Monday, November 14, 2011

Man is declared right by works, and not by belief alone

The Torah portion for this last Shabbat was very interesting in the sense that it showed us that righteousness can only be reckoned to a person by the obedience to the Commands of YHWH. Avraham believed in the Words of YHWH and it was reckoned to him as righteousness but only because he did the Commands.

Now what Christianity teaches is that all we need to do is believe in “Jesus” and that we do not have to obey the Commands of YHWH anymore as “Jesus” did away with the Torah. Now imagine if this was really true. Would the Messiah have said, “Do not think that I came to do away with the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to do away with but to fulfill. For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done” (Mat 5:17-18).  Also if the Torah was done away with, then it would give us free reign to do as we please as there is no more a measure by which we can measure ourselves. For the Torah is also the knowledge of sin. If we do not know the Torah, how can we know what sin is, and yet, the Messiah Himself said many times, ‘… go and sin no more…’

Imagine that Noah believed the word of YHWH but did not obey it, he would not have built the boat that saved him and his family and all of mankind would have been destroyed. Imagine Avraham believed but did not obey the Commands of YHWH, he would not have hosted the Messengers of YHWH, nor would he have become the father of many, and he certainly would not have been righteous, nor would he have had a son through whom the people of YHWH would be descendants and the Messiah would not have come. Also Imagine that Mosheh believed but did not obey the Commandments of YHWH, he would not have brought the chosen people out of the bondage of Mitsrayim. Neither would we have the Word of YHWH written down for us today.  

Belief and obedience to the Torah go hand in hand, you cannot truly obey the Torah without belief, and you certainly cannot believe without the observance of the Torah of YHWH. The entire Scriptures testify to this. In fact, the Messiah Yehoshua Himself taught that in the end of days, He will not know those who did not obey the Torah of His Father, “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!” (Mat 7:23). Would you like to be forced to depart from the Son of the Almighty, also meaning that you will not inherit the kingdom of YHWH?

Ya’akov (James), the brother of Yehoshua the Messiah, understood this concept very well as he wrote in his letter, “My brothers, what use is it for anyone to say he has belief but does not have works? This belief is unable to save him. And if a brother or sister is naked and in need of daily food, but one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” but you do not give them the bodily needs, what use is it? So also belief, if it does not have works, is in itself dead. But someone might say, “You have belief, and I have works.” Show me your belief without your works, and I shall show you my belief by my works. You believe that Elohim is one. You do well. The demons also believe – and shudder! But do you wish to know, O foolish man, that the belief without the works is dead? Was not Avraham our father declared right by works when he offered Yitschaq (Isaac) his son on the altar? Do you see that the belief was working with his works, and by the works the belief was perfected? And the Scripture was filled which says, “Avraham believed Elohim, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.”  And he was called, “Elohim’s friend.” You see, then, that a man is declared right by works, and not by belief alone” (James 2:14-24).

Wow, so what Ya’akov is saying here is that in order to be declared righteous, we need to DO the Instruction (Torah) of YHWH and not just believe in it! We see this exact same concept coming from the mouth of the Messiah Himself too, “If you love Me, you shall guard My commands” (John 14:15). He goes on further to say, He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21)

Do you love the Son of the Creator, who is the Messiah Yehoshua? If you say yes, do you guard to do all the Torah of YHWH His Father? “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked” (1 John 2:3-6). Now with this verse in mind, do you really know the Almighty, or do you lie and continue to say that you do not need to obey the Torah anymore but still know the Almighty anyway?

Also notice that it is made very clear that if you profess to follow the Messiah, that you also have to walk as He walked, obeying every Command that is written in the Torah of YHWH.

Let us look at this in a slightly different viewpoint. If I had to walk up to the gates of the White House and say to the guards, “let me in for I know the President!” Do you think the guards will let me enter? Certainly not. Now, if I was standing in front of the gates of the White House, and the President walked out of the White House and saw me, and said to the guards, “Let him in, for I know him well!” I am sure you will agree with me that that would have a different result to the first instance.

The idea of the story is that it does not matter if you know the President, but rather, does he know you? This is exactly the same principle concerning, do I know the Messiah, or does the Messiah know me? In Matthew 7, He makes it clear that if you do not DO all that is written in the Torah of YHWH, then he will profess that He never knew you.

I do not know about you, but me and my house, choose to live according to the Instruction of YHWH and to do all that is written in the Torah of YHWH so that we may find favor in His eyes and inherit eternal life. “Blessed are those doing His commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city” (Rev 22:14).

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