Who We Are To Be Part 7 – The Light of Dawn

Isaiah 8:13-16 says, “ADONAI/The LORD Shaddai is the only one you are to regard as holy, He alone are you to fear, He alone are you to dread, and He will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel He will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.  And for the people of Jerusalem He will be a trap and a snare.  Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.  Bind up the testimony and seal up the law/Torah among my disciples.”

In Romans 9:33 Paul says that the stone that makes men stumble is Yeshua and in 1 Timothy 2:6 he calls Yeshua the testimony that was given in its time.  So, Yeshua is the stumbling block and the testimony.

Historically, Christians have held tight to the testimony of Jesus and the Jews have held tight to the Torah. However, as we see in the Isaiah passage it is about both.

Revelation 12:17 lets us know it is the ones who hold to the testimony of Yeshua and keep the commandments of God that the dragon goes after. Both are important!

Finally, we see this in Isaiah 8:20, “To the Law/Torah and the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they will have no dawn.”

Is it any wonder that the enemy wants us to keep these two, the testimony (Yeshua) and the Torah, apart?  It is that all too familiar strategy of divide and conquer. Let’s not give him that satisfaction!  Let us hold to the testimony, Yeshua, and the Torah!

Now, as we begin to witness to our older brother, the Jews, we need to be honest with ourselves and them.  We have presented in the past a Messiah they could not recognize.  Not only have we presented a Gentile looking Messiah devoid of His Jewishness, but we have also said that because He fulfilled the Torah/Law that we don’t have to obey it.  That is and has been a big turn off to the Jewish people and rightly so.

We have essentially said to them, “believe in Jesus to come to God, but don’t serve and obey God.”  That is essentially what they hear.  And it is and has been a huge clue to them that the one we are presenting to them, at least the way we have presented Him, sounds and looks more like a false prophet than the real Messiah written about in the Tanakh (what we call the Old Testament).  Let me explain this statement.

Deuteronomy 13 says that even if someone prophesies and it comes true or does signs and wonders (miracles), but they lead you away from your God and from serving Him they are a false prophet.  Since to serve Him means to obey Him the false prophet is encouraging you to disobey the one you claim to serve. 

Even Yeshua when speaking of those who come to Him and say, “Lord, Lord didn’t we do things in Your Name,” he said to them, “Go away from me you workers of Lawlessness, I never knew you.”(Matthew 7:22-23)  This comment of Yeshua takes place in the context of a discussion about false prophets.  This should be very sobering to us.  We need to be very careful about how we present our Messiah.

Yeshua was a Jew and practiced the Torah.  If He did not He would have been a sinner and not an acceptable sacrifice.  He not only practiced the Torah, He also taught the Torah.  If He didn’t He would have been coming against the teachings of His Father.  He Himself said that His words were the words of His Father (John 8:28, 14:24).  Remember, He is the Living Torah, which also means He would have been coming against Himself.  He would have also, at the least, been calling Himself the least in the Kingdom according to His own words (Matthew 5:17-20).

Yeshua is the Living Torah, He practiced the Torah, He taught the Torah and promised the coming of the Holy Spirit who would also teach us the Torah (John 14:26 & 16:13-15, Romans 8).

My point is this:  Let’s be honest about our mistakes of the past and seek to rectify them with truth and grace.  Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past.  

I also want to say I am not passing judgement on those who have taught this.  I believe those who have come before us have done the best that they knew to do from what was taught to them. It is not about them, but about us and how we present Yeshua now and in the future, now that the LORD has opened our eyes.

“To the Law/Torah and the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they will have no dawn.”

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Who We Are To Be Part 4

Today I want to look at some passages from Isaiah and to look at some of the things God says to His people in preparing them for the last days and the great harvest.

In Isaiah 51 He begins by telling His people to listen to Him and for those who seek Him and His righteousness to look from the rock from which they were cut namely Abraham and Sarah who obeyed Torah (Genesis 26:4-5). We are to listen and hear Him, we are to shema for His Law comes out from Him and is a light to the nations.

Now that we are listening He calls His people to Awake, Awake three time in chapters 51 and 52. Awake, Awake to clothe with strength and be awake as in days of old. Awake, Awake to why the God sends His wrath on His people and that He is the only One who can comfort and place His wrath on their tormentors. Awake, Awake to clothe with strength again and put on the garments of splendor as God raises you up, you who were redeemed. He gives the place of honor.

God/Elohim wants His people to be awake in these day and how many times have we heard comments about the body of Yeshua being asleep. He does not want us to be asleep, but awake. We will have to be awake if we are to truly seek Him and spread His message of peace, good tidings, and salvation.

So let us awaken and remember where we come from, remember our fathers and those who went before us. Remember what our Father has called us to, to Himself. He wants a people who can be His ambassadors and send forth the message of His Kingdom. However, that is a job for those who are awake, not for those who are asleep.

Awake, Awake people of God and see His righteousness, justice, and salvation go forth to the nations!  Awake, Awake to see revival among His people!

But what does true revival look like? If revival begins with the people of Elohim and the job of the Holy Spirit is to transform us into the image of the Son (Romans 8:29), as well as, to help us obey the commands of God (Ezekiel 36:27) then what kind of life is He leading us, the redeemed, to live?

In 1 John 2:4-6 Scripture says, “Whoever says ‘I know Him’ but does not obey His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever obeys His word, in him truly the love of God is made perfect. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way that He/Yeshua walked.

So if we are to walk as Yeshua walked and the Spirit’s job is to transform us to be like Yeshua and the means by which He does that is to help us obey the commands of God, then the question still stands, what does that look like?

To most of the body of Christ/Messiah you might say that looks quite Jewish. Why? Because Yeshua was a Jew and when He returns He will be a Jew, in fact He is the King of the Jews, King of Israel! Therefore, He lived as a Jew and was obedient to the Law/Torah of God, His Father. So if we are to be like Him won’t our life look like His and won’t we do what He did? Yes!

It is interesting to note, that while to Gentile believers it may appear Jewish, to a Jew it may, at first, seem quite Gentile.  Just in accepting Yeshua/Jesus as their Savior to begin with could appear Gentile to their fellow Jews, not to mention leaving behind some or many of the Rabbinical teachings (the tradition of the elders/oral law). 

So let’s keep in mind the truth of this life is not to be more Jewish or to be more Gentile, depending on your perspective, but to be more Biblical.

As Paul said at the end of chapter 3 of Romans we do not annul the Law/Torah of God by grace, rather we uphold that same Law/Torah.  We obey the commands of Elohim/God.  We obey the Bible!

Therefore, true revival is one being redeemed by the Lamb and then living obedient to the Law/Torah of God (living as Jesus/Yeshua lived) by the power of the Spirit (Romans 8). It is about a transformed life!