I read an extra Tehilla this morning, and the following came to mind. That is the one referenced herein.
It is difficult for me not to try to expound the ‘whole’ concept of Salvation in the Tanak, and doing so in one sitting would be a monumental effort. But, in the interest of time, I am going to try to summarize, and show that doing the works of the Torah was NEVER about being ‘saved’ by them, but that salvation was and is ALWAYS by TRUST in יהוה, and doing His Torah was always an expression of gratitude and obedience. That is what it is for me. Because it glorifies Elohim for us to do as He says to do, and it benefits us so greatly, in every way.
[For summative purposes, Yeshua IS יהוה in the flesh, and ‘was’ יהוה in the burning bush, and standing before Yerikho in Yehoshua 5, and appearing to Shmu’el in Shiloh, 1 Sam 3:21, etc, etc. [Heb 1:1], and will be יהוה in the Millennial Kingdom, the perfect ‘express image’ of HaAv, His Father, here on earth.]
The faithful in Israel ALWAYS believed that יהוה is Salvation, and therefore always trusted in Yeshua! Though they could only anticipate the coming of the Messiah in their future, they trusted that Salvation would come! And because of that, He saved them! Before He died for them! Just as He died for us before He saved us! The faithful of Israel LONGED for His coming! “Hinei, El Yeshua-ti, evtakh, v’lo efkhad!” “Behold, G-d is my Yeshua [Salvation], I will TRUST, and not be afraid.” [Is 12:2]
Yes, the Pharisees and others in Yisra’el DID teach salvation by works, but the Torah NEVER did! And this is what Sha’ul is explaining in the book of Romans.
The question for many is, ‘were the ‘patriarchs’ saved?’ There are many in the catholic-dominated mind-set [to include some ‘lutherans’ and ‘calvinists,’ ] who do NOT think they were/are saved! And, many ‘teachers’ completely neglect the topic of ‘salvation’ in the Torah, because it does not fit their [anti-Semitic] narrative.
Sha’ul points out that Avraham was ‘justified’ by His TRUST in יהוה . To be ‘justified’ means to have one’s record expunged, and to stand ‘free and clear’ before Yah. That is the beginning of Salvation. Sha’ul quotes the Torah in order to tell us this. But many ‘new testament’ readers completely ignore this fact. “Avraham trusted in יהוה and He [יהוה] considered it as tzedakah unto him [Avraham].”
Justification is what Shaul is teaching in Romim, saying that we obtain justification by trust alone. Salvation and justification go hand in hand, but are not the same thing. But, ‘justification’ is the inception of the process of salvation. And ‘salvation’ is then ‘worked out’ by the one who trusts. Sha’ul teaches this, saying,
“He [Yeshua] humbled himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the stake; therefore, Elohim also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the Name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of those in heaven, of those on earth, and those under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that He is יהוה , Yeshua HaMashiakh, to the glory of Elohim His Father. From now on, my beloved, just as you have always been obedient, not only in my presence, but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with reverence and trembling.”
King David was a “man after G-d’s own heart,” and anyone who is a Bible reader knows this. But Sha’ul had not been that way, and admits it to us in his letters, calling himself the ‘chief of sinners.’ He was trained thoroughly as a Pharisee, and had believed for most of his life that salvation was by his own works, his own ‘achieving’ of ‘tzedaka,’ or compelling G-d to ‘save’ him by his works of the Torah. The Torah NEVER teaches that! So, yes, the Jewish leadership, then and now, was wrong! And Sha’ul was corrected about it by Messiah Himself!
All Messiah said to Sha’ul when He ‘saved’ him was, “Why do you kick against the goads?” Sha’ul was a ThD, a theological Jewish scholar. He knew the reference Yeshua was making! “The WORDS [a synonym for the commandments, see Exodus 34:28 and look at the HEBREW!] of the wise are like GOADS, and like nails, firmly FIXED [permanent!]; they are collected sayings, given by ONE SHEPHERD…… FEAR ELOHIM and KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!” Eccl 12.
Sha’ul then learned that the whole point of the Torah was to direct us to Messiah, and this is what he taught to Gentiles. [Rom 10:4… it does NOT say ‘end of the law’ as most render it! Messiah is the goal at which the Torah aims; Torah guides us TO Messiah! The Torah is the ‘goads’ of which Yeshua reminded Sha’ul ]
But King David did understand this! The clearest place where we see that David understood that trusting יהוה is salvation is in the Tehillah, the ‘song’ he wrote when he repented about his sin concerning Bat Sheva.
First, he asks G-d to ‘grace me’ according to your loving compassion.’ And to ERASE his transgressions according to His MERCY. [Kollosim teaches us that the record of TRANSGRESSION is ‘blotted out,’ and our sin was nailed to a tree…NOT the Torah!]
Many teach that ‘grace and mercy’ was ‘new’ in the ‘new testament.’ Selah.
Then David pleads for G-d to wash him with hyssop [alluding to Pesakh/Passover].
Then, he admits that he was sinful from birth!
He understood that ‘in Adam all die, but in Mashiakh all live.’ He understood that NO MAN is ‘righteous/justified’ by his own merit, but we come into this world rife with sin, with the ‘law of sin’ or OUR ‘sin nature’ burning within us. It is this ‘law of sin,’ or our SIN NATURE from which Yeshua sets us free!
In verse 12, David shows us that he is ‘born again,’ ‘renewed,’ by the Ruakh [Spirit] of יהוה .
“Create in me a pure heart, O Elohim, and renew [khadesh, like in ‘Brit Khadasha,’ RENEWED Covenant; ‘born again?’] a ru’akh nakhon [he who is ‘born’ of the Ru’akh]: a RIGHT spirit, within me. Do not cast me away from your Presence, and do not take your Ru’akh HaKodesh [Holy Spirit] from me. RETURN TO ME the JOY of your YESHUA [Salvation!]”
David goes on to say that G-d does not ‘desire’ sacrifices. And this is true. BUT, He does REQUIRE sacrifices! “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” [Heb 9:22] And David knew this too! He ‘righted’ his heart through CONTRITION about having broken the Torah of G-d, and THEN he could come and make the required sacrifices. See verse 21!
David, and every Jew, before Yeshua came into the world, was saved by his contrition, and his continued/renewed trust in the mercy of Elohim, and he followed that up with obedience by offering the requisite offerings. This is also true of Avraham. He trusted, and was declared ‘just/righteous,’ having no sin counted against him, though he was still a sinner. But, THEN, he obeyed the statutes, laws, decrees and TORAH of יהוה . [Gen 26]. David therefore concludes, “THEN [after contrition] you WILL DESIRE sacrifices of TZEDAKA, with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; THEN shall they offer bulls upon YOUR altar.” Ps 51:21
The SACRIFICAL SYSTEM is what ‘changed,’ when Messiah rose from the dead and ascended. The PRIESTHOOD shifted and the BLOOD OFFERING became ONE FINAL OFFERING: the body and the blood of Messiah Yeshua. But, we STILL make that ‘offering,’ and the same offering as David: our own contrition, our own heart broken and contrite…confessing trust in Yeshua’s shed blood for receiving forgiveness, and for receiving the Ruakh HaKodesh.
Recently a ‘preacher’ was reported has having told the world [sic] ‘the holy spirit does not tell you what is wrong with you…’ and followed it with more new age ‘christian’ garbage. BALONEY! Yeshua’s own words:
“But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I should go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I should go, I will send it to you. And when it is come, it will rebuke the world concerning khata [sin], concerning tzedaka [justification] and concerning mishpat [judgment.]” [Yokh 16:7-8]
The Ru’akh ‘leads and guides’ us INTO TRUTH, according to Yeshua:
“But when the Ru’akh HaEmet [The Spirit of Truth] is come, it will guide you into all THE TRUTH; for it will not speak from itself, but what it hears it will speak…”
“Your Torah IS TRUTH.”
“The Torah IS RU’AKH.”
The Ru’akh is sent to guide us to Truth, to convince us of Truth, to teach us of Truth, rebuking us when we err. And when we err, we grieve Elohim, and thereby grieve His Ru’akh…
“And do not grieve the Ru’akh HaKodesh of Elohim, whereby you are sealed for Yom HaPedut.”
David had ‘grieved’ the Ru’akh, and Elohim had withdrawn Himself from David. Are we greater than David? The Ru’akh of Elohim is ‘pictured’ in the tabernacle of Moshe as the Menorah, and ‘seen’ in the Throne Room in the book of Revalation as a Menorah, seven ‘lamps’ burning ‘before the throne.’ Yeshua warned the congregation at Efesus, “Remember therefore from whence you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I will come to you very soon, and I will remove your Menorah from its place, unless you repent.”
Repent, and do. Efesus is warned to continue to ‘work out’ salvation! Yeshua and the Ru’akh are speaking to them, telling them, ‘REPENT!’ and “DO!”
This is an ‘organic’ process that will continue from the moment we believe, until we die, so that we might be conformed into the image of Messiah Yeshua, the Son of Elohim.
Into whose image are we being ‘transformed’ if we do not follow the SAME HALAKHAH that Yeshua followed? Halakha is ‘Torah walk,’ and Yokhanan is referencing Yeshua’s Torah Walk when he writes:
“And hereby we know that we know Him, if we keep His [Yeshua is יהוה] mitzvot [more than one commandment]. He who says “I know Him” and does not keep His mitzvot is a liar, and the truth [Torah, Jer 31:32] is not in him. But whoever keeps His WORD [Commandments and Word, again, the same thing!], in Him truly is the love of Elohim perfected. Hereby we know that we are in Him: He who says “I am in Him” ought himself also to walk His halakha.”
[Another proof that they wrote in a Semitic tongue: Halakha is a distinctly Jewish concept, and is one’s ‘torah walk.’]
Avraham met Yeshua. Moshe met Yeshua, David met Yeshua, they all looked forward to His ‘Salvation,’ His sacrifice. They trusted in the COMPASSIN and MERCY of יהוה , and not in their own works; but, they performed the works of the Torah in OBEDIENCE, out of a loving and grateful heart, recognizing His ‘khen,’ ‘khesed,’ and ‘rakham.’ Grace, Compassion, and Mercy. They were and are saved, because they continued in that trust, until they died. “Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant.” They offered offerings because HE SAID to, because Messiah’s own blood had not been offered yet. But, they trusted in Him, nonetheless! And not in their offering what was yet required.
Yokhanan 1 says, “For the Torah was given by Moshe; and truth and compassion came into being by Yeshua HaMashiakh.” Once again, Exodus 34:6-7 shows us that יהוה declared Himself FULL of khesed v’emet, ‘grace/compassion and truth.’ This is Yeshua! It was not ‘new’ when He appeared in a Body: it was MANIFESTED in His Body, and in His death and resurrection, but it certainly was not sprung on Israel as a ‘new thing.’
We are told that we will go to the Bosom of Avraham when we die. We are told that there is a great ‘cloud’ of witnesses, and many of them are named, in the Brit Khadashah, as being there BY TRUST/FAITH [Heb 11].
They are saved by their trust in יהוה , just as are we. So, what is ‘different’ in the renewal of the covenant? We are, each ONE of us, given the Ruakh [Spirit], whereas then, it was only for the prophet, or the priest, or the king. Israel went to the Beit HaMikdash to be in His Presence, three times a year. We have access to Him, EVERY DAY, because of Yeshua! The High Priest, Yeshua, ministers for us in the sanctuary above, and we go there by our trust in Him.
Salvation, therefore, has ALWAYS been by trust alone. And it still is.
So, why do I keep Torah? If you believe in Messiah Yeshua and want to please Him because you love Him, if you want to be like Him, YOU KEEP TORAH TOO!!! “ יהוה is your Elohim. You shall have no other gods.” “Do not make for yourselves idols and bow down to them in worship.” “Do not lift up the Name of יהוה for vanity.” “Honor your Father and your Mother.” “Do not murder.” “Do not commit adultery.” “Do not steal.” “Do not bear false witness.” “Do not covet anything.”
What about that. These are the 9 Commandments…. These were written in STONE by the very finger of G-d. They seem to be ‘ETERNAL’ to me…
10 you say?
“Remember the SABBATH DAY, to SET IT APART. Six days shall you labor and do all your work, but the SEVENTH DAY Is the Sabbath of יהוה your Elohim.”
So, do not debate me on the merits of the nine, and be duplicitous about the one! Either breaking that command is sin, just like breaking the other nine is, or we are lying to ourselves. Read YeshaYahu [Isaiah] 56-58. Then, show me where Yeshua Himself did not observe Sabbath [and I’m not talking about manmade/rabbinic ‘rules,’ but true honoring of Shabbat]. Show me where the Shlikhim [Apostles], any ONE of them, turned from the Sabbath. Or from the other Sabbaths listed in Lev 23. They did NOT.
My point is that our obedience has to be to Yeshua, who we claim was in the mountain with Moshe….our emulation has to be of Yeshua… not of Constantine, Tertullian, Origen, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, et al, but The MASTER of the Sabbath. Yeshua HaMashiakh. We obey because we are saved! We obey HIM, and NOT man. We emulate Him, and not the popes! “I must keep Torah” because I’m saved! “If you love me, (you will) keep my commandments.” “I and my Father are One.”
There are those who will be obedient in many areas, but persistently stubborn on this and other things. The difficult things of the Torah are to learn justice and mercy, to be better humans to one another. But, Yeshua teaches us to do the difficult things of the Torah, without forsaking the easy things of the Torah, like keeping His Sabbath! Avraham, Moshe, Yehoshua, David, Yeshua, Kefa, Sha’ul, they are all Sabbath Keepers! They all kept Passover! They all LOVE THE TORAH. They all trusted in HIS MERCY for salvation. But, they all learned to OBEY! The WHOLE THING, not just the verses that were convenient to their doctrine, conscience, tradition, or lifestyle.