A HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY. . .
Hidden wisdom or a concealed treasure, what profit is there in either?
BELLS & POMEGRANATES
"On its hem (coat or robe of mail) make pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, all around the hem, with bells of gold between them all around: a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe. Aaron shall wear it while officiating, so that the sound of it is heard when he comes into the sanctuary before the LORD and when he goes out — that he may not die." [Exodus (Shemot) 28. 33 - 35 Tanakh, Torah]
Upon the skirts or hem of the seamless robe of blue were alternating pomegranates and bells. The blue, purple and scarlet which are blended in this fruit upon breaking, prophesies of the bruising and the crushing of the LORD JESUS. There is a multitude of seeds in the pomegranate, which signify "fruitfulness." The bell, which is pure gold, has a tongue in it. . . this tells of Testimony (tongue) DIVINE Testimony (gold). It rings clearly because there is a pomegranate, which acts as a pad between each bell. The softness prevented the bells from clanging together and producing discord. YESHUA ha'MASHIACH wore the "spiritual fruit and bells" all around the hem of HIS seamless garment as HE walked on the earth. HE had a clear ringing testimony, which was backed up by the fruit of HIS life. It should be the same with CHRISTians believers who wear the spiritual robe of blue. It is not by our much speaking, or by our preaching, neither by the miracles we perform in the "NAME OF JESUS" — or the gifts of the SPIRIT operating through our life that we are known. But, the LORD YESHUA said, "by their FRUIT you shall know them." [Matthew 7. 16, 20]
The JEWISH TALMUD states it this way: "The bells said to the fruit-bearing tree, 'Why do you not make any noise?' They replied, 'Our fruits are sufficient advertisement for us.'"
NEW COVENANT priests wear the bell with the pomegranate, not one without the other; in order to bring a clear ringing testimony with the fruit of DIVINE love to the world. This is so strikingly portrayed for us in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians where there are the two Power Chapters and between them, the Fruit Chapter. Chapter 12 is the Bell, the Testimony of GOD'S POWER. Chapter 13 is the Pomegranate or Fruit of DIVINE LOVE. And, chapter 14 is another Bell or Testimony of the POWER OF GOD. Always together. . . Sound and Fruit, Preaching and Practice. The GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT must operate with and by DIVINE Love! [1 Corinthians 13 is the only chapter of the writings of Paul in which he does not mention the LORD JESUS and yet HE is there. . . HE is LOVE!]
On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the high priest would undress himself of the glorious garments in the Holy Place. To make the sacrifice, he wore only the "holy" coat of fine-twined linen with the mitre (hat/skull cap) and the linen undergarments. [Leviticus/Vayikra 16. 4, 23, 32 - 33] The high priest's dress was all white when he entered the Holy of Holies; whereas, in the Tent of Meeting, it was blue, purple, scarlet, and gold; but this is only a visible difference…because white is the sum of the other colours.
All year long, until this day, the bells on the high priest's robe of blue would tinkle clearly (because of the pomegranate pad between them) and the children of Israel would know that he was ministering before the LORD MOST HIGH for them. But, on this solemn day, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) the bells were silent. When the priest would again put on the garments for glory and beauty after the ritual was completed [Leviticus/Vayikra 16. 23], the bells would ring out to GOD'S people that the sacrifice had been accepted by OMNISCIENT GOD on their behalf and that their high priest was still alive!
There is a old fabled teaching that continues to be spread among CHRISTian circles that now needs to be addressed. ACCORDING TO THE FABLE..."So awful was the presence of Holiness in the Holiest Place and so fearful were the Jews, that the priest who entered into the Holiest might not be approved of by GOD, that there was a long rope tied to his ankle which extended into the outer Court as he would walk into the Holy Room beyond the Veil. After a certain amount of time, if they failed to hear the bells on the hem of his garment ringing and he failed to reappear, he was assumed dead and was pulled from the Room by this rope, since no one dare enter the Holiest Place to secure the dead body of the priest." This fable is absurd at best! IF a rope was to be tied on the ankle, the ALMIGHTY ONE would say which ankle, how much time to wait, and how long the rope would be and what it would be made of. Furthermore, the Glory Garments were not worn into the Holies to sprinkle the blood this one-time-a-year ritual.
Our GREAT HIGH PRIEST, the LORD YESHUA ha'MASHIACH, laid aside HIS "glory garments" to make the sacrifice of HIS OWN life. When HE hung between heaven and earth, unwanted by both, the bells were silent; no DIVINE voice was heard. After HIS resurrection, JESUS ascended to the HEAVENLY FATHER, presented the tokens of HIS sacrifice before the Mercy Seat (in keeping with the ritual) and later poured out the GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT upon HIS waiting disciples.
Now we can understand the warning JESUS the ANOINTED ONE spoke to Miryam (Mary) of Magdala the time of CHRIST'S appearance to her after HIS resurrection. [John 20. 17] Why did MESSIAH tell her not to touch HIM? Because JESUS is the FULFILLMENT of the high priests in Israel who performed the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement exactly as the priest did. Great care was taken to guard against any unclean person entering the Sanctuary. [Leviticus/Vayikra 16. 17] No one was permitted to remain there while the high priest officiated in the Holy of Holies on the "GREAT DAY." No unclean person could touch him and he could not touch anyone for fear of defilement. When the blood had been applied to the Mercy Seat, and every detail had been carried out as GOD OMNIPOTENT had commanded, thus receiving HIS approval and acceptance, the high priest then could be touched by hands and congratulated for his work which had been accomplished. [Leviticus/Vayikra 16 w/Hebrews 8. 1 - 6; 9. 6 - 14]
As soon as YESHUA ha'MASHIACH arose from the dead, HE must enter into the Holy of Holies immediately, that is to ascend straight to GOD THE FATHER and there present the tokens of HIS sacrifice on Calvary, in order to complete this important Day's ritual. The LORD JESUS told Miryam the reason HE wanted her "not to touch, cling to or lay hold" of HIM. JESUS "had not yet ascended to the FATHER" — HE had NOT entered the Holy of Holies to complete the ritual. Therefore, HE would not allow anyone to touch HIM, just as was the case with the earthly high priest of the Tabernacle service as commanded by HOLY GOD for the Great Day of Atonement. When the LORD YESHUA entered the Holy of Holies and concluded the ceremony at the Mercy Seat in Heaven (which could have taken mere seconds), MESSIAH YESHUA returned and met HIS friends on earth who then could "touch" HIM (in fact they held HIS feet) and congratulated HIM (worshipped CHRIST THE LIVING WORD, the KING OF GLORY) for the work HE had done! [Matthew 28. 9]
After offering the sacrifices, the Israelites waited for the sound of the bells which indicated their high priest had again put on his garments for glory and beauty, and that GOD ALMIGHTY had accepted the sacrifice. Thus, it was with the 120 disciples in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, they knew the LORD JESUS, their HIGH PRIEST, lived and was in the presence of the FATHER when they heard the sound from heaven. The DIVINE Testimony (golden bells) rang clearly through the disciples showing them their MESSIAH-PRIEST-KING was alive and would continue HIS life and work through them (pomegranates signify reproduction) by the operation of the HOLY SPIRIT. How perfect is our WONDERFUL LORD GOD!
Sha’alu (Pray) for the shalom (Peace) of Jerusalem and all of Israel!
As we bid farewell to Shabbat. . . may our lips ever declare praises to our KING, HELPER, SAVIOUR & SHIELD for HIS loving kindness is mighty over us. Have a good week — continue serving the BELOVED MASTER with a clean heart (lev tahor) and bless HIM at all times, for HE perseveres in blessing HIS people with peace.
Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is praying for the return of Messiah Jesus and His Kingdom.
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