Why Deleaven for the Feast of Unleavened Bread?

1 Corinthians 5:6, Purge out. The greater context of this passage is about putting sin out of our life (which is the temple of YHVH’s Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 3:16–17), which collectively form the spiritual body, church or the greater temple of Yeshua’s spiritual body (John 2:21). Therefore, sin that defiles the temple of Elohim must be put out of the church. In this letter to the Corinthians, Paul is especially concerned about the sin of sexual immorality that the church in Coringh had allowed to come into its midsts (1 Cor 5:1ff). From the context of this passage in light of Paul’s discussion about Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it would appear that he wrote this letter just prior to the spring festivals (1 Cor 5:6–8). He is urging the church to remove the leavening of sin from its midsts prior to keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which he, by the way, urges the Corinthian believers to do. In fact, Paul’s admonition to “keep the Feast [of Unleavened Bread]” in verse eight, is the strongest imperative command in the Testimony of Yeshua (or NT) to keep the biblical festivals, and from this it’s evidence that in the mind of the apostle the biblical festivals were still relevant to Yeshua’s followers well past the middle of the first century, which means they’re relevant to the saints of today as well.

In his admonition to the Corinthian believers, it’s possible that Paul had in mind two examples in the Tanakh where spiritual revivals occurred after Hezekiah and Josiah cleansed the temple in Jerusalem of the filth of idolatry in preparation for Passover. Similarly, Ezra finished completion of the rebuilt temple in time to celebrate Passover (Ezra 6). These examples teach us that YHVH commands us to cleanse or deleaven our spiritual temples (individually and collectively) of sin annually in preparation for celebrating Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This spiritual spring house cleaning at the beginning of the biblical new year sets the tone spiritually for the rest of the year to go forward in a sin-free state. 

1 Corinthians 5:8, Leaven. What specifically is leavening? Leavening is primarily yeast that makes bread rise and, biblically, it  is the symbol for the sin of pride. Leavening is also a symbol of decay. The rising of bread dough is only possible by the natural process of decay. In ancient times, a pinch of fermented or sour dough was Continue reading

 

How to Stop the Spread of Communicable Physical and Spiritual Diseases

Leviticus 13:4, 5, 11, etc., Isolate him. The laws of quarantine are not merely for ritualistic and ceremonial purposes, which are now obsolete having passed away with the Levitical and sacrificial systems. Were people to follow these laws to this day and quarantine themselves when sick, colds, flus viruses and other infectious diseases would not be as rampant as they are. Thousands of years before modern medical science discovered the importance of cleanliness and the communicable nature of many diseases, the YHVH’s Torah prescribed measures to prevent the spread of such diseases.

Leviticus 13:43, 6, 10, 11, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22 etc. The priest shall examine. As it was the duty of the priests of old to keep the camp of Israel free of disease, so it is now the duty of the ministry to keep the infectious disease of sin outside church and to determine who is clean and unclean; who should be quarantined or put out of the camp and when to let them back in. (See Rom 16:17–18; Tit 3:10; 2 Thess 3:6; 2 Tim 3:5; 1 Cor 5:5, 9–11.)

Leviticus 13:45, Cry, “Unclean, unclean.” A skin disease was like a red flag, which if a person had it was regarded as a judgment from Elohim for the sin of slander, gossip, murder with the mouth, false oaths and pride as well as sexual immorality, robbery and selfishness. That person was considered to be physically and spiritually contagious and so was put outside the camp of Israel until the disease was gone. According to Samson Hirsch, quarantine was a means of shocking the sinner into recognizing his moral shortcomings and his need to repent (The ArtScroll Chumash, p. 613).

What if each time we sinned with our mouth we were quickly struck with a visible sin disease for all to see resulting in our being quarantined and shunned? Perhaps the incidences of lashon hara (the evil tongue) would greatly diminish. If you received heaven’s judgment each time you misspoke, how would you change Continue reading

 

Leviticus 12–15 Explained and Made Relevant to YOU

Leviticus chapters 12 through 15  are some of the most distasteful and difficult to explain in the whole Bible, much less to relate to and to apply to our lives. After all, who wants to talk about diseases, disgusting molds and mildews, and bodily discharges? And who can relate to leprosy? Yuk!

Yet the Torah contains these subjects for a reason. Yes, sanitation, cleanliness and our physical good health is important to our Creator for obvious reasons, but lurking behind this distasteful and, at times, even revulsive subject is a much deeper issue: the disease of sin. When we view sin in terms of a contagious spiritual disease, suddenly we gain a new and deeper understanding of its destructive nature.

Even though the old adage, “Cleanliness is next to godliness” is not in the Bible, it is a biblical truism. Our cleanliness at all levels, body, soul (mind, will and emotions) and spirit are vital to a right relationship with Elohim. He is holy or set-apart (i.e. from the pollution, filth and defilement of this world), and without holiness, no one can see Elohim (Heb 12:14). In essence, holiness is nothing more than spiritual cleanliness. This is the deeper meaning behind Leviticus chapters 12 through 15.

Please take the time to read these chapters in Leviticus, then return to this blog and read my commentary on them. The goal of this discussion is to attain a higher level of spiritual holiness and cleanliness resulting in a closer walk with YHVH Elohim, our Creator, resulting in restored relationships with our fellow man as well. How great is that?

Overview of Parshiot Tazria-Metzora (Lev 12–13 and 14–15)

Often these two parshiot (the plural of parashah meaning “Torah portion” in Hebrew) are combined in the yearly Torah reading cycle depending on how the biblical calendar falls for the year. Their combining is likely due to the fact that each is relatively short and deals with related subjects: namely, the ritual purity laws. 

As we shall see, the causes of ritual impurity involve sin issues. As a remedy to this problem, the Torah prescribes procedures that the afflicted person had to follow in order to be deemed cleansed and thus be readmitted into the camp of Israel after having been temporarily expelled because of ritual impurity. All the ritual cleansing laws prophetically pointed to Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross.

These two parshiot dealing with diseased and unclean persons immediately come after the laws concerning clean and unclean meats (Lev 11). What the Israelites ate as well as Continue reading

 

The Two Broad Categories of Sin

Leviticus 4:1–33, Atonement for unintentional sin. Listed in this chapter are the steps priests (verses 3–12), the people (verses 13–21) and the leaders (verses 22–26), or people of the land (verses 27–35) had to take to deal with sin. These four categories cover all people on earth: the priests, the Israelites, the leaders of Israel, and everyone else (all the Gentiles).

Yeshua’s blood atonements is sufficient to cover all humans. The steps to make atonement for unintentional sin prophetically point to Yeshua’s death as a sin offering for man. They include offering a young bull on the altar (i.e. Yeshua’s death on the cross), the sinner laying his hands on the bull (i.e. confession of one’s sins and transferring those sins to Yeshua), sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice before the veil of the holy of holies (i.e. a picture of Yeshua’s blood being presented before the throne of Elohim on man’s behalf), sprinkling blood on the altar of incense (i.e. Yeshua interceding on the sinner’s behalf Continue reading

 

Is there a connection between sin and sickness?

Exodus 15:26, I am YHVH that heals you. This is the first place in the Scriptures where YHVH promises to heal his people of sickness. Here is a list of other biblical verses containing similar promises: Deut 7:12 and 15; Pss 30:2–4; 34:18–19; 41:1;91 (entire chapter); 103 (entire chapter); Isa 40:28–31; 53:4–5; Jer 17:13–14; Mal 4:2; Mark 11:23–24; Luke 10:19; John 14:13; 15:7; 15:16; 16:23–24; Rom 8:31; 8:37; Phil 4:13; Jas 5:14–16; 1 Pet 2:24. Notice the stipulations that YHVH makes for his promise of healing to be fulfilled upon his people. His people must “diligently heed [Heb. shema meaning “to hear and to do”] the voice of YHVH by doing what is upright [Heb. yashar meaning “right, righteous, correct, straight] in his sight by obeying his Torah.

Is There a Connection Between Sin and Sickness?

What if any is the connection between the sins we commit and the sicknesses and diseases that come upon us? Much, as the Bible teaches.

First, let’s establish some basic truths.

  • Everyone will eventually die, so not all sickness is a result of sin (Heb 9:27).
  • Some sickness isn’t due to sin, but so that YHVH might be glorified when the person is miraculously healed (John 9:2–3). 
  • The purpose of some sickness is for spiritual refinement to bring us to a higher level spiritually as was the case with Job.

In a general sense, pain, suffering and death came upon all men because of Adam and Eve’s initial rebellion against YHVH Elohim in the Garden of Eden. As a Continue reading

 

“YHVH, help us to forgive others as you have forgiven us…”

Roman denarius—a small silver coin

Matthew 18:24, 28, Ten thousand talents…a hundred denarii. A talent was a unit of measure for gold and silver and was equivalent to about 75 lbs. One talent of silver at a rate of $15 per ounce would be worth $36,000. Ten thousand talents of silver would be worth about $18 million. A denarius was equivalent to a fair day’s wages (Matt 20:2). If one earns $40,000 in a year and works 260 days per year, then 100 denarii would be equivalent to about $15,384. 

The lesson of Yeshua’s parable abut the unforgiving servant is obvious. If one’s master forgives him of a debt that’s impossible to repay ($36 million), then one should forgive one’s neighbor the small debt of $15,384.

Likewise, if Yeshua through his death on the cross forgives a repentant sinner of the wages of sin, which is death (an impossible debt for a sinner to pay), then shouldn’t the same forgiven sinner likewise forgive those who have offended him (Matt 18:6–8) or sinned against him (verse 15–19)?