“And I say unto you…”
The Torah is the “Yes” of YHVH to Israel. The Prophets are a: “Yes, but what if…” The Torah establishes the consensus, but then the prophets raise questions which break or challenge or criticize the consensus for the sake of a new word from YHVH.(1) This is what Yashua did to the prescribed legalism of the Scribes and the Pharisees. It is what happened to Saul on the road to Damascus; it is what happens to every believer that is born again of the Ruach haKodesh; the consensus of how we live our life is broken, challenged, or criticized. We are forced to look at our life in new ways. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Scripture has many examples of, “this is how it is, but wait, let’s look at that through this lens.” (Yashua was a master at turning stone into flesh!) One example: “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a remission of debts. And this is the manner of remission; every creditor shall release what he has loaned to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother, because YHVH’s remission has been proclaimed.” Deuteronomy 15:1-2
But Yashua expanded that scriptural understanding by telling His followers that forgiveness of debts was a daily lifestyle “…your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then in this way: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:8-13
“For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. ,”Matthew 6:14-15
What amazing statements these were concerning the command of Torah to grant remission, or forgiveness of debt, at the end of every seven years! Is it any wonder that later Peter asked Yashua how many times he should forgive his brother – seven times, he asked, but Yashua said not just seven, but seventy times seven and that every day if need be!
What was the purpose of Yashua’s birth; taking on the form of humankind to live among us, suffer with us, die for us, experience resurrection and ascend to once again sit at the right hand of YHVH?
After returning from Babylonian exile the Jewish people were so intent on never letting that happen again that they made obeying the commands, statutes and ordinances of YHVH a matter of strict adherence. It was the letter of the law or else. This is reflected in Yashua’s words from Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light.” The people of YHVH were hard-pressed by the burdensome requirements added to the instructions of the Torah.
Yashua, at every turn, was breaking, challenging or criticizing the consensus for the sake of a new word from YHVH! At the end of His earthly ministry Yashua left us with this promise:
“…I will send the Helper to you, and He, when He comes will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.” John 16:7-8,14
The New World Order; Yashua’s? Today, I witness more and more people trying to live by a strict adherence to the commands, statutes and ordinances of YHVH. There is a need to live to the letter of the law, to be, as it is defined by those, perfect as YHVH is perfect. They tie themselves up with their own manufactured rules and regulations about observances and festivals and dress code and diet and order of service so much so that there is no room for the Helper/Holy Spirit to disclose anything to them. In their own puffed-up knowledge they think they have all their bases covered and whoa to the one who doesn’t agree with them!
Then there is the Dominionist who think that it is their task to make the world a “perfect” place so that Jesus can return. If it is to be, it is up to me! The end justifies the means! They hold to the understanding that Jesus can’t return until everything around the world is in perfect order; governments, businesses, media, education, entertainment, churches, everything. And then on the extreme end — Jesus won’t need to return because there will be no need. They too, have returned to the commandments, statutes and ordinances of Torah, albeit with some twists and turns.
Both of these opposites want the same thing, a new world order fashioned after their likeness! I doubt if any would admit this startling observation, but actions do speak very loud.
Is it any wonder that Yashua said the road that leads to eternal life is narrow and few there be that find it. We, as humans, want to “do” something. We want a formula to follow that will give us proven results. We, actually excel at works; which makes it difficult to really believe that a relationship with Yashua is free for the asking!
People do ask, but then most go about setting out to Yashua the life they want to lead and then expect Him to put His stamp of approval on their plans. And that is why we have so many people with so many views of the way to live! Yashua said in John 14:26, that the Father would send the Helper, Spirit of Truth, who would teach us all things, and bring to our remembrance all that He has said to us. Yes, we study scripture, and we let the Holy Spirit direct our life. He will not contradict YHVH’s Living Word, but will make the living Word come alive in us!
It seems to be the tendency of human nature not to trust what we cannot control. Letting the Holy Spirit take control is a matter of trust.
The Holy Spirit is the One who does the “work” in us. He asks us to give Him things that are not pleasing to YHVH. He is the One that refines us as silver and gold is refined; fit for the Master’s use. We shema — listen and obey; we do not dictate! We think we know best, but we do not.
I pray that time is close for the second coming of Yashua. The world grows darker by the second as more and more men and women are opting for their own truth and thereby rejecting the leading of the Holy Spirit. Could this be the unpardonable sin?