Something unusual is written in Chapter 8 of the ancient prophetic text of Joshua. As the leader of Israel, Joshua orders an altar of uncut stones be built to worship Yahweh after the great victories at Jericho and Ai. He then proceeded to copy the Torah given by Yahweh to Moses on stones. Why did he do this? What is the significance of the stones?
Throughout the Old Testament this particular Hebrew word for stone spelled Aleph, Beyt, Noon is used as a picture of Messiah to come. In the writings of the prophet Isaiah Chapter 28 verse 16, Adonai Yahweh says:
Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Shall not make haste means will not be disturbed. The implication is clear; Messiah is the bulwark of our faith and can be completely trusted. What can we discover in the Hebrew letters that might give us more understanding?
Aleph is the picture of the strong leader, and is also the number 1 which points to God the Father.
Beyt is the house, the tent, the family dwelling place; and is also the number 2 which identifies God the Son.
Noon is the picture of life or activity and is also the number 50 which points to the Holy Spirit.
Here we see Aleph, a picture of the strong leader providing a family dwelling place where we will enjoy life. Wonderfully, Yahweh has locked for all time in His letters the concept that He has made us family and provided life for us in His son Yeshua, the “rock” of our salvation.
The numbers these letters represent add even more understanding to the mystery.
Here we discover Aleph, or 1, is followed by Beyt, or 2, followed by Noon, or 50. Our “stone” is the work of the Father in the person of the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit!
In Psalm 118:22 we see something very revealing about this precious stone:
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner."
Not only will Messiah be rejected, but He is the head or chief stone. The word head here has to do with the top of a wall. Again, the picture is clear: Messiah is not only the starting place for building our faith, He is the one who caps it or completes it.
The rabbi Paul, writing to the church at Ephesus in Chapter 2 verses 21 and 22, reminds us Yeshua is the chief cornerstone:
"In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
When Joshua wrote the words of the Torah on the stones by the altar he was giving us a picture of the Living Word, Yeshua, the rock of our salvation.
But all is not good news; the disciple of Yeshua, named Peter, warns us in his second letter Chapter 2 verse 7 and 8 that:
"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."
The first place this word for stone is found is in the first book of the ancient text in Genesis Chapter 2 verse 12 where the onyx stone is found just outside of the Garden of Eden. The word onyx is not actually found in the Hebrew, but instead, the word “pale” stone is used. Onyx is used here in a descriptive way because it is a translucent stone or a “pale” stone and allows light to pass through it. It is important to note this stone was found outside the garden and was still available to Adam after the fall when he was denied access to Elohim and the tree of life. From the beginning, Elohim has intended to provide Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, who is called the “light of the world” in the Gospel of John Chapter 8 verse 12, as a precious foundation for those who would trust in Him.
In Revelation 2:17 Yeshua Ha-Mashiach gives His beloved disciple John a very interesting promise:
"To him who overcomes, to him will I give some of the hidden manna and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.”
The one who overcomes is a reference to all those who have put their faith and trust in the saving work of Messiah. But what is the white stone this believer will be given?
The white stone of John’s revelation is the final place where the word stone is found in relation to the Church, those who have placed their trust in Messiah. Here’s the picture. To start with, the stone is not white. The word translated “white” is from the Greek leukos and its root means “light.” The word “stone” used here refers to a pebble that is well-worn from handling and is used as a ballot or a ticket of admission. The “new” in the new name does not mean new in the sense of having never been seen before, but new in the sense of “fresh.” The preposition “on” used when the new name is “written on the stone” means superimposed. No matter how you look at this stone that is filled with light you can always see the name written on it.
And what is the name written there? The best possibility is the name for LORD in the Old Testament, YHWH, pronounced Yahweh or Yehova. In the pictograph, it reads Yood the hand, Hey behold, Vav the nail, and Hey behold: hand behold nail behold. Whenever that name is found, it is a picture of the finished work of Messiah on the cross. Behold the hand, behold the nail. This is the name that is always fresh and never old. Just as the doubts of Thomas, one of the disciples of Yeshua, were dispelled in the Gospel of John Chapter 20 verse 28 when he saw the nail-scarred hands, we also recognize Yeshua for who He truly is when we understand the work He has done for us.
So the final mystery is this. The one who overcomes, the believer in Yeshua, receives a small polished stone filled with the light of Yahweh and having on it His name testifying to His finished work on the cross. Possession of it guarantees access or admission into the presence of our Heavenly Father from whom we have been separated since the fall of Adam in the garden. Only those who have received Yeshua will understand the name. If you have received Yeshua, the letters on your stone will likely appear scarlet as a further reminder of the bloodshed on your behalf.
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