Posted by: rshalomw | August 30, 2013

YESHUA VERSUS JESUS

Your Jesus and My Yeshua

A Discussion about the differences between Jesus, the leader of the Christian
church, and Yeshua, the first century Rabbi and their teachings
Jonathan M. Emmert – 2 –
Defining a person is never easy, especially when the person in question lived 2,000
years ago in a culture much different from our “modern” Western society. Then making
that person the cornerstone of one of the world’s three monotheistic religions compounds
the difficulty exponentially. Then adding to the confusion and difficulty, millions of people
and thousands of different groups study this person and each develop their own opinion
and their own beliefs about him and what he taught. These are precisely the problems that
exist around Jesus. Some say he was a pacifist, other say he was vegetarian or vegan,
others say he was a prophet, God incarnate, a moral teacher, a wacko, a myth and on, and
on, and on. There are several ways one can go about defining who this man was, and what
he believed. You can go to your pastor, or other spiritual guide, you can go to history
books, the Bible, or countless other religious, historical, or academic works. But after you
do that there is very little doubt in my mind that you will still have just as many conflicting
reports and be no closer to an answer about who Jesus was. Answering the popular
question, “What would Jesus do?” becomes impossible, when all these factors are taken
into account.
Before I continue much further in this discussion let me explain some of the
assumptions I am proceeding with. I know that it is never very scholarly to begin with any
assumptions, but should I take the time and attempt to explain everything in this work it
would extend into volumes. To make things easier I will lay the groundwork and go from
there. First, I believe that the Bible is absolutely correct as it was when originally written in
the original languages by the original authors. There have been translation errors over the
years, but by going to the original languages these can be overcome. Second, I believe in
the Hebrew and Aramaic primacy of the New Testament1
. While the Greek is the most
prevalent and most scholars say that the Greek is the most ancient, I don’t believe it is. It
makes very little sense to me that a group of Hebrew men would write these letters, most
of which were addressed to congregations who met in the synagogues of various cities, in a
language other than their native one. If one takes the time to look into the Greek of the
New Testament it becomes clear that the writers wrote with very bad grammar. The Greek,
however, follows the rules of grammar for Hebrew and Aramaic. Third, I hold firm to the
belief that the modern view of Jesus is incorrect and does not accurately define either the
person or teachings of Yeshua, the first-century rabbi who was firmly grounded in the
teachings of Torah. Lastly, while I believe in the overall accuracy of the New Testament2
, I
(along with the New Covenant writers) give greater primacy and authority to the written
1
 Andrew Gabriel Roth goes into this topic in greater detail in his “Aramaic English New Testament”. I highly
recommend this book.
2
 Brit Chadasha or New Covenant in Hebrew – 3 –
Scripture of the Tanach3
. With these four foundations in place I can continue. There are
others, but they can be discussed as they are brought up.
 First of all, who is Yeshua? The entire world, it seems, has heard of Jesus in one way
or another, but Yeshua? Who’s he? In the most basic understanding Yeshua (ישוע) is the
Hebrew name for Jesus. It is by this name that His mother Miriam (Mary) would have called
Him. In Hebrew it means Yah4
 Saves. The name Jesus technically has no meaning. It is not
a Hebrew word, nor is it Greek or Latin. Despite the fact that it has been adopted in English
and every other modern language in some form, it is actually a contrived name. It comes to
our modern use through various linguistic twists and turns, but originates from the Hebrew
name Yeshua. It was taken from Hebrew into the Greek (the trade language of the Western
Roman Empire) as the New Covenant writings of the first disciples of Yeshua were
translated. In Greek His name is Ιησους (Iesus). (There is no “Y” or “SH” sound in Greek, so
the “I” and “S” sounds were substituted.) From there it moved to Latin (the common
language of Rome) as Iesous and over time into English as Jesus. The letter “J” is a relatively
new and sound was not distinguished from the letter “I” until 1634.
 An interesting lesson in linguistics, but does it really matter what we call Him?
Aren’t Jesus and Yeshua still the exact same person despite what language is used for their
name? This is one of those differences between our culture and society and that of the
Master. In Hebrew (as with most Eastern cultures) names have significant meanings. To
change the name is to change the meaning of a person’s life. It was no small thing for YHVH
to change the name of Avram to Avraham. YHVH was not only changing his name, but
showing him a new purpose and promise in life. The name of Yeshua reveals both the
Messiah’s mission and identity. When Gabriel told Yoseph (Joseph) that, “you shall call His
name Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins5
” (Matt 1:21) he was telling Yoseph
that the baby to be born to Miriam had a purpose given by YHVH, and that the child was in
fact YHVH in the flesh! He was told that Yah saves – if this child was to have any hope of
bringing salvation to His people He had to be YHVH Himself. Gabriel did not say, “You shall
call His name Jesus,” and if He did Yoseph would have replied, “Huh?” The meaning would
have been lost, and in many ways so too would have been the promise behind Messiah.
Names and words (especially words in Scripture) have meaning, and when we change a
word or a name we run the danger of changing the meaning. Time and culture have
removed us from Yeshua and the very meaning of His life and thus His mission. If we are to
be like Him and do the things that He taught, we must endeavor to regain that which was
lost. Moses said, “Now, therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me
3
 Old Testament. Tanach is a Hebrew Acronym for the three parts of this writing, Torah (Instruction), Nevi’im
(Prophets), Ketuvim (Writings).
4
 Yah is short for YHVH (יהוה) the covenant name for the Creator.
5
 All quotes from the Bible are taken from the New American Standard unless otherwise noted. – 4 –
know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too,
that this nation is Your people. If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from
here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your
people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished
from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” (Ex 33:13, 15-16) The
people of YHVH are known by His presence with them, His character being imprinted on
their lives. If His people don’t know who He is and what He expects, how can they be any
different from those around them? Out prayer should be the same as Moses, “Let me know
Your ways that I may know You.” The rest of this article will examine how the use of the
name “Jesus” is a symptom of the greater problem that we don’t really know who He is and
what He wants from us.
 Let me make it clear that I am in no way saying those who have been saved in the
name of Jesus are not really saved. I am sure that in some cases this is true, not because of
the name, but because of their heart. It is upon the heart that YHVH looks, and I cannot
judge the heart, except when the Father reveals – and I will not do so now. I will, however,
question later on in this article what salvation actually means.
 So, how are Jesus and Yeshua different? The differences in their lives begin at their
birth. The story of the birth of Jesus is known worldwide. It is one of the most celebrated
events of the year, observed even by those who do not call him their master. Jesus was
born to the Virgin Mary around Christmas time (though we do not really know for sure
when he was born, some say it was around September 29). Most will admit that he was a
Jew, but the image we hold of him is more European, tall with long flowing brown hair – we
have all seen the pictures. His birth was heralded by angels to shepherds and the Magi – a
mysterious lot of pagans from the East who were seeking the king of the Jews, and he was
soon hunted by Herod. Jesus’ birth is honored today with the decorated Christmas tree and
gift giving. The symbolism of Jesus in Christmas have been told and retold throughout the
years, to the point it has become almost impossible to remove him from the holiday,
though there is an effort in some quarters to do so.
The problem is that almost none of this is true of Yeshua. Yeshua was born around
the year 6 BCE to the virgin girl Miriam (Mary), but it was not around December 25. In fact
we can reasonably state that He was born on the 15th day of the Hebrew month Tishrei6
 –
the first day of Sukkot (Feast of Booths)7
. Sukkot is one of the feasts of YHVH in Leviticus
23. This date holds important significance in the understanding of Yeshua and His role as
Messiah. Sukkot was given to the children of Israel as a celebration of the end of the
harvest and as a reminder of their time in the wilderness after YHVH rescued them from
6
 Also known as Eitanim
7
 For more information on how this date can be calculated go to:
Egypt. Throughout Scripture it is seen as a time when YHVH will dwell with His people and
give them rest. When Yochanan (John) said, ”And the Word became flesh, and dwelt (or
made His booth) among us,8
” he was referring to Yeshua and this feast. It is an eight day
celebration, with a Sabbath rest on the first and last days, in addition to the weekly Sabbath
that typically falls somewhere in between. In Hebrew the number eight symbolizes eternity
as well as a new beginning, and shows the fulfillment of YHVH’s promise to forever rescue
us from the bondage of our sins, through His dwelling with us. Yeshua, the one who would
save His people from sin was born on the first day of this feast and circumcised on the last
day, the eighth day in accordance with the command given by YHVH to Avraham9
. The
meaning is immense. For believers today it is a reminder of Yeshua, and His purpose in
coming to dwell on earth – that we might be restored to YHVH and again walk with Him in
the cool of the day. It is also promise of His return, and a picture of His completed work in
the world and in us.
Yeshua was a Hebrew, born to parents of the tribe of Judah (Jews). He was Jewish
not only in nationality, but in culture, faith, and practice as well. After His birth His parents
brought the sacrifice required by Moses to the Temple (Luke 2:22-24); He was brought to
the Temple and showed He was well versed in the study of the Torah (Luke 2:46-47); He
kept Sabbath (Luke 6:1-11), Passover (Luke 26:20-35), and even Hanukkah (John 10:22). In
every one of Yeshua’s parables and teachings, His Jewish culture and heritage can be seen.
Yeshua even said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Matthew
15:24)10. Because of the 2000 year gulf between us, it is often hard to see or understand the
culture of Yeshua. The New Testament has been so engrained into the Western mindset
through the lens of Catholicism, Protestantism, and Hellenized Greco-Roman teaching that
it is often thought of as a 17th century European book, when it is in reality a group of first
century Middle Eastern letters. While we do not know what He looked like, we can assume
he looked much like the native Middle Eastern people of today: shorter, olive skinned, dark
curly hair, brown eyes. The lack of any images of Yeshua is in itself in keeping with Hebrew
culture and more importantly the Torah of Moses. Deuteronomy 4:15 says, “So watch
yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day YHVH spoke to you at Horeb
from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for
yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female.” Yeshua the man was
Torah observant and never allowed men to worship Him, only YHVH, His Father in Heaven.
Yeshua’s birth was, like the story of Jesus, announced by messengers from YHVH to
a group of shepherds, and Magi from the East came and visited Him after following a star.
8
 John 1:14
9
 Genesis 17
10 This does not mean “gentiles” cannot be saved, nor does it refer only to Jews – the Jews only make up a part
of Israel. This will be discussed more later in the article. – 6 –
The Magi, however, were not a group of pagan astrologers who were looking for the king of
the Jews. Why would they care about the king of a backwater Roman colony? Andrew
Gabriel Roth says this of the Magi, “Magosi or Magi refers to the astrologers/astronomers
who were originally taught by Daniel the Prophet while in Babylon. These men are neither
sorcerers nor Pagans, but fearers of Elohim11 who were patiently awaiting the coming of
Mashiyach12. What they had learned from Daniel was becoming a reality, they had traveled
to bear witness of Mashiyach’s birth and bring the good news back to their homeland.”13 It
is well established that there was a large Jewish community in Babylon; these were people
like Queen Esther who did not return to Israel with Ezra and Nehemiah. Even today there is
a Jewish community (though much smaller) in modern day Iraq – the site of ancient
Babylon. The Magi had kept their ties with the Torah and knew what the signs of the
promised Messiah were as they were described in Scripture. Daniel the prophet taught
them well.
The history lesson is neat, but how important is it really? Will knowing or not
knowing these things change my salvation? Probably not, but by misunderstanding these
things a door is opened to other teachings that will. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “… His divine power
has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of
Him…” The wonder of His revelation in Scripture is that it provides for us everything. Just
as the manna in the wilderness provided for all the nutritional needs of the Israelites for 40
years, so does His word teach us how to live in the physical world around us and the
spiritual world we don’t readily see. If Peter is right, then our understanding of Messiah
must be based on the Scripture that He Himself wrote and not on the tradition of men,
whose corrupted minds cannot understand YHVH’s ways. If we misunderstand the earthly
beginnings of the man who was from the beginning, how can we hope to understand the
rest of what He taught and did? Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 46:10 says, “Declaring the end from the
beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose
will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’”. To understand Yeshua’s
ministry we must understand Him from His beginning. Not only His earthly life (discussed
here), but also Yeshua from the beginning of time, as the very Word of YHVH (discussed in
the next section).
Beginning with the birth of these two men (Jesus and Yeshua) we see immediately
that they are not the same. They cannot be if we insist on celebrating the birth of Jesus on
December 25, a date linked with demonic, pagan religious rites. Before Christianity adopted
this date as the birth of Jesus in the late 4th century, cultures around the world
commemorated their pagan deities on or around the winter solstice. In the Germanic
11 Hebrew for God or Mighty One
12 Messiah
13 From the “Aramaic English New Testament” pg.5 Copyright 2010 (hereafter referred to as AENT) – 7 –
countries, this time was used to worship Oden, who flew around the sky at night and
decided who would prosper or perish14. Romans honored several of their gods during this
time. Saturn, the god of agriculture, was worshiped with a month long celebration where
peasants and masters switched places (similar to Boxing Day) and business and schools
remained closed so everyone could partake in the hedonistic parties that dominated the
city. The feast of Juvenalia was also celebrated commemorating the children of Rome.
December 25 marked one of the most sacred days of the year and the birthday of the god
Mithras, an infant god.
Constantine was one of the first to bring together the pagan holidays and the birth
of the Christian Christ.
Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, better known as Constantine I or
Constantine the Great, was born around the year A.D. 275 – almost three
centuries after Jesus. He worshipped the pantheon of Roman gods as all his
predecessors had done and especially the Roman sun god, Sol. However, as
he was traveling to battle his most powerful rival in Italy, Maxentius, at the
Tiber River in A.D. 312, he had a vision. In that vision, he reported seeing the
cross of Christ superimposed on the sun with the words, in hoc signo vinces –
“in this sign you shall conquer.” After winning the battle, he became a strong
champion of Christianity. The very next year, he met with Emperor Licinius,
the ruler of the eastern provinces, to sign the Edict of Milan giving equal
rights to all religious groups within the Roman Empire. He returned property
seized from Christians, built a great number of churches, donated land, and
convened the first Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 to deal with false teaching
within the church. Although he didn’t completely leave his pagan roots and
wasn’t baptized until A.D. 337 on this deathbed, he did much to further the
growth of the church.
Either as a means to unify his empire, or to make converting to Christianity
easier, Constantine sought to blend Christian and pagan traditions. At that
time, two prominent pagan winter festivals were celebrated. The first,
starting on December 17 and lasting seven days, honored Saturn, the Roman
god of agriculture. The second, starting on December 25 and lasting through
January 1, commemorated the birth of Mithras, the Persian god of light.
Constantine merged many of the traditions from these festivals with the
Nativity story in the Bible and Christmas was born. From its beginning,
Christmas was a holiday (or holy day), gifts were exchanged, families and
friends gathered to feast, and a birth was celebrated; just like in the Roman
and Persian festivities.
The first mention of December 25 as the date of Jesus’ birth is found in an
early Roman calendar from A.D. 336.15
Early church fathers, men who did not understand the Hebraic culture Messiah came
from, began to suggest possible dates to the birth of their Christ as early as 221 CE. Sextus
Julius Africanus theorized that Jesus was conceived around the spring equinox, thus putting
His birth around the end of December.16 In reality they were trying to rationalize their
traditions, and to justify the command of Caesar to celebrate Jesus’ birth at the end of the
year instead of looking to Scripture and seeking for the answer there.17 If Christians then
and now would have simply believed what Peter said in his letter they would have
discovered the answer already written down in Scripture. The information given in Luke
concerning the birth of Yochanan and the accounts of the priesthood in the Tanach give us
every indication that His birth was on the 15th of Tishrei.
The problem with celebrating His birth at the wrong time is that it isn’t true. And if
YHVH doesn’t lie, then this time of celebration is not from Him. To further confirm the
matter we have to ask, “would YHVH, who is One18, allow His worship to be mixed with
pagan worship?” No! The use of mistletoe, Santa Claus, the yule log, gold and silver
ornaments on a tree and so many other things come directly from paganism. Jeremiah
10:1-5 speaks of decorating trees with silver and gold for pagan idolatry. Every time in
Scripture a tree is used for worship, it is always pagan in nature. How can we be so
presumptuous as to argue that the Creator won’t care if we use a pagan ritual as long as it is
to worship Him? Regardless of the intent this is still idolatry, and syncretism. YHVH said,
“And My glory I will not give to another.19” How can we be so presumptuous as to think
that allowing pagan gods to influence the way we worship the Creator is okay? The
Israelites did this over and over, and never did YHVH say, “They mean well,” or, “I know
their hearts are in the right place.” Each time He brought correction, and would not allow
His glory to be shared. When Israel was at Mount Sinai they created a golden calf and said,
“This is your god, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Tomorrow we will
have a feast to YHVH.20” YHVH’s response was to bring a plague on the people, and 3,000
died that day for their sin. Are we so arrogant as to believe that YHVH will not do the same
17 Though there have been those to question the celebration of Christmas, the Puritans for example.
18 Deuteronomy 6:4
19 Isaiah 48:11
20 Exodus 32:4,5 – 9 –
to us? His wrath has not come down as quickly, but as Isaiah says, “For the sake of My
name I delay My wrath, and for My praise I restrain it for you in order not to cut you off.21”
If His wrath has not descended upon us yet it is only to give us time to repent. But I would
dare to say that His wrath has begun to be poured out; we have just been so disconnected
from His ways that we haven’t seen it.
It is just as evil for His people today to raise a false image of who Messiah is, and say,
“This is Jesus, our savior, and these are his teachings,” when they are not, as it was for the
Israelites in the desert to raise a golden calf and say, “Here is YHVH who brought us out of
Egypt.” We have distanced ourselves from understanding who Messiah is, and from
knowing His purpose that we no longer serve the same Master as the first disciples.
Because of time, culture, ignorance, and because of untaught and unstable men who twist
the Scriptures, the message of Messiah has been changed. Yeshua has been changed into
Jesus. And our very salvation is at stake. YHVH Himself said, “My people are destroyed for
lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being
My priest. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I will also forget your
children.”22
YHVH told the people that because of their rebellion at the incident of the golden
calf, “I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people.23” YHVH cannot
live among an unrepentant rebellious people. How can we, who are to be the temple of the
living Elohim, claim to live with Him when we have accepted false teaching about His very
nature into our lives? How can His presence dwell in such a temple? Will He not depart,
just as He did in the book of Ezekiel and won’t the temple again be left desolate?24
Seven times in the book of Isaiah we are told, “Remember the former things long
past, For I am Elohim, and there is no other; I am Elohim, and there is no one like Me,
declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been
done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good
pleasure.25’” By going back to the beginning of time and Scripture we can gain a better
understanding of who Messiah is and what His message is to us today. We must remember
that Yeshua, the Word26, was with YHVH in the beginning (and was YHVH). He is the word
spoken that brought the universe into being. He is the promised Word given to Abraham,
and He is the spoken Word (Torah) given to Moses on the mountain. He is all these and we
must begin to understand Him in these capacities if we are to understand His requirements
21 Isaiah 48:9
22 Hosea 4:6 – Emphasis mine
23 Exodus 33:3
24 I do not mean the loss of salvation by this, but that YHVH can and will withdraw His hand of blessing and
protection when His people have unrepentant sin (Deuteronomy 27-30).
25 Isaiah 46:10
26 John 1 – 10 –
on our lives. How can we follow Him, if by denying the promised Word to Abraham and
disobeying the spoken Torah we deny the very substance and purpose of who Yeshua the
Messiah is?
Many think Messiah (or Christ in Greek) is just part of His name, but it is a title, a
description of His purpose in coming to earth. Messiah in Hebrew means “anointed one.”
It is not only a term referring to Yeshua, but any person who is anointed, or who has been
commissioned for a special purpose. In 1 Kings 19 YHVH commanded the prophet Elijah to
anoint Elisha as prophet in his place. In Leviticus 4, the High Priest of Israel is called
messiah, or the anointed one and is given the commission of bringing the sacrifice before
YHVH to atone for the sins of the people. King David was also called messiah, the anointed
king of Israel27. In just these three instances we see, not only others who served as an
anointed one, but also catch a glimpse of what the ultimate Messiah, Yeshua, was to do. He
was to serve as a Prophet who would point the way back to the ways of YHVH, as a Priest
who atoned for the sins of His people, and as King who would lead and protect His people.
The primary purpose of each of these roles, and thus of Messiah Himself, was to point
people back to the ways of YHVH, back to the instructions (Torah) of righteous living, and to
show them how to regain that which was lost since Adam – intimacy with YHVH.
YHVH’s plan for His creation is seen at its fullest in the Garden of Eden. It was here
that Adam walked with YHVH in the cool of the day. There was an intimacy that YHVH had
with His creation that He desires to bring us back to. Because of the deception of Chavah28
,
and the rebellion of Adam they were cast out of the Garden and the intimacy they had
experienced with their Creator ended. But YHVH’s promise of restoration was immediate.
Speaking to the serpent He said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and
between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him
on the heel.”29 The serpent here is Satan; in Hebrew this is not a name, but a description.
Hasatan (הסטן) in Hebrew means “the accuser”. Hasatan’s goal is to introduce us to sin,
and then go before YHVH and accuse us, thus continuing the separation between YHVH and
His beloved creation. The promise that the Seed would come and crush the head of the
accuser is not only a promise to put an end to the evil one, but to put an end to his right to
accuse us. The only way that can happen is for us to be brought to a place like Yeshua,
where only false accusation can be brought before us because we have walked in the ways
of YHVH, and are blameless. This is the purpose of Messiah.
I was always taught growing up that in order to live in the righteousness that Jesus
taught we had to, “Love the Lord your God, and your neighbor as yourself.” In short, love is
the answer. How to love was the question of debate. Some denominations say that
27 2 Samuel 22:51
28 Eve
29 Genesis 3:15 – 11 –
baptism was a requirement for salvation; others that speaking in tongues was. Another
group says that speaking in tongues was not only an indicator of the lack of salvation saved,
but probably also a sign of demon possession. Some see Jesus as a pacifist and that all war
is wrong, and some believe in the “just” war idea. Still a whole other group teaches
that…and on, and on, and on. There is a consensus among Christians of all denominations
that the teachings of Jesus lead to life. He even said, “I am the way and the truth and the
life, no man comes to the father except through Me.”
30 So if we are to receive life we must
understand the truth of what He taught. And because we have not understood who Yeshua
is, we have not clearly understood what He taught. We have had glimpses of this truth that
YHVH has used for His purposes, but there has also been misunderstanding and mixture
that have crept in, changing the message of Messiah, and changing the way we are
considered righteous before YHVH.
There is a huge disconnect between Christianity and Judaism, and it is more than
just belief or not that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Christianity teaches that Jesus fulfilled
the Torah, the Law of Moses. He lived the perfect life according to the Law, because we
could not, and because He filled those requirements we are no longer are obligated to be
bound by the Law. Judaism teaches that salvation is only obtained by performing mitzvot
(good works), because without a temple sacrifice is no longer necessary31
.
Neither of these beliefs are entirely correct. Yeshua did live a perfect life, and He did
follow all the commandments of Torah that pertained to Him32. But He didn’t follow the
Torah so that we didn’t have to, nor did He teach that. In fact if He would have taught that
His followers were not required to obey and follow Torah, He would have been discredited
as a prophet and as Messiah. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 says:
If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a
wonder, then the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you
saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve
them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams;
for YHVH your Elohim is testing you to find out if you love YHVH your Elohim with all
your heart and with all your soul. You shall follow YHVH your Elohim and fear Him;
and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to
Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he
30 John 14:6 – This is an example of bad Greek writing. In Greek and English you don’t separate items in a list
with and, you only use it for the last item. With Hebrew, however all items of a list are separated with this
conjunction.
31 There are of course many flavors of these teachings, and some groups would take an altogether different
stance, but these cover a majority of the 2 groups.
32 He did not and could not complete all the commandments. For example He did not perform the commands
that pertained only to women, or to the Levites, or to the Priests. – 12 –
has counseled rebellion against YHVH your Elohim who brought you from the land of
Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in
which YHVH your Elohim commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from
among you.
In Yeshua’s entire ministry He never taught against the Torah of Moses. In fact, He did just
the opposite. Matthew 5 says this:
Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah (Law) or the Prophets; I did not come
to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not
the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Torah until all is accomplished.
Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others
to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps
and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.33
 Yeshua also said, “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift
up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.34” James 1: 17-18 says, “Every
good and perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father of Heavenly Lights with
whom is no changing, not even the shadow of change. He saw fit, and gave birth to us by
the Word of Truth, that we might be the first-fruits of His creatures.35” When the Torah was
given on the mountain, if they would have physically looked up they would have seen the
cloud, and the smoke, and the lightning on the mountain; they would have beheld the glory
of YHVH. When they looked up and beheld their salvation what they saw was Torah coming
down from the mountain, from the Father of Heavenly Lights. Torah came down first in the
form of the written Word, and then in the form of the Living Word, who is Yeshua the
Messiah, the embodiment of the written Word, the same as the written Word. To accept
Jesus, but to reject Torah is to reject Yeshua, and reject YHVH’s salvation36
.
The observance of Torah does not save, but is rather the instructions of
righteousness that YHVH has given to His people to guide and teach them. One is only
saved through faith made possible by the sacrifice of Yeshua. None of us keep the
commands of YHVH fully, but how can we expect YHVH to accept us if we willfully reject His
instructions of righteousness? This is not to say that anyone who doesn’t follow Torah isn’t
saved. We have all walked in ignorant blindness of some sort. But YHVH’s expectation is
that we walk out of that blind darkness into the light. YHVH is showing His people the Truth
33 Emphasis mine
34 Luke 21:28
35 AENT
36 Remember Yeshua means “Yah saves” – 13 –
of Torah, and upon hearing this message He expects them to repent. There is a danger to
ignorance, “Many will say in that day (the Day of Judgment), “Master, Master, did we not
prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform
many miracles? And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me you
who do not practice Torah.37” Most English translations read, “depart from Me you who
practice lawlessness.” Yeshua’s audience however was made up of Torah observant Jews
who understood that lawlessness is to be without the Law of Moses – Torah. This is why
Yochanan said, “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is
lawlessness (Torahlessness).38”
 Some have taught that while Jesus kept the commandments and taught others to do
so, his followers began to realize the “truth” of his ministry after his death and that the
requirements of the Law had been lifted. If they had done this, they would have disobeyed
the Master, because Yeshua said before He ascended into Heaven, “Go therefore , make
disciples of all nations and immerse them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Ruach haKodesh39
. And teach them to keep all that I have commanded you. And
behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen”40
 Another common response to this is, “That was for the Jews, and since I’m not
Jewish I’m under grace.” YHVH’s path to righteousness is the same for all people in all
times. A Jew is justified the same way as a gentile, and a person who lived before Yeshua is
saved the same way I am. Romans 2:11-12, “For there is no respect of persons with Elohim.
For those without Torah, who sin, will also perish without Torah; and those under Torah,
who sin, will be judged by Torah.” YHVH does not, cannot show favoritism. If He set
requirements on Moses, then He must also set those same requirements on me, else he has
shown one of us favoritism.
 Careful examination of the Tanach shows that the Torah was not just for the Jews.
First of all, the Jews make up only a part of the 12 tribes of Israel. At the time of the split of
unified kingdom of Israel, 10 tribes moved to the North and 2 tribes to the South. The
Southern tribes began to be called Jews during the time of their exile to Babylon because
they were primarily made up of the tribe of Judah. The Torah was given to all 12 tribes and
to the sojourners and aliens with them. “There is to be one Torah and one ordinance for
you and for the alien who sojourns with you.41” These commands were given to all who
sought the Creator of the universe. Even Noah had an understanding of the commands of
YHVH. In Genesis 7:2-3 YHVH commands him to take 2 pairs of the unclean animals and 7
pairs of the clean animals. Clean and unclean were understood a thousand years before
37 Matthew 7:22-23
38 1 John 3:4
39 Spirit of Holiness or the Holy Spirit
40 AENT – Emphasis mine
41 Numbers 15:16 – 14 –
Moses. In Genesis 2 the understanding of the seventh day Sabbath is given. YHVH’s Torah
is timeless, and did not begin with Israel at Sinai. It existed before the creation of the world
and is the standard by which YHVH measures all His creation.
 Are Christians, then, to become Jews? No. But all those who seek to follow YHVH
are required to obey His commands and seek after Him in the way that He has set forth.
YHVH has defined those who do this as Israel. No matter what culture a person comes
from, or what language they speak, they are always welcome to come to the Father, and
when they do they are grafted into His family, called Israel. Romans 11 gives the picture of
the olive tree and its branches that are either natural branches that have been cut off
because of unbelief, or wild branches that have been grafted in. The tree is Israel, and the
natural branches those that are of the physical descent of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
(whose name was changed to Israel). The wild branches are the nations of the world.
YHVH’s requirements are that we remain attached to the tree, Yeshua, the Word, Torah.
I am the Vine of Truth and my Father is the Cultivator. Every branch that is on Me
that does not give fruit, He takes away. And that which bears fruit He prunes it that
it might produce more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word which I
have spoken with you. Abide in Me and I in you, as the branch is not able to
produce fruit by itself unless it should abide in the vine. Likewise you are also not
able unless you abide in Me.42
A deeper discussion of Israel’s identity can be found in the book, “Redeemed Israel –
Reunited and Restored” by Batya Wootten.43
 It seems to me that what is often missed in many Christian circles is the beauty and
freedom Torah brings. The Law of Moses is seen by many to be bondage. I had that
impression for many years. But that idea doesn’t line up with passages found throughout
the Tanach that say, “Teach me, O YHVH, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to
the end. Give me understanding, that I may observe your Torah and keep it with all my
heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.”44 The writers
of this Psalm and the rest of the Tanach knew the beautiful freedom they had in Torah.
They loved the commands YHVH gave because they understood they led to life. They were
not in bondage by keeping them, but rather they walked in freedom. Their whole hearts
were dedicated to following the Torah, the commands, and the instructions YHVH gave to
them through Moses. Despite coming against the Pharisees because they brought the
people under true bondage with their teachings and their additions to YHVH’s Torah, He
said of them, “The scribes and Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses. Therefore, whatever they
42 John 15:1-4 AENT
43 Another book I highly recommend.
44 Psalm 119:33-35 – 15 –
say to you to guard, guard and do. But do not do according to their works, for they say, and
do not do.”45 YHVH said through Moses, “So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments,
by which a man may live if he does them; I am YHVH.”
46 Paul quoted this passage in
Romans 10:5, “For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is
based on the Torah shall live by that righteousness.” Torah produces in us righteousness,
and that righteousness brings life! The love of Torah is so important, and the accuser has
been too successful in convincing us to revile the life that YHVH gave us.
 Many will say that I am preaching a doctrine of salvation by good works. In fact,
nothing is further from the truth. My works can never save me. Because I live underneath
the curse of Adam, all my works, done by my own power, are filthy rags before YHVH.47
Only faith can save. But what is faith? In order to answer this question many quote
Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen”,48 and would then say that faith is belief in those things that we hope for, and things
that we cannot see. This misunderstanding has perpetuated the doctrine that all you have
to do is believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, was
crucified, and was raised from the dead 3 days later; then you will be saved. This teaching is
not true. Brad Scott points out that faith is not the things hoped for, or the things not seen,
but is the substance and the evidence of those things. Faith is not merely belief, because
belief has no substance. Ya’akov (James) the brother of Yeshua was a man well versed in
Torah defined faith this way:
Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say,
“You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will
show you my faith by my works.” You believe that Elohim is one. You do well; the
demons also believe and shudder. You are you willing to recognize, you foolish
fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by
works when he offered up Isaac his son on the alter? You see that faith was working
with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture
was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed Elohim, and it was reckoned to him
as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of Elohim. You see that a man is
justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot
also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by
another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without
works is dead.
45 Matthew 23:2-3 The Scriptures
46 Leviticus 18:5
47 Isaiah 64:6
48 KJV – 16 –
Faith begins in the heart, and as it grows it works to the outer man where it manifests as
works. If that faith is in YHVH, Creator of the heavens and earth, those works will follow
after His ways, the way of Torah. It is still the faith that saves, but as Ya’akov said, without
the works faith is dead, and how can something that is dead lead to life?
If Jesus was born on (or near) Christmas day, fulfilled the Law so that we don’t have
to, and was the founder of Christianity then he is not Yeshua, the promised Messiah who
would bring the people of YHVH out of bondage to their sins and back to the ancient path.
Yeshua said in Matthew 7:22-23, “Many will say in that day, “Master, Master, did we not
prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform
many miracles? And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me you
who do not practice Torah.” Yehoshua (Joshua) said, “If it is disagreeable in your sight to
serve YHVH, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve; whether the gods of your
fathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living;
but as for me and my house, we will serve YHVH.49” These are not considerations to be
taken lightly. To not know who Yeshua really is leads to error, and ultimately to death and
eternal separation from YHVH. Will you follow Jesus who man has defined and developed,
or will you follow Yeshua who is the Word from the beginning and the perfect image of His
Father?
49 Joshua 24:15
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