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Arizona, United States
I'm a work-at-home mom who enjoys the beautiful sunsets here in the high desert.

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For the free patterns for these afghan squares I designed for My Reading Afghan, click here.

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Ravelry CAL Afghan 1 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 1

Ravelry CAL Afghan 2 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 2

Ravelry CAL Afghan 3 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 3 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 3

Ravelry CAL Afghan 4 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 4 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 4

Ravelry CAL Afghan 5 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 5 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 5

Ravelry CAL Afghan 6 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 6 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 6

Ravelry CAL Afghan 7 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 7 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan--Flower Burst 7ARavelry CAL Afghan--Flower Burst 7B
Ravelry CAL Afghan 7

Ravelry CAL Afghan 8 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 8

Ravelry CAL Afghan Blocks:
Dream Catcher
Cross My Heart
Cygnus
Chocolate Delight
Flower Burst

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Redemption and Obedience

Some in Christendom are disturbed that I strive to obey Torah in my daily life. I'm not exactly sure why it bothers them so much, but what has been spoken to me are concerns that I no longer believe in 'Jesus', have converted to Judaism and/or I am being legalistic and trying to earn my salvation by works.

I'm going to address each of these--Belief in 'Jesus', Judaism, salvation by works/legalism.

I used to look at 'Jesus' as merely the English rendition of the Master's true earthly name, Yeshua. After all, I knew Him as Jesus for most of my life before realizing that His earthly parents and none of His contemporaries in the First Century could have possibly called Him that. Not only is there no such name in Hebrew (there is no 'J' sound in the Hebrew alphabet), but there wasn't even a 'J' in the English language as late as the original 1611 King James translation of the Scriptures. I have a facsimile edition of the 1611 translation, and the name 'Jesus' cannot be found anywhere therein.

If we meet a French man named Pierre, do we insist on calling him Peter? What about a Hispanic man named Jorge? Should we constantly call him George? What is the polite thing to do? Our Master was born to Hebrew-speaking Jewish parents. His name is Yeshua. It honors Him to use His true name, which means 'salvation'.

What I eventually came to realize is that what the name 'Jesus' meant to me (English rendition of Yeshua) and what belief in 'Jesus' meant to me (that He is the Son of the Living Elohim by Whom we are saved) is apparently not what it means to others. For some, 'believing in Jesus' seems to include belief in a 'Jesus' who started a new religion that does away with most or all of what YHWH, The Father, established. That 'Jesus', according to YHWH, is false--

Deu 13:1 "When there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he shall give you a sign or a wonder,
Deu 13:2 and the sign or the wonder shall come true, of which he has spoken to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other mighty ones – which you have not known – and serve them,’
Deu 13:3 do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for יהוה your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being.
Deu 13:4 "Walk after יהוה your Elohim and fear Him, and guard His commands and obey His voice, and serve Him and cling to Him.
Deu 13:5 "And that prophet or that dreamer of dreams is put to death, because he has spoken apostasy against יהוה your Elohim – who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim and redeemed you from the house of bondage – to make you stray from the way in which יהוה your Elohim commanded you to walk. Thus you shall purge the evil from your midst.

I do not believe in a false 'Jesus' who causes people to walk away from YHWH, to stop fearing YHWH, to not guard YHWH's commands, to not obey YHWH's voice, to not serve YHWH and to let go of YHWH.

Such a 'Jesus' is a false prophet and a false Messiah who leads the people astray, and that is why most Jews to this day do not accept Yeshua as their Messiah. To a people who have been studying the Scriptures (including the very clear passage noted above) for some 3500 years, this 'Jesus' that so many in Christendom follow into paganism and apostasy is obviously not the promised Messiah. Not to mention all the persecution and violence and death they have suffered in the name of this false 'Jesus' through the centuries.

This false 'Jesus' has been designed by man (aided and abetted by the adversary) and bears little resemblance to the Yeshua of Scripture and First Century history, who obeyed YHWH and maintained all the covenants and kept all the commandments.

Speaking of Names, The Father's Name is YHWH. Actually it is

יהוה

in Hebrew, but YHWH is the closest we can come to it using the English alphabet. His Name appears nearly 7000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, but is usually covered up by the substitutionary 'LORD' in English translations in violation of the third of the 10 Commandments.

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word that is translated to 'lord' in English is ba'al.

Hos 2:17 "And I shall remove the names of the Ba'als from her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.

The Father's name is not 'God'. When we say 'God' in English, we are actually pronouncing the name of one of the tribes of Israel--Gad.

He wants us to know Him by His Name--

Exo 20:2 "I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.

--so that we can be sure we are following Him and not a false god. This is the first of the 10 Commandments.

The following link goes to an online version of The Scriptures in which The Father's Name is preserved in Hebrew among the English--

http://www.eliyah.com/thescriptures/

Browsing through those pages of Scripture makes it easier to see how many times YHWH tells us His Name.

Because I strive to obey Torah does not mean that I have converted to Judaism. Those of us in the Messianic Torah movement have gotten pretty used to being seen as a 'Jew' by Christians and as a 'Christian' by Jews. You could say that we are neither or that we are both, depending upon how you look at it. I prefer to see it the way one of my dear friends puts it--we are in the middle trying to build a bridge between our brothers.

The story of the Scriptures is the story of the nation of Israel. When YHWH brought the Israelites out of Egypt, there were 12 tribes named for the 12 sons of Ya'acov (Jacob), who was also named Yisra'el (Israel) by YHWH. After the nation of Yisra'el was established in the Promised Land, there was a civil war, and the nation split in two--the Northern Kingdom of Yisra'el and the Southern Kingdom of Yehudah (Judah). Scripture also refers to these groups of people as the House of Yisra'el and the House of Yehudah. Yehudah consisted of the tribes of Yehudah and Benyamin (Benjamin) as well as some of Levi, the priestly tribe. Yisra'el consisted of the other 10 tribes, which included Ephrayim and Menashsheh, named for the sons of Yosef (Joseph), who inherited a double portion, as well as some of Levi.

Because of idolatry, YHWH allowed the Northern Kingdom to be conquered by the Assyrians, and the Israelites were dispersed to other locations, resulting in the 'Lost Tribes of Israel'. A few centuries later, the Southern Kingdom was conquered by the Babylonians, also because of idolatry, and the House of Yehudah (Judah), by that time known as 'Jews', were taken into exile in Babylon. Most of the House of Yehudah also dispersed to other locations, but a faithful remnant did return to the Land and rebuilt the temple in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). This was the Jewish nation into which Yeshua the Messiah was born.

YHWH promised that He would gather all of Yisra'el and Yehudah who had been dispersed to the four corners of the earth--

Isa 11:12 And He shall raise a banner for the nations, and gather the outcasts of Yisra’ĕl, and assemble the dispersed of Yehudah from the four corners of the earth.

How else can it be explained that people from all over the world are coming to the same understanding of the Scriptures without being taught by anyone but YHWH as they study the Scriptures for themselves? As I sat in my prayer closet, praying day by day for knowledge and understanding and reading the Scriptures day by day, I had no idea that others all over the world were experiencing the same thing. I thought I was all alone in realizing that Yeshua did not do away with the Torah, but taught us to keep all of the commandments, that the Apostles and other First Century believers in Yeshua as Messiah faithfully obeyed the commandments and did not start a new religion.

I didn't know anyone who saw the things being revealed to me in the Scriptures. Eventually, though, I started looking on the internet to see if there was anyone else, and I was amazed to find that there were! And no matter where the person is from--whether Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, South America, North America--I have heard stories just like mine, though none of us ever knew of each other before. The 'Lost Tribes of Israel' are no longer lost. He is calling us to Him, gathering us in from the four corners of the earth, just like He said He would. We are smashing the idols and returning to the pure worship of YHWH through His Son, Yeshua Messiah.

At the same time, there are many from the House of Yehudah, the 'Jews', who are recognizing their Messiah in Yeshua the Nazarene when they, too, realize that He didn't do away with Torah, but taught us to obey His commandments.

I am striving to follow in the footsteps of Yeshua Messiah as those in the First Century did. They were part of the Judaism of that time and were known as the sect of the Nazarenes because their Rabbi was Yeshua of Nazareth. The Judaism of today does not currently recognize us as Jews, but that is bound to change, according to YHWH.

Zec 12:10 "And I shall pour on the house of Dawid and on the inhabitants of Yerushalayim a spirit of favour and prayers. And they shall look on Me whom they pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son. And they shall be in bitterness over Him as a bitterness over the first-born.

Rom 11:11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Let it not be! But by their fall deliverance has come to the gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy.

What will help the Jews to see their Messiah and provoke them to jealousy? A people who believe in a false 'Jesus' and disobey Torah and engage in paganism and idolatry? Or a people who obey Torah because their Messiah Yeshua obeyed Torah and taught them to do the same?

I was recently encouraged to see that at least some among the Jews of today see the difference between the original followers of Yeshua the Nazarene and those that came along later. In this article--

http://www.thejc.com/home.aspx?ParentId=m12s114&SecId=114&AId=57522&ATypeId=1

--Shmuley Boteach says, "It was not the early Jerusalem Church’s insistence on the messiahship of Jesus that broke them off from normative Judaism, but rather Paul’s later abrogation of the law."

Shaul (Paul) did not abrogate the law, however. Shaul taught obedience to Torah, but his teachings are difficult to understand, so Kefa (Peter) warned us about that in 2 Peter 3:14-18.

So, in summary, I am not a Jew, though I would probably be targeted as one by Hitler, Ahmadinejad and others of such ilk because of how I live and worship. I consider myself to be an Israelite, belonging to the nation of Israel because I have joined in the covenants of the Scriptures and have been grafted in by Yeshua Messiah.

As far as legalism and salvation by works is concerned, consider that the nation of Israel--the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt--were already redeemed when YHWH spoke to them from Mt. Sinai. He had already saved them from slavery in Egypt, yet He reminds them of that in the First Commandment--

Exo 20:2 "I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.

--and then He goes on to speak nine more and later gives Moshe (Moses) even more commandments.

If the people were supposed to be saved by obeying the commandments, then why were they saved first and then given the commandments? Salvation has never come by obeying the commandments. It is because we are saved that we obey our Savior.

The Torah given at Mt. Sinai was like a ketubah, a marital covenant. Israel agreed to join themselves to YHWH and to obey Him as His bride. Yeshua is the earthly manifestation of YHWH, and He still wants us to be His bride and to obey Him. When we go astray into paganism and idolatry and refuse to obey Him, we are like an adulterous wife, and it breaks His heart.

When we are delivered from bondage and redeemed by YHWH, He is our new Master. YHWH redeemed Israel from bondage in Egypt so that they could serve Him instead of Pharaoh--

Exo 8:1 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus said יהוה, "Let My people go, so that they serve Me.

Yeshua Messiah bought us with a price--

1Co 6:20 For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim.

When He redeems us, He becomes our new Master. He expects us to stop serving Pharaoh, Satan or Self and instead, learn to esteem and honor Him by living by every word from His mouth.

Deu 8:1 "Guard to do every command which I command you today, that you might live, and shall increase, and go in, and shall possess the land of which יהוה swore to your fathers.
Deu 8:2 "And you shall remember that יהוה your Elohim led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, prove you, to know what is in your heart, whether you guard His commands or not.
Deu 8:3 "And He humbled you, and let you suffer hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, to make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of יהוה.

Mat 4:4 But He answering, said, "It has been written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of יהוה.’ "

His Torah (Word) teaches us how to live the new life He has given us in Him. As He says above, whether we guard His commands or not reveals what is in our hearts.

Deu 10:12 "And now, Yisra’ĕl, what is יהוה your Elohim asking of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being,
Deu 10:13 to guard the commands of יהוה and His laws which I command you today for your good?

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