New Video: Does Atonement for Sin Require Shedding of Blood?

How can a man have his past sins absovled, atoned for or washed away? There is only one way. The Bible reveals what that way is. Watch this video to find the answer.

 

A Tithe on War Booty and the Holy Half Shekel — A Memorial Pointing to Yeshua’s Atoning Death

Numbers 31:50, Make atonement. 

Exploring the Concept of Atonement as It Relates to the Tabernacle and Salvation

In this verse we read, “We have therefore brought an oblation for YHVH, what every man has gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before YHVH.” In a similar passage in Exodus 30:15–16, we read, “The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto YHVH, to make an atonement for your souls. And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before YHVH, to make an atonement for your souls(emphasis added). The question before us is this: Do these passages in the Torah imply that YHVH grants man absolution based something other than the shedding of blood, and by logical extension, does this call into question our redemption from sin through our faith in Yeshua the Messiah’s blood atonement?

Natan holding an actual 2000 year old silver half-shekel from his biblical antiquities collection. This actual coin likely passed through the temple treasury in Jerusalem.

Natan holding an actual 2000 year old silver half-shekel from his biblical antiquities collection. This actual coin likely passed through the temple treasury in Jerusalem. YHVH commanded the Israelites to a pay yearly temple tax of a half-shekel of silver to help fund the sacrificial system that  was a prophetic picture of Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross.

The concept of atonement can be a confusing one. Some in rabbinic Jewish circles teach that the Torah (i.e., the first five books of the Bible) does not require the shedding of blood for atonement of one’s sin to occur. According to the above scripture, this could appear to be the case. Before briefly discussing the subject of atonement, let us not forget the stern warnings of the Apostle Peter when he warned end-time saints against false teachers who would lure people away from the simple truth of the gospel:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not…. But these, as natural Continue reading

 

Are you taking vengeance on the “Midianites” in your life?

Numbers 31:3, Take vengeance on the Midianites. YHVH is vehemently opposed to moral looseness. Midian, through its seductive women, nearly destroyed Israel. The decisive actions of a morally straight leadership prevented Israel from going the way of so many nations that have since collapsed due to moral decay.

Sexual looseness and perversion must not be allowed to gain even a momentary toehold into our lives. Do you aggressively resist and fight against the spiritual Midianites that would destroy your life, your family, your marriage and your spiritual destiny, or do you even slightly countenance the enemies of your soul in the secret or hidden areas of your life just to placate the passions of your carnal and sin-bent nature?

The spirit of Midian is to be found everywhere from the magazine rack at the checkout stand to the morning newspaper advertising women’s undergarments, from bumper stickers to billboards, from television ads (not to mention the television shows themselves) to the internet, and among political, religious leaders and entertainment celebrities. How about the modern immodest and decadent clothing styles of our youth, which barely cover the body, and where little is left to the imagination?

How does one defend oneself against this incessant onslaught? Remember, the best defense is a strong offense. Resolve and settle in your heart and mind ahead of time how you will react against the darts of the enemy when you suddenly find them aimed at you, and then stick to your defense plan! Pull down every mental stronghold and take every thought captive to the mind of Yeshua, and flee all lusts. (Strengthen yourself spiritually by reading the following scriptures: 1 Cor 6:18; 10:14; 2 Cor 10:3–6; 2 Tim 2:22.)

 

Are you harassing the Midianites in your life?

Numbers 25:17, Harass … and smite them. Midian is symbolic of the immoral pleasures of the society that surrounds the people of YHVH and that will subvert and overtake the righteous if left unchecked. YHVH commanded Israel to constantly harass and attack the Midianites for their subversion of Israel sexually.

The best defense is a strong offense.

As The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash points out, harassing the Midianites was to be an on-going state of mind (p. 877).

Likewise, fighting the sin that would attempt to gain entrance into our lives must be a constant state of mind. YHVH commanded Israel to harass the Midianites and then to smite them. When sin arises, because our offensive and defensive positions against sin are secure, we will be ready to smite the sin that dogs us.

What are you (especially you men) doing to combat the sexual enticements of the surrounding wicked and perverse generation? What do you watch on television or view on the internet? Do you listen to sexually suggestive or downright immoral music? Are your conversations with your friends and coworkers always clean and pure? Do you allow your eyes ever to see anything that is sexually explicit? Do you vigorously and aggressively confront it for the evil that it is and take a stand against it both in your heart and mind and do so openly?

As YHVH commanded Israel to view Midian as the enemy because of their lust for immoral pleasure, so we must despise the world around us as our enemy in this regard for its debauchery and idolatry. (Read 1 Cor 10:3–5.)

In reality, we need to come to hate and despise sin at all times (as does YHVH) rather than to toy with it. (See Pss 45:7; 97:10; 101:3; 119:104 ; Prov 8:13; Amos 5:15; Rom 12:9 cp. Ps 34:4;Heb 1:9.)

 

Resist Sexual Temptation Successfully By Setting Boundaries

Numbers 25:1, Commit whoredoms. Sexual immorality is the downfall of many who consider themselves to be strong and righteous, and there is a terrible price to pay for it as the Israelites found out.

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The enemy (the world, the flesh and the devil) knows our weaknesses and will do what its most to capitalize on them for our destruction. Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Master Yeshua Messiah, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

What doors of immorality have you kept open in your life to gratify the immoral cravings of the flesh? What spiritual stronghold exists in your life that the enemy can use to keep you under its thumb and from walking in the joy and freedom of the will of YHVH? It is time to cry out to YHVH for help and deliverance and to repent.

Setting immovable boundaries in one’s heart ahead of time is a major key to resisting sexual temptation successfully. It’s important to decide how far we can go without violating the spiritual guidelines the Scriptures lay out for us to stay righteous sexually, and then not allow ourself too get too close to those limits.

If you find yourself in a potentially compromising situation, flee that situation to alleviate the possibility of falling prey to moral compromise (2 Tim 2:22). Young people who are endowed with strong sexual urges need to bathe their minds in the godly admonitions found in Proverbs chapters one through nine (also note Eccl 11:9–10 and 12:1–14).

Learning the ways of wisdom and the fear of Elohim as revealed in these chapters in Proverbs is a vital component to staying strong morally and being triumphant over the wicked temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil.

 

Sin, Salvation and the Bronze Serpent

Numbers 21: The Process of Overcoming­—From Sin to Victory and Salvation!

21:4–9, The bronze serpent on the pole is a prophetic picture of salvation at the cross of Yeshua from the sting of death brought on by sin (1 Cor 15:55–57). This is a picture of the believer’s initial salvation.

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21:10–22:1, Here is a recounting of the Israelites’ wilderness trek before entering the Promised Land. It was a time of testing, refining, building of faith, and learning obedience for the Israelites. This is a picture of the spiritual walk of the believer through the wilderness of this physical life.

21:14–35, While crossing the wilderness, the Israelites had to fight and overcome the enemy—that is, those who would keep them from fulfilling their YHVH-ordained destiny to possess the land and inheritance he had promised them. First comes the fighting and overcoming, followed by the victories. The life of the believer is one of spiritual struggle, as well, against the world, the flesh and the devil. (See Rom 7:14–25; 2 Cor 10:3–5; Eph 6:10–18.)

21:10, 14–18, Here we read how Israel was refreshed with water from the rock. Isaiah speaks about the wells of salvation (Isa 12:3). There is a springing up of joy and praise (verse 17) that comes as victory is experienced, and as YHVH makes rivers to flow out of seemingly dry and barren situations (verse 18). We, too, are called to come to the rivers of salvation, the river of life and to become ourselves a river of life to all those with whom we come into contact (John 7:37–39). Yeshua is the source of that living water; he is the spiritual Rock and source of water that never runs dry (John 4:10, 13–14; 1 Cor 10:4).

Numbers 21:4–9, Fiery serpent. The fiery serpents were a righteous judgment Elohim brought upon Israel for murmuring and unbelief. Israel had “sharpened their tongues like a serpent” (Ps 140:3) and “their throat [was] an open sepulcher; with their tongues have … used deceit; the poison of asps [was] under their lips” (Rom 3:13). All this was directed at Elohim and Moses. They reaped what they had sown. Elohim loosed fiery serpents upon the Israelites to bite and sting to death the unbelieving murmurers.

The wilderness Elohim led them through was full of fiery serpents and scorpions (Deut 8:15), yet this is the only account in the Torah of these creatures ever attacking Israel. YHVH had protected them to this point, and this one time he pulled back his hand of providential protection and grace allowing them to experience the due recompense of their sinful actions. How often has our merciful Father withheld the just desserts of our faithless, rebellious and abominable action against him and gracefully protected us from the full consequences of our sin? If we fail to hear his soft voice of correction he will deal more harshly with us until our attention is gained (Ps 32:8–9). All he has to do is withdraw his hand of protection that restrains the judgments we all deserve and the “fiery serpents” will likewise attack us. Do you remember what happened to Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts is an example of this (Acts 5:1–11)? Job experienced a similar situation as well.

Israel’s Murmuring. Israel complained for lack of food and water. In unbelief they concluded and confessed (literally prophesied upon themselves a curse) that they would die in the wilderness. Elohim gave them the fulfillment of their faithless delusions—serpents to sting them and leave them physiologically in a parched and burning condition. (The poison of these snakes actually leaves the victim burning with a fiery pain in his body and a desperately dry and thirsty condition [See Adam Clarke’s Commentary, vol. 1, p. 684]). This occurred with the quail also. They complained with their mouths and lusted for meat and Elohim gave them so much quail that it “came out of their nostrils” (Num 11:20). Many were struck dead in judgment. What is the lesson of this story? That for which we lust or that which we fear will come upon us, for Elohim allows those very things to rise up, attack us and judge us. Why? So that the false gods of our hearts will be exposed and we will, as a result, see the error of our ways, repent and turn back to obedient faith to the one true Elohim. Few understand this method of operation of Elohim, but the Scriptures reveals this as one of the ways he deals with his people to help them to grow up spiritually.

Salvation. Israel repented and received salvation from the sting of death by looking upward toward the brass or bronze (bronze representing judgment) serpent on the pole. Of course, no less than Yeshua himself reveals to us that this serpent is a pictures himself dying on the tree as a sin offering and source of our salvation (John 3:14 and 12:32).

Even the Jewish sages admit that the serpent did not heal the afflicted Israelites, but looking upward unto heaven granted them salvation and healing. (See Wisdom 16:4–12)

Parallels between the bronze serpent and Yeshua:

Both the serpent and Messiah were lifted up on a pole.

Israel was to look up to the brass serpent to be healed physically; sinners are to look up to Messiah to be saved.

YHVH provided salvation from the sting of death from no other source but the serpent. Similarly, there is salvation in no other name but Yeshua (Acts 4:12).

If the Israelites looked at bronze serpent they were healed and lived; if sinful man looks at Messiah he will live.

Both the serpent and the cross are merely symbols of Elohim’s grace and mercy. They simply point one to YHVH in heaven who heals those who believe him and have faith in him.

A Type of the Devil. The Bible calls the devil a great red dragon or serpent (Rev 12:3) whose venom inflames men’s sinful passions through his fiery darts aimed at humans (Eph 6:16). Fiery serpent is the Hebrew word saraph the plural of which is seraphim, which is a type of an angelic, flaming spirit (Heb 1:7). Though physical snakes bit the Israelites, this is nevertheless a picture of Satan, the fallen angelic being who is now the serpent and enemy of both YHVH and man.

For Our Example. Israel experienced these things for our examples (1 Cor 10:1–12). What they went through and how they reacted to various situations is literally a mirror held up for our benefit for us to see ourselves as we really are, so that we will not repeat their mistakes. We owe them a debt of gratitude, for we are able to gain spiritually by their experience if we will lean from their mistakes by not repeating them.

 

Communion and the Power to Live a Torah-Obedient Life

1 Corinthians 11:23, This is my body. We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Yeshua (Heb 10:10).When we eat the bread of communion, we are “eating” Yeshua who is the incarnate and Living Torah Word of Elohim (John 1:14). We are announcing that Yeshua is the spiritual bread of life from heaven that leads to eternal life (John 6:48–51), and we are announcing our desire to live by the totality of his Word (Matt 4:4).

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The bread symbolizing the body of Yeshua was unleavened, which is a picture of Yeshua’s sinless life. By eating this bread, we declare our faith in his sinless life by which he was able to pay for our sins. We also declare our identification with his sinlessness as an example for us to follow.

Yeshua took the unleavened bread and broke it signifying our deliverance from our sin nature by the breaking or death of his sinless body. The unleavened bread broken during the Passover meal speaks of our deliverance from the power of sin by the death of our old man. The rite of baptism is a picture of this (Rom 6:4–13). This paves the way for us to live a sanctified (sin-free) life.

We become unleavened or sinless (known as sanctification) because Yeshua our Passover Lamb was sacrificed for us (1 Cor 5:7). Our body of sin died with Yeshua when we were baptized making us unleavened (or sanctified, Rom 6:6). Let us therefore live in accordance with the new man, or new spiritual creation we have become through Yeshua (1 Cor 5:8; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 2:20). When we eat the unleavened bread at the communion part of the Passover service, we remember that we are sanctified by grace and that the power of sin(or Torahlessness, see 1 John 3:4 cp. John 14:15) has been broken in our lives.

In the first Passover, the children of Israel were delivered from the penalty of their sins by the blood of the lamb on the door. But when they ate the unleavened bread, this speaks of their being delivered from their slavery to sin and oppression in Egypt. They were now to leave Egypt (a spiritual picture of the old man and life) and go toward the Promised Land (a spiritual picture of the new man) taking with them, on their knees, the dough of the unleavened bread. This illustrates the fact that they were to walk in the newness of a spiritually unleavened or sanctified life. When we eat the bread of communion, we memorialize the events surrounding the Exodus, and recognize the present reality of freedom from sin in our own lives.

1 Corinthians 11:25, My blood. By the blood of Yeshua we are redeemed, liberated or released from the bondage of sin (Matt 26:28; Rom 3:25; Eph 1:17; Col 1:14; Heb 9:22; 1 Pet 1:18; Rev 5:9) and from sin’s death penalty claim on us (Rom 6:23; Ezek 18:4) brought on by our disobedience to YHVH’s instructions in righteousness, the Torah (which defines sin, 1 John 3:4). His blood also sanctifies (or separates, Heb 9:13–14; 13:12) us from past sin (Rom 3:25) or Torahlessness allowing us to become a new spiritual creation before YHVH (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 2:20) in order to become a pure and special people who are zealous for good works (Tit 23:14), who will serve YHVH in righteousness, which is the good works of the Torah (Ps 119:172).