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Welcome to my blog! My pastor’s wife recognized a gift of ministerial writing in me and encouraged me to consider blogging, so I am finally taking up the call. I’m excited to invite you on this journey with me as I share the insights the Holy Spirit impresses on me while spending time in daily prayer, scripture study, and worship.

Worship is so much more than just a song. It is a lifestyle of devoting the first fruits of our time, our talents, our thoughts, our service, our produce (earnings), our obedience and any other thing He is calling us to devote to him. Why not just devote our whole lives to Him? He devoted His to us on the cross.

This blog is my devotion to back to Him. I pray that you are blessed as you follow my blog. I invite comments and especially love to hear how the Father is ministering to you. If you have a testimony to share about how this blog has ministered to you or if you have any questions, please contact me. If you would like to know more about me, check out my testimony and my beliefs.

I do respectfully request that the following scriptural principles be considered when leaving comments on this blog:

  • If you find something you think is in error, please follow the protocol Yeshua (Jesus)outlined in Matthew 18:15-17 by contacting me privately first. I try to maintain a humble and teachable spirit and welcome the opportunity to be corrected privately and respectfully. I don’t claim to have “arrived” at all knowledge and am totally open to refining. Thank you.
  • Please ensure that your comments follow Eph 4:29-32 and James 1:19

Thank you again for visiting my blog! Have a blessed day! Shalom (Peace) in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).

~Angela Dawn

23But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”    John 4:23-24 Berean Study Bible

Rest From Your Labor

We all know that Rome wasn’t built in a day because it required the combined efforts of a plethora of time-bound, resource-limited, finite human beings to formulate ideas, engineer designs, and accumulate the vast array of resources required to construct it. We humans seem to love to apply this same understanding to the creation and deduce that it must have taken millions of years to create all the brilliantly ordered complexity of the whole universe. It seems such a struggle for many to comprehend the idea of an infinite and timeless Creator being able to invent, engineer, and completely construct the entire array of complex celestial bodies and terrestrial life forms in the Universe inside of six literal twenty-four hour days.

Although many people just can’t bring themselves to believe in a literal six day creation, they will readily believe scientific theories that completely defy our human understanding and tangible experience of how all magnificent inventions come to life. Modern secular science teaches humanity to believe that all the order and complexity of life in the Universe originated without design or designer and randomly formed itself and evolved to its current state over vast ages of time. It simply requires an incredible act of blind faith to know all that we do about the incredibly complex processes of invention, engineering, and construction and sincerely believe that there was no Inventor, Engineer, or Constructor involved in creating everything in the Universe.

Why not consider that an infinite Creator, who exists outside of time and possesses infinite intelligence, ability, and resources, designed and created everything in nature in six literal days? To do so would certainly require humanity to acknowledge that there is a Being outside of ourselves who is far more intelligent, resourceful, powerful, magnificent, and glorious than we are. We might have to admit that such a Being, who has the power to create all life, might also have the power (and the right) to destroy all life, just as any human inventor has the power to create and destroy his own invention. If we admit that, then we also have to acknowledge that such a Being holds an incredible amount of authority over our life. Frankly, there are a lot of humans that completely disdain the idea of something outside of themselves having authority over their life, so it is far more convenient to self-rule in the belief that no such Being exists.

The real fact of the matter is that modern science has not ever effectively, scientifically proven their theory of a creatorless creation. In fact, some of evolution’s staunchest proponents freely admit that they have simply invented the vast ages of the Earth and the Universe to try and resolve the serious difficulties and impossibilities their beloved theory of evolution is fraught with. They have gone on record asking humanity to just have faith in the theory of evolution in the absence of supporting evidence. Those who obey the call to have such faith without evidence are highly regarded as sane intellectuals. However, those who choose to have faith in the Biblical account of creation, which the evolutionists declare is without evidence, are mocked as insane simpletons.

Where will you choose to place your faith? Will you place it in the word of fallible human beings who want you to believe that you are just an unknown, unchosen, random act of the universe without purpose and without hope of anything beyond the grave? Many do, and then we wonder why we have an epidemic of depressed, hopeless, purposeless, and suicidal people in our modern world culture. Why not place your faith in the word of the Creator (YHVH) who lovingly designed you with a purpose, knew your soul intimately, and chose to create you on this Earth for His pleasure, as we learned in A Light in the Darkness and In His Image?

In the original Hebrew text of YHVH’s word, there are no chapter breaks. There is a continuous flow between Genesis 1:31 and Genesis 2:1. Therefore, YHVH’s word says that at the conclusion of six literal twenty-four hour days “the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Gen. 2:1 KJV).

The Hebrew word for finished is kalah (כָּלָה). According to the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (BDB), in the context of its use in Genesis 2:1-2, kalah means to “complete, bring to an end, finish a thing, task, work, etc.” The Hebrew word for all is kol (כֹּל) and it means “the whole of” in the context of Genesis 2:1-2. According to Oxford Dictionary, the whole of something means that it is in its entirety, “in one piece,” “in an unbroken and undamaged state,” and “a thing that is complete in itself.” The Hebrew word seba’am (צְבָאָֽם), translated as “the host of them” is a construct of the word tsaba (צָבָא) with a kamatz-final mem suffix. This suffix indicates third person, plural, masculine possessive (their -referring to heaven and earth). Per BDB, in the context of Genesis 2:1, tsaba means “the entire creation.” Therefore, the word of our Creator says that the creation of everything in the heavens and on the Earth was completely finished in its entirety without need of any further work, revision, or evolution at the conclusion of the sixth literal day and beginning of the seventh literal day.

It is important for us to take another look at the word tsaba to fully understand this idea of the hosts of heaven and earth and the purpose of the entire creation. The primary meaning of tsaba is an army or host organized for warfare. If you read A Light in the Darkness and In His Image, you should be making the connection with me that all of creation, as an organized body under the headship (rule) of humble humanity (adam) aptly reflecting the heart of the Creator, was purposed to be a united force to keep the enemy (Satan) subdued and separated from our habitation. When the angel Satan committed treachery against YHVH and was cast out of heaven to Earth (Ezek. 28:12-19, Isa. 14:12-14, Rev. 12:9), YHVH quickly created an organized army for warfare to maintain dominion over Satan in the kingdom of Earth. Mankind was instructed to have dominion over all the animals, and specifically every creeping thing, because Satan is known as “that old serpent, called the Devil” (Gen. 1:26-28, Rev. 12:9).

With YHVH’s host now completely organized and given clear orders, “on the seventh day God ended (kalah) his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all (kol) his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested in all (kol) his work which God created and made” (Gen. 2:2-3). YHVH’s rest is the central focus of both verses amidst a triple mention of YHVH ending all His work of creation on the seventh literal day. Shabath (שָׁבַת) is the Hebrew word for rest and it means to completely cease and desist from labor and exertion. It is the root of the word for the Sabbath (שַׁבָּת) day of rest.

Neither Shabath or Sabbath was used for the seventh day of the week in the text of Genesis 2:2-3. The Hebrew word for seventh, used three times in these verses, is shebii (שְׁבִיעִי) and it means the ordinal number seventh. Yom (יוֹם) is also used three times in these verses to represent a literal twenty-four hour day. We also see Elohim (אֱלהִים) three times in these verses. Additionally, the Hebrew noun melakah (מְלָאכָה) is used three times in these verses and means “work as something done or made of God in creation.” Also used three times in these verses, the verb asah (עָשָׂה) means to do or perform a work.

It would have been sufficient for the original text to state that on the seventh day Elohim (God) ended his work which he had made and he rested, blessed it, and sanctified it. However, Moses was inspired by the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to record this triple repetition of the Hebrew words pointing to the seventh day concept of Elohim (God) resting from all the work Elohim had made. When we understand that the Hebrew word Elohim is plural, we should understand why three repetitions are tremendously significant and not by accident. It conveys the message that the Father (Aleph), the Light (Yeshua), and the Ruach (Spirit) of the echad (one, unified) Godhead all rested from the work of creation on the seventh day.

Additionally, the number three represents divine perfection and further substantiates the completeness of all the work of creation. Three also draws the reader to pay attention to the significance of the event. Our attention should be drawn to the pronouncement of blessing (barak) upon and the sanctification (qadash) of the seventh day by Elohim (Gen. 2:3). The Hebrew word qadash (קָדַשׁ) means to “set apart as sacred, consecrate, dedicate.” Therefore, YHVH very specifically dedicated the seventh day as a blessed day of rest.

Yeshua (Jesus) explained that “the Sabbath was made for man,” not the other way around (Mark 2:27-28). He understood the purpose of the seventh day Sabbath was to serve adam’s (humanity’s) need for rest. Declaring Himself Lord of the Sabbath, Yeshua clarified that the Sabbath was never purposed by YHVH to be something that humanity served, like the traditions and doctrines of the first century Pharisees and their oral law required. We need only to look back at YHVH’s original instruction to mankind to understand His true heart intention for the seventh day Sabbath.

After YHVH’s mighty hand delivered the children of Israel out of the bondage of the world system of Egypt, YHVH instructed Israel to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” He also told his children that just as He had rested on the seventh day after six days of working on creation, they were to likewise rest on the seventh day after six days of labor (Exod. 20:8-11). For generations, the cruel world system of Egypt had YHVH’s beloved children bound to laboring over Pharaoh’s worldly creations every day without rest. The fourth of the Ten Commandments given to Moses at Mt. Sinai represents the heart of a loving and wise Father who wants His children to take the day of rest that their body, soul, and spirit were designed to have for optimal physical and spiritual health and performance. Modern science is proving that we need it.

Our loving Creator was by no means seeking to place His beloved children back into bondage at Mt. Sinai when He gave them His instructions for their new life in the land of promise, as some like to suggest. Wouldn’t you agree that it would be cruel and unloving for a Father to free His children from one form of bondage only to place them under another? A belief system that renders His instructions at Mt. Sinai as bondage requires one to completely ignore YHVH’s original heart intention and disregard what a host of Scriptures say about His instructions at Mt. Sinai. For example, the brother of Yeshua and Leader of the Jerusalem Council of Messianic believers (James) called the Mt. Sinai instructions the “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25, 2:12). David, the man after YHVH’s own heart, also declared that YHVH’s law (Torah) is perfect and that he would walk in liberty as he kept it continually (Psalms 19:7-10, 119:44-45). Additionally, John wrote that “His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2-4). Three witnesses have established this matter (Deut. 19:15).

When we look deeper at the meaning of both Shabath (שָׁבַת) and Sabbath (שַׁבָּת), the real beauty of this blessed and set apart day of rest becomes crystal clear. In ancient pictograph, the letter shin (ש) represents teeth and carries the meaning of eating. We have learned in A Light in the Darkness and In His Image that the letter bet (ב) represents a house. The ancient Hebrew pictograph of the letter tav (ת) is two crossed sticks and it means “mark, sign, covenant.”

Aside from the glaringly obvious crossed sticks pointing to the cross, if you are familiar with ancient middle eastern covenants, you should be having a huge ‘aha’ moment over the meaning of the individual letters of Sabbath. For those who aren’t familiar, please let me explain. When people in the ancient Middle East entered into a threshold covenant with one another, they would kill the best of their flock/herd, it’s blood would be drained into the basin at the threshold (doorway) into the hosts’ home, and the parties to the covenant would step over the threshold to partake of a meal together inside the home. They were then considered to be in league with one another, as though they were family. In essence, they would always look out for and uphold each other’s best interests.

In the letters of the Sabbath rest, we see that that there is a covenant that involves eating in the house. Therefore, the seventh day Sabbath was YHVH’s way of inviting us into His family and promising His protection over us. This should really help us understand what Yeshua was really saying to the wealthy, lukewarm believers in Laodicea when He said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:19). Yeshua was calling His beloved, who had unknowingly fallen into a miserable state of wretchedness and shame, to repent and return into covenant with Him.

Three times in Scripture, YHVH says the seventh day Sabbath is a sign between Him and His sanctified (set apart, consecrated, dedicated) people (Exod. 31:13, Ezek. 20:12, 20). In each instance, the Hebrew word for sign is oth (אוֹת), and according to the BDB it means “sign, pledge of covenant.” Therefore, when YHVH’s people keep the seventh day Sabbath dedicated and set apart (holy) for resting from their labor, they are pledging themselves to be in covenant with YHVH and part of His family under His protection.

If you are familiar with the Hebrew alphabet, you should be recognizing something special about the letters that make up the word oth (אוֹת). While the letter vav (ו) in the middle of this word is serving as a long o sound, vav is typically a connector, which means “and.” Oth is literally saying through its letters “aleph and tav” (beginning and end). This clearly speaks to the eternal nature of the sign (oth) of the seventh day Sabbath. YHVH confirmed this eternal nature of Shabbat when He said Israel was to keep it throughout their future generations (Exod. 31:13) Additionally, the letters of oth point to the One who is the beginning and the end (the eternal YHVH), who always keeps His pledges of covenant! 

Beyond being an eternal sign or pledge of covenant, the seventh day Sabbath is also identified in Scripture as an appointment or meeting between YHVH and His people. In Leviticus 23, YHVH instructs the children of Israel that they are to keep His feasts, and the seventh day Sabbath is the first of all the feasts He mentions. He says, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say to them, concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy (set apart) convocation (sacred assembly); ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings (houses)” (Lev. 23:2-3, emphasis mine).

The Hebrew word for feast is moed (מוֹעֵד) and it means “appointed time, meeting, place, set feast” per BDB. I want to point out that YHVH declares His ownership of the feast days when He says, “These are my feasts” (Lev. 23:2). In other words, the Creator is telling us that He has a calendar, and He has set certain days on His calendar aside as appointments or meetings with His people. YHVH never said they were Israel’s feasts. However, He did instruct all who consider themselves fellow citizens of the commonwealth of Israel (whether native born or grafted in) to mark their own calendars with these appointed meeting times, so that they could meet with Him to have a covenant meal together (Lev. 23, Eph. 2, Rom. 11).

Please think about that for a moment. Most citizens, will never once meet with the ruling elite of their nation. As we are learning from the impeachment inquiry on President Trump, even top officials working daily in His administration haven’t ever had the opportunity for a personal appointment with the POTUS in the last three years. They have never met with him in his office, let alone been invited to share in a family meal with him. Yet, an infinite, timeless, awesome, and powerful Creator and the God of the whole universe (YHVH) has set a weekly time to meet with humanity on the seventh day Sabbath! What kind of God is this? YHVH is certainly like no other in the pantheon of the world’s gods! Which of them has ever offered a weekly meeting with their people? None!

Before we conclude, I want us to look at the deeper meaning of the word moed (מוֹעֵד) or feast. We have learned from A Light in the Darkness that mem (מ) means waters, peoples, nations, tribes, and tongues. The letter vav (ו) is a tent hook and symbolizes that which connects the spiritual realm with the earthly realm. Ayin (ע) is pictured as an eye in the ancient pictograph and it represents sight, understanding, and obedience. The letter dalet (ד) is a door and also represents the back and forth movement (brooding) of one passing through the door. When brought together, the letters tell us the ultimate purpose of YHVH’s moedim (feasts). Through YHVH’s feasts, like the seventh day Sabbath, the people, nations, tribes, and tongues of the Earth are connected with Heaven so that they can see, understand, and obey the One who broods over them at the door.

Thus far in our journey through the beginning of the book of Genesis, we have learned that humankind (adam) was created to be in YHVH’s image and likeness, so that we could be His appointed caretaker over His creation. The moedim (feasts), like the seventh day Sabbath, provide us with a special connection to the heavenly realm so that we can look upon and understand the One in whose image and likeness we are supposed to be. Think of it like a computer that has to regularly shut down to receive updates from Dell or Microsoft to maintain peak performance according to its design.

The seventh day Sabbath is our weekly reminder of Who we are supposed to be reflecting to the creation throughout the week. When we see Him, we will be like Him (1 John 3:2). Do you want to see Him and be like Him? Then, don’t miss your appointment with Him this week! He’s brooding at the door awaiting your on time arrival, and the table is set for you to sup together!

© 2019 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved

*If you enjoyed this study and were blessed by it, please consider purchasing the first volume of my two-volume life application study of King David’s life here.

**This is the third in a series of articles that are designed to be used as a through-the-Bible curriculum for teaching students of any age about the heart of YHVH.

Questions 1-2 are given to students to complete before reading through the article, while questions 3-8 can be answered at the end of each respective section of the article:

  1.  Read Genesis 2:1-3 and handwrite a copy.
  2.  Summarize it in your own words.
  3.  What was all of creation, under the rule of humanity (adam), designed to be?
  4.  What example did YHVH set for humanity to be in His likeness?
  5.  Is the seventh day Shabbat just a day for resting or is it something greater than that? Explain.
  6.  What does the seventh day Sabbath tell you about YHVH’s heart for you?
  7.  Can disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) pick any day of the week they want and dedicate it to resting? Why or why not?
  8.  What message do we send to YHVH when we have our own calendar, which is not aligned with His?

In His Image

A light shined forth in the darkness and obscurity of primeval Earth. This planet we call home was uniquely chosen as the centerpiece of life in this vast and glorious universe (Gen. 1:1). In an amazing display of love, YHVH (our Creator) brooded over the chaotic and empty waters of the Earth like a mother hen, foreseeing every one the special peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations that He would birth forth (Gen. 1:2). As a proficient architectural engineer, YHVH had every uniquely purposed human being already drafted in His book, and He knew us and chose us before we were conceived (Psalm 139:15-16, Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 1:4).

In His Fatherly wisdom, YHVH purposefully brought forth a very intricate order out of the formlessness (tohu), emptiness (bohu), obscurity, and darkness (choshek), in order to create the perfect environment for His people to thrive. First, He brought the Light (Yeshua or Jesus) into the darkness, and made a distinction or separation between the Light and the darkness, so that His creation was formed in the Light instead of the darkness (Gen. 1:3-5, John 1).  Second, YHVH made a distinction or separation between the kingdom of Earth (the waters below) and the Kingdom of Heaven (the waters above) (Gen. 1:6-8). Next, He made a distinction between the dark, empty, chaotic waters of the deep (seas) and the dry ground, which would bring forth the life of His creation (Gen. 1:9-10).

To lovingly prepare a home filled with all the provisions His precious children would require for survival, YHVH brought forth the green grass, every herb, and a vast variety of fruit bearing trees. His abundant food source for every animal and human of His special design was brought forth under the Light (Yeshua) and fully matured in one day (Gen. 1:11-13). Then, He created the sun, moon, and stars to give tangible light to the Earth and serve as a cosmic time piece for His children to know the times and seasons of His special appointments with them (Gen. 1:14-19).

On the fifth day of creation, YHVH spoke forth the first of His living beings out of the obscurity of the empty waters. Every uniquely and lovingly designed sea creature and bird of the air instantly came to life in one day (Gen. 1:20-23).With pleasure in His heart, YHVH considered how good and excellent these especially known animals were, and He pronounced His blessing over them to fruitfully and abundantly reproduce and fill the whole Earth (Gen. 1:22). Then, on the dawn of the sixth day of creation, YHVH spoke over the Earth and birthed forth every distinctly designed land animal in a single day. He looked over all the beautiful animals He had made and smiled as He considered their excellence (Gen. 1:24-25).

YHVH compassionately looked over all that He had created and knew that it couldn’t be left alone without a caretaker, or it might descend from its wondrously ordered beauty like an untended garden. Therefore, YHVH spoke to Himself of making a specially designed steward to manage the affairs of His creation. He said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26, KJV).

The Hebrew text translated as “let us make” is na·‘ă·śeh (נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה). It is the Hebrew word asah (עָשָׂה) with a nun (נַֽ) prefix. When prefixed to a verb stem, a nun prefix indicates the verb in the first person, plural, future tense (we will). Therefore, naaseh is best translated as “we will make.” As we saw in A Light in the Darkness, John 1:1-14 and Colossians 1:15-17 clearly indicate who this “us” or “we” is referring to. YHVH is speaking to the Light (Yeshua), who is also the word (MEMRA), which was with YHVH in the beginning and created all things, including “man”.

Let’s look closer at the original text of Genesis 1:26, so that we don’t get offended over the English translation of “man.” The Hebrew word for “man” is adam (אָדָם). According to Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (BDB), in the context of its use in Genesis 1:26, adam means collective mankind (humankind). YHVH was not speaking of just a singular human male (the first physical human being, Adam), but rather the whole of humanity (male and female) that would be derived from the first Adam. He was also bearing in mind the One who is called the last Adam, which is Yeshua (1 Corinthians 15:45).

The individual meanings of the Hebrew letters in adam also speak volumes about YHVH’s creation of humankind. The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph (א) is considered the “father” of the Hebrew alphabet. Aleph is a silent letter with a numerical value of one, alluding to the oneness (echad) of the Godhead. The letter aleph is a construct of two yods joined together by a diagonal vav, alluding to the mystery of three distinct characters in echad (the “us” in “let us make man in our image”). The Hebrew letter dalet (ד) represents a tent door, alluding to the tent door of YHVH’s house. Dalet can also represent a back and forth movement, like hovering or brooding. We learned from A Light in the Darkness that the Hebrew letter mem (מ) represents waters, which represent peoples, nations, tribes, and tongues. Together, the letters reveal that adam (humanity) represents the Father or Godhead opening the door of His house to brood over the waters (peoples, nations, tribes, and tongues).

Now that we have thoroughly established the concept of adam (humanity), let’s look at the Hebrew word bə·ṣal·mê·nū (בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ), translated as “in our image”. It is constructed of the Hebrew word tselem (צֶלֶם) with a bet (בְּ) prefix and a nun-vav (נוּ) suffix. The bet prefix means “in” and the nun-vav suffix indicates first person, plural, possessive (our). According to the BDB, tselem means “image (something cut out).” Adam (humankind) was therefore cut out of the very essence of the Creator.

The meaning of something cut out instantly takes my mind to a picture of a sculpture I have seen repeatedly lately on social media. The sculpture (see link) represents a parent and the child who was constructed from pieces cut out of the parent. The first time I saw the picture of the sculpture, I marveled over how well it depicted the idea of YHVH making humankind in His image (tselem). I have read that the sculptor purposed to represent the tremendous sacrifice parents make to build the lives of their children. What the artist may not have realized is how well they have represented the unparalleled sacrifice our Creator has made to build the lives of His children (adam)!

The child does not look the same in physical appearance compared to the parent, but is made from the same original material substance. That is the concept of tselem. We learned earlier that Yeshua is the image of YHVH. Hebrews 1:3 (NASB) says Yeshua “is the radiance of His [YHVH’s] glory and the exact representation of His [YHVH’s] nature” (brackets mine). Therefore, if we study Yeshua, we will understand the fullness of what it means to be “in our image.” When we walk through life, speak, and interact with our neighbors in the way that He did (with kindness, patience, compassion, and sacrificial love) we will be aligned with our original design to be in our Creator’s image.

Now that we understand what it means to be made in His image, let us further explore what it means to be according to His likeness. The Hebrew word kiḏ·mū·ṯê·nū (כִּדְמוּתֵ֑נוּ) is constructed of the Hebrew word demuth (דְּמוּת) with a kaf (כִּ) prefix (meaning “as” or “like”) and a nun-vav (נוּ) suffix (meaning “our”). According to the BDB, demuth means likeness or similtude. In the context of Genesis 1:26, demuth is not speaking of the likeness or similtude of the external appearance. It is important to understand that the Hebrew language does not indicate that we (adam) physically look like YHVH. But, rather it is the inner nature (the Spirit – the heart and character of YHVH) that humankind (adam) was purposed to resemble or reflect.

Having a heart and character (Spirit) like YHVH in our inner being is the only way humankind could effectively succeed in their role as caretaker of YHVH’s beautiful and wonderful creation. How do we know what YHVH’s heart is like? We learned in A Light in the Darkness that His heart (lev) is contained in the first five books of Moses (aka the Torah). By reading His Torah under the tutelage of our Teacher (John 14:26, Neh. 9:20, 1 John 2:27), the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit), we can know, understand, discern, and learn to resemble or reflect YHVH’s heart to His creation. Is it any wonder there has been such a concerted agenda to annul or eradicate the Torah – the heart of YHVH?

When we look upon all creation with the same heart as YHVH has for every aspect of it, we can care for it righteously, as He would. That was YHVH’s original idea in creating adam (humanity) in His image and according to His likeness to have dominion over His creation. Let us look more closely at the Hebrew word radah (רָדָה) being translated as having dominion over YHVH’s creation. Strong’s concordance defines radah as “reign,” such as a king reigning over a territory. The BDB defines radah as having “dominion or rule over” something or someone.

Each Hebrew letter in the word radah has its own individual meaning. We can learn the deeper meaning of what it means to rule, reign, or have dominion over something or someone from YHVH’s perspective. The letter resh (ר) represents the head of a man or chief. As we learned from adam, dalet (ד) represents a tent door. In Jewish thought, the dalet also represents lowliness or humility. Only in lowliness or humility of mind and heart are we allowed to enter the door of YHVH’s house. In ancient pictograph, the letter heh (ה) resembles a man raising his arms. It means “look” or “behold” and alerts us to something to be revealed. Some Jewish sages ascribe the letter heh to represent the divine breath (ruach). When you put the meanings of the letters together for radah (רָדָה), we learn that to rule or have dominion means to be chief in lowliness or humility revealing the divine Ruach (Spirit) to the creation. Therefore, Adam (humankind) was created by YHVH to rule over every creature with humility, after the likeness of the very Spirit of YHVH Himself.

Adam (humanity) was created male and female in YHVH’s image and likeness (Gen. 1:27). The Hebrew word for male is zakar (זָכָר) and it truly represents the male gender bearing the male reproductive organ. The BDB says something very interesting about the context of zakar’s use in Genesis 1:27; it says, “from זָכַר = call upon in worship; hence male as competent to worship.” This indicates that the root zakar points to the male’s call to be a competent worshipper.

Again, when we look at the individual Hebrew letters in zakar, we learn the deeper meaning of zakar and what a competent worshipper looks like. The Hebrew letter zayin (ז) represents a sword, and is particularly associated with the sword of the spirit (the word of God). It is also called the crowned vav (nail/tent peg) and represents the returning light. The concept of the returning light points to Yeshua as the Light who was in the beginning and who is returning to establish His Kingdom. The Hebrew letter kaf (כ) represents a palm of a hand and a crowned prostrating king. What crowned prostrating King took the nails in His hands? As we learned from the word radah, resh (ר) represents the head or chief.

YHVH created males to expertly handle the sword of the Spirit (the word of YHVH) and represent the returning Light (Yeshua) and the crowned prostrating King who bore the nail in his hand (Yeshua) as the head or chief of the family or house. There is a double emphasis on representing Yeshua! Ephesians 5:25-29 confirms the male role in the marriage relationship as being the head who is to sanctify his wife with the word of YHVH and represent Christ (Messiah Yeshua) in how he loves his wife and lays down his life for her. However, it is not just his own physical house the male was designed to represent Yeshua to. He is also purposed to represent Yeshua to the rest of the house of YHVH.

Men, how well are you aligned with your divine design? Ask your family (and congregational family) to honestly rate how well are you representing Yeshua’s humility, sacrificial love, and tender compassion. If they rate you low, take it as an opportunity to prostrate yourself before your King, sincerely repent, and seek His help and guidance in realigning yourself with His divine purpose for you.

Now that we have adequately discussed the male’s divine purpose, let’s draw our attention to the Hebrew word for female, nequebah (נְקֵבָה). This word clearly represents the female gender with her female reproductive organs. It is from the verb naqab (נָקַב) meaning to pierce. We learn in more specific detail in Genesis 2:21-22 that woman was originally created by YHVH through piercing Adam’s side and removing a rib. Instead of being fashioned from the dust, like the male (Gen 2:7), the female was created from a part of the solid bony rib cage that serves as a shield of protection for the heart and lungs. This idea is going to come into greater play in a future article entitled A Suitable Helper.

As always, we can learn tremendous insight into the divine purpose of the female by looking at the meanings of each individual Hebrew letter of nequebah. The letter nun (נ) represents a life giving seed. The Jewish sages also say that nun “represents both faithfulness and the reward for faithfulness.” In ancient pictograph, Quph (ק) represents a sun at the horizon (dawn or sunset). It symbolizes the full circle or revolution that brings about the dawn and sunset. We learned in A Light in the Darkness that bet (ב) represents a house. Finally, we recently learned from radah that heh (ה) means to behold or draws attention to that which is to be revealed: the divine Ruach (Spirit).

Therefore, the divine purpose of the female is to faithfully bring forth life (not just in child bearing, but by her speech and actions) and revolve around her house to reveal the divine Ruach to her family. She is the Proverbs 31 woman! Think of her as a master garderner who faithfully tends to her family to bring forth life and reveal the divine Spirit of YHVH to them. Her faithful tender care of her seed (her children) should reveal to them every fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control), so as they partake of her fruit, its seed will grow forth in them.

Just as the male’s role was not limited to their own physical house, the female’s role is not limited to her own physical house. She was also purposed to bring forth life and revolve around the house of YHVH to reveal the divine Ruach. Ladies, how are we doing at fulfilling our divine purpose? The fruit our children (physical and spiritual) show forth is the gauge by which we are measured. If the gauge is pointing more toward the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21) sprouting forth in our children (physical and spiritual), it’s a good indication that we need to sincerely repent and realign ourselves with our divine purpose!

Calling forth the divine purposes of male and female in union with each other, YHVH blessed them and encouraged them to reproduce to fill the whole Earth with their fruit (Gen. 1:28). The supremely defined purpose of a union between the sword bearing representative of the crowned King as head (male) and the faithful seed bearer who revolves around the house to reveal the divine Ruach (female) is the reproduction of godly offspring (both physical and spiritual). Malachi 2:15 confirms that YHVH’s sole purpose in making a male and a female one in the covenant of marriage, and apportioning His Spirit to them, is for the making of godly offspring. 

It is so important to understand that godly offspring can only be reproduced in an environment where the male and female are both aligned with their divine purpose in unity. This is true in our physical home as well as the house of YHVH. If either of them is out of alignment or they are in discord, godly offspring cannot be produced! How far have we strayed in this world from fulfilling this divine purpose in marriage? Hopefully, we understand why there is such a tremendous agenda to destroy gender identity and the sanctity of marriage between one male and one female. May we all sincerely repent and be redeemed to our original design, so that all of YHVH’s creation can begin to experience healing (2 Chr. 7:14, Rom. 8:22-24).

YHVH’s divine purpose for reproduction of godly offspring was to ensure that there would always be caretakers after His own heart ruling over His creation. It was never His will for Earth to be ruled by the “god of this world”, Satan (2 Cor. 4:4). That’s why Adam (humanity represented by both male and female) was commanded to have dominion or rule over every animal, and specifically the creeping things of the Earth (Gen. 1:26-28). YHVH knew that old serpent (aka the Devil), who had been cast down to Earth for his attempted insurrection in Heaven (Rev. 12:9), would waste no time trying to commandeer the dominion over YHVH’s creation away from adam (humankind). His instruction to both male (Adam) and female (Eve) to rule over the beasts and creeping things was a preemptive warning He hoped they would understand and obey to keep the Earth in its present state of perfect order, beauty, and peace.

As the sun was setting on the sixth day of creation, YHVH looked upon all that He had made and declared it good and excellent (Gen. 1:31). He had created a wonderful and delicious variety of plentiful plant life to feed both the animals and people that he lovingly made (Gen. 1:29-30). It was never YHVH’s original will to create predator and prey. Rather, every living creature He originally created to be herbivores. All was currently well and at peace in the Earth. YHVH sat back in satisfaction as he took in the beautiful view of His wondrous creation before Him.

© 2019 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved

*If you enjoyed this study and were blessed by it, please consider purchasing the first volume of my two-volume life application study of King David’s life here.

**This is the second in a series of articles that are designed to be used as a through-the-Bible curriculum for teaching students of any age about the heart of YHVH.

Questions 1-2 are given to students to complete before reading through the article, while questions 3-8 can be answered at the end of each respective section of the article:

  1.  Read Genesis 1:20-31 and handwrite a copy.
  2.  Summarize it in your own words.
  3.  What does it mean that God made humans (adam) in His image and likeness?
  4.  What were humans created to do?
  5.  How should humans rule over the creation?
  6.  Explain the divine purpose of males.
  7.  Explain the divine purpose of females.
  8.  What is the divine purpose for marriage between a male and a female?

A Light in the Darkness

There is a way that every human being on Earth can know the heart and purpose behind all of the beauty that exists on earth and in the vast and glorious expanse of the universe, and the heart and purpose behind our own individual life. Everyone wants to know their purpose! None of us really want to believe that we are just a random and meaningless bag of bones and flesh that merely lives for a time on this planet and has no hope of anything more beyond our experience here.

I want you to know that you are more than just random chance and there is more to your existence than your life experiences on this planet. All of us have been uniquely created by a kind, faithful, compassionate, and loving heart with a glorious purpose in mind that extends beyond this life and this planet. If you want to know your glorious purpose, I invite you on a journey with me to discover this wonderful heart that created you. The heart that created each one of us left us a written record that is the path to knowing His heart for us.

Our creator chose to communicate His heart to us using an early form of the Hebrew language. Before we set our foot onto the beginning of this path to know His heart, it is important to understand that the Hebrew word for heart is lev (לֵב). It is not a mere coincidence that the very first written record given by our Creator to human kind (the first five books of Moses) begins with the Hebrew letter bet (ב) and ends with the Hebrew letter lamed (ל). By placing these “book-end” letters at the very beginning of Genesis 1 and the very ending of Deuteronomy 34, our Creator was clearly telling humankind that all the words contained within these five books of Moses represented His heart.

Within the Hebrew word for heart, there is deeper meaning within the letters themselves that reveal the fullness of the first five books of Moses, otherwise known as the Torah. The earliest form of Hebrew letters were pictograms. The letter Lamed (ל) is understood to be the center or heart of the Hebrew alphabet. As the tallest of all letters, lamed represents the King of kings, the shepherd’s staff, authority, teaching, and a heart that understands knowledge. The letter Bet (ב) represents a house or dwelling. I highly recommend reading the full Hebrew for Christians article on the letter Bet to gain a fuller understanding of having this letter at the very beginning of our Creator’s word to us. When we bring the meanings of each letter together, we learn that lev (heart) can also be interpreted as the King of kings holds the shepherd’s staff and has authority over the house to teach and create a heart that understands knowledge within it.

With such an understanding that the Torah is not only the very heart of our Creator, but also the King of kings’ teaching for His house, let’s begin our journey in Genesis 1:1-19 (all Scriptural quotes from the KJV). In the first verse of Genesis, we learn that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” When we look deeper at the Hebrew word bara (בָּרָא), translated as created, the very first meaning we see is “choose.” The Creator chose to create order, beauty, and life on this planet and to surround it with an atmosphere (sky, heaven) to protect it from all of the spatial forces. Think about that for a moment as you consider how many planets exist in this vast universe. There was nothing random or accidental about how this planet came to be the only planet in our universe that we know of for certain that definitely supports a wealth of life forms. The best that all our scientific efforts have produced so far is mere speculation that other planets could possibly contain the elements necessary to support life. We spend tens of billions in taxpayer funds each year in our world-wide effort to find life on other planets, because we refuse to believe that this earth was chosen to be the one centerpiece of life in the universe.

Now that we understand that this place that we call home was actively chosen, let’s learn about its state of being when it was chosen. In the second verse of Genesis 1 we learn that “the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face (surface) of the deep (deep sea or abyss).” When we look deeper into the Hebrew word tohu (תֹּהוּ), which is translated as “without form,” we discover that it means formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness, chaos, desolation, meaningless, and waste place. The Hebrew word bohu (בֹּהוּ), which is translated as “void” means emptiness or an undistinguishable ruin. The Hebrew word choshek (חשֶׁךְ), means obscurity (the state of being unknown, inconspicuous, or unimportant) and literal darkness (as opposed to light). However, it carries figurative meanings of misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, and wickedness. Do these words really give us an indication that nothing at all existed, or could they be painting a different picture?

There are a few prophecies in the Bible that provide clues about the primeval state of the earth. Through the prophet Ezekiel, our Creator YHVH (יְהוָֹה) revealed that one of His bright and splendorous cherubim (angelic beings), who was present in the Garden of Eden, became corrupted because of his pride, was filled with violence, and was cast out of heaven to the ground (earth) for his iniquities (Ezekiel 28:12-19). Furthermore, through the prophet Isaiah, YHVH revealed how the shining one (aka Lucifer) had fallen (naphal) from heaven and had been hewn down to the earth for seeking to exalt himself above YHVH (Isaiah 14:12-14). In Revelation 12:9 we learn that a great dragon or serpent known as Satan (aka the Devil) and his angels were cast down from heaven to the earth. Although the Bible doesn’t clearly identify the exact timeframe in which the fall of Satan occurred, it is clear that it happened in close proximity to the creation of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2), because that old serpent was already present in the garden to deceive Eve (Genesis 3).

Is it possible that Satan’s fall occurred before Eden’s creation and that he was already here trying to make himself the god of the earth (2 Corinthians 4:4) creating chaos, confusion, desolation, emptiness, and an undistinguishable ruin? Satan is the author of confusion, chaos, disorder, death, and destruction. 1 Corinthians 14:33 clearly tells us that YHVH is not the author of confusion, so if confusion (tohu) was the state of the primeval earth, we must ask how it came to such a state?

I believe we can learn something incredible by digging deeper into the Hebrew language in the last half of Genesis 1:2. It says, “And the Spirit (Ruach, breath) of God moved upon the face (surface) of the waters.” The Hebrew word translated as “moved” is rachaph (רָחַף). In the specific context of Genesis 1:2, rachaph means hovering or brooding. It means to move gently over something while cherishing it, like a mother hen does to her baby chicks. Matthew 23:37 reveals the heart of YHVH to brood over his beloved like a mother hen to her chicks. My own personal testimony is one of a life that YHVH chose out of a state of chaos, confusion, emptiness, obscurity, darkness, and wickedness. He lovingly brooded over me, won my heart to His, and has created order and beauty in my life. YHVH is hovering or brooding over your waters right now with the same purpose in mind for you.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the Hebrew word for waters, which is mayim (מַיִם), and we’ll discover more about what YHVH’s Spirit was brooding over in Genesis 1. Mayim is two mems connected by a yod.  The ancient Hebrew pictograph of the letter mem looks like waves of water and carries a meaning of chaos (see chart in link). In Jewish tradition mem is associated directly with the word mayim and both mean waters, peoples, nations, languages, and tongues. An angel revealed to the John the apostle that waters represented people, multitudes, nations, and tongues (Revelation 17:15). The letter yod represents a hand and the omnipresence of YHVH. Therefore, mayim has a deeper meaning of YHVH’s presence or hand in the midst of the waters.

As the Ruach (Spirit) of YHVH hovered over the waters, He foresaw the people, multitudes, nations, and tongues that would be birthed of His creation. There are several places in the Bible that reveal to us that YHVH knew us before we were created in our mother’s womb. Psalm 139:15-16 says, “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lower parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them.” Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and ordained thee a prophet to the nations.”

Furthermore, Ephesians 1:4 says, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” According to His own words, our Creator revealed to us that He specially designed us in His book (like an engineer or architect drafts a plan of their intended creation), knew us, and chose us before we were even conceived in our mother’s womb. I hope you can see a caring, nurturing heart that sees this state of chaos (tohu), emptiness (bohu), obscurity, and darkness (choshek) and is being moved to bring about the fullness of order, beauty, and life that is pleasing to Him. Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

You were foreknown, chosen, and specially created for YHVH’s pleasure. With His love for you and me at heart, YHVH spoke over the total darkness and obscurity that was upon the earth and He brought forth the light. The Hebrew text of Genesis 1:3 does not say that he created (bara) or made (asah) light on the first day. Rather the text records YHVH saying, “Let there be light!” The Hebrew word translated as “let there be” is hayah (הָיָה) and it means to come to pass, become, or be. Hayah is the word YHVH used twice when He introduced himself to Moses as “I AM who I AM” (Exodus 3:14). It carries the connotation of something existing.

Genesis 1:3 says that YHVH spoke for light to be (hayah) and there was (hayah) light. The light suddenly appeared right at YHVH’s word! What was this light that God saw and declared to be good (Genesis 1:4)? John 1 definitively states what Light was there in the beginning with God before all of creation was made. It says that Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) is the Light that was there with God in the beginning and that by him all things were created. Colossians 1 also indicates that Yeshua existed before all things, that all things were created by Him, and that we were made to be partakers of the light and not the darkness.

From the very beginning, YHVH purposed that light (good) and darkness (wickedness) be separate, so that His special creation was created in the light and not the darkness. Therefore, He “divided the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:4). The Hebrew word badal means to separate, divide, set apart, and to make a distinction. So, YHVH was making a separation or division between the Light that was good and the obscurity, darkness, death, destruction, and wickedness (choshek) that was on the surface of the deep.

I have always loved how the Bible always confirms itself! 2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who commanded the light to shine forth out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Yeshua stated, “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). He also declared, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46). Before YHVH created humankind, He brought the Light into the world, so that humans would not have to live in obscurity and darkness. What a loving Creator!

I hope you understand that the separation or distinction between light and darkness was not simply about physical light and darkness, but also a distinction between spiritual light and spiritual darkness. Verse four of Genesis 1 says that YHVH called this light Day and this darkness Night. If this night and day represented only the physical presence of temporal light and the absence of temporal light that we understand as day and night on this earth, we would have a problem reconciling that when we get to Genesis 1:14-19. The sun, moon, and stars were not created until the fourth day and they were created to divide the temporal day from the temporal night (Genesis 1:14).

The Apostle Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica should help us confirm that day one was all about making a distinction between spiritual light and spiritual darkness, before the plants, animals, and people were to be created. YHVH had to set first things in order first, so that we would be created in the Light and not in the darkness. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul tells the disciples of Yeshua that they are not in darkness, that the day of the Lord (judgment day) should overtake them as a thief in the night. He declares to them, “Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:5). This premier student of the Torah, who studied under the prominent first century Tanach (aka Old Testament) teacher Gamaliel, understood exactly what he was alluding to when he admonished the disciples in Thessalonica with these specific words. Paul understood the spiritual day and night concept of Genesis 1:5 very well and he was calling the disciples to be set apart to the Light and not to the darkness!

It must be well understood that any allusion to the spiritual day and night concept of Genesis 1:5 in no way negates the fact that day one was still defined as a literal twenty-four hour period of day and night. The use of the Hebrew word yom (יוֹם) for “day” defines it as such. Additionally, the textual context of Genesis 1:5 defines the day as including both the evening and the morning. YHVH Himself defined the Light that existed before the sun, moon, and stars as Day and the darkness (choshek) that existed in the absence of the sun, moon, and stars as Night. Therefore, to interpret yom (day), as it is used in context in Genesis 1, as an indefinite period of time, would be considered erroneous biblical exegesis.

After separating light from darkness, YHVH needed to make some further distinctions or separations. Genesis 1:6-8 tell us that YHVH spent the second day creating a firmament in the midst of the waters to divide the waters below from the waters above. The Hebrew word raqia (רָקִיעַ), translated as firmament, is understood as a solid, supporting arch of the sky or vault of heaven, that keeps the waters above separate from the waters below. Tachath (תַּחַת) is the Hebrew word used to describe the waters that were under or below the firmament, and it is pointing to “the deep” (tehom) of Genesis 1:1 (see the BDB note on adverb accusative before 1c). Tachath is not the seas or oceans as we understand them today. The seas, which were created on day three, are represented by a different Hebrew word (yam). We remember that tohu (chaos, confusion), bohu (emptiness, ruin), and choshek (obscurity, darkness, wickedness) were on the surface of the deep (tehom).

What waters were above the firmament (raqia) that required the installation of a solid arch or shield to keep them separated from the deep beneath? YHVH actually called the firmament heaven (shamayim) in verse 8, not raqia as in verses 6-7. One common theory holds that the word shamayim is a construct involving the word mayim and the prefix shin, carrying a meaning of “like waters.” What is even more interesting to me is that the Encyclopedia Judaica records that the pictograph of the ancient letter shin represented a composite bow (see second sentence under Origins in link).  Therefore, the shin represents YHVH’s bow that separates or makes a distinction between the waters above (the Kingdom of Heaven) from the waters beneath (the kingdom of earth). Such an understanding will give greater clarity to what we will see when we get to Genesis 6.

After establishing His bow to separate the two kingdoms, YHVH made another distinction or separation on the third day of creation. Verses 9-13 record that YHVH commanded for the waters under the firmament (the deep) to be gathered together in one place (Seas) and let the dry land (Earth) appear. YHVH was now creating a separation in the kingdom of Earth below between the tohu (chaos, confusion), bohu (emptiness, ruin), and choshek (obscurity, darkness, wickedness) of the deep and the dry land that humankind would inhabit. He declared this separation was good. Do you see His perfect order in creating the perfect environment for humankind to thrive? I see a loving Creator building the safest house (nesting) for His children before they arrive.

As soon as the dry land appeared, YHVH commanded the grass, herbs, and fruit bearing trees to come forth. Chaos, confusion, ruin, and darkness were held at bay. They had no influence on the dry earth. Isaiah 55:11 says, “So My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.” The green grass, the herbs, and the fruit bearing trees sprung up out of the dry ground at YHVH’s command and prospered. YHVH had created a plentiful food source and brought it to the full maturity of bearing fruit containing seed in just one day under the Light that we met in verse three (Genesis 1:12). The sun had not yet been created to sustain the plants.

There is an important spiritual principle in the third day that I want us all to consider. YHVH’s perfect and expressed will is that tohu (chaos, confusion), bohu (emptiness, ruin), and choshek (obscurity, darkness, wickedness) be separate and distinct from our habitation. When it is kept completely separate and distinct (when we are set apart or holy), and we are growing in the presence of the Light (Yeshua), YHVH’s spoken words are instantly fulfilled and bearing fruit in us. If we find that YHVH’s words are being spoken over us, but they are not being fulfilled and bearing fruit, we need to audit or lives, hearts, and minds to check for the presence of tohu, bohu, and choshek mixing into our habitation and/or the absence of the Light (Yeshua).

It has been my personal experience and observation of many others that when we check our hearts and purpose ourselves to be truly separate from any and all forms of chaos, confusion, darkness, and wickedness, the words of YHVH suddenly spring forth and bear fruit in our lives. The presence of tohu, bohu, and choshek can be present in attitudes of self-righteousness, harsh judgment, bitterness, anger, resentment, and unforgiveness. It can also be present in the ways we choose to pursue our own pleasure, the forms of entertainment we choose, or something entirely different. We need to be careful that we do not bring wickedness into our habitation in any form. Pray for the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to hover over the depths of your heart and reveal the things that need to be separated from you, so that you can truly experience all the fruitfulness that He desires in your life.

We have finally made it to day four of creation and the last section of this article! As mentioned previously, Genesis 1:14-19 tell us how YHVH created the sun, moon, and the stars to divide the literal day from the literal night on day four of creation. The text of verse 14 also says that they were created for signs (oth), seasons (moedim), days, and years. The Hebrew word oth (אוֹת) means a sign, banner, omen, pledge, standard, and witness. There are some who practice the science of biblical or Hebrew astronomy and believe the constellations of stars (Mazzaroth) were created as a sign or witness to tell the story of the redemption of mankind. Additionally, the Hebrew word for seasons (moedim), means appointed time, place, or meeting and is the same Hebrew word used in Leviticus 23:2,4,37, & 44 to define the “the appointed times (feasts) of the LORD.”

Simply put, the sun, moon, and stars exist as a timepiece to ensure we arrive on time to our appointment to get into YHVH’s presence. Don’t be late for your appointment! Meet Him in prayer this very day! He’s waiting with outstretched arms and a kind, compassionate, merciful, patient, and loving heart to receive His beloved.

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalms 16:11 (KJV)

© 2019 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved

*If you enjoyed this study and were blessed by it, please consider purchasing the first volume of my two-volume life application study of King David’s life here.

**This is the first in a series of articles that are designed to be used as a through-the-Bible curriculum for teaching students of any age about the heart of YHVH, as communicated to the world through His written word. Homeschooled students can fulfill some Language Arts and History requirements with this curriculum. Students are learning to read for comprehension, to study vocabulary, to study history of the ancient world, and are practicing their handwriting and writing skills to summarize what they have learned. They will also be creating a written copy of YHVH’s word in the process, thereby maximizing their retention of the material. Therefore, please provide students with a composition notebook. Young children do not need to understand everything. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). In hearing the word of God, the seed will be planted in their heart. The Master Gardener will tend to the seed throughout their life and cause it to grow fruitful.

Questions 1-2 are given to students to complete before reading through the article, while questions 3-8 can be answered at the end of each respective section of the article:

  1.  Read Genesis 1:1-19 and handwrite a copy.
  2.  Summarize it in your own words.
  3.  What do the Hebrew words tell you about the original state of our planet?
  4.  What event does Ezekiel 28:12-19, Isaiah 14:12-14 and Revelation 12:9 tell us about and when do you think it happened?
  5.  What was the Spirit of God hovering or brooding over?
  6.  When God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light on the first day of creation, what light was there? Was it the sun, moon, and stars or some other light?
  7.  Why did God need to make a distinction or separation between the light and darkness, the waters above and below, and the seas and land, before creating life on Earth?
  8.  What do you think about the Creator and His heart toward you?

 

 

Swimming with the Fishes

Try to imagine how you would feel if you were asked to show love and mercy to someone who relentlessly and brutally attacked and plundered you. When God asked Jonah to go to those who had been his enemy and tormentors (the people of Ninevah) with a message offering His mercy if they repented of their wicked deeds, it was the last thing on earth Jonah wanted to do! Many of us can probably relate to Jonah’s emotional response. When someone offends us, it is our basic human nature to desire that our offender receive just punishment for their evil deeds. Usually, the last thing we desire is to show love to our enemy, bless them, do good to them, and pray for them. However, isn’t that precisely what God was asking of Jonah?

Has the Holy Spirit ever specifically asked you to do what He asked of Jonah, outside of reading Yeshua’s commandment to His disciples (Lk. 6:27-38)? Such a request from Him is a test of our true heart condition. Will we pick up our cross and follow Yeshua? Do we understand that God was putting His prophet Jonah through the very same test? Why did Jonah fail the test? We’re going to learn why he failed and why we often do.

Unfortunately, like a lot of us, Jonah thought he had a heart after God. However, when put to this particular test, many of us learn that we have limits of what we are willing to do for Him. Jonah’s first response to God’s request is similar to what many of us do. We run the other direction as far and as fast as we can, screaming, “You want me to do what, Lord? Don’t you know how evil what they did to me was? They broke your laws, broke my heart, and deserve your wrath, not mercy! I simply cannot and will not do what You are asking! You must think I am a lot stronger than I really am to ask this of me.” Then, we try to separate ourselves as far as possible from that person the Lord is asking us to show His love and mercy to. Am I right?

After we have defied God, like Jonah, we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of the storms of life, feeling as though our ship could sink at any moment (Jonah 1:4). When the mighty tempest of adversity is swirling around us, we love to blame it on the devil attacking us. Let’s be honest. We all like to think of ourselves as though we are righteous Job. However, we should humble ourselves, be introspective, and examine our hearts when the tempest surrounds us. Have we been rebellious in any way towards God’s plan for us? Have we fled from something that He has called us to do for Him?

Maybe He has called us to show love and mercy to our enemy, but our stubborn, self-righteous heart does not want to. That was Jonah’s problem. This tempest was from the Lord, because Jonah was rebelliously running from his calling in his self-righteousness. Sometimes, our tempest is from the Lord for the same reason.

Jonah’s self-righteous rebellion had tremendous adverse effects on others. He had put the lives of all on board that ship to Tarshish in grave peril (Jonah 1:10-11). How many people in our lives are we willing to adversely affect because of the stubbornness of our self-righteous and rebellious hearts? We often do not think about it when we make the decision to run away from what God is calling us to do, but there could be grave consequences that affect far more than just ourselves. No human is an island. Our community is always impacted by our decisions, so we need to heavily weigh how our actions might affect others, before we decide on any course of action!

Thankfully, Jonah recognized his responsibility in endangering these people’s lives. He took ownership for his sin and was willing to lay his life down to save those that he had put in peril (Jonah 1:12). These pagans on the boat had not done anything to harm him or his people, so he was willing to make the self-sacrifice for them. It’s too bad it was not in his heart to make a self-sacrifice for those he had deemed unworthy (in Nineveh), before he made the decision to run from God’s commandment to love his neighbor as himself. Then, none of these sailors would have been in this grave predicament in the first place.

Because Jonah was unwilling to make a self-sacrifice for those he had self-righteously deemed as undeserving (Ninevites), he had to sacrifice himself to the raging tempest, wallow in the stomach acids of the great fish for three days, and be spewed out like vomit. There is only one other place the Bible mentions people being spewed out like vomit and it deserves our attention in this context. In Revelation 3, Yeshua was addressing the congregation of Laodecia, who were notoriously self-righteous and unaware of their own depravity (Rev. 3:17-19). In their self-righteousness, they were lacking zeal to follow the Lord with a whole heart, so they were only lukewarm in keeping His instructions. For that He informed them they would be spewed out like vomit (Rev. 3:15-16).

Truth be told, in Jonah’s self-righteousness, he lacked zeal to follow the Lord with his whole heart. Now, he found himself spewed out on the beach like vomit. We often do not realize how disgusting our self-righteousness is to the Lord. Instead of presenting himself to the Ninevites in dignity, according to God’s original plan for him, Jonah would now have to approach the people of Nineveh slimy and wreaking of fish barf. He had refused to humble himself before the Lord and submit to His instructions. Now, he was being humbled before the Lord and the Ninevites. Are we zealous for the Lord’s instructions? Will we go, with our whole heart, to those He has called us to love in dignity, or does the alternative seem more inviting?

Thankfully, Jonah recognized he was in his predicament because of his own sin. If we have found ourselves in similar predicament, let us likewise recognize the reason we are there. Jonah humbled himself before the Lord with a broken and contrite spirit in repentance and returned to looking for the Lord’s glorious presence in the dark pit of the great fish’s belly (Jonah 2:4). He did not allow guilt or shame over how he had failed God keep him from looking toward God.

Jonah was not afraid that God would not accept him. Unfortunately, far too many of us stay separated from the Lord’s presence, because we are either too prideful and self-righteous to humble ourselves, or we are too overwhelmed with guilt and shame. We don’t come to Him, because we are afraid He will not accept us. If God could accept the Ninevites after all the wretched evil they had done before Him and to His beloved chosen people, how could He not accept us?

Had Jonah remained in his self-righteousness and thought himself like righteous Job, misplacing his focus on blaming the devil or someone else for his problems, he would have stayed in the belly of the great fish. Had he wallowed in guilt, shame, self-pity, despair, or any other negative emotion over his unfortunate circumstances, he would certainly have met his demise there. How many of us are wallowing in the pit because we were not willing to consider our own sin as the reason for our present stinky circumstances? Let us humble ourselves, as Jonah did, and be restored onto the path of life that God wanted for us all along.

For all his trouble, Jonah ended up pretty much right back where he started, receiving the same word of the Lord concerning Nineveh (Jonah 3:2). He was given a second chance, but it was not without the reminder of where he had been. He still reeked of fish barf the whole way to Nineveh! Likewise, sometimes our so-called clean slate still has a few crumbs stuck to it. Such is the consequence of our rebellion. If we want to walk through life with a crystal clean slate, we have got to be zealous for the Lord with a whole heart and obey all of His instructions.

The Lord is the ultimate accountability partner. He is going to hold us accountable to perform His Word, one way or the other. Sure, He has given us free will and the right to exercise it. Jonah had exercised his God-given free will, and that got him swimming with the fishes and eventually swallowed up in the midst of a raging tempest. Only when Jonah recognized his folly, and was ready to submit to the Father’s will, did he find himself walking freely on dry land. Yet, not without being drenched in the stench of fish puke! What is walking in our free will and against the Father’s will doing for us?

Though Jonah had appeared to repent and submit to God’s will, his heart toward his enemies had not really changed. His humility, repentance, and obedience appears to have merely been on the surface, in order to avoid dying in the belly of the great fish. He was still deeply self-righteous and unloving toward his enemies. Jonah was unwilling to consider God’s heart concerning the people He created. Jonah did not want his Heavenly Father to have any favor, mercy, or love for His wayward children. He was like the older son in the parable of the prodigal son (Lk. 15:11-32).

How are we doing at recognizing and mirroring God’s heart for all of fallen humanity, as He recorded it in Ezekiel 18:23, 32, Ezekiel 33:11, and John 3:16-18? He finds no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires that all repent and have eternal life. Are we ready, willing, and able to sincerely love the wicked and desire to see them come to repentance and salvation, especially when the wicked are the very people afflicting us? Or, will we pout and throw a pity party like Jonah, if God decides to shower our enemies with His mercy and kindness (Jonah 4:1-3)?

The bottom line is that Jonah had a sinful, unloving heart towards his enemies, who were his neighbors. He was transgressing the second greatest commandment (loving your neighbor as yourself). He was also strongly opposed, in his heart, to God’s will concerning the people of Nineveh, which meant that he was also breaking the greatest commandment to love God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength. When we truly love God, and are keeping the greatest commandment, we naturally fulfill the second greatest commandment, because we understand His heart of deep love for all humanity, and we want Him to have what His heart desires.

Jonah clearly never had an intimate understanding of God’s heart in the matter, and he obviously was not aligned with God’s heart. He wanted to see his enemies judged harshly and die miserable deaths. Jonah would rather die than see them redeemed and blessed by the Lord. Because Jonah was breaking the two greatest commandments, he was every bit as much in need of mercy from God in this, as the Ninevites were. The Ninevites were also guilty of breaking the greatest two commandments, from which all other commandments hang. It was their rejection of God and their lack of love for their neighbors that caused them to break all the rest of God’s laws by plundering and brutally murdering all their neighbors.

Frankly, Jonah was no more deserving of God’s mercy, in the form of a plant to shade him from the scorching heat of the sun, than the Ninevites deserved God’s mercy to shade them from the scorching heat of the fires of eternal damnation. The plant was brought about to be God’s object lesson to show Jonah he was every bit as much a sinner in need of His mercy, as the Ninevites. Unfortunately, Jonah was too blinded by his own self-righteousness and his offenses over the evil deeds of the Ninevites, to recognize the spiritual message God was trying to send him through the things happening in the physical realm.

What object lessons might God be trying to use to teach us? Are we too caught up in our own self-assessment and offense to be attentive to His attempts to teach us? May He grant us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to discern all of His teachings!

Jonah’s self-righteousness, and his feeling of entitlement to God’s mercy, caused him to get angry and throw a spiritual tantrum when his plant withered and died (Jonah 4:6-8). He did not realize that his heart attitude was causing him to lose the merciful covering of God. Jonah’s judgment would be measured with the same measure he had judged the Ninevites (Lk. 6:37-38). We need to be very careful that we do not ever allow ourselves to follow in Jonah’s footsteps. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Therefore, we are all equally in desperate need of God’s mercy. If we take the same unloving and self-righteous attitude as Jonah, we too could be at risk of losing God’s merciful covering (Mk. 11:26).

What enemy is our Heavenly Father calling to mind, right now, that needs to know His love and mercy? Will we respond to His call to show love and mercy to our brutal enemies? Hopefully, we will humble ourselves, wholly align our heart with His for the lost and perishing, and walk out our calling with sincerity and dignity. Though it is hard to do what He asks in sincerity of heart, it is certainly better than nearly drowning in a tempest and  wallowing in a dark pit, only to have to humble ourselves and do it drenched in the stench of our self-righteous rebellion. Am I right?

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”  (Colossians 3:12-15 NKJV)

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV)

 © 2018 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved

 

Before the Dawn

There is a unique daily sacrifice that was made by history’s most notable and well respected personalities. This daily practice was one of the greatest secrets to their ability to endure tremendous hardship and succeed in all the calling and purpose upon their lives. While most people in the world of their time were sawing logs in the darkness of the back of their eyelids, these historic figures were awake in the morning watch, [1] lighting a candle in the darkness before the dawn. They suffered not from insomnia. Rather, they purposed themselves to sacrifice the sweet sleep of the night, recognizing that there was something very special about rising early to pursue the gold that early morning has in its mouth. [2]

Three of the most notable historic figures, who rose before the dawn, were King David the Psalmist, Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and Benjamin Franklin, America’s Founding Father and famous inventor. Benjamin Franklin believed early rising was a natural, social, and religious duty. He was, in fact, so passionate about the benefits of early rising, that he wrote an entire book about it. Indeed, the books’ title is itself a famous quote of Franklin’s: “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” [3] Franklin was also known to quote the old German proverb “Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund”, translated “The early morning has gold in its mouth.”[2]

What gold was Benjamin Franklin seeking in the early morning? Was it the same gold that King David and Yeshua the Messiah sought in the morning watch? Or did all of them seek something even finer than gold, which could be discovered best in the quiet stillness before the dawn?

King David left a record of what “gold” he was seeking after in the pre-dawn hours of the night watches. David said, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water” (Ps. 63:1 NKJV). In Psalms 63:6 (NKJV), he said, “I meditate on You in the night watches.” Clearly, David’s purpose in rising before the dawn, was to seek YHVH’s presence and to meditate on Him; His character, nature, love, faithfulness, and sovereignty.

Additionally, David must have believed that the last night watch was when YHVH moved in power. Psalms 119 records that David rose to cry out for YHVH’s help and meditated on YHVH’s word before the dawn: “I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word” (Ps. 119:147-148 NKJV). Perhaps it was his meditation on the record of Moses that encouraged David in his early morning prayer appointments with YHVH: “During the last watch of the night, the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion” (Ex. 14:24 NIV). David certainly had no shortage of enemies for which he needed the Lord to look upon and throw into confusion.

The books of 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 1 Kings, and roughly two-thirds of Psalms paint us a picture of King David as an underdog who rose from the status of an insignificant shepherd boy, considered least in his family, to the status of one of history’s most glorious kings of all time. His is one of history’s most inspiring rags-to-riches stories ever to be told. Though we often look at David’s story as an instant success story after he was made famous by his victory over Goliath, his life and rise to the throne of Israel was anything but an instant success story.

For all of David’s victorious service as Israel’s army commander, he was rejected, betrayed, and driven by his king into the harsh desert wilderness of Judea for years of running and hiding to save his life. When he was finally recognized and crowned as king by one tribe of his nation, he had to endure seven and a half years of brutal civil war against the vast majority of his nation. When that finally ended, and all of Israel recognized and crowned him as king, enemy nations attacked his land, his children rose up in sin and rebellion, and there were two coups to overthrow his throne. He lost a handful of his sons, most under shameful circumstances, and, during his reign, his nation experienced the horrors of famine, sword, and pestilence.

Through it all, the Bible records David’s persistence to seek YHVH’s presence, wisdom, and guidance through prayer and meditation on YHVH’s Word and nature. David’s sacrifice of waking before the dawn helped him escape every scheme of his enemies to destroy his life. The ways in which David related with YHVH in those dark hours, strengthened him, gave him endurance, and encouraged him to persist toward the light that was just over his horizon. What an invaluable example we have in David! Will we sacrifice the sweet sleep of the night to encounter YHVH in the same way that he did? Will our lives leave such an incredible legacy behind for future generations, as his did?

David’s ultimate legacy is the promised son, whose kingdom would never end (2 Sam. 7:12-13). It is a legacy that would never have been possible, had David failed to continually pursue YHVH the way that he did. This brings us to our third historic figure, whose daily practice it was to awaken before the dawn. The gospel of Mark records how the Son of David, Yeshua, followed in David’s pattern: “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He [Yeshua] went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35 NKJV, brackets mine).

Like David’s, Yeshua’s life was no cake-walk. He was repeatedly mocked, falsely accused, betrayed, hunted down, and was constantly having to navigate cleverly devised traps designed to bring him to his death throughout the three years of His compassionate ministry in Israel. It was only by continually seeking His Father in His darkest hours that He was strengthened to continue His daily ministry to the lost sheep of Israel. Before every great miracle in the gospels, we see that Yeshua had gone apart to pray while His disciples slept. Even when He asked them to keep watch and pray with Him during His very darkest hour, in the night watches before His crucifixion, his disciples could not keep their eyes open with Him.

My fellow disciples of Yeshua, are we sleeping in the darkest hour before the dawn of His new kingdom? Or are we a wise bride who is awake, with trimmed wicks and oil burning in our lamps, daily pursuing His presence, wisdom, and guidance through prayer and meditation of His Word and nature in the morning watch? We are living in the time of the night watch. Our enemy is in hot pursuit after us. Will we have the strength, endurance, and encouragement to persist toward the Light that is just over our horizon? We will if we heed the call of our Beloved one saying, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with Me” (Song of Sol. 2:11 NIV).

As for me and my house, we will follow in the footsteps of these three early risers. My own experience of walking in this daily practice for the last two decades bears testimony to its ability to build the strength and endurance to finish the race set before us, no matter how many high hurdles or other obstacles arise before us. Therefore, we will continue to awaken before the dawn to seek that which is better than gold, which is every word that proceeds from the mouth of YHVH. How about you?

 

“How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chose rather than silver.” (Prov. 16:16 NKJV)

 

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.” (Prov. 3:13-15 NKJV)

 

“The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” (Psalms 19:9-10 NKJV)

 

“The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver. Therefore, I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold!” (Psalms 119:72, 127 NKJV)

 

© 2018 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved

Bibliography:

  1. Smith, W. (1863). Watches of Night. A Dictionary of the Bible. London: John Murray. Bible Hub. Retrieved from: https://biblehub.com/topical/w/watches_of_night.htm [In ancient Jewish times, the morning watch was the third watch of the night from 2am through sunrise. The Romans revised the night watches to include four night watches, the fourth morning watch extending from 3am – 6am.]
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2018, October 2). Waking up early. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:05, November 28, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Waking_up_early&oldid=862146241 [see Benjamin Franklin’s quote of an old German proverb]
  3. Franklin, G. (1855). Early Rising: Early to Bed, and Early to Rise, Makes a Man Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise. Northhampton: Abel and Sons, Parade. London: Nisbet & Co.

 

*If you were blessed by this article, please visit www.keyofdavidlove.com for more information and peer reviewer endorsements about my new life application study on the life and times of King David. The official release date of the first volume of The Key of David: Loving God & Neighbor is August 2, 2019. Stay posted at facebook.com/Keyofdavidlove or on Instagram @ keyofdavidlove

 

The Great Debate

There is nothing new under the sun. The debates that raged on in the first century still rage on in the twenty-first century. The new doctrines the Apostles of the first century had to contend with in the body of Messiah are still around for the twenty-first century Apostles to contend with. It grieves me intensely that I am personally experiencing a growing trend among professed disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) to discard belief in His divine nature, His pre-existence, passionately professing him no more than a mere mortal human prophet, more passionately than they used to profess him as the Divine Messiah, and eventually deny Him as Messiah altogether. Was He just a mortal human being and prophet with no pre-existence before His birth in Bethlehem, or was He a Divine eternal being who existed before Creation?

As always, the only way to address such questions is to review what the Word of YHVH has to say about it. We must consider the full counsel of His Word and not the full counsel of someone else’s word. No matter how well-studied someone professes themselves to be, or even has a reputation of being, we must be like the noble-minded Bereans and do our own intensive research. Despite the Apostle Paul’s reputation for being at the top of his class, studying under the premier teacher Gamliel, which would have required his having the entire Old Testament memorized word for word, the Bereans did not just swallow Paul’s words concerning Yeshua. They tested everything by the Word of YHVH, and so must we.

So, what does Scripture have to say about Yeshua’s nature? The two witnesses of Matthew 1:18-23 and Luke 1:26-38 both establish that Yeshua was conceived of the Ruach ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit), not of a human father, just as Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, had prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. Through the three witnesses of Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, and Luke 3:21-23, we have a record of the Heavenly Father’s own verification that He fathered Yeshua, inherently making Yeshua Divine by Father and human by mother. Yeshua also declared Himself the Son of God (Luke 22:70) and claimed that He and the Father were one (John 10:30). Additionally, Yeshua identified himself with “I am” on more than one occasion (John 4:26, 6:20, 8:58, 13:19), thus identifying Himself as one in the same with the “I AM” who spoke to Moses via the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).

Additionally, we have the witness of a multitude of first century Apostles who attested to the Divine nature of Yeshua. John the Apostle revealed that Yeshua is the Word made flesh who dwelt among us and who was there in the beginning of Creation with God and was, in fact, God (John 1:1, 2, 14). The Apostle Paul declared, in his letter to the Colossian congregation, that Yeshua is the image of the invisible God, in whom all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form (Colossians 1:15, 2:9). Paul also attested to Yeshua being equal with God in his letter to the Philippian congregation (Philippians 2:5-8). Finally, the author of Hebrews clearly stated that Yeshua is the radiance of God’s glory and exact representation of the Father (Hebrews 1:3).

I could go on and on with the scriptural support of Yeshua’s divine nature, but since CARM (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry) has already placed all of that scriptural support in one resource, I simply encourage the reader to further explore their reference. I would like to move on to discussing scriptural support for the pre-existence of Yeshua before His birth in Bethlehem. We have already touched on a couple of the scriptures in John 1 and John 8:58 that support His pre-existence. In Yeshua’s prayer right before His crucifixion, He confirmed the words of John 1, stating that He had glory with the Father before the world was (John 17:5). He also repeatedly referred to Himself as descending to earth from Heaven, where He was before His birth (John 3:13, 6:33, 38, 62, 16:28).

In addition to Yeshua’s own testimony, we once again have the testimony of the Apostle John, the Apostle Paul, and the author of Hebrews. John recorded that all things were created by Yeshua and through Yeshua (John 1:2-3) who was with the Father from the beginning (1 John 1:1-2). Paul lends a second witness testifying to all things being created by and through Yeshua, who was with the Father from the beginning (Colossians 1:16-17). The author of Hebrews provides our third witness to establish that the Father created everything through Yeshua (Hebrews 1:2).

Beyond His being present at Creation, there is further evidence of Yeshua’s pre-existence to His birth in Bethlehem, when we consider His identity as the Rock. Isaiah the prophet foretold of how the Lord of Hosts would be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both houses of Israel, upon which many of them would stumble and fall (Isaiah 8:13-15). He also prophesied of a foundational cornerstone in Zion and how those who believed in it would not be disturbed (Isaiah 28:16)  Yeshua referred to Himself as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Matthew 21:44, and the three witnesses of Luke, Paul, and Peter also testified of Yeshua’s identity as the rejected cornerstone, stone of stumbling, and rock of offense (Acts 4:11, Romans 9:33, 1 Peter 2:4-8). The Apostle Paul further explained to us that Messiah Yeshua was the Rock that followed Israel in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:4), out of which they drank (Exodus 17:1-7, Numbers 20:11).

There is an abundance of additional scriptural evidence to support Yeshua’s pre-existence to His birth in Bethlehem near the turn of the common era, as well as His Divine nature. Sadly, there is no scriptural evidence I have found  in multiple reads through the whole of scripture, or been presented with by holders of this view, for Yeshua being a mere mortal human prophet with no pre-existence. It is a wonder to me, based on the scriptural evidence, that this debate has maintained so much ground from the first century into the twenty-first century. 

I highly encourage everyone to simply read their own Bible cover-to-cover and discover the truth for yourself. Do not take anyone’s word when it comes to who Yeshua is. He said of Himself (Hebrews 10:7) that He comes in the volume of the book (the Bible), so know the fullness of who He was, is, and is to come, by reading the volume of the book.

 

© 2018 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved

 

To Forgive or Not to Forgive?

Humanity. We can be the most loving, caring, compassionate, faithful, helpful, and wonderful beings sometimes. But, let’s face reality. Many times, we are just downright ugly and deplorable in the way that we treat each other. I have seen and experienced my fair share of utterly despicable behavior; a so-called best friend stealing everything and assassinating the character of the victim, a so-called close friend stealing away their friend’s spouse, while they themselves were still legally married, and on and on I could go. Sadly, most of the worst behaviors I have seen and experienced came from family and friends inside the church, and even church leadership.

So, what are we to do when those who should know better, especially because they advertise themselves as Bible believers and disciples of Yeshua (Jesus), commit heinous acts against us? Should we forgive them? Do we have the right to not forgive them? I did not ask if we have the free will to choose not to forgive them. We have the free will to choose whatever we wish. But, do we have the right?

I recently read an article posted by a dear sister in Christ that intimated that we do have the right to not forgive someone, even someone who has sincerely apologized and attempted to restore the hurt they incurred. I found the article’s advice on the practicals of sincere apology on point, however, when she taught, “there is no rule that the other person has to forgive you,” that is where the author lost my agreement, because it was not consistent with Yeshua’s recorded words in Scripture.

We will start with examining how Yeshua taught us to pray in Matthew 6. When asked by His disciples how we should pray, He taught us that we should pray to be forgiven of our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us (Mt. 6:12). He then went on to admonish us, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Mt 6:14-15 NLT). This admonishment is repeated in Mark 11:25-26. Yeshua taught us the model prayer to serve as a daily reminder of the eternal importance of forgiving others.

However, forgiveness is not just of eternal importance. It is of immediate and life-lasting consequence to both parties of the sin. For the person who sinned, especially the one who sincerely repented and attempted to restore their victim to the best of their ability, forgiveness frees them from the guilt, shame, and condemnation of their actions and allows for the relationship to be restored and fruitful. While the repentant sinner may be forgiven by God, if they are not forgiven by another person, that unforgiveness can be held over their head by the enemy to constantly remind them of their sin, afflicting them relentlessly with guilt, shame, and condemnation for what they have done. It is just the reality of the human experience. They have no condemnation from the Lord, but people and the evil one are a whole different matter.

If we think the enemy only afflicts the person who sinned, think again! The person who chooses not to forgive the sinner, will also subject themselves to affliction by the evil one. The evil one loves to remind us of the evil done to us. He has many purposes in doing this. First, unforgiveness opens the door to a bitter root. Bitterness is a poison that will slowly suck the life and joy out of you. The devil loves to steal, kill, and destroy our life and joy.

As long as we hold unforgiveness, we have bound our self to that person’s sin against us and allowed it to have power and dominion over us. We can never break free and truly live joyfully, until we unbind our self through forgiveness. This truth is the same whether the person who sinned against us has acknowledged their sin and repented or not.

In addition to stealing or life and joy, unforgiveness also opens the door to the enemy’s lies and false accusations about God’s faithfulness. The evil one loves to deceive us into thinking that if God really exists and is really good and loving, He would never allow evil to be perpetrated against us. Many believers have been led down a very dark spiritual road by the enemy of their souls, because they chose not to forgive. Just don’t go there! Forgive!

Because Yeshua cares intensely for us, and knows just how spiritually, emotionally, and eternally vital forgiveness is for us, He did not stop at just teaching us a daily reminder in prayer. He went on in Matthew 18:21-35, to teach us the parable of the servant who was indebted to the king for 10,000 talents. The footnote in my Bible tells me that 1 talent is the equivalent of 6,000 denarii or “16 years of wages”. In other words, this servant was so indebted to the king that he owed 60 million denarii or 160,000 years of wages, a sum he could never ever ever repay. The king was going to sell him, his wife, children, and everything he owned to settle the debt, but upon the man begging for mercy, the king completely forgave the man of his entire insurmountable debt. 

The forgiven man then went out and forcibly demanded repayment of a mere 100 denarii owed him from a fellow servant of the king. When his fellow-man begged him for mercy, he threw him in prison, even though what he was owed was a mere 16 millionths of a percent (.000000167%) of what the king had just forgiven him of. When the king found out what he had done, he was sternly rebuked as “wicked” for not showing his fellow the same mercy he was shown in forgiveness of debt, and was then handed to the “torturers” until he had paid back all that he owed. He lost his forgiveness of debt and, being that he owed 160,000 years of wages, he would be under the torturers for 2,000 average lifespans….might as well be eternity….

Yeshua explained this was an allegory to the kingdom of heaven and said to His disciples, “So also My heavenly Father will do to you, unless each of you, from your hearts, forgives his brother.” (Matthew 18:35 TLV).

The truth is, we have been shown incredible mercy by the King of the Universe, and He has forgiven us of an insurmountable debt of sin that we could never ever ever repay.  We deserve eternal death, but have been given the way of eternal life. No matter how deplorable an action another person has done toward us is, it is like .000000167% compared to what we have committed against the Most High. He forgave His people of adultery and took them back. When Yeshua hung on the cross, having been falsely accused, mocked, spat upon, beaten, and in the process of being brutally murdered, He begged His Father to forgive all of them.

When I wanted to hold unforgiveness in my heart, He asked me what I had on Him that I would hold unforgiveness toward someone He had sent His Son to die for. Pretty humbling! Stay humble. Freely forgive as freely as you have been forgiven (Eph. 4:32, Col. 3:12-13). According to Yeshua’s recorded words, how we forgive others has an impact on our eternity.

 

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:32 NKJV)

 

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Col. 3:12-13 NKJV) 

 

© 2018 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved

 

Everlasting Kindness

You called me as one forsaken and grieved in spirit

so many times I have been refused

but You promised in Your faithfulness

I shall forget the shame of my youth

 

You, O Lord, my Maker

with great mercies You draw me near

with Your everlasting kindness

I have been redeemed

 

Though I have been greatly afflicted

tossed about in the deepest seas of adversity

You alone have laid my foundation

and You alone will deliver me

 

Though the world may gather against me

and speak such terrible things

no weapon against me shall prosper

for You will fight for me

 

You, O Lord, my Maker

with great mercies You draw me near

with Your everlasting kindness

I have been redeemed

 

*inspiration Isaiah 54:4-8

 

I recently stumbled across this old poem, which I had written in the note pages at the back of one of my old Bibles the year before I met my husband. It was written during a dark time in my life while I as not so patiently waiting for the Lord to bring me a husband. I had experienced many disappointments along the way. I was also facing intense persecution and fiery trials from someone who had set themselves as an enemy against me. As I laid my heart and my raw emotions bare before Him, He led me to this scripture and gave me so much hope and encouragement.

Having now been married nearly 14 years, and daily experiencing the sheer joy of raising our beautiful children together, I can testify that He has kept His promise. The shame of my youth has been forgotten. He also beautifully took care of my enemy and turned the whole situation around for good. He is so faithful!

© 2003, 2018 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved

 

 

 

 

What’s in a Name?

Everything in our life is ordered with meaning and purpose. There are no accidents or mere coincidences in what has been ordered by our Creator. Even the names our parents gave us were ordained to speak to our faith journey. Names are very important; they speak to our character, our nature, our calling, and our purpose for having been created. Our Creator has divinely inspired each one of our names, and they reveal what He has called us to be in the earth realm. After all, we were created in His image and after His likeness (Gen. 1:27), and His names reveal who He is to the earth realm.

Unfortunately, we have an adversary that seeks to make us the exact opposite from what YHVH has created and called us, by name, to be and to do in the earth realm. The last thing our enemy wants is for us to live out our purpose and represent God in the way He has called us to. So, he does everything he can to distract and deceive us away from that purpose.

In my upcoming two-volume life application study of King David’s life, people’s names are very prophetically significant to the things happening in the Davidic Saga. We see many people not living up to their names at all, and some who live up to them sometimes and not others. For example, David’s son Amnon’s name means faithful and morally true, but he was anything but faithful and morally true when he raped his sister Tamar (2 Sam. 13). David’s neighboring king Hanun’s name means to show favor and be gracious. Yet, when David sent gift bearing messengers to Hanun at his father’s death, he shaved and uncovered David’s messengers and sent them home exposed in shame (2 Sam. 10, 1 Chr. 19). He was not very gracious.

Examples like these can be seen all over the bible. In one chapter in Numbers, we see ten men fail to live up to their names. The names given to the twelve princes of Israel, that were chosen to represent all of Israel before they entered the promised land of inheritance (Numbers 13), were ordained to speak to the faith journey of all Israel, and not just to their own personal callings. If you take the meanings of the names of the twelve princes that God chose to represent all of Israel,  it is quite obvious that there was a message that God was trying to send to all of Israel in their big faith test. Let us review the meanings in their names:

Shummua = to hear (root meanings)

Shaphat = he has judged

Caleb = dog (aka faithful friend)

Igal = he redeems

Hoshea = salvation (YHVH is salvation)

Palti = escape

Gaddiel = El is my fortune

Gaddi = my fortune

Ammiel = my kinsman is God

Caleb and Joshua were the only two princes who not only lived up to their names, but also understood the message God was trying to send through all of their names. They were the only ones with the faith to believe that God had heard their cries to be delivered from the wilderness, that He had judged the situation righteously and was faithful to redeem, to save, and to provide a way of escape for them from the inhabitants of the land He had ordained for them to inherit. They saw only fortune in their future inheritance of His plans for them. They fully believed that their kinsman would fully cover them and save them alive. There was no question in their minds that He would do all that He said concerning giving them the land, despite how giant and weaponized the inhabitants appeared.

The other ten princes failed to live up to their names, and along with the rest of Israel, did not have eyes to see, ears to hear, or hearts to discern the prophetic message in their names that was meant to reinforce God’s clearly spoken promises to them. They were only focused on what they could see and experience with their five human senses in the earthly realm, so they missed the spiritual beacon. Because what they saw in the natural did not compute, in their minds, with God’s spoken word, they were filled with unbelief in His spoken promises, doubted His true attentiveness to their cries, questioned His judgment, doubted His faithfulness, lacked trust in His redemption and salvation, and refused to believe He could make a way to escape the well armed giants that inhabited the land. They did not recognize Him as their fortune, but saw only misfortune in His plans for them. They did not recognize Him as their kinsman, who would fully cover them and save them alive.

The great lesson to be learned from Numbers 13 is not just that we need to believe God at His Word, but that we also need to be ever attentive to the prophetic messages that our Creator has placed all around us to speak confirmation to us in our faith journey. He provides so much more than His spoken promises (also His written Word) to help bolster us in our faith. He can speak in anything and everything, especially our names. We must pray to have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to discern all that He is speaking in and through. We must resist having our eyes so focused on what we can see and experience with our human senses in the earthly realm, so that we do not miss what He is trying to communicate to us in our times of faith testing.

 

© 2018 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved

Rant Generation

Let’s be honest. There is something very satisfying about a good rant, whether it be our own ranting, or listening to someone else’s rant. This day and age, it seems there is no shortage of satisfaction to be gained. We can get our fill of ranting on nearly any street corner, radio station, television channel, social media outlet, or in any work place at any time of day or night. There is no shortage of those willing to share our “wisdom” with anyone who will hear. We have become the rant generation.

But, in all our ranting, are we satisfying the flesh or the spirit? To answer the question, we must first review the Oxford Dictionary definition of “rant“:

  1. speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way. (verb)
  2. a spell of ranting; a tirade (noun)

synonyms: deliver a tirade, fulminate, harangue, broadside, verbal onslaught

When we consider that ranting is speaking or shouting at length (many words) in an angry, impassioned way, synonymous with a tirade or verbal onslaught, we need to ask ourselves if such an action is born of the Spirit or the flesh. Is ranting a wise, godly, or biblical behavior? Is it something that a professed disciple of Yeshua (Jesus) should engage in, whether they be the one ranting or giving ear to the ranting of another? How are we representing the image of our Creator?

In order to answer these questions, we need to consult the Bible. What does God’s Holy Word have to say about speaking many words in an angry, impassioned way? We will start our examination in the book of Proverbs and work our way forward, to gain wisdom and understanding about this topic of ranting.

 

In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. (Proverbs 10:19 NKJV)

He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. (Proverbs 13:3 NKJV) 

The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. (Proverbs 17:27-28 NKJV)

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.
(Proverbs 21:23 NKJV)

A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.
(Proverbs 29:11 NKJV) 

And a fool’s voice is  known by his many words. (Ecclesiastes 5:3 NKJV) 

Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should  be heard rather than the shout of a ruler of fools. (Ecclesiastes 9:17 NKJV)

A fool also multiplies words. No man knows what is to be; who can tell him what will be after him? (Ecclesiastes 10:14 NKJV)

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; (James 1:19 NKJV)

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. (James 1:26 NKJV)

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.  They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. (1 Peter 3:9-11 NIV)

After examining what the scriptures have to say about our speech, I am heavily convicted that ranting is not a wise, godly, or biblical thing for the disciple of Yeshua to be engaged in, on either end. It seems clear to me that whatever satisfaction we gain by spouting off a good rant or allowing ourselves to be entertained by someone else’s rant, is a feeding of our flesh man and folly to boot. Wisdom is a very big part of God’s nature, and part of the image we are called to reflect, and it is clear from His Word that we do not reflect wisdom when we rant. As believers, we need to be careful not to get caught up in this very popular move of our generation.

 

© 2018 Angela Dawn, Passion For Yeshua – all rights reserved