"If you love Me, keep My commandments......"
I made a lame attempt to make a count of how many times the Scriptures (from beginning to the very end of the Bible) make mention of how we, HIS people are to keep HIS commandments. This means that from Genesis to Revelation, it has always been HIS expectation and teaching that we (those that love and revere HIM as our Elohim), are to live and walk according to the ways that HE has clearly taught and defined for us in HIS Word. I failed to come up with a meaningful number as HE repeats this often and clearly from the speakings of YHVH to the teachings of Yeshua.
Having escaped from the false teachings of "the church" that HIS commandments are no longer valid or important for us has dramatically changed our lives as we strive daily to understand and walk out things that don't always make sense to us as we first read them. The beauty of Torah is that understanding and "revelation" of HIS commandments come to us as we first attempt to make them a part of our daily lives and learn to walk them out by HIS Spirit. In fact, it is a primary teaching of Torah that we are to "hear and obey", not "understand and implement". When we try to live by our own understanding, we find ourselves stumbling from one ditch to the other for the "way is narrow".
It has been our experience that many people believe that to keep HIS commandments is "legalism" or a form of "works". Thus they reject the real joy that comes from being able to grow in knowledge and understanding, but more importantly, in an intimate family relationship with our Heavenly Father. Most people have the understanding that it is necessary for children to obey their father and mother. I would think (or hope) that most people have the testimony of growing up in a household where the parents made the rules and the children were expected to obey. Those that don't have this testimony often have a testimony of a very different sort of family life, not generally, a good testimony. Why people think that their relationship within their Heavenly Family would be different and YHVH, their Heavenly Father would have a household without rules or expectations is a mystery of "the church"? "Grace" at our house came to those that fell short of expectation, but clearly ran out for those that weren't even trying.
Other people think that to keep HIS commandments is a harsh burden or even impossible. In the years that I've been studying Torah and learning step by step to keep HIS commandments, nothing could be further from the truth. One important point that was mentioned time and again during the conference is that we are NOT required to learn and do all 613 of HIS commandments. We learn them one at a time. It is a life's work to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). HE doesn't expect us to get it all right, nor can we as we're not in the Land. That's what grace is all about. Also, 613 commandments don't apply to everyone. Some commandments are for men, others for women and children and many of them are for the kings and priests. As Yeshua said, "HIS yoke is easy and HIS burden is light" (Mat. 11:30) Anyone that teaches otherwise is a fool and a liar as HIS Words on this are clear and easy to understand. We are to "delight in keeping HIS commandments" (Psalm 119).
During the conference, it was a joy to stand and worship with people that have embraced a Torah-based lifestyle. Some were only in the very beginnings of their "toddler years" and others had the testimony of witnessing the birth of the messianic movement from the very beginning. None of this mattered to anyone as we joined together and attempted to "worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH". We're all babies in some ways or another. We're struggling to embrace the teachings of Moses as foretold in the Book of Revelation for those that will stand before HIS throne one day will have "the testimony of Yeshua and the witness of keeping HIS Torah". (Rev. 12:11).
During the conference, it was an absolute pleasure for DannyLee and I to receive multiple confirmations on various issues that we've discussed and dissected on our long drives from one place to the next. We'd considered and settled for ourselves the sad issues that the enemy is using to divide and destroy HIS people such as the pronunciation and spelling of the sacred Names, the timing of Shabbat and the festivals, etc. These issues are really non-issues in light of the real issue of how we're going to survive together what's coming soon with the greater exodus and the time of tribulation. We're going to need to be able to come together. Fighting amongst ourselves on issues that have no clear answers leaves us vulnerable to destruction.
Repeatedly, during the conference, the many teachers/leaders in the group called on the people to lay aside such arguments and allow HIM to be the final Word on such things. We don't need to agree on minor issues in order to live together in HIS Love. We only need to agree that YHVH Elohim and Yeshua are in charge. Attempting to be an "expert" on any of these issues forces us to expend our time and energy into proving to everyone around us that we're "right" and that's just plain childish and silly. We need to "grow up" and seek HIS Will, HIS Word and HIS ways with all that is within us. Nothing else will satisfy................. (to be continued)