Torah: Is it liberty or bondage?

There is a beautiful doe that has chosen our "back four" as her favorite place to give birth to her baby every year. Why here, is anybody's guess, but it seems she feels safer on our fenced property in the underbrush of a dry creek bed than she does in the forest, which is a couple miles down the road. It's as if our property is her "Torah" - a place of refuge from "the world" where danger lurks around every corner. Because she keeps returning, we've named her "Aliyah" (Hebrew for "return").

In the early days after Aliyah gives birth, we don't have the privilege of seeing the babies very often because she always keeps them well hidden. But as they get older, they get to venture out with her, and within a few weeks, they simply vanish into the forest.

What always amazes us during the time she's here and we get to watch the babies grow strong enough to leave, is that somehow the babies know to stay put while Mama goes off to graze, and somehow they "just know" to follow Mama into the underbrush when they're out with her and she senses danger. And somehow, the doe knows exactly how long to remain here on our property until the babies are strong enough to travel....

Watching this miracle unfold in our backyard somehow reminded us of YHWH and His Torah - His Divine Instructions in Righteousness for mankind. For just a few days, our fenced-in acreage is similar to Torah for that mother deer. It provides safety and protection in an otherwise dangerous world on the other side of that fence where predators and highways and cars pose serious threats to the doe and her little ones.

YHWH gave mankind His Torah to keep His people safe from "the world" - a place where, after Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we could know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. In short, He gave us a Divine blueprint for moral, holy living. Basically: "I am the Creator who made you; worship me only. Do this but don't do that, or else you and others will get hurt. Eat this but don't eat that because it could make you sick or kill you. Treat your fellow man thusly. Follow my rules and all will go well with you and yours."

Unfortunately religion and religiosity crept into the world and broke the relationship with YHWH and His people, most of whom insisted on "jumping the fence." Like Adam and Eve, He gave us all the choice to obey Him, or not. They chose not to, as have most of their offspring! But the thing is, if we don't obey YHWH, then we are catering to Satan. There is no in between; no "tolerance" which seems to be today's buzzword....

YHWH outlined via his Torah (the first five Books of Moses) exactly how He wanted us to live. But since the very beginning, we have refused to abide by it! Back in Adam's day, there were only a few commandments that we know of: Name the animals, be fruitful and multiply, and don't eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (see Genesis 1-3). Unfortunately, our original parents chose to "jump the fence" and, consequently, mankind was placed in bondage to Satan. The only way out of that bondage was to return to YHWH and His Torah. Naturally, as the world's population grew, YHWH was forced to expand His Torah commands to encompass all the new ways man could get into trouble.

Suddenly, man was killing and eating animals, murdering his brother, taking more than one wife and committing all manner of sins that required the blood of innocent animals to be shed as atonement. (See Genesis 4 and beyond.) Because man's decadence grew to unbearable proportions, YHWH decided to wipe out the earth. However, because Noah was righteous in His eyes, He promised to let him live and ultimately repopulate the earth (see Genesis 6-9).

Yet, no matter how many times YHWH forgave His Creation, man kept chosing to "jump the fence." Biblical history is replete with a yo-yo cycle of man's willful sinning and eventual return to Torah. Beginning in Genesis 12, YHWH made a covenant with Abraham to set him and his ancestors apart from the rest of His Creation which had totally strayed from His ways and became pagans. He made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that basically required nothing of them except their loyalty, obedience and - oh yes - circumcision (Genesis 17:10-14).

The patriarchs were called Hebrews (which means, "to cross over"). Abraham, the first patriarch to cross over both physically AND spiritually, was commanded to move out of his country, away from his kinsmen and his father's house and go to the land that YHWH showed him (Genesis 12:1-3). They and all their offspring were Torah observant, doing their best to please God through obedience. Unfortunately, when the Hebrews went into captivity in Egypt (beginning in Exodus 1), they ultimately forgot about Torah and began to pick up the customs and traditions of their captors.

But YHWH remedied that when He caused Moshe (Moses) to single-handedly take on Pharoah (beginning in Exodus 4) who (after YHWH caused the death of all the firstborn in Egypt, including Pharoah's son) finally allowed the Hebrews to leave. And then He ultimately kept the Israelites wandering the desert for 40 years while they had to re-learn and readjust to YHWH and His Torah. This, of course, kicked off the Mosaic Covenant in which YHWH wrote the Ten Commandments in stone....

Eventually, to make it easy on His wayward and ever-straying Creation, YHWH sent us His Son Yeshua (a name which means, "YHWH is Salvation") to represent Him in human form to speak directly to man to proclaim the Kingdom of YHWH, to show man first-hand who YHWH is and how to worship and obey Him. Yeshua ultimately martyred Himself on our behalf and thus became our Final SIN Sacrifice, thus forever abolishing the need for us to kill innocent animals to atone for our sins (See the Gospel accounts.)

(NOTE: Our use of the term "martyr" is intentional because traditional Jews love to point out that "G-d never required human sacrifice!" Well, Y'shua wasn't a "human sacrifice" because nobody "sacrificed" Him. He was a Divine Sacrifice who willingly went to the cross/stake. As a human being, He had the choice to obey YHWH or not. As we see time and time again, He CHOSE to obey. He KNEW who He was....)

Contrary to popular belief, NONE of the above actions ever abolished Torah! Without Torah, we would have no blueprint for moral, holy living; no fenced-in area to keep us safe.

Most people don't realize it, but the Constitution and Bill of Rights on which our country was founded, are based on the Torah! All rules,all laws were written to protect us from ourselves and from each other. But, as with God's laws, we've more than just "jumped the fence"; we've gone way overboard and abused those rights and freedoms, and are well on our way to getting run over and squashed on Satan's sin-filled freeway - all in the name of "doing our own thing".

In modern day America where we have thrown God out of our schools, along with prayer and Bible reading, we have raised several generations who not only don't want God in their lives, but they hate any form of godliness and are embracing the occult, instead! We are not only condoning occultism and pagan "religions", but everything else that YHWH calls an abomination, such as homosexuality, idolatry, bigotry, adultery, etc.

These days we are even seeing major denominations splitting over whether to ordain homosexuals. Lying, stealing, and murder are condoned in the cases where the perpetrator might have had a bad childhood, or is able to plead temporary insanity. Good is now bad, and bad is now good - all in the name of "tolerance". The world seems to be turned upside down!

In Deuteronomy 6 YHWH said: "And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up."

How many people actually do that? Christianity teaches that Torah is a curse and that we don't have to do anything except "believe in Jesus"! Because of this Torah-less Jesus, all our sins are somehow automatically forgiven and we are free to do as we please....

Yeshua came to proclaim the Kingdom of YHWH and to do everything His Father commanded. He tore down the fences of man's legalism. Neither He nor His Apostles ever advocated against Torah!

Deuteronomy 18: 15 "ADONAI will raise up for you a prophet like me from among yourselves, from your own kinsmen. You are to pay attention to him, 16 just as when you were assembled at Horev and requested ADONAI your God, 'Don't let me hear the voice of ADONAI my God any more, or let me see this great fire ever again; if I do, I will die!' 17 On that occasion ADONAI said to me, 'They are right in what they are saying. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I order him.

John 12: 44 But Yeshua cried out and said "He who believes in me, it is not in me he does believe, but in Him who sent me."

Yeshua was sent by the Father NOT to do His own will, but the Father???s! So many seem to think He came to replace the Father and abolish Torah....Yet He came to restore man's relationship with YHWH and remind us to totally rely on YHWH for everything. We are to be "as little children":

Matthew 18: 1. At that moment, the disciples drew near to Y'shua and said, Who indeed is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? 2. And Y'shua called a child and made him stand in their midst. 3. And said, Truly I say to you, that unless you change and become like children, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4. He therefore who humbles himself like this child, he will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Like that little fawn that automatically did whatever its mother wanted it to do, without hesitation - that is how we are to follow God's commands! He has our best interests at heart; HE knows what is best for our lives. HE told us exactly how to become righteous - yet most ignore Him. The Bible tells us we must be like little children; not like bull-headed teenagers who want to go their own way. Even Yeshua did what the Father commanded:

Luke 4: 43 "But he (Yeshua/Jesus) said, "I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent."

Acts 28: 23 "From morning till evening the Apostle Paul explained and declared the Kingdom of God and tried to convince people about Yeshua from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets."

Acts 24: 14. But this indeed I (Paul) acknowledge, that in that same doctrine of which they speak, I do serve the Elohim of my fathers, believing all the things written in Torah and in the prophets.

YHWH gave us His Torah to keep us safe and on His path as long as we are "inside the fence" of Torah and playing by the rules.

Proverbs 16:25: There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Torah has given us tremendous freedom - Freedom to know our Creator and His awesome Messiah through whom we are able to gain eternal life merely by "believing" in Him, and allowing the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) to help us change from the inside-out to become the "new creatures" we were always meant to be!

Our beautiful Aliyah and her babies inevitably leave the premises. They, in effect, leave our "Torah"....We always pray that YHWH would keep them safe wherever they go. And we pray that all mankind will soon wake up to the realization that we are IN the end times as outlined in the Books of Daniel and Revelation; and that the safest place to be is not hiding in the hills, hoarding canned food and bottled water and arming ourselves to the teeth; but, rather, taking comfort in the arms of YHWH and His Torah....