Despite the countless, crystal-clear warnings provided in Scripture, the body of Messiah has collectively allowed the doctrines of men to infiltrate and pollute the once pure Faith as it was originally delivered to the saints — transforming it into a religion that would be unrecognizable to any first-century believer.
In these last days, it’s vital that we as believers have the courage to throw off the traditions of men and return to doing “Bible things in Bible ways”. Are we following the Creator’s calendar? Are we striving to live by His instructions (Torah) or man’s? Are we honoring His Appointed Times or are we still attempting to glorify the Father through the observance of worldly holidays?
Deuteronomy 12:30 “Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”
Matthew 15:9 “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
The Torah contains the perfect instructions by which we’re to live. Contained in it are blessings if we obey, and curses if we disobey. Remember that despite what is being widely taught in churches today, the definition of sin has never changed (1 John 3:4) and our Creator has made it abundantly clear how He wants to be loved (1 John 5:3). Even the Messiah Himself warned us not even to think that He came to do away with the Torah (the Father’s instruction manual, Genesis through Deuteronomy) or the Prophets…
Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
One thing that is important to note here is the word “fulfill” in verse 17. It is Strong’s G4137, pleroo:
From G4134; to make replete, that is, (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: – accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.
While pleroo certainly can mean to “end” or “expire”, it was in no way, shape, or form intended to convey that particular meaning in this case. Yeshua came to fully preach the Word, properly interpreting the Torah and walking out those instructions flawlessly as our perfect example. Instead of “end”, “expire”, or “do away with”, the correct definition of “fulfill” in this passage is to “fully preach”, “perfect”, “verify”, and “level up” with true meaning and understanding. What an incredibly beautiful picture that paints!
If this is all very new to you and you’re still struggling with this understanding, please read verse 18 carefully and then consider the following two questions:
- Has Heaven and Earth passed away yet? No.
- Has all that was prophesied been fulfilled? No.
Where Things Went Downhill
How is it possible that so many well-meaning individuals have been deceived into following the footsteps of men rather than imitating our Messiah, the very one who came as our perfect example? How did the popular belief that a lawless (without the Law) lifestyle is justified become so widespread and accepted? Peter’s warning regarding the sometimes-difficult-to-understand writings of Paul does a wonderful job of explaining just how we’ve gotten to the point we’re at today…
2 Peter 3:14 “Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.”
Peter wisely recognized that the danger of misunderstanding certain writings of Paul was great, and it is quite evident that these very same “hard to understand” letters of Paul are still causing serious problems for people today. For centuries, men have been pulling these verses out of context, misinterpreting them, and teaching a lawless lifestyle that is contrary to YHWH’s Word — the result of which can be seen today in a religion that largely discounts the first two-thirds of Scripture. Simply put, these popularly used proof-texts cannot be elevated to a stature that is above the rest of Scripture (especially the words that came from our Messiah’s own mouth), they must be interpreted and understood in a way that brings them in line with the rest of the Word.
Yah Doesn’t Change, Nor Does His Word!
It’s such a privilege and honor to serve our Creator, the One who does not change. He is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind (Numbers 23:19). His instructions are liberty (Psalm 119:45). They are perfect, true and everlasting as Scripture clearly tells us (Psalm 119:142). The Torah existed long before Mount Sinai (Genesis 26:5), and the earth will be laid waste in the end of days because its puffed-up inhabitants continue to arrogantly discard His instructions (Isaiah 24:5).
While it is certainly true that the body of Messiah has largely strayed from the path laid out before us, the good news is it’s not too late to correct course. We have the map in our possession, we simply need to follow it instead of the worthless traditions and doctrines of men.
Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls…”
It’s time to get back to the Ancient Way.*Have something to add? Please share your comments below...