By Barbara L. Klika, MSW
Wisconsin Christian Newspaper
A remnant perspective: Those of us who have had the dawning, and sometimes daunting, understanding that the Whole Word of our God is true and valid for today often have to run the gauntlet of those who do not understand. It is very hard to be brief because there is so much to address, but essentially, the remnant returns to our Father through Messiah’s atoning work on our behalf, and recognizes that Messiah Yeshua/Jesus IS One with the Father and they do not change! Yeshua is both the Living and the Written Word: “both/and,” NOT “either/or” as those of western/Greek mindset see it.
We do not believe that They looked up one day and decided to authorize a new “church’ when there was already the foundation in place for THE assembly of the House of Israel, His people. Although, I do have to say that I believe that He allowed the division to occur and last these two thousand years, for His purposes; much as He allowed the division of Northern and Southern Israel. We are grateful for the opportunity to be grafted in, by faith in Messiah to that tree, just as we recognize that those of Israelite heritage must also be grafted back in to their “own tree” by faith in Him. Since He didn’t change and He doesn’t lie, we see that all of the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, which we call the Old Testament IS ALL ABOUT MESSIAH! It is all the foundation set in place so that we could recognize Him; THE Substance that cast the shadow we could only see at first.
More difficult than those that do not understand would be those who misinterpret where we stand! It isn’t difficult to see why there is such concern and in fact, I applaud those who express their concern rather than either hiding it to be socially acceptable, or worse yet, not caring enough to speak up! It is also sadly true, that the internet is such a good/bad tool where one must rely on wise discernment from Him to be able to sift out all the ridiculous stuff!
Hearing the call to return to the ancient paths from those outside of today’s churches seems to run right in the face of all that is taught by so many people in positions of authority. Just as in the First Century, when there were many in the synagogues coming to faith, including the leaders, the message of Messiah Yeshua was coming from those who were not in proper authoritative positions, and appeared to be just another in the long line of rebels. Those of us who are not seminary trained must indeed seem suspect…and I can empathize with this, because I once thought the same! Acts records for us how many within the church of the day believed, yet also that many did not act on their belief in Yeshua as Messiah because they loved the praises of men more than the praises of God, and didn’t want to be “put out” of the church. Human nature just doesn’t change much! But we are told that circumstances will change that!
"When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice.
It is believed that Peter and Paul started a “new church” and had to make up new rules, in part to stay apart from those “Judaizers” or “Christ killers,” so anyone that looks to the foundation of His Word seems suspect! This is especially true when the return to Torah is more of a “grassroots” type experience, where the Spirit is working in and through individuals, rather than within the authority/institutional structure of the church. From our perspective, those “new rules” are the very thing that Paul warned us not to be deceived over! Again, our Father and His Son, Yeshua Messiah are One. They do not change and they do not lie. Messiah Yeshua was there at Creation, and at Mount Sinai just as much as He was at Calvary, though in the flesh that time.
Somehow, those who question the validity of considering the Hebrew roots of our faith as valid for today seem to be concerned that we are leaving the safety of Messiah to do so. May it never be! However, yes, it IS true that there are some called anti-missionaries who are especially trained by those in Judaism to speak with Christians interested in Hebraic thought. They are so well versed in Scripture that they can run the average Christian in circles…and eventually convince them that they need to renounce Yeshua and come to the fold of Judaism. In our community, we have had special training to recognize when someone is coming from this “anti-missionary” stance so that we do NOT fall into that pit! We do not want to boast against the root that supports us, as Paul warned in Romans, but neither do we want to enter into their errors!
Throughout Scripture there is a recurring metaphor of return! Returning to our first love, returning to the ancient paths, returning to God, returning to keeping His commandments, returning to His land, and ultimately returning to the New Jerusalem. It doesn’t take much to do a search to find all of them! The theme of restoration is parallel to that of return.
This particular one has been emphasized for me on more than one occasion, in my own prayer time and relayed to me via another person’s word of knowledge for me.
Therefore, thus says the LORD, "If you return, then I will restore you-- Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, But as for you, you must not turn to them.
Jeremiah 15:19 KJV
But, if people haven’t done the study to see the return and restoration themes, it seems their greatest fear is that we, or anyone coming under the “influence” of those who believe the Whole Word is valid for today, is going back under the “Law” and will lose our salvation. Certainly a frightening prospect, if it were true! Recently, there was even one who wrote that I was “bewitching” people by asking them to consider what it really means to be “free in the Spirit” as Yeshua taught it, rather than the traditions of man. (Yes, I see that it said “may” turn to you…)
So we have already established that those who return will be part of His remnant, which confirms that they will be smaller in number than those who do not return. Therefore, we do not expect everyone to see and understand why we do what we do. I am so thankful that it is YHWH God Who will make the judgment call as to the sincerity and genuineness of each person’s faith!
Returning to honor the Whole Word, in recognition that it really is all about Messiah, from Genesis through Revelation, does mean that we sort through the worthless to find the precious. (Scripture warns us against adding or subtracting from His Word.) I find that when seeking good solid teaching on approaching Messiah and allowing the sanctification process, I am often looking at Andrew Murray, or Oswald Chambers and A.W Tozer, for a slightly more recent source. So many of current Bible teachers are filled with new age or compromised teachings that I much prefer the classics, even though we sometimes have to allow for it not yet having been time for them to see the Whole Word as we do. Still, they had a greater respect and recognition of the validity of the Whole Word and the holiness/set apartness of God than current teachers do. Since those of Jewish descent didn’t have the eyes to see Messiah as yet, they haven’t walked that part of the walk yet! There is such preciousness to the Torah and the foundations that were established there that undergird everything that Messiah ever said or did. When once we understand that Jesus/Yeshua really did mean what He said when He confirmed that He did NOT come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it, it all becomes precious!
And when His remnant turns back, many changes and transitions in their lives will follow! The conference, Raising Up the Remnant, will be addressing much that is involved.
For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned
to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
1 Peter 2:25
Respectful questions and conversation on “return” are always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org or (920) 634-2760.