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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