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



YHWH Speaks – Are We Listening?


Yechezqel (Ezekiel) 20:18 
“And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their ordinances, nor defile yourselves with their idols.’ “

Man has always had a propensity to add to the commandments of YHWH.  Even before man fell into sin, he was doing this and has been doing it ever since.  Notice what YHWH actually said to Adam. 

B’reshit (Genesis) 2:16-17 
16 And YHWH Elohim commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Now notice what Chavah (Eve) said the commandment was when she was speaking to the dragon (serpent).

B’reshit (Genesis) 3:2-3
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, Elohim has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”

Notice that the portion neither shall you touch it was added to the commandment by Chavah.  This portion was actually an added fence.  Perhaps Adam added it or perhaps Eve added it.  Nevertheless, the fact remains that neither shall you touch it was added to the commandment of YHWH.  It was this very adding to the commandment that became the occasion for the breaking of the commandment.  For the addition to the commandment contained the idea that if the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was even touched, the result would be death.  However, this was not true because YHWH said no such thing.  Then when the serpent persuaded Eve to just hold the fruit and she did not die, doubt entered into her heart and mind as to the truth of the actual commandment of YHWH.  Thus, sin followed shortly and the commandment was broken.

Through the prophet Yechezqel, YHWH is telling His people that they are not to walk in the commandments of their fathers, because their fathers walked not in the commandments of YHWH.  Rather, their fathers made up their own commandments, rules, and traditions to follow.  These were a great burden to them and to all who attempted to follow them.  Notice what YHWH teaches us about His commandments.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 30:11 
“For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.”

The commandments of YHWH are not a burden to us.  The commandments of YHWH are for the preservation of life; and furthermore, to give life abundantly to those who obey His commandments.  However, man being what he is, does not seem to be satisfied with simple things and has a great tendency to take away from and to add to the commandments of YHWH.  This is true even though YHWH warns against doing such things.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:2 
“You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of YHWH your Elohim which I command you.”

Of course, the implication is that if a person disregards this particular commandment and adds to or takes away from the commandment of YHWH, then he will not be able to keep His commandments.  That is very simple and straightforward.  Yet, it is not followed.  Even in Yeshua’s day, this was a problem.

Marqos (Mark) 7:6-9
6 And He said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
7              But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.’
8 You leave the commandment of Elohim, and hold fast the tradition of men.”
9 And He said to them, “Full well do you reject the commandment of Elohim, that you may keep your tradition.”

In Yeshua’s day, the commandment of YHWH had largely come to be ignored and set aside in favor of all the many fences that had been placed around the Torah commandments.  As we saw above in the case of Adam and Chavah, even before they broke the commandment, they had added to it.  It was this adding to it that actually was the occasion for the breaking of it.  Likewise, in Yeshua’s day the many fences that had been placed around the commandments, while perhaps well-intentioned, still brought the actual commandments to nothingness. 

Yeshua chastises the leaders and teachers of Israel for teaching these fences as doctrine.  For in the teaching of these manmade precepts as being necessary, they voided the commandment of YHWH.  Therefore, we find this same thing has happened down through the ages even to our day.  It has happened both in Judaism and in Christianity.  Both are equally guilty of elevating the ideas and rules of man above the commandments of YHWH our Elohim.  When this is done, what will always follow is a breaking of His commandment; thus the occasion of Yeshua chastising the teachers and leaders of Israel in His day.

YHWH is once again today speaking to the house of Israel, the descendants of the ten northern tribes.  He is waking them up to their true identity and they are responding by returning to His commandments.  However, in many cases they are throwing aside the manmade traditions of Christianity only to embrace the manmade traditions of Judaism.  One set of manmade traditions is not any better than another set of manmade traditions, regardless of how old those traditions are.  There will be those who will say that this is being anti-Semitic.  However, it is not anti- anything.  What it is, is being honest with history, and with Scripture.  YHWH wants and desires, yea, He even commands for us to obey His commandments. 

Even the early talmidim of Yeshua faced this same dilemma in that they were expected to blindly follow the religious leaders and do as they said.  However, the problem is that what the religious leaders of their day were telling them to do was against YHWH and against Mashiach and against following His Voice.

Ma’aseh (Acts) 4:18-20 
18 And they called them, and charged them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Yeshua.
19 But Kepha and Yochanan answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of Elohim to listen to you rather than to Elohim, you be the judge;
20 for we cannot but speak the things which we saw and heard.”
There are many today who are pulling returning Ephramites away from Mashiach Yeshua because they wrongly think that since the traditions of Judah have been around so very long, that they must all be right and good.  Now mind you, many of their traditions are just fine; that is, as long as those traditions are not put forth with the weight of the commandments of YHWH.  If this happens then it is a violation of Torah by adding to the commandments.  This we cannot adhere to, nor shall we.  Traditions are good, as long as they are kept in their proper place.  It is when they get out of their proper place and are elevated above His word that one gets into spiritual trouble.

One must realize that everything that he does, everything that he says, and everything that he thinks, must be based upon the work and Blood of Mashiach Yeshua.  If it is not, then it means nothing.  Much of Judaism has denied and continues to deny Yeshua as Mashiach.  One day they will accept Him as Mashiach; may it be soon and in our day!  However, until that time, we must guard our faith in Mashiach Yeshua with all due diligence and realize that danger is present.

Yochanan Aleph (1st John) 2:22-23
22 Who is the liar but he that denies that Yeshua is the Mashiach?  This is the anti-Mashiach, even he that denies the Father and the Son.
23 Whosoever denies the Son, the same does not have the Father; he that confesses the Son has the Father also.

It is not my intention to be harsh towards our brother Judah (for I actually have Jewish blood in me), for I love them dearly and hope and pray for the day when YHWH opens their eyes to Yeshua and they say concerning Yeshua in one accord, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of YHWH!”  What a glorious day that will be!  Nevertheless, the reality of the situation at present is that they do not have the Son.  Now I did not write the above verses, but it says what it says and we cannot deny it.  We must accept it for what it says and act accordingly.  If we do not, then our spiritual wellbeing will be in grave jeopardy. 

YHWH has warned us through many prophets.  Yeshua has warned us as well, that we are not to elevate the traditions of man over and above the commandments of YHWH.  In short, a tradition is not binding upon any man.  As good and right as a tradition might be, it is not a sin not to follow a tradition.  Whereas, a commandment is binding upon us and we are obligated to keep and obey each and every one of His commandments, if we are to be in a right relationship with Him.

ABBA YHWH, give us wisdom to know the difference between a tradition of man and one of Your commandments; in the name of Yeshua our Mashiach we pray.  Amein.

Zerubbabel ben Emunah


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