David’s Comment: Israel & the Church (Pt.3) – The Torah is the Amazing Grace of YHVH
Matthew 5:18-19 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (NKJ) Preface to my Comment: Torah = Instructions (not law) Torah comes from another Hebrew word Yarah = bullseye of a target The original Torah is the first 5 books of the Bible, but in the 4 Gospels, Yeshua is teaching / instructing from the Torah, and in most of the Epistles, Paul and the other authors are also teaching / instructing how to apply the Torah in the New Covenant, so in reality all of the Bible, except Revelation is the Torah or the instructions of GOD
As I was watching a well known Bible teacher on a Christian TV channel a few years ago, I was taken back when I heard him say “Grace began at the cross.” Oh how seriously wrong that statement is, and it comes from the undercurrent of Replacement Theology that flows beneath a major part of Christian theology. I am sure this preacher is not the only Christian to have said or taught that Grace began at the Cross, so lets take a closer look at the statement ……… We must ask ourselves ….. Was it not grace that God covered the sin of Adam & Eve ? Was it not grace that God saved Noah & his family ? Was it not grace that God offered to spare Sodom & Gomorrah for the sake of 10 righteous men ? Was it not grace that God saved Rahab & her family ? Was it not grace that God saved Nineveh? And was it not grace that God gave the Israelites His Torah ? Most preachers and Bible teachers see Grace as the opposite of the Torah, however I believe that the Torah is the Grace of GOD, because He loves us so much that He gave us His Torah to help us to live the best life possible and to prepare us for eternal life in the Kingdom. But for 1900 years, since the Greeks and Romans took over the leadership of the Church, most Christians have been taught that we are not under law, but under Grace.” I believe that kind of attitude is a total affront to the GOD who was so gracious that He gave the people He loves His Torah to direct them towards a lifestyle that He designed to benefit our body, soul and spirit. Therefore let is take another look at the Torah and what it really is about ……….
Firstly – the Hebrew word which is always translated “law”, “Torah”, does not mean “law.” More accurately “Torah” means instructions. Mark Ensign, an attorney and an elder in a US Messianic congregation wrote an excellent article titled “The Torah is Not Law” in which he wrote that the Torah is not a set of laws but a set of instructions from a loving Father to help His children live in a way that is in their best interest. He also wrote that desiring to follow the Torah should be the natural response of everyone who has a revelation that GOD is indeed a loving Father, and of what He has done for us. We do not do our best to keep the Torah to be saved, but because we are being saved.
Secondly – According to John chapter 1, Yeshua is the Word that became flesh – that means that Yeshua is the Living Torah. He is the living, walking, talking Torah. He perfectly fulfilled the Torah. Yeshua even told us in Matthew 5:17 that He did not come to destroy the Torah, but to fulfill it. He added that not one Jot or Tittle of the Torah will pass away until this world passes away. Has the Torah become obsolete in the New Covenant ? Most would answer yes. But that is inconsistent with other foundational Church statements. On one hand we state ” God is the same yesterday, today & tomorrow – He does not change ! ” But on the other hand we declare that the Torah is no longer relevant to those in the New Covenant, however the New Covenant is in fact the Torah written on our hearts – Jeremiah 31:31. Most will agree that the ultimate goal of the Christian life is to become more like Yeshua every day. Well He was a Torah keeping Jewish man.
I am sure King David, a man after God’s own heart, is also one of the main Bible figures we aim to emulate. All the way through the Psalms, David re-iterates how much he loves God’s Torah. In Psalm 19:7 David writes, The Torah of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.
Lets look at the Torah in a more practical way. Imagine yourself at the new car dealership. The salesman hands you the keys to your new car and the service manual. With great joy you take the keys, but you tell him to keep the book. a/ Thats rude …. and b/ your new car will not last as long as the manufacturer designed it, if you do not service it according to the instruction book. When we cry out that we are not under God’s Torah, we are doing the same thing. We are taking God’s gracious offer of salvation, but telling him we don’t want Him to tell us how to live. a/ that is being rude to GOD and b/ our lives are not going to be as good as He has purposed for us. Lets look at it in another practical way …….. You have played rugby football since you were a youngster. At age 45 you decide that you want to play soccer. a/ you must change your team uniform, and b/ you must change the rules you play by. You can not go out on to the soccer field wearing a rugby uniform and playing by rugby rules. If you do you will be sent off ! A good player observes the right rules.
If you are not Jewish, you have been grafted-in( Romans 11:17) to the Natural Olive Tree, Israel, to become a member of God’s household. As we read in Ephesians, in Messiah Yeshua there is no difference between Jew or Gentile, male or female. We all need to live as Godly, Yeshua-like lives as possible. We read the same thing in the Hebrew scriptures in Numbers 15:15-16 ‘One ordinance shall be for you of the assembly and for the stranger who dwells with you, an ordinance forever throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. ‘One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger who dwells with you.'” (NKJ) The stranger here is referring non Jewish people.
Please understand I am not saying that you have to become Jewish – that is physically impossible. But you are now a part of the Household of Israel, and we do believe it is beneficial to follow the Torah (instruction manual) that our Creator gave us, as best we can, so that we can enjoy the maximum this life has to offer. I believe that the optimum way to walk with the God of Israel and His Son the Messiah / King of Israel is to live according to His instructions (Torah) and to follow as closely as we can the instructions that the loving Creator designed His creation to live, so that our lives will be long, healthy and prosperous.
If you want to know more here is a very interesting panel discussion on the subject of getting back to the roots of the faith https://vimeo.com/161488586 If you have not read my Restoration of the the Church booklet, you can read it in various languages here http://www.out-of-zion.com/davids-pdf-booklets-free-downloads
The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on all of the land given to the Jewish people by the GOD of Israel. Please pray that all Israel will turn back to their GOD. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for a breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom ….. David & Josie h
This Week’s News Items
1. PM Netanyahu Calls on the International Community to Stop Iran JNN News Aug 30
PM Netanyahu is calling on the international community to ?act immediately? to end murderous Iranian attacks on Israel as well as Iran?s aggression and expansion in the Middle East. He also reiterated that Israel?s government would continue to defend Israel?s security ?however that may be necessary.? The comments come amid heightened tensions in Israel?s North, following the IDF?s large-scale military operation last weekend in Syria to thwart a plot by Tehran to attack Israeli communities using ?killer drones.? PM Netanyahu also spoke against the backdrop of threats from Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah who accused Israel of recently attacking a terror base deep inside Lebanon. Nasrallah responded to the attacks by saying that Israel will ?face the consequences, and I repeat: the country will face the consequences.? PM Netanyahu in a warning to the Lebanese government said that Israel will hold it responsible for Hezbollah attacks from Lebanese territory, and it will target its infrastructure if Hezbollah launches rockets from Lebanon. Pray that the International community will start to stand with Israel.
2. Iran Behind Drone Attacks on Israel JNN News Aug 30th
Iranian General Javad Ghaffari, under the direct orders of the ‘Quds Force’ Commander Qasem Soleimani, led last weekend?s Iranian drone attack against Israel. Ghaffari currently serves as the commander of the Iranian forces in Syria and leads the Iranian efforts to embed itself in Syria. As Israel successfully blew the ?killer drones? to bits, it was indeed another sad outcome for Iranian chief Soleimani?s years-long dream of successfully striking Israel. While Israel admitted being behind the explosions that rocked the Syrian skies, Iran on Sunday 25 August 2019 denied that anything had happened. Nevertheless, Hezbollah Twitter accounts released pictures of two operatives killed in the strike. Another Iranian operative was also said to have been killed. A day earlier across the border in Lebanon, the Hezbollah terrorist group reported that two Israeli drones one of which was armed crashed in Beirut causing damage to the group?s media offfice and injuring three people. Hezbollah warned that it would respond to the loss of its terrorists in Syria and the drones over Beirut at a time that suits the group. Pray that GOD will sovereignly deal with the leaders of Iran 3.
Israel and Hezbollah Trade Blows United With Israel News Sept 1st
Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorists on Sunday fired rockets into northern Israel, striking several targets but causing no injuries or casualties. Hezbollah announced on Sunday it had destroyed an IDF vehicle near the border with a missile attack, however not a single Israeli was harmed in the strike launched by the Islamic terror group on Israel. Speaking just an hour after the attack by Hezbollah, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced, ?We have no casualties ? not even a scratch. We were attacked with several anti-tank missiles. We responded with 100 shells and firing from the air by various means.? The IDF urged residents near the border to stay indoors and ordered public bomb shelters to remain open. ?A new empire has arisen, the goal of which is to defeat us. They dispatch proxies. We are dealing with extremist Islam led by various elements, but in the end, the biggest threat to our existence comes from Iran,? explained PM Netanyahu. Pray that Hezbollah has the sense not to push Israel into another war – for their sake 4. PM Netayahu Praises Bahrain & UAE World Israel News Sept 2nd At a Tuesday cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the remarks of the foreign ministers of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) condemning Hezbollah?s aggression. ?This sounds like the Messianic times,? the prime minister said. ?But it shows the fundamental change taking place in the Middle East. The Arab world also understands that the Iranian aggression endangers not only Israel, but the entire region as well. I call on additional countries to come out against the aggression of Iran and its proxies.? The foreign ministers were reacting to the Sunday attack against Israel. Hezbollah terrorists launched Kornet anti-tank missiles into Israeli territory, narrowly missing an IDF armored ambulance. Hezbollah released a video claiming it hit the vehicle. Hezbollah said it carried out the attack in revenge for an Israeli strike against Hezbollah terrorists in Syria, who were about to launch a drone attack on Israeli territory. According to reports, Hezbollah is planning a second revenge attack for the destruction of a heavy mixer ? a component critical to the manufacture of fuel for precision missiles. Pray that more Arab nations support Israel’s action against Iran and its proxy terror organisations
5. Israelis Suffering from Stress Disorders Because of Hamas Terror Attacks JNN News Sept 2nd
Last Friday 6,000 Palestinians participated in the weekly ?March of Return? protests along the border between Gaza and Israel. The Gaza health ministry said 75 rioters were injured during clashes. An Israeli soldier was also wounded. This is each Friday?s tragic norm. Violent demonstrations have continued for 16 months on Israel?s Gaza borders in the South. Thousands of Hamas-controlled people from the Gaza Strip, including entire families with their children, show up to shake their fists, yell threats, hurl rocks and explosives, set off fire balloons, and openly display their hatred against the Jewish State. When someone gets hurt, especially children who are encouraged by Hamas officials to dray close to border fences for publicity reasons, then Israel is immediately smeared by world media. And that is the point; to stir up more anti-Israel bias, distortion, and deception among the nations, and more global pity for the ‘Palestinian’ perpetrators being presented as ?victims?. During the week, Israel?s southern community members are often awakened in the night with Iron Dome sirens chasing them to nearby bomb shelters as terrorists lob rockets and explosives from the Gaza Strip. A further result of the ongoing heartbreak is the sharp rise in the number of Israelis seeking help for PTSD in southern Israel. According to media sources at least 327 people received treatment from mental health services across communities bordering the Gaza Strip this summer due to post-traumatic stress disorder. Pray for wisdom and strategy for Israel?s government and military leaders as they deal with unrelenting terror attacks organised by Hamas, and that Hamas rockets fired at Israel?s southern communities will fall short of civilian areas, and for the infallible accuracy of Israel?s Iron Dome system. Please pray for the comforting and emotional shielding of victims young and old in the midst of constant life-threatening explosions and disruption of their daily lives.
6. PM Netanyahu Pledges to Keep a Jewish Prescence in Hebron Forever Times of Israel News Sept 5th
Hebron will never be cleansed of Jews? We are not strangers in Hebron. We will remain here forever,? Netanyahu declared at a ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of the Hebron massacre, in which Arab rioters murdered 67 of their Jewish neighbors in the ancient city. In November of 2018, then-defense minister Avigdor Liberman announced that his office?s legal adviser had adopted an opinion that would allow Hebron?s settlers to return to the market, which Jews owned well before the establishment of the State of Israel but fled after the 1929 Hebron massacre. Pray that Israel will take back sovereignty over all of the Promised Land
7. Israel Sends Aid Team to the Bahamas INN News Sept 5th Israel is sending aid to the Bahamas to assist in the clean-up after the recent hurrican. The first team would include five experts and will arrive in the Bahamas by Thursday to assess the situation and provide immediate relief. After the initial evaluation, a new group of experts will join the team. ?The main challenge is to reach the area of the disaster,? Polizer said. ?We will try to understand in which spot there is the greatest need for help, and we will send our guys there. ?We intend to work in full cooperation with the local government and to show solidarity with the Bahamas. Our heart goes out to them, and we would do whatever is possible to help.? He added that the organization will not hand out food but will provide emergency equipment such as water filters, blankets and tents. Pray that the Israeli team is a blessing to the people of the Bahamas