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D. Williams – Canada

“To Torah I Go” 

Growing up in the religion of Christianity, I never thought my belief system could be flawed. Distorted. I could hardly digest that I had been lied to. After realizing that I had been worshiping “other gods,” I thought to myself, “Why does the church tell “half truths?” “Shouldn’t the pastor know this stuff?” But then there’s no such thing as a “half truth.The truth is the truth. It makes no apologies. Any other doctrine is a lie. Simply put, the truth is what it is and I had taken a big bite into some much needed truth. 

There I was, unhappily married with 3 kids and making the best of the situation I was in. I felt tired and spiritually dried up. I found everything exhausting. Trips to the local Sunday church were attempts, but more work than they were worth. I didn’t want God to be another box to check off on a “must do” list. I prayed to God, “Where are you? How is it possible to continue living this way, so exhausted, and yet keep a fulfilling spiritual relationship?” During this time, there was a lot of talk in the news on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I began reading article after article, book after book on the history of Israel and this conflict. The media portrayed a lie on the news and it infuriated me. This was the beginning of unraveling the many lies in my life.(Exodus 3:7-8

Arriving at my regularly scheduled dental hygiene appointment one day, I noticed my hygienist wearing a star of David. She and I had developed an immediate connection from discussing and talking about the middle east conflict and the bible. She shared an interesting perspective, so naturally I was interested in further discussion. This gave way to a conversation surrounding the sabbath, and how the calendar in the bible differs from our modern Gregarian one. I was hooked. She never pushed me but instead encouraged self study. I inquired more, so she gave me a DVD to watch by El Shaddai Ministries on the blood moons that occured in 2014 and 2015 on the feasts of Passover and Sukkot. This was pivotal information as it showed evidence of God revealing His signs in the heavens on His calendar. My thought was, “how could we as believers have missed this significant information”? If the Lord is trying to speak to all of us through a different calendar then we are familiar with, shouldn’t we know and study that calendar?!” 

I began a 10-week bible study on the Sabbath. From there, I felt so moved over the Lord’s calendar that I began implementing the Sabbath in my home. The kids would interrupt, or there were fights, etc., but eventually I found some routine. Then an opportunity arose to travel to Israel on a tour with El Shaddai ministries in 2018. There, I met some individuals who added so much more Hebrew culture, language and depth to my spiritual path. That God has a name, Yahovah. I learned the meaning of His name “Yod Hey Vav Hey.” I realized that I had been calling him by his title, God, not his name. With this new found knowledge, it was like the missing pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place. The whole bible made more sense as it came into view. If everything you believed in turned out to be a lie, when would you want to know? For myself, I believed I would want to know right away. The answers to truth can only be found in Torah, which must be studied. A candle for more knowledge had been lit inside of me and I couldn’t get enough. The realization that the Jews had preserved this deep rooted knowledge for thousands of years, and I was naive to it, was an eye opener. In fact, to realize that it was I that was mistaken in my spiritual walk was very

humbling. Yeshua had come not teaching anything new or any new religion, he had come to teach his “Father’s doctrine,” (John 7:16). I submitted to Yahovah and begged his forgiveness. 

As I continued to keep up with my Torah studies, I grew much more bold in my faith and I left the Christian doctrine behind. I was on a truth mission studying scripture. I began to let go of the guilt I felt all those years. Guilt that churches are notorious for instilling. Knowledge of Torah makes us wiser than our teachers (Psalms 119:99). It instills the desire to do things Yahovah’s way, not our own way. 

Eventually, I took an online Hebrew course to further study this scripture-revealing language because I was tired of missing some of the hidden meanings. In addition, I began to read the Torah portions every Shabbat. Through this weekly, lengthy study, I began to feel more confident in my understanding. I began to challenge my 2 brothers and parents. Unbeknownst to me, my brothers had already been waking up to Torah on their own! Today, my brothers along with both my parents have awoken to Torah. This is a miracle and a blessing, as many families are torn apart over this issue. My marriage ended in divorce after I came back from Israel. But I’ve learned to embrace the hardships this narrow-path walk brings. For all this blessing in my life, I give all praise and glory to Yahovah. Looking back, He picked me up with eagle’s feet, taking hold of me, and yanked me out of my situation, placing me securely on a solid path. Worldly difficulties have only increased, but I am lighter and more assured. This walk is not easy but necessary for spiritual survival in these times. 

Telling others of this good news I’ve found of the Torah is exciting now. As walking in the full knowledge of the truth with the world looking at you funny is better than assimilating to the normal, popular, but false teachings. I’d rather know the truth with worldly pushback, than have the comforts of the world and my head in the sand. Today, I’m much more confident in what I’ve found, than years in the church. There’s power in that statement. As Yeshua said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free,” (John 8:32).

L.J. Rivera
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