God Wants a Deep and Intimate Relationship with Us
A Personal Relationship with God
You may have heard the saying, “Personal Relationship with God.” Imagine the most perfect friend. They would be loyal, loving, caring, encouraging, truthful, and by your side through good and hard times – just to name a few qualities. Anyone would be fortunate to find even one friend like this in their entire life.
In the New Testament, the Greek word ‘ginōskō’ (Strong’s Ref. #G1097) means to “know” (absolutely), to understand. This same word is also used when describing how a wife or husband intimately knows the other. The following scriptures reveal what God really wants from us: a deep and intimate relationship. God wants us to know him intimately.
Jesus, while looking up to the Heavenly Father, said in John 17:3:
“And this is eternal life, that they might know[G1097] you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
God reveals there are rules that govern our relationship with him. John, an original disciple of Jesus (Y’shua), writes in the New Testament in 1st John 2:3-4: “And hereby we do know that we know[G1097] him, if we keep his commandments (from the Old Testament). He that says, I know[G1097] him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
And in 1 John 5:3, John states: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments (from the Old Testament): and his commandments are not grievous.”
To ‘know’ God, which is eternal life you must understand these things and live by them. The results of sin is death. Jesus (Y’shua) paid our ‘sin debt’ – that is, he took the punishment for our sins in that he died for us. Jesus (Y’shua) did not remove our obligation to obey God’s Laws. Violation of God’s Laws is the very definition of sin. Faith in Jesus (Y’shua) does not give anyone a license to continue committing sin. In fact, the whole point of redemption is that we are restored to a life in fellowship with God.
Sin is Violation of God’s Laws
John states in 1 John 3:4,6 in the New Testament: “Whosoever commits sin transgress also the law (Torah): for sin is the transgression of the law (Torah). … (6) Whosoever abides in him (Jesus/Y’shua) sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.”
Sin is generally defined as an offense against someone. Sinning against God means an offense against God as he defines it in his laws and commandments in Bible, while the term ‘iniquity’ more specifically means a violation, unrighteousness, illegality, or lawlessness concerning God’s Laws.
God’s Laws reveal what sin actually is. In obeying God’s Laws we choose not to sin against God. Continuing to violate God’s Laws will bring death, because you are separating yourself from God, who is life.
A brother gives this example: “Let’s say that you and I enter into a covenant (contract) agreement and you break the conditions of the covenant and in doing so you are required to pay a heavy price. But you are unable to pay the price. So I in my mercy I pay the price for you so that you can be allowed to come back in and renew the covenant with me and try to keep it once again so you can partake of the promises. Have I now extended mercy to you so you can now break the covenant at will, over and over again, with the mindset that it cannot be kept? Of course not!”
Results of Not Obeying the
Old Testament Laws
If you think you do not have to obey God’s Laws in the Old Testament then you really don’t know Jesus (Y’shua) very well. Says who!? Jesus (Y’shua).
Jesus (Y’shua) said in Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew[G1097] you: depart from me, you that work iniquity (violation of God’s Laws).”
James, an original disciple of Jesus (Y’shua) and the leader of the first Church at Jerusalem teaches in James 2:14-26 that: “Faith without works is dead.” But is it any works or deeds done in Jesus’ (Y’shua) name valid? Obviously not, even though they may have been done with the best of intentions. We are talking about how to walk or live our daily lives in a way that is pleasing to God. Undoubtedly, Salvation comes by faith in Jesus (Y’shua), but then how else are we supposed to live our daily lives except by being obedient to God? This is where many people fall very short. They think that all they had to do is believe in Jesus (Y’shua). To truly know God, you also learn what God really wants from us. God want us to obey him, to obey his Will and to not do what we want but what he wants.
Continuing to live a life in violation of God’s Laws in the Old Testament will do more harm to break your relationship with God than anything else. Paul states that doing so makes you are “at war with God.” Because you have become rebellious against God in continuing to sin against him, he will, as a good and loving Father would do, attempt to bring you back to him by disciplining you, punishing you, and limiting your blessings. Your continued rebellion breaks fellowship with God because you have turned your back on him. In the New Testament it is referred to as “Walking in the Flesh” or doing your own selfish will, not God’s. Paul states that to obey God’s Laws in the Old Testament can only be done as a result of God’s Holy Spirit residing in you – referred to as “Walking in the Spirit.” The main sign that the Holy Spirit remains in you is that you continue to obey God’s Laws in the Old Testament – this proves that you truly do abide (live) in God and he abides (lives) in you.
In John 15:9-11, Jesus (Y’shua) states: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide (live) in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide (live) in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
The Old Testament is the Foundation
T H I N K A B O U T T H I S P O I N T C A R E F U L L Y
In the New Testament, Jesus (Y’shua), the Disciples, Paul, the Apostles, the First Christians, and Early Churches taught mainly from “The Scriptures.” They used “The Scriptures” to provide evidence that Jesus (Y’shua) of Nazareth is the Son of God, the true Messiah of Israel. Of what scriptures were they talking about? The New Testament was not written yet. They were teaching from the Old Testament. When you read about “the Scripture” in the New Testament they are actually referring to the Old Testament.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul states: “All scripture (from the Old Testament) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the New Testament is not inspired of God. The point I’m trying to convey is that the entire view of Jesus (Y’shua) and the Early Church was that “the Scripture” IS the Old Testament. That we must also view the Old Testament just as they did, as the foundation to all faith and belief in God and Jesus (Y’shua). They clearly understood that every follower of Jesus (Y’shua) must have a proper knowledge of the Old Testament and seek to observe the Old Testament laws in order to have a valid foundation to their faith. They also understood that to disregard God’s Laws in the Old Testament makes one at war with God. Also that God uses our obedience to the Old Testament Laws to teach and grow us and to bring us closer to him. That our obedience is the only way to please God and to understand who he really is. Being raised in traditional churches, I was left with the clear impression that the Old Testament was not a priority – that we just needed to focus on the New Testament. That we must view the Old Testament through the light of the New Testament. This was, in fact, was totally backwards. The Old Testament IS the foundation to the faith. The more we understand the Old Testament the clearer our understanding of the New Testament becomes. This is why so many people are easily swayed by false teachings that have twisted the teachings of Paul, Jesus (Y’shua), and others.
The Torah is God’s Teachings
Proverbs 4:2: “For I give you good doctrine, forsake not my law (Torah).”
In the Old Testament, the Torah is the first 5 books of the Bible, sometimes called the ‘Books of Moses’ or ‘The Law.’ It includes the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. In Hebrew, Torah means “teachings” or “instructions” and is considered “God’s Teachings” to all mankind. The Torah is the Foundation of the Bible and is the Foundation to all Faith in God and Jesus (Y’shua).
When you ignore or set aside the importance of the Torah as the foundation to your faith you are setting aside God’s Teachings which make you unstable and easily swayed by false teachings.
In John 5:46-47, Jesus (Y’shua) said: “For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?”
And in Luke 16:31, Jesus (Y’shua) says: “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
Building Upon The Solid Foundation
Paul states in 2 Timothy 2:19 (ESV):
“But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal:
‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and,
‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity (violation of God’s Laws).’”
The Witness of Old Testament Leaders
Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Nehemiah, King David, (just to name a few) and many, many more all obeyed God’s Laws in the Old Testament.
The Witness of the Early Church
Peter, Paul, James (leader of the Jerusalem Church), the Early Churches for over 400 years, the Disciples, the Apostles all obeyed God’s Laws in the Old Testament.
The Witness of the End Times Church
Revelation 14:12: “Here is the perseverance of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
After Jesus (Y’shua) Returns
Micah 4:2-3 (ESV): “(3) For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He (Jesus/Y’shua) shall judge between many peoples … and they shall beat their swords into plowshares … nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore;”
The Witness of Jesus (Y’shua)
Jesus (Y’shua) lived a life in perfect obedience to God’s Laws in the Old Testament. We often overlook the most important and critical witness – that of Jesus (Y’shua) himself. Jesus (Y’shua) purposely lived his life as “the model” for how we should live ours. In doing so he limited or humbled the divine nature part of himself (Philippians 2:5-8) becoming the servant instead of the king. Through his life he taught us how we are to live our lives and how to relate to God the Father.
Jesus (Y’shua) obeyed the Will of the Father found in the Old Testament Scriptures including God’s Laws and Commandments. Jesus (Y’shua) kept all of God’s laws so he was sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21). If he was not sinless then he would not have been the perfect sacrifice required to pay the penalty for our sins. If Jesus (Y’shua) did these things what does that say about us, for a disciple is not above his master (Matthew 10:24-25). Should we not do as Jesus (Y’shua) did!?
1 John 2:5-6 (ESV): “By this may know that we are in him (Jesus/Y’shua): whoever says he abides (lives) in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
WWJD – What Did Jesus (Y’shua) Do!
Jesus (Y’shua) actually obeyed the Old Testament laws, so we should do as Jesus (Y’shua) did? Correct!? Says who? Jesus (Y’shua).
In Luke 6:40, Jesus (Y’shua) said: “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.”
Matthew 10:24-25, Jesus (Y’shua) said: “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. …”
And in John 13:15-17, Jesus (Y’shua) said: “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.”
Carefully Consider Your Foundational Concepts
It is vitally important to carefully consider your foundational concepts about your relationship with God. Not building your faith firmly upon who God really is and what he expects from us will waste a lot of time, you will miss out on a majority of opportunities and blessings God has for you, and you may suffer greatly now and into eternity.
In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus (Y’shua) states: “And why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever comes to me, and hears my sayings, and does them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat intensely upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that hears, and does not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat intensely, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
In Matthew 7:14-15, Jesus (Y’shua) states: “ … narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few are they that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” See also Deuteronomy Chapter 13.
In Mark 7:5-9,13, Jesus (Y’shua) is addressing a law made up by the religious leaders of his day that does not come from the Scripture: “Then the Pharisees and scribes (the religious leaders) asked him, Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders … Jesus answered and said unto them, … ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. … in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men … you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition. … (13) Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered: and many such like things you do.’”
In the next Bible quote a “Jot” or “Tittle” means a small mark of in a letter, like the cross on the letter “t” or the dot on the letter “i.” In Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus (Y’shua) said: “Think not that I am come to destroy[G2647] the law (Torah), or the prophets: I am not come to destroy[G2647], but to fulfil (carry out). For truely I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law (Torah), till all be fulfilled (carried out). 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.”
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 The phrase “till heaven and earth pass” is a Hebrew slang phrase meaning “it is never going to happen.” Similar to the American phrase: “When Hell freezes over.” No one ever expects Hell to actually freeze. Compare with Jesus’ (Y’shua) statement in Luke 16:17: “it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”