To preface this article, it would behoove me to state that I am not discussing the names themselves. Whether you call the Messiah Yeshua or Jesus is not my concern, instead what I am conferring is that for most people the name Jesus conjures up a specific idea of the Messiah that is in stark contrast to the image created with the name Yeshua. To put it in simple terms, the Greek Jesus came to do away with the Torah and founded a new religion called Christianity with the Church replacing Israel. Yeshua, however, came to fill up the Torah to its highest application, reminding the people on how to properly follow the set-apart teachings of Yah, and did not replace Israel with the Church.
Several topics could be brought up to show the distinction between the Greek Jesus and the Hebrew Yeshua, but I have selected three that can be easily identified and covered in a single article. If the need arises, then a part two will surely be on the way Yah willing. In the meantime, the three topics to be discussed are the Sabbath, food, and holidays.
The Sabbath is a very important day for the creator of everything. It not only is the day He rested after finishing creation,
“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their array. And in the seventh day Elohim completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart, because on it He rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made...” (Genesis 2:1-3)
It is also a sign between Him and His people,
“And you, speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, יהוה, am setting you apart.” (Exodus 31:13)
The importance of the Sabbath day cannot be overstated or overlooked. It is not a day to be made into a principle for any day of the week, it is an eternal sign between Yah and those who know Him.
After briefly showing the high regard Elohim has and expects us to have for the Sabbath day, how did/does the Greek Jesus view the Sabbath? Well according to Christian scholars, he broke the Sabbath on a few occasions, and Christians do not have to keep the Sabbath because they are in the Church age now. Before examining the scriptures such schools of thought bring up, it should be noted that the idea of the Church age or Yahweh interacting with humans in dispensations is utter lunacy and unfounded in scripture. Elohim does not change, a perfect being has no need for change.
“For I am יהוה, I shall not change, and you, O sons of Ya‛aqoḇ, shall not come to an end.” (Malachi 3:6)
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
There are two sections routinely used by Christianity to show that the Messiah broke the Sabbath, and in each of them, with a little bit of knowledge of the Torah and logic, you can see the scriptures do not support Yeshua breaking the Sabbath His father established.
“And it came to be on a Sabbath that He went through grainfields, and His taught ones were plucking the heads of grain and were eating, rubbing them with the hands. And some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is not right to do on the Sabbath?” (Luke 6:1-2)
Many will point to the Pharisees stating that Yeshua and his disciples broke the Sabbath simply because they said so. This would be a false assumption since the Pharisees themselves do not keep the Torah but uphold the Talmud (traditions of men), as seen here-
“But He answering, said to them, “Why do you also transgress the command of Elohim because of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3)
Despite the Pharisees' accusations, Yeshua and his disciples were in the right when they were plucking grain to eat on the Sabbath.
“When you come into your neighbor’s standing grain, you shall pluck the heads with your hand, but do not use a sickle on your neighbor’s standing grain.” (Deuteronomy 23:25)
According to the Torah, it is permissible to pluck grain to eat on the Sabbath, but not for harvesting. Yeshua and his disciples were not out reaping on Sabbath, just grabbing a bite to eat on the road, perfectly in alignment with the Torah.
The next section that is often brought up is the instance where Yeshua healed the man on the Sabbath.
“Now it was a Sabbath when יהושע made the clay and opened his eyes. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from Elohim, because He does not guard the Sabbath.” Others said, “How is a man who is a sinner able to do such miracles?” And there was a division among them.” (John 9:14-16)
There are no commands against healing or doing good on the Sabbath, this is a man-made rule invented by the Pharisees as seen in the Talmud:
“R. Hiyya the son of Abba stated in the name of R. Levi: It is forbidden to place saliva on an ailing eye on the Sabbath, for that would be equivalent to healing on the Sabbath.” (Midrash Tanchuma, Noach 8)
The verse commonly cited to argue that the Messiah abolished dietary instructions is located in the Gospel of Mark. In numerous translations, an interpretative addition is present in parentheses, influencing the meaning of the text.
“Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) (Mark 7:18-19 NIV)
This error carries significant weight, given that the oldest manuscripts lack the statement 'In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.' It highlights the extent to which men may go to manipulate the scriptures to fit their agenda. Translations that adhere more closely to the source material avoid including such interpretative additions by the translators.
“And He said to them, “Are you also without understanding? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside is unable to defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purging all the foods?” (Mark 7:18-19)
Maintaining a Hebraic understanding of food involves recognizing that it does not mean anything that you can physically consume. In Hebrew tradition, the definition of food is limited to the animals listed by Yah as permissible in the Torah, found in Leviticus 11.
If you carefully read Mark 7 in its entirety, it becomes evident that the practice of ceremonially washing hands before eating, as discussed (consult the Talmud for context), is revealed as a tradition of men rather than a commandment from Yah. Additionally, historical research indicates that there was a time when the belief persisted that consuming bread with unwashed hands could permit demons to enter the body. Yeshua, however, asserts that eating bread with unwashed hands does not defile or profane the body; rather, it is the committing of sin that brings defilement. This is evident as he proceeds to enumerate several sins. For more information please see the article 'To Eat or Not to Eat'.
The Christian church commonly teaches that the Messiah was born on December 25, celebrated as Christmas, and was resurrected on Easter. However, this belief is a clear distortion, openly acknowledged by the Catholic church, which admits to assimilating pagan holidays and 'Christianizing' them. I have delved into this topic in several articles, which are available for viewing on my 'Pagan Holidays' page.
Yeshua, the Hebrew Messiah, did not observe pagan holidays but instead adhered to the Biblical feast days as outlined in the Torah. Scriptural evidence supports this, offering examples of his observance of these feast days, including a reference to his celebration of Hanukkah.
Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread:
“And on the first day of Unleavened Bread the taught ones came to יהושע, saying to Him, “Where do You wish us to prepare for You to eat the Pĕsaḥ?” And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near. I am to perform the Pĕsaḥ at your house with My taught ones.”’ ” And the taught ones did as יהושע had ordered them, and prepared the Pĕsaḥ. And when evening came, He sat down with the twelve.” (Matthew 26:17-20)
The Feast of Tabernacles:
“And the festival of the Yehudim was near, the Festival of Sukkot. So His brothers said to Him, ‘Get away from here and go into Yehudah, so that Your taught ones also see the works that You are doing. For no one acts in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these works, show Yourself to the world. For even His brothers did not believe in Him. Yeshua therefore said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. “It is impossible for the world to hate you, but it hates Me because I bear witness of it, that its works are wicked. “You go up to this festival. I am not yet going up to this festival, for My time has not yet been filled.” And having said this to them, He stayed in Galil. But when His brothers had gone up to the festival, then He also went up, not openly, but as it were in secret.” (John 7:2-10)
“At that time the Ḥanukkah came to be in Yerushalayim, and it was winter. And יהושע was walking in the Set-apart Place, in the porch of Shelomoh.” (John 7:22-23)
Yeshua the Messiah
Yeshua, the historical, factual, Hebrew, obedient son of Yah, did not come to do away with the Torah, or to found a new church:
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete. For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one yod or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done. “Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens.” (Matthew 5:17-19)
But He came to bring back the lost sheep of the house of Israel:
“And He answering, said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisra’ĕl.” (Matthew 15:24)
While the world may celebrate and worship a false Greek Jesus, for me and my household we will follow the Hebrew Yeshua in Torah obedience to the Father. Continue to test all things, and may the Ruach Hakodesh lead you into all Truth.
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