Echad: Many Communities, One People

Echad. United as one.

We hear this phrase used a lot when we talk about the Church or the Bride of Messiah. We stress the importance of being united in Christ and in being one body. But oftentimes, we don’t really understand the meaning of this.

As those of you who follow me on social media know, I recently moved to a new state. Everything is new and every day is an adventure and I navigate through new streets, meet new people, learn a new job, and create a new normal for myself.

Part of all the newness also means searching for a new congregation to call home. I’m always nervous when visiting new groups – you never know what you’re going to find! But so far, I have been pleasantly surprised by the groups I’ve attended. But visiting new groups has opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of what it means to be echad.

Oftentimes, when we think of being echad or “one,” we think of being one with Messiah Yeshua or one with those in our congregations. But it also means being echad and united with other believers around the world.

I realized something beautiful as I’ve visited new congregations: we are many communities, and yet we are one people.

Each congregation may do things a little differently, but we are all doing the same thing. For instance, one group may sing the Shema in a different tune than another, but they are both singing the Shema. Another group may meet at a different time but we all gather on Shabbat. One group may say the prayers in a different order but we are all saying the same prayers. It was a beautiful sight to see!

This past weekend, I fellowshipped with a group that welcomed me in as if I had always belonged there with them. As worship began, I felt so excited to hear songs I was familiar with and loved being sung. It was comforting to see tallits being put on; to see the menorah being lit. It made me feel at peace to hear songs welcoming the Holy Spirit and worshipping Our Heavenly Father. And it made me realize that even though we are different congregations, we are all one people when we come together to worship our Father.

So let’s not let the little things get in the way of being echad. In the end, the little things are important, but they’re not the most important. In the end, all that really matters is bringing glory and honor to YHVH. And that can only be achieved when we are echad with one another.

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.*

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.”

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.

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.”

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.