time; YHVH may use them to “press your buttons” in order to reveal an issue in your life that needs to be made right. Once YHVH reveals the unresolved issues in our lives, we then need to do our part and make these things right.

Elul is a very trying time. But if we can persevere to the end, our reward will be great. I’m reminded of the 10 virgins. Five of the virgins were foolish and hadn’t prepared themselves to meet the Bridegroom. But the other 5 had prepared and made themselves ready. Their reward was joining the Bridegroom at the wedding feast (Sukkot).

So even in this difficult month, I pray that we will do the hard work of cleaning out our hearts and removing the junk that YHVH reveals to us. If we will be the faithful and obedient Bride that prepares herself, our Bridegroom will meet us at the Wedding Feast of Sukkot.