Understanding Torah Society continuing series
January 1, 2012
|Shalom Dear Brothers and Sisters in Mashiach Yeshua,
This week we conclude our series on Understanding Torah Society with a summary and a person testimony of my own personal experiences in attempting to create a Torah community.
We have a very important announcement this week as well, please see below.
We have also updated all the pages in this series to the new format of the pages.
We are also publishing a pdf file of the complete series in book form for those interested. This pdf also includes a table of contents, dedication page, and a glossary.
Understanding Torah Society - part 26
Yirmeyah (Jeremiah) 31:33
"But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days," says YHWH; "I will put My Torah in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people."
A society based upon Torah is not going to be easy to accomplish. It is going to take a lot of work to bring the human element under control. Control of the human element is not meant to be done through an external agency as one finds in all past and present societies. In a Torah society, control of self is expected to be done by each individual. There are safeguards in place within the Torah society which shall kick into gear if a person fails to accomplish this self-control. We have examined some of those safeguards in this series.
There is an age-old debate taking place in society today as to whether morality can be legislated with both sides believing they are correct in their respective positions. Both sides have some valid points. If one looks at the definition found in a dictionary as to what "morality" consists of, then yes, it can be legislated. However, if one redefines morality to include the mores of the soul, then no, such a thing cannot be legislated.
This is where the successful action spoken of in the above passage comes into play. It is through this agency, that is, YHWH writing His Torah upon the hearts and minds of His people, by which a true Torah society is possible. No longer will His Torah only be written upon tablets of stone and scrolls of lamb skins as in ages past, but His Torah will be internalized within His people. In this way, each person will be a Torah unto himself in the sense that YHWH's Torah is written upon each person's mind and upon each person's heart. No wonder Yeshua spoke of living water flowing out of a man.
Yochanan (John) 7:38
"He who trusts in Me, as the scripture has said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water."
The source of that living water flowing out of a man is the Torah which YHWH has written inside of him. It is this source which will enable the people of YHWH to live together in society based upon Torah. Scripture indicates to us that the process of YHWH writing His Torah upon the hearts of His people began with the first coming of Mashiach Yeshua.
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days," says YHWH; "I will put My Torah into their mind, and on their heart also will I write them, and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people."
The writer to the Hebrew followers of Mashiach quotes the passage from Yirmeyah, indicating within this context of his letter, that this passage is now coming to pass. The Spirit of YHWH has been working on the lives and hearts of people since the coming of Mashiach, preparing their minds and hearts for the coming of His kingdom and the return of their King. It is the presence of the living Torah (Mashiach Yeshua) via the agency of His Spirit, which enables the written Torah (Torah Moshe) to be internalized and written upon a person's mind and upon his heart.
Sadly, the last two thousand years is not a very good example of how to live together in a Torah based society. In fact, nearly anywhere one looks, what one finds are ample examples of what not to do. However, as Scripture points out, examples of what not to do are as equally important as examples of what to do. These examples of what not to do indicate, at least to this writer, that few people have understood the true nature of a Torah society.
Continue reading the rest of the study here
Understanding Torah Society - Appendix
Attempting to Build a Torah Community
My Personal Experience
The fact that I am not completely disillusioned is a miracle in itself. My experience at attempting to build a community based upon Torah has met with disaster and failure at every attempt, some attempts more disastrous than others. However, this school of hard-knocks has opened my eyes to Scripture in ways that would not have been possible any other way. Only in this, has all the pain, anguish, and heartache yielded fruit for His kingdom. For this I am quite thankful to our heavenly Father!
It is not my desire to point fingers at anyone for any reason. I simply desire to put in writing my own personal experience in this matter without casting insults or degrading another in any way. If you are an individual who has shared my experiences in some way in this matter, you may see yourself reflected in this testimony. As long as you say nothing to anyone, they will never know those particular words are about you. My intention is to be as kind to you as possible while also being as honest as possible. Please know that I willingly shoulder a majority of any blame to be doled out, but not all of it, by any means. I say "a majority" simply because these things happened in my home and on my property. That reason alone makes me more culpable than anyone else. I would also like to extend to each person my very sincere apology for the hurt and pain that you felt, as well.
For the sake of my own sanity as well as my own marriage relationship, I have no plans to ever attempt this again. Lest you think ill of my dear wife, and think that she is in any way manipulating me into this position, you would be wrong to think such a thing. What my dear wife and I experienced through all this was rather horrific at times. She ended up in a nervous breakdown at one point and was admitted to the mental ward in the local hospital. Thankfully, she has fully recovered.
Sadly, I was somewhat dense in this matter, and we made several more attempts after she recovered. At one point, she nearly relapsed into another nervous breakdown. I am happy to report today that I have my act together much more so than in those days, and she is happy and healthy. If there was ever anyone to whom I owed an apology, it is my wife. I have put her through more than any woman should have to go through in an attempt to build a Torah community. I will not do so again! It is my duty to protect her. This I willingly and lovingly shall do without apology to anyone.
Another by-product of repeatedly attempting to build a Torah community is the cost of children who moved away from Torah. I grieve in my spirit continuously for each and every one of these children. If there was one thing I could undo concerning all that happened in these past attempts, it would be to have these children back in His fold. I doubt that any of them will ever read this, but if you do, please know that I am sorry for the hurt that I personally caused you and I ask for you to forgive me!
Along this path, I have met a few people with whom I still have a good relationship. I am quite thankful for those individuals. Perhaps in time, other relationships can be restored. There are a few, of which I seriously doubt that can ever happen. Not because I doubt the sufficiency of YHWH's grace, but rather, because I know those individuals and it is highly unlikely that such persons will be able to humble themselves enough to make things right with me, particularly when said individuals hold me solely responsible, and are unwilling to share any of the responsibility for what happened. I know that my own conscience is clear because I have reached out to those particular individuals and have done what I could do to make things right. And frankly, at this point, even if they do come to me and do what is right in YHWH's eyes to make amends, things can never be like they were once; that is just simply not possible. Please understand, I have forgiven each and every person. However, just because I have forgiven a person does not mean such a person needs to be a part of my life again. Considering some of the repeated actions of some individuals, it is doubtful if those actions shall cease. Therefore, I do not need to be near such a person when those actions manifest themselves again. To do so would be foolish on my part and certainly not healthy.
Continue reading the rest of the article here. PDF.
Last February my website crashed due to my internet service provider being hacked into by an ex disgruntled employee. The result of this was www.onetorahforall.com
being off-line for four months.
As I prayed about this His Spirit strongly impressed upon me that this was a result of being reluctant to take time off from writing. Therefore, since I would not do it, YHWH did it for me. Since then He has impressed upon me the need to take regular time off from writing these studies.
In the Spirit of obedience to Him, I will be taking off the next three weeks. During this time there will be no newsletter. We have just finished this week the Understanding Torah Society series, which took us more than six months to write. It has been by far the single largest project I have ever undertaken. YHWH is already speaking to me about what is to be next on the list of writing. I am already feeling excited about it. However, I do need some good quality time with our heavenly Father and need to carefully lay out the next project.
Thank you for you understanding and support of our ministry. Each one of you is important to YHWH and to His kingdom. I will still be answering emails, so in the next three weeks, if you need a question answered, please write.
Love and blessings