What is sin? p1
Original sin p6
Why is there sin? p9
Why does sin abound? p11
Personal p 20
Intermediate State p25
What is Sin?
There must be a distinction drawn between sin and its effects. The fruits of sin in a person manifests itself in trespasses (Jukes). It is the role of Torah to highlight trespasses for what they are and to show what must be done to escape sin and its consequences. It is said that only Believers are conscious of sin as it is a person’s awareness of Yahua (Yonay quoting Fr. Danielon).
“…Make me know my disobedience and my sin.” (Job 13:23b). In the depth of his trials, Iyov sought the reason for his condition. This word ‘disobedience’ #H6588 פֶּשַׁע pehshah means transgression which is translated as rebellion in the KJV.*1846a rebellion, revolt, transgression but has the underlying idea of a failure in the relationships between two parties. The result is that Man deceives himself “For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23a). It is my belief that there is only one sin – disobedience.
What are normally considered as ‘sins’ are in reality the outworking of disobedience. This may not necessarily be an actual breaking of a commandment but in not obeying יְהֹוָה fully, could be considered as sin. “Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you, and `Aharon your brother, and speak you to the rock before their eyes, that it give forth its water; and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation and their cattle drink… Moshe lifted up his hand, and struck the rock with his rod twice: and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. יְהֹוָה said to Moshe and `Aharon, ‘Because you did not believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Yisra`el, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’” (Num. 20:8, 11, 12). In this account, Moshe disobeyed יְהֹוָה’s instructions. It may seem harsh that after all that he had done and was about to do, Moshe was not allowed to lead the Yisra`elites into the Promised Land. However, due to Moshe’s close relationship with יְהֹוָה, much more was required of him. Believers must mature and what was considered acceptable last year may not be acceptable today, even though it is not directly breaking any commandments.
“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins… How much worse punishment, do you think, will he be judged worthy of, who… has insulted the Ruach of grace?” (Heb. 10:26-30). The Book of Hebrews was a warning to Believers not to return to Judaism. It was not a question of losing salvation but of punishment in returning to a belief system that was inferior to that which the Ruach had revealed. When the Ruach reveals Father’s will or truth, He must chastise His children who wantonly choose to ignore His leading (Fruchtenbaum (1)).
In maturing, a Believer becomes more and more reliant upon יְהֹוָה’s Word and the leading of His Ruach. The Ruach instructs a Believer in a specific way preparing the Believer for a particular calling or task. By refusing to listen or follow may result in being disciplined by Father.
The definition of sin as above is being disobedience that is, something that is done or not done that displeases יְהֹוָה. Therefore, what is termed ‘original sin’ cannot be supported by Scripture. Man was given free-will so that all Mankind have a choice whether to sin or not.
“If you do well, will it not be lifted up? If you do not do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it.”(Gen. 4:7). This is the first time sin is mentioned in the Bible and יְהֹוָה confronted Kayin (Cain) over the murder of his brother Hevel (Abel). Sin is referred to as the opposite of doing the right thing. What is the ‘right thing’ to do? Throughout the world, each sovereign country makes its own laws and regulations and the corresponding punishment if the laws are broken. Some laws may seem to be more severe or liberal than others. Given that within individual countries, and especially democratic countries, the law-makers may pass laws that are popular against those that are beneficial; there has to be a higher standard that exceeds all man-made laws.
“There is a way which seems right to a man, But in the end it leads to death.” (Prov. 14:12). Even though certain laws are ‘good’ in the sight of the law makers, if they are not יְהֹוָה’s ways then the laws may lead man astray resulting in death. The word usually translated as ‘law’ in the Tanakh (Old Testament) is #8451 תּוֹרָה Torah. It also has the meaning of direction and instruction. It is not only a list of do’s and do nots, it is יְהֹוָה revealing Himself and guiding us on how to live a life in right standing with יְהֹוָה. “יְהֹוָה said to Moshe, ‘Come up to me on the mountain, and stay here, and I will give you the tables of stone with the law and the commands that I have written, that you may teach them.’” (Exod. 24:12).
“All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.” (Matt. 11:27, Luke 10:22) In these accounts, the Son reveals the Father “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with יְהֹוָה, and the Word was יְהֹוָה.” (John 1:1). “The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw His glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14). In these two verses, the Son is called the Word of יְהֹוָה. The Son’s purpose on earth was to call all people to repentance (Matt. 4:17; Luke 13:3) and to reveal the Father.
“…and sin is lawlessness.” (1John 3:4b). Yochanan (John) states that ‘lawlessness’ #G458 ἀνομία anomia meaning without the law either by ignorance or wilfulness or contempt for the law. He goes on to say that “All unrighteousness is sin…” (1 John 5:17a) ‘Unrighteousness’ – #G93 ἀδικία adikia meaning a deed violating law.
Yochanan clearly equates sin with breaking the law. He would also be aware of the Roman ignorantia legis neminem excusat (Latin for ignorance of the law excuses no one) where lack of knowledge could not be used as a defence in court (www.wikipedia.org).
Torah did not bring the sin into the world but revealed sin for what it was. “The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw His glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Rom. 5:13). The Menorah (seven-branched candle stand) is the most sacred symbol of the Jewish nation as the Cross is for some Believers. “Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.” (Psa. 119:105). The Torah is said to be represented by the Menorah and is meant to be at the meeting point of יְהֹוָה with man and is eternally in the presence of יְהֹוָה’s people. יְהֹוָה has commanded that the light is to be continually tended. “You shall command the children of Yisra`el, that they bring to you pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually”. (Exod. 27:20). Sin is usually contrasted with righteousness in the simile of darkness and light. There is no darkness (not even a black hole in space) that can destroy light, but light always destroys darkness! “For the commandment is a lamp, And the law is light. Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,” (Prov. 6:23) compares Torah and light. Throughout the first chapter of Yochanan (John 1:4-30) the Good News writer likens the Master as Light; Torah=Light=Messiah. This clearly shows that the Torah became flesh partly to shed light in a dark world by revealing Father.
“and said, ‘Full of all deceit and all cunning, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the right ways of יְהֹוָה?’”(Acts 13:10). Sin is also the perversion, distortion or adding to or deleting from the Word of יְהֹוָה (cf Rev. 22:18, 19).
“They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me, for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.” (Exod. 23:33). In this verse and the vast majority of times when יְהֹוָה has had to intervene in the affairs of mankind, it is usually when man has gone after other gods. This insult יְהֹוָה takes personally as a direct insult to Himself and all that He has done. The whole Book of Hosea can be summed up in “For their mother has played the prostitute. She who conceived them has done shamefully; For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,…’”. (Hosea 2.5a). Hosea’s wife, Gomer played the harlot and went after many lovers. With יְהֹוָה calling all Believers His betrothed, going after other gods was considered to be adultery. “For they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands; and with their idols have they committed adultery;” (Eze. 23:37).
“…for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;” (Rom. 3:9b). According to the Bible there are only two types of people in this world; Jew and Gentile. This means that no one is immune to sin.
“All have sinned and come short of the glory of יְהֹוָה.” (Rom. 3:23). This is probably the most often quoted scripture referencing sin and thus needs to be closely analysed.
‘Sinned’ – #G264 ἁμαρτάνω hamartanō – sin, is to miss the target.
‘Come short’ – #G5302 ὑστερέω hustero. This means 1a) 1 to fall short of the end; 1a) 2 to fail to become a partaker of; 1c) to be wanting. If mankind has ‘come short’ then by inference it must be possible to 1a) 1 reach the end; 1a) 2 to become a partaker; 1c) to lack nothing of.
‘of the glory’ – #G1391 δόξα doxa. 1) opinion, judgement or view; 3c) 1a the kingly majesty which belongs יְהֹוָה as the supreme ruler or the absolute perfection of deity; 3c) 2b the absolutely perfect inward or personal Excellency of Messiah; 4a) of that condition with יְהֹוָה the Father in heaven to which Messiah was raised after He had achieved His work on earth (propitiation).
‘God’ – #G2316 θεός theos. 3) the one and true `Elohiym. It is important to note that the verb structure is ‘have sinned’ and not ‘were/are sinners’. This is a one off completed event in the past but may well have been repeated over and over again. The verb sense is one of action where the subject of the sentence ‘all (people)’ actively sins. If Man was born with ‘Original Sin’ this verb structure would not make sense as the subject ‘all’ requires the passive sense.
“I have hidden your word in my heart, That I might not sin against you.” (Psa. 119:11). Sin #H2398 חָטָא chata’. This has the same connotation as #G264 ἁμαρτάνω hamartanō. These are not being what we might have been or what יְהֹוָה had made us to be.*638 hata is to miss or miss the way, incur guilt or forfeit and means to be unacceptable to יְהֹוָה.
“He sings before men, and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, And it did not profit me.” (Job 33:27). Here is a further explanation as to what sin is and that is where ‘perverted’ #H5753 עָוָה `avah is called a sin #H2398 חָטָא chata’. *1577 awa is to bend, twist or distort. For those who think that it is acceptable to tell a ‘little white lie’ or to tell ‘half-truths’ should take notice of this verse. *1577 חָטָא awa also has the connotation of to distort or deviate from the standard that יְהֹוָה has set for Man. It is, in fact, one of the main weapons in the arsenal of haSatan (cf Gen. 3:1, 4, 5) when it casts doubt in a person’s mind by ever-so slightly twisting the Word of יְהֹוָה.
“For the law works wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience. (Rom. 4:15). Disobedience #G3847 παράβασις parabasis. This is a deliberate stepping across a line separating right from wrong.
“Brothers, even if a man is caught in some fault, you who are spiritual must restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourself so that you also are not tempted. (Gal. 6:1). Fault #G3900 παράπτωμα paraptoma. “Avimelekh said, ‘What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!’” (Gen. 26:10). Guilt #H817 אָשָׁם asham. These have the meaning of slipping across and is more of an unintentional transgression than willful sin. *180 asham to offend, to trespass (as well as responsibility for sin, punishment and the guilt after punishment).
“Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’” (Matt. 7:23). Iniquity #G458 ἀνομία anomia. This really means to be without the Law and describes the absence of all concern for יְהֹוָה.
“Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.” (Matt. 6:10). Debt #G3783 ὀφείλημα opheilema. This is not paying the fee that is due.
In other words, there has been set a standard to which all mankind can reach but all (except One) have failed to reach. “Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of יְהֹוָה.” (Luke 22:69). The standard is the ability to be in the presence of Father and the result of obedience is to be in the presence of יְהֹוָה. The result of disobedience is to be excluded from His presence. The cause of this failure is sin and sin enters by invitation.
“She said, ‘No one, Master.’ And Yahshua said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’” (John 8:11). A person has the יְהֹוָה -given free choice whether to sin or not. It is my belief that a person does not have sin per se just because of their relationship with Adam, sometimes called ‘original sin’. I do believe that Adam’s original disobedience (Gen. 3:1-24) causes the effects of sin to enter the world (ref. Consequences below). Take, for example, an aeroplane. Sitting on the runway it has all the capabilities to fly. However, until power is derived from its engines, it will never take off. Similarly, with Adam, he had the capability to die (was not created immortal) but there was no means but which death could be manifest. However, once sin entered the world through disobedience, thereby the means of death entered the world.
“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.” (John 15:22). Yochanan records the Master’s words condemning everyone who does not heed His words. Even in the Tanakh, it indicates this fact, but it was not until the Master’s ministry that this fact became undeniable.
“To him therefore who knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (Jam. 4:17). Sin is not always some terrible act carried out by a wicked person. Believers must be aware that passing by some opportunity to do a good deed when they know they can help constitutes sin in the eyes of יְהֹוָה. How many Believers have not put themselves down to help on a drinks rota in church or helped to clean and tidy up when they see others around them doing so? It is not the refusing to act that is the problem, but rather it is the attitude of the heart that ignores the day-to-day necessities of running an assembly. Some people may think that they have a ministry that is so important that they leave the lesser jobs to those who do not have such a high profile position. Others think that by contributing regularly with finances, they have done enough. However, ministry means ‘to attend to the needs of someone’ and comes from the Latin minister – servant, itself coming from minus – to be less (www.oxforddictionaries.com). In
order to serve יְהֹוָה `Elohiym, Believers must have a humble heart towards all people (cf Luke 22:6; John 13:5). Acts of commission can easily been seen but acts of omission can be readily overlooked. It is for this reason that all our actions whether in doing or not doing a particular thing should always be gauged against the expression ‘What would Yahshua do?”.
“Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:15). Here sin is likened to a living organism. Once it is ‘born’ it grows by feeding of further disobedience. It is usual that one lie is needed to cover up for another and so forth. Until the sin reaches full maturity, it is possible to kill off the organism by repentance and accepting salvation through Messiah Yahshua.
“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Tell the people of Isra’el: If anyone sins inadvertently against any of the mitzvot (commandments) of Adonai…’” (Lev. 4:1 Stern CJB). This is called a #H2398 חָטָא chata’ and is a sin offering due to the carelessness of the offerer. “Adonai said to Moshe, ‘If someone sins and acts perversely against Adonai…’” (Lev. 5:20 Stern CJB). This is called an asham (www.ffoz.org). Sin is sin whether it is done accidently or on purpose but the Law of the Offerings requires a slightly different guilt offering: a female lamb or goat for the inadvertent sin and a ram for the wilful sin.
There is another definition of sin that seems most appropriate. Sin is not that of breaking יְהֹוָה‘s Laws but of breaking יְהֹוָה ‘s heart (Barclay (3)). For everyone that falls into sin, יְהֹוָה sees His Son crucified.
“To Adam he said, ‘Because you have listened to your wife’s voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles will it bring forth to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken.’” (Gen. 3:17-19a). This is the judgement upon Adam (and his male descendents). If the length of the judgement of the participants is comparable to the severity of the sin in God’s eyes (Serpent-2; Woman-1; Adam-2½) then Adam was considered most to blame, then the Serpent and finally the Woman. Remember it was to Adam that יְהֹוָה gave the prohibition not to eat the Fruit (Gen. 2:16,17). Ultimately, only Adam sinned. The Serpent tempted the Woman who in turn tempted the man. There was no compulsion for Adam (and thus all Mankind) to sin and he had the free-will choice whether to obey or disobey יְהֹוָה’s commandment.
“…For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Gen. 3:19b). Death was introduced but with no apparent immediate affect taking place. The promises of יְהֹוָה always happen. יְהֹוָה promised that Mankind would die if Adam ate of that Fruit. There was no time schedule mentioned but the clock started ticking on Adam.
“And the dust returns to the land as it was, And the ruach returns to `Elohiym who gave it.” (Ecc. 12:7). Death can be defined as separation: spiritual death as being the separation of man from יְהֹוָה; physical death as being the separation of the material body from the immaterial soul and ruach (Hoyt 1986).
“Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12). ‘Passed’ #G1330 διέρχομαι dierchomas is derived from #G1223 διά dia 1)c)2 by means of and #G2064 ἔρχομαι erchomai 2)a) to come into being. My belief is that as sin was introduced into the world, it made it possible for man to sin. It does not mean that sin itself was passed down to each and every man as in the doctrine of ‘original sin’.
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15). The reference to the High Priest is of Master Yahshua HaMashiach. ‘All’ points #G3956 πᾶς pas – each, every, any, all. This shows that Messiah had in Him every attribute that was in man, and man had every attribute that was in Messiah. If Messiah was capable of sinning, so was man. However, this verse tells us that Messiah had no sin in Him so could not have been subject to ‘original sin’. Therefore, to be our perfect High Priest, man also could not be subject to ‘original sin’. It is true that man’s very nature made it so easy to sin that it was inevitable that he would succumb. Likewise, Messiah’s very humanity made it very easy for Him to sin yet He did not succumb to any temptation.
“Then Yahshua was led up by the Ruach into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matt. 4:1). Here is the beginning of the Master’s temptation. This means that:
i) there must have been a possibility of the Master having a choice to sin or not.
ii) what haSatan had to offer, it was able to deliver its promise.
If these were not true, then it could not be classed as temptation and Messiah could not be our Redeemer as He would not have full understanding of the effect of the constant battle with temptation. Likewise the Adversary would have a justifiable claim that the Master would have had a ‘head start’ over Man. The Master was starting from a position of sinLESSness so sin had no hold over Him from birth. Unlike Man who was starting life from the position of sinFULness and sin had Man in its grip from conception. As haSatan never levied such an accusation, it must be because the Master and Man started from the same position. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15). If Messiah had no sin (original or committed) then Man must also start from having no sin.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Rom. 5:19). Sin came into the world by the disobedience to יְהֹוָה’s commandments. In Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden), all was right between יְהֹוָה `Elohiym and man, until man disobeyed יְהֹוָה. In Aramaic the verse says “For as, on account of the disobedience of one man, many became sinners, as also, on account of the obedience of one, many become righteous.” (Rom. 5:19 Roth AENT). The verse is divided in to two parts; the second being the antithesis of the first. What happens in the second must be mirrored in the first.
The work of Messiah (obedience) has made it possible for everyone to be righteous but it does not follow that once Messiah’s work was completed at Golgotha, everyone afterwards automatically became righteous. Conversely, Adam’s work (disobedience) made it possible for everyone to sin but it cannot follow that everyone automatically is a sinner.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Master promised to those who love him.” (Jam. 1:12). “Because you kept my command to endure, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, which is to come on the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Rev. 3:10). “I have told you these things, that in me you may have shalom. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). If Messiah was born sinless, then He did not have to overcome sin in His life but only had to overcome temptation. However, if there was such a thing as ‘original sin’, Man had to overcome both sin and temptation. If this was so, Messiah could not have been the Saviour of Mankind.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahshua the Messiah, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7). At the moment of salvation, all a person’s past sins have been wiped away. In the word ‘all’ must, therefore, include a person’s ‘original sin’. How then can a child, born of a righteous couple, inherit sin from the parents? “you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them; for I, יְהֹוָה, your `Elohiym, am a jealous `Elohiym, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me;” (Deut. 5:9). It can be seen from this verse that a parent’s sin can be passed down, but only on those who do not love יְהֹוָה.
“Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Shet.” (Gen. 5:3). This verse is often quoted to support ‘original sin’ in that Shet was born in the fallen likeness of Adam. However, this interpretation raises the question as to why only Shet was mentioned and not all of Adam’s children. “`Elohiym said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…’” (Gen. 1:26a). Shet was one of the line from which Messiah (cf Gen. 4:45) was to be born and it may be possible that attention was drawn to the fact that, even after the fall, Man retained the divine image.
“The יְהֹוָה `Elohiym made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them. The יְהֹוָה `Elohiym said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.’” (Gen. 3:21, 22a). #H3801 כֻּתֹּנֶת *1058a kĕthoneth coat. This can be shown to indicate that the coat was a ‘paving of the way for what is to be written’ (Mathews). It is my belief that at the time of יְהֹוָה `Elohiym’s killing the animal to cover Adam and Chavah’s nakedness, they were instructed as to the full meaning of the sacrificial slaying of the animal. They would look ahead, in faith, to the giving of the Torah (Written Law) that itself looks forward, in faith, to the atoning sacrifice of Messiah Yahshua.
#H6754 *1923a צֶלֶם tselem image is the spiritual, intellectual and moral representation of יְהֹוָה `Elohiym and also can be considered as Ruach, soul and body. #H1823 *437a דְּמוּת dĕmuwth likeness is a less defined, more abstract representation. Although Man was made in the image of יְהֹוָה `Elohiym, יְהֹוָה uses דְּמוּת dĕmuwth to limit the exactness. Likewise, this would have Shet being born after Adam’s image (ruach, soul and body) but not an exact copy.
Why is There Sin?
This is a question that only יְהֹוָה in His infinite wisdom can answer. Sin was apparent when haSatan rebelled against יְהֹוָה and was cast out of heaven. The ability to sin was available to Adam and Chavah (Eve) in Gan Eden (Garden of Eden) and is a consequence of free-will.
Free-will, along with the Set Apart Trinity and the Snatching Away, is a concept that is not directly mentioned in the Bible. All three concepts must be carefully extracted from Scripture (see studies on The Trinity and The End Times).
“If it seem evil to you to serve יְהֹוָה, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amori, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahua.” (Jos. 24:15). In order to have free-will there must be a choice and there must be no form of coercion to choose one way above another. If the choice was between obedience (righteousness) and disobedience (sin) then there must be sin available from which to choose.
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” (Deut. 30:19). יְהֹוָה, through Moshe, offered the Yisra`elites a choice whether to obey Him and receive the promises of blessings and life or to disobey and receive the promises of curses and death. The life and death mentioned here were of a spiritual/eternal nature. In Gan Eden (Gen. 2:17) יְהֹוָה said that Adam would die if he ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam had a free-will choice as to eat the fruit or not. The decision to eat (disobey) brought down the promise of the curse of death. This was not an immediate physical death but Adam began to physically die. Adam did die immediately in that the sin caused a rift between a most Set Apart יְהֹוָה and His Creation.
“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of יְהֹוָה shall be saved.” (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:21). “For יְהֹוָה so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). There is a promise of salvation/eternal life for those who call/believe in the redemption through Messiah Yahshua and restore the lost fellowship with their Creator. Conversely all that do not call/believe shall be lost/eternal death. This is a uniquely personalised promise in that each and every person is called to make this choice and receive the appropriate promise.
The question of ‘Why is there sin?’ is one that Mankind cannot do anything about. However, the real question that should be asked is:
Why Does Sin Abound?
“You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” (Eph. 2:1-3). It is hard to get away from the fact that sin is attractive to our bodies. If sin involved having a limb amputated then sin would obviously not be attractive and resistance would be easy. However, the body yearns after sin as shown by the various addictions. “When Par`oh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.” (Exod. 9:34). One of the main problems is that in sinning a person ignores the conscience that warns not to carry on. With repeated sinning, and especially repetition of the same sin, the conscience becomes seared, calloused or as the above verse states, hardened until the conscience is no longer even noticed.
“Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, The uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.” (Psa. 2:8). “All things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matt. 21:22). “Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13). “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” (Eph. 3:20).
“ … You do not have, because you don’t ask.” (James 4:2b). “For whatever is born of יְהֹוָה overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith.” (1 John 5:4) The six verses above show one consistent theme. It is my strong conviction that sin also abounds because Believers allow it. These passages show that if Believers ask prayerfully, in faith and in accordance to the will of the Father, all things will be given to us, note particularly chapter 1 John 5 the power and authority that has been given to Believers to overcome the work of haSatan, the evil one.
Take the scenario of the speed sign at the side of the road. It is usually repeated, in plain sight and drivers have been trained to heed the warning signs. How come then that so many drivers are caught speeding? It is usually through arrogance in taking no notice or ‘it will never happen to me’ syndrome. It cannot be attributed to ignorance. יְהֹוָה in His infinite mercy has clearly signed the activities of sin. He has given preachers and evangelists to verbally warn man. He has caused the serpent to crawl on its belly drawing our attention to the Fall of Man and the curse put upon the serpent. He has given the rainbow, not only to remind Himself but to warn mankind of the consequences of globally turning our backs to Him and ignoring His warnings.
“and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noach, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;” (2 Peter 2:5). Although יְהֹוָה raises up evangelists to preach the Good News, the worldly desires causes people to ignore יְהֹוָה’s warnings. The Good News is not what sinners want to hear; it is what they need to hear. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts, and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Tim. 4:3, 4). This is a stern warning to Believers who once listened to sound doctrine, but have had their heads turned by the ‘sweet’ words of false teachers. They are attracted to these words because they make life more ‘enjoyable’ and are easier to follow than the truth.
“If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehinnom [hell] of fire.” (Matt. 18:9). As with the speeding motorist, Un-believers can never say that they were never warned. There must be drastic action to remove sin in all our lives.
“Do not be deceived. יְהֹוָה is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Ruach will from the Ruach reap eternal life.” (Gal. 6:7, 8). It is my belief that יְהֹוָה punishers sinners directly with the sin itself. Sexually promiscuity is fraught with the dangers of sexually transmitted infections. The flooding of the Mississippi delta region was, in my opinion, due to the allowing of river boats as dens of iniquity. Weather extremes are increasing in proportion to man’s greed for wealth. Earthquakes, tsunami etc. all show just how puny man is when he tries to ignore יְהֹוָה `Elohiym. It is His mercy that some are lost in order that the many are saved; or at least have the chance to repent.
“Therefore יְהֹוָה also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonoured among themselves,” (Rom. 1:24). This action must not be seen as יְהֹוָה as being angry or that He could not care less. Nor does it mean that He is abandoning sinners out of condemnation or judgement but rather with a melancholic heart, one full of sorrow and regret (Barclay(2)).
“…for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before יְהֹוָה day and night.” (Rev. 12:10b). It has been said that the devil is a very ‘good’ devil in that what it does, it does effectively, successfully and relentlessly. It has also been said of terrorists that they only have to be successful one in a hundred attempts whereas the authorities have to be vigilant one hundred times out of one hundred attempts. Likewise Believers must be constantly on their guard.
“Therefore, put on the whole armour of יְהֹוָה, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.” (Eph. 6:13). Therefore Believers, having put on the armour must stand firm (Abbott – ICC 1897). The armour must already be on in order that the soldier can stand firm. The ‘put on’ is a one off event and is an action that has been fully completed and is in the same sense that Messiah was sacrificed once for all. It is not to be repeated therefore the inference is that the armour is never to be taken off. The stand firm and pray imperatives are to be considered as events that once started continue until the outcome has been established. This would be when there is no longer a need to stand against the strategies of the Accuser i.e. when a Believer goes home to Glory or Messiah returns for His people. “Finally, be strong in יְהֹוָה, and in the strength of His might.” (Eph. 6:10). Rav. Sh`aul (Paul) is in prison in Rome, chained to one or two guards (Eph. 6:20) and he is dictating a letter to Tychicus (Eph. 6:21) to the Believers at Ephesus. Like all Scripture, this is relevant to all Believers for all times. He is letting them know how he is and how they (like him) may withstand the coming onslaught of the Adversary. Sh`aul tells Believers to do two things: i) to put on the spiritual armour (Eph. 6:11a) and ii) to pray in the Spirit at all times (Eph. 6:18).
It is my belief that too much time is wasted on repeated prayers. The Adversary has a multi-generational strategy that erodes moral standards slowly but inexorably moving towards the appearance of the Abomination that causes Desolation in the End Times. My wife and I wasted many hours of prayer over our son Jon when he was at home. This meant that this time could not be applied to a multitude of other causes. Believers must be more efficient in prayer and to focus on a prayer, offer it up to יְהֹוָה and move on. (See Prayer).
Even in the secular world, it has been noted that sin flourishes. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. (www.quoteinvestigator.com). The more a man sins, the easier it is for him to repeat the sin (Barclay(2)). This may be looked upon as hardening of the heart or quenching of the Spirit inside of a person. In fact, sin can be considered as any narcotic in that the sinner requires more in quantity or more in depravity in order to get the same effect.
Consequences of Sin
“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” (Gen. 2:17). Adam must have known what it was to die, otherwise this prohibition did not make sense. However, it could not have meant instant death as Adam was to live many years after his eating of the fruit. It is my belief that Adam, being born in the image of יְהֹוָה, knew the difference between right and wrong but not of the depths of sin. The term ‘good and evil’ is a Hebraic saying meaning everything. It is for יְהֹוָה only to know everything (omniscience – www.oxforddictionaries.com)
This leads to an interesting point. What would Adam have made of this prohibition? In order for it to have made any sense, Adam must have been aware of the idea of death but would not know it in reality until יְהֹוָה `Elohiym passed judgement upon him.
“They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Gen. 2:25). “Both of their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Gen. 3:7). The Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil has taken seed, rooted, sprouted and bears fruit of its kind (Gen. 1:11). Adam and Chavah (Eve) now knew that their disobedience was evil. The idea of the eyes being opened must not refer to a physical condition but rather to a spiritual state. Why did the couple think it was necessary to cover up? It is my belief that once they disobeyed יְהֹוָה, there was a loss of innocence and that the couple looked upon on another lustfully. This was not the state that they could enter into יְהֹוָה’s presence because shame entered into their life.
When was the Good News first revealed to mankind? The fruit that was eaten was that of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When it was eaten, Adam became aware instantly of all the possibilities to sin. Hence, he made leaf coverings for him and Chavah to hide their nakedness (Gen. 3:7, 10). The joining of two bodies to become one flesh in accordance with יְהֹוָה’s commandments (Gen. 1:28, 2:24) had become corrupted by lust. Adam, in his own efforts to combat sin, laid down the example followed by the rest of mankind: he tried to use his own methods instead repenting and turning back to יְהֹוָה. Not only was Adam made aware of all the possibilities to sin (evil), he was made aware of, the necessity of a sacrifice in order to temporarily atone (cover) the sin and the need of a Saviour to permanently redeem him.
“The man said, ‘I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’” (Gen. 3:10). “The fear of יְהֹוָה is the beginning of knowledge…” (Prov. 1:7a). This knowledge has produced a fear of the יְהֹוָה and Adam takes to hiding for he is afraid of the consequences of his disobedience. Although Adam and Chavah made and wore fig ‘clothes’ Adam realised that his nakedness/sin was apparent and it took יְהֹוָה to cover their sin.
“יְהֹוָה `Elohiym said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’” (Gen. 3:11). יְהֹוָה is aware of sin when it is in the heart of the sinner and not when it is confessed. However, יְהֹוָה will always give us the opportunity to confess and repent. That was the reason for this question from יְהֹוָה. The only sin that had taken place was that of Adam’s disobedience to יְהֹוָה’s commandment not to eat the fruit of this particular tree; not in Chavah’s taking it and eating; not even in the serpent’s temptation. The act of disobedience has since been called ‘The Fall of Man’.
“The יְהֹוָה `Elohiym said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above every animal of the field. On your belly shall you go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.’” (Gen. 3:14). It was probably that the original serpent was a most beautiful creature to behold that haSatan used it to lull Chavah into a false sense of security. If it had been a cockroach, then Chavah may have been repulsed by its looks and not have been so easily tempted. The resultant curse was to make the serpent a most loathsome creature. This should serve as a warning to future generations that when a snake is seen crawling on its stomach, it should point to the Fall of Man. (Morris). There could well be a symbol of sin in general where Man is said to return to dust upon death, and haSatan will devour all non-Believers (cf 1 Peter 5:8). A Believer’s body will be resurrected and united with their spirit.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15). The word for ‘offspring’ – #H2233 זֶרַע zehrah *582a seed, offspring – is singular in both cases. At the Crucifixion, haSatan thought that when Messiah’s heel was ‘bruised’, it was a mortal wound. However, it was haSatan’s head that was bruised and crushed mortally and only Messiah’s heel sustaining a temporary wound. The heel wound was painful but not fatal. ‘Heel’ – #H6119 עָקֵב *1676a `aqeb – is from the same root as the name Ya’akov (Jacob) who was re-named Isra’el by יְהֹוָה. In v14 יְהֹוָה cursed the serpent but in v15 uttered the prophetic announcement upon haSatan predicting the ultimate outcome of history.
“To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bring forth children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’” (Gen. 3:16). This was the judgement upon the Woman (and her female descendents). The increased pain of child-birth would be two fold; 1) in the physical pain and 2) in the mental anguish of knowing that the child was ultimately going to die. It has been said that this verse is not a punishment as it does not pronounce a curse. Rather, Woman no longer was Man’s co-worker but would become subordinate to him (Hertz).
“To Adam He said, ‘Because you have listened to your wife’s voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles will it bring forth to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken.’” (Gen. 3:17-19a). This is the judgement upon the Man (and his male descendents) but not a curse. It is the ground that was cursed and as a result Man had to painstakingly work the land in order for it to produce food (Hertz). If the length of the judgement of the participants is comparable to the severity of the sin in יְהֹוָה’s eyes (Serpent-2; Woman-1; Adam-2½) then Adam was considered most to blame, then the Serpent and finally the Woman. Remember it was to Adam that יְהֹוָה gave the prohibition not to eat the Fruit (Gen. 2:16, 17). Adam sinned but when יְהֹוָה’s will has been made known, any disobedience would be considered sin. The Serpent tempted the Woman who in turn tempted the man. There was no compulsion for Adam (and thus all Mankind) to sin and he had the free-will choice whether to obey or disobey יְהֹוָה’s commandments.
“יְהֹוָה `Elohiym said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree, which bears fruit yielding seed. It will be your food.’” (Gen. 1:29). In comparing this verse with Gen. 3:17, 18 יְהֹוָה removes his provision of food being readily available and causing Man to have to toil in order to eat. No longer will every plant be a source of food, but Man must use his recently acquired ‘knowledge’ to determine what is edible and what is not. Indeed, this choice would be one of life and death as some plants are now toxic.
“…For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Gen. 3:19b). Death was
introduced but no immediate affect took place. The promises of יְהֹוָה always happen. יְהֹוָה promised that Mankind would die if Adam ate of that Fruit. There was no time schedule mentioned but the clock started ticking on Adam. “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to יְהֹוָה who gave it.” (Ecc. 12:7). Death can be defined as separation: spiritual death as being the separation of man from יְהֹוָה; physical death as being the separation of the material body from the immaterial soul and spirit (Hoyt 1986).
“Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12). ‘Passed’ #G1330 διέρχομαι dierchomai is derived from #G1223 διά dia 1)c)2 by means of and #G2064 ἔρχομαι erchomai 2)a) to come into being. My belief is that as sin was introduced into the world, it made it possible for man to sin. It does not mean that sin itself was passed down to each and every man as in the doctrine of ‘original sin’.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15 KJV). The reference to the High Priest is of Yahshua HaMashiach. ‘All’ points #G3956 πᾶς pas – each, every, any, all. This shows that Messiah had in Him every attribute that was in man, and man had every attribute that was in Messiah. If Messiah was capable of sinning, so was man. However, this verse tells us that Messiah had no sin in Him so could not have been subject to ‘original sin’. Therefore, to be our perfect High Priest, man also could not be subject to ‘original sin’.
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, much was made of the technologically advanced LZR (Laser) (www.news.bbc.co.uk ) swimsuits worn by some competitors. It was said that they gave an unfair advantage over those who could not afford the suits and there was a furore over the injustice. Indeed, many of the winners wore the new suits, but these were generally the best swimmers anyway who were heavily sponsored. However, the fact was that the non-suited swimmers were under a handicap for not wearing the suits. How much more so can the Adversary call ‘foul’ over the disadvantage Man has being handicapped by ‘original sin’. It could be said that the Master, not being burdened by ‘original sin’ would have found it much easier to live a life without succumbing to sin, that Man who starts life under this massive handicap. It is true that man’s very nature made it so easy to sin that it was inevitable that he would succumb. Likewise, Messiah’s very humanity made it very easy for Him to sin yet He did not succumb to any temptation.
“Then Yahshua was led up by the Ruach into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matt. 4:1). Here is the beginning of the Master’s temptation. This means that:
i) there must have been a possibility of the Master having a choice to sin or not.
ii) what haSatan had to offer, it was able to deliver its promise.
If these were not true, then it could not be classed as temptation and Messiah could not be our Redeemer as He would not have full understanding of the effect of the constant battle with temptation.
Psa. 51:1-7 (1-5)a (Most Bibles do not have the first line as a part of the Psalm proper).
1(0) For the leader. A psalm of David, 2(0) when Natan came to him after his affair
3(1) יְהֹוָה, in your grace, have mercy on me:
in your great compassion, blot out my crimes.
4(2) Wash me completely from my guilt,
and cleanse me from my sin.
5(3) For I know my crimes,
my sin confronts me all the time.
6(4) Against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil from your perspective;
so that you are right in accusing me and justified in passing sentence.
7(5)a True, I was born guilty, was a sinner from the moment my mother conceived me. (Stern CJB).
The KJV states that “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” If this is to be taken literally then either יְהֹוָה has called His first commandment to Man (“And יְהֹוָה blessed them, and יְהֹוָה said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:” [Gen. 1:28a]) a sinful act (how perverse can that be?) or that David’s mother conceived him out of wedlock (possible but highly unlikely). “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you, and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”(Jer. 1:5). It could also be said that from the moment of conception a person will fall to temptation and sin but not that the person has ‘inherited’ sin from Adam via their parents.
David was in a state of repentance over the double sin of having Uriah killed and taking Bat-Sheva as one of his wives. It may be that David was acknowledging that from the moment of conception, יְהֹוָה knew of David’s sin(s) (and also all ours) rather than that he was a subject to sin because of his humanity and not to the influence of sin on a susceptible human.
“Also for Adam and his wife the יְהֹוָה `Elohiym made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” (Gen. 3:21). For Man to remain in the presence of the most Set Apart יְהֹוָה, a sacrifice was necessary to ‘cover’ or atone for the sin. This is the first account of death (inferred) in יְהֹוָה’s Word. Adam and Chavah now knew the horrific consequences of sin: a life had to be forfeited in order to pay for the transgressions. Sin does not only affect the sinner but also those around them.
“So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Gen. 3:24). The final verse of Genesis 3 has Mankind cast out of Eden. This was literally being sent out and the way back into the presence of יְהֹוָה was prevented by the k’ruvim (angels). “There I will meet with you, and I will tell you from above the mercy seat, from between the two Keruvim which are on the ark of the testimony, all that I command you for the children of Yisra’el.” (Exod. 25:22). The k’ruvim were either side of the Mercy Seat upon the Ark of the Covenant (the earthly dwelling place of the Glory of יְהֹוָה – Shekinah). The result of sin was the alienation of יְהֹוָה and Man as a sinful man cannot survive in the presence of a thrice Set Apart (Set Apart, Set Apart) יְהֹוָה. In Hebrew grammar, one way to express an increase in magnitude (biggest as opposed to big) was to repeat the word. The double repetition of Set Apart is only ever used in describing יְהֹוָה and no other word has a double repetition attesting to the absolute greatness of יְהֹוָה.
“For the wages of sin is death,” (Rom. 6:23a). Sin is the cause of death. Mankind was not made immortal but if there was no sin, there would be no consequence of sin i.e. death. Although man was created as a mortal being, there would be no mechanism to cause him to die. Rather, Mankind was made mortal but with sin having no strength. Notice that there are wages plural (punishment, chastisement and death) whereas sin is singular. There is really only one sin and that is disobeying יְהֹוָה’s Word. Everything else is a description of how יְהֹוָה is disobeyed.
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” (1 Cor. 1:15). Scripture tells that death gets its power from sin. With Adam’s disobedience came sin; with
sin death was empowered and Mankind’s mortality became a reality. The word ‘sting’ – #G2759 κέντρον kentron – a prick. It describes how a very small action has such a massive consequence i.e. a small sting of a scorpion can lead to death if not immediately treated.
“Fools mock at making atonement for sins,” (Prov. 14:9a). People do not want to know what sin is and show no concern for sin but instead want to blot out its consequences. “Anyone who has rejected Moshe’s law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (Heb.10:28). Death under the Mosaic Law could only be proscribed after the testimony of two or three independent and reliable witnesses. “Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness;” (Deut. 17:6). What witnesses do we have?
a) haSatan – 12:11 calls the Adversary the accuser of the brethren. Can this fallen angel be trusted to tell the truth as it is called the father of lies (John. 8:44)? I believe it can. Remember in Rev. 12:11 haSatan is in the presence of יְהֹוָה and
i) cannot lie in the very presence of a Set Apart יְהֹוָה and
ii) does not really have to as our sin is known to יְהֹוָה. HaSatan is just reminding יְהֹוָה of our sin.
b) The Word of יְהֹוָה – many, many references outlined in this paper;
Ourselves – “So Yehoshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen יְהֹוָה for yourselves, to serve Him.” And they said, “We are witnesses!” (Josh. 24:22). This tells of our being able to witness against ourselves. Unlike most human courts, a person does not have to incriminate themselves; in יְהֹוָה court there is no choice.
“but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb. 3:13). Sin distracts a person from itself. In witnessing to anybody, the first step towards salvation must be a realisation of sin by a person. Any drug addict, alcoholic or gambler will be the last to realise their problem. When they eventually come to terms with the fact they have a problem, they will try to put the blame on anyone or anything other than themselves (cf. Gen. 3:12). Likewise, when a sinner realises their state, blame is apportioned elsewhere. Sin in its subtlety is a direct consequence of the serpent’s actions which is described as being subtle itself.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8). We can be so deceived by sin that we honestly believe that we have not sinned. If we do not recognise that we are sinners then there is no need of a Redeemer. However, for all those who acknowledge their sin, repent and seek hwhy forgiveness, a Redeemer was sent “For יְהֹוָה so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John. 3:16) and “that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” (1 Cor. 15:3). Consider this: if one sin caused us to move one step away from the Father then each successive sin meant that we had to move a further step away. Imagine the distance the Master had to be away from the Father when He took every sin upon Himself.
יְהֹוָה does not want anyone to perish. “יְהֹוָה is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). “And about the ninth hour Yahshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My `El, My `El, why have You forsaken Me?’”That is why nothing was spared in order for the way back to be possible; not even the death and alienation of His only begotten Son.
In the Aramaic English New Testament (AENT Roth) has a footnote #268 that ‘forsaken’ is a Marcionite error and should read ‘spared’ in place of it. This has Messiah seeking death as a release back to the Father rather than the Father having turned His back on His Son. “for יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6b). “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (Isa. 49:15). “I have been young, and now am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his children begging for bread.” (Psa. 37:25). If יְהֹוָה cannot ‘forsake’ a righteous person, how much more so for His Righteous Son. Matt. 27:46 should, therefore read “My El! My El! [Lemana shabakthani] Why have you spared me?” That is to say “Father, I am ready, why can’t we finish this?” (AENT).
“Therefore My people shall know My name; Therefore they shall know in that day That I am He who speaks: ‘Behold, it is I.’” (Isa. 52:6). “It shall be in that day,” says יְהֹוָה Tsav`ot, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered… I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘ יְהֹוָה is my `Elohiym.’” (Jer. 13:2a, 9). These two prophets tell of a time both imminent and of a much more future time (‘in that day’) when the true Name of the Almighty will be made known. Yeshayahu (Isaiah) repeats the ‘I AM’ theme that would bring to mind יְהֹוָה to all the listeners. Likewise, Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) tells of a time when there will
only be a remnant of Believers but these will call upon יְהֹוָה and recognise that this Name is the true Name of the Eternal-Existing One. Strong wrongly ascribes #H3068 יְהֹוָה to Jehovah as this was the name in common usage when he compiled his concordance. However, with the growing Messianic Jewish Movement, better scholarship and leading of the Set Apart Spirit, the true Name is being made known throughout the Congregations of Believers.*484a Yahweh has also been put forward as a possible pronunciation.
“saying: ‘I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.’” (Heb. 2:12). The writer to the Messianic Hebrew Congregations quotes Psa. 22:22. This is King David (foreshadowing Messiah) talking to his `El and calls Him יְהֹוָה. Thus the Messiah will make known this Name to His people. Rav Sh`aul quotes Tanakh (Old Testament) verses in support of his discussions, for example: Rom. 9:17/Exod. 9:16; Rom. 10:13/Joel 2:32; Rom. 15:9/2 Sam. 22:50 and Psa. 18:49. In each of the Tanakh verses the Name of יְהֹוָה is used.
“And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of יְהֹוָה Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Yerushalayim there shall be deliverance, As יְהֹוָה has said, Among the remnant whom יְהֹוָה calls.”(Joel 2:32). “I, even I, am יְהֹוָה, And besides Me there is no saviour.”(Isa. 43:11). Again, in this passage (Isa. 43:1-28), Yeshayahu’s theme is ‘I AM’ and the inspired prophet declares that יְהֹוָה is the Saviour. It is יְהֹוָה who saves. Yahshua (the diminutive being Yahoshua) means Yah or יְהֹוָה is Salvation (Stanton & Isham). The name of Yahshua/Yahoshua is not a unique name so there is no special ‘power’ in the name. However, יְהֹוָה `Elohiym recognises the faith involved when the Name of Yahshua is called upon. Therefore, as the End Times draws to an ultimate conclusion, יְהֹוָה will increasingly be made known throughout Believers and more power will be realised within Believers congregations. This will coincide with the increase in demonic activity and the subsequent need of speaking the true Name of Father and of His Son Yahshua.
“For there is nothing hidden, except that it should be made known; neither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light. If any man has ears to hear, let him hear. He said to them, ‘Take heed what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear.’” (Mark 4:22-24). Sin is a very personal thing. Everyone will be called to account for their lives and those who have not received forgiveness through Messiah Yahshua will be found wanting. No matter how righteous a person may be (except Master Yahshua), they cannot allocate some of their righteousness onto another person. Each and everyone has individually sinned; each and everyone must individually repent. If a person does not repent, then there are individual repercussions. These consequences are usually associated with the sin. For example, King David had Uriyah the Hittite
killed so that he could take his wife, Bat-Sheva. However, the consequence of this union was a baby, but יְהֹוָה took the child from them (2 Sam. 12:1-24). After repentance, the union produced another child, Shlomo who would be blessed by יְהֹוָה in building of the first Temple. Ignorance of Scripture is no defence against their consequences. However, being made aware of the sin and ignoring the warnings, will bring down heavier penalties.
“saying, ‘Return you now everyone from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that יְהֹוָה has given to you and to your fathers, from of old and even forevermore… and don’t go after other gods to serve them or worship them…Yet you have not listened to me, says יְהֹוָה; that you may provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own hurt… Because you have not heard my words… behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, says יְהֹוָה, and I will send to Nevukhadretztzar the king of Bavel, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants of it, and against all these nations round about; and I will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and a hissing, and perpetual desolations.’” (Jer. 25:5-9). This passage shows the result of national sin. Although the prophet Yirmeyahu was speaking directly to King Yoshiyahu, it was to the king as the representative of the nation of Yehudah. Most of the nation (apart from a small remnant) sinned deeply and were warned on countless occasions, but ignored יְהֹוָה’s prophets. Much of the writings in the Tanakh details the national sinning of Yisra`el, the consequences of the sin and the result of their repentance.
“Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of has יְהֹוָה spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land perished and burned up like a wilderness, so that none passes through? יְהֹוָה says, ‘Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein, but have walked after the stubbornness of their own heart, and after the Ba`alim, which their fathers taught them;’” (Jer. 9:12-14). National sin has dire consequences for the land (Spencer & White). In this passage, the prophet Yirmeyahu is the ‘mouth of יְהֹוָה’ through which the judgement is passed. Due to their continual sin of Torahlessness and following false lords and gods, the land suffered desolation.
“Hear the word of יְהֹוָה, you children of Yisra`el; For יְהֹוָה has a charge against the inhabitants of the land: ‘Indeed there is no truth, Nor goodness, Nor knowledge of יְהֹוָה `Elohiym in the land. There is cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; They break boundaries, and bloodshed causes bloodshed. Therefore the land will mourn, And everyone who dwells therein will waste away. All living things in her, Even the animals of the field and the birds of the sky; Yes, the fish of the sea also die.” (Hosea 4:1-3). Here again, the land suffers because of the sin of the people. Although the prophet spoke in the 7th. B.C.E., he could well be speaking to the nations in the 21st. C.E. and it bodes ill for the environment.
Although Adam and Chavah made an attempt to cover their nakedness (sin) they knew it was not sufficient. “יְהֹוָה `Elohiym made coats of skins for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” (Gen. 3:21). It took יְהֹוָה to provide a temporary covering #H3722 כָּפַר kaphar *1023 kapar to make atonement or reconcile (also from this root *1023a koper ransom) – usually translated ‘atonement’. The death of an animal provided this temporary covering and was acceptable to יְהֹוָה in that יְהֹוָה knew that Adam andChavah understood their need of a permanent atonement. In eating the prohibited fruit (Gen. 2:17), all knowledge was imparted to the couple including both what constituted sin, its consequences and what was needed to return to יְהֹוָה. In Biblical studies, The Law of First Mention gives added importance to words or topics when it first appears in the Bible. This is the first time covering or atonement is mentioned and is significant in the revelation of redemption.
“The next day John saw Yahshua coming toward Him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of יְהֹוָה who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29). Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) had waited all his life to see the Redeemer of all Creation and was in no doubt when he saw the Master coming towards him. Had he known before this time that his cousin Yahshua was the long-awaited for Messiah or was it revealed at this exact moment (cf Luke 1:41)? In their newly gained knowledge Adam and Havah could look upon the Lamb yet to be born in the flesh and His sacrificial death for all Mankind. It was in faith that the couple accepted Messiah’s atonement symbolised by the animal skins יְהֹוָה gave them. It is my belief that this was taught to all the subsequent generations until a more substantial but nonetheless temporary system of sacrifices was given to Moshe at Mount Sinai.
“But of him, you are in Messiah Yahshua, who was made to us wisdom from יְהֹוָה, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:” (1 Cor. 1:30). In his first letter to the Messianic Community at Corinth, Rav Sha`ul (Paul) describes all that יְהֹוָה has done for them. Through his letter to the Ephesian Community, Rav Sha`ul tells us “in whom we have our redemption through His [Messiah’s] blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,” (Eph. 1:7). ‘Redemption’ – #G629 ἀπολύτρωσις apolytrosis – ransom. A ransom is the price paid by one person for the release of another from captivity when that person has been unlawfully taken or kidnapped.
“and they may recover themselves out of the devil’s snare, having been taken captive by it to its will.” (2 Tim. 2:26). Rav Sha`ul explains to his ‘adoptive son’ in ministry, Timothy that the snare of the devil – sin – causes all mankind to be taken captive by haSatan. It does not want any to be set free. However, there is a price that is put upon each and every one of us.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of יְהֹוָה is eternal life in Messiah Yahshua our Master.” (Rom. 6:23). ‘Wages’ – #G3800 ὀψώνιον opsonion – a soldier’s pay or allowance. This is the payment that a soldier is due. Likewise, haSatan is due this payment or ransom for Mankind falling for its trap. The Enemy of Souls has ‘worked’ in trapping Mankind and demands payment. יְהֹוָה does not demand repayment; indeed there can be no way to repay the debt. “Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12). “For this reason He [Messiah] is the mediator…, since a death has occurred for the redemption of the transgressions…” (Heb. 9:15a). A price had to be paid to haSatan, and that price had to be a death. Messiah’s death paid the ransom for all who accept it.
“Paul, a bondservant of Messiah Yahshua, called to be an apostle, separated to the Good News of יְהֹוָה,” (Rom. 1:1). Rav Sha`ul often refers to himself as a ‘servant’ –
#G1401 δοῦλος doulos – slave of Messiah or יְהֹוָה. It is unfortunate that the term ‘slave’ has such a poor image in the West that the beauty of this illustration is not fully understood. In the Eastern economy, there were two types of slave. One that was captured or bought at a slave market, and the other was a bondsman. Both of these images are appropriate to Sha`uls’s situation. It is common to talk of redemption being that of Messiah buying us back off haSatan at a slave market. However, the Tanakh view of a slave can also be that of a person who has run up such a high debt, that he is unable to pay it off. Rather than having everything, including his family, taken from him, he may elect to enter a period servitude or bond in order to pay off the debt. A third party may take up this bond and pay off the debt to the holder. The bondsman would then work for a period of time for the third person. It is my belief that this is what Sha`ul had in mind. He (and each and every one of us) owes a debt that he cannot pay. Therefore he sought out Someone who could pay. Messiah accepted Sha`ul’s bond and Messiah has paid in full the debt owed to haSatan for Sha`ul’s sin.
“And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee.” (Lev. 25:39, 40). “And you shall count seven sabbaths of years…on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound… throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Yovel for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his.” (Lev. 25:8-10). Furthermore, all debts will be cancelled at the Yovel (Jubilee Year). This is every fiftieth year. Every seventh year there was a Shabbat Year where the land was not worked. Like the weekly Shabbat, Mankind was to rely solely upon יְהֹוָה. The Yovel was the year after
the seventh Shabbat Year. This required the trusting and reliance upon יְהֹוָה for a two year period. Again, it is my belief that when Messiah returns to this earth, at the sound of the shofar, it will be the declaration of coming of the Yovel and all debts will be cancelled thereafter.
Jubilee 2) a year of emancipation or restoration – origin from Latin jubilaeus annus from the Hebrew word #H8643 תְּרוּעָה *2135b teruah meaning a ram’s-horn trumpet used for signalling or raising an alarm and with which the jubilee year was proclaimed (www.oxforddictionaries.com).
“Thus you shall separate the children of Yisra’el from their uncleanness, so they will not die in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is in their midst.” (Lev. 15:31). Another consequence of sin is that it defiles everything with which it comes in contact. Scripture shows four things that have come in contact with sin and so requires cleansing: a) Man, b) Creation, c) earthly Sanctuary and
d) Heavenly Sanctuary. The cleansing is not a physical cleansing (the blood actually washing away dirt) but is a faith cleansing that washes spiritually.
a)Man – “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahshua the Messiah, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:17).
b) Creation – “that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. Not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body.” (Rom. 8:21-23).
c) Earthly Sanctuary – “The bull for the sin offering, and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Set Apart,” (Lev. 16:27). This sanctuary came into contact continually with sinful Man as so required continual cleansing.
d) Heavenly Sanctuary – “According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from the shedding of blood there is no remission. It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” (Heb. 9:22, 23). Even this Sanctuary was not immune from the effects of sin and so needed cleansing. However, as the earthly sanctuary being a copy of but inferior to the Heavenly Sanctuary, the Heavenly cleansing required a superior Blood; that of Messiah. (Fruchtenbaum (1)).
Now that we have seen what sin is and its consequences, we turn our attention to its ultimate conclusion.
Death is not the annihilation of the body/soul/spirit but is only the cessation of the functioning of the physical body (Larkin). Upon physical death the body enters the grave (#H6913 קֶבֶר qeber #G3419 μνημεῖον mnēmeion) and the soul/spirit leaves the physical body and enters the Intermediate State. However, this state is held at three locations; one for pre-Resurrection Believers who have died (Paradise), the second for post-Resurrection Believers (Heaven) and the third for the non-Believers (She`ol/Hades). “Therefore he says, ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men. Now this, ‘He ascended, what is it that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?’” (Eph. 4:8, 9). This is understood to be when Messiah went down to Paradise and brought out all pre-Resurrection Believers, He being the first-fruits of all to be resurrected.
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto יְהֹוָה who gave it.” (Eccl. 12:7). When the physical body deteriorates, all the elements revert back to the ‘dust’ from which Man was made.
“The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and She`ol delivered up the dead who were in them…” (Rev. 20:13a). This description of the resurrection is where the new body (glorified/condemned) is united with the soul/spirit (held in Paradise/She`ol). “For You will not leave my soul in She`ol, Nor will You allow Your Set Apart One to see corruption.”(Psa. 16:10). In Psa. 16:10 #H7585 שְׁאוֹל She’ol and Acts 2:27 #G86 ᾅδης Sheol are both translated ‘hell’ in English. If the soul is not left in hell then it must be there for some period between physical death and resurrection. Therefore, if physical death is the separation of the body and soul/spirit, the body decays but the soul/spirit must go to some intermediate place.
“Yahshua said to him, ‘Assuredly I tell you [to one of the two thieves with Him at [Golgotha], today you will be with me in Paradise.’” (Luke 23:43). ‘With’ #G3326 μετά meta – meaning in very close relationship or fellowship as referring to His disciples. This would indicate that the soul is in a conscious state. ‘Paradise’ #G3857 παράδεισος paradeisos is probably from Persian denoting a large park or garden, an ideal place of leisure.
Rav Sha`ul, writing to the Messianic Community in Philipi, is torn between the necessity for him to live and carry on his ministry or to die and be with Messiah. “But I am in a dilemma between the two, having the desire to depart and be with Messiah, which is far better. Yet, to remain in the flesh is more needful for your sake.” (Phil. 1:23, 24). The implication is that as soon as he dies, Sha`ul departs his flesh/body and his soul/spirit goes immediately to be with Messiah. “We are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with יְהֹוָה.” (2 Cor. 5:8). In his Second Letter to the Corinthian Community, Sha`ul obviously considers death as not being a final state. Again the inference is that as soon as the soul/spirit leaves the physical body, it enters the presence of the Messiah.
When Messiah reassured the Penitent Thief at Golgotha and Sha`ul wrote to the Philipians and Corinthians, there was the sense that both parties were to be re-united. It follows that when they unite, they will be conscious recognition of each other.
“The graves [μνημεῖον mnēmeion] were opened, and many bodies of the set apart ones who had fallen asleep were raised;” (Matt. 27:52). In this passage, the physical body is said to have ‘fallen asleep’ and not the soul/spirit. Luke recounts the Master’s parable of El`azar (Lazarus) and the Rich Man. “It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Avraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. In She’ol, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Avraham far off, and El`azar at his bosom.” (Luke 16:23). The Master tells us that the Rich Man could see and was in torment in She`ol. He pleaded with Avraham to ask El`azar to give him a drop of water. Therefore, both the Rich Man and El`azar must have been in the conscious state. As there were relatives of the Rich Man still capable of choosing between eternal life and eternal damnation, again this must be between the Rich Man’s (and El`azar’s) physical death and final Judgement. Therefore, in these passages, although the physical body is ‘asleep’ in the grave, the soul/spirit is fully conscious during the Intermediate State, thus countering the false doctrine of ‘soul sleep’.
“I must work the works of Him who sent me, while it is day. The night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4). The Intermediate State is where the soul/spirit will find rest from labours.
“The wicked shall be turned back to She’ol, Even all the nations that forget `Elohiym.” (Psa. 9:17). The word ‘turned’ is #H7725 שׁוּב shuv *2340 shub meaning to return. If the wicked are returned to She`ol, they must have been there previously. This can only be after physical (first) death but before judgement (second death). There are several other references to this temporary holding place She`ol, abyss and Tartarus. This is not the final depository of souls as all will be resurrected for judgement. The common western idea is that this punishment will take place in hell. However, She`ol has upper and lower levels (Deut. 32:22). She`ol is the only Hebrew word for the idea of hell but Tophet is a type of She`ol (Isa. 30:33). The upper level is the intermediate state but the lower levels are the place of punishment. This most likely mirrors the three ‘Heavens’ (2 Cor. 12:2).
“Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym, also the earth with all that is in it.” (Deut. 10:14). “…such a one caught up into the third heaven.” (2Cor. 12:2b). Sha`ul mentions a third heaven. Yet another belief is that there are more than one heaven and more than one hell. Tradition has there are seven of each. It may be that the first levels of heaven and hell are accessible by a person in a non-conscious state (coma, trance, ecstasy) from where the person may return. Another level may be Paradise (for heaven) or She`ol (for hell), the Intermediate State where the physical body is resurrected to join up with the soul/spirit. The other levels may be the final state of reward (in heaven) or condemnation (in hell).
“The intermediate state for the saved is heaven without the body, and the final state for the saved is heaven with the body…the intermediate state for the lost is hell without the body, and the final state for the lost is hell with the body.” (Blanchard quoting Shedd).
“Therefore they are before the throne of יְהֹוָה, they serve him day and night in His temple.” (Rev. 7:15a). The soul/spirit cannot be in a state of unconsciousness if they are serving יְהֹוָה (Blanchard). This reference is before any Judgement so must take place between physical death and Judgement. Further in the Book of Revelation, Messiah shows Yochanan that haSatan is bound “and cast it into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over it, that it should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were finished. After this, it must be freed for a short time.” (Rev. 20:3). The word ‘pit’ #G12 ἄβυσσος Abyssos is the Greek equivalent to She`ol in Hebrew and is the place of temporary confinement for HaSatan and all the unbelieving dead. haSatan is released for a short time but is eventually called to judgement along with all of humanity.
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AENT “Scripture taken from the Aramaic English New Testament Copiyright 2008. Used by permission of Netzari Press.”
HNV The Hebrew Names Version is based off the World English Bible, an update of the American Standard Version of 1901. This version of the Bible is in the public domain.
KJV The Authorized Version or King James Version (KJV), 1611, 1769.
Outside of the United Kingdom, the KJV is in the public domain. Within the United Kingdom, the rights to the KJV are vested in the Crown.
NLT Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/capitalpunishment/ Execution of the Innocent citing Amnesty International and Applied Unfairly citing (US) Justice Harry Blackmum
www.youtube.com YaHuWaH – Giver of All Life