Yahweh, Yahshua, Torah Of Messiah

Are We Karaites...?

...because we keep the annual Feasts by the observational, Torah-based calendar?

    Some seem to think that the answer is yes, and that under what they call a "new vision for unity", disfellowshipping everyone who doesn't hold to their views concerning the calendar is in order.  Some also seem to think that the calendar given in the literal PASHAT of the Torah is "Karaite Kraziness", as they call it, and label their own teachings as "prophetic calls", and those who disagree with them as "anti-Semetic", "arrogant", "ignorant" and "paramount to rejecting the faith" for rejecting what they call the "traditions of the fathers", which is a euphemism for the Talmud.  Believe it or not, all of these claims, in various forms, have appeared in our email inbox in the course of the last several months.  Last week we addressed the subject of the Lawgiver, and so this week we will respond to the accusation that because we are keeping the Moedim (or Feast days) a month earlier than rabbinical Judaism this year, that we are "Karaites".  Are these accusations true, or are those directing them, in fact, false prophets, stealthily leading people away from the PASHAT (plain-literal) teachings of YAHSHUA and towards rabbinical Judaism instead?  What does the Torah say regarding the calendar?

    "Hachodesh hazeh lakem ro'she chodeshim ri'shown  huw' lakem l'chodeshi hashawneh." (Shemoth/Exodus 12:2)

    "Hayom atem yots'im b'chodesh haaviv"  (Shemoth/Exodus 13:4)

    "Shamar 'et chodesh haaviv v'asithah Pesach l'YHWH Elohikha ki b'chodesh haaviv.  (Devarim/Deuteronomy 16:1)

    Literally translated:
    "This lunation is the head of lunations for you.  It is the first lunation of the year to you." (Shemoth/Exodus 12:2)
    "This day you are going out in the lunation of the tender barley." (Shemoth/Exodus 13:4)
    "Watch for the lunation of the tender barley and do the Passover to YAHWEH your Elohim in that month of the tender barley." (Devarim/Deuteronomy 16:1)
    The lunation (or month/moonth), in turn, begins with the new or renewed moon.
    "It is the moon that marks the changing seasons, governing the times, their everlasting sign.  From the moon comes the sign for Feast days, a light that wanes when it completes its course.  The renewed moon (Heb., CHODESH, from CHADASH, meaning RENEWED), as its name suggests, renews itself; how marvelous it is in this change, a beacon to the hosts on high, shining in the vault of the heavens.  (Ben Sirach 43:6-8, Intertestament Scriptures)
    Now what about a "first-day Shavuoth" (or Pentecost), which some have went so far as to label a form of "sun-worship"?  Is this true, or are they profaning the things which YHWH has commanded and set-apart?
    "And YHWH spoke to Moshe saying, Speak to the children of Yisrael and you shall say to them, 'When you come into the land which I give you and shall reap its harvest, then you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before YHWH for your acceptance.  On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest waves it."  (Wayyiqra/Leveticus 23:9-11)
    "And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed.  Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to YHWH." (Wayyiqra/Leveticus 23:15,16)
    "Count seven weeks for yourself.  Begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain (i.e. firsfruits).  And you shall perform the festival of Shavuot (Penecost) to YHWH your Elohim, according to the voluntary offering from your hand, which you give as YHWH your Elohim blesses you."  (Devarim/Deuteronomy 16:9,10)
    By the same line of unfounded reasoning which claims that following YHWH's clear-cut commands in these passages constitutes "sun-worship", one must also conclude that following YHWH's clear-cut commands in Shemoth/Exodus 20:8-11 is "worship of saturn/satan"!!!  Will we follow the plain-literal PASHAT of these passages or adhere to the rabbinical and "lunar sabbath" interpretwistations instead?
    "And if there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he shall give you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder shall come true, of which he has spoken, saying, Let us go after other mighty ones which you have not known, and serve them, do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for YHWH your Elohim is trying you to know whether you love YHWH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being.  Walk after YHWH your Elohim, and fear Him, and GUARD HIS COMMANDS and OBEY HIS VOICE, and serve Him and cling to Him.  And that prophet or dreamer of dreams is put to death, because he has spoken APOSTASY against YHWH your Elohim....and made you stray from the way in which YHWH commanded you to walk.  Thus you shall purge the evil from your midst. (Devarim/Deuteronomy 13:1-5)
    Sadly, however, some Messianic teachers have went so far as to claim that "receiving their (the Karaites) instruction (actually referring to our observance of the Torah-based calendar) is paramount to denying the faith".
    "Brothers, do not speak against one another.  He that speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against Torah and judges Torah.  And if you judge Torah,  you are not a doer of the Torah, but a judge.  THERE IS ONE LAWGIVER and Judge, who is able to save and to destroy.  Who are you to judge another? (Ya'aqob/James 4:11,12)
    "Do not judge, lest you be judged, for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged, and with the same measure you use, it shall be measured to you." (Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:1,2)
    So are we Karaites because, like them, we keep the observational, Torah-based calendar?  Or are we Jewish because, like them, we keep the seventh day Shabbat?  Or better yet, are we Christians because, like them, we also uphold the deity of the Messiah???
    "I am made all things to all men......but not being without Torah toward Elohim, but in subjection to the Torah of Messiah." (Qurintaus Aleph / 1 Corinthians 9:22,21)
    We at JoyInTheWorld.info have major concerns regarding the ever closer association of certain key-Messianic teachers with the Karaites.  And while we in no way doubt these Messianic brothers sincerity, at the same time we see the Karaites long-term goal -- including Nehemia Gordon and his book, "The Hebrew Yeshua Vs. The Greek Jesus" -- undoubtedly being to lead people to denial of Yahshua's divinity, and from there to denial of his Messiahship.  WE SIMPLY CANNOT LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HEBREW YAHSHUA FROM ONE WHO DENIES THAT HE IS THE MESSIAH, even if they do have some insights into some of his teachings.  Just as we have concerns with Messianics flocking to the Karaites, however, the ever closer association of certain key-Messianic and Two-house teachers with the traditional Jewish rabbis and the Talmud is equally disturbing, for the fact remains that if the non-believing rabbis were truly YHWH's ordained Torah authorities, then we would have to do EVERYTHING they say, including the ban on the pronunciation of the Name, the myriads of halachic restrictions for Shabbat, the implementation of seperate kitchens for milk and meat, the wearing of side-locks, naming of months after pagan Babylonian deities, etc. and, of course, ultimately the rejection of YAHSHUA as Messiah.  To claim that the rabbis are YHWH's appointed lawgivers, and then repeatedly disobey everything they say except the calendar, is hopelessly inconsistent.
    We cannot, however, repudiate Judaism's preservation of the written Torah, even as we cannot repudiate the calendar system in observance among the Karaites, when, in all respects, it is much truer to the PASHAT interpretation of the Torah which YAHWEH gave.
    "For whom would he teach knowledge, and whom would He make to understand the message?.... For it is: command upon command, precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little...." (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 28:9,10).
    But as for the majority:
    "They would not hear." (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 28:12b)
    "They have all turned aside; They are all together become filthy; No one is doing what is right, not even one." (Tehillim/Psalms 14:3)
    "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak, and shall show you things to come.... Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him, but ye know Him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (Yahchanan/John 16:13; 14:17)
    May the RUACH HAKODESH be poured out upon you this Shavuoth (Pentecost), and fill you with the Spirit of MASHIYACH, and the message of ABBA YAHWEH's truth, as He has promised.
Blessings and Shabbat shalom,
Bro.  MattithYah  Coover

Post Office Box 7
Shippensburg, PA 17257 USA


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