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Imagine that it's 50 AD, you're a disciple of Yeshua Mashiyach in Jerusalem and you happen to be a Cohen (priest). The knowledge of Mashiyach is spreading like wildfire, people everywhere are entering into the Joy of Mashiyach, they are putting away paganism and false religious tradition and living in newness of life. High ranking government officials and wealthy merchants are entering about the Malchut Elohim (Kingdom) and elevating righteous living. Many Temple Cohen and Leviim (Levites) are trusting in Yeshua as Mashiyach in harmony with YHWH, His Torah and His Mashiyach just like in Acts 6:7 "And the Word of Elohim increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests* were obedient to the faith." Then, one day (just imagine), the Cohen haGadol (High Priest) comes to you and says he's going out of town and leaving you in charge of the Temple.
Here you are, busy making preparations for the coming week, all excited, ready to take on the new job, you look at your watch and notice it's nearly supper time, you feel a bit hungry. If your taste is like mine, you would rather appreciate a medium-well rib eye steak (I like mine Chicago) or roast lamb with a baked potato, organic brown rice herb pilaf, butter fried string beans in ginger'n garlic, a glass of dark dry red and a big tossed salad... desert's for another time....
You are looking forward to something substantial (meat) for supper, you see many lovely healthy looking cattle and lambs being brought to the Temple and you're in charge... it's time to put the steak on the barbecue... BUT OOOOPS... WAIT A MINUTE!!!... an uncircumcised effeminate Greek philosopher with a big attitude comes along, waves his hand backwards and says...
"Hell-LO- oh, didn't you know the pseudo-messiah we invented
already did away with ALL the sacrifices?"
No more rib-eye from the Temple? OUTRAGEOUS! Who could believe such a thing? Yet, according to the theories and traditions of Western Christianity ALL of the temple sacrifices were done away with the very second Y'shua rose from the grave, but there are very severe problems with this scenario, especially if you are not vegetarian. However, even if you don't eat meat, you are still going to be at a loss to properly sanctify the fruit, grain, vegetables and nuts that sustain you.
First off, the word "sacrifice" was coined in 1225-1275 CE from "sacrificium", sacer is a Latin way of saying "holy" which gives you no clue whatsoever of the original intent or meaning of the word. The Greek interpretation also has very sad substitute for the original Hebrew terms for example. The Greek thusia or thuo simply means to slaughter and it was substitute word for Hebrew terms like; kalyil (perfect); zabach (slaughter); asah (do); olah (goes up); and korban (being close). It's very careless of translators and theologians who take five independent Hebrew words and translate them all into one term. As we can see, these five Hebrew terms are a long way from being truthfully translated into "sacrifice", it doesn't work which is why there is so much confusion and false teaching circulating around regarding "sacrifice". Let's take the word Korban which means to be close or draw close, the reality is that this magnificent Hebrew word is related to the giving of a gift, when you give a gift from the heart your heart is drawn to the recipient of the gift and their heart draws close to yours. We give gifts because we love to draw close, we show special intimacy with the other person and we do this on many different levels, giving different types of gifts in various contexts. Korban does NOT equal sacrifice, nor does the word sacrifice begin to do justice to the truth of Torah and the intent of Korban. In fact, the Hellenized post-apostolic Greek thinkers who formed the ideas of the Western Church could not have been so brutally ignorant as to make such error, no, they were anti-Semites, anti-Torah, anti-Jewish to the core so their blind hatred caused them to mutilate the beauty of many beautiful Hebrew concepts in efforts to overlay their Gnostic and Hellenized "theology".
Unfortunately, the post-Apostolic founders of the Roman Catholic Church, who did the translation work for Christian Bibles, came from pagan backgrounds where it was culturally common to appease their gods by surrendering something against their will, the pagans were fear-mongered by a pagan priesthood to give animals and even their children for sacrifice to their gods. This pagan thinking is very prominent within the modern Western Church who is not aware of the original Hebrew understanding of Korban and what YHWH originally intended for His own people. The difference is profound and in antipathy with each other.
Torah requires that there must be reconciliation between YHWH and the sinner FIRST, before making a sacrifice (or any kind of offering) or presenting a gift. A burnt offering allowed the sins of the sinner to be confessed on the head of the animal, the blood was sprinkled against the alter, the animal went up in smoke (an olah goes up). Certainly Yeshua has born the sins of the world, it's not necessary to lay hands on an animal and confess sin, not only not necessary but unbecoming and contrary to the PERFECT BLOOD of the LAMB. What is important here is the exchange between the sinner and YHWH before the sacrifice is even made! The animal itself is the symbol of restitution, intent and good will that the sinner returns to YHWH and the community.
Imagine giving a gift to someone you love very dearly and they look at you and say... "hey buddy, is one carat the best you can do? You can do better than that can't you?" Ok, you used to love them dearly right? Now you're bummed. It wasn't the diamond you were giving, it was a piece of your heart, the intent of your heart was to demonstrate your love and draw your hearts together in the common love you share for one another. No, this is not a poor example, Christianity has been offered a gift by YHWH but they are spitting on Him, how many examples would you like?
Imagine that someone who hates you invites you to their house for dinner and gives you a gift, a big basket of chocolates, cookies, nuts, dried fruits, wine and cheese! Wow!! You're thinking wow this is unbelievable, this person really has turned over a new leaf you feel very warmed, but your heart is screaming inside WATCH OUT!!! Then, just as you're leaving their house they say, "oh by the way, very sorry to bring this up, but I need to ask a very big favour and you are the only person I trust. I need 5,000 dollars to pay off the mafia or they are going to kill me in 72 hours." The gift was a very deceitful trap, they have no love for you but simply a plan to entrap you into lending them money you will never see again.
When we think about giving gifts everyone knows that the whole point is the truthful INTENT behind the gift, not the gift itself. When we love someone it is NO SACRIFICE to give a gift, giving of gifts is a very wonderful delight that warms our hearts and puts a glow of beautiful memories about our relationship with the other person, the gift brings back those memories. But, we can't force someone to have an open and loving heart towards us regardless of how many gifts we give them. YHWH has given us life, love and beauty to experience and He Commands that we love Him and keep His Commandments which are to protect and prosper us so then He also instructs us in how to make an exchange of love between us and Him.
The biggest ongoing problem within Christianity (and all other religions) is that sinners do all manner of sin against YHWH and each other and are not required to make restitution, either before or after they've "repented." Certainly within Christianity a person is required to pay something (tithes and offerings) to the priest, but what about restitution towards those offended? What about true conversion of heart that produces a delight to be obedient to YHWH's Word? What about "drawing close" (Korban) to YHWH so that we are protected in a love bond between us? No, what happens is Christians are offered a theology about Jesus and Grace so they can walk free of all their transgression and continue violating the Word of YHWH and other people, there is very little Korban. Even the idea of the intimate and humble reconciliation between parties is disdained by most Christians as old-fashioned, inconvenient and not theologically necessary. Jesus did it all for Christians so most continue to live like hellians because everybody else is doing it. (Hellians or shall we say Hellenists)
A trespass offering (Korban) is required when there is a breach of faith, when someone acts improperly and sins against that which is Set-Apart unto YHWH. Again, atonement can only be made after there is restitution, even on the day of Yom Kippur it was necessary that confession of sin be made before atonement is extended. The order of things has always been the key to understanding how we are restored unto YHWH after we have sinned, the whole matter rests on the intent of the heart that brought us into sin in the first place and the intent of the heart that must be restored between YHWH and us to bring us back into a right relationship with Him.
The "sacrifices" at the Temple were not only prescribed for sin and atonement but also for peace, goodwill, national offerings and they are also part of the food quality and inspection service YHWH requires of and for His people. History clearly shows how the dietary laws in Torah have protected YHWH's people from epidemics that effected the rest of the population. Today many struggle with all manner of disease that would easily be prevented had they acknowledged the dietary (sacrificial) laws and Torah requirements of food preparation. The "sacrifices" at the Temple are to be done according to YHWH's Torah, they serve as a model of animal slaughter, butchering and preparation for all Israel and the world, they are not "Jewish" but universal because all Torah is given according to Mashiyach. YHWH raised up Jews to receive His Torah and observe His Word but His Word belongs to Him and it is not "Jewish", Jews didn't invent Torah any more than Americans invented coffee or cocoa beans.
"Sacrifices" provided food for those who served in the Temple and sometimes for those who provided the animal, in the case of peace offerings it was a community celebration. Cohanim (priests) were given the breast and the right thigh for food, third year tithes during Succoth were reserved for all Israelites to enjoy together. If a person does not understand Torah requirements for sacrifice it is impossible for them to understand how YHWH intended the Temple to serve as a model of righteousness and of drawing close to YHWH and one another.
The ambience in the Temple was to be one of prayer and holiness, all who entered the Temple were to be ritually clean and have reconciled theirs transgressions with YHWH and one another. It was only in this context of reconciliation that sin "sacrifice" was made, if a person were to conceal sin from the Cohenim and their fellow man, it would soon be found out and they would be required to come clean. Everybody knows it's not so easy to admit transgression and mistakes, the priests and the Temple served to restore us to YHWH when we struggle with weaknesses of the carnal man within us. The Temple stood as a place where Israelites belonged with YHWH and one another, and there was blessing given by YHWH's Cohanim (Priests) to help everyone learn YHWH's intent to establish His unity and interdependence among His people. Without the knowledge of the Temple and the work of the Cohanim as prescribed by YHWH in His Torah, it would be impossible to jump the gap to understand the beauty of the MalkiTzedec priesthood in Mashiyach.
Most Christians go as far as hearing "animal sacrifice" and then reject everything Torah established within sacrifice and offerings. It is not consistent with the Name of YHWH that He would call men to be Cohanim and Leviim ONE day, then the next inform them that they were unemployed in His service. YHWH is our ETERNAL King of the Universe who established His own Priesthood. He doesn't need to change His own Word or "the Rules", it is incumbent upon us to understand what He desires for us and walk with Him. The Torah of YHWH is PERFECT converting the soul. The humanistic idea that YHWH is ever-changing and trying to figure out how to make up new and better Laws is laughable (mock-able).
YHWH isn't the ONE who needs to change, it is our understanding of Him that must grow and change and evolve, WE CHANGE to enter HIS PERFECT WILL. Those who have not been part of the commonwealth of the Israel of Elohim are they who must adapt to YHWH in every generation. YHWH does not change Torah to make people happy in their sin, that's what paganism teaches, pagans want to be "justified" in their paganism, they want to be affirmed in their rebellion against Torah. Neither Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul) or any of the disciples had the authority to "sanitize" sacrifices for the MESSIANIC ERA, this is very self serving theology that neither understands the Temple, the sacrifices, or MASHIYACH. The Temple stood for over 30 years after Yeshua ascended to His Father and His talmidim (disciples) "were continually in the Temple praising and blessing Elohim. Amen" (Luke 24:53).
The lies and confusion about "sacrifice" being taught in the churches today is an abomination to YHWH, let's investigate the Hebrew terms closer; kalyil (perfect or whole); zabach (slaughter); asah (do, fashion or make); olah (goes up); and korban (to come near or draw close). These terms are easily found in a Bible concordance and can be studied and investigated by any Bible student, don't take my word alone, learn for yourself so you understand the importance of true "Korban". For example zebach Strongs #2077 (used 153 places) , asa #6213 (2,286), olah #5930 (262), korban #7133 (78) (to understand korban see the prime root qarab #7126 (259) to come near), kaliyl #3632 (15). Together these words are used nearly 2,800 times in Scripture and clarify the beautiful elements of "sacrifice" and none of these concepts have been done away any more than love and intimacy has, unless you want to choose to rid yourself of solid Biblical teaching.
Why then did YHWH let the Temple be destroyed by the Romans if "sacrifice" is such a beautiful thing? The Temple was destroyed twice by essentially the same reason on both occasions. The priesthood had turned the Temple into something like a gambling parlour according to Jewish historians, the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees were in-fighting for political control over the people, they sought money and power at the backs of the people and cheated poor Israelites when they came to make sacrifice and offering. They used positions of authority to deny sacrifices, then turn and sell them for huge monetary profits to others, honest Israelites dreaded going to the temple and getting ripped off, the Rabbis and Priests had become like many used car, life insurance salesmen, creepy sleazy lawyers and TV Evangelists.
Christians have also made their own "sacrificial system" (whether they admit it or not), it happens when they pull out their credit cards and check-books and give money to their churches, and buy meat at the supermarkets. Christians pay their "sacrifices" then they carry the meat back home and barbecue it. Theologians see "shed blood", forgiveness, atonement, "sacrifice" as their "theology" a cerebral exercise, according to most Christians the Temple sacrifice instituted by YHWH had to be done away with, because you actually had to DO something, rather than intellectualize it. But most Christians eat meat, which is sacrificed (slaughtered) by someone, somewhere, probably by a pagan who doesn't confess the Name of YHWH as his Elohim and take precaution for your health. Christians go to supermarkets and buy steak and lamb, but their food has not been sanctified according to YHWH's instruction by those who slaughtered the animals or prepared the meat. Pagans are hot and heavy to curse the sacrificial temple service required by YHWH and His Torah because it is inconvenient to put forth safe and high quality meats and raise animals in a merciful and just way. The Temple service has always been and will always be about understanding and showing appreciation for what YHWH has done for us through His Mashiyach and also about how we are to understand and elevate human life, and we see this demonstrated through the life of animals that are respected and protected according to the Mercy of YHWH in His Torah. Acts 15:20 for example was given by the Ruach haKodesh specifically for non-Jews who were learning to follow Y'shua and of course "born again" Gentiles were to also abstain from blood and things strangled, this is part of the "sacrificial system" of Mashiyach.
The word "sacrifice" is extremely limited in it's ability to convey components of Mercy, Faith and Justice that is upheld by the office of the Cohanim and Leviim in the Temple service. Pagans pay tithes to pastors and gurus and eat all sorts of treif, pork, swine, pig, eel, snail, vultures, snakes, dogs, horses, and big macs, because their "theology" tells them their "sacrificial system" is more elevated than Torah. But the reality of course is that it's religious paganism, pagans cannot appreciate the Temple nor the sacrifices because they've been programmed to condescend to Jews, disregard Torah, avoid the Name of YHWH and annul the priesthood of YHWH, in favour of their own modernized "sacrificial" system and priesthoods. Not only is the true "sacrificial system" a great blessing and a delight but it protects life, it spreads wealth equally and elevates human worth at many levels and it's not so difficult to learn or employ that an average person can't experience and do what Torah requires.
A Cohen who follows Yeshua would not place his hands on an animal and confess the sins of the sinner upon it, he would look to Yeshua, he would not may prayer without confessing the Name of Yeshua as our sin bearer, it would NEVER happen, it's UNTHINKABLE. If someone were to walk up to the Temple and confess their sins and tell how they asked YHWH to forgive them and presented an animal as a gift, then what? No thanks? But if they could write a check and put it in the offering plate, give some cash or a Toyota then it would be acceptable? Good will is good will, regardless of the type or value of the good will, this is what is at the heart of the Sacrificial System. Without FAITH you can accomplish nothing in your relationship with YHWH, the fact is that your FAITH is demonstrated by exercising obedience. When YHWH required an animal offering for korban there is much more to this than what our minds can intellectualize, theorize or theologize about, simple obedience is an "energy field" of the Ruach haKodesh that brings Oness, Atonement and connection. What Christianity is doing today is akin to the sacrifices of Cain and Able, YHWH required a specific and certain sacrifice but Cain brought his own "alternative" religion.
Keep in mind that during the MalkiTzedec priesthood lamb and steak were on the menu, they even had REAL sour cream on their baked potatoe. Avraham clearly wasn't doing the rabbinical meat-milk thing (Avraham prepared milk and meat for one meal). There is much more that could be said about the various sacrifices as mentioned in Vayikra (Leviticus), we've barely scratched the surface. Christians might think their theology replaces the Word of YHWH, but in so doing they have neglected their own blessings. YHWH is the same yesterday, today and forever. Mashiyach didn't shed his blood and ascend to His Father so Christians could carry on eating pork blood sausages and defying the Word of the Living Elohim.
No, this paper is isn't so theologically complex and sophisticated that I suppose it will cause Christians to stop condemning the "sacrificial" system that YHWH gave, my hope is that Christians will THINK about WHO YESHUA is and what TORAH teaches. Even if Christians realize that ACTS 21:22-26 Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul) made sacrifice, it's still hard for them to understand that sacrifice in NO WAY negates Y'shua's blood on the torture stake. There was never an animal sacrifice that took away sin, not even the Set Apart sacrifices made on Yom Kippur, these were all shadows that pointed towards the ONE offering made for our atonement by the PERFECT LAMB who is Mashiyach. As difficult as this might be to understand, Yeshua's blood will not take away sin unless we have FAITH to believe in His Blood and we live for Him and turn from sin, it's just that simple. Rather if we look into the elements of "sacrifice" we see intimate elements of connection that YHWH intended to secure our personal relationship with Him.
Pagans or corrupt individual do not like to make restitution for wrongdoing, most of the time when they lie, cheat, steal, gossip and do abominable things, they are rarely required to make restitution to those they have hurt, never mind making it right with YHWH and giving something towards the honour of His name for restitution to Him. Pagans live by cheap grace that teaches sin has no consequences but that an ocean of Messiah's blood is always there to cleanse their wilful sins. Pagans see the Cohanim and Leviim as corrupt Jews who killed "the Christ". No, we're not diminishing souls of pagans, we're pointing out that... OOOPS, the pagans have a pagan way of looking at things. The sad thing is that pagans call themselves "believers", they believe in god the father, god the son and god the holy ghost, three gods, but choose to follow the son god. Their paganism teaches them that they can disregard "god the father" as passť and old, but Je-Zeus is the new and merciful god... yada, yada. The polytheistic nature of pagan Christianity is the basis of all division and denominationalism within the false Christian church system. Men raise up new denominations like Hollywood puts out new movies, the basis of pagan Christianity is polytheism which denies the One True Elohim whose name is YHWH and whose central Temple system is Universal, from Yerushalayim (not Rome, London, New York or LA).
Why are Christians critical of the sacrificial system that operated in YHWH's House of Prayer in Jerusalem? How many Levi and Cohen are there in Christianity who are qualified to make sacrifice in the Temple? NONE. They make a big deal about something they have no right to judge, they are not the ones chosen by YHWH to conduct Temple service. Many Christians barbecue meat but haven't drained the blood, don't salt the meat and didn't make sure the animal was slaughtered as unto YHWH and treated with mercy as is required by Torah and teachers like Rav Shaul, Peter and Ya'akov. It is important for followers of Yeshua to acknowledge that it is YHWH Who gave the life animals, Who kept them healthy and fed and nurtured them to become good food for us. It is important to be thankful and grateful to YHWH for a medium well-Chicago rib-eye steak in teriyaki sauce and where it came from. Maybe there are Christians who can relate to this? It's important for Christians to realize that it's not wise to speak evil against the "Sacrificial system" YHWH ordained. All Christians have their new improved "sacrificial system", which is to do what is right in their own eyes, eat, drink and be merry...
The fact of the matter is that it is the SACRIFICIAL system which showed us the reality of our sin and the necessity of MASHIYACH YESHUA, to come as Yeshua Ben Yoseph. If the Sacrificial system had not pointed to Mashiyach and his shed blood, there would be no understanding the atonement, forgiveness or redemption He made for us. Everybody knows that you can't have the cake and eat it... don't they? As Netzarim we do not speak evil of the Sacrificial system because we know that it was brought into existence by YHWH for many extremely important reasons. It is foolish and careless to say the sacrificial system which YHWH ordained was a curse, this is done in ignorance by those who do not understand. Food is an important thing, by appreciating food we understand a bit about surrendering our rights to YHWH, sharing our food with others and giving thanks to YHWH for what HE has given us. THIS is one of the aspects of the sacrificial system, yes it points to much greater things like forgiveness and atonement, but FOOD is what is used as a teaching tool. In other words, its not acceptable to toss around a bunch of words and theoretical theology about love in regards to what Mashiyach has done for us, without also giving something in return and what YHWH wants from is is clean hands and perfect hearts. We are required to be obedient and do YHWH's Commandments as our acceptable sacrifice unto Him, part of that obedience is how we understand and contribute by "sacrifice." The action of surrendering something of value to YHWH, giving to His Priesthood, giving to the poor, to widows, and to the fatherless is a demonstration of Covenant love. The requirements of showing mercy to animals, providing redemption of firstborn, sharing, equalizing and distributing wealth, upholding community social values, hygiene, health, food preparation and many more considerations were modeled in the sacrificial system in the Temple. The pagan world has undermined many of the values of the Temple sacrificial system and install it's own pagan priesthood and sacrificial system... which is destroying the planet.
Christians in the West spend about 98% of their tithes and offerings on themselves, they "sacrifice" unto themselves to build HUGE glass cathedrals, monstrous conferences and shows and entertainment, the finest of everything, the 10% cream of their religious tithes go toward making fat pastors and evangelists who go on crusades to build big global enterprises and churches. When Christians speak evil of the Temple and the Sacrifices this indicates how bankrupt their minds are when it comes to understanding YHWH and His Torah, they've missed the salient point, it's not about "theology". It's time to leave pagan things behind and enter into the riches of YHWH and His Mashiyach and understand the offerings and the value of giving and sharing administered by the priesthood of YHWH, not man.
If Rav Shaul (Apostle Paul) were to visit a modern "Christian community" he would seek to know the source of the meat before he sat down to eat it, contrary to conventional Christian rhetoric. An animal gives it's life and dies before it can be eaten, the "sacrificial system" was put in place by YHWH to elevate the value of human life to a higher notch than the pagan world knows. In so doing the value of animal life is also elevated to the point that a little lamb was brought into the homes of Egyptians and Israelites and cared for up to the point of it being slaughtered and eaten, it's blood marked the doorframe outside the home and brought salvation. Eating lamb on Passover is a reminder, sprinkling blood on your doorpost is a teaching tool. NO, it's not necessary to do, but it's not WRONG either. At no time in the history of humanity have righteous Jews put their faith in the blood of an animal to save them, ALL FAITH is placed in YHWH according to His Name and the Covenant He made by His Word in Torah. Think about it! The blood of sheep and goats could never take away sin, not from the very first to the last animal sacrifice made, the idea that an animal can take away sin is paganism. This is why it is telling of Christians who speak evil against the sacrificial system, it shows they have not understood that offering an animal is an act of faith, to draw their hearts closer and be obedient and show good will to YHWH. It's an act of gratitude, when someone does something good for you, maybe even you invite them over for dinner and fire up your barbecue.
YHWH be with you,
Baruch Ben Daniel
Note: That as of late fall 2005 and early 2006 the head of the Vatican (hill of divination), or the father of the demons, (whichever you prefer) has made a deal with the State of Israel to control more "holy sites" in Jerusalem. The pagan institution has bid for more world power to install it's injustice system from Jerusalem, a pseudo Messianic system birthed in hell. It is likely that the roman catholic institution will let the Jewish people build a pseudo-Temple under the governance of Rabbinical Judaism, even now Rabbinical Judaism is concocting new traditions to modernize sacrifices. Will it be a false religious system, yes in many ways, because if Yeshua is not acknowledged as Mashiyach they've got the old time "religion" that's been weighted in the balance by YHWH and Mashiyach and found wanting. The point is, let's not get Torah requirements confused with the Traditions of Scribes and Pharisees, these are often two different values and institutions. But it is also shameful to speak against the sacrifices of good will, peace, thankfulness and restitution made over an animal that becomes steak dinner for a group of people who are thankful to YHWH for all His provision, the greatest being MASHIYACH!
*Greek says cohanim (priests) Aramaic reads Yehudeans.
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