Tag Archives: torah
Matthew 23 is a powerful chapter where we see Y’shua rebuking the Torah-teachers and P’rushim (scribes and Pharisees) for their hypocrisy. Searching Scriptures and the B’rit Hadasha – Renewed Covenant – we find the Prophets rebuking Israel many times. Often times it’s their willful sin and violation of YHVH’s Torah (instructions). Y’shua did the same in Matthew 23. One particular verse is used in many communities; Christian or Messianic/Hebrew Roots, to essentially do the same to modern-day, would-be Torah-teachers or the like.
Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You pay your tithes of mint, dill and cumin; but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah — justice, mercy, trust. These are the things you should have attended to — without neglecting the others!
“And you shall guard My commands and do them. I am יהוה. ~ Leviticus 22:31 (ISR98)
Most bible translations do not use the word “guard” in this verse. Instead, it is often translated as “to keep”. If we look up the Hebrew in this passage we see the word, “shamar” (שָׁמַר). The overall translation in the Hebrew lexicon for H8104 is – to keep, guard, observe, give heed. Further investigation illustrates an even better picture of what it means to keep, or to guard something; a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to.
Yeshua answered him, “If anyone loves Me, he shall guard My Word. And My Father shall love him, and We shall come to him and make Our stay with him.
“He who does not love Me does not guard My Words. And the Word which you hear is not Mine but of the Father Who sent Me.
Solve the riddle… What Words did the Father give us to guard? Jesus didn’t teach a different or new doctrine, He said so right here quite plainly.
Sunday actually made very little headway as a Christian day of rest until the time of Constantine in the fourth century. Constantine was emperor of Rome from AD 306 to 337. He was a sun worshiper during the first years of his reign. Later, he professed conversion to Christianity, but at heart remained a devotee of the sun. Edward Gibbon says, “The Sun was universally celebrated as the invincible guide and protector of Constantine.”
On the venerable Day of the sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits: because it often happens that another Day is not so suitable for grain sowing or for vine planting: lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.
Chamber’s Encyclopedia says this:
Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the Sabbatical observance of that Day is known to have been ordained, is the edict of Constantine, 321 A.D.
Moshe said, “Here is what YHVH says: ‘About midnight I will go out into Egypt, and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting on his throne to the firstborn of the slave-girl at the handmill, and all the firstborn of the livestock. There will be a horrendous wailing throughout all the land of Egypt — there has never been another like it, and there never will be again. ~ Exodus 11:4-7
This was to be the final plague against Pharaoh and Egypt – the death of the firstborn. YHVH gave His people, and any Egyptian who followed, instructions on how to survive this plague. A sign of their faith that He would pass over their homes.
As we all walk in the freedom that Yeshua/Jesus has blessed us with, many times we find that we tend to slip away from the promised blessings of the Holy Scriptures. Many Christians go to church every Sunday and Wednesday, are very active in their participation, and generally try to live their lives in a manner that is pleasing to YHVH. What I hear quite often though from these devoted followers of Yeshua/Jesus, is that even though they believe, and even though they love YHVH, and even though they do all the things that they are taught by the Pastors and Sunday School teachers, they still somehow feel a million miles apart from the relationship and intimacy that the Holy Scriptures promise for them that “believe”. I hear the same sermons over and over on the radio and from the pulpits, covering the same topic as we are here. The Pastors and Apologists are always seeming to have sermons on being patient, and telling believers to be faithful, even if they feel their prayers are not being answered, even if they are experiencing tribulations, even though they may feel as if God had forgotten them. When I hear these things it saddens me, because there truly is an easy fix to all these problems. If a believer is not experiencing the promised blessings we get in the scriptures, there is a reason, and it is NEVER that YHVH has forgotten about them. We have an issue here. Believers are truly trying to gain that intimate relationship, but the churches all seem as if they are shallow graves, a lot of praise and worship, but really and truthfully, they bring no real change in people’s lives.
For anyone who has been in this walk of T’shuva – returning to YHVH’s Word, it seems like a pretty simple question. However, while discussing our beliefs with family members and/or friends this is a common question that sometimes leaves me stunned. Then we must not forget everyone starts this walk by crawling. Baby steps. So, we’re introducing a “Back to Basics” series that will do just that; take us back to the basics for those who are new to Torah observance or are simply looking for answers – simple answers.