4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
Here is the one verse in the Tanak (O.T.) that says, “The just shall live by faith,” and that has been quoted by Rav Sha’ul (Paul) in numerous occasions (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Eph. 2:8-9), and is foolishly used by Christians to say that the Torah (Law) is obsolete and has been done away with. Let me ask if you are justified or have found grace or unmerited favor in the eyes of your spouse? Most can say yes. Does that mean then that you can ignore your wedding vows or consider them obsolete and flirt or sleep around with others? “Absolutely not, that’s crazy!,” you say. Why? Because you made a promise, vows to your spouse that you would be “FAITHFUL” to your spouse, not to do those sorts of things. For us, G-d is the Bridegroom, we are the Bride (this is even a prominent Christian view) and the Torah is seen as our wedding vows. I am not making this up; this has been a long standing view in Judaism. Mount Sinai is even seen as a wedding chupah, a wedding canopy. All of Israel and even the mixed multitude which were with them said, in essence, “I DO!,” to the terms of Torah. The arguments that the Torah are “works” and we are not justified by them, we do not have to do them to be righteous. I beg to differ, Ya’akov (James) says that faith without works is dead (James 2:17, 20, 26). The point is that we are not “saved” by “works.” Our marriage foundation doesn’t rest souly on what we do, but by faith, belief and trust in the declarations we made to each other through our wedding vows. However, what we do backs up and gives one proof to our wedding vows, same goes with Torah. There is a thing called “faith righteousness” and “works righteousness” and both have to be present in the life of a believer. Yes, I am saved by faith in the work of Messiah on the Roman cross, but I back up that faith by what I do.
Faith, not feelings is the Key to understanding here.
Jer. 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Just as I don’t “feel” like getting up in the morning to go to work, because I love my wife and daughter and wish to provide for their needs, I do. Yeshua being God in the flesh said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15)” and Yeshua being God that cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8) an does not change (Mal. 3:6) Yeshua’s commandments are the same as Abba ADONAI’s. So we keep the Torah, our wedding vows to God because we love Him and want to show and prove our love, not because we “feel” like it or “feel led.” Feelings have little to nothing to do with it, but Faith is the Key here.
I like how the Stones Tanak puts it, “But the righteous person shall live through his faith.” Meaning through his faithfulness to the wedding vows of Torah.
The Full Life Study Bible says, “…The righteous are contrasted with the proud and ungodly, whose lives are not upright. The hearts of the righteous are tuned to God, and they desire to be His children, to have close fellowship with Him, and to obey His will (AKA: TORAH)… The righteous must live in this world by faith in God, here, “faith” means a steadfast trust in God that His ways are right, (again this is talking about the Torah) a personal loyalty to Him as Savior and Lord, and a moral steadfastness to follow His ways (Torah)…” – (Parenthesis mine)
II Thess. 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for except there come a falling away first, and that the man of sin revealed…”
I Jn.3:4 Defines what sin is. “Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law (Torah) for sin is the transgression of the law (Torah).”
Mt.7:21-23 “Not everyone that says, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
What is the will of the Father? Torah!
V.22 Many will say to me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name? And in Your Name cast out demons? And in Your Name done wonderful works?” v.23 And then I will profess unto them, “I never knew (Hebrew: have been intimate with) you: depart from me you that work iniquity (Torahlessness).”
Iniquity is defined as, “Lawlessness” (Torahlessness) Greek: Anomia. A= Anti, against or another. Nomia= law. (Strong’s: 458)
The “Jesus” of Catholicism and Christianity is seen as a Leonardo Divinci painting, Hellenistic, Greco-Roman looking, toga wearing, long haired, fair skinned, blue eyed, British speaking, zombified, hippy guru, rebel, who came and did away with Torah, and started a strange new religion. Like a bad, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” make over, they have turned Yeshua into something He’s not.
It’s like calling Dr. Phil the Messiah yet painting him to look like Sigmund Freud, and Taking, and reading Dr. Phil’s book and yet not doing one thing he said to do, and on top of that interpret what he has said to say something entirely different from what he meant.
This is NOT my Messiah! This is NOT the Jews Messiah! Hopefully it is not YOUR Messiah. This according to II Thess. 2:3-12, is a description of the anti-Messiah! It is no wonder that the Jewish people will not accept this “Jesus” as the Messiah. And rightly so, because He’s NOT! The Jews look at the Tanak (“Old Testament”) and it tells what their Messiah is supposed to be like, and they see the “Jesus” portrayed in Catholicism and Christianity, and immediately dismiss him. Why? Because the “Jesus” they see doesn’t line up with the Torah.
Most Catholics and Christians today believe and claim that the Law has been abolished by the work of Christ on the cross. However, this “Christ” Himself who died on that cross said this about the Law.
Mt.5:17-20 “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law (Torah) or the Prophets: (Nevi’im) (Both are the Tanak or the “Old Testament”) I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.” The word fulfill in v.17 does NOT mean, to complete, as in to put an end to something. It DOES mean to fill up, to bring and render its full and complete meaning, to perform. In other words Yeshua came to show us the true meaning of the Torah so we could live it out as He did. In Yeshiva, when Jewish students are learning to interpret Torah, in Yeshua’s day and now, a Rabbi would give a passage for the students to interpret and the students go away and hash the passage out and then would come zealous and excited back to the Rabbi and say, “Rabbi, this is what this passage means!” and if they would give wrong answer the Rabbi would say, “No, you have abolished or made void the Torah by your interpretation!” Then the students would go and study the passage again and come back meeker and say, “Rabbi, we believe the passage means this.” And if they were correct the Rabbi would say, “Well done, you have brought fulfillment to the Torah, you have given this passage its full and correct meaning.” I believe that this know custom is what Yeshua was drawing from when He said this. V.18 For verily (Truly, Most assuredly) I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass…[Get up right now and look outside. Is the sky still up there? Is the earth still out there?]…not one jot… (Jot is Yod in Hebrew, the smallest letter. Looks like an apostrophe.) … or one tittle… (Tittle is the tiniest extension of the Hebrew letter Dalet, that differentiates it from another similar Hebrew letter, the Resh. It can also refer to the decorative flare on any given Hebrew letter.) …shall in NO wise pass from the Law (Torah) till ALL be fulfilled (preformed fully). V.19 Whosoever therefore shall break (Greek: to loose or destroy) one of the least commandments (according to the rabbinical sages of blessed memory, Deuteronomy 22:6 is the least of all commandments, concerning the disturbance of a birds nest.) And teaches men so… (“Ah, go ahead, it’s alright, we’re not under the Law anymore, but under grace.”) …he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO and TEACH; the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. V.20 For I say unto you that except your righteousness … (Not the righteousness of Messiah bestowed upon a believer, but YOUR righteousness, meaning your works!)… shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees… (performing all the commandments with ALL your heart and mean it! Not only on the outside, but on the inside as well)… you will in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven. V.20 of Matthew 5 mentions righteousness and connects it with works. Although we are not saved by works, but by faith in Messiah's sacrificial death in our place, we must prove, show, and back up our faith by our faith-full-ness to His Torah. Speaking of Torah, Yeshua said in John 5:46-47, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, (The Living Torah) for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words (Which is no different from the Written Torah)?”
John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Messiah and YHWH are one (Jn.17) so Yeshua’s commandments are no different from YHWH the Father’s. So Yeshua didn’t teach anything new, He just taught Torah, and taught us how to live it correctly.
James 1:22 “Be DOERS of the WORD (Torah) and not hearers only…” v25b “…a DOER of the work, this man will be blessed in his deed.” (Deut.27-28) James 2:17-18 “Even so FAITH, if it hath not WORKS is dead being alone. Yes, a man may say, “You have faith, I have works: show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith BY my works.””
Yeshua and all the apostles were Torah observant, and because Yeshua was Torah observant, I don’t have to ask myself, W.W.J.D.? I simply D.W.Y.D.! (Do What Yeshua Did)
• He was circumcised. Lk. 12:21. He was dedicated and named at his circumcision. Lk. 2:22-24,39-40
• He kept the feasts. Lk. 2:4, 9:28-36 Jn. 10:22-23
• He was Torah trained. Lk. 2:46-52 • He was “mikvahed”. (baptized) Mt. 3:13-17
• He kept Sabbath. Lk.4:14-21
• He went to the Temple. Lk. 19:47
• He went to the Synagogue. Lk. 4:16,44
• He read and taught a portion of the annual Torah and prophetic reading cycle. (Parashat) Lk. 4:14-21
• He most likely prayed the ancient set of Jewish prayers, prayed 3x’s a day, called the “Amidah” meaning, “To stand.” He refers to this very prayer in Mark 11:25-26, “When you STAND to pray....”
• He said the Shema the Jewish declaration of YHWH’s Oneness said every day by faithful Jews, from Duet. 6:4: Mark 12:29,30.
• He was a Rabbi. Lk. 10:25-28, Jn. 20:16
• He taught Torah. Lk. 24:44-45
• He wore tzitzit. (fringes) Lk. 8:43-44, Jn. 19:23-24
• He kept Torah. Jn. 15:10
• He taught us to live out Torah. Mt. 5:17-20, Jn. 14:15, Lk. 5:14
• He lived and died as a Jew. Jn. 20:6-8, 19:40
• He left as a Jew. Lk. 24:50-51
• He is returning as a Jew. Rev. 19:13,16
• He will reign forever as the Jewish Messiah. Rev.21:1-6, 22:3-5
There were two schools of Jewish thought. The school of Hillel, and the school of Shami. Hillel was conservative. Shami was ultra conservative. Yeshua sided with Hillel and agreed with everything the Pharisees (which was from the school of Hillel) taught, except, on the issue of divorce, (Mt. 19:1-9) and the issue of tradition, oral torah, rabbinic law, which nullified the Torah. (Mk. 7:1-13) Yeshua even kept traditions except when it conflicted with Torah itself (Lk. 2:52). During the “Last Supper” Messiah held a Passover Seder for His Talmidim (disciples) and made the traditional blessings over the tirosh (non-alcoholic grape juice) and matzah, (for everything even the wine was without yeast or leaven) and followed the traditional order of the Passover Seder haggadah (the program and order of the Seder).
All of the apostles were Torah observant; all His followers were Torah observant as well. Let’s take a look. Acts 21:20 talks about how they were all ZEALOUS for the TORAH!
Jim Myers has this to say concerning the early Jewish believers in Messiah Yeshua, from his article, “Would Your Church Really Allow You To Be Like Jesus?” Found at: http://www.biblicalheritage.org/Jesus/would.htm
“The book of Acts provides us with some very valuable information. Acts 21:17-25 records Paul's return to Jerusalem and his meeting with the leaders of the "church." Keep in mind that these were the men who had been personally taught by and lived with Jesus. Their words provide us with some very enlightening information. The translation given below is based on a cultural and historical methodology. Your translation most probably reflects the doctrines of the Roman church and therefore may differ.
"You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have become faithful (observant). All of them are zealous for the Torah (Law). They have been informed that you have taught the Jews of the Diaspora to not keep the Torah, that they should not circumcise their children or live according to the Jewish religion.... Take these men and do the following... so that everybody will know that there is no truth in these reports about your teachings, but that you yourself are living an observant lifestyle and keeping the Torah."
A quick summary provides us with some very significant information. Is your church producing the same results?
(1) Jews became more faithful (observant) Jews because of the message.
(2) They became zealous for the Torah (Law).
(3) They kept the Laws of Moses (the Torah).
(4) They circumcised their children.
(5) They lived according to the traditions (Jewish religion).
Notice that Paul did as he was requested - he wasn't teaching the Jews to abandon their religion. Paul was "under the law" and lived an observant lifestyle. How then could he have been the author of a doctrine that advocated rejecting the law?
I don't mean to linger on this point forever, but are you really getting the importance of this message?
(1) The message of the apostles caused Jews to repent and become observant Jews who practiced Judaism faithfully.
(2) The apostles were causing Jews to become eager for the Torah and to pursue it with fervor. It is clear that they were not teaching them that "they were under grace and no longer under the law." This one point is in complete opposition to most fundamental teaching of every modern Christian doctrine.
(3) The Jewish members of the early church continued to circumcise their children. In other words, they continued to see themselves as participants in the Abrahamic Covenant, just as every practicing Jew does today. Their children were Jews, not members of some new mystical religion that replaced Judaism.
(4) The Jewish members of the early church continued to practice Judaism. They did not switch to a new religion.”
Further examples of the Torah observant lifestyle of the apostles:
Kefa (Peter) – prayed Mincha (afternoon) prayers and he kept kosher. (Acts 10)
Rav Sha’ul (Paul) – said “I am (not was) a Pharisee…” He kept the traditions and customs of the Jewish people. (Acts 23:5-6, 28:17) He made an offering after Yeshua’s death and resurrection. (Acts 21:17-26)
One day the temple will be rebuilt and sacrifices will resume. During the millennial reign of Messiah everyone will keep the feasts. (Is.66:22-24) Yeshua said he didn’t come for the ones who were already keeping Torah. He came for the ones who didn’t keep Torah. (Mt. 9:9-13, Mk. 2:13-17, Lk. 5:27-32) These are but a few examples:
Daniel 2:21 and 7:25 is giving a description of the Anti (against or another)- Messiah.
“He shall speak great words against the Most High (How? By speaking against His Words, His Torah!) and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and think to change TIMES (the Feast of the LORD) and LAWS (Torah) (Forbidding Sabbath observance and Biblical Festivals, and enforcing Christianized pagan holidays, like Christmas and Easter just like the “Christian” Roman Emperor Constantine did! May his name and memory be erased!), and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of times.”
How many Catholics and Christians today are Torah observant? How many keep all of the Feasts commanded by ADONAI in Leviticus 23? Almost none! Most Catholics and Christians keep Sunday, not Sabbath. Most Catholics and Christians go by a Roman solar calendar, instead of the traditional Hebrew lunar one. Most Catholics and Christians keep pagan rooted holidays (Christmas and Easter etc.) instead of the Feasts of the ADONAI.
The Anti-Messiah (Anti-Christ) is called the man of lawlessness or we could say, Torahlessness. (2 Thess. 2:3-12) Because of this, I believe many Catholics and Christians will be deceived. He’ll agree with the majority of Catholicism and Christianity and say that the Torah has been done away with. Remember, sin is anything against the Torah, (I Jn.3:4) Elohim’s standards for holiness.
Matthew 24:24 tells that the Anti-Messiah (if it were possible will deceive the very elect!) will not show up with horns, pitchfork, pointed tail, with 666 blazing across his forehead. He couldn’t fool anyone like that. No, he’ll look just like the “Jesus” of Catholicism and Christianity, working miracles, making peace everywhere, changing laws and holy day observances, making Temple worship to cease as if to say, “I am the Messiah. You don’t have to sacrifice anymore, I’m here, I have fulfilled it all!” (Mt.24:15, Dan. 9:27; 12:11). All because Most Catholics and Christians believe today that most, if not all, the Torah was done away with in the death of Christ. NO! The penalty of death has been done away with, NOT the LAW itself! (Rm.7:7-13; 24-25)
Matthew 5:17-20 paints the TRUE picture of the Messiah, that non-believing Jews NEED and MUST see! Are you “Taking ADONAI’s Name in vain” by living like the Catholic and Christian “Jesus”, contrary to His Word, Thus Soiling His Name ? Or are you living like Yeshua, the Jewish, Torah observant Messiah? Will you, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may SEE YOUR good WORKS, and glorify your Father in heaven (Mt.5:16).”