A common teaching among Christians is that "all our righteous acts are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6) however, please look at the context of this verse:
The first question we must ask is who is the "WE" that Isaiah is referring to?
Clearly the "WE" here is referring to those in desperate need of Teshuva (repentance-turning to YHWH), it is a generic "we" that is addressing the rebellious contingent of Israel.
"we are all as an unclean thing", but the Israel of Elohim is called to be a Kedoshim (Set Apart People) and tahor (clean), whereas being unclean refers to being separated from YHWH.
"Our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away"... AWAY FROM YHWH! The sad fact is that many Christians are a LONG ways away from YHWH, yet they will debate and fight to uphold religious traditions so as to break Torah and scorn the Set Apart Name of YHWH and His Mashiyach!
Isaiah is making an appeal to YHWH on behalf of backslidden Israel, none of the "we" calls on the Name of YHWH or stirs himself up to take hold of YHWH. The "we" are unregenerate people who have NOT TURNED FROM CARNAL LIFESTYLES!!! It could not be MORE CLEAR yet most Christians are willfully ignorant of the context of this Scripture and twist it to suggest that it is ok to continue in sin and believe they are "saved by Grace", while they helplessly continue in helpless sin!!! It's very pathetic what Christianity is doing, isn't it? To use a Scripture like this to teach that it is ok to keep on sinning in one's "filthy rags"!
GET SOME NEW CLOTHES -WHITE ROBES-
STOP BREAKING TORAH!
STOP PROFANING THE NAME OF YHWH!
STOP SCORNING THE WORK OF MASHIYACH
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND SIN CANNOT ABIDE TOGETHER IN ONE BODY!
Isaiah goes on to describe some of the things that "we" do that angers YHWH.
I am sought of them that asked not for me;
YHWH's people are looking to all different forms of religion, to deities, gurus, or to mysticism in an effort to connect with the One True Creator and Father, whose Name is YHWH, who alone is Elohim (Mighty One).
I am found of them that sought me not:
YHWH reveals Himself to those were not looking for Him, many were calling out to other deities, they were in confusion believing that there are many gods, or that they are gods but because they were searching and open to find the path of life and truth, they found Him!
I said, Here I AM, Here I AM, unto a nation that did not call on My Name.
YHWH seeks those who even call on the names of other deities, because they have come from generations of religious and non-religious backgrounds where they never had access to know YHWH or call upon His Name.
I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walks in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
Although YHWH's true people are scorning the truth, they do it because they are ignorant, but He still reaches out to them and brings His prophets and witnesses into their lives so they have opportunity to learn the truth and turn from shallow worldly materialistic lifestyles into a solid and healthy relationship with YHWH and His Mashiyach.
A people that provokes me to anger continually to my face; that sacrifices in gardens,
The actions of this people are set against YHWH and the Malchut Elohim, "sacrifices in gardens" refers to adopting the practices of Paganism and Hellenism, which is worldly and by making materialistic gods or claiming identities and values that are pleasing to man which is simply another form of modern idolatry. The provocation by the people is that they are self sufficient in themselves, but in fact they are totally dependant each second on YHWH for Life, but don't see it.
and burns incense upon altars of brick; Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments,
People make prayers to and about the dead, and put up monuments to men and deities, some even collect cash and make monetary profits by praying for dead relatives. This is wickedness! They burn incense upon alters of brick which means they make prayers in the names of other deities which they have made into an institution, the brick symbolizes a deeply entrenched "theology" that is used as an authority to offer up prayers for their dead.
which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
They purposely eat unclean, un-Kosher foods which are abominable to YHWH, some Christians even teach others that YHWH said it's good to dine on swine, they eat the scavengers of the oceans, the scavengers of the land and air which were never given by YHWH as food. Even from the time of Noach there was a distinction between clean and unclean animals, but today YHWH's people live and eat like modern intellectual "civilized" barbarians with the finery of Babylon's foods which they say is good, when it is not good... (chemical, processed and gmo foods are also an abomination to YHWH who says He will destroy those who destroy the earth)
Which say, Stand by Yourself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.
Man's religion has placed itself above the Authority of the Word of YHWH, by so doing many have declared themselves "holier" than YHWH. To teach it's ok to eat pork or unclean foods when YHWH says NO, is one-up-man-ship against the Word of YHWH and being "holier" than YHWH. To teach that it's ok to observe Shabbat on any day of the week, when YHWH says we are to sanctify the Seventh Day and keep it Holy is one-up-man-ship against the Word of YHWH and His Authority. To teach it is ok to use titles or names for YHWH and His Mashiyach, when YHWH says not do to this, is one-up-man-ship against the Word of YHWH and is being "holier" than YHWH. Mankind is mocking YHWH every time they impose their own religious ideals and nullify the Word of YHWH, there has been a prolonged attack against simple obedience to the Word of YHWH. Religious people mock those who prefer to live a simple life and apply the Word of YHWH according to literal and distinct Torah directives.
These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burns all the day." Isaiah 65:1-5
YHWH clearly designates the rebellious element by-their-actions. It is very telling of those who claim their "righteous acts are as filthy rags" and who continue in their acts of rebellion as is stated in these verses.
The prophet Isaiah is one the most prophetic voices about HaMashiyach, Apostle Paul quotes Isaiah some 29 times in his letter to the Romans. To understand Paul and the book of Romans one must understand Isaiah in the context of the Malchut (Kingdom) Elohim. It is imperative that we walk with our Torah Mashiyach on the inside, and that WE DO HIS RIGHTEOUS ACTS by the Grace He has given us. The issue is NOT who gets the credit for acts of righteousness, the point is that our actions must be done IN THE NAME OF YHWH and HIS MASHIYACH not in our own name. Outward acts of religion are a stench to YHWH if one does not have a pure heart before Him, but for theologians to claim that all of our acts are as filthy rags is very telling of what is going on in the hearts of these theologians.
The people of YHWH must not be deluded into believing that all acts of righteousness are as filthy rags. Unless someone has willfully chosen to rebel against YHWH and His Word, the people of YHWH will NOT continue to live in what YHWH's prophets call "filth". People who are ignorant of what Mashiyach has died for are much better off, because YHWH will wink and overlook many things, but those who teach that Yeshua came to do away with Torah, do away with the Standard of Righteousness are liars and false prophets.
Now is the time that YHWH's people must stand with haMashiyach and His Torah, darkness is rapidly increasing in this world as Mashiyach and the Prophets of YHWH all stated. The question is, will you live according to the Word of YHWH and do Torah, or follow a multitude to do evil? Will you Sanctify the Name of YHWH and His Word or will you make life "easy" on yourself and live in a manner that relatives, co-workers and church people will accept you because you are making all sorts of compromises.
We must never forget that the anti-Messiah is the lawless one, hasatan is without Torah and without righteousness. For those who would point their fingers at those who observe Torah and call us "legalists" for upholding the Word of YHWH, they make themselves by their own testimonies "illegalist". "Illegalists" are illegitimate and "without Torah", they are lawless. We must each choose one or the other, we can't have both, we cannot be upholding Torah and trashing Torah at the same time. HaMashiyach came so that we would have life, and have life abundantly, this means HaMashiyach in us the Hope of Glory, makes His home inside of us, according to HIS Righteousness, not our own. The Righteousness of Mashiyach is revealed in Torah, because Mashiyach is the WORD of YHWH made flesh, therefore all who follow Mashiyach must also permit the Torah to be written upon their hearts. The CHARACTER of Y'shua must be birthed in us by the Work of the Ruach HaKodesh. Right now is the acceptable time to repent for violating Torah and come out of Babylon, Isaiah said.
"For the vineyard of YHWH OF HOSTS is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah his pleasant plant:
and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression;
for righteousness, but behold a cry."
YHWH looks as much for righteousness among His People today as He did before HaMashiyach came to suffer for us, in fact much more so now! We are supposed to be Transformed into the Image of Elohim! B'resheet (Genesis) 1:27 states that we are made in His image to be like Him and have Him life inside of us by His Spirit.
But YHWH of Hosts shall be exalted in judgment,
and Elohim Who is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
We are to sanctify Him in our hearts by choosing to obey YHWH as would a child obey his father. We are to sanctify Him on His terms, not our own terms.
Which justify the wicked for reward,
and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
How is that the wicked are able to "take away the righteousness of the righteous?", it must because they teach and do against what is righteous and cause others to follow their unrighteousness. False humility would say that no one is or can be righteous, BUT YHWH commands that His people be righteous unto Him and that if we turn to Him He will rain righteousness upon us. Righteousness comes about from doing actions in HaMashiyach that please YHWH, "old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new".
Hear me when I call, O Elohim of my righteousness:
You have enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
O you sons of men, how long will you turn my glory into shame?
how long will ye love vanity, and seek after lies? Selah
But know that YHWH has set apart him that is righteous for Himself:
YHWH will hear when I call unto him.
Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in YHWH.
Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; mine ears have You opened: burnt offering and sin offering have You not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do Your will, O my Elohim: yes, Your Torah is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O YHWH, You know. I have not hid Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation: I have not concealed Your loving kindness and Your truth from the great congregation.
"Sow to yourselves in righteous acts, reap in mercy;
break up your fallow ground:
for it is time to seek YHWH,
till He come and rain righteousness upon you."
H A L L E L U Y A H!
Amen ve Amen!
YHWH be with you,
Baruch Ben Daniel
I want to leave you seekers of the Faith Once Delivered with this one last verse that says:
If we have forgotten the name of our Elohim,
or stretched out our hands to a strange god;
Shall not Elohim search this out?
for He knows the secrets of the heart.
The Hebrew word for "forgotten" is shakach which could also be translated as "ignore" or "cause to forget". In reality, religious and secular theologies have caused the multitudes to forget the Name of YHWH, literally by placing a ban on His Name and by elevating the religions of men. The promise is that YHWH will search this out Himself, He will seek those who seek Him, so if you're here reading, studying and praying about your walk in Mashiyach it's because you are being called to walk in righteousness. I pray you will leave behind the ways of religions that make excuses for the weak flesh and not deny yourself the Work of Mashiyach in you, so that Torah may be written upon your heart.
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