Month 7:23, Week 4:1 (Rishon/Pesach), Year 5935:194 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 20 October 2011
An Authentic Believer
How Can I Know if I am One?
Many people call themselves 'Christian' or 'Messianic' because that is how they were brought up, or because it's a 'cultural thing' that everyone else in the community does. Sweden, though officially a secular state, calls itself a 'Christian' country because that's what the majority professes to be, but for nearly all these 'Christians' it's simply a 'cultural thing'. Why, even the head of the Church of Sweden isn't really sure whether God exists or not!
"Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our Elohim (God), Yahweh is echad (one)! You shall love Yahweh your Elohim (God) with all your lev (heart), with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your lev (heart). You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates" (Deut.6:4-9, NKJV).
We can know whether we are a true believer or not from the plainly stated keys given in our passage today. A nominal believer - one who only claims the label ' Christian' or 'Messianic' - does not have a passionate ahavah (love) for Yahweh or His mitzvot (commandments). And someone who does not have this passionate ahavah (love) for Yahweh does not diligently teach the mitzvot (commandments) to his children nor does he eagerly talk about them in his house, or walking outside, or when he gets up. Your nominal believer is mostly entirely ignorant of the mitzvot (commandments) and probably cannot recite even their summary, the Ten Commandments (Decalogue). How can you have a passion about something if you don't even know what it is, or what it consists of? And even those few who have memorised the Decalogue ('Ten Words') haven't a clue what half of them even mean.
So intimate should this knowledge of, and interest, in Yahweh's mitzvot (commandments) be that we are to "bind them as a sign on [our] hand, and they shall be as frontlets between [our] eyes". What that doesn't mean is that we are to tie witten copies or extracts of them to our wrists and foreheads as the Jews do (as phylacteries or tehellim) - obviously, since we couldn't literally get all the mitzvot (commandments) written down and strapped there anyway without looking ridiculous - we would have to carry small books on our wrists and heads! No, this is a metaphor telling us that the mitzvot should continually be in our thoughts (forehead) and lived out in our deeds (hand). Finally, we are commanded to write them on both the doorposts of our homes and the gates of our properties as a constant reminder of their supreme importance, themselves metaphors for our levim (hearts) and the 'gates' (entrance points of our body). Thus the mitzvot (commandments) are to be a matter of feelings (passion) as well as regulating the 'doors' of our activity - our ears (what we hear), our nostrils (what we 'breathe', absorb), our genitalia (how we conduct our sexual life), our excretory organs (what we get rid of from our souls that is not kosher or pure), and so on. As we see the big picture that Yahweh is painting in the shema (our passage today) we are to understand that Yahweh and His commandments are to be our all-consuming passion. That is what defines a true believer.
As we are now in the New Covenant dispensation, our Torah is also Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), the Living Torah, who fires us up for these things. Knowing Yah'shua (Jesus) as Master (Lord) and Deliverer (Saviour) is therefore of paramount importance, for He is the gate and the way to the Father, Yahweh (Mt.7:13; Jn.10:7,9; 14:6). A passion for Yah'shua (Jesus) is also a passion for Yahweh which is also a passion for His mitzvot (commandments). By this threefold witness we can know whether we are the authentic thing or not.