Thursday, 26 March 2015

Response to Charles Spearman. Christians and the Torah

In a video I did on the subject of the pros and cons of Messianic Judaism, a user named Charles Spearman had decided to comment and try to assert that Christians are obligated to keep the Torah, all of it.

I hope to in this paper respond to the assertions made by Spearman. Let us begin:
"the maker of this video is lost & leading others astray .....those who love the Lord keep His commandments & dont see them as THE LAW ...TORAH MEANS INSTRUCTIONS ..NOT LAW... iF WE ARE LEAD BY CONVICTION TO NOT KEEP THE FEAST THAT IS WILLFUL DEFIANCE ...& YES YOU HAVE FREE WILL TO NOT KEEP GOD'S COMMANDMENTS ...BUT STOP LYING ON SCRIPTURE SAYING IT GIVES YOU THE CHOICE TO DEFY GOD'S COMMANDS W/O PUNISHMENT ... In one of his oft misunderstood passages, the Apostle Paul speaks of a written document of condemnation that was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14). This document is frequently misinterpreted as the Torah. Well meaning brothers and sisters often triumphantly declare that Messiah nailed the Torah to cross (God forbid). New Age Translations like the NIV encourage this kind of interpretation by translating the nailed document as “the written code,” a term that seems to imply a law code, namely the Torah. In Colossians 2:14, it is not the Torah that has been nailed to the cross. It is better understood as a written verdict of condemnation, or a legal note of debts. Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of debt against us, which was hostile to us; He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Colossians 2:14) The “certificate of debt” that has been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross is condemnation and guilt. Condemnation (i.e. death) is the ultimate curse of the Torah. It is this curse that Messiah took upon Himself when He became “a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). Jesus pointed out to the religious Pharisees of His time that their teachings were rules taught by men; they had forsaken the written commands (Torah) of God, holding instead to the traditions of men (Mark 7:7,8). In a similar manner, most modern-day Christians observe and celebrate days that are Church traditions and mere substitutes for days ordained by God. These include the following: *a first-day (Sunday) Sabbath; whereas, the Fourth Commandment stipulates a seventh-day Sabbath, *Easter (which is “Resurrection Day” or the Feast of Firstfruits), and *Christmas (Jesus was born during Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles, which falls in late September to mid October). When Moses was a long time in coming down from Mount Sinai, the people got tired of waiting. Finally, they asked their High Priest, Aaron, to make them other gods (Deuteronomy 32:1). So Aaron directed them to bring gold, and a golden calf was made, which became a manmade god in conjunction with a manmade festival (32:2-6). God punished them for doing this (32:27,28,32). Likewise, after waiting a long time for Jesus to return from heaven, the Church, both Catholic and Protestant, grew weary of waiting for Him; and “high priests” have created manmade gods/idols, along with manmade festivals and celebrations, which have become traditions that substitute for the real God and His appointed feasts and festivals. Essentially, these are “golden calves” within the Church."

Within the context of Colossians 2, we are free to eat and drink anything we choose, except for what is mentioned in Acts 15 but that's another topic. Spearman is correct that the context is not referring to the law, it is referring to the debt of sin that we owe that has been paid. In the next chapter it talks about what we should abstain from.

"Colossians 2:3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
"

Moreover, in the context, no where do Jesus or the apostles advocate that Gentiles themselves are put under the Torah, even implicitly.

Furthermore, to raise Christmas and Easter as arguments against the fact Gentile Christians are not called to be Torah observance is irrelevant. The subject of Christmas and Easter are certainly not found in the Bible at all, therefore there is no obligation to celebrate such customs. Not to mention the teaching on the church having priests in an Old Testament sense is not found in the New Testament, as well as the fact priesthood is applicable to all true believers in Jesus.

Also regarding Sunday, That didn't come from the pagans: Again, just because pagans worshiped on Sunday, that doesn't mean Christians got Sunday worship from pagans. Sunday was already the observance of the day of the Lord. I thoroughly recommend the reading of the Didache which can be found here: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-lightfoot.html

To touch on the point about Sunday, read the following:
"9:1 But as touching the eucharistic thanksgiving give ye thanks thus.
9:2 First, as regards the cup:
9:3 We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the holy vine of Thy son David, which Thou madest known unto us through Thy Son Jesus;
9:4 Thine is the glory for ever and ever.
9:5 Then as regards the broken bread:
9:6 We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the life and knowledge which Thou didst make known unto us through Thy Son Jesus;
9:7 Thine is the glory for ever and ever.
9:8 As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom;
9:9 for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
9:10 But let no one eat or drink of this eucharistic thanksgiving, but they that have been baptized into the name of the Lord;
9:11 for concerning this also the Lord hath said:
9:12 {Give not that which is holy to the dogs.}
14:1 And on the Lord's own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure.
14:2 And let no man, having his dispute with his fellow, join your assembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be defiled;
14:3 for this sacrifice it is that was spoken of by the Lord;
14:4 {In every place and at every time offer Me a pure sacrifice;14:5 for I am a great king, saith the Lord and My name is wonderful among the nations.}
"

Now obviously Eucharist doesn't refer to the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, that is a given, but I would like to know what is the Lord's day being referred to in this document? It is not a reference to the Sabbath. The Sabbath itself is not reiterated in the NT as a command for Christians to observe anyway, See the following article on this issue: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/observance-of-torah-demanded-of-gentiles.html

To be perfectly honest, Those who call the NIV translation a "New Age Translation" have no credibility at all. It sounds like something a radical KJV Onlyist would say. Though I will grant that the only high priest we have is Jesus and absolutely no one else.

On a side note, Torah can mean in instruction or law.

"Also for the FOOL who think they can follow their own convictions (heart) on ANY issue God has spoken on ...consider these 3 verses... King James Bible The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 King James Version (KJV) 5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Bible For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: Proverbs 6:23 COME OUT OF THE ELEMENTS & FRAGMENTS OF NEW AGE REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY & THIS AWFUL VIDEO POST!!"

If this guy actually read my material, he would know that I do not adhere to replacement theology and to be honest, calling it New Age wouldn't refute it unless it came from such. Here's a new apologetic ladies and gentlemen, label everything you don't like as "new age". That's not an argument UNLESS it is the Word Faith Movement, New Age or Theosophical Society.

Furthermore as I'll point out later on, it is not picking and choosing when it comes to the Torah. It's knowing scriptural what applies to us today and what does not. Obviously morality remains.

"Christians insist that "the law" was abolished. How is that possible when sin is transgression of "the law"? When and by whom was it abolished? Certainly not by Yeshua! He said He came NOT to abolish but to confirm (Hebrew: koom which means "establish/confirm)". Why would Yeshua's role as FINAL SIN OFFERING (He martyred Himself!) in any way negate Torah - God's original teaching and instruction? Did He ever say, "I came to abolish Torah and render my original teachings void"? Yeshua is our "New Covenant" and "Sin Offering". Period. God gave us a New Covenant, not a new Torah! Did He even mention Torah at all as He spoke about giving us a New Covenant (Jer.31:30-33/Heb.8:8-12)? You won't find anything in Scripture to show that Torah was ever abolished. Yeshua said: Matthew 5: 17 Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah - not until everything that must happen has happened. If "ALL" hasn't happened yet, and heaven and earth have not passed away, then that must mean that His Torah is still valid...."

The New Testament's original language was Greek, not Hebrew, but I digress. Matthew 5:17-20 is covered in the Torah Observance article.  I would need to look into Jeremiah 31 before I can make a comment. It's for another time if the Lord Wills.

"Since Yahweh said to celebrate the Biblical feasts FOREVER (Leviticus 23:21, 31, 41, Exodus 12:14), why do you believe He wants you to ignore them now, simply because His Son died on the cross? Has "forever" come and gone, or ended somehow? Answer: No - "forever" has not come and gone. Torah observant believers celebrate the Biblical feasts because it is instructed by God in the Torah for Israel ("Israel" includes EVERYONE who accepts the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - see Numbers 15:13-16) to observe these festivals forever (Leviticus 23:21, 31, 41, Exodus 12:14). Messiah Yeshua observed these festivals as did the early Messianic Jews and apostles such as Rabbi Shaul/Apostle Paul (Acts 20:16, 1 Corinthians 16:8, Acts 28:17). When Yeshua returns to this earth these festivals will be re-established worldwide (Zechariah 14:16-21). God has His appointed times! He does nothing without purpose. What makes us think we can simply ignore what He says? Here's something to ponder. Yeshua has only fulfilled the first four of the seven Biblical feasts. If He fulfilled the first four, what makes you think He won't fulfill the last three? If everything goes according to God's Plan and the first four feasts have been fulfilled, then the next feast to be fulfilled is Rosh Hashana - the Feast of Trumpets: the "Rapture". Since Christians choose to believe the entire "OT" has been "nailed to the cross", then does this mean there won't be a "Rapture"? Why should there be, since you don't "believe" in the Biblical feasts...."

The argument isn't that he doesn't fulfill any of the feasts, the point is because of his fulfillment of said feasts, they need not be observed and the Rapture is not part and parcel of the whole feasts so why that's an argument I have no idea. Yes, the Messianic Jews, including Paul did observe Torah and the festivals, That is true, but that wasn't required of Gentiles as found in Acts 15. See the Torah Observance article and this article response to 119 ministries on this issue:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/what-does-acts-15-teach-does-it-teach.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/addendum-to-what-does-acts-15-teach.html

Furthermore, while Jesus is in heaven, The feasts are not observed, but when returns for the 1000 year reign, Torah Observance is reestablished. The feasts and the traditions of YHWH will be observed in the Millennial reign, not while Christ has not come again yet. Though Revelation doesn't speak of the feasts themselves, the TANAKH certainly does, such as in Zechariah 14. Read the following paper:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/anti-christ-building-temple.html

"If, as you believe, the Torah was "abolished" and the "Old Testament" is to be ignored - why are Christians still teaching the Ten Commandments or telling church members to tithe? Isn't it hypocritical to pick and choose what we want to believe of the "Old Testament? Answer: The Ten Commandments appear in two places in the Bible: Both are in the "Old Testament" - Exodus, chapter 20; and in Deuteronomy, chapter 5. Neither version conveniently lists the commandments from one to ten, which is presumably how they would appear when posted. In the most commonly referenced passage, Exodus 20, the commandments cover 17 verses and encompass at least 14 imperatives. Concerning tithing, in the New Testament tithe and tithing are found eight times (Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42; 18:12; Hebrews 7:5-6,8-9). But all of these passages refer to the Old Testament usage "under the law!"  In view of the above, it seems that today's church pastors should never ask for tithes because, according to the Christian train of thought, tithes are "old testament"....."

No it's not hypocritical to "pick and choose". Besides, it's not a question of picking and choosing, it's asking ourselves, which commands are given to Gentiles and which are not. As for the question of tithing, I address this issue here, as I am convinced Christians are not to tithe: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/are-christians-required-to-tithe.html

Giving is a virtue, but putting Gentiles under tithing is wrong. Messianics have the freedom to observe tithing or not just as Gentiles have that.

"Does Scripture command us to celebrate the birth or resurrection of the Messiah via Christmas and Easter? What's more, is it okay to lie to your children about the existence of Santa Claus and egg-laying rabbits? What do these things have to do with Yeshua's birth and death? For those who want to answer: "It's fun; it's tradition", then please check the Bible to see what God says about man-made traditions.... Answer: You won't find Christmas and Easter anywhere in the Bible. Those "holy days" were strictly man's idea - in the same way that Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, decided to offer a sacrifice with "unauthorized fire before the LORD," thus disobeying His instructions. For that, they were immediately consumed by God’s fire...So what makes us today think it's okay to "add or subtract" anything to the commands to keep His seven holy feast days? (Please see The Pagan Origins of Christmas and The Pagan Origins of Easter.) What's more, it is NOT okay to lie to your children about the existence of Santa Claus and egg-laying rabbits. Lying is a sin! The Ninth Commandment is: Thou shalt not lie. Can you honestly say that you've never said to your kids: "Santa Claus is coming soon to bring you toys, so you'd better be good!" or "Look! The Easter bunny brought you some colored eggs!" Is it okay to tell a "little" lie? Since when? Is human tradition worth the cost of making us guilty of sinning in God's eyes?

Not much to really say for me here, As far as I am concerned Christmas and Easter are dispensable. Plus lying is indeed a sin. Besides if I had kids, I would straight with them and say that there is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Man made tradition is not worth holding to if it costs you your soul and is not in scripture.

"Why do Christians insist that "the law" was "written on our hearts" (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Romans 10:4-8) but somehow, the "OT" no longer pertains to them? Answer: Many Christians have decided that when God said, "I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts" He meant that His original Torah (teachings) would be rendered null and void and that they would somehow "just know" right from wrong. But since we are born into sin, that is impossible! Until one actually studies and understands Torah, they can't possibly have His Torah "written on their hearts." How many of today's people automatically know Yahweh's laws? NOBODY! How many actually keep his laws? If this were truly the case that God's laws were somehow imprinted in our hearts, there would be no adultery, divorce, murder, hate crimes, abortion, lying, stealing, coveting - things that many Christians are certainly guilty of.... Having "the law written on our hearts" means we now have the desire for Torah! The heart is the "seat of desire". Why? Because it is the battleground over which God and Satan fight continually. Allegiance comes from the heart; as do concepts such as honor, loyalty, and commitment. The heart sets apart greatness from merely "good". Without the heart no endeavor reflects the fact that we are created in the image of God."

Part of the New Covenant entails being regenerated by the Holy Spirit which restores us from original sin and brings us back to God, hence the writing on the hearts occurs. There is a difference between stumbling and deliberate sinning against God. Having YHWH give the Spirit and put him in our hearts, we can now carry out Christ's commands and though we stumble, we can repent and get back up again. Having said that there is no excuse for sin.

Moreover again, Where are Gentiles obligated to be Torah Observant, either implicitly or explicitly? Read the following for more details:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/observance-of-torah-demanded-of-gentiles.html
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/what-does-acts-15-teach-does-it-teach.html

"in closing .....One who is claimig to be connected with TRUE Messianic Judaism & doesn't  follow Torah & the 7 Feasts & deems them as MERELY OPTIONAL(via personal erroneous Unbibiical human conviction)  is MOST CERTAINLY A FRAUD. (NO MATTER THE OFFSHOOT OF MESSIANIC ORG THEY BELONG TO)"

The only frauds in Messianic Judaism are those who tell Gentiles that they are to observe Torah, so Spearman stands condemned for doing what he is doing.

Answering Judaism.

2 comments:

  1. Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

    having erased the hand-signed sefer of guilt choiv (debt), the heavenly indictment against us in the maleh chukat haTorah (full statute requirement of the Torah), which was against us. Moshiach has done away with this opposing record, having nailed it to Moshiach’s Etz (DEVARIM 21:23) The Ortodox Jewish Brit Chadasha

    Handwriting of ordinance, which is against us, and was an opponent to us Yeshua (Jesus) took away by way of His redemption offering and nailed handwriting to the cross. A handwriting word is in Greek text kheirografon, which means promissory note, which debtor has written with him own hands. In Hebrew, it means hand signed a guilt book. Verse 14 doesn’t so mean the law (Torah) of God, but the debt and guilt of the people, which is a sin. Yeshua (Jesus) was nailed to the cross for the sins of the mankind, but Paul wrote in this that also handwriting of ordinance (hand signed guilt book) have taken away by way of redemption offering of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah and nailed it to the cross.

    Yeshua (Jesus) said that He wouldn't come to destroy the law (Torah), and therefore He couldn’t nail the law to the cross. Sin is our opponent, which nailed together with Yeshua (Jesus) to the cross. Greek text uses from the Bible two words grafee and gramma, but as we notice Greek text uses the word kheirografon. An ordinance word is in Greek dogma, which means command, setting, and regulation. Kheirografon means promissory note not the law (Torah). Hebrew uses words sefer choiv (hand signed guilt book). Our sins are nailed to the cross, not the law (Torah).

    Sins of the men are nailed to the cross, and not the law (Torah) of God. Some people misunderstand this verse that the law (Torah) is nailed to the cross. Paul wrote, that when the Messiah circumcises our heart in the Holy Spirit, so believers die to sins and start to live righteously. Dead sin stays like this on the cross and the new man is free to wander according to righteousness of God. This comes true when the Holy Spirit can influence will and work in the hearts of Yeshua's (Jesus) disciples.

    http://www.kotipetripaavola.com/Congregation%20of%20Colossians.html

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  2. WHAT was nailed to the Cross? Cheirographon, that’s what. It might be Greek to you, but it’s a Greek word you should know if you want to understand what was nailed to the Cross in Colossians 2:14.

    Many Christians erroneously believe that “the handwriting of ordinances” (cheirographon) in Colossians 2:14 refers to the Old Testament Law of Moses. According to this misinterpretation, God’s Law was “against us,” and “contrary to us” because it was a heavy yoke of bondage. It was an impediment, a hindrance to man’s attempt to be reconciled to God. Therefore, God had to “take it out of the way” and get rid of it. He did this by nailing it to the Cross.
    In other words, we are reconciled to God by Christ’s abolition of His Father’s Law. So says this popular misinterpretation of Colossians 2:14.
    This view is flawed for a few different reasons. First, it contradicts the biblical truth that God’s Law, properly understood, is neither “against us” nor “contrary to us.” According to the Bible, God’s unadulterated Law is a blessing, not a burden. (See, e.g., Deut. 4:5-9; Psalm 19, Psalm 119, Romans 7:22, 1 Tim. 1:8, and many other passages.)
    A second reason this view is flawed is because it portrays Yeshua as a slick lawyer who finds a legal loophole to thwart God’s justice. Yeshua gets us off the hook by simply abolishing the commandments that we broke. “You’ve been accused of breaking the Sabbath? No problem. I’ll just abolish that commandment.” But Jesus said we are not to even think that He came to abolish the Law. (See Matthew 5:17-19.)

    A third reason this view is flawed is because of the meaning of the word cheirographon. A study of this word will reveal exactly what it was that got nailed to the Cross in Colossians 2:14. When you see what really got nailed to the Cross, you will find it far more liberating than believing that Yeshua blotted out His Father’s commandments.
    The Greek word cheirographon is a compound word that is formed by combining the two words cheir (“hand”) and grapho (“to write or engrave”). In its simplest sense, the word means a handwritten document.
    Other than in Colossians 2:14, the word cheirographon appears nowhere else in the Greek New Testament, nor does it appear in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Tanakh – “Old Testament”). However, the word does appear in extra-biblical Greek documents. It is in these documents that we learn that cheirographon is a legal term. It is a word that was used to refer to the written evidence of a person’s guilt in a courtroom. It is the written record of a person’s crimes – the laws he has broken and the penalty he owes for his law-breaking. In ancient times, the accuser would present the cheirographon from the middle of the courtroom, called tou mesou, “the middle” – the exact term Paul uses when he says the cheirographon is taken “out of the way (tou mesou).”



    http://www.petahtikvah.com/Articles/WhatwasnailedtotheCrossin.htm

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