*I Peter 2;4 As you come to him, the living stone, rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him, 5 you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be cohanim set apart for God to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through Yeshua the Messiah.
*Romans 12;1 I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God. This will please him; it is the logical “Temple worship” for you.
–We begin a new book of the Torah- Vayikra (also the name of the Torah portion) known as Leviticus.Vakira means -called. The entire book of Vayikra takes place in the period of about a month! It is this book which traditional Jewish education begins for children at the age of three. Why Leviticus? Our Greek mindset would have us gloss over this book filled with in depth details on offerings and Temple service, but this is the very place where we are taught how to draw near to the Lord.The word Korban- ‘Offering” (often translated as sacrifice) comes from the root word which means “to draw near”. The point of Leviticus is to teach man how to fill his purpose…and at this point the Tabernacle stands, now it is time to do our part and ‘Bring Relationship Back’. In Leviticus God tells us how.
Vayikra is the ‘center’ book of the Torah. The very ‘center’ word of Vayikra is the yod hey vav hey- which stands for the Name of God- showing us at the Heart of the Torah we find God.I pray that by the time we have gone through this incredible book we will see that these rites and ‘rituals’ are not extinct and invalid, for we know that when the Temple is restored, most of the offerings will commence. (Read Ezekiel 40 for the text on the ‘Future Temple’ chapter 43;10-27 describes the Altar and offerings.) I pray that we will be able to take real life lessons from these texts and be able to apply them today in our service to HASHEM.
-The Greek word Kletos-invited, appointed, called
Eklektos-select, elect, chosen.
In the Hebrew when God “Calls” (Vayikar), versus “God spoke to Moshe saying…” this implies ‘this is something of great importance’.
*Romans 1;5 Through Him we received grace and were given the work of being emissary on his behalf promoting trust-grounded obedience among all the Gentiles, 6 including you, who have been called by Yeshua the Messiah.
*Romans 8;28 Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose; 29 because those whom he knew in advance, he also determined in advance would be conformed to the pattern of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers; 30 and those whom he this determined in advance, he also called; and those whom he called, he also considered righteous; and those whom he caused to be considered righteous he also glorified!
*I Corinthians 1;2 To: God’s Messianic community in Corinth, consisting of those who have been set apart by Yeshua the Messiah and called to be God’s holy people- among with everyone everywhere who calls on the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, their Lord as well as ours: 3 Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
*Jude 1;1 …To: Those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept for Yeshua the Messiah: 2May mercy, love and shalom be yours in full measure.
*Revelation 17;13 They have one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who were called, chosen and faithful will overcome along with him.
*Leviticus 1;1 He called to Moses, and HASHEM spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying: 2 Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: When a man among you brings an offering to HASHEM: from animals- from cattle or from the flock shall you bring your offering.
–The Hebrew word here used in verse two “When a MAN” the word for man is aleph, dalet final mem- ADAM. The original man. (Genesis 3;21 And HASHEM God made for Adam and his wife garments of skin, and He clothed them.) The meaning? God differentiated between man and every other creation. Man was not made in the image of any other creature or animal, he was made in the image of God. (Genesis 1;26 And God said, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. They shall rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and over the animal, the whole earth and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. ” ) Man is the steward of this world, Man is to ensure that Gods Presence is always shining forth from this place. Unlike animals we have the ability to think, communicate, have ideas, make choices, we have emotions, we are responsible for our actions. The very nature of humanity is sacrifice. We give of ourselves on a daily basis in our jobs, families and often there is self sacrifice…we put our feelings aside to serve another in need, we choose to be last so that another might be honored, etc. To exist as a human there is constant sacrifice. God informs us in the text that we are able to use everything that has been given to us to come closer to Him. From the garden when the first sacrifice was made to clothe Adam and Chavah after their transgression, to the Mishkan where the animals are used as a means of worship, of communion and atonement for sins to this very day where we can offer our lives, service and prayers to Him, through Yeshua. R’Elazar said: “The Altar serves to remove evil decree’s, provide sustenance, to endear Jews to God, and to atone.”
*Leviticus 1; 3 If one’s offering is a burnt- offering from the cattle, he shall offer an unblemished male; he shall bring it to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, voluntarily, before HASHEM. 4 He shall lean his hands upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall become acceptable for him, to atone for him. 5 He shall slaughter the bull before HASHEM; the sons of Aaron, the Kohanim, shall bring the blood and bull before HASHEM; the sons of Aaron, the Kohanim, shall bring the blood and throw the blood on the Altar, all around- which is at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 6 He shall skin the burnt-offering and cut it into its pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the Kohen shall place fire on the Altar, and arrange wood on the fire. 8 The sons of Aaron, the Kohanim, shall arrange the pieces, the head and the fats, on the wood that is on the fire, that is on the Altar. 9 He shall wash its innards and its feet with water; and the Kohen shall cause it all to go up in smoke on the Altar- a burnt-offering, a fire-offering, a satisfying aroma to HASHEM.
–God calls us, He does have expectations of the called. He desires for us to strive to maximize our connection with Him. We are to discover and realize what His task for us is in this life, to work toward our goals the goals of the Kingdom, and to remove our will and ego…and become a true servant. This burnt-offering the Olah-offering speaks of the complete abandonment of self and absolute surrender to service and worship of the King. Why? This is an offering brought of free will, there is no transgression or guilt this is a gift to HASHEM meant to show love and the desire to connect, it is completely burned up on the Altar. There is no personal or communal ‘benefit’ from this offering. Keep in mind that these offerings are representative of monetary value of the day. This specific offering can not be likened to putting a check in the collection plate.
–The fat and blood speak of our passions, pleasures, delights- our animalistic natures…we are to take all these things and freely offering them to God. In this way we utilize these things to draw near to Him, MAKING HIM the pleasure the passion and delight of our lives! Amazing!
* Leviticus 1;10 And if one’s offering is from the flock, from the sheep or from the goats, for a burnt-offering: he shall offer an unblemished male. 11 He shall slaughter it at the northern side of the Altar before HASHEM; and the sons of Aaron, the Kohanim, shall throw its blood on the Altar, all around.
*Leviticus 1;14 If one’s offering to HASHEM is a burnt-offering of fowl, he shall bring his offering from turtledoves or from young doves.
–God designs in His all encompassing love, for every single person of all status and personality to be able to come before Him for worship. If one can not afford to bring a bull, unblemished male lambs or goats are brought. If you can not bring an offering of the flock you can bring a fowl offering. If you can not even afford a bird you may bring an offering of fine flour. So too with each of us, we all have something to offer…and one seemingly greater in value is no less accepted and delighted in by the Lord than one who gave ‘little’ with all their hearts. The offerings are all brought at the North side of the Altar, this way when the congregation observes there will be no differentiation in their eyes. Many assemblies like to put numbers in high esteem, the bigger the better; often we see designated levels of honor according to the donors capability to contribute ‘more’ money. This is not the design of the King, in Who’s eyes ALL have the potential to approach and draw near.
*Luke 21;1 Then Yeshua looked up, and as he watched the rich placing their gifts into the Temple offering-boxes, 2 he also saw a poor widow put in two small coins. 3 He said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 For they, out of their wealth, have contributed money they could easily spare; but she, out of her poverty, has given all she had to live on.”
* Genesis 4;3 After a period of time, Cain brought an offering to HASHEM of the fruit of the ground; and as for Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and from their choicest. HASHEM turned to Abel and his offering, 5 but to Cain and to his offering He did not turn.
–Each person who wishes to bring a love offering, a worshiping thanksgiving offering…the olah to HASHEM should bring according to their means, the choicest. As with any of the different types of offerings we will go over, if it does not come of free will, from the heart (later with the sin and guilt offerings will see from a truly repentant heart), from what you can afford to give…the proper portion according to your ‘wealth’ and of the very best you can offer with all your effort…the offering may burn, but it will not be ‘accepted’ it will not be a sweet savor (“satisfying aroma”) to HASHEM, and this will be evident in the person for there will not be growth in the Lord nor will there be a change of heart.
*Leviticus 2;1 When a person offers a meal-offering to HASHEM, his offering shall be of fine flour; he shall pour oil upon it and place frankincense upon it. 2 He shall bring it to the sons of Aaron, the Kohanim, one of whom shall scoop threefingersful from it, from its fine flour and from its oil, as well as all its frankincense; and the Kohen shall cause the memorial portion to go up in smoke upon the Altar- a fire-offering, a satisfying aroma to HASHEM. 3 The remnant of the meal-offering is for Aaron and his sons; most holy, from the fire offerings of HASHEM.
–HASHEM in His greatness calls this meal offering of the impoverished man most holy of the fire-offerings. It is out of this man’s great love and desire to be closer to God that he brings of the little he has to feed his family with, and God accepts it as most holy. We note that this offering is portioned for the Altar and the Kohanim as well, however the owner does not ‘benefit’ for it is freely completely given by him in an act of worship and praise. This man is an example to us all, he realizes all things come from the Lord and trusts completely that his offering will only benefit his household spiritually which is of the utmost importance…even above the physical sustenance, which God will surely provide for…if we can approach worship with freewill giving in this way even in our state of physical or spiritual ‘destitution’, with complete abandon and hope in the Lord…longing to draw near, He will turn to our offering and we will not have to fear for provision.
*Leviticus 2; 11 Any meal offering that you offer to HASHEM shall not be prepared leavened, for you shall not cause to go up in smoke from any leavening or fruit-honey as a fire-offering to HASHEM. 12 You shall offer them as first-fruit offering to HASHEM, but they may not go upon the Altar for a satisfying aroma.
–Leavening speaks of pride, all puffed up and haughty. As we approach Passover and have begun to prepare our homes, removing slowly all traces of leaven that hide in cracks and crevices, we realize we are searching out our lives and our hearts with God’s light illuminating this hidden pride for us (then it is our job to do the disposing) as we approach the recollection of the Last Seder of Yeshua, and the ultimate sacrifice…God’s Pesach Lamb.
*Leviticus 2;13 You shall salt your every meal-offering with salt; you may not discontinue the salt of your God’s covenant from upon your meal-offering- on your every offering shall you offer salt.
–Salt is imperishable, salt preserves…salt speaks of that which is eternal…how fitting that God refers to the salt of His covenant in connection to all these opportunities to approach and draw near Him.
(For more on Salt: http://safeguardingtheeternal.blog.com/2012/11/23/salt-is-eternal/)
*Leviticus 3;1 If his offering is a feast peace-offering, if he offers from the cattle- whether male or female- unblemished shall he offer it before HASHEM. 2 He shall lean his hands upon the head of his offering and slaughter it at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting; the sons of Aaron, the Kohanim, shall throw the blood upon the Altar, all around. 3 From the feast peace-offering he shall offer as a fire-offering to HASHEM: the fat that covers the innards, and all the fat that is upon the innards; 4 and the two kidneys with the fat that is upon them, that is upon the flanks, and he shall remove the diaphragm with the liver, with the kidneys. 5 The sons of Aaron shall cause it to go up in smoke on the Altar, besides the burnt-offering that is on the wood that is on the fire- a fire-offering, a satisfying aroma to HASHEM.
*16 The Kohen shall cause them to go up in smoke on the Altar- the food of the fire for a satisfying aroma, all the choicest parts for HASHEM. 17 An eternal decree for your generations in all your dwelling places; you may not consume any fat or any blood.
–The Peace-offering like the Olah-offering is available for all whom can bring forth an animal of the herd, flock, fowl or a meal-offering. The verse that ends the description is an eternal decree not to consume any blood or fat, lest one be confused that what is good for the Altar is good for the ‘table’.
(*Genesis 9;4 But flesh; with its soul its blood you shall not eat.
*Lev.17;14 For the life of any creature, its blood represents its life, so I say to the Children of Israel, “You shall not consume the blood of any creature; for the life of any creature is its blood, whoever consumes it will be cut off.”
*Acts 15;20 Instead, we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from fornication, from what is strangled and from blood. 29 to abstain from that which has been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. If you keep from these, you will be doing the right thing.)
Pagan blood rites in the Ancient Near East often included the drinking of blood and HASHEM desires for His called to be completely set apart from these practices for all generations. As we see in the verse above the life is in the blood, this is not acceptable for consumption, biblically.
–The Feast Peace-offering is so called because it is apportioned to three ‘parties’ so to speak. The choicest parts for ‘food for the fire-for HASHEM’/ the Altar, the Kohanim, and the owner. Thus everyone gets a ‘piece’ of the peace offering. There is no guilt or sin here, once again this is an act of worship to draw near to the Lord Peace offerings are brought voluntarily by a person or group of people who are moved to express their love of God and the gratitude for His goodness, and to enhance their closeness to Him. The name is derived from Shalom, because this offering has the spiritual capacity of increasing peace in the world, the community. When there are legitimate needs in a group or community and these are filled…the result is peace. This offering is special, it highlights ever more the difference between man and animal. In the animal kingdom it is every animal for itself, each creature strives for its own needs. God endowed man with AHAVAH- LOVE, this is God’s portion to us, a desire built in to every human, a desire to give of himself, to sacrifice. He must give up on the momentary joys for the ultimate satisfactions ‘my life’ in this world for a better future for his progeny. This offering allows for man to take from himself a sacrifice for more universal concerns. We can follow suit and realize that our peace offering can include not only money but our time and effort to worthy endeavors. This is an incredible ideal to strive for, to sacrifice for… we can offer our personal gifts, our personal experience, our personal God-given talents and traits and dedicate them to an ideal more than just the individual. Think of ways we can do this in our homes, spiritual communities and physical communities, how can we offer to HASHEM where we are not only personally blessed but are in position to bless others and glorify God so that everyone can get a peace?
-Let us think about the system of ‘justice’, crime and punishment we live in today. The process from the point of a crime to the Judge and jury is extremely long and often complicated. It can take years for a case to even come into a court, even then the system is so overloaded that often valid cases will be dismissed or delayed even longer to make way for more ‘weighty’ crimes and offenses. Now, let us think about God’s sacrificial system….we come to the last two types of offerings, keeping in mind these are still a means by which one is ‘drawing near’ to the Lord. This type, the Sin-offering comes as a result of inadvertently transgressing a positive or negative commandment. The vast majority of Offerings were NOT, I repeat were NOT for sin and guilt. We have established that the owner is bringing of his ‘property’ and wealth. By now we can picture in our head at the very least an image of slaughter and blood. Therefore we should be able to recognize the extremely great value in coming before the Altar with a repentant heart, truly willing to change, bringing a Korban by which you mend what has become strained…to cover your sin, which separates you from God. It is not a covering to hide, it is facing openly the transgression, addressing by sacrificing that part of your animal passions (which you had given in to allowing for the sin) …giving it over to HASHEM and He forgives. Obliterating the sin. In God’s system there is an actualized physical and immediate accountability. The text speaks of leaning of hands upon the animal, thereby transferring (using this imagery) your ‘sin’ and ‘guilt’ onto the Korban. ‘Metaphorically’ this animal is representative you, and will take on itself your ‘charges’ that you might live another day, changed and renewed, free to continue to strive to be closer to and better for your service to Lord. There are different interpretations on whom does the actual slaughtering. The owner, another party or the Kohen. It seems by the simple reading that it is ‘He’, the owner, this would make sense because it would surely have a more lasting effect. On the other hand even being present to these rites would have a lasting effect. These types of offerings in God’s system serve as educational and preventative measures that cause greater future care!
*Leviticus 4;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the Children of Israel, saying: When a person will sin unintentionally from among all the commandments of HASHEM that may not be done, and he commits one of them. 3 If the anointed Kohen will sin, bringing guilt upon the people; for his sin that he committed he shall offer a young bull, unblemished, to HASHEM as a sin-offering. He shall bring the bull to entrance of the Tent of Meeting before HASHEM; he shall lean his hands upon the head of the bull, and he shall slaughter the bull before HASHEM. 5 The anointed Kohen shall take from the blood of the bull and bring it to the Tent of Meeting. 6 The Kohen shall dip his forefinger into the blood; he shall sprinkle some of the blood seven times before HASHEM toward the Curtain of the Holy. 7 The Kohen shall put some of the blood on the horns of the Altar where incense is caused to go up in smoke before HASHEM, which is in the Tent of Meeting; and all the [remaining] blood of the bull he shall pour onto the base of the Burnt-offering Altar, which is at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. 8 He shall separate all the fats of the sin-offering bull from it: the fat that covers the innards and all the fat that is upon the innards; 9 and the two kidneys and the fat that is upon them, which is upon the flanks; and he shall remove the diaphragm with the liver, with the kidneys-10 just as it would be removed from the feast peace-offering bull; and the Kohen shall cause them to go up in smoke on the Burnt-offering Altar. 11 But the hide of the bull and all its flesh with its head and with its feet, and its innards and its waste- 12 the entire bull shall he remove to the outside of the camp, to a pure place, to where the ash is poured, and he shall burn it on wood in fire; on the place where ash is poured shall it be burned.
–The Torah mentions several different ‘parties’ or groups types who, if they had unintentionally sinned, would bring a sin-offering. The anointed Kohen, The Congregation, The Ruler (see Leviticus 4;22-26) and the Individual. The method of sin-offering for the Kohen and the Congregation are the same. Only for these two ‘parties’ is the blood of the sin-offering brought into the Holy, sprinkled toward the Most Holy and placed on the horns of the Incense Altar.
*Leviticus 4;13 If the entire assembly of Israel shall err, and the matter becomes obscured from the eyes of the congregation; and they commit one from among all the commandments of HASHEM that may not be done, and they become guilty;14 when the sin regarding which they committed becomes known, the congregation shall offer a young bull as a sin-offering, and they shall bring it before the Tent of Meeting. 15 The elders of the assembly shall lean their hands upon the head of the bull before HASHEM and someone shall slaughter the bull before HASHEM.
–The Kohanim brings guilt upon the people, according to his sin. WOW. What is God trying to tell us about our leadership? The shepherds who are in authority, who are heads of congregations and peoples with the Lord’s Name declared upon them are held at an extremely high level. A transgression of the head can lead to the stumbling and downfall of the entire body. Therefore our leadership should be designated according to Gods standards and should act accordingly, with the resonate realization that they represent and bear the people before the Most High God of the universe. We should be faithful to our good shepherds but always be aware that if where they are leading is contrary to the Torah and Yeshua’s teachings, contrary to God’s own allegiance to His people Israel…we are not bound to these heads, no matter how much they may have ‘done for us’ or for how long you have ‘known’ them. There is one head we are to be fully responsible to and He does not change, nor exchange, nor amend or replace His eternal word. That being said I find beauty in Gods recognition that even the greatest of men are still men, the most pious of Kohen can still make an error, and they are responsible and accountable to God just like every single one of us.
*Matthew 21;42 Yeshua said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Tanakh, ‘The very rock which the builders rejected has become the head cornerstone! This has come from ADONAI, and in our eyes it is amazing’? 43 Therefore, I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to the kind of people that will produce its fruit!”
*I Timothy3;1 Here is a statement you can trust: anyone aspiring to be a congregation leader is seeking worthwhile work. 2 A congregation leader must be above reproach, he must be faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, orderly, hospitable and able to teach. 3 He must not drink excessively or get into fights; rather, he must be mind and gentle. He must not be a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, having children who obey him with all proper respect; 5 for is a man can’t manage his own household, how will he be able to care for God’s Messianic Community? 6 He must not be a new believer, because he might become puffed up with pride and thus fall under the same judgment as did the Adversary. 7 Furthermore, he must be well regarded by outsiders, so that he won’t fall into disgrace and into the Adversary’s trap.
–The Congregation sins unintentionally and realizing their guilt comes before the Lord with offering, it is the Elders which does not mean ‘Older Members’, this is the Leadership…the ‘great men’ of the congregation who stand and take the firsthand responsibility and repent along with the entire body. This is a true example of what good leaders will do. Lead. Even when it means being the focal point of the repercussion for sin.
Why only for the Kohen and the Congregation is the blood taken into the Holy place? This is where the Kohen serves on behalf of the people. This is the place closest to where ‘God’s Throne on Earth’ sits. So the sin of God’s own is brought close to His heart, it is shown to Him and it is placed as a reminder on the horns of the incense… representative of the place where our prayers are lifted to Him. If we Fear God because we are afraid of what will happen to US as a result of our sin, we have missed the mark. We should fear God because we are afraid of how our sin will effect the heart of our King.
*Leviticus 4;27 If an individual person from among the people of the land shall sin unintentionally, by committing one of the commandments of HASHEM that may not be done, and he becomes guilty: 28 If his sin that he committed becomes known to him, he shall bring his offering a she-goat, unblemished, for the sin that he committed.
–The text goes on to state that a female sheep may be brought instead of the he-goat. What could God be pointing us to by making the individual sin-offering be a female of the flock? The potential value of a female is much greater for these offerings because only females have the ability to reproduce. God holds us each accountable at a personal level, a highly ‘valuable’ consequence exists for each of us…because of our potential. This to me is actually highly encouraging! He see’s so much in us and knows that when we get off course we are individually responsible to come to the Altar. Our acts leave traces in the world. Sin defiles, and stains character, it is by these acts of sacrifice…to do something that costs us something (our pride, our pleasure, our lust, our own gratification, etc) that we are able to help mend what is broken in us, and in the world. Come before Him and He will wash us thoroughly, purifying us in fire!
*Psalm 94;9 He who implants the ear, will He not hear? Will He Who fashions the eye not see?
*I Corinthians 3;13 But each one’s work will be shown for what it is; the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire- the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If the work someone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward; 15 if it is burned up, he will have to bear the loss: he will still escape with his life, but it will be like escaping through a fire. 16 Don’t you know that you people are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 So if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you yourselves are that temple.
–Consider what the world was witness to from 1933 when Hitler came into power until the camps were ‘liberated’ in 1945. Consider what was seen and known of.
Consider what we are all witness to this very day :
The Itamar attack, also called the Itamar massacre, was an attack on a Jewish family in the Israeli settlement of Itamar in the West Bank that took place on 11 March 2011, in which five members of the same family were murdered in their beds. The victims were the father Ehud (Udi) Fogel, the mother Ruth Fogel, and three of their six children—Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, the youngest, a three-month-old infant. According to David Ha’ivri,and as reported by multiple sources the infant was decapitated. The settlement of Itamar had been the target of several murderous attacks before these killings. Amjad Awad and Hakim Awad, two young Palestinian men from the village of Awarta, were arrested for the murders. On 5 June 2011 they were indicted on five counts of murder, stealing weapons, breaking and entering, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Both were later found guilty. They initially denied any involvement in the attack but later proudly confessed to the killings, expressed no remorse and reenacted the attack before security officials.
-NY Times Oct. 27, 2005: “Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury,” he [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] said.
-Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “Our enemies can deal a blow to us any time they wish. They did not wait for permission to do this. They do not deal a blow with prior notice. They do not take action because they can’t.”
-Why is there no remorse for these terrible murders? Why aren’t those who once more call for the extermination of a people testified against? Why isn’t there action taken? We rely on God for guidance and understanding, the Lord is very clear….silence in the face of evil is not something that can be atoned for. This iniquity and guilt will be borne, God forbid it be in this generation or that of our children.
*Leviticus 5;1 If a person will sin: If he accepted a demand for an oath, and he is witness- either he saw or he knew- if he does not testify, he shall bear his iniquity; 2 or if a person will have touched any contaminated object- whether the contaminating carcass of a beast, the contaminating carcass of an animal, or the contaminating carcass of a creeping animal- but it was concealed from him, and he is contaminated and became guilty; 3 or if he will touch a human contamination in any manner of its contamination through which he can become contaminated but it was concealed from him- and then he knew and became guilty; 4 or if a person will swear, expressing with his lips to do harm or to do good, anything that a person will express in an oath, but it was concealed from him, and then he knew- and he became guilty regarding one of these matters, he shall confess what he had sinned. 6 He shall bring as his guilt-offering to HASHEM, for his sin that he committed, a female from the flock- a sheep or a goat- for a sin-offering; and the Kohen shall provide him atonement for his sin.
–Bright stoplights flash when you are reading the Torah and words are again and again repeated. This is where you dig. Between the ‘bread’ of warnings on guilt for not testifying to an oath, or for breaking an oath….in TWO verses lies the ‘meat’ of EIGHT mentions of the words contaminated/contaminating/contamination….God seems to be expressing the connection between the expressions of our mouths and becoming not just physically but spiritually defiled, polluted, infected, tainted, and soiled. Unclean. We need be extremely cautious of the evil tongue, lashan harah- gossip, slander, idle words, threats, etc. The context of these verses is regarding the contamination of the Sanctuary and its sanctities, such as the peace-offering which must not be eaten in the state of contamination- uncleanness. I can’t help but think though that we must realize, that in standing by without testimony to what is right…regardless what the ‘cost’ may be (loosing friends, family members, congregations or status in a community) if we KNOW what is right and have heard or SEEN the evil intent and do not stand on the side of righteousness, there will be a much higher price to pay.
*Proverbs 16;1 To man belong the arrangements of [thoughts in] his heart, but from HASHEM comes the tongue’s reply. 2 All of man’s ways are pure in his own eyes, but HASHEM is in the midst of spirits. 3Turn your deeds toward HASHEM and your thoughts will be set aright. 4 Everything HASHEM made [He made] for His sake, even the evildoer for the day of retribution. 5 Every haughty heart is the abomination of HASHEM, [from] hand to hand- he will not be exonerated. 6 Through kindness and truth iniquity will be forgiven, if through fear of HASHEM one turns from evil. 7 When HASHEM favors a man’s ways, even his foes will make peace with him. 8 Better a little through righteousness than much produce without justice. 9 A man’s heart will plot his way, and HSHEM will set his steps aright.
–These guilt- offerings are brought as a result of error, missing the mark, sinning inadvertently. The text mentions robbery, misappropriation of the Temple property and the asham- guilt of one whose liability to bring a sin- offering is in doubt. Therefore he would bring the guilt offering and if the sin had become revealed to him then he brings the sin-offering.
There are still available the same levels as the other offerings for all the people to come for atonement, the larger animals from the herd, the smaller animals of the flock the fowl and meal offerings. The meal-offering is different here in that it is not to have oil or frankincense mixed with it. None of these sin-offerings result in a ‘sweet-savor’ or ‘satisfying-aroma’ to HASHEM. These are strictly for our repentance to God and He promises forgiveness, if the heart is pure, the intent and action is for change…the offering is accepted and we are granted atonement. Our sins are not pleasing to God in any way, the only comfort we can take is to know that out of true repentance and thus change…we should have the hope that He is more than willing to transform our sin into a learning experience by which we can come out of it even better for Him, perhaps even closer to Him.
*Leviticus 5;20 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying: 21 If a person will sin and commit a treachery against HASHEM by lying to his fellow regarding a pledge or a loan or a robbery; or by defrauding his fellow;22 or he found a lost item and denied it- and he swore falsely about any of all the things that a person can do and sin thereby-23 so it shall be that when he will sin and become guilty, he shall return the robbed item that he robbed, or the proceeds of his fraud, or the pledge that was left with him, or the lost item that he found, 24 or anything about which he had sworn falsely- he shall repay its principal and add its fifth to it; he shall give it to the owner on the day he admits his guilt. 25 And he shall bring his guilt-offering to HASHEM…..
–What constitutes treachery against the Lord?!! Lying to, defrauding, stealing or withholding from our fellow. For this offense we are instructed to identify our guilt, repay the debt and even add to it. God makes it clear we are to ‘make it right’ with our fellow first and then come before the Altar with our guilt-offering to the Lord.This section is absolutely crucial for us as believers. It is essential for us to understand these guidelines clearly…because they get deep into the core of many of the issues and problems we may experience in our households, among friends, families and in communities. There are many groundbreaking, life changing books, DVDs, programs, etc. that are designed to allow us to ‘get out of debt’. Some even claim to do this with a biblical foundation. First looking in the mirror I can confess that every day the Lord reveals to me something I have missed. I submit that our debts go much further than school loans and car payments. It is unfortunate that despite all our mental identification of people we may have slighted, or kept something from, or taken something from without repaying it…withheld something from or forgotten we had owed (the list goes on)…I see a huge lack of identification of these debts being conceived in and revealed to hearts. I ask that we consider any relationship that is strained in any form…and ask the Lord to dissect for our hearts and reveal what may have caused this strain. Perhaps it is money or property owed, perhaps it goes deeper and is an insult that was never addressed. Let us seek these things out and TRULY become debt free before the Father and our fellow. Especially for those who are blessed to be able to live freely and enjoy the ‘monies’ of their endeavors and businesses…please, be sure you have ‘paid in full’ all those whom have been faithful to you. You might be amazed at the healing that can come from heeding God’s instruction on these ‘payments’.
*Deuteronomy 24;14 You shall not cheat a poor or destitute hired person among your brethren, or a proselyte who is in your Land, or one who is in your cities. 15 On that day shall you pay his hire; the sun shall not set upon him, for he is poor, and his life depends on it; let him not call out against you to HASHEM, for it shall be a sin to you.
*James 5;4 Listen! The wages you have fraudulently withheld from the workers who mowed you fields are calling out against you, and the outcries of those who harvested have reached the ears of ADONAI-Tzva’ot. 5 You have led a life of luxury and self-indulgence here on earth- in a time of slaughter you have gone on eating to your heart’s content.
*I Corinthians 6;7 Actually, you are bringing lawsuits against each other, it is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves wrong and cheat; and you do it to your own brothers!
-First, the guilt of transgression. Especially (as the text repeats) when something had been concealed and then comes to the surface…whether known in our hearts or revealed from our depths by God’s Holy Spirit…this is a lifelong process of purification in which the Creator is actively involved. We must make the steps to the Altar. God’s voice will invoke this sense of guilt and shame, not to condemn us…but to purge us of it. He identifies the wrong, we become conscious of the sin and feel remorse. We confess our sins before the Lord and make a resolution never to commit them again. If it is pure, unblemished as prescribed by God…God accepts and forgives. Man unlike animal is sensitive to the purposes of his life, because he is held accountable for his actions his life is invested with a higher meaning. We realize our task, our goal, our calling…it is our job to peel off the layers that tarnish the image of man. In studying these offerings we can realize what we can offer of ourselves to the Lord, in complete and sincere repentance. Shining forth God’s image in our own lives, removing false impressions that confuse the world about the divine image….as we ‘kill’ the animal-pleasure taking, selfish, passionate impulses…’offering’ the intensity and excitement over to God…we can elevate these pleasures to the service of the King.
*Isaiah 1;11 Why do I need your numerous sacrifices? says HASHEM. I am sated with elevation-offerings of rams and the fat of fatlings; the blood of bulls, sheep and goats I do not desire. 12 When you come to appear before ME, who sought this from your hand, to trample My courtyards? 13 Bring your worthless meal-offering no longer, it is an incense of abomination to Me.
* Jeremiah 7;21 Thus said HASHEM, Master of Legions, God of Israel: Add your burnt-offerings to your peace-offerings and eat [their] meat! 22 For I did not speak with your forefathers, nor did I command them, on the day I took them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt- or peace-offerings. 2 Rather, it was only his thing that I commanded them, saying: ‘Hearken to My voice, that I will be your God and you will be Me people; and you will go the entire way that I command you, so that it will be will with you.”
–The Lord wants all our hearts to be ‘in’ our service to Him. He also longs for us to follow His commands, and with the offerings we bring Him…be engaged in the conduct that He has defined as proper for the Called. He does not ‘need’ us but He will ‘use’ us for His glory! We do not ‘have to’ pray or worship or serve Him…but our Father ‘wants’ us to.
*Luke 1;49 “The Mighty One has done great things for me! Indeed, his name is holy; 50 and in every generation he has mercy on those who fear him. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm, routed the secretly proud, brought down rulers from their thrones, raised the humble, filled the hungry with good things, but he sent the rich away empty. 54 He has taken part of his servant Israel, mindful of the mercy he promised our forefathers, to Avraham and his seed forever.”
–I can’t help but think of these offerings we have been studying in the text of Luke as Miriam is praising HASHEM, having blessed her to carry in her womb the Son of God. She speaks of removing the pride we spoke of as the fats are burned on the altar, the rulers who too come with sin-offering before the King of kings, the humble with a meal-offering brought on high as they draw near to the Lord, the hungry fed by the roasted parts of the peace-offering to be shared. Then she speaks of HASHEM taking part actively in is servants lives and remembering His covenant. Just a few verses on Z’kharayah (Zechariah) filled with the Holy Spirit prophesies as to the purpose of the coming of Yeshua, showing God will remember His covenant.
*Luke 1;68 “Praised be ADONAI, the God of Israel, because he has visited and made a ransom to liberate his people 69 by raising up for us a mighty Deliverer who is a descendant of his servant David. 70 It is just as he has spoken through the mouth of the prophets from the very beginning- 71 that we should be delivered from our enemies and from the power of all who hate us. 72 And this happened so that he might show the mercy promised to our fathers- that he would remember his holy covenant,73 and the oath he swore before Avraham avinu 74 to grant us that we, freed from our enemies, would serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
–There is sin that there is no acceptable offering for…willful rebellious sin. This is what we are all guilty of, for generations…from the beginning. This is why Yeshua willingly offered himself, and died for us….only by the blood of the spotless Lamb of God, God’s offering , the willful rebellious sin of man is forgiven and atoned for. Come quickly Lord Yeshua!
*Isaiah 53; 7 He was persecuted and afflicted, but he did not open his mouth; like a sheep being led to the slaughter or a ewe that is silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth.
–Baruch attah ADONAI Eloheinu, Melech ha’olam
Blessed are You Lord our God, King of the universe,
You alone have planted among us Life Eternal,
Blessed are You , Lord our God gracious giver of the Torah…
–LORD there is abundance, outpouring, overflowing…yet my mere thoughts never can not contain You, nothing is sufficient to ‘explain’ You, the profusion of Your goodness overwhelms me. There are a thousand things whirling around my head and dancing in my heart, I offer them all up to You…for I am incapable of sorting through. Only You Father can bring some sense into this life and I praise You will my whole heart for teaching us for giving us a way to approach the Altar. I pray all of Your children will be blessed and protected, I pray that as You call us we will open our ears and respond! With thanksgiving and in repentance asking for the mercy that can only come by the blood of Yeshua….it is in his name I pray, Amein.
(FACTS about ANIMAL Sacrifice: Animals such as that of the herd and flock do not sense fear, apprehension or remorse when they are in the presence of other animals for slaughter. Unlike swine or horses who react and release toxins ‘corrupting’ their entire system. The knives used for slaughter by Kohanim were extremely sharp, they were examined exceedingly carefully, if there was even a hairline nick or bump in the blade it would not be used. The ‘killing’ cut was done in one swift motion and severed the arteries and veins which carry blood to the brain, the animal did not feel any pain and died within a few seconds. Today Kosher slaughterers use very similar methods; they will number the parts of the slaughtered animals and check closely the organs…if there is a diseased or infected organ found, the corresponding meat may not be sold as Kosher. Yet one more reason to eat Kosher meat. God bless you always!
(“disclaimer?” I love animals, I know there is a great capacity of bonding between pets and their owners and that this is valued (as it should be) by many. God has clearly expressed His compassionate nature toward even the tiny sparrows, and their eggs. He has admonished us to be sure to have compassion for all creatures and to respect His creation. I can prove that biblically, at another time. Thank you so much for all your love and encouragement!)
Resources/ tools :
-The Complete Jewish Bible-David H. Stern
-The Stone Edition Tanach- artscroll
-Interlinear Scripture Analyzer
-Shadows of the Messiah-FFOZ audio magazine
-excellent resource: Online Tanach, easily searchable.
-For amazing commentary I find crucial please visit: