Korban: A Sacrificial Present

Korban: A Sacrificial Present

What does the Hebrew word korban mean?

Our Hebrew word for today is קֹרְבָּן (korban), which occurs in the Bible with the following translations: offering (68x), oblation (12x), offered (1x), sacrifice (1x).

The korban was presented as a remedy for the guilt of sin. But sin itself has many different translations. It occurs 448 times in 389 verses in the KJV. Translated as trespass, it occurs 82 times in 73 verses. Transgression occurs 51 times in 50 verses, iniquity occurs 278 times in 262 verses.

Then there are offerings, קָרְבָּן. Although translated as a sacrificial present, there was an elaborate system of offerings to deal with sin in the Hebrew scriptures, but just one in the New Testament. That one, of course, was the ultimate sacrificial offering made by God Himself, in the person of Yeshua ben haElohim (Jesus the Son of God).

Let’s look first at the differences among the translations for sin.

The result of continuous, unrepentant sin is a reprobate mind. Here is how reprobate is defined:

noun

depraved, unprincipled, or wicked person:drunken reprobate.
person rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.

adjective

morally depraved; unprincipled; bad.
rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.

verb (used with object), rep·ro·bat·ed, rep·ro·bat·ing.

to disapprove, condemn, or censure.
(of God) to reject (a person), as for sin; exclude from the number of the elect or from salvation.

Romans 1:21

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Now let’s look at the different kinds of offerings.

Colossians 1:19– 20

In Him, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All (Hebrews 10:1-10)

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason, it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you were not pleased.
Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
    I have come to do your will, my God.’”[a]

First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

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Hebrew Word of the Week: Torah

Hebrew Word of the Week: Torah

Word of the Week

Torah

 

Hebrew

If I’m following Messianic Judaism (or Hebrew Christianity), am I putting myself under the law?

תורָה

“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4).”

What does it mean to “keep Torah”?

In the book of Galatians, the fifth chapter, Paul seems to be saying that “keeping Torah (the law)” puts you back under the law and that means you have fallen from grace. So does it follow that Messianic Jews and Christians who choose to keep the law have fallen from grace? Not at all.

The Bible records for us that all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16), but many Christians today have forgotten some very important parts of Scripture—namely, the “instructions” of God, or in Hebrew, Torah. — Shema.com

But when people have the idea that “keeping Torah” means an obligation to follow the Mosiac law as a way of justification before God, they have indeed fallen from grace.

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil (Matthew 5:17).”

Jesus Himself said that He did not come to abolish the law. The word “abolish” is the Greek word for “destroy or do away with”. The Greek word translated “fulfill” means to make complete (Matthew 5:17). So does that mean that “the law and the prophets” are done away with?

It’s interesting to me how today’s Christians are willing to toss God’s law out the window but follow prophecies to understand the times in which we live. Jesus coupled the law with the prophets. To say that He meant only the prophets that prophesied about Him is a weak argument at best, as those prophets combined messianic prophecies with other events as well. So did He only fulfill part of the prophets but all of the law?

What law did Jesus come to fulfill? Certainly not the Ten Commandments, which were the foundation of the Torah. Yet some will say they are good people because they keep the Ten Commandments. But do they? How many “remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy”?

In fact, Jesus came to bring a more stringent law when He came.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28)
Of course, He absolutely did and for all time fulfill the demands of the law which required repayment for transgression. I owed a debt impossible for me to pay because to transgress the law in any point is to transgress the whole law. I am a sinner saved by grace. I owe my salvation to Yeshua’s completed work on the cross, where He unequivocally said, “It is finished.”
In light of that, how am I now to live?
I look back in the Old Testament at those first five books—the Torah—and I see instruction on how to live a long, healthy and happy life. No sacrifices are necessary to pay for transgressions, because Yeshua was the ultimate sacrifice. Yet His feasts and His Sabbaths were enjoined forever. They are God’s moedim (not the feasts of the Jews), His appointed times, which He established forever.

The law of justification by works was never supposed to achieve salvation. No one was ever able to keep the law perfectly—until the coming of the Messiah, Yeshua. Therefore, I must rely on and trust in His finished work alone for my salvation. And I do.

Romans 7:12 tells us that the law is holy. Why in the world would we do away with something holy? The law was designed to show us the holiness of God. Its purpose was to expose man’s sinfulness and the sinfulness of sin.

“because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).’

Sanctification comes by the grace of God. It means to be set apart and made holy. When I look into the mirror of the law, I see that my face is dirty. It shows me how unholy I am. Yet looking into the mirror does nothing to cleanse my face. Only God’s grace, provided through the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua, can do that.

Yet in my heart of hearts, the thing I want most to do is walk in a manner pleasing to God. This requires that I know what delights Him. Do I think that weaving patterns of the world into His holy things is pleasing to Him? Now that the Bible is completely written as our textbook for life, do I then act as I please, adopting the cares and concerns of the world but leaving out His will?

And what is His will? That we should live in the righteousness provided to us by His Son, our Savior.

The Torah was often compared to fire, water, wine, oil, milk, honey, drugs, manna, the tree of life, and many other things; it was considered the source of freedom, goodness, and life; it was identified both with wisdom and with love. – The Jewish Virtual Library

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Colossians 10:9-13).”

I love the Torah. It is God’s letter to His beloved children, written with the object of making them one with Him. I find fulfillment in keeping the Jewish feasts, the Sabbath, and in learning the language it was written in.

But not for one iota of a moment do I ever think that if I don’t keep the law I will suffer eternal damnation.

 

Yeshua took care of that for me.

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Hebrew Word of the Week: Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge

Hebrew Word of the Week: Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge

Word of the Week

Chokhma, binah, and da'at

 

Hebrew

Today’s Hebrew study is ַa collection of nouns that complete each other. They are useful together, but separately only render a part of the picture. They are chakh’mah, biynahand da’atTranslated, they mean wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. They look like this:

חָכְמָה, בִּינָה, דַעַת

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 1:7).”

Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are like a car.

Chokhma is like a car. It provides the vocabulary of concept. As children, we learn what a car is by seeing a car, then seeing many cars, and eventually internalizing the concept so that a green Volvo and a red Toyota are both cars.

Binah is a driver. He is the one that determines where the car will go.

Only when they are brought together with da’at will the car actually go somewhere.

“The biblical concept of knowledge means joined together.” — Rabbi Immanuel Schochet 

In Jewish thought, the three aspects cannot be separated, lest one loses the application of them.

“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown (Proverbs 4:5-9).”

This pathway that we walk starts with getting wisdom. We need a vocabulary to build upon so that we can move from concept to knowledge. This happens in three steps.

First, I learn the vocabulary. God’s word became flesh. I hear the words, Messiah, Christ, Anointed One, and I begin to wonder what they mean. If that’s the end, I have gained wisdom alone—there is a Messiah.

Second, I read about Who this Messiah is. I read the Old Testament and learn what the prophets say and then discover that a Man named Jesus (Yeshua) in the New Testament fulfilled the prophecies in the Old Testament.

Third, I join this wisdom and knowledge with my soul, and I receive the Messiah into my heart.

If I stop at any point before this final step, I am not saved. I have the wisdom of the concept, I understand the concept and that this Man is the promised Messiah. But it takes an act of my will to make Him the Savior of my soul, where my knowledge becomes internalized and effective.

So why do so few Jews embrace their Messiah? Romans 11:25 answers that for us. It is so that Gentiles might also inherit the promises and salvation of God. We have become grafted into the root, and not the other way around.

“And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).”

Jesus knows (is joined to) me, this I love.

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Hebrew Word of the Week: Hallal

Hebrew Word of the Week: Hallal

Word of the Week

Hallal

Hebrew

Sing praise! Today’s Hebrew word is where we get the English word hallelujah, and it means “praise.”

הָלַל

“Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises (Psalm 47:6).”

We think of the angels singing praises in the night sky when Yeshua was born. Hallal means praise—but it also means light!

הלל is a root word that has several meanings. It expresses what lamps and celestial bodies do: shine, radiate light. Although it is a rarely used verb in the Bible, it denotes intensive action. It’s the word used to define the light that “flashes forth” from the sneezes of Leviathan in Job. Isaiah speaks of the “shining one” as he describes Satan’s fall in Isaiah 14:12. There it is a noun derived from the verb and is pronounced helel.

When the meaning is praise, it has three forms.

The masculine noun הליל (hillul), meaning praise or a rejoicing. It occurs only in plural: הלולים (hillulim), literally meaning congratulations or rejoicings (Judges 9:27, Leviticus 19:24).

The masculine noun מהלל (mahalel), again meaning praise but literally a “container” for praise. It occurs only in Proverbs 27:21 where silver and gold are tested in a crucible and a furnace, and a man in his “container for” praise.

The feminine noun תהלה (tehilla), meaning praise, song of praise or thanksgiving or adoration, or it denotes praiseworthy deeds. This noun occurs all over the Bible. HAW condenses the meaning of this beautiful noun as, “the results of halal as well as the divine acts which merit that activity”.

Hallelujah is a combination of two words, hallel meaning praise, and the shortened two-letter version of the name of God. For this reason, some Jews won’t pronounce the word except when reciting a prayer or a biblical verse, but will say hallelukah instead, rather than utter one of God’s names in a profane (common) context.

“This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled. But there are moments when we can… reconcile and embrace the whole mess, and that’s what I mean by ‘Hallelujah.'” — Leonard Cohen

“Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord. Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised (Psalm 113:1-3).”

In 1741, the great musician George Frideric Handel composed the oratorio “Messiah,” that includes the compelling “Hallelujah Chorus.” It remains today one of the most famous religious musical works ever written. The text was written by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible and its focus was on the

Messiahship of Yeshua. It is, perhaps, the most moving use of the term hallelujah in modern history.

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready (Revelation 19:6-7).”

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Hebrew Word of the Week: Lekh Lekha

Hebrew Word of the Week: Lekh Lekha

Word of the Week

Lekh lekha

Hebrew

This week in Hebrew WOW we are going to learn about an expression that means “go to you.”

לֵך לְךָ 

לֵך לָךְ 

The top word is the way it is spoken to a male, and the bottom to a female. They are pronounced, respectively, like this:

לֵך לְךָ lekh lekha

לֵך לָךְ lekh lakh

Don’t forget that the “kh” sounds like the end of the word “Bach.”

But what does “go to you” actually mean?

As believers in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah), we recognize that God has a perfect plan for our lives. The Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) has gifted each of us in some way (or several ways)  to edify, encourage, and exhort the church, first to the Jew and also to the Gentile.

While there are many “find your spiritual gifts” webinars, books, and blog posts out there, ultimately the Holy Spirit Himself is the best revealer of what our giftings are. Although I have availed myself of some of those spiritual gifts assessment tools on occasion, I really believe that those giftings will become evident if God takes the preeminent position in our lives. (Nevertheless, if you are interested, I have listed at the end of this article a couple of places where you can research your own gifts.)

You have probably studied the attributes of God. Attributes like “faithfulness” does not mean that God shows faithfulness, but that He embodies it. It is who He is, not what He does. Well, since we are created in His image, there are attributes we have that personify who we are in Him.

In modern-day America, when meeting someone for the first time, we might ask, “And what do you do?” We are actually asking about how they define themselves. And we are accustomed to defining people according to their vocations. People are generally most happy when working in the field that makes use of their spiritual gifts and without (perhaps) knowing exactly why, they tend to identify themselves with what they do for a living. Others chafe under the collar with frustration or anger at the work they do that doesn’t allow them to reveal their giftings. It is written on our hearts, and our souls long to be whom God has created us to be.

To ask a Jew what they do, you are asking what kind of actions he takes in day-to-day life. That is because Judaism accentuates action above faith. (Christians are more concerned about faith than action. God is concerned with both, but belief in His Son is paramount.) In all 613 laws found in Judaism, the only one that might be seen as exhorting faith is in the Shema:

Hear, O Israel! The Lord thy God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).”

Yet even in that, the greatest prayer in Judaism, it is actually more of an  acknowledgement that God demands that they do something: love Him. As we have studied before, love is an action, not a feeling.

So let’s tie these two concepts together to understand what lekh lekha means. How exactly do you “go to you”? The answer is a simple one: you are to do the thing for which the Holy Spirit has gifted you. You are to be fully who you are called to be.

There’s a reason we’re called human beings and not human doings. And it’s all wrapped up in this one scripture: So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27).”

We each have a part of the incredible attributes of God, because He made us so. And then He gifted us with certain gifts to enable us to become the attributes of God, to live passionately before Him, and to have faith in His will for each of us.

So now, my friend—lekh lakh (lekh lekha for men): Go forth and be the very best you that God created you to be!

Here are just two of many, many places to assess your spiritual gifts. I have included these because they vastly differed in what they say my gifts are. It’s all in the phrasing of their questions!

https://gifts.churchgrowth.org/ – I found this one to be extremely accurate.

https://spiritualgiftstest.com/ – I felt that this one did not accurately describe my gifts as well.

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