Welcome to Answers in Exodus’ Blog, “Both Ends of the Book”!

The core answers to the problems we face as individuals, families and in a culture that
is quickly unraveling are found within the pages of Scripture.

We hold that the source of these answers is found in the first five books of
the Bible known as Torah (also known as the Pentateuch, “the Law”). Torah, is a
Hebrew word meaning “teaching, or instruction.”

Torah contains law but Torah does not equal law. They are different words and not
synonyms. Torah is the foundational teaching of our Creator on how to live

These core answers are not based in psychology, or in emotional appeals but in the
ethics of the Creator of all things. What we do in our lives is much more important than
what we say or even what we think and feel.

Many opinions abound regarding these five books, and many today dismiss these five
books in whole or in part. Various methods are used to disqualify certain portions of
Scripture. However when the words are allowed to speak for themselves, they craft a
worldview designed to give success in life.

The Mission of AIE is to love God, love people and honor his Word from cover to cover.
Our Vision is to make 21st Century disciples with the love and power of a 1st Century

Those goals are the why for this blog, Both Ends of the Book. In these entries is our
exploration of this application of the whole of God’s word. Through them we help to
bring Torah to Life!

Both Ends of the Book explores single issues and sometimes single words from a First
Century viewpoint with the goal of enabling those willing, to follow the pattern given by
our Messiah Yeshua (aka Jesus) in the way he lived.

John has recorded for us a summary of this in First John which states “whoever says he
remains in him (referring to Jesus) ought himself also to walk just like he walked.” (1
John 2:6).

We are to be imitators who live just like he lived, just like Paul said “Be imitators of me,
as I am of Christ.” (1 Cor 11:1)

What is not in dispute is that Yeshua (aka Jesus) walked perfectly in the first five books
of our Bible and when there was a misunderstanding of how to do that he corrected it.
Paraphrasing John 1:14 we could say, “The Torah (the foundational part of the Bible
or Word) became flesh and walked among us.”

So simply put, if you want to see and understand how Torah looks when it is lived out as
the Author – the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus – intended it to be lived, just
look to Jesus. Watch how he lived in the Gospels and listen to his disciples explain that
way of life.

And then apply this to your understanding of the whole Word of God that includes all of
the Hebrew Scriptures including the Torah.

As we discover how Yeshua walked we find His way of life coming right out of the pages
of Torah and the Writings and the Prophets (Hebrew Scriptures) and the New Covenant
(Apostolic Writings) right into our lives, reaching the goal of Bringing Torah to Life©.
By doing this we become 21st Century disciples with the love and power of a 1st
Century faith.

Welcome to Both Ends of the Book, and our first blog!

Loving God With All Your Heart

According to Scripture it is obvious that God loves us. However, some teach that the
God of the Old Testament is different from the God of the New Testament and that in
the past he was somehow different.

But is this truly what the Scriptures teach?

If God is different today than He was in the past, the result is that his words about
himself cannot be true. These include:

“For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”
Malachi 3:6 (all Scriptures are taken from the ESV)

He cannot be both changing and unchanging depending on context.

To teach that he has changed his ways evidences a lack of understanding of the
character of God. If he is unchanging then we should see the same descriptions of him
in the whole Bible from Both Ends of the Book.

“The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful
and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping
steadfast love for thousands. . .” Exodus 34:6

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD
never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is
your faithfulness.” Lamentation 3:21-23

“The LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Jeremiah 31:3

It is because God’s very nature is love that we have hope for him continuing to love
us and hope to also be loving him, the Apostle John stating in 1 John that God is
love and due to this we are able to love him.

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (and) we have
come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever
abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:8, 16

Our response is that we then love him, because he first loved us (see 1 John 4:19).
This begs the question, “How do we know we love him?”

Let’s find out how from Both Ends of the Book, the Bible.

“Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your
God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your
heart and with all your soul, to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD,
which I am commanding you today for your good?” Deuteronomy 10:12-13
“You shall therefore love the LORD your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his
rules, and his commandments always.” Deuteronomy 11:1

The outcome of loving God is serving him and keeping his commandments, statutes,
instructions and ordinances. Keeping is shamar in Hebrew, Strong’s # H8104 meaning
to keep by guarding, to keep watch over something. Maybe how we love God is
different today? Lets see what Scripture says! Has he changed?

In the New Covenant (a.k.a. The Apostolic Writings), Jesus says to his disciples:
“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who
loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
John 14:21

Some say, however, that Jesus’ commandments are different from those of God’s.
How can this be true when He says “I and the Father are one”? Only if you are
convinced that Jesus is not God or he is another different God could you assert that
their commands are different commands.

“So, Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If
anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or
whether I am speaking on my own authority.” John 7:16-17

His teaching is the same teaching as the Father’s teaching, therefore keeping his
commandments is the keeping of the same commandments as in the Torah.
The New Covenant Scriptures repeat the same standard as the Hebrew Scriptures as
given to Moses from God, the Father. In fact, Moses wrote that another prophet like
himself was coming and God agreed with him saying,

“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my
words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever
will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of
him.” Deut 18:18-19 And John also agrees!

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments
are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3

The commandments John is speaking about are not new in the sense of being different
from the ones previously given. He says,

“Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you
had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.” (1
John 2:7)

Love requires that we act, or it is not love but only a feeling. The consistent message
of Scripture is that we demonstrate our love of God by keeping his commandments
which will lead us to live (walk) just as Jesus walked.

Come and join us as at Answers in Exodus as we learn together how to become and
how to make 21st Century disciples with the love and power of a 1st Century faith by
walking in the same manner Yeshua (aka Jesus) walked.