Transformation With a Mark
At the flip of a light switch, a room can transform from dark to light. In a similar way, a man’s life can be transformed in a moment, from a life of hatred toward the God of Israel and His people to a life that desires to please God. Naturally the process of learning obedience takes time, but the perspective of one’s life can undergo this dramatic shift very quickly. This is a miracle! A work only the mighty God of Israel can perform. He can change a heart of stone to a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36). He can change everything about someone’s perspective.
As evident by the reference in the book of Ezekiel, this is not just a New Testament concept. The God of Israel has been transforming hearts all throughout history- past present, and future. In many cases, the transformation process is shown by a mark. In the book of Ezekiel in chapter 9, a mark or sign is written on the foreheads of God’s people. The word for mark or sign in Hebrew is the letter tav. This is the last letter in the Hebrew aleph beit and carries the meaning of sign of God, mark, or covenant. In ancient paleo-Hebrew, this letter appears as a Cross or an “X.” Frank Seekins describes the history behind this letter in The Ancient Letter Tav. This “cross” was found on ancient coins, tombs, and other artifacts, which dated from well before the time of Yeshua the Messiah. It is the letter tav which is identified as the mark on believers in Ezekiel chapter 9. X marks the spot.
Obviously, the cross of Yeshua carries forward in time from Ezekiel chapter 9. This cross was in the shape of a tav and provides life transformation to all who carry this cross forward (truly repent and believe in Yeshua). This tav is a symbol of being in-covenant with the God of Isreal. Those bearing His mark of transformation have already been transformed and are pursuing His ways. They are seeking to follow His precepts and love His instructions or Torah (Psalm 119).
It is also clear that Yeshua claims to be the “aleph tav” (see The Greatest Revelation from Revelation). The aleph is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet and means leader, strong authority, or God. The God of Israel’s name El or Elohim starts with this letter. God is the aleph or the strong leader to His children. So, by claiming to be the aleph tav, Yeshua was stating that He is the God of Israel’s sign or covenant. In fact, He is God’s sign of transformation and He carried out God’s covenant perfectly! Truly believing in His name will result in life transformation, God’s life transformation (John 6: 42-51).
It is fascinating how the Hebrew language transforms some letters and words when the letter tav is added to the end. This parallels the transformation process just described. A stunning example of this is the change from “nachash” or serpent to “nachashet” or bronze. The Hebrew word picture for bronze show that bronze is what you get when the serpent is nailed to the cross! This is described in the book of Numbers chapter 21. “All who look at the bronze serpent will be healed!” This is a sign to the people that sin has been dealt with and God is the judge in charge. Additionally, bronze is a symbol of judgement in the Bible. In fact, the lavar and alter in the outer courtyard of the tabernacle were made of bronze- The Tabernacle, Patterns of Three, and Yeshua’s Comments.
Other words also undergo an amazing transformation in meaning when a tav is added at the end. The table below provides a few examples.
|Word / Letter||Meaning||+Tav||Word / Letters||Transformed Meaning|
|Aleph||Leader, God||+ Tav||Aleph/Tav – et||Yeshua|
|Chatah||Sin||+ Tav||Chatat||Sin Offering|
|Mar||Bitterness||+ Aleph+ Tav||Marot||Visions|
God the strong leader of Israel and His mark the tav change everything! Sin is changed to an atoning sin offering; bitterness is changed to visions; and mere work is changed to service. Transformation occurs!
We need to be willing to let God transform us. When He does this work, our perspective will change. We will have a new focus. Everything will be changed. And revelation will follow. This can be seen from God’s Holy Name YHVH or “Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey.” The letters mean- the strong hand of God, revelation, the nail, and revelation, in that order. This indicates that the strong hand of God reveals the nail (or provides knowledge of the Messiah) and then revelation results after that. The God of Israel reveals things to us after He reveals the Messiah Yeshua! These things include knowledge of his ways, the truth of his Torah, knowledge of His Word, wisdom in discerning and following Him, etc….
The Father also reveals knowledge of what has happened and what is to come. Amos 3:7 states- “Surely the sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.” When we draw closer to God through His word after being saved through His son Yeshua, we read the prophets and understand the patterns that are evident. These patterns lead us to understanding what has happened more completely as well as understanding future events. Amos is talking about the prophets throughout the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings, or all of the TNK- Tanakh (Old Testament). After being transformed in Yeshua, these writings are illuminated when we read them. The God of Israel reveals His truth through what He has written.
Additionally, the more we apply from what we learn through His revelation, the more He will reveal to us. The God of Israel is a God who reveals things to us. It is written in His name. After the mark of the tav or the cross of Yeshua that transforms us, the second hey in God’s name begins for us and He reveals more and more. Note that the physical seal of God (mark of the tav) will occur again- see book of Revelation chapter 7. The transformation of the tav is like turning on the lights in a dark room. At first there is no light. After there is light, we can begin to grow. God’s light changes our perspective, which changes everything!