This morning Rhonda was reading in Exodus concerning the building of the Tabernacle, the earthly example of the Throne Room and the earthly dwelling of the Presence of God . As she read and we discussed, we began to see a picture we would like to share concerning a portion of that process and perhaps some application to us today.22
God asked for the people’s involvement in building the Tabernacle by bringing contributions as their heart would prompt them for His work. They were all involved in one degree or another – both women and men – as God gave them anointing and wisdom. Just as Abba used all His children to build the first earthly expressionof His dwelling, we today are still being used by Him to build up His dwelling . . . once again He is endowing with anointing and power to do His building . . .
Joel 2:28 ‘ . . .and it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29 Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
“ . . .4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood ( order of Melchizedek ), to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ . . .” 1 Peter 2
“ . . .19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit . . .” Ephesians 2
As we look at all that was made for the Tabernacle ( the Mishkan – the place of His Shekinah, His Presence ) the one item that stood out for us today is the Lampstand – the Menorah – and it’s connection not only to the beginning verses of The Revelation but also the parable of the 10 virgins. We will attempt here to share some insight into that connection.
The Menorah – the 7-light Lampstand – stood in the Holy Place giving Light to the enclosed area containing the Table of ShowBread and the Altar of Incense. A side note, the Showbread or ‘Bread of the Face’ is a picture of Redeemed Israel ( which includes every blood-bought believer ) in their sinless perfected condition( therefore ‘unleavened bread’ ) before the Face of our Father, illuminated by the Light which is Yeshua. (John 8:12)
Now, back to the Lampstand. Revelation speaks of 7 lampstands ( which represent 7 congregations, a full picture of the Bride, the fulfillment of His vow ) and the One Who walks in their midst, which again is the Bridegroom Yeshua. As we contemplated the Menorah and it’s embellishments ( for example the 5 embellishments on each branch – 3 cups, 1 knob and 1 bud- ‘5’ being the number of redemption ) it took our minds to a few other places – Psalms, Proverbs and Yeshua’s parable in Matthew 25 concerning the 10 virgins.
Yeshua, in Matthew 25, compares the coming of the Kingdom to ten virgins who take their lamps and go out to meet the Bridegroom. The word ‘virgin’ is a word that translates ‘ marriageable maiden ; any person ( male or female ) that has abstained from all uncleanness and has kept their respective chastity, and can be applied both physically and spiritually.
So these Ten go out with their ‘lamps’ to meet the Bridegroom. Five of the ‘virgins’ are described as being wise while the other five are described as foolish. From a Scriptural basis, what is ‘wise’ and what is ‘foolish’ ? Psalm 111:10 tells us “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom . . .” The same is stated in Proverbs 9:10 along with “. . . and knowledge of the Holy One is discernment . . .”. The Prophet Micah advises “ it is sound wisdom to fear the Lord . . .” ( 6:9 ) The same is echoed in the Apostolic Writings. Paul prays for the congregation at Ephesus that ‘the GOD of our Lord Messiah Yeshua, the FATHER OF GLORY, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of discernment in the knowledge of Him. ( 1:17 )
So we can understand that the wise virgins had a holy fear of God which leads to discernment which comes from knowing His ways. They, the ‘Wise 5’, also took oil for their lamps. In contrast, ‘foolish’ by Scriptural definition is ‘Godless’. “ The fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God’ . . .” ( Psalm 14:1, 53:1 ) “ For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD; . . .” Isaiah 32:6 They are the ones that Yeshua spoke of in Mark 7 . . . “ You worship Me with your lips but your hearts are far from me . . .”
So we can understand the ‘Foolish 5’ have all the right words but it is all head-knowledge, without relationship and fear of the Lord. And by the way, they brought lamps without any oil.
Psalm 119:105 “Thy Word is alamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Let’s take a look at these two words for a moment. How much good is a lamp without a lightbulb ? You can have a very nice lamp, but without the light bulb it is absolutely worthless. We must also remember to whom Yeshua was speaking. He was not speaking to a bunch of unsaved western 20th century rednecks ( I can say that, I am a redneck ) although it can and must be applied to us today. He WAS speaking to 1st century Sabbath-keeping middle-easterners with an understanding of God’s ways.
So here is the picture. Ten people ( a minion – the minimum number necessary to act on behalf of or represent the whole ) come out to meet the Bridegroom. They ALL have brought their lamps – the Word of God, the Torah, Psalms, Proverbs and the Prophets.
The ‘Wise 5’ – the ones with a fear and discernment of the Lord and His ways – brought OIL in flasks. The ‘OIL’ is what, when ignited, brings ‘Light’ . The OIL is a combination of the drawing power of the Holy Spirit through conviction unto Salvation – Yeshua – bringing LIGHT to those 5. “For in Him is life, and that life is the Light of men . . .” John 1:4
What about the ‘Foolish 5’ ? They have their Lamps but have no OIL. They have not combined the Truth with faith which leaves them in the dark without the Light of the World. “ . . . for we also are having good news proclaimed, even as they, but the word heard did not profit them, for it was not combined with faith in those who heard . . .“ Hebrews 4:2
So what do we have ? Ephesians 2 tells we are ‘saved by grace through faith . . . unto good works’, not by good works. Yet these ‘good works that were prepared from beforehand that we would walk in them’ that many walk in even before they come to Salvation are to be the indicator of to Whom we belong. The purpose of Torah is to show us our sin and our need for Messiah – the lamp and the Light – both are to work together ‘hand in glove’. Once we accept Messiah Yeshua we are not to discard the very practices and observances that pointed us to Him. We are to ‘walk in them’ in freedom and liberty – the outward signs of the inward change – as not only His servants but fellow heirs with the saints.
Is this a picture of ‘lost’ contrasted with ‘saved’ ? Sure it is . . . but it is more. Just as a foundation without something built upon it is worthless, a House without it’s proper foundation is unstable. There is an inexorable connection between the written Word which is ‘living and sharper than a two-edged sword’ and Yeshua Who is the Living Word.
Are we saying Torah and the keeping of commandments are necessary for our Salvation ? NO . . . What we ARE saying is Torah observance and obedience to God’s commandments are the Scriptural evidence of our Salvation and our Love for our Heavenly Father, and we can only come to Our Father through the Son.
(Exodus 31:13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, “Above all you shall keep My Sabbaths for this (* the keeping ) is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you.
1 John 5:3 This is what the love of God is: keeping his commandments. Nor are his commandments burdensome,
1 John 2:4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. ( * amplification added )
And by the way, there are not two sets of commandments – God’s and Yeshua’s.
We are saved by grace through faith. He – Yeshua – is the Chief Corner on which our House is founded. But without the remainder of the foundation – The Torah – the House is skewed. The House is established on the Chief Corner but without the rest of the foundation the House will be just a little cock-eyed.
Torah without Yeshua is a dead-end that culminates in separation from Abba for eternity.
Yeshua without Torah is Salvation, but salvation is not the end. It is just the beginning. To quote and old friend, ‘if it is the end, it is the front end’. Once we enter the Kingdom through the Door – Yeshua – there is a way to walk that has purpose – our Father’s purpose. Once we come to Faith through Yeshua, we are no longer ‘lost’, but we can still be a bit bewildered without the Torah for it is our map, and without it we do not have the proper direction.
He – Yeshua – is the Living Word, the Way, Truth and Life. Yeshua is the door into the Kingdom. There is something about the commandments of God that establish ‘standing’ within the Kingdom ( Matt. 5:17-19 ). We want both. God is Spirit, and we must be willing, especially in these days, to worship and serve Him in both Spirit and Truth.
Shalom to you and yours – J & R