Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 3

So far in this presentation on salvation, we have looked at the history of salvation in the Tanach (Old Testament) and watched it progress into the Brit Chadashah (New Testament).

We’ve seen that people were saved from their enemies and eventually from their own sin which was leading them on a path of destruction and death.

We saw that the work of salvation (referring to the original Passover and deliverance from Egypt) was a past event…. that allowed the mixed multitude to enter the covenant; if salvation hadn’t happened, they could not have entered into the covenant.

We also saw that the work of salvation is a future event when Yeshua will deal with His and Israel’s enemies.  Until that happens, we can’t enter the world to come (ha-olam habba)..

In this 3rd part of the presentation on salvation we are going to look at how to enter the covenant because…the original Passover Lamb was a type of the death of the Passover Lamb (Yeshua).

And just as the mixed multitude entered into the original covenant with YHVH, we must enter the new covenant.

In part 4, we will eventually look at several patterns that demonstrate the full plan of YHVH’s salvation.

Remember, God always operates in patterns.

Personally, I think patterns help us:

  • To see the consistency of the work of YHVH over time, even when opposition takes place;
  • To be confident that what has been passed down to us is reliable.
  • To see the purpose (significance) of certain obscure commandments, statutes, and judgments.

We need to bear in mind that when comparing and contrasting patterns:

  • They can show opposition (the opposite of what is expected happens) because of the personal choices of the participants.
  • They can have a corporate or individual midrash (application).

Let’s look at the pattern of the Passover:

Passover

Slavery in Egypt Slavery to Sin

Sin can refer to our 3 enemies: the world, our flesh, and Satan’s kingdom (Satan and his demons).

This can be referred to as spiritual Egypt.

Passover lamb or goat Yeshua, the Lamb of God
Delivered from Egypt with a mighty hand and outstretched arm. Delivered us from sin with a mighty hand and outstretched arm on the cross.
Mixed multitude came to Mount Sinai; cleansed and set-apart themselves; and entered the covenant. We must come to a point of decision; cleanse and set-apart ourselves; and enter the covenant.

 

Salvation exists in two stages:

  1. The first is defined as being saved (BEING TURNED AWAY) from your sins, being saved from your enemies, and/or being saved from destruction.
  2. The second is defined as being preserved for the kingdom of God; this is a by-product or result of trusting YHVH and obeying the law.

Salvation is therefore a blessing of abiding by the covenant; which is working out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  Once the first stage takes place, we must enter YHVH’s covenant.  We must live a lifestyle of faith by obeying YHVH’s commandments.

As we think about salvation, we need to understand what Paul was saying in Romans 10.  Paul said:  “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved (sotarian).”  Paul is wanting and praying for the lost people of Israel to be preserved for God’s kingdom.”  According to verses 2-3, Israel had a zeal for God but they were attempting to establish their own righteousness instead of submitting to the righteousness of God.  I strongly believe this is referring to their oral traditions and/or living liked they pleased, and not living the written Torah.

For us today, everyone is doing what they consider to be acceptable in their own eyes; they are attempting to establish their own righteousness while ignoring how God defines his righteousness.

This is not an option for God’s people.

Paul continues his discourse in Romans 10 by quoting from Leviticus 18:5 and Deuteronomy 30:12-14.

Our English translations of a few Greek words in Romans 10:5-8 mislead us to believe Paul is talking about two different things but he’s not. He mentioned:

  • The Righteousness which is of the law (written by Moses);
  • The Righteousness which is of faith (which is described by Moses in Deuteronomy 30:12-14)

In Romans 10:4-8, I am making some substitutions for a couple of Greek words.

  • NKJ Romans 10:4-5 “For (gar) Christ is the end (fulfillment, goal) of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.  For (gar) Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them.’”
  • NKJ  Romans 10:6-7 But (de; Moreover,) the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”
    • Verse 6 begins with the Greek word de. Most English versions translate de as “but;” however, it can and should be translated “moreover” since he’s about to quote Moses.
  • NKJ Romans 10:8 But (alla; Moreover,) what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach)”:
    • Verse 8 begins with the Greek word alla. In this instance, alla is an ascensive transition and also should be translated as “moreover.”  Since our English translations use the word “but” in both instances we incorrectly assume the righteousness of the law is different from the righteousness of faith.

In this quote, Paul does not feel the need to point out the rest of Deuteronomy 30:14 which says “…that you may do it.”

Now let’s continue with verse 9:  “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Yeshua and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (sothasa; future, passive, indicative).”

This sounds simple enough.  We need to ask ourselves, “Is this all I need to do to enter the covenant?”  If we are interested in the truth, we need to take more into account than just a single verse.

We need to investigate this some more. Let’s compare this with what Rahab did to be sure.

 

 

Rahab

Jews & Gentiles

Blood of the Covenant Joshua 2:18

The scarlet cord in the window symbolized the blood of the Passover Lamb. (Remez = hint)

Matthew 26:28; John 19:34

The cup of wine symbolized the blood of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb; & the new covenant.

Hear, Believe, and Confess Joshua 2:11

H – Rahab heard…

B– YHVH has given you the land (believed the works of YHVH).

C– YHVH your God, He is God in heaven and on earth beneath.

Rom. 10:9, 17; Philip. 2:11; John 20:31

H– We must hear…

B– God raised Yeshua from the dead (believe the works of YHVH).

C– Adonai Yeshua; Yeshua is Adonai (Lord); He is Messiah, He is the Son of God.

 

The Blood of the Covenant is required for salvation to take place.

In Joshua 2:18 we see that Rahab placed a scarlet cord in her window.  Without her realizing it, this became the symbol of the blood of the Passover Lamb that had marked the homes of God’s people the night YHVH passed over them and killed the Egyptians.  Thematically, the scarlet cord and the blood of the Passover Lamb are used the same way.  This signal was used to identify the house that was to be passed over when the army came to destroy Jericho.

 

Hearing, believing, and confession are also required for salvation to take place.

WHAT WAS HEARD

Joshua 2:10-11 – Rahab told the spies:  For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you…”

BELIEF

Joshua 2:9 – She also said: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.”

CONFESSION

Joshua 2:11b – “for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.”

 

For Jews and Gentiles alike, the cup of wine that the disciples drank at Yeshua’s last meal was the blood of the new covenant.  It symbolized the blood of Yeshua, the Passover Lamb.  We drink it in remembrance of what He did for us.

Just as Rahad heard bad news, we must HEAR good news; we now have opposition in the pattern.  This is why Paul says…

Romans 10:17 – “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Romans 10:14-15 – How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”

Just as Rahab confessed something, we must make a CONFESSION

Romans 10:9  — “that if you confess with your mouth Yeshua HaMashiach and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

[You should confess who He is: He’s Adonai Yeshua (the cornerstone; Lamb of God; Messiah; Son of God), and you should confess what He does:  He saves]

Romans 10:12-13 – For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever (whether Jew or Greek) calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Rahab obviously lived before Yeshua’s time on earth but the pattern for salvation is the same.

Now let’s see how people are justified and saved

Rahab

Jews & Gentiles

Justified (Declared Righteous) James 2:24-25

Rahab was justified by her works and faith.

James 2:21-24

You see then that a man [like Abraham] is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Was/Will Be Saved Joshua 6:17; Hebrews 11:31

Saved by faith, because she received the spies in peace and hid them (Faith demonstrated by ACTION).

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 

Justified (Declared righteous)

James 2:25 — Rahab’s works were receiving the messengers and sending them out another way.

Rahab was not the only one justified by works and faith; Abraham was too when he offered Isaac on the altar (James 2:21).  James tells us Genesis 15:6 was fulfilled, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to his for righteousness.” This is a midrash.  Abraham believed God’s promise of a son that would come from his own body; this was Isaac.  What do we do? We believe in Yeshua, the son of God.  Like Abraham, we have to have action to go with our faith/belief.  We offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God; we obey God’s commandments, performs acts of chesed (loving kindness, covenant love, etc).

In Acts 15:11, Peter said:  “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Yeshua HaMashiach the Jews shall be saved in the same manner as the Gentiles.”

Everyone is saved and justified (declared righteous) by faith which is demonstrated by works.  The purpose of both is so we can experience the blessings and not the curses of the law.

Ephesians 2:8-9 seems to contradict being saved and justified by faith which is demonstrated by our works.  Don’t worry about this for now; we will see what this is really about shortly.

Let’s continue with Romans 10:10 –“For with the heart one believes unto (eis) righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto (eis) salvation (sotarian).”

  • The Greek word “eis” can mean unto, but it also means for the purpose of or to denote a specific goal.

The purpose or goal of believing/trusting is righteousness and the purpose or goal of confessing is salvation (to turn us away from sin and to preserve us for the kingdom of God).  When we confess something, we are supposed to follow through with our actions.

There’s something else I want everyone to see as we continue with Romans 10:11 – For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” [G = kataisxuno; H = yebosh (spelled: yod-bet-vav-shin)].

  • MT Isaiah 28:16 “will not act hastily” (H = yachiysh; spelled: yod-chet-yod-shin)
  • LXE Isaiah 28:16 “shall by no means be ashamed (G = kataisxuntha).

Now why in the world does Paul say this?  As I looked at this verse, I ran into a few problems.

This quote is from Isaiah 28:16.  The MT says “will not act hastily.”  There’s a similarity in Hebrew spelling. Both begin with yod and end with shin; vav looks similar to yod.  This makes me think there’s a possible textual criticism issue here.

  • The LXE Isaiah 28:16 “shall by no means be ashamed (kataisxuntha).”
    • Aorist Passive Subjunctive 3rd person singular
  • Romans 10:11 “will not be put to shame” (kataisxuno)
    • Future Passive Indicative 3rd person singular

I believe Paul is using this quote to clue us in to a deeper teaching here.  If we don’t explore it, we’ll miss something very important.  Actually, we’ll be making several connections between several different passages so stay with me.

Since there may be a problem with the MT, let’s look at the LX-English for the verse Paul is quoting in Romans 10:11.

  • LXE Isaiah 28:16 “Therefore thus saith the Lord, even the Lord (Adonai YHVH), <1> Behold, I lay for the foundations of Sion (Tzion) a costly stone, a choice, a corner-stone, a precious stone, for its foundations; and he that believes on him shall by no means be ashamed.”

In Romans 10:11, Paul is connecting Adonai Yeshua to the cornerstone by quoting Isaiah 28:16b.

  • The word ashamed in Romans 10:11 is also connected to Zechariah 10:5 which also mentions the cornerstone. Let’s look at that to see what we can glean.
  • NKJ Zechariah 10:3-5 For the Lord of hosts (YHVH Tsevaot) will visit His flock, The house of Judah, And will make them as His royal horse in the battle.  4 From him comes the cornerstone, From him the tent peg (nail; stake), From him the battle bow, From him every ruler (oppressor) together. 5 They shall be like mighty men, Who tread down their enemies In the mire of the streets in the battle. They shall fight because the Lord (יְהוָה) is with them, And the riders on horses shall be put to shame.”

The enemies of the house of Judah are not going to be trusting or believing in YHVH Tsevaot or Yeshua to save them.  They will be put to shame.

The house of Judah will be trusting in the cornerstone and YHVH Tsevaot to save them; they will not be put to shame.

We still need to take a closer look at the cornerstone mentioned in these verses.  To do that, we need to look at a chiasm in Psalm 118:16-29.

As I just said, Psalm 118:16-29 is a chiasm.  Actually, this chiasm is the 2nd half of a larger one that includes Psalm 117-118.

The outer verses begin and end with praise; these point to:

  • the Way to Enter the Covenant
  • The Agent of Salvation
  • the Means of Salvation

 

The inclusio shares the theme of YHVH being exalted.  It says: 

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise 15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation Is in the tents of the righteous;

The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted;

The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

Works of YHVH
The Way of

Salvation

Works of YHVH
Praise 28 You are my God, and I will praise You;

You are my God, I will exalt You.

29 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

 

The First Works of YHVH give us a subtle clue (or REMEZ) that YHVH has a plan to deal with death.

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise
Works of YHVH 17 I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the Lord.

18 The Lord has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death.

The Way of

Salvation

Works of YHVH
Praise

 

Now, how is YHVH going to make it possible for the psalmist to live and not die?

Let’s look at the corresponding verses to see if it gives us any more clues.

Psalm 118:15-29
Praise
Works of YHVH
The Way of

Salvation

Works of YHVH 23 This was YHVH‘s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day YHVH has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I pray, O YHVH;

O YHVH, I pray, send now prosperity.

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of YHVH!

We have blessed you from the house of YHVH.

27 God is YHVH, And He has given us light;

Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.

Praise

 

Here, in this section, we have another chiasm imbedded in the original.

Let’s begin with the central axis

Green:  26 “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.”

The first half of this verse is what the Jews cried out on the day of Yeshua’s final entry into Jerusalem.  Yeshua is the one this chiasm is about.  This is the central focus of this section of the chiasm.

 

Blue:  The psalmist’s plea:  

25b “O YHVH, I pray, send now prosperity.” [Give us Blessing and life instead of curses and death].

Recall that John 10:10 says:  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Yeshua) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

This verse helps us to understand that this chiasm is still pointing to Yeshua.

 

27 “God is YHVH, And He has given us light.” [He’s given us Light instead of darkness];

Recall that Matthew 4:16-17 says,   The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” 17 From that time Yeshua began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

As you can see, this chiasm is still pointing to Yeshua.

 

Purple:  This section shows us the provision of salvation.

23 This was YHVH’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day YHVH has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I pray, O YHVH

How is YHVH going to “save now” on this particular day?  The answer is in the 2nd half of verse 27.  It says:

27b “Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.” [This sacrifice is being made on this special day to make propitiation; and to make removing the curse possible]

Yeshua was slain from the foundation of the world in the heavenly realm; yet this verse contains a hint (remez) of what would be done to Yeshua in the future in the earthly realm.

Recall that John 1:29-30 says, “The next day John saw Yeshua coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

AND 1 John 2:2 says, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

1 John 4:10-11  re-emphasizes the same thing:  “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Gal 3:13-14 tells us more:  Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Messiah Yeshua, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

In other words, Yeshua’s sacrifice reversed the curse of death so we could have life.

If anyone doesn’t realize that the Tanach tells us about Yeshua’s death or that it was a work of YHVH, it is right here.  It’s also in Isaiah 53:3-7.

  • We could say Ephesians 2:8-10 this way: “For by grace you have been saved (sesosmenoi; perfect passive participle) through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of [your own] works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Messiah Yeshua) for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

YHVH’s works accomplished salvation, not man’s works.  The good works we were created to do was walk in His commandments and other acts of chesed.

Paul told us that the law was not made void because of faith.  He upheld the authority of the law in Romans 3:31.  Paul told us in Romans 2:13 that the doers of the law will be justified; in other words we are justified by our actions.

Now we aren’t done with this chiasm.  Here’s the central axis:

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise
Works of YHVH
The Way of

Salvation

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them,

And I will praise YHVH.

 20 This is the gate of YHVH, Through which the righteous shall enter.

 21 I will praise You,

For You have answered me,

And have become my [agent of] salvation.

 22 The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone.

Works of YHVH
Praise

 

The central axis of the chiasm is comprised of 2 pairs of parallels (one for the gate, and one for the cornerstone).  Both hint of Yeshua.

1st PARALLEL

Yeshua said:

John 14:6  …I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

John 10:9  I am the door (gate).  If anyone enters by Me [ENTER THE COVENANT], he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” 

2ND PARALLEL

Acts 4:10-12  “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Yeshua HaMashiach of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’  12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

1 Peter 2:4-10  “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua HaMashiach. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

  • Isaiah 53:3-6 also describes the rejection and sacrifice of the Messiah/Cornerstone: 3 “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
  • This last verse typologically describes the person Yeshua as a grain offering, sin and guilt offering, and a peace offering.

Here’s the summary of the chiasm:

Psalm 118:15-29

Praise The right hand of YHVH is exalted and does valiantly.
Works of YHVH We do not have to be given over to death.
The Way of

Salvation

Yeshua is the GATE/DOOR of Righteousness through which the righteous will come to the Father.  Yeshua is the Agent of YHVH’s Salvation; He is the CORNERSTONE which the CHIEF PRIESTS AND ELDERS OF THE PEOPLE rejected.
Works of YHVH Instead we are given the means to have life through the SACRIFICE [OF YESHUA].
Praise You are my God.  I will praise and exalt You.  Give thanks to YHVH, for He is good!  His mercy endures forever.

 

Be sure to come back for part 4 of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

Forgive and Reconcile With Others

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your worship of YHVH seems to be hindered? Have you ever considered the following verses from Matthew 5:23-24 might be the reason for it?

Matthew 5:23-24 says, “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 “leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

We’re not bringing literal offerings to YHVH on an altar today. We are attempting to be living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to YHVH. We are trying to worship the Father in spirit and in truth so the same principle of these verses applies to us today.

We need to be in right relationship with others before we can approach God. Whether or not we sense our worship of YHVH is being hindered or not, sometimes we need to evaluate ourselves. We don’t have to wait until the 10 Days of Awe to do this. We usually know when we have something against another person, and/or whether or not we sense someone else has something against us. If either is in the affirmative, we need to deal with it.

If we have something against another person, we need to remember Matthew 18:15-22. First we must go to him and talk with him privately. Tell him what he did to you. He may not even realize he’s sinned against you; he may have never intended to do so. Face it, sometimes we’re so caught up in ourselves that we don’t always realize how we treat others.

I’ll be the first to admit, I hate confrontation because I don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings and because I don’t know how the other person will respond. Sometimes I do know how the other person will respond and I don’t want to go there. I think everyone relates to this. When you have to do it:

  • Make sure that you clearly explain the problem so the offender knows exactly what he did wrong.
  • Don’t assume he already knows what the problem is or that he is capable of interpreting your pouting, innuendos, or body language.
  • Don’t throw a tantrum and exchange disgust for one another.
  • Ask if you’ve made yourself clear.
  • Agree and confirm how the matter will be resolved.
  • If it was a misunderstanding, make sure the response or explanation he gave you was satisfactory or if you rejected it.
  • If you don’t believe the explanation, see if someone else can confirm it.
  • Discuss how the problem can be fixed and/or avoided in the future.
  • If it involves a problem in which restitution can be made according to the Scriptures, say so.
  • Treat each offense individually.
  • Be patient with one another, especially if you are dealing with a character/personality flaw.

If the person won’t listen to you or make restitution, go and find two or three witnesses. Have a meeting with the offender and the witnesses to resolve the problem. Make it clear to the group what the sin was and include supporting evidence if there is any so you can get justice.

Yes, make sure you are dealing with a real sin or trespass and not just some petty personality conflict, habit, or mannerism you don’t like.

Make sure there is no room for a false interpretation of the matter. If he can’t financially afford restitution in full, devise a workable plan for restitution to take place over time. If the person is not physically able to do as you want, you may just have to understand that, accept it, and move on.

If the person won’t listen to you and your witnesses, take the matter before the assembly. Again, you must be bringing a sin or trespass before the assembly.

If the person won’t listen to the assembly, do not continue your friendship with him; he is no longer worthy of your love and attention. If he experiences this, he may have a change of heart, repent, and make any necessary restitution. If so, reconcile with him. Then again, accept he may never do so.

Don’t do these steps out of order or skip any step in the process.

Verse 21 and 22 say, “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  This is why we need to deal with each offense individually.

Some people say that what Yeshua meant here was an infinite number but I think it refers to a complete finite number; however, I don’t keep count of how many times people offend and hurt me. I’m too busy processing my grief and forgiving them. I’ve accepted the fact that people have hurt me in one way or another my whole life and that it will not stop until I die. Let’s face it, people can be very cruel. We have to forgive them or else we can become bitter and ineffective in our lives. The Greek word for forgive is aphiemi; it means to let go, give up a debt, to keep no longer. We can’t let offenses burden us. We need to release them.

There are two goals for us to bear in mind. The first is reconciliation with others and the second is being forgiven by our heavenly Father for our own sins and trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15 tells us, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

We need to have compassion and mercy on each other; we must forgive each other from our hearts and refuse to retain sins. Consider how depressed the offender might feel if he is rejected by the whole assembly if he refuses to cooperate or make things right. If he wises up, repents, and makes restitution, forgive and comfort him so he won’t be overwhelmed with too much sorrow.

Now, what can you do if you are the one who has offended another person? If you know for sure what you’ve done, go make it right. Sometimes, we don’t always know if we’ve offended someone. Instinct tells us that something may be amiss in our relationships. If they don’t come to us, we can go to that person and ask if there is something wrong. If they say no, accept that as the truth unless their behavior continues to say otherwise. Try to get them to open up and say what’s wrong. If a conflict ensues, work through it. If they refuse to reconcile, I say get two or three witnesses and keep trying.

If they open up, you may be served a list of offenses. They could be true. If so, repent and offer restitution. If there are misunderstandings, work through them. Perhaps someone misunderstood or misinterpreted what you said. Maybe they misread your body language. Maybe they are displeased with your behavior that is a result of your cultural background, and now they think poorly of you. Maybe their response is a bunch of lies that you are unable to refute. This could cause you enormous sorrow and deep depression. You still need to try and work out the problem the best you can.

Be aware that on rare occasions you could be the one who has tried repeatedly to meet with someone to work out a problem to no avail. Suddenly, the tables could be turned on you; that person may bring their own witnesses, make false accusations against you, and claim you refuse to resolve the matter so that you can eventually be cut off from them and the assembly. Things like that can and do happen.  Things can always go awry when we least expect it. This could turn out to be your worst nightmare so be proactive to resolve problems before things get really bad.  When something like this happens, we need to have faith that God’s justice will prevail on earth as in heaven.

Reconciliation is not always easy. Someone once reminded me that giving up on the possibility of reconciliation is not an option. Based on what I can tell from the Scriptures, he was right. Despite many failed attempts at reconciliation, you may have to eventually tell the other person who you offended that you will always be ready and waiting to reconcile with him even if he chooses to go his own way at the moment.

Face it. Relationships can be difficult at times. People come from different cultural backgrounds even though they live in the same geographical region of the world. Some things that are acceptable and expected in some cultures are not the same in others. This is true even among people who walk according to Torah.

Whether or not we’ve sinned against someone, other fuel can be added to the fire of anger against us. You see, we each carry our own burdens and we are expected to share the loads of others. Sometimes people get disgusted with our burdens and our struggle to carry those burdens ourselves. These burdens may be the result of our own sins/trespasses or are the effects of the sins/trespasses of other people in our lives. These burdens can eventually be a source of conflict in our relationships with others. The reason why may be obvious, other times, it may elude us. Perhaps there is the idea of our problems being the result of sin that they believe may be in our past or current life. We can’t know for sure. Whatever the case may be, people can easily get offended, especially those in the Torah observant community.

If our brothers and sisters in Messiah may not be as equipped to encourage us as we’d like, we might need to accept that and move on. Meanwhile, make sure that you are not committing trespasses against others. Love and pray for one another. Encourage each other as best you can. Try to be there for each other. Be dependent on God for your self-worth, not on man.

Remember Leviticus 19:18: “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

Above all, as you relate to other people, remember the weightier matters of Torah are justice, mercy, and faith.  Don’t overlook these as you obey the commands of YHVH.

YHVH’s Servant

Today, I will finish Isaiah 52 and go through Isaiah 53.  In Isaiah 52:13, YHVH says His Servant will deal prudently.  The Heberew word for prudently is yaskiyl.  It also means to act with insight, wisdom, understanding, or devotion.

The Scripture says that YHVH’s Servant will be exalted, extolled, and be very high.  Who is this Servant?  YHVH’s Servant is Yeshua.  He demonstrated all of the meanings of yaskiyl during His ministry yet He was eventually falsely accused of blasphemy and convicted.  He was sentenced to death and no one protested his execution.  Instead, they yelled, “Crucify Him!”  His appearance was horribly disfigured by those who beat Him and by the crown of thorns that was forced down on His head prior to His death.  Surely, people were appalled at His appearance as was prophesied in Isaiah.

After His death, Yeshua was pierced by a Roman spear which caused His blood and water to flow out of His side.  The blood and water atoned for sin and cleansed people from unrighteousness.  Satan didn’t know it but Yeshua succeeded!  Initially, He was lifted up in shame but one day in the future, He will be lifted up, exalted, and highly honored in the midst of His people!

As Peter, Paul, Barnabas, Mark, Luke and others spread the news of Yeshua to the known world, some people understood and believed Yeshua was the promised Messiah.  Others like King Aggripa, Felix, and Festus would hear about Yeshua but only ponder the information presented.  YHVH also revealed Himself to many people who believed His words; He is still doing this today.  He did this through Yeshua, the arm of YHVH.

Originally, Yeshua grew up as any ordinary child of that time period.  He was not a man who was desired; He wasn’t particularly handsome.  His own people despised and rejected Him.  Despite this, Yeshua grieved over the people He came to save.  He showed His love for them through His teachings, miracles, and death but instead of valuing Him, they only despised Him.  Although people continue to despise Him today, the faithful love Him.

Many Jews and Gentiles do not understand that Yeshua offered Himself as each of the Levitical offerings so they could have fellowship with YHVH.  His atonement covers sin (chattat; inadvertently failing to obey the commands of YHVH) but it also covers the guilt of intentional unrighteousness or crimes. He was an asham (guilt offering) not only for us but was willing to even be an asham for the ones who beat Him.  He took on Himself numerous diseases.  These could have been ordinary diseases that were common to man but He also took on diseases that were most likely a result of the curses of the law.  He did all of this so we could experience complete healing: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The Scriptures say that we are like sheep that go astray, each one of us to our own way.  This is what rebellion is.  It’s doing our own thing without concern for those in authority over us or those around us.  Yeshua took the guilt that resulted from doing this away from us—even the guilt we don’t/didn’t feel guilty about.  He bore this guilt for us.

Yeshua’s offering made it possible for us to have peace with YHVH.  The beatings He endured bring healing in our lives today.

Face it, we are independent people who do not want to submit to the Shepherd who knows what’s best for us.  Even so, Yeshua knew the choices we’d make and He still offered His life for us!  This Shepherd took the place of His sheep; He went silently to His death knowing full well what was going to happen before He finally died; He knew that He didn’t deserve to die but still chose to take on Himself the crimes of His people.

Isaiah 53:11 says that Yeshua would see the labor of His soul and be satisfied.  It was horrible to endure unimaginable suffering but to understand He was satisfied with the outcome is amazing.  It lets me know that He would do it again to get the same results.

YHVH says His Servant will have a portion with the great and will divide the spoil with the strong because He:

  • poured out His soul unto death;
  • was considered to be a transgressor;
  • bore the sin of many;
  • made intercession for the transgressors; He wanted the Father to forgive them because they didn’t know what they were doing.

One day, I want to meet people that lived before my time.  I desire to talk with Adam and Eve, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Israel, Joseph, Moses, and many others mentioned in Scripture.  I don’t know about you, but more than any of these people, I long to be with Yeshua because He is greater than all of them.  I want to divide the spoil with Him.  I desire to personally thank Him for what He did for me.  I plan to enjoy the peace that comes from knowing my sin and guilt has been atoned for forever.  I intend to delight in the fellowship of breaking bread with Yeshua in person.  I look forward to wearing my robe of righteousness that was made possible because of what He did for me.  I relish the day when I can go for a stroll with Yeshua in the New Jerusalem.  Maranatha, Yeshua!

The Levitical Offerings

There are five basic categories of the Levitical Offerings:

  1. Olah = Whole Burnt Offering or Elevation Offering
  2. Minchah = Grain Offering
  3. Shelamin = Peace Offering including the Todah (Thanksgiving Offering)
  4. Chattas = Sin Offering
  5. Asham = Guilt or Trespass Offering

Only the Chattas and the Asham provided atonement and forgiveness for sins and trespasses but these offerings could not take away sins and trespasses.  Only Jesus’ accomplished that when He became our Passover Lamb.  Those who sinned or committed trespasses were expected to repent of their sin and provide restitution plus one fifth for their trespasses.  Since sin and trespasses separate men from God, the Chattas and Asham had to be offered first in order to remove that barrier and restore fellowship with God.  The remaining offerings could then be presented in worship to God.

The Shelamin shows the peace and fellowship that will result when Jesus returns to begin His millennial reign in Jerusalem.  Todah’s were offered to show thanks to God for surviving life-threatening circumstances.  Peace and fellowship can only result today among believers if they will be consistently obedient to God’s commandments.  Since non-believers do not consistently live in obedience to God’s commandments, peace in the world can not be fully acheived.

The Minchah is a picture of the perseverance, obedience, and purification of believers despite persecution for their faith.

The Olah shows that only the righteous will be spared from being consumed in the final judgment.  It also pictures the total dedication and devotion to the will of God.  The ultimate atonement of the Olah is comparable to the covering of the robe of righteousness mentioned in Isaiah 61:10 and Revelation 7:9-10.

All of these offerings show that the wicked will be consumed in the final judgment.  Offerings are not about giving up something.  They are the means to draw near and approach God.

Jesus fulfilled each of these offerings in both life and death.  We too are expected to be living sacrifices that embody each of these offerings.  How do you think we can effectively do that in every aspect of our lives?

For more details on the Levitical Offerings, be sure to read, “Mysteries of the Levitical Offerings.”