For the past several weeks I have been studying about those who are called out, sometimes called the ekklesia, also called the Body of the Messiah, the community and the assembly – their purpose, their walk, etc. This study has taken me to Scripture, Tim Hegg’s website, other websites and some email correspondence. I am so far finding it a very interesting study =) I will share more later…
I have also been giving a lot of thought to the signs of the times and talking to my sons and daughters about being prepared to face the last days, death and eternity. There are so many theories about how things will play out in the end…
- Will we be here during the time of tribulation?
- Is heaven “somewhere out there”?
There is much to learn about how the Hebrews thought in regards to these things, and once again it sheds a new light on Scripture. To me, it’s like when I first needed glasses. Everything was blurry but I didn’t even know it until I put on my new glasses and then I could see how much I had been missing all that time. I’m having so much fun wearing these new glasses and seeing the things that were hidden from me before I used the glasses. =)
Recently I began to write down The Way as I see it in Scripture. I am trying to write it using terms that have not been watered down, and words that can be defined with strong and precise meanings.
One of my original goals in posting Scripture on this blog was to show first of all how mankind was created perfectly in order to enjoy the presence of YHWH and how beautiful that must have been with no shame and perfect fellowship with the Creator. But then how sin came into the world, how it has affected us by separating us from His presence. And then to show how YHWH provided a Way for us to be able to come back into His presence. We have seen so far that the effects of sin are far reaching and sin, disobeying YHWH’s instructions, takes many forms.
The first sin had to do with food, eating something that Elohim forbade, not following His instructions. Genesis 3
The first blood was shed when YHWH made the coverings of animal skins for Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:21
Although we are not given the details, at some point after Eve sinned, a sacrificial system was introduced.
The next recorded sin is Cain trying to come to Elohim in his own way, sacrificing what and how he wanted to sacrifice and not what was required. Again, not following YHWH’s instructions. Genesis 4:3-4
His way was not accepted and his heart found anger and hatred, followed by murder. Genesis 4:5-7
And on it goes for the first 2000 years, with the sons of God sinning, violence, mankind being corrupted, etc.
After 2000 years only 8 people are not corrupt and the rest are destroyed by flood. No wonder Elohim was sorry that He made mankind.
Yet our will to do things our own way and not follow the instructions of YHWH is soon to follow when we see mankind’s pride at the tower of Babel. Genesis 11
That is as far as we have come in the first chapters of Genesis, but we will be continuing the love story between mankind and Elohim in the weeks and months to come.
Now, back to The Way. =) From the very first sin we see that blood is sacrificed, but the process is not explained in Scripture until many years later when Moses writes down all of YHWH’s instructions. I think it is safe to assume that this was not completely new information given to Moses, since there were sacrifices made by Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, etc. However, during the 200 years in slavery to Egypt, a pagan nation, a lot of things could have been forgotten. (think about how much has been forgotten in the last 200 years in our country) So, the specifics are written down by Moses. And it is very specific. What type of animal is acceptable, who makes the sacrifice, where it is made, how often, for what sins, etc. The main point for this post being, a perfect blood sacrifice is required for the atonement of sin.
So, with all of this in mind, how are we, a sinful, selfish and lawless people, able to come into the presence of the One Who is Set-Apart from all others, the Creator of the World, the Most High God?
1. The first thing is to RECOGNIZE:
- YHWH IS the Creator, the Ruler of the Universe, the most High Elohim Genesis 14:22
- He is high and lifted up, set apart and perfect. Isaiah 6:1, Hebrews 7:26
- Mankind was originally created in perfection and enjoyed being in His presence Genesis 1:26-31
- We are now unable to be in His presence because our sin (lawlessness, not following His instructions) separates us from Him. Isaiah 59:2
- We have sinned, missed the mark, fallen short of His standard, disobeyed His instructions. 1 John 3:4
What is the standard?
It is easy enough to say we must obey the Torah, YHWH’s instruction, perfectly. That sounds pretty cut and dry. It would include the 10 commandments, and other commandments. However, it also means loving your neighbor as yourself, loving YHWH with all your heart, soul and mind, loving and praying for your enemies, not lusting after women, not being angry with your brother, etc. Matthew 5:21-48 This is a different matter and not so easily dismissed. These things deal more with out heart and not just our actions. These are the weightier parts of the Law (Torah) that the Messiah refers to when speaking to the Pharisees. (Matthew 23:23) The hidden man of the heart. When these are brought to our attention, we can see that keeping the Commandments is not enough and we can never attain salvation through our own perfection, obedience or goodness. We all fall short. Romans 3:23
3. The PROVISION
The serpent in the wilderness, some of the animal sacrifices, the story of Isaac, Jonah, etc… these are all pointing to the Perfect Sacrifice in the promised Messiah and Redeemer and all is perfectly fulfilled in Yeshua, the spotless Lamb (John 1:29), the only begotten (not created and with the same Divine qualities as YHWH) Son of YHWH (1 John 4:9), who perfectly kept the Torah and then spilled His precious blood as the atonement sacrifice (Romans 3:25) for our sin. Such love!
4. We must REALIZE:
- Not just knowing, but even anguish over our wicked sinfulness,our missing the mark. When we truly see Him for Who He is, our eyes are opened to our own frailty and how underserving we are Luke 5:8
- There is nothing we can do to meet His standards and follow His instructions perfectly or to provide our own Salvation. Nothing. Ever.
5. BELIEVE, CALL ON HIS NAME:
- His name is YHWH Exodus 3:13-16, and His Son is Yeshua or Yehoshua – Exodus 14:13; Nehemiah 8:17, Matthew 1:21
- Recognize Who He is, His complete perfection, terror and love 2 Corinthians 5:11
- He died in our place, it should have been you and me Romans 5:6
- His blood was shed to make a way for YOU and ME to be able to come into the presence of YHWH Jude 1:24
- Accept the blood of Yeshua as a sacrifice for each and every sin 1 John 1:7
- Our belief must be active James 2:17 and different than the belief of the devils James 2:19, who even tremble and bow down before Him Mark 5:6
How is our belief different? These things the devils are not willing to do:
Turn from your sin, your way of life, friendship with the world & satan’s hold Acts 8:22, 2 Corinthians 5:17
Surrender your life to the Master completely, become His slave – you no longer have a will of your own, He makes all the decisions Jude 1:1
Trust Him with your life 2 Chronicles 16:9
- He that says “I know Him” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar 1 John 2:4a
Identify with Him before the world through immersion baptism Acts 2:38
We become disciples of Yeshua – a disciple imitates everything, every action… it’s a complete lifestyle. For more information about what it means to be a disciple, watch “In the Dust of the Rabbi” or visit Ray Vander Laan’s website.
If you were captured by athiests and put on trial, would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a disciple of Yeshua?