This week’s Torah portion introduces us to not only the wisdom of Jethro, or ‘Yitro’ in Hebrew, Moses’ Father-In-Law, but also much wisdom in the prophetic patterns of The One True Living God, whom I call ‘Abba’, which means ‘Father’ in Hebrew.
Beginning in Exodus 18, we are introduced to the Midian priest, Jethro, who also is Moses’ Father-In-Law. Jethro brings with him Zipporah, Moses’ wife, as well as two of her (and presumably Moses’) sons, Gershom and Eliezer, to meet Moses at the foot of Mount Sinai where the Israelites are camped at this point in the story. After learning of all the miracles of the LORD and how the Israelites were redeemed, Jethro glorifies YHWH and offers a sacrifice of praise (Exodus 18:7-12). The next day, when Jethro sees the numerous issues or cases Moses’ presides over providing a judgment for each of the people’s cases, Jethro wisely recognizes it is impossible for Moses and the people to continue conducting business in this manner for they will exhaust themselves and especially Moses. Consequently, Jethro exhorts Moses to create a hierarchy of government or judges to rule over the people and judge accordingly. Any matter too difficult can be moved up the chain of command for Moses to come to a decision – perhaps similar to how cases can be escalated to our Supreme Court here in America. I especially love and have highlighted Jethro’s wise words when he said,
“And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.” Exodus 18:20 (NKJV)
Jethro’s wisdom foreshadows the hierarchy of the eventual Messianic Era where Jesus prophecized the twelve disciples will sit on twelve thrones to rule and reign over the future twelve tribes of Israel one fine day (Matthew 19:28-30). We also can see just as Moses and his appointed leaders will be instructing God’s laws to the current Israelites, so too will Jesus and His appointed priests be teaching the miraculously gathered Israel as well as all the remaining world God’s laws, God’s Torah (Isaiah 2:1-4, Isaiah 51; Ezekiel 44:23-24; Micah 4:1-8). To learn more about the “Second Exodus”, be sure to come back to this article (click here).
As we further examine this Biblical account of Moses and the Israelites, we see other elements foreshadowing the soon coming Messianic Era. Moses, along with the twelve tribes of Israel, and the mixed multitudes of people who aligned themselves with Israel upon the exodus of Egypt (see Exodus 12:37-38), are at Mount Sinai at this point in their faith journey when the Torah, or God’s instructions, God’s laws are given to them as part of the holy covenant. God, their redeemer, uses Moses, the mediator, to invite them to come into relationship with Him as His “special treasure” above all others not in covenant with Him for those in holy covenant shall be a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6). In the Brit Chadashah, or New Testament writings, The Apostle Peter uses the same terminology when he writes to believers in Messiah, whom he identifies as “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people..who once were not a people but are now the people of God..” (1 Peter 2:9-10). Likewise, the Apostle John scribes in Revelation 20:6, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Do you see this correlation of those, being Israel, at Mount Sinai were given the Torah and Moses was essentially their king compared to how one day, in the Messianic Era, when Christ, our Messiah, returns to rule and reign, He will do so at Mount Zion according to numerous prophecies, He will be our King, and He will teach us His Torah and all that it means and is intended for (much like before during His first coming) to whom He deems is “Israel”, consisting of genetic Israel as well as those grafted-in or adopted or spiritual Israel being believers in Messiah (see Romans 11)? How amazing is that?!
But wait, there’s more! Not to sound like a TV commercial, but in God, there’s always more! You see so many are deceived in our modern religious thinking to believe that once you are “saved”, you are good to go, there is no need to go any further in one’s faith journey. But as we see from this wise Biblical account in Exodus, one’s redemption is just the beginning! Or as some have said, “It’s not how you start, but how you finish.” Once redeemed (Exodus 19:4), God invited the people He redeemed into relationship defining to them who they were in His eyes should they accept the terms of His covenant (Exodus 19:5-6), and then once relationship was established or like a marriage was established, He continued to reveal more and more of His eternal truth (Psalm 119:160), being His Torah, His instructions and His intentions in it all (Exodus 20+). Relationship is the only way for one’s nature, one’s character, one’s truth to be revealed.
Where are you at in your faith journey? Have you been redeemed yet by believing Jesus is the Messiah who paid the debt for your lawlessness, who overcame the consequence of sin in death through His resurrection? Are you in covenant or relationship with God through Jesus? Has His Spirit of Holiness revealed to you what is holy, what His Torah reveals, what His instructions for living are, what it means to love God and love others, as well as more and more spiritual truths? Are you being consistently transformed in this “horribly-amazing-purification-process”? Are you being consecrated as you wash your clothes in the word making your garments clean like the Israelites were instructed (Exodus 19:10-11; John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26-27; Revelation 19:8,14)? Will you be apart of the Second Exodus one day?
Lastly, just as God consummated the covenant to His selected people at Mount Sinai, on that fine day when Jesus, or Yeshua in His Hebrew name, returns to rule and reign from Mount Zion, He will gather whom He deems ‘Israel’ and consummate the ‘New Covenant’ at that time. Furthermore, He will fully dispense His Holy Spirit, whose sole job is to scribe the Torah in Israel’s hearts causing ‘Israel’ to want to obey revealing to us Torah as it was intended (Ezekiel 11:19-20, 36:27; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:7-13, 10:14-18) .
Indeed, this week’s Torah portion provides much wisdom into past, present, and future redemption, relationship, and revelation.
It’s a new year! But is it a new heaven, new earth, or new covenant? Regarding the New Covenant, one important truth I realized earlier in 2019 upon evaluating all the Scriptures is it would appear we are betrothed to (similar to engaged or promised/committed) the new covenant, but it isn’t fully consummated yet…
I noticed all the references in Scripture to “new” seem to be connected so I believe the New Covenant isn’t consummated till the marriage supper of the Lamb/wedding reception/honeymoon, which is when *New* Jerusalem is introduced (Rev 21:2-3, 9-10) and the *New* heavens and *New* earth (Rev 21:1-2) appear. I believe this is why there are verses that say there is no more sin, death, etc (Rev 21:4; 22:3) at that time, Jesus/Yeshua as well as His priests and whomever are no longer needing to teach His laws (Heb 8:10-12; Isa 2:1-4; Micah 4; Eze 44:23-24) at that time because everyone knows them and obeys them cheerfully having the Spirit, and there is no need to shut the gates of New Jerusalem (Rev 21:25,27; 22:14-15) because there is no threat of evil anymore…Sin, which is violation of God’s laws (1 John 3:4), simply doesn’t exist. It is back to the garden before sin.
This is also why Jesus says not the slightest part of God’s laws are done away with until the *new* heaven and earth are made manifest and anyone who teaches others to obey God’s laws will be considered great in God’s kingdom (Matt 5:14-19).
2nd Corinthians 11:2 says we are betrothed (engaged) to Christ as pure virgins (clean, lawful, holy).
I believe this is why the author of Hebrews says in 8:13 regarding this current/old covenant “is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” But hasn’t just yet…until all of the *new* is made manifest. 🌍
So all of us who have received His Spirit of Holiness,whose entire job is to cause us to do/obey that which is holy being God’s instructions/laws (Rom 7:12; Eze 11:19-21, 36:27), is just a preview or deposit or foretaste or sample of what’s to come in the New Covenant when it fully encompasses the entire globe (His Spirit). Like we have been given 20% of our inheritance in advance to help us in the meantime or a dowry or engagement ring reminding us to be faithful, to get our wedding dress ready free of blemishes, spots, and wrinkles all symbolizing uncleanliness, unholiness, breaking God’s holy laws (willfully). His Spirit of Grace is like “Shout” or detergent removing the stains, removing sin while teaching us holiness, washing us by His word (John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26-27).
Anyway, I found all those connections to “new” revealing and was reminded so this new year. I hope it prompts you and others to keep seeking Abba Father as there is always more to discover in Him. 📖 Blessings!
With the passing of the holidays, many are packing up ornaments, carefully wrapping nativity scenes, and tossing out the dried up Christmas tree. This particular Christmas Hanukkah season I was struck with a call to worship the way our Abba Father wants to be worshipped, to be the light, and to cleanse our temples. The above graphic shared on a public Christian Facebook page compelled me to comment, which sparked many positive feedback as well as some seemingly foaming at the mouth. Truth changes the atmosphere as should our set-apart lifestyles.
Like preaching holiness while sharing the stage with a pagan Christmas tree or other pagan traditions re-marketed as all about Jesus. The Israelites did the same thing starting with the Golden Calf incident (Exodus 32) celebrating saying Yahweh was the reason for the season. Numerous passages throughout Scripture specifically tells us not to adopt the ways of culture/pagans/those who do not believe in the One True Living God (Deu 12; Jer 10; 2 Cor 6:14+; Eph 4:17+ are a few examples). May we test everything and be courageous enough to actually be set-apart, holy as led by the Spirit of Holiness (Holy Spirit). 💝📖🙏”
In response to those genuinely wanting to know more in addition to those whose Christmas traditions were challenged, I invited readers to re-examine traditions, worship, and lifestyles. I invite you, dear reader, to do the same. Blessings! 💝
Truth is absolute and therefore, cannot change otherwise it was never truth to begin with.
The original graphic above poignantly speaks to so-called truth ever-changing with the times and so-called worshipers adapting to accommodate culture. Truth is absolute and therefore, cannot change otherwise it was never truth to begin with.
For those interested in worshipping The One True Living God, do we get to define what worship is? Do we tell Him how He wants to be worshipped? Or does God, the LORD of Lords, King of Kings dictate how He wants to be worshipped, how He defines love, and how He wants to be loved? Is He looking for worshippers of an unholy spirit and error? Or is He wanting worshippers of His Spirit and His Truth (John 4:23-24)? How culture defines “truth”, “worship”, “holiness”, etc. is irrelevant.
With that said, where is God’s truth, worship, holiness, etc. defined? In His Holy Word inspired by His Spirit of Holiness, correct? 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Does His Word talk about traditions, holidays, the birth of Christ, pagan customs? You bet!
I invite those authentically interested in being worshippers of His spirit and His truth, to examine their lifestyle, habits, traditions compared to what He says about the topics being presented. Before proceeding though, understand that I view this platform as teaching opportunity..an opportunity for each of us to be more matured in His love, His truth, His holiness so that we may bear His fruit and bear His Name as best as we can empowered to do so by the gift of His Spirit of Holiness dwelling within.
Let’s explore God’s Word, the source of truth. (This is by no means an exhaustive list of Scripture, but a few to seek Him on.)
1) Are traditions evil or not to be practiced just because it is not commanded? Not neccessarily. Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Dedication, is a tradition not a commandment that Jesus evidently celebrated in the temple or at the very least did not rebuke (John 10:22-30). Surely if that tradition was offensive to God, He would have made it known (i.e. flipping tables). Rather, He used it as a teaching moment to reveal He is God and the Messiah. So, no, not all traditions are evil by default and they can be used to share God’s truth. Are we commanded to celebrate Hanukkah? No. Are we commanded to celebrate the birth of Christ? No. However, His word also says “Whatever is true, excellent, praise worthy, etc., to think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8). Is it a fact and praise worthy event that Jesus was born and the Messiah or that Judah Maccabees and his disciples persevered in honoring God’s commands despite the culture, overcame persecution, and reconquered and restored worship the way God defines it? Yes and yes! Those things are true, praise worthy, etc. So it would be acceptable to think about or celebrate such things.
2) Can we use traditions or other aspects of our lives to share God’s truth? Sure! We covered that above as Jesus used Hanukkah, physical objects, parables, etc. to convey truth.
3) Is it OK to mimic pagan practices, culture, or unbelievers and re-package it as a good thing..as redeemed…as holy…as worship…as truth as something of, from, or about Him? NO. God says over and over again to avoid any appearance of evil (1Thes 5:22), to not learn the ways of pagans/adopt their culture (Romans 12:2; Eph 4; Jer 10:2- Also, the Prophet Jeremiah specifically rebukes cutting a tree, bringing it in one’s home, and decorating it as the pagans do in Jer 10) and worship/celebrate Him that way even if you re-name or market it as having to do with Him(Deut 12:30-32; Exodus 32- the Israelites copied the pagans form of worship by putting up a decorated calf and celebrated it saying it was Him and all about Him..they made a feast/holiday of it), to not have anything to do with things that violate His Torah/commands/instructions/Word/lawlessness (2 Cor 6:14-7:1) and to not associate with anyone who claims to know Him and yet does not obey His word (1 Cor.5).
Please thoroughly investigate how you are celebrating/honoring/worshipping the Lord and His life for the practices of Christmas are undeniably pagan since atleast 500 BC repackaged in order to sell/promote Jesus. In theory, the customs in of themselves could have been OK had the pagan customs celebrating the birth of the sun god on Dec 25 the original winter solstice, human sacrifices being decorated on trees, gift giving to celebrate the sun god, partying orgies, lawlessness etc not been established first leading up to or surrounding that day. The church took the same exact custom practices and attempted to wrap it in Jesus’ Name to spread Christianity (in reality to spread their power and control). Another person attached (see link below) a thorough, non-biased, factual investigation about the history of Christmas. Please do watch it. I learned some things as well.
4) Is it wrong to put a tradition or doctrine above or instead of obeying what God says in His Word? Yes. Jesus rebuked religious leaders for putting more emphasis on their tradition than God’s commands (Mark 7). Are you celebrating traditions like Christmas, Hanukkah, 4th of July, etc, but not God’s commanded holidays like Passover/Unleavened Bread (John 22) or His other feasts (Lev 23)?
I say again, dear brothers and sisters, may we have the courage to examine our traditions, forms of worship, and lifestyle in accordance to God’s word and cheerfully be willing to submit to God’s Spirit of Holiness as He longs to teach us God’s truth, holiness, and the worship He longs for! Ultimately, we each must answer for ourselves (Rom 14:10-12), but love as defined by Him speaks truth, especially to those who claim to follow Him.🙏🙏🙏
Hubby and I did a little Bible Study this evening. In addition to these passages listed below, we also discussed the ‘everlasting covenant’ introduced to Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 17 as eventually being the ‘new covenant’ as defined in Ezekiel 16:60, 34:25, all of Eze 36 thru 37:26, Jeremiah 31:31-33. We also discussed how the Apostle Paul wrote anyone who believes in Jesus/Yeshua is considered a (spiritual) descendant of Abraham in Galatians 3:29 and how Jesus attempted to explain to the Pharisees in John 8:37-47 that just because the religious leaders were physical descendants of Abraham did not mean they were children of God…they lacked the faith of Abraham by believing in Yeshua/Jesus. Jesus later said He is the only way to Abba Father not lineage or any other means (John 14:6).
We also noticed as a sign or perhaps you could say the fruit or outward expression of the internal aspect of being in covenant, Abraham was instructed for him and his son as well as any physical descendants and foreigners aligned with him in his household to be circumcised. All of which is yet another example of how God’s commands/instructions aren’t just for physical descendants but for all those who are in covenant…apart of Abraham’s spiritual descendants…aligned with Israel. Moreover, first and foremost, it is about being circumcised in the heart by receiving the Holy Spirit and cooperating with God’s Spirit of Holiness as it aligns your crooked, uncleanness with His straight and narrow will for you found in His Holy Word…hence, the point of receiving a HOLY Spirit, right? Ezekiel 36:27. We all get the same Holy Spirit, but you are either growing or shrinking depending on if you are listening and obeying Him. Luke 8:18 Will your faith be like that of Abraham? Would you leave it all behind to go where He says to go? Would you circumcise yourself immediately upon hearing God’s Voice at age 99, your 13 yr old son (Ishmael), and convince the other guys in your household to do the same eventhough you never met a circumcised soul let alone heard of such a thing? May our obedient faith ‘Go Forth’…Lech Lecha in Hebrew! Shabbat Shalom
***BE SURE TO READ UPDATE TO THIS ARTICLE BELOW***
After attending a Messianic Jewish congregation for nearly a year now, I have been exposed to a few peculiar doctrines that I wanted further clarification on for I was not sure if I was hearing various sentiments correctly. Three different Messianic Jewish ministries the congregation supports have subtly or boldly expressed the concept of all Jewish people are still in covenant with Hashem (God) regardless if they accept Yeshua/Jesus as Messiah or not. This was an instant red flag, nevertheless, I wanted to first verify this is indeed what was being occasionally proclaimed and if so, I wanted an explanation as to how one could come to such conclusions considering Scripture and the Jewish Messiah Himself rejects such connotations.
Upon reaching out to these three different ministries without getting a response, I approached my ‘Torah Club’ teacher, who also is an elder at the Messianic Jewish Congregation I’ve been regularly attending. ‘Torah Club’ is a ministry of First Fruits of Zion, and I found it immensely enriching as I came to learn more about the first five books of the Bible. Truly, while studying the Scriptures in Torah Club, the Holy Spirit blessed me by opening my eyes to so much revelation. I also found my teacher regularly provided additional value by bringing other books and Jewish insight to our class. I respect him as I have found him to be a brilliant teacher with an approachable and likeable demeanor. To his credit, he genuinely attempted numerous times to explain to me the best he could this strange and new-to- me-concept although with little to no Scripture to do so. Being I am a visual learner as well as live over an hour away (one way!) from congregation making it difficult to meet during the week, I inquired if he had articles or knew of video teachings he could guide me to. In hopes of helping me understand, the elder/teacher lent me First Fruits of Zion’s (FFOZ) Summer 2019 publication of Messiah Journal, Issue 134, a recent exclusive membership only publication.
Being hungry for truth and desperate to solve the mystery that has been periodically haunting me for several months, I devoured the journal, reading some of the articles more than once. Surprisingly though, upon reading the articles, I became angry and distressed even to the point of weeping for I could sense an UNholy spirit attempting to deceive undiscerning readers on not just this particular doctrinal point, but another as well (we will save that topic for a later post). One article titled, “Dismantling Replacement Theology” by D Thomas Lancaster defined and thoroughly covered concepts of Replacement Theology and why in the author and FFOZ’s perspective is evil.
“What is replacement theology?”, the author scribes. “It’s the idea that Christians have replaced Jews as God’s people.” Despite already having another red flag in my spirit, I kept reading with an open mind genuinely wanting to hear out his case. After explaining how Replacement Theology indeed teaches a replacement of all things old with all things new (i.e. the New Testament replaces the Old Testament, the Lord’s Day, being Sunday, replaces Sabbath, The Lord’s Supper replaces Passover,etc.), I was thus far mostly in agreement with him until Lancaster penned the following statements a few paragraphs into the article:
“Replacement theology is all about ‘out with the old and in with the new.’ It posits that all these old things were replaced when Jesus came and died and rose from the dead. The good news, the ‘gospel message’, according to replacement theology, is that God has replaced all the old systems with the new system. When stated as succinctly as that, it’s easy to sympathize with Jewish people who reject the gospel. Jews must surely think it puzzling that we would present the New Testament, which ostensibly replaces Judaism and all Jewish religious institutions and functions, as good news for Israel. Where’s the good news in the replacement-theology version of the good news? Israel has been replaced, the Torah has been cancelled, and God’s covenant with the Jewish people is over. Adding insult to the injury, replacement theology posits that Jewish people’s relationship with God has been replaced by a new order and mechanism for salvation, thereby damning most Jews to eternity in hell. Is it really a mystery why most Jewish people are none too excited about this so-called good news?”
While I certainly agree, Jesus/Yeshua did not come to start a new religion considering He too was Jewish and very clearly practiced the commandments found in His Father’s Torah, which isn’t always one and the same as Judaism, He did very succinctly make it clear just because one is physically a descendant of Abraham does not make you by default a child of God, or in Christian lingo ‘saved’, but Jesus/Yeshua does hint at the important spiritual birth of becoming a spiritual descendant of Abraham by doing the works of Abraham, which was faith (Hebrews 11:8-12) as was also expressed by the Apostle Paul.
“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you…If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham…If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God..You are of your father the devil..” Yeshua/Jesus, John 8:37-44 (NKJV)
Earlier in John 8 verses 23-24 (NKJV), Jesus says to the Pharisees, “You are from beneath; I am from the above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.“
Later, in John 14:6 (NLT), Yeshua/Jesus says, ” Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’ ”
So did ‘Replacement Theology’ state Jewish people as well as all other ethnicities cannot enter into covenant with Abba Father except through Jesus, or did Yeshua/Jesus Himself state such truths? Did Jesus say the Pharisees are not of Abraham’s lineage just because they are Jewish or did some theologian come up with that random concept?
Likewise, did the Apostle Paul not express similar concepts when he scribed in Romans 9:6-8 to the Gentile Romans, ‘For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they ALL (my emphasis) children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’ That is, those who are the children of the flesh (Jewish/Abraham’s physical descent), these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed (spiritually those whose faith is in Yeshua/Jesus.. spiritually born into Israel)”? Again, is this ‘Replacement Theology’ or a teaching of the most successful Apostle of human history inspired by the Holy Spirit?
I found it telling Lancaster provided not one Scriptural proof text that Israel/Jewish people were still in covenant upon Yeshua’s arrival or even after His death and resurrection and yet you find here are loads of Scripture to say otherwise (keep reading). Take note that the Mosaic Covenant was a conditional covenant loaded with “if/then” terms. For example, “If you obey My voice… then I will…” Conversely, God also clearly states the consequences if THEY break covenant versus other covenants like the Noahide Covenant was NOT conditional based off Noah’s response. There was nothing wrong with the Mosaic Covenant, but Hebrews 8:8 clearly states God “found fault in them“, meaning Israel’s inability to keep covenant by obeying Torah, which is why God provides His Holy Spirit to help those in the new covenant do that which is holy (Romans 7:12, Ezekiel 11:19-21, 36:27; Jeremiah 31:31-33). Please do take the time to dig into the below Scriptures for yourself for the truth will indeed set you free. Likewise, today, in modern times, we too can break up with God by denying Jesus as Messiah or continuing to intentionally sin; hence, why Yeshua says to all the ekklesia/assemblies of the last days, “To he who overcomes, I will give ..” and why Paul warns us in Romans 7, grafted in Gentiles can also be broken off, but he provides hope that it is possible for Jews to be re-grafted in upon believing in Yeshua as Messiah (Genesis 17:14; Exodus 19:5, 32:32-33; Leviticus 26:15,40-42; Deuteronomy 24:1-4/Romans 7:1-6; Deuteronomy 28:1,15, 29:1,9-15, 31:16, 27-29; Psalm 55:20, 69:28; Isaiah 33:8, 50:1; Jeremiah 3, 9:12-16, 11:1-11,15:6,16:10-13, 17:1, 24:4-7, 31:31-33, 33:20; Ezekiel 16:59, 17:15, 44:7, Zechariah 11:10; Luke 8:18; John 8:24, 37-59; Romans 8:28, 11:15-21; Hebrews 8:7-13, 10:26-39; James 5:19-20; 2 Peter 2:20-22; Revelation 2:7,11,17,26, 3:5,12,21, 12:11, 20:15, 21:5-8; 22:14 ).
As if all that wasn’t enough, Lancaster also writes, “A Christian Zionist might say, ‘I don’t teach replacement theology. The Jewish people are still the chosen people, but without Christ, they are still under the law.’ By ‘under the law’ he means lost and going to hell.“
According to the Jewish Messiah, Mr. Lancaster, Jewish people who refuse to accept Jesus as Messiah, WILL die in their sins – that’s not ‘Replacement Theology’, that is the gospel.
Lancaster also writes in the next paragraph, “Any Bible-believing Evangelical might say, ‘Christians don’t replace Jews, but Jews need to come to Christ to be saved.’ How is this not replacement theology? The premise is that unless Jews become Christians, they will be damned.”
Frankly, at this blatant and obvious rejection of the truth of Jesus and the gospel message, I’m starting to question if Mr. Lancaster is even saved for not only does he contradict our Jewish Messiah’s own words and the message of the good news, but he not once defines what HIS definition of the good news is or how it is he comes to believe Jewish people are still in covenant when Scripture says otherwise!
It would seem to me Lancaster and those aligning with this particular heresy are forming their very own Replacement Theology where man’s opinion, man’s doctrine, or traditions, supersedes the plethora of Holy Scriptures that state otherwise: the good news of the gospel. Furthermore, if there was nothing wrong with the Mosaic Covenant made between God and ancient Israel (not to mention those that aligned themselves with Israel) commonly known as the Old Covenant, what is the point of sending a Savior? In other words, if there is nothing needing to be saved from, why a Savior, God? Mr. Lancaster doesn’t seem to believe the Jewish people need a Savior – just the Gentiles need one perhaps? If the Mosaic Covenant between God and Israel is just fine and dandy, why does the law (Deuteronomy 30) and prophets (Jeremiah 31), Yeshua (Matthew 26:28), and the author of Hebrews (7-10) write about a ‘New Covenant’? What is the point of a New/Renewed Covenant if they are still in the original covenant and everything is honky dory? What is the point of offering a personal subscription to the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant if they are walking in an authentic spirit of holiness already? If Jewish people are automatically, by default saved as this article infers in multiple places, why the need for ‘Messianic’ Judaism? Why proselytize the Jewish people for they are God’s elite chosen people perpetually just fine still in covenant with Hashem? Why did Jesus say He came for the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 15:24) if according to THIS theology they aren’t actually lost?
In what may seems like an innocent and convincing attempt to quell Anti-Semitism, while hoping to proselytize Jewish people (since Jewish tradition also teaches Jews are still in covenant), this dangerous doctrine propagates an even more damning unholy Anti-Messiah spirit that will be loving Jews straight to hell by elevating Jewish blood over Yeshua’s spilled atoning blood. Sadly, upon bringing this critical salvation matter to the attention of the elders through proper channels outlined in Matthew 18, and after being exposed multiple times to the pharisaical religious spirit, I was invited to worship elsewhere should I continue to adhere to the truth of at least the gospel itself known to them as ‘Replacement Theology’. Consequently, I will not damn my own soul while leading others to hell with me by denying Yeshua is the ONLY way to the Father.
Please Note: Hopefully, this erroneous doctrine does not plague all of Messianic Judaism, but if you are seeking or attending a Messianic Jewish congregation, I implore you to ‘Call to Abba’ to seek out things which you do not know for we must test everything and be ready to give an account of what we believe and what we align ourselves with (Romans 14:12). ❤
UPDATE January 2020: Upon studying Scripture these delightful Shabbats in January, the Holy Spirit led me to some fascinating and illuminating passages that I suspect may be what some Messianic Jewish ministries may have been referencing regarding God honoring the Abrahamic Covenant by ultimately saving Jews/Israel and bringing back the scattered tribes to the land as promised. While I am still processing various Scriptures found in the prophets and in the New Testament with one another, it appears some genetic descendants of the twelve tribes/Israel (possibly the 144K discussed in Revelation 7 and 14) are indeed gathered like a Second Exodus or what mainstream Christianity would label as “raptured” to the land of Israel in one day (Ezekiel 36:33; Zephaniah 2:7, 3:8-20) and in the process experience being baptized in water and Spirit by the LORD (Ezekiel 36:24-28) like God Himself literally is physically saving them and spiritually saving them in a reversed type of born-again experience. Similarly, Ezekiel 37 reveals Abba Father resurrects all of Israel (Ezekiel 37:11) and does a similar type of reverse born-again experience (Ezekiel 37:13-14) enacting a new and improved covenant with them. Likewise, Jeremiah 30-31 and Zechariah 12-13 seem to express similar if not the same sentiments of genetic Israel being “saved” eventually. Based off the fact that the following chapters of Ezekiel match various chapters and verses in Revelation (i.e compare the birds and beasts eating the deceased/fall of Babylon in Revelation 19:17-18 with Ezekiel 39:17-18), it would appear this Second Exodus and Resurrection usher us into the Messianic Era/Millennial Rule and Reign of Messiah.
In addition to the natural birth children of Israel being miraculously transported to the land of Israel, the adopted, grafted-in children of spiritual Israel (Romans 11; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-22) experience the same inheritance described in the New Testament. So it would seem both genetic Jews/Israel and the adopted/spiritual Jews/Israel (formerly known as Gentiles) are circumcised of the heart through the Spirit of Yeshua, the Holy Spirit, but as to how and when is what differs. Nevertheless, they all are blended into one olive tree, one new man, one Family, one kingdom, one nation of priests eventually (Ezekiel 37-48). NOW, I think I understand what my teacher at the Messianic Congregation as well as Mr. Lancaster, of First Fruits of Zion, was trying to explain, but it would have been helpful to go into such details with Scripture. Regardless of our plethora of interpretations and ideologies founded on Scripture, ultimately, Abba decides whom He deems is “Israel” and will have mercy on.
Romans 11:28-36 (NKJV)
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hascommitted them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” 35 “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?”
36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
When you, once a Gentile/unbeliever,once a stranger to God’s covenants, believe in Yeshua as The Messiah, you become apart of spiritual Israel, you are grafted-in or adopted into Abba Father’s olive tree…His family…His nation. You become one with His chosen people. The two shall be one. A light to the unbelieving world, a light to the nations. #faith#grafted#adopted#oneness#olivetree#Israel
It may surprise many Christians, but the fact is various sacrifices will resume and be required of in the millennium reign of Yeshua/Jesus. But if you have missed my previous article answering Why We Don’t Perform Animal Sacrifices Now, click here for that simple answer. In this article we will discuss why animal sacrifices will be reinstated in the millennium reign and quite possibly even before then. Moreover, we will see how all of this is connected even to the Christian faith here and now!
The Foundational Basics of The Gathering and The Millennium
When studying the Book of Revelation chapter 20, we see Yeshua/Jesus, The Messiah, returns to Earth, where He rules and reigns for 1,000 years. The Book of Ezekiel, found in the Tanakh/Old Testament, starting in Chapter 36 through the end of the Book, describes the re-gathering of Israel, which some might refer to as ‘The Rapture’, but would be more accurately defined as the ‘ingathering’, as well as the resurrection of the dead (Ezekiel 37), and what worship entails during Yeshua’s reign. Furthermore, we read in Ezekiel 37, the initiation of the millennial reign when God unites the grafted-in Gentiles (now adopted Israelites or perhaps you could say spiritual Jews- Romans 2:28-29) with the re-grafted in Jews, meaning Jewish people who came to believe and accept Yeshua as their Messiah, which the Apostle Paul calls the ‘remnant of grace’ (Romans 9-11) making one new man. To read the passages showing the supernatural reunification also described as gathering His elect into one stick, one new man, or one olive tree, see Ezekiel 11-12; 36:27; 37:15-28; Ephesians 2:11-18; Romans 11; Zechariah 4; Isaiah 52-56, 60-66; Jeremiah 29-31; Hebrews 8:7-13; Mark 13:27; Matthew 24:30-31; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58; Revelation 11.
Will There Be Sacrifices In The Millennium?
While reading Ezekiel 40-46, we see Scripture reveals in great detail the millennial temple and the various sacrifices performed – some of which even the Messiah/prince cooperates with (Ezekiel 45:22-25). Let’s dig in deeper though as to why. For many of us were led to believe or assumed the sacrifices were done away with upon Christ’s death and resurrection, when it actuality, we learn from the Book of Hebrews and Ezekiel, they were done away with, not because of any changing of commandments, nor because of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, but rather, because there currently is no temple.
Why Will There Be Sacrifices In The Millennium (and most likely even before then)?
First, it is clear, from beginning to end, all of Scripture is about Yeshua HaMaschiah, Jesus The Messiah, our Savior from sin, and all of it points to Him. He is the Alpha and Omega, as it says in Greek, or the Aleph and Tav, in Hebrew. It’s all about Him, always was about Him, and always will be about Him (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-18; Revelation 22:13). Amen.
The sacrifices performed for thousand of years prior to our present day pointed to Yeshua, The Messiah, and will still point to Yeshua in the millennium. But more on that in a bit.
Second, it’s important to understand, some of the covenants made by God are conditional based off the response of the people such as the Mosaic Covenant. In that particular covenant, God states numerous times “if you obey, then..” as well as “if you disobey, then” there will be consequences (Deut.28:1,15). Being that God does not lie (Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 40:8; Mark 13:31), when the Israelites/Jewish people failed to uphold their end of the Mosaic Covenant, that covenant was broken (by them) and God’s consequences to disobedience were activated. What kind of god would God be if He wasn’t also a just god that stands by His word? Hence, why the need for a New Covenant and a Redeemer to pay the debt for breaking covenant. To read a plethora of verses detailing how the Mosaic Covenant was violated and broken, please see my ‘Statement of Faith’ page. Conversely, the Noahide Covenant, the one God made with Noah, was not based on Noah or mankind’s response – in other words, there were no conditional clauses, it was simply God promising never to flood the entire Earth at once again. So some covenants have outlined blessings and curses as a result of choices whereas others are simply fact. Moreover, each covenant is built upon one another providing as the author of Hebrews says, “better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). Do women still have pain in childbirth? Why is that if the Old Testament/covenant is done away with? Because the pain in childbirth was part of what Bible scholars refer to as the “Adamic Covenant”. What about the “Noahide Covenant” where Abba (“Father” in Hebrew / Father God) promises never to flood the entire Earth at once again like He did in the flood for the people’s unclean, evil lifestyle (Genesis 6-9)? Are we now building arks just in case that covenant is done away with? After the Noahide Covenant, there was the “Abrahamic Covenant”, where God promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the sand and stars while inheriting the land of Israel (Genesis 15-17) to be fulfilled as spiritual Israel, circumcised of the heart, consisting of Jewish individuals who believe Yeshua is Messiah and Gentiles who believe Yeshua is Messiah (Romans 9:6-8; John 8; Galatians 3:26-29). Is the Abrahamic Covenant also no longer in effect? You see so none of these “new” covenants eradicated the one before, but rather built upon it. With each covenant established, we learn more about the heart and will of God as He provides better promises. Furthermore, we know none of His word is made void (Isaiah 55:8-11) and God had/has a plan to use it all for His glory while bringing even more people into the everlasting covenant, known as the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-33, 50:4-5; Ezekiel 37:26; Deuteronomy 30).
Thirdly, understand that “new” covenant as referred to in Jeremiah 31:31-33 and reiterated in Hebrews 8:7-13, isn’t consummated just yet. Rather, while we are still here on this Earth, all of the foundational covenants still stand (Matthew 5:17-19) while the “new” is yet to be completed or put another way, is in process, or in the que, if you will. Remember earlier how we stated the Israelites broke the Mosaic Covenant? Can a husband or wife break covenant with one another by not adhering to their wedding vows? Of course! Per both Torah as well as Yeshua’s perspective, can a husband divorce his wife if convicted of adultery? Yes. Likewise, all throughout the prophets we see the rebellion of the Israelites was described as ‘adultery’ or ‘playing the harlot’ causing God to activate the consequences made in the covenant (Isaiah 33:8, 50:1; Jeremiah 3, 9:12-16, 11:1-11, 15:6,16:10-13, 17:1, 24:4-7, 31:31-33, 33:20; Ezekiel 16:59, 17:15, 44:7). Although God hates divorce, there are a few verses indicating He (spiritually) divorced Israel because of their spiritual adultery (Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 3:8; Romans 11:17-21). But in His great love for Israel and wanting to be in a renewed covenant with them and many others, full of even better promises, namely the Holy Spirit, He provided a solution to re-establish covenant with them the only condition being they accept His Son, the Messiah, Yeshua of Nazareth and His Holy Spirit to help them want to obey Him, to guide them so that they will not break covenant and repeat a tragic history (this applies to believing Gentiles as well). Due to the new covenant being activated or betrothed, but not fully completed just yet, perhaps this could be why the elect are referred to as the ‘Bride (of Christ)’ (see Ephesians 5:25-29) not wife as well as why Yeshua/Jesus says He has to prepare a place (John 14:2-3). Just as in Jewish culture the bridegroom left to build an extension of His father’s house after becoming betrothed/engaged to His future bride (2 Corinthians 11:2), but we aren’t physically dwelling with Him yet in His Father’s House (New Jerusalem), and why in Revelation 21, we see when the “New” Heaven and “New” Earth manifests, the “Bride”, known as the “New” Jerusalem appears (Rev.21: 2,9; Hebrews 3:6; Mark 14:25; Isaiah 52:1; 2 Corinthians 5:1). Notice many references to “new” manifest at that time, which corresponds with what Yeshua said in Matthew 5:17-19, when He said not one part of the law (or Mosaic covenant) is done away with until there is a new heaven and new earth, which doesn’t manifest till Revelation 21. We also see in Revelation 21 and 2 Peter 3:13, that there is no uncleanness, no lawlessness, no sin, no pain, no suffering, nothing to defile the New Earth or immortal beings dwelling in the New Earth for “all the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light..” (vs 24). There also isn’t a need for a temple to make atonement for there is no more curse/consequence to sin (Revelation 22:3) for Abba and Yeshua are the Temple in the New Jerusalem/New Earth (Revelation 21:22). We also see in Revelation 19:7-9,
the marriage and marriage supper (wedding reception) of the Lamb is about to take place, but has not yet been consummated. Therefore, it isn’t until the New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem manifests that the New Covenant is consummated. When is the covenant between a husband and wife consummated? On their wedding night through sexual intercourse. And what manifests when a husband enters his pure virgin wife? The shedding of blood through the breaking of her hymen. Covenant consummated and confirmed. Perhaps first the Bridegroom’s blood was shed on a cross initiating the new covenant proposal and when He returns for His bride, her blood is shed (somehow) upon consummating the new covenant. I guess we will find out one day, but my point, beloveds, is our betrothal to Yeshua isn’t consummated yet, but we are betrothed-given a promise like an engagement ring known as the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Holiness to remind us of our betrothal. Our job at this time, with the help and guidance of the Spirit of Holiness, is to be His spotless, spiritually pure, holy, virgin Bride (2 Peter 3:14-18). Notice in Rev.19:8, the Bride’s wedding dress of fine linen, clean and bright, is defined as the righteous acts of the saints (obedience).
Furthermore, notice in Hebrews 8:13, the author scribes that the former covenant is “becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away”, but hasn’t just yet. It also says in Hebrews 8:11 and Jeremiah 31:34 that in the “new” covenant none of us will have to teach each other matters of the LORD for we all will already know Him (again, captured in Revelation 21-22).
And yet we still today are teaching one another and sharing information with believers and non-believers. Likewise, in the millennium, Yeshua teaches us His laws (Isaiah 2, 51; Micah 4) as do His priest, so evidently, if these passages in Ezekiel indeed represent the millennium reign of Christ, then even the millennium time frame isn’t when the new covenant is consummated:
“And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. In controversy, they shall stand as judges, and judge it according to My judgments. They shall keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed meetings, and they shall hallow My Sabbaths.” Ezekiel 44:23-24
Since we have not been reunited with our Bridegroom, Yeshua, just yet, AND in the Father’s House to consummate our marriage (New Jerusalem), it would appear we indeed are betrothed (2 Corinthians 11:2) or engaged to put it in a modern term we can easily understand, but are not married or fully in our new covenant just yet. Hence, why we still have pain in childbirth, why there is no world-wide flood, why Yeshua and the Apostles still instructed us to live a lifestyle of holiness with the Spirit of Holiness’ help as He guides us into more and more truth, and why we continue to teach one another. They all are still in effect just each one with better promises.
In the meantime, we are in the process of being sanctified by His written word (Living Torah/the Torah) as John 17:17 and Hebrews 10:14 indicate…being made a spotless, pure Bride preparing for our wedding day as the Spirit of Holiness illuminates more and more truth to us just like we see in Acts 15.
Just Accepted Yeshua/Jesus As Messiah? START HERE
I call Acts 15, the “Start Here” chapter for it would seem upon believing in Yeshua as your Messiah, the Holy Spirit always starts with cleaning up sexual immorality and the most glaring sins or uncleanliness in our lives first. When you read, Acts 15, notice the debate amongst the disciples/apostles was about IF obeying the law saves you (vs.1), not if you had to obey the law in general. Rather, we see in Acts 15, the apostles, through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, provided a priority list for those newly converted non-Jewish/freshly grafted-in Israelites to focus on. Surely, by only listing a couple of commands they weren’t dismissing all the other commands validating it is permissible to murder, dishonor your parents, worship other gods, steal, etc. No! Which is why in vs.21, it says, they have grown to know such truths over time indicating everyone has to start somewhere. The debate was about does obeying the Mosaic law, the instructions for life save you from eternal separation from God (i.e. spiritual death)? No, it does not. Obedience is important for it reflects a circumcised heart, being sanctified by the word (Torah) through His Holy Spirit not to *be saved* or to *earn* salvation, but because of Christ’s shed blood, we will want to avoid sin, which 1st John 3:4 tells us is lawlessness or being without God’s laws. Again, the Spirit of Holiness/Holy Spirit will guide us into more and more truth as we grow up in God. He specializes in disinfecting our hearts and homes.
Didn’t Jesus’ Blood Pay For Our Sins? Then Why Still Sacrifices?
Go with me to Numbers 15, notice in verses 37-41, we see YHVH wants the children of Israel to make tassels (tzitzits) at the hem of their garments to remind them of God’s saving grace as He redeemed them from Egypt, but Abba knew even upon being saved by grace we so easily forget the ordeal as it is a lengthy journey getting Egypt (sinful ways) out of us! So He had them make tassels of string to remind them of His commandments – His instructions for life. God loves reminders..memorials..anniversaries. Hence, the Sabbaths, the Feasts of the LORD (see Leviticus 23) commemorating huge events of the past and events to come. We even see, God commanded the Israelites to live in temporary booths/tents/tabernacles during the 7 day Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) to remember His saving grace from Egypt (see Leviticus 23:41-43). Not to mention the giving of the Holy Spirit to help remind us of His truth..His word! Think about this: Does taking communion crucify Christ all over again? Does it save you when you slurp down that tiny glass of grape juice or take a sip of wine? Does getting baptized spiritually make you clean or are these ceremonies to remind us of God’s grace – to help us further identify with Him, His word, and the lifestyle of holiness? Likewise, the various ceremonies within the temple including the sacrifices carry the same symbolism (Hebrews 9:9)- they in of themselves don’t save us (Hebrews 10:4, 11), but they remind us of the seriousness of our sins (Hebrews 10:3) for something/someone must die because of our sinful choices. The sacrifices also remind us of our desperate need for a Savior and His amazing grace until He puts His enemies under His foot forever (Hebrews 10:13).
Let’s dig even deeper though…In Jewish culture, in order for a woman to be betrothed to a man, the father of the man had to pay the dowry debt to the woman’s father. Once the debt has been paid, the man and woman were betrothed and in Jewish culture, considered off the market, but no marriage or consummation occurred just yet for the man/bridegroom had to go build a home for his bride attached to his father’s estate. Hence, Jesus/Yeshua’s comment in John 14:2-3. When Yeshua/Jesus died on the cross we know He did so to pay for our sin, which is the debt or curse of breaking God’s law (I John 3:4; Romans 3:23; 6:23), or as Paul refers to as “the law of sin and death” (Romans 7:22-25) or the dowry for His bride. So just as Colossians 2:13-14 states, the sacrifice of Christ’s death on the cross paid the requirement that was against us, the debt, the curse, the dowry, the law of sin and death, but did not remove the laws of God as previously discussed. Just like if someone graciously paid your speeding ticket fine, it doesn’t nullify the speed limit law, it only pays the debt for breaking that law.
Furthermore, Scripture reveals without the shedding of blood, there is no remission or removal of sin. Hence, why the animal’s blood had to be spilled and why Christ blood had to spill. It has to costs something – the debt of sin is always costly. The wages of sin is death.
“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22
” ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’ ” Leviticus 17:11
Moreover, the intent of the sacrificial system is to help us understand and remember sin has a high price: It cost God His firstborn to die for you to potentially live. Don’t abuse this grace nor take sin lightly.
The Difference Between Unintentional and Intentional Disobedience and What Does That Have To Do With Sacrifices?
Hopefully, upon believing Jesus/Yeshua is the Messiah, God’s son, who perished to take away your sins, you’ll want to cultivate an intimate relationship with Abba (Father) through His Son (and not just be deceived into thinking salvation is a one and done mentality where you can now go live just as before). Many temptations will plague you especially early on trying to thwart your relationship, just like manifested with the Israelites faith journey upon crossing over into the wilderness. There will always be long seasons of “wilderness” in our faith journey tempting us to rebel or give up before reaching the heights of the proverbial Promised Lands. Be steadfast and strong for all of us have to start somewhere before we get there!
As you may recall, from Acts 15, we see the Holy Spirit had the Apostles instruct the new converts with a few basics to start their faith journey or put another way their very own “horribly-amazing-purification-process” a term I’ve used in previous blogs and vlogs! 😉 We see in the various epistles to the body of believers that they too generally had a basic set of instructions, namely ridding themselves of sexual immorality, while Paul beckons them to move on to more deeper aspects of their faith journey (I Corinthians 3:2-3; Hebrews 5:12- 6:2). Let me ask you something: Are you instantly mature in Christ upon believing in His death and resurrection? Do you know all of God’s laws and the ways of God as soon as you believe? Does a baby know how to drive at birth? Or does that baby first learn how to roll over, how to crawl, how to walk, how to run, how to ride a bike, and then eventually, when a bit more mature, how to drive? And even once able to drive, there is still much to learn and be aware of – there are still accidents. Likewise, upon coming into the gospel message of believing Jesus/Yeshua died for us, we cannot possibly know and obey all of God’s ways instantly, but we will gradually learn to do so as we mature in Him and His lifestyle of holiness with the help of His Holy Spirit.
Would you be offended if a driver of another vehicle intentionally ran a red light t-boning your car and possible killing your passenger? Was not the red light designed to protect one another? Would you consider that intentional act breaking the laws of the road? Would it be breaking the laws of the road even if the driver happen to miss the changing of the yellow to the red light? I believe the answer to all of the above is YES. Did you know that God’s laws are designed to protect us, not to harm us for the Torah is for our good (Deut 5:29; 6:24-25; 10:12-13; Romans 7:12,14; Matt.5:17-19; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 1 John 5:3)? Did you know God views intentional sin, or presumptuous sin, different than unintentional sin? Do you not hold your older children more accountable than your younger children? Why? Because they know better, right? Likewise, the more we know, the more we are held accountable for (Ezekiel 33:8-9; James 3:1; Romans 14:12; Hebrews 13:17; Luke 12:47-48; John 15:22).
You’ll want to especially check out Hebrews 10:26:
“For if we go on sinning willfullyafter receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” Hebrews 10:26-27 (but please read the rest of the passage as well)
Also, read these serious implications in Hebrews 6:4-8, which matches what Jesus/Yeshua spoke of regarding fruit and lawlessness in Matthew Chapters 7 and 13:
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.”
Also, read Numbers 15. Notice God recognizes the difference between unintentionally sinning, which required atonement by the priests to make atonement for the body at large (the congregation), or the individual person, while the intentional act of sin has the consequence of being cut off from the people through death in Numbers 15:30-36. As another example, in Numbers 35:9-34, we see Abba sets up ‘sanctuary cities’ for those who unintentionally kill someone (involuntary manslaughter) whereas an intentional murderer must be put to death. Yet another form of grace – even in the Old Testament, or more accurately stated first testament. Grace is not a new concept for God. Hebrews 10:26-39 seems to reiterate the seriousness of our intentional sins. Thereby, destroying the false notion of “once saved, always saved” as does the explanation in the first several chapters of Revelation regarding the significance of being an overcomer in order to inherit the promises of God (also see Exodus 32:33). Because if we are genuinely repentant for a sin, we will not keep practicing that sin; rather, we will run like Joseph did from it (Genesis 39). We will turn from it out of a grateful heart for the shedding of Christ’s blood and a healthy respect for YHVH, our Abba Father.
Intentional sin always leads to death (Hebrews 10:26-39; Numbers 15; Exodus 21:14; Deut.17:12-13; 18:20). In other words, there is no sacrifice set up for intentional sin.
The Book of 1 John states in several places that if anyone claims to believe in the saving grace of Yeshua, but continues to break God’s laws knowingly or intentionally is a liar and he/she didn’t truly repentant in the first place (see I John 1:6; 2:3-15; 2:28-29; 3:4-10; 3:24; 4:20; 5:3; 5:10).
What’s Your Motive? Did you “believe” in Jesus for your ticket to heaven, but then believe you can do whatever you want continuing to intentionally sin? You have been grossly misinformed, friend. The truth is, in Hebraic culture, to believe is to do or put another way, trust and obey (Proverbs 3 – read all of Proverbs 3), or put another way, “Faith without works is dead.” Or simple stated, believing in Jesus/Yeshua without obedience is deception, vanity, meaningless and no different than what the demons believe. James Chapter 2:14,17,18,19,24,26:
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
You see, so even though obeying the law itself cannot save you, in doing so, upon having a circumcised heart and receiving the Spirit of Holiness (Acts 19:2), you will be a cheerful giver of your life wanting to obey Abba/Yeshua. If you believe in Jesus just to get your ticket to heaven or be raptured out of here with the “to hell with ya’ll” mentality, you’ve already revealed your cards – your motive. Self-centered. Rather, if out of a pure heart motive, grateful for His sacrifice and amazing work He did by cheerfully giving of Himself, then you too will want to cheerfully give of yourself. You will want to serve God and others – not say, “Screw you, I’m saved! You’re doomed to hell!” Rather, you will look for opportunities to bring heaven to earth for His glory. He specializes in softening our hearts.
Tragically, just by looking around us and even within us, we still don’t get the cost of our sin. God, in His omniscience, knows we need as many reminders as possible for Satan is always lurking, tempting us back into being a slave to darkness. Even with having the luxury of God’s word in print readily available in stores, homes, churches and even on our phones now, we still refuse to study it and apply it. Many read it, but few allow it to transform their hearts and eventual lifestyle. Many refuse to accept all of God’s word and therefore, refuse to obey Him and thereby, continue to sin.
Ponder this: The first time, Jesus/Yeshua came, He was the Living Torah, teaching us the laws of love and what they mean, what it should look like while condemning the erroneous doctrines of religion. He then graciously paid the debt for our past sins and future sins if we repent. As we study all of Scripture, we see Yahweh/YHVH/Abba is a holy God, who spends a significant amount of His word, His written voice, from the beginning of the book to the back of the Bible (Revelation 12:17; 14:12; 22:14), explaining to His elect, the difference between holy and unholy, right and wrong, clean and unclean, which are defined in His commandments, His law and that breaking them is sin for as an Israelite or adopted in Israelite, we are called to be a light to the nations.
It’s a huge deal to God to know the difference between light and darkness, clean and unclean, holy and unholy. In fact, this is one reason why Yeshua returns for a second time: to teach us His law/Torah (see Isaiah 2, 51; Micah 4) yet again because we still don’t get it. Also, notice what the primary role of the Levite priests in the millennium will be doing as discussed earlier (see Ezekiel 44:23-24): to help us distinguish between clean and unclean, to teach us God’s laws, to help us uphold the Sabbaths, etc. So contrary to popular beliefs, Christ paid the debt for our sins, but did not wipe out God’s instructions or standards for life. God’s word can never be made void no matter what the modern day religious leaders preach.
Perhaps you’ve been taught that the Old Testament is irrelevant, done away with, no longer applies, etc. Just labeling the first half of the Bible as “old” gives off a certain connotation. But if it no longer applies in the sense of we no longer need to heed God’s voice through it, then why are the humans who survive the great tribulation and wrath of God required to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in the millennium (check out Zechariah 14:16-21 and all of Zech. 14)? If they fail to do so, their land will receive no rain thereby hindering the food supply and economy. Likewise, we see in Ezekiel, humans will be celebrating the feasts of the LORD and coming to worship Yahweh in the temple (Ezekiel 45:16-17; 46:3-9). We read about similar sentiments in Isaiah 56 where grafted-in Israelites, formerly Gentiles, or ‘sons of the foreigner’ keep God’s Sabbaths, and make sacrifices and burnt offerings in the temple at Mount Zion (the holy mountain). In Ezekiel 44:4-9, notice in the millennium temple in Mount Zion/Jerusalem, not just anybody can come to the temple to worship, but only those humans circumcised of the heart (Deut. 10:12-22; 30:6-10; Romans 2:28-29) and circumcised of the flesh (again, reflecting none of the previous covenants such as the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants are NOT done away with even in the millennium). Note: This human element in the millennium kingdom is also why when Satan is released after the 1,000 years, he is able to deceive humans and create a losing battle against Yeshua and us previously resurrected/gathered now immortal saints (Rev.21:7-10). For everyone has to be tried and tested and everyone must choose this day whom they will serve.
Not only do we see all the former covenants still stand in these passages within the 1,000 year reign, but that we are taught the difference between true and false worship or put another way, how Abba wants to be worshiped. We also see even “the prince”, presumably The Messiah, Jesus/Yeshua, of the line of David, gives offerings, including sin offerings (see Ezekiel 45:-15-17; Ezekiel 37:24). Why is our Messiah making sin offerings -wasn’t His blood enough? Why Is Our Messiah Making Sin Offerings In the Millennium? Wasn’t His Blood Enough?
The Book of Hebrews, most likely written by the Apostle Paul, a Messianic Jew/Hebrew, to Messianic Hebrews/Jews, written in Hebrew, reveals to us that although Yeshua/Jesus, is our Heavenly Melchizedek High Priest (Hebrews 8:1-3), who made atonement for us through His blood (Hebrews 9:28) by reconciling believers to YHVH, and now mediates on our behalf in heaven (Hebrews 4:14-16; 8:6), Yeshua/Jesus does not replace the Levite priestly role here on Earth (only in heaven is He the High Priest).
“Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, ‘See,’ He says, ‘that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.’ But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.” Hebrews 8:4-6
Again, this verse, like many others, validates the Mosaic Covenant, God’s laws, aren’t done away with even after Christ’s death. Many scholars believe the Book of Hebrews was penned in 63 AD before the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, which means the sacrifices were still being made at that time. The author reveals even after Christ’s death and resurrection, not only were they still making sacrifices (Hebrews 8:4-6; 10:1-2,11; 13:11), but Yeshua/Jesus, could not be the earthly High Priest; rather, He is the heavenly High Priest mediating a much bigger ministry on our behalf in heaven’s temple. After all, we know the temples that have been here on Earth are merely a replica of heaven’s place of worship.
So why is Yeshua participating in making sacrifices? Why did Yeshua attend Sabbath services and the Feasts the first time He walked the Earth – especially when the Sabbath and Feasts (and the sacrifices) are all about Him anyway? He has a good habit of leading in love, leading by example, and failure to do so would make Himself sin against His Father, for Yeshua knows better. Think, “Honor thy Father and mother..” AVOID SLOPPY AGAPE
According to various passages previously listed above, the penalty for breaking God’s laws intentionally is death – no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. Rather, only unintentional sin out of ignorance or by accident (i.e. manslaughter) can the priest make atonement for forgiveness (yet another example of God’s ongoing grace even back in the Mosaic Covenant). See Hebrews 9:7:
“But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;”
Ezekiel 45:20 states the priest shall do the same in the millennium: “And so you shall do on the seventh day of the month for everyone who has sinned unintentionally or in ignorance. Thus you shall make atonement for the temple.”
Remember Hebrews 10:26-39 as do other passages strongly advise against intentionally breaking God’s laws/committing sins after you know better for “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (vs 31). Also, see the Book of Jude. Conversely, those “who look into the perfect law of liberty (Torah) and continues in it, and is not forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 2:25)
What if you yourself are being obedient to what you have been shown in His word, but a friend who also believes in Yeshua/Jesus, isn’t a “doer of the word” (James 2:22)? You can lead in love by interceding in prayer and correction (Matthew 18; Jude 22-23) for that person:
“Brethern, if anyone among you wanders from the truth (what is truth – see Psalm 119:30, 42), and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner (one who breaks God’s laws I John 3:4) from the error of his way will SAVE A SOUL FROM DEATH and cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20
“If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death (aka unintentional sins), he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death (intentional sin). I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin (both intentional and unintentional), and there is sin not leading to death (unintentional).” 1 John 5:16-17
The good news is if you have been made aware of some Biblical truth (aka one of God’s laws), but you ignore it and therefore, intentionally disobey, REPENT IMMEDIATELY- confess your sin to Abba in Yeshua’s redeeming name while you can for “He is faithful and just to forgive our sins…” I John 1:9.
Overall folks, you need to know, the sacrificial system of the past, present, and future never was designed for intentional sin only unintentional sin. Intentional sin always led to stoning…to death (on the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses). Instant spiritual and physical death. How much worse do you think it will be for you if you intentionally sin after knowing about the grace of God through the death of His Son, Yeshua/Jesus (Hebrews 10:26-39)? Repentance is serious. Don’t be like a dog that goes back to his vomit “for it would have been better for them not to have know the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.” (Proverbs 26:11; 2 Peter 2:21-22)
So, yes, there will be sacrifices performed even after Yeshua returns, according to the Book of Ezekiel – not for the atoning of trespasses, for we know Yeshua already paid those debts (which is why the trespass offering is not listed in the offerings the Prince makes, by the way- Ezekiel 45), but rather, to remember sin must cost something substantial, a life. By performing the sacrifices in the Messianic Era / Millennial Reign of Yeshua it will be a symbol of His ultimate sacrifice and an especially useful reminder for the humans repopulating the Earth during the Millennium before Satan is later released and permitted to tempt them to follow Him instead of Yeshua.
In the meantime, we are implored throughout the New Testament to be a living sacrifice – to die to our flesh (Romans 12:1-2) for the flesh is temporary. The Spirit is eternal beckoning your allegiance to Him forevermore. God will use a variety of symbols and resources to help you remember that sin must cost something substantial, His Son. Don’t take that sacrifice lightly, instead, love God and others the way He defines love.
(Recorded Jan 9, 2019) In this follow up recording from the previous one (see ‘The Jesus Jackpot 777’), Carrie shares a specific revelation regarding the 3rd Trumpet, Wormwood. #Wormwood#GreatShaking#prophecy#3rdtrumpet
The “great shaking” to come is *because* of the ignorance and rebellious, bitter hearts of the grafted-in Israelites’ sin..the church’s adultery..the failure to “know” Him (Jeremiah 9:3, 13-17; Hosea 4:6) for history will repeat itself (more on that later)..The “great shaking” will come for failure to obey His Voice, which is His Torah, His commandments, His instructions for life. See Isaiah 24..notice in verse 5 why there will be a “great shaking” (vs20-21) “Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the ***everlasting covenant***.” Also, if you take the time to read Jeremiah 9:15-16, Jeremiah 23, as well as Deuteronomy 23-29, you will discover the same warning. Because His so-called people fail to love Him by keeping their covenant, by keeping their wedding vows, G-d’s instructions of love (the Torah), He sends Wormwood. Sound familiar? Where else do we see Wormwood? Revelation 8:10-11, the 3rd trumpet.
But what is lawlessness? Always let Scripture define Scripture, not man. I John 3:4 specifically defines sin as lawlessness… not keeping or breaking G-d’s laws. 2 Thessalonians 2 also reveals the AntiMessiah or AntiChrist spirit is opposed to G-d’s laws and called the lawless one. Similarly, Daniel 11:28,30,32 as well as Revelation 12:17 and Rev.14:12 reveal the AntiMessiah and his followers will specifically go after those who keep G-d’s “holy covenant“…He and the beastly false system and false religion will go after saints who “keep G-d’s commandmentsand have the faith in Yeshua/Jesus“. Likewise Romans 8:5-11 reveals the flesh will be against G-d’s laws, but the Spirit will cause you to walk in them (also see Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31:31-33).
Furthermore, if a spirit is telling folks to disobey the ways of G-d, the laws of G-d, then that is NOT the holy Spirit for the Spirit of holiness dwelling within will reveal to you the law is holy (Romans 7:12, 22) and the law is truth (Psalm 119:142; Proverbs 3), the law is good doctrine (Proverbs 4:2; 1 Timothy 3:16-17) and the law should be very important to us (Proverbs 7:1-3) as the ways of G-d/laws define good and evil..they define what G-d considers to be love. Even Yeshua preached that He did not come to do away with the law and prophets, but He came to show us how to fulfill..how to keep them (Matthew 5:17-19). After all, Jesus/Yeshua IS the Living Torah (John 1). Yeshua/Jesus further said anyone who teaches others that G-d’s laws are done away with will be considered **least** in His kingdom. He even explained that unless there is a new heaven and new earth, not one part of G-d’s laws are done away with.
As if all that wasn’t enough, please understand we must refrain from not only taking verses out of context, but from reading them through a Western/Greek perspective when they are written by Messianic Jews for Peter warns many will twist Paul’s word and lead people to lawlessness (2 Peter 3:14-18). Also, ponder the fact that when Yeshua returns to reign on earth, He teaches us the laws of G-d (see Isaiah 2, Micah 4) and we keep the feasts of the Lord (see Zechariah 14) and G-d’s laws, even the sacrifices, are reinstated (see Ezekiel 36+). So, knowing all this, why would the majority of Scripture advocate the importance of honoring our Heavenly Father by obeying His Voice, His written word, His Torah, but then say in this era it is no longer relevant, but when He returns it will be?
Here is how history (in a sense) will repeat itself, beloveds. Despite being told and warned numerous times, despite having G-d’s word and gracious acts of redemption (i.e. freeing them from Egypt – see Numbers 15:37-41), the House of Israel and the House of Judah continually broke G-d’s covenant by not submitting to it, to His Torah / law / His way / His instructions for life, forcing Yah to cut the House of Israel (the 10 northern tribes)off through divorce while severely punishing the House of Judah by sending them into captivity (Isaiah 50:1;Jeremiah 3:8; Jeremiah 9:13-16; Jeremiah 11). Similarly, many Christians have G-d’s word in print and readily available, not to mention, the example of the Living Word/ the Living Torah, meaning Yeshua/Jesus’s life, and yet many choose to rebel and disobey G-d’s word/Torah and other critical inspired writings, which define and explain His offered covenant. But why? More on that in a moment.
Over and over again all throughout the books of the prophets, the Spirit of G-d would fall on and cause the prophets to implore the Israelites (both houses, the north and the south), to repent, to turn back to following the way G-d instructed. But the Israelites (and “strangers” within their group see Exodus 12:49; Numbers 15:15) refused to obey His Voice -His Word- His Torah; rather, they committed adultery by doing what THEY thought was best – their OWN theology – their OWN doctrines instead of heeding to the Torah, the Word. They continually tweeked their faith or religion or abandoned it all together to fit their own deceived hearts, their own agendas, their own ideologies. Historically, Jews have added to G-d’s laws while Christians subtract from them (Deut 4:2; 12:32). Consequently and finally, because of their ongoing adulterous ways, G-d divorced Israel (Isaiah 50) after many many years of patiently beckoning them to honor Him and their covenant (marriage vows). Hence, why Yeshua/Jesus, the Living Word, the Torah in the flesh (John 1), perfectly lived out G-d’s Instructions/law and and even obeyed the law unto the point of death by dying for the LAWLESS ways (sin – see 1 John 3:4) of His adulterous ex-wife and world in general (John 3:16-21). When Yeshua, the perfect Passover Lamb of G-d died (lots of metaphors in the Scriptures), G-d/Yeshua provided away for Israel to again be in covenant with G-d for now upon the former husband dying, the x-wife (so to speak) being Israel could now be engaged/betrothed/eventually marry G-d again and be in a renewed covenant with Him (see Romans 7:1-12)! HalleluYah!
G-d, in His all-knowing ways and graciousness, made a way for His bride to remain in covenant with Him by providing the promise, like an spiritual engagement ring, or symbol, that being the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Grace, an empowering Spirit to remind her and counsel her in G-d’s desires, bringing His bride into a deeper, intimate, submissive covenant with Him for the job of the Spirit is to remind and bring His bride into all truth (John 14:15-18; 1 John 2:24-27), into a greater knowing of her beloved by causing her to honor their covenant..causing her to walk in His statutes..His laws…His Torah..His covenant vows (see Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31:33; John 14:15-21; Romans 7:4-6; Romans 8:1-10; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:17-30; Hebrews 10:26-32; James 1:22-25; 1 John 1:4-7; 3:18, 24, 4:12-13; 5:3). After all, Scripture and Yeshua reveal His ways are not too hard or burdensome, but were designed for their/our own good.. for their own wisdom and righteousness (Deuteronomy 5:29; 6:24-25; 10:12-13; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 1 John 5:3). This is why it says there is no fear in love on judgment day (1 John 4:17-19) because the truth, being G-d’s Torah, His Word (Psalm 119:142; John 17:17), is hopefully being perfected in us, sanctifying us, through our obedience to it as the Spirit highlights more and more intimate truths to us causing us to surrender and cheerfully give of ourselves (2 Corinthians 9:6-15) in obedience. This, dear brothers and sisters, is what Yeshua/Jesus meant when He said the Father is looking for worshippers of Spirit (John 3:3-8) and truth (Psalm 119:142). He made a way for us to live righteously, the way He intended in covenant with Him, but graciously provided a better “promise” (Acts 1:4-8; Hebrews 8:6) to teach us and empower us to do so!
As stated earlier, there will indeed be a great shaking for we fail to “know” (Jeremiah 9:3,13-16; Hosea 4:6) our Messiah, our G-d, and fail to love Him even after He offered his abundant and amazing grace. Incidentally, notice in Jeremiah 9:15, the Lord reveals He will send forth Wormwood and verses 13-14 tell us why. Where else do we learn about ‘Wormwood’? Revelation 8:10-11.
IF one genuinely has received the Spirit (Acts 19:2), the Spirit, in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11) will cause the flesh to submit to G-d and His laws of love (Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31:33; Romans 8:4,8,9,14), not to earn salvation, but BECAUSE of His grace we will WANT to love Him the way He wants to be loved. The Torah is His love language – for G-d does not change nor lie (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17) – He is not psycho, but rather, Sovereign. HalleluYah!
The Spirit will cause us to grow in an intimate and reproducing relationship with Him..fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5) for the two will become one. The husband/wife, physical/spiritual, heaven/earth, G-d/His Son, Spirit/Truth, House of Israel/House of Judah, Gentile/Jew, the two olive trees, are one. There are always at least 2 witnesses, per the Torah, for better or worse. What does the world witness in your life? Are we like the Jews only having the truth/Torah, but no Spirit, or are we like the typical Christian, having a “spirit” without the truth/Torah? The two are one and both will testify against us one day, for better or worse. You cannot add to the law like the Jews nor subtract from it like the Christians (Deut 4:2; 12:32). May we come into a greater depth recognizing we are grafted-in to the Commonwealth of Israel and the fruit as worshippers of spirit and truth is to provoke not just others to want an authentic relationship with Abba Father through Yeshua, His Son, but to provoke our elder brother Judah to also want an intimate and obedient relationship with Yeshua, The Messiah (Romans 11).
So long as some continue to twist Paul’s words, a Messianic Jew, by the way, false teachers pave their own destruction while leading others to the error of the lawless/torah-less (2 Peter 3:14-18), they will never provoke the Jews to be jealous of our relationship with the Father. False teachers and their lawless followers prevent the salvation of our big brother Judah for Scriptures warn to never follow a “god” that teaches them to not obey G-d’s laws (Deut chapters 13 & 18). Hence, why Jews today see “Jesus” as a false god/prophet/teacher/imposter – not because of Yeshua, but because of false teachers and their followers’ preaching He was lawless.
Unless the Spirit gives the eyes to see and the ears to hear the truth, these truths will be hidden. In the end, the world will be forced to accept The Lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22; James 4:12; Isaiah 51:4; Genesis 49:10).