Saturday, June 13, 2015

A word on obedience for ALL....

In this week’s Torah portion we see one of my favorite scriptures - Numbers 15:13-16, where YHWH says four times in a row there is NO difference between His people and anyone else who chooses to accept Him as their God.  ALL must obey His Torah.

Numbers 15:13 "'Every citizen is to do these things in this way when presenting an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI. 14 If a foreigner stays with you - or whoever may be with you, through all your generations - and he wants to bring an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI, he is to do the same as you. 15 For this community there will be the same law for you as for the foreigner living with you; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations; the foreigner is to be treated the same way before ADONAI as yourselves. 16 The same Torah and standard of judgment will apply to both you and the foreigner living with you.'" (CJB)

Then He goes on to reiterate it further on in that same chapter:

Numbers 15:28 The cohen will make atonement before ADONAI for the person who makes a mistake by sinning inadvertently; he will make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven - 29 no matter whether he is a citizen of Isra'el or a foreigner living with them. You are to have one law for whoever it is that does something wrong by mistake.
(CJB)

YHWH never ever suggested that the Gentiles were to have different rules.  Even after Yeshua was “crucified” that never changed YHWH’s Torah/Instructions in Righteousness. He never said He would have different rules for His natural and adopted children!

Note that “deliberate” sinning is NOT forgiven. CHOSING to ignore YHWH's Divine Rules is a sin which can and will cause eternal separation from Him.  If you know the ELOHIM you serve and you have the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) living within, you are never supposed to commit intentional sin.  (If you do, you will be forcing YHWH to “sin” with you…Please think about that.)

Numbers 15:30 "'But an individual who does something wrong intentionally, whether a citizen or a foreigner, is blaspheming ADONAI. That person will be cut off from his people. 31 Because he has had contempt for the word of ADONAI and has disobeyed his command, that person will be cut off completely; his offense will remain with him.'"  (CJB)

Hebrews 6: 4. But they who have once descended to immersion and have tasted the gift from heaven and have received the Ruach haKodesh 5. and have tasted the good Word of Elohim and the power of the world to come, 6. cannot again sin and a second time be renewed to repentance; or a second time execute him on a stake and insult the Son of Elohim. 7. For the earth that drinks the rain which comes often upon it and produces the herb that is of use to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from Elohim. 8. But if it should put forth thorns and briers, it would be discarded and be approaching closely to a curse, and its end would be a conflagration. (AENT)

NOTE: Huge contrast between Aramaic and Greek. The Greek reads: "once having been enlightened..." This "enlightening" seems logical until we look at Aramaic: "But they who have once descended to immersion..." The difference is acute, since baptism is clearly a subject being introduced just two verses earlier. The reason for the Greek redaction to "enlightenment" may well have been due to early Gnostic influence that stressed Mashiyach's knowledge over his actual power and incarnation of Deity. See also Hebrews 10:32.

Hebrews 10: 26 For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, or raging fire that will consume the enemies. (CJB)

The above Scripture is not referring to those unclean bondages that dwell in our flesh but to the “conscious” choices believers make. It refers not to our unintentional sins but to those we pursue knowingly and willingly!

How many of today's believers behave in a way they know is sinful and yet they go ahead and do what they feel like doing, anyway? That's because they mistakenly think Divine grace covers intentional sin. That is a huge misconception! Divine grace has made wonderful provision for unintentional sin. But there is no provision for intentional sin. The Bible tells us so.

2 Peter 2:17. These are wells without water, clouds driven by a storm, persons for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness.  18. For, while they utter astonishing vanity, they seduce with obscene lusts of the flesh, them who have almost abandoned these that walk in error.  19. And they promise them liberty while they themselves are the slaves of corruption: for, by whatever thing a man is vanquished, to that is he enslaved.  20. For if, when they have escaped the pollutions of the world by the knowledge of our Master and Redeemer Y’shua the Mashiyach, they become again involved in the same and are vanquished, their latter state is worse than the former.  21. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after having known (it), to turn back from the Set Apart Commandment that was delivered to them.  22. But the true proverb has happened to them: the dog returns to his vomit and the pig that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire. (AENT)

Deliberate, premeditated sin is willful disobedience and rebellion against our ELOHIM. It results in severe punishment or even loss of our salvation.

Leviticus 26: 23 If, in spite of all this, you refuse my correction and still go against me; then I too will go against you; and I, yes I, will strike you seven times over for your sins.  (CJB)

1 Corinthians 6: 9. Or don't you know, that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim?* Make no mistake! Neither sexual sinners, nor idol-worshippers, nor adulterers, nor the corrupt, nor men who lay down with other men, 10. Nor the oppressors, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of Elohim. (AENT)

FOOTNOTE: Compare this to Matthew 5:17-20, where we are told that breaking the least commandment of Torah and teaching others to do the same makes a person "least in the kingdom" but they still get in. Y'shua implies that those with more serious sins won't make it in: "Depart from me, workers of iniquity, I never knew you"; but here, Rav Shaul gives a more specific list of what will keep them out.

1 Corinthians 6: 17. But he that joins himself to our Master (Y'shua), is with him one spirit. 18. Flee from sexual sin. For every (other) sin which a man commits, is external to his body*; but he that commits sexual sin, sins against his own body. (AENT)

FOOTNOTE:Actually the sexual sin goes deeper than the body, as the note on Romans 1:26 shows. But the other point is also that a sexual sinner brings sin upon himself rather than his partner, and vice versa, unless rape or abuse is involved.


It is not sin per se that causes a person who professes to be a believer to be eternally estranged from YHWH but, rather, it is our surrender to sin which causes our faith and faithfulness to dim or completely die out.

We flirt with spiritual disaster if we - by our thoughts, words, and conduct - deny Messiah, reject grace, spurn redemption, and push away the Holy Spirit.

Under the Old Covenant, YHWH put to death people who willingly disobeyed His commands or offered "strange fire" (Lev. 10:1-2). There was no atonement for intentional sin - and there still isn't. All of the sin offerings of the Levitical Law were for unintentional sin.

Case in point, Numbers 15:32-35 tells us: While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, and they kept him in custody because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then YHWH said to Moses, "The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp".

The man who sinned willingly was not deceived in any way. He was not driven by uncontrollable impulses. He simply decided to ignore what God had said about the Sabbath. His reward was death.

Leviticus 4: 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.  (CJB)

Since the death of Y'shua, people are no longer put to death for their sins.  However, as we see above, the ultimate consequences for DELIBERATE and CONTINUED sinning ultimately result in eternal death/separation from YHWH/Y'shua.

For more, please see our article on “deliberate sinning” ....


4 comments:

  1. I have a question regarding deliberate sin that has been puzzling me for some time.

    Many people seem to have set ideas about "sins" that the Scriptures do not specifically, namely, address but that, in the light of the evidence, are classified as sinning. For instance, cigarette smoking, eating junk food, habitually going to bed too late and sleeping too little, "workaholism", etc. In all these, the Messianic people will still keep the Shabbat, Kosher, Moedim, etc... But treat their bodies in a way that is harmful to them, and often, they are fully aware of it. But also, people classify these things into different categories based on their varying severity or even point out some of them as sins but not the others; most people say that smoking is sinning, but say that eating junk food is just a choice that you may suffer from but isn't necessarily sinning. Neither of these are specifically named as sins in the Torah, but as for the "heart of the Torah", they can be classified as harming the body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, and thus are, sinning. We could add countless of things to this list.

    But are they deliberate sins, especially if a person feels guilt about them and wants to change, but feels unable, at the moment?

    And what about those who keep eating tons of sugar and junk food and are overweight as a result and have diabetes and heart disease and so on, thus they have been and are continuously harming their bodies, but brush it off like it didn't matter to YHWH as long as they keep the "obvious Commandments", although deep down they know they should take care of their bodies, too?


    Thank you, and Shabbat Shalom to you and all your readers!

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    Replies
    1. Could you ask a more difficult question?!

      "Sin" is transgression of Torah. Torah is found in the 1st five Books of the Bible, called the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. All other Books refer to the Torah, or help clarify the Torah, including the oft cited verses from the New Testament. So for a sin to be a sin, we must find it in Torah and not in our own opinions.

      So let's take smoking as an example. Nowhere in scripture do we find any evidence that smoking is a sin. There simply are no "Thou shalt not smoke" commands. What about eating junk food? Same thing. There are no "Thou shalt not eat junk food" commands. Eating too much sugar and junk food and becoming overweight? A sin? Not specifically.

      Yet all these issues and concerns are covered in Torah if we have read, digested, and understood what Torah is and what it means to us.

      Torah consists of the instructions to us to lead holy lives so we can be in the presence of YHWH. We are to be holy people (Leviticus 11:44, 11:45, 19:2, 20:7, 20:8, 22:32, etc.). If we are to be "clean" and holy to be in His presence, then we must make decisions on those things which are not covered in Torah. Smoking, eating too much fast food/fatty food (too much of anything!), too much sugar, keeping our bodies fit or not, the list actually goes on and on! Yes, some verses outside of Torah help clarify, such as Proverbs 23:20-21 and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, but these all fall short of coming right out and stating what modern issue is a sin or not!

      So it remains up to each of us to actually delve into Torah to come to understand just what it is, what it means, and how to live by it! For example, though smoking is not a specified sin, it most definitely damages one's lungs, stinks, soils one's hands, teeth and clothing, and leads to coughing and addiction. It is a "pleasure of the flesh". So while not a sin, I'd hate to be the one who smoked and needed to stand before YHWH to serve Him!

      You started out with the statement that you had a question about "deliberate sinning" yet the things you mentioned (as you clearly know) are not defined as "sins"! Workaholism is not a sin, yet it takes away from your responsibility to your family. There are many issues which are simply not covered in Torah, and probably for good reason! If every aspect of our lives were covered in Torah, we'd be nothing more than "automatons", a sort of "human machine" that performs a function according to a predetermined set of coded instructions, only capable of a range of programmed responses to all circumstances. This clearly not what YHWH wanted or intended. YHWH wanted us to want HIM! And if we want HIM then we are obligated to make the effort to come to understand Him and be the type of person and live the type of life that makes us eligible to be in His presence.

      Perhaps Yeshua's words were more profound than we ever understood when He said: "All who loosen, therefore, from one (of) these small commandments and teach thus to the sons of man, will be called little in the Kingdom of Heaven, but all who do and teach this will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven." Food for thought for those keep Shabbat, Kosher, Moedim, etc., yet abuse their very nature.

      Thanks for the most insightful comment/question and I hope my answer helps!

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    2. Thank you for your insightful reply!
      It has truly blessed me, as it opened my eyes to see the remnants of "Christian theology" that I was still holding in my heart.

      My friend who asked me the question about different sins, is still deeply Christian, but very open to learn more about the Torah and Commands of YHWH. And she brought up this issue as she is personally struggling with several habits that the mainstream Christianity considers as "sins". And as we discussed this with her, I found it difficult to give her an answer, and, as I can see now, it was because of the same pattern of thought of trying to define sin outside of Torah.

      I can see now this has been deeply rooted in me as a result of my Christian background. Even though I have come to the understanding that the Torah defines sin, underneath the surface in my heart I was still holding onto the Christian thinking of "man-made-opinions" defining "sins" even though they don't appear in the Torah.

      Christians are so lost, and they are constantly trying to find their way in the darkness by putting up their own rules and definitions to things like sin, simply because they don't believe the Torah being in effect anymore. And this is I believe the root cause for this confusion that my friend has. She doesn't know what can be counted as sin because she doesn't understand the Scriptures and she only listens to Christians to give her the definition.

      And I made the mistake of trying to add more rules to the Torah by trying to fit things like smoking, eating junk food, workaholism... into Torah as actual sins.

      Thank you for delivering me from this confusion! I truly appreciate it!

      Of course, as we grow in our faith and learn from YHWH and His Word, we naturally come to understand things better and deeper, and as for my personal experience, we gradually no longer desire to do things that we did in the past, which weren't necessary "sins" as per Torah, but also not very good, constructive or healthy for us.

      Also, perhaps we may get through our lives just fine by eating junk food and sleeping too little, but still following YHWH with a whole heart and doing His will and bearing fruit. Having more weight on the spiritual matters than the physical.

      As a conclusion, I have decided to stick to the Torah as for guidance and definition of sin and teach that to my friends who ask about it. And as I learn more about the application of Torah in various situations in life, I praise YHWH and do what I have learned. But I must stop putting some extra rules to the Torah, for myself and for my friends. That is the lesson I have learned from your reply. Thank you and may YHWH greatly bless you! :)

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    3. You are VERY welcome. It is our pleasure and a most humble privilege to help people learn to get into and learn to grow in Scripture for themselves! Blessings and shalom to your and your family.

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