The Path of the



The disciple of Messiah Yeshua knows that every word of the scriptures is of a paramount importance to those who desire to follow in the footsteps of the Lord and walk in The Way.  Thus, the question: Did Yeshua annul the Law?  Or is the Law spiritual, and as such can only be comprehended by men and women who are themselves of the Spirit?  

When Prof. John Allegro was quoted as saying that what has been revealed in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is a great amount of overwhelming evidence that “...may upset a great many basic teachings of the Christian Church.   This in turn would greatly upset many Christian Theologians and believers.   The heart of the matter is, in fact, the source and originality of Christian doctrine” (August 1966 issue of Harpers Magazine); what he was in fact stating is that, everything that we now know about Christian beginnings demonstrate that the Essene-Ebionites were not the heretics, as they were falsely portrayed by the later Gentile church, but were in fact the body of genuine believers that held fast to the authentic teachings of Yeshua and the New Covenant.  

That Yeshua foresaw a great many of the body of believers would be led astray, was predicted in his words: “For false Christs shall arise, and false prophets, and will do wonderful miracles so that if it were possible, even God’s chosen ones would be deceived. See, I have warned you” (Matt 24:24-25 TLB).   The conflict regarding the nature of the beliefs between the Messianic Jewish followers of Jesus, and the Gentile church which remains to this day the foundation of many of our present day doctrines, can only be understood when it is realized that, like the Sadducees and Pharisees who interpreted the Law in a ritual rather than a spiritual manner, the majority of carnally minded Gentile believers were incapable of understanding the spiritual meaning of the Law.

In order to even begin to comprehend the true depth of the controversy we must recognize that, like the Essenes, the Messianic Jewish followers of Yeshua were Spiritual -- and their vision of the Law (as revealed by Moses) can only be understood in a mystical perception of religious symbols.   Moreover, it must be realized that Jesus himself not only embraced the Law, but taught that its fulfillment would continue to be a requirement for those who would be called his followers.   While it is true that the fulfillment of the Law was not in the ritual manner of the Sadducees and Pharisees -- but rather, by utilizing the Key of Knowledge which permits the disciple to turn the Law within themselves, walk the "narrow path", and open the "strait gate" within them.

The answer to the question that has plagued the Gentile converts since the first century can be found in the early codexs of Luke that still contain a saying of Jesus that is also found in the Gospel of Thomas -- which is part of the recently discovered cache of early Christian scriptures that have come to be known as the Nag Hammidi Library.  While this quotation can be used to demonstrate the validity of Sabbath Observance, like most sayings of Jesus is can be seen in a much more broad manner.   In this codex of the Gospel of Luke there is still contained the verses: “On the same day, He (Jesus) beholding a man laboring on the Sabbath, said to him: Man if thou knowest what thou doest, blessed art thou; if however thou dost not know, cursed art thou and a transgressor of the law”.

In coming to terms with the relationship of the Law to the teachings of the New Covenant, the Messianic Believer must ask themselves why Yeshua would warn the man that only if he possesses the true knowledge of the meaning of the Sabbath can he be blessed -- and if he does not possess this essential knowledge, then he is cursed.   The answer goes to the very heart of the difference between the Spiritual Jews who were the followers of Yeshua, and the Carnal Jews: If one is spiritual, and has manifested the inner workings of the Law in their body, mind and spirit, then one is free from the constraints of the Law, and outward observances mean nothing.   Whereas, if the inner workings of the Law have not been manifested in the body, mind and spirit of the believer-disciple, then they are cursed.   Perhaps more importantly from a spiritual perspective, when one walks in The Way and enters the Kingdom within, from a biblical perspective, there is nothing but Sabbaths.

When the Apostle Paul told the Galatians that they were freed from the constraint of the Law, this was because they were supposed to be a spiritual people who were in the world and not of it -- i.e., every day was to be a Sabbath..   From a spiritual perspective, the meaning of the Sabbath is directly related to the significance of the number as it relates to the spiritual centers of the body -- and ultimately, the mind and spirit of man.   Under the heading of NUMBERS, Nelson’s bible dictionary states that “Many times seven is important as a symbol rather than a number. It is used almost 600 times in the Bible. Often it expresses the idea of completeness or perfection” (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary). 

The number seven is a numeral that conveys a Divine pattern throughout all of Creation.   It is written that all of Creation was completed in six days, and God rested on the seventh.   Enoch, who was the seventh from Adam, never died because God took him up to heaven.   The seven feasts, the seven churches, seven seals -- all these countless places where the number seven is used -- what is conveyed is a series of great spiritual truths that is of the greatest importance to the disciple when he embraces these biblical patterns in his life.  

In the example of what Yeshua said regarding the man laboring on the Sabbath, the only way for the man to know what he was doing, was if he had himself overcome, and had walked the "narrow path", entered through the "strait gate", and emerged within the gates of the inner  Kingdom (Luke 17:20-21).   In the words of Yeshua: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27 KJV).   What this means is that, those who follow in the Lord’s footsteps into the Kingdom, themselves become the Sabbath, and they become free.   While all those people who are outside of the Kingdom remain under the dominion of the god of this world, and are under Law.   It is therefore from this perspective that Yeshua could say to the man who was laboring of the Sabbath: “Man if thou knowest what thou doest, blessed art thou; if however thou dost not know, cursed art thou and a transgressor of the law”.   

This same thought is fundamentally the essence of what Paul attempted to express in his Epistles to the Romans and Galatians.   “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law”, writes Paul, “but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members” (Rom 7:22-23 NIV).   What Paul was conveying to us is that those who pick up their own cross and follow Messiah Yeshua into the Kingdom are the recipients of God’s grace, and are able to escape the Law, and enter into Life.   What this means is that, unless you have followed Yeshua into the Kingdom, and have achieved the union of the natural mind with the soul, then you are still possessed by the works of the flesh that obstruct your walk with the Lord -- and as such, the Apostles states that you are spiritually immature.   From the perspective of Paul’s Epistles, life only exists in the Kingdom -- everything outside the Kingdom is death, and belongs to the god of this world.

The doctrine contrived by the later Gentile church that Yeshua abolished the Law so they could live in any manner of their choosing, is refuted in the words of Yeshua himself when he declared: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matt 5:17-18 NIV).   Thus, because not even one precept of the Law has been done away with or abolished, when they are present in this world, the followers of Yeshua are required to remain faithful to the Law.

The Nazirene, or Messianic Jewish followers of Yeshua understood his words when he commanded them: “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:19 NIV).   What we can see from these words is that Yeshua expected his followers to not only practice and observe the Commandments of God as set forth in the scriptures, but to teach others to do the same.

This same exact concept of the New Covenant in relation to the Law is affirmed in the Epistle of James where he writes: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10 NIV).   That the followers of Jesus were to not only keep and observe the Law in its fullness, but do it better than the Jewish sects of the Sadducees and Pharisees, can be seen in the words of the Lord: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:20 NIV).

Did Jesus abolish the Law, as is commonly believed by many churches today?   All three synoptic Gospels contain the passage of scripture which states: “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:16 KJV).   The more we consider the reply of Jesus to this question, the more we comprehend that his answer undermines our whole modern-day understanding of the Gospel: “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt 19:17 KJV).

What we must first acknowledge is the fact that Yeshua’s reply is in total conflict with what was later seemingly preached by Paul regarding the Law.   Where Paul writes that no one can be saved by observing the Law, Jesus contradicts Paul, and states: “but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments”.   From this we can see that when Yeshua was questioned about how we are to enter into Life, Jesus replied that we must observe and be faithful to the Law of God.   Does that mean that we must observe the Law in the manner of the carnal Jews?  Absolutely not!  But as disciples of Messiah Yeshua, we must move beyond the error of the Sadducees and Pharisees, apply the Key of Knowledge, and manifest the Law by turning it within us in search of the Kingdom.

In the modern Messianic Believer's search for a higher understanding of the Gospel message, what is presented in this passage of scripture is of the greatest importance, as seen in the Adam Clarke Commentary which writes:

“Much instruction may be had from seriously attending to the conduct, spirit, and question of this person.

1. He came running (Mark 10:17), for he was deeply convinced of the importance of his business, and seriously determined to seek so as to find.

2. He kneeled, or caught him by the knees, thus evidencing his humility, and addressing himself only to mercy. (See Matt. 17:14).

3. He came in the spirit of a disciple, or scholar, desiring to be taught a matter of the utmost importance to him -- Good teacher.

4. He came in the spirit of obedience; he had worked hard to no purpose, and he is still willing to work, provided he can have a prospect of succeeding -- What good thing shall I do?

5. His question was the most interesting and important that any soul can ask of God -- How shall I be saved?”

As was the case then, the question that was asked by this person remains valid in our own time -- i.e., in the words of the Adam Clark Commentary, the most “...important that any soul can ask of God -- How shall I be saved?”   In fact, the question is so important to us in our present time that it could be said that if we do not possess the genuine answer, it is as if we are playing Russian roulette with our lives.   When each of us stands before the judgment seat of the Lord, our ability to answer this question will be of a paramount importance.   The problem is that the nature of the question itself demands our utmost attention, and cannot be answered in a casual manner.   At stake is your very life and future existence.   Why?   Because a true understanding of life and the Gospel is dependent upon what you see, perceive and comprehend in this all-important story that is contained in each of the three synoptic gospels.

The time will come -- the event is imminent -- regardless of what you do, you cannot evade your destiny -- everyone must come to terms with the question that this man asked the Lord.   If you have listened to the wrong people or religious authority -- believed the wrong doctrine -- or squandered your opportunity in life by immersing yourself in the culture of this world -- then everything that you have labored to acquire and achieve will be forever lost.   Regardless of how religious you are -- how often you attend church -- how much money you donate to the church -- if you fail to answer this single question correctly, the result of your life could be as spiritually stagnant as the Sadducees and Pharisees who worshiped the Lord in vain!

From the perspective of the Gospel message, it is of the greatest importance that we understand what is being presented here.   Moreover, it is important to recognize that from our modern day perception of the gospel message, we would conclude that the person who approached Jesus would be saved, and he would be counted as being faithful by today’s concepts of the New Covenant teachings which is embraced by many modern churches -- churches which embrace abortion, homosexuality, sexual immorality -- and every other perversion which they claim is made acceptable by belief in Yeshua.   In fact, it is important for us to be cognizant of the fact that by today’s standards, this man could be a pillar of the church.   He came to Jesus -- falling on his knees -- declaring his faith -- calling upon the name of the “good master” -- desiring to be saved.

Yet, in total opposition to what many Christians and Messianic Jews profess to believe today, Yeshua replied that the man has to do more than believe and have faith, fall on his knees to Yeshua, and acknowledge him as the “good master”.   Not only did the man have to observe the Commandments of God, but he had to relinquish all that he owned in this world, and follow the Lord: “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matt 19:21 KJV).  

If our modern-day perception of the gospel was correct, and the good news that is presently being preached from the pulpits of many liberal churches represents the true revelation of the Lord to mankind, then Yeshua would have told the man that his faith (in Yeshua) has saved him.   In opposition to what is commonly believed today, we can see clearly demonstrated here that belief and faith in Yeshua, without the observance of the Commandments as found in the Law, and without the relinquishing of the things of this world, cannot save us -- as expressed in the words of the Matthew Henry’s Commentary which concludes: “Though many that call themselves Christians, do not act as if they believed it; it is certain, that, when we embrace Christ, we must let go the world, for we cannot serve God and mammon... we must devote ourselves entirely to the conduct and government of our Lord Jesus; Come, and follow me. It seems here to be meant of a close and constant attendance upon his person, such as the selling of what he had in the world was as necessary as it was to the other disciples to quit their callings; but of us it is required that we follow Christ, that we duly attend upon his ordinances, strictly conform to his pattern, and cheerfully submit to his disposals, and by upright and universal obedience observe his statutes, and keep his laws, and all this from a principle of love to him, and dependence on him, and with a holy contempt of every thing else in comparison of him, and much more in competition with him. This is to follow Christ fully”.

Another element of this biblical account that the modern believer must seriously consider is the rebuke of Yeshua when the man called him “good master”.   In our churches today we can observe people who feel they are right with the Lord by praising His name.    What Yeshua said to the man is that what you say with your lips means absolutely nothing -- and it is what you do with your life with respect to fulfilling the Commandments, and being in the world and not of it, that will save you.

It is important that we be continually cognizant of the words of the Lord when he warned: “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt 22:14 KJV)!   And when we ask who are those who are called?   The answer can only be: Those who have had the Gospel preached to them.   The answer to the question that was asked of the Lord is very much like the parable that Yeshua put forth regarding the Kingdom: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ But they paid no attention and went off -- one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city” (Matt 22:2-7 NIV).

The observation of the Adam Clark Commentary is correct: It is not enough to fall on one’s knees to the Lord.   It is not enough to express one’s faith.   It is not enough to praise him, and call him good master.   It is not even enough to live a good life in accordance with the Commandments of God.   After all, the Christians and Messianic Jews who are called, are to be held to a higher spiritual standard than others: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:20 NIV).

The message that is clearly portrayed is that those who desire to be the genuine followers of Messiah Yeshua are required to relinquish any and all hold the things of this world has upon them -- and only then will they become free from the entanglement of the god of this world, and they will be able to then follow in the footsteps of the Lord.   Belief and faith -- when they are stagnated because of spiritual complacency, cannot save you -- and in this respect, it is our modern day perception of the Word that could very well be our eventual demise.   Moreover, it is those we listen to -- those who presently shepherd the flock -- those who preach that we are saved by faith alone regardless of the manner that we actually live our lives -- who ultimately must be seen as the assassins who pull the trigger of the lethal weapon that will have killed the very spiritual life of the believer’s soul -- of whom Jesus warned: ”Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (Matt 15:14 NIV).