Yeshua the Living Torah
|Written by Luana Fabri|
The book of Psalms begins with these words: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law (Torah) of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:1,2)
To king David, the Torah was the greatest gift God had given. In Psalm 19:7&8, David says of the Torah: "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes."
YHVH gave the Torah to the children of Israel to make them 'holy' - set apart. It was to distinguish them from all other nations, just as He, the LORD, was set apart from all other gods. "Be ye set apart as I am set apart" (Lev. 11:45; 1Pet. 1:16), was God's desire for His people. The Torah gave Israel boundaries and a standard to live by; it protected them from becoming degenerate and lawless. At the close of every Sabbath, the Jewish people pray: "Blessed are you O God, King of the universe, who separates between the Holy and the secular, between light and darkness, between the seventh day and the six days of creation, between the Jewish people and the nations." Without the Torah, the Israelites would have been no different to other tribal societies, where brother is against brother and every man against his neighbour. The Torah separated the Jew and raised him above the ways of the nations. The Jew was (and still is) commanded to love God and keep His commandments, love and respect his neighbour and to respect himself.
Ages before the Torah was given at Sinai in written form, the Torah WAS. The gospel of John begins with: "In the beginning was the Torah, and the Torah was with God and the Torah was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made... In him was life and that life was the light of men... And the Torah became flesh and made his dwelling among us." The Midrash makes a similar statement in saying that "God sought advice from the Torah before He created the universe" (Pirkei Rabbi Eliezer). Kabbalistic writings also state that "the Torah is the 'head' of creation and the 'blueprint' of creation, and therefore preceded it." (The Bahir, p96 of A. Kaplan's Commentary).
The Torah of YHVH became flesh in Yeshua. He is the Living Torah; in him is the fullness of salvation. Yeshua, the Living Torah, came first to Israel because he was the fulfilment of what Israel already had. If we try and separate him from the written Torah, we will not understand who he is. He is the Messiah, the Torah in garments of flesh who came to dwell among us.
When we read in Romans 10:4, that "Messiah is the end of the law", it does not mean that the law is finished with, but that Yeshua is the embodiment or fulfilment of the law. He is the full comprehension of Torah. The Jewish New Testament reads: "For the goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah..." So in fact, everyone who walks according to the Torah, WILL reach that goal.
If we do away with the law, we end up in a state of lawlessness, for it is the law that defines good and evil. Ultimately, it is the Torah which judges us, for the Torah is Yeshua himself. This is why the Scripture says: "...all who have sinned within the framework of Torah will be judged by Torah. For it is not merely the hearers of Torah whom God considers righteous; rather, it is the doers of what Torah says who will be made righteous in God's sight" Romans 2:12,13 (JNT).
People often refer to God's Law as 'bondage', rather than seeing it as our protection. YHVH gave the Torah to separate His people from other people; to separate clean from unclean, life from death and light from darkness. It is not man made laws I speak of, but those everlasting instructions which God has given us. Both Yeshua and Paul confronted those who put more weight on legalistic issues and religious traditions rather than the Torah and stressed that these were not to take priority over the Scriptures.
Often we hear that it is more important to do things 'from the heart', rather than by obeying laws. The Bible says that "to obey is better than sacrifice", and as Judaism puts it, "Obey the laws of God! And if your heart catches up - well, that's even better!"
When people reject the laws of God, they lose restraint in their lives. They go out of control. On a few occasions I have visited institutions for the severely mentally and physically disabled. Some of the people there were so "out of control" that they had to be physically restrained by being tied to chairs and beds. If this was not done, they would have caused much physical damage to themselves and to those around them. When a person is given a "restraining order" it means that he or she is unable to cross certain boundaries.
When people say we are no longer under the law, they are in fact saying that they are no longer under restraint. When God's boundaries are removed and people simply do "what is right in their own eyes", then they are heading for deception.
The Torah protects us from stepping over certain physical, spiritual and emotional /mental boundaries. The importance of keeping Torah is to safeguard our bodies, souls and spirits from becoming unrestrained. Proverbs 29:18 says: "Where there is no prophecy (revelation), the people cast off restraint; but happy are those who keep the law."
Rejection of Torah leads to lawlessness, degeneration and ultimately, spiritual death.
Consider well the "spirit of lawlessness already at work", that would cause even the elect to be deceived. In 2 Thessalonians 2:7,8 we read: "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. And then the lawless one will be revealed..." (read whole chapter). The Jewish New Testament translates it this way: "For already this separating from Torah is at work secretly, but it will be secretly only until he who is restraining is out of the way. Then the one who embodies separation from Torah, will be revealed..." 2 Thessalonians 2:7-9 (JNT). Just as Yeshua is the embodiment of the Torah, the man of lawlessness will be the embodiment of separation from Torah.
Why is the law so important? Because, as Paul says in Romans 2:20, the "law is the embodiment of knowledge and truth." And in Romans 2:13, "It is the DOERS of the law who will be justified."
It is through lack of knowledge and truth that people perish. The sickness in the world today, and unfortunately even among God's people, is that they have forsaken His boundaries and laws. Marriages break down, immorality is rampant, integrity and ethics have gone out the door. It is time to return to the God of Israel and walk in the teaching of Yeshua - His covenants, His ordinances, His divine commands and His appointed times.
Throughout Psalm 119, King David rejoices in the laws of YHVH. I often wondered how anyone could get so excited over God's laws, but as I read Psalm 119 again and again, I began to see what David's "tabernacle" was built on. David knew that the Torah was the foundation of the House of the LORD. Judaism teaches that there are three things which are inseparable - God, Torah and Israel. The Prophet Amos saw in the future the restoration of all things. In his final words of prophecy he says: "In that day, I (the LORD) will restore the fallen tabernacle of David. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins and build it as it used to be..." Amos 9:11.
When Yeshua returns, the unity of God, Torah and Israel will be restored in the earth: "Many nations will come and say, 'Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.' The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."
Among those who love the truth, this restoration has already begun. For those who have not yet embraced the Torah as their lifestyle, don't wait till Messiah comes, but rather be counted now as among the people of God - the Household of Israel.
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Yeshua the Living Torah