The more my understanding is illuminated by the Holy Spirit, the greater my comprehension is of the physical foreshadows in scripture that represent future-revealed spiritual real substances. In scripture, the physical is used often as a foreshadow of the spiritual, but the physical typically provides greater levels of detail, allowing much better understanding of the spiritual.
Now, as I recently wrote, the counterfeit salvation-by-decision of christianity’s evangelism is often touted as a reason to develop relationships with unbelievers. The rationale is that, by developing such relationships, the one who is “witnessing” might occasionally find opportunities to drop hints about his christian religion, and that might eventually cause the person to make a decision to “be saved.”
And, as previously explained, this approach is not only based on a counterfeit of salvation, which is not obtained by any human decision, but it actually ignores the entire meaning behind the physical foreshadow of the clean vs. unclean laws, which were to keep the physical Jews from having close associations with the physical Gentiles.
Just as the laws about daily animal sacrifices at the temple represented Messiah’s bride’s sacrificing her flesh daily, the laws separating the physical Jews from the physical Gentiles (clean vs. unclean) were a foreshadow (picture) of the true Jews (those who have been given the new covenant) purposely keeping themselves separate from true Gentiles (those who have NOT been given the new covenant, and who reject the true Gospel of Messiah Yahoshua).
How did the physical Jews regard those clean vs. unclean laws that mandated their separation from physical Gentiles? Well, when Yah spoke to Peter in a vision (Acts 10:9-16), showing him animals that had been unclean under the law for the physical Jews to eat, and telling Peter to “kill and eat,” what was Peter’s response?
In Acts 10:14, Peter said to Yah, “By no means, Lord, for I have NEVER eaten anything unholy and unclean” (emphasis mine). The purpose of the dietary restrictions under the clean vs. unclean laws was explained by Yah in Deuteronomy 14:2. “For you are a holy people to Yahweh your God, and Yahweh has chosen you to be a people for His personal possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” It was all about a “peculiar people,” as that denotes a group of people who are hidden or shut off from the world (like a hidden treasure), which is to be separate (set apart) from the world (Exodus 19:5).
We see Peter’s insistence that he had maintained that separation from the physical Gentiles his entire life. But, Peter learned from the vision that, by abolishing the dietary laws (“What Yah has made clean no longer call unclean”), that meant that physical Gentiles could be given the covenant. And, that follows with Paul’s teachings about there no longer being any spiritual distinction between physical Jews and Gentiles, for it was all a foreshadow detailing Messiah’s bride’s separation from the world.
Now, understand that the law of Moses had many statutes concerning animal sacrifice, and we can see with those ordinances the importance Yah places on the sacrifice of the flesh, which is what the animal sacrifice laws really pictured (Galatians 5:16-26). Throughout the New Testament we see admonitions about true believers sacrificing, or crucifying, their flesh, and most people in christianity would agree about the vast importance of denying the desires of the flesh (although, most won’t grasp the correlation to the temple sacrifices).
Why then should we ignore the true meaning of the clean vs. unclean laws, and what they represent, since the New Testament scriptures repeatedly exhort believers not to fellowship with unbelievers (“light has no fellowship with darkness,” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18)? Those who are in the Hebrew Roots cult mistake the physical foreshadow for the spiritual real substance, and foolishly think that abstaining from pork gives them some special favor with the Father. No, such teaching merely shows spiritual ignorance.
By the modus operandi of most of christianity’s evangelism, it is believed that developing relationships with those who are not in christianity, will give opportunities to “drop hints” about christianity. But, that completely misses the point of what the clean vs. unclean laws foreshadowed. Of course, those in christianity will often claim that the issue will often resolve itself, as those who try to evangelize others will sometimes become unattractive to those outside of christianity, and many of them will eventually dispose of any desire for close relationships with those who attempt to evangelize.
However, this passive form of “witnessing,” where the one being witnessed to eventually rejects the idea of a close relationship (wanting to spend less and less time in fellowship) misses the whole point of what the foreshadow means.
It was not the physical Gentiles who were told not to enter into fellowship with the physical Jews. It was the physical Jews who were commanded not to enter into fellowship with the physical Gentiles. The spiritual real substance is shown by the physical foreshadow, which means that it is actually spiritual Jews who are admonished not to maintain close relationships with those who are spiritual Gentiles.
The physical Jews were those who possessed the physical covenant—the ten commandments. Those who had the physical covenant were under the physical written laws of Moses; and, by those ordinances, the physical Jews were told they could not associate (fellowship) with physical Gentiles.
That was a physical foreshadow of a future-revealed spiritual real substance, and that substance is that Messiah’s bride, who are “the light,” are told not to fellowship with those who are not of the one true faith. The spiritual Jews are told, just as the physical Jews were, not to fellowship with spiritual Gentiles, as they are “the darkness” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17, Ephesians 5:11).
So, those who are not of the true faith are the darkness, while those who are Yah’s children are the light. But, what is “fellowship”? Well, in the Greek, the word is “koinōnia,” and that means “to share with others (objectively or subjectively): – fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse,” which is what 2 Corinthians 6:14 refers to. In Ephesians 5:11, the word used is metochē, which means “a sharing, communion, participation, that is, intercourse: – fellowship.”
To fellowship is to participate relationally in something with someone else, whether it is in word (conversation) or deed (action). Remember, the physical Jews were not allowed to associate with physical Gentiles, which meant they were not allowed to eat with them, or have close friendships with them. They could speak to them in the course of daily business activities, but they could not maintain close friendships with them, for doing so would make the Jew unclean.
Let’s see if we can put this into a more familiar meaning regarding the practical lives of those in the ekklesia. Stop and think of the handful of people you are closest to, outside of your spouse or your young children that live in your home—the people you stay up to date with, and with whom you most often converse. Those are typically the people with whom you fellowship. You might get together regularly, or talk often, keeping up with what is going on in one another’s lives. The people you fellowship with are the people you are personally closest to, relationally speaking.
So, throughout the scriptures, we are told that those who are of the light are not to fellowship with those of the darkness. There are no other qualifications about which people those are, with the exception of one’s spouse, as 1 Corinthians 7:14 explains (the one with the Spirit covers both the spouse and children of the household). So, even though the spouse may be an unbeliever, Yah sees both spouses and their young children as being “of the light,” for the believing spouse sanctifies the unbelieving spouse and also their young children who are under their authority—otherwise, the children produced by the two would be “unclean” (part of the darkness).
Light and darkness have no fellowship. Period. And, that is not left up to the darkness to choose, but is commanded of the light.
Now, what did it mean for a physical Jew to be “unclean”? It meant that, for the period of uncleanness, the physical Jew could not enter the temple. But, what’s so important about that? There is no longer a physical temple standing in Jerusalem.
Why did the physical Jews go to the temple? It was to worship. And, why did worship occur at the temple? It’s because that is where the covenant was. In John 4:7-26, Messiah Yahoshua was speaking to a Samaritan woman, and she mentioned about how the Jews were required to go to the temple in Jerusalem to worship. But, Messiah told her that a time was coming when worship would not be at the physical temple (where the physical covenant was), but will be wherever those who are given the new covenant, which is spiritual, are. Worship, then, is the practical living of those who are given the new covenant—the seal of the Holy Spirit upon Messiah’s bride.
Essentially, when a physical Jew was unclean, he could not enter the temple, which meant that his worship was hindered. He would have to wait until he was clean to be able to enter the temple to worship the Father unhindered by being unclean.
That’s the physical picture, but what’s the spiritual real substance? Those who fellowship with spiritual Gentiles (darkness) make themselves spiritually unclean, which is to hinder one’s worship of the Father. And, why is the worship hindered? It’s because doing that which the Father prohibits will grieve the indwelling Holy Spirit, and when the Holy Spirit is grieved, one’s worship and prayers are hindered.
As the physical temple was a foreshadow of Messiah’s bride, and those who were physical Gentiles could not enter into the temple, for the bride now to fellowship with those of the darkness, it violates the holy, or “clean,” condition of the temple. To allow physical Gentiles into the sanctuary would have been a direct violation of the Father’s commandments, and a possibility the physical Jews would have never even entertained.
Essentially, the person who has the Holy Spirit, but who disregards Yah’s will and maintains a relationship of fellowship with those of the darkness, severely limits the work of the Holy Spirit in his life, which cuts off one’s ability to worship the Father. Ironically, if that person maintains that he does so for a chance to lead the lost person to belief in Messiah Yahoshua, it actually cuts off his own ability to do that, as the Holy Spirit does not bless the works of those who grieve Him.
There is another byproduct of the disobedience as well. It’s a form of dishonesty to the unbeliever, as it ignores the necessary chasm that exists between the light and the darkness, suggesting to the one in darkness that such a chasm doesn’t actually exist between the unbeliever and the Father. The physical Gentiles were very aware of the fact that they would never be allowed to enter into the temple—that there was a separation between them and the physical Jews (Ephesians 2:11-22).
Look at it this way—the one who has the Holy Spirit is Yah’s child, the one who does not have the Holy Spirit and who rejects the true Gospel of Yahoshua is Yah’s enemy. When Yah’s enemies stand before Him in judgment, it will be to finalize their condemnation. There is an eternal separation between Yah and His enemies. The only way to remove the separation is by the Holy Spirit, but at judgment time, it’s too late.
Yah’s children should be an example of their Father, not entering into fellowship with His enemies, but demonstrating to them the real separation that exists between Yah’s family and Satan’s family. So, the more the believer blurs that distinction, the easier it is for the unbeliever to be comfortable in that condition, not really believing what lies ahead in the very near future when the unbeliever will stand before the Father to be judged eternally.
Ultimately, the believer who ignores Yah’s instructions about not entering into fellowship with unbelievers tries to control what only the Holy Spirit can do. But, trying to control the Holy Spirit, especially through rebellion against the Father’s will, is carnal and futile.
When the Holy Spirit draws someone toward true belief, it is not because of things the believer does that are outside of speaking the Holy Spirit’s truths. The one who is drawn by the Holy Spirit will need no coaxing or prodding from the believer. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can draw people to saving belief, and He uses His truths to do that, not man’s formulas, tactics, or emotional appeals. The one who is drawn by the Holy Spirit will thirst for knowledge of the truth, and that will be because of the Holy Spirit, not really because of the believer.
So, the believer who thinks that maintaining fellowship with an unbeliever so that occasional hints might be dropped minimizes the true work of the Holy Spirit, and who He is. Man does not possess the power or authority of salvation, so there is no way for man to control who will be drawn to saving belief. That’s the role of the Holy Spirit. The role of the believer is to do what the Father has instructed for the believer to do—share the true Gospel of Yahoshua with others, and to maintain a level of separation from those who are not Yah’s children, and who are not openly seeking true salvation.
To go beyond that is to openly reject the Father’s instructions and the authority of the Holy Spirit, and sets the believer up for failure in his earthly walk. It also gives a distorted picture of Yah’s family to those who are of the darkness, who will likely not understand how separated they are from Yah, since they’re able to comfortably maintain fellowship with someone who is part of Yah’s family.
This is one of those rubber-hits-the-road matters that shows why scripture tells us that truly following Messiah Yahoshua is not easy. In many ways, yielding our wills to the will of the Holy Spirit goes against everything our flesh desires. And, when one reads the actual words of Messiah Yahoshua about this mandated separation from the world, He mostly talks about it in terms of physical (temporal) family who are not part of one’s spiritual (eternal) family.
Actually, in passages like Luke 12:51-53, Matthew 10:34-39, Mark 3:31-35, and Luke 9:57-62, it should be understood just how radical it was for Messiah Yahoshua to say such things. At that point, all of Y’isra-el was under the physical covenant and the written law, and those who were of Y’isra-el were so because of their physical bloodlines. It would not make any sense to the physical Jews to say such things about earthly relatives, for they were all under the same covenant, and were prohibited from associating with physical Gentiles, not other physical Jews.
No, Messiah was speaking prophetically in those passages about those who are spiritual Jews grafted into true Y’isra-el, Messiah’s bride. What He said in those passages applies to what was getting ready to be revealed through His fulfillment of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits, and it would be revealed on the Feast of Weeks (Acts 2). Messiah was not speaking in those passages of physical Jews vs. physical Gentiles, but of spiritual Jews vs. spiritual Gentiles—Light vs. Darkness.
If this is the Father’s will about what are typically the closest of earthly (temporal) relationships, then what is the Father’s will about those who are not physical relatives? How one approaches the Father’s will in this reveals whether one views his eternal spiritual family as literal, or merely theoretical, and whether he truly sees the physical as temporal and worldly, or if he views the physical as not being fully distinct from the spiritual in a practical sense.
Because of all that the Holy Spirit has shown me, and has illuminated in my understanding, I must do what He shows us in the scriptures, and strive to keep myself from fellowship with those who are of the world. Does that mean I cannot speak with unbelievers? Absolutely not. I must share the Gospel of Yahoshua with those who are of the world, but I am not to fellowship with them. My focus is not to be on the daily lives of those who are Yah’s enemies, but on standing for the truths of the Holy Spirit and the one true faith.
Why? Ultimately, it is because of what we’re told in James 4:4, that friendship with the world is enmity with Yah, and that whoever does maintain friendships (fellowship) with the world lives like he is Yah’s enemy. I pray that will not be me, whatever difficulties that may present for my life. I must refrain from entering into fellowship with those of the darkness, which includes joining into any religious observances, or other celebrations. If it is wrong for me to fellowship with darkness, then it is wrong to join hands with the world in the world’s traditions.
Now, I cannot decide anyone else’s obedience to the Holy Spirit; I can only choose for myself to strive to do the Father’s will in any matter. However, in doctrinal matters, the Holy Spirit will not teach one person something, and then teach something to someone else that contradicts what He taught the first person. It’s clear from the whole of scripture what the Father’s will is in this, so that is what I must choose for myself, and I pray that, by sharing what the Holy Spirit has illuminated in my understanding, others too will seek to honor the Father by striving to do what He tells His children to do, in the manner He desires it to be done.
To be IN the world but not OF the world requires one to be separate from the world. Ultimately, how is it that those of the world are supposed to understand that they have no part in the blessings of the one true faith, if those who are the light live in fellowship with those who are of the darkness? It cannot be done. Nobody can serve two masters—it is impossible to eat at both the Father’s table and the world’s.
For more information:
WHY WERE THE JEWS MANDATED TO BE SEPARATE FROM GENTILES? (PART ONE)
WHY WERE THE JEWS MANDATED TO BE SEPARATE FROM GENTILES? (PART TWO)