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 9:
Empowered for Service


“What is the purpose of life?”

This is probably the most universally asked question by mankind. Disciples of Messiah Yeshua pose the question thus, “What is YHWH’s will for me?” Within His word are some principles that apply to every person. This chapter will look at some of those principles.

The Great Commission

The Great Commission is found in all three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) as well as the book of Acts. All four places in which this is recorded are basically the same, with only minor differences. This chapter will look at the one found in Matthew.

Matthew 28:18-20
And Yeshua came and spoke unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, behold, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Yeshua gave this commission to all believing disciples, His body. The body is commanded to teach everything that Messiah taught them. They are to teach all nations these truths so that they may become His disciples as well. This making of disciples is to continue to the “end of the age”[18] by the body. Yeshua promised that He would be with the body all the way to the “end.” Yeshua made no allowance for the body to stop the disciple-making process before the “end of the age.” The “end of the age” is at the return of Messiah. [19]

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit in the life of the disciple is his guarantee of eternal life. Without His presence in the life of the disciple it would be impossible to enter into eternal life. The Spirit is the one who enables the disciple to live according to the will of YHWH. Even though it is the Holy Spirit that gives gifts to be used to further the kingdom of YHWH, He is still the one who is ministering, not the disciple.

Philippians 2:13
For it is YHWH which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The Holy Spirit is ministering in the life of the disciple. It is the Spirit of truth that teaches those who have been adopted into the family of YHWH. The Spirit even teaches one what he ought to say.

Luke 12:12
For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

Not only is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the disciple, but this ministry is also through the disciple. This ministry of the Holy Spirit through the life of the disciple is to other disciples and to those who have not yet accepted Messiah as their personal Savior.

Romans 15:13
Now YHWH of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope,
through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:18
For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Messiah has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed.

In another place, the Holy Spirit speaks through the apostle Paul about the body of Messiah (the disciples).

Ephesians 4:6
One Elohim and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Yeshua tells His disciples that He will send the Holy Spirit upon them; all they have to do is to wait for it before they do anything.

Luke 24:49
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,
until ye be endued with power from on high.

Once the disciples had received the Holy Spirit, then the commission which Yeshua gave to them was to be carried out. They would then have the power to do what Yeshua had sent them to do. Without the Holy Spirit it would be impossible to be an effective witness for Yeshua.

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

In order to grasp the full significance of the following section of this chapter, one must understand that it is YHWH, in the form of the Holy Spirit (or more correctly, the Spirit of the Holy One), who is now in control of the life of the disciple. This, of course, is completely voluntary on the part of the disciple, and the disciple can retake control of his own life at any time (why some do this is completely beyond my understanding). However, once this has been brought to light in one’s heart and mind, then one can see the real possibility of being able to live a life as Yeshua lived.

Like Messiah

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not only to empower for service (witnessing is included in this), but also to enable the disciple of Yeshua to live as He did, empowered for life and service. The holy life of Yeshua is duplicated in the life of each of His followers, as they walk the straight and narrow way. As His life is duplicated in the life of the disciple, the disciple will learn the commandments of YHWH and obey them from a heart of love.

Righteousness is the key to understanding the prophecies concerning His return. As will be shown, the word of YHWH teaches those who believe on YHWH/Yeshua, to be like Him in word and deed. Yeshua stated that those who believed in Him would do the same works that He was doing, and not only these, but greater works as well (John 14:12). This means “greater” in quantity rather than quality, for there are many disciples, but only one Yeshua. This can only become a reality if a person is filled with the Spirit of Messiah (Holy Spirit). Once filled with the Holy Spirit, a person then begins a lifelong maturation process. Philippians 4:13 states, “I can do all things through Him [Messiah] who strengthens me.” This knowledge does not necessarily come to the new person in Messiah. More likely, it comes to him who has walked in obedient love to Yeshua and is continually making Him, YHWH, Master of his life. As a result, he will continually become more and more like Yeshua as the days of his life are lived for Him.

YHWH’s love: YHWH has given His disciples a Helper, the Holy Spirit. He gives His own Spirit because of His love and care for those who have received the forgiveness of sins that Yeshua provided, through His death and resurrection, for all men (not that all shall be saved, but that all have the possibility to be saved). This Helper, Yeshua has asked from the Father, on behalf of all disciples, that they might know those things that are freely given to them.

John 14:16
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;

Not only has He given His own Spirit, but He has given the Spirit to His disciples forever. So even into eternity, they will still have this Helper, the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 10:30
YHWH cares for His children so much, that He even has the hairs on his head numbered.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

This means, that not only does YHWH know how many hairs are upon your head, but also that He knows hair number 43 from hair number 578 (if one has that many hairs on his head). He knows one hair from another! If indeed, YHWH cares for those who are created in His own image, so much so that He has all the hairs numbered on his head, then certainly it must be realized that He loved and cared for the same, so as to die in their place.

Romans 5:6
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Messiah died for the unrighteous.

Since Adam’s race was not able to help itself, YHWH did what man could not: He paid the penalty for sin (death), and provided the means for life (eternal life). Mankind was helpless. Now, however, a member of Adam’s race who receives this new life, which Messiah has purchased upon the cross, is no longer helpless, but rather, helped by the Helper.

One of the things that is of concern to Yeshua, is the deception foisted upon those who belong to Him, by those who have made themselves His enemies. Therefore, Yeshua told His disciples ahead of time, that there would be anti-Messiahs and the Anti-Messiah who would come into the world in order to deceive those who belong to Him. He told us in advance in order to equip those who have ears to hear with the ability to overcome this evil.

Matthew 24:24, 25 (NAS)
“For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance.”

Not only did He tell His disciples in advance, but He also gave them the Holy Spirit, who will teach them who the Anti-Messiah is.

1 John 2:18, 20, 27
Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that anti-Messiahs shall come, even now are there many anti-Messiahs; whereby we know that it is the last time. But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things. But the anointing which you have received of Him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in Him.

The significance of this ministry of the Holy Spirit has been seen repeatedly in history as many anti-Messiahs have arisen and deceived many. However, the true body of Messiah has not been deceived. Therefore, it shall be in the last days just prior to the return of Yeshua; He shall teach His own who the Anti-Messiah is, so His followers might not be deceived. To help His children in discerning who is from YHWH and who is of the enemy, they are directed to test the spirits.

1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of YHWH: because many
false prophets are gone out into the world.

To recognize the effectiveness of this principle, one must understand that this truth is from YHWH. He is the one who commanded His followers to do the testing. One cannot, and will not, offend YHWH or hurt His feelings if one tests a spirit and finds it to be from YHWH. However, if one tests a spirit and finds it to be from the enemy, the Devil, then that one has been spared hurt and heartache in his own life because of his obedience to YHWH’s word. However, when one tests a spirit and that spirit is not from YHWH, a common reaction from such a spirit will be one of indignation, sometimes even hostility, and occasionally, a verbal or physical attack. A verbal onslaught may take on the form of, “How dare you test the Spirit of YHWH!” However, such a spirit is lying, for he is about to be found out, and is trying to manipulate the person into backing down from the test, in order that the deception may continue. Remember, it is YHWH who has commanded His people to test all spirits.

YHWH’s love and concern is finally expressed by teaching that, when He does return, no one will need to tell another that He has come back. Each person will know it. Saved or unsaved!

To those who are saved, He says,

Matthew 24:23
Then if any man shall say unto you, behold, here is Messiah, or there; believe it not.

Matthew 24:26, 27
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

As is recorded here by Matthew, Yeshua taught that His disciples should not believe anyone who said that Yeshua was in any particular place other than where Scripture says He is. Furthermore, Yeshua taught the type of return His would be. To assure that there would be no misunderstandings, He used the analogy of lightning. Here He is not referring to the quickness of His return. He is referring to the universal visibility of it. When lightning flashes, no one needs to tell you that the lightning flashed, even though you may be indoors, with the door shut and the curtains drawn. For one of the phenomenon that always occurs with a lightning strike, is thunder. And the closer the lightning strike, the louder the thunder. So also, when Yeshua returns, no one will need to tell another individual that it is Yeshua coming. Like the lightning, all will know that it is Yeshua. It will be that plain, visible to all, disciples and unbelievers alike. Just as the lightning flashes upon disciple and unbeliever, and makes no distinction between them, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.

One of the current popular teachings is the belief in a secret coming of Yeshua, in which He comes for the disciples only. However, in addition to the previous verse discussed, does not Yeshua teach in these verses that He will not come secretly (inner rooms), but rather, openly and visibly? What is one’s reaction to be towards those who say, “He is in inner rooms?” The “inner rooms”[20] spoken of here, were rooms which usually had no exterior walls, in the typical Hebrew home. Furthermore, only those of that home knew where the entrance to that room was located and how to go into it. Yeshua says that He is not there, but rather, out in the open for all to have access to Him. He is not coming to “inner rooms,” of which only those of the household of faith will know. No, He is teaching that His coming will be open, visible to all. He says that His people are not to believe those who teach that He is coming secretly.

To all of creation YHWH says,

Philippians 2:10, 11
That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Yeshua Messiah is YHWH, to the glory of YHWH the Father.

There is a day coming, in which every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess Yeshua as YHWH. Some will receive eternal life, because they have chosen to make Him Elohim now; and some will receive eternal damnation, because they have chosen not to make Him Elohim of their lives now.

YHWH’s will: Since this subject can take up an entire book, only a limited aspect will be seen here as it relates to living a righteous life in the context of the last days. The Holy Spirit admonishes today, to listen to and heed the word of YHWH.

Hebrews 3:7
Wherefore (as the Holy Spirit says), Today if you will hear His Voice,

If one is to have any hope of a victorious life at all, he must listen to and obey the Holy Spirit, who has been given to him as his Helper. In addition, this must be from the heart. It cannot be only outwardly. If a person begins to refuse to listen to and to obey His Voice, then the cycle of a hardening of the heart begins to take place. If this cycle is not broken by repentance and obedience, then the final state will be total apostasy for those who do not know YHWH, which will result in eternal damnation. In addition, for those who have truly repented, it could result in severe discipline. Listening to, and obedience to, His Voice, are mandatory requirements for knowing and understanding YHWH’s will (Torah).

The second aspect of YHWH’s will in living a righteous life, is the sanctification of the disciple. Here again, what we will look at will be brief, as it relates to the last days. The first Scripture deals with sanctification and eternal life.

Romans 6:22
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to YHWH, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

The implication in this verse concerning sanctification, is that without it, one will not gain eternal life. A disciple being freed from the power of sin (nature) in his life is the normal life that YHWH has for His children.

1 Thessalonians 4:3a
For this is the will of YHWH, even your sanctification,

This verse states plainly, that it is YHWH’s will for one to be sanctified. Of course, refusing YHWH’s will is sin, and this will bring the discipline of YHWH. If a disciple follows the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will lead him into the experience of sanctification, even though that person may not know what to call the experience.

The entirety of the Scripture bears out the desire that YHWH has for His people to be obedient. It is His desire and will for His creation to choose to obey Him.

Philippians 2:12
Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

It is the will of YHWH for each person to hear and to obey the Voice of YHWH. Obedience is the key to living a life like Messiah lived. This obedience must be practiced daily if it is to bear the fruit of a holy life. This should not be taken to mean that salvation is by works. However, it is part of the maturing process in the disciple’s life. If this is practiced consistently, then the disciple will be able to discern good and evil.

Hebrews 5:14
But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Consistent obedience will equip the disciple to see what is good and what is evil. Satan deceived Eve into believing that the way to be able to discern good and evil, was by experiencing evil; this was a lie then, and is still a lie today, which Satan still uses. One cannot learn to discern evil by doing evil. One can only discern evil by doing what is right and good, by doing YHWH’s will, by listening to and obeying His Voice, by obeying His commandments.

The Anti-Messiah, being evil, will then be seen for who and what he is, for the disciple who is obedient to the word of YHWH will be trained to see clearly. This training is not to be a substitute for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the disciple’s life, but rather it is to be used in conjunction with it.

YHWH’s sons: Having asked for and received the forgiveness YHWH offers through His Son Yeshua, a person is adopted into YHWH’s family. He becomes a joint heir with Messiah, one of His children, His son or daughter. Adam was the son of YHWH, but lost this position because of his disobedience (sin). One who repents even today is restored to the place of grace by a blood sacrifice. This restoration does not entitle one to privileges that exceed those of His Son. Even though those who repent and confess are joint heirs; Yeshua is still the Head. As such, they are required to submit to Him. Yeshua did not live in sin. When a person repents today this does not give such a person the privilege of living in sin.

Ephesians 1:22
And has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the body,

As the Son of the Most High, being the Head of the body, and the Savior, His followers cannot be greater than He is. Since He is the One who has sent His disciples into the world as a witness to it, they are to be like Him if they are to be effective witnesses for Him.

John 13:16
Amein, amein, I say to you, The servant is not greater than his master; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

Luke 6:40
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

In fact, it is enough for a disciple in Messiah to be like Him, not in just a few things, but in all things. This certainly includes being like Him in His sufferings and His death. After a disciple begins to understand his responsibility to practice being like Messiah, with the help of the Holy Spirit, then he will begin to see the plan YHWH has for salvation of the world.

YHWH’s plan: YHWH has made known to His disciples, His unique plan for mankind. That plan includes the salvation of man. It is within YHWH’s plan that a person can be at peace with Him now. The requirement for that peace to be a reality in a person’s life, is for that person to ask for and receive His forgiveness.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let
not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The peace Yeshua gives is a peace that the world does not know, and cannot take away from the disciple. However, this peace that YHWH gives, puts one at odds with the world. Therefore, one cannot be at peace with the world and be at peace with YHWH simultaneously.

John 15:18, 19
If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Understanding the difference in the peace that one receives from YHWH (as opposed to peace with the world) is paramount to grasping one’s relation to YHWH and his relation in and to the world. The following was written by this author while attending Bible college.

Worldly peace is directly linked to self-interest,
Which in itself brings conflict.
This in turn is self-defeating,
And the final end is no peace at all.

However, heavenly peace is directly linked to interest in others,
Which, in YHWH, vanquishes conflict.
This in turn is self-denial,
And the final end is peace with all!

Because a person cannot be at peace with both YHWH and the world, he will suffer certain things if he is at peace with YHWH. Yeshua even goes so far, as to tell those who believe in Him what to expect in advance, so they will not be surprised and caught off guard. One of the things His disciples can expect is persecution.

John 15:20
Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.

Yeshua warns us that, because He is the Head and His disciples are under Him, because they are to be like Him in all things, because the world hated Yeshua, because the world persecuted Him, then anyone who takes the name of Yeshua will be treated as He was, and that person will experience many of the same things as Yeshua experienced. The disciple should even expect these things to happen to him.

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

One of the truths about tribulation that is often overlooked, is its purpose. It has built into its very nature, the attribute of separating, and in this case, separating the unrighteous from the righteous. The Romans used a device called a “tribulum” in the threshing of grain. Its sole purpose was to separate the chaff from the grain. It was a thick plank with a seat for the driver. This was pulled by a mule or ox over the grain. As the plank was pulled over the grain, it applied pressure upon it and would knock the chaff loose. This was repeated until all the chaff was knocked loose.[21] This reveals the nature of tribulation, which comes from the Latin, “tribulum.” Therefore, it is, during those final years before the return of Yeshua, pressure shall be applied in such a way as to cause each person to make his own choice in regards to whom he shall serve. This is the purpose of tribulation - to separate the false from the true.

In this next passage we find a truth which is closely related to the previous one.

John 17:14-16
I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Yeshua prays for those who believe in Him, and He says that they shall be hated because they have received the word of YHWH (obeyed). Yeshua also asks the Father not to take them out of the world. Rather, Yeshua asks the Father to “keep” them. The Greek word here is TEREO, which means “to preserve,” as translated in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Literally, it means “to guard from loss by keeping an eye upon.”

What Yeshua is praying for His disciples is that they would not be removed from the world, as they are His witnesses to the world; but rather, that the Father would protect them in the persecution and tribulation that they will have to endure. He has promised that He would never leave them or forsake them. Notice that there are no provisions for a particular tribulation,[22] including the “Great Tribulation.” His disciples who are living just prior to the time of His return must not think that they will be spared some suffering in this world. Any suffering that a disciple is called upon to endure, no matter how acute, will not compare to the suffering that Yeshua did upon the cross. This includes the suffering of those in the great tribulation.

To think one will be spared suffering, is to elevate oneself above the Master, considering the suffering He went through. Since it is enough for the slave (disciple) to be like the master (Yeshua), one should expect to suffer tribulation and persecution as Yeshua did, even to the point of death.

[18] The end of the age is the end of the millennium. Compare Matthew 13 with Revelation 20. Yeshua taught that there was to be NO separation between the disciples and non-disciples until the end of the age. Revelation 20 gives us a description of this separation at the end of the millennium.

[19] The end of the disciple-making process is not seven years before He returns. It is not three and one-half years before He returns. It is not one day before He returns at the end of the age. It is all the way to the end of the age. This is a clear indication that His disciples will be present all the way through the tribulation making disciples. No other group has been given this task. There are those who teach that this task has been given to the 144,000 Israelites who evangelize the world during the tribulation. However, in those two places in the book of Revelation (7:1-8; 14:1-5) the only activity attributed to them by Scripture in this context is the act of worship, and that before the throne of YHWH. No place in Scripture does one find them evangelizing the world. In addition to this, the passage found in chapter seven, also includes people from every tribe in the world. The first word of verse 9 in the Greek, is a primary preposition denoting accompaniment. Therefore, what we see is that there is a great multitude which no man could count, which includes the 144,000 Israelites. The number 144,000 is itself very symbolic, for it consists of: 12 x 12 x 1000. The number twelve is the number of eternal perfection (twelve tribes), and in this case it is squared (the New Jerusalem is “squared” and has twelve gates) giving the number greater significance. Also, it should be noted that the number 12 is the product of the numbers 3 x 4. The number 3 is the number of houses within the Nation of Yisrael (Yehudah, Ephrayim, and Levi) and the number 4 is the number of the world (four seasons, four compass points, four elements). Then multiplied to that is the number 1000, which is the number for a millennium (or eternity itself). Therefore, the symbolism of this number is saying that every person who can possibly get saved, will, in fact, be saved. None will be lost that could have been saved. That is the symbolic meaning of the number 144,000.

[20] In Matthew 6:6 in the Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua in teaching His disciples uses the phrase “inner room” to describe a place of “secret” prayer. This is consistent with what is found in Matthew 24:26; “inner room” signifying secrecy.

[21] “Everyday Life in Babylon and Assyria,” by Georges Contenau, pub. W. W. Norton & Co.,1966, page 52.

[22] There are three different contexts in Scripture in which the word “tribulation” is used. In the broadest sense it is used as that time from the foundation of the Body until Yeshua returns. So every person who has believed on the name of Yeshua has gone through tribulation. (See Matthew 13:21; John 16:33; Acts 14:22 and many others). The next context is also known as Daniel’s “seventieth week” (also known as “Ya’aqov’s trouble,” Jeremiah 30:7) or the last seven years before Yeshua returns. The third context is known as the “great tribulation,” which is the last three and one-half years before Yeshua returns. This is mentioned only twice in Scripture (Matthew 24:21 and Revelation 7:14), with that particular phrase, “great tribulation.”