02/09/2013 Sabbath Meeting Transcript

"For the Love of Strangers"

EliYah's message:

 We are going to talk today about: Why was it that all those years of mainstream Christian thought, and everything---what was the thing that was keeping everyday, normal, Sunday going Christians from seeing the blessing of the Hebraic roots?

What was it? Why were their eyes not open to it? And why, all of a sudden, in the last 20 years, whatever (I don't know-- the last 15 years, maybe 17 years), why this explosion of interest in Hebraic things? And we are going to be covering some of this today along with some other areas.

But the area that we have been examining of Scripture is from Exodus 22. This is part of our "Precepts and Principles of the Torah." We are going through the Torah as slow or as fast as we feel the need to do so-- kind of deep-sea dive into different things that Scriptures bring up. And today we are going to talk about: "For the Love of Strangers."

It is kind of a strange way of calling people, but "strangers" is the King James Version/New King James Version of saying a "sojourner" or "foreigner" who is living in the land. So, we are going to get into that.

But first, we do want to cover a couple of Scriptures that are not necessarily related to that in a direct way. But in an indirect way, I am going to bring this point up as well.

Our first text (where we left off last week) is Exodus 22, verse 19. It says:

 Exodus 22:19 - "Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.

Of course, bestiality is an abomination in the eyes of Yahweh. And it is an abomination in the sight of, hopefully, almost every human being in the United States, or at least the world. But apparently, I guess, I don't know, more and more deviant things are happening. But it certainly is a disgusting thought.

So I like to bring this point up. And it depends on whom I am talking to, but you know, some people would like to tell us that our New Testament is self-containing-- we don't need verses from the Old Testament to tell us what is right or wrong.

And if you tell people, "You know, it says in the Ten Commandments to keep the Sabbath," there will be some who will say, "Well, that is the only commandment out of the Ten Commandments that was not repeated in the New Testament."

Actually, I can show you where it is repeated in the New Testament, but they like to bring that up. And the foundation, the basis upon which they make this rejection of the Sabbath Day valid in their eyes is simply because, "Oh, we don't see it written in the New Testament."

Now there are some denominations, such as the Churches of Christ, that go to an extreme with that concept and would say, "Well, we don't find any of the disciples using instruments to give praise to Yahweh (or as they would say, 'God'), therefore we do not believe it is right to use instruments."

And there are others who are, you know, what do they call it? Burger King religion? You know, you kind of have it your way. Pick what you want out of the Torah, follow what you want-- whatever suits your fancy.

Well, they will take Psalms, they will take Proverbs, but just don't give them Leviticus or Deuteronomy-- "That's old. We don't do that anymore."

And then there are others, you know, they want to know, "Well, isn't that Sabbath just a sign between Israel and Yahweh? What does that have to do with me?"

But what I would like to bring up is, if we believe that we can ignore the Sabbath now because the commandment is not repeated in the New Testament, and if that is the foundation from which we make our rejection of the Sabbath, then is this commandment (Exodus 22:19) repeated anywhere in the New Testament, you know, forbidding bestiality?

It never specifically says that it is wrong in the New Testament.

And actually, it never says in the New Testament it is wrong to take a bribe or... I mean... nowhere in the New Testament does it say, specifically, "Take 10% of your income and give it to the church." They have to go into Malachi, and say, "Well, people are robbing 'God' (as they would say)."

Of course, they like that Old Testament, you know. That is the "have it your way" religion.

I am not trying to mock anybody, but that is the attitude some people take. And they will accuse us of doing the same-- "Well, you don't do the sacrifices." "Where is the temple?" "Why are you not stoning people?"

And those are all the result of misunderstanding "the Law." But we do, at least I do, believe every precept, everything in the Torah, is for us to observe, to the extent that it was intended to be for the common man in Israel and to the extent that we are able to do what Yahweh has told us to do. Anyway, that is one thing I would bring up.

And this next verse, in verse 20, says: "He who sacrifices to any god (or elohim), except to Yahweh only, he shall be utterly destroyed."

 Exodus 22:20 - "He who sacrifices to [any] god, except to YAHWEH only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

Wow! You don't make offerings to other elohim in Israel. You will be utterly destroyed. That is the command here.

Now what is a sacrifice? We know it is giving an offering to the one you believe is perhaps super-human or worthy of your submission.

Now what if the enemy could disguise himself? What if the enemy could disguise himself and get loads of people to give homage to him and to his doctrines, and at the same time, enabling him to promote his theology?

We see, actually, some of these elements in the observances of Christmas and Easter, where, okay, you are not literally giving a sacrifice to a pagan god, but you are giving homage to the customs that were doctrines of demons and remain doctrines of demons.

For instance, in the next few months we will see Easter coming around. The very name of the holiday (Easter) is the name of a pagan goddess. I mean, how is that not paying homage to and trying to mix the things of demons with the things of Elohim? But, they don't mix.

And also, every movie (have you ever noticed this?), every movie that is out there has a certain theology to it.

And people go and they take some of their income and they buy these movies, which promote satanic theology, a humanistic worldview or maybe even a stronger worldview against the things of Elohim, and give that money to the entertainment companies so they can continue their devilish ministries and propagate their unholy theology to the whole world.

You know, we have to look not just at the command. We have to look at the principle here. He doesn't want anyone giving homage to His enemy, Satan the devil. He only wants us to give offerings, give of ourselves, to Him and not to other elohim.

And so, we want to be men and women after Yahweh's own heart. And so, I don't care if it is a... you know, whatever it is... we want to be careful with where we spend our money and what we put money into.

Now, to some extant, the other people are responsible with what they do with that money, but we would not want to finance wickedness if we could do anything about it.

And I understand there is a line here. You could really go to extremes-- "I can't buy the bread at the store because it was made on the Sabbath. The company was a Sabbath breaking company and I'm enabling them." You can go to an extreme, but, you know, what they do is their business.

However, when you know the purpose of what they are doing is to promote a satanic theology to get people to think a certain way, I wouldn't buy into it. And so, we don't want to buy into it. We don't want to be a part of that.

And we can look at the principles behind what Yahweh is seeking to teach us, and we can just look at the surface and just look at the laws and lists of dos and don'ts and get by with what we can. Or we can try to look at what the heart is behind it, the spirit behind it.

Yahushua spent a lot of time trying to get people to look at the heart behind what Yahweh is saying to us. That is the way He taught Torah. That is the way He told His disciples to teach Torah. And that is the way the Old Testament prophets taught Yahweh's Law.

The word "torah" is the Hebrew word for "law." So when I say "Torah," I am only talking about the Scriptures, the Old Testament. And I actually would extend that to the New Testament. But, you know, this is the way the disciples of Yahushua, and Yahushua Himself, looked at the Torah.

For instance, when it comes to divorce and remarriage, He says, "Haven't you read from the beginning there was male and female and what Elohim has joined together don't let man separate? They are one flesh." What else do you need, you know, as if, "Haven't you read this?

He was taking something in the Torah (in this case Genesis), and He was applying it in a broader sense. Paul says, "Don't muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. Therefore make sure the elders, who labor in the Word, are counted worthy of double honor, and make sure that they are taken care of."

And so, He is taking principles out of the Torah and they are being applied in a broader sense than the narrow sense in which they were given. And our goal, because we love Yahweh, is we want to be like David and not just look at the laws as legislation, but as instruction and principles by which we desire to live our lives.

So, let's continue here. And this is a huge one right here. It says:

 Exodus 22:21 - "You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

And it says:

 Exodus 23:9 - "Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Now strangers were people who were living with Israel. They may or may not have been believers, but they were dwelling in the land. Perhaps they were passing through. Perhaps they were staying and engaging in some business there in Israel for a while. Maybe they were captives in war.

But regardless, Yahweh commanded Israel they were not to mistreat or oppress them.

Now the Hebrew word translated "stranger" is the word "ger," which means a "sojourner" or "stranger." Abraham was a "ger" in the land even though Yahweh promised that his descendants would inherit this land.

Israel was "ger" in the land of Egypt. They were called pilgrims and strangers in the land. And they (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), even though they walked through this land, they did not consider this, even the land they were to inherit, they did not even consider that their permanent home.

If you read Hebrews 11:8, it says:

 Hebrews 11:8 - By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

9 - By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as [in] a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;

10 - for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker [is] Elohim.

And actually, in a technical sense, Israel were "ger" in their own land because the land belongs to Yahweh.

Leviticus 25:23 says: "The land shall not be sold permanently." He gives a reason. This is the reason for the land not being sold permanently:

 Leviticus 25:23 - `The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land [is] Mine; for you [are] strangers and sojourners with Me.

This is Yahweh's land. The land of Israel today doesn't belong, in a technical way, does not really belong to Israel, to the people of Israel. According to this Scripture, they are even strangers and sojourners.

The land belongs to Elohim. Actually, the whole earth is Yahweh's and all its fullness. But this is a land He has chosen. And so, they are all fighting over the land. Well, why don't we all just give it back to Yahweh, and then He will decide?

And we do see He decided that the descendants of Abraham would dwell there, specifically the descendants of Israel/Jacob.

But it is just interesting, you know, that this is the reason why they had this land divided up to different families, and that land stayed within those families because, really, even if you sold it to somebody else, it goes back to the original family. Why? Because the land belongs to Elohim.

Now, those who were not natives of the land, but they were strangers and they did not have a specific inheritance there, they were instructed to just live like the rest of Israel lived.

In Deuteronomy 31:12, it says:

 Deuteronomy 31:12 - "Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who [is] within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear YAHWEH your Elohim and carefully observe all the words of this law,

13 - "and [that] their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear YAHWEH your Elohim as long as you live in the land which you cross the Jordan to possess."

That is children of strangers.

This was on the Feast of Tabernacles-- "Come together and hear the Law. Strangers, too. Foreigners, come on. Come on up to Jerusalem and hear Yahweh's Law!" That is His will.

Sabbath, also. In Exodus 23:12, it says:

 Exodus 23:12 - "Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed.

This is the foreigner. Right there. It doesn't take long to find out, reading through the Torah, that Yahweh wanted not just Israel to keep the Sabbath day, but also foreigners to keep the Sabbath day, because the Sabbath was made for man.

It doesn't say the Sabbath was made for Jews. Yahushua said the Sabbath was made for man.

And later, in Jeremiah 7:5, it says:

 Jeremiah 7:5 - "For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor,

6 - "[if] you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt,

He is concerned about the stranger. "Do not oppress the stranger."

 Jeremiah 7:7 - "then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.

Those are the requirements: Do these things. He is very concerned about the stranger.

We see again, Deuteronomy 24:17:

 Deuteronomy 24:17 - "You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow's garment as a pledge.

We will be talking about the fatherless next week.

 Deuteronomy 24:18 - "But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and YAHWEH your Elohim redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing.

Can't forget your roots, where you came from. Don't pervert justice due the stranger.

 Deuteronomy 24:19 - "When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that YAHWEH your Elohim may bless you in all the work of your hands.

20 - "When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

 Deuteronomy 24:21 - "When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean [it] afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

22 - "And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this thing.

What is the principle here? I hope we all can see this: Don't be stingy with your stuff. You know, let those who are at a disadvantage take what would normally be yours. You know? Don't be so stingy about it. And in a society like this, the poor would not feel the need to steal because everyone is already so generous.

And He wanted to create an environment of giving in Israel. There is the giving of the tithe, and this is besides the tithe. So, yeah, actually they gave more than 10%. They just kind of left the remnant. If you forgot something out in the field, don't go back to get it. Just let the stranger and fatherless and widow come and take from that.

And actually, Yahushua Himself, what did He do? He went to the grainfields on the Sabbath day and plucked a few heads. Apparently, that would have been the corners of the grain fields. Otherwise, it would be thievery. They went through the grain fields (we don't know all the details), but He could have been one of those who benefited from that.

And so, how can we apply this today? If you are a business owner or if you are a person in a situation where you see somebody has a need, you know, don't be stingy about your things. Have a cheerful and giving attitude. And Yahushua said, "It is more blessed to give than it is to receive." And so, those are some lessons.

Now the strangers didn't have land, not unless it was temporary, and so, they would not necessarily have any way of raising food or anything. And so, this was a way for them to be provided for.

Now this was in stark contrast to many other nations, who were very hostile to foreigners, and they did not treat them with kindness. But Israel was instructed to treat their strangers among them with kindness, justice and fairness.

 Deuteronomy 10:17 - "For YAHWEH your Elohim [is] Elohim of gods and Master of lords, the great Elohim, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.

18 - "He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.

19 - "Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

If Yahweh didn't love the stranger, then He wouldn't have called the strangers out of Egypt, right? But He loves all nations, Jew and Gentile alike. He loves. I like that.

 Leviticus 19:34 - `The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] YAHWEH your Elohim.

Just like one born. Not a Jew nor Greek. We are all one, right, in Messiah Yahushua? So treat them like a homeland person. Treat them like somebody who is a native of the land. "You shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers (He keeps saying this) in the land of Egypt."

These are just righteous principles.

Another verse, Leviticus 17:15. It says:

 Leviticus 17:15 - "And every person who eats what died [naturally] or what was torn [by beasts, whether he is] a native of your own country or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. Then he shall be clean.

16 - "But if he does not wash [them] or bathe his body, then he shall bear his guilt."

A stranger-- they had to keep these clean and unclean laws.

And not all strangers were poor. We see in Leviticus 25:47, it says:

 Leviticus 25:47 - `Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and [one of] your brethren [who dwells] by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger [or] sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger's family,

48 - `after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him;

So, we have already gone over the slavery issue. I just want to bring this out here that not every stranger in Israel was poor.

All right. The principle is repeated in Yahushua's words here. It is talking about (in Matthew 25:34), He is giving the parable, which, hopefully, most of us are familiar with.

 Matthew 25:34 - "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, `Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 - `for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;

Foreigners, Yahushua has a heart for, also. And regardless of whether they were of the stock of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or whether they were another person, every human being on the planet is created in the image of Elohim, and we are to treat everyone the same.

Now I wish the American people back in the 1700's would have recognized these things when they initiated the slave trade and did the slavery. But there is still some racism today, which ought not be, even within the body of Messiah.

We have everyone kind of flocking to (not everyone, but some people) flocking to their own kind within the body, not recognizing that we are all one.

Now I want to bring up and go over here in Ephesians chapter 2, because this applies, also.

It says, Ephesians 2:11:

 Ephesians 2:11 - Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh-- who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands--

Here we go. Remember what? You were strangers. "Remember that you," it says, "once Gentiles..." At one time you were Gentiles.

 Ephesians 2:12 - that at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without Elohim in the world.

At what time? That time way back when they were Gentiles, when they were strangers from the commonwealth of Israel.

In other words (he is writing to the Ephesians here), he is acknowledging that they used to be Gentiles. They used to be strangers.

Verse 19:

 Ephesians 2:19 - Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of Elohim,

So we are all no longer strangers and foreigners from the household of Yisrael. We are fellow citizens of what he calls "with the saints and members of the household of Elohim."

Now we are going to go over the rest of these verses in between here, but I want to point this out because the Gentile church over the last couple thousand years has rejected the fact that they are no longer Gentile.

They have denied the work of Messiah in saying, "Oh, I'm not Israel. I'm not Jewish. I'm not of that. That's for those people." Unless they say, "Oh, we replaced Israel. We are the new Israel. The new Israel doesn't do the old Israel stuff."

But the bottom line is, they have rejected the Biblical identity of what a believer in Messiah is supposed to be. The Biblical identity of what a believer in Messiah is supposed to be is that we are grafted into the olive tree of Israel.

The Biblical identity of what we are now as believers is: It is no longer we who live. Right? It is Messiah who lives in us. And so, what was He? Was He some Gentile? No, He was Jewish. And all the Apostles, and so on, were Jewish.

And the interesting thing is, you know, the Gentile church rejected all things Jewish. And they don't want to be identified with Jewish things-- Sabbath keeping, Feast keeping, kosher observance, and so on. They were not raised Jewish, and so, they don't understand the value of those things.

And so, when you couple that with an anti-Semitic culture, there were a lot of reasons why the Church divorced itself of having anything to do with Israel or of having any identity with Israel.

And this is true, historically speaking, that the mainstream wanted to ignore the places where Messiah did exist, such as the Feast days, the Torah. He does exist there. That is a part of His identity. And if He dwells in us, He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Where they try to find Him, though, is where He didn't exist-- pagan festivals, rituals and ways-- while at the same time, rejecting where He does exist, Feast days from the Scriptures that illustrate the powerful plan of salvation.

And so, there is this complete backwards theology, and then deny that paganism even exists centuries later. How did we get there from here? How did we get to this point from the original faith that was once delivered to the saints?

It was a slow assimilation into the culture. Syncretism, the mixture of religions, took over. And it all has to do with the central identity of who we are. Who are we?

The Gentiles still wanted to identify themselves with the Gentile culture they were a part of, but, you know, identity is like a driving force. If someone decides they are going to be a biker, okay, they will go and buy themselves a Harley-Davidson. They will get the leather garb on, the sunglasses, the bandanna.

They will do the whole nine yards. That is going to be their identity now.

How powerful is identity? If we understand that we are Israel, whether Gentiles of the flesh or not, how powerful is that? And it is because of that, it is because of many people who are recognizing that: No, 17th century Christianity is not our identity. 18th century Christianity is not our identity. Neither is 19th through 20th century.

That is not our identity. Our identity is that we are Israel. Does that mean that we are superior to the Jews who are in the land? Does that make us a replacement for them? No, we are grafted in.

But there was this tension between Jew and Gentile all the way back to the first century and has reverberated to the time that we are living in right now.

If you look in the book of Luke chapter 4, verse 16 (talking about Messiah here), it says:

 Luke 4:16 - 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.

17 - 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:

18 - "The Spirit of YAHWEH [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;

He is talking about Isaiah 61, here.

 Luke 4:19 - To proclaim the acceptable year of YAHWEH."

20 - 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.

21 - And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

 Luke 4:22 - So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"

Like, "Wait a minute. This couldn't be the Messiah." They all knew it was a messianic Scripture. They seemed impressed at first, the gracious words that came out of His mouth. But then they were like, "Oh, wait. This is Joseph's son."

And so, they were not particularly impressed at that point. Well, He said to them:

 Luke 4:23 - He said to them, "You will surely say this proverb to Me, `Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.'"

24 - Then He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.

25 - "But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land;

 Luke 4:26 - "but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, [in the region] of Sidon, to a woman [who was] a widow.

27 - "And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian."

28 - So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

Filled with wrath! Over what? He is just bringing out the facts of Scripture here. Why were they so angry?

 Luke 4:29 - and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.

They were furious because Yahushua pointed out the Scriptures. There were many starving and leprous Israelites that were not helped, but a starving Sidonian, a Gentile, was fed. A leprous Syrian was healed-- a Gentile.

And so, you are talking about a spirit of murder here. I mean, it entered every single one of them when He suggested the idea that Yahweh favored the Gentiles over the Israelites.

And so, it is pretty evident just by looking at this alone that the tensions and hatred between Jew and Gentile at this time was very, very high. A few comments like that and they are ready to kill you-- even if they knew you, even if they grew up knowing you. You are dead. You are a dead man.

And so, that kind of hatred was just spilling out all over Messiah. But Yahweh, His attitude toward the stranger was different. He told them to love the stranger, to not mistreat the stranger, to not oppress the stranger. And so, they were not following the commands in the Torah.

And even the Apostles, years after Messiah died and was resurrected, they didn't get it. Yahushua had told them, "Go into all nations, baptizing them, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you."

But they were not getting it. And so, Yahweh sent a vision to Peter. And the sheet came down. And through that vision, Peter understood-- "I need to go to the Gentiles, not just to the Jews. We are all hanging around here at the temple area and telling all the Jews about Messiah, but what about the Gentiles?"

And so, then he went to the household of Cornelius. And then he realized something he never knew before, or at least he never got before.

In Acts 10:28, he says:

 Acts 10:28 - Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But Elohim has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

See, they didn't want anything to do with Gentiles because, "Oh, they're unclean. They're dogs. Don't go to them. Don't keep company with them. They are dogs."

Now I want to point out here. This word translated "unlawful" does not mean "against Yahweh's Law."

In the "Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, a third edition," it says: "The term refers primarily not to what is forbidden by ordinance, but to violation of tradition or common recognition of what is seemly or proper."

So, it doesn't mean it was against Yahweh's Law. In fact, we saw (how many times did I quote?) they were to treat the stranger as one who was born among them, to love them as themselves, not to mistreat them, not to oppress them.

And so, Yahweh was using this vision to teach Kepha (Peter) that He wanted him to reach the Gentiles. He had already told them to do so, and they were not doing it. He said, "Go and make disciples of all the nations," in Matthew 28:19.

 Matthew 28:18 - And Yahushua came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

19 - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

But they weren't doing that. And so, they were neglecting their duty in the command of Messiah. And I understand, to the Jew first and then to the Greek. That's okay. But it was man, not Yahweh, who created laws and traditions that would forbid Jewish men from keeping company with or going to one of another nation.

And the Jewish doctrine of men had affected the disciples to the extent they needed to be corrected. And when the Spirit of Yahweh fell upon the Gentiles in Acts chapter 11, as a result of this vision from Peter, they were astonished.

Peter opened his mouth in Acts 10:34. He says:

 Acts 10:34 - Then Peter opened [his] mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that Elohim shows no partiality.

35 - "But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

Something he did not know before. It was a revelation.

In Acts 11, it says:

 Acts 11:16 - "Then I remembered the word of the Master, how He said, `John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'

17 - "If therefore Elohim gave them the same gift as [He gave] us when we believed on the Master Yahushua Messiah, who was I that I could withstand Elohim?"

18 - When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified Elohim, saying, "Then Elohim has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."

They did not know that before. Wow! Elohim has granted the Gentiles that they can repent, too. They can repent and receive eternal life.

With this as a backdrop, let's read Ephesians 2 now.

 Ephesians 2:11 - Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh-- who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands--

Once Gentiles-- that means you are not anymore.

 Ephesians 2:12 - that at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without Elohim in the world.

13 - But now in Messiah Yahushua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah.

 Ephesians 2:14 - For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

Middle wall of separation. He has unified.

 Ephesians 2:15 - having abolished in His flesh the enmity, [that is], the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man [from] the two, [thus] making peace,

The word "enmity" means "hatred," "hostility." Now, He put to death hatred, and we see here that is the law of commandments contained in ordinances. What ordinances? What is he talking about? What is this "ordinances"? Is this the Law of Yahweh? Is the Law of Yahweh now abolished?

Many people would interpret this Ephesians 2:15 as being, yes, that is the Law of Yahweh. But this is the law of commandments contained in ordinances, and the word "ordinances" is from the Greek word "dogma." Dogma has a little different meaning than Yahweh's Law.

In fact, here we have Strong's 1378. It says: dogma dog'-mah from the base of 1380; a law (civil, ceremonial or ecclesiastical):-- decree; ordinance. Now many people will point out, "Well, there it is-- the civil and ceremonial laws. Those are abolished."

Let's continue reading some other Lexicons. The Friberg Lexicon, it says: Dogma, (1) as a fixed and authoritative decision or requirement decree, a command (2) as a fixed rule or set of rules, law, ordinance.

And the LS Greek Lexicon says: Dogma, that which seems to one, an opinion, a dogma, 2. a public decree, an ordinance.

So, those are some Greek Lexicon definitions, but let's look at how the words are actually used in the New Testament.

Here we have Luke chapter 2, verse 1.

 Luke 2:1 - And it came to pass in those days [that] a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

I don't find that anywhere in the Torah that, you know, foreign kings are supposed to, you know... anyway.

And again we see, Acts 17:7:

 Acts 17:7 - "Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king -- Yahushua."

What this word "dogma" is, is decisions by ruling authorities-- men. Okay? The decisions by ruling authorities, in particular, men. They might be good decisions. They might be bad decisions. But they are decisions or opinions that men have decreed toward others. That is what this word has to do with.

We even see this in Acts 16:4. It says:

 Acts 16:4 - And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem.

So, then, here we go. The opinion of men. The opinion in this case is biblical and right and good-- "the decrees to keep."

Now, some will say, "Aha! Right there! The Acts 15 council, they were giving them ceremonial laws to follow. Therefore, we have in Acts 16:4, only the four ceremonial laws in Acts 15. These are the only ones they have to keep. And that is why our Strong's definition has "ceremonial" there."

You know, most Lexicons, the people who write them, the reason why they write them the way they do is because they are getting what the word means from looking at the different Scriptures (and in some cases, extra Biblical citations) to get a flavor for what the word means, looking at the word in context.

Well, we can do this. It is not rocket science. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do that. And so, what were the four decrees?

All right. Acts 15:19. We have to dig into this to understand.

 Acts 15:19 - "Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to Elohim,

All right, there is the first decree here: Abstain from things polluted.

 Acts 15:20 - "but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, [from] sexual immorality, [from] things strangled, and [from] blood.

21 - "For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath."

And so, those are the four things they were commanded to keep because they could learn the rest of Yahweh's Law in the synagogues.

What were the four things? Once again: 1) Abstain from things polluted by idols. 2) Abstain from sexual immorality. 3) Abstain from things strangled. 4) Abstain from blood.

Those were the four things they were to abstain from. The problem is, none of these four things are what anybody would call a ceremonial law. These are not ceremonial laws. These things were prohibitions that were forbidden long before Sinai. I mean, Yahweh commanded Noah and all mankind not to drink blood. That is in Genesis 9:4.

So there we go from strangled birds, which is going to have the blood in the meat. There you go. There are two of the commands. Obviously, he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for sexual immorality. And certainly He does not want us to eat things that are offered to idols, you know, and engage in idolatry.

And that is long before there was ever a Jewish man. So these four things are not even ceremonial laws to begin with, as defined by the mainstream culture.

And so, why do Christians identify these four as being ceremonial? Because they have to have a theology to support what they are doing, which is rejecting things that they don't like as being Jewish. So they categorize certain laws as being "ceremonial," and sometimes, even Messianics will go along with that, but there really is no such thing.

Nowhere in the Bible does it call, "Okay, Israel, I am going to give you my ceremonial laws that you can have ceremonies with." Nowhere, nowhere, does it call anything a ceremonial law. That is wrongly dividing the word of truth. There is no such thing as a ceremonial law.

This is a title or a concept invented by certain people who were trying to think of a way to avoid doing things that looked Jewish to them. That is what it is.

What makes the command to wear a tassel ceremonial? Are they having a ceremony with it? I mean, is it just for the Jews only?

What about the command about the Sabbath or to eat kosher? What is ceremonious about not having a pork chop?

Nowhere in the Bible does it say, "Here are my ceremonial laws." That is not a Biblical concept at all. It is simply an invention by men-- "Oh, that's for the Jews"-- to separate themselves from Israel and the things that Yahweh asked Israel to do, while being able to receive the other things that they do like.

But this all began long ago because of the enmity that existed between Jew and Gentile.

 Ephesians 2:14 - For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

15 - having abolished in His flesh the enmity, [that is], the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man [from] the two, [thus] making peace,

And so, Yahushua came to abolish that enmity, to abolish the hateful commands and found in decrees of men.

And the reason why He abolished those things was because He abolished all hatred. We are called to love our enemies, not hate them. We are called to love the stranger as ourselves, not hate them. And so, He is restoring. He is taking away sin, which is hatred. All sin is rooted in hatred whether you realize it is hatred or not.

He is restoring us to the way of love, creating in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.

And so, there were all kinds of unlawful things that were in Israel in the first century that produced hatred between Jew and Gentile, and even the disciples got a little bit infected with it by not going to those of another nation and realizing that Yahweh granted them repentance into life.

And so, we have to realize the impact of what happened and why this translates to the situation we are in today.

See, the Law of Yahweh never promotes enmity. He says:

 Leviticus 19:34 - `The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] YAHWEH your Elohim.

So, He abolished in His flesh the enmity. Ephesians 2:15-- having abolished <2673, katargeo> in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.

This word "katargeo" is this Greek word translated "abolished." He abolished what? Now some would say, "Well, He abolished the Law. He abolished the Law." In fact, the New International Version has, right here, "He abolished the law with all His commandments and ordinances," which is an abominable translation.

It is not a translation. It is a paraphrase based on what they think it is saying. Okay. So this is "katargeo."

Now Romans 3:31 answers the question: Is the Law abolished?

 Romans 3:31 - Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

The same exact word-- "Do we then make void <2673, katargeo> the law through faith?" The same exact word, 2673 "katargeo." Do we abolish, or make void, the law through faith? "By no means! Yea, we establish the law."

So we don't abolish the Law by our faith. We establish it.

And so, this verse, right here, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Paul could not have been speaking of the Law of Yahweh when he was talking about something being abolished here in Ephesians 2:15 because he said in another verse that we don't make the Law of Yahweh void or abolished through faith, and contrary, we establish it.

And this word translated "establish" means "to cause to stand." We cause the Law to stand by our faith. So we have to believe that.

The problem was, and still is today, in the minds of many, Yahweh did not really unify Jew and Gentile through faith. The problem was that people believed the Law of Yahweh justified their hatred toward the stranger, the Gentile. But Yahushua came.

 Isaiah 42:21 - YAHWEH is well pleased for His righteousness' sake; He will exalt the law and make [it] honorable.

This is talking about Messiah. I shared this last week. This is my goal. One of my goals here in this "Precepts and Principles of the Torah" is to exalt the Law and make it honorable, because people view it as being old, antiquated, out-of-date, irrelevant to their lives today.

And so, I am going to exalt it. I am going to be like Messiah. This is what He did, and that is what I want to do. But through Messiah's act of bearing all of our sins, Yahushua becoming sin for us, He abolished this hatred, these hateful ordinances, to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.

Making peace between Jew and Gentile. It was man that created hatred between Jew and Gentile, not Yahweh.

 Ephesians 2:16 - and that He might reconcile them both to Elohim in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

Putting to death the what? The hatred between Jew and Gentile. He came to do away with that. I love it!

 Ephesians 2:17 - And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.

18 - For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

19 - Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of Elohim,

You are not Gentiles anymore. You are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of Elohim.

I love it! HalleluYah! You have to love it.

And so, with Messiah's awesome act, we see He unified the people of Israel with the strangers who were dwelling among them, because Yahushua dwells in each of us making us all one people. Is it any wonder He told them specifically, "Do not make any distinction"?

Even in the Law of Yahweh:

 Leviticus 19:34 - `The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] YAHWEH your Elohim.

So, Yahweh commanded Israel to regard the stranger just like one born because, listen, Yahweh knew if the foreigners were loved instead of hated, if they were received instead of rejected, the foreigners would be drawn to Yahweh.

And they would be one people because Yahushua is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world according to Revelation 13:8. And so, in Yahweh's eyes, they would be Israel.

In fact, there were a mixed multitude of non-Israelites who came out of Egypt with Israel. But this is not what was going on in the first century. They did not always treat Gentiles the way the Torah commanded.

But you know? This hostility crossed and bounced right back toward the Jews from the Gentiles. Evil for evil. The Gentiles, due to their own hatred, their own anti-Semitism, their own bigotry, developed a distaste for anything that made them look Jewish-- and therefore, stripped those Jewish-looking things out of the Law from their walk.

They took out the Jewish-looking commandments and kept the rest. Wearing a tassel would identify you as being Jewish. Keeping the seventh day Sabbath would identify you as being Jewish. Keeping Feast days and eating only clean meats would identify you as being Jewish among your Gentile peers.

And so, those things were removed. And that is why we have the theology and the practices today where people ignore the Sabbath, ignore the Feast days, the rest of Yahweh's Law. In fact, you even read, I mean, the founding fathers of our country, they believed in following the Law.

They even will say, "Oh, we have to follow the Law. The Law has not been abolished." The founding fathers of our United States of America will tell you, most of them believed we were supposed to obey the Law-- but not the "Jewish stuff." "We are Christians, see?"

Where did they get this? Why didn't the reformers keep reforming, and say, "Wait a minute; we are Israel"? Well, they couldn't fathom that.

Their leader, Martin Luther, here is his opinion of Jewish people. At first he tried to reach them, but when they did not accept his new forms of Christianity, he got really, really belligerent. These are quotes from Martin Luther. He says these about the Jews: 1) "devil's feces... which they wallow in like swine." This was his opinion of Jews.

2) "The synagogue was a defiled bride, yes, an incorrigible whore." That was his description of Jews. 3) "their synagogues and schools ought to be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated." Wow!

4) "'poisonous envenomed worms' should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time." That was his description of the Jewish people, and he even said-- 5) "we are at fault because we did not slay them." You talk about hatred.

You know, the prevailing view among historians is that Martin Luther's anti-Jewish rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and provided the foundation for the Nazi Party's attacks on Jews. That is a prevailing view among historians.

One historian said that "whoever wrote against the Jews, for whatever reason, believed he had the right to justify himself by triumphantly referring to Luther." That was the guy they were looking to.

According to Robert Ashley Michael, a professor of European history, just about every anti-Jewish book printed in the Third Reich contained references to and quotations from Martin Luther. And to me, that is beyond sad. It is sick that someone who would claim to be a believer in Messiah would be so hateful.

And so, who can we blame for the Holocaust? Not just Hitler. Anti-Semitic Christians. It is not just Hitler. And so, this is hatred at its end result. This is where it ends up.

I mean, people who have that kind of view of Jewish things, are they going to be like, "Oh, look! We are Israel! It says here in the Bible we are Israel. Actually, it says here that we are supposed to be subject to the Law, in Romans 8"?

And are they going to be thinking, "Oh yeah, okay, I'll get my tassels on here. Okay, we are switching to the Sabbath day now and to the seventh day. Oh, what are the Feast days? Let's start..." No!

They were blinded by their own hatred for the reformers to take that next step away from Catholicism to the extent at the Council of Trent, when the reformers were confronted with this: "Well, if you say that sola scriptora is really true, then where in the Scriptures does it say the Sabbath day has changed to the first day of the week?"

They had no answer. They said, "Well, the only way you can get that is from the historical Christian Catholic Church." They had no way to argue that because the only place you can get a Sunday Sabbath is from Catholicism.

And so, they could not see. They were blinded. And in fact, many generations since then were blinded. But what happened?

After the Holocaust, something amazing happened-- compassion, mercy, toward the Jewish people, and repentance. "Yeah, let's give them their own land. We see what we did." And now today the exact opposite is happening. And I am excited about it!

The hatred and the enmity that is unbiblical and wrong is being removed and instead a love for the Jewish people. Not an acceptance for everything that they do, but a love for them, a compassion for them, a desire to serve them, to bless them is emerging.

And as a result, more and more Jewish people are beginning to see the Messiah. As a result, more and more mainline Sunday keeping Christians are seeing the blessing of Torah. And we are being united as one people in the Messiah Yahushua-- those who are Gentiles being grafted in. Those who are not are being grafted back in again, into the olive tree.

So the Gentiles, due to their own hatred, began this doctrine of stripping Jewish things from our faith, but there is nowhere in the Scriptures that it says, "Oh, well, this is for Jews only." Many times, He said, "Stranger, come to the Festivals. Stranger, keep the Sabbath day." Many times. In fact, that is our future.

 Isaiah 66:22 - "For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me," says YAHWEH, "So shall your descendants and your name remain.

23 - And it shall come to pass [That] from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me," says YAHWEH.

All Jews shall come? No, it says, "All flesh shall come and worship before Me." Right? HalleluYah! All flesh. On what day? "Oh, I think I am going to keep the Sabbath on a different day of the week. That will be my Sabbath." No, you are going to be keeping the day Yahweh says is the Sabbath.

And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have what? Transgressed His laws.

 Isaiah 66:24 - "And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

Yahushua quoted this verse on many occasions.

 Zechariah 14:16 - And it shall come to pass [that] everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, YAHWEH of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Feast keeping! I love this Scripture. I quote it a lot. All the nations! All the nations! Jew and Gentile!

What about us? What about those who have received Messiah? We have come to understand we have been grafted into the olive tree, that we are now Abraham's seed. It says:

 Galatians 3:29 - And if you [are] Messiah's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

You are children of Abraham. You are children of Israel. We understand that.

What about us? How are we, who have come to the understanding of Torah and Messiah, how do we treat those who have not yet identified themselves as being of Israel, but cleave to a Gentile identity even while believing in Messiah?

And we accept the Israelite heritage because we are grafted in, and we now identify ourselves as being like Messiah. It is He who lives in us. We have taken on His identity. But there are some who don't see that, yet, and they are actually acting as strangers.

Precepts and principles of the Torah. What will it tell us? How will it tell us to treat those who are as strangers to the commonwealth of Israel, even though we don't really see them that way, they are behaving that way?

The Hebrew Roots Movement, I am sorry to say, has attracted some bitter and angry people who were disenfranchised by Christianity-- kicked out of a church, or whatever-- and who are bitter at Christians. And their bitterness becomes venomous when they come into this walk of keeping Torah, and so on.

And it is disgusting the way some (not all-- a percentage) of loudmouths treat people who identify themselves as your everyday Sunday church going Christian. We are supposed to love them, not hate them, not spew venom at them.

I was watching a discussion forum here a couple of weeks ago, and there was an individual on there just totally insulting, mistreating, oppressing and condemning everybody and saying publicly to mainstream Christians that they are stupid and that they are going to burn in hell. And I confronted him with some Scripture.

Just because someone you think is not a believer, does not give you the right to mistreat them even if they are downright unbelievers, which I am not convinced that they necessarily are. I am convinced that most of them-- I don't know if most, but a large number of them-- are very sincere believers in doing the best they know to do at the time.

I don't judge them. But even if they are downright unbelievers and charlatans, and whatever, this does not give us the green light to mistreat them.

 Exodus 22:21 - "You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Believer or unbeliever. What? For you were strangers. You were strangers. You forget you were one of them at one time. See?

We forget the hole from which He dug us out of, and we, in our arrogant pride-- not all of us, but some of us-- in our arrogant pride, come with this new knowledge that puffs us up and start looking down at other people who don't yet have our level of understanding. That can cause us to be rejected by Yahweh.

Just as there were some who out of their hatred toward Jewish people were blinded, we can become blinded.

I'm convinced-- totally convinced-- a lot of our wayward, strange, bizarre doctrines that sometimes people of our walk come into and start following could be, in some cases, the result of character problems (such as hatred and bitterness) more so than just a raw misunderstanding of the Bible.

So we are not to mistreat the stranger or oppress him. And actually, this principle is repeated in the New Testament.

 2Timothy 2:24 - And a servant of YAHWEH must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,

No fighting. No arguing. No strife. But what? Be gentle to all. All!

 2Timothy 2:25 - in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if Elohim perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

In humility, not with arrogant pride and bitterness.

 2Timothy 2:26 - and [that] they may come to their senses [and escape] the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to [do] his will.

This would be toward unbelievers even. Not just our Christian friends, but also toward unbelievers. This is how we are to conduct ourselves.

Do not oppress the strangers among us with harsh words-- you know, threatening, intimidating, boasting, condemning, prejudging, discouraging. That is the lazy, bitter, impatient, un-Messiah like way of sharing our faith.

We are supposed to share the Word. Yes, preach the Word.

 2Timothy 4:2 - Preach the word! Be ready in season [and] out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

With what? With all longsuffering. And in fact, if we decide to share wisdom that Yahweh has given, here is how wisdom should be manifested:

 James 3:13 - Who [is] wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct [that] his works [are done] in the meekness of wisdom.

14 - But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.

15 - This wisdom does not descend from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, demonic.

 James 3:16 - For where envy and self-seeking [exist], confusion and every evil thing [are] there.

17 - But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

That is a big one. Those who are angry and bitter at Christianity are being angry and bitter toward whom they view as a stranger and are guilty of the very thing that Christianity was guilty of when they rejected the Jewish parts of the Law.

And that is hatred toward those outside their faith, which in turn blinded them to accepting what they interpreted as being Jewish things.

It says:

 James 3:18 - Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

We are called to be peacemakers. So, if you want to sow Yahweh's Word in the heart of someone, sow it in peace, not in arguing and fighting and so on, but through peace. And then you will make peace between them and their Maker.

And so, that is the Torah principle of not mistreating strangers, because just as Israel was strangers in Egypt, so were we. He basically wanted them to remember where they came from and not forget. If it wasn't for the grace of Elohim, you would still be under the taskmasters in Egypt.

And so, brothers and sisters, as we identify ourselves with Israel, let's not forget the pit from which we were dug. Let's be kind to strangers. In fact:

 Hebrews 13:1 - Let brotherly love continue.

2 - Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so [doing] some have unwittingly entertained angels.

So, Yahweh wanted Israel to treat their strangers with love because He had love for them. And when we, in turn, treat those who are different than us with love, we are expressing the love that Yahweh has for them and that Yahweh really does care about them. He really does love them.

And this will, in turn, prompt the stranger to want to have a love for Yahweh. That is what He wanted to produce in Israel, and that is what He wants to produce in us today.

You know, when someone loves you, it is hard not to love them back, isn't it? I would hope so.

And Yahweh said:

 1John 4:19 - We love Him because He first loved us.

Isn't that why we turned our hearts to Yahweh, because of His love for us? When they see us spewing hatred and venom and condemnation, where is the love? It is our duty to manifest love to everyone who is around us. And it is by that, by this:

 John 13:35 - "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

By how many Feast Days you kept? No. How many Sabbaths you observed? No. How correctly you pronounce our Father's name? No, no, no.

If you have love for one another. That is how they are going to recognize. That is something everybody can identify with.

They might not know Yahweh. They may not see the need to know Yahweh. They may not care about Yahweh. But if you have love for each other, they are going to see the love that Yahweh has.

And that will communicate Messiah's love to the world. Who wouldn't want to join a group like that, a group of people that just loves each other? Who wouldn't want to be a part of something like that?

The problem is, too often we don't see that conduct manifesting itself in the meekness of wisdom. We don't have the pure, peaceable, gentle, merciful attitude that would rightly communicate the wisdom Yahweh has given us.

Yahweh help us all, because sometimes we even lack that kind of love, not just toward the outsiders, but toward the insiders, and not just those outside the home. Sometimes we lack that toward those on the inside of our homes-- the ones that we are called, first and foremost, to love.

And if the children we bear or the wives that we marry never experience that love of Messiah just flowing out of us, it becomes a stumbling block to them, and it would be better if we took a millstone and tied it around our necks and threw it into the sea, than to be a stumbling block or an offense to the little ones.

So don't reject your spouse. Don't reject your children. Even if they are unbelievers or in opposition, choose to love, because they are going to use your disobedience to the Word to justify their own sin and to justify their rejection of you because they are going to see themselves as being morally superior. Because we all can identify with love.

And little ones-- we have to love them. We have to love them.

And so, what is the Law of Yahweh really about? In just one verse, it is pretty clear. Yahweh wants us to love and to treat each other with kindness-- whether we are an enemy, a friend, a stranger, a foreigner. And by that, all will know whose disciples we are.

May Yahweh strengthen us, and may Yahweh empower us to set that example of Messiah's love to the whole world.

And may Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh have mercy on us all.

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