Fox Byte 5774 #30: The Truth About Transformation

Transformers in the movies can change in an instant, but with God's people the process takes much more time and effort.
Transformers in the movies can change in an instant, but with God’s people the process takes much more time and effort.

What is Yeshua really teaching us through the Sermon on the Mount?  Yes, He explains that it’s good to be connected to the Maker of all life, but is His sermon an explanation of how to do that, or is it a picture of what happens when we really connect with our God?

As with so many things about our relationship with our Creator, the answer is “Yes”.

By now it should be clear that the basic details about how to live a godly life are not in Yeshua’s teaching.  The details are in the Torah.  In the Sermon on the Mount Yeshua takes the principles of Torah, which His audience knew very well, and clarifies them.  It’s not that He is teaching something entirely new, but that He is looking in a new way at what His Father originally delivered through Moses.  That is why He uses the format, “You have heard that it was said . . . but I tell you”.  Consider these next points:

Please click here to continue reading

Fox Byte #29: An Eye For. . . .

BFB141008 Three MonkeysFrom what we have seen so far in the Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua is indeed correcting our understanding of what His Father really meant when He gave His Law (Torah) to Moses.  The attitude of our heart is the most important thing.  Specific commandments like, ”You shall not murder”, and “Bring your gift to the altar”, help us measure how far our heart has come toward operating the way God designed.  After all, that’s really what the Law is:  God’s operating instructions.  If we operate within the parameters of the Law (choose life), we get all kinds of good things (blessings); but if we operate outside His design parameters (choose death), we suffer all manner of consequences (curses). (Deuteronomy 30:11-20James 1:22-2:13).  If our heart is right with our Creator, then we will do His commandments naturally, as an act of love for Him.  And that is the exactly what the Apostle John, the Apostle Paul, and Yeshua Himself told us.

Yeshua continues his teaching by addressing another sticky point of human nature:

Please click here to continue reading

Fox Byte #28: An Acceptable Sacrifice

When Abel and Cain offered sacrifices, both had meaning, but only one was acceptable.  (Bible Card illustration, "The Story of Cain and Abel")
When Abel and Cain offered sacrifices, both had meaning, but only one was acceptable. (Bible Card illustration, “The Story of Cain and Abel”)

If Yeshua really did make it possible to understand and live out God’s commandments (Torah) as our Creator originally intended, then we would expect Him to give us a few examples.  And in fact He did.  It’s all a matter of going beyond the “letter of the Law” and getting to the Spirit behind it.  Consider what Yeshua said right after He told His audience that their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees:

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.”  But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.  And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!” shall be in danger of the council.  But whoever says, “You fool!” shall be in danger of hell fire.  Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.  Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.  Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.  (Matthew 5:21-26 NKJV)

Please click here to continue reading