Redemption1 speaks of creation. Why? Those who are redeemed are to fulfill the awesome purpose for which they were both created and redeemed. The fact that we need to be redeemed tells us that there was a marvelous purpose we were created for. If there were no purpose for creation there would be no need for redemption. But our Father's purpose in creating mankind and the infinite universe is more wonderful than the mind of natural man can imagine. Yet it is being revealed in these last days by the Holy Spirit to His people.2 So redemption is for the purpose of creation. If it were not for redemption there would be no way to fulfill the purpose of creation.
Redemption restores or recovers the purpose man was created to fulfill, for there is a purpose for creation other than what man is now accomplishing. Man does not know why he was created. There has been a spirit at work on the earth for generations to divorce man from the instinctive knowledge that he has a purpose for living. He sometimes asks the question, "Is there life after death?" He knows that he must die, but he hardly knows why. He cannot understand that Yahweh had a purpose, and still has a purpose for man.
At the birth of John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit came upon Zechariah to speak these words:
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people. (Luke 1:68)
This prophecy was not concerning a redemption from Roman bondage, but of Israel being redeemed from its fallen state as a nation.3 "Redemption for His people" is restoration to the holy nation Israel was meant to be. This prophecy looked ultimately to the promise to Abraham being fulfilled and Israel dwelling in the enemy-free land forever and ever. John the Baptist prepared the way for the Redeemer of Israel to come.
So the redemption of Israel had to come through the death and resurrection of Yahshua, the Messiah. He came to redeem a people who would be for Him a holy nation and a royal priesthood, who would produce the fruit of the kingdom. Yahweh initiated a another nation out of the remnant of both Jews and Gentiles.4 This servant Israel took national Israel's place in history for a period of time -- until they could put all of Yahweh's enemies and Israel's enemies under His feet. Thus they would fulfill all that Yahweh had spoken concerning Israel.5
When the disciples of Yahshua said, "We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel,"6 they may have only meant to redeem Israel from Roman bondage. Or they may have hoped He would restore Israel as a twelve-tribed holy nation to fulfill Yahweh's intentions to usher in the Kingdom.7 He told them later, "It's not for you to know the times my Father has set by His own authority."8 The kingdom would be put off for another 2,000 years from the time He spoke.9 His kingdom will finally come on this earth after the restoration of Isaiah 49:6 and Daniel 2:44.
He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make you a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6)
In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. (Daniel 2:44)
Since neither old Israel nor the first-century church produced the fruit of this kingdom,10 it would be left for another nation to fulfill. Therefore, there must be a restoration of the Community of the Redeemed.11 This will be a witness of His great love and power to redeem His people, who will be a light to the nations, which will shine to the ends of the earth, heralding the return of Yahshua to take up His kingdom on earth.
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (Luke 21:27)
This speaks of the time of His return, His second coming, when His enemies will be put under His feet.12 But before this can happen, what is prophesied in Luke 1:77-79 must come to light in the hearts of His people.
To give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:77-79)
The face of Messiah will shine through His people on those who are lost -- separated from Yahweh.13 Our Father still has a wonderful purpose that only redeemed man can accomplish.14 Our Father's redemption can only come to those who will totally entrust their lives to Him.
Our Master Yahshua made it very clear that only those who are now, in this present age, doing the Father's will are able to enter the kingdom of God.15 Many will try to enter but will not be able, because they are not now doing the purpose our Father has for their life. Yahshua cannot have anyone in His kingdom who does not do what he was created to do.16 There is only one way anyone can know what our Father's will is, and there is only one way to accomplish His will after one comes to know it.17
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:26-28)
In creation, our Father did what was necessary to bring forth man, in order to initiate and establish His ultimate purpose. Redemption means to restore or recover what was lost in the fall of man from his created purpose. So, redemption is carried out for the purpose of creation, God's determined will from the beginning.
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath. (Hebrews 6:17)
If there were no purpose for creation there would be no need for redemption. Redemption is what restores or recovers what our Father sought to obtain through creation. There is something very special that our Father did not yet obtain through creation.
Without redemption, man, His highest creature, could never be subject to Him in order to do what he was created to do. Man could not be restored to sonship under his Creator apart from redemption (joined by blood, then Spirit).18
Those who are redeemed were chosen for the purpose for which they were created.19 Redeemed men need to offer themselves to their Creator for that purpose. All redeemed men have the same glory that Yahshua received from His Father, in order that they could be one as the Father and the Son are one.20 Together they establish and build up the Twelve Tribes of Israel.21 This is how one knows that he is redeemed by the blood of Messiah -- that he is kindred, one, together, connected22 because he is doing what he was created to do.
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:20-23)
Yahshua's prayer tells us how redeemed men must be if they are to bring about the restoration of all things in this present age, in order to usher in the future age.23
There is something the world does not know that they must know before the next age can begin. They must come to know, by revelation in their hearts, that our Father really did send His Son Yahshua as a ransom, and that He loves them as He loves His own Son. This will be revealed by the light of the world, the witness of the Kingdom of God.24 What is the witness of the coming kingdom? The witness is the present demonstration of a holy people engaged in doing His will, reflecting His glory.
Our Father will obtain His purpose only after man does His will on earth in this age. His will will be done on earth25 as it is in heaven only after the unity of believers is expressed as a tangible body, synergistically working together to accomplish all of that He has spoken, bringing glory and honor to Him.26
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. (Acts 4:32)
Acts 4:32-36 is the expression of that unity and the key to how the Scriptures can be understood and obeyed. This was the life that Yahshua's disciples experienced for a short time after His resurrection.
When the first-century church began, all of the redeemed were devoted to fellowship.27 The word translated "fellowship" is koinonia. This means that everyone was included and fully active in joint participation, joint communication, distribution, and contribution to the social life and needs of the community. All they had and all they were was shared in common to meet the pressing needs of their brothers and sisters.
In baptism, they "died with Him," meaning they covenanted themselves to no longer live for themselves, but only for Him and His cause. This bound them in the New Covenant to Him.28 His word called for their loyalty and devotion to Him so that He could reveal Himself to those who obeyed His commandments.29
Sadly, too many of them went on without really gaining this understanding. As time went on they gradually drifted from their sincere and pure devotion.30
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. (2 Corinthians 11:2-4)
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But He loves him who follows righteousness. Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, and he who hates correction will die. (Proverbs 15:8-10)
Proverbs 15:8-10 was a way in the first-century church that caused its downfall.31 Many spent most of their time grieving the Spirit in them,32 if indeed they ever truly received the Spirit.33 We must learn from what brought the demise of the first-century church if there is ever to be a restoration that will bring to fruition our Father's purpose in this age.
The New Covenant is made up of only those who are thankful to be saved and are able to receive grace and glory upon them always. The New Covenant was inaugurated to establish the new Commonwealth of Israel.34 This holy nation consists of those who have received the Holy Spirit in their hearts, and when they are not abiding in this covenant, the Spirit is either quenched or grieved in them.
Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death. (John 8:51)
Those who are not quenching or grieving the Spirit in them will not see death, as they are pleasing in His sight, walking in the works that were foreordained for them to do. If, on the other hand, one is not walking in these works, you can know he is not abiding in Messiah, since he is not producing "much fruit."35 He is not devoted to the koinonia (fellowship) of Messiah's body life on earth in the community he lives in, or to the apostles' teachings, or to the breaking of bread, or to "the prayers."36
If one is not doing these things he cannot say that he is obeying the Son of God and doing what is pleasing to Him. And if by not obeying Him he is not grieving the Spirit, then he does not belong to Him at all, nor does he have eternal life, and the wrath of God still abides on him because of his sins which are not forgiven.37 This is revealed in his lack of power to obey Him.38
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
To be devoted to these four things in Acts 2:42, not breaking them, one must be filled with the Spirit. It's the only way. The covenant is the whole New Covenant Scriptures, commonly known as the New Testament. To disobey any part of it is not keeping it, and breaks all of it.39
These are the four basic requirements that those who are baptized into the New Covenant40 are absolutely devoted to:
To be devoted to this extent means that these four endeavors consume their whole being. Everyone must be devoted to the greatest extent of his being. Only in this way can one be doing what is pleasing to his Savior who bought him. The elders are devoted to the teachings and are teaching the Community continually. The prophets are speaking from their devotion to the apostles' teachings. The evangelists are proclaiming the Gospel and passing on their skill and revelation of the Gospels.
The prophets are prophesying for the whole good of the Community, for its up-building, encouragement, and consolation. The elders are the shepherds who care for and feed the flock (as Yahshua told Peter, "Feed My sheep").41 This is the only way the Way can be, where all the gifts are functioning by the faith and grace of the Holy Spirit, building the Body of Messiah in love.42
Restoration brings us back to Acts 2:42. This is the foundation.43 Everyone will be judged by how he builds upon this foundation.44 We are either for or against Him, building up or tearing down -- building up by our zeal for His house or tearing down by our indifference.
As builders,45 we build upon the foundation of Acts 2:42, just as they began to do in the first-century church. The first things that are mentioned are the necessities of the New Covenant priesthood,46 which replaced the Old Covenant priesthood and is the fulfillment of Exodus 19:5-6.47
"Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel. (Exodus 19:5-6)
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
It seems that all the believers in the beginning of the first-century church were building upon this one foundation with precious stones, gold, and silver, since abundant grace was upon them all.48 Only by the strength that our Father supplies can one build upon this Acts 2:42 foundation. Acts 2:42 speaks of a worthy standard which we can keep only by the strength or grace He richly provides.49 To build upon this one foundation requires a continual outpouring of His Spirit and grace upon the community.
Yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach, if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. (Colossians 1:22-23)
Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
The daily sacrifice of our lives to Him at the morning and evening gatherings, where we receive the outpouring of the Spirit, is the proper building upon the proper foundation. As we hear His voice through every member of the Body in the gatherings, our souls are being redeemed.50 Not only are we washed by His word,51 but He is equipping us to walk in the works that we were created to walk in, by faith.52 By hearing faith and responding with all of our hearts and devoting our lives, our minds are being renewed day by day to understand the good and acceptable and perfect will of our Father.53
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Yahshua the Messiah. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. (1 Corinthians 3:11-13)
We are either building with one material or the other -- either with the precious materials, which represent the spiritual (His grace and faith), or with common materials, which represents the natural (our own strength), which can never build our Father's kingdom. Surely we do not have to wait for Judgment Day to see what kind of materials we are building with.
As gold is tested by fire, it will be necessary in order to fulfill all righteousness that the Community in the last days will be tested to the core,54 just as Israel and the first-century church were tested. The fire and floods of affliction and persecution will test the quality of each man's work. It will be evident who has built on the Rock and who has not.55
Consider Yahshua's warnings to the falling-away first-century church:
To the Church in Ephesus:
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:4-5)
To the Church in Pergamum:
So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans [clergy/laity system]. Therefore, repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. (Revelation 2:15-16)
To the Church in Sardis:
To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: "I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore, if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you." (Revelation 3:2-3)
To the Church in Laodicea:
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. (Revelation 3:15-18)
These letters to the first-century communities revealed that even though they had a reputation of being alive, they were dead. This meant that they had lost their connection to Him and were continuing on as natural men with only an outward form, but no inward reality of His presence. They had a form of godliness without the power to continue in their love and devotion to Him and one another.56 Most had stained their garments because they were not devoted to the very basis of their priestly requirements.57 If they had been devoted to this foundation of Acts 2:42, then true praise would have ascended.58 But in reality there were only a few among them who were still devoted to these foundational requirements of discipleship.59
As the church developed in the second and third centuries, Roman Catholicism came into preeminence. Yahshua had long since lost His preeminence as they no longer considered Him worthy of their devotion. Acts 2:42,44 and 4:32 place that devotion clearly in the context of a life together, and Acts 2:42 is the only foundation one can build on. All else is false religion, if Acts 2:42 is not the foundation of one's life, nor is there any other context to truly care for the "widow" and the "orphan," as James 1:26-27 says, or to make Psalm 68:5-6 a reality.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit [which means to care for] orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:26-27)
A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. (Psalm 68:5-6)
These verses are not speaking of visiting orphanages or the shut-ins. The word translated visit in James 1:27, actually means to care for or look after. The life of Acts 2:44 and 4:32 is the only way that widows and orphans will be truly cared for -- in homes as part of a family. The only way the Body of Messiah can be is the way it was when it was the Way.60
Being devoted to these things is to have regard for your Savior Yahshua -- the opposite of Eli's sons61 who did not have regard for Yahweh. To have regard for the Salvation of Yahweh (Yahshua) is to have regard for Acts 2:42, especially the "fellowship" -- what causes fellowship within the Community to grow or decrease. Each person's work will disclose his true regard for our Father. To build with "hay, wood, or straw" does not say much about one's regard for Him. Eli's sons did not know Yahweh as Paul regarded knowing Him. To know Him means to have affection for Him.62
...that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (Philippians 3:10)
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD (1 Samuel 2:12)
It is clear that they did not know Him because they did not have regard for Him. Of course, they knew of Him. They were aware that His Spirit was in the Holy of Holies, and all that they were doing was to serve Him in His people. But they did not consider Him worth knowing or regard Him as their Sovereign. They were not fearful or diligent to do the work ordained for them to do.63 They did not desire the presence of Yahweh,64 nor did they try to discover His holiness, nor comprehend His worthiness or acknowledge His glory. Eli's sons were worthless because they did not understand the worth of their God. So they had no reverence or fear of Him. They served Israel in an unworthy manner.65
If the "church" is a holy nation, a royal priesthood, then Acts 2:42 is absolutely essential, for it is the absolute expression of absolute devotion to their worthy Savior, on whose behalf they were mediating to the fallen world, as a light to the nations.66 No longer was it only one of the tribes of Israel mediating on behalf of the fallen nation of Israel,67 but now it was a whole twelve-tribed nation mediating to the whole fallen world on behalf of Messiah, who died for the whole world. He died, went into death, and rose again in order to redeem mankind for the very same purpose for which our Father had created them.
He says, "It is too small a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make you a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6)
Isaiah 49:6 says that this holy nation is the light to show the world the love our Father has for them.68 Our Father will not be satisfied until He has a representative people who express His glory on earth.69 No one can be saved unless our Father's glory is revealed to him.
So he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate. (Isaiah 52:15)
The word is not sprinkle, but startle -- with amazement at the astonishing result of the suffering of His soul.
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong their days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in their hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:10-11)
His offspring is a people whose lives are prolonged to carry out His will on earth, revealing His glory. It is His redeemed people who are zealous for their good works, which carry out His will on the earth.70
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Revelation 19:7-8)
And after "His bride has made herself ready" He finally has a suitable helper for all eternity to do His will. Together they will rule over all galaxies forever and ever, to all generations of His very own image and likeness.71 Man will finally be restored to Genesis 1:27.
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Where can we find the elder or teacher who will show the people under his care just exactly what koinonia (fellowship) is in Acts 2:42? He will make sure all are receiving the abundant grace upon them to do their part.72 And if anyone is not doing his part, that shepherd will see to it that he receives adequate grace to do it.73 Therefore he is to be able to do exactly what Paul commanded Timothy to do in 2 Timothy 4:2.
2...preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires. (2 Timothy 4:2-3)
If verse 2 is not happening, then verse 3 will come in as it did in the first-century church, which now has developed into what we have all witnessed in Christianity. Who can endure to be devoted to shepherding and teaching, or to the koinonia? Who can be devoted to the breaking of bread or to prayer? Only those who are in communion with the Holy Spirit can and will be devoted.
Acts 2:42 reveals the essential, inseparable qualities of the devoted ones. They were the very original qualities of community life -- first in order and importance and development, and rank -- fundamental to all communities.74
Adherence to Acts 2:42 was the primary cause of the success or failure of community life. The lack of it eventually produced Christianity -- the fallen church. The blood or guilt is upon everyone who takes away from this devotion to our Master -- a curse upon every leader who is not a watchman.75 Without watchmen the people will be led astray and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.76 The Gospel and the apostles' teachings become legendary, and do as much good as "Alice in Wonderland" to lead a person to the Kingdom of God, as it is in Christianity today.
The first-century church was founded upon the foundation of Messiah.77 This is why after the first disciples were baptized they devoted themselves to these four essential things, which constitute the foundation. In other words, the first-century church was founded upon Acts 2:42. This encompassed all that Yahshua had commanded His apostles to teach new disciples.78 Surely Peter and the rest of the apostles were not disobedient to His words, so evidently the "many other words" of Acts 2:40 were the words that they were commanded to preach to new disciples, "Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."79
"And she will bring forth a son, and you shall call His name Yahshua, for He will save His people from their sins." So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." (Matthew 1:21-23)
"You shall call His name Yahshua" (Yahweh's salvation), the angel said, "because He will save His people from their sins." This is the name above every name,80 and there is no other name by which we must be saved.81 And this was the name those who responded to Peter's message at Pentecost were baptized into. So after the baptism that began the work of salvation in their lives, Yahweh was with them all.82 All those who call upon Yahshua's name must be under His authority, obeying His commands -- the very ones the apostles teach them in fulfillment of the Great Commission.
So they were founded upon Acts 2:42. This is the foundation and pattern of the church, which can be no other way and still be the church that Yahweh is with. Acts 2:38 told them that Yahweh would be with them through His Holy Spirit as long as they kept the covenant with Him. The Holy Spirit is with apostles who lay the spiritual foundation in the hearts of the disciples, teaching them to obey all that He commanded, and leading them to abide in true fellowship and unity.83 The apostolic teaching that they were to be devoted to included all that Yahshua taught84 -- the very foundation all apostles (wise master builders) are to lay:
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Yahshua the Messiah. (1 Corinthians 3:10-11)
Yahshua, the Messiah, is the foundation of the church, the true and only basis of our salvation. He is the chief cornerstone. The apostles are the trustees and publishers of His gospel and are referred to as the foundation upon which disciples are built85 -- the true church.86
Nevertheless, the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2:19)
The church is Yahweh's solid foundation, sealed with this inscription. The security of the church rests on those Yahweh knows are His, or whom Yahweh knows -- those with whom He is intimately acquainted. Those who merely profess His name are not His. He does not know them. But those who can confess His name show it by turning away from wickedness and iniquity. They are sealed, owned, and protected by Him (sealed denotes ownership).
So His seal is 2 Timothy 2:19 -- "Let everyone who names the name of Messiah depart from iniquity." Iniquities are the inherited bent ways in us, which are inclined towards selfishness and evil. In those who belong to Him there is no falsehood87 -- deceit that causes lawlessness -- which is the opposite of being devoted to Acts 2:42. If everyone were devoted to these things there would be no lawlessness, for lawlessness is anything we do apart from Him, which is sin.
This iniquity88 in us that causes lawlessness is that crooked way in us that is bent towards evil influences, which are always crouching at our door.89 All of us have been raised in the world in our own way, and the crooked ways which have come down to us through the generations have been cultivated in us from our earliest days. We must die to these crooked ways in us.90 These crooked ways in all of us who were saved out of the world are what has made the world a crooked place to live.
The Good News is the message of man's salvation, and salvation is being redeemed to fulfill the purpose for which you were created. Our Father appointed man, whom He created, to rule and restore the earth. Yahweh's purpose for creation is that man should rule even over His archenemy, an invisible spirit-being who is manifested in the fallen world. The highest expression of this fallenness is that Yahweh's highest creature is ignorant and held in ignorance of the purpose for which he was created. And the second highest expression of it is that fallen mankind would unwittingly glorify the archenemy spirit-being, who is known as the Adversary -- Satan, in the Hebrew language.91
The whole world has heard of the birth of "Baby Jesus" in Bethlehem, and songs are sung about Him, but no one is doing anything about the reason He was born.92
Because our Father, in the beginning of creation, appointed man to rule and restore the earth, and because He willed that the creature man, should destroy the creature Satan, there was an eventful birth in Bethlehem. That is why the "Lord Jesus," as the world knows Him, was born -- in order to fulfill the purpose for which man was created in the beginning. He came as a true man, an unfallen man. All other men were fallen and beyond hope of recovery. So redemption fulfilled the purpose that was not accomplished in creation. Redemption has been accomplished for the sake of creation.93
Our Father's original purpose was that man should rule first over the earth and then over all the works of His hands. The whole universe was the ultimate goal of His purpose for creation of all things when it is made habitable.94 Then man failed. But as Psalm 8 says, all things did not come to an end because of the first man's fall. What our Father did not obtain in the first man, Adam, He will obtain in the second man, the corporate man, Messiah.
Messiah is a corporate95 man, made up of all who have heard and received the good news of redemption. The Good News proclaims forgiveness to man, the fallen seed of Adam.96 The guilty seed of Adam needed forgiveness, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, short of their purpose in creation. Glory is the worthiness to "rule with Yahweh," which is what Israel means. Man not only sinned and fell, not accomplishing our Father's original purpose, but he also became the spiritual offspring/seed of Satan, coming under his power, as all who are born into the world are today.97
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)
The union between Adam and Satan in Adam's sin was deliberate, for Adam chose to disobey our Father's command. Eve was deceived. Man not only failed to rule, but he himself was brought into subjection to the evil one, which means that man has no other choice except to be under Satan's sway.98 This is why the second man has come. Just as Bing Crosby sang in his Christmas song, "God rest you merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay; remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day, to save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray; O, tidings of comfort and joy..." TIDINGS -- Good News!
To rule is to govern with supreme authority and command.99 Man not only failed to rule the earth and restore it, but he himself was captured by Satan's power, which is evident in the iniquity100 and inclination in man to sin and do evil. Sin is doing what you know is wrong, because all men have the knowledge of good and evil, upon which the judgment of the nations (those outside of Messiah) will be based.101
Man was no longer able to exercise dominion over Satan. You cannot deal with one whose power you are under without a liberator who is outside of his power. This was the very reason and purpose for our Master Yahshua's birth.102 Yahshua's name (which means "Yahweh's salvation") describes His work. Adam was the first man. Messiah Yahshua is the second man and last Adam. There will be no other after the last Adam. He accomplished all that the first man Adam failed to accomplish, and delivered the first man and his seed from the power of the evil prince of the world by the unity of those who are redeemed in Messiah.103
When He said on the cross, "It is finished," that is what He meant. The first man did not accomplish Yahweh's purpose, because he disobeyed104 and fell into the hands of Yahweh's archenemy. Man could no longer destroy Yahweh's enemy because he was imprisoned, and Satan had the key. "Man is shut up under disobedience." Man not only failed to rule the earth and rule over Satan, but he himself was now ruled over by Satan. But to disobey Satan is to destroy him. When anyone disobeys evil and does good, Satan is conquered.105 Only by knowing the true Man, the true One who disobeyed Satan, can we disobey Satan. Not one time did our Master Yahshua disobey God and obey Satan, even unto death.
Since man fell into Satan's hands, did this mean that our Father could never achieve His eternal purpose? That He could never accomplish what He created man for? Did it mean that Yahweh could never restore the earth? No! Because He gave His only begotten Son to be the sacrifice for our sin. Our Father never lost sight of His purpose for creating man.
Redemption is accomplished so that Yahshua could build His Community, which the "gates of hell would not prevail against,"106 but would now execute the creature, Satan.107 So redemption was carried out in order to fulfill the purpose of creation.108
So why was man redeemed? Nietzsche said, "I'd believe in your Redeemer if you acted more redeemed." Was man redeemed just so he could go to heaven someday after living in the world much like or worse than the rest of the world around him?109 Did He redeem man just to save him from "hell" so he could enjoy the blessing of heaven someday? We must know and come to understand that our Father wants man to walk in the very same way as His Son.110 He wants him to succeed -- to follow His Son in the exercise of His authority on earth.111
Our Father wants to accomplish something very wonderful on earth, but He will not do it by Himself. He wants the redeemed man to do it, and when they have done it then our Father will have attained His purpose in this age on earth.112 This must happen in order to open the way for our Father's eternal purpose to be fulfilled. Messiah desires men who will do His Father's will on the earth,113 so that in the coming ages He may rule over the universe through man.
Remember, our Father did not change His purpose because of man's fall. His purpose was to get a people,114 which He called "My edah." Edah is a Hebrew word which means community, beehive, or witness.115 It is really a better word than church. He also calls us His elect,116 the Commonwealth of Israel,117 the light of the world,118 His holy nation,119 twelve-tribed Israel -- for a purpose.120
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
The disciples of New Covenant Israel will be saved out of all nations to be a holy nation, that His salvation could reach the ends of the earth. This is what our Father is after121 -- a new man who will be like His Son. Since He is the representative man, the first fruits, then what He is like, the rest of those who are redeemed will also be like -- and they will enter into glory with Him.122
Redemption carries great weight when we know the reason, the eternal purpose, plan, and the ultimate goal for which we were redeemed.
It is because of His life within us that we, as His edah, can be trusted. Let us be worthy of that trust, and do what the first-century edah did not do. We who are of the seed of the overcomers of the first community, Jews and Gentiles alike,123 have been entrusted with His will. Today the man, Yahshua, is sitting on the throne of David.124 One day there will be one new corporate man, made up of many men, with our Master Yahshua on His throne,125 for this is our Father's purpose.126
The ways we know that we are His people are many:
Equally, the way we know that we are not His people are many,127 beginning with not being on the foundation of Acts 2:42. But we also must compare our lives at every level to the Word of God to have an objective basis for judging ourselves. For as Paul said, "If we judge ourselves rightly, we won't be judged."128
Matthew 1:21 says that He, the Redeemer, will save His people from their sins.129 Sin is all ungodliness and all lawlessness.130 Only by being in communion with Him will we be saved from all sin -- lawlessness and ungodliness. This is not just because He redeemed us or justified us from past sins, but because salvation involves a double work. The Good News tells us what He did for us and what we must do for Him131 in order to be justified by faith.132 The work of salvation is the work of redeeming us from our sins, guilt, and judgment by producing in us the will and the desire to say no to all ungodliness.133 So the double work is to redeem134 and to purify.135 Matthew 1:21 says save. To save is the work of the Savior. To be in fellowship with Him136 is to be safe from sin.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
Our Father sent His Son to redeem and to purify a people who are zealous to do the works that set them apart as the light of the world. These are His very own special people. His people are not only redeemed by His blood (forgiven), but they are eager to do the good works that were prepared in advance for them to do, that they should walk in them. Walk means to spend your life in doing. To be redeemed and purified137 is what it means to be saved: to be forgiven and then come to the knowledge of the truth,138 reaching full repentance.139 If we are not saved from our sins, we do not have a Savior, and we are not His people.140 He came to save us from our lawless deeds, but if we continue to engage in lawless deeds, we are still of the evil one.141
By this all men will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another. We must have love147 and we must love with it. Some may say, "I have love," but they do not give it. But if we do not give it, how will all men know that we are His disciples?148 If we do not give it, it could mean that we do not have it to give.149
What kind of love must we have in order that all men will know that we are His disciples, we who bear His name? What kind of love?150 It must be the kind of love that the Master Yahshua had for us. Those who give this kind of love prove they are His people whom He came to save from their sins. Redeemed people become more and more like their Redeemer. They belong to Him.151 They are spiritually Abraham's seed who is Messiah's Body, grafted into the covenants of promise.152 Not loving your neighbor as yourself is hating him, and hating our Father.153 But those who love our Father will also love their neighbor as themselves and will fulfill all things.154
Sabbaths are a sign of creation -- something to remember.155 Genesis 2 shows us that our Father rested on the seventh day. The Sabbath day is to be remembered in conjunction with the six days of creation -- the first day through the sixth day. Our Father did not rest on the sixth day or on the first day. He rested on the seventh day, because He saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was good. But when He made man (male and female) in His image, He said, "very good" and was finally able to rest.156
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:27,28,31)
Our Father instructed His people to remember the seventh day, to keep it holy. This was for those who would like to change the seventh-day rest to another day. But the commandment is to keep it holy (set apart) as a day of rest, which would be the sign of our Father sanctifying a people who do what He says to do. Yahshua said that the Law will not be changed or set aside or pass away until or unless heaven and earth pass away -- the very thing He made in the six days.157
We are to remember the Sabbath, because in six days He made heaven and earth, and He rested from all His labor. His people will always work six days, the first through the sixth day, and rest on the same day as He rested. So we must not regard this day of rest lightly, for it is the shadow of things yet to come.158
If the "Eighth Day" were here, then we would not be commanded by the Law to keep the seventh day, for it would be the eternal Eighth Day -- the "Day" after the Sabbath Age -- which will last forever and ever. Since this day has not yet come, the seventh day of the week is still a sign to be observed in the New Testament days, according to Colossians 2:16-17.
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the Body of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)
The light is shining from the Eighth Day, and the millennial Sabbath casts its shadow on us in this age. The shadow does not pass away until the fulfillment comes -- the Seventh Day. The shadow will continue until there is nothing (or no age left) to make the shadow. There remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Yahweh (His people).159
Festivals, new moons, Sabbaths, Sabbath days -- these are a shadow of things to come, which have not yet arrived. Where does the light shine from to cause the shadow? The shadow is cast by the millennial Sabbath age.160
The reality of the whole earth keeping the festivals, feast days, new moons, and Sabbaths in the next age is the object (the unveiled reality) that casts its shadow in this age.
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17-18)
Not until heaven and earth pass away will the Sabbath day as a sign also pass away from the Law. Messiah did not come to nullify the Law, but to fulfill it.161 People under the Law cannot fulfill it. Only those who walk by the Spirit and are under grace can, those who love Him with all their heart, and love one another as themselves.162 Only after the new man is fully developed will the Sabbath pass away with heaven and earth.163 Then creation will continue in the new heavens and new earth, filling the infinite universe in the eternal day.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4)
Only when the twelve tribes are raised up as a light to the nations, and the Sabbath is a sign, will the Seventh Day rest be ushered in. In the next age, the millennial age, the Sabbath will continue to be observed. It will no longer be just a shadow, for then it will come in its fullness. The rest and peace of Yahweh will fill the earth.
So "let no man judge you." Let no man judge the people of Yahweh (His people) who understand these things by revelation. The evil prince of the world, who motivated those who presumed to change the Sabbath to Sunday, will do all he can to keep the Kingdom from coming. So let no one outside of the Community teach you or judge you.164 Our teacher and judge is the Body of Messiah.165
So if we desire to know our Father's will, His plan, His good pleasure, and His purpose, we have to find out what caused Him to rest. If we see that our Creator rested in a certain thing, then we know that He obtained something He was originally after. We must not regard this day of rest lightly, since it is also written and commanded in the Ten Commandments.166 He did not rest the first six days, because He did not get what He desired, and was not satisfied until He did. So His resting on this day says that He accomplished His heart's desire. He delighted in what He had done.
The word rested is a declaration that our Father was satisfied. It says that His purpose in those six days of labor was accomplished, and His good pleasure in what caused Him to rest satisfied Him. His work was perfected to such an extent that it could not have possibly been better. Our Father was after something; He was seeking something in creation to fulfill His purpose, and He attained to it, so He rested. This is why we are to remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy, set apart, because it tells us why He rested -- that after six days He rested, because He got what He was after, and this would be the sign of Him sanctifying His people, who have His heart.167
What is it, then, that brought rest to our Father? What gave Him such satisfaction? During the six days of creation there was light, air, grass, herbs, and trees. There was sun, moon, stars; there were fish, birds, cattle, creeping things, and beasts. But in all these things our Father did not rest. Finally He made man, male and female, and then He rested from all His works.
All creation before man was preparatory. All of our Father's expectations were focused upon man, and when He had man (male and female) to propagate mankind upon the face of the earth, "to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it," He could advance His plan and purpose to all creation, all the works of His hands -- the infinite universe. But first Satan had to be subdued and his power destroyed.168
Only after He had man could He rest, for then He had what He could use to destroy the works of the evil one. He could have destroyed Satan Himself with a mere thought, but it was necessary to fulfill all righteousness that it would be a created being (man) that would overcome Satan, who was also a created being.
Even after the Fall He spoke of redemption for the purpose of creation:
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he [redeemed man] will crush your head, and you [Satan] will strike his heel. (Genesis 3:15)
He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, made it holy (set it apart from other days), because in it He rested from all His works which He had created and made.169 He hallowed the Sabbath day -- made it holy. And man is to keep it holy (keep it that way).
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8,11)
Man would be vested with the authority to rule over the earth and ultimately over the infinite universe. That was our Father's purpose for creating man. His rest was based upon man who would rule with His loving care and good authority.
Redeemed man will be our Father's dwelling place -- His home where He will reside eternally, His Body throughout the universe. Through them He will rule over the nations of the eternal age, and wipe away their tears, and heal them of all the deep wounds and scars of this age of fallen man. The "restored man" of the nations will see "redeemed man" as Immanuel -- "God with us," for they will be the manifestation of God's Spirit in their midst.
Yahweh made the seventh day a day to remember that He rested on that day for this purpose: so man would know why He was created, and never forget it. This would be a sign for all who are called according to His purpose.
But as soon as the first-century church lost its vision and purpose, as soon as they forgot to remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy, as soon as they forgot the reason our Father rested (because of the purpose for which He had created man), the lampstand was removed, because love died. The church died when their love died.
Thus says the LORD, "Preserve justice and do righteousness, for My salvation [Yahshua] is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed. How blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who takes hold of it; who keeps from profaning the sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil." (Isaiah 56:1-2)
Isaiah 56 speaks of the restoration of all things before He returns. The Sabbath will be kept holy again. This will be a sign of who His people are who are being redeemed in preparation for His coming.
In 363 AD, a council at Laodicea removed the sign, changing the Sabbath to the first day -- Sunday, the day of the sun god. The Sabbath will again be a sign between our Father and His people in the restoration of all things at the end of the age.
But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, "Above all you shall keep My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed." (Exodus 31:13,17)
Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2 show us that our Father's purpose and plan have never changed, even after the Fall. His will and requirement for man remained the same, without any compromise. His will in Genesis 1 for man to rule over all creation at the time when He made man (male and female) is the same, even though they fell from their created purpose. Psalm 8 was written after the Fall. David was still able to praise; his eyes were still set upon Genesis 1.
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. (Hebrews 6:17)
Our Father does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Holy Spirit did not forget Genesis 1, the Son did not forget Genesis 1, nor did our Father forget Genesis 1. So He doesn't want us to forget it either, even though the evil one has made every effort to convince man that God does not need him and that there is no real purpose for his existence.
There has been a determined plan in the dark heart of the evil one to make man completely worthless. Nothing could accomplish this any better than to lead him to live a life without purpose. But our Father never created anything worthless, including the evil one who was once a glorious archangel who led the other angels in worship. But he made himself worthless when he lifted up his heart in pride against our Father.170
In Psalm 8, David looked forward to the eternal day when our Father's purpose would be fulfilled.
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! (Psalm 8:1)
As in Genesis 1:26, man would make His name excellent, majestic in all the earth, by accomplishing what He was created for.
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of Your adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease. (Psalm 8:2)
Our Father will use babies and sucklings to subdue the enemy. "Out of the mouths of babes..." Our Father will use man, the most humble of them, to praise, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease. The enemy may do all he can.171 It is not necessary that Yahweh Himself deal directly with the enemy. His created being, man, will be enough. Our Father will use babes and sucklings. He has established strength through infants.
Our Father is seeking true worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and truth, those who have been redeemed to fulfill the purpose for which they were created. They were baptized (redeemed) as an appeal for a good conscience. In order to keep the Sabbath holy, they maintain a good conscience so they can praise. No one but a deceitful hypocrite will try to praise otherwise. Only those who are able to praise can deal with the enemy.172
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas. (Psalm 8:3-8)
"When I consider Your heavens..." David did not say, or add, "But how terrible that man has fallen and been cast out of the Garden of Eden! Now Genesis 1:28 can never be attained. Man will now be the slave of the enemy forever!" The heart of David had no such discouragement. In our Father's view the earth can and will be redeemed and restored. The mandate of Genesis 1:28, now in abeyance, will be carried out once man is redeemed and restored. Man will still be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over all things on it before the uninhabitable universe is made habitable for man.173
Then the new heavens and the new earth will come, in which the corporate Messiah will rule over all the works of His hands, and restored man will rule locally on the earth and other planets.174 The kings of the nations will visit the Holy City with their glory.175
But now, if we are able to praise with a good conscience, the feasts will once more be celebrated with mirth as a shadow or foretaste of things to come. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, those with a good conscience, will come forth mirth. Our Father can never accept pretended worship from those who have not devoted their lives to Him.
I will also put an end to all her gaiety, her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths and all her festal assemblies. (Hosea 2:11)
For old Israel, gaiety, song, and dance came to an end because of their unfaithfulness to our Father.
There has never been singing and dancing on earth as it is going to be when we can be like children in heart and soul. Mirth can once again come forth out of our mouths.
Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! Again you will take up your tambourines, and go forth to the dances of the merrymakers. (Jeremiah 31:4)
"Hallowed be Your name in all the earth ... Your will and purpose be done."176 This is why David, in Psalm 8, tells the same old story as in Genesis 1, ignoring the third chapter in Genesis where man fell. This is what Psalm 8 is telling us. Our Father's purpose for man is to rule with Him (that is what Israel means). The New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 is his rule, as Yahweh's prince, ruling over all the works of His hands. It is our Father's predetermined purpose to redeem and restore man to be worthy to rule. "How majestic is Your name in all the earth" -- David goes on praising as though he were not even aware of man's fall.177
Yahshua is "a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."178 In His infinite foreknowledge our Father knew that man would fall and need redemption. He made man knowing He would have to sacrifice His own precious Son to redeem man and restore him back to his predetermined purpose.
Even after man sinned and fell, our Father's will for man is still the same. He still requires man to overthrow the power of Satan.179 Yahweh is unchangeable. His ways are straightforward. He can never be overthrown. In this world there are those who have received some hard blows, but there is none like our Father who has been attacked daily and received continued blasts from the accuser. Yet His will has never been overthrown. Hallowed be His name. What He was before man's fall, so He is after man's fall, and after sin entered into the world. His will and purpose are the same now as then. He has never changed.
Genesis 1 speaks of our Father's will at creation. Psalm 8 speaks of our Father's will after man's fall. Hebrews 2 speaks of our Father's will in redemption. We see that the victory of redemption is that He still desires man to obtain authority and thus deal with Satan.180 "All things" (the universe) must be subjected to man. Our Father purposed it from the beginning, but now we do not see it, but we do see Yahshua, our Redeemer.181
How do we know that our Father originally wanted man to rule and cast out Satan? Because this is what Yahshua did (the representative man). But He went one step further. He had to die to redeem fallen man. Our Father intended man to do it at first in his unfallen state, but now in his redeemed state and position.182 We can now do it the same way He did it -- by keeping His word and walking the way He walked.183
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. (Revelation 12:11)
Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. (Revelation 14:1-5)
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. (Revelation 12:1-5)
The "Male Child" is the offspring of New Covenant Israel at the end of the age. "By the word of our testimony..." the Male Child learns from their mother, the Edah, how to overcome. They are trained to the third and fourth generation by those who love Yahweh and keep His commandments.184 They are the fruit of the obedience of the fathers to turn their hearts to their children, commanding them to keep the way of Yahweh.185 The sins of the fathers are cut off and not passed down to their son's sons. They learn to praise their Father in a time of torture and depression -- the great tribulation at the end of the age.186 They wrestle in prayer as our Master did by living out the "Sermon on the Mount" corporately in the Community of the Redeemed. Because of Yahweh's deep redemptive work in the last generations they will be the most like Yahshua of any men who have ever lived.
The Male Child: 144,000 of them, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes,187 will be sent out at the very end with the last words of warning from our Father before our Master's return, if by any means a few could respond and escape the wrath of our Father, which is coming upon the inhabitants of the earth.188 These 144,000 will all be killed by those who hate our Father, just as Yahshua was killed.189 The Edah will be called to make the same sacrifice our Father made in sending out their sons for the sake of any who might respond and find our Father's mercy in the final hours of this age.
Here you can see the purpose of the Edah, the twelve tribes of Israel,190 who are learning to rule now so they will be able to rule the universe. No one on earth understands that the end of the age will come through child training, but that is the truth of it.
For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him. (Genesis 18:19)
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.(Malachi 4:5-6)
In the beginning our Father intended man to exercise authority on His behalf to cast out the enemy from the earth, so he could be judged, sentenced, and cast into the Lake of Fire forever and ever.191 He wanted man to destroy Satan's power -- all of it -- but man fell and did not take his place to rule as the second man did.192 Therefore, Yahshua became the last Adam who came to accomplish our Father's word in Genesis 1.193 Originally Adam (man) was to rule the earth, and he will still do this -- in the second man and last Adam, and in those whom He is not ashamed to call His brothers.194
Messiah had two aspects of His humanity:
He would have stood alone without bringing about our Father's purpose of having many sons,196 if He had only disobeyed Satan and kept Himself from sin, but it was necessary for Him to offer Himself as the sacrifice to redeem or purchase us back. He who was not under Satan's power or sin's power at any time called us to follow Him.197 He opened the way for us to be redeemed to be like Him in all respects.198 He is bringing many sons to glory (to share in His glory, which makes them one).199 Our Father's purpose was to get a corporate body for His Son, a new man, enough sons to rule the universe through, those who are the very image and likeness of His Son -- a twelve-tribed holy nation.200 He is the representative man. What He is like, the rest will be like as well, and they will enter with Him into glory to rule and reign with Him forevermore over all things.
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers. (Hebrews 2:11)
Both Yahshua and those who have become one spirit with Him are all one,201 therefore, He is not ashamed of us, and we are not ashamed of Him.202 We both, He and we, are the sons of our Father -- "Abba, that is, Father." Abba means "source." We are our Abba's many sons who carry out His will, which will ultimately result in Him bringing us to glory. Redemption did not change our Father's purpose. On the contrary, it fulfilled the purpose that was not accomplished in creation.
The restored spiritual Israel of twelve tribes at the end of this age203 has two purposes:
...who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:14)
16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:16-23)
Redemption takes in Galatians 5:16-17 and Galatians 5:22-23. Impatience, for example, is a product of the Fall. It is the control of another spirit over our life, leading us away from the way we should be for the sake of others. Unkindness is also from another spirit, which takes control of our life to keep us from expressing kindness. Being unloving, or having a lack of peace and joy, are from other spirits which the flesh or fallen nature of man is subject to, and which can keep us from entering the Kingdom of God. But Galatians 5:24 is the remedy from this evil control.
Now those who belong to Messiah Yahshua have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
Just as the deeds of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21 are obvious, so also is a lack of self-control the obvious fruit of man's fallen nature. When one does not keep godly control of his whole man, it is obvious in many ways.
He came to redeem us from all works of the flesh, lawlessness, iniquity -- to save us from our sins.209 We are saved from our sins -- the sins of impatience, unkindness, lack of self-control. If we are not exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, then we are in sin. It is obvious when one is not showing, giving, exhibiting love or joy or patience or the other fruit of the Spirit. Obvious means visible, manifest, plain, clear, open to sight.
What kind of spirit is working in you? Is a kind spirit at work in you? A patient spirit? A joyful spirit? What about gentleness?
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
When one is not loving as 1 Corinthians 13, it is obvious. This lack of love excludes one from the Kingdom of God, because it is not obeying His word210 and it is not being a true disciple.211 If one is not a disciple, what is he? Does he have eternal life? Is he being made fit for the Kingdom of God?
What kind of spirit is working in you if you are not showing the fruit of your human spirit in communion with the Holy Spirit? It is another spirit, and it needs to be cast out.212 What kind of spirit compels one to lack self-control, to be unkind, impatient, unloving, unpeaceful, without joy, but with strife, envy, foolishness, etc.?
Kindness is goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence, affability.213 The word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience. The Holy Spirit works in us to produce His very same fruit toward others, removing the abrasive ways from our character in order to be just like our Master was and to love as He loved -- with kindness.214
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
"See your good works..."215 The Greek word translated "see" refers to a careful observation or watching over a period of time, as they would not make a snap judgment concerning the good we do, but only a snap judgment on what appears to be evil and so accuse us of doing wrong. Although they may slander us as evildoers, yet they may, by witnessing our good deeds, come to glorify Yahweh in the day of visitation (inspection or judgment), or any time Yahweh comes in a special act of judgment or mercy. They may be able to glorify Yahweh at the day of trial in how they were blessed or cursed by our presence.
"I will make you a great nation.216 I will bless you. I will make your name great. You will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you. I will curse those who curse you. All the people on earth will be blessed through you." Yahweh's original blessing on all mankind217 will be redeemed and fulfilled through Abraham's seed. The nations will, by their judgment of Abraham's seed, be blessed and fulfill the Genesis 1:28 mandate during the millennium and into eternity.218
27For all of you who were baptized into Messiah have clothed yourselves with Messiah. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Yahshua. 29And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 5:27-29)
Redemption is by the blood of Messiah, in order to become that holy nation, being included in the seed of Abraham219 -- from all nations, peoples, tribes and tongues -- reigning on earth as a kingdom of priests.220 Becoming Abraham's seed, one must do the works of Abraham.221 And what were Abraham's first works?222 To obey His voice.223
First, Abraham was called to leave his country, his people and his father's household. Then He would make him into a mighty nation and bless him. But then he had to walk blamelessly before Him and the nations.224 The Gospel calls out Abraham's spiritual seed from the world and into the restored Twelve Tribes of Israel that our Father is raising up in these last days.
...but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause My name to dwell. (Nehemiah 1:9)
Those who obey the Gospel are the redeemed remnant that returns.225 The Gospel requires Abraham's seed to leave nation, family, friends, and children in order to restore our Father's original blessing and mandate to the nations in Genesis 1:28.
The Edah is a special people like Abraham,226 chosen from the foundation of the earth, set apart from the nations in order to restore Yahweh's original purpose in creation. We, then, are like Messiah to the nations. The twelve tribes in Revelation 21:12 are specially chosen to judge the nations as to who will be blessed or cursed according their response to the witness of the Body of Messiah.227 Therefore, our behavior must be excellent among the nations.228
The Twelve Tribes bring the original purpose of creation back into focus.229 The nations, during the next age (as we, now in this age) must rule. They must fill the earth and subdue it before going on to the universe.230 This will be the ultimate fulfillment of our Father's purpose for redemption.
If, after reading this, you realize that your life does not bear the fruit of the Kingdom, as expressed by the Word of God in the Scriptures, then there is still hope for you to be redeemed. As it is written in 1 John 5:13:
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe in the name of the Son of God.
If you realize that you have not believed unto salvation and redemption, you can still believe and put your trust in Him and find your place among His holy people in one of the places He has caused His name to dwell.