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



The Moving of the Spirit in Our Days

Ya’aqov [James] 3:13-18
13 Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom is not a wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
16 For where jealousy and faction exist, there is confusion and every vile deed.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

There is much wisdom given in these few verses.  This is particularly so when one uses it to measure much of the rhetoric about peace and safety found in the media today.  The Spirit of YHWH is moving in our day; not only is His Spirit moving, but many unclean spirits are moving as well.  These unclean spirits have a message which appeals to the flesh of man and will lead a person away from YHWH if he follows that message.

Yechezqel [Ezekiel] 37:7
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.

There is a wonderful moving of His Spirit in these days.  This fresh moving began somewhere around the mid 1990s, which was when the Hebrew Roots Movement really took off.  It seems that suddenly there were many people who had an interest in the Hebrew roots of traditional Christianity.  There were many ministries that sprang up, virtually overnight.

As this movement continues to grow, some very significant things will take place, according to Scripture.  In the last few years, one of the things that seems to be on so very many people’s minds, is the coming together as a body, in a word – unity.  There is much discussion about forming communities and living together in groups, in order to be prepared for the difficult times coming as well as to be better able to obey His Torah commandments.

Many people are calling for, and attempting to build and foster, the concept of unity through peace (shalom).  This study is going to look into Scripture and examine what our Heavenly Father says about this, and see if one can further his understanding of all His people coming together properly and in an orderly fashion.

The first area we will examine is pursuing peace as the primary means of unity with one’s neighbor or brother, and why that will not work according to Scripture.


Saying “Peace” Does Not Bring Peace

Yirmeyah [Jeremiah] 8:8-12
8 “How do you say, ‘We are wise, and the Torah of YHWH is with us?’  But, behold, the false pen of the scribes has wrought falsely.
9 The wise men are put to shame, they are dismayed and taken: Behold, they have rejected the word of YHWH; and what manner of wisdom is in them?
10 Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to them that shall possess them: for everyone from the least even to the greatest is given to covetousness; from the prophet even to the priest every one deals falsely.
11 And they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace’; when there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?  No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall; in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down,” says YHWH.

Here is a passage of Scripture that seems to be speaking directly to this present day.  Please note that it is speaking of those who seem to be shepherds and teachers of His Torah, except that they are full of covetousness and lies.  This could even include those YHWH places over His people as political leaders, those who promise peace, but do not deliver.  However, what does it mean that they have been given over to “covetousness?”

One thing it certainly can mean is that these men are marketing His Torah and making a profit from that which should be free to all.  They are those who claim to have visions and revelations and then charge a price to His people for them to receive this supposed direct information from our heavenly Father.  Furthermore, others are charging a price for their wares using lying pens by tickling the ears to gain a profit.  According to the above passage, these are claiming to be wise in what they are teaching concerning the Torah.  Alternatively, they are claiming special knowledge via vision or revelation.  However, when we look at the actual content, what we find are lies; i.e., things that are not according to His written Word.

It is okay to make a living from preaching.  There are many passages that teach that a pastor, prophet, or apostle, is worthy of one’s support.  However, what they have received from YHWH free, they are to pass on to His people free.  This is what Scripture teaches.

What these supposed teachers of Torah are doing is the same thing Bala’am did.  They are mixing in their own ideas along with His Torah.  They are going after wealth, via the Torah.  YHWH seems to be speaking about this in using the phrase “the lying pen of the scribes.”

They also go about proclaiming peace; that is, they want unity for the sake of unity.


Is Peace-only of Any Value?

Ya’aqov [James] 2:15-16
15 If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled”; and yet you give them nothing for the body; what good does it do?

Ya’aqov gives us an example about faith.  In this example, he tells us that there are those who say, “Go in peace.”  However, this person is sending another person away and not helping him.  So he asks the question:  what good does that do?  Well, it doesn’t do any good at all.

Those who do this seem to want to be at peace with everyone; they want everyone to be in unity.  However, they are not really willing to pay the price to get true peace.

As the following passages point out, it is not really possible to have unity for the sake of unity.  Please note what this next passage of Scripture says concerning peace, before we proceed.


Peace and Safety

1st Thessalonians 5:3
When they are saying, “Peace and safety”, then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape.

Please be extra careful of those who are preaching peace (unity) for the sake of unity (peace).  Be sure of this:  destruction will come upon them, and one does not want to be too close when that happens, lest Elohim destroy him along with them.


The Righteous and Wisdom

Mishle [Proverbs] 10:30-31
30           The righteous shall never be removed;
But the wicked shall not dwell in the land.
31           The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom;
But the perverse tongue shall be cut off.

When one thinks of being righteous, one thinks of purity of heart and life.  For how would it be possible for a person to be righteous without having a pure heart?  It would not be possible to be righteous without being pure in one’s heart first of all.  Then that purity of heart would be manifest in a pure life.

When one thinks of wickedness or perversity, one thinks of impurity and everything that is not pure.  If a person has anything that is against YHWH or His commandments in his heart, then his heart is impure; that impurity will then manifest itself in an impure life through that person’s everyday actions.  

Therefore, the righteous brings forth wisdom because of his purity.  However, those that are not pure (the wicked) shall not be allowed to live in YHWH’s Land according to the passage of Scripture above, for they shall be cut off (that is, they shall die).


Just Ask

Ya’aqov [James] 1:5
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim, who gives to all liberally without reproach; and it shall be given to him.

The thing about wisdom is that, if one does not have what he needs, all he needs to do is to approach his heavenly Father in faith and simply ask Him for wisdom, and He will give him what he needs.  That seems pretty simple.  Yet, how many actually ask YHWH for wisdom to understand and to do His Torah?  How many actually ask for wisdom to hear and obey His Voice?

Qorintyah Aleph [1st Corinthians] 12:8
For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit:

This wisdom and knowledge comes to all through the ministry of the Ruach.

Surely, one can see that this wisdom is not something the Ruach gives to a person if he has a heart that is full of wickedness and unrighteousness.  Rather, wisdom is given when one’s heart is wholly for YHWH; it is one’s own selfishness working in his life that messes things up.  Therefore, when one has a heart that loves YHWH with all his being and strength, then the more like Mashiach he will be able to live in his everyday life.


The Mind of Mashiach

Qorintyah Aleph [1st Corinthians] 2:16
For who has known the mind of YHWH, that he should instruct Him?  But we have the mind of Mashiach.

When He fills a person with His Ruach, then he does, in fact, have the mind of Mashiach dwelling in him.  Moreover, if one has the mind of Mashiach dwelling in him, should he not work and strive towards being more like Him?  To be sure!

It should be easy for most people to see that He was righteous and wise.  Can one not also see that it was because of His righteousness that the religious leaders put Him to death?  He does expect His people to experience that same sort of persecution because of pursuing His righteousness, so that His righteousness will manifest itself in one’s daily life.  The result of such a pursuit will be persecution.


Mashiach is Our Wisdom

Qorintyah Aleph [1st Corinthians] 1:30
But of Him are you in Mashiach Yeshua, who was made to us wisdom from Elohim, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption;

When a person accepts Yeshua as Mashiach, He becomes that person’s wisdom.  This is important to understand, because what one does not want to do is to walk in his own futile knowledge and wisdom, for it can only lead to death.

Furthermore, one’s own wisdom and knowledge is based upon elevating self and feeding the flesh.  It is His wisdom that is pure and righteous.  Therefore, one needs to seek His wisdom at all times in order to overcome those things in his life that are not pleasing to Him; i.e., self and all its many manifestations.

Colossians 1:9
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray and make request for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

Those who follow Mashiach Yeshua should absolutely pray this for one another at all times.  His people need to ask Him to fill us all with His wisdom, His knowledge, and His understanding.  If one attempts to build His Kingdom and do His Work in his own strength, wisdom, and understanding, it will fail, and it will fail miserably.  Furthermore, a person building in his own wisdom and understanding is building a kingdom to himself, and is not building the kingdom of our heavenly Father.  This human kingdom then stands in opposition to His kingdom and is at war with the kingdom of YHWH.  Can one not see that to erect any kingdom but His, is to be in opposition to, and at war with, YHWH?  How can that be a good thing?

This is primarily due to one’s wisdom coming from a heart that has not been cleansed!  What one needs is purity of heart and life to build His Kingdom.

Colossians 2:1-3
1 For I would have you know how greatly I strive for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of Elohim, even Messiah,
3 in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden.

Again, Elohim hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in Mashiach Yeshua.  Where is one looking for these nuggets of treasure?  One will not find them anywhere in the world; he will find them only in Mashiach.  Anything that appeals to the flesh is a counterfeit treasure and will only lead to death.

Why is this?  What is it that will help one know the difference between wisdom from above and wisdom that is from this world?


A Wise and Understanding People

Devarim [Deuteronomy] 4:6
“Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, that shall hear all these statutes, and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”

Wisdom and understanding is based upon knowing and doing (that is, obeying) all of His Torah; i.e., commandments, ordinances, statutes, judgments.  In addition, of course, one cannot forget to include hearing and obeying His Voice.

So here is the question:  if His commandments become polluted with one’s own impurity of heart by either adding to, or taking away, from His Torah, how can one be a part of His wise and understanding people?

Well, the truth is, he cannot be a part of His wise and understanding people if he is attempting to obey a Torah from which he has taken away or to which he has added by his own self-based wisdom, because in truth it is no longer His Torah.  To be His Torah it must be complete and unchanged!


Gaining Wisdom

Mishle [Proverbs] 9:10
The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom;
And the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.

This is a much-quoted verse, as well it should be.  If one is going to have wisdom, then that wisdom must be in accordance with a healthy fear and respect of YHWH.  If one does not fear YHWH, then he will not strive to keep His Torah whole and complete, without change, the way that he needs to do. 

If one does not fear Him, then he will not be afraid to add his own thoughts and ideas to His Torah, nor will he be afraid to take away those portions of His Torah that he does not like or does not want to obey.  Thus, the end result will be that one has written his own torah, which rises up in opposition to the Torah of YHWH.

It is only a proper fear that will cause a person to keep His Torah whole, complete, and without change.  This same fear of YHWH will also cause one to strive towards heart purity, something that every person needs to be doing on a daily basis.

Mishle [Proverbs] 3:13
Happy is the man that finds wisdom,
And the man that gets understanding.

If one wants to be happy in this life, and especially in the life to come, then he needs to get understanding and find wisdom.  However, how can one do that if he settles for something less than a full and complete Torah?  The truth is that one cannot!  The only way to be truly happy in this life and in the next is to have purity of heart and life now, which will include obeying His complete Torah.


Two Types of Wisdom

Ya’aqov [James] 3:13-17
13 Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom is not a wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

One type of wisdom, the type that is from this world, is full of jealousy and division.  There is confusion in this type of wisdom.  In addition, it has a very sensual side to it and is actually demonic in nature.  It actually sounds good to the ear and appeals very much to the fleshly, sinful nature of man. 

This is why it is so easy to fill up a first-day-keeping church building -- because of the appeal to the flesh.  The same applies to a Shabbat-keeping synagogue as well, if the primary focus is upon feeding the fleshly nature of man.  One sees this from time to time, and it results in a split at some point between those who want to walk in righteousness and purity of heart and life, and those who desire to get as much materially out of this life as they can, all the while feigning to be a part of His kingdom.

However, the wisdom that is from above is first pure!

Please read that again: the wisdom from above is first pure.  Then what follows that is peace.  If men attempt to have peace without first having purity, then it will fail.  Pure what, though?  Primarily it means to have a pure heart towards Him, to love YHWH with all of one’s being; i.e., heart, mind, and strength.

One needs to understand that, in YHWH’s Kingdom, purity of heart and life is of paramount importance.  Please note the following words from the passage immediately above:  1) purity, 2) unwavering, and 3) without hypocrisy.  In verse 17, in that list of attributes concerning wisdom, there are eight attributes listed, three of which are dealing directly with purity:  the first one and the last two.

This should tell the reader something of vital importance concerning the call to unity.  First and foremost, it needs to be a call to purity of heart and life, and then a call to peace.  For if one is striving in His Spirit for a pure heart and a life of righteousness, then how can he not help but have peace with his brothers?  Then in verse 18, once purity of heart and life is established, one can, and will, establish true peace in his life, but not until purity of heart and life has first place in his life.


A Pure Torah

Tehillim [Psalms] 119:140
Your word is very pure;
Therefore Your servant loves it.

YHWH’s Torah is absolutely pure.  Torah is pure because He is pure.  Moreover, as He is pure, and as Torah is pure, so should His people be pure as well.  It is because His Word is pure that one loves it so very much. 

Tehillim [Psalms] 19:8
The precepts of YHWH are right, rejoicing the heart:
The commandment of YHWH is pure, enlightening the eyes.

It is the purity of His commandment that enlightens a person to be able to see Him.  If there is not purity in one’s heart and life, then one cannot hope to be enlightened.

Yochanan Aleph [1st John] 3:3
And every one that has this hope set on Him purifies himself, even as He is pure.

YHWH is pure!

When one begins to see this reality, he will have a growing desire to purify himself so that he can be like Him.  This purity must begin in one’s heart.  Then that heart purity will begin to manifest itself in one’s life.  The longer one strives toward this purity in heart and life, the more it will be manifested in his daily walk with YHWH.

As one does this individually, this is what brings all together in the bonds of peace.  Without the purity and the striving for that purity, one cannot hope to have the common bond of peace.  Then, as each one does this individually, he can begin to become a part of the collective body of Mashiach.  This is where the iron sharpening iron comes into play as one rubs against another on a daily basis, further sharpening each individual to become fit to live and walk together with others in His kingdom.


A Pure Example

1st Timothy 4:12
Let no man despise your youth; but be an example to them that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity.

Not only should one be seeking to be pure, but he should also be seeking to set a good example for others to follow.  The example that one sets with his speech, the way that one lives, the love he has for YHWH as well as for his brother, should be according to the faith and must be in purity of heart and life.

If it is not in righteousness and a set-apart life, how can it be from YHWH?

Please note that there is nothing in this passage about setting a good example concerning unity or peace.  Unity and peace are simply a by-product of daily walking in purity of heart and life.


A Pure Heart

2nd Timothy 2:20-26
20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some for honor, and some for common use.
21 If a man purifies himself from these, he shall be a vessel for honor, sanctified, fit for the Master's use, prepared for every good work.
22 But flee youthful lusts, and follow after righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on YHWH out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and ignorant questionings refuse, knowing that they gender strife.
24 And YHWH's servant must not be contentious, but be gentle towards all, able to teach, forbearing,
25 in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if perhaps Elohim may give them repentance to the knowledge of the truth,
26 and they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to his will.

The Set-apart Spirit admonishes us in this passage to put away from ourselves all those things that are impure in us.  YHWH needs to purge each person of all those things that would keep him from being set-apart.

Here is the thing:  it is worthy to desire to be at peace with one’s fellow man, especially those of the household of faith, but at what price?  How far is a person to go to be at peace with his fellow man?

Each person needs to judge whether it is right to obey man or Elohim.  Of course, one knows the answer to that question.  Each person is to obey those in authority over him, but when those in authority tell him to go against the Torah of YHWH, then he is to obey YHWH rather than man.

Purity of heart and life is primarily dealing with one’s relationship with YHWH through Mashiach Yeshua.  Unity or peace is dealing primarily with one’s relationship with his fellow man.  When one begins to understand this, he begins to see just exactly why it is that he needs to pursue purity first, then unity (peace).  If he pursues peace (unity) before purity of heart and life, then this becomes a source of idolatry, for one is putting man before Elohim.  YHWH cannot, and will not, bless this, ever!

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

The things upon which one is to be meditating are those things that are good, righteous, and pure.  If one is meditating upon things that are not good, righteous, and pure, how can he have purity of heart and life?  He cannot!

Please take careful note of the following passage.

Tehillim 24:3-5
3              Who shall ascend into the hill of YHWH? 
And who shall stand in His set-apart place?
4              He who has clean hands, and a pure heart;
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood,
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5              He shall receive a blessing from YHWH,
And righteousness from the Elohim of his salvation.

Who will enter into the presence of YHWH?  It is those who have a pure heart and clean hands, not those who are only at peace with their neighbors.

Brethren, please do not buy into the bill of (no) goods that is in the marketplace today, in which those selling are trying to get others to buy into the false notion that it should be peace (unity) at any cost. 

It should be purity at any cost!

However, is one willing to pay the cost of purity of heart and life?  If the reader does not already know, let this writer express what it will cost each person who is willing to pay the price to attain heart purity.  It will cost him laying down his own life, and picking up His life and living His life, rather than living one’s own life.  Each person must answer the question for himself as to whether he is willing to pay that price.  Is he willing to die to self and to the self-life?

1st Timothy 1:5
But the end of the charge is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned:

The purpose of one’s life should be to please his heavenly Father.  How can one please Him if he does not have a pure heart, or is at least doing his dead-level best to strive for purity of heart and life towards Him?

If one can know that his brother is also striving to gain purity of heart and life towards YHWH in his life, then he can have love, compassion, and understanding towards him, even when he is at a different place in his understanding of Scriptural truth.  It is this knowledge that we are all striving for purity of heart and life that enables each person to have fellowship with his brothers.

Peace or unity for the sake of unity can never do that, for inherent in that unity is the belief that all must look alike; i.e., all have the same understanding.  Therefore, what happens is that peace for the sake of unity always gets down to the least common denominator.  What those seeking this unity typically sacrifice to get this unity, is His Truth.  At the conclusion of that process, what is left is only man’s ideas.  This is anything but purity of heart and life!  This is anything but His Torah.

However, if we all understand that no one is “there” yet, but is, in fact, striving for purity of heart and life towards Him, then we all can help each other move up towards Him, thereby moving ever closer to each other.

When one pursues purity of heart and life towards YHWH, he attains unity.  When one pursues unity, he loses purity of heart and life towards YHWH.  When that purity is lost, all is lost.  The price of losing one’s purity of heart and life is too high; no one can afford it.

Rather, let each person purpose in his heart to seek Him along with his brothers with all his heart, mind, and strength, looking to perfect Mashiach in him.

As one moves closer to Him, purifying himself, may He grant that each person shall one day see Him!

Mattithyah [Matthew] 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see Elohim.


One Final Thought – A Warning to the Wise

There are those who speak about purity.  Please know that we need to qualify the type of purity that we need to have.  We need to have purity of heart and life towards Mashiach.  Why?

Is not Satan pure; that is, pure evil?  To be sure!

What this should teach, is that one needs to have good discernment when dealing with this matter.  One needs to carefully and prayerfully consider the words of those who speak of such matters.  One way that will help a person to discern this matter, is to look at the speaker’s or writer’s life.  What kind of fruit is present as well as being manifest on a regular basis? 

If one is constantly rubbing others in the wrong way, then great caution should be exercised. 

At times, it will take a while for another’s true heart and nature to be manifested.  Nevertheless, be sure of this, when the pressures of life come crashing down upon a person, that person’s true character will surely be manifested for all to see.  One must be brutally honest at that point.  If what one is seeing is not the fruit of the Spirit, then certain precautions should be taken to protect the body of Mashiach.  If the person is in a position of ministry, then he should step down for a season in order to get right with YHWH as well as to allow time for healing or whatever else is needed in his life. 

YHWH has given His written word that one might be able to righteously judge these matters in order that he might not be deceived.  However, in order to judge these matters with righteous judgment, one must be striving towards purity of heart and life himself.  Otherwise, he will not be able to judge according to the Spirit, but will judge according to the flesh, and will be deceived. 

Let us walk in the fullness of His Spirit, together!

ABBA YHWH, please create in us a new and clean heart that we might live a life wholly pleasing to you; in the name of Yeshua our Mashiach.  Amein.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah


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