Posts Tagged With: Wisdom

Kislev: Light & Identity

  • Month: Nine
  • Name: Kislev, meaning trust, security, hope[1]
  • Tribe: Benjamin
  • Tribal Banner: Wolf
  • Sense: Sleep
  • Mazel: Sagittarius/Keshet (Bow)
  • Organ: Belly/Stomach/Loins
  • Letter: Samekh (60)
  • Themes: Month of Dreams, Festival of Lights/Dedication
  • Torah Portions: Toldot – Generations, Vayetze – And He Went Out, Vayishlach – And He Sent, Vayeshev – And He Settled, and in some years Miketz – At the End

The Light Always Gives[2]

Kislev and Tevet, the 9th and 10th Hebrew months, are the darkest months of the year in the northern hemisphere. Since the natural is a picture or shadow of the spiritual realm[3], what is occurring in nature at this season is mirrored in one’s spiritual life. Less light and more darkness is sensed by both the physical and spiritual aspects of man. For example, when the days grow shorter and colder, some people experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD).[4] Light therapy is a common treatment for this type of depression.

Nature is a great teacher, and a firm witness of God’s truth. Thus, by examining creation, we can learn spiritual patterns in the cycle of seasons, days, months, and years. The luminaries of day four of creation GIVE both natural and spiritual light to the earth and earth beings. They govern the day and the night and separate the light from the darkness.[5] Mankind has a proclivity to confuse light and darkness, at least spiritually speaking.[6] The intent of this article is to remind the reader of this reality, and to help one discover how Adonai uses this season every year to refine and prepare one for the next growing season.

All the points at the beginning of this post are important themes that weave together to create the “big picture” view of Kislev. My video on Kislev in 2018 explained most of these themes. But this year, I want to concentrate on the theme of Light and the primary feedback that I have received in the “dark” months over the years.

Identity

During Kislev and Tevet, I receive more emails and messages about identity than anything else. People tend to struggle with their purpose, who they are, and what they should be doing. And, conversely, social media often teems with those that question or challenge the identity of Messiah. Regarding the former, I receive questions at this season that look something like this:

  • Who am I, really?
  • What is my purpose?
  • Is all my work for nothing?
  • Am I toiling in vain?
  • Does God even care?
  • What should I really be doing?
  • How can I function in my gifts and callings?
  • I’m tired. What is the point?

If you find yourself struggling with your purpose or with discerning Adonai’s will for your life in the dark months, know that this is normal. Rather than falling into the malaise of depression, apathy, or condemnation, allow the creation and agricultural season to shed LIGHT on God’s purpose for this introspection. The late fall and winter months in Israel are crucial to the new growing season of spring. If this is true in the natural, it is also true in the spiritual realm.

Right now, it is still the time of the early rains (yoreh) in Israel. They begin after the turn of the year, just after the seventh month and the fall feast days. These rains sink into the hard, dry soil making it easy for farmers to plough the ground and prepare it to receive new seeds. As you read Smith’s Bible Dictionary’s entry on “rain” below, consider the figurative or spiritual application as well as the natural.

“In the Bible, “early rain,” signifies the rain of the autumn, Deu 11:14, and “latter rain,” signifies the rain of spring. Pro 16:1; Pro 16:5. For six months in the year, from May to October, no rain falls, the whole land becomes dry, parched and brown. The autumnal rains are eagerly looked for, to prepare the earth for the reception of the seed. These, the early rains, commence about the latter end of October and continuing through November and December. January and February are the coldest months, and snow falls, sometimes to the depth of a foot or more, at Jerusalem, but it does not lie long; it is very seldom seen along the coast, and in the low plains. Rain continues to fall, more or less, during the month of March, but it is very rare in April… the early and the latter rains, for which the husbandman waited with longing, seem rather to have implied the first showers of autumn — which revived the parched and thirsty soil and prepared it for the seed — and the later showers of spring, which continued to refresh and forward both the ripening crops, and the vernal products of the fields.” Jas 5:7; Pro 16:15.” (Emphasis mine.)

On the higher, spiritual level, the season of the early rains (October, November, December) coincides with the darker, colder, and less “light” time of the year. If the natural purpose is to soften dry, hardened soil for ploughing and planting seeds, then the spiritual purpose is the same in the heart of man. Can you see why it is at this season that people tend to question their purpose and progress, and reevaluate their goals? Especially, in regard to Kingdom work?

Beloved, there is a very real inward battle at this season. Your identity is firmly rooted in Messiah Yeshua. Period. But, that will not excuse one from testing. Testing is for our refinement and is the LORD’s tool to conform us to His image. The months and the moedim GIVE Light to the earth and earth beings. If you’ve been following the moonthly cycle of Adonai for some time, you already know that certain issues pop up at certain seasons EVERY year.

In the dark months, consider what is happening outside. The days are growing darker and colder. Life seems stagnant or even dead. Plants shrivel, trees lose their leaves, some animals crawl into a den of hibernation and SLEEP. All these things are literal surface observations. They do NOT depict what is occurring under the surface, within the trees, and in the soil. In this case, it’s what we can’t see with our natural eyes that matters most. Though one’s natural eyes can see that the environment is dark, cold, and lifeless, one with wisdom knows how VITAL this stage is for NEW GROWTH.

Consider this time of inner reflection to be like a dark, watery womb[7] where you are receiving the early, nourishing
rains of Adonai. They are softening hard, callused attitudes and hearts. Or, think of yourself like a plant or tree. The struggle you face is meant for the betterment of your FUTURE. It is time not only for night dreams,[8] but waking dreams, hopes, and goals. What worked or didn’t work during the growth and harvest season last year? How will you plan your GARDEN for the upcoming season of Light, spring? How will you use these “dark” months? What will you birth or sprout in the spring?

I recommend that you journal any “identity” issues that surface in Kislev and Tevet. Pray and seek God for what He will have you plant, rearrange, uproot, and in what areas you should expand or reconsider altogether. These deep soul questions are normal, and Adonai’s desire is that they help you prepare for the next season. The enemy will use such questions to lead one to despair or condemnation. That is the perversion, and the battleground.

Light Gives

With less natural light available, the spiritual light can also be obscured if one is not diligent to seek it out at this season. Perhaps, this why Adonai gave the Maccabees victory late in this month, as He knew it would be commemorated with the oil fueled light of the Chanukiah. Even if you don’t celebrate Chanukah, this is a good time to review the historical events and learn from them. Judah was fighting a type of spiritual darkness that mixed the holy with the profane, and outright forbid crucial elements of the Covenant between God and Israel such as circumcision, Shabbat and New Moon observance, and Torah study.

Knowledge of this reality is half of the battle. We do not grope in darkness, for there is light in Goshen. We are expected to be prepared in and out of season because we have the Light of the Word and Messiah.

2 Timothy 4:1-4 (NASB) I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

Messiah warns about the confusion of light and darkness. There is a very real possibility that one can be full of darkness and actually think that they are full of light. In other words, there is a false light that deceives many.

Luke 11:33-36 (NASB) “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.”

 

There is one key difference between true and false light. True light always gives. It does not take or steal or consume another in order to “shine.” False light, figured by natural fire, rapidly and hungrily devours its fuel source. Though it shines brightly, it can only do so as it gobbles up the essence and livelihood of another.

False Light Separates Brothers (Pr. 6:16-19)

Today, it has become normal in western cultures to blame others or groups of others for one’s successes or lack thereof. Inner reflection, personal responsibility, and the Sovereignty of God are anathema in their equations. If you believe that you can only shine if and when others are brought low, consumed, silenced, or destroyed, it is time to “watch out that the light in you is not darkness.” The world has a false light, and it sounds very good to man’s passions, desires, lusts, and ego.

True light has no need to take from or consume another person or thing. It burns bright and true without destroying its fuel source. When Adonai called Moses to lead His people out of the bondage of Egypt, this is the first lesson he was taught. God’s light does not consume or destroy.

Exodus 3:2-4 (NASB) The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. 3 So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” 4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

Moses was told to bring the children to this same mountain where Adonai appeared to him in the burning bush, and this would be a sign that Adonai was with him. (Ex. 3:12) Later, when Moses did so, the children of Israel perceived the glory of Adonai on Mount Horeb (Sinai) as LIKE a consuming fire. But like the bush, it was not actually consumed.

Exodus 24:17 (NASB) And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.

The Holy Spirit of fire that rests upon God’s people likewise doesn’t consume or destroy the person. Fleshly passions, burning lusts, and worldly desires are quenched, but the man remains. As you consider the “light in you,” review your passions. What fuels your desires? What do you battle for or against? Does your heart burn with the desire to consume others in some way? If we are truly citizens of the Kingdom of Adonai, our lamps will not consume the “wood” or “oil” of another, only foolish virgins think that way.

Rather, our work will GIVE to others. It will uplift, transform, fill up, and brighten the lives of those that Adonai brings into our sphere. Others should see the LIGHT of Messiah in us, which will compel them to turn aside, like Moses, and stop their normal activities to see this marvelous sight. It is so contrary to the natural order that it stuns people. It might even appear to be “foolishness” if one is immersed in worldly wisdom.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (NASB)  For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God.

One of the meanings of Kislev is foolishness or stupidity.[9] In the month of light and darkness, the question is in what or in whom does one trust? For that determines how this word is translated. Do we trust in wisdom or folly? Truth or Lies? In God’s Sovereignty or man’s government? The foolish harlot’s tongue drips honey laced with promises of worldly pleasure, wealth, and grandeur. She excuses and justifies all the destruction and ruin in her wake; and, it really does sound like “wisdom” to the one sprawled on her couch drenched in costly fragrances. “Let it all burn and we will rebuild it in our own image,” she whispers. “It is good.”

On the contrary, the supernatural light of God manifests like chesed (lovingkindness), which is also a GIVER. Chesed and the LIGHT of Adonai are spiritually discerned for those in darkness. It just doesn’t make sense to the natural, worldly mind. But, this “burning without consuming” is where God met with Moses and it is where He made the Covenant with Israel. The pattern is trustworthy. In order to lead others to the Mountain that burns without being consumed, we must first demonstrate the same. May it be so!

Another journal activity for Kislev and Tevet is to consider your gifts. As the ultimate Giver, Adonai gives good gifts to His children. What spiritual gifts do you possess? How are you using them? If you are unsure of what gifts you have, ask other Believers that know you well. They likely see them better than you do. Pray and ask Adonai to reveal to you what they are and how you can serve Him with these talents. If you meet with others for the new moon, devote some time in prayer for those present in the areas of identity and gifts. Many struggle, especially at this season, with one or the other.

Meanwhile, be very careful with what ignites your flame. Next month, in Tevet, anger is the sense. Don’t allow your dream discoveries in Kislev to incite covetousness, rage, jealousy, or contempt. May Adonai bless you and keep you!


[1] See H3689 as used in Job 8:14; 31:24, Proverbs 3:26, Psalm 78:7 (Also see footnote 9.)

[2] Genesis 1:17-18 (NASB) God placed them [the luminaries] in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

[3] Col. 2:16-17, 1 Cor. 15:46

[4] https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder/index.shtml

[5] See footnote 2.

[6] Job 17:12, Isaiah 5:20; 9:2; 59:9, Matthew 6:23, John 1:5, etc.

[7] This is the NINTH month, the number most associated with human gestation.

[8] Kislev is called the month of dreams, because most of the dreams recorded in the Torah are read during this month in the Torah cycle.

[9] Hebrew Word Definitions: כֶּסֶל kesel: A masculine noun meaning loins, confidence, stupidity. The first use can actually mean the waist area, the kidneys, etc. (Lev 3:4, Lev 3:10, Lev 3:15; Lev 4:9; Lev 7:4; Job 15:27). The second use is more ambiguous, meaning that in which one puts trust or confidence (Job 8:14; Job 31:24; Psa 78:7; Pro 3:26). The final usage is a false self-trust or stupidity (Psa 49:13 [14]; Ecc 7:25). See the related Hebrew verb kāsal (H3688) and Hebrew noun kislāh (H3690).

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Book Review: Know the Time Change Your World

Barry Miller Book

Is it just me, or does time seem to be moving at an accelerated speed? The summer has flown by in a blink of the eye. I know people say that time seems to move faster the older you get, but as of late, even young people have been expressing a sense of not having enough time. Perhaps we are all too busy? Or maybe time encompasses more than we realize.

I’ve certainly had very little time for writing (for that I apologize), but I have managed to squeeze in some reading. And that’s what I want to bring to your attention today. Speaking of TIME, Barry Miller was kind enough to give me an advanced copy of his new book, Know the Time Change Your World: The Reappearance of the Seven and Fifty Year Biblical Cycles. (You can find a copy HERE on Amazon or HERE at Barnes Noble.)

I have enjoyed his book immensely and I’ve learned a lot. Those of you familiar with the Creation Gospel by Dr. Alewine will especially find Mr. Miller’s book intriguing. Know the Time Change Your World is based in the patterns and rhymes first given to us in the seven Creation days and extends into the feasts of the LORD. But where Dr. Alewine takes these cycles and actions deeper into the Spirit realm, everyday life, and Biblical interpretation, Mr. Miller reveals yet another facet in the business and financial aspects of life. For me, they are two sides of ONE coin. He teaches us not only how to discern these patterns in our own economy, but also in our personal finances.

I first met Mr. Miller through my blog and email correspondence. After visiting and reading his blog (see his new website here), I was amazed by how the Holy Spirit had been revealing the patterns of seven to Barry in a similar fashion as Dr. Alewine. Now, don’t misunderstand. The Creation Gospel and Barry’s book are VERY different. They are related because both use the Creation model for their foundation. (Which is where all good hermeneutics and teachings should begin… in the beginning.) Thus, one would expect to find connections because the ONE Holy Spirit has inspired, stirred, and moved the same way from Day One.

Many of us are searching for how to properly handle our finances and business dealings from a Hebraic (Biblical) perspective. Having spent years in the business sector and in Bible study, Barry Miller has some unique insights that should be appealing to not only Hebraic Roots followers but also to the Christian church at large. By giving friends and family members Know the Time Change Your World to help them make wiser financial choices, you will also be introducing them to the LORD’s Sabbath, calendar, and Torah. It’s a win-win in my opinion!

Have you ever wondered about the seven-year gap between the economic struggles of 2001 and 2008? What does Joseph have to teach us about personal finance today? Is YHWH’s (the LORD’s) calendar more than antiquated ritual? Does it have significance in not only my spiritual life but also in my secular life? Mr. Miller carefully takes us through the Bible and history to show us that the Beginning indeed has set the precedent for all time, even the end. (Is. 46:10)

The many “sevens” and even the greater cycles of “fifty” do matter just as much for us today as they did for ancient Israel. And I believe the church is becoming ripe for this message. Consider all the recent teachings and books on the blood moons and the Shemmitah years. Some are being called back to the cycles, patterns, and rhythms of our Creator. The unrest and immorality of the world are shaking many out of their complacency. And our great Elohim (God) is using people such as Mr. Miller to get His Word out to the masses.

As most of my readers are aware, obedience to the King of the Universe brings blessings. I haven’t met one person that doesn’t desire for the Creator to bless them in every aspect of their life. The problem is that too many of us are ignorant of the principles and laws set forth by YHWH (the LORD) that will cause us to reap such benefits.[1] We lack wisdom and thus make poor decisions that cause us setbacks in many areas of life, one of which is our finances.

After reading Miller’s book, I looked back through my life with the seven-year cycle in mind. I could clearly see how my lack of knowledge of the Creator’s calendar resulted in poor financial/business decisions. But not anymore. Know the Time Change Your World has sharpened the tools I already have acquired from Torah study. But even better, I have gained new ones!

Know the Time Change Your World is divided into three parts. In my opinion, Part III alone is worth the cost of the book. (But without the foundation of Part I and II, you’d be lost, lol!) Seven chapters will take you deep into the story of Joseph and the seven and fifty-year biblical cycles. It is EYE opening! Even seasoned Torah keepers will find a deeper revelation of not only Joseph but of themselves. Buy this book and share it with friends and family; you will not be disappointed!

Do you need an economic reset? Do you need to move from chaos to rest? Would you like to be able to make better decisions and have better discernment? God’s creation and His calendar have all the answers! Allow Barry Miller to give you the simple keys to this understanding in his new book.

 


See more about the book and Barry Miller at 7and50rhymes.com

[1] My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)

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The Biblical Role of Women Part VIII

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Role of Women Main Page

It’s been a while since I’ve written under this title. Actually, I had planned to leave the original series with seven posts; but further study and the popularity of this series, has led me to conclude two things:

  1. The Creator, in these latter days, is restoring the role of women to HIS original design.
  2. Women are desperately seeking the freedom to live out their God-given purpose within the perfect and holy boundaries of the Torah (Bible).

I’ve received many emails in regard to my original seven posts. Some were cries of elation and jubilation at the prospect of real freedom and balance. Others were notes of skepticism or a fear of women taking over the assemblies. And a few were a mixture of both, but with a heart set on openness — a sort of  “let’s wait and see.”

In light of this, I am compelled to continue with this series. While I certainly don’t have all the answers (in fact, I have more questions than anything else) I do have a heart to share my journey with you.

Woman, Builder of the House

 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. (Pr. 14:1)

 woman bricksHave you ever thought of yourself or the women in your life as “builders?” I imagine that most of us naturally think of men when construction comes to mind. After all, they are usually our contractors, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. But, in Biblical and Hebraic thought, it is the women that build the House of Israel. Let’s once again consider the story of Ruth. Notice the words that the people and the elders at the city gate use when they bless the union of Ruth and Boaz:

 All the people who were in the court (gate), and the elders, said, “[We are] witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem. (Ruth 4:11)

 While men may be the primary builders of physical houses, women build the house of their husbands and the House of the LORD. Obviously, men play a very important role in this process as well, but our focus is to explore how it is that women build. Do you recall how YHWH created the woman? In Part I, we looked at how YHWH formed/molded Adam. (He literally came from the dust of the earth.) In the beginning, both man and woman were within the one Adam.

In the eyes of the Creator, this wasn’t good or tov. So, you know the story, He took a rib from Adam and built (banah) Chavah (Eve). As a quick aside, notice that she came from his SIDE, not his feet where she would be “beneath” him. Nor did she come from his head, implying that she would be “above” him. She came forth from Adam’s side (tsala) as a perfect and coequal partner.

YHWH built Chavah. This Hebrew word for build, banah, is the same word used in both of the verses I quoted above in Proverbs and Ruth. The one who was built is the one who builds. She does this in several ways that I will enumerate shortly. But in order to grasp why this is true, we must first remember God’s design and function for women. In Part V, we discussed that women are a living parable of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, men will reflect the characteristics of our Heavenly Father. Together, they are conformed into the image of Yeshua. But as I’ve mentioned multiple times, God is One. Thus, we are NOT trying divide God into male and female. However, the ONE God did sovereignly choose to reveal Himself in ways that our little peon brains can understand.

What do we see in the witness of Creation? Nearly every creature on earth comes together as male and female to produce life. The natural things are meant to teach spiritual truths. (I Cor. 15:46) Therefore, it should not be surprising that in Hebrew, the Holy Spirit and all of His manifestations are in the feminine. Likewise, all the references to God being our Father and Husband are masculine. The One true God is neither male or female, He is a Spirit. But in order for finite humans to reflect His magnificence, it takes both a male and female.

I only belabor this point because there are some that think it is evil or some type of goddess worship to refer to God in the feminine. This is a result of ignorance of the Hebrew language. People fear what they do not understand and they like to throw stones at those that challenge the high places of their minds (tradition). Many false gods are male; does this make referring to God in the masculine something akin to Baal worship? Of course not, but the converse is also true.

To take a line from Brad Scott, if we would just look outside our window to see the natural everyday things of Creation, many of our theological debates could finally be put to rest. The natural IS a picture of the spiritual. Moreover, Scripture declares that God’s Creation does indeed testify of His power and divine nature:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Rom 1:20)

 In order to build and not “tear down,” a woman must walk in the Seven Spirits of God (Is.11:2). Wisdom is the first of the seven, which implies raw materials, innocence, immaturity, and potential. English speakers usually think of knowledge as the building blocks to wisdom; but in Hebrew, wisdom comes before knowledge. Wisdom leads one to  the maturity of knowledge. Knowledge (da’at) is self-sacrificing, intimate, and capable of reproduction. (See the Creation Gospel for a more in depth analysis of the Seven Spirits of Adonai. Or click here for an audio introduction)

The second Spirit is binah or understanding. (Is. 11:2) Binah takes the raw materials of wisdom and begins to separate and distinguish like kind. In other words, binah begins to banah (build). As you’ve probably guessed, the Hebrew root of banah has the same consonants as the word binah. You can think of binah as organizing and counting the costs for a home construction. It is in this spirit that a woman builds.

 Key 1: A woman begins to build with the spirit of binah,
 -- the spirit that separates and discerns.

Upon What Does She Build?

Pro 4:5-9 (NASB) Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. 6 Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is: acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding. 8 Prize her, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. 9 She will place on your head a garland of grace; she will present you with a crown of beauty.

The Spirit of Binah compels a righteous woman to discern between good and evil. But without a strong foundation, she cannot expand the House. This is where her counterbalance (the male) becomes a necessity. Men and women were meant to work and labor together in marriage and in the assembly. Each is a part of the whole. The man, being the image of the Father, is like the woman’s rock or foundation stone.

Consider the Hebrew word for rock, eben. This word is pictographically the Father (av) and the Son (ben) put together. There is no firmer foundation than that! Any other foundation would be like building upon sand.[1] Upon this foundation, a woman begins to build the home of her husband. She guards the home against evil and expands the tent with fruit (children). She is a nurturer, comforter, encourager, teacher, and revealer – all qualities of the Holy Spirit.

In Biblical thought, the tent is expanded with the birth of sons. It is sons that go forth and carry on the name of their father. But the daughters are what build upon these firm foundations. We can see this in the natural with an analogy of human reproduction. A man provides the seed (Word). The seed finds the egg (pierced heart) and once united, life begins to grow or “build” inside the womb. Both the “works” of the male and the female are necessary for life. Dr. Alewine has some brilliant insight into the “choosiness” of women in this process. It seems as though the woman’s body uses the Spirit of Binah to discern whether and if an embryo will be carried to full term. (All without the conscious knowledge of the woman!)

To carry this analogy a step further, consider the millions of seeds (words) a man gives a woman to choose from. Out of what seems to be an infinite number of possibilities, she (usually) only picks one seed (idea/word) at a time. She then devotes her full attention to see it nourished, protected, and brought to maturity. Are you beginning to see how the Spirit of Binah operates?

A woman takes the unlimited possibilities and potential of a man and surrounds it like the Holy Spirit. She is the container for his strength, his seed. Together they build their house and the House of Adonai.

Dr. Diana Dye also has some great teachings on how a “woman builds.” You can find them here and here. She uses the imagery of the Tabernacle and Temple to further the analogy we’ve been building upon (pun intended). It’s quite a fascinating prospect. The very first letter of the Bible is an enlarged bet, the pictograph for a tent or house. From the very first letter of the Bible, the Creator has made known His intent and purpose in creating us and giving us His Word.

His top desire is to enlarge, expand, and BUILD His House. In my Father’s house are MANY mansions. The Holy Spirit went through great pains to carefully delineate how the Father’s House is to be constructed. Studying the Tabernacle and the Temple gives one a foretaste in not only how to approach the King, but in how to build (or rebuild) one’s body, family, and assembly. It’s really powerful.

For our purposes here, consider the fact that the House must be carefully maintained, repaired, cleaned, and at times, even rebuilt from the foundation up. This teaches one that our homes and our temples (bodies) will require this same diligent care. This might manifest in various areas and stages of child rearing, marriage building/counsel, financial/support/growth, or even physical/spiritual cleansing. Think of all the areas that are the “house.” Working from the inside out, this is your physical body, your family, your assembly, and the greater body of God’s people. Sometimes a demolition is what is necessary in order to rebuild upon the Rock. Do you need a fresh start? A clean slate? Remove everything that offends and rebuild; it’s never too late. Rebuild your marriage. Rebuild your relationship with that family member, coworker, or assembly leader. Restore the House.

Key 2: A woman builds upon the firm foundation 
of the man (especially the Son of Man).
Key 3: Sometimes the house must be rebuilt.

What Fills the House?

As a living example of the Holy Spirit, a woman will (usually) be what sets the tone for the atmosphere of the home, assembly, and workplace. Far more than men, women determine whether the house is filled with shalom or has a lack thereof. “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is a saying that speaks a truth that has not escaped the masses. As a picture of the Holy Spirit, women are called to be long-suffering with their husbands, children, and the greater assembly. They are meant to be the ones that can bring correction and instruction with tenderness, sensitivity, and gentleness. This is the very reason that YHWH entrusts women with the most fragile of all human lives: infants.

Women are designed to lead, guide, and teach the immature with patience, love, and mercy. This physical picture is also true in the spiritual realm (think: spiritual babies). The lost, seekers, new believers, and those that haven’t grown past the formative years of the faith usually respond with growth (building) when the message is delivered with the tender mercies of the feminine aspect of God. Obviously, both men and women can operate with this quality through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. However, the natural representation of this is revealed in the female.

The Holy Spirit is commonly said to be the “wooer” of our souls. It is gentle, merciful, and tender.[2] From the heart of the Most Holy Place, the Presence of God would fill the Tabernacle/Temple of God. This “Presence” is often referred to as the “Shekinah Glory,” another feminine term that expresses the One True God. We will look more closely at the Shekinah and other feminine aspects of Elohim in a later post. For now, let’s think of the correlation between the Holy Spirit filling God’s House and a woman filling her home with her presence. There is a reason that we say “a woman is the heart of the home.” Consider the Temple:

 Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house. (2 Chron. 7:1)

 Tabernacle-Layers-Lesson-23In a similar way, a woman will fill her house, but she will be tested in the matter of what “spirit” she fills it with. Will it be the Ruach HaKodesh or will it be another spirit? A woman must choose (it’s always a choice!) to walk as a victor over her nephesh (flesh), emotions, hormones, and circumstances. When you choose to be the “victim” instead of the “victor,” you are in effect stepping on the blood of Messiah. He has either provided the Way or He hasn’t. His grace is sufficient or it isn’t. I know it doesn’t always “feel” this simple. But the truth is that we always have a choice even in areas where we feel completely out of control.

Every time a woman is able to exercise self-control over her lower nature (flesh/nephesh), she reflects the image of God as she was designed. She becomes a holy witness to her husband, children, family, friends, and assembly. Like the Holy Spirit, her presence “woos” people to the Father. Under her tender care, the immature feel safe to explore, learn, and prosper. This stage is necessary for every believer in the God of Israel to grow into maturity. If they are built up as strong panels in the house by the Spirit, they understand (binah) why the flesh must be put on the altar (death). The Father’s instructions require maturity in the Spirit, because the letter kills (the flesh). This is liberty! And it produces humble and gracious vessels that desire to set other captives free.

 The Torah is spiritual, but we are carnal. (Rom. 7:14) In order to bring liberty to the captives, we must be free from bondage. Prisoners only propagate more prisoners. Thus, allowing the letter of the law to kill anything and everything but the flesh only leads to bondage or a “Torah Terrorist.” Flesh focuses on flesh, not the Spirit.

In order to be a (spiritual) light, one must allow people the freedom to grow into the Father’s commandments. This spiritual work of the Spirit is uniquely portrayed in the natural by the nurturing aspect of women. A woman builds the House…

 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. (Ps. 144:12 KJV)

 

Key 4: The Holy Spirit fills the House of Adonai. 
The woman fills her house with a “spirit” as well. 
A wise woman will build with the Holy Spirit 
which brings the liberty needed to grow and mature.

 The Voice of Wisdom

 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy [streets] she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: “How long , O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. (Pr. 1:20-23)

  wisdomTurning toward the feminine voice of God (as manifested through His daughters) enables one to be filled with the Spirit. And, it makes the Father’s words to be made known unto us. In other words, there is intimacy, not just rules. The sixth Spirit of God is knowledge (Da’at). (Is. 11:2) It is a mature spirit of sacrificial love. No longer is the focus on what the Lamb has done for me, but what I am willing to do for the Lamb. In order to reach this place of maturity, a person must first learn to move through and with the first Spirit of Adonai, Wisdom (chokhmah).[3] Da’at is so intimate that it causes reproduction (both physical and spiritual). Knowing this should give one a deeper understanding (binah) of Yeshua’s words in Matthew.

 “Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Mt. 7:20-24)

 Can you see both the masculine and the feminine clues in these verses? Look at these keys words.

Masculine:                         Feminine:

  • Fruit (seed inside)             Prophesy
  • Words                                  Hears
  • Action                                  Casting out demons
  • Father                                  Performing Miracles
  • Heaven                                Wisdom
  • Lord                                     Building
  • Rock                                     House

These verses strongly hint at how the House of the LORD is built with strength. How will it remain when the storms come? The House must be operating with both the masculine and the feminine working together. Only together, as one, can the true image of Elohim be displayed in the natural realm. That is where life comes forth. This is a House of Strength. The above example in Matthew is just one testimony of the truth that was birthed in the beginning.

 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth,” (Gen. 1:27-28)

Key 5: A woman filled with the Holy Spirit enables 
the immature to hear (know) the Words of Adonai.

 

Have you ever noticed that most of the denominations that are leery of (or against) the Spirit’s activity such as gifts and miracles are also usually against women operating in any “seen/outward” role in the home or assembly? Do you believe that this is a coincidence? The Holy Spirit is THE feminine expression of God. If natural women are silenced, is it surprising that the supernatural Spirit is also quenched? The Spirit (feminine) is what brings the intimacy of “I know you.” She is shouting from every corner; will we heed her voice?

But the converse is also true. Those that forsake the masculine, forget that the foundation IS the Word, the Rock. The Spirit doesn’t supersede the written Word. Ignoring what has been solidly penned beforehand for our instruction (Torah) is just as detrimental to “building.” Without the hard and firm masculine foundation, one builds on sand, as a mere “hearer” only. This is what it means to be a practicer of “lawlessness.” How many assemblies do you know of that embrace the works of the Holy Spirit on the one hand, but speak evil of the law (Torah) on the other?

Without the balance of the Father’s instructions, one can become intimate with an unholy spirit. This spirit may imitate what is holy unto YHWH, but in reality only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Only by building upon the foundation of “it is written,” will one be able to discern (binah) the difference between the harlot and the righteous woman.

 Balance is the answer. Working SIDE by SIDE as male and female, we reflect the image of Elohim. Real godly fruit increases and the tent (House) expands. The WISE woman (Bride) builds her house…

In Part IX, we will take this building aspect of women one step further by looking at those that FIRST received the Torah and the Gospel.

Here is a recap of the  5 Keys:

 Key 1: A woman begins to build with the spirit of binah — the spirit that separates and discerns.

 Key 2: A woman builds upon the firm foundation of the man (especially the Son of Man).

Key 3: Sometimes the house must be rebuilt.

Key 4: The Holy Spirit fills the House of Adonai. The woman fills her house with a “spirit” as well. A wise woman will build with the Holy Spirit which brings the liberty needed to grow and mature.

Key 5: A woman filled with the Holy Spirit enables the immature to hear (know) the Words of Adonai. Like the Holy Spirit, she brings intimacy to the relationship.


For previous articles click here; the next article in this series is Part IX.


[1] Mt. 7 and Lk. 6. Interestingly, the context of Yeshua’s parable is about being both a hearer and a DOER of His Word. This same message is repeated in the Proverbs 4 chapter that I suggested for you to read.

[2] But like a concerned mother, the Holy Spirit can also manifest with great power and fierceness. We will look at this aspect of the Spirit in a later post.

[3] See Isaiah 11:2 and The Creation Gospel workbook one by Dr. Hollisa Alewine.

Categories: Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Miriam’s Cup Part III

 

For the best context, read Part I and Part II of Miriam’s Cup. This little study on water, the heavens, the Holy Spirit, Miriam, Baptism, and Pesach can only take us to one place: the fountain of Living Waters found in our Messiah! Please join me in drinking deeply from this wonderful well of life.

© Dnally

© Dnally

Before we proceed to the Living Waters and the Messiah, I would like to revisit Baptism or immersing in a Mikvah. While many Christians (falsely) assume that this ritual began in the Brit Chadashah (N.T.), those that have been returning to their Hebraic Roots are fully aware that this custom is far more ancient.

Genesis begins with water and Revelation ends with a river. The Spirit broods over the Creation waters and the angel shows John (Rev. 22: 1-2) a river of water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Notice that it is the Spirit AND the Bride that say, “Come!” They call to the thirsty and freely allow them to partake of the waters of life (Rev. 22:17). This calling action echoes the woman of wisdom in the Book of Proverbs. Later Solomon compares this woman to a precious fountain.[1]

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. (Pr. 18:4)

From the beginning, water has been associated with YHWH’s Spirit. What better imagery is there for the Spirit of God than that which causes all plant life to grow, nourishes all livestock, cleanses our bodies and garments, and sustains our overall well-being? Aryeh Kaplan, in his book Waters of Eden, states that, “Water is the primary connection that we have with the Garden of Eden.”[2] We seem to have been given a mystical link to this truth in the Genesis narrative. (Gen. 2) This story is strangely interrupted by an account of a river that is sourced in Eden. It breaks off into 4 tributaries that surround and water the entire garden. There may be a scarlet thread that runs throughout the Bible, but there is also a river of life — for those that look for it.

There is an old Midrash that has fallen Adam repenting by sitting in a river. Whether or not this is true is not the point. The emphasis is on the cleansing power of water, literally and figuratively. The waters of Eden are the waters that flow from the throne of God. Therefore, physical water is both literally and figuratively a cleanser. This is the same imagery used with Baptism’s washing away sins.[3] We repent because we desire to return to a clean state. Ultimately, our hope is resurrection unto eternal life and a permanent residence in the Kingdom from which crystal waters flow.

Water, Water, Everywhere, but Not a Drop to Drink

Have you ever been on a ship in the ocean so far from shore that you can no longer see land? It’s quite an eerie feeling the first time you experience this wonder. There is an overwhelming sense of smallness and vulnerability. The fear of what would happen if you became stranded is daunting. Perhaps you’ve watched movies or read books where this happened to someone. Not long ago, I watched the Life of Pi where an Indian boy is trapped for weeks on a small life boat with a tiger (he had been travelling with zoo animals on a ship that sank). Though he was surrounded by water, there was not a drop to drink. Dependence on condensation and rain water became a very real source of life for the boy and the tiger.

I think we often feel as (spiritually) thirsty as this unlikely pair. We perceive that the waters of salvation are everywhere, yet here we are dying from dehydration. We scramble to suck up the little bit of condensation we find and pray for rain. What we wouldn’t give to have a river of fresh water to quench our insatiable thirst!

Now, you may believe I’ve described an unbeliever or a lost person, but if you’re like me (human), then you too know this “dry soul” feeling even after coming to Messiah. Whether you find yourself in this place because of sin or because of testing, it is a very real campsite for the people of YHWH.[4] But the good news is that it is a temporary stop along the journey. Once we repent or learn the lesson, He refreshes us with the only thing that can really satisfy our souls, which is the Springs of Salvation, the Living Waters.

Is. 12:1-6  Then you will say on that day, “I will give thanks to You, O LORD; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, And You comfort me.  (2)  “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.”  (3)  Therefore you will joyously draw water From the springs of salvation.  (4)  And in that day you will say, “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make them remember that His name is exalted.”  (5)  Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth.  (6)  Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Women and Wells

We live in a world of chaos. The waters offered by the world and false religion leaves us dry and thirsty. But the Father knew this from the very beginning. His Spirit brings order and Living Waters to our chaos if only we will drink. In Genesis, these waters are brooded over by the “woman” of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we would expect a significant amount of prophetic testimonies to occur at wells (especially with women). Consider the most famous Biblical woman at a well, the Samaritan. Speaking to her, Yeshua says:

John 4:10-14  Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  (11)  She *said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?  (12)  “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”  (13)  Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;  (14)  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.

The Samaritan woman gets all the press as being the “woman at the well” because Yeshua spoke very plainly to her about not only who she was, but who He is! However, that doesn’t mean that her story is the only story of a woman at a well that we should appreciate. In fact, I don’t believe we can fully grasp the Samaritan’s encounter unless we first understand her predecessors. The first century people that heard the testimony of this woman or even those that had just heard a retelling of these events would have had a very specific paradigm in which they would filter this story. That paradigm was the Torah of Moses.

Yeshua’s encounter with this woman is meant to remind you of other stories of women at wells. Have you ever considered that Isaac, Jacob, and Moses all found their WIVES at a WELL of WATER? We’ve already looked at Miriam’s connection to water and wells. I don’t think this repetitive theme is arbitrary. If you are the Bride of Yeshua, He will meet you at a well also. Perhaps this is why so many have a hard time separating Baptism and Salvation.

Yeshua tells the Samaritan woman that He can give her “living water”. What makes water “living”? And why and how does this water become a “well that springs up eternal life” once it is ingested? In order for waters to be considered “living”, they must be moving or flowing. Stagnant or still pools do not have “life” in Hebraic thought. Mayim Chayim (living waters) are characterized by MOVEMENT. Does this remind you of the Spirit of Elohim in Genesis?

We looked at the Song of Songs in the Biblical Role of Women Part III. As we discovered in that post, the imagery in this book is of both a complete and restored MAN and WOMAN. Both are functioning in their purpose and living righteously in the Garden (of Eden). Notice in the verse below that there is yet another association of a woman and life giving water. This is one of the godly functions of the female. A holy and restored woman will reflect the Holy Spirit by giving “water” and nurture to the seed that promotes growth and maturity.[5] Speaking of the woman, the man calls her:

A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. (SOS 4:15)

Since the Song of Songs portrays a redeemed man and woman, we could say that both men and women as Yeshua’s Bride are a well of Living Waters. This is, in fact, exactly what Yeshua tells the Samaritan woman. We are often so focused on receiving Living Waters, that we forget that we are to be Living Waters! We water YHWH’s people just as the matriarchs gave drink to the patriarchs and watered the livestock. You are a Spring of Salvation and a fountain of Living Waters, because you belong to Messiah. We already have everything we need, but we still have a choice to make. Will we live it out, today? The choice is ours.

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:38-39) 

This truth is why both blood and water gushed from the “side” of Messiah as He hung on the tree. Like the first Adam, Messiah’s Bride comes forth from His side.

But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. (John 19:34) 

John later describes three things that testify who Messiah is.

It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.  (7)  For there are three that testify:  (8)  the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. (1Jn 5:6b-8) 

Since Messiah is returning for a Bride of like kind, we also will have these three witnesses: spirit, water, and blood. He meets us at well. We drink from the fountain. Like the Samaritan woman, we drop our water pots and run and witness to as many as we can about Messiah; thus, we become the springs leading others to Salvation. This theme is repeated again and again. We can see it in the Creation Days. We can see it in the Moedim (Feast Days). We can see it in the movement of the 7 Spirits of Elohim (Is. 11:2). The ancient matriarchs teach us how to be His Majesty’s Bride. We first give water to the patriarchs (minister to YHWH), and then we water the livestock (YHWH’s people). This is the essence of the Cup of Miriam.

Applying the Cup

Miriam’s Cup is filled with WATER, not wine. Wine can represent joy, judgment, or even the blood of Messiah. But there are three that testify. Water symbolizes both mayim and the Holy Spirit. By incorporating the Cup of Miriam into our Seder or even our weekly kiddush, we partake of all three symbols. Since the Cup of Elijah comes near the end of the Seder, we include the Cup of Miriam just after the candle lighting. This way, our four cups of wine will be flanked by the prophetess Miriam and the prophet Elijah. Miriam will represent the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we are continually watered and washed by the Word as we journey throughout this life, and Elijah will remind us of our coming complete redemption at the Messianic Age.

Hopefully, Miriam’s Cup will be a spring board for you to do more study. I would love to hear your thoughts on this tradition and any “connections” you may find. What does Miriam mean to you? How will can Miriam contribute to your families’ understanding of the Exodus?

Haggadah Ideas

  • After the women (or a woman) lights the Shabbat Candles, Have everyone partake of the WATER of Miriam’s Cup. Explain all the wonderful imagery in the patriarchs meeting their brides at wells.
  • Correlate this with the Holy Spirit, Baptism, the Springs of Salvation, Yeshua’s pierced side, the 3 that testify, and the Living Waters.
  • Relate all of this imagery with Pesach and Sukkot (The beginning and the end).
  • Praise YHWH for the women at your Seder and their contribution in rebelling at Pharaoh’s evil decrees.
  • Praise Yeshua for choosing you to be a spotless Bride.

 

 

 


[1] Proverbs 9:1-6

[2] Kaplan, Aryeh, Waters of Eden, New York (2003) p. 35

[3] ‘Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’ (Acts 22:16)

[4] Remember the bitter waters at Marah? They were to test the people.

[5] Dr. Skip Moen teaches that the “living waters” provided by the woman are also a picture of her role as the ezer kenegdo: http://skipmoen.com/2009/11/28/connections/

 

Categories: Moedim, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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