My Scripture Studies
Seek God. Engage with His voice in the Bible and start in the beginning.

August 25, 2013

What is it about the Jots and Tittles?

"But if you don’t believe his writings,
how will you believe My words?”

In my Scripture studies, I found the Bible tells us creation was spoken by The LORD God, so words are important. 

That is the first account in the beginning of the Torah teaching and instruction from our Creator. 

Yet, many today teach and preach that the Torah of God is a law that has been done away with... hung on the cross, abolished and set aside by Paul.

Yett Paul ask this in Romans 3:31:

"Do we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah."

Praise God the Torah has not been done away with, 
Otherwise creation would cease to exist according to Jesus.

Here's that solemn promise from Yeshua's first sermon:
"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest jot or tittle shall pass away from the Law [Torah], until all is accomplished.

Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches {them,} he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses {that} of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:17-20
Guess what.... Heaven and Earth are still here!!

Creation has not passed away, the universe remains. The earth, sun, moon and stars are the witness proof of even the smallest jots and tittles that record God's unchanging voice. 

The witness of truth that Jesus loved, lived out and taught is the Torah of The Father. He kept the instruction of Father God out of love to show us all we can do the same! 

There's not one book, chapter or verse from the Apostles that ever says - He kept the law so you don't have to.

Yet, that's the idea promoted in some misguided pulpits.

My reply: if you say you believe in God, you must believe what He says. If you don't, what do you believe?

Jesus aka Yeshua delivered a message straight from Heaven that 'the law' or rather the Torah, the teaching and instruction of God, has a never-ending purpose to reveal the redemptive plan of God for mankind AND it has a great purpose as the guide map for life in the Kingdom of God. 

The disciple John credits Yeshua with these words:

"If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me."

You can ignore this message, but the choice is yours.

The documentation of God's Torah message started at Mount Sinai. You can find it in Exodus 24:3-11 and Almighty God is still looking for people that will respond to Him with one voice out of respect, awe and love to say: 

“Everything the LORD has said we will listen to do.”

If you have read the Newer Testament you've likely read this: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" — Mark 9:7

Many people debate Jesus. 

They argue that Jesus taught a new way found in a new Bible with a dividing page. 

The debate is over... Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass awaynot the smallest jot or tittle shall pass away from the Law [Torah], until all is accomplished." 

We know that because there's no jot or tittle in Greek.

So just what is a jot and a tittle?

In Hebrew, the jot is a small marker the guide pronunciation and the tittles are the smallest markings, the crown points on top of many Hebrew letters that are essential for distinguishing Hebrew letters that look the same, except by the tittles. 

Understanding this can open the Hebrew Bible to a deeper understanding that salvation is by God's grace. 

The Hebrew Bible points us to Messiah and His way of repentant Kingdom living. We can never turn our back and “abolish” the Torah if our goal is to be like Jesus and be a part of The Kingdom.

Yeshua came and gave explanation and purpose to the meaning of the spirit of the Torah.  He lived it out and revealed its ultimate purpose is to show us we need to repent, we need to live, walk and honor Almighty God. 

In other words we are to live in the image of God and share in the redemptive work of Yeshua to do that. 

The transformation back to the image of God is what Paul wrote about when he penned this referencing the veil Moses wore only after he stood in the presence of The LORD. In the tent of meeting, in freedom from sin he never wore the veil:
But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 
The jots and tittles of the Torah of God connect heaven to planet earth.

The Torah is the written record of the voice of the Sovereign Creator of the Universe given for His Kingdom. 

Being a citizen of the Kingdom of God makes us responsible and liable to the King. 

The Kingdom of God citizenship grant of grace is not a vaccine, it does not make a person immune to God's sovereignty or His word. On the contrary, it makes a child of God accountable to the constitution of the Holy King of the Universe. 

Yeshua taught that the Spirit of God will help us in our Torah walk down the Kingdom path. Not only that, He taught that we can teach others (disciple them) in the ways of Godly living that leads to “great" reward in the Kingdom of God. 

Yeshua kept the Torah perfectly, He is the living Torah, the greatest in the Kingdom! Just take a closer look at Matthew 5:19 to see this truth from the Master Rabbi.

Incredibly, Yeshua also teaches us to focus on the spiritual reality of the commandments because He taught that true righteousness must surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees. (Read Matthew 5:20)

WHOA... wait a minute, what's up with that statement from Jesus??

The hidden message here from the Master Rabbi is that the commandments of God, are Yeshua's commandments because He is Son of God, lived out as a love offering to The Father, not a religious obligation. 

Keeping God's teaching as a "love offering" should be the goal of every disciple of Yeshua, simply put:

“Everything the LORD has said we will listen to do.”

Have you ever considered that as a child of God, we "GET TO DO" what God The Father asks us to do because we love Him.

It's an honor to keep His heavenly teaching and instruction for life and blessing!

Yeshua wants us to enter into The Father's tree of life Kingdom lifestyle and follow in the Father's instruction from the Heavenly advantage of grace, mercy and blessing. 

Yeshua is not asking us to earn merit badges or bonus points from religious obligations or duty.

Jesus wasn't Catholic or Protestant.

He didn't teach in a church or at Sunday School, He taught on the Sabbath in synagogues.  

He never said a word about a new religion or replacement theology. 

Yeshua was Torah observant and wore a tallit as prescribed in Numbers 15 and Deuteronomy 22. If you doubt that, you're missing the story within the story of the woman that was healed touching His garment described in Matthew 9. 

Yeshua instructed His disciples to follow the instruction in Leviticus 23:15-17. 

That Torah truth is embedded in Acts 1-2. 

Yeshua also celebrated wonderful Jewish traditions including Hanukkah which is shown plain as day in John 10.

Yeshua cherished the traditional Passover seder, it's not the last supper until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. We know because Luke 22 tells us Yeshua said so: "For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." ... For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." 

Yeshua never stopped being Jewish, He lived out the Torah in faith and taught others to do the same just as Matthew 19:17 declares.

Almighty God is looking for friends. Like Abraham, we can be a friend of God in a walk in faith. And as a friend of God, we get to walk in His instruction. It's a blessing, an offering of love not a scorecard for salvation in eternal life with resurrection as the reward.

As a friend, we get to walk in the word of God as a joy and blessing, not look at the Torah as a heavy stone or yoke to carry with a legalistic burden of performance for redemption with religious add-ins or take aways. 

That's the Jesus message. His way of describing it is: “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” You'll find that in Matthew 11:28–30. 

There, Jesus tells all who are weary and burdened by manmade religion to come to Him for rest. 

The true Torah of God provides rest and freedom because God's instruction shows us we must all rely on Almighty God for His provision and not ourselves. We can keep His word with the Spirit writing God's Torah of love on our hearts.

That is the definition of the new covenant found in Jeremiah 31:31-34. 

We can't claim the new covenant is verse 31 alone. We can never be found righteous in Torah observance. Yet it is filled with wisdom, understanding and knowledge, to point us toward a pure and holy life "near" the mercy seat and the Most Holy place.

That perspective points to Yeshua's set apart life in the image of God as it was meant to be from the beginning. 

Salvation is new life, it cannot come from keeping the law because we cannot keep it perfectly, but the good news is Yeshua did. All others have sinned, we are like Adam and Eve. We are human and God knows that about each of us! 

Yet, we can be justified in faith, that's why the letter writer we call Paul wrote this:
“Therefore the law (Torah) has become our tutor to lead us to Messiah, that we may be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul says his purpose was to boldly proclaim the 'mystery' of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19). 

That mystery is revealed among those jots and tittles of the Torah and all we need to do is open our eyes to see it: the jot and tittle connection is the Torah inscribed by God's servant Moses written on our hearts by Almighty God.

Our response can be faith just like God's friend Abraham.

The covenant given to Abraham provides the foundation to reveal God's gospel plan to establish a people with a blessing.

When the families of Israel and the strangers and sojourners with them left the slavery of Egypt behind they reached Mount Sinai. There Almighty God betrothed them in covenant as He spoke the ten words, the wedding vows of His Kingdom we call the Ten Commandments.

That I do vow is the beginning of covenant with Almighty God and with other people. Yet, all have sinned, they broke the covenant, so in great mercy Almighty God promised the prophet like Moses. 

You can read that promise in Deuteronomy 18:15-19.

Those Ten Commandments were rewritten in stone by our Creator God and after that incredible event, Moses then began to inscribe the details of The LORD's instruction as the Kingdom constitution on a scroll called the Torah. 

It includes The Father's plan of redemption outlined in The Feasts of The Lord.

On the first trip down the mountain, Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying the precious gift of God's covenant for His people. As, Moses climbed down, He and Joshua found 3,000 people in an act of idolatry prostitution worshipping an Egyptian idol, the golden calf.

Just 40 days earlier, those same people had vowed to walk in covenant with Almighty God as their King, but just like Adam and Eve, they fell willfully ignored God's voice and broke their promise to keep the covenant of Almighty God.

There is a backstory too. It began with the blood of five sacrifices that bound Abraham to God's covenant that was re-affirmed by the blood of lambs sprinkled by hyssop on their doorposts in Egypt (Exodus 12:22). 

God chose blood to legally bind Abraham's covenant, so life blood would again be required for the restoration and binding of the broken covenant at Sinai.

In God's mystery, without the gift of lifeblood, there can be no redemption from broken covenant. Therefore, the son of man, the son of God - Yeshua offered His own lifeblood to renew and restore the broken covenants and defeat the power the deceiver claimed in Eden, which is death.

The good news is we can all respond with a heart of faith. We can choose to walk as Yeshua walked, and the time is now. 

While we have no human ability to walk in all of the commandments of God at all times as Yeshua did, we can try out of love and accept the free will sacrifice of Yeshua Messiah to cover and atone for our transgressions and sin against God and each other.

When we do, we will see that the goal of the Torah is to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us just as the pillar of fire led Israel and the sojourners with them through the wilderness. 

If we want to walk in covenant, we get to choose to follow what The Father asks us to do in loving obedience and live in the promise of His eternal blessings though Messiah.

It is this Spirit-filled heart of obedience that Yeshua is seeking to magnify His teaching on the jots and tittles of the Torah when He speaks of “surpassing” the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20). 

That message in Matthew is amazing and it's one we can easily miss unless we know that as God’s children, we will be richly blessed by our walk in God's "teaching and instruction" (Torah).

It's our honor as God's children to choose to walk in God's teaching yet, it is NOT a means to achieve His gift of salvation. The Torah is NOT a religious checklist of do's or don'ts as a means to earn redemption or salvation in resurrection. 

The Torah is the God given opportunity to choose to walk in God's image as it was meant from the beginning and return our love in reverent worship because our hearts are overwhelmed in joy and thanksgiving to give our love to "The One" who redeems us.

Think of it this way: the Ten Commandments are the outline of Almighty God’s marriage covenant for life and relationship. The two tablets of stone are the table of contents of the Torah teaching of God on how to live near Him.

On one tablet are the principles of how we are to honor God and on the other are the principles of how we are to honor our neighbors sojourning with us in God's world.

This is why Matthew reveals the story of a lawyer. Do you suppose that he was a man that studied and taught Roman law? Nah, no way, he was a Yeshiva teacher, a teacher of the Torah. He asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment in the law as a witness of Torah described in Matthew 22:35-40.

The response from Yeshua referenced the very heart of the message of the two tablets inscribed at Sinai as the two witnesses that sum up the whole of the Torah as the way of life.

Yeshua said that to love God is the first and greatest commandment. He spoke of the 'Shema" of the sermon of Moses shown in Deuteronomy 6:4-5. It is first and greatest command in that it represents the heartbeat of every command. But also remember Yeshua said, “If you love me, keep my Commandments” John 14:15 and He said: "I and [my] Father are one" John 10:30.

There's a reason Yeshua went on to answer the man: "And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets.”"

The two tablets were given at the smoking, fiery pinnacle of Sinai and they remain as our covenant in how we are to honor God and walk in the ways and teaching of Messiah Yeshua. God's commandments were Yeshua's and they can be yours too, you can be one with Yeshua if you love Him as He was one with The Father, Yeshua say how: “If you love me, keep my Commandments.”

By God's mystery design, His desire is to have us rely on Him as we diminish ourselves, and so many aspects of the Torah are impossible for anyone to keep or understand without His presence. It seems as if we are in a two-thousand year half time if you will between the appearances of Messiah, yet the ten commandments remain, not only etched in stone but in our hearts.

Those that wait for His presence also wait for the Tabernacle's Feast worship service which the Prophets say will be reinstated in the millennial reign of Messiah.

The two days are ending soon, but halftime never ends a game and 2,000 years does not do away with God's covenant instruction.

Somehow in a great mystery this is a part of God's master plan. Just as there is a long wait between the Spring Feasts that show us Yeshua's first coming and the Fall Feasts that will engage at His second coming, God’s declaration for the restoration of Heaven on Earth is right on His schedule.

When we dig into it, we see that a huge part of the Torah's instruction provides detailed worship service protocols for the Levites as they were chosen as a gift by God to tend to the keeping of the Tabernacle and its altar services in the physical presence of the consuming fire of God Almighty God.

That Shekinah is not seen right now on Earth, that's easy to understand. Yet, that in no way takes away from the resurrection life of Yeshua as our Savior and mediator between God and mankind.

We tend to freak out a bit or shut down when we consider that the altar offerings will be seen again in the Kingdom of our Lord, but we need to realize that they will fulfill the same function they did long ago before the Pillar of Fire of the God of Israel. They will continue to give us all a very graphic and physical representation of the ultimate sacrifice offering of Yeshua and the atonement that is provided to cover sin by His blood.

The gift of the Levites and their services clearly points all of mankind 'forward to' the coming of Messiah and His Passover miracle of atonement death and the First Fruits resurrection in redemption.

That's why Ezekiel shows us the design of the Temple that will direct our hearts 'back to' what Messiah Yeshua has accomplished for the redemption of all.

We need to know that the word Torah means teaching, so we can see that the gift of the Levites is a teaching for both the natural and the adopted family of Israel.

We must remember Yeshua’s words that teach that righteousness is the work of the heart for our love for God and each other. That focus enables us to understand the commandments as a blessing so we be empowered to walk as Yeshua intended and show the world we love the Father.

John 14:31 shows us that Jesus summed this up for His disciples at the Passover as the twelve gathered: "I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father."

"I do as the Father has commanded me, so that
the world may know that I love the Father."

Jesus also says...

“Not every one who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father, who is in heaven.”

Out of cultural context, its hard to understand, but the grief and admonishment that Yeshua gave the whitewashed men He called graves was only because some of those rabbis had lost sight of the spirited heart of God's Torah and they became entangled in the barbed wire of their words, so much so that their traditions became greater than the Torah in their own hearts.

For them, the 'to do' and 'not to do' list became a weighty burden that they added to. They were fenced in under their own traditions because they ignored Moses' admonition and added to God's Word and built a wall.

The Torah never described a dividing wall between Israel and the nations. The people God calls to Himself as children of Israel were call to be priests to the nations. They were call to be distinct and set apart by Torah, but as Yeshua taught His disciples in Matthew 5, this was so they could be seen as a lamp, a light to the world.

After all, if you blend in with the crowd no one will notice the menorah. The lights are called to be a bright fire because the flames represent the manifest presence and Spirit of God.

Isaiah 11:2 tells us of them: "And the (1) spirit of YHVH shall rest upon him, the spirit of (2) wisdom and (3) understanding, the spirit of (4) counsel and (5) might, the spirit of (6) knowledge and of the (7) fear of YHVH."

The book of Revelation show us this at least four times it is VERY important. I pray they are a revelation to you:
Revelation 1:4 "John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne." 
Revelation 3:1 "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." 
Revelation 4:5 "And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God." 
Revelation 5:6 "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth."
I pray we will be a bright light to the lost and show others how to walk in the light of Messiah, the living Torah as we accept the assignment to be a priest to the nations teaching others of redemption just like Paul taught:

"But of him are ye in Messiah Yeshua, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" 1Corinthians 1:30

Paul learned this from Isaiah's words:
“The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will MAGNIFY the Torah, and make it honourable.” Isaiah 42:21
Like Paul, be like Messiah and know the Scriptures. Just look at Matthew 4:4-10. Look at chapters 11,21 and 26 too. His response was like that in Joshua 8:31, 1Kings 2:3 and Psalms 40:7:
"It is written"
The jot and tittles declare "Who is the One Called Jesus."  I'd time for all of us to repent and return to them as Believers, united in unison with God's covenant word. 

It's time to repent, return to hear and do His word if we are to walk in the faith of His Kingdom path to be set apart for God's service.

Almighty God is a sovereign God. He is a loving, unchanging God and He has provided a way to offer you His salvation though grace. You can accept His gift of life. Consider carefully what your own life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept His gift of love through Messiah Yeshua - Jesus Christ. Do it now and open His instruction manual for living life His way!

What does this all mean? 

It's jot and tittle time. Torah time to repent and return to God's voice, return to hear and do His words and walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your assignment. 

Stretch out your hand, and take from the tree of life, and live forever.

Open a Bible, read it, listen to God's voice and do Yeshua's teaching about the forever jots and tittles. 

You can learn how the things which are written in the Torah, the Prophets, and the Psalms are concerning Messiah and you can teach others to live life like Jesus, it's love in God's way:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes 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
Today is the time, open your eyes if you're dead in your own valley of dry bones.

Look up and you'll recognize Messiah from Abraham's promise passed on to Isaac and Jacob as written by Moses in the Torah. You can see Him too in the Prophets and the Writings.

Repent and walk your Emmaus Road with Messiah. Study the Scriptures He taught every Sabbath that are filled with doing life God's way in the Kingdom, and tell others about Him. Be a gatekeeper until the house is complete.

Shalom ya'll.