This is the third and final article in this series. It has been a while since I posted which was not intentional, but life happens.
In the previous 2 posts I briefly touched on the path that led me to believe that the entirety of scripture is still very much applicable to believers today. And I do truly believe that Yeshua came here not just to take the curse of our sin upon Himself to redeem us, but also to show us how the rules of that covenant were to be walked out.
It truly saddens me that some, especially those that profess to be Christian in faith, when confronted with a view that doesn’t necessary align with what they had been taught in church, reduce themselves to attacks, Is that how Christians should respond? I think not.
I have been accused of being self-righteous, legalistic, judgmental, and that I have no concern for evangelizing, I find it odd because I don’t go about seeking conflict. And all the claims made by others are nowhere near accurate. How can I be self-righteous when my view of sin and my own sinful nature has caused me to fall on my face more so now than ever. The deep sense that I have for my own need for a savior is far stronger than it ever has been. I know without a doubt that there is nothing in me, and I mean NOTHING that deserves the grace that I have been afforded. So how one equates that to self-righteousness is anyone’s guess. And if I have been judgmental, God please forgive me, because I know full well that it is not my place to stand as a judge over others. I can attest that I have never pointed my finger at someone and said “you are doing it wrong” nor have I sought to knowingly condemn someone because their walk is different than mine. Regarding legalism, if what I do is legalistic then I don’t understand how because I have never felt so free in my spiritual walk, its truly amazing the weight that has been lifted since we started walking in the Way. If I was ever in a legalistic environment it was when I was entrenched in the Baptist church. And regarding evangelizing, the people that make those claims haven’t even seen me in over 6 years so they have no way of knowing what I do or don’t do, so there is that…
What I have done, and I will not apologize for is point out error in doctrine. You see I am a firm believer that the entirety of scripture MUST agree. When God said something was established forever, He means forever. And not to mention He also says that He doesn’t do anything unless He first reveals it to His prophets. So please show me in the prophets where God changed the requirements for drawing near to him. And please show me where He invalidated the 4th commandment so we don’t have to keep the 7th day Sabbath, a day in which He tells us over and over again to remember forever. And again, please show me where the Messiah, the very Son of God is prophesied to come with the purpose of upending the entire previous 4 thousand years of God’s instructions on how we are to conduct our lives, and establish a whole new religion called Christianity based solely upon grace. Truth is you won’t find any of that in your Bibles.
In defense of their hyper grace theology, everyone always wants to quote Galatians, when in reality 95% of the people that quote Galatians don’t truly understand Galatians. Paul is like PHD level stuff and the average church goer doesn’t even read let alone study. I mean honestly how many can quote Habakkuk? Wait is that a book in the New Testament? I must have missed that one…. Seriously I’m being sarcastic but that’s how bad it is some times. Most are so used to just picking verses out and disregarding the context in which they were written, and as a result they have no comprehension of the true meaning of the words they quote. Many don’t even realize that the “scriptures” Paul talks about are in fact the Torah, the prophets, and the Psalms, not Matthew, Mark, Luke and John… They also cannot comprehend that Paul mentions 7 different laws throughout his writings, neither can they determine which of the 7 he is talking about at any given time. Sadly they just assume that the word the translators translated as Law always means the Torah of YHVH. Often the “Law” that Paul says places one in bondage, is in fact referring to what we now call the Talmud, or the laws and traditions of man. The church is not exempt of enacting their own laws and traditions and placing excess burdens upon its people. It’s these burdens that Yeshua was speaking of, and these traditions that men held above the Torah that He condemned them for.
As hard as it is for some to receive, much of what we have been taught in church is the result of nearly 2 thousand years of corrupted doctrine. In fact as early as the third century the persecution of those walking in the Way was so severe they were nearly wiped out. They were hunted down, herded like cattle and killed for their faith. They were rejected by both Jews and Christians alike, being both Jew and Christian, and yet neither at the same time. In those days they were called the Natsarim. This brave remnant dared to keep a 7th day sabbath, the feast days, and the dietary laws that were deemed “only for the Jews” (never mind that there were 11 other tribes present at Sinai when the 10 commandments were written on stone). So not only did they keep many of the “Jewish” ways, they also unapologetically professed Yeshua as their Messiah and were willing to die for their cause, and many did.
Since the beginning of time the Torah has been YHVH’s instructions for man. It reveals His divine character and His desire to be in fellowship with us. If anyone has honestly read through The “Books of Moshe” they cannot escape the fact that the Torah principles were definitely in place long before Sinai. Cain and Abel knew what was acceptable as a sacrifice, Noah knew what animals were considered clean and unclean, Judah understood the Levirate marriage rights when his three sons died and left Tamar childless. The examples are endless and are far to numerous and timeless to simply cast aside as a cultural phenomenon.
It is likely that the Torah has had several forms of revelation. First was oral, we see this in the garden when God instructs Adam and Eve to eat from any tree except the tree of knowledge. After the fall, there was no doubt a new found “knowledge” that Adam and Eve gained as they now understood the difference between good and evil. I assume as any good parent would, they passed that understanding onto their children, and to their children’s children. Then there was the encounter at Sinai. This is where God takes His people out of bondage and offers them what is essentially akin to a marriage contract. This contract was written in stone to stand as a witness against them (and us) should they violate the terms of the contract. I do believe that there is power in the written word, I don’t understand how it works, but they call it “spelling” for a reason so the implications of it being in written form are quite possible far deeper than first thought. And finally the last and greatest form of revelation is when it will be written on our hearts and those that have lived in faith are resurrected to live in sinless perfection judging alongside our Messiah.
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Although the Torah does include “curses” for violating its principles, it was never intended to enslave us. Why would God redeem Israel from the bondage of Egypt just to enslave them under the Torah at Sinai? That honestly makes no sense. On the contrary the Torah is meant to bring freedom and life. That is why Moshe says chose life, and Yeshua said I have come so that they may have life and it more abundantly.
You see the Torah is simply the Fathers loving instruction to us on how we are to live. It is the guardrails on the highway of life. It is the safety fence on the edge of the cliff. He designed this world and everything in it, who better to tell us how to live in it? And better yet, who are we to claim we know better?
Sure you can eat pork, and you may live to be 100, doesn’t change the fact that it is absolutely horrible for you. Sure you can work every Saturday and you may get rich doing so, but that doesn’t change the fact that our bodies have a real need for some down time to recover. Stress is the number one killer, and oddly enough right up there with medical malpractice and processed pork. Stress causes all sorts of diseases and cancers, so taking a break might just do the body some good. Some of the curses mentioned in the Torah are captivity, sickness, bareness, famine etc. and if we actually step back and look at things through the proper lenses, we will see that all of it is simply the result of our inability to obey the warning signs and jump the fence. So why not heed the warnings and live the abundant life that the blessings of Torah promise?
Deuteronomy 30:10-14 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
It’s really not that hard. And contrary to what many in the church say, you can keep it. Maybe not perfectly as Yeshua did, that is after all what grace is for, but you can walk blameless before God being righteous as He has called us to be. Many don’t realize that the Gospel that Paul talks about in the often quoted “Romans Road” is a direct quote from the above mentioned verse in Deuteronomy 30. The problem comes in when we start to rely on our actions to gain us favor with the Father. Our righteousness is but filthy rags, it will never bring salvation. This is where the faith part comes in.
Genesis 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge mishmereth, my commandments mitsvâh, my statutes chuqqâh, and my laws Torah.
Even as Abraham had faith, we also see that he obeyed all that God commanded Him. He walked out his faith through obedience and was accounted righteous for it. And it is in the faith of Abraham that we also walk today. It is called the Obedience of Faith…
Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
So in closing, you can condemn my behavior if you want, call me names, judge my character if you can, you can even attack my “brand” of faith, but know this. It is but a SMALL thing to be judged by you. There is only one Judge that I am beholden to, and it is to His Words of instruction that I cling, looking to our Messiah Yeshua as the perfect example of how we should live. I know full well the peace that comes with simple obedience when it is walked out in faith. It is so amazing I cannot even put it into words. I look forward to my Messiah ruling this world in righteous judgment, so much so I long deeply for His appearing. So if being obedient is being legalistic, judgmental, and self righteous… then SO BE IT. And when the day comes that those charges or ones related to them bring the death penalty, (and that day will come), I will proudly stand in line awaiting the gallows. To give my life for the faith that I now hold would be a great honor.
Torah is not the bondage that your pastor says it is. It is Life, Freedom, Abundance, Peace, and Joy. Its all the things that Yah promises it will be if we will by faith, simply walk in its precepts.