Tuesday 7 April 2015

Observance of Torah demanded of Gentiles? 2

More articles and other material has been posted by Charles Spearman, So here are some more objections for me to respond to:

"You must be looking at Yeshua thru an NIV New Age Bible ..

Col 2:13-14 – "Didn’t Christ Nail the Law to the Cross?"

On the contrary, it is our trespasses against the Torah that Yeshua has nailed to His execution stake.  But because our sins have been crucified by God's grace, does that mean that we should go out and sin more?

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 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.

Here, the key phrase to understanding v. 14 comes at the end of v. 13, “having forgiven you all your trespasses.” 

The “handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which were contrary to us” which were nailed to the cross referred to the nailing of a placard above a condemned criminal’s head, stating his crime (cf. John 19:19f).  Here, Paul is not referring to nailing the Torah to the cross as a means of annulling it, but nailing the ordinances of it that we have sinned against (which amounts to all of them; Jas. 2:10) to Yeshua’s cross.  All of our trespasses are punished in Him, so that we, the real criminals, might go free.  But does this mean that the Torah is annulled?  Because our sins are nailed to the cross, should we sin the more?  “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:2). 

by Michael Bugg"

There is a strawman here, Christians who do not see fit to observe the Torah, Don't say you can do what you want or go out and sin against God, That is a lie.

The issue is not moral or ethics, the issues that Christians were concerned about, even in Acts 15, was what GENTILES who became Christians were to observe, were they to observe the entire Torah, or were they free from it? What commands carried over from the Old Testament and into the New?

See the following on Colossians 2:

To extend on the points made, Colossians 2, referring to Torah or not (Which I don't believe it does refer to the Torah), doesn't suggest that Gentiles are under obligation to observe Torah and again to emphasize here, the context of Colossians 2 DOES make clear that immorality is unacceptable.

"God’s unadulterated Law does not put people in bondage; it liberates. “So shall I keep Thy Law continually forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty” (Psalm 119:44f). God wants us to keep His commandments, but we can disregard man-made commandments that men have added to God’s commandments. Adding to the commandments of God,[3] as the rabbis do and as the Pharisees did and as some teachers at Colossae did, perverts the Law and turns it into “a yoke … which neither or fathers nor we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10). In contrast to this man-imposed yoke, Yeshua says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29f).

     Yeshua does not say that the yoke of Torah is nailed to the Cross and abolished. He only says that His teaching of Torah is light compared to that of the Pharisees, who taught a Torah weighted down with additional, excessive, man-made demands. Then immediately after Yeshua’s statement about His light yoke, the very next verse begins a story that demonstrates the contrast between the Pharisees’ yoke and Yeshua’s yoke. The Pharisees’ interpretation of Torah would condemn the hungry disciples for plucking and eating a bit of grain as they walked through a field on the Sabbath. Yeshua’s yoke would permit the hungry disciples to do what they did in those circumstances. Just as David and his hungry men were permitted to eat the priests’ shew-bread in their unusual circumstances." The source used by Spearman came from here: http://www.petahtikvah.com/Articles/WhatwasnailedtotheCrossin.htm

See  the article commenting on Matthew 5:17-20 as well as Acts 15 in general: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/what-does-acts-15-teach-does-it-teach.html

Jesus does present an easy yoke, no question about that, but that doesn't suggest that he called the Gentiles to observe the Torah, but Yeshua or Jesus, it doesn't really matter if you refer to him one way or the other, while he doesn't address the issue of what Gentiles are to observe, he does say that the disciples will have the Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance everything he taught them, which would including teaching and making clear to others what he taught. The yoke of Jesus is light and does free man from the bonds of man made tradition, but that alone doesn't deal with the fact that Gentiles from the NT era were free from the Torah, specifically the ceremonial law.

"The Torah is not bondage.  It is YHWH’s handbook to keep us well physically, mentally and spiritually, and keep us in a right relationship with Elohim and man.  

There are not just 10 commandments as most people think, but 613! There are 248 positive (commandments), ways to get closer to HaShem, “Thou shalts”, and 365 negative (commandments), ways to get closer to HaShem, “Thou shalt nots”. Yet, not all 613 apply to one person.  Some are for men, some are for women, some for kings, some for Levitical priests and the Temple, which currently is no longer standing, and some for farmers in Israel.

Our Sages explain that this verse also serves as the source, which teaches us the exact number of Mitzvot.

The numerical value of the Hebrew word Torah, is 611.

Moses conveyed 611, to the Jewish people.

The first two of the Ten Commandments - "I am the L-rd, your G-d," and "You shall have no other gods before Me," we heard from G-d, Himself, at Mount Sinai.

Thus, there are a total of 613 mitzvot, which the Jewish people are commanded to observe."

The Torah is good and no Christian denies that. The Old Testament can be used to teach us, instruct us and help us, as Paul makes plain in 2 Timothy 3:16. I need not repeat myself and I still direct the readers to the articles posted above.

To be honest, there really isn't much to say except for what I already said about the Gentiles in the early church.

"Daniel Botkin, in his article; “Christians Keeping Old Testament Commandments? Not a Yes/No Question, but a Question of Which Ones” writes:  

“So how many commandments are Christians still supposed to keep?  Or we might ask, How many of the “613” commandments can we still keep?  Years ago, Chafetz Chayim listed all the Torah commandments which can still be observed today…. The Chafetz Chayim lists 77 positive commandments (things we are still commanded to do), 194 negative commandments (prohibitions), and 26 commandments which apply only in the land of Israel.  That makes a total of 271 for people outside Israel, and 297 for people living in Israel.  That’s 316 less than 613.  What happened to the other 316 commandments?  These are, for the most part, commandments which pertain to the Tabernacle/Temple service and sacrifices  which were administered by the Levitical priesthood.”

The bondage spoken of in the Renewed Covenant is not talking about Torah, but about the additions to the Torah.  The tradition and doctrine of men and of demons (Col.2:8, 1Tim. 13:9) which were added (Mk. 7:9-13, Deut. 4:2,12:32, Rev.22:18,19) by men and raised to the level of authority of Torah itself, which in some cases nullifies the Torah. "

Bringing up the traditions of men doesn't address the fact that man consistently hasn't kept Torah through and through. May I remind people that no man has kept it perfectly, Hence Jesus came to fulfill what we could not and before anyone raises Deuteronomy 30 as an argument, I address that here: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/comments-on-deuteronomy-301-14.html

The Gentiles need not observe the Torah as articulated in Acts 15 which I have addressed in the paper above.

The context of Revelation 22:18 refers to the book of Revelation specifically, not the the canon of the scripture or a reference to adding or taking away from the Torah. Both sides will agree the traditions of man that don't exalt God need to be avoided.

"Yeshua agreed with the Pharisees in all points except divorce (Mt. 19:19) and traditions elevated to Torah status. (Mk. 7:1-13)  Rav Sha'ul (Paul) whom many use out of context to say the Torah has been done away with said the Torah is good. (Rom. 7:12)  Moreover, regarding the terms “under the law”, and “curse of the law”, these refer to the penalty under the law that has been done away with and “nailed to the cross”. (Col.2:13-14) That penalty is death. That is what grace is all about.  Our sin debt is what has been nailed to the cross, not the Torah.  The Torah was never the problem, our hearts were.  The Torah was not imperfect, our hearts were.  Regarding the phrase, “works of the law” in the Renewed Covenant, this refers to one counting on their Torah observance, their works, to secure their salvation.   Some know this as “Legalism”.  This is the negative definition of that word.  Nevertheless, when someone accuses me of being “Legalistic” I say, “I am guilty as charged!”, because I see, and use “Legalism” in the positive sense.  In other words, I would rather be “Legal” than “Illegal”!"

I won't deny Jesus destroyed any notion that man made traditions were on par with scripture and that the penalty was removed, but once again, You cannot observe the Torah completely, hence as said before why Jesus came to fulfill, NOT abolish, but fulfill. If you ask me, I am not interested in legalism OR licence, I am interested in liberty, biblical liberty in the Spirit. Also as I have stated in my article on Acts 15:

"the charge that somehow Christians who do not keep the Mosaic Law are somehow Denying that the law is Perfect, Just, Good, Life, Truth, Light, Way, Freedom and Holy, is down right reprehensible".

No Christian denies the Torah is good, it is good. Paul goes on to explain that he delights in God's law but knows he fails on occasion. . But that doesn't automatically entail Gentiles are to observe The Mosaic Law, Even Modern Rabbinic Judaism doesn't require Gentiles to observe Torah, but just observe the seven Laws of Noah. It's not the same as Acts 15, but pretty similar.

"“It has been brought to my attention on more than one occasion that Christians are not under the law. This statement of Rav Shaul's is taken out of letters to various assemblies of the called out ones. The most amazing thing to me is that Christians rest on this out of context statement even when presented with the truth. The argument goes that, if we try to keep any part of the law then we have put ourselves back under its authority, and voided our salvation. Yet every time a Christian sins, they are admitting that they are indeed under the law. How and Why is as follows. If I stand on the principle that there is no law, believing that when Paul wrote 'for where there is no law there is no sin', then to confess that I have sinned is hypocritical. If I say that the Torah (wrongly translated Law) has ended, then there is no need to confess any so-called sin. However, (John) says very clearly that if we confess our 'sin' we are forgiven, and that if we say we have no sin we are liars. So, how do we reconcile this conundrum? First, we must look at what Christians are really trying to say. Second, we must look at what Ha Shem has really said. Thirdly, we must develop a peace and determination in ourselves about following the truth."

When a Christian sins, he doesn't put himself back under the law. It's trying to keep the law for your salvation that puts you back under the law. If however they are trying to use the Torah to make themselves right with God and they sin at the same time, THEN they are in bondage. To be perfectly honest, the arguments presented will only refute anti-nomians.

"Having listened to and spoken with over a thousand learned Christians scholars this is the gist. What Christians are really trying to say is, that "Christ died for our sins and that this death removed not only our sins but also magically removed the cause of our sins the law. Now, we are set free from the control of the law and able to have peace with G-d, through the blood of Christ. You must understand it was the law itself that was weak and ineffective, and therefore had to be removed. Really, you are damned if you try to live by the law, and not by faith. For the Holy Spirit of G-d will come into you and change your heart so that no matter what you do, G-d can't see the sin in you, or the sins you commit. Most importantly anyone who tries to tell you to live a Torah obedient life or keep any part of the law is a Judaizer and is evil.

Okay, so obviously I do not agree with this view… Your mom says to you when you are a kid, "Don’t drink the chocolate milk before dinner." Being a kid, you drink it, and your mom catches you. However, after you beg not to be punished, and she extends mercy and does not punish you, does that mean that from now on you can get a glass of chocolate milk before dinner? Of course not! Unless she says, "Okay, from now on you can get a glass of chocolate milk before dinner," otherwise, the rule still applies. "

The analogy is false because a Christian isn't claiming you can beg for forgiveness then continue in that sin and refuse to repent. I need not repeat that I have said about the food laws. Even if it's not your intention to be a Judaizer, you don't have a right to put Gentiles under the Torah when the apostles themselves DID NOT do such.

"here once was a man who had two sons; he wanted to give them joy, so he thought to do a magic trick for them. He placed a small soft red ball in his hand, made a motion, closed his hand and said some words, then swoosh opened his hand and it was gone. The shock and amazement on his sons’ faces as they looked and the wondrous joy they expressed was the reward he wanted, as the boys scurried off to tell their friends. The truth however is that the ball never went anywhere it is simply in the other hand.

This is Christianity in a nutshell. The law is the little red ball. The old man is the Catholic Church; the children are unlearned disciples. The illusion is that the law is gone, poof. The sons are none the wiser and tell others what the old man did.

Scripturally you cannot do away with the law anymore than the man could make the ball truly disappear, yet that is what they want you to believe, that they have made the law to disappear. For Yeshua Himself said 'heaven and earth will pass away before one yod (jot) or tageen (tittle) of the Torah would disappear.’"

Matthew 5:17-20 has already been addressed in the article above. Do I honestly need to repeat myself? Plus using the Catholic Church as an argument against a particular position is a genetic fallacy, That's like saying Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman got Razzie awards for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, therefore all movies they wrote must be bad.

Considering Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians will agree the Catholic Church is not the oldest church, let alone the first, The one who made the analogy should know better than to use the Catholic Church as an argument against a teaching.

Catholicism has been condemned by my website and shall continue to be such.

"Very simply said, if there is no law, why would you confess to breaking it? I will not go into my scant on the book of Hebrews. Suffice it to say this is the book that is used and misused by so many to confuse and twist the truth. If as Christians claim the book of Hebrews teaches that the law was weak and ineffectual, then the Christian G-d is weak and imperfect. How and why would the true EL create a defective set of laws for us to follow, having then to send the Messiah to be slaughtered, just to be able then to remove it? This all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing, all-just G-d would not be so powerful, loving, knowing, or just, huh? Could this be why so many people are now leaving the Catholic and Christian churches? Christians cannot understand why the Jews do not get it. I understand why, you see, you cannot have a perfect G-d, and then have him not so perfect. You cannot have the TeNaCK, and then have the works of Paul translated in a way that contradicts the TeNaCK. Unless something is lost in the translation, this may be why we supposedly only have Greek translations of the ReNewed Covenant texts. "

Simple, The moral law from the Torah, MINUS the death penalty is applicable to Christians but the ceremonial (food laws, sabbath, uncleanliness from sexual emission etc.) Christians do not teach a weak God when we tell you that the law of Moses is not applicable to the Gentiles.

Furthermore, Some could make the argument that Paul isn't saying that Gentiles are free from the Torah's demands, quite to the contrary, he doesn't say they are under it. The law is there for a number of reasons, to show you how bad you are, and to point to the one who can save you, namely Christ. Even Christ says in the Gospels "search the scriptures for they bear witness of me."

I know many say they do not keep the Torah to hold onto salvation but because they love the Lord and that is admirable, but at the same time, they should NOT be forcing Torah Observance on Gentiles, otherwise there is a danger of following in the footsteps of the Judaizers, even if that isn't your intention as I have stated earlier.

God is indeed perfect, as is the Torah, but the Torah itself CANNOT bring your salvation to you, Only God's grace can bring you such.

"Adonai's word however, never changes. How could a perfect EL (G-D) give something of Himself, and have it be weak and ineffectual? It is not the Torah that is weak, it is us; we are the defective part, made that way by original sin. Messiah Yeshua comes and shows us how to live the Torah, and then cleanses our hearts so that we would be able to have the Torah written on them. Then we will be able to live in the Way that HaShem intended, in a right way, in a right standing, righteous. The Torah is not the enemy of the Christian, but the Christian can be, and usually is, the enemy of the Torah. The Messiah did not come to give us a new Torah. No, He came to cleanse us, to give us a new heart so that we could keep the Torah. Yochanan did not say, "Behold the Lamb of G-d who takes away that weak and ineffective Torah." No, he said, “Behold the Lamb of G-d who takes away the SIN of the world.” Sin is what you get when you break the Torah, the evidence that the Torah remains in effect. Can you see the wind? No, but you see the effects of the wind blowing. The same is true of the Torah. You know it is still in effect because of sin. If there were no Torah, then there would be no sin; no wind, no breeze, it really is that simple. The Torah Remains, Baruch HaShem!"

Does Jesus tell the Gentiles via his apostles even implicitly that the Gentiles are to observe the Torah? No. I need not repeat myself. Furthermore, sin existed BEFORE the Torah. Hello, The fall of Adam and Eve doesn't ring any bells?

Now I am not attributing this belief to the one who made the comment, but I have come across one group that even said Adam and Eve kept Torah IN the Garden of Eden (which isn't the case).

For that matter, in Genesis 9, the consumption of blood along with animals that were still alive were not to be consumed, but there was none of the prohibitions that came in the Torah to the Jews. Once we get the New Testament, we have the vision that Peter recieved in Acts 10 were Jesus says "Don't call anything unclean, that GOD HAS MADE CLEAN".

Before anyone objects and say it only refers to his Gentile ministry and not to food, Read the article on Torah Observance I have already written above.

"The only thing left is for you to determine where you will stand. Will you stand on the side of Torah or on the side without Torah? Anomia is the Greek word for “without or against law”. The word literally means against or without the Torah. It is from the word Anomia that the best translators derive the English word lawlessness. Lawlessness--let us break it down; Law+less+ness, lawless is pretty clear: less the law, or without the law, ness: meaning being in a state of. Therefore, lawlessness is to be in a state of, against or without the law. Yochanan (John) says that all sin is lawlessness. Putting it back in Hebraic thought, sin is being in a state against or without the Torah. There can be no lawlessness if there is no law. No law would therefore mean no 'man of lawlessness' as Paul predicted. 

Therefore, where do you, or where will you stand. May His peace seek you out and overtake you, and may you grow in a deeper walk with Yeshua, and may the Ruach HaKodesh empower you for the walk.”"

Failing to take into consideration that the apostles did not put Gentiles under the Torah which I have covered already.

More objections maybe covered in another article.

For more information, I also recommend others to read the following paper on these issues:

Answering Judaism.

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