Shabbat Shalom family,
Tehillim/Psalm 100:4 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His Name.”
Entrance into His gates is a clear shadow picture of a redeemed Bride who has been given the clear right to enter into His presence as pictured in the vision Yoḥanan was given in regards to the renewed heaven and earth spoken of in Ḥazon/Revelation 21, as well as the renewed Yerushalayim, the set-apart city which comes down out of the heaven from Elohim, prepared as a Bride adorned for Her Husband. This set-apart city has 12 gates, with a messenger at each gate that has written upon them the 12 names of the tribes of Yisra’ĕl. Each gate was a single pearl, which reminds me of the parable of Messiah on the reign of the heavens that is like a man seeking fine pearls who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:45-46) The pearl of great price – seeking the Truth and finding it causes a person to sell all he has in order to secure the pearl – securing entrance into the set-apart place of the Most High – this is a lesson on counting the cost and knowing that the gift of life – the right of entrance into His eternal presence will cost you your all, and because He gave His all – He has given us access to His gates; and as Ḥazon tells us – it is not all who shall have access but rather:
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those doing His commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city.”
Those doing His commands are given access through the ‘pearl’ gates of the set-apart city, while outside are the idolaters, whores, murders and those who love falsehood!
Our right of entrance has been purchased by the Blood of Messiah, and therefore the gift of entrance is available to all who are cleansed in His Blood and stay in Him, by walking in and guarding to do all His commands!
Gates are a continued theme throughout Scripture and as we have come to know – the gates of a city were the access point and the place where right-ruling would take place, and by entering the gates of a city you would be submitting yourself to the rule and authority of that city, and as the children of the promise, in Messiah we await a city whose rule and authority shall rule the whole earth, and as sojourners here we are already now being strengthened to remain steadfast in perfect peace as we live according to the reign of the heavens that is coming soon – by walking in the pure Torah of Elohim:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 26:1-3 “In that day this song is sung in the land of Yehuḏah, “We have a strong city – He sets up deliverance, walls and ramparts. 2 “Open the gates, let the righteous nation which guards the truth enter in. 3 “The one steadfast of mind You guard in perfect peace, for he trusts in You.”
As with every area of our lives, we are continually faced with the reality of choosing which path/road we walk and under which authority we submit, and Messiah tells us clearly that the gate to life is narrow while the gate to destruction is very broad:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter in through the narrow gate! Because the gate is wide – and the way is broad – that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter in through it. 14 “Because the gate is narrow and the way is hard pressed which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
The narrow gate few find – the narrow gate which comes with a way that is hard pressed – leads to life – yet few find it, why? Because they are not as the merchant who seeks fine pearls.
In a message tonight called, “THE RIGHT OF ENTRANCE” I would like us to be encouraged to be like the merchant who has found the pearl of great price – finding the Truth and access into the Kingdom of Messiah – to be willing and prepared to count the cost of true discipleship and sell, all so to speak, in order to ‘secure’ that which has been given to us as we cling to Messiah and His Word and stay in Him, who cleanses us form all our sins.
Please turn with me to a great song of praise for our coming King – Tehillim/Psalm 24 (read)
Here we have “A Psalm of Dawiḏ” which is the title of this psalm – לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר – and the name of Dawiḏ – דָּוִד – Strong’s H1732 means, ‘beloved’ and the term used for ‘psalm’ is מִזְמוֹר mizmor – Strong’s H4210 meaning, ‘melody’ and it comes from the primitive root זָמַר zamar – Strong’s H2167 meaning, ‘to make music (in praise of Elohim), sing praises’ and therefore could literally be rendered as, ‘of the Beloved, a melody’; and when we understand the nature of this melody of praise for Elohim we can certainly see how this magnificent song of praise certainly praises our soon Coming King – the Master יהוה of Hosts!!! This melody was written at the time of the Ark coming back to Mount Tsiyon, when Dawiḏ brought it back from the house of Oḇĕḏ-Eḏom and set it up in the tabernacle that he had built for it. Tehillim/Psalm 23 expresses the longing the psalmist has to dwell in the House of יהוה forever, and here in Tehillim/Psalm 24 we see the celebration of יהוה’s triumphant entrance back into Tsiyon, together with the true joy and character being expressed by those that may enter with Him! One can only imagine the sound of joy and praise at this event and this psalm is written to include the participation of all.
Just imagine the sound of this melody of praise being sung by various singers and choirs who would collectively engage in this declaration of praise as questions were asked, possibly by soloists, which would in turn be answered by all in a resounding shout in declaring who the King of esteem is!!!
This melody shadow pictures the sound and song of joy at the return of our King – the Master יהושע Messiah. (please note that I use interchangeably the use of the Name of יהוה and יהושע as our King – יהושע is יהוה our Saviour!!!)
The repeated question of who is this King of esteem, for which the gates must be opened, carries a similar question asked in the heavens as to who is worthy to open the scroll and loosen its seals – and the answer is the same for both sets of questions – there is only One who is worthy and One who opens the Way – יהושע Messiah – Lion of the tribe of Yehuḏah – He is the One for whom the heads of the gates must be lifted up – a clear reference to His rule and authority as our Head and King, that must be established here on earth as it is in the heavens!
While Dawiḏ, the king, brought back the Ark of the Covenant, we see that he is a shadow picture of the True King and while Dawiḏ pictures for us Messiah, we take note that Dawiḏ’s hands were not clean as they had shed blood and his heart was not altogether pure as he had lusted and committed adultery – only the True Messiah King is the worthy King who ascended the Most High is order to give us a right of entrance as his faithful subjects in His Kingdom!
While we recognise this as a prophetic melody of the return of Messiah, we can also see some clear questions that are asked and the correct answers given, to which we would do well to take heed of and make sure that we can confidently answer as they did that day when the presence of יהוה had returned!
The first 2 verses opens this melody with very clear statements – and that is that it is all יהוה’s!!! The earth and all who dwell in it are His – He founded it – He established it – and all belongs to Him! The literal rendering of verse 1 is “To יהוה belongs the earth and its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it!”
Understanding this clear FACT – that He is Creator and Master of ALL – should cause us to recognise our obligation to serve Him our Master who made us – yet sadly so many do not due to sin and lawlessness which separated us from our Maker, and here in this melody of praise to the Creator we see the answer given to who then may enter His presence!
This right of entrance must not be taken lightly or used as a licence to sin and be lawless – for that would simply cause one to be cut off from having access to the Most High!
This melody has a common recurring phrase or word that requires a response and that is ‘WHO’; and so we see 3 refrains (recurring phrase that ends or begins a new stanza or chorus of a song). The first is in verse 3, then verse 8 and then verse 9 – all followed by a clear response!
As we look at these may we be reminded of our call to set-apart living as we hear , guard and do the commands of the Creator and King of kings!
Verse 3 – WHO DOES GO UP INTO THE MOUNTAIN OF יהוה? WHO DOES STAND IN HIS SET-APART PLACE?
This was and still is a valid question, and as we have seen in Ḥazon/Revelation 21-22, will still be in time to come and therefore it is necessary for us to take careful note of the righteous requirements to theright of entrance that has been given! The answer is clear – only he who has clean hands, a pure heart and did not bring his life to naught, nor swear deceivingly – which at face value means – none of us!!! Without beating around the bush we must be clear that not one of us has the right of entrance! As we understand the Tabernacle and its service, we are able to see the requirements of the right of entrance, which all its service points to the only One who is able to go up and enter in – and that is our High Priest and King – יהושע Messiah. We know very well that a warning was given at Mount Sinai against anyone who came near the mountain – they would be killed:
Shemoth/Exodus 19:12 “And you shall make a border for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch the border of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall certainly be put to death.”
This warning was given at the command for Mosheh to set the people apart and wash their garments on the 3rd day יהוה would come down before the eyes of all! Mosheh as we know is a picture of Messiah who interceded for the people and as Mosheh is also a term used for us of the Torah – then we understand that Messiah is the True Living Torah – The Word made flesh! Yisra’ĕl had sinned and not guarded the commands and as a result were not given access into the Promised Land – and only Yehoshua and Kalěḇ of that generation entered in. Mosheh was given a clear pattern of the Tabernacle and its service and what were the requirements of the right of entrance, and the high priest could only go once a year into the Most set-apart place after having gone through a series of sacrifices, procedures and cleansings – all shadow picturing the work of Messiah, who would come in the flesh and renew the broken marriage covenant in His own Blood – as the blood of bulls and goats could never satisfy – but only covered over until He came and provided a once for all sacrifice of His own body for our sins. This would take place of course at Mount Tsiyon and on Shabuoth (Feast of Weeks/Pentecost) the marriage covenant that had been renewed in the Blood of Messiah would now be given upon the hearts of the believers, and now we who were once far off from the Covenants of Promise have been brought near by the Blood of Messiah, giving us the right of entrance, not only once a year but everyday into the presence of the Most High!
In His Blood we have drawn near to Mount Tsiyon – a mountain not scorched with fire, but to the city of the Living Elohim and to the heavenly Yerushalayim – a city that we await for with great eagerness and joy! We too have been given 2 days (5th and 6th Millenniums) to get ready and on the 3rd day (7th Millennium) will see our King coming to rule and reign and receive those who are His – those who have guarded His commands and are granted access into the renewed city!
Therefore we understand clearly that it is only those who are ‘in’ Messiah that are able to go up and ascend into the set-apart place of Elohim, and how we stay ‘in’ Him is by guarding His commands and keeping our lives clean and pure, as we walk steadfastly in the righteousness He has imputed to us as outlined in His Kingdom rules that He has spoken to us and which Mosheh has written down through His Torah.
Understanding then that our ‘dirty’ hands and ‘defiled’ hearts have been ‘cleansed and purified’ in His Blood we further take heed of this clear question that still remains – Who may go up and who may enter in? We must keep our hands and hearts clean and pure lest we find ourselves being judged at the city gate and expelled without access!
Yoḥanan/John 15:3 “You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you.”
The Greek word used for ‘clean’ here is καθαρός katharos – Strong’s G2513 which means, ‘clean, innocent, pure’ and it is the same word used in the Septuagint (Greek Translation of the Tanak (O.T.)) for the word translated as ‘clean’ in this Tehillim/Psalm 24:4 for ‘clean’ heart.
The Hebrew word is בַּר bar – Strong’s H1249 meaning, ‘pure, empty, clean, undefiled’ and comes from the primitive root verb בָּרַר barar – Strong’s H1305 which means, ‘to purify, cleanse, select, choose, purge’. By His spoken Word given through Mosheh and revealed through His life, death and resurrection we have been chosen in Him and purged of all our lawlessness and sin! We who have accepted His word and His work that fulfils the requirements for the right of entrance as outlined in the Tabernacle and its service, and have the promises that are sure in Messiah must do our utmost to cleanse ourselves form all defilement:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 7:1 “Having, then, these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting set-apartness in the fear of Elohim.”
We who have been immersed in Messiah, have had our ‘bath’ so to speak have the need to keep our walk clean!
Yoḥanan/John 13:10 “said to him, “He who has had a bath does not need to wash, except his feet, but is clean altogether. And you are clean, but not all of you.”
Messiah washed the disciples feet when he said this and by washing their feet He was showing them how He has come to wash their path and in him they now can keep the path clean by walking in His pure commands – yet feet pick up dirt along the way and we need to daily wash our hands and feet as we immerse ourselves daily in His Word and do what it says!
In the Tabernacle service the priests were required to wash their hands and feet:
Shemoth/Exodus 30:18-21 “And you shall make a basin of bronze, with its stand also of bronze, for washing. And you shall put it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and shall put water in it. 19 “And Aharon and his sons shall wash from it their hands and their feet. 20 “When they go into the Tent of Meeting, or when they come near the altar to attend, to burn an offering made by fire to יהוה, they wash with water, lest they die. 21 “And they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a law forever to them, to him and his seed throughout their generations.”
The bronze laver was made from the bronze mirrors of the woman who served at the gate/door of the tent of appointment and we know that the bronze laver stood between the slaughter place and the Set-Apart Place. Once we have accepted the Sacrifice of Messiah and have been immersed in His Name we are required to keep our hands and feet clean so that we are able to enter into the Set-Apart place; and the bronze laver with the clean water is a picture of the Word of Elohim that washes us as we look intently into the mirror of the Word and not forget what we look like but do what it tells us to! And at the washing of the disciples feet, יהושע Messiah was making it very clear that He was the Word that washes the feet – in the flesh!!! And He made it clear that by guarding His commands they would indeed keep their feet and hands clean – giving them access ‘in’ Him to come boldly to the throne of Elohim and find His great favour and loving-commitment!
In Messiah’s prayer to the Father for the set-apart ones He makes it clear what would keep us set-apart:
Yoḥanan/John 17:17 “Set them apart in Your truth – Your Word is truth.”
יהושע Messiah came to heal our defiled and desperately sick hearts – which is to have the Torah upon it, and so in His Blood He made it possible to give us a clean heart, and so we have the responsibility to guard our hearts in Him by keeping our hands and hearts clean as we guard to do all His commands.
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:22-23 “Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, 23 having been born again – not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever”
In Yirmeyahu we see the call to a rebellious and wicked generation to get clean:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:14 “O Yerushalayim, wash your heart from evil, and be saved. Till when would your wicked thoughts remain within you?”
That same call is being echoed loudly today!!!
Messiah tells us clearly that blessed are the clean in heart for they shall see Elohim and while we recognise that His Blood has cleansed us – we cannot assume that we have the right to do whatever we want and reject His Torah as so many do under the false banner of a ‘faith righteousness’ that promotes lawlessness and the favour of Elohim as a license to sin or be lawless (without Torah or Kingdom rules).
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:9 “Who says, “I have cleansed my heart, I am purged of my sin”?”
This is the sound of so many ignorant and arrogant claiming believers who throw the Torah behind their backs, thinking that it has all been done and there is nothing for them to do!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin, we are misleading ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
We need His Word to daily cleanse us and lead us in his paths of righteousness and without clean hands and hearts we are unable to embrace the right of entrance purchased for us in the Blood of Messiah:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:8 “Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded!”
Just as the priests had to wash their hands and feet before entering in to the service of the set-apart place, so too do we as a royal priesthood in Messiah have to cleanse our hands and feet so that we may enter into service of the Most High!
The one who did not bring his life to nought and did not swear deceivingly! Having clean hands and heart will cause one’s life not to be brought to nought. The literal rendering here of this verse could be better expressed as “He who did not lift up his soul to what is false and did not swear deceivingly”
The word translated as ‘naught’ is the Hebrew word שָׁוְא shav – Strong’s H7723 and means, ‘falsehood, lies, emptiness, worthlessness’ and in essence it speaks of what you submit or surrender yourself to; and we see how so many who are on the broad path to destruction ‘lift up their lives’ – that is submit to and follow – that which is made up of falsehood and lies and is worthlessness, despite all their seemingly hard work in the flesh!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 59:4 “No one calls for righteousness, and no one pleads for truth. They trust in emptiness and speak worthlessness; they conceive trouble and bring forth wickedness.”
Sounds a lot like the masses today!
Who do you put your trust in? Are you lifting up your eyes to falsehood and worthlessness which stands against the Torah or are you looking to יהוה and His Pure and refined Word as revealed through יהושע Messiah, the perfecter and Princely Leader of our faith, who sat down at the right hand of Elohim? Let me ask you… what was placed on the right side of the Ark of the Witness? The Torah – while the 2 Tablets of stone with the Ten Words were inside the Ark – the Torah was placed as a witness on the right side of the Ark – This is what points to and pictures who Messiah is – the Living Torah to which we look and fix our eyes upon so that His Word lights our path, and makes our way straight before Him!
This word שָׁוְא shav can also be a reference to idol worship, which is performed in the lifting up of and celebrating the pagan rooted feasts of sun-worship, which is a partaking of the table of demons; and we cannot partake of the Table of the Master and of demons – those who lift up their lives to falsehood and tradition of lies are unable to enter into the presence of יהוה, due to a defiled heart and dirty hands and feet, and so the workers of lawlessness will be cast outside where the dogs and idolaters are!
Those who keep themselves clean and pure by guarding His Word will receive a Blessing from יהוה.
Those who ‘seek the face’ of יהוה are able to fervently answer the question of who is this Sovereign of Esteem!
Are you seeking the face of יהוה? Here we see two words translated as ‘seek’:
Seek (1) – בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 which means, ‘to seek, aim, search, look, inquire’, and it is written in the ‘piel’ form which expresses an intensive or intentional action and could therefore be expressed as, ‘seek earnestly or seek the face, seek to find, demand, desire, ask’, and this kind of ‘seeking’ is an intense seeking with a purpose!
Now I just want to make it clear that יהוה is by no means lost in any way – it is us who were lost through sin and lawlessness and so we earnestly seek Him while He is to be found, as we seek to please Him and walk in His Truth.
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 2:3 “Seek יהוה, all you meek ones of the earth, who have done His right-ruling. Seek righteousness, seek meekness, if so be that you are hidden in the day of wrath of יהוה.”
Seek (2) – דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 means, ‘to resort to, seek out, ask, avenge, consult, investigate, search carefully, make inquiry, question’. Now when we see that this word carries more than simply just to take a quick peek, but rather emphasises the need to be digging deep in seeking out carefully and with great diligence, through consultation, and asking. When we are told to ‘seek’ first the Kingdom – we must recognise that this is not an instruction that gives the notion that you look at it and now that you have seen it you can go on your merry way – NO! To seek His Kingdom requires hard work and discipline each and every day. Here we are being clearly instructed to ‘seek’ יהוה and His strength. We need to ‘seek’ Him and this implies an inquiry after knowledge, advice, and insight into any situation or circumstance we find ourselves in.
A word that is derived from דָּרַשׁ darash is מִדְרָשׁ midrash – Strong’s H4097 means, ‘a study, record, writings or story, commentary’. A ‘midrash’ speaks of the ability to search out something and often refers to that which is written to teach, and later became known as a Hebrew word relating to the in-depth study of the word, often done together. The point is that we are to be a people who are earnestly growing in wisdom and understanding of the Scriptures so we can remember what we look like when we look intently into the mirror of His Word!
Ěḵah/Lamentations 3:25 “יהוה is good to those waiting for Him, to the being who seeks Him.”
We are to be seeking His face always:
Tehillim/Psalm 27:8 “To my heart You have said, “Seek My face.” Your face, יהוה, I seek.”
Clean hearts, hands and a zealous seeking of His face every day are the characteristics of those who abide in the Kingdom Rule and are like the merchant who found the pearl of great price, and as we seek Him with our all, dying daily to self in order that His resurrection power may life in us, we too can boldly declare who is the Sovereign of Esteem!
Lift up the gates is a declaration to lift up His Kingdom Rule and let it come and be established as we walk in the triumphant procession in Messiah.
Let me ask you…. How desperate are you, as you pass the time of your sojourning in fear, in keeping your hearts and hands clean by diligently guarding His commands and how zealous is your seeking of His face?
Can you with great boldness and confidence in Messiah proclaim as those fervent choirs did back in the day of Dawiḏ, and shout, “Lift up your heads o you gates and let the Sovereign of esteem come in”?
Or is there some desperate cleaning that needs to be done before He comes!
We have been given the right of entrance – do not throw it away but embrace it and join is the song of the faithful remnant as we call for His Kingdom and will to be done here on earth as it is in the heavens – for our King is Coming – prepare the Way!
Let us sing Tehillim/Psalm 24 and I ask that you sing it with the fervency we can only imagine that they did the day the Ark was returned as we proclaim His Rule and reign over our lives, aměn!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you, and give you peace.