Monday, January 21, 2019

The Authority and Consistency of the Father's Word


 


Connecting Scripture verses together can be very helpful in revealing the big picture.  There is, however, also a danger in "cherry picking" verses and stringing them together in order to support a particular theological position/doctrine which may not be true.  That is the last thing that I want to do! I have chosen several passages of Scripture, taken from the Torah, Psalms, Proverbs, and the New Testament, with the desire and hope that it will reflect the consistency of the Father's Word as well as His authority.  Because I believe that His Word speaks clearly, I will add no personal thoughts.  I know at first glance the amount of verses shared here may seem overwhelming, however, it is my prayer that you, Reader, will prayerfully take the time to read them and reflect.  I also pray that as you do, the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth, and bring to your remembrance other applicable passages. Shalom. 

 
And the LORD said to Moses, “See, I am coming to you in the thick cloud, so that the people hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.” 
Exodus 19:9a


 And now, O Israel, listen to the laws and the right-rulings which I am teaching you to do, so that you live, and shall go in and possess the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
Do not add to the Word which I command you, and do not take away from it, so as to guard the commands of the LORD your God which I am commanding you.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2

He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
Psalm 103:7 


My son, do not forget my Torah, And let your heart watch over my commands;
For length of days and long life and peace they add to you.
Proverbs 3:1 


 This is the Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The LORD your God shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brothers. Him you shall hear.’
This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the Messenger who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received the living Words to give to us,"
Acts 7:37-38


 Then Yeshua spoke to the crowds and to His taught ones, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses.Therefore, whatever they say to you to guard, guard and do. But do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do."
 Matthew 23:1-3


I have come in My Father’s Name and you do not receive Me, if another comes in his own name, him you would receive. How are you able to believe, when you are receiving esteem from one another, and the esteem that is from the only God you do not seek?  Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, in whom you have set your expectation. For if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me, since he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?
John 5:43-47


 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My Words, has one who judges him: the Word that I have spoken shall judge him in the last day. Because I spoke not from Myself, but the Father who sent Me has given Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life
Therefore, whatever I speak, as the Father has said to Me, so I speak.
John 12:48-50


Yeshua answered him, “If anyone loves Me, he shall guard My Word. And My Father shall love him, and We shall come to him and make Our stay with him. He who does not love Me does not guard My Words. And the Word which you hear is not Mine but of the Father Who sent Me."
John 14:23-24


 I have given them Your Word, and the world hated them because they are not of the world, 
as I am not of the world. 
Set them apart in Your truthYour Word is truth.
John 17:14, 17


 Your righteousness is righteousness forever, And Your Torah is truth
Psalm 119:142
    
You are near, O LORD, And all Your commands are truth. 
Psalm 119:151

 The sum of Your word is truth, And all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.
Psalm 119:160 




 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Which Way Do I Go?


The WAY of FALSEHOOD or The WAY of TRUTH? 


Photo taken from Pixabay

Remove from me the way of falsehood, 
and favour me with Your Torah. 
 Psalm 119:29 (ISR)


This verse came to mind earlier today while I was tidying up the house.  I kept thinking about it, and decided to sit down and take a deeper look.  I went to biblehub.com to see the verse in a more literal translation, so I went to the Lexicon, which reads this way:


Screenshot taken from biblehub.com

I really like it worded that way! 

"Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Your law."

"Law" is the primary English word used in most translations for the Hebrew word "Torah", which simply means "direction, instruction, law" (see chart above). 

I also looked at other translations, and while normally, I do not care for the New Living Translation (NLT), because generally speaking, it just is not an accurate enough translation, however, I have to admit that when I read the NLT version of Psalm 119:29, I was pleasantly surprised: 


Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. 


WOW!  
While considering this verse, the definitions of the words (see chart above), and the NLT version, I was reminded of 1 John 1:6-10.  These verses were pivotal in my turning to Yeshua (Jesus) when I was a child.  The main reason they were eyeopening to me is because as a child I had a major issue with lying (watch my YouTube video, "I was a big fat liar" for more on that story).  Let me share those verses with you now:








If we say we have fellowship with him [Yahweh, God] while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yeshua his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


















So after having read those verses, read the different versions of Psalm 119:29 again: 

Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. (NLT)

Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Your law. (NASB)


Psalm 119:29 tells us about the false way and verse 30 tells us about the way of truth
 

Psalm 119:30 “I have chosen the way of truth; Your right-rulings I have held level.” 
NASB ©
Hebrew
Strong's
Origin
I have chosen
בָחָ֑רְתִּי
(va·cha·re·ti;)
977: to choose
a prim. root
the faithful
אֱמוּנָ֥ה
(e·mu·nah)
530: firmness, steadfastness, fidelity
from aman
way;
דֶּֽרֶךְ־
(de·rech-)
1870: way, road, distance, journey, manner
from darak
I have placed
שִׁוִּֽיתִי׃
(shiv·vi·ti.)
7737a: to agree with, be like, resemble
a prim. root
Your ordinances
מִשְׁפָּטֶ֥יךָ
(mish·pa·tei·cha)
4941: judgment
from shaphat
[before me].




We can see from Psalm 119:29-30 that the false way and the way of truth are clearly distinguishable.  The false way leads one away from Yahweh's Torah (instructions). The way of truth leads one towards Yahweh's Torah (instructions, mode of life, what is right).

Unfortunately, there are many people who believe and teach that Yahweh's Torah is no longer applicable for us today.  I believe that Jeremiah warned us about that:

Jeremiah 23:22 ESV
But if they [shepherds, aka pastors] had stood in My council, then they would have proclaimed My words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.
By the way, "words" in the Greek Septuagint of this verse is logos, which is the same word John used in 1 John 1:10.
Jeremiah 23:36 (ISR) 
But the message of Yahweh you no longer remember! For every man’s message is his own word, for you have changed the Words of the living Elohim, Yahweh of hosts, our Elohim! 

What are the Words of Yahweh (aka the LORD)?

And now, O Yisra’ĕl, listen to the laws and the right-rulings which I am teaching you to do, so that you live, and shall go in and possess the land which Yahweh Elohim of your fathers is giving you.
Do not add to the Word which I command you, and do not take away from it so as to guard the commands of Yahweh your Elohim which I am commanding you.  See, I have taught you laws and right-rulings, as Yahweh my Elohim commanded me, to do thus in the land which you go to possess. And you shall guard and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding before the eyes of the peoples who hear all these laws, and they shall say, ‘Only a wise and understanding people is this great nation!’ For what great nation is there which has Elohim so near to it, as Yahweh our Elohim is to us, whenever we call on Him? And what great nation is there that has such laws and righteous right-rulings like all this Torah which I set before you this day? Only, guard yourself, and guard your life diligently, lest you forget the Words your eyes have seen, and lest they turn aside from your heart all the days of your life. And you shall make them known to your children and your grandchildren.



John reminds us that we are still to keep Yahweh's commands! 


And by this we know that we know Him, IF we keep His commands. The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him

As of the writing of this post, my family and I recently completed celebrating the Biblical Fall Feasts - the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Why do I mention these Feasts?  Because we are commanded to keep them! Read Leviticus 23 and Deuteronomy 16, where all of Yahweh's Feasts are mentioned together. 
 
Remember the false way and the way of truth?  

 There is a way that seems right to a man, 
but its end is the way to death.

Which way does the world follow?
Which feasts/holidays does the world celebrate? 

Does the world celebrate Yahweh’s feasts? No! Of course not! 
We have already started seeing evidence of which holidays the world celebrates.  In most every store we can see Halloween décor on the shelves.  What does this holiday celebrate? Life? OrDeath? 
We have also started to see decorations for another prominent holiday that the world keeps.  This one is a bit more deceptive in its appearance because it is purported to be a Christian holiday.  But the world really, really likes to celebrate it, so what does that indicate? 

Remember the shepherds we were warned about in Jeremiah? 

But if they [shepherds, aka pastors] had stood in My council, 
then they would have proclaimed My words to my people, 
and they would have turned them from their evil way
and from the evil of their deeds.

Peter shares that warning: 


But there also came to be false prophets among the people
as also among you there shall be false teachers
who shall secretly bring in destructive heresies
and deny the Master who bought them, 
bringing swift destruction on themselves.   
And many shall follow their destructive ways
because of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of


 What is the way of truth? 


Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,  
And Your law [Torah/instructions] is truth.   


If the world loves to celebrate things like Halloween, Christmas, and even Easter (see videos below), shouldn't that make us stop and ask, why? Does the world love Yahweh, His Word, His Way of doing things? 

 Do not love the world or the things in the world. 
If anyone loves the world,
the love of the Father is not in him. 
1 John 2:15

So, WHICH WAY DO I GO? 

I have chosen the way of truth. Yahweh's Torah (Law) is truth. Psalm l19

Yeshua is the way, the truth, and the life!    John 14:6

I choose LIFE! Deuteronomy 30











Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Righteousness of Christ and Righteousness of the Saints


Righteousness.  We are taught that as Christians, we are "clothed in the righteousness of Christ". What does that mean? What does that look like?  

Well, in Deuteronomy 6:24-25, we are told that if we guard to keep all the commandments of Yahweh (God) that it will be our righteousness.  

Now we know that the Bible makes it clear that Yeshua (Jesus) did not sin. 1 John 3:4 defines sin as lawlessness – breaking the law. Sin IS Lawlessness. Yeshua did not break the Law.  So according to the verses in Deuteronomy where it says that if we guard to keep all Yahweh's commandments, it will be our righteousness, and if Yeshua did not break the Law, He DID keep all the commandments, statutes, and ordinances of Yahweh, then according to Deuteronomy 6:25 - that was His righteousness

Therefore, if we are to imitate Yeshua, if we are to walk as He walked, then we need to obey what we were told in Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is part of the Torah. We find all of the Father’s instructions that He gave to his children in the Torah, in the first five books of the Bible. Torah means instructions.  So if Yeshua followed all of the Father’s instructions, that was His righteousness.  Right?

In Psalm 119:142 we are told that the Torah is truth.  If you want to call it the law, that is fine. The law is truth, the law is perfect. All of His commandments are righteous and they are forever (again see Psalm 119:142).  So if we, as followers of Yeshua, are to be clothed in the righteousness of Yeshua, then our clothing needs to look like His!  

So think of the righteousness of Christ as a white robe.  Just like in Revelation 19:8 it talks about the Bride of Messiah wearing white -the righteousness of the saints (saints means "set apart ones").

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.
 
So let's picture ourselves wearing solid white clothing.  That is the righteousness of Christ.  And think of the things that are sin - lawlessness -  as, I don’t know, greasy food, and if we start scarfing down this greasy food, we are going to get it on our white clothing.  It is going to be stained with our sin - our lawlessness -  all over again.  Just because Yeshua had the righteousness of keeping the Torah (actually He WAS the Torah aka Word in the flesh! see John 1), He did it to show us how to do it.  He didn’t do that so that we don’t have to!  So if we want to keep the righteousness of Christ spotless, our white robes, without stain or wrinkle, then we also need to be guarding to keep all of those commandments.  And it will be our righteousness, because it will look just like the righteousness of Yeshua!

Yeshua said He would send a Helper, the Holy Spirit, Who will remind us of everything that He told us.  (see John 14:26) And what did Yeshua tell us? He told us what the Father commanded. (see John 15)  Yeshua said:

 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. John 14:24

So the Holy Spirit reminds us of what the Father said. He reminds us of what Yeshua said and how He did it.  The Holy Spirit also gives us the power to do the same thing that Yeshua did (see  1 Thessalonians), which is to follow all of the Father’s instructions. 

Well, how are we going to know how to keep the commandments, how to keep and follow the instructions if we are not reading the instruction manual?  The word Torah, like I said, means instructions.  So we need to be reading the Torah so that we know what the instructions are. After all, haven't we just established that the righteousness of Christ IS guarding to keep all of the Father’s commandments, which He did? 

 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.1 John 2:4-6



Thursday, July 26, 2018

But Jesus...

Many people within the Church defend their belief that the Law (Torah) was done away with and is no longer applicable to us today.  They base this belief mainly on a few verses taken out of the Apostle Paul's letters written to certain congregations of his time. 

When conversations arise concerning the changes that my family and I have made, specifically our observance of the 7th day Sabbath, dietary changes, and Biblical holidays, people will say, "But Paul...", and then they will proceed to bring up those few verses which appear to support their beliefs. 

While I completely respect and glean much from Paul's letters, I do find it frustrating at times when his writings are elevated above the only Scriptures that Paul himself knew, lived by, and taught.  The Scriptures that he and the other writers of the New Testament used were what is known in Hebrew as the Tanakh, which consisted of:

Torah- the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)

Nevi'im - the Hebrew word for Prophets (think Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc)

Ketuvim - the Hebrew for "writings" (think Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, etc)

That's it!  Jesus also quoted, taught, and lived solely according to the Tanakh! In Matthew 22:29, Jesus (I prefer to say Yeshua) said, "You go astray, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God." He did not tell this group of people whom He was addressing that they needed to wait around until the Apostle Paul could explain things to them. So when Paul is interjected into conversations regarding the living out of my faith, I can't help but wonder why Paul is thought to be THE authoritative source on which to base my belief system, especially when what he is purported to have taught goes completely against what the Scriptures contain!

For instance, when I share why my family and I now observe the 7th day as the Sabbath, and I point to verses like Exodus 20:8-11:

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

people will reply with, "Yes, but PAUL said that we can choose any day to be our sabbath."  

My response to the "But Paul..." argument is, "But Jesus..."
 
While I could share and compare Paul's letters to the Torah/Tanakh as well as the recorded words of Jesus Himself, I won't do that here and now.  I will, however, encourage you, dear reader, to go back and read the Messiah's words (red letters in most New Testament copies) and line them up against your current belief system.  If they do not match - I encourage you to change. Live like Jesus lived!

 Matthew 5:17-19:

 Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to *fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:  “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." 


 

 
*"fulfill" in Greek is pleroo, which means: 
 
  1. to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full
    1. to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally
      1. I abound, I am liberally supplied
  2. to render full, i.e. to complete
    1. to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim
    2. to consummate: a number
      1. to make complete in every particular, to render perfect
      2. to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)
    3. to carry into effect, bring to realisation, realise
      1. of matters of duty: to perform, execute
      2. of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish
      3. to fulfil, i.e. to cause God's will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment
 It does NOT mean abolish, destroy, bring to an end.  Another verse where the word "fulfill" is used can be found in John 15:11.  


P.S. 
Many times the written word can come across the wrong way -  I hope and pray that mine never do.  However, if this post (or any other post of mine) seems to come across as harsh or snarky, please know that my intent is never to condemn anyone! Please watch my latest Youtube video, where I talk about this same topic, and hopefully you can get a better sense of my heart.