The Great Interest in Torah

The Great Interest in Torah


I’m J.K. McKee, editor of Messianic
Apologetics. If you are new to the channel, be sure to subscribe for future
teachings and updates. In the past several decades, the numbers of today’s
Messianic movement have grown because of an increased interest of non-Jewish
Believers wanting to tangibly connect to their faith heritage in the Scriptures
of Israel. Is the non-Jewish interest in the Torah, a modern manifestation of
legalism and people trying to earn their salvation? Or, is it something to be
legitimately anticipated as we get closer and closer to the Messiah’s
return? There should be no doubting the legitimacy of the original Messianic
Jewish mission of Jewish evangelism, outreach, and solidarity with the State
of Israel. This is firmly based on the Romans chs. 9, 10, and 11 trajectory
of salvation history. Yet it is also clear that a massive salvation of the
Jewish people in the end-times is hardly an isolated event–as it is something
which affects the entire world. One of the most significant Tanach prophecies
that will also be occurring en masse, in the Last Days, is the Torah going forth
from Zion to the nations of Planet Earth, and the nations being instructed in
Moses’ Teaching, resulting in worldwide peace.
This is detailed in not one, but two, places in the Tanach: Micah 4:1-3 and
Isaiah 2:2-4. There are popular praise songs in today’s Messianic
movement which invoke these prophecies, but even more so, these prophecies are
recited in the traditional Shabbat service of the Jewish synagogue, when the
Torah is removed from the ark before the weekly parashah is canted to the
congregation: “And it will come about in the last days that the mountain of the
house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be
raised above the hills, and the peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come
and say, ‘Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD and to the house of
the God of Jacob, that He may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in
His paths.’ For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the LORD from
Jerusalem. And He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty,
distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their
spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, and
never again will they train for war” (Micah 4:1-3, NASU). There is an
eschatological expectation witnessed in the Prophets that the Torah will go
forth from Zion, with the nations streaming to hear it. How does this
affect the purpose and mission of today’s Messianic movement, and the role
that it is to play in the wider world? How are we to capture much of the
expectation of Micah 4:1-3 and Isaiah 2:2-4 four in our service
for God’s Kingdom now, before Yeshua returns? It is safe to say that with many
non-Jewish Believers genuinely called by the Lord into the Messianic movement,
that a consideration of these prophecies needs to be regarded as something
paralleling and locked to, the Romans chs. 9, 10, and 11 trajectory of Jewish salvation.
This prophetic oracle very much anticipates how the separation of the
nations at Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) will be reversed. All nations and peoples will
worship the One God of Israel, they will be taught from His Law, and true world
peace will prevail. The Torah, while originally given to Israel, is something
that is to not just affect Israel proper, but all of humanity. We should expect
Micah 4:1-3 and Isaiah 2:2-4 to take on greater and more
concentrated fulfillment in the future, but given the Apostolic Scriptures’
common emphasis of a realized eschatology–of Believers living and
experiencing the life of the age to come before it is fully manifest (cf. Galatians
1:4)–much of what has been foretold can already be enacted. The Last Days are a
stage in history that started two millennia ago with the First Coming of
the Messiah (Acts 2:17; Hebrews 1:2), although more is undoubtedly to be
expected. Throughout history, many faithful Christians have frequently
looked to Micah 4:1-3 and Isaiah 2:2-4 to emphasize “the
word” as the gospel or good news going forth to the world, and born again
Believers possessing peace in their hearts via the salvation they cherish in
Yeshua the Messiah. Along with this have been those who have truly thought that
the proclamation of the good news is to be attended with some kind of
proclamation from God’s Law as a matter of proper conduct for the redeemed,
certainly with principles such as the Ten Commandments guiding lives of
holiness. Understanding the value of God’s Torah begins with comprehending
how it is to bring peace to His people. Even while some Messianics may criticize
Christians today who widely cast aside the Law of Moses, there have been
influential Protestant traditions in history, such as Calvinism or Wesleyanism,
that have always upheld the Law as a source of piety and morality. They have
expelled more concentrated effort to see the thrust of Micah 4:1-3
and Isaiah 2:2-4 realized in the lives of people, perhaps more than anyone
else since the First Century. This has manifested not only in seeing people
safe from their sins, but also in wanting to help one’s fellow man via
various humanitarian works (such as building hospitals, orphanages, schools,
homeless shelters, and relief missions to the third world).
Today’s Messianic Believers stand in their debt, and have the responsibility
to try to continue their positive work– especially now in reaching out to Jewish
people who do not yet know Yeshua! Most importantly, the oracle of Micah 4:1-3
and Isaiah 2:2-4 can only be fulfilled in an environment
of peace created by leaders and teachers within the Body of Messiah. Sadly, this is
one area that is not accomplished too well by today’s independent Hebrew/Hebraic Roots movement. In fact, its popular teachers are some of the most
likely, in fact, to cause unnecessary divisions and discord. Those who promote
some degree of a “restoration of Torah” are not always associated with a great,
sizable message on how we are to be about restoring human wholeness. Micah
4:6-8 specifies some of the disenfranchised groups who are to be
immediately affected by Moses’ Teaching going forth to the world: “‘In that day,’
declares the LORD, ‘I will assemble the lame and gather the outcasts, even those
whom I have afflicted. I will make the lame a remnant and the outcasts a strong
nation, and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on and forever. As
for you, tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you it will come–
even the former dominion will come, the kingdom of the daughter
of Jerusalem” (NASU). If the “restoration of Torah” we hear so
much about is not concerned with serving the needs of the lame and downtrodden–
more than other areas of obedience–then what does that say? While much more could
be said on the changes that many people within the broad Messianic community
need to make, when I read Micah 4:1-3 and Isaiah 2:2-4 what immediately
strikes me is how Yeshua emphasized “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they
shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9, NASU). If God’s Torah is to be declared to the
nations, and is to result in peace–then anyone teaching it is to be a diligent
peacemaker, wanting all to experience Divine blessing and harmony in their
lives. Teachers are to desire the full realization of the Aaronic Benediction
(Numbers 6:24-26), brought about by the indwelling presence of the Spirit (John
14:17), which can only result in people being edified (Romans 12:18; 14:19).
When this becomes our vision for spiritual service–then we will truly
make the sizeable difference that the Lord wants us to make, culminating in
the return of Yeshua and His Kingdom of total shalom. In seeing the Torah go
forth to the world, let us truly anticipate and look forward
to the Messiah’s reign of peace! If you all found this content enjoyable
and useful, please be sure to drop a thumb,s up for this video! As always, we
thank you for your continued support of our ministry efforts. God bless and
shalom, and we’ll see you again with our next update!

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