So, why is it our family does some things that appear Jewish, like keeping the weekly Sabbath, or observing the Biblical feasts, even though we believe Y’shua (Jesus) is the Anointed (Christ)?
This can most simply be explained by saying we are striving to be Torah observant. What does that mean?
Torah is a Hebrew word meaning instruction. More specifically in the Biblical context, Torah is God’s instructions to man. These instructions are contained in the whole Bible, but first and foremost in the first five books of the Bible. It is from the Torah that we learn that it is the basis of all other spiritual wisdom that God would reveal to man. This means that any further revelation from God must be in agreement with the principles laid down in these first five books, or it is disqualified from being considered genuine. How do we know this?
Moses made it clear that the information God was relaying through him was to be a “litmus test” of any further revelation or wisdom that would come along.
[Deu 4:2; 12:32 KJV] 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you….12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Moses said that any further information should not add or diminish from the information that YHVH (God) was conveying through him. In fact, the reason I believe that Y’shua (Jesus) is worth following at all is because Moses spoke of him and was clear he was to be obeyed when he would arrive:
[Deu 18:15, 18-19 KJV] 15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; … [YHVH speaking:] 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him.
When Y’shua (Jesus) did arrive and began teaching, he confirmed that he also was Torah observant through his lifestyle and his teachings:
[Mat 5:17-19 KJV] 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Anyone claiming to be a disciple or follower of Y’shua (Jesus) in the kingdom of heaven, is also commanded by him to observe the Torah, or the instructions that God has given to man to abide by within that kingdom. It is in the Torah where we learn of things like observing the Sabbath, the Biblical calendar, and the guidelines of God-ordained foods to eat.
Since the Torah was carefully preserved and practiced by Jewish culture, then it stands to reason that if our family observes Torah we will also appear to be doing “Jewish” things.
We may also appear to be doing some “Christian” things, since we believe in Y’shua (Jesus) solely for our salvation. This means we accept the 27 books of what’s commonly called the “New Testament”, as well. (I prefer to call them the Believer’s Writings, since they were all written by Jews who were believers in Y’shua). We believe these Writings are not contradictory to Torah, but are the fulfillment of its principles in Y’shua and his kingdom. Hence, for us, to be truly Torah observant is to believe the whole Bible.
However, we are not Jewish, since Jews don’t believe in Y’shua. We are also not technically Christian, since Christians believe the Torah has been done away with. This leaves us with no real traditional pedigree other than “God-fearers”, those who simply believe the God of the Bible to be the One true God, and Y’shua is his Anointed (Christ). We recognize that ultimately God is neither Jewish nor Christian, but that he has revealed himself in one continuous narrative from Genesis to Revelation, and desires all men everywhere to come to a knowledge of this truth.
While this may appear strange to either Jewish or Christian readers, I would encourage you to continue to explore other information on this site to gain a wider understanding of how exactly this can be, and why the God of the Bible is not about religion, but about knowing who he is, and what he expects of us in this life.
BACK 1 – YHVH is the “Tetragrammaton”, the consonantal abbreviation of God’s name commonly represented as “Yahweh”.