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Sep 24

Yom Kippur 2015

We had Yom Kippur at Chenya’s house and it was a marvelous thing to break the fast with the brethren! We will have services on this Shabbat, September 26, and then all leave for Sukkot. There will be no services in Smithville on October 3. We’ll be back to our regular schedule on October 10.

Since our fellowship was offsite, I will just post the message in text only below and in pdf form here if you like that format. Yom Kippur 2015. Thanks for reading and we pray you all have a wonderful Festival wherever you may be observing!

Good afternoon on this solemn high day, brethren. Yom Kippur or The Day of Atonement is rich with symbolism and importance.

Today is a very special day. I don’t believe we can fully understand the importance of this day in relation to our salvation and how our sins are atoned for. Outside of our faith and the faith of the Jewish people, the Day of Atonement looks like a day full of random rituals. A day full of works that lead to nothing. But we know this is not the case.

Today is a day where believers are to exercise will power in order to display our faith. We know we are commanded not to fast like the hypocrites, moaning about it and making a big deal. We are to fast with a positive attitude. I believe this to be an illustration of what a joyous day this really is, even though it is observed with solemnity. The solemnity is so we show respect and awe for the One who really made atonement for our sins.

Food is the manner in which Yahweh has decided to teach us about sin. We purchased some pistachios recently from Costco. I thought I was just buying a large bag of pistachios but they turned out to be very special pistachios. They were seasoned in a manner that made them the tastiest pistachios we have ever tasted. Nobody in the house could stop eating them. If you grabbed a few thinking that you would just munch them, you would be back at that bag of nuts before you stopped chewing the last nut you popped into your mouth.

I tried an experiment on our second bag of these marvelous pistachios. I tried to hold a cracked nut in my mouth without eating it to see how long I would last. Since I had already had a couple, I did not last long at all. That delicious, natural, salty and peppery snack erased any will power I might have had in short order. I crumbled. And then I probably ate twenty more.

This food illustration today is not very nice of me but I want to make an important point with it. Yom Kippur is the day where the High Priest made atonement for the sins of the people. He did this year after year because sin keeps coming back. The people fasted, repented, and were cleansed, but the stain of sin came right back, likely just as the sun dipped below the horizon. We have tasted sin and our will power is simply not sufficient to resist. We need more than an annual cleansing. We need a permanent cleansing.

The next day he *saw Yeshua coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of YHVH who takes away the sin of the world! (Joh 1:29)

Pistachios are not sinful in the least. They are a good food. In fact, they are one of the finest foods in the book of Genesis that Jacob sent back to Egypt to show his gratitude. My illustration with the pistachios was just to illustrate how incredibly weak we really are. Remember, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for some soup. We need the Lamb of YHVH to strengthen us, to save us, and to remove our sins, not just to cover them.

For the Law (Torah), since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. (Heb 10:1-4)

Torah can’t perfect us and we can’t perfect ourselves. We will see how we are perfected shortly. The old covenant required the annual sacrifices to make people clean and was a foreshadowing of the plan of salvation for mankind. Those sacrifices had to occur over and over to make a constant atonement for the people. But the blood of bulls and goats only cleanses temporarily. Our Messiah’s blood REMOVED our sins once for all.

Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE. “THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O YHVH.'” After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. (Heb 10:5-9)

He takes away the first to establish the second. Now, we do not disparage those who lived under the first at all. We are not better than they were. In fact, due to our increased knowledge, we are at a place where we are more responsible and more accountable. We KNOW that only by His stripes are we healed. We KNOW that the servant who knows the Master’s will is in more trouble when He returns than the servant who doesn’t.  We know the price that was paid to take away our sins. The Messiah had to leave the Father, be born of flesh, and be tortured and executed by the very people He came to save in order for mankind to have the opportunity for salvation. This is a much higher standard for us because we know that it is not the blood of a bull or the blood of a goat that bore those sins of the ancients or that bears our sins, it was the blood of very Son of YHVH. And we have been sanctified once for all. Which makes our sins, that we continue to commit even with this knowledge, so much worse that those under the first.

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Yeshua haMashiach once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF YHVH, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Ruach haKodesh also testifies to us; for after saying, “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,” He then says, “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” (Heb 10:10-17)

No longer does He remember our sins. For those of us who have accepted Yeshua as Messiah, our sins have been blotted out, forgotten by the One who cannot forget. Do you know what this means? We have been made clean. We have been made chodesh, holy. We have become set-apart servants of the living Elohim. Do you remember how Yeshua told us to become great? Yes, that is by becoming servants, by becoming tools for usage in the assembly. What an incredible honor this is, brethren!

Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence– As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil– To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen an Elohim besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. Behold, You were angry, for we sinned, We continued in them a long time; And shall we be saved? (Isa 64:1-5)

Isaiah praises Yahweh because our Elohim acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. The other Elohim apparently do not. Our Mighty One meets those who are happy to be righteous. How hard is this today, brethren? How hard is it to rejoice in keeping Torah and living properly? It certainly can be difficult when it causes us friction with our friends and family, but to the world, everything we do is foolishness, isn’t it? Isaiah asks “shall we be saved?” Well, we know that answer, don’t we? We know that YHVH gave his only begotten Son so that whoever will believes in Him will indeed be saved.

For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on Your name, Who arouses himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities. But now, O YHVH, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. (Isa 64:6-8)

Some of our brethren focus on the filthy rags as if to say any righteous deed is unacceptable to the LORD. That’s not what these verses are saying. They are saying that the righteous deeds were like a filthy garment because the people had become unfaithful and disobedient. In modern parlance, it is saying their good works were like lipstick on a pig. The deeds were righteous but the performer of the deeds was defiled. And it says that they had become like one who is unclean. This means that prior to their sins they were not like someone who was unclean and, at that point, their righteous deeds were acceptable. We were unclean, weren’t we? We loved to observe the false holidays, didn’t we? We loved to eat unclean food, didn’t we? But like Isaiah says in verse 8, the potter has remade us, He has made us clean. And in verse 9, Isaiah asks Yahweh not to remember our iniquity, which is lawlessness or sins, forever. Well, we have our answer on that one, don’t we?

“AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” (Heb 10:17)

No more will He remember our sins, our lawless deeds, our iniquities because of the Messiah’s blood that takes AWAY our sins, not just covers them.

Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Yeshua, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of YHVH, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Heb 10:18-22)

Yes, brethren, let us help each other love through good deeds, which are good works. Our works are no longer like filthy rags! We have been make clean, so our works are clean as well! Especially today, as we can be confident our fast is an acceptable fast to Yahweh because we are trying to obey Torah, we are trying to obey our Heavenly Father, we are walking like our eternal Brother, we are observing His appointed times, we are showing our faith through our works! But we do not do it just for ourselves!

Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. (Heb 9:6-7)

Today also covers sins committed in ignorance. Today is the day to make us completely clean. Today we are forgiven for things we didn’t even know we did! Today is the day where we fast to humble ourselves, but we also fast to honor the fact that our High Priest, Yeshua the Messiah, gave of Himself even for those who sin in ignorance:

But Yeshua was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. (Luk 23:34)

Yes, that’s right. Our Mediator even has compassion on those who put Him to an innocent death. He asked the Father to forgive even his executioners who sinned in ignorance.

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of YHVH, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim. (Heb 10:26-31)

Setting aside the Law of Moses, the Torah, carries a very steep price. The author of Hebrews indicates that treating Yeshua’s sacrifice lightly carries a harsher sentence. Yeshua knows we are weak but we also have this incredibly dire warning. Those who continue to willfully sin after coming to the knowledge of the truth will bear their guilt. This is one of the scariest verses in the entire Bible. Who among us has not fallen back? Who hasn’t had trouble with sin? If you know of someone, I would like to meet them. Because it’s not me. But the author of Hebrews tells us what I was saying earlier; that our increased knowledge comes with incredibly increased responsibility.

But to return to works. Today is THE day that shows us, without any doubt, that our works cannot cleanse us of our sins. We cannot make ourselves righteous. And our actions today, our deeds, our works, are the epitome of this. Because today we are not allowed to do anything. We cannot eat, we cannot drink, we cannot work. This is the opposite of works. This is CAN’T work. This is NOT working. We are being shown right now what happens if we reject the Creator. By abstaining from the things we need to survive, we are shown that we absolutely need our awesome and all-knowing YHVH to sustain us. We depend on Him for everything. We depend on Him for our lives, our food, our water, daylight, gravity, all of it. Today is not a day of works but a day of abstaining from works. The commandment is to NOT do stuff, not TO do stuff. We have to do NOTHING to honor the ONE who did EVERYTHING.

And our willpower is going to be strong today. We will NOT eat. We will NOT drink. We will NOT work. Today we have the power to do it because it has been given to us by the Holy Spirit. We will honor our Messiah and His Sacrifice. And our efforts, our works, they show our faith and show Him honor. May Yahweh bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you. In Yeshua’s holy and precious name.

 

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