Rabbi Schneider - A New Spiritual Identity
As we begin our journey today, we're going to go all the way back to the very beginning to the Book of Bereshit, which means beginnings, the Book of Genesis. Beloved, in the Book of Genesis, chapter number 1, verse 27, we read this: God created man in his own image. In the image of God he created him male and female, he created them. This is talking, Beloved, about our original state before the fall. God created us in his own image and we also read concerning man's original state before the fall in Genesis, chapter 2, verse 25, that the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Now what we find is as we continue reading through the Scriptures, we find that immediately after man fell, immediately after Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, that tree that the Lord had warned them not to eat, saying to them the day that you eat of that tree you shall surely die, and Beloved, what we find is exactly what God said would happen, happened to them. They ate of the tree and immediately after eating of the tree, the Scripture says they suddenly realized, listen now, they were naked. Remember we just got done reading that originally in Genesis 1, verse 27, they were created in God's image, Genesis 2:25, they were both naked and not ashamed, but immediately after the fall suddenly it was as if some type of clothing had been removed from them because suddenly they realized they're naked but remember, they were naked before the fall too, but suddenly they felt naked.
Listen to the Book of Genesis now, chapter 3, verse 7: They knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin clothes. So let's put it together once again. Created in God's image, they're naked and yet not ashamed, not conscious of their nakedness. Immediately after the fall, Beloved, the Scripture says they realized they were naked. Suddenly they felt ashamed. Suddenly, Beloved, they experienced clothing in the spirit being removed from them. You see, this is what was going on, before the fall was going on, before the fall Adam and Eve, Beloved, were wearing the clothing of the Spirit of God over their flesh. They were not flesh flesh. They were not flesh conscious, they were spirit conscious. Their flesh is not what was defining them; their spirit identity was what was defining them. This is why they were both naked and yet not ashamed because they didn't feel naked because they had the clothing of God's Holy Spirit on them but as soon as they ate of the tree what happened, Beloved, is exactly what Yahweh said would happen, that the Lord removed his eternal life from them, he removed his Holy Spirit from them, so no longer do they have spirit conscious mindset, suddenly now they have a flesh conscious mindset because the Spirit was gone.
Now considering that I want to take a step back to the beginning today and let's talk about the fact that they were created in God's image. When the Scripture says that they were created in God's image, remember we read that, Book of Genesis, chapter 1, God created man in his own image, male and female, he created them. Have you ever thought about what it means to be created in the image of God? Most of us have heard that before, that God created us in his own image but for many of us, those words have kind of rolled off our back like water off a duck's back. In other words, they haven't really impacted us. Have you ever thought what does it mean to actually be created in God's image? Well we've heard for example that God thinks, and God feels, and God has a will, and as human beings we can think, we can feel, we can love, we have a will, and all those things are true, but I want to talk, Beloved, about being created in the image of God today in a way that perhaps you haven't considered before.
Baruch atah Adonai, eloheynu melech ha-olam, hallelujah, borai p'ri hagafen; blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe who creates the fruit of the vine, created in the image of God.
Do know that Adam and you were originally created in the image of God? So to understand what that means we have to ask our self well what is God's image, what are the attributes of God? Because whatever the attributes of God are, whatever his image is, the Bible says man, you and I were originally created in that same image. That's a pretty lofty thought. So let's think about God's attributes and understand how that relates to us as human beings that have been created in his image. The first thing we want to ask our self is what is God's most primary characteristic? In other words, if there's one characteristic that defines God more than anything else, what would that be? Well, Beloved, the trait of God's image that is higher than all other of his attributes, Beloved, is, listen now, the quality of holiness.
We read in the Book of Revelation, chapter 4, verse 8, that when John sees into the heavens and he sees the Lord on the throne, he sees these divine beings around the throne, praising God, and he says these divine beings don't stop crying out day and night kadosh, kadosh, kadosh, holy, holy, holy. We find that the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, tells us the same thing in Isaiah, chapter 6. When Isaiah has a vision of the Lord and he sees the Lord high and lifted up, exalted on the throne, and what does Isaiah say in Isaiah 6? He sees the holy beings around the throne of the Lord praising him day and night. They're saying, listen, holy, holy, holy is the LORD God Almighty. So the most distinguishing characteristic of our God, Beloved, is the characteristic of his holiness. It means he's utterly unique, utterly set apart, utterly different, and God has created man in his own image unlike, Beloved, anything else he's created, created in his own image.
I'm going to sing a song out of Siddur now regarding the holiness of God. This is our Hebrew prayer book. Siddur simply means the order or the prayers and I'm going to sing a song that some of you have heard before and I'm, once again, emphasizing the holiness of our God and I'm going to bring it back all to us, Beloved, to understand the fact that we've been created in his image so the attributes that describe us, or describe the Lord rather, also describe us, those of us that have been created in his image and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. This song, Beloved, is called Ka-dosh. In Hebrew it goes: "Ka-dosh, Ka-dosh, Ka-dosh. Ka-dosh, Ka-dosh, Ka-dosh. Adonai, Eh-lo-heem, Tz'va-oat. Adonai, Eh-lo-heem, Tz'va-oat. Ah-sher Ha-ya V'Ho-veh V'Ya-vo. Ah-sher Ha-ya V'Ho-veh V'Ya-vo". Now I'm describing it, this is the interpretation: "Holy, holy", remember God's primary characteristic, "holy, holy, holy is the Lord our God, God of Hosts is the Lord our God, God of Hosts". God is above all holy and you and I have been created in his image, Beloved, listen now, utterly and completely wonderfully unique.
Remember David said, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made". Beloved, when you understand this message, who you are, as one that's been created in God's image, let me tell you, Beloved, that will cause you to think something of yourself. It will give you a holy and a sacred self-respect. What else do we learn as we consider that we've been created in God's image? What are some of his characteristics that have been bestowed upon man? Well, Beloved, when we think of the Lord we think of glory, we think of glory. The Hebrew word, kavod, the weight, hallelujah, of his glory. And once again, I want to sing a song from the Siddur that reflects it from the very beginning, the children of Israel recognize, Beloved, that when we think of the Lord one of the first things that we think of, Beloved, is glory, and what this means is if God is eminent in glory and he's created man in his own image, what does that say, Beloved, that he's created you and I, Beloved for glory.
And so I'm going to be reading now from the Book of Exodus, chapter number 15, verse 11, and then I'm going to sing it. In Exodus chapter 15, verse 11 what we find is that God had just supernaturally parted the Red Sea and delivered the Israelites from Egypt. When the children of Israel got to the other side after the Lord drowned all their enemies, the Egyptians in the sea, they sang this song to the Lord called Me Cha-moe-cha and what Me Cha-moe-cha, that's Hebrew for Who is Like You, O God, awesome in holiness. I'm going to sing it for you now. Again, this is actually singing the Scripture, I'm actually singing in Hebrew now the Book of Exodus or the Book of Shemot chapter number 15, verse 11. We sing in Hebrew, "Me Cha-moe-cha Ba-ay-leem Adonai, Me ka-moe-cha Neh-dahr Ba-ko-desh, No-ra t'he-lote oh-say feh-leh, oh-say feh-leh" - "Who is like Thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like Thee glorified in holiness? You are awesome in praise, Working wonders oh LORD Who is like Thee? Who is like Thee O LORD"?
So we're going to see, Beloved, that God is preeminent in glory and you and I that have been and you and I that have been created in his image, Beloved, have also been created, Beloved, with glory. When Adam Beloved, with glory. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden there before the fall they felt the holiness of God on them. They were clothed with it. They felt the glory of God on them. They were clothed with it. They weren't flesh conscious but rather they were conscious of the holiness of God on them. They were conscious of the glory of God on them, not of their flesh, Beloved, but of God because they were created in his image and I want to talk about one more attribute of the Lord, Beloved, that Adam and Eve were clothed with before the fall, before God removed his Spirit and they realized they were naked and suddenly without God's Spirit all they were was flesh and they became flesh conscious.
One of the attributes of God that we don't often think about or don't think about enough, many of us, Beloved, is God's beauty. You know we think a lot about the power of God, we think that God is all powerful and we think of God as all knowing, omniscient. We think of the power attributes of God but sometimes, Beloved, we don't think enough about his beauty. The Bible tells us, Beloved, in the Book of Romans, chapter number 1, this about God, hear the Word of God: The grass withers and the flowers fade but, hallelujah, the Word of the Lord abides forever. We're thinking now about who God is, his qualities, and so I'm reading now Romans chapter number 1, beginning in verse number 19, the Scripture says: That which is known about God is evident with them for God made it evident to them.
Now listen to this: For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes, in other words, you can know who God is even though he's invisible for since the creation of the world his invincible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, listen, being understood through what has been made. So what Paul is telling us here, Beloved, Yedidim, Beloved Ones, is that we can know who God is when we look in the creation. In other words, when we look up into space and it goes on forever we realize God is infinite and when we look at creation what else can we know about God? Well, you think about what you see oftentimes, if the sun is shining, you see a beautiful blue sky. If you're in a summer climate or places in the country or the world where it's always green, you see green on the trees. Oceans, rivers, Beloved, beautiful plant life, flowers, blues, purples, yellows, oranges, greens, you see beautiful animals, butterflies and God's beauty, Beloved, is seen all through his creation.
So once again remember what God told us in the Book of Romans, we can know who he is by looking at what he's made. So one of the things that sticks out just so powerfully when we look at what God has made is we realize, Beloved, that God must be so beautiful if he can make such a beautiful creation with the mountains, Beloved, and the waterfalls. He must be such incredibly gorgeous. Beautiful he is and Beloved this was also part of the clothing that Adam and Eve were wearing in the Garden before the fall. And so once again we're looking at the fact that God is holy, he's set apart, completely unique. We look to the fact that he's just clothed in glory, and also, Beloved, that he's the beautiful, hallelujah, the beautiful God. Bless the name of the Lord. David said in Psalm number 27, verse 4 regarding God's beauty, these words: One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek, that I might dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze, listen now, on the beauty of the LORD. So these three primary attributes, holiness, glory, and beauty.
Now here's what you're going to see, when the Lord redeemed mankind through the blood of the Lamb he once again clothed man in the attributes that had been lost at the fall. Adam and Eve, when they fell, no longer did they feel glory, no longer did they feel holiness, no longer do they feel beauty. Those garments of the Lord, those spirit garments, had been removed but when the Lord redeemed man through the blood of the Lamb, first with the blood of the ancient Passover lamb, he redeemed Israel and said in Exodus 19:6 that through the blood of the lamb Israel had been redeemed to the Lord and he had made them, listen now, a kingdom of priests, and then we know the Scripture tells us in the Book of Revelation as well as in the Book of Peter that we that have come into relationship with the true Lamb of God, Yeshua HaMashiach, are now, the Bible says, priests unto our God and through being redeemed, Beloved, by the blood of the Lamb, listen now, and being brought into this priesthood relationship once again, God, Beloved, listen now, has given us back the clothes, listen now, of holiness, glory, and beauty, and we're going to see that now, Yedidim, Beloved Ones, as we study the garments, hallelujah, of the high priest.
So I'm going to be going now to the Book of Exodus as we begin today, Exodus, chapter number 28, verse number 1 and 2, if you want to stand for the reading of God's Word, I invite you to do so. Book of Exodus, Beloved, chapter number 28, verse 1 and 2, as we begin now our study of the garb of the high priest and we realize that God has restored unto those that have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, spiritual garments, Beloved of holiness, glory, and beauty, hear the Word of God: You shall make holy garments for Aaron and your brother, listen now, their holy garments, verse 2 continues, for glory and for beauty. Hallelujah.
So once again, holiness, glory, and beauty have come back upon the priest of the Lord, clothed again in Spirit. Now what did Jesus say to his disciples in the Book of Luke? In Luke, chapter number 24, verse 49, Beloved, Yeshua said to his disciples, "I want you to go wait in Jerusalem," he said, "I'm going to send you the promise of the Spirit," and what did Jesus say? Listen now, "And he will clothe you," hallelujah, "he will clothe you with power from on high," he clothes us, Beloved, once again, listen now, "with garments of holiness, glory, and beauty from on high," from heaven. So I want to consider now each one of these individual garments, we're going to go through them together and it's going to really help you, Beloved, identify who you are in the Lord, and it's going to help you, Beloved, to walk in a way that's worthy of your calling.
The first thing that I want to talk about, Beloved, is the fact that once again God has given you these garments, these garments are holy. You know what that means to you? It means that God has set you apart. Listen, these were garments that everybody in Israel wasn't wearing these, Beloved, only the priest was wearing this, this particular one, only the high priest, but listen, the pagans weren't wearing these priestly garments, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Jezubites, they weren't wearing the priestly garments, only, Beloved, the priest was wearing the garments. That's why they're holy because they're set apart and what this means is, Beloved, that God has marked you, Beloved, listen now, to be set apart. As a priest you've been marked, listen now, to be unique, that's what holiness means, to be unique and different from the people around you. See, not only were these garments holy, not only were they set apart, but they were also garments, Beloved, of glory and beauty.
Here is the issue, if you're not willing to be different, if willing to be different, if you're not willing to be set apart, then you're not going to experience the glory and the beauty that go along with the beauty that go along with these garments but too many of God's people, Beloved, are not willing, listen now, to take on the garment of the holiness, they are not willing to be unique, they're not willing to be set apart, they just want to set, they just want to kind of like fit into everybody. They are one way when they are worshipping in church but when they go back into their workforce, when they go back into their unsaved family, when they go back into talking with their neighbors, kibitzing with their neighbors then no one would even know that they're different. No one knows if they're a believer, no one knows that they're a passionate lover of Jesus because they're not willing to wear, Beloved, the holy garments. They're not willing to be different. But listen, if we're willing to take on the yoke of the garments and to be different, and to act different, and to be set apart, God is going to begin to pour more of his Holy Spirit upon us and the clothing is going to increase because God gives the Holy Spirit, Beloved, to those that obey him.
Jesus said to one of the churches in Revelation, "You're poor and naked, I advise you to buy from me garments of white". How do we buy these garments from the Lord? By being obedient to him. You've been marked, Beloved, for holiness. The priest's garments are described as holy garments. You are a priest, you're a holy nation the Scripture says in First Peter, and a royal priesthood, Revelation, chapter 1, Jesus says he's purchased us by his own blood to be priests; God's given you a holy garment. He wants to clothe you in power with the Spirit but you need to be willing to be different and be willing to be different and be his. You see, Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "If you were of the world, the world would love you but because you're not of the world but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you". Jesus said, "A servant's not greater than his master".
Beloved, we have to be willing to be like Jesus that was rejected and if you're willing to witness for Jesus, to let people know that you love him, to let your light shine before man, to be a priest, Beloved, the power of the Holy Spirit is going to come upon you. You're going to be clothed with holiness, Beloved, glory, and beauty when you fulfill your call, Yedidim, Beloved Ones, to be a priest. Let's be willing, Beloved, to be holy. Let's be willing to be unique. Let's be willing to be different, Beloved. We're called out to be different. We're aliens and pilgrims on this earth. I want to challenge you today as we continue to study next week, I want to challenge you with this challenge for today, Beloved, take a stand for Jesus, wherever you go, take a stand, be different, be holy, be a priest and you will be blessed.