One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Shadows and Perfection

Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:5
Who serve that which is a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moshe is warned when he is about to make the tabernacle: for, “See,” says He, “that you make all things according to the pattern that you were showed in the mount.”

Everything in our world which has substance, when light shines upon it, casts a shadow. The substance is three dimensional; that is, it has width, length, and height. However, the shadow is not three dimensional; rather, it is only two dimensional; that is, it has width and length, but no height (no thickness). There is no real substance to the shadow; rather, it is simply a shaded outline of that which casts it.

The earthly mishkan, all of its furnishings, the tent of meeting, and all that goes with it was simply a shadow of, or a copy of the actual heavenly mishkan. YHWH commanded Moshe to be very careful to make everything exactly according to the pattern YHWH had shown Moshe when Moshe had gone up on Mount Sinai.

The real mishkan in heaven is perfect. That which is the shadow or copy is not perfect. That which is not perfect can never bring perfection. Only that which is perfect can bring perfection.

As was stated above, in our world, any item of substance can cast a shadow. The thing which is three dimensional casts a two dimensional shadow. Likewise, if we look upon something which is three dimensional and know that it is a shadow, then it is reasonable to infer that the substance which casts such a shadow is not three dimensional, but rather it is four dimensional. What then is the additional dimension of the heavenly mishkan which is missing from the shadow of the earthly mishkan? The answer is as revealing as it is surprising.

Please prayerfully consider the following passage.

2nd Corinthians 3:13
And are not as Moshe, who put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away.

Moshe put a veil upon his face when he came down from the mountain after speaking with YHWH face to face, because the glory of that encounter was still upon him. However, with the passing of time, the glory began to fade. The glory upon his face was only a shadow of that which is, namely, the glory of YHWH. The shine upon the face of Moshe was not the glory of YHWH itself, but only a shadow of it. And because it was not the glory itself, it faded with the passing of time. It faded because it lacked something which the true glory has, but the shadow did not have. The glory upon the face of Moshe faded because it did not have within it eternity or perfection. All things in this present realm are destined to pass; they will not last forever.

Likewise, the mishkan of the wilderness Moshe and all Israel had built faded with time. Even the priestly office of the kohen gadol (high priest) needed to be renewed from time to time, when the priest who had been in that office died.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:23
And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they are hindered from continuing.

Throughout the letter to the Hebrews, the writer is contrasting that which is not perfect with something which is better, namely, that which is perfect, Mashiach Yeshua. He does this in many ways. Throughout this letter he is comparing perfection with that which is not perfect-a shadow. If one does not understand shadows, then he is going to miss much of the point this writer is making. As always, but perhaps even more poignantly, one must consider the overall context of this letter. If one takes a verse or two out of this letter without regard to the context, it is nearly certain the verse will be used to mean something other than what is intended. With this in mind, let us consider some passages dealing directly with shadows and perfection to see what this writer to the Hebrews is teaching.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:11
Now if there was perfection through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the Torah), what further need was there that another priest should arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be reckoned after the order of Aharon?

There is nothing in this realm which is perfect. Therefore, there is nothing in this realm which may bring a person to perfection. This is certainly true of the Levitical priesthood and the order of the priests according to Aharon. Perfection could not be brought to the people because the priest died. The argument here is that, since the priest died, then his work also died. His work was not enduring because he was not enduring.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:16
who has been made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

Notice it is the power of an endless life which gives Mashiach Yeshua His power and authority to continue on as a priest forever. Please note the following passage as part of the writer’s argument that the priestly office of Mashiach Yeshua is so much better than that of the priestly office of Aharon.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:4
Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the Torah.

The priestly duties of Mashiach Yeshua are not in the earthly realm, nor are His duties bound or within the earthly mishkan, nor are they before the earthly altar. The priestly duties of Yeshua are in the heavenly mishkan. The earthly priest cannot bring perfection (Hebrews 7:11 above) because they have all died. Even though man attempted to end the life of Yeshua, He lives on, testifying to the power of an endless life. It is through His priestly duties in the heavenly mishkan that perfection is brought to a person. It is this perfection which each person needs to seek out for himself. He cannot earn this perfection as it is a gift from YHWH, but he must seek it nonetheless.

When one understands the difference between shadows and perfections, then the following passage makes a much more sense.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:12
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the Torah.

Truthfully, this one verse has caused many people to stumble in their walk towards our Master. This is because this verse is taken out of its contextual argument, and a meaning is applied to it that was never intended; namely, that since the Torah Moshe has been “changed”, then we do not have to pay any heed to it any longer whatsoever. Nothing could be further from the truth. So, what is the truth contained within this passage?

First, let us consider the word “change” in the above passage. The wrong meaning is construed to mean that of “replaced” with something else entirely, but is this meaning warranted? No! Please consider a diaper on a baby. When the baby soils his diaper, the diaper needs to be refreshed. When the diaper is refreshed, the baby still has a diaper on, only now it is a clean one. The point is, the baby still has a diaper on. Now, please consider the following passage concerning this “change” in the Torah.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:10
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says YHWH; “I will put My Torah into their mind, and on their heart also will I write them, and I will be to them an Elohim, and they shall be to Me a people.”

In the covenant made at Mount Sinai, the covenant and the commandments were written upon tablets of stone and upon scrolls made of sheep skin. However, the covenant and the commandments were not written upon the hearts and minds of the people. This is where the fault of the first covenant lay. This is why this writer wrote the following words.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:7
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second.

The first covenant was based upon the shadow of the earthly mishkan. Shadows cannot bring perfection. Only that which is perfect can bring perfection. The renewed covenant is based upon the perfection of our Great High Priest, Mashiach Yeshua, whose priestly duties are in the heavenly mishkan and not upon the shadows of this earthly realm.

The shadow of the earthly mishkan and all of its accompanying Torah commandments are not alive; that is, they are earthly, not heavenly. The heavenly is eternal; it is living. One cannot separate the Living Torah Yeshua Mashiach from the eternal Torah which is shadowed in the Torah Moshe. But the Torah Moshe is lacking because it can only point to the perfection of the one true Torah, Yeshua. One of the ways in which the Torah Moshe points to the living Torah is by teaching us to hear and obey His Voice.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:18-19
18 For there is a disannulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness
19 (for the Torah made nothing perfect), and a bringing in thereupon of a better hope, through which we draw near unto Elohim.

The reference to Torah in verse 19 is not just to any Torah, but it is a direct reference to the Torah Moshe. The Torah Moshe made nothing perfect and is not able to do so. Why? Simply because its priests cannot continue in office; but rather, they die and must be replaced. However, our Priest, whose duties have nothing to do with the earthly mishkan, gives us a better hope, for the power of His endless life testifies to His ability to continue on in His office.

Yeshua is able to bring perfection to each person because of the power of His endless life. The Torah Moshe cannot make alive. The living Torah can make alive those who come to Him.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:24
but He, because He abides forever, has His priesthood unchangeable.

Again, everything in this present earthly realm is passing away. This reality, by definition, means that everything is changing continually. There are no exceptions. This is why it is absolutely imperative for one to understand the concepts of shadows and perfection. We live in shadows every day. Shadows have no true substance, but that which casts the shadow is the substance.

The power of an indestructible life testifies to its enduring nature; that is, it does not change. Therefore, the priestly office of Yeshua is forever. He is not the shadow, but rather the thing which casts the shadow. The shadow is the Levitical priesthood and the office of the Aharonic priest. The substance belongs to Mashiach Yeshua.

The writer has made a long and involved plea to these Hebrew followers of Yeshua. Please note what he states in the following passage as it seems he fears that they may miss his main point in what he is writing to them.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:1-2,4
1 Now in the things which we are saying the main point is this, we have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
2 a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which YHWH pitched, not man.
4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the Torah.

It is important that we do not miss his main point in what he is teaching about shadows and perfections as it is the crux of his argument. The high priest we have in Yeshua is based in the heavenly mishkan, not the earthly mishkan. This gives us a hope which springs eternal, because He has the power of an endless life.

Those who teach that the Blood of Mashiach Yeshua somehow was applied to the earthly mercy seat are wrong and have no true comprehension of shadows and perfection. Such teachers do not understand that the priestly duties of Mashiach Yeshua are not upon earth, nor in the earthly Mishkan; but rather, His duties are in the heavenly Mishkan which YHWH pitched, not man!

Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:6
But now He has obtained a ministry more excellent, by so much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted upon better promises.

How are the ministry and covenant and promises better than that of the Torah Moshe? It is so much better as the substance is better than its shadow. The ministry of Mashiach Yeshua is the substance. Yeshua as Mediator is the substance of the shadow of Aharon. Are you seeking the shadow or the Substance?

Please understand, the Torah Moshe has not be annulled; but rather, that which was formerly written upon stone and upon scrolls is now being written upon the hearts and minds of His people. It is no longer a dead commandment, but now is a living commandment. YHWH is bringing to perfection His people by giving them a perfect commandment-a living commandment written in the flesh of each person’s heart and mind.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 11:40
Elohim having provided something better concerning us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Remember what Yeshua said during His earthly ministry:

Matithyah (Matthew) 5:48
“You therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

The only way this can happen is if one seeks that perfection. If one is only seeking shadows, then he will not attain to the perfection our High Priest desires for us. “Seek His kingdom, and all these other things shall be added unto you!”

Zerubbabel Emunah