Just a quick note

For any of my subscribers that are interested…I have written a few more blog posts recently but have been posting them to another site that I share with a friend of mine.  If you are interested, I would love for you to come check them out at:  tftministries.wordpress.com

Thank you all for your interest and support in the past.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.  Shalom!


Shavuot and other Ramblings

TFT – Thirsty For Truth Ministries #2 – Defining Israel and the Church

“Works” as defined by Scripture

A few weeks ago I was making my way through some books in the New Testament trying to understand some things better.  I think I started in the Book of James and saw the familiar verse where it says we need to be a “doer” of the Word and it struck me…”are there any instructions on how to ‘do’ the Word of God”?  I continued my way through the Book of James and found some more familiar scriptures referring to “works”.  James spoke of “works” that our faith was supposed to produce and then he goes as far as to suggest that if our faith does not produce these “works”…then our faith may not be “saving faith” at all.  What were these “works” and how do we “do” the Word?  Things that came to my mind were: be kind, generous, loving, etc etc.  Are any of us truly convinced that kindness, generosity, love, and so on are the works that will turn our plain faith into saving faith?  I mean, are all atheists devoid of love?  Are all new-agers destitute of kindness?  Are those in other religions lacking generosity?  Certainly these fruits are not expressly “Christian” characteristics are they?  If not, then what are these “works” that will ultimately prove our faith is “saving faith”?  Hopefully, this will help us get a better idea of what the Bible says about it.

Saved by Grace Through Faith 

We know that we are saved through faith because of verses like Ephesians 2:8,9…

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9 KJV)

This verse tells us that we are saved because of our faith in Yeshua (Jesus) and it’s not because of anything that we have done.  We cannot work our way to salvation.  I don’t think there are many that will argue against that…but in this blog post I want to focus on the works part of this verse.  We have established that we cannot earn our salvation, but what part do “works” play in our salvation, if any at all?  The very next verse in Ephesians 2 says…

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10 KJV)

We see here that, although we cannot work our way into salvation, we are created to do good works in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus The Messiah).  We can also see that we will receive rewards based on our works when Messiah returns…

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.  Matthew 16:27 KJV

James, the brother of Yeshua (James is actually Jacob…his Hebrew name is Ya’akov which is the same as the Jacob of the OT), takes it one step further in his letter…

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (Jas 2:14 ESV)

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (Jas 2:17 ESV)

So, from what we can gather from James in the above two verses, faith must be accompanied by works in order to be considered “saving faith”.

What was considered “Scripture” to Paul? 

I want to point out something that I am sure most, if not all of us, have never really thought about.  What do you think Paul is referring to when he uses the word “Scripture” in the following verse?

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2Ti 3:16-17 ESV)

Do you think he is including the books of the New Testament as “scripture”?  Paul’s writings make up a great deal of what we now call the New Testament.  Do you think he is referring to his letters as scripture? I don’t believe so.  When Paul was writing this the only thing referred to as “scripture” was the Old Testament.   The Epistle of James is widely believed to be the first book written from the New Testament as it is believed to have been written around 49 AD before the Council of Jerusalem in 50 AD (http://goo.gl/8x80Ma).  There were certainly some who did consider some parts of what we now call the NT as “authoritative” as early as 95 AD.  The canon (Bible) as we know it, however, was not finalized until the middle of the 4th century (http://goo.gl/MXLFrD).  Now, I am not at all suggesting that we cannot use the scriptures found in the NT “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” as Paul states above. I just want to make the point that when Paul was writing this, and when all the of the NT was written, the only scriptures that they had at that time were what we refer to as the Old Testament or what was called the Tanakh…or the Torah, the Nevi’im (Prophets), and the Ketuvim (the writings).  I am not saying that the New Testament should not be considered scripture.

Back in the time of the Bible, especially in the days of the OT, people were not able to have their own copies of the scriptures.  A copy of the scriptures would have been very expensive because the material used to make the scrolls and the ink itself were very hard to come by…especially in the amounts needed to make a hand copy of the scriptures.  It would take a copyist or scribe around a year or so to do the work so it was very time consuming as well.  The Bible tells us that the kings of Israel were commanded to make their own copy of the Torah when they became king (Deut. 17:18) so they would have access to His Instructions/Law at all times…plus the act of copying it would make them more familiar with it as well.

Doers and not Hearers Only 

The way that people were exposed to the scriptures back then was to hear the Word.  The scriptures were read every Sabbath in the synagogues and on occasion it was read in full to the entire assembly of Israel (for example in the book of Ezra).  So then, the only way the people had to consume the scriptures was to have them read to them.

So now, when we read in James…

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (Jas 1:22 ESV)

…we can make some assumptions based on what we know about the time that James wrote his epistle.  Like I stated before, at the time of the writing of the New Testament books and especially James since it is considered the first book written of the NT, the “scriptures” were the Tanakh or the Old Testament.  James was stating that we needed to be a doer of the scriptures (OT) and not just a hearer only.   I believe when we find out what “works” are, we will know what it means to be a “doer” of the Word as well.


Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about “Light” and how it is defined according to the OT scriptures.  Click here http://goo.gl/p3dmLY  to go to the blog post.  Below are some of the verses I used in the blog post to help you see the connection between Torah and Light…

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law (Torah in Hebrew) is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: Proverbs 6:23 KJV

To the law (Torah) and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:20 KJV

Listen to Me, My people, and give ear to Me, O My nation, for the Torah goes forth from Me, and My right-ruling I set as a light to peoples. Isaiah 51:4 The Scriptures 1998

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:105 KJV

Yeshua also speaks about “Light” in Matthew 5…

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Mat 5:14-16 ESV)

It is interesting that Yeshua felt no need to explain what He meant by “Light”.  He spoke as if they would know what He was talking about.  Look at the scriptures in context with what Yeshua continues saying in verse 17.  Did He make a turn and start talking about something else entirely?  No, He is talking about the Torah and the Prophets the entire time.  He says in verse 17 that He did not come to abolish the Torah and the Prophets.  Here, Yeshua is making the connection for me…He seems to be saying that doing good works is equal to shining our light before men.  So, to sum up, the Torah is the Light and we are to let our light shine before others so they can see our good works and give glory to the Father in heaven.  Torah=Light and Shining our Light=Good Works.  With me so far?

Are we a Peculiar People like we are supposed to be? 

Yeshua telling us that we need to let our Light shine brings me to another point.  Aren’t we supposed to stand out to the world?  The Bible tells us…

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1Pe 2:9 KJV)

How are we, the people of Yehovah, peculiar?  How are we holy (set apart) when I cannot tell the difference from the church of today and the world?  It is getting more and more difficult to tell the difference.  All one has to do is get on the internet to see those who profess faith in Messiah…the movies that we talk about, the language that we use, ungodly comment after ungodly comment, and the eyes of His people are glued shut to where we cannot see what we are exposing themselves and our families to.  What is it that is supposed to set His people apart from the world?  Do you see it in the verse above?  He calls us out of darkness and into His marvelous light (what is light?).

The Works of Cain versus the Works of Abel 

The NT gives us some additional information concerning the works of Cain and Abel.  Will we be able to tell more about what “works” are if we look at their story?

Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 1 John 3:12 KJV

Let’s make sure that we get what John is saying here.  John asks why Cain slew his brother Abel.  His answer: –  because Cain’s works were evil but Abel’s works were righteous.  What works did they do that was considered evil or righteous?

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.  Hebrews 11:4 KJV

My argument is that Yehovah gave specific instructions regarding sacrifice and Cain just did not meet those requirements…both in his heart and in what he actually brought.  While Cain was a farmer and he did bring a portion of what he grew, I believe that Yehovah taught Adam and Chavvah (Eve’s real name in Hebrew), that by blood being shed will sins be forgiven (Gen. 3:21, Hebrews 9:22).  I think you will find that many scholars hold to this belief and suggest the first sacrifice to atone for sins were the animals that died to provide the clothes for Adam and Chavvah.  In effect, Abel was following Torah (Yehovah’s instructions) before Torah was codified (arranged and written down).

Let’s look at some verses for context in 1 John 3…

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth (keeps the Torah/Law) not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin (breaks the Torah/Law) is of the devil; for the devil sinneth (broke the Torah/Law)from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (could this be breaking the Torah/Law as well?). Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin (does not transgress the Torah/Law); for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin (transgress the Torah/Law), because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  1 John 3:4-11 KJV [words in parenthesis are mine]

Pay special attention to the part I underlined above.  The Bible, specifically the New Testament, defines what sin is…it is the breaking of the law or Torah.  Sin=transgression (breaking) of the Law (Torah).  To make it easier for you, I defined sin according to the definition provided in the first verse in this section of scripture.

The Big Picture

Rob Skiba, a Bible teacher that I like and listen to, did something quite interesting.  He took the definition of sin…that is, transgressing the Torah, and put it in place of the word “sin” in Paul’s writings.  When you read it like that, you find that Paul doesn’t really say what so many Bible scholars, pastors, and the like suggests that it says.  Paul does not teach that the Torah is bondage, slavery, done away with, old, removed, or any other similar adjective.   If he did, he would be contradicting himself time and time again.  How can Paul be teaching the Torah is done away with when he says…

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Romans 3:31 KJV

You see, when we take verses here and there, we can make entire doctrines that are all kinds of jacked up.  Remember…out of the same scriptures we get all the different doctrines concerning the rapture…pre-trib, post-trib, mid-trib, pre-wrath, and you also have those that believe all of Revelation is behind us.  There is only one view that is right…right?  Perhaps it is none of the above but there is only one Truth.   If we do not look at the entire picture, we will only get part of the message.  The whole counsel of Yehovah is required…not just bits and pieces here and there.  FYI…There will be much more on Paul later.

Narrowing down “works” 

Let’s go back to Ephesians 2:10.  Again, it reads…

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV

For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God prepared long ago to be our way of life. Ephesians 2:10 ISV

What exactly does Paul mean?  What actions or works did Yehovah prepare for us long ago that we should walk in them?  What do you think Paul could possibly be referring to?

The Church at Ephesus 

Since we are in the book of Ephesians, I thought this would be a good segway into another portion of scripture where I found “works” being associated with Torah.  It is in the book of Revelation when Yeshua is dictating the letter to the ekklesia in Ephesus.  Let’s see what Yeshua says…

‘I know what you’ve been doing, your toil, and your endurance. I also know that you cannot tolerate evil people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles, but are not, and have found them to be false. You have endured and suffered because of my name, yet you have not grown weary. However, I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first.  Revelation 2:2-4 ISV

First, Yeshua has some good things to commend the ekklesia (assembly…also incorrectly translated as “church”).  He says that He knows the trials that they have gone through.  He knows that they do not tolerate evil people and that they have tested people who have called themselves apostles and have been found out to be false.  He knows that they have endured and suffered because of holding to His Name and have not grown weary.  Finally, He says that they have left their first love.

What does that mean?  I will tell you that I have always believed it to mean that they have fallen away from Yeshua…their first love.  Yeshua should be our first love right?  Yes, I would agree, but Yeshua commended them for things that would suggest that they have indeed not left Him.  He says that they have been suffering because of His Name.   It does not sound like they have fallen away from Him.   Let’s look at the next verse and see what is going on.

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.  Revelation 2:5 ESV

What works did they do at first that they quit doing? John K. Johnson wrote an article entitled The Seven Letters…to the “Church” where he seemed to come to the same conclusion I am alluding to at this point.

The “first love” that is of concern, may likely relate to becoming both “worn down” with the cares and issues of worldly influence and careless and slack observation of the “priorities” of daily obedience to Torah, fellowship with the Holy Spirit and assembling together of the believers to worship and study the Torah… for instruction to overcome. The first and most important activity for a believer is fellowship with Messiah Yeshua… always. Yeshua, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us, of John chapter 1, is Torah, and study of Torah is fellowship with Yeshua… they are (and have always been) the same. They are inseparable. (http://goo.gl/fVXK56) [Emphasis mine]

The 7 Lampstands 

Returning back to the letter to the Ephesian Ekklesia, what is the symbolism of the lampstand and what does it mean to have it removed for its place?

To really understand the Bible the way that Yehovah wants us to understand it we have to let scripture interpret scripture.  I heard 119 Ministries recently put it this way…we cannot interpret one scripture using our interpretation of another scripture.  I believe that is how we get man’s doctrine that is so far away from what Yehovah is actually trying to tell us.  So, what are the lampstands?

The secret meaning of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lamp stands is this: the seven stars are the messengers of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches.”  Revelation 1:20 ISV

So, we can see that the Bible explains or defines itself and that the 7 lampstands=7 churches.  What does it mean to have the lampstand removed?

Yeshua said that he would be in the midst of the lampstands, right?  In Revelation 1 we read….

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. Revelation 1:12-13 ESV

Being in the midst of the lampstands suggests intimacy which alludes to the bridegroom/bride analogy that everyone is familiar with in regards to the relationship Yeshua has with His Bride, the ekklesia.

Is having the lampstand removed akin to losing one’s salvation? Or is it something like dropping in status within the Kingdom of Yehovah?  What is it talking about?  I really feel as if Yehovah just gave me some understanding in this even as I type.   In order to go about this I want to talk a bit about who the Bride of Messiah is.  I have been taught in church that the Bride of Messiah are those who have been “saved” and are now part of the church.  I have to say that my view point has changed somewhat in the past few years.  Let’s look at the Parable of the 10 virgins.

The 10 Virgins 

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Matthew 25:1-12 KJV

I used to read this and think that 5 were “saved” and 5 were not.  The problem with that line of thinking is that all 10 of them were waiting for the bridegroom.  The world (the Lost) is not going to be waiting on the bridegroom (Yeshua) to come.  One thing we can gather from this is that 5 were prepared and 5 were not.  The 5 wise virgins were prepared with enough oil to light their lamps while the others were forced to go find oil to light their lamps.  They came back to the wedding with their lamps lit but they were too late…the master would not let them enter.  Remember what I wrote earlier concerning “Light” and how it is synonymous with Torah?   Could it be that the ekklesia, those that profess faith in Yeshua, are split into two groups…one that is allowed into the wedding supper and one that is not?  One group is pursuing a relationship with Messiah and keeping the commandments of Yehovah while the other believes that His statutes and commandments are no longer valid while pursuing a relationship with Messiah?  Consider Yeshua’s words in Matthew 5 again when He Himself describes two different groups that enter into the Kingdom of Heaven…

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19 KJV

Whoever keeps the instructions/commandments (Torah) of Yehovah and teaches others to do so will be great while those who break the commandments of Yehovah and teaches others to do so will be called least.  Yeshua says nothing about it being an issue with salvation (both say in the kingdom of heaven) but rather their status once they enter into eternity.

Could the removal of the lampstand be referring to their removal from the wedding feast and thus the intimacy with Messiah?  I think Yeshua is telling the church at Ephesus that if they don’t return to the works that they did at first (Torah), they will have their lampstand removed from His presence and thus will be named among the least of the Kingdom of Heaven.  To be clear I will say this again…I think there are two groups of believers.  One that professes with their mouths and attempt to do good and right but do not keep the commandments of Yehovah and another that profess Messiah with their mouths and do their best to keep His commandments.  The more I study this the more that I believe the latter group are the ones who are the Bride of Messiah.

For further study on the 10 Virgins I recommend watching 119 Ministries short video teaching on the parable.  http://goo.gl/Pk7VYt


Do you remember those who Yeshua made the statement “depart from me, ye that work iniquity”?  They were the ones who had performed miracles and prophesied in His name.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:22-23 KJV

Look at the word iniquity in the Greek and see what you find.  The word for iniquity in the Greek is anomia (G458).  Anomia is from the word nomos which is the word that is the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew word Torah in the Septuagint.  The prefix “a” simply means “without” which is why Thayer defines “anomia” as such…


Thayer Definition:

1) the condition of without law

1a) because ignorant of it

1b) because of violating it

2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness

Simply replace “law” with the Hebrew word Torah (which really only means instruction) and you get Yeshua telling these people who had done mighty works in His name to depart from Him because they are workers of being without Torah.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity (anomia-without law), and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:11-14 KJV [words in parenthesis are Greek original and Thayer definition]

I find this interesting.  So He died to redeem us from all anomia and to purify unto Himself a peculiar people.  Is being kind and loving make anyone peculiar?  Or could being a people that do what Yehovah says to do make us peculiar?  Maybe, keeping the Sabbath or the feast days could make us quite peculiar?  Perhaps not eating the “foods” He said not to eat would make you peculiar? I know that I have become quite the enigma to most people since I decided to follow Torah.  Are we not to drive the Jews to jealousy (Romans 11:11)?  Let me ask you…if the Jews refuse to believe in Yeshua because the Messiah their scriptures talk about tell of a Messiah that comes and upholds the Torah?

Messiah will be observant of Torah and well versed in Jewish Law – Isaiah 11:2-5

He will establish a Torah government in Israel that will be the center of all world government – Isaiah 2:2-4, 11:10, 42:1

He will establish Torah as the law of the land – Jeremiah 33:15

Why would they ever be jealous of Christians if their Messiah did away with the Torah or made it to where you did not have to keep it? That is blasphemy to them! What if…we actually kept the things that their God told His people to keep and have a relationship with Messiah?  Would that drive them to jealousy?  I think so.

Doctrines of Man 

Now, you can reject all of this but I don’t think anything I am saying is a stretch by any means.  I am simply taking the Bible in its original languages and context and coming to conclusions based on what the Bible says without the doctrine of man coming in to pollute it.  What did Yeshua say about the doctrines of man?

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:7-9 KJV

Which He quoted from Isaiah…

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:  Isaiah 29:13 KJV

Moral Law vs. The Whole Law 

Some will argue that we only have to keep part of the law…that which is called the Moral Law or just the 10 Commandments.  First, I would like to challenge anyone to show me one verse which suggests any division of Torah because I cannot find one.  Some suggest that the Jews are the ones that have to keep the Torah.  I would like to see scripture on that as well.  People quote the words of Yeshua and state this is the new Law that believers should adhere to…they state that these are the only commandments Yeshua ever gave…

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  Matthew 22:36-39 KJV

…but for some reason they quit quoting at verse 39.  Yeshua continues by saying this…

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:40 KJV

Yeshua isn’t saying “Don’t worry about the rest”.  He says that these two commandments are the roots that holds up the rest.  All of the others ones have to do with loving Yehovah or loving your neighbor.  There are those that would argue that we should keep the 10 commandments except for the one about keeping the Sabbath.    Where does that doctrine come from?  Where does it say it can be disregarded?  Some say it is because Yeshua makes no mention of keeping the Sabbath in the Gospels.  What?  Does He really have to reiterate everything the Father gave?  The Old Testament says…

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.  Malachi 3:6 KJV

The law (Torah) of the LORD is perfect (tamim – without spot or blemish), converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  Psalms 19:7 KJV [words in parenthesis are Hebrew original and Strong’s definitions]

So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever (l’olam va’ed).  Psalms 119:44 KJV [words in parenthesis are Hebrew orginial]

And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.  2 Kings 17:37 KJV

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.  Ecclesiastes 3:14 KJV

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.  2 John 1:6 KJV

Some clarification is needed here regarding the translation of l’olam va’ed.  Someone suggested to me that it can also mean a certain length or period of time.  I looked it up and it turns out that this is fairly correct.  Are we to interpret that His mercy  is only for a certain period of time?

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever (l’olam).  Psalms 107:1 KJV

Now, let’s look at what Yeshua says in Matthew about the Torah…

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  Matthew 5:18 KJV

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that Yeshua is telling us that the Torah will not fade or pass until all is fulfilled…or till heaven and earth pass.  119 Ministries made an interesting graphic concerning this.  These are some of the verses that they used in describing what was going on.

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  Matthew 18:16 KJV

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you (two witnesses), that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:  Deuteronomy 30:19 KJV

The above verse is talking about the blessing of the law and the curse of the law.  If you follow the Torah of Yehovah then you will be blessed.  If you break the Torah of Yehovah, you will be cursed.  This is what Paul is referring to when he says the curse of the law…

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:  Galatians 3:13 KJV

…he was not calling the law of Yehovah a “curse”…instead he was saying that Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of not keeping the instructions of Yehovah.

Paul – A Torah Keeper?

What about Paul?  Did he keep the whole law after his conversion?  I have mentioned before that Paul goes out of his way to show the Jews that he was not teaching people to quit obeying Torah in Acts 21…

And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all zealous for the law, and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake (apostosia in Greek) Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs. What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law. Acts 21:20-24 ESV

Why were the Jewish converts still zealous for the Torah?  Let’s look at another statement Paul said in Galatians concerning the Torah…

I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.  Galatians 5:3 ESV

Paul seems to be saying here that whoever accepts circumcision, or any other Torah commandment for that matter, is obligated then to keep the entire Torah.  The idea here is that if you place yourself under any of the Torah then you are obliged to keep them all.

In Acts 15, Paul is part of the council that gets together to discuss what exactly non-Jewish converts need to do once they accept Messiah.  The outcome was to stay away from certain things…

Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. Acts 15:19-20 ESV

James continues by saying…

For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”   Acts 15:21 ESV

Why would James say that if the law is too difficult like what so many people interpret Peter to be saying just 11 verses up?

Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? Acts 15:10 ESV

Can this really be the Torah or does it have to be something else?  Wouldn’t that put Peter in conflict with John when he wrote…

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:2-3 KJV

Or Yehovah Himself when He said this…

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. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 KJV

If it is too difficult…then why did Yehovah say it is in your heart that you may do it.  Is He not talking about the whole Torah?

Ok…back to Paul’s statement in Galatians 5.  Here is what Paul did at the exact same time frame he made the statement about circumcision…

Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. Acts 16:3 ESV

So, Paul seems to tell the Galatians that if you accept circumcision you are then obliged to keep the whole law?  Is Paul crazy?  Did he basically curse Timothy when he circumcised him?  If not, Paul has to mean something other than what mainstream Christianity believes he is saying in Galatians.  Also, you cannot say that he did it because Timothy was a Jew.  Timothy’s mother was a Jew and in modern day Judaism they do believe the Jewishness comes from the mother’s side but that was not the case back then and it is clear from the text.  Paul made sure that we knew Timothy’s father was a Greek.  Timothy being circumcised had nothing to do with him being a Jew but everything about him being obedient to the Torah.  Circumcision is an outward sign of what was inwardly being done to his heart.

Finally, in the last chapter of Acts, Paul says to the Jews…

And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.   Acts 28:17 KJV

By this verse alone you have to commit to one of two different solutions or interpretations to what he said…you either have to believe he is telling the truth and that up until that point he had done nothing against the customs of their forefathers (keeping the whole Torah) or you have to consider Paul a liar.  If you choose the latter, you have to throw out everything he said.   If you choose the former, you have to rethink a lot of the things that Paul has said in his writings.


So what is it that I am saying here?  I am quite simply saying that when the Bible says that we need to be “doers” of the Word and that our faith should be producing “works”…all this is really saying that we need to be following and keeping Yehovah’s instruction book for His people.  That instruction manual is the entire Bible of course but specifically includes the Torah which is by all means NOT done away with or not intended for us as modern believers and followers of Yeshua and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

I stopped writing this post a few weeks back because I felt that I had run into a wall.  I sat down to read one day and I just kept finding verses that had to do with works.  Over and over again and I felt as if the Spirit was giving me understanding that works equates to light and keeping the commandments of Yehovah.  When I sat down to write it I ran into the following verse that I thought completely destroyed what I thought was being given to me.

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”John 6:28-29 ESV

So, if Yeshua said that the “work of God” is believing In Yeshua whom Yehovah had sent…how did that fit in with what I was trying to say.  In fact, it seemed to completely trash what I was saying in that it has nothing to do with Torah – but believing instead.

I feel the Spirit gave me this understanding this morning on my way to work.  I was reminded of the scripture where Yeshua walked with two men after He had resurrected along the road to Emmaus.  The scripture says…

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.  Luke 24:27 KJV

Yeshua started with Moses (synonymous with Torah) and the prophets and told them all the scriptures had to say about the Messiah.  Paul also used the Torah and the Prophets to preach Yeshua to the Jews…

And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.  Acts 28:23 KJV

Would the world have been able to recognize the Messiah if it were not for the Torah and the Prophets?  There were 353 prophecies that were fulfilled in Yeshua (http://goo.gl/NlCPlk) and they start in Genesis 3 at the fall of mankind.  Yeshua and Paul both knew that in order to know Messiah and who He was, you had to be familiar with Torah.

We also know that John equates Yeshua to the Torah.  We read in John 1…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1 KJV

When?  In the beginning.  Know any other books that start like that?  Research how exactly Yeshua is the Torah made flesh (John 1:14).  Give this page a look as you do.  http://goo.gl/iupjA2

So…if Yeshua is the Word (Torah) made flesh…

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.  Hebrews 13:8 KJV

Torah is also the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Why would something that is perfect need to be changed or considered old and not applicable?

My point is…you cannot believe in Yeshua without the Torah and the Prophets.  You cannot do the “work of God” which is believing in Yeshua whom Yehovah sent without knowing who Yeshua is according to the prophecies in the Torah and the Prophets.  The way I see it, John 6:28-29 does not completely trash my argument.  Yeshua is the Torah (Word of Yehovah) made flesh.

Salvation has nothing to do with keeping Torah.  You don’t start with Torah to get “saved”.  You get “saved” and then because of that salvation you go to Torah.  Torah is the instruction manual for His People…the ekklesia…not for the Jews. (I recommend you do some study into what the word Jew really means in the Bible if you believe the Torah is for the Jews.  Jews were those who came from the tribe of Judah initially.  The KJV translates the Hebrew phrase men of Judah as Jews in II Kings 16:6.  In this passage, the Jews were at war with Israel.  Does that fly in the face of your beliefs?  There was only 1 tribe of Jews at the foot of Mt. Sinai receiving the commandments from Yehovah through Moses.  Rahab and Ruth did not convert into Judaism…they made Yehovah their God and kept His instructions.)  Remember I Peter 2:9?  We are called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (Torah).  If you reject His instructions, are you really part of His people?

An analogy to wrap this thing up…when you are convicted of a crime and stand before a judge…the judge has two choices…justice or mercy.  If the judge chooses to show mercy and not punish you for the crime you committed, does this mercy therefore nullify the law that you were convicted of?  Would you go out and commit the same crime again and expect the same mercy?  In the same way, we have had the penalty of our sin pre-paid for us by our Savior Yeshua.  Does His sacrifice nullify the commandments that Yehovah gave?  No.  We only know sin because of the commandments of Yehovah.  Sin is the breaking of His commandments.  If there are no commandments then there is no sin and we are not in need of a Messiah.  Again…

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law (anomia in Greek).  1 John 3:4 KJV

I understand that this post is all over the place but I still think I have made a decent argument concerning works and how they have to be tied to obedience to the commandments of Yehovah.  Yeshua states that shining your light is equal to doing good works in Matthew 5:14-16.  I’ve shown that the Bible tells us that His Law is equal to Light.  We know that we are supposed to be a “doer” of His Word and not a “hearer” only.  If His Word is to be interpreted as Torah or the OT like James would have considered it to be when he wrote it, then isn’t that exactly what the modern day “church” is doing.  Glad to hear from the Torah on Sunday morning during a sermon but to suggest that you do it…that is bondage and legalism.  As I write this, there are so many more examples that come to mind that proves this to be true.  I could keep writing on and on.  Over the past 2+ years I have become absolutely convinced that this is Truth and I have been blessed to watch others come to know the Truth as well.  I pray that you will, at the very least, study this out to find out for yourself.  Ask Yehovah to remove anything that could be preventing you from knowing His Truth whether it be this or something else altogether.  Try to read the scriptures with fresh eyes.  Ask Him to help you get what He wants you to get and not have anything that you may have been taught over the years to come back into mind.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  Matthew 7:7 KJV

Shalom! שָׁלוֹם

More on the Name of God

Did you know that God has a name?  The Hebrew word that is translated as “God” is אֱלֹהִים (Elohim) and can mean “God” or “gods” depending on the context and number (are the words around Elohim plural or singular?  If singular, then we know it is talking about the Creator) of the sentence.

I am sure you have probably seen in your Bibles, at some point, a little footnote that tells you why you see the word “LORD” (in all caps) throughout your Bible.  It usually says something about everytime the Hebrew word יהוה shows up, it replaces it with the word “LORD” in all caps.  I have thought about the reasoning for this and the only one I can really think of that makes sense (although, it really doesn’t…and I am going to show you why) is that the Jews were eventually forbidden to say or write the name or title of God.  They have replaced His name with the word אֲדֹנָי (Adonai) which means “Lord” in Hebrew.  Wherever the Hebrew has יהוה, the Jew’s will say Adonai instead.  Apparently, it has been written in their Talmud’s that if they were to speak or write His name, it would be really bad for them.  That is why you see people writing things like “G_d” on the internet and things because, the idea is, if they were to die in the middle of His name, they would not be blaspheming His name.  Is knowing what His name is actually important?  I would immediately suggest that if it is in the Bible at all, it is important.  Let’s look at some scriptures to see what it says about it though.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. (Psa 91:14 KJV)

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. (Joe 2:32 KJV)

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isa 42:8 KJV)

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. (Exo 3:13-15 KJV)

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. (Psa 9:10 KJV)

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Mal 4:2 KJV)

Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. (Isa 52:6 KJV)

Who has ascended to heaven, and then descended? Who has collected the wind in his hands? Who has wrapped up waters in a garment? Who has established all the farthest points of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know! (Pro 30:4 ISV)

Notice all the “LORD”s.  Just understand that there is an actual name of God that is in the original scriptures that is replaced with LORD.  Isaiah 52 says that His people will know His name.  Proverbs 30 seems to state that we should definitely know His name.  I suggest that those who say they are His people do not know His name.

I am only skimming the surface.  Whatever the reason for the change from His name to LORD, I believe the enemy has done a good job keeping something that the Bible seems to point out is an important part of our relationship with God– away from us.

So how do you actually pronounce יהוה.  It is my understanding that the Jews so prohibited anyone from saying the name that the vowel markings have been removed and forgotten.  There are a few different pronunciations that I have heard.  There is Yahweh, Yehovah, Jehovah, Yahuah, and I am sure a few others.  Most of these aren’t completely unknown.  I have noticed, however, that some writings have just suggested that these are just some of the names of God.  Like Jehovah Jireh means “God our Provider”.  The equivalent to our letter J is actually not in the Hebrew language.  English translators have replaced the Yod with the letter J in many cases.  Jesus’ name does not start with a “J” in Hebrew…instead it is a “Y” sound.  Elijah is actually Eliyah accurately transliterated into English.  It means “Yah is my God”.  Yah is a poetic form of Yahweh or יהוה.  Many, many, Hebrew names have a form of His name at the front or back of their name.  Elijah is one.  So is Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Joshua (his name is actually Yeho-shua which means something along the line of “the salvation of Yehovah” or “Yehovah is salvation”).  I was reading Daniel 1 this morning and I noticed that the names of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are all names that have Yah or El (which is singular for God or god) in their name.  Daniel means “God is my judge”.  Hananiah (actually Chanan’yah where CH is a deep guttural sound) means “Yah has favored”.  Misha’el means “who is what God is”.  Finally, Azar’yah means “Yah has helped”.

I’ve written about this before but I wanted to do it again so that you can see that His name is something important.  I used to take classes from Dr. Chuck Missler online and he used to say that everytime a Pharisee made a big deal about something we should take note.  He was saying that we should study into it deeper because there is probably something deeper that we are missing.  When Yeshua (Jesus) was on the cross, Pilate made the sign that would go above His head.  I believe the sign was in 3 different languages and read, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews (a study into Nazareth and what it means in Hebrew and the connection to the Messiah itself is really quite interesting.  The Jews missed it saying “does anything good come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46 because if you know the root meaning of Nazereth, you will learn that they should have known Messiah would come from there).  This sign was written in Hebrew and would have looked something like this…

ישׁוּע הנצרי ומלך היהוּדים

                             Ha’Yehudim     V’Melekh   Ha’Notzri     Yeshua

So…what is so significant about this?  Jews have it in their minds to look for acronyms.  “Tanakh”(תנך), for example, is the Hebrew word for what we call the Old Testament.  It is an acronym for Torah (תוֹרה), Prophets or Nevi’im (נביאים), and Writings or Ketuvim (כּתוּבים). FYI… ך is the final form of כּ which means it only appears when the letter is at the end of a word…like תנך Tanakh.  If we look at the sentence above, we see that the first letter in each word combines to make another word in Hebrew… יהוה!

There are some that disagree with this but I think it is quite possible that this is what was over the head of Yeshua on the cross.  Note the fit that the Pharisee’s seem to make over the sign.  They said to “write not, The King of the Jews”, but to instead write “that he said, I am King of the Jews” (John 19).  It is interesting that Pilate would not change what he wrote.  I don’t think it is too unreasonable to believe that he knew exactly what he was writing.  Remember that Pilate’s wife had a dream (Matthew 27:19) and that Pilate became afraid to do anything to Yeshua (John 19:7-9) but he did follow through with it because of pressure from the Jews (John 19:12).  Do your own investigation and decide for yourself if this is correct or not.

Here is another neat example of this in modern day times.  A famous Rabbi named Rabbi Yitzakh Kaduri was well respected in the Jewish community.  Some time before his death he claimed to have met Messiah.  He wrote a note before he died and sealed it with instructions to open it after he had been dead for a year.  After he died, they waited a year to open the note.  The note read…

“Concerning the letter abbreviation of the Messiah’s name, He will lift the people and prove that his word and law are valid.  This I have signed in the month of mercy, Yitzhak Kaduri”

You don’t see what he is saying unless you are able to read it in Hebrew.  The note looks like this in Hebrew…

Yarim Ha’Am Veyokhiakh Shedvaro Vetorato Omdim

ירים העם ויוכיח שדברו ותורתו עומדים     


In acronym form, this spells out יהושׁוע which, according to israeltoday.co.il is…

“The initials spell the Hebrew name of Jesus יהושוע . Yehoshua and Yeshua are effectively the same name, derived from the same Hebrew root of the word “salvation” as documented in Zechariah 6:11 and Ezra 3:2.”

There was no argument over what Rabbi Kaduri’s note said and was trying to say…the argument was whether the well respected Rabbi wrote it or not.  His own son came out and said it was a forgery and could not have been his father who wrote it.  Rabbi Kaduri’s own website stated otherwise, however.  In an interview with Rabbi Kaduri’s son Rabbi David Kaduri, Israel Today wrote…

“When we told Rabbi Kaduri that his father’s official website (www.kaduri.net) had mentioned the Messiah note, he was shocked. “Oh no! That’s blasphemy.”  (Israeltoday.co.il)

All I am really trying to say is this…the Bible makes it clear that “God” has a name.  He is God but that is just His title.  The Bible stresses the importance of His name and says that His people will know it and those who do are protected.  What is His name?  The exact pronunciation is still somewhat a mystery.  I have heard some arguments for the different pronunciations.  I don’t think the point is necessarily how we should pronounce it, but that we know what it is.  I put it to people this way…I went to Mexico once with a man named Roger.  Native Spanish speakers will testify that they have a hard time pronouncing the hard G sound in the English alphabet.  When they tried to pronounce his name, they said something that sounded like Royer.  Roger knew they were doing their best to say his name and he knew they were calling him when they said it.  The point is that they didn’t call him Juan since it was easier to say for native speakers.  They tried to say his name the best way they could.  Sure, Jesus is an English transliteration from a Latin transliteration from a Greek transliteration of His name in Hebrew  (Yeshua ->Iesous->Iesus ->Jesus).  Is it wrong to say it?  No…but if you know His real name, wouldn’t you rather call Him by it?


These are some notes that I made studying a while back…

The word apostasia is only used in the Bible twice.  Once in 2 Thess 2:3 talking about the great falling away or the apostasy that is to come before the Day of the Lord.

2Th 2:3  Let noG3361 manG5100 deceiveG1818 youG5209 byG2596 anyG3367 means:G5158 forG3754 that day shall not come, exceptG3362 there comeG2064 a falling awayG646 first,G4412 andG2532 that manG444 of sinG266 be revealed,G601 theG3588 sonG5207 of perdition;G684

What is the apostasy?




Thayer Definition:

1) a falling away, defection, apostasy

Part of Speech: noun feminine

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: feminine of the same as G647

Citing in TDNT: 1:513, 88




Total KJV Occurrences: 3

away, 1


falling, 1


forsake, 1



There is something called the “law of first mention” which says:

The Law of First Mention may be said to be the principle that requires one to go to that portion of the Scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine.   http://www.biblicalresearch.info/page48.html

The first mention of apostasia in the whole of the Bible is in Acts 21 where Paul is being warned by other Jewish believers in Yeshua that there are many who have been told that Paul has been preaching that you should forsake the Law of Moses or the Torah.  These men tell Paul that he should go and pay for these other men when they go and take their Nazarite vow so that everyone can know that what is going around is a lie and that Paul is carefully observing and keeping the Torah!

Act 21:21  AndG1161 they are informedG2727 ofG4012 thee,G4675 thatG3754 thou teachestG1321 allG3956 the JewsG2453 whichG3588 are amongG2596 theG3588 GentilesG1484 to forsakeG646 Moses,G3475 sayingG3004 that theyG846 ought notG3361 to circumciseG4059 their children,G5043 neitherG3366 to walkG4043 after theG3588 customs.G1485

When they heard about it, they praised God and told him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and all of them are zealous for the Law. But they have been told about you–that you teach all the Jews living among the gentiles to forsake (apostasia in Greek) the Law of Moses, and that you tell them not to circumcise their children or observe the customs. What is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. Take these men, go through the purification ceremony with them, and pay their expenses to shave their heads. Then everyone will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you are carefully observing and keeping the Law. Acts 21:20-24 ISV

Now, I bring up the law of first mention only as a note that there are some that hold up with importance where something is first mentioned in order to obtain its original meaning.  Regardless of whether you put stock in that or not, I think something is pretty clear.  Paul mentions the coming apostasy in Thessalonians and it just happens that the only other time in scripture the word apostasy is used it is used in the context of being apostate (or fallen away) from the Torah or the Law of Moses…which, by the way, Paul went out of his way just to prove to others that he still keeps contrary to what was being told to them.

If you keep on reading Paul is confronted by these Jews about what they had heard and they would not let him speak until he was bound by Roman soldiers.  It is interesting to note that his speech calmed them down because he told them how zealous for the Torah he really was.  In the process of this, we learn that Ananias, the man who was instructed to go and pray over Paul when he was blinded, was also a devout keeper of Torah.  The crowd only gets angry again after he declares to them that he was sent to the Gentiles…an idea that the Jews present were not prepared to accept yet. WARNING: TANGENT!! CHASING RABBITS!!  Remember, Peter himself had to be showed in a vision more than once that what Yahweh has called clean, let man not call unclean.  It is interesting to think that for years I used to think that Acts 10 was when Yahweh deemed all animals clean and that there were no more dietary laws or restrictions.  If you look at the text however, we clearly read that Peter’s interpretation of the vision had nothing to do with clean or unclean animals at all.

He told them, “You understand how wrong it is for a Jew to associate or visit with a gentile. But God has shown me that I should stop calling anyone common or unclean, and that is why I didn’t hesitate when I was sent for. Now may I ask why you sent for me?” Acts 10:28-29 ISV

How is it that Peter, a man who walked with Yeshua during His entire ministry, who is clearly filled with the Holy Spirit…how is it that it took him so long to make the connection that we are so quickly to make (the one about God calling unclean animals clean to eat now)?  The vision happened three times yet is says that Peter was still at a loss to understand what the vision meant.  Why?  Because he knew Yahweh was not talking about the animals in the sheet.  It did not jive with what he had been taught his whole life, what was written in the Torah, and was taught by Yeshua as well.  Remember that Peter had not eaten anything deemed unclean by Torah in his entire life…and it had been quite a bit of time since Yeshua rose from the dead to this point in Acts 10.  Peter realized when the men came looking for him that Yahweh was telling him in the vision that he was no longer to consider non-Jews to be unclean.  We know that Jews considered Gentiles to be unclean from several places in the scriptures.



The Light

I got up Saturday morning and was led to read in Malachi…before sitting down to read, I usually pull up Facebook while I am making my coffee.  A ministry that I like posted a graphic and I made a quick screenshot of the graphic (more on that later) and then sat down to read.

I got to these verses in Malachi 2…

The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity. For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of Jehovah (YHVH) of hosts. But ye are turned aside out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble in the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith Jehovah of hosts. Malachi 2:6-8 ASV

The underlined sections are what I want to draw your attention to.  These words are being directed toward the priests of Yahweh (God).  It says that the law of truth is in their mouths and that people should seek the law (in Hebrew the word is תוֹרָה Torah) from the mouth of the priest.  A cross reference then directed me to Matthew 23…

Then Jesus told the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees administer the authority of Moses (Torah), So do whatever they tell you and follow it, but stop doing what they do, because they don’t do what they say. Matthew 23:1-3 ISV

Here is another translation

saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses seat: all things therefore whatsoever they bid you, these do and observe: but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not. Matthew 23:2-3 ASV

What I want you to pick up on is that the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat and Yeshua is telling them to do what they say but not what they do.   Nehemia Gordon, a Hebrew scholar and Karaite Jew, states that the seat of Moses is a “symbol of Mosaic authority, either a literal chair in the synagogue from which the rabbi would teach or metaphorically the rabbi sitting in the place of Moses”.  (The Hebrew Yeshua vs. The Greek Jesus, Glossary of Terms).

I think that the seat of Moses is a literal seat in the synagogue where the teachers of the Torah would sit.  I have heard it said that while in the seat, the teacher would only be able to read from Moses (Torah) and not be able to commentate or deviate at all from the reading itself.  The teacher would have to stand up out of the seat in order to do anything other than just read.


Seat of Moses

Regardless of whether it was a figurative seat or a literal seat, the point here is that the Pharisees spoke the Torah (Moses) and Yeshua (Jesus) was saying to do what they say and not to do what they do.  Why?  I believe it was because their mouths proclaimed the Torah (Written Torah, Moses, Pentatuch, First 5 Books of the Bible) but their actions did not follow Torah.  They were more interested in their Oral Torah (Oral traditions, Pharisaical law) rather than the Torah of Yahweh (Matthew 15:13, etc).

This was what Malachi was prophesying as well when he wrote…

The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips…. But ye are turned aside out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble in the law…  Malachi 2:6a and 8a ASV

I was then referenced to the book of Romans where it says…

But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law (Torah) and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth–.” Romans 2:17-20 ESV

Sha’ul (Paul) is saying here that the Jews say that they are a guide to the blind, a light in the darkness…etc because they have the law (Torah)…the embodiment of knowledge and truth.  This is not OT…this is Sha’ul in Romans.  The same Sha’ul who everyone says teaches against the Torah but in Acts 21 goes with those who are making a Nazirite vow (which involves sacrifice) in order to show that he has not been teaching others to quit following Torah.

Take these men, go through the purification ceremony with them, and pay their expenses to shave their heads. Then everyone will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you are carefully observing and keeping the Law. Acts 21:24 ISV

Back in Romans, Sha’ul is saying that the light that the Jews are supposed to have is the Torah.  They believe they have the light because they are in instructed in the Torah but he goes on to say that even though they preach against these things they still do them.  That is what the non-believers thought to be so hypocritical.

119 Ministries is a ministry that I have only just recently become familiar with.  They have a video called “This Little Light of Mine”.  It is interesting when you let the Bible explain itself how much it will actually start to make complete sense.  Let’s look and see what the “Old Testament” defines “light” as.

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law (Torah in Hebrew) is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: Proverbs 6:23 KJV

To the law (Torah) and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:20 KJV

Listen to Me, My people, and give ear to Me, O My nation, for the Torah goes forth from Me, and My right-ruling I set as a light to peoples. Isaiah 51:4 The Scriptures 1998

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:105 KJV

As far as the Word goes…when David wrote this Psalm, the only Word of God he was familiar with was the Torah.  In fact, according to the Torah, David, as a King of Israel, was supposed to hand write his own personal copy of the Torah (Deut. 17:18).

Now that we know what the Hebrew people thought “light” meant and referred to, let’s see what Yeshua said about light.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 ESV

What are your good works?  I believe it’s following the Torah.  On a side note, Sha’ul makes this statement in Romans…

I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Romans 11:11 KJV

Sha’ul is talking about the lost, blinded Jews who refuse to accept Yeshua.  Now, if they (Jews) are taught in the Tanakh (OT) that the Messiah would come and keep the Torah…

  1. Messiah will be observant of the Torah and well versed in Jewish law – Isaiah 11:2-5
  2. He will establish a Torah government in Israel that will be the center of all world government for both Jews and Gentiles – Isaiah 2:2-4, 11:10, 42:1
  3. He will establish Torah as the law of the land – Jeremiah 33:15  (from http://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/mashiach.htm)

How are we to make the Jews jealous if we do not keep the Torah ourselves?   If they keep Torah and expect their Messiah to keep Torah (which Yeshua did completely), how is it they are going to listen to Christians when we say that we do not have to keep Torah?  They aren’t going to be jealous, they are going to believe it’s blasphemous.  Why would they listen to the Church when it preaches a Messiah that came to do away with the Torah or that the Torah is a curse?  The answer:  They wouldn’t.  In fact, it is blasphemous to their ears.

Back to Matthew.  Now, look what Yeshua follows with after talking about letting our light shine before others…the light being following Torah according to OT passages.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Matthew 5:17 KJV

Apparently there are some that believe that “fulfil” means that it has been completed and that’s the end of it.  I used to be one of those people.  However, Yeshua also said this when He was being baptized.

But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. Matthew 3:15 ESV

Does this mean that Yeshua completed righteousness and that is the end of righteousness?  No.  Here is another translation for this 5:17…

Don’t misunderstand why I have come.  I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets.  No, I came to accomplish their purpose.  NLT

This brings me all the way back to that graphic I found on Facebook.  I started to read in Malachi and the graphic that I took a screenshot of had not even entered my mind until after I was done with my little study.  It’s neat how Yahweh will show you things.  See graphic below…


119 Ministries

To finish up, let’s read what Yeshua said after that.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19 KJV

I know this isn’t going to be popular.  I sure didn’t like it when I first started learning these things over a year ago.  In this past year, however, I have had my eyes opened to this same line of teaching all over the entire Bible.  You really have to ask yourself…am I looking at what the Word says on its own or am I relying on the teachings and doctrines of man to tell me what I should believe from bits and pieces of the Word?  I used to think I was in the former group.  Now I am fully convinced that I am slowly prying myself from the clutches of the latter group.  It is not easy…in fact, it is a struggle because of pride and the enemy not wanting you to know the truth.

May Yahweh give us eyes to see and ears to hear.