Yeshua taught a lot of things. His teachings can't be put in a box or boiled down. That's what denominations try to do to put their own particular slant on Scripture. But we have to start somewhere. So, let's start with this particularly awesome verse:
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:29).
Now I'm going to look at the original Greek text, which is something I encourage you to do too to avoid the bias of translations. I don't just want to give you a fish...I want to teach you how to fish! I'm using the online resource Biblehub.com to access various dictionaries and helps. That's where the blue links go to. The numbers used are the Strong's Concordance #s - the most common way to look up Biblical words. Check it out!
So what is this yoke thing? No, it's not an egg yoke. It has to do with oxen plowing:
"yoke"<2218> (zygos) unites two elements to work as one unit, like when two pans (weights) operate together on a balance-scale – or a pair of oxen pulling a single plough.] - Helps Word-Studies ©
So, this is a mini-parable: Yeshua wants you to "work as one" with him. How? Answer: "Learn of [him]."
"learn" - Mathetes- akin to (Strong's #) <3101> mathetes (from math-, the "mental effort needed to think something through") – properly, a learner; a disciple, a follower of Christ who learns the doctrines of Scripture and the lifestyle they require. - Helps Word-studies ©
This is actually where we get the English term "math". But this isn't your typical (often burdensome) arithmetic Yeshua is talking about. He's calling us to study his life and teachings in order to be like him:
"The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher"- Luke 6:40
"fully trained" <2675> katartízos (from 2596 /katá, "according to, down," intensifying artiz?, "to adjust," which is derived from 739 /ártios, "properly adjusted") – properly, exactly fit (adjust) to be in good working order, i.e. adjusted exactly "down" to fully function. - Helps Word-studies ©.
So, back to our first verse, how is this "a light burden"? Isn't it hard to live like Jesus? Isn't learning itself hard work? Yes, but Yeshua is an awesome, gentle, kind teacher. He's "meek",
"meek" - praus <4239> - mild, gentle. This difficult-to-translate root (pra-) means more than "meek." Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God's strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness. [The English term "meek" often lacks this blend – i.e. of gentleness (reserve) and strength.] - Helps Word-studies ©.
...He's "lowly in heart",
"lowly" <5011> tapeinos – humble, lowly. Properly, low; (figuratively) inner lowliness. Helps ©.
"burden" <5413> phortíon - a burden; the freight of a ship.
"light" <1645> elaphrós (from mikros, "least, little," J. Thayer) – properly, of little weight (light); (figuratively) easily managed (carried) becauseeasy to bear (move with).
The Hebrew copy of Matthew puts it like this: "...for I am driven out and downcast in spirit" (Schonfield translation).
..."and you will find rest unto your souls."
"rest" <372> anapausis – inner rest (tranquility). See 373 anapauo (from 303 /ana, "up, completing a process," which intensifies 3973 /pauo, "pause") – properly, to give (experience) rest after the needed task is completed; to pause (rest) "after precious toil and care" (Vine/Unger, White, NT). - Helps Word-studies ©
..."for my yoke is easy" ("easy" is a bad translation, see the following definition)
"easy" <5543> xrestos (an adjective, derived from 5530 /xráomai, "to furnish what is suitable, useful") – properly, useful (serviceable, productive); well-fitted (well-resourced); useful (beneficial, benevolent).
Ok, let's break it down: What are the burdens Yeshua is talking about? The word "burden" appears elsewhere:
"And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with BURDENS grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers" (Luke 11:46).
These "lawyers" were supposed to be teaching people the law, or Torah, which are the commandments of YeHoVaH (Yahweh) given to Moses and the Prophets. Instead, they were teaching man-made religion, which includes many extra commands (today we have these in the form of the Talmud and other writings).
Some people have gotten the wrong idea and thought that Yeshua was referring to the Law itself. Here's a verse disproving that:
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:3).
This is part of why Yeshua was rejected by most of the religious people of his time: he didn't play man-made religion. He even allowed people he healed, and his disciples, to break the lawyers' and Pharisees' invented commandments. Much of this had to do with the Sabbath, which Yeshua never actually broke, or taught his disciples to break.
Also, these religious people were the opposite of "meek and lowly of heart." They were full of pride, riches, and hypocrisy: "Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets (Luke 11:43). Yeshua was the opposite, and he was calling his disciples to be like him.
So, what is the "useful burden" that Yeshua is referring to as his "yoke"? It's to be like him:
“Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach” (Heb. 13:13).
Not only is man-made religion a burden, but so are worldly cares that often literally weigh us down with stuff. In explaining a parable he told concerning the sowing of seed, he said,
"And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful" (Matt. 13:22).
Again, "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matt. 16:25-26).
"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting [gluttony], and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day [of his coming] come upon you unawares" (Luke 21:34).
And here's the big one: "whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).
"forsake" - Apotasso <657> literally, to say adieu [good-bye] (by departing or dismissing); figuratively, to renounce -- bid farewell, forsake, take leave, send away. from apo <575> A primary particle; "off," i.e. Away and tasso <5021> to arrange in an orderly manner, i.e. Assign or dispose (to a certain position or lot). Helps word-studies© says: was "primarily a military term meaning 'to draw up in order, arrange in place, assign, appoint, order' "
Oftentimes, the things that we have are like the soldiers of our life, ordering how we "march". Yeshua is calling us to dismiss the materialist army guiding our lives in exchange for a new, spiritual formation.
Yeshua gave it all up: wordly power, prestige, even his own life. Here is the answer to the mystery: once you give it all up, you have nothing to lose! You've already "lost your life." Then we're free to truly follow Messiah, which is truly "finding" our lives.
It's funny, because people will leave their old lives behind and invest thousands of dollars to go to college, but few will make this kind of investment in being a fully trained student of the Messiah. Will you? You don't need to go to college, but it will take an investment of time and effort. Are you willing?
It's not "easy" to "yoke" up with Yeshua and learn from him - ultimately, it means giving up stuff, which is hard for some. But once you do, nothing is weighing you down! You're free to follow him!
Eternal Salvation and Here + Now Salvation
The Messiah Yeshua's name means salvation or deliverance. It comes from a root verb, yasha, to deliever, be liberated, saved from external evils (prop. placed in freedom), given width and breadth to, to rescue, to make safe (BDB). Prop. to be open, wide, or free, ie. (by impl.) to be safe, or succor (Strongs).
The noun that is most acknowledge to be the Messiah's name, Yeshua, means "deliverance, health, helping, salvation, save, saving health, welfare" (Strongs).
The word is used primarily of physcial rescue by Elohim, primarily from external evils and enemies, but also with the Spiritual notion of deliverance from death unto Eternal life.
The angel of YeHoVaH says to Yoseph, concerning Yeshua's mother Miriam, "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Yeshua, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
The word "from" in Greek is apo, meaning from, away from, (of separation: of any kind of separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed). -Strongs.
This is important, because it is SINNING that we are delivered AWAY FROM by Yeshua. This means that Yeshua came to free his people from sinning. This could also be called repentence.
It is written, "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 continues to sin: whosoever keeps on sinning hath not seen him, neither known him" (1 John 3:6).
So, what's the law? John 1:17 says, "For the law was given by Moses. Favor and truth came by Yeshua Messiah." This isn't to make a distinction between the law and favor/truth, but rather, to show us that it is through Yeshua that we can have the favor/truth to understand and keep the law.
After being delivered from the Egyptians at the Red Sea, Moses and the children of Israel sing, "My strength and my song is Yah, and he is salvation [Yeshua] to me" (Exodus 15:2).
So we must acknowledge that YeHoVaH IS Salvation [Yeshua].
Here's some verses that pertain to salvation in the Scriptures. We'll look closely at some of these:
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Messiah Yeshua came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Tim. 1:15).
“Elohim shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to Elohim by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Rom. 5:8).
“That if you confess with your mouth that Yahshua is Lord and believe in your heart that Elohim raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).
“For this is my blood of the covenant, being poured out for many, for forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28).
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our Elohim and the authority of His Messiah have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our Elohim day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death’” (Rev. 12:10-11).
Why have I quoted these verses? To show you that one, it is by the Blood of the Lamb, the Messiah, that we have forgiveness of sins/reconciltion with Elohim. But also, I want to point out how it is faith in his resurrection that is key to salvation; did you notice how it says in Romans 10, that if you "believe in your heart that Elohim raised Him from the dead, you will be saved"? This is also why it says, "much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" (Rom. 5:8).
Let's break Romans 10:9 down, since it's probably the most popular "salvation" verse:
that if you "confess" 3670 homologeo (from 3674 /homou, "together" and 3004 /lego, "speak to a conclusion") – properly, to voice the same conclusion, i.e. agree ("confess"); to profess (confess) because in full agreement; to align with (endorse). Helps word-studies©
"saying" 4487 rhema (from 4483 /rhé?, "to speak") – a spoken word, made "by the living voice" (J. Thayer). Helps word-studies©
"with your mouth" 4750 stoma - the mouth, speech, eloquence in speech (also, edge of a sword).
"that" 3754 hoti - that, since, because.
"Lord" [is] 2962 kyrios – properly, a person exercising absolute ownership rights; lord (Lord). Helps word-studies©
"Jesus" 2424 Iesous – Jesus, the transliteration of the Hebrew term 3091 /L?t ("Yehoshua"/Jehoshua, contracted to "Joshua") which means "Yahweh saves" (or "Yahweh is salvation"). Helps word-studies©
and "believe" 4100 pisteuo (from 4102 /pístis, "faith," derived from 3982/peítho, "persuade, be persuaded") – believe (affirm, have confidence); used of persuading oneself (= human believing) and with the sacred significance of being persuaded by the Lord (=faith-believing). [4102 (pistis) in secular antiquity referred to a guarantee (warranty). In Scripture, faith is God's warranty, certifying that the revelation He inbirthed will come to pass (His way). -Helps word-studies©
in your "heart" 2588 kardía – heart; "the affective center of our being" and the capacity of moral preference (volitional desire, choice; i.e our "desire-decisions" that establish who we really are. -Helps word-studies©
that "God" 2316 Theos (of unknown origin) – properly, God, the Creator and owner of all things (Jn 1:3; Gen 1 - 3). [Long before the NT was written, 2316 (theos) referred to the supreme being who owns and sustains all things.]
"raised" 1453 egeiro - awake, lift up, raise up.
"from the dead" 3498 /nekrós ("corpse-like") is used as a noun in certain contexts ("the dead"), especially when accompanied by the Greek definite article. The phrase, ek nekron ("from the dead"), lacks the Greek article to give the sense "from what is of death."
you will be "saved"4982 sozo (from sos, "safe, rescued") – properly, deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety).
Many people are familiar with the verse in which Yeshua says, "and God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Assuming we are familiar with who Yeshua (the Son) is, the key words in this verse are, "believe" and "in", which are better translated as, "being persuaded" and "into." Here's the HELPS Word-studies definitions for those two words with the Strong's Concordance numbers included:
4100 pisteú? (from 4102 /pístis, "faith," derived from 3982/peíth?, "persuade, be persuaded")
1519 eis (a preposition) – properly, into (unto) – literally, "motion into which" ("unto," "union") to a particular purpose or result.
This means that we can translate other "belief" verses in this way: "He that is persuaded into the Son has everlasting life" - John 3:36
Some will try to beat you over the head with having to put your trust in Christ without actually presenting the full word of Christ. We need to have the full message!
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Messiah" (Rom. 10:17). It's the actual words of Messiah that are persuading - his teachings - not man's religious doctrine. In fact, relgious traditions and church doctrines actually drive many people away. Jesus' teachings tend to do the opposite.
[4102 (pistis) in secular antiquity referred to a guarantee (warranty). In Scripture, faith is Elohim's warranty, certifying that the revelation He inbirthed will come to pass (His way).
To sum it up, many churches are preaching a gospel about Yeshua without actually teaching what he taught. Think about it: if we are believing in a Savior but don't heed his teachings, or know what he taught, or did, how are we really believing into union with him? Instead, we believe something about him, but arn't actually persuaded into union with him. If we are persuaded/convinced/believe into union with Yeshua, then we will do what he said and stop sinning (breaking God's law).
I'd like to contrast a few of the "believe" verses with some of the toughter "act righteous" verses to show that they are part of the same faithful persuasion of Yeshua through the working of the Holy Spirit of Yahweh.
This parable is known as the parable of the Sheep and the Goats, and sort of flies in the face of the faith-only theologians:
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal" (Matt. 25:31-46).
So this parable really drives home what James said in his letter:
"What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:14-26).
So this is the full meaning of being "pesuaded into union" with Yeshua.
I'd like to share the way I first came to be persuaded to be a disciple of the Messiah: at the age of 20 years old, I picked up the Scriptures for the first time and opened it at random to Matthew Chapter 5, commonly known as the sermon on the mount, or the beatitudes. It was the truth of these teachings that persuaded me to follow Jesus:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for their's is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3-10).
These teachings go on to say, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:14-16). When I read these "light" verses, I felt filled with a spiritual light that opened my senses so that I actually saw the lamp on my table glowing brighter. I believe that the prescence of the Holy Spirit came upon me at that time. The love and peace that filled me was awesome. I wanted to shine that light to others, so I began to share the message of Jesus and learn more of his teachings.
Shortly after this time, I went to "church" for the first time. What I found was that there was a focus on "getting saved" and "soul-winning", but the actual teachings of Jesus were not quoted in their fulness, but rather in sound-bytes that served church doctrine. I found this to be a poor way of persauding people to follow Jesus. There was a "salvation formula" that was based on religion rather than the full teachings of the Scripture. I continued to read the Scriptures and allow the Word to continue to persuade me, rather than church doctrine. I learned that true repentence means keeping the commandments of God. This was something I was not taught in church.
Now that I've come out of "church", I continue to fellowship with other believers. I've found that many people simply don't know what Jesus taught and commanded. That's why I want to help equip believers to obey His words! As it is written,
"Truly, truly, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death" (John 8:51).
Being born again by the Spirit
*note, from this point on I will use the Hebrew name for Jesus - Yahushuah, and for God - Elohim.
"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Yahushuah by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from Elohim: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except Elohim be with him. Yahushuah answered and said unto him: Truly, truly I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Elohim.
Nicodemus said unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Yahushuah answered, Truly, truly, I say unto you, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Elohim. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind blows where it wants, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell from where it comes, and to where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" - John 3:1-8
Because Yahushuah has been glorified - He rose from the dead into HaShamayim (Heaven) - The Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) can be given to us so we can be born again by faith in him. HalleluYah!
"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" - Ephesians 1:12-13
Who we are:
We are Hebrews, which literally means "those who have crossed over." The word Hebrew, then, is another way to say "born-again." The term was not only applied to the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, but to all the people who crossed over the Red Sea and river Jordan with the chosen people, out of slavery, and out of wandering, into the Promised Land.
Another core tenet of our belief, besides salvation through faith, is the continued relevance of the 'Old' Testament, as well as the New Testament, in our lives. While keeping the Law is not how we are justified or saved, we believe that the Law is helpful and profitable, especially in guiding us to repentence and instructing us in righteousness. More on that later.
"And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set ye free" - John 8:32
This website is dedicated to truth as the Scriptures and Holy Spirit teach it. It's been my experience that the written Word and the Holy Spirit (lit. Hebrew: Set-apart Breath) of YHWH agree as one, especially in the original language! So that's part of it: exploring the Hebrew text of the Bible to unpack and occasionally correct the English translations. But more than that, it's a love of the truth that continues to inspire this resource on all levels. We're here to blow the lies of man-made religion out of the water with a life-saving truth implosion!
"The Words I have spoken to you are Spirit, and Life" - John 6:63
"The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him" - John 4:23
Yet, because many have not loved the Truth, they have believed a lie and fallen into the trap of lawlessness, which is slavery to sin! As it is written: "For they refused to love the truth, so that they might be saved" (2 Thes. 2:10).
The first person in the Scripture to be called a Hebrew was Abram (Abraham):
"And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew" - Genesis 14:13
First of all, Abram was descended from a man named Eber ("hebrew" = Eberi). Secondly, he also had "crossed-over" out of Or of the Chaldees, and then out of Haran, into the unknown land where The Almighty was calling him. Yet Abraham is not just the flesh and blood ancestor to many nations, but he is the Spiritual ancestor to all those who share his faith:
"Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,)" (Romans 4:16-17).
This is why when people ask me, "what's your denomination", I simply say, "Hebrew." I'm of the faith of Abraham, who said, "My son, Elohim will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering" - Genesis 22:8
At that time, Elohim provided a ram, not a a lamb, in place of Isaac, Abraham's son. Therefore, Abraham prophesised of a single Lamb that the Almighty DID give - Himself - in Yahushua the Messiah. HalleluYah!
Yet the very identity of the Lamb has been covered up by false images of the Savior as anti-law, even anti-Jewish, not to mention blond and blue-eyed. It's no wonder many Jews don't believe in him! JESUS DID NOT SAY IT'S OK TO PRESUMPTIOUSLY BREAK THE COMMANDS! NEITHER DID PAUL! Rather, Christ rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven to teach us - not simply the "the letter of the law", which can't be kept without the physical Temple standing in Jerusalem- but the Living Torah (Law/Instruction) kept through the Holy Spirit, which YHWH immerses us in when we stand firm in faith on Messiah. Because YaHushuah is in the Temple in Heaven, and we, if we have been born-again into the community of Israel, are living stones in the Temple on earth, then we can observe the Law spiritually - but only with the Messiah's help through YHWH's Set-Apart Breath (Holy Spirit).
It's clear that the Almighty does not have double standards for Israel and the Gentiles:
"Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am YHWH your Mighty One" (Lev. 24:22).
"One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourns among you" (Exodus 12:49).
"Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them. But the soul that does ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth YHWH; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of YHWH, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him (Numbers 15:29-31).
So, both flesh and blood Israel, as well as the Gentiles who came out of Egypt with them (collectively 'Hebrews'), were given one Law (the Torah). But we have a problem: the Temple is not standing, so those written commands can't all be kept in the material sense. Here's how the Almighty answers this problem:
"Behold, the days come, says YHWH, that I will make a fresh covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, says YHWH: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says YHWH, I will put my law (Torah) in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know YHWH: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith YHWH: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
So the Law (Torah) can be kept. Just not in the same way. Just like the second set of commandments Moses brought down weren't different commandments, so too does the written Torah correspond with the Spiritual Torah. Yet, paradoxically, it can't really be kept simply by observing the letter of the Law. In fact, the written Law is but a shadow of the Spiritual. So, it has to be written on your heart, spiritually. This happens through faith in YHWH taught by the High Rabbi of Creation: Yahushua the Messiah! This happens through being born-again by the Holy Spirit! This happens by standing firm in faith and repentence!
Here's a good example of this:
"And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:10-11).
Just like the letter of the Law requires circumcision, so too does the Spirit. However, this circumcision is more profound because it affects the very heart by way of the Spirit of Messiah. After such an operation, we can say you're spiritually a Hebrew, circumcised by the Spirit, in your heart, and grafted into Israel by faith.
What's Wrong with the "Church"?
Many professing Christians have twisted Paul's words, which are often hard to understand, to try to make an anti-law doctrine out of one simple truth: it's not by keeping the carnal Law (literal animal sacrifices, physcial circumcision, etc.) that we are saved, it's by the blood of Messiah, the Eternal Sacrfice, the Lamb of Elohim. You see, if one has tasted of the Holy Spirit of YHWH, then sinning, which by its very definition is "a transgression of the law", becomes disgusting (1 John 3:4). Yet recieving the Holy Spirit does require faithfulness, as Jah's Anointed himself says: "If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He might abide with you forever: the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot recieve, because it does not perceive him or know him" (John 14:15).
What's wrong with 'the Church', then, is that it has by and large rejected its Hebrew Roots in favor of Gentile, antinomian (anti-law) traditions that are sometimes dervied from paganism. These other traditions, in my opinion, often quench the Spirit because they are frequently rooted in the worship of other gods. E-ster, X-mas, lent, Hail-Marys, our-fathers, sunday sabbath, praying before statues - these are all derived from paganism. The first command of the 10 commands is: "I am YHWH your Mighty One, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slaves. You shall have no other gods in my face" (Exodus 20:1). In Hebrew, al-p'nai literally means 'upon' or 'atop' or 'to my face.' This is exactly what many Gentile Churches have done in creating a hybrid of Hebrew and pagan worship - they have associated 'other gods' with the Almighty. Big no-no.
What's up with The Law?
"Think not that I come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. Rather, I come to make it full. Truly I say to you, until the Heavens and earth pass away, one dot or one stroke of the Law shall in no way pass away, until all be fufilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments, and teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but whomsoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. Truly I say to you, except your righteousness exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees [Orthodox Jews], ye shall in no case enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 5:17-19).
Here's another one from that same Law, which we call the Torah (Instruction) in Hebrew:
"Remember the Sabbath day, Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is The Sabbath of the YHWH thy Mighty Power: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." - Exodus 20:8-11
This is the 4th commandment of the 10 Commandments - one that is often overlooked, changed, or outright rejected. It's worth noting that YaHushuah said, "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day" (Matthew 12:8). Many will say, 'Jesus himself broke the Sabbath!' Wrong! He was ACCUSED of breaking the Sabbath, as were his disciples, for doing things like healing and eating by plucking fruit directly from a plant. Careful study will show that everything he did was Lawful according to the Torah. Rather, the religious leaders of the time had added extra commandments (a sin itself - Deut. 12:29), even going so far as to say one cannot do the 'work' of healing on the Sabbath.
So why is he the Lord of the Sabbath? Because Jesus rose from the dead of the Sabbath - yes, the 'Jewish' Sabbath - I'm talking about Sat. afternoon or evening, NOT Sunday morning, as is commonly assumed. You see, the day starts when the sun goes down, Biblically and Hebraically, so when it is written, "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to shine towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre" we must understand that it was literally IN the end of the Sabbath - the Greek term for "in", opse, literally means "late in the day". The term that is usually translated as "dawn", actually just simply means "began to shine" or "was near commencing." Have you ever seen the clouds and horizon begin to shine with a golden-pink lining when the sun starts to set? Since there is a new type of shining at both sunset and sunrise, this word does not neccessarily indicate it was the morning sunrise. It was the Hebrew, Jewish, Biblical, Scriptural Sabbath! HalleluYah! The resurrection of the Messiah is the fuller meaning behind Genesis:
"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" - Genesis 2
Notice how it says "on" the Sabbath day Elohim (Hebrew for Mighty Power, i.e. "God") ended his work. Literally, it says "in" the 7th day. So, just like the priests, who don't finish their work until after the extra Sabbath day offering is made in the afternoon/evening, so too did the Almighty do some type of holy work (the only kind that is permitted, it would seem) on the Sabbath. What did He do before He rested? It would seem to be that the answer is that He resurrected The Lamb slain from the foundation of creation (YaHushuah a.k.a. Jesus).
Many "theologians" have tried to twist this Scripture to make it say, basically, 'I'm going to keep the Law, so you don't have to.' Wrong! It's because we are literally a part of him- if we've been born again - that we do keep it, even though it doesn't make us fully complete to do so. Has the heaven or earth passed away? NO, so the Law is still in play! This is not to be saved, mind you...it is a blessing of grace and rest for born again believers. I don't judge you if you're not a 7th day Sabbath keeper, but I hope to persuade you to be so. Keep in mind: "no flesh shall be justified by the law in His sight: through the law, rather, is knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). The question is, how can you repent if you don't know what sin is? One might say: the Spirit teaches you, rather. Ok, but remember, Messiah said, "the Words I have spoken to you are Spirit, and life" - John 6:63. Also, since Messiah IS the Logos, i.e. the Entire Spoken Word of the Almighty, his commands are not just what are found in the gospel. They are also found in the "old" testament (Hebrew: Tanak) as is the Covenant which he renews with us, to the tune of the same commands, minus the curse of the Law, which he took on himself!
Here's another Spiritual understanding of the letter of the Law concerning the Sabbath:
"For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of Elohim. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as Elohim did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Hebrews 4:4-11).
Many people think that keeping the Sabbath is Judaizing or legalism. The author of Hebrews, however, links faith itself with the Sabbath. It's because we cease from our own works - "righteousness without working for it" (Romans 4:6) - that makes the Sabbath the opposite of works-based salvation or legalism. It's freedom from having to earn-it. Relax! Get some rest! Rise from the dead! The work has been done!
Faith / Faithfulness
One of the most famous gospel verses is "Elohim so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whomsoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everslasting life" - John 3:16. Yet few people understand what Biblical belief actually means. For this purpose, we must go to the Hebrew root word for belief, AMAN, from where we get the affirmation "amein." This root is used for the verb we usually translate as "to believe." However, it literally means, "to confirm, to stand firm, to be faithful." It's also telling that one noun from the same root means "master-builder", while another means, "nursing father." Since we know that, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:14) makes a lot more sense.
But what about the famous verse, "salvation is by grace, through faith, not originating in works, lest any should boast." (Ephesians 2:9). You see, faith is how we are sprinkled with the Blood of the Lamb. This is where it starts. However, works can lead us to faith (see James), but "without faith, it is impossible to please Yah" (Hebrews 11:6). Additionally, "faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). I.e., if your faith doesn't inspire works, it's not really faithful.
So, are we justified by the works of the Law? No. Does that mean we shouldn't do them? Absolutely not! If we don't, it would indicate that our faith is seriously lacking!
Put these coordinates into google maps to see the fate of that crooked serpent, Leviathan, apparently pierced through near Mt. Sinai: