Watch: The Torah and the Testimony
Welcome to Nazarene Israel.
My name is Norman Willis. This study is on the true definition of the Torah and the true definition of the Testimony, and why these are necessary for you know.
For full disclosure, we actually started out on this topic because we were trying to do a different topic. We wanted to talk about something really important, the vital necessity of hearing and obeying Yahweh’s voice, which is something that is commanded for all disciples. And what we realized is that there is really no way to understand the vital, critical importance of hearing Yahweh’s voice, in context, unless we understand the big picture scenario of the Torah, and the Testimony. So in order that we can understand the vital, critical lesson on how to hear and obey Yahweh’s voice, we first need to talk about the Torah and the Testimony.
So here we have got a two-part micro series. First, we are going to talk about what the true definition of the Torah is. Because most people who say the word Torah really do not know. That is because most people have derived their definition from the Orthodox. And as we see at the end of this chapter, to put it nicely, the Orthodox still have a veil over their eyes. Their definition is incorrect and most Messianic have inherited that definition. Likewise, most Ephraimites and Two-House believers also have inherited this wrong definition of what Torah is from our Orthodox brethren. None of them know this and this is something that we need to know.
We are also going to talk about why there is more than one Torah. And a lot of people are going to say “What!? What, what, what are you talking about? More than one Torah?” Oh, yes! There is more than one Torah, and we are going to talk about the relationship between these different Torot, which is plural. Do not say Torahs, it is Torot, a feminine plural. And we will talk about what the relationship is between these different Torot, and the Testimony (the manifestation of Yahweh’s Spirit). We are going to do all this in preparation for the next, extremely important subject next week, when we are going to talk about the vital, critical, crucial importance of hearing Yahweh’s voice. During which time we are going to talk about what the true definition is of the Testimony. We will talk about the relationship between the Testimony (the manifestation of the Spirit), and the Spirit, and Yahweh’s voice. And we will talk about how we can hear Yahweh’s voice.
So, we are going to jump right in.
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 8:20
20 [Yahweh says] To the Torah and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Now we look this word light up and we find that it is shachar, meaning morning dawn or daybreak.
Strong’s H7837: שַׁחַר
From H7836; dawn (literally, figuratively, or adverbially): -day (-spring), early, light, morning.
So, in context, what Yahweh is really saying here is, if they do not know the true definition of the Torah and they cannot manifest the testimony, it is because the daylight has not dawned on them yet. They are still in darkness. It is like the blind leading the blind, everyone is going to fall into a pit, better to leave him alone. So this is something to think about the next time you are shopping for a Torah teacher or if you are deciding which ministries to pay attention to. If someone does not know or does not teach according to the true definition of the Torah, or if He does not manifest the testimony of Yeshua, time to leave him alone.
Now the testimony, most people use the term testimony to refer to as their story about how they got saved. They tell the story about what Yeshua means to them and how they got saved, and that is part of the testimony. But what the testimony is in truth is how we manifest Elohim’s Spirit, or in our case, how we manifest Yeshua’s Spirit. That is the true definition of a testimony.
Now the term Torah is oftentimes translated as law, as in the Laws of Moses. What it actually means is instructions. Now, the term law is not a bad translation, because the Father’s instructions (the King of the Universe), His instructions do carry the weight of law. And the Torah does have commandments, statutes, judgments, ordinances, and laws. But most of all this is the point that most people miss. Most people do not understand that what the Torah really is all about is that Elohim is trying to pass along His precepts to us.
Well, what is a precept? Okay, we can perhaps think about a precept like a concept. Elohim’s concept is that we should be valiant, we should be righteous, we should be just. We should have love and compassion. We should have mercy. We should be long-suffering; we should be hard-working. We should do the right things; we should be righteous people. But an even bigger construct is the need to establish Yeshua’s ordered kingdom, that is the point of the whole exercise, to bring the earth into subjection to Yeshua and to establish Yeshua’s ordered kingdom. That is what the Scriptures truly speak of. So, all of these are precepts.
In the book Torah Government we talk about the progression of priestly Torot. Again, do not say Torahs. Torot is a feminine plural. But it is important to understand that the big picture Torah is Yahweh’s instruction to His people. Because Yahweh is growing something, He is growing a kingdom for His Son and there is a very important, very interesting sequence He is following for this. If you read the book Torah Government you will understand the main battle plan, so to speak. You will understand what Elohim is attempting to do and why, and why have we been through this specific sequence of priesthoods and what it means for us today.
The first thing that we see in the book is that Israel was first under what you could call an Internal Patriarchal Priesthood. What does that mean? What that means is that the father of the house also served as the priest of His household. For example, when Noach (Noah) got off the ark and was delivered safely, He offered up sacrificial offerings to Yahweh.
By the time of Avraham we had an External Melchizedekian Order. Melchizedek was not part of Avraham’s lineage, He was external to the future nation of Israel, so to speak. He had an External Melchizedekian Order.
Then Israel went down into slavery in Egypt for 430 years and, in a sense, they were under the covering of the Egyptian priests. It was a terrible thing, but then when Yahweh brought Israel out of Egypt, He established first an Internal Priesthood of the Firstborn. And He gave this Internal Priesthood of the Firstborn certain specific instructions. We are going to see that these certain specific instructions that He gave to the Internal Priesthood of the Firstborn were different than He gave to the Internal Levitical Order.
Now these two different sets of instructions, or these two different Torot, are still contained within the Torah, if we define the Torah as the first five books of Moses.
Then we are also going to see that the Internal Levitical order lasted until the days of Eli. And then it was with the days of Shemuel that we began to see established the beginnings of the Melchizedekian Order. We take a look at the Tabernacle of David where the Melchizedekian Order was set up.
Then, it gets a little murky, but next we see how brother Judah goes into Babylon. This is where the Levitical Order gets corrupted. Now we begin to see what is called the Rabbinical Order. They do not call it that, but that is what I call it because that is basically what it is. It is an order of rabbis.
Then, in the first century with the days of Yeshua we began to see what we might call an Internal Melchizedekian Order. We could also call it a Hybrid Melchizedekian Order.
What we are also going to see is that in the future there will be a merging of the remnant of the Levitical Order and the Melchizedekian Order. There will not be many of the rabbis left after Armageddon, and then the Melchizedekian Order will merge into the remains of the Levitical Order.
In Exodus chapter12 we saw the first Passover and we saw that Yahweh sent the Death Messenger (or the Death Angel) to slay all the firstborn of Egypt. At the same time, Yahweh took all the firstborn of Israel unto himself, and they would be a living sacrifice unto Yahweh.
Shemote (Exodus) 13: 2
2 [Yahweh said] Set apart to me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel both of man and beast; it is Mine.
And then they were given certain specific instructions regarding the Feasts. There were not that many instructions because what Yahweh really wanted was for them to hear and obey His voice. Let us look at the Exodus 19, this is what Yahweh said when they first came out of Egypt.
Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice [Spiritual component] and keep My covenant [a legal, specifics component, or the written Torah], then you shall be a special treasure to me above all the people [meaning, if we obey both the voice of the Spirit and also keep the commandments of the Spirit]; for all the earth is Mine.
Now notice, if we cannot hear His voice, how are we going to obey His voice? That is why we are trying to show in this lesson just how important is it that we listen for His voice. So that we can hear His voice, so that we can obey His voice. Because this is what He wants, and this is one of the two things that it takes to be a special treasure to Him above all people. First, we have to obey His voice because His voice comes directly from the Spirit. Then we also need to keep His covenant. We are going to see this show up again later on in Jeremiah. He is going to paraphrase it slightly, but it is the same thing.
Now, it is very important to obey the specifics of the Torah. Yahweh gives His commandments, His judgments, His statutes, and His ordinances, for good reasons. We need to obey those things. But what our Orthodox brethren miss, and consequently, our Messianic Jewish brethren and most Ephraimites and Two- House Believers also miss, is the bigger perspective. What is really happening here is that Yahweh is a loving Father, and He is attempting to raise up His children in all of these things. He is being very strict, He is saying:
“This is what I want you to do, and this is what I do not want you to do, and I mean it! And if you are going to do that there is going to be serious punishment, even death!”
But in all of these things, what He is really saying is:
“Son, I love you. Now I am going to try to help you.”
We are talking about adopted children because Yahweh adopted us as His own. He took pity on us; He took mercy on us. He is saying:
“I know you have had a tough time. I know you were raised in Egypt, okay. I get all that. But if you are going to listen for my voice, I am not always going to talk loudly. Sometimes it is going to be a small kind of a still voice, it is going to be hard to hear, all right. Sometimes I am going to call to you from across the field and you are going to have to listen hard for My voice. You are going to have to listen for Me all the time. But if you hear My voice and you do the things that I tell you to do, you are going to have trials and you are going to get tested, but eventually everything is going to work out all right. Everything is going to be okay. Just listen for My voice.”
And in a certain sense listening for His voice is even more important than the written Torah, because, how did we get the written Torah? The written Torah was originally the words of the Spirt in which someone originally wrote down. That is the big picture context of this thing.
Now, of course we did not do it. Our ancestors messed it up. All we had to do was listen for His voice and obey His voice and obey the things He told us to do. But our ancestors said:
“Ah, you know, Moses, He has been gone too long! And we are scared, and we want something to worship!” So Aharon (Aaron) says; “Okay, break off all your golden earrings and give them to me.”
Shemote (Exodus) 32:4-5; 7
4 And [Aharon] received the gold from their hand, and He fashioned it with an engraving tool and made a molten calf. [That major fail]. Then they said, “This is your elohim, o Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
5 Then when Aharon saw it He built an altar before it. [Epic fail]. And Aharon made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to Yahweh!” [Yet another, epic fail].
7 And then Yahweh said to, “Go get down, the people whom you have brought out of Egypt have corrupted themselves:”
Shemote (Exodus) 32:25-26
25 and when Moshe saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aharon had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies) [he had not corrected or rebuked them],
26 then Moshe stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on Yahweh’s side- come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.
What happens quite often is that most people want a broad easy road to follow. They want to heap up teachers for themselves that tickle the ear. But if you are going to be a true minister of Yahweh, there will be times when you are going to have to resist the people. You are going to have to rebuke the people, you are going to have to tell the people:
“No, that is not right, that is not what Yahweh’s word says.”
Well, the Firstborn Priesthood did not do that. So, Yahweh then commissioned the Levitical order to carry on in place of the Firstborn Priesthood.
Now, for those of you who believe there is one and only one Torah, here is the important thing to realize. What we need to see here is that the details of the Torah can change from priesthood to priesthood, and yet, it is still all the same Torah. It is still all Yahweh’s instruction. Yahweh is still attempting to set up Yeshua’s ordered kingdom. That is what He is really trying to do, it is just different phases of the operation. Just as if you might give different instructions to a six-year-old as you give to a 16-year-old. You give different instructions to a seven-year-old than you give to a 27-year-old. Okay, let us compare what Yahweh tells His people in Shemote 12 (before the Firstborn Priesthood was initiated) and Devarim 16 (in the Levitical Torah).
Shemote (Exodus) 12:5
5 [Yahweh says] “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.” [cattle are not mentioned].
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:2
[Yahweh says] “Therefore you shall sacrifice the Pesach (Passover) to Yahweh your Elohim, from the flock and the herd, in the place where Yahweh chooses to place His name.”
“Sheep and goats”, those pertain to “the flock”. The “herd” comes from Hebrews 1241 “baqar”, referring to bulls, cattle, ox.
The thing we need to know about the Levitical Torah is that the Levitical Torah has many more specific instructions (or Torot). You have different Torot inside the Levitical Torah. You have the instructions (Torah) to the Nazarite. You have the instructions regarding (Torah of) a jealous husband. But these are all part of the Levitical Torah. And the Levitical Torah, the Torah of the Firstborn, they are all part of the Torah of Moses, or what was called “the Torah” or “The First Five Books of Moses”. In a sense it is almost a misnomer, okay. And, once again, we have inherited the term from our Orthodox brethren.
But one thing to notice is that, even though the specifics of the Passover offering changed in between Exodus with the first Passover and the Passover instructions in Deuteronomy, the precepts are the same. The precept is what you are still trying to do. You are still trying to do the same thing; it is just that now cattle are a possibility. Because the families are bigger or for whatever reason, now you can also use cattle.
Now the Levitical Torah is for when we have a cleansed Levitical Priesthood, which we do not right now. We want to unify the nation around a physical sacrificial altar right now. We do not have a cleansed Levitical Priesthood and the Torah is not our constitution in any nation of the globe (no matter what the Orthodox might say). Therefore, the Levitical Order is not cleansed. They are of course planning on building a coming third temple. That will not be a cleansed temple and it will not be a cleansed priesthood, because they are going to have modifications of Yahweh’s instructions. We will talk more about that later. What we need to see here is the Levitical Priesthood lasted until First Samuel, chapter 4. That is when it became defiled.
Shemuel Aleph (1 Samuel) 4:10-11
10 So the Philistines fought with Israel, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel about 30,000 foot-soldiers [a great number].
11 Also the ark of Elohim was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Pinchas, died.
Now, it is important to notice that the ark never returned to the Levitical tabernacle after that time. Because the Levitical tabernacle had been defiled. Eli and his two sons of (Hophni and Pinchas who died), did the wrong thing. So, the Levitical order had become defiled, and it never truly regained its correct status after that. So, what happened? We come to Second Samuel when King David gave the commandment to create a special tabernacle. It was not the Levitical tabernacle. Because the Levitical tabernacle was defiled.
Shemuel Bet (2 Samuel) 6:17
17 So they brought the ark of Yahweh, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Yahweh.
Well, how could king David do that? King David was not a Levite. King David was of the tribe of Judah, just as Yeshua would later be of the tribe of Judah. Now, we have a special miniseries on this, on the Tabernacle of David, in Nazarene Scripture Studies Volume 5. I encourage everyone to check it out. It is a very important series and tells everything about the origins of the Nazarene Israel movement. But what happened basically is that Shemuel (Samuel) received what might be called an Internal-Melchizedekian anointing. So then, when the Levitical tabernacle was defiled, he was able to anoint King David, and then King David received this Melchizedekian anointing. And since king David was a prophet, he was then able to officiate in the Melchizedekian Tabernacle. So, there we are. King David then in turn is the ancestor of Yeshua, and Yeshua is now “our High Priest in the heavens after the order of Melchizedek”, as it says in both Psalms 110:4 and in the book of Hebrews.
But what that does not mean (and a lot of people think this), but it does not mean that Yeshua’s body on earth has nothing to do. Yeshua’s body has the mission to raise up, establish and to extend Yeshua’s global ordered kingdom into all nations, according to the Great Commission and the Five-fold Ministry. Now this applies whenever we do not have a cleansed Levitical Priesthood and do not have a cleansed Levitical altar. So, right now, the Rabbinical Order, that is not a cleansed Levitical Priesthood, no matter what they say. And neither will this third temple be a cleansed Levitical altar, again, no matter what they say. The next temple we are going to see is an anti-messiah’s temple, but there will be a fourth temple after that. We will talk about that in just a moment.
But the purpose of the Melchizedekian Order is to extend Yeshua’s Kingdom into all nations according to (by way of) the Great Commission and the Five-Fold Ministry. And there are rules for this, we talk about those rules in Acts 15 Order and also in Torah Government. Very important studies, I encourage everyone to study them.
Mattiyahu (Matthew) 28:18-20
18 [Yeshua had said] “All authority is given to me in heaven and on earth.”
19 “Go therefore and make disciples in all the nations immersing them in My name,
20 teaching them to observe [Hebrew: obey] all things that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amein.
We talk about why we immerse in Yeshua’s name only in the aptly named study, Why We Immerse in Yeshua’s Name Only, in Nazarene Scripture Studies Volume 3. Again, you can read it on the website, you can download a pdf copy for free, or you can purchase a paperback copy on amazon.com at our cost.
Effectively this is what a disciple is. A disciple is someone who voluntarily, happily, joyfully does all things that Yeshua commands us.
So, a lot of people find Yeshua’s commandments burdensome, you know. But when you love someone, you are happy to spend your time and money on them. When you have a hobby, you are happy to spend your time and you are happy to spend your money. So, is pleasing Yeshua our hobby? Are we happy to spend our time? are we happy to spend our money? Is there anything else that we would rather do or is the thing that we want most in life to please our husband Yeshua? After all that He has done for us? Take a look at people’s daytime planners and take a look at their financial records and you can tell what matters most to them. Because that is where they spend their free time. So, where do we spend our free time? When you find the people, who spend their free time trying to do all that they can to help further Yeshua’s ordered kingdom, typically speaking, that is a disciple.
That is the point of the Melchizedekian Order, is to extend Yeshua’s Kingdom into all nations, and this is the mission (the Great Commission) of genuine disciples.
But we know that the Levitical and the Melchizedekian Orders will be merged after the ingathering (after Armageddon) as it says in Isaiah.
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 66:20-21
20 “Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to Yahweh out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My set-apart mountain Jerusalem,” says Yahweh, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of Yahweh.
[So, where the Melchizedekian Order has gone, to raise up disciples in all nations, one day, after Armageddon ingathering, we will all come back. On horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules and camels, in trains, planes, automobiles, boats… who knows what, to His set-apart mountain, Jerusalem.]
21 And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says Yahweh.
So, what Yahweh is saying here is that those of the Melchizedekian Order who come back to the land of Israel, that they will be merged with what is left of the Levitical (Rabbinical) Order. There is not going to be very many of them according to prophecy. But we will be merged again and then the Torah will change again. Because right now, in the Melchizedekian Order, we do not need a sacrificial altar because we are in the dispersion. When we come back to the land of Israel there will again be a sacrificial altar. And I realized that a lot of Christians heads just melted down when I said that but take a look.
Yehezqel (Ezekiel) 45:22
22 “And on that day the nasi (prince) shall prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bull for a sin offering.”
Once the Melchizedekian and the Levitical orders are merged there will again be a temple in which to officiate, probably with the Levitical Torah. But notice Ezekiel chapters 44 through 46 speaks of a temple that has not yet been built, we know it has not yet been built because the dimensions are very much different.
Also, it speaks of a nasi (prince). He is going to be a constitutional prince. He is going to be a hereditary ruler. He will have Torah laws to obey, but he will be a hereditary leader. As Ezekiel 45, verse 22 tells us that there will again be a sacrificial altar in which the nasi will offer from. People say, “Well, that is Yeshua.” I say how can that be Yeshua? Yeshua was the sinless and spotless lamb. Does Yeshua need to offer a sin offering for himself? What we need to understand is that Yeshua is our High Priest in the heavens. He expects us as His body to walk things out for Him on earth and that there will once again be a nasi (a constitutional prince) ruling over the combined nation of Israel. Again, we see that in Ezekiel 45 verse 22. We know that this is a human because he offers a sin offering for himself, that is something Yeshua is not going to do.
So, in all of these things we are talking about the Torah and the Testimony. We are talking about the relationship between the Torah and the Testimony, and we will continue more on the Testimony in the next chapter, Hearing Yahweh’s Voice.
Let us take a look at what is written in Psalms, most people believe that King David wrote the Psalms by the Spirit. So, this is effectively the Spirit speaking these Psalms through King David as an empty vessel. And Psalms 119 is often times referred to as the Law Psalm or the Torah Psalm.
44 So shall I keep Your Torah [Law] continually, Forever and ever,
45 And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts.
What King David is saying is that there will be times when you may have to break the letter of the Torah. That should not happen often, and if you are going to break the letter of the Torah, you should know why you are doing it and the only reason should be is because the Spirit tells you to do so. You ask what do I mean by that, and this is what we will talk about in Hearing Yahweh’s Voice.
We are coming into the end times. There are some very difficult situations ahead. So, what we have to do is to remember the mission; to establish Yeshua’s ordered kingdom in all nations. And then if we are going to deviate from the letter of Torah, it needs to be only because that is what Yeshua’s voice said to do. We have to be careful; Satan also has a voice. The way you can tell the difference is Yeshua’s voice is still and small, and kind and quiet and loving. Satan’s voice is typically angry, and pushing, and agitated, it is in a hurry and these kinds of things. This is the same thing the Apostle Shaul (Paul) says in Galatians.
Galatim (Galatians) 5:13.
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
What Shaul is saying is that you may not necessarily need to obey the letter of the Levitical Torah. Why? Because you are in the dispersion, because you are under the Melchizedekian Order, because it is a Prophetic Order. We are supposed to be listening in the Spirit. But we should not do this for evil, we should only do it for good. Our purpose is to establish Yeshua’s global ordered kingdom. Shaul warns for us not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Because, ultimately, that is how we raise up Yeshua’s ordered kingdom. Shaul says the same thing in different words in 2 Corinthians.
Qoritim Bet (2 Corinthians) 3:17
17 Now Yahweh is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of Yahweh is, there is liberty.
What Shaul is saying is, when we are listening to the voice of the Spirit and the Spirit tells us to do something that is not in the letter of the Torah, the Spirit takes precedence. Because how did we get the letter of the Torah in the first place? In the first place the Spirit told someone to write these words down, and that is how we got the letter of the Torah.
So, if the Spirit tells you,
“Okay, in this particular case I do not want you to do that, I want you to do this instead”, it would be very much like if a loving father told his son, “Okay son, now ordinarily I want you to do this and not deviate from it, but in this special particular case I have special instructions for you. Right now I want you to do this instead.” People ask, “Well can you give us an example of that perhaps?”
Okay, well, the example that is oftentimes used is that of a traffic officer or police officer. So, Elohim forbid that there should be a traffic accident, but they happen all the time. So, when the police arrive and they show up and they start rerouting traffic, very often they are going to route traffic into the oncoming lane. And you are going to say, “But, but, I cannot drive in the oncoming lane, that is breaking the law!” Okay, no, you are breaking the rules of the road, but you are not breaking the law. Because you are being instructed to do something special by a higher authority. The only key is, it has to be during a time when you are being instructed to do so by a higher authority. If you do so under your own authority you could cause a fatal injury.
Let us look at how Matthew describes this kind of thing.
Mattiyahu (Matthew) 12:3-4
3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him:
4 how he entered the house of Elohim and ate the showbread which was not [technically] lawful for him to eat, nor [technically] for those who were with him, but only for the priests?”
Here it is, the Sabbath day, and the Pharisees are hassling Yeshua because they are walking through the fields and the apostles are grabbing the grain and they are eating them as they go along. So, they say, why are your disciples harvesting on the Sabbath? Okay, well, they were not out there with the sickle and a basket reaping up all the grain. It was not a regular workday for them, rather they are walking through the field, and they are just grabbing a snack as they go. If you had a pomegranate tree and you snagged the pomegranate to eat, or the figs or whatever as you walked along, it is not a big deal. That is not harvesting. Yeshua is trying to point out to them that they are not even understanding the Torah, they do not know what the Torah is.
Okay, so what was the difference? The difference was that King David was on a mission from Elohim. So, because it ultimately served Elohim’s purposes and it ultimately would lead to the reign of the Messiah, it was not wrong to do so. Even though it was technically against the written letter of the law, it was not wrong to do so. Because it was Yahweh’s intent.
So, I left the army in 1989 and right about that time they were just introducing the concept of what they called the commander’s intent. War is a very difficult confusing business. I mean, you have an enemy that is shooting at you, trying to kill you. Communications are difficult even in the best of times, even in peace time communications are difficult. So, things very often get confused. They began a very good concept. What they began was, they began providing the commander’s intent. In other words, if you are not able to capture that hilltop or you are not able to take that railroad trestle, what we are really trying to do is we are trying to disrupt this shipment of reinforcements (or whatever) that is coming through this area. If you are not able to do exactly what you were instructed, you are still able to do something to accomplish the overall purpose.
It is the same kind of thing. When we understand what Elohim’s intent is, to establish a global ordered kingdom for His Son, then we can understand when it is a good time to deviate from the written letter of the Torah or not to deviate from it. We need to hear in the Spirit and what the Spirit is saying to do. And when the Spirit tells us to do something that is in keeping with the establishment of the Messiah’s global kingdom.
For another example, in Exodus 23, we read one of the commandments given to the Firstborn Priesthood. Notice it is similar to the commandments in the Levitical Priesthood, however these details are different, because the Firstborn Priesthood had fewer overall commandments.
Shemote (Exodus) 23:14
14 [Yahweh says] “Three times you shall keep a pilgrimage feast to Me in the year…”
That means that under the Firstborn Priesthood, three times a year everyone was to come up to the sacrificial altar and the nation was to be united. But notice in 1 Kings how the prophet Eliahu (Elijah) did not do that.
Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 17:4-5
4 “And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
5 So he went and did according to the word of Yahweh, for he went and stayed by the Wadi Qerith, which flows into the Jordan.
Why did Eliahu not go up 3 times a year to Jerusalem? Because Yahweh commanded him to go and stay in the Wadi Qerith (because there was a drought in the land). So, surely a prophet is going to keep the letter of the Torah! Not in this case. Because he was answering to a higher authority.
Another example is Hoshea. If you are a Levitical priest, you are forbidden to marry a harlot. Yahweh is not big on harlotry. However, prophets are sometimes asked to do very strange things.
Hoshea (Hosea) 1:2
2 When Yahweh began to speak by Hosea, Yahweh said to Hoshea: “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry, for the land has committed great harlotry by departing from Yahweh.”
This was a sign to the nation of how they were playing the harlot against Yahweh. That is why He had Hoshea play the harlot. Once again, this went against the normal specific instructions, but because Hoshea heard the Spirit’s voice in his ear, he knew that this was something that He was supposed to do.
Finally, what we want to talk about is why so many people do not understand what the true definition of Torah is. And to put it frankly, it is because brother Orthodox Judah does not understand what the Torah is, and your Messianic Jews take their understanding of Torah from Orthodox Judah. Then, as mentioned earlier, you also have your Ephraimites and your Two-House movement people, your Messianic Israelites, they are also taking their definition of Torah literally from Orthodox Judah. So, because Orthodox Judah does not know and has a veil over His eyes, neither do the other groups that follow their lead know what it is.
So, how did that happen? Orthodox Judah (or you could say the House of Judah) went into the exile of Babylon around 597 BCE or 586 BCE depending on whose numbers you are using. There was no temple in Babylon, so there was no place for the people to bring their tithes, gifts, and offerings according to Torah. Without funding no priesthood can long serve, so the Levitical Order collapsed. Well, without Spiritual leadership the people would have begun assimilating into the Babylonian culture. We do not know exactly how it happened, but I have had rabbis tell me that “the Rabbinical Order got its start in the exile to Babylon”, that is a quote. So again, we do not know exactly how it happened, but what we do know is that at some point the people stopped listening to what the Torah said, and they began following the traditions and teachings of the “great men”, or what is called the rabbis in Hebrew. The word rav means “great”, when you call someone “ravi” (or rabi) you are saying, “My great one”. That is why Yeshua says, “but be not you called rabbi”. Because one is your Rabbi, one is your Great One in the heavens, and that is Yahweh.
Okay, well, here is a fun fact that is going to illustrate just how much Judah does not understand what the Torah is. The term gematria refers to the fact that certain alphabets have numerical values attached to the letters. Hebrew has gematria values, also ancient Greek has gematria values, and Latin has gematria values. When we take the word Torah (letters tav, vav, resh, hay), we have these numerical values. The letter tav has a numerical value of 400, the letter vav has a numerical value of 6, the letter resh has a numerical value of 200, and the letter hey has a numerical value of 5. And when we add all those up, we are going to come up with a gematria value of 611 for the word Torah.
Now we take that fun fact to the Talmud. (If your head starts to hurt it is because we are looking at the Talmud, okay. I apologize). But in the Talmud, we can begin to understand Judah’s concept of legalism. Legalism is what you might call checklist-salvation or checklist-justification. In other words, we are not justified because Yahweh gave us unmerited favor, but we are justified because we do this list of commandments (things we are supposed to do) and we refrain from doing this list of commandments (things that we are not supposed to do). That is Juda’s concept. It is rule-based, it has nothing to do with a loving father trying to raise up His children the way they should go, so that when they are older, they shall not depart from it. It has to do with earning your salvation by doing all the things you are supposed to do and not doing all the things that you are not supposed to do. It is very analytical and something gets lost, something very, very critical and important, such as hearing Yahweh’s voice and the testimony of Yeshua. Those get lost.
Okay, so we come to Wikipedia, and we type in 613 Points of Law, because if you have been in the Messianic Movement or you have been around Two-House people you have probably heard the term 613 Points of Law. What we find out is that this concept of 613 Points of Law is effectively a rabbinic myth. And not only that, but it is also a very confusing rabbinic myth. We are going to take a look at it.
We type into Wikipedia 613 Points of Law and this is what it says.
“The Talmud notes that the Hebrew numerical value (gematria) of the word Torah is 611 [as we just saw] and combining Moses’s 611 [alleged] commandments with the first two of the Ten Commandments which [they say] were the only ones heard directly from Elohim [completely false claim], adds up to 613.
Footnote: Babylonian Talmud Makkoth 24a.
[Wikipedia; 613 Points of Law].
Okay, now we are going to take a severe issue with this, because in the first place, people do go through the Torah, and they add up the positive and the negative commandments and they do not come up with 611. You have to torture the Torah severely to get 611 commandments out of that. And second, the Ten Commandments (the first set of tables) were handed to Moshe by Elohim. So, how can we say that Elohim only dictated the first two of the Ten Commandments? And then Moshe is the one who dictated the rest?
Well, this happens to be the Orthodox Jewish concept. So, we understand that Yahweh gave His Torah to Moshe, and Moshe then gave Yahweh’s Torah to the rest of the people. And it was the Levitical priesthood’s job also to teach Yahweh’s Torah to the rest of the people. Well, that is what went out in the exile to Babylon, and they never came back to it.
What Orthodox Judah teaches instead is that Yahweh gave Moshe the authority to set His own Torah in each generation. Then Moshe eventually laid hands on Joshua. Joshua then laid hands on the judges. Then the judges eventually their hands on the sages, and so on down the line until you got to the rabbis. It is a myth very similar to the myth of Papal succession, same kind of a thing, they are just kind of at 90-degree angles to one another. A very, very different, very wrong kind of a thing.
Again, to suggest that the first two of the Ten Commandments were the only ones heard directly from Elohim, no.
So, we come to the footnote at Babylonian Talmud Makkoth 24a. It actually begins in 23b.
R. Simlai when preaching said: “Six hundred and thirteen precepts were communicated to Moses, there hundred and sixty-five negative precepts, corresponding to the number of solar days [in the year], and two hundred and forty-eight positive precepts, corresponding to the number of the members of man’s body.”
(Rabbi Simlai, third century CE).
[Babylonian Talmud; Makkoth 23b-24a].
Excuse me? So, this would have nothing to do with sun-worship, and we are not looking at the celestial bodies and ascribing instead of ascribing things to what Yahweh said. We are not ascribing things to the sun, the moon, and the stars. That has nothing to do with that, oh, no. Um, yes, it does! We are not ascribing things to the emotions of the heavenly bodies, sun, moon, stars. And we are not exalting the sun, and the moon, stars. We are not exalting men. We are not having certain numbers of commandments because we are lifting up the sun and because we are lifting up human beings. Oh, no. Yes! That is exactly what is happening!
Okay, this was the opinion of Rabbi Simlai, he was a third century CE rabbi. The problem in Judaism is that, with the new model since Babylon, when something is a tradition for three or four generations it then takes on the weight of law. If it is effectively written or codified into the Talmud it is effectively codified into law. Even though this is a completely erroneous concept and even though people go through the Torah and (though some people do) most people cannot come up with 611 commandments. And yet this is written in the Talmud, so that is what they feel compelled that they have to do. Let us continue.
“Said R. Hamnuna: What is the [authentic] text for this? [Hmm, good question! Yes, indeed, what is the authentic text for this?]. Moses commanded us Torah, an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob [No, excuse me, Yahweh commanded us Torah through Moshe, Yahweh commanded the Torah], Torah being in letter value (gematria) equal to 611. I am and Thou shalt have no [other Gods] not being reckoned, [because] we heard from the mouth of the Might [Divine].
[Babylonian Talmud Makkoth 23b-24a]
So, the letters Torah add up to 611 (okay, so…?) and what he then says is that they add in the first (I Am) and the second (Thou shalt have no other Elohim before My face) commandments. And then the rest of the commandments are not being reckoned. They figured that they heard the first two commandments from the mouth of the Divine, so because of this they figure there must be 613 commandments by definition which are ascribed to the Son and ascribed to men. So, when you hear the phrase 613 commandments used, that is where it comes from. So, what does Yahweh think about all this?
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 11:1-4
1 The word that came to Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) from Yahweh, saying,
2 “Hear the words of this covenant [the covenant that Yahweh gave. Do not go thinking up your own things, hear the words of this covenant], and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
3 And say to them, thus says Yahweh Elohim of Israel: “Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant
4 which I commanded your fathers in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall you be My people, and I will be your Elohim’…”
Actually, He said, “And keep the words of this covenant”. Yahweh is paraphrasing himself, that is because He is a loving Father trying to instruct His children in what is important. But our brothers and sisters in Orthodox Judah are not listening. He is saying, “Hear, obey My voice, and do according to what I command you. Do not go making up your own rules, do not go ascribing things to the motion of the sun, moon, and the stars. Do not say that things are because of the number of members of a man’s body. But obey my voice!”
How can you obey Yahweh’s voice if you cannot hear it? We will talk about that in the next chapter.
So, what is the relationship? How did we get the written Torah? We have the written Torah because someone wrote down the words of the Spirit. The Spirit spoke and someone wrote them down. This all boils down to hearing and obeying Yahweh’s voice, whether it is heard in the ear form or whether we are obeying the written form, everything comes from the Spirit. Everything emanates from Yahweh. And what brother Judah has forgotten, and what Messianic Judah and the Ephraimites and the Two-House community have all forgotten, is this basic message from our loving Father who is trying to say to His children,
“I love you; I know you have been through a lot, what I want you to do is, I want you to listen for My voice. If you love me, I want you to learn to listen to Me. And when I tell you to do something, I need you to trust Me, and I need you to do it. You are going to have trials, you are going to have challenges, you are going to have problems. But if you listen to Me and trust Me and do everything that I tell you to do, everything is going to be all right. But you have got to hear and obey My voice.”
So, this is our teaching on the Torah and the Testimony. We are doing this as a preparation, as a part-one for a two-part teaching, part two being our next chapter in the book “Spirituality and Heart Matters“. When we talk about the vital, quintessential importance of Hearing and Obeying Yahweh’s Voice. Please join us again for part 2.