Inkling: When we truly hear Christ we respond in obedience to God’s commandments. His Word is what transforms us into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation which shall be a light to all the nations. Can the Son of God be separated from the Word of God? I think we have tried, but it can’t be done. Therefore yes his commandments transform us, and yes the Son of God transforms.
“If you listen to my voice and keep my covenant you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Exodus 19:5. This is God’s desire a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. God speaks this prelude to the children of Israel before giving them the covenant, the ten commandments. It speaks of the transformation that man has looked forward since Adam listened to the voice of the woman, rather than the voice of God. Adams consequence for this disobedience was a transformation, the remedy is obedience. It is written “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19. Three of Christs’ closest disciples witnessed the transformation firsthand they had to look forward to if they listen and obey.
In the garden, God commanded, “you shall not eat…Adam heard God, but did not obey God, rather he was enticed by another voice. Once they disobeyed God’s commandment, they HEARD the Lord God, but it ignited fear. God clothed the people with garments of skin- AR in the hebrew, meaning naked. Adam was transformed from being defined as spirit, image and likeness of God, to being defined by his own nakedness, covered in skin, clothed In garments of his human, flesh nature, in essence he took on the form of that which he obeyed, and became a slave to it. “Adam and eve became unworthy of remaining in the spiritual paradise of Eden, as a result, life changed (transformed) in every conceivable way” pg. 8 Tanach the stone edition. So then began the journey to God, who would provide the means for them to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, clothed in Garments of righteousness, and robes of salvation, pure and white, lights of the world.
God lays out plainly and specifically what needs to happen for man to become holy once again. Listen to my voice, keep my covenant and you will be transformed into the image and likeness of My Son, the Light of the World. The word used in the above passage for HEAR, in Hebrew is SHMA. SHMA means this: hear and obedience; a careful hearing as well as responding appropriately in obedience or action.
Deuteronomy 6:4 is referred to as The SHMA – “Hear o Israel! The Lord our God the Lord is one! And these words which I commanded you, shall be on your heart.” Many times does God use the word. Verse 5:1 “Hear, O Israel the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your ears (hearing) that you may learn them and do them carefully. 4: 1 Listen to the statutes and the judgements which I am teaching you to perform, in order that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord you God is giving you.
The SHMA is the essence of biblical faith, and the heartbeat of modern practicing Judaism. Never does God say to become slaves to the commandments. Which is why first he says the Lord your God, and next write these words on your heart. In contrast to slavery to anything, God rescued Israel from slavery to become free , so they could keep his commandments, but serve only God. He has rescued man from sin and death so that we could live and be his servants. God desires transformation from garments of skin to garments of light and righteousness, a sinful people into a holy nation, an enslaved people into a free people. Notice the order of verses. The SHMA comes directly after the retelling of the Torah. God reveals his word, and then says, SHMA. This is the same model that was used on the mount of transfiguration. Jesus, the Word is revealed and then God says the SHMA. “this is my son listen to him, or literally (him hear). SHMA, hear and obey.
The transfiguration on the mountain is a revelation to the three disciples. They get to see the commissioning of Christ as The Prophet.
Deuteronomy 18 “the Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your country men, you shall listen to him. I will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak to them all that I command him, and it shall come about that whoever does not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I myself will require it of him.”
This is a familiar Messianic prophecy in Jewish understanding throughout history, which is why as soon as John began to baptize men the leaders of Israel raced out to him, seeking and asking “who are you and are you Elijah, are you the Prophet?”
Prophecy is one way God communicates with his people. When he first gives Israel the commandments they say, “let not God speak to us anymore lest we die, and God said they have spoken well.” (Exodus 19) why did they say this? They were still naked, clothed in the skin that Adam and Eve gave to the entire human race. So, when they heard God, they were afraid. “after God repeated the first two, the nation pleaded with Moses that they could not tolerate the intense holiness of this direct communication by God, and they asked Moses to teach them the rest.” (pg. 407 Rashi and Rambam, Chumash).
God would raise up prophets from among the people who would converse and relay messages to the people Israel. He put his words in the mouths of his prophets. Most often these prophets would come proclaiming repentance and teaching God’s people how to return, in order to restore the people back to God, and to reveal their sins to them. Israel was intended to be a nation of prophets, lights, priests who would teach the nations. “a kingdom of kohanim in the context of exodus 19:6 means that the entire nation of Israel is to be dedicated to leading the world toward an understanding and acceptance of God’s mission.” (page 403 chumash) Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Elijah.
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophesy Revelation 19:10
Jesus says repeatedly throughout his ministry, “to him who has ears to hear let him hear.” Because he is the spirit of Prophecy. He is the mediator between God and man. Jesus’ came as a priest, prophet and king. A prophet to warn the people, teach God’s words, relay God’s messages, a priest to atone for their sins, and a king and rule over his kingdom. A kingdom which he would himself, bring his people into.
Joshua was also commissioned by God in the presence of Moses to carry on the leadership of the children of Israel and into the promised land. Deuteronomy 31.
“The book of the law shall not depart from your mouth…be careful to do according to all that is written in it for then you will make your way prosperous.” Joshua 1:8
Joshua and Jesus share a Hebrew name-Y’shua. This mean to save or salvation. Both Joshua and Jesus succeeded Moses and were ordained to lead. Joshua led the people into the promised land.
Jesus is the one who will lead those who hear and obey, into eternity, the promise of heaven. Jesus said: “my sheep know my voice, they hear and they follow me because they know my voice. And I know them.” John 10. How do we get to know Jesus the Nazarene?
“He who has my commandments and keep them, it is he who loves Me; and is who loves me shall be loved by my father, and I will love him and will disclose myself to him.” And “you are my friends if you do what I command.” And the word which you hear is not mine, but the Fathers who sent me.” John 14:21, 23 and 15:14
Lastly, the result of hearing and obeying the words of God through Christ, the means of our salvation, is holiness. It is found in both Exodus 19 and 1 Peter 1-2. God promises those who hear and observe that they will be a holy nation, a spiritual house, a kingdom of priests and living stones, one flock with one shepherd. In that time our righteous deeds and our holiness will be manifested as clean white garments and fine linen for the bride of Christ. Revelation 19:8 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh regarding its lusts.” Romans 13:14
The root word for Torah, is the same word for boundary-TRH. Jesus said, “my sheep listen to my voice, I am the good shepherd, the door keeper. Whoever enters by the gate is a shepherd of the sheep, whoever does not enter by the door is a thief. My sheep follow me because they know my voice” John 10.
In Revelation Jesus says, “Blessed is he who has the right to enter by the gates and eat from the tree of life.” The gates, according to Revelation 21:12, are marked with the names of the 12 tribes of the sons of Israel. These are the gates around the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, the Kingdom coming down out of Heaven! What if Torah is the boundary and the Law is the gate. The word for Torah is “border or boundary.” The root word for Law is DT, meaning “entering with a mark.” If Torah is the word of God, and Jesus is the word of God in the flesh, those who have the right to enter, are those who enter with the Torah, the Word of God, Jesus. Jesus said, “if you abide in me, my words will abide in you.” John 15:7
I propose the gates surrounding the New Jerusalem are marked with the names of the twelve tribes because the remnant of the sons of Israel are to be the lights teaching the nations God’s Laws and Torah and teaching the nations how to SHMA, hear and obey the Words of Messiah and how to serve God in righteousness. Revelation 14:1 “and I looked and behold the Lamb was standing on the mount Zion and with him the 144, 000 having his name and the name of his father on their forehead. These are the bondservants of God , sealed and marked out for salvation from the tribes of Israel.”
Jesus the word of God in the flesh, was revealed to the disciples on the mountain as the light of the World, he was commissioned in the presence of the students and revealed to them as the mouthpiece of God, the Prophet whom God chose, instructing all those who know him to hear and respond, so that Jesus could bring forth a kingdom of priests and a holy nation , a building of living stones that could house the Spirit and Word of God. Peter, in a moment of desperation, offered to make three tents, perhaps to house the men who carried God’s words and messages, perhaps to make a dwelling for the word of God, But God said no my word is to be contained in human hearts, and human souls to be carried to the ends of the earth. Human hearts is the place my word will come forth, grow up and there shall my kingdom be. Its revealed on the mountaintop, but its lived out on earth below where men travel and sin happens, to be a light to the nations and a word that can be heard and obeyed and transform mankind into the image and likeness of God’s Beloved Son.
“For Israel to rise to its highest calling, it must be unified. Only when it was united in its goal of hearing the word of God could it receive the Torah.” (Pg. 401 Chumash –Rashi)