Thursday, December 31, 2015

It's Time To "Lay Down the Law" - Part 13

... finishing up Romans;

If you ever wanted to illustrate how man has changed and altered the Holy Bible, and has altered whole manuscript families, a good example shows up in Ch. 10 of Romans.

Growing up in the Church, we are properly taught respect and admiration for our Pastor and Elders. It is a watershed moment when one discovers these very men have lied to us. In fact, it took years for me to get over the disappointment after the realization. What brought me back to Faith was the Holy Spirit, that Spirit of Christ mentioned in Ch. 8 of Romans, showing me, in the Bible, that God's True Word is still there, underneath the pitiful attempts of man to conceal it.

Rom 9:1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,
Rom 9:2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.

Rom 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
Rom 9:4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
Rom 9:5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

[Note: Sha'ul is lamenting over his brethren here. Paul is saying he would go so far as to give up Christ and be accursed if he could but save his kinsmen; those who were given so much! Later in this study, some folks will use this statement of Paul's in Romans along with one in Galatians to actually say a person is accursed if he tries to follow Torah after receiving Salvation. When we get to Galatians I'll show this is not true. Paul is speaking in terms of Ch. 8. Remember, without the Spirit of Christ indwelling in you, you cannot possibly follow Torah? The Israelites, Sha'ul's brethren, were guilty of attempting to follow Torah through the Flesh, by creating all manner of man-made rules in addition to or taking away from Torah. One is actually "accursed" if one does not have Christ and attempts to follow Torah on his own! How can one have Christ and be against Torah? Paul has made it abundantly clear this is impossible! You have to go back to Deuteronomy to understand this relationship between the Blessed and the Cursed. Please remember, we have the same Gospel as they did!]

... to get a fuller context, please read all of Roman's 9.

Rom 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;
Rom 9:31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. (Torah)
Rom 9:32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,

[Note: Paul's brethren, especially the Rabbis and Pharisees, used man-made rules to "work" their way through Torah. This is different than our "works" required as we "work" through our Salvation with "fear and trembling". Remember, we are judged by our "works" (yes, another word study!). The word, "work(s)" is constantly misused throughout the N.T. Sometimes it means "deeds", sometimes it means man-made "law", sometimes it means Torah! This word is misused like the word "fulfilled" is misused. Paul is simply continuing his thoughts laid out in Ch. 8 and using the Israelites and Gentiles to illustrate his point.]

Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Rom 10:5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.

[Note: OK! Here it is! My Churchy friends will say, "TORAH HAS ENDED FOR BELIEVERS!" Nope! Sorry! Here it is in the Greek w/English below:

v4.   τέλος       γὰρ     νόμου   Χριστὸς  , εἰς  δικαιοσύνην   παντὶ            τῷ
v4.   [the] end indeed of law [is] Christ , for  righteousness to everyone  -

v4.   πιστεύοντι .

The word for "end" here is "telos" in Greek. Here is Strong's dictionary explaining "telos":


From a primary word τέλλω tellō (to set out for a definite point or goal); properly the point aimed at as a limit, that is, (by implication) the conclusion of an act or state (termination [literally, figuratively or indefinitely], result [immediate, ultimate or prophetic], purpose); specifically an impost or levy (as paid): - + continual, custom, end (-ing), finally, uttermost. Compare G5411.

So, what this means is that Christ, who lived Torah perfectly, is our "telos" or "goal" when it comes to living a life of righteousness for us believers! We are to be perfect (as much as possible), as Christ is, in our living a righteous life! Remember how we went over the word, "righteousness"? It means, "right standing in Torah"! Yes, "telos" can be used in other ways, depending on the grammar and usage in the sentence, but most Bible Scholars and Linguists say Romans 10:4 is used as a "goal" for us. Our English Bible translators do this constantly - misuse words - and we must be on guard always. A question, please. Has a Pastor ever correctly explained Romans 10:4 to you? I'll bet the answer is NO! Why hasn't he? Because if he does, it means Torah is still valid for us Christians, it means the Sabbath is valid, it means Christmas and Easter are pagan and not to be celebrated - IT MEANS THEY HAVE LIED TO YOU OVER CENTURIES AND CENTURIES! Yes, the Jeremiah 16 prophecy is coming true, right before our eyes! Also, please notice verse 5. If we practice (works) a righteous life, we will live according to the law! The Torah is still alive and well - to show us how to live a righteous life!]

Rom 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
Rom 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

[Note: "he who loves his neighbor" has fully filled Torah, a good thing! "Love" is the filling full of Torah, Torah expressed in it's fullness!]

Folks, the fact is that our Pastors and Priests are now the modern-day Pharisees. They want you to follow their rules and not Yehovah-Yeshua's. Keep searching for the Narrow Gate. You will not find it in Church, most likely!

The Observer

Sunday, December 13, 2015

It's Time To "Lay Down the Law" - Part 12

... continuing with Romans ...

I recommend you watch the video to the right (or follow the link) which describes several "laws" that Paul writes about. The vid is called, "Which Law Paul?" Paul uses this idea of we humans making a "law unto ourselves" when he addresses the difference between "man-made instruction" and God-made instruction (Torah).

Rom 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (2 different "laws")
Rom 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
Rom 8:4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

[Note: Many folks in the Church will say this is describing Torah as the "law of sin and death", and that through faith in Christ, we have been set free from trying to follow Torah. But Sha'ul consistently reaffirms Torah throughout the N.T.! Instead, Paul is saying we have been set free from trying to walk through Torah in our own "fleshy" way, thereby falling into sin and death. Look at verse 4. We walk according to the Spirit, through and in Christ, to live the requirement of Torah. The word, "fulfilled" is "pleroo" in the Greek and it means Torah is "made perfect" in us! See the video in the last blog entry, "Abolish or Fulfill". This is made clearer in the following verses.]

Rom 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
Rom 8:7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
Rom 8:8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

[Note: This is very clear, folks! The flesh will not subject itself to the requirement of Torah! In fact, it is "hostile" to God and His Torah! (having enmity towards God and His Torah)]

Rom 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
Rom 8:10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Rom 8:12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-
Rom 8:13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Rom 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

[Note: Yes! We cry out for Abba, through Yeshua and His indwelling Spirit, we are under obligation to live as perfect of a Torah life as we can, as required! A person who does not wish to do this does not belong to Christ! Folks, this is not me saying this! It's Paul! If one reads the text carefully you will understand it says this. You must ask yourself this question: When I ignore His Sabbath, Feast Days, Food instructions, and Torah, in general, do I have the Spirit of Yeshua in me? Do I belong to Him? Paul says, the answer is NO because you are still living by the "law" of the flesh and of sin and death!]

The rest of Romans 8 is so wonderful, I had to show it!  : )

Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
Rom 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
Rom 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Rom 8:19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
Rom 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
Rom 8:21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
Rom 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
Rom 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Rom 8:26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
Rom 8:27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Rom 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
Rom 8:30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
Rom 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
Rom 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
Rom 8:33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies;
Rom 8:34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
Rom 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
Rom 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Observer
A reader has asked a question and I will address it here in postscript form. The question is: If the Spirit of Christ is within us and therefore the Law has been fulfilled in us, then why do we have to worry about following Torah?
Sha'ul makes it very clear that, IF YOU HAVE THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST IN YOU, you will not be "hostile towards God" or be opposed to "His Law". Paul also makes it clear that the FLESH cannot follow Torah on it's own. Paul also makes it clear that if you do not wish to follow Torah it is because Christ is not in you!
The questioner seems to have a misunderstanding concerning the word, "fulfilled". Our faith in the Father and Messiah is not by magical means. Please watch the video I referenced concerning this word. One does not.become automatically and "magically" Torah observant because you have accepted Christ as Lord! Torah has not been brought to a conclusion, to an end, because you have accepted Christ. You have Salvation, yes, but we are to work out our Salvation with "fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). See the word, "work"? Yes, we MUST do WORKS! This misunderstanding, that the Torah has been brought to an end, has been promulgated by FALSE Church teaching over centuries. You must fight it! Do not continue to walk in the flesh!
My wife, The Tigress, gave me some verses which shed light on how we are supposed to view this:
Eph 4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,
Eph 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
Eph 4:19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
Eph 4:20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,
Eph 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,
Eph 4:22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
Eph 4:23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
Eph 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Continuing to have "enmity" against Torah after receiving Salvation is anathema, death, separation from God! (See Romans 8:7 above).

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Did Yeshua Come to Abolish or Fufill the Law?

Does the word "fulfill" mean to "bring to completion", or "bring to an end"?

The Observer

Sunday, November 15, 2015

It's Time To "Lay Down the Law" - Part 11

... continuing with Chapter 7 of Romans

Please remember, Sha'ul has just stated in Ch.6 that we should; present our members as slaves to right standing in Torah, resulting in Sanctification!

Rom 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?
Rom 7:2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
Rom 7:3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.

[Note: Paul is setting up a classic metaphor here. BTW, even some Christians follow this Torah requirement Paul is speaking of. My own Mother was married 4 times! Each man she married, including the first one (my dad), died of natural causes or heart attack. I'm reticent to admit it, but we sometimes called her the 'Widowmaker" or, the "Black Widow". She is gone now and has been for many years, but she followed this aspect of Torah without ever understanding why. BTW, if Paul did not believe in Torah, why would he say the woman who breaks it is an Adulteress?]

Rom 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
Rom 7:5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
Rom 7:6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

[Note: To me, this metaphor is very clear. We are now joined with Christ, raised from the dead, in the newness of the Spirit of the Law, not the Letter! Mainstream Christians will tell me that we are now DEAD to the Law and we have been released from it because of these verses! Folks, this is called, NOT BEING ABLE TO READ AND UNDERSTAND A METAPHOR! How do I know this? Because Paul continues and reaffirms Torah.]

Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."
Rom 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.
Rom 7:9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;

[Note: Yes, another misunderstanding by MSChristians. They have actually told me that Torah produces Sin! Yet another example of not being able to read. Paul has just stated that Torah is not Sin! He is simply continuing with his metaphor. Please forgive me because I'm truly trying not to be disrespectful, but some people cannot read!]

Rom 7:12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Rom 7:14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.
Rom_7:16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good.

[Note: Very logical! If I do things I do not want to do (sin), I agree with the Law. Because Law defines sin - confessing that the Law is good!]

Rom 7:22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
Rom 7:23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Amazing! This is classic Paul! Let's look at each verse. The law in inner man. We are to write the law on our hearts! Yes, Torah is to be written on our hearts which combats and wages war against the law of what my mind wishes to do ("the law of sin"), which is a "law" unto itself! So, thanks be to Yeshua Ha Mashiach I am serving the "law of God" (Torah), instead of my fleshy "law of sin"!

See how it works!?!  : )

The Observer

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's Time To "Lay Down the Law" - Part 10

It is my hope that everyone enjoyed the Fall Feasts of YHWH! Now it's time to get back to it! Chapter 4 of Romans emphasized Abraham's devotion to Torah and gave his FAITH as the example. It was a FAITH so great that he pursued it even to his circumcision, even though it was not required for his Salvation. Yes, Abraham followed Torah. How do I know? Please read this admonition to Isaac (Yitzchak) concerning his future:

Gen 26:4 "I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
Gen 26:5 because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws."

This extension of Faith, even unto keeping Torah, is very important. Remember the parable of the "Ten Virgins" of Matthew 25? It is a picture of the Church awaiting the Bridegroom's return. All 10 had oil and love for the Bridegroom (Yeshua), but only 5 had enough oil to last until the time He arrived. The oil represents Faith and Love; Faith and Love so deep that 5 of the Virgins kept pace with the Bridegroom's requirements and were ready. The other 5 knew Yeshua but did not love Him enough to even do what He said to do. Do you begin to understand why your Faith must be so great that you are willing to follow His Torah? Are you in a Church which has disdain for Torah? Are you "yoked" with a Bridesmaid that has little Faith? Here is an excellent commentary on the parable.

Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- Rom 5:13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

[Note: The context is of sin entering into the world through Adam. Paul is simply saying here that Torah has no intrinsic "value", good or bad, when sin is not present, sin being the transgression of Torah. I've had Churchy types tell me that Grace means we don't have sin over us anymore, therefore Torah is without value, as this verse says. Of course, this flies in the face of many other verses and is a prime example of purposely taking scripture out of context. It also ignores the fact that believers still sin! You will see how this "Grace perversion doctrine" develops as we continue the study.]

Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Rom 5:15 But the free gift [Salvation] is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
Rom 5:16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.

Rom 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Rom 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Rom 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
Rom 5:20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
Rom 5:21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

[Note: Romans 5:12-21 is summed up in verse 20! Sha'ul is saying Torah had to come in to play so Grace would abound even more. In other words, as sin increases, through the breaking of Torah, Grace increases. You have to love Paul's complex way of saying something so simple! Please notice how you still need Torah to define what sin is. And Grace? Grace is not a license to keep sinning because it "covers" your sin, but Grace is EMPOWERMENT to NOT sin! The Church teaches that Grace is a license to sin, that it is a "cover" for sin. (Jude 1)]

To appreciate the context, all of Chapter 6 must be shown.

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?
Rom 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
Rom 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
Rom 6:7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
Rom 6:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
Rom 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.
Rom 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Rom 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

[Note: A wonderful use of "Baptism" (Mikveh), Death, Slavery, and Resurrection in Christ to illustrate we are "dead" to sin and "Resurrected" to "non-sin", so we may walk in "newness of life"! This takes effort, btw, not just a "cover" for our sins!]

Rom 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
Rom 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!

[Note: Ahhh! The classic comment from Churchy types! "I am no longer under law but under grace!" Paul is simply stating, when read in context, that Grace (the empowerment to not sin) is the gift you should be operating under, not the law. The "law", Torah, is that which defines sin. It is also THE set of instructions that help us from committing sin! -- I have come to believe that most Churchy people believe in magic! I've actually had people tell me that Grace will protect them from committing any sin and they don't need to worry about Torah! Then, these same people engage in sin and don't even realize it! Why? Because they don't know Torah and don't have enough Faith to believe Grace will empower them to stop sinning! They believe that Grace is a license to sin!]

Rom 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
Rom 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
Rom 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
("righteousness" - right standing in Torah)
Rom 6:19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
(present your members as slaves to right standing in Torah, resulting in Sanctification!)
Rom 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
Rom 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
Rom 6:22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Folks! It's right here - in the biblical text! Torah leads to Sanctification - with the empowerment of Grace to enable one to not break TORAH! Being without Torah (Anomia - being without the law; lawlessness) leads not to Sanctification but more lawlessness! Oh my goodness, why doesn't the Church simply read their Bible?

The Observer

Monday, October 05, 2015

Why Sound Bites from Unlearned Men Are Ridiculous!

Folks, I'll be back in the saddle soon! And, do yourself a favor - turn off the television.

The Observer

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Michael Rood's Fall Feasts of the LORD

Rood has done a wonderful job teaching on the Fall Feasts. Throughout his exposition nuggets of biblical truth are offered that one would never think of on their own. Very few of us are as well-read as Michael.

I suggest you watch all the episodes and take notes. If you've ever wondered how it all fits together, the Tanakh and B'rit Hadashah, this series will show you, as it relates to the Feasts. I also recommend his Spring Feasts videos - same title, but with "Spring".

The Observer

Friday, September 11, 2015

Yom HaKippurim

Folks, the time for Teshuvah is NOW! Yehovah is telling us He wants us to come to Him, to Return and Repent!

The Observer

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Yom Teruah - I hope everyone enjoys Yeshua's True Holy Days this Fall!

A concise and wonderful teaching about the Day of Trumpets by 119 Ministries.

Don't say, "Rosh Hashanah"! Don't even go in that pagan direction!  : )

The Observer

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

It's Time To "Lay Down the Law" - Part 9

There is a need to show all of Ch. 4 in Romans to keep everything in context. Also, Ch. 4 is really a continuation of 3.

Please remember, Paul has just reaffirmed Torah! :

Rom 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

Firstly, one must understand that most all of Ch. 4 is under the context of Abraham's Salvation, Step 1, in our 4 Steps. Salvation is given to all who accept Jesus, by FAITH!

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Eph 2:9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

This is the glorious, "come as you are" Salvation, circumcised or not, Jew or Gentile, Sinner - as ALL of us are!

Rom 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?
Rom 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
Rom 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
Rom 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
Rom 4:6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

[Note: Paul is referencing King David's writings in Psalms 32. He is also referencing Ezek. 18, 32, and 33, and Gen. 15 and 17. "Father" Abram was considered righteous by FAITH alone! But wait, the story's not over yet!]

Rom 4:9 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, "FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."
Rom 4:10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
(the very definition of Salvation, "Come as you are".)
Rom 4:11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
Rom 4:12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

[Note: What is the example of Abraham, then? The example is that by FAITH he came into Salvation. And because of this FAITH, he followed Torah by getting circumcised, as, "a seal of the righteousness of the faith"! Why, because of his FAITH, not because Torah makes one righteous!]

Rom 4:13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Rom 4:14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
Rom 4:15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
Rom 4:16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
Rom 4:17 (as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
Rom 4:18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE."
Rom 4:19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb;
Rom 4:20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
Rom 4:21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
Rom 4:23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him,
Rom 4:24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
Rom 4:25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

[Note: "Churchy" types will argue that these verses make the "Law" obsolete and void. It DOES NOT! What it makes void is Righteousness without Faith! Remember the Israelites in the desert? Only two individuals had the Faith to say, "we should proceed into the promised land and kill these giants because the LORD is with us!" (Paraphrased, of course) Most all of the Israelites did not have enough Faith to take the next step!

The next step is the same step that Abraham took. His Faith enabled him to step forward into Torah and he was circumcised. We need Faith to establish Salvation, but that is not the end of the race. So, why did Abraham step forward and follow a requirement of Torah, and why does Sha'ul continue to reaffirm Torah? Because Torah is part of Sanctification and Purification and both Abraham and Paul had Faith to proceed to the next steps. How can Abraham have Torah? I thought Torah was established later, with Moses! No, Torah has been there from the Beginning. See John, Ch. 1.]

I wish to tell you a true story. Last Shabbat, the Tigress and I were enjoying a video by Dr. Michael Lake, when the doorbell rang. Yes, it was a Jehovah's Witness. A nice lady with her young son. She said she wanted to share some Bible verses with me, so I said, "OK", but I have some questions for you, first (The Tigress was still inside at this point). I asked her if she celebrated the Sabbath - she said no. I asked if she celebrated any of Jehovah's "Feast Days" - she said no. I asked her if she tried her best to follow Torah - she said no, and why should she, she said - that's for the Jews! I told her that someone claiming to be a Witness for the Father should at least do what the Father said to do! About this time the Tigress walked out with a Bible. I mentioned to the nice lady that Jesus is of the Father and One with the Father, so does she believe in Jesus? She said, yes, I believe in Jesus but he was not Jewish and did not follow Torah! I asked her if she ate pork. She said, of course! My wife then opened her Bible to Lev. 11 and read to her the verses about swine flesh being an abomination. My wife also turned to Lev. 23 and read to her the verses saying ALL of Jehovah's Feast Days are to be celebrated perpetually, by ALL generations. I then reminded her that Jesus is the Lion of Judah and, of course He is Jewish! I told her, no offense intended, but she makes a pretty bad Witness for Jehovah! About that time the Tigress said; "We should pray". My wife took off in a beautiful prayer to Abba concerning our need to learn His ways and .... Boom! This Lady ran off like a rocket! She wanted no more of this discussion!  : )

You see, Folks. The Good Book does not deny Torah. But Torah is not something that gives us Salvation. Faith is required for that. Instead, it is God's Perfect set of Instructions to help Purify us! Why am I so convinced of this? Because the JW Lady forgot something very critical (and so has the Church). If Jesus did not follow Torah perfectly and promote Torah, HE CANNOT BE THE MESSIAH!

Deu 13:1 "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
Deu 13:2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,'
Deu 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 13:4 "You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.
Deu 13:5 "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.
Deu 13:6 "If your brother, your mother's son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods' (whom neither you nor your fathers have known,
Deu 13:7 of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end),
Deu 13:8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him.
Deu 13:9 "But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
Deu 13:10 "So you shall stone him to death because he has sought to seduce you from the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Deu 13:11 "Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such a wicked thing among you.
Deu 13:12 "If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God is giving you to live in, anyone saying that
Deu 13:13 some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods' (whom you have not known),
Deu 13:14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you,
Deu 13:15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its cattle with the edge of the sword.
Deu 13:16 "Then you shall gather all its booty into the middle of its open square and burn the city and all its booty with fire as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God; and it shall be a ruin forever. It shall never be rebuilt.
Deu 13:17 "Nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to your hand, in order that the LORD may turn from His burning anger and show mercy to you, and have compassion on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers,
Deu 13:18 if you will listen to the voice of the LORD your God, keeping all His commandments which I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of the LORD your God.

The Observer

Sunday, August 30, 2015

It's Time To "Lay Down the Law" - Part 8

As a reminder, in the American English idiom, "It's Time To Lay Down the Law", doesn't mean to rid oneself of a "law", but to emphasize it - to place "rule" over your children, for example, as our Father in Heaven does for us!

Deu 5:29 'Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!
Deu 10:12 "Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deu 10:13 and to keep the LORD'S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

Folks, the Good Book is very clear. Torah is not a Burden, it is not Unachievable, it is not to be perceived as Bondage, it is not Obsolete! Instead, it is there for our own good - forever!

... let's continue with Romans, Ch. 3 ...

The word "Law" does not appear before verse 19, however, the context prior to this is important to understand. The main point of confusion in the Church, in my opinion, is that our development as believers is by FAITH, not by Works, and this is something they don't understand. Wait a minute, Tiger! The Church says it's all about FAITH and it's why Torah is not needed! How can the Work of Torah be helpful? See the confusion?  : )  Please allow me to elaborate, although Paul does so later.

Our life as believers, assuming we "run the full race" has 4 steps, biblically speaking:


All of these steps are FAITH based, NOT Works based, just as they were with Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Israelites, etc. If you want Works based lives you join Pharisaical Judaism, the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, or perhaps your local Sunday keeping Church! All the other "religions" are so Pagan, they're not even to be mentioned.

SALVATION is defined beautifully in Ephesians 2:8. Do a word search and you'll find much more. Most in the Church stop at this step. "Once Saved, Always Saved" is the legalistic mantra! But we must continue the race. SANCTIFICATION is the Holy Spirit working through us to enable us to live a Holy (set apart) life. Part of this process is Purification. What defines sin? The Torah defines sin. What does keeping Torah accomplish, other than an expression of Love for Him, as the Bible states (John 14) ? It helps to purify us because no man has the ability to purify himself ! Does it take FAITH to follow Torah? You bet it does! A person who has a tiny, limited faith will not even consider Torah because they don't believe God's perfect Law is good enough (Psalm 19, James 1) !They lack the faith to even try, so they rely on Salvation only and stop developing. Remember the seeds in Matt 13 and 18? Most "Churchy" types are people with limited faith. They would rather follow a Preacher or Priest and his man-made "Torah". They don't have faith to follow God's instructions (Torah). They are stunted plants that will never produce fruit. Let's continue the race to the end. JUSTIFICATION also comes from FAITH and through God, not by man's efforts. And we are ultimately GLORIFIED in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye!

You see, whatever WORKS we do, including following Torah, is a RESULT of our FAITH,  just as Ya'a'kov (Jacob-James) says. Faith and Works go hand-in-hand. This is the point the Church has missed.

Jas 2:14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
Jas 2:16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
Jas 2:18 But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
Jas 2:19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
Jas 2:20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
Jas 2:22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;
Jas 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God.
Jas 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Jas 2:25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
Jas 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Folks, an entire book can be written on this subject. I must continue with the word study.

Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;
Rom 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
Rom 3:22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Rom 3:25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
Rom 3:26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

[Note: You see, the Torah is so important, it is the mechanism by which "all the world" will be held accountable. Did Sha'ul just conflict with James in Rom 3:20? No, look again at 20 and notice Paul is speaking of works without faith and compare that to James 2:24. See the word, "alone"? Verse 21 is very powerful! Torah and the Prophets (the Tanakh) actually manifest the Righteousness of God! Paul is repeating this message in context of the Messiah, in verses 22-26.]

Rom 3:27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.
Rom 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law
Rom 3:29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
Rom 3:30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.                                                      Rom 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             [Note: Is Paul trying to confuse us here? I thought faith and works go side-by-side? No, Sha'ul is not trying to confuse us. We just don't read carefully. What context is Paul speaking in here? He mentions it in verse 24. It is in the context of Salvation. Our Salvation is evident whether we are following Torah at the moment or not! Remember the 4 Steps? Salvation is Step 1. This is why Paul then completely and overwhelmingly reaffirms Torah in verse 31! A "baby believer" will ultimately begin following Torah out of Faith and Love for Yehovah-Yeshua, IF the "baby" grows.Yes, I'm afraid it's true - I just called most "Churchy" types babies. They are the little seedlings that won't grow. It is my hope and prayer I can somehow nurture them.]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Folks! I think it's plain to see, you cannot take Paul out of context! And when you diligently try to understand the whole Bible, not "sound bites of verse", it all makes sense. I better stop at this point and pick it up later in Ch.4.                                                                 
The Observer

Saturday, August 01, 2015

The Least, The Greatest, and The DEFIANT!

I hope everyone is resting and celebrating this weekend's Sabbath! Please enjoy this 15 min. vid which relates to the on-going study on the "Law". Notice the definition of "righteousness" and it's relationship to the Law.

What happens to your loved one who dies without Torah? Also, what if you do have a "Torah of your own"? Is that good or bad? Watch to find out.

Shabbat Shalom and Baruch ata Yehovah! B'Shem Yeshua ha Mashiach, Sar Shalom!

Sabbath Peace and Blessed be Yehovah! In the name of Jesus the Messiah, the Prince of Peace!

The Observer

Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's Time To "Lay Down the Law" - Part 7: And, A Message for America

Welcome to the Scroll of Romans. Please remember Peter's warning!  BTW, when studying Paul it becomes clear you're inside the mind of a genius! Bear with me, please, because Paul's contextual reference sometimes stretches over several chapters. And, CONTEXT is everything!

One cannot begin Romans without acknowledging Paul's introduction. It's important!

Rom 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

[Note: Paul was the 12th Apostle, selected by Yehovah-Yeshua, to replace Judas Iscariot. Remember how Peter and the others selected Matthias to replace Judas, but then you never heard about Matthias again (Acts 1)? It's because Matthias was the wrong choice - man's choice, not God's.]

Rom 1:2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
Rom 1:3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,
Rom 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

[Note: Sha'ul acknowledges Yeshua and acknowledges Scripture (Old Testament Scripture) as confirmation and validation of Yeshua.]

Rom 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake,

[Note: Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, not Peter. If the RCC wants to claim a first Pope, they should have proclaimed Sha'ul! (Yes, I know about the "Key", but that's for another blog.) Please notice, Paul's work is to bring about "obedience of faith among all the Gentiles". Obedience infers "doing", "action". What is this "obedience of faith"? It's the following of Torah, as we'll see later. Also, "grace" is not a N.T. notion! Grace has always existed!]

Rom 1:6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
Rom 1:7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

[Note: Please notice that Yehovah-Yeshua calls Saints. Man cannot ever "create" a Saint. So much for the RCC and it's man-made silliness!]

... I can't continue without quoting more! Because it is so apropos for today's World!  ARE YOU LISTENING - AMERICA? ...

Rom 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.
Rom 1:14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. Rom 1:15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
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."

[Note: When did the "gospel" start? It started way back, at the beginning, for the Jew first, and was a matter of faith to them as well as to us Gentiles. Sha'ul is quoting Habakkuk. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is a continuation of the "faith once delivered to the Saints". For in it, the "old" teachings, the righteousness of God is revealed. Righteousness. Let's look at that word. It is defined as someone being innocent, pure, without sin, holy, and just. By definition it is one who has "right standing in Torah" since sin is defined as the breaking of Torah. And, those who live by faith, not those who simply have faith, but those who's actions demonstrate a life of faith, shall be righteous!]

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

[Note: May Yehovah-Yeshua forgive me for ever thinking Torah was done away with!]

Rom 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
Rom 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

... listen America!

Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
Rom 1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
Rom 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
Rom 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

[Note: How many Churches in America give hearty approval to these practices? Many do! Some even make them Pastors and Priests!]

Rom 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
Rom 2:2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.
Rom 2:3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?
Rom 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Rom 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

[Note: Yes! We are judged by what we DO, or, Don't DO! Not what we say we believe in!]

Rom 2:7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
Rom 2:8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
Rom 2:9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
Rom 2:10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Rom 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.
Rom_2:12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
Rom_2:13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.
Rom_2:14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
Rom_2:15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,

[Note: Paul begins to do something interesting here. Over the next chapter he begins to develop an academic concept of, "those under Torah", and "those under their own personal "Torah". Please notice, the text says, if you have sinned and don't have Torah you will perish. But also, if you have sinned while trying to live under Torah, you will be judged by Torah. Then Paul explains further, being hearers of Torah is not enough, one MUST DO TORAH! Verses 14 and 15 are argued by Churchy types to say that persons in the Church have the "Law" written on their hearts and do "Torah" instinctively. This kind of "sound bite" verse selection is a rampant disease in most denominations. The two verses actually say, a Gentile who does not have Torah (meaning an unbeliever), who does things of Torah instinctively has a "Torah" to himself, in that it shows Torah written on his heart.]

... then Paul continues ...

Rom_2:17 But if you bear the name "Jew" and rely upon the Law and boast in God,
Rom_2:18 and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law,
Rom_2:20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,
Rom_2:23 You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?
Rom_2:25 For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
Rom_2:26 So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?
Rom_2:27 And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law?

[Note: Very clear language here. If you live under Torah, teach it to others, and profess it's obvious truths (Paul is actually bragging on Torah), yet break Torah - YOU DISHONOR GOD! Sha'ul reemphasizes this in the next 3 verses using circumcision as an example - to make his point. In other words, if an uncircumcised man who instinctively keeps Torah, notices a Torah keeper sinning, will he not regard the Torah keeper as a sinner? This instructive teaching, btw, is not arguing against circumcision (required by Torah). Paul is academically using circumcision as an example to show that if BELIEVERS, who have Torah, don't actually live by Torah, they are transgressors (sinners) of Torah!]

Folks, I hope you see how the writings of Paul CANNOT be "cherry-picked" and singled out as sound bites. You will go in the wrong direction every time! I hope you have enjoyed this intro to Romans.

The Observer