What Are the Fundamentals of the Hebraic Christian Faith?

What are the fundamentals of the Hebraic Christian faith for which the Bible instructs the saints to earnestly contend? The modern Messianic or Hebrew roots movement, as opposed to mainstream Christianity, while purporting to be returning to the Hebraic, Torah-based foundations of Christianity, in many placers, is getting sidetracked or even, dare we say, derailed from the first century, book of Acts faith once delivered as revealed in the writings of the apostles of  Yeshua. So just what are the bedrock tenets of the apostolic faith that the end time saints are called to defend? 

Even in the first century, Jude, the brother of our Savior, writes that he is concerned that the saints then were abandoning the bedrock principles of the faith that had once and for all been delivered to the saints of that era. If Jude was lamenting that the saints of that era were already apostatizing from apostolic faith only several decades after the death and resurrection of Yeshua, then how much more should the people of Elohim be concerned about doing the same 2,000 later? Jude writes,

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3)

For the record, when we add the term “Hebraic” to “Christian faith,” we are distinguishing between the beliefs and practices of the first century, book of Acts disciples of Yeshua the Messiah as opposed to what subsequently evolved into Roman Catholic Christianity and its various off-shoots including Protestantism and its Eastern Orthodox spiritual daughters. 

Sadly, in the modern Hebraic roots movement, it seems that every spiritual cornerstone of our faith seems to be under attack and open to question. It is open (hunting) season and countless so-called Bible teachers have taken aim at areas of our faith that, previously, seemed indisputable such as the deity of Yeshua, the seventh day Sabbath, the traditional family, and even the canon of Scripture. 

And this is just the beginning.

There is no end to the questions being raised resulting in doubts and confusion among many saints who were once stable in their faith. For example, some men advocating plural marriage and are taking on extra wives, others say the weekly Sabbath should begin in the morning, while others declare that the earth is flat. The list of questions seems endless. Which calendar do we follow? The Hillel II, the abib barley, the Noah, the Enoch, one of several followed by the Qumran community or something else? What is the moon new, so that we know when to celebrate the biblical feasts? At the first sign of the visible crescent, at the astronomical conjunction (the “dark moon”) or when it is full? How do we pronounce the name of YHVH? Which Bible translation is inspired of Elohim to the exclusion of all others? Do meet in church buildings or homes? Do we have congregational leaders, or no leaders at all? Do we follow the dictates of rabbinical Judaism or not? What about paleo-Hebrew and hidden codes in the biblical text? How about Jewish mysticism? Should all non-Jewish Christians be called Gentiles or are they really lost and found Israelites who are returning to their spiritual heritage? Who about aliens and the nephilim? Or the so-called Illuminati et al? What about the extra-biblical books that did not make it into the canon of Scripture? Should they be part of the canon of Scripture? Should women wear head-coverings? Should we celebrate the biblical feasts outside of the land of Israel? And the list grows daily. All of these issues and many more have caused countless and never-ending disputes and divisions among leaders and teachers as well as congregational. Surely this cannot be a work of the Spirit of Elohim or is it?

So what is the faith once and for all delivered to which Jude makes reference?

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What Is Truth? (Explaining the difference between Truth and truth)

This is an important question that has dangerous implications. Why? Because truth is like a sharp sword that cuts. It separates good from evil, light from darkness, sin from righteousness; it differentiates between those who are of Elohim and those who are of the world, the flesh and devil; that is, those who are of the kingdom of the god of this world—Satan the devil. Oooh, that hurts! But the fact remains: we are either in Elohim’s kingdom or the devil’s kingdom. To ignore or renounce the former is to acquiesce knowingly or unknowingly, it makes no difference, to the latter. For these reasons, most people flee from answering the question “What is truth.” This is because their deeds are evil and they do not want the glorious light of YHVH’s Truth to shine into their lives and to expose their evil deeds as John declared about Yeshua in John 3:18–21.

He who believes in [Yeshua] is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of Elohim. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in Elohim.”

Not only that, let us not forget an important fact: there are two kinds of truth. Truth with a capital T and truth with a small t. The former is divinely revealed Truth, while the latter is truth at a physical level (e.g. 2 + 2 = 4 or the law of gravity). To acknowledge the former means that one has to accept not only the idea of divine revelation, but a Divine Revealer. If so, then there is a Divine Judge who determines right and wrong. If this is true, then that Judge will bless those who live up to that divine Truth, and curse those who do not.

To acknowledge the existence of divinely revealed Truth carries with it serious implications regarding one’s lifestyle. That is why most humans choose the downward path (call Baalism or feeding from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) of sin and succumb to the notion that God is dead or irrelevant. Not only that, they attack those who believe in Elohim (the Jews and the Christians), they attack the Bible—the Word of Elohim, they attack the Holy Land where Elohim placed his name, and they attack anything that remotely represents any of these things (e.g. morality, marriage, the family, church, male and female genders and so on). This is the spirit of Antichrist, which we see rising up like a tidal wave of evil in these last days all over the world. But the reality is that these are only the death throes of Satan and his kingdom of darkness, for he knows that his time as the ruler and god of this world is short, and that King Yeshua is coming soon to dethrone him. That is why the devil is pulling out the all the proverbial organ stops in a vain attempt to prevent the inevitable and inexorable march of Truth!

For these reasons, it is important that you understand the answer to the question, “What is Truth?”


John 18:38, What is truth? 

In this age of moral relativism or situational ethics, it is unpopular to believe in, much less purport, that there is one single truth. Most humans live under the notion that every person can determine their own truth for themselves. The problem with this delusion is that when your truth conflicts with my truth there will inevitably be conflict. Ultimately, there will be a breakdown in law and order leading to anarchy resulting in unending theft, murder and wars. This was the case in primeval and medieval societies like Europe before strong central governments evolved to enforce law and order. The history of British Isles alone before there was a strong king in London was one series of blood baths after another by various raping and pillaging parties.

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What is the truth that will set you free?

John 8:32, Know the truth. “The truth shall make you free” is an often-quoted axiom, but few understand its deeper biblical implications. When Yeshua made this statement to Jews, what did he mean? To Yeshua what is truth? Two verses later, he mentions being a slave to sin. What is sin, and what does that have to do with truth? As many times as you’ve heard this axiom, have you heard anyone explain verse 32 in the larger context of Yeshua’s statement? We will now do so below.

We violate the sanctity of Scripture if we impose on it our own meanings. This is a cavalier and presumptuous approach to understanding the Bible and can hardly be called “rightly dividing the word of Elohim” (1 Tim 2:15).This practice often occurs with this verse. To do so is to twist the meaning of the Scriptures to fit our own human vicissitudes, agendas and biases. This is humanism and insults the mind, will and sovereignty of the Almighty as divinely revealed in his Holy Word. 

To properly understand this verse, we must look solely to the Bible for the keys to understanding it. We can start this process by first asking the question, what is truth? 

The Bible defines its own terms when it calls the Torah truth (Ps 119:142 and 151). The truth of Torah (i.e. the law of Moses) will set a person free, for when one hears and obeys the Torah, one ceases sinning (i.e. violating YHVH’s Torah-law; 1 John 3:4), and therefore doesn’t come under the penalty of the Torah-law’s judgment for breaking it, which the Bible calls sin and which leads (ultimately) to eternal death (Ezek 18:4; Rom 6:23). When one is not under the judgment of sin, one is free. With freedom comes life. 

Yeshua the Messiah himself is also the truth (John 14:6), for he is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim (John 1:1, 14). When we place our trusting faith in Yeshua and follow him, his spiritual life in the form of his Set-Apart Spirit will then flow through us and empower us to walk away from sin and follow the spiritual light of his Torah, which will keep us sin-free. This is the path that leads us toward the ultimate freedom from eternal death resulting in everlasting life (John 8:52). As such, sin will no longer have any legal claim on us, and thus we will not come into condemnation, but will pass from death into everlasting life (John 5:24). This is possible because Yeshua has taken upon himself our past sins (Rom 3:25), paid the legal penalty of them, and wiped our spiritual slate clean and has given us a fresh start in life (Gal 2:20; 1 Cor 5:17) to walk sin-free (in accordance with his standards of righteousness, which is the Torah). This is the result of knowing the truth and experiencing the freedom that comes therefrom. 

It’s astounding how so many people have been taught to believe the exact opposite of the truth—that the laws of Elohim will place you under bondage instead of setting you free!

Now that you have been set free from the traditions of men, which make of none effect the word of Elohim, you now have the freedom to understand the fuller, biblical meaning of Yeshua’s statement, “And you shall know the truth and it shall make you free.”

 

Truth (capital T) versus truth (small t)

Psalm 117:2, Truth…forever. The Hebrew word for truth is emet spelled aleph, mem, tav, which are the first, middle, and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet or alephbet. This teaches us that the truth or Word of YHVH Elohim contains everything there is to say about everything, that it is the beginning, middle and end of everything and is complete; there is nothing that can be added to it. 

To wit, Scripture reveals that Yeshua the Messiah as the Word of Elohim incarnate is the beginning and the end of everything and the aleph and the tav (or to express this in Greek terms, the alpha and omega). As such, there is nothing to add to the this Truth, for truth is unchangeable, immutable and is eternal. Those who add or subtract from it do so at their own peril (Deut 4:2; 12:32; Rev 22:18–19) thinking that they know better or more than the Creator. This is not only folly, but is the epitome of rebellious hubris and is succumbing to the deceptive lie of the serpent who deigned to suggest to the first humans that one not only had the right but the ability to question the Word of the Almighty. All the serpent and man can do is to counterfeit and pervert divine Truth, not replicate or improve on it, for it is already perfect and complete. 

So why capitalize the word Truth? This is to differentiate divinely revealed truth from general truth. The fact that two plus two equals four is truth, but it’s not eternal or divine Truth. Two and two equaling four is truth on earth, but it may not be truth in other realms of existence. Truth on the other hand is true in all realms of existence whether on earth, in the second heaven of outer space or in the third heaven of YHVH’s spiritual existence and for all eternity. This is because Truth is an expression of truth at a much higher level; it is the revelation of Elohim’s very character and nature. It is who he is.

So what is Truth? We must look to the Bible to define its own terms and nowhere else, for it alone contains Truth and divine Truth is to be found nowhere else. To define its terms from any outside or extrabiblical source is to diminish its meaning and to arrive at an incomplete truth. The Bible is a self-contained vessel and needs no outside validation, substantiation or explanation. As such,the Bible defines the Truth as the Torah-commandments of Elohim (Ps 119:142, 151). This is logical and should be no surprise, since the Torah are the very words of Elohim given to man whether in spoken or written form. They are not the words of man and thus a reflection of the mind of man, but of the Creator. This is why the Torah cannot be abrogated, done away with or added to or subtracted from. It is ridiculous and ludicrous to think the this can be done. This is why any theological argument, philosophy or religious tradition of man that attempts to so is absolute insane foolishness and is laughable. How can that which was created think itself to be wiser than that which created it? Man doesn’t even posses the mental capabilities to comprehend Truth, much less change it or understand the ramifications and consequences of adding or subtracting from it? He cannot, so it’s best to accept Truth, to leave it alone and to bring his life into accord with it.

Moreover, Scripture reveals that Yeshua the Messiah is the Word of Elohim incarnate, and that as such he is Truth (John 14:6). And no wonder, for in his preincarnate state, he was the Word of Elohim that created all things and that spoke that same Truth to the first humans, to the patriarchs, to Moses and the Israelites, to the biblical prophets, which is the same truth that emanated from his mouth when he manifested himself in flesh-form as Yeshua the Messiah and was recorded in red letters in the Gospels, and was then transmitted to his disciples and his sent-ones apostles to be spread abroad to the ends of the earth from then until now. 

Yeshua is the same Truth who declared in the very last verses of the last book of the Bible that, “Surely, I come quickly.” The author of that book then completes that book and the Bible with the word amein meaning “truthfully,” which derives from the Hebrew word emet spelled aleph, mem, tav/<NT. If he is coming back quickly with the sharp sword of the Word or Truth of Elohim coming out of his mouth to judge the nations and all people on the basis of that Truth and to mete out rewards and punishments accordingly, does it not behoove the wise and discerning person to bring his or her life in accordance with the whole Truth of the Torah-Truth-Word, mind, heart, will and character of YHVH Elohim and Yeshua the Messiah who is the divine expression and manifestation of Elohim? Amein!

 

“Let there be light” in your life…

Psalm 67:1–2, Face to shine…that your way. In analyzing this biblical passage, let’s apply some mathematical logic and discover the wonderful place to which it leads us. It’s a place that’s higher and better than any other! Here we go…

YHVH’s face or countenance shines like the sun in its full strength (Rev 1:16). He is the Sun of righteousness (Mal 4:2). The sun is the greater light that shines in the darkness of this world (Gen 1:16). The physical sun points to and is a representation of Yeshua who isn’t the greater light, but the Greatest Light that shone on this earth before the physical sun was created on the fourth day, and will shine once again on the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:23) as he shone on the first three days of creation (Gen 1:3). 

Presently, Yeshua is the Light of the world (John 8:12) that is contained in his Torah-Word, which is truth, and which is revealed by the Spirit of Elohim (John 16:13) to those who humbly and repentantly seek it like little children (Matt 18:3–4). 

Moreover, Yeshua is the Word of Elohim that was made flesh (John 1:1, 14), and he is a spiritual light that shines in the darkness of this world to show men the way out of the darkness and to his Father in heaven (John 1:4;–5; 8:12, 9:5 cp. 14:6) who himself dwells in supernal light (1 Tim 6:16; Dan 2:22; 1 John 1:5; Jas 1:17). 

Light in the Scriptures is also a metaphor for truth (John 3:21) and the Torah (Prov 6:23 cp. Ps 119:142, 151). Light is also a metaphor for the Word of Elohim (Ps 119:105). Yeshua was and is that Word (John 1:1, 14). 

Now let’s go back to Psalm 67:1–2. When Elohim causes his face to shine on us, we will be blessed and receive his mercy (verse 1). The result will be that we will know his ways and his salvation, which is Yeshua (salvation is the Hebrew word Yeshua in verse 2). 

Can the truth of Elohim’s word be any clearer than this? When we understand these simple biblical truths, and humbly submit ourselves to them and walk in the light of this glorious truth, our lives will be in perfect alignment or in sync with the plumb line of YHVH’s laser light-like truth. This puts us on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life, and it places us in the middle of YHVH’s river of life (Ps 1:3) that flows from his throne and a tree of life (Prov 3:18 cp. Ps 1:3, read vv. 1–6 for context). 

This spot is where it’s at—the sweet spot of life (see Ps 1:1–6)! Yet men are so hard-hardhearted, stiffnecked, rebellious and arrogant that they refuse to see these simples truths because they love the darkness of their sin and refuse to come to the light of Yeshua (John 3:19–20). 

Those of you who are privileged to have the light of YHVH’s countenance shining on you, give him the glory he deserves for his wonderful merciful grace in your life, and take a moment to offer up a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving!

 

What guides us? Your truth, my truth or divine truth? (part 2)

John 18:38, What is truth? 

In this age of moral relativism or situational ethics, it is unpopular to believe in, much less purport, that there is one single truth. Most humans live under the notion that every person can determine their own truth for themselves. The problem with this delusion is that when your truth conflicts with my truth there will inevitably be conflict. Ultimately, there will be a breakdown in law and order leading to anarchy resulting in unending theft, murder and wars. This was the case in primeval and medieval societies like Europe before strong central governments evolved to enforce law and order. The history of British Isles alone before there was a strong king in London was one series of blood baths after another by various raping and pillaging parties.

The reality that a single truth is better than multiple truths is reflected in the laws of a nation. Ostensibly there is supposed to be one set of laws (or one truth that determines what is right and wrong) for all the citizens of that country, state or city. For example, if each person who drove an automobile on the public roads had a different set of rules or truths, mayhem would occur. So at this level, it’s not difficult to see the need for one set of rules or, literally, one truth when it comes to driving a vehicle.

The difference of opinion as to what constitutes truth, however, occurs when we take this Continue reading


 

What guides us? Your truth, my truth or divine truth? (part 1)

What is truth? Is it relative (i.e. each person determines their own truth, which may be different from that of the next person and it changes over time), or is it absolute (i.e. it is unchangeable and there is one truth out there for all time that is the same for everyone)? Who or what determines what truth is?

Some truths or laws can be determined through observation of empirical evidence. This is the basis of true science. But what about moral and spiritual truths not cannot be scientifically proven or tested? Who or who determines these? What if different people have different ideas of what moral truth is? For example, if a person has decided that murder, adultery, lying or stealing are morally acceptable to them, then how will this effect those around them and society as a whole?

These are important questions to ask. If one doesn’t know the answer, then how does a person live their life and determine what is right and wrong?

Also, in our modern society, all too often the definition of truth is changing such that what was truth at one time (e.g. male and female, marriage, family, the sanctity of life and what was considered life, standards governing human sexuality) is no longer truth. In fact, in many cases, the standards that society has traditionally considered to be right and wrong have been turned upside down: wrong or sin is now lauded as virtuous and commendable, and that which was morally right is now considered passé and even repugnant! How confusing is this?

What are the effects morally on a society that at one time deemed such things as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, abortion, the illegality of certain mind-altering drugs, pornography and, in some cases, even divorce to be morally wrong, but over time societal standards have changed, and so have the laws such that these things are no longer considered immoral or illegal? How does this effect the moral foundations of a society, an individual, the family unit, children, and how people in a society interact with each other?

If society, the family or an individual is like a building, then what is the moral foundation that they are built on? Is it sand or rock? How one defines truth and whether is it is relative (changing) or immutable (unchanging) will determine the solidity of that foundation. This not only affects us, but also those around us including the succeeding generations that we influence. It’s like the rings that spread out when a pebble is dropped into a pool of water.

The Bible addresses these issues.

If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? (Ps 11:3)

 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matt 24:24–27)

Can humans really determine what moral truth is? Or do we need someone outside of our existence and who is greater and more knowledgeable than us to tell us what right and wrong is? Someone  who has the oversight, wisdom and knowledge to understand what the short and long-range consequences of our actions will be upon us and society if we act one way or another?

With the idea that man needs a little (or maybe a lot!) of help from his Creator to determine moral truth, so that he doesn’t find himself in a societal mess of conflicting values resulting in confusion and chaos, and eventually destruction and death, let’s now examine the concept of truth from a biblical perspective.

John 17:17, Truth. Yeshua, the One sent to this earth from Elohim in heaven, says here, “Thy [Elohim’s] Word is truth.” In Matthew  4:4, Yeshua said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Elohim.”

So what is truth? The word in Hebrew for truth is emet (spelled aleph, mem, tav), which is Continue reading