One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

I have told you in advance."

Chapter 5:
YOU Must Be Obedient To Scripture

Learning obedience

In examining the principles of Biblical interpretation, this one is the key to each of the others. It is also the most overlooked and underrated of all principles in having a true and proper understanding of Scripture.

While it is true that a person could leave out one of the other principles and still make some progress (except probably the principle of having the Holy Spirit as his teacher), it is doubtful that it is true of this one: obedience. Since the Scripture is spiritual in nature, if one is without the willingness to be obedient to the truth discovered while reading and studying it, it is not possible to gain any real knowledge of the truth found in it without being obedient to the truth found therein.

This is the only real requirement of YHWH’s kingdom. Grasping the importance of loving obedience to Messiah in a person’s life is essential to understanding the Scripture, and what YHWH desires of His most precious creation: man. For if a man is to enter the Kingdom of YHWH, then, he must be obedient. It is YHWH’s will that each person be saved. It is YHWH’s will that each person repent. It is YHWH’s will that each person be sanctified. It is YHWH’s will that each person have eternal life. (Each of these areas can and do apply to each reader.) If one is to have any of the things that are YHWH’s will, then it stands that one must be obedient to Him. The obedience being referred to here is not to the legalistic keeping of the letter of the Law, for this is physically impossible for man to do; but rather, obedience to the Spirit of the Law -- the Spirit of Messiah who dwells in the disciple, or obedience to the Law of Grace. (There is actually no difference between the Law of Grace, and Torah. The Law of Grace is keeping Torah with, in, and by, the heart of a person.)

It should be recognized that the obedience itself does not save a person, nor give him eternal life. Look at an example of a man drowning. The drowning man is calling out for help. He knows there is a lifeguard. He wants the lifeguard to help him. Is there anything that the drowning man can do or “will” to make the lifeguard save him? No! As much as the drowning man wants to be saved, as much as he repents, as much as he obeys, there is nothing that he does or wills that will save him. It is solely the will and actions of the lifeguard. It is the will of the lifeguard which propels the lifeguard into life-saving action towards the drowning man. So it is with YHWH. It is His will and His actions which save the individual and gives one eternal life. One only needs to have the desire to be saved. He must call out for help. This is essentially what repentance is: a calling out for help.

If it is the desire of one’s heart to be obedient (and YHWH knows whether it is or not), then he will know whether the teaching he is hearing is from YHWH or elsewhere.

Yochanan (John) 7:17
“If any man will do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of YHWH, or whether I speak of Myself.”

The implication in this Scripture is that if one is not trying to be obedient to YHWH and His word, then he will not be able to discern the truth from untruth.[7]This can have serious effects in the life of the disciple, if he is unwilling to follow YHWH in full obedience.

This is especially true when it deals with the area of Biblical prophecy. One can read all kinds of books upon the subject and gain only a surface knowledge of the return of Yeshua, but in reality the knowledge gained will only be by rote. Furthermore, a person will not know whether or not it is in harmony with the Scripture. In fact, many times if one is not walking in the fullness of His Spirit, then things will appeal to the flesh of man, i.e., they sound so good and right, but really aren’t. Thus, he would be led astray because he was not willing to walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit.

Even Yeshua, being YHWH, humbled himself in obedience, even obedience to death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8). This attitude of obedience, which Yeshua had and exhibited, is the same attitude of obedience the disciple in Messiah must display. If one is not willing to be obedient in all things, the small as well as the great, then one will find great difficulty in understanding what is read and heard from the Scripture. This includes those passages dealing with His return.

The adversary, the Devil, will come and snatch away any truth if a person does not act upon what the Holy Spirit is teaching him.

Matithyah (Matthew) 13:19a
“When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart.”

The Greek word which is translated as “understand,” has within it the thought of action or acting upon that which is known. The idea of obeying what is known to be true is also found in the Aramaic Peshitta as well in this passage. Here in this passage the element of obedience is present, rather than just one having an understanding of the mind.

In order for the disciple to keep from being deluded by himself and others, he must prove himself to be a “doer of the word” (James 1:22, 25). It is the doer of the word of YHWH who will have the blessing of YHWH upon His life, and who will be able to understand His word to the fullest possible extent.

[7] Please note Matthew 5:19, in which Yeshua teaches the importance of keeping and observing the commandments found in the Law and the Prophets (YHWH’s word).