Personal Responsibility

In Hebrews 6: 1 we see this phrase: ” turning from works that lead to death and trusting G-d.” Many people suppose this to mean turning from the Law or Torah, but what it actually means is “teshuva” or in English, repentance. We must turn from “works of sin that lead to death and to trusting G-d.” We see that both aspects are necessary because claiming to trust G-d without leaving one’s sins behind is hypocrisy. Why? Because G-d is Holy. Also attempting to turn from sin without trusting G-d fails and leads to pride in self-accomplishment. This phrase, does not mean, that G-d’s Law or instructions, as presented in the Old Testament, and reiterated in the Messianic Scriptures is obsolete or dead, as many would have you believe.

Now read from:

Ezekiel 33: 14, 15

14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;

15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Here we have Ezekiel speaking the obvious that the wicked shall die and the righteous shall live. These are obvious references to righteousness not many of us would dispute, yet how many have considered the phrase in verse 15 “walk in the statutes of life” and its meaning?

Ask yourself, what are the “statutes of life”? Statutory law as defined in Webster’s, is the written law enacted by, and here in this context, I insert YHVH Elohim’s name, as distinguished from unwritten law or common law. To further elucidate, we know that the first five books of the Bible is the Torah given by YHVH Himself to Moshe. English editions translate Torah as Law, but it would be better translated as instructions/teachings. Many are also misled because the Messianic Scriptures are titled as the “New Testament” which is a title invested by the Catholic Church in its Latin Vulgate, but nowhere found in the manuscripts. A subtle ploy employed to foster the erroneous doctrine of “Church Replacement Theology,” also to supplant the Old and the G-d of the Old for a new agenda, which denies the power of the Scriptures while maintaining only a form of worship. Also few know that Hebrews states that the Messianic Scriptures are also given as Torah.

Now turn to Hebrews 5: 9 and read:

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

This seems to be saying eternal salvation is reserved to those who OBEY HIM!

And in: Hebrews 5:11-14; 6:1 we read the admonishment of those who resist the truth:

11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of G-d; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Yahshua, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, of (works of sin) and of faith toward G-d,

Now let me homiletically explore the passages we have just read. The phrase, “to all who obey him,” (v. 9) is an exhortation in which obedience to G-d is equated with salvation and of necessity spiritual maturity, and with doing G-d’s work; actively putting out energy for the Kingdom. The following passages take up this theme also. These verses are opposed to receiving doctrine passively and not acting on what you learn. It goes on to explain that listening to basic doctrine over and over is milk, and anyone who has to drink milk is still a baby. Sha’ul used the same metaphor in 1 Cor. 3: 1-3 where he said:

1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Messiah.

2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

We all know that strife can be internalized by not perceiving the correct doctrine. Division can be one foot remaining in institutions that do not know the truth and being partakers of their errors while carnality is that state of moral relativity where one chooses and selects which of the commandments of G-d he will obey. Because of convenience, sensuality or because YHVH’s Torah (Instructions) would interrupt or disagree with his/her lifestyle most so called professed believers are relative moralists. What distinguishes the mature is that they have experience in applying the Word, that is, obeying G-d, in behaving ethically, in putting out as opposed to taking in, their faculties have been trained by continuous exercise to distinguish good from evil. According to this scripture discernment comes from obedience and the exercise of putting concepts into action. It goes on to say that those whose faculties are still undiscerning because of lack of obedience and exercise cannot make much use of solid food. Ask yourself, what is this “solid food” spoken of? Plainly it is advanced doctrine and understanding of G-d’s Torah. In John 4:31-34 we see Yahshua who is of course both morally and spiritually mature, speaks of his “food” as doing G-d’s will.

In verse 34 Yahshua says: 34 My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work

You know I sometimes get agitated when I hear people pray to be led into His will as though it is some kind of secret. Its no secret G-d’s will is plainly given to us in the Torah. We are but to discover the work he has planned for us.

Then In Psalms 40:8 we learn what this meat is:

I delight to do thy will, O my G-d: yea, thy law is within my heart.
Here we see as in many other verses that G-d’s will is His Torah, His law. Can it be simpler to understand?

We must mature and move on for people who continually need to hear the “initial lessons about the Messiah” (6:1) remain spiritual babies, feeding on milk, not solid food utterly lacking spiritual maturity.

I am not denigrating milk for milk is what orients people toward desiring solid food, however, when believer’s become sluggish in understanding, due to their failure to grow and work, when they “ignore such a great deliverance” as it is stated in Hebrews 2:3 they become a liability and not an asset in YHVH’s Kingdom. It reads:

How shall we escape, (meaning the damnation of this world) if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Neglect births a lack of trust (3:1), and disobedience (4:11) and then it becomes hard to explain things, which mature workers, need to know.

So that none of you misunderstand we are not to suppose that that solid food is more important than milk, but assuredly each has its place in the life of a believer according to his degree of maturity.

Proof of this is Sha’ul lament in Romans 3: 7-8. He is saying the doctrine of righteousness in the hands of spiritual babies being declared only on the ground of their trust is dangerous for they use it to excuse their sins and justify their lack of diligence to do G-d’s work.

Read that passage:

7 For if the truth of G-d hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?

8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil that good may come? Whose damnation is just.

Then in Ephesians 2: 8-10 we see that Sha’ul teaches that faith is to be used in good works.

8 For by grace are ye saved (reconciled-my interpretation) through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of G-d:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Yahshua unto good works, which G-d hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

This does not abrogate Torah instead it confirms it. We are not to trust in self-justified works, but we are to walk in the Word or Torah that G-d ordained before, in eternity pass.

Then in Deu. 5: 33 we read what these works are:

33 Ye shall walk in all the ways (works) which the YHVH your Elohim hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

I’m sure most of you have experienced how professed believers use the above Ephesians 8,9 to deny the necessity to be obedient to G-d’s Torah. It’s apparent even to the hardest heart that it does not say what they suggest for it’s correct interpretation is easily apprehended when read in context. More explicitly, those who would deny you the power of G-d would only cite verse 8,9, but not recite the defining verse 10. And if you are a spiritual baby you would not even be inclined to see if what was told you were true.

Now go with me to Matthew 5:16-19 where we read:

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

In these passages many teach that Yahshua was doing away with the Law when he said he came to fulfill it. In other words to make it obsolete by virtue of His work. The word here is “Plerosai” which literally means “to fill” not “fulfill.”

I’ll get to the Greek lesson in a minuet.

First, let me say that those who want to put their own agenda before G-d’s wrongly teach this verse two ways, for they teach that by fulfilling the Torah is thought to mean that is unnecessary for people to observe it now. First, there’s no logic to this proposition that Yahshua’s obeying the Torah does away with our need to obey it. Note, I said “our need.” In fact Sha’ul, whose object in his letter to the Romans in Romans 3:31 teaches that trusting does not abolish Torah but confirms it. Let me read…

Do we then make void the law through faith? G-d forbid: yea, we establish the law.
The word Establish is translated from the Greek word 2476. histemi, his’-tay-mee;It can be translated as continue, covenant, establish, hold up,).

The emphasis here is none of the words it can be translated into from the Greek implies doing away with Torah, but emphasizes the opposite of confirming G-d’s Torah.

What Sha’ul is saying is that our trust should uphold the Law, as a covenant of G-d and continue in it.

Second with an identical lack of logic along the same lines and evolving from the same agenda it is said that Yahshua’s fulfilling the Prophets is thought to imply that no prophecies from the Tanakh remain for the Jews, but now go to a “Spiritual Israel” made up of the Christian Church as in “Church Replacement Theology.” None of you should believe in that lie, but it is part and parcel of the same theology that says the Law is dead.

Now, it is true that Yahshua did keep the Torah perfectly and fulfilled the predictions of the prophets, but that is not the point here. Yahshua did not come to ABOLISH but “to make full’ (plerosai) the meaning of what Torah and the ethical demands of the prophets require. He came to complete our understanding of the Torah and the Prophets by His life and example. He lived a Torah perfected life and so should we. The term “to fill” correctly translated is best interpreted as coming to completion… in the sense of bringing to perfection; not, as Christians have all too often interpreted it, to render the Torah obsolete, instead to mean to fulfill in such a way as to perfect a foundation on which to build further. Furthermore, in Judaism the rabbis would say when a person destroyed the Torah it meant that they did not interpret it correctly and when they fulfilled it, they had correctly interpreted it. This is the essence of that Scripture. Then we have the last verse where we are admonished to teach the law. So it would be an oxymoron to have said He did away with the Law when in the next verse he admonished us to teach it. A little contradictory wouldn’t you say?

If you’re not convinced that the Torah is alive and well and something we should observe you need to exercise more of that of which Hebrews 5:9 speaks.

IN closing, If you agree the Torah is alive and well and valid today then we need to ask ourselves what is Torah?

Succinctly, it is all the teachings given in the entire Bible regarding obedience to G-d’s instructions to us. Not just what we believe to be true or what seems pertinent, and valid to us today. All Scripture is given for reproof and correction even when we don’t understand why G-d gives such a commandment. That understanding might come with time. So as not to mislead you, there is an exception and that is related to the Temple cult of the Priesthood and that too is found in Hebrews and testified to in II Peter and Revelations, but that is another subject.