Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's Time To "Lay Down the Law" - Part 5

... beginning the Scroll of Acts, written by Luke:

Act_5:34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time.

[Note: The context is that the Apostles were preaching and healing in public. Miracles were abundant and publically acknowledged! Throngs of people were coming to them and word was spreading throughout Jerusalem concerning the power of Yehovah-Yeshua evident in these men! The authorities arrested the Apostles and threw them in jail. Overnight, without any awareness of the prison guards, the Apostles were miraculously set free! The jail bars were not even opened! And, they continued healing and preaching. Enter Gamaliel, a Pharisee of the highest order. We find out later (Acts 22) that he is the mentor/teacher (Moreh) of Sha'ul (Paul). This is important to note because some have suggested Paul does away with the Torah (Law) in his teaching. He does not! Paul was also a Pharisee of the highest order, trained as an elite teacher of the Law! Read all of Ch. 5.]

Act_6:13 They put forward false witnesses who said, "This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law;

[Note: This is the wonderful story about the stoning of Stephen. He was dragged before the Sanhedrin and it's when he gives his wonderful speech, before being killed, his clothes being laid at the feet of Sha'ul (Paul). You must read Ch. 6 and 7 to get the full impact, but there is something I wish to point out. Everywhere, in the B'rit Hadashah (the new Testament), when the Apostles are FALSELY accused of speaking against or denying Torah, it is shown that they, in fact, DO NOT speak against or deny Torah! Please contemplate what I just said! The New Testament and the Apostles support and proclaim Torah! So, when your preacher or priest denies Torah, he is simply lying, at worst, or being ignorant, at best! Remember Joseph Goebbels of NAZI fame? If you tell a lie often enough and with authority, people will believe a lie!?! This is exactly what our preachers and priests have done to us! Has Torah been nailed to the Cross? Stephen would say no and he said no until death! In fact, his entire speech before the Council confirms Torah!]

Act 7:51 "You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.
Act 7:52 "Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 
Act_7:53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it."

[Note: This is near the end of Stephen's dialogue. In verse 53 Stephen is referring to the man-made rules implemented by the Council and Teachers of the Law which actually deny Torah, by not keeping it.]

Act_13:15 After the reading of the Law and the Prophets the synagogue officials sent to them, saying, "Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it."
. . .
Act_13:39 and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.

[Note: By this point in the narrative Paul (Sha'ul) has had his conversion experience and is now preaching with other Disciples in the Synagogue at Antioch. Readings from the Torah and Prophets is standard practice in the liturgy of a Synagogue. (As always, read the entire Chapter.) Paul is in the middle of an exhortation very similar to Stephen's but the emphasis is on the Root of Jesse, the Son of David - Jesus! Verse 39 is sometimes used as an argument against Torah, but all Paul is saying is that no man is Justified and receives Salvation through obedience to Torah. When One is "freed from all things" it does not mean that One is now free to sin - which is defined as the breaking of Torah! (1 John 3, Lev. 4) Obedience to Torah is an act of love, after receiving Salvation! When a person truly begins to change and his heart transforms from a "heart of stone to a heart of flesh" (Ezek. 11, Ezek. 36, and many more) his natural enmity against Torah will change to a love of Torah. (Romans 8) This true LOVE of GOD and His Torah can only occur when a person is spiritually "born again". Most Churchy folks don't even realize and understand that Jews have never believed the Law (Torah) justifies them! (Gal.2, Psalms 143:2, Gal. 3, Gen. 15:6, Lev. 18, Hab. 2, Heb. 10, Romans 5 and many more) A person who truly has Salvation and is changed will do his best not to sin (therefore breaking Torah)! It's simple logic, folks. Torah in of itself does not bring justification and salvation or free you from sin. Yet, when true Salvation is received through faith a person DOES NOT wish to SIN and break Torah! TORAH is NOT our enemy, man's tradition IS! Grace, btw, is the empowerment to not sin (break Torah)!]

Act_15:5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses."

[Note: One can almost look at my argument above and dismiss this one, but let's unzip it a little. Some Pharisees, who are believers in Jesus, btw, argue that the new Gentile converts should be circumcised immediately to be in compliance with Torah! In Ch. 15, Peter (Kefa) very eloquently reminds them that the Tanakh speaks of the Gentiles coming to the LORD and that how can we Jews require them to keep Torah so well when we ourselves have failed in keeping it perfectly. Peter also reminds the Pharisees that these Gentiles will be attending Synagogue and will receive teaching of the Torah and upon learning, will do what is right. In the meantime, while they are growing in faith, Peter gives some basic rules in verses 19 and 20. In no way, is the context of Ch. 15 saying that one should not be circumcised! First comes Faith by hearing, then Learning, then Salvation, then Obedience.]

Act_18:13 saying, "This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law."
. . .
Act_18:15 but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling to be a judge of these matters."

[Note: Sha'ul is reasoning with Jews at Corinth. Once again, a false accusation is leveled at Paul, saying he is teaching "men to worship God contrary to the Law". A man named Gallio is speaking in verse 15, saying he is "unwilling to be the judge of these matters". That's all these verses are saying.]

I would like to reemphasis, folks. You should read these chapters and books to ensure I am giving the correct context. I do not claim to be your teacher. This blog is simply my personal study of the biblical text. However, it is becoming more and more clear to me that Torah HAS NOT been done away with and that the "Church" is teaching an error.

I would also recommend a homework assignment. Do a word study on the word, "Righteousness". You will find that "Righteousness" literally means, "Right Standing in Torah"!

The Observer

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