Natan Responds to Brainwashed, Stiff-necked Christians

This is the Bible version that most Christians follow. It is NOT the Holy Bible, but the Holey Bible, Swiss Cheese Version, that is, one with holes in it for all the pages they rip out of the Word of Elohim and claim are not for them!

Some years ago, I made a sermon video on the importance of NOT profaning the seventh day Sabbath. You can find it on the Hoshana Rabbah YouTube channel and at https://www.youtube.com/HoshanaRabbah and at the end of this article. Here are some comments from two “Christians” who claim to be Bible believers and then make every excuse why they do not believe what it says to do. This is not only sad, but rather sickening. Yet such a mindset with regard to the clear Word of Elohim is not only commonplace among members of mainstream churchianity, but has been institutionalized theologically. For these folks, the clear Truth of the Bible is a lie and the lie of manmade traditions and doctrines has become the truth. Both Yeshua and Isaiah said it well:

“For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.…making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” (Mark 7:8, 9, 13)

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isa 5:20)


Please note: The names have been changed for obvious reasons and for effect.

Pat Smugly: The sabbath was never about a “day” but pointing to a “greater rest” found in the finished work of Jesus. (Hebrews 4:9ff) Colossians 2 and Romans 14 are clear that the observance of Sabbath’s and old covenant feast days is null and void now because we have entered into lasting rest in Christ. (Galatians 3:16-29)

Natan Lawrence: Incorrect. You reveal an incomplete understanding of the full counsel of YHVH’s Word from Genesis to Revelation. Instead, you have bought into the propaganda of the mainstream church instead of studying this subject out for yourself. I challenge you to study this subject out with an open heart, open mind in front of an open Bible instead of getting your information from second hand sources, or by cherry-picking a few verses out of the Bible out of context. The Bible presents the truth of the Sabbath at several levels all of which are true at the same time. For example, the Creator sanctified the seventh day Sabbath (and no other day), made it a command to do (one which he never rescinded), and is a practice that Yeshua and the apostles obeyed (and we are to follow their example). Moreover, the Sabbath points to our resting in Yeshua’s “finished work”, but in no way frees us to violate it any more than we are free to violate the other commands of Elohim (e.g. thou shalt not murder, lie, covet, commit adultery, etc., etc.). The Sabbath also prophetically points to the seventh millennia (i.e. the Millennium) when the earth and it’s inhabitants will be a rest from the evil and anti-commandment influences of the devil under the rulership of King Yeshua. The Sabbath is a commanded invitation (called a divine appointment or moed in Hebrew) from a loving Creator to meet with him and his people on this day, and for his people to hang out with each other as well in an atmosphere of love, peace, learning, fellowship, praise and worship free of the weekly rigors and stresses we typically have to deal with the other six work days of the week. What could possible be so wrong with this? Why is there so much antagonism and hatred for the Sabbath by so many people who claim to be followers of Yeshua who said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Instead of just talking about loving him by throwing our emotions at him and then doing the opposite of what he did or tells us to do, how about doing what he did and what he told us to do for a change? Stop believing the lies you have been taught by your denomination and start obeying Yeshua and his word. Amein!

Pat Smugly: Hoshana Rabbah You may call it propaganda, but you shared no scripture whereas I shared three for consideration. Galatians 3 being the most explicit. Oh, and Romans 3:21-28 is abundantly clear and Romans 7:1-6. But no worries, John 16:13 has a way of coming true and God’s Spirit will lead and guide into all truth if we are teachable. (Hebrews 12:18-24).

Natan Lawrence: This is the comments section. Not the Bible teaching section of my YouTube channel. If you want Scriptures, simply begin watching the nearly 300 videos that I have placed on this channel. Most of them are mine. You'll get thousands of Bible verses addressing nearly every subject in the Bbile. With all due respect, anyone can cherry pick out the Bible verse or two and like a drive-by shorter, fire them out of their theological gun at someone to "prove their point." Most Christians have a two or three pet verses that they use like silver bullets that supposedly answer every question. When I do a Bible teaching, I typically read every verse in the Bible on that subject before opening my mouth. There isn't room in the comments section for this sort of thing. So don't ask me to do it. If you are truly a truth seeker and you want my answer to your question, go watch my video series on the book of Galatians and then get back to me. Also watch my numerous videos on the Sabbath and go to my website and read my articles on the subject. This is just the beginning. BTW, I do all the original research on all of my articles, write them and publish them. I know this material well and know all the arguments pro and con on nearly every subject. These will be taken into consideration in my teachings, thus answering most if not all of your questions. Happy truth seeking! Blessings!

Luke Warm: I don’t “hate” the Sabbath, but I keep it on Sundays and so are my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are regenerate and bearing good fruit by the Holy Spirit. So my question is, if I don’t repent of worshipping on Sundays, I am in sin and if I were to die, I’d be cut off from eternal life to be damned forever?

Natan Lawrence: Do you want to follow the Word of God/Elohim or the traditions of men that are contrary to the Word of God/Elohim? Give me one verse from the Bible/the Word of God/Elohim where he commands men to rests on the first day of the week and calls it the Sabbath. You have to settle in your heart whether you are obeying the Word of Elohim or twisting it to fit your own manmade interpretations. I am not your judge, and cannot answer questions about your eternal fate. The Word of Elohim is our judge. Elohim will determine the eternal fate of each of us. I am, however, very concerned for someone when they have been presented with biblical Truth and refuse to obey it. At this point, they can no longer plead ignorance, for they have been shown the light of Truth, and are now responsible for the actions and the court of heaven will hold them accountable accordingly. At the tree of knowledge, the snake in the tree questioned the clear word of Elohim to the first humans and basically told them they didn’t really have to obey the Creator’s commandments. Sounds to me like you’re basically repeating the same lie of the devil and have convinced yourself that disobeying Elohim’s commands is okay and it the truth. The problem is that it’s YOUR truth, but not the Truth, or Elohim’s Truth. Look, I’m not judging you, but the Word of Elohim will as to how closely you’re following biblical Truth now that you have been presented with the truth. If you loved the Truth of Elohim, then you’d be honoring the seventh day Sabbath and obeying his commands to rest on that day. Sadly, you’ve convinced yourself otherwise because you’re listening to the liars in the pulpit who are listening to the snake in the tree when it comes to the Sabbath. Now that I’ve held the mirror up to your face so that you can see clearly what you’re doing, what are you going to do about it? Continue in your rebellion against the clear Word of Elohim, or repent of your sin which is the violation of Elohim’s commandments (1 John 3:4)? The choice is yours.

Luke Warm: Hoshana Rabbah I do follow the word of God. Been researching and studying for the past decade and came to many objections on these messianic teachings. Biblically as well. I don’t believe I am in sin, because I do keep the Sabbath with my family. Everything I do ain’t perfect, but my trust, hope and faith lies in Jesus Christ. Been a believer not as long as you, but there is evidence of saving faith in my life through God’s sovereign work in my heart and circumstances. I do study biblically and like you, am seeking to please God through His word. I understood everything you’ve said and presented very much. I’ve in times past, encountered so many like you. I’ve also watched so many of your videos, which honestly are very great material. But like you said, every “movement” has contributed in times past to reveal truths. Some good and some bad, eat the meat and spit out the bones. We are all fallen and imperfect this side of heaven. So whatever truths you share, I am willing to take some and throw out the rest that aren’t biblical. Just like you do with everything you learn about; sources and people. There are so many faithful teachers and preachers out there expounding the word of God biblically and tirelessly. Sin and judgement, the nature of God and His attributes. Especially dying for the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is at the center of everything we live for. It’s His Gospel and atoning work on the cross that has compelled me to believe what I believe. Jesus Christ being the son of God, was slaughtered by His Father which pleased Him, for the remission of sins. Vindicated Himself by rising from the grave and who is now at the right hand of the Father. Through faith in Him, the offspring of Abraham, whom we have become part of God’s family. We now live in that kingdom to the glory of God forever.

Natan Lawrence: Thank you for giving me the perfect verbiage explaining why the mainstream Christians church is spiritually impotent and failing to make its mark on our society for the kingdom of Elohim. It has elevated the mind of man over the clear Word of Elohim and exchanging biblical Truth for manmade traditions and calling it Truth. This is called secular humanism. I will be able to use your comments in an article I am writing on another site as a warning to those who are prone to twist the Word of Elohim to make it fit their lawless and rebellious heart attitudes. As the Bible says,
 The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? (Jer 17:9)

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (Rom 8:6–7)

 

Where are the true priests of Elohim today both in the pulpit and in the home???

Our society is falling apart. There is little or no fear of Elohim among anyone anywhere anymore. The Bible tells us that the fear of Elohim is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. When there is no fear of Elohim, the opposite prevails: foolishness and ignorance.

Because so many people are refusing to follow even the basic tenets of Elohim’s laws, their lives are a mess. Let me give you an example of this. I own a company and I have employees. One of my employees is a young single father with a child born out of wedlock who is less than two years old. Where is the mother in the picture? The father is struggling to make ends meet financially. He is presently renting a room in a house from a gal whose fiancé—in his early 30s—just died unexpectedly a month ago. The medical authorities ruled it as a drug overdose, but no one knows for sure. My gal and the deceased fiancé both have children from previous relationships. Now the gal is alone trying to raise her children and the guy’s children. She has a medical condition, so presently she can’t work and earn any income to make the house payment. Meanwhile, the house was in the guy’s name, but now he’s dead. Who owns the house now? The guy and the gal weren’t married, so it’s not legally her house. Legally, it should go to his decedents heirs, and now a legal battle is ensuing over this. Meanwhile, my employee’s daughter’s mother just moved into the house. They’re not planning on getting married. What’s going on here? Why does the dad have custody of the baby? Why was the mom not living with them before, but now she is? If the house situation isn’t resolved, then where will they all live? In the mean time, who is paying the house payments? You get the picture…it tangled mess of issues goes on and on.

Most of these problems is a result of young unmarried people hoping into bed with each other with little or no forethought with children resulting from their fling.

The problem is that society now says that such behavior is acceptable. In fact, it’s the norm. If you don’t have sex before marriage, you’re considered bizarre. Everybody is doing it, so it must be okay. Yet no one is thinking of the consequences of sex outside of a legal family structure.

All of this is an example of the lack of the fear of Elohim resulting in foolishness and ignorance with the consequences being broken families and children being raised without moral and spiritual values. Society pays a heavy price for such egregious and thoughtless behavior. Taxes go up so big brother government can help take care of these innocent children and their miscreant parents.

Society’s moral and spiritual compass is broken. Too many people operate by their emotions of the moment without thinking of the long term consequences of their immoral and ungodly actions. And all around them, society, the media, movies, music, the educational systems, the government and their peers are telling them that evil is good and good is evil and that biblical values are ridiculous. The Bible has been thrown out, the church as discredited itself as a relevant purveyor of Truth and righteousness, and the list of the society’s fundamental ills goes on and on. Yet no one can figure out why we have such a mess on our hands!

So what is the answer? It’s time for men and women to step and become the godly priest of their own homes by teaching their children the fear of Elohim and obedience to his Word. The same is true for pastors and Bible teachers. It’s time for them to start teaching the pure word of Elohim instead of watering down the Truth and teaching the unbiblical doctrines and traditions of men. But they won’t. Preaching watered down and ear-tickling doctrines of men has been too lucrative and popular.


Numbers 3

Numbers 2:33, The Levites were not numbered. The Levites were not numbered among the counting of the Israelite warriors. Why was this? There was a likely good reason for this. The Scriptures do not tell us, so we can only speculate why this was so. 

Perhaps the reason is that the Levites were divinely commissioned to minister in the tabernacle before the altar and holy of holies, which was a symbolic earthly representation of Elohim’s heavenly throne room. As such, it was their job to act as intermediaries and intercessors between the Israelites and Elohim, even as Yeshua is now fulfilling that role at the right hand of Elohim in heaven as the saints’ Great High Priest. 

In this divinely commissioned role, the Levites were called to engage in spiritual “battle” for Israel by teaching the people to walk in YHVH’s Torah instructions in righteousness, and by spiritually cleansing the people from their sins by offering up sacrifices and incense. If they had had to spend their time fighting Israel’s physical battles, they would have had less time to fight her spiritual battles. 

Moreover, when Israel was in a right relationship with Elohim and walking obediently in his ways thanks largely to the efforts of the Levites’ spiritual leadership and example, then YHVH promised to protect that nation from her physical enemies, and so there would be little need for a physical defensive army. 

The same is true in our day. When the ministers of Elohim, who are leaders of the present day “royal priesthood” of Yeshua (1 Pet 2:9), are preaching the Truth to their people and instructing them in the ways of Torah-righteousness, then YHVH will protect his people from enemies foreign and domestic, and there will be little need for physical militaries. 

Similarly on a smaller scale, the same is true for a righteous father who is called to be the priest of his own home. As such, it is his duty to cover his family spiritually under a protective shield of prayer, intercession, confession of sin and by leading them spiritually in the ways of Elohim, so that they will be less vulnerable or even impervious to the attacks of the world, the flesh and devil.

Numbers 3

Numbers 3:11–13, I myself have taken. Here YHVH chooses the tribe of Levi instead of the firstborn male of each Israelite family to be Israel’s spiritual leaders. When the Israelites exited Egypt, YHVH chose and sanctified the firstborn male of each family to the be spiritual leader of his home in what is called the law of the firstborn (Exod 13:2, 11–16). As it had been the responsibility of the firstborn to lead his family spiritually, and, as the patriarch of his family, to pass down the family legacy and spiritual traditions to the next generation, YHVH now placed this mantle on the shoulders of the Levites. It was now their responsibility to teach the Israelites what YHVH had commanded them to do (Deut 24:8). They became the Torah teachers in Israel (Deut 33:10; Neh 8:7, 9, 13; 2 Chron 30:22) along with the priests (Lev 10:11; Mal 2:7). They were scattered throughout the land of Israel for this purpose (2 Chron 17:8–9). The reason that YHVH gave this responsibility over to the sons of Levi was because the firstborn of each family had failed to lead their families in YHVH’s paths of righteousness, and they failed to prevent the Israelites from golden calf worship (Exod 32). Only Levi remained faithful to YHVH during the golden calf incident, and thus YHVH granted them the blessing of the priestly service (Exod 32:26–29).

Originally, it had been YHVH’s intent for the entire nation of Israel to be a kingdom of priests (Exod 19:6) in order to be a light to the nations and lead the nations to YHVH and his Torah by their righteous example (Deut 4:6–8). This is why YHVH placed the land of Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, at the center of the major trade routes of the ancient world between Africa, Asia and Europe.

The Levitical priesthood (along with the elaborate tabernacle sacrificial system) was a temporary institution that YHVH added (Gal 3:19 cp. Jer 7:21–22) to the nation of Israel’s legal system because of the firstborn’s failure to prevent Israel from worshipping the golden calf idol. In a general sense, YHVH didn’t give the Israelites the Torah at this time—the principles of which they and their forefathers already had been given (e.g., Gen 26:5). So what other law was added? At Mount Sinai, the Torah was codified into a legal system (with civil penalties including the institution of a sacrificial system as a penalty for sin) and became the constitution of the nation of Israel, and YHVH also gave them the institution of the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system (Gal 3:19), which (along with the rest of the Torah) pointed them to Yeshua (Gal 4:16, 2). The sacrificial and Levitical systems were completely fulfilled by the Messiah as the writer of Hebrews goes into great detail to explain to us (Heb 5–11).

As already noted, it was YHVH’s intention for all Israel to become a kingdom of priests (not just the tribe of Levi) to teach the nations his spiritual truths. YHVH’s original purpose for Israel is now being fulfilled in the royal priesthood of all redeemed believers to which Peter makes reference in his first epistle (1 Pet 2:9). When the Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, the Levitical priesthood along with the sacrificial system ceased to exist. This occurred some forty years after the death and resurrection of Yeshua who, at that time, became man’s sacrifice for sin once and for all and is now in heaven officiating as our Great High Priest as the writer of Hebrews reveals to us. When the temple priesthood was destroyed, YHVH’s royal priesthood of all believers was ready to take its place. In a sense, the present priesthood model defaults to the original priesthood model where the leader of each family was the priest of his home. The only difference is that the patriarchal priesthood model has been expanded and now all redeemed believers have the opportunity to become a priest in Yeshua’s eternal kingdom regardless of gender and family birth order.

Presently, the saints are preparing to be a kingdom of priest as they learn to live out and to teach others YHVH’s Torah truths. This learning process is preparing them to become kings and priests (or a kingdom of priests, Exod 19:6) in Yeshua’s millennial kingdom after his second coming where they will teach the nations the truth of YHVH (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6), even as the Levites of old taught the nation of Israel YHVH’s Torah.

 

First Peter 1 and 2 on Holiness and the Priesthood of All Believers

1 Peter 1

1 Peter 1:2, Sprinkling of blood. Also see Matt 26:28; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:12;10:19–22; 12:24; 1 Pet 1:19; 1 Jhn 1:9; Rev 1:5.

1 Peter 1:5, Salvation…revealed in the last time. Likely Peter has Yeshua in view here, since the name Yeshua means “salvation.”

1 Peter 1:11, Spirit of Messiah…He. This is a faulty if not disingenuous translation. Spirit in the Greek is a neutered gender noun, so He should properly be translated as It. This is not the only place where the NT translators, trying to push the masculine gender of the Ruach haKodesh, have mistranslated Scripture. See also Acts 8:16 and 1 Cor 12:11.

1 Peter 1:16, Be holy, for I am holy. See Lev 11:44; see also Exod 22:31; Lev 11:45; 19:2; 20:7, 26; 21:28; 1 Pet 1:16 

How Do YOU Become Holy?

How does a person become holy? Does holy water make you holy? Does a robed priest sporting a goofy headdress and wearing a giant charm around his pencil thin neck while waving his gaunt and delicate hand over you make you holy? Does stepping into a gilded and ornately decorated church and performing some religious mumbo-jumbo exercise make you holy? NO! The Bible declares how a person becomes holy, and it is NOT what most people think! It has to do with lifestyle and obedience, NOT religiosity!

For starters, most well-meaning but deceived folks do not even know what the word holy means. It comes from the Hebrew word kadash, a verb meaning “to be pure, undefiled, unpolluted, set-apart or sanctified.” The Hebrew word kodesh is the biblical adjective to describe Elohim who is totally pure and sinless and without any pollution or defilement. Kodesh also describes those things which YHVH has made holy or declared to be holy such as certain times (such as his Sabbath and feasts), certain places (such as the Tabernacle of Moses), and certain people (such as his priests and saints). No matter how elaborate and convincing the efforts humans cannot make or declare anything holy regardless of the ceremonialism and religious activities. These efforts are merely futile, vain and, quite frankly, laughable! Many unbelieving pagans see this religious charade for what it is and are not convinced. Some even mock and scorn such efforts. Religiosity is NOT the way to bring people to Elohim—to bring unholy man into the presence of a holy Elohim.

Continue reading
 

The Role of the Levites and the Tribal Banners

Numbers 1

Numbers 1:50, The Levites. The role of the Levites was to assist the priests in the tabernacle service (Num 3:6–8; 16:9; 1 Chr 23:28–32; Ezra 3:8) including caring for the tabernacle (Num 1:53) and its furniture, its setting up, dismantling and transporting (Num 3–4). In addition, they assisted the priests by preparing the cereal offering (1 Chr 23:29). They acted as singer and musicians in the temple to offer praise to YHVH (1 Chr 23:30). They were allowed to approach the tabernacle furniture only after the priests had covered and prepared them for transport (Num 4:5–15; 18:3) but they could not touch any of the tabernacle’s set-apart instruments lest they die (Num 4:15), nor could they even see them (Num 4:20). 

Not only were the Levites commissioned to attend to the needs of the priests and the things of the tabernacle, but YHVH instructed them “to attend to the needs” or “keep charge” (Heb. mishmereth) of, presumably, the spiritual needs of the whole congregation or children of Israel (Num 3:7–8). Although mishemereth is a noun meaning “charge, function, obligation, service, or watch,” it is often translated into English as a verbs of actionsuch as “to keep, guard, keep charge, or watch” through its root shamar, a verb meaning “to keep, guard, observe, give heed.” Mishmereth principally refers to the Levites’ obligatory duties relating to the service of the temple. 

Later on, the Levites were involved in teaching and interpreting the Torah (Neh 8:7, 9; 2 Chr 17:7–9; 35:3). There is no indication that the Levites were permitted to offer sacrifices, with the notable exception of Samuel, who was a Levite, but not a priest (1 Sam 1:1 cp. 1 Chr 6:28).

YHVH chose the Levites as his set-apart ministers to replace the firstborn of the Israelites that he spared when he smote the firstborn of the Egyptians (Num 3:12–13, 41–45).

Numbers 1:52, Standard [or banner]. Each tribe had its own flag or banner. Although the Torah doesn’t tell us what these flags looked like, Jewish oral tradition records this information. According to Numbers Midrash Rabbah, the flag of each tribe was the color of its stone in the high priests breastplate and is described as follows:

  • Reuben’s stone was ruby and the color of the flag was red with embroidered mandrakes.
  • Simeon was topaz and his flag was green with the town of Shechem embroidered thereon.
  • Levi was smaragd (like an emerald) and the color of his flag was one third each of white, black and red and was embroidered with the urim and thummim.
  • Judah’s was carbuncle and the color of his flag was like the heavens and was embroidered with a lion.
  • Issachar’s was a sapphire and the color of his flag was black and embroidered on it was the sun and moon, which is an allusion to the text in 1 Chronicles 12:33 that the sons of Issachar understood times.
  • Zebulun’s was an emerald and the color of his flag was white with a ship embroidered on it in allusion to the text that Zebulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea (Gen 49:13).
  • Dan’s stone was the jacinth and the color of his flag was similar to sapphire, and embroidered on it was a serpent in allusion to the text that Dan shall be a serpent in the way (Gen 49:17).
  • Gad’s was an agate and the color of his flag was a blend of black and white, and on it was embroidered a camp in allusion to text that says Gad shall be a troop (Gen 49:19).
  • Naphtali was an amethyst and the color of his flag was like clarified wine of not a very deep red, and on it was embroidered a dear in allusion to the text which says that Naphtali will be like a dear let loose (Gen 49:21).
  • Asher was beryl and the color of his flag was like the precious stone with which women adorn themselves, and embroidered with an olive tree in allusion to the text that says that Asher’s bread shall be fat (Gen 49:20).
  • Joseph was an onyx and the color of his flag was jet black and embroidered thereon for both princes, Ephraim and Manasseh, was Egypt because they were born in Egypt.
  • On Ephraim’s flag was embroidered a bullock in allusion to the text that says his firstling would be a bullock (Deut 33:17).
  • On Manasseh’s flag was embroidered a wild ox in allusion to the text which says his horns are that of a wild ox (Deut 33:13), which alludes to Gideon, the Joash, who came from that tribe.
  • Benjamin’s stone was jasper and the color of his flag was combination of all the twelve colors, and embroidered thereon was a wolf in allusion to the text that says that Benjamin is ravenous like a wolf (Gen 49:27).

Now compare this list of precious and semiprecious stones with the list of stones that will comprise the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:19–21). There are a lot of similarities.

 

General Overview of the Book of Numbers (B’midbar)

The English name Numbers derives from the fact that in this book the Israelites are counted or numbered on several occasions (see chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 26). Leviticus ends with YHVH instructing his people to count their flocks for tithe purposes, while Numbers begins with YHVH, as the ultimate Good Shepherd (or in Hebrews, YHVH Rohee), counting the Israelites themselves, who are the sheep of his pasture (Pss 74:1; 79:13; 95:7; 100:3). 

The Hebrew name for this third book of the Torah is B’midbar meaning “in the wilderness.” This name originates from the fact that this book chronicles Israel’s wandering in the wilderness. The book of Exodus, on the other hand, records the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, its establishment as a nation, its covenantal relationship with YHVH and the construction of the tabernacle (mishkan), which was the symbol of YHVH dwelling or tabernacling in the midst of his chosen people. The book of Leviticus deals with the inner workings of that tabernacle and the mechanics of how sinful man could maintain a right spiritual relationship with a righteous Elohim. This was accomplished through the agency of the Levitical priesthood that would function within the tabernacle as a human intermediary between man and his Creator.

The book of Numbers covers much of Israel’s forty years wandering in the wilderness and recounts the early years of this nation under YHVH’s theocratic rule. Recorded are Israel’s triumphs and defeats, its obedience and disobedience to YHVH’s rule of law and the resulting consequences whether blessing or curses.

The fact that several instances of counting or numbering took place in the wilderness proves that it was not for political or national economic reasons, but was in fulfillment of YHVH’s Torah instructions. Each Israelite was to give a half-shekel of silver toward the maintenance of the tabernacle. The shekels then counted would give the exact number of Israelites (Exod 30:12–16).

In this book, we see several main subdivisions. Chapters 1:1–10:10 cover instructions from YHVH to Israel while still at Mount Sinai. Chapters 10:11–36:13 cover the Israelite’s actual wilderness journey. The second section dealing with the wilderness journey has two main parts: the perishing in the wilderness of the older generation (Num 10:11–25:18), and the preparation of the second generation of Israelites to enter the Promised Land (chapters 26–36).

Reoccurring themes in the book of Numbers include the continual murmuring of Israelites and the divine punishment on them as a result. YHVH made promises to care for them and lead them into the Promised Land. Instead of having faith and trust in him, with few exceptions, the Israelites exhibited doubt and unbelief in YHVH. As a result, the entire older generation, with the exception of faithful Joshua and Caleb, perished in the wilderness never to realize the promises YHVH had made to them concerning the Promised Land. This is a poignant lesson for all believers in their faith walk. The spiritual application of this lesson is not missed by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews in chapter four of that book. When YHVH makes promises, his people need to embrace those promises with enthusiastic and optimistic faith and never let go of them. After all, if we cannot trust our Creator, then who or what can we trust?

In this book, we see revealed the grace of YHVH, that he is longsuffering and slow to anger (Num 14:20–38), but that he is also just, and as a father, he disciplines those he loves. His judgments are measured and progressive. The more his children refuse to obey him and resist him, the stronger the judgments. Eventually, the older generation of Israelites died off in the wilderness. This teaches us that death is the final judgment against the sin of rebellion and unbelief. There are no eternal rewards or spiritual inheritance for those who refuse to take hold of YHVH’s promises and to go forward in faith and faithful obedience to him.

We see the work and person of the future Yeshua the Messiah in the book of Numbers as well. As Provider, he meets all of Israel’s needs both physical and spiritual. Paul reveals that Yeshua was the spiritual Rock that gave them water in the wilderness (1 Cor 10:4). Twice, Israel received water from the rock (Exod 17:1–7 and Num 20:1–13). Additionally, the secular prophet, Balaam, prophesied about the Messiah who was to rise out of Israel like a star (Num 24:17). Leading rabbinic Jews sages, such as Akiva ben Joseph of the early modern era, mistakenly applied this verse to the Jewish zealot, Bar Kokhba, when he endeavored to throw off the yoke of Roman rule over the Jewish people during the Second Jewish Revolt of A.D. 133–135.

 

Leviticus 26:1–46 on Blessings and Curses and YOU

Divine Blessings and Curses Are Based on Obedience to YHVH’s Torah-Word 

As divine blessings come upon people for Torah obedience, so do curses come upon a people who have forgotten their Elohim because they have been blessed materially and in their self-sufficiency have forgotten who is the source of their blessings as this chapter shows. These are immutable laws that are written in the universe and no human-devised philosophical or religious ideologies regardless of their cleverness can circumvent them. To go against these laws is like attempting to push a giant boulder up a steep mountainside. Eventually the boulder will role backwards crushing the pusher. What wisdom can be learned from this passage on blessings and curses?

 YHVH’s Torah instructions continually stresses that blessings are contingent upon obedience to YHVH. Similarly, Yeshua reveals that rewards in his everlasting kingdom are also contingent on obedience to his Torah-laws. The greater the obedience, the greater the reward (Matt 5:17).These principles are universal, yet how prone humans are to forget the cycles of history that repeat themselves over and over again like the unstoppable turning of giant millstone grinding into powder those who refuse to learn the lessons from the past. Each generation proudly asserts its exceptionalism and that, somehow, it is immune to YHVH’s inexorable and immutable principles of divine judgment. Only in the perfect hindsight of history can we see the fallacy of this assumption. Ancient Israel failed to learn these lessons as have subsequent people who are both ignorant of Scripture as well as many who claim to follow the Bible.

In the case of America, and Great Britain before her (and other formerly European Christian nations as well), there was in times past a national consciousness of core biblical values and, to one degree or another, a general public acknowledgement, acceptance of and respect for the Elohim of the Bible. However, as the historical record reveals, as a nation becomes blessed, it reaches an apogee of prominence, power and wealth where it becomes rich and increased with goods and no longer needs Elohim—or so it thinks. It then becomes materially fat and forgets the source of its wealth and falls into a state of self-sufficiency leading to spiritual blindness in that it fails to recognize its true spiritual state (recall YHVH’s warning to a lukewarm church in Rev 3:14–22). This can happen to individuals, churches and to whole societies.

Because YHVH loves his people and wants to walk among them, to be their Elohim and to bless them (Lev 26:12), when they disobey him and walk in ways that are harmful to their well-being, like any loving parent, he is forced to discipline them. Again and again he sends them his prophets and watchmen to warn them that they are on a path of self-destruction. But because of pride, most people refuse to humble themselves and repent (Lev 26:40–41). It is the same old story over and over again. Human pride insists that “judgments cannot happen to us because we are so special, ”  and “All things will continue as they have from the beginning and no evil shall befall us.” Such a self-assured individual and society retorts in mocking and scoffing tones in response to all those who would hold them accountable for their errant ways (2 Pet 3:3–7). If only the great people, nations and empires that have already trodden this well-worn path and are now in the dust bin of history could speak from their graves and this generation had heart ears to hear!

As a loving Father, YHVH does not lower the gavel of his full disciplinary judgments immediately upon his wayward children. He increases the dosage of his spiritual medicine incrementally in hopes that each successive ratcheting down of his judgments will bring healing to his spiritually apostate children such that they will humble themselves, confess their iniquity (or Torahlessness, Lev 26:40) and repent of their sin and submit to his laws, so that he can bless them. 

In this chapter, YHVH reveals four sets of judgments with each one becoming seven times more severe than the previous one (Lev 26:18, 21, 24, 28). This reminds us of YHVH’s end-times judgments upon a rebellious world that has given itself over to devil worship just prior to the return of Yeshua as prophesied in the book of Revelation. In that book, there are seven seals, seven trumpets, seven thunders and, finally, seven bowl judgments. 

What can you do? You may not be able to change society, but a societal change begins one step and one life at a time; it starts with your life! That is the only thing for certain that you can change. No one person can turn the whole earth into a beautiful garden, but you can start by eradicating the weeds from your own garden. You know what needs to be done. Just listen to your conscience—to YHVH’s Spirit knocking at the door of your heart (Rev 3:20), and then repent and obey YHVH and his commandments. It is that simple.

The corollary to this passage on blessings and curses with regard to Torah obedience is Deuteronomy chapter 28.

Some More Thoughts on Divine Judgment

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Are YOU still wondering if God exists? Then read this…

Psalm 145 on Reasons to Acknowledge the Existence of a Supreme Creator

How do we know that a Supreme Being exists behind the curtain of this physical creation all that is all around us? Is there some colossal, invisible entity out there who created everything and who is somehow aware of humans and is, to one degree or another, concerned and maybe even involved in our existence? Is it merely require a gigantic, almost mindless, leap of blind faith to believe in God? Or, on the other hand, is there tangible evidence that proves the existence of a caring, loving and mindful Creator? The one hundred and forty-fifth psalm, in its own unique way, answers this age old question so simply and convincingly that even a child can wrap its brain around the answer. 

For many people, especially in our post-Christian and increasingly secular society, a dismissive attitude toward the existence of a higher and transcendent Power above and beyond all that we see has become the accepted norm. In fact, for many people, to believe otherwise is considered belief in ancient mythos-based fairy tales and is a sign of intellectual inferiority and weakness. For these people, the absence of so-called evidences of Creator proves their point. The problem with this line of reasoning is that the absence of evidence does not automatically or logically translate into the evidence of absence. Just because we cannot see, feel, touch, taste or smell something does not necessarily prove that it does not exist. For most of human history most people were unaware of the existence of air, germs or atoms because these were not readily observable, yet this did not prove their non-existence. Now we know otherwise. So how much more is out there that we that we still cannot see, yet still exists? Or maybe, like air, we may not be able to see it, but we can see the results of its activity. Hold that thought in mind, we will come back to it shortly. Again, the absence of evidence does not necessarily prove the evidence of absence. A quick analysis of Psalm 145 is evidence of the latter point.

Humans have no doubt struggled over the issue of whether or not there is a Supreme Being since the beginning of time. The popular and prevalent theory of evolution attempts to answer this question by purportedly explaining how physical life on this planet came into existence without so-called “intelligent design,” and many people worldwide have bought into this theory. But a theory is still only “a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something.” Note the word supposition. A supposition is largely based on theoretical guesswork, not solely on fact. So how does Psalm 145 answer the question of whether there is a God (or Elohim, to use the biblical term) or not?

Even though David, the author of this psalm, in many other places wondered where Elohim was due to his seeming silence. This was because of the many unanswered questions that David had about life and its meaning and purpose. But David never questions the existence of a Divine Creator. Why was this? In Psalm 145, for example, he declares with certainty that Elohim exists and even breaks into exultant praise over the fact. How could David be so certain of this? How could David say “I will extol my Elohim, O king; and I will bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you…”? (vv. 1–2). Let us now unpack the reasons why David was unquestioningly dogmatic about the existence of Elohim as the curtain is pulled back in Psalm 145 to reveal that which has been hidden all along in plain sight, when it comes to proving the existence of a Divine Creator.

In this psalm, David first focuses on the fact the universe contains “mighty acts” that are “unsearchable” (v. 3). Be honest with yourself. On a clear night, have you every looked up into the star studded heavens and wondered how it all got there? Or gazed at an amazingly beautiful lily, iris or orchid flower in stunned amazement and wondered how it came to be? Or viewed the birth of a baby? How about considering the navigational abilities of migrating of birds, fish, sea turtles, whales and butterflies over thousands of miles of vast and empty spaces? Or stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon in Arizona? Or contemplated the workings of the human eye or brain? How numb and wilfully obtuse mentally does one have to be to not wonder Who or what is behind all of this? How did it get there and come to be? Can humans really explain these things at the deepest levels? Or the mysteries of how they came to be and how they function remain unsearchable as Psalm 145:3 declares? If so, then does this not point to a Great Creator who is “greatly to be praised” (v. 3)? These are not complex issues that require over-thinking, but are, fact quite simple questions which have simple answers. Honestly, it is on the same level of two plus two equals four.

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