I want to go over a little bit here the schedule. This is Yahweh's timetable, I think. Yahweh's scheduling, and the schedule that He has is different than the one that man may have, most of mankind will have.
The holidays that He has are different than the holidays of the world. And His holidays really are Holi- or Holy Days. And so, the Holy Days, the true holidays that Yahweh has established, long before anyone had ever even considered what a holiday would be, can be found here on this calendar, which I am going to put up here.
At least for us, we saw not the new moon, we saw nothing, on the night of September 6th. We did not see a new moon this night. So this night did not begin the Feast of Trumpets, at least not here. If you did in your area, then great, but we did not.
And so, we looked here on the night of the 7th. We knew we would see it, and we did. We went up to the top of the hill. Us and another family went up there, and we beheld Yahweh's new moon. And so, that night began the Feast of Trumpets.
And we blowed the shofar quite a bit that night, taking turns, giving shouts and praises to Yahweh our King, which meant up until sundown here on the 8th. This was the Feast of Trumpets, also called Yom Teruah. So that is what we did.
And so, of course, today here we are now on what is called the 14th of September, and we are coming up on the 17th of September, which will mark Yom Kippur. That is the Day of Atonement, on the 17th.
And so, we will be following the Scriptures and their directives for us on that day, which will begin on the night of the 16th, and then it will end on the night of the 17th. So, anyway, that will be Yom Kippurim.
Technically, in Hebrew, a lot of people call it "Yom Kippur," but pronounced in Hebrew, it is closer to "Yom Kippurim," which means "Day of Atonements." So that is when we are going to observe.
And this is when the priest would come into the holiest place of all and come into the place of atonements. And he would sprinkle blood on the ark of the covenant and on the pathway before him, coming from a sacrificial goat.
He would also lay his hands on another goat, which would in turn be set free in the wilderness.
We see this here in Leviticus 16:21, it says:
Leviticus 16:21 - "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send [it] away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.
A suitable man. Now some people believe that this scapegoat (that is where we get the term "scapegoat") represents Satan. Other people say, "Well, no, that is Messiah, who is now away from us, and we will be with Him again."
Whatever you believe, I don't think it is really Satan because I don't think a goat can bear our sins. But a lot of these mysteries will be unraveled when Messiah returns.
But one thing we know: We do have a High Priest, Yahushua the Messiah, who entered the holy place for us. With His own blood He entered and not with the blood of a goat. He entered with His own blood, and by that, we are able to enter the Holy of Holies without defiling it.
And so, when Messiah comes and we are resurrected, it is because of His act and what He had done for us that we will have access to the throne room, and we will be seated (in fact, we speak as though it is already done) in the heavenly places with Messiah. And we will reign with Him for a thousand years.
Now when it says that the sins of Israel are confessed, this would be something that, I would hope, not just the high priest would do, but the people. I mean, it was supposed to be a practice, as Daniel would do (as we shared in another broadcast), confessing the sins of his people. And we have gone over these scriptures before.
And so, this is what we do on the Day of Atonement: We focus on the goodness of the Messiah and Him entering the holy place for us and for our need for corporate repentance as the people of Israel.
I mean, we are Yisrael, right? We are the seed of Abraham through Messiah. We are, whether we are physically or not, grafted in so that we might become a part of the nation of Israel.
And we have a High Priest who is making intercession for us, but we need something in order for us to receive the High Priest. There is something that is expected of us, and we are going to get into that here in a moment.
But on this Day of Atonement, this evening of the 16th, we are going to do what it says here:
Leviticus 23:27 - "Also the tenth [day] of this seventh month [shall be] the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to YAHWEH.
Afflict your souls means to fast.
Leviticus 23:28 - "And you shall do no work on that same day, for it [is] the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before YAHWEH your Elohim.
And so, on this Day of Atonement, there is actually twenty-seven different things the high priest would do to make the necessary atonement for the people. And of course, it is representing the Messiah.
We don't have time to go over all that right now, but if you are interested in seeing what those things are, if you go to eliyah.com/dayofatonement.html, you will see that.
But one thing we have to remember is the solemn occasion that this is. It is a time of reflecting. The Jewish people call the ten days between the Day of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement as the "Days of Awe," where they think about the things and areas in their life where they need to repent.
At a minimum, certainly, we should be coming before Yahweh with a repentant attitude. Part of what that is, what is reflecting a repentant attitude, is our fasting.
Yahweh specifically says:
Leviticus 23:29 - "For any person who is not afflicted [in soul] on that same day shall be cut off from his people.
30 - "And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.
31 - "You shall do no manner of work; [it shall be] a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
You see how strongly He feels about not working on the Day of Atonement. So, definitely don't do that, especially when we know we are supposed to rest and we refuse. Because it is one thing to claim ignorance, but you know, we are called to be a repentant people. And we know that sin is the transgression of the Law.
And if sin is the transgression of the Law and the Law tells us to fast and to rest and we refuse to, then we are sinning. It is as simple as that.
And so, this Day of Atonement is so picturesque of what Messiah has done for us and is doing. He is reigning from the Holy of Holies, and He is the King there, seated next to the Father.
And so, it is just a good time to focus and to contemplate our own ways, to seek to change the things that we are not doing what we are supposed to, where we are not walking in the complete will of Elohim as a Body of Messiah, the areas of our lives that we know the Body of Messiah is falling short on a personal and a corporate level.
And so, a lot of the issues that we see in the Body of Messiah today, just a lot of confusion sometimes-- strife, failures in the home, mothers, wives, husbands, confusion over festivals, some worldliness, immodesty in attitudes and immodesty in dress, a lack of zeal, getting caught up in other pursuits that have nothing to do with spiritual things.
A lack of love, both toward our Christian friends and brothers, a failure to help the poor, self-centeredness with the riches and the things that we have, the stumbling blocks, the spirit of the world.
And so, I want to rid myself of these things in terms of seeing all these things in the Body of Messiah and some of these things in myself. We have to, as a body, come before Yahweh in a corporate level and repent.
And Yahweh honored many of those events throughout the history of Israel when they would come before Him in repentance. We see this in the seventh month, in the book of Nehemiah and Ezra-- the repentance that they were doing corporately as a body.
And we may not be experiencing the power of Elohim in the way that we ought to because we don't consider ourselves our brother's keeper. We are so independent-minded. We don't confess the sins of our nation, of the Body of Messiah.
And so, we want to obtain favor from Yahweh. We want to do a great work. He is already doing a great work through us, but we want to see greater works and even greater works than when Messiah said, "Those who believe in Me, even greater works shall he do." And we want to see those things.
Maybe there are some blocks that Yahweh sees as preventing us from being able to do the works of Messiah. So we are going to gather on this night of what is called September 16th, what is called Monday night, and we are going to gather on a conference call. In this conference call, anyone can call in and join us.
There will be no broadcasts this year on that night. It is too stressful for me after Yom Kippur to try to break down all the equipment and get it loaded and get to Leasburg in time and get set up. So we are just going to do a conference call only. All my broadcast equipment will be loaded up in our camper.
And so, we are going to take our camper, and we are going to go to the festival, and we are going to spend the night in a tent on the seven nights of the Feast of Tabernacles, but use the camper for other nights and for a kitchen area, and things like that.
So anyway, all my equipment will be loaded up, so we will not have a broadcast on what is called Monday night. We will have a conference call. If you call this number-- 1-218-862-7200-- at the prompt you are going to enter this code (without the sign this time). It is going to be: 511044.
And we will gather as Yahweh's people, and it is going to be at 9pm (I didn't put that up there), but it is 9pm ET if you want to call in. It is kind of nice, too. We have done this before where we have gotten a chance to talk to eachother and fellowship a little bit, too.
So feel free to call in at this number: 1-218-862-7200. At the prompt enter: 511044. We will in prayer repent before Yahweh of the sins that we see in the Body of Messiah.
What I have done in the past is get some feedback from different people about, you know, what are some of the things that we see in the Body that we need to change, that the Body of Messiah needs to repent of.
And then I make a list and then go before Yahweh in prayer. When I am finished with my prayer, if other people feel led to pray, we open that up as well.
We know that we are called to walk out repentance on a daily basis. We hope that the Body of Messiah is doing this already, but I think it is important, too, that we together take responsibility for the sins of Israel, just as Daniel did and just as Yahweh asked them to do in Leviticus.
He says if you confess your sins and the sins of your fathers, then we will get the blessings. And so, we want Yahweh's blessings.
But what is repentance? What does it really mean to repent? Does that mean when you change your mind, you never ever sin again? I mean, that is the full evidence of it.
But what is repentance? Repentance is really a very misunderstood notion. And so, I go over this topic yearly because it is so important. It is so foundational.
You know, many people speak of the blessing of Yahweh's grace. Listen, I think it is a pleasant thought, the grace we receive through Yahweh our Mighty One. I mean, grace is just a pleasant word when we think of what it means-- freeing us from the burden of sin. The meaning means "favor, unmerited favor."
We all want grace. Even the most wicked man on the earth, if he knew that Yahweh was real and was going to judge him, would want grace.
But what do the Scriptures say about grace? Some people act as if grace was absent from the Old Testament, that there was no such thing as grace until the Messiah came and died for our sins. This is simply not true.
It says in Genesis 6, verses 7 through 8:
Genesis 6:7 - So YAHWEH said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."
8 - But Noah found grace in the eyes of YAHWEH.
What did Noah find? Grace. He found grace in the eyes of Yahweh. This is the first instance of this word "grace" appearing in the Bible, and it is all the way back in Genesis chapter 6 and verse 8. It is from the Hebrew word "chen."
We need to realize that grace is an Old Testament concept as well as New Testament. It is just that the Messiah Yahushua, He is the One that enabled grace to come to Noah and to every man that ever walked the earth.
And so, without Yahushua, Noah would have never received grace. He would never have known grace. And we recognize that because Yahushua is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And so, it is not just a New Testament concept, grace. It is all throughout the whole Bible.
Now, grace is a free gift, and Scripture speaks of that. We cannot earn it.
Ephesians 2:8 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of Elohim,
9 - not of works, lest anyone should boast.
You see, if we thought we could earn His grace, then we could brag and say, "Look what I did." Because of what obedience I did, therefore I can brag, and say, "Look, I deserve it. I deserve the grace."
But what he says here is it is a gift. It is a gift. Grace is a free gift Yahweh grants to us. It is not something our own works could ever earn.
We are called to be utterly humble. We are called to admit that whatever grace we are given is one hundred percent, totally, completely undeserved. We have to acknowledge that. That is humility. We cannot boast. But with this understanding comes some confusion today.
There is a theology out there that exists in the hearts of some that since grace can never be earned by our works, we really do not need to be concerned about our works-- a theology that says we can rest in the power of the blood, and no matter what our sin is, and no matter what our attitude is toward that sin, grace covers all.
There are some who genuinely act as if grace is a "Get Out Of Hell Free" card and they can just hand this card to Yahweh on the Day of Judgment because they said the right words in following the sinner's prayer they read on this tract-- "The Gift of God is Eternal Life Through Jesus Christ Our LORD - Romans 6:23 (See back for details)."
Or someone told them, "You just say these words and there is no way anyone can take your salvation from you." And no matter what you do, or what you will do, and no matter what your attitude toward sin is, you have the little card. You are fine. You are a card-carrying member of the Body of Messiah.
And so, they treat the blood of the Messiah as if it were some kind of license to sin. Well, the heathen, they are not card-carrying members, and so, they will "go to hell" because they did not say the magic words.
But because of their sin-- "We have the card. We said the words. We have the license. We have it in our hand. We have the license and we said the sinner's prayer and we can sin and on the Day of Judgment (we have the little license in our hand) and grace covers all. Because, hey, it says in the Bible, my works cannot earn it, so why do works?"
Well, for those who have such attitudes, they are going to be in shock on the day in which they face judgment coming from our Father, when they find out that their license to sin has been denied. It is null and void because they do not repent.
See, you don't get these little cards, these little licenses. You think that it is some kind of ticket. You have your ticket or your license or your card and you keep it in your wallet, and as long as you have that, it doesn't matter what you do. That is not biblical.
Scripture says, in Romans chapter 2, verse 4:
Romans 2:4 - Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of Elohim leads you to repentance?
Now, He already offered you this gift for free, and as part of our reception of that gift, we bring back to Him repentance because He saved us. Not because of anything we have done, but because He saved us.
But what he says here is:
Romans 2:5 - But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of Elohim,
6 - who "will render to each one according to his deeds":
And so, if we do not conduct ourselves in such a manner that we walk out repentance, then we are guilty of despising the riches of His goodness, and because of that, we are treasuring up for ourself wrath.
Now, please, answer the question: Will believers be subject to wrath? Are believers treasuring up for themselves wrath? No, believers are not going to experience wrath on the Day of Judgment. Believers are going to experience grace on the Day of Judgment.
And so, if we do not come to Him in response to that grace with a repentant heart, we will not be saved. We will not.
Now when I say repentance, I mean true repentance. I mean, there is a repentance, and there is a counterfeit repentance. It looks like repentance. It smells like repentance. But it is not repentance.
Someone may even be bowing down their heads, kneeling before the King and seeming to be very repentant, but it is not genuine repentance.
And we need to understand something: There is no grace, there is no free gift, unless we have true repentance. I just read it-- Romans chapter 2, verses 4 through 6. I just read it. And it is not the only place where we are going to find it.
Yes, it is a free gift. But those who, in essence, reject the gift, in essence, begin to despise His riches of His goodness, His longsuffering, His forbearance, by refusing to repent-- they will be treasuring up wrath.
We want to make sure we are not one of them, right? I mean, we do not want to be treasuring up for ourselves wrath, obviously. All right.
So, what is true repentance and what is counterfeit repentance? Who are the pretenders without fruit? I mean, we want Yahweh's Word to go from His mouth to our hearts, which produces some kind of action, some kind of fruit coming out of that.
But there are some who do not really, in their heart, care. They are taking advantage of grace.
Psalm 78, verse 34-- when Yahweh was speaking to the children of Israel, it says when He slew them, oh, then they sought Him.
Psalms 78:34 - When He slew them, then they sought Him; And they returned and sought earnestly for Elohim.
Then they remembered Elohim was their rock. Oh, yay, yay!
Psalms 78:35 - Then they remembered that Elohim [was] their rock, And the Most High Elohim their Redeemer.
36 - Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth, And they lied to Him with their tongue;
Look at this word here. They flattered Him. They flattered Him with their mouth. They lied to Him with their tongue.
Psalms 78:37 - For their heart was not steadfast with Him, Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
It is interesting Scripture, that they talked about how great Yahweh was, but it wasn't really in their heart. It is more like they saw the judgment, they sought earnestly for Elohim because of the judgment, they remembered Him-- then they went right back into the same thing again because their heart was not steadfast with Him. They were not faithful.
So our repentance can be nothing more than mere flattery and mere lies if our repentance does not produce a steadfastness and faithfulness to Him. We want to be sure we are not flattering Yahweh, don't we? I hope so.
So, we do not want to be one of those. We know repentance is important. When Yahushua came, He taught repentance.
John the Baptist, the precursor of Messiah, is talking to the multitudes that came out to be baptized. He is speaking specifically to Pharisees here. He says:
Luke 3:7 - Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 - "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, `We have Abraham as [our] father.' For I say to you that Elohim is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Bear fruits worthy of repentance.
Luke 3:9 - "And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
These men were taking confidence in the flesh-- "Oh, we are sons of Abraham," as if because they are sons of Abraham, they do not have to repent.
We have the same thing happening today-- "We are Christians. We are saved." We have to have an attitude of repentance. He will not save us unless we do. He won't.
Now, you look in Acts chapter 2, verse 38. When Peter was telling the multitudes what to do, he said to them two things.
Acts 2:38 - Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Yahushua Messiah for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
And so, the expectation would be repentance.
And would you believe I have had people actually tell me, "Well, I am Gentile. I do not have to repent. The Jews have to repent. Gentiles don't."
That is utter nonsense! Utter nonsense! I mean, what if you looked in your genealogy, your family tree, and you found one Jew happened to drop out of the tree? Oh, now what? What are you going to do now? The Day of Judgment comes. There is one Jewish man in your heritage and you didn't repent. I guess you are going to hell.
That is not how Yahweh operates. As we can see from what He said to John the Baptist, He wasn't impressed with someone's genealogy. He was more interested that everyone would bear fruits worthy of repentance. And so, a repentant attitude is important.
We see here in Matthew 18, verse 15, it says:
Matthew 18:15 - "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
16 - "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that `by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'
17 - "And if he refuses to hear them, tell [it] to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
To hear means to repent in the Hebraic mind. There is no difference. That is why He says in other places, "If your brother sins against you, tell him. If he repents, forgive him."
We are called to be fruit bearers. When Yahushua spoke a parable, He said:
Luke 13:6 - He also spoke this parable: "A certain [man] had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
7 - "Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, `Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?'
We do not want to be a fig tree not bearing any fruit. We don't want one to say, "Cut it down."
Luke 13:8 - "But he answered and said to him, `Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize [it].
9 - `And if it bears fruit, [well]. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'"
So even if we are not bearing fruit, Yahweh is longsuffering-- to a point.
And so, on this Day of Atonement, let us ask ourselves: What kind of fig tree are we? Are we bearing fruit or are we just taking up the ground? It is an important question for me to ask myself, for you to ask yourselves, for all of us, to ensure that we are bearing fruits worthy of repentance.
Did you know not everyone in the Bible who seemed to be repenting actually was accepted by Yahweh? There were some people that seemed to repent, but they never did in their hearts. They were just mouthing the words.
In Hebrews chapter 12, verse 14, it says:
Hebrews 12:14 - Pursue peace with all [people], and holiness, without which no one will see YAHWEH:
15 - looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of Elohim; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
Wait a minute. How would someone fall short of Yahweh's grace?
Hebrews 12:16 - lest there [be] any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.
17 - For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
He could not find it. He looked for it, and he could not find it. He sought for it. He wanted it. But he could not find it. That is a scary thing to think about.
He looked for repentance and could not find it. Why? Why was Esau rejected so harshly? Why does it say in certain scriptures, "I have hated Esau"? What is it about Esau and his so called repentance?
Let's take a look.
Genesis 27:30 - Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31 - He also had made savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, "Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that your soul may bless me."
He wanted the blessing.
Genesis 27:32 - And his father Isaac said to him, "Who [are] you?" So he said, "I [am] your son, your firstborn, Esau."
Genesis 27:33 - Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, "Who? Where [is] the one who hunted game and brought [it] to me? I ate all [of it] before you came, and I have blessed him -- [and] indeed he shall be blessed."
34 - When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, "Bless me -- me also, O my father!"
Here is Esau crying now.
Genesis 27:35 - But he said, "Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing."
36 - And [Esau] said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!" And he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?"
37 - Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?"
Genesis 27:38 - And Esau said to his father, "Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me -- me also, O my father!" And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
In Romans chapter 9, verse 13, it says:
Romans 9:13 - As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated."
14 - What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness with Elohim? Certainly not!
15 - For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion."
He chooses. He chooses whom He is going to have mercy on and whom He is not going to have mercy on.
Romans 9:16 - So then [it is] not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of Elohim who shows mercy.
These are scary verses, don't you think? I mean, how do we have assurance of salvation when it is just of Elohim who chooses whom He wants to have mercy on?
He chose to have hatred for Esau. Can we look and understand why He had the hatred for Esau? Jacob He loved. Esau He hated.
Well, if you examine the book of Genesis more thoroughly, you will find Yahweh was offended by Esau.
Imagine if you had a gift that you wanted to give a person, and you worked very, very hard and did a lot of things to give this person a gift. And the day game when you wanted to give him this gift, and he said, "Here, do you want to buy this from me?" (He looked for someone to buy it from him.)
And the person bought it and he got some kind of monetary value out of it. How would you feel about the person that you were giving that gift to? I am sure you would be pretty upset by that person that you gave that gift to because you worked very hard to give him that gift and he just sold it to somebody else.
In this case, Esau was granted the gift of the birthright. Yahweh called Esau out of the womb first. Esau said, "Oh, what good is that to me if I am dead? What good is that to me? So, yeah, I will sell you my birthright." And for a mess of pottage, he sold the birthright to Jacob.
And so, do we understand now why Yahweh did not accept Esau? His attitude was, "What good would the blessing be to me if I die?" He did not value his children. He did not value the heritage that Yahweh was offering him. Obviously, he did not value his offspring. He was more concerned about himself.
He was taking foreign women, who really were not believers, into his household such as the daughters of Heth grieved his parents. They were heathen women. And so, his children were apparently going to be unbelievers, and ultimately, they became Edom, which was a different nation that worshiped a different god.
Esau was very fleshly minded. And later, when Jacob approached Esau and he was afraid of Esau because Esau was coming with four hundred men, what did he do? He put all this carnal wealth ahead of him-- donkeys, oxen, everything. He put everything ahead of him. "Here, you can have all of this. These are gifts. You can have it."
Jacob apparently knew Esau's heart. He was after this world's riches. And so, his repentance was really based on what he might get in terms of his riches. And so, Esau did not value the eternal blessing. And you see this pattern quite a lot, actually, in Scripture where the second born ultimately gets the blessing.
You know, Jacob's children-- it was not the firstborn, Reuben. It was one afterward. And it was not the firstborn out of Joseph who got the greater blessing. And so, there is an ongoing pattern throughout Scripture in this.
And I think, perhaps, the lesson is Adam. The first Adam received the blessing, but rejected it. The second Adam, Yahushua, received the blessing and accepted it.
And of David's children, Solomon was the one chosen. It wasn't the firstborn. It was one who came after. And so, this recurring pattern, we see this. And in the case of the kingship, the first man who was anointed to be the King of Israel was King Saul, but he became rejected and another king was chosen. Let's find out why.
Saul was sent to go and destroy the Amalekites and everything they had. And what Saul did instead was come back, he kept the king alive, and he kept certain animals alive to sacrifice them to Yahweh. And after a long conversation, Saul finally said to Samuel:
1Samuel 15:24 - Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of YAHWEH and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
25 - "Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship YAHWEH."
26 - But Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of YAHWEH, and YAHWEH has rejected you from being king over Israel."
1Samuel 15:27 - And as Samuel turned around to go away, [Saul] seized the edge of his robe, and it tore.
28 - So Samuel said to him, "YAHWEH has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, [who is] better than you.
Now watch Saul's attitude here:
1Samuel 15:29 - "And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He [is] not a man, that He should relent."
30 - Then he said, "I have sinned; [yet] honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship YAHWEH your Elohim."
That is why he wanted Samuel to return with him-- so that he could be honored. That is what we read earlier. He says, "Pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship Yahweh." But his real motive here: "honor me now."
And it was this desire for "honor me now" that caused him to set up a monument for himself earlier in the chapter. He was trying to take the credit for what Yahweh had done.
1Samuel 15:31 - So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul worshiped YAHWEH.
So Saul acted like he repented, but had underneath that repentance another motive. Esau had the motive of riches. Saul had the motive of pride. He wanted the honor that came from men, and that was the reason why he made the mistake to begin with.
And so, when he went out, he set up for himself a monument. And he said, "the people did this, the people did that." The real motive, if you read the chapter, was he wanted honor for himself. And we read this:
1Samuel 15:10 - Now the word of YAHWEH came to Samuel, saying,
11 - "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul [as] king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to YAHWEH all night.
12 - So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, "Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal."
His motive was pride. We have to be careful that the motives for our repentance are not pride, not that we might gain, but the motives for our repentance are genuine.
Look at what Saul did compared to what David did, and you think, "Okay, David murdered a man, and he committed adultery with his wife, and he stole another man's wife. He probably broke all the commands. And so, Yahweh forgives him.
"But then Saul goes out. He sort of half-performs the command, comes back and tries to get forgiveness, and he doesn't get it. What was the difference between David and Saul?"
It is the repentance had a different motive in such a way that the repentance was a counterfeit repentance.
Look at what Samuel says:
1Samuel 15:13 - Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed [are] you of YAHWEH! I have performed the commandment of YAHWEH."
No, he didn't.
1Samuel 15:14 - But Samuel said, "What then [is] this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"
15 - And Saul said, "They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to YAHWEH your Elohim; and the rest we have utterly destroyed."
1Samuel 15:16 - Then Samuel said to Saul, "Be quiet! And I will tell you what YAHWEH said to me last night." And he said to him, "Speak on."
Here he is exposing Saul's prideful attitude.
1Samuel 15:17 - So Samuel said, "When you [were] little in your own eyes, [were] you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not YAHWEH anoint you king over Israel?
Back then when you were a little guy in your own eyes. In other words, "Don't you see that humility is the path to being honored?"
Didn't Yahushua teach us that? He who humbles himself shall be exalted. He who exalts himself shall be humbled.
Samuel said, "When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not Yahweh anoint you king over Israel? (Back then, when you were little in your own eyes.)"
He was hiding among the equipment, didn't want to be exalted.
1Samuel 15:18 - "Now YAHWEH sent you on a mission, and said, `Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.'
19 - "Why then did you not obey the voice of YAHWEH? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of YAHWEH?"
He asked him, "Why?" Only one reason why. He wasn't little in his eyes anymore.
1Samuel 15:20 - And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of YAHWEH, and gone on the mission on which YAHWEH sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
Liar. He is being stubborn now.
1Samuel 15:21 - "But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to YAHWEH your Elohim in Gilgal."
Now he is blaming the people. He was afraid of what the people would think of him.
He says, "No, we have to destroy everything."
1Samuel 15:22 - Then Samuel said: "Has YAHWEH [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of YAHWEH? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, [And] to heed than the fat of rams.
23 - For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of YAHWEH, He also has rejected you from [being] king."
Witchcraft and idolatry.
There was more to it than what meets the eye here. And Saul, as far as we know, never did change his attitude. And that is why he chased David all over the mountainside. He never really humbled himself in the face of David, who was doing Saul no wrong at all. He just would not repent. He was too earthly minded. He was too "this world" minded.
Now this active rebellion-- why is it that Saul was practicing the equivalent of witchcraft, the equivalent of idolatry? Because it is Satan who sought to exalt himself over the thrown of Elohim, correct? And Saul was trying to take something that Yahweh had done and give credit to himself, exalting himself over the throne of Elohim in his rebellion.
He was being stubborn about it and he was becoming a self-idolater. He became his own idol. That is a dangerous place to be. And there will be people who are (and I hope I am never one of them) ministers of the Word who will not tell the people to obey the voice of Yahweh and do the right thing because they fear the people and they obey their voice.
They want their status quo. That is an Esau-like lifestyle where a man in that condition will not receive salvation even though his repentance may look good. He will not receive salvation because we have to have genuine repentance. We cannot be Saul-minded. We cannot be Esau-minded. We cannot be Pharisee-minded in our repentance.
We have to be David-minded.
Psalms 51:1 - <
> Have mercy upon me, O Elohim, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
This is after he had been caught with his sin of adultery and murder.
Psalms 51:2 - Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
3 - For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin [is] always before me.
Psalms 51:4 - 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.
And later he says:
Psalms 51:10 - Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 - Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
You see, David was concerned, genuinely concerned, that he had lost fellowship with the Father because of his sin. He cared what Yahweh thought about him genuinely-- "You only, have I sinned. It is You I have done this against. You are just. You are blameless in Your judgment." An expression of "I don't want to do this anymore."
"Create in me a clean heart... Renew a steadfast spirit in me." He wanted that steadfastness spoken of in Romans. Do we see the difference? It is very important that we do. This is a foundational thing. It can affect our salvation. Our repentance has to be true repentance.
And so, David was, by and large, far more concerned about his relationship with the Father being compromised than what people thought about him, than what riches he might lose.
Another example of genuine repentance... I want to say this, also:
Psalms 51:16 - For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give [it]; You do not delight in burnt offering.
Saul wanted to come to Him with sacrifices.
He says forget sacrifice because "You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offerings."
Psalms 51:17 - The sacrifices of Elohim [are] a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart -- These, O Elohim, You will not despise.
And so, all the praise and worship offerings and what other things that we do, the sacrifices we give, are no substitute for a broken and contrite heart before Elohim when we sin.
Another example of repentance, the prodigal son.
Luke 15:11 - Then He said: "A certain man had two sons.
12 - "And the younger of them said to [his] father, `Father, give me the portion of goods that falls [to me].' So he divided to them [his] livelihood.
He wanted the riches.
Luke 15:13 - "And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
See the "give me" attitude?
Luke 15:14 - "But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.
15 - "Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 - "And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him [anything].
Luke 15:17 - "But when he came to himself, he said, `How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
He realized his need for the father.
Luke 15:18 - `I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
19 - "and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants."'
Instead of the "give me"-- "Form me into an obedient son that I might find myself a recipient of your blessing and your fellowship."
Luke 15:20 - "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
21 - "And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
This is genuine repentance. Humbleness, humility.
Luke 15:22 - "But the father said to his servants, `Bring out the best robe and put [it] on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on [his] feet.
23 - `And bring the fatted calf here and kill [it], and let us eat and be merry;
24 - `for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry.
See, that is genuine repentance-- humility, acknowledging we are not worthy to be called His children.
That needs to be our attitudes. We are not worthy to be His children. We have been prodigal children. We are not worthy.
But what did he do? What did the father do when the son recognized he did not deserve anything? He rejoiced over him, granted him the robe of righteousness, and as the Father does with us-- grants us the robe of righteousness and grants us the joy of salvation. But the humble, repentant heart must come.
There are some other scriptures on national repentance.
2Kings 22:16 - "Thus says YAHWEH: `Behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants -- all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read --
17 - `because they have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore My wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched.'"'
2Kings 22:18 - "But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of YAHWEH, in this manner you shall speak to him, `Thus says YAHWEH Elohim of Israel: "[Concerning] the words which you have heard --
19 - "because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before YAHWEH when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard [you]," says YAHWEH.
That is what He is looking for-- the tender heart, the David heart. Not the Esau heart, not the Saul heart. The David heart. Humility before Elohim-- the Josiah heart. That is whom he is speaking of here. This was not a counterfeit repentance. This is genuine.
2Kings 22:20 - "Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place."'" So they brought back word to the king.
And so, that is a good example of true repentance, what Yahweh is looking for in our repentance. We see that-- a tender heart, a humble heart.
How about Jonah and the people of Nineveh? What happened with them?
Jonah 3:5 - So the people of Nineveh believed Elohim, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.
They believed Him, that wrath was coming.
Jonah 3:6 - Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered [himself] with sackcloth and sat in ashes.
Even the king got off his high horse, got off his throne, and sat in sackcloth and ashes.
Jonah 3:7 - And he caused [it] to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water.
8 - But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to Elohim; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.
Complete, total fast. Not even the animals were exempt from the fast. And not himself, either.
Jonah 3:9 - Who can tell [if] Elohim will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?
10 - Then Elohim saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and Elohim relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
Wait a minute! He saw works? He saw works, and as a result of seeing works He spared them from judgment? I thought that we cannot say it is our works that cause Yahweh to spare us from judgment, that cause Yahweh to give us grace.
You have to understand, in the Hebraic mindset you can't ever say you do something and then works not follow it. When you say you have something in your heart and works don't follow it, then that is not genuine.
And the works that they were doing is what followed their heart-- the complete fasting, the sackcloth, the king getting down off his throne and covering himself in sackcloth and ashes. It wasn't really the works as much as it was the fact that their heart was tender, their heart was humble.
And as a result of their humble heart, yes, He saw their works. And they turned from their evil way, and so, Yahweh relented and gave them grace. You cannot separate one from the other. You cannot say you are humble and then not act humble. You cannot say you are obedient and then not act obedient.
You cannot say you are repentant and then not act repentant. They are one and the same. And because He saw their fruits of repentance, He turned away from the disaster He had planned on them.
Other examples of repentance as accepted and repentance as rejected:
Luke 18:10 - "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 - "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, `Elohim, I thank You that I am not like other men -- extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
12 - `I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'
He had the works, didn't he? Giving tithes, fasting twice a week. He must have thought, "Well, Elohim will see my works and I will be all right."
Luke 18:13 - "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise [his] eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `Elohim, be merciful to me a sinner!'
14 - "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
This word "justified" means "to be declared righteous." That is what it means. And so, when we come to Yahweh in humility, not bragging on our works and accomplishments, not bragging about our supposed repentance, even if we have committed awful sins, as the tax collector did, we can receive forgiveness if we genuinely humble ourselves.
The one who despised himself, he hated himself, hitting himself in the chest, ashamed to even look to heaven, crying out for mercy-- this one was the righteous one. The tax collector was the righteous one, and the Pharisee couldn't get his sins forgiven.
They were both sinners. One was able to get his sins forgiven. The other was not. So the one was declared righteous, and the other was not.
So it is not really even as much as just what we think is works as it is the condition of our hearts.
Another example of repentance. This is found in the book of Job. When Job repented, he said:
Job 42:5 - "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.
6 - Therefore I abhor [myself], And repent in dust and ashes."
His attitude: he hated what he had done. He hated himself for what he had done, and he repented in dust and ashes. And Yahweh accepted that repentance.
It is those who cry out for mercy. It is those who understand how greatly it is needed. It is those who truly care that they have sinned in the eyes of Yahweh, confessing their wrongs, turning away in their hearts, who despise themselves and their deeds-- as Job abhorred himself, as the publican beat himself in the chest before Yahweh.
They are the ones who are displaying in their heart here, as we see in Scriptures, genuine repentance, without self-serving motives in terms of pride, in terms of gaining riches. And those of us who have received Messiah, we need to manifest genuine repentance as well.
If we don't, the Scripture says:
Hebrews 10:29 - Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of Elohim underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
He is talking about one who willfully just goes around with a flippant attitude and continues his sinful lifestyle, thinking he can just trample the Son of Elohim underfoot and just act like His grace is a common thing.
You insult the Spirit of grace when you say to yourself in your heart, "Well, yep, Messiah died for me, so that way I can live the way I want to and still get to go to heaven." It doesn't work that way. You can expect wrath-- treasure up for yourselves wrath on the Day of Judgment, not grace.
Do you see the difference? We cannot insult the Spirit of grace.
And there is also a kind of sorrow for our sins. Someone can actually act really sorry for their sins, but it is not even really a genuine repentance.
Consider the Corinthians, what Paul said about them. He said:
2Corinthians 7:8 - For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while.
9 - Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.
See, we can be sorry for our sins, but never repent. We can be sorry and never repent of it.
So their sorrow, which was separate from repentance, led them to repentance, for he says:
2Corinthians 7:10 - For godly sorrow produces repentance [leading] to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
So sorrow of the world would be, "Yeah, I am really sorry for my sin, and I am going to continue to live in it." And there are a lot of people who may be sorry for their sins, but it is not really leading them to repentance.
And so, we see in these verses here a picture of a difference between counterfeit repentance and genuine repentance-- the fig tree. Yahweh wants us to have the humble heart, crying out for mercy, with a willingness to change-- a decision in the heart that the sin will be committed no more, a change in direction.
Now I want to balance this out because that does not necessarily mean (snap) we will be instantly perfect and never sin again for the rest of our lives.
If we come before the Father in repentance and we receive the Messiah with a genuine heart of repentance and faith in Messiah, that does not mean you are instantly perfected and you will never sin again and that Yahweh demands that you never, ever sin again the rest of your life in order to demonstrate true repentance.
If that was His expectation and His demand, then He would have never inspired these words:
1John 1:8 - If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
In other words, we all have sin. And if we say that we have no sin, we are just deceiving ourselves. And so, what does He want if everybody has sin, heathen and non-heathen? He wants this:
1John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Not in a Saul confession, but in a David confession. Not in a Pharisee confession, but in a tax collector confession. Not in an Esau confession, but in a righteous confession like Josiah. And even Jacob says in one place, "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and truth You have given me." And so, this is a promise.
To confess means to agree with... "I agree, Yahweh is righteous; I am not righteous. I agree, I have wronged Him. I agree. Yahweh, help me, cleanse me, purify me. Do not take Your holy Spirit from me. I want to be Your son. I want to be Your daughter. I want to live like Messiah wants me to live. Help me to do that."-- Genuine confession.
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You do not have to wonder from that point, "Did He forgive me?" You do not have to wonder. He put the robe of righteousness on you because you did what the prodigal son did. You confessed your need and you desired to be His servant. Well, if you want to be like one of His servants, He will make you one of His children. That is what He wants.
So no matter how far along we are in our walk, no matter how far Yahweh may take us in terms of our understanding of His will for our lives, there will always be something new that you did not know you had to change about yourself.
And the danger in the churches today is this mentality that you are going to get into this denomination and you are going to stop right there where they stop. And your spiritual growth-- you are going to hit the ceiling, and you are not going to be able to grow any further than where that particular church happens to be growing at the time.
That is dangerous. If you think you have arrived, you haven't. If you think you know anything, you know not yet as you ought to know.
And so, what we need to do is let our growth be continual, not let the fruit just fall off the tree and sit there and quit bearing fruit. There are too many retired believers today, some older folks who think they have learned what they are going to learn and they are retired believers now.
There are too many people using Yahweh like a spare tire. They will repent whenever they need the spare tire, whenever they need to fix a flat, whenever life is a wreck. You know, usually you do not think about the spare tire. You do not drive down the road or get in your car every day thinking, "I am going to need that spare tire. Where is it at?"
You do not worry about whether the spare tire is there. The spare tire is always there. And there are some people who are treating Yahweh like a spare tire. The only time they think about Him is when they get themselves in a jam.
He is not looking for spare tire believers. He is not looking to be your spare tire. He is looking to be your Elohim. He is looking to be your Father. He is looking for an ongoing, continual relationship.
He wants more than that. He deserves more than that. He created you. And so, He says:
Isaiah 55:7 - Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to YAHWEH, And He will have mercy on him; And to our Elohim, For He will abundantly pardon.
That is a promise. He will have mercy He says. He will have mercy on the one who forsakes his way and his unrighteous thoughts.
And I will promise you this, too-- He wants to help you overcome temptation. He wants to strengthen those legs that hang down. He wants you to be strong in Him. He wants you to call upon Him for mercy and receive help in your time of need.
He wants to be more than your spare tire. He wants to be the car that takes you to where you need to go. He wants you to give Him the wheel.
There are very few things that can demonstrate a heart of repentance more than just saying, "Yahweh, help me to do Your will. Show me Your will. Show me Your ways. Strengthen me to do it. I want to do it. Help me to do it."
You may feel like you are on a treadmill. You can't seem to get ahead, but as long as those legs are moving on that treadmill, I don't care if you are standing still, I don't care if you can't get up on the treadmill, if those legs are moving and you fall down and you get back up again and you keep moving, those are legs of repentance.
But what you do not want to do is jump off the treadmill and lay there like a pig wallowing in the mire.
So, do we understand the heart of Yahweh in this? Do we understand the heart of repentance that He is really seeking? You cannot trick Him. You cannot deceive Him. You cannot fool Him with a counterfeit repentance that is based on things that are not righteous, self-serving motives that are not righteous.
And so, we want to continue to grow. We want to continue to see His will and do it. But what is His will? What is His will? That is an ongoing thing that we learn more and more and more as we grow and we learn and we do.
It is interesting because the enemy really has deceived a lot of people into thinking... he can get you two ways. He can get you to where you don't feel like you want to do His will or he can get you to where you are deceived into knowing what His will really is. The latter is pretty easy to do because we have our own way we want.
If he can get you to think your way is His way, rather than His way needs to be your ways, he has you even before you start your first step. And what he has done over the ages is he has persuaded people that walking in the Law of Yahweh is not His will.
He has persuaded people that they do not have to repent of breaking His laws and they do not have to have a poor and contrite heart. Whereas Isaiah 66, says:
Isaiah 66:1 - Thus says YAHWEH: "Heaven [is] My throne, And earth [is] My footstool. Where [is] the house that you will build Me? And where [is] the place of My rest?
He will fix His gaze on you.
Isaiah 66:2 - For all those [things] My hand has made, And all those [things] exist," Says YAHWEH. "But on this [one] will I look: On [him who is] poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.
That is why David said, "A poor and contrite heart, O Elohim, You will not despise."
But I am sorry to say, traditional Christianity in some forms-- not all forms, but in some forms of it-- I have seen, if you tremble at His Word, if you have a poor and contrite heart before Him, it is almost as if, "Oh, you are not trusting His grace," when it is this kind of heart that He requires before you will get His grace.
And Gentiles, yes, must practice repentance. When Paul was recounting his vision before King Agrippa, he said:
Acts 26:19 - "Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20 - "but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to Elohim, and do works befitting repentance.
It has to be true, genuine repentance. Are we manifesting those kinds of works? That is our question.
Do we understand that sin is transgression of the Law?
1John 3:4 - Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
Do we understand that?
And so, when we are repenting, we are not just repenting of things that are commonly held to be sin. We are repenting for not keeping the Day of Atonement. We are repenting for not observing the Sabbath day. We are repenting for eating and putting things into our body that Yahweh calls an abomination.
We are repenting of any transgression of the Law because sin is the transgression of the Law.
And so, we are called to be a people who pay attention to not just the big things that we think are big, but even to the finer points of the Law as well. And I don't necessarily think the Sabbath and avoiding abominations and all these things are the finer points. I think they are pretty major points.
And I say that because the Sabbath was important enough to be included in the Ten Commandments; what we put into our bodies, He says, "You make yourselves abominable by partaking of these things"; and the Day of Atonement, He said, "I will destroy you if you work on that day."
Now to me, how else could He have said, "This is important"? I mean, He must have thought it was important. And so, those are not even the finer points. Those are major points. And, yes, there are other major points as well.
Matthew 23:23 - "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier [matters] of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
Justice, mercy and faith. Those are all parts of the Law. "These you ought to have done, without leaving the others (that is the tithe of mint and anise and cummin) undone." Do both! Even if you think it is just a fine point. And realize justice, mercy and faith are all part of the Law and they are weightier matters of the Law.
He is after our hearts, brothers and sisters. He is after our hearts.
Isaiah 26:10 - Let grace be shown to the wicked, [Yet] he will not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, And will not behold the majesty of YAHWEH.
How about us? If grace is shown to us, do we learn righteousness? Are we willing to yield ourselves to His definitions of righteousness? That is an important question. Will we learn righteousness now that we have been given grace? That is an ongoing thing.
There are going to be things that we are blind to that we do not realize are wrong.
John 9:40 - Then [some] of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, "Are we blind also?"
They asked Him, "Are we blind also?" And what He said to the Pharisees was:
John 9:41 - Yahushua said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, `We see.' Therefore your sin remains.
That is a pretty significant statement. If you are blind to something, He doesn't count it as being sin. Just like me with my children. If they did not know something was wrong and they did it, not knowing it was wrong, I would not count it against them. They did not know any better.
If we have areas of our walk we don't realize we are doing wrong, He doesn't count it as sin against us, unless-- look at what He says: "But now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains."
Even in terms of areas they are blind, they claim to be seeing people. They are the seeing ones (pride). And so, their sin remains-- "Okay, if you are the seeing one, then you will be responsible for what you do not know because you claim to see."
"With what judgment you judge, you will be judged. With what measure you use, it will be measured back to you." That is the danger of sectarianism and denominationalism. Whoever leads it is saying, "We see. We are the ones." And so, what did Messiah say? Your sin remains.
And so, we need faith in Messiah, but we also need repentance. And repentance leads us to having good works. That is who the saints are.
Revelation 14:12 - Here is the patience of the saints; here [are] those who keep the commandments of Elohim and the faith of Yahushua.
We have two religions here. We have Judaism focusing on the commandments and we have Christianity focusing on the faith of Messiah. And what we really need is both-- minus the baggage, minus the traditions of men. That is my faith. That is what I want my faith to be.
I don't claim to be perfectly keeping every command. I want to be. I hope you want to be. I want to be perfected. I hope we all want to be perfected.
I hope that we all hunger and that we thirst on this coming Day of Atonement for righteousness, not just for the bread that will perish, but for the bread that will never perish.
Matthew 5:6 - Blessed [are] those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
7 - Blessed [are] the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
And if we fail:
Hebrews 4:15 - For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all [points] tempted as [we are, yet] without sin.
So when we come before Him, we can come boldly to the throne of grace, obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, especially if we want Him to help us overcome.
Hebrews 4:16 - Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
And then we will be blessed.
Revelation 22:14 - Blessed [are] those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
And that is what He commands us. That is what He expects us to do-- that we would do the things that please Him, that we would walk in uprightness and truth, that we would pursue and hunger and thirst for righteousness. And that is repentance.
Now, once again, I want to go over some things about how to observe the Day of Atonement that is coming up here on the 17th (starting on the night of the 16th and ending the night of the 17th), unless you saw the new moon a day earlier than I did.
First of all, prior to this day, prepare your heart for a time of corporate repentance and confession of sin. That is the first thing we need to do. Be ready for it.
Secondly, remember the One who entered the heavenly Holy of Holies, and focus on the scriptures that speak of His work of intercession for us, because it is only by Him that we are saved, not by our own works, but by His work on the stake (on the tree).
Fasting (that means no food, no drink) for 24 hours, beginning at sundown on September 16th and ending at sundown on September 17th. This is the 10th day of the 7th month (for most of us).
Gather with others, if possible, if you can, for a holy convocation. Corporate repentance as the Body of Messiah is appropriate.
Once that is over, five days later-- the Feast of Tabernacles, starting this next weekend on the first day of the week. It is a week from tomorrow. You can prepare by obtaining a tent or some other temporary shelter. Make sure it is rain and wind-worthy.
On the evening of September 21st, the Feast of Tabernacles officially begins. This is your first night in a temporary shelter or tent. It will be just like a normal Sabbath except you can cook meals and prepare food as needed.
Also, have a holy convocation with other believers, if possible. Focus on the scriptures speaking of the festival, the Messiah's Kingdom, the need to be thankful, and the temporary nature of this age.
Spend at least 7 nights in a tent until the final night of September 27th. (That is roman reckoning.) And that will complete 7 nights in a temporary shelter.
Do not appear before Yahweh empty-handed. Give some kind of monetary offering, as you are able, to the poor or to Yahweh's work.
During the time you are in the temporary shelter, you can work (except on the regular Sabbaths, which in this case, the Sabbath would fall on the 28th).
Finally, during the week and during the Holy Days, focus on rejoicing for the harvest that Yahweh has provided this summer. Give thanks and praise (spiritual offerings) for the harvest, remembering Israel was also in temporary booths.
And really, we are in the wilderness, also. It is a reminder that we are in the wilderness. We are not yet entering the promised land. Our bodies, in fact, are temporary dwelling places. Our homes are temporary dwelling places. And the Feast of Tabernacles is a reminder every year of that fact.
On the evening of September 28th (what is called Saturday night) will be the Last Great Day (and on the 29th throughout the day). It is not required that you stay in a temporary shelter that night. If you are at the festival in Leasburg and you want to book a motel room, or whatever, you can. There is a motel right there on camp.
Also, have a holy convocation, focusing on the scriptures that speak of Yahweh's promises regarding the new heavens and the new earth. That is the Last Great Day right here.
And so, some practical things that you can be doing as we observe this Feast of Tabernacles.
And of course, the Last Great Day is to be treated as if it is a Sabbath day, except you can cook meals and prepare food, and you rest until the next evening. And that is how you can avoid transgressing Yahweh's Law on the Festivals and be blessed as a result. There are always blessings in doing things Yahweh's way.
I hope you hear the joy in our hearts when we start talking about Tabernacles because it really is a blessing.
I forgot to add the dates here to this. I want to put this up here. Once again, we do have the conference call on 9/16. That is the night of the 16th at 9pm, and that is Eastern Time/8:00 Central/7:00 Mountain/6:00 Pacific Time.
And you will call: 1-218-862-7200. And when you get the prompt, you are going to enter in the code: 511044 at the prompt. It will ask you for a code and you put that number in.
And we all, on this night of this Day of Atonement, we will all go before Yahweh in repentance of the sins that so easily beset us as a Body of Messiah. That is what Yahweh wants. That is what we are going to do.
And so, brothers and sisters, I hope that we have a better understanding (and I needed this reminder, too) of what it really means to repent. We see the examples in Scriptures, and we want to do the things that please our Father in heaven.
Where we fail to do that, we need to practice repentance. Every one of us has areas of our lives that we are currently working on, I hope-- overcoming and being an overcomer. It is the effort He is after, as a father, looking for the effort in his children.
He is after the effort that we are producing and the humility before Him in recognizing that we need His grace. And it is really only by the work of Messiah that we can be saved, but He will not allow the precious blood of His Son to be trampled underfoot. And so, we cannot do that, either.
And so, brothers and sisters, as we practice and we observe repentance in the Day of Atonement, may Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh have mercy on us all.
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