Originally published (without illustrations) by John and Sue Wyatt at The Coming Kingdom:
As we studied Yah’s Word, we discovered that His Ten Commandments and the Torah mitzvot  are inseparable. Why? Because His ways are not our ways,  so YHVH has to spell out to us what His ways ARE. Voilà! Mitzvot!
From Principles to Specifics
For example, one of the Ten Commandments tells us that adultery is wrong. That’s all it says: ‘Don’t commit adultery.’ BUT, in addition to that general principle, Yah also gave His people specific instructions. The mitzvot pertaining to adultery define adultery, tell us why adultery is wrong, and tell us how to deal with adultery according to YHVH’s standards of justice and mercy.
His Ways are not our ways…
We fallen creatures have a basic problem: When YHVH begins talking about His conception of society, we have no idea what He is talking about! His ways are not our ways. We struggle to understand and share His view of the world. Even with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, we still struggle with our flesh in our attempts to express Yah’s ways into the world.
This is why we need the mitzvot! They ‘spell it all out’ so that we can be sure that we are responding to situations in a manner that expresses YHVH’s character into the world, rather than our own.
Trust in YHVH with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Prov 3:5)
Moshe (Moses) told Yah’s people: Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes. (Deut 12:8) Nevertheless, there came a time in Israel when the people forgot Torah and rejected YHVH as their King. (1Sam 8:7) In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6)
When we trust our own judgment, we make ourselves into ‘little gods’, and YHVH calls that idolatry. Our job as His people is to display HIS love, mercy, wisdom, and justice – not our own. As we observe His Torah, we act as His agents, displaying HIS character to all creation. What an amazing privilege!!
Our ways really are NOT His Ways!
YHVH knows that when we are left to our own devices, we humans tend to follow the path of ‘Reason’ – and humanist reasoning tends to protect the interests of the individual who is doing the reasoning. That is not YHVH’s Way.
The natural man thinks it is only ‘right’ to protect and provide for himself and his own family before all others – perhaps even at the expense of others. YHVH, on the other hand, sees all men as equally precious, and He expects His people to defend and provide for others as carefully as they would defend and provide for themselves and their immediate families. Love thy neighbor as thyself. (Lev 19:18, Mark 12:31) 
This is why there are numerous instructions telling us that ‘the Way of the Righteous’ is to defend the widow and provide for the fatherless; to give justice to the poor; to leave the corners of our fields unharvested for the poor to glean; to provide the means for the poor to celebrate the feasts; to lend to the poor without interest; to feed our enemies, etc. All of these commands are obeyed at the expense of a person’s own welfare and at the expense of his family – he and they will have less.
In YHVH’s economy, we are to trust YHVH to meet our own needs, while we are to dedicate as much as possible of our resources to meeting the needs of others. In this way, we partner with YHVH to make his Love real in the world.
In the Hebraic (biblical) worldview, nothing has reality until it is expressed in action.  The mitzvot tell us how to put YHVH’s love for people into action, thus bringing His Love into reality. This is truly an amazing privilege!
Getting on the Same Page
YHVH is the ruler of His Kingdom, and a kingdom is ruled according to its King’s standards. Torah is YHVH’s set of standards, and Scripture tells us that Torah will still be applicable during the Millennial Kingdom. For example, Zechariah 14 tells us that all nations will be required to celebrate Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) at the risk of divine punishment if they do not; Ezekiel 20:37-38 tells us that YHVH will bring us into the bond of the covenant and that He will reject those who refuse to follow His Torah in the Millennial Kingdom – He calls such people ‘rebels.’
Y’shua warns us three times that He will rule with a rod of iron!  That most certainly indicates that Y’shua will firmly uphold YHVH’s statutes and ordinances, which is exactly what prophecy tells us to expect:
Behold my Servant [Messiah], whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment [Heb: mishpat – ordinances; regulations] to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his Torah…. YHVH is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the Torah, and make it honorable. (Isa 42:1-4, 21)
Listen to me, my people. Hear me, Israel, for my law will be proclaimed, and my justice [Heb: mishpat – ordinances; regulations] will become a light to the nations. My mercy and justice are coming soon. My salvation [Heb: yeshua] is on the way. My strong arm will bring justice to the nations. All distant lands will look to me and wait in hope for my powerful arm. (Isa 51:4-5, NLT)
Even the most primitive societies understand the need for community adherence to specific standards and behaviors. Certainly all of us are familiar with the concept:
- Here in America we have the Constitution, which outlines the basic goals and standards of our nation, and then we have state and local laws designed to express and uphold those goals and standards.
- Likewise in scripture there are the Ten Words (called in English ‘The Ten Commandments’), which outline YHVH’s basic goals and standards for behavior toward Himself and other men, and then we are given the Torah, which is designed to express and uphold those standards.
Just as the Constitution provides a framework upon which specific laws are based, so the Ten Words provide the framework upon which Torah is based. Just as the Constitution and the laws that express its standards are inseparable , so The Ten Commandments and their mitzvot are inseparable. This is why Y’shua said in Matthew:
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Y’shua said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matt 22:35-40
Love is the key to Y’shua’s Kingdom!
The Love that needs to be expressed is YHVH’s kind of Love – not our own! Y’shua tells us that Love for the Father and for each other is the underlying foundation of all of YHVH’s Principles – in His Kingdom, nothing ‘works’ properly without Love as its basis. We are grateful that the church has clearly understood and carefully taught this principle.
After having been taught for so many years that the only commandments we really needed to concern ourselves with were the “love commandments”, it surprised us to realize that the command to ‘love God’ summarizes the first four Commandments, and the command to ‘love thy neighbor’ summarizes the last six Commandments. Thus, we make a full circle and come right back to the Torah mitzvot which instruct us how to live out those Ten Principles!
Some synonyms for the Biblical concept of Love are: selflessness; loyalty; generosity; forgiveness; etc. Notice that all of these concepts are not beliefs or emotions: rather, they are actions. We are unaware of them until some action reveals their existence. Biblical love becomes real only when it is expressed in action, so the God of Order has given us instructions as to how we are to express His Love.
For this reason, after establishing the importance of Love, Y’shua goes on to remind His listeners that there is something else they need to keep in mind: the Law and the Prophets. In fact, He reminds them, the Law and the Prophets are summed up by Love! They depend on [hang on] Love for their existence, and would not exist but for the Love of YHVH! The Law and the prophets are the ‘specifics’ suspended from the framework of YHVH’s Love.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. That word ‘hang’ is critical – it is the Greek word κρεμάννυμι (kremannymi) meaning to hang up, suspend, to be suspended, to hang, used of one hanging on a cross, used of the Law and the Prophets that is summed up [by] or hanging on two precepts. (Strong’s G2910)
In no way is Y’shua dismissing the validity of the Law and the Prophets. Instead, He says that they were created because of YHVH’s Love for us, and that their proper fulfillment (expression into the world) will happen only when based on our reciprocating Love for YHVH and for our fellow man. Y’shua is reminding us of the importance of Torah and the Prophets in YHVH’s Plan!
Respecting this passage, permit us to quote an example that we gave in another of our articles, Y’SHUA TAUGHT US TO WALK IN TORAH:
At the risk of appearing facetious, if we were to give an abbreviated example of the grammatical construction of this passage [Matt 22:35-40], using a topic from outside of scripture, it might look like this:
Master Mechanic, what is the most important thing about car care? And the Master Mechanic said unto him, The first and most important is that thou shalt take care of the engine. The second is like unto it: thou shalt care for the transmission. On these two items hang [depend] the operation of the car.
The grammatical construction itself tells us that there is an interdependence being discussed. The car is useless without its engine and transmission (its motivating force), and the engine and the transmission are useless without the body of the car to express the power and motion they make available. They are interdependent. The Master Mechanic is certainly not telling us that we don’t need the body of the car!
Correct understanding and living out of Torah and the Prophets hangs on (depends on) LOVING the Father and our fellow man! By making Love our motivating force, we have a way, through the specific instructions of Torah, to express the character and righteousness of YHVH into the world (the original purpose of Creation) – but without Torah, we will express only our own character, which YHVH calls idolatry. And without the motivation of His Love, even Torah observance will be only ‘as sounding brass.’ (1Cor 13:1) Torah and Love are interdependent!
We reiterate that in no way is Y’shua dismissing the validity of or the need for the Law and the Prophets. He is in fact establishing their importance as the means by which we are to express YHVH’s Love into His creation. Paul reminds us of this:
Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. (Rom 3:31)
That word establish is the Greek word ἵστημι (histēmi: Strong’s no. G2476) which means “to establish a thing, cause it to stand; to uphold or sustain the authority or force of anything”, etc.
Fulfilling Our Part of the New Covenant
We often hear Jeremiah quoted with regard to the New Covenant:
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith YHVH, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jer 31:33
Christian believers are led to understand that somehow God’s law just becomes part of their nature, and so long as they base their actions on ‘love’, they will be pleasing God.
However, Pastors and teachers agree that NT terms are defined by the OT, yet believers are not taught that to ‘have Torah in one’s heart’ is a phrase used in the OT scriptures several times, and each time it means that one loves Torah and seeks to keep it because of love for YHVH.  Even worse, believers in the church rarely (actually never) hear the partner verse in Ezekiel:
And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. Ezek 11:19-20
According to YHVH, the entire purpose of regeneration is so that we will be able to walk in YHVH’s statutes and keep His ordinances and DO them!!  Shouldn’t we fulfill (perform, accomplish, DO) our part of the New Covenant?
This is Torah’s Purpose!
The Torah mitzvot ‘spell it all out’ so that we can be sure that we are responding to situations in a manner that expresses YHVH’s character into the world, rather than our own. That is the whole point of Creation: To bring Him honor and glory and to serve as living expressions of His Great Love!
What an honor He has granted us: to be His living love letters to a hurting world! May the message be written in HIS character and not our own. Let us join Creation in reflecting HIS character into this world!
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Prov 14:12
Trust in YHVH with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Prov 3:5
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith YHVH. Isa 55:8
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,  and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt 5:6
© John and Sue Wyatt and The Coming Kingdom Blog and The Lamb’s Servant Blog, 2014. Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Coming Kingdom Blog and The Lamb’s Servant Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to John and Sue Wyatt and The Coming Kingdom Blog and The Lamb’s Servant Blog, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
 A mitzvah (plural: mitzvot) is a good work (righteous behavior) that is spelled out as a specific instruction from YHVH in His Torah.
 Isa 55:8 – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith YHVH.
 This is not to ignore the many scriptural instructions which make it plain that an individual’s family has first place in his concerns, but not at the expense of non-family.
 Hebrew is an action-based language. In the Hebrew language, approximately 80% of the words are derivatives of a ‘parent’ or ‘child’ word, and every ‘parent’ word is a verb. (Jeff Benner, The Ancient Hebrew Language and Alphabet, published 2004 by Virtualbookworm.com Publishing Inc. ISBN 1-58939-534-4)
 The Constitution is only a statement of goals; thus, without the nation’s accompanying specific rules and regulations based on the Constitution’s principles, the Constitution would be merely a great philosophical idea, with no basis in reality. Without the Torah mitzvot, the Ten Commandments can be more accurately called the Ten Great Suggestions, and they have little genuine power to affect our lives, because everyone ends up ‘interpreting’ them according to their own standards. (Ex: One group says you cannot murder, but you can kill for punishment or to defend yourself; another says you cannot kill any man for any reason; another says you cannot even kill animals for food.) This reminds us of Deuteronomy 12:8, which says: Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
 The Hebrew words translated as ‘statutes’ and ‘ordinances’ are very specific and very familiar to readers of the Hebrew “Old” Testament. In no way do the original Hebrew words reflect the Christian understanding of “following the leading of the Holy Spirit.” These words very specifically refer to the hōq (statutes), mišpāţ (regulations), and mişwâ/mitzvot (commandments) in the Tanakh (Old Testament).
 ‘Good works’ in the Hebraic context always refers to the works commanded in the Torah.
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