How to “Go ye therefore…”

Matthew 28:19–20, Go therefore. What were Yeshua’s final instructions to his disciples before his return to heaven? This portion of Scripture is commonly called, the Great Commission and is found in Matthew 28:19-20. Do we find here any clues to Yeshua’s view toward the Torah as to what his expectations were of his disciples? Here Yeshua instructs his disciples (that includes you and me) to:

Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Set-Apart Spirit: teaching them to observe [keep, preserve, hold fast] all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amein.

It is clear from this text that Yeshua, a Jewish rabbi (Matt 26:25, 49; Mark. 9:5; 10:51; 11:21; 14:45; John 1:38, 49; 3:2, 26, 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8), expected his disciples to follow, teach accurately and spread his teachings (the good news of the kingdom of Elohim) to the world. In the religious culture of first century, Judaism disciples (talmudim) were expected to teach exactly what their Torah teachers had taught them. This is no different in our day when students enroll in a denominational Bible college or seminary, receive ordination and are then sent out into the mission field in the name of that denomination. The students are expected to carry forth the unique teachings and doctrines of that denomination. If they do not, they will either be reprimanded and expected to realign their teachings with the denomination’s official position. If they refuse to do so, that denomination will discharge them from their duties and defrock them.

Likewise, Yeshua expected his disciples to teach the nations to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” In fact, in Acts 1:8 Yeshua said to his disciples that, “You shall be witnesses unto me” to the whole world. This was their mission and assignment. Yeshua, as did all Jews of his era, spoke Hebrew, and maybe even Aramaic. The word for “commanded” (Matt 28:20) as in “whatsoever I have commanded you …” in the Hebrew would be the word tsavah from which the word mitzvah or commandment (as in Torah commandments) derives. If Yeshua were speaking Hebrew, mitzvah or mitzvot (plural)would have been the same word used in Matthew 5:19 where Yeshua says, “whosoever breaks one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven …” (emphasis added). The word mitzvah in Hebraic religious thought is a clear reference to the Torah commandments of YHVH in the books of the Law of Moses. David uses the term mitzvah (in its plural form mitzvot) numerous times in Psalm 119 equating it with the Torah-law of Elohim as given to Moses and the children of Israel. It was these same commandments (mitzvot) that Yeshua stated in the Sermon on the Mount that he told his disciples to “think not” that he had come to destroy,, that he taught would never pass away as long as heaven and earth stood, that he said whoever would break one of the least of them and teach men so would be called least in the kingdom of heaven, and whoever would keep them and teach men so would be called the greatest in the kingdom. It was these same commandments that Yeshua commissioned his disciples to teach and observe, to keep, hold fast and preserve.

Even in his final word to his disciples before his death, Yeshua commanded his disciples to adhere to the Torah and to convey to those who would follow them the same message.

Can there be any doubt as to what Yeshua’s view of the Torah was, and what his expectations were for his disciples in this regard? How is it that the church has diverged so greatly from the fundamental teachings of Yeshua and his disciples when so many teach that he and his disciples came to “do away with the law?” It has been admitted, by even some in the church, that Christianity is not the religion of Jesus or Yeshua, but rather the religion about the Person of Jesus or Yeshua. For Christianity to be fully the religion of Yeshua and his early disciples, it would have to uphold that obedience to the Torah’s standards of righteous living is a requirement of Christians today.

The Great Commission: The ABC’s of Gospel Evangelism

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Torah-obedience is an evangelism tool—your light to the nations

Deuteronomy 4:6, Keep. Keeping Torah (YHVH’s instructions in righteousness) was the means for YHVH’s chosen people to be salt and light to the surrounding nations. Torah is literally a “witnessing tool.” What kind of righteous witness are you (via your Torah lifestyle) to those around you who are lost in spiritual darkness?

Wisdom [Heb. chokmah] and understanding [Heb. biynah]. What is the biblical definition of wisdom and understanding? Let’s explore this subject to see what we can learn from the word of Elohim.

Chokmah means “intelligence, skill (in war); wisdom (in administration); shrewdness, wisdom; prudence (in religious affairs); wisdom (ethical and religious). It derives from the verb chakam meaning “to be wise, to be or become wise, act wisely; to make wise, teach wisdom, instruct; to show oneself wise, deceive, show one’s wisdom.” According to The TWOT, chokmah and it’s root verb represents a manner of thinking and attitude concerning life’s experiences including matters of general interest and basic morality. These concerns relate to prudence in secular affairs, skills in the arts, moral sensitivity, and experience in the ways of YHVH. In the Tanakh, chokmah is used in relationship to the whole gamut of human experiences whether it be technical artisan skills, military tactics or political and administrative leadership. It is expressed in shrewdness as opposed to foolishness or silliness. Prudence is another aspect of chokmah as it relates to how one speaks, uses his time carefully and in the practical affairs of life. The Bible reveals that Elohim is the source of all wisdom, and wisdom is not to be found in human speculation. Elohim alone provides wisdom for man’s guidance, so that he can live the best possible moral and ethical life (ibid.).

Biynah means “discernment or insight” or “the ability to understand something, comprehension, the power of abstract thought, an individual’s perception or judgment of a situation.” According to The TWOT, biynah refers to knowledge that is superior to the mere gathering of data. It is necessary to know how to use the knowledge one possesses. This is where perception or judgment comes into play. One must properly interpret the data and make wise and discerning decisions as to how to act. 

Torah is your wisdom in the sight of the nations. Consider the following:

  • Your life may be the only Bible some people read.
  • Torah is light. Light quietly does, it is silent. It doesn’t talk about doing, it does! YHVH is looking for doers, not talkers.
  • What kind of reputation do you have in the community?
  • People may not be turning to the light of Torah as a result of your example YET, when times get tough in this country (“when you are in tribulation … in the latter days, Deut 4:30), they may well turn to you for the answers because they remembered that there was something different about you—something pure, pristine and holy. That’s when they’ll be looking for answers.
  • Torah makes us a great people. YHVH measures greatness differently than the world does. Are you great by the world’s standards or YHVH’s standards?
  • How does YHVH measure greatness? Love, faith, truth, obedience, servanthood, giving, selflessness, self-sacrifice.
  • Comparatively speaking, how does the world measure greatness? Money, power, fame, possessions, intellect, physical appearance, good sounding words.
  • Which type of greatness will last into eternity?

Never forget this: The Bible reveals that Yeshua the Messiah is the spiritual light of the world (John 8:12) that came from heaven to guide men through the spiritual darkness of this world and lead them to his Father in heaven (John 1:7–9). He is not only the Light, but the Word of Elohim made flesh (John 1:1, 14). In other words, he is the Living Torah Word of Elohim. He was the exemplification and personification of the Written Torah. Only through him living in us through is Set-Apart Spirit can we properly obey YHVH’s Torah commandments (1 Cor 9:21, the saint is “under/in/subject to the Torah-law toward Messiah”). This we will do by his power in us and out of a loving relationship with him (Jer 31:31–33 cp. Heb 8:10; John 14:15; 1 John 2:2–6; 3:24; 5:2–3; Rom 13:8–10). The Testimony of Yeshua makes these truths very clear for those who have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to comprehend! The rewards and blessings are incomprehensibly awesome for those who walk according to the instructions of Elohim.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (Rev 22:12–14)

 

A Prayer, “Abba Father, stir us up…”

A prayer:

Yehovah Elohim, the disciples of Yeshua were so energized spiritually by his convincing bodily appearance to them after his resurrection that they immediately began preaching the gospel far and wide, and did so selflessly in the face of persecution, imprisonment, torture and even martyrdom. Prior to this, they ran away in fear from doing doing the great commission.  Similarly, Yehovah Elohim, may Yeshua become so real to each of us, your end time servants, that we will follow in the disciples’ same footsteps of passionate and death defying zeal at sharing the message of Yeshua to those around us. Yehovah, give each of us a fresh revelation of Yeshua, and may this somehow empower us, stir up and set ablaze our lassitudenous, obdurate, tepid and, at times, effete hearts to fearlessly and enthusiastically proclaiming Yeshua the Messiah and his coming kingdom. Amein.

As a side note, I have  more than 430 videos on the Hoshana Rabbah YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/HoshanaRabbah?feature=mhee), most of which are my own teachings. Some years back, I made a couple of short videos with tips on how to share the gospel with those around us via friendship or relational evangelism. Sadly, these videos are at or near the bottom of the list of the least watched videos on my channel. Enough said.


 

The Yeshua Model of Evangelism

Mark 10:17–22, Yeshua’s model for one-on-one evangelism is here revealed. In his encounter with the rich, young ruler, Yeshua reveals a method of evangelizing in a one-on-one scenario. He uses the following five-step approach:

  1. Yeshua first establishes the character of YHVH Elohim and how man falls short of this in comparison. Namely, YHVH is good, and man is not. 
  2. Next, Yeshua presents the Torah as Elohim’s moral and spiritual standard that determines the definition of good—right and wrong. 
  3. Yeshua then shows the young man that he was violated that standard of goodness by violating the Torah’s standard of righteousness.
  4. He advises the young man then to repent of his Torahlessness (or of breaking YHVH’s laws, which is the biblical definition of sin, see 1 John 3:4).
  5. Finally, Yeshua invites the young to make the total commitment to being a good person and to follow him.

We see this evangelistic model again in Acts 17:24 when Paul addresses the Greeks on Mars Hill.


 

Torah Is Our Light to the Nations!

When I say “Torah” I’m referring to both the Written Torah and Yeshua the Messiah, the divine Son of Elohim who is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim!

Deuteronomy 4:6, Keep. Keeping Torah (YHVH’s instructions in righteousness) was the means for YHVH’s chosen people to be salt and light to the surrounding nations. Torah is literally a “witnessing tool.” What kind of righteous witness are you (via your Torah lifestyle) to those around you who are lost in spiritual darkness?

Wisdom [Heb. chokmah] and understanding [Heb. biynah]. Chokmah means “intelligence, skill (in war); wisdom (in administration); shrewdness, wisdom; prudence (in religious affairs); wisdom (ethical and religious). It derives from the verb chakam meaning “to be wise, to be or become wise, act wisely; to make wise, teach wisdom, instruct; to show oneself wise, deceive, show one’s wisdom.” According to the TWOT, chokmah and it’s root verb represents a manner of thinking and attitude concerning life’s experiences including matters of general interest and basic morality. These concerns relate to prudence in secular affairs, skills in the arts, moral sensitivity, and experience in the ways of YHVH. In the Tanakh, chokmah is used in relationship to the whole gamut of human experiences whether it be technical artisan skills, military tactics or political and administrative leadership. It is expressed in shrewdness as opposed to foolishness or silliness. Prudence is another aspect of chokmah as it relates to how one speaks, uses his time carefully and in the practical affairs of life. The Bible reveals that Elohim is the source of all wisdom, and wisdom is not to be found in human speculation. Elohim alone provides wisdom for man’s guidance, so that he can live the best possible moral and ethical life (Ibid.).

Biynah means “discernment or insight” or “the ability to understand something, comprehension, the power of abstract thought, an individual’s perception or judgment of a situation.” According to the TWOT, biynah refers to knowledge that is superior to the mere gathering of data. It is necessary to know how to use the knowledge one possesses. This is where perception or judgment comes into play. One must properly interpret the data and make wise and discerning decisions as to how to act.

Torah is your wisdom in the sight of the nations. Consider the following:

  • Your life may be the only Bible some people read.
  • Torah is light. Light quietly does, it is silent. It doesn’t talk about doing, it does! YHVH is looking for doers, not talkers.
  • What kind of reputation do you have in the community?
  • People may not be turning to the light of Torah as a result of your example YET, when times get tough in this country (“when you are in tribulation … in the latter days, Deut 4:30), they may well turn to you for the answers because they remembered that there was something different about you—something pure, pristine and holy. That’s when they’ll be looking for answers.
  • Torah makes us a great people. YHVH measures greatness differently than the world does. Are you great by the world’s standards or YHVH’s standards?
  • How does YHVH measure greatness? Love, faith, truth, obedience, servanthood, giving, selflessness, self-sacrifice.
  • Comparatively speaking, how does the world measure greatness? Money, power, fame, possessions, intellect, physical appearance, good sounding words.
  • Which type of greatness will last into eternity?

Never forget this: The Bible reveals that Yeshua the Messiah is the spiritual light of the world that came from heaven to guide men through the spiritual darkness of this world and lead them to his Father in heaven. He is not only the Light, but the Word of Elohim made flesh. In other words, he is the Living Torah Word of Elohim. He was the exemplification and personification of the Written Torah. Only through him living in us through is Set-Apart Spirit can we properly obey YHVH’s Torah commandments. This we will do by his power in us and out of a loving relationship with him. The Testimony of Yeshua (or New Testament) makes these truths very clear for those who have eyes to see and hearts to comprehend!


 

Yeshua’s Model for One-On-One Evangelism

Mark 10:17–22, Yeshua’s model for one-on-one evangelism is here revealed. In his encounter with the rich, young ruler, Yeshua reveals a method of evangelizing in a one-on-one scenario. He uses the following five-step approach:

  • Yeshua first establishes the character of YHVH Elohim and how man falls short of this in comparison. Namely, YHVH is good, and man is not.
  • Next, Yeshua presents the Torah as Elohim’s moral and spiritual standard that determines the definition of good—right and wrong.
  • Yeshua then shows the young man that he was violated that standard of goodness by violating the Torah’s standard of righteousness.
  • He advises the young man then to repent of his Torahlessness (or of breaking YHVH’s laws, which is the biblical definition of sin, see 1 John 3:4).
  • Finally, Yeshua invites the young to make the total commitment to being a good person and to follow him.

We see this evangelistic model again in Acts 17:24 when Paul addresses the Greeks on Mars Hill.


 

Your Torah Lifestyle Is a Witnessing Tool

Torah is your light to the nations!

Torah is your light to the nations!

Deuteronomy 4:6, Keep. Keeping Torah (YHVH’s instructions in righteousness) was the means for YHVH’s chosen people to be salt and light to the surrounding nations. Torah is literally a “witnessing tool.” What kind of righteous witness are you (via your Torah lifestyle) to those around you who are lost in spiritual darkness?

Wisdom [Heb. chokmah] and understanding [Heb. biynah]. Chokmah means “intelligence, skill (in war); wisdom (in administration); shrewdness, wisdom; prudence (in religious affairs); wisdom (ethical and religious). It derives from the verb chakam meaning “to be wise, to be or become wise, act wisely; to make wise, teach wisdom, instruct; to show oneself wise, deceive, show one’s wisdom.” According to the TWOT, chokmah and it’s root verb represents a manner of thinking and attitude concerning life’s experiences including matters of general interest and basic morality. These concerns relate to prudence in secular affairs, skills in the arts, moral sensitivity, and experience in the ways of YHVH. In the Tanakh, chokmah is used in relationship to the whole gamut of human experiences whether it be technical artisan skills, military tactics or political and administrative leadership. It is expressed in shrewdness as opposed to foolishness or silliness. Prudence is another aspect of chokmah as it relates to how one speaks, uses his time carefully and in the practical affairs of life. The Bible reveals that Elohim is the source of all wisdom, and wisdom is not to be found in human speculation. Elohim alone provides wisdom for man’s guidance, so that he can live the best possible moral and ethical life (Ibid.).

Biynah means “discernment or insight” or “the ability to understand something, comprehension, the power of abstract thought, an individual’s perception or judgment of a situation.” According to the TWOT, biynah refers to knowledge that is superior to the mere gathering of data. It is necessary to know how to use the knowledge one possesses. This is where perception or judgment comes into play. One must properly interpret the data and make wise and discerning decisions as to how to act.

Torah is your wisdom in the sight of the nations. Consider the following:

  • Your life may be the only Bible some people read.
  • Torah is light. Light quietly does, it is silent. It doesn’t talk about doing, it does! YHVH is looking for doers, not talkers.
  • What kind of reputation do you have in the community?
  • People may not be turning to the light of Torah as a result of your example YET, but when times get tough in this country (“when you are in tribulation … in the latter days, Deut 4:30), they may well turn to you for the answers because they remembered that there was something different about you—something pure, pristine and holy. That’s when they’ll be looking for answers.
  • Torah makes us a great people. YHVH measures greatness differently than the world does. Are you great by the world’s standards or YHVH’s standards?
  • How does YHVH measure greatness? Love, faith, truth, obedience, servanthood, giving, selflessness, self-sacrifice.
  • Comparatively speaking, how does the world measure greatness? Money, power, fame, possessions, intellect, physical appearance, good sounding words.
  • Which type of greatness will last into eternity?

Never forget this: Yeshua the Messiah is the spiritual light of the world that came from heaven to guide men through the spiritual darkness of this world and lead them to his Father in heaven. He is not only the Light, but the Word of Elohim made flesh. In other words, he is the Living Torah Word of Elohim. He was the exemplification and personification of the Written Torah. Only through him living in us through is Set-Apart Spirit can we properly obey YHVH’s Torah commandments. This we will do by his power in us and out of a loving relationship with him. The Testimony of Yeshua makes these truths very clear for those who have eyes to see and hearts to comprehend!