This is only for those who desire to be among those who enter the Kingdom as part of ”The Bride” aka Israel. If this is not your goal then this post will be a total waste of your time.
If Being part of ”The Bride” is you utmost heart’s desire then you NEED to read this very CAREFULLY as I am going to share with you the Scripture mandated starting point to being in relationship with YHVH (The LORD) and His Machiach (Messiah). I have spent many years trying to find the answer to unlocking the Covenant Blessings we find and see in the lives of the great Tzadakim (Righteous ones) in Scripture. The key is not high secret knowledge and it’s certainly not sacrifice. The answer is very simple it’s the Hebrew word ”Shema” (Hear – Obey). The challenge however is, how do we initiate relationship with The King? Where do we begin to ”Shema” (Obey) YHVH’s (The LORD’s) Words? Do we just pick any random point? Do we ever reach the standard? Is the truth found in the ever popular response ‘’we are on a journey?’’
These are all very confusing questions, and because they have not been answered, the result has been that in my short 7 years of trying to walk Torah, I have never met a single man or woman who has the FULL Blessings of The Covenant, and much to my disappointment that includes me. We have got to understand that YHVH (The LORD) will not accept ‘’sacrifice’’ – ‘’worship’’ from a people in rebellion.
”If one turns away his ear from Shema (Hearing-obeying) the Torah (Law), even his prayer is an abomination.” Pro 28:9 (ESV)
Yes ”rebellion” in one Commandment of Torah places us firmly among this group of people. Just to be sure let us define ”rebellion,” rebellion does not mean making a mistake and falling, ”rebellion” is when you know full well what YHVH (The LORD) has Commanded and you simply refuse to obey.
“I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. 23 Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. 24 BUT LET JUSTICE ROLL DOWN LIKE WATERS, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS LIKE AN EVER-FLOWING STREAM.’’ Amos 5:21-24 (ESV)
‘’Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations– I CANNOT ENDURE INIQUITY AND SOLEMN ASSEMBLY.’’ Isa 1:13 (ESV)
Iniquity is a type of sin and as we know sin is transgression of Torah (The Law).
“If anyone sins, doing any of the things that by YHVH (the LORD’s) Commandments ought not to be done, though he did not know it, then realizes his guilt, he shall bear his iniquity.’’ Lev 5:17 (ESV)
‘’Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.’’ 1 Jon 3:4
It is sin that separates man from Elohim (God) and it is still ‘’sin’’ that is separating us today from Elohim (God). This is the reason we do not have ALL The Covenant Blessings written in Torah. It is our iniquity – sin which results in us thinking and acting as if we can define and dictate the terms and conditions of our relationship with YHVH (The LORD).
With that said, for those of us who believe that the 1st century writings (NT) are part of Scripture and therefore ‘’authoritative’’ let us go and have a look at the Scripture mandated starting point for all gentiles who come into faith in Machiach (Messiah) Yeshua. As a side note – though YHVH (The LORD) showed me this a couple of years ago and though I knew I had to obey, I am guilty of not meeting this requirement as yet. HaleluYah YHVH (The LORD) has given me clearer vision and motivation (chastisement) and I am now fully committed to attaining the requirement. So what I am about to share is not coming from a place believing myself better than anyone else, but instead it is coming from a heart full of regret.
With that said, the Scripture mandated entry point for ALL GENTILES (which includes you and me) into relationship with YHVH (The LORD) is found in Acts 15.
‘’Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to Elohim (God), 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.’’ Acts 15:19-21 (ESV)
Now I was never taught that this was a standard or starting point set out for all time, somehow I was taught this text as a debate to refute the Torah – Law of circumcision. Though the chapter does address the issue of circumcision, because of all our religious organizations and teachers lack of going through this ‘’starting/qualifying process’’ we have all failed to comply with the terms and conditions of The Covenant and therefore are disqualified from having ALL its Blessings.
What do I mean by this?
1) If you are still in Christianity and have not gone through this starting process, you have gotten into The Kingdom without due process and you are therefore an illegal immigrant.
2) If you are a former gentile and have been circumcised and done Pesach (Passover) but have failed to address the steps mentioned in Acts 15 then you and I are most likely in violation of The Covenant and its terms and conditions.
I know this may come as a shock but please which ever group you are in, hear me out as this truly will be the most important article you will ever read.
The rulings set in Acts 15 for ALL gentiles who come to faith in Machiach (Messiah) sets the ground work necessary for us to keep the two Greatest Commandments.
1) Love YHVH (The LORD) with ALL your Heart, Soul and Strength (deut 6:5) 2) Love your neighbour as yourself. (Lev 19:18)
Notice the two Greatest Commandments come from where all the other Commandments are found which is Known as The Torah (Gen – Deut) aka Moses, keep this in mind as it clarifies the last statement in our Acts 15 focus text.
There appears to be 4 starting Commandments for gentiles in Acts 15, however we will see that there are actually 5. These 5 commandments are grouped into 3 groups.
Is all about permissible and none permissible foods aka Kosher laws. Should this surprise us? Not at all as the first thing that separated mankind from YHVH (The LORD) was Food. Remember the sin in the Garden of Eden? Therefore the first thing to restore mankind’s relationship with YHVH (The LORD) is FOOD.
1) Abstain from food polluted by idols, food as in Meat sacrificed to other elohim (gods) Acts 15:29 gives clarity to vs 20. 2) From what has been strangled 3) From Blood
These three practices where part of how most pagan nations sacrificed and or killed the animals they ate, anyone wanting to join Israel (The Church) had to start eating like an Israelite.
All covenant relationships are formed over meals in Scripture and this is so in our modern natural world. When we start trying to form a covenant relationship with a future possible spouse we socialise together and evaluate each other and eating is a major part of that process. From a Spiritual perspective scripture give us this witness.
‘’What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.’’ 1 Cor 10:19-21 (ESV)
Food is what holds the Spirit and the flesh together. Don’t eat for long enough and the result is the Spirit will not cleave to the flesh and the result is death. Elohim (God) is Spirit and for Him to be able to reside in us, the glue (food) that holds our Spirit and flesh together has to be according to His standard. Remember our bodies are His Temple and therefore no unkosher thing is allowed to be brought into the Temple.
It is impossible to be in relationship with YHVH (The LORD) aka be a part of ”The Body” of Machiach (Messiah) and have His Spirit dwell in you and have a diet of unkosher meat. Machiach’s (Messiah’s) Body is Pure and has never and will never eat unclean foods.
If only Kosher meat is allowed in the Temple (body) then we need to be able to define, identify and most importantly eat Kosher meat. Not according to the standards of men aka our religious organisation or pastors thoughts but instead according to YHVH’s (THE LORD’s) Word.
Since this is such an important subject lets cover it as best we can. What are the Biblical Kosher standards?
YHVH (The LORD) gave us processes to follow in order to make meat ‘’Biblically kosher.’’ Note I say ‘’Biblically Kosher’’ because ‘’Rabbinically Kosher’’ is much more complex process . It all begins is the book of Exodus, we came out of Egypt and when we were in the wilderness we slaughtered animals in our tents – home environment and ate the meat. However a problem arose because many of us were not simply slaughtering animals for meat to eat, we were still offering them as sacrifices to other pagan elohim (gods). This was an abomination to YHVH (The LORD) as expected and YHVH (The LORD) then gave these commandments to make sure these pagan practices would stop.
‘’And YHVH (the LORD) spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the people of Israel and say to them, This is the thing that YHVH (the LORD) has commanded. 3 If any one of the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, 4 and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it as a gift to YHVH (the LORD) in front of the tabernacle of YHVH (the LORD), bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood, and that man shall be cut off from among his people. 5 This is to the end that the people of Israel may bring their sacrifices that they sacrifice in the open field, that they may bring them to YHVH (the LORD), to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to YHVH (the LORD). 6 And the priest shall throw the blood on the altar of YHVH (the LORD) at the entrance of the tent of meeting and burn the fat for a pleasing aroma to YHVH (the LORD). 7 So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore. THIS SHALL BE A STATUTE FOREVER FOR THEM THROUGHOUT THEIR GENERATIONS. 8 “And you shall say to them, Any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice 9 and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it to YHVH (the LORD), that man shall be cut off from his people.’’ Lev 17:1-9 (ESV)
Now these Instructions – Torah — Commandments are throughout Israel’s generations which means they can never change, and you and I and our Jewish brothers are witness to the fact that Israel as a nation still exists. This Commandment worked well while the nation of Israel camped around The Mishkan (Tabernacle) in the wilderness. However this Commandment would not work well at all, when the nation of Israel moved into the Promised Land. Because in the Promised Land many people would be living in tribal allotted lands hundreds of kilometres away from The Mishkan (Tabernacle) and in later years the Jerusalem Temple. Therefore YHVH (The LORD) then gave these Instructions – Torah – Commandments found in Deut 12 for those who lived too far away from the Tabernacle and later Jerusalem Temple.
“When YHVH (the LORD) your Elohim (God) enlarges your territory, as He has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you crave meat, you may eat meat whenever you desire. 21 IF THE PLACE THAT YHVH (THE LORD) YOUR ELOHIM (GOD) WILL CHOOSE TO PUT HIS NAME THERE IS TOO FAR FROM YOU, then (((YOU))) MAY KILL any of your herd or your flock, which YHVH (the LORD) has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your towns whenever you desire. 22 Just as the gazelle or the deer is eaten, so you may eat of it. The unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth like water. 25 You shall not eat it, that all may go well with you and with your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of YHVH (the LORD). 26 But the Kodesh (Holy) things that are due from you, and your vow offerings, you shall take, and you shall go to the place that YHVH (the LORD) will choose,’’ Deut 12: 20-25 (ESV)
The text above tells us that for personal consumption of meat ‘’you may kill’’ ‘’your herd or your flock’’ ‘’which YHVH (The LORD) has given you.’’ However the last part of the text tells us all the Kodesh (Holy) things which means sacrifices as in animals slaughtered as an act of worship must be slaughtered at The Mishkan (Tabernacle) or Jerusalem Temple. In case anyone is wondering this includes Pesach (Passover) Lambs.
‘’You may not offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns that YHVH (the LORD) your Elohim (God) is giving you,’’ Deut 16:5 (ESV).
What does all this information mean?
Israel (made up of Jews and Gentiles) can only eat meat that has been slaughtered by Israel. We cannot eat meat that has been slaughtered by another unbelieving nation, regardless if the slaughtered animal is a clean animal or not.
Why is all of this so important?
Well the thing is as soon as we choose YHVH (The LORD) as our Elohim (God) we then must become Kodesh (Holy) set apart – separate from the rest of the world. One of the most important tools YHVH (The LORD) uses to achieve this separation is CLEAN MEATS.
‘’I am YHVH (the LORD) your Elohim (God), who has separated you from the peoples. 25 YOU SHALL THEREFORE SEPARATE THE CLEAN BEAST FROM THE UNCLEAN, AND THE UNCLEAN BIRD FROM THE CLEAN. You shall not make YOURSELVES DETESTABLE by beast or by bird or by anything with which the ground crawls, which I have set apart for you to hold unclean. 26 YOU SHALL BE HOLY TO ME, FOR I YHVH (THE LORD) AM HOLY AND HAVE SEPARATED YOU FROM THE PEOPLES, that you should be mine.’’ Lev 20:24-26 (ESV)
Eating unclean meats makes us ”detestable” or ”abominable” to YHVH (The LORD). I think we need to look at the meaning of the word ”detestable” so we can fully appreciate what this text is saying.
”Shâqats” Strong’s Concordance number H8262: A primitive root; to be filthy, that is, (intensively) to loathe, pollute: – abhor, make abominable, have in abomination, detest, X utterly.
Selah (Think deeply about what has been shared)
It is very interesting to note that these instructions given to new gentile believers in Acts 15 come out of the Torah. I have found reference to them specifically from the Book of Leviticus chapters 17-20. The interesting thing is in these chapters there seems to be a link between eating and sexuality because in these chapters the Torah goes from speaking about Kodesh (Holy) eating to speaking about Kodesh (Holy) sexual practices.
With that in mind, fittingly the next requirement is to do with sexual morality.
Now we would all think this subject would be simple enough, however this is one of the BIGGEST stumbling blocks to the modern western believer on so many levels.
The word translated here as fornication is the Greek word ‘’Porneia’’ Strong’s Concordance number G4202 and its meaning is greater than just fornication
Porneia: From G4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively idolatry: – fornication.
From the strongs we see that Porneia includes not only harlotry but also ‘’adultery’’ and ‘’incest.’’
When trying to get the true Hebraic meaning of any New Testament word we must check the use of said word in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Tanakh (OT). Why should we do this? Because The New Testament is Hebrew thought written in Greek text, and not only that, everything discussed in the New Testament is based on Tanakh (OT). I hope this makes sense? Most authors who wrote in the New Testament assume you have read and understand Tanakh (OT), or at the very least that you attend or will attend synagogue and be taught it.
When we check uses of the word Porneia in the Septuagint (Greek OT) we see that the Strong’s definitions are confirmed as it is used to translate these two Hebrew words
H2183 zenunim – adultery; figuratively idolatry: – whoredom. H8457 taznut – harlotry, that is, (figuratively) idolatry: – fornication, whoredom.
Now the issue is that all sexual sins fit into the two categories. The reason why this is such an issue is that we in the west have redefined what is Kosher and non kosher sexual activity via our own social standards and norms. The problem however is that in order to be a part of Israel we must accept YHVH’s (The LORD’s) definitions of what is kosher and unkosher aka moral and immoral sexual activity. Why is this starting point a challenge to the western mind?
The biggest issue is the definition of ‘’adultery’’ according to the western mind and social norms, adultery is any married person having sexual relations with anyone other than their spouse. HOWEVER this is not how YHVH (The LORD) defines ‘’adultery,’’ and between these two conflicting opinions, there can only be one right view, and that right view can ONLY be that YHVH (The LORD) is right and us westerners are simply wrong.
How does YHVH (The LORD) define adultery? For that we must look at the definition of the Hebrew word ‘’Nâ’aph’’ Strong’s concordance number H5003.
Na aph: A primitive root; to commit adultery; figuratively to apostatize: – adulterer (-ess), commit (-ing) adultery, WOMAN THAT BREAKETH WEDLOCK.
Na aph: 1a1a) usually of man 1a1a1) ALWAYS WITH WIFE OF ANOTHER 1a1b) adultery (of women) (participle).
Now this is a very different view to the western view, and this view is confirmed in Scripture on multiple occasions.
“IF A MAN COMMITS ADULTERY WITH THE WIFE OF HIS NEIGHBOR, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.’’ Lev 20:10
‘’Because that they have done folly in Israel, and COMMIT ADULTERY WITH THE WIVES OF THEIR NEIGHBOURS,’’ Jer 29:23 (YLT)
We see many men, the great Tzadakim (Righteous ones) have multiple wives in Tanakh (OT). One of the most interesting examples that supports this understanding is King David who had multiple wives, and the only time he is accused of doing anything wrong by YHVH (The LORD) is when King David takes another man’s wife.
‘’in that David did that which is right in the eyes of YHVH (The LORD), and turned not aside from all that He commanded him all days of his life–only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite;’’ 1 Kings 15:5 (YLT)
Why is this a problem? Well firstly we cannot call wrong and evil what YHVH (The LORD) has not called wrong and evil. As that is the same as stripping YHVH (The LORD) of His authority to Rule His creation as He sees fit. It would be us the creatures, ruling over The Creator. If that is not rebellion and treason against The King and His Kingdom then I don’t know what is.
‘’He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to YHVH (the LORD).’’ Pro 17:15
Again being in disagreement with YHVH’s (The LORD’s) Rulings of right and wrong makes us an ”abomination” to YHVH (The LORD). When we hear YHVH (The LORD) use such strong language its always in our best interest to try and properly understand what He means. The word translated ”abomination” in this text is the Hebrew ”Tô‛êbah” Strong’s Concordance number H8441 and this is it meaning.
Feminine active participle of H8581; properly something disgusting (morally), that is, (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol: – abominable (custom, thing), abomination.
Selah (Think deeply about what has been said).
We are not to judge by our own understanding but rather we are to judge or better still, up hold YHVH’s (The LORD’s) Judgments. Which means as Israel (The Church) we are to look at the world and not judge via our own eyes or emotions or culture, but instead we are to look to YHVH’s (The LORD’s) Word and judge the world and most importantly ourselves by what is written in it.
I would say 99% of believers (including myself) have great difficulty accepting this definition of adultery. Yet how can we be part of Israel if we will sit in the congregation aka the house of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and call our fathers and other elders and founders of our faith adulterous and therefore unrighteous men. In fact if we look at the great Tzadakim (Righteous ones) listed in the 11th chapter of Hebrews we find that at least 5 or more of them had more than one wife. There are several Commandments regulation the practice of polygyny in Torah, which confirms that YHVH (the LORD) has set out that polygyny be a righteous form of Israelite marriage. If we disagree and call polygyny an unrighteous form of marriage, we then call The Creator and Law giver unrighteous. This is counted as rebellion, and rebellion then makes us become disgusting, an abhorrence, in YHVH’s (The LORD’s) Eyes. This makes us the same as an idolator to YHVH (The LORD).
There are other commandments regarding righteous Israelite sexuality that we westerners would find unrighteous, let us take a look at some of them.
– Concubines (Exo 21:7-10) – A woman who is raped having to marrying her rapist (Deut 22:28-29) – A sonless widow marrying her brother in-law when her husband dies (Deut 25:5-10) – Taking a woman captive from war as a wife (Deut 21:10-14)
What we need to understand is that all these practices would be taking place in Israel (The Church) when a gentile took on faith in Machiach (Messiah), and to correctly start their relationship with YHVH (The LORD) and His people ALL gentiles would have to agree to these standards and practices.
I hope this makes sense?
All of Torah is Perfect Righteous and Good as it comes from YHVH’s (The LORD’s) mouth and Heart and is His Perfect Will. It is us who’s ways are unjust, twisted and wicked.
‘’And the Words of YHVH (the LORD) are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.’’ Ps 12:6 (ESV)
‘’And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this Torah (Law) that I set before you today?’’ Deut 4:* (ESV)
‘’And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this Commandment before YHVH (the LORD) our Elohim (God), as He has commanded us.’’ Deut 6:25 (ESV)
“To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. 5 O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. 6 Hear, FOR I WILL SPEAK NOBLE THINGS, AND FROM MY LIPS WILL COME WHAT IS RIGHT, 7 FOR MY MOUTH WILL UTTER TRUTH; WICKEDNESS IS AN ABOMINATION TO MY LIPS. 8 ALL THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH ARE RIGHTEOUS; THERE IS NOTHING TWISTED OR CROOKED IN THEM. 9 They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.’’ Pro 8:4-9 (ESV)
Now I understand this may be very difficult to accept as it is for me too, however this is the truth and therefore it will not change, if we want to be a part of YHVH’s (The LORD’s) Kingdom it is us who must change.
The fifth and last instruction is that we would attend Synagogue every Shabbat, at which place Moses is read, and we would then learn the rest of Moses aka Torah aka The Legal Code and Constitution of The Kingdom of Israel aka The Church. After learning enough of Moses we would then go through the Commandments found in Exo 12:43-50 and be circumcised and take part in Pesach (Passover) at which point we would become fully fledged reborn children of Abraham.
The process of hearing all of Torah and therefore understanding what YHVH (The LORD) requires of us would take place (In the 1st century and today) in one year as Israel reads and discusses the Torah every Shabbat via a weekly schedule that has the entire Torah read and discussed in the space of one year. How then do we justify our lack of obedience with the common modern phrase ‘’I am on a journey.’’ If we truly believed Machiach (Messiah) and YHVH (The LORD) to be our Masters then we would read their will and immediately obey. The correct understanding of being ‘’on a journey’’ in Torah is to walk in obedience and to occasionally fall and then make repentance and resume our walk. This has been the ”journey” of all the Tzadakim (Righteous ones) recorded for our example.
I put it to you today that my 5 year use of the excuse ‘’I am on a journey’’ has been nothing short of rebellion. How about you?
Slicha (Forgive) Adoni (Master) YHVH (The LORD) the rebellion and foolishness of my heart and that of my brothers, sisters and our forefathers. Indeed we have brought dishonour to you Kodesh (Holy) Name and Word among the nations. May You remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh, and may we walk in humility before You Oh Great, Righteous and Just King!
Selah (think deeply about what has been shared)
I know this is probably shocking to most as it was to me but please do the research into the texts I have shared with you. I am open to real discussion on this topic however please research what I have shared first as knee jerk reactions are never productive.