Many of us are relatively new to this Hebraic Christian Roots movement, while a smaller number have been Torah pursuant for quite a while. There is so much true joy and excitement in learning the deeper things of YHVH (Yahweh, God the Father) that many have become lost in the pure abundance of revelation and the attainment of knowledge and the busy gathering of information. I know for me personally, I have often found myself studying until the wee hours of the morning excitedly exploring some new truth I have just learned or has been uncovered by the Spirit (Ruach) to me. It is truly, to coin a phrase, like being born again, AGAIN!
I too now know how the Bereans must have felt, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so…( Acts 17:11). These (Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily whether these things were so. These Jews from Berea had an open heart to the Almighty desiring truth above all things. They should be our model in seeking truth and knowledge. However, where did they search? The only Scriptures they had were the Old Testament, and there they found Messiah on every page! They were not interested in man’s opinion or theology, but only the uncompromising word of the Almighty.
Knowledge is almost always a good thing and something to be desired, especially as it pertains to the word of God. As recorded by the prophet Hosea in Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priests for Me; because you have forgotten the law (Torah) of your God, I also will forget your children.
It is clear from this passage alone, that ignorance is definitely not bliss, but can cost us dearly. This is certainly why it is so understandable that once we are introduced into the wonderful truths of Torah we, in our exuberance and zeal for the truth, can become a little over zealous and forget the weightier matters of Torah. You know, those little things like love, justice, mercy, faith and compassion! Which of course were the very things that Yeshua (Jesus) encouraged His followers to focus on.
I feel it is important to know and understand, why it is that YHVH (Yahweh, God the Father) has opened the eyes of so many believers all around the globe, at almost the same time. This has truly been a move of the Spirit of YHVH (Yahweh, God the Father), and has not been orchestrated by man. There is no spiritual guru or definitive leader of this movement, only the Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha Kodesh) alone that could possibly account for this to happen virtually all at once, all over the globe, on such a massive scale.
I believe the answer is clearly defined in Scripture, as to why there is now this sudden great awakening to Torah by a growing mass of believers worldwide, and it is imperative that we know and understand the ‘why?’!
Isaiah 49:6 Indeed He says, It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.
Is it possible that this is a sure sign that we have reached the time referred to as “the time of the Gentiles?” Has it passed or is it drawing rapidly to a conclusion? What does Scripture say?
Luke 21:24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Ezekiel 30:3 For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near; it will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles.
Is that day now upon us? What do we now need to know?
If we are not careful we too could become so concerned in our pursuit of Torah that we ourselves become as the Scribes and Pharisees that Yeshua addressed, finding ourselves arguing over things like the calendar, the starting of the new moon, and the pronouncing of THE NAME.
Matt 23:23-24 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law (Torah): justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
Is it not true that if we have not love we become nothing more than clanging cymbals?
1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Are we so arrogant to believe, that after 3500 years, we could possibly have it all right? In all honesty we are all just babes doing the best we can out of our love for the Father and truth; our desire is to follow Him.
I get very concerned when fellow believers think they have it all down, just right, and are so dogmatic in their theology that they cut off fellowship with one another.
Where is it written that if we know the perfect timing of the calendar for all the festivals and celebrate new moons perfectly and that if we pronounce His name in the ancient language without error that we gain salvation or even YHVH’s (Yahweh, God the Father’s) favor? There are many scriptures however, that speak of the mercy and love we should have for one another and the world that it touches the heart of Abba Father. Is our focus then on arguing points of how we perceive our pursuit of Torah or is our focus on making a difference in the world, being a light to the nations?
The best example to follow is of course the Messiah, who showed us by example how to deal with one another, and those who may not have understanding or information.
I want us to closely examine the account of the Samaritan woman at the well. I believe this is a very prophetic passage, a mystery, for where we are right now as the Body of Messiah, and at the end of the age we need to address “ The time of the Gentiles.” Are we making a point or a difference? John 4:5 So He (Yeshua, Jesus) came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Yeshua (Jesus) therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
I believe that here is a major key revealed about the sixth hour, to unlock a mystery. As we are nearing the end of the sixth day or six thousand years, Yeshua (Jesus) is also sitting at the well of Jacob, the father of all twelve tribes of the house of Israel whom Yeshua came to unify as one. This is in the territory of Joseph, who was the father of Ephraim, also known as the northern ten tribes, who were torn away and lost and scattered all over the world (the lost sheep of the house of Israel).
Matt15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Let us continue with this Prophetic picture…
John 4:7-24 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Yeshua (Jesus) said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.’ Yeshua (Jesus) answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?’ Yeshua (Jesus) answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’
The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.’ Yeshua (Jesus) said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’
‘ The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’ Yeshua (Jesus) said to her, ‘You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’ Yeshua (Jesus) said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Here I believe Yeshua (Jesus) is giving us a prophetic picture of much of the apostate church today. We have had five husbands, symbolic of the Torah, which of course, notes that early believers were Torah observant and have later moved into an adulterous relationship. Without knowledge or information, or in essence worshiping what we did not know! Our hour has come! Now we are beginning to understand the importance of Torah in our worship. This now enables us at long last to worship in Spirit and Truth.
Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the nations shall come unto you from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things in which there is no profit.
This is now happening on a large scale as eyes are opened worldwide!
Now let us examine the practices of the Samaritans to get a clear picture of the prophetic nature of what I am trying to say here.
Samaritans claim they are Israelite descendants of the Northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who survived the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians in 722 BC. The inscription of Sargon II records the deportation of a relatively small portion of the Israelites from Samaria (approximately 27,290 according to the annals) so it is quite possible that a sizable population remained that could identify themselves as Israelites, the term that the Samaritans prefer for themselves.
Jews did not like Samaritans, and the feelings were rather mutual. The reason for this antagonism was because of what the Samaritans did. The Samaritans set up a rival religious system. As far as the Scriptures are concerned, they accepted the Mosaic Law only. They were anti- Jerusalem and they were against worshiping in Jerusalem. In contrast to the Temple in Jerusalem they built their own temple on Mount Gerezim, overlooking the ancient city of Shechem, a suburb of Shechem. Sycar was their holy place where they worshiped and sacrificed. Also, because of their anti-Jerusalem spirit they went through the Mosaic Law and deleted any possible reference to Jerusalem and replaced it with Mount Gerezim.
If we are honest, we must admit that this sounds very close to what most of us as believers have done at one point or another in our walk. We have taken the true holy days or moedim and replaced them with our own holy days (Christmas and Easter). We have cut and diced the Word of God to fit our theology and when it doesn’t t …we have said it was done away with. Because of this we have unknowingly inherited lies and falsehoods from our fathers (church fathers). The important point to also remember, is that when Yeshua (Jesus) dealt with the Samaritans it was a picture of Him dealing with the Church. It is likewise important to note that though they worshiped in error He never turned His back upon them. He encouraged the Samaritan woman (an example of the Church) with living water, life. The Torah contains the words of life!
Yeshua (Jesus) did not come at the Samaritan women with words of criticism or condemnation but truth and compassion and love. His interest was not in making a point but making a difference! We as followers of Messiah must ask ourselves an important question, are we making a positive difference in the life of others? The truth of the Torah will always prevail if we present truth with the heart of love and compassion. However if we have a heart of self-centeredness, desiring to just make the point that I am right and you are wrong, we are automatically wrong, even if we are correct on a point. Why? Because we have ignored the weightier matters of Torah!
Notice what Yeshua (Jesus) said about the Good Samaritan: Luke 10:30-37…
Then Jesus answered and said: ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?’ And he said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
We have our instructions GO AND DO LIKEWISE. The priest and the Levite obviously knew the correct way to observe Torah, or did they? So should we, by this faith of ours, make void the Torah? As Paul said “Certainly not”! Romans 3:31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Let us as God’s people agree to disagree and make a choice to make a difference and become the light we are called to be!