How do you usually react if you have a need? The Oxford dictionary defines a need as something we can't live without. We need food; we need shelter, we need water, we need protection, and we need a way to provide for ourselves and our family.
Who do you depend on to have your needs met? Is it your job? Your financial status? Your family, spouse, yourself, money in general? How you answer that question reveals who you worship and why you react the way you do when you have a need.
If you suddenly lost what you depend on to have your needs met, you would become worried, fearful. You would start to stress out, worrying about how to get shelter, water, food, protection, and financial security. When you react this way over loosing the one thing you depend on in your life, that one thing, whatever it might be, has become an idol. Idol worship is a sin, and one of the main reasons why you, as a Christian, are struggling right now.
One of the more well known Bible verses we find in Phil 4:19, "And my God shall supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." As Christians, our pastors have told us this one verse says "if you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are in Him if you are in Him all your needs will be met." This interpretation of the verse is correct and at the same time, not 100% accurate.
If we want to understand Phil 4:19, we first have to know two things, what it means to be in Christ Jesus and what it means to believe in Him. Why is not just straight forward faith the way our pastors have told us? Because Paul the Apostle, would not recognize our understanding of faith.
In the Hebrew culture believing in someone is never passive, it is always active. So if I were to say to you I believed in you, you would expect me to prove it. Hebrew culture would never accept faith as just passive acknowledgment of mental truth. If we stop to think for a moment, this should not surprise us. All of us expect friends and relatives who believe in us to show they believe in us by a changed life. This is how we build trust in our relationships when our friends see by the way we live our lives that they can trust us, that we are not just talking; we mean what we say.
If this is how Paul the Apostle would understand the concept of faith, he would expect someone who believed in Yeshua (Jesus) to prove their faith by a changed life.
This brings us to the second question, what does it mean to be "in Christ"? Mainstream Christians are familiar with expressions like "hidden in Christ," "who I am in Christ," "my identity in Him." How does the Bible define "in Christ"? In 1.John 2:6, we read the one who claims to be in Christ has to live his or her life the way He did. What 1.John 2:6 is saying is this, if we claim to believe in Yeshua, it has to show in a willingness and a choice made by us to start living our lives the way He did.
If we now go back to Phil 4:19, we see the condition of the promise is to be "in Christ." Do you want to have all your needs met, according to His riches in Christ Jesus? If the answer is yes, the Bible says you have to start living your life the way Yeshua lived His life.
So how did Yeshua live His life? The Bible says He was born in Israel and His mother and step-father were law-abiding Jews. When He got older, He never told anyone to disobey the written Torah, the law written law of Moses. In Matthew 23:2 He even went as far as to instruct His disciples to obey everything the Pharisees said, as long as they were teaching the written Torah. He sharply rebuked human-made traditions and doctrines that had become more important than the Torah. In Acts, His disciples instructed saved gentiles to learn how to obey the written Torah, and every gentile believer in the New Testament was already following the written Torah when they came to saving faith in Yeshua as their Messiah.
In our mainstream churches who claim to be followers of Christ, we hear our pastors telling us "the Torah is a burden, it was done away with at the cross. You cant obey it, that is impossible, we are under grace and not law".
Do you see the discrepancy between what the Bible teaches, and what most pastors tell us? It kind of makes you wonder what Yeshua's reaction would have been if He attended a service in mainstream Christianity in 2019. Is it not fair to say He would probably give a sharp rebuke to most pastors for setting aside the Torah, in favor of human-made traditions and doctrines?
Yeshua lived His life in total obedience to the Torah, and contrary to what mainstream Christianity tells us, the Bible says we are well able to obey it. It even goes as far as to say, in 1.John 2:6 obedience to the Torah is the only way for us to be in Yeshua. If we do not obey the Torah, we are not in Him. If we are not in Him, Phil 4:19 says we will not have our needs met.
Yeshua says in John 14:6, "nobody comes to the Father except through Me."
In mainstream Christianity, this has usually been interpreted as "nobody comes to the Father unless they believe in Me as their Lord and Savior." Keeping in mind what it means in Hebrew culture to believe in someone we suddenly get a new understanding of John 14:6. If we believe in Him as our Lord and Savior, our faith will show itself in obedience to what He taught us. He taught us how to obey the written Torah. Obedience to the written Torah unites us with Him, but as we now see in John 14:6, it is also a requirement for salvation. If there is no obedience to the written Torah our faith is dead and can not save us (James 2:10-26)
Now we see how all our needs are met through obedience to the written Torah, our need for salvation, our need for material things here on earth. And this brings us back to where we started.
Who do you depend on to have your needs met? Is it your income, your money, your job, your family and spouse, your government? The Bible says when we have a need, we should depend on the Torah to meet that need. When you need money, shelter, protection, provision, healing, a financial miracle, all of these things have already been provided for you in the Torah. If you depend on the Torah to meet your needs, you will, as a result, choose to obey it. If you depend on anything else to meet your need, it is idol worship and sin. Yehovah can not tolerate sin or idol worship, so He will sometimes allow you to lose your job, your income, your money, or the thing you worship as an idol. He allows this to happen so you can be forced to see how important it is to trust only in the Torah as the source for your needs.
The Bible even goes as far as to say the Torah is your source for salvation. If you are genuinely saved and have saving faith in the cross, your salvation will prove itself in obedience to the Torah.
Where does this leave the cross and salvation by grace, through faith?
If you committed treason against the USA and were caught, you would be sentenced to die. If someone stepped forth and volunteered to take your punishment for you, you would feel tremendous gratitude towards them. If you were caught speeding and given a ticket, you had no financial means of paying; you would have to serve out your sentence in jail. If someone stepped forth and volunteered to pay your speeding ticket for you, you would feel tremendous gratitude towards them. In both cases, you would honor what they did for you by making sure from now on to live righteously and not commit espionage or speed again.
Your decision to obey the law from now on would be proof that showed everyone you had now been forgiven. From now on, you would every day feel tremendous gratitude towards the one who volunteered to take your punishment and honor them and what they did by making sure always to obey the law.
What if you were a relative or a loved one of the one who volunteered to pay the speeding ticket or to take the death penalty? You would expect the one who had been forgiven and reconciled to society to honor what your loved one did for them. If you saw that individual walking around telling everyone "the law does not apply to me, I am free from the law, free to speed and to commit acts of treason against my government," how would you react?
Let's look at this differently, what if a family member was an organ donor. Your family member, the organ donor, had died in an accident and you signed the release forms so their heart, liver, and lounges could save someone else's life. Would you not expect the individuals who received the heart, liver, and lungs to honor the memory of your loved one by making sure they lived a healthy life and took care of their body? How would you react if you saw them smoke, drink, and live unhealthily? Would you not feel rather angry at them and as if they dishonored the sacrifice your loved one had made when they wanted to be an organ donor?
How do you think Yehovah (God) feels when He sees individuals who claim to believe in Jesus and His sacrifice telling everyone "the Torah does not apply to me, it is a burden, I am under grace not law"? Why did Yeshua die on a cross? To make it possible for all of us to be reconciled to Yehovah. Why did we need to be reconciled to Yehovah? Because we have all at one time broken His Torah, when we do not obey His Torah, we are guilty of sin. How do we show our appreciation for what Yeshua did for us at the cross? By making sure we from now on choose to obey His Torah. Why? Because when Yehovah sees an individual who believes in the cross and follows His Torah, He sees someone who is in Yeshua. If He sees someone who is in Yeshua, He sees a saved, redeemed, justified, righteous child of Yehovah. (John 3:16)
This is why the Torah is the source of our salvation because it is the only evidence we have of saving faith in the cross. This is why the Torah is the only way for us to have our needs met because Torah guarantees unity with Yeshua, and without unity, with Yeshua, we have no guarantee of provision. (Phil 4:19)
So what happens if someone only obeys Torah but refuses to believe in Yeshua as their Messiah? If you are genuine in your Torah obedience, you will soon come across one major problem the requirement to have your sins atoned for. Sincere Torah obedience will quickly reveal to you your need for forgiveness from Yehovah and reconciliation to Him. The Torah indeed says forgiveness is given when we confess, and repent (1.John 1:9). But it also means there is a requirement for blood to atone for our sins, and this can only be done in the temple in Jerusalem. The temple is gone, so we cant go to Jerusalem to have our sins atoned for anymore.
This leaves us with just one option, Yeshua and the cross where His Blood atoned for our sins.
For someone genuine in their Torah obedience, but refuses to believe in Yeshua the Messiah, they will soon be brought to a belief in Him out of a need for atonement for their sins.
Do you have a need in your life? Make sure you depend on the Torah to meet your need because that is how Yehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has promised to meet all our needs and He is not a man that He would lie.
Do you need forgiveness in your life and reconciliation to Yehovah? We all do because we have all broken His Torah. Make sure you accept His Son Yeshua as a sacrifice for your sins and show Him gratitude and appreciation by choosing to obey the Torah. The Bible says if you do, you will be united with Christ and all your needs will be met in this life. It also says you will be a child of Yehovah with a living faith, well able to save you.
Published by Apostle Ernie firstname.lastname@example.org