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the Living Torah
the 613

by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
(Ephesians 2:12)

"For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. But this command I gave them: 'Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you'." Jeremiah 7:22-23

"…well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' You leave the commandment of YHVH and hold to the tradition of men... thus making void the Word of YHVH by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do." Mark 7:6-13

It is amazing to see what passes for Truth among those claiming to know "God" in today's vacuum of religious fervor. There is not a week that passes without an email landing in my inbox from someone who has "heard from God" a revelation that completely ignores what scripture says on the subject. The Father has shown (click on highlighted words to view content) that He can be trusted to cause me to know Him - IF (big little word) I remain true to His Purpose and not bring my own or the agenda of others into the mix. Not to lean on scripture alone - but to just remember that all of scripture was ONLY given to validate what we hear in Spirit to be of Him because He will never deny His Nature contained in His Words. The Ten Words of the Father of Yeshua express that Nature, the Essence of Spirit which is selflessness - placing the needs of my familial brother ahead of my own which is how the world will know Yeshua is Who He says He Is. The Words of YHVH are the only words Yeshua ever spoke. To know YHVH is to validate by His Words what we think we know in Spirit - the same Spirit Yeshua embraced. It is important to recognize these Ten are the only Words given to men by the finger of YHVH. And, immediately, I can hear the "what about…" cacophony arising to support all of the tradition that religion has taught for centuries. This is exactly what Yeshua was speaking to in the passage above - those traditions that render the Nature of Spirit found in His Words null and void.

Yeshua makes it crystal clear in Matthew 5:17-19 that He did not come to abolish the Torah and anyone who does so or teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Father's Kingdom. However, in the article, the Elevation, we found that approximately 35% of the 613 ordinances contained within the Torah have to do with adherence to Levitical regulations concerning the Temple and ritual sacrifices which are not able to be kept today because - there is no physical Temple. We found where the Temple has not been "done away with" but has been translated from the physical realm without to the realm of Spirit within those who constitute the Body of the Hebrew Messiah - from the Levitical priesthood to the priesthood of Melchizedek. The question posed in that article was that if 35% of those 613 ordinances are considered to be written on our hearts (because the Words have not changed - just the placement of where they are located), then why are the other 65% (which also contain the ordinances for the feasts) treated as though they have not yet been affected by that same translation from the physical realm to the realm of Spirit? Could it be that we have been unduly indoctrinated by religious tradition - unaware of their influences upon us? Since words mean things, have we questioned everything - exhaustively, on our own, researching to see what the words actually say and mean? Or have we merely settled into a life of traditional ease of commonality, trusting that those who went before us did their due diligence? The challenge for us is to press into the Spirit of the Father to find out how these ordinances contained in the "613 laws" apply to us today - because there is no scripture that says they have been rescinded. Like the Temple, however, how they are to be elevated in behavior is to be experientially accommodated in our lives today. The lone exception to this thought would be the Sabbath because it was not instituted at Sinai, but at creation - the only one of the Ten Words spoken by YHVH at Sinai that says "to remember" to keep.

"The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. When Moses' father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, 'What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?' And Moses said to his father-in-law, 'Because the people come to me to inquire of YHVH; when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of YHVH and his laws '." Exodus 18:13-16

The only Words we find in scripture that were directly given to YHVH's family are the Ten written by His Finger in Exodus 20:1-17 But, when we look at Exodus 18:16, just for what the words say, we find Moses settling disputes among the people through his knowledge of "…the statutes of YHVH and His laws". Now, how was Moses able to discern YHVH's statutes and laws two chapters before the Ten were even given? He was able to know them for the same reason that YHVH chose Abraham because he "…obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws" - and that was 430 years before the Ten were given at Sinai (Galatians 3:17). These men were able to keep YHVH's statutes because they had come to KNOW the Nature of Spirit - the Source of Life. What was being administered by Moses was the practical application of what he had come to know about the Nature of Spirit, who is YHVH, into the lives and problems encountered of those coming out of Egypt. The Essence of Spirit is selfLESSness - to consider those things of my brother as being more essential than the things of my own - the common thread found running through all of the Ten Words of YHVH and what Moses was administering to those who came before him. So, then, where did the rest of the words attributed to YHVH come from - what are known in Judaism as the 613 ordinances?

Into this scene of Moses administering YHVH's statutes enters Jethro (Moses' father-in-law) telling Moses to delegate authority and appoint a committee of men to alleviate this burden that Jethro felt would ultimately destroy Moses - something that today's leadership culture would have us aspire to. We are told in Exodus 18:1 that Jethro is a high priest of the Midianites. What Jethro believed and who the Midianites worshiped at the time is not made clear in either scripture or history; however, that is not really what is important about this passage. What is imperative to understand is that the words of verse 24 tell us Moses did what Jethro told him - not YHVH. The story of how Moses approached YHVH with this issue and the circumstances surrounding it are found in Numbers 11. Here we find that Moses did not inquire the heart of YHVH over what He wanted in this circumstance, but demanded that YHVH take the burden from him or just kill him. If we are to believe the wording of this passage, we see this was not a request - but an ultimatum. However, there is scriptural precedent in how YHVH responds to this approach from men - beginning with Moses himself.

the burden
Exodus 4 begins with YHVH explaining to Moses how he is to bring the family of YHVH out of the bondage of the Egyptians. Moses is agreeable to everything until he realizes he will have to speak - and he is a stutterer. In spite of the admonition from Elohim telling him since He made Moses' mouth, He can also make it work appropriately - Moses insists on having someone else speak. While polite, this was an ultimatum nonetheless. What was YHVH's response? Remaining consistent with His Nature of selflessness, He accommodated Moses' ultimatum by allowing Moses' brother, Aharon, to be the spokesman. Even before this encounter, Moses' father, Jacob, after wrestling with Spirit all night; demanded of YHVH that he be blessed before his encounter with Esau - and YHVH relented to his demand. Other evidence of this consistent Nature of Spirit dealing with the demands of men is found in the article, A Pre-Determination. In every instance of relationship with men who have proven their trust by their adherence to His Words behaviorally, although perhaps angered by the arrogance displayed, YHVH accommodates their demands and incorporates them into His Plan. The seventy men commissioned by Moses that formulated the 613 ordinances came as a result of Jethro's urging and Moses' demand - not from the directive of YHVH - it was not in His original plan. It is from this committee of seventy men that the rules of behavior are given to the children of the wilderness.

Rules against behaviors are only needed when such behaviors actually exist; this implies that during the time of Moses, incest, bestiality and necrophilia were occurring. Exodus 12:38 tells us that when the Israelites came up out of Egypt that a great mixed multitude of different nations and faiths came up with them - 1.5 to 3 million people in total depending on various estimations. That's a city the size of Houston. With these different nationalities came all kinds of idolatrous behavior - darkness within those who practiced them that would be consumed by the Light of YHVH. For the survival of the whole population, rules were instituted by the seventy that would ensure conformity of behavior that they all not be consumed in the Presence of Light. The 613 ordinances are practical applications of the Ten commissioned by men to a particular generation of a particular culture in a particular locale. That they all carried the weight of "YHVH says" is because within the 613 is still found the common thread of the Nature of Spirit - selfLESSness. But, there are rules in the 613 that speak about how to treat slaves. Do we really want to revert to a culture that tolerates slavery in order to keep those rules? Or, do we Elevate them to see how our behavior should be affected by them in our present culture. Digging your own well requires a lot of work, effort and time. That is the challenge that faces us - do we just ignore them or do we dig in to see how these words apply to our circumstances today that we might continue to uplift the Nature of Spirit in our lives in this generation?

So, then, how are the feasts contained in the 613 ordinances to be kept? Are they to be observed by the legalistic tenets of the religion of Judaism? Or, should they be Elevated to the higher level of Spirit Yeshua spoke of? I keep all the feasts - just not in the ritualistic manner to which most are accustomed. I worship the Father in Spirit and Truth - not substituting one for the other (John 4:23-24). I don't build a hut to live for a week out under the stars because YHVH has become my Sukkot where I constantly abide; He is my Shav'uot, daily filling me with His Spirit; He has become my Pesach (atonement): He is my Kippur (repentance); etc. So, while acknowledging these events by my elevation of them in Spirit in this generation as with His Temple and not abolishing them, I have found the ritualistic manner in which most celebrate them to not be necessary - but, they do require of us to hear from the Father about how they are to be observed on an individual basis.

"It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by YHVH.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me…" John 6:45

???Questions???
Please feel free to email me at harold@hethathasanear.com. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I would be honored to share with you what the Father is uncovering in these days.
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