Numbers 14:20–24,I have pardoned. This Bible passages teaches us that there is a general pardon of sin of which all humans are the recipient, and a salvational pardon of sin that only a few receive. How is this?
YHVH pardoned Israel for the sin of disobedient unbelief, but forgiveness in this case only meant that YHVH’s judgment would not come upon them for this particular sin. This pardon did not expiate them of all their sin resulting in eternal life of which entering into the Promised Land was a prophetic antetype.
This is the same genre of pardon that YHVH extended to Adam and Eve after they sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit. They did not die immediately, but were able to live out their lives under that pardon, but it did not guarantee them eternal life.
Later we read that in verse 23 that YHVH would not allow this unbelieving generation of Israelites see the Promised Land because they had rejected Elohim and refused to obey him. This was in contradistinction to Joshua and Caleb who had a different spirit in them and fully obeyed YHVH (v. 24).
What can we learn from this? In general sense, YHVH pardons all humans for the sins they commit. If he did not, his judgment would come upon them immediately, for the wages of sin is death, and they would be no more. But humans keep sinning, rejecting Elohim, and yet he graciously, in most cases, allows them to live out their physical lives, but this does not mean that they will have eternal life. This is YHVH pardoning them momentarily, but not saving them or granting them eternal life. Only those, like Caleb and Joshua, who have a different spirit (i.e. the Holy Spirit) and a personal spirit or heart that is inclined to fully obey him will be rewarded with eternal life in the Promised Land of YHVH’s eternal kingdom.
This psalm presents several fundamental biblical truths that should ignite the fires of hope for the saints of YHVH Elohim. First, YHVH, the Mighty One or El, is coming to judge the earth and the wicked thereon with the fires his judgment. Second, out of this, he will deliver his saints from that fire and will gather those who are in a covenant relationship and who glorify him through the sacrifices of praise and who walk righteously. Wherever his saints may be, whether in heaven or on (or in) the earth, he will show them salvation.
Psalm 50:0, A Psalm of Asaph. Asaph is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 16:5. He also wrote Psalms 73–83.
Psalm 50:4–6, heavens…earth…gather my saints. This verse declares that YHVH will gather together his saints from the heavens and from the earth that he may judge them (see also Deut 32). This is referring to the last days’ judgment seat at Yeshua’s second coming when the righteous saints, both the living and the dead, will be transformed into immortality. What is interesting to note here is that these verses indicate that two things. First, when YHVH comes to gather his saints, some saints will be in heaven and some will be on this earth (1 Thess 4:15–17). Second, of those saints who are dead, Scripture elsewhere indicates that a part of them (i.e. the body and soul which is their mind, will and emotions) is dead and buried in the grave, while another part of them is in heaven (i.e. their spirit). Elsewhere Scripture informs us that when a person dies physically, their body along with their soul dies (Ezek 18:4, 20; i.e. the soul is not immortal), but that their spirit returns to YHVH (Eccl 3:21; 12:7 cp. Ps 90:10; Luke 23:46; Deut 30:4). So whether dead or alive, and wherever they may be, this verse succinctly states one of the fundamental and elementary biblical doctrines of the gospel message, namely, that of the of the resurrection of the dead (Heb 6:1–3). For YHVH as the righteous Judge of the universe will gather his saints (that is, those who are in covenant with him, as verse 5 states) together before his judgment seat, where we learn elsewhere in Scripture that he will grant them rewards in his eternal kingdom based on their good works that they did while alive in their bodies (Matt 5:19; 2 Cor 5:10).
Psalm 50:5, Made [or cut] a covenant…by sacrifice. This refers to the method by which covenants were made in ancient times between two parties. This same ritual occurred when YHVH made (or cut) a covenant with Abraham in Genesis chapter 15 except in that instance YHVH took all the responsibilities for fulfilling the covenant upon himself, for Abraham was asleep when this covenant was cut (Gen 15:9–10, 12).
What is the lesson in this for us? Simply this: this is the model for salvation. All Abraham had to do was to have faith in YHVH and all the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant would fall upon him (Gen 15:6). We know from Paul’s discussion in Romans chapter four that the Abrahamic Covenant is the original biblical model for how an individual can receive salvation from Elohim. We know from Paul’s discussion in Romans chapter four that the Abrahamic Covenant is the original biblical model for how an individual can receive salvation from Elohim.
We also know that when YHVH made his covenant with Abraham, the vision Abraham had while he was asleep prophetically pointed to Yeshua’s death on the cross and his initiating the new or renewed covenant as prophesied in the Tanakh (e.g. Jer 31:31–33; also see my notes at Gen 15:12–21).
Moreover, Yeshua at his last supper and subsequent crucifixion fulfilled this ancient prophecy as well as the spiritual types and shadows discussed in Psalm 50:7 and Genesis 15:9–21. At his last supper, Yeshua made a new covenant with his disciples through his body (the bread) and blood (the wine), which redeemed believers now commemorate when they take communion.
And as they were eating, Yeshua took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matt 26:26–28)
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. (1 Cor 11:24)
Prior to his death on the cross, Yeshua’s predictively explained the significance of his broken body and spilled blood as it relates to covenantal agreement between him and those who would place their faith in him (as Abraham did in Gen 15).
35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.…47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.…50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.…58This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (John 6:35, 47, 50, 53, 58)
In the context of the Passover service when the saints through the ritual of communion annually commemorate Yeshua’s “cutting” the new covenant with his saints and then ratifying that covenant through his death, Paul has the following to say about the significance of Yeshua’s body:
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. (1 Cor 11:26–29)
Those who carelessly take communion are literally disrespecting not only the high value of the covenant that was made (or cut), but the tremendous price of making a covenant with Elohim (i.e. it cost Yeshua his life, and the believer must also die to himself as he accepts, unconditionally, Yeshua as his Lord and Master). Moreover, careless partakers of communion are not only underestimating the cost of their salvation, but the value and the benefits of that salvation, which is spiritual rewards including eternal life. Elohim is not only not duty bound to give immortality to such people, but would be foolish to immortalize people who don’t sufficiently recognize and appreciate the cost and value of covenantal agreement. In doing so, he would risk having another rebellion on his hand at some point in the future.
So when Yeshua died on the cross, he become the sacrifice that was cut (i.e. his body was brutally mutilated prior to and during his crucifixion) to which this verse in this Psalm 50 makes allusion.
Moreover, Abraham not only had faith in YHVH, but he had to walk out that faith the rest of his life, for faith without works is dead (Jas 2:14–26). Similarly, those who place their faith in Yeshua must also back up that faith by doing his words (John 5:24), doing good (John 5:29; 3:21), loving him and keeping his commandments (John 14:15), coming to the light of Elohim’s truth (John 3:20–21), and showing that they are overcoming the word, the flesh and the devil resulting in eternal life and great spiritual rewards in the world to come (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21).
At the same time, those who don’t place their trust in Yeshua by accepting the covenant he “cut” through his death on the cross and then by backing that faith up with good deeds, or those who have “accepted” Yeshua, but lightly esteem him, will have a terrible price to pay.
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (1 Cor 11:29–30)
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28–29)
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)
Psalm 50:8, Continually before me. Yeshua the Great High Priest is continually before the throne of Elohim interceding on behalf of his people (Rev 7:9, 10, 17).
Psalm 50:12, The world is mine. The earth belongs to YHVH, but the cosmos (the kingdoms of this world and their man-made systems) belong to Satan (Matt 4:8–9).
There comes a time in the chronology of end times events that accompany the return of Yeshua when YHVH will pour out his wrath upon rebellious men. The Bible refers to this as “the day of YHVH” or “the day of his wrath” — a phrase which occurs more than two dozen times in prophetic writings of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah and Malachi. What is this day?
Is the “day of YHVH’s wrath” a literal day, or a time period, since the Hebrew word for day (Heb. yom)can mean both? The prophet Isaiah may give us a clue. In several places, he mentions “the day of YHVH’s vengeance” (or words to this effect). This is the time period when YHVH will judge the nations including Babylon the Great, which is in existence at Yeshua’s second coming (see Rev 17, 18 and 19). In three places, Isaiah indicates that the day of YHVH will last for one year (Isa 34:8; 61:2 and 63:4). Interestingly, in Isaiah 63:4, the prophet couples the idea of the day of YHVH’s vengeance being a year long with the jubilee year — “the year of my redeemed has come.” This occurs as the Messiah (the subject of Isa 63:1–6) judges the enemies of Israel (notably Edom) as he is at the same time about to redeem (i.e. regather and return scattered Israel to its Promised Land inheritance.) It appears that while Yeshua is judging Israel’s enemies at his second coming, he will at the same time begin regathering the lost and scattered 12 tribes of Israel in a major way. Yeshua seems to allude to this in Matthew 24:31
What Is the Wrath of YHVH/Elohim?
In the Book of Revelation, the term wrath of God/Elohim or similar language is found ten times in reference to YHVH’s fierce judgments against unrepentant and rebellious sinners. It is my belief that these judgments are yet to occur and are connected with the end times just prior to the return of Yeshua the Messiah.
But in the context of the full counsel of YHVH’s Word, what specifically is the wrath of Elohim/YHVH?
The term “the wrath of Elohim” or similar language is used in numerous places in the Scriptures, and refers to YHVH’s bringing severe judgments against men for their wickedness. Listed below are all the instances in the Scriptures where the phrase “the wrath of Elohim” or similar language is found.
The wrath of Elohim came upon the children of Israel when they rebelled against YHVH (Ps 78:31).
All those who are ungodly will experience the wrath of Elohim eventually (John 3:36; Eph 5:6; Rom 1:18; 2:5–8; Col 3:6).
YHVH’s wrath was evidenced at various times against the ancient Israelites (2 Chron 24:18; 29:10; 2 Chron 30:8; 2 Chron 36:16; Ezra 5:12; Ezek 5:13; 7:19; 8:18).
Elohim’s wrath came against the nations at various times for their wickedness (Jer 10:10; Nah 1:2; Jer 25:15; Mic 5:15; 2 Pet 2:9).
YHVH’s wrath was expressed against Jerusalem at its fall (Isa 51:17, 20).
YHVH’s wrath was expressed against Edom (Isa 63:3, 5, 6; Ezek 36:5–6).
YHVH’s wrath was expressed against the nations for their wickedness toward Israel (Deut 32: 41,42; Mic 5:15; Zec 8:2).
YHVH’s wrath will be poured out in end times against his enemies (Isa 66:15).
The seven trumpets of the Book of Revelation are the wrath of Elohim (Rev 6:16–17).
The seven bowl judgments of the Book of Revelation are the wrath of Elohim (Rev 11:18; 14:10; 15:1, 7; 16:1,19).
As we can see from the evidence, the Bible records numerous “wrath of Elohim” events at various times throughout the long time span of biblical history. Whenever YHVH intervenes in the affairs of men and brings judgment against the wicked, this is the wrath of Elohim. In this study, we are dealing with the wrath of Elohim in the last days prior to the return of Yeshua as prophesied in the Book of Revelation.
When Does the Period of YHVH’s Wrath — the “Day” of YHVH Begin?
As noted earlier in this study, the end times wrath of Elohim occurs after the great tribulation. This we know from Matthew 24:29 where Yeshua describes events that will occur “immediately after the tribulation.” These events (the sun be darkened, the moon not giving its light, the stars falling from heaven, and the powers of heaven being shaken) occur at the sixth seal, which describes identical cosmic disturbances (Rev 6:12), and this event is described as the beginning of the day of YHVH’s wrath (verse 16).
At this time, Yeshua will be coming in the clouds of heaven (Matt 24:30) in the midsts of great heavenly signs and wonders (verse 29; Rev 6:12–14), and he will gather his elect from the four corners of the earth (verse 31; Rev 7:1–16). But the Scriptures still don’t say that he has “touched down” on earth yet. All eyes will see him in the earth’s atmosphere (Matt 24:30). They shall all see “the face of him who sits on the throne” and will know that the time of “the wrath of the Lamb” has come (Rev 6:16). Where else do we see the throne of Elohim and the Lamb together? The Book of Revelation records several instances where this occurs (Rev 5:1, 6, 13; 7:10,17; cp. 21:23; 22:3). Revelation 21:23 and 22:3 tie the throne of Elohim, the Lamb (Yeshua), the temple of Elohim with the New Jerusalem. They are together. What can we make of this? Fasten your seat belts! The answer may surprise you. It is very likely that when Yeshua appears in the clouds, he will be accompanied by the New Jerusalem, the heavenly temple and the throne of Elohim. In other words, in a certain sense, heaven will “descend” into the earth’s atmosphere, and will come into view just after the great tribulation and at the sixth seal. It seems very possible, if my analysis is correct, that the New Jerusalem may be hovering in the earth’s atmosphere (where the clouds are) for all humans to see with their natural eyes!
Deuteronomy 18:10,One who causes his son or daughter to pass through the fire. This was done in honor of the Canaanite deity Moloch (see Lev 18:21 and 20:1–6). The name moloch/lKNin Hebrew means “king”with the root of the word meaning “to rule or reign.” Child sacrifice (the ancient form of modern abortion or infanticide) though a pagan practice that YHVH abhorred, was practiced by both houses or kingdoms of Israel as they drifted into syncretism with the heathen cultures around them (see 1 Kgs 11:7; 2 Kgs 16:3; 21:6; 23:10,13; Jer 7:31; 19:5; Ezek 16:20; 23:37).
Baal appears to be a synonym of Molach or Moloch (see Jer 19:5 and the Ency. Britan. eleventh edit., vol. 18, p. 676). After the children were sacrificed to this demon entity, the dead bodies were thrown into the garbage dump of the Valley of Hinnom or Tophet just below the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (Jer 7:31; 19:5–6). Apparently, the children were not burned alive, but were slain (by knife) like any other sacrifice before being thrown into the fire and then into the garbage dump (ibid.). The ancients sacrificed their children to appease their bloodthirsty gods of prosperity, sensuality and fertility (The Story of Civilization, vol. 1, by Will Durant, pp. 66–67, 297).
What can we learn from these random pieces of historical information concerning the ancient practice of child sacrifice? It was done in honor of their deity; in other words, their idol was the king that ruled their lives. What is the chief deity in modern America and most everywhere else in the world? Money and wealth? Sex and pleasure? Fun and entertainment? In ancient times, children were killed by a knife, thrown into the fire and then into the garbage dump. Today, what happens in America and many other countries with unwanted children? Parents abort their babies or have them murdered while being born (partial birth abortion) by using burning solutions to kill the baby in the womb and scalpels and scissors to hack the baby to pieces to aid in its extraction. Afterwards the dead baby is tossed into a dumpster or body parts are sold for “medical” purposes.
What reasons do parents give for killing their children? “It will cost too much to raise them and it’s too much trouble” (greed, hedonism and selfishness). “It will interfere with my career” (greed). “I want to have pleasure without responsibility” (hedonism and greed). Regardless of the excuses, the reasons today are the same as those of the ancients: prosperity, greed, hedonism and so on. Are we any different or any more “civilized” than the ancients? YHVH called abortion an abomination (which means “disgusting, abominable,abhorrent, detestable or loathsome,” Deut 18:12).
Make no mistake about it. The modern practice of abortion is still the worship of the ancient murderous demon-god Moloch or Baal whether those practicing abortion know it or not. The reason for engaging in this abominable practice are still the same, and the evil spirit motivating people to do it is still the same. Humans are no different today than they were thousands of years ago. Only the actors and costumes have changed. The actions and evil heart of man remains the same without transforming power of Word and Spirit of Elohim at work to convert sinful humans from the kingdom of darkness and the worship of and obedience to Baal (Satan) to the kingdom of light and the worship of and obedience to YHVH Elohim.
Do you abhor that which YHVH calls an abomination? In Scripture, does YHVH call children and fertility a curse … or a blessing? (See Deut 28:11, Ps 127:3–5.)
Deuteronomy 16:22,You shall not erect for yourselves a pillar [Heb. matstsebah], which YHVH your Elohim hates.
The word pillar/) is the Hebrew word matstsêbâh and literally means “stand (upright), be set (over), establish.”One of the derivatives of this word is pillar orstanding image. Such pillars were erected for pagan religious purposes (see TheTWOT). C.J. Koster in his book The Final Restoration (reprinted as Come Out of Her My People) cites historical evidence for relating these pillars to the Egyptian and Babylonian obelisk, which was connected to sun worship (see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obelisk) and the phallic symbol (also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phallic_architecture). He states that these pillars were commonly erected at the entrances to pagan temples (also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obelisk) as fertility symbols in honor of the sun deity (Koster. p. 79).
Even an Egyptian obelisk of this sort sits in the very center of the Catholic Church’s St. Peter’s Square in Rome, and it is traditional for obelisk-shaped steeples to be found on many Christian churches to this day in the form of a steeple (ibid., p. 81). Richard Rives in his book, Too Long In the Sun,makes the same connection between the Egyptian obelisk, Canaanite standing pillars and the Christian church steeple (p. 136).
What is the point here? YHVH commanded Israel to destroy these pagan symbols and to have nothing to do with them. They were abominations that would defile YHVH’s set-apart people. Have his people heeded his command? Many of these remnants of ancient pagan cultic practices remain in both the Protestant and Catholic churches to this day (Easter/Ishtar, Christmas/Saturnalia, the Christmas tree/Tammuz tree, the Christmas wreath/a pagan fertility symbol, Lent, Easter eggs and rabbits, and the list goes on and on). Does YHVH’s command to his people of the end times to come out of spiritual Babylon (see Rev 18:4) now take on a new meaning to you?
Pillar.The pillars the Canaanites erected to worship their gods were actually phallic symbols commemorating the incursion of the demon gods (sons of Elohim) when they had sex with the daughters of men to create their Nephilim or demigod children in the pre and post flood world (see Gen 6:2–6).
The Canaanites were not the only indigenous ancient people to have such a tradition of the gods mating with humans to create supernatural offspring. So did the Yoruba tribes of West Africa as well as the native peoples of Madagascar, Polynesia, New Zealand, along with the Hopi, Acoma, Arihara and Apache of North America, along with Celtic, Japanese, East Indians, Australians and Scandinavians. “Trees were employed…as facilitators, or places of meeting/joining of the gods of heaven with Mother Earth, while their branches reach out to Father Sky, of the gods of heaven…[T]rees form a bridge between heaven and earth and are a symbol of regrowth (reincarnation)…Because trees can live for hundreds and hundreds of years, their extraordinary life span represents the immortality of the gods and the immortal spirit given to the original Nephilim. The World Tree is also the Tree of the Knowledge of both good and evil, for knowledge in pantheistic culture holds the key to immortality and reincarnation” (The Genesis 6 Conspiracy, p. 122, by Gary Wayne). “A Judeo-Christian, then, should be wary of the Christmas tree, for the immortal evergreen represents the meeting place of the gods and Mother Earth and the creation of Nephilim” (ibid., p. 123).
The act of the fallen angelic sons of Elohim mating with the daughters of men (Gen 6:2–4) and the results thereof literally turned the pre-flood world upside down resulting in YHVH’s most severe judgments against these evil-doers and those who followed them. The phallus to this day is the object that represents this act of rebellion and represents the unlawful sexual union between heaven and earth that created demons. Peter and Jude refer to this in their epistles (2 Pet 2:4; Jude 6).
Deuteronomy 8:2–3, 6ff, YHVH afflicted/humbled you. Does the concept of YHVH afflicting his people bother you? Perhaps he will do this to us if and when we need it. The word afflict/anah (Strong’s H6031) literally means “to become low, depressed, put down or stoop.” (Note some other places where anah is used: Pss 55:19; 88:7; 90:15; 119:71, 75.) Scripture says that Israel exited Egypt with “a high hand/upraised arm” (Exod 14:8 and Num 33:3). The word high/upraised can connote haughtiness or arrogance, or it can mean that the children left Egypt triumphantly and in jubilation waving banners (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 369). What do you think? Did they leave Egypt in a spirit of contrition or arrogance? If the latter, then perhaps, in YHVH’s eyes, they need some humbling.
Are we any different? Do we need to be humbled? Down through the ages, YHVH has allowed his servants to suffer, but it was for their spiritual growth and benefit. What did Paul say about his thorn in the flesh? (See 2 Cor 12:7.) Why did Job experience what he did? (Read Job 42.) The process of humbling us so that we might have a higher view of YHVH, and a lower view of ourselves is not a bad thing!When we become contrite and humble before YHVH and more dependent on him, the blessings, power, anointing and provision of YHVH are able to flow into our lives more readily.
How has YHVH been trying to humble your flesh that he might bring you to a deeper level spiritually? TheArtScroll Chumash comments, “It is true that Elohim subjected the people to some hardships in the wilderness, but even that was for their good; just as a father may chastise his child to prepare him for the future” (p. 983). Consider this issue in light of the sufferings of YHVH’s servants while they were faithfully awaiting their spiritual inheritance as recorded in Hebrews 11. (Compare this with Jas 1:12–17 and 1 Cor 3:13.) Also consider the two types of judgments of YHVH as recorded in Scripture: his judgments unto repentance and his judgments unto death. What are some examples of each? If YHVH’s saints stay close to him spiritually, they won’t have to go through the latter type of judgment. (Examples: Noah and the flood; Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah; the Israelites in the plagues on Egypt; the saints and the tribulation, the great tribulation versus the wrath of Elohim periods at the end of the age [these are three separate time periods or events]; see also Heb 12:3–11).
Why did YHVH have to afflict the children of Israel? This is because the Scriptures tell us that Israel left Egypt with “an high hand.”
And YHVH hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. (Eoxd 14:8)
And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. (Num 33:3)
“An high hand” in Hebrew is the word ruhm meaning “to rise, rise up, be high, be lofty, be exalted.” Human pride is anathema and an abomination to YHVH Elohim:
These six things doth YHVH hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood… (Prov 6:16–17)
On the other hand, we elsewhere read,
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, Elohim resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (Jas 4:6)
For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith YHVH: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isa 66:2)
Deuteronomy 8:2–3, Humbled you…tested you……allowed you to hunger. This verse reveals that YHVH tested, humbled and even allowed the children of Israel to suffer privation on their long trek through the wilderness. This has led some people to wonder what kind of a Being the Israelites were serving that he would do this to his people. A cruel or loving one?
What is the big deal about the concept of vicarious atonement, that is, someone dying in another persons’s place to repair a wrong or an injury? Does the really need to be the shedding of blood for the antonement 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 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.
Exploring the Concept of Atonement as It Relates to the Tabernacle and Salvation
In this verse 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 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?
The concept of atonement can be a confusing one. Some 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 Apostle Peter 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).