Let My People Think—Rightly Dividing Scripture According to the Hebraic Rules of Biblical Interpretation (part 3)

(Author’s note: This is the updated and rewritten version of an article that I wrote in the early 2000s. The information contained therein is based largely on the booklet entitled, Hermeneutics: How to Understand the Scriptures by James Scott Trimm [http://www.nazarene.net or http://www.lulu.com/shop/james-trimm/nazarene-jewish-manifesto/paperback/product-403845.html], although I have added many of my own fresh insights and some new information to the original material.)

In this article, we will cover the concept of peshat, remez, drash and sod or the plain or literal, the hint or suggested, the allegorical, and the hidden or mystical meaning of Scripture.

Five Basic Principles For Understanding the Scriptures 

The Literal Principle 

This is very similar to a rule of Jewish hermeneutics which states that “no passage loses its simple, plain or literal (in Heb. pashat) meaning.” This principle involves understanding a passage first in its plain, literal sense, according to the normal meaning of the words and phrases used unless there is evidence (within the text itself) to interpret it in an allegorical, symbolic or non-literal (in Heb. drash) sense.

The Cultural or Historical Principle 

It is important to understand a biblical passage in its cultural-historical context or in the light of the culture and history of the person who wrote it. The Bible was written by Hebraic people living in the Middle East with an agricultural background and who thought differently and spoke a language with idioms and phrases completely different than ours. To view the Bible through a Greco-Roman, western cultural and linguistic lens, for example, as opposed to understanding it through the Hebraic and eastern culture in which it was written is to miss much of its richness and truth. 

The Grammatical Principle 

This principle involves understanding the text in accordance with its proper grammar. Just what do the nouns and prepositions refer to? What are the idioms of the original language? What are other peculiarities of the original language in which the text was written? 

Anyone who has studied foreign languages, especially non-European ones that are different from English, will immediately understand the significance of this point. Each language is unique to itself, and to properly understand that language, one must have a basic understand of it. 

The Bible, for example, was written in three ancient languages. It is, quite frankly, the epitome of ignorance and arrogance to the think that a simple knowledge of English will yield the full richness of these ancient languages to the cursory reader. Sometimes there are no English words or phrases even to convey the intended meaning of some biblical words and phrases. There are, however, a plethora of excellent resources written in English that will aid the serious Bible student in understanding the richness of biblical idioms, Hebraic linguistic and literary genres and devices. A literal treasure trove of revelation awaits the spiritually hungry Bible student!

The Synthesis Principle

This principle tells us that if we understand two biblical passages in a way that they contradict each other, then we are misunderstanding one or both of them. Usually as we dig deeper into Scripture and gain more understanding on a subject, then the confusion will clear up and the ostensible contradictions between scriptures will resolve themselves.

The Rule of First Principle 

This rule of biblical interpretation states that the first time a word, phrase or concept appears in Scripture establishes a precedence as to the meaning of that word, phrase or concept in all future usages in Scripture. Moreover, this rule in biblical hermeneutics states that the first place the Scriptures mention a word, subject or idea, then this is to be viewed as a foundational truth upon which all subsequent Bible passages are based. A future principle or truth cannot nullify or abrogate a previous one. If it does, then the fault is with the interpreter and not with Scripture.

 Ironically while claiming to adhere to the law of first mention, many Bible teacher in the mainstream church have blatantly and perpetually violated this law by asserting that the truths revealed in the New Testament take precedence over and abrogate those of the Old Testament, especially when it comes to the YHVH’s Torah-law or the law of Moses. Over the millennia, the church has devised many circuitous and circumambulatory philosophical theologies to get around many simple truths. We see this in Christian theologians attempts to explain away the Torah-law, the Sabbath, the biblical feasts and dietary laws, a Hebraic-centric understanding of Scripture and the accompanying lifestyle that goes with it. 

Because the church has replaced so many biblical truths with the unbiblical traditions of men, more and more people are realizing that the church has, in many cases, lied to them and as such are returning to the biblical or Hebraic roots of the Christian faith. They are returning to their spiritual foundations, the bedrock or the first principles of their faith.

Of interesting note is the fact that when the apostolic writers penned what became known as “the New Testament,” there was no “New Testament” yet. All Christians of the first century had was “the Old Testament.” When in their writings the apostles referred to Scripture, they were speaking of the Tanakh or Old Testament (e.g. 2 Tim 3:16–17; Acts 17:11). So everything we read in the Testimony of Yeshua (or New Testament) must be understood in the light of the Tanakh (or Old Testament) and can never contradict it. This is how the early first century church would have approached biblical truth, and we would serve ourselves well to follow the example of those who sat at Yeshua’s feet.

The Practical Principle 

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Let My People Think—Rightly Dividing Scripture According to the Hebraic Rules of Biblical Interpretation (part 2)

(Author’s note: This is the updated and rewritten version of an article that I wrote in the early 2000s. The information contained therein is based largely on the booklet entitled, Hermeneutics: How to Understand the Scriptures by James Scott Trimm [http://www.nazarene.net or http://www.lulu.com/shop/james-trimm/nazarene-jewish-manifesto/paperback/product-403845.html], although I have added many of my own fresh insights and some new information to the original material.)

The “Science” of Argumentation

Throughout Scripture one finds arguments used to prove theological points. An argument in Scripture is not referring to a heated discussion between two parties, but rather to the putting forth of series of points which lead to a conclusion, which is the point the author is trying to make or prove. 

An argument generally has two parts: the premise and the conclusion. A premise is a proposition (i.e. the point to be discussed or maintained in the argument, usually stated in sentence form near the outset of the argument) antecedently supposed or proven as a basis of argument or inference. It is something assumed to be true or taken for granted. Sometimes an argument can be simple with one or two points leading to a conclusion. Other times an argument is a complex series of steps often containing points and subpoints or mini-arguments (as in some of Paul’s writings) eventually leading to the conclusion. These can be hard for the untrained mind to follow. Paul was a theological lawyer and formulated some pretty complex arguments which, as Peter noted, were hard to follow and easy for unlearned individuals to twist or distort (2 Pet 3:16).

An argument can usually be laid out laid out in an “if-then” format. If the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true. In scriptural argument, the words if and then are not always used. 

Some of other words that have the same meaning as if are since, because, for, as, in as much and for the reason that. Words that have the same meaning as then would include therefore, hence, so, consequently, it follows that, we may infer that or we may conclude that.

All arguments are either deductive or inductive. Deduction is deriving a conclusion by reasoning, or inference in which the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises. James Trimm gives the following example to illustrate this point:

  • All prophets spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:20–21).
  • Enoch was a prophet (Jude 1:14).
  • Therefore, Enoch was moved by the Holy Spirit.

­Induction is the act of bringing forward or adducing a proposition (i.e. the point to be discussed or maintained in an argument, usually stated in sentence form near the outset of the argument), or the process of reasoning from a part to a whole, from particulars to generals, from the individual to the universal. Trimm gives the following example of an inductive argument where the reader is lead to a conclusion through inference:

  • Abel obtained a good report by faith (Heb 11:4).
  • Enoch obtained a good report by faith (Heb 11:5).
  • Noah obtained a good report by faith (Heb 11:7).
  • Abraham obtained a good report by faith (Heb 11:8).
  • Therefore, all of the elders of the Tanakh (i.e. the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament obtained a good report by faith (Heb 11:2, 39).

A proposition, usually stated in sentence form near the outset of the argument, which is widely accepted on its intrinsic merit as self-evident truth, Trimm writes, is called an axiom. In biblical interpretation (or hermeneutics), any proposition that comes directly from the text of the Scripture is called a proof text. One utilizes a proof text or axiom as the premise for an argument. If the proof text is in context and is a valid axiom (and is therefore regarded as true), and if the argument made is valid, then the argument (or exegesis) is sound and the conclusion is therefore true. Using a valid proof text to formulate an argument and prooftexting are two different things. We shall discuss prooftexting below in the section Examples of Common Logic Errors.

When formulating arguments or interpretations from Scripture, Trimm gives the following pointers:

  • Don’t sacrifice objective understanding to make your point.
  • Superficial study can be worse than no study.
  • Spiritualizing and allegorizing should be avoided. When the allegorizing of Scripture should be used to illustrate a point from the objective meaning of that passage and be confirmed by the objective meaning of one or more other passages as well.
  • When studying Scripture, keep in mind the Rule of First Reference. This refers to a concept or term in the Scriptures where it is defined by its earliest usage and that definition is then applied to later readings.

Examples of Common Logic Errors


When one starts with a conclusion (i.e. one owns opinion about something) and searches for “proof texts” to support that conclusion or opinion, this is an eisegetical interpretation. 

Here is an example of prooftexting that occurs in mainstream Christianity: 

Conclusion: According to the mainstream church, Sunday, the first day of the week, and not the Sabbath or seventh day of the week, is now the day that the New Testament declares is the day of worship and rest for Christians.

The following prooftexts are used by many Christians to support this (unbiblical and false) conclusion: 

Act 15:20 — Christians no longer have to observe the seventh day Sabbath since there is no mention of Shabbat here as being a requirement upon New Testament believers.

Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. (Acts 15:19–20)

Colossians 2:16–17—This scripture proves the Sabbath is no longer obligatory upon Christians.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (Col 2:16–17)

Romans 14:4–6—Christians can keep any day of the week as a rest day that they like.

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. (Rom 14:4–5)

Matthew 28:1 and Mark 16:1—This proves that Jesus rose on Sunday making it the “Lord’s Day,” and thus is another “proof” that Sunday has replaced the Sabbath.

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. (Matt 28:1)

None of these Scriptures actually state that Sunday has replaced the seventh day Sabbath or that the Testimony of Yeshua (or New Testament) in any way invalidate the numerous commands in the Torah for the saints of Elohim to observe the Sabbath, even though this is what mainstream Christianity teaches.

Here is another example of prooftexting that occurs in mainstream Christianity: 

Conclusion: Christians are no longer obligated to follow the biblical dietary laws as outlines in Leviticus 11.

Many Christian use the following prooftexts to support this (false) conclusion: 

Mark 7:19—When he declared that all foods are clean, Yeshua freed Christians from having to keep the Old Testament food laws.

Thus He declared all foods clean. (Mark 7:19, NASB)

Luke 10:8—Yeshua freed his disciples from having to observe the Old Testament food laws when traveling.

And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. (Luke 10:8)

Acts 10:15—Elohim has now freed his disciples from having to observe the Mosaic food laws.

And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. (Acts 10:15)

Romans 14:14—The Bible no longer considers any food to be unclean. 

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. (Rom 14:14)

1 Timothy 4:4—The Old Testament dietary laws are no longer a requirement for New Testament believers.

For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving. (1 Tim 4:4)

1 Titus 1:15—New Testament Christians can now eat whatever food they want.

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (Tit 1:15)

After a casual reading, these scriptures verses may appear to invalidate the Torah’s dietary laws pertaining to the eating of clean and unclean meats. However, when they are read in context of their surrounding verses as well as the context of biblical linguistics and against the backdrop of the Hebraic culture of the day as well as against the contextual backdrop of the entirety of Scripture, they in no way annul the biblical dietary laws.

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It is your divine mandate and highest calling to teach YOUR children!

YHVH Elohim literally commands parents to instruct their children in his ways. This is not the job of the church or someone else. Now more than ever with the leftist bent of the public school systems, with the constant barrage of ungodly, even God-hating messaging that is constantly assaulting us from every direction and from numerous electronic platforms and devices, it is more important than ever to teach our children the ways and truth of Elohim as found in the Bible. If we fail to do so, what hope do our children have of surviving spiritually in the swirling seas of unrighteous darkness that surrounds us attempting to overtake the saints of the Most High?

Listen up parents! Teaching your children may mean changing your lifestyle. Yes, that’s right. Maybe you’ll have to settle for a little lower standard of living, so that mom can stay home to help homeschool your children. Dad, maybe you’ll have to spend more time at home too and less time pursuing the almighty dollar to help mom homeschool the children. Dad, maybe you’ll need to turn off the television or whatever else you waste your time doing in the evenings and on the weekends and spend more time instructing your children about the Bible. In fact, mom and dad, maybe you’ll have to get up a little earlier each day actually to spend time studying the Word of Elohim, so that you’ll know it well enough to be able to teach your children about it. Am I talking hypocritically out of the top of my hat, so to speak, on this issue? NO! This is exactly what my wife and I did with our four children. If we can do it, YOU can too.

May YHVH bless you in your God-given divine mandate to instruct your children in his way as well YOUR grandchildren or any other children YHVH brings into your life. Taking the time and effort to teach our children is the best investment we can make make bar none in the future; the rewards are far better than any material possessions and riches or anything else the world has to offer!

Deuteronomy 6:7, 10–16, 20–25, Instruct your children in the Torah, so they don’t fall into idolatry. YHVH is constantly warning his people against idolatry; idol worship is anything that gets in the way of our relationship with him. 

If you’re not sure whether you have idols in your life, then ask yourself this question: What is of higher priority in your life than serving YHVH? What in your life takes more of your time, energy and money than serving YHVH? What draws your heart away from the study of his written Word, from prayer and fellowship? What or who hinders you from moving forward in your spiritual walk? What in your life keeps YHVH from getting out of a spiritual box in your life? This is idolatry!

Our children follow our example more than our words. By our actions, if YHVH isn’t first in our life our children will follow our example and will be prone to perpetuate our idolatrous ways down the generational line.

Several times YHVH instructs the children of Israel to be certain to instruct their children in the ways of Torah-righteousness. In the Shema, YHVH commands, “And you shall teach them [i.e. his Word] diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up” (6:7). Then in verses 20–25 of the same chapter we read, 

“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which YHVH our Elohim has commanded you?’ Then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and YHVH brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and YHVH showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. And YHVH commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear YHVH our Elohim, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before YHVH our Elohim, as He has commanded us.’”

Too often in the church-system the children have had to take the backseat when it comes to discipleship and ministry. They get a few table scraps thrown at them called “Vacation Bible School” (once a year) and a little psychological pep talk Jonah and the Whale-type teaching on Sunday morning accompanied by some, often inane, craft project. Seldom does the head pastor of the church bother with the children’s ministry. Usually, this function is relegated to the younger associate pastor. Typically, the position of “Youth Pastor” is viewed as nothing more than a stepping stone to the “top dog” position of “Head Pastor.” Furthermore, seldom do parents spend any meaningful time during the week instructing their children in the ways of YHVH. As redeemed Israelites, it is our opportunity to follow the Torah and to place the highest ministry priority on instructing our children in the truths of the written Torah, in the truth of Yeshua the Living Torah, and in the fundamentals of who they are as members of the commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12) and in preparing them for the kingdom of Elohim. If we don’t, who will? As parents, what are you doing on a regular basis to diligently instruct your children all day, every day? As grandparents, aunts and uncles and members of gospel-orientated Torah community, what are you doing to help in teaching the children? What was the attitude of the disciples when they attempted to shoo the children away from Yeshua. What was Yeshua’s response? Read and compare Matthew 19:13–15 with 18:1–5 and go and do likewise, for they are our future and our legacy!

Torah Explorers Bible Study Program

Do you need a little help teaching your children the Bible? How about a free Torah and gospel-based Bible study program for young people—one lesson for each week of the year? Many years ago, while homeschooling our children and pastoring a local church congregation, I developed Torah Explorers for homeschooling and for churches. This is a good Bible study program for adults as well. Check it out here: https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/parshiot.html


NathanTalks #4—Surviving in the Toilet Bowl of This World

I am considering live-streaming some of my NathanTalks and then taking questions and comments afterwards and live-stream that as well. I would do this at different times to facilitate various timezones of those around the world. I would announce ahead of time on this blog when the live-streaming would occur. Not sure which internet platform I would use yet, since there are several options available. If you’re interested in participating in this, please let me know in the comments section here. Thank you.— Nathan


A (Hidden) Message in the Middle of the Torah

Leviticus 10:16, Diligently sought or inquired insistently (ASET). According to one Jewish tradition, these two words are the exact halfway mark of the words of the Torah. “This is to teach us that the entire Torah revolves around constant inquiry. One must never stop studying and seeking deeper and broader understanding of the Torah” (The ArtScroll Vayikra/Leviticus Commentary, p. 159).

How many times have you read a passage in the Word of Elohim many times only to receive a fresh revelation or to find a new nugget of understanding? This is because the Word of Elohim is spiritually alive! (Heb 4:12; John 14:25–26; 16:13; also Ps 119:30; Isa 55:11.)

It must be noted that other Jewish traditions place the center of the Torah in other passages as well. (These options are discussed in The Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 30a.) 

Study to shew thyself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15)


Atheist Organization Targets White House Bible Study

More Persecution of Christians in America!

These God-hating atheists (they’re really closet satanists!) care nothing about religious liberty, free speech, live and let live, freedom of assembly, are another personal and inalienable freedoms. They hypocritically demand these freedoms for themselves, but attempt to forbid them for anyone who follows the Bible. That’s how full of blind arrogance and hypocritical hatred they are. They are of their father the devil who, Yeshua said, was a liar and a murder from the beginning who comes to kill, steal and destroy.

Please pray that those in our government who participate in these Bible studies will boldly rise up against these wicked evil doers, and that YHVH Elohim will confuse their efforts and, if necessary, bring judgment agains them.

 Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.  As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. (Ps 68:1–3)

Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? (Ps 94:16)

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely. Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.  As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. (Ps 58:3–11)

From https://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/atheist-organization-targets-white-house-bible-study.html

Amanda Casanova | Religion Today Contributing Writer | Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Atheist Organization Targets White House Bible Study



The Freedom From Religion Foundation and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is suing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over information about a weekly cabinet bible study.

The suit comes after the group had asked for Freedom of Information Act requests to agencies led by Cabinet secretaries who attend the weekly bible study. A press release says the FFRF wants to investigate how government resources are being used and if employees in the agency feel “coerced into organizing and even participating in the event.”

The Bible study is for cabinet secretaries only. Employees do not attend the studies, according to CBN News.

The FFRF and CREW filed suit when HUD refused to waive fees for the FOIA requests. HUD provided responses to the requests but said the fees were needed because the records were “not in the public interest or related to HUD operations or activities.”

The leader of the bible study is Capitol Ministries founder Ralph Drollinger, who has led the studies for years.

Drollinger said the FFRF could find the materials discussed at the studies at his site, www.capmin.org. He also said all related Bible study expenses are paid by Capitol Ministries.

Cabinet secretaries who attend the Capitol Ministries Bible Study include Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, HUD Secretary Ben Carson and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.


On Being a Living Sacrifice

The Twice Daily Sacrifices and the Saints Daily Devotions

This twice daily offering was known as the continual burnt offering (Heb. olah tamiyd), and was offered at the door of the tabernacle (verse 42). The word continual (Heb. tamiyd) means “continually.” This sacrificial offering has great spiritual implications for the serious disciple of Yeshua and relates to his or her daily life.

The Hebrew word for burnt offering is olah meaning “ascent, stairway or steps,” and derives from the basic Hebrew verb, alah, meaning “to go up, climb or ascend.” In this offering, the fire consumes the entire animal, and the word olah refers to the smoke of this whole burnt offering ascending to heaven, which is a “sweet aroma” to YHVH (verse 41). The olah was an offering or gift (Lev 1:2, Heb. qorban) to YHVH and could be a bull, goat, ram, turtle dove or a pigeon as long as it was a perfect specimen without defect (Lev 1). If an Israelite sinned, he could bring this gift-offering to the door of the tabernacle where he would place his hands upon the head of the animal, after which the priests would slaughter it, and sprinkle its blood around the altar of sacrifice just inside the door of the tabernacle (Lev 1:2, 4, 5). The meat was then prepared and arranged on the altar and entirely burnt (Lev 1:6–17). When the sinner laid his hands on the animal, it was as if he were transferring his sins onto the innocent, blemish-free animal, where upon YHVH accepted it as an atonement for the person’s sin (Lev 1:4).

The writer of Hebrews clearly teaches that this offering (along with all the other offerings in the sacrificial system) pointed to Yeshua, our Great High Priest, whose atoning death on the cross fulfilled all the types and shadows of the Levitical, sacrificial system (Heb 4:14–5:7; 7:1–10:18).

Besides the obvious antetypes pointing to Yeshua’s death on the cross, what else can we learn from the olah tamiyd offering rituals? What are the spiritual implications and the lessons to be learned for the redeemed believer living in the twenty-first century? Matthew Henry in his commentary on Numbers 28:1–8 sums it up very nicely:

The particular law of the daily sacrifice, a lamb in the morning and a lamb in the evening, which, for the constancy of it as duly as the day came, is called a continual burnt-offering (v. 3), which intimates that when we are bidden to pray always, and to pray without ceasing, it is intended that at least every morning and every evening we offer up our solemn prayers and praises to [Elohim]. (emphasis added)

This olah tamiyd sacrifice was connected to the rising and setting of the sun as implied by the words of the psalmist (Ps 113:3). At the same time, the priest was to burn incense on the incense altar (Exod 30:7–8) as part of the olah tamiyd sacrifice.

The biblical writers foresaw a time coming when either there would be no tabernacle or temple in which to offer the sacrifices and incense, or the designated place of worship would be inaccessible to the Israelite. In this situation, Hosea admonishes sinful Israel to return to YHVH and to offer up the sacrifices (lit. the calves or young bulls) of our lips, while expecting Elohim to graciously receive them and take away their iniquity (Hos 14:2). Paul embraced this idea when he admonished the saints to become as “living sacrifices…unto Eohim” (Rom 12:2). In John’s vision of heaven, he sees the prayers of the saints as being like sweet smelling incense before the throne of the Almighty One (Rev 5:8; 8:3). Not only does YHVH view the prayers of the righteous as incense, but their praises of him as a sacrifice or a thanksgiving offering as well (Jer 33:11; Heb 13:15). The psalmist goes on to connect the dots between the olah tamiyd sacrifice, incense, prayer and praise when he writes,

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. (Ps 141:2)

How is the non-priest to offer incense before the YHVH? This is done through prayer and worship as the prophet Malachi indicates:

For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering, for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith YHVH of Hosts. (Mal 1:11)

The Torah prohibits offering sacrifices anywhere YHVH has not placed his name. What’s more, Yeshua has fulfilled the sacrificial system by his death on the cross once and for all, and has become our Great High Priest. So how then do the nations offer up sacrifices in every place as Malachi prophesies except by prayer and praise? The same is true, of course, for redeemed believers who are now part of Yeshua’s royal priesthood as Peter testifies:

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to Elohim by Yeshua the Messiah. (1 Pet 2:5)

However, since there is no longer either a temple or a Levitical priesthood, yet the saints are called priest of Yeshua (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6), how shall we as the saints of the Most High fulfill our priestly duties if not by serving our Master Yeshua through our twice daily prayer and praise?