Vayikra /And He Called
Welcome to Vayikra /And He Called, this week’s Torah portion.
Torah: Leviticus 1:1–5:26;
1 Adonai called to Moshe and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, 2 “Speak to the people of Isra’el; say to them, ‘When any of you brings an offering to Adonai, you may bring your animal offering either from the herd or from the flock. 3 If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he must offer a male without defect. He is to bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, so that it can be accepted by Adonai. 4 He is to lay his hand upon the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. 5 He is to slaughter the young bull before Adonai ; and the sons of Aharon, the cohanim, are to present the blood. They are to splash the blood against all sides of the altar, which is by the entrance to the tent of meeting. 6 He is to skin the burnt offering and cut it in pieces. 7 The descendants of Aharon the cohen are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8 The sons of Aharon, the cohanim, are to arrange the pieces, the head and the fat on the wood which is on the fire on the altar. 9 He is to wash the entrails and lower parts of the legs with water, and the cohen is to cause all of it to go up in smoke on the altar as a burnt offering; it is an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai.
10 “‘If his offering is from the flock, whether from the sheep or from the goats, for a burnt offering, he must offer a male without defect. 11 He is to slaughter it on the north side of the altar before Adonai; and the sons of Aharon, the cohanim, are to splash its blood against all sides of the altar. 12 He is to cut it into pieces, and the cohen is to arrange them with the head and fat on the wood which is on the fire on the altar. 13 He is to wash the entrails and lower parts of the legs with water; and the cohen is to offer it all and make it go up in smoke on the altar as a burnt offering; it is an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai.
(ii) 14 “‘If his offering to Adonai is a burnt offering of birds, he must offer a dove or a young pigeon. 15 The cohen is to bring it to the altar, snap off its head and make it go up in smoke on the altar; its blood is to be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 He is to remove the food pouch and its feathers from its neck and discard it on the pile of ashes just east of the altar. 17 He is to pull it open with a wing on each side, but without tearing it in half. The cohen is to make it go up in smoke on the altar, on the wood which is on the fire, as a burnt offering; it is an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai.
2 “‘Anyone who brings a grain offering to Adonai is to make his offering of fine flour; he is to pour olive oil on it and put frankincense on it. 2 He is to bring it to the sons of Aharon, the cohanim. The cohen is to take a handful of fine flour from it, together with its olive oil and all its frankincense, and make this reminder portion go up in smoke on the altar as an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai. 3 But the rest of the grain offering will belong to Aharon and his sons; it is an especially holy part of the offerings for Adonai made by fire.
4 “‘When you bring a grain offering which has been baked in the oven, it is to consist of either unleavened cakes made of fine flour mixed with olive oil or matzah spread with olive oil. 5 If your offering is a grain offering cooked on a griddle, it is to consist of unleavened fine flour mixed with olive oil; 6 you are to break it in pieces and pour olive oil on it — it is a grain offering. (iii) 7 If your offering is a grain offering cooked in a pot, it is to consist of fine flour with olive oil.
8 “‘You are to bring the grain offering prepared in any of these ways to Adonai ; it is to be presented to the cohen, and he is to bring it to the altar. 9 The cohen is to remove the reminder portion of the grain offering and make it go up in smoke on the altar as an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai. 10 But the rest of the grain offering will belong to Aharon and his sons; it is an especially holy part of the offerings for Adonai made by fire.
11 “‘No grain offering that you bring to Adonai is to be made with leaven, because you are not to cause any leaven or honey to go up in smoke as an offering made by fire to Adonai. 12 As an offering of firstfruits you may bring these to Adonai, but they are not to be brought up onto the altar to make a fragrant aroma. 13 You are to season every grain offering of yours with salt — do not omit from your grain offering the salt of the covenant with your God, but offer salt with all your offerings.
14 “‘If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to Adonai, you are to bring as the grain offering from your firstfruits kernels of grain from fresh ears, dry-roasted with fire. 15 Put olive oil on it, and lay frankincense on it; it is a grain offering. 16 The cohen is to cause the reminder portion of it, its grits and olive oil, with all its frankincense, to go up in smoke; it is an offering made by fire for Adonai.
3 (iv) “‘If his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings, then, if he offers before Adonai an animal from the herd, then, no matter whether it is male or female, it must be without defect. 2 He is to lay his hand on the head of his offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the tent of meeting; and the sons of Aharon, the cohanim, are to splash the blood against all sides of the altar. 3 He is to present the sacrifice of the peace offerings as an offering made by fire to Adonai; it is to consist of the fat covering the inner organs, all the fat above the inner organs, 4 the two kidneys, the fat on them near the flanks, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys. 5 Aharon’s sons will make it go up in smoke on the altar on top of the burnt offering which is on the wood on the fire; it is an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai.
6 “‘If his offering for a sacrifice of peace offerings to Adonai is from the flock, then, when he offers it, no matter whether it is male or female, it must be without defect. 7 If he brings a lamb for his offering, then he is to present it before Adonai. 8 He is to lay his hand on the head of his offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the tent of meeting, and the sons of Aharon are to splash its blood against all sides of the altar. 9 From the sacrifices made as peace offerings, he is to present Adonai with an offering made by fire; it is to consist of its fat, the entire fat tail, which he will remove close to the lower backbone, the fat covering the inner organs, all the fat above the inner organs, 10 the two kidneys, the fat on them near the flanks, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys. 11 The cohen will make it go up in smoke on the altar; it is food, an offering made by fire to Adonai.
12 “‘If his offering is a goat, then he is to present it before Adonai. 13 He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the tent of meeting, and the sons of Aharon are to splash its blood against all sides of the altar. 14 He is to present from it his offering, an offering made by fire to Adonai ; it is to consist of the fat covering the inner organs, all the fat above the inner organs, 15 the two kidneys, the fat on them near the flanks, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys. 16 The cohen will make them go up in smoke on the altar; it is food, an offering made by fire to be a fragrant aroma; all the fat belongs to Adonai. 17 It is to be a permanent regulation through all your generations wherever you live that you will eat neither fat nor blood.’”
4 (v) Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “Tell the people of Isra’el: ‘If anyone sins inadvertently against any of the mitzvot of Adonai concerning things which should not be done, if he does any one of them, 3 then, if it is the anointed cohen who sinned and thus brought guilt on the people, he is to offer Adonai a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he committed. 4 He must bring the bull to the entrance of the tent of meeting before Adonai, lay his hand on the bull’s head and slaughter the bull in the presence of Adonai. 5 The anointed cohen is to take some of the bull’s blood and bring it to the tent of meeting. 6 The cohen is to dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle some of the blood seven times in the presence of Adonai in front of the curtain of the sanctuary. 7 The cohen is to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar for fragrant incense before Adonai there in the tent of meeting. All the remaining blood of the bull he is to pour out at the base of the altar for burnt offerings, which is at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 8 He is to remove from the bull for the sin offering all of its fat — the fat covering the inner organs, all the fat above the inner organs, 9 the two kidneys, the fat on them near the flanks, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys 10 as it is removed from an ox sacrificed as a peace offering; and the cohen is to make these parts go up in smoke on the altar for burnt offerings. 11 But the bull’s hide and all its flesh, with its head, the lower parts of its legs, its inner organs and dung — 12 in other words, the entire bull — he is to bring outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are emptied out. There he is to burn it on wood with fire; there, where the ashes are emptied out, it is to be burned up.
13 “‘If the entire community of Isra’el inadvertently makes a mistake, with the assembly being unaware of the matter, and they do something against any of the mitzvot of Adonai concerning things which should not be done, they are guilty. 14 When the sin they have committed becomes known, then the assembly is to offer a young bull as a sin offering and bring it before the tent of meeting. 15 The leaders of the community are to lay their hands on the bull’s head and slaughter the bull in the presence of Adonai. 16 The anointed cohen is to bring some of the bull’s blood to the tent of meeting. 17 The cohen is to dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times in the presence of Adonai in front of the curtain. 18 He is to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar before Adonai, there in the tent of meeting. All the remaining blood he is to pour out at the base of the altar for burnt offerings, which is at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 19 He is to remove all its fat and make it go up in smoke on the altar. 20 This is what he is to do with the bull — he must do the same with this bull as he does with the one for the sin offering. Thus the cohen will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven. 21 He is to bring the bull outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull; it is the sin offering for the assembly.
22 “‘When a leader sins and inadvertently does something against any of the mitzvot of Adonai concerning things which should not be done, he is guilty. 23 If the sin which he committed becomes known to him, he is to bring as his offering a male goat without defect, 24 lay his hand on the goat’s head and slaughter it in the place where they slaughter the burnt offering in the presence of Adonai ; it is a sin offering. 25 The cohen is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar for burnt offerings. Its remaining blood he is to pour out at the base of the altar for burnt offerings. 26 All its fat he is to make go up in smoke on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice for peace offerings; thus the cohen will make atonement for him in regard to his sin, and he will be forgiven.
(vi) 27 “‘If an individual among the people commits a sin inadvertently, doing something against any of the mitzvot of Adonai concerning things which should not be done, he is guilty. 28 If the sin he committed becomes known to him, he is to bring as his offering a female goat without defect for the sin he committed, 29 lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter the sin offering in the place of burnt offerings. 30 The cohen is to take some of its blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar for burnt offerings. All its remaining blood he is to pour out at the base of the altar. 31 All its fat he is to remove, as the fat is removed from the sacrifice for peace offerings; and the cohen is to make it go up in smoke on the altar as a fragrant aroma for Adonai. Thus the cohen will make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.
32 “‘If he brings a lamb as his sin offering, he is to bring a female without defect, 33 lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it as a sin offering in the place where they slaughter burnt offerings. 34 The cohen is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar for burnt offerings. All its remaining blood he is to pour out at the base of the altar. 35 All its fat he is to remove, as the fat of a lamb is removed from the sacrifice for peace offerings; and the cohen is to make it go up in smoke on the altar on top of the offerings for Adonai made by fire. Thus the cohen will make atonement for him in regard to the sin he committed, and he will be forgiven.
5 “‘If a person who is a witness, sworn to testify, sins by refusing to tell what he has seen or heard about the matter, he must bear the consequences. 2 If a person touches something unclean, whether the carcass of an unclean wild animal, a domestic animal or a reptile, he is guilty, even though he may not be aware that he is unclean. 3 If he touches some human uncleanness, no matter what the source of his uncleanness is, and is unaware of it, then, when he learns of it, he is guilty. 4 If someone allows to slip from his mouth an oath to do evil or to do good, and he doesn’t remember that he clearly spoke this oath, then, no matter what it was about, when he learns of it, he is guilty. 5 A person guilty of any of these things is to confess in what manner he sinned 6 and bring his guilt offering to Adonai for the sin he committed; it is to be a female from the flock, either a lamb or a goat, as a sin offering; and the cohen will make atonement for him in regard to his sin.
7 “‘If he can’t afford a lamb, he is to bring as his guilt offering for the sin he committed two doves or two young pigeons for Adonai — the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. 8 He is to bring them to the cohen, who will offer the one for a sin offering first. He is to wring its neck but not remove the head, 9 sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar and drain out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar; it is a sin offering. 10 He is to prepare the second as a burnt offering in the manner prescribed. Thus the cohen will make atonement for him in regard to the sin which he committed, and he will be forgiven.
(vii) 11 “‘But if his means are insufficient even for two doves or two young pigeons, then he is to bring as his offering for the sin he committed two quarts of fine flour for a sin offering; he is not to put any olive oil or frankincense on it, because it is a sin offering. 12 He is to bring it to the cohen, and the cohen is to take a handful of it as its reminder portion and make it go up in smoke on the altar on top of the offerings for Adonai made by fire; it is a sin offering. 13 Thus the cohen will make atonement for him in regard to the sin he committed concerning any of these things, and he will be forgiven. The rest will belong to the cohanim, as with a grain offering.’”
14 Adonai said to Moshe, 15 “If anyone acts improperly and inadvertently sins in regard to the holy things of Adonai, he is to bring as his guilt offering for Adonai a ram without defect from the flock or its equivalent in silver shekels (using the sanctuary shekel as the standard), according to your appraisal of its value; it is a guilt offering. 16 In addition, he is to make restitution for whatever he did wrong in regard to the holy thing; moreover, he is to add to that one-fifth and give it to the cohen. Then the cohen will make atonement with the ram of the guilt offering, and he will be forgiven.
17 “If someone sins by doing something against any of the mitzvot of Adonai concerning things which should not be done, he is guilty, even if he is unaware of it; and he bears the consequences of his wrongdoing. 18 He must bring a ram without defect from the flock, or its equivalent according to your appraisal, to the cohen for a guilt offering; the cohen will make atonement concerning the error which he committed, even though he was unaware of it; and he will be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering — he is certainly guilty before Adonai.”
20 (6:1) Adonai said to Moshe, 21 (6:2) “If someone sins and acts perversely against Adonai by dealing falsely with his neighbor in regard to a deposit or security entrusted to him, by stealing from him, by extorting him, 22 (6:3) or by dealing falsely in regard to a lost object he has found, or by swearing to a lie — if a person commits any of these sins, 23 (6:4) then, if he sinned and is guilty, he is to restore whatever it was he stole or obtained by extortion, or whatever was deposited with him, or the lost object which he found, (Maftir) 24 (6:5) or anything about which he has sworn falsely. He is to restore it in full plus an additional one-fifth; he must return it to the person who owns it, on the day when he presents his guilt offering. 25 (6:6) He is to bring as his guilt offering to Adonai a ram without defect from the flock, or its equivalent according to your appraisal, to the cohen; it is a guilt offering. 26 (6:7) Thus the cohen will make atonement for him before Adonai, and he will be forgiven in regard to whatever it was he did that made him guilty.
Shabbat HaChodesh Haftarah: Ezekiel 45:16–46:18;
16 ‘All the people in the land are to present this offering to the prince in Isra’el. 17 The prince’s obligation will be to present the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the feasts, on Rosh-Hodesh, and on Shabbat — at all the designated times of the house of Isra’el. He is to prepare the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Isra’el.’
18 “Adonai Elohim says this: ‘On the first day of the first month you are to take a young bull without defect and purify the sanctuary. 19 The cohen will take some of the blood from the sin offering and put it on the door-frames of the house, on the four corners of the altar’s ledge and on the supports of the gate of the inner courtyard. 20 You are also to do this on the seventh day of the month for everyone who has sinned inadvertently or through ignorance. Thus you will make atonement for the house.
21 “‘On the fourteenth day of the first month you are to have the Pesach, a feast seven days long; matzah will be eaten. 22 On that day the prince will provide, for himself and for all the people of the land, a young bull as a sin offering. 23 On the seven days of the feast he is to provide a burnt offering for Adonai, seven young bulls and seven rams without defect daily for the seven days, and a male goat daily as a sin offering. 24 He is to provide as a grain offering a bushel [of grain] for a young bull and a bushel for a ram, and for each bushel [of grain] a gallon of olive oil.
25 “‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, during the feast [of Sukkot] he is to do the same thing for those seven days in regard to the sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings and olive oil.’
46 “This is what Adonai Elohim says: ‘The east gate of the inner courtyard is to be shut on the six working days, but on Shabbat it is to be opened, and on Rosh-Hodesh it is to be opened. 2 The prince is to enter by way of the outer vestibule of the gate and stand by the support of the gate. The cohanim are to prepare his burnt offering and peace offerings. Then he is to prostrate himself in worship at the threshold of the gate, after which he is to leave; but the gate is not to be shut until evening. 3 The people of the land are also to prostrate themselves in worship before Adonai at the entrance to that gate on Shabbat and on Rosh-Hodesh.
4 “‘The burnt offering the prince is to offer Adonai on Shabbat is to consist of six lambs without defect and a ram without defect. 5 The grain offering is to be a bushel for the ram, while for the lambs it can be as much as he wants to give; with a gallon of olive oil per eifah. 6 On Rosh-Hodesh it is to be a young bull, six lambs and a ram, all without defect. 7 He is to prepare a grain offering consisting of a bushel for the bull, a bushel for the ram, and for the lambs as his means allow; with a gallon of olive oil per bushel.
8 “‘When the prince enters, he is to go in by way of the vestibule of the gate, and he is to leave the same way. 9 But when the people of the land come before Adonai at the designated times, whoever comes in to worship by way of the north gate is to leave by way of the south gate, and whoever comes in by way of the south gate is to leave by way of the north gate; he is not to go back out through the gate by which he entered but is to exit straight ahead of him. 10 [On these occasions,] the prince is to be among them when they enter; and when they leave, they are to leave together.
11 “‘At the festivals and at designated times, the grain offering is to be a bushel for a young bull and a bushel for a ram, while for the lambs it can be as much as he wants to give, with a gallon of olive oil per bushel.
12 “‘When the prince provides a voluntary offering, whether it is a burnt offering or peace offerings that he offers voluntarily to Adonai, someone is to open the east gate for him; and he is to provide his burnt offering and peace offerings as he does on Shabbat. Then he will leave; and after he leaves, the gate is to be shut.
13 “‘You are to provide a lamb in its first year that has no defect for a daily burnt offering to Adonai; do this each morning. 14 Also each morning, provide with it a grain offering, one-sixth of a bushel, and one-third of a gallon of olive oil to moisten the fine flour; this is the ongoing grain offering for Adonai, by a permanent regulation. 15 Thus they will offer a lamb, a grain offering and oil each morning as the ongoing burnt offering.’
16 “Adonai Elohim says this: ‘If the prince turns over part of his hereditary property to one of his sons, it is his inheritance; it will belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance. 17 But if he gives part of his hereditary property to one of his slaves, it will be his until the year of freedom, at which time it will revert to the prince, so that the prince’s heritage will go to his sons. 18 The prince is not to take over any of the people’s inheritance, thereby evicting them wrongfully from their property; he is to give his sons an inheritance out of his own property, so that none of my people will be driven off their property.’”
Maftir (concluding reading): Exodus 12:1–20;
12 Adonai spoke to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt; he said, 2 “You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you. 3 Speak to all the assembly of Isra’el and say, ‘On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household — 4 except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it. 5 Your animal must be without defect, a male in its first year, and you may choose it from either the sheep or the goats.
6 “‘You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and then the entire assembly of the community of Isra’el will slaughter it at dusk. 7 They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame at the entrance of the house in which they eat it. 8 That night, they are to eat the meat, roasted in the fire; they are to eat it with matzah and maror. 9 Don’t eat it raw or boiled, but roasted in the fire, with its head, the lower parts of its legs and its inner organs. 10 Let nothing of it remain till morning; if any of it does remain, burn it up completely.
11 “‘Here is how you are to eat it: with your belt fastened, your shoes on your feet and your staff in your hand; and you are to eat it hurriedly. It is Adonai’s Pesach [Passover]. 12 For that night, I will pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both men and animals; and I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt; I am Adonai. 13 The blood will serve you as a sign marking the houses where you are; when I see the blood, I will pass over you — when I strike the land of Egypt, the death blow will not strike you.
14 “‘This will be a day for you to remember and celebrate as a festival to Adonai; from generation to generation you are to celebrate it by a perpetual regulation.
15 “‘For seven days you are to eat matzah — on the first day remove the leaven from your houses. For whoever eats hametz [leavened bread] from the first to the seventh day is to be cut off from Isra’el. 16 On the first and seventh days, you are to have an assembly set aside for God. On these days no work is to be done, except what each must do to prepare his food; you may do only that. 17 You are to observe the festival of matzah, for on this very day I brought your divisions out of the land of Egypt. Therefore, you are to observe this day from generation to generation by a perpetual regulation. 18 From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah. 19 During those seven days, no leaven is to be found in your houses. Whoever eats food with hametz in it is to be cut off from the community of Isra’el — it doesn’t matter whether he is a foreigner or a citizen of the land. 20 Eat nothing with hametz in it. Wherever you live, eat matzah.’”
Brit Chadashah: Hebrews 9:1–28
Now the first covenant had both regulations for worship and a Holy Place here on earth. 2 A tent was set up, the outer one, which was called the Holy Place; in it were the menorah, the table and the Bread of the Presence. 3 Behind the second parokhet was a tent called the Holiest Place, 4 which had the golden altar for burning incense and the Ark of the Covenant, entirely covered with gold. In the Ark were the gold jar containing the man, Aharon’s rod that sprouted and the stone Tablets of the Covenant; 5 and above it were the k’ruvim representing the Sh’khinah, casting their shadow on the lid of the Ark — but now is not the time to discuss these things in detail.
6 With things so arranged, the cohanim go into the outer tent all the time to discharge their duties; 7 but only the cohen hagadol enters the inner one; and he goes in only once a year, and he must always bring blood, which he offers both for himself and for the sins committed in ignorance by the people. 8 By this arrangement, the Ruach HaKodesh showed that so long as the first Tent had standing, the way into the Holiest Place was still closed. 9 This symbolizes the present age and indicates that the conscience of the person performing the service cannot be brought to the goal by the gifts and sacrifices he offers. 10 For they involve only food and drink and various ceremonial washings — regulations concerning the outward life, imposed until the time for God to reshape the whole structure.
11 But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world), 12 he entered the Holiest Place once and for all.
And he entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever. 13 For if sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; 14 then how much more the blood of the Messiah, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God!
15 It is because of this death that he is mediator of a new covenant [or will]. Because a death has occurred which sets people free from the transgressions committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. 16 For where there is a will, there must necessarily be produced evidence of its maker’s death, 17 since a will goes into effect only upon death; it never has force while its maker is still alive.
18 This is why the first covenant too was inaugurated with blood. 19 After Moshe had proclaimed every command of the Torah to all the people, he took the blood of the calves with some water and used scarlet wool and hyssop to sprinkle both the scroll itself and all the people; 20 and he said, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has ordained for you.” 21 Likewise, he sprinkled with the blood both the Tent and all the things used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, according to the Torah, almost everything is purified with blood; indeed, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
23 Now this is how the copies of the heavenly things had to be purified, but the heavenly things themselves require better sacrifices than these. 24 For the Messiah has entered a Holiest Place which is not man-made and merely a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, in order to appear now on our behalf in the very presence of God.
25 Further, he did not enter heaven to offer himself over and over again, like the cohen hagadol who enters the Holiest Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer death many times — from the founding of the universe on. But as it is, he has appeared once at the end of the ages in order to do away with sin through the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as human beings have to die once, but after this comes judgment, 28 so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to deliver those who are eagerly waiting for him.
This is from Prophecy 105, YAHUVEH said to put this up on all Prophecies from now on: I warned you a long time ago Elisabeth (Elisheva) not to name this Ministry after a man or a woman even before there was a Ministry. I put it in your spirit for none of this has been done by your hand, none of this has come forth from your mouth. It is from the Mouth of YAHUVEH that has given birth. It is from the Mouth of YAHUSHUA your MASHIACH that has given birth. It is from the Mouth of the RUACH ha KODESH your IMMAYAH that has given birth. If it had only been by your hand it would have failed long ago. It is by the SHKHINYAH GLORY’S Wind that blows across this earth, the Holy Wind of Revival, it is not by your breath or it would have failed. (Isaiah 42:8)
March 16, 2018
Torah Portion: The Sprinkling of Blood
Prophecy 120 Don’t Give Up! Don’t You Quit!
You please ME, MY child. Do not hesitate to call ME the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY for MY SPIRIT is within you! You are MINE! You are BLOOD-washed! You are BLOOD-bought! And you are MINE—mind, body, spirit and soul belong to YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH! I AM your MESSIAH!
MY BLOOD drenches the soil in Israel. Just one drop is all it takes to wash the sins away. Thank you for not being ashamed of ME. Thank you for being willing to be persecuted for ME! Thank you for accepting ME—even though it means your own family turns away, those of your blood family, but not MY BLOOD Family!
MY BLOOD Family embraces you as I have this Prophet sister of yours call you this day! MY BLOOD Family, those that do the will of the HEAVENLY FATHER, embrace you and love you—recognize you for who you are in ME! Remember this always. I love you! And I thank you. Yes, your LORD GOD, your SAVIOR, your MESSIAH loves you! Never, never, never, never let anyone take that away!
And I know the price Israel shall pay! And it will be a price that is so heavy—for they are held more accountable. For I walked the streets of Jerusalem. MY BLOOD, MY BLOOD, MY BLOOD is soaked in the land. Oh how I grieve! How I mourn!
But there is a remnant! I do have a remnant! I ALWAYS have a remnant! They are few, but they are MINE! And just as I have you so too there are others in Israel. And they are spread all over the world and they are going to stand up and they are going to defend!
Prophecy 95 YAHUSHUA Says “Pick Up Your Weapons! I AM Alive!”
How many I see and they no longer fear. They stay in their sin. They take the communion cup with sinful lips. I am faithful to forgive. But never do this with an unrepentent heart for you’re only drinking damnation. You are only drinking of curses. Come to ME with a repentent heart. Ask ME to forgive you of your sins. I am faithful and I am merciful and just one drop of MY Blood, just one drop of MY Blood can save all of humanity if they had just received ME. Just one drop of MY Blood. And look how much more I gave. This is what I want you to tell them. This is the new Message I give you. This is the Message that is meant to be before the world. This is the only weapon you have. Tell them, “Thus saith YAHUSHUA ha MASHIACH,” as you see the weapons pointed at you in so many different directions, lift up the only weapon I have given you.
Only MY Name and MY Blood, only through MY Body, can anyone be saved! Only through the Blood of YAHUSHUA your MASHIACH, can anyone be saved! There is no name on the face of this world, on the face of this universe, can anyone be saved but through MY Blood and through the price I paid with MY Body, as I laid MY life down.
YAHUSHUA willingly gave HIS Life on the cross No man took MY life! No man could murder ME! But I willingly gave it. It is I that said, “It is finished.”
And you have no protection when you do not receive MY Body and MY Blood for I am the only begotten Son of ABBA YAHUVEH. I am the only begotten Son and MY MOTHER is called the RUACH ha KODESH. SHE is MOTHER of WISDOM.
First you accept ME as your MASHIACH. First you ask forgiveness of your sins. First you ask ME to live MY life within you, to take away the evil desires in you, to cleanse you with MY shed Blood and then I clean you up. It’s as a baby being birthed. When that baby first comes out it is covered with the body fluids of the mother. It has to be washed off. It has to be slapped for it to breath. Breathe Oh little one.
Torah Portion: satanic counterfeit
Prophecy 3 Beware of satanic plants in the Churches!
The plants are what the satanists call them. An occultic spirit has risen up in the full gospel churches because of these plants. But when you see them you will know them! For I, YAHUVEH, am giving you the true church of YAHUSHUA ha MASHIACH (Jesus Christ) new eyes to see, new ears to hear and a bold mouth to speak and new hands to drive them out.
But I am going to prove YAHUSHUA is the only Good Shepherd and this year I am coming to rescue MY sheep. To chase the wolves out of MY Churches, and I will use you to do it. As I have poured forth MY Living Water and New Wine. Satan has poured out the counterfeit the vinegar that I refused the spirit of lukewarmness to have a form of godliness but no godliness within.
I grieve for MY Children and MY Elect that are deceived. I am a God full of mercy for those that are MINE, but because they are led astray by itching ears to hear, only that which they want to hear, they have been led to slaughter. I am raising up a mighty Gideon’s army to take back MY sheep with a new anointing some of you have already noticed.
Prophecy 24 Beware The Yeast of The Pharisees!
Beware the yeast of the Pharisee’s. It is in a multitude of the churches. The yeast causes the Pharisee’s that I called snakes or vipers to manifest a spirit of religion. I the Lord your God hates the spirit of a Pharisee. They speak holy when it’s convenient and when it’s not offensive to them, yet they do not live what they speak. The yeast causes the Pharisee’s to rise up and speak words of truth from the Bible yet throws in a percentage of lies from hell and doctrines of devils. There are two different Pharisee spirits beware of both of these I now warn you, those with spiritual ears to hear and listen. I do not want MY Sheep and Lambs to be led astray. The Pharisee spirit tries to destroy MY Prophets speaking. This handmaiden of MINE speaking, battles with those that come to her as enemies with the spirit of Pharisee. She has been hurt many times from the spirit of a Pharisee.
These servants of satan come as angels of light. When you think of angels sent to confuse MY servants sent by satan, think of them as fluorescent lights. It’s a counterfeit, ugly and deadly. Florescent lighting feels like it sucks your energy from you. Have I not told you to pray you will be counted worthy to escape the hour of temptation that is to come on this earth? I have written in MY Word to comfort you and ease your fears.
MY Children, you are not appointed to MY wrath. Instead I have given you the BLESSED HOPE.
Prophecy 24 Beware Of The Gold Fever Revival! A Great Deception!
BEWARE! Spiritual leaders and the people who supernaturally get these gold fillings (although some claim it by trickery) in their mouths, pick up messages from satan like a radio transmitter. They will not be able to discern the true Voice of the RUACH HA KODESH ever again— they have sold their soul for a mouthful of gold, if they do not REPENT and get it removed. Study and show thyself approved. Where is this in the Holy Scriptures I have given you?
They call this a ‘revival’ but the fires of hell are licking at their feet. Know ye, MY ways are not the world’s ways?!
You go running to and fro and even the heathen do so for the sake of gold! And you chase after signs, wonders and miracles and know not this is what the antichrist will use to deceive so many? Know ye not that signs, wonders and miracles follow them that believe (Mk 16:17-18)? Not you following after the signs, wonders and miracles! MY most trusted servants are being led away like a pig with a gold ring in his snout.
You who are doing these things are showing your true fruit. Beware, for you will be held accountable. How dare you insult MY true servants who warn you and remind you even the very elect will be deceived if possible (Mt 24:24)!
This is only possible if no one is willing to warn and speak out. You should not hate them, but be grateful for their boldness. No—but in these times good is spoken as evil and evil is spoken as good—I do not need to change metal fillings in teeth into gold to save souls or sprinkle gold dust over you.
I call upon MY lost sheep that have called themselves MINE and yet run to another shepherd’s arms—a “false shepherd,” one that will lead those once called MY “lambs” unto slaughter. These that come to ME and call ME “SAVIOR” do so only because of the signs of turning metal into gold or seeing gold dust. Do you not realize only love, true love for ME will save your souls? Do you not realize REPENTANCE; TRUE REPENTANCE will save your souls?
Do you not remember that I did miracles signs, wonders and miracles with Moses and the evil pharaoh had his magicians, sorcerers and enchanters counterfeit the same?—satan sought to deceive then and he does the same now—he used a golden idol then, he uses a golden idol now.
Torah Portion: Human Sacrifice
Prophecy 63 Oh Israel, Where Is Your Blood Sacrifice?
Because of who I am, because of MY love that has no beginning nor end for those called MY Children and only those who are called MY Children are those calling out to ME in the Name of MY Son YAHUSHUA. Only I stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son Isaac. I provided a ram hidden from Abraham’s view until the right time.
Abraham was not perfect. Neither was Isaac. Israel pays the price of Abraham’s sin that brought forth Ishmael and the seed of Ishmael. Abraham needed a blood sacrifice also. It was the ram that was symbolized that was caught in the thicket. This symbolized MY Beloved Son YAHUSHUA, the only Lamb of YAHUVEH, the perfect Lamb without sin or spot or blemish. The ram was caught in the thicket. MY Beloved Son YAHUSHUA cried out to ME. HE [was] also caught in the thicket of MY will. “Father, if it all be possible, take this cup from ME, but not as I will, but as YOUR will be done.” YAHUSHUA was symbolized as that ram, as that blood sacrifice that Abraham had that day which took Isaac’s place.
YAHUSHUA’s Blood sacrifice is the only human sacrifice that is Holy enough to wash away the sins of all mankind. If mankind will but accept and obey this new Blood Covenant I gave at Calvary through MY Beloved Son YAHUSHUA, this is MY promise to MY faithful children who love YAHUSHUA and accept this new Blood Covenant.
I speak to those who refuse MY Son YAHUSHUA as MESSIAH. Where is your blood sacrifice? All know there must be a blood sacrifice for the remission of sins. What animal is perfect? What human? None, except MY Beloved Son YAHUSHUA’s. I, YAHUVEH, cancelled the old blood covenant to give mankind a better blood covenant. This is the only way I can forgive your sins. There is no other way to MY throne, for ME to answer your prayers, except through the name YAHUSHUA, through HIS shed Blood at Calvary for the remission of your sins. There is no other intercessor before ME other than MY Son YAHUSHUA.
Oh Israel, I sent the new Blood Covenant to be born on your own soil. I did miracles through the Name of YAHUSHUA. I used Him to be a human sacrifice, a human blood sacrifice, the only perfect blood atonement for sin. And I arose HIM from the dead in the soil of Israel.
On this day of Yom Kippur, 2002, I speak unto Israel and I tell them I hear your prayers of repentance, asking for MY forgiveness. I see your fasting. I feel your fear as you realize your sins are a stench to MY nostrils. Oh Israel, you know “I AM” Adonai and I will judge you for the works of your flesh. Oh Israel, you know there is no blood sacrifice. You long to build that temple with walls so you can once again do sacrifices of animals for the remission of sins, where your high priest can cry aloud for mercy. Yet, you refuse to receive the gift I gave you, a temple without walls filled with the RUACH ha KODESH, filled with MY love and mercy, MY miracles and MY judgment. A temple built not with human hands, a perfect, holy, sinless temple. His Name is YAHUSHUA. MY Name [YAH] is contained in HIS Name. The power is in HIS Sacred Name, the power is in OUR Sacred Names.
This Shabbat is the last of four Parashiot that have special Torah readings in preparation for Pesach /Passover, which is only two short weeks away!
It is called Shabbat HaChodesh /החודש שבת Sabbath of the month, and a special reading is added from Exodus 12:1–20, which details the laws of Pesach Passover.
VAYIKRA /And He Called
“ELOHIM called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting.”
Last week, Parasha Pekudei was the final Torah portion in the book of Exodus.
This Shabbat, we begin studying the Book of Leviticus. In Hebrew, Leviticus is called Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called.
The Relevance of Offerings
“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When any man of you brings an offering to YAHUVEH, you shall bring your offering of animals from the herd or the flock.
“If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer it, a male without defect; he shall offer it at the doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before YAHUVEH.” (Leviticus 1:2–3)
The Torah portion, Vayikra, presents the laws of korbanot /קָרְבָּנוֹת offerings, including the korban olah /קָרְבַּן עוֹלָה or burnt offerings.
The Hebrew noun olah means goes up because the priest would burn the offerings on the wood of the altar, the aroma would go up to be accepted by ELOHIM.
The Hebrew word korbanot comes from the root word k-r-v /קרב, which means to be close /karov. The sacrifices, once accepted by ELOHIM, restore closeness and intimacy between Him and His people.
It is our iniquities and sins that separate us from ELOHIM and prevent us from establishing or maintaining a close relationship with Him.
“But your iniquities have separated you from your ELOHIM; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)
Although some New Covenant Believers consider the laws in Leviticus irrelevant and obsolete, they remain relevant and are indeed extremely important.
For instance, without them we cannot grasp the concept of blood sacrifice to atone for sin. That core concept in YAH’s plan for redemption helps us rightly understand the sacrificial death of YAHUSHUA the Messiah.
Attempting to understand YAHUSHUA’s death on the Roman execution stake without comprehending the blood sacrifices is like trying to build a house without a foundation. The home may last for a time but will not withstand the fierce storms without that solid base.
Likewise, we must have a solid foundation in the Word of ELOHIM to rightly understand the Word of ELOHIM, as well as successfully navigate through the storms of life.
For some people, a guilty conscience over past sins causes them to be alienated from YAH, despite having received forgiveness.
The blood sacrifice of YAHUSUA, however, was shed to restore us to right relationship with ELOHIM and to completely cleanse us of any trace of a guilty conscience:
“How much more will the blood of Messiah who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to ELOHIM, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living ELOHIM?” (Hebrews 9:14)
Despite this, some followers of YAHUSHUA still struggle with guilt and condemnation, even though the Word of ELOHIM promises that those who are in the Messiah are free:
“There is therefore no condemnation to those in YAHUSHUA the Messiah who do not walk in the flesh.” (Romans 8:1)
Just as the blood of the lamb had to be applied to the doorposts of our homes in Egypt, so must the blood of YAHUSHUA be applied to our hearts, by faith, to wash us clean from every trace of guilty conscience and shame over our past sins.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)
The pure waters refer to the mikvah, the ritual water immersion, which is symbolic of our new spiritual birth.
Only when our hearts have been cleaned sprinkled with the blood of YAHUSHUA and our bodies immersed in the mikvah, can we have this full assurance of faith that allows us to draw near ELOHIM.
A guilty conscience over our past will separate us from intimacy with ELOHIM, as well as with other Believers in the Body of Messiah.
Once we have drawn near ELOHIM (Hebrews 10:22), we are to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Instead of isolating ourselves, we are exhorted to meet with others where we can encourage others and be encouraged. (Hebrews 10:24–25)
Since each of us has been given the “ministry of reconciliation,” we should be agents of healing and restoration through Messiah YAHUSHUA.
The Sprinkling of Blood
“He shall slay the young bull before YAHUVEH; and Aaron’s sons the priests shall offer up the blood and sprinkle the blood around on the altar that is at the doorway of the tent of meeting.” (Leviticus 1:5)
The Cohen /High Priest not only sprinkled the blood around the altar, he dipped his finger in it and sprinkled it seven times before ELOHIM, in front of the veil. (Leviticus 4:17)
likewise, the blood of YAHUSHUA, who was the High Priest /Cohen HaGadol of the New Covenant, was also sprinkled before ELOHIM seven times:
- YAHUSHUA perspired drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed to the Father: “And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)
- He was struck in the face until it was “marred beyond recognition.” (Isaiah 52:14)
- His back was scourged with a whip. (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 27:26)
- The soldiers put a crown of thorns on His head. (John 19:2)
- They plucked out His beard. (Isaiah 50:6)
- They pierced His hands and feet. (Psalm 22:16; Luke 24:39; John 20:27)
- They pierced His side with a spear and blood and water came out. (Psalm 22:14; John 19:34)
Animal rights activists are likely appalled to read of all the sacrifices that the Torah requires.
Some people, even Believers, are uncomfortable with the whole idea of blood sacrifices. One of the reasons is our natural human aversion to blood. Another reason is because of the association with evil satanic rituals.
Satanism observes its own system of blood sacrifices to the powers of darkness.
As well, Satan often attempts to twist and pervert the Word of YAH, using it for his own evil purposes. Luke 4 gives us an example of how he did this with YAHUSHUA when He was tested in the wilderness.
Satan misleads by substituting wicked counterfeits for the holy things of ELOHIM, such as blood sacrifices.
People of various pagan religions have practiced the ritual killing of animals to appease their false gods. Many cultures used animal sacrifice in purification ceremonies. Some of these include in addition to the Hebrews: Greeks, Romans, Ancient Egyptians,.
Is animal sacrifice still practiced today? Not currently in Judaism, as the korbanot cannot be offered without the Temple. And there has not been a Temple for nearly 2,000 years.
However, outside of Judaism, it is practiced. Followers of Santeria a religion of Caribbean origin to this day offer up some sacrificial animals to cure the sick or give thanks to their god /Orisa as part of their ritual activities.
There are also some Christians in certain Greek villages who, in a practice called kourbània, sacrifice animals to Orthodox saints.
Another Satanic counterfeit to ELOHIM’s sacrificial system is found in some cultures and religions in which human beings were sacrificed as a way of giving their very best to their god.
In times of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, or volcanic eruptions, which have historically been understood as evidence of their deity’s anger or displeasure, other cultures have offered up human sacrifice in the hopes of appeasing the wrath of their gods.
Even in the West, worshipers of Satan and his demonic entities have been performing human blood sacrifice since ancient times, so it is likely that this practice continues to this very day, especially within secret communities just outside of mainstream culture.
Judaism, on the other hand, abhors the concept of human sacrifice, because it is abhorrent to ELOHIM, as it is written: “Never give your children as sacrifices to the god Molech. If you do, you are dishonoring the name of your ELOHIM. I am YAHUVEH.” (Leviticus 18:21)
It is for this reason that most Jewish people find it so difficult to believe in YAHUSHUA—human sacrifice has always been associated with paganism and is strictly forbidden.
The One True ELOHIM completely forbade His people from pagan worship customs and especially the practice of human sacrifice:
“You must not worship YAHUVEH your ELOHIM in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things YAHUVEH hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:31)
Knowing that ELOHIM detests human sacrifice, especially of a son or daughter at the hand of a parent, the Jewish people naturally assume that our ELOHIM would never allow someone to die a substitutionary death the way animals do.
This is a significant stumbling block to receiving salvation through YAHUSHUA the Messiah for the Jewish People. However, the ancient prophet Isaiah revealed that long ago ELOHIM planned to lay all of our sins and iniquities upon the Messiah:
“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.
“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But YAHYVEH has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53:5–6)
ELOHIM did not intend for His korbanot to be performed by a people who were determined to live lawless lives. They were never a substitution for living in fellowship with Him and being right-hearted.
Likewise, YAHUSHUA’s sacrifice was meant to restore fellowship with our Father upon a person seeking to draw near to Him, sincerely repenting of their sins, and accepting the sacrifice as a free gift on their behalf.
The blood of the Lamb of ELOHIM, YAHUSHUA takes away the sins of those who believe in who He is, what He did, turn from their sin, and follow Him.
ELOHIM does not delight in the sacrifice but in the right heart of the person who offers it.
All of the Hebrew prophets warned the people that offering sacrifices without returning to the principles of righteousness our ELOHIM laid out for us in His Word would be in vain.
Ultimately, what YAH requires of each one of us is to practice justice, mercy and humility toward YAH and man.
“It has been told to you, O man, what is good, and what YAHUVEH does require of you: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy GOD.” (Micah 6:8)
And YAHUSHUA, who has set us free from the evil master of sin through His death and resurrection, has given us the power to be just, show love, mercy, and to walk humbly with our GOD.
as we enter the Passover season, let us prepare our hearts and lives to put away old sins and guilt and embrace the forgiveness and freedom that YAHUSHUA offers us in Him.
And let us proclaim His love,redemtion, and forgiveness of sin to all who are willing to receive him as our redeemer and messiah, and for those who are seeking for Him but not yet finding Him.
“Proclaim the power of ELOHIM, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens.” (Psalm 68:34)
Shabbat Shalom from AMIGHTYWIND!
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, YAH’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of HIM who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
If you have been born-again by the Spirit of ELOHIM, then the Bible says you are a son or daughter of the Most High GOD and “a royal priest.”
“In what way?” you might ask.
A Kingdom of Priests
“You will do more than restore the people of Israel to Me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)
The reason why ELOHIM brought the Israelites out of the tyrannical rule of Egypt’s Pharaoh was to bring them under His holy rule as King of the Universe and make then a kingdom of priests to the world.
“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself,” He told the nation of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai.
“Now if you obey me fully and keep MY covenant, then out of all nations you will be My treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for ME a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:4–6)
Had YAH’s people obeyed the Ten Commandments (chapter 20) and the 613 instructions the law found in the rest of the Torah, as they promised to do, they would have fulfilled their role of priesthood.
In obeying YAH, they would have been teaching the nations by example how to be holy just as they themselves were holy, and bringing the world into the knowledge of the One True ELOHIM.
They would have been a light to the nations.
That is what they as the Chosen People were chosen to do.
Living holy lives in the presence of ELOHIM and bringing the world into the knowledge of ELOHIM is what we are expected to do as Believers in the One GOD of Israel and HIS SON Messiah YAHUSHUA.
That is the overall mission of a priest in His royal kingdom.
To accomplish that mission, ELOHIM appointed individual priests who had specific functions, which Believers also have today. Let’s look at how these priests and today’s Believers fulfill a few of those functions.
Priests Make Sacrifices
“Moses said to Aaron [the High Priest], ‘Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and the people; sacrifice the offering that is for the people and make atonement for them, YAHUVEH has commanded.'” (Leviticus 9:7)
One of the primary duties of Israel’s priests was to offer sacrifices that would cover the sins of the people.
Throughout the year, the priests would help the men of a household perform the sacrifice themselves for individual sins. But on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest /Kohen Gadol of Israel would make the sacrifice on behalf of the entire kingdom of priests, the nation of Israel.
Believers today trust in the sacrifice of Messiah YAHUSHUA as the final payment that the law requires for our sins.
As a result of accepting His sacrifice, Rabbi Shaul /the Apostle Paul tells us that everything we think, everything we do is now to be in accord with YAH’s “good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
Paul says that in this way, we are “living sacrifices,” in which we continuously offer up to ELOHIM acts of love and mercy. That is what He has always preferred, anyway:
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of ELOHIM rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)
And that is our privilege as royal priests to perform.
Priests Administer Justice
Even before ELOHIM appointed a priesthood, Moses appointed leaders among the tribes of Israel to mediate disputes. Why? Because although ELOHIM gave Moses the law, he became exhausted hearing the cases brought to him from the entire nation. He explained to the Israelites:
“I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you.” (Deuteronomy 1:15; also Exodus 18:13–27)
As Israel moved into their Promised Land, the function of a judge was sometimes appointed to the priests. For instance, in the 9th century BC, the king of Judah was Yahoshaphat, whose name means YAHUVEH judges.
Yahoshaphat appointed priests to act as judges, administer the law of ELOHIM, settle disputes, and warn the people not to sin. (2 Chronicles 19:6–11)
Yahoshaphat tried to foster repentance turning back to ELOHIM for the people and the nation, so they would once again experience YAH’s provision and blessing. And He used the priests as one means to accomplish this goal.
Why should priests be judges?
The priests were responsible to act on behalf of ELOHIM; and through their diligent study of the Holy Scriptures, they were expected to acquire wisdom from ELOHIM. This made them good candidates to administer justice knowledgeably and wisely.
Scripture provides guidelines for these judges: They were to love the law, hear cases large and small, show no partiality between rich and poor, take no bribes, and fear no man but fear YAH and judge on His behalf.
(Deuteronomy 1:16–17, 16:19–20; 2 Chronicles 19:6–7; Psalm 119:163–165)
Likewise, as Believers we are to diligently study YAH’s principles of righteousness and justice so that we can settle disputes among ourselves according to those principles whenever possible.
It is the RUACH HAKODESH/ HOLY SPIRIT who helps us with this understanding and gives us the wisdom that Moses looked for in such leaders.
For example, when the Hellenistic/Greek-influenced Jews and Hebraic Jews were disputing about food rations for the widows, the twelve apostles said to them, “Choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom” to administer this matter in a way that was fair and orderly. (Acts 6:3)
Moreover, Paul warned Believers against taking each other to the pagan court of the land, saying, “Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother takes another to court — and this in front of unbelievers!” (1 Corinthians 6:5)
The world is watching how we settle our disputes as Believers.
It is a great privilege to be a judge.
Priests Teach Scripture
“Do your best to present yourself to ELOHIM as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
(2 Timothy 2:15)
In Israel, priests not only studied YAH’s Word, they taught it by reading and interpreting Scripture for the people. This is how the people would know what it means to be a nation of priests to the world.
Likewise, Believers are responsible to diligently study the Word through teachers who are filled with the RUACH HAKODESH / HOLY SPIRIT and have the gift of wisdom ― as opposed to teachers who twist YAH’s word into their own image.
The evidence that the RUACH HAKODESH/ HOLY SPIRIT is in Believers is that they possess the fruit of the spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22–23)
While the Law has been a means of administering blessing and curses as well as life and death, living in the Spirit transcends the Law the Torah.
This is how Adam and Eve were supposed to live before they disobeyed YAH and got expelled from the Garden of Eden.
ELOHIM’s original plan before Adam and Eve sinned was a life experienced in perfect love, joy, and peace. We can receive all of this heavenly fruit that only YAH and His RUACH/SPIRIT can produce in us today ― but it takes work on our part.
We must study His Word, die to self, repent, and continually seek His Presence.
As Believers in YAHUSHUA who is King of the Universe, it is our privilege as His priests to be holy, to teach the Word of ELOHIM, and judge sin. But most of all, when we spend time in the presence of ELOHIM and receive His love, then we are able to pour out that love to others.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
(1 Corinthians 13:2)
With the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70, the priesthood and many of their ritual functions are no longer possible.
For the past 2,000 years, the Jewish People have looked to their teachers for guidance in many of the tasks that the priesthood were supposed to perform.
Here are just a few:
- Instead of animal sacrifices, teachers offer prayers as service of the heart, which becomes a form of living sacrifice on behalf of their congregation.
- They act as judges in disputes.
- They teach the Word of ELOHIM, but often spend more teaching time on the writings of the Jewish sages over the many centuries.
Christian and Messianic Jewish pastors often fulfill these roles, too, studying commentaries, settling disputes, interceding through prayer, and teaching the Word of ELOHIM.
As YAHUSHUA said to His disciples, let us “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)