Thursday, December 26, 2019

From a Rock to a City

In my testimony book, Return To The Land, I make mention of a dream that I had shortly after returning from my second trip to Israel in 1977.  In this dream I saw a very large black rock on a beach by the ocean.  Five successive waves that washed to shore, broke up the rock. As I pondered the dream I felt it had something to do with the House of Jacob. Years later”, as I was reading Isaiah 51:1-2 more was revealed regarding the “rock: "Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, who seek YHVH: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.  Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; when he was one I called him, then I blessed him and multiplied him". 
As novices in geology or mineralogy, when passing by large rock formations we miss what is actually contained or hidden in those stones.  Could that also be also true regarding the rock of Isaiah 51?  How many of us can see the twelve precious stones of the High Priest’s breastplate in that rock?  How is it that according to the scripture this rock signifies a righteousness that is worth pursuing? And how is “looking” at that rock connected to seeking YHVH? Moreover, these verses also indicate that the pursuer himself has been quarried out of that same rock. This rock of Abraham and Sarah has even more peculiar characteristics.  In Scripture Elohim’s identity is many times tied to Abraham (and to his son Isaac and grandson Jacob). Thus three of the gospels record YHVH’s words regarding this matter and quoted by Yeshua: “I am the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob”. Yeshua goes on to say: “Elohim is not the Elohim of the dead, but of the living" (Matthew 22:32).  How is it, that at that point in history, the forefathers were described as still being alive, and can it be said, in the same way, that they are still alive today?
“Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude -- innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore” (Hebrews 11:12) were the words pronounced about Abraham, words that were also applicable to Sarah (v.11).  As far as reproduction of life, Abraham and Sarah were both dead, yet the Almighty Elohim and Creator brought forth life from them, defying death, in a manner of speaking. "I have made you [Abraham] a father of many nations, in the presence of Him whom he believed -- Elohim, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17). 
Abraham and Sarah’s son, Isaac, was called into life by the Spirit of YHVH and became the father of a chosen race of people.  But now, thus says YHVH, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine’” (Isaiah 43:1).  One cannot help but notice that throughout the Tanach over 200 verses mention: “My People”. At one stage in the history of “My People” YHVH called them “NOT My People”, but by the Covenant of Mercy He restored to them their identity, back to being “My people”.  
The stones quarried out of the rock of Abraham by YHVH who has also fashioned them, are “living stones". These stones are no ordinary stones; they are “precious stones”, although covered by clay (flesh) (see Lamentations 4:1-2).  As such they were hidden in sin and kept under law, yet in them lay dormant “the faith” of their father Abraham, so that when the time would come for that faith to be revealed (see Galatians 3:23). YHVH Himself, by His Mighty Right Arm, would purchase this treasure along with the ground where it was hidden (see Matthew 13:44). He would cleanse the stones by His blood, sculpture and polish them and make use of them for building the city that Abraham was waiting for:  “By faith he [Abraham] dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is Elohim” (Hebrews 11:9-10). 
YHVH, for His part, “laid a foundation stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation” (ref. Isaiah 28:16).  Following this act, it says about the stones that they are , “coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious,  you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:4-5) (see also Ephesians 3:19-22).  Thus, as precious and redeemed living stones they can be built into YHVH’s temple-city.   This city is said to have no temple, because YHVH Elohim and Yeshua the Lamb are its temple (ref. Revelation 21:22), but as the Spirit of Elohim resides in each of the stones, the city itself becomes the temple. 
Now, as you look at the rock from which you were hewn, can you see the city?
“The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.  The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.  But I saw no temple in it, for YHVH Elohim Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of Elohim illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.  And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it” (Revelation 21:18-24). 

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