Archive | February, 2012

Free From Law or Free From Sin? Part 2

27 Feb

I am what I would call a Torah Keeping Believer in Yeshua.  Many don’t understand what that is, so let me explain.  I believe in Yeshua as my Messiah.  I believe that He came to destroy sin and the works of the enemy on the cross.  I believe that Yeshua also came to restore us and return us to His Torah, that is to the keeping of His laws.  At this statement I get a lot of raised eyebrows.  But before I continue, I think it is best that  I define a few misunderstood terms.

The first misunderstood term in the ‘church’ is the word sin.  When I ask people what sin is, they will rattle off things like murder, theft, smoking, drinking, drugs etc…Now those are sinful things, but that does not scripturally define sin.  It is the Scriptures that define words and concepts for us. It is not our understanding that defines words, and certainly not our culture or our beliefs.  So then, scripturally, what is sin?  In 1 John 3:3-5, it says”….3….And everyone having this expectation in Him cleanses himself, as He is clean….4….Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness….5….And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.”….I think that is very clear, but just in case it is not.  What is sin? Sin is lawlessness.  What is lawlessness?  It is breaking the law.  Whose law?  Is it not YHVH’s law?  Since Yeshua is the Word made Flesh, is it then not Yeshua’s law too?  This is consistent with all of Scripture.  How did Adam and Eve sin?  They broke YHVH’s only law to them, His only command…”Eat of every tree in the garden, but do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you eat of it you shall certainly die.”  So when we break YHVH’s commands it is sin.  Please also take note that it says that in Yeshua there is no sin.  In other words in Yeshua there is no lawlessness.  He did not break ANY of His Fathers commands, neither does He now and neither will He ever.  Why?  Because there is no sin in Him.

Ok now, let us define Torah.  The word ‘torah’ is a Hebrew word and it is most commonly translated as ‘law’.  Unfortunately, due primarily to the church and her teachings, our church and social culture defines ‘law’ as a bad, horrible, evil word that we want nothing to do with.  What is a well known social saying?, “Rules were meant to be broken?”  I would like to suggest to you that the scriptural definition of this word is quite the opposite.  The word ‘torah’ quite literally means ‘the throwing of the finger to show the direction to walk and or to live’.  If you take this noun to its verbal roots, it means ‘to teach’.  So ‘torah’ means ‘teaching’ and can be defined as YHVH’s instructions on how we are to live.  If we do not obey His instructions we will certainly die.  His instructions are for our good and not for our evil.  They are for our blessing and not for our cursing.  Throughout Scripture, YHVH’s Torah, His instructions, His commands, His laws are described as ‘light’ and ‘righteousness’ and that which is ‘straight’.   The breaking of these laws, commands, instructions is described as ‘wickedness’, ‘evil’, ‘crookedness’, ‘darkness’.

So now that I have defined the words ‘sin’ and ‘torah’, let me explain what I mean by being a Torah Keeper.  As I said, I am what I would call a Torah Keeper.  I keep YHVH’s commands.  I keep the 7th day Sabbath, I keep His feasts, I keep His dietary instructions.  Basically I keep what some term as the “Law of Moses” as best I can, with the help of YHVH.  To that statement, the raised eyebrows get even more raised and I get statements thrown at me like, “oh, but we are not under the law” or ” we don’t have to keep those Jewish laws” or “you have fallen from grace” and many variations of the same.  And it is those statements that I am setting out to answer in this series.  But before I continue, I would like to expand the scriptural definition of Torah.  The ‘law of Moses’ and the ‘Old Testament Laws’ are most certainly NOT the ‘Jewish laws’ as some people ignorantly state.  This is a lie that has been passed down to us from generation to generation for the last 1600 to 1800 years.  These instructions were given to Israel and not only to the Jews.  Remember that Israel consisted of 12 tribes.  The Kingdom later split into the northern Kingdom which were the 10 tribes of Israel, and into the southern Kingdom known as Judah which consisted of Judah, Benjamin and part of Levi.  Judah is the Jews of today.  So no, they are not the ‘Jewish Laws’ as they were given to all Israel.  Secondly, and most importantly, throughout Scripture YHVH calls them HIS laws.  So if they are HIS laws how can we redefine them as the ‘Jewish Laws’?  With regards to the Feasts, YHVH calls them the ‘Feasts of YHVH’ and not the ‘Feasts of the Jews’.  People have redefined them, probably, because it makes it easier to disobey with a clear conscience if they are defined as the “Jewish Laws” and not “YHVH’s Laws”.

Lev 23:1-2  And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘The appointed times of יהוה, which you are to proclaim as set-apart gatherings, My appointed times, are these:…”

At this point I would to like state emphatically that we are saved by grace only, through faith, not by works of the law. We are saved from our sins, in order to keep the commandments of YHVH ie His instructions. Again, we are NOT saved by what we DO, but what we do will bring either blessing or cursing on our lives. Nowhere in Scripture are we told that keeping the law brings salvation. What we are told, is that if we obey His commands, we will be blessed. If we disobey them, it is sin and the wages of sin is death.

Now when I am confronted with the statement “oh, but we are not under the law”  I like to ask that person “where in the Scriptures does it actually say that?”  Do you know where it says that?  I would say that about 98% of ‘Christians’ that I speak to, cannot tell me where that verse is found.  I then tell them where it is.  I then ask them if they know the context of that verse.  Again, I would say that about 98%, if not 99%, of the ‘Christians’ I talk to, cannot tell me the context of the verse they have just quoted, because they do not know.  Do you know the context of that verse?  So my question to them then, is, “If you don’t know where the verse is in Scripture, and you don’t know the context of that verse, how do you know that it means what you say it means?”  One of the answers I get is “Well I don’t know the exact verse, but I know my Bible”.  This is one of THE biggest problems in ‘Christianity’ today. We are taught to rattle off verses we have heard  100 times, or even memorised, out of context I might add, and think we ‘know’ what the Bible says!  Paul tells us in 2 Tim.2:15  “Study to show yourself approved , a workman that needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.  Is quoting Scripture out of context  rightly dividing the word of truth?  I say no.  More often than not the recital of these verses is just a regurgitating of what people have been taught by their church leaders and not due to personal, objective study.  And even when it is studied it is studied with the worldview glasses that, “we are not under the law” and so therefore cannot see the woods for the trees.

I think it is a great tragedy that most people who call themselves christians do not even know the Scriptures that they say they believe in.  This is not a condemnation of anyone reading this blog, or of anyone I have ever spoken to.  It is, to me, a great tragedy because the society we live in has caused people to be lazy and therefore ignorant of the things of YHVH. We live in an ‘instant gratification’ society where to take time to study something out, is too much of a chore, and anyway we just don’t have time.  Not only that but it is a tradition or a worldview that has been carried over from the darkness, where the catholic priests read the scriptures only in latin.  Well non of the lay people spoke latin, which was good for the church because they could say that the scriptures said anything they wanted, and they did, all the way until the reformation.  The people believed the church knew better than them and that studying the scriptures was not for the lay person.  That is the same mindset of today. It is my prayer that you would decide today to no longer be complacent in the study of the Scriptures, but that you would choose to become a workman who does not have to be ashamed, but who rightly divides the word of truth.

For those of you who don’t know what verse I have been talking about, it is Romans 6:14.  In my next post I will go into the context of this verse and what Paul was trying to tell us.  I would like to suggest to you that it is NOT what we have been taught all our lives.

Until then, may you live a straight and happy life.

Shalom

Free From Law or Free from Sin? Part 1

5 Feb

Now that I have dealt with the important subject of the Name of YHVH, I think it is time to broach another very important subject.  This is  important  because it determines HOW you read the Scriptures and HOW you interpret what you read.  We all have a world view, and we see everything in life through that world view.  When we come into the ‘Church’ we are taught certain things about the Scriptures.  We then relate to our whole ‘Christian’ life from the perspective  of what we have been taught.  So what happens if we are taught something that is not in line with Scripture?  Most of us then interpret all of Scripture through the eyes of that error.  Guess what happens when we read the Scriptures?  We do not see the truth of those Scriptures, but we delve deeper and deeper into more error.  If our plumb line, that is our starting point, is off even just slightly, as we build our lives, by the time we get to the end, we will be  off course from where we are meant to be.  That means we will end up with a crooked, deformed life that is contrary to Scripture. So our starting point is incredibly important.  It is the most vital part of our walk with YHVH.

Unfortunately the ‘Church’ as we know it today, was NOT founded on the teachings of the “Apostles and Prophets” after Yeshua rose from the dead.  The ‘Church’ as we know it today, was founded around 400AD with the ‘head’ being Constantine.  And the foundations of the ‘Church’, the starting point, were based on a hatred for the people of YHVH, the Jews.  These errors have been passed down from generation to generation and are so part of the culture of the ‘Church,’ that  few people see them when they read their own Scriptures.  We take what our ‘leaders’ say, that is the ‘fathers’, ‘deacons’, ‘bishops’, ‘pastors’ or whatever other title they may have, as gospel and we question nothing.  These may sound like harsh words, but please do not stop reading yet, give me a chance to qualify what I am saying first.  If you feel that I have come to the wrong conclusions, then I invite you to share your concerns and the Scriptural reasons for these concerns. There is one major error that I need to deal with, that affects how we view our whole ‘Christian’ lives, how we view our Scriptures, how we view our Master and Creator, and how we view YHVH’S chosen people.  This error is, very basically, that we are ‘no longer under law but under grace’.  This is the basic foundation of all Christianity, that ‘Jesus’ came to set us free from all those Jewish laws that bind us and are burdensome to us.  You say this is not true?  But if I ask the average (and even the not so average) christian, why they don’t keep the Sabbath, the response is invariably, “but we are not under the law any more” or “Jesus set us free from those Jewish laws” or many other variations of the same response.  The same goes with being questioned about eating pork and not keeping the festivals of YHVH.

I would like to state categorically that an absolute lie that has been sold to us.  I would like to state that this was not the teaching of Yeshua nor of the Apostles, neither is it the teaching of Scripture.  It is a belief that was birthed out of paganism and a hatred for the Jewish people and if I may say, YHVH Himself.  For He says that “if you love Me, keep My commands” (John 14:15).  It is very simple, if we love Him we will obey His commands, but if we hate Him we will break His commands. In the following post I am going to qualify what I have just said, through a systematic look at Scripture and by an honest look at history. Until then.. May you live a straight and happy life!

%d bloggers like this: