Friday, January 25, 2019

Get Back to the First Century: All or Nothing

All or Nothing

If one can excuse and explain away (Saturday) Sabbath, observance, the Feast of the LORD, circumcision, kosher eating, etc., what’s keeping one from using Scriptural acrobatics (taking Scripture out of context) to excuse oneself for not keeping any of the Commandments standing in ones way of fulfilling ones fleshly carnal desires?  We have seen this done in our day with the ordination of homosexual and lesbian clergy. After all, some of the commandments have no apparent reason such as eating kosher and not mixing cotton with wool (Deut.22:11).  Laws like these are called “Chukim,” a law with no known logical reason. We keep them anyway because we trust, love and fear God supremely, and we recognize He is Infinite, His ways are above ours, and His reasoning beyond ours.  It is just like being a parent.  You ask a 4 year old to do something and they ask, “Why?” You know that since they are so little, even if you did take the time to explain it to them, they may not fully understand the reasoning behind your command.  To save time, confusion and more questions, you say to the child, “Because I said so.”  Knowing when they get older and become parents themselves they may understand why.  It is the same with our Heavenly Father. “Father knows best” and we keep the Chukim because He said so.  Even after the Chukim commands He says, “I am The LORD your God.”  That is His way of saying, “Because I said so.” We cannot just pick and choose which Commandments to follow.  We cannot just decide to follow only the ones with moral implications.

I have heard as of late many Christians attempt to defend themselves in regards to their non-compliance of the Torah when I purpose that they believe it has been done away with. “No, I never believed the Torah has been done away with. I believe it has been “fulfilled” (totally misunderstanding and taking out of context the words meaning in the Hebrew and Greek) in Messiah (meaning fulfilled so we don’t have to).” Hmmm, Okay, isn’t that another way of saying it has been done away with?

Or, they seem to think that God has one rulebook and or expectations for the Jews and another for the Gentiles. That is not what the Torah says (Exd. 12:49, Lev. 24:22, Num. 15:16. Acts 15:19-21).

I have also heard that because Yeshua did not bring up all 613 commandments within the Renewed Covenant (“New Testament”) it must mean we do not have to keep the commandments not mentioned, such as the Feasts of Leviticus 23 and so on. Or, that since He only really brought up the ten that that is the exhaustive version of the two laws they hang upon (Mt. 22:40). What!? As I have said before, the “New Testament” is not “new”; there is nothing new about it! It is simply renewed. In addition, why would Yeshua have to reemphasize what was regarded as established, what was taken and known as a given, since He did not come to change Judaism or start a new religion? He came to fulfill (bring into its fullness in meaning, understanding and practice) the old one. In addition, the commandments He did reemphasize, He only did so to bring greater clarity to them, to give His Halachah ruling (way of practicing them) on them because some of the Pharisees were trying to find loopholes in the commandments to justify their inner disobedience. It is as if you built a new model of a car and introduced it to the world. The body may look different, yet it still runs and operates for the most part like all the other cars before it, and showing it to an experienced driver, you would go over the “givens” about the car, such as, you put the key in the ignition, you press the gas peddle to make it go, etc. No, you would emphasize the deeper details to established ideas and standards. For example, on this new car you do not roll down the windows manually, they are not even power operated by a switch; now, it rolls up or down by voice command! The concept of the car has not changed, though greater detail and innovations have been made on a standard feature. The car has not been turned into something new; the car has just been renewed.
Granted, as I have established on many occasion, not all 613 commandments apply to one person, some apply to Levites, some to Israeli kings, some to farmers in the Land of Israel, some to only men, some to only women, etc. But still, many are universal that are not followed by Modern Christianity today, such as, kosher laws, the wearing of tzitzit, celebrating the Feasts mentioned in Leviticus Chapter 23, and the like.

I cannot seem to get Modern-day Christians to understand that keeping Torah (Law) is not a salvation issue, but an issue of love and obedience (sanctification). Salvation is not and never has been the point of the Torah (Law); it is one of obedience out of love and holy living. I can’t seem to get them to see that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, I can’t seem to get them to see that Yeshua and God is One, and that Yeshua’s commandments are no different than that of God the Father’s. I cannot get them to see how they have been viewed and understood for 4000 years, that they are more than just “laws”, that they are more akin to marriage vows to a Holy God. Law is a loose translation of the word Torah; Instructions would fit more appropriately. So why would anyone want to knowingly and purposely disobey God’s Instructions?

We are navigating through 2000 years of history, linguistics, western thought, culture and re-interpretation layered on the Scriptures to get back to the eternal meaning conveyed by its Jewish and Jewish Converted writers and followers of the 1st century.

How often I forget that I can only relay the message, and I cannot be the Holy Spirit to anyone. I cannot tug on their hearts, or convince them as the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) can. I often forget that seeds take time to grow, and they might grow, be suffocated out or several other scenarios (Matt.13). All I can do is plant and walk away, and perhaps water every now and again. Ultimately, the choice lies with the individual receiving the message.