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

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