What is divine judgment and how does it affects YOU?

Leviticus 26:1–46, Blessing and curses based on obedience to YHVH’s Torah-Word. The corollary to this passage is Deuteronomy chapter 28. These judgments come upon a people who have forgotten their Elohim because they have been blessed materially and in their self-sufficiency have forgotten who is the source of their blessings. The Torah continually stresses that blessings are contingent upon obedience to YHVH. Similarly, Yeshua reveals that rewards in his everlasting kingdom are also contingent on obedience to his Torah-laws. The greater the obedience, the greater the reward (Matt 5:17).These principles are universal, yet how we tend to forget the cycles of history that repeat themselves over and over again like the unstoppable turning of giant millstone grinding into powder those who refuse to learn the lessons from the past. Each generation proudly asserts it’s exceptionalism and that, somehow, it’s immune to YHVH’s inexorable and immutable principles of divine judgment. Only in the perfect hindsight of history can we see the fallacy of this assumption. Ancient Israel failed to learn these lessons as have subsequent people who claimed to follow the Bible.

In the case of America, and Great Britain before her (and other formerly Christian nations as well), there was in former times a national consciousness of core biblical values and, to one degree or another, a general public acknowledgement, acceptance of and respect for the Elohim of the Bible. However, as a nation becomes blessed, it reaches an apogee of prominence, power and wealth where it becomes rich and increased with goods and no longer needs Elohim—or so it thinks. It become fat and forgets the source of its wealth and falls into a state of self-sufficiency leading to spiritual blindness in that it fails to recognize its true spiritual state (recall YHVH’s warning to a lukewarm church in Rev 3:14–22). This can happen to individuals, churches and to whole societies.

Because YHVH loves his people and wants to walk among them, to be their Elohim and to bless them (Lev 26:12), when they disobey him and walk in ways that are harmful to their well-being, like any loving parent, he is forced to discipline them. Again and again he sends them his prophets and watchmen to warn them that they’re on a path of self-destruction. But because of pride, they refuse to humble themselves and repent (Lev 26:40–41). It’s the same old story over and over again. Human pride insists that “judgments can’t happen to us because we’re so special.” “All things will continue as they have from the beginning and no evil shall befall us” a self-assured society and individual retorts in mocking and scoffing tones to all those who would hold them accountable for their errant ways (2 Pet 3:3–7). If only the great people, nations and empires that have already trodden this well-worn path and are now in the dust bin of history could speak from their graves and this generation had heart ears to hear!

As a loving Father, YHVH doesn’t lower the gavel of full disciplinary judgments immediately upon his wayward children. He increases the dosage incrementally in hopes that each successive ratcheting down of his judgments will bring a spiritually apostate individuals and nations to a point of humility, confession of their iniquity (or Torahlessness, Lev 26:40) and to repentance and submission and obedience to his blessed commandments. In this chapter, YHVH reveals four sets of judgments with each one becoming seven times more severe than the previous one (Lev 26:18, 21, 24, 28). This reminds us of YHVH’s end-times judgments upon a rebellious world that has given itself over to devil worship just prior to the return of Yeshua as prophesied in the book of Revelation. In that book, there are seven seals, seven trumpets, seven thunders and, finally, seven bowl judgments. 

What can you do? You may not be able to change society, but a societal change begins one step and one life at a time; it starts with your life! That’s the only thing for certain that you can change. You know what needs to be done. Just listen to your conscience—to YHVH’s Spirit knocking at the door of your heart (Rev 3:20), and then repent and obey. It’s that simple.

Some Thoughts on Divine Judgment

By dictionary definition, judgment is “a decision of a court or judge; a misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment.”

The Bible speaks a lot about judgment. When we read about the subject of Continue reading

 

The Biblical Feasts: The Seven Steps in YHVH’s Plan of Salvation

YHVH’s seven biblical feasts are the seven steps in the Creator’s plan of salvation to redeem sinful and fallen man to him and by which man can be adopted into the family of Elohim and receive eternal life.

Overview of the Biblical Feasts

If you had to sum up the entire message of the Bible in one word what would it be? Probably words such as love, hope, salvation, eternal life or heaven are coming to your mind. But I challenge you to find a better word than the following: r-e-c-o-n-c-i-l-i-a-t-i-o-n. The dictionary defines reconciliation as “to restore to friendship or harmony, to settle or resolve a quarrel, to make consistent or congruous.” When man chose to rebel against YHVH and to give in to sin at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil at the very beginning he chose the path of separation from his Heavenly Father. Sin causes man to be separated from a totally holy, righteous and sinless Creator. Since that time YHVH has been endeavoring to reconcile man to himself. He has laid out criteria for man to follow for this to occur—for man to once again have a friendly, loving and intimate relationship with his Heavenly Father as did Adam before he sinned.

The set-apart appointed times (moedim) or divine rehearsals/gatherings (miqra kodesh) of YHVH are prophetic shadow-pictures or symbols of the steps man must take to be reconciled to his Heavenly Father. They are the complete plan of salvation or redemption rolled up into seven easy-to-understand steps. Though a child can understand these steps, the truths contained therein can at the same time be expanded and unfolded until one literally has rolled out before oneself the entire message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation—a message that to the human comprehension is staggering, deep and rich beyond understanding. These feast days are literally the skeletal structure upon which the truths of the entire Bible hang. The message of redemption, sanctification, salvation, the atonement, glorification, eschatology, the history of Israel, the entire Gospel message, the covenants, the marriage of the Lamb, the bride of Messiah and Yeshua the Messiah are all prefigured within the glorious spiritual container of YHVH’s set apart feasts contained in seven steps—seven being the biblical number of divine perfection and completion.

Quite assuredly, without a deep, walking-it-out comprehension of the feast days of YHVH, no matter how learned one is in biblical understanding, or how academically astute and mentally acute in biblical erudition one may be, one will not have a deep understanding of those scriptural subjects listed above. How can one understand end-time events such as the second coming, the great tribulation and the rapture unless one understands the feast days from a deep Hebraic perspective? One simply cannot have just a knowledge of Greek, the Gospels, the Apostolic Scriptures along with a surface understanding (i.e. traditional Christian perspective) of the prophecies of the “Old Testament” and expect to understand eschatology (the study of end-time events) unless one immerses themselves in understanding and keeping the feast days of YHVH. One cannot throw out the foundation or the skeletal structure and expect to have a body of understanding that amounts to anything at all. Simple logic and common sense and the very truth and character of YHVH Elohim demands and dictates this so.

At Mount Sinai, YHVH gave to his people Israel what is commonly called the “Ten Commandments.” These words from the mouth of YHVH himself were and are literally the foundation and cornerstone to the rest of the 613 commandments from YHVH given to Continue reading

 

The Biblical Feasts Are YHVH’s Feasts, NOT the Jewish Feasts!

The biblical feasts are the steps YHVH has laid out for man to come to him. This is why they are HIS feasts, and not men’s feasts.

Leviticus 23:2, My feasts [Heb. moedim]. YHVH calls these feasts his feasts. They’re not men’s feasts or the Jewish feasts! They came from YHVH and belong to him. When men pervert YHVH’s feasts by mixing in pagan traditions, they’re no longer YHVH’s feasts, but men’s feasts (e.g. Isa 1:13–15; Amos 5:21; Hos 2:11). When men pollute his feasts and appointed times, YHVH says that he hates them because they’re no longer his feasts (Isa 1:14–15).

In Ezekiel 20, we see that YHVH’s feasts (or sabbaths) are a covenantal sign between YHVH and his people (Ezek 20:12) that they were to live by (Ezek 20:11), yet which Israel, in rebellion, refused to do while in the wilderness. Instead they defiled his sabbaths by, presumably, not doing them and doing other things on those holy days (Ezek 20:13). Israel’s rebellion against YHVH with regard to their refusal to keep his sabbaths brought upon them YHVH’s judgments (Ezek 20:13). In other words, it was YHVH’s will for the Israelites to keep his sabbaths in the wilderness, but because of their idolatrous rebellion, they refused to do so. In fact, YHVH calls refusing to observe his sabbaths idolatry and for this sin (along with other sins), the Israelites had to wander in the wilderness for forty years (Ezek 20:15–16). In profaning his sabbaths, YHVH accuses the Israelites of despising his Torah (Ezek 20:16). YHVH then goes on to urge his people to not follow the example of their rebellious forefathers, but rather to walk in all of his Torah commands (including his sabbaths, Ezek 20:18–20). Because of their profaning his sabbaths, he punished them by scattering them in exile among the heathens. Those modern saints who refuse to keep YHVH’s Sabbath and feasts are walking in the same sin as the ancient Israelites. Often people who refuse to keep YHVH’s feast days holy do so because the feasts conflict with their secular activities (such as their jobs). YHVH calls this idolatry and being like the heathen (Ezek 20:30, 32). In the end times, YHVH is going to separate his people out from the heathen and bring them back into covenantal agreement with him including obedience to his sabbaths (Ezek 20:33–38). He will purge from his people those rebels who refuse to obey him including keeping his sabbaths (Ezek 20:38), which are a sign of his covenantal relationship with them.

I have produced numerous video and written teachings on YHVH’s biblical feasts in general and each of the seven biblical in particular. This information is all available to you free of charge in accordance with Yeshua’s instructions when commissioning his disciples to preach the gospel.

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matt 10:8)

The three places to access this trove of teaching materials are—

  • This blog where I have 2367 articles posted over the past several years. To access those teachings on the biblical feasts, simply go to the main page of this blog, scroll to the top and type your search term (e.g. biblical feasts, Passover, Pesach, Shavuot, Pentecost, Sukkot, etc.)  into search window and see what comes up.
  • For written teachings, go to https://www.hoshanarabbah.org/teaching.html#feast.
  • For 60 some video teachings on the feasts, check out our YouTube channel biblical feasts playlist at https://www.youtube.com/user/HoshanaRabbah?feature=mhee.
 

Is your offering to Elohim a profane or holy one?

Are our lives—our time, talent and treasure—that we’re offering to Elohim a holy or unholy sacrifice, pure or impure, blemished or unblemished, the best or the left-over crumbs?

Leviticus 22:1–31, Profane Vs. Holy. In this section of the Torah, YHVH makes some strong delineations between that which is profane, polluted or contaminated and that which is kadosh or set-apart in service to YHVH. To come into his Presence demands that men follow high and exacting standards. Why? It is to teach sinful man that although YHVH is high and lifted up above the mortal and mundane plane in his set-apartness and righteousness, he is not unapproachable by men if they will prepare themselves properly to come into his Presence. (Read Eccl 5:1–2.) He wanted to impress this upon the Israelites as they began the service of the tabernacle.

Therefore, YHVH specifies that certain offerings brought to his altar that are contaminated will be rejected if (a) the offerer is in a state of physical contamination, (b) he is contaminated through improper marriage, or (c) he is offering a blemished animal. What can we learn from this? What offerings do we bring to YHVH’s altar now? Our time, our money, our energy, our talents and spiritual gifts, our devotion? Do we give him the best? Do you pray to him and study his Word in the morning when you are the freshest, or do you give him the crumbs of your day after a hard day’s work just before bed when you offer up “sleepy time” prayers and read the Scriptures as your drifting off to sleep? Are your tithes the crumbs and leftovers after all the bills are paid, the government has taken out its portion and your play money has been set aside?

If you are a young person, are you serving YHVH while you have the health and vigor of youthfulness, or are you planning on playing now and serving YHVH after you have sated the lusts of the flesh, if at all? (Read Eccl 11:9–10; 12:1–14 and Matt 6:24.) Examine your life. Are you giving YHVH the best in all areas? If not, repent and change your priorities, and then see what happens in your spiritual walk and relationship with him!

 

Blood Drinking and Letting, Human Sacrifice, Tattoos, Cannibalism & Pedophilia

Admittedly, this is a nasty and disgusting subject that, justifiably, should make a decent person’s stomach turn, but it’s in the Bible, was part of the heathen culture around ancient Israel, and, more importantly, IT IS PART OF THE HEATHEN CULTURE AROUND US TODAY! Many innocents are being victimized by evil people in high and low positions of power in our society today. Yeshua said that the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. This is not just figurative language. It is literally happening in your neighborhood, city, state, region and country as I’m writing this. So please read on…inform yourself, so you can be part of the solution. Make no mistake, the preaching of the gospel is the best defense and offense against these horrific activities.

Leviticus 17:1–14, Exploring the concepts of sacrifice, blood letting and eating blood.

The sacrificing of animals as an act of worship or for any reason is a foreign concept in our modern, secularized society, but this was not the case in the ancient biblical world. Concomitant with sacrifices is the idea of freewill offerings,which, in the ancient world, were often made together as an act of worship to various deities. 

With regard to sacrifices, man’s first act of worship outside the Garden of Eden was to make offerings and sacrifice to Elohim (Gen 4:1–4). Making a sacrifice to Elohim was also Noah’s first act of worship after the flood (Gen 8:20). The same is true of Abraham upon receiving the covenant from Elohim (Gen 12:6). At key points in his spiritual journey, Abraham repeated this same act of worship (Gen 12:8; 13:3, 18). The same is true of the Israelites who after having received the Torah at Sinai made a sacrifice to Elohim as they entered into a covenantal agreement with him (Exod 24:4). Subsequently, YHVH instructed the Israelites to establish an entire sacrificial system as a means to be reconciled to him. Similarly, animal sacrifices and offerings being made to various deities was an important aspect of the heathen cultures of the biblical world. Even in the first century, the Greeks were still sacrificing animals in their pagan temples to their gods and goddesses (1 Cor 8:1–13; 10:20) as were the Jews prior to the destruction of their temple in A.D. 70 (Acts 21:24 cp. Num 6:13–21).

So, in the mind of the ancients, what was the purpose of sacrifice? The ritual killing and offering of an animal was part of a religious ritual either to appease or to gain the favor of a deity. 

With this concept in mind, several points should be noted. Man’s rebellion and sin against Elohim in the Garden of Eden caused man to be cut off from his Creator and incur his judgment against man’s sin. The Garden of Eden and the fall of man event is part of the mythos of many ancient civilizations Continue reading

 

Leviticus 16—Who Is Azazel?

Understanding the Yom Kippur Goat Rituals. Understanding and interpreting the rituals of Lev 16 can be perplexing and complicated task. This is because often encrypted in certain scriptural passages the deep and open-minded Bible student will find multiple levels of meaning and prophetic fulfillments. The serious biblical researcher understands this and is not put off by any seeming discrepancies between a surface or literal fulfillment of a scripture vis-à-vis its prophetic fulfillment. An example of this would be the virgin and child prophecy of Isa 7. There was both a historical or immediate fulfillment of this prophecy and a future one relating to the coming Messiah. 

Moreover, we must keep something else in mind when dealing with biblical passages that are difficult to understand because they contain figurative language of a prophetic nature that often employ typologies (types and shadows). By definition, a type is a person or thing that represents someone or something else. When dealing with prophetic types in Scripture, the type never perfectly mirrors that to which it is prophetically pointing. The type is merely a shadow of what is to come (Col 2:17; Heb 10:1; 8:5), and therefore it is neither a perfect representation of the reality nor its there a perfect one-to-one correlation between the two. However, there are enough similarities to deduce a correlation between the two, even as a shadow is the shape and outline of the image it represents, but it doesn’t contain all the details of it.

Having laid these things out, it is the opinion of many biblical scholars including Alfred Edersheim that the Yom Kippur ceremonies of Lev 16 were completely fulfilled by Yeshua at his first coming. Alfred Edersheim, the Continue reading

 

How Do You Come Before the Throne of Elohim in Heaven?

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 Continue reading