One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Yom Hakippurim Lessons

Matithyah (Matthew) 18:35
“So shall also My heavenly Father do unto you, if you do not forgive everyone his brother from your hearts.”

One of the things that I really look forward to during the appointed feasts of YHWH is learning something new. YHWH never fails to reveal some new insight to me during the days of His appointed times. This last Yom Hakippurim was no exception. It seems that the focus of this day may be a little skewed in our time. Please consider the above verse very carefully.

The above verse is the conclusion of a parable Yeshua gave in which a master had brought one of his slaves in before him and demanded that he pay off his debt. The slave was not able to as he was very poor. However, the slave begged for mercy and the master decided to have mercy upon him and forgive all his debt, which was quite large.

However, the slave did not do in like manner to his fellow slave. A fellow slave owed the first slave a pittance compared to what he had owed their master. But he was unwilling to forgive him for this small amount and began to beat him. The other slaves told their master and the master had the slave arrested and brought before him to be handed over to the torturers.

Yeshua’s conclusion is simple: each person who has come to Him and asked for mercy for his sins to be forgiven has received that same type of abundant mercy. Our debt was huge and beyond our ability to pay. Now He expects those who have received mercy and forgiveness to give mercy and forgive those who have wronged us or hurt us in any way. We are to humble ourselves.

According to Torah, on Yom Hakippurim, the kohen gadol first offers a bull for his own sins after having gone through the proper cleansing and putting on the appropriate clothing. Then, after more cleansing, he offers the two goat sacrifice for the people of the nation as specified. As a result of this act of obedience to the command of YHWH, YHWH forgives all the sins of the nation. It is not the blood of bulls and goats which brings the forgiveness, but the act of obedience to His commandments. This is an act of faith.

The Master has forgiven His servants of all their debts, which they could not pay. Now, YHWH has commanded all of His people to humble themselves and do likewise. It is upon this day, according to Scripture, that all debts are released, land reverts back to the ancestral owners, and all fellow Hebrew slaves are released. This is humbling oneself, to release the debts of another.

The focus of this day is not so much on getting into a right relationship with one’s Creator as is commonly sought after today. Rather, this day, according to Torah, the forgiveness of all sins is a foregone conclusion; this is going to happen, regardless of what the individual does. However, what each person is commanded to do in regards to this day, is to humble himself. It is often put forth that in order to humble oneself, one is to fast, which is not commanded in the Torah. What is commanded is to humble oneself.

Let us carefully and prayerfully consider the following passage.

Yirmeyah (Jeremiah) 34:10-11
10 And all the princes and all the people obeyed, that had entered into the covenant, that everyone should let his man-servant, and everyone his maid-servant, go free, that none should make bondmen of them anymore; they obeyed, and let them go:
11 but afterwards they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.

After the people did this, that is, released their brothers and sisters in bondage to them, they changed their minds and placed them back in bondage. YHWH then sent word through His prophet Yirmeyah, again.

Yirmeyah (Jeremiah) 34:15-16
15 “And you recently turned, and had done that which is right in My eyes, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor; and you had made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name;
16 but you turned and profaned My name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom you had let go free at their pleasure, to return; and you brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.”

They knew what was right in the eyes of YHWH, but they did not follow through on it. They began down the path of righteousness, but then after putting their hand to the plow, they looked back. Their actions in placing their brothers and sisters back in bondage profaned the great name of YHWH. He took note of their choices and took appropriate action Himself. Namely, He pronounced judgment upon all those who profaned His name by refusing to release their brothers and sisters.

Matithyah (Matthew) 5:23-24
23 “If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has aught against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way, first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

Debt is a very serious matter in Scripture, either that which one owes to another or what another owes to him. It is not to be taken lightly or dealt with lightly. The choices one makes concerning debt has eternal consequences.

Matithyah (Matthew) 6:14-15
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Furthermore, to forgive a debt and then reinstate that same debt is the worst choice of all. For in doing so, YHWH takes note and places one under judgment at the hands of one's enemies or pestilence.

Yirmeyah (Jeremiah) 34:17
“Therefore thus says YHWH, ‘You have not hearkened unto Me, to proclaim liberty, every man to his brother, and every man to his neighbor, behold, I proclaim unto you a liberty,’ says YHWH, ‘to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be tossed to and fro among all the kingdoms of the earth.’”

The lesson I was shown this last Yom Hakippurim was simple and to the point. I must release the debt of all those who have wronged me. However another has wronged me is a small debt compared to the debt YHWH has forgiven me through the Blood of Mashiach Yeshua.

One other point should be included in this discussion. When one releases, that is forgives, the debt of those who owe him or who have wronged him in some way, one of the things this means is that this debt cannot be used in the future in any manner whatsoever. One cannot bring up this past debt. It is over. It is released. To bring it up and place it before the person who has been forgiven is to reinstate the debt. Doing so is to renege on the release. To release, to forgive, one must act as if the debt never existed at all.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah