Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re my dad…
You have brought me up to do my chores and do my homework; you’ve brought me up to respect you and my mother and my grandparents…I know how to say yes ma’am and no sir…please, and thank you, etc. You’ve been there to help me with my homework… I love you soooo much, I only want to please you…I want you to be proud of me …I know you love me and I want to show you that I love you, too!
So, I work hard at making good grades in school, doing my chores around the house, etc. But, then as I get out into the world of all my friends, I begin to take on characteristics of some of the ones I hang out with…
I decide that I don’t really like cleaning my room and taking out the trash, helping with the dishes, etc. So, I stop doing those things….instead I hang out with my friends and do what they do. I don’t honor your wishes anymore…I don’t honor the rules of the household… In fact, I don’t honor you at all.
How does that make you feel? Do you feel like maybe your child does not really love you anymore??
That is exactly what “the church” has done to Our Father in Heaven… Our Creator loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son, the Word, (the Way, the Truth and the Life) so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Jesus (Yeshua) was the Word (John 1:1), “in the beginning.” He brought everything into existence (John 1:3)… was the One who provided the ram in the thicket for Abraham (Genesis 22:13)… He was the One who wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32:24-31)… He was the Voice that Moses heard in the burning bush (Exodus 3:2)…
And on top of Mt. Sinai, He laid out all His Feast Days …His “Appointed Times,” he called them, (Exodus 34:18-26 & Leviticus 23) for all the tribes of Israel…they were all at the foot of Mt. Sinai that day. ALL the tribes of Israel…(only one of them was the tribe of Judah…Jewish). The Feasts/Holy Days are NOT just Jewish festivals. The Sabbath Day is NOT just for the Jews…it was given at the first week of Creation (Genesis 2:3). Then, after the Exodus, in that list of ten instructions…the “outline” for all the rest of His ‘instructions for living,’ He said to “remember” the Sabbath Day (Exodus 20:8-11)…it was to be a sign of the Covenant for ALL generations.
Jesus said he was sent ‘only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel’ (Matthew 15:24). He instructed his disciples NOT to go to the gentiles, but go only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Matthew 10:5-6). His main thing was, and still is, to bring the House of Israel together with the House of Judah! One Kingdom, at last (Ezekiel 37:15-22)! The Kingdom that He, Himself, rules from Jerusalem for a thousand years!
Regarding that day when the church “no longer endures sound doctrine” and turns away from the truth (2 Timothy 4:3)… well, that day has already come. It happened around 325 A.D., when they turned away from the Biblical root of Yeshua… and changed God’s Sabbath Day to the “venerable Day of the Sun” (See the Edict of Constantine written in 321 AD and also the Council of Laodicea, 365 AD). They maintained their celebration of Ishtar, a fertility goddess, and celebrated the day of the Resurrection of Jesus, calling it “Easter,” after that goddess! They kept right on worshiping the Sun god on December 25 and called it Jesus’ birthday! (Look up the history of Christmas and Easter.)
We need to go back to “The Way” that the first believers in Jesus (Yeshua, in Hebrew) lived…we need to imitate Paul (1 Corinthians 4:16)… because he imitated Jesus!! Paul kept the Sabbath; he celebrated the Feasts of the LORD (1 Corinthians 5:8); he never said you had to become a Jew to be saved, or that you had to keep the commandments to be saved… but he never said that you should not keep the commandments, the Torah! (See Matthew 15:1-9; 16:12; Mark 7:5-13) When Paul outlined the four main things that gentiles, upon their conversion, needed to adhere to, he went on to say that they would get the rest of the teachings in the synagogue on Shabbat (the Sabbath)!!! (Acts 15:19-21)
Jesus said to listen to the one who “sits in Moses’ seat” and do what he says. But, DON’T DO WHAT HE DOES, because he does not practice what he preaches! (Matthew 23:2-3) The one who “sits in Moses’ seat” is reading from the Torah only, not preaching or giving a commentary, just reading exactly what it says in the first five books of the bible. This, to me, sounds like an endorsement from Jesus of the Torah! It was the “Oral Law,” the Traditions of the Elders that Paul was against, and that was true for Jesus, too. (Mark 7:10-13) After all, Jesus did say that He did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it! (Matthew 5:17-20)Jesus said, “if you love me you will keep my commandments (John 14:15).” and, “If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love (John 15:10).” By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:2-3)
The keeping of the Law (Torah) is NOT for salvation…we keep the Torah because we LOVE OUR FATHER! We want to show Him how much we love Him…we want Him to be pleased with us!
This same Father, our Father, said of David that he was a man after God’s own heart. David wrote 176 verses in one psalm about how much he loves the Law… the Torah!! Read Psalm 119…it is an astounding endorsement of the Word of God, the Torah, the “Law”. It is segregated into 22 sections, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In many places in the “Old Testament”, the “Law” or “Torah” is called “the way,” the “truth,” “life,” “liberty,” “light,” ….sound familiar? Amazing, isn’t it?
Blessings and shalom,