Does God Require All Believers to Observe the Torah?

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Dr. Brown dialogues with Tim Hegg on the question of whether God wants both Jewish and Gentile believers to observe the written Torah. The phone lines will be open for discussion and questions! Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: I encourage you as a follower of Jesus, Yeshua, to major on the majors, knowing Him, becoming like Him, and making Him known.

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Look at the chaos, the craziness of the world, the rise of radical Islam, and let us answer with a radical Jesus movement!

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Other Resources:

Difficult Passages in the Torah and the Believer Today

The Messiah in the Torah and Answers to Jewish Objections

Dr. Brown and Rabbi Shmuley Discuss Myths and Facts about Israel, the Palestinians, and the Peace Process

1,949 Comments
  1. By the way, “the body of sin in which the law of sin and death dwells” and “the body of Christ in which the Law of the Spirit of Life dwells” are the two “husbands” of Ro 7: when the Jew believes, his flesh dies and his inward person is transplanted into the body of Christ (I don’t take the old and new “husbands” as referring to “the Law” and “Christ”).

  2. It seems to me that Rom 7 can be speaking of both sin and the law which were both the enmity between man and God.

  3. The wife and her husband were “one person” over whom the Law held sway; the Jew’s inward person and outward person were “one person” over whom the Law held sway.

    Each has three elements:
    i. The wife, ii. the husband, iii. the Law whereby they were to serve God.
    i. The Jew’s inward person, ii. the Jew’s outward person, and iii. the Law whereby he was to serve God.

    When the husband (with whom she bore children) dies, the wife is free from the Law to get another husband (with whom she will bear children).
    When the flesh (with whom he bore fruit to death) of the Jewish believer is brought to nothing [Ro 6:6] “through the body of Christ” [Ro 7], his inward person is free from his obligation the Law to join another body (with whom he will bear fruit to God).

    The method of righteousness in the New Covenant is abiding in Christ, the Word of God, through faith in His Good News. He gets rid of the body and gives you a new body (which has actually become a spirit) to make certain you will be righteous.

    🙂

  4. Ray,
    God’s Torah is good, but men are captured and enslaved to Sin’s Torah.
    To overcome this problem, God destroys the body in which Sin’s Law enslaved you to its works, and gives us a new body in which the Law of the Spirit of Life enslaves us to its works.

    The only thing is that we are only partially partaking of this new body. It is mysterious since the Messiah became a spiritual body. We have the spirit which means we have the body but our bodies have not yet become fully glorified and representative of that reality. As John says, “the true light is already shining”: it doesn’t have to be “full noon” for us to judge the sun as having risen.

  5. The greater degree we enjoy the Good News, the greater degree we share in the new body–and are dead to (slavery to) sin and alive to (slavery to) God.

  6. Bo,
    1. “Previously he showed that being ‘under the law’ (literally ‘in the law;’ possessing the law, trusting in your election) does not give you special favor with God. Now he focuses on those who were seeking favor through their ‘works of the law,’ which, as Dunn argues, denotes an obedience that is merely external, without a heart drawn to God.”
    1. These were one and the same group: the Jewish believers at Rome. He calls them hypocrites at the beginning of the chapter (judging others but practicing the same) and later on (you who teach others do you not teach yourself?). The entirety of the substance of Paul’s argument was to try to move them away from trusting they could serve in the oldness of the letter over to trusting they could serve the newness of the Spirit.

    2. “Paul demonstrates that justification is achieved by faith, not works,”
    2. In Ro 2, it is more than “justification” as a “position”; he extends the present position of justification’s being by faith alone to the future justification’s belonging ONLY to those ungodly who are justified by God by faith apart from works. It seems a bit strange, but it isn’t: Paul elsewhere says “yet not I but the grace with me”. This means that we will work works which are not us working. This is another level where God is the justifier of the ungodly: they will work works, but only if they begin and become perfect “by hearing of faith” and “the spirit” and not “deeds of the law” and “the flesh”.

    3. “…and this has always been the case. He uses Abraham to show that justification has never been by works, and uses him as a model and example for us to follow.”
    3. Abraham didn’t have the Law, though (he preceded the Law by 400+ years); thus, nothing Abraham did can be legitimately construed to convince us we should be under the Law.

    4. “At this point, Paul focuses on one aspect of the law in particular, the purpose of the law that reveals sin and increases trespass, which leads to death. Over the course of several chapters, Paul shows that believers, united with Christ, are now free from this aspect of the law, which he labels the law of sin and death. Paul shows that the law of sin and death only reigns in the unregenerate man, and now that we are no longer under this law (hupo nomos), we are free to obey God, as God has intended since the beginning.”
    “The righteous will live by faith” and “the Law is not faith” [Gal 3]: the manner in which the believer “becomes perfect” is the same whereby he “began”, which is “the hearing of faith” and “the Spirit”. We are free from captivity and slavery to Sin’s Torah in the flesh and are made slaves of the Torah of the Spirit of Life in Christ.

    5. “…Paul takes time to discuss the major problem Israel had with the law, mainly that they pursued a righteousness from the law as if by works instead of by faith. We noted the significance of what Paul said here: that there IS a righteousness from the law when it is pursued by faith.”
    The righteousness “by faith” is to obediently receive its “ministry of condemnation” [2 Co 3:9], which will make you “justified” which is what we see in Luke 18:14. We also see Paul going through this process in Romans 7, and in Romans 3 he says that “when we allow God to prove we are sinners, His righteousness is revealed… so why am I called a sinner still if I am glorifying God–and why not teach ‘let us do evil that good may come’ (as we are slanderously said to teach–their condemnation is just)?” A sinner is someone who suppresses God’s Truth [Ro 1:18]; thus he asks why he is still judged as a sinner when he reveals God’s Truth by submitting to God’s righteousness in condemning his sinfulness. Some rebel against this, pretending to attain to righteousness through the Law.

    6. “He is the culmination of the law, and what it is all about.”
    6. Yeah and the main work of the Gospel is “go to Him” [Jn 5:39,40].

    7. “When we obey the commands in God’s law, we proclaim the work of Christ and the light of Christ is seen through us. What a powerful teaching Paul gives in these chapters!”
    7. We do not obey the Commands, God works His works in us so that even those who do not have access to Torah can be “doers of Torah”.

    8. “Finally, we close with the often misunderstood chapter about eating certain types of food and honoring certain days over others. Concerning food, we show the context to be whether or not it is okay to eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols. Paul does not argue that foods God has previously called unclean are now clean, but rather that meat which may have been used in idolatrous practices is still meat and is not unclean (unless we learn that it has been used in idolatry, in which case it is unclean). However, if eating meat that may have been sacrified to an idol causes your brother to stumble, then you should refrain.”
    8. What meat do you think was offered to idols in Rome? Definitely pig was, but he never addresses that. You’d think he would if it were important and he was literally touching that very topic. There is no precedent for putting Gentiles under the dietary Law.

    9. “Concerning special days, we note that Paul never refers to either the Sabbath or God’s festivals, and since the topic of the chapter is man’s opinions (as opposed to God’s laws), we show that it is more likely to be discussing something along the line of setting aside certain days of the week for fasting.”
    I would say that this is parallel with Col 2, where the Sabbath and Festivals are called “shadows” (“shadows” cannot refer to pagan practices) and thus not obligatory.

    10. “When we understand these ‘freedom’ passages within this context, what emerges is a ‘Paul’ who is consistent and does not contradict himself.”
    10. I don’t believe I present a Paul who is inconsistent.

    11. “How does faith in Jesus uphold the Torah? The answer is found in Romans 10:4. Christ is the goal of the Torah. The Torah and the Prophets outline picture after picture of the redemptive work of the Messiah. In the Messiah, we see a perfect image of Torah faithfulness. In the Messiah, we see what the Torah was pointing us toward. In obeying the Torah, we proclaim who Christ is.”
    11. The Torah speaks about Jesus, and “obedience” to it is to “go to Jesus” [Jn 5:39,40]; this is why Paul says “through [obedience to] the Law, I died to the Law.”

    12. “‘How did people get saved before Jesus died?’ The answer is … exactly the same way they do today, by grace through faith.”
    12. None of those who were under the Law before Christ existed at a time when the faith that saves us was revealed [Gal 3:]. They were not as we are.

    13. “What is this to teach us?

    Our faith is demonstrated by our obedience. Or, put another way, our trust in God is demonstrated by our faithfulness. But where we are incapable, God is powerful. Where we are faithless, God is faithful to his own promise. We have all sinned and all fallen short of the righteous requirements of God. Because of this, we are incapable of redeeming ourselves, and any works we may do are ineffective in bringing about the promise of God. But God, being faithful, has brought about his redemption through the work of the Messiah. Does this mean that we no longer have any obligation to be obedient to God? Of course not! Paul answers this himself:

    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2)”
    The fact Abraham and Noah obeyed the Voice of God does not prove we are under obligation to observe Torah, since neither of them were given the Torah. When God says Abraham obeyed His instructions, it referred to verbal ones–precedent for this is when the Israelites broke Shabbat and God said “how long do they refuse to keep my statutes?” (para.)

    13. “Remember what sin is:
    Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).
    So, in Romans 6:1-2, Paul is saying, ‘What shall we say then? Are we to continue in transgressing the Torah so that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to breaking the Torah continue living that way?'”
    13. He was just describing how the Torah was added to increase trespasses, but that where this was effected and sin had abounded grace abounded much more–and pre-empted a response, “Oh, if that is how it works, then we can we just keep on sinning so that grace can abound some more?”
    Sin is not breaking Torah (for the reasons I enumerated); sin results from being taken captive and enslaved to Sin’s Torah–sin is sin working its own works in you, whether there is a Law present or not. The way to negate this reality is to kill the body (for he who has died is free from sin) and to give the person a new body. This was how God did what the Law could not do [Ro 8].

    I hope this counts as “somewhat”.

  7. Bo,
    I’m still working on my own relationship with God through faith in the Good News, so if I do comment on some more of those forgive me if you have to wait.

  8. correction #12:
    “the ones under the Law were not privy to the saving faith as we are today” Ro 16:25; Gal 3:23

    They were “justified” but not “perfect” as we are: their “perfection” only arrived with the New Covenant [Hb 11:40, 12:23].

    Sorry for all typos… I’m sure it is still readable.

  9. add #13:
    No, indeed. Paul does not say they should continue in sin. In fact, he says directly “do not let sin reign in your members”. But what is the method of not allowing it to reign in my members? Not the old way of the written code but the new way of the Spirit.

    Romans 8
    12So then, brothers,e we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live

    So Paul wasn’t saying “now that you’ve died to sin, serve God in the old way of the Written Code”, but “now that you’ve died to sin, serve God in the new way of the Spirit.”

  10. I think the problem is that you want to say “since sin is breaking Torah we need to live by Torah”; in reality, you cannot obey the Torah but obedience to it must be worked in you. Before, sin was at work in you to work its works; now, we have God at work in us to work His works. “Breaking Torah” vs. “Obeying Torah” is not a matter of ignorance and knowledge of Torah; it is a matter of being overwhelmed by Sin vs. being overwhelmed by Grace. It is a question of what power is working its own works in you. The Torah could never be fulfilled by men, and it never will be. The moon never had a light of its own, but always reflected light from another source; and we will never keep Torah unless it is the obedience is being done “to” us.

    When sinful desires are indulged in, the Law CAN come along and say “you’ve broken the Law”; but not every time the Law says “I’ve been broken” is it as a result of sin, nor does the Law even say “you’ve broken the Law” every time someone sins.

    If you wanted to say that all true instances of “indulgence in sinful desires” COULD be (aside from being sins in themselves) condemned by the Law, that would be true, but it would be immaterial: the solution to the Jew’s problem of breaking Torah is not defined in “knowing more Torah”; it is defined in God doing what the Law could not do (destroying the body with Sin’s Law that made men slaves, and transplanting the inward person into a new body with The Spirit of Life’s Law that will make you a slave to righteousness).

  11. What happens to hypocrites who don’t take the law seriously, is that they actually believe they can keep the law, and be righteous before God by doing “the best they can” in fulfilling it, which goes contrary to the purpose of the law, which was to make sin exceedingly sinful and direct them to the need for forgiveness and atonement, as well as unto something far better.

    Instead of becoming dead to the law through the law, the hypocrite will try to stay alive unto the law, constantly striving against it and God, thinking he can be above both it and him, and still live, which is ridiculous.

    Man not only needed deliverance from sin, but the law also, because it was something he could not keep. Being under the law, sin was always having the rule over him, and he was never released from it’s burden no matter how many times his sins were forgiven.

    Being under the grace of God in Christ, we are no longer under the law as it being our schoolmaster, though we can still read it and learn from it. There’s a lot we can learn by reading the law, while not being under it by law.

    Before Christ came and did his work here in the days of his flesh, those who received the law were still bound by it, by law.

    Those that are still in the flesh find ways to mind the things of the flesh, and one of those ways is to still believe they can keep the written ordinances of the law and satisfy God by the works of the flesh. Some will go so far as to call that way of life, faith, when it’s really only their golden calf of religion that they have made in rebellion and pride and goes against God.

  12. Bo,

    What does “ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”? (see Romans 7)

    Does a dead man hear the law, and get up, and say, “I need to do this.”? or does he not hear it at all?

    So don’t be surprised if people will not hear you here.

  13. Can you imagine a recent widow being told by her neighbor that she can’t marry another man, she has to listen to what her dead husband tells her and stay married to him?

  14. I think I’ve shared this before, but I’ll say it again: I’ve experienced blessing from intending to do certain things in the Law, but I’ve experienced a lot more death–seeming complete loss of grace.

    I was living in a “ministry”, and someone was cooking a pork loin; when it was done, my first instinct (I have a degree in Culinary Arts) was to check how well the preparation of this product had been executed. This, however, was during the time in my walk where I was struggling to understand the question of whether we should serve God by the Law or not. Thus, I reasoned, “Wouldn’t it be great if I knew everything? I don’t, but my Father does; and He (in His great love for me, and complete knowledge) advised against me eating that. I will trust Him because He loves me and wants what’s best for me.”

    Immediately, I experienced God in a way I never had before: His deep fatherly pleasure (as it says: “God is at work in you to will and do for His good pleasure”) with me. God the Father was deeply pleased with me for calling Him good in something I was doing. Before then, I had been terrified to think of God as a Father, because I’d not had good experiences with a father (e.g., my step father was a Muslim terrorist)–everytime I thought of God as a Father, I just thought, “Yes, I know I will be judged by God on the Day of Judgment.” I didn’t want to think about God as a Father, I only wanted to deal with Jesus. After that experience, my opinion started to change.

    The vast majority of the times I was trying to live by the Law other than that, I experienced complete loss of grace–felt like a completely natural man with natural desires. It was terrifying.

    So what was the difference? I don’t know exactly. Perhaps it was that too much of the time, I would base everything on “becoming right with God”, but at that moment I hadn’t thought to fear so I did not base my action on the need for justification; I was simply enjoying God’s embrace. My *intention* (helped along by the Spirit of God), which at no point became at odds with faith in Christ (because I never based justification on it, or exhibited a servile fear), was what was being considered. That same fundamental intention can exist with or without the Law: God working in me to do what would give Him pleasure was what counted.

    So I would not say that we are not allowed to do anything we see in the Law; we can do it if we have the right “attitude” (which “attitude” has something to do with not basing our justification or relationship on it)–and we do not condemn others for not doing so since God receives them and works in them to will and do for His pleasure.

  15. Good morning,

    My post was not interacted with, so I will tackle one other misconception being used out there right now which avoids the pure meaning of the text. “The vail of manmade traditions and ordinances is what is done away with. These ordinances of man have blinded the Jews to Messiah. They keep them from doing YHWH’s commandments.”

    Let’s look at some expositions of this “middle wall of partition, contained in ordinances”

    ————————————–

    and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; the ceremonial law, which was made up of many hard and intolerable commands, and distinguished, and divided, and kept up a division between Jews and Gentiles: so the Jews call the law a wall, “if she be a wall”, Sol 8:9 , “this is the law”, say they (d): and hence we read of , “the wall of the law” (e); and sometimes the phrase, a “partition wall”, is used for a division or disagreement; so R. Benjamin says (f), that between the Karaites and Rabbanites, who were the disciples of the wise men, there was “a middle wall of partition”; a great difference and distance; and such there was between the Jew and Gentile, by reason of the ceremonial law; but Christ removed it, and made up the difference: the allusion seems to be to the wall which divided the court of Israel from the court of the Gentiles, in the temple, and which kept them at a distance in worship.

    the middle wall of partition—Greek, “… of the partition” or “fence”; the middle wall which parted Jew and Gentile. There was a balustrade of stone which separated the court of the Gentiles from the holy place, which it was death for a Gentile to pass. But this, though incidentally alluded to, was but a symbol of the partition itself, namely, “the enmity” between “both” and God (Eph 2:15), the real cause of separation from(was) God, and so the mediate cause of their separation from one another. Hence there was a twofold wall of partition, one the inner wall, severing the Jewish people from entrance to the holy part of the temple where the priests officiated, the other the outer wall, separating the Gentile proselytes from access to the court of the Jews (compare Eze 44:7; Ac 21:28). Thus this twofold wall represented the Sinaitic law, which both severed all men, even the Jews, from access to God (through sin, which is the violation of the law), and also separated the Gentiles from the Jews. As the term “wall” implies the strength of the partition, so “fence” implies that it was easily removed by God when the due time came.

    And hath broken down the middle wall – There is an allusion here undoubtedly to the wall of partition in the temple by which the court of the Gentiles was separated from that of the Jews; see the notes and the plan of the temple, in Matthew 21:12. The idea here is, that that was now broken down, and that the Gentiles had the same access to the temple as the Jews. The sense is, that in virtue of the sacrifice of the Redeemer they were admitted to the same privileges and hopes.

    —μεσότοιχον τοῦ φραγμοῦ, the partition wall of the fence [the middle wall of partition]) It is called τοῖχος, a wall, because the separating space between [Jews and Gentiles] was very strongly fortified; φραγμὸς, a fence, because it is easily removed at the proper time. The partition wall separates houses; the fence separates tracks of land; comp. Ephesians 2:19.[30] Therefore the distinction between circumcision and uncircumcision is hinted at. The very structure of the temple of Jerusalem was in conformity with it. The wall and the fence prevent an entrance; and the Gentiles were prevented from entering, inasmuch as they were not permitted to approach so near as the Israelites, even as those who were in the humblest rank.—λύσας, who hath broken down) Who hath broken down—who hath abolished, and not being repeated, very closely cohere. This short clause, and hath broken down, is explained in Ephesians 2:15, in the first half of the verse; He hath abolished the enmity in His flesh; comp. Ephesians 2:16, at the end. The law of commandments, which was properly adapted to the Israelites, He hath abolished, in the universal ordinances of grace;[31] comp. Ephesians 2:17, at the beginning of the verse.

    hath broken down … partition] Lit., did undo the mid-wall of the fence, or hedge. The next verse makes it clear that this means the Law. In Divine intention the Law was a “hedge” (Isaiah 5:2) round the Old Israel, so long as their chief function was to maintain a position of seclusion. And it thus formed a “partition” between the Old Israel and the outer world, not only hindering but, for the time, forbidding such fusion as the new order brought in.

    It is possible that the phrase was immediately suggested by the demarcation between the Court of the Gentiles and the inner area of the Temple.

    —καὶ τὸ μεσότοιχον τοῦ φραγμοῦ λύσας: and broke down the middle wall of the partition. The former clause began the explanation of how Christ became our Peace. That explanation is continued in this clause and in the following. The καί, therefore, is epexegetic = to wit, or in that (cf. Win.-Moult., p. 545). The gen. φραγμοῦ is not a mere equivalent to an adject. or a partic., as if = τὸ μεσότοιχον διαφράσσον (Grot., Rosenm., etc.), nor is it the gen. of quality, = “the middle wall whose character it is to divide”; but either (a) the appos. gen. or gen. of identity, = “the middle wall that is (or, consists in) the partition,” or (b) the posses. gen., = “the wall pertaining to the partition”. On the latter view of the gen. the μεσότοιχον (a word found only this once in the NT and of rare occurrence elsewhere) becomes the more definite and specific term, the φραγμός the more general, the former being, indeed, a part of the latter. That is to say, the φραγμός is the whole system of things that kept Jew and Gentile apart, and the μεσότοιχον is the thing in the system that most conspicuously divided them, and that constituted the “enmity,” viz., the Law. It is best, however, to take the terms μεσότοιχον and φραγμός in the simple, literal sense of division and separation, which are not explained to be the Law till the νόμος is actually introduced in the subsequent clause; and, therefore, the former view of the gen. appears to be preferable. It is suggested that what Paul really expresses then is the fact that the legal system, which was meant primarily to protect the Jewish people against the corruption of heathen idolatry, became the bitter root of Jewish exclusiveness in relation to the Gentiles. This is to give the φραγμός here the sense of something that fences in or encloses, which it occasionally has (Soph., Œd. Tyr., 1387). But that is a rare sense, and the idea seems to be simpler. It is doubtful, too, whether Paul had in view here any material partition with which he was familiar. It could scarcely be the veil of the Temple that was rent at the Crucifixion; for that veil did not serve to separate the Gentile from the Jew. It might rather be (as Anselm, Bengel, and many more have thought) the wall or screen that divided the court of the Gentiles from the sanctuary proper, and of which Josephus tells us that it bore an inscription forbidding any Gentile from penetrating further (Jew. Wars, v., 5, 2; vi., 2, 4; Antiq., viii., 3, 2; xv., 11, 5). But even this is questionable, and all the more so as the wall was still standing at the time when this was written. For the use of λύσας cf. John 2:19.

    The “middle wall of partition” mentioned in our text, however, refers to a wall separating the court of the Gentiles from the rest of the Herodian temple. This is the only New Testament reference to a partition, and symbolizes the distinction placed between Jew and Gentile in the Mosaic economy. This economy served the divine purpose of preparing a nation to receive the coming of Christ, with the goal of providing salvation for all people. But this wall also has now been broken down by Christ, and “through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Ephesians 2:18).
    No longer is there a distinction between priest and people, or between Jew and Gentile, or any other difference. “There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11). HMM

    —————————————–

    So did Jesus come to break down a wall of “man-made ordinances contained on a wall in the temple?” or to break down the divinely appointed separation of the Jews and Gentiles set up by God in the Law of Moses? Israel was separated from the nations for the purpose of bringing in the Messiah. It was then the Messiah’s mission to remove that separation and bless the nations as well as Israel. Yes, there was a wall inscribed that if Gentiles pass, they will suffer the pain of death. Was it unbiblical? No. The Mosaic Law itself demanded so. Israel alone was the nation ruled by God, that was to change.

    Here are a few verses showcasing this fact of divine separation.

    Nehemiah 13:3 (YLT)
    3 And it cometh to pass, at their hearing the law [torah], that they separate all the mixed people from Israel.

    Leviticus 20:24 (KJV)
    24 But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people.

    Let’s compare a couple of passages, one from the OT and the other the NT:

    Ezekiel 44:5,6,7,9 (emphasis on 7,9)
    5 And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary.

    6 And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all your abominations,

    7 In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations.

    9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel.

    Acts 21:28
    28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.

    Not only do we now have an entrance into the court of the Israelites, but entrance into the Holy of Holies as Gentiles now.

    And what about ordinances? Does this word refer to man-made codes and laws? At times, such as Caesars, or Egypts, etc. But more than not it refers to God’s laws and statutes, and are referred to as ordinances.

    Leviticus 18:4
    4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.

    This next one contains both aspects, ordinances as referring to YHWH’s laws, and the divine separation of Jew and Gentile:

    Exodus 12:43
    43 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

    There a many, many more, but I will use only one more. This one comes from the New Testament.

    Acts 16:4King James Version (KJV)
    4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

    The word ‘decrees’ in this passage is the same Greek word as used in “contained in -ordinances-“, that word being “dogma”. So we have “dogmas” which are God breathed in the passages of Scripture as given by the Apostles. Are these to be read as man-made? I don’t have to follow the Apostles dogmas?

    Let’s just put the myth that this is purely a reference to man-made dogmas to rest. Jesus came to do the Father’s will. And the Father’s will was to open the door through Jesus Christ, for the Gentiles. It’s very plain and straightforward, let’s see it for what it is.

    Grace and peace,

  16. I want to highlight:

    Ezekiel 44:5
    5 And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the [[ordinances of the house of the LORD]], and [[all the laws thereof]]; and [[mark well the entering in of the house]], with [[every going forth of the sanctuary]].

  17. Benjamin,

    I’ve been working on my response but haven’t had a lot of time to do so. I have a bit typed up already but I probably shouldn’t unload everything in one post so I will try to break them up.

    I also have some time away from my computer to work on this but I must text it which is more of a burden. Nevertheless, I’ll make a few points.

    You said:

    “In regard to Gentiles this could be called the “partaker view.” The point of these passages is that God made four unconditional covenants with Israel: the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant. All of God’s blessings, both physical and spiritual, are mediated by means of these four covenants. However, there is also a fifth covenant, the conditional Mosaic Covenant. This was the middle wall of partition. Essentially, it kept the Gentiles from enjoying the spiritual blessings of the four unconditional covenants. For a Gentile to begin receiving the blessings of the unconditional covenants, he had to totally submit to the Mosaic Law, undergo circumcision, take upon himself the obligations of the Law, and, for all practical purposes, live as a son of Abraham.”

    I first want to mention that there is no separate “land covenant” but the promise of land is part of the abrahamic covenant(gen 17.1-8)

    I intend on fully commenting about eph 2.12 later. But a couple points: YHWH always included the gentiles in his plan of salvation. What you seem to be saying is that gentiles get saved a different way? Jews and gentiles need “the faith of Abraham”.

    The Mosaic Covenant was enacted so that the promise made to Abraham would come to pass both individually and corporately. A jew received some material blessings from being part of Israel but they were cut off for the same stuff as gentiles.
    Gentiles did have to become part of the covenant people but its the same now also. They had to submit to the torah because that was gods revelation of his will and righteous standard. “Gentiles” did not worship god, they did their own thing and worshiped other gods. The only revelation of gods will was with israel.

    I will have to stop here for now.

  18. Dennis,

    Thanks, though the Land and Abrahamic contain similar aspects, I will try to show how Scripture teaches us that they are two covenants centering around the Land.

    Is there a Land covenant? (commonly referred to as the Palestinian Covenant)

    A. Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20
    Although this covenant is within the fifth book of Moses, Deuteronomy 29:1 clearly shows that the Land Covenant is distinct from the Mosaic Covenant and Abrahamic Covenant:

    “These are the words of the covenant which Jehovah commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.”

    Notice that this covenant is being “made” with the children of Israel in the land of Moab. Something is being made, then and there distinct from other covenants.

    Deuteronomy 30:1-10 describes some of the provisions of the Land Covenant:

    “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations, whither Jehovah your God has driven you, and shall return unto Jehovah your God, to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul; that then Jehovah your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples, whither Jehovah your God has scattered you. If any of your outcasts be in the uttermost parts of heaven, from thence will Jehovah your God gather you: and Jehovah your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and he will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers. And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live. And Jehovah your God will put all these curses upon your enemies, and on them that hate you, that persecuted you. And you shall return and obey the voice of Jehovah, and do all his commandments which I command you this day. And Jehovah your God will make you plenteous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your ground, for good: for Jehovah will again rejoice over you for good, as he rejoiced over your fathers; if you shall obey the voice of Jehovah your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law; if you turn unto Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul.”

    B. The Participants in the Covenant
    This covenant was made between God and Israel, the same two parties as in the Mosaic Covenant.

    C. The Provisions of the Covenant
    Eight provisions can be gleaned from this passage.

    First: Moses spoke prophetically of Israel’s coming disobedience to the Mosaic Law and her subsequent scattering over all the world (29:2-30:1). All remaining provisions speak of various facets of Israel’s final restoration.

    Second: Israel will repent (30:2).

    Third: the Messiah will return (v. 3a).

    Fourth: Israel will be regathered (vv. 3b-4).

    Fifth: Israel will possess the Promised Land (v. 5).

    Sixth: Israel will be regenerated (v. 6).

    Seventh: the enemies of Israel will be judged (v. 7).

    Eighth: Israel will receive full blessing; specifically, the blessings of the Messianic Age (vv. 8-20).

    D. The Importance of the Covenant
    The special importance of the Land Covenant is that it reaffirms the title deed to the Land as belonging to Israel. Although she would prove unfaithful and disobedient, the right to the Land would never be taken from her. Furthermore, it shows that the conditional Mosaic Covenant did not lay aside the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant. The Land Covenant is an enlargement of the original Abrahamic Covenant. It amplifies the Land aspect and emphasizes the promise of the Land to God’s earthly Jewish people in spite of their unbelief. The Abrahamic Covenant teaches that ownership for the Land is unconditional while the Land Covenant teaches that the enjoyment of the Land is conditioned on obedience.

    E. The Confirmation of the Covenant
    The Land Covenant received its confirmation centuries later in Ezekiel 16:1-63. In this very important passage concerning God’s relationship to Israel, God recounts His love of Israel in her infancy (vv. 1-7). Later, Israel was chosen by God and became related to Jehovah by marriage and hence became the Wife of Jehovah (vv. 8-14). However, Israel played the harlot and was guilty of spiritual adultery by means of idolatry (vv. 15-34); therefore, it was necessary to punish her by means of dispersion (vv. 35-52). However, this dispersion is not final, for there would be a future restoration on the basis of the Land Covenant (vv. 53-63). They were guilty of violating the Mosaic Covenant (vv. 53-59), but God will remember the covenant made with Israel in her youth (v. 60a) and will establish an everlasting covenant, the New Covenant (v. 60b) and this will result in Israel’s salvation (vv. 61-63).

    F. The Status of the Covenant
    The Land Covenant, being an unconditional covenant, is still very much in effect.

  19. Dennis, for my clarification, where did I imply or say, “What you seem to be saying is that gentiles get saved a different way?” Thanks, as there is only one way.

  20. Thanks for that, Benjamin, it’s very clear.

    As for the gentiles being saved, Peter turns it around and says that the Jews will be saved in the same manner as the gentiles—not the other way around. Although, it’s true, salvation came to the Jews first.

    Acts 15:8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

    Dennis,

    I had given you many verses not that long ago that clearly show that God’s covenant was not with all the nations during the time of the law–it was with Israel and they in turn were to take it to the ends of the earth. They weren’t able to fulfill that and not until Messiah came were all the nations brought under the same covenant.

    The sub-plot of the whole Bible is that God gave lesser angels [elohim = sons of God] to rule over the nations other than Israel. Messiah’s inheritance eventually included all the world.

    Deut 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind,
    he fixed the borders of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God.

  21. Benjamin wrote:
    “Acts 16:4King James Version (KJV)
    4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

    The word ‘decrees’ in this passage is the same Greek word as used in “contained in -ordinances-“, that word being “dogma”. So we have “dogmas” which are God breathed in the passages of Scripture as given by the Apostles. Are these to be read as man-made? I don’t have to follow the Apostles dogmas?”

    The words in Hebrew and the corresponding Greek for YHWH’s ordinances/decrees are entirely different than the ones used for man’s ordinances and decrees. Men’s dogmas carry weight to those in their charge. YHWH’s decrees/ordinances carry weight to everyone.

    Yes these dogmas were ordained by the church leaders. That these are binding on believers is not questioned because they were put in authority by Messiah over His assembly. It is interesting to note that most modern believers do not go by these rules.

    The apostles were men that made a decision to enact certain rules for Messiah’s assembly. This “burden” that was laid upon the disciples has a direct correlation with the burden that the oral law put on the Jews that was a yoke that was too heavy to bear. And we know for a fact, despite what your commentaries say, that YHWH’s laws and ordinances were not to hard for us. We also know that Messiah spoke of the rulings of the scribes and Pharisees as heavy burdens.

    De 30:11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. ESV

    Ac 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?…
    19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God…
    28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

    The apostles did put a yoke on the disciples, but not a heavy one. Also these things that were laid upon the new converts were not the only things required of them. They were starting rules for the sake of being acceptable to hear the torah/scripture read in the synagogue on Sabbath.

    Acts 15
    19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
    20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
    21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

    In other words, they did not need to rewrite YHWH’s torah because it was read every week and it was expected of the new believers to be doers of the word and not hearers only. Paul insists that Timothy get his doctrine and instruction in righteousness from the torah and to pass that information on to those in his charge.

    2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
    1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
    2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    Of course the time has come that people who call themselves believers do not endure sound doctrine from the very place that Paul told Timothy to get his. These will not even stop eating blood and fornicating with their wives. They believe the fable that YHWH’s law was abolished.

    Shalom

  22. The question is why God would even bother to abolish something if it never held force at all.
    In other words, why stop with one powerless and irrelevant set of rules (rabbinic takanot)? Why draw the line there? Why wouldn’t it also say that He “abolished” all other pagan religions? Those religions never had any force in order to need to be abolished, and neither did the rabbinic reforms/enactments. It would seem that you are forcing upon God this idea that He would even deign to bother “abolishing” the reforms/enactments which were illegitimate and never “established” to begin with.

    But weren’t the Jews separated by the Law? They were not to marry with Gentiles, and Ezra sent their wives away. It literally says that they should be a separate people to God. Anyone who is more familiar with this topic (this-or-that Law) better than I do (I’ve invested most of my time into understanding the Gospel as a method of “attaining” the knowledge of God) should pick up where I leave off.

  23. Benjamin Warkentin,
    (pls also read comment ’76)
    I mean, in what way were they “abolished”?

    In what sense were they “abolished”?

    Physically? They are still in force in the physical realm, so it is not in a physical sense.

    Spiritually? No one has ever legitimately spiritually subject to rabbinic enactments in the sight of God–and if Paul wrote that God “abolished” one set of irrelevant and powerless non-God-ordained rules people lived by, why not also mention every other set of irrelevant and powerless rules people lived by?

    These are some questions I would ask.

  24. Oh I agree with you Daniel. Yeshua did not come here to die in order to tear down man-made rules. He came to fulfill and further His Father’s plan. You make great points. I may respond further since indeed God separated the nations from Israel. From how I understood your posts I would agree with you.

  25. Benjamin Warkentin,
    You’d think the only thing God would count as a legitimate target of “abolishment” would be a thing God recognized as “established”.

    It says that it was abolished “in His flesh”–a parallel with this same idea would be Romans 7:4Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law THROUGH THE BODY OF CHRIST…

    It also says that this kept the people separate, and it reminds me of Ephesians 3:6This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, MEMBERS OF THE SAME BODY, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

    In other words, both the breaking down of the division between the Jews and Gentiles in order to make them “one” and Jew’s dying to the Law are by one and the same cause: the Body of Christ.

    Just something that might be helpful.

  26. It may not mean that He destroyed the Law but that He destroyed “the wall of separation” which the OBLIGATION to serve God through the rules naturally created. “Do not go to any Gentile” was before the Cross; afterwards, “today I have begotten you (firstborn from the dead); ask and I will give you the nations.” I think it would be worthwhile to look into what “enmity” Paul was talking about here–was it between the Jews and Gentiles or between the men and God or all? This way you can understand what exactly is being talked about.

    These are just some thoughts.

    I probably won’t engage in this particular conversation anymore.

  27. Or maybe He literally destroyed part of the Law–certain Laws about the Temple? Christ is now the Temple where God lives, and there is no division between Jews and Gentiles in Him?

    I gotta get out of this topic. LOL

  28. Dan1el and Benjamin,

    You saying that Messiah lied when He said:

    Ro 3:31 do we then by means of this faith abolish the law? no, indeed; we give the law a firmer footing. Weymouth

    You are also saying that Paul had a terrible memory.

    Mt 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. ESV

    Whatever Messiah abolished, it was not the Law.

  29. Some slight changes to the last post

    Dan1el and Benjamin,

    You saying that Messiah lied when He said:

    Mt 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. ESV

    You are also saying that Paul had a terrible memory.

    Ro 3:31 do we then by means of this faith abolish the law? no, indeed; we give the law a firmer footing. Weymouth

    Whatever Messiah abolished, it was not the Law.

  30. Benjamin Warkentin,
    While it is true that through becoming unified with the dead-and-resurrected Body of Christ, the Jew dies and is no longer obligated to serve God through Torah (and most of the Law had to do with the Temple), that might only be part of the story: this might be saying that part of the Law (e.g., Temple) was literally destroyed (not as if it were still valid but that men were not obligated to serve through it since they had Grace to do it for them)! I hadn’t thought of that before.

  31. Ro 3:31 Do we then make void (Strong’s #2673) the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    2Co 3:13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished (Strong’s #2673)
    14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away (Strong’s #2673) in Christ.

    The same word is used in the above passages. “Make void” is the same word as “abolished” which is the same word as “done away.” Certainly, the thing that was abolished/done away with/made void is not the law. Something was abolished/made void/done away with, but it was not the law. What was abolished? The vail…not the law.

    Mt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy (Strong’s #2647) the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy (Strong’s #2647), but to fulfil.

    Ga 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed (Strong’s #2647), I make myself a transgressor.

    Whatever it was that Paul destroyed it was not the law, for Messiah says that He did not come to destroy it. If Messiah did not destroy it, Paul certainly could not.

    The law is established by our faith, not destroyed/abolished. If Paul destroyed/abolished the law, his faith did not establish it. “Abolish”, “make void”, and “do away with” are synonyms. Neither Paul, Messiah or our faith dose these things to the law.

    Ro 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish (Strong’s #2476) the law.

    Ac 26:22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue (Strong’s #2476) unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

    The word “establish” and “continue” are the same word in the Greek in the above two passages. The law is made to continue by our faith. It is not voided or stopped. When something is continued it is not voided. When something is continued it is not voided.

  32. Bo,
    The issue is not whether Messiah’s Grace “establishes the Law” (it most certainly does–and it does it “apart from the Law” [Ro 3:21, 31]), but about how to define “establish the Law”. In other words, what about the fact that Jesus is the Cohen Gadol?? That part of the Law is not being “established”. The “definition” of “establish the Law” might just be more nuanced than we suppose.

  33. Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
    15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

    The middle wall of partition has been broken down between Jews and Gentiles. What is that wall? It is not YHWH’s law, for YHWH’s law did not erect a wall between Jew and Gentile. What does the law say about gentiles and how Jews are to treat them? What do the prophets say about those that erect a wall to keep Gentiles out?

    They were to not to be made to work on Shabbat so that he could be refreshed.

    Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed (Exodus 23:12)

    They were not to be discriminated against or oppressed. They had the same responsibilities. Being loved as they loved themselves is hardly a wall of partition.

    When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God (Leviticus 19:33–34)

    There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you (Exodus 12:49)

    You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the LORD your God (Leviticus 24:22)

    They were allowed and commanded to keep YHWH’s feasts along with the Israelites.

    And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your towns, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there (Deuteronomy 16:11)

    They were allowed full access to the Temple. It is a house of prayer for all people…not just the Jews.

    Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name (1 Kings 8:41–43)

    And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples (Isaiah 56:6–7)

    Those that thrust aside the Gentile are judged by YHWH to be the same as sorcerers and adulterers and those that swear falsely in His name.

    Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me,” says the LORD of hosts (Malachi 3:5)

    YHWH did not erect a wall between Jew and Gentile, else He be guilty as the ones that did. Who did erect a wall of partition? The Jewish religions leaders. Peter said it well.

    Ac 10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

    The unlawful thing that Peter referenced is nowhere to be found in YHWH’s law. But it is found in the rulings of the rabbis and leaders of Israel. YHWH reveals to Peter that his nation had made rules that are against YHWH’s Torah. YHWH brings Peter back to what YHWH and His law had said all along. The wall that separated Cornelius and all Gentiles had been broken down and the rulings of Judaism were set aside/abolished/made void. The Jew was always to love the Gentile as himself. This is not a new commandment.

    Ac 11:1 And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
    2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
    3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
    4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying…
    17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
    18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

    We see above that something drastic had to happen before the apostles would accept that Gentiles were not to be shunned. The wall between them and the Gentiles was engrained in them by centuries of oral law and rulings of the judges.

    The question arises, why was it a law for Jews and why did they have to obey it?

    De 17:9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:
    10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:
    11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.
    12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.
    13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.

    The death penalty was not something that Peter was not going to take chances with. Now we know why Peter said that it was unlawful. The judges of Israel had ruled on the matter and the Jewish oral law had developed for centuries until it had become contrary to YHWH’s law and and His intent.

    Mr 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
    6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
    7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
    9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    Messiah told the religious leaders of Judaism that their rulings had ruined their worship. He also could not just walk in and change everything without being given the authority and put in the place of judgment.

    Mt 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
    2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
    3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

    Lu 12:14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?

    Joh 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
    16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

    Joh 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
    47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
    48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

    Messiah’s death and resurrection gave Him all authority. He has the name above every name and every knee shall bow to Him. He can overrule the rulings of Israels judges. He is now “raised up.”

    De 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
    19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

    Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
    19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Now He is in the position of judge and he delegated this authority to the apostles. He took the authority away from the judges of Israel and gave the vineyard to others.

    Mt 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
    43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
    44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
    45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
    46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

    The chief priests and Pharisees and scribes and rulers of Israel had the authority until Messiah died and rose again. He bought us with His blood. The old rulers of Israel do not have authority to keep in place the dividing wall that they erected. Believers in Messiah are to not let these old authorities judge them.

    The dividing wall that separated Jew and Gentile is made up of the “law of commandments contained in ordinances.” If I am right that this is not referring to YHWH’s Torah but to the rulings of Israel previous judges, there should be proof.

    Here is the proof that I posted before:

    First, the enmity, that Paul speaks of here, was between the Jews and the Gentiles and not between YHWH and man. Messiah broke down the middle wall of partition between the Jews and the Gentiles. Yes, He abolished something. He abolished the enmity.

    Second, the word “abolished” in the verse that you quoted is the same Greek word as “make void” in Romans 3:31.

    Ro 3:31 Do we then make void (Strong’s #2673) the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    Eph 2:15 Having abolished (Strong’s #2673) in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

    “Abolish” and “make void” are the same word and mean the same thing. We know for sure that YHWH’s law is not abolished/made void…because Paul says so in no uncertain terms and in the strongest of language…”God forbid.” So whatever was abolished/made void in Ephesians 2:15 was not YHWH’s law.

    Third, the Greek word in Ephesians 2:15 that is translated “ordinances” is never used of YHWH’s ordinances. It is used of manmade ordinances/decrees.

    For example:

    Lu 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree (Strong’s #1378) from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

    Ac 17:7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees (Strong’s #1378) of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

    Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances (Strong’s #1378); for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

    We have a word in English that comes from this Greek word. As a matter of fact, it is pronounced the same and means the same thing. The word is “dogma.”

    Dogma: a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted
    : a belief or set of beliefs that is taught by a religious organization–http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dogma

    What was the wall between Jews and Gentiles? It certainly was not YHWH’s Torah. There is no law in YHWH’s word that separates the two. There are thousands of manmade dogmas/ordinances that the Rabbis came up with that do keep the Jews and Gentiles from being joined together.

    Now it is your turn Sheila. Look back to the beginning of this post and try to show how my view of Matthew 5:19 is not correct as I have shown your view of Ephesians 2:14-15 is not correct.

    Shalom

  34. Dan1el wrote:
    “The issue is not whether Messiah’s Grace “establishes the Law” (it most certainly does–and it does it “apart from the Law” [Ro 3:21, 31]), but about how to define “establish the Law”. In other words, what about the fact that Jesus is the Cohen Gadol?? That part of the Law is not being “established”. The “definition” of “establish the Law” might just be more nuanced than we suppose.”

    Ro 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets…
    31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    Paul is making sure that we do not get the wrong idea that the law is no longer relevant in verse 31 because of what he just wrote in the previous verses. You have failed to heed his warning. You are mixing two different subjects and claiming they are the same. They are not. The law is not established without the law. Righteousness is established without the law. Does this mean that we can ignore the law, “God forbid.”

  35. Bo,
    LOL HOW is the Law established? By God’s righteousness being worked in us–as I’ve said before, it isn’t us–as Jer 23:5,6 says Messiah’s Name is “God is our righteousness.”

  36. Bo,
    A very large part of the Law has to do with the Temple-service. Since Jesus called Himself the Temple, is Jesus literally “establishing” that very large portion of the Law?

    Since Jesus has taken the position of High Priest, and He isn’t allowed to do that according to the Law (since He isn’t of Aaronic lineage), is Jesus literally “establishing” that portion of the Law?

    The answer to both is “No”.
    Personally, I think this means we must adopt a more nuanced definition of “establish the Law”. What do you think?

  37. Bo,
    It doesn’t say “does this mean we can ignore the Law?”; it says that we should not allow sin to reign in our members, and that the method for doing this is the new way of the Spirit not the old way of the written code.

  38. Bo,
    A very simple Biblical precedent for defining “establish the Law” is already given for us in Romans 13. We’re all very familiar with it.

    Romans 13
    8Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    We may say there is a little more to the definition of “establishing the Law” than this, but this is what we have been plainly given.
    God is love, and if we receive His love (by receiving His Good News), we will have God working in us to do the things that are “pleasing” to Him (i.e., love, which is “the fulfillment”–thus a very large part of the definition of “the establishing”–of the Law).

    And since Galatians 5 says “faith works through love”, Romans 14 says that “anything not from faith is sin” (anything which is not from faith is not being empowered by love, which love is the fulfillment of the law, thus anything done in faith is in line with the Law).

  39. Yes, Bo, did you?

    I’ve been engaged with witnessing to a young fellow from Pakistan who’s been asking me questions through FB messages for weeks now and it’s important to me to say exactly the right thing in exactly the right way to keep him interested and asking more questions. It’s a fine line I’m walking right now and I can’t really engage much further than quick posts.

    Sorry. Thanks. And keep him in your prayers, please. His name is Burhan.

  40. Bo,

    I think you forgot to address any of the scriptures raised. You only listed Scriptures which dealt with other things. And in fact you only reaffirmed what I said, that “For a Gentile to begin receiving the blessings of the unconditional covenants, he had to totally submit to the Mosaic Law, undergo circumcision, take upon himself the obligations of the Law, and, for all practical purposes, live as a son of Abraham.”

  41. 5 months ago today I said this in this topic and it has borne out.

    “But the discussion here I feel is on the fruitless side.”

    “We are approaching 600 posts [we are now around 1900 posts], plus hundreds of others in other topics regarding the Mosaic law. Many circles are being made since certain arguments have been discussed previously but at later times get circled back to, dismissing what was previously said about them. I respect those who wish to live in accord with the Mosaic Law, we just need to do justice to what Scripture says about that law:

    “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” -Hebrews 10:9 (the Father’s will was to take away the first through His Son to establish the second)

    I would encourage us to move on and have fellowship in current topics seeing this one is non-impactful.

    Grace and peace,”
    -September 9th, 2014

    This is still my wish.

  42. Dan1el,

    LOL is not an answer or a refutation.

    The logic of my argument is sound and it is based on fasts. Let’s try again.

    Dan1el wrote:
    “The issue is not whether Messiah’s Grace “establishes the Law” (it most certainly does–and it does it “apart from the Law” [Ro 3:21, 31])…”

    Ro 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ…

    Grace does not establish the law apart from the law. YHWH’s law witness to the righteousness without the law, but by faith. So justification is without the deeds of the law. This begs the question, “What about the law…is it abolished or made void by faith?” Paul’s emphatic and very strong answer is recorded for us.

    Ro 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    Paul is making sure that we do not get the wrong idea that the law is no longer relevant because of what he just wrote in the previous verses. You have failed to heed his warning. You are mixing two different subjects and claiming they are the same. They are not. It doesn’t say that the law established without the law. Justification is without the law. Does this mean that we can ignore the law, “God forbid.” Our faith should establish YHWH’s law. Establish means: Cause to stand or continue. How does our faith do this? By giving us the desire to please YHWH by keeping His every word.

    So faith does not overthrow or void the law. It causes us to love YHWH, His law and our neighbor. Real love ends up doing what the law says. If we know what the law says and do not do it, we are not really loving YHWH, His law and our neighbor. We are being hearers only instead of doers of the word and thus we deceive ourselves.

    1Jo 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
    3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

  43. Benjamin Warkentin,
    I don’t usually get involved in the topics you discuss with Dennis & Bo, but I think the few posts I’ve submitted in conversation with Bo might be helpful to you.)

    Sheila,
    This might have relevance to your discussion with Bo on the nature of the Law of Christ.

    Bo,
    I said:
    “God is love, and if we receive His love (by receiving His Good News), we will have God working in us to do the things that are ‘pleasing’ to Him (i.e., love, which is ‘the fulfillment’–-thus a very large part of the definition of ‘the establishing’–of the Law).”

    I believe this is the same thing John says:

    1 John 3
    22…whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
    1 John 4
    19We love because He first loved us.

    First, since love (for God and men) is established only by first receiving and abiding in His love through faith in His Good News: “believe in the Name of His Son.”
    Second, since love (for God and men) is the establishment/fulfillment of the Law: “love one another (with the love you’ve received from God through receiving the Good News) as He has Commanded.”

  44. Bo,
    “God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith,” so that Romans 14 says “anything which is DONE which is not from faith is sin”: “God’s righteousness” is revealed when someone is walking in faith. This is “apart from the Law”.

    On another level, it is still “apart from the Law” because the works which God is doing in us are not from us reading and knowing the Law but from resting from our own works [Hb 4:1].

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