My Scripture Studies
Engage with the Bible, start in the beginning.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

When Will We Return to Messiah?

What is "The Way"?

We know that the man called John the baptizer was like Elijah when he implored people to repent and prepare the way. At the Jordan River, he shouted:
"Make ready the Way of the LORD, make his path's straight." Luke 3:4
Paul taught the same straight way but few see that, so we explore his letter to the Galatians in a future post. For now, let's read this:
"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 [Torahand that is written in the Prophets." Acts 24:14
Yeshua walks in “the way” yet many that say they walk with Him do not know the meaning of this: 
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." John 14:6
In my Scripture studies, I have wondered, is the way, truth and life fulfilled in the first trip or is it happening now as well? 

I have found that "the way" is based on the fact that our souls were created for relationship, not an exile away from the straight path declared by God's Torah, His teaching and instruction. Many Christians consider Torah to be an old law done away with at the cross, but is it?

Think about this: 
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." Matthew 5:17
Adam lived some 900 years after his exile from the garden. All that time, knowing what he had done and the relationship he had in Eden was now in exile. We can only imagine that Adam and Eve longed for their daily walk in the garden with The Creator. 

Adam had lost his son of God image and he lost his daily walk in relationship with Almighty God, the Father. He also lost his high priest and kingship assignment over planet earth.

Much like Adam, there is a longing in all our hearts for a place with God. We want to see Him, hear Him and its an innate desire of everyone. We can't quite put our finger on it, we long fr more. We thirst for the flowing water we have never tasted and the good fruit we have never eaten. 

That's why as young children we all ask: where did we come from, why are we here? No matter the culture or location, most young children everywhere draw their first picture as a home, a home with family. 

That's because we all seek the presence of our The Father, our Creator.

Do you long for relationship in Almighty God's household? 

The Bible books we call the Chronicles unveil a part of God's good news plan to restore the beginning in the end:
So David gave orders to gather the foreigners in the land of Israel, from whom he appointed stonecutters to prepare finished stones for building the House of God. 1 Chronicles 22:2
Have you ever considered that building was David's idea? 

Think about it... God instructed Moses about a moveable tent, a Tabernacle, not a building.

Yet king David commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stones. 

David was not allowed to carry out his project, so his son Solomon’s put 3,300 chief officers in charge of the work and hired Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites to cut the stones and prepare the timbers to build the house.

Solomon did this because his father felt that God deserved a house that was finer than his own (see 2 Samuel 7:2 and 1 Kings 5:17-18).

Did you know Hiram had always been a friend of David. (1 Kings 5:1)

Yet, he was a Gentile, a Phoenician and the king of Tyre. 

So there you have it, the house of God is built by Jew (Solomon) and Gentile (Hiram). Together they made a covenant (see 1Kings 5:12).

The workers of Hiran included the Gebalite stone cutters. They were the men that cut the huge foundation stones tha are still there under the Temple Mount today. the massive stones can be found below the Western Wall built by another Gentile named Herod and other locations. 

One Gebalite stone placement is perhaps the largest known building block in the world and it weighs in at just over 1,000,000 pounds.

It's amazing, but God's goal is to tabernacle among men is bigger than that. 

At Mount Sinai, God showed Moses the design. It was a movable tent of meeting that the Levites were to carry with them wherever the pillar of fire went (see Exodus 26:30; Exodus 34:14; Exodus 40:36; Numbers 1:50-51 and Numbers 4:31). 

A Jewish rabbi named Paul understood the bigger picture, so he asked the Corinthians: 

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1Corinthians 6:19)

He was asking, do you know the way?

We are all longing for a relationship with our Creator. 
It was once called "The Way." 

One key to understanding "The Way" of God is to understand He gives us His teaching and instruction for living life His way because He loves us. 

Our walk in "the way" shows The Father our love and how we are to love others. God teaches us His constitutional guidelines about how we are to live and act in the Kingdom of God. 

That's why God gave Moses the assignment to gave them to Israel and the sojourners with them after everyone said, all that the LORD says we will do. 

The written Torah of God connects heaven to planet earth.

After all the Torah is the written record of the voice of the Sovereign Creator of the Universe for His Kingdom. 

Being a citizen of the Kingdom of God makes us responsible and liable to the King to live in His image. 

A Kingdom of God walk is not a vaccine, it does not make a person immune to sin; on the contrary, it makes a person responsible to the constitution of the Holy King of the Universe.

Yeshua lived the Torah and taught it, but many think He started a new religion with a steeple and a house of stone but it's time to put Jesus back in the synagogue.

In the end, there is a way past the flaming sword between the Cherubim. The ark of the covenant is a picture of that journey. In Genesis 3:24, Scripture uses this phrase: "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

My question today is does that punctuation belong? After all there are no punctuations in Hebrew. What does this say?

"So he drove out the man and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life."

The two Cherubim over the Mercy Seat were embroidered within the Tabernacle curtains, that points toward Genesis 3. They stand as sentry sign before the Holy of Holies, just as the Cherubim in Eden. 

The flaming sword is the Word of God which turns every way to keep the way of the tree of life.  If you are a Christian, do you want to keep the old, unchanging ways to the Tree of Life? 

If you do, remember the way to the tree of life entails passing between the sword. 

Yet, who can go there? They are in the most holy place above the Torah beside the ark and the Ten Commandment covenant and that's the flaming sword Christianity contends with. You may ask, what do you mean by that?

If we are to be restored back to "the way" we are to choose to keep the way of the tree of life.  

To do that, we return to Messiah and follow the one who walked in "the way" yet we often say, He did away the front of the Bible that established the way.

To start our journey to return to Messiah and the Promised Land, we must begin by restoring the truth in repentance. That' the sermon Jesus preached. Part of that repentance is friendship, a proper relationship of Christian and Jew. After all, Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah.

He is the cornerstone of God's household because He can bring us together like two walls. Understanding that is a key part of the gospel message 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 lived out.

Do you want to follow Him, if so when?

To begin on the way, we must leave Egypt and Babylon and her ways of worship which are not "the way" of Almighty God, but the ways of men who listen to a deceiver.

Some of us declare faith in Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah, but have turned our back in anti-repentance to the commandments of God and the Jewish people. Some of us thankfully declare support for the Jewish people and Israel, yet unwittingly seek a blessing. Still others who love Israel, still believe the Jewish people will be plunged into tribulation until they convert, while they are rescued and hiding out on a rapture cloud.

That's not the opinion of everyone, but it prevalent under the steeple.

Praise God, a remnant are now awakening and learning the gospel way include the instruction of the Torah. Repentance is how we are to begin our journey of restoration with God and our brothers, just as the sojourners walked side by side with Jacob's heritage family as a mixed multitude.  

Those that consider themselves a part of a replacement "church" must repent and commit to restoring proper relationship between Christian, Jew, God and Messiah.

Thank God this is happening!

This was seen when The International Council of Christians and Jews was established by William Temple, the Archbishop of Canterbury following World War II. You remember the time after the war, its when the nation of Israel was born in a day. Not long ago, they issued another clarion call in 2009 to both Christian and Jewish communities around the world commemorating the anniversary of the Seelisberg Gathering in 1947 that examined how Christian theology had allowed the Holocaust Shoah to occur. Check it out:

"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."

Think about the Holocaust. Think about what William Temple examined. Think about the fact God's eye are on Jerusalem. What does it all mean?

Repentance requires that each Christian understand one of the meanings of the rending of the Temple curtain before Yeshua was carried to the grave for three days and nights. By His First Fruits resurrection, He passed between the Cherubim. Indeed, as the Temple curtain was torn, "the way" was made for eternal life and the Royal Priesthood God seeks.

Not only was Jesus Jewish, He still is and the early believers were all Jewish too. The disciples were Jewish and those who lived in and around Jerusalem and the Galilee were Jewish. Even the "lost sheep" that Jesus sent out His disciples to find were Jewish.

These Jewish people had faith. They understood Yeshua the Messiah walked in "the way" of righteousness as the High Priest which is declared in the Torah and shown by leadership in love and deed for each other.

God wants to save us all Jew and non-Jew. That is a part of the good news covenant Abraham and its with 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 Hebrew words tell us:
"Yah is my strength and song; and He is becoming my salvation."
The beauty of the verse is that word salvation. It happens to be the name Yeshua ישׁוּעָה 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."
We must remember that Yeshua ישׁוּעָה made it very clear that His gospel preaching started with the fact we must repent. The gospel may not be what you think. That word repent means "return" in Hebrew, but never simply take my word for that. Instead, get a second witness from the Scriptures. 

Open and study God's word and let it be your witness to the truth.

If we do not repent we will "miss the mark." In Hebrew, missing the mark is sin, it's the definition of the Hebrew word. We can see that when we break the language barrier! Yes forgiveness tells us Yeshua's blood can cover our sin and serves as our atonement, but 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 united people (See Hebrews 13:12; 1 Peter 2:9 and 3:11). Our walk in "The Way" must match our confession and our faith.

If we commit to living our lives daily for God but are against our brother in some way, that prevents us from returning to Messiah's way. So as believers, while we may believe in His salvation grace, we must also learn to share that grace in faith by doing.

This is not good advise from the Old Testament:

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

A lack of repentance will lead to sickness and poverty, both spiritually and physically.

We must know The God of Israel is a Holy God and will not mix unholiness with what is holy. Bitterness or any other sin will affect our relationship with God and others in every area of our lives.

We must remember that is how many Israelites lost their lives in the wilderness, they were bitter, their hearts were hard as they turned from God's instruction, His Torah.

James admonishes us today from his words that were written almost 2,000 years ago about the definition of "faith." According to James, it is not just believing or praying a prayer:
"Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1: 22
Repentance is doing the word. It is a pivot point in our walk, it is a part of how we all are to return to God through Messiah to be a 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 don't repent, we can pray all we want. We must repent to see the blessing of our prayers.

What does this all mean?

Consider a prayer: Please, God, guide me as to what I should do.

It's time for you to repent and return to God's voice, 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 every person His salvation and His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua.

Shalom ya'll.