Hamas’ Goal and Yehovah’s Response

15 Nov

Elisha Vision - Commentary

During the summer Gaza conflict, I wrote about the goal of Hamas. Today I am re-posting that blog. But this text from Zechariah tells Yehovah God’s response to those who would destroy Israel.

This message concerning the fate of Israel came from Yehovah: “This message is from Yehovah, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves. On that day,” says Yehovah, “I will cause every horse to panic and every rider to lose his nerve. I will watch over the people of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of…

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Ephesians 2 Part 1

7 Nov

To understand the verses in question we have to, like any other passage of scripture, understand its context.  So I will not share on just the verses in question but I will talk about the verses before and after, so that we can understand this very important concept of the “One New Man”.  This passage of scripture has been very influential in my walk in the discovery of the truth of the Good News, of the truth of how the Old Testament is supposed to be a part of our lives. This study is obviously not exhaustive with regards to returning to the Torah (Law, Prophets and Writings).  For it to be exhaustive we really have to go through the whole New Testament, which I want to do at some point.  But this study has been foundational for me, so this is where I have decided to start.

For the purpose of clarity, I will no longer use the Terms Old Testament / Covenant or New Testament / Covenant.  I will use the word Tanak or Torah for the “Old Testament / Covenant” and Brit Chadasha for the “New Testament / Covenant”.  The reason for this is because, I believe, these terms ‘OT’ and ‘NT’ perpetuate an incorrect and unbiblical view of the two parts of the Bible.  I believe they should in fact be considered one part.  The term ‘Old Testament’ gives the idea that the Tanak has passed away and is no longer for us as that is Jewish and not part of the “New Testament’.  I believe we will clearly see by the end of this study, that the Tanak is as relevant to us today as it was over 2000 years ago before Yeshua died and rose again.  I would like to add that the Hebrew word Torah has been translated as law, but it means far more than that.  It has a very basic meaning of instruction, the direction we are to go in life.  This is the essence of the Law, the Torah.  They are the Father’s instructions on how we are to live in relation to Him and to each other.  The Instructions of God (Torah) are there to give us boundaries to protect us and to allow us to live in the blessing of His provision.  When we live outside of His boundaries, His instructions, we live outside of His blessing and His protection.  In Hebrew the word Torah is a good word, full of life and blessing and protection, The Father loves us and wants the best for us so He has given us instructions on how to live.

Before I start this study, it is important to lay some understanding of how responsible bible study should be conducted and how teachings should be responsibly taught.  The main method of Christianity (a method I used and was taught by my pastors) is to take a verse or a few verses, for example Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Yeshua who strengthens me”. We do a whole study on this verse and we come to the conclusion that, no matter what I need to do, or want to do in life, Yeshua is there to give me strength.  If that is the way you have understood this verse and how you have confessed this verse, then I am sorry to say, but your conclusion is incorrect.  Why?  Very simply, because, the context has not been taken into consideration.  The context gives us the real meaning of the verse.  As soon as we take one or two or even a few verses out of its context, that is out of its historical, cultural and most importantly textual context, then we are doomed to come to the wrong understanding of those verses.  Taking verses out of its textual context and coming to a personal interpretation of that verse or verses is called “proof texting” and is not a responsible or even a logical way of bible study as you will never come to the truth.  The point of all bible study is to find the truth.

So to see what Paul is really saying in Phillipians 4:13 we have to back up a few verses to see the context of what he is saying.  If you do this then you will see, that what Paul is really saying is this: that whether I have a lot, or whether I have little, whether I have an abundance or whether I am a pauper I am content because “…I can do all things through Yeshua who strengthens me…”  so Yeshua enables me to be content with what I have and in whatever ‘monetary’ state I find myself in.  Reading more into the text and saying He enables me to do anything that comes my way, would be wrong because that is not what this text is specifically saying.

That being said let us now begin our study.  It is always important to find out the context of the books that Paul was writing.  The reason for the letters and to whom was he writing.  In the case of the epistle to the Ephesians, there is no specific error that Paul is trying to correct.  He is writing about Yehovah’s glorious plan to bring all under the headship of Yeshua.  The Ephesian “church” were made up primarily of Gentile believers, though there probably were Jewish believers too.  It seems that Paul wrote this letter while he was imprisoned in Rome in about AD 60.  Now that we have some important contextual information, specifically that he was writing to primarily Gentile believers we can begin looking at the scriptures.  We are going to start this study at the beginning of Paul’s thought, so we can understand the verses in question.  By doing this we are going to find out whether or not the law has been abolished.  Paul’s thought on this subject begins at Ephesians 2:1.  So that is where we are going to start.

Eph 2:1  And you were dead in trespasses and sins,  2  in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, 3  among whom also we all once lived in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, as also the rest.

Right from the beginning of this chapter we need to take note of 3 very important words that need to be followed very carefully in this chapter.  They are “you, we and us”.  The reason these words are so important is because they show us who Paul is talking about when he makes certain statements.  You will see the reason why it is important to follow these words shortly.

Paul starts with a statement “And YOU were dead in trespasses and sins,….”.  I would like to suggest to you that Paul is specifically talking to the Gentiles here, when he says ‘you’.  He begins by showing us the starting point of “you”, that is the Gentiles.  “You” gentiles were dead in trespasses and sins, you (us Gentiles) walked according to this world and according to the demonic spirits of this world.  That was our starting point.  In verse 3 he changes who he is talking about.  Paul says, “among whom also WE all once lived….”  I would like to suggest to you that  when he says ‘we’ in this verse, he is talking about the Jewish people.  I say this because in using ‘you’ he made a distinction between himself and the Gentiles, but when he used the word ‘we’ he included himself into the next statement.  Who was Paul?  Paul was a Hebrew, of the people of Yisra’el, from the tribe of Benjamin.  He was a Jew.  So Paul says, YOU Gentiles were dead in trespasses and sins and walked according to the demonic forces in the world.  He then does something very important, he says but WE, the Jews, ALSO walked among the demonic forces of this world living EXACTLY like you Gentiles, in the lusts of the flesh.  Paul quite clearly puts both Jew and Gentile on equal ground, equal starting points.  Dead in sin.  Children of wrath.  Living in the lusts of our flesh.  On this point both Jew and Gentile are the same, there is no difference.  We are both dead spiritually, doomed to experience the wrath of Almighty Elohim.

I am going to end this study here before Paul starts his next sentence.  That is when it begins to get really interesting.  We will pick up from here next time.

A response to Neil

6 Oct

Hi Neil,

It has been a number of months since you posted your comment on my blog.  I have to apologise for the really slow response.  Between leaving South Africa, moving to the UK, finding a job and getting settled in, I have not had the motivation to respond to anything on my blog or to do any posts.

Again I would like to thank you for your response.  (I apologise, I seem to have deleted your original response).  As usual, I have put your response in bold with my response underneath.

To me, your ideas all seem quite far-fetched! 

At least you are honest.

Galations 3 says that the law was brought in to lead us to Christ, because of the transgression, and now that faith has come we are no longer under the supervision of the law. So why try to be under its superviision if we’re not meant to be? That is not referring to the law of sin and death, it’s referring to the nomos, Earlier, it says that if we live under the law we arfe underf a curse! So I think that’s pretty final.

It is very hard to respond to statements like this, and I will tell you why.  You have taken a couple of verses in Galatians 3 and declared its meaning without, apparently, looking at the context.  I would humbly like to ask you a question.  Have you studied Galatians, verse by verse, yourself?  Or are you quoting your understanding of it based on what you read at a glance, and based on what you have been taught?  This is a very important question because from your statements I am convinced that you have not personally studied this out, but have relied on “evangelical doctrine” to determine how you read scripture.

The best way for me to answer you, would be to go through Galatians verse by verse so that you can actually see what it says without trying to impose your beliefs onto the text.  If you do that, and follow the thought process and the context in which Paul is writing, then it is quite plain to see that the whole issue that he is debating throughout Galatians is Man Made Law, ie Talmud, versus the written law of Yehovah.  My question to you is this, are you interested enough in truth to be willing to go through Galatians with me verse by verse? So that you can begin  to see if maybe what I am saying is true; or will you stubbornly stick to “evangelical doctrine”, which by the way is an interpretation of scripture and not a very accurate interpretation at that.  I humbly suggest that you stop allowing men to interpret scripture for you and begin to “correctly handle the word of truth” for yourself so that you can know what is “good and evil”, right and wrong.

Galatians cannot be interpreted with a western mind set as it was written by a Jew, who had an eastern mind set, which is completely different to western thinking.  Galatians cannot be interpreted from a Greek Christian culture as this was written by a Jew, who had a Hebraic, Jewish culture and understanding.

So if you are willing to spend the time and the effort to go through the scriptures with me, then yes I will gladly respond to these statements and any other questions and help you see for yourself the context and the message that is being taught.

I would humbly ask you to consider something, that maybe you have not considered before.  I ask you to think this through and see the ramifications of what I am about to say.  In Acts it speaks of “the most noble Bereans”.  Why does it speak of them in this way?  Because it says that they searched the scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true, right?  Right. That means they searched the ‘Old Testament’ scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true.  Remember that the so called ‘New Testament’ had not been compiled at that time.  That means that these questions of ‘no longer being under the Torah of Yehovah’ and not ‘being under a trainer’ anymore should FIRST and FOREMOST be found in the ‘Old Testament’.  Ever seen any proof of this in the OT?  Ever had anyone show you this from the OT?  Why is it that all these pin headed theologians that we so ‘highly’ regard can only ‘prove’ the doing away of the Torah, from the New Testament? And why can’t they even teach it out of the OT, as Paul did?  I would like to humbly suggest that the reason is, because they can’t, because it is nowhere to be found in the OT.  That would say to me, that just maybe we have been duped into believing something that is not entirely true.

Here is another question for you.  Have you ever taken Galatians 3 and looked at the OT references that Paul uses, to see what they actually say? I suggest you do, especially Devarim (Deuteronomy) chapter 27, the whole chapter.  I say the whole chapter, because you have to actually see what Mosheh was saying.  One needs to understand the context from which Paul was quoting.  You may just be surprised that the OT is saying something very different to what PEOPLE say that Paul is saying.  Just remember, there are supposed to be no contradictions in scripture.  But if you take the “evangelical doctrinal” understanding of Galatians, and what Paul is actually quoting, you will see they are as far apart as the east is from the west.

That is not referring to the law of sin and death, it’s referring to the nomos, Earlier, it says that if we live under the law we arfe underf a curse! So I think that’s pretty final.

I would like you to please go and reread my explanation of NOMOS (or even do your own research) because it is quite clear you do not understand the word and its use in the ‘NT’ and in the Greek language.  There is only one word in the Greek language for law and that word is NOMOS.  This word is used interchangeably for ANY LAW, whether God’s or men or traditional or governmental.  So yes NOMOS does actually also represent the NOMOS of sin and death.  It is the CONTEXT that determines what LAW NOMOS is referring to.

The way I see it – the more we are led by the Spirit, the less we are under the law.

I actually agree with this statement because Galatians says “Walk in the Spirit , and you shall not accomplish the LUST OF THE FLESH” and later it says “For if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”, which in context is speaking of the law of sin and death AKA the LUST OF THE FLESH and is NOT referring to the Torah of Yehovah.

In Romans somewhere, Paul says the law is spiritual, so I think the Spirit of the law IS the Spirit – so I don’t think a Christian can just say, Oh I’m a Christian so I can abandon the law – it is a matter of being so in love with Jesus that everything the law attempted to produce in you is fulfilled by the Spirit, so that it is the Spirit that replaces the letter of the law.

So the Spirit then REPLACES the letter of the law? That means the Spirit is then doing the exact opposite of what Yeshua said, when he said, “Do not think that I came to DESTROY (replace???) the Torah OR the Prophets.  I DID NOT COME TO DESTROY (replace???) but to make full. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done”  I am not sure, but have I missed something?  Because as far as I am aware the heavens and the earth are still here, which means so is the Torah and everything in it.

I agree that we are supposed to live in the Spirit of Torah.  That is exactly what Yeshua taught when he said that lusting in your heart (the spirit of the Torah), was as bad as the act of physical adultery (the letter of the Torah).  Also when He said that hatred in the heart (the spirit of the Torah), was as bad as the physical act of murder (the letter of the Torah).  So if walking by the Spirit means I am no longer under the letter of the Torah, then I can’t lust BUT I can commit adultery??? No of course not, and that is absurd to you too.  The fact of the matter is this, living by the Spirit is supposed to cause me to obey the letter too. That means if I am not obeying the letter I am not living by the Spirit!! And conversely, if I am living by the Spirit I will be living by the letter also.  The one confirms and upholds the other.

So yes, I think the law actually was a temporary measure, in line with classic evangelical doctrine. The revealed will of God, or Law of God, in Jesus, is a higher law, for whereas the law said do not murder, Jesus says do not even think a hateful thought! But grace is given to enable us to be free from hate, and everything else that is wrong.

I think I have made my point on this.  It is ludicrous to say that one over rides the other.  If I obey the Spirit I will automatically keep the letter.

I think it’s interesting that Jesus didn’t criticise David’s actions when he referred to his predecessor’s eating of the bread of the presence when he was hungry – I think David knew the heart of God and so the consequences of this ‘lawless’ act were waived. I tihnk this is a good picture of how God wants us to know his heart more than live under rules and regulations.

Well that is obvious why he referred to that if you read the context.  It does not mean that the Torah is no longer valid.  It means that Yehovah is Judge, not us, and that He expects mercy from us.  Just like David should have been stoned for murder and adultery.  But he was not, because David repented and there was forgiveness by the mercy of Yehovah.  But guess what, there were still consequences. Do you remember what they were?  He lost his son and his whole house was a total mess after that one act.  Does forgiveness and mercy then mean I am free from obedience to the Torah?  So, because David was not stoned, as per the Torah, that means we can all murder and commit adultery??  That’s just silly.  Likewise if you read the context of what Yeshua was talking about, he was contending with the Rabbinical law connected to the Sabbath that was rigid and unmerciful.  So because Yeshua teaches that mercy is more important on the Sabbath than rigid rules and regulations, does that mean he did away with the Sabbath?  To come to that conclusion from those scriptures is a really far stretch.  I implore you to stop inserting your belief into your interpretation of the text and allow the text to speak for itself.

I can’t pretend I have the whole law and grace thing wrapped up – I just believe it was a shadow of what our relatioonship with God is meant to be! I can’t argue every point with chapter and verse, but I can’t find much harmony in my spirit with your ideas!

I can’t pretend that I understand everything either, but I am learning through daily personal systematic and methodical study of scripture.  I am not willing either to debate every chapter and verse to try to convince you.  I can’t convince you.  What I am trying to stir in you, is that you begin to think for yourself, and not the way pin headed theology determines.  With all respect, I am not concerned about what you can find harmony with in your spirit because the scriptures teach us to test the spirits.  What are we to test it against?  The scriptures! Not how we feel or what we sense because we could be feeling something that is a little more sinister than just our spirits.  How do you know that what you are feeling is based on scripture?  And I am not talking about some denomination’s pinheaded idea of what is scripture.  The point I am trying to stress is that we cannot determine what is right or wrong by how we feel.  Not even putting Christian terminology to how we feel can determine what is right or wrong, eg “in my spirit”.  The ONLY source of knowing what is right and wrong is the scriptures.  And the Spirit will ALWAYS confirm the scriptures.  So if we are not handling the scriptures every day, prayerfully and responsibly, how are we ever going to know what is right or wrong according to Yehovah?

Neil, Sue and I have been exactly where you are.  We had the same questions and the same concerns.  But as we have diligently sought the truth like never before, Yehovah has revealed these things to us.  Which is not to us only, as Yehovah is sovereignly revealing this all over the world.  Please remember that the scriptures were designed to be understood by the everyday man and not only by academics, who stand behind pulpits preaching their beliefs about what the scriptures are saying.  The church is lazy.  The church is irresponsible. We too were lazy and irresponsible.  The Church does not study the scriptures for herself but relies on accepted doctrine and pinheaded theologians to decide what she should and should not believe.  Mmmm maybe that is why there are more Christians in this world today than ever before and the world is more of a mess today than ever before.  Maybe what she believes is not life changing, world toppling truth, but pew warming, goosepimply religious lies that have no power.

May you live a happy and straight life.

Shalom to you

Bernard

Response to “Neil April 10, 2012 at 10:39” comment

24 Apr

Hi Neil,

Thank you for your response.  Let me try to answer you as best I can.  As before, your comments will be in bold.

I think one thing I find confusing in your teachings is when, in making a point, you try to include (and negate) all the possible arguments being raised by that very point

I am not sure I actually understand what you are trying to get at in this statement itself.  I am not trying to negate any arguments, just trying to make certain points as clear as I can.  Any disagreements, arguments or questions are always welcome.   I am sure I have not understood the statement itself.  I know that sometimes (for me at least) it is hard to explain what I am thinking or feeling about something by writing it.  Maybe it would be easier in person?

 – e.g. in all you statements about lawlessness vs torahlessness and what supposed truths are in fact not truths when you restate them subsituting torah for law. It would be cumbersome to try to quote exactly where you do this but I am sure you know which passages I’m referring to – well, maybe!

With reference to the above statement, there is a reason why I do that.  Let me try to explain.  1 John 3:4 says “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” Now I could have just left it there, but there is only one problem.  Christianity has redefined what sin is and what law is.  So because the church has a very conceptual understanding of certain things in scripture certain words mean different things to different people.  Let me give you an example.

If I had to ask you and 9 other people what is love, I would get 9 different answers, all based on each person’s belief.  You can test this out for yourself.  But the word ‘love’ does not define itself in the English language.  It is a very conceptual word.  So maybe you would say that love is being kind to people.  Being kind is another conceptual word.  Being kind has different meaning for different people.  Now Yeshua said that we need to love YHVH and love each other.  But if we all have a different understanding of love or we don’t know how to love, then how can we love YHVH or love each other.  The word is now open for interpretation and so are all passages talking about love.   I would like to suggest to you that Scripture itself defines love.  I would like to suggest to you that it is the Scriptures that Yeshua and all the Apostles taught from that define the word love.  Remember that the 2 commands that Yeshua gave us were not new commands, but they come straight out of the Tanak, word for word.  The word for love in the Hebrew text (the language that the Scriptures were originally written in) is the word ‘Ahav’.  If you go to your Strongs concordance it will say “to have affection” which really does not tell us much about what love is.  But if you go to a decent Ancient Hebrew dictionary it says something like this.

“אהב 4 / bea / A.H.B Translation: Love Definition:+To provide and protect that which is given as a privilege. An intimacy of action and emotion. Strong affection for another arising from personal ties. AHLB: 1094-C (V) Strong’s:+157”

So the concept of love is not just a fuzzy feeling.  It is action.  It is not just a concept; it is something that is practised, it is done.  It is not just a thought or feeling; it is the thing that drives our actions in our relationship toward the thing/person we love.  So the definition of the word helps us to understand how to love in a better way.  The next way to define the word is to look at how the word is used throughout scripture.  In that way you will see what actions are supposed to be present if we say we love something or someone.  I can’t do a study like that here at this moment, so I will use one very important example.

In Deuteronomy 30:15-16 it says “See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil, 16  in that I am commanding you today to love יהוה your Elohim, to walk in His ways, and to guard His commands, and His laws, and His right-rulings. And you shall live and increase, and יהוה your Elohim shall bless you in the land which you go to possess.”

As you can see, (and will see if you study this out) that loving YHVH is ALWAYS connected to walking in His ways and to guarding His commands AND His laws and His right rulings.  In the next verse He says (Deuteronomy 30:17-18)

“But if your heart turns away, and you do not obey, and shall be drawn away, and shall bow down to other mighty ones and serve them, 18  “I have declared to you today that you shall certainly perish, you shall not prolong your days in the land which you are passing over the Yardĕn to enter and possess.”

Please note that He does not mention if you stop loving Him.  Why?  Because to stop loving YHVH and to turn your heart away from Him is always NOT walking in His ways, NOT guarding His commands, NOR His laws, NOR His right rulings.

This is a concept that Yeshua taught.  Yeshua NEVER taught anything apart from the Tanak and neither did His disciples.  What did Yeshua say?  He says in John 15:9-10“As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Stay in My love. 10  “If you guard My commands, you shall stay in My love, even as I have guarded My Father’s commands and stay in His love.”

So loving is always obeying, to hate Him is to not obey His laws and His commands as we have very clearly seen.  If you search this matter out you will find that this concept is ALL over Scripture INCLUDING the ‘New Testament’.

But now why do I replace ‘lawlessness’ and ‘sin’ with ‘TORAHlessness’?  And is what I am doing wrong?  I do it, as I said before, because Christianity (NOT SCRIPTURE) has redefined what sin, law and lawlessness is.  You can do the same test as with the word ‘love’.  The words ‘sin’ and lawlessness’ and ‘law’ are conceptual and each person will understand those words differently depending on what they believe.  If I asked you, or most other people, what would they say?  Oh sin is…’smoking, drinking, murder, adultery’…and so on.  Yes those are sinful things but that does not define what sin is.  But what is sin?

The same applies for ‘law’.  What is ‘law’?  How do you understand that word?  When it comes to the scriptures most Christians will tell you that law is the things the Jews do.  But is that how scripture defines those words?  Because if you don’t know what law means scripturally then how can you know what lawlessness means.  And again, if you don’t know what sin is then how can you understand what John is saying?  Because John can’t really be saying that not keeping the Sabbath is lawlessness can he, because that’s a Jewish law that we are not under?!  Really?  Or have we just redefined the word law to suit ourselves?  So then law must be to love YHVH and love each other and nothing else because that’s the only commands that Yeshua gave us?  Never mind that He said that ALL the LAW and the PROPHETS and the WRITINGS hang on these two commands.  Meaning, if you keep all the LAW and the PROPHETS and the WRITINGS then you will be keeping those two commands and vice versa.

But let’s not leave it to a battle of words.  Let’s see how Scripture defines ‘SIN’ and ‘LAW’ so we can understand ‘LAWLESSNESS’.

The Greek word for SIN in 1 John 3:4 is ‘Hamartia’.  Strongs says that it means ‘sin’ and that it is properly abstract.  I would agree that the word ‘sin’ is abstract and conceptual.  The root word for ‘Hamartia’ is ‘Hamartano’.  Strongs says it means ‘to miss the mark, therefore to not share in the prize’.  But John was teaching from the Tanak, which was written in Hebrew.  So what does Sin mean in Hebrew?  The Hebrew word is ‘Chata’ and Strongs says it means to ‘Miss’.  The Ancient Hebrew dictionary says this “When shooting an arrow or other object to a target, the distance that one misses is measured with a cord. The wrong actions of one are also measured against the correct action.”  So in other words, sinning is missing the mark.  Both the Greek and Hebrew agree with this.

But what does law mean?  The Greek word for law is ‘Nomos’ and it means law, whether it be a custom, governmental law or YHVH’s law.  There is no distinction and is the only Greek word for law.  Again, John taught out of the Tanak, so what is the Hebrew meaning of Law?  The Hebrew word for ‘law’ as you may have guessed is ‘Torah’.  There are two meanings for the word ‘Torah’.  The first is this “As what defines, gives borders, to a people.”  The second is this” A throwing of the finger to show a direction to walk or live. The throwing of an arrow. The throwing down of water in rain.”  So as you can see, Torah gives us boundaries and a mark to hit.  So to sin is to leave the markings of the Torah and to not hit the mark of Torah.  The reason I replace SIN and LAWLESSNESS with TORAHlessness is to show in a short compact way that sin is not just lying stealing and all that, but scripturally, sin is anything that goes against YHVH’s Torah, His Law.

 So, presumably, you don’t believe we still have to sacrifice bulls or make incense out of onycha, galbanuim and francincense?

Not to make this a long answer, I believe that Yeshua was our complete and final sacrifice.  He died once for all.  As there is no temple there cannot be any sacrifices or the burning of incense, as to do these things in any other place than in the temple in Jerusalem is SIN.  Saying that I believe that many aspects of Temple worship were a picture of Yeshua.  Hebrews is very clear that Yeshua is our Temple and that He is the High priest of a new order, an everlasting one.

I’m wondering where you see the cut off point in which parts of the Torah we are not under any more.

Is there really a cut-off point?  The simplistic answer is this.  Yeshua came to be our Sacrifice and our High priest.  He did not replace Sabbath keeping with SUNday worship.  He did not replace HIS feasts with Christmas and Easter.  He did not make abominable things no longer abominable, in other words he did not say that we can now eat any kind of unclean animal.  These are the 3 areas that people resist the most. Could that be the reason why there are as many sick ‘believers’ as ‘unbelievers’?  The very basic facts are these.  We are not free from law.  Not the government’s laws, not the laws in your own house, not international laws and most certainly not YHVH’s laws.  Every aspect of our lives is governed by one rule or another.  Even in the Christian church there are rules and regulations.  All they have done is thrown away YHVH’s laws and replaced them with their own.

I trust this helps you to understand better what I have been writing.  If not, maybe we should get together?

May you live a straight and happy life.

Shalom.

Response to Neil on his ‘Free From Law or Free From Sin. Part 3’ comment.

10 Apr

Hi Neil,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer your questions.  Your words are in bold and I will answer as best I can.

I have always seen that ‘law’ has different meanings in the new testament,

This is very true, and an accurate statement.  As I have said before, the word for ‘law’ in the NT is ALWAYS ‘nomos’ as there is no other Greek word for ‘law’.  This word is used for many different contexts, including, the laws of man, the laws of YHVH and even customs that become law through use over a long period of time.

and that the Law (Plan of God for our lives) is not the same as the ‘law’ of sin and death.

This is the whole point of what I said above.  The only way that we can know which ‘nomos’ is being talked about is by the context.  Unfortunately sometimes it is a little obscure.  It is also unfortunate that the majority of translations that are available to us are translated by people that have a predisposed bias to us not being ‘under Jewish law’.  It is then this biased view, unconsciously, that is used to decide what this word is talking about.  Invariably when the average Christian and theologian reads it, the first thought is the ‘Jewish laws’.  But let me ask you a serious question and I would like you to try to put your bias aside when thinking about this (we all have a bias, so I am not being insulting).  The question is this:  Does YHVH ever change?  And if He does not change, does it make sense that He would give a law, like the Sabbath, and say it is to be observed as an everlasting sign and 2,000 years later, He decides that this law thing is not working? So He sends His son to free us from His law?  Yet Yeshua is the living word.  What word was John referring to when he wrote John 1:1?  Was he not referring to the so called ‘old testament’?  I would like to suggest to you that we have been duped into believing something that is contrary to the nature of YHVH and to the ‘mission’ and reason for Yeshua.

Yes I do agree though, that the LAW, the plan of YHVH for our lives is very different to the law of sin and death.

So what would you say is the law that we are not under any more? (there are about twelve verses that say, in one way or another, that the ‘law’ (small ‘L’) is not relevant to the Christian.

I have posted the rest of my ‘Free from Law or Free from Sin’ blog that explains this in more detail.  But I would say that the law that we are no longer under is the law of sin and death.  Unfortunately Neil, whether the word law has a small ‘l’ or a large ‘L’ is purely based on the interpretation of the translators.  There is no indication of what it should be in the Greek text apart from context.  So what the translators believed, determined how they interpreted it.  Thankfully one can see, on closer study, through context whether they have correctly interpreted that.

Maybe you could list those 12 (about) verses that say that small ‘L’ law is not relevant to the Christian.  It would be interesting have a look at.

I think the law was given to enable the israelites to see their need to go back to the roots and anchor of their faith – their being children of Abraham, to whom the promises were given, – it was never God’s intention for keeping laws to be the basis of righteuousness.

I love the way you think!  I really really do!  You are right, it was never YHVH’s intention that the keeping of the law would be the basis of righteousness.  The law could never save us, and never will as it does not deal with the sin issue, but Yeshua does, quite decisively too!

I would like to add this.  When did Yisra’el receive the Torah, the instructions of YHVH?  Was it while they were in Egypt or not?  It was while they were in the wilderness AFTER they had left Egypt.  I ask that you do not diminish the value of this picture as it is a picture that is valid today.  The Hebrew word for Egypt is ‘Mitsrayim’.  The ‘yim’ part of the word makes it plural or dual.  I would like to suggest to you that Mitsrayim is speaking of the land of Egypt but also the kingdom of darkness and of sin and bondage.  For Yisra’el to come out of darkness into the light (fire by night and cloud by day) the Passover lamb had to be slaughtered.  For us to come out of darkness into the light (Yeshua) the Passover (Yeshua) had to be slaughtered.

Once the Passover was slaughtered YHVH led Yisra’el to the desert where they could receive the Torah.  The Torah was given so that Yisra’el (and us) would know how to live in YHVH’s kingdom in relation to Him and in relation to each other.  He told them what was good to eat and what was not.  Do we honestly believe that this has changed?  He told us when we needed to rest and to worship Him.  Do we honestly think this has changed?

The Torah throughout the ‘OT’ is shown to be that which is light as opposed to darkness, straight as opposed to crookedness, good as opposed to evil, righteous (straight) as opposed to wicked.  Do we honestly believe that because Yeshua died and rose again, the Torah became something that was bad and not to be kept?

Either then or now. I guess you’re saying that too.

I guess we are very close to saying the same things.

But I’m not sure where the line is between the law that we’re not under and the law that we are under. – personally!

I guess that all depends on what law you believe we are under and what law you believe we are not under.  My purpose in my blog at the moment, is to go through the ‘NT’ and show that where we have been taught that we don’t have to keep the law of YHVH, or the Sabbath, or that we can eat any and all manner of unclean foods, that we can worship on any day we like and all that sort of thing, is wrong, and has been twisted to suit the leaders who first began to propagate such terrible lies, which have been passed down from generation to generation. (Read Jeremiah 16:19-21). Nations in the Word always refers to the goyim (Gentiles). We have inherited lies and the Father is bringing us back into line with Himself.

If we begin to realise that Yeshua came to set us free from sin and restore us to His Father’s commands then the line begins to become quite obvious.  We are free from the law of sin and death so that we are free to obey Yeshua the living Torah.

Again, I would like to thank you for you considered and thoughtful response.

Since I initially wrote this response you added this comment to another blog of mine:

“I have to confess, I find these blogs you write incredibly confusing and I just do not know what you’re on about!”

It is my goal and my purpose to make my blog as easy to follow and understand as possible because if it is confusing then there will be no understanding.  Please could you explain to me how my blog is confusing so that I can relook at it.  I am always open to constructive comments.

May you live a straight and happy life.

Shalom

Bernard (not Sue)

 

Free From Law or Free From Sin. Part 5.

1 Apr

Before I carry on with this study, I want to give a brief over view of what we have already discovered in the previous studies.

Paul shows that man can sin whether he has the Torah of YHVH or not, which I will explain in greater detail later.  He establishes that ALL men, Jew or Gentile, are all UNDER SIN.  Remember what Scriptural definition of sin?  Sin is TORAHlessness / LAWlessness.  Paul is emphatically clear that our faith does NOT nullify the Torah.  Rather our faith is supposed to establish the Torah.  This is contrary to the very basis of Christian belief.  Paul shows us that sin was in the world from Adam to Moses, so that means that there was law in the world from Adam to Moses.  He also states emphatically that we are not to break Torah (sin) as we are most certainly dead to TORAHlessness.

Let us now carry on.  Romans 6:3-4 says:

3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Messiah יהושע were immersed into His death? 4 We were therefore buried with Him through immersion into death that as Messiah was raised from the dead by the esteem of the Father, so also we should walk in newness of life.”

 So now Paul is beginning to explain how this ‘died to sin’ works.  When we were baptized we were baptized into his death.  That means that as Yeshua died and was buried so we died and were buried. And as He was raised from the dead so we can now walk in the newness of His life.

 “5  For if we have come to be grown together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also of the resurrection, 6  knowing this, that our old man was impaled with Him, so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, to serve sin no longer.”

So what according to this above verse  was the purpose of the cross?  Was it not for our old man to be crucified, which is the body of sin, and for that same body to be rendered powerless so that we no longer serve sin, TORAHlessness?  Yeshua came to deal with the sin problem and Paul has extensively shown this all the way from Chapter 1.

Let me ask you a question.  Is this chapter, so far, talking at all about the law? Or being dead to the law?  Of course not.

7 For he who has died has been made right from sin.”

I think that speaks for itself.  Through Yeshua’s death we die, and through our death we have been redeemed from sin.

8 And if we died with Messiah, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9  knowing that Messiah, having been raised from the dead, dies no more – death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives to Elohim.”

“For in that He died, He died to TORAHlessness once for all.”  Yeshua came to do away with sin, TORAHlessness, to defeat it.  So far in the first 10 verses of this chapter Paul has not been saying that Yeshua did away with the law but that He delivered us from sin.

11 So you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to Elohim in Messiah יהושע our Master. 12 therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, to obey it in its desires, 13 neither present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to Elohim as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to Elohim.”

 So we are to consider that we are dead to TORAHlessness.  What is death?  Separation from life.  So sin was in a sense a living thing in us, but now we are to consider ourselves separated from the life of TORAHlessness.  Now because we are dead to TORAHlessness we must not let sin, Torahlessness reign in our mortal bodies.  Can you see that this whole chapter is about how we have died to breaking YHVH’s laws?  But in case you don’t yet, let’s carry on.  We finally get to the verses in question, Romans 6:14.

14 For sin shall not rule over you, for you are not under the law but under favour.”

The whole chapter begins to culminate here.  Christianity would have us believe that Paul is saying “For Torahlessness shall not rule over you because you are no longer under the law given on Mount Sinai and in the Old Testament but under grace.”  That is ridiculous as He already said in verse 1… “Let it not be!” and has gone on to show how Messiah killed sin, Torahlessness in us, by being our sacrifice, not by condemning the Torah!  What Paul is saying here, judging by the context, that is everything that has preceded and what is going to come after…he is saying “For Torahlessness shall not rule over you, for you are not UNDER the LAW of SIN and DEATH, but under grace.”  I have already shown how “under sin” and “under the law” are synonymous terms.   The context does not end here, so then let’s carry on…

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under favour? Let it not be!”

So just in case there are people who now want to say, “look see, we are no longer under YHVH’s law” Paul says, “Shall we sin because we are not under law but under favour? LET IT NOT BE!”  But this is exactly what the ‘church’ teaches.  We don’t have to keep the law because we are under grace, so we can have our own feasts and festivals, rest and worship when we want and eat as much pork as we like.  But these things are against Torah, so by doing them you are being Torahless and Paul has just said that this should not be!

16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves servants for obedience, you are servants of the one whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? 17 But thanks to Elohim that you were servants of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became servants of righteousness.”

Now here is another kicker.  What is righteousness in Scripture?  If you do not know, I encourage you to find out for yourself, but I would like to submit to you that righteousness is keeping the Torah.  And that the Torah is equal to righteousness.  So if we break Torah then we are slaves to Torahlessness, the very thing Yeshua came to free us from.  Again Paul reiterates that we have been set free FROM SIN not His Torah!

19 I speak as a man, because of the weakness of your flesh. For even as you did present your members as servants of uncleanness, and of lawlessness resulting in lawlessness, so now present your members as servants of righteousness resulting in set-apartness. 20 For when you were servants of sin, you were free from righteousness.”

Wow, so when we were Torah breakers we were free from keeping Torah, so now that we are free from being a Torah breaker we should be servants of keeping Torah.

21 What fruit, therefore, were you having then, over which you are now ashamed? For the end thereof is death. 22 But now, having been set free from sin, and having become servants of Elohim, you have your fruit resulting in set-apartness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the favourable gift of Elohim is everlasting life in Messiah יהושע our Master.”

In ending this study on Romans 6:14 I would like to say this.  Torahlessness leads to death.  It is that simple. If we continue to break the Torah we will experience death in our day to day lives and eventually we will be completely separated from the life giver.  I would like to leave one more verse with you to ponder on with regards to this study.  It is Romans 8:1-4:

1 There is, then, now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah יהושע, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the Torah of the Spirit of the life in Messiah יהושע has set me free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For the Torah being powerless, in that it was weak through the flesh, Elohim, having His own Son in the likeness of flesh of sin, and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the righteousness of the Torah should be completed in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

 So what did YHVH condemn?  He condemned SIN that is TORAHlessness in the flesh.  Why?  So that the RIGHTEOUSNESS of the TORAH should be completed in us.  How is it completed in us? By not walking in the flesh, that is in TORAHlessness but by walking according to the Spirit, that is keeping Torah.  It is the Spirit that writes the TORAH on our hearts so that we can walk in it.

May you live a straight and happy life.

Shalom

Free From Law or Free From Sin. Part 4.

12 Mar

I want to jump right back into this study, but first here is a bit of background as a way of reminder of what I was saying in part 3.

Paul shows that man can sin whether he has the Torah of YHVH or not, which I will explain in greater detail later.  He establishes that ALL men, Jew or Gentile, are all UNDER SIN.  Remember what the Scriptural definition of sin is?  Sin equals torahlessness / lawlessness.  Paul is emphatically clear that our faith does NOT nullify the Torah.  Rather our faith is supposed to establish the Torah.  Let us now continue to trace out what Paul is saying.

Paul continues in Romans 5 to show us YHVH’s great love for us, for whilst we were still sinners, Yeshua died for us, and that we are restored to grace through faith in Yeshua Messiah.  He then does a whole type summary between Adam and Yeshua, the one sin and the one righteous act.  One broke YHVH’s Torah and One kept YHVH’s Torah.  In Romans 5:12-14 Paul says,

“For this reason, even as through one man sin did enter into the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned  13 for until the Torah, sin was in the world, but sin is not reckoned when there is no Torah. 14 But death reigned from Adam until Mosheh, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. “

Now let us look carefully at what is being stated here.  Paul says “for this reason…” what reason is this?  For everything he has just said.  So through one man, that is Adam, sin entered the world.  What is sin, sin is lawlessness, without torah.  So Adam broke YHVH’s one Law that he was given and through that one TORAHless act, TORAHlessness entered into the world.  Through that one TORAHless act, death entered into the world.  So death enters through TORAHlessness.  Death spread to all men, why? Because all were TORAHless, all sinned.  Remember Paul said in Romans 3:9 that all men are UNDER SIN.  What Paul is stating is that even though there was no written torah there was still sin in the world, because all sinned.  What Paul is saying is that though there was no written torah there was still torah in the world, people knew what was right and wrong and still chose the wrong, that is why all sinned.  Ever considered how Noah knew what was a clean animal and what was an unclean animal all those years before Moses?

It says that ‘until Torah was given sin was in the world’.  When was Torah given? It was given at Mount Sinai.  So TORAHlessness was in the world BEFORE the Torah was given.  Then Paul says something vitally important.”…but sin is not reckoned when there is no Torah…”  So where there is no TORAH there is no SIN.  Yet there was SIN in the world until the TORAH was given.  That means there was TORAHlessness in the world BEFORE the TORAH was written down.  And that means that YHVH gave His law LONG before Mount Sinai.  Paul confirms this in the next verse…”…BUT death reigned FROM Adam UNTIL Mosheh…” Death enters through SIN, that is, TORAHlessness.  There was TORAHlessness from Adam to Mosheh.  Again, that means that there was law from Adam to Mosheh.

Now this is an important concept to grasp.  In Greek there is only one word for law and that is ‘Nomos’.  This word can be and is used for any law, whether man’s law or YHVH’s law.  Let us ask ourselves something.  From Adam to Mosheh, did everyone have YHVH’s Torah?  No, of course not.  But I would like to suggest that His Torah was in the earth.  How could Cain be guilty of murder if he was not told you shall not murder?  How did Able know what was to be offered as an acceptable offering?  How did Noah know what was an unclean animal and what was clean?  And this was before YHVH permitted us to eat meat.  Now let us take a look at Romans 2:12-16 again,

“For as many as sinned without Torah shall also perish without Torah, and as many as sinned in the Torah shall be judged by the Torah. 13 For not the hearers of the Torah are righteous in the sight of Elohim, but the doers of the law shall be declared right. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the Torah, by nature do what is in the Torah, although not having the Torah, they are a Torah to themselves, 15 who show the work of the Torah written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or even excusing, 16 in the day when Elohim shall judge the secrets of men through יהושע Messiah, according to my Good News.”

I would like to suggest to you that whether we have been given the Torah of YHVH or not, we are all under law.  How can I say that?  Well because it says that “…as many as sinned without Torah shall also perish without Torah…”  And we know that sin is LAWlessness.  So if we don’t have YHVH’s Torah, then how can we be sinners? Because it does not matter where in the world you go or at what place in history or the future you go, every people group have laws.  Most of the time those laws line up with the laws of YHVH with regards to our conduct toward men, like not murdering, stealing etc.  If you break the law of your country, you are a sinner, you are a law breaker and will be held to account by the law.  And that is one of the ways that all men’s mouths may be stopped before Him.  Remember Paul says that all men are UNDER sin?  Why are all men UNDER sin?  Because all men are UNDER LAW.  Any law.  But all men are UNDER LAW because all men are sinners, TORAHless.  And all men are UNDER LAW because all men are ruled by law.

Not only are we all under law based on our nation’s, or tribe’s laws, but Paul also talks about the law being written on our consciences in Romans 2:14-16. Every child has an understanding of what is right and wrong, and I believe that everyone is born with a clean conscience with the Torah of YHVH written on that conscience.  But as you know, each and every one of us is guilty of sinning against our own consciences right from childhood.  And so YHVH has, in this regard, also placed all men under law.

Let me give you something to ponder.  Let us say that you are a parent and you believe that we are not under law. You decide that you are going to show your child grace upon grace so that they will never doubt your love for them.  As a result you remove all laws from your house.  Do you think that you are going to have a happy, functional home?  Do you think that you are going to have a wonderful, happy life with your child?  Or do you not think that your house will be utter chaos?  And do you not think that your child will be totally unruly and wicked in everything they do?  Now you may say that this is a silly example, but is it really?  Is it really so different to our relationship with YHVH?  Can you really have relationship without rules?  Can there really be grace without law?  Or is that just a cheap grace message?  Every part of our lives is governed by law, yet we want to say that YHVH, who made life in that way, now decided that Torah was a horrible thing that He needed to do away with and so He sent His Son to set His people free from His evil, horrible, binding law that He (as a loving Father) put on His people at Mount Sinai??  Anyway, let’s move on.

Let us recap quickly.  TORAHlessness reigned from Adam to Mosheh, therefore there was TORAH from Adam to Mosheh.  All men are UNDER sin therefore all men are UNDER LAW.  Why?  Because all men are TORAHless, that is, all men are sinners, and one cannot be TORAHless or a sinner without a law to sin against.  It is the law that points out the dominion that sin has over us.  Does that make the law sin?  No.  It makes the law holy and righteous.  The law shows us that we are all sold under sin and slaves to its dominion.  A person who does not sin is no longer under law?  The law points out our sin, but if we don’t sin the law is no longer for us.  But since the law teaches us how to live, it is an instruction to us how to relate to YHVH.

Let us move on now to Romans 6, so that we can finally and fully see what Paul was really talking about.  Romans 6:1-2 says:

“What, then, shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, to let favour increase? 2 Let it not be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”

Paul has just said that the Torah came in alongside so that TORAHlessness would increase.  Does this make the Torah bad?  Absolutely not!  It shows how sinful we truly are.  So he asks if we should continue to be TORAHless so that grace can abound much more…what is his response?  “Let it not be!”  You see the Torah shows up our sin, our TORAHlessness, but also points to and reveals the favour (grace) of YHVH.  So if we died to TORAHlessness, how can we live in it?

I am going to pause our study here.  I will post the rest in a few days, to give you a chance to process these things.

May you live a straight and happy life.

Shalom

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