Friday, January 18, 2013

A Rather Poignant Letter to 8 Siblings [most of whom are elderly]

A brother addresses his 8 siblings and over 100 extended family members, most of whom are Christian. I asked the person who wrote the following letter [and who also shared this very personal letter with me] if I could post the letter in its entirety. The person is a good friend of mine. I met him as a result of his love for our God and the Messiah of Israel several years ago.

 A couple days ago [I was asked by a family member] if I had become “Jewish” as someone (unnamed) had made a comment to that effect – or questioned it. For the record I am not “Jewish” any more than any other family member. I suppose it’s possible to have some Jewish blood somewhere in our lineage but certainly not to my knowledge. However, I assume what has prompted such a query has to do with what I have learned over the past few years concerning where our Christianity originated and the return to the Hebraic Roots of our faith.There’s no doubt that much is misunderstood concerning my learning of the background of my faith, based on lifelong beliefs and doctrines as we have understood them to be over the years. There are those of you who cannot accept the things I share as they differ from your understanding of the scriptures and what you, including myself, have been taught over the years. Sometimes it can be scary to veer down a different path and feel as though we may be going off the “deep end”. The truth of the matter is when one begins to see things from a different perspective, while asking the Father, by the Holy Spirit, to bring revelation of His truth, clarity of understanding comes to the forefront of matters that one may have questioned over the years.
One of the biggest objections many Christians state has to do with “being put under the law”, which we have been set free from. In reality, this is a major misunderstanding we have been taught. Also, we use Paul (Rav Shaul) as the one who teaches against the law, when in fact he taught us that we need to live according to God’s commands. Also, we have misunderstood the meaning of Torah – the first five books of the Bible – as being “law” when in fact the true meaning of Torah is instructions. There has been a fear that if we heed the instructions of the “Old Testament” that is putting us under the “bondage” of the law, when in fact King David throughout the Psalms (especially in 119) declares there is freedom in His laws and he delights in them. This certainly does not sound like bondage to me. His “laws” (instructions) were never given to put us under bondage but rather to deliver us from bondage of sin.

There is always the argument of “law” vs. “grace”. Grace is throughout the Old Testament but we fail to see that. One example we see is, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Grace was certainly not first introduced in the New Testament. Of course, it’s not the law which redeems us as only the shed blood of Yeshua, our Redeemer Lamb is the only one that can. However, that does not mean we can simply ignore God’s “laws” for if we have in fact been redeemed we are to live according to righteousness and holiness. The way to do that is in obedience to the ways of the Lord. Neither do we “keep His laws” to keep us saved, but rather to show that we are saved.

There are those who equate those living according to these instructions are into Judaism, which is far from the truth. Judaism is flawed in so many ways it’s pathetic. For the most part these are the doctrines and traditions of man for which Yeshua (Jesus) rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees. (By the way, I prefer to call Jesus Yeshua, his actual Hebrew name, as it literally means “our salvation”, though there is nothing wrong with saying the name Jesus, which is a Greek transliteration of the name Yeshua, which has no meaning.)

Peter stated that all scripture was given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. What scripture was he referring to? It has to have been the “Old Testament” as the “New” had not yet been written. Think about it. Yeshua quoted from the Torah many times and never once did he state, or even imply, that it was done away with, as many Christians claim to be the case. To fulfill the “law” is not doing away with the “law”.

Without going into all the details, which are easily available for further study, much of the church traditions and doctrines have been based on Catholicism. All one needs to do is look at Roman Emperor Constantine around 321 – 333 AD. He instituted changing the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. He claimed to be “Christian”, which was political posturing rather than “conversion”, as he continued in his pagan ways. He gave the edict that all churches celebrate Easter instead of Passover. Death penalties were issued to anyone who celebrated Passover or refused to celebrate Easter. (Christians had continued to observe the Feasts of the Lord, including Passover up to that time.) These came about because of Constantine’s hatred for Jews – he was anti-Semitic to the max. Christmas also came into existence to coincide with the winter solstice, a pagan holiday, continuing much of that practice in the celebration of Christmas. There are so many other things the Nicene Council, under the headship of Constantine under the headship of Constantine, brought about that were not only unscriptural but in defiance of scriptures, which the church at large observes to this day.

Here are some questions for your consideration if you are willing to find the answers to:
1. How did Cain and Abel know what an offering was If God first introduced this in Leviticus?
2. What was the number God told Noah to gather the animals by?
3. What were the laws of Clean and Unclean in Noah’s time if Moses was the one who received the law?
4. If Moses got the law how did Abraham know them? Genesis 26:4-5
5. If Moses received the Law in Exodus Chapter 21-24, how did he know them in Exodus 18:16?

There are so many other things I could mention but this will do for now. Please understand that we really don’t know much of the background of what we have been taught. Many believers are coming into this understanding than previously on a daily basis as God begins to reveal His Word to those willing to see things from a Hebrew mindset. After all the Bible written by Jews for Jews, does it not stand to reason we should think like them if we are to understand the scriptures as inspired by the Holy Spirit?

In respect to that how much do we really know and understand about the Jewishness of Yeshua? For the most part we know very little. Would it not be to our benefit to come to that knowledge? There is a Messianic Movement teaching much of these things, though unfortunately there is also a lot of error that comes with it because they choose to follow the sages of Judaism, rather than the scriptures. Hebraic Roots movement is an off-shoot of the Messianic movement, which also has its set of problems. We are responsible to learn from the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth, and not follow the ways of man.

Hope I’ve been able to clarify some of the reasons for why I have come to a new (to me) understanding of the ways of the Lord. Please know that I have not turned my back on the foundations of my faith, but rather have only grown deeper in them.

Ezekiel 37: 15-20

 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,
 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
  And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?
 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

The two sticks are represented above. So too, is the Blood Covenant guaranteeing the rebirth of Israel and the regathering of the Jewish people.

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