Yehovah (the LORD), the Creator and God (Elohim) who reveals Himself so wonderfully in the Law and the Prophets, is no different from the Elohim spoken of in the New Testament. Yehovah does not change and His word endures forever. To think otherwise is to harbor a false image in our mind that will prevent us from seeing and living in His eternal kingdom. Correcting these false images and providing the intellectual tools to search out the truth of the scriptures for ourselves is the purpose of this series of writings.
One of the greatest false images that we embrace in our minds and then incorporate into our actions is a false image of what “grace” actually is. The vast majority of those who call themselves Christians have used this false idea of grace as a sort of “get out of jail free card.” Because we “believe in Jesus” we think we are, somehow, now allowed to do what ever we decide is right and have no eternal consequences attached to our actions. And best of all, we can use this card as often as needed. Woo whoo – such a deal, it would seem. But maybe, we should rethink this idea before we stake our eternal destiny on it. Remember, the worst false image anyone can have is the one that we believe is true, but in reality is not; and worst of all, this false image will affect all our other thoughts and actions.
I will submit to you my dear and precious reader that the grace of Yehovah, will not be found for anyone who, after repentance, wishes to continues willfully in what Yehovah defines as sin. So let’s look at the scriptures and see what this wonderful spirit of grace, that our heavenly Father has placed upon all His people, is all about.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of Yehovah. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with Elohim. (Gen 6:8-9)
Then Moses said to Yehovah, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.” (Exo 33:12-13)
Notice, both Noah and Moses were found with the grace of Yehovah before they learned His ways and walked with Him. Even Paul in his commentary on scriptures which he sent to the church (those who were called out of the world) in Ephesus said,
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of Elohim (God), not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh–who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands–that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (Eph 2:8-12)
Because of the grace of Yehovah we have been led to repentance and joined to the commonwealth of Israel, Yehovah’s people, and now we learn and do His ways which are also theirs, and now ours.
But there are many ways that we can get kicked out of Israel and separated from grace of Elohim; and the primary reason is presumptuous sin. Sin that is done on purpose. Was it by accident, or coincidence that Yehovah mentions the person who sins willfully in Numbers and then discusses the breaking of His Sabbath?
‘But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on Yehovah, and he shall be cut off from among his people [Israel]. Because he has despised the word of Yehovah, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him.’ “
Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him. Then Yehovah said to Moses, “The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” (Num 15:30-35)
My favorite Torah teacher Glenn McWilliams speaks of intentional sin this way:
“I must address the issue of intentional sin. There is no sacrifice in the Torah or anywhere else for intentional sin. Not even is the sacrifice of Messiah for intentional sin. Intentional sin can only be dealt with through one of two courses: death or a path of intentional confession, intentional repentance, and intentional restitution. There is no cheap grace in the Scriptures. The one who intentionally transgresses the Torah must just as intentionally confess his fault, turn from his wicked ways with genuine conviction, and do all in his power to make right the wrong he has done. Only then can the repentant sinner come to reconciliation with YHWH through Messiah and find salvation in him.”
It was not because of the righteousness of Israel that they inherited the promised land, but rather, it was because of the unrighteous of the nations that they were destroyed.
If we are to call ourselves Yehovah’s people we must follow Him. And when we do, the grace of Yehovah will continue to be upon us and He will bring us back to our land. But He will also destroy all others, among the nations, who will not repent and begin to follow His ways.
It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your [Israel’s] heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that Yehovah your Elohim drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which Yehovah swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Deu 9:5)
Many will say “Jesus has covered all my sins”; and he has covered all the sins that we have repented of, but if we continue to sin intentionally and willfully we are in a far worse situation, because we now tread on the precious blood of the lamb of Yehovah and insult the spirit of grace that first led us to repentance. The writer of Hebrews says,
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 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? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says Yehovah. And again, “Yehovah will judge His people.” (Heb 10:26-30)