This teaching will address our preparation for the Ingathering and the method of the Ingathering. How can we be prepared to meet our King? And how will He gather His people from all over the globe? There is a plan for this which is generally not taught and is often misunderstood. We need to understand this plan.
The newly formed nation, which has taken over a year at Mount Sinai to formalize as a nation, now has 13 tribes. Twelve of tribes have now been formally dedicated to YHVH’s altar, all that is, except the tribe of Levi. This tribe will now have its own special dedication. This special dedication should have been done for all the Firstborns of Israel but… the golden calf.
Exo 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
This scripture says the people asked Aaron to make the image. It does not say the Firstborns asked. Why? Because it is the people’s responsibility in Israel to make sure their leaders are leading them correctly. We like to blame everyone else for our going astray but the truth is that we let ourselves be led astray. Each and every Israelite has a special calling on his or her life which includes the requirement to have a personal relationship with Yeshua, the King of all Israel, from the beginning in Genesis 1, at Mount Sinai, on the cross where He paid the price for the sins of Israel and ever since.
Since the scripture does not say it was the Firstborns who asked for the golden calf image, why then, did they lose their rightful place to serve in the Tabernacle? Because it was their job also to step in and stop the sins of the people. Do you see how it works? The people have the responsibility to stop their leaders from leading them into sin and the leaders have the responsibility to stop the people from leading Israel into sin. We each have a personal mandate of responsibility to stop other Israelites from committing sin against YHVH. There can be horrible and irreversible consequences for failing in this. Ultimately, on the ground, someone pays the price for what the people ask for. In this case, it was the Firstborns who paid the price with the loss of their honor to serve the King, and then Yeshua paid the price with His life! Now, the non-Aaronite Levites will take their place alongside Aaron and his sons instead of the Firstborns. This principle of being responsible for each other will now carry over into our preparation to be Ingathered and meet our King.
Starting in Numbers 8:5 is the ceremony to dedicate the Levites instead of the Firstborn with the “water of cleansing”. They were to also shave their bodies from head to foot and wash their clothing because there are no uniforms for them. This shaving was the same instruction for the leper who was to be cleansed and it represents a new beginning, a fresh start and the replacement of the Firstborns.
Being properly cleansed is an issue that comes up over and over again in the Torah. It was in last week’s Portion and appears again twice in this Portion. We will be given a red heifer’s ashes for purification in chapter 19. Leviticus 11 to 15 provides the commandments for staying tahor, clean, before YHVH. Staying clean was at issue all through the Old Testament (in the history, prophets and even in the wisdom literature), and it will be an important issue for YHVH’s fleeing woman of Revelation 12:6 who will wash her robes in Yeshua’s blood which will need to stay clean afterward. We must understand what this means because it is our responsibility in our relationship with Yeshua. I am currently working on a teaching about the laws of clean and unclean.
Before we get to the subject of the Ingathering, let’s look at some other scriptures briefly. Chapter 8 verses 1-4 are not a mere repetition of the menorah lighting, but a more detailed instruction of the commandment for the menorah given in Exo 25:37. The Aaronites have just been ordained, the tribes have been dedicated and the Levites are about to be dedicated so that from now on Aaron and his successors will have the job of lighting the menorah. YHVH wants us to know how this procedure is done.
The menorah is the most important furniture in the Holy Place. Its light dispels the darkness and that is the point. The Tables of Incense and Shewbread, which represent our prayers to YHVH and the tribes, as represented by the 12 loaves of bread, would be in darkness without the menorah. YHVH has no intention to let us be in darkness. He sent His Son so that we would not be in darkness and without hope once the Temple was destroyed. So getting the lamp lit, and keeping it lit, is very important because of the principle of the light which permeates the darkness. That is part of John’s message in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, isn’t it?
Starting in Numbers 8:5 is the ceremony to dedicate the Levites instead of the Firstborn with the “water of cleansing”. They were to also shave their bodies from head to foot. This shaving was the same instruction for the leper who was to be cleansed and it represents a new beginning, a fresh start and a replacement of that which is in the past.
The water of cleansing of the Levites, however, is different from the water that cleansed the leper, and this cleansing water is a conundrum for Bible scholars. The leper cleansed himself in plain water – “mayim”. His bird sacrifice was done over running water – “chai mayim”. But the Levites were cleansed by “purifying water” – “chata’ah mayim”. Some people claim the purifying water in this ceremony is the red heifer water but the Hebrew words are different for the cleansing water and the red heifer’s water. The red heifer’s water is called “mayim niddah” – “water of separation”.
No one really knows what the water of cleansing was. It probably was water set aside for this special ceremony which was used only this once. The dedication of these Levites would stand for all later generations of Levites. The tribe of Levi will always have their portion, serving the Temple, because they are a gift to Aaron (Numbers 8:19). A gift and calling once given by YHVH is irrevocable (Romans 11:29).
Starting in Numbers 9 in this Portion, we have the issue of being unclean for Passover. What happens when a Passover comes around and we are not clean? This problem was not addressed by YHVH previously.
Some men had touched a dead body within the 7 days prior to the Feast and were unclean, according to YHVH’s Law. So, what were they to do since there were no specific instructions for this situation?
They went to Moses and Moses went to pray. YHVH gave the men the grace of a second month Passover (Numbers 9:10-11) to be observed when we are unclean by a dead body or are on a long journey (meaning we are not physically in Israel) for the regular Passover in the first month.
YHVH not only answers the concern for a dead body but inserts instruction about being on a long journey. This is also a prophecy from YHVH about a particular long journey that His people will one day go on. What long journey might that be? Exile.
Exile is an example of being on a long journey. But let’s not get confused and think that we are to skip the Passover in the first month to keep it in the second while in exile. We should memorialize Passover in exile but we must also not celebrate it because that must only happen in Jerusalem. What, then, can we do? We can do what Daniel did when he was in exile in Babylon – we can fast and pray and mourn during Passover (Daniel 10:1-4) and follow Zephaniah’s prophecy which says YHVH will gather those who mourn because they are not able to attend the Feast (Zephaniah 3:18).
Being Ingathered from Babylon was predicated on this attitude of mourning, yearning to keep YHVH’s Feasts in Jerusalem. The Rabbis had taught the Jews to keep Passover in their homes while they were in Babylon and this Babylonian tradition continues to this day. But this is not YHVH’s instruction, is it? Daniel knew this and likely there were others who knew it also. But Daniel has a book and they don’t.
The prophecy of Zephaniah 3:18 has a near and far fulfillment. The promise made there applies to us at the end. Our Passovers and other Feasts in exile should be done in mourning, not in celebration. We can still teach our children through our mourning. In fact, our children will begin to understand what we have failed to understand if we mourn for the Feast which is that exile is punishment.
What were the unclean men doing during the first Passover? We don’t know. Our reasoning may give us a clue. They were not with their families at the Tabernacle. Perhaps they ate the manna that fell in the morning. Perhaps they ate nothing for mourning over being left out of the celebration. Whether or not these are the case, it was probable that they were not having the best time. Maybe they gathered together for moral support but, nonetheless, they were left out of the celebration which was not a happy time.
Why was the problem of being unclean for the Feast of Passover not addressed by YHVH when He gave the Law? Didn’t He know this could happen, that there could be instances when men would be unclean from any number of reasons to come before Him? Wasn’t YHVH able to foresee every situation that might arise because of His commandments? Of course the answer is ‘yes’. YHVH always knows what can and will happen when His people begin observing His Law in their daily lives. He knows that the best way for us to “do” His law is to have go through the learning process wherein such questions will arise. It is the learning process that shows Him that we are willing to obey and be engaged with the Law. Asking questions is how a teacher knows the pupil is listening.
YHVH wants us to be engaged with His Law which also is to be engaged with Him. I am using that word “engaged” because it has to do with His Bride and her coming Ingathering. We are currently “engaged” to be married. We are His betrothed and we must understand the need for every part of His Law in our lives if we expect Him to go ahead and marry us.
YHVH is teaching us to make His Law a part of ourselves through our engagement with the learning process. He could have given us volumes and volumes of application but He would rather have us to learn to apply the Law so we can learn to adjudicate, make righteous judgments, based on His Law.
The men in Numbers 9 asked Moses what to do. The answer was to pray for YHVH’s answer. That is always how we are to proceed. Going to the giver of the Law is part of our personal relationship with Him and also is part of our personal responsibility to each other. This is training designed to draw YHVH’s people to Him through prayer while simultaneously removing the evil from the camp as Moses taught throughout the Book of Deuteronomy in chapters 13, 17, 19, 21, 22 and 24.
THE METHOD OF THE INGATHERING FROM OUR LONG JOURNEY
YHVH promises that His Ingathering in the end of days will be so much greater than the first Exodus that we won’t speak of the first one again.
Jeremiah 16:14 Therefore, behold, the days come, says YHVH, that it shall no more be said, YHVH lives that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
Jeremiah 16:15 But, YHVH lives that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
How will YHVH’s people be gathered from the north (Europe, the original place where all of the tribes were scattered)? How will He bring them to the wilderness where the first generation was tried and failed? And why is the wilderness called the “wilderness of the people”?
Let me address the last question first. For years, I have heard Hebrew Roots teachers tell people that, when the Tribulation starts, go to the last place they kept Sukkot. This will be their wilderness, it is taught. Nothing could be further from the truth. The many gathering places all over the earth, which may or may not be the last place you kept Sukkot (disregarding that you did so against YHVH’s express command to be in Jerusalem for the Feasts), will not be Ezekiel’s “wilderness of the people” (Ezekiel 20:35).
Ezekiel uses this terminology because of the ingathering of YHVH’s people from all around the world, from the many nations and because the prophecy was about the end of days when the area was no longer called the wildernesses of Zin, Paran and Kadesh-Barnea. Those wildernesses were the place where YHVH tested and tried the first generation. It was located in Edom and Moab in what is now called southern Jordan, not in the US, the Australian Outback, the mountains of Italy or South Africa. The wilderness of the end times generation will be the same place as the first time. YHVH will not change His pattern to make the “wilderness” be just any ‘ol place on earth. Instead, the Ingathering will be to the same place it was before. Right now, in Edom and Moab (southern Jordan), are servants of YHVH who have been called there to start preparing for her to come and be nurtured as predicted in Revelation 12:6 which says the place will already be prepared for her. Places of so-called ingathering around the world will not be prepared places where YHVH’s woman can be nurtured.
But how will she arrive in the wilderness?
Isaiah 4:5 And YHVH will create over all the site of Mount Zion, and on her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for on all the glory shall be a defense.
YHVH’s woman will have the same pillars of cloud and fire as at the first Exodus. There will be these pillars over the place of Zion which is called Temple Mount today for the protection of those who will be left there when the Tribulation starts.
Isaiah 4:3 And it shall be, he who is left in Zion, and he who remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone who is written among the living in Jerusalem;
Isaiah 4:4 when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from its midst by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
But what about those who are not on Mount Zion, Temple Mount?
Isaiah 4:2 In that day shall the Branch of Jehovah be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth excellent and comely for those who have escaped from Israel.
Those who have escaped from Israel will also have pillars of cloud and fire. And those who are escaping from all around the world will also have pillars of cloud and fire.
These pillars were protection from the enemy in the first Exodus and they will be the same in the second one. We know this because of the wording in Isaiah 4:5 which says the site of Mount Zion AND all of “her” assemblies will have this protection. Folks, we don’t need a rapture. We will have the same pillars of protection and leading this time. From all over the earth, YHVH’s people will be led by this pillars just as they were the first time.
Zion’s assemblies will be away from the site of Mount Zion in Israel. The promise is the pillars will be on Zion. But Zion is not just the mountain. It is the people.
Isa_51:16 And I have put my words in your mouth, and I have covered you in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, you are my people.
So, YHVH’s people are called Zion, too. Therefore, all of Zion, whether on Temple Mount in Jerusalem or scattered all over the earth, will have the protection and provision of the pillars of cloud and fire in their fleeing to the wilderness of the people in Jordan, to Edom and Moab, southern Jordan.
The operation of the pillars of cloud and fire can be seen in Numbers 9:15-23. The cloud that covered the tabernacle looked like a cloud during the day and a fire at night. And when the cloud was taken up from the Tabernacle, the Israelites moved with it and they stayed where the cloud stayed. All of this was done at the command of YHVH.
This time, there won’t be a Tabernacle. Instead, there will be assemblies of Zion, both on Mount Zion and on Zion the people. But the prayer of Moses will go before them when they pull up their stakes to leave the wilderness of Sinai (metaphorically, wherever they are located on earth) to head toward the wilderness of Kadesh Barnea, Edom and Moab in southern Jordan, which Ezekiel called the wilderness of the people.
Numbers 10:34 And the cloud of Jehovah was upon them by day, when they pulled up stakes out of the camp.
Numbers 10:35 And it happened when the ark pulled up, Moses said, Rise up, YHVH, and let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You.
Numbers 10:36 And when it rested, he said, Return, O YHVH, to the many thousands of Israel.
The purpose of the pillars, as I said, was to protect the people from their enemies. Another purpose was to lead and guide them to the wilderness of the first generation which will be the wilderness of the people in Ezekiel’s last generation. The location, where the pillars will lead the people to, will be the same place as before – Edom and Moab, the ancient wildernesses of Zin, Paran and Kadesh-Barnea AKA the wilderness of the people. The people had many stops (Numbers 33) before they reached Kadesh Barnea, the place where they failed their final tests and where YHVH told them they would not go into the Promised Land.
The rebellious people of the end times also will not be allowed to go into His Promised Land as Ezekiel told us in Ezekiel 20:38. So you see, this end times scenario will be exactly the same as in the first generation with the exception that there will be many pillars of cloud and fire protecting and guiding His people instead of just one pillar as at the first generation. YHVH will remain true to His pattern. Please do not believe any teacher who tells you that wherever you are will be the wilderness of the people.
YHVH will provide food for the people just as He did the first time but we must be careful to not do what the first generation did in this Torah Portion – complain about it. The complaint about the manna was just one of the ten tests that the first generation failed. Paul said these tests were given to us as examples for the last generation in 1 Corinthians 10:11.
Numbers 12 is Miriam’s specific complaint about Moses which she spread to Aaron. Chapter 12 is a continuation, or the result of, the events in chapter 11. Miriam complained against Moses’ person. Let’s understand that the extension of this is to complain against Moses by complaining about the Law that YHVH gave Moses to teach us. Whether our complaint is against him personally (which is not possible because he won’t be with us in person at the end) or against the Law He wrote for us on behalf of YHVH, we must not speak against him in our travels under the pillars of cloud and fire. Such complaining will cause delays in travel as it did for the Israelites while they awaited Miriam’s return to the camp after 7 days and will gain the person who complains the reputation of being a complainer. This is not a reputation to carry with us into the wilderness of the people where we will be judged by going under the rod.
Let us keep from profaning YHVH’s name with images, being unclean, doing the Feasts in the wrong way, complaining in the coming wilderness and not accepting Yeshua’s correction of the rod. Let us, instead, humble ourselves to doing what YHVH said so that we may find ourselves worthy to escape all these coming things.
Luk 21:34 “So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly.
Luk 21:35 For it will come like a snare on all those who dwell on the surface of all the earth.
Luk 21:36 Therefore be watchful all the time, praying that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
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