Ephesians 2:8, 10, Saved … good works. Are we saved by faith through grace or by our good works? This verse clearly answers this question. One is saved by the free gift of YHVH’s grace through faith (in Yeshua). Salvation isn’t based on good works (Torah obedience), or else prideful man would boast about how good his is, and that YHVH must have saved him on the merits of his good works. However, once one is saved, and a result of his salvation one will produce the fruits good works, which is Torah-obedience. This is the definition of biblical righteousness (Ps 119:172) and shows us how to walk in the Spirit by loving YHVH with our all and our neighbor as ourself. When we live out this pattern, we become Elohim’s workmanship through Yeshua.
Tag Archives: Grace
Divine Judgment in the “Age of Grace”?!
Acts 5:1–11, The deaths of Ananias and Sapphira. Why did YHVH kill them? They committed the unpardonable sin in that they willfully and in a premeditated plot lied to the YHVH. There is no sacrifice or forgiveness for willful sin. YHVH was showing us that even in the age of the New Covenant, his grace doesn’t cover willful sin. Let us all fear YHVH Elohim and tremble before him all the time!
Some scholars suggest that YHVH killed them because they violated the Torah laws regarding the handling of devoted things, for which there was a death penalty (Lev 27:28–29). Perhaps so.
Whatever the case, it’s interesting to note that YHVH struck Ananias and Sapphira dead after the cross in, what many Christians call, the dispensation of grace era when, in their minds, sin doesn’t carry the same severe penalty us under “old covenant,” law of Moses era. What we learn from this is that YHVH still views sin as sin, and the wages of sin is still death (Rom 6:23). This has never changed before or after the cross of Yeshua.
Just because one isn’t struck dead immediately upon having sinned doesn’t mean one hasn’t incurred the death penalty. That death penalty is only waived when one repents of their sin and asks for YHVH’s forgiveness through faith in Yeshua whose death paid the death penalty price for our sins.
Likely, such divine judgments still occur in our day more frequently than we realize. It may not involve the death of the individual, but rather sickness, demonic attacks, financial setbacks and other adversities that occur to us. The problem is that because of human pride and spiritual deafness and blindness, most people fail to recognize the cause of their problems. We attribute them instead to random circumstances and time and chance instead of to YHVH’s hand of judgment against us because of our sin, which we fail to recognize and repent of.
Paul addresses this issue in 1 Cor 11:27–32 with regard to those who eat of the communion elements in a careless or indifferent manner.
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
New Video: The Torah Roots of Biblical Grace
Grace…A New Testament Concept!? Really?
Exodus 33:12–13, Grace. The mainstream church places a great deal of emphasis on the message of grace. The biblical doctrine of grace finds its roots in this chapter in the Torah and not in the apostolic writings as the mainstream church teaches. The noun grace (Heb. chen) is found six times in chapters 33 and 34. The adjective gracious (Heb. chanan and channuwn)as an attribute YHVH’s character is found three times in chapters 33 and 34. Six is the number of man and three is the number of Elohim. That is to say, the grace of the entire Godhead covers man completely even when his children turn away from him and give into golden calf worship. His grace for his people rejoices or triumphs over his fiery and consuming judgments (Exod 33:4; Jas 2:13; Pss 85:10; 89:14; Mic 7:18; Eph 1:7; Rom 5:8) that they deserve for their stiff-neckness and sinful rebellion against his commands (Exod 33:3).
The Hebrew word for grace is chen/IJ meaning “favor, grace, charm, acceptance.” The Hebrew word chen (found 69 times in the Tanakh), which is translated as grace, in this verse is equivalent to the Greek word charis/cariV, which is found 156 times in the Testimony of Yeshua and is translated as grace 130 times in the KJV. The equivalency of these two words is confirmed by the translators of the Septuagint (the Greek Tanakh) who used charis in place of chen when translating the Hebrew Tanakh into Greek beginning in the third century b.c. According to The TWOT, in the vast majority of occurrences of chen in the Tanakh, the focus of attention is not on the giver, but on the recipient. The emphasis is on the relationship of the superior to an inferior (e.g. a king to his subjects). What this teaches us is that despite sin and rebellion against him, YHVH (the king) is gracious (to humans, his subjects). Contrary to what many in the church have been led to believe, the grace of Elohim is a very prominent theme in the Tanakh. Examples of this include Noah who found grace in YHVH’s eyes (Gen 6:8), or the children of Israel although dead in their sins in Egypt and deserving of YHVH’s wrath, they were saved by the blood of the lamb. There are a number of other references to the grace of Elohim in the Tanakh as well (Gen 18:3; Exod 3:21; 33:16,17; 34:9; Ps 84:11; Zech 12:10).
Exodus 34:6–7 lists various attributes of YHVH’s mercy. He is:
- abundant in kindness
- abundant in truth
- a preserver of kindness for thousands of generations
- a forgiver of iniquity, willful sin (transgression) and error (sin)
- cleanser of our sins
Merciful (verse 6) in Hebrew is the word rachuwm/ OUJR from the root word racham/ OJR meaning “to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion.” The TWOT explains that this word refers to a deep love (usually a superior individual for an inferior) rooted in some deep natural bond. It is used for the deep inward feeling we know as compassion, pity, or mercy. This word is found 47 times in the Tanakh, and frequently refers to the love of Elohim for his people (see Ps 103:13; Mic 7:17). Often Elohim’s mercy and grace are linked together (note Exod 33:19; 34:6; 2 Kgs 13:23; Pss 86:15; 111:4; 112:4; 145:8). His mercy and graciousness are at times unconditional upon those he chooses to favor (Exod 33:19), and is upon those who repent of their sins as well (Deut 13:17). The Tanakh elsewhere frequently exults in the attributes of YHVH’s mercy or compassion (see Deut 4:31; 2 Chron 3:9; Neh 9:17,31; Pss 78:38; 102:13; Joel 2:13; Jon 4:2.) Again, can there be any doubt that the “God of Old Testament” is just as loving and merciful as the “God of the New Testament?” It stands to reason that they are, for they are one in the same Divine Personage—and his character is unchangeable (review Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8)!
Numerous parallel passages in the Testimony of Yeshua can be found that are built on these foundational Torah principles of YHVH’s grace and mercy ( Heb 4:16; Rom 3:24; Eph 1:17; 2:4,8; Tit 1:4; 2:11; 3:5; 1 Pet 1:3; Jude 21).
The Law and the Prophets Were Until John??!?
Luke 16:16, The Torah and the Prophets. Some in the church view this passage as drawing a defining line between the so-called age or dispensations of law (in the Old Testament or Tanakh) and the age or dispensation of grace (in the New Testament or the Testimony of Yeshua). This in turn, in their minds, sets the Tanakh (which reveals the law or Torah) and Testimony of Yeshua (which supposedly reveals the concept of grace) at odds with each other. Is this a correct interpretation of this passage? The evidence within the Testimony of Yeshua itself doesn’t support this notion. In no way is Yeshua annulling the Torah here, or else he would be contradicting what he clearly taught in Matthew 5:17–19. Furthermore, Yeshua’s statement here can’t possibly mean that the Torah was now obsolete in the Testimony of Yeshua, since the apostles and early believers adhered to the Torah long after the passing of John the Baptist (Yeshua, p. 41, by Ron Mosely). Additionally, Paul’s statement in Romans 3:31 that the Torah is not voided by grace should dispel any notions that Luke 16:16 implies that the Torah would pass from the scene in the life of believers.
There are a couple of ways to understand this passage without doing violence to the Torah. First, it could be understood that Yeshua is saying that the Law and the Prophets were the only Scriptures in existence up to the time that John came on the scene. The implication is that more would soon come (ibid.).
A second way to view this passage is that Yeshua is stating that the Torah and the Prophets prophesied or pointed to the time when John would come thus ushering in the Messiah at which time there would be a change in the focus of the message of YHVH’s servants. Instead of just preaching about the Torah or that the Messiah is coming, now the message of “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (see Matt 3:2; 4:17) would be preached. This is a more expansive message that focuses now more on the salvation message centered on the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua. This message also includes obedience to the Torah (e.g. Yeshua said, “If you love me, keep my Torah commandments” in John 14:15, also 1 John 2:2–6).
The data found in the actual writings of the apostles confirms what Yeshua predicted in this verse. Of the some 8,000 verses in the Testimony of Yeshua, well over one-fourth of those verses contain direct references to the Person of Yeshua, while there are only about 260 direct references to the Torah. Yeshua himself confirms his own words as recorded by the Gospel writers. In the Gospels of Matthew and John, Yeshua spoke on 136 different subjects. The number one subject he talked about was himself (316 references), followed by his Father (184 references), then hypocritical leaders (177 references). The kingdom of Elohim comes in fourth place (77 references) and the Torah is in seventh place with 44 references.
Yehovah sometimes chooses the lesser of two evils…Hmm!?!
This morning I was reading the Torah portion for the day and I came across this:
“Do not think in your heart, after Yehovah your Elohim has cast them out before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness Yehovah has brought me in to possess this land’; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yehovah is driving them out from before you. It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that Yehovah your Elohim drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which Yehovah swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Deut 9:4–5)
YHVH chose the lesser of two evils when he chose the Israelites. His choice was between the more sinful pagans and the less sinful Israelites.
Let’s be real here. He made the same choice when he chose you and me!
Yes I get the fact that he chose the Israelites ultimately because he was bound to his covenant with Abraham, but let’s not forget one thing. After the golden calf incident, YHVH threatened to destroy all the Israelites and fulfill his promises through Moses’ seed. So he could have circumvented the majority of the sinful Israelites and still fulfilled his promises to Abraham through Moses’ offspring.
Bottom line. But for the grace of Elohim none of us stand a chance. When he extended a call to you and me to receive salvation, he made a choice between the lesser of two evils!
Now let’s kick this ball into a different arena.
When voting for elected officials, we will never have the perfect candidate. It will always be a vote for the lesser of evils until King Yesahu returns to this earth and sets up his world-ruling government at which time voting won’t even be an option. His government will be forcibly imposed on humanity and enforced with a rod of iron! But you hopefully get my point.
For this reason, I have no choice at this point but to vote for Donald Trump. If YHVH sometimes has to make the choice between the lesser of two evils, who am I to say that I’m better than the Creator by refusing to vote, while waiting for the perfect candidate? I wasn’t the perfect candidate, yet he “voted” for me?
(I can’t wait to see the comments that come about this post. There will probably be some doozies!)