Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Daily Bible Reading - October 10, 2018

Today's Reading:

Revelation 11

Esther 1

Psalm 105:1-25

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Today we’re going to look at the animal sacrifices that used to be performed on Tabernacles. There is no question that animal sacrifices all pointed to Yahshua’s death. And now that He has died, animals are no longer sacrificed. But, there is still meaning in the sacrifices that has purpose and value to us today.

Besides the morning and evening offerings, typically presented each day in the sanctuary, a large number of sacrifices were offering during the eight days of Tabernacles. You can find the list of animals sacrificed in Numbers 29.

The animal sacrifices requiring a shedding of blood pointed to our Saviour’s ultimate Sacrifice. The meal and drink offerings pointed to our thankful response to His Sacrifice. As the meal offering was consumed, and the drink offering was poured out, so we are to be totally surrendered to God.  As Paul said, present your bodies a living sacrifice -Romans 12:1.

More sacrifices were offered during Tabernacles than all other festivals combined. During the eight days of this feast, there were a total of 189 animals offered. Obviously, if the message in these sacrifices was only and simply that Yahshua would die, there would be no point to this volume nor in such a diversity of kinds of animals sacrificed. There must be more meaning. And there is!  

First we find a beautiful pattern of sevens. Seven is the number of Yahweh’s perfection. 

No matter how the list of sacrifices are counted, the group is always divisible by 7.

  • 70 bullocks (70 / 7 = 10)
  • 14 rams (14 / 7 = 2)
  • 98 lambs (98 / 7 = 14)
  • 7 kid goats (7 / 7 = 1) 
To these were adde336 tenths of ephahs of flour for the meal offering. 336 is 48 X 7.

And all these offerings were presented in the SEVENTH month.

Not only does this remind us of the perfection of Yahshua, it also is a beautiful reminder of the perfection Yahweh will create in His people as He makes them fit Tabernacles for His Spirit.

On the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles a total of 30 animals were sacrificed. Thirty is a significant number in Scripture. In Exodus 21:32, we find that 30 pieces of silver is the ransom price of a slave. 

Yahshua was also sold for 30 pieces of silver. In essence, the Son of God - the most expensive Gift in the universe - was given as a ransom for His servant bride. 

In Hebrew gematria (numbers have spiritual meaning), the number 30 means "to teach" and "to learn". These skills are both needed by Yahshua's Bride.

The Brazen altar where the animals were sacrificed also had meaning. It was made of acacia wood – which is flammable. In our mortal state, the Presence of Yahweh is a consuming fire which we could not endure.

The altar is covered with brass, making it no longer flammable. We must be hidden in Christ to become inflammable.

The horns show the strength and power of the sacrifice
Yahshua made for us.

The altar was elevated signifying that it was approaching God.

The Fire which lit the altar had fallen from Heaven – coming directly from God. This is like the Lake of Fire in Revelation.

Either we will have the sin burned out of us now, and be covered with the glorious robe of Yahshua, or we will be burned with our sins later.

The bull was the most expensive animal to offer. On Tabernacles there were a total of 70 bullocks offered.

This showed that the sacrifice of Yahshua was the most valuable Heaven had to offer. For God so loved the world that He gave... John 3:16

But, why 70 bulls?

Spiritually, all who accept Yahshua as their Saviour become Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise, as it says in Galatians 3:29. If we are Abraham’s seed, then we are spiritually considered to be of the loins of Jacob.

In Exodus 1:1-5 The Bible tells us that all the souls which came from the loins of Jacob were 70...

So, God divided the world into 70 nations after the flood and Babel. Thus, the offer of 70 bulls showed that Yahshua’s sacrifice would be enough to save ALL the nations if they would only come to Him.

This also fits with the Harvest theme of this Feast. For the Feast of Tabernacles represented the gathering in from ALL nations.  It points to the great ingathering at the end of the world, after the gospel has been preached to every nation, kindred tongue and people.

At Tabernacles, there were also 2 rams offered.

The word, RAM in Hebrew is ayil, meaning “upright, strong man, pillar…”

This sacrifice points to God Himself, the guardian and protector of the flock. As Abraham said in Genesis 22:7-13, “God will provide Himself a Ram…” 

The shofar was made from the horns of the ram – proclaiming the "horn of salvation.” As it says in Genesis 22:13, the sound of the Shofar is a call to repentance, to do battle against the Enemy, or to assemble to be instructed. This offers more layers of meaning to the ram sacrifices.

A Ram was also sacrificed for a peace offering, as it says in Numbers 6:17.

It is the promise, Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you... John 14:27; See also Luke1:76-79Revelation 6:4Isaiah 9:6.

Now what is the significance of 2 rams being offered at tabernacles? – Remember, a ram means "mighty men" "righteous" – the two point to the Two Witnesses.

Two Witnesses have many applications, but first and foremost, this points to the two Witnesses from Heaven:

I am one that bears witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me bears witness of Me. John 8:17. 
There were 14 lambs offered on seven days, making a total of 98 lambs offered during Tabernacles (see Numbers 29:13). 98 is the number value of “Tabernacle”.  In Hebrew Gematria, 98 means “The righteousness of saints, to search for insights of Yahweh,” Finally, the number 98, literally means “pardon.”

The lamb as an offering pointed to Yahshua’s purity and innocence. And that we could be fully pardoned because of His death in our place. Not only were we to be pardoned, 98 also points to Tabernacle. God would Tabernacle with and in us. 

Last, let’s talk about the single kid goat sacrificed during Tabernacles. As we can see plainly in the Day of Atonement, the goat is a representation of sin and Satan.

The goat also points to the One who would come in the likeness of sinful flesh to condemn sin for us as it says in Romans 8:3.  Then again in 2 Corinthians 5:21, we find that Yahshua was made to be sin for us.

The word “goat” is translated from the Hebrew word sa iyr meaning “hairy, devils, satyrs.” The Hebrew number value for the word goat is 580. This means “your curse and rebellion.”

This brings to mind the beautiful promises in Galatians, where we find that Yahshua hung on the Cross taking our curses from us.

Summary of the Spiritual Lessons in the Tabernacles Sacrifices:

THE ALTAR  - Let’s start with the Altar of Burnt Sacrifice, which stood in the Tabernacle courtyard. This was where the Feast of Tabernacles sacrifices were offered.

The Brazen altar was made of acacia wood – which is flammable. In our mortal state, the Presence of Yahweh is a consuming fire which we could not endure. But, the altar is covered with brass, making it no longer flammable. We must be hidden in Christ to become inflammable.

The fire on this altar was started by Yahweh. It was a Heaven fire.  The next Heaven fire will be Pentecost. And when the living sacrifice of our lives is acceptable, Yahweh will send the fire! If we are not hidden in Christ through being made acceptable in this first end-time fire, we will be consumed by the Heaven fire called the Lake of Fire at the end. 

Thus, we find that this altar teaches us about the importance of getting rid of sin. Sin is going to burn. We will either let the Holy Spirit burn the sin out and make us acceptable – covered in Yahshua – now, or we will burn with our sin later.

THE NUMBER 7 - Now, let’s turn our attention to the number seven. As we have already discussed the amount of animals sacrificed is always divisible by 7.

70 bullocks, 14 rams, 98 lambs, 7 kid goats. To these were adde336 tenths of ephahs of flour for the meal offering. 336 is 48 X 7.

And all these offerings were presented in the SEVENTH month.

THE NUMBER 30 - On the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, there were a total of 30 animals sacrificed. 3 is the number which represents Yahweh’s Covenant made to “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Ten is the number of Yahweh’s Law, as there are Ten Commandments, which are the main categories under which all the statutes are arranged. Thirty is 3x10 showing the Covenant is made to Law Keepers. As Yahshua said, “…If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39).

In Exodus 21:32, Leviticus 27:4, we find that thirty is associated with payment for a slave and a woman. This is significant because we, who have been slaved to sin, are ransomed back to become the Bride of Christ.  This number was not only shown in our ransom price at Tabernacles, it was also the amount of silver for which Yahshua was sold.

THE NUMBER 70 -  There were a total of 70 bulls offered during the Feast of Tabernacles.

When we accept Yahshua as our Saviour we become Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:29). This makes us spiritually of the loins of Jacob.

In Exodus 1:1-5 it says that all the souls which came from the loins of Jacob were 70...

God divided the world into 70 nations. The offer of 70 bulls showed that Yahshua’s sacrifice would be enough to save ALL the nations if they would only come to Him.

THE NUMBER 2 - There were two rams offered during Tabernacles. Two is the number of establishment. In the mouth of no less than two witnesses, a matter is established, or considered a credible fact. This was the promise that salvation was assured to all who came to Yahshua.

SPIRITUAL MEANING OF A BULL SACRIFICE - The sacrifice of the bull showed that Heaven spared no expense in offering us salvation. And the fact that there were 70 bulls offered during Tabernacles was to give some concept of just how lavish was Heaven’s offering so that All Nations could have Eternal Life.

SPIRITUAL MEANING OF A RAM SACRIFICE - The Ram is a symbol of Yahshua as the protector of the flock.  It was a reminder that Yahweh would fulfill His promise to Abraham, “God Himself shall provide a Lamb” – and immediately a ram was supplied in the thicket.

SPIRITUAL MEANING OF A LAMB SACRIFICE - The offering of the Lambs pointed to the perfection and innocence of our Saviour. It showed that Yahshua would become one of us, who are Yahweh’s sheep. Yet, He was a Sacrifice without blemish.

SPIRITUAL MEANING OF A GOAT SACRIFICE - The goats offered at Tabernacles showed that Yahshua took our ugliness and sin upon Himself. The goat is the symbol of sin and satanYahshua died to gain victory over and destroy the goatishness in us.

Daily Bible Reading - October 9, 2018

Today's Reading:

Revelation 10

Nehemiah 13

Psalm 104:24-25

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Today, we will be continuing our study of in the Trees used in the Feast of Tabernacles (part 2 of 2). 

Yesterday, we began our study on the message and meaning behind the trees Yahweh commanded us to use in the Tabernacle Sukkot. We found that these Tabernacles trees represent characteristics of Yahweh’s end-time people. Today, we are going to continue our study of the Tabernacles trees by looking at the significance of the Willow and Pine.

As we are studying about the characteristics of the Tabernacles trees, let’s remember that when we produce these characteristics, through Yahweh’s strength, we will soon be able to partake of the Tree of Life (Revelation 22:1-5).  

The willow, like the palm, follows the water.  Wherever the spiritual willow is, the Source of living water is to be found.
As it says in Ezekiel 17:5, “He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree.”

But while the palm stands tall to signal the presence of water from a great distance, the willow spreads its soothing branches, offering respite from the heat of the sun.

Yahweh’s End-time people are to be like the willow. We are to connect to the Source of Life offering Babylon’s sun-scorched people the protecting shade of Truth.

The willow is also a symbol of deep intercession. It is about sighing and crying for God’s professed people still caught in the sins of Babylon.  It is about looking forward to the day when all of God’s sheep are no longer in Babylon’s embrace, but reside safely within His fold.

Psalm 137:1-2  “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.”
The leaves and bark of the willow tree have been mentioned in ancient texts from AssyriaSumer and Egypt as a remedy for aches and fever, and the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about its medicinal properties in the 5th century BCNative Americans across the American continent relied on it as a staple of their medical treatments. This is because it contains salicylic acid, the precursor to aspirin.

Willow bark also contains auxins (plant growth hormones), especially those used for rooting new cuttings. The bark can even be used to make a simple extract that will promote cutting growth.

Thus, we find that the willow is symbolic of God’s people who are to lift the pain of others while promoting their spiritual growth.

Next, let’s look at the significance of the pine tree.

In Isaiah 60:13, it says, “The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of My Sanctuary; and I will make the place of My Feet glorious.”

The original Hebrew word translated in this verse as pine is Strong’s Number 8410 - tidhâr (tid-hawr‘)

It means enduring; a species of hard wood or lasting tree.

Matthew 10:22 talks about the character quality of endurance. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”

The pine used for Tabernacles is both beautiful and enduring. This shows us that we are to be lovely through the beauty of Yahshua. And we are to endure whatever we are called to face, standing straight for truth like the pine, no matter how strong the winds blow or persecutions storm.

The resin of some species of pine is an important source of turpentine. Turpentine is purgative and purifying, although a bit unpleasant at times. Yahweh’s people as they give the final Elijah Message will share a pointed message that is both purgative and purifying. It is not a gentle truth, but calls the people boldly and plainly to come out of Babylon. 

In Isaiah 41:19-20, Yahweh tells us that He puts ALL the characteristics of these Tabernacle trees within us to glorify His Name and give a powerful testimony to the unsaved. Isaiah even says that these blended characteristics in us give the viewer understanding about God.  It says, “I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:  That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of Yahweh hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.”

God is calling us to be a witness of His life-changing glory. Our testimony is to be so powerful, through what we have allowed Yahweh to do in us, that people will gain understanding and wisdom by viewing it.

The reason Yahweh has chosen these specific trees to be a part of the shelter at Tabernacles is that they show us what He’s calling us to be like, as His End-time people.

Summarizing the Spiritual Significance of the Willow:

1) The willow shows us that Yahweh’s children should seek to lift the pain of those we come in contact with. 

2) We also want to have Yahweh’s Presence and Truth in us so that we will promote spiritual growth in all we meet.
3) The willow is also a symbol of deep intercession and sorrow for the sins of Babylon. It reminds us that we are called to pray for those about us, weeping between the porch and the altar as we plead for the salvation of souls. 

4) Finally, the willow is a symbol of soothing shade for those seeking refuge from Babylon’s sun strokes.  It shows that we are to provide safe shelter in Truth and refreshment in guiding the weary to the Source of life.
Summarizing the Spiritual Significance of the Pine:

1) Like the pine tree on the side of the mountain, Yahweh calls us to stand straight and tall for Truth no matter what comes. Through His strength we must endure to the end.

2) The pine tree also reminds us to give the full purgative truth. It is a pointed message against sin that the end-time Elijah team is called to give.

3) Finally, when man had become confused about the character of God, Yahshua came to Tabernacle among us to show us what Yahweh was like. His lovely Life gave depths of understanding that concepts alone could not. We, too, are called to glorify God in our lives and words, thereby helping others to gain understanding of the Truth.

Yahweh is calling His children to present all of the lovely characteristics of these Tabernacles trees. 

Like the Myrtle, we are to be fragrant with the indwelling Presence of Yahshua. Like the Palm, we are to be connected to the Source of Living Water as an oasis in this spiritual desert. Like the willow, we are shelter and pray for those tangled in sun worship. And like the pine we are to stand straight for truth enduring all storms, right to the end.

And this is the lovely message of the Sukkot. That as we allow the Saviour’s power to transform us into these beautiful traits, our lives become more and more fully the Tabernacle of the Holy Spirit.

Daily Bible Reading - October 8, 2018

Today's Reading:

Revelation 9

Nehemiah 12

Psalm 104:1-23

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

Today, we will be studying Lessons in the Trees (part 1 of 2). Our focus will be on the significance of the trees we find in the Tabernacles festival. Today we will be looking into the spiritual message and meaning of the Myrtle and Palm trees.

Trees, in the Bible, are a symbol of people. (Read Judges 9:8-14). Each type of tree symbolizes a different aspect of character in people. Lush and valuable trees represent godly characteristics, while brambles represent ungodly characteristics.

Tabernacles primarily points to the End of Time (being God will forever Tabernacle with man), thus, the primary significance of the trees at Tabernacles is End-time as well. In fact, the trees used in the Sukkah all point to characteristics of Yahweh’s end-time people.

The prophet Zechariah sheds a great deal of light on the spiritual significance of myrtle trees. In his last vision, the four colors of horses we find in the seals of Revelation 6 are racing throughout the earth. 

But in Zechariah’s first vision, the red horse and rider are seen standing among the myrtle trees. I shared the spiritual significance of this in my blog on August 15

Myrtle trees were used to construct the Sukkahs at Tabernacles, as it says in, Nehemiah 8.

Nehemiah 8:15-16   “…Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.  So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.”
In Leviticus 23:40, we see that we are to use the myrtle trees as part of our Tabernacle Feast rejoicing.  Many have taken this verse and translated it into a hand-held lulav that is waved in a sort of dance ceremony throughout the feast. We don’t do this as we can’t see where that is what the Scriptures meant, at least at this point. We’re always open to learning. 

But, definitely, the myrtle was part of rejoicing at Tabernacles. And the myrtle was specifically to be present in the Sukkah branches.

In Isaiah 55:13 we find an interesting promise to the myrtle tree people.
Isaiah 55:13 - "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to Yahweh for a Name, for an everlasting Sign that shall not be cut off."

The word Name here is from the Hebrew word Shem, meaning mark of character and authority. Yahweh’s character mark is His seal. The Bible also says that Yahweh’s End-time people will be sealed in His Name (Revelation 14:1).

This group who have the Father’s Name written in their foreheads are the 144,000!  This is the special group that Yahweh will display before the universe as evidence of what sinful man could become through His power and grace.
Thus we find that the myrtle trees are the End-time people who perfectly display God’s character and are without fault before His Throne, as it says in Revelation.

What is special about the myrtle tree to cause it to be chosen to represent the 144,000?

Myrtle trees grow in the valleys around Jerusalem, and are characterized by their dark, green, glossy leaves. They are adorned with flowers and during Zechariah's time were often used as wedding decorations and at the Feast of the Tabernacles.

Perfume also was made from myrtle trees. The green leaves point to spiritual Israel's hope and future. Yahweh’s people will not fade. They will bloom before Yahweh forever, and the lovely fragrance of their fully submitted lives perfumes the air impacting the lives around them.

Their white flowers are a reminder of purity (see picture above).

The second Tabernacle tree we will study today is the palm tree. What is the spiritual significance of the palm that has caused it to be chosen as a Sukkah tree?

As we have already seen, trees represent people with certain characteristics.

In Psalm 92:12 the Bible says, “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree…”

The word “flourish”  is pârach (paw-rakh‘) in Hebrew. It means: to break forth as a bud, … to spread; specifically to fly (as extending the wings); figuratively to flourish abundantly.”

So the palm is a picture of God’s people prospering. Now this in itself is significant.

Merchants and camel drivers of middle east have long known that water was present if a place had palm trees.

The sight of palm trees in the distance brought hope to parched and weary travelers. For the palm trees promised oasis in the desert.

Since water represents the refreshing power and influence of the Holy Spirit, a land without water represents a world lacking the Holy Spirit’s Presence. In Psalm 63:1, we read, “…O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”

And yet, in this world where the Presence of God is so little sought for that it has become a spiritual wasteland, there is a group of people who will be filled with living water. They will spiritually flourish, as the palm.

But the palm tree doesn’t just flourish for it’s own pleasure. As its roots tap the living water, the palm grows tall as a testimony that it has found the source of life. And all who come to it for oasis find the living water and may drink.

And how do we continue to flourish in order to be blessed ourselves and to bless others with a spiritual oasis? By being rooted and grounded in the Word. By hearing the Word of Yahweh morning by morning.  And by communing with Him throughout the day. This is the Source of spiritual Life which Yahweh’s palm trees have found.
Isaiah 50:4  "Yahweh GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned."  
The reason Yahweh has chosen these specific trees to be a part of the shelter at Tabernacles is that they show us what He’s calling us to be like, as His end-time people.

The first is the myrtle tree. And the Scripture is Isaiah 55:13.

Next is the palm tree. The Scripture for this one is Psalm 92:12.

Now summarize the characteristics Yahweh is calling you and I to display, through His Grace. For remember, both trees point to aspects of Yahweh’s saved children in the Last Days.

 Spiritual Characteristics of the Myrtle Tree:

1) First, the myrtle tree represents Yahweh’s Name or Seal being upon us. He is calling us to be among those who are sealed. This is what it means to be a spiritual myrtle tree.

2) Next, the myrtle tree represents Yahweh’s lovely Character being reproduced in us.

3) Finally, the myrtle tree represents the sweet influence Yahweh’s people are to have on others. Like the fragrance of the myrtle. We are to exude the sweetness that can only come from a Christ-like spirit.

Now let’s turn our attention to palm tree. 

Spiritual Characteristics of the Palm Tree:

1) The palm is connected to the living water.

2) The palm flourishes in a spiritual desert. This is accomplished by daily spending time with Yahweh and His Word. 

3) Finally, the palm provides a spiritual oasis for others. The testimony of our changed lives is like the sight of an oasis from a distance. The words of truth and exhortation which we share to bring repentance and healing in the lives of others and our intercessory prayers are how we connect thirsty souls to the Source – the Living Water. 

In the Tabernacles trees (the first half of them which we've looked at so far) we see the character qualities which Yahweh is working to develop in His people. Let's bow our heads and seek Him, surrendering to His plan to accomplish these qualities in us - the qualities foreshadowed in the Sukkot Trees.