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

Living Faith

Luqa (Luke) 17:5
And the apostles said unto the Master, “Increase our faith.”

During one of Yeshua’s teachings, the followers of Yeshua responded with the above statement. They asked that He would increase their faith. Yeshua responded with a lesson focused upon a mustard seed. He taught this same lesson on another occasion in which the apostles failed to cast an unclean spirit out of a man’s son.

Matithyah (Matthew) 17:20
And He says unto them, “Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, ‘Go there,’ and it shall go; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

The life cycle of a seed is that, after it grows and is fully developed, it must die.

Yochanan (John) 12:24
“Amein, amein, I say unto you, except a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

In order for the seed to sprout and grow, it must die. Likewise, the seed of faith that we are given is not alive; it is dead. But, in order for it to bear fruit, it must be planted in good soil.

Matithyah (Matthew) 13:3-9
3 And He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went forth to sow;
4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the birds came and devoured them;
5 and others fell upon the rocky places, where they had not much earth: and straightway they sprang up, because they had no depth of earth;
6 and when the sun was risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And others fell upon the thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked them;
8 and others fell upon the good ground, and yielded fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 He that has ears, let him hear.”

Each person is given an allotment of faith. However, that faith is likened unto a mustard seed. It is dead and will remain useless to the person unless he plants it into good soil. Sadly, many do not take proper care to plant the seed in good soil. They simply toss it out, hoping for a good result. They take no care to prepare the soil properly by removing any weeds and thorns, as well as rocks and debris, that would hinder the growth of the seed and the subsequent production of fruit.

There are many cares and concerns which would hinder one’s faith and keep it from maturing into that which the Creator intended for it to become. Faith must not only be properly planted, but it must also be properly exercised, in order for the roots to develop a strong healthy depth. It is this depth which supports that which can be seen.

Ya’aqov (James) 2:26
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.

One of the most important steps in preparing one’s soil for the planting of his seed of faith is coming to Yeshua and making Him Master of one’s life. When Yeshua gives a person new life, He expects that person to do something useful with his life. He does not want this new life to be wasted. Right action is expected. If one never does anything, he is not living by faith. Proper faith requires action. For example, consider Noach. YHWH told him that He was going to destroy the earth and all those upon the earth with a flood. However, YHWH desired to keep Noach alive along with his family. In order to do this, Noach had to step out in faith and build an ark, not just for his own family, but also for all the animals which YHWH would send to him as well.

Noach had a choice to make. He could believe what YHWH told him and act upon it. Or, he could disregard it and not believe YHWH. Thankfully, Noach believed YHWH and built an ark. Faith is not simply believing, but acting upon that belief.

This is what faith does. It not only believes; it also takes action.

Faith is the capacity to believe and to act upon that belief.

Specifically, faith is the capacity to believe YHWH and to act upon the belief that YHWH will do what He says He will do.

Ya’aqov (James) 2:17
Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.

However, if one says he believes YHWH and does nothing, he is simply deceiving himself! For, even the demons believe, but that belief brings them no benefit!

Ya’aqov (James) 2:19-20
19 You believe that Elohim is one; you do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
20 But will you know, vain man, that faith apart from works is useless?

One’s faith must bring right action; otherwise, what good is it?

Ivrim (Hebrews) 4:2
For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us, even as also they: but the word of hearing did not profit them, because it was not united by faith with them that heard.

A proper living faith will always result in proper living.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 10:38
But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.

If one expects to be blessed by YHWH, then he must exercise his faith in such a way as to be pleasing in His sight. Otherwise, the blessings shall not come.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 11:1
Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.

In dealing with faith and what it is, this verse is sure to come up in any discussion. However, while there is truth in this passage, how many actually understand what this means? If one has a conviction, but his actions do not mirror what he says, then does he truly believe the words which come out of his own mouth? Hardly!

Not only has YHWH promised to bless His people if they obey His Voice, but He has also promised to bring severe discipline in the form of plagues and such if His people do not obey His Voice. People like to believe the former, but tend to focus upon the mercy of Elohim rather than the tough love that He is fully capable of delivering to an individual or a nation if they are in need of any kind of discipline. Not believing and accepting this is not having a fully developed faith. This is self-deception at its worst. The same Elohim has said both things and has meant both equally. To focus upon one to the exclusion of the other is a belief likened unto that of demons. His people should be thankful that YHWH is an Elohim worthy of our service, who has the power and authority to bring into a person’s life exactly what he needs at any given moment, whether that need is a blessing or a curse.

Ya’aqov (James) 2:14
What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but has not works? Can that faith save him?

This is a rhetorical question whose answer is “no.” If one does not have the actions in his life to back up his beliefs, then he cannot be saved.

Gilyana (Revelation) 13:10
If any man is for captivity, into captivity he goes; if any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

For the longest time, this verse made little sense to me. I wrestled with this verse for many years before I came to see the depths of faith here in this one passage. Basically, this one verse encapsulates the faith of Iyov (Job).

Iyov (Job) 1:21
and he said, “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return; YHWH gave, and YHWH has taken away; blessed be the name of YHWH.”

A proper, mature faith knows and understands that all things come into one’s life by design of the Almighty. There is no chance, luck, or happenstance. Whatever happens, happens because it is the will of YHWH! This is especially so for those who are His people.

Regardless of what YHWH brings into a person’s life, be it captivity or freedom, the faith of His people is unwavering. It is steadfast in the knowledge that YHWH is sovereign and seated on His throne and in full control. Even when a person is overwhelmed with the feeling of everything being out of control, YHWH is! This is faith, faith to remain patient, faith to remain steadfast in all circumstances, regardless of what the circumstances of life deliver into a person’s life. It is faith to understand and accept that the rise of the anti-Messiah is YHWH’s will.

To have a living faith gives one the ability to live in shalom regardless of the turmoil in the world around him. One truly needs a living faith in these days.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah