the Testimony

by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth (Ephesians 2:19)

“And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before YHVH, to be kept for your generations. As YHVH commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.” Exodus 16:33-34

“And there I will meet with you, and I will commune with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give you in commandment unto the children of Israel.” Exodus 25:22

“And He gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of YHVH.” Exodus 31:18

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the Testimony of Yeshua; worship YHVH: for the Testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10

Aharon laid some manna from the wilderness before YHVH, the Present Presence (click on highlighted verse to see content). Manna is the bread-like substance that appeared on the ground every morning for forty years as a provision for the children of Israel while they were in the wilderness. It is in the embrace of His Presence that we find Provision for our lives just as those in the wilderness found provision for their lives – shoes not wear out, lacked nothing; there is sustenance manna in the wilderness, birds of the air; there is health none of these diseases, any deadly thing; and there is freedom from bondage the fowler, demons subject to authority. All of these benefits are made available to members of YHVH’s Family who are obedient to His Voice by adhering to and following His Words (not arbitrarily changing the dynamics of those Words – John 14:24). There is LIFE in the Presence of the Eternal One which makes it Eternal Life. All of these things mentioned are external and are usually what people expect to happen to them. That they do not happen can mostly be traced back to becoming disobedient to one of more of His Words. The inheritance bequeathed to those embracing the example of the Life of Yeshua, however, is a different matter because it constitutes a restoration of the Kingdom, of Life within. As seen in Exodus 16:33-34 above, that Presence is called ‘the Testimony’. That Presence abides above the Mercy Seat on the ark of ‘the Testimony’. It is in His Presence He speaks to us. It is in His Presence, the Essence of the Source of Life is revealed. That Presence is written on the two tables of ‘the Testimony’. seen in Exodus 31:18. It is in His Presence we find Rest and it is in ‘the Testimony’. of the Life of Yeshua we learn how to access the Presence of the Father. (Matthew 11:28 – quoting Exodus 33:14).

The Testimony IS the Presence of YHVH.

Testimony is translated from the Hebrew word, eduwth (a-duth), meaning precept or revelation. It comes out of the root word ‘ed which means “witness” or “testimony, what testifies”. It is used in Numbers 1:53. to describe the tabernacle of the Testimony as a witness to the Presence of YHVH. In the Messianic Writings (NT) the Greek word translated as the English Testimony is martyria. (from the root of which comes martyr) and is used in John 3:32-33. to mean “witness” or “a testifying”. There are only two places where scripture says Spirit breathed on men. The first is in Genesis 2:7 with Adam and the second is in John 20:22 with the disciples immediately after Yeshua was resurrected. In Yeshua was the displayed image of ‘the Testimony’. in the physical. When we embrace the Life of Yeshua, guess what – we get breathed upon (Job 33:4). We get the Breath of Life dwelling within us. This is not a mystical, ethereal, wispy, maybe someday, by and by, over yonder, pie in the sky, wish I may, wish I might, if I be real good tonight, get there – this is REAL. Right here, right now, living within you Power. It is the SAME Power that raised Yeshua from the grave – Power that quickens, gives life to our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11). In John 10:25, Yeshua states, “the works” He did in His Father’s Name bore “witness” to Him. What were those “works”? Were they the healings, the raising from the dead, the feeding of multitudes? While most would point to those extraordinary events as evidence of such – but, in truth, those things were just the manifestation of carrying “the Ark of the Testimony” within.

So, then, how does that Power become manifested in us? Really – how do we “manifest” it to make it real in our lives today? It comes first with knowledge, a ‘knowing’ of Truth (John 17:3), therefore, it begins with knowing Who He Is in Truth (Hosea 4:6). Yeshua said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Or that wording could also be stated to say that the Life He exampled is the only Way to come into the Presence of Truth Who Is the Source of Life. His is a Life lived in the Presence of the Father. Scripture says He didn’t DO anything unless He first saw and heard the Father do it (John 5:19, John 5:30). The Power is in the Presence of the Father. So, then, the question becomes, “how do I remain in the Presence of the Father?” (see what it means To Be Made Manifest), First, we must come to an understanding of where the Way into His Presence begins. Yeshua stated explicitly in Matthew 5:17 that He did not come to abolish the Torah, but to complete it. Yeshua is called “Rabbi” by those who drew near to him. As Rabbi, he taught Torah. The rabbinic idea of “fulfilling or making complete” Torah is simply teaching correct interpretation (Greek pleroo – to make completely full). Yeshua came to complete the understanding of Torah. As seen in the article, Forgiveness, to keep YHVH’s Words is more than proclamation and ritual. To keep His Words is to become obedient to the Essence of YHVH’s Nature in those Words by not allowing another member of His Family to be neglected (Galatians 6:10). Yeshua’s comment in John 13:34-35 was a further endorsement among the twelve that what they had witnessed in His Life was the restored behavior of the Kingdom that they were to exhibit toward one another – which would distinguish them from the rest of the world and be a proclamation that the promised redemption of the Kingdom of YHVH had occurred. YHVH’s family of Israel are not a people who define a religion but a Testimony – a people of witness to His love for His Family. Scripture shows us the Hebrew has always had the ability to keep the Words of the Father. YHVH’s Presence was manifested to Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel immediately after their separation from the Garden. Keeping His Words brings those of His Family into His Presence – but, until YHVH through Yeshua restored the Kingdom, they had only been able to come into His Presence externally. That restoration allowed anyone who keeps His Words the opportunity to become echad (Hebrew for “one”) with the Present Presence.

Yeshua, who lived in and manifested the Presence of the Father, said, “If any one would come after Me, let Him (1) deny himself, (2) take up whatever cross he has to bear daily, and (3) follow Me” (Luke 9:23). The Power we have access to is surrounded by a tightly-guarded hedge. That hedge is one of selfLESSness – not self-denial. The core of the Essence of the Nature of Spirit is that selfLESSness. We must be willing to forsake everything we consider important or self-gratifying to elevate those things of my brother (not the world) above those of my own interests in order to access that Power. He went on to say in Matthew 10:38 that if we didn’t take up whatever our personal cross demanded of us on a daily basis, we are not worthy of Him. The English word translated “worthy” comes from the Greek word axios, meaning having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much. It is not a guilt-thing but connotates more of receiving the same fullness of measure as He did. The means by which we die to those self interests on a daily basis is to follow Yeshua’s Way, His example of Life which is to elevate and attend to my brother’s interests before my own. The Greek word for “follow” is akoloutheo and from the Thayer’s Lexicon means to cleave steadfastly to one, to conform wholly to his example, in living and, if need be, in dying also. This word ‘cleave’ is also found in Genesis 2:24 describing the marriage relationship and comes from the Hebrew dabaq which means “to be glued inseparably together”. The Paleo-Hebrew illustration given as an image for this word is “two sticky mudballs, smacked together so that they become seamless.” This is why Paul describes the marriage relationship “a mystery” because, even though it is obvious in the natural there are two distinct entities, the Father looks upon them as being “one flesh” and he likens this relationship as the relationship experienced within the Body of Yeshua – Bone of His Bone, Flesh of His Flesh (Ephesians 5:30-32). If we are to access His Power through that hedge, we must become as He Is by becoming part of His Body – one big sticky mudball. (1John 4:17), This is the exercise. Three simple steps that become a life-long challenge to maintain – not to achieve, but to choose to maintain.

The Greek word translated as the English “authority” Yeshua gave to his disciples in Luke 9:1 is the same Greek word (eksousia) Yeshua uses to point to where His authority originates and means “power of choice”. Those who embrace the Words of the Father, like Yeshua did, have access to the same authority the Father gave His Son – the power within to choose what manner of behavior is exhibited without in the face of circumstance. Of the 103 times that eksousia appears in scripture, it is translated “power” 69 times (as in John 1:12). We must continually remind ourselves that part of the reason the Son lived in the flesh was as a practical example for us to emulate. His walk was not an unattainable life apart from our own human experience but a living testament of how that Authority, that Power, that Virtue, that Excellence came to be in His Life. That Virtue was attributable directly to the choices He made in His daily existence. He CHOSE to embrace the Nature of the Source of Life found in YHVH at every encounter by keeping the Words of His Father found in Exodus 20:1-17 and, in so doing, is how we do not give any place to the enemy (Ephesians 4:27, Revelation 12:8). When we do likewise, we become imbued with the same power, the same authority over darkness Just As – Even So as He has and it is through that virtue, released into the world, that flows the power to heal and deliver. But, we cannot give what we do not live (John 17:20-21). Where does virtue come from? Virtue is cultivated in righteousness. Yeshua became the example of how our behavior results in righteousness – He does not do it for us (Mark 8:34). Those who follow Yeshua’s example to choose YHVH’s Words of Life just as He chose are empowered with righteousness just as He was empowered (Romans 8:29). That righteousness does not just “fall” on anyone any more than it just “fell” on Him (Hebrews 5:8). The Hebrew word for “righteousness” is tsedachah, and its definition (derived from Isaiah 33:14-16) means “rectitude, virtue and justice in behavior”. In the Greek, righteousness is translated from the word dikaiosyne, (derived from Matthew 6:33) meaning “integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling and acting”. According to these definitions righteousness is behaviorially based. Romans 4:3 is a direct quote from Genesis 15:6 which says that “Abraham believed YHVH, and it was counted to him as righteousness”. Notice that in either account do the words say Abraham believed IN an Elohim (the Hebrew word translated “God” in Genesis 1:1 and unique to the Hebrew language only). It says he believed YHVH’s Word would come to pass just as He had spoken it. How did Abraham exhibit that belief? Abraham acted on YHVH’s WORD spoken to him and that action was what was accounted to him as righteousness. The English/Greek word “believed” in this verse has been superimposed upon the Hebrew word ‘aman which means to be “faithful”. Faithful to what? Abraham was faithful to keep the Words of YHVH the very day they were spoken to him (Genesis 17). This is reinforced in Genesis 26:4-5 when YHVH declares to Isaac WHY His Word will come to pass – because of the behavior of Abraham.

Remember, the Power is in His Presence. As we choose to stand, to remain in His Presence in the midst of what would seem insurmountable enticement, overwhelming darkness, circumstances beyond our control – we exhibit Light and that Light overcomes any darkness surrounding us – perhaps not instantaneously but, if we persist, eventually. That is the Power of His Presence. Not to eliminate the situation, but to be changed and to be conformed to His Likeness in the midst of the circumstance. THAT is our Testimony. That is the Power the faithful of Revelation 12:10-11 exhibited in defeating the accuser of the brethren because they stood upon the Blood of the Lamb which restored to them YHVH’s Kingdom and by the Testimony of their witness to refuse to accuse the brethren of that Kingdom even to their very death.

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