What Happens to You When You Die?

Restoration of Truth Series: The State of the Dead

by Nathan Lawrence
Hoshana Rabbah Biblical Resources at www.HoshanaRabbah.org

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Yeshua the Messiah, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which Elohim has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19–21, emphasis added)

It has been the common belief among nearly all Christians universally for nineteen hundred years that upon physical death a person’s soul immediately separates from their body and lives immortally either in heaven or in hellfire. In this brief study we will show incontrovertible proof that this cornerstone of Christian orthodoxy needs to be reexamined, and that the idea of the soul being immortal is of non-biblical (even Satanic) origination. Admittedly, this is not a salvational issue, but this belief is detrimental to one’s biblical understanding, since it leads to a skewed view of several other key biblical truths. This belief also hinders the advancement of YHVH’s kingdom as we will also demonstrate below. If you are a bold truth seeker, and not timid about questioning sacred cow beliefs then read on.

Does Man Possess an Immortal Soul?

This question of the immortality of the human soul should not be passed over quickly. Why? Because nearly all of the world’s false, non-biblical religions believe that each person possesses an immortal soul that lives on after death. To the questioning mind, shouldn’t the universality of this idea be suspect? Therefore, shouldn’t it behoove the assiduous truth-seeker to know the origination of this belief? Is it biblical or from some other source? These are excellent questions that we will answer below. The answers affects everyone! 

The Source Is Not Elohim!

The first place in the Bible that the immortality of the soul concept is mentioned is in Genesis chapter three—literally at the beginning of man’s existence on earth, and the source of this idea was not YHVH Elohim, the Creator of man. Rather it was from the spiritual entity Yeshua the Messiah labeled as “the father of all lies” (John 8:44), Satan the devil, the serpent (Rev 12:9). 

We pick up the story of how the immortal soul idea come into man’s initial awareness way back in the Garden of Eden at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, where the serpent (i.e., Satan the devil; Rev 12:9), in enticing the woman to eat from the forbidden tree, told her that “you shall not surely die” even though YHVH had told Adam and Eve that they would die if they ate of it (Gen 2:8–9; 3:1–6). Was the serpent the originator of the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, According to the Bible, the answer is yes! As we shall now discover, this concept was not even an aspect of Old Testament theology.

An Analysis of the Hebrew Word Nephesh

Upon a careful analysis of all the Bible scriptures on this subject from both the Tanakh (i.e., Old Testament or OT) and Testimony of Yeshua (i.e., New Testament or NT), a truth becomes clear. Man possesses a soul, but nowhere does Scripture state that his soul is immortal. An understanding of how Scripture uses the Hebrew word nephesh (in the OT) and the Greek word psuche (in the nT)—both translated as “soul” in our Bibles—reveals that notion that the soul of man is immortal is to overlay the Word of Elohim with a concept that is foreign to biblical truth. This is because neither the OT nor the NT indicate that the soul is immortal, but rather that it is simply that part of a human that defines who one is. That is, it is merely one’s personality, character, emotional make-up, mental capabilities and the volitional or will part of a person.

Let’s now examine the actual meanings of the words nephesh and psuche. According to The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (volume 9, p. 617ff), Scripture equated nephesh with the breath of man, the blood of man and the person of man. In the latter, it is used as a term for the total nature of man, for what he is, not just what he has. The same cannot be said of the spirit, heart or flesh part of man. The classical text in Genesis 2:7 clearly expresses this truth when it calls man in his totality a nephesh hai-yah or “a living being” (NKJV) or “a living soul” (KJV). The nephesh has no existence apart from the body. Hence the best translation in many instances is “person”comprised in corporeal (relating to the physical body, as opposed to one’s spirit) reality. Nephsesh can denote what is most individual in human nature, namely, the ego (ibid. p. 620).

Nephesh as used in the OT can also be an expression of the will. The nepheshis manifest in orientation to an object, whether this be the elemental realities of hunger and thirst on the one side (Deut 12:15,20; 1 Sam 2:16, etc.) or the lofty aspiration of yearning for Elohim on the other (Ps 103:1). Nephesh can refer to the sex drive (Gen 34:3; Jer 2:24), to hatred (Ps 27:12), to pain and sorrow (1 Sam 1:10; 30:6), to the will (Gen 23:8), and the supreme striving of man for Elohim (Isa 26:9; Ps 63:1; 84:2, etc.) (ibid., pp. 621–622).

Based on these definitions of the word nephesh as used in the OT, we see that the Bible refers to the soul of man as the mind, the will and emotions. It refers to who one is as a person or one’s personality. It is in this Hebraic sense that the writers of the NT would be using the term soul (e.g., 1 Thess 5:23). There is no reason to assume that the apostolic writers referred to man’s soul in anything other than Hebraic terms to the exclusion of any Hellenistic (pagan Greek) concepts of the immortal soul.

Further Study of the Hebrew word Nephesh/Soul from Various Lexicons

The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament is not the only expert lexical source that reveals the meaning of the word soul as used in the Scriptures and debunks the notion that it is immortal. The following is a list of several other notable lexicons that contain similar information.

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The Kingdom of Elohim Explained (An Ignored Subject in the Church)

If you were to ask the average Christian to define the term “the kingdom of God” or “the kingdom of heaven,” how would they respond? They might say something like, “It is going to heaven when you die.” Or maybe they would think that it is the church or Christianity as a whole at work on this earth. More likely their answer would be some nebulous, pie-in-the-sky concept that is based more in Christian fantasy than biblical Truth. All of these answers would be missing the mark as to how the Bible defines this most overlooked subject in Christianity. So how does the Bible define the kingdom of heaven and why is it important to know?

To be sure, the kingdom of heaven or Elohim is a major, not to be underestimated, missing element in the preaching of the gospel in the mainstream Christian church and, I suspect, most so-called Hebrews roots or Messianic congregations as well. This is despite the fact that Yeshua made this subject a central theme of his preaching ministry and commanded his disciples to do so as well. This is also despite the fact the Gospels succinctly define the gospel message of John the Baptist, Yeshua and his disciples as “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Not only do few churches teach about repentance of sin or Torahlessness, but fewer still teach about the kingdom of heaven. This is a missing truth needs to be rediscovered and emphasized once again as it was in the first century.

This gross failure and blatant overlooking of this key aspect of the gospel message by most Bible teachers is punctuated by the fact that the kingdom of Elohim is the fourth most mentioned subject from Yeshua’s lips during his ministry (144 references in the Gospels of Matthew and John alone). The only other subjects that Yeshua mention more frequently were himself (316 references), his Father (184 references), the hypocritical religionists of his day (e.g., the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees et al with 177 references) followed by the kingdom of Elohim or heaven. In the Gospel of Matthew alone, “the kingdom of heaven” is mentioned 33 times. In the New Testament, “the kingdom of God” is mentioned 69 times. Obviously, Yeshua and the apostolic writers considered the kingdom of Elohim to be an important topic, and maybe our understanding of Scripture along with our future destiny would be expanded were we to follow suit.

Since the Gospel writers juxtaposed the two subjects of repentance and the kingdom of heaven, it is worth noting that the Bible is clear about an important truth: Without repentance of sin, one cannot enter the kingdom of Elohim. There is zero place for sin in the presence of a holy or set-apart (in Heb. kadosh), totally pure and sinless Elohim, for, as we read in the Bible, without holiness, no one will see Elohim (Heb 12:14).

Before delving into the subject of the kingdom of Elohim or heaven, let’s briefly note some other subjects that the modern church is more likely to teach about instead and then hold that up against the template of the actual words of Yeshua. 

During his ministry, Yeshua preached on about 136 topics. The following list contains a number of topics that the modern church often teaches about compared to the number times Yeshua talked about them:

  • Prophecy – 1 time
  • The rapture or the resurrection of the dead – 1 time
  • Grace – 1 time
  • Money – 3 times
  • Material blessings – 4 times
  • Forgiveness – 24 times
  • Heaven –10 times
  • Hell – 17 times
  • Salvation – 27 times
  • Sexuality – 2 times
  • Sickness (physical) – 1 time
  • The soul –1 time
  • Some subjects Yeshua never discussed include:
  • Self-esteem
  • Retirement
  • Sex, Sexual pleasure and fulfillment
  • Racism, Diversity, Inclusion (or so-called “wokeness”)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Self-fulfillment
  • Personal happiness
  • Social welfare
  • Politics
  • The economy
  • You fill in the blank as to the favorite subject of your local church pastor. It is likely it is not on the list of Yeshua topics!

Why is it vital to our spiritual understanding to learn about and then embrace the concept of the kingdom of Elohim? Because the establishment of the kingdom of Elohim starts with you and me. Yeshua declared that it actually starts within each person—in the heart and mind of each individual (Luke 17:21). He brought the kingdom of heaven down with him to the earth, deposited a bit of its spiritual territory into each of his disciples and then commissioned them to go forth and to expand that kingdom one life at a time. This is done by being salt and light to the world, and as each of us shares the good news of that kingdom everywhere. Are you fulfilling your role to be an emissary or ambassador for the kingdom of Elohim? If so, how?

The Scriptures have many things to say about the kingdom of Elohim that we need to learn about and that affect us directly. Let’s briefly explore some of the ramifications of this subject.

The Kingdom of Elohim Was a Main Theme of Yeshua’s Ministry and the Gospel Message

Spreading the good news of the kingdom of heaven or Elohim was the central theme of the gospel message. John the Baptist, Yeshua and his disciples all laid out the template for us to follow:

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt 3:1–2)

From that time Yeshua began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt 4:17)

These twelve Yeshua sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” (Matt 10:5–7)

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Reasons to Believe in Yeshua

Why Believe in Yeshua the Messiah?

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ll believe it when I see it”? Is seeing really believing?  Many people saw Yeshua when he was on this earth, but most didn’t believe him.

It has been 2000 years since Yeshua walked this earth, and since we’ve never seen him, nor even talked to those who saw him, what is the basis of our faith? Is faith in Yeshua blind? Or are there logical reasons to believe in him?

For those of us who have had a faith in Yeshua for a while, for us there are a myriad reasons that have come together to form the basis of our faith. However, for those who are new in their faith walk and don’t have a lifetime of “spiritual experiences” that corroborate that faith, initially finding a basis for that faith can be difficult.

Some people come to Yeshua because that’s their last hope. They’ve hit rock bottom in their lives and there’s no where else to go. They hear and believe the gospel message of hope and end up experiencing the power of the Yeshua and his Holy Spirit in their lives.

Others take a more reasoned approach to establishing a faith in Yeshua. Perhaps their lives haven’t hit rock bottom, but they know they’re missing something — there’s still a void in their life. They sense that there must be more to life — a higher purpose — than simply existing and then dying. 

Others come to faith in Yeshua because they look around and see intelligent design behind everything in existence, which speaks of a Creator, which leads them to want to know more about him. 

Some people come to Yeshua as a way of dealing with their on mortality.  In their quest to answer the question of whether there’s life after death, they come to faith in Yeshua. 

Perhaps some come to faith in Yeshua due to the pang of a guilty conscience because of their sin and the need for redemption. 

Some people have studied the world’s religions and find that only the gospel message as presented in the Bible addresses the deeper issues of life. 

These are all valid and logical reasons for coming to faith in Yeshua.

Whatever the reason for believing what the Bible says about Yeshua, there are good reasons to believe in him  based on both the claims of the Bible and logic.

Yeshua — A Historical Figure

Whatever we think about Yeshua pro or con, he was a historical figure. More has been written about him than anyone else, and he has impacted the world more than anyone. There must be something to all this, and thus we have to deal with this reality. Twenty-seven different first-century New Testament documents attest to the reality of his existence and to his impact on humanity. Additionally, numerous Christian, Jewish and Roman historians from the first and second centuries attest to his existence and his positive impact on the lives of thousands, if not millions of people.

An Important Question

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Why Celebrate the Passover? (updated)

Isn’t your life already busy enough? Who has time for a six-hour Passover Seder commemorating something that happened thousands of years ago? What could this possibly have to do with my life here and now, you may ask? How can a 3500-year-old Biblical ritual in any way relate to those living in the age of the laser, satellites, the worldwide web, computers, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence? Well, let’s find out!

The Preacher said in Ecclesiastes 3:15, “That which is has been already and that which will be has already been.…” Life is full of paradoxes. Do advancements in technology, science, economics, medicine, religion, and the spread of global government that all promise a man-made utopia of sorts really fulfill the promise to give man the rest for his weary soul and a deeper meaning to life that he longs for, as well as the answer to the age-old question: What happens when I die? Can I live forever? If so, how?

How about we take a different approach to the questions and problems facing modern man? Is it possible to go forward it time by going backwards in time? This is a thesis that Jeremiah, the ancient biblical prophet, proffered in his day, and which is still relevant to us. He declared, “Thus says YHVH, ‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk in it,’” (Jer 6:16). What were those ancient paths to which this white-haired Israelite prophet referred? This question is answered three verses later: “Because they have not listened to My words, and as for My Torah, they have rejected it also,” (verse 19). YHVH through his prophets has been showing men the way of rest for their weary souls for thousands of years, yet men consistently refuse to listen. They always have a better way, or so it seems!

The festival of Passover is one of the most ancient paths to be found in the Scriptures. In the Passover celebration are clues that will help us to understand our past, present and the future. 

Switching gears, a God-hater, Karl Marx, the father of modern communism, said that religion is the opiate of the masses. Yes, this can be said of dead, truthless and Spiritless religion. But how about that religion which gives definition, purpose, meaning, hope and destiny to a man’s life? How could anything that comes directly from the Loving Father who created you and me in his own image be detrimental to us?

Moreover, it has been said that the religion of the Bible tells a person where he has come from, where he is at and where he is going. Could it not be said that a man who knows the answers to these questions possesses true wisdom and wealth, and has indeed found rest for his troubled soul and possible, even, the answer to the life-after-death question?

Moving along as we attempt to find rest for our weary souls and answers to the deep questions of life, let’s now consider another aspect. One of the most important scriptures in the Jewish faith is the famous shema passage of Deuteronomy 6:4–9. This passage, which is like a “pledge of allegiance” for the Jews, starts out by saying, “Hear [shema], O Israel …” The word shema literally means “to hear and to do.” Later, in verse five, the shema continues, “And you shall love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might.” Loving our Heavenly Creator is not just a mind-thing, but also an action and a doing thing. It is something we act out and participate in. This is the Hebrew way…the ancient paths! As a path is for the purpose of walking down, even so, Passover is meant to be celebrated. This is how YHVH’s people showed their love and devotion to him. Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, reiterated this when he said, “If you love me, keep my commandments [or Torah mitzvot]” (John 14:15). In so doing, one begins to discover rest for the weary soul and answers to life. The walk is the answer!

This is what the Passover Seder is all about. We, as humans, learn by doing. We learn obedience by obeying. We learn to love by loving. We learn about heavenly and spiritual mysteries by walking out the types and shadows found in Scripture (of which Passover is but one) that point to the heavenly and spiritual domain or dimension of YHVH himself. The French have a saying: L’appétit vient en mangeant. Translated this means: Appetite comes while eating. Or we could say that the more one eats (delicious food), the more one wants. David said in Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that YHVH is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.” The more we walk out the commandments of our Heavenly Father, the more of his goodness we behold, the more of his blessings we receive, the more our soul finds rest, the more we want to walk out his commandments, the more we behold his goodness, and so on goes this wonderful spiritual growth-cycle. Again, in the walk, we find rest and answers.

So why do we go to the trouble, expense and time to celebrate a Passover Seder? First, it helps us to fulfill the commands YHVH gave to us to do at Passover, such as eating lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs; telling our children the story of the Passover; holding a “set apart convocation” and so on (Exod 12:14–20, 43–49; Lev 23:4–5; Num 9:2–3; 28:16; Deut 16:1–3). But again we ask, what is the significance and relevance to us of this celebration? What can we gain from involving ourselves in this curious, ancient ritual? What mysteries has the Creator hidden therein that yield a treasure trove of answers to the deeper questions of life?

Passover is but the first piece of a panoramic puzzle, or the first thread in a rich tapestry of YHVH’s plan of redemption of mankind. Though the children of Israel kept the first Passover 3500 years ago in the land of Egypt, this ancient celebration is not only a memorial of what occurred then, but is of utmost significance to the spiritual life of the disciple of Yeshua today. It has future or prophetic implications as well. Passover is the first step of a spiritual journey that, if one continues in it faithfully to the end, will lead one into the very presence of YHVH Elohim, our Heavenly Father, himself. What a journey! Let’s take a closer look at it this step.

Ancient Israel, the covenant people through whom YHVH had chosen to reconcile all nations of the earth to himself, was in slavery in Egypt. YHVH heard their desperate cries, and remembering his promises to Abraham, with a mighty hand he brought down proud and powerful Egypt by his judgments and set his captive children free. Israel was in bondage to Egypt—a biblical metaphor for the world, the flesh and devil. And even as you and I were in bondage to our past sinful lives and under helpless control of the world, flesh and the devil. As the Israelites slew a perfect lamb and smeared its blood on the sides and top of the door posts of their homes, they were spared YHVH’s judgment on Egypt (again, a symbolic picture of unsaved sinners) and all those who were not under the blood. Likewise, there is deliverance for us if we simply recognize our state of sin and being spiritually lost, and if we but come repentantly to the cross of Golgotha upon which Yeshua, the bleeding Lamb of YHVH, slain from the foundation of the earth, hung. If we too will put our faith and trust in him and apply his sin-atoning blood to the door posts (thoughts and actions) of our lives, we, like our ancient forefathers, can escape YHVH’s terrifying judgment, for sin, the wages of which is death, will have no claim on our lives if we are under the blood of the Lamb.

Passover is but the first step in a parade of seven prophetic dress rehearsals or convocations (in Hebrew each is called a miqra or a command assembly) represented by the seven glorious festivals of YHVH (called moedim or appointed times) all of which point to the redemptive work of Messiah Yeshua in the life of the redeemed believer. There are three set-apart festivals (or moedim) in the spring of the year that are prophetic shadow-pictures of Messiah’s first coming to earth, and there are four set-apart festivals in autumn which are prophetic shadow-pictures of his second coming at the end of the age.

Passover represents the redeemed believer coming out of the spiritual Egypt of this world. Interestingly, Passover falls at the beginning of YHVH’s sacred biblical year. Not only is it at the beginning of the new year, but it is the first festival of the year and represents the first step in a new believer’s life—all falling in the spring season of the year, which is the time of rebirth and new beginnings both in the physical creation and in YHVH’s spiritual creation in the life of the individual!

Chag haMatzot (the Feast of Unleavened Bread), which immediately follows Passover and which is often considered to be a continuation of Passover, represents the believer putting Egypt out of his life, which is symbolized by putting leavening out of our homes and living in a leaven-free environment for seven days.

After that comes Shavuot (The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost). Since it is impossible for one to live sin-free for very long without help from above, man needs a guidebook on righteous living, and one needs divine enablement to follow the instructions within the guidebook. YHVH’s Torah (i.e., the first five books of the Bible) is that guidebook and was given to Ancient Israel at Mount Sinai. On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, the first-century believers had not only been given Yeshua, the Living Torah (the Word of YHVH made flesh), but they were promised that the Ruach haKodesh (the Set-Apart or Holy Spirit) power of Yeshua, the Living Torah, would live inside of them empowering them to walk faithfully in the light and truth of YHVH’s Written Torah instructions in righteousness which are a river of life telling us how to love our Creator and our fellow man.

After the spring biblical festivals we come to the fall festivals, which speak of a great harvest of believers at the end of the age corresponding to the second coming of Yeshua. Those festivals are Yom Teruah (the Day of Blowing Trumpets or Shofars), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) immediately followed by Shemini Atzeret (the Eighth Day). Each of these contains a whole world of spiritual and prophetic meaning of tremendous significance to the believer pertaining to the regathering of Israel, the resurrection of the righteous dead, the return of Yeshua the Messiah, the marriage of Yeshua the Lamb of Elohim to his spiritual bride (the believing saints) and the establishment of YHVH’s millennial kingdom on earth. Learn about them. You will be blessed!

The central theme of the Passover Seder celebration was the lamb, along with the matzah (unleavened bread) and the bitter herbs. The Lamb is a picture of Messiah Yeshua who was crucified for you and me at the exact moment when each family of the children of Israel was killing its own lamb, and later on when the high priest was killing the Passover lamb up on the temple mount in Jerusalem. 

In the Gospels we find recorded how Yeshua celebrated Passover or the Lord’s Supper memorial celebration with his talmidim (disciples). At that supper, he instructed them how he would perfectly fulfill the role of the Passover lamb and that they were to continue that memorial meal to which Paul makes reference in 1 Corinthians 11:17–34.

In the Seder are four cups of wine around which the Passover celebration revolves. They are called the Cup of Sanctification, the Cup of Deliverance, the Cup of Redemption, and the Cup of Praise or Completion. The four cups are based on Exodus 6:6–8, in which YHVH makes seven promises (called the Seven Steps of Redemption) to Israel where he elaborated how he would start by delivering Israel from Egypt and end up bringing them into the Promised Land that he would give them.

We believe that Messiah will drink of the Fourth Cup with his spiritual bride in his kingdom, for it is recorded in the Gospels that Yeshua drank of at least two of the four cups with his disciples during the Last Supper. But the last, or Fourth Cup of Praise or Completion, he said he would not partake of “until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt 26:29). In this we see a reference to the long-awaited marriage supper of the Lamb to occur after his second coming.

And this, my beloved friends, is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg in the explanations of these wonderful events that Bible believers celebrate during the Passover Seder. It is a journey, if you stay faithful to him, that will never end, for the more you grow and learn, the more you will realize how little you know and how vast the ocean of YHVH Elohim’s unsearchableness really is!

 Now all these things happened unto them for examples and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. (1 Cor 10:11)

But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which Elohim has prepared for them that love him. But Elohim has revealed them unto us by his Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of Elohim. (1 Cor 2:9–10)

Overview of Key Elements Pertaining to the Passover

Here are some important facts about the Passover.

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How to Prepare YOURSELF for Passover

Passover (Heb. Pesach) is just around the corner and it is time to start preparing physically and spiritually. Pesach is the first step in YHVH Elohim’s plan of salvation or redemption to reconcile sinful man back to him. It is the first of seven steps in YHVH’s step-by-step plan of salvation as symbolized by the seven biblical feasts. Did you ever wonder how this amazing step-by-step process really works starting with preparing for Pesach? Let’s now find out.

There is never a better time to begin repenting of sin and getting under the blood of the Lamb of Elohim than just before Passover. As the children of Israel applied the lamb’s blood to the door posts and lintels of their house, in a similar fashion but on a spiritual level, Scripture instructs the saints to apply the sin-cleansing and Satan-defeating blood of Yeshua afresh to their lives (i.e., to our thoughts as represented by the door lintel and to our hands or actions as represented by the door posts). Cleansing from sin occurs as we repent of our sins, and pray for and receive YHVH’s forgiveness. Our loving and forgiving Father in heaven will then cover over us, then wash away our sins by Yeshua’s blood (1 John 1:9; Rev 1:5).

In Egypt at the first Passover, YHVH judged all those who failed to put the lamb’s blood on the door posts of their houses. In other words, they weren’t under the blood of the lamb, but were still under the death penalty for the sins they had committed, since the wages sin is death (Ezek 18:4; Rom 6:23). Any unrepented of sin in our lives brings the curse of death on us. To the degree that we have sin in our lives is the degree to which the law of sin and death has a legal claim on us (Rom 8:3). (For the record, “the law sin and death” mentioned in Rom  8:3 IS NOT referring to YHVH’s Torah-law, which are his standards of righteousness that if a person does they will bring life, not death. No! Rather, the law of sin and death is referring to the serpent’s sting of death or the venom that he injected into the human race at the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden that brings separation from YHVH resulting in death due to disobedience to the Creator’s laws or commandments.) So now, before Passover, is the time to put sin out of our spiritual houses by repenting of sin by confessing it and seeking Elohim’s forgiveness under the blood of Yeshua, and then forsaking that sin through YHVH’s grace or the divine empowerment of his Spirit in us (1 John 1:9 cp. John 16:8; Jer 31:31, 33; Ezek 11:19; 36:22–27; Heb 8:10–12). 

Let us now view through a spiritual magnifying glass of the Word of Elohim, let’s now view miraculous process of how to overcome sin. How do we go from being a lost sinner—the walking damned or the living dead (a spiritual zombie)—to becoming the glorified and immortalized children of Elohim? Passover is the first step in this glorious path that leads upward to our Father in heaven!

It works like this: When we confess and repent of our sins (i.e., the violations of YHVH’s Torah-commands; 1 John 3:4), Yeshua will pass over or forgive us of our past sins (Rom 3:25; Ps 103:8–12). From this point forward, it is up to us to embrace a new mindset and a new spiritual identity and reality; that is, we must reckon our old sinful man as having been crucified with Yeshua, in that we are now dead to sin, no longer slaves to sin; we have been freed from the power of sin, and made alive in our inner being to Elohim in Yeshua our Lord (Rom 6:7–11). Yeshua is the one who victoriously defeated the power or sting of sin, which is death, hell and the grave 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 symbolic ritual of baptism for the remission of sins, 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).  YHVH now gives us strength through his enabling and empowering grace and the miraculous work of his Spirit in us and by the washing of the water of his word to resist and overcome the power of sin, that is, to not allow sin (that  is, the violation of his Torah-commands) to 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, burial and resurrection. This occurs when we appropriate or reckon, by faith, our old sinful man to have been crucified with Yeshua, and then 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 children of Elohim. This whole process is summarized from beginning to end in Paul’s Epistle to the 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 of the righteous dead, which occurs at the second coming of Yeshua. 

This whole glorious salvation process and chain of events that transforms sinful humans from the walking dead into glorified and immortal children of Elohim begins at Passover which symbolizes the first step a person takes when he comes to faith in Yeshua the Messiah and begins to live as a saint, a set-apart or holy child of Elohim. This is the upward path of the righteous redeemed of Yeshua the Messiah.

Here are some things of which to repent: 

Pride. Do you always think that you’re right? Your opinion is what matters the most? Do you have a hard time with those who do not see something your way, or when you do not get your way? Do you have an emotional reaction when people disagree with you? Do you criticize others and put others down (especially those who are closest to you), when they do not agree with you, or do not act the way that you think they should act? Do you belittle, mock, scorn and ridicule others? Do you focus on other people’s faults? Do you have a hard time identifying any sins that you have committed? Are you proud of your humility? Are you proud of how Torah-observant you are (compared to others)? Are you overly defensive when someone corrects you or challenges you in anything you say, do or think? Do you blame or accuse others when things do not go right (according to you) instead of taking personal responsibility for your carnal reactions? Are you proud of (instead of grateful to YHVH for) your achievements in life? Do you constantly have to be talking about yourself? Is much of what you do, say and think focused on yourself? These are all signs of pride. Pride is self-idolization. Elohim hates pride and calls it an abomination (Prov 6:16–17).

Ungratefulness and selfishness. Are you ungrateful? Do you have a hard time being thankful? Are you a complainer and grumbler? Are you unhappy or discontent about your place in life, where you live, and what you have? Do you always want more? Are your material possessions and personal belongings really important to you? Do you have a hard time sharing your time, talent or treasure with others, or giving things away? This is a form of self-idolatry, pride and idolization of things. 

The love of this world. This sin involves our loving the things of the world more than the things of YHVH. Do we tend to bend or conform to the opinions of others, the trends, styles, customs, fads, fashions and mores of society rather than conforming our words, thoughts and actions to the Word, will, heart, mind and commandments of Elohim? Anything in our lives that we put ahead of YHVH and his Word is a form of idolatry. In this case, we are more concerned with what others think than what Elohim thinks about what we do. Our thoughts and actions are geared at trying to please ourself and gain the acceptance of others instead of pleasing Elohim (Jas 4:4; 1 John 2:15). Again, this is a form of idolatry.

Sins of the mouth. This sin include mean, selfish, unkind, angry, impatient, accusative, scornful, mocking, murmuring, egotistical, slanderous words and gossip. This is idolization of self. What matters most is what you have to say, how you feel, your opinions and you have the right to say what you want and when you want. This is also pride and egotism.

The lack of the fear of Elohim. Are you more concerned with what others think than what YHVH Elohim thinks about something? Do you do what you want to do when you want to do it? You view the commandments of Elohim to be more like suggestions than imperative commands? Do you pick and choose which commandments from Elohim you will follow and which ones you will disregard? If his commandments do not fit your lifestyle or you consider them to be inconvenient to follow, then you are lacking the fear of Elohim. To the degree that you disregard YHVH’s wise counsel in his Word is the degree that you fit the biblical definition of a fool. Again, anything in our lives that we put ahead of Elohim is idolatry and this makes us an idol worshipper. The Bible teaches us that the loving fear of Elohim is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, and that it will help to keep us in his in paths of righteousness.

Ask yourself this: In everything that I do and say, am I advancing the kingdom of Elohim and bringing glory to Yeshua or am I doing the opposite? Am I being a river of life to all those around me, or am I dragging them downward by being a purveyor of negativity and darkness? Are my words, thoughts and deeds leading people to the light of YHVH Elohim and to Yeshua or away from them? If not, then we need to examine our lives, identify the areas of sin therein, repent of it, forsake it and begin to live a righteous, Elohim-centered, Torah-obedient life.

Passover is also the time to…

  • Tell the redemption story. It is the responsibility of parents and elders to pass on to the next generation the Passover story (Exod 12:24–27). Explain how the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt (a metaphor for the world), to Pharaoh (a metaphor for Satan), and how YHVH delivered the Israelites from the judgment of the destroyer (YHVH’s judgment against sin) because they put the blood of the lamb on their doorposts (a picture of Yeshua’s sin-atoning death on the cross). In reality, this is the basic gospel message. This is what the Passover seder is all about and why we celebrate it. 
  • Begin studying and celebrating the YHVH’s biblical feasts. Prepare your heart and mind to obey YHVH by keeping his appointed times starting with Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Are you willing to obey his commands pertaining to these observances? How much do you love him (John 14:15)? How much do you want to know him (1 John 2:6–7)? Celebrating YHVH’s feasts help us to love him and to know him better.
  • Examine yourself. At this time of the year, we must each examine ourselves to insure that we will not be partaking of the cup of redemption (i.e. the communion cup) unworthily (1 Cor 11:28).
  • Rediscover the cross. It is time to rediscover the cross of Yeshua again and your place at its foot. It is also time to rediscover the power of the resurrected Yeshua in one’s life. Marvel at the miracle of the resurrection and consider the fact that you have access to Yeshua’s resurrected life through faith in him and through the work of his Set-Apart Spirit as you obey the Word of Elohim. 
  • Awaken from spiritual slumber and to and for new beginnings. Passover occurs in the spring at the beginning of the biblical year. Spring is a time of new beginnings physically and spiritually. It is the time of year for each of us to take stock of our life, assess any weaknesses and deficiencies you have, and then resolve to make the necessary changes. It is the time to make improvements through the power of YHVH’s grace, his Word, his Spirit all through a vibrant, daily relationship with Yeshua our Master and Savior.
  • Clean your spiritual house. It is the time to deleaven our lives of sin.  Passover is time of spring cleaning and deleavening our physical houses (Exod 12:15–20), and removing the leaven of sin from our spiritual houses as well (Pss 26:2; 139:1, 23–24). We must root out and eradicate the old sin habits from the crevices and dark areas of our life. In Scripture, leavening represents sin, pride, hypocrisy and false doctrine.  Do the sinful practices, evil habits and illicit delicacies of Egypt still hold sway on you? Do any unclean spirits or filthy habits still have control over you? It is time to take control of these sins and to eliminate them and become wholly consecrated unto YHVH-Yeshua, his Word, his plans and purposes. It is time to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (Matt 6:33). One cannot serve two masters at the same time (i.e. the world, the flesh and the devil and YHVH Elohim) and expect to be pleasing to YHVH (Matt 6:24). Passover is an excellent time to forsake all these things that drag us down spiritually and pull us away from our Father in heaven. It is time to move onward and upward spiritually!
  • Renew our first love for Yeshua. Take this time to rediscover the glorious beauty of Yeshua our Heavenly Bridegroom (Rev 2:4–5). Now is the time to rekindle our first love passion and zeal for Yeshua and to repent of spiritual lukewarmness (Rev 3:15–21).