Archive | April, 2012

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.

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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

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