Derek Leman, a messianic rabbi from Atlanta, GA in this guest post for Jewish Studies for Christians deals with an issue of whether or not Jews and Gentiles are bound by the same commandments. While there are other well-argued opinions, I am happy to present his post to you for your careful consideration and engagement. (You are cordially invited to visit one of his blogs “Messianic Jewish Musings” of this talented and prolific author. To do so, please, click HERE).
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Whose commandments are they? That is, for whom were they laid down as stipulations? Does that still matter or did something change, such as God issuing a new covenant that made the original commandments a law for everyone? Or did a new people come to God who were then transformed in some way, made to have the same relationship to God as this first people, the Jewish people?
The logic of “one law” or of the divine obligation of all people of faith in Messiah to the same laws as those given to Israel is usually based on one of a handful of arguments. Aren’t non-Jews grafted into the Jewish tree through Messiah and if so, doesn’t this eliminate the Jewish-Gentile differentiation? If a commandment is holy, then isn’t it unholy not to follow it? Since the Torah is the only ordered list of God’s requirements, it has to be for everyone, because God nowhere gives a “law for the Gentiles,” right?
People often base their opinion about the commandments on their experience and not on the Bible. I am not against the importance of our personal experience with God. It’s just that experience can be misinterpreted. It seems to be far better if we interpret our experiences with reference to the great ideas that are in the Bible and find answers which bring together Bible and experience.
So, for example, a Christian may experience a deep awakening upon discovering the joys of Passover and Sabbath and the rhythm of the Torah calendar. Likewise, eating a restricted diet can feel like intensifying holiness. And the whole experience of becoming a Torah-observer may feel like getting very close to God. Then, when encountering Jewish beliefs about Torah — that Torah is a covenant between Israel and God, not between the nations and God — such a person might feel as if they are being denied membership in an exclusive club.
I would like to explain why, in simple terms, God’s way is not one law for everyone, and suggest a middle path for non-Jews who want to have a closer relationship with Israel’s Torah.
First, it would be helpful if people would go back to the giving of the Torah from Sinai in Exodus 19. Would Jewish people be asking too much if we say, “Please keep in mind the importance of this event as something special between us and God?” When you read Exodus 19, can you not see God is making a covenant with the Jewish people? Yes, there are clever work-arounds such as “Gentiles were there too in the form of the mixed multitude.” But those tortured arguments look like a way to deny the simple truth: Torah was given as a covenant to Israel. The commandments are the stipulations of the covenant.
Second, what is in the Torah? Do people who want to read it as “one law for everyone” actually take into account what is actually contained in it? Many things in Torah no longer apply to anyone today, Jewish or non-Jewish. Do you need laws about how to treat your slave? Have you seriously entertained the idea of taking a war-bride after giving her a month to mourn her father? Were you considering stoning your rebellious teenager? Reading the Torah calls for some maturity in reading, some willingness to learn history, to see the difference between the ideal in Torah and the time-bound social and civil legislation it contained for an ancient nation in a barbaric world.
Third, when people talk about how they are “Torah-observant” or say that they “keep the commandments,” they mean only a handful of them. What they are really talking about is the observances given to Israel which the church has not made part of its practice: Sabbath, dietary law, circumcision on the eighth day, tassels on one’s garment, and festivals. There is no Temple anymore, so the laws about offerings and giving the tithe to the priests cannot really apply. But these few commandments that differentiate Israel from the nations — which can be referred to as the sign commandments, since they are signs of Israel’s uniqueness — are a cause for controversy. It may help (or maybe not) to point out that the Sabbath is specifically said to be such a sign: “Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations” (Exod 31:13). When God said this, it is clear the “you” was Israel, and Israel’s generations are still very much alive today.
Fourth, it is possible — and I try to get people to see this — that what is holy and required for one person is not holy and required of all people. One person — a priest in Israel — may not be able to attend a burial or walk in a graveyard. If the whole world follows the “one law” principle, none of our dead will ever be buried. One person — someone under a Nazirite vow — must avoid wine and even grapes and raisins. If the all-commandments-apply-universally notion is followed, well, we will all miss out on some great Cabernet and the joy of raisins in our oatmeal. Likewise, it is possible that Sabbath is a holy sign of Jewishness (just like Exodus says) and that it is not holy for Gentiles. It may be that Israel’s diet was restricted and this marked them as a different people in the ancient world, but that there is no reason why pork is inherently unclean — just as Genesis 9:3 suggests.
Fifth, it is fairly easy to see — but clever and specious arguments are used to avoid seeing what is obvious — that the apostles believed Jews in Messiah should keep all the commandments but that the Gentiles did not need to “keep the law of Moses.” They did not mean by this that Gentiles in Messiah were free to steal and murder. “Law of Moses” means the covenant stipulations from Sinai as a total system. It is clear in reading Paul that he taught his Gentile adherents they were not bound by diets and days and the use of flint knives to remove a foreskin. To many people, this makes Paul seem problematic, anti-Torah. Did it occur to anyone he was being a good Jew and interpreting Torah according to its true sense?
Sixth, it is also fairly easy to see that the church went too far in distancing itself from Torah and the Jewish people. Christian theologians regularly write about this and recovering the Jewishness of Christianity is standard form today in many circles. Yes, plenty of Christians remain oblivious to what the theologians and historians within Christianity are saying about Jewish roots, but the church has definitely turned a corner. It is possible now to argue that Christians practice a form of Judaism and to point this out entirely from Christian thinkers and scholars.
Seventh, it is often overlooked that Christians keep most of what is in Torah, at least what I call the ideals of Torah. Love God and neighbor is the ideal center of Torah. It is expressed in ways we treat the powerless, honor one another, serve those in need, form community, and repair the world. Christians have always been very involved in love and service and good works.
Eighth and finally, there is a middle way for people who want to keep some of Israel’s Torah without those same people denying Israel’s unique relationship to God. It is not necessary to say, “I am grafted into Israel’s tree and so I am virtually an Israelite now.” It is not necessary to say, “All the commandments are holy for everyone and there are no distinctions.” It is possible instead to adopt the philosophy of one of the earliest writings of the Yeshua-movement, the Didache (pronounced deed-ah-KHAY). The Didache came out of the first century Messianic Jewish movement and a few decades after Paul died, the Didache argued that Gentiles could keep Torah. It is possible to see that in Paul’s time this could have been dangerous, it could have rendered Messiah null and void. But after many Gentiles came in, it was possible some of them would want to live close to Jewish communities and worship with them.
So in the Didache, Gentiles were encouraged to “keep as much Torah as they are able” and to live in fellowship with Jewish disciples. The audience of the Didache, then, were Messianic Gentiles — as we often call people today who are in Messianic congregations or, even if not members of a Messianic congregation, live a Messianic Jewish lifestyle and maintain friendships with Messianic Jews. And the Didache does not encourage these Gentiles to simply act as if they are Jewish. Some distinctions remain.
So, for example, in Messianic Judaism today, Gentiles have a welcome place. The best practices of Torah will include making distinctions without discrimination. It is possible to distinguish and not discriminate.
And it is not necessary that Gentiles who choose this middle way should claim that all Christians must do the same. Living as a “Messianic Gentile” (or just as a “Messianic”) does not make a person holier. It is one way and God has many ways for people. The most important commandments are not Sabbath and dietary law anyway. To over-exalt these is to practice a form of cheap self-righteousness.
Jewishness is not a privilege. It is a responsibility. Jewishness is not a status of higher blessing. It is a calling to be a distinguishable people and to pass on that identity to children and children’s children forever. Gentiles who love the Torah should not try to erase Jewish distinction, to render Jewishness inert, to say all Messiah-followers are essentially Jews.
It does matter whose commandments they are. And the ideals of Torah apply to everyone even if some of the specifics are about Israel’s peoplehood. One law for everyone fails to read Torah according to its own distinctions. Being grafted in is a way of explaining how Gentiles come into the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant, one given long before Sinai and which included Gentiles from the beginning (Gen 12:1-3). God did not ever say, “I now take the commandments given to Israel and make them apply to all of Messiah’s people.” But Paul did show his Gentile adherents how they could derive from the Torah what was required of them. And like Abraham (Gen 26:5), it is possible to keep all of God’s statutes without having a specific law-code.
The Torah is not one law for everyone. But neither do we have to forbid people from keeping it. There is a middle way.
What do you think?
Join the conversation (196 comments)
Dr. Eli: I agree with your eloquent description in this article. I, as a Gentile saved by Yeshua Messiah and filled with the Spirit of YHWH, I am continually drawn to learn more about the meaning of the original Scriptures and how they need to impact my life today. It brings me closer to G-d ultimately. Now you have peaked my interest in the Didache. I shall do some research. Thank you so much for the great discussions! Sincerely, Carol Brown
This is the most brilliant article I’ve read in years. To comment in a scholarly vein would take a whole book. Suffice to say that I’m racially a half Jew by birth, raised Christian, studied Philosophy at Emory, and a lifetime Bible student.
As I dissected church doctrine and concluded that spiritual truth is in the Gospels and only peripherally in Paul’s letters, I rejected fundamentalist doctrines and became interested in Judaism as the basis for Jesus’ teachings.
Rabbi Leman has started with Judaism as his faith and then embraced Jesus. I wholeheartedly agree with much that he says. Unique that we attended the same University and live in the same town and have never met.
Kudos to Dr. Eli for posing this wonderful article, which contains much truth as I see it.
I believe that Luke 10:27 is clear: for everlasting life, one needs to love Jehovah with his whole heart and soul, and love ones neighbor. A willingness to obey shows a desire to please. If you love with your whole heart and soul, you will try to obey what is commanded. Jehovah showed love when he made mankind. All that He asked of us was to obey. If I loved my neighbor (mankind) as I loved myself, I could not steal or take from him anything that was not mine, nor murder, etc. Everthing else was for health, mental, physical and spiritual benefits. Following the commandants does not make everyone privileged, but I think that loving (and pleasing), listening,, and building a relationship with Jehovah does. Gentile or Jewish, we (Mankind) all benefit!
“And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, HEAR, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: AND thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”!
Mark 12:28-30 (emphasis supplied); see also Deuteronomy 6:4-5.
Did you notice the first commandment? It’s HEAR! See Romans 10:17 (“So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”); Habbakuk 2:4 (“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”).
You cannot of your own will love God will all your soul, mind and strength. Only God can give you ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart to understand. See Deuteronomy 29:4. It is God who will circumcise your heart so that you will love him and live. Deuteronomy 30:6. You must be born again. See John 3:3; Philippians 3:3. And this is God’s work. John 1;12-13; 3:27, 6:28-29, 63. Come broken to Christ because you cannot love him and he will love you. See Psalm 34:18; 51:17; Matthew 5:3-5; 21:44. Shalom.
Did you know that the word “Shamah” is not only hear? It is hear and do. It is a action word, not an abstract word. It is also translated as obey in many places in the Torah.
Exodus 19: 5 Now then if you will indeed OBEY My voice, and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine.
That’s correct !! That’s the idea! 😉
This is often a sore subject for non-Jews / non-Christians, I am glad you brought it up. You said, “such a person might feel as if they are being denied membership in an exclusive club.” The club mentality seems to thrive in many groups that are religious in nature. I have wondered if it is because we often see our circumstances (born into…) as ownership, rather than see them as God’s sovereignty? Adults argue over whether the multitude is or should be mixed, children don’t. I did not decide to have a Torah experience; that was how God reached me. Christianity seems to think I was stepping onto their turf. I was stepping onto God’s turf because He called me.
John 3:8, The wind blows wherever it pleases.
And the ruach (wind) is turning people to the Torah!
Excellently put. We also didn’t choose to follow the requirements of the Torah, we were led by God’s Spirit and have grown to know our heavenly Father so much more through it. As Shaul wrote we fulfill the righteous requirements of the Torah, through the Spirit of God.
It is good to open this very important subject up for open discussion.
Yeshua is the Living Word, the Living Torah/Instruction – the prime example for living our lives. I believe that when He reigns in the Millennial Kingdom with a sceptre of iron it will be with Torah.
So if we love the Lord we show our love for Him by our obedience to His Word whose foundation is the Torah, the Books of Moses. The specific instructions contained therein are different for different people eg priest, men, women. All believers are to follow the moral commandments as contained in the 10 Words which are the weightier commandments over the ritual commandments as described by Ashir Intrater in his book ‘You had Lunch with Abraham’.
The most controversial commandment is the 4th commandment in the 10 Words which I believe is a universal commandment not only for the Israelite as it refers to creation as well as to the redemption from Egypt which represents SIN.
Will Yeshua return for the Sunday people and/or the Saturday people?
I believe that Yeshua/ Yahshua is the answer, and his life is the living example that please Hashem all the time ,I believe that Paul was more learnt than all of you guys that say you are rabbi’s and give people the idea that the truth of Hashem can only pass by with a Jewish nod of approval, and this is what we need to remove from the Creator, wisdom is given freely to all that would ask, and much of you that speak concerning these things rely on information that all can attain with study, but revelation is what we need, I honestly believe that YEHOSHUA will have a hard time convincing even you that call yourself Messianic, that the Shabbat was made for man and not man for the Shabbat, and yes it speaks to an order of importance, something made for someone is not more important than the person it is made for, this article by Rabbi Leman is a word from HASHEM. yes Torah is important,but I also agree it is between Yisrael and Hashem, Yahshua left us with two commandments that is the foundation of all the intent of Hashem and this is what must be fulfilled. Shalom
I’m agree with you, but I go further: All the torah is available to all! Don’t forget Dt 4:6-8 !
How do you understand Yeshua’s teaching here?:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayeda thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Wasn’t the Pharisee being obedient to the TORAH, and wasn’t the tax collector a disobedient sinner who simply humbled himself before God in the hope of receiving His mercy? Isn’t hoping against hope in God’s promises of mercy and favor the true mark of faith? See e.g., Romans 4:18-25.
As to the Sabbath, I believe you’re right. It is now a universal commandment. But it is not kept by obeying the letter of the law, (by resting on a certain day), but rather by obeying the gospel through faith in Yeshua by the spirit. For isn’t Yeshua the (eternal) Sabbath sign that it is God who sanctifies his people (see Exodus 31:17,13), and is it not only through Yeshua alone that God’s people can obtain the promised rest from their labors at the end of the age, and so rejoice in the Lord of all creation forever? See Matthew 11:28-29; Hebrews 4:1-13; 1 Chronicles 22:9-10. Shalom.
Dear Danel Yeshua judges the heart of man not the outer actions. God loves a humble and contrite heart. Yeshua is no coming back for the relious people who do all the right things to earn their way into the Kingdom, but those who acknowledge their sin as shown by TORAH and come with repentant hearts to Him through YESHUA. Does this help with understanding Luke 18.
What ever day you consider to be the SEVENTH DAY is the Day of REST/SHABBAT. Not the first ,second etc but the 7th if you are going to be obedience to God’s WORD. OTHERWISE you are doing your own thing not God’s way and you follow in the foot steps of Constantine!
I think this rabbi mist the doth, the bible teach us that we were far from the citizenship of God and has been brought closed through Yehsua haMashiach, its sound like discrimination, Hashem is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, so, we are grafted in the olive tree, and why not observe those festivals as Shabbat??? and the rest if they are all related to Yehsua??? so if people celebrate christmas and all the other not biblical feast, which were not constituted by God, why NOT those which belongs to God, I think it is not even necessary to bring this as topic, because it sound as a big misinterpretation, Yehsua was a jew, die as a jew, and will come back as the Lion of Yudah, certain all these festivals will not bring salvation, only through the blood of Yehsua can we come before the Father, and it is only if we repent of our sins and confess Yehsua as the Son of the living God,
I’m agree with you! 🙂
“And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” Galatians 3:12. See also Leviticus 18:5.
“”Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.” Romans 10:1-5.
“If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” James 2:8-13. See also Romans 4:15; 7:15.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Galatians 5:1-6.
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, …” .1 Timothy 1:8-11. See also Romans 4:15; 7:10.
These were some of the verses that came to my mind when I read this article. For “… this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” 1 John 3:23. Shalom.
Using Paul to make your points in this way makes him Schizophrenic. You need to take it in context with all that he says in Romans. Otherwise non of it makes sense and you can’t just cherry pick the verses you like to make your doctrine fit. Remember your author, he was:
Php 3:4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: Php 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; Php 3:6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. Php 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
He had the Torah Memorized. His definitions of how to live life are there. The point he is making there we won’t get into at this point, other than to say he was telling people no one has a right to boast….. but you can look at Romans 2 for his explanation of that. So to Romans then shall we.
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
Rom 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
What is sin? The most blatant description is found in 1Jn 3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
Lawlessness = Torahlessness.
Mat 7:22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
Mat 7:23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
It amazes me how people come up with this teaching that we are not to obey G-d anymore because He saved us from having to obey Him or listen to Him. That is so crazy it makes no sense. I can pull up a lot more verses on this including those where we are judged according to our deeds. (Our Works) depending on what translation you go into. (ergon in the greek). So even those saved by Grace through Yeshua their deeds, “works” will be judged.
To be righteous is to live by G-d’s law….not by us picking and choosing which ones we will follow and which ones we don’t have to. Who are we to change G-d’s law.
There are those we cannot follow – being in exile, no temple, no priesthood, etc. but all those we are physically able to do we do. Not to be saved…….BECAUSE WE ARE SAVED. Because Yeshua said “IF YOU LOVE ME KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS!” Walk in Truth – G-d’s Torah (Word) is Truth. Yeshua was the living representative of that and gave us the deeper meaning of things to it. Which would actually make it more difficult, not easier. He was showing what our Heart Attitude would be because he knew we would be like children trying to get away with as much as we could. Yeshua said Mat 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
Mat 11:30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
It is a Joy and a Delight to follow G-d’s Law, it is not a burden it is a privilege and delight. May I never profane His name by calling myself a child of the most high and then live like a pagen (gentile).
You said: “To be righteous is to live by G-d’s law.”
But God’s Apostle said:
“Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, ARE YOU NOW BEING PERFECTED BY THE FLESH? … Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law or by hearing with faith — just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Galatians 3:2-3, 5-6 (emphasis supplied).
You said: “May I never profane His name by calling myself a child of the most high and then live like a pagen (gentile).”
But God’s only begotten Son said:
“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Please prayerfully read and meditate the entire Epistle of Paul to the Galatians. Shalom.
I am sorry if you miss understood me. The only righteousness I have is given me by G-d. Rom 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (Hebrew – emunah – 1. firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, steadiness.
I was not telling you to toot your own horn – we live by G-d’s instructions “TORAH” because He asks us to, to make a distinction between us and the rest of the world. Because He wants us to be “Holy” as He is Holy. He asks this of us. Did you ever notice that Paul uses all the same words as are written in Torah about Israel. Kingdom of Priests and a Holy nation. How can a Holy nation walk in sin? You do not understand Paul or what He is teaching.
I do not keep G-d’s instructions to flaunt it as if I am better than anyone else, for I am least of all. But as Paul says, Romans 6:1 Shall we continue to Sin so grace will abound? MAY IT NEVER BE!
SIN IS TRANSGRESSION OF G-D’S TORAH (LAW)”INSTRUCTIONS” I am not going to now that I have been saved by Grace, and brought back into the Family of G-d. Profane His name by ignoring is instructions. Yeshua said “Matthew 5:17- 20” you need to read that one.
You really don’t understand what is being said. Please prayerfully read it. Forget the doctrine you were taught, pray and ask G-d to have His Ruach – Lead you into the Truth!
We don’t live by G-d’s standard to be saved – we already are. We live by it because we are saved.
To live a life of SIN after being freed from it, enslaves us to it once again, and profanes His Name among the Pagans of whom we walk. Sin is breaking G-d’s law, why would we do that?
As G-d is One, So is His Word. You can’t cut it up and dissect it and say I will follow this but I don’t need to follow that it is old fashion. Who are we to choose which of G-d’s instructions (Torah) we need to follow and which don’t apply today. Other than the obvious of course. Men do men’s commandments women do women’s. Their is presently no Temple, no alter, no priesthood so we cannot of course keep those that apply to that. But when it is time for times like that and we cannot keep them, we can remember and thank G-d for His grace.
I am getting to long here. You are miss interpreting Paul. May the L-rd open your eyes to see the truth of it. If you truly love Him and seek after Him. No man can just that but He can and does, to all of us. In Messiah, Yeshua. Shalom
Faith – ‘ĕmûnâh
Faith – ‘ĕmûnâh
Have you ever asked yourself why there is no temple, or altar or Levitical priesthood? Doesn’t God work all things according to the counsel of his own will? See Ephesians 1:11. And when I say “all” it includes, but is clearly not limited to, the fall of sparrows, (Matthew 10:29), the rolling of dice (Proverbs 16:33); the slaughter of his people (Psalm 44:11), the exile of his people (1 Chronicles 5:26), the decisions of kings (Proverbs 21:1; Jeremiah 51:11), the decisions of entire people groups (2 Chronicles 21:16), the building of the House of the LORD (Haggai 1:14), the steps of man, (Proverbs 16:9; 20:24), the words of man (2 Samuel 16:10-11; Ezekiel 33:22), the failing of sight (Exodus 4:11), the sickness of children (2 Samuel 12:15), the loss and gain of money (1 Samuel 2:7), the suffering of saints (1 Peter 4:19), the completion of travel plans (James 4:15), the persecution of Christians (Hebrews 12:4-7), the repentance of souls (2 Timothy 2:25), the gift of faith (Philippians 1:29; Ephesians 2:8-9), the pursuit of holiness (Philippians 2:12-13), the growth of believers (Hebrews 6:3), the entire salvific process (Ezekiel 36:22-32; John 17:17; Romans 8:28-30; 1 Thessalonians 5:23); the giving of life and the taking in death (Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6), the fulfillment of oaths (Lamentations 3:37), and, of course, the crucifixion of his only begotten Son. (Acts 4:27-28).
Now, knowing all this Cathy, can you not see that only one thing is needful? See Luke 10:38-42; John 6:63; 15:3; 17:3, 17; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 5:26; Psalm 1:1-3; Hosea 6:6. Please prayerfully read and meditate on the above verses and consider these as well: Matthew 23:37; Isaiah 30:1, 15: 31:3. I am not teaching lawlessness or sinful living. (Paul was also accused of teaching these things). I just trust in the Lord my Savior and believe all his promises. See Psalm 1:1-3, 118:8; 125:1; Jeremiah 17:5-8; Proverbs 3:5-6. He directs my steps. Proverbs 16:9; 20:24. Shalom.
I asked you to read some verses but I didn’t even type them in properly. Here they are: “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returningc and rest you shall be saved;in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”But you were unwilling,” Isaiah 30:15. That should remind you of Matthew 23:37.
Here’s the other verses: “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!” … The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together.” Isaiah 31:1,3.
We too are just creatures made of flesh. Do you see what He is saying? I’d really like to know your opinion about the parable of the sheep and the goats. See Matthew 25:31-46. What do you think that parable means? Shalom.
Well put Cathy. You are speaking the TRUTH. The ONE NEW MAN Paul refers to will be those who love the Lord and show their love by following the TORAH with the help of the HOLY SPIRIT so it will be written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31).
What a refreshing article! Thank you for the insight.
FYI: Tim Hegg counterpoint
I’m not agree with Rabbi. I’m a Messianic teacher and he, being a Messianic Rabbi, doesn’t express the common Messianic thinking.
Paul didn’t adopt any distance about the contents of the Torah. He only removed from commandments the power/weight of the PHARISAIC Oral Law. Anyone can circumcise in flesh further hearth’s if so wants, -Paul says-, but must have clear that doesn’t make him better or holiest and ISN’T a pre-requirement for salvation.
The problem with circumcision in Paul’s time was the following statement: If you don’t circumcise, you CAN’T be saved (by God) See Acts 15:1 ; That was a heresy! Yehoshua’ already came, and besides this, at the beginning this wasn’t the order (e.g. Avraham). salvation was ever by God’s grace!
The same about Kasher diet and Biblical Holydays: They are available for whom all wants, without saying: this is not for you, ’cause you’re not a jew! Let me remind here that were 12 tribes which received the Torah, not only Yehudah/Binyamin (the Jewish/benjaminite people). So, if the ten tribes went, and became unrecognizable in human eyes in the past (not so in God’s eyes), and nowadays people of all nation is returning to the Torah, let them return! They are part of those lost ten tribes!
Me, as a Messianic teacher, teach people to live into the commandments, for it’s God’s will, and his will is Good, nice and perfect, it’s the way to experience Dt 4:6-8
While I can certainly be sympathetic towards “they want to keep, let them” idea expressed by you, Eric. I am not sure how you can jump from that to the idea to another idea is that the Christians that desire such obedience to Torah are indeed 10 lost tribes? In other words I am failing to see why a person with no Israelite background at all (known or unknown) cannot desire (rightly or wrongly) such obedience as per your suggestion (it seems that you are saying that if they desire it they must of the lost 10 tribes). Perhaps, you can help me to understand your logic here.
Shalom Dr. Eli
Keywords: Insertion, accounting.
Ok, I will clarify my position:
Firstly, it’s writen (Acts 17:26-27).
Secondly: it’s writen (Phil 3:20).
Thirdly, It’s writen: (Acts 26:7 / Apoc 21:12).
On other hand, I haven’t referred ever only to “Christians desiring obey the Torah”, I said: “and nowadays people of all nation is returning to the Torah, let them return!”. This is not searching a link (rights) with the Modern and terrenal Medinat Yisra’el (State of Israel) or any human/Jewish/rabinical recognition, nor blood lineage, NO! That isn’t important to God, because he doesn’t do partiality; as Paul said: The word of God is not a prisioner!
What I’m saying is the lost ten tribes, are not lost for God (althaugh are lost for many Jewish Rabbis) and they received the Torah too; In this sense there are many people interwoven in the current world besides the ‘erev rav (Ex 12:38). Yehudah (jewish people, wasn’t alone there!). What’s that intention of private people from Torah? What’s that kind of monopoly? I’m a descendant from the jewish family De Sola, Curaçao, south America, and I’m happy when I find a brother loving learning and keeping Torah. There is no fear in love!
Thus, alike Kaleb, Rut, Rahav, and the rest of people (gone out from all over the world, this is, from sin) loving the God of ‘Avraham, Yitzchaq and Ya’aqov, through and thanks to the revelation of Yehoshua’ Hamashiach, today they all, will be insert/counted among the existing remnant of ten tribes for inheritance of the heavenly Yerushalayim.
There is a promise for 12 tribes, and it’s clear that God never let them loss.
So it’s spiritually natural that real believer people today, desire as babies, the Spiritual Milk unaltered, the Torah. The world needs Torah!
I don’t know where he is coming from on that point. But I can tell you my thoughts on it. At Sinai, Exo 19:8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.
I have no proof for this, just a feeling in me that says, that all those people who loved G-d and spoke those words, would have decendents throughout the generations who would hold fast to HaShem and to His Torah. To those that is was lost when they were exiled I believe that HasShem is true to His word. Deu 7:9 “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
So that even if a generation is lost, He will draw them back, to keep that promise to those who love Him. Thereby, even those who would today be counted among the gentiles. As the northern tribes are. He is still faithful in drawing them back, and not just to a superficial or distant relationship, but to an intimate one. Those who long for the intimacy and closeness (by loving and keeping the Torah) are most likely in my thought decedents of those who stood at mount Sinai and made that proclamation.
No proof of it, but the exile of the Northern tribes was so long ago, and they lost their identity and mixed with the nations, their is a possibility that almost every human on earth had a descendent at mount Sinai, we will never know.
We should never discourage those who desire to walk in G-d’s Torah from doing so. Not to be saved, but because they are and because of their love of the Father and Messiah.
My email is email@example.com. I will contact you by email. I would love to continue our coversation. Shalom.
Thank you for your remarks. I too have had this same sensation, and I believe that if a heart is drawn toward Torah, there is a reason behind it. I trust in Yahweh’s providence in this matter. All I know is that he is FOREVER GOOD! Amen!
If you and Daniel would be obliged, I’d be enthusiastic to participate in your conversations as well. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to connecting with you and I wish you joy overflowing and many many blessings in this life.