One Law For All

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Did you know just as each nation has it’s own set of laws, as does the United States of America has a constitution, so does God’s nation or kingdom? God’s kingdom’s constitution is the Torah, His laws found throughout the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) and repeated throughout the prophets, demonstrated by Jesus / Yeshua, and taught by the Apostles.

Unfortunately, due to Anti-Semitic leaders, starting with the Emperor Constantine, and early church history, poisonous false doctrines of men were handed down throughout the centuries leading Christians away from God’s holy constitution even persecuting Messianic Jews, also called Christians, for honoring the Heavenly Father’s commands.

As time went by, it’s been said that the laws of God were only for the Jews and not Gentiles, meaning anyone not of Jewish descent. However, we see in His word, which is God’s written or recorded voice and will (Deut 30; John 10), also known as ‘The Way’ (Acts 9:2; 19:9; 22:4), that God’s instructions were given to not just the Israelites (those of the 12 tribes of Israel), but they also were for anyone who aligned themselves with that faith. Numerous people, who were not natural descendants of Israel, left Egypt along with the Israelites in the Passover/ Red Sea crossing over event (see Exodus 12:37-38) and yet adopted God’s instructions as they were revealed. Another example would be the story of Ruth (read Book of Ruth), a Moabite, who aligned herself with the Jewish people, married Boaz, and was a direct ancestor of not only King David, but Yeshua / Jesus too (Matthew 2:5-6)! When Ruth declared, “Your people will be my people and your God will be my God..” (Ruth 1:16), she became one or was in one accord with the Jewish people. Physically she was not of Jewish descent, but spiritually in her heart and by her physical actions she aligned with the One true God and His nation making her one of His people too! For what comes out of the heart reveals the transformation within (Mark 7; Deut.6:29, 30:6-8).

Throughout history and Scripture, eventually the term “Jew” became interchangeable with those of the tribes of Israel meaning a physical descendant of ancient Israel. “Jews” is actually a slang term derived from the tribe of Judah. Judah, was one of the 12 children of Jacob (Genesis 35:23-26; Genesis 49), who’s name later was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28). Abraham, was Jacob/Israel’s grandfather, whom God made a covenant with stating Abraham would have as many descendants as the stars and grains of sand (Genesis 22:15-18). Indeed, despite ongoing Anti-Semitism, the Jewish people are as many as the stars and grains of sand. Not by coincidence, this promise was given when Abraham was about to obey God by sacrificing his son, Isaac, but instead God provided a sacrifice, all of which foreshadowed God sacrificing His Son and Lamb, Jesus/ Yeshua, so that Abba Father / God could also have many descendants or children of God through faith in Jesus – as many as the stars and grains of sand! Moreover, we learn when anyone believes in Jesus/Yeshua as the redeemer of their lawlessness/sins and repents of such evil doings in their lives, they become part of the commonwealth of Israel or grafted-in Israelites or as the Apostle Paul seems to infer likened to ‘spiritual Jews’ having been circumcised of the heart (Romans 2:28-29). All of which validates the message of the first testament stating God’s laws weren’t just for the “native” Israelite but also for the stranger within or those grafted-in or brought into the flock so to speak. These concepts we see reiterated in the Messianic Era, when Yeshua rules and reigns on Earth (see Ezekiel 47:21-23; Isaiah 2; Micah 4-5). Check out these Scriptures for many other examples:

  • “Then the children of Israel journeyed from Ramses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude went up with them also..” Exodus 12:37-38 (NKJV)
  • One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.” Exodus 12:49 (NKJV)
  • “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations,: either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you.” Leviticus 18:26 (NKJV)
  • “All who are native-born shall do these things…and if a stranger dwells with you, or whoever is among you throughout your generations..One ordinance shall be for you of the assembly and for the stranger who dwells with you, an ordinance forever throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD.” Numbers 15:13-15 (NKJV)
  • “You shall have one law for him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born among the children off Israel and for the stranger who dwells among them.”Numbers 15:29 (NKJV)
  • “But the person who does anything presumptuously (intentional sin), whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the LORD, and he shall be cut off from among his people.” Numbers 15:30 (NKJV)
  • “Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. All of you are standing today in the presence of the Lord your God—your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, together with your children and your wives, and the foreigners living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today.” Deuteronomy 29:9-15
  • “Do not let the son of a foreigner (not a natural Israelite) who has joined himself to the LORD speak saying, ‘The LORD has utterly separated me from His people’; nor let the eunuch say, ‘Here I am, a dry tree.’ For thus says the LORD: ‘To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 56:3-4 (NKJV)
  • “Also, the sons of the foreigner, who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants – Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant– even them I will bring to My holy mountain (Zion // Jerusalem), and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Isaiah 56:6-7 (NKJV)
  • “Thus says the LORD God: ‘Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be in one in My hand…and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be over them…they shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 37:15-23 (NKJV)
  • “You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief (faith & obedience) they (natural Israelites) were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear (keep God’s laws). For if God did not spare the natural branches (Israelites/physically Jewish people), He may not spare you either (grafted-in Israelites/spiritual Jews). Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but towards you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they (natural Israelites/physical Jews) also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” Romans 11:19-23 (NKJV)
  • “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29 (NKJV)
  • “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh– who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands- that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13 (NKJV)

And lastly, we see the Book of Revelation describes believers or saints as not just those who believe in Jesus / Yeshua, but who also keep God’s laws, His kingdom constitution. Because in Jewish/Hebraic culture, verses western interpretations, to believe is to do. Abba isn’t interested in lip service, He wants your heart…to love Him with your entire being and if you intend on dwelling in His holy nation one fine day upon our Messiah’s return, His Torah will be the law of the land (Isaiah 2, Micah 4, Zechariah 14).

  • “And the dragon (Satan/Anti-Christ) was enraged with the woman (Christ), and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring (Bride of Christ / children of God/ saints / believers), who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17 (NKJV)
  • “Here is the patience of the saints: here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12 (NKJV)

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So you see, dear brothers and sisters, Abba Father’s household rules or kingdom constitution is His Torah, His commandments, His laws, which are eternal (Psalm 119:160). His instructions teach us HOW to love Him, HOW to love others, and HOW He wants to be worshiped. If we say we are of Him, believe in Him, and accepted His amazing grace, we will be given His Spirit of Holiness and will want to submit to His authority, His ways, His will, which are found in His kingdom constitution, the Torah. May we not be like illegal immigrants who want to access our great nation of the United States of America and reap it’s benefits, but refuse to unite with us by obeying our laws. For if they were interested in being true citizens, uniting with us and our ways, they would have entered legally and continue to abide in our laws just as Yeshua said we will legally enter through Him and ought to abide in Him and His Father’s laws.

Shalom and Amen.

Boundaries // Don’t Judge Me?

After a difficult week dealing with a problematic pet and while noticing other issues, I share in this teaching video some truths I have come into along my journeys. This week in particular seems to be crying out for such truths! Watch the video or continue reading to learn more!

In our American culture and even the Christian culture, we tend to be confused on the importance of boundaries and what love looks like. We tend to equate love with tolerance and rebel against structure, laws, and boundaries in general not wanting to offend or judge others in matters. Just look at our society today. Look at our churches, our schools, our homes, and our individual lives. We have become chaos and confusion under the guise of peace and safety…under the terms of tolerance and love.

dontjudgemeBoundaries are essentially a defined space, defined rights, responsibilities, or terms providing a healthy environment to genuinely respect and love one another. An illustration of such boundaries and their purpose would be the laws of the road. These laws, such as the speed limit, lines of a lane, red lights, traffic signs, destination signs, etc all are boundaries that when abided by or adhered to or followed allow for each of us to safely and peaceably reach our destination. Other forms of boundaries are fences, walls, doors, gates, usernames and passwords, contracts, lease agreements, and other legal terms. Boundaries define our rights and responsibilities…what is expected of each of us in order to operate in a respectful, loving, safe, and peaceful manner.

torahLikewise, G-d has boundaries. In fact, He is the original and ultimate author of boundaries. His laws are His ways and His will, which we can find throughout the holy Scriptures, namely throughout the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The rest of Scripture, including the lives of many before, but especially, Jesus or Yeshua, in His Hebrew name, helped demonstrate the meaning and purpose of G-d’s boundaries.

Furthermore, without G-d’s Torah, or boundaries..His written Voice, we would have no understanding of right and wrong, clean and unclean, holy and unholy and so forth (Romans 7:7; 15:14; 1 John 3:4).  We would not even be able to accept G-d’s grace without G-d’s definition of sin found in His word. Unfortunately, many have fallen for the great deception that G-d’s laws no longer apply for we are under grace, twisting Paul’s words to fit their rebellious hearts (2 Peter 3:14-18), but Scriptures reveal *because* of G-d’s grace and subsequent acceptance of His gift of grace..His promise, which is G-d’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:8; Acts 1:4-5; 2:38-39), He will cause us to submit to G-d’s laws (Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31:31-33), not do away with them (Matthew 5:17; Romans 7:7,12), which is rebellion, sin, and bluntly speaking, witchcraft (I Samuel 15)!

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Moreover, we have adopted the false notion that we should not discern nor speak out against what G-d defines as unholy, unclean, unrighteous. In our cowardness and complacency in our freedoms of faith in this country, we have succumbed to remaining silent captive to the deceiving chain of not wanting to judge others. It has been taught to many of us in Christian circles that to judge others is to not demonstrate love. But what does Scripture actually say about judging one another? Could discernment, judgment, and action be a form of love in G-d’s eyes? Let’s take a look together!

Tough love is a form of true love.

While most of today’s Christian culture eagerly propagates passages and doctrines of G-d’s abundant love, prosperity, and purpose to serve humans, the Scriptures within context, have a more balanced perspective. While G-d is a merciful, forgiving, and gracious holy G-d, who most certainly abundantly loves, He also is just. For without His justice, He could not be Holy, nor forgiving and gracious. Many fail to comprehend that tough love is a required form of true love. In fact, by remaining silent, doing nothing, in the name of grace, only further enables, approves, and reproduces the unholy, unjust sin that circumnavigates our globe readily. In other words, there is a fine line between exhibiting gracious acts and exhibiting grievous acts.

There is a fine line between exhibiting gracious acts and exhibiting grievous acts.

Consider the concept of disciplining your child. Does it benefit your child, their futures, or those who encounter your child now or later in life to squander correcting bad behavior now? Parents who turn the other cheek, so to speak, end up producing a spoiled, entitled monster who terrorizes others (see Proverbs 13:24). By failing to establish and enforce healthy boundaries, whether that be in our children, pets, or other types of relationships, we invite chaos and further harm in our lives and those around us. Additionally, it harms the “boundary buster”. A boundary buster, is a term I created to label those who fail to respect others’ boundaries, whether that be one’s personal boundaries or boundaries defined by G-d.

stopsignEstablishing and enforcing healthy boundaries could be considered synonyms for judging others. Many Christians and those of the unbelieving world would say, “Don’t judge me!” or “Don’t worry, I’m not judging you..” in fear of what other’s may think, say, or do in response. After all, we are a society of walking on eggshells not wanting to dare offend anyone. When in reality, we have done exactly that: bred a society of the hyper-offended, just as Yeshua/Jesus prophecized (Matthew 24:10-13)!

“And then many will be offended, betray one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because LAWLESSNESS will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” -Yeshua, Matthew 24:10-13

Many believers have taken Jesus/Yeshua’s words and the Apostle Paul’s words out-of-context stating we should most definitely not judge others for this is not love and thereby, not Christ-like.

But is that what Scripture actually reflects? Let’s investigate a few passages to dig deeper. In Matthew 7, Jesus instructs His listeners to not judge others when you yourself struggle with the same or similar heart issue. Paul expresses similar sentiments in Romans 2. Furthermore, Scripture reveals that we are and in fact WILL BE judging others one day and that these encounters we experience in the here and now are training and testing us for future discernment opportunities. Explore these passages to learn more:

  • Matthew 7:1-6
  • Romans 2
  • 1 Corinthians 5 (Notice Paul says in verse 3 he judges/discerns the matter and in verses 4 and 5, Paul speaks to the importance of tough love for the betterment of the rebellious and disobedient “believer”. In verse 9 and onward, Paul explains to not only judge believers who are blatantly dishonoring G-d (and His ways), but to essentially shun them, which is a form of discipline and a very clear boundary to be established and enforced. He goes on to clarify, he does not mean to judge and discipline non-believers, for they do not know any better and are still lost, but to to judge and discipline those who claim to accept Yeshua and be in covenant with G-d/Abba Father. For clearly, if a person is pursuing sexual sin, as an example, they are demonstrating fruit of the flesh and not fruit of the Spirit. Such issues of the heart need to be addressed by speaking the truth in love (boundary) and enforcing it. Always check you own motives though before doing so and do so within the realms or boundaries Yeshua defined for us in Matthew 18:15-20. Furthermore, you cannot judge or discipline a fellow brother or sister in Christ when you yourself are still dealing with the same root issue. For example, if you yourself are a fornicator, adulterer, struggle with pornography, or some other form of sexual lust, who are you to judge and address a fellow believer who may be in a lifestyle of homosexuality? For you yourself are producing fruit with the same root of sexual lust.
  • 1 Corinthians 6 (Notice in verse 2 Paul reminds the Corinth church that believers or saints will be judging the world and even angels -see verse 3).
  • The Book of Jude in verses 14-15 (expresses similar sentiments of the saint will judge the world)
  • Revelation 20:4-6 (also explains the martyred saints will rule and reign and judge the world along with Christ).
  • Ezekiel 44:23-24; Isaiah 2; Micah 2; Zechariah 14 (In the millennium, we see the Levites will judge and instruct others in G-d’s laws as will Yeshua).

FB_IMG_1528553504768So you see, dear brother and sisters, we need not be afraid nor be ashamed to “judge” or discern matters much less address them in truth and love. Boundaries are established so that we can BE love, as our Heavenly Father and Elohim designed.

Fear not! Rather, love G-d and love others for tough love is true love. Amen.

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For further reading, consider the book “Boundaries” by Townsend and Cloud. Other than the Bible itself, this faith-based book, along with others in their series, changed my life for the better.

(updated 10.2.19)