I receive a newsletter from the blog He That Has An Ear ever so often. Today was the third part of an ongoing series called “A Kinsman Redeemer” that I found particularly interesting and enlightening. The article today, entitled “The Need for Atonement“, explained a few things I had never quite grasped before, and so I feel compelled to share it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A Kinsman Redeemer
Part Three: The Need for Atonement
by haRold Smith
based in Jerusalem, Israel
“Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My Covenant (commandments), then you shall be My own possession. among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Exodus 19:5-6
“He saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then His own arm brought His Salvation, and His Righteousness upheld him.” Isaiah 59:16
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11
Just what is atonement and why is it needed? The first article of this series, Establishing the Signet (click on highlighted words to view), established who the family of YHVH is – Israel. The second article the Inheritance, established the legality of the firstborn of the family of Israel to co-ownership of the family, the Kingdom of YHVH, the legal obligation of co-owners to abide by the actions of the other and the subsequent right of inheritance. This article will deal with the need for atonement in order to reclaim or redeem the inheritance forfeited by the first Son, Adam, to restore it to the rightful heirs – the family of Israel.
Words mean things. Those who seek and desire (hunger and thirst) Truth more than life itself eventually realize that, in order to find Truth in the words of scripture, a disassociation from “tradition-think” is required – a separation from the traditions of men the world extends through religious theology (Mark 7:13, see Who’s Your Daddy?). To appreciate these words of scripture written by Hebrews, from a Hebrew mindset, out of a Hebrew culture and addressed to a Hebrew audience requires us to look at them from that same Hebrew viewpoint – to do otherwise would be disingenuous. To that end, let us look at some words of scripture to get a clear understanding of what these words actually mean.
“In YHVH was Life; and The Life was the Light of men, And the Light shines in darkness; and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4
“And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world , and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19
The Greek word translated as “condemnation” is krisis and means separation – a separation from the Light. What is the Light? John 1:4 above and 1John 1:5 both tell us that YHVH, the Source of Life, IS Light. So, how does separation from the Light occur? Yeshua tells us in John 3:19 above that abiding in darkness causes separation from the Light. He is speaking of a comprehensive law that governs the universe – Light and darkness can not occupy the same space at the same time. In order to occupy or abide in Light one must first become Light (1John 4:17, see the Law of Grace for more explanation).
To find how all this applies to us will require us to go back to the beginning, over 6000 years ago to where it all began in Gan Edan (Hebrew for the “Garden of Eden”) where the first family of YHVH enjoyed a unique, shared intimacy of relationship between Spirit (John 4:24) and flesh apart from the rest of mankind – they were echad (Hebrew for One). They became One in the shared image of Spirit because YaHoVeH, the Source of Life, breathed His Life into the first son of the family, Adam. That Life was the beginning of a family of Light through which the rest of mankind would be attracted to the Goodness found in YHVH, thus fulfilling the Declared Purpose (see the Word). This shared mystery of echad was what was to be inherited by the rightful heirs of the family. The Hebrew word for “inherit”, yarash, means “to occupy, to take possession of”.
Something happened, however, which abrogated that Plan of YHVH and placing it into abeyance (a legal term meaning suspension of activity; a condition where legal ownership of an estate has not been established). What happened was the first son’s forfeiture or relinquishment of birthright through his embrace of darkness, caused a separation in being echad – the shared image of Spirit, Who is Light. This separation happened as a direct result of Adam’s disobedience to YHVH’s Words. This forfeiture caused a disruption of the passage of inheritance to the beneficiaries of the family because, as co-owner of the Kingdom, the Father was legally obligated to honor the actions of the son. YHVH’s footprint in the earth is deliberately limited to the choices of those who embrace Him (see a Pre-Determined Destination for more information).
There is a difference between adhering to the protocol that allows us to come into the Presence of the Source of Life (Matthew 19:16-22) which has always been available even though externally (Exodus 33:7) and being echad, one with the shared image of the Father of Light. Immediately after the separation, we see where Adam, Eve, Cain and Able were still in His Presence and heard His Voice (Genesis 4:1-7). Being echad, however, is a very different state of being (see the Inheritance). It is the same state Yeshua prayed those who followed Him would become – just as, in like manner, in similar fashion as He is One with YHVH (John 17:20-21).
Leviticus 17:11, above, tells us that the Life is in the Blood. When YHVH breathed Life into Adam, that Life created blood. This was not some mystical allegory, but an actual occurrence. When Adam was formed in the Garden, he was not formed as the others of mankind (see the Gospel for an explanation). Adam was formed in the shared image of YHVH – meaning, he shared the DNA of the Father. Adam’s blood was as pure as the Father’s. John 1:4 tells us that the LIFE IS the Light of men. YHVH’s LIFE, His Blood, is manifest as Light. Adam was Light since, as the son of the Father, he carried the pure Blood of the Father of Light. As the first son he was a co-owner of the Kingdom of Light with the Father and, being in agreement with the Father’s Words, was responsible for maintaining the Light of the Kingdom (Genesis 2:15, see the Power of His Name). In similar fashion, as co-owner, the Father was responsible for the actions of the Son.
Yeshua is called “Rabbi” by those who drew near to him. As Rabbi, he taught Torah. The rabbinic idea of “fulfilling” Torah is simply teaching correct interpretation (Greek pleroo – to make completely full). Yeshua came to complete the understanding of Torah. The Greek word for evil spoken of by Yeshua in John 3:19 above is poneros meaning “full of labours” and phaulos in v20, which means “ordinary” – much different than the dark vileness normally associated with evil. It is a mixture of the world with Spirit, the pure with the impure. Adam’s act of disobedience allowed an impurity, a mixture of his own will, his own determination of what is Good (darkness), to mingle with the pure blood of agreement in the shared image of YHVH – which is Light (see the One Covenant series for an explanation).
The Greek word used for “pure” in Matthew 5:8 is katharos, meaning to “purify with fire”, is the same Greek word used in John 15:3 for “clean”. The Hebrew word translated as “pure” in Daniel 11:35 is barar and carries the meaning “to purge, cleanse or make bright”. To be impure does not necessarily imply “evil” but means to have a “mixture” – not separated. Purging is the process by which the pure (Word of Light) is separated from the impure (darkness of self-will). The being at “One” Adam experienced with the Father was corrupted because of disobedience. His blood became “impure” or “estranged”, it meant he took on properties that were strange to the Essence of the One Who is Pure. He placed himself and the Kingdom he was made a part of into the bondage of corruption – that state of being considered “impure”. He engaged in a transaction that corrupted his purity, placing himself (and the estate of which he was a co-owner as a son) into the bondage of his own futility, becoming a stranger to the agreement found in echad. What used to be prevalent in society but has been lost over time due to the breakdown of the family unit is the notion that the Father is bound by the acts of the son. But, from the beginning, this was so. Hence, the fifth instruction of the Ten Words is to honor your mother and father.
The impurity of disobedience injected into the pure blood of echad was strange and, since Light and darkness cannot abide in the same space at the same time, a separation became necessary to keep the purity of the Source of Life intact – to keep the well of Life holy (set apart from what is common among men) and the Light brilliant (Lest he partake of the tree of Life, the pure blood – Genesis 3:22-23). The separation that occurred was from echad, the shared image of the Essence of Spirit. In order to recapture that brilliance of intimacy would require atonement through a re-injection of Life, a transfusion of pure blood into the bloodline – pure Light not mingled with impurity, not subjected to a mixture of the darkness of self will. Here enters the need for a Kinsman Redeemer – a member of the family afforded the status of the firstborn to repurchase the family of YHVH out of the dominion of darkness it had been given over to and to restore the Kingdom of echad to its rightful beneficiaries, the rightful heirs – the family of Israel.
ATONEMENT (sometimes referred to as “expiation”, although any form of the word “expiate” is not found in scripture) comes from the Hebrew root word kaphar which means to cover over, purge, the setting at one or reconciliation of two estranged parties (some differences in nuance acknowledged). Estranged is the Hebrew word zuwr and means to become a stranger (Ezekiel 14:5, Ephesians 2:12).
It is out of this root, kaphar, that the Hebrew word kippur comes from to mean “to atone, or atonement”. The Hebrew feast of Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement”. This verb form, however, seems to be a derivative from the noun kofer meaning ransom, or the price of a life to have originally meant “to atone.” While common usage of the word ransom is linked to hostage taking, its Hebrew definition lends itself more to a simple method of retrieval – an act, or payment, needed to restore a relationship between two parties when that relationship has been severed through some transgression. Atonement is accomplished when the person who has caused a break, or separation in relationship with another fulfills the restoration obligations with some sort of sacrifice. The kind of grievance determines the kind of payment. Atonement for something destroyed could be satisfied through a replacement with something of equal or greater value, for instance.
The Hebrew word for “Kinsman” and the Hebrew word for “Redeemer” are the same ga’al. meaning to redeem, act as kinsman-redeemer, do the part of a kinsman, avenge, revenge, to regain possession of by payment, to buy back. That these words are interchangeable places a double emphasis on the status (remember from the last article that the first-born receives a double portion of the Inheritance). A Redeemer is defined as a blood relative charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another family member who is unable to avenge his own wrongs. The responsibilities of a Kinsman Redeemer are described in the Book of Ruth.
Redemption means to buy back – payment secures redemption. Redemption of property or of individuals that have been given over to bondage (slavery), either forcefully or voluntarily, can only be accomplished by a family member who had the price of redemption and was prepared to pay it if the individual affected could not effect his own redemption. A person in need of redemption himself could not redeem somebody else in need of redemption because he would not have the price. If he did have the price, he would not be in slavery or destitution himself. This problem is alluded to in Psalm 49 and what it means to be a “slave to sin”.
“None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: for the redemption of their soul is costly, and must be let alone forever”. Psalm 49:7-8.
Redemption from sin (darkness) can only be accomplished by someone who was never in slavery or bondage to sin. Sinful men cannot redeem themselves or their friends.
Psalm 31:5 does not teach that Yeshua needed redemption – “Into your hand I commend my spirit: You have redeemed me, O YHVH of Truth.” Yeshua quoted the first half of this passage, but not the second half, which did not apply to him. If the whole of Psalm 31 were to apply to Yeshua, then so must verse 10, which says “My strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are wasted away.” This cannot apply to Yeshua because He had no iniquity, and His bones did not waste away. Psalm 31 is a Psalm of David, who was a person in need of redemption. Yeshua only quoted the part of the verse that was appropriate to His circumstance at the time.
Truth says the sins of the fathers are passed on to subsequent generations unless they are stopped (Exodus 34:6-7). Forgiveness of sin does not mean alleviation from the consequence of sin (Numbers 14:20-24, James 1:14-15). To become an inheritor means to take possession of (Hebrew, yarash). The manner in which transgressions are stopped is to own them – to purchase them and then repent of them by not doing them anymore. To ensure the corruption of pure blood would never happen again, Isaiah 59:16 above tells us that YHVH cut off His Own Arm to be used as the price of redemption, for the payment of disobedience. Acts 2:33 tells us that Yeshua returned to occupy that place to the right of the Father. So, when Yeshua hung on the stake of obedience, all of the sins bred of a single act of disobedience that had tentacled their way down through the subsequent generations to Yeshua were literally heaped upon Him and He bore them all in that hour – they became His, He owned them. It was why the Father turned away from His Son as He had from the first son, Adam, because Light and darkness are unable to occupy the same space at the same time. It was what killed Him. But, in absorbing those sins, Yeshua stopped the progression, the consequence of disobedience upon the family. Because His Blood remained pure through obedience, He was able to exchange His Pure Blood of obedience for the impure mixture of disobedience as the price of redemption for the people of the family of Israel. That Yeshua is able to offer us eternal life is because He is echad, One with the Source of Life – YHVH The ownership of the Kingdom of the family of YaHoVeh, Israel, thus redeemed was restored and established – once and for all time by the reclamation of through the legal status of the firstborn Kinsman Redeemer of Israel.
Yeshua’s blood was pure because He was born of Spirit even while He was born in a body of corrupted flesh. Yeshua’s blood remained pure because of His faithful obedience to the Father’s Word in every regard, thus re-establishing echad with the Father. There are only two places where scripture tells us that the Life was breathed into men by Spirit. The first was in the Garden with Adam and the second was in John 20:21-22 when the resurrected Yeshua breathed upon the eleven gathered there, the precursor to the outpouring of Spirit into all who would receive Him in the same manner of behavior as He exampled to become echad. This is what Yeshua prayed in John 17:20-21 (see To Be Made Manifest). This is the inheritance of the saints in Light, the re-establishment of echad to the rightful inheritors, the family of Israel; and the opportunity for the purity of Spirit to be manifest in those who choose to become Sons of YHVH (John 1:12, Romans 8:19).
The Kinsman Redeemer Series
Part One: Establishing the Signet,
Part Two: the Inheritance
Part Three: the Need for Atonement
Next – Inheriting the Kingdom
“Whom YHVH has set forth to be an atonement through faith in His blood , to declare His Righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the Mercy of YHVH; to declare, I say, at this time His Righteousness: that He might be Just, and the Justifier of him who believes in Yeshua as the Messiah” Romans 3:25-26