In the early years of the storyline found in the Book of Acts, chapter 15, the followers of Yahshuah the Messiah found themselves with a perplexing problem. Their Messiah had been written and prophesied about in the Tanak [“the Old Testament”] and was understood to be the Deliverer of Yisrael. However, He was gaining adherents from among the goyim or gentiles. These people had had no training or instruction as to what would normally be expected of one in a synagogue. They still observed pagan societal norms and had pig on their breath. Yet they believed that Yahshuah of Natzeret was the Messiah of Yisrael and wanted to follow after His teachings
The leaders met and determined to command them to follow the basics of the Noachide Laws; abstain from idols, blood, things strangled, and sexual immorality. If observant of these things, they could join the worship and hear the Shabbat teachings in their local synagogue. It sounds strange to western ears that anyone would have to qualify for attendance of a worship service, when church marquees all over town present an “Everyone Welcome” message.
However, those who follow the Torah, the teachings and instructions given to us from YHWH through Moshe, are required to be Set Apart and undefiled. The Torah also shows us that repentance and salvation is more than the result of a single prayer that includes, “I’m sorry, forgive my sins.” I remember being shocked to learn that no where in Scripture are we told to “…invite Yahshuah to live in our heart…” Rather, the Scriptural approach is to make Teshuvah, to turn from willful sin and disobedience to the Torah’s commands, and then start walking in obedience. Yes, prayer, confession, and repentance of sins is the beginning step, but then we must keep on walking in a different direction, living a different life, demonstrating the fruits of repentance.
Back in Acts 15, Ya’acov, the brother of Yahshuah spoke of these goyim coming to Messiah as part of rebuilding the “Booth of David” [also called Tabernacle of David or Sukkah of David], “…so that the remnant of mankind shall seek YHWH, even all the nations on whom My Name is called…” This phrase is quoted from Amos 9:11-12 and the context is again about the restoration of all the tribes of Yisrael. The word for “remnant” here is “sharith”, from the root “sha’ar”, which means, “to remain, to be left over or left behind, to survive.“ In a parallel text, Yo’el 2:32 says, “…For on Mount Tziyon and in Yerushalayim there shall be an escape as YHWH has said, and among the survivors whom YHWH calls. Here the word for survivors is “saryid” meaning, “that which is left; remnant.“ Rooted in sarah, “to escape, as through a puncture or small hole.” How well does the idea of being a Survivor of the Last Days suit you? Remember what Yahshuah said in Mattithyahu [Matthew] 7:13-14, “Enter in through the narrow gate! …the gate is narrow and the way is hard pressed, which leads to life, and there are a few who find it.”
In Yirmeyahu [Jeremiah] 30:11 we read, “For I am with you, declares YHWH, to save you. Though I make a complete end of all nations [goyim], where I have scattered you, yet I do not make a complete end of you…” While we see that we are not judged as completely as the nations, the idea expressed is that we survive or remain after the judgment. So we see that grabbing onto the fads of the Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement is not sufficient to endure the Last Days. Tallits and Shofars are great to have, but they will not show you the narrow gate by themselves.
We have arrived at a time when you are going to have to want the Kingdom more than anything else and are willing to endure, sacrifice, and persevere without getting your feelings hurt. Those early gentile believers loved Yahshuah enough to go through the required process, learning the Torah, submitting to a mikvah and circumcision, not to be Born Again, but to become a part of Yahshuah’s Covenant Family; Am Yisrael. In our modern Greco-Roman-Western-American mindsets, we don’t want to be offended, categorized, labeled, or told we are not allowed because of who we are or where we have come from. But the bold truth of the matter is this. If you want the Kingdom and want to be apart of the Covenant that Yahshuah died and rose again to offer you, then you must do what He requires of you. We must stop the sin, repent, sin, repent cycle that the church system taught us. You shouldn’t need to rededicate your life to Him at every gathering. We must study the Word for ourselves and stop depending on the guy up front to tell us what we need to know. And for crying out loud, do we still need to argue about whether we can eat unclean food, join in pagan holidays to keep peace with family members, or remain members of churchianity so we can have fellowship with other people? MAKE THE BREAK!! If you’re going to follow Yahshuah HaMoshiach, then do it completely and stop making excuses for yourself. If you believe the Torah is for us, here and now, then live it with all of your might. If you want to enter into His Kingdom, then press through, strive to find the gate, survive, endure, persevere, and be the Remnant. You won’t do these things by accident or while still apart of a different system or while retaining the cultural mindset you were trained to operate in. Yahshuah is worth it. The Kingdom is beyond comparison. DO IT! MAKE THE BREAK!!