How Much Do YOU Love Yeshua?

Are you hot, cold or lukewarm in your love for Yeshua the Messiah? It’s time to take your temperature!

Having recently celebrated Yom Teruah (the Day of Trumpets) and now finding ourselves between Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), we need to ask ourselves some questions. Since these fall biblical festivals prophetically picture the return of Yeshua the Messiah, the establishment his millennial kingdom on earth, and his marriage to his higher level (wise virgin) saints, it is time for each of us to take our spiritual temperature. Does our heart still pound passionately for Yeshua, our Master and Savior? How much do we love him, and is he first place in our lives above all else? If not, then what can we do about it? This article offers solutions to the prevalent spiritual disease known as lukewarmitis.


Do you love Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) first and foremost above everything else in your life? Yeshua said, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of [i.e. deserving of or suitable for] Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt 10:37–39). Do you love Yeshua more than anything in your life including your most cherished family members and even your own life? 

To be worthy or deserving of or suitable for Yeshua, he demands that we put him first in our life above everything else. Yes, he loves everyone, but he will not grant eternal life and entrance into his kingdom to just anyone.  Many are called, few are chosen (Matt 22:14). To gain eternal life and entrance into his kingdom, one must be worthy of it. After all, he wants to give us everything including eternal life. But in exchange, he demands that we give him everything we have. O how we fall short in this!

The question is this: How much do YOU love Yeshua the Messiah? Is he the first love of your life? This is an important question to answer. Those people in whose lives he is not in first place, even though they may claim to believe in and even obey him, to one degree or another, risk being excluded from his kingdom. 

Do you think that you are automatically guaranteed of eternal life just because you give Yeshua some lip service,  perform some religious activities, and do a couple of good things now and again when it’s convenient? Well think again. To the saints in Ephesus, Yeshua warned,

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. (Rev 2:4–5)

The marriage supper of the Lamb (Yeshua) is coming. Some people will be worthy to be part of this, others who thought that they worthy will not be found worthy.

Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.” (Matt 22:8; and do not forget about Yeshua’s warning to the lukewarm Laodiceans in Rev 3:14–22)

Similarly, the five foolish virgins also thought they were worthy to enter into the marriage feast of the Lamb of Elohim,  but were excluded because they did not love Yeshua enough to properly prepare themselves.

“Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them…Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Matt 25:3, 11–13)

Elsewhere Yeshua warned,

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt 7:21–23)

Other Scriptures that speak of being worthy of Yeshua include,

[T]hat you may walk worthy [i.e. deserving or suitable] of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of Elohim… (Col 1:10)

[T]hat you would walk worthy [i.e. deserving or suitable] of Elohim who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. (1 Thess 2:12)

[W]hich is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of Elohim, that you may be counted worthy [i.e. deem entirely deserving] of the kingdom of Elohim, for which you also suffer… (2 Thess 1:5)

Therefore we also pray always for you that our Elohim would count you worthy [i.e. to deem entitled or fit] of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power… (2 Thess 1:11)

The following is a list of reasons to love Yeshua, so that he will become the first love in your life above everything and everyone else, and so that you will be counted worthy of him including deserving to receive his free gift of eternal life and inclusion in his kingdom.

  • Yeshua is your Creator; he gave you physical life (John 1:3, 10; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2, 10). 
  • Yeshua is your spiritual Creator and offers you eternal life (immortality) free of charge if you will only love, serve and obey him.
  • Yeshua died and paid the penalty for your sins, so that you might live forever with him in his Father’s kingdom.
  • When Yeshua came to this earth as a man, he gave you an example that you can follow of how to live your life.
  • Like a light in the darkness, Yeshua has given you the Truth of his word (the Bible) to guide me through life.
  • Yeshua has given you his Set-Apart (Holy) Spirit as an internal spiritual dynamic force to empower you from within to want to follow and obey him.
  • Yeshua has revealed the Father and his love to you and desires to make you a part of the Father’s spiritual home (John 14:23).
  • Yeshua supplies all of your needs according to his riches in glory (Phil 4:19) and freely gives you all things (Rom 8:32).
  • Yeshua has delivered you from all charges and condemnation of the enemy (Satan, the accuser of the brethren) against those who belong to him (Rom 8:33–34).
  • Yeshua is seated at the right hand of Elohim the Father in heaven where he defends you against the charges of Satan your enemy in the court of heaven (Rom 8:34).
  • Yeshua has made you to be more than a conqueror (over the world, the flesh and the devil) (Rom 8:37).
  • Yeshua has given you power and authority over all the enemy’s demonic forces (Luke 9:1; 10:19).
  • Through Yeshua, you will be made rich (1 Cor 8:9). What price tag can you put on eternal life?
  • Yeshua gives you hope (1 Thess 1:3).
  • Yeshua has granted you his mercy which leads to eternal life (Jude 1:21).
  • Yeshua’s love roots and grounds you (so that like a well-rooted tree, the storms of life cannot topple you) (Eph 3:17).
  • The knowledge of Yeshua’s love passes all human understanding and causes you to be filled with the fullness of Elohim (Eph 3:19).
  • Yeshua is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask or think (Eph 3:20).
  • The Father answers our prayers when we ask him anything in Yeshua’s name (John 16:23).
  • Countless other reasons to love Yeshua could also be added to this list…

For these reasons, who can separate us from the love of Yeshua?

Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord. (Rom 8:35, 38–39).

The bad news is that,

If anyone does not love the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, let him be accursed. O Lord, come! (1 Cor 16:22)

What is the curse that is upon those who do not love Yeshua? It is death, which is the result or wages of sin (Rom 6:23; Ezek 18:4). Yeshua will cast all of those who do not love him into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11–15). Simply stated, if they do not want him, then he will give them what they want—an eternity without him in the form of death—the extinguishing of life.

 

Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)— Opening the Treasure Chest!

The Gospel Proclaimed in Leviticus 23:27–32

When you were a young child you were no doubt curious about the world around you. There was so much to see and learn about. What was more exciting than exploring that world by going on trips to new places or even spending hours investigating and playing in a nearby a forest? Let’s become curious and teachable again like children we used to be and now explore Leviticus 23:27–32 where we find the command to observe the Day of Atonement (Heb. Yom Kippur) to see what surprising nuggets we can find here. In the simplicity of this text, we will discover outlined the entire gospel message of salvation prophetically foreshadowed some 1500 years before the birth and death of Yeshua the Messiah.

The text of Leviticus 23:27–32 is highlighted in bold with explanations following.

Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement [Heb. kippur]. (v. 27)

Yom Kippur is about atoning, reconciliation and purging, which is the meaning of kippur. Purging who of what? We’ll soon find out.

It shall be a holy convocation for you… (Lev 23:27) 

Yom Kippur is a commanded assembly or a sacred convocation for YHVH’s people. It was made holy not by men, but by the Creator of the universe. Men can’t make anything holy, for men aren’t holy. Only the Holy (Heb. Kadosh) One of Israel can do this. The Day of Atonement is also a divine appointment (Heb. moed, Lev 23:2) as determined by the YHVH Elohim. It is a time when the Creator demands to meet with his people. Humans who miss it defy the Creator’s commands.

…you shall afflict your souls (Lev 23:27)

Afflict is the Hebrew word anah meaning “to oppress with the idea of humility or meekness in mind coupled with the idea of a suffering life rather than with one of worldly happiness and abundance” (The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. 2, p. 682). 

So what is this soul that we are commanded to afflict? Each human has a soul (1 Thess 5:23). Your soul is who you are. It is what makes you unique. It is your personality, your emotional makeup, your mental abilities and your willpower. Your soul determines what you say, do and think. Yeshua called it the heart of man (Matt 12:35; 15:19). It is attached to and in charge of the human body. It tells the body what to do, saw and think. The soul is the source of sin in each person; it is the soul that sins (Ezek 18:4).

Why does YHVH command his people to afflict their souls (i.e. to go one day without food and water) on Yom Kippur? The reason for this is that the soul must be put down, or sublimated and brought under the control of the Word and Spirit of Elohim if man is to have a spiritual relationship with the Creator, which can eventually result in man receiving eternal life and membership into his heavenly kingdom. Yeshua taught his disciples that “he who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for [Yeshua’s] sake will find it” (Matt 10:39), and that “whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for [Yeshua’s] sake will find it” (Matt 16:25). The sinful soul (the mind, will and emotions) of men is what prevents man from coming into a spiritual relationship with the Creator. That is why the proud, self-righteous, rebellious, lawless and willful soul of man must be afflicted and humbled, so that it can be brought under the control, power and influence of the Word and Spirit of Elohim, so that man can experience the abundant life in this world and the next (John 10:10). This is why the carnal, sinful soul of man has to be starved. By learning to control our physical appetites through fasting, we can learn better how to control the sinful passions of our carnal natures. This is what the baptism for the remission of sins ritual is all about. It’s about death to the old sinful man and coming alive to one’s personal spirit or inner man through legal and spiritual identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua through the aid and influence of Elohim’s Set-Apart Spirit (Gal 2:20; 1 Cor 5:17). In Romans 6:3–11 we read,

Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into the Messiah Yeshua were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as the Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with the Messiah, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that the Messiah, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to Elohim. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to Elohim in the Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

…and offer an offering made by fire to YHVH. (Lev 23:27)

This is referring to the animal sacrifices that were made on Yom Kippur where animals were slaughtered and laid on the altar in the Tabernacle of Moses as an offering to Elohim. This ritual teaches us two things. The first is that the innocent animal that was sacrificed on the altar was a prophetic symbol pointing to Yeshua’s death on the cross. His death atoned for or purged man of his past sins and redeemed man from the death penalty that comes upon him because of that sin. We read in Leviticus 16 that on Yom Kippur the high priest sacrificed animals on the altar in the tabernacle as a sin offering for himself and the children of Israel. He then sprinkled its blood before the mercy seat in the holy of holies, which pictured the throne of Elohim in heaven. This in every way points to Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross for man’s sins, and Elohim’s acceptance of that death in payment or exchange for the penalty for man’s sins, which is man’s death.

The next thing that this offering by fire alludes to is that afflicting the soul is a picture of the saint dying to carnal, sinful nature. Each of us must be willing to lay his life on YHVH’s spiritual altar by “present[ing] your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Elohim, which is your reasonable service” (Rom 12:1). What is it to be a living sacrifice for Elohim? It involves dying to oneself (i.e. one’s carnal and sinful passions) and not only accepting Yeshua as one’s Savior, but as the Lord or Master of one’s life as well. Many people want the Savior part of Yeshua, but not the Master part. It comes as a package; you can’t have one without the other. If Yeshua is not your Master, then he is not your Savior either. One can’t have the Savior without the Master. If Yeshua is truly one’s Savior, then he will also be one’s Master. This is because he bought and paid for each of us with his life, and he now has the legal right to tell us what to do. When you accepted him, this was a legal transaction. If you want salvation from the death penalty you brought on yourself by your sins, you must also accept heaven’s terms and conditions to free you from that death penalty. There is no other way. People lie to themselves if they think they can chart their own course of “spirituality” and make up their own rules to find a relationship with their Creator some other way. It doesn’t work that way! Every other way is a satanic counterfeit that leads to death and eternal separation from Elohim.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Set-Apart Spirit who is in you, whom you have from Elohim, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are Elohim’s. (1 Cor 6:19–20)

[K]nowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of the Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Pet 1:18–19)

And you shall do no work on that same day… (Lev 23:28) 

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Hebrews 6 and 7 Notes

Hebrews 6

Hebrews 6:1, Elementary principles of Messiah. What follows are the six principal doctrines of the redeemed believer, yet they are all subsets of faith in Messiah Yeshua, which is foundations upon which it all rests.

Repentance from dead works.True biblical repentance involves turning from sin or a lifestyle of Torahless behavior, since sin is the violation of the Torah-law of Elohim (1 John 3:4), and lining all aspects of our lives up with the Torah-Word of Elohim.

Hebrews 6:2, Doctrine of baptisms. (See notes at Matt 28:19.)

Laying on of hands. Ordination is something that YHVH instituted in the Torah when he charged Moses to impose hands upon the Levites, and instructed all Israel to do the same (Num 29:10). We also have the example of Moses anointing with oil Aaron (Exod 29:10). Of course, kings of Israel were also anointed with oil to consecrate them for their official duties by the laying on hands.

Laying on of hands/ordination was earth’s confirmation of a heavenly calling. Elohim had already called someone into ministry and men were simply confirming what Elohim had already determined. Ordination doesn’t confirm the calling, but the other way around.

In the Testimony of Yeshua, by lot, the 11 apostles chose Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1). This was heaven’s choice, yet no mention of ordination is recorded. After that, we have the choosing of the seven in Acts 6:1. These were men who were already full of the Spirit and wisdom, so the apostles simply confirmed the work of the Spirit in them by laying hands on them (verse 6).

The same is true in the other examples of ordination in the Apostolic Scriptures. Men would be mentored by a leader/apostle, and after a period of time (“lay hands on no one suddenly” 2 Tim 5:22)—much like the five years of mentoring that occurred with a priest in training in the Torah (from age 25 to 30), and after meeting the qualifications of eldership (see 1 Tim 3:1–12 and Tit 1:5-9) they were appointed. Of course, those who were the mentors had oversight over those they mentored. It was less of a authoritatively-hierarchical system and more of patriarchal system with the older men lovingly overseeing those they had raised up—and only exercising strict authority when needed, which occurred only rarely.

Of course, there was no such thing as licensing or even denominations which issue licenses in the Apostolic Scriptures. To me, that seems more like a man-made thing for the purposes of maintaining power, control and keeping the money flowing upward. 

In the entire Bible, there are no examples of or precedence for women being ordained. Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:22 “to lay hands suddenly on no man.” He is gender specific. Women did, however, minister in conjunction with their husbands—their spiritual heads, which is something Paul is very clear about in Ephesians 5:21–24. Even though in the body of Yeshua there is neither male nor female so that all are equal before Yeshua, when it comes to governance in the congregation, the Bible upholds male leadership. Now that doesn’t mean that women can’t hold high positions of authority, but always in conjunctions with their husbands. We have the example of the apostolic team of Andronicus (husband) and Junia (wife) whom Paul called apostles (Rom 16:7), Aquila and Priscilla who were co-laborers. Sometimes Priscilla’s name is mentioned first. Obviously, this husband and wife team were such a tight unit that it didn’t matter whose name was mentioned first. Of course, we have examples in the Scriptures of women prophets. Deborah, though she was a judge in Israel, seems to have been married to Barak the military general. If so, we have an apostolic-prophetic team operating together to lead the Israelite nation. Huldah was a prophetess who seemed to operate without male headship, though she hung out with other prophets in a “school” or neighborhood where the prophets lived. So there was must have been some accountability between her and the other prophets, although she was the most gifted of YHVH since hers is the only name mentioned. Then we have the daughters of Philip the evangelist who were prophetesses—again, presumably under the spiritual leadership of their father (Acts 21:8-9).

Hebrews 6:6, If they fall away, to renew. 

Is the “Once Saved Always Saved Doctrine” Biblical?

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Natan’s Notes on Philippians

Philippians 1

Philippians 1:11, The fruits of righteousness which are by Yeshua the Messiah.

Yeshua in Us: The Power to Obey Torah

It is impossible for a man to keep the Torah on his own strength as Yeshua’s encounter with the rich young ruler proves (Matt 19:16–22). When the young man asked Yeshua what he must do to have eternal life, Yeshua seems to set the man up for a fall when he declares, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Yeshua is not being disingenuous here. Were one to keep the Torah perfectly without sinning, hypothetically, one would not fall under the death penalty for violating the laws of Elohim (i.e. sin). If this were so, then presumably one could earn eternal life by one’s own good works. But no man has ever accomplished this superhuman feat except the superhuman Yeshua! So when the young ruler proudly declared his perfect Torah obedience, Yeshua showed him that he was, in fact, violating the Torah in at least one area—covetousness and greed. Yeshua shows him how to come into Torah compliance, and then admonishes him to come and to follow him. What Yeshua is teaching us here is that it’s impossible to keep the Torah perfectly without factoring Yeshua, the Living Torah, into the equation. The point that we can’t keep the Torah without Yeshua directly intervening in our lives, I hope to conclusively demonstrate below.

One way that Yeshua helps his followers obey the Torah is by sending us his Spirit as an internal spiritual force into our hearts to nudge and lead us into Torah-obedience. 

What’s more, Yeshua also gives us the divine gift of his grace to accomplish the same thing. His grace removes the guilt, stain and penalties for our past sins, and with a clear conscience and a clean spiritual slate before YHVH, minus the past baggage of sin weighing us down, we are able to go forward under the power of YHVH’s Spirit to walk in accordance with his Torah. Praise Yeshua! An illustration of this would be a runner who trains wearing a backpack filled with rocks. Once the weight is removed from his back, when he runs, he feels as if he were flying through the air. 

Our faith in, love for and continual abiding in Yeshua is the key to receiving his systemic spiritual empowerment to walk a life that mirrors Yeshua. Paul invites us to imitate Yeshua as he himself imitated Yeshua (1 Cor 11:1). In fact, the word Christian means “little Christ,” that is, “one who follows what Christ did and taught.” One follows Yeshua by abiding in him as a branch abides in or is attached to a vine (John 15:4–5). A branch that is attached to a tree naturally, through no effort of its own, receives energy from the tree and produces fruit. The energy of life just naturally flows into the branch. When we abide in Yeshua, we will naturally produce the fruit of the Spirit. Love is the first and foremost fruit out of which all the other fruits subdivide. How do we walk in love toward YHVH and love toward our neighbor? The biblical answer is simple: by keeping his Torah commandment, which show us how to love. As Paul tersely declares, “Love is the fulfilling of the Torah-law” (see Rom 13:8–10). 

Our abiding faith in Yeshua automatically attaches us to that spiritual tree that is a metaphorical picture of him; it is the tree of life, which leads to eternal life in the kingdom of Elohim. As we abide in him, we will produce fruits of righteousness, which is adherence to the Torah of Elohim. Yeshua extends his grace to us, and our faith in Yeshua, and Yeshua living in us produces righteousness leading to eternal life (Rom 5:21).

As sap flows from a tree into the branches, so the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua flows out of Yeshua, who is the tree of life, into us freeing us from the spirit of Torahlessness,which leads to death. Not only did Yeshua free us from the wages of sin (or Torahlessness), which is death, but his life in us now fulfills the righteous requirements of the Torah. He empowers us to no longer walk according to the sinful flesh, but according to the Spirit of Truth (or Torah, Rom 8:1–4, 10). It is for this reason that Paul could exuberantly proclaim that “if Elohim is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31), and, “In all things we are more than conquerors through him [Yeshua] who loved us” (Rom 8:37).

Having previously been an unloving, even hate-filled, legalistic Torah-keeping Pharisee, Paul knew that it was impossible to fulfill the righteous requirements of the Torah by his own strength. Before coming to faith in Yeshua, he had tried to keep the Torah by his own strength and failed. He learned that he could serve Elohim only through the power of the Spirit of Elohim, not in the old manner through human will and determination. The Spirit-empowered mind is able to keep the Torah, something the natural flesh man is incapable of doing. Obedience is only possible through faith in Yeshua and the gift of his Spirit (Rom 7:6, 25 cp. 8:6–8; 9:30–33). 

In many other places, Paul indicates that without Yeshua it is impossible to fulfill the righteous requirements of the Torah. For example, he states that he is in no way promoting Torahlessness, but a Torah-obedience through Yeshua’s empowerment (1 Cor 9:21). The Holy Spirit in us, Paul declares, produces righteousness (i.e. conformity to the Torah, note Ps 119:172) by our faith in Yeshua through love (Gal 5:5–6). What’s more, we’re saved through faith in Yeshua who is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim (as was Abraham when he had faith in the preincarnte Yeshua and obeyed his word). As a new spiritual creation in Yeshua, we produce and walk in good works (i.e. Torah-obedience) through faith in Yeshua, the Living Torah (Eph 2:6, 10). Or stated another way, we’re a new man or new creation in Yeshua who lives in or through us (Gal 2:20; 2 Cor 5:17); we’ve been renewed in the spirit of our mind for true righteousness and holiness (i.e. Torah-obedience, Eph 4:22–24). Elsewhere, Paul encourages us to be filled with the fruits of righteousness (or Torah-obedience, Ps 119:172) through Yeshua (Phil 1:11). He further tells us that Yeshua redeemed us from Torahlessness (or sin, 1 John 3:4) and is working to purify for himself his own special people who are “zealous for good works” (i.e. Torah-obedience, Tit 2:14), and is making us complete in every good work do to his will” (Heb 13:21).


Philippians 1:15–16, Some indeed preach. “Good will”(Gr. eudokia) also can mean “kindly intent, benevolence.” “Selfish ambition/contention” (Gr. eritheia) means “electioneering or intriguing for office, a desire to put one’s self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit which does not disdain low arts, partisanship.” 

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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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