Tag Archives: religion

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.

A response to Neil

6 Oct

Hi Neil,

It has been a number of months since you posted your comment on my blog.  I have to apologise for the really slow response.  Between leaving South Africa, moving to the UK, finding a job and getting settled in, I have not had the motivation to respond to anything on my blog or to do any posts.

Again I would like to thank you for your response.  (I apologise, I seem to have deleted your original response).  As usual, I have put your response in bold with my response underneath.

To me, your ideas all seem quite far-fetched! 

At least you are honest.

Galations 3 says that the law was brought in to lead us to Christ, because of the transgression, and now that faith has come we are no longer under the supervision of the law. So why try to be under its superviision if we’re not meant to be? That is not referring to the law of sin and death, it’s referring to the nomos, Earlier, it says that if we live under the law we arfe underf a curse! So I think that’s pretty final.

It is very hard to respond to statements like this, and I will tell you why.  You have taken a couple of verses in Galatians 3 and declared its meaning without, apparently, looking at the context.  I would humbly like to ask you a question.  Have you studied Galatians, verse by verse, yourself?  Or are you quoting your understanding of it based on what you read at a glance, and based on what you have been taught?  This is a very important question because from your statements I am convinced that you have not personally studied this out, but have relied on “evangelical doctrine” to determine how you read scripture.

The best way for me to answer you, would be to go through Galatians verse by verse so that you can actually see what it says without trying to impose your beliefs onto the text.  If you do that, and follow the thought process and the context in which Paul is writing, then it is quite plain to see that the whole issue that he is debating throughout Galatians is Man Made Law, ie Talmud, versus the written law of Yehovah.  My question to you is this, are you interested enough in truth to be willing to go through Galatians with me verse by verse? So that you can begin  to see if maybe what I am saying is true; or will you stubbornly stick to “evangelical doctrine”, which by the way is an interpretation of scripture and not a very accurate interpretation at that.  I humbly suggest that you stop allowing men to interpret scripture for you and begin to “correctly handle the word of truth” for yourself so that you can know what is “good and evil”, right and wrong.

Galatians cannot be interpreted with a western mind set as it was written by a Jew, who had an eastern mind set, which is completely different to western thinking.  Galatians cannot be interpreted from a Greek Christian culture as this was written by a Jew, who had a Hebraic, Jewish culture and understanding.

So if you are willing to spend the time and the effort to go through the scriptures with me, then yes I will gladly respond to these statements and any other questions and help you see for yourself the context and the message that is being taught.

I would humbly ask you to consider something, that maybe you have not considered before.  I ask you to think this through and see the ramifications of what I am about to say.  In Acts it speaks of “the most noble Bereans”.  Why does it speak of them in this way?  Because it says that they searched the scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true, right?  Right. That means they searched the ‘Old Testament’ scriptures to see if what Paul was saying was true.  Remember that the so called ‘New Testament’ had not been compiled at that time.  That means that these questions of ‘no longer being under the Torah of Yehovah’ and not ‘being under a trainer’ anymore should FIRST and FOREMOST be found in the ‘Old Testament’.  Ever seen any proof of this in the OT?  Ever had anyone show you this from the OT?  Why is it that all these pin headed theologians that we so ‘highly’ regard can only ‘prove’ the doing away of the Torah, from the New Testament? And why can’t they even teach it out of the OT, as Paul did?  I would like to humbly suggest that the reason is, because they can’t, because it is nowhere to be found in the OT.  That would say to me, that just maybe we have been duped into believing something that is not entirely true.

Here is another question for you.  Have you ever taken Galatians 3 and looked at the OT references that Paul uses, to see what they actually say? I suggest you do, especially Devarim (Deuteronomy) chapter 27, the whole chapter.  I say the whole chapter, because you have to actually see what Mosheh was saying.  One needs to understand the context from which Paul was quoting.  You may just be surprised that the OT is saying something very different to what PEOPLE say that Paul is saying.  Just remember, there are supposed to be no contradictions in scripture.  But if you take the “evangelical doctrinal” understanding of Galatians, and what Paul is actually quoting, you will see they are as far apart as the east is from the west.

That is not referring to the law of sin and death, it’s referring to the nomos, Earlier, it says that if we live under the law we arfe underf a curse! So I think that’s pretty final.

I would like you to please go and reread my explanation of NOMOS (or even do your own research) because it is quite clear you do not understand the word and its use in the ‘NT’ and in the Greek language.  There is only one word in the Greek language for law and that word is NOMOS.  This word is used interchangeably for ANY LAW, whether God’s or men or traditional or governmental.  So yes NOMOS does actually also represent the NOMOS of sin and death.  It is the CONTEXT that determines what LAW NOMOS is referring to.

The way I see it – the more we are led by the Spirit, the less we are under the law.

I actually agree with this statement because Galatians says “Walk in the Spirit , and you shall not accomplish the LUST OF THE FLESH” and later it says “For if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”, which in context is speaking of the law of sin and death AKA the LUST OF THE FLESH and is NOT referring to the Torah of Yehovah.

In Romans somewhere, Paul says the law is spiritual, so I think the Spirit of the law IS the Spirit – so I don’t think a Christian can just say, Oh I’m a Christian so I can abandon the law – it is a matter of being so in love with Jesus that everything the law attempted to produce in you is fulfilled by the Spirit, so that it is the Spirit that replaces the letter of the law.

So the Spirit then REPLACES the letter of the law? That means the Spirit is then doing the exact opposite of what Yeshua said, when he said, “Do not think that I came to DESTROY (replace???) the Torah OR the Prophets.  I DID NOT COME TO DESTROY (replace???) but to make full. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done”  I am not sure, but have I missed something?  Because as far as I am aware the heavens and the earth are still here, which means so is the Torah and everything in it.

I agree that we are supposed to live in the Spirit of Torah.  That is exactly what Yeshua taught when he said that lusting in your heart (the spirit of the Torah), was as bad as the act of physical adultery (the letter of the Torah).  Also when He said that hatred in the heart (the spirit of the Torah), was as bad as the physical act of murder (the letter of the Torah).  So if walking by the Spirit means I am no longer under the letter of the Torah, then I can’t lust BUT I can commit adultery??? No of course not, and that is absurd to you too.  The fact of the matter is this, living by the Spirit is supposed to cause me to obey the letter too. That means if I am not obeying the letter I am not living by the Spirit!! And conversely, if I am living by the Spirit I will be living by the letter also.  The one confirms and upholds the other.

So yes, I think the law actually was a temporary measure, in line with classic evangelical doctrine. The revealed will of God, or Law of God, in Jesus, is a higher law, for whereas the law said do not murder, Jesus says do not even think a hateful thought! But grace is given to enable us to be free from hate, and everything else that is wrong.

I think I have made my point on this.  It is ludicrous to say that one over rides the other.  If I obey the Spirit I will automatically keep the letter.

I think it’s interesting that Jesus didn’t criticise David’s actions when he referred to his predecessor’s eating of the bread of the presence when he was hungry – I think David knew the heart of God and so the consequences of this ‘lawless’ act were waived. I tihnk this is a good picture of how God wants us to know his heart more than live under rules and regulations.

Well that is obvious why he referred to that if you read the context.  It does not mean that the Torah is no longer valid.  It means that Yehovah is Judge, not us, and that He expects mercy from us.  Just like David should have been stoned for murder and adultery.  But he was not, because David repented and there was forgiveness by the mercy of Yehovah.  But guess what, there were still consequences. Do you remember what they were?  He lost his son and his whole house was a total mess after that one act.  Does forgiveness and mercy then mean I am free from obedience to the Torah?  So, because David was not stoned, as per the Torah, that means we can all murder and commit adultery??  That’s just silly.  Likewise if you read the context of what Yeshua was talking about, he was contending with the Rabbinical law connected to the Sabbath that was rigid and unmerciful.  So because Yeshua teaches that mercy is more important on the Sabbath than rigid rules and regulations, does that mean he did away with the Sabbath?  To come to that conclusion from those scriptures is a really far stretch.  I implore you to stop inserting your belief into your interpretation of the text and allow the text to speak for itself.

I can’t pretend I have the whole law and grace thing wrapped up – I just believe it was a shadow of what our relatioonship with God is meant to be! I can’t argue every point with chapter and verse, but I can’t find much harmony in my spirit with your ideas!

I can’t pretend that I understand everything either, but I am learning through daily personal systematic and methodical study of scripture.  I am not willing either to debate every chapter and verse to try to convince you.  I can’t convince you.  What I am trying to stir in you, is that you begin to think for yourself, and not the way pin headed theology determines.  With all respect, I am not concerned about what you can find harmony with in your spirit because the scriptures teach us to test the spirits.  What are we to test it against?  The scriptures! Not how we feel or what we sense because we could be feeling something that is a little more sinister than just our spirits.  How do you know that what you are feeling is based on scripture?  And I am not talking about some denomination’s pinheaded idea of what is scripture.  The point I am trying to stress is that we cannot determine what is right or wrong by how we feel.  Not even putting Christian terminology to how we feel can determine what is right or wrong, eg “in my spirit”.  The ONLY source of knowing what is right and wrong is the scriptures.  And the Spirit will ALWAYS confirm the scriptures.  So if we are not handling the scriptures every day, prayerfully and responsibly, how are we ever going to know what is right or wrong according to Yehovah?

Neil, Sue and I have been exactly where you are.  We had the same questions and the same concerns.  But as we have diligently sought the truth like never before, Yehovah has revealed these things to us.  Which is not to us only, as Yehovah is sovereignly revealing this all over the world.  Please remember that the scriptures were designed to be understood by the everyday man and not only by academics, who stand behind pulpits preaching their beliefs about what the scriptures are saying.  The church is lazy.  The church is irresponsible. We too were lazy and irresponsible.  The Church does not study the scriptures for herself but relies on accepted doctrine and pinheaded theologians to decide what she should and should not believe.  Mmmm maybe that is why there are more Christians in this world today than ever before and the world is more of a mess today than ever before.  Maybe what she believes is not life changing, world toppling truth, but pew warming, goosepimply religious lies that have no power.

May you live a happy and straight life.

Shalom to you

Bernard

Response to Neil on his ‘Free From Law or Free From Sin. Part 3’ comment.

10 Apr

Hi Neil,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer your questions.  Your words are in bold and I will answer as best I can.

I have always seen that ‘law’ has different meanings in the new testament,

This is very true, and an accurate statement.  As I have said before, the word for ‘law’ in the NT is ALWAYS ‘nomos’ as there is no other Greek word for ‘law’.  This word is used for many different contexts, including, the laws of man, the laws of YHVH and even customs that become law through use over a long period of time.

and that the Law (Plan of God for our lives) is not the same as the ‘law’ of sin and death.

This is the whole point of what I said above.  The only way that we can know which ‘nomos’ is being talked about is by the context.  Unfortunately sometimes it is a little obscure.  It is also unfortunate that the majority of translations that are available to us are translated by people that have a predisposed bias to us not being ‘under Jewish law’.  It is then this biased view, unconsciously, that is used to decide what this word is talking about.  Invariably when the average Christian and theologian reads it, the first thought is the ‘Jewish laws’.  But let me ask you a serious question and I would like you to try to put your bias aside when thinking about this (we all have a bias, so I am not being insulting).  The question is this:  Does YHVH ever change?  And if He does not change, does it make sense that He would give a law, like the Sabbath, and say it is to be observed as an everlasting sign and 2,000 years later, He decides that this law thing is not working? So He sends His son to free us from His law?  Yet Yeshua is the living word.  What word was John referring to when he wrote John 1:1?  Was he not referring to the so called ‘old testament’?  I would like to suggest to you that we have been duped into believing something that is contrary to the nature of YHVH and to the ‘mission’ and reason for Yeshua.

Yes I do agree though, that the LAW, the plan of YHVH for our lives is very different to the law of sin and death.

So what would you say is the law that we are not under any more? (there are about twelve verses that say, in one way or another, that the ‘law’ (small ‘L’) is not relevant to the Christian.

I have posted the rest of my ‘Free from Law or Free from Sin’ blog that explains this in more detail.  But I would say that the law that we are no longer under is the law of sin and death.  Unfortunately Neil, whether the word law has a small ‘l’ or a large ‘L’ is purely based on the interpretation of the translators.  There is no indication of what it should be in the Greek text apart from context.  So what the translators believed, determined how they interpreted it.  Thankfully one can see, on closer study, through context whether they have correctly interpreted that.

Maybe you could list those 12 (about) verses that say that small ‘L’ law is not relevant to the Christian.  It would be interesting have a look at.

I think the law was given to enable the israelites to see their need to go back to the roots and anchor of their faith – their being children of Abraham, to whom the promises were given, – it was never God’s intention for keeping laws to be the basis of righteuousness.

I love the way you think!  I really really do!  You are right, it was never YHVH’s intention that the keeping of the law would be the basis of righteousness.  The law could never save us, and never will as it does not deal with the sin issue, but Yeshua does, quite decisively too!

I would like to add this.  When did Yisra’el receive the Torah, the instructions of YHVH?  Was it while they were in Egypt or not?  It was while they were in the wilderness AFTER they had left Egypt.  I ask that you do not diminish the value of this picture as it is a picture that is valid today.  The Hebrew word for Egypt is ‘Mitsrayim’.  The ‘yim’ part of the word makes it plural or dual.  I would like to suggest to you that Mitsrayim is speaking of the land of Egypt but also the kingdom of darkness and of sin and bondage.  For Yisra’el to come out of darkness into the light (fire by night and cloud by day) the Passover lamb had to be slaughtered.  For us to come out of darkness into the light (Yeshua) the Passover (Yeshua) had to be slaughtered.

Once the Passover was slaughtered YHVH led Yisra’el to the desert where they could receive the Torah.  The Torah was given so that Yisra’el (and us) would know how to live in YHVH’s kingdom in relation to Him and in relation to each other.  He told them what was good to eat and what was not.  Do we honestly believe that this has changed?  He told us when we needed to rest and to worship Him.  Do we honestly think this has changed?

The Torah throughout the ‘OT’ is shown to be that which is light as opposed to darkness, straight as opposed to crookedness, good as opposed to evil, righteous (straight) as opposed to wicked.  Do we honestly believe that because Yeshua died and rose again, the Torah became something that was bad and not to be kept?

Either then or now. I guess you’re saying that too.

I guess we are very close to saying the same things.

But I’m not sure where the line is between the law that we’re not under and the law that we are under. – personally!

I guess that all depends on what law you believe we are under and what law you believe we are not under.  My purpose in my blog at the moment, is to go through the ‘NT’ and show that where we have been taught that we don’t have to keep the law of YHVH, or the Sabbath, or that we can eat any and all manner of unclean foods, that we can worship on any day we like and all that sort of thing, is wrong, and has been twisted to suit the leaders who first began to propagate such terrible lies, which have been passed down from generation to generation. (Read Jeremiah 16:19-21). Nations in the Word always refers to the goyim (Gentiles). We have inherited lies and the Father is bringing us back into line with Himself.

If we begin to realise that Yeshua came to set us free from sin and restore us to His Father’s commands then the line begins to become quite obvious.  We are free from the law of sin and death so that we are free to obey Yeshua the living Torah.

Again, I would like to thank you for you considered and thoughtful response.

Since I initially wrote this response you added this comment to another blog of mine:

“I have to confess, I find these blogs you write incredibly confusing and I just do not know what you’re on about!”

It is my goal and my purpose to make my blog as easy to follow and understand as possible because if it is confusing then there will be no understanding.  Please could you explain to me how my blog is confusing so that I can relook at it.  I am always open to constructive comments.

May you live a straight and happy life.

Shalom

Bernard (not Sue)

 

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

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

 

 

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