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Yahweh's Sacrifice

by

Micah Anthony

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Have you ever been challenged on the validity of the New Testament

(Brit Hadasha)?

The literal meaning of Brit Chadasha is 'a New Convenant By Blood'... aka Yahshua' Blood.

When it comes to witnessing to orthodox Jews, Muslim's, and other critics of the New Testament and what it says about Yahshua Messiah, and His sacrificial work on Calvary, one of the more common challenges to the validity of the New Testament Biblical account is the issue of human sacrifice. The question usually goes something like,

“If Yahweh clearly stated that He's against human sacrifice, how can Yahshua be considered a sacrifice for our sake. Is this not a contradiction?” (How many have come across this line of questioning before?)

On the surface, this is a very valid and sincere challenge and, in reality, hearing this should immediately result in a deep sense of urgency to examine this problem.

1 Peter 3:15,"But sanctify the Lord Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

We're going to explore this topic, and without proving Yahshua is the prophesied Messiah of Israel which is whole whole other separate study; full of abundant Biblical evidence for another time.Today, we'll proceed with the knowledge that Yahshua is the “greater prophet likened unto Moses.” (Deuteronomy 18:15) with the goal of...

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Answering the specific questions related to the challenge at hand:

How can Yahweh be against human sacrifice and Yahshua be our sacrifice?

In the Torah, is this really even a contradiction, for Yahshua to have laid down His life as the result of His obedience?

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The first step in solving a problem is to validate that a problem even exists. Is there really even a contradiction? To determine if a problem exists, we must define the problem. To accurately define a problem, there are several things to consider:

• We need to be mindful of the surrounding context.

• Words mean things. We need to examine the exact wording used, often requiring us to expose the Hebrew or Greek.

• More importantly, we need to expose and eliminate our own assumptions about what we might believe that we already think we know about the Scriptures.

Included in the foundation of all these things must be a sincere desire for truth. (If you have a sincere desire for the truth let me hear a yea!!!)

When studying Yahweh's word, we want to prayerfully see and understand what He has to teach us, even if the truth goes against the grain of our traditional thinking. When rightly dividing the word of truth, there should be no desire to simply try to prove oneself to be right, or to allow pride to be an obstacle for truth. This is often easier said than done, yet if there is no humble desire for only truth, then all else is futile. Any failure to integrate even one of these things in one’s independent study will prove disastrous and will yield faulty theology. So, with that said, let’s go back to the issue at hand.

How can Yahweh be against human sacrifice, yet Yahshua still be our sacrifice?

Immediately, it should be realized, how important this question is.

Unfortunately, many when asked this question become as paralyzed as a deer in headlights because, not only do they not know the answer, but all too often they are also unable to find an immediate answer elsewhere. And then, to make matters worse, this question is also accompanied with several other similar questions designed to inject doubt and fear in the intended audience. Sadly, as a result many give up too quickly and many even reject Yahshua as Messiah and the New Testament accounts. But ...

It might be surprising how easy it is to discover the answer.

First, note the assumption. (Remember our recommended approach, is we do not want to proceed with any assumptions. Everything is either to be validated or systematically discarded.) The assumption embedded in the question is that YHWH is against ALL human sacrifice. But, is that a valid assumption? If it is an assumption, we need to discard it. If it is truth, we need to validate it. If we are truly interested in what Yahweh is and is not against, we must consult His Torah - His instructions for His people. What does Yahweh say He is against?

Leviticus 18:21 “Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your Elohim. I am Yahweh.”

Thus, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods. (PARTICIPATE: When I say Again, say-YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods)

Leviticus 20:2-5 Yahweh said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

2 Kings 23:10 “He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech.”

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

Jeremiah 32:35 “They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.”

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

2 Kings 16:2-3 ...unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of Yahweh his Elohim. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations Yahweh had driven out before the Israelites.

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

2 Kings 17:30-31 The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cutha made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima; the Avvites made Nibhas and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

2 Kings 21:5-6 In both courts of the temple of Yahweh, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of Yahweh, provoking him to anger.

Again, Yahweh is against sacrificing children to false gods.

Jeremiah 7:31 “They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire; something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.”

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

Deuteronomy 12:31 “You shall not worship Yahweh your Elohim in that way; for every abomination to Yahweh which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.”

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

Deuteronomy 18:10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer.”

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

Jeremiah 32:35 “They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.”

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

2 Kings 23:10 “He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech.”

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

Ezekiel 20:31 “When you offer your gifts, the sacrifice of your sons in the fire, you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Yahweh, I will not let you inquire of me.”

Again, YHWH is against sacrificing children to false gods.

According to all of these verses, note that all references to YAHWEH condemning human sacrifice are specifically related to two things:

• Yahweh is against sacrificing children.

• Yahweh is against sacrificing to pagan gods.

Now, this is only important to the degree that it is believed that context is important. We at the congregation of Yahshua believe that context matters, so we will proceed as though that context matters, when considering the question of...,

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“How can YHWH be against human sacrifice, yet Yahshua be our sacrifice?”

Those assuming Yahweh is against all human sacrifice fail to integrate...

the fact that all such verses only reference sacrificing children to pagan cultic false gods. First, Yahshua is not a child, and furthermore, Yahshua was not sacrificed to false gods.

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So, we already have an issue in which the supposedly challenging question misses the clear context of human sacrifice. Why does YHWH focus so much on being against child sacrifice?

In the disturbing subject of child sacrifice, the children are stripped of their free will and are wrongfully forced to be a sacrifice. They clearly do not choose to be a sacrifice. Thus, human sacrifice that involves someone being stripped of their free will is forbidden and an abomination to YHWH.

Why is this an issue?

Because

- ALL life belongs to Yahweh. When we offer up another (unwilling) life to a false god, then that is a matter of stealing of the highest offense against our Creator.

Likewise,

-When we live our life however we want, in disobedience to Yahweh outside of His will, then we are effectively stealing our life from Yahweh. We are to offer up our whole life to Him and Him alone, because He owns us. (Amen!!?)

-Yahweh desires His people to, instead, sacrifice themselves in obedience, not sacrifice others against their will. It is His will that we die to ourselves, and live only for Him.

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We are to die to our flesh and to follow YHWH in the Spirit. What this means is this.

We are to give up (or sacrifice) what we want and mistakenly believe that is ours for our own purposes.

We need transform our lives to live what Yahweh Elohim wants and give everything back to Him for His purpose. That is true sacrifice. And that is what He wants from every human.

This may be surprising to many, but YHWH is very clear that He demands human sacrifice and that He wants and desires human sacrifice, in the right way and context of course. We are to all sacrifice ourselves. We are to live for Him, not ourselves. That is the better sacrifice.

1 Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said, ‘Has Yahweh as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.’”

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Both Paul and Peter, who knew Torah well, taught this very same understanding, not as something new, but something already established as true.

Romans 12:1 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of Elohim, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Elohim, which is your spiritual worship.”

1 Peter 2:5 “You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Elohim through Yahshua Messiah.”

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And, yes, sometimes sacrificing ourselves (or obeying Yahweh), will even result in our physical death for following the Word of Elohim. And, yes, that would be considered a human sacrifice.

According to tradition and even parts of the book of Acts, being fed to animals and beheadings was the fate of many who followed the Messiah. James the brother of Yahshua was beheaded and also the apostle Paul. They sacrificed their lives for their faith. If we are human, and we forfeit our physical life to follow Him, then what better definition of human sacrifice is there?

To sacrifice simply means to “give up something of value.” What is more valuable to us than our own life? And how many of us mistakenly believe that we own our own life?

If we are truly in the faith, then we have given our life over to Him. Everything we think and do should be for His glory. (AMEN!!?)

It is those who have no faith, that live for themselves and have effectively stolen the life they have from the One who created them.

Yahweh makes no promises that following His Word will protect anyone from being killed by those who hate the Word of Elohim. In fact, the more we conform to the image of the Word of Elohim, the more likely that we are to be persecuted to such a degree. The Biblical pattern is that those who follow and teach the Law of Yahweh have been killed because of their obedience and teaching. For example:

Nehemiah 9:26 “Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies.”

1 Kings 19:14 “He said, ‘I have been very jealous for Yahweh, the Elohim of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.’”

Clearly human sacrifice in obedience is nothing new. Yahweh’s people have been sacrificing themselves since persecution began. Elijah even realized that the pattern was that prophets often gave their life, as prophets were often killed with the sword.

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Are we to compromise our own obedience just to spare our physical life?

Of course not. We are to stand firm even if it leads to sacrificing our own life in obedience.

Yahshua even stated that the pattern of human sacrifice was destined to continue.

Matthew 23:34 “Therefore, I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town.”

Sometimes our spiritual sacrifice can literally become physical human sacrifice, as a testimony and witness to Yahweh. How many prophets were knowingly killed because they followed and taught the Word of Yahweh? They were stoned, murdered and martyred for their faith and bold rebuking of others. They were humans and they sacrificed themselves in obedience. Is that not human sacrifice? Were the prophets wrong in what they did? Yahweh did not detest the prophets sacrificing themselves in obedience. The prophets knew that it was coming. There were even examples outside of Yahshua’s example in the New Testament.

Recall Stephen in Acts chapters six and seven. He knew that he was about to die by stoning, yet he preached the truth; he preached the Word. He could have denied everything and walked away, but he chose to die for the sake of truth.

In that light, Yahshua our Messiah was no different. He was killed by those who despised the Word of Elohim, just like the prophets before Him who were killed by those who despised the Word of Yahweh. What was new was that He was sinless and took on death, where all others have deserved the curse of death because of sin, He did not. Yahshua took on punishment, He took on a curse that was not His, something He did not deserve but every other person before and after Him did deserve and does deserve. If we sin, if we break Yahweh’s Law, we are under a curse.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim,

Note the difference between acceptable human sacrifice, and pagan false god sacrifice. Yahshua willfully and knowingly, not unwillfully and unknowingly, took on a curse (the curse of death) that He did not deserve.

Galatians 3:13 “Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us: for it is written, ‘Curse is everyone who is hanged on a tree.’”

Yahshua took on the curse of death that was the result of our disobedience, which then only leaves us with the blessing of obedience...

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim,

Yahshua was obedient, taught and practiced the truth and rebuked harshly and boldly to follow only the Word of Elohim, not man. Men did not like it, and Yahshua sacrificed Himself for the sake of those very same men in fulfillment of the Word/His Law. He knew that His obedience would result in His very own death, just like so many prophets before Him. It was His obedience that caused Him to be killed by those who despised the Word of Elohim.

Philippians 2:8 “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

So,

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Why was reviewing all that necessary?

Well, hopefully, the reason is clear. it gives to the sceptic another angle of truth showing that the issue of ...

-The sacrifice of Yahshua being against the Torah because Yahweh is against human sacrifice is obviously an imaginary problem, yet such an imaginary problem causes real issues in people’s faith.

-The real problem is not simply about human sacrifice, but more specifically child sacrifice, and even more specifically, it is about child sacrifice to pagan false gods.

Why did the pagan god worshipers have an interest in sacrificing children?

Psalm 106:34-38 They did not destroy the peoples as Yahweh had commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshipped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.

Jeremiah 19:4-5 For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned sacrifices in it to gods that neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal; something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.

Ezekiel 2:37 “For they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them.”

Notice the sacrifice of the children is linked to the “blood of the innocent” and “blood is on their hands.” it was “innocent blood” that mattered to the pagans. And such was the “blood on their hands,” or more specifically, it was considered by Torah the sinful act of murder.

Exodus 23:7 “Do not put an innocent person to death.”

The issue of sacrificing children is considered breaking the Torah, not specifically because it is human sacrifice, but because it is placing an innocent person to death.

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-Now, let's break this imaginary contradiction down a little more deeply. Technically, the contradiction does NOT exist for two reasons:

-Yahshua was obviously not a child when the crucifixion occurred,

and...

-His body was not “innocent” AFTER the point at which He “became sin for us.” (Oh wait a minute now pastor, what are you talking about!!!?)

2 Corinthians 5:21 “Elohim made him who had no sin to be sin for us and ‘He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree’”

1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.”

Yahshua'a own body became guilty sin for us; it became corrupted and abominable before the heavenly Father for our sake(My El, My El, why has thou forsaken me!?)! (Don't turn: Rom. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Elohim sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh [His own flesh]): (Lamb:sin offering) It is only AFTER this point that the curse of death was poured out upon the Messiah. Yahshua was perfect in mind and spirit, His mind and spirit was “innocent.” Yahshua never sinned. Thus He was perfect at the moment of His death, yet His body contained our sin and was not innocent. It was corrupted. When His body died, our sin died with it. (PRAISE!!!)

Yet, Yahshua’s perfect mind and spirit went on and was resurrected in a new, glorified body. Thus what was pure and innocent about Yahshua was left intact and unharmed in the resurrection, while the body that contained our sin in our faith was destroyed, and then resurrected as new. This answers the issue of how Yahshua was perfect and unblemished, yet still took on our sin at the same time.

Now, one question still remains:

Was it against the Law for an unblemished Yahshua to “take on the sins of the world” as the Lamb of Elohim?

In Isaiah 53 we see the actions of YHWH in “laying” the sins of Israel upon the Messianic Servant.

Isaiah 53:6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Isaiah 53:8 “For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken”

Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it was Yahweh's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though Yahweh makes his life a guilt offering.”

Isaiah 53:12 “For he bore the sin of many,”

Tell the Jewish critic that Isaiah the prophet writes that it is possible for a man to bear the sins of others, for the iniquity and transgressions of His people; that it is possible for a man to become the guilt offering. The skeptic of Isaiah 53 attempts to suggest that the “suffering servant” is actually Israel, but even with a casual reading of the text, one should quickly realize that it is the suffering servant that saves Israel from their sin.

Now, obviously one can not die for the iniquity and transgressions of others if they are full of their own iniquity and transgressions. Also, Isaiah the prophet is clearly demonstrating that it was and is necessary for this sin bearing guilt offering to take place to address the transgressions of the people. Often, it is “Old Testament only,” or “TANAKH only” Jews challenging the understanding that a man could die for others in such a way. The reality is, however, that ancient Jewish writings already communicated an understanding of how a man could die for others.

Did the Jews of the period see a problem with a righteous person giving their life in this way?

Not at all. Though there is much of what we could disagree with in much of ancient Rabbinical sources, the reality is that such writings, at minimum, serve well to expose the common understanding of Jewish doctrine around the first century. In fact, this “substitution motif” was applied to Moses (in Isaiah 53) to some rabbi’s, and to the innocents:

Solomon Schechter, Aspects of Rabbinic Theology: 310 “The atonement of suffering and death is not limited to the suffering person. The atoning effect extends to all the generation. This is especially the case with such sufferers as cannot either by reason of their righteous life or by their youth possibly have merited the afflictions which have come upon them.

The death of the righteous atones just as well as certain sacrifices.” [Mechilta, 72b]... There are also applied to Moses the Scriptural words, ‘And he bore the sins of many’ (Isa - 53:12), because of his offering himself as an atonement for Israel’s sin with the golden calf, being ready to sacrifice his very soul for Israel, when he said, ‘And if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book (that is, from the Book of the Living), which thou hast written’ (Exod 32:32) [Sotah, 14a and Berachoth 32a] This readiness to sacrifice oneself for Israel is characteristic of all the great men of Israel, the patriarchs and the Prophets acting in the same way, whilst also some Rabbis would, on certain occasions, exclaim, ‘Behold, I am the atonement of Israel’” [Mechilta, 2a; Mishnah Negaim 2.1]

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4 Maccabees 6:26-28 “When he was now burned to his very bones and about to expire, he lifted up his eyes to Elohim and said, ‘You know, O Elohim, that though I might have saved myself, I am dying in burning torments for the sake of the law. Be merciful to your people, and let our punishment suffice for them. Make my blood their purification, and take my life in exchange for theirs.’” 4 Maccabees 17:20-22 “These, then, who have been consecrated for the sake of Elohim, are honored, not only with this honor, but also by the fact that because of them our enemies did not rule over our nation, the tyrant was punished and the homeland purified-they having become, as it were, a ransom for the sin of our nation. And through the blood of those devout ones and their death as an atoning sacrifice, divine providence preserved Israel that previously had been mistreated.”

So, clearly the historical Jewish thought pattern understood human sacrifice in a way that is also consistent with what Yahshua did.

-Even in the period of the Maccabees, those who died for the cause were considered a sacrifice.

-For some reason, it is only a problem when it is coupled with the claims and testimony about our Messiah Yahshua in the New Testament, or the Brit Hadasha.

This is odd, because...

-The New Testament authors treat and define the sacrifice of Yahshua in the same way the ancient rabbi’s did as well.

Does that mean that YHWH wants us to go sacrifice other adults? No, of course not. We are responsible for the sacrifice of ourselves, not others. The adversary desires unwilful sacrifice from those that are innocent, whereas YHWH desires a willful choice to sacrifice everything to Him, and in that is the difference. He wants us to offer up ourselves in obedience to Him even if it results in our death. Does He desire everyone’s obedience leading to death? Does He just want His people to commit suicide? No, that is missing the point. When a king sends you out to war, out to battle, he expects his servant to obey without question despite the fact that physical death is a real possibility or even a certain reality.

Even in wars that are very familiar to us, such as World War I or World War II it is often said of how many thousands of young men sacrificed their lives for the sake of freedom, yet they were simply only obeying orders,

not orders to die, per se, but orders they knew would lead to their death by the hands of the enemy.

Yahshua did the very same. Yahshua did not kill Himself, but He allowed Himself to be brought into a situation that would certainly result in His death at the hands of others, not of His own will, but the will of the Father, which then, of course, became His will as well.

We are all in a spiritual war and in a spiritual battle, and sometimes YHWH will ask those in the faith to sacrifice everything, which could include our physical life.

Many in Biblical history were faced with that reality. We need to love and trust the Father so much that He could ask anything of us, regardless of the consequences of our own physical well being. Ultimately, it is our only spiritual well being that matters. This is why Yeshua said what He said in John chapter 12.

John 12:25 “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

Pagan false god worship demanded innocent, non-voluntary sacrifice. On the other hand, YHWH expects voluntary, self-sacrifice.

And in this, discernment and context is everything. Sometimes we forget that our own life is really not our own. In our disobedience we claim our life as our own, but in obedience we give it back to our Creator for His purposes and for His glory.

The adversary loves to take the innocent and take away the purpose of life YHWH gives, and make it suit his purposes.

YHWH desires us to follow Him, to sacrifice everything to His will, regardless of the consequences of following His will. There are other such examples of sacrifice in the TANAKH. There is an instance of a human offering in Judges 11.(Perhaps summarize)

Judges 11:30-40 And Jephthah made a vow to Yahweh and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be Yahweh's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.” So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and Yahweh gave them into his hand. And he struck them from Aroer to the neighborhood of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim, with a great blow. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel. Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah. And behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. She was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter. And as soon as he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter!” You have brought me very low, and you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to Yahweh, and I cannot take back my vow.” And she said to him, “My father, you have opened your mouth to Yahweh; do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, now that Yahweh has avenged you on your enemies, on the Ammonites.” So she said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me: leave me alone two months, that I may go up and down on the mountains and weep for my virginity, I and my companions.” So he said, “Go.” Then he sent her away for two months, and she departed, she and her companions, and wept for her virginity on the mountains. And at the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow that he had made. She had never known a man, and it became a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went year by year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gildeadite four days in the year.

The Hebrew word used for “burnt offering” (olaœh) in verse 31 is often consistently translated as “a burnt offering.” However, in fairness, in Ezekiel 46:12 it is also translated as a "voluntary"or “freewill offering.” It appears, in verse 39, that Jephthah followed through with his vow and offered up his daughter as an offering. In this case, some interpret it to just mean that she would live the rest of her life never having a husband or knowing a man.

Judges 11:39 “And at the end of two months, she (of her own free will) returned to her father, who did with her according to vow that he had made.”

(Whether you interpret it to mean that she became a literal burnt offering, or remained a virgin for life, we see that her Father Jephthah like Father Yahweh is faithful to keep his vows, he was a promise Keeper, even when it involves the tragic suffering and sacrifice of his only child. This sacrifice was done in Honor of Yahweh who was mighty in Battle on behalf of His people Israel who He saved from the enemy. (If you can see the work of the father give Him Praise!!!)

Just like Jephtah, Yahweh made a vow to His servant Abraham that through his only miraculously conceived child , Isaac the Promise of the Messiah who was Elohim only begotten son would bless all the nations. Jephtah symbolized how Yahweh's promised child would suffer and be sacrificed for the the Glory of Elohim's love in saving His people from the enemy of death.)

Just like Yahshua on the way to sacrificing his life on Calvary could have stopped it by calling down a legion of angels, but instead with His own free will submitted to the will of the Heavenly Father, so Jephthah's daughter who during those two months in the mountains could have ran away, but instead submitted to the will of her Father vow or promise before Yahweh.; This act obedience is considered a sacrifice. Speaking of Abraham and Isaac... (Perhaps summarize)

Genesis 22:1-14 After these things Elohim tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which Elohim had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “Elohim will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which Elohim had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of Yahweh called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear Elohim, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “ Yahweh will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of Yahweh it shall be provided.”

And there is the instance of Moses attempting to offer himself as a sacrifice for atonement for Israel.

Exodus 32:30-34 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to Yahweh; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” So Moses returned to Yahweh and said, “Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.” But Yahweh said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book. But now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.”

In this instance, Moses expresses a desire to make atonement for Israel. He asks YHWH to forgive their sin. In the end, YHWH refuses to forgive Israel’s sin, at least at this moment, citing the reason that everyone who has sinned against Yahweh will be blotted out of the book.

Unlike Yahshua, this immediately disqualifies Moses from being able to offer himself as atonement because he has sinned as well. Everyone is guilty of sin and thus everyone should, according to Yahweh Himself, be blotted out of His book. That offers a very disappointing and bleak future for every person who has ever lived. This is a very prophetic story, because Yahweh hints that this story shadows what is to come when He says:

Exodus 32:34 “Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.”

It is in this that the discussion between YHWH and Moses ends, just after Moses basically learned that all men are doomed to being blotted out of YHWH’s book, because ALL have sinned against Him. Yet, Yahweh seems to suggest a future solution is coming, a solution that must address the stated problem of sin. And what is that problem again?(Exodus 32:34"“Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.”)

The ONLY reason that Yahweh suggests Moses cannot offer himself up for a sin sacrifice in atonement for Israel is because of His own sin, sin that every man has always had since the beginning - the same sin that causes us all to be blotted out of the book.

Exodus 32:33 “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book.”

Is there going to be any so arrogant to suggest that they have never sinned against Yahweh?

Moses did not seem to speak up and say, “But YHWH, I have not sinned so I can still offer myself as atonement for Israel.” Clearly not. Thus, the solution for atonement cannot be Moses offering himself up for a sacrifice. The important question is this, how does Yahweh’s future and pending visit to Israel relate to Israel’s sin and Moses’ seemingly failed request for their atonement? The question is answered for us later in the Torah.

Deuteronomy 18:15-18 Yahweh your Elohim will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers; it is to him you shall listen, just as you desired of Yahweh your Elohim at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, “Let me not hear again the voice of Yahweh my Elohim or see this great fire any more, lest I die.” And Yahweh said to me, “They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”

There will be a prophet likened unto Moses that will speak everything the Father commanded. Yahshua fulfilled that role, teaching the whole Word of Elohim, and even becoming the Word of Elohim.

And Elohim is the Word. Yahweh Elohim visited Israel through the vehicle or vessel of Yahshua, the prophet likened unto Moses.

And just as importantly, answering the original request of Moses, to provide Himself as a means for atonement for Israel, something Moses was not qualified to do because of his own sin ...something no man has been capable of doing because of their own sin. This is important to understand. Moses was not told that he couldn’t be a sacrifice for atonement because he was human, instead Yahweh said he could not be a sacrifice because anyone who has sin in him is guilty, and we should already know that a guilty person cannot atone for anyone else. Thus, if Moses would have been sinless, Moses could have atoned for the nation of Israel like he desired. Instead, though, we have to wait for the prophet likened unto Moses for the sinless vehicle for such atonement.

To be fair, the Torah states that in following the Word of Yahweh that we will live and it will go well with us. In other words, Yahweh Elohim wants us to live and not die, which seems to contradict everything we just presented. For example:

Deuteronomy 30:6 “And Yahweh your Elohim will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”

Isaiah 55:3 “Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.”

However, if we invest a little bit of critical thinking, we should realize something very important. Everybody dies. It is appointed to every man that he dies. Thus, if we are following the Word of Elohim, that should mean that we believe it to be truth.

If we believe and follow in the Word of Elohim, we will live on by means of a future resurrection.

And, in that, we live forever after we die first. It is expected that the righteous will die - that those who follow the law of Yahweh will indeed die (physical death). True life comes when we are resurrected, and it will always go well with us from that point on. We are appointed to die and sleep in the dust of the earth until that time.

Daniel 12:2 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Despite that we are following the Word of God, we will indeed die. Thus, when God says we will live in following His Word, it is a mistake to believe it has to do with this life. It is referring to the resurrection.

Isaiah 26:16-21 O Yahweh, in distress they sought you; they poured out a whispered prayer when your discipline was upon them. Like a pregnant woman who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near to giving birth, so were we because of you, O Yahweh; we were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind. We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen. Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead. Come, my people, enter your chambers and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. For behold Yahweh is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover it’s slain.

We have to admit, even the unrighteous live, and for many, life goes well for them. But we have to look at...

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The big picture:

- In the end, it will not go well for them. On earth, in following the Word of Elohim,

-many times it will NOT go well for us.

-Yahweh’s people have ALWAYS been persecuted by the world and have been killed because of it.

-It is at the resurrection that we will live forever, following His Torah, and things will go well for us, because we believed the Word of Yahweh to be true.

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. John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Romans 5:7 “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person; though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die.”

Yahweh Bless! (SONG: Do you Beleive in me)