Friday, June 13, 2008


As the nation of Judah/Israel celebrates Shavuot this week, among the many important topics that are pertinent to the Feast there are a few which I would like correlate to us, who have received the "first fruit of the new creation" through our Messiah, who is our First Fruit.

When the disciples were with Yeshua on the Mount of Olives, ten days before Shavuot, they asked Him when He was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel. In response He told them to wait in Jerusalem until they would receive power, through the Spirit of Holiness, and become His witnesses of this restoration (ref Acts 1:8). When Shavuot arrived they did receive that which was promised; the Spirit of Holiness came upon them as a mighty rushing wind. But what does the receiving of the Spirit have to do with the Kingdom and this "First Fruit" Feast?

In Romans 14:1 Paul weaves all three into one statement: "the Kingdom of Elohim is righteousness, peace and joy [the fruit] in the Spirit of Holiness" (emphases added). In addition, he elaborates on the fruit of the Spirit in his letter to the Galatians: "The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal 5:22-23). In 2nd Corinthians Paul connects this first fruit concept to the new creation: "Therefore if any man is in the Spirit of Messiah, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (5:17 emphasis added).

When the disciples received the power that Yeshua had promised them, they received the fruit/nature of the New Creation. Peter declares: "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2 Peter 1: 3-4 emphases added). Once again in 2nd Corinthians, we read: "For Elohim, who said, 'Light shall shine out of darkness,' [the same "let there be light", pronounced on the first day of creation] is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of Elohim in the face of Messiah [the living Torah]. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of Elohim and not from ourselves" (4: 6-7).

If we have received the Spirit of Holiness, we have also received in our hearts this "First Fruit" of righteousness, which is the Fruit of the Spirit and is the Life, Light, and the nature of He who is the "first fruit/first born" Messiah Yeshua. In reference to the fruit and to the firstborn Paul writes: "[You are] being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are in Messiah Yeshua, to the glory and praise of Elohim" (Phil. 1:11), through Him who is "the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn over all creation" (Col 1:15). "For in Messiah Yeshua neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new [firstborn/first fruit] creation" (Gal. 6:15). "Therefore if any man is in Messiah, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Cor 5:17).

When Yeshua died, we died too (ref. 2 Cor 5: 14), and thus it is no longer we who live but Messiah Yeshua, who is our life, lives in us (ref. Col 3:4; Gal. 2:19). Therefore those who believe this gospel have also been raised to newness of life, and are given opportunities every day to experience "the dying of Yeshua so that the life and nature of Yeshua may be made manifest in and through our mortal bodies" (2 Cor 4: 10).

Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, says that YHVH's feasts are a shadow of things yet to come (ref Col 2:17). Thus, if the First Fruit of the divine nature is in our hearts, and issues forth from us, we are actually living in the "light of Shavuot" and no longer in the "shadow" of the Feast (ref. Col 2:17). We trust that through faith in our Heavenly Father's provision, in His Son, we who have received the power of the Spirit of Holiness can now "walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, and [thus] have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yeshua His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1John 1: 7).

When the seven weeks of the Omer counting were completed, the Torah of Elohim descended via the Spirit of Holiness penetrating the heart of Messiah's talmidim (disciples), embedding itself within them and empowering them to become the First Fruit of a New Creation Order, fulfilling the Feast of Shavuot. Now to us it is given to expand and extend the Kingdom of Elohim by embracing the three-tier truth and power of this Feast which signifies First Fruit, giving of the living Torah, and the Restoration of the Kingdom to all Israel.



Like Noah, Shem's sons were born in the image and likeness of Adam and were of the same nature. Shem, being the older and the firstborn, had the rights to inherit the patriarchal position of his father. He was the servant prince who would act as a redeemer if other members of the family were to lose their property, inheritance, or in the event of not having posterity. About Shem it says that he "was the father of all the children of Eber" (Genesis 10:21). Thus we see that at times "fatherhood" has a far wider scope than strict biological parenting. Because of the principles of redemption, Biblical fatherhood involves definite legislated parameters and ramifications, which will become evident later on.

In the third generation of Noah's family we encounter a deviation from the firstborn redeemer order. The instigator of this subversion was Ham’s firstborn grandson (from his firstborn, Cush) - a man by the name of Nimrod .

Nimrod’s name means “we will rebel”, or “let us rebel”. Whom or what was he rebelling against? Scripture tells us that Nimrod was "a mighty hunter". This means that he was very adept at leading, planning, organizing and carrying out a hunt. He is depicted as someone who had all the natural components that made it possible for him to rebel against YHVH’s Kingdom Order. And this is exactly what took place. “The beginning of his [Nimrod's] kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar” (Genesis 10:10). And furthermore, of his subjects it is written: "And they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth'" (Genesis 11:4). Here we see the inception of another kingdom, a kingdom which had its roots in the first city (other than the one built by Cain) - Babel, in the Land of Shinar.

What was the reason for gathering the people together and building a city with a high tower? What motivated Nimrod to establish another kingdom, and what caused the people with him to try to "make a name for themselves"? Nimrod no doubt was prompted by the firstborn jealousy over the patriarchal rule of his uncle and cousin, Shem and Eber. He was not interested in humbly serving YHVH. The nature of another spiritual entity found a new firstborn (Cain-type) to prey upon. Satan knows that man is YHVH’s channel for the manifestation of His nature and Kingdom here on planet earth. By the same token, Satan can also make use of humans for his kingdom purposes. So just like Cain, Nimrod and his cohorts reintroduced and expressed the nature of the kingdom of “knowledge of good and evil" through the “lust of the eyes” (tower), “lust of the flesh" (a city) and the "pride of life" (making a name for themselves) (ref. 1 John 2:16).

Building something bigger, higher and stronger was to confirm, justify and express the existence of this other kingdom. The name of the city was Babel, meaning "confusion" or "mixing". YHVH’s word to the Noahic family was “to be fruitful multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1). Nimrod did the very opposite. Rather than filling the earth, as commanded, he gathered the people to himself.

Like YHVH's Kingdom, Nimrod’s kingdom was also governed by a kingly-priestly order. However, these offices did not exist for the purpose of facilitating service to YHVH and to Mankind; rather, they were hierarchical political and religious positions turned-institutes, which paid tribute to Man instead of the Creator. YHVH had not given Man authority to rule over his kind, only to serve one another. Nimrod's offices of king and priest, on the other hand, were designed to exalt the names of those who bore the titles that were attached to their respective positions.

This rebellion, however, was not allowed to continue. YHVH judged that kingdom by confusing the language, so that the objectives could not be accomplished, as seen in Genesis 11:9: “Therefore its name is called Babel, because there YHVH confused the language… and from there YHVH scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” Thus YHVH had his way and the rebels were scattered. Nevertheless, it was from this rebellion that the various nations/goyim, patterned after Nimrod’s kingdom, emerged, together with their governments and religious expressions. But through the His firstborn, YHVH's Kingdom Order was still intact.

The following are the generations of YHVH’s firstborn:
Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and Joseph/Ephraim, all in all twenty four elders, or patriarchal firstborn, who ruled before YHVH changed the individual ruling firstborn to a firstborn nation. These twenty four are most likely those who according to Revelation 4;4, were seen sitting around the throne. Please note that none of the those elders qualified to take the scroll that was to the right of the Creator, and redeem that which belonged to Him (ref. Revelation 5:3-4). Psalm 49:7-8 declares that “None can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to Elohim a ransom for him: For the redemption of their soul is precious, and one should cease trying for ever.”

It was during the days of Peleg that YHVH Elohim judged Babel, scattering the peoples and dividing the earth (ref. Genesis 10:25). In so acting, YHVH was preparing for His far reaching plan. "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you: When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel. For YHVH's portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance" (Deuteronomy 32:7-9 emphases added).
As mentioned above, YHVH judged Nimrod’s kingdom and cities during the days of Peleg (who lived only one generation after Eber - Nimrod's cousin and contemporary), dividing them according to the number of the tribes of Israel who at that point had not even come into existence. This is a clear statement that Israel was to be solely YHVH's possession, and would become the governing head over the rest of the nations. Israel's role was to serve Mankind and be their brothers' keepers. What was so unique about Israel's twelve tribes that would qualify them to become this special and peculiar people? Would not history prove their conduct to be no different than the rest of the nations? To answer these questions we must turn to the twelfth chapter of Genesis, which describes a very crucial development in YHVH’s plan in establishing His Kingdom, rule and authority upon earth. It begins with the word of YHVH to a man called Abram.