One Torah

One Torah is a ministry of reconciliation between Jewish and Gentile believers in the God of Israel. One Torah believes that there is one law, one faith, one body, one Messiah, and one God. Believers demonstrate this by loving God and loving one another; and we learn what love is in His law–the Torah.

We believe that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew)–this is God’s love toward us. But after we are saved, we show our love to God through obedience which results in abundant life and blessings for us and our families.

The church has the Messiah but has forgotten the Torah. The Jewish people have the Torah but have forgotten the Messiah. Only when this dilemma has been reconciled will we truly be the One people of the God of the Bible.

One law for Jews & Gentiles + One faith in the Messiah of Israel = One body.

For the congregation there shall be one rule for the native-born and for the resident foreigner who is living among you; it is an eternal rule throughout your generations. There will be one law and one rule for you and the resident foreigner who is living among you.
Numbers (Bamidbar) 15:15-16

 

What is the Torah? Should Christians keep the Sabbath and Passover? Should they keep the Jewish holidays, Jewish calendar or Hebrew calendar? What is Shabbat? What is eating kosher? These are just some of the questions that many Christians are asking themselves as what is commonly known as the Hebrew Roots Movement is rapidly growing around the world.

At the same time, those who practice traditional Judaism have long dismissed Christianity because they cannot reconcile Jesus with the Hebrew Bible’s description of a prophet or messiah. A prophet or anointed leader of Israel by definition cannot teach against the very laws and commandments of the God of Israel.

Yet that is how the Christian church has presented Jesus for centuries. Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) came to do away with the Sabbath and with distinguishing between clean and unclean foods and with keeping the holidays (holy days) established by God through Moses. In fact, Jesus came to start a brand new religion called Christianity and to do away with Judaism.

But is that what the Old Testament (Tanakh) predicts and what the New Testament (Brit Hadasha) teaches?

Christians teach that through Jesus there is no longer a distinction between Jews and Gentiles, but they require Jews to give up the keeping of the law (Torah in Hebrew) in order to be accepted into the Christian community–or be labeled a ‘legalist.’ But how could any practicing Jew abandon the Sabbath and Passover and the rest of the holy days and commandments found in the Bible? Should they have to?

Or should Christians have to keep the Jewish holidays and follow the Jewish calendar in order to be accepted by the Jews? And what about all of the additional traditions that Judaism practices that are not found in the Hebrew Bible? And after all, wasn’t the law only intended for the Jewish people anyway?

 

The Law is only for the Jewish people, right?

That’s certainly what we were taught. The Law (or ‘Torah’ in Hebrew) was given to the Jews by Moses. But that’s not what the Scriptures say. The Bible shows us that it was God Himself who gave His commandments to all of His people, and that He simply used Moses as the way of giving it to them.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven.’ Exodus (Shemot) 20:22

 

In other words, Moses did not invent the Torah, it’s God’s law given through Moses. And to whom was it given?

To all 12 tribes of Israel and the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt with them.

The Egyptians urged the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, “We will all be dead”…Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock. Exodus (Shemot) 12:33ff

 

So we can clearly see that is was God Himself who gave the law (Torah) to all 12 tribes of Israel and the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt with them. The ‘Jews’ are simply those of the tribe of Judah and are but one of the twelve tribes. The ‘mixed multitude’ are those who were not of the 12 tribes of Israel by bloodline–in other words, Gentiles. (Wait a second…didn’t the apostle Paul say something about how there’s no longer Jews nor Gentiles? We’ll get to that.)

So it was the Jews (tribe of Judah) and the other 11 tribes of Israel and the mixed multitude who God led out of Egypt. And so it was this entire group of people who made up the assembly at Mt. Sinai where God gave His law to His people.

That’s what the Bible says. If that’s not what you were taught in church or synagogue, seminary or yeshiva, maybe you should keep reading…

 

But I’m not part of Israel, am I?

That’s a great question! Only God knows for sure who is a physical descendent of one of the 12 tribes of Israel–including the tribe of Judah better known as the Jews. We certainly don’t know. But we don’t have to either, because the Scriptures don’t teach that Israel has ever been or will ever be made up only of those of the physical bloodline of the sons of Jacob (Israel). The bigger and better question we should be asking is why does it matter who Israel is? Here’s a good reason to want to know…

But Jesus answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Matthew 10:5-7

So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6

Click to learn more about Who is Israel?

 

But doesn’t the Apostle Paul teach that the Law was done away with?

That’s certainly what the church teaches. The problem is that Paul frequently contradicts himself, at least he seems to. Sometimes he seems to be saying that the law is good and still applies, sometimes he seems to be saying it’s bondage and has been done away with:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. Romans 2:13

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. Romans 3:20

So which Paul do we listen to and why does he seem to contradict himself? Click to learn more about the apostle Paul’s teaching on the law.

 

But what does Jesus have to say about the Law?

After all, to the Christian he is the Lord and Savior, the Word made flesh, the embodiment of the law. And regardless of what Paul says, Christians should always follow what Jesus teaches, right? Here’s what Jesus says in Matthew 5:17-20:

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

We know, we know–we’ve been in church for 20+ years–everyone knows that ‘Jesus did away with the Law, so we don’t have to keep it.’ But is that what Jesus himself says? Here’s some questions we have after reading Matthew 5:

  • Has heaven and earth passed away?
  • Did Jesus accomplish all at His first coming, or is there more to be fulfilled at His second coming?
  • Why is there a second coming if there’s nothing left to fulfill/accomplish?
  • If ‘fulfill’ means to do away with, what does ‘abolish’ mean?
  • Why would those who keep the Law and teach others to do so be called “great in the kingdom of heaven” if the Law is bad and has been done away with?
  • What does Jesus mean when he says that our righteousness has to surpass that of the religious leaders of his day in order for us to enter the kingdom of heaven?

Click to learn more about what Jesus taught about the Law.

 

If you’re new to Torah or to the Hebrew Roots Movement, start here. And may you be blessed as you learn Torah!