The dictionary defines the word salvation as “the deliverance from the power and effects of sin.” In a general sense, salvation is “preservation from harm, ruin or loss.” Relating the first definition, which is biblical in nature, to the second definition, which is generic in nature, we see that salvation is the deliverance or preservation from the power of sin, which causes harm, ruin or loss. Salvation and redemption are synonymous terms in biblical Hebraic thought. We will discuss the idea of redemption below.
So what is sin that it causes harm, ruin or loss, and what is being harmed or being lost such that we need deliverance? Very simply, Scripture (the Bible) defines sin as the violation of YHVH Elohim’s (the LORD God’s) Torah-laws (1 John 3:4). What is YHVH Elohim’s Torah-law? It is the instructions, precepts or teaching of YHVH as found in the first five books of the Bible, which can then be expanded to include the entire Bible or Word of YHVH. Man is commanded to live by every word found in Scripture (Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4). Man is to hear and do the Words of YHVH (Deut 6:4), place YHVH’s words in his heart (Deut 6:6), teach them to his children (Deut 6:7), and to make them the basis for all that he does and thinks (Deut 6:8). The words or laws of YHVH Elohim can be summed up as loving YHVH and loving one’s neighbor (Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18; Mark 12:30; John 14:15). The cornerstone of those laws is found in the well-known ten commandments as found in Exodus 20. They are…
I am YHVH your Elohim.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not take my name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it set-apart.
Honor you father and mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery
You shall not steal.
You shall not lie.
You shall not covet your that which belongs to your neighbor.
The first five statements constitute loving YHVH Elohim, while the last five constitute loving one’s fellow man. These ten statements are but the beginning of YHVH’s laws as outlined Continue reading →
Exodus 6:1–9,YHVH redeems Israel. The stage is set for Israel’s redemption in Exodus 5:22–23. Yet Moses’ first venture to Pharaoh was a disaster. The plight of the children of Israel had deteriorated instead of improved. Discouraged, Moses almost takes on an accusative tone toward YHVH (Exod 5:22–23). Graciously, YHVH doesn’t rebuke Moses, but as a loving Father encourages him to refocus on his word and the veracity and surety of his promises (Exod 6:2–5).
YHVH encouraged Moses upward and onward despite his discouraging first attempt at gaining the release of the children of Israel. Is it possible that YHVH allowed immediate success to elude Moses at his first encounter with Pharaoh to bring Moses “to the end of himself” with regard to any tendency he might have had to rely primarily on himself and on his own wisdom? After all, Moses, as either Pharaoh’s adopted grandson or his nephew (depending on whether this was the Pharaoh of Moses’ childhood or his son), had an “in” with the monarch that could have been exploited for the benefit of securing the release of Israel. As YHVH wanted Moses to rely on him alone for Israel’s deliverance, so YHVH wants us to rely on him alone to accomplish his purposes in our lives and not any human abilities that we may possess. We have to be totally Continue reading →
Daniel 4:28–33, King Nebuchadnezzar. For all of his great power and accomplishments, the king was on the verge of emotional and mental instability (or insanity). Hearing the voice and judgment from heaven evidently was the tipping point that drove him toward the side of insanity.
This illustrates the fact that for all of their greatness, many notable world leaders live their lives on the ragged edge between sanity and insanity, between mental and emotional stability and instability. Likely, these individuals are so compromised in their souls in that they have had to perform so many dastardly deeds to rise to the positions of power that they hold that they have become tormented deep inside. In reality, this can be the case with any human who has turned his back on his Creator.
Guilt, shame and a sullied conscience due to sin are irrepressible and cannot be expunged from a man’s heart. Such people can hardly live with themselves; they are trapped and can’t get out of their minds and bodies. Their deep inner guilt and shame perpetually keeps them at the brink of mental breakdown and madness.
Only the truth can set them free—the truth of redemption of sin through the preaching of the gospel message, through the love and forgiveness or Yeshua the Messiah and the supernatural transforming work of the Spirit of Elohim in one’s heart. For this reason, the servants of the Most High must keep preaching the gospel and holding sinners accountable for their sins against the Almighty.
Numbers 9:6–11,Defiled by a human corpse. This passage can also be understood allegorically. The second Passover is a prophetic picture pertaining to the lost and scattered sheep of the house of Israel who, like those individuals in this passage, had been journeying in exile (just like the prodigal son in Yeshua’s parable) among the Gentiles in a foreign land and away from the land and Elohim of Israel. In the process of their spiritual wandering, they have become defiled by sin and death (likened here to touching a human corpse), since the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), and all have men have sinned and fallen short of the YHVH’s glory (Rom 3:23). While in exile (again like the prodigal son in the parable), they awake to their spiritual apostasy and want to come back home to observe the Passover (a picture of redemption or salvation).
Passover is the only biblical festival for which YHVH’s allows a make up. At the first Passover in Egypt, those who weren’t in their houses under the lamb’s blood-painted doors fell under the death penalty for sin and were killed. This teaches us that Passover is a picture of man’s obtaining salvation through the blood of Yeshua, the Messiah who is the Lamb of Elohim.
YHVH desires that all men be saved and come to know Yeshua the Savior, and Passover is a picture of this. This is why he gives men a second chance to keep the Passover—he wants all to be saved (John 3:16; 2 Pet 3:9), including his lost, scattered, exiled and prodigal children from the house of Israel.
Numbers 5:11–31, This passages deals with a curious ritual involving wives suspected of adultery called the Law of Jealousies whereby the woman is hauled before the priest, her head is uncovered and, according to Jewish tradition, her dress is ripped open just above her breasts (b.Talmud Sota 7a). She then has the choice to drink a concoction of earth from the floor of the tabernacle mixed with the set-apart (kadosh) water from the bronze laver into which is dipped a piece of paper that contains the curses written on it. If she is guilty of the charges of adultery when she drinks the bitter waters, her belly shall swell and her thigh (Heb. yarek or side or loins,which are the seat of procreative power) shall rot as a result of a divine judgment. If she is guiltless, the bitter waters will have no effect on her. If she refuses to drink the bitter water and her husband still suspects her unfaithfulness, then he is free to divorce her, even though she has admitted no guilt. According to Jewish tradition, this legal procedure was carried out by Israel’s highest court in Jerusalem (Sota 7b).
Some biblical commentators see a parallel here between the adulterous woman and the trial and execution of Yeshua at the cross. After only a casual reflection on the issues, this may seem unlikely. But ponder this for a moment. Did YHVH liken his Continue reading →
The concept of animal sacrifices may be a hard for modern people to comprehend—especially for those who are squeamish when it comes to death and blood. This ancient ritual, rooted in the nomadic lifestyles of the inhabitants of the Middle East, carried more symbolic significance for a people whose daily existence was tied to the earth and who were dependent on domestic animals for their survival. It is out of this cultural background that the biblical narrative springs and with it the ritual symbols with which the ancient people described therein could relate. With these things in mind, the following is a list showing the main reasons for YHVH’s establishment of an animal sacrificial system as a means to help man to understand spiritual lessons far beyond the actual sacrifice itself.
The laws pertaining to the sacrificial system were added to the rest of the Torah because of sin, and were in force until the time of Yeshua the promised Seed (Gal 3:19). When and why did YHVH add them making this system incumbent upon the Israelites? This occurred after and because of the sin of the golden calf. It was then that YHVH established the Levitical priesthood and subsequently gave Israel the sacrificial system to not only show them the seriousness and grave consequences of sins, but to guide Continue reading →