"And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Gen 2:2-3)
If God Himself rested on the seventh day and we are created in His image and likeness, then surely we need to do likewise? God declares this Sabbath day as holy, set apart from the other six days. So this day is all about being set apart to be a holy people. It is not surprising then that this seventh day has been and is such a major stumbling stone to people in the mainline Christian denominations who have taken on the lie that the Torah is done away with and has been replaced by Grace. The enemy, the Anti-Christ supports those who are anti-Torah as he is the Lawless One, the 'Torahless' One! We who are call Christians, the followers of Messiah are meant to be 'called out', ecclesia from the world. Set apart to be holy and righteous under a Holy God who hates sin but loves the sinner.
In Matthew 22:36 Yeshua is challenged by the Pharisees; "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Torah?" And Yeshua said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Deut. 6:5) This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Lev. 19:18) On these two commandments all the Torah and the Prophets hang."
Our Heavenly Father cannot love us any more than He already does. The closeness of our relationship with Him is how much we love Him and by how much we love others. Yeshua said in John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments" .So a measure of how much we love Yeshua is how much do we desire to be obedient to His Word (Logos), the Living Torah as quoted in verse 24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My Words, and the Word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.. that needs to be written on our hearts."
The first five Books of the Bible - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy - are the books of Moses and are called the 'Pentateuch' or in Hebrew 'Torah'. The word Torah occurs over two hundred times in the Hebrew Scriptures and its equivalent word in the Greek – nomos - occurs also over two hundred times in the 'New Testament'. In most English translations of the Bible, translators have tended to mistranslate the words 'Torah' and 'Nomos' as 'law'. However, Torah is derived from the verb yarah which means 'to teach' or 'to instruct'. Hence Torah means the 'Teaching or Instructions of God'. It is an archery term that means 'to hit the mark'. So the picture employed is of an archery target with the Torah forming the bulls-eye with the arrow hitting the bulls-eye representing the keeping of the Torah. Unsurprisingly then, the Hebrew word for sin - 'chatah' – means to fall short, that is, to miss the mark, the bull's-eye. It is only with much practice that we are able to hit the bulls-eye with the help of the Holy Spirit, Ruach HaKodesh. More on this in the next newsletter.
The picture can also be used to come to a better understanding of the place of the Torah in Scripture. The Torah forms the centre of the Bible and in the diagram is pictured in yellow with the red and the blue concentric circles representing the Prophets (Nevi'im) and Writings (K'tuvim) respectively making up the Hebrew Scriptures, the Tanach. Finally the 'B'rit Hadashah', the New Testament forms the outer circle to the complete Bible.
Hebrew is one of the few languages that is not only phonetic, but numerical and pictorial. The four letters תורה that spell Torah represent the numbers 5+200+6+400=611! Now traditionally there are 613 commandments that are contained in the Torah, so what about the two missing commandments. As recorded in Matthew 22:36, Yeshua was asked which is the greatest commandment in the Torah and the Prophets and He states 'to love God and to love your neighbour as yourself on these two commandments depend all the (611) commandments'. For as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:1 "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." The commandments of Torah hang on these two commandments of love. Hence love is the way for Torah to be written on our hearts! It is not about salvation but about righteousness and holiness.
To bring about the One New Man the Jewish people need to accept their Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach and return to Torah to be sanctified. While the Gentiles, once they have accepted the Jewish Messiah need to start walking in the truth of the Torah in preparation for the return of Messiah who is the living Torah (Word made flesh).
Psa 119:29 Keep me from being deceitful, and be kind enough to teach me your Torah.
Articles on Torah