Tuesday, February 26, 2013

So you say you follow the Torah

There has been a growth in the amount of people who claim to be Torah followers among the gentile nations lately. Many groups and organizations, like Hebrew Roots and Messianics etc, all claim to be turning back to the Torah and its ways. But is this what is really happening? One passage in the Scriptures comes to mind when I think about this, “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name? And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!” (Mat 7:22-23)

The Messiah was speaking of those who call him Master and even do many things in his name. So it is clear that he is not speaking of the worldly people and those from other religions, but rather of those who profess his name. This idea should get everyone who does profess his name to evaluate themselves and make sure that they do not fall under this category of lawlessness who the Messiah will say, “depart from me” in the end of days, which is a very scary idea.

Every single one of us, who profess to follow the Torah, has the duty to ourselves to test and make sure that we really are following the Torah. Many people claim to do so, but there actions make it very clear that they do not.

The message of the Torah is a life of selflessness and loving the Almighty and one another. Every single command in the Torah teaches us how to love. We cannot rely on our own understanding of love, but must do as the Torah teaches us, which is the instruction for true love. The Torah teaches us not to murder, steal, commit adultery, curse or harm our parents etc which are all destructive and it also teaches us to respect our fellow humans. But do we really do this? Or do we only do this when it suites us to do it? The Torah requires it all the time.

Being a Torah follower, we are supposed to be a light to the world and live by example. If we do not, then how can the non-believers ever see anything good that might convince them to seek something better? If we look like and do what the world does and looks like, then there is no difference and there cannot be any good in the world, and as such, we are not following the instructions of the Almighty.

Let us look at a few examples of things that are not always thought of as transgressions of the Torah, but are clear transgressions.

Do not steal, which is one of the Ten Commandments, but do you really keep this commandment? Now we really have to start being honest with ourselves as we are not going to answer to one another, but rather to the Almighty who knows what you have done or not.

Do you have DVD’s that are not originals, or movies that have been downloaded or copied but have copyright protection? If so, then you are a thief and have transgressed the Torah.

Do you have music that you have not bought, including MP3’s and copies that are protected by copyright laws etc? And do you freely share any copyrighted music with your friends? If so, then you are a thief. (this does not include any freeware music which is perfectly fine to give out).

Do you have any software (which is not freeware) installed on your computer that you use that has not been bought, or for which you do not have a working license for? If so, then you are stealing.

One might justify that the authors and owners of the software, music and movies are all rich and that the few things that you have does not make any difference to these people, or some other similar excuse. But is that what you are going to say to the Almighty when you stand in front of Him and He asks you why you broke the Commandment of, “do not steal?” Will your excuse be acceptable to the Almighty?

If we do such things, then we are supporting theft and are not living as an example to the nations. If we support criminal activities, then we are no different to the world and, in fact, contribute to the destruction that is caused by stealing.

This is a very wide field and can be applied in all situations of our lives. I am going to use a few examples that should stimulate your thought process and understanding in other situations too.

Do you obey the rules of the road as set by your local government? If not, then you are transgressing the Torah. Let me explain further. The rules of the road were set in place to protect the people and keep them as safe as possible. If everyone on the roads kept to all the rules of the road, then it would almost totally prevent any deaths and losses on the roads, but this is unfortunately not the case and many thousands of lives are lost annually because of people not obeying the rules of the road. Are you contributing to this destruction or are you being an example of righteousness?

Do you keep to the speed limits of the roads? If not, then you do not respect any of the other people around you as you are creating a dangerous situation for them that could result in damages and even loss of life.

Do you quickly speed around another car that is keeping to the speed limit just to gain one cars position and get to your destination a fraction quicker? If so, then you are stealing… you are breaking the law and causing the person who you pushed in front of to lose money in the form of using more petrol, waiting for you, and also wear and tear such as break pads from having to break harder for you. It is a very selfish and destructive action. You are supposed to be an example to the world and keep to the laws of the land.

Do you stop at a stop street and at the traffic light as required (even if there are no other cars around), or do you just slow down at the stop street or quickly jump over a traffic light that has just turned red when you could have stopped? If so, then you are transgressing the Torah and putting lives in danger and even stealing from others. I have found that the person who does not intend to stop at a stop sign but rather just slow down, approaches it at a high speed usually jumps in front of the law abiding citizen who does stop and causes loss of petrol, and might even cause an accident in the process, just so that you can jump in front of one car and be king of the road. This is a clear violation of the Torah.

Here are some other examples of ways people transgress the Torah.

Do you smoke? If so, then you are transgressing the Torah. I am speaking more along the lines of smoking in public or around other people, but not limited to that alone. All people are allergic to smoke as it always has a negative effect on your body. Second hand smoke is destructive and is known to kill non-smokers too. If you smoke in front of anyone else, you are causing harm to that person and could even contribute to the death of that person and even yourself.

Are you honest concerning paying your taxes? If not, then you are transgressing the Torah by lying and stealing.

Do you pay your employees of time? If not, then you are transgressing the Torah.

I could mention many more things, but think that you get the idea and can reason within yourself what other activities are not acceptable to the Almighty.

We are to be a light to the world and live by example in righteousness. We are to love one another and not take away from each other. We are to put others before ourselves and not be selfish.

If we cannot submit to local authorities, whom the Almighty has put above us, then how can we submit to the ultimate authority who is YHWH the Almighty.

So are you one of those who do many mighty works in the name of the Messiah, but yet live a lawless life by transgressing the Torah? This is something you need to ask yourself and be honest about too.

May we all submit to the Torah and all that it commands so that we all learn to love each other with the love of the Almighty.


  1. Shalom David, I would like to know what you think of people who consider themselves Torah observant, but because they work for some or other emergency service are required to work on the Sabbath sometimes.

    1. Shalom Johan

      First of all, I am not the authority here to decide what is right and what is wrong on this subject. Everyone is going to answer for themselves to the Almighty one day.

      What Judaism teaches and what is also the theme of the Torah is that saving a life is more important than keeping a certain commandment. If one needs medical treatment on the Shabbat, otherwise he will die, then it will be evil not to help this person and cause him to lose his life.

      Does this answer your question?