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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.

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

Free From Law or Free From Sin? Part 3

6 Mar

In my last post I said some things that probably caused a variety of reactions.  It is now time to qualify the things that I said.  Before I do, I think it is important for me to reiterate some important points.  I believe in Yeshua as my Saviour.  I believe that Yeshua is YHVH in the flesh and that He came to save His people from their sins.  I believe He came to turn our hearts back to His ways and His Torah.  I believe that we have to keep His Torah and that obedience to His Torah brings blessing; disobedience brings a curse.  I believe that Yeshua did not do away with His Torah, but came to fulfill it, and, as the heavens and the earth are still here, so all has not yet been fulfilled.  I believe that Yeshua fulfilled only those prophecies which concerned Him and His first coming.  I believe it is time to stop rejecting His Torah and begin to keep it whole heartedly, for Yehovah says that it is righteousness to us, for it tells us what is righteous and what is not. I believe whole heartedly that we cannot be, and are not saved by religeous keeping of the law, for we are ‘saved by grace, through faith, not of works lest any man should boast’.  It is only faith in Yeshua that opens grace for salvation to us, yet as saved and set apart people we are expected to live according to His Torah and His ways.

As I said in my last post, the most common objection I get from people is “but we are not under the law anymore.”  I would like to add one thought here before we go to the Scriptures.  Have you ever considered that statement, the way it is taught and believed  throughout Christendom?  It is believed that the laws given on Mount Sinai (and the wilderness, and basically the whole ‘Old Testament’) are no longer valid for us and it is that law that we are not under.  Yet the law that was given was the 10 commandments and the out working of those 10 commandments.  Does that mean because I am not under the law I can worship idols? Does that mean I can bring the Name of YHVH to nothing?  Does that mean I can murder, commit adultery and steal?  Most, if not all people, would say NO.  But when confronted about the Sabbath, people’s story changes.  Where in scripture are we instructed which laws we should keep and which we should not? Do we now believe in the 9 commandments less all the other instructions?  Does something that is an abomination in the Tanak, like eating pork, become acceptable in the New Covenant?  Is YHVH confused?  Or did He change His mind after saying “I am YHVH and I change not”? These are all questions that will be answered.

Now that I have had my say, let us have a look at the context of Romans 6:14, which says, “For sin shall not rule over you, for you are not under the law but under favour (grace).”

I know this may seem very simple, but have you thought about what is the context of Romans 6:14?  Is it not Romans chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and the first 13 verses of chapter 6 and the verses after it?  If this verse was read in its proper context no one would come to the conclusion that it says we are not under YHVH’s law any more.  Not keeping God’s laws is a historical problem that is not new to the church or Christianity.  It’s called sin and it started in the Garden.  You see it is the sinful nature of man that would not be bound by God’s laws not the grace of God that has set us free from it. Men will find any excuse to not be under YHVH’s sovreign rule which includes His instructions on how we should live our lives.

Let us briefly go through Romans to get some context of this verse so we can see what Paul is saying.  In Romans chapter 1 Paul shows how Gentiles are under sin and without excuse before YHVH.  In Romans 2 he deals with the Jewish people and shows how they too are without excuse and how they are breakers of Torah just like the Gentiles.  He says in Romans 2:12-16,

“For as many as sinned without law shall also perish without law, and as many as sinned in the law shall be judged by the law. 13 For not the hearers of the law 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 law, by nature do what is in the law, although not having the law, they are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law 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.”

In these verses Paul is confirming the need for Torah, why? Because in the day when Elohim shall judge the world, everyone, whether those who do Torah or not, shall be judged by Torah.  Paul then goes on and accuses the Jews of teaching the Torah whilst they themselves break it.  Again Paul upholds Torah in Romans 2:25-29,

“For circumcision indeed profits if you practice the law, but if you are a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 So, if an uncircumcised one watches over the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned as circumcision? 27 And the uncircumcised by nature, who perfects the law, shall judge you who notwithstanding letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the law! 28 For he is not a Yehudim who is so outwardly, neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But a Yehudite is he who is so inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in Spirit, not literally, whose praise is not from men but from Elohim.”

So Paul is saying that circumcision is of the heart and not of the flesh.  So if one who is circumcised and is a Torah breaker his circumcision is considered to be uncircumcision.  But if one who is uncircumcised keeps Torah, his uncircumcision shall be considered circumcision.  Is that not circumcision of the heart? Then in Romans 3:9, Paul says something incredibly important in understanding Romans 6:14.  He says,

“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all, for we have previously accused both Yehudim and Greeks that they are all UNDER SIN. “

What is Paul talking about?  He is referring to the previous 2 chapters.  But what does he say?  He says that both Jew and Gentile (that is all men) are all UNDER SIN.  That is a good starting point.  Whether we are Jew or Gentile we are all UNDER SIN!  Do you remember what the Scriptures teach is sin?  1 John 3:4 says that all sin is LAWlessness, TORAHlessness.  So all men are under LAWlessness.  All men are Torah breakers, law breakers, that is sinners.  So because we are law breakers does that make the law evil? No, it shows the righteousness of God.  Paul has shown that the Gentiles do not obey Torah and are so under the dominion of sin.  He has shown as well that because those who have been given the torah also sin they are also under the dominion of sin.  Why? Because the breaking of Torah shows us our sin, that we are sold to it, therefore being under the law is just another way of saying we are under the dominion of sin.

Paul then begins to quote the Tanak to show how we are all guilty before Elohim. Then he shows how we are saved by grace through faith and how we cannot boast because we receive our righteousness by faith and not through the keeping of the Torah. Directly after saying all this Paul very clearly and very emphatically states in Romans 3:31,

“Do we then nullify the law through the belief? LET IT NOT BE! On the contrary, we establish the law.”

Now, can you see the contradiction of the teaching of Christianity?  Christianity would have us believe that our faith nullifies the Torah, that we are no longer UNDER the law because of grace through faith.  Yet Paul states quite clearly that this is not true! He then goes on to show how it has always been about grace through faith by looking at Abraham.  Was Abraham declared righteous before being circumcised or after?  It was before.  So the circumcision did not save him but his faith did, yet after he was made righteous, he was given a law that had to be kept for all generations and that was circumcision.  So can you see that even here the Torah was given after grace through faith was received? Later in this series I will show how faith and torah go hand in hand; you can’t have one without the other.

I am going to stop here for now as this is a long study and don’t want you to get bored half way through and not finish reading it.  So in my next post I will give a brief summary of what has been established with regards to what Paul is talking about, and then I will jump in right where we left off.

May you live a happy and straight life!

Shalom.

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!

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