We are currently in the sixth month of the Biblical year, the month of Elul. This month is traditionally known as a month of introspection or repentance. This is a tradition, but a worthwhile one. It is good to consider where we are and what we have done. It is also good to ask YHVH to reveal to us what may be standing between us and Him and between us and fellow believers. We can use this time well and forgive and ask forgiveness. Our next article will deal in more detail about how we are to forgive others.
This introspection is part of the preparation for the fall feasts: Yom T’ruah, Yom Kippurim and Sukkot.
These feasts have not been fulfilled yet. Yom T’ruah is the first of the fall feasts, also known as the feast of trumpets or the day of shouting or blowing. This day is a Sabbath and is spent, rejoicing in YHVH by making a noise. The shofar is usually blown on this day.This feast falls on Rosh Chodesh and is, for this reason, also known as the day no one knows.
You can click through the link to read more about the observance of this day and The Prophetic significance of Yom Tâ€™Ruah. In this article we expound the prophetic significance of this feast. How this day is prophetic of how YHVH would gather those who belong to Him.
Next, on the 10th of Tishri is Yom Kippurim. This day is also known as the day of atonements or coverings. This day is spent by fasting and it is a Sabbath. No work is to be done on this day. If you would like to learn more about this appointed time, you can click through the link and will find six articles on the topic. You can read why we understand fasting to be commanded on this day and how Y’shua’s death and resurrection has changed the role of the High priest.
On the 15th of Tishri, we start celebrating the feast of Sukkot. When you click on the link, you can learn more about this appointed time. We have written on the observance, the prophetic significance, the 8th day and some photo articles of what it looks like to observe Sukkot in Jerusalem.
Our most important reason for keeping these feasts is because it was commanded by The Creator of the Universe. We observe these days out of loving obedience to our Heavenly Father.
Why do we keep the feasts of YHVH?
However, there is another reason YHVH gave us these instructions.
1 John 2:3â€“4
3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, â€œI have come to know Him,â€ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
When we meet somebody for the first time, we ask them about themselves and through this, we get to know them better. We make appointments with them to spend time with them and as we do, we learn more about their past, observe what they do and how they interact with others. Through this, their character is revealed to us. We also learn what they like and dislike. Through time spend and communication, a deep and meaningful relationship is formed and maintained.
Now compare this to our relationship with our heavenly Father. YHVH wants to have a relationship with us. He already knows us intimately and He has revealed Himself to us through His word. If we are willing, we can get to know Him intimately too.
We are to spend time with YHVH. Time searching His Scriptures, implementing what we learn (doing His commandments), praying to Him, but also waiting on Him to speak to us.
When we do this, we get to know His character and His plans. Through this we learn to trust Him. He has given us His appointed times to make this possible. He set these days apart for us to spend with Him. Every feast in Leviticus 23, and this includes the seventh day Sabbath, is an appointment with our Heavenly Father. Every appointed time is an opportunity to deepen our relationship with YHVH.
The more time we spend with Him, the more intimate our relationship with Him will become. When we have an intimate relationship with YHVH, we will hear His voice. Even when we go through tests and trials, He will be with us and guide us through these difficult times.
20 Although YHVH has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. 21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, â€œThis is the way, walk in it,â€ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
Opposed this are those who profess to know him, but does not keep His commandments. He calls them liars. These are hard words, but we are to take it to heart. We cannot profess to know YHVH if we don’t keep His commandments.
As we mentioned before, this month of Elul, the sixth month of the Biblical calendar, is a month of introspection and repentance. A month of preparation for the fall feasts. YHVH requires us to be pure and holy.
How we can become pure and holy?
To be pure and holy has been a recurring theme in our lives the last couple of months. YHVH wants us to be pure and holy. If you want to read more about this, you can read the article Purity and Holiness.
3 Who may ascend into the hill of YHVH? And who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully.
In order for us to be able to come before YHVH, we are to have clean hands and a pure heart, we are to be pure and holy. We cannot be pure and holy if we have sin in our lives. Sin causes spiritual uncleanness. We are to start with ourselves and ask YHVH to reveal any sin in our lives to us. We often don’t see our own sin, we think it’s not so bad to have a little pet sin.
We generally may live righteously, but may have a habit of talking about other people in our home, thinking that it is acceptable to do so because we don’t tell it to others. This is still wrong. Unless we have something good to say about another, we are to remain quiet. Our words have power. It is said by king Solomon that a little bird will make known what we say in private.
20 Furthermore, in your bedchamber do not curse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich man, for a bird of the heavens will carry the sound and the winged creature will make the matter known.
Our words have power. We should be thinking before we speak. We can very easily pronounce negative things over ourselves or other people. Our words can produce life or death.
Another habit may be to fly off in a temper when things don’t go our way. This too is not acceptable.
11 A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.
These are just a few habits we may have; there are many other examples we can share here. Other people may not be aware that we do these things, these are secret sins. There are many other secret sins that may habitually be practiced. Some may be addicted to porn, alcohol, drugs or prescription medicine. We may think it’s not so bad, or we may be so hopelessly ensnared by it, that we don’t even want to bother doing something about it. However, when we do these things, we sin against ourselves and YHVH and we are not promoting YHVH’s kingdom. Sin is sin, secret or public.
When YHVH reveals these bad habits or secret sins to us, we are to repent of it. Repentance means to turn our backs on it. We are to stop it, that is what repentance is about. We cannot repent today and return to it again tomorrow. We may have difficulty breaking these habits, but we are to perservere. With YHVH’s help all is possible.
Another area we tend to deem unimportant is the spiritual baggage we have inherited from our fathers.
The sins of ourÂ fathers, how it affects us
We tend to think that what we do only affect our own lives. We think what has been done by our forefathers, has no bearing on our lives. We have done a quite extensive study about the topic of the sins of our fathers. We shall briefly touch on it here, you can read the detail in the article.
The term “sins or iniquity of the fathers” is used often in Scripture. Here are three examples:
7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.â€
18 â€˜YHVH is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.â€™
9 â€˜You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, YHVH your Elohim, am a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
The iniquity of the fathers will be visited on the children and their children. This seems contrary to what is written in Ezekiel 18:20 and a few other verses which states that the soul that sins shall die. We must look at the context here. The verse in Ezekiel has a judicial context, it is dealing with the legal aspect within the court system, whereas the other verses are about covenantal unfaithfulness. Another opinion is found in the Bible Knowledge commentary
The author states that only those who hate YHVH will suffer the consequences of the sins of the fathers. Let’s test this against Scripture. The first example we will look at is the sin of King David.
David did not hate YHVH, however, his sin caused his firstborn to die and havoc among his other children. His daughter Tamar was raped by her brother, this brother was killed by Absalom and Absalom rebelled against David. This was punishment from YHVH.
2 Samuel 12:11â€“14
11 â€œThus says YHVH, â€˜Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 â€˜Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.â€™ â€ 13 Then David said to Nathan, â€œI have sinned against YHVH.â€ And Nathan said to David, â€œYHVH also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. 14 â€œHowever, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of YHVH to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.â€
However, we do not see his son Solomon being part of this conspiracy or punishment. This could confirm that only those who hate YHVH will be living with the consequences of the sins of the fathers. However, when we look at the nation of Israel and Judah, we see that all were punished with exile for their covenantal unfaithfulness. There were righteous people among the unfaithful. Daniel and his friends were righteous, yet they were also exiled with the rest of the nation, and they had it very difficult. However, they stood up for what they believed and we read about how YHVH has protected them. For this reason, we don’t support the view that the righteous will not be affected by the sins of the fathers. They may be protected by YHVH, but will live with the consequences of their father’s sin.
Another example of the sin of the father affecting his children is found in the life of Solomon and his descendants. Solomon was a righteous man. However, later in his life, his heart was turned away from YHVH. His many foreign wives, led him to sin. This resulted in the kingdom being divided, yet not in his days, but in the days of his son.
1 Kings 11:12
12 â€œNevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.
When you read about the other kings, you see this too. Often a king would sin against YHVH and YHVH would not only punish him, but also his sons after him.
Jeroboam did evil in YHVH’s eyes. He constructed two golden calves and even changed the appointed times. He led Israel into idol worship. As a result of this, he and his descendants would die without honor.
Ahab is another example, he was a wicked king, he worshipped idols and was evil. YHVH sent Eliah to him to tell him what his punishment would be. He tore his clothes and put on sackcloth when he heard this. Then YHVH said:
1 Kings 21:29
29 â€œDo you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his sonâ€™s days.â€
Ahab’s sin was so severe that every one of his descendants – his seventy sons and even his priests and acquaintances were killed. Some of these sons of Ahab were still boys when they were executed, we know that because they were looked after by guardians (2 King 10:5). Once again, the sin of their father was responsible for what happened to them.
Elisha was a prophet in the time of Jehoram. In his time Naaman a captain of the army of the king of Aram came to him for healing. Elisha didn’t want to take any presents from him, but his servant Gehazi went afterwards and lied to get some for himself. This greed of Gehazi caused him and his descendants to be cursed with leprosy. His descendants didn’t have anything to do with his greed, yet they were punished too.
YHVH commanded that Jericho is not to be rebuilt. However…
1 Kings 16:34
34 In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho; he laid its foundations with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of YHVH, which He spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.
The father sinned, but the sons died. There are many other examples from Scripture. As we said before, Israel didn’t go into exile just for their own sins, it is written that they didn’t keep the Sabbatical year many times. Also, of those who were in exile, were children when taken in captivity. Why? Because of the sins of their fathers.
You may wonder where we are going with this. We want to show you how the results of our forefathers deeds will manifest in our lives. These results may be punishment from YHVH for their sins, their covenantal unfaithfulness. So, now that we have determined that the sins of our fathers affect us, what can we do about it.
Both Daniel and Nehemiah repented of the sins of the fathers. Both of these men were righteous and were most probably from righteous families. So, they were not repenting of their own father’s sin, but from that of the nations’ fathers. We may also suffer from the results of the sins of “our fathers” or those who have gone before us. We can repent of it like Daniel and Nehemiah did and it may change our circumstances.
Ask YHVH to show you what you need to do in this regard. It may make a huge difference in your life.
We have written about how we are to focus on being pure and holy before YHVH. How we are to ask Him to reveal our sinful habits to us. Another area linked to this is what we have and what we practice. In short, anything that we have or do that is contrary to YHVH’s word.
OurÂ possessionsÂ and practices are important
We may own things or practice things that does not look like sin, but are and will bring a curse on us.
We may, for example, possess books with an occult or new age theme or it may contain content contrary to YHVH’s word. Is this sin? Technically it may not be, but it may entice us to sin. Even music can entice us to sin. You may listen to a song, happily humming the tune, without realizing that it is a song about adultery. If you do this often enough, you make it acceptable to your mind. Songs tend to romanticize things like this, movies too. In this way sin is introduced to us in a soft way and we may even begin to justify it. Movies are the same, illicit affairs, pre-marital relations and relations with multiple partners are romanticized and made acceptable. When you spend your time watching this, you will become desensitized to these sins. These things have to go. We cannot profess to be YHVH’s children and participate in this.
Art is another thing that may be among these things. African masks are always associated with pagan worship. African drums as well. It has also become trendy to have statues of false gods in homes and gardens. YHVH said we are not to bring these abominations into our homes. Doing this brings a curse on us.
26 â€œYou shall not bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is something banned.
It has also become trendy to practice reflexology for example. To use homeopathic preparations for healing, or pendulums to test for allergies, do acupuncture and lots of other practices. Yoga has become a popular “exercise.” These practices have occult roots and are idolatrous in nature. If you are practicing any of these, do some research and you will see. Don’t believe the “YHVH created everything but satan stole it” line. YHVH did not create idolatry and is not pleased with it. You open yourself up for further deception when you practice these things. Did you know that if you practice mixed worship, for this is what this is, that YHVH will cause you to become more deceived.
Here again, ask YHVH to reveal what is not pleasing to Him and stop it or get rid of it and don’t forget to repent. We have cleaned out things before, but it does happen as time goes by that we buy or get things that are not pleasing to YHVH. When it was given as a gift, we feel awkward getting rid of it, or sometimes it is difficult when we have spent money on it. Think about the impact these things may have on your relationship with YHVH, and weigh it against the money or sentimental value. It becomes easier when you do this.
What have we learned?
It is a short while before we celebrate the fall feasts, YHVH’s appointed times. Use these few days before Yom T’ruah to purify yourself, your life and your home from anything that is not pleasing to YHVH. Ask Him to guide you through His Spirit to do this. This is an ongoing process; a lifelong process, but even so, we are to focus more on this before our appointments with our Heavenly Father.
YHVH gave us these appointed times to teach us about Him and His plans. When we are not pure and holy, we will not get what he is trying to teach us. We will not hear his voice if we live in sin. This is the reason for being prepared. We are to seek YHVH while He may be found.
6 Seek YHVH while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.
3 â€˜Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.â€™
When we have a loving relationship with our Father, He will hear us when we call to Him.
15 â€œHe will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
YHVH wants to have a relationship with us, He is our Father and requires obedience from us, His children. YHVH has great plans for each of us, if only we will yield ourselves to Him. These plans are about a spiritual hope in Him, a relationship with Him and protection by Him.
11 â€˜For I know the plans that I have for you,â€™ declares YHVH, â€˜plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 â€˜Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
YHVH wants to bless us, but the choice is ours. We can choose obedience which brings life – spiritual and physical, or disobedience which brings physical and spiritual death.
Our next article will focus on forgiving and forgiveness and how our forgiveness of one another should be according to the pattern YHVH has given us. Please subscribe below to ensure that you don’t miss this. May YHVH bless you as you prepare yourselves for His appointed times.
- All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD, and Yâ€™shua for Jesus.
- Deere, J. S. (1985). Deuteronomy. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 272). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.