Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wisdom in Colossians, Chapter 1

Okay, goosebumps!  I don’t care how many times we read through the Bible, our eyes will ALWAYS find something to remind us of our ELOHIM’s awesomeness!  While searching Scripture for an answer to someone’s question today, I “happened upon” the following passage that I “just had” to share…but the more I read, the more of the passage needed to be shared, until I copied almost the entire first chapter of Colossians.  Please read through this and see if you don’t get some “holy” goosebumps, too!

Colossians 1:4. For behold, ever since we heard of your faith in Y’shua the Mashiyach, and of your love to all the Set Apart believers; 5. because of the hope that is laid up for you in heaven of which ye heard before in the Word of Truth of the Good News  6. which is announced to you as also to all the world; and which grows and yields fruits as it does also among you from the day you heard and knew the grace of Elohim in reality:[1]  7. As you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow-servant who is for you a faithful minister of the Mashiyach;  8. and who has made known to us your love in the Spirit. 


9. Therefore we also, from the day we heard (of it), have not ceased to pray for you; and to ask that you may be filled with a knowledge of the will of Elohim in all wisdom and in all spiritual understanding;[2]  10. That you may walk as is right and may please Elohim with all good works, and may yield fruits, and grow in the knowledge of Elohim;  11. and may be strengthened with all strength, according to the greatness of his glory in all patience and long suffering;  12. and may, with joy, give thanks to Elohim the Father who has fitted us for a portion of the inheritance of the Set Apart believers in light; 13. and has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son  14. by whom we have redemption and forgiveness of sins: 15. who is the likeness of the invisible Elohim and the first-born of all creatures:  16. and by him was created everything that is in heaven and on earth, all that is visible and all that is invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; everything was through him and was created by[3] him:  17. and he was prior to all, and by him every thing exists. 

18. And he is the head of the body the Assembly; as he is the head and first-born from among the dead, that he might be the first in all things.  19. For it pleased (the Father) that in him all fullness should dwell;  20. and by him, to reconcile all things to himself; and through him he has pacified, with the blood of his stake, both (those) on earth and those in heaven.[4]  21. And also to you, who were before alienated and enemies in your minds because of your evil deeds,  22. to you he has now given peace by the body of his flesh and by his death; that he might establish you in his presence, Set Apart, without blemish and without offense;  23. provided you continue in your faith, your foundation being firm, and do not be separated from the hope of the Good News of which you have heard, that it is proclaimed in all the creation beneath heaven; of which (Good News) I Paul am a minister. 

24. And I rejoice in the sufferings which are for your sakes; and, in my flesh, I fill up the deficiency in the afflictions of the Mashiyach, in behalf of his body which is the assembly;  25. of which I am a minister, according to the stewardship[5] of Elohim which is given to me among you, that I should fulfill the Word of Elohim,  26. (namely,) that mystery which was hidden for ages and generations, but is now revealed to his Set Apart believers;  27. to whom Elohim would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles which (mystery) is the Mashiyach who in you is the hope of our glory;  28. whom we proclaim and teach and make known to every man, in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect[6] in Y’shua the Mashiyach.  29. And for this also I toil and strive with the aid of the strength that is imparted to me.  (AENT)

FOOTNOTES:

[1]  This verse showcases two deep poetic features. First, another meaning of sebar is in an implied wordplay with the word keroz (preach). Interestingly enough, “preach” is also a synonym for sebartha (Good News)! In fact, the Eastern traditions have always referred to the Good News as karazuta, or “the preaching” of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Second, there is the use of the word alma. Generally, this word is translated as “world.”

However, alma also has another meaning, that of “age” or “eternity” and this speaks to a very Jewish pattern of describing the “the world to come” the olam haba. In this case, most Jews knew all too well that there was a wordplay between alam (world) and ahlam (forever), and so apparently did the student of Hillel’s grandson, Rav Shaul, the Apostle Paul. Therefore Paul’s point, which is completely lost in Greek, is that what is being preached throughout the world is the true revelation of Elohim from eternity past.  

The irony is that Greek has a term that comes very close to this understanding, yet it was not used. In Matthew 28:20 Y’shua says, “And behold I am always with you, even unto the end of the aion.” This word also has a dual meaning of “world” and “age” and this is more than reflected in the varying English translations from that source, where the rendering is effectively split between the two.

However, in this case the dual meaning of alma is not used by Greek redactors, who instead opted for the meaning that kosmos provides. Kosmos can also mean “world” or “universe” but its definitions do not extend to mean “age” like aion does.  Much more about the revelatory (mystical) aspects of Colossians is available in Ruach Qadim by Andrew Gabriel Roth, which is available online at www.ruachqadim.com. 

[2]   Recall that the first attribute (sefira) – Keter – literally means “crown” but is also given the added title of “will.” Paul’s usage here, however, with the word tzebinah, is most significant because he is both referencing and superseding the mystical traditions in one stroke. This is because it is this exact same word that Y’shua uses to describe the Divine Will in the Master’s Prayer; so here Paul is substituting that term for Keter, even as many mystics interchange the Hebrew da’at with Keter.

If this were not yet powerful enough, da’at also finds its own interchanging with Paul’s revelatory writings in the form of its Aramaic cognate yadata. In the case of the latter, what proceeds from the Divine Will is “knowledge” (da’at/yadata); this form is considered pure, coming straight from the mind of YHWH. Another way of accomplishing this same goal can be achieved by taking chokhmata and adding to it through description, a higher level of power that turns it into da’at/yadata. 

[3]  The literal Aramaic reading is “by” him, whereas Greek and English texts have “for” him.  Mashiyach is the creative Word through which everything was made (Psalm 33:6, John 1:1-5, Hebrews 1:1-5).  The common Aramaic idiom here and in John is "through his hands" meaning as the Word, Mashiyach crafted all things according to YHWH's blueprints.  Mashiyach Y'shua emerges as the Word from YHWH's breath and command and, as such, was with Him in the beginning (John 17:1-11).

[4]  Here is one of the most stunning mystical parallels in all of Paul’s writings! Not only does Resha perform the exact same function of Keter by being the attribute (sefira) that has all the others inside of it (before they emerge), hence, “by whom the whole body is constructed”; but Resha dovetails with Keter in another amazing way.

By “standing with the joints and members” Paul is showing a very clear understanding of the sefirotic tree forming the spiritual blueprint of man, or Adam Qadmon. It is no coincidence, then, that this same title applies to Mashiyach, whom Paul upholds as the maker of all things. However, as other attributes fold out of Keter, we find the lower but also important spheres of learning in terms of wisdom and understanding. 

[5]  The term “dispensation” was erroneously inserted to bolster “dispensationalsim” or “replacement theology.” The deception of “dispensationalism” plays an important role in the “mystery of the Evil One” (2 Thess. 2:7); by making void Torah it is impossible to exit paganism. 

[6]  Noah was “perfect” B’resheet/Genesis 6:9; Avraham Avinu was “perfect” 17:1; All of Israel is called to be “perfect” D’varim/Deut 18:13; Solomon prayed that Israel would be “perfect” 1 Kings 8:61; Hezekiah walked before YHWH with a ““perfect heart” 2 Kings 20:3; the men who upheld David as King had a “perfect heart” 1 Chron. 12:28; the Israel of Elohim in the time of Dawid had “perfect hearts” 1 Chron. 29:8; 9;  2 Chron. 16:9 “For the eyes of YHWH run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him; Job was “perfect” Job 2:3; Y’shua instructs his followers, “You therefore be perfect as your Father in heaven who is perfect.” 
Matthew 5:48. 

“The Torah of YHWH is perfect, converting the soul,” Psalm 19:7  Every perfect man in Scripture observed the Torah of YHWH, Y’shua and Paul included.  The work of anti-Mashiyach is anti-Torah; therefore, “the Church” has a formidable task ahead: Christians will either repent of their shameful violations against Torah, or face the wrath of YHWH when His Mashiyach returns. 

Mashiyach’s true followers don’t spend their time finding creative “theologies” with which to break the Word of YHWH; all followers of Mashiyach are called in Grace to live righteous “perfect” lives that are pleasing to YHWH.  This is the continuum that Mashiyach brought to humanity, but it is being trodden asunder by all manner of false religion and “one-up-man-ship.”

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