In Genesis 3:24, we are told that Adam was driven from the garden of Eden and a flaming sword was placed to guard the way to the tree of life.
Adam had sinned through disobedience and he was put out to prevent him from eating of the tree of life and living forever in his sin of disobedience.
Whether you believe this tree of life is a literal tree or symbolic of our creator Himself is another topic. The fact remains here that man was separated from this source of life and the way to the tree of life was guarded and protected by a flaming sword. The separation was caused by disobedience. Along with this separation, death replaced eternal life. This disobedience was called sin.
Sin is defined in 1John 3:4,"Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law."
This passage is talking about the law given by YAHWEH. Written down by Moses. The first five books of Scripture, called Torah. [This word, Torah, law, can be found in Strong's under the number 8451. The definition is a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue or Pentateuch. Decalogue referring to the ten commandments and Pentateuch referring to the five books written by Moses. Genesis through Deuteronomy.]
These scriptures are what most denominational theologians call "the old testament", implying they are obsolete and not to be used today. This concept of being obsolete and not for today is the result of anti-Semitic attitudes, misunderstanding of scripture and untaught and unstable teachers who desire to be teachers of the Law, but have no knowledge of the law.
Many well meaning people in all walks of life are trying to find solutions to eliminate things such as, drug abuse, child abuse, wife abuse, abortion and other cancers of our society. However all they are doing is trying to treat the symptoms. Until the disease is eradicated, the symptoms will remain. The real disease is that the world has turned away from the precepts and statutes that were designed to preserve life. Many pastors, preachers, evangelists and scripture teachers are working very hard to help people be restored to our creator and come out of the debilitating conditions they are involved with. But the tool that was given by the creator to do the restoring has been thrown out by organized religions. Psalm 19:7 says "The law of YHVH (YAHWEH) is perfect, restoring the soul..." I know that many people will say" But what about the passages in Romans and Galatians and other passages which seem to say the law is removed?" We will discuss these passages in another paper, but right now we say this. When scripture is used to define scripture, instead of what people think, then the misunderstandings go away. In 2Peter chapter 3, we are reminded about the words of the prophets, we are reminded of the plan of YHVH, the future and wrath to come. We are also asked what manner of people should we be in our "conduct and godliness."
In verse 15 of chapter 3, Peter tells us,"...as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you," verse 16, "as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the scriptures." Since we are told there is much twisting of scripture and it has been going on for about 2000 years, we must be diligent to search out the truth.
In Acts 17:10-11, we are told that Paul and Silas went to Berea where they preached the word to the people. Now it says these (the Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they searched the scriptures daily to see if what Paul and Silas were teaching was true. Now think for a moment, this was about 20 to 30 years after the death of Messiah. The only scriptures they had to use as proof was the Torah, the Prophets and other writings such as Psalms and Proverbs. There was no "new Testament". It wasn't organized and published until about 220 AD. Do you really think that if Paul taught that the "old testament" was obsolete, they could have proved it with the scriptures they had? Of course not. Paul never taught that the Torah or Prophets were obsolete. Even John in 1John 5:2 says "By this we know that we love the children of EL (YHVH), when we love EL (YHVH) and keep His commandments."
You will notice that this verse says that we will keep the commandments of the father. Now the next verse, 3, says "for this is the love of EL (YHVH) that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."
Again in 2 John 6, it defines love. "This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning you should walk in it." In the beginning, in Deuteronomy 6:5, we are told "You shall love YHVH your EL (Eloheykaa) with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might." In Mark 12:29-30, Messiah answers the question about which is the first or foremost or most important commandment of all. He said "The first (foremost) of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, YHVH our EL, YHVH is one.
And you shall love YHVH your EL with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first (foremost) commandment."
Our obedience to the law (Torah) of YHVH is the only way we can demonstrate our love for Him.
With these thoughts in mind, let us now examine some scripture to see, like the Bereans if this concept of following the law is truly biblical. To see if following the law (Torah) is "the Way" to the "tree of Life."
In Genesis 18:19 it says, "For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of YHVH, to do righteousness and justice, that YHVH may bring to Abraham what he has spoken to him." Notice that keeping the way means to do righteousness and justice.
Deuteronomy 5:28-33 says, "Then YHVH heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and YHVH said to me: "I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken in all that they have spoken.
Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all my commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! Go and say to them, "Return to your tents. But as for you, stand here by Me, and I will speak to you all the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which you shall teach them, that they may observe them in the land which I am giving them to posess. Thereafter you shall be careful to do as YHVH your EL has commanded you: you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which YHVH your EL has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall posess."
Deuteronomy 6:7 speaks about the word like this, "you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk in the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." Notice it says talk of them when you walk in the way, some translations have by the way. The meaning is that when you are walking according to the commandments, then explain them and why you are doing them to your children so they will understand.
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 says "And now, Israel, what does YHVH your EL require of you, but to fear YAHVEH your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve YHVH your EL with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of YHVH and His statutes which I command you today for your good?"
Deuteronomy 11:26-28 says, "Behold I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of YHVH your EL which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of YHVH your EL, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known."
It is clear that to disobey YHVH is to follow after other gods which leads to death. Deuteronomy 28:9 says "YHVH will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of YHVH your EL and walk in His ways."
Deuteronomy 30:15-16 says " See I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love YHVH your EL, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and YHVH your EL will bless you in the land which you go to posess."
Notice in this last passage that life and good are associated with keeping the law and not keeping the law is associated with death and evil.
In Joshua (true name same as Messiah..Y'hoshua) 1:7-8 we are told some remarkable truth which is literal for the time and prophetic for all since Messiah came. Notice that Moses is now dead. They have been mourning for him, but now YHVH says that His servant Moses is dead and now Joshua is to lead the people into the promised land. Moses led the people right up to the river but not in to the land. Now they are to follow Y'hoshua into the promised land. "Only be strong and very courageous that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper whever you go." (prosper here means always make the right decision at the right time) verse 8 " This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.' Good things happen when our way matches His way!
Through out the book of Judges, every time the people turned away from YHVH in disobedience, YHVH caused them to go into captivity, then when they repented and turned back in obedience after confessing their sins He raised up a deliverer to bring them back.
In 1Kings 2:1-4, we are given the method of proving to be a man. "Then the days of David drew near that he should die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying: I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of YHVH your EL: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, his commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; that YHVH may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, "if your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul," He said "you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel."
Psalm 1 contains 6 verses that contrast the way of blessing and the way of death. The first three verses say "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of YHVH, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the channels of water, (irrigated, and cared for) That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
The next three verses show the state of those who disobey the law. "The ungodly are not so, But are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For YHVH knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish."
In Matthew 7:13-23 Messiah is telling us how to walk to enter in to life and to beware of false teachers.
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Not everyone who says to Me, MASTER, MASTER, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day, MASTER, MASTER, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?
And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness!" In this passage the fruits are their works of obedience which happen when they repent and turn back to the law in obedience.
Both John the Baptist and Messiah came preaching repent and turn back in obedience. In Matthew 3:8 John said "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,..."
In John 14:1-6 Messiah is speaking saying "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in EL, believe also in Me.
In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am there you may be also.
And where I go you know; and the way you know."
Thomas said to Him, "MASTER, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"
Y'hoshua said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Where was He going? To the Fathers house. What is the way? He is the way, He is also the word made flesh. He is also the one we follow into the promised land and the Torah is the law we follow so that our way will be prosperous.
To be continued.
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