The Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat

Ark of Covenant 2

Exodus 25:10–22, Ark. The ark of the covenant was a small box of acacia wood overlaid in gold, which contained the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded and the two tablets of stone containing the ten statements of Elohim—commonly called the Ten Commandments. Against the ark was leaned a scroll of the complete Torah (Deut 31:26).

Covering the ark was a golden cap called the mercy seat or kapporet and is related to the word kippur as in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Both share a common Hebrew root, which is the word kapar (Strong’s G3722), which according to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT 1023) means “to make an atonement, make reconciliation, purge”) and the mercy seat—the golden “lid” covering the ark of the covenant located in the D’veer (i.e., the inner shrine of the Tabernacle of Moses)­—which in Hebrew is the word kapporet (Strong’s G3727, TWOT 1023c) was “the place of atonement or the place where atonement was made.” The TWOT defines what happened at the kapporet as follows:

“It was from the … mercy seat that [YHVH] promised to meet with the men [of Israel] (Num 7:89). The word, however, is not related to mercy and of course was not a seat. The word is derived from the root ‘to atone.’ The Greek equivalent in the LXX is usually hilasterion, “place or object of propitiation,” a word which is applied to [Messiah] in Rom 3:25. The translation ‘mercy seat’ does not sufficiently express the fact that the lid of the ark was the place where the blood was sprinkled on the day of atonement. ‘Place of atonement’ would perhaps be more expressive.”

The mercy seat covering the ark that contained the Torah is a vivid symbolic picture of Continue reading

 

Leaving the Bitterness of Egypt and Experiencing Healing in the Wilderness

Exodus 15:27, From Egypt to Elim to provision in the wilderness. In this portion of Scripture, we see a prophetic picture of what new believers must go through when leaving enslavement to Pharaoh (Satan) and coming out of Egypt (the world).

Oasis 20098602

After leaving Egypt, Pharaoh pursued the Israelites not wanting to lose any of his subjects. YHVH then led the Israelites through the Red Sea, a picture of baptism for the remission of sins.

The Israelites then murmured against YHVH because of the bitter waters of Marah, which they were unable to drink. Moses, a prophetic picture of Yeshua, healed the waters when he cast a tree (a picture of Yeshua’s death on the cross) into the waters making them sweet and potable. This story shows us that we must put off the bitterness, unforgiveness, anger and fear of the carnal man before we can expect to receive a blessing from YHVH, and healing in our lives.

From there, the children of Israel came to the desert oasis of Elim where YHVH nourished them in a most refreshing way. Elim is a prophetic picture of coming into a bit of heaven on earth and the provisions of YHVH in the midst of our wilderness journey called life after having overcome our bitterness of past sin through the cross of Yeshua.

Immediately after this, YHVH began reigning manna down on the Israelites—a picture of Yeshua, the bread of life. This whole story teaches us that when we finally overcome the sins of bitterness and complaining through the power of Yeshua’s death, we can experience healing, physical nourishment, refreshment along with ongoing supernatural provision for our spiritual journey toward the Promised Land of YHVH’s kingdom.

 

Flat Bread, A Flattened Egypt and Flattened Pride

Exodus 13:3, Went out of Egypt…no leavened bread. What is the spiritual connection between coming out of Egypt and the memorial (v. 9) of eating unleavened flat bread? The keeping of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the command to eat flat bread was to be an object lesson for successive generations Israelites as a sign and a memorial of what YHVH did against Egypt and of Israel’s deliverance (vv. 8–9).

matzot

As the strong right arm of YHVH’s judgments (v. 3) pressed down upon proud and exalted Egypt until it was flattened as a nation, even so, YHVH’s judgment against the sin and idolatry in our lives demands that we become flattened, deleavened and contrite before him. He desires to squeeze or press out of us all the leaven of sin and pride that we have inherited from spiritual Egypt.

In the Scriptures, since leavening puffs up and sours bread, it is a biblical metaphor for sin, which does the same to the human heart and mind. It causes bitterness, pride, insincerity, hypocrisy and giving rise to false teachings and doctrines of men. We must put out the leaven of sin from our lives and from our spiritual assemblies, as Paul admonishes.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures this process. The saints are to keep the feast not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (i.e., the Torah, 1 Cor 5:8, read vv. 1–11 for context).

 

“You brood of vipers!” saith John the Baptist

Luke 3:7–17, Then he said to the multitudes. What’s really going on in this exchange between John the Baptist and the religious folks of his day? Let’s step back and look at the bigger picture.

109311326

The multitudes of Jews had to make the long, hot and arduous journey down through the Judean mountains down to the Jordan River, which was the lowest spot on earth, to hear John the Baptist who was the latest fad preacher to come on the scene. However, when they arrived at his lonely wilderness pulpit, instead of stroking their egos by complimenting them for their religious zeal, he excoriates them and calls them a brood of vipers. John confronts them when he says that if they don’t repent, the fires of YHVH’s judgment will consume them (John 3:7–9). John’s preaching pierces their hearts, and lays them low spiritually, and they ask him what he expects them to do (John 3:10). John then preaches a message of social justice involving giving to the poor, being fair and honest in your business dealings, and if you’re a government worker, treating the citizens you serve with respect (John 3:11–14).

Interestingly, he doesn’t instruct these religious Jews in what many might consider to be the specificities and dos and don’ts of the Torah-law, although it could be reasoned that many of these folks already had a basic understanding of Torah already. Whether they were living up to it or not is another question.

Whatever the case, in our day, most gospel-believing Torah teachers are telling their listeners to punctiliously start observing the 613 commandments of the Torah, and to Continue reading

 

They Didn’t Ask Me…

The assault in the U.S. against traditional biblical values by the “liberal-progressives” seems to slowly but steadily eroding away the moral and spiritual underpinnings of most Christians according to the article below. This spiritual brainwashing isn’t working on me, though, because the Torah-Word of Elohim is the solid and immovable foundation on which my spiritual house is built. Foundations don’t change. If they did, we’d have some pretty shaky buildings. Perhaps this is why the buildings called America, the Christian Church and the West are falling. Elohim’s judgments unto repentance are on them now.

For me, the Word of Elohim is the divine revelation of the heart and will of Elohim. What the Bible calls sin was sin in the past and is still sin now. YHVH Elohim and his Word do not change. Period!

The data below is a sickening commentary on the negative influence that secular humanism along with its sister, moral relativism, has had on our society.

In Mark 13:22, Yeshua says that even the very elect will be in danger of being deceived by the end times tidal wave of evil that will be sweeping across the earth. This is a warning for us all.

Natan

From http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/12/18/most-u-s-christian-groups-grow-more-accepting-of-homosexuality/

Most U.S. Christian groups grow more accepting of homosexuality

Almost all Christian groups now more accepting of homosexualityAcceptance of homosexuality is rising across the broad spectrum of American Christianity, including among members of churches that strongly oppose homosexual relationships as sinful, according to an extensive Pew Research Center survey of U.S. religious beliefs and practices.

Amid a changing religious landscape that has seen a declining percentage of Americans who identify as Christian, a majority of U.S. Christians (54%) now say that homosexuality should be accepted, rather than discouraged, by society. While this is still considerably lower than the shares of religiously unaffiliated people (83%) and members of non-Christian faiths (76%) who say the same, the Christian figure has increased by 10 percentage points since we conducted a similar study in 2007. It reflects a growing acceptance of homosexuality among all Americans – from 50% to 62% – during the same period.

Among Christians, this trend is driven partly by younger church members, who are generally more accepting of homosexualitythan their elder counterparts. For example, roughly half (51%) of evangelical Protestants in the Millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1996) say homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared with a third of evangelical Baby Boomers and a fifth of evangelicals in the Silent generation. Generational differences with similar patterns also are evident among Catholics, mainline Protestants and members of the historically black Protestant tradition.

At the same time, however, a larger segment of older adults in some Christian traditions have become accepting of homosexuality in recent years, helping to drive the broader trend. For instance, 32% of evangelical Protestant Baby Boomers now say homosexuality should be accepted, up from 25% in 2007.

Regardless of age, seven-in-ten Catholics – whose church teaches that homosexual behavior is “intrinsically disordered” – say that homosexuality should be accepted by society, a 12-percentage-point increase since 2007. Similar jumps have occurred among mainline Protestants (from 56% to 66%), Orthodox Christians (from 48% to 62%) and members of the historically black Protestant tradition (from 39% to 51%).

Most Mormons and evangelical Protestants still say homosexuality should be discouraged by society – in line with the teachings of many of their churches – but 36% of both groups say it should be accepted. Among Mormons, there was a 12-point increase (from 24% to 36%) in acceptance since 2007, and among evangelicals there was a 10-point rise (from 26% to 36%). Jehovah’s Witnesses remain perhaps the most opposed of any U.S religious tradition toward homosexuality, with just 16% saying it should be accepted by society.

The trend of growing acceptance is evident across many specific Protestant denominations, including some conservative denominations with official teachings that remain strongly opposed to same-sex marriage. For example, among members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the share saying homosexuality should be accepted by society grew by 12 points (from 44% to 56%) between 2007 and 2014. And although Pentecostals who identify with the Assemblies of God remain largely opposed to homosexuality, 26% now say it should be accepted by society, up from 16% in 2007.

Members of many Protestant denominations now more accepting of homosexuality

Among members of the Southern Baptist Convention – an evangelical church and the nation’s largest Protestant denomination – the share saying homosexuality should be accepted increased 7 points, from 23% to 30%.

Members of several mainline churches – some of which have officially embraced same-sex marriage – have become even more accepting of homosexuality in recent years. For instance, 73% of members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America now say it should be accepted by society, up from 56% in 2007. Members of the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Church of Christ also have become more accepting toward homosexuality.

 

What to do when your brother sins against you…

Matthew 18:15, When your brother sins. Yeshua says that when your brother sins against you, you‘re to follow certain protocols to correct him in effort to restore him to spiritual relationship. Many people read this verse to mean that when your brother offends you or hurts your feelings, you’re to go to him. This is not what Yeshua is saying here. He says, if your brother sins against you. By biblical definition, sin is the violation of the law or Torah of Elohim (1 John 3:4). Therefore, if your brother lies to you, steals from you, or sexually violates your wife, you are to go to him, and possibly the church leaders — not if your brother offends you (hurts your feelings) in word or in deed. In this case, Yeshua instructs us elsewhere that we’re to turn the other cheek, pray for our enemies, bless and not curse, and do good to them.

Below is a further discussion on this topic. (Written by Sandi Lawrence)

Have you heard someone say that they are claiming their Matthew 18 rights because they have been offended by this or that person? It’s actually quite common and is often what is taught as how to handle offenses between brothers.

What are our Matthew 18 rights that we keep wanting to invoke? Let’s look at this section that keeps getting called out…

Matthew 18:15-17 (NASB) says…

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

What does it address? Does this address if you are offended? Or does it address what to do if your brother is sinning; that is, he is going against Torah? Let’s not forget that the Bible defines sin as the violation of the Torah (1 John 3:4).

There is a common misappropriation of this instruction that every time we perceive that our brother (or sister) has offended us that we are to go and confront our brother about it. As an extreme (my opinion) but a real-life example, in our own congregation a couple Continue reading

 

Where Are YOU?

Genesis 3:9–13, Where are you? Elohim asks Adam and Eve direct and specific questions, but instead of taking personal responsibility and answering the questions, they defend themselves, make excuses, justify themselves, blame shift, and accuse others including blaming Elohim. When confronted with their sin, humans have been doing this ever since — defending self and ego at all expenses. This is the result of the taint of sin and this behavior has been passed on from one generation to the next. The Spirit-led person must counter this proclivity of the soul to justify, excuse and obfuscate one’s sin.

Furthermore, when YHVH asked the first humans where they were after they had sinned, he wasn’t asking them where they were physically. Being obniscient, he knew this already. Instead, he was asking them them, “Where are you spiritually in your relationship with me in regards to obedience to the instructions in righteousness I gave you to obey?” This is the same questions the Creator is still asking men to this day.