In truth God has placed the choice of life or death in front of every person from the beginning of time. Consider what He said to our ancestors. In the Garden of Eden there was the stark choice between the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which brought death (Genesis 2:8-16). When the Lord spoke through Moses to explain His standards of righteousness to our fathers and mothers on the edge of the Promised Land, He said,
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NKJV, emphasis added)
What are we to make of the upheaval happening around us in this centennial summer since World War I began? There are only a few possibilities. Either it is a restructuring of the current world order to some new equilibrium, or it is the destruction of the current world order and the establishment of something new, or it is the end of the world as we know it. If asked which of these is correct, my answer is, “Yes”.
This is the first of a series comparing the words of Yeshua and Paul regarding the Law (Torah) of God.
Should God Have The Last Word?
A very strange thing happens when I encounter others who share with me a testimony of faith in Jesus Christ (Messiah Yeshua), but do not share the same regard for all the commandments of the Lord. These brothers and sisters do have regard for His commandments, but draw a line at things like observing Sabbath on the day God specified, keeping the Feasts of the Lord, and eating only the foods God placed on the menu. The strange thing is the reactions that come with the understanding that we have disagreement on these points. Sometimes the reaction is silence, as if some of the brethren just want to make the issue go away by ignoring it. Sometimes they react in disbelief, wondering how I can be “bound up” in all that old Law. This perception of the Law, or Torah, as bondage comes from what people think they know of Judaism and of the Jewish practices Yeshua and the Apostles addressed in the Scriptures. For example, one person indicated she considered it bondage to legalism when a Jewish friend of hers had to cut short a phone conversation to prepare for Sabbath. There is a vast difference between what God commanded about Sabbath and the excessive regulations added by Rabbinical Judaism, but I wonder if by the standard of this particular example it is also legalism to cut short a phone conversation to prepare for church on Sunday.