Prior to the Passover, we are told to keep the 1st day of Abib as a day of solemn assembly for it is a day of cleansing the Priests and the Sanctuary:
“This is what you are to do to consecrate them, so they may serve me as priests: Take a young bull and two rams without defect. And from fine wheat flour, without yeast, make bread, and cakes mixed with oil, and wafers spread with oil. Put them in a basket and present them in it—along with the bull and the two rams. Then bring A’aron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. Take the garments and dress Aaron with the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod itself and the breastpiece. Fasten the ephod on him by its skillfully woven waistband. Put the turban on his head and attach the sacred diadem to the turban. Take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head. Bring his sons and dress them in tunics and put headbands on them. Then tie sashes on A’aron and his sons. The priesthood is theirs by a lasting ordinance. In this way you shall ordain A’aron and his sons.
Bring the bull to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and A’aron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. Slaughter it in Yahweh’s presence at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Take some of the bull's blood and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour out the rest of it at the base of the altar. Then take all the fat around the inner parts, the covering of the liver, and both kidneys with the fat on them, and burn them on the altar. But burn the bull's flesh and its hide and its offal outside the camp. It is a sin offering.” (Exodus 29:1-14)
This was the first thing done for Passover:
“Thus says the Sovereign Yahweh: ‘In the first month, on the first day of the month, you shall take a young bull without blemish and cleanse the sanctuary. The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the Temple, on the four corners of the ledge of the altar, and on the gateposts of the gate of the inner court. And so you shall do on the seventh day of the month for everyone who has sinned unintentionally or in ignorance. Thus you shall make atonement for the Temple.’” (Ezekiel 45:18-20) The Tabernacle is cleansed on the 1st of Abib. The simple and sinful are cleansed on the 7th day for the arrival of Passover.
In Ezekiel 43:18 we see that the consecration begins with the altar, the consecration of the priests is required by the Torah: “Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Bring A’aron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket containing bread made without yeast, and gather the entire assembly at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.’ Moses did as Yahweh commanded him, and the assembly gathered at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
Moses said to the assembly, ‘This is what Yahweh has commanded to be done.’ Then Moses brought A’aron and his sons forward and washed them with water. He put the tunic on A’aron, tied the sash around him, clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him. He also tied the ephod to him by its skillfully woven waistband; so it was fastened on him. He placed the breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Tummim in the breastpiece. Then he placed the turban on A’aron's head and set the gold plate, the sacred diadem, on the front of it, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the Tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them.” (Leviticus 8:1-10). Thus, the priesthood was to already sanctify and cleanse themselves before anything else.
In the books of the exiled Priests it says: “For only through the Spirit pervading Yahweh's true society can there be atonement for a man's ways, all of his iniquities; thus only can he gaze upon the light of life and so be joined to His truth by His Holy Spirit, purified from all iniquity. Through a broken and contrite heart his sin may be covered, and by humbling himself before all Yahweh's Torah his flesh can be made clean. Only thus can he really receive the purifying waters and be purged by the cleansing flow. (Community Rule 1QS 3.6-9)” The cleansing sacrifices could not make us perfect for they only כֻּפַּר “kepar” (covered) our sins, they did not take them away.
The Priests knew that the cleansing began inside: “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of Elohim are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O Elohim, you will not despise. In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar.” (Psalm 51:16-19)
They knew “the Torah made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to Yahweh.” (Hebrews 7:19)
The word translated “perfect” is τελείωσις “telā'ōsēs” meaning “a completing” from the Hebrew גַ מִר וּ תָּא “gämirütä” from the root גְּמָרָא “gə’märä” meaning “to complete or make whole.” Just as the Talmud is made up of two parts: Mishna and Gemara; the Mishna coming first about 220 CE and the Gemara added later in about 500 CE; the Gemara is seen as complementing and completing the Mishna, not replacing or ending it. Likewise the Zaddokite Priesthood complements and completes the Levitical Priesthood. In the same way the author to the Book of Hebrews is saying the Melchizadek Priesthood complements and completes the “priestcraft” as a whole but it does not replace the A’aronic Priesthood.
The Priests knew they had to appeal to the Heavenly Tabernacle for there to be any meaning to what they were doing in the Temple. “If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the Torah was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?” (Hebrews 7:11)
This could have never been accomplished by the Torah alone, for the Torah could not bring mankind to perfection or completion: “Messiah is the goal of the Torah so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4)
Those “good things that are coming” that the Spirit of Truth is guiding us into, of which the Torah is the “shadow” cast down to us, are those things Messiah as Zaddokite High Priest – the Melchizadek, Who “has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises,” (Hebrews 8:6) is ministering to us coming down from that “Tabernacle not made by hand.” (Hebrews 9:11)
The author of the Book of Hebrews through the Spirit of Truth is NOT telling us that the Torah is done away with and does not need to be kept since it is only a “shadow” the Torah has always been a “shadow of good things that are coming.” How else would we know that there is any “there” there? By casting a “shadow” Yahweh is telling us He is there. He’s telling us, we are not alone!
“They serve at a Sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in Heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the Tabernacle: ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’ (Exodus 25:40)” (Hebrews 8:5)
“When Messiah came as High Priest of the good things that are coming, He went through the greater and more perfect Tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.” (Hebrews 9:11)
The “good things” “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Messiah who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Messiah and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the full message to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:10-12)
Rather than teach that the sacrificial system is abolished, the author of the Book of Hebrews is telling us that they serve to bring to remembrance their sins year after year to bring them into a state of תָּשׁוּבָה “teshuvah” (repentance). The Jerusalem Talmud states, "nothing can stand before teshuvah" (Yebamos 47b).
Every ceremony, ritual, sacrifice and Priest were all shadows cast to earth representing what Yahweh was doing for mankind in Messiah’s Melchizedek High Priestly ministry in the Heavenly Tabernacle. The redemptive work of Messiah is greater – brighter – than what could be realized in the “shadow.” The righteous requirements of the Torah could never be fully satisfied by the rituals of the Tabernacle nor were they designed to. They were only a covering for sin. It was always understood that the Messiah had to come as the Lamb of Yahweh that would take away the sin of the world. No sacrifice would ever birth the worshiper anew and stamp once again the image of Yahweh upon the life of the Believer to bring that one to perfection.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of Adonai, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of Adonai.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Thus, we are dealing with a priesthood already sanctified and commencing the sacrifices of the altar within the original Zaddokite Priesthood. This priesthood preceded Levi, and Levi tithed to it in the loins of Abraham.
Sanctification of the Priesthood
There is a sequence of sanctification. The first-born of Israel is sanctified, and then Israel itself is sanctified in its entirety to meet the Face of Yahweh, as manifested by the Adam Kadmon – the Express Image of Yahweh (Colossians 1:15) - we know as Messiah YahShua.
“‘Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:5, 6)
“But you are a Chosen People, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a people belonging to Yahweh, that you may declare the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of Yahweh; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify Yahweh on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:9-12)
The restoration of the worship of the Living Elohim commences with the House of Yahweh and from its priesthood. Preparation starts on the 1st of Abib.
The question then arises: How are we sanctified?
“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life.” (Leviticus 17:11)
“In fact, the Torah requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22)
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, “Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O Elohim.”’ (Psalm 40:6-8)
Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Torah), then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O Elohim’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Messiah YahShua once for all.” (Hebrews 10:5-10)
He is our Zaddokite High Priest – the Melchizadek that had to administer the sin offering before Yahweh in the Holy of Holies. “But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Hebrews 9:26)
Messiah died "once for all" (Romans 6:10; 1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 10:10). Once for all what? Once for all times. Once for all people. Once for all sins. Once for all guilt. Messiah’s sacrifice and death was "once for all!"
Each Sabbath of Leviticus 23, to include Passover, that I keep has its own special “shadow” of its Heavenly glory and as I keep them and learn by its significance what King Messiah is doing for me in the Heavenlies it changes me – “from glory to glory” He’s changing me! “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am Yahweh Who sanctifies you.” (Exodus 31:13)
Through all the object lessons of the Torah Messiah leaves the imprint of Elohim on us. “His Son…Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:2, 3) is imprinting His likeness upon us, we are becoming like Him – we are the image of the “express image.”
Elohim said: “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26)
King David said: “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.” (Psalm 17:15)
Rabbi Sha’ul said: “… as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.” (1 Corinthians 15:49)
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from Yahweh, Who also made us sufficient as ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory is being absorbed, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is being absorbed is glorious, what remains is even more glorious… Now Yahweh is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of Yahweh is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:5-11, 17)
“…he who looks into the perfect Torah of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25)
“For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ (Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18) also said, ‘Do not murder.’ (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17) Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the Torah. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the Torah of liberty.” (James 2:11, 12)
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. Yahweh is Spirit and His worshipers must worship in Spirit and in Truth.” (John 4:23, 24)
“Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth.” (John 17:17)
“Your Torah is truth.” (Psalm 119:142)
Thus, the Sabbaths of Yahweh are a sign that Yahweh sanctifies us.
First, the first-born of Israel are sanctified: “Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.” (Exodus 13:2) That’s what it means when it says: “And we know that in all things Yahweh works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those Yahweh foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
Second, all of Israel is sanctified: “And Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day Yahweh will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, “Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. He shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not be permitted to live.” Only when the shofar sounds a long blast may they go up to the mountain.’ After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes.” (Exodus 19:10-14)
Israel could not receive the “good things that are coming” without first sanctifying themselves. After they sanctified themselves Yahweh came down: “On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with Elohim, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because Yahweh descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder.” (Exodus 19:16-19)
“The voice of Yahweh is powerful; the voice of Yahweh is majestic. The voice of Yahweh breaks the cedars; Yahweh breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of Yahweh cleaves through tongues of fire. The voice of Yahweh shakes the desert; Yahweh shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of Yahweh twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in His Temple all cry, ‘Glory!’ Yahweh sits enthroned over the flood; Yahweh is enthroned as King forever.” (Psalm 29:4-10)
“Then Moses spoke and the voice of Elohim answered him. Yahweh descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up and Yahweh said to him, ‘Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see Yahweh and many of them perish. Even the priests, who approach Yahweh, must consecrate themselves, or Yahweh will break out against them." (Exodus 19:19-22)
“When Moses went and told the people all Yahweh’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, ‘Everything Yahweh has said we will do.’ Moses then wrote down everything Yahweh had said.
He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to Yahweh. Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, ‘Everything Yahweh has said we will do and hear.’
Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that Yahweh has made with you in accordance with all these words.’ (Exodus 24:3-8)
Moses could go to the mountain but the people could not. We, the Zaddokite Priesthood, can go with confidence before the Throne of Yahweh through the new and living way of Messiah YahShua as Zaddokite High Priest – the Melchizadek.
“The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this which was said before: ‘“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares Yahweh. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their Elohim, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahweh,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares Yahweh. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”’ (Jeremiah 31:33, 34) And all of this establishes that there is forgiveness, it is not necessary to still offer sin offerings. Accordingly, brothers, we have confidence to enter the Holy of Holies by the blood of YahShua, which establishes a new and living way opened for us through the veil, that is, His body, and since we have a High Priest over the House of Yahweh, let us approach Yahweh with a true heart in confidence of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with the waters of purification. (Exodus 24:8) Let us hold fast to the understanding of hope without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. And you shall not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:15-25)
We have covenant renewed by our new Moses – Messiah YahShua – Who has sprinkled us: “When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the Torah to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant, which Elohim has commanded you to keep.’ In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the Tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies.” (Hebrews 9:19-21) So too have we had “our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with the waters of purification. (Exodus 24:8)” We have been made holy, we have entered the Holy of Holies, so this should spur us on “toward love and good deeds.” To encourage us to do good works we are commanded to keep the Sabbaths (Leviticus 23) to include Passover and so much the more as we see the “Day of Yahweh’s Wrath” approaching.
Sanctification of the Temple
The Temple is sanctified on the First of the First month and “we are that Temple”. “Don't you know that you yourselves are Yahweh’s Temple and that Yahweh’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys Yahweh’s Temple, Yahweh will destroy him; for Yahweh’s Temple is sacred, and you are that Temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
This is the Temple in which Yahweh dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that your body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from Yahweh? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor Yahweh with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20)
So then, the physical Temple looked forward to the spiritual Temple, which we are.
“Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on YahShua, the apostle and High Priest Whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all Yahweh’s house. YahShua has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but Yahweh is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servant in all Yahweh’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Messiah is faithful as a son over Yahweh’s house. And we are His house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.” (Hebrews 3:1-6)
Thus, we are the household of Yahweh, being of the household of Messiah. “On that day Yahweh will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like Elohim, like the Angel of Yahweh going before them.” (Zechariah 12:8) The household of the King is destined to become like Messiah our head. “...speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him Who is the Head, that is, Messiah. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:15, 16) So, it is the responsibility of every person to sanctify him or herself from the First day of the First month before the Passover.
“So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, “Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.” So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.” (Psalm 95:7-11)
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living Elohim. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Messiah if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.’ (Psalm 95:7, 8)
Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did Yahweh swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.” (Hebrews 3:7-19)
They had not put what they did understand into practice in their lives mix it with faith. “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the full message preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:1-3)
The sanctification process is not one of outward cleansing only, but also one of inward cleansing. That is the most difficult of all.
“Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. Then anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it will be most holy. Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them.” (Exodus 40:9-11)
The altar sanctifies everything that touches it.
“For seven days make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. Then the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches it will be holy.” (Exodus 29:37) “Make…a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. Then use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony, the table and all its articles, the menorah and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.” (Exodus 30:25-29)
Sin is treason: “Everyone who sins breaks the Torah: in fact, sin is the breaking of the Torah.” (1 John 3:4) The penalty is fatal: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of Yahweh is eternal life in Messiah YahShua our King.” (Romans 6:23) Adonijah, the second oldest son of David. Adonijah attempted to have himself made king, even though David had chosen Solomon to follow him as king, that was treason. Upon hearing the news, David immediately had Solomon anointed as king over Israel. When the news came to Adonijah, the reality of what he had done and the penalty it deserved caused him to be filled with fear – horrific fear. Would he end up dead like Absalom, his older brother that had also committed treason trying to over throw his father in a coup? What should he do? Where could he go? Should he go into exile? Should he go into hiding? There was only one place a person could go for mercy: “Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar.” (1Kings 1:50) Joab, the commander of the army, who supported Adonijah in his attempt to seize the throne. Shortly after assuming the throne, Solomon began to clean house: “When the news reached Joab, who had conspired with Adonijah though not with Absalom, he fled to the Tabernacle of Yahweh and took hold of the horns of the altar.” (1Kings 2:28) According to Exodus 21:12-14, grasping the horns of the altar was a way of seeking sanctuary or protection when one was charged with a serious offense. What is so special about the altar that it provides Sanctuary? According to Leviticus 4, it was because there was where the blood was applied; all the sin offerings of the people of Israel were brought to the bronze altar. Whenever someone sinned, a bull, goat, or lamb without blemish was brought to the bronze altar as a sin offering. The one bringing the offering would lay his hand hard upon the animal then the priest would slaughter it. The priest would take the blood of the offering and put it with his finger on the four horns of the altar. The fat of the animal would be burned on the altar. The rest of the animal would then be carried out of the camp and burned to ashes. If the offering was accepted the smoke would rise in a single column and it was declared a sacrifice.
Why did Adonijah and Joab grab the horns of the altar? Not because they were innocent but because they were guilty! It is guilty people who come to the bronze altar. When Adonijah and Joab grabbed the horns, they were confessing their guilt and their shame. They were admitting they were guilty of the crime. Justice demands our execution if we deny Yahweh’s sovereignty. By rights we, like Adonijah, should pay for treason against Yahweh’s Kingdom with our own blood. It is up to the King to show mercy. It is Yahweh’s mercy that put animals on the altar instead of the sinners themselves. The sin of the guilty one has been transferred to the innocent lamb or goat or bull. And the blamelessness of the lamb or goat or bull without blemish has been transferred to the repentant sinner. It was the blood – and only the blood – that gave the horns of the altar their protective power. Yahweh’s mercy created the “sin offering” as a symbol of the way back to Yahweh, 4 times in Leviticus 4 we read the words, “and he will be forgiven” (Leviticus 4:20,26, 31,35) through the at-one-ment through His own sacrifice His only begotten Son, to satisfy justice once and for all.
Once atonement is made, there’s got to be sanctification. If a person goes back into sin, the atonement is lifted. Like Adonijah who was shown mercy but was put to death for trying to steal the throne a second time. When is there no more mercy” When there is no justice in the world.
However, it is Yahweh’s presence that sanctifies: “There I will meet you and speak to you; there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by My glory.” (Exodus 29:42, 43)
“Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of Yahweh filled the Tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of Yahweh filled the Tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34-35)
As the Temple we too will be filled: “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from Whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Messiah, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of Yahweh. Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Called Out Ones and in Messiah YahShua throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amien.” (Ephesians 3:14-21)
It is that “Presence” or “Spirit” that sanctifies us as His Temple of the “good things to come”: “Now it is Yahweh Who makes both us and you stand firm in Messiah. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22) “In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him Who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Messiah, might be for the praise of His glory. And you also were included in Messiah when you heard the Word of Truth, the full message of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are Yahweh’s possession—to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:11-14) So, it is the Spirit that sanctifies the Temple and makes it holy. “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of Yahweh are sons of Yahweh. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are Yahweh’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of Yahweh and co-heirs with Messiah, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” (Romans 8:12-17)
The presence of Yahweh in the Elect as the Holy Spirit, and the body of Messiah as the Temple of Yahweh, must be holy in all aspects. Thus, the Body of Messiah as the Temple of Yahweh must be sanctified before Passover. We’ve been “chosen according to the foreknowledge of Yahweh the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Messiah YahShua and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” (1 Peter 1:2)
Hence, we are partakers of the divine nature: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of Yahweh and of YahShua our King. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:2-4)
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of Yahweh rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but Yahweh rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)
“To the Torah and to the Testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.” (Isaiah 8:20)
“Worship Yahweh! For the testimony of YahShua is the Spirit of Prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10)
“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my Sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their Elohim, and they will be My people. Then the nations will know that I Yahweh make Israel holy, when My Sanctuary is among them forever.” (Ezekiel 37:26-28)
That example is now, but will not be fully realized until the return of Messiah and the building of His Temple.
He who sanctifies and we who are sanctified are all of one family: “In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that Yahweh, for Whom and through Whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the One Who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So YahShua is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, ‘I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.’ (Psalm 22:22) And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ (Isaiah 8:17) And again he says, ‘Here am I, and the children Yahweh has given me.’ (Isaiah 8:18)” (Hebrews 2:10-13)
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of Yahweh? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of Yahweh. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of King Messiah YahShua and by the Spirit of our Elohim.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Once we are sanctified we are ready for service: “to be a minister of Messiah YahShua to the nations with the priestly duty of proclaiming the full message of Yahweh, so that the nations might become an offering acceptable to Yahweh, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I glory in Messiah YahShua in my service to Yahweh.” (Romans 15:16, 17)
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” (2 Timothy 2:20, 21) “…and whatever touches them will be holy.”
Messiah did this by one sin offering once and for all, and forever perfected us that are sanctified: “The High Priest carries the blood of animals into the Holy of Holies as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so YahShua also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through His own blood. Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through YahShua, therefore, let us continually offer to Yahweh a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices Yahweh is pleased. Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon. May the Elohim of peace, Who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our King YahShua, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Messiah YahShua, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amien.” (Hebrews 13:11-21)
The author of the Book of Hebrews is saying we should be convinced of the necessity of making a “sin offering” while having the full assurance that King Messiah’s “sin offering” satisfied “once and for all” the requirement of the Torah.
Our service and worship is to offer spiritual sacrifices and offerings, which are received on high by the Heavenly ministers as collective offerings: “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of Yahweh sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. And when He had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden censers full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for Yahweh from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our Elohim, and they will reign on the earth.’
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!’ The four living creatures said, ‘Amien,’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Revelation 5:6-14)
So, the process of sanctification of the Temple is no less important than the act of partaking of the Temple, because each person must render themselves fit in the Holy Spirit to partake of the body and blood of Messiah typified by the Passover meal. This is no mere meal. It is a Zaddokite ritual of worship done here on earth but assisted by the Heavenly ministers.
In reality, the 1-7 of Abib is just as integral to the Passover as are the Days of the Passover and Unleavened Bread themselves. “For I received from Adonai what I also passed on to you: King YahShua, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the King’s death until He comes. Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of Adonai in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the King. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the King eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by Yahweh, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-32)
As Zaddokite Priest it is our collective responsibility as the Temple of the Holy Spirit to participate in the active and collective worship of Yahweh. This holy practice of “sanctification” has been neglected too long. It is time for the restoration of the “cleansing of the Temple” to its proper importance in the structure of the Plan of Yahweh and His system of worship.