Spiritual Nuggets from Ephesians 1 and 2

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1:3, With every spiritual blessing. Our best and ultimate blessings are reserved for us in heaven time, and are not necessarily ours to experience on this earth at this time.

Ephesians 1:4, Without blame. The saint is without blame before YHVH, not without sin.

Ephesians 1:10, All things in the Messiah. Heaven and earth unit in the Messiah who died suspended between the two to reconcile both while using his life as a bridge between heaven and earth. He is the ladder that Jacob dreamed about—the stairway to heaven to which he referred in John 1:51 that all most climb to be reconciled to his Father in heaven.

Ephesians 1:11, An inheritance. Our inheritance is to be adopted as sons into the family of Elohim as Paul states in verse 5.

Ephesians 1:13–14, Sealed…guarantee. YHVH’s depositing his Spirit in the saints at the time of their conversion is his investment in his set-apart people. Whether such a person proves to be a good investment or not is up to that person based on their obedience and faithfulness to YHVH until the end of their life. If they victoriously overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, then YHVH will make a return on his investment and will have gained an immortal addition to his family.

Ephesians 1:15, Faith in…love for. This is a restatement of the shema, which involves loving Yeshua and the saints.

Ephesians 1:18, Inheritance. The saints’ inheritance is eternal life and membership in the family of Elohim for eternity. This is his return on his investment he made in the saint’s life when he gave them his Spirit.

Ephesians 1:19, Inheritance. Explore dunamis versus kratos power, since both words are used in this verse. The same power is at work in us that raised Yeshua from the dead and gave him heavenly dominion (see Eph 2:5). The same process that happened to him is occurring in our lives if we follow in his footsteps.

Ephesians 2

Ephesians 2:2, Sons of disobedience. In reality, sons of Torahlessness.

Ephesians 2:3, Lusts of our flesh. Anti-Torah inclinations.

Children of wrath. This refers to all unrepented and unforgiven sinners who will experience YHVH’s wrathful judgment at the end of days (see Rom 1:18, 32).

Ephesians 2:4–5, He love us…when we were dead. This is the unconditional love Elohim has for lost sinners. (See Rom 5:8).

Ephesians 2:7, Ages to come. Referring to Elohim granting eternal life to his saints at the resurrection and adoption into his spiritual family (Eph 1:11).

Ephesians 2:8, 10, Saved … good works. Are we saved by faith through grace or by our good works? This verse clearly answers this question.One is saved by the free gift of YHVH’s grace through faith (in Yeshua). Salvation isn’t based on good works (Torah obedience), or else prideful man would boast about how good his is, and that YHVH must have saved him on the merits of his good works. However, once one is saved, and a result of his salvation one will produce the fruits good works, which is Torah-obedience. This is the definition of biblical righteousness (Ps 119:172) and shows us how to walk in the Spirit by loving YHVH with our all and our neighbor as ourself. When we live out this pattern, we become Elohim’s workmanship through Yeshua.

Grace… good works. Grace is a free gift, but it demands a response that we might become the workmanship of Elohim and perform good works through our relationship with Yeshua.

Good works…prepared. Elohim prepared good works or a ministry for us to do before we were born. That’s the outworking and divine enablement of his grace through us and the purpose of our salvation—our spiritual destiny!

Covenants of promise. There are three covenants to which Paul is referring here: they are the Abrahamic, Mosaic and Renewed Covenants. Paul mentions “covenants of promise” (plural) in Eph 2:12 of which the ex-Genitles are now a part when they come to Messiah and become the one new man (v. 15), the seed or offspring of Abraham (Gal 3:29), part of the olive tree of Israel (Rom 11:11–32) and the Israel of Elohim (Gal 6:16). The mainstream church focuses only on “the New Covenant,” while omitting and rejecting the first two covenants. Obviously, the exclusion of the first two covenants wasn’t in Paul’s thinking or else he would have said “covenant” not “covenants.” This is because the Word of Elohim never changes; his laws and standards are immutable. Therefore, each succeeding covenant is built upon the foundational truth of the previous covenant and is an expansion of the previous one (e.g. Isa 42:21).

Those who are walking in accordance with Elohim’s entire word including all three of his covenant are those that John describes as keeping the law and having the testimony or faith of Yeshua (i.e. they walk in accordance with the OT and NT covenants; Rev 12:17; 14:12).

It follows, therefore, that these saints are those who haven’t bent the knee to Baal (i.e. they’re not following the downward, gravitational pull of the carnal or evil inclination by following the world, the flesh and devil as does the world around them, and, for the those in churchianity, this includes all forms of Torahlessness, following Christo-pagan traditions, and whitewashed church doctrines of men by which the word of Elohim has been made of none effect). To wit, the number 7,000, as in the righteous saints who hadn’t bowed the knee to Baal in the time of Elijah to which Elohim makes reference in 1 Kgs 18:18, has the following metaphorical or drash-level biblical meaning: seven is the biblical number of perfection, and the three zeros are the three covenants YHVH Elohim made with Israel to bring them into a relationship with them potentially ultimately leading to them becoming his glorified sons and daughters in his everlasting heavenly kingdom.

Ephesians 2:12, Without God. The Greek word here is atheos meaning “without God.” It can also mean “denying, failing to worship Elohim or God, ungodly or godless. The Gentiles in their unsaved state were essentially atheists. For this and other reasons, I refuse to refer to myself as a Gentile.

 

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

Numbers 31:50, Make atonement.

What is the big deal about the concept of vicarious atonement, that is, someone dying in another person’s place to repair a wrong or an injury? Does there really need to be the shedding of blood for the atonement of sin? This is a concept shared only by Christianity and no other major religions in the world including Judaism. The Christians are always making a big deal about “the cross” and “Jesus dying for our sins,” or “Jesus paying for our sins.” Is this a biblical concept or just some idea of man to put people under bondage to some ancient religious and irrational superstition? Knowing the answer to this question is a matter of life and death. 

In Numbers 31:50 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 from sin 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 death on the cross?

The concept of atonement can be a confusing one. Some scholars 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 Peter the apostle 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 brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children, which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Yeshua Messiah, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2)

In the Testimony of Yeshua (New Testament), there is no question that when the concept of atonement (i.e. to make ransom for or to cover over man’s sins) is presented, it is related to the blood of Yeshua, the Lamb of YHVH, being shed for the remission of man’s sins, which is the means through which reconciliation between Elohim and man occurs. In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), however, the idea of atonement is somewhat broader and at times more generalized in scope. Herein lies the confusion and the misconceived disparity between the Former (Old) and Latter (New) Testaments or Covenants. Are they in opposition to one another, or is the latter the logical outgrowth of the former and compliments or ­elucidates the former?

The Hebrew word for atonement is kapar. A verb, it means “to make an atonement, make reconciliation, purge. In its noun form, kapar means a ransom, gift, to secure favor”(see Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament [or TWOT], word 1023). Kapar also means “to cover over”and is the same Hebrew word meaning “to cover or smear with pitch”as in caulking the seams of a wooden ship so that it becomes waterproof (see Brown-Driver-Briggs H3722). Our English words cap (as well as the Hebrew kipah, which is a small hemispherical hat that many religious Jewish men wear)and cover are related etymologically to kapar (see The Word—The Dictionary That Reveals the Hebrew Source of Our English, by Isaac E. Mozeson). 

What can we learn from all this? Kapar means “to cover” that which is bare, such as the human head. It also means “to smear (or cover) with pitch”so that your ship will not sink drowning all aboard. For example, YHVH instructed Noah to “pitch/kopar [Strong’s H3722] [the ark] within and without with pitch/koper [Strong’s H3724].” Furthermore, kapar means “to ransom” someone that would otherwise be a prisoner of one’s enemy and without the ransom being paid one would probably be killed. Kapar also means “to reconcile”with someone who has the power of life and death over you (e.g. Elohim) and to pacify someone who has the power to do you harm. 

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Restoring the Gospel Message to Its Hebraic Roots

The Gospel Message Is More Than You Have Heard in the Church—Much More!

The word gospel is one of the most common words in all of Christendom. But what does it mean, and where does the concept originate? If you believe that the idea of the gospel originated in the New Testament, you would be mistaken. As we shall discover and learn about below, the idea of the gospel (an Old English word for “good news”) came straight out of the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament hundreds of years earlier. But there is more. What follows will be the backstory behind the biblical concept of the gospel message—something you never learned in Sunday school!

The word gospel itself is easily enough defined, but what about the concept behind the word? The answer will take us into a whole other dimension and level of biblical understanding. The apostolic writers use the word gospel or its synonyms 132 times in the Testimony of Yeshua (NT).The word gospel literally means “good news or glad tidings.” There are two Greek words fors gospel: (euaggellion and euaggelizo). They are translated into English in the Authorized Version (KJV) via the following words: as a noun, gospel and as a verb, preach, bring good tidings, show glad tidings, declare, and declare glad tidings. The word itself is quickly defined, but what really is the good news? Let us begin to answer this by first seeing how the apostolic writers used this term. The vast majority of times the term gospel is used in the Testimony of Yeshua, the word stands alone in its noun form as simply the gospel without any adjective modifiers. However, on several occasions, the word gospel is used in a modifying phrase. This gives us a clue as to the meaning and scope of the word in the minds of the biblical authors.

  • Gospel of the kingdom or of Elohim (used five times, see Matt 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; Mark 1:14)
  • Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah or Yeshua (used 15 times, see Mark 1:1; Rom 1:16; 15:19; 1 Cor 9:12; Gal 1:7; Phil 1:27; 1 Thess 3:2)
  • Gospel of the grace of Elohim (Acts 20:24)
  • Gospel of Elohim (used five times, see Rom 1:1; 15:16; 2 Cor 11:7; 1 Thess 2:2, 8, 9)
  • Gospel of peace (Rom 10:15; Eph 6:15)

But again, what is the good news? One cannot read the Testimony of Yeshua without seeing that Yeshua the Messiah is at the center of this good news message. Thankfully, this same good news (or gospel) of “Jesus” has been at the center of the Christian message for two thousand years. This will hardly come as a new revelation to the reader. The well known passage from John 3:16 sums up this blessed message perhaps better than any other: 

For Elohim so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The good news of the Messiah (Acts 5:42; 1 Cor 1:23; 2:2; 2 Cor 2:12) involves understanding the spiritual significance of his death, burial and resurrection and how that relates to the redemption, reconciliation and salvation of sinful man through Yeshua’s shed blood at the cross of Calvary (Heb. Golgatha). But is there more to the basic message of the good news that most Christian have missed? Yes. A whole lot more that adds richness and depth to this message, and help bring the whole Bible to life in a new and profound way. Let us now venture down this road of revelation and discovery.

Let us on this path of discovery by reading a passage from the writings of the Paul, a Jewish Torah scholar without peer in the first century, who discusses the deeper implications of the meaning of the term gospel in Romans 10:14–15,

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (emphasis added)

This is a quote from Isaiah 52:7. As we learn here, Isaiah who lived some five hundred years before the New Testament was written, coined the phrase “the good news” from which the word gospel originates. But what is this good news or gospel to which Paul is referring? Let us now gain a quick contextual overview of the passage from Isaiah which Paul is quoting by starting in Isaiah 52:2.

Isaiah 52:2, “O captive daughter of Zion.” This verse identifies the subject of the prophecy as the people of Israel.

Isaiah 52:3, “You have sold yourselves [to your harlot lovers] for nothing; and you shall be redeemed without money.” The people of Israel had turned away from Elohim and become apostate spiritually. This history has repeated itself many times in Israel’s long and sad history.

Isaiah 52:5, “…my people is taken away for nought?” Israel went into captivity because of her spiritual apostasy.

Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that says unto Zion, Your Elohim reigns!” Isaiah prophesies that the time of Israel’s spiritual restoration, redemption and deliverance is coming.

Isaiah 52:8, “…when YHVH shall bring again Zion.” YHVH promises to redeem Israel from the physical and spiritual captivity where they were taken because they left the Torah ways of YHVH and sold themselves into adulterous relationships with their foreign, pagan lovers. He promised to bring them back into a righteous relationship with him

Isaiah 52:9, “…he has redeemed Jerusalem.” How will YHVH redeem Israel out of sinfulness and bring them back to himself spiritually? He has a plan to do this, which he has revealed to Isaiah, which the prophet will now share with his readers.

Isaiah 52:13ff, Enter Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), the Suffering Servant, who will redeem his sinful and apostate people and bring them back to Elohim.

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The Resurrection of the Saints from Genesis to Revelation

1 Corinthians 15:1–58, The hope of the resurrection of the righteous dead.

A Chronological Analysis of Scriptures on the Resurrection of the Dead

The resurrection of the dead is a biblical truth that stretches like a hopeful thread from the beginning to the end the Bible. It is this glorious hope to which the Bible believing saint in faith clings as he or she traverses the wilderness of this life. It is this promise from on high, the saint’s cherished inheritance, our spiritual reward and Promised Land to which each child of Elohim looks that draws us forward in our spiritual journey day-by-day. The following is a list of Scriptures from the Word of Elohim that proves the hope of the resurrection of the dead is not a vain or empty one, but a reality for those who believe in and trust the promises of the Bible.

Genesis 3:2–3, The question of what happens in the afterlife goes back to the very beginning of man’s tenure on this earth as we can see from Eve’s discussion with the serpent. Out of fear of death, Adam and Eve chose not to eat of the tree of knowledge until the serpent tricked them to disobey YHVH and eat of it. The serpent lied to them by telling them that they could have immortal life and still violate Elohim’s commandments. Most men have believed this lie to this day.

Job 14:12–15, Job is likely the oldest book in the Bible, and we see that from early times until now, man has had a perennial interest in the afterlife. Job wonders what his fate will be when he dies. Will he die and that’s all there is, or is there an afterlife?

Job 19:25–27, Job came to a place in his life where he obtained a faith about his fate in the afterlife. He knew that it hinged on his faith in his Redeemer. Biblically speaking, what was the mission of the Redeemer (i.e. Yeshua the Messiah)? It was to redeem man from the sting of death brought on by sin.

Psalm 16:9–10, Though this is usually viewed as a messianic prophecy, it isn’t confined to this interpretation. Who are YHVH’s holy, kadosh or set apart ones? The Messiah fits this category, of course, but so also do YHVH’s saints. As the apostolic writers teach us, as Yeshua died and rose again, so the saints who are in Yeshua will die and rise again.

Psalm 17:15, The term “awake” as in “awake from the sleep of death” is a Hebraism referring to the resurrection. David knew that YHVH created man in his own image for a purpose. If so, then why? It’s deductive reasoning. The creation of man wasn’t a pointless, dead-end endeavor on the Creator’s part. David knew the heart and character of YHVH well enough to know that Elohim had a higher purpose for man than just to live and then to die off. David also knew that man could have his perennial yearning for immortal life satisfied by the fact that man was created in YHVH’s image for a reason and that the reality of this fact would satisfy man’s deepest yearning for immortality.

Psalm 49:15, David knew that the answer to the problem of the grave’s power over man involves redemption. The grave has no power over those who have been redeemed. Redemption is what brings us into the Presence of YHVH—to be received of him. In other words, without redemption one can’t be received of YHVH.

Isaiah 25:8–9, Ultimately, for the righteous life will prevail over death, and YHVH will wipe away man’s tears that are brought on by death. What is the ultimate cause of sorrow in man? It is death and the fear of it. YHVH will deliver his people from death. Those who wait on him in faith will rejoice in YHVH’s salvation through Yeshua the Messiah. Interestingly, the word salvation in verse nine is Yeshua.

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What Are the Fundamentals of the Hebraic Christian Faith?

What are the fundamentals of the Hebraic Christian faith for which the Bible instructs the saints to earnestly contend? The modern Messianic or Hebrew roots movement, as opposed to mainstream Christianity, while purporting to be returning to the Hebraic, Torah-based foundations of Christianity, in many placers, is getting sidetracked or even, dare we say, derailed from the first century, book of Acts faith once delivered as revealed in the writings of the apostles of  Yeshua. So just what are the bedrock tenets of the apostolic faith that the end time saints are called to defend? 

Even in the first century, Jude, the brother of our Savior, writes that he is concerned that the saints then were abandoning the bedrock principles of the faith that had once and for all been delivered to the saints of that era. If Jude was lamenting that the saints of that era were already apostatizing from apostolic faith only several decades after the death and resurrection of Yeshua, then how much more should the people of Elohim be concerned about doing the same 2,000 later? Jude writes,

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3)

For the record, when we add the term “Hebraic” to “Christian faith,” we are distinguishing between the beliefs and practices of the first century, book of Acts disciples of Yeshua the Messiah as opposed to what subsequently evolved into Roman Catholic Christianity and its various off-shoots including Protestantism and its Eastern Orthodox spiritual daughters. 

Sadly, in the modern Hebraic roots movement, it seems that every spiritual cornerstone of our faith seems to be under attack and open to question. It is open (hunting) season and countless so-called Bible teachers have taken aim at areas of our faith that, previously, seemed indisputable such as the deity of Yeshua, the seventh day Sabbath, the traditional family, and even the canon of Scripture. 

And this is just the beginning.

There is no end to the questions being raised resulting in doubts and confusion among many saints who were once stable in their faith. For example, some men advocating plural marriage and are taking on extra wives, others say the weekly Sabbath should begin in the morning, while others declare that the earth is flat. The list of questions seems endless. Which calendar do we follow? The Hillel II, the abib barley, the Noah, the Enoch, one of several followed by the Qumran community or something else? What is the moon new, so that we know when to celebrate the biblical feasts? At the first sign of the visible crescent, at the astronomical conjunction (the “dark moon”) or when it is full? How do we pronounce the name of YHVH? Which Bible translation is inspired of Elohim to the exclusion of all others? Do meet in church buildings or homes? Do we have congregational leaders, or no leaders at all? Do we follow the dictates of rabbinical Judaism or not? What about paleo-Hebrew and hidden codes in the biblical text? How about Jewish mysticism? Should all non-Jewish Christians be called Gentiles or are they really lost and found Israelites who are returning to their spiritual heritage? Who about aliens and the nephilim? Or the so-called Illuminati et al? What about the extra-biblical books that did not make it into the canon of Scripture? Should they be part of the canon of Scripture? Should women wear head-coverings? Should we celebrate the biblical feasts outside of the land of Israel? And the list grows daily. All of these issues and many more have caused countless and never-ending disputes and divisions among leaders and teachers as well as congregational. Surely this cannot be a work of the Spirit of Elohim or is it?

So what is the faith once and for all delivered to which Jude makes reference?

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The Dynamics of Salvation By Grace Through Faith Leading to Good Works Explained

This is a dry, meaty, theological article intended for those of you who are deeper studiers of the Word of Elohim and want to understand how the deep things of YHVH relate to one another. The Word of Elohim does not contradict itself. Only the twisted and contorted humanistic philosophies of men turn the Bible into a confusing jumble of incongruent concepts. Make no mistake, the fault for this is not with Elohim, but rests squarely with carnal men and the false teachers among them. In this article, we show how both the Old and New Testaments are totally congruent on the subject of salvation, works, righteousness and faith as demonstrated by the life of Abraham and the writings of Paul. Please enjoy. — Natan

What is faith and how does it relate to salvation and the good works of Torah-obedience? Is a person saved by faith and grace alone, or by a combination of faith, grace and good works? Moreover, what is the nature of faith, how does it grow therefore deepening one’s spiritual relationship with YHVH Elohim? We will primarily study the example of Abraham, the father of the faithful and then see how Paul, the apostle, relates this to the basic salvation model of salvation by faith through grace leading to good works as stated in Ephesians 2:8–10. We also learn about the dynamic nature of faith as it relates to one’s relationship with the Creator.

First, let us define the word faith. The Epistle to the Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” What does this mean? Faith is a biblical Hebraic concept and is rooted in the rich, concrete, and practical nature of the Hebrew language. 

In Hebrew, the basic word for faith is emun from the root verb aman. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (or TWOT) says this of aman: “At the heart of the meaning of the root is the idea of certainty. And this is borne out by the NT definition of faith found in Heb 11:1.” The TWOT goes on to state that the basic root idea of aman is “firmness or certainty.” In the qal form (the simple or plain form) of the Hebrew verb, aman expresses the concept of “support” and is used in the sense of the strong arms of the parent supporting the helpless infant. The idea is also seen in 2 Kings 18:16 where it refers to pillars of support. In the hiphel (causative) form of the verb, aman basically means “to cause to be certain, sure” or “to be certain about.” This verb form is used in Genesis 15:6 where we read that “[Abraham] believed in[ Heb. aman] YHVH; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

The ArtScroll Bereishis/Genesis Commentary in its notes on Genesis 15:6 states of aman “It suggests total submission in the sense that one places his total confidence and seeks all his guidance and attitudes in God. In the same vein, when one responds amen to a blessing, he avows that he will be guided by the thought expressed in the blessing.”

The Jewish Torah scholar, Samson R. Hirsch in his commentary on Genesis 15:6 states, “Aman is not belief, by which word one robs this central idea of Jewish consciousness of its real conception. Belief is an act of the mind, is often only an opinion, is always only believing something to be true by reason of judgment and the assurance of somebody else. In making religion into a belief, and then making the cardinal point of religion believing in the truth of these quite untenable to the intelligence, religion has been banned from everyday life and made into a catechism of words of belief will be demanded as a passport for entry into the next world.” He goes on to say that to believe in the words of another is never expressed in the Hebrew word aman/believe in; it is not a mere submitting our theoretical mind to the insight of another, but rather is placing the full confidence, setting our whole theoretical and practical hold, or guidance, our strength and firmness on Elohim. Hirsch stresses the practical nature of aman. When Scripture says that Abraham believed in Elohim, Hirsch states that he had given himself over completely and unconditionally to the direct guidance of Elohim, who had raised him above the sphere of conditions on earth, where things are bound by the cause-and-effect laws of nature, to look at a concrete existence directly proceeding from the will of Elohim. This faith caused Abraham to believe YHVH’s promises which for them to come to pass would require supernatural intervention.

So what was the nature and dynamics of Abraham’s faith, so that Moses included Genesis 15:6 in the Torah, and David seems to reference it in the Psalms 32:1–2, and Paul uses it as the basis for his entire theology regarding a believer’s faith in Yeshua and salvation (see Romans chapter four)? The answer to this question is grounded in the living and dynamic faith Abraham had in YHVH. This is something worth studying, for it gives us insights into how to mature spiritually and to grow in one’s own faith walk and relationship with YHVH.

Abraham’s walk of faith is first mentioned in Genesis 12:1 where YHVH tells Abraham to leave his home in pagan Babylonia and to trek across the desert to a distant land that Elohim would show him. At the same time, YHVH gives him the hope of physical blessings (verses 2 and 3). Abraham takes that first step of faith and leaves Babylon for this remote country (verse 4). The dynamic we see here is that Abraham took the first step of faith to obey YHVH, and after the first step of faith was taken, YHVH revealed to him which land he would give him (verse 7). This was a giant step of faith for Abraham to take. He was an old man living in perhaps the most cosmopolitan city of the time. He was well-known, and a mighty prince such that his reputation even extended hundreds of miles from Babylonia all the way to Canaan (Gen 23:6). Additionally, he was a brilliant military leader and strategist as evidenced by his defeat of the five Babylonian king and their armies (Gen 14) with his own private army of 318 men. Abraham was willing to leave much behind in Babylon—his reputation, his family, and any material possessions that were not transportable and follow YHVH. Abraham’s walk of faith confirms James statement later that faith without works is dead (Jas 2:17). If Abraham had not left Babylon for Canaan (a difficult journey on foot of hundreds of miles), he would not have become the biblical giant of faith that we know.

Abraham’s literal journey because of his faith in Elohim’s promises teaches us that faith is not just mental assent or theoretical in nature, but is active and backed up by action as indicated by the Hebrew word aman, which describes the faith of Abraham (Gen 16:5).

Next we pick up Abraham’s faith journey in Genesis chapter 15. Here YHVH again reveals himself to Abraham and this time the focus of YHVH’s blessing on Abraham is not physical, but spiritual in nature, for YHVH states in verse 1 that he will be Abraham’s spiritual shield and great reward.

Little-by-little, Abraham is learning to walk with and to trust in YHVH. This is a process that has nothing to do with merely a theoretical belief system, but has everything to do with action. Biblical faith is a walk, not a thought! A thought can occur without subsequent action, while a walk requires not only thought, but action as well. 

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From the Walking Dead to the Glorified, Immortal Children of Elohim— How the Salvation Process Works

Romans Chapters 6–8

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of Elohim, to those who believe in His name… (John 1:12)

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of Elohim! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of Elohim; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:1–2)

Each spring of the year, the saints who are faithful to the truths of the Bible celebrate the biblical feast of Passover. Passover is the first of seven step in YHVH Elohim’s plan of salvation or redemption of sinful humans to reconcile fallen man back to him. Did you ever wonder how this process really works?

Let’s now look at this miraculous process of how to overcome sin in more detail through a spiritual magnifying glass. How do we go from being a lost sinner—the walking damned or the living dead—to becoming the glorified and immortalized children of Elohim?

It works like this: When we confess and repent of our sins, Yeshua will pass over or forgive us of our past sins (Rom 3:25; Ps 103:8–12). From this point onward, we must embrace a new mindset and a new spiritual identity and reality; that is, we must reckon our old sinful man as being crucified with Yeshua, in that we are now dead to and no longer slaves to sin, but are freed from the power of sin, and alive to Elohim in Yeshua our Lord or Master (Rom 6:7–11). Yeshua is the one who victoriously defeated the power or sting of sin, which is death, hell and the grave. He did so at the cross and through his resurrection (1 Cor 15:56–57; Col 2:13–15). Through our faith in him and our legal identification with his death, burial and resurrection through the metaphorical ritual of baptism, his victory is legally applied to us by the courts of heaven, which is how he has made us more than conquerors over sin and death (Rom 8:37; 6:1–14), such that the power of sin and death will no longer have dominion over us (Rom 6:12–14). He now gives us strength through his enabling and empowering grace to resist and overcome sin, that is, to not let sin control us any longer (Rom 6:12). He promises to give us a new, circumcised heart as he writes his laws or commandments on our hearts, so that we will be supernaturally inclined to love him by keeping his commandments (Jer 31:33; 24:7; Heb 8:10; 10:16; Ezek 36:25–27; Isa 51:7; Ps 40:8; 37:31; Deut 30:6; John 14:12 cp. Rom 7:22). What is that supernatural power that works in us to help keep us from sinning? It the Spirit of Elohim or the Comforter that Yeshua promised would come along side of us to aid us in the process of overcoming sin (John 14:16–18, 25–26; 15:26–27; 16:7–14). 

To summarize, this whole supernatural and miraculous process of being victorious over sin is activated when we first acknowledge our sin, confess our sin, repent of our sin and then place our faith in Yeshua’s death and burial. This occurs when we appropriate or reckon, by faith, our old sinful man to have been crucified with Yeshua, and then we reckon ourselves to have been resurrected in the newness of spiritual life with him. We now embrace the new identity that he has given us—a spiritual reality that he has imparted to us and has been legally recorded in heaven (Col 2:14)—that we are a new creation and are victorious over sin (Gal 2:20; 2 Cor 5:17), and have become Spirit-begotten sons of Elohim. 

This whole process is summarized from beginning to end in Romans chapters six through eight. The end result, if we continue in a right spiritual relationship with Yeshua the Messiah for the rest of our lives, is that our names will be recorded in Elohim’s Book of Life, and our physical bodies will be glorified—we will be given immortality—at the resurrection, which occurs at the second coming of Yeshua.

This whole process or chain of events that transforms sinful humans into glorified and immortal children of Elohim begins at Passover which symbolizes the first steps a person takes when he comes to faith in Yeshua the Messiah. The remaining six steps in the process of salvation are symbolized by the additional six biblical feasts that come after Passover (Lev 23).