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.🙏🙏🙏
“Create In Me A Clean Heart” seemed to be an appropriate song for Yom Kippur, this Day of Atonement. Thank You, Yeshua/Jesus, our Messiah, for shedding your blood and providing us Your Holy Spirit to justify us, to seal us, and disinfect the unholiness from our hearts. ❤
(Recorded Sep 23 2019) In the last episode of Season 3, Carrie provides you with a plethora of scripture revealing how G-d views intentional sin verse unintentional sin. Loaded with eye-catching GIFS and graphics, you’ll want to grab a pen, paper, and you Bible! May the Spirit of Holiness renew your mind and transform your heart through this critical teaching.
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.
While sailing, the sailor must be in alignment with the wind or they are stuck in bondage called “in-irons”. Woven along each sail are strings called the “telltales” because they tell if you and thereby your vessel are in alignment with the wind. The telltales will be flowing horizontally when your vessel is in alignment with the wind.
Similarly, when we as followers of Yeshua/Jesus are NOT in alignment with His Holy Spirit/the Spirit of Holiness also known as wind, we too will be stuck “in-irons” or bondage as slaves to sin..slaves to lawlessness. For we know the “telltale” signs or results of being in alignment with Yahweh’s Wind, we will cheerfully and willingly “horizontally” submit unto His Holy Wind… The telltales of our “course” is our obedience unto Him and His directions found in His Holy perfect Word.
Obedience to Abba’s ways..His will..His laws aren’t bondage, but liberty. Rather, rebellion is stuck in-irons to sin.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entan gled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 (Free from the consequence of sin! Avoid the law of sin and death//lawlessness see 1 John 3:4, but embrace the law of God//law of the Spirit of life Romans 7:22-8:10)
“So shall I keep Your law continually, forever and ever. And I will walk (or sail) at liberty, For I seek Your precepts.” Psalm 119:44-45
After a difficult week dealing with a problematic pet and while noticing other issues, I share in this teaching video some truths I have come into along my journeys. This week in particular seems to be crying out for such truths! Watch the video or continue reading to learn more!
In our American culture and even the Christian culture, we tend to be confused on the importance of boundaries and what love looks like. We tend to equate love with tolerance and rebel against structure, laws, and boundaries in general not wanting to offend or judge others in matters. Just look at our society today. Look at our churches, our schools, our homes, and our individual lives. We have become chaos and confusion under the guise of peace and safety…under the terms of tolerance and love.
Boundaries are essentially a defined space, defined rights, responsibilities, or terms providing a healthy environment to genuinely respect and love one another. An illustration of such boundaries and their purpose would be the laws of the road. These laws, such as the speed limit, lines of a lane, red lights, traffic signs, destination signs, etc all are boundaries that when abided by or adhered to or followed allow for each of us to safely and peaceably reach our destination. Other forms of boundaries are fences, walls, doors, gates, usernames and passwords, contracts, lease agreements, and other legal terms. Boundaries define our rights and responsibilities…what is expected of each of us in order to operate in a respectful, loving, safe, and peaceful manner.
Likewise, G-d has boundaries. In fact, He is the original and ultimate author of boundaries. His laws are His ways and His will, which we can find throughout the holy Scriptures, namely throughout the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The rest of Scripture, including the lives of many before, but especially, Jesus or Yeshua, in His Hebrew name, helped demonstrate the meaning and purpose of G-d’s boundaries.
Furthermore, without G-d’s Torah, or boundaries..His written Voice, we would have no understanding of right and wrong, clean and unclean, holy and unholy and so forth (Romans 7:7; 15:14; 1 John 3:4). We would not even be able to accept G-d’s grace without G-d’s definition of sin found in His word. Unfortunately, many have fallen for the great deception that G-d’s laws no longer apply for we are under grace, twisting Paul’s words to fit their rebellious hearts (2 Peter 3:14-18), but Scriptures reveal *because* of G-d’s grace and subsequent acceptance of His gift of grace..His promise, which is G-d’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:8; Acts 1:4-5; 2:38-39), He will cause us to submit to G-d’s laws (Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31:31-33), not do away with them (Matthew 5:17; Romans 7:7,12), which is rebellion, sin, and bluntly speaking, witchcraft (I Samuel 15)!
Moreover, we have adopted the false notion that we should not discern nor speak out against what G-d defines as unholy, unclean, unrighteous. In our cowardness and complacency in our freedoms of faith in this country, we have succumbed to remaining silent captive to the deceiving chain of not wanting to judge others. It has been taught to many of us in Christian circles that to judge others is to not demonstrate love. But what does Scripture actually say about judging one another? Could discernment, judgment, and action be a form of love in G-d’s eyes? Let’s take a look together!
Tough love is a form of true love.
While most of today’s Christian culture eagerly propagates passages and doctrines of G-d’s abundant love, prosperity, and purpose to serve humans, the Scriptures within context, have a more balanced perspective. While G-d is a merciful, forgiving, and gracious holy G-d, who most certainly abundantly loves, He also is just. For without His justice, He could not be Holy, nor forgiving and gracious. Many fail to comprehend that tough love is a required form of true love. In fact, by remaining silent, doing nothing, in the name of grace, only further enables, approves, and reproduces the unholy, unjust sin that circumnavigates our globe readily. In other words, there is a fine line between exhibiting gracious acts and enabling grievous acts.
There is a fine line between exhibiting gracious acts and enabling grievous acts.
Consider the concept of disciplining your child. Does it benefit your child, their futures, or those who encounter your child now or later in life to squander correcting bad behavior now? Parents who turn the other cheek, so to speak, end up producing a spoiled, entitled monster who terrorizes others (see Proverbs 13:24). By failing to establish and enforce healthy boundaries, whether that be in our children, pets, or other types of relationships, we invite chaos and further harm in our lives and those around us. Additionally, it harms the “boundary buster”. A boundary buster, is a term I created to label those who fail to respect others’ boundaries, whether that be one’s personal boundaries or boundaries defined by G-d.
Establishing and enforcing healthy boundaries could be considered synonyms for judging others. Many Christians and those of the unbelieving world would say, “Don’t judge me!” or “Don’t worry, I’m not judging you..” in fear of what other’s may think, say, or do in response. After all, we are a society of walking on eggshells not wanting to dare offend anyone. When in reality, we have done exactly that: bred a society of the hyper-offended, just as Yeshua/Jesus prophecized (Matthew 24:10-13)!
“And then many will be offended, betray one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because LAWLESSNESS will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” -Yeshua, Matthew 24:10-13
Many believers have taken Jesus/Yeshua’s words and the Apostle Paul’s words out-of-context stating we should most definitely not judge others for this is not love and thereby, not Christ-like.
But is that what Scripture actually reflects? Let’s investigate a few passages to dig deeper. In Matthew 7, Jesus instructs His listeners to not judge others when you yourself struggle with the same or similar heart issue. Paul expresses similar sentiments in Romans 2. Furthermore, Scripture reveals that we are and in fact WILL BE judging others one day and that these encounters we experience in the here and now are training and testing us for future discernment opportunities. Explore these passages to learn more:
1 Corinthians 5 (Notice Paul says in verse 3 he judges/discerns the matter and in verses 4 and 5, Paul speaks to the importance of tough love for the betterment of the rebellious and disobedient “believer”. In verse 9 and onward, Paul explains to not only judge believers who are blatantly dishonoring G-d (and His ways), but to essentially shun them, which is a form of discipline and a very clear boundary to be established and enforced. He goes on to clarify, he does not mean to judge and discipline non-believers, for they do not know any better and are still lost, but to to judge and discipline those who claim to accept Yeshua and be in covenant with G-d/Abba Father. For clearly, if a person is pursuing sexual sin, as an example, they are demonstrating fruit of the flesh and not fruit of the Spirit. Such issues of the heart need to be addressed by speaking the truth in love (boundary) and enforcing it. Always check you own motives though before doing so and do so within the realms or boundaries Yeshua defined for us in Matthew 18:15-20. Furthermore, you cannot judge or discipline a fellow brother or sister in Christ when you yourself are still dealing with the same root issue. For example, if you yourself are a fornicator, adulterer, struggle with pornography, or some other form of sexual lust, who are you to judge and address a fellow believer who may be in a lifestyle of homosexuality? For you yourself are producing fruit with the same root of sexual lust.
1 Corinthians 6 (Notice in verse 2 Paul reminds the Corinth church that believers or saints will be judging the world and even angels -see verse 3).
The Book of Jude in verses 14-15 (expresses similar sentiments of the saint will judge the world)
Revelation 20:4-6 (also explains the martyred saints will rule and reign and judge the world along with Christ).
Ezekiel 44:23-24; Isaiah 2; Micah 2; Zechariah 14 (In the millennium, we see the Levites will judge and instruct others in G-d’s laws as will Yeshua).
So you see, dear brother and sisters, we need not be afraid nor be ashamed to “judge” or discern matters much less address them in truth and love. Boundaries are established so that we can BE love, as our Heavenly Father and Elohim designed.
Fear not! Rather, love G-d and love others for tough love is true love. Amen.
For further reading, consider the book “Boundaries” by Townsend and Cloud. Other than the Bible itself, this faith-based book, along with others in their series, changed my life for the better.