Just what IS the Torah, and why Christians should be Keeping It.

Just what is Torah anyway?

When I was walking out Christianity I had to study some “Jewish History” so quickly in those classes I learned what the Torah was. However I was taught that the Torah was just for Israel also Just for the Jewish people. I was taught we Christians had nothing to do with Torah. Then in 2014-2015 I learned a very hard truth, the Torah wasn’t just for the Jews, but if one claims God and Christ, one should be “In Torah”, meaning studying it, following it and…….

Wait, what is the Torah, and where does that word actually come from, let’s start there.

Torah is a English transliteration/translation of a Hebrew Word. Most people who study the Bible at all learn the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, well ancient Hebrew. They also learn the New Testament was written in Greek. Specifically “Koine” coy-nay Greek. But Greek. So with this said the Old Testament being written in Hebrew we will find where the English in modern bibles use the word “Law” or “Commands” the word actually used in Hebrew is the following:

Let’s take Proverbs 4:2 which reads:

“For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:2‬.

That word using a concordance is in Hebrew (תּוֹרָה) H8451 “towrah” which is spelled in English as “Torah”. The meaning is, “Instruction, Direction, Law”. If you’re looking at it as “Law” it is the Mosaic “Laws given by God to Moses”, (the Ten Commandments) yet also as “Instruction” all the Instructions God gave His people.

The Torah isn’t a book outside the Bible like say the Talmud (Jewish commentary on the Torah). So what exactly is the Torah then?

The Torah is simply the First Five Books of our Christian Bibles. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. That’s really it. It is the foundation set by God for His People. It contains the how of creation, history of the people, and yes Gods Instructions on how He expected them and us to live.

Sadly the Christian embraces the history, is bored by the genealogy, and totally ignores in the first five books every Command or Instruction God gives His people. What God says do, the Christian says “that’s just for the Jew”. What God says Not to do, the Christian embraces and does willingly. So I want to show a quick demonstration.

Man says that having sex outside of marriage is good, you can have it on the first date. Biology says when a male and female have sex there is a good change a baby will be conceived. Man says it’s good and even legal to say choice is the mother opting to have an abortion. That it’s not murder but a medical procedure to break that tiny body apart, putting it into a small dish to count the parts to make sure the baby was properly disposed of. Hmmm.

The Bible says that’s murder (a sin) of a baby, like those who sacrifice children to the god “Molech” and that sex should be between a married man and woman which to do outside of that is “sexual immorality” and a sin.

If man uses man as the measure of man for morality we see that without Torah, man eventually becomes corrupt. We know God floods the world because man became “wicked, evil, and depraved”. We know that God destroyed the town of Sodom because of their wickedness. We see society today saying all things the Bible calls “good” being labeled as evil or said to be done away with, and all things bad according to the Bible embraced.

People take the Lords name in Vain, lie, cheat, steal, have sex outside of marriage, enjoy sexual promiscuity and immorality, swear at and even hate parents, and do things our own ways. This immoral society takes steps to silence all truth biblical, scientific, or in general. If one preaches biblically online its branded as “hate speech” and censored. People are locked out of their channels. Man loves sin and will always glorify flesh.

With all this said, it could be only my opinion. So let me assure you with scripture just what’s really up, and if Torah is for Christians also.

“Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the Lord your God.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭12:28‬.

Who is God addressing? His Chosen People. Is that “Christians”? No, God never declares “Christianity” as His people. Please keep reading for a moment and let me explain.

Here we have a few verses that explain this point. I hope you will take time to read them and look at where Israel is mentioned In the verses included or around them as context (meaning before and after the verses given). Scholars agree and support this fact that Israel is Gods Chosen People. Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 7:6-8, Deuteronomy 14:2, Deuteronomy 26:17-19, 2 Samuel 7:23-24, 1 Kings 8:53, 1 Kings 10:9, 1 Chronicles 17:20-21, Psalm 105:8-15, Psalm 135:4, Isaiah 41:8, Isaiah 43:1-3, Isaiah 44:21, Jeremiah 31:1-4, Jeremiah 46:27-28, Joel 3:1-2, Amos 3:1-2, Romans 11:1-2, Hebrews 8:8-13, these are just some of the instances where this is mentioned.

However Deuteronomy 12:28 says again the thing powerful, “Obey Gods Commands and all will go well with you“. The thing is He is talking to Israel. What about us who declare Christianity?

One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.” Thus all the children of Israel did; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.” Exodus‬ ‭12:49-50‬

Who is that foreigner? It is anybody who aligns themselves with the monotheistic God, the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God of the Bible and the Father of our Savior Jesus Christ. Here is two ways we know we are “Grafted Into Israel”.

“But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Ruth‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭

Ruth was originally from another family and married into Naomi’s family by marrying her son. Naomi was going back to her people and Ruth followed. “Your people will be my people and your God will be my God” Ruth shows us what the Graft looks like.

Many like to “but Paul said” to do away with God’s Commands or Jesus Words. But I’m going to “but Paul” you with the “Grafted In” explanation.

“But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. You are just a branch, not the root. “Well,” you may say, “those branches were broken off to make room for me.” Yes, but remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either.” Romans‬ ‭11:17-21‬.

Alright, so right now you might be calling out, “but I believe in Jesus”, so let’s look at all thing Christ for a moment. I’m doing this because Christianity teaches us “Jesus did away with the Torah (Law)”. We need to see first, who is Jesus. Second who’s Will did He do. And third did what did He teach?

1.Who is Jesus?

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.” John‬ ‭1:1-3‬ ‭

We understand the Word to mean the “Word of God” and that to mean The Holy Bible. This means Jesus is the Bible and also God as the personage of the Son and yet also the written Word.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John‬ ‭1:14‬

Alright so now we know who Jesus is. We have to wonder if Jesus is the Bible in human form, could He preach against Himself if He is God?

“But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew‬ ‭12:25‬.

Seeing the Bible and the message of Christ and God has been represented for 2000 plus years I’d say He is still standing, so NO Christ cannot be against God nor the Bible as He would be against Himself.

2. Who’s Will did Jesus come here to do?

“Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” John‬ ‭4:34‬.

3. What did Jesus teach and command? Was it different then God?

We remember what Jesus Father said from earlier with,

“Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy‬ ‭12:28‬.

Jesus taught the following,

““If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:15‬.

What did Jesus actually teach? How about two commandments. Let’s see

“Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”” Matthew‬ ‭22:37-40‬

What is the Law and the Prophets? We know the Law is Torah, but there are two more Hebrew Words to learn. Nevi’im, and Ketuvim. Nevi’im Is the Prophets, and Ketuvim are the Writings. This forms the Hebrew Bible called the “Tanakh” which is an acronym for Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim. We know this as the “Old Testament” which is NOT OLD or done away with but still very relevant today.

We can see clearly that Torah is for us “Grafted In Christians”. Why? Simple, we are Grafted Into Israel. The Bible was written for Israel not Christians. Jesus taught Torah, read from the Prophets in synagogue, and the temple. We see this in the Gospels.

“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.”
Luke‬ ‭4:16-20‬ NLT. This is to show even modern translations render it.

The passage Jesus read when He “found the place”, means Jesus found the appropriate place to read from during that week’s Torah/Haftarah reading. The Haftarah is a reading from the Prophets which pertains to the weekly Torah Portion. For the Jewish, Messianic Jewish, and Torah Observant Christians we Follow this weekly portion. Just as Jesus was doing. Let’s explore what Jesus read, we know this He read is Isaiah chapter 61.

““The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”” Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-3‬.

Alright so in the modern Jewish world in my Tanakh I cannot find Isaiah 61:1-3 listed as a Haftarah reading. However, this is I’m sure having to do with Lukes Gospel where Jesus uses it to declare He is the Messiah/Christ.

The Jewish liturgy has changed since the first century when Jesus/Yeshua walked the earth as a Hebrew Rabbi (Teacher) of The Tanakh (Old Testament) Hebrew Scriptures. In the first century they practiced The Triennial Reading Tradition. This means they spread out the Torah/Haftarah portions over guess what, three and a half years!!! How long was Jesus ministry? Three and a half years one complete triennial reading cycle. This is incredible as He is the Word made Flesh. But also during this time the weekly service was not like the single pastor in Christianity. People were called up to the speaking location Bema and read their portion of the portion. Guess what, they would also have a traveling teacher, or Torah educated person as a guest read as well. This person would get to read from Torah and also choose a prophetic book to read from. Jesus chose Isaiah 61 and declared His divinity for His mediation on the words linked to the Torah portion of the week based on the triennial reading plan. This is epic when speaking of the Godhead. I mean there was no coincidences. He walks out everything perfectly.

We know when Jesus says “as scripture says” He is preaching from the Tanakh. Many times over He preaches on Torah itself. Let’s look at two quickly.

““You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Matthew‬ ‭5:27-28‬.

Jesus is referencing the Torah (first five Books of Moses, and our Christian Bibles,

““You shall not commit adultery.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:14‬.

The second of many places we read this discussion.

“One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”” Luke‬ ‭10:25-28‬ ‭

What about when Jesus is tempted by Satan in the desert? Jesus quoted Torah. Over and over Jesus is called teacher/Rabbi because He taught the Tanakh especially Torah.

Jesus says loving Him means keeping Gods Commands. Those who don’t keep Gods Commands don’t love Him.

“Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.” John‬ ‭14:23-24‬.

As we have seen Father says Keeping His Commands Are Good,

“Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy‬ ‭12:28‬.

Jesus says that’s Loving Him second ago and now I have one more question and proof? What is sin?

“Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.” 1 John‬ ‭3:4‬.

Jesus tells us this as well,

“On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”
Matthew‬ ‭7:22-23‬.

The people He speaks of believed in Jesus, called Him Lord, did amazing things in His Name. But they were not following His Teachings. They broke His and Gods Laws “Torah”.

Also we have the idea that Christians are being taught Jesus did away with God’s Laws (Torah).

““Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” Matthew‬ ‭5:17-20‬.

Gods Torah/Instruction is for all those who follow Him and His Son. It’s God’s Instructions to His people. Jesus says it’s how you Love Him. John says whoever breaks it is Sining, and Jesus says those who break it, He will say He never knew and tell them to get away from Him.

My only question is are you a Pharisee declaring God and Christ while rejecting His Commands, if so, that’s hypocrisy and you won’t go to the the Kingdom. Jesus is also the Word made Flesh, meaning also His Fathers Instructions. This means deny the Word of God in any way you Deny God and Christ!!!

Can you really afford to not keep Torah as a Christian?

I say no!!!

I hope this finds your walk and helps you grow closer to God and Christ. Any questions email me at messianicmichaelm@gmail.

Shalom and God Bless