September 26, 2013 – An Unashamed Workman

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, Amplified Bible).

This Scripture verse challenges me to really know the Word of God – inside and out – in its correct Biblically Hebraic/Jewish context.   The Word of God includes both testaments and  you cannot have one without the other or you will always misinterpret them.  In order to understand the ‘new nuggets’, you must appreciate the depth of the ‘old treasures’.

As Yeshua said in Matthew 5, he did not come to abolish, but to fulfill the Torah.  This means that He has something very important to communicate as the Rabbi sent from heaven. The rabbinical word ‘abolish’ does not mean to ‘get rid of’, as so often is taught by well-meaning church leaders.  It means ‘wrongly interpret.’  ‘Fulfill’ does not mean ‘put and end to’, but to ‘rightly interpret.’  In other words, Yeshua came to rightly interpret the Word of God for us and to live it out righteously as an example for us.

To accurately divide the Word of Truth means that ‘dividing’ must be  done skillfully with wisdom and not separating it into two parts like ‘old and new’ or ‘aging and obsolete‘ or ‘was good for them, but is not good for us’ or ‘it was impossible for them so it’s even more impossible for us.’   We must follow the Messiah’s example and do as he did: explain the correct view of Torah and the Prophets through rabbinical midsrash (explanations) and vice versa.  We must read the new covenant through the lens and foundation of the old.  One was written down by Yeshua’s disciples and has come to be called the ‘new testament.  The other, the ‘old testament,’ has the history, the fundamental principles in the Prophets who experienced a lot of persecution just to speak the message of God to His people.  Using the whole Bible as ‘inspired’ also means that one doesn’t just take the last one-third of the Scriptures to support a point of view that isn’t supported or found in the first two-thirds.

So often when we tell others that we use the Torah teachings and instructions to guide our physical daily lives – what we eat, how we dress, holidays we celebrate,  we are accused of ‘works unto salvation’; however, 2 Timothy is pretty clear that we are to be ‘workmen who are not ashamed’.  This means that when we stand before Messiah to receive His final rewards, we should have studied and worked out our salvation according to the Scriptures so that we are not embarrassed or rejected.

This reminds me of the many Scriptures that speak about the final judgement when there are those who are thrown into darkness where there is ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  Yeshua says in Matthew 8:12 that these poor souls were all ‘subjects of the kingdom’, but acted as ‘worthless servants’.  Though they knew who Yeshua and salvation was, He didn’t know them and their works were lawless deeds.

Also consider that the two testaments have two different purposes, both of which we need in this world today.  The former testament was about an outward physical lifestyle: rules about food, cleanliness, morality, dealing with our neighbors and how to honor God.   I don’t know about you, but I am still a physical being who has an outward lifestyle and I like having the Word direct that lifestyle.   The latter testament was about the spiritual man.  As a born-again member of the Kingdom of Heaven, I have to emulate a spiritual life as well because I have received a new life.   I can’t have one life without the other; I can’t just have a spiritual life without expressing it in this present world.    What is being written on my heart, the teachings and instructions of God,  should be exemplified in my physical life or there is no witness of my change of heart.  As Proverbs 23:7 states, ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so he is’.

As one who studies and desires to show themselves approved, I know personally how difficult it is to stand back and look at the Scriptures from a different perspective than what I originally thought.  I remember the exact moment when it seemed as if I stopped reading left to right and began reading right to left.   I know the trials and persecutions of implementing Scriptures into my life that others are being taught were ‘done away with on the cross’ even though Yeshua never said he did away with anything.   If he had, he surely would have told the two men on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection, but he did not.  He used the Torah and Prophets as evidence of who He is.   I know the pain and suffering of being ‘rejected by men’ because of the message of redemption I  live out and teach.   Rejection is not easy, but I choose as Joshua did to ‘serve God.’ My message of discipleship is not the common one that says you have a ‘get out of hell free card’ so go on living like a sinner, but a message of  ‘coming out from among them and be separate’, ‘be holy as I am holy’ because you are now part of the eternal Kingdom of God and a victor over sin.

However, from suffering the trials I have, I know the presence of God in my life like I could not have imagined when I began to ‘work out my salvation.’   I also know His blessings from my obedience and see them being exemplified in my children everyday.   I have experienced the power of the deliverance that protected me from evil in this world like no other.  I understand the power of the Spirit that convicts and guides me into all Truth.  I know what it is to be in unity of faith with gentiles from all nations on this earth who are also leaving all unbiblical church traditions behind to worship God according to His Biblical prescribed ways.  I also know what it is like to fellowship with born-again Jewish people who, like the prophets and gospel writers before them, correctly analyze and rightly divide the Word of Truth .  Just as our Jewish Rabbi and Messiah did when the only Scriptures he had to teach from was the Torah and the Prophets, we are learning and studying to correctly the divide the Word of Truth so that we are approved workmen on the day of final redemption.

©2013 Tent Stake Ministries

 

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