Tending the Lamps
by Dr. John M. Conrad
The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you, The Lord turn His countenance toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26). In the name of Yeshua (Jesus) our Lord, Amen.
An applicable analogy?There lived in India six friends who were all blind. One day as they sat together talking they heard a great trumpeting roar.
"I believe that is an elephant in the street," one said. "Now is our chance to find out what kind of creature the elephant is." Being blind none had ever seen an elephant. Eagerly, they filed out into the street.
The first blind man reached out and touched the elephant's ear. "Ah," he said to himself, "the elephant is a rough, wide thing like a rug."
The second blind man felt the elephant's trunk. Understanding dawned upon him. "An elephant is a long, round thing, like a snake."
The third blind man gingerly patted the leg of the elephant. "Well, well," he muttered. "An elephant is large and stout like a tree."
The fourth man walked up to the elephant's side. Fanning his hands out to feel the vast expanse he pondered, "Mmm, an elephant is wide and smooth, like a wall."
The fifth man grasped the elephant's tusk. "My goodness," he thought. "An elephant is a hard, sharp animal resembling a spear."
The sixth man seized the elephant's tail. "Amazing," he opined. "It gives a mighty roar but an elephant is very like a long, thin rope."
After their investigation they sat down to discuss the elephant.
"It is rough and wide, like a rug," said the first.
"No, it is long and round, like a snake," said the second.
"Don't be silly," laughed the third. "It is large and stout, like a tree."
"No, it is not," growled the fourth. "It is wide and smooth, like a wall."
"Hard and sharp, like a spear!" shouted the fifth. "Idiots! Long and thin, like a rope!" yelled the sixth.
Utter chaos ensued. Each one insisted he was right. After all, each had touched the elephant with his own hands, hadn't he?
Sadly, those of us who believe in the Messiah and his word, reenact this scenario when we attempt to describe the Kingdom. When it comes to spiritual realities our eyes are blinded—we do not accurately perceive the unseen world around us.
Kingdom lessons In this day God has promised to restore everything spoken through the mouths of his holy prophets. The history of God's people reveals the greatest opposition to new truth comes from the guardians of the previously revealed truth. Thus the Sadducees and Pharisees fought the truth of the Messiah.
The established church resisted the Reformation message of justification by faith, the evangelicals fought the wave of the Holy Spirit birthed by Charismatic Movement, and now many Christians and Messianic Jews find themselves struggling with the truth of a restored Israel.
Sadly, in much of modem Christianity, the most coveted position is not to be great in the kingdom, or to be the servant of all. No, most seem intent on being least in the kingdom. Yeshua stated clearly in Matthew 5:17-19 that anyone who breaks the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
Touchstones and signposts of Israel’s Restoration Too many of us have seized a single portion of the kingdom and in our blindness we are hanging on to our position with a death grip. As God restores Israel many truths or principles will be restored. There are particular areas of blindness in the modern church and even, in some measure, in Messianic Israel. God describes these concepts or principles as being everlasting, forever, perpetual, throughout your generations, and eternal. Examples of these are the 7th day Sabbath, the Law or Torah (Israel’s Constitution), the Feasts of the Lord, and the priesthood covenant with Levi.
Even in Messianic Israel many are hanging on to truths they have discovered, but are neglecting the perpetual covenants to the tribe of Levi. There can be no restoration of Israel without a concomitant restoration of the tribe of Levi. In Hebrews 7 the writer states that there is a change of the Law and the priesthood. Yeshua declared I came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. Change does not equal abolition nor does the word fulfillment. God made numerous perpetual covenants to the House of Aaron and Levi. If He can cancel these covenants capriciously, what confidence can we as Gentile believers and Messianic Israelites have in the efficacy of the death and resurrection of our Messiah?
Our trust and confidence rests solely on God's unchanging faithfulness to his word! As we venture forth in this day of restoration let us send out a new call—to be great in the kingdom. Whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. With unflinching faith in our Messiah and a yearning for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and ears we can be a part of this great restoration of all things! May God grant us revelation to see his coming kingdom in its fullness.
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