A Hand from Heaven…Extended to YOU!

Leviticus 3:2, Without blemish. Heb. tamiym meaning “complete, whole, entire, sound, healthful, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity.” Of this word, The TWOT states, [Tamiym r]efers to animals which are without blemish; also translates as such related adjectives as full, whole, upright, perfect. It represents the divine standard for man’s attainment.” Tamiyn occurs in the Tanakh 91 times, and the KJV translates it in a variety of ways: without blemish, perfect, upright, without spot, uprightly, whole, sincerely, complete, full. What can we learn form this and how does it apply to us?

First, here are some examples of how tamiym is used in the Tanakh:

  • Noah was a just, perfect or upright (tamiym) man (Gen 6:9).
  • YHVH admonished Abraham to walk perfectly or blamelessly (tamiym) before him (Gen 17:1).
  • The Passover lamb was to be without blemish (tamiym, Exod 12:5) as were all the other animals offered to YHVH as sacrifices (e.g. Exod 29:1; Lev 1:3, 10; 3:1, 6, 9; 4:3, 23, 28, etc.).
  • YHVH instructed the Israelites to be blameless (tamiym) before him by not being like the wicked, abominable and idolatrous nations around them (Deut 18:13).
  • Elohim is perfect (tamiym, Deut 32:4).
  • The people of Elohim are to fear him and to serve him in sincerity (tamiym) and truth and to put away the gods of Egypt (this world) and to serve Elohim (Josh 24:14).
  • David was blameless or upright (tamiym) before Elohim (2 Sam 22:24). Even thought David committed adultery, murder and egregiously disobeyed in some other areas, Elohim viewed him as tamiym because of he had repented of and turned away from his sins.
  • When a person is upright or blameless (tamiym) before Elohim, Elohim will be blameless (tamam meaning “to be complete, be sound, be unimpaired, be upright or to deal in integrity, to act uprightly) in response to that person (2 Sam 24:26).
  • The ways of Elohim are perfect (tamiym, 2 Sam 22:31).
  • Elohim makes the ways of the saint perfect (tamiym,2 Sam 22:33).
  • Those who walk uprightly (tamiym) will be allowed to dwell in the presence of Elohim (Ps 15:2).
  • The Torah-law of YHVH is perfect (tamiym, Ps 19:7).
  • YHVH blesses or withholds no good thing from the upright (tamiym, Ps 84:11 cp. Ps 119:1; Prov 2:21; 28:10, 18).
  • The righteous are to walk perfectly or blamelessly (tamiym) before Elohim (Ps 101:2, 6; 119:80; Prov 11:5).
  • YHVH delights in the blameless (tamiym) person (Prov 11:20).
  • The wicked abhor those who speak uprightly (tamiym, Amos 5:10).

From the scriptural usages of tamiym it is evident that this not only describes the sterling character of Almighty himself, but is the high bar, gold standard for how the saints of the saints of the Most High are to be and to act as well. To have a relationship with our Father and Creator in heaven, we must endeavor to become like him—to meet him on his terms and on the transcendent plateau on which he exists. Yes, Scripture is clear that Elohim reaches his hand down from heaven to lift lost humans from the pit of their sinful existence, but it is only to lift them up. All day long he is continually extending his hand of mercy and grace to those humans who will reach out to him in humility and want to  brought up to his place of perfection and wholeness. Scripture is also clear that there is no other way to bridge the vast and cavernous gap that exists between humans and their Creator except through Yeshua the Messiah who is the way to our Father in heaven, and who is the ladder that all must climb to meet our Maker in heaven on his terms (John 14:6; 1:51). YHVH Elohim is reaching out to some of you right now through these words that you are currently reading. What are you going to do about it?


More Discussion on Sin, Its Consequences and Yeshua’s Atoning Death on the Cross

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An Overview of the Sacrificial System and Its Relevance to YOU

Leviticus 1–7

Although Jewish and Christian scholars disagree about whether the sacrifices were to cease after the coming of the Messiah, as Edersheim points out, all agree that the object of a sacrifice was substitution for the offender (The Temple – Its Ministry and Service, p. 90). He also notes that the Jewish fathers along with the Scriptures that all these substitutionary sacrifices pointed to none other than the Messiah. This understanding is especially expressed in the proto-rabbinic biblical Aramaic commentaries or Targumim (e.g. Tarum Jonathan and the Jerusalem Targum; ibid., p. 92). Later rabbinic sages, in light of the rise of Christianity, were loath to accept this interpretation and, to this day, pretend it was never the belief of their ancient predecessors. 

As the Tanakh progresses, the concept of the substitutionary sacrifice as it relates to the sinner and to the Messiah expands and unfolds. The unity of the Tanakh in this regard and its progression of revelation on this subject must be taken into consideration when studying the sacrifices listed in Leviticus and the rest of the Torah if we are to understand completely the biblical concept of substitutionary sacrifice as well as the Messianic prophecies. The concept of sacrifice in the Tanakh point us prophetically in progressive stages to the sin atoning death of the Messiah on behalf of sinners. Such passages in the Tanakh as Pss 2, 22, 35, 69, 72, 89, 110, 118 along with Isa 52:13–53:12 (many other scriptural passages could be cited here as well) point undeniably to the Person and work of Yeshua the Messiah including his suffering and glorification. The apostolic writers understood these prophecies and how Yeshua fulfilled them perfectly (e.g. Isa 52:13–53:12 cp. Heb 9:11–15; 10:4–7, 1; etc.), and this understanding forms the basis for the New Testament, which the authors thereof refer to as The Testimony of Yeshua (Rev 1:9; 6:2; etc.). 

Brief Overview: Six Types of Offerings (Heb. korban) Offered on the Altar (Lev 1-7)

Burnt or Elevation (Heb. Olah) Offering (Lev 1:3–17) 

The olah or ascending offering signified the offerer giving himself up totally, wholly ascending or complete surrender to Elohim. The priests offered up this sacrifice up twice daily—the morning and evening (Exod 29:38–42; Num 28:1–8). This offering was always a male animal whose blood was to be sprinkled around the altar. The offerer was to lay his hands on the head of the animal before it was slaughtered symbolizing substitutionary atonement for sins. The offering would be accepted as a sweet aroma by Elohim.

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What is the “mother” of all sins?

Psalm 138:6, Lowly…humble. YHVH prefers the lowly (Isa 66:2; Matt 5:8; Jas 4:6; 1 Pet 5:5) and finds human pride to be abominable (Prov 6:16–17). Human pride is perhaps the mother of all sins. It prevents Elohim from working with a person, for a proud person is unable to see themselves as they really are, and fails to recognize their sinfulness and their need for a Redeemer, and thus is unable to come into alignment with commandments of Elohim that produce his character in a person, thus bringing the person into a spiritual relationship with Elohim. Pride prevents and destroys relationships between humans and between humans and Elohim. That’s why Elohim hates it so much. Humility brings a person closer to Elohim; pride keeps a person far from Elohim. 

 

What do YOU lift your eyes up to?

Psalm 123:1, Unto you I lift my eyes. How many people in our post-Christian era lift their eyes to Elohim anymore for anything? Not many. Even most so called believers put their trust in just about everything else besides Elohim in their time of need whether it’s in medical doctors, money, .self-help psychology, the government, or themselves. For example, when they are sick, most people instinctively call their doctors first before praying to Elohim for wisdom and healing. They seldom seek YHVH when making major decisions in their lives. They rarely seek YHVH’s guidance, direction, wisdom and counsel on anything. They spend more times lifting their eyes up to their electronic devices (a modern version of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) instead of to YHVH and his Word, and they are to addicted to the things of this world and, at the same time, blind to their own idol-worshipping habits to even recognize it. We are a lukewarm and idolatrous people. This was a concern of John, which is why he ended his first epistle with these words, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). If this was true then, how much more so now? YHVH help us!

 

Are YOU destined for the trash heap?

Luke 12:5, Killed…cast into hell [Gehenna]. There are two deaths: a physical and a spiritual death. All humans will die a physical death (Heb 9:27), but not everyone will die a second or spiritual death. This death is reserved for the unregenerate wicked and is called the lake of fire (Rev 20:12–15). The Hinnom Valley (Gr. Gehenna) on the west side of Jerusalem was a Hebrew metaphor for the fate of the wicked. The Jews used this valley as a refuse dump, and it was there that the bodies of dead animals and criminals were burned. Literally, at the white throne judgment after having judged the unregenerate wicked, YHVH will cast them into his spiritual garbage dump to be burned up (Rev 20:11–15).

 

Humble yourself willingly before Elohim has to force you to do so !

Exodus 10:3, How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? The sovereign Creator ultimately demands that everyone submits to his will and purposes. Those who refuse to do so imperil themselves. The Scriptures record that YHVH also held other political leaders in addition to Pharaoh accountable for exalting themselves against him and for refusing to humble themselves before him. These include Nebuchanezzar (Dan 4:19ff), Belshazzar (Dan 5:22), Zedekiah (2 Chron 36:12), Lucifer (Isa 14:13ff) and Herod (Acts 12:21–23). 

Furthermore, those who put their trust in false gods will come under the judgment of the one supreme and true Elohim or Mighty One of the Bible. Elohim uses men’s false gods or idols as a judgment against sinners to help them to see the futility of their idolatrous delusions and to bring them to repentance (e.g. Isa 66:4–5; Prov 10:24).

As Elohim judged the false gods of Egypt one by one and brought that arrogant nation down, he will do the same in the end days with Babylon the Great and the gods or idols of this world. We see a striking parallel between the plagues YHVH brought upon Egypt and those he will bring upon the rebellious inhabitants of earth just prior to Yeshua’s second coming. For example, the seventh plague of the seventh vial is an ultimate expression of the fierceness of Elohim’s wrath upon a rebellious and still blaspheming world (Rev 16:17–21). Seventy five pound hailstones will fall from heaven and the earth will quake beneath. There will be no hiding place from Elohim’s wrath. Additional end-time plages that replicate those of Egypt include grievous sores to come upon men (Rev 16:2), the seawater and fresh water turning to blood (Rev 16:3–4), and darkness upon the earth (Rev 16:10). After this, Babylon the Great will fall (Rev 18:2), even as ancient Egypt fell under the mighty blows of YHVH’s judgment.

Psalm chapter two summarizes the rebellious arrogance of men, and their conspiracy against the Creator to keep control of their earthly kingdoms. Elohim will laugh at them from heaven and will send his Son to judge them and to break their kingdoms in pieces with a rod of iron. Kiss Messiah the Son now and worship him if you expect to escape these judgments (v. 12)!

What gods or idols do we have in our lives that we are holding on to? Each of the plagues against Egypt was a direct strike against one of the many gods of Egypt (Exod 12:12; Num 33:4). Elohim will destroy all pretenders and imposters who dare to challenge his sovereignty. (See notes at Exod 7:14.) The god of self will is the most powerful false god each human will ever face!

 

Trials and persecution? Yes. Divine judgement? No.

Exodus 8:22; 9:4, 26, Set apart the land of Goshen. YHVH separated the children of Israel from the Egyptians in that he spared them from the last seven plagues. What does this teach us about the judgments of Elohim? The Israelites were made to go through the first three plagues only. Do YHVH’s people ever experience trials and tribulations? Yes. (Read Deut 8:2–5; 2 Tim 3:12; Heb 11, the entire chapter; Rev 7:9–14.) Do the saints need spiritual refinement in order to help them become the chaste bride of Yeshua who is without the spot and wrinkle of sin? Yes. (Read Eph 5:27; 1 Cor 3:9–17.) The saints may go through tribulation, but they will not have to experience Elohim’s wrathful judgments unto death upon a wicked world (1 Thess 1:10; 5:9 cp. Rev 6:17; 7:2–3). Other examples of the saints going through tribulation, but then being delivered before Elohim poured out his final wrath upon the wicked include Lot in Sodom, and Noah at the flood.

Exodus 8:23, I will make a difference. As YHVH intensifies his judgments on a nation to get that nation’s attention, he, at the same time, will highlight his true servants by affording them special protection from the judgments. He delivered both Noah and Lot from his severe judgments upon the surrounding heathen rebels. This will occur in the end times when YHVH will allow some of his servants to escape his judgments (Ezek 9:4; Luke 21:36; Rev 7:4; 9:4). He will lead them through the flood and fire (Isa 43:2).