The Danger of Overshooting the Mark
As I peruse the various websites on the internet that have to do with the Messianic movement, I have come to recognize a condition that is becoming increasingly alarming. It has mostly to do with new Messianic Believers who are usually rather overwhelmed with the information out there and what they are to do with it. This message is a caution to all those who are “coming out of her” (Rev. 18:4) during these end times. It is a message to the House of Israel, or House of Ephraim, as the veil is lifted at the end of Ephraim’s punishment.
This is a time when the Christians have their blinders removed and they discover that:
- They have inherited lies from their forefathers.
- They are actually part of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel or Northern Kingdom.
- They have lost their Hebrew roots and have been practicing a pagan Babylonian form of worship and were doing it to the Elohim of the bible.
- They have a need to restore their faith to that of the apostolic body of believers.
Most will not have any frame of reference for what to do when they discover these things and will seek out information in many diverse places. Many will use the internet, others the bookstore. It is a natural trend to seek out information from “Jewish” sources since they (the new believers) have not yet discovered the Natsarim.
Overshooting the mark can also be thought of as jumping from one frying pan into another. As Christians come out of their apostate religion, they tend to overshoot the mark of Torah and end up in another religion (Judaism) which is just as caustic and likewise contains pagan forms. Modern day Rabbinic Judaism is an extension of the Pharisees’ religion which Messiah preached against.
As the veil of blindness is being lifted during these end times, both from the House of Israel and the House of Judah, you will find that there are two Messianic groups. There are those in the House of Judah (known as Messianic Jews) who are finally discovering that Yahushua (Jesus) of Natsareth is the Messiah and that He is Yahuwah come in the flesh, and there are those of the House of Israel (Christians) who are discovering that Yahushua is the living Torah and that we must return to Torah and walk in obedience to our Elohim.
For those emerging out of Christendom, they are coming out ill-equipped for their journey because of false doctrines such as Dispensationalism and Replacement Theology. They have been taught such false doctrines as:
- The Old Testament is just for the Jews.
- We don’t live “under the Law”, we are under Grace.
- Messiah’s death on the cross put an end to the practices of the Old Testament.
- The Renewed Testament is somehow a New Testament which replaces the Old Testament.
These notions contradict the Scriptures in so many ways. Messiah said, in Matthew 5:17-18,
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete (satisfy, verify, perfect). For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done.”
Clearly, not all has been done and therefore the Torah is still in force for all followers of Yahuwah, our Elohim (God). When reading Leviticus (Wayyiqra) 23, which describes the “Feasts of the LORD” (Moedim), it is clearly stated by Elohim that these feasts are “for all generations” and “forever”. There was no mention anywhere in Scripture that there was a “changing of the guard”. In other words, the covenants and all the promises were made with Israel, not the “Church”.
Another great confusion for Christians, and apparently many Jews, is the understanding of the difference between ‘Hebrew’ and ‘Jew’ or ‘Israel’ and ‘Jew’. First of all, the term ‘Jew’ is a modern one, being only about 500 years old. The members of the House of Judah (Yahudah) are called the Yahudim. A person from the House of Yahudah is known as a Yahudi. This is still used today in several countries and languages of that region. This is the use of the modern term of ‘Jew’. However, when we think of Israel, we must include ALL of the tribes of Israel. This includes the little House of Yahudah (the Jews), which are the visible portion of Israel, and the much larger House of Israel (Ephraim) which is composed mostly of unaware Christians, sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) but blinded until their fullness is brought in, and is the hidden portion of Israel soon to be revealed as they are awakened to their heritage. Scripture tells us that when we are gathered together again upon Messiah’s return, the House of Israel will outnumber the House of Yahudah by 100:1.
With this in mind, let us remember that the Torah was given to Israel (all 12 tribes) at Mt. Sinai, not just the Jews. Let us also be aware of the fact that the covenant made by Yahuwah was with Israel, the entire Israel. Most Jews have been taught that Israel and the Jews are synonymous. This covenant made at Mt. Sinai was a ketubah or marriage contract made between Yahuwah and Israel, His chosen people, the sons of Jacob and all who choose to follow Yahuwah Elohenu (our God), the Creator of the universe. The word Torah was badly translated into the Greek as nomos, meaning law. This gave rise to a negative connotation among the Christian church. The Hebrew meaning of Torah is “instructions’ or “teachings.” It was given by Yahuwah to His bride both as a contract and as instructions on what is expected of her and how she should live a kodesh (holy) life in obedience to her Husband. The Torah is the constitution of the Kingdom of Elohim.
The Pharisees considered themselves above the Torah and added many ‘laws’ to Torah in clear violation of Elohim’s commands. These commands are known as takanot. In their attempt to control every aspect of Jewish life, they created thousands of ‘fence laws’ which were designed to keep the Jews from breaking Torah but were in fact a huge burden. It was to these laws that were added to Torah that Messiah was referring when He rebuked the Jewish leaders and called them whitewashed sepulchers. He then told the people to “Come to me all you who are weary and heavily laden and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. He was referring to the difference between the yeast of the Pharisees and the pure Torah. Unfortunately, many Messianic Jews (or those who proclaim to be Messianic) are still full of the yeast of the Pharisees as they preach their takanot and their takanot-inspired Talmud. In fact, if they do not proclaim that Yahushua is Yahuwah come in the flesh, they are merely wolves in sheep’s clothing and are far from being truly Messianic. Beware of these wolves that have infiltrated many Messianic websites and pretend to be Messianic. The Spirit is not in them. They are merely Judaizers in disguise.
As you learn to walk in Torah, always refer to the Scriptures to find what Yahuwah requires of you, not what the Rabbis say to do. They picked up some Babylonian yeast during their 70 year exile in Babylon. When learning to keep the Sabbath and the Moedim, learn to separate pure Torah from Jewish tradition. As you grow in Torah, you will find ways to keep the Moedim in a more Messiah-centered way. Remember, you are of one of the Tribes of the House of Israel and not of the Tribe of Yahudah. The commonality lies in the Word of Elohim and not in Jewish oral tradition.
The following are some of the things that are purely Jewish religious tradition and have no basis in Scripture:
- The wearing of the kippah, the cap of Hermes (a pagan deity). The pope wears it.
- Bobbing back and forth when reading the Scripture.
- Substituting the name of Yahuwah with other words such as Adonai or HaShem. They also will not speak the name of Yahuwah or even write the tetragrammaton , even in English (YHWH). They might use something like Y*H*W*H in their attempt to camouflage it. His name appears 6,823 times in the Tanakh (Old Testament) and we are commanded to call upon His name.
- Playing the “dash game” or the “star game”. Yahuwah commanded us to not let the names of pagan gods come out of our mouths. This has been extended by Rabbinical decree to include writing. Thus the use of dashes, such as g-d. It is better to learn an alternate word than to play such games. It’s rather childish, don’t you think?
- Lighting candles on the Sabbath.
These things you do not have to do. They are just religious games. Learn to discern pure Torah from religion. You will come to know the truth and the truth will set you free.
A final word: Many Christians who are coming out of Babylon (Rev. 18) are so caught up in learning Torah and Hebrew, that they forget from whence they came! Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. If you have learned about the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) and the gifts of the Holy Spirit and have been Milveh'd (baptized) in the Holy Spirit, remember and use your gifts. These are not to be discarded while you are learning the Torah. The gifts were prophesied in the Tanakh and are very important for us in these end times. Try to keep a balance and learn to discern what is the truth of YHWH and what is the leaven of man-made religion.