Yeshua Teaches About Divorce

A commentary on Deuteronomy 24:1–4

While on this earth, Yeshua taught on many subjects pertaining to all areas of human existence—136 in all. He taught on everything from angels to worship, from money to taxes, sexuality to celibacy, fasting to food, joy to sorrow and yes, on the subject of divorce, as well (see Matt 19:1–12).

Malachi says that YHVH hates putting away, a Hebraism for divorce (2:16). Yet Yeshua says in Matthew 19 that in the Torah divorce was permitted if one of the parties had a hardened heart resulting in irreconcilable differences. Adultery was cause for divorce if the offending party refused to repent.

YHVH married the whole House of Israel (i.e., all twelve tribes) at Mount Sinai and the Torah was the marriage agreement (See The Bible: The Good News – The Story of Two Lovers & YHVH’s Set-Apart Feast Days Are the Outline of that Love Story: A Plan of Redemption where the Jewish wedding is outlined historically and prophetically in a biblical context, available at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/love_story.pdf). Ezekiel describes the marriage between YHVH and Israel succinctly and allegorically in Ezekiel 16:6–8.

Yet because both the Houses of Judah and Israel committed spiritual adultery by whoring after foreign gods and lovers and failed to live up to their marital agreements they had made with YHVH at Mount Sinai when they said “I do” three times (Exod 19:8; 25:3, 7). YHVH sent prophet after prophet as recorded in the pages of the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) in attempts to turn the heart of Israel back to him, yet her heart was hardened toward him and she refused to repent of her adulteries; therefore, YHVH was forced to do that which he hates and dissolve the marriage and divorce Israel.

In light of these issues, what are the prophetic implications of the divorce of YHVH from the nation of Israel and his future remarriage to the same nation? To understand this issue and to gain a deeper understanding of YHVH’s wonderful plan of salvation for his people, read “The Prophetic Implications of Divorce in Light of the Two Houses of Israel,” which is available at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/divorce.pdf.

 

New Video: The Bridegroom Is Coming — Awake, Repent & Prepare!

The sixth month of the biblical calendar occuring in the late summer is the time to awake spiritually, repent of sin and to prepare for the fall biblical festivals, which prophetically picture the second coming of Yeshua, the Heavenly Bridegroom of the saints. This video discuss how and why to get ready spiritually.

 

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

 

A Star Is Born!

Numbers 24:17, A Star out of Jacob. To what notable, kingly biblical figure is this prophecy referring? (See Matt 2:2; Rev 22:16 cp. Ps 2:1–12; Rev 17:14; 19:16. See also Rev 2:27; 12:5; 19:15.) This prophecy can have a double meaning in that it also pointed to King David who smote the Moabites and took possession of Mount Seir, the land of the Edom (vv. 17–18 cp. 2 Sam 8:2,14).

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However, both Christian and Jewish scholars have recognized the Messianic implications of this verse. For example, Akiva Ben Yosef, the rabbinic Jewish leader of the second century, applied this verse to Simon Bar Kosiba (whose name he changed to Kokhba meaning “son of the star” after the Star Prophecy of Num 24:17) who presumed to be the Messiah when he unsuccessfully attempted to defeat the Romans in the Second Jewish revolt.

Additionally, Adam Clarke notes in his commentary on this verse that Moses Ben Maimon (or Maimonidies), the Medieval Jewish Torah scholar applied this verse to the future Messiah as do the Onkelos Targum and Jerusalem Targum (the ancient Jewish Aramaic translations of the Tankah). Rashi (the medieval JewishTorah scholar) and Sforno (the renaissance Jewish Torah scholar) in their Torah commentaries note the Messianic implications of the star of Balaam’s prophecy as well (Sforno Commentary on the Torah, ArtScroll Mesorah Series).

One thing is certain, only Yeshua the Messiah can make the claim to having fulfilled this biblical prophecy!

 

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).