Response to ‘lostsheepofisrael’ on his ‘Free from Law or Free from Sin. Part 2’ Comment.

11 Mar

Hi Jay,

I would like to thank you for your response; I trust this helps you on your journey.  I have placed your words in bold.

I have a question about Romans 10:

1 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. 2 I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. 3 For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. 4 For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given (Did he, how?).[b] As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God. 

I would firstly like to ask, what English translation are you using? As it seems to me that it is a paraphrase.  But I could be wrong.  Romans 10:4 should read more like this, “For Messiah is the goal of the ‘Torah unto righteousness ‘to everyone who believes.”  You see the Tanak prophesied about Yeshua right from the beginning.  The above version gives the typical “Christian’ view of the Torah in the way it paraphrases that verse.  As you can see Messiah is the goal of the Torah, some versions say ‘end’ in place of goal.  The Greek word is ‘Telos’ and it means ‘the point aimed at is the goal’.  So let us re-read, it says that, “Yeshua is the goal or purpose of the ‘Torah unto righteousness…”  You ask how he did this.  Quite simply by the cross.  His death, burial and resurrection, brought us into relationship with himself, brought us back into ‘right standing with YHVH, that is righteousness.

Salvation is for everyone (to me it is only for those who turn back and repent) 

You are ignoring or missing a very crucial part of what Paul said.  He said that “Yeshua is the goal of the ‘Torah unto righteousness’ to everyone WHO BELIEVES” not just to ‘everyone’.  And you are right; there is no salvation without repentance.  But can you repent without believing first?  No I don’t think so, as you have to believe that you are a sinner and in need of Yeshua before you will repent.  Remember Abraham.  Was he given the Torah before or after he was made righteous?  Was it not after?  And how was he made righteous?  Was it not by belief?  Yes by belief.  So Paul is not saying anything different to what the Torah says.

5 For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. 6 But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (To bring Christ down to earth). 7 And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (To bring Christ back to life again).” 8 In fact, it says,

“The message is very close at hand;
it is on your lips and in your heart.”[d]

(I thought Yahshua’s message was repent and turn back to Torah)

I am going to place in a word for word translation of these verses so that you can see the difference.  The people who put together the translation/paraphrase that you are using have a distorted view of Scripture.  So in a word for word translation it reads better like this:

5 For Mosheh writes about the righteousness which is of the Torah, “The man who does these shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of belief speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who shall ascend into the heavens?’ ” – that is, to bring Messiah down; or, 7 “‘who shall descend into the abyss?’ ” – that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead. 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” – that is, the word of belief which we are proclaiming:”

Are we supposed to live by the Torah? Yes.  Are we supposed to live by faith? Yes.  But what ‘saves’ us?  Is it the keeping of Torah?  Or faith in the Torah giver?  Is it not faith in the Torah giver!  Why did Yisra’ĕl die in the wilderness?  Was it not because of their unbelief?  Yes it was because of their unbelief, and that is why they sinned.  The only thing now is the ‘but’ in verse 6, which makes the one statement more true than the other, it makes a comparison of the one statement against the other.  But this word that is translated as ‘but’ can also be translated as ‘and’.  If my Greek understanding is right, this word is translated in different ways based solely on the context.  In this context I am of the opinion that ‘and’ is better than ‘but’.  So to really understand what Paul is saying, the verses in the Tanak that he is quoting need to be read.  The context in the Tanak needs to be brought into the context in these verses; you will then see that the context is the same.  We are to live according to the Torah, but to live according to the Torah we must believe first.

I don’t see your point in this statement?  If you read Deuteronomy 30 you will see what Paul is trying to say, as this is the Torah portion that he is quoting.  The whole point of Deuteronomy 30 is about repenting and turning back to Torah. So then, is that a different message than what Yeshua preached?  No it is not.

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach:
9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.( this is Paul’s formula which cannot be correct)

It is not a formula; as one is not saved by’ if you do 1, 2, 3 then you will be saved’.  This is no magic trick, that’s for sure.  I would like to ask you to please explain how you can say that because it is Paul’s ‘formula’ then it cannot be correct?  I think you are bringing in a bias toward Paul so that you are unable, and maybe unwilling, to really look at what he is saying.  Grace through faith has always been YHVH’s way, right from the beginning.  Now if you study this word ‘confess’ and you take it back into the Tanak through the Septuagint you will see that to ‘confess’ has a fuller meaning of swearing or vowing allegiance to Yeshua as Master and not just saying ‘Jesus is Lord; because any Jack on the street can say ‘Jesus is Lord’.  Is saying that going to make any difference?  Nope.  It is absolute faith in the fact that YHVH, as Yeshua died and rose again, declaring that He is Elohim that would cause anyone to truly swear allegiance to Yeshua as Master.

10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God (not by obedience to Yah’s Torah?),

No we are not made right through obedience to Torah.  Please show me in the Torah where it shows that Torah makes us right with Elohim.  Was Abraham made right with Elohim by obeying Torah?  Or by believing YHVH?  Was it not by believing YHVH?  David, when he committed adultery and murder, was he made right by keeping Torah; that is by the sacrifice of animals?  No it was through repentance and faith in YHVH for His forgiveness.  But that aside, what was his deserved punishment, according to Torah, for his sins of adultery and murder?  Was it not death?  Yet YHVH did not ask for him to be stoned.  Does that not show the grace of YHVH that came through David’s deep faith in his Elohim, even there in the ‘OT’.  Was Yisra’ĕl brought out of Mitsryim by keeping Torah or by faith in the blood of the Lamb?  Was it not YHVH’s grace that brought Yisra’ĕl out of Mitsryim?  Was it not His grace that saved them out of bondage and brought them to the mountain where they THEN received Torah?  Being brought out of Mitsryim always comes before the giving of instructions.  That is how it has always been, that is the way it will always be and that is the way it is with Yeshua.

and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”[e] 12 Jew and Gentile[f] are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”[g]
(There seem to be several different ways of being saved spoken of here?)

No Paul is not saying there are different ways.  He is saying the same thing all the way through.  You see, Paul is quoting from Joel 2:32.  You should read the whole context.  The word ‘call’ is the Hebrew word ‘qara’, which means ‘to call, to call out, to call a name, or to give a name”.  It also has the meaning to call a set apart gathering and for calling out a scroll (Torah) in the presence of those gathered.  The Hebrew concept here is not just calling the actual Name of YHVH for salvation, but calling on YHVH is synonymous with living under His authority and His ways,  as a way of life.  Those who call on the Name of YHVH do the things of YHVH;, that is the Torah.

Please remember I am searching also.

Jason

I am praying that YHVH will give you understanding so that the enemy does not snatch away the seed.

Shalom.

Response to ‘lostsheepofisrael’ on his ‘Free from Law or Free from Sin. Part 3’ Comment.

11 Mar

Hi Jay,

Let me try to answer you as best I can.  Again, your words are in bold.

Shalom,
I have another query about Paul. Does this not say that he does not keep the law? Very strange how he jumps around. Maybe I am misunderstanding?

I don’t think it is strange at all.  Paul does not jump around.  It was me in my writing that jumped around.  Paul is an incredible scholar and has an amazing way of setting out his arguments.  He does it like any good lawyer.  You lay the foundation, and then from there you build on that foundation.  Paul has done that in a fantastic way in Romans.  It’s people who twist what he says –  whether it be Christians or those who do not take the time or the effort to truly search out a matter – who end up condemning Paul for their lack of understanding or lack of responsibility with the Scriptures.  Both have a just end.

19 Even though I am a free man with no master,(He has no master, my master is Yahweh). I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law(so he does not keep sabbath or what could this possibly mean?),[a] I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.

As you have not included a reference to the above passage I will.  It is 1 Corinthians 9:19-21.  The very first thing I am going to say about what you have put here is this:  You need to change the version that you are reading.  Remember translations are not the inerrant word of YHVH, but the original is.  Paraphrases are even worse than translations.  They take a translation and then change it into their words for so called better understanding.  All they do is project their biased theology onto the Scriptures when they do this.  So again I suggest you change the ‘bible’ you are reading to one that is more accurate.  Below are the verses from a very good translation that I use:

19 For though I am free from all, I made myself a servant to all, in order to win more, 20 and to the Yehudim̱ I became as a Yehuḏite, that I might win Yehuḏim; to those who are under law, as under law, so as to win those who are under law; 21 to those without law, as without law – not being without Torah toward Elohim, but under Torah of Messiah – so as to win those who are without law.”

As you can see there is a major difference in what you are reading to what the Scriptures actually say.  Right from the outset you need to realise that in the Greek language there is only one word for law and it is ‘Nomos’.  This word is used for any kind of law, man’s law, YHVH’s law, customs all that sort of thing.  We can only know how the word was meant by the context.  Most people take that every time the NT speaks of ‘the law’ it must be talking about those ‘horrible Jewish laws’, which comes out quite clearly in the paraphrase you are using.  Because the law of YHVH is not the ‘Jewish Law’ as it was given to ALL Israel.

19 For though I am free from all, I made myself a servant to all, in order to win more,”

If you read the context, which is the whole beginning part of the chapter you will see that he is saying that he is free from all MEN.  I encourage you not to twist Paul’s writings, as Peter said some would.  Read the context and get a better translation.

So he is free from all men, but because he wants to win more to Yeshua he chooses to become a servant to all men….kind of like Yeshua said we should.

20 and to the Yehuḏim I became as a Yehuḏite, that I might win Yehuḏim; to those who are under law, as under law, so as to win those who are under law; 21 to those without law, as without law – not being without Torah toward Elohim, but under Torah of Messiah – so as to win those who are without law.”

 

Now we can get to the meat of this thing.  So to win the Yehudim he became like a Yehudim.  What does that mean?  That means he went out of his way to not offend them without breaking the Torah of YHVH, which he holds in high esteem, if you read the end of the passage.  Then it says he became as one ‘under law’.  Now could this possibly be talking about people under the Torah?? Of course not.  Why?  Because it is Yehudah who lived by the Torah.  Yes they added to the Torah, but they still lived by it.

So then, who are those who are under law?  Does Paul not explain this in Romans?  Please read my ‘Free from Law or Free from Sin Part 2 and 3’ to get a clearer understanding of this.  Those who are under law are anyone who is a sinner, why?  Because all men are under sin and to be under sin you have to be under law first.  Can I become like those under law without breaking Torah?  Absolutely.

Now we get to the third example.  Paul became like those ‘without law’ to win those ‘without law’.  Who are these people?  Probably people like the barbarians who were totally lawless.  But does this mean that Paul threw away the Torah of YHVH because he became like them?  Of course not, and Paul very clearly says so in this statement in bold:

21 to those without law, as without law – not being without Torah toward Elohim, but under Torah of Messiah – so as to win those who are without law.”

Paul became as without law…what type of language is ‘as’?  Is it not a figure of speech?  If I say that “I am AS sick as a dog” am I saying that I am a dog?  Of course not, it is a figure of speech.  Paul is using this word ‘as’ in the same way, throughout this passage.  So is he saying “I became without law”?  No! He is saying “I became as without law”.  Then he VERY clearly qualifies what he means, just in case someone might accuse him of saying he broke the Torah of YHVH, by saying “…not being without Torah toward Elohim, but under Torah of Messiah…”  What is the Torah of Messiah?  Is it not the same as the Torah of Elohim?  Of course it is.

 

This is a very strange paragraph to me
Jason

I think it is both your understanding and the paraphrase you are using Jay and not the paragraph.  I encourage you to take Paul at his word when he says that he was NOT without Torah toward Elohim as this applies to all his writings and not just to here.

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!

Who are you calling on? Part 2

14 Jan

In Part 1, we discussed that, based on the Hebrew way of naming people (and places),  the Messiah’s name is not ‘Jesus’, but in fact ‘Yeshua’. This is a shortened version of Yehoshua.  In this part we are going to look at the rules of translation and what they mean in regards to the Name of Yeshua.

The very basic and fundamental rule of translation is that ALL words MUST be translated EXCEPT proper nouns.  Proper nouns are always transliterated.  This is very important to understand, as people may cause great division by saying that “Jesus is the name by which all men must be saved”.  But is this really the name?

Before I go any further, I need to state something quite categorically.  That is, that all scholars with any sort of credibility know that the Hebrew name of “Jesus” is Yehoshua.  If you dispute this fact, I encourage you to do some research and bring that information back here.  I encourage you to look at any concordance and Bible dictionary which will give you the answer to this.  Below are some of my own references:

1)  Dictionary of the Bible, edited by James Hastings.  States that the name “‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the name Joshua or Jeshua.  (Please note that in Hebrew there is no ‘J’ sound so he should have written more correctly ‘Yeshua’).

2)  A Theological Word Book of the Bible, edited by Alan Richardson. States that “‘Jesus’ is the Latin form of the name which in Greek was spelled Jesous.” and “‘Jesous’ is the form assumed in Greek by the Hebrew name Joshua, which in late Hebrew and Aramaic had become ‘Jeshua’

3)  Strongs Exhaustive Concordance.  States this:  “Ἰησοῦς – Iēsous – Of Hebrew origin [3091]; Jesus (that is, Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites: – Jesus.

Just from these three sources we can see that the accepted view is that  ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of Yeshua.  One may argue that that really does not make any difference, because the manuscripts we have are in Greek so when translated we get Jesus and that is His name.  Well there are a few problems with this sort of thinking.  Firstly that is assuming that the NT was originally written in Greek.  There is much evidence (internally) that the NT was written, or that parts of it were originally written, in Hebrew or Aramaic.  I personally hold to Hebrew for a number of reasons, which is a discussion for another time.  We have to ask ourselves, ‘what language did Yeshua speak?’ and ‘what name did YHVH, Mary and Yoseph’ give to Him?  I think anyone with any sort of common sense will come to realise that Yeshua was not given the name ‘Jesus’ when He was born.  Now if the Scriptures were originally written in Greek and were not translated from another language, then that would mean that Yeshua’s name is in fact “Iesous” and not “Jesus” or “Yeshua”.  This of course is totally unlikely and completely improbable.

That can leave us then with only one conclusion.  YHVH, through the angel, spoke to a Hebrew woman and a Hebrew man in the Hebrew language and gave them a Hebrew name for their Hebrew Son.  And what was that name?  Based on the the evidence above, and based on the findings in  my blog “Who are you calling on? Part 1” the name ‘Jesus’  was given at birth was in fact “Yehoshua” or “Yeshua”.  The most accepted form is Yeshua. Yeshua is a name of endearment of the full name Yehoshua.

This now brings me back to translation.  Just to remind you, these are the basic rules of translation.  All words are translated except proper nouns and these must be transliterated.  The Messiah’s birth name is ‘Yeshua’ but in the Greek manuscript it is ‘Iesous”.  So to Hebrew people Yeshua was ‘Yeshua’.  But after He ascended into heaven the gospel began to be preached to Greeks.  When Yeshua was preached, the people would have HEARD the  Messiah’s name as Yeshua.  They would have  CALLED Him that name because they could repeat how His name SOUNDED to them.  But when it came to writing His name down there was a problem.  The commonly accepted Hebrew letters for Yeshua’s name are “יהשע”.  Now the Greek language does not have those letters, so that name could not be written in the Greek language.  So they would have transliterated it.  What does that mean?  They would have had to WRITE the name with their Greek letters based on how Yeshua SOUNDS. There is no ‘Y’ sound in Greek so they  put an Iota which is the ‘I’.  The closest form to the ‘SH’ sound is their sigma which is the ‘S’.  So they have the ‘I’ and the ‘S’.  Now comes the problem because if they had directly transliterated the ‘UA’ sound into Greek we would have had a female Messiah!! So they had to put the ‘OUS’.  Add in the vowel and you have ‘Iesous’ in the Greek.  In the Greek letters it looks like this “Ἰησοῦς”

As we know, the Greek was then translated into English for us, but the translators continued to break the very basic rules of translation.  The beauty of the English language is the ease in which we can transliterate proper nouns into English without losing how they SOUND in the original language.  So if the translators had transliterated “Ἰησοῦς” correctly, we should have ‘Iesous Christus’ in our English Bibles as the “Name by which all men must be saved”.  But it’s not.  What they have done, instead of transliterating it, is to put the English equivalent of “Iesous Christus”.  So what we have in our English Bibles is ‘Jesus Christ’. ‘ So called scholars would want you to believe that that is the “English” name of our Saviour.  Sorry to say, but that is rubbish.  Based on the fact that a major number of scholars agree that ‘Jesus’ comes from ‘Joshua/Yeshua’ then actually the ‘English name’ of ‘Jesus’ should be ‘Joshua the Anointed One’.

So when all is said and done, we have to ask a very important question. What does it matter whether we call ‘Jesus’, ‘Yeshua’ or ‘Jesus’? Is it not our personal choice?  I would say that if you believe that it is at the name of the Messiah that all men shall be saved, then maybe it would be important to call on His actual name. It says that Yeshua came in the NAME of His Father.  What does ‘Iesous’ mean? Nothing!  What does ‘Jesus’ mean? Nothing!  What does Yeshua mean?  YHVH Saves!  That means that Yeshua carries His Father’s Name.  So if the Father’s Name is important then the Son’s Name is important.

A final point before I end. The Romans reference that says whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved is a quote from a biblical text in Joel 2:32. If you read that verse in the Hebrew what we find is not ‘the Lord’ but the proper name of YHVH. It reads, “it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of YHVH shall be delivered (saved)”…so what is the name we should be calling on?

As I end, I trust that you have been challenged and I pray that YHVH would give you understanding of all things.  I leave this with you.  Are you going to continue calling on an empty meaningless name “Jesus”?

Until next time ,may you live a straight and happy life.

Shalom

Who are you calling on? Part 1

2 Jan

Now that we have dealt with the Father’s name, it is time to deal with His Son’s name.  The name that is commonly used is Jesus Christ.  I would like to submit to you that ‘Jesus Christ’ is NOT the name of the Son of Elohim (God).  How can I say that?  There are numerous reasons for this, which I will give in this blog.  But before I continue, I would like to say that I do not call the Messiah by the name ‘Jesus Christ’ or any variation of that name.  I call Him by the name Yeshua.  So when I speak of the Messiah in this blog, I will use His name ‘Yeshua’ and not ‘Jesus’.

Now that we have that out of the way, let us get down to the business of establishing what is the Messiah’s name and why we should call Him by that name.  We need to look at some fundamental truths concerning Yeshua.  A lot of these facts, surprisingly, are over looked and not ever considered, but they are the facts none the less.  We need to understand that Yeshua is NOT a westerner, He was not born in a western culture and He certainly did not have white skin and blue eyes.  This is very important as many people miss this very important fact.  Yeshua was born in Israel, in a town called Bethlehem.  He was born of the lineage of King David, of the house of Judah.  And that would make Yeshua as Jewish as one gets.  And guess what?  Yeshua was not brought up speaking  English.  He spoke Hebrew (and probably some Greek and Aramaic too) and learned the scriptures in Hebrew, in the language that the Scriptures were given in.  These are facts that cannot be debated as they are historically true.

Saying that brings me to my first, very important point.  What was the name that Mary and Joseph were instructed to give to their unborn child?  Was it the english name Jesus?  No, it was not!  Was it the Greek name Iesous (Jesus is a transliteration of this Greek name)? No, it was not.  So the question is, why not?  Very simply, they were not English and they were not Greek.  So then, what was the name the Messiah was to be called?  Yehovah promised that the coming Messiah would come “in His Name”.  Now ‘Jesus’ or ‘Iesous’ have no relation to the name of Elohim (God).

The angel Gabriel gives a very important piece of information.  To explain what he said I need to show you how name giving works in Scripture.  A persons name is given and the reason for the name.  The meaning of the person’s name is always the reason for the name.  Let me explain.  In Genesis 30:13 it says, “And Leah said, “How happy I am!  The daughters will call me happy.”  So she named him Asher”.  So the reason for the name ‘Asher’ is ‘How happy I am’.  That means the reason “how happy I am’ will be contained in the name ‘Asher’.  This is how it works in Scripture.  Asher, by the way, means ‘Happy’.  You don’t see the beauty of the Hebrew language in the English.  What has been done is called a word pun.  These word puns are used throughout Scripture.  A pun is a play on words.  Let me show you again it being used in this verse.  “And Leah said, “How (Osher) happy I am!  The woman will call me (Asher) happy.” So she named him Asher (Happy).

Another example is the name of the first man, Adam.  He was formed from the dust of the Adamah (ground), so He was called Adam (man).

In Matthew 1:21 Gabriel tells Joseph, in one modern version,”And she shall give birth to a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus FOR He shall save His people from their sins.”  The reason for the name being given is, “For He shall save his people from their sins”.  Now tell me, does ‘Jesus’ mean anything like that?  Unfortunately not.  Actually the name ‘Jesus’ has no meaning whatsoever.  It is only a transliteration from the Greek into English.  If you take a concordance or a bible dictionary and you look up the word ‘Jesus’ it will tell you word in the Greek text is “Iesous”.  It will also tell you that the name in Hebrew is ‘Yehoshua’.  What this says is that there is NO MEANING for the name ‘Iesous’ OR ‘Jesus’.  They both point to the Hebrew name ‘Yehoshua’.  The Hebrew word Yehoshua is equivilant to our English word Joshua.  So if the Hebrew name the messiah was given, was Yehoshua, and the English translation of that is Joshua, why do we call Him Jesus?  But, you may also be asking what relation does ‘Yehoshua’ have with ‘and He shall save His people from their sins?’ Quite simple really. ‘Yehoshua’ means ‘Yehovah shall save’.  So let us recap.  ‘Jesus’ does not mean ‘He shall save his people from their sins’, neither does ‘Iesous’, but Yehoshua does.  The shortened, and accepted version of Yehoshua is Yeshua.  All this information is accepted throughout the scholarly world.  It is also confirmed in the Hebrew text of the book of Matthew.

But now there is still something  very profound in this verse that I need to point out, and I pray that you see it.  The angel said to Joseph “…you shall call His Name Yeshua for HE shall save His people from their sins…”  Remember Yeshua means ‘Yehovah saves’, but the angel did not say “….for Yehovah shall save His people….”.  He said “….for HE shall save His people…”.  What the angel is pointing to is that Yeshua IS Yehovah.  We need to understand the importance of that.  Yeshua is Yehovah in the flesh.  The name ‘Jesus’ OR ‘Iesous’ does NOT contain the name of Yehovah, but Yeshua does contain His Father’s Name, as promised nearly 1500 years earlier.

Every time you call on ‘Jesus’ you are calling on an empty, meaningless name.  But everytime you call on the Name ‘Yeshua you are proclaiming that ‘Yehovah has saved’ you. You are proclaiming that salvation comes by no one else except by Yehovah! And THAT is consistent throughout Scripture.

I will continue this study in Part 2. Until then…

Love Yehovah and Live in Peace.

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