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).