Avraham lived by ‘believing trust,’ what most people call ‘faith.’ Our scriptures tell us that all those who trust in Messiah must also live by that same trust. It’s not that faith is a ‘bad’ word, but that it has been so distorted by modern theology that I’d like to take a fresh look at it with everyone, from the Hebrew perspective.
So many people think that myself and other congregants are trying to work our way into heaven by the ‘works of the law,’ and that could not be further from the truth. Many do not come into the Sabbath for fear that they would be doing that very thing as well. And, even AFTER we have promised over and over that we are NOT trusting in our works to ‘save’ us, they still insist that we are? And these are, many times, people who love us, and ‘trust’ us as family, yet they do not believe our own words we say about our own faith. The popes still have so much power over peoples’ minds, its incredible!
Trust. That is why I keep the Sabbath.
The word is אמונה :: Emunah.
It actually comes from the word for ‘firmly established,’ and is more accurately rendered as ‘trusting belief,’ or ‘believing trust,’ in English.
This is also the word from where we get אמן: Amein, or ‘ay-min’ for you fellow southerners, which affirms in trust, ‘let it be so.’
We keep the Sabbath because we TRUST Elohim, who said that He blesses those who do His will. He blessed the Sabbath itself, and said that it is a perpetual sign between Him and the children of Avraham. We keep the seven yearly feasts of the spring and the fall, because He has told us that it is good for us, and we trust that His word is true. And the quintessential Jew, Messiah Yeshua, kept all of these appointed times, becoming our best, and for us, our only example.
And, we trust this in the face of having millions upon millions of people tell us that we are wrong every week, by doing just the opposite, and ‘saying’ that G-d told them to.
What do I mean? Man, people of every ilk, for every one of us who formerly walked as Christians but now walk as Torah observant believers in the Messiah Yeshua, opposes us in EVERY WAY. Sometimes with great anger and hostility.
Those closest to us accuse us of joining cults, of ‘being under the law’, and condemning ourselves, of trying to work our way into heaven, etc, and again, all of this in spite of the fact that we’ve testified passionately to the contrary. They cannot seem to ‘hear’ us.
Over the last 12 years, I have met and come to know hundreds of people who have just been reading their Bibles and wondering ‘why’ did they go to church on sundy, why did they keep x-mas, why did we do ‘easter,’ when none of these things are even on the surface of the text of the holy scriptures. [Messiah Yeshua was never in x-mas; find him under a tree in scripture, and we’ll join you in celebrating that day. You know what you do find under those trees in scripture? Babies being offered to pagan deities. Did I just lose you? I hope not. Research it for yourself.]
These people then read “Remember the Sabbath day, to consecrate it, for in six days אלהים [G-d] created the earth, and on the SEVENTH DAY He rested.’ This is pretty plain. It’s actually dang simple and obvious reading. And we took it by EMUNAH that it is firmly established by G-d as Truth. And by that believing trust, we went AGAINST the grain of society, even the ‘society’ of faith, to do what G-d said.
I could go on and on about how our trust has turned us from the customs of men and how much powerful EMUNAH it has taken for most of us to suffer the slurs, ridicule, vicious anger, and not-so-very-‘christian’-‘jesus-like’ behaviors against us in order simply to do what G-d said. To do that which is written in His Word. To do that which is carved in stone, you know, The Nine Commandments. [You don’t believe in the Sabbath. You have edited what G-d wrote in stone.]
This season we are entering is difficult for our families, who do not understand why we do not participate. It is by faith that we do not. Because we believe that The Word of G-d, and being pleasing to Him, is far more important than pleasing men. Including family. It was Yeshua who said this:
“Do you think that I have come to bring shalom on earth? I say to you, no, but divisions; for from henceforth there will be five in a house who will be divided three against two, and two against three. For a father will be divided against his son, and a son against his father; a mother against her daughter, and a daughter against her mother; a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
I remember when I dropped the bomb on my family. Of course, my Mother was made of gold, and she rocked and rolled with it. But others, not so much. But, many ‘close’ relationships were very strained, for quite some time. Thankfully, my Dad finally came round just before he died. And Mom, she lived with us a few months before her death, and celebrated the Sabbath with us each week.
But, I have watched families go through very, very difficult times, parents and siblings hurling accusations and insults, in most hurtful ways, at those of us who walk by Faith in the Word of Messiah, daring to modify our lives to make them fit with His Word more closely.
So, you don’t agree with us. Atleast see that it takes great faith to turn away from what we have known all our lives, and turn to trusting only in His Word, having precious few people who agree with us in it.
What I believe, I believe passionately. Wholeheartedly. I cannot ‘unsee’ what I have seen in His Word, and what I believe is error in the churches, at times, seemingly willful error. It is by Emunah that we struck out and asked G-d to create a fellowship for us, of others who would take a huge LEAP of faith IN HIS WORD and DO what He says, BECAUSE HE SAID SO. That, my friends, is faith.