Leviticus 16:1—The Protocols for Coming Into the Presence of the Almighty Creator

How do humans come into the presence of YHVH Elohim? There is one proper way to do so, and many improper ways. The Torah’s discussion pertaining to the rituals associated with the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) reveal to us what the proper protocol is and also alludes to the fact that there is an improper way to approach the Almighty Creator as well—something which brings disastrous results.

Now YHVH spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before YHVH, and died… (Lev 16:1)

Elohim killed Nadab and Abihu because they came into the holy of holies in the Tabernacle of Moses (a representation of Elohim’s heavenly throne room) in a careless and indifferent manner. Not only were they intoxicated with alcohol, but they failed to follow the proper ceremonial protocols outlined by YHVH Elohim to come into his presence. The next few verses lay out what those protocols are to come before the King of the universe. To not follow those protocols brings the death penalty on the person. Such a person is entering illegally as an unauthorized trespasser.

Before exploring how to enter the presence of Elohim properly, let’s bring this abstract concept down to a level we can understand. For example, who hasn’t seen signs on private property that say something like this: “Private Property, No Trespassing,” “Government Property, No Trespassing,” “Unauthorized Entrance Prohibited,” “Violators Will Be Prosecuted to the Full Extent of the Law,” or “Violators Will Be Shot”? What happens to an uninvited intruder who climbs over the fence around the White House or over the walls of Buckingham Palace? He’s arrested if not shot on the spot. Similarly, there are penalties for coming into the throne room of the Almighty YHVH Elohim illegally.

…and YHVH said to Moses: “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. (Lev 16:2)

YHVH Elohim doesn’t allow humans to casually saunter into his presence anytime and in anyway they want. Though he is our loving Heavenly Father, he is holy (set-apart) and is the Creator of the Universe who is to be feared and respected. He has the power of life and death; he gives life and can take it away. Humans (especially Christians) would do well to know their place before the Almighty, to treat him with the respect he is due and to follow his instructions in all areas of their relationship with him. Indeed, YHVH wants humans to come before him, but in the proper way.

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How much to YOU love Yeshua?

John 12:5, Three hundred denarii. This large sum is equal to 300 days’ wages for a common laborer.

To the natural mind, Judas’ objection to the use of this expensive spice (worth between $30,000 and $50,000 in today’s money) to anoint someone’s feet seems illogical and a total waste of money. By contrast, from our perspective today, we can look backwards historically with perfect 20–20 hindsight and realize that for Yeshua, the Messiah and Savior of the world, he was worth every penny of the spikenard and much more. Yet, from the perspective of Yeshua’s followers, Yeshua’s true identity and mission still weren’t clear. This confusion wouldn’t clear up until after his resurrection and glorification (v. 16). So for some of them, Mary’s act of faith in anointing Yeshua’s feet with a year’s wages of spice seemed to be illogical folly. 

This spice, most likely was originally intended for use on Lazarus’ body, whom Yeshua had just resurrected and so was no longer needed for that purpose, at least. It is likely that it was out of gratefulness for resurrecting her brother that Mary performed this act of love and devotion to Yeshua, not realizing that her actions were prophetic in that she was pre-anointing Yeshua’s body for his own burial ten days from that night (v. 7).

Now let us consider the following. We know that YHVH Elohim the Father gave us his greatest love gift by sending Yeshua, his Son, to this earth to live, die and resurrect for our redemption and ultimate glorification (John 3:16). How much do we love Yeshua, and what is the greatest gift we could ever give him, even if those around us may think that we were crazy to do so? It is your heart, devotion and obedience. Have you given him all your heart? Does all that you own belong to him including your life? Would you give away all of your possessions in devotion to him if he asked it of you? Would you literally lay your life down for him as he did for you? How much do you love Yeshua?

 

Davidic Dance—An Expression of Joy and Praise

Psalm 149:1, 3, In the assembly of the saints…dance. (On the dance, see Ps 150:1, 4.) Hebraic worship dance should be an aspect of praise and worship in the congregation of the saints according to the Psalms. Certainly, at the very least, dancing should be occurring on the three pilgrimage feasts or chagim: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles. The Torah refers to each of these three appointed times (Heb. moedim) as chag meaning “festival.” The root word of chag is chagag meaning “to celebrate, keep a solemn feast or holy day, to move or go around in a circle, march in a sacred procession, to reel to and fro in a giddy manner.” Indeed Davidic dancing at joyous celebrations such as the biblical feasts has been a Hebraic tradition since time immemorial.

 

The “Sacrifice of Praise” Explained

Psalm 116:17, Sacrifice of thanksgiving

Elsewhere, the psalmist refers to this as “the sacrifice of joy” or praises (Ps 27:6; see also Jer 17:26; 33:11; Heb 13:15), “the sacrifice of righteousness” (Ps 4:5), “the sacrifice of thanksgiving (Ps 107:22), “the freewill offerings of my mouth” (Ps 119:108). Similarly, he declares that the sacrifices of Elohim are  broken spirit and a contrite heart” (Ps 51:17).Paul expresses this concept as “presenting your bodies as a living sacrifice” (Rom 12:1). Why are such sacrifices pleasing to Elohim?

For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hos 6:6)

In Matthew 9:13 and 12:7, Yeshua responds to those who were criticizing him for his unconventional religious activities by quoting Hosea 6:6. He goes on to imply that mercy as well as fasting as opposed to literal animal sacrifices is “a new wine skin” for his disciples replacing the old wine skin of animal sacrifices.

Why is the new wine of sacrifice of mercy, praise, righteousness, thanksgiving, a broken spirit and a contrite heart preferable to YHVH-Yeshua over animal sacrifices? The answer should be obvious. One can offer animal sacrifices or perform other religious duties and activities all day long, and never have a heart change. Such means nothing means to Elohim if the sacrifice isn’t accompanies by contrite, repentant, worshipful and thankful heart. Moreover, a sacrifice costs the one giving the sacrifice something, but giving means nothing to Elohim unless it is coupled with a correct heart attitude. Similarly, acts of service are merely a clanging gong and tinkling bell to Elohim if not accompanied by a heart of love (1 Cor 13). YHVH wants hearts that want to love and obey him, not empty acts of religiousity that are done for show and pretense, often out of human pride. Hosea expresses what YHVH wants from humans:

O Israel, return to YHVH your Elohim, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity; take words with you, And return to YHVH. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously, for we will offer the sacrifices of our lips. Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride on horses, nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’” For in You the fatherless finds mercy. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him. I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall grow like the lily, and lengthen his roots like Lebanon. his branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon. Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain, and grow like a vine. Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, “What have I to do anymore with idols?” I have heard and observed him. I am like a green cypress tree; your fruit is found in Me. Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of YHVH are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. (Hos 14:1–9)

To Elohim, such a sacrifice that involves the actual heart conversion of the offerer is a “pure offering” and is sweet smelling incense (Mal 1:11; Ps 141:2; Rev 5:8; 8:3), and YHVH will not rebuke his people for such a sacrifice (Ps 50:8).

Yeshua himself set his followers the example of laying down his life by giving himself for us as living sacrifice (Eph 5:2; Heb 9:26), an offering as a sweet smelling aroma to Elohim, even as Paul did in his life and ministry (Phil 2:17). Yeshua’s disciples will follow his and Paul’s example and do the same (1 Cor 11:1; Eph 5:2; Phil 4:18; 1 Pet 2:4).