My Scripture Studies
Remove the Blinders - Read and Study the Bible!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Torah" - Points to Messiah

Torah means teaching - instruction. In Genesis 26 we find the word Torah first spoken from Almighty God.

This occurs when there was a famine and the Lord God gave Issac an instruction to not go down to Egypt as his father Abraham had done before him.

If we look at the context, in a famine Isaac would struggle, after all the land was parched and there were no supermarkets and no bottled water to rely on so The Lord had a purpose. He wanted Isaac to depend on Him. He chose to rely on God in faithful obedience just as his father had before him even if it meant living hungry among the parched dust with the Philistines.

Isaac's mission was to be like his father... faithful.

Not only that, El Shaddai Almighty God told Isaac 'the reason' that not just his own family but all "nations" (gowy גּוֹי) of the earth would be blessed:
“I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My Torah.”
The reason for God's blessing "all" nations?

"Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My Torah.”

God is Abraham's witness. Abraham kept God's instruction, he did it in faith and God promised Isaac that "all nations" would be blessed because of it. This blessing from following God's instruction ties all nations to the instruction The Lord God gave to Moses and Aaron in Exodus 12:49:
"There shall be one Torah for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
One Torah, one teaching for native and stranger.

Torah mans teaching, so where is “law” found in the Bible?

The first appearance of the English word meaning law as we know it today as a statute is is placed in Genesis 47:26. It is the Hebrew word "choq".
"So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt..."
Here “law” means means "statute, ordinance, limit, something prescribed". It does not mean teaching or instruction.

It is speaking of Joseph's law, the statute he established during the famine in Egypt as he required all but priests to give one-fifth of their harvest as a tax to Pharaoh. Joseph did this after he bought the land with seed following the failure of Egypt's money system.

Law or statute as we see it here is manmade and an accurate description of our current use of the word. Choq appears 127 times in The Hebrew Scriptures. But "choq" is not the the term so many commingle today in reference God's "law" which is the Hebrew word “Torah”.

It is my prayer that this study will begin to show you the difference and that you also see how the Torah of God points to Messiah - the word of God, the living Torah, the living teaching.

As noted, the Hebrew word “Torah” appears in Exodus 12:49 when God says:

"One law [Torah] shall be to him that is homeborn, 
and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you."

This word "Torah" begins with the Hebrew letter Tav. Hebrew is read right to left. Torah is spelled in Hebrew as “Tav-Vav-Resh-Hey” and it means "teaching and instruction". Check it out for yourself, test it in any Bible dictionary.

Since each Hebrew letter has a literal meaning we need to understand Torah literally... "Tav-Vav-Resh-Hey" means "Covenant-Stake-Head-Reveal".

Can you see Messiah in this word Torah?

Messiah is the head, the leader at the covenant stake. He is the Living Word, He is the living Torah for the homeborn, and unto the stranger!

Unlike Joseph's "law" in Genesis 47, Torah is not “choq”, and "choq" is not Torah.

The Torah is God's teaching and instruction for living not a statute of men. It is God’s teaching for righteousness, holiness and the constitution of His Kingdom. It is God's instruction path for drawing near to His almighty glory in a set apart life to show love for God and our fellow man.

God intricately designed His universe and His Torah as He spoke it. He taught His word of life to Moses so that he could teach it to Israel and to the strangers sojourning with them because they were afraid to hear all that God had to say to them.

These "strangers" included the slaves from other nations that were there in bondage with the descendants of Israel and these included those Egyptians as well who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Torah was given to all of these people at Sinai and they all heard the Ten Commandments as spoken to them by God Almighty.

God's repeating design in His Hebrew word continually points to Messiah and you can get closer to Yeshua of Nazareth by learning more about the Hebrew language of the Bible.

Richard S. Ellis is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He gives us another unique perspective:
"If we step back and consider the imagery of the Torah, we can see can see it is much like a fractal because, as the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot explained, each small portion can be viewed as a reduced scale replica of the whole. The focus in parashah Be-har on Shabbat, on the giving of the land, on ethical behavior, on living in peace and love with our sisters and our brothers, on living in active support of our sisters and our brothers: this is the focus of the entire Torah. Thus the fractal law of mathematics, created in the opening verses of Torah to ensure the smooth functioning of the universe, helps us to explicate this same Torah. Line by line, breath by breath, stem by stem, blossom by blossom, each verse of our parashah, like each verse of Leviticus, mirrors fractal-like the glorious and transcendent vision of the whole."
Now, consider what you will never see in an English Bible. It was pointed out by Rabbi Weissmandel just after World War II when he moved to New York. Weissmandel was the founder of the Europe Plan to rescue the survivors of the Holocaust.

In Numbers 1:1-4, we can see  50 letter skips spells the word "Torah". Reading a Torah scroll we can see the spelling is in reverse as it points to Leviticus. Why Leviticus, because something else is written in God's word there, just keep reading below for the answer and we look at the word Torah (Tav, Vav, Resh, Heh) הוֹרַתָ

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל מֹשֶׁה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי בְּאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד
בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בַּשָּׁנָה הַשֵּׁנִית לְצֵאתָם מֵאֶרֶץ
מִצְרַיִם לֵאמֹר שְׂאוּ אֶת רֹאשׁ כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם בְּמִסְפַּר שֵׁמוֹת כָּל זָכָר
לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָם מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה כָּל יֹצֵא צָבָא
בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל תִּפְקְדוּ אֹתָם לְצִבְאֹתָם אַתָּה וְאַהֲרֹן

Now, if we look at Deuteronomy 1:5-8, we can see there are 49 letter skips to spell Torah. Reading the letter skips we can see the spelling points back toward the Scriptures that precede it.

בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן, בְּאֶרֶץ מוֹאָב, הוֹאִיל מֹשֶׁה בֵּאֵר אֶת הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת לֵאמֹר
יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ דִּבֶּר אֵלֵינוּ בְּחֹרֵב לֵאמֹר  רַב לָכֶם שֶׁבֶת בָּהָר הַזֶּה
פְּנוּ וּסְעוּ לָכֶם וּבֹאוּ הַר הָאֱמֹרִי וְאֶל כָּל שְׁכֵנָיו בָּעֲרָבָה בָהָר
וּבַשְּׁפֵלָה וּבַנֶּגֶב וּבְחוֹף הַיָּם אֶרֶץ הַכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַלְּבָנוֹן עַד הַנָּהָר הַגָּדֹל נְהַר פְּרָת
רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לִפְנֵיכֶם, אֶת הָאָרֶץ; בֹּאוּ, וּרְשׁוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר
נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב לָתֵת לָהֶם, וּלְזַרְעָם אַחֲרֵיהֶם

What is going on here?

Guess what this also happens in the books of Genesis and Exodus, only the word Torah is not spelled out in reverse, instead it points forward to Leviticus.

The very letters that spell Torah are reflecting a Jubilee (49+1=50) and the deliverance of a Jubilee is pointing toward something. Deuteronomy has 49 letter skips this tells us one is to be searched for. Who is the One? It is none other than YHVH. And in the middle of these we also see the Hebrew letters Aleph Tav, known by many as Alpha Omega. For more CLICK HERE to read this in depth Bible study on the Aleph Tav today.

Leviticus is where these letters that spell Torah are pointing toward from Numbers and Deuteronomy because Leviticus is in the center, the very middle of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible.

So let look at Leviticus. In Leviticus 1:1 we can see that every seventh letter skip from the first Yod, which is the first letter of God's name spells YHVH, the letters are Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey יִּהוָה and by this YHVH’s name is declared right there in plain sight in the first verse of Leviticus!

וַיִּקְרָא אֶל מֹשֶׁה וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֵלָיו מֵאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֵאמֹר

The Torah was declared, spoken by God and the Torah literally points to Him and His mighty name. This is one of the many amazing things we can see in God's word, the living Torah - who is Messiah Yeshua since the Torah, after all was written of Him:
Luke 24:27 "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."

John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

John 1:17 "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Yeshua Messiah."

John 5:46-47 "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"

John 17:6 "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word."
Yeshua manifested the name YHVH to the disciples and they kept the Torah. I pray this begins to show you Messiah's teaching, “His” words give us instruction to believe and walk in the way of Moses' writing of God's instruction... "One Torah (one teaching and instruction) shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you." Exodus 12:49

We are not to follow Torah because we have to, but because we get to, because we want to. God's law was given to us as a gift full of mercy and grace. Grace is how our Heavenly Father shows His Love for us and our obedience to Him is how we show our love for Him.

The Torah's weightier matters are "separation, mercy and faith"... these we are to do as Messiah instructs us. See Matthew 23:23

You may have noticed, the word "separation" which means to set apart which is the Hebrew word "qodesh". We see this word translated as "Holy" some 611 times throughout the Hebrew scrolls.

In Hebrew, there are no numbers. Instead a numeric value is assigned to each letter. This is very cool when you consider that the word Torah (Tav-Vav-Resh-Hey) has the numerical value 611 (400+6+200+5)? No, this is not a coincidence and Torah begins with a Tav.

The Torah points to Yeshua in the design of the themes and context found in each story. He said "Moses wrote of me" and He said:
“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. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Matthew 5:17-18
The Exodus story gives us many incredible examples.

Some are plain as day, others need to be examined like the deeper meaning of the Exodus story of the waters at Marah and Elim shown in Exodus 15 and repeated in the list recounting Israel’s journey in Numbers 33.

After the great miracle of the parting of the Red Sea, God brought the Children of Israel to Elim, a beautiful oasis where they camped beside twelve springs and seventy palm trees and showed the Gospel after He taught the promise shown at the Red Sea and at Marah that He can and will overcome obstacles and bitterness if we rely on Him.

When the Israelites arrived at Marah they were parched and could not continue long without water but they not drink the water there because it was bitter, but God showed Moses wood to throw into the water to make it sweet.

God did this with the test He placed before them just as a believer is set free from the bitterness of their heart by the sweet wood of the cross, if we just ask.

The apostle James taught the lesson at Marah: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach (bitterness), and it will be given to him.”

Then God revealed the imagery of the restored Eden at Elim as there was no bitter water present.

The twelve springs of water at Elim represent the prophetic future of the twelve tribes of Israel, the royal priesthood has springs to administer God’s Gospel of the Kingdom to all nations. The seventy palm trees represent the seventy nations that will rely on living water. The twelve springs of water show us the twelve tribes as all Israel are to supply living water of salvation (Yeshua) to all nations in spirit and truth.

They left Elim in the fourth week after leaving Egypt. The number four in Hebrew is a reference to four thousand years from Creation when Messiah, the living water arrived. We know this because they left Egypt (slavery to sin) on the 15th day of the first month and…
“They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt.”
Messiah's living water is for the tree of life so that we may eat, and live forever as shown in Revelation 22:2:
“On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree of life (the living Torah) are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed (bitter), but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him”
This shows us a picture of the fruit of believers after returning to God’s Torah that Yeshua walked in so that we can teach and disciple the nations in God’s instruction until He returns. If we walk in Messiah’s ways, there will be springs of living water flowing to nourish others with Messiah.

Yeshua taught of Elim to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Later, at the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles at the water pouring ceremony in Jerusalem, Yeshua shouted in a loud voice to everyone there with a picture back to Elim as promised in Isaiah 58:11; Ezekiel 47:1-12 and Zechariah 14:8 as He declared:
“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
Revelation 22 will be fulfilled on the fourth day from Messiah’s time in Jerusalem when He spoke as a prophet like Moses. Today has been two days and He has served as High Priest at the right hand before the Millennium day when He returns to Earth as King before the fourth day, the eight since the beginning when creation is restored.

God declares the end from the beginning, so we have to remember God finished the first creation of heaven and earth on the fourth day when the sun, moon and the stars were put into their proper place to separate the light from the darkness, And God saw that it was good. What was will be, God will restore creation as He intended. That is the meaning of: “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth” Genesis 2:4.

Revelation shows us Messiah will fulfill Genesis 2:15... “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

This is just one stop in the amazing Torah story that points to Messiah. But by this we can begin to understand why Yeshua is called the “Living Word” and we can also begin to see what John was teaching when he wrote:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." John 1:1-5

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." John 17:17

"And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." John 17:19
The Torah is truth, indeed all of the Bible speaks of unchanging truth. The "teaching" of God, the "Torah" gives us a graphic picture of our lives through the promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The storyline goes like this: Abram leaves his home because YHVH spoke to him and called him out of pagan Ur, a center of idol worship. With his father and family, Abram stopped in Haran, a town at Syria’s border with Turkey.

Genesis 12:4 tells us: “So Abram left, as the LORD had told him.”

Abram believed God and obeyed. He did something and the trip from Ur to Haran brought wealth. The walk from Haran to Canaan was somehow different. This was a pilgrimage journey, a mission from God.

But when he arrived a famine hit the land and Abram had to leave and seek refuge in Egypt. Plagues fell on the Pharoah and Abram left. Jacob did the same. Plagues fell on Pharaoh and Israel left. A plague of death sought Yeshua and he went to Egypt as well, yet He returned to the promised land.

When we look at the story of Abram’s call, we can see Jesus (Yeshua) and his disciples. Just like God’s call to Abram, Jesus called his disciples to leave and follow him. They left their occupations and their homes and Jesus taught His disciples the kingdom of God would be their ultimate reward.

God told Abraham the next four hundred years would end in servitude in Egypt. Meanwhile, Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and only after that did Sarah give birth to Isaac.

Fleeing Esau's revenge, Jacob returned to Haran where he married Leah and Rachel working as a slave for Laban. Before his return into Canaan, Jacob wrestled with God before he crosses the Yabbok River. During the night he is blessed there only after he was injured. His walk is changed as was his name.

Israel then meets his enemy brother Esau and loses his beloved Rachel.

The Bible reinforces the reward of the land. This is promised repeatedly, yet it is four thousand years ahead in the future, a reward to be ultimately bestowed only after suffering in tribulation like Messiah.

This is much like the four hundred years when Moses finally leads Israel out of the bondage of Egypt, yet they wandered forty years until they finally cross the Jordan river.

As followers of Messiah we need to remember that we will receive the promises of Abraham:
"I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing."
God called a man, that became a people, that received a name, that the children of God have in adoption... Israel is that name. It means "God prevails".

God became humanity in the family line of David and suffered to bring forth salvation for the world as Messiah Yeshua.

Yeshua, our savior walked a perfect life in "His" Torah given in the wilderness journey at Sinai, yet He suffered, died and arose in resurrection for the salvation of the world. He is coming again soon to restore our journey from Babylon: "Come out of her my people" and establish God’s Kingdom in all its fullness.

It is now that we are being called to begin our journey from Babylon to the Promised Land.

Home is not back there in Ur. It’s not in Egypt. It’s out there – in God’s future, where God sends us. It’s in the land of promise, even if we don’t fully possess the land right now.

By faith, we must be trusting God and be willing to go wherever he sends us.

We are headed fast and forward into a Jubilee Year and God’s word is that things need to be put back the way God has ordained them. Jubilee is a means of restoring but right now we are in the years before the Jubilee. Soon we are to be observing a Sabbath rest in recognition of God’s sovereignty over us as a foreshadowing of the day when God’s kingdom will come in all its fullness and God’s people will live in the world that God intended from the beginning in Eden.

God required Adam and Israel to follow His instruction in such a way so as to hold onto the homeland that God had given them. As we wait for the day that in which we will inherit the land may we listen to God and order our lives so as to hold on to the gifts God has given us and when our lives move away from God’s will, may we see the light and do whatever is necessary to return to our Father and do as Messiah did. That is why he asked the disciples:
"Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?" Luke 6:46
Jesus is making a statement of truth about Torah: Many call Him Lord, Lord, but very few actually do what He says. Jesus is asking you right now, today, why not do what I say?

To do this requires our understanding that our Messiah is the messenger of the Torah. He is the word of God living in the flesh. One key is to understand God is that He gives us His teaching and instruction for living because He loves us. He teaches us some very simple guidelines about how we are to live "near Him". 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.

Like I used to, many teach from the flawed premise that God's teaching and instruction, the Torah, is imperfect, that it enslaves, brings forth death, cannot be kept, is a burden and that it has been "hung on the cross" by Jesus. A law was hung there alright and it is one of the great mysteries of the Bible.

Many that state the Torah is obsolete believe that Jesus is Messiah rightly say "the One" who is called Jesus is God. That is the truth, but then that of course means it is Jesus who walked in the garden with Adam, Jesus was the friend of Abraham, Jesus wrestled with Jacob, Jesus spoke with Moses from the fire atop the mountain, Jesus inscribed the ten commandments and Jesus led Israel to the promised land by the pillar of fire.

No wonder He says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15

When we truly understand that Jesus, the one called "salvation" in Hebrew or Yeshua is indeed God, all of these words suddenly make sense as they tie the end of the Bible to the beginning:
1John 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

1John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

1John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

1John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

1John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

2John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
What does this all mean?

It means that it is now time for you to soak in the latter day rain of God's word. Repent and return to God's covenant, return to hear and do His word and grow 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!

Today is the time. If you know you need to get your life right with God, don’t wait for tomorrow, get it right with Him now!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17
I pray you will discover the path of Messiah's faith - the principles of God's teaching and instruction in your set apart life so you may be sanctified to approach and walk in His ways near to Him.

Preach the gospel always and when necessary use words.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing! I began reading the Torah again with the mindset that somehow it all points to Yeshua, and it's been incredible! I agree, the Bible is a whole and we are wrong to split it. God's blessings to you