Month 5:22, Week 3:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5936:140 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 9 August 2012
Doctrine to Shine
Learning What It's All Really About
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el!
"You shall love Yahweh your Elohim (God) with all your lev (heart), with all your soul, and with all your strength" (Dt.6:5, NKJV).
"You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am Yahweh" (Lev.19:18, NKJV).
The highly respected first century Judean sage and scholar, Rabbi Hillel, also known as 'Hillel the Elder', was once challenged by a cynical and sceptical monarch to teach the Torah (Law) to him standing on one foot. The quick-witted teacher, holding up his foot, replied with these famous words:
A short time later, another famous rabbi would quote todays's two passages to summarise the laws of the Kingdom by saying these immortal words that would become known down the generations as the Golden Rule:
"What is hateful to yourself, do not do to another. This is the whole Torah, go and study it, the rest is commentary."
All but chauvanistic religions and philosophies are basically agreed with Leviticus 19:16, the second part of the Golden Rule. It's a universal emet (truth) that all good people instinctively accept and try to apply in their lives: "Do to others what you would wish others to do to you". If you want someone to be nice to, be nice to them. And even if they're not nice back to you, keep on being nice! Even decent atheistic, humanistic evolutionists can hold hands with us on this one because they instinctively know it's in their best interests in the Darwinian struggle to survive. If everybody on this planet were to treat their neighbour as themselves, wars and oppression would cease. Of course, there would still be differences because not everyone wants to be treated in exactly the same way.
"Then one of the [Pharisses and Sadducees], a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 'Teacher, which is the great mitzvah (commandment) in the Torah (Law?)' Yah'shua (Jesus) said to him, 'You shall love Yahweh your Elohim (God) with all your lev (heart), with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great mitzvah (commandment). And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' On these two mitzvot (commandments) hang all the Torah (Law) and the Nevi'im (Prophets)" (Matt.22:35-40, NKJV).
Yesterday I spoke of the instruction given by Yahweh to the exiles in Babylon to seek to bring shalom or peace into the cities in which they were living with others. This is an extension of the Golden Rule into the wider community of pagans and unbelievers. Sometimes Christians and Messianics are apt to forget that obligation. Whether we like it or not, we have to share our villages, towns and cities with people of all kinds of different beliefs, and it is Yahweh's express will that we treat them in the same way that we would like to be treated ourselves. Though they may not be governed by the same moral and ethical rules as we are, everybody without exception wants to be treated decently. Ask an audience how many of them would like you to beat them up and you will not find a single soul in his right mind who would welcome such treatment. But sadly, there are all too many people - those with spiritual issues, and especially those who have any kind of power or authority - who would very much like to treat you worse that they themselves would like to be treated by you. It's little wonder, then, that when law and order break down, people turn on those who treated them badly with a vengeance. Going to the next stage and obeying Yahweh's Torah injunction, "You shall not take vengeance", that is expected by Elohim (God) of us, may be very hard for an unbeliever to do, but if you have treated him decently, he will be less tempted to do you harm in the future.
There is nothing technical or complicated about these words of wisdom. They're plain common sense. This kind of wisdom is precisely what a father would teach to his children as opposed to a ruler teaching his subjects. They reflect the fatherly ahavah (love) of Yahweh-Elohim which Yah'shua (Jesus) His Son reitterated. Since this paternal instruction was given that children might obey their father, does this not plainly reveal what kind of a Person our Heavenly Father is? Does it not tell us what we may expect of Him in His system of ahavah (love) and justice?
This kind of conduct is what we mean by the word honour - not the so-called 'honour killings' of a certain muderous religion (which is about egotism taken to the extreme), but the kind of honour that expects the one giving honour to be treated in the same way. Yahweh lives by an honourable example, as demonstrated by the life of His Son, as opposed to the pagan ruler's creed of 'Do not as I do but do as I say'. Is it any wonder that governments are disliked? The politicians and their agents live by one set of rules and expect the masses to live by an entirely different set of other ones. Autocratic and unaccountable Social Services departments and their workers are a serious case in question today. They regard themselves as belonging to a superior élite for whom laws are but guidelines which they can follow if they feel like it, depending on their whim.
As believers we are not allowed to conduct ourselves in such a manner. We are not entitled to what Errol Müller calls "sovereign immunity" . That is why in Torah Yahweh has given us these basic rules of justice:
There is no justice without honour, and biblical honour is a two-way street. If one person is to be honoured, then a person must conduct himself honourably too.
"You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute. If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it. You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute. Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked. And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous. Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the lev (heart) of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Ex.23:1-9, NKJV).
"You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which Yahweh your Elohim (God) gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which Yahweh your Elohim (God) is giving you" (Deut.16:18-20, NKJV).
Live by an honourable example, treat others the way you want to be treated yourself and go out of your way to do so, as the Master taught. From this mindset alone, good things happen and multiply, and a wordless, vibrant form of the Besorah (Gospel) sprouts into existence. We are not to be a part of carefully orchestrated spiritual opera on show for the admiring glances of the public but we are to be in the heart of matters everywhere, letting Yah'shua's (Jesus') Light shine through us to pull those in darkness into it. It is not about how doctrinally correct we are but about how the true doctrine has corrected us to shine more. The design and tavnith put into operation in human flesh is what it's all about - it's not about some Athenian philoosphers' market place for doctrinal ideas. Study, find the true doctrine, live it and then go and be with people and simply shine.
 Errol Müller, The Mystical Rites of Our Creator (White Stone Communications, Lake Worth, FL: 1999), p.History-35