When That Which Is Perfect Has Come
We live during an amazing season of prophetic fulfillment. Just think about all of the things that have come to pass just in the past 75 years. It seems things that the prophets foretold are coming to pass one right after another, right in front of our eyes, and at an increasing speed. This is why there has been such excitement about the five Red Heifers being flown to Israel recently, in hopes that one of the five would qualify as the flawless Red Heifer required for the Temple purification rituals.
Just think about it: what if one of these heifers is the “one?” The identification and acceptance of one of these cows as qualified for this sacrifice would set into motion a whirlwind of activities, events which we read throughout the prophetic books of the Bible both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. These events are the precursors for the return of Yeshua to set up His Kingdom on the Earth, what some call the Millennial Kingdom.
As I read with great interest, along with many believers, articles concerning these heifers, a Scripture came to my mind found in the book of 1 Corinthians 13 verses 9-10:
1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is partial will pass away.
With all of the discussion about these heifers, the words “when that which is perfect has come” seemed highlighted on the page of my Bible. The word translated perfect in this text is teleios and is defined as perfect, (a) complete in all its parts, (b) full grown, of full age.
Look at the text from the Torah describing the Red Heifer in Numbers 19:2: “This is the statute of the Torah which Adonai commanded saying: Speak to Bnei-Yisrael that they bring to you a flawless red heifer on which there is no blemish and on which has never been a yoke.
We see the Hebrew word which is translated flawless is tamim, which can also be translated as perfect or complete.
What if these two verses are connected to one another? What if the perfect thing that was to come was the perfect Red Heifer? An animal which would be offered as a sacrifice, so that its ashes could be used to purify the Temple and the Priesthood, and used in the return of Yeshua to Jerusalem, so He could rule and reign as the prophets foretold. Just think about it: if we are in the End of Days and prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes, what if one of these heifers is the perfect thing that needs to come?
These are exciting days to live in, and thinking about the fulfillment of Bible prophecies is and should be intriguing to all believers in Yeshua. When we see things come to pass, such as the rebirth of Israel and the reunification of Jerulsalem, our hearts should leap within our chests. Because the truth is that as each prophetic event takes place, we draw one day closer to the return of Yeshua. How exciting is that?!
However, although the language used in both verses above allow for the possibility that the Red Heifer could be the “that” which is perfect and will come, it is more likely that when Paul was writing those words in 1 Corinthians, he was thinking about the words Yeshua spoke in Matthew 5:17-18:
17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. 18 Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.
Just take a moment to think about the connective context between what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13 and what Yeshua said in Matthew 5. Is it possible that that which is perfect is the fulfillment of the Word of G-D that will come to pass, and once it does, that which is partial will pass away? What if the “that which is partial” is our limited understanding of biblical prophecy?
And is it also possible that when Paul said the words we read in 1 Corinthians 13:9 and 12 “For we know in part and we prophesy in part” and “12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known,” he was talking about our discussions and excitement about things like these red heifers?