|Our treasured sefer **Torah scroll, which is over 350 years old.|
This post is part of a series on WORDS, which is my word for 2016. In this series, I hope to write about this subject on a weekly basis. I don't have an outline of how it will go, but hope to be led by the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) in the writings. I hope to write what He has impressed on me in the past week.
Over the past several months, I have re-read through the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I paid close attention to the words of Yeshua. I grew up with a red-letter King James Version of the Bible, and I can remember being puzzled by many of His words. Some of them not only puzzled me, but made me tremble.
I remember, as a nine year old girl, reading words of the Ten Commandments which were posted on the wall of my elementary school classroom. I was taught them in church and Sunday School. I read in the New Testament the words of Yeshua, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Naturally, as a child, I wasn't breaking any of the Ten Commandments, except the one about the Sabbath. That one made me tremble, so I asked my pastor about it. He said, "The Sabbath was changed because Jesus rose on Sunday." That didn't make sense to me because He was crucified on Friday (the Sabbath) and if he rose on Sunday, that was not three days. I might have been young, but I could add.
Over the years, I'd ask questions of my teachers when I was confused about the words of Yeshua, but their answers did not satisfy me. I kept seeking, and the over-all content of my questions centered around the Jewishness of Jesus. My common sense told me that we / I should be following Judaism, but my pastors kept telling me that being under the law was a fate worse than death. They warned that there was no way to keep G-d's laws. They made it sound really scary. Since then, I've found out differently, but that is another blog post.
A while back, there was a popular acronym going around: WWJD, which stood for What Would Jesus Do? Every time I'd see it, I'd think, "He'd go to the synagogue." This was way before I found Messianic Judaism. The Ruach Hakodesh was speaking to my heart, but my teachers assured me I was wrong.
Since I've found Messianic Judaism, the words of Yeshua that puzzled me are now clear. He never intended to start a new religion called Christianity. He intended for His followers to continue to follow the Torah, which is what He and His disciples did. He, along with his forerunner, John the Baptist, preached teshuvah, a Hebrew word that means repent of your sins and return to Torah.
Yeshua preached this gospel before He was crucified, died and rose again. Yes, part of salvation is to believe that His blood was poured out for our sins, but repentance and obedience to His commandments (teshuvah) is a part of that gospel also. Listen to the WORDS of Yeshua in Matthew 28:
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
My churches / teachers taught this as the Great Commission, and I was trained to witness and lead people to accept Yeshua as their Savior and be baptized. I was not taught however, to "observe all things whatsoever He commanded" because my teachers said the Old Testament was done away with. His commandments were not to be observed any longer. That was the dreaded "under the law" thing. It puzzled me, especially since they preached often on Malachi 3:10 about the tithes.
As I began to put two and two together I saw that if, as I was taught, Yeshua and G-d were actually the same, as the doctrine of the Trinity said, then surely Yeshua wrote those Ten Commandments and all of the other commandments in the Old Testament. He didn't just give commandments in the New Testament. He is the author of all of the commandments, and the new ones do not disagree with the old ones. They do, however, support and reinforce those commandments. The Scriptures teach that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
I encourage you to ponder these things, and I encourage you to re-read the first four books of the New Testament, and see how often Yeshua says, "Keep my commandments". You may be surprised.
** a sefer Torah scroll is faithfully copied from the scroll recorded by Moshe (Moses), spoken to Him by ADONAI. (Which could lead to another blog post one day, Gail-Friends, since we have so many different translations available today.)
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