Parable #20. The Bread out of Heaven:
- Today is Day #20
- The Twentieth Mashal of Messiah
- Sixteen reasons for the delay of the Messianic Kingdom
- The First Saying
- The Second Saying
- The Third Saying
- The witness of the Double Amen
- True fidelity exists only by the unfailing virtue of the Spirit
- Five Observations about the Manna
- Interpretation of the Twentieth Mashal of Messiah
- Torat HaKenaot (Doctrine of Jealousies)
- Interpretation 1
- Interpretation 2
- Interpretation 3
- Interpretation 4
- Interpretation 5
- Interpretation 6
- Interpretation 7
- Conclusion: Consuming day by day the Manna (Teaching ) of the Humble Man
- Open up the Gates and let the King of Glory come in!
- The Unity (Echad) of Adonai within the Assembly of Messiah
Today is Day #20:
1. Today is “Day #20″ in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot.
2. Today is twenty days which are two weeks and six days of the Omer.
.היום עשרים יום, שהם שני שבועות ושישה ימים בעומר
Haiyom esrim yom, shehaym shnay shavuot veshishah yamim ba’omer.
“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days.” (Leviticus). “You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy).
“Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.”
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
The Twentieth Mashal of Messiah:
וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם יֵשׁוּעַ אָמֵן אָמֵן אֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם לֹא משֶׁה נָתַן לָכֶם אֶת־הַלֶּחֶם מִן־הַשָּׁמָיִם כִּי־אָבִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם אֶת־הַלֶּחֶם מִן־הַשָּׁמַיִם הָאֲמִתִּי׃ כִּי־לֶחֶם אֱלֹהִים הוּא הַיּוֹרֵד מִן־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְנֹתֵן חַיִּים לָעוֹלָם׃
Yeshua (יֵשׁוּעַ-the Salvation of Adonai) said to them, “Amen, amen (אָמֵן אָמֵן), I say to you, Mosheh did not give you the Bread from Heaven (הַלֶּחֶם מִן־הַשָּׁמָיִם). For Avi (אָבִי-My Father) gives you the true Bread from Heaven. For the Bread of G-d (אֱלֹהִים-Elohim) is what comes down (He who comes down) from heaven and gives life (חַיִּים) to the world.”
Sixteen reasons for the delay of the Messianic Kingdom:
Reason #1. Just before teaching the mashal of the Bread of Heaven the Messiah rejected the efforts of the (common) people of Israel to forcibly make Him their (political) king. Messiah repeatedly refused to let our people make Him their political leader. Messiah was the rightful heir to David’s throne but He was unwilling to limit Himself to only being accepted as a political king; before that could happen He insisted on our first accepting Him as our Redeemer (הגואל ישראל-HaGo’el Yisra’el) and the Shepherd who keeps our (lit. your) souls (הרועה השומר את נפשותיכם-HaRo’eh Hashomar et Nafshoteikhem).
Reason #2. Avinu Shebashamayim requires that our people (Israel) first hunger and thirst for the things of His Spirit, not the things of the world, and then He will agree to once again send us to us M’shicho (His Messiah). The Messiah also demanded that the people first exercise personal faith (emunah) in Him or He would greatly delay His becoming their king and ushering in the messianic kingdom.
Reason #3. Unfortunately, the demands of Messiah were rejected by the people. The leadership and people of Israel wanted a political king who would, through a continuous display of supernatural power, secure their freedom from Roman (Gentile) rule and assure them of unending materialistic prosperity. The people did not desire to be Rich in Adonai but they did desire to be rich in the things of the world.
The Bnei Yisrael (Sons of Israel) had no understanding of what kind of kingdom the Messiah was required by Adonai to set up. They did not comprehend that El Yisra’el would only agree to manifest His miraculous power on earth if the people of Israel agreed to believe in and obey His Servant, the Messiah. This was so because Adonai wanted the rule of His kingdom on earth to mirror His rule in heaven.
Reason #4. Historically, Man’s international efforts and Israel’s efforts at self-rule had completely failed to live up to Adonai’s high standards. First, the Gentile world’s attempt at obeying the Covenant of Noah was a miserable failure. The peoples of the world ended up just as wicked after the flood as it was before the flood. Only the gracious promise of the Holy One not to flood the world again held back His hand from doing so a second time. Second, the Covenant of Moses was a failure too but in a limited way.
The Law of Moses cannot save us from our sins.
But it can and does help us to understand that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of the Holy One. It is effective in calling Am Israel to do Teshuvah (humble ourselves and Return to Adonai). The Law also bears witness to the Messiah. It testifies that the Messiah sent by Adonai is the sinless, perfect Man that Adonai desires us to be. The Mashiach is the one who fulfills all of the Torah of the Holy One and who is the only one qualified to deliver us from sin unto the righteousness of our Righteous Father in heaven.
Reason #5. The Law of Moses, therefore, does not possess the means to actually cleanse us of all sin and give us the gift of all righteousness that is the gift of the (unfailing) New Heart that can miraculously change us from the Inside-out (Spirit-soul-mind-body).
Reason #6. Perfectly obeying the Law of Moses has proven to be an impossible task for all the people of Israel. Only the Messiah has fulfilled all of the Law. All of the rest of us have sinned. All but Messiah have sinned and come short of the glory of the Almighty One.
Only the Messiah has been declared righteous under the Law.
Therefore, we cannot be saved by our own sinful will or self-righteousness. Rather, we must be delivered by the compassion and mercy that is afforded us solely by Adonai’s own Strong Right Arm (1, 2, 3).
Reason #7. The Salvation of Adonai, the Messiah is the New Deliverer who Moses promised would appear in Israel in the future. Messiah is Adonai’s Strong Right Arm and His Besorah of Adonai’s Grace is the New Law of Adonai which He has given to all: the Law of Moses leads us to Teshuvah; the Atonement Of Messiah cleanses us from sin; the Living Torah (the one True Oral Law; the Indwelling Presence of the Spirit) of the Grace of Adonai assures us that we have received the Gift of the Holy Spirit that is the gift of eternal life.
Reason #8. Over 3,500 years ago the first generation of Israel tragically died in the desert because they refused to exercise true emunah (faith) toward Adonai and His Servant Moses. Almost 2,000 years ago a much later generation of Israel tragically died in the desert of their own unbelief regarding Adonai and His Servant, the Messiah. So we patiently wait for the promised new generation of Israel who will trust and obey the Holy One sufficient for Messiah to supernaturally return to earth a second time and set up the promised messianic kingdom.
Reason #9. In all prior generations of Israel (since the time of Messiah’s first appearance) the Bnei Yisrael (Sons of Israel) have rejected Adonai’s terms and teaching given through Moses, for He bears witness to Messiah. Consequently, without the chosen people of the Holy One submitting to His demands that were at the first revealed through Moses and the prophets, He had to delay His institution of the messianic kingdom in eretz Israel; and His fulfillment of all the promises that He made to the fathers. Therefore, the coming of the messianic kingdom in Israel has been delayed and it will continue to be delayed until all of Adonai’s demands have been met.
Reason #10. In His teaching on the Bread of Heaven the Messiah said do not work for ‘’food that spoils.” The symbolic manna is not the real manna. The naturalistic manna that was given to the people of Israel in the desert is a “symbol.” it is not the “reality” of the supernatural True Bread from Heaven (הלחם האמתי מן השמים) which is received only by faith in Adonai and the Messiah whom He has sent. The symbolic physical manna was food that “perishes” (הָאֺכֶל הַכָּלֶה). The true supernatural manna, the Bread from Heaven, is incapable of spoiling. It is the food that endures to eternal life (הָאֺכֶל הַקַּיָּם לְחַיֵּי עוֹלָם).
The symbolic manna that is physical has to be taken almost every day and that just to temporarily sustain you physically. The real manna from heaven need only be ingested once-in-eternity and then it is sufficient to sustain you for an eternity. The Bread of Heaven that HaAv gives us is the Person and Consciousness of Messiah (the Indwelling Life of the Spirit of Adonai).
Reason #11. The plan of Adonai is not for the people to do good works of their own to please Him and thereby to earn the right to enter into heaven:
Our works cannot save us.
Our personal righteousness cannot bring us forgiveness.
We cannot remove our own sins or the sins of anyone else.
We are incapable of transforming imperfect persons into perfect ones.
We do not possess the power to permanently overthrow the rule of the evil one.
We do not possess the power to resurrect anyone from the dead.
We cannot give to others the gift of eternal life.
Yet, unlike us, the Messiah possesses the right and the power to do all of these things.
Therefore, there is now and forever shall be only one essential work of Adonai: Believe on the Messiah whom G-d has sent. The purpose of the besorah of the Endowment of the Grace of Adonai is so that we will believe in the testimony of Messiah, be forgiven and receive now the gift of the heavenly Father which is the Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of the Holy One and eternal life.
Reason #12. The myopic multitudes that gathered together during Messiah’s first appearance on earth demanded more physical signs. They thought the requirement of the Righteous Father was to ‘see, then believe’ but the Divine Order was ‘believe, then see.’ The crowd felt the miraculous (symbol of the Jubilee) feeding of the 5,000 men did not compare with Moses’ gift of the bread of heaven. Messiah corrected them:
Moses did not provide the (symbolic) manna from heaven, the Father did!
Reason #13. History repeats itself: during the time of Moses the people perished due to their unbelief and during the time of Messiah’s first appearance the people perished due to their unbelief. Adonai sent Moses to give the people temporal food for the body. Adonai sent Messiah to give the people eternal nourishment for their body, soul, and spirit. The heavenly Father is the Source of all life. Messiah is the One the Father sent down from heaven to give His Life to Israel and all of the world. The Messiah is the true Bread of Heaven.
Reason #14. In their obsessiveness on material things the leaders and people of Israel in the first century did not understand that the Bread of Heaven was not a commodity store sent by Adonai. They failed to believe that the Bread of Heaven was a wonderfully holy and deeply spiritual person sent by Adonai. Neither did the people understand that the Spirit and the Word of Messiah are capable of bestowing on all who believe the Gift of Eternal Life.
The Messiah alone was sent from heaven to fulfill all of the will of the Father.
The people did not realize that the Voice they were rejecting was the Voice of the Heavenly Father. In the days of Moses the people murmured and grumbled at the Servant of the Holy One. So in the days of the New Moses, the Messiah, the people murmured and grumbled at the Servant of the Holy One.
Reason #15. The people judged (tested) the Holy One. So He did nothing to correct their foolish error. Only the Messiah rebuked the people’s grumbling and reminded them that apart from the teaching ministry of Adonai they could accomplish nothing. The Master reminded His extended Hebrew Family that the prophets of Israel had revealed to their ancestors that the inner supernatural work of Adonai must be accomplished by the Holy Spirit Himself. Therefore, only dependence solely on the Servant that Adonai had sent would ever lead to their salvation. The Messiah quoted the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah when He said (Isaiah 54:13; Jeremiah 31:34):
“And they shall all be taught of Adonai”
Reason #16. In Messiah’s teaching on the Manna from Heaven He uses the Double Amen phrase “Amen, amen” (אָמֵן אָמֵן) three times:
The First Saying:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, Adonai, has set His seal.”
The Second Saying:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, Mosheh did not give you the Bread from Heaven. For My Father gives you the true Bread from Heaven. For the Bread of Adonai is what comes down (He who comes down) from heaven and gives life to the world.”
The Third Saying:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.”
The witness of the Double Amen:
The words “Amen, Amen” mean “to be certain” or “well founded.” The Double Amen is used only twice in the Tanakh and twenty-five times in the Brit Chadashah. In the Hebrew Scriptures two is the number of witness and five is the number that symbolizes the grace (chesed, chen, chanan) of Adonai. The numbers two and five together represent:
The witness of the fullness of the Grace Of Adonai.
The Double Amen is used in the Tanakh as a “seal” to a wife’s legal assertion that she has been faithful to her husband. Her assertion before the priest of her innocence must be accompanied by her consent to be severely judged (punished) if she is lying. The continual assertion of the religious leaders’ claim of innocence and their assertion of Messiah’s guilt was also a consent to be severely judged (and punished) if they were lying. The Double Amen is also used in the Tanakh as a sincere expression of reverence and submission to Adonai and His Word. It is used to indicate Israel will be faithful to her husband Adonai by obeying His Torah. The Double Amen is used only twice in the Tanakh (1, 2).
True fidelity exists only by the unfailing virtue of the Spirit:
In this context the number two speaks of witness; as in there is a legal witness of two passages to support the doctrine of the ‘seal’ (1, 2). Therefore, there is proof, surety, guarantee of marital fidelity that exists only by the unfailing virtue and power of the Spirit of Grace and Truth. In Nehemiah 8:5-6 we read:
“And Ezra opened the Book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra Blessed Adonai the great Elohim. And all the people answered, ‘Amen Amen!’ while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped Adonai with their faces to the ground.”
Ezra (lit. the ‘Helper‘) was a scribe and priest. Nehemiah (the ‘Comforter‘) was a governor of Judah during the reign of Persia over Israel (cf. Nehemiah 8:9). Both persons are types of the administrative work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Holiness is our Helper and Comforter. In this rarely mentioned Double Amen text of Nehemiah 8 Ezra was suspended over the people on a high wooden platform (lit. ‘tower’) teaching them the Word of Adonai. This Ezra did in the Jerusalem square near the Water Gate; which is the gate that symbolically refers to the work of the Holy Spirit.
In the Hebrew text of Nehemiah chapter 8 we literally see: [First] Ezra being ‘lifted up’ upon a *wooden tower (עַֽל־מִגְדַּל־עֵץ֮; lit. upon a tree-עֵץ֮); and [Second] there he taught the Torah to the people.
*Study Deuteronomy 31:10-12 regarding the erecting of the wooden tower (מִגְדַּל) used for the casting out of the (reading, teaching) of the Torah on the mandatory assembly the people of Israel every seventh year, the Hakhel-הקהל).
This event of Ezra teaching our people from the Wooden Tower before the Water Gate is a testimony of the Spirit of Holiness that foreshadows the Messiah being lifted up over our people upon the accursed tree (configured in the ancient Sign of the Tav).
Furthermore, the Torah of Moses taught by Ezra to the Assembly of Israel bears witness to the Holy Spirit and Messiah’s Ministry of Reconciliation that must be established between Adonai and redeemed humankind. The Helper’s teaching that takes place at the Water Gate clearly speaks of the Holy Spirit’s ministry of glorifying, lifting up, and imparting (ירה-yireh, throw, לִירוֹת-to shoot, impart water) reverence for G-d to the people as each of us hear, understand, and ‘obey’ the Living Torah of the Messiah (the Law of the Spirit).
Five Observations about the Manna:
Observation #1. The manna that the people of Israel ate during their travels through the desert is known as lechem min hashamayim, the bread from heaven. When the people ate the manna the blessing they spoke was “who gives us Bread from Heaven,” not “who brings forth Bread from the earth” (ha ve’noten lanu lechem min hashamayim, not hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz).
Observation #2. The manna was given to Israel only for the forty years the people lived in the desert. The final portion of (symbolic manna) was given to Israel on the day of Nisan 15:
“On the day after Pesach, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land,
unleavened cakes and parched grain.”
The manna ceased on the day after (Nisan15) when the children of Adonai had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the Bnei Yisrael (Sons of Israel) no longer had manna to eat, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year (Joshua 5:11-12). Therefore, on the day of Nisan 16, the Bnei Yisrael no longer ate (the symbolic) manna but they ate the yield of the promised land.
Observation #3. Joshua 5:11-12 is prophetic. It links the “unleavened cakes” with the manna from heaven. The Bread of Affliction that heals us is linked with the Bread of Heaven that provisions us with the gift of eternal Life. Furthermore, the Sons of Israel crossed the Jordan river and entered the land of Israel on Nisan 10 (1, 2). This also was prophetic. Nisan 10 is the day that the Head of the Household, in this case our Father in heaven, selected His Passover Lamb (Korban Pesach) and publicly introduced His chosen sacrifice to the general public:
Messiah is the Seh HaElohim selected by Adonai to take away the sins of the world.
Observation #4. In the Mishnah manna is treated as a supernatural substance, created during the twilight of the sixth day of Creation (Pirkei Avot 5:8). Twilight is the time when Adam sinned in the cool of the day. Twilight is the time when the Messiah sacrificed His life on the accursed tree so that the believing remnant, from the first Adam on might be cleansed of sin and inherit the gift of eternal life. Twilight is the time when the Bread of Heaven and the Bread of Life was delivered to the people of Israel and all the peoples of the the World.
Observation #5. The symbolic manna was first given to the Sons of Israel on Iyar 15 (Exodus 16:1-4). During the year of Messiah’s death, resurrection, and ascension Iyar 15 was the 30th Day of the time of the Resurrected One and His Talmidin observing the command to Count the Omer. After His death and resurrection Messiah remained on earth for forty days to prepare His Talamadim for His physical separation from them (His ascension into Heaven).
So during these first forty days of counting the omer what truths was the Messiah imparting to His disciples?
During the forty days of counting the omer the disciples were learning from the Messiah about many of the mysteries (sodim) of the Kingdom of Adonai and preparing to receive the Gift of the Father. All that was previously concealed about Adonai’s eternal plan that was concealed in the Tanakh (Torah, Prophets, and Writings) was then being revealed by Messiah to Adonai’s remnant of Israel who were willing to be taught by the Messiah so that they might then take His Besorah of the Endowment of the Grace of Adonai to Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the world. In the desert Adonai gave the people the symbol and not the reality of the eternal bread from heaven. Messiah is the eternal reality. When we hear the besorah (Good-news) of Messiah and believe in His teaching then we will eat of this eternal bread forever.
Interpretation of the Twentieth Mashal of Messiah:
“Amen, Amen,I say to you, it is not Mosheh who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of Adonai is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”
Torat HaKenaot (Doctrine of Jealousies):
Otherwise, if we refuse to confess our sins and believe in the Mashiach it will be for us as if we were the unfaithful wife who lied about her sin of infidelity (cf. Numbers 5:11-31). As stated previously in the section “Sixteen reasons for the delay of the Messianic Kingdom,” the Double Amen is used in the Tanakh as a seal to a wife’s legal assertion that she has been faithful to her husband. Her assertion of innocence before the priest is a serious one. It must be accompanied by her consent to be severely judged if she is lying.
The procedure that is employed by the priest toward a woman accused of infidelity is basically to give water to her to drink mixed with words scraped off of a parchment that is in effect a curse. If the accused is innocent then the content of the water will not change and the curse in the water will not go into effect. However, if the water becomes transformed into bitter water then the woman is lying and the curse will go into full effect.
Keep in mind that when the accused stands before the priest it is considered as if she is standing before Adonai Himself. So, if the accused lies to the face of the priest, it is as if she is lying to the Face of the Holy One. Therefore, there is a harsh consequence for one bearing false witness before the Presence of the Holy One.
If the water is transformed into bitter water the bride who bore false witness to Adonai will suffer the following adverse effects.
“Your thigh waste away and your abdomen swell; and this water that brings a curse shall go into your stomach, and make your abdomen swell and your thigh waste away… a curse will go into her and cause bitterness, and her abdomen will swell and her thigh will waste away, and the woman will become a curse among her people.”
This dual sin of a bride being unfaithful and bearing false witness (lying) applies to the context of this Twentieth Mashal of Messiah. The adulteress who had borne false witness regarding her infidelity was our Nation and People of Israel. The leaders and the people (our ancestors-old Israel) were rebelling against Ha -Mashiach (the New Mosheh) because they loved the things of the world (Egypt) more than they did their (our) husband Adonai. Just as the people grumbled against Moses, they grumbled against the Moses to come. The people of the generation of the first appearance of Messiah were not faithful but unfaithful to Adonai. In their inner-being these first century unfaithful ones did not want to be receptive to the spiritual wants, desires, and wishes of the Holy One. They only wished to be faithful to the wants, desires, and wishes of their own human appetites.
Similar to the spoiling of the unfaithful woman’s womb is the effect of the spoiling of the manna. The manna bred worms and became foul when the people refused to obey Moses’ directive to them (on behalf of Adonai) that the manna should not be saved (put in storage) overnight for future use. So it is written, “Moses said to them, ‘Let no man leave any of it until morning.’ But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them” (Exodus 16:19).
Without the exercise of true faith (emunah, faithfulness) the manna will become a curse (judgment) against us.
The issue here was one of trust, obedience and respect. Adonai demanded that the people trust Him for their daily bread. The effort to storage really was an unconscious desire on the part of the disobedient ones to achieve self-sufficiency; rather than remain dependent on Adonai. The acts of disobedience toward Moses were actually acts of blatant disrespect toward the Holy One. This is why Moses was so angry with his own people. The problem of trust versus mistrust is a very important matter. The Holy One was saying to the Israel of long ago, “Trust in Me.” Believe in Me, then you will see. But the people refused to trust. The love of the bride is her trust of her husband. This was not the case with the disobedient generation. Their response to the one who bore Adonai’s Presence was to bear false witness to the Face of Adonai:
“If we see, then we will believe.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth. No amount of miracles would do because the people were not willing to change their appetites. They only wanted the physical manna that would feed them for a moment in time. They did not want the spiritual manna that would first change their appetites from physical to spiritual. The people refused to believe in the promise of Adonai:
“If we believe, then we will see!”
The people were under judgment because they could not trust Adonai and His Servant the Messiah. If they had trusted the D’var HaShem they would have been changed from the Inside-out and their appetite would be for the food of Adonai and not the food of the World (Egypt). The people’s non-responsiveness and mistrust was an act of infidelity. The people loved the world more than they did Adonai. With trust in Adonai and Messiah the symbolic manna would have become the real and the people would have consumed to the full all of the blessings and the gift of eternal life. Without the exercise of authentic emunah (faith) it was as if the words of Moses were scraped off of the Torah parchment,
placed in water, consumed and it became a curse to the people; instead of the blessing it was meant to be!
As stated in the section, “Five Observations about the Manna” (cf. section 9, observations 3 & 4 in this chapter), the manna from heaven is prophetically linked to unleavened bread (Joshua 5:11-12):
“On the day after the Passover (Nisan 15), on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day after (Nisan 16) they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna.”
Immediately, the day after the unleavened bread was consumed in eretz Israel, the symbolic manna ceased. This is a picture of our appetite for the things of Adonai. Once the Bread of Affliction is consumed (Nisan 15) in the promised land then it will be as if the Food of our Healing has occurred. Our insides will be changed, our cleansed appetites will be changed, we will hunger and thirst for righteousness, and so we will be filled (שָׂבַע-satisfied). Thereafter, we won’t need the symbolic manna on the day of Nisan 16 because we will have already received the real Bread of Heaven instead.
Let us begin to try to explain this connection in much greater detail by asking and answering the question:
What is The Bread of our Affliction and the Bread of our Healing?
In the Torah matzah is sometimes called the “Bread of Affliction” (Deuteronomy 16:3). However, it is not “of affliction” because it is unleavened but it is unleavened because it had been born out of affliction. In other words, since the children of Israel had no time to prepare their bread on account of their affliction the bread had no time to rise. The matzah then is not so much the remembrance of bondage as it is the remembrance of deliverance from bondage.
Matzah is called the Bread of Affliction (לֶ֣חֶם עֹ֑נִי-lachma anya) but it is also called by the sages the Food of Healing. First comes the Food of Faith (believe). Then Comes the Food of Healing (‘then be healed’). What is it that is both a Bread of Affliction and the Food of our Healing? It is only the bread of the affliction (lit. of poverty) of Messiah that is food for our healing.
This means that in our present state of affliction we are powerless to affect the perfect righteousness that Adonai desires to reside in all our hearts, souls, minds and bodies. However, the Bread of Messiah’s Affliction is sufficiently powerful to permanently cleanse us and effect perfect healing for our souls. Therefore, when we eat this bread we profess the power of Messiah’s Bread of Affliction (sacrificial death) that is sufficient to (save) heal our souls, until He comes again to heal our bodies as well. Messiah is not only the Bread of Heaven that is associated with the symbol of Manna but He is also the Bread of Affliction that is the Bread of our Healing. According to the prophetic narrative of Joshua 5:11-12, when we receive by emunah (faith) the real Bread of our Healing (on Nisan 14-15) then it is as if we received the real Bread of Heaven as well (on Nisan 16). This means that the Person of the Messiah is the One sent to us from Adonai to be our:
Bread from Heaven (הלחם מן השמים);
Bread of Affliction/Poverty (לחם עוני);
Bread of G-d (לחם האלוהים);
Bread of Life (לחם החיים).
The day that the symbolic manna ceased to be was Nisan 16. This is also the day of HaBikkurim when we begin Counting the Omer. In Temple times during the gathering of the firstfruits of the barley harvest a sheaf of barley was waved before Adonai. The word sheaf in Hebrew is “omer.” This term simply means a dry measure equal to about five pints. The term firstfruits is derived from the Hebrew word “re’shiyth.” This special word means “the first of its kind.” The omer is a dry measure that is equal to the amount of manna that was allocated as a daily portion of food while the children of Israel journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land. The word “manna” comes from the interrogative pronoun “mah” that means what, of what kind. Therefore the meaning of the word manna is:
“What is this?”
An omer contains a portion equal to the manna that was assigned to each individual for his daily allotment of food while Israel was transiting from the wilderness to the Promised Land.
The answer to the riddle of “What is this?” is “Who is This?”
Messiah is the answer to the mystery. Messiah is the Mystery (Who is This?). All of the mysteries of the Kingdom of Adonai are revealed through our exercising true faith in Him. Messiah is the Omer. Avinu Shebashamayim measures all of our lives by the Measure (Omer) of Messiah. The Mashiach is the Last Adam. He is the first of His kind. He is the Perfect Man that Adonai desires all of us to be like. He is the Measure of Adonai by which all humanity is measured. Therefore:
Messiah is our firstfruits.
Messiah is the first of His kind.
Messiah is the New Perfect Adam and Last Adam.
Messiah is the One who is truly Rich in Adonai.
Messiah is the Humble Man that Adonai entrusts with all of His Treasure.
Messiah is the Resurrected One. He is the first to be resurrected from the dead.
Messiah is the Bread from Heaven given to us that we may receive the gift of Eternal Life.
During the Firstfruits Temple ceremony that immediately followed the Messiah’s death and burial (seen on Nisan 16; hidden on Nisan 17) the Omer of barley was waved before the heavenly Father to be “accepted” by Him. The word accepted comes from the Hebrew word “ratsown” meaning a “delight,” what is “pleasing,” “acceptable,” and “approved.” What is acceptable to the Almighty? What is it that gains His favor, His approval?
We must present ourselves to Adonai as being humble as the Messiah is Humble.
We can only do this by making the Messiah our representative to the Father. The offering in view here is the lowly barley grain. What was offered at the first of the harvest season, according to the measure of the Omer, was the grain of the Poor Man, the Humble Man.
The Grain of the Humble Man was presented and accepted by Adonai our Father in His budding out stage.
This occurred when the redemptive work of Messiah had reached its zenith after His death and resurrection, then was the full virtue of the Messiah presented on our behalf by Him to our Father in Heaven.
When Messiah the Bread of Heaven had completed His redemptive course of ministry He presented Himself as the Humble Man Offering that Adonai Loves. When the Father accepted this offering it was as if He was accepting you and me. By our identifying with Messiah by faith we too are accepted in the Beloved.
In Leviticus 23:16-20, the word firstfruits comes from the Hebrew word “bikkuwr.” Literally this word means “the firstfruits of the crop.” This is a different Hebrew word and meaning than the term re’shiyth (first of its kind). Bikkuwr derives its meaning from the root word bakar. Bakar means to “burst the womb.” The word picture here is one of a woman giving birth to a child. The problem of heaven prior to the appearance of Messiah was that due to the first Adam’s sin the womb of heaven was barren:
Messiah bursted open the barren womb of heaven with new life.
It was not until the Messiah was resurrected on the first day of HaBikkurim and His ascension into heaven on the 40th day of Counting the Omer that the problem of Heaven being barren was solved (Isaiah 54:1):
“Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous Than the sons of the married woman, says Adonai.”
Due to the success of the Messiah our Redeemer we too will one day be raised from the dead and ascend into heaven. Therefore, we are not only accepted in the Beloved but we are to be made like Him; so that we will one day also joyously be received by our Father into the glory of heaven.
Therefore, the revelation of the ministry of Messiah reached its maturity at the point of His sacrificing Himself as the atonement for our sin and the redemption of Israel. Thereafter, on the third day the Humble Man was resurrected from the dead. Then the Humble Man became the Glorified One. Thereafter, we observe the unveiling of the next (new) harvest (Shavuot). This extended period of harvest time (the Counting of the Omer) speaks of the maturation and harvesting of the “golden” grain of wheat. The wheat harvest is a testimony to the Glorified One and to His fulfilling all the Torah of the heavenly Father.
Moses gave us the Torah that is on stone (a heart of stone). The Messiah gave to us the Living Torah or “Law of the Spirit” (לֵ֥ב בָּשָֽׂר-a Heart of flesh). The gift of the Father—the heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit—was given to us on Shavuot. The gift is the eternal glorified-life of the Holy Spirit. He is the Indwelling Presence that is the life of the Golden Grain, the life of the resurrected-glorified-immortal one.
The celebration of the Life of the Spirit of Messiah (the giving of Living Torah) is symbolized in the wheat harvest that is celebrated on the fiftieth day of HaBikkuim (Shavuot, Pentecost). What we see in this festival illustration is:
Only the Presence of the Humble Man can make the Glory of Adonai Rise!
It was during this period of just 49 days that the chosen people of the Father of Glory (Avi HaKavod) underwent a radical transformation. This transformation is depicted in the process of the refining process of the barley sacrifice that is harvested from the ground on Shabbat (the Sabbath), ground into fine flour, and presented as an offering to the heavenly Father on the morning of the first day. Thereafter, for the following 49 days that lead up to Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks) this refined (perfected) barley flour undergoes a transformation of fermentation.
When the fermentation process is complete then the fermented barley yeast is mixed in with the refined (perfected) harvested grain of the wheat harvest to produce two loaves of wheat. This commandment of the Torah is not meant merely to be celebrated as a static historical event but instead it should be celebrated in the dynamic sense of an ongoing life-process. The Torah must be freshly baked and received in an attitude of humility ‘every day.’ Then will the accumulated glorious life of its commandments rise like the brilliant illumination of the morning sun within our plain, ordinary, humble bodies.
This transformation of the ordinary to the extraordinary is seen in the progression of the humble barley flour—the poor man’s bread (humility)—being fermented and inserted into the bread of wheat of the rich man (Rich in Adonai), so that the two loaves of golden grain, the Lechem HaPanim (לחם הפנים-Bread of Presence) are made to rise (יקום בכבוד-raised in glory); thereby becoming the Bread of Glory (לחם הכבוד).
This cause-and-effect chain of humility first, then second glorification (the humble alone ‘shall be exalted’) is symbolized in the two loaves of glorious golden wheat when they are joined together in union with the yeast that is derived from the humble barley grain.
Therefore, it is the good yeast of humility the makes the golden grain rise (יקום בכבוד-be raised in glory) and become Lechem HaKavod (לחם הכבוד), the Bread of Glory. This necessarily means:
With the fermenting virtue (presence) of the Humility of Messiah the glory of Adonai (His Presence) will rise among us!
Humility is not bad leaven like the other forbidden chametz. The Humble Life of the Humble Man (Ha-Mashiach), only His Life will make the glory of Adonai our Father arise! The leaven of Messiah is the good Leaven of Humility. The leaven of the Prushim (the Pharisees) rabbinate is the wicked Leaven of Pride. The Holy One gives abundant favor (grace, chen) to the Humble Man. The Holy One opposes the Proud Man. This is why the Humble One is favored above all men. This is why the most favored one alone is called the King of Glory!
Conclusion: Consuming day by day the Manna (Teaching) of the Humble Man:
It is the Life of the Humble Man that is (feasted on) consumed on Shavuot. And it is the Glorious Life of the Holy Spirit that we receive on Shavuot. Moses ascended the Holy Mountain here on earth and secured for us the Torah inscribed on Stone. Messiah ascended to the Father’s throne high above the highest heavens and secured for us the Gift of the Living Torah; the eternal gift of the (restored) Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of Holiness. Therefore, the ministry of the Messiah is far superior to that of the Great Prophet. Therefore, father David said of this his greater descendant, the Salvation of Adonai, Yeshua Ben David, that it is for all of us to open up the Gates of our hearts, souls and minds that we might:
Let the King of Glory (מֶ֣לֶךְ הַכָּבֽוֹד) come in!
Open up the Gates and let the King of Glory come in!
So too from HaBikkurim to the time of Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks) we must open up the Gates and let the King of Glory come in! We let this governance of Messiah and the Spirit occur by our participating in the messianic exercise of the Counting of the Omer. This we do by ingesting the manna of the Humble Man who came down from heaven’s eternal glory to earth; not at first as the exalted Conquering King (although that day quickly approaches) but as the Divinely appointed lowly, humble, Suffering Servant.
The Unity (Echad) of Adonai within the Assembly of Messiah:
It is specifically during this forty-nine day period of time (Firstfruits) that we strive to grow and mature in our spiritual state. Therefore, during this sacred time we choose to set aside in each and every day a special time to meditate (feast) on the Teaching (heavenly manna) of Messiah. This is the manner in which we are to daily consume the Bread of Heaven.
Messiah gives us the Bread of Life and He gives to us the New Wine of the Presence of the Holy Spirit. In this spiritual way we consume the body and the blood of the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world.
We consume His living Word and Life in the blessed hope that one day soon when He appears to us as the Lord of Glory (Adon HaKavod) that we will become like Him. For on that yet future glorious day we will be resurrected, translated alive (as were Enoch and Elijah before us) into Heaven. So then will we gloriously be transformed into His likeness. Therefore, in remembrance and honor of Ha-Mashiach, who is the Bread of Affliction that has become our Bread of Healing, we count (with Him) the 49 days of counting the Omer. For this is the symbol of the Divinely appointed process that necessarily must begin in our identification with Messiah’s humility and end with our being united with Him in His glorification. For the Messiah is the One sent to us from Adonai to be our:
Bread of Heaven;
Bread of Affliction;
Bread of Healing;
Bread of Life;
Bread of Humility;
Bread of Glory!
The growth that occurs during this time is akin to the work of a farmer and a baker. [First] We begin by cutting down the chosen stalk of barley. [Second] We harvest its grain. [Third] Then the Baker receives the grain and refines it into a fine flour. [Fourth] The flour of humility is then further processed by fermentation into a barley yeast. [Fifth] Then is the glorious golden grain harvested and refined and the good yeast of humility added to its flour to make the bread of glory rise.
So now it is our privileged task to practice a spirit of humility each day as the day of Shavuot quickly approaches.
Shavuot is the 50th day when we celebrate our unending union with the glorious Presence of the Holy Spirit who is our Living Torah. He is our Oral Law that is more precious to us than the written Torah that is a witness to Him and a ‘mirror’ reflection of HIm. For the the Spirit Himself is the One who leads us and guides us into all truth.