Current Issues

A Community or a Congregation? For What are We Striving? Pt 2 & Pt 3

A Community or a Congregation? For What are We Striving? Part 2 & Part 3
by Tim Hegg

Critical Issues for Torah Communities” taught at Torah Resource Institute

As people who have come to love the Torah as God’s gracious instructions in righteousness, this assertion makes perfect sense. For as one studies the Torah, it becomes evident that certain of the mitzvot cannot be obeyed apart from community involvement. The very fact that the Shabbat, as well as the Mo’edim (Appointed Times) require a “sacred assembly” ( מִקְרַא קֹדֶּשׁ , mikra’ kodesh, cf. Lev 23:4–5) points conclusively to this fact. Or consider the mitzvah of wearing tzitzit. This command involves not only wearing tzitzit but also looking upon them: “It shall be tzitzit for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them… (Numbers 15:39). The “you” in this sentence is plural in the Hebrew as are the following verbs “to look,” “to remember,” and “to do.” In other words, a person cannot fulÞll the commandment of tzitzit by himself or herself—looking at them means looking at others who are wearing the tzitzit and this requires a community. In fact, when the Torah is studied as a whole, it becomes entirely evident that living in accordance with the Torah can only be accomplished within a community that is committed to obey the Torah’s commandments. From a Torah perspective, community is an absolute essential, not an “add-on.”

Read the entire Pt. 2 Article HERE

Read the entire Pt. 3 Article HERE

This class is taught at TorahResource Institute.

You may also read many free articles at TorahResource.com

A Community or a Congregation? For What are We Striving? Pt 1

A Community or a Congregation? For What are We Striving? Part One
by Tim Hegg

Critical Issues for Torah Communities” taught at Torah Resource Institute

One would think that things might be different within the very small circle of what has commonly become known as the “messianic movement.” But sadly, such is not the case. The Messianics are a microcosm of the larger religious milieu in our society. In this movement you’ll find everything from truth to heresy; from being “slain in the Spirit” to black-hat Orthodox Judaism, and most everything in between. If we’re not big enough to actually match the “world class” antics of the Christian Church, we can’t be faulted for not trying. We hype our seminars with the same billboard flash: music concerts galore, promise of “Spirit-filled” experiences, and all the amenities to make the time a dazzling vacation. Even more, we’re tickled pink when we’re invited to that Christian seminar housed in the sports arena so that we can put on a tallit and blow the shofar. What unity! And hey, we are making progress! One of the largest Christian book distributors lists two items in the “Messianic” section of their catalog: a tallit with the prayer of Jabez embroidered on the collar and “messianic shofars” (can someone please tell me what makes a shofar “messianic”?!). Wow! Maybe we’re finally being accepted!

Read the entire Pt. 1 Article HERE

This class is taught at TorahResource Institute.

You may also read many free articles at TorahResource.com

In accordance with the Scriptures

1Cor. 15:3-4 ¶ For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Messiah died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures

What arrests our attention in this statement is the repeated phrase “according to the Scriptures.” For the Apostle, the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua of Nazareth was all “according to the Scriptures.” This reminds one of the story, told by Luke in chapter 24 of his Gospel, about the beleaguered disciples as they left Jerusalem following the eventful days of Pesach and headed west some 15 miles toward Emmaus. The “stranger” that met up with them and began to raise questions was none other than the risen Messiah, though in some mysterious way He hid Himself from them. As they conversed, their statement that “and we had hoped that He was the Messiah” must have at once saddened and shocked the Master. How could these men be disciples of the Torah and not understand the events that had just taken place? He rebuked them for being “foolish and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken.”

 “Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. Luke 24:26-27.

Apparently, the Master, His disciples, as well as Paul, had come to recognize that the Tanach—the Torah, Prophets and Writings—contained all of the revelation necessary to identify the Messiah and to understand that His mission included not only His appearance on the scope of world history, but also His suffering before He would enter into His glory. And one would therefore logically conclude that this revelation of Messiah in the Tanach became the basis of their message as they spread out to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the world. Unfortunately, as the Christian Church and the Synagogue split, the Tanach became less and less important to the Church as she built her foundations upon the “New Testament.” The result was that the Apostolic Scriptures were misinterpreted and misapplied, and the character of the Messiah was transformed into a non-Jewish Savior Who had rejected the chosen people Israel in favor of His new bride, the Church. In essence, the “Old Testament” was just that—old and outdated in favor of the “New Testament” which defined the “new people of Israel.” Sadly, many of the references to the Tanach in the writings of the 4th and 5th Century Church Fathers were for the purposes of polemic against the Jews. The Hebrew Scriptures no longer held a significant place in the definition of the Church, but only functioned to “prove the Church right” against the Jews. The “New Testament” was entirely sufficient for the Church’s self-definition, and especially since she had defined herself as “other” in regard to the ancient people of God. If one wanted to know about “the Christ,” the best place to look was the Gospels. One would only go to the Hebrew Scriptures to persuade the Jews.

The Tanach is the foundation of it all. In the inspired Scriptures of the Torah, Prophets, and Writings we discover who God is, who we are, how we relate to God through faith in His Messiah, and how we are to live in order to honor Him and become His covenant partners. The Tanach is the foundation of our lives in Messiah. It is the book of who we are in Him. And the Apostolic Scriptures are the inspired continuation of the Tanach, showing us how perfectly and absolutely the promises of God are “yes” and “amen” in Yeshua (2Cor 1:20), demonstrating the manner in which Yeshua met the qualifications and characteristics of the Promised One.

So it is for this reason that the study of “Messiah in the Tanach” is so essential for us. For only as we understand the character and purpose of Messiah as detailed in Moses and all the prophets are we able to see in Yeshua the One for whom our souls long. And in coming to stand firm upon the foundation of the Tanach, our faith in Yeshua is made that much more secure.

This is an excerpt from the course “Messiah in the Tanach” by Tim Hegg.

This class is taught at TorahResource Institute.

You may also read many free articles at TorahResource.com

You can purchase the entire syllabus w/audio at the TorahResource Store.

The Battle for the Bible

The Battle for the Bible
Are the Inspired Scriptures Enough?
Tim Hegg • TorahResource

We’ve all had the experience of traveling to some place new and trying to find directions to given location. With map or directions in hand, we look intently for street signs and road markers as we try to find our way. Then we come to an intersection where we must turn either right or left, and discover that our directions are not as specific as we had hoped. For a moment there is a bit of panic! People behind us are honking their horns, wishing we’d move. But which way should we go? Left or right? For a moment we feel lost, and glancing at the directions we’ve received, we wish they had been more specific!
As followers of Yeshua who have come to love and appreciate the Torah and are striving to live out the Torah in our daily walk of faith, we have come to just such a crossroad. There are voices encouraging us to turn this way or that but what we really need to know is this: which way will take us to our desired destination? That destination is nothing less than our ability as individuals, congregations, and communities to sanctify the Name of God upon this earth by walking in the footsteps of our Messiah, Yeshua. We do this by living out a sanctified life unto God and by exalting the risen Lord, Yeshua, in our daily activities—by demonstrating His will in our marriages and families, our relationships, our work, our entertainment, and even our relaxation.
The intersection at which we are now standing is one that will determine our way more than anything else, and it is this: is the Bible, the 66 books we have received as the inspired, infallible, inerrant word of God sufficient to be our road map in all matters of faith and practice (halachah), or do we need something in addition to the Scriptures in order to sanctify God’s name in our world, to know His will for us—to know how we should live righteously in this present age?

Read the whole Article HERE

You may also read many free articles at TorahResource.com

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