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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Thirty-Third (Perspective)

I'm sure you've had situations where you got into an argument with someone, but by the end of it you both realized that you were saying the same thing or that you actually agreed on the point of contention that caused the argument. Communication between people is hard, that's for sure. Each person comes into a conversation with their own perspective, and that perspective is based on their knowledge and experience. Since everyone's experience and knowledge level is different, we don't enter conversations with the same perspective, and sometimes that results in some...passionate discussions!

The same issue happens when reading and interpreting scripture, and that can lead to some passionate discussions, too! I had a dialogue with someone this week about demonization and it was clear they had a different perspective, which caused a disagreement between us. Perhaps it was because of what he was taught. Perhaps rather than his experience, it was his lack of experience that created his perspective.

Whatever the reason, the difference in perspective caused some...irreconcilable differences, so we never came into alignment. But sometimes we're just meant to plant a seed, aren't we? One day, maybe during another experience he has, he may think back to that conversation and it will help him in a situation or he'll come into a greater understanding of something that he wouldn't have if we hadn't conversed.

If you think about it, the majority of scripture is from a perspective that we have to struggle to understand on our own. For example, there hasn't been a sacrifice in accordance with the process described in the Law in over 1900 years, and it's been longer than that since Yeshua abolished the sacrificial system altogether. So, all scripture referencing this system, and especially the fulfillment of all the different aspects of what it meant prophetically, are foreign to us and we have no experiential reference to understand it.

We can associate things like Yeshua's sacrifice and its representation as the Passover lamb since scripture helps us understand that (1 Corinthians 5:7), but that's just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Have you ever read through the description of how the Israelites were required to set up the tabernacle? (Exodus 25 - 27) If you have, or if you even read it now, you'll notice the detail of the requirements described. There are many aspects of the tabernacle that have significance, and I don't think we are even close to understanding all of them.

This week, for example, I was looking into the altar because I have always wondered what the significance is of the martyred souls in Revelation being under the altar (Revelation 6:9). While trying to figure it out, I found out that there are two things that end up under the altar or at its base: ash and blood. The animals are burnt on the altar (Just a couple examples: Exodus 29:13, 18) and the ashes from that fall through the grate (Exodus 27:4). Additionally, the majority of the blood from the animal being sacrificed was poured at the base of the altar (Leviticus 4: 7, 18, 25, 30, 34)

We know that blood is what makes the atonement for sin possible (Leviticus 17:11). We also know that the sacrificial system was just a shadow of the sacrifice Yeshua was going to make (Hebrews 10:1-14). If we read elsewhere in Leviticus, we find that the ashes of sacrifices were removed by the priest and placed in a ceremonially clean place (Leviticus 6:10-11).

From this, it seems as though one or both of these portions of the ceremony could be tied to the martyred souls under the altar in Revelation. The blood of Yeshua is what cleansed them of their sins (Hebrews 10:19), and perhaps if they were also represented by the ash (which also aligns with being purified through fire-Numbers 31:23, 1 Peter 1:7) then taking the ash to the ceremonially clean place might represent martyrs being resurrected and reigning with Yeshua for the thousand years (Revelation 20:4).

It's also interesting the colors chosen for the tabernacle cloth. Blue, purple and scarlet were the main colors, and they were used not only in the veil but the curtains for the tabernacle itself and the courtyard as well as the cloth used to wrap the various elements used in the ceremony. The truly interesting part is in what way each of these colors were used.

The curtains and the veil had all three colors included (Exodus 26). Individual elements had specific colors used to wrap them (Numbers 4). You can search for the meanings of these colors, but you'll find most of the elements were wrapped in blue, but two items specifically were wrapped in a different color: the bronze altar and the bread offering (along with the associated cups, plates and bowls).

Interestingly, the bread, which presumably is representative of the body of Yeshua (Matthew 26:26), was wrapped in a scarlet cloth. His blood shed for us, perhaps? The bronze altar, on the other hand, was wrapped in a purple cloth. This one is not as clear to me since purple is usually associated with royalty and I'm not sure how the altar on which animals were sacrificed equates to royalty. The only thing I can come up with is that through our atonement provided by Yeshua's sacrifice, we are able to be royalty. In other words, royalty is what reigns, so His sacrifice cleansed us to the point that we are able to reign with Him.

There's another perspective we should consider before we close this week. This is one that involves a topic we tend to revisit on occasion. To start, it's important to acknowledge that there are many people that disagree on the relationship, or lack thereof, between Israel and what is called today the church. Even those in the church disagree about this relationship, so it's not just a matter of the difference in perspectives between individuals in the church and the Jewish people.

Some believe that, based on certain verses of scripture, the church will be removed from the earth prior to the Great Tribulation (the time of great testing prior to YHWH's wrath being poured out and then Yeshua's return to reign). Some also believe that the Great Tribulation is meant for the Jewish people to see the error of their ways and repent and be saved. They both hold these beliefs in part based on the usage of certain words in scripture, or in some cases the lack of use.

The thing is, when you start to dig into it you find that the use of the word church (or ekklesia in the Greek) actually goes beyond what most would consider the church of today. Looking no further than the words of Stephen, we find that he called Israel the congregation in the wilderness (Acts 7:38). However, when you go to the Greek you find that the word used is none other than ekklesia, and that this particular version of that word is only translated to congregation in this verse. All other places it's translated as either "church" or "assembly."

It doesn't stop there, though. If you read through the Septuagint version of the Old Testament you'll actually find many uses of the word ekklesia, and, of course, all in reference to Israel since the church had not come into existence yet. So you can see that the church and Israel, when speaking from a word usage perspective, are the same. Israel was a church in the wilderness, and today's church is what Yeshua is building (Matthew 16:18).

So this week try to identify different perspectives you see in the world or in conversations you have. While you may not completely come to agreement with the person holding the differing perspective, just identifying it sometimes helps make the conversation smooth and less heated! Also, dig into some items in scripture that have seemed hard to understand because of your perspective. Ask the Holy Spirit for understanding in those difficult spots and see what He does!

Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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