Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link or the “share your thoughts” box below.
The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day: one each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.
* Verse numbers in parenthesis refer to the verse number in Christian English Bibles when they differ from Hebrew Bibles or the Tanakh.
Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 3/22 through 3/28/2020.
Leviticus 3:2, Without blemish. Heb. tamiym meaning “complete, whole, entire, sound, healthful, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity.” Of this word, The TWOT states, [Tamiym r]efers to animals which are without blemish; also translates as such related adjectives as full, whole, upright, perfect. It represents the divine standard for man’s attainment.” Tamiyn occurs in the Tanakh 91 times, and the KJV translates it in a variety of ways: without blemish, perfect, upright, without spot, uprightly, whole, sincerely, complete, full. What can we learn form this and how does it apply to us?
First, here are some examples of how tamiym is used in the Tanakh:
Noah was a just, perfect or upright (tamiym) man (Gen 6:9).
YHVH admonished Abraham to walk perfectly or blamelessly (tamiym) before him (Gen 17:1).
The Passover lamb was to be without blemish (tamiym, Exod 12:5) as were all the other animals offered to YHVH as sacrifices (e.g. Exod 29:1; Lev 1:3, 10; 3:1, 6, 9; 4:3, 23, 28, etc.).
YHVH instructed the Israelites to be blameless (tamiym) before him by not being like the wicked, abominable and idolatrous nations around them (Deut 18:13).
Elohim is perfect (tamiym, Deut 32:4).
The people of Elohim are to fear him and to serve him in sincerity (tamiym) and truth and to put away the gods of Egypt (this world) and to serve Elohim (Josh 24:14).
David was blameless or upright (tamiym) before Elohim (2 Sam 22:24). Even thought David committed adultery, murder and egregiously disobeyed in some other areas, Elohim viewed him as tamiym because of he had repented of and turned away from his sins.
When a person is upright or blameless (tamiym) before Elohim, Elohim will be blameless (tamam meaning “to be complete, be sound, be unimpaired, be upright or to deal in integrity, to act uprightly) in response to that person (2 Sam 24:26).
The ways of Elohim are perfect (tamiym, 2 Sam 22:31).
Elohim makes the ways of the saint perfect (tamiym,2 Sam 22:33).
Those who walk uprightly (tamiym) will be allowed to dwell in the presence of Elohim (Ps 15:2).
The Torah-law of YHVH is perfect (tamiym, Ps 19:7).
YHVH blesses or withholds no good thing from the upright (tamiym, Ps 84:11 cp. Ps 119:1; Prov 2:21; 28:10, 18).
The righteous are to walk perfectly or blamelessly (tamiym) before Elohim (Ps 101:2, 6; 119:80; Prov 11:5).
YHVH delights in the blameless (tamiym) person (Prov 11:20).
The wicked abhor those who speak uprightly (tamiym, Amos 5:10).
From the scriptural usages of tamiym it is evident that this not only describes the sterling character of Almighty himself, but is the high bar, gold standard for how the saints of the saints of the Most High are to be and to act as well. To have a relationship with our Father and Creator in heaven, we must endeavor to become like him—to meet him on his terms and on the transcendent plateau on which he exists. Yes, Scripture is clear that Elohim reaches his hand down from heaven to lift lost humans from the pit of their sinful existence, but it is only to lift them up. All day long he is continually extending his hand of mercy and grace to those humans who will reach out to him in humility and want to brought up to his place of perfection and wholeness. Scripture is also clear that there is no other way to bridge the vast and cavernous gap that exists between humans and their Creator except through Yeshua the Messiah who is the way to our Father in heaven, and who is the ladder that all must climb to meet our Maker in heaven on his terms (John 14:6; 1:51). YHVH Elohim is reaching out to some of you right now through these words that you are currently reading. What are you going to do about it?
More Discussion on Sin, Its Consequences and Yeshua’s Atoning Death on the Cross
As we celebrate the new biblical year and prepare to celebrate YHVH’s biblical feasts starting with Passover in just under two weeks, I’m reminded of several important things that the children of light would be wise to reflect upon.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Phil 4:8)
Even though the world around us is like a full swirling toilet bowl about to be flushed in light of all the economic, political and terrorist woes not to mention the most recent imminent threat of plague and pestilence, it is time for the children of light to look up!
Yeshua said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28)
As children of the light, we are neither to be ignorant of the times and season in which we are living (geo-politically) nor of YHVH’s appointed times and festival seasons as well. In fact, we’re to comfort ourselves and others with this truth!
You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thess 5:1–11)
Why are YHVH’s feast so important to celebrate? To answer this question, let’s ask another question. Why are anniversaries, birthdays, national holidays and the like important to people and cultures worldwide from time immemorial? Because they commemorate important events in people’s lives. This being so, let’s ask another important questions: Why doesn’t the Christian church do the same by celebrating YHVH’s appointed times or biblical festivals? If anniversaries, birthdays and national holidays are so important to most people, then how much more important are YHVH’s seven biblical festivals for the following reasons:
They reveal the seven steps in YHVH’s plan of salvation.
They commemorate important events in the past, present and future of the lives of the people of Elohim.
They are commanded by the Creator for his saints to observe.
They were celebrated by the saints that went before us including Yeshua, the apostles and the saints of the early book of Acts church.
They will be celebrated again in the thousand year long millennial reign of King Yeshua the Messiah after his second coming.
So what unbiblical reasons (i.e. excuses) do you have for not celebrating YHVH’s seven biblical feasts, or are you ready to take the to take the bold next step in knowing Elohim and to walk as Yeshua walked?
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of Elohim is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He [Yeshua] walked. (1 John 2:3–6)
Onward and upward for the glory of YHVH Elohim!
Hoshana Rabbah has numerous FREE resources including calendars, study guides and other materials to help you to celebrate YHVH’s biblical feasts.We sell nothing (financial donations are appreciated though)!
The first sliver of the crescent new moon for the 1st month of the biblical new year was seen by multiple witnesses in the land of Israel the evening of March 25, 2020. This new moon begins a new year as the barley was found to be aviv/abib in sufficient quantities (i.e. not a single stalk here and a single stalk over there).
Aviv barley has been found in the land of Israel as well, so in less than two weeks, the saints of the Most High El (Elyon), Yehovah Elohim, who are the Israel of Elohim (Gal 6:16), and those who keep the commandments of Elohim, and who have the testimony or faith of Yeshua (Rev 12:17; 14:12), and who love Yeshua and keep his (Torah) commandments (John 14:15), will be celebrating the Passover (Pesach) and the subsequent Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot). To help you do celebrate YHVH’s feasts at the appointed times, we have available for you free, printable calendars. Here are are April’s and May’s calendar: https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/calendars.html#apr20.
How to Create Your Own “God” Bubble to Deal With Life’s Attacks
May everyone reading this take careful note and pay close attention to the following: Creating a “God”-space bubble around you is a biblical strategy to protect yourself from the attacks of our spiritual enemy. Without it, you may not survive theses attacks.
Who is the enemy of our soul that is hell-bent on turning each of us into a spiritual casualty and a notch in his gun belt? Who is the one who is inexorably determined to pull you off the straight and narrow path that leads to Yeshua and his eternal kingdom? Who works tirelessly to pull your spiritual focus off Yeshua and his Word? Actually, the Bible reveals that the disciple of Yeshua the Messiah has three such enemies: the world, the flesh and the devil.
How do we deal with such rabidly determined enemies? There is the natural way and the supernatural way.
Most people choose the natural way to deal with adversity. It’s the default mode that, because of man’s fallen sin nature, one automatically and involuntarily chooses. It’s the way of self and flesh. The natural reactive tendency of humans when attacked is to create around themselves a fortress of pride, self-justification, self-righteousness where they blame others and seek pity as a form of defensive protection. The focus of this self-defensive strategy is on self and simply yields to path of least resistance dictated by one’s sinful nature. It is merely a natural, automatic and thoughtless default response of man’s fallen sin nature. If we don’t catch ourselves, we will automatically find ourselves doing this.
When attacked, instead of creating a defensive fortification where a focus on self forms the foundation stones in our defensive fortress wall, we need to run to the Rock of our Salvation who is our High Tower in times of trouble. David, a man after Elohium’s heart, writes about this many times in his psalms. David shows us to make YHVH and not self the focus when our enemies attack us, and how to find refuge in our personal “God” bubble. A bubble seems a fragile, an almost invisible thing with a very thin wall—something that pops easily. So get that image out of your mind. Instead, think of an invisible force-field that can easily repel any incoming projectile no matter its size, speed or destructive capabilities.
Such a bubble or spiritual force field will shield and protect us from any of our enemy’s attacks. It will insure that we weather the ferocious storms of life that blow against us. In that place, we are relying on the unlimited power and wisdom of YHVH to aid us in our time of need instead of the weak, faulty and deceptive arm of the flesh. The former leads to light and life; the latter leads to darkness and death. The former brings healing and strength; the latter glosses over pain and is merely weakness feigning as strength.
Since each person is different, each one will furnish their “God” bubble differently depending their spiritual orientation and makeup, tastes and interests. In my times of trouble, and most of other times as well, I maintain a spiritual force field around me by which I’m able to repeal spiritual attacks. When attacks happen, I then take refuge in my own personal spiritual bubble. This involves turning to the Scriptures for guidance, wisdom and encouragement. Prayer—talking to Elohim—is a vital component of my spiritual bubble or force field. Often I visualize myself either at the foot of Yeshua’ cross or before the throne of my Heavenly Father. Often I will myself involve hard physical work (to settle my emotions and to help clear my mind, which helps to me to destress and get my mind off the problem, so I can think and pray clearly). Many times, I listen to beautiful and spiritually uplifting music, which again helps me to elevate my spiritual focus. Often I find my own Garden of Eden in nature where I can imbibe in the beauty of Elohim’s creation. There I can talk with the Creator and find healing. To accomplish this, often I will work in my garden. Sometimes I write Elohim-centered psalms and poetry. David wrote many of his psalms in times of distress—even when his life was in danger. This helped him to get his mind off of his circumstances and onto YHVH, who was is salvation and deliverer. Whatever I do, in all cases, I try to get my mind off myself and onto Elohim who is my source of wisdom, hope and guidance, and my ultimate Savior and Deliverer. Often, I imagine myself falling down at the foot of the cross where I find my strength at the feet of Yeshua. I tell myself that if he endured that for me, then I can endure this for him.
For other people, their “God bubble” might be spending time with cherished and caring family members and friends, their spouse, their spiritual family, at church or during the Sabbath and biblical festivals.
This is what my “God” bubble looks like and what helps me to deal with spiritual attacks. What does your “God” bubble look like?
If you don’t have your own “God” bubble, how about making one to help you deal with the pain, stressors and attacks of life?
24 Practical Tips to Walking in the Presence of Elohim
Although Jewish and Christian scholars disagree about whether the sacrifices were to cease after the coming of the Messiah, as Edersheim points out, all agree that the object of a sacrifice was substitution for the offender (The Temple – Its Ministry and Service, p. 90). He also notes that the Jewish fathers along with the Scriptures that all these substitutionary sacrifices pointed to none other than the Messiah. This understanding is especially expressed in the proto-rabbinic biblical Aramaic commentaries or Targumim (e.g. Tarum Jonathan and the Jerusalem Targum; ibid., p. 92). Later rabbinic sages, in light of the rise of Christianity, were loath to accept this interpretation and, to this day, pretend it was never the belief of their ancient predecessors.
As the Tanakh progresses, the concept of the substitutionary sacrifice as it relates to the sinner and to the Messiah expands and unfolds. The unity of the Tanakh in this regard and its progression of revelation on this subject must be taken into consideration when studying the sacrifices listed in Leviticus and the rest of the Torah if we are to understand completely the biblical concept of substitutionary sacrifice as well as the Messianic prophecies. The concept of sacrifice in the Tanakh point us prophetically in progressive stages to the sin atoning death of the Messiah on behalf of sinners. Such passages in the Tanakh as Pss 2, 22, 35, 69, 72, 89, 110, 118 along with Isa 52:13–53:12 (many other scriptural passages could be cited here as well) point undeniably to the Person and work of Yeshua the Messiah including his suffering and glorification. The apostolic writers understood these prophecies and how Yeshua fulfilled them perfectly (e.g. Isa 52:13–53:12 cp. Heb 9:11–15; 10:4–7, 1; etc.), and this understanding forms the basis for the New Testament, which the authors thereof refer to as The Testimony of Yeshua (Rev 1:9; 6:2; etc.).
Brief Overview: Six Types of Offerings (Heb. korban) Offered on the Altar (Lev 1-7)
Burnt or Elevation (Heb. Olah) Offering(Lev 1:3–17)
The olah or ascending offering signified the offerer giving himself up totally, wholly ascending or complete surrender to Elohim. The priests offered up this sacrifice up twice daily—the morning and evening (Exod 29:38–42; Num 28:1–8). This offering was always a male animal whose blood was to be sprinkled around the altar. The offerer was to lay his hands on the head of the animal before it was slaughtered symbolizing substitutionary atonement for sins. The offering would be accepted as a sweet aroma by Elohim.
At the end of his ministry, Yeshua promised his disciples to send them his Holy Spirit or Comforter after he had left earth (John 14:16). He declares that his Holy Spirit would dwell in them (John 14:17), would testify of him (John 15:26), would convict the world of sin (or Torahlessess, John 16:8), would guide them into all truth (i.e. Torah, see Ps 119:142,151), would tell them things to come (John 16:13), and would glorify the Son and speak to them on behalf of the Son (John 16:14).
How, therefore, does the Spirit of Elohim interact with man? Man is a three-part being: body, soul and spirit (1 Thess 5:23). The body is the physical part of man, the soul is the personality or beingness of man (his mind, will and emotions), and his spirit is the part of man that points him God-ward, and that, once spiritually regenerated and enlightened by the Spirit of Elohim, connects us to Elohim. Man must come to the Father by way of his spirit (John 4:23–24). The Father reveals his spiritual mysteries to man by his Holy Spirit to the spiritually regenerated spirit in man (2 Cor 2:6–16).
There are numerous scriptures that attest to the fact that at the time of our spiritual rebirth (a.k.a. conversion, regeneration, redemption or salvation), YHVH activates our spirit with his Spirit, thus allowing us to enter into a spiritual relationship or communion with him. This is important to know, since man can’t properly obey Elohim out of his soul (the mind, the will and the emotions) alone without the leading of his spirit. Taken to the next step, man can’t have faith in or properly love Elohim without the leading of the Spirit of Elohim as it empowers and directs man. I will discuss this more later. Here are some scriptures that show how the spirit of man is activated by the Spirit of Elohim at the time of the new birth:
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17)
But there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. (Job 32:8)
The spirit of man is the candle of YHVH, searching all the inward parts of the belly. (Prov 20:27)
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of Elohim. (Rom 8:16)
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. (Eph 3:16)
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.…But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1 John 2:20, 27)
But Elohim hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of Elohim. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of Elohim knoweth no man, but the Spirit of Elohim. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of Elohim; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of Elohim. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of Elohim: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:10-14, emphasis added on all)
We learned above that the Holy Spirit that Yeshua promised to send would guide his disciples into all truth (John 16:13), and that by biblical definition, the Torah of Elohim is truth (Ps 119:142,151). Yeshua, as the Living Word or Living Torah of Elohim made flesh is also the truth (John 14:6). The Written and Living Torah are indivisible and are two sides of the same coin. The Spirit of Elohim came to reveal to man the truth of both the Written and the Living Torah-Word of Elohim.
That same Holy Spirit is at the center of one of the greatest prophecies of the Bible. The writer of Hebrews quoting from the prophet Jeremiah declares,
Behold, the days come, saith YHVH, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith YHVH; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them an Elohim, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know YHVH: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (see Heb 8:8–11 quoting Jer 31:31–34).
Here, we clearly see that the Holy Spirit will be an internal aid to the people of Elohim helping them to keep his Torah. This a beautiful picture of a tender-hearted Father aiding along his struggling children to walk in love and harmony with him in accordance with his instructions in righteousness—the Torah.
John 14:12, Greater works. Works is the Greek word ergon, and is the generic word meaning “deeds, acts, business, employment, or occupation,” and isn’t confined to just miraculous deeds. Throughout his ministry, Yeshua did many great works. He occupied each of the five-fold ministry offices (apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher, Eph 4:11), and performed all nine gifts of the Set-Apart Spirit (wisdom, knowledge faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues) were at his disposal if and when he needed them.
What are the greater works that his disciples and those who would follow in their footsteps down through the ages would do?
Yeshua has now distributed his ministry offices and the gifts of the Spirit throughout his entire spiritual body (1 Cor 12:7–11; Eph 4:7–11) to be used as the Set-Apart Spirit leads. Collectively, down through the ages, the saints have done theses same works—both miraculous and non-miraculous—that he did and greater. Yeshua made this promise to his disciples collectively, and that includes you and me. Moreover, this promise of Yeshua gives no indication that only one person would do all the mighty spiritual works that he did. He is unique in that he performed all them.
Also consider this. What were the greatest works Yeshua did during his earthly ministry? When answering this question, many people would instinctively and immediately think of the many miracles Yeshua performed. But these were not his greatest works. He declared that an evil and adulterous generation focuses on miracles (Matt 12:39). His mission was to call the lost sheep of the house of Israel to repentance from sin and to bring them into the kingdom of his Father in heaven (Matt 15:10; 4:17). When a sinner repents heaven rejoices (Luke 15:7). This is not said of miracles being performed on earth by the hands of YHVH’s servants. Therefore, it seems that the greatest work (or miracle) Yeshua did was to bring sinners to repentance. If Yeshua’s disciples are doing this, these are the greater works that he spoke of that would be done.