The Two Pillars Of Truth

Published August 10, 2021

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            I have a confession to make: If you deny either the deity of Yeshua or the divinity of Scripture I believe you to be an outright heretic.

            This is a message written with the intent to challenge what some are teaching today. Some may be inclined to think this message petulant or coming across as attacking certain people. I want you to realize two things, however, as you read this. First, I am attacking heresies, not those who are teaching them. It is my sincere hope and prayer that even those who are making the statements I am refuting will be touched by this message and led to repentance. Second, we see scathing rebukes all through The Scripture, even to the point of calling heretics and false prophets by name. Yeshua went so far as to flip tables, chase people with a whip, and call them such things as brood of vipers and whitewashed tombs filled with dead men’s bones. Even post-apostolic writers carried forward with this. Tertullian, one of the most regarded early writers following the Apostolic period, comes to mind. Some of his most referenced works include: On Idolatry, Against Heretics, Against Marcion, Against Praxeas, and Against the Valentinians. Notice that three of these titles name either an individual heretic or a heretical group. So what I am going to share in this message is absolutely within the parameters and even mandate of Scripture, even if it may not be well-received by some people. And I am not even going to call out people by name—though if I chose to I would absolutely have a biblical backing to do so. But right now I prefer to empower you to recognize the heresies than to lead you to slander people.

            Pillars are among the most important parts of any structure. They are what provides support to a home or a building. In ancient times pillars were often seen with elaborate ornamentation at the entrance of magnificent buildings, especially those with religious significance.

            Solomon’s Temple featured two pillars given prophetically significant names—Jachin, meaning “God will establish”, and Boaz, meaning “In God is Strength”. You can read about the details of these two pillars in 1 Kings 7:13-22, 41-42, and 2 Chronicles 3:15-17. In contrast, we also read about two pillars in the record of Samson , where his last act was to push away the two pillars that supported the pagan temple of Dagon (Judges 10:23-31).

            We also see two pillars in the story of the exodus. Certainly you are familiar with the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night that led the Israelites as they fled from their Egyptian bondage. 

            But the word “pillar” is not limited to a physical structure. If you look it up in the dictionary, you will quickly see that the term is also used of a fundamental precept. In this application, a pillar would be a non-negotiable core belief that supports all other beliefs on a topic.

            In this message I want to look at what Scripture establishes as the two pillars of truth. These two pillars are The Torah and Yeshua The Messiah. As you go through this study you will see how The Bible never elevates one above the other, but that they stand together as equal.

            Years ago I heard a preacher tell a story of an interaction he had with a “highly educated” theologian. The preacher shared that the theologian was explaining how he had discovered that the place where Moses led the Israelites was actually called “the sea of reeds” and the point of their crossing is all of about two feet deep. The preacher said he exclaimed: “WOW, you have more faith than anyone I know! You want me to believe that the army of Pharaoh, the most powerful military force of that time, on horse-driven chariots was drowned in two feet of water! That would be a bigger miracle than God actually parting the waters in the manner commonly believed!” Said the preacher, the theologian turned and said, “Perhaps I need to study this some more,” and went on his way. Such always seems to be the case when dealing with the mindless bloviations of so-called intellectuals who study to the point where they lose all common sense.

            Dr. Raymond Robert Fischer, in his book The Ways Of The Way: Restoring the Jewish Roots of the Modern Church, states, “…the Jewish Roots movement has often been perverted by those Christians who have, in their zeal for Judaism and everything Jewish, crossed over into Rabbinical Judaism by embracing the mistaken understanding that Yeshua is not the divine Son of God and God Himself but rather simply a totally human messiah.” I have personally seen some who were even prominent leaders in this “movement” go down this path and ultimately reject Yeshua as Messiah completely. 

            In like manner and at least equally as concerning, there has begun to be a heretical belief surfacing in some Messianic or Hebrew Roots groups that sounds good on the surface, but upon deep scrutiny reveals itself as completely unbiblical. It started out with a phrase: Yeshua is greater than The Torah. This sounds good, and even sounds like it should be true. But as you will see, this is absolutely not what The Bible teaches and it seemingly leads to a rejection of the divinity of Scripture.

            At first, when I started hearing this, I felt it best to just disagree with it and move on. After all, there are elements where Yeshua is greater than Torah. But there are also elements where Torah is greater, and ultimately these balance out to where both are of equal importance.  Think of it like this: If you are driving your car at night turning on your headlights is of the utmost importance and if driving in the rain turning on your windshield wipers is of the utmost importance. Neither is of greater importance than the other, their elevated importance is determined through a prerequisite. As we will see, similar circumstances will state where Yeshua is more important and where Torah is more important, but ultimately both are equally important as much as having working headlights and windshield wipers on your car are equally important for when you need either of them.

            Recently a statement was issued by a Torah-positive Bible teacher with some level of influence on Messiah’s body and certainly has influence with other Torah-promoting ministers that caught my attention. This person is not someone I have really engaged with for some time, but someone sent me the statement out of concern. I do believe their concern is quite warranted.

            One of the positions that many have taken toward showing that Yeshua and The Torah are equal, as well as supporting the idea that Yeshua is “The Living Torah”, is based in the statement: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Yeshua said these words of Himself, but prior to this all of these attributes were said of The Torah. There are different paths people take to get to this, some pull a passage from Deuteronomy, others a passage from Proverbs, but essentially all three of these characteristics are given to The Torah in Psalm 119.

Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the Torah of Adonai.
—Psalm 119:1 (TLV, emphasis added)

Your justice is righteousness forever,
and Your Torah is truth.
—Psalm 119:142 (TLV, emphasis added)

See my affliction and rescue me,
for I do not forget Your Torah.
Defend my cause and redeem me.
Restore my life through Your word.
—Psalm 119:153-154 (TLV, emphasis added)

            I prefer to go to Psalm 119 when I teach on this topic for several reasons. First and foremost, all three of these statements—way, truth, life—are connected with The Torah in this Psalm. There is no need to pull a passage from any other Bible Book. Second, Psalm 119 is the single longest chapter in The Bible and sits at the exact center of the accepted canon. Third, Psalm 119 is often broken down into 22 segments each connected with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This can easily be seen in a more Hebraic translation like the Tree Of Life Version, which is the translation I most prefer to use.

            Now, I do not want to take a whole lot of time with this, as there is much to discuss. But just know that this is an often-used point in referring to Yeshua as “The Living Torah” or “The Torah made flesh” and in stating that Yeshua and Torah stand together on equal ground. But this is far from the only point in Scripture that supports this point of view, as you will soon see.

            Back to the heretical statement in question, having referred to the claim that “way, truth, and life” is used to connect Yeshua and Torah, this individual stated that this is a linguistic fallacy. He contended that you cannot take something one Bible writer stated at one time in history, and then take a similar statement made by another Bible author at another time in history, and then put them together. To illustrate this he gave a simple analogy. His claim was that using a passage that says Torah is “the way, truth, and life” and a passage that says Yeshua is “the way, truth, and life”—written by different people at different points in history—would be the same as someone taking a time when he may have said “pizza is the best” and a time several years later where he said “my wife is the best” and linking them to say his wife is equal to pizza.

            Now, he may have a point if we were dealing with any other pieces of literature, religious or secular. After all, it would clearly be wrong to say that Moby Dick and To Kill Mocking Bird are about the same thing. However, we are not dealing with just any written document, but we are dealing with The Bible. This man claimed, in his recent statement, that equating Yeshua and The Torah lessens or reduces Messiah by ignoring the radical message we see proclaimed throughout the Gospel records. Now, if someone is truly lowering Messiah Yeshua and making Him less than The Torah, that is certainly problematic. However, as I am about to show you, by making the declaration this man and others like him are now making they are reducing The Bible and making it far inferior to what it actually is.

All Scripture Is God-Breathed

Scribe writing old document

All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness, so that the person belonging to God may be capable, fully equipped for every good deed.
—2 Timothy 3:16-17 (TLV)

            What those who are now declaring that “Yeshua is greater than Torah” and especially those who would say you can’t combine similar statements from different Bible authors at differing points in history are doing is rejecting this new covenant statements and reducing The Bible to a series of writings penned by mere humans. You simply cannot make such a statement without a full denial that all Scripture is inspired by God or, as other translations say, God-breathed.

            The plain fact of the matter is that either you believe Yah, God The Father, and His Spirit of Holiness that He imparts into His chosen vessels is the ultimate author of Scripture or you do not. And if you would dare to say that because one flawed human wrote this passage and another flawed human at some later time wrote this similar-sounding passage the two cannot be connected then you have outright denied the divinity of Scripture. And not only that, but because you have reduced The Bible to being a combined work of flawed men, you have also reduced Scripture to being flawed.

            This, my dear friends, is outright blasphemy, Not only that, but because the text says all Scripture is God-breathed and breath refers to The Spirit—the Hebrew ruach means “breath, wind, spirit”—it pushes rather close to the limits of blaspheming The Spirit, a sin that Yeshua said will not be forgiven. Now, I did not say it is blasphemy of The Spirit, I simply said it pushes very close to it. So please don’t turn and say that I have accused anyone of such a destructive spiritual action.

            I often say that The Bible is a Hebrew book written by Hebrew men about the Hebrew God through the lens of Hebrew culture built on obeying The Torah. But this statement does not deny the divinity of The Bible—that all Scripture is God-breathed. You can make such a statement without denying this important fact because you have not reduced The Bible to a collection of human writings, but simply are acknowledging that God chose people who were submitted to His Torah to “breathe” His Words into. To say, however, that you cannot draw a connection between what one Bible author said and what another Bible author said because “that’s not how language works” does reject the divinity of Scripture, because it eliminates God as the ultimate author of His Word and reduces The Bible to solely the work of human hands and human minds.

            You see, if we conclude that God ultimately wrote The Bible through those men He chose to use, then it was God who called The Torah “the way, truth, and life” in Psalm 119 and then it was God again who called Yeshua “the way, truth, and life” in John 14:6. So at that point we have to ask: Did God intend to connect Yeshua and The Torah through these three attributes? Well, let’s take a look at a couple of other statements made about Yeshua in the Apostolic Writings and The Torah in the Hebrew Tanakh.

            In John 18:12 Yeshua says He is the light of the world and that those who follow Him will no longer walk in darkness. In Proverbs 6:23 it says that Torah is a light.

            In John 6:47-52 Yeshua declares that He is the bread of life. Deuteronomy 8:3 says that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God—which, essentially, would be The Torah.

            In John 10:7-9 Yeshua said He is the gate, or the door depending on what Bible translation you might be reading. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is The Shema, the central prayer of God’s people, and it says that The Torah should be written on the doorposts of your home and on your gates.

            Maybe this is not convincing to some people. Maybe there are those, like this Bible teacher who claims you cannot connect the dots between different authors of Scripture. Well, I am far from done.

Rejecting The Deity Of Yeshua

            Now we’re going to turn the heat up a little bit on this thought process and the claim that you cannot call Yeshua and Torah equal. For purposes of giving credit where credit is due, I am pulling the statements in this segment from a great study that was put together by the Hebrew4Christians website in an article titled Hebrew Names Of God: Jesus Christ is YHVH in the flesh. In this article there is a chart. The first column lists a name found in The Bible, such as Creator, Savior, or Redeemer. The second column is given the heading “יהוה‎” (YHWH) and the third column “ישוע” (Yeshua). For each of the second and third columns there are Scripture references to the name in the first as applied to The Father in the Hebrew Tanakh (“Old Testament”) and to Yeshua in the Apostolic Writings (“New Testament”). The page lists 34 names in total, but for the sake of time I will only list some here. You can go to the article by Hebrew4Christians if you want to review the entire list.

God/Elohim: The Father (YHWH), Genesis 1:1, Psalm 45:6-7, Isaiah: 9:6-7, Zechariah 13:7, 7:16, Exodus 3:4, 15, Numbers 22:22, Deuteronomy 4:34, 5:24, etc. Yeshua, 1 Timothy 3:16, John 1:1-14, 5:18, 9:38, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8-9, 5:6, Romans 9:5, Philippians 2:5-11.

Creator: The Father (YHWH), Genesis 1:1, 2:7, Isaiah 64:8, 44:24, 1 Kings 8:23, Proverbs 16:4. Yeshua, Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:3, John 1:1, 14, Revelation 4:11, Hebrews 1:8-12.

Savior: The Father (YHWH), Isaiah 9:6-7, 43:11, 45:15-21. Yeshua, Luke 2:11, Acts 5:31.

Lord of Lords: The Father (YHWH), Deuteronomy 10:17. Yeshua, 1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 17:14, 19:16.

King of Israel: The Father (YHWH), Isaiah 44:6, Zechariah 9:9. Yeshua, John 1:49, Matthew 2:2.

Shepherd: The Father (YHWH), Psalm 23:1. Yeshua, John 10:11, 16.

Aleph and Tav (Alpha and Omega): The Father (YHWH), Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, 48:12. Yeshua, Revelation 1:8-11, 21:6, 22:13.

            Let me stop there, as I want to touch on that last one. Again, you can go through the entire list on the Hebrew4 Christians website. Also note that I am not openly endorsing what they teach, I could not possibly take time to read everything they have put out. This article, however, is simply a comparison to what the first part of The Bible says about God The Father and the latter part of The Bible says about Yeshua and shows they are listed as equally the same.

            I find it interesting that God The Father is listed as the aleph and tav, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and that Yeshua is then also listed (in the Greek) as the alpha and omega. Many in Messianic and Hebrew Roots circles actually use aleph and tav when referring to Yeshua as well, which is clearly acceptable in this case as even those portions of The Bible originally written in Greek are still Hebrew in their foundation—not to mention that the Greek used by Apostolic writers was a dialect specific to Jews living under Roman occupation known as Jewish Koine Greek, essentially a Hebrew form of Greek.

            What I find more fascinating, however, is that this connection is made through the Books of Isaiah and Revelation. After all, if you compare Isaiah 66 and Revelation 19 the parallels are quite striking. These passages, of course, are widely accepted as the most descriptive of the second coming of Messiah. So, do we then deem that Isaiah could not possibly have been talking about this event most refer to as the second coming because Isaiah was written by a man who didn’t even know Yeshua? That, it seems, is what some would have you believe.

            And what of all these connections between statements used of The Father in the Hebrew Scriptures and their use of Messiah Yeshua in the Apostolic Writings? Do we then deny the deity of Yeshua or that Yeshua has any connection to The Father because these statements were made by different people at different times  in history so you cannot possibly connect the two because, according to some people, that’s not how language works? Recall what Dr. Fischer states as cited earlier. This actually has been a similar problem in the Messianic and Hebrew Roots circles.

            Yeshua said that He and His Father are one (John 10:30). Then we see all of these passages where the same statement used in the Hebrew Tanakh of The Father are used in the Apostolic Writings of Yeshua. So if this is true of the oneness of Yeshua and The Father, why should the same not be true when we have a list of statements made of The Torah in the Hebrew Tanakh and the same statements made of Yeshua in The Gospels? Can we not also then say that Yeshua and The Torah are one?

The Word Is Living

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword—piercing right through to a separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
—Hebrews 4:12 (TLV)

            In addition to all Scripture being God-breathed, The Bible tells us that it is a living book. So, what does that mean?

            This passage came alive to me some years ago when, in a place of employment, I was given instruction regarding a standard operating manual that was referred to as “a living book”. Now at first, though I composed myself, internally I was angry. My initial thought, completely held within my mind under the veil of my expression, was: “Sir, only The Bible is a living book!!!”

            While I kept my thoughts to myself, as I listened to the presentation it all began to make sense. He was not saying this organizations manual was divine, he was describing how it was a document that evolved as the needs of the job changed. With policy and procedure changes updates were made to this book and new revisions released, which made it “a living book”.

            This made the statement in Hebrews 4:12 regarding the Word of God being living and active come alive in my spirit. It all began to make sense. The Bible is alive because while there is a direct context that should never be ignored, there is also application to our lives today. Let me give you an example with a popular but often heated topic: Jeremiah 10:1-5 and Christmas trees.

            Now, I cannot take time to go into depth on this matter, which I have done in other messages relevant to the topic. Often times people read this passage and initially think: “WOW, that is describing a Christmas tree. What else could it be? A tree cut down, propped up in your home, and decorated with silver and gold—that has to be a Christmas tree.”

            The counter-argument usually goes something like this: “Jeremiah 10 can’t be talking about Christmas trees. They did not exist in Jeremiah’s lifetime. The earliest definitive record of Christmas trees is from the 1800s in England, and some say that the German Passion trees from the 1600s are the earliest predecessor to the modern Christmas tree. This was thousands of years after Jeremiah lived and wrote that passage.”

            That sounds logical. However, that line of thought again requires one to reduce The Bible to human writings. There is no longer anything divine, anything God-breathed, anything living and active about Scripture.

            But what if—because Scripture is God-breathed, living, active, and divine—God made sure that these words in Jeremiah, addressing idolatry, would translate to English in order to directly address idolatry within Americanized “Christianity” so that the passage would intentionally read in a way that most people would immediately think: “WOW, that is describing a Christmas tree. What else could it be? A tree cut down, propped up in your home, and decorated with silver and gold—that has to be a Christmas tree”?

            Let me clarify that for the purpose of this message I am using this as an illustration and not stating conclusively that Christmas trees are a form of idolatry. That is a discussion for another time, though I do believe there is a credible argument that they are at least related or similar enough to most forms of idolatry involving trees throughout world religions to at least raise concerns. I am simply pointing out the theological fallacy of reducing Scripture to human writings and saying that something can’t possibly address a matter that occurred hundreds or -+* * * ——–……thousands of years after it was written. The Bible’s ultimate author is God who knows the end from the beginning. It can absolutely address something that would not take place for hundreds or thousands of years after written even if simultaneously addressing something directly related to the time it was written—as we are about to see.

Born Of A Virgin

            Let’s turn our attention now to one of the most essential passages in the entirety of The Bible regarding new covenant faith in Yeshua as The Messiah. I am, of course, talking about His being born of a virgin.

Therefore Adonai Himself will give you a sign:

Behold, the virginwill conceive.
    When she is giving birth to a son,
    she will call his name Immanuel.
—Isaiah 7:14 (TLV)

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by Adonai through the prophet, saying, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and give birth to a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which means “God with us.”
—Matthew 1:22-23 (TLV)

            This is a passage of critical importance, and it is also one of the most important passages in the Jewish counter-missionary movement. Of those in this group, a Rabbi named Tovia Singer appears to have the most influence. Those involved in this are Orthodox Jews who reject Yeshua as Messiah and consider it their calling to lead Christians and Messianic Jews to deny Yeshua and turn to Orthodox Rabbinic Judaism.

            With regard to the Isaiah 7:14 prophecy, these counter-missionaries will claim that Isaiah could not possibly have been talking about the virgin birth of Yeshua and makes arguments very much like those who are now saying that you cannot connect the statement of one Bible writer and the statement of another Bible writer to say that Yeshua and Torah are equal or that Yeshua is the living Torah. Isn’t that interesting?

            These counter-missionaries go as far as to say the Gospel writer took Isaiah’s prophecy and twisted it to make up a belief that Yeshua was born of a virgin. Such a claim seems even plausible to those who wish to believe that The Gospel is a farce. Funny thing is, this is not that dissimilar to claiming that you cannot connect a statement made of The Torah in one part of The Bible and then made of Yeshua in another part. If you take the approach that the Prophets of old could not have been speaking about Yeshua then you destroy the divinity of The Bible and if you say that the Gospel writers just used those statements to make Yeshua more than a man you destroy the divinity of The Messiah. Do you see why it is so important to recognize that Yeshua and Torah are equal?

            But if we are to accept that it’s wrong to take the writings of one Bible contributor and marry them to the writings of another—ignoring or denying that Scripture is God-breathed, divine, living, and active—then in addition to tossing out the idea that Yeshua and Torah are one and on top of discarding that Yeshua and The Father are one we should also wholly reject that Yeshua was born of a virgin and conclude that Rabbi Singer must be right when he essentially says that Matthew was being dishonest in trying to create a connection to the prophet’s words that does not exist. It’s sad that so-called Torah-teachers of today who should be countering the counter-missionaries are in fact empowering them.

Unbalanced Scales Of Theology

You are not to have stones of different weights in your bag—large and small. You are not to have in your house ephahs of different measures—large and small. You must have a full and honest weight and a full and honest measure, so that your days may be long on the land that Adonai your God is giving you.
—Deuteronomy 25:13-15 (TLV)

Unequal weights and measures—
both are an abomination to Adonai.
—Proverbs 20:10 (TLV)

Unbalanced weights are detestable to Adonai,
and dishonest scales are wicked.
—Proverbs 20:23 (TLV)

            Among the same theological circle that is now proposing that “Yeshua is greater than The Torah” and that you cannot use statements from one Bible writer and statements from another to draw a conclusion another popular discussion has been the Torah commandment to place a parapet around your roof (Deuteronomy 22:8). This is a guardrail or fence of sorts that was to be used on the flat roof homes of antiquity where people often entertained guests, and it was established as a safety protocol. This is still seen in practice today on large buildings, such as offices and grocery stores, which have a flat roof.

            In modern times most people do not have this type of roof on their home and therefore would seemingly be exempted from this commandment. After all, if you do not have the required roof type for the parapet, then you would not be bound to putting a guardrail around your roof.

            However, the same people saying that you cannot connect Psalm 119 with John 14:6 have been saying that the parapet commandment offers a greater principle to avoid the shedding of innocent blood. They contend, to which I wholly agree, that if you have an elevated patio or deck for entertaining guests this would be, essentially, the same thing as the flat-roof homes of ancient Israel and you would need to place a guardrail on your patio or deck. There are several other examples of how this commandment expands into modern society, but for the sake of time we will move on having accepted that a commandment in The Torah can have a broader meaning. After all, this is exactly what we see with Yeshua teaching that the commandment against adultery expands to lusting after someone’s spouse and the commandment against murder expands to include hate-speech. So it is established that a commandment can have broader implications than its original direct context.

            With that, let’s take a look at a particular statement made by the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation.

Here is the perseverance of the kedoshim—those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Yeshua.
—Revelation 14:12 (TLV)

            The kedoshim, or to put it in simpler terms the holy ones, is a reference to those who are genuinely in covenant with The Father through Yeshua. Notice that BOTH keeping the commandments AND the faith of Yeshua are listed here.

            This statement does not highlight one or the other, it does not reduce one and elevate the other, and it certainly doesn’t say you can choose one and neglect the other, but it lists both as equal characteristics of those who are deemed the holy ones. Following The Torah and following Yeshua stand together as equal pillars supporting a whole Bible truth.

            You know, there are primarily two major world religions that claim to follow The Bible. One is “Christianity” that, for the most part, follows Yeshua and rejects The Torah. Yes, “Christians” often will follow some of The Torah, but even at that they typically just take the commandments they still think applicable and create something they call “the law of Christ” so that they can justify in their minds obeying the parts of Torah they feel are still morally binding and simultaneously maintain a “not under the law” theology. This creates a cultural holiness where holiness is defined however one wants it to be. “Christianity” has literally created a religion where anyone can make up whatever definition they want for “holiness” and then deem themselves “holy” so long as they follow their own made-up definition of “holiness”.

            The other major Bible religion is “Judaism”. Here we find those who dedicate their entire life to following The Torah, but they reject Yeshua as The Messiah. The thing about this is that they fail to recognize that The Torah commands us to follow Yeshua. Deuteronomy 18:15-19 speaks of a prophet like Moses of whom we are to shema (hear, listen to, follow, and obey). In Acts chapters 3 and 7 it is revealed that this prophet like Moses is none other than Yeshua. So there is an absolute commandment in The Torah to follow Yeshua, which goes right back to the statement of Revelation 14:12 where it is BOTH following The Torah AND following Yeshua that are equally required.

            “Judaism” would have us to believe that Yeshua was simply a man, perhaps even a prophet, but certainly not one with the deity status of The Son of God. This is a position that would be wholly rejected by anyone who follows Yeshua as Messiah. And yet, the entire driving force behind this article is a heretical view that reduces Scripture to human writings. People who claim to follow Yeshua are actually regarding The Bible as a series of literature written by different human authors at different points in history and you cannot connect statements to build doctrine. This is the exact same error as those who would claim Yeshua was just a man, except that they are doing it to The Bible instead of The Messiah.

            Such are the sources of theological imbalances. Lean too much toward the “Jesus-only theology” of “Christianity” and your scales will tilt. Lean too much toward the Yeshua-rejecting beliefs of “Judaism” and your scales will tilt. And God hates all of these imbalances of theology. They are a total abomination in His eyes.

            Many like to point out that The Torah points to Yeshua, but then say Yeshua is greater. In a moment we will look at what The Bible says Yeshua is greater than, and we will also see what is not on that list. But yes, The Torah points to Yeshua. There is a commandment in Deuteronomy 18:15-19—which is part of The Torah—to shema (hear, listen to, follow, and obey) the prophet like Moses. So The Torah absolutely points to Yeshua.

            But Yeshua turns around and points right back to The Torah.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. … He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.”
—John 14:15. 21 (TLV)

“For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—because he wrote about Me.”
—John 5:46 (TLV)

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.”
—Matthew 5:17-18 (TLV)

            These are but a few, there are many, many passages that could be cited to show that Yeshua directed His followers right back to The Torah. The radical nature of Yeshua’s Gospel was not that it was greater than The Torah. The radical nature of Yeshua’s Gospel was to show us the greatness of The Torah.

            The Torah says not to commit adultery. Yeshua showed us the greatness of that commandment in how even lusting after another’s spouse is a violation of the commandment. The Torah says not to murder. Yeshua showed us the greatness of that commandment in how even speaking evil of your brother is a violation of the commandment. These things do not make Yeshua greater than The Torah, they show Yeshua teaching just how great, just how vast, just how deep, just how truly amazing and magnificent The Torah really is.

            Let me do a fun little exercise to show you the silliness of theology saying Yeshua is greater than The Torah.

“Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Yeshua said to him. “There is only One who is good; but if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
—Matthew 19:17 (TLV)

“Why do you call Me good?” Yeshua said to him. “No one is good except One—that is God.”
—Mark 10:18 (TLV)

So then, the Torah is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
—Romans 7:12 (TLV)

            Now, if I wanted to, I could take the same line of thought that the “Yeshua is greater than Torah” people are taking and say that Yeshua is not good but Torah is. The Bible says it. It’s written plain as day. There’s no denying that Yeshua is not good but Torah is not only good but holy and righteous and good.

            This is what happens when you have unbalanced scales of theology, especially when the imbalance is elevating either The Torah or The Messiah one above the other. And it will always lead you down a path of theological error and ultimately, if not stopped in time, will have you uttering blasphemous statements like those I am addressing in this article that reduce the words of The Bible to merely human writings.

            There are five books that make up The Torah as we know it today—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Number, and Deuteronomy. There are five books that make up The Gospel—Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts (because Acts is a continuation of Luke’s Gospel and is absolutely a Gospel writing, though many have not been taught this). While I am not a promoter of biblical numerology as it often presents bizarre claims, there are many scholars who look at the prophetic significance of numbers within reason and without crossing the line and they will say that the number ten is representative of completeness. Five Books of The Torah, five Books of The Gospel, ten Books in total—balanced scales, The Torah and Yeshua being equal in importance.

            Do you want to really know why Torah is so important and why you absolutely cannot reduce it and make it lesser that Yeshua or say Yeshua is greater?

You seem so gullible: you believe whatever anyone tells you even if he is preaching about another Jesus than the one we preach, or a different spirit than the Holy Spirit you received, or shows you a different way to be saved. You swallow it all.
—1 Corinthians 11:4 (TLB)

            This is why. The Bible tells us that there are counterfeits of Yeshua, The Gospel, and The Spirit that will arise and today have come into full fruition. Without The Torah being weighed equally against Yeshua you will find yourself following any of the many cultural “Jesus” false messiahs of modern religion. And that includes the ones being called Yeshua in Messianic and Hebrew Roots circles that are being promoted as “greater than Torah”.

            This is where you use your headlights to see in the dark instead of your wipers to see in the rain. There are times where Yeshua is truly greater than Torah in application, and times when Torah is greater, and just like there are times where you need to use both your wipers and your headlights because it is both raining and dark there are also many times where Yeshua and Torah are both equally essential. All of this shows how both Yeshua and Torah stand together as the two pillars of truth. Neither is ultimately greater or of more importance than the other. This is why a whole Bible theology where all Scripture influences context is so important, because theological imbalances always end with heresy.

Greater Than…

            OK, let’s take a look at this “greater than” issue. What does The Bible say Yeshua is greater than?

“But I tell you that something greater than the Temple is here.”
—Matthew 12:6 (TLV)

“And behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”
—Matthew 12:41 (TLV)

“And behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”
—Matthew 12:42 (TLV)

“But the testimony I have is greater than that from John. The works the Father has given Me to finish—the very works I am doing—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.”
—John 5:36 (TLV)

            That’s it. Those are the things The Bible says Yeshua is greater than.

            Now, Hebrews 3 does suggest that Yeshua is greater than Moses, but it is important to note that in the context of the passage it is referring to the actual man Moses, as opposed to some passages like John 5:46 and Acts 15:21 where the name “Moses” was used as a reference to The Torah give to and through Moses.

            Now let’s look at another interesting passage:

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all.
And no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
—John 10:29 (TLV)

            Let me ask a question here: Who gave The Torah?

            Of course we all know that The Torah was given by The Father. In fact, the actual commandments of The Torah—of which most have concluded total 613 in number—are the only thing in The Bible attributed directly to the mouth and hand of God. Everything else in The Bible—including statements prefaced by something like “Thus says the Lord”—is spoken through the person who wrote that particular book. But, again, all Scripture is God-breathed so everything in The Bible comes from God. The Torah, however, came directly from God without the use of a “middle-man”, making it stand above everything else in The Bible.

            It is also worth noting that not one thing in The Bible was written by Yeshua. The Gospel writers record many things He said, but nothing was written by His hand while The Torah [commandments] were written by the hand of The Father.

            Yeshua, as we noted earlier, said the only One who is good is The Father. So, then, do we turn around and say that The Torah is greater than Yeshua because we now have a clear biblical path that The Father is greater than all and The Torah came directly from The Father?

            NO!!! Of course not!

            The point is that you simply cannot pick apart The Bible and find passages to support Yeshua being greater than The Torah anymore than you can do so to say The Torah is greater than Yeshua. If you take a whole Bible context where everything said of Yeshua and everything said of The Torah is weighed, you will find a perfect balance where both are equal pillars of faith, both must equally be followed, and both are essential for eternal life. After all, Yeshua literally said in Matthew 19:17 that if you want to have eternal life you have to keep the commandments and in Matthew 5:20 that if your righteousness does not exceed that of the Pharisees and Torah-teachers you will not get into the Kingdom of heaven.

            As a little side note, righteousness is defined by The Bible in Deuteronomy 6:25 where it says: “It will be righteousness to us, if we take care to do all this commandment before Adonai our God, just as He has commanded us.’” To further solidify this for those who like to go to what Paul said or what Greek words used in the Apostolic writings mean, Romans 6:16 contrasts being a slave to obedience resulting in righteousness with being a slave to sin resulting in death—and sin is defined in 1 John 3:4 as breaking, transgressing, violating The Torah—and even the Greek word for righteous (dikaios, δίκαιος) is defined, so far as a biblical context is concerned, as “observing divine laws, keeping the commands of God”. And remember, that is Jewish Koine Greek, a dialect specific to the Jewish people who followed The Torah. I assure you that dikaios as used by Paul was used with the intent of promoting Torah-keeping.

            People who would pick apart The Bible and make claims that because it is a series of writings from human persons separated by hundreds or even thousands of years so you can’t “connect the dots” are just wrong. Look at this chart. It was put together by two Christian researchers and shows every verse in The Bible that is connected through similar language.

            Do you need anymore proof that God is the ultimate author of Scripture?

The Tree Of Knowledge

            Among the great contentions Yeshua and the Apostles had with religious Jews were the Sadducees, who according to Acts 23:8 did not believe in the resurrection or angel or spirit, and certain of the Pharisees who seem to be guilty above all else of approaching Scripture from a purely “intellectual” perspective. We see the latter in Rabbinic Judaism to this day, which is the existing remnant of Pharisaic Judaism. Rabbinic Jews commit their life to studying The Torah. On the surface, again, this sounds like a good thing. But one need only look a little deeper to see the flaws that have come from this.

            Proverbs 3:18 is often cited as a reference to The Torah being a tree of life. After all, the chapter begins with the declaration: “My son, do not forget my Torah,but let your heart keep my mitzvot.” Yet, many in the Messianic, Hebrew Roots, or Torah-whatever-we-are-calling-it-now movements seem to be making The Torah a tree of knowledge.

            Think about that. Think about approaches to Scripture that are purely analytical, purely intellectual, purely seeking to gain knowledge. Think about the subject I am addressing here where a man who has the ear of many in these movements who made statements that require The Bible to be reduced to human writings that need to be understood based on intellect and the claim that context can only be derived through the immediate circumstances surrounding the time it was written and the author who wrote any particular part of it.

            Here’s some food for thought: Yeshua was executed on the tree where He provides life for all who follow Him in His Torah lifestyle. But I suppose we can’t connect Torah being called a tree of life with Yeshua being crucified on the tree to give us life either. Yes, I am being sarcastic.

            It was the tree of knowledge that introduced sin into the world and the curse that accompanies it. Yet there are people today who are trying to make The Bible a book of knowledge. The Bible is a spirit book. The Bible is divine. The Bible is God-breathed. The Bible is living and active. You can’t reduce The Bible to a work of human hands. Doing so is blasphemous.

            I always find it amazing how some people always want to throw up “context, context, context” and “Ancient Near East Culture” and “honor and shame” and other such terms whenever someone says something they don’t seem to like. You know, pretty much everyone who studies The Bible from a Torah-positive position—as well as a good many who take a more antinomian approach to Scripture—are quite familiar with the context of what their cited passages are saying as well as with Ancient Near East culture and honor and shame. This is especially true of those who have attended actual Bible Colleges or Theology Seminaries. I know one of the things one of my professors harped on constantly was the Suzerainty Treaties of Ancient Near East Culture—something else that is important to the understanding of context and covenant in The Bible.

            Where I think many seem to “miss it” with regard to Ancient Near East is that this is a term that generally refers to the culture of ancient Mesopotamia, Babylon, Egypt, Asia Minor, the Armenian Highlands, etc. These are all, essentially, what the Israelites and The Bible refer to as “the nations”, “Gentiles” or even “heathens, pagans”, though “pagan” is a later term that likely did not exist in the early biblical narrative but is accepted as a word to define those who embrace a polytheistic religion such as did most of the Ancient Near East nations.

            In contrast to this, the Israelites worshiped Yah alone. They embraced the commandment to have no other gods before Yah. As stated in the book Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament by William Sanford LaSor, ‎David Allan Hubbard, ‎Frederic William Bush:

The name “monolatry” (worship of one god) is sometimes given to the early Israelite view, since it does not explicitly deny the existence of other gods. However, both monotheism and monolatry are philosophical concepts, and the Israelites do not appear to have been speculative philosophers. They did not conjecture about God. They knew him from their experiences with him. God had delivered them from Egypt and, consequently, demanded their complete devotion. Their faith was the result of experiences and not the conclusion of abstract logic.

            Think about that last statement: Their faith was the result of experiences and not the conclusion of abstract logic. Today Rabbinic Judaism and many groups that identify as either Messianic, Hebrew Roots, or Torah-whatever are seeking to approach Scripture solely through logic and knowledge. Now, while there is equally concerning dangers of strictly relying on experiences, as this leads to things like mysticism, kabbalah, much of what’s observed in modern Pentecostal Christianity today, and other such things, the fact remains that The Bible stands just as much a book about living in the supernatural as it is a book of the divine wisdom of God.

            You know, something I have heard in some Pentecostal Christian circles lately, and possibly even from some in Messianic circles though I can’t recall for certain, is the claim that “there are no other gods”. Just like everything else in this study, this is a claim that rejects what The Bible actually says. All views that conflict with the totality of Scripture and a Whole Bible Theology must be rejected. This especially includes views that would eliminate the deity of Yeshua or the divinity of The Bible.

            One thing I have noticed over the years is that trying to figure out The Bible by digging too deep and taking some grand academic approach all too often leads to heresy. Deuteronomy 29:28 (TLV) says: “The secret things belong to Adonai our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever—in order to do all the words of this Torah.” We’re supposed to be reading The Bible and doing what it says. That starts with The Torah, and following The Torah starts with faith that Yeshua is The Messiah. When you minimize either The Torah or Yeshua to being purely human you have destroyed The Gospel.

            And that is where I will end this message. Though a bit of an abrupt stop, I think it most appropriate to end with the fact that claims such as those addressed in this message—from the humanizing of Yeshua or The Bible to the denial of “other gods” and anything else the heretics and blasphemers of the modern age come up with—destroy The Gospel.

~Blessings and Shalom~
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