Torah is Love
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Home About Us Media Holy Days Updates Donate Contact Us 2017 Ehdaht Adonai Beshalom Ve’emet  Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All correspondence and questions should be sent to g@torahislove.org. Romans 11:17-18
Torah  is  love

To appeal to a broader audience, we often use the

names of God in their Hebrew and in their equivalent

Greek or English translations. We find the apostles and

authors also used Gods name in different

languages and explaining the meanings of certain

words and names in others languages within the same

text. Also, the New Testament was recorded in Greek,

Arabic and Hebrew. Paul used more than one language

when expressing Gods names and other words or

phrases, as he traveled throughout Asia Minor. To

appeal to a wider audience, the authors of the New

Testament would use a word or name for God in one

language and then translate its definition into another

Language.



Yeshua or Jesus?


The use of the descriptive title Messiah translated as

Christ is just one of many examples.

Notice:

John 1:41 He (Andrew) first found his own brother

Simon, and said to him, "We have found the

Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ)


Wanting to reach Jews and non-Jews alike, John used

both the Hebrew description of the name of the Son of

God (Messiah) and the Greek equivalent (Christ).

Similarly, we find Matthew doing the same thing:

Matt 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child,

and bear a Son, and they shall call His name

Immanuel, which is translated, "God with us."

NKJV

Matthew wrote for a primarily Jewish audience so he

used the Hebrew language. “Immanuel” is Hebrew, but

“God with us” is Greek. Clearly, Matthew was using

Gods names in both languages so that he would

appeal to both Jews and non-Jews. Not wanting to

leave out the non-Jews, he explained the meanings of

Hebrew names in terms the Greeks would also be able

to relate with. This is important.

We find this practiced by many of the apostles in a

variety of different instances (Matt 1:23, Mark 5:41,

Mark 15:22, 34, John 1:41,42, John 9:7, Acts 4:36,

Acts 9:36). Clearly, John saw a benefit and purpose in

referring to Yeshua as both Messiah and Christ (John

1:41).

Jesus is a variation of the Greek “Iesou’s.” Jesus is the

result of a people that found it difficult to pronounce

the Greek name “Iesou’s,” and so settled upon “Jesus.”

Iesou’s is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name

Yeshua, or Yeshuah – meaning The Lord delivers.”

Christ is Greek for the Hebrew term meaning The

Anointed One – or the Messiah.



Messianic or Christian?


Messianic is another descriptive term that is, in reality,

identical in meaning to the term “Christian” with the

only real difference being the labels that different

groups use to refer to one another. Today, the term

“Messianic” is used by many Jewish and Gentile

Christians who do not want to be confused with

mainstream Christianity that ignores the “Jewishness”

of our Messiah, or His practices and teachings – including

what many mistakenly call the “Jewish Feasts,” “Jewish

Sabbaths” and old “Jewish Laws.”

While many believers use the term “Messianic” to

differentiate themselves from Christians who do not

keep God’s Laws (or the Torah); some Christians

avoid use of the term “Messianic” out of fear of being

thought of as “Jewish” or not wanting to appear to

practice any form of Judaism. But the original Church

of God was primarily Jewish in its membership! Even

Paul taught the Gentiles that they were “grafted into

the natural olive tree that was Israel. Therefore, Jews

and Gentiles should learn to be comfortable with one

Another.

Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches were

broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were

grafted in among them, and with them became a

partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,

18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do

boast, remember that you do not support the root,

but the root supports you.


The “root” of Israel is at the core of true Christianity.

The faith God brought the world through His Son

and the Jewish son of David – is rooted in Hebrew

history, Hebrew religion, Jewish life and faith.

Therefore, when practiced in its pure form, being a

disciple of Yeshua will continue to appear somewhat

“Jewish.” Because the Jews or Israelites were the first

people to receive God’s Words, and because they are

the ones God chose to preserve His Words (Rom 3:1-

2), a form of what some will call “Judaism” is always

going to be a part of God’s Truth and His Church.

Some believe a Messianic is merely a Jewish

Christian, but there are many Gentiles who also

consider themselves Messianic and/or who attend

Messianic congregations. While Messianic Jews and

Gentiles alike place their hope in the mercy of God

through the Messiah like all Christians do, at least

Messianic congregations can generally be expected to

keep Gods laws, Sabbaths and Feasts. Generally,

Messianic congregations do not believe the Messiah

came to abrogate the Law of God. They understand He

came to fulfill it (Matt 5:17-19)! A Messiah that taught

and fulfilled His Fathers Law has been the mantra of

the true Church of God for generations. But even

among those groups who call themselves Messianic

believers today, many vary significantly in their

doctrine and practices.

The most often used church name in the New

Testament (and therefore usually the most preferred)

for Jews and Gentiles alike was “the Church of God

(Acts 20:28, 1 Cor 1:2, 10:32, 11:22, 15:9, 2 Cor 1:1,

Gal 1:13, 1 Tim3:5). Yet, even that biblically

descriptive name has been applied to so many different

churches today that differ vastly in their practice and

doctrine from the church Jesus and the apostles

founded, that it has lost most of its original esoteric

meaning to most people. Having said that, Paul did

also refer to the Messiah’s flocks as the “Churches of

Christ:”

Rom 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss.

The churches of Christ salute you. KJV

Since “church” means “congregation,” and since, as

John showed us in John 1:41, Christ is a direct

translation of Messiah; to say, “churches of Christ” is

the same as saying “churches of Messiah” or

Messianic congregation. Paul also referred to the

church as “Church of the Firstborn” (Heb 12:23).

Obviously the firstborn was Jesus (Rom 8:29).

Equivalent translations of that application of Pauls

name for God’s Church then would be:

 

Church of Messiah, Church of Yeshua, Church of Jesus or

Church of Christ.


It takes more than a mere name to be a body of faithful

disciples and believers of Christ and the Most High Father.

Some have assumed that having what they have been

taught was the only correct name was an evidence of

their being the true “Church of God.”

Other churches, (ones which were called by

some other name), were not really considered part of

the true Church of God, just because they didnt have

the “right name.” But such a belief is not founded in

scripture. Respectfully, such a limiting belief is more

akin to being misled with a blind self-confidence than

it is to an understanding of the words of the Holy

Bible.



Torah or Law?

Torah is one of those descriptive terms that, when

translated into the English word “law,” is quite

inadequate and limiting. When we read the English

word “law” in the Bible, it is most generally translated

from the word “Torah.” In English, “law” usually

invokes the thought of God’s commandments. But

Torah means so much more than merely God’s

Commandments. Torah means the whole instruction

from God – including, but not limited to His

Commandments. Torah refers to the whole of Genesis,

Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. But in

context, Torah also includes the whole of God’s Words

– including the prophets, writings and Psalms. For a

Messianic or understanding Christian, Torah would

then include the New Testament as well.


Torah implies and includes the whole of Gods law,

but it is so much more!


Torah includes God’s enlightening Testimonies,

Statutes, the written examples and stories, God’s

instructions, the prophecies, the inspirational writings,

the Gospels, and epistles etc…. At its core, TORAH

means ALL of God’s instructions! Paul referred to the

“whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). Lets not limit

God’s Words by our unfamiliarity with certain words

which God inspired to be used in Holy Scripture.




YHWH or God?


It would take too much time to record herein all the

times when God’s names – each filled with unique,

rich meaning – are translated simply as God or LORD.

Therefore, like the apostles, we sometimes also use the

Hebrew name to convey its full descriptive depth of

meaning.

Some, out of fear or concern of perceived Judaism,”

have avoided terms that are used in the Bible,

including terms and names used by the Gentile

members of biblical Church of God. How far some

have descended out of fear; or of being

“uncomfortable” or being “suspect” of the unknown?

It is understandable why people would want to avoid

going in the direction of “Judaism,” if Judaism meant

becoming like the Pharisees. This author also wants to

avoid that form of “Judaism,” or anything close to it!

But to avoid anything one perceives as “Jewish” is to

avoid the “root” that we are all grafted into, which

“root” is Israel (Rom 11:17-18).

Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water. A

person can learn from the best of other cultures and

peoples, without emulating their weaknesses or faults.

We as a group attempt to use terms that:

1     Accurately describe the original apostolic

Jerusalem Church of God, to which Gentiles

were invited and grafted into.

2     Speak to the type of people that are the most

likely to look at a website of this nature, i.e.,

those who are already predisposed to keep

God’s Sabbaths, Feasts and the Torah.

3     Use a variety of terms (Jesus / Yeshua,

Christ / Messiah, Passover service / Seder,

etc…) in an attempt to reach and bring

together differing believers in the unity of

the One name that God has given us as the

Savior of the World – the Son and Lamb of

God (John 3:16).

This has been a difficult but important task, and we are

doing our best with it. But with the vastness and

diverseness of what is called “Christianity” today, it is

nearly impossible to find names or terms that purely

describe the biblical Congregation of God or its doctrine.

Even more difficult has been the task of finding words

that speak to as many believers in our Messiah as

possible, while alienating as few as possible. While

one group of people is made more comfortable by the

use of certain words, others seem distrustful or suspect

of them. The same applies vise-a-versa. This was one

of Paul’s greatest challenges, and one that he struggled

frustratingly with throughout his life. This author has

been made to understand Paul’s frustration.

To the Jews, Paul was persecuted for not being

“Jewish” enough in his teachings and practices. To the

Gentiles, Paul was persecuted for bringing a strange

new “Jewish” religion to them. But with God’s help,

Paul was able to bring Gentiles together into the one,

true faith with the believing Jews. In Christ, being a

Jew or Gentile is less important than living the true

faith (Gal 3:28). This does not mean that Jews are to

become like Gentiles, leaving their heritage behind.

The natural tree, we’re all grafted into, is Israel. It

means that we put aside our life to let Messiah Yeshua

live in us (Gal 2:24). There is one LORD and one

Church – the Church of God, the Church of Christ kept

in His Fathers Name – meaning kept in His Father’s

favor and truth. That includes Messianic believers and

Gentile believers.


Indeed, Paul was all things to all people, so that he

could save as many as possible (1 Cor 9:22).


But let’s remember; all during Paul’s faithful ministry

to the Gentiles, his hope and intent was always to

provoke to salvation his fellow Jews (Rom 11:13-14).

“I have become all things to all men,

that I might by all means save some.” ~ Apostle Paul


What’s In The Name?