Guys, we live an a pretty lawless world. A world that says what is good and righteous is evil, and that what is evil is now called good - It's all good, everything's relative right?
"Choose this day whom you will serve - As for me and my house, we will choose to serve the Lord" ~ Joshua 24:15
It has come to pass, where people who keep the Law [God's Laws] come under scrutiny for what we believe. Even by our brothers and sisters in Christ. They tell us that, if we keep the Laws [which means to learn, observe and to obey them] that God gave to Moses, we're wrong because those Laws cannot save us.
That is entirely true - Saying that if you obey them, somehow leads to salvation is completely untrue and unbiblical! You must understand that obeying those Laws cannot and will not save you! However, saying that the letter [The Law that God gave Moses] wasn't given to us, or that it no longer applies to us is entirely False.
Most Christians will say "Jesus said that the law was finished when he went on the cross". That "we are under a new covenent" and "God gave those Laws to the Jews, not us". More specifically, how God gave those laws to a certain people, at a specific place and point in time. That the Bible says we no longer need to obey "The Law".
Most of our brothers and sisters in Christ, will cite scriptures such Jeremiah 31:31-34 or, The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. Most however, will cite Paul who is attributed to writing 13 out of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament. Here are a few of the most popular pasages of scripture that supports this way of thinking:
“The day is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the LORD. “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the LORD. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the LORD. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” ~ New Living Translation
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." ~ New International Version
"Do you not know, brothers and sisters - for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man. So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh, a the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." ~ New International Version
I understand that there is a lot of scripture in support of thinking that we are no longer under "the Law", "the letter" or "the old ways". It is all over the Bible both in the Old and New Testament. We already know this, in light of the previous passages of scripture.
Where did our understanding of this come from? Where did we learn to think this way?
Personally, the first time I heard the gospel of Paul was at church. Someone who I trusted [the pastor], was teaching that we are only saved by grace through faith [in Jesus], not by works or through The Law and that Jesus did away with the Law.
I figured that since he [and everybody else] obviously knew more than I did, that it must be true. I simply took it at face value and believed it. The more I went to church, the more I heard and read the gospels about being saved by grace, the more I was convinced, that this interpretation of the gospel had to be true.
A couple of quick Questions:
How can we then [as followers of Christ Messiah] reconcile the arguement for not having to keep God's Laws?More teachings from New 2 Torah
Something I'd like to point out in a couple of passages of scripture here, is about us being a member of his family - Ephesians 3:6, scripture says:
"to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel" ~ New American Study Bible
and in Galatians 3:29
"And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise." ~ English Standard Version
Building off that point, here's some food for thought; If you smash those 2 pieces of scripture together you get:
"to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise." ~ Just an Observation
God has and always will love all those who choose to Love, Listen and Obey Him. Even in the Old Testament, as we can see in Deuteronomy 31:12 everyone is called "the people of Israel":
"Assemble the people--men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns--so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law." ~ New International Version
And in Isaiah 56:3, scripture says:
"Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, The LORD will surely separate me from his people; and let not the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.” ~ English Standard Version
So with that in mind, do you think that maybe those precepts could help us to see how we as followers of Christ have been grafted into the nation of Israel? If so, and we are heirs - are we not expected to also submit ourselves to the Laws that God gave to his people?More teachings from 119 Ministries
The Paul You Never knew
We know from the epistle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he said that they [really all belivers] should always test everything - 1 Thessalonians 5:21
"test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good." ~ New Living Translation
Clearly, Paul is paraphrasing a passage of scripture from Deuteronomy 13:14
"then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly." ~ New American Standard Bible
Now, I submit to you the following pasages of scripture testifying that Paul not only kept the Law, but that he also taught others to keep the Law too. These accounts of Paul [The Acts of the Apostles - Chapters 21-28] are after he arrives in Judea, some time around 57 AD and went through this trial until around 59 to 60 AD.
Keep in mind, he was approached by Jesus on the road to Damascus sometime around 37 AD. Also bear in mind, that Paul [we find in scripture] is saying that he still kept the Laws somewhere between 26 - 30 years after Jesus's death and resurrection. That means, he still kept the law for 26+ years after he met Jesus!
Even the elders of the church [who were not Judaizers - Ref Acts 15:6-23] defended Paul saying that they knew he kept the Law. That he was not preaching against it or that he ever said that it no longer was to be observed and obeyed by those who believe in Christ Jesus.
There were 2 men [under the Nazzerine oath - Ref Numbers 6:1-21] who kept and obeyed God's Laws, who were to go with Paul to fulfil the oath. Based on that fact, we can verily assume that Paul also kept the Law. Something also to note, that Paul Himself may have a Nazirite (due to the stipulations of the Nazzerine oath) because, Paul shouldn't/wouldn't have sponsored them if they were keeping to the observances of that Law.
In Acts 21:24
"take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law." ~ English Standard Version
Paul confesses his case to some really important people at Caesarea - that he still kept God's laws in Acts 24:14
"But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets;" ~ New American Standard Bible
Paul says in self defense, that he kept the Law in Acts 25:8:
"Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.”" ~ English Standard Version
Scripture says that Paul used the Law of Moses and the books of the prophets to show who Jesus was to the Romans in Acts 28:23:
"So a time was set, and on that day a large number of people came to Paul's lodging. He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening." ~ New Living Translation
If you believe that all scripture from the Bible is true, I ask how can we reconcile what we've been taught to believe about the Law after reading this? Was Paul not defending his stance on the Law [being for it]? Did Paul, [and others] not claim that he actually kept the Law and taught others to do the same? What do you have to loose if you make the choice to keep God's Commandments like Paul did?
I want to leave you with two major points of reconciliation from scripture now, carring over the fact that we can clearly see [in all translations of scripture], that Paul is defending himself in that he kept the Law [from scripture in Acts 21-28]. The first major point of reconciliation from 2 Peter 3:16 where it says:
"He writes this way in all his letters, speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction." ~ Barean Study Bible
Here's another major point of reconciliation being from Hosea 4:6 that reads:
"my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the Law of your God, I also will ignore your children." ~ New International Version
The Truth of The Matter
Are we saved in Christ or, saved in Paul? If in Christ, why would anyone who IS in Christ say, "because Paul said... [something from Romans, Galations, Corinthians, etc.]". When what they should be saying instead is, "because Jesus said...[take your pick]". Yeshua did not obey the Laws that God gave us, in order to end those Laws. That would be considered "lawlessness".
"The people were surprised when they heard him. "How does he know so much when he hasn't been trained?" they asked. So Jesus told them, "My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me."" ~ New Living Translation
Jesus is literally saying that he's exemplifying God's (not his own) commandments, the same ones (in your Bible) that were originally given to Moses by God for all his people [which includes us - Ref Deuteronomy 31:12]. He says this again, later on in the same Epistle (which he always seems to do) just to further illustrate his point.
"For I did not speak from Myself, but the Father Himself, having sent Me, gave Me a commandment, what I should say and what I should speak." ~ Berean Literal Bible
Unfortunately, what's being taught today in most churches has been established by years of tradition and man's misinterpreted preaching. Which in turn, is misrepresenting our Messiah's church.
There's absolutely nowhere in scripture that says (and I quote), "Jesus ended the Laws that God gave to Moses, through his work on the cross" - Unless you twist what Paul is saying and consider what's twisted to be held in higher regard than God's own words (or what Paul is actually trying to say, for that matter). Jesus makes sure to preface this concept (in Matthew 5) then then follows up with a warning for those who choose to see God's Laws in a way that Paul is (obviously not) preaching.
"Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. " ~ New Living Translation
"Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." ~ New International Version
I didn't go to bible college or seminary but, I read and understand english well enough to understand what those words mean. Let's hyper focus on the preface, "did not come to abolish" and the word "Therefore" [...words mean things].
He's not speaking in the way of parables or in a prophetic way - Clearly, "did not come to abolish" prefaces that he did not come end the Laws that God gave to Moses and neither did His work on the Cross - It wasn't for that, despite what is being taught by most in popularity. Typically, when someone uses the word "therefore", it is used in drawing a conclusion. In that passage of scripture, it is to draw the resulting consequenses for those who hold to (and for those who do the opposite of) keeping God's Laws and for those who teach others to do so.
Lastly, there's always an arguement about circumcision... God's covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12-25) took place before Abraham was circumcised himself. We can clearly see [in scripture] that God still blessed him and kept His promise (covenant) to Abraham and his descendants. God's initial agreement with Abraham was made prior to circumcision because Abraham obeyed God.
However, I still get objections to the Law [in reference to this] all the time from those [mostly the guys] who either do not understand or simply won't accept that the Law still applies because of this 1 issue they're obviously misunderstanding. So in the words of Paul (from Galations 3), it's easy to see how God honors those who obey him.
"In the same way, Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith. The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God." ~ New Living Translation
Reality is, there is a right way and a wrong way to interpret scripture. It is extremely damaging to God's people (for those who teach) to force scripture to say and mean what THEY WANT, instead of what it ACTUALLY says and means. You must have THE WHOLE PICTURE in order to do that! Those who teach and preach the Bible from half-way through (only studying and teaching from the "New Testament") cannot expect to fully appreciate or understand what scripture is conveying, because those who do, only have HALF OF THE PICTURE.
I wanted to end this post with one more passage of scripture, in hopes that it's something you would genuinely consider (or at least would ask the Holy Spirit and pray about). Again, it's another warning from Yeshua about those who choose to keep and observe the doctrine of men instead of choosing to obey the commandments that God gave us.
And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. "For Moses said, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER; and, 'HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH'; but you say, 'If a man says to [his] father or [his] mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, a sacrifice or offering given to God among the ancient Hebrews),' you no longer permit him to do anything for [his] father or [his] mother; [thus] invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that." ~ New American Standard Bible
In this passage, Yeshua is dealing with the issues (although in this passage He's speaking to the Pharisees specifically, His words are still very applicable to the topic), in what Men teach and the Laws that God gave to us to obey.
All arguements aside, I preach and believe in Christ. These are not just my own thoughts and precepts. Everything I've said here is based on scripture from the Bible. I know that the content in this post is really outspoken, but ultimately support of all the concepts herein can be found everywhere throughout scripture.
Wherein God, is dealing with men, morality and his desire for us to come before him in a covenant releationship. I hope this study has blessed you. Always continue to test everything.