Recently I received a comment on an article that I wrote a couple of years ago about the fact that I believed that both males and females are commanded to wear fringes, scripturally. Because of the depth of this question, answering it via a comment was almost impossible.
Lori, one of my precious readers, said: “The Israelites are black, hispanics and native indians according to Deuteronomy the 28th chapter! What you are doing is blasphemy! You are not Israel!”
First I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts! It is always good to hear from my readers and I pray this answers your comment in depth and help you understand a little bit better, why I said what I said.
I would like to first address your comment about the fact that Israelites are only “black, hispanic, and native Indians” according to Deuteronomy 28 (and for my other readers who may not know what this chapter is, it is the blessing and cursing chapter).
I must admit, this is the first time I have ever heard this claim. And nowhere did I see anywhere in the chapter that you gave, Yhwh explaining to us that the Israelites are only made up of these three people groups, in fact, I see just the opposite. Could you please explain how you are getting this? (And please quote the verse(s), not just the chapter so I know what you are referring to).
In the meantime, I would like to explain why I believe that we, as born again believers, are apart of Israel, and thus (and other reasons), why we are required to keep the law.
Ephesians 2:11-12 says, “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were WITHOUT the anointed, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having NO hope, and WITHOUT God in the world:”
I think you’d agree with me that this is speaking about who we were before we knew Yahshua, not now that we do know Him. We were in times past Gentiles (unbelievers)…we were without the anointed (Christ), we had no hope, and we were without God. I think scripture is pretty clear on this one. :o) Let’s keep reading this passage.
13 But NOW in the anointed Yahshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of the anointed.
So the first two verses were talking about us before we came to the Messiah, but the below verses are speaking about “the here and now”. Now that we are made nigh by the blood of the Messiah (the anointed).
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
HalleluYah! Again, pretty self-explanitory.
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are NO MORE STRANGERS AND FOREIGNERS, but fellowcitizens WITH the saints, and of the household of God;”
Lori, we are no longer strangers and foreigners, but we have been made fellowcitizens, because we are now adopted into the household of Yhwh, through Yahshua’s blood!
But I skipped over something that I want you to read back in the first two verses. :o) Let’s re-read those two verses now that we understand the context of who this is speaking about; who we were before and after we received Yahshua’s gift of salvation.
“11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without the anointed, being aliens from the commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
IN TIMES PAST, yes, we were without God, without hope, without the anointed (the Messiah), and that also made it so that we were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and we were strangers of the covenants of promise. BUT THIS WAS BEFORE, this is not now, my friend! Please let me requote verses 19 once more. It says, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;”
Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
It’s not just the blacks, hispanics, and native indians…although they are certainly included!
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Again we see that salvation is for one and all who accept Yahshua, and those who have accepted His gift of salvation, are (remember the first passage in Ephesians 2) no longer strangers or foreigners of Israel, but now have citizenship rightly due to him, through Yahshua.
So now that we realize we are one in Yahshua, I want to share something else with you. Whether you are a Jew or in times past, a Gentile (unbeliever), let’s see what Yhwh says about His Torah being kept.
Revelation 14:11-12 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience OF THE SAINTS: here are THEY THAT KEEP the commandments of God, and the faith of Yahshua.
These are born again believers in Yahshua, who are obeying the commandments of Yhwh! We have those in the first part of the passage who are worshipping the image of the beast and have the mark of the beast, but then we see the opposite ones are those who are the saints (believers) who are keeping Torah and the faith of Yahshua!
But let’s read on. Let’s see more of what scripture says concerning the keeping of His Torah.
Exodus 12:49 says, “One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.”
Even the stranger is commanded to keep the Torah! There is, and only has been, one law of Yhwh. The law is not just for the natural born Jews, or Israelites (and remember that Israel was made up of twelve tribes, not just one – or in your case, three), to keep! It is for everyone to keep.
Again, we see in Matthew 5:17-19 that it tells us something profound about His law. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 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.
People often dwell on the whole “I came to fulfil” part and say “well, He fulfilled it, so we no longer need to keep it”. And yes, Yahshua came and fulfilled His part of it. But that doesn’t mean that the law has been done away with! He tells us that until it has ALL been fulfilled, not one jot (yod…the smallest letter in the Hebrew aleph-bet) or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.
Let me ask you this, is heaven and earth still here? Of course, or we wouldn’t be writing each other! :o) So we see the law, or the Torah, is still to be kept! And not only that, but if we teach against it, even in the smallest commandment, we WILL be called least in His kingdom! But if we do it and keep it, we will be blessed! And truly, we are! Keeping the Torah has been one of the biggest blessings of my life! It is by no means a burden…I mean seriously, it tells us how to remain in good health, to love our neighbors, and to love our God, among other things! What is so burdensome about that???
And speaking of loving our God, I want to draw your attention to some more verses. How do we love our God? Unlike what people often say and think, scripture is quite clear on the subject.
John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
John 15:9-11 “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
John 14:24 “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”
Scripture says that those who don’t love Yhwh, don’t keep His commandments (law, Torah, whatever you wish to call it). We can see this more clearly in 1 John 2:3-4.
1 John 2:3-4 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
This is pretty serious, my friend. These are not my words. They are His. If we say that we know Him, and do not obey His commandments (Torah), Yhwh says we are a liar and the truth is not in us!
1 John 2:5-6 “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
Lori, how did Yahshua walk? He obeyed the Torah perfectly! How are we supposed to walk as He walked, and yet not keep the Father’s commandments, which He kept perfectly???? It’s impossible! Not only that, but we are also told that “sin is the transgression of the law”. 1 John 3:4 says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
This is how we know what is sin and what is righteous. The law teaches us how to live a righteous life, a holy life. It’s not up to our interpretation…we can’t compare ourselves with our nextdoor neighbor and say that because we “look” more holy than they do, we are! In order to live a life without sin, we must compare our lives to Torah and how we are obeying the law of our God. There is no other way. We don’t say that “we think” adultery is sin…we KNOW, why? Because Yhwh says “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. Period. We don’t steal, why? Because Yhwh says “Thou shalt not steal” and thus stealing is sinning. Thus, I also wear fringes, why? Because my God says to and to not, would be sin.
Numbers 15:38-41 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of Yhwh, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. 41 I am Yhwh your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am Yhwh your God.
Yes, I want to be holy unto my God, and this requires me to live according to His law, in obedience to His law. We are not our own, we have been bought with a price.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
I am no longer my own, but my God’s. And therefore, I choose to love Him and obey Him to the best of my ability, although I know being human, I fall terribly short at times. But my goal is to live a holy and sinless life before my God.
I want to love Yhwh my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my might (Deuteronomy 6:5), and therefore, I also must obey His commandments (John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”).
I pray this helps you understand that if I did not acknowledge being a part of Israel and wearing the fringes that my God commands to be worn, that is when I would be blaspheming and disobeying my God.