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

Have You Left Your First Love?
What is your focus?

Gilyana (Revelation) 2:4
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

As the old popular song says, there are many ways to leave one’s love. Generally speaking, this happens when the person one loves is replaced by someone or something else. Usually, this does not happen all at once, but over a period of time, gradually. There are as many ways for this to happen as there are individuals.

In the letter Yeshua had Yochanan write to the assembly at Ephesus, Yeshua admonished them for leaving their first love, namely, Him. As He states later in this letter, unless they repent of this, they will lose their place in the heavenly abode.

Gilyana (Revelation) 2:5
“Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I will come to you, and will remove your candlestick out of its place, except you repent.”

This shows the seriousness of leaving our first love of Mashiach. As Mashiach taught:

Matithyah (Matthew) 10:37
“He that loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he that loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

This is one out of the multitude of ways in which a person can leave his first love of Mashiach. The context of “first love” does not necessarily mean that the love of Mashiach happened before the love one has for his family, but rather, it means that the love one has for Mashiach Yeshua must be supreme over and above all other loves he has.

It is easy for a person to leave his first love, if he does not guard against it in his everyday living. One needs to purposefully focus upon Yeshua throughout his daily activities in order to keep his love for Mashiach first and foremost in his life.

However, there are many legitimate things in a person’s life, which actually need to be a part of his life, which can supplant one’s love for Yeshua if he is not aware of what is happening. Here are three questions to check where one is at in this matter. “What do I think about most during the course of a day?” “What is my passion?” “With what am I consumed?” Whatever the answers are to those questions may be a very good indicator that, if the answer to any one of them is other than Yeshua, there may be a problem and a course correction may need to take place.

Matithyah (Matthew) 6:24
“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve Elohim and money.”

As said above, daily living is necessary. However, one must be careful not to allow that daily living to supplant one’s love for Yeshua. One’s daily living must be in conjunction with one’s love of Mashiach Yeshua. Please consider what Yeshua said concerning these two sisters.

Luqa (Luke) 10:38-42
38 Now as they went on their way, He entered into a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at the Master’s feet, and heard His word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving; and she came up to him, and said, “Master, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.”
41 But the Master answered and said unto her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,
42 but one thing is needful, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Martha was focused upon feeding her guests. This was a legitimate concern as her guests needed to be fed and cared for. However, Martha’s sister Mary was focused upon one particular guest, namely, Yeshua. He had something she needed, namely, life. It is possible for a person to be focused upon serving in such a way as to still keep Mashiach Yeshua first, but it takes a conscious effort to do so. The truth is, we need to eat. But as Yeshua points out, one’s life consists of more than just eating and drinking.

Matithyah (Matthew) 6:25
“Therefore I say unto you, be not anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment?”

Yeshua also admonished His followers to work for that which would not perish.

Yochanan (John) 6:27
“Work not for the food which perishes, but for the food which abides unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you, for him the Father, even Elohim, has sealed.”

Another way, which seems to be common today, in which a person can leave his first love of Mashiach, is focusing solely upon the Torah. This can be manifested in several ways. One of those ways is to be consumed with a zeal for the Torah. One’s zeal for Torah should not be confused with one’s love of Mashiach. While these two can be the same focus, they are not necessarily so.

Romans 10:2
For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for Elohim, but not according to knowledge.

As many are coming out of the church system, finding their roots, and having their understanding increased, many grasp onto the Torah with a zeal which borders on vengeance. This phenomenon may in part be due to the half-truths and some outright lies one is fed in the church system. It may simply be a knee-jerk reaction to discovering these things. Let it be pointed out here that there is more truth in the church system than lies. The church system does not consist of all lies. Rather, there is a lot of truth with a little bit of untruth mixed in. But then, this is exactly how Satan works. If it were all lies, no one would believe or follow along with it. The lies have to have enough of the truth mixed in, in order to make the lies believable. So, let us be careful not to be too strong in condemnation where it is not wholly justified!

Please prayerfully consider this passage.

Yochanan (John) 4:24
“Elohim is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

In many places within the church system, they have a distinct ability to worship in the spirit. We will not debate at this time what spirit that is, for that question is as individual as each person and each assembly! Nonetheless, I have had the privilege of participating in worship services where the Spirit of YHWH was moving very strongly. It is a wonderful experience. This does not happen so much in the Hebrew Roots movement. It does, but it is not as common. It seems the pendulum has swung from worshipping in spirit to worshipping in truth. Those in the Hebrew Roots movement are very focused upon truth. This is not entirely a bad thing, because it is needful that more truth be a part of one’s everyday living experience. However, one should not have to sacrifice living in and walking in the Spirit to gain that truth. Yet, this frequently happens. As a witness to this, please consider this next passage.

Yochanan (John) 13:35
“By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another.”

It is absolutely shameful how some who claim to follow Mashiach Yeshua treat others who do not have the same exact understanding of Scripture as they do. However, if one is not treating his fellow servants with the love of Mashiach, is that person truly a follower of Mashiach Yeshua, or just a pretender?

Romans 14:4
Who are you that judges the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls. Yea, he shall be made to stand; for the Master has power to make him stand.

The truth of the matter is that no one, not a single person, can give light to another person. Not even the minutest particle of truth can be forced upon another. Only the Spirit of YHWH can increase the amount of light one has, Him and only Him. Yet, so many act as if they are the bringer of the light and truth and if one does not immediately accept what they are saying, then what often ensues is a barrage of condemnation that is anything but showing the love of Mashiach Yeshua to the receiver.

If another claims to follow Mashiach Yeshua, even if it is under a different name, we are obligated by the love and Spirit of Mashiach in us to extend the hand of fellowship, not the fist of condemnation! This, my brothers and sisters in Mashiach Yeshua, is a check point. If one catches himself in the mode of condemnation often, then such a person has left his first love. Such a person certainly has a zeal, but for what? It is not for Mashiach, for if it were, then the fruit of His Spirit would manifest and there would be gentleness from him towards others who have a different understanding of Scripture. The zeal he has is for his own point of view. However, because it is not possible for any single person to have perfect understanding in this life, his point of view is flawed. This is true for each one of us. This is why we need each other, to help us sharpen and refine not only our understanding, but especially how we live our daily lives. Having other followers of Mashiach in our lives also is a safeguard for us, because if one begins to wander off the straight and narrow path, then hopefully, one’s fellow travelers can help bring about proper course corrections in a loving and caring manner.

Many focus upon either grace or Torah. However, if one is going to worship our heavenly Father in Spirit and in truth, then he needs both grace and Torah. It is not an either/or choice.

Matithyah (Matthew) 15:18
“But the things which proceed out of the mouth come forth out of the heart; and they defile the man.”

What flows out of your heart towards others? If one can be honest at this point, then it can be a very good indicator of where a person is in his relationship with Mashiach Yeshua. If there is a lot of anger and harshness present towards others, then one needs to return to his first love, Yeshua.

If a person came to know Messiah within the church system, then most likely such a person came into the kingdom of Elohim using the name of “Jesus.” While this name is not a very good and honest representation of our Master’s name, it is still a representation of His name. Many people come into His kingdom based on the little knowledge they are given. Hopefully, their knowledge shall increase and they move on to become a mature spiritual person in Mashiach Yeshua. What we would like to point out here is simply this: YHWH being the Sovereign King He is over His creation, caused you to come to Him exactly as you did. Why do you kick against the pricks? It is what it is. Accept it. Now move on. Allow others this same reality.

Here is the thing: YHWH is the Giver of light and truth. He gives it to whomever He desires in the manner He desires and according to His time. Each one of us needs to accept this truth and reality. There are many ideas present in our world as to exactly who and what our Creator and Redeemer is. Each one of us simply needs to accept that He IS and He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 11:6
and without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto Him; for he that comes to Elohim must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that seek after Him.

Many attempt to make things which are not salvation issues into salvation issues. But He requires only one thing of those who come to Him: to accept Him as their Messiah and learn of Him and His ways. The light He needs for a person to know to accomplish His will comes later in His time.

Bottom line is simply this, whatever a person’s path to his Creator is, it is designed by that same Creator. It is not designed by another person. Who are you to judge and condemn another who is seeking out his Creator? It is incumbent upon those who know Mashiach Yeshua to help those who are seeking Him by showing them the love of Mashiach. This is living out one's first love.

If the Spirit of YHWH has moved in your heart as you read this, indicating there is action which you need to take, that action may very well be to repent. This is the only avenue given to us to return to our first love. Repent of all wrongness present within us and turn towards Him and focus our lives upon Him. Nothing else will get the task done. More knowledge will not get it done, even as good as that knowledge may be.

Gilyana (Revelation) 2:5
“Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I will come to you, and will remove your candlestick out of its place, except you repent.”

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah