A Christian pastor challenged with these questions:
“So, what of the commands to sacrifice?” “What of the
commands about a woman being unclean during her cycle?” “What about the
commands against shaving?”
Well, let’s answer these one at a time. First: “So, what of the commands to sacrifice?”
are some basics: It is true that Yeshua was our Final Sin Sacrifice;
however, He did not remove the need for some of the other Temple
sacrifices (offers of thanksgiving, burnt and guilt offerings, etc.).
These sacrifices were stopped after the Second Temple was destroyed,
only because YHWH requires a proper Temple for anything sacrificed to
Him (Exodus 20:19-26; I Kings 6). That will change with the erection of
the Third Temple in Jerusalem!
11: 1. And a reed was given to me, like a rod; and the Messenger stood,
saying, Arise and measure the temple of Elohim, and the altar, and them
that worship inside it. 2. But the court which is without the temple,
leave out, and measure it not, because it is given to the Gentiles; and
they will tread down the Set Apart city forty and two months.
ask ourselves this: Since all believers are ONE in Messiah (Ephesians
3:5-6), why would there be Gentiles in heaven who have to remain outside
the Temple proper?
tells us that there will be a literal Third Temple ON EARTH because
sacrifices will be taking place prior to the second coming and even
during the thousand year reign. For this to occur, there must be an
altar and some sort of structure - be it a stone temple or a tent
similar to Moses' or David's tabernacle. In the Scriptures below, we see
that Ezekiel clearly describes a future physical temple (given to him
in a vision from YHWH (Ezekiel 40:1-4) because, how else could we
explain the fact that Levites and descendents of Aaron will be
40: 45 He said to me, "This room facing south is for the cohanim
(priests) in charge of the house; 46 while the room facing north is for
the cohanim in charge of the altar; these are the descendants of Tzadok,
who are the descendants of Levi designated to approach ADONAI and serve
43: 18 He said to me, "Human being, Adonai ELOHIM says, 'These are the
regulations for the altar when the time comes to construct it, offer
burnt offerings on it and splash the blood against it: 19 you are to
give to the cohanim, who are L'vi'im descended from Tzadok and who
approach to serve me,' says Adonai ELOHIM, 'a young bull as a sin
offering. 20 You are to take its blood and put it on the four horns of
the altar, on the four corners of the ledge and on the molding all the
way around; this is how you will purify it and make atonement for it. 21
You are also to take the bull which is the sin offering and have it
burned up at the designated place [on the grounds] of the house, outside
the sanctuary. 22 On the second day you are to offer a male goat
without defect as a sin offering, and they are to purify the altar as
they purified it with the bull.
the above describes a temple in heaven where there is no sun and moon,
how could you calculate a "day"? How and why would the altar need
purifying? Purifying from what? In heaven everything is pure!
light of Yeshua being the Sin sacrifice and the Great High Priest after
the order of Melchizedek (Psalm110:4, Hebrews 7:17), why bother
reverting back to a priesthood based on the descendents of Aaron?
Because it's the only way to interpret the verses that describe the
Levitical priesthood ministering in the temple described by Ezekiel and
So, please don't discount the sacrifices or confuse them with the one Yeshua made. YHWH hasn't forgotten about the rest....
The next question was: “What of the commands about a woman being unclean during her cycle?”
God expects us to use common sense. Back then, when that particular
command was given, women had no way of keeping clean in her time of nidah. And no one, male or female, in a state of spiritual or physical uncleanness could approach the tabernacle/Temple where YHWH dwells! Today, women can remain "clean" in their cycle.
Not to mention, we don’t live in “camps” where we can put women "outside
the camp"….People need to start realizing that many of the "613"
commands were for the priests of that day and some were only for men; some
only for women (i.e., to sleep outside the camp whenever they had their
periods - which made sense since in those days women had no way to keep
clean during their menstrual cycle); some commands were only for a certain point
in time or for a certain situation; and some were "forever" as indicated
in the verses that say "do this forever" or "this is to be a permanent
main ones that were meant for everyone were the ones YHWH eventually spoke as the Ten Commandments - which all pointed back to the
whole Torah. Yet, many Christians today believe they only have to bother with
TWO Commandments (love God and love your neighbor as yourself) without
ever connecting the fact that all Torah "hangs" on those two commands!
22:36. "Teacher, which Commandment in Torah is the greatest?" 37. And
Y'shua said to him, that "You should love Master YHWH your Elohim with
all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might and with
all your mind." 38. This is the first and the greatest Commandment. 39.
And the second is like it. That "You should love your neighbor as
yourself." 40. On these two commandments hang Torah and the prophets.
Torah HANGS on those two commandments. It doesn't say they REPLACED the
Torah! Most Christians don't mind adhering to the Ten Commandments
(even though they don't bother to keep even the Fourth Commandment
concerning the seventh-day Sabbath) which are part of Torah, as well.
Man has always liked to "pick and choose" when it comes to God's Word,
but it's time to realize that seventh-day Sabbath command, along with
His seven Biblical feasts were NEVER abolished - on the cross, or
anywhere else! There were parts of Torah that God said would endure
FOREVER - and the Seventh Day Sabbath and the Biblical Feasts are among
Timothy 3:16. All Scripture that was written by the Spirit is
profitable for instruction and for decisive refutation, and for
correction, and for deep extensive learning in righteousness; 17. that
the man of Elohim may become perfect and complete for every good work.
The next question was: “What about the commands against shaving?”
AENT author Andrew Gabriel Roth responds:
There are a few issues to look at here. First and foremost, we have the main argument that ALLOWS men to shave:
41:14 - Shows context: So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly
brought from the dungeon. When HE had shaved and changed his clothes, he
came before Pharaoh.
who is writing this narrative other than Moshe? Notice there is no
rebuke for Joseph ("he") shaving. There is no indication that he was
forced to either. I have read some very shoddy scholarship that
suggested the Egyptians did not allow beards, but this is totally WRONG
from evidence in their writings and on their tomb walls. Joseph would
not have been required to shave against his will to meet pharaoh!
As for Vayikra, look at this:
21: 5 "'Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of
their beards or cut their bodies. 6 They must be holy to their Elohim
and must not profane the name of their Elohim. Because they present the
offerings made to YHWH by fire, the food of their Elohim, they are to be
holy. 7 "'They must not marry women defiled by prostitution or divorced
from their husbands, because priests are holy to their Elohim 8 Regard
them as holy, because they offer up the food of your Elohim.
instruction applies to cohenim (priests); not all of Israel, and Joseph
was not a cohen. There are many requirements in Torah that apply to
small groups only - such as the Nazirite vow and not to the rest of the
nation. Other shaving rules apply to matters of cleanliness, against
skin disease, when ending a period of uncleanness, and so on. Here is
the clarifying passage in Devarim:
14: 1 You are the children of YHWH your Elohim. Do not cut yourselves
or shave the front of your heads for the dead, 2 for you are a people
holy to YHWH your Elohim. Out of all the peoples on the face of the
earth, YHWH has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
this is NOT a prohibition against just shaving. This is a prohibition
against shaving as part of a tatooing procedure for a pagan death
Now let's look at Leviticus 19:26-29:
"'Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. "'Do not practice
divination or sorcery. 27 "'Do not cut the hair at the sides of your
head or clip off the edges of your beard. 28 "'Do not cut your bodies
for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am YHWH. 29 "'Do not
degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn
to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.
the way the Hebrew reads, the WAW conjunction ("and") means BOTH
conditions must be true and there is a conjunction between 27 and 28. So
the commandment really is don't cut your beard WHILE doing this for the
Let's see it again:
14: 1 You are the children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves
or shave the front of your heads for the dead, 2 for you are a people
holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the
earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
See, this is the clearer reading, and it actually also interprets the Leviticus one.
you put this together with Devarim 14, it becomes clear that the
shaving and the pagan ritual are a continual process together. The
Hebrew reads to most scholars as linking the two, not separate and
fact, the Jewish Publication Society 1917 and 1955 readings of this
verse affirm that understanding, talking about "do not shave....EVEN as
you...WHILE you...". In any case, this is my understanding, that a NON
LEVITE member of Israel can shave. There are also medical exemptions
that require shaving as well. I would rather though stand on what I
began with, that if Moshe had a problem with shaving he would have
mentioned it in connection with Joseph.
is clear that everyone who is a KOHENIM must have a beard. For other
"leaders" it is kind of optional but there is a traditional trending to
for 99.9 percent of men, Torah is actually neutral on the matter. The
two key parts to understanding this are that Moses himself says that
Joseph shaved before Pharaoh and doesn't criticize it. Joseph, I must
emphasize, was NOT forced to shave or pressure to shave.
culture had no problem with either slaves or nobility appearing before
pharaohs with beards. We have tomb walls that prove that much and
pharaohs themselves both were clean shaven and had beards, fake beards,
and wigs. So if Joseph had no pressure to shave, and Moses himself
doesn't criticize Joseph for shaving (quite the opposite) it is only
logical to conclude that non-kohenim could keep their facial hair any
way they wanted to or want to. I myself am clean shaven.
the other hand, the commandment to not mar the corners of the beard is
grossly misinterpreted. This becomes a SYAG or "fence" that basically
says to play it safe it is NEVER problematic to have a beard, UNLESS you
are completing a Nazirite vow or in some cases of skin infection or
even in the case of mourning.
if someone disagrees with me, and thinks there is a general prohibition
against cutting the CORNERS of the beard, then by that definition, a
man can NOT have a goatee....
Wonderful, Carmen! Love your responses to these questions.ReplyDelete
For some of us, these things are not an issue; it just all makes sense without even really thinking about it. However, for those who are still in 'Christendom', it can be quite disconcerting and your erudite responses are bang on. Perfect to keep on hand for future reference.
Thank you, Sue!Delete