Month 9:25, Week 4:3 (Shleshi/Bikkurim), Year 5935:254 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 20 December 2011
The Mimimum Yahweh Accepts from All
I believe this to be one of the most important scriptural passages for Torah-observant Messianics when it comes to not only Evangelicals but to everyone else too.
"[Yahweh] will render to every man according to his works - justly, as his deeds deserve (Ps.62:12). To those who by patient persistence in welldoing [springing from piety] seek for [unseen but sure] glory and honour and [the eternal blessedness of] immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and self-willed and disobedient to the Emet (Truth) but responsive to wickedness, there will be indignation and wrath. [And] there will be tribulation and anguish and calamity and constraint for every soul of man who (habitually) does evil...But glory and honour and lev-shalom (heart-peace) shall be awarded to every one who (habitually) does tov (good)...For Elohim (God) shows no partiality (undue favour, or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another). (Dt.10:17; 1 Chr.19:7). All who have sinned without the Torah (Law) will also perish without [regard to] the Torah (Law), and all who have sinned under the Torah (Law) will be judged and condemned by the Torah (Law). For it is not merely hearing the Torah (Law) read that makes one righteous before Elohim (God), but it is the doers if the Torah (Law) who will be held guiltless and acquitted and justified. When Gentiles who have not [the divine] Torah (Law) do instinctively what the Torah (Law) requirs, they are a torah (law) to themselves, since they do not have the Torah (Law). They show that the essential requirements of the Torah (Law) are written on their levim (hearts) and are operating there; with which their conscience (sense of right and wrong) also bears witness; and their [moral] decisions - their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving thoughts - will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse [them]. On that day when, as my Besorah (Gospel) proclaims, Elohim (God) by Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) will judge men in regard to the things which they conceal - their hidden thoughts (Eccl.12:14)" (Rom.2:6-16, Amp.V.).
Yahweh makes provision for those who do not know His written mitzvot (commandments) and do not know His Name or His Son but who instinctively obey the ethical Torah. In other words, our Heavenly Father is first and foremost looking not at our outward religious observances but at our heart-attitudes to Him and to our fellow human being. That which is of primary concern to Him is our ethics - the way we treat one another and how we view Deity even though we may have no clue what His Name is or what true religion He acknowledges.
That is not by any means to say that the rest is unimportant. We are, after all, commanded to search after emet (truth) and someone who has a longing to know Elohim (God) and to treat people right will search after it, and given what's available, find it. I am no ecumenical - I do not believe in diluting one particle of the Besorah (Gospel) but I also believe that our Heavebly Father is full of grace and mercy, and shows much loving-kindness and long-suffering in the days of our ignorance, of which we have all been liberally possessed of at various times in our mortal walk. We are without a doubt only where we are now because of His earlier patience and graciousness in our blindness and ignorance.
This particular devotional was put into my lev (heart) some time ago but got postponed for various reasons. I feel it now imperative to share it. One of the things that upsets me the most about religious people is their tendency to rush to judgment and pronounce someone 'saved' or 'unsaved', 'heaven-bound' or 'hell-bound', 'accepted' or 'rejected' by Yahweh. Let us therefore make sure we know for sure what Yahweh's minimum requirements are.
In today's passage the apostle Paul goes on to talk about principles and requirements of the Torah that those Judahites knew but did nothing about. Paul lists the three essentials as follows:
A person who is honest, chaste and deeply respects the invisible Elohim (God) is acceptable! Not only that, someone who is of this spiritual disposition is considered circumcised of lev (heart)!
- 1. Honesty and respecting property rights - specifically, not stealing (v.21);
- 2. Chastity - specifically, not committing adultery (v.22a); and
- 3. Sanctity or a Sense of Holiness for the Divine - specifically, not showing disrespect for Deity or spiritual matters (v.22b).
What Paul is saying, in summation, is that a person who is honest, chaste and has deep reverence for Elohim (God), even though he has no access to written Scriptures, is not only a seeker who, given all the facts, will readily embrace Yah'shua (Jesus) once he knows who He is and what He did for mankind, but that he is right because of these three things in the sight of Yahweh - he is properly circumcised, that is, circumcised of lev (heart).
"So, if a man who is uncircumscised keeps the requirements of the Torah (Law), will not his uncircumcision be credited to him [as equivalent to] circumcision? Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the Torah (law) will condemn you who, although you have the code in writing and have circumcision, break the Torah (Law)...[true] circumcision is of the lev (heart), a spiritual and not a literal [matter]. His praise is not from men but from Elohim [God]" (vv.26-27,29b, Amp.V.).
These things being plainly true should make us be very careful how we judge people's salvational status, whether they be Messianic, Christian, or Pagan...and even some of those who call themselves 'Atheist' or 'Agnostic' who in their heart-of-hearts are believers but are angry against the numerous false porayals of Elohim (God) and religion they have seen or been taught. I can think of a lot of professed 'believers' who are lacking in one or more of these three essentials!
May we truly discern Yahweh's lev (heart) for people and what it is He searches for in judging them fit or unfit for the Kingdom of Heaven.