I am so grateful for the wonderful gift from Yahushua ha’Mashiach (the Messiah) of cleaning up my past “shortcomings” through His sacrifice and atonement of my sins. I am sure you have the same gratitude, knowing He paid the ultimate price and laid down His life in replacement of ours.
In times prior to His ultimate sacrifice, the children of Yisra’el relied on a temporary atonement or covering by the blood of unblemished animals through the service of their local priest. There was a lot involved for the duties of the priests and it had to be done regularly for the people to able to be in the presence of a qodesh (set-apart) Elohim.
Similarly, in the very beginning after Adam and Huwah (known as Eve) had transgressed YHWH’s instructions, they were given animal skins to cover their nakedness. These animal skins had to come from sacrificed animals, which temporarily “covered” the sins of Adam and his wife. It did not release them from their punishments but did give them a chance to live out the rest of their now mortal lives under the guidance of Elohim.
I believe Todd Bennett’s book The Scriptures gives a clear synopsis on the purpose of blood for the covering sin:
“The blood is very interesting because YHWH chose it as the means to maintain life in “the adam.” Some have speculated that blood is, in fact, congealed light. This notion makes for interesting thought as we consider the speeding up of the blood into light. This would make sense as those who follow the Ways of YHWH are often referred to as Children of Light.” Page 30
“Thereafter [the fall of man], YHWH shed the blood of innocent animals to reveal that innocent blood would provide an atonement, or covering, for the sin of man. YHWH clothed the man and woman in skins of the slaughtered animals. They were like costumes or disguises, which hid their sin from the face of YHWH.
The sin was still there, just covered. As a result, the inner sin began to work death in both man and woman. Beings which were created in the image of an eternal Elohim, intended to live forever, were now infected with sin, and were dying. Death is very repulsive to the Creator as it is the antithesis of His essence, which is life.” Page 32,33
This gives us a better understanding that the light and life of blood was a necessary atonement. Although it was only a temporary solution, until the perfect One appeared around 2,000 years later.
Let’s read one of the prophesies regarding the coming Messiah in Isaiah 53:
“But YHWH was pleased to crush Him, He laid sickness on Him, that when He made Himself an offering for guilt, He would see a seed, He would prolong His days and the pleasure of YHWH prosper in His hand. From the suffering of His Life, He would see light and be satisfied. Through His knowledge My righteous Servant makes many righteous, and He bears their wickedness.” Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 53:10,11
This really shows the desire YHWH has, to get us back in good graces with Him and giving us back the wonderful gift of living in His presence forever. It states that “YHWH was pleased to crush Him.” Imagine that?! His Son in whom He is well pleased (Matthew – Mattithyahu 3:17) was commissioned to take the punishment of death (which we deserved) and it was laid on Yahushua instead. By this He conquered death, so that many may be made righteous.
What a wonderful blessing for those who believe and put their trust in Him. Without Yahushua, we have no chance. He is the door to the Father, the Kingdom and eternal life.
“I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John (Yohanan) 14:6
So there has been a fulfillment and replacement of the previous “temporary” sacrifice of animals to the ultimate sacrifice of the unblemished Lamb of Elohim, Yahushua ha’Mashiach. Amazingly, the Name of our Messiah Yahushua means YHWH saves! He has sent His Son to save His people through the pure blood of the Lamb.
“And she shall give birth to a Ben (Son), and you shall call His Name Yahushua for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew (Mattithyahu) 1:21
Knowing the deeper purpose of His sacrifice can then give us a much better understanding of the letter to the Hebrews (Ibrim). This letter (specifically chapters 7-10) emphasizes the previous requirements (sacrificial system) by the priests, for the atoning of sin and that gratefully our Messiah is now our High Priest. It goes on to describe that those daily rituals had faults as they were performed by men, who also had to do slaughtering’s for their own sins before performing the slaughtering’s for the people. Look at the comparisons between Yahushua and the priests before Him:
“Therefore, He [Yahushua] is also able to save completely those who draw near to YHWH through Him, ever living to make intercession for them. For it was fitting that we should have such a High Priest – kind, innocent, undefiled, having been separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens, who does not need, as those set-apart high priests, to offer up slaughter offerings day by day, first for his owns sins and then for those of the people, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Torah appoints as high priests, men who have weakness, but the word of the oath which came after the Torah – the Son having been perfected forever.” Hebrews (Ibrim) 7:26-28
The Son, Yahushua has “perfected the Torah” with His perfect (once and for all) sacrifice. No longer do we need to rely on the duties of the Levitical priesthood.
Sadly, a handful of verses in the letter to the Hebrews have been misunderstood and falsely taught, which is leading the masses to destruction. False teachers proclaim that the entire Torah has been taken away (done away with) because of the sacrifice of Messiah. This is untrue and it is sad that so many do not study to show themselves approved, but heavily rely on the teachings from a pulpit. Let us look at the verse commonly misinterpreted:
“Then He said ‘See, I come to do Your desire YHWH.’ He takes away the first to establish the second. By that desire we have been qadosh (set-apart) through the offering of the body of Yahushua ha’Mashiach once for all.” Hebrews (Ibrim) 10:9,10
I can understand how this verse can be misunderstood to those who have not studied the Torah and the Prophets. Jumping right into the “New Testament” while skipping the very foundation of the Covenant can only lead the unlearned down a road of confusion, guessing and utter ruin. Also, cherry picking verses can seem convenient (especially for false teachers) however it is vital that we do not treat the Scriptures like a buffet.
Again, these chapters are specifically referring to the temple sacrifices made by the priests and how Yahushua became that final sacrifice. It in no way alludes to the notion that we no longer need to be obedient (i.e., walk as He walked). We cannot continue to intentionally sin once we have been made clean (Hebrews – Ibrim 10: 26,27).
It is evident by the following verse that the author of Hebrews was referring to the first sacrificial system being taken away which then establishes the second, the blood sacrifice of Yahushua ha’Mashiach:
“And indeed, every priest stands day by day doing service, and repeatedly offering the same slaughter offerings which are never able to take away sins. But He, having offered one slaughter offering for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of YHWH, waiting from that time onward until His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are being qadosh (set-apart).” Hebrews (Ibrim) 10:11-14
Once we have been made clean by the blood of the Lamb, we are then given a wonderful promise of His Ruach ha’Qodesh (Set-apart Spirit) to dwell in us. We have been made clean and now He can reside in us. Our bodies have become the temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:15-20 / 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 / Ephesians 2:19-22) where He resides.
So, the essential question is, now that our “temples” have been made clean, how do we stay clean?
As mentioned earlier, it is vital that we understand and gain wisdom from the Tanakh (the Torah, prophets, and writings falsely labeled as the “Old Testament”) if we want to understand the Renewed Covenant (falsely labeled as the “New Testament”).
The events written in the Tanakh are to help us understand our Creator’s instructions and to help us learn from those before us. Whether good or bad, we can learn from their obedience as well as from their mistakes (1 Corinthians 10:11).
Take for instance the book of 2 Chronicles. Now I have never been one to love history class. In fact, it was one of my worst subjects in school. Being young and naïve I thought “How is this going to benefit me?” I really did not care who did what, when they did it or where and how. Of course, as the years passed, and I matured I realized that there is “nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) and we truly can learn from history. We can avoid the bad and embrace the good, if we know the outcome of both throughout history.
This is truly the case in 2 Chronicles. This is a documented genealogy of sovereigns who reigned from one generation to the next. It is an amazing roller coaster from father to son and those who chose to do what is right in the eyes of YHWH and those who did not.
There is a clear pattern on this roller coaster ride of events. A sovereign who corrupts YHWH’s temple and His land with foreign mighty ones (gods), witchcraft, pagan ways, and abominations, then followed by a sovereign who has a heart to please YHWH and follow Him, thus having to clean “house” of all that previous filth.
Currently, I would like to focus not on the corrupt, but on those who cleaned the temple and the land to be acceptable to YHWH, knowing that that is our desire as well in our “temples” (body) and in our “land” (homes):
“And Asa did what was good and what was right in the eyes of YHWH his Elohim, and removed the altars of the stranger, and the high places, and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim, and commanded Yahudah to seek YHWH Elohim of their fathers, and to do the Torah and the Command.” 2 Chronicles 14:2-4
“And his [Yahoshaphat] heart was exalted in the Ways of YHWH, and he again removed the high places and the Asherim from Yahudah.” 2 Chronicles 17:6
“And good matters are found by you [Yahoshaphat], in that you have removed the Asheroth from the land and have prepared your heart to seek Elohim.” 2 Chronicles 19:3
“And he [Hizquiyahu] said to them, ‘Listen to me, O Lewites! Now qadosh yourselves, qadosh the House of YHWH Elohim of your fathers, and remove the uncleanness from the qadosh place.” 2 Chronicles 29:5
“And they rose up and removed the altars that were in Yerushalayim, and they removed all the incense altars and threw them into the wadi Qidron.” 2 Chronicles 30:1
“And he [Menashsheh] removed the foreign mighty ones and the idol from the House of YHWH” 2 Chronicles 33:15
“And he [Yoshiyahu] broke down the altars and the Asherim, and ground the carved images to dust, and cut down all the sun-pillars throughout all the land of Yisra’el and returned to Yerushalayim. And in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had cleansed the land and the house…” 2 Chronicles 34:7,8
The above verses should surely bring attention to the importance of purging. We need to rid our lives of all the things that could hinder us from the presence of Yah.
In fact, YHWH makes it clear that He will withdraw from a defiled place. Let us look at Ezekiel chapter 5.
“Therefore, as I live,” declares the Adon YHWH, “because you have defiled My Miqdash (Set-apart place) with all your filthiness and with all your abominations, therefore I also withdraw. And My eye shall not pardon, nor shall I spare.” Ezekiel (Yehezqel) 5:11
We are commanded throughout Scripture to be “set-apart” (Leviticus 20:26; 1 Peter 1:15,16; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Psalm 119:9; Matthew 5:48). If we want YHWH to dwell within us, we must keep our ways clean. I realize that all of us are learning as we go, the important part is that our hearts remain humble and teachable as we grow in Him, immediately purging those things, He makes evident, to stay in Him, and Him in us. (John – Yohanan 15:3-11)
This important step of purging is also discussed in the book of Acts, after the death and resurrection of Yahushua. We read how many of the gentiles were converting out of paganism and joining the Covenant through the blood of the Messiah. They had been steeped (most since birth) in a society and culture that was encompassed in paganism.
Surprisingly, today’s American (and world) culture is no different than that of 2,000 years ago. The more research you do and the more layers you peel, you will discover that our everyday lives are also steeped in the origins of paganism. It is terribly sad how it has been hidden so well throughout the years and yet at the same time has become so accepted as the norm.
Once we begin peeling the layers off our traditions and our culture (plainly seeing the true identity and purpose of them), feelings of shock and disgust are inevitable. More specifically those who love truth can acknowledge that the intentions of ha’Shatan (Satan) are beyond malevolent.
When Scripture states, “he leads all the world astray” (Rev 12:9) we actually can personalize it and know that “all the world” also includes you and me. The key, however, is to wake up from that deception and remove it from our lives so it will no longer hinder us from being acceptable (righteous living) before our Father.
There is a lot of information available on pagan origins. Whether it is the practicing of pagan holidays we have grown to love (Christmas, Easter and Halloween), to the many words that are an offense to YHWH. Like the name of the months and days of the week (most named after pagan gods) or that the Names of our Father and His Son have been changed/replaced to honor pagan gods.
Ha’Shatan, the great deceiver, is not stupid. He is called “the great deceiver” for a reason because he is good at it. But YHWH promises to give wisdom to those who seek it. Sadly, most are not seeking it. However, this blog is written for those who are seeking and who want to know the truth, follow the truth, and live for YHWH.
I do not plan to go into details of all the filth that culture and religion has fed us. You can easily do that research on your own. I continually ask YHWH to remove from me anything that could break His heart - any roadblocks that are keeping me from His blessings. My motto has been “When it doubt, throw it out!”
“Search me, O El, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if an idolatrous way is in me and lead me in the Way of everlasting.” Psalms (Tehillim) 139: 23,24
We need to rely on His Word and the guidance of His Ruach ha’Qodesh (Set-apart Spirit). Yahushua gives the purpose of the Helper (Spirit) in John (Yohanan).
“But I say the truth to you. It is better for you that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you at all, but if I go, I shall send Him to you. And having come, He shall reprove the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgement.” John (Yohanan) 16:7,8
So, the Ruach ha’Qodesh is to be our guide concerning sin and concerning righteousness. However, if any spirit you are listening to is leading you to go against YHWH’s Commands, then it is not His Spirit but some other spirit you are listening to. The purpose of His Spirit is also written in the prophecy of Ezekiel.
“And I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. And I shall take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I shall give you a heart of flesh, and put My Ruach within you. And I shall cause you to walk in My Laws and guard My Right-Rulings and shall do them.” Ezekiel (Yehezqel) 36:26,27
Remember that Satan and his demons also are in the spiritual realm, and it is critical to know that there is a constant battle going on for your soul. The voice of YHWH will never contradict with the Word of YHWH. It is important to not confuse what “feels” good (accustomed culture) to what “is” good (His Word).
Traditions in our culture feel good because we grew up with “them”, they are comfortable, everyone else is doing it and you have been participating for decades. So how can something you have grown to love be something YHWH hates? Well, just because we accept something, does not mean YHWH does. Remember, His ways are not our ways nor His thoughts, our thoughts. (Isaiah/Yeshayahu 55: 8,9).
Just know, when you step out of the comfy culture and traditions you are used to and you see the “world” around you hating you for it, you are doing something right. In the beginning of my Covenant journey, what truly set me apart from those around me was not so much that I started following His Ways (Torah, Sabbath, Appointed Times, etc…) but that I stopped following the world’s ways. My loved ones (whose hearts were not ready to receive His Truth) became extremely uncomfortable with me for “cleansing” my life.
Obedience (showing our love and commitment to Him) is a combination of “cleaning house” and honoring and living His instructions (the Torah).
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, yet I chose you out of the world, for that reason the world hates you.” John (Yohanan) 15:19
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim? Whoever therefore intends to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of Elohim.” James (Ya’aqob) 4:4
“So then subject yourselves to Elohim. Resist the devil and he shall flee from you. Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands sinners. And cleanse hearts, you double-minded!” James (Ya’aqob) 4:7,8
I love the book of James (Ya’aqob). I love his writing style, straight to the point. No fluff, no games; and he surely did not care if he offended anyone. He was about the truth and leading people to the truth. I back James’ passion as there is no time to waste. Our lives are at stake, and it is important we get cleaned up and be an example for others.
When I first discovered all the lies, I had been fed through religion and traditions, I had no hesitation or the slightest apprehension to drop those lies like a bad habit. For every minute I wasted reconsidering, justifying, and evaluating my cultural habits, I was prolonging absence of His presence in my life. I did not want to prolong that for one more second! I wanted Him to be fully present and I wanted to please Him and follow Him in truth immediately!
“And immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” Mark 1:18
"Therefore, as the Ruach ha'Qodesh (Set-apart Spirit) says 'Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion..." Hebrews (Ibrim) 3:7
The gentile converts in the book of Acts seemed to want to immediately follow Him.. Yet, coming from a culture drenched in paganism (not much different than ours) they were a bit overwhelmed at first. What do we do to please YHWH? How do we do it? They wanted to know how to live Torah, just as the Yisra’elites were doing. A handful of the disciples recommended they start with some “cleaning house” first.
“Therefore, I judge that we should not trouble those from among the gentiles who are turning to Elohim, but that we write to them to abstain from the defilements of idols, and from whoring, and from what is strangled, and from blood.” Acts 15:19,20
They obviously were coming from a culture/religion which involved idols, worshipping pagan gods, and not eating clean. They were eating and drinking blood for goodness’ sake! Eating meat from a strangled animal has blood in it. The animal dies in shock and all the blood rushes throughout their body into the meat. I assume they then washed that down with a cup of blood? No wonder the disciples recommended they start their Covenant Journey with ridding their bodies of those abominations.
They also knew it was important for them to abstain from worshipping other “gods”. Honoring other mighty ones does not work if you want to be in Covenant with YHWH as He clearly commands it throughout the Torah, prophets, and writings. He even made it Number 1 of the 10 Words (Commandments).
Never in a million years did I think that I was worshiping “other gods” in Christianity, but shockingly, I was. We are told “There is no other Name given among men in which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). If I were to ask… what is that Name? Most Christians (including myself back then) without hesitation would say “Jesus”. Yet a simple research study clearly reveals that was not His Name. Additionally, further study indicates the name “Jesus” has pagan origins and can mean “Son of Zeus”.
Amazingly we can read from the direct Words of Yahushua when He states,
“I have come in My Father’s Name, and you do not receive Me, if another comes in his own name, him you would receive.” John (Yohanan) 5:43
Yikes!! This is clear evidence that His Name would change over the years and the great deceiver would see to it and make that happen. Think about it. If we know from Acts 4:12 that there is NO OTHER Name in which we must be saved, what do you think the great deceiver would do? Yes, change the name - redirecting your worship from the One true Messiah to a pagan name instead. But the clever part is not stopping you from worshipping, just redirecting that worship.
If someone’s first reaction is “His Name doesn’t matter” or “He knows who I mean in my heart” then they do not know Scripture, nor do they truly know the Father and His Son. There are hundreds of verses in Scripture that say otherwise, and I suggest they open their heart and ears to His Word and His desire. Our hearts need to be open to His truth or we will continue to believe and love the falsehood.
“The coming is against the working of Satan, with all his power and signs and wonders of falsehood, and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those perishing, because they did not receive a love of the truth, in order for them to be saved, and for this reason Elohim sends them a working delusion, for them to believe the falsehood, in order that all should be judged who did not believe the truth, but have delighted in the unrighteousness.” 2 Thess 2:9-12
The deception goes much deeper than just replacing the Name of Messiah. Most everything that “Jesus” represents (taught from Christian leaders) is in no way aligned with the same Hebrew Messiah, Son of Elohim, Yahushua. Here is a simple chart I created a year ago (not covering all topics) on the differences between what “Jesus” signifies and what Yahushua, the true Messiah embodies.
I see some in Messianic circles talk about Messiah Yahushua and then in parenthesis write (Jesus) as if it represents the same person. I understand that they are probably just trying to connect with those who are new to His True Name. The problem with this is, it is not just about what we call Him, but also about what the “Jesus” represents. That representation of our Messiah imposes an imposter. That name, and the false messiah it represents, did not even exist until made up by man. He is not the same person; He is not Yahushua. Please note that we will be held accountable for every idle word (Mattithyahu 12:37) so mixing or connecting an imposter with the ONE who saves will only keep us on the twisted path of falsehood.
Similarly, this mixing and/or replacing applies to the Sabbath day. It is clear we are to not work on the 7th day of the week. False teachers proclaim the 1st day is to be the Sabbath or they say “every day is a Sabbath” … that is such a horrible lie and has Satan’s name written all over it.
Again, the deceiver is not stopping people from setting a day apart, he is redirecting them to his day, “sun-day”, honoring the sun god instead of honoring YHWH. The 7th day is the only day of the week that we are commanded to set-apart. (I will be discussing the importance of the Sabbath, its Scriptural meaning and how to set that day apart, in my next blog).
“Her priests have done violence to My Torah, and they profane My qodesh matters. They have not distinguished between the qodesh and the profane, nor have they made known between the clean and the unclean. And they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned in their midst. Her leaders in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy lives, and to get greedy gain. And her prophets have coated them with whitewash, seeing a false vision, and divining a lie for them, saying ‘Thus said the Adon YHWH,’ when YHWH had not spoken.” Ezekiel (Yehezqel) 22:26-28
“And what union has the Mishkan (dwelling place) of Elohim with idols? For you are a Mishkan of the living Elohim, as YHWH has said, ‘I shall dwell in them and walk among them, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says YHWH, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6: 16-18
For those who have a heart and love for the Father and His Son, we are promised to gain wisdom and truth - for those who seek Him. So, while we may have been duped by false teachers “in the name of Jesus”, His plan was to open our eyes to the deception, revealing His truth, leading us to His Covenant, all through the esteemed Name of His Son Yahushua ha’Mashiach.
It might be hard at first to train your brain to say “Yahushua” or “Yahshua” (for short) but you will get used to it. Goodness, I was a “Jesus freak” before discovering the truth. I had t-shirts, bible tracts, jewelry, you name it – all in Jesus’ name. I sang my favorite songs, all honoring the name of Jesus. But again, once discovering the truth, I dropped it all and quickly! I did not want to go one more day breaking His heart. I made a commitment to cleanse my words and asked His Ruach to help guide me through it.
Once I started removing the “filth”, in His eyes, I then had room to be filled with truth, to learn how to honor Him through His Torah. Discovering the beautiful Covenant path, I was joyfully on my journey back to Him.
So, this is a time of rejoicing!! We are being pulled from the web of lies into His marvelous truth! How grateful, honored and humbled we should be, knowing that we can now walk in His wonderful Light!
Let’s take inventory and identify the filth in our lives and get cleaned up, so we may be ready with sincerity and boldness to give account for our actions through the belief and love of Yahushua ha’Mashiach.
“As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance, instead, as the One who called you is qodesh, so you also should become qodesh in all behavior, because it has been written, ‘Be qodesh, for I am qodesh.” 1 Peter (Kepha) 1:14-16
“For enough of our past lifetime we have done the desire of the gentiles, having walked in indecencies, lusts, drunkenness, orgies, wild parties, and abominable idolatries, in which they are surprised that you do not run with them in loose behavior, blaspheming, who shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” 1 Peter (Kepha) 4:3,4
For those that love Him, let us work toward perfection in Him on this journey back to paradise.
“…the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting Covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His desire, working in you what is pleasing in His sight, through Yahushua ha’Mashiach, to who be esteem forever and ever, Amen.” Hebrews (Ibrim) 13: 20,21
“Do you see that the belief was working with his works, and by the works belief was perfected?” James (Ya’aqob) 2:22
“And he commanded them, saying, ‘Do this in the reverence of YHWH, trustworthy and with a perfect heart.” 2 Chronicles 19:9
Helpful and encouraging resources while cleaning house:
Todd Bennett's book: Pagan Holidays
James Block's song: Remain in You (YouTube)