How can I start becoming Torah observant?
Some have written to The Refiner's Fire to let us know they realized "something was missing" in their churches and have come to the conclusion that what was missing was Torah, God's Divine Instructions in Righteousness. Naturally, they then asked for guidance on how to "become Torah observant" and, as a result, we produced the suggestions below. Following is a sample response to those who are seeking God and have no idea what to do:
FIRST: If you've never done so, pray and ask Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to be the God of your life, and tell Him you are willing to totally submit to Him, to the best of your ability. Tell Him that you believe His Son Yeshua died on our behalf as our Final SIN Sacrifice, and that you wish to live life according to His teachings. And then begin reading your way through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. This may take you many months, but once you're done, start again at the beginning. God's Word is a never-ending learning process....
SECOND: Realize that Yeshua was the SON, an "arm" of Yahweh (Isaiah 53:1); not a new god who came to abolish everything His Father (THE Creator) ever said!
THIRD: Realize that "Torah" means "Divine Instructions in Righteousness" and that Torah was never abolished. Torah has been around since the Garden of Eden; it didn't start at Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments! Please read our article, Simple Torah. Remember too that Divine law and priesthood have ALWAYS been around, as far back as Adam. And when Adam and Eve sinned and were banished from the Garden (banished and not killed - because of God's grace!), God imposed even more rules on mankind because, now that man had partaken from tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he was destined to reap the consequences. And the consequences required sacrifices and offerings to God....Ultimately, He made it easy on us by sending His Divine Son, Yeshua, to teach His people about God and how to properly worship Him, and then to die as our Final SIN Sacrifice. Note, we put the emphasis on SIN SACRIFICE...Yeshua's death did not negate the need for obedience to God's forever commands!
FOURTH: Many Christians insist that "the law" (Torah) was "just for the Jews." The thing is, there were no Jews until after Jacob begat the Tribe of Yehudah (Genesis 29:35; Matthew 1:1-2). The Tanach (OT) shows that His Chosen were called Hebrews (Genesis 14:13), yet EVERYONE, beginning with Cain and Abel, was Torah observant - which negates the Christian claim that they don't have to obey God's Law! ANYONE who believes in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is to be Torah observant, and God even said so four times in a row in Numbers 15:13-16! YHWH (Yahweh) chose Abraham because He wanted to (Deut. 7:6-8) and He reiterated this in Jeremiah 31:32 by making His New Covenant with the Houses of Israel and Judah - both of whom were Torah observant.
THE GOOD NEWS IS, believing Gentiles who are grafted into the Olive Tree (Israel) automatically become part of Israel. They are "ONE" in Messiah - which does not mean they are "Jews"; it means they are are now "Hebrews" and part of spiritual Israel; they are Torah observant believers in Messiah Yeshua. Same God, same rules!
FIFTH: Read every article on our Challenging Mainstream Christianity page. There you will soon see that what is being taught in churches is only the last THIRD of the Bible! During the First Century all believers were Torah observant because that is what Yeshua Himself - and all of His Apostles and Disciples taught! God's Word was twisted into oblivion because of people such as Constantine, Tertullian and Marcion - Jew haters, who taught that, while the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was THE CREATOR, anything "Jewish" was evil (i.e., the Seventh Day Sabbath and the Biblical Feasts).
This totally detracted from the Scriptures and allowed satan to help institute a "first-day Sabbath" (Sunday on our Gregorian calendars), and the man-made "holy days" of Christmas and Easter, both of which are steeped in paganism! Instead of realizing that mankind had been duped into leaving God's Divine Instructions in Righteousness, people blindly followed - and the result is that we have more than 33,000 Christian "denominations" - all of which teach that "the law" has been abolished.
For more "how to" info, please continue reading below. Note in the articles throughout this website we refer to "God the Father" as YHWH (Yahweh) and His Messiah as "Yeshua" which was Jesus' given, Hebrew Name.)
Congratulations! Next to accepting Yeshua as your Savior, becoming Torah observant is the best decision you can possibly make - because there won't be any "lukewarm" people in heaven (Revelation 3: 16). If you're having any doubts (and you haven't done so already), please read and make copies of our Christian Questionnaire which asks some hard questions and explains the basics and reinforces the fact that you have made the right decision by becoming Torah observant!
Continuously read and thoroughly study the Torah (first five Books) with the help of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) to get a true sense of who God is, how to worship Him, and what He demands of His people.
As you begin to make your way through the Torah, you'll discover YHWH had some rules ("do's and dont's") for mankind to follow as far back as the Garden of Eden! ("You may eat freely from every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." - Genesis 2:16-17) As the world became populated, He constantly added to His original rules and these rules included the dietary laws found in the Book of Leviticus. Ultimately, you will begin to understand that, contrary to the teachings of Christianity, YHWH never negated or revised His concepts of "clean" and "unclean" foods.
For instance, in your studies you will learn that the animals, fish and birds YHWH considered "unclean" (or un-kosher) were those that are "garbage disposals" - those that eat the dead caracasses of other dead animals, fish and birds. Crows, for instance, are considered "unclean" and the reason for this is that they eat the flesh of "roadkill"....If we were to kill and eat that crow, we could easily become infected from whatever that crow ingested. Same thing with crabs and lobsters and other shellfish, as they are designed to clean up the river bottoms and ocean floors, ingesting the carcasses of other dead and often "unclean" animals....
Kosher foods are those that conform to the regulations of the Jewish Halakhic law framework. These rules form the main aspect of kashrut (kosher) dietary laws. In other words, animals must be slaughtered a certain way that allows for all the blood to be drained from their bodies, i.e., slicing their throats which doesn't immediately kill them and allows the heart to keep pumping the blood out of the body. (Shooting a deer through the heart, for instance, is the worst way to kill an animal as it stops the heart and keeps the blood inside the tissues and makes for a very bloody piece of venison on your plate - which directly goes against YHWH's command to NOT EAT BLOOD [Leviticus 7:24]!)
While it's not always possible to find "kosher foods" in our local grocery stores, we can take certain steps to "kosherize" meats either by saturating them with salt, or by placing them in water and cooking them in the microwave for several minutes which helps to draw the blood out.
You cannot control the meat served in a local restaurant, and so the best way to ensure the least amount of blood in your food is to ask for your meat to be served medium-well to well-done.
Leviticus 19: 26 "'Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.
The thing is, YHWH wants us to be "set apart" for Him (Deuteronomy 14:2), and we must therefore do our best to be clean in body, mind and spirit:
1 Corinthians 6: 17. But he that joins himself to our Master (Y'shua), is with him one spirit. 18. Flee from sexual sin. For every (other) sin which a man commits, is external to his body; but he that commits sexual sin, sins against his own body. 19. Or don't you know, that your body is the temple of the Ruach haKodesh who abides in you, whom you have received from Elohim? And you are not your own. 20. For you are bought with a price. Therefore you glorify Elohim with your body, and with your spirit, which are Elohim's.
Begin keeping the true Sabbath and the Biblical Feasts - which might "feel a little strange" at first, but becomes a very rewarding experience once you begin doing these things on a regular basis.
Please read these easy guidelines concerning the keeping of the Sabbath. While we don't present any outlines on how to keep the feasts (due to space constraints, and also because it would take an enormous amount of effort and time), we recommend you obtain a copy of Barney Kasdan's book, God's Appointed Times which discusses the feasts and shows "how to keep" them.
Remember: NOBODY today knows exactly how to perfectly keep the Sabbath and the Feasts; the important thing is that you obey the command to celebrate them!
Learn to stand firm!
We know from experience that you will get much - often vicious - opposition from your pastor, friends and family who will do everything in their power to convince you, you have gone "back under the law"...Many will even try to warn you that you will lose your salvation.
Don't argue; make copies of our Christian Questionnaire and hand a copy to whoever attempts to argue with you! If, after that, they still insist on harassing you, please send them to our website's Challenging Mainstream Christianity page or ask them to contact us directly. We've heard all the Christian arguments and know exactly how to deal with their much-misunderstood writings of Paul - which they will surely refer to in their attempts to lead you back to "the truth" according to one of the 33,000 Christian denominations....
Recognize you cannot serve two masters. Consider weaning yourself from your church, as soon as possible. Why? Because your church/pastor's teachings and attempts to "return his sheep to the flock" and the yearly Christmas trees and Easter decorations that you've been used to all your life will only end up confusing you. To reinforce why these man-made "holy days" are pagan, please read our articles on Christmas and Easter.
It is a given that, once your pastor discovers your desire to become Torah observant, he will immediately send you to the writings of Paul - all of which have been grossly misunderstood by Christian scholars - and do his level best to try to change your mind by telling you that you are "going back under the law." This is because he doesn't understand what "the law" is; nor has he ever realized that all believers have to obey YHWH's Divine Instructions in Righteousness. Most don't realize that if they refuse Torah obedience, they are NOT worshipping the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Therefore, it is imperative that you are prepared to stand your ground, even if it means losing your church family.
Remember, there is no "correct way to be Torah observant" or a "correct way" to keep the Sabbath and the feasts. The important thing is that you keep them. All YHWH wants is our willingness to obey. He never said we had to do it perfectly. So, "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18) which means to be in constant contact with God, whether it is to give thanks for your food or the blessings in your life, or the fact that you're happy or sad about something.
One nice tradition that keeps YHWH "alive" in your home is to give Him His own plate on which to offer a bit of our food (we usually give Him a teaspoonful of each item on our plate) before each meal - which fulfills the commands in Numbers 15:18 and Deuteronomy 8:10.
Numbers 15: 18 "Speak to the people of Isra'el; tell them, 'When you enter the land where I am bringing you 19 and eat bread produced in the land, you are to set aside a portion as a gift for ADONAI. 20 Set aside from your first dough a cake as a gift; set it aside as you would set aside a portion of the grain from the threshing-floor.
Deuteronomy 8: 10 So you will eat and be satisfied, and you will bless ADONAI your God for the good land he has given you. 11 "Be careful not to forget ADONAI your God by not obeying his mitzvot, rulings and regulations that I am giving you today. 12 Otherwise, after you have eaten and are satisfied, built fine houses and lived in them, 13 and increased your herds, flocks, silver, gold and everything else you own, 14 you will become proud-hearted. Forgetting ADONAI your God - who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves;
Remember that YOU, as a "grafted in" believer through Messiah Yeshua, are part of Israel! You can call yourself a "Hebrew" which means "to cross over"....YOU have "crossed over" spiritually to belong to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And, consequently, you must do exactly what YHWH's Torah observant "chosen people" (the Hebrews) do:
Numbers 15: 13 "'Everyone who is native-born must do these things in this way when he brings an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 14 For the generations to come, whenever an alien or anyone else living among you presents an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD, he must do exactly as you do. 15 The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD: 16 The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.'"
In the meantime, we invite you to read all the articles on The Refiner's Fire, and if you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us!