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




Hope all is well with you.  I have enjoyed being on your mailing list. 

Now for my questions.

1.  I have a clear peace in my heart about the division between the 10 commandments and the other parts of the law.  We may not see eye to eye, but I have studied Scripture on this deeply and see there does appear to be a clear division that as of now my spirit is at peace with.  I have often felt though that evangelicals are inconsistent with this as they appear to hold strongly to 9 of the original 10 commandments but are very casual on the 4th (the Sabbath).  I understand their “reasoning” (I am saying “their” as though I am not an evangelical but I do stray from the mainstream on many points this being one of them), but I disagree with the casual nature with which “we” (evangelicals) seem to treat the Sabbath observance.  Now I know Jesus gave an answer to the Pharisees with an example of where David clearly broke the Torah and took the grain of the temple to feed his soldiers and Jesus says “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”.  I don’t agree with most evangelicals who say this proves Jesus was doing away with strict Sabbath observance, but it does raise an interesting question of why Jesus holds up a clear example of breaking the law when discussing the Sabbath.  I am struggling to find the right balance between rigid, Pharisaical observance and the too-casual attitude of most evangelicals in regards to the Sabbath.  I wanted to get your thoughts on what you felt Jesus was teaching there by holding up an example of breaking the law when discussing observing the Sabbath.

2. I find a similar “casual disregard” type of attitude with the Messianics I have dealt with in regards to some parts of the law.  I mean while most are rigid observers of the dietary laws, Sabbath, etc, there are other parts which are undeniably there which are NOT kept.  These include taking the life of those who break the Sabbath (Ex 31:15), destroying idols (Dt. 12:2), killing false prophets (Dt. 18:22), taking money from a guy who rapes one’s daughter and then giving her to him in marriage (eek!)(Ex. 22:15-16, Dt. 22:29), etc.  So if the belief is that ALL of Torah is the perfect will of God for how we are to live and it is ALL for today, why are these harsher parts of the law seemingly excluded from the observance of those who claim to keep all of Torah?  Again this is not an accusation and please don’t hear that in my tone, it is a sincere observation and question and I would love to hear your thoughts on this as the answer I believe will have bearing on my consideration of question 1 and how I reconcile the inconsistency in my own practice.

By His Grace,



Shalom D____,

The earnestness of your questions and seeking His truth is truly refreshing and such a blessing.  It is with great joy that I sit down to help you find the answers to these questions in Scripture.   Your questions also help me to be better focused upon Him and His ways as well.  Your questions help me to understand Him better as I seek Him in helping you.

I have been aware of the dichotomy some followers of Mashiach make in the Torah for many years.  With that in mind, we will discuss part 2 first.  We do this, in part, as you stated above to help you with your understanding of question 1. 

2.  I am sending links to three studies which I think you will find helpful in your search for His truth concerning the Torah.  Particularly the first one, Obey the Whole Torah, in which we examine the question of what part of Torah should one obey.  Surprisingly, it is an all or nothing proposition, as the study points out.  Next, is the study, Does Grace Exclude the Torah, in which we show that Torah and Grace go hand in hand and cannot rightly be separated, nor should be in one’s mind or actions.  Then lastly, The Law of Liberty, in which we examine the Torah of Liberty.  This is a rather surprising idea to some, that the Torah of Liberty is not about what one gets, but rather it is what one gives to others.

For many years we attempted to put together a community of Torah believers to live together and keep and do Torah.  Each and every time it ended in utter and complete failure.  In fact, some were a complete disaster.  I hope to write on these experiences one day, YHWH willing.  One of the many things that I learned through these experiences is that most people only give lip-service to the written word of YHWH.  They speak and say, but do not do.  Partly, from my own observations, this is due to not having a proper understanding of Torah or its proper place in one’s life.

This brings to mind a very long discussion I had with a man about what Torah actually is, What is Torah?  In the end, my conclusion was that because of his own prejudices he was unable to see what Scripture said as to what Torah consisted of and we had to part ways, agreeing to disagree.  Simply stated, Torah is NOT a list of dos and don’ts, that is, it is not a list of commandments.  If this is a person’s mindset, then it will be absolutely impossible for such a person to follow such a list.  The whole point of the study is to show that Torah is simply hearing and obeying His Voice—in a word—shema.  When a person understands this truth, then he finds the freedom to walk with Mashiach as He taught us to do, but not before.

Personally, I am more than ready to live in a society in which each and every one of His Torah commandments are being kept and observed!  It would be such a great blessing to have such a privilege!  But herein lies one of the conundrums, most people are too self-centered to do or want such a society.  Most people are too focused upon their own personal agenda to accept His agenda—Torah! 

When it comes to Christians rejecting all or part of the Law (Torah), I can and do just pass it off as propagated ignorance—one generation teaches the next to reject the Torah as being “fulfilled”.  But frankly, when it comes to someone who claims to be “Torah-observant” and yet they have weeded out the parts of the Torah which they have no intention of obeying, then I get a little put out.  Frankly, it makes me angry to see such willful violence done to His Torah.  I hope that my words are not too strong for you my brother!

However, even with all the inconsistencies found in man or any group of men, His Torah is still perfect.  I determined a very long time ago that I would do my very best to keep and do ALL of His Torah as He taught me how to do it—every jot and every tittle!  I refuse to allow the poor choices of another person to keep me from as close a relationship to our heavenly Father as I possibly can achieve.  The truth is that my own personal poor choices do this all too well.  We are to help one another move towards Mashiach Yeshua, not away from Him.  When I write a study to share with His people, I work very hard in making sure that my own shortcomings are not excused in those studies.  When I go back and read my own writings, I am often convicted myself (ouch!).  I am not a perfect person, but am a very flawed man.  I absolutely need Mashiach in my life.  Without Him, I am nothing and am completely doomed!  Furthermore, I not only need Mashiach Yeshua, but I also need my brothers and sisters in Mashiach!  It is an absolute truth that no one man (except Mashiach Yeshua) can keep and do all of Torah by himself; it is impossible.  However, together in Mashiach, we can and will accomplish this one day, a day that I look forward to as well as long for with all of my heart! 

You see, when I help another person obey a commandment of YHWH, then He sees me as keeping that commandment as well.  The converse is also true, when I cause another person to break a commandment of YHWH, then I am guilty of breaking that same commandment.  We truly do need each other!

As I have prayed and wrote, wrote and prayed, one verse has kept coming to my mind, so I will share it as well. 

2Co 13:7  Now we pray to Elohim that you do no evil; not that we may appear approved, but that you may do that which is honorable, though we be as reprobate.

Even if another person “appears” to be doing evil is NO excuse to do it for oneself.  We are to do right regardless of whether another is doing wrong.

Okay, now on to question 1.

1. There are two studies which my attention has been drawn to for this question, An Introduction to Shabbat, in which we do touch upon the idea of the Shabbat being made for man and not the other way around.  The second study is The Weightier Matters of Torah, in which we deal with justice, mercy, and faith, but as Yeshua taught His followers, not to leave the smaller matters of Torah undone as well.  It is a simple, yet often neglected teaching of Mashiach Yeshua.  Once again, showing us that he taught His followers to keep and do the whole Torah.

Concerning the division between the 10 Commandments and other parts of the Torah, I have a question for you, if you don’t mind.  Do you realize that in the process of YHWH giving His Torah to His people, that the people cut Him off short?  When YHWH got to number ten, they screamed out for Him to stop.  Their request was for YHWH to speak to Moshe and they would hear and obey what Moshe said to them.  Thus, the remainder of the commandments was given through Moshe at the request of the people.  I wonder if you understand this?

The reference to David by Yeshua is, in my opinion, not clearly understood by most.  Oftentimes, even today, a person makes a reference to what another person has done or not done, and that reference is simply that, a reference and such a reference should not rightly be construed by the hearer as an endorsement that what was done by the one referenced as being acceptable.  Such is the case here.  What Yeshua was pointing out was this, Scripture did not condemn David, it simply recorded what he did.  Furthermore, the Pharisees, to whom Yeshua was speaking did not condemn David for this act either.  And yet, the Pharisees were condemning the followers of Yeshua for simply picking heads of grain as they walked through a field, which was perfectly in line with Torah.  And this condemnation was because this was being done on the Shabbat.  Now mind you, there is NO such prohibition in the Torah, this prohibition was added by man.  It is this point that Yeshua is making. 

Furthermore, actual guilt needs to be present before condemnation can rightly be adjudicated.  If guilt is not actually present, then condemnation needs to be withheld.  Such is the case with the priests, such is the case with David, and such is the case with the followers of Mashiach in this instance.  Thus, the comment about the Shabbat being made for man ensued.  He was not in any way negating the Shabbat, or the observance of the Shabbat.  What He was chastising was the heaping on of condemnation upon those who were not worthy to receive such condemnation. 

When man, even with altruistic motives, adds to or takes away from Torah, what one has as a result is something other than Torah.  The result is something wholly man-made, which leads one to idolatry.  We are admonished over and over in many ways to keep and do the whole Torah.  YHWH has emphasized this in so many ways in so many books that its importance can scarcely be over-emphasized.  No man has the right or the authority to take away or add to His Torah—not one jot or tittle.  Interestingly enough, when one chooses not to obey, he is effect, taking away from Torah.

Sadly, what often happens is that someone tries to build the foundation before the roof, when one should always build the foundation first before moving on to the roof.  We could rightly say it this way, one needs to understand the foundation before he understands the roof.  The foundation is the Torah, the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) is the roof.  The Brit Chadasha stands upon the foundation of the Torah.  If one does not understand the Torah Moshe, then he cannot and will not properly understand (build) the new writings found in the Brit.  We point this out to point out that this is what happens with Shabbat as well as many other passages like the one you have referenced in your question concerning David and Shabbat.  First, one must simply accept that the Torah is absolute and righteous and good.  Since this is true, then whatever it is that is written about the Torah must be in agreement with the Torah, otherwise it cannot be inspired by the Author of the Torah.  So, if there seems to be an apparent contradiction between the Torah and some later writing then I can know with all certainty that the apparent contradiction is within my own understanding and not within the written word.  Therefore, it is incumbent upon me to search out the matter until such time that the apparent contradiction is rectified and unity is seen and understood in the passages in question.

I personally have gone through several transitions on my Shabbat observance, from typical Christian observance to strict rabbinical observance to what I hope is now completely in line with Scripture.  That is to say, if it is not, then YHWH shall reveal that to me in His time and then I shall change what I am doing to match that which He reveals to me.  What I mean to say with regards to my present observance of Shabbat is that I am careful not to add man-made traditions to the observance of Shabbat on the order that these things are commanded.  Now please do not hear me stating that all man-made traditions are wrong or evil, because I am not saying that at all.  In fact, some man-made traditions are right and good and can actually help a person keep and observe Shabbat as well as other Torah commandments.  However, the thing about traditions of man is this; they cannot be elevated to the same level as a Torah commandment.  I can teach another these traditions, but those traditions cannot in any way be binding upon him.  That is to say, if he chooses not to observe the traditions, then it is not sin, whereas not keeping a Torah commandment is a sin, i.e., lawlessness.

Someone once said that making that which is not sin, sin, is in effect doing away with sin.  I have considered this idea long and hard over the years and can see the veracity of such a statement.  We must be oh so careful not to add to, nor take away from His Commandments.  They are our life!  He says so!

Love and blessings
Your brother in Mashiach Yeshua


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