Revealing the Uplook and the Outlook

Overview of Psalm 19—The “Light” of the World

This psalm contains three sections that shows a wonderful and logical progression from the greater (Elohim) to the lesser (man), from the macro downward to the micro. At first appearance, these three sections may seem unrelated, by they each section flows logically to the next revealing some deep mysterious truths about YHVH Elohim’s plan of redemption for humans.

Section one (vv. 1–6) describes the creation of Elohim, which points to the glory of Elohim, the Creator. It concludes by describing the sun, which is the physical light of the world and is like a bridegroom in his full glory emerging from his private chambers about to marry his bride. The physical universe is governed by physical laws, which keep it functioning in an orderly manner.

Section two (vv. 7–11) describes the glorious attributes of the Torah, which reveals the character of Elohim, and it shows man what his response should be to the Almighty Creator upon viewing the glories of the creation. Man is to worship the Creator, not the creation. When followed, the Torah helps to keep man’s life structured in a way that brings order, blessing and causes life to function smoothly. Moreover, as the sun’s light pierces the physical darkness of the world, the light of the Torah brings the spiritual light of Elohim into the world along with many benefits for a blessed life.

Section three (vv. 12–14) explains what happens when the light of Torah shines into the darkness of a one’s life—it exposes the hidden dark areas of sin in one’s life. It shows man how to walk blamelessly before and in a right relationship with Elohim. This psalm then ends by stating that YHVH is man’s strength and redeemer. This is another way of saying that man is morally and spiritually weak and needs redemption from the consequences and the power of sin. Thankfully, YHVH has the answer to this problem: he is man’s strength and Redeemer. Yeshua the Messiah is man’s Redeemer and as the sun is the physical light of the world, Messiah is the spiritual light of the world (John 1:6–9; 8:12) Scripture even calls Yeshua the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2), and, in his glorified state, his face shines like the sun in its full strength (Rev 1:16). When a person follows the Torah through a relationship with Yeshua the Redeemer, one will eventually be raised to glory and shine like the stars in heaven (Dan 12:3; Matt 12:43), for they will be like Yeshua (1 John 3:2). HalleluYah!

 

Yeshua in Us: The Power to Obey Torah

Philippians 1:11, The fruits of righteousness which are by Yeshua the Messiah.

It is impossible for a man to keep the Torah on his own strength as Yeshua’s encounter with the rich young ruler proves (Matt 19:16–22). When the young man asked Yeshua what he must do to have eternal life, Yeshua seems to set the man up for a fall when he declares, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Yeshua is not being disingenuous here. Were one to keep the Torah perfectly without sinning, hypothetically, one would not fall under the death penalty for violating the laws of Elohim (i.e. sin). Presumably one could earn eternal life by one’s own good works. But no man has ever accomplished this superhuman feat except the superhuman Yeshua! Continuing, when the young ruler proudly declares his perfect Torah obedience, Yeshua shows him that he was, in fact, violating the Torah in at least one area—covetousness and greed. Yeshua shows him how to come into Torah compliance, and then admonishes him to come and to follow him. What Yeshua is teaching here is that it’s impossible to keep the Torah perfectly without factoring Yeshua, the Living Torah, into the equation. The point that we can’t keep the Torah without Yeshua directly intervening in our lives, I hope to conclusively demonstrate below.

One way that Yeshua helps his followers obey the Torah is by sending us his Spirit as an internal spiritual force into our hearts to nudge and lead us into Torah-obedience. 

What’s more, Yeshua also gives us the divine gift of his grace to accomplish the same thing. His grace removes the guilt, stain and penalties for our past sins, and with a clear conscience and a clean spiritual slate before YHVH, minus the past baggage of sin weighing us down, we are able to go forward under the power of YHVH’s Spirit to walk in accordance with his Torah. Praise Yeshua! An illustration of this would be a runner who trains wearing a backpack filled with rocks. Once the weight is removed from his back, when he runs, he feels as if he were flying through the air. 

Continue reading
 

Dear Natan: Can I continue to use the non-biblical names for Elohim?

Question from Mark: I notice you use Messiah or Elohim etc…, would it be okay to use Jesus or God in my questions? 

Natan’s answer: That’s like me asking you if you’d be offended if I called you George or Kathy. You probably wouldn’t be offended, and you’d figure out who I was talking to, but those aren’t your names. Those are names that I made up and then started calling you. This is the same with Jesus, God and so on.
What you call Elohim, Yeshua and so on is between you and Him. He knows who you’re talking to if your heart is directed to him. However, I’m just challenging you to come to a higher level of biblical truth by using his real biblical and Hebrew names. If you’re content to stay at a lower level, which I don’t think you are or else you wouldn’t be emailing me with questions, then that’s your decision.

 

Who spoke to the Israelites at Sinai?

This is a question that many Christians have. They have largely been taught that it was the Father who spoke to and led the Israelites in the wilderness, not the pre-incarnate Word of Elohim who became Yeshua.

It is convenient for those who take a dim view of Torah to believe this, since it’s an inconvenient truth in light of traditional anti-Torah Christian theology to think that Yeshua was actually the one who gave the Torah and commanded the Israelites to obey it. After all, hasn’t the church taught us that he’s the one who came to fulfill it so that we no longer have to do it?

I address this issue in the following dialog with a reader.

Erica emailed me with the following questions:

I am a fellow (fairly new) Torah observant believer in Yeshua. I was listening to a video by Natan Lawrence on “Yeshua gave the Torah-Law to the Children of Israel.”  I am confused about a particular thing he said and was hoping your could clarify it for me.

Around midway through this video Natan stated that John 5:37 shows that it couldn’t have been our Father who gave the commandments at Mt Sinai.  This verse, which states: “…You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form”

Now what I don’t understand, is that I thought Yeshua was addressing the Jews (v.18 who were trying to kill him) and their grossly misguided hearts – as He states in the next verse that “you don’t have His Word staying in you, because you do not believe Him who He sent.” I understand that no one has seen the Father (Jn 1:18) I didn’t think this verse applied to everyone – insinuating that no one can hear from the Father.  Or am I misunderstanding Natan’s point?

In ch 6 v 45 Yeshua states “Everyone then who has heard from the Father, and learned, comes to Me”

Now I agree that Yeshua could have clearly been present at Mt Sinai  as He and the Father are one – but looking at John 1:17 which states “for the Torah was given through Mosheh – the favour and the truth came through Yeshua Messiah.”   Wouldn’t it read differently if Yeshua gave the commandments? Just wondering

Again, I might be misunderstanding the point of what Natan was saying – so I appreciate your assistance with this confusion!

Here is my response:

Hello Erica,
No, you didn’t misunderstand me. I teach that Yeshua (before he was Yeshua) in his pre-incarnate state, was the Word of Elohim who the Father not only used to create the world and humans (John 1:3; Col 1:15; Heb 11:3), but to communicate with the children of Israel including the Jews (of which the Jews largely from the tribe of Judah were a part). Stephen affirms this in Acts 7:38 where the word “Angel” should, in this case, be  “Divine Messenger” referring to the pre-incarnate Yeshua who was the Divine Messenger of his Father YHVH. He was the same Messenger (incorrectly translated “Angel”) that spoke to Moses at the burning bush (Exod 3:2), as well as the Man (a prophetic allusion or shadow to the incarnation of Yeshua the Messiah as the God-Man) with whom Jacob wrestled (Gen 32:24), but who was actually Elohim (vv. 28, 30 and Hos 12:3–4), was in the pillar of fire and led the Israelites in the wilderness. Paul also refers to Yeshua as “the Rock” from which the Israelites drank (1 Cor 10:4), and says that the Israelites tempted Messiah (1Cor 10:9). Paul doesn’t say “Father” here, nor does Stephen refer to the Father as having directly interacted with the Israelites either. Moreover, Yeshua confirms that he was the I AM at the burning bush in John 8:58, which is why the Jews wanted to stone him. They thought he was committing blasphemy by calling himself Elohim. Note what he didn’t say: My Father was the I AM! He said that he was.

Furthermore, if we understand that Yeshua in his preincarnate state married Israel at the foot of Sinai (Ezek 16), then divorced her because of her adulteries, then died for her sin at the cross to pay the death penalty for the adulterous woman, then will remarry the rebirthed or born again redeemed Israel, the one new person (Eph 2:11–19) or church (Rev 19:7–9) comprised of redeemed believers who are the Israel of Elohim (Gal 6:16), then everything falls neatly into place that Yeshua was the one who directly interacted with the ancient Israelites. If you want to go deeper on these subjects, I have published many written articles and made numerous videos as well about these truths that the mainstream church has missed. What I have given here is the briefest overview.


I know this goes against what the mainstream church teaches, and thus such truths may jar a person’s comfortable understandings a bit, but as you’re finding out in coming to Torah, there are many things that the mainstream church as either missed or gotten wrong either because their apathy or outright antipathy for the Torah has blinded them from the full light of the truth of Scripture, and caused them to misunderstand the Bible because of their wearing tinted and even shaded glasses thus hindering them from seeing the full light of truth.


You can disagree with me, and that’s fine. It won’t affect one’s salvation, but understanding who Yeshua really is and was helps one to a) have a higher view of Yeshua, b) have a higher view of the Torah, c) have a better understanding the truths of the Bible which, like a beam of light, are a perfectly straight line with everything adding up, which brings us back to John 5:37 and 1:18. Instead of cramming these verses into our handed down theologies according to the traditions of men and then painting them to match, which is what the church has made an art and science of and taught us do do, as well, let’s just read and believe the Bible for what it actually say.


One more thing. In John 14:15, Yeshua says that if you love me, keep my commandments. This is nearly an exact quote of someone else telling the Israelites the same thing in Exod 20:16. It seems clear to me that Yeshua is connecting himself to that Person who previously spoke to the Israelites. 


All of this goes to the point that when we start connecting the dots and letting the Scriptures speak for themselves instead of imposing on them our suppositions based on the traditions of men who are looking at the Scriptures often through lenses of men’s thinking and philosophies, suddenly things begin to come alive more, line up more, make more sense and the Bible becomes a much more amazing and unified, unearthly, supernaturally inspired book.

 

Stop Sinning and Come to the Light

John 8:11–12, Sin no more…I am. The entire message of the Bible is contained in these two verses. Like the adulterous woman, all humans have sinned and deserve the death penalty. Yeshua’s merciful grace caused the woman to be spared. He then admonishes her to stop sinning or violating the Torah, which is sin (1 John 3:4). After this, Yeshua declares that he is the light of the world and instructs the woman to follow him out of the darkness of her sinful past and into the light of Torah-righteousness leading to the abundant life and eventually to immortality. This is a terse yet timeless message to every human everywhere who has ever drawn breath.


 

Did Yeshua break the Sabbath? Some Christian Bible teachers claim he did…

John 5:18, [Yeshua]…broke the Sabbath. Allow me to share an interesting and sad, but true story from my life about a false Christian teacher that I went head-to-head with.

Many years ago, I was in a meeting where a Christian Bible teacher was giving a message on the end times. In the middle of his teaching and totally out of context, he quoted this passage from John and claimed that Yeshua broke the Sabbath. There was a rustle in the audience of about 300 people. A little later, he made the same statement again and began to deride the Sabbath. This time there was an audible moan from some in the audience—many of whom were Sabbath keepers. A feeling of being hit in the gut went through me. A little later, he made the same statement again, and continued to bash Sabbath observance. This time, I could hold my peace no longer, and I stood up and challenged him in the middle of the meeting. I told him that to say that Yeshua had broken the Sabbath was to call Yeshua a sinner, and that Yeshua had not broken the Sabbath, but some Jewish legal traditions (or halakhah) pertaining to the Sabbath. The speaker was flustered and had no response, and the host of the meeting decided to take an intermission.

A year later, it was announced that this Bible teacher had suddenly and unexpectedly dropped dead in the pulpit while preaching. One can’t help but wonder if he had come Continue reading


 

“In Yeshua” With Your Head or With Your Heart Too?

John 3:16, In (or into, The Interlinear Bible, by J.P. Green). The Greek word for in is eis, which is a primary preposition meaning “to, into (indicating the point reached or entered; see Strong’s). Eis is used in the accusative case (with a direct object) with the primary idea of motion into any place or thing; also of motion or direction to, toward or upon any place, thing. The opposite is ek meaning “out of” (see Zodhiates). By contrast, the Greek preposition en is used in the dative case (with indirect objects) and means “in, on, at, by any place or thing with the primary idea of rest. This is in contrast to eis, which means indicates motion into or onto something, and which indicates motion out of something, while en means “remaining in place” (see Zodhiates).

Although an analysis of all the occurrences in the NT of the English phrases “in Jesus/Christ/the Lord/Him” indicate that Yeshua and the apostolic writers (or their translators) seem to have used the Greek words en and eis interchangeably, at the same time, when they employ eis, it must be noted that they seem to be emphasizing the reality of being more deeply rooted spiritually into Yeshua.

For example, one can believe in something in a surface manner with their mind only, but not with their whole heart. There is a difference between having a head knowledge of something versus an experiential understanding of it. This is like seeing a photo or video of a place versus actually having visiting it, of merely looking at food versus actually tasting it.

Many people have a head knowledge of Yeshua, but are not heart-rooted or grounded in him relationally and experientially. In a finely nuanced sense, this may have been in the mind of the NT writers (or their translators) when they, at times, specifically used the word eis instead of en to emphasize the need to be deeply rooted into and to be united with the Messiah.