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

Dear Family and Friends,

This is a letter that has been long in the writing.  It is not only long so much in the actual construction of the letter, but rather long in my heart in wanting to write to you and explain to you where I am in my walk of faith, and even perhaps why.  Some of you no doubt will be upset with what I have to say.  But it is not my intent to do this; and this possibility is even a large part of why it has taken me so long to write this letter to you.  I know that some of you are curious about me and what it is that I do (and believe).  I hope that I can answer those thoughts and questions.  I want you to know, that if you have any further questions, I am open to dialog with you.  I have not got it all figured out, to be sure.  Nor do I have all the answers.  But, I am not afraid to ask the hard questions of myself and seek out the answers and then make whatever adjustments are needed in my mode of living and thinking.

First, let me give you a short personal testimony.  I began studying Scripture when I was just thirteen years old.  On my next birthday I will be fifty-seven (it doesn’t seem possible).  So I have been studying Scripture for about 44 years.  I hope that in that time I have learned some things!  But this one thing I can honestly say: I have always been honest with what I have learned, even to the point of going against the flow.  It has not always been easy for me to do this, especially when going against that flow involved my family.  There have been times when I was perhaps a little slow in doing what I knew to be the right thing because of this, like writing this letter.  But in the end I always allowed YHWH and His Scripture to win and bowed in submission to His authority.  It has been because of this basic philosophy in my life that I am where I am in my journey in life today.

This brings us to the reason for the occasion of this letter.  Let us proceed into (hopefully) a short study of Scripture.  Throughout, this is really all personal testimony on what I have learned.  I do not claim to be infallible, so if I am wrong and you can show me from Scripture, I will change.  But please know that I am not interested in getting into a discussion of church doctrine or even church traditions, but would truly love to discuss any Scripture with you.  From our point of view, there are passages that seem on the surface to contradict other passages of Scripture; however, I am firmly convinced that no Scripture contradicts itself.  A person just has to put forth effort and be honest with Scriptures to harmonize them.

All the Scripture that I will quote is modified.  Why modified?  Well, all English versions of Scripture have hidden the true name of our Creator, and substituted false pagan deity names and titles in its place (Jer. 8:8).  The name of our Creator is YHWH (throughout this letter).  These four letters come from the Tetragrammaton - יהוה .  YHWH’s name occurs nearly 7000 times in Scripture in Hebrew.  However, it does not occur even once in the English Bibles of today.  Why?  Satan’s name (which is actually a transliterated Hebrew word) occurs in 49 verses in Scripture and his name is NOT changed one little bit.  Why?  Why is it that the translators choose to reveal Satan’s true name and to hide YHWH’s true name?  Just exactly who were these translators working for?  This brings us to our first couple of passages of Scripture.

Ezekiel 20:44
And you shall  know  that I [am] YHWH, when I have wrought with you for  my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, you house of Israel, says YHWH Elohim (the Lord God).

Ezekiel 39:6-7
6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly (or confidently) in the isles: and they shall know that I [am] YHWH.
7 So will I make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not [let them] pollute My holy& name any more: and the heathen shall know that I [am] YHWH, the Holy One in Israel.

Isaiah 52:6
Therefore  My  people shall  know   My   name : therefore [they shall  know ] in that day that I [am] He that does speak: behold, [it is] I.

Notice that in each of these passages, we are being told that there is a day coming, namely in the latter days, that YHWH will make His Name known to His people Yisrael (Israel).  We will deal with exactly who is Israel later in this letter.

John 17:6
I have manifested Your  name [ YHWH ]  unto the men which You gave Me out of the world: Yours they were, and You gave them to Me; and they have kept Your word.

Notice in this passage, that when Yeshua (this is His true Hebrew name) came, He taught His disciples (and us) that He came to restore the Name of the Father; which had come into disuse because of a false doctrine and belief.

Exodus 20:7
You shall not take the name of YHWH your Elohim in vain; for YHWH will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.

Notice in the third commandment the word “vain”.  What does this word mean and what is a proper understanding of the concept in this commandment? 

The following is taken from Brown, Driver & Briggs/Thayer’s concordance:

07723 shav’ {shawv} or shav {shav} from the same as 07722 in the sense of desolating; TWOT - 2338a; n m; AV - vain 22, vanity 22, false 5, lying2, falsely 1, lies 1; 53;
1) emptiness, vanity, falsehood
1a) emptiness, nothingness, vanity
1b) emptiness of speech, lying
1c) worthlessness (of conduct)

The concept here is of bringing His name, YHWH, to naught or nothingness.  And just how does one do this or break this commandment?  One would break this commandment by not using His name or by replacing His name with something else, whether that would be in print or verbally.  So most English versions of Scripture are a violation of this commandment.

Is it any wonder why the prophet says:

Jeremiah 16:19
YHWH, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto You from the ends of the earth, and shall say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and [things] wherein [there is] no profit.”

And what are the “lies”, “vanity”, and “things wherein is  no profit”?  Certainly, it has to be those things that are the traditions of men.  After all, we inherited them from our physical fathers.  Those things we inherit from our Heavenly Father are NOT lies, vanity, and things wherein are no profit.  Surely the things that we inherit from our heavenly Father are good, right, and edifying.

Peter makes this same assertion:

1 Peter 1:18
knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers;

What did we receive from our fathers that is not according to Scripture?  Before we answer this question, let us look at some passages of Scripture pertaining to Yeshua.

1 John 2:6
He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk , even as He walked

1 Peter 2:21
For even hereunto were you called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

We can see from these passages (and there are others) that we are admonished to live as He (i.e., Yeshua) lived.  And how did He live?  He states repeatedly that He kept His Father’s commandments!  (See John 15:10 as only one example)  Should we not also keep all His Father’s commandments?  To be sure, we should.  Take an honest look at this next passage.

Matthew 5:17-18
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law [Torah], or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
18 For verily I say to you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Yeshua did not come to do away with the Torah (law).  In fact, He states just the opposite.  Notice that He says that the Torah (law) will be in effect until heaven and earth pass away.  Hello!  Did I miss something or is the earth still here?  Furthermore, He goes on to teach in the verses following this, that we are not to listen to anyone who teaches that the Torah has been done away with.

Matthew 5:19
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so,  he  shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [the commandments], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Where are the “great” teachers of Scripture spoken of in this passage? You know, the ones that teach and do the commandments of YHWH.  These are the ones we should be listening to, not those who are the “least” in His kingdom; those who teach that the Torah (law) has been done away with and in fact, they themselves go about breaking His commandments.  This is part of the reason the prophet says we have inherited lies and vanity.  We have surrounded ourselves with teachers to tickle our ears and to say those things that make us feel good and do not require any action on our part.  Sit back, relax, and do nothing; rather than working out our salvation with fear and trembling ( Philippians 2:12; Psalm 2:11).

If a person can be honest with what these passages are saying and teaching, then one can see that the Torah (law) has not been done away with.  There are many passages in the Brit Hachadashah that are a reflection of this Truth. 

Messiah Yeshua kept the Passover Feast.  The Scripture teaches us that we are to live as He lived.  Should we not also keep Passover?  Yeshua kept the other feasts as well; should we not also keep the other Feasts of YHWH?  And what of Shabbat (Sabbath)?  Yeshua kept this as well.  Shouldn’t we keep it as well?  After all, He is supposed to be our example in all things.

Even Shaul kept the Feasts of YHWH.  He even admonished those he wrote to, to keep the Feasts as well.

1 Corinthians 5:7b
For even Messiah our passover is sacrificed for us:  8 Therefore let us keep the feast

For laying aside the commandment  of  YHWH, you hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do.

Notice what Messiah Yeshua teaches us in the passage just quoted.  He says that many people lay aside the commandment of YHWH because they would rather follow the tradition of men.  How would that apply to us today?  I will answer, shortly!  Notice in this next passage what Yeshua taught us concerning true worship.

John 4:23-24
23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall  worship  the Father in  spirit  and in  truth : for the Father seeks such to  worship Him.
24 YHWH [is] a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Is there anyone in our world that does not know that our Messiah was not born on December 25?  Certainly all the serious scholars and theologians know this!  But to worship Him on this day is NOT the Truth!  That is for sure.  At best it is only a tradition of men.  At worst, well, we’ll save that for another time.  And what about Easter?  How can Yeshua, born a Hebrew, who lived as a Hebrew, and was crucified on a Hebrew Feast, have anything to do with the pagan feast of Istar (pronounced easter).  Can we be adult enough to face the Truth here?  These things have been substituted for the Feasts of YHWH.  People still would rather follow the traditions of men.  Not me; give me the commandment of YHWH any day.  As Yehoshua (Joshua) said, as for me and my house we will serve YHWH.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Messiah.

And just what do the following passages mean?

Matthew 10:5-6
5 These twelve Yeshua sent forth, and commanded them, saying, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans do not enter;
6 But go rather to the  lost  sheep of the house of  Israel.

Matthew 15:24
But he answered and said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of  Israel.

Who is the House of Israel and why are they lost?  The short answer is: the House of Israel is us (that is, those who accept Yeshua as Messiah, keep Torah, and are physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).  And how do we know this from Scripture?  This is a question that is answerable, believe it or not.  It is not easy to do in a short space, however.  But I will try. 

First, we need some background in Scriptural history.  Let us begin with Rehoboam.  When Solomon died and His son became king, his son was a foolish man.  Read 1 Kings 12:1-15. As a result of his foolishness the kingdom of Israel was divided into the southern House of Yehudah (Judah - this is where the English word Jew comes from) and the northern House of Yisrael (also known in Scripture as Ephraim, Joseph, and Samaria).  The House of Yehudah had two tribes, Yehudah (Judah), and Benyamin (Benjamin), with most of the House of Levi (who had no inheritance in the Land).  The northern House of Yisrael (Israel) had the other ten tribes with the tribe of Ephrayim being the leading tribe.  The king they chose (Jeroboam) was from this tribe.   Please take careful note of the following passage:

1 Kings 12:26-33
26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
27 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of YHWH at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their Master, [even] unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves [of] gold, and said unto them, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”
29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went [to worship] before the one, [even] unto Dan.
31 And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that [is] in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, [even] in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.

Please take careful note of just exactly what is happening here.  Jeroboam, the new king of the north (the ten tribes in the north) realized that it was soon to be the time for all of Israel to go up to Jerusalem to the feast.  He realized that if he allowed this to happen, then the kingdom would be lost to him.  So he devised an evil plan to change the feast days from what YHWH had set forth in His Torah (Lev. 23) to what became a sin and stumbling block for the entire nation of Israel (ten tribes).  They began following the traditions of men rather than the commandments of YHWH.  In their (ten tribe nation of Israel) entire 322 year history of existence, they never once had a righteous king; i.e., one who would lead them back to YHWH and His commandments.  As a result, YHWH sent prophet after prophet calling for the people of Israel (ten tribes) to repent.  He (YHWH) finally had enough and sent a pagan nation (Assyria) to take Israel (ten tribes) into captivity.  To date, these ten tribes are still absent from the commonwealth of Israel, still following their pagan practices and mixed worship (mixed worship is worshipping YHWH with other pagan practices thrown in).  (See the golden calf incident in Exodus 32.)

This is why Messiah came: to restore these ten lost tribes back to their rightful inheritance.  Notice this next passage.

Ephesians 2:11-19
11 Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by the so-called circumcision, which is performed in the flesh by human hands
12 That at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the  commonwealth  of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without YHWH in the world:
13 But now in Messiah Yeshua you who sometimes were far off are brought near by the blood of Messiah.
14 For He is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]
15 Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;
16 And that He might reconcile both unto YHWH in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: {thereby: or, in Himself}
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were near.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of YHWH;

Notice first in verse 11, that he is writing to those who used to be, but no longer are, “gentiles”.   Note also that these former gentiles were separated from the “commonwealth of Israel”, but that is no longer true.  They have been adopted or grafted into the tree of Israel (see Romans 11).  Notice the use of the word “both”.  Who does this word pertain to?  None other than both houses, those that were near (Judah) and those that were far off (Ephraim or Israel).  It is extremely important when studying prophecy that you keep this one fact in the forefront of your mind and thinking.  There are two houses of Israel - Judah and Ephraim.  And when the prophet is speaking, to whom is he making reference, to Judah or to Ephraim (and in some cases both)?  Notice that Paul is speaking of a reconciling of these two houses into one new man.  Notice the following:

Ezekiel 37:15-23
15 The word of YHWH came again unto me, saying,
16 “Moreover, you son of man, you take one stick, and write upon it, ‘For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions;’ then take another stick, and write upon it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and [for] all the house of Israel his companions.’
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in your hand.
18 And when the children of your people shall speak unto you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you [mean] by these?’
19 Say to them, ‘Thus says YHWH Elohim; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which [is] in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel [ten tribes] his fellows, and will put them with him, [even] with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.’
20 And the sticks whereon you wrote shall be in your hand before their eyes.  21 And say to them, ‘Thus says YHWH Elohim; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, wherever they have gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their Elohim.’

We see today, that the stick of Judah has been made into a nation.  Are you ready to see and perhaps even to be, a part of the “resurrection” of the nation of Israel (ten tribes); and then these two nations coming back together again as ONE NATION?  Are you ready?

Hosea 1:10-11
10 Yet the number of the children of Israel [ten tribes] shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said to them, You [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [You are] the sons of the living Elohim.
11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great [shall be] the day of Jezreel.

How many “Christians” today (erroneously) believe that they are not the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?  Yet, they truly are.  As such, they have a right to the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to inherit the Land.  I am not spouting replacement theology here!  Rather, there are two houses to which the promises belong.  And, at some point in the future, these two houses will be made into one house again.

I have written these things in hopes of whetting your appetite, to spur you on to find out who you really are in Messiah.  I know that this letter seems long, but there is so much more that I could say and perhaps should say.  These things are only the beginning.  When things begin to happen, as the Scripture says, “Let Jerusalem come to your mind.”  (Jeremiah 51:50)   That is where we should be.

If you have read this far, then may YHWH bless you and keep you safe in the days ahead.  And know that I have written this in love for you and all of my family and friends.  And as Scripture teaches us, “prove all things”, don’t just take my word for it, open your Scripture and search it out for yourself.  YHWH will help you.

Watch and pray; for the night comes when no man can work.

Love and blessings to all,
Zerubbabel ben Emunah

I know that these are heavy words, strong words, but I have tried to be gentle, yet honest.

You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without the works [by what you say], and I will show you my faith by my works [by what I do].
James 2:18