Tag Archives: 1 john

Response to “Neil April 10, 2012 at 10:39” comment

24 Apr

Hi Neil,

Thank you for your response.  Let me try to answer you as best I can.  As before, your comments will be in bold.

I think one thing I find confusing in your teachings is when, in making a point, you try to include (and negate) all the possible arguments being raised by that very point

I am not sure I actually understand what you are trying to get at in this statement itself.  I am not trying to negate any arguments, just trying to make certain points as clear as I can.  Any disagreements, arguments or questions are always welcome.   I am sure I have not understood the statement itself.  I know that sometimes (for me at least) it is hard to explain what I am thinking or feeling about something by writing it.  Maybe it would be easier in person?

 – e.g. in all you statements about lawlessness vs torahlessness and what supposed truths are in fact not truths when you restate them subsituting torah for law. It would be cumbersome to try to quote exactly where you do this but I am sure you know which passages I’m referring to – well, maybe!

With reference to the above statement, there is a reason why I do that.  Let me try to explain.  1 John 3:4 says “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” Now I could have just left it there, but there is only one problem.  Christianity has redefined what sin is and what law is.  So because the church has a very conceptual understanding of certain things in scripture certain words mean different things to different people.  Let me give you an example.

If I had to ask you and 9 other people what is love, I would get 9 different answers, all based on each person’s belief.  You can test this out for yourself.  But the word ‘love’ does not define itself in the English language.  It is a very conceptual word.  So maybe you would say that love is being kind to people.  Being kind is another conceptual word.  Being kind has different meaning for different people.  Now Yeshua said that we need to love YHVH and love each other.  But if we all have a different understanding of love or we don’t know how to love, then how can we love YHVH or love each other.  The word is now open for interpretation and so are all passages talking about love.   I would like to suggest to you that Scripture itself defines love.  I would like to suggest to you that it is the Scriptures that Yeshua and all the Apostles taught from that define the word love.  Remember that the 2 commands that Yeshua gave us were not new commands, but they come straight out of the Tanak, word for word.  The word for love in the Hebrew text (the language that the Scriptures were originally written in) is the word ‘Ahav’.  If you go to your Strongs concordance it will say “to have affection” which really does not tell us much about what love is.  But if you go to a decent Ancient Hebrew dictionary it says something like this.

“אהב 4 / bea / A.H.B Translation: Love Definition:+To provide and protect that which is given as a privilege. An intimacy of action and emotion. Strong affection for another arising from personal ties. AHLB: 1094-C (V) Strong’s:+157”

So the concept of love is not just a fuzzy feeling.  It is action.  It is not just a concept; it is something that is practised, it is done.  It is not just a thought or feeling; it is the thing that drives our actions in our relationship toward the thing/person we love.  So the definition of the word helps us to understand how to love in a better way.  The next way to define the word is to look at how the word is used throughout scripture.  In that way you will see what actions are supposed to be present if we say we love something or someone.  I can’t do a study like that here at this moment, so I will use one very important example.

In Deuteronomy 30:15-16 it says “See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil, 16  in that I am commanding you today to love יהוה your Elohim, to walk in His ways, and to guard His commands, and His laws, and His right-rulings. And you shall live and increase, and יהוה your Elohim shall bless you in the land which you go to possess.”

As you can see, (and will see if you study this out) that loving YHVH is ALWAYS connected to walking in His ways and to guarding His commands AND His laws and His right rulings.  In the next verse He says (Deuteronomy 30:17-18)

“But if your heart turns away, and you do not obey, and shall be drawn away, and shall bow down to other mighty ones and serve them, 18  “I have declared to you today that you shall certainly perish, you shall not prolong your days in the land which you are passing over the Yardĕn to enter and possess.”

Please note that He does not mention if you stop loving Him.  Why?  Because to stop loving YHVH and to turn your heart away from Him is always NOT walking in His ways, NOT guarding His commands, NOR His laws, NOR His right rulings.

This is a concept that Yeshua taught.  Yeshua NEVER taught anything apart from the Tanak and neither did His disciples.  What did Yeshua say?  He says in John 15:9-10“As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Stay in My love. 10  “If you guard My commands, you shall stay in My love, even as I have guarded My Father’s commands and stay in His love.”

So loving is always obeying, to hate Him is to not obey His laws and His commands as we have very clearly seen.  If you search this matter out you will find that this concept is ALL over Scripture INCLUDING the ‘New Testament’.

But now why do I replace ‘lawlessness’ and ‘sin’ with ‘TORAHlessness’?  And is what I am doing wrong?  I do it, as I said before, because Christianity (NOT SCRIPTURE) has redefined what sin, law and lawlessness is.  You can do the same test as with the word ‘love’.  The words ‘sin’ and lawlessness’ and ‘law’ are conceptual and each person will understand those words differently depending on what they believe.  If I asked you, or most other people, what would they say?  Oh sin is…’smoking, drinking, murder, adultery’…and so on.  Yes those are sinful things but that does not define what sin is.  But what is sin?

The same applies for ‘law’.  What is ‘law’?  How do you understand that word?  When it comes to the scriptures most Christians will tell you that law is the things the Jews do.  But is that how scripture defines those words?  Because if you don’t know what law means scripturally then how can you know what lawlessness means.  And again, if you don’t know what sin is then how can you understand what John is saying?  Because John can’t really be saying that not keeping the Sabbath is lawlessness can he, because that’s a Jewish law that we are not under?!  Really?  Or have we just redefined the word law to suit ourselves?  So then law must be to love YHVH and love each other and nothing else because that’s the only commands that Yeshua gave us?  Never mind that He said that ALL the LAW and the PROPHETS and the WRITINGS hang on these two commands.  Meaning, if you keep all the LAW and the PROPHETS and the WRITINGS then you will be keeping those two commands and vice versa.

But let’s not leave it to a battle of words.  Let’s see how Scripture defines ‘SIN’ and ‘LAW’ so we can understand ‘LAWLESSNESS’.

The Greek word for SIN in 1 John 3:4 is ‘Hamartia’.  Strongs says that it means ‘sin’ and that it is properly abstract.  I would agree that the word ‘sin’ is abstract and conceptual.  The root word for ‘Hamartia’ is ‘Hamartano’.  Strongs says it means ‘to miss the mark, therefore to not share in the prize’.  But John was teaching from the Tanak, which was written in Hebrew.  So what does Sin mean in Hebrew?  The Hebrew word is ‘Chata’ and Strongs says it means to ‘Miss’.  The Ancient Hebrew dictionary says this “When shooting an arrow or other object to a target, the distance that one misses is measured with a cord. The wrong actions of one are also measured against the correct action.”  So in other words, sinning is missing the mark.  Both the Greek and Hebrew agree with this.

But what does law mean?  The Greek word for law is ‘Nomos’ and it means law, whether it be a custom, governmental law or YHVH’s law.  There is no distinction and is the only Greek word for law.  Again, John taught out of the Tanak, so what is the Hebrew meaning of Law?  The Hebrew word for ‘law’ as you may have guessed is ‘Torah’.  There are two meanings for the word ‘Torah’.  The first is this “As what defines, gives borders, to a people.”  The second is this” A throwing of the finger to show a direction to walk or live. The throwing of an arrow. The throwing down of water in rain.”  So as you can see, Torah gives us boundaries and a mark to hit.  So to sin is to leave the markings of the Torah and to not hit the mark of Torah.  The reason I replace SIN and LAWLESSNESS with TORAHlessness is to show in a short compact way that sin is not just lying stealing and all that, but scripturally, sin is anything that goes against YHVH’s Torah, His Law.

 So, presumably, you don’t believe we still have to sacrifice bulls or make incense out of onycha, galbanuim and francincense?

Not to make this a long answer, I believe that Yeshua was our complete and final sacrifice.  He died once for all.  As there is no temple there cannot be any sacrifices or the burning of incense, as to do these things in any other place than in the temple in Jerusalem is SIN.  Saying that I believe that many aspects of Temple worship were a picture of Yeshua.  Hebrews is very clear that Yeshua is our Temple and that He is the High priest of a new order, an everlasting one.

I’m wondering where you see the cut off point in which parts of the Torah we are not under any more.

Is there really a cut-off point?  The simplistic answer is this.  Yeshua came to be our Sacrifice and our High priest.  He did not replace Sabbath keeping with SUNday worship.  He did not replace HIS feasts with Christmas and Easter.  He did not make abominable things no longer abominable, in other words he did not say that we can now eat any kind of unclean animal.  These are the 3 areas that people resist the most. Could that be the reason why there are as many sick ‘believers’ as ‘unbelievers’?  The very basic facts are these.  We are not free from law.  Not the government’s laws, not the laws in your own house, not international laws and most certainly not YHVH’s laws.  Every aspect of our lives is governed by one rule or another.  Even in the Christian church there are rules and regulations.  All they have done is thrown away YHVH’s laws and replaced them with their own.

I trust this helps you to understand better what I have been writing.  If not, maybe we should get together?

May you live a straight and happy life.

Shalom.

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

%d bloggers like this: