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by Avram Yehoshua
I thought I knew all there was to know about God after I got done with four years of seminary at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. I had already been immersed in His Spirit; what more was there to Christianity except loving Jesus and walking with Him?
One day, a couple came to our apartment and shared about the Sabbath of Yahveh 1, still being in force today, especially for believers. I 'listened' while they shared and after they were gone I mocked them. The Sabbath was done away with! I had learned that in seminary. Every Christian knew that. The Law is dead. Christ nailed it to the Cross. We are free from the Law.
A couple of weeks later though, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me about the Law. I told the Holy Spirit that the Law was dead. That ended that conversation. The following week, the Holy Spirit again came to me and spoke to me about the Law. Again I said that the Law was dead. Conversation ended.
A few days later, the Holy Spirit came to me a third time and spoke of the Law in a way that got my attention. This time I said, 'You know Lord, You have a point there.' The Lord had broken through my theology about the Law. And now the Lord began to lead me into the Glory of the Law, for both Jewish and Gentile believer today. That was 1983. Since then many people have come to see the Beauty of God's Teaching or Instruction, as Torah (Law), is properly translated.
With some points made about the Sabbath, the dietary laws, the Law and sacrifice, you will see that the Church's interpretation of these, is not biblical. The Church has given us its own 'commandments' instead, that literally nullify the Word of God in these areas.
The Laws of God
Paul uses Law in two very distinct ways. One is in relation to Salvation, and the other is in relation to how a believer should walk who is already saved. The Church only takes the first, in terms of Salvation, and applies it to both fields. In terms of Salvation, Paul's theme is:
No one can be saved by the keeping of God's Law.
It was never meant to be used as a vehicle of Salvation.
In terms of teaching us what is pleasing to God though (Holy Days, dietary laws, His Commandments for His People Israel; both Jew and Gentile), we only know what His Will is in these areas as the Law tells us. Jesus did not place the Law on the cross, He placed our sins on the cross 2. With His Death, our sins have been canceled out; not God's Holy Word (Torah), which is His Will and His Wisdom for His People Israel, both Jew and Gentile in Messiah.
By the time of Jesus and Paul, the Law had become conceptually perverted by the Pharisees (and Rabbis). It had come to be seen as the vehicle of Salvation for the Jew. If a Jew kept the Law, then God would owe him eternal life. But nowhere in God's Word could that be found. It was a pitiful invention of the Rabbis. How were the Hebrew slaves saved from Egyptian slavery? Did they keep the Law? No. They were saved from Egyptian slavery by the very thing that saves you and me; the blood (Blood), of the lamb (Lamb).
Once they were freed from their slavery, born again you might say, they were brought to Mt. Sinai to learn the Way of Yahveh. And once we are freed from condemnation that the Law brings us because of our sin, we are able to live unto Yeshua by His Spirit (Yeshua is the Hebrew Name for Jesus; it's the Name all the Apostles would have known Him by). And how are we freed from this condemnation? We are free from the condemnation of the Law, by death to self. When we come to the Lord Yeshua through the waters of baptism and Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But the Law remains as the guide for what is sin and what is not. It tells us when we are 'still alive to self.' Yeshua tells us that the two greatest Commandments are to love God and your neighbor, and then He states:'On these two Commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.' (Matthew 22:40)The Christian Church says, 'Hang the Law!' But Yeshua is saying that every Commandment has its reason for existence (extends or 'hangs'), from one of these two Commandments. Therefore, every Commandment of Yahveh teaches Israel what God's Love is. They explain in concrete terms how to love Yahveh and how to love our neighbor. The reasons the Commandments exist, is to define 'love,' God's Love, His Way.
If we were to ask a thousand Christians to tell us what God's Love is, we would have a thousand different answers. Try it sometime in your Bible study or prayer group. The way that we know that we are walking outside of loving God is by knowing what God has said in His Word to us through Yeshua and Moses. An illustration of this is a newly married couple on their honeymoon and the wife asks the husband what he wants for breakfast the next day. He says his favorite breakfast is steak and eggs and she says, 'Great!, I'll make it for you tomorrow. The next day at breakfast, the husband is served pancakes and French toast. When asked what was going on, the wife explains, 'I know what you wanted for breakfast but I decided to give you what I like the best.' This is not an accurate illustration as most in the Church don't realize that God wants something else other than Christmas, Easter, Sunday and pig. But the concept is similar. God desires for His People Israel, both Jew and Gentile to walk in the Way that He has outlined for us in His Word, not the way Satan would have the People of God to worship Him.
Why is it that the Church keeps Sunday, Easter and Christmas and not Sabbath, Passover and Feast of Tabernacles, etc.? How could God allow something that catastrophic to go on for almost 2,000 years? Listen to what the Prophet Daniel, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said about Satan:Dan. 7:25: 'He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.' (NASB update)Changing or altering God's Law is exactly what Satan has done through the Church of Rome, whose daughters are the Protestant churches. The Protestants have gotten Sunday, Easter and Christmas, and anti-Law theology, not from the Bible, but from the Roman Catholic Church. And the Roman Catholic Church got it from Babylon. It's time to come out of Babylon, People of the Living God:
Dan. 7:25: 'And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.' (KJV)'And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.It's God's Time for His People to leave the Babylonian ways of worshiping the God of Israel, and worship Him in both Spirit and Truth; His Truth. The Word of God is Truth. The Law is the foundation of this Truth. It is the reflection of our God.
I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, 'Come out of her, My People, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues, for her sins have piled up as high as Heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.' (Revelation 18:2-5)
It is recorded in Church history that there was a fierce battle for a couple of hundred years, from 100 AD to 350 AD, concerning the Sabbath verses Sunday issue, and Passover verses Easter. Christmas, introduced into the Church after 400 AD, would also be hotly contested for a while. 3
The bishop historian Eusebius, 260-340 AD, speaks of the Passover being celebrated by Christians in the second century and the conflict within the Church because some wanted it changed (to Easter). Bishop Victor of Rome 4, 189-199 AD, 'threatened to excommunicate the recalcitrant Christian communities of the province of Asia which refused to follow his instruction.' (To stop celebrating Passover.) This would be the entire Christian Community of Asia Minor which would have included all the churches spoken of in chapters two and three of Revelation, which is present day Turkey.
'Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus and representative of the Asian Churches, strongly advocated the traditional' (biblical), 'Passover date of the 14th of Nisan, commonly called 'Quartodeciman Passover.' Polycrates, claiming to possess the genuine Apostolic tradition transmitted to him by the Apostles Philip and John, refused to be frightened into submission by the threats of Victor of Rome.'
Quartodeciman breaks down into 'quarter' (fourth or four), and decimal (ten). This four and ten equals fourteen, or the day that God commanded Israel to celebrate the Passover; on the 14th day of the first Hebrew month 5. The date corresponds to some time in (early or mid or late) April 6. And that's why the controversy was labeled as the 'Quartodeciman Passover.' (The Church of Rome wanted to celebrate Easter at the traditional pagan time of Easter Sunday.) 7
Until 90 AD, both Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus assembled on Sabbath and kept the Passover. If Satan could not stop people from believing in Jesus, he could and did pervert the Jesus that they believed in.
The Church today presents 'Jesus' as a pig eating, Sunday keeping, Christmas celebrating and Easter resurrecting Christ. This is not a true picture of the Savior. Now this might not mean much to most peoples of the Earth, but to the Jewish People, this cannot be the Messiah of Israel. He would never break the Law of Moses (and we know that Yeshua never did), or do away with the Law of Moses (what the Church claims happens after the Crucifixion). And this is exactly the Satanic deception. Satan, through the Church, has altered the Law of God...the Word of God.
The Rabbis say that when the Messiah comes, He will explain what Moses meant. Not that the Rabbis don't have their own ideas, but they realize that there is a depth to the Torah that they don't understand. And this is exactly what Yeshua does in Matthew 5, right after He tells them that He has not come to do away with the Law:
The Law and JesusMatt. 5:17: 'Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.'If fulfill means, 'to do away with' then we have Yeshua saying one thing ('Do not think that I came to abolish the Law...'), while immediately contradicting Himself (I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.') '...to fulfill,' obviously, can't mean, 'to do away with.' Yet, this is how the Church interprets this Word of Yeshua.
Yeshua, in His message on the Mount, begins to reveal the essence of the Law, by saying things like, 'You have heard it said of old that one must not murder. But I say to you that if you hate your brother in your heart that you have already murdered him.'8
Yeshua was clarifying and amplifying the Commandment (Law), not to murder, by showing Israel what the essence of the Commandment is. He didn't throw out the Commandment not to murder, by telling us the essence of the Commandment, not to hate. But what He did do, was to sweep away any thoughts that one could keep that Commandment, even if one had not literally murdered anyone. Verbal abuse is seen by Yeshua as 'murder' also.
The Church proclaims that, 'no one can keep the Law' and that they are 'under grace' with Jesus. But which is harder? To not literally murder someone (the Law), or to not have hate in one's heart (Grace)? The Law of Jesus is much greater or harder than Moses' if I can use that concept. I say 'if' because actually, they are one and the same. Yeshua is just showing us what was in the Law all along. This is why we need His Grace. We need His Grace to be able to walk out the Law of Love. When I hate someone, the Spirit convicts me and I ask for forgiveness and the ability (Grace), to love that person. This is the Law and how Grace works. Grace doesn't give us license either to murder someone, or to hate them.
If the Church had not buried the Law of Yahveh in their perverse theology, the Jewish People would have seen a Messiah, for the last 1900 years, who did not eat pig, who observed the Sabbath Day as holy unto Yahveh, and kept all the Feast Days, etc. The people of the Church would have been walking that out. They would have been a living example that the Messiah of Israel had come in Yeshua, and not the opposite; that Jesus and especially Paul, not only 'did away with Moses' but that Christians could murder Jews with impunity from Jesus (as has been the history of the Church toward the Jewish People). The Holocaust, the Inquisition, all the pogroms, etc., were theologically motivated against 'the Christ killers.'
If the Church had understood that it too was part of Israel, it would have befriended the Jewish People. Instead, it murdered members of its own family, because they hadn't come to believe in Yeshua yet. This has not been a godly witness to the Jewish People for the last 1900 years. More Jews have been murdered, 'in the Name of Jesus' than all other names combined. Evil has triumphed in the Church toward the Jewish People in this, and in the Church presenting a Jesus to the Jewish People that is both anti-Semitic and anti-Law.
An area of perverse Church interpretation is that anything can be eaten as long as 'you bless it.' But this is not what Paul, whom the Church is only half quoting, states:
Paul and the Pig1st Tim. 4:4: 'For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:'The two things that qualify food for consumption are the Word of God and prayer; not just prayer. The pig is 'good' but not for eating. It was created, as well as many other animals and creatures to be the sanitation engineers (the garbage collectors) of the land and the sea. Who wants to eat from the garbage truck?
1st Tim. 4:5: 'For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.'
If one believes that Paul didn't think that the Old Testament (specifically Leviticus 11 and Deut. 14, the two places where God speaks of clean and unclean animals for food), was what Paul is speaking of in 1st Tim 4:4-5, then how can the phrase, 'the word of God' be understood? 2nd Timothy, obviously written after 1st Timothy, states this about the Old Testament:2nd Tim. 3:14: 'But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;'If a congregation in Paul's day had one or two of Paul's letters, that would have been a lot. The New Covenant hadn't been written yet (placed in a book called 'The New Testament'), especially the Gospels, and if one thinks that only Paul's letters made up 'All Scripture' that Paul is speaking of here, then one has a very small New Testament.
2nd Tim. 3:15: 'And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.'
2nd Tim. 3:16: 'All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:'
2nd Tim. 3:17: 'That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.'
Many turn to Peter's vision and say that the Holy Spirit specifically told Peter to kill and eat unclean things. True. But nowhere in the text of Acts 10 does Peter literally eat anything unclean. The meaning of the vision becomes clear to Peter when he stands before the Gentile Cornelius:
Peter and the PigActs 10:28: 'And he said unto them, 'Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.'There is nothing about anyone literally eating pig or anything unclean in Acts 10. The 'unclean thing' was the Gentile, as Peter states in Acts 10:28. The Gentile had just now become acceptable to God for Salvation, because of the Blood of Messiah. This was the reason, and the meaning of the vision and Peter declares it as such in verse 34. This was startlingly new to Peter, 8 to 10 years after the Resurrection (Acts 10). God was opening up Salvation to the Gentiles and Peter, the chief Apostle, was now open to receiving them. Before this, he wasn't. There weren't any Gentiles who had come to Salvation in all that time. Salvation was of the Jews and only for the Jews as far as everyone in the Jewish believing community at that time understood. That's why Peter is called on the carpet when he returns to Jerusalem in Acts 11, for sharing the Gospel with Gentiles. This precedent, of a Gentile coming to faith in the Jewish Messiah, sets the way for Paul to come on the scene and bring many Gentiles to faith in Jesus later (Acts 15), without having to become rabbinically Jewish (be circumcised) and keep the Law as part of their salvation.
Acts 10:34: 'Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, 'Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.'
Acts 10:35: 'But in every nation he that fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him.'
Lastly, concerning clean and unclean foods, Jesus; our Third Witness. In two almost identical accounts, Jesus is accosted by the Pharisees and taken to task concerning His followers because they don't wash their hands (and say the Pharisaic blessing), before they eat food (that can only be clean to begin with: bread). The Church takes this to mean that one can eat anything that one wants. But note how tangled this interpretation of the Church becomes, for sinless and Law abiding Jesus:
Jesus and the PigMatt. 15:2: 'Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread.'And now, the same account in Mark:
Matt. 15:3: 'But He answered and said unto them, "Why do ye also transgress the Commandment of God by your tradition?"'Mark 7:1: 'Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.'The context of both accounts has nothing to do with what is being eaten, clean or unclean, but how it is being eaten: is the Pharisaic ritual of washing the hands and saying the 'proper' Pharisaic blessing, being observed or not?
Mark 7:2: 'And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashed hands, they found fault.'
Mark 7:3: 'For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.'
Mark 7:5: 'Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, "Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?"'
Mark 7:6: 'He answered and said unto them, 'Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.'
As the accounts go, the one in Mark is variously interpreted by different English bibles. In some, it is written that Jesus does away with the dietary laws by stating that all foods are now clean. But note the tremendous difference in how the King James Bible translates the same passage:Mark 7:19: 'because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?' '(Thus He declared all foods clean.)' NASBThe King James Version does not have, '(Thus He declared all foods clean.)' That interpretation rests solely upon the English translators theological perspective. For instance, the words, 'Thus He declared...' is not in the Greek New Testament manuscript that the New American Standard Bible uses. In both the Textus Receptus and the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testaments, the Greek is identical for the phrase in question of Mark 7:19. The translators added, 'Thus He declared...' to help us with their version of the Gospel. So, it is not the Greek that is at fault It is the fault of the translator for the NASB and the NIV and others.
Mark 7:19: 'Because it enters not into his heart, but into the belly, and goes out into the draught, purging all meats?' KJV
Yet, many in the Church will point to this 'declaration of Jesus' to justify their eating of pig. For Yeshua to say that the pig was now clean, when Lev. 11:7 and Deut. 14:8 state that it's not, is a violation of the Law. He would have been guilty of breaking that law and therefore, would not have been a perfect, sinless Sacrifice for us. To teach others the wrong way, is worse than if one just does wrong themself. For instance, if I don't rob banks, but teach others to rob banks, I am committing a worse sin than if I just robbed them, because I am leading many others in the wrong way. For Jesus not to sin, but to teach others that they could sin by breaking the Law of Moses that states that the pig is unclean or unfit for human consumption, is to have the One who was to teach us Truth, teach us falsehood. This is not the Way of the Lord. It would have also made Jesus a sinner, leading others astray, and therefore, He could not have been a perfect, sinless Sacrifice.
For the Church to believe and teach that Jesus said it was alright to eat anything one wanted, before His Crucifixion, goes directly against Yeshua being a sinless Sacrifice. Church theology on the Law states that it was done away with at the Crucifixion, so how can Jesus be breaking the Law before His Crucifixion? The only answer is that Yeshua is not breaking the Law. It is the Church's interpretation of what the passage relates, that is perverse. The dietary laws were still 'law' to Yeshua, and anyone saying differently doesn't understand the text.
Yeshua wasn't saying that the pig and lobster and snake are acceptable, but that if one didn't have their hands washed when they ate, it wasn't a sin. This is exactly why the Pharisees were confronting Him. They were not saying that his disciples ate unclean foods, like the pig. They were not asking Yeshua for a ruling on the dietary laws. Yeshua was not speaking about the dietary laws or changing them. He was asked why His disciples didn't wash their hands according to the Tradition of the Elders (Matthew 15:2; Mark 7:2). Missing from the account in Mark, the account in Matthew ends this way:Matthew 15:20: 'These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashed hands defiles not a man.'This is the plain meaning of the encounter that day with the Pharisees. For the Apostles to eat without washing their hands (and saying the Pharisaic blessing) 9, was not a sin. It has nothing to do with negating the dietary laws. No where does anyone eat pig, or say that one can. Jesus never eats pig, or tells anyone that they can, nor do the Apostles ever eat pig, or tell anyone that pig is now clean and fit for human consumption.
These three sections that I have brought up: Paul in Timothy, Peter in Acts, and Yeshua in Matthew and Mark, constitute a small part of the whole picture. The Church's stance on the Torah, or Law of Moses being done away with, is the biggest deception since Eve took that bite of fruit. Just as Daniel prophesied in 7:25, Satan has made alterations in the Law and has deceived the saints for 1900 years. As Daniel said, '...and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.'
The Church's understanding of pig for the believer, is not biblical, but based on interpretations of texts that are not justified. This small part is directly related to the larger part of the place of the Law in the life of every believer. The dietary laws are a section of the Law of Moses that the Church tells us, 'is done away with.' If the Church is wrong on the issue of the pig, it prepares the way for one to examine the larger issue of the Law of Moses within the New Testament.
Satan has had a field day with Christians concerning what they eat and how they worship Jesus and how they portray the Jewish Messiah. It's not that Yeshua doesn't love His Bride, or that the Bride is not saved. But the Bride is walking in uncleanness and doesn't know it. Shouldn't we desire to walk the Way that Yeshua wants us to walk? Of course. But this takes the discernment of the Holy Spirit to see past the traditions of the Church that have nullified His Word. It has to do with honoring the Lord the way He desires to be honored, not the way that we have been taught by Satan.John 8:31: 'Then said Yeshua to those Jews which believed on Him, 'If you continue in My Word, then are you My disciples indeed;'
John 8:32: 'And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.'
I know that it is hard to see another perspective, of the place of the Law in the total framework of God's Salvation in Yeshua the Messiah. Teaching to the contrary has pervaded the Church since 100 AD when the reason why the Sabbath 'was done away' with, was because it was 'a curse to the Jews who rebelled in the Wilderness, and God would replace it with Sunday when Christ came along'10. One might ask Justin Martyr and many others, 'Why did God make the 7th Day Sabbath at Creation?, if it was to be replaced. And why did Jesus say that He was 'Lord of the Sabbath?'...and not Sunday?
The Sabbath of the Lord Jesus
The 7th Day Sabbath is the day that the God of Israel expects His People to assemble on and keep holy (Exodus 20:8-12 and Leviticus 23:2-3). There is absolutely nothing in the New Testament that ever says that Sunday is a holy day, or that Sunday is the day of assembly, or that Sunday is blessed. If Sunday was to supersede Yahveh's Sabbath Day, wouldn't it at least be blessed by God and made holy, as the 7th Day Sabbath was?Gen. 2:2: 'By the seventh day, God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.'If Sunday were the day of assembly, for whatever reason, wouldn't it be at least mentioned once in the New Testament (that it was the day of assembly)? But it is no where to be found. That's because the Catholic Church did away with the Sabbath day, and put Sunday in its place. Now, all Christians who assemble on Sunday, and not Sabbath, are actually following the Catholic Church, and not the New Testament. For more factual information on this, please consult your nearest Catholic priest or Catholic Encyclopedia, as they themselves will tell you, and you can see in black and white, that it wasn't the Apostles or the New Testament that changed the Lord's Day from Sabbath to Sunday, but the Catholic Church. They will tell you that they believed that they had authority to do that. This reveals an arrogance and pride that is spoken of in Daniel 7:25.
Gen. 2:3: 'Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.'
If the God of Israel had given Man the authority to either choose whatever day he wanted as a 'Sabbath' or to change His Sabbath Day to another day, it would be written in the Bible as such. Nowhere in the New Testament do we find God telling Man that he can change the Sabbath Day to Sunday. This change came straight from the Pit. The Catholic Church usurped God's Authority.
A few hundred years after the Church removed God's Holy Sabbath, Gentile theologians realized that their 'theological' reason for the removal of the Sabbath (it being a curse), would just not hold any biblical water. So they said that Sunday was now the day of assembly and holy to Christianity because of the Resurrection of Jesus on Sunday.
The only problem with that is that the Bible is silent as to the day and the time of the Resurrection. It never states that Jesus rose on Sunday 11. Yes, Yeshua appeared to them on Sunday, but obviously, He was already resurrected. Whatever Gospels account one reads, whomever came to the Tomb, no one saw Jesus in the process of resurrecting. He was already gone (or resurrected), when they came on Sunday.
Many Christians today believe that the Law was done away with after the Crucifixion and Resurrection. But one has to corrupt the Words of Jesus Himself, in order to believe that:
Jesus and the LawMatt. 5:17: 'Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.'Many will say that by His 'fulfilling the Law,' that it is now 'done away with.' But doesn't it seem a contradiction in the simplest terms, to say that it's now done away with, when Yeshua, in the same sentence, just the phrase before it, is saying, 'Don't think that I have come to do away with the Law...I did not come to abolish...'
Of all the Christian commentators that I have heard about or read, only Calvin, the 16th century Reformer, was honest enough to say that he didn't 'understand what Jesus meant.' He didn't try to twist the Word of God to bend it to his theological understanding. To fulfill has two meanings that don't destroy what Yeshua is saying:
The obvious one is that in the Old Testament, there are specific prophesies about the Coming Redeemer. Yeshua fulfilled those concerning Messiah, the Son of Joseph. (He will fulfill those prophecies concerning Messiah, the Son of David, when He returns.)
The second is that as holy as the Torah is, it is 'incomplete' in that it could not give Eternal Life to Israel, but it pointed to One who could (Deut. 18:15-18). Not that the Law was ever intended to save anyone, but it pointed to the fact of Israel's need for a new heart (her sinful condition), thus, Israel's need for her Messiah. This is what He is fulfilling. God states in Deut. 30:6 that He will circumcise Israel's heart to love Yahveh and walk in His Ways. The Torah cannot make Israel, to be like God and Messiah. Only the shed Blood and Spirit of Yeshua can do that. It's not that the Torah is incomplete, but that Israel is incomplete, and needed the Messiah to come to fulfill the Commandment to Israel, that Israel must be holy, as Yahveh is holy. For God says that He is the One who will make Israel holy (Ex. 31:13).Rom. 8:3: 'For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,'It was the 'flesh' that could not keep the Law. It was the carnal nature of Israel that separated her from her God. And now, in Messiah's Death, Israel would be able to overcome its flesh or sinful nature, and walk in the Holy Torah, which is the Word of Yahveh. Thus Yeshua 'fulfilled' the Law by giving Israel a way to be holy, like Yahveh Himself.
There is another interpretation of the word, 'fulfill' that has to do with rabbinic understanding. It explains that Yeshua was speaking in rabbinic terms that expressly meant that He was properly interpreting the Law of Moses:
'Destroy' (abolish) and 'fulfill' are technical terms of rabbinic' argumentation. 12 'When a rabbi felt that a colleague had misinterpreted a passage of Scripture, he would say, 'You are destroying the Law!' ...What was destroying the Law for one rabbi, was 'fulfilling the Law' (correctly interpreting Scripture), for another. 13
This would seem to have merit also. Immediately after Yeshua declares that He has not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, He goes on to explain the deeper meanings of the Torah (Matthew 5:19ff: to hate is to murder; to lust is to commit adultery, etc.).
Yeshua says that unless one's righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, they shall not enter the Kingdom (Matthew 5:20). People today might scoff at the idea that the Pharisees had any righteousness. But in the days of Yeshua, the Pharisees were looked up to and respected by Israel. Even their theological 'enemies,' the Sadducees, would consult with the Pharisees on various points of the Law, to get a better understanding of its meaning and ramifications. That's how respected they were. So when Yeshua said that one's righteousness must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees, His disciples would have shook their heads back and forth and said to themselves, 'Then how can we expect to enter the Kingdom?!'
Yeshua came to make Israel capable of being able to marry Him. Israel would have to undergo a radical 'nature' transformation. Israel would have to take on the Nature of Messiah. This is the fulfilling that Messiah Yeshua is speaking of. This is what the Torah spoke of, or pointed to: Israel's need to be holy, as Yahveh is holy. And only Yahveh could work that Work in Israel. It could not come by the keeping of the Torah, for the harder one tries to observe the Torah, the more one sees their own sins; their own 'unholiness.' Praise God for the Blood of the Lamb, for now, as we walk in the Torah, it does not have the ability to condemn us, as we have died with Messiah. Because of this death, the condemning ability of the Torah is neutralized, but the Teaching ability of the Torah remains for us today. Is the Sabbath Day still holy? It should be 'more holy' today for us than for ancient Israel, for now we know the One who is Lord of the Sabbath.
The Church's meaning of 'fulfill' is further revealed as lacking any biblical quality when Yeshua goes on to state in the verse after Matthew 5:17:Matt. 5:18: 'For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.'Many would say that, 'all was accomplished' at the Cross, but that is reading something into Jesus' words that just aren't there. Heaven and Earth have not passed away, so we can assume that the Law is still with us. I disagree with the general concept that 'the Work of the Cross did away with the Law.' The Work of the Cross forgave our sins and enabled us to obtain His Nature. It didn't nullify God's Holy Law. Only by the Law can we know specifically, what is pleasing to God and what is not (Romans 7:7-16; 1st John 3:2-4).
The next sentence tells us clearly that anyone who breaks the Law of Moses (thinking that it has been done away with for instance), is 'honored' as 'least' in the Kingdom of Yeshua. But Yeshua calls 'great' those who keep 'the least of' the Commandments of Moses to show us that in His Kingdom, '...Man shall live by everything' (every Word), 'that proceeds out of the Mouth of Yahveh.'14Matt. 5:19: 'Whoever then annuls one of the least of these Commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.'Obviously, the Kingdom of Heaven was what Yeshua came to establish. By His Death, the Kingdom was opened to both Jew and Gentile. Yeshua says that if someone breaks the least of the Commandments (of the Law obviously) in His Kingdom, and teaches others to do so, then he will be called least in the Kingdom. Yeshua also tells us that he who keeps the least of these Commandments, and teaches others to do so, will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. So, Yeshua's reference to '...all is accomplished' cannot mean that by His Death, the Law will pass away. He is speaking of believers coming into His Kingdom, after the Resurrection. Will they obey His Law or come against it and say it doesn't matter? Now, filled with His Spirit and born from Above by His Grace, we can walk as He walked. Didn't He keep the Law? Why shouldn't we? Certainly not because, '...all is accomplished' or 'He fulfilled it.' The Apostle John presents Yeshua as the One whom we should emulate:'And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His Commandments. The one who says, 'I have come to know Him,' and does not keep His Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His Word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.' (1st John 2:3-6)The Law was never intended to be a vehicle for Salvation. The Hebrew nation was saved or delivered out of Egyptian slavery, set free to be the People of God, by God's Grace. Unfortunately, by the time of Yeshua and Paul, and even today in Judaism, it is believed that good deeds, the keeping of the Law, etc., will merit a Jewish person eternal life. This is a tragic teaching of the Pharisees. They have no Scripture whatsoever to establish this teaching. That is why Paul comes against the 'keeping of the Law for salvation' the way he does. He emphatically states that anything added to faith in Yeshua, for salvation, has perverted the Work of the Crucifixion. There is nothing in Moses or the Prophets or the Psalms that says if you keep the Law, God will give you eternal life. It was the Pharisees playing God in the lives of millions of people, much to the delight of Satan. You'll remember that Jesus says to the Pharisees:
'If you know that He is Righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him. See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the Sons of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness. And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.' (1st John 2:29-3:5)Matt. 15:8-9: 'This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'The Pharisees thought they knew more about God...than God! The Pharisees were experts on the Law. They 'knew' the Law inside out. Their whole lives revolved around the Law. But they didn't understand the Law from Yahveh's perspective. Many Church theologians 'know' the New Testament. But Satan has blinded their understanding to the place of the Torah in the life of every believer. And just as the Pharisees could give Scripture 'to prove' their erroneous theology of salvation, so too can the Church show us Scripture from the New Testament 'to prove' that the Law is 'done away with.'
In terms of the Church casting the Law of God to the ground, we see a Church tradition that also nullifies the Word of God. The Pharisees didn't have a patent on twisting and distorting the Word of God. That's how the Church can teach pagan feast days in 'honor' of Jesus. They are blind to His Word in that area (Deut. 12:28-32).
Not all the Pharisees walked in darkness though. Many of them (Nicodemus and others), came to Yeshua both before His Death and after His Resurrection (Acts 6:7):Acts 15:5: 'But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses.'The issue in Acts 15 was, 'What do we do with these Gentiles coming to Jesus? Do we circumcise them in order for them to be saved?' And the answer was that they were to remain uncircumcised, to remain Gentiles. Why? Because Salvation does not come by the keeping of the Law. Faith in Jesus plus the Law makes salvation invalid. This is one time where adding something to another, makes it less. It's only Faith in Yeshua that begins and continues the Birth from Above (Salvation). Please hear what the Apostle Paul states in 1st Corinthians about the Law of Moses:1st Cor. 7:17: 'But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.'Here, Paul is contrasting and putting down circumcision, AS A MEANS OF SALVATION. But when he will speak of the Glory of the Law, as a means of understanding what is right and what is wrong; what is pleasing to God and what is sin; Paul will magnify the Law. More on that in a moment.
1st Cor. 7:18: 'Is any man called being circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.'
1st Cor. 7:19: 'Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Commandments of God.'
In the passage of Acts 15 about what to do with the Gentiles, James, otherwise known among his brethren as Yakov (or Jacob), establishes four laws in Acts 15:20 that every Gentile had to uphold. Some think that these are the only laws for the Gentiles, but this is silly as Paul states many other laws, i.e., don't let a man who is sleeping with his father's wife still be a member in good standing with the church (1st Cor. 5:1ff), and don't think that being a drunk is going to get you anywhere, thieves will not inherit the Kingdom, etc. Here are those four laws or Commandments for those new Gentile believers from James, the half brother of Jesus:Acts 15:20: 'But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.'I have come to see that this is the Door that every Gentile then, had to walk through in order for their faith to be valid. Why? Because all these rules deal with idolatry, something that the Gentiles were all walking in. There was no nation at that time that worshiped the One True God of Israel. All the nations had their pagan gods. What James was saying was this: don't think that by saying, 'I believe in Jesus' that you can continue to have sex with the temple priests and priestesses, in the name of a temple god or goddess, and that you will be seen as a Christian. As we see in 1st Corinthians, this was a problem with some of the people there. But before I site it, I want to write the verse that follows Acts 15:20:Acts 15:21: 'For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath Day.'James was saying that when these Gentiles, who literally didn't know Adam from Eve, came to Jesus, they would assemble on the Sabbath and hear the Scriptures read. The Scriptures being what is commonly called the Old Testament. The Gospels wouldn't be written until after Paul was dead, and the letters of Paul, if a church had two or three of them, that would be a lot. Only with the Torah (the Law of Moses), would they come to know their family history, as part of Israel, and also what was pleasing to God, what was sin, and what was not. As John the Apostle says:1st John 3:2-4: 'Beloved, now are we the Sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be. But we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that has this hope in Him purifies himself, even as He is pure. Whoever commits sin transgresses also the Law: for sin is the transgression of the Law.' (Also: Romans 3:20; 7:7)To know what sin is, we must know what God has said in the Law. Jesus followed all of it that pertained to Him; why shouldn't we? There are many voices in the New Testament that declare this to us. John's was just one example. You've probably read the New Testament many times, but until His Light comes upon any passage, we remain in darkness, under the sway of the Pharisaic Church of our day.
Paul's problem of idolatry in Corinth was that there were Christian Gentiles who were practicing fornication. You are most likely familiar with the phrase, our 'body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.' Here is the context for that:1st Cor. 6:15: 'Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid!'How could those Gentile believers, filled with the Spirit of Yeshua, be doing that? Their bodies were a Temple of the Holy Spirit, but they were still going to the other temples and fornicating. If not for that word 'fornication' (por-nay-ah in Greek), we might only think that they were going out with ordinary prostitutes. Fornication is not 'sexual immortality' as many Bibles translate. Sexual immorality is a very vague term and should not be used here for pornayah. Biblical fornication is sexual intercourse with a temple priest or priestess, as a form of worship and union with the god or goddess of that temple. Pagans were used to having many gods. Some just 'added' Jesus to their list, as we see in Corinth. This is why James demanded that fornication cease for those who named Jesus as Savior (Acts 15:20 above) 15.
1st Cor. 6:16: 'What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh.'
1st Cor. 6:17: 'But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.'
1st Cor. 6:18: 'Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.'
1st Cor. 6:19: 'What? know ye not that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?'
You, and I before you, have walked in the interpretation of the New Testament that was handed down to us from the Church: that because the Law was no more, we could eat pig and shrimp and assemble on Sunday and not Shabat (Sabbath), or keep Easter and not Passover, etc. But in these last days, the Lord has begun to open the eyes of His believers to His precious truths in these areas.
Discernment and Deception
I too was deluded and deceived before I came into this understanding. And I had been a Christian for eight years at that time. I gave my life to Jesus in 1975. In 1983, the Lord began to open His Word up to me concerning the place of the Law in the life of every believer. Many 'well intentioned' Christians have come against me, because they were not able or willing to scrutinize their belief system concerning the place of the Law in their walk. Every time I found myself without an answer to their accusation, I would go to Yeshua. He would open up another passage of Scripture to me, and I would have the answer to that previous accusation.
At first, when they would accuse me, it would be very unsettling. Were they right?! Was I 'going to Hell for preaching another Gospel!'? But the Holy Spirit would neutralize those fears as the Picture of the Law began to emerge and to grow. Today, I may not know all the answers to all the accusations or even legitimate questions that one may raise, but the Lord has shown me so much, that the burden of proof, that 'the Law has been done away with,' now lies on those who hold that untenable position. Hopefully, you can begin to see that there are many theological cracks in their wall of 'no Law.'
Keeping the Law doesn't save anyone. Only a real faith, trust and belief in Yeshua does. And for those who love Jesus, they will want to know what is pleasing to Him and what is not. I am speaking about how to walk after one has been Born from Above. The whole Christian world keeps pagan feast days and thinks nothing of it. But if one desires to walk in God's Holy Feast Days, then one is 'under the Law and going to Hell.' Satan has blinded the Church to God's Ways, and given the Church pagan feast days and theologies that are straight from the Pit. One truly begins to understand just how subtle Satan really is, when our eyes are opened by the Spirit of Yahveh, to the deception spoken of in Daniel 7:25.
I have found that I have a greater understanding of His Word concerning very practical areas of my life: Holy Days, Dietary Laws, etc. And you will notice that there is not one shred of biblical evidence for Sunday, Christmas, Easter, etc. Not one! All this pagan stuff has become so entrenched in the Church, that many Christians will swear that it's Gospel. But ask them to give you one Scriptural reference for either anyone eating ham, or celebrating Christmas or observing a sunrise Easter service, or assembling on Sunday because God says so in His Word, and they cannot do it 16. These are very real and practical areas of our life. These determine how we walk with the Lord and honor Him. If He is Lord of our Life, the King of Israel, then shouldn't He determine which days are holy for us and what foods we eat? He has. It's in the Law that God gave to Moses and Israel, for their wisdom and knowledge 17. But before you head to your local synagogue, to get a better grasp of 'Jewish things' I must share something else with you.
We must be very careful about Judaism. Judaism in not what Moses received from Yahveh. Israel worshiped Yahveh with sacrifice and priesthood. Sacrifice was the core of the Mosaic Covenant and shows us how Yahveh could dwell among sinful Israel. Sacrifice and priesthood were put on hold in 70 CE (AD), when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Roman Army, and Judaism, the religion of the Pharisees and Rabbis, took over.
A Word About Judaism
Not everything Jewish is biblical. The Rabbis have perverted the Word of God as I shared with you about good deeds being a ticket to eternal life. There is much in Judaism that is anti-Christ in spirit and in its teachings. And there is Jewish mysticism (Kabala), which is nothing more than Babylonian spiritism in Jewish clothes. This too pervades Judaism and blinds my people to their Messiah.
We can glean some things from Judaism such as ethical behavior (how to love one's neighbor), but the place 'to go' is to your Bible. Ask Yeshua to reveal the Hebraic perspective of it to you. His Way of doing things. We must have eyes to discern God's Truth. He is calling us out of both perverted Camps: Christianity and Judaism, that we might learn to walk with Him, His Way. That's not to say that we can't glean wonderful things from both Camps. But perversion is not His Name. His Name is Truth and He is Pure and Holy. He is the One True God, which means that He certainly doesn't want His People immersed in perversion of any kind. His Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding will be beacons of Light to us in this world. Look what He says about those who desire ignorance and the way of the crowd:Hosea 4:6: 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.'
Matt. 7:13: 'Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.'
Matt. 7:14: 'For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.'
With the knowledge of the Torah, the Law of Moses, one can have the wisdom that the Apostle Paul had. Contrary to what the Church teaches, Paul never taught that the Law was 'done away with.'
Paul and the LawRom. 3:31: 'Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid! Yea, we establish the Law.'Romans is Paul's greatest theological letter. If he thinks the Law is no more, he certainly doesn't say it here. How could anyone turn verse 31 around, ('Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid!...') to mean that the Law is now void because of faith in Jesus? On the contrary, with Messiah's Death, the place of the Law is established as a means of declaring to us what is sin and what is pleasing to God:Rom. 7:7: 'What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? God forbid! Nay, I had not known sin, but by the Law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, 'Thou shalt not covet.'In Paul's day the Law had come to be the vehicle by which the Jew could enter Heaven. Of course, this was Rabbinic nonsense. But Paul is declaring that the Law is established, or 'put' in it's proper place again, as the Righteous guide for understanding what is sin and what is not, to a people that have been delivered from darkness. Paul is upholding the Law here, not as a means of Salvation, but as a means of walking with God in His Wisdom. He is saying that the Law shows us what is sin in God's Eyes, and what is pleasing to Him, for the one who is saved by the Blood. Paul says, 'I had not known sin, but by the Law' (verse 7). If we want to know what isn't pleasing to our God, we must have knowledge of the Law. Sunday is not pleasing to God as a day of assembly that does away with the Sabbath.
Rom. 7:12: 'Wherefore the Law is holy, and the Commandment holy, and just, and good.'
Rom. 7:14: 'For we know that the Law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.'
Rom. 7:16: 'If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the Law that it is good.'
Paul goes on to say that, '...the Law is holy' (verse 12). The Law is holy because it is a verbal reflection of our holy God. It is a picture of His Character. Sabbath, Passover, etc. are holy. Sunday, Easter and Christmas are not holy and have not been given to the Church by the God of Israel.
How many times have you heard teaching or preaching on the Law being 'spiritual'? Romans 7:14 tells us that it is and we are not. If you desire to be 'like Jesus' you won't walk in pagan things and offer them up to the God of Israel. When did the Apostles keep Sunday, Easter and Christmas?, or eat ham?
And lastly, the Apostle to the Gentiles states that the Law is good (verse 16). How can the Church overlook what Paul is saying here? How can the Church say that the Law is done away with?, when the Apostle Paul is glorifying it?
In the New Testament, it does say that we are 'not under the Law but Grace.' The statement though, is not as simple, or black and white, as the Church teaches it. It is a very theological statement that Paul uses to explain that the Law cannot condemn us to Hell anymore, because we have died to self in Messiah. The next four Scripture references are basically, the places where we have the direct contrast of Law and Grace:
Not Under the Law Anymore?Rom. 6:14: 'For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under Law but under Grace.'In Romans 6:14, we find the phrase, 'for you are not under Law, but under Grace.' Whenever Paul speaks of the Law of Moses, in relation to Salvation, he tells us that no one can be saved by the keeping of the Law (Gal. 2:21 above). The phrase, 'not under the Law' means that we have died to self (in Messiah), and are no longer able to be judged (condemned), by the Law's holy, just and righteous Commandments. Anyone who has died, is no longer able to be judged by the Law, to condemn them into Hell. This is a very common legal understanding for any law. If a man robs a bank, and then dies, there is nothing the legal system can do to enforce its punishment upon him. When a sinner, deserving of death and Hell, dies to self in Messiah (what Romans 6 is all about), then the Law's just punishment of him (death and Hell), cannot be enforced upon him. This is the Grace of God.
Rom. 6:15: 'What then? Shall we sin because we are not under Law but under Grace? May it never be!'
Gal. 2:21: 'I do not nullify the Grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.'
Gal. 5:4: 'You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by Law; you have fallen from Grace.'
Now, that sinner, Born from Above, cleansed by the Blood of Yeshua and filled with His Spirit, is called to be holy, as Yeshua is holy. With Yeshua's new Nature within us, we can walk in holiness, knowing the Will of God (His Law); what is pleasing to Him and what is not.
I hope you've come to see that the major things of the Law that the Church says has been done away with, are still very much spoken of and practiced in the New Testament. If that is the case, that Sabbath, and dietary laws, and sacrifice (which I'll speak of in just a moment), are still seen as valid by the New Testament writers, then the Law must still be in effect.
Paul's other emphasis is that the Law is our guideline for what we believe and what we practice. The Law tells us what is holy and what is sin. If we throw that out, like the Church has done, then one can 'bless the food' that God calls an abomination and unclean, and think that they are doing God's Will. The Church only understands Paul in his contrast of the Law with Salvation, but not with how one is to walk after they have been Born from Above.
When Paul speaks in Galatians 2:21 of nullifying the Grace of God, via the Law, again he is speaking of those who try to keep the Law, in order to be saved (to win Eternal Life). But the Law was never given as a vehicle for Salvation. The Law was actually given to Israel AFTER God saved Israel out of Egyptian slavery.
The Law was for their understanding of what was sin and what was holy; what was pleasing to God, and what was not. In reading on past Romans 6, to Romans 7, one sees that the Law is very special to Paul. In Galatians 5:4, you can see that the very thing that I have just written, that anyone who tries to keep the Law for Eternal Life (Salvation), has been severed from Messiah: '...you who are seeking to be JUSTIFIED BY LAW, you have fallen from Grace.'
No one can be justified by saying that they have kept the whole Law perfectly, for no one can do that. Now, my question to you is, what Law stops everyone in their tracks from saying to God that they are sinless, or that they have kept the Law perfectly?...And the answer is...The First Commandment:'Hear Oh Israel, Yahveh is our God, Yahveh is One, and you must love Yahveh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength.' (Dt. 6:4-5 and Mark 12:28-31)Please note: it is not the Sabbath, or the dietary laws, etc. etc. etc., that no one can keep. It is the moral law of love. This Law is something that all Christians would say is with us today; to love God and our neighbor as Yeshua did. Those of you who have been confronted with your carnal nature at this point, know that it is impossible to do that. God commands us to love our enemy and we find that we do not have the ability to do it; or even want to try. This is where we all rebel against Yahveh. At this point we must cry out to our God to give us the heart that He has promised us: a heart like His that is able to love our enemies.
It is truly impossible without the Blood of Yeshua and His Spirit. This is not what most Christians mean when they say that we 'can't keep the Law!' But Messiah did. He was One with the Father and did all the Law that pertained to Him, by the Power of the Holy Spirit within Him. And as we follow in His Footsteps, we will come to see that the Law is a true blessing to us because it shows us what is holy and what is not. This can only help us in our desire, 'to be like Him' and, 'to walk the Way He walked.'
The Law must be understood in the Light of Yeshua. This means that we see the Law through the Eyes of Yeshua who came to show us the Law's essence or core. It doesn't mean that it's done away with. The Law speaks of divorce (Dt. 24:1-4) and Yeshua tells us what is the criteria for a believer to divorce another 'believer' (Mt. 5:32). Paul speaks much about women dressing modestly. That's in the New Testament and also part of what love is.
You'll come to see that much of the New Testament is a commentary on the first two Commandments; to love God and neighbor. It is a further refining of the Torah. Paul and James and John will explain love for us in 'concrete' ways. And please note these are not suggestions but Commandments also. This is also 'Torah'. The 'Law' now extends from Genesis through Revelation for us who believe in Messiah Yeshua.
Some in the Church think the Law is just the Ten Commandments. But this is a truncated and 'Church' way to lift up the Ten and put down the rest (of the laws.) It's very artificial. Nowhere in the Old Testament are the Ten theologically separated from the rest. The Ten Commandments are symbolic of all the rest 18. All the Law is the Word of God, and all the Apostles and all the believing Jews kept it as such, after the Resurrection:Acts 21:20: 'And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, 'You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law;'Where do we draw the line for what to practice of the Law? First you must come to realize, with the help of the Holy Spirit, that the Church threw out the Torah (Law). I would suggest you read the first five books of Moses and let the Lord lead you into His Wisdom and His Practice for your life. As you are led to keep the Sabbath holy or observe Passover, your interest and desire and knowledge will grow and you will be delighted with the gifts that God has given to you.
Is Passover done away with because Yeshua is the Passover Lamb? Or does His fulfilling of the Passover now give me more reason to honor Him at Passover as the Passover Lamb?
What part of the Law do we live? The parts that apply to us. Did you know that at any one time in Israel, half the people were not circumcised?! Yep, circumcision does not apply to women. Were they in sin? Of course not. But my point is that even Jesus did not perform all the Law (as many ignorantly say He did). For He was not the High Priest while He was on earth, and so He didn't have to sacrifice the goat on the Day of Atonement, etc. etc. etc. And once you begin to investigate what the Law is that applies to you, you'll see that it's not as formidable as the Mt. Everest that the Church builds it up to be.
Could a Gentile in the days of Cornelius sacrifice an animal because they believed in Jesus? The Gentile would be seen as a Gentile by the priests of the Temple, even though I know that they (the Gentiles who believe in the Jewish Messiah) are part of the Family of Israel. But the priests would not recognize them as such and they would be stoned. Even if they said that they had 'a Jewish heart.'
Sacrifice and the Apostle Paul
Would it be O.K. for me, a Jewish believer, to offer up sacrifice at that time, after the Resurrection? Well, if Acts 21:20-24 is at all authoritative, and the Apostle Paul someone who should know (better), we read that he was more than willing to offer up sacrifice after the Resurrection:Acts 21:20-24: 'And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, "You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law. And they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. Therefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. Take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.Thousands of Jews and they all followed the Torah of Moses and believed in Jesus. Were they all wrong? Were they destroying what Jesus had come to bring for them? Were they preaching another Gospel? Were all the Apostles destined to Hell? How does the Church reconcile this Scripture with their perverse anti-Law theology? They don't, because they can't. (Although what some arrogantly say in their pride is that the Apostles 'didn't know any better.' Can you imagine that? Thinking that they know more than the Apostles and the Holy Spirit who inspired the New Testament? If it was wrong, shouldn't the Holy Spirit, when it was written, have told us so? These are the Church Pharisees.)
Please look at what the Scriptures declare to you. No where does it say that the Jews were wrong for being zealous for the Law, or that Paul was wrong for taking the Vow that entailed sacrifice. How can this be? Are there two Gospels? One for the Jew and one for the Gentile? The Jew keeps the Law but the Gentile doesn't have to?, unless he wants to maybe? So much for one Flock:John 10:16: 'I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.'Can there be two different laws for that one Flock? Is that the way that God operates? The God who says that when a man marries a woman, that the two are now one? Can you imagine if the woman is a Gentile and the man is a Jew? The Jew assembles on the Sabbath but the woman on Sunday? The Jew keeps Passover and the woman Easter? Or do they just do both now? Assemble on Sabbath and Sunday. Do Passover and Easter. It's theoretically possible, but is that what the One True God desires for His People? Where is His Truth in this?
What those believing Jews in Acts 21 had been told about Paul was a lie (Paul was being slandered), and they wanted to right it. But notice the slander. Paul was allegedly telling the Jews outside Israel not to circumcise their sons, and to forsake Moses. Most in Christianity today would say, 'Amen' to that. But all those thousands of believing Jews, two half brothers of Jesus (Jacob, 'James' and Judah, 'Jude'), with all the Apostles, Peter, John, etc., were concerned that something needed to be done to show the Body that these charges were not true. The Law of Moses was still seen as valid by all the Apostles and Paul.
James said to Paul that he had, 'four men under a vow (Acts 21:23). This is the Vow of the Nazarite (Numbers 6:1-21). This very strict Vow was designed by Yahveh to allow the person to walk in a similar holiness as the High Priest of Israel, for a specified time; to be holy unto his God. How do we know that it was the Nazarite Vow? Because of the 'shaving of the head' (verse 24). Only the Nazarite Vow called for the shaving of the head:'The Nazarite shall then shave his dedicated head of hair at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting, and take the dedicated hair of his head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings.' (Numbers 6:18)Now here's what the Apostle Paul, whose doctrine the Church upholds as the one who teaches against the Law, was going along with: he was now placing himself under the Nazarite Vow, something that was definitely 'in the Law.' And this is many years after the Law was supposedly done away with by Jesus dying on the tree 19. Paul, of all people, should never have consented to the Nazarite Vow but should have stood up to James and told him the Law was not for Christians, if that indeed was the case. He did it to Peter years earlier (Galatians 2:11ff), why not to James? Was Paul afraid of James? Could it be that Paul didn't think it was wrong for him to still keep the Law? Paul willingly goes along with the suggestion of James that is designed to show all the believers in Jerusalem, that Paul was 'still keeping the Law' (Acts 21:24).
Each of those four men, at the end of their period of vowing, would have to present at least three animals for sacrifice, upon the Altar at the Temple in Jerusalem, and Paul was willing to pay for it.Num. 6:14: 'He shall present his offering to Yahveh, one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering, and one ram without defect for a peace offering,'Of course, Paul was the fifth Jew under the Nazarite Vow. Acts 21:26 20, has the Greek word pros-tho-ra ('offering,' KJV; 'sacrifice,' NASB), which means, 'a sacrifice, a victim offered' with specific reference to verse 26 21. This confirms that it is a sacrifice that Paul was willing to participate in. What is Paul doing if the sacrifices are done away with, with the One Time Sacrifice of Jesus? Why doesn't he just straighten Yakov (James) out by telling him that Yeshua's Sacrifice did away with the need for Paul to sacrifice?, and that he was 'no longer under the Law'? But Paul doesn't say a word. He accepts what James says and begins to walk in it. Sacrifice is still valid for the Apostle Paul many years after the Resurrection. He intentionally places himself under the Nazarite Vow to confirm to all the Jews who believed in Jesus, that he was still walking in the Commandments of Yahveh, the Torah (the Law).Acts 21:24: 'take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads. And all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.'If the Nazarite Vow is in effect, and it seems to be, it means that Paul was willing to pay for the sacrifices of three animals for himself and 12 animals for the other four men. That's 15 animals that Paul was willing to pay for, to be sacrificed for him and the four other Jewish men that were under the Vow. And they all believed in Jesus. And it was for all to know that Paul still kept the Law.
Some like to point out that Paul didn't know any better and that God didn't allow him to sin (by offering the sacrifices), by having the crowd rise up against him before he would have had to sacrifice. In other words, Paul was stopped 'from sinning' even though he didn't realize it was sin. This is a very interesting position but it doesn't have any biblical reality in back of it. The Scriptures never once denounce Paul for wanting to sacrifice or for entering into the Nazarite Vow, and Paul never says that he was wrong for thinking that he could. Those that declare that Paul was wrong for taking the Vow of the Nazarite, and wanting to complete it with sacrifice, have no Scripture to support their position. That the Law and sacrifice are 'done away with because of the Sacrifice of Jesus' is a theology from Babylon.
'...but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.' Keeping the Law? Is that really there? Did Paul keep the Law after the Resurrection? The taking of the Nazarite Vow is part of the Law. It's part of the Law that the Church says is done away with. And the most interesting thing about it, is that Paul was taking the Vow, in order to silence those accusers that said that he wasn't keeping the Law anymore! Is anyone in the Church listening to what the Spirit is saying?
I hope that this has been enough to cause you to begin to wonder if the Law of Moses is for you today. I know that it takes time and the Holy Spirit to confirm something like this. I hope that you can see the biblical reality of the things that I have presented, and that you will think and pray upon these matters. The Lord Yeshua will lead you into the Glory of His Torah, one small step at a time. He knows when you are ready for it and how much you are ready for. He will deal with your fears and concerns. After all, He is the Author and the Finisher of our Faith...in Him (Hebrews 12:2) 22.
- Leviticus 23:3: 'For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work. It is a Sabbath to Yahveh in all your dwellings.' The Name Yahveh is used in the Hebrew about 7,000 times in the Bible. It is generally written as 'the LORD' which is a Jewish tradition that the Church followed.
- What was placed on the cross was our sinful selves; our carnal, Adamic natures, not the Holy Law.
- The Reverend Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, 2nd American edition. (Neptune, New Jersey, U.S.A: Loizeaux Brothers, 1959; originally written in 1862, it is a classic), p. 91-103.
- In a short time, that office of Bishop of Rome would have another title, that of Pope. Pope is just an anglicized word for Papa (the Latin-Italian Popa or Father).
- Exodus 12:6: 'You must keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the Congregation of Israel is to slaughter it at twilight.'
- The Passover is always the same day in the Hebrew calendar, but in the Gregorian calendar, it will be at different times in April, sometimes falling as late as May 1st.
- Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, From Sabbath To Sunday (Rome, Italy: The Pontifical Gregorian University Press, 1977), pp. 198-199. Much of what is contained within the last three paragraphs comes from those pages. This book may be bought directly from the author for $15 (mailing expenses included), at 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA or from www.andrews.edu/~samuele
- Matthew 5:22: 'But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the Supreme Court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery Hell.'
- Rabbi Nosson Scherman and Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, general editors, The Artscroll Siddur (Brooklyn, N.Y: Mesorah Publications, Ltd., January, 1987), p. 224. The blessing that the Pharisees would have said while washing their hands is known as nih-tee-lot yah-die-eem, literally, the 'lifting of the hands.' It is still practiced today in Orthodox Judaism. If a Jew doesn't say this blessing, then according to the Rabbis, they are seen as eating food that is 'unclean.'
- Justin Martyr: Dialogue 16, 1; etc., from Samuele Bacchiocchi's book: From Sabbath To Sunday, page 28, footnote 35.
- Mark 16:9 is the only place that states that Yeshua rose on Sunday. The problem with this is that every commentary speaks of the passage as a later addition, not in the original manuscript that Mark wrote, or in the earliest manuscripts of Mark that we have. In other words, Mark didnít write it (Mark 16:9-20). Someone might consider that because itís in their Bible, that that is enough for them to believe that Jesus rose on Sunday, but there is no Sunday theologian who will validate that Scripture as a reason for a Sunday resurrection or observance. Not one. Theologians usually base their understanding of Jesus resurrecting on Sunday on His Sunday appearance to Mary, but, obviously, Mary didnít see Him resurrect, as is evident from all the Gospels. When she (and the other women) got to the Tomb on Sunday morning it was empty. He had already resurrected. The angels say that He is risen, but never give the day nor the time of the resurrection.
Charles F. Pfeiffer, Old Testament, Everett F. Harrison, New Testament, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1977), p. 1025. ĎTextual note, 16:9-20. In the two most trustworthy manuscripts of the Greek NT (the Vaticanus and Siniaticus) the Gospel ends with 16:8, as it does also in several early versions. Both Eusebius and Jerome state that the ending was missing from most of the manuscripts of their day. In addition, several texts and versions offer a shorter substitute in the place of 16:9-20. By far the greater number of manuscripts have the longer conclusion, but many are of a late date and an inferior quality. by the recognized standards of textual evaluation, both the longer and shorter endings must be rejected, and this is the judgement of almost all textual scholars. Lenski is one of the few commentators who argue for the longer ending (Interpret. of Mark, pp. 750-755). In addition, an examination of verses 9-20 cannot fail to impress the careful student with the fact that these verses differ markedly in style from the rest of the Gospel. Perhaps the most acceptable explanation is that the end of the original Gospel may have been torn off and lost before additional copies could be made. Perhaps others attempted to supply a substitute ending, the most successful of which was that which now appears in 16:9-20.
To understand why Yeshua was first seen on that Sunday, please see First Sheaf at www.seedofabraham.net. See also Mark 16:9 and the Resurrection at http://seedofabraham.net/mark169Res.html.
- The word that is used in the quote, augmentation, means, to grow or to increase. This makes no sense. I think augmentation is a typo in Torah Rediscovered and so I changed it to argumentation which better fits the context.
- Ariel & D'vorah Berkowitz, Torah Rediscovered (Lakewood, CO, USA: First Fruits of Zion, 1996), p. 14. The quote actually coming from David Bivin and Roy Blizzard's book, Understanding The Difficult Words of Jesus (Austin: Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, 1984), p. 154. Ariel and D'vorah go on to say that, 'When a proper interpretation of a passage was given, the rabbis said that it was 'fulfilled,' or interpreted properly. Conversely, when an erroneous interpretation was given, it was said that a teacher 'abolished' or misinterpreted the passage.
- Deuteronomy 8:3 is where we first find this statement and Yeshua uses it against Satan in His Temptation (Matthew 4:4).
- Biblical fornication is actually prostitution and predominantly is used of cult prostitution. For a greater understanding of this, please see my book, The Lifting of the Veil: Acts 15:20-21.
- Please see my book, The Lifting of the Veil: Acts 15:20-21, which deals with what the Council of Jerusalem was meaning when it gave the four Commandments to the Gentile believers.
- Deut. 4:5-8: 'See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as Yahveh my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the Land where you are entering to possess it. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is Yahveh our God whenever we call on Him? Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole Law which I am setting before you today?'
- Please realize that the Two Greatest Commandments are not even listed in the Ten (Deut. 6:4-5 and Lev. 19:18). All of the Ten though, fall, or have their roots, within one of the Two Great Commandments, as do all of the rest of God's Commandments, Statutes, Decrees, Ordinances and Judgments (Deut. 10:12-13; 4:1-2; 5-8, 10, etc.). His Commandments came to Israel as both an expression of His Love for Israel, and His desire to see Israel walk in His Wisdom. That still applies to Israel today, both Jew and Gentile, who love Messiah Yeshua.
- Some theologians skirt over this event by saying that the new religion (Christianity), was in 'transition.' This is very self serving, designed to keep them and others thinking that Paul would 'come to his senses' later on about the Law being done away with. Unfortunately, there is nothing in Scripture that either Paul or Luke (who writes Acts), says in relation to the Vow being wrong for Paul to have taken, at any later date. These 'transition theologians' are making up their own understanding, projecting back into Acts, what they want to see there. There are others who would try to get around this event that speaks of the Law as valid for believers, by saying that, 'Paul was just being a Jew to the Jews...' If this were the case, they take Paul's words and make Paul out to be someone who goes against his deepest convictions, and sins by doing something that he thinks 'is done away with.' Being a Jew to the Jews and a Gentile to the Gentiles, that he might win some (1st Corinthians 9:19-23), did not mean that Paul would sin in doing so. It meant that he would speak and act toward each group taking into account, their different perspectives on life. One knew the Law and the other didn't. To the one that knew the Law, he would speak of not being able to keep it for Salvation. To the other group, he would speak in terms of coming to the One True God through the Sacrifice of His Son for Eternal Life.
- King James Version: Acts 21:26: 'Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the Temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.' The New American Standard Bible makes it plainer that the 'offering' was a sacrifice: Acts 21:26: 'Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the Temple, giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.'
- Wesley J. Perschbacher, editor, The New Analytical Greek Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publications, 1990), p. 356.
- There is much here in this article that I have not explained, in relation to many questions that you might have concerning the Law of Moses and many other Scriptures that seem to indicate that the Law has been done away with. This article began as a response to an email inquiry from someone in Zimbabwe. Approaching the Law from another angle is my book, The Lifting of the Veil: Acts 15:20-21. You can read a couple of chapters from it, and purchase it at http://www.seedofabraham.net/LiftingTheVeil.html.
Email Avram — email@example.com