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

Sunday, 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?”

"If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me."
The disciple John credits Yeshua with those words.

In my Scripture studies, I found the Bible tells us creation was spoken by God, 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.

But Paul writes 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 the solemn promise form 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, so does righteousness!!

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 myriad witnesses of truth that Jesus loved, lived out and taught are 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. You can ignore this message but this about it trials and tribulation will come as the world systems that oppose God's voice will implodes. As it was in the beginning, the choice is yours.

The documentation of God's Torah message started at Mount Sinai as shown 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 read this: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" — Mark 9:7

Many people debate Jesus, they don't listen to Him. They also argue that Jesus taught a new way from a new Bible with a dividing page, not the Hebrew Bible. The debate is over. 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 Bible to a deeper understanding.

Salvation is by grace and 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 to share the mystery, redemptive work of Yeshua.

Yeshua came and gave explanation on the meaning to the Torah and He lived it out. He 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.

The Torah of God connects 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 you 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. 

On the contrary, it makes a child of God accountable to the constitution of the Holy King of the Universe. 

Yeshua taught that the loving God will help us in our Torah walk. The way of love is the walk, 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 direct 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, and God's way of living can only be kept properly when the Word of God is understood that it is to be 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 true disciple of Yeshua, simply put:

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

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

What an honor it is 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 obligation or duty.

Yeshua, aka Jesus wasn't Catholic or Protestant.

He was a Jewish Rabbi. He didn't teach in a church Sunday School, He taught on the Sabbath in synagogues.  

He never new religion replacement theology. He 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. 

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

That Torah is embedded in Acts 1-2. He also celebrated wonderful Jewish traditions including Hanukkah which is shown in John 10 and the traditional Passover seder that the church relabeled as the last supper of bread and wine. 

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

Like Abraham, we can be a friend of God by a walk in faith as a friend. 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 resurrection.

As a friend, we get to walk in the word of God as our joy, not look at Torah as a heavy stone to carry as a legalistic burden for redemption with religious add-ins by religious men. That's the message of the saying “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” You'll find that in Matthew 11:28–30, in which 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, His Torah defines sin yet it shows us we must all rely on God for His provision and not ourselves. We can't keep His word without The Lord God of Israel showing us the way and helping us daily by His Spirit writing God's Torah 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 points to Yeshua's life in the image of God as it was meant to be from the beginning.

Salvation is tied to resurrection. That new life cannot come from keeping the law because we cannot keep it perfectly, but Yeshua did. All others have sinned, we are all 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 taught 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). 

This 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 with the spirit of faith seen in God's friend Abraham.

The covenant given to Abraham provides the foundation to reveal God's plan to established a people and a blessing of the Promised Land like an endowment, a wedding gift to God’s people.

When the families of Israel and the strangers and sojourners that left the slavery of Egypt behind reached Mount Sinai, Almighty God betrothed them in covenant as He spoke the ten words, the wedding vows of His Kingdom with the Ten Commandments of instruction of how to walk in marriage covenant with Almighty God and with other people, yet they broke it so the prophet like Moses was promised. You can read that promise in Deuteronomy 18:15-19.

The covenant is known as the ten words. Those Ten Commandments were written 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 and that scroll is called the Torah. It includes The Father's plan of redemption outlined in The Feasts of The Lord.

Yet, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying the precious gift of God's covenant and the vows for His people, both Moses and Joshua climbed down and found 3,000 people in the act of idolatry, a prostitution before an Egyptian false idol, the golden calf.

Just 40 days earlier, those same people had all agreed to walk in covenant with God as their King, but much like Adam and Eve, they fell quickly and willfully broke their promise to keep the covenant of Almighty God.

There is a backstory. What 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) and then again when Moses threw blood on the people (Exodus 24:8) had been broken. Yet, because God chose blood to legally bind Abraham's covenant, the Passover covenant and the "marriage" covenant that the LORD made with the Ten Commandments, a life blood would again be required for the restoration and binding of these covenants.

In God's mystery, without the gift of lifeblood, there can be no redemption from a 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 of the deceiver claimed in Eden, which is death.

We can all respond with our heart inscription of faith and walk just as Yeshua did, but the time is now. While we have no human ability to perfectly 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.

When we do, we might see that the true 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 can choose to follow what The Father asks us to do when He asks us to walk in loving obedience and demonstrate 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). This message in Matthew from 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 get to choose to walk in God's teaching yet, it is NOT a means to His gift of salvation. The 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 ways and return our love in reverent worship because our hearts are overwhelmed in joy and thanksgiving to give our offering in love for "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 with Him. 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:

Isaiah 42:21 “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will MAGNIFY the Torah, and make it honourable.”

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. 

It means that if you want to share this message you need to 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"
It means we need to know "Who is the One Called Jesus". Really know Him and His teaching. It means that it is now time for all of us to repent and return as Believers, united in unison with God's covenant word. It means we must repent, return to hear and do His word if we are to walk in the faith of His Kingdom path so that you can ready your lamp for your coming assignment as you are called by His Spirit to be set apart for His service.

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!

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
And if you have done this, ask God in faith to send His baptism of the Holy Spirit on you so that your life will spiritually shine as a witness to others with the love and light of Messiah as dark days ahead stare our nation in the face. Take a stand.

May God Bless as you seek your oil to light a fire pleasing to Him!

Shalom ya'll.

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