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


Yochanan (John) 8:32
“and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

When one speaks of freedom, he will speak of it in either one of two forms. The most common form spoken of is that which is external. This type of freedom can and does manifest itself in many ways as does its counterpart - bondage. This type of freedom deals with physical freedom or the lack of servitude or slavery. There can be and are various degrees of this type of slavery, that is, one can be totally enslaved or only partially enslaved. Being partially enslaved is the most common in the Western world.

The second type of freedom is internal, freedom in one’s mind and heart. In one sense, this type of freedom is the easiest to have, but the most difficult to actualize. This is particularly true if one is not physically free. The mind can play tricks upon oneself if he is in some type of external bondage, believing that he cannot ever be truly free in his mind or heart. However, regardless of the circumstances one finds himself in, he can be free internally.

One of the greatest types of bondage that keeps a person from being truly free is some type of addiction. Any addiction will rob one of that which true freedom brings, namely, shalom (peace).

Yochanan (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 fearful.”

This is what inner freedom is built upon, the peace that Mashiach Yeshua gives into one’s heart and mind. Freedom and peace are very closely linked together. However, it is not these things that one needs to pursue. For pursuing freedom or peace, one will not find them. What one needs to seek after in this life is the person of Mashiach Yeshua. Do not seek Him for what He can do for you, but seek Him to have a relationship with Him. Only in this way can one find that which he truly desires and needs in his life.

In this study we are going to focus more on the inner freedom than on the external freedom. There are several things which are common in the world today which interfere with one’s freedom.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 12:1
Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Notice that the “sin” which so easily derails one from the race set before him is singular and is common to all men. This is the self-life. It also known by many other names like pride, ego, but it does not matter what label one attaches to it, it is still the same for each person. It is that part of a person which rises up and thinks it has to have its own way, or, delights in self-debasement. Regardless, whether it is elevating itself through praise or debasing itself, its focus is self. This is the problem, never the solution.

B’reshit (Genesis) 1:27
And Elohim created man in His own image, in the image of Elohim He created him; male and female He created them.

Each and every human, both male and female, are created in the image of the Creator. The enemy comes and tries to convince him that something else is needed to attain this status. This is not true. Yes, we all have fallen from grace, but the way we were created, that is, in His image, did not change. We are still in His image. The enemy comes with his lie saying that we can become like the Creator.

B’reshit (Genesis) 3:5
“. . . for Elohim knows that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall become Elohim, knowing good and evil.”

Each person needs to reject this lie. How can one “become” something he already is? Why would a person need to “become” that which he was created to be, namely, in His image? When a person accepts the lie, then he lives the lie. That is, he is in bondage to that which he lives.

Romans 6:16
Do you not know, that to whom you present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

How does one accept the lie that he must become? By not accepting himself as the person the Creator created him to be. For many, the harshest judge he will ever face is himself. This self-condemnation, each person needs to stop doing.

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.

When a person judges himself, he is actually judging the servant of another, namely, a servant of the Most High. The above passage teaches that those who serve the Almighty should not do this. Yet, all too often this is exactly what happens. It is not one’s place to judge the servant of another and that most certainly includes himself.

But one may say, “But teacher, are we not commanded to test ourselves?”

2nd Corinthians 13:5
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examining yourself: Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Mashiach Yeshua is in you - unless indeed you fail the test.

There are those who live day to day testing themselves in one manner or another always worrying about their place in the Kingdom. Such ones rarely get anything else done except to test themselves. Such a person is so focused upon himself, that he sees nothing else. He is in bondage to an idea, the idea of losing out. He has no shalom in his life as he is overly concerned with his own standing in the Kingdom.

We are admonished over and over again to walk in His Spirit (or by His Spirit). If one does this, then he will be walking in such a manner as to have his eyes focused upon Mashiach Yeshua, not upon himself. He can also be assured that if the Spirit of Mashiach which lives in him finds something which needs his attention, then He will direct one’s attention upon it so it can be corrected. However, once corrected, the full focus of one’s attention needs to be refocused back upon Mashiach Yeshua. Only in this way can one walk in the fullness of freedom.

Romans 9:20
On the contrary man, who are you that speaks to Elohim? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”

Another common thing that robs one of his freedom is comparing oneself to another. It is common to want to be like someone else, to become that other person. Notice, one is back to the aspect of “becoming”, rather than accepting the truth that he is created in the image of the Creator.

One of the aspects of freedom is realizing who you are created to be in Mashiach Yeshua and walking in that reality. Each person is created to be unique, to fill up his place in the body of Mashiach. No other person can do that and if you fail to do it, then it will not be done in its fullness. Thus, each person needs to not only realize this truth for himself, but also for every other person. This means that the freedom of another person may look differently than one’s own freedom. Do not let the other person’s freedom rob you of your own freedom.

True freedom can only be found in Mashiach Yeshua. Yet sadly, many claim to have found this freedom, when in reality they have only traded one type of bondage for another. When a person who is in bondage, but thinks he is free, comes into contact with a person who is actually free, the person in bondage will adversely react to the one who is free. This reaction will often consist of him attempting to put the same constraints upon the free man that he himself lives under. He makes the attempt to become the other man’s god, which is idolatry. This also involves judging another man’s servant.

Another aspect of learning to walk in freedom is living in the now.

2nd Corinthians 6:2
For He says, “At an acceptable time I listened to you, And in a day of salvation did I succor you; Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Right now is the acceptable time. Right now is the day of salvation. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, not five minutes from now, rather right now is the day! In part, what this means is that one needs to learn to live in the now. He needs to let go of all the past hurts and failures, even all the past triumphs because if he does not, then he will not be free. Yes, one needs to keep the lessons learned from all those failures and triumphs, but the things themselves are done, over and gone. They cannot be changed or altered in anyway. Let them go. Do not bemoan them or grieve over them in some endless fashion. Learn your lesson and move on.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 4:7
He again defines a certain day,
“Today,” saying in David so long a time afterward (even as has been said before),
“Today if you shall hear His Voice,
Harden not your hearts.”

Here is freedom, hearing and obeying His Voice.

When a person can live in the now, listening for, hearing and obeying His Voice, then and only then is he free to be all that He created him to be. The Creator knows him better than he knows himself. The Creator knows better than he does what He created him to be. When a person walks in His Spirit, harkening to His Voice, then he is living in the now. He is not concerned with what happened yesterday or what will happen as a result of what he is about to do in obedience to His Voice. While a person may face consequences of his obedience to His Voice, the Creator holds Himself responsible for that person’s obedience to His Voice.

For example, when Kepha (Peter) and Yochanan (John) were arrested for teaching in the name of Yeshua, even beaten and then released, they went right back to teaching in the name of Yeshua again. They suffered a consequence for their obedience, but counted it as joy. This is something we need to learn how to live in our everyday lives.

Kepha Aleph (1st Peter) 4:19
Therefore let them also that suffer according to the will of Elohim commit their souls in well-doing unto a faithful Creator.

We have one last thought about freedom.

Galatians 6:7-9
7 Be not deceived; Elohim is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that sows unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life.
9 And let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Simply put, if one wants freedom, then freedom he must give. This is spoken of in another place as the Law of liberty.

Ya’aqov (James) 2:12
So speak, and so do, as men that are to be judged by a law of liberty.

This law of liberty is not what one receives; rather it is what one gives to others. This is the law of liberty. It is not about what a person can get away with and still get into heaven, but rather it is about what a person is willing to overlook in others. Just because the Creator has forbidden one individual to do something does not mean He has placed that same restriction upon others. Each person must be true to Him who created him and allow others the same freedom.

Thus, each person needs to choose to hear and obey His Voice (shema). As a person makes this moment by moment choice, he will be filled with His Spirit in shalom (peace) and discover the fullness of freedom the Creator intended for him to live. May all this and more be yours.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah