By Dennis Northington
The Torah Portion this week for the Sabbath of July 20, 2013 is Va’etchanan ואתחנן “I pleaded”.
The readings are:
Torah: Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
Prophets: Isaiah 40:1-26
Gospels: Luke 22:13-38; Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 12:1-44
Here in the Torah portion we see Moses pleads with The Lord YHVH when he says:
“Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan that good hill country and Lebanon”.
It is encouraging to learn time and again in my Scripture studies that there are great discoveries for us to be found within the Bible’s text.
There beneath the surface of the words are hidden messages and themes that give us truth beyond the story as the Bible demonstrates its heavenly eternal design from the voice of God.
It is indeed as the Proverb declares, the honor of a King to search them out.
“[It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings [is] to search out a matter.” Proverbs 25:2
Many of God’s deep messages are often missed as the narrative of God’s word confounds, yet encourages Believers that “search out a matter” because we can’t just read the Bible, we have to study it, search it and ask our Father to show us His glory within. This is a “requirement” for every one seeking truth and the light of God’s message to mankind.
Yet, if we’re not diligent in our walk through the Bible and life, we will not allow God’s word to do the work He intended it to do for us.
If I can stray off topic for a second, that’s what happened to the extreme on June 27th as our nation’s Supreme Court ruled (5-4) to wipe away a part of DOMA, our nation’s Defense of Marriage Act. Our judges forgot about God’s rule. So, now more than ever as our nation continues to move away from God’s word, it is important to consider God’s wisdom and lift Him up in praise, not for our court acting as the Daughter of Babylon, but for what He has done in the wisdom hidden in the scroll that only Yeshua is worthy to unseal and reveal from the throne.
If we will just unroll the scroll this Sabbath day that is made for us (Mark 2:27), we will see there on the lamb’s skin that the scribes placed a Vav on each corner of the column nailing the word of God in the Torah.
This reminds us that Moses wrote of Messiah Yeshua (John 5:45). He is the lamb of God, the living Torah whose name means and reveals the gift of Salvation as the stakes in the outstretched hands of Messiah joined heaven and earth through His blood on the wood almost 2,000 years ago and it was Moses whose likeness is carved in marble above the Supreme Court that wrote:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24
The Bible gives us these words from the beginning and it goes on to tell us the story of a people called Israel. We know from the Exodus account that the children of the God of Israel were there in the wilderness 40 years just as we too now live in the wilderness 40 Jubilee years since Messiah’s ministry. And it seems, like Israel, many refuse to go any where near the promised Kingdom. In fact, we prove in our own laws that we want to turn against it.
The Bible’s narrative tells us that Moses died and did not lead the host into the Promised Land, yet if we quietly dig deep into the word, we can see the incredible imagery that Moses death is really a blessing for Israel because it foreshadows Messiah who too died seemingly for nothing. But Messiah’s death and His resurrection is God’s gift. He is our King and He is coming to restore the Kingdom of God on earth.
Yet, at first it seemed, that Yeshua’s death was meaningless to the disciples and the multitudes that believed on Him as King Messiah. It seemed that way as well to the crippled, sick and blind that He healed as they mourned over the cross. They were utterly distraught because they had not yet seen the pattern of God’s glorious plan in His appointment days with mankind. And like many of us today, they were not looking to the meaning of the wave offering of the barley sheaf harvest at First Fruits three days later, so they did not realize God’s plan through Messiah’s tribulation was restoration and resurrection by God’s quickening even though Yeshua repeatedly taught them this.
They were not listening… they may have heard the words but they were still deaf to the quiet voice of God, but only for a little while. He did heal them, but they had to first see Him in resurrection to believe. They became open and available, like Peter (Simon Barjona) to teaching direct from heaven and not from mortal man (see Matthew 16:17).
They could not perceive that the story of Moses’ death on the mountain had been in the Torah for 1,500 years prophesying of the suffering of our Messiah and the timing of God’s restoration plan that the Kingdom of Heaven was not to be fully established on Earth at His first coming.
The honor for Moses was greater than they perceived as well. While Moses was not to enter the promised land before his time, he would receive the mind bending honor to be resurrected and restored to see Messiah on the mountain during the appointed time on God’s personal calendar.
We can see this in the account described in Matthew 17 if we just turn the pages and seek God’s revelation there. This story is real, not a vision or dream:
“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
And when the disciples heard [it], they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.” Matthew 17:1-9
Do you see it?
The Spirit is moving today and teaching us that if we just connect the dots and jots from Torah to Revelation, we can see the deep meaning that God reveals Messiah from cover to cover. But we need His Spirit to see it.
Matthew’s witness of words tells us that “after six days” Yeshua privately took Peter, James and John to “a mountain apart” and Moses, along with Elijah came and appeared right before them. And today, here we are at the 6th day, 6,000 years from Adam and two days (2,000 years) after Messiah standing and looking up just before the millennium day of Messiah King on Mount Zion.
In the theme of the entire Bible, even the names we are given within “the mountain” story of Matthew are important if we just look at them. Did you notice for example that James, the half brother of Jesus is actually the Hebrew name Jacob or Yaakov? His namesake became “Israel” when God blessed him with his new name which means “God prevails”. You have received this blessing too if you have the faith of Abraham who “looked forward” to Messiah, but to see its importance you must know your identity in God’s eyes as you “look back” to the work of Messiah Yeshua.
When you do you will realize its stories are there for you.
I’m not sure, but perhaps Shakespeare understood this blessing in the true identity of God’s children when he wrote that: “there is a history is all men’s lives”.
But this we can know, Jesus’ true Hebrew name is “Yeshua”. It means “salvation”. John’s Hebrew name is Yochanan and this name means “Yahovah is a gracious giver” and Simon Peter is Shimown Kepah or “heard the rock”. Interestingly, Shimeon or Simeon is the origin of the name Simon and he is the 2nd son of Jacob, none other than the man named by God. Finally, Moses or Mosheh means “drawn” and Elijah’s name gives us the clarion message that “Yah is God”.
There were five there on the mountain top that day. It just so happens that five is a cardinal number, it is the property of a number that a mathematical set has in common with all sets that can be put in one-to-one correspondence with it. If you are wondering what that has to do with the names of those on the mountain, consider this about the poetry of their names:
The five at the mountain top where there as Moses was “drawn” from death when he “heard the rock” of “Salvation” because “God prevails” and not only is “Yahovah a gracious giver” of life but indeed “Yah is God” our covenant redeemer.
This is the story line of the names of these five on the mountain where God’s light shown from His cloud of Glory on the seventh day, a Sabbath. After all, the record tells us they were there after the sixth day and throughout time, before Rome skewed our calendar keeping by naming each day to the planets according to the mythology of their false worship, the days of the week had always been tied to a countdown to the Sabbath rest by a people God called Israel despite the fact that those around them insisted on dividing the days of the week in honor of the seven planets. Perhaps that is why we see this Jewish man, Matthew describe the event as “on the day after the sixth day”.
And if we connect a few more jots and tittles from the Torah, we can see that Simon Peter wanted to make Yeshua, Moshe and Elijah none other than a tabernacle booth. Does this remind you of Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles? It should.
Does the story now remind you of the mountain of Moses? It can and will, if we just look, because we know that God told Moses to go up on the mountain where he would be buried and hidden by none other than God Himself for a reason revealed by the glorious light of Messiah. You see, even this is tied to Moses as his face shone whenever he approached near to God on Mount Sinai.
Don’t you suppose that Yeshua knew that exact mountain top place in the mountainous strip of land just west of the river in Jordan? After all, He is the creator and put it there in the beginning. (See John 1:1-5)
Mount Nebo, the mountain of Moses is about 75 miles from the Galilee, and that sounds like a six day journey if you ask me… I mention that since Yeshua was in the Galilee just before the mountain story unfolds.
In the book of Jude, we learn that Michael (“who is like God”) argues with Satan about where Moses is buried. Have you ever wondered what Satan’s keen interest in Moses’ burial spot was all about? Perhaps he wanted to prevent his appointed meeting with Messiah just as he wants to stop yours.
We know the Bible tells us that Moses was given the right to view the Promised land from atop Mount Nebo. Even today on a clear day you can see Jerusalem out to the west from its peak. So might we connect the dots, or rather the jots? If we do we can just imagine that the deceiver wanted to defile the grave and steal Moses away so that he would not be there for his appointed time – – to be drawn to arise on the glorious day of Messiah’s arrival and transformation in light there on the mountain top. But the fact is Moses was there at the appointed time, to meet the King just as God planned. What an honor it will be to be there in a future Day of Tabernacles to hear the story from:
Yeshua, Moses, Elijah, Peter, James and John!!
The Sabbath and Feast days are the appointments of God and we can and must learn something very valuable about their purpose as they reveal the plan of God, but we need to take an active part and participate in them week after week, season after season and year after year. Yes, it is critical that we learn of others who served near God and our Savior, but what is critical to understand is how we are serving Him today. Scripture is not just written to give us a view of history, but it is there to give us wisdom and understanding, to give us the water of life.
The appointments of God, the “moedim”, are Gods Feasts and they give us an ongoing lesson to be applied in lives today. They help keep us on His path and His calendar because we don’t want to miss an appointment with God. Like Moses, we need to be in the right place at the right time if we want to meet up with our Savior in His Glory face to face.
The Torah repeatedly tells us that God wants us observe His appointed times. The Fall Feast Days of The Lord are coming our way and we need to be planning and preparing for them. Praise God for the fact that He is calling people to Him, to be apart from the ways of the world at this time.
If you are a lost sheep, it’s time to be found in Messiah because keeping and honoring the seven Feasts has lost its meaning for many Believers, so it’s time to adjust our attitude and synchronize our calendar with God’s 7 point plan that are seen in the seven seals of the scroll. (Look again at Revelation 5:1-7)
God’s teaching and instruction (Torah) is for our direct benefit and His word is alive and well today, all of it – no matter what our highest court says. His Sabbath and His Sabbath Feasts are important to us as holy convocations because they are very important to God. He tells us this time and time again throughout the Torah scroll, Messiah’s Bible. And Messiah’s life on Earth proved it as He literally lived out the Spring Feasts as the humble suffering servant… and He is returning soon during a future Fall Feast appointment as King with the scepter of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
What does this all mean?
It means we need to know “Who is the One Called Jesus“. It means too that it is now time for all of us to repent and return as Believers, united in unison with God’s covenant word. We must repent, return to hear and do His word and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your coming assignment.
God is a sovereign God. He is a loving God and He has provided a way to offer you His salvation though grace. You can accept His gift of life. Consider carefully what your own life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua – Jesus Christ. Do it now and open His instruction manual for life!
Get ready. Time is running out.
And if you have done this, ask God in faith to send His baptism of the Holy Spirit on you so that your life will spiritually shine as a witness to others with the love and light of Messiah as dark days ahead stare our nation in the face.
Take a stand.