YESHUA IS GOD’S PLANT: SEED, ROOT, TRUNK, STALK, BRANCH, FLOWER, FRUIT – 2003

Tzemach – generic Hebrew word for vegetative plant; sprout, spring up; spring or shine forth, like the sunrise; posterity

Is 4:2; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12; Ps 132:17 – future ruler Priest-King (the “Branch”; better translated the “Plant”)

The Branch is actually the whole Plant (Tzemach), and is described as being the Man who is YHVH; as being the son of David who is YHVH; as being the Righteous Judge and King; as being YHVH God’s Servant; as being the Man.  (These descriptions of Messiah being King, Servant, Man, and God are also seen in the cherubim described by Ezekiel; in the four living beings (creatures) described by John in the Revelation; and in the specific focus of each of the four gospel accounts.)

Is 44:4 – posterity

Is the focus of our faith and life Israel? . . .the Church? . . . or Yeshua?
“The whole of the scoll is written of Me.”
Plants depict the power of resurrection life, as they die to rise again, and were created on the third day.

Gen 2:9; 3:24; Prov 3:18; 11:30; Rev 2:7 – Tree of Life
Gen 3:7; Jn 1:48-50 – Fig tree and leaf
2 Sam 23:4 – the Righteous Ruler like tender grass shining after rain
Is 11:1; Mt 2:23; Rev 22:16 – Shoot (hoter) from the trunk; Twig (netzer) from the roots = whole new tree; Yeshua the Notzri (Jesus the Nazarene):  Root and Offspring 
Is 53:2 – tender plant (yonek); root out of dry ground
Ezek 17:23 – Cedar tree
Ps 1 – the Righteous One like a tree planted by rivers of water
Ps 92 – Palm tree; Cedar inLebanon
Jn 12:24; 1 Cor 15:36-38 – Corn of wheat; God brings forth bread from the Earth; life from purposeful and sacrificial death
Jn 15:1-8; Nah 2:2; Ezek 17:6; Ps 80:8-11 (9-12) – Vine; God is Creator of the Fruit of the Vine (Jesus is the Vine; we are the fruit.)
Rom 11:17, 24; Hos 14:6 – cultivated Olive tree
Rom 11:18; Rev 22:16 – Root and Offspring:  Messianic promises — hope cultivated in and through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) — by God, the Husbandman, regarding His Son

KEEPING YEHOVAH’S FEASTS: REJOICING IN GOD’S WORD – 18 Oct 2003

Lev 23:37-43   v.41temporary:  statute forever in your generations, but God with His people continuing everlasting

Last week we spoke about the fire offering to God, which speaks of the zeal for the purity of our lives which the LORD requires of His people.  Jesus baptizes us with fire to purify us and to make us suitable as His holy and pure bride.  This has been God’s heart – His thought and intention – from the day He created man in His image and likeness; in other words, for seven days, or throughout time. 

“Forever” here in v. 41 means till the end of time, whether personally until one dies, or whether historically until time ends.  For it says here in these and other verses that we are to celebrate seven –even eight—days in the seventh –and other—months.  It all speaks of TIME and SEASONS, yet we know from the Word of God that in the New Heavens and New Earth time will be no more.  ETERNITY has no time:  no sun and moon; no day and night for those who will live in the Presence of God forever and ever!

But this brings us to that which does not pass away with time:  the very Word of God it(Him)self.  The Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself is the Word of God, says, “Till Heaven and Earth [this creation] pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled” (Mt 5:18); and again, “Heaven and Earth [this creation] will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” (Mt 24:35)

The Scriptures speak briefly of what will be after time – in the New Creation: 

1Cor 2:9; Is 64:3 (4 Eng) – “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Rev 21:1-8  “Now I saw a new heavens and a new Earth, for the first heavens and the first Earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  Then I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’  Then He who sat on the Throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’  And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’  And He said to me, ‘It is done!  I am the Alpha (Aleph)and the Omega (Tav), the Beginning and the End.  I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.’ “

As believers in God through Jesus, we as children of God our Father are expected to uphold the truth of God’s Word (Jude 1-4).  Jewish people today in synagogues around the world are finishing and beginning anew the reading of the Torah.  Jesus says that He is the Beginning and the End.  Do we believe what God reveals through the Bible about the beginning of this creation?  If not, can we say that we really believe what He says about the end of this creation and of things afterwards? 

The first appointed time given by YHVH God is the Sabbath (Lev 23:1-3).  Israel was commanded to keep the Sabbath holy as a reminder that YHVH God is Creator and Redeemer (Ex 20:11; Dt 5:15).  The Sabbath was given to Israel as a sign of the covenant with YHVH God (Ex 31:13,17).  A sign points somewhere or to something.  Every week Israel is to keep the seventh day as a testimony of who the one true God is and what He Himself says that He has done:  created the heavens and Earth in six days, and He rested on the seventh.  We are to deny ourselves, not to lean on our human understanding or knowledge, but humbly as children hear, believe, and obey what our God and Father says about any and all things.  WE ARE TO REJOICE IN GOD AND IN HIS WORD!  From beginning to end!  John says that those who are of the world do not hear Moses and the prophets, or the apostles.  Those who are of God do hear and speak what they have seen and heard (1Jn 1:3;  4:4-6).  There is a tremendous spiritual battle going on both without and within the household of God’s covenants –Israel and the Church – to deny the truth of the Bible and its authority.  We are to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered unto the saints.  God’s Word does not change; neither does He.  Therefore,Israel is not destroyed, nor the Church.  For those who overcome and rejoice in God and keep His commandments, we can KNOW that the same Jesus who ascended up into heaven will again return to fulfill all that is written regarding all things for all time. 

Jesus died on the cross as a seal upon God’s Word to perform it.  Let us honor Him and His death by rejoicing in the Word of God our Father.  The truth sets us free to glorify God even as Jesus glorified Him.  He suffered and was rejected because He trusted in God and upheld His Father’s will and purposes.  As we rejoice in Him, He will rejoice in us.  The Feast of Booths speaks of God’s Kingdom – of God’s presence in the midst of a holy and purified people.  The Sabbath is the day which belongs to Him, and His Kingdom and His rest will continue throughout eternity, beyond time — beyond the Sabbath day — never to be relinquished again.  Come, Lord Jesus.

The Wall of Separation He’s Broken Down

Lev. 10:3 By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy, and before all the people I must be honored.

Eph 2:11-12 As we continue to let the Tabernacle in the Desert instruct us of God’s pattern for us to approach Him in prayer, the passage from Ephesians notes “the middle wall of separation”, which separated Israel from the other nations.  God in His wisdom separated the people He had chosen and called to Himself from the surrounding heathen peoples of the world in which they lived.  In spiritual reality, the gentiles then were without Messiah, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  Israel/the Jewish people are in a similar spiritual condition as the gentiles then, but there is a difference:  Israel is still the nation chosen by God, even if there is a willful collective amnesia regarding that and its significance.

But we remember (Memorial of Blowing of Trumpets) that YHVH spoke the gospel to Abraham when He promised him that, through him, ALL the families of the Earth would be blessed (Gen 12:3).

v. 13-15   But NOW in Messiah Jesus, those who were once far off – spiritually and physically – have been brought near by the blood of  Messiah.  He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, having broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His FLESH the enmity, the law of commandments in ordinances, so as to create in Him ONE NEW MAN from the two, making peace.

NOW, both Jews and all other peoples have access into the court of God’s people, since Jesus died for ALL, and God’s salvation through the forgiveness of sins is offered to ALL (Day of Atonements).

v. 16-17 Jesus came to die that He might reconcile them both to God in ONE BODY through the cross (the altar), thereby putting to death the enmity.  Jesus came and preached peace both to those far and near.

How can born-again redeemed Jews be hostile towards the gentiles when once we realize and appreciate that Messiah, the Son of God, died for my and our sins!     How can the gentile Christians remain hostile to Israel and the Jewish people when once they realize and appreciate that, in God’s sovereignty and grace, Israel’s promised Messiah has been shown to be the Savior of the whole world, and given gentiles access to the true living God!

v. 18-19 Through Jesus we both have access by one Spirit to the Father – both in our relationship as sons and daughters, and also in our prayers.  Both Jewish and gentile believers are fellow citizens of God’s Kingdom and members of His family, His household.  All persons, whether or not believers, have been redeemed to God by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and this speaks to the reality of the broken down wall of separation.

As we have noted before,  entry into the Holy of Holies –representing symbolically the spiritual reality of Heaven, God’s dwelling place – brings us to God the Father, which Jesus opened up for all believers through the veil, that is, His flesh – firstly by His birth, but foremost by His death on the cross.

v. 20-22 We are being built together as a holy temple in the Lord for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Inwardly, this speaks of the cross and the crucified life being grasped hold of in the life of the born-again believer, in the power of the resurrection, of an endless life unto God, who has cut for us each the New Covenant by forgiving us our sins.  In these things there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, free nor slave, rich nor poor, but rather a new creation.

1Cor 10:17 one bread; one body; priestly intercession for all the Body of Messiah, whether Jew or Gentile

Lev 23:17 two loaves; with leaven.   Shavuot (Weeks) looks ahead to the day when the middle wall of separation and the enmity between God and man, and between Israel and the nations, was broken down by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and God’s Spirit being given to all who believe on Him.