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Month 7:10, Week 2:2 (Shanee/Matzah), Year:Day 5936:187 AM
YOM KIPPUR SHABBAT, Yammim Nora'im #10 & Final Teshuvah
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 25 September 2012
Yom Kippur 2012
Repentance and War in Messianic Israel


    Introduction: A Most Unusual Festival

    Shabbat shalom and Chag Sameach Yom Kippur kol beit Yisra'el! The sun has set and risen again and we are gathered to commence the Day of Atonement, the only moed (appointment) of Yahweh which is observed from sunset to sunset over two biblical days rather than just one from sunrise to sunrise, the 9th and 10th days of the seventh month to be exact:

      "And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying: 'Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). It shall be a qodesh (holy, set-apart, sanctified) convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), to make atonement for you before Yahweh your Elohim (God). For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath" (Lev.23:26-32, NKJV).

    The Only Sunset to Sunset Moed of Yahweh

    Likewise, this is the only sabbath day from sunset to sunset in the whole calendar - all other sabbaths, new moons and annual festivals are from sunrise to sunrise on regular biblical days. Unlike these, Yom Kippur spans two days over a 24 hour period so that Yom Kippur is more-or-less two half-days tacked together unlike, for example, Yom Teruah (Trumpets/Shouting) which is a single day [1]. Thus the entire tavnith or pattern of Yom Kippur is unique - it is unlike any other assembly of Yahweh - weekly, monthly, annually, 7-yearly or 50-yearly. One of the great errors of Judaism and most of the Messianic movement is to treat every day like Yom Kippur by measuring time from sunset to sunset.

    A Criminal Investigation

    So why is Yom Kippur so different? Well, for one thing, Yom Kippur is not exactly a celebration or a party like Sukkot. It is a day of self-affliction or fasting to enable us to still the flesh to focus more intently on the spirit for a very sober activity indeed. It is the culmination of ten days of earnest repentance as we review our spiritual state as adjudged against Yahweh's Torah or Law to find out what sins we have not dealt with or taken care of, and to do something about it. Like a criminal investigation we are both examined by Yahweh, and are to examine our consciences under the guidance of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), to see whether or not we are perfectly right with Yahweh and to correct any deviations we may have taken from the Torah.

    The Symbolism of the Sunset Festival

    So why has Yahweh ordained that Yom Kippur begin at sunset as opposed to sunrise? Because the darkness of sunset is supposed to remind us our spiritual state of darkness when we are without Yahweh, to persuade us to seek His light. Yom Kippur gives us the opportunity to put that right by turning to Him, repenting, and obeying His mitzvot (commandments) through the atonement (kaparah) of His Son Yah'shua (Jesus). All the other moedim (appointments) of Yahweh begin with sunrise because they are connected to His glory, and not ours (or lack of it, in our case). He rested on the 7th day sabbath, He is the head of the month, He is our Passover (1 Cor.5:7), He is the firstfruits of the resurrection (1 Cor.15:25), He is the Davar (Word) and Torah (John 1:1), He is the one coming back, and He is the One whose Marriage it is at the end (Rev.19:7,9). Only at Yom Kippur is this primarily about us getting right with Him even though it is His Son's atonement that enables the forgiveness of those coming up to this festival when they seek with pure levim (hearts), having real intent.

    The Miracle of Yom Kippur

    Though we come to our Elohim (God) in the darkness of sin at sunset and throughout the night of wrestling, there is a sunrise the next morning for those who repent! What is amazing about Yom Kippur is, in my view, that it contains a sunrise at all, for we most assuredly deserve to perish in our sins. And yet Yahweh allows us to make a U-turn at Yom Kippur, so that we can have shalom (peace) with ourselves, with others and with our Elohim (God). And the key to this state of shalom (peace) is a very simple one: forgive and forget - and move on! This is the day that Yahweh commands us to forgive and forget or accept the consequences because beyond Yom Kippur there is only hell or paradise, depending on the choice we make. So important is this day - and especially the very last Yom Kippur of our mortal lives that we are to treat it as a sabbath and to devote ourselves to nothing other than repentance. We are to turn to Yahweh-Elohim, afflict our beings by fasting, confess, repent, forgive, be forgiven, and move on to the next pool and so keep on growing in grace and emet (truth) (Jn.1:14,17). That is the formula for Yom Kippur. What we do on this day, when we have learned to do it perfectly, is supposed to be a model for repentance for every day of our lives, and especially on each sixth day of the week as we recapitulate this moed (appointment). Yom Kippur is therefore a vital part of our spiritual training and devlopment. Without it, there is no final deliverance or salvation.

    From Western Sunset to Eastern Sunrise

    We have to receive our inheritance from Yahweh by facing "eastward, toward the sunrise" (Num.34:15, NKJV), but we can never do that until we have first acknowledged that there is a 'westward' dimension to our life called sin, which we must turn away from, and face instead the "sun of righteousness" (Mic.4:2, NKJV) to the east, which is Yah'shua (Jesus) our Messiah.

    National Repentance and Priesthood Weighing

    But Yom Kippur is more than personal repentance - it is also national repentance. It is making teshuvah (repentance) for the whole of Messianic Israel, the Body of Christ, for all those who have confessed and been regenerated by the new birth but who yet struggle with issues and stumble and fall. As a community of talmidim (disciples) this is for us also the 'Day of Weighing' when all those who hold the priestly office in Messianic Israel, from the apostles to the deacons, are examined by their mentors to determine whether or not they are worthy to continue holding their office for another year. For Messianic Evangelicals in particular, this is a day with wide ramifications for the actual congregations. And just as governments reshuffle their cabinets from time to time, so this is the time local congregations, bishoprics, and even the apostolate itself may be 'reshuffled' based on the priesthood weighing that takes place. By this means Yahweh's priesthood is kept accountable and is cleansed.

    Recognising Sin

    There is not a living soul who can claim that he or she has no need of Yom Kippur. There is no one who has lived such an excellent life that they can proclaim their sinlessness and therefore say they have no need of atonement. John said:

      "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the emet (truth) is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His davar (word) is not in us" (1 John 1:7-2:1, NKJV).

    Yom Kippur Under the Old Covenant

    Once a year at Yom Kippur under the Old Covenant, the Cohen Gadol (High Priest), wearing the garments of his priesthood office, entered the qodesh (holy, set-apart) 'Holy of Holies', the only place on the entire planet where Yahweh dwelt (Lev.16). Carrying blood from the sacrificial animals, He would sprinkle the Mercy Seat or Ark of the Covenant with it, fervently praying all the while that Yahweh would not reject the sacrifice made on behalf of the nation of Israel and strike him dead. Meanwhile, outside, the people would have gathered in eager expectation, all ordinary life having stopped, as they one and all mourned for their sins, hoping and praying that the sacrifice made on their behalf by the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) would be accepted.

    The Cancelling of Debts

    Now Yom Kippur was also the anniversary date of the Jubilee year (Lev.25:9-10) when, every 50 years, all debts were cancelled, prisoners were set free, and ancestral lands that had been sold were returned to their original owners. Yah'shua (Jesus) as our eternal Cohen Gadol (High Priest) in Heaven likewise cancels all the debts of those who come to Him with genuinely penitent levim (hearts), making such restitution as they are able, and recovenanting to obey all the terms of the New Covenant in Messiah. We are not permitted to shift the blame of our transgressions onto others, making innocent people our scapegoats. If we do, we will be forced to carry these sins alone for the rest of our lives and, if we do not repent by the time of our death, on into hell as well. That is why hell 'burns' because we are taking upon ourselves our own sins and receiving our just punishment...which we can never hope to pay for, of course. This makes me think of all the banksters who have stolen trillions from the people - it would be like them working in servitude to pay back the last cent in honest labour for all they stole for it would take them thousands of years to do so. That is an emet (truth) and a consequence they will have to face one day if they do not repent.

    The Three Obligations of Man to Elohim and His Fellow Man

    Genuine repentance consists of three obligations on our part and these are helpfully listed for us in Psalm 51. Lets take a look at them and remind ourselves:

      "Have mercy upon me, O Elohim (God), according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin" (Ps.51:1-2, NKJV).

    In other words, (1) we are to accept responsibility for our behaviour by acknowledhing our sins.

      "For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight -- that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge" (Ps.51:3-4, NKJV).

    In other words, (2) we are to make teshuvah (repent), then ask forgiveness, and offer restitution to the injured party which is always Yahweh first and foremost but also to other people we may have wronged.

      "Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim (God), and renew a steadfast ruach (spirit) within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) from me" (Ps.51:10-11, NKJV).

    In other words, (3) we are to change our worldly way of life into a Torah-obedient lifestyle because that is the only way we can effectively avoid sin. Why is that so important? Because we are commanded not to commit that sin again:

      "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the emet (truth), there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries" (Heb.10:26-27, NKJV).

    How Godly Character is Built Up

    Diligent study of the Davar (Word) increases knowledge and, as we implement it, builds up our character and shem (name) - our standing before Yahweh and before righteous men. As we do this in emunah (faith), then grace, ahavah (love), gentleness, temperence, patience, long-suffering, modesty, forgiveness, generosity, emet (truth), cheefulness, and every gospel virtue steadily builds up in us, making us into new, vigorous and sanctified men and women well-pleasing to Yahweh. But to do this successfully, we have to learn to be consistent and that perhaps is one of the most important lessons we learn throughout life - not being double-minded (with all the instability that brings) and not being careless in thoughts, feelings, words and actions. It requires discipline. It requries discipleship. We are not to just spew out lava randomly like a volcano but must exercise deliberate self-control in Yah'shua (Jesus).

    The Price of Forgiveness is Death

    We constantly make mistakes, as we have seen, unintentionally sinning, and it is here that Yah'shua (Jesus) as our Cohen Gadol (High Priest) steps in and provides the blood covering for our sins so that Yahweh no longer sees them. And we must never forget that in order to provide this for us He had to DIE. One of the reasons we fast is to show deep respect for what He did for us, His willingness to be punished in our stead. Are you in any doubt that the first believers did this? Have you been told by ill-informed and deceived ministers that we are no longer to observe Yom Kippur or any of Yahweh's moedim (appointments)? Do not listen to them! Three decades after the death and resurrection of our Master, the talmidim (disciples) were observing this qodesh (set-apart, holy) annual fast:

      "Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast (Yom Kippur) was already over..." (Acts 27:9a, NKJV).

    The Right Way to Fast

    The Fast is always Yom Kippur. This is one of the many proofs in the B'rit Chadashah Scriptures (New Testament) that Messiah did not abolish the festivals of His Father! Those who belong to the Nation of Messianic Israel and not to some lawless 'church' should be making this a national day of atonement! But this is not some ritual thing we do which is why I always instruct my family and congregations to only do this if you mean it. We are not to fast hypocritically [2]. How, then, are we to do it? What is the essential spiritual component that makes the physical fast meaningful? When we are fasting to Yahweh we are not simply abstaining from food and drink for 24 hours - we are petitioning Yahweh to clease our inner being of all sin, like a 'spring clean' (or better, 'autumn/fall' clean) of the spirit, so that when this is done, we bring glory to the Father and our act of ahavah (love) is recorded in the heavens. We fast to get right with Yahweh. We fast in order to make our repentance complete. Part of that involves obeying the mitzvot (commandments), made real by cleansing our thoughts, feelings and actions from all wickedness - expunging every filthy word, every hurtful desire. To fast is to divorce ourselves completely from the vanity of the Babylonian world system which even as I speak now is crumbling into ruin around us and displaying more and more of its ugliness anmd wickedness.

    Fasting, Detoxification, Losing Weight and Making a Financial Offering

    There are many who contribute the money saved from not eating to some worthy charity or ministry. One of our favourites in the past has been to give an offering to orphanages - there are plenty crying our for help all over the world. And of course you don't need me to remind you of the health benefits of intelligent fasting. Not only does fasting detoxify the body and help you rebuild your immune system [3], but it also detoxifies the mind and lev (heart) when it is in Yah'shua (Jesus)!

    Those of you who have worked hard to lose weight will know what I am talking about from the perspective of repentance being hard work! It isn't easy and initially it may not always be pleasant, but when it works, there is cause for rejoicing! I have noticed the benefits of the change in my diet, and even though I have a long way to go, I am definitely better off for it. Repentance may seem a strange thing to the world which so exalts pride but it is actually as natural as a spiritual detoxification. Repentance is good for the soul and should be sought after with enthusisasm! But then I suspect part of the problem lies with the way it had been presented by religious but not unspiritual people over the ages.

    Repentance from Entanglements with the World System

    We have seen that repentance or spiritual detoxification is good for spiritual health and well-being. But it's also important for something else for those seriously about not only surviving in the world but actually in overcoming it. Paul said:

      "You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier" (2 Tim.2:3-4, NKJV).

    Soldiers Immersed in Messiah

    We are soldiers on a permanent war footing. We are enlisted members of a heavenly army to which we are supposed to give our full loyalty. This means not getting "entangled" in the affairs of the world. The word 'entangle' [4] means 'get caught up in' as one might get stuck in a mesh. In other words, we are never to be 'in' the world to such an extent that we cannot easily get out of it. And I don't just mean physically. What I mean is that we are never to be involved in the world system to such an extent that it becomes desirable or a part of our character or personality. We must be like the waterproofed feathers of the back of a duck, repelling the world whilst moving through it in order to serve the Master. Once that waxy waterproofing coat has gone, we're in trouble and will start sinking into a medium - the world - that will ultimately cause us to drown. That covering is the kaparah which is the covering of Yom Kippur - the covering of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). It's our spiritual armour. It's our whole life in Yah'shua (Jesus) - our total immersion or baptism into Him.

    The Kaparah as Covering and Payment

    Now this word kaparah, from which we get the word kippur, is interesting because it not only means 'covering' but also 'payment' [5]. Yah'shua (Jesus), by His sacrificial death, brought about kaparah for Israel - that is, for all those who accept His Kingship of Israel and who obey the laws of Israel - the Torah. Atonement is made on behalf of those who trust and obey the King of Israel, not the Pope of Rome, the Mormon Prophet, the leaders of charismatic churches, or any other man's doctrine or philosophy.

    Crime and Punishment

    The Torah plainly teaches that all crime merits punishment, which punishment must include restitution or making compensation:

      "Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel: 'When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit in unfaithfulness against Yahweh, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess the sin which he has committed. He shall make restitution for his trespass in full, plus one-fifth of it, and give it to the one he has wronged. But if the man has no relative to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution for the wrong must go to Yahweh for the cohen (priest), in addition to the ram of the atonement with which atonement is made for him" (Num.5:5-8, NKJV).

    When Torah was being perfectly lived, there were no prisons in Israel. Justice was swift and fair. Thus if a man stole 100 shekels worth of gold, he would be required immediately to make restitution, plus one-fifth or 20%, so he would pay the one he robbed 120 shekels. If he couldn't afford to, he would be forced to become an indentured servant to the one he robbed until he had paid off his debt. Imagine makiing the banksters indentured servants to the people they have defrauded! They would be menial servants for life, the very rôle they have planned ordinary folk to occupy.

    The Relationship Between Forgiveness and Restitution

    To understand the atonement we must properly understand Yahweh's Torah. Most antinomians (lawless Christians) are of the mistaken belief that s'lichah (forgiveness) somehow negates restitution. Forgiveness and restitution are two different things. Yahweh is always generous upon our repentance to freely forgive, pardon and show mercy, but there must always be a kaparah or payment (covering). In the Besorah (Gospel) you cannot simply ask the one you have wronged to forgive you and expect to avoid paying damages, as, for example, when an injury is inflicted. Divine forgiveness has always been available through confession and repentance (Ezek.18) but there is always a need to make amends or reparation in order to satisfy the Torah teaching of atonement (Lev.16; Num.15; Dt.32:39-43). '

    The Prophecy of Caiphas

    This is why the animal sacrifices were instituted by Yahweh under the Old Covenant, being shadows of the permanent and eternal sacrifice of the Son of Man, given voluntarily by Him. He died to give Israel kaparah for their sins. Even unbelieving Caiaphas prophesied this principle without understanding what it meant:

      "Caiaphas, being Cohen Gadol (High Priest) that year, said to them, 'You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.' Now this he did not say on his own toqef (authority); but being Cohen Gadol (High Priest) that year he prophesied that Yah'shua (Jesus) would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of Elohim (God) who were scattered abroad [6]" (John 11:49-52, NKJV).

    The Divine Exchange

    Yah'shua (Jesus) voluntarily exchanged His righteous nefesh or soul (physical) life for the unrighteous life of Israel in the place of repeating animal sacrifices. This process of exchange was offered in the name of kol beit Yisra'el - all the House of Israel - as restitution for damages against Yahweh and the Shavu'ot (Pentecost) Contract, namely, Israel's Betrothal Contract, the Torah:

      "[Yah'shua/Jesus] wiped away the bill of charges against us. Because of the regulations, it stood as a testimony against us; but He removed it by nailing it to the [cross]" (Col.2:14, JNT/CJB).

    Moses as a Sin-Offering

    Since Israel had no way of paying her sin-debt to Yahweh, this had to be done [7]. Indeed did not Moses, who understood this principle, offer himself on behalf of the sins of rebellious Israel?

      "Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, 'You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to Yahweh; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.' Then Moses returned to Yahweh and said, 'Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves an elohim (god) of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin -- but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.' And Yahweh said to Moses, 'Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Malak (Angel) shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin" (Ex.32:30-34, NKJV).

    The Greater Plan

    Of course, Moses could not have made an eternal atonement because he was not Elohim (God) but he well understood the principle of kaparah and accordingly offered his life in exchange for Israel as restitution. But Yahweh refused because He had a greater plan which Moses and other prophets could only guess at:

      "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many nevi'im (prophets) and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it" (Matt.13:16-17, NKJV).

    The Unfolding of Mysteries in Season

    I am often asked why certain mysteries that have been revealed in our time (such as the full revelation of the Elohimhead/Godhead) are not spelled out clearly in the Scriptures but only hinted at, and this is the reason. There are ordained times and seasons for these things to be made known in the sovereign will of Yahweh. Yah'shua (Jesus) was able to satisfy the demands of the Torah to make a proper atonment which Moses, being a sinful mortal, could not. Nevertheless, the fact that Moses offered to do this makes Him a favoured servant of El Elyon (the Most High), a principle Yah'shua (Jesus) doubtless had in mind when He said:

      "This is My mitzvot (commandment), that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you" (John 15:12-14, NKJV).

    Illustrating the Atonement

    Avi ben Mordechai paraphrases the concept like this:

      "Father in Heaven, I voluntarily want to fulfil Your plan to provide an atonement exchange with Israel - transfer my righteousness to their account so that according to Your Torah, the judgment for their capital crimes can be satisfied and paid in full. Allow me to receive their deserved penalty of karet (spiritual excision) as required by the written Torah. I desire to satisfy their death judgment with my soul life. Spare all Israel and restore them to their rightful place of honor among the nations. Fulfil Your good Word to the Patriarchs that you would give their descendants the inheritance of the Land that you promised them. Although Israel rightly deserves death, I gladly want to gain atonement for them through My life. Thus, I am offering My blood, my soul life in place of theirs, that they might have a clean slate to begin again, and never return to the idolatry and ways of their fathers" [8].

    Yah'shua (Jesus) took the "old man" of Israel's [9] Torah rebellion to the grave and resurrected a new man of righteousness.

    The Bank Account Analogy

    So how does this kaparah or atonement work in real terms? Avi Ben Mordechai provides a useful analogy:

      "Suppose that you are a worthless person with no kindness, no morals, no values, no love for anyone, no desire or conviction to keep [Yahweh's] commandments. Furthermore, because of your bad choices in life, your bank account is deeply in the minus, so much that you are essentially bankrupt and unable to make even one payment towards the debt. Now, suppose you were notified that someone came along, unknown to you, and satisfied the debt, made restitution for you, and turned your account into an asset account in good standing. But, in order to get full credit in your account, you were required to meet some conditions. You were required to ammend your ways and to learn to keep [Yahweh's] commandments. What would you do? I would think that you would want to act on such a gift by turning your life around.

      "Suppose the same basic scenario existed as above, but in this case, because of your empty debt-filled life and unwillingness to amend your ways, you always treated the news of the deposit with great scorn. Whenever you received bank statements showing the deposit with its conditions for acceptance, you always threw them away, because you were unwilling to change your ways. Perhaps, in a similar scenario, you willingly accepted the deposit and only pretended to meet the conditions, but in fact never changed. In either case, it would not modify the fact that the debt had been paid; it would not alter the fact that the transaction, in reality, occurred. So what happens? The deposit made to your credit will just sit there, waiting for you to accept it and meet its conditions requiring you to amend your ways; to turn your worthless behavior into righteous behavior, keep [Yahweh's] commandments, and start anew. But, if your time is up and you go to your grave without ever having taken the gift with its conditions for change, then it becomes your loss. In other words, use it or lose it.

      "Now, let us take a look at how this analogy might translate for us in the [New Covenant]. [Yah'shua/Jesus] made a large deposit of an asset called righteousness, into your name. It follows the pattern of what Moses tried to do for the nation after the incident of the golden calf, but [Yahweh] had another plan for a prophet like Moses to complete the transaction at a later time. Because of [Yah'shua's/Jesus'] status, producing the transfer of an asset called righteousness to your credit, your name is penciled into the Book of Life. Why only penciled in? Because with this gift, you have a choice. If you accept the righteousness with its conditions for change then your name is permanently written into the Book and you will gain entry into the resurrection and coming kingdom of [Messiah], when that time arrives. If you never repent and never return to [Yahweh] and His commandments, as [Yah'shua] taught, but you continue in the religious traditions and ways of your unrepentant fathers, then even though there was full credit made to your account and it is waiting for your acceptance signature, it will nonetheless fade away with your death, and when [Messiah] comes to establish Messianic rule, you will be refused entry into His Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven (Dan.12:1-2; Mt.7:21-23; Mt.25)" [10] [11].

    Agreeing to the Covenant

    Now Mordechaai makes no distinction between the first and second resurrections, nor does he have any concept of universal graded salvation, so the illustration is limited somewhat. But we'll not get into that today. Nevertheless the concept is a theologically sound one and explains well the biblical notion of kaparah or atonement (payment). The key emet (truth) here is that, on the one hand, we cannot under any circumstances earn our salvation or atonement by doing anything (including living the Torah), but on the other, we cannot be antinomian (lawless) either - we are required to agree to obey (by covenant) the heavenly mandated New Covenant Torah lifestyle as a condition and then receive our final reward in terms of how we lived up to the conditions when we come to the final Yom Kippur.

    When Dogs Return to Their Vomit

    Peter explained this same idea slightly differently when he wrote of those who fail to live up to the Torah terms:

      "For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Master (Lord) and Deliverer (Saviour) Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the qodesh (holy, set-apart) mitzvah (commandment) delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: 'A dog returns to his own vomit,' and, 'a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire'" (2 Peter 2:18-22, NKJV).

    Get Disentangled!

    Which brings us back to the necessity of remaining unentangled by the world which, if we fail to do, will drag us down into its depths and spiritually drown us, making us enemies of the Messianic King, Yah'shua (Jesus), and the people of Messianic Israel. To make Yom Kippur work for us and to qualify as the Messianic Bride - the children of the first resurrection - we must fully repent and live qodesh (holy, set-apart, separated) lives to Yah'shua (Jesus) and His Torah. There is no other choice. Each year this festival will come around to challenge you to make that choice if you have not - to live up to your Shavu'ot covenant - your betrothal covenant and spiritual anointing - to become sons and daughters of Torah in addition to being the blood-purchased children of Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) as represented by Pesach (Passover) infused with resurrection life as represented by Yom haBikkurim (Firstfruits).

    We are at War, So Declare It and Fight It

    Whether we like it or not, we are in a state of permanent war so long as we are down here on earth because the Enemy is constantly waring agasinst us directly and through his proxies. There's really no choice in the matter but if we repent we do have the option of having shalom (peace) and simcha (joy) within at the same time. So let us go to war against sin and against the powers and principalties seeking our downfall!

      "The sons of Aaron, the cohenim (priests), shall blow the [twin silver] trumpets; and these shall be to you as an ordinance forever throughout your generations. When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before Yahweh your Elohim, and you will be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your Elohim: I am Yahweh your Elohim" (Num.10:8-10, NKJV)

    We blow the silver trumpers in spirit when we make declarations of scriptural emet (truth) in emunah (faith)...which is why we must be immersed in Scripture study!

      "Now also many nations have gathered against you, who say, 'Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion'. But they do not know the thoughts of Yahweh, nor do they understand His counsel; for He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor" (Micah 4:11-12).

    The Three Proclamations

    This Yom Kippur I have three spiritual war proclamations to make. Our enemies seek our destruction still and though we have lost a few battles we shall not lose the war because Yahweh has promised us victory [12].

    • 1. I declare in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name our enemies to be defeated on account of the immutable Davar Elohim (the Word of God), given twice, and utterly renounce their false claims, lies, and attempts to destroy myself, my family and this ministry over these many years, but especially in the last few months - rather I proclaim Yahweh's victory over them and claim back all that was stolen from me;

    • 2. I declare in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name the judgment-to-come of these rebels as a sign, not of our righteousness, which is as nothing, but of the irresistability of Yahweh and His righteousness, whose account we are drawing from, and not our own. And May Yahweh have mercy on their wicked souls and bring them to salvation and to restoration if they will desist from their wickedness and call upon His Name with real intent for pardon and redemption. For ours is a loving Elohim (God), who does not delight in the destruction of the wicked, but would rather that all men and women everywhere receive His Son and obtain deliverance, shalom (peace) and simcha (joy); and

    • 3. I hereby publicallty declare my forgiveness of them and their evil done to me and my household, freely and unreservedly, hard though this is, and in spite of the pain and anger, just as Yah'shua (Jesus) has forgiven me of my sins even though I did not deserve it.

    I wish to also at the same time wish to make a similar declaration on behalf of friends of mine, whose son was ruthlessly kidnapped from them by the Swedish state. This whole family have been crushed nigh unto death and cannot take much more. So I declare on their behalf, with their agreement, the release of their son, as I do my own taken from me under different though related circumstances, that their son, and my own, be released back to our families in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name.

    These are not requests to those who have done these evils, they are demands issued as de jure declarations rooted in Yahweh's will and in His righteousness according to Scripture being made manifest de facto (in actual fact) through emunah (faith) according to the supernatural power of the Master of this Universe. This proclamation states unequivocably that the day of grace for the perpetrators of these evils is over and that the time of judgment has come, the sword of justice falling however Elohim (God) chooses. These declarations are based squarely on the Torah rights and privileges of believing fathers and husbands and on the confirming Davar (Word) of Yahweh.


    As we meditate on these things this afternoon and strive to get right with Yahweh through repentance, let us return later with renewed levim (hearts) for a final word and the concluding Neilah prayers at sunset this evening [13]! Amen.


    I welcome you back for this short concluding service in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. I think we are all agreed that we are now on the brink of enormous change for this ministry and that this Yom Kippur will be remembered by us in days to come as an important marker of it. I personally have experienced an enormous strength enter me yesterday evening and night as I was preparing this morning's sermon in the wake of a temporary setback. It reminds me of a davar (word) that Yahweh gave me two morning's ago when He said, with obvious reference to the stars and His enormous power: "Millions, millions in the sky". We sometimes forget how vast He is in comparison to our own miniscule problems and the obstacles we face which nonetheless seem so great to us. We need to readjust our perspective from time to time. A right view of the atonement, which we discussed earlier, goes a long way in helping us do that.

    Let us now individually, and collectively as families, congregations and the whole Nation of Messianic Israel, recite the Neilah prayers as we make our final plea to Yahweh for forgiveness and at the same time renew our covenants to be faithful here onwards.

    The Concluding Neilah Prayers

    O Yahweh, Elohim of our fathers! Let our prayers come before You, through Yah'shua our Deliverer, and do not hide Yourself from our supplication. What shall we say to You who dwell on High? You know all things, both hidden and revealed. You search our levim (hearts) and thoughts. Nothing is hidden from Your sight. We are not so arrogant nor hardened to say, 'We are righteous and have not sinned.' For truly we have sinned. We have turned away from the good mitzvot (commandments) You have given us. You are righteous and true in all Your ways, but we have done evil in Your sight. Thank You, our Heavenly Father, and Elohim of our fathers, that You forgive all our sins, pardon all our iniquities, and grant atonement for all our transgressions through the blood of Yah'shua the Messiah.

    For it is written: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". 'Return O Israel to Yahweh-Elohim, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to Yahweh. Say to Him, "Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously, that we may present the fruit of our lips."'

    We repent for the sin we committed in Your sight by:

    • sinning wilfully, and for the sin we committed in ignorance.
    • slander, and for the sin of lashon hara or gossip.
    • neglecting our responsibilities, and for the sin of selfishness.
    • indulging evil thoughts, and for the sin of lust.
    • being lukewarm, and for the sin of not loving You with all our hearts and souls.
    • not hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and for the sin of not being poor in spirit.
    • not being merciful, and for the sin of withholding when we could have given.
    • speaking foolish words, and for the sin of not controlling our tongues.
    • not loving our neighbours, and for the sin of not blessing our enemies.
    • not turning the other cheek, and for the sin of practising our righteousness before men.
    • being proud, and for the sin of lack of zeal.

    For the sin we committed in Your sight knowingly, and for the sin we committed unknowingly. For all these, O Elohim of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, and grant us atonement in Yah'shua the Messiah.

    For the sin we committed in Your sight by:

    • not walking as Yah'shua walked, and for the sin of not being filled with Your Ruach.
    • loving the world, and for the sin of loving the things in the world.
    • putting other things before You, and for the sin of idolatry.
    • not praying at all times, and for the sin of not being thankful.
    • not being quick to forgive, and for the sin of holding resentments.
    • not going the second mile, and for the sin of impatience.
    • not doing unto others as we would have them do unto us, and for the sin of greed.
    • being anxious about the things of this life, and for the sin of not trusting You to provide for all of our needs.
    • setting our minds on the things below, and for the sin of not setting our minds on things above.

    For all these, O Elohim of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, and grant us atonement in Yah'shua the Messiah. Amen.

    Shofar haGadol

    (Final blowing of the ram's horn).

    I hereby declare Yom Kippur at an end, in Yah'shua's Name. Amen!


    [1] "Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh''" (Lev.23:23-25, NKJV). Notice that this festivals is not observed from one sunset to another sunset over a two day period like Yom Kippur but, like all other regular days of the year, is observed over one single day, from sunrise to sunrise, even though it is of approximately the same length of time as single day moedim like Pesach (Passover), Yom haBikkurim (Day of Firstfruits), Shavu'ot (Pentecost/Weeks), Shemini Atseret (the Last Great Day), Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) and the weekly Shabbat (Sabbath). Thus Yom Kippur is not a regular biblical day but two days split down the middle and the two halves joined to make a single moed.
    [2] Isaiah 58; Matthew 6:16-18
    [3] Obviously you should not fast when you are ill as this will make you more sick.
    [4] Greek empleko, to 'entwine', from a root pleko used of a hair braid.
    [5] It's also related to the Jewish kippa or skull-cap (originally the pagan Hat of Hermes) which is a partial head-covering.
    [6] Not primarily a physical gathering (at elast not at that time) but a spiritual one, expanding the borders of the nation of Israel to include gentiles grafted into the nation through trusting King Messiah and obeying the Torah...the definition of a true Christian.
    [7] The idea that a sin-debt could be paid by a very righteous human being is not as alien to Judaism, corrupt though it is, as the rabbis would have you believe - see Brachot 62b and Mo'ed Katan 28a as two examples from the Talmud.
    [8] Avi Ben Mordechai, Galatians: A Torah-Based Commentary in First Century Hebraic Context (Millennium 7000 Communications Publication, Jerusalem: 2005, p.232.
    [9] By Israel I do not mean the 'Jewish people' but all those who accept Yah'shua (Jesus) as Messiah and submit to the Torah lifestyle, whether they be natural-born Hebrews or grafted-in Gentiles. For a detailed exegesis of this area of considerable confusion in Christendom, please see my important 5-part series, Jacob's Trouble.
    [10] Avi Ben Mordechai, op.cit., pp.234-235
    [11] Also see the Once Saved, Always Saved
    [12] See Shabbat Shuvah 2012: Prophetic Day of Judgment is Imminent.
    [13] One of the brethren has made the claim that Yom Kippur is not 'sunset-to-sunset' but is, rather, as the scripture points out, "erev (evening) to erev (evening)" (Lev.23:32), and that these two are not necessarily the same. He sites the work of Samuel Thompson in support. However, the word erev is related to a root 'arav which definitely means 'dusk' or 'sundown', so the most reasonable interpretation is, in our view, that erev means sunset. For that reason we are sticking with the sunset exegesis.


    [1] Errol Müller, The Mystical Rites of our Creator (White Stone Communications, Lake Worth, Florida: 2009
    [2] Avi Ben Mordechai, Galatians: A Torah-Based Commentary in First Century Hebraic Context (Millennium 7000 Communications Publication, Jerusalem: 2005

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