MYSTERY OF THE SALT
As we are now celebrating Pesach (Passover), normally our focus would not be on the salt and the light, but rather the blood, and it still is, but a prompting from the Holy Spirit led us to understand that these were begotten by the blood of the Lamb with Yeshua Himself telling us we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Are we living up to what His blood paid for? One of the first times Yeshua tells us who we are is directly after the 9 Beatitudes, saying, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13), but do we actually understand what that means? Countless preachers and teachers have given their take on it, but how many have used the one verse in Scripture that tells us what it means? After praying and researching we finally found something coherent that we feel is very aligned with the times. As usual, Yeshua makes it as simple as possible, hidden in plain sight. In the least read of all four Gospels, Luke 14:34-35, gives us the answer, but it would be nearly impossible to understand if you weren’t a Jew living in Israel like Yeshua. “Therefore, salt is good; but if salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.” Anyone else thrown off by the fact that salt is somehow needed in the soil and for manure? Yeshua was using an example that literally every person in Israel would understand. Here’s why.
The salt of Israel comes from the shores of the Dead Sea which is not pure salt (Sodium Chloride), but a mixture of different minerals of which salt is one. A large part of Dead Sea Salt is also made up of Potassium Chloride (Pot Ash), and if you are a gardener or a farmer, you know that you need three ingredients in the soil to make your plants grow.
Phosphate, to develop the roots
Nitrates, to develop the leaves
Pot Ash (Potassium Chloride), to develop the flowers and the fruit
In other words, Dead Sea Salt would have been used to increase the fertility of the soil due to its large quantity of Pot Ash. As we are in the month of Nissan when the fruit is on the trees and the barley harvest has arrived, we understand that the main ingredient to make that happen is found in (Dead Sea Salt). During the COVID-19, many of us are struggling to see the fruit and the harvest, but when our eyes are on Yeshua’s we understand better what that means for each of us individually in this month of Pesach (Passover). It forces us to look back at the other two ingredients and change what needs to be changed. What kind of soil am I planted in? How are my roots, my foundational relationship with Adonai? What is the state of my leaves, the sign of the nutrients or lack thereof I am receiving? Just as we celebrate the miracle of Passover and the Exodus of Israel from Egypt, we also reflect on how we need to change or do things differently in order to enter to the coming season into the fulfilled promises of the Most High for our lives, families, Kehilat’s (congregations), businesses, cities and nations. We are celebrating the One Who was, Who Is, and Is to come, and we also reflect on who we were before Yeshua saved us, who we have become, and who we will be as we allow ourselves to be molded, sharpened, and purified by Him.
Now to the manure. Scripture in this instance is not talking about animal manure, but specifically people’s. Yep Yeshua went there, but His reason seems simple enough, everyone poops, so it’s not like anyone can’t relate. It turns out there were no flushing toilets in the time of Yeshua. Who knew? So when someone finished their business they would reach into a box next to them, take a handful of salt and throw it on top. This was done to prevent the spread of disease in the same way salt slows the growth of bacteria in food which preserves it and keeps it from spoiling quickly.
To put it clearly, Yeshua was saying that being the salt means we promote the growth of good things, and simultaneously stop the growth of bad things. During these times of Coronavirus this rings especially true. Being the salt is great, but to be effective in society and to do our job correctly, three factors have to be in order.
If the goal is to see the greatest end times harvest that dwarfs all other harvests before it, seeing countless people saved, the quantity of salt has to be immense. It is one thing to put salt on your eggs for breakfast, but another thing altogether to fertilize the world.
Having a lot of salt is good, but if it isn’t getting to where it is needed it is useless. As long as the salt stays in the box it has no effect on its surroundings. As long as Believers stay within the four walls, and stay within our own social circles of other Believers, the salt never contacts the soil.
Lastly, quality. In Matthew 5:13 Yeshua tells us salt can lose its taste making it no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and walked on. Technically speaking, salt can’t become less salty, but once again we have to go back to understanding this the way a Jew would living in Israel at the time. When the salt merchants collected the Dead Sea Salt, particularly sly merchants would mix in sand with the salt to dilute the product and make more money. When someone at home realized they had gotten bad salt, they had no choice but to throw it out into the street like trash for people to walk on. Salt can only serve its purpose when it is pure, but as soon as it is diluted by other things it becomes disregarded and stepped on as useless. When we as the remnant let the things of the world influence us and dilute our walk with Yeshua, we are no longer able to influence the world like we are meant to. If we as the salt of the world become diluted, the world will see us, and often does see us as the salt merchant that cheated them, because what we were promising was not what they were getting. The time of the tasteless salt is over, and the time for the true salt to season every sphere of society is here and now. Let’s all ask ourselves the simple question, How salty am I, and is that the quality of salt I would buy?
THE HIGHEST STANDARD
The question then becomes, how do we know if we are living up to the standard Yeshua gave us? How do we know when we are letting the world influence us instead of the other way around? Believe it or not, the Bible tells us, and Yeshua said it loud a clear. In Matthew 5:1-12, Yeshua’s first public sermon that we know of lays out in detail what it looks like to be the salt of the earth. The 9 Beatitudes are the exact opposite of how the world tells us to live, foolishness to the wisdom of the the world, but essential food for those hungry for Adonai’s wisdom and knowing the Character and heart of the Father. Matthew 5:21-48 then tells us that we are actually held to a higher standard than the Law of Moses through the Holy Spirit as even our thoughts, not just our actions are counted as sin. Many say this is impossible, even and especially within the Ekklesia, but it was not a suggestion by Yeshua, it was a fact. This standard of living is only possible through the supernatural, hence why the Father sent us His Holy Spirit, emphasis on the word HOLY. It is possible, and Yeshua is the example. Adonai also knew we would mess up a lot, and we thank Him for the forgiveness of our sins by the blood of Yeshua through repentance. In the end, we are meant as Believers to raise the standard, and stand out amongst non-blelievers thereby influencing the world instead of the other way around. Are you raising the standard to the one Yeshua lived and spoke of? Are you influencing the world or is it influencing you? These are the questions we must ask ourselves during this Pesach (Passover), and the 40 days after leading up to Shavuot (Pentecost) to decide if we want to be like the Joshua generation who crossed the Jordan, or the generation of the ten spies who wandered for 40 years in the desert.
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
You can’t have salt without light and vice versa as Yeshua tells us we are both. In the verse following Yeshua saying we are the salt of the earth, He then says we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). Yeshua never claimed to be the salt of the earth, but He said both of Himself and of the people that both He and we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14, John 8:12). Light has both a positive and negative aspect just like salt, exposing bad ways and exhibiting a better way, the Way. Once again we would need to be a Jew living in the times of Yeshua to fully understand the context in which Yeshua says He is the light of the world. First, Yeshua lives the example of what it looks like to be the light of the world, then says it. It was in the context of adultery (John 8:1-11) that He shows us what happens when we shine as the light of Christ.
The Pharisees try to trick Yeshua when they brought the woman who was caught in adultery, by saying that the law of Moses tells us she must be stoned to death, but what we also know from history is that it was illegal by Roman law for Hebrews to execute anyone. They were putting Yeshua in a seemingly impossible situation in other words, but He is the best lawyer in the universe seeing as He is the Word (John 1:1) in flesh. He is our defender in the courts of heaven. The fact that they did not bring the man along with her is another matter altogether, but the focus here is that Yeshua also knew the Law said there had to be at least 2 witnesses to accuse, and when He said to them, “He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” The accusers left. Remember what the light does? First He EXPOSED the false motives of the accusers, then showed them, and the woman A BETTER WAY, “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). It was after this encounter that Yeshua says of Himself in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” So how does one be the light of the world? At the Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua tells us clearly how to be the light of the world, basically saying, do the opposite of the Pharisees and Sadducees and you’re on the right track. Matthew 6:1-24 is well worth the read to know how to be and not to be the light.
In the absence of light, things that are detrimental to our lives like bacteria and mold thrive, but in the presence of light, those things die away and are replaced with things that give us life and help us thrive. When Yeshua, the Light of the world is in us constantly, the bad things can’t survive, but when we neglect our relationship with Him, we allow the bad back in. The more time we spend with Him, the more we begin to shine on our surroundings, our loved ones and strangers alike just like the face of Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:39-35).
THE PROMISE AND PRICE OF SALT AND LIGHT
The promised inheritance of being the salt and light as described in the Beatitudes are truly beyond amazing (Matthew 5:3-12).
Theirs is the kingdom of heaven both now and forever (Beatitude 1 and 8)
They will be comforted
They will inherit the earth
They will be completely satisfied
They will receive mercy
They will see Adonai
They will be called the sons of God
Theirs is the kingdom of heaven both now and forever
Your reward in heaven is great (absolutely inexhaustible)
The promises are beautiful, but we must also meet the conditions of receiving that inheritance, and that’s where the price comes in. Firstly, for the most part these promises are not collected on while we are here on the earth, but rather in heaven once we have completed our calling and purpose in King Yeshua while we are here. Remember, if we are the salt and light we are no longer citizens of the earth, but citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). That being said, if one is excited by that, we must not skip over the conditions of the 8th and 9th Beatitudes in (Matthew 5:10-11). “Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing that which is morally right”, and “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. When we are truly living as the salt and the light, we will be persecuted. When one is baptized in water and the Holy Spirit and begins to act, live, and manifest the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit, people both within and outside the church will persecute you. Many people reading this have experienced that, and many have not, but this doesn’t mean you are right or wrong, however it does force us to ask ourselves whether or not we have been or are ones on the wrong side of such persecution. Yeshua was and is the Messiah, and he was crucified by the powers of the day. The apostles and countless millions of Believers since then have suffered the same fate for Yeshua’s Name, and as the last verse in the Beatitudes says, “for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12, Chronicles 36:16). So, if you thought popularity and fame would be the outcome of being a disciple of Yeshua, the Bible and history tell us a different story altogether. This is not to discourage you, but to give the full context as it is written, and to encourage you to know that the rewards of being the salt and light by far outweigh any earthly riches, even all the nations as satan promised Yeshua. The price is worth the promise. In fact, when a disciple of Yeshua is insulted, persecuted, and lied about because of their association with Him, the verse in Matthew 5:11 tells us that disciple is blessed (morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-Joy in God’s goodness). That is the attitude of salt and light under persecution, not surprised or offended, but blessed.
We don’t know what we don’t know until we know, and now that we have a better understanding of what it means to be the salt and the light we now have the great privilege and honor to implement this new understanding and revelation for Adonai’s glory! As the salt of the earth and the light of the world we are called to promote the growth of good things, and simultaneously stop the growth of bad things, because the light of the world, Yeshua, lives in us and that light is put on a lamp stand just by us living it out. The salt trinity: quantity, distribution, and quality, are essential for the last great harvest before the end of the age, and this requires us to be as salty as possible, to set the standard without bowing to the trends and pressures of the world. Understanding the promises of being the salt and light give us great hope for and a yearning to set our minds on heavenly things as we are citizens of heaven, also being very clear about the conditions that come with those promises. Lastly, these are just the birth pains of persecution the world-wide Body of Messiah is living in, and Yeshua told us in Matthew 24:9, “Then they will hand you over to [endure] tribulation, and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.” We have not yet reached the point where we are hated by all nations, but rest assured that will happen. This should not harbor feelings of doom and gloom, but rather of rejoicing and praise, as it is a sign of the latter rain and the greatest harvest of souls for Yeshua in the history of the world! Even today in the most heavily persecuted places on earth like China and Iran, and historically during the times of the 12 Apostles, the Ekklesia is seeing and saw the most rapid growth than any other place in the world. All of this brings us closer and closer to the day of Yeshua’s return, and this is what we are celebrating this Pesach, that He was, He is, and He is coming soon. We celebrate this Pesach that He is the living water which washes us clean, that His blood paid the price for our sins and eternal life, that we can now truly be the salt of the earth living by the Holy Spirit, and that through Him and in Him we can be the light of the world. Let us renew our saltiness, and check the light bulbs of our souls preparing the way for the return of the King of glory, the Lord Mighty in Battles, Yeshua Ha’Mashiah.