Now we know that we have come to know Him by this—if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God is truly made perfect. We know that we are in Him by this—whoever claims to abide in Him must walk just as He walked. ~1 John 2:3-6 (TLV)
The depravity of modern Christianity never ceases to amaze me, but I have to sit and wonder why those who profess Yeshua is their Messiah fail to build their walk of faith on passages like this one. Could it be more clear? If you claim to be saved, call yourself a Christian, say that Yeshua is your Messiah (or even that ‘Jesus’ is your Savior), but do not keep the commandments—that would be Father’s Torah—you are a liar and the truth is not in you. If you want to know if you are in Him, the real Messiah Yeshua, then you walk as He walked.
So, shouldn’t we take a look at who He was and how He lived?
Most of the time when I hear Christians refer to a passage like this opening text, if they do at all, they are trying to spin it to say something that offended them is “not very Christ-like”. I often wonder if these people ever read The Bible at all, even just the Gospels, when they make statements like this.
When you read about the life of Yeshua, you find that He called people some pretty nasty things, like: Brood of vipers, White-washed tombs full of dead men’s bones, and other such things. He is documented as walking into the Temple in Jerusalem with a whip he had made, flipping over the tables, and chasing people out. Quite simply, Yeshua was very offensive! Now, these points are not where I want to go in this message, but I wanted to bring these things up to show in a more impactful way that the “Jesus” behind most Christians’ WWJD bracelets and beliefs in general is not the same person we read about in The Bible.
The mental concept of “Jesus” in the mind of most today is a counterfeit of the real thing (see 2 Corinthians 11:4). I want to take some time to talk to you about the real thing. While the majority of the Christian world is asking “What would Jesus do” I want to talk about what Yeshua, the actual Hebrew Messiah we read about in the written record left to us by His disciples, would do and did do.
The first thing we need to consider when walking as Yeshua walked is the mere fact that He did, indeed, walk. Now, that sounds obvious and simple, but let’s think about this. Yeshua lived in a time when they did not have the modes of transportation we have today. He didn’t have a car. There were no trains. And he most certainly did not have his own private jet.
Whenever Yeshua had to go anywhere, Scripture indicates that most of the time He walked. While we see a few records of Him crossing a body of water via a boat or sailing ship, and there is that one case where He fulfilled prophecy by riding on a donkey, the majority of the time He walked to his destinations.
This is actually more significant than you may realize. Yeshua lived and did most of His ministry in the region of the Galilee. While a part of the overall land of Israel, this wasn’t exactly that close to Jerusalem. Estimates state that a determined person could make the trek by foot from Galilee to Jerusalem in about 6 days. A person taking a more leisurely walk could take up to two weeks. Since we see many of the records of His journeys to Jerusalem showing He made stops along the way, it seems more likely that He leaned toward the 2-week walks.
This is important because it shows us that when He went somewhere, He did it with purpose. A little later in this message I am going to talk about why Yeshua typically went to Jerusalem. It is important for us to remember that when He traveled there, it would have been a major undertaking. If we are going to walk as He walked, we too must have that same determination to do what He did.
Eat As Yeshua Ate
Let’s just go right to the greatest point of controversy and deviation from Torah in the majority of modern Christianity, the food laws. The simple fact of the matter is that Yeshua never at anything unclean. This is very easily proven from Scripture. Of course, I could take you to passages in the Gospels that give us some vague clues at best. But I think the most conclusive point to show this is found in Acts 10, where we find the record of Peter’s vision—an often misinterpreted passage used out of context to justify theology that claims these biblical food laws no longer apply to the modern Christian. Look at what Peter said, repeatedly, in this vision:
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. ~Acts 10:14 (KJV)
Now, from this statement I have made other points in the past about the food laws, but let me ask you a very simple question: If Yeshua had ever eaten something that Torah deems unclean, what reason would Peter have to question God about the matter ten years later?
Stop and really think about that for a moment. This experience of Peter’s in Acts 10 was at least a decade after Yeshua had left the ministry to him and the other disciples. If Yeshua ever started eating unclean meats, then Peter would have absolutely known about it. And if Peter knew that Yeshua, whom he recognized as THE promised Messiah, ate unclean things than he would not have questioned God in the vision.
In fact, the vision wouldn’t even make a lick of sense if Yeshua was going around eating unclean things during His lifetime, because Peter would have clearly known for at least a decade that it was acceptable to eat things like pigs, and he probably would have been eating them himself. If Peter hadn’t, then certainly John—the disciple who said to walk as He walked—would have been chowing down on the bacon and the pork chops and the shrimp and lobsters. But we see no record of these Apostles eating unclean things. Why? Because they were Torah-observant Jewish men and they never saw their Messiah eat unclean things because He never did eat unclean things—and they walked as He walked.
Yeshua Kept The Sabbath
And He came to Natzeret, where He had been raised. As was His custom, He went into the synagogue on Shabbat, and He got up to read. ~Luke 4:16 (TLV)
A custom is something someone does on a regular and recurring basis. If it is someone’s custom to attend the weekly Sabbath meetings at the local Synagogue, they do that every week. Likewise, if it is someone’s custom to attend a Church service every week , be it on The Sabbath, on “Sunday”, or any other time of the week they hold a service, that too is a regular recurring weekly occurrence for the one who holds such a custom.
The fact of the matter is that Yeshua kept The Sabbath. There is absolutely no doubt about that to someone who reads The Bible. There was no such a thing as a “Christian church” a “Sunday service” or even a “Christian” during the lifetime of Yeshua. He was a Jewish Rabbi and He kept The Sabbath.
In like manner, we find over eighty Sabbath Days documented in the record of Acts where the Apostles kept this same custom of Yeshua to be in the local Synagogues, wherever they found themselves, on The Sabbath. Yeshua kept The Sabbath. His disciples—later the Apostles—kept The Sabbath. They walked as He walked. If we are going to walk as He walked, then we must also keep The Sabbath.
Having established this, let’s make something perfectly clear: According to The Bible, The Sabbath Day is the seventh day of a biblical week. This would correlate to sunset Friday evening to sunset Saturday evening on a modern calendar. Of this there can be no compromise, because if you move The Sabbath to another day, like “Sunday”, or make it a concept where you can keep a “Sabbath rest” during any 24 hour period that works into your precious schedule you destroy the prophetic picture of The Sabbath. There is an importance to The Sabbath that can only be realized through keeping it on the day of the week designated as The Sabbath.
It is also important to understand keeping The Sabbath has nothing to do with attending a religious service. The commandment is to do no work on The Sabbath Day. We see evidence of this when Yeshua was in the wilderness for those forty days, which would have had him “missing Synagogue gatherings” for five straight Sabbaths. He did not “break The Sabbath” by missing those meetings because attending religious services, as Scripture confirms, is a custom not a commandment. It’s a good custom, but it’s still not the commandment.
It is vitally important to walking as He walked that we keep The Sabbath. People debate about what this means, and I have come to the conclusion that keeping The Sabbath is simply the act of not doing ordinary work on this important day. Everything else, including the custom of attending a religious service, appears to be a custom and therefore not necessarily required. That said, seeing as Yeshua made it His custom to attend the gatherings at His local Synagogue every Shabbat, it would stand to reason that if you have a good Messianic congregation near you that meets on The Sabbath, you may consider making it your custom too. Of course, like many Christian Churches, some of the modern Messianic congregations and other Sabbath-meeting fellowships are not always the best either. Especially groups like the Seventh-Day Adventists, stay away from them!
Few people outside of Messianic or Hebrew Roots circles take time to think about what special days of the year Yeshua celebrated as “holidays”. Most will quickly acknowledge that He never ate unclean things and that He definitely kept The Sabbath (though, I have heard a few misguided preachers say that He went to Church on Sunday, apparently clueless to the fact that a Synagogue—especially in the first century—is not a Church and Sunday is not The Sabbath). But when it comes to holidays most people seem to have no idea that Yeshua kept the actual Feasts and festivals listed in Scripture. Let’s take a look:
Passover: We find records of Yeshua celebrating the Passover in more places than any other Feast or festival within the Gospel record. Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 2, Luke 22, John 2, John 6, and John 11-13 all record Yeshua’s participation in celebrating Passover. While the accounts may not go as far as saying that He ate unleavened bread for seven straight days, such details really need not be stated. We are talking about a Jewish Rabbi who lived in Israel during the first century. The mere fact that there are seven places in the four Gospels documenting His celebrating of Passover implies that He partook of the lamb prepared with bitter herbs on the night of the Passover Feast and then would have eaten only unleavened bread in the days that follow. Again, this was first century Israel, I promise you there was not a scrap of leavened bread to be found in any Jewish home during the days of the Feast.
Tabernacles: In John 7 we find a full and detailed record of Yeshua going to Judea for the Feast of Tabernacles, also called Sukkot. While no direct records exist in the Gospels of His going to Jerusalem for the celebration of Yom Teruah (The Day of Trumpets/Shofars) or Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), it again stands to reason that if He would travel all the way from Galilee to Jerusalem for Sukkot He would also have kept Torah instructions regarding the other parts of the overall season of the Fall Feasts. I also find it very interesting that John brings up specifically the last and greatest day of the Feast, which is where a water libation service was conducted as part of the practice of Sukkot during that time in history (and continues to this day among many groups that carry on with the celebration of Sukkot). It was at this service that He spoke about how rivers of living water will flow out of the innermost parts of those who come to Him and drink of the “water” He has to offer. It should also be noted that the majority of evidence indicates He was born during the Feast of Tabernacles. He certainly wasn’t born in late December during the Roman Saturnalia festival. This is covered in my article WWJB: When Was Jesus Born?
Purim: Now that we have shown Yeshua’s keeping of the seven major Feasts, those commanded to be kept in Torah, let’s turn our attention to two other minor festivals. The first is Purim, a celebration we find instituted by God’s people at the end of the Book of Esther. John 5:1 says, “After this there was a Jewish feast, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem.” Many scholars have reviewed the details of the feast mentioned here and where it appears to fall on the timeline offered by the Gospel record and have determined that this must be the festival of Purim. Without getting into too much detail, there is ample reason to believe this truly was the Purim festival. This is the view I hold as well. Even if this is not referring to the Purim festival, it is clear to me from what I will present next that Yeshua certainly would have celebrated Purim, even if The Bible is silent about it.
Hanukkah: This may be the most controversial of all the biblical Feasts and festivals, because the story that it builds on is out of the books of 1 and 2 Maccabees, writings that have been rejected from the canon of Scripture but continue to be debated over. Regardless, these writings do offer historical significance. I can’t get too deep into that here, but what I can do is present the one mention of this festival in what is accepted as the canon of Scripture. John 10:22-23 says, “Then came Hanukkah; it was winter in Jerusalem. Yeshua was walking in the Temple around Solomon’s Colonnade.” Some translations may refer to this as the Feast of Dedication, don’t be alarmed if that’s what your Bible says. Hanukkah is simply the Hebrew word for “dedication” and this celebration commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem to Yahweh after it had been defiled by the pagan king Antiochus Epiphanes. Some debate about whether or not Yeshua was at the Temple that day to celebrate Hanukah. I believe He was, which I discuss in more detail in an article titled: Did Yeshua Celebrate Hanukkah? Also, remember, it was winter and He walked from Galilee to Jerusalem to be there at that time. It also needs to be considered that if Yeshua celebrated Hanukkah, then it stands to reason that He kept all of the other Feasts and the other minor festival we can find in the record of the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible often wrongly called the “Old Testament” by Christians today).
These are the celebrations, documented in the Gospels, that Yeshua clearly celebrated. We certainly do not see Him celebrating secular-pagan holidays like Saturnalia—which is today known as Christmas—or Easter. We see Him repeatedly celebrating Passover, and I can assure you He was not trying to find the rabbit that goes around laying colored eggs. And we absolutely do not see Him celebrating something like Halloween. When He encountered things that looked demonic He cast the devil out of it!
Some people may not agree, but I firmly believe that if Yeshua returned today and walked into Churches that are hosting their Christmas specials, their colored egg hunts, or, God-forbid, something like Trunk-or-Treat for Halloween, that whole account of Him flipping tables, screaming at everyone, and chasing them out of the Temple with a whip would look like He was just playing a child’s game. If He came back today and walked into Churches doing these things, His wrath would pour out in a way the world has never seen before. If we are to walk as He walked, it would behoove us to embrace His Holy Days and not the world’s secular-pagan “holidays” that have been appropriated into Christianity in direct violation of the commandment in Deuteronomy 12:29-31.
Think Like Yeshua Thought
In your lives you must think and act like [have the same attitude as] Messiah Yeshua. ~Philippians 2:5 (EXB, name adjusted)
In order to walk as He walked it is imperative that you think as He thought. Notice that here, at least in the Expanded Bible translation, it used this same word “must” that John used in His epistle. So again we have a non-negotiable and non-optional element of what it means to be saved.
One thing I never really understand is people who say something is “not a salvation issue”. It’s almost always something that a person has come to believe is optional at best because of “not under the law” and “Jesus-only” theologies, which are totally wrong and quite frankly heretical distortions of the whole truth of Scripture. Though, I have had people go as far as to tell me that even murder is not a salvation issue because apparently they are so blinded by the “Jesus-only” theology of modern “Christianity” that they can’t fathom rebellion against anything in The Bible could actually cause someone to “go to hell”.
But is this the way Yeshua thought? Let’s take a look at some of the things He had to say about The Torah those who do not obey it.
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” ~John 14:15 (TLV)
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.” Matthew 5:17-18 (TLV)
Then He said to them, “Therefore every Torah scholar discipled for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure both new things and old.” ~Matthew 13:52 (TLV)
“For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—because he wrote about Me. But since you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” ~John 5:46-47 (TLV)
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, and drive out demons in Your name, and perform many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me, you workers of LAWLESSNESS!’” [Torahlessness] ~Matthew 7:21-23 (TLV, emphasis added)
These few passages give us a glimpse into the way Yeshua thought about keeping Torah. And it is very apparent that He taught in favor of obeying ALL of His Father’s commandments. But let’s not stop there. Paul wrote the letter to the community of Believers in Philippi—along with Timothy. Paul is also the Apostle to make the statement: “Imitate me, as I imitate Messiah Yeshua” (1 Corinthians 1:11). Since he said this along with the statement to the Philippians about thinking as Yeshua thought, let’s take a look at a few of Paul’s statements about the Torah.
For it is not the hearers of Torah who are righteous before God; rather, it is the doers of Torah who will be justified. ~Romans 2:13 (TLV)
So then, the Torah is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. ~Romans 7:12 (TLV)
“But this I confess to you, that according to the Way (which they call a sect), I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything written in the Torah and the Prophets.” ~Acts 24:14 (TLV)
And what about John? He was the one who said we must walk as Yeshua walked. What were his thoughts on Torah?
The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments [Torah] is a liar, and the truth is not in him. ~1 John 2:4 (TLV)
Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah — indeed, sin is violation of Torah. ~1 John 3:4 (CJB)
We know that we love God’s children by this—when we love God and obey His commandments. For this is the love of God—that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. ~1 John 5:2-3 (TLV)
You see, Messiah’s thought process was toward leading people to follow Torah. The early Apostles also thought this way, and the men who said we must walk as He walked and think like He thought both made very clear statements in favor of keeping Torah.
More and more people are coming to realize that the earliest Believers, prior to the corruption of “established corporate churches” and “Christian religion”, were wholly Torah-keeping people. The more we look at both the Apostolic Writings of Scripture and other early “Christian” writings from the lens of a Hebraic understanding the more it becomes apparent that modern “Christian” expressions of faith practice are way off. Those who claim to follow Yeshua today simply do not walk as He walked or think as He thought.
Following The Wrong Messiah
For if someone comes along and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or should you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you are all too willing to listen. ~2 Corinthians 11:4 (ISV)
What most “Christians” today believe is simply not the same thing as what Yeshua believed and taught. They follow “another Jesus”, presented in their churches, that is not the Hebrew Messiah spoken of in The Bible.
We have been warned of false messiahs and religious counterfeits of the real Yeshua. But today the majority of “Christian” churches present the very “Jesus” Paul warned against. Their “Jesus” is THE WRONG MESSIAH.
Many today think that if a church is seeing miracles, people are being supernaturally healed of sickness and disease, prophecy is flowing, devils are being cast out, and there is some “feeling of an anointing” that they have the real Messiah. Do you remember that passage I cited a moment ago, Matthew 7:21-23? It says that people will do all of those things in the name of Yeshua, and yet they will be met with the words: Depart from Me, worker of Torahlessness. We must come to the realization that the things that truly set us apart are the things most shunned by Christianity today, which includes more than anything else the food laws, the Feasts and festivals found in Scripture, and The Sabbath.
If you are following the REAL Messiah Yeshua, you will walk as He walked and you will think as He thought. Simply put, you will do what He did, which you can read about in The Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are not in The Bible simply to tell you about Yeshua. More importantly, they are there so that you can know what He did and then WALK AS HE WALKED.
~Blessings and Shalom~
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