Chartered in 2007, after four years of growth as a study class, Bondservants of Elohim is a group of believers in Messiah Y'shua who seek a clearer understanding of His call to discipleship.
We meet together regularly to explore the first-century Hebraic understanding of His words, and to learn how to live a Torah-compliant life, in obedience to the Apostle Paul's instruction: "Imitate me as you see me imitate Messiah." (1 Corinthians 11:1). Since Messiah led a sinless life-and 1 John 3:4 defines "sin" as "transgression of the Torah"—we conclude that we, too, ought to obey Torah, as nearly as we can, the way the Messiah did. 1 John 2:6 affirms this, by asserting, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
We were compelled by the Saviour's statement—as He began the Sermon on the Mount: "Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets; I came not to abolish, but to fulfill..." (Matthew 5:17)—to reconsider some aspects of traditional Christian theology.
What did He mean by "fulfill"? The Greek word translated "fulfill" here in Matthew is pleroo.
There's a strong clue to the intended meaning of pleroo in a statement made by the prophet Nathan to Bathsheba, when David's son, Adonijah, sought to succeed David on Israel's throne. Nathan said to the queen, "Go at once to King David and say to him, 'Have you not, my lord, O king, sworn to your maidservant saying, "Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne"? Why, then, has Adonijah become king?'
"Behold, while you are still there speaking with the king," said Nathan "I will come in after you and confirm your words." (I Kings 1:13 & 14)
The Hebrew word translated "confirm" here is male; in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Tanakh, or 'Old' Testament), the word used is pleroo—the very same word translated "fulfill" in Matthew 5:17.
Thus, we learn that what Y'shua said to His disciples in His Sermon on the Mount was: "Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the prophets; I came not to abolish, but to confirm..."
That's in perfect harmony with what Paul wrote in Romans 3:31, "Do we then nullify the Law [Torah] through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish [or 'confirm'] the Law [Torah]."
When we began meeting together, we realized that both Y'shua and Sha'ul (Paul's Hebrew name) had instructed their disciples to obey the Torah of Moses; but although some of us had been Christians for decades, our churches had never taught us how to obey the Torah. Indeed, many of our churches had falsely taught us that the Torah was "done away with"—abolished!—in open contradiction of Y'shua's own clear statement!
A study of church history reveals reasons to suspect that between the second and fourth centuries, Y'shua's and Sha'ul's moral teaching-which always focused on the Torah revealed at Sinai-had been corrupted by Gentile anti-Semitism, which despised the Torah as "Jewish laws". Of course, they are not "Jewish"; they are YHVH's instructions for living and for worship.
Both these great teachers, however, had conflicts with the Pharisees' "oral torah".
The Torah of Moses twice forbids adding to or taking away from the message written by the finger of God at Sinai. The Pharisees violated Torah by adding to it; the church, from the second century onward, violated Torah by taking away from it.
In Revelation 12:17 we learn that the remnant whom YHVH identifies as His saints will be those who "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Y'shua." Praise God, in these Last Days, He is bringing together a people with that dual fulfillment written on their hearts by the Spirit of the Living God!
With that background, our study continues—firm in the belief that what the Creator proclaimed to be valid "forever" is still operative... that Messiah was not a rebellious son, and did not overturn His Father's word.
As a result, we have never been so joyful and free—nor so close to the Father!