Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I HAVE NOT come to abolish them but to fulfill them.Matthew 5:17 (ESV; emphasis mine)
Several years ago, I brought Matthew 5:17-19 to someone I care deeply about. This person is VERY confident that how she interprets the Bible is the correct way. But she is a person who has declared the Old Testament done away with. I want this loved one to one day get to heaven and be called “great” not “least” by God. I shared my concerns, Jesus’s words in Matthew 5:17-19, several other Bible passages and chapters, and my belief that what Jesus says is the be all, end all. No one trumps Jesus’s teachings and explanations and meanings. I shared all of this with my whole heart because I want so badly for this person to be in relationship with God like Abraham, Moses, and Aaron, but she wants to be a Nadab, Abihu, and Uzzah — she wants to worship God her way. And it makes me sad. Because God has commands that MUST be followed so we can worship Him the right way and be called “great” and “good and faithful” by Him. This post is meant to be a wake-up call because we are SO close to Jesus’s second coming, and I want as many people as possible to not suffer. I don’t want people to hear Jesus say, “I never knew you.” I hope this post edifies and allows for self-reflection and worship of God His way. This is a message God has put on my heart.
As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, I know that He is to have two comings on this earth in human, bodily form. Jesus’s first coming occurred some 2000 years ago when He preached on and taught Torah Truths, healed the sick and the lame, cleansed the lepers, made the blind to see and deaf to hear, willingly chose to become the Passover sacrifice, and defeated Death and rose to life on the third day. Jesus’s first coming coincided with the spring feasts of Passover, First Fruits, and Pentecost. Jesus’s second coming is yet to be fulfilled. It has not happened yet. But it 100%, absolutely will. It will happen some year during God’s fall feasts of New Year, Atonement, and Booths (when Jesus dwells among His people). And I believe it will happen soon. I believe we are definitely in the end days.
In my opinion, the scariest and most devastating verses in the Bible occur in Matthew 7: ‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of Lawlessness'” (21-23, ESV). These verses terrify me. Of course, I want to do Yahweh’s will. And, yes, I think that I am in my day-to-day. But am I truly? Am I doing God’s work, or the work I think God wants me to do? When I stand before Jesus will He hug me and say, “Welcome, My good and faithful servant!” or will He say, “I never knew you!” Honest to goodness, if Jesus says to me that He never knew me, I will beg Him to destroy me at the atomic level because I cannot live without Him. I can’t. I would be so utterly devastated. The idea freaks me out to no end!
Jesus gives us two glaring clues as to who are followers of self and are NOT following God’s will. First, Jesus uses the word lawlessness in Matthew 7:23. Lawlessness means Torah-lessness. Those who have thrown away (i.e., done away with) God’s Word — Torah — are the lawless ones He is speaking of in Matthew 7. If you have ever said or thought that the Old Testament is done away with you may want to have a real good heart-to-heart with Jesus. You may want to open to Genesis 1:1 and start reading and studying and praying hard. The second clue to whom Jesus is speaking of in Matthew 7:21-23 is the repetitive use of “in Your name.” Christians are the only group of people who do anything in JESUS’S name. Muslims and Jews do NOT prophesy, cast out demons, or do mighty works in Jesus Christ’s name. Jesus is talking to all of us who call ourselves Christian. If you believe you are doing works for God, but you have thrown out 2/3s of the Bible, you may want to self-reflect.
Jesus did not come to ABOLISH Torah and the Prophets. He came to carry out the tasks of Torah and the Prophets, and He is NOT done. He still has His second coming and His Millennial Reign to carry out. Don’t you think we should be as ready as possible for when Jesus comes back? Quick side note, fulfill means to carry out, to do. But it has a second definition — to bring to completion, to achieve. When Jesus says He comes to fulfil Torah, He means He has come to carry out, to do, to achieve the work of Torah. Jesus fulfilled the spring feasts in His first coming, but there is still much for Him to do.
I began this post with Matthew 5:17, but I want to end with verses 18 and 19: “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (emphasis mine). I don’t know about you, but I do not want God to consider me least. I want our relationship to be real and loving and respectful and GREAT. Therefore, I choose NOT to relax God’s commands and I will NOT teach my child to relax them either.
Do you know the command Jesus is referring to in Matthew 5:19? If your response is “NO,” then let me tell you. It’s not a hard command at all and should be kept by every human who considers themselves to be a follower of Jesus Christ. You can find this command in Deuteronomy 22:6-7. It goes like this: “If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long” (emphasis mine). That’s it. This is the least of God’s 613 commands in Torah and it is all about respect and kindness and compassion and mercy. Don’t let the mother bird see you take it’s young for food. Be considerate of her motherly instincts. Don’ be mean! When Jesus comes back don’t you want to be a person doing His work — doing respect, kindness, compassion, mercy, and NOT being mean?
Here is what God has put on my heart, the message I so desperately want you to hear today: There is still time. If you are reading this, you have time to strengthen your relationship with God. You have time to make sure Jesus does not say to you when He sees you, “I never knew you.” It begins with God’s commands. Learn them. Love them. Do them to the best of your ability keeping in mind that of the 613 commands there are many we cannot keep today, and this is OK because God knows we can’t, so don’t stress about those. But the ones we can, like the command of the mother bird, we absolutely should. And remember God’s commands are not hard. Jesus tells us they are easy (Matthew 11:30). And before you say, “But I’m not Jewish,” I want to remind you of what Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28-29: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” Jesus came to Jew and Gentile both because God’s Word — His commands — are meant for ALL of His people regardless of nationality, cultural identity, ethnicity, gender, age, etc.