Messiah in Yom HaBikkurim Chapter 48

Parable #29. Cost of Discipleship:

  1. Today is Day #29
  2. The Twenty-ninth Mashal of Messiah
  3. Messiah’s follow-up remarks to the Mashal
  4. Fifteen Observations about Building a Tower
  5. Seventeen Insights about Salt and Life in the Spirit
  6. Twelve Reasons for not putting others before the Anointed One
  7. Forty-nine Points about the use of Salt in the Tanakh
  8. Interpretation

Today is Day #29:

1. Today is “Day #29″ in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot (פסח שני).

2. Today is twenty-nine days which are four weeks and one day in the Omer.

.היום תשעה ועשרים יום, שהם ארבעה שבועות ויום אחד בעומר

Haiyom tish’ah v’esrim yom, shehaym arba’ah shavuot v’yom echad 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 day.” (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 Twenty-ninth Mashal of Messiah:

Mashal (משל)

כִּי מִי מִכֶּם הֶחָפֵץ לִבְנוֹת מִגְדָּל לֹא יֵשֵׁב רִאשׁוֹנָה וִיחַשֵּׁב אֶת־הַהוֹצָאוֹת אִם־הַשֵׂג תַּשִׂיג יָדוֹ לְהַשְׁלִימוֹ׃ פֶּן־יְיַסֵּד וְלֹא־יוּכַל לְכַלּתוֹ וְהָיָה כָּל־רֹאָיו יָקוּמוּ וְלָעֲגוּ־לוֹ לֵאמֹר׃ הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה הֵחֵל לִבְנוֹת וְלֹא יָכֹל לְכַלּוֹת׃

For which one of you who desires to build a tower would not first sit down and calculate the expenses and whether his hand truly holds enough to pay for it? If not, the foundation may be laid, but he will not be able to finish it. All who see it will rise up and ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build but was not able to finish.'”

אוֹ מִי־הוּא הַמֶּלֶךְ הַקָּם לְהִתְגָּרוֹת מִלְחָמָה בְּמֶלֶךְ אַחֵר וְלֹא יֵשֵׁב בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה וְיִתְיָעֵץ אִם־יוּכַל לַעֲרֹךְ בַּעֲשֶׂרֶת אֲלָפִים לִקְרַאת הַבָּא עָלָיו בְּעֶשְׂרִים אָלֶף׃ וְאִם־לֹא יוּכַל וְשָׁלַח אֵלָיו מַלְאָכִים בְּעוֹדֶנּוּ מֵרָחוֹק לְבַקֵּשׁ שָׁלוֹם׃

Or who is the king who rises to venture into battle with another king, but does not first sit down and take counsel as to whether he is able to deploy ten thousand to meet the twenty thousand who are coming against him? If he is not able, he will send messengers to him to seek shalom while he is still at a distance.”

Nimshal (נמשל)

וְכֵן כָּל־אִישׁ מִכֶּם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יַעֲזֹב כָּל־קִנְיָנָיו לֹא יוּכַל לִהְיוֹת תַּלְמִידִי׃

[נמשל-nimshal: the moral application of the mashal ] “Likewise, every one of you who does not abandon all his possessions is not able to be My talmid (תַּלְמִיד-disciple, student).”

Messiah’s follow-up remarks to the Mashal:

“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Fifteen Observations about Building a Tower (Migdal):

Observation #1.  The very first mention of  migdal (מִגְדָּל) in the Torah is found in Genesis 11:4: “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower (מִגְדָּל), whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

Observation #2.  Towers were built in cities (Judges 9:51) and vineyards (Isaiah 5:2); they were frequently very high (Isaiah 2:15) and they were used as armories (Ezekiel 27:11).

Observation #3.  Towers are mentioned throughout the Tanakh regarding: The Towers of Babel, Edar, Penuel, Shechem, Thebez, David, One Hundred, Grace of El, Furnaces, the Great, Jezreel, and the Tower of Wood that was constructed for the purpose of Ezra reciting all of the Torah from a wooden migdal for all the people to hear on Sukkot (הקהל-Hakhel, cf. Deuteronomy 31:12, “the assembly of the people”-הַקְהֵ֣ל אֶת־הָעָ֗ם).

Observation #4.  We are told to “walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof” (Psalm 48).

This commandment to meditate on (walk about) the towers indicates to us that when we are studying the many great spiritual truths that are connected with Jerusalem, we should be certain not to neglect the study of the wonderful spiritual meanings and mysteries that are associated with the ancient Towers of Jerusalem that are alluded to in the Tanakh.

Observation #5.  The central meaning of the Towers of Zion is that they are all symbolic of the protection that Adonai provides His people (מִגְדּ֖וֹל יְשׁוּע֣וֹת-a Tower of Deliverance; מגדול ישועות-literally a Great Salvation; cf. 2 Samuel 22:51). In Proverbs 18:10 we learn that the Name of Adonai is a Strong Tower:

מִגְדַּל־עֹז שֵׁם יְהוָה בֹּֽו־יָרוּץ צַדִּיק וְנִשְׂגָּֽב׃

The name of Adonai is a Strong Tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe (נִשְׂגָּֽב-literally to be safely set on high).

Observation #6.  There are five spiritual Towers of Zion alluded to in the Tanakh that we cannot afford to do without. When the righteous run into the spiritual meanings of these five towers and exercise faith in the Holy One we are “safe.” The names of these five towers are:

A. Migdal HaMe’ah            The Tower of the One Hundred (מגדל המאה);
B. Migdal HaChanan’El     The Tower of the Grace of the Almighty (מגדל החננאל);
C. Migdal HaTannurim     The Tower of the Furnaces (מגדל התנורים);
D. Migdal HaGadowl         The Great Tower (המגדל הגדול);
E. Migdal ‘Ets                      Tower of Wood (מגדל עץ).

What is the reality that the Spirit of the Holy One is teaching us in the universal lessons of the Five Towers of Ezra and Nehemiah in Jerusalem?

Observation #7The Tower of the 100 reminds us that when father Jacob first returned to the Land of Israel he purchased a parcel of land in the ancient City of Shalem. This parcel was located in the territory of Shechem that was located at the foot of the two mountains of Mount Gerazim (the Mount of Blessings) and Mount Ebal (the Mount of Curses). In an act of prophetic ‘role play’ this plot of land was purchased by Jacob for one hundred pieces of silver called a “kesitah.” The kesitah is an ancient form of silver coinage that was stamped with the likeness of a Lamb. This silver coin represents the purchase (redemptive) price of the flock of a hundred sheep. This figure is symbolic of the complete flock of father Jacob’s descendants and the land we are assigned to live in (the land of Israel). [Seven points]

First, since this symbolic act of Jacob’s redemption of the Land and people of Israel has been depicted as a single flock of one hundred sheep the Messiah in His teaching more than once organized the people of Israel around this figure of one hundred.

Second, the payoff for the redemption of the flock of 100 and the City of Shalem, the ancient plot of land that was located adjacent to Shechem (modern Nablus), was in “silver.” In the Torah silver is the metal of redemption. The foundation of the Tabernacle was one of redemption, silver, paid for by the redemption of the soul offerings (later temple tax of one-half shekel).

Third, the purchase of the land of the City of Shalem (fifty miles north of Jerusalem) is symbolic of the redemption of the Land and people of Israel by El-Elohe-Israel.

Fourth, this reference to the redemption of Israel by El-Elohe-Israel is related to the time when Jacob was given his new name of “Israel.” The original historical promise of the redemption of the Land and People of Israel was first given by Adonai to father Abraham.

Fifth, therefore, the actual redemption (of the Lamb) that is spiritually depicted in Jacob’s prophetic role-play actions should be seen as credited to father Abraham, the One who the promises were first made to and who believed the promises, and it was this faith of father Abraham, therefore, that actually brought to reality the fulfillment of the actual redemption through his Seed (the Messiah Ben Jacob-Israel is the HaGo’el-the Redeemer in view).

Sixth, this sacred location of the City of Shalem is the first place where Abraham camped when he originally arrived in the promised land of Canaan (Genesis 12:6). The site was marked by an “Oak Tree at Moreh.” The site of the ancient City of Shalem where the leaders of the 12 tribes rest (are awaiting resurrection) is marked by the Oak Tree at Moreh.

Seventh, in the Torah there is an entire grove of oak trees in the Valley of Moreh that represent our individual and collective identification with and dependence upon the Messiah and His sacrifice for us. This too is prophetic. This prophetically speaks of the redemptive ministry that the Messiah, the Lamb of Adonai who takes away the sin of the world, accomplished when He sacrificed His Life as an atonement for our sin on the accursed Oak Tree (Migdal ‘Ets); configured in the shape of the ancient Hebrew letter Tav, the pictograph of “redemption,” “purchase,” and “ownership.”

The Messiah purchased our peace with G-d (Shalem) through His blood (His life). Redemption comes through the shedding of the blood of the Messiah. The blood represents essentially the sacrifice of all of the life  of the Messiah. This once-in-eternity redemptive sacrifice of the Messiah includes all of His body, soul, mind and spirit (cf. Leviticus 17:11):

“For the life (literally soul, nephesh) of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life (literally soul) that makes atonement.”

The sacrifice of the life of the Messiah was foreshadowed in the testimony of Abraham’s first sacrifice (upon entering the Promised Land) next to the Oak Tree at Moreh. “Moreh” (מורה) means “Teacher.”

The word picture here is one of the Divine “Teacher” (the Spirit of the Holy One) who casts His teaching (meaning) of His Torah [through His Shekinah Glory Cloud] upon us ( Israel) just like His heavens cast (root of moreh יָרָה-yarah, לִירוֹת-to throw) their life-giving waters upon us; that the thirst of our parched, dry souls might be filled to the full with His Life:

Like the rains that descend from heaven causing life to spring up everywhere,
The teaching of the Rabbi of Heaven causes life to spring up everywhere.

The teaching of the D’var HaShem is built on the foundation of the Divinely inspired Hebrew alphabet. Each letter in the ancient twenty-one letter system is a word picture. The literal Hebrew Word Picture of the word Torah is:

The casting of arrows of rain (yarah, teaching) from: the Person who is Nailed to the Sign of the Tav.

Observation #8The Tower of the Grace of El testifies to the truth that without the Grace (chesed, chen) of Adonai that includes the redemptive works of Messiah and the preserving, healing, purifying, righteous works of the Spirit of Grace and Truth (foreshadowed in the Covenant of Salt) Israel will never be saved (delivered from sin, made perfect); therefore, able to fulfill the spiritual purpose of the Law (of Moses) and be permanently reconciled with the Righteous Father.

[Seven points follow:] First, the Law of Moses was given to Israel to show Israel and all humanity that we cannot please the Holy One by our own works. We don’t possess the means to achieve perfection through our own efforts. We need a Savior (the Messiah) and we need a Helper (the Holy Spirit).

Second, the Spirit of the Holy One is omnipresent and, therefore, He can dwell in heaven and in the hearts of every Hebrew man, woman, and child at the same time. He is not limited by space-time. Rather than understanding this important lesson of the Living Torah of the Spirit, the religious elites of Israel (past and present) have missed the point entirely. Filled with spiritual pride our ancestors of the past and religious leaders of the present deceitfully profess that they have obeyed all the Law of Moses. This is a lie. Isaiah spoke truth when he declared that no one but the Suffering Messiah has obeyed the Torah of Adonai. And don’t say the Suffering Messiah is the Nation of Israel. This too is a lie.

When has our nation or our people (Israel) ever been without sin?

Never. Only a sinless nation could die to redeem the sins of the people of Israel. Israel as a nation cannot redeem its own people because the nation is stained with sin. The Sinless One is not the Nation Messiah but the Individual Messiah Ha-Mashiach. The Individual-Servant is the One who must save Israel and its people (cf. Chapter 68 of this document). The Messiah came first as the lowly, forsaken, and rejected Suffering Messiah Ben Joseph to redeem the Land and the people of Israel. He will return a second time in irresistible power and great glory (we believe in this 21st century). Except this time it will not be the lowly Suffering Messiah Ben Joseph who will return to us. This second time the Messiah will triumphantly return to us from our Father’s throne in heaven as the Conquering Messiah Ben David.

Third, in the time of Messiah’s first appearance in Israel, in order to demonstrate that the self-proclaimed Separated Ones (Pharisees) and Righteous Ones (Sadducees) had not followed the Law perfectly (as only the Messiah did), the Messiah called upon them to sell all their possessions and give them to their poor Hebrew brothers and sisters. This is called the Test of Riches. In the Test of Riches Adonai provides the wealth then He waits to see what His chosen servants will do with the wealth; whether they will be wise and help their poor Hebrew brothers and sisters; or whether they will be self-centered and die in the sin of violating Adonai’s trust in them. The test is:

Will we give to the service of others what Adonai has so graciously entrusted to us?

If the answer is “Yes,” then we are Rich in Adonai and Avinu Shebashamayim will bless such a trustworthy person or faithful company of persons with more and more of His Unlimited Resources.

Fourth, therefore, the wealthy, powerful, elite religious-political-business leaders (הַפְּרוּשִׁים-HaP’rushim) and their priestly counterparts (הַצְּדוֹקִים-HaTzedokim) who lived in the time of Messiah’s first visitation responded very poorly to our Father in heaven’s Test of Riches. The Messiah attempted to correct these greedy, wicked leaders but His reward for attempting to do so was that they hated Him and sought to kill Him the first chance that they could get.

Fifth, Messiah demonstrated by His own humble Torah-lifestyle that they, the false shepherds, did not truly love the flock of Israel. Unlike the True Shepherd of Israel the false shepherds did not love their fellow countrymen. The Messiah alone was perfectly Rich in Adonai. The Messiah was willing to sacrifice His own immortal perfect life that others who were not immortal or perfect might one day be perfected and live forever.

Sixth, the Messiah came into Israel so that He might live perfectly (without any sin) under the written Law and therefore, fulfill all of the Law. Only the perfect love of the Messiah and of His fellow humanity fulfills all of Adonai’s Brit HaAhavah (ברית האהבה-Covenant of Love) and His Test of Riches.

Seventh, the Messiah gave His life as a redemptive act of love on behalf of His Hebrew people and the Gentiles. He is the True Tzaddik. He is the Righteous One who was promised by Moses. In this way we have a moral and spiritual champion who possesses the means to tear down the wicked kingdom of the evil one and replace it with the Kingdom of Adonai.

Observation #9.  The Tower of the Furnaces was situated near the ovens in the Jerusalem bread baker’s district (Jeremiah 37:21). However, for a short while during the the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the ovens were converted for use to make bricks to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

[Four points follow:]  First, the Tower of the Furnaces of ovens, therefore, enjoyed a dual usage. In a time of deficient defensive capability the ovens were instruments for building up Israel’s defenses. In a time of adequate defensive capability the ovens were used to make bread. In this dual way the Tower of the Furnaces reminds us that historically Israel has been and will continue to be flexible in its national priorities. Sometimes the economy of Israel has to be defense driven. In this case the production of the fired bricks used to repair the walls represented more than a strong defense of Jerusalem, the strong defense also was a symbol of the national (Divinely ordained) sovereignty of Israel.

Second, in ancient days a city “without walls” was a city without sovereignty. Only vassal city-states were disallowed from being protected by fortified walls. These subjugated, wall-less, defenseless cities were completely dependent on the foreign nation and king that had subjugated them to support their prosperity and defense. As long as these subjugated nations and their cities paid enough tribute to their foreign overlord king and that king’s army remained superior to all the other foreign armies, then the vassal city-state/nation remained safe; that is safe to remain subjugated to the foreign king and his occupying army.

Third, therefore, cities without walls had no sovereignty and were subjugated vassal states. Cities with walls were  sovereign and independent. The symbolism of Israel building the walls of Jerusalem was a sign to all the surrounding peoples and governments that the people of Israel were back in the land, not as a subjugated enemy of Persia but as an ally that enjoyed a high degree of governmental and religious freedom; who possessed adequate fortifications and weaponry to defend their people and their property.

Fourth, we have noticed over the years that there are many scholars who think a wall-less Jerusalem is a positive scriptural sign of peace, nothing could be farther from the truth, it is a sign of “subjugation” and a loss of national “sovereignty.” This means a Jerusalem without walls is a symbol of Divine judgment and not favor.  Walls are an eternal sign of: Peace through Superior Strength! Even the heavenly city, the Jerusalem from above, is described as having walls. Walls are a good thing:

It is the walls that keep the evil outside and the good inside.

Observation #10.  The Great Tower  (The Spring Tower). The archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron labeled the Great Tower the Spring Tower (1, 2). To be exact, it should probably be called “the great tower that lies out” as recorded in the scroll of Ezra (the Helper) and Nehemiah (the Comforter). In 1997 Reich and Shukron discovered a mammoth Canaanite tower over the Gihon Spring. This Tower (built over the Gihon Spring) was made out of huge blocks of masonry, some nearly 6 feet long, 3 feet high, 3 feet deep, and weighing 4 to 5 tons. The ancient Tower measured 45′ x 55′ and had walls that were over 12 feet thick.

The Great-Spring Tower is mentioned in the rebuilding project of Ezra and Nehemiah as they describe the rebuilding of Hezekiah’s Mid-Slope Wall following their return to Jerusalem from the Persian Empire. After having completed a seventy year period of captivity in Babylon and Persia about fifty thousand people, out of two million, chose to return home and rebuild Israel. This remnant of fifty thousand people was less than three percent of the total population; the rest of Israel chose to remain in Persia.

[Three points:] First, the first mention of the tower says: “Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the Tower that lies out.” Notice the spiritual connection of the Water Gate (gates speak of governance):

The Water Gate speaks of our governance of the heavenly life-giving waters that Avinu Shebashamayim has poured out upon us.  

The Water Gate of our heavenly Father is of great importance for it speaks of the administration of grace that the works of His Spirit of Grace (רוּחַ הַחֶסֶד-Ruach HaChesed) administers to redeemed humanity. This gate was incorporated into the Mid-Slope wall above the Gihon Spring. The second mention of the Spring Tower is:

After them the Tekoites repaired another piece, over against the great tower that lies out, even unto the wall of Ophel.”

In this passage the word “the great” (הַגָּדוֹל֙) is added to the word “the tower” (הַמִּגְדָּ֤ל) and this is how we are given the exact and complete title of the tower, The Great Tower that Springs Out; therefore:

This special Great Tower is a covering and protection for the Jerusalem’s entire water supply.

When you think about this Great Tower keep in mind that the Divine works of the life of the Spirit of the Holy One, His works of grace, are described as the life-giving waters (the rain) that freely falls from the heavens above to replenish the earth here below. Second, Moses instructed the children of Israel to gather for a reading of the Law during Sukkot every seventh year (Deuteronomy 31:10-11). The teachings of the spiritual meanings of the spring water supply of Jerusalem are very much an integral part of the celebration of Sukkot (cf. “Messiah in Sukkot.”). Accordingly, it was on Sukkot and at the site of this very Water Gate and Spring Tower that the Law, as instructed by Moses, was read by Ezra to the remnant of Israel who had returned to rebuild Jerusalem. In Nehemiah 8:5-6 we read:

“And Ezra opened the Book (the Torah) in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people [notice the elevation he was ‘above’ everybody] and when he opened it (the five books of the Torah), all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed Adonai the great Almighty One. 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.”

Third, before the Water Gate and the Great Spring Tower, the remnant of Israel zealously reaffirmed the commitment that their ancestors had made at Mount Sinai. The Hebrew remnant pledged their complete fidelity to the Spirit of the Holy One using a very rare verbal seal at the end of their pledge called the Double Amen. This use of the Double Amen at the Water Gate by the Great Spring Tower, in response to Ezra reading the Torah, is an incredibly important symbolic act.

Observation #11. The Double Amen is used in the Torah as a “Seal” to a wife’s legal assertion that she has been faithful to her husband; with a consent to severe discipline if she is lying. The Double Amen is also used as a sincere expression of reverence and submission to Adonai and His Word. The Double Amen, therefore, is exclusively used by the people of Israel only to absolutely assert that they will be faithful to Adonai by obeying all of His Torah.

Observation #12.  The Double Amen is used only twice in the Tanakh (Numbers 5:22; Nehemiah 8:6). In this context the number two speaks of “witness;” therefore, there is a legal witness of two passages to support the doctrine of the ‘Seal.’

Observation #13.  Both Ezra and Nehemiah’s names are a witness to the administration of the Holy Spirit. Ezra (‘Helper’)  is a scribe and priest. Nehemiah (‘Çounselor’) was a governor of Judah during the reign of Persia over Israel. Both persons are types of the administration of the Holy Spirit (cf. Nehemiah 8:9). Ezra means the Spirit is our Helper. Nehemiah means the Spirit of Adonai is our Comforter and Consolation.

Observation #14The Tower of Wood. In this rarely mentioned Double Amen text Ezra was suspended over the people on a high wooden platform, teaching the people the D’var HaShem (Word of Adonai) in the Jerusalem square near the Water Gate; the great gate that refers to the work of the Holy Spirit (cf. Deuteronomy 31:10-12: Wooden Tower of the mandatory seven year assembly, Hakhel-הקהל).

Therefore, the priest-scribe Ezra—a type of the administration of the Holy Spirit—was lifted up upon the high wooden platform (literally upon a Tree Tower-עַֽל־מִגְדַּל־עֵץ֮) over the people.

[Two points:] One, this symbolism of lifting up the healing ministry of the Spirit of the Holy One upon a wooden structure is reminiscent of Moses when he lifted up the Bronze (copper) Serpent on the pole in the wilderness that protected the people from the consequences of their sin and rebellion against the Holy One.

Two, this prophetic picture (Numbers 21:9) foreshadows the Spirit of Grace’s testimony regarding the Messiah who was lifted up, as a substitute sacrifice for the people. The Messiah was lifted up upon the accursed wooden pole (configured according to the Sign of the Tav). The Torah of Moses taught by Ezra bears witness to the Holy Spirit and Messiah’s Healing-Ministry of Reconciliation between Adonai and Israel. The Helper’s teaching that takes place at the Water Gate, speaks of the Holy Spirit’s ministry of glorifying, lifting up Adonai’s Ministry of Reconciliation that has been made available to us through the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah, the Savior of the World (Moshia HaOlam).

Observation #15.  The Tower of Wood and the Great Tower, the Spring Tower. The Tower of Wood and the Great Tower together speak of the fulfillment of the Double Amen pledge by Israel. Through the most gracious help of the redemptive ministry of the Messiah and the Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of the Holy One the Hebrew people (Israel) now possesses the means to fulfill our pledge of marital fidelity at Mount Sinai and at the Water Gate, assembled under the Tower of Wood (literally: Tower of a Tree). This Tower along with the Water Gate and Great Spring Tower are sacred symbols of where Israel’s redemption has been paid, the Law of Moses has been fulfilled and the means by which the love relationship between Adonai and His people can be restored and properly nourished. The combined testimony of these three Symbols demands that there be some follow-up discussion about what this life in the Spirit is really all about.

Seventeen Insights about Salt and the Life of the Spirit

Insight #1.  The difference between salt ‘upon’ a person and the salt ‘in’ a person is an important one. Salt upon a person means the love of the Holy One is unilateral. He loves us. But we don’t as yet possess the means to reciprocate. Salt in a person means the love between Adonai and us is a ‘reciprocal’ love. In this reciprocal state of relationship Adonai loves us and we love Him back.

Insight #2.  Every Hebrew (an ancient term used to identify the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) possesses the privilege of the abiding Presence of the Holy One (He abides with you) but not every Hebrew is Indwelt by the Spirit (He will be in you).

Insight #3.  The assembly of Israel will be effectively guided by the Holy Spirit only when His Presence is Indwelling us. The people of Israel (individually and corporately) cannot fulfill the great promises given to our fathers without our assembly becoming spiritually empowered through the Indwelling Presence of the (omnipresent; i.e. He can and will Indwell all of us; individually and corporately) Holy One.

[Five points:] One, this is what I am saying: He is already with you but you also need to ask for and receive the second (marital) gift of the Indwelling Presence of the Spirit. Your receiving the gift of the Spirit within you ‘individually’ will hasten the day of the ‘corporate’ restoration of Israel and the establishment of the International Commonwealth of Israel.

Two, have faith (emunah). Quit thinking only in the natural (the modern natural ‘reasoning’ of the west). Think supernaturally (the ancient ‘faith’ of the middle east). Believe like our shepherding fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Aaron, Moses, and David) in the supernatural-miraculous way (as well as the natural). Today the Spirit is restoring the hearts of the ancient Hebrew fathers to us (their faith). And, in turn, our hearts are being restored to them; that is our hearts are being restored to their complete faith in Adonai.

Three, soon, we believe in this century, miraculously, Israel and the Gentile world will finally be brought to a place where it and its billions of people can enjoy all of the blessings and the good things that have been promised to us by Adonai through our Hebrew fathers. As the ‘elect’ Servant Nation we are called to be a light and a blessing to the Gentiles.

Four, when Israel is Restored the whole world will exist under the covering of Divine blessing. Without Restored Israel the whole world will continue to be ‘uncovered’ by the Divine blessing.

Four, the revived Nation of Israel and the Hebrew (Jewish) people are the key to everything. Without Shalom in Israel (and with Israel), the entire world lives under a curse (1, 2). With Israel dwelling in Shalom with the Almighty the whole world is blessed. There is much work to be done and it requires that we all become salt, inside and out!

Insight #4.  The one who aspires to be like Abraham, Moses, and David, must learn to live by the Spirit. Such a one daily walks (halakhah, lives his life) according to the will and the power of the Spirit of the Holy One. This does not mean such a one should study Torah all day long in a secluded room somewhere. Living in the Spirit is not always studying. Living is walking and abiding in the Spirit. Similarly, holiness is not being separated from the world. Holiness is being in the world and changing the world without the world changing you. What does that look like? To use a farmer’s analogy:  If you put Salt in a manure pile what do you get? You get fertilizer. And where do you put fertilizer? You put it on and in the ground. Then what happens? It makes things grow. Israel was never called to be an oasis in the desert. Israel is called to turn the entire spiritual desert of the world into a Garden: Israel is called to change the a useless world into a place that is useful.

Insight #5.  Being a person of salt in its purest form, being permeated without and within with the Presence of the Holy One, is being a change agent. For instance if you put Salt in a manure pile the Salt won’t change but the manure will. Other substances (symbolic of persons without salt) can’t help but be changed by Salt. We are Living in the manure pile of the Gentile world but we are different:

We are in the world but we are not of it (1, 2, 3, 4).

In other words our lives have a dual purpose. On Shabbat we are together in worship. We are privileged to be fit for inclusion in Adonai’s gourmet menu (Salt on ‘His’ Table). However, on the other days Israel is called upon to take up its place (as national Salt) inside the international manure pile. The world is a dirty, stinky place and if we are going to ever transform it to good use we are going to have to get dirty on the work days. Become a farmer. Get a shovel. Make some fertilizer. Apply it to the soil. Then convert the previously useless soil to good use. You have to get dirty and stinky before you can make things grow.

If Israel is the real salt it is called to be then Israel won’t change (diminish in its abiding in the Presence of the Holy One) but the world will.

In the case of Israel being “Salt in the World,” the soil of the international consciousness will gradually be transformed, sufficient for it to become qualified to grow natural and supernatural good stuff. Adonai through the Messiah called us (Israel– the Rule of G-d) to be Salt in the World (HaOlam). One day, I pray soon, we will live up to the high expectations of Adonai Eloheinu and the Messiah. A good place to start is for the Yehudim to start exercising faith in our own Messiah, Melekh HaiYehudim (the King of the Jews). Faith is not the natural business of the Gentiles that is why they are so ineffective at practicing it. Faith is primarily the business of the royal-priestly nation of Israel and that is why Avinu Shebashamayim insists we practice it. As did father Abraham, we should be leading the Gentiles into faith. They should not be leading us.

Insight #6.  Therefore, the earth and all that is in it belong to Adonai, who is our Father. He is both the Creator (Hayotzer) and the cultivator of life. He is a Farmer. But most of ‘His’ soil, the everyday ground of humanity’s ‘being,’ is arid and non-productive. The consciousness and behavioral life of humankind today is very much morally diseased and spiritually unproductive (worthless).

Insight #7.  It is Israel’s supernatural assignment (just read the law and the prophets to see what I am saying) to be salt in the world. We are called-out by the Spirit of Holiness to be faithful to Adonai and deal with the manure pile. Like the Holy One we are called to be farmers. We are to make Israel an oasis in the world and then, when the Messiah returns to us, to make the whole world like the Garden of Eden. This is a process outlined in the sodim (secrets, mysteries) of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. The new Israel is to be a nation of pure Salt; permeated through and through with the Divine Presence.

Insight #8.  There remains in Israel today an unbelievable amount of religious nonsense that is not solidly anchored in the Torah. I am referring to the extra-biblical writings of the Prushim rabbinate and their ridiculous extra-biblical writings. Of this religious gibberish the Master said: Throw it out! It is not of sufficient quality and usefulness to be applied to the manure pile of the world or to be used as Divine fertilizer in the ground of the future messianic kingdom!

Insight #9.  As previously stated a few paragraphs back, the Great Tower has been identified with the spring of Gihon and this water is a symbol of the springs of the Living Water of the Holy Spirit. The applied spiritual meaning being here that if the children of Israel were to rightly partake of the water of the Spring that lies within the Great Tower (also called the Tower of the Spring), then we would all be filled together with the Spirit of the Holy One. Then natural Israel would become the supernatural Israel that father Abraham always envisioned we (his physical descendants) would be: a blessing to all of the nations, peoples and families of the world! (i.e. father Abraham’s spiritual descendants; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7):

וְלֹא־יִקָּרֵ֥א ע֛וֹד אֶת־שִׁמְךָ֖ אַבְרָ֑ם וְהָיָ֤ה שִׁמְךָ֙ אַבְרָהָ֔ם כִּ֛י אַב־הֲמ֥וֹן גּוֹיִ֖ם נְתַתִּֽיךָ׃

“No longer shall your name be called ‘Exalted Father’ (אַבְרָ֑ם) Avram, But your name shall be ‘Father of a Multitude’ Avraham (אַבְרָהָ֔ם); For I [Adonai] have made you the father of a multitude of nations (אַב־הֲמ֥וֹן גּוֹיִ֖ם).

Insight #10.  In the ancient time of the development of the Tanakh the filling of the Spirit was rare and was usually related to the ability to serve in some particular area. Sinning against Adonai was defined as grieving the Spirit (Isaiah 63:10-11). The Spirit of the Holy One was the supernatural-creative force behind the work of the inspiration of all of the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings. All those who contributed to the written construction of the Tanakh were infallibly guided by the Spirit. The Spirit of Adonai gave these men supernatural wisdom (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Insight #11.  The Spirit of the Holy One gave these persons special skills in writing, just like He gave the tailors special skills for the making of the priestly garments (Exodus 28:3) and the workmen for the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 31:3; 35:30-35). The Spirit of Adonai infused into the Hebrew Scriptures supernatural power, just as He filled Samson with superhuman strength (1, 2, 3, 4). The Presence of the Holy One was involved in all of the miracles reported in the Tanakh. Without the (Help) Presence of the Holy One there is no salt, there is no significant blessings of both the natural and supernatural kind. But with the Divine Presence nothing is impossible!

Insight #12.  Every Hebrew man, woman, and child should be filled with the Spirit today. For it has been prophesied of this new generation of Israel that after we are filled with the Spirit then the Spirit will be poured out on all of the Gentiles of the world as well. The grand finale of the Great Commission being fulfilled is when the Messiah of Israel returns and all Israel is saved. Only a Messianic Israel can usher in the Golden Age of Israel and the International Commonwealth of Israel. Moses was not an Egyptian (a citizen of the evil world system). He just appeared to be one. Later we discovered He was a Jew and that was still not enough. It took time for us to believe in him too. Joseph was not an Egyptian. He just appeared to be one. Later we discovered He was a Jew. It took time for his brothers to stop being “afraid ” of their brother whom they had rejected and abused. Messiah is no Egyptian. The world just makes it so He appears to be one. He is Yehudi (a Jew). Like Moses and Joseph it will take more time for us to believe in Him and not to be afraid of Him (and His sincere followers; cf. Joel 2:27-29):

Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, that I am Adonai your Elohim and there is no other; and My people will never be put to shame. It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit (אֶשְׁפּ֤וֹךְ אֶת־רוּחִי֙) on all mankind (עַל־כָּל־בָּשָׂ֔ר-lit. all flesh, Gentiles included) and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

Insight #13.  In the spiritual struggle of Israel, every one of the Hebrew people face a world system that is contrary to the things of Adonai, the power of Satan to tempt us to sin, and a sin inclination (yetzer ha-ra) that wants to lead us back into the old life of slavery in ancient Egypt  (a symbol of the evil world system). The Salt of the Spirit of Adonai is the supernatural means of victory as the people of Israel yield to Him  allow Him to lead and guide us; rather, than to be led by the vain philosophies and empty deceits of men. In the Tanakh it is absolutely clear that the entire work of Adonai on behalf of Israel  is related to the question of whether or not the people of Israel are filled with the Spirit of the Holy One.

Insight #14.  A number of important blessings come into the world when even one person of Hebrew descent is filled with the Holy Spirit. On the day of Shavuot when the Spirit first began to return the hearts of the children (לֵ֥ב בָּנִ֖ים) to the hearts of our Fathers (לֵב־אָבוֹת֙), through His Indwelling Presence (the Unfailing Heart of the fathers is the Holy Spirit), there were only one hundred and twenty persons of Hebrew descent who were filled with the Spirit of the Holy One. Yet this small Jewish remnant of Israel has won over countless millions of Gentiles to faith in Adonai through their faithful obedience to the guidance of the Holy Spirit of Promise. Yet, the efforts of this righteous remnant (thus far) has not been enough to bring in the time of the messianic age. Why? Because the Gentile world can not and will not be changed until the entire nation of Israel is filled with the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit. The Gentile world has temporarily been blessed by our partial hardening (our temporary rejection of Messiah has led to their acceptance). This is true. Yet the Gentiles will be all the more richly blessed when our hearts are restored (at our acceptance) to the calling of the Spirit. Therefore, for the sake of the entire Gentile world and not just the Hebrew nation of Israel the hearts of the children must be restored to the hearts of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who faithfully heard, understood, and obeyed the guidance of the Heart of the their hearts (and ours), the Spirit of the Holy One.The Messiah prayed for every member of Israel race when He said:

קַדֵּשׁ אוֹתָם בָּאֱמֶת: דְּבָרְךָ אֱמֶת.פ

“Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth.”

Insight #15. The important experience of more and more persons of Hebrew descent becoming Spirit-filled will result in the progressive sanctification of (first) Israel and then all of the Gentile nations of the world. The inevitable result of this process of transformation will be that He, the Spirit of the Holy One, will one day fully manifest the fruit of His Spirit (His Divine virtue and unlimited power) among and through all Israel. This promised filling of the Spirit upon, in and through all of the the Hebrew nation and people will produce a collective character that will be powerful enough (in the messianic Kingdom of Adonai) to convert over ninety percent of all the Gentile world’s populace to faith in Adonai. This will transform the tiny little nation of Israel into an international Commonwealth of Israel that will administer the blessed Rule of G-d throughout all of the nations, peoples and families of the world.

Insight #16. The effect of being filled with the Spirit not only transforms a Hebrew person’s character but the experience also amplifies and empowers his (or her) natural talents and spiritual gifts. One of the supernatural gifts that is assigned by the Holy Spirit is the gift of teaching. Messiah predicted that His Hebrew disciples would supernaturally teach the Word of Adonai as inspired by the Holy Spirit to Israel and all of the Gentile nations and peoples of the world. As the omnipresent Spirit of Adonai (the Holy Spirit) personally teaches the children of Modern Israel He will guide them into all truth. This is made clear in Messiah’s saying:

עוֹד רַבּוֹת לִי לְהַגִּיד לָכֶם אַךְ לֹא־תוּכְלוּן שְׂאֵת עָתָּה׃ וְרוּחַ הָאֱמֶת בְּבֹאוֹ הוּא יַדְרִיךְ אֶתְכֶם אֶל־הָאֱמֶת כֻּלָּהּ כִּי לֹא יְדַבֵּר מֵעַצְמוֹ כִּי אִם־אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁמַע יְדַבֵּר וְהָאֹתִיּוֹת יַגִּיד לָכֶם׃

“I still have many things to tell you, but you will not be able to bear it now. When the Spirit of Emet (Truth) comes He will guide you to the entire truth. For He will not speak from Himself; rather, He will speak what He hears, and tell you (supernaturally) what is yet to come.”

Insight #17. Another important result of being filled with the Spirit is that the Hebrew nation can experience the guidance of the wisdom of the Holy One (Ruach Ha-Chokmah). This matter of Divine guidance (the gift of wisdom) enters in where the Word of Adonai is not specific about practical solutions that are customized to our modern era. The nation and people of Modern Israel need guidance in specific decisions that relate to their personal and professional lives and their national calling to be International Salt and Light (priests) to the other peoples and nations of the world. What is needed is not halakhot of men. What is needed is the supernatural Halakhah of the Spirit of Wisdom that will help Modern Israel tackle any problem, spiritual and scientific. Adonai is the LORD of all truth and wisdom: secular (the common grace wisdom of Solomon); and spiritual (special grace heart commitment, wisdom, of David). In the messianic age (the Kingdom of Adonai to come) the Spirit will personally assign the needed wisdom directly to each Hebrew person. There will no longer be any need for man-made rules:

The oral law of man will be replaced by the Oral Torah of the Spirit (Living Torah).

For the Spirit of the Holy One will directly (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) give His wisdom to every individual Hebrew man and woman. In the messianic age every individual citizen of Israel will possess his (her) own individual fig tree (spiritual-supernatural priestly relationship with Adonai) and grape vine (royal understanding and discernment) sufficient to fulfill each one’s Divine calling, our assigned duties and responsibilities. Israel will be perfectly one (echad); as if the nation and people were supernaturally one man, one body.

Twelve Reasons for not putting others before the Anointed One:

Reason #1.  Large crowds were going along with the Messiah and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross (Sign of the Tav) and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

Reason #2.  The Messiah impressed upon His followers the need for them to understand the difficulties that lie ahead. Israel enjoyed a very healthy family system and now that the Prushim rabbinate (orthodox religious leadership) of Israel had rejected Him, it was inevitable that they would eventually get around to rejecting and persecuting any of their own friends and relatives who would dare “defy” them and follow the Messiah.

Reason #3.  In advance the Master pointed out to His followers which relationships would be used by the religious and cultural elite of Israel to turn them away from Him and for]that matter, away from the Holy One who sent the Messiah.

[Two points] First, the false shepherds means to turn the entire Hebrew nation against the Messiah would come through seven sources (the will of each being a potential substitute for the will of Adonai):

1) Father,
2) Mother,
3) Wife,
4) Children,
5) Brothers,
6) Sisters,
7) Self.

The principal source of conflict between the will of the Righteous Father and His People would be one of natural-family loyalty over supernatural Family loyalty. Who gets first place? Adonai, Family or Self?

Second, by the first century populace of Israel putting the false shepherds (the Bramble Bush) and their family ties before Adonai the children of Israel temporarily lost the blessing, protection, and help of our Father, Adonai Eloheinu. However, since 1948 there are indications that the time of Prophecy, Signs, Miracles, and Wonders is beginning to return to the people and land of Israel.

Reason #4.  Messiah was saying: “Count the cost of being my disciple.” The cost of being an authentic follower of the Messiah is high. Too high for the first century Hebrew populace. In rabbinical Israel the decision of a Jew (or Jewess) to choose to be ‘worthy’ of the Master most often resulted in the follower being deemed an outcast in the eyes of his or her own family, friends, business associates, and religious leaders.

Reason #5.  A strong family system can bring good things (as it most often does). However, it can also bring bad things. In the case of Israel’s first century and beyond rejection of the Suffering Messiah the strong family, cultural and psychological bonds worked to harm the people. The family unity was used by the priestly and rabbinical religious elite as a weapon against the Messiah and His original followers who were all Jews. The religious elites (the Prushim and the Tzedukim) plotted in secret.They knew full well in their hearts that what they were doing was evil. Yet, they went and did the wickedness anyway. The leaders knew full well what they were doing. Sadly, the people did not. Therefore, the Suffering Messiah in His sacrificial anguish and torment cried out to heaven on behalf of His people:

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing”

Reason #6.  Using two illustrations in His mashal of the “Cost of Discipleship” the Rabbi of rabbis taught that His followers must be willing to pay the full price of their lives and, if necessary, be willing to give up all of their material possessions to follow Him.

Reason #7.  In the first illustration of the TOWER we learned that before one can begin to build one must be prepared to pay-out the full cost of the project.

Reason #8.  In the second illustration concerning the KING we learn that if a king determines he is unable to win an impending battle, he should send a delegation to the stronger opposing king, while he is still a long way off and ask for his terms for peace.

Reason #9.  Here’s what the Messiah was asking: “Before doing battle with the evil one and his evil world system that at present controls the world, do you have sufficient resources and will-power to win the battle?” The answer, in truth, should only be “Yes” if you have the support of the Messiah. Only the Messiah and Adonai are stronger than the evil one (1, 2).

Reason #10.  Messiah is also inferring the reverse question: “Before doing battle with the Savior of all Men (HaMoshia l’chol Adam), who inevitably will control the whole world, do you have sufficient resources to win the battle against Him?” The answer, in truth, has to be an unqualified “No!” In such a circumstance one would be best served if he immediately sought after and accepted a peace agreement with the Messiah. This is so because no force or power in all of creation can prevail against Adonai and His Chosen One, the Messiah (cf. Psalm 2; ashrei-man, Part II).

The rejection of the Suffering Messiah (Ben Yosef) by our ancestors (old Israel) has been a open, festering wound in the side of our people for far too long (almost two millennia). Furthermore, our return to the land (modern Israel) has not yet put an end to the problem.

Did not our ancestors reject our own Messiah? Did  not our elite religious leaders blaspheme the Spirit of the Holy One?

Ask yourselvef if our ancestors did such a good thing of rejecting such a powerful evil adversary—a false messiah, a sorcerer who could do miracles—why did the Holy One not openly reward us for the great victory we had won? Why does it feel like the opposite? Why has it taken nearly twenty centuries for Adonai Eloheinu to put a new generation of Israel back into the land? Why does it seem like our ancestors were wandering for nearly two millennia in the wilderness as punishment for our non-belief?

So what is your answer? Our answer is that our ancestors (old Israel) stupidly rejected our own Messiah who was sent to us by Adonai and because He demanded that we grow-up spiritually before He would bless us materially; and because our religious and political leaders were threatened by him (the man)—they (we) rejected Him (the Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of the Holy One).

We believe that most of our elite religious leaders deliberately chose to blaspheme the Spirit of the Holy One; rather than give up their rule over us (the people) and lose their material wealth and political power. These rulers actually told our Messiah, whom Adonai sent, that the Spirit within Him was the spirit of the evil one.

Our religious leaders blasphemed when they called the Spirit of the Holy One who Indwells M’shicho—the spirit of ha-satan.

How much trouble do you think this caused our ancestors (old Israel) and now those of us (modern Israel) who are living today? The Messiah said that the blasphemy against him (the man) would be forgiven but calling the Holy Spirit that Indwelt him the spirit of the evil one—-would never be forgiven.

Now we are being given a second chance and we believe this new generation of Israel will accept Messiah and be reconciled with Adonai.

But how long will it take? You tell us. We don’t know. But we expect this twenty-first century will be the century when it happens. When what happens? When the Messiah returns then all of the promises to the fathers and the prophets will be fulfilled.

Read Psalm 2 and see that Israel is only victorious in our dealings with the Gentile Nations when our Messiah reappears:

“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. blessed are all who take refuge in Him.”

Ask yourself what would happen if the above messianic help was offered by Adoani and then rejected? How much favor with Adonai would we lose? Would there be any refuge for us anywhere in the world? Without heaven’s support who would protect us form the raging hatred of the Gentile peoples and nations of the world? You know the answer.

Without heaven’s support we have become the most hated and despised people on the earth.

Yet, in spite of all we have gone through we still fail to hear the warnings of the prophets, who clearly predicted long ago that we would fail to hear the Message of the Messiah’s besorah:

Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the Arm of Adonai been revealed? 
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

Reason #11. There is no possible way, even if all of the combined forces of the fallen angels and all of the nations and peoples of the earth opposed the Messiah that they could ever win such an undertaking. It is absolutely impossible to defeat the One who Adonai has blessed forever. The futility of going into battle against the Messiah and the Spirit of the Holy One who sent Him is an insane undertaking. What we find most amazing is how could our ancestors do what they did. Did our ancestors not learn something from what eventually happened to all of the Gentile nations and peoples of the world when they long-opposed the will of the G-d of Heaven?

The Second Psalm clearly describes how completely futile an endeavor it is for any one nation or for that matter all of the nations to oppose the Messiah, who is the Son of Adonai.

[Four points:] First, “Why are the Gentiles in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against Adonai and against His Anointed One (the Messiah) saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”

Second, “He who sits enthroned in the heavens laughs, Adonai scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have consecrated and installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

Third, “I will surely tell of the decree of Adonai: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break and rule them with a rod of iron. You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”

Fourth, “Now therefore, O kings, show discernment. Take warning, O judges of the earth. Serve and worship Adonai with respectful fear and reverence. And rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way. For His wrath may  soon, quickly, and suddenly be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”

Reason #12.  Especially pay attention to the last sentence of the Psalm: “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” This mirrors the verse, “The name of Adonai is a Strong Tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10). In this way we see that:

The Messiah who comes in the Name of Adonai is the Strong Tower that the righteous run into and are safe.

Forty-nine Points about the use of Salt in the Tanakh:

Point #1.  Salt is a flavor enhancer. Even Job acknowledged this (Job 6:6): “Can something tasteless be eaten without salt?”

A.  Salt was most valuable as a preservative before refrigeration.
B.  As a salt-brine it possesses the ability to dehydrate bacterial cells, inhibit bacterial growth, and prevent food from spoiling.
C.  Salt draws the blood and moisture out of fresh meat, drying and preserving it.
D.  Salt helps give bread dough a uniform texture, processed meats a firmer texture, and gives an even consistency in cheese and other foods.
E.  It is salt that helps make bread bake to a lovely golden color.

Point #2.  Even though the oceans of the world contain fifty million billion tons of salt, it takes an amazing forty million tons of salt to satisfy the world’s needs every year.

Point #3.  For most of the ancient world, salt was rare and very costly. Countries without salt had to import it, and salt-tax was prevalent. Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, acknowledged that there was such a tax in his day.

Point #4.  Did you know that more wars have been fought over salt than over gold? It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution, which introduced mass production that such battles over salt came to an end.

Point #5.  In ancient days salt was used as a form of compensation and income. Ezra 4:14 refers to this: “Now because we are in the service (melach) of the palace…” The Aramaic word “service” is sometimes translated “maintenance,” but a literal translation would be, “Now because we eat the salt of the palace,” meaning the king provided their salary. The Latin word for a Roman’s salt ration is where we get our word “salary.”

Point #6.  Salt represents a covenant with Adonai. The “Salt of the Covenant” mentioned in Leviticus 2:13 follows the prohibition of using leaven and honey  (cf. Leviticus 2:11). Both honey and leaven cause “corruption” or fermentation. Salt does not cause corruption, but purifies and preserves and as such is a symbol of “incorruptibility.”

Point #7.  Every Shabbat salt is used to remember Adonai’s everlasting covenant. “Everlasting” is a word that describe Adonai’s faithfulness to always keep all of His promises. We are still learning how to keep our promises but one day (the day of resurrection) we will be able to love the Holy One as He loves us now (perfectly; without moral spot, wrinkle or blemish). Even if Adonai’s people are unfaithful, His love is indestructible and incorruptible. So He continues to remain faithful in the fulfillment of His part of the Salt Covenant; He remains faithful (without corruption) even when we are (corrupt) unfaithful.

Point #8.  Every Shabbat (Sabbath) meal there is the salting of the challah (loaves of bread). On Shabbat salt is added to the challah because on this day the family dinner table becomes an Altar to the Holy One. Just before the blessing is said over the bread the father reaches for the salt and sprinkles salt over the two loaves. The salting of the challah is a reminder of the Twelve Loaves of Bread on the Temple’s Table of Shewbread. This is also a reminder that all the offerings of the Temple times were salted. The command is found in Leviticus (2:13), the Torah says:

1st- וְכָל־קָרְבַּ֣ן מִנְחָתְךָ֮ בַּמֶּ֣לַח תִּמְלָח֒ – “ve kol korban minchateka bamelach timlach.” And all of the grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt.

2nd- וְלֹ֣א תַשְׁבִּ֗ית מֶ֚לַח בְּרִ֣ית אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ מֵעַ֖ל מִנְחָתֶ֑ךָ – “ve lo tashbit melach berit Elohekha meal minchatekha.” So that the salt of the covenant (מֶ֚לַח בְּרִ֣ית) of your G-d shall not be lacking from your grain offering.

3rd- עַ֥ל כָּל־קָרְבָּנְךָ֖ תַּקְרִ֥יב מֶֽלַח – “al kol korbankha takriv melach.” with all of your offerings you shall offer salt.

For these important reasons we should never look at salt in a common way, not just at the Shabbat table, but anytime we use it. It should remind us of who we are and who Adonai Eloheinu is. The Presence of the Holy One is the Salt and we should be salty!

Point #9.  In Numbers 18:19 we read, “All of the offerings of the holy gifts, which the sons of Israel offer to Adonai I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before Adonai to you and your descendants with you.” Here we see an additional emphasis, that of the “everlasting” or “perpetual.” This means that the Covenant of the Salt is still effective today and that it will continue to be in effect throughout all eternity.

Point #10.  In the days of the Second Temple King Herod held a monopoly on salt coming from the Dead Sea, which supplied the priests with the salt they needed for the Temple rituals. Earlier, in Ezra’s time, it was the king of Persia who supplied the salt (cf. Ezra 7:21–22). The worshiper, in fact, was not required to supply the salt for the sacrifices. Salt, as well as wood and oil, were provided by the Temple and kept in special chambers on the Temple compound.

Point #11.  In ancient Israel salt was used for sanctification. After Abimelech captured an enemy city, “he sowed it with salt” (Judges 9:45). Josephus mentions such a thing also: “and when he had overthrown the city to the very foundations, for it was not able to bear a siege, and had sown its ruins with salt, he proceeded on with his army” (Antiquities, Book V, Chapter 7).

Point #12.  One popular Jewish tradition is that when one moves to a new house, the house is sown with salt to sanctify it and cleanse it.

Point #13.  The ancient Israelites washed a newborn baby with water after rubbing the baby softly with salt (Ezekiel 16:4). Sanctification and cleansing with salt and/or water was a common custom among the ancient Israelites. Elisha used salt to purify a city’s water supply (2Kings 2:21).

Point #14.  Partaking in common of salt by two parties seated together at a table was an ancient symbol of friendship and alliance. In the Arab culture they have a saying, “there is salt between us” (هناك الملح بيننا – hnak almulihh baynana) to refer to a contract made between two parties. Therefore, among the ancients and many in the middle east today, salt was/is a symbol of friendship.

Point #15. The Talmidim of Messiah (and the Hebrew nation as a whole) are compared to salt. Salt, which has lost its salty character, is utterly useless. A disciple who does not manifest the Presence of the graciousness and mercy (salt) of the Holy One has lost his (her) salty character and is utterly useless; in so far as service to Adonai is concerned. When functioning as a group the bad behavior of one un-salty disciple can significantly dilute the overall positive effect of the goodness of the entire group. While salt can preserve and flavor almost any food, it is useless to add good salt to bad, and salt without flavor should be thrown away. So the disciples who do not practice radical dependence upon and constant and abiding spiritual sensitivity toward the purifying Presence (Salt) of the Holy One are useless. These disciples are useless when it comes to positively impacting the rottenness of the world; which so sorely needs the preserving-purifying Presence of the Spirit of Holiness.

Point #16.  The moral character indicated in Messiah’s teaching on the Covenant of Salt is not sourced in Man (one’s own self or others); or in the fallible teachings of men. The Master is talking about the need for His talmidin and all of His fellow Hebrews to exercise a constant and abiding personal dependence on the Holy One and in so doing become Salt (and Light) to the entire World.

Point #17.  The central appeal of Messiah is not that we rely on ourselves alone; which today seems to be almost as much a Hebrew preoccupation as it is a Gentile one. The Master is telling the Hebrew Nation that the Covenant of Salt will only be fulfilled as we exercise a constant and abiding (radical, raging) dependence on the Spirit of the Holy One Himself!

The Salt in view here is what the Divine Presence does upon, in, and through us (Israel).

Point #18.  Messiah was anticipating that in the future the Divine Presence of the Holy One would one day permanently Indwell the individual hearts, minds, souls, and bodies of all of the children of Israel.

Point #19.  Although the vast majority of Israel rejected the Suffering Messiah in the first century CE there was a small remnant of several thousand Jews who did not. It is this remnant of Israel that Messiah is principally referring to when addressing the Jewish crowd He said:

The children of Israel are the salt of the earth!

Israel as a nation and a people are called the salt of the earth in Messiah’s teaching. The entire nation and people are chosen, elect, but at the time of Messiah’s first appearance only a remnant of elect Israel responded to the “call.” By the extended grace (chen, chesed) of the Salt Covenant, the Presence of the Holy One had already been “with” every Hebrew man, woman, and child since the time of Moses. This continues today. Some Yehudim (Jews) are consciously aware of this privilege. Most are not.

When the ‘Moses to come’ appeared (the Messiah) to make atonement for Israel, to fulfill the promise of the redemption of Israel, and to secure for His people the gift of the ‘Indwelling’ Presence of the Spirit: The Hebrew people led by their (unsalty) false shepherds rejected the Messiah. The people were forgiven for rejecting the Moses to come. The Messiah affirmed this fact Himself. However, the people could not be forgiven for following their religious leaders’ insulting rejection of the Spirit of Grace and Truth (chesed v’ emet) that Indwelt the Anointed One.

Therefore,  the Holy One was profanely rejected. This (ignorant) mass rejection greatly insulted the Spirit of Grace (רוּחַ הַחֶסֶד) by trampling under foot the redemptive sacrifice of the Messiah and regarding as unclean the blood of the covenant (דַם הַבְּרִית).  The most horrible profanity was when some of Israel’s elite religious leaders dared to call the Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of the Holy One: The Spirit of Satan.

Messiah referred to this more severe tragedy of insulting the Spirit of Grace when He warned Israel’s religious leaders that their blasphemy against Him (the Son of Man) would be completely forgiven but that their blasphemies against the Spirit of the Holy One (calling the Spirit of the Holy One that Indwelt Messiah haSatan) would never be forgiven.

Point #20.  The seasoning that the Master urged the people of Israel to acquire was the seasoning of the Divine Presence. This seasoning must constantly be dwelling  ‘in’ our hearts, souls, minds, and spirits. Only those Yehudim who have exercised faith in the Messiah have received the heavenly Father’s gift of the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit. This Gift of of our Father in heaven is available to everyone born of Hebrew lineage. Yet, only a small remnant of Israel has yet to exercise this privilege. One day, we believe in this century, the entire nation of Israel will exercise this privilege!

Point #21.  Messiah is saying to His Hebrew Talmidim, after the Divine Presence dwelt within them, you will manifest His Salt (His Divine Essence) in your consciousness and in your behavioral life; so that those who come in contact with you will be positively impacted by the excellent natural and supernatural Presence of the Holy One that dwells within you and is working through you.

Point #22.  Therefore, it is only the works of the Spirit of Holiness that adds Divine flavor to our lives. No Divine Presence. No flavor. The works of His Presence must be reverenced. The Presence of the Holy One must be kept in a special treasured, exalted place of our conscious being. We must put His Presence above everyone and everything else.

Point #23.  Messiah’s common, ordinary Hebrew disciples did this and so the Messiah calls them the “Salt of the earth.”  However, many of the later generations of the Gentile followers of Messiah have left out the salt entirely. While identifying with the name of the Messiah these multitudes of persons have done the wicked deeds of the evil one; and the truth be told they were not of Adonai and as such they were not of the Messiah. Therefore, the Messiah said of these false followers:

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

Point #24.  The Messiah warned His Hebrew followers that just as the whole of ancient Israel was infiltrated with the works of the enemy of our souls, so His own messianic movement that was entrusted at the first solely to His Hebrew disciples, would one day be infiltrated and corrupted by the Gentiles. Many would come to confess the name of Messiah without really knowing Him or Adonai. These future Gentile leaders would come in the Messiah’s name but the truth is they would be false prophets and false teachers. Therefore, we are to be discerning and not follow such as these:

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.”

Point #25.  When has there ever been a large scale movement of Yehudim who have called the Messiah “Lord, lord”? The answer is there never has been such a movement. The Yehudim have not as yet embraced full-faith in the Salvation of Adonai (Yeshua). So who are these people who claim to know the Messiah, speak on His behalf and claim to have done miracles in His name?

Point #26.  There is only one possible answer to the previous question, “These false prophets and false teachers must nearly all be Gentiles!” This means at the first the religious leaders of the Jews betrayed the Messiah and at the last it is the Gentiles who betray Him. No wonder the Messiah said:

פלַשּׁוּעָלִים יֵשׁ מְאוּרוֹת וּלְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם קִנִּים, אַךְ בֶּן־הָאָדָם אֵין לוֹ מָקוֹם לְהַנִּיחַ אֶת רֺאשׁוֹ.פ

“The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man (בֶּן־הָאָדָם) has nowhere to lay His head.”

Point #27.  Furthermore, we know that these Gentile false shepherds, who will enjoy a mass following of nations and peoples will be Jew-haters. How do we know? The Messiah warned His first generation of Hebrew followers that in the future their movement would be corrupted (would be completely without the Presence of the Spirit of Holiness). Then, one of the signs of the corruption would be that these false prophets and false teachers would deliberately and violently begin persecuting Jews: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'”

Point #28.  Therefore, the Messiah’s warnings were unheeded and these unsalted ones (first the Jewish, then the Gentile apostasy) became just as He prophesied, they became:

1) Tasteless,
2) Self-centered,
3) Without seasoning,
4) Useless, not worthy to even be used as fertilizer for the soil of the Kingdom of heaven and the Kingdom of Adonai.

Tragically, many so-called Gentile followers of the Messiah are living in just such a worthless self-deluded state. Without the true salt of Adonai’s Presence (His works) these false followers works (real or imagined) will all be “thrown out.”

Point #29.  We believe what is happening today is Adonai is completing His outreach to the gentile world and He is turning His attention back toward Israel. When Israel rejected the Messiah the Holy One reached out to the Gentile nations and peoples. But as stated many times before all of the nations were tested but none of them continuously proved themselves to be Rich in Adonai.

Point #30.  When Israel fully understands and accepts more than the mere traditional symbol of the Covenant of Salt but the spiritual ‘reality’ of the Covenant of the Salt, then we will once again receive both the gracious redemptive work of Messiah and the gift of the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit:

Then will Israel finally become Adonai’s national Light of the world and His Salt of the earth.

Point #31.  Salt was something that could not be destroyed by fire or time or any other means in antiquity. This means that in the Salt Covenant of Adonai He would never (permanently) forsake His people Israel and also that His children have a perpetual duty to the Holy One to respond in kind.

Point #32.  To have salt in one’s inner self (heart, soul, mind) reminds us of all the properties of salt, the foremost in this case being purity. The ancient Hebrews (what our ancestors in ancient times called themselves) declared that there was nothing in the world purer than salt because it came from the two purest things, the sun and the sea. The very glistening whiteness of salt was a picture of purity. This fits with the refining process. When we go through the fire we come out purified.

When we live daily in a receptive, humble manner toward the Spirit of the Holy One, His Divine Presence purifies us.

In this manner of life we grow more and more each day to be like the One we love—-Abba Avinu. Only when we daily love Adonai and others with the love He first loved us with (when we respond in kind) do we become infused with His Presence. Then and only then, solely by the works of the Spirit of Grace, do we experience the fullness of His life.

Again, notice that the Master said we are to have salt “in” ourselves. There is a great difference in the two prepositions “with” and “in.” Also, notice that Salt has to do with Shalom. If we seek wellness with others in our own limited strength without benefit of the Divine Presence ruling within us we will fail.

Point #33.  The synonym for the Covenant of Salt that exists between us and the Holy One is the Covenant of the Grace of Adonai. Salt “that has lost its taste” is what happens when we mix the Graciousness of Adonai—His own gracious eternally efficacious works and teaching—with our own self-generated ungracious and ineffective works and teachings. Salt that has lost its taste is a reference to salt that is ‘contaminated’ with other minerals, causing a weakness in flavor or a bland unpleasant taste. In such a case the life of the Salt is to some degree uselessly infused into other materials that dilute its potency. The Salt loses its unique character in the ‘mixture.’ Therefore, whenever large amounts of other minerals are mixed in with salt the new material possesses salt residue in it—but the new material is not salt. We must be careful about the preponderance of other things we bring into our lives that would dilute the dominance of the Presence of Adonai. This includes hyper-religious activities that are intellectual substitutes for a life of real service to and genuine friendship with our heavenly Father.

Point #34.  Messiah’s use of the phrase “has lost its taste” is a symbolic reference to the possibility of our abandoning or deviating from the pure, undefiled works of the Holy One. The Salt loses its flavor when the Divine Presence of Adonai is subordinated to our desire to control, for our self glorification, what really belongs solely to the Creator. The temple of our bodies, brains, minds, souls, and spirits were created by Adonai and we were created for Him. We can study Torah until we get nosebleeds. But that is not what the Holy One desires. Avinu Shebashamayim first desires friendship with us. Like father Abraham we are called to first be the ‘friends’ of Adonai. Then second, we are called to be the friends of each other. The love of Adonai and each other is the fulfillment of all of the Law. The entirety of all of the combined revelation of Abba our Father hinges on this: Be Love! Do Love!

Point #35.  The Master’s statement “Have salt in yourselves, and be at shalom with one another” is an explanation of the central meaning of the Covenant of Salt. The central purpose of the Covenant of Salt is so the friendship and compassion (the Divine Shalom) of the Holy One might first be Present “upon”  and “in” Israel, and then, second, manifested out “through” Israel to all the Gentile nations and peoples of the world (hence, the law of hospitality plays a large role in this Divine initiative).

Point #36.  Part of being an authentic follower of the Messiah is learning that we are not to become a slave of the things we own or of the social programming that other people have put consciously or unconsciously in our brains. Rather, through our Mind ruling over our brain we are to be servants of the Spirit of the Holy One. So then, the Messiah has said, “None of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions to the poor.” The Master is simply saying here, “You have to say ‘no’ to materialism before you can follow Me and learn, like Me, to be Rich in Adonai.”

Point #37.  “For everyone will be salted with fire.” Sacrifices are salted. If a sacrifice was not salted, it was not acceptable. For us to be acceptable “living” sacrifices to Adonai we have to occasionally go through the refiner’s fire, so all the “unsavory,” “impure,” “unhealthy” elements of our consciousness which are useless to the Holy One are burned up.

Point #38.  This voluntary sacrifice of one’s self and all of one’s possessions on the altar of Adonai’s mercy and grace means that one who hopes to follow Messiah, to become Rich in Adonai, must be absolutely committed to serve Him throughout all of his (or her) lifetime. Since the way that we fulfill the Great Commandment of loving Adonai is through serving humankind (practicing hospitality) this is a call for commitment for all of us who have been fortunate enough to be blessed by the Anointed One to extend our helping hand out to those who are most in need of our assistance.

Point #39.  If we are not seeing all that is given to us as actually being the property of the Holy One, then are we not saying that “we are not His treasured possession?” If we are living in a manner that says, “we am not yours, we belong to ourselves alone,” then how is it that the Holy One bears any responsibility whatsoever for our individual and collective welfare?

Point #40.  Purity does not mean isolation. Purity is a form of immense engaging, penetrating strength. There is an incredibly powerful potency (forcefulness) to purity. Impurity, in contrast to the incredible force of purity, is weakness. The character of the pure substance always out performs the character of the impure one. Therefore, four points about this.

First holiness. The temporal phase of our eternal existence is not about shrinking back and hiding from the problems of the world. Holiness is sanctuary in the Presence of the Beloved but it is also a setting apart for an aggressive overcoming engagement with evil.

Second, good overcomes evil. Adonai engages and overcomes the rulers, powers, and authorities of darkness in the world while retaining all of His purity. This overcoming force of Adonai’s purity of Presence is what we need to preserve and change (transform) the world from being a place that is unsalted and inhospitable to a place that is thoroughly salted and is wonderfully hospitable.

Third, Israel is in the salt (grace) business. It is the royal nation’s calling to separate the ‘chaos’ from the Divine order. This process of separating the chaos from the Salt is a refinement process. It is a process of patience. The salt has to co-exist in a pit full of chaos while the fire of the sun descends upon both elements, until the water (the chaos) is completely evaporated and all that remains is the Salt. Fourth, he maturation process of the original Hebrew Talmidim of Ha-Mashiach was a harsh one. They were trained to overcome. They encountered numerous  testings and fiery ordeals. This fire refined them, built them up, it gave them discipline, it made them more sensitive, responsive, and dependent upon the Spirit of the Holy One.

Point #41. You can’t make salt without the Presence of the All-consuming fire of the Holy One’s Presence burning up and consuming the chaos:

There is no salt without the refining influence of the abiding, all-consuming, fiery presence of the Sun.

The phrase “every man will be salted with fire” (הן כל אחד ימלח באש) refers to the refining process Adonai Avinu has had to employ to transform our rebellious, stiff-necked people (Israel) into a state of general compliance.

Salt is stamped with the “Divine Power” of the eternal, all-consuming fire of Adonai. Internal to the Covenant of Salt there is an unbearable refining process that must be undergone if we are to be qualified to become the salt of the earth.

This horrible but necessary refinement process is a means to qualification. Not disqualification. This means that when our Father in heaven salts us, refines us with fire, He is putting His stamp of ownership and approval on us. He is connecting us to the Covenant of Salt He made so long ago in ancient times with our physical (and spiritual) fathers.

Point #42.  You cannot say you are a follower of Messiah and be so unsalted that you don’t love the Master’s own temporarily estranged but natural, permanently beloved family. Satan has temporarily discredited the Messiah by sending multitudes of false disciples and false teachers in His Name. Messiah told His Hebrew remnant this would happen and it has!

Point #43.  The Covenant of Salt is a covenant of perpetual obligation. In cultures throughout the Middle East region the eating of salt is a sign of friendship (even to this day). In the case of Adonai He is obligating Himself in His Covenant of Salt to be Israel’s Friend. However, it is a two-party covenant, so Adonai’s gracious perpetual offer requires that we reciprocally act in good faith toward Him,  as His friend.

Point #44.  The ancient Hebrew people harvested salt by pouring sea water into pits and letting the water evaporate until only the salt was left. In the ancient Hebrew idiom the water of the sea is a symbol of chaos (go study the Hebrew letter “Mem” pictograph). Therefore, in the symbolism of this ancient fiery refinement process we see prophetically that it is the chaos that must be evaporated, burned up, consumed first.

This means that self-judgment must precede true friendship with the Holy One.

Judgment must begin first in the Household of Adonai. Then what will appear is this magnificent substance of the Divine Presence (symbolized in the symbol of Salt). It is the Divine Presence alone that can administer  “healing,” “preservation,” and “purification” to Israel and thereafter to the entire Gentile world.

Point #45.  The messianic kingdom will arrive soon. We believe in this century. The New Generation of Israel will be like a newborn baby (a new creation). Newborn babies were rubbed with salt in ancient Israel (Ezekiel 16:4). The significance of rubbing a newborn with salt is to indicate that the child would be raised up under the (seasoning) influence of Adonai’s own graciousness (chesed, chen) and truthfulness (emet): Whatever Abba our Father says He will do, He always does!

Point #46.  This perpetual offer of Friendship by Adonai to His chosen people of Israel is found symbolically represented everywhere in Israel’s religious traditions and rituals:

A.  Salt was cast on the burnt offering (Ezekiel 43:24).
B.  Salt  was part of the incense (Exodus 30:35).
C.  Salt was included in the temple offerings (Ezra 6:9).

Point #47. Leviticus 2:13 reads, “And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your Almighty One to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.”

Another place the term Covenant of Salt is used is in 2 Chronicles 13:5. In the days after Solomon when Israel was divided into the two kingdoms, Abijah, king of Judah, came against King Jeroboam of the northern kingdom.

When speaking to Jeroboam, Abijah remarked before the battle began, “Do you not know that the Adonai Almighty of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a Covenant of Salt?” Abijah knew Adonai had made just such a covenant with Abijah’s forefather David when He promised David an everlasting kingdom (2 Samuel 7:16). To Abijah, the “salt of the covenant” was a symbol of something that lasts forever. Abijah also knew that although Jeroboam had set up a religious institution and kingdom of His own (in the north of Israel) to compete with the form and likeness of the throne of David and the Temple in Jerusalem—it would fail. It would fail because it possessed no salt. Jeroboam lacked the essential ingredient for true success, everlasting success: the Promised Presence of the Spirit of the Holy One Himself!

Point #48.  Therefore, under the Covenant of Salt and the Law of Hospitality (cf. chapter 45) Israel is called as a covenant people to be a witness nation to all the nations and peoples of the world. We are elected to be a national witness of Adonai’s Graciousness and His desire to extend His Covenant of Friendship to all who will turn to Him and believe in His Besorah of Salt; His Good News Message of Grace and Mercy.

Point #49.  The Mitzvah of Hospitality, Hachnasat Orchim (הכנסת אורחים), literally means “Bringing in the Guests.” The verb “bringing in” is an active transitive verb. This means the people of Israel are called to cause others to come in. “Come in where?” Through the mitzvah of hospitality we the Hebrew People must nationally and internationally inspire others to come into the Kingdom of heaven here on earth. We are causing others to come into the generous provision of the heavenly Father’s family here on earth. We are called to do our part in persuading the Gentile peoples of the world to become the friends of Adonai; instead of (remaining) His estranged enemies.

Interpretation:

The Messiah reminds us that the Cost of Discipleship and salvation is death to our self-life and rebirth into the life of Adonai. We cannot enter into a right relationship with the heavenly Father until we become morally and spiritually perfect (shalom; complete) as He is. The Messiah has laid out for us a clear path so that we might attain this. The temple sacrifices foreshadowed the once-in-eternity sacrifice of Messiah that alone can forensically purify us of sin and make us legally (morally and ethically) acceptable to the Holy One.

When we trample underfoot the sacrificed life of the Messiah we insult the Presence of the Spirit of Grace (Ruach Ha-Chesed).

Salt is a symbol of the Presence of the Spirit of the Holy One. For His Presence to remain salty upon, in and through us we must lift up His Name and His Word with all honor, love and respect so that His Presence will not diminish and depart from us (completely) over time. Therefore, we are not to treat what is holy as common (i.e. wastefully spill the salt out on the ground). The ancient Hebrews (our Jewish ancestors) did not put their salt on the dirt. They carefully stored (preserved) their salt upon a solid rock surface so that it would not decay and spoil. Salt is a symbol of the preserving and purifying graciousness, purity and favor that comes from a proper respect and love for the Presence of the Spirit of the Holy One.

When we ignorantly and sinfully mix the holy salt with man’s dirt (vain secular philosophies and empty religions) the Presence of the Holy One will become useless to us. Messiah taught us that Israel is to be Salt and Light to the World. He humorously mentioned the three terms “salt,” “soil,” and “manure pile” together. This is a nice way of the Messiah saying to us that our calling to be “the salt of the world” includes the mitzvah that each and every one of us must possess an abiding sense of commitment to Abba Avinu’s law of hospitality and we must also (humbly) exercise His great sense of humor too.

Messiah in Yom HaBikkurim Chapter 49 >>