My Scripture Studies
Removing the Blinders

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How Will Israel Return to Messiah?

What is "The Way"?

We know that John the baptizer just like Elijah shouted "Repent, prepare the Way".
"Make ready the Way of the LORD, make his path's straight." Luke 3:4
Paul followed The Way:
"According to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets." Acts 24:14
Jesus (Hebrew: Yeshua) is “The Way”.
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." John 14:6
Israel is still partially in exile right now. We have been exiled from the beautiful land. Our souls were created for His garden. The passion and frustration of mankind is that he has tasted of the fruit of the garden, and he longs evermore after it.

Adam lived some 900 years after his exile, all that time, knowing what he had done and what he was missing in Eden. We can rest assured he longed for the garden and his relationship with God. Like Adam, there is a longing in our hearts for the place of God, a desire we can't quite put our finger on. We thirst for flowing water we have never tasted and the fruit we have never eaten.

So today, we hunger and thirst for the presence of our Creator. That's why you are reading these words. That's why we are always seeking to fill the empty places of our lives, and it is why some in a state of confusion turn to addictions like alcohol, drugs, anger, adultery or worse.

We are longing for Eden and there is a way back, a way to be grafted in to a relationship with our Creator. It is called "The Way". The key to understanding the "way" of God is to understand He gives us His teaching and instruction for living because He loves us and it is "the way" we show Him our love.

God teaches us some easy guidelines about how we are to live. It's the original message of the Deceiver to fall for the idea that God does not mean what He says or that He changes His mind. Don't listen to that message any longer.

The way past the flaming sword was between the Cherubim. Scripture calls this the "Way of the Tree of Life." It is the first time the word "Way" appears in the Bible.

The two Cherubim over the Mercy Seat and embroidered within the Temple curtains are an allusion to Genesis 3. They stand sentry before the Holy of Holies, just as the Cherubim in Genesis guarded "The Way" to the Tree of Life. The Way to the Tree of Life entails passing between these Cherubim.

Yet, who can go there? After all there is the flaming sword to contend with.

If we are to be restored back to "The Way" as His people, the people He calls "Israel", we must enter the place of the garden. To do that, we must follow someone who has made ready "The Way" for us. Yeshua the Jewish Messiah did that from the garden of grace: Gethsemane.

Now we must return to Him and fight a resurgence of antisemitism. To start our journey to the Promised Land we must begin by restoring the root of the Biblical relationship of Christian and Jew.

Tis is a key part of loving and doing according to God's word, according to all of His teaching and instruction, all of His Torah that Jesus the Jew taught from. To begin, we must leave Babylon and her ways of worship which are not "the way" of YHVH, but the ways of the deceiver who first spoke to Eve. Today's Christianity as we know it, is a people scattered all over the world declaring Jesus as Savior but many hold to the horror and sin of antisemitic doctrine. Many declare faith in Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah, but have turned their back to the commandments of God and the Jewish people.

Yet many, like me are now re-awakening and learning that the commandments of the Torah are how we are to begin our journey back to the Promised Land.

Those that consider themselves a part of the "church" must get out of the pew and recommit to restoring the relationship between Christian and Jew. This began in earnest when The International Council of Christians and Jews established by William Temple, the Archbishop of Canterbury following World War II issued a new clarion call in 2009 to both Christian and Jewish communities around the world commemorating the anniversary of the Seelisberg Gathering in 1947 which examined how Christianity theology had allowed the holocaust, the Shoah to occur in their midst:

"In the summer of 1947, 65 Jews and Christians from 19 countries gathered in Seelisberg, Switzerland. They came together to express their profound grief over the Holocaust, their determination to combat antisemitism, and their desire to foster stronger relationships between Jews and Christians. They denounced antisemitism both as a sin against God and humanity and as a danger to modern civilization. And to address these vital concerns, they issued a call in the form of 10 points to Christian churches to reform and renew their understandings of Judaism and the relationships between Judaism and Christianity."

This change requires that the Christian truly understand one of the meanings of the rending of the Temple curtain when the King Yeshua went to the grave for three days. By His resurrection, He has made "The Way" between the Cherubim. Indeed, He is "The Way", as the curtain was torn in two "the way" was made to the given of the unchanging truth of Torah and the eternal life gift of the Jew Jesus. Not only was He Jewish, the early believers were all Jewish. The disciples were all Jewish, those who lived in and around Jerusalem as well as the "lost sheep" that followed Him were all Jewish. Jesus came and taught the Jews that heard His message, believed in Him and followed Him as Messiah.

Incredibly, they did not call themselves Christians but simply called their walk, "The Way."

These Jewish people understood Yeshua the Messiah made "The Way" through the Temple entrance and on through tearing the very curtain leading into the Holy of Holies which represents the place of the garden where communion with the Holy One, our Creator exists as represented in the Tree of Life and a life of Torah walk with our Jewish brothers and sisters.

Get ready. The Jewish Messiah is coming, so examine and prepare yourself!

His way is salvation, forgiveness and righteousness which is shown by love and deed for each other. The warning is given by Moses:
"And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as [it is] at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us." Deuteronomy 6:24-25
And by Paul:
"Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of YHVH in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of YHVH. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of YHVH eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep."1 Corinthians 11: 27-30
Like Moses, what Paul was sharing here is the difference between life and death.

Touch death and you receive death; seek life and you receive life, His resurrection Life.

Paul was a Jew and raised in Yeshiva, he naturally was teaching on the message of Deuteronomy 28. In effect, He was teaching the words heard in every synagogue assembly on each and every Sabbath: obey God's words, His voice (spoken at Mt. Sinai, in the Galilee and in the garden), and you will live within His Presence and His blessings. Disobey God's words (given in the same places) and while we may live in His Presence occasionally, we will miss His provisions; we may have life, but it will be life without blessing and understanding.

God wants to preserve us as our Savior. That is what Psalms 118 tells us. Take a look at verse 14 in Hebrew:
עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ; וַיְהִי-לִי לִישׁוּעָה
This verse is generally translated as: "The LORD is my strength and song; and He is become my salvation." The word "Lord" here is Yah so the more direct translation is:
"Yah is my strength and song; and He is becoming my salvation."
The beauty of the verse is that the name if the Savior Yeshua ישׁוּעָה is given to us here and as required by two witnesses it is seen again in verse 21:
אוֹדְךָ כִּי עֲנִיתָנִי; וַתְּהִי-לִי לִישׁוּעָה

"I will give thanks to You because You have answered me and are becoming my salvation."
Remember too that Messiah Yeshua ישׁוּעָה made it very clear for us to understand that we must forgive others. But never simply take my word for it. Instead, get a second witness from the Scriptures. Open and study God's word and let it be your witness to the truth and light.

If we do not forgive others we certainly will "miss the mark." In Hebrew, missing the mark is analogous to sin, it's the very definition of the Hebrew word. We can see that when we break the language barrier! Forgiveness tells us His blood can cover ALL our sin, it serves as our atonement, so we must repent and return to Messiah. (See Hebrews 9:12)

The calling on our lives by God's own voice is to be a holy people (See Hebrews 13:12; 1 Peter 2:9 and 3:11). Our "walk" in "His Way" must also match our confession and our belief.

If we commit to living our lives daily for God but hold un-forgiveness against our brother (or any other sin in thought or deed), this prevents us from functioning in Messiah's life of anointed, resurrection power. So as believers, while we may now believe in His salvation grace and redemption, we must also learn to "walk" in that grace with righteousness by doing. Doing His teaching and instruction so that we might distinguish between the holy and unholy. This walk, this "way" leads to sanctification and holiness as we are set apart in His service.

A walk of righteousness and sanctification is the fruit of salvation, it puts oil in our lamps and makes the linen white. (Matthew 25:1-13; Revelation 19:8)

A lack of forgiveness will lead to sickness, poverty and possibly even to death, both spiritually and physically. YHVH is a Holy God and will not mix unholiness with what is holy. Bitter strongholds or any other sin we participate in will affect how we interact with YHVH God and others in every area of our lives. We must remember this is how many Israelites lost their lives in the wilderness, they were bitter, their hearts, like ours were hard as they turned from His instruction, His Torah.

James admonishes us today from his words that were written almost 2,000 years ago about the definition of "faith", it is not just believing:
"Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1: 22
Forgiveness and repentance is a part of doing His word. It is a pivot point in our walk, it is a part of how we are to return to Messiah to be His treasured possession. (See Exodus 19:5-6)

We can pray about all areas of our lives that we need health, a breakthrough or restoration, but if we have un-forgiveness we can pray all we want. Not until we have forgiveness in our heart and repent by approaching others will will not see the blessings of our prayers.

Did you know that seven is the number of perfection in Hebrew thought? Is it any wonder that we find the word "forgiveness" a total of 7 times in Scripture?
Psalm 130:4 But [there is] forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Act 26:18 To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:
What does this all mean?

It means that it is now time for you to repent and return to God's covenant, return to hear and do His word and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your coming assignment. God is a sovereign God. He is a loving God and He has provided a way to offer you His salvation. You can accept His gift of life. Consider carefully what your life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua. Do it now and...

May you walk with a clean and pure heart before we approach our Father as we are to come out of "the nations" as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation called out of darkness so that we may proclaim the praises of Him that you come out of darkness into His marvelous light. But there is a requirement for priesthood. It's the same that was given by God in the wilderness:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6
To be considered as eligible to be a priest, we must repent and return to Torah.

See Peter 2:9 and watch this video from "119 Ministries" to learn more about who you are to be as one "grafted in" and how you may return to the Torah teaching of Messiah.

Grafted In? (28 min) from 119 Ministries on Vimeo.