17 September 2010 (Sheshi/Kippur)|
Day #185, 5934 AM
Teshuvah #40 An End
Concluding the Season of Teshuvah
The last day of the Teshuvah or repentance season gets me thinking a lot. This evening Yom Kippur begins. Have I done all I could have done to get right with Yahweh? Have I used the season in such a way as to make teshuvah more 'natural' for me so that in focussing specifically on this matter for 40 whole days I have learned to translate it into a daily habit? But have I additionally - and perhaps even more importantly - understood that this season is not even primarily about me but about body or corporate repentance? Have I understood what 'New Covenant Israel' actually is and have I moved in echad (unity) with other blood-bought, commandment-keeping believers who seek not just continuing personal salvation but salvation for the whole family of Yahweh on earth?
When Yah'shua began His ministry He spoke to only one community or nation - Judah:
By the time He had finished preaching three years later Yah'shua's message had changed in scope:
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt.4:17, NKJV).
The scope of the message has indeed changed because the power of the message has burst beyond little Judah and into the whole world. There is now sufficient knowledge of the truth everywhere that no soul alive has any legitimate excuse not to repent:
"Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:46-47, NKJV).
The purpose of making teshuvah or repentance is to give souls final remission (forgiveness) of sins and eternal life. What that means is that there is no salvation apart from repentance. This further means that the soul which refuses to repent has no forgiveness of sins (he must live in perpetual guilt) and no eternal life (he has an end). And though that might seem rather obvious to say, isn't this really what we're all about? And isn't it precisely this that the world refuses to accept by declaring that there is no such thing as 'sin' or 'guilt' - that morality is relative and personal? And yet Yahweh says the world has absolutely no excuse because there isn't a single soul alive on this world that does not know deep down that there is something absolutely called 'right' and 'wrong', that there is something real called guilt no matter how much you may try to deny it, that there is a Righteous Judge who expects all men and women everywhere to give an account of their lives not just at the end of life but every year (at Yom Kippur), every month (at Rosh Chodesh) and every week at the sabbath Lord's Supper assembly, every day in personal devotions, every hour, every minute, every second. Repentance is a whole lifestyle - it's all about staying on track, facing Yah'shua, and moving toward Him. Anything that would prevent that is sin, and sin requires repentance - readjustment, a change in direction.
"Truly, these times of ignorance Elohim (God) overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day (Yom Kippur) on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man (Yah'shua) whom He has ordained" (Acts 17:30-31, NKJV).
Today is the last day of Teshuvah. I have decided that I like 'last days'! Why? Because when it comes to Yahweh's Last days, it means that as something ends, something better is always on the way...for those who trust and abide in Him. My ministry, my family, and I myself are 'ending' - not coming to a complete and total 'end' but ending one way of being and readying for the beginning of a new way - a new beginning. We have been through some pretty tough times the last few years and it takes time to come through trauma. But we are reviving in Yah'shua the Reviver and looking forward to what is to come.
The same is true for you, if you will step up before Yahweh, prostrate yourself before Him, release what He wants you to release and accept what He wants you to accept. Let this time of self-affliction (fasting) be a time to allow Him to break the old that is inferior and make something new in you that is better. Gather with me this evening and tomorrow morning for what is for many the holiest of the sacred moedim of Yahweh: Yom Kippur. And may He guide You along the Way.