Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book of the Torah

The Word of YHWH teaches that Moshe wrote the “Book of the Torah.” “And it shall be, when he sits upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this Torah in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear YHWH his Elohim, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them” (Deut 17:18,19). Moshe wrote the Torah, and it was first “before the priests and the Levites.” YHWH commanded Torah to be written (Ex 34:27). “And Moshe wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of YHWH: and these are their journeys according to their goings out” (Num 33:2). Torah is not complicated or difficult for the average person to understand; it is provided for everyone. It represents the “character” of YHWH and His values according to His Will and it elevates human life by establishing Justice and Equality for everyone. Torah was revealed to a “mixed multitude” of people from every race and creed; however, it was the Jewish people who were given the responsibility to preserve and establish Torah for each generation. “On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moshe to ba’ar (make plain) this Torah… (Deut 1:5). YHWH commanded that after crossing over the Yarden river that the “people of YHWH” “shall write upon the stones all the words of this Torah very plainly (Deut 27:8). This indicates that everyone should have access to the Torah, and that according to Torah everyone is responsible to observe and do Torah.

Torah instructs us on how to have a Covenant relationship with YHWH. It contains specific commandments for men only, for women only, for priests and for Nazerites, while other commandments are specifically for the nation; therefore, not all commandments are given to every individual. For those who do not have a relationship with YHWH, Torah might be viewed as a book of do’s and don’ts, but in reality Torah is a love letter from a Father to His children that provides instruction and wisdom for life.

Moshe wrote most of the “Book of the Torah” which was successfully copied by his descendants. Joshua also wrote in the Book of the Torah (Joshua 24:26) and David charged his son Solomon to do “as it is in the Torah of Moshe” (1 Kings 2:4). Jehoshaphat brought a revival to his people after the Book of Torah had been neglected for many years, “And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the Torah of YHWH with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.” In 2 Kings 17:37 we read, “the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which He (YHWH) wrote for you, you shall observe to do for evermore; and you shall not fear other elohim.” YHWH directed His prophets to write the Book of the Torah as YHWH directed; therefore, it is the Word of YHWH. 2 Kings 22:8 says, “Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the Torah in the house of YHWH; Hilkiah brought revival to his people from the “book of the Torah of YHWH given by Moshe” (2 Cron 34:14).

So the read in the book of the Torah of Elohim distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8). “And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths and sat under the booths: for since the days of Yeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness. Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the Torah of Elohim. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner” (Nehemiah 8:17-18). The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth) is a time for everyone to learn Torah; it represents a time when all the nations of the earth will come together in Mashiyach’s government and learn of his ways, and walk in Torah. “And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the Torah of YHWH their Elohim one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped YHWH their Elohim” (Nehemiah 9:3).

YHWH says, “Remember the Torah of Moshe my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgements. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of YHWH: And he shall turn  the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:4-6). Notice the “great and dreadful day of YHWH” refers to the coming of Mashiyach be David, NOT to Y’shua’s first coming as Y’shua ben Yoseph. Here we can see that the book of the Torah was known in Malachi’s day. YHWH instructed us to remember the Torah of Moshe BEFORE the coming of the “great and dreadful day of YHWH” till Mashiyach returns again, at his second coming.

Now concerning the dead who (you say) will not rise, Have you read in the book of Moshe of how from the bush Elohim said to him, ‘I AM the Elohim of Awraham and the Elohim of Yitz’chak and the Elohim of Ya’akov. And he is not the Elohim of the dead, but of the living” (Mark 12:26-27). Y’shua not only expects the Sadducees to understand the “book of Moshe” but he tells all the people, “For if only you had believed in Moshe, you would also be believers in me, for Moshe wrote concerning me. And, if you do not believe the writings of that man, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:46-47) After Y’shua heals a man from leprosy he commands “show yourself to the priests, and offer the offering as Moshe commanded, for their testimony” (Matthew 8:4) which are given in Lev 13:2, 49; 14:2, and clearly demonstrates that Mashiyach upheld very intricate aspects of Torah.

Y’shua taught that the Word of Elohim came through Moshe: “For Moshe said to honour your father and your mother, and anyone who reviles his father and his mother, “Let them be put to death!” But you say, “If a man says to his father or to his mother, ‘My offering is what you have gained from me’” then you do not allow him to do anything for his father or for his mother. And you despise the Word of Elohim because of the tradition” (Mark 7:10-13). Here Y’shua is quoting the Book of the Torah from Exodus 20:12; Deut 5:16 and Exodus 21:17; Lev 20:9 and he is upholding Torah but rejecting the traditions of the Pharisees.

After Y’shua arose from the grave, he taught from the book of Torah: “Then Y’shua said to them, Oh fools and of hardened heart and slow to believe in all these things that the prophets spoke! Were not these things necessary that the Mashiyach endured and to enter into his esteem? And he did begin from Moshe and from all the prophets and did expound to them about himself from all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:25-27). From these words we recognise that a foundational understanding of “the Scriptures” is expected of all of Y’shua’s followers. Additionally, “he opened their mind to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). Y’shua also levies a stern charge against the Pharisees. “Did not Moshe give you the Torah, yet not a man among you kept the Torah?(John 7:19) This would be a ridiculous and redundant statement if it were impossible to keep Torah and if Y’shua himself didn’t keep Torah!

Peter stood up and declared from the Book of Torah, “For Moshe said [that] A prophet will raise up for you from Master YHWH from your brothers. Hear him like me in everything that he speaks to you, and it will be [that] every soul which does not hear that prophet, that soul will perish from his people” (Acts 3:22-23). Peter quotes Deut 18:15-16 as an authoritative prophetic commandment and Stephen quotes this same passage from the Book of the Torah in Acts 7:37.

The Gentiles who were first being introduced to Mashiyach learned from the Book of the Torah, “For from ancient generations in all cities Moshe had preachers in the synagogues that on every Shabbat they read him” (Acts 15:21). This was written for the benefit of those who are not Jewish. The Gentiles were instructed by the leading of the Ruach haKodesh, according to the Book of the Torah to “abstain from uncleanness of sacrifices (idols) and from adultery and from things that are strangled and from blood” (Acts 15:20). Mashiyach himself is a continuum of the Book of the Torah, and this continuum extends into the World to Come.

Shaliach Paul (the Apostle) taught the Kingdom of Elohim, testifying of Mashiyach and the Book of the Torah and persuading many souls to believe in Y’shua, “out of the Torah of Moshe, and out of the prophets, “from morning till evening (Acts 28:23). Rav Shaul gives a very stern warning when he says, “For if he who transgressed the Torah of Moshe, died without mercies at the mouth of two or three witnesses; how much more, do you think, will he receive capital punishment who has trodden upon the Son of Elohim and has accounted the blood of his covenant by which he is sanctified, as the blood of all men and has treated the Spirit of favour in an insulting manner?” (Hebrews 10:28-29) By comparing YHWH’s capital punishment from the Torah of Moshe with violations against the “blood of his covenant” or against the “Spirit of favour,” Rav Shaul clearly teaches that Torah is a Living Covenant.

As Malachi contains an exhortation to remember the Torah of Moshe and keep the commandments of YHWH, so does Revelation close with several similar exhortations including; “ And the dragon was enraged against the woman; and he went to make war upon the residue of her seed who keep the Commandments of Elohim and have the testimony of Y’shua” (Rev 12:17). “Here is the patience of the set apart believers who keep the Commandments of Elohim and the faith of Y’shua” (Rev 14:12). “Blessed are they who do His (YHWH’s) Mitzvot, that they may have a right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city” (Rev 22:14).

The Book of the Torah contains the Commandments of Elohim which are a continuum from the time YHWH gave to Adam and Chawwah (Eve), until the World to Come. Mashiyach offered the Renewed Covenant in his blood so that many who accept his offering could open their hearts to YHWH and allow the Ruach haKodesh to write Torah upon their hearts. Those who try to enter the wedding feast but they have no wedding garments are as the five foolish virgins who have no oil; their garments are stained because they wilfully choose to break the Commandments and violate the “Book of Torah.”

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