God created the earth and its inhabitants. All things were made through the Word of God, who is called Jesus by Christians and Yeshua by Torah observant believers. He rightly expects all of creation to submit to His authority. Trusting and obeying the Creator makes one righteous before God.
Adam and Eve submitted themselves to Satanís authority when they chose to disobey God and ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. By this event, every human being was made a sinner in need of a Saviour.
God conceived a magnificent plan to restore mankind and the heavens and earth, and has been working at it diligently for about 6,000 years. His creation of the physical nation of Israel was a major step in this plan, and is intended for the blessing of the whole earth. The assumption that God has replaced Israel with the Church is a grave error and is a chief cause for misinterpretation of Scripture and prophecy.
Godís plan was given to us in His Word and came through Israel, whom we also know as the Hebrew nation. Understanding of His Word must therefore come through studying it in the Hebrew context. Accepting interpretations that come from any other context is the cause of many errors.
Every person--Jew or Gentile--who has received Godís salvation through acceptance of the Messiahís death on his behalf--has been grafted in to Israel. The Apostle Paul calls this entity Spiritual Israel and warns that not all of Physical Israel is included! Faith, not flesh, is the criteria. Romans 9:4-8 says:
Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Messiah came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They that are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
A constitution was given to the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai in the form of the 10 Commandments (you can read them on the Challenging Scriptures page). It is binding on all those who are of Spiritual Israel--all those who trust and obey the Living God. Blessings pour out on those who will obey, and are withheld from those who will not.
One of those 10 Commandments was designed to be a sign between the Living God and all of His people. The seventh day Sabbath (Saturday) is intended to set us apart and make us His peculiar people. The six-day creation and seventh-day rest was given as a pattern for our week and it is securely linked to prophecy. Godís intention is that His people spend six days working and the Sabbath day resting, fellowshipping and studying the Torah. It is a blessing and not a hardship to keep the Sabbath! Please read my letter to a popular Christian ministry regarding this issue.
Biblical days begin at sundown and end at the following sundown. Once you know how to recognize a sundown, you need only look out the window to know when the day has ended! If you wish to plan ahead you can print off your own sunset table for one year, courtesy of the U.S. Navy Oceanography Portal website. Check out the sunset times chart I printed off for my location for 2009!
Those who are of Spiritual Israel have been given seven feasts to keep, by which they may celebrate and learn of Godís provision for them. Past and future prophecy is tied securely to these feasts, so it is essential for believers to study and keep them. (You can get a free PDF copy of Seven Festivals of the Messiah [or some of Eddie Chumney's other books] from WayTo Zion OR send me an e-mail or use a contact form to ask me to e-mail you one. You can also find links directly to those books in the "Recommended Reading" section of the Hebrew Roots Links page.) The Jews traditionally keep two additional feasts as well, Chanukah and Purim. An excellent book on the festivals, "Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays" by Robin Sampson, can be purchased from several sources, including its authorís website. Another book on this theme is "Choose You This Day: Holiday or Holy Day," compiled by Joy Lene'. You can reach her through Debra Reno at Living River Ministries. You can pick up a copy of the book on Amazon, here.
The Messiah came from the nation of Israel and died as the Passover Lamb in order to redeem all people from their sins. Everyone who by faith looked forward to or by faith looks back to the Messiah has received Godís salvation. Salvation is, was, and always will be received by faith--but it must be demonstrated by righteous behaviour.
God requires His people to keep His Sabbaths and feasts, and to not follow those of the heathen--but the Christian church has incorporated several heathen feasts into its calendar! For a good explanation of this see the online book "Too Long in the Sun." You might also want to explore my collection of website links on the subject of Christmas and Easter. If you are into "googling" and would like to see a secular source of information on the roots Christmas, type "history channel Christmas" into the search field of the Google search engine.
God requires His people to obey His instructions given through Moses (known to Israel as the Torah, and to the Church as the Pentateuch) and thereby receive His blessings. The rest of Scripture follows and supports the Torah and cannot nullify it. The Church has severely hurt itself by reversing this clear Scriptural principle and trying to make the Pentateuch support its interpretation of the New Testament or by claiming it has been done away with. The best explanation of this that I have seen can be read in the book "Torah Rediscovered," by Ariel and D'vorah Berkowitz. There is also a follow-up to this book, entitled "Take Hold."
The Messiah did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. "Fulfilling the law" does not mean that the law was cancelled by His death! By studying this in the Hebrew context we understand that He came to explain the law properly so that the people could be freed from the errors foisted on them by their rabbis and instead cheerfully obey what the Lord their God had actually told them to do. Jesus said, "till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Monte Judah has an excellent teaching on jots and tittles, which you can order from Lion and Lamb Ministries.
The law was not nailed to the cross! Rather, what was nailed there was the punishment we deserve for breaking the law. That was done by the grace of God, who now expects us to obey Him because we love and trust Him and know that His ways are always right. He does not expect us to save ourselves by keeping the law, for that is impossible!
The Messiah will soon return and rule the earth from Jerusalem with a rod of iron for a thousand years. Your rewards and responsibilities in the Millennial Kingdom will depend on your present faithfulness to obey the instructions given by God in the Torah.
Believers in the Living God will not be raptured off the earth prior to the tribulation! There will be a rapture, but it will follow the tribulation and have different characteristics than what has been taught in recent years. It is essential for you to understand Godís plan if you want to have a chance of enduring to the end and entering the Kingdom in your mortal body. We may not presently understand all the details given in the prophetic books, but we can get a good grasp of the basics by returning to our Hebrew roots and beginning to obey all of the instructions given to us in the Torah by the Lord our God. There are many theories about what will happen during the tribulation, but the one that seems most logical to me is Monte Judahís explanation that there will be a Greater Exodus that is patterned after the original one described in the book of Exodus. You can find many teachings about this at his website.
In order to fully appreciate the books of Moses and the prophetic nature thereof, it is necessary to consider them prophetic as well as historical. There is a pattern set forth in Scripture that what happened to the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) will happen to the children (those who believe in the one true God--which includes Christians as well as "Jews"). Studying the books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) from this perspective helps us to better understand the other prophetic books of the Bible, and should equip us to better endure end-time events. Yeshua (Jesus) told us that when these things begin to happen we should "look up, for our redemption draweth nigh."
What did you think of this article? Do you disagree with anything the author said? Did s/he overlook anything important? Send me an e-mail or use a contact form to have your say.