The Disciple of TheWay is ever in search of the Messiah -- and he does not cease from his search, until he finds the L-rd's Anointed. For the Disciple of TheWay knows that the Messiah is not a single man who lived in a past age, and neither is he a man who is yet to come in the future -- but rather, the Messiah is here and now -- and is the Power and Teacher of Light that dwells in the very essence of the hearts and minds of all men -- becoming Manifest within those who purify and consecrate themselves to the Glory of HaShem -- and living within the body/Temple of those who are truly able to fulfill the Torah within themselves. Thus, only those who have surrendered to TheWay with the totality of their life and being, and are thoroughly Torah Observant in the threefold reality of physical, soul and spirit, can ever begin to walk in TheWay, and can ever be successful in finding the Living and Most Holy Messiah of the L-rd.
Yeshua/Jesus said: "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven" The scribes and Pharisees were Torah Observant -- which means that those who follow in TheWay as a disciple of Yeshua, must not only themselves be Torah Observant, but must fulfill the Torah in a spiritual manner that was beyond the ability of the scribes and Pharisees to even contemplate. What this also means is that in order to be a genuine follower of Yeshua today, the disciple of TheWay must be even more Torah Observant than either the Orthodox Jew or Hasid -- and they must exceed all concepts of being Torah Observant, by doing the works of the Spirit, rather than the flesh.
The Law Remains in Effect for all Followers of Yeshua
What does it mean to be Torah Observant? Yeshua/Jesus said: "For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called greate in the Kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matt 5:18-20).
Yet, on many occasions the Sadducees and Pharisees accused Yeshua of violating the Commandments and the Law. Thus, was Yeshua Torah observant? To this question we must pose an even more perplexing question in order to find an answer: Is being Torah Observant the same for all people -- i.e., the people of the simple faith who observe the Torah in its literal word, versus the Nazirene and consecrated holy man/woman who is set aside for the service of God? And what of the Ebionite who is in the world and not of it?
While some may ask how being Torah Observant can be different for different people, one of the most truly perplexing statements of Yeshua was made in the words: : “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering” (Luke 11:52 NIV). How could it be said that the Jewish experts in the Law who Yeshua condemned, possessed the Key of Knowledge? What does it mean that they failed to enter? What was it they were supposed to enter? And how did they hinder those who were entering? The answer is that unless you can answer these questions, then you know absolutely nothing about being truly Torah Observant -- and you are thus out of TheWay.
In answering these questions both Jews and Christians alike have ignored one of the most important of questions: Why did such groups as the Essenes who were spoken of as the most devout of Jews -- living a daily regime where they perpetually dedicated themselves to a God-centered lifestyle -- NOT worship in the Jerusalem Temple in accordance with the Torah? The answer is of the utmost importance to Jews, Christians, and Messianic believers today! A second question with the exact same answer is this: Why, also, does it appear in many instances that the man known as the Apostle Paul seemingly taught against observance of the Law? Did he know something about the Law that most Jews and Christians do not?
While Christians can claim that Yeshua/Jesus became the sacrifice for the sins of mankind at the crucifixion, why did he abstain from Temple sacrifice in the manner of the Essenes? If Christian doctrine is correct, and Jesus is God -- and God inspired the writing of the Torah -- why didn't Jesus declare himself the High Priest, and oversee Temple sacrifice?
One of the primary elements of Torah Observance with respect to the sacrifice of animals -- the eating of these sacrificed animals -- and even the spreading of blood on the doorpost and the consumption of the Paschal Lamb, is the eating of meat. But this in and of itself presents a problem that few Jews or Christians even want to discuss -- i.e., the concept that the consumption of flesh as part of worship is in reality a form and symbol of a higher reality -- a higher reality that was beyond the comprehension of the scribes, Sadducees and Pharisees that Yeshua said his followers must exceed in righteousness.
What is important for us to understand is the reality that whatever exists on earth is a form and symbol of man's higher reality. Speaking of the tabernacle of the Jews and the duty of the high priests, Paul writes that they "serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain" (Heb 8:5 NKJ). On this verse Barne's Notes Commentary writes:
[Who serve unto the example] Who perform their service by the mere example and shadow of the heavenly things; or in a tabernacle, and in a mode, that is the mere emblem of the reality which exists in heaven. The reference is to the tabernacle, which was a mere "example" or "copy" of heaven. The word rendered here "example"-- [hupodeigma] (grk 5262)-- means a "copy, likeness, or imitation." The tabernacle was made after a pattern which was shown to Moses; it was made so as to have some faint resemblance to the reality in heaven, and in that "copy," or "example," they were appointed to officiate. Their service, therefore, had some resemblance to that in heaven.
What is a truly important concept for both Jews and Christians to comprehend, is that the Law, the Tabernacle, and the manner of worship, are all symbols that are used as a pattern of true spiritual worship in the Genuine Temple that is not of this world.
We can see this further when Paul writes: "For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself" (Heb 9:24 NKJ). Thus, the Temple, sacrifices, and manner of worship must be seen as a form and copy of higher spiritual reality. Of this statement by Paul the Barnes' Notes Commentary writes:
[Which are the figures of the true] Literally, "the antitypes"-- [antitupa] (grk 499). The word properly means what is formed after a model, pattern, or type; and then what corresponds to something or answers to it. The idea here is, that the "type" or "fashion"-- the "true" figure or form-- was shown to Moses in the Mount, and then the tabernacle was made after that model, or corresponded to it. The "true original" figure is heaven itself; the tabernacle was an antitype of that-- or was so formed as in some sense to correspond to it. That is, it corresponded in regard to the matters under consideration-- the most holy place denoted heaven; the mercy-seat and the shekinah were symbols of the presence of God, and of the fact that he shows mercy in heaven; the entrance of the high priest was emblematical of the entrance of the Redeemer into heaven; the sprinkling of the blood there was a type of what the Redeemer would do in heaven.
(from Barnes' Notes)
What this denotes is that not only the Temple, but everything associated with Temple worship and Torah Observance in these matters, are forms and symbols that denote a higher spiritual reality than what is realized by man in his natural (carnal) state of mind. Moreover, that the spiritual is true, while the rituals and words of this world are in fact an anti-type, is the basis for Paul's seeming statement that believers are saved by faith rather than works. And while Paul's statement that the works of the anti-type cannot save because it is a form and symbol of a higher reality, there are many statements of Paul that confirm the need to perform genuine spiritual Torah Observance in the Temple within us.
If it is true that the Torah, the sacrifices, and the ordinances of Torah worship are a form and symbol of man's higher reality that exists in the Heavenly Kingdom -- and it is in like manner true that if we were truly in harmony with God's Torah of the Spirit that we could enter the Genuine Temple that is part of the inner Kingdom (see Entering the Kingdom), then we must begin to perceive the words of Paul with much greater depth than what is generally perceived by the superficial understanding of the people of the simple faith. Thus, Paul commands: "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature..." (Col 3:5 NIV). What Paul is telling us is the absolute need to sacrifice our earthly nature on the alter of the Genuine Temple of the Lord.
While it is a popular misconception that believers are saved by faith without actions because of Paul's condemnation of the ritual interpretation of the Torah of the Sadducees and Pharisees, the flaw in this misconception is seen in Paul's statement that the genuine follower of Yeshua is obligated to put to death the things of the flesh, and live in accordance with the spirit: "So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Rom 8:12-14 NAS).
Thus, while a ritual observance of the Torah cannot save you, it is also true that if you live in accordance with the passions and mindset of the flesh, that you will die -- not physically, but die to the spirit and be incapable of knowing the higher mysteries of the Gospel. Such a one may call themselves a Jew, Christian, or Messianic believer, but because they are anchored to this world and are spiritually dead, they can never move beyond the "milk" of the Word and the religion of the simple faith. This is especially seen in Paul's definition of a genuine Jew/Christian in the words: "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24 NIV).
The final conformation of the necessity to live a purified and consecrated life in the manner of a Nazirene who is set apart to the Lord (see Nazirite Vow), is the description of the manner of life which the genuine Jew/Christian lives: "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: 'Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.' See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Eph 5:1-17 NKJ).
That neither Jews nor Christians can fulfill these words in their lives today, is because they dwell in ignorance as to the relationship between the rituals and observances of the written Torah, and the absolute necessity to turn the Torah within themselves in the endeavor to enter the indwelling Kingdom of the Lord. Therefore we must pose the question as to what the relationship is between the ritual of the shadow Torah, and the inner spiritual disciplines and practices of the Living Torah? It is interesting to note that many believe that the consumption of meat is necessary in order to follow the Commandments of God with respect to such things as the eating of the Paschal lamb. Yet, in view of the fact that the most holy of the Hebrews, the Essenes, and the disciples and followers of Yeshua were all vegetarians, we must recognize that there is a whole other dimension to this ritual observance that few are even aware of. We have the witness of the Church Historian Eusebius, who quotes Hegesippus and writes of James, the brother of Jesus, and first leader of the New Covenant Church: "He drank no wine or strong drink, nor did he eat meat." In fact, it is written of James that he was a life-long Nazirite, and thus refrained from eating dead flesh over the course of his entire life. The Apostle Matthew was himself a vegetarian, as seen in the words of Clement of Alexandria: "Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, and vegetables, without flesh" (Clement; The Instructor). In the Clementine Homilies, the Apostle Peter is quoted as saying: "I live on Olives and Bread to which I rarely only add Vegetables."
other documents tell us that early disciples and followers of Yeshua were
vegetarians. Clement of Alexandria (160-240 A.D), one of the
first academics of the Church, writes:
"It is much better to be happy
than to make our body become the grave of animals. This is why, the apostle
Mathew used to eat seeds, walnuts and vegetables, and no meat."
the Clementine Homilies, written in the second century after Christ, which is
considered one of the most ancient Christian writings after the Bible and was
based on the preaching of Saint Peter, we read:
consumption of meat is contaminating in the same way as the pagan adoration of
the demons. When men take part in it they become companions of the devils."
If it is true that in the eyes of God, that the eating of animal flesh is equal to the "...pagan adoration of the demons"! And that when man consumes flesh as food "...they become companions of the devils"! Then we can begin to comprehend one of Yeshua's primary condemnations of the Sadducees and Pharisees who engaged in temple sacrifice and the eating of flesh in a ritual manner.
the question that should be asked by every Jew and Christian today: How
could both the Essenes and the people of the New Covenant consider themselves
Torah observant, when they did not fulfill the requirements of the Law with
respect to the sacrificial eating of meat? Moreover, if we add in the
witness of Clement, the disciple of the Apostle Peter, it would appear that all
truly God-fearing Jews refrained from the practice of eating meat. Further
confirmation that the original people of the New Covenant ate no flesh foods is
seen in the Clementine Homily 7, chap 4, where it reads: “Wherefore, as
then ye were deceived by the forerunner Simon, and so became dead in your souls
to God, and were smitten in your bodies; so now, if you repent, as I said, and
submit to those things which are
In light of these words we must pose the question: How could it be said that it is well pleasing to God "not to taste dead flesh, not to touch blood... as the God-fearing Jews", when it appears in a literal reading of the scriptures that God ordered the eating of meat in accordance with the testimony of the Torah? If this is true, then there is the looming reality that the eating of meat signifies a deeper mystery of the spirit that must be understood as the disciple walks in TheWay. Thus, those who eat dead flesh cannot be "God-fearing Jews", and neither can they be Torah Observant from a higher spiritual perspective.
Perhaps the most clear explanation was given by Yeshua himself in the thirty-third chapter of what is known today as the Gospel of the Nazirenes where he taught: "Jesus was teaching His disciples in the outer court of the temple and one of them said to Him, Master, it is said by the priests that without shedding of blood there is no remission. Can then the blood offerings of the laws take away sin? And Jesus answered, No blood offering, of beast or bird, or man, can take away sin. For how can the conscience be purged from sin by the shedding of innocent blood? Nay, it will increase the condemnation. The priests indeed receive such offerings as a reconciliation of the worshippers for the trespasses against the Law of Moses; but for sins against the Law of God there can be no remission, save by repentance and amendment. Is it not written in the prophets, Put your blood sacrifices to your burnt offerings, and away with them, and cease from the eating flesh. I did not speak to your fathers nor commanded them, concerning these things, when I brought them out of Egypt. But this thing I commanded saying, Obey my voice and walk in the ways that I have commanded you, and you will be my people, and it shall be well with you. But they did not listen, nor inclined their ear. And what doth the eternal command you, but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God? Is it not written that in the beginning God ordained the fruits of the trees and the seeds and the herbs to be food for all flesh? But they have made the house of prayer a den of thieves, and for the oblation with incense, they have polluted my altars with blood, and eaten of the flesh of the slain. But I say to you, shed no innocent blood nor eat flesh. Walk upright, love mercy, and do justly, and your days shall be long in the land".
While it is true that the above Gospel is not contained in what is considered the orthodox cannon of scriptures which was formalized under the Church of Constantine, it is interesting to note that the oldest known complete copy of our Gospels which is called the Evangelion Da - Mepharresh, has a somewhat similar message where we find Jesus saying at Luke 21:34: "See that you do not make your minds heavy, to do this, never eat meat or drink wine."
Even among the Gentile converts it is reported that the earliest of Christians abstained from the eating of flesh. The Church Father Irenaeus recounts how, when the followers of Yeshua were accused of cannibalism with respect to the eating of the Lord's body and drinking his blood, the martyr Blandina replied: "How should those persons endure such accusation, who, for the sake of the practice of piety, did not avail themselves even of the flesh that was permitted them to eat?" In like manner St. Jerome wrote: "The eating of Flesh Meat was unknown up to the big flood, but since the flood they have the strings and stinking juices of Animal Meat into our mouths, just as they threw in front of the grumbling sensual people in the desert (Essenes). Jesus Christ, who appeared when the time had been fulfilled, has again joined the end with the beginning, so that it is no longer allowed for us to eat the Flesh of Animal Meat." In total agreement St. Basil wrote: "The steam of Meat meals darkens the Spirit. One can hardly have virtue if one enjoys Meat meals and feasts. In the Earthly Paradise, no one Sacrificed Animals, and no one ate the Flesh of Animal Meat." Clement of Alexandria in like manner explained: "Sacrifices were invented by men to be a pretext for Eating the Flesh of Animals."
While these teachings of Yeshua/Jesus might sound alien to us today, there are countless first century writings that demonstrate their genuineness. In another writing known as The Essene Gospel of Peace which was found by a priest who was working in the Vatican Library, these same teachings are very clearly presented when Jesus tells the carnal Jews why they are blind to man's indwelling spiritual reality: "Jesus said: You do not understand the words of Life, because you are in Death. Darkness darkens your eyes and your ears are stopped with deafness. For I tell you, it Profits you not at all that you pore over Dead Scriptures if by your deeds you deny him who has given you the Scriptures. I tell you truly, God and his Laws are not in that which you do. They are not in Gluttony and Wine-Bibbing, Flesh Eating, neither in Riotous Living, nor in Lustfulness, nor in seeking after Riches, nor yet in Hatred of your Enemies. For all these things are far from the True God and his Angels. But all these things come from the Kingdom of Darkness and the Lord of all Evils. And all these things do you carry in yourselves; and so the Word and the Power of God enter not into you, because all manner of Evil and all manner of Abominations have their dwelling in your body and in your Spirit. If you will, that the living God’s Word and his Power may enter you, Defile not your Body and your Spirit; for the Body is the Temple of the Spirit, and the Spirit is the Temple of God. Purify, therefore, the Temple, that the Lord of the Temple may dwell therein and occupy a place that is worthy of GOD."
In our search for truth, we are presented with a uniform all-pervading doctrine which emerges from the first century people of the New Covenant -- a doctrine which portrays the absolute need to live in harmony with the Royal Law of the Most High. Moreover, these same words are relevant to the people who portray themselves as the followers and believers in Yeshua/Jesus today. The body is the Temple of God -- and those who defile the temple are wasting their time when they philosophically call upon the name of the Lord. Those who purify the Temple, are those who truly believe in the Son of God, live in strict accord with his teachings, and permit the indwelling Light to fill every aspect of the True Christian's Life.
Returning back to the above passages of the Nazirene Gospel, in verses 1-6 we further see the discourse between Jesus and the man who caught and caged birds for a living. It is also important to note that God, which in the newer translation is interpreted as the Most High, is herein referred to as Father-Mother -- which is true of all the earliest of New Covenant and Essene writings.
At verse 7 we see the phrase: "And Jesus beheld a man working on the Sabbath, and He said to him, man, if you know what you are doing, you are blessed, for you are not breaking the law in the spirit; but if you don't know, you are accursed and a transgressor of the law". This same exact phrase is found in one of our surviving biblical manuscripts known as Codex Baeza, as well as in the newly discovered Gospel of Thomas. But what does it mean with respect to the Law? Thus, this question is not easily answered because it has confounded both the Jews and the Christians of the simple faith throughout all their days. What it means is that if one "…knows what they are doing", then they have overcome this world, and everyday becomes a Sabbath. If one is still in a divided state with respect to their soul and spiritual natures, then working on the Sabbath is in violation of the Commandment of God which causes them to be "…accursed and a transgressor of the law". Because the Pagan-Christians worshiped the sun-god on the day of the sun, this reference to Sabbath observance had to be removed from our Bibles.
The Jews were permitted a Ritualistic Observance of The Law
Because they were incapable of Keeping the Law in the Spirit
Yet, all of the above conveys to us an even greater reality with respect to the Law -- a higher reality that is not understood by Jews, Christians and Messianic believers in our present day. And what is the answer to the dilemma? That the Law was specifically written for a certain group of people -- and it addresses the needs of those people as a means to bring about their spiritual transformation.
It appears that certain concessions were made in the Law of Moses because the people were unable to change their customary ways. Thus, when Yeshua was asked about divorce, he responded "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning" (Mat 19:8). What is he saying? That because of the hardness of the peoples hearts, there were concessions made -- i.e., a transitory set of laws was instituted expressly for the people (Jews) of the simple faith who were unable to live their lives in accordance with the Higher Concepts of the Spiritual Torah.
It is interesting to note that at one Passover I celebrated with a Hasidic Rabbi, he spoke about the essence of the meaning of the Commandment not to kill. What he said was that while people interpret this to mean that they should not kill people, the Hebrew text is not limited to this interpretation. What he said was that man is ordered not to kill -- i.e., kill anything. And upon questioning, he explained that this prohibition is not only with respect to man and beast, but even man's lower and darker nature -- whereby he further explained that what the Torah truly teaches us is to transmute and transform our darker nature, seek completeness, so that we can raise up our whole self to the glory of God. That this interpretation of the Fifth Commandment by this Hasidic Rabbi is the correct one, is confirmed by other authorities where it states "Do not kill". In literal Hebrew in Exodus 20.13 we read "lo tirtzach". According to Reuben Alcalay, the term tirtzach refers "to any kind of killing". The exact translation, therefore would be not to kill any kind of living being (see the Complete Hebrew-English dictionary [Milon ivri'angli shalem] by Reuben Alcalay).
A somewhat similar thought to this is expressed in what is known as the Essene Gospel of Peace where Yeshua/Jesus teaches: And next afterward was given this commandment, 'Thou shalt not kill,' for life is given to all by God, and that which God has given, let not man take away. For I tell you truly, from one Mother proceeds all that lives upon the earth. Therefore, he who kills, kills his brother. And from him will the Earthly Mother turn away, and will pluck from him her quickening breasts. And he will be shunned by her angels, and Satan will have his dwelling in his body. And the flesh of slain beasts in his body will become his own tomb. For I tell you truly, he who kills, kills himself, and whoso eats the flesh of slain beasts, eats of the body of death. For in his blood every drop of their blood turns to poison; in his breath their breath to stink; in his flesh their flesh to boils; in his bones their bones to chalk; in his bowels their bowels t o decay; in his eyes their eyes to scales; in his ears their ears to waxy issue. And their death will become his death. For only in the service of your Heavenly Father are your debts of seven years forgiven in seven clays. But Satan forgives you nothing and you must pay him for all. 'Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot; burning for burning, wound for wound; life for life, death for death.' For the wages of sin is death. Kill not, neither eat the flesh of your innocent prey, lest you become the slaves of Satan. For that is the path of sufferings, and it leads unto death. But do the will of God, that his angels may serve you on the way of life. Obey, therefore, the words of God: 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is breath of life, I give every green herb for meat. Also the milk of every thing that moveth and liveth upon earth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given unto them, so I give their milk unto you. But flesh, and the blood which quickens it, shall ye not eat. And, surely, your spurting blood will I require, your blood wherein is your soul; I will require all slain beasts, and the souls of all slain men.
Many will of course say that the Torah states that man can eat the flesh of clean beasts. And this was in fact the exact question that was put to Yeshua/Jesus in the Essene Gospel of Peace where it is written: "Then another said: Moses, the greatest in Israel, suffered our forefathers to eat the flesh of clean beasts, and forbade only the flesh of unclean beasts. Why, therefore, do you forbid us the flesh of all beasts? Which law comes from God? That of Moses, or your law?"
Once again we see a most remarkable reply of Yeshua/Jesus where it is written with respect to the Law of Moses: "God gave, by Moses, ten commandments to your forefathers. 'These commandments are hard,' said your forefathers, and they could not keep them. When Moses saw this, he had compassion on his people, and would not that they perish. And then he gave them ten times ten commandments. For he whose feet are strong as the mountain of Zion, needs no crutches; but he whose limbs do shake, gets further having crutches, than without them. And Moses said to the Lord: 'My heart is filled with sorrow, for my people will be lost. For they are without knowledge, and are not able to understand thy commandments. They are as little children who cannot yet understand their father's words. Suffer, Lord, that I give them other laws, that they may not perish. if they may not be with thee, Lord, let them not be against thee; that they may sustain themselves, and when the time has come, and they are ripe for thy words, reveal to hem thy laws.' For that did Moses break the two tablets of stone whereon were written the ten commandments, and he gave them ten times ten in their stead. And of these ten times ten the Scribes and Pharisees have made a hundred times ten commandments. And they have laid unbearable burdens on your shoulders, that they themselves do not carry. For the more nigh are the commandments to God, the less do we need; and the farther they are from God, then the more do we need. Wherefore are the laws of the Pharisees and Scribes innumerable; the laws of the Son of Man seven; of the angels three; and of God one."
"Therefore, I teach you only those laws which you can understand, that you may become men, and follow the seven laws of the Son of Man. Then will the unknown angels of the Heavenly Father also reveal their laws to you, that God's holy spirit may descend upon you, and lead you to his law."
And all were astonished at his wisdom, and asked him: "Continue, Master, and teach us all the laws which we can receive."
And Jesus continued: "God commanded your forefathers: 'Thou shalt not kill.' But their heart was hardened and they killed. Then Moses desired that at least they should not kill men, and he suffered them to kill beasts. And then the heart of your forefathers was hardened yet more, and they killed men and beasts likewise. But I do say to you: Kill neither men, nor beasts, nor yet the food which goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you, but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also. For life comes only from life, and from death comes always death. For everything which kills your foods, kills your bodies also. And everything which kills your bodies kills your souls also. And your bodies become what your foods are, even as your spirits, likewise, become what your thoughts are."
What we can understand is that the Essenes, Yeshua/Jesus, and the Nazirene/Ebionite followers of TheWay did not eat the flesh of slain beasts, because this was a concession which was made to the nomadic people in an earlier time that had great difficulty in turning to the True Way of the Most High God. With the problem being that because of these transitory laws, so many concessions were made with respect to divorce, the eating of flesh, as well as many other important elements of the Higher Laws of Torah Observance, that a wall of separation was created between Spiritual Israel and those who observed the Torah in its literal interpretation. But even in this there is a whole other element to the equation that few Jews, Christians or Messianic Believers understand today.
It is the position of many Biblical researchers that most of the Old Testament comes from other, more ancient writings. Even Jewish writers admit that most of the Hebrew writings were merely taken freely from Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and even Greek sources. Horace Meyer Kallen, at one time a professor at the Jewish New School of Social Research, said that the Book of Job was lifted bodily from an early and obscure Greek play. Scientist and author Immanuel Velikovsky admitted that there are "many parallels" between the Vedic Hymns and the Books of Joel and Isaiah. Hebrew scholar Zecharia Sitchin claimed that the Book of Genesis is based on the Sumerian creation myth. The story of Noah comes from the Sumerian legend of Gilgamesh. The Psalms were taken word for word from Akhenaton's Hymns to the Sun, written 600 years earlier in Egypt. The Ten Commandments were taken wholly from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. And so on through the books of the Old Testament.
If this is true, then many informed researchers have asked: How can we call the Torah and other books of the Old Testament the Word of God? The problem is that, while what these biblical researches have found is true, there is another whole dimension to the equation that they are totally unaware of -- a spiritual dimension that is simply beyond their ability to perceive.
With respect to the literal meaning of the Torah and other scriptures the Apostle Paul wrote: "For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory. For these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all" (Gal 4:22-26 KJV)
To which I might pose the question: If the two sons of Abraham are an allegory depicting the reality of the flesh vs the reality of the spirit, then we must pose the question as to which part of the allegory is historically true? It is not! Moreover, if Paul writes that the Jerusalem of this world is the shadow City of God, and the one that is in spirit is the Genuine City of God, then which Jerusalem should we seek to journey to?
Christians fail to realize today -- and the greater majority of Jews do not
understand -- is the fact that the essence and purpose of both Judaism and the teachings of
TheWay -- which in their corrupted form have come to be known as Christianity -- is not about what happened in the past, but what is happening in the life
of the disciple in search of the inner Kingdom of God (Luke 17:20-21 -- see Entering
the Kingdom). That
the most authentic visionaries of both the Hebrew and Gentile elements of the
church have long warned us that the scriptures are not a history book -- but
rather, spiritual events that come to pass in the life of the disciple in search
of Truth, well confirms Yeshua’s warning that those of a carnal mind are
incapable of understanding the true meaning of the Bible.
Thus, the early Church Father Origen writes: “It is sufficient
however, to represent in the style of a historic narrative what is intended to
convey a secret meaning in the garb of history, that those who have the capacity
may work out for themselves all that relates to the subject.”
And with regard to what would otherwise be historical symbols and events
that would appear to us as the knowledge of superficial episodes of the past,
Origen writes: “I believe that every man must hold these things for
images, under which the hidden sense lies concealed” (Origen - Huet.,
Prigeniana, 167 Franck, p. 142).
of Hebrew Mysticism will perceive that what the third-century Christian Church
Father Origen wrote was no different than what is contained in the Zohar, where
it states: “The narratives of the doctrine are its cloak.
The simple look only on the garment, that is upon the narrative of the
doctrine; more they know not. The
instructed, however, see not merely the cloak, but what the cloak covers”.
These great truths are again demonstrated in the words of Moses Maimonedes, one of the most respected of Jewish theologians, historian, and Talmudist, where he writes about the nature of scripture: “Every time that you find in our books a tale the reality of which seems impossible, a story which is repugnant to both reason and common sense, then be sure that the tale contains a profound allegory veiling a deeply mysterious truth; and the greater the absurdity of the letter, the deeper the wisdom of the spirit”. These same truths are again conveyed to us in the words of the Church Historian Eusebius: “Many were led astray by reading the allegorical contents of the scriptures literally in the method of the Pharisees and Sadducees”. What these symbols truly mean is perhaps best expressed by G.R.S. Mead in his celebrated work, Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, where he explained that, once properly understood, the true meaning of what is “…projected onto the screen…” of the scriptures, “…was in reality a picture of their [man’s] own minds”. In view of the fact that Yeshua himself taught that the Kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:20-21), that the scriptures were in fact a blueprint of man’s own mind begins to make a great deal of sense.
The inner knowledge of the scriptures are as a bridge between this world and the Heavenly Kingdom: So if it is true -- i.e., that the Torah and other scriptures are an allegory -- then how are we to believe the written word of God? What should we believe? And why wouldn't God just speak clearly with us and tell us what He wants? The answer is very simple -- so simple, that it is overlooked by most of the biblical scholars and archeologists who claim that the Hebrews borrowed the folklore of the Babylonians, Egyptians, and Sumerians in the composition of the Torah and other scriptures. And what is that simple answer? The Bible was written by holy men who were able to commune with the Most High God. Because they were under the vow of the Nazirite (see Nazirite Vow) and were able to enter the Genuine Temple that exists within the inner Kingdom, they became cognizant of the Laws that inhibit natural man from being able to move beyond the natural barrier that separates this world from the inner parallel realm which Yeshua/Jesus called the Kingdom of God -- and like Noah who created a boat to transcend the old world with the new, they knew how to build a bridge from this world to the Kingdom -- and as Anointed (Messiah/Christ) Visionaries, they set about to create a series of Sacred Writings that would assist the people in finding God. But this was not an easy task! The problem was that they had to put the body of these writings in a form that the people would accept, and then observe and manifest in their daily lives. In view of the fact that the people were of a heathen mindset -- so heathen, that they created and worshiped the golden calf in the absence of Moses when he was receiving the Commandments of God. So how could these Anointed holy men and women convey the higher concepts of TheWay and the Kingdom to such a people?
The resolution of the dilemma was the creation of a series of Sacred Writings where the Visionaries of the Most High took the common beliefs and traditions of the people, and presented them in such a way, that the knowledge of the Laws and the Higher Spiritual Reality of Creation was manifest within the text of the written word -- in such a way, that the holy men who kept, practiced, and sought the inner meaning of the written word, would perceive the workings of the Laws, and understand that if they applied this knowledge in their own lives, that they too would be able to enter the Inner Kingdom of God. Moreover, there was the oral tradition -- i.e., the doctrines of Jewish Mysticism -- that conveyed to the disciple in search of Truth and the Inner Kingdom the knowledge of the Laws that obstructed their path into the Genuine Temple within the hearts and minds of mankind.
No doubt the average Jew and Christian will immediately become offended by such a concept and say: How can this be? Why didn't God simply tell the people the Truth? The answer is quite simple: Because the people were very much like the people are today -- i.e., they only wanted to hear what supported their own system of beliefs -- they would embrace truth so long as that truth was in accordance with their accepted doctrines and carnal mindset. They were therefore unable to accept and embrace the Higher Truths of Creation, and thus concession was made to those who worshipped the Golden Calf in the absence of Moses. The Torah and other scriptures were written in an outer form that they would accept -- one that appeared to be in harmony with what they already believed about life -- while within the body of the text was imbedded the knowledge of the Kingdom and TheWay. Where it was a common practice for these heathen people to sacrifice in the manner of the people of the Nations, a concession was made whereby they would sacrifice in only one place -- to the glory of the One God -- and they were only permitted to sacrifice what was called clean beasts. Notice, though, that the clean beasts were all vegetarian -- i.e., they did no harm and did not kill others! And because the Torah and other scriptures had to be written in a manner that the people who were heathen in nature would accept -- a series of concessions that were enacted for a people in transition -- the greater Truths were concealed within the inner body of the text so that all those who embraced these Sacred Writings with their whole heart and mind, would be able to receive the inner soul and spirit of the scriptures that would enlighten the disciple of the Light into TheWay.
Thus, because the Sadducees and Pharisees who slaughtered innocent animals in the temple were dead in their ritual observance of the Torah, of them Yeshua stated in the Gospel of the Nazirenes: "For they, making a god of their belly, sacrificed to their God the innocent creatures of the earth, in place of the carnal nature within themselves. And eating of their flesh and drinking of their blood to their own destruction, corrupted their bodies and shortened their days, even as the Gentiles who did not know the truth, or who knowing it, have changed it into a lie." What this means is that to be genuinely Torah Observant in the true spiritual revelation of the Word, one must first transmute the beast of their lower nature within them into a domesticated animal that serves the higher purpose of man -- and it is this lower nature that must be sacrificed upon the Alter of the Inner Temple of God. Thus, unbeknown to the people of the simple faith, what the visionary predictions of the supposed End Times and the coming of the Kingdom where the Lion lies down with the Lamb and eats straw, is in fact the reality within us when the beast of the untamed lower nature that is of this world, is transformed into the unspotted lamb that is the approved sacrifice of the Lord.
Once this is higher reality of the scriptures is understood, then we must no longer see either Yeshua or the Apostle Paul as having done away with the the Torah. And in like manner, neither can we interpret being Torah Observant as those rituals which are performed by the carnally minded Jews who Yeshua condemned for their failure to turn the Key of Knowledge within themselves. This sacrificing of the lower nature upon the Alter of the inner Temple is simply put by Paul when he commanded: "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature..." (Col 3:5 NIV) -- "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24 NIV).
What we are referring to in these biblical quotations cannot be achieved in a ritual observance of the Torah in the manner of the Sadducees and Pharisees. And it was for this reason that Paul called the Law the schoolmaster that brought the believer to Messiah/Christ. While it is true that by placing one's self under the discipline and training of the Law, the believer was able to begin the process of gaining control over their lower nature that was driven by the elemental and sensual passions of the body, it is also true that this process in and of itself presented still another problem. In most instances the inner soul and spiritual meaning of the scriptures could only be revealed to the student by a rabbi or teacher who themselves knew the oral traditions, and knew the secrets of the Law. At the time of the historical Yeshua, this knowledge was possessed by the Essene and Therapute elders. The Sadducees and Pharisees, on the other hand, were led by rabbis and teachers of greatly varying levels of awareness -- some were mere quasi-religious politicians, while others were of a lesser level of enlightenment who embraced a very Fundamental perception of the Torah and traditions. With the problem being that these men of religious authority in many instances used their positions to rule and live off the labors and wealth of the people. They not only charged for their services, and misled the people into believing that God approved of their many rituals and traditions, but the allegation against them that they devoured the wealth and houses of widows was a reality of life.
What the New Testament does not tell us is that the movement known as TheWay was begun by a group of men and women who used the historical Yeshua as their model. These sincere disciples of the Light did not approve of the secretiveness of the Essenes and Therapute, and were thoroughly against the appalling ignorance and deception of many of the Sadducees and Pharisees. With Yeshua and James (Jacob) as their leaders, they created a movement within Judaism that was intended to do away with the ancient manner in which the Torah and other scriptures were written, and provide the people with a more factual and literal perception of what they must do to draw nearer to God. Thus, in the scriptures which they composed, there was no such thing as temple sacrifice, the eating of flesh, or the following of manmade teachings and traditions. The people were instead taught how they must live in order to begin to open the inner umbilical-connection to God, and learn directly from the True Source of all Knowledge. While it is true that the secret knowledge of the Laws which revealed the Mysteries of God remained imbedded within the body of the text, the scripture was no longer composed in accordance with the folklore commonly held with the traditions of Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Greek sources.
The New Testament scriptures and the teachings of TheWay were the product of pure Hebrew thought that was embraced by their most enlightened of Jewish Visionaries, Mystics and Sages. Genuine Jewish holy men and women did not embrace the ancient concepts of a vengeful and punishing God who indiscriminately ruled over the lives of men -- choosing one for no apparent reason, while for no reason rejecting another. Genuine Jewish holy men and women did not believe in a God who gave man a set of laws -- one of which was do not kill -- and then in practice, demonstrating that he would be the first to break these laws. The God of the Genuine Jewish Holy men and women was a God who was beyond the faults and flaws which were common to carnal man. And it was for this reason that the holy men and women of TheWay composed a new set of scriptures of pure Hebrew thought, declaring the Glory of the God whose Ways were above even the contemplation of carnal men. Thus, in the New Testament scriptures, men and women were taught how to live in order to make themselves the Living Temple of the Most High -- and they were given the Key of knowledge that enabled them to open the inner door to the Kingdom, and dwell in the Sanctuary of the Lord.
What this means is that most of those Jews who generally believe they are Torah Observant because they are ritually clean, have yet to learn the secrets of the Law, and the manner in which they must apply the Divine Knowledge that has been given to them in the scriptures in the endeavor to open the Inner Door to the Kingdom within. And in like manner, because modern Christians have been anchored to this world by the Pagan doctrines of Rome which they continue to cling to, and falsely believe that the are exempt from works based upon Paul's doctrine of faith, they too have only alienated themselves from the Kingdom of God.
What does it mean to be truly Torah Observant? It means that one must have taken the Nazirene oath of separation (see Nazirene Oath) -- one must be totally consecrated and set aside as a servant of HaShem (see Disciple) -- one must become the "good ground" within which the seed of the Word is planted (see Sower and the Seed) -- one must seek the knowledge that only the One Teacher can reveal (see Teacher) -- and one must seek the Inner Kingdom by following in TheWay (see Kingdom).
From the perspective of the Torah, the disciple must release themselves from the House of Bondage as portrayed in the slavery to Egypt -- they must become the one who is born of the cleansing of the water as was Moses -- they must receive the Spiritual Torah on Mt. Sinai that could not be kept by the carnal men who worshiped in the way of the Nations -- they must purge their old self by travailing through the wilderness -- and meet Joshua (Yeshua/Jesus) who will take them across the Jordan into the Promised Land. From the perspective of the New Testament, they must do all of the above as they take up their cross and follow in the footsteps of the Master of TheWay.
What did the Gospels look like before being edited and re-written by the Church of Rome? What were the original beliefs or the first followers of Yeshua? You will be astonished when you read a surviving text of The Gospel of the Nazirenes which was hidden away from the corrupters of the Roman Church.