BOUNDARIES, PART I, 23.01.19
1 John 2:1
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
David Brown, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fXM3VnxT-rJZi17bthCug ,Ruach Life Ministries, https://youtu.be/iNpiRbfx8c4
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Boundaries are Scriptural. Initially, God had set Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and had boundaries beyond which they could not go: “the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat . . .” (Gen.2:15-17). After they had been disobedient, the boundary was re-set: therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen.3:23,24).
God has always been respectful of lands and peoples, acknowledging lands of nations, as well as making provision for Israel, His people, from the beginning: “I give this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River: . . .” (Gen.15:18); I will give to you and to your seed after you the land where you are an outsider—the whole land of Canaan—as an everlasting possession” (Gen.17:8). Just as God is a God of Covenant, God is also a God of boundaries. He not only set boundaries around parcels of land, making provision for His people; but He also set boundaries around His people, to protect them: “As the mountains are around Jerusalem, so Adonai is all around His people, both now and forever” (Ps.125:2), and had instructed Moses accordingly: “You are to set boundaries for the people all around” (Ex.19:12).
There are special responsibilities and special privileges assigned to followers of Yeshua, each of which include boundaries for our own protection, as well as for honouring Him.
There are stipulations upon entering the Holy Place. God’s people, being set apart for Him, have a responsibility to live lives that will be an example to the rest of the world, living in a way that does not defile, but glorify Him. If we fail, we have an advocate (“if anyone does sin, we have an Intercessor with the Father—the righteous Messiah Yeshua” 1 John 2:1); however, our call is to walk in a way that respects those boundaries, and honours HIM.
What are those boundaries? Of what are they comprised?
(1) Followers of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach are called to live within the boundaries of holiness: “just like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in everything you do. For it is written, “Kedoshim you shall be, for I am kadosh.” If you call on Him as Father—the One who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds—then live out the time of sojourning in reverent fear” (1 Pet.1:15-17). “People will judge the body of Messiah according to our actions,” David Brown, leader of Ruach Life Ministry (Messianic), points out in his teaching (https://youtu.be/iNpiRbfx8c4 ). Through those observed actions, Adonai is either vilified or glorified.
(2) “If we are redeemed we have a responsibility for walking it out” (David Brown, Ruach Life, https://youtu.be/iNpiRbfx8c4 ), creating boundaries of physical space, Brown explains: “Boundaries include protecting the Sanctuary. Because the Sanctuary is holy, we have responsibility to watch over the holy things and to keep the holy things holy . . . . called to something greater than just a menial existence . . .,” says Brown, referring to Lev. 21:16-23. “This is a holy sanctuary, not just a place to have a picnic,” explains Brown. “By definition the word, “sanctuary” has the word “holy” in it.” There must be a boundary between what is sacred/holy, and what is profane. “Profane can mean that we call the holy things common, but to profane the holy things means to consider nothing holy; if nothing is holy then you’re going to desecrate the things that are holy because you don’t consider anything holy; so again, we have the responsibility to protect these things” (Brown, https://youtu.be/iNpiRbfx8c4 ).
“Say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Enough of your abominations, house of Israel! You brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My Sanctuary, to profane it . . . They have broken My covenant, to add to all your abominations. You have not kept charge of My holy things, but you have set keepers of My service in My Sanctuary to please yourselves.’” Thus says Adonai Elohim: “No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, may enter My Sanctuary, not any foreigner who is among Bnei-Yisrael” (Ezek.44:6-9). Bringing strangers into the holy place profanes the holy place. “We are to have a circumcised heart . . . . if someone is not in covenant with God, they are not to come into the holy place; in order to have access to the holy, you have to be in covenant” teaches Brown (https://youtu.be/iNpiRbfx8c4).
(3) Followers of Yeshua must draw boundaries around their minds and hearts: “Guard your heart diligently, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov.4:23). Guard your heart means keeping the things of the world from polluting our hearts and our minds, for “the things that proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and those things make the man unholy. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, and slander. These are the things that make the man unholy” (Matt.15:18-20).
Boundaries are purposeful. Boundaries define one’s identity, provide security, and establish ownership.
© 2018, revised 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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