103 Comments
  1. Shalom, Dr. Brown,

    I caught a bit more of your broadcast today when I made it home. I would really appreciate the opportunity to answer your objections/points/comments one at a time, likewise you with mine. Maybe we could set up a friendly public discussion on the relevance of the Torah for believers today? Please let me know. I send this comment in much love…

    Becoming your friend,
    Matthew Janzen

  2. Matthew,

    Thanks for your post and your offer. To be sure, there have been hundreds and hundreds of posts already on this subject in this forum here (do a search for relevant terms), so this is hardly a new subject for us. And I have also been in dialog with a leader from FirstFruits of Zion to join me on the air one day.

    That being said, if I am to have someone on the show with me, they need to be a qualified representative of their position — someone who is recognized in holding to that position — otherwise, it is not fair to that person’s side. If you feel you qualify, then contact us through the website (www.askdrbrown.org, click Contact Us) and share more of your background; if you can think of someone more qualified to join me on the radio, then send me that information.

    In any case, I am very happy to devote more radio time to a friendly discussion on the subject.

    Blessings and grace to you!

  3. Matthew,

    One further note. I spotted some of your articles online, and you’ve obviously put some thought into these issues, so I would gladly devote a broadcast to the subject on my show (that’s the only way I’d be able to do it; a face to face public discussion or a written discussion are not feasible now). So, send us your contact info through the website (as noted in my previous post), and we’ll work out the details.

    Blessings and grace,

    Dr. Brown

  4. Hi, Dr. Brown,

    Thanks for the replies. I’ve sent my info through your other website. I have alot of respect for you Sir, and I am humbled that you would be willing to more fully discuss these issues with myself. I hope to have a very friendly, yet exhaustive time on the broadcast, Lord willing.

    Shalom in Messiah,
    Matthew Janzen

  5. Also, Dr. Brown, will you be making yesterday’s podcast available? I would like to listen to your statement both during and after my call on the program.

    What books/material do you offer where you deal with your position on the Law/Torah?

    Thanks ahead of time,
    Matthew

  6. Matthew Janzen,

    The July 23rd broadcast included the subject matter of Torah for today. There has been about 40-50 posts about this topic. Please join in if you like.

    Shalom

  7. Dr. Brown,

    My own views aside on the issue, I am surprised by the argumentation that you use with Torah observance. You seem to present a false dilemma, where you say that if a person believes in Torah observances that this is wrong because it includes the much harsher punishments along with it, including laws that seem morally vile.

    The problem is that the rebuttal misses the point of the argument. While it is valid to ask if an individual also follows the more extreme laws it is not a rebuttal to the main argument that Gods laws are eternal. From my perspective it also begs the question on why you use Leviticus in your own works regarding homosexuality.

    Regards,
    Ryan

  8. I feel I’m coming to an understanding about the issue of keeping the Torah perfectly, etc.

    I can see that given the general milieu at the time of the dispossession of the land by God for the Hebrews, it was necessary to create laws such as are found in Leviticus 18:23-27:

    “Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

    Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.

    But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled.”

    We can get a window into time through the laws God felt necessary to create in order to change the prevailing culture. This change would take time to take root and grow and spread.

    I realize that the Torah had to be in place in order to prepare mankind for what was to come through the Messiah – the gift of the indwelling Spirit. Between Sinai and Christ, mankind was being purified and prepared to make straight the way of the Lord. To be prepared for the new baptism, as well as the broader implications of the new atoning sacrifice.

    In this sense, the Torah served (and continues to serve) the purpose of preparing people to be able to receive a new level of understanding through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    Believers in Jesus are taught that the Spirit of truth will lead us into all truth [John 16:12-18]; that we have a high priest forever in Him [Hebrews 7:20-25]… So, obviously, to insist that we all go back into our training wheels when we now have instructions to fly doesn’t seem to really honor God or His gift.

    Any moral precepts in the Torah are, of course, binding. God still abhors the practice of homosexuality and bestiality; still wants children to obey their parents and parents to not provoke their children to anger, etc. But with the Holy Spirit, we can discern the finer points of the law, even the spirit and intention of the law, and we can also overcome our more basic human nature in order to manifest obedience to the law. It also allows us to show compassion to law-breakers. Not leniency, but compassion and outreach.

    That should be the focus of teaching, I believe. Grounding in Torah, yes, but eventually learning to soar by the power and wisdom of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    I hope to see more of this focus in churches or congregations that wish to honor Torah and the Jewish roots of faith in God…

  9. Isn’t there something to learn about forgiveness by looking at how God deals with one that has wronged him?

    I’m thinking about how Jesus said that if a man at the altar brings a gift and there he remembers that a brother has something against him, he is to leave his gift at the altar and go reconcile himself with his brother first. (Matthew 5:23,24)

    So does God want to commune with a man in a condition of knowing his brother has something against him?

    Here’s an example of a man’s behavior or actions
    and how God’s actions are toward him.

    Does God think the best of the man and trust him if he brings him a gift, or does God look at the man’s actions?

    I think he looks at the man’s actions, at what he does and doesn’t do.

    I wonder if God has forgiven the man who comes to his altar with a gift, but there remembers that his brother has something against him.

    I suppose we can say that God communicated with the man, for wasn’t it of God that there at the altar the man remembered that another had something against him? I suppose too that we can say that God had not shut the door on the man completely, nor had God rejected the man by giving him no chance of reconciliation with him.

    If God had forgiven the man, why would he remind the man that another has something against the man? I ask this because I have heard that once God forgives us our sins he doesn’t bring it up again, but rather forgets them.

  10. And another thing…God goes to the man he has something against, and if the man doesn’t hear him what does God do? He doesn’t accept his gift
    at the “altar” it seems to me.

  11. It seems pretty rediculous to say you believe in stoning adulteresses, teenagers, etc.. but that the secular government is the means of carrying it out! The Bible told the Israelites directly to stone them. The people of Israel gathered around and stoned them, they did not summon the ACLU to carry it out. If you believe in “keeping” the whole torah, then you have to carry it out yourself as the Torah says, not according to some new 21st century interpretation. and by the way? are you going to keep the “proof of virginity” cloth if you have daughters who get married?

    Blessings to all

  12. Jeff A. Yaneff,

    There was a justice system in Israel that received the testimony and pronounced the judgment. There was no “secular government.” That it is true that rebellious sons should be stoned is not a matter of our deciding that this is not the correct judgment, it is a matter of citizens of any worldly country having the authority to carry out this decree. It is said, by the rabbis, that this commandment was never carried out even in Israel, but it still reveals YHWH’s heart on the matter. (He wants us to raise our children correctly and does not want society to fall into corruption.) So if we keep the commandment to diligently instruct our children we will find no need to stone our children.

    If we believe in “keeping the whole Torah” we cannot take the law into our own hands. It has nothing to do with a 21 century interpretation, but has been this way for thousands of years. It would be better if we kept every precept of Torah than to continue to live by the commandments of men. YHWH’s commandments are higher than ours…just like His thoughts are higher. When we think we know better than YHWH we are wrong. It is our carnal minds cannot submit to YWHW’s Torah. The spiritual man agrees with YHWH and ends up fulfilling the law.

    Romans 8
    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    Shalom

  13. Hi, Jeff,

    Psalm 19:9 – “The judgments of Yahweh are true and righteous altogether.”

    Romans 1:29-32 – “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

    First of all, the command to to put to death capital criminals is not my idea, it is Yahweh’s. If we insist that Yahweh’s law in this area is not acceptable today by what standard does one suggest we use to know how to punish such crimes? Do we just make up punishments based upon our own thinking?

    Secondly, on the broadcast I said that I believe capitol punishment must be carried out on a governmental, theocratic level. It is probably better stated theonomic level. In reading the Law of Moses one will find nowhere where any individual Israelite was sanctioned to just start stoning someone they saw committing a capital crime. Due process of law had to be carried out, and as Dr. Brown pointed out, there must be two or more witnesses to convict and even then there must be a trial with the righteous judges of Israel present.

    I would strongly suggest to read the late Dr. Greg Bahnsen in this area. I would start with his book “By this Standard” and then move on to “Theonomy in Christian Ethics.”

    Shalom,
    Matthew Janzen

  14. Hi, Jeff,

    Forgot to comment on your “proof of virginity” cloth comment. Psalm 111:7-8 teaches us that all of Yahweh’s commandments are sure and they stand fast forever and ever; including this law you have mentioned. So to answer you, yes, I believe in keeping the law found in Deuteronomy 22:13-21.

    Shalom,
    Matthew

  15. Doesn’t the book of Galations, not to mention the Jerusalem council of Acts 15, categorically say that believers – particularly Gentiles – are not under the law?

    Also, did not Jesus fulfill the law in its entirety? One says: “we don’t keep the sacrificial laws because Jesus fulfilled them – therefore those are no longer binding”. Did He somehow miss the rest of the laws?

    Not to mention how inextricably linked the sacrificial and the other laws are – you’d need a scalpel to separate them into different piles (this one’s sacrificial, Jesus did it once and for all; this one’s not, Jesus didn’t do it, at least not once and for all).

    It seems clear to me that if we are found in Him who fulfilled 100% of the law for us sinful men who could not then we are justified. If we are found in Him and thus justified we will – out of reciprocation for the love and mercy God has shown – produce the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), and not the fruits of the sinful nature: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like (Galatians 5:19-21). Incidentally, I don’t see “hot dog eating” on the list.

  16. As a follow-up, I have to say, Matthew, how humble I find you to be. I was very impressed with how genuinely and humbly you presented your view on Dr. Brown’s program last Friday. I mean that sincerely.

    As luck would have it, I have never heard a “Torah keeper” (for lack of a better phrase) with that level of humility before. It seems that inevitably those of the viewpoint that observance of the law is mandatory end up (seemingly, at least) self-righteous, particularly as they espouse their position. You are the first apparent exception.

    This is not an attack of those who observe Torah in any way; merely an observation based on my personal interactions with such individuals.

    It has also been my experience that, secondary to self-righteousness, there is a tendency to (over time, at any rate) fall into hopelessness and confusion.

    Simply and candidly stated, the individuals I have known who take on the Torah to the fullest extent possible have all become distrusting and scornful towards the world, isolated themselves from other non-Torah observant believers, and, ultimately, lost their faith.

    Recently, one of these very people (who means the world to me) cried in anguish in front of me, confessing that he had lost his faith in God. This after he spent 6 hours monologue-ing to me about the importance of keeping Torah while I sat and listened.

    This is a very important issue, as we are all well aware. I love the Torah, and I think there is a surpassing beauty to it, which only strikes me more every time I read it.
    However, I also note that Peter spoke truly in Acts 15 when he came against the idea of putting a yoke on the gentiles that was too heavy even for the Jews. A week and a half ago I watched a man I care greatly about break under the weight of that self-same yoke.

    The law was always meant to break people, to show them their need for the Savior (Paul’s epistles ring with this message). But as Paul points out, what use is the law after the Savior has been revealed?

    From where I sit: only as an instrument of bondage.

  17. Tom,

    It is regrettable that your contacts with those that embrace Torah have been mostly negative. I do know that there are those that would say the same things about Christians. There are those things that just do no click with some people. I would have to say that some of the fist people that I came across that were on the road to Torah were somewhat of a turn off to me, but looking back I can honestly say that it was as much my problem as theirs most of the time. (Sometimes it was mostly all my problem.)

    As for YHWH’s Torah (Instruction) being a heavy yoke or an instrument of bondage, I used to think the same thing looking from the outside. Once I started to see a little better and started attempting to do things in Torah I found it to be a blessing. I was a driven man (ADHD) and had a hard time sitting still when I first tried to keep the Shabbat, but after a little while YHWH changed my heart and I found great rest, shalom and healing in remembering to keep the Shabbat set apart and resting on it.

    So I sat where you sit (seeing Torah as bondage and a heavy yoke) for a long time. For ten years I have seen it quite differently. I now know that there is a place where YHWH’s commandments are not burdensome and grievous. I can tell you that YHWH has written His commandments on my heart. I can sing with the Psalmist, “O how I love thy Law!” I can truly see that:

    Psalm 19
    7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
    8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
    9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
    10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
    11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

    GREAT REWARD! That does not sound like a burden to me anymore.

    Continued below.

  18. Continued from above:

    Tom

    Deuteronomy 30
    6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
    7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
    8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
    9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:
    10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
    11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
    12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
    13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
    14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

    If YHWH’s Torah is on our hearts it is not a burden. If you do not want to do it…it is a burden. The new covenant is supposed to insert YWHW’s law into our hears (cause us to love it).

    Jeremiah 31
    33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    We do not need someone to tell us to do it if we want to do it. We do not need someone to tell us what Torah says if we love to find out for ourselves. His commandments are not grievous if we Love Him.

    1John 5
    3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    I believe that the commandments of men that the Jewish people, of Y’Shua’s day, called the law of Moses is a heavy yoke. I think that the four commandments that the Apostles started the new believers off with was just that… a start. Did you notice that the Apostles stated that Moses was read every Shabbat. I think that it was expected that these new converts would go to hear the scripture read so that they could grow in obedience.

    Acts 15
    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.

    Continued below.

  19. Continued from above:

    Tom

    Paul seemed to think that the Torah and the Prophets contained all a believer would need to be instructed in righteousness.

    2 Timothy 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.

    The problem comes when we trust our doing what YHWH commanded as a way to salvation. For obedience is supposed to come from a saved persons heart not be a means of salvation. We are created for good works (Torah) that YHWH has before ordained for us to walk in after we are saved.

    Ephesians 2
    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    Once we are saved, the spirit leads us to do the righteousness of Torah. It is our carnal mind that prevents us from being able to submit to Torah.

    Romans 8
    4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    Transgressing the Torah is sin.

    1 John 3
    4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

    The law is not bondage…breaking it puts us in bondage whether we feel enslaved or not. Breaking the Torah is sin and grace does not give us license to sin.

    Romans 6
    14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
    15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
    16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    There is much more to be said, but I leave you with this as it was left to all of us by Y’Shua Himself:

    Revelation 22
    13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
    14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    Shalom

  20. Hi, Tom,

    Thanks for your kind words. I would enjoy the opportunity to dialogue with you concerning this subject.

    Concerning Acts 15 I see it two-fold. Firstly the issue is whether or not a Gentile had to be circumcised in order to receive salvation (15:1). Secondly, the cirumcision being insisted upon by the Pharisees was not even “phyisical circumcision” per say but circumcision based upon the tradition of the elders or what is now known as the Oral Torah.

    These Gentiles were turning to God and did not need to come up under such circumsion to receive salvation. This is akin to the story of father Abraham who was counted righteous before Yahweh by faith, before he was circumcised (Gen. 15:6).

    However, the council did place 4 necessary laws (from the written Torah) upon the Gentiles for the time being. If the law/torah itself was a yoke of slavery why place these 4 laws upon the Gentiles?

    I believe the yoke refers to both the traditions of the elders and the weight of your own sin. All have sinned, both Jew and Gentile, and to try to tell a man they have to keep the law in order to be saved is a yoke that neither we nor our fathers were able to bear.

    What the council decided was that the Gentiles must stop the practices they were most steeped in, but they would continue to hear the remainder of the Torah – written Torah – taught by attending synagogue service on Sabbath and listening to Moses’ writings being read (15:21).

    I explained it to a friend of mine in modern terms as this: Suppose a drug dealer and user entered our church and the power of the Holy Spirit came upon him, delivered him, and saved him. He was so excited and really became a new creature. He then soon asked me what he needed to do in the area of living the Christian life. I would be foolish to drop the entire Torah on him at once, he is a babe in Christ. What I would tell him is, “Look man, you need to stop dealing drugs and using drugs. You’ll learn other aspects of the Christian life as you come to church.”

    I would highly recommend reading the book by Todd Bennett titled “The Law and Grace.” You can find it on Amazon.

    At any rate, this is my understanding of Acts 15. Also, I ask you to go and read Psalm 119 in its entirety. After reading ask yourself if the psalmist David believed the torah was a yoke of slavery.

    Shalom to you,
    Matthew Janzen

  21. Being perfect, as God is, is described in the Sermon on the Mount in terms of practicing impartiality, where, it is referenced as to God’s own practice…”the rain falls on the just and the unjust.” In other words he blesses both with his provisions. The heart to do so is not preoccupied with Mosiac Torah, but with care and concern for life itself.

  22. Matthew and Bo,

    Fair enough regarding personal feelings towards keeping Torah; I recognize that the subjective approach to the question is inadequate since it is just that: subjective. This includes the interpretation of the cited verses, which I understand very differently.

    That said, to approach the question objectively and logically: I am certain that you both do not keep sacrificial laws, which are stated plainly to be just as permanent as the rest of Torah without any distinction made. My question then stands: doesn’t accepting your interpretation of our need to obey Torah law necessarily include those? Or else (as I said above) what scalpel (read: standard) are you using to dissect the Torah into those commands we must continue to fulfill and those that are no longer ours to keep?

    As an aside: do either of you keep the law not to enter a room with a dead body (Leviticus 21:11)? Or do you attend funerals?

  23. Brother in Messiah Bo, you said: Please answer this…Did Y’Shua break the Torah or instruct men to break it?

    If He did, He is not Messiah. The spirit of anti-messiah is at work leading people to break Torah. The Spirit of truth always upholds Torah for Y’Shua declared that YHWH’s word is truth and that the Spirit would lead us into all truth.

    I say: Messiah didn’t go against the requirements that Eloheem/God was desiring at that time, in other words the righteous requirement. For example the kohenim/priests went against Shabbat, and where blameless when they worked on Shabbat/Sabbath. Likewise David went against the Torah/Law by eating the showbread, and He too was innocent. The Ruach/Spirit of truth considers all truth, not solely the Torah, He also considers other truth like the prophets. The Spirit of truth does exactly what is supposed to be done, because He listens to the Ab/Father, likewise Messiah listened to the Father. Those that are led by RuachHakodesh are like the wind, we don’t know where the wind is going, the wind can change directions.
    We are now led by His Ruach/Spirit and not by letter. His Ruach/Spirit leads to do different areas of Torah/Law, and the prophets in different times.

  24. Tom,

    Would you please quote the passage that says not to go into a room with a dead person it it or go to a funeral, so that I know what you are asking about?

    I only find that the High priest is forbidden to do this. The sons of Aaron were forbidden to defile themselves for the dead except for near kin. Is there something I am missing or are you trying to find out about whether we can be cleansed from uncleanness without the ashes of the red heifer?

    Shalom

  25. Tr.,

    I would prefer to continue our discussion on the July 23rd blog so as not to mix our conversation with this one and make things confusing.

    Shalom

  26. Hi, Tom,

    I apologize if my response concerning Acts 15 came off “subjectively,” I didn’t intend that at all. I believe I am interpreting it properly, contextually, exegetically, etc. I would like you to respond as to why my explanation cannot be accurate.

    Concerning your question on sacrificial laws, I obviously do not keep them – not because I believe they’ve been abolished, but because I’m incapable of keeping them currently. This is similar to laws that pertain only to women in the Torah – I can’t keep them. The sacrifical laws were kept by the believers in Yeshua as long as the temple stood in Jerusalem. We see this most specifically in Acts 21 where Paul attached himself to some men on a Nazarite vow to prove that false rumors going around about him were nothing, but that he himself was careful about observing the Torah.

    After Yeshua tells his listeners that he didn’t come to destroy the Torah (twice) but rather fulfill it (Mt. 5:17-19) he goes on in verses 22-24 to mention all three major categories of Torah. Moral (in reference to murder) civil (in reference to the Sanhedrin) and sacrificial (in reference to offering the gift on the altar. So we shouldn’t split the Torah up and think Yeshua only spoke of the moral category and not the other two.

    Also, concerning Leviticus 21:11 the commandment is specifically pertaining the the Levite priests. There were many laws that pertained to the tribe of Levi that didn’t pertain to the other tribes.

    Shalom,
    Matthew Janzen

  27. It seems pertinent to this discussion too, that is why I put some of our discussion from the other thread into this one.

    Chayn(graciousness, favor), chesed(mercy), and shalom(peace) in Messiah Yehoshua/Christ Jesus.

  28. Matthew and Bo,

    Certainly, here’s the passage. Leviticus 21:11 reads: “He must not enter a place where there is a dead body. He must not make himself unclean, even for his father or mother.”

    I was just curious, you say you obey all of the Torah laws (sacrifices excepted due to technical difficulties), yet this one and other priestly laws you do not keep. I confess, I’m new to the study of the Torah (my years past have been centered on the New Testament, to the point of neglect for the Old, I very much regret to say). Can you help me with this?

    Lunch break is almost up – I’ll respond to your points when I get the next opportunity, Matthew.

  29. I am really looking forward to discussing these issues on the air and explaining even more clearly why I so differ with the approach advocated by Bo and Matthew and others here (with all sincerity, from all of us, of course).

    Blessings to all.

  30. Matthew: my response to your post, #20. Your comments boxed in —- for ease of flow.

    —-

    Note also in Acts 15:5 where the issue is introduced to the council that “the Gentiles must be circumcised AND required to obey the Law of Moses.” There was more at stake than merely circumcision.

    —-

    The evidence that they were referring to the Oral Torah is tenuous, at best. First of all, Jesus in His earthly ministry had already roundly denounced the traditions of the elders. If the traditions had been meant, as you maintain, it is very odd that the Apostles (who personally heard Jesus come against the Oral Torah consistently) did not immediately react against this false teaching (Paul excepting), but instead met to discuss the question. Again, if Oral Torah had been meant, no discussion would have been warranted since Jesus’ disgust for it was still ringing in their ears. As far as Oral Torah is concerned, there never was a question.

    What’s more, it is referred to as circumcision “according to the custom taught by Moses”. This being, in fact, physical circumcision as found in Genesis. Granted, many Jews held (and continue to hold) to the idea that the Oral Torah is also inspired and had its origins with Moses. However, Luke is the one writing here, and as a Christian and one with connections to the Apostles he knew the difference between the traditions and the Law of Moses. Think of all the times he records Jesus’ debates with the Pharisees in the Gospel he authored (prior to Acts, no less). It is a stretch to think that Luke would refer to “the custom taught by Moses (15:1)” and “the Law of Moses (15:5)” when dealing with the traditions of men. More likely he would call them just that, the traditions of men, after the fashion of the Jesus he knew so much about.

    —-

    On this we agree. No circumcision (save that of the heart) needed for purposes of Salvation.

    —-

    True. These laws were a direct attack on the pagan practices of the day, the “drug dealing”, as you allude to in your illustration below.

    —-

    The Law itself a yoke of slavery? Perhaps not. Compelling individuals to submit to it? That is the yoke more that anything else.

    As to the why: it is recognized that in order for the 1st century Jews and the 1st century Gentiles to break bread and have fellowship together, these rules are a necessary bridge so that both parties may partake with a clean conscience. These rules were designed to 1) hit the “drug dealing” (nice analogy, by the way) “practices they were most steeped in” head on, and 2) create an environment where the ENTIRE Church could have fellowship together.

  31. Apparently my last attempt to include your comments in the text failed. This time they are boxed in (thusly).

    (I believe the yoke refers to both the traditions of the elders and the weight of your own sin. All have sinned, both Jew and Gentile, and to try to tell a man they have to keep the law in order to be saved is a yoke that neither we nor our fathers were able to bear.)

    I disagree as to the identity of the yoke. As per my elaboration above, I believe that the yoke was the heavy-handed enforcement of the laws given to Moses (though not per se the laws themselves as such). Granted, such enforcement was often undertaken from an Oral Torah standpoint, but I cannot see the Oral Torah being at play here (see above).

    (What the council decided was that the Gentiles must stop the practices they were most steeped in, but they would continue to hear the remainder of the Torah – written Torah – taught by attending synagogue service on Sabbath and listening to Moses’ writings being read (15:21).)

    Now, perhaps surprisingly, I do not disagree with this particular section of exegesis. In fact, this is the most satisfactory explanation to the 15:21 verse I have yet encountered.
    HOWEVER… (continued below)

    (I explained it to a friend of mine in modern terms as this: Suppose a drug dealer and user entered our church and the power of the Holy Spirit came upon him, delivered him, and saved him. He was so excited and really became a new creature. He then soon asked me what he needed to do in the area of living the Christian life. I would be foolish to drop the entire Torah on him at once, he is a babe in Christ. What I would tell him is, “Look man, you need to stop dealing drugs and using drugs. You’ll learn other aspects of the Christian life as you come to church.”)

    As I said, nice allegory. And it has tremendous truth. Do you mind if I add to it?

    Suppose this drug dealer was a native New Yorker. The Church he now attends is deep in the heart of Texas. He wears a suit and tie to services, and the other congregants wear flannel and snakeskin boots. He notices that the natives treat him differently, and discovers that they want him to wear snakeskin boots, blue jeans, and carry a tobacco pouch in his hip pocket. He resists this on the basis that he is culturally inclined to wear a suit.

    The issue here is culture as much as anything. The man may learn fine Christian truth from attending Church, but to make him comply with a dress code and culture change is not an essential part of the package. Thus it is the same for Gentiles who are/were forced to comply with Jewish culture.

    Now, you may say that: “The Jewish Torah was given by God, therefore that culture has Divine backing. Central Texas snakeskin boots do not.” As luck would have it, I have an answer for you, but I will keep silent on that tangent until next time as this post is too long already.

    (I would highly recommend reading the book by Todd Bennett titled “The Law and Grace.” You can find it on Amazon.)

    Thank you very much for the recommendation; I’m always on the lookout for ways to open my mind and expand my horizons.

    (At any rate, this is my understanding of Acts 15. Also, I ask you to go and read Psalm 119 in its entirety. After reading ask yourself if the psalmist David believed the torah was a yoke of slavery.)

    No, I can unequivocally say that based on this Psalm David does not believe that the Law was a yoke of slavery. He absolutely affirms that he will keep God’s Torah and find joy in it.

    However, there is a point where even the Psalm 119 argument breaks down. This also I will save for next time, lest I spontaneously develop carpel tunnel from typing (not to mention get kicked out of the boards for being too long winded). My response to post #26 will also be forthcoming.

    In the meantime, I look forward to learning from what you have to say regarding my last post, #28.

  32. Tom,

    Concerning post 28:

    This is a specific law for the high priest alone, so it is not one for us to keep.

    Leviticus 21
    10 And he that is the high priest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes;
    11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;
    12 Neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the crown of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD.

    I think that there is some misunderstanding that every law is for everyone to keep. Certainly, the laws specifically for the priests are for them only. The ones that would only apply to women are not for the men. There are those that are universally applied to all mankind.

    Does this answer your question?

    Keeping the Sabbath holy by abstaining from work and having a holy convocation is one that is applied to all of mankind. Messiah even said, “The Sabbath was made for man…” The scribes and Pharisees had added so many intricacies to this simple commandment that it became a yoke “which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear.” The Jewish people would have considered all these additions part of the “Law of Moses.”

    We see this sentiment in Peter’s words, “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.” (Acts 10:28) There is no law in Torah that says to stay out of a gentiles house, but the so called oral “law of Moses” has many stipulations in how a Jew was to behave toward the gentiles. This wall that had been erected between Jew’s and gentiles seems to be what Paul was referring to in Ephesians 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;
    16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
    17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
    18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
    19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

    The enmity between the Jew and gentile was not the Torah. It was the added laws contained in ordinances (rulings of man). The Torah makes provision over and over for the foreigners to join in worshiping YHWH and being on the same legal ground as the home born Israelite. We are no longer strangers and foreigners, but are now grafted into Israel as Paul says in Romans. This is exactly what YHWH has always wanted.

    Isaiah 56
    3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree…
    6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
    7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
    8 The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.

    The house of prayer for all people had become a place where the Jewish oral law/commandments of men had erected a wall of partition to keep the gentiles out. The religious leaders had made it very difficult for gentiles to enter fully into fellowship and worship by their added intricacies. Peter needed divine revelation to break the hold that these commandments of men had on his thinking. The simplicity of the Torah that David loved had been modified into a heavy yoke by the time of Y’Shua because of the addition of man made teachings that made the “commandments of YHWH of none effect.” So Y’Shua declared:

    Matthew 11
    28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    Y’Shua lived Torah. He was the word of YHWH made flesh. He, over and over, cut through the Scribes and Pharisees rulings and returned the disciples thinking to the purity of the written Torah. Here is the only other place where we find the phrase, “rest for your souls”:

    Jeremiah 6
    16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

    The ancient paths of the unadulterated word of YHWH is where we find rest for our souls. This path can only be entered by the true Door. We cannot use the Torah as a ladder to get into heaven. We must enter the fold by Y’Shua. Then Torah is rest and not burden, for it is written on our hearts like it was for David. We then want to be obedient children and YHWH’s commandments are not grievous to keep.

    1John 5
    3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    Shalom

  33. Hi, Tom

    In response to your post #28…

    I was familiar with Leviticus 21:11, it’s just that there are some aspects of Torah that are not meant to be applied to every single individual. Leviticus 21:11 is one such law; the entire chapter is directed towards a Levite priest. This is not to say that laws that pertain to non-Levite men and Levites do not at times overlap – I believe they do, but we must find evidence for this and none exists as it pertains to the law in 21:11, at least to my knowledge.

    Think about it like this: Yeshua did not keep every law of Yahweh. That’s a “mind blower” for some people. I’m not saying that Yeshua sinned by any means. I believe Yeshua never transgressed the Torah of Yahweh, but to say that he kept every aspect of Torah just wouldn’t be accurate because all aspects of Torah did not apply to Yeshua. Some were applicable to only priests, women, lepers, etc.

    When I say that I keep Torah, it means that I believe every aspect of Torah that is applicable to me I believe in keeping, and strive to practice in my life. Am I perfect in this? No, I am a sinner covered by the blood of the precious lamb of God, Yeshua the Messiah, but I seek to follow Yeshua in obedience to Yahweh God. I seek to keep even the least of the commandments and teach others to do so (Mt. 5:19), while not neglecting the weightier matters of Torah (Mt. 23:23).

    I believe a major hurdle for most people in this area is the paradigm they hold concerning the Torah. It’s like the other day when talking to Dr. Brown on this subject. What was some of the first law(s) that got brought up? Deuteronomy 23:1 and Deuteronomy 22:18-21. Because of the worldview, mindset, or paradigm of most people today, laws as these seem utterly ridiculous. However, when one begins to see things through the glasses of a loving heavenly Father who never gives commandments to burden us or “take something good away from us,” but rather to protect us, you will realize that we should never question Yahweh’s instructions.

    Let’s take for example the commandment to stone a teenager who refuses to obey the fifth commandment. I’ve got five children. Have they disobeyed me before? You bet! Have I stoned them? Of course not!!! The law is not pertaining to situations I’ve had come up in my life. Deuteronomy 22:18 begins by telling us that the law is applicable to the child of parents when the child has been continuously rebellious even after growing up with constant discipline.

    Even then the command is for the parents to bring him to the elders of the city (judges) showing that they are not allowed to carry out this punishment on their own. They then explain to the elders that the child is stubborn, rebellious and does not obey. They go on to explain that the child is a glutton and a drunkard. We must be talking here about a “grown child,” in the high teenage years. And let’s just deal with one attribute of this rebellious child. The text says the child is a drunkard. Do you know what a drunkard is? It is not just someone who got drunk one night or a couple of times. It is talking about someone who can’t function in society because they drink alcohol constantly. Proverbs 23:29-35 is a very good explanation of a drunkard. I’ve known a few growing up in life and working in the construction arena. These people might show up to work one day (Friday) and as soon as they get paid you don’t see them again for a week or two until they get barely sober enough to come back and work a few more hours so that they can buy more cheap liquor. This type person can’t hold a job, stay married, lead a family, raise children, be a faithful member of a church, etc. If you’ve ever met a drunkard you know what I mean.

    What does Yahweh say to do to this teen? Yahweh’s instructions are the death penalty. These are not my instructions. When someone asks me if I believe in this and then reprimands me or talks down about me because I answer “yes” it is not me they should be angry with. They should take the matter up with Almighty Yahweh because He is the source of the instruction. We learn elsewhere in the Tanak (OT) that Yahweh’s judgments are true and righteous altogether (Psalm 19:9). Yahweh’s judgments are in place to deter crime and when we remove them sin reproaches both people and nations. We are then left with nothing to judge crime except the minds of carnal, sinful men that concoct secondary ways to judge criminals like prison, community service, etc.

    Anyhow I’m probably rambling now Tom, but I am currently writing an entire book on the subject of Torah. I would be glad to email you some of the chapters that I’ve completed to explain my position more fully. I will also respond to your statements on Acts 15 in the near future.

    Yah bless,
    Matthew Janzen

  34. Matthew,

    Your explanation of Deut 22:18 deeply concerns me, since it reflects the impossibly forced “exegesis” of the Talmudic explanation that makes the verse impossible to ever apply. See vol. 5 of my series Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus for a critique of this approach. (I won’t be able to interact further here about this, but for the sake of other readers, and in light of your professed deep respect for me, I wanted to sound an alarm.)

    Blessings and grace!

  35. Erika,

    Please note that there are a number of people really interested in the question of Torah observance, just as there were a number of people really interested in the discussion of Calvinism, etc., so when it comes up here on the Line of Fire forum, those people join in the discussion. So, there are lots of posts, but only from a few people.

  36. Matthew and Bo,

    Thank you both for your explanations of Leviticus 21:11! This helps very much!

    Before anything else, let me clarify my position so as not to be misunderstood.

    1) I am fully committed to keeping God’s Holy Laws. I believe, like you, that a Christian life must follow in the standard of Holiness carried before us by Jesus Christ; not as a method of earning Salvation, but in reciprocation for God’s enduring love towards us.
    2) Where I differ with the two of you is on the topic of what that standard of Holiness is (particularly as it pertains to a Gentile believer).

    Allow me to quote Matthew’s very poignant statement from post 33:

    “When I say that I keep Torah, it means that I believe every aspect of Torah that is applicable to me I believe in keeping, and strive to practice in my life. Am I perfect in this? No, I am a sinner covered by the blood of the precious lamb of God, Yeshua the Messiah, but I seek to follow Yeshua in obedience to Yahweh God. I seek to keep even the least of the commandments and teach others to do so (Mt. 5:19), while not neglecting the weightier matters of Torah (Mt. 23:23).”

    The whole thing is brilliantly stated; I could not have said it better myself. In particular, underline his first sentence with your eyes. I can sum up my response to it in one word: exactly. Me too, I might add.

    That said, in your responses to my question regarding Leviticus 21:11 you both made some very telling statements, such as:

    “There were many laws that pertained to the tribe of Levi that didn’t pertain to the other tribes.” Matthew, post 26
    “This is a specific law for the high priest alone, so it is not one for us to keep.” Bo, post 32
    “Certainly, the laws specifically for the priests are for them only. The ones that would only apply to women are not for the men.” Bo, post 32

    And my two favorites:
    “…there are some aspects of Torah that are not meant to be applied to every single individual.” Matthew, post 33
    “I think that there is some misunderstanding that every law is for everyone to keep.” Bo, post 32

    Agreed, Matthew. Me too, Bo.

    Now then, let me state in my own words what you are both clearly saying.
    1) You maintain that you do not observe Torah law regarding priests
    2) Clearly, you recognize that neither of you are priests
    3) You state that such priestly laws were ONLY given to and applicable for individuals who are, in fact, priests
    And, to add the obvious conclusion to these points:
    4) Therefore, those who are not priests need not trouble themselves with keeping the priestly laws; nor are they transgressing in so doing, and vis-a-vis you are justified in not keeping those laws.

    Before going any further, it is worth investigating WHY the tribe of Levi was given this specific set of additional laws (in addition to the ones given to the rest of the nation). The answer comes simply: it is because they are a priestly class on whose shoulders rested the responsibility for carrying the sin of and making atonement for the nation of Israel. They were called out from among the tribes for this purpose, and thus they were in a sense “called to a higher standard”. Keep this idea in the front of your mind as you continue.

    As Bo said in post 32: “There are those [laws] that are universally applied to all mankind.” Yes, this is most certainly true. Prohibitions against sexual immorality come quickly to mind. Prohibitions against murder also. However, as you yourselves both said so VERY clearly, there are also those laws given to only a specific population (Levites, in our discussion) to the exclusion of everyone else. What is clear from Scripture is that the Levites within Israel were a scale model, if you will, of the bigger picture: Israel within the nations.

    This is demonstrated in the following way. Israelites are/were a specific population among the nations (as were the Levites a specific population among the Israelites). Levi was priestly tribe; Israel was a priestly nation (Exodus 19:6). The purpose of Levi was to atone for the nation via sacrifice; the purpose of Israel was to atone for the nations via sacrifice (this being ultimately Jesus, of course. cf. Gen 22:18 for instance). Etc.

    What is also clear then, is that Israel, as a priestly nation, was given specific statutes in addition to the general commands written on the hearts of all men (i.e. no murder, adultery, stealing, et al that are recognized as laws, or at least socially favored, in almost every nation of the world – even pagan nations), just as Levi was given still more statutes in addition to those of the nation of Israel. Think of it as a pyramid of Holiness.

    And how was it determined that one must keep the priestly laws? Well, they only applied to you if you were a Levite, born of a Levite. Through bloodline, in other words. Then how would one determine if one must keep the Jewish law? The answer seems obvious.
    And yes, there are provisions for Gentiles becoming Jews in the Torah, but per our conversation above, the answer to everyone’s question in the first century regarding “must one be Jewish to be saved?” is DEFINITELY NOT. For God has revealed himself to us as to the Jews.
    Therefore why would I seek to become a Jew? But if I did, then perhaps one could say that I must keep the whole law (Galatians 5:2-3). As it stands, I am not a Levite, therefore not subject to those laws, nor an Israelite, therefore not subject to those laws.

    All this is to say, as a by-product of attempting to justify your notion that Gentiles must obey Torah law – though they be not Jews – you seem to have taken on a horribly inconsistent way of reading Torah.

    If you go on demanding that people who are not Jews keep the Jewish laws of purification, clean and unclean foods, etc. they have every right to demand that you, who are not priests, keep the priestly laws of (among a great many other things) not attending funerals, and definitely not those of non-family members (including in-laws).
    To say that “the laws specifically for the priests are for them only” (Bo, post 32) and not for non-priests, but the Jewish law is for all men, including non-Jews, begs a thousand questions as to how this conclusion has been reached, and on what authority it is preached. Certainly not according to the witness of the New Testament.

    In conclusion,
    The Mosaic Law also gives a specific set of guidelines for worshiping God (involving, among other things, visiting the Temple in Jerusalem). I, as a partaker of the New Covenant, worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:21-23), not as one under the law, but striving to keep the laws God HAS given me, as one under Grace.

    PEACE,
    Tom

  37. Dr. Brown, if I am in error in my logic above, please let me know.

    And Bo and Matthew, it goes without saying that you certainly will.

    Take care all; I enjoy discussing these issues with you!
    Tom

  38. I will add one more thing, for fear I have not made myself quite clear enough.

    Bottom line, what I am saying is that, just as the Jewish layman (non-tribe of Levi, non-priestly class) was not called to observe the priestly laws given to the tribe of Levi, the Gentile believer is not called to observe the laws given to the nation of Israel. Direct correlation.

  39. Brother Tom, when thinking about what you said, it is important to understand that when Paul taught to believers the believers about not having the need for them to do the shadow(Shabbath, new moon, kosher eating, ect), some of those new believers where Jews in blood line, and some where not, also Jews can be a general word that speaks about all of the different tribes in Yisrael/Israel, which can be speaking about Levites too.

    So to the believers that did Torah, they didn’t tell them to stop doing the shadow of Torah, but the ones who didn’t they didn’t command to do the shadow of Torah.

    That doesn’t change the idea of the importance of the shadow(cloud of kavod/glory). We must constantly abide in the fire, which is the greater kavod/glory, and when Eloheem/God has us to realize the importance of the shadow/cloud, we can participate in that to have more blessing, but we at the same time need to remember the weighter matters of Torah, i.e. justic, righteous judgement, mercy, and love always must be considered, and sometimes trample certain areas of Torah in order to complete other areas of Torah. To show you what I mean take a look at this scr. Romans 2:25 “For circumcision verily(truly) profits, if you keep the Torah(law)…”

    That means physical circumcision does have a profit in it, if we keep Torah in the way Eloheem/God desires. That shows the shadow(new moon, Shabbath/Sabbath, appointed times(feast days), kosher eating, ect.) does have a profit too for everyone. The thing is in the N.C. people can be baruk/blessed without doing the shadow, but if they combine the teachings correctly there is more of a blessing. Paul taught that it doesn’t matter if people are circumcized or not, because the new creature matters most, and that is true, and what is most important, but the new creature position allows for people to be led by Eloheem/God, and Eloheem/God can lead people to do the shadow of Torah, as a matter of fact let us consider, and notice this. The first apostles we know were very close to Yehoshua/Jesus, and they followed Messiah, so they to often did the shadow of Torah, while doing the substance. Do you believe this last statement?

  40. Tom,

    Your effort to explain how and what you think about this is very refreshing. As you could probably guess, I used to have much the same view. My main point of contention, back then, was that I did not see that I had been grafted into Israel and that YHWH was no respecter of persons. He holds us all to the same standard.

    I have much to do today, so I will have to put off a full answer for a while. I just read through the first couple of chapters of the link that Erika posted above. It took me (as slow reader) about 20 minutes. It explains a lot of ideas that will answer your questions and arguments to keeping the Torah. I do not know what other things are discussed in the that e-book, so do not hold me accountable for anything beyond the first two chapters.

    Please take a few minutes and read form the link that Erica posted. It will possibly streamline our conversation here a bit. I will re-post Erika’s link below for convenience.

    Jabez,

    Please read the first couple of chapters of the link below as you may find it insightful.

    Erika,

    I appreciate the e-book that you recommended…at least the first two chapters.

    https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0Bxw4eK-XoK0vYTA2YzUxMWQtYWRlNS00OTg4LWIwYTMtYjBjNDI5YjJhYTc4&hl=en

    Shalom

  41. I know God gave the law for many reasons.

    What are some of the purposes he did not purpose in the giving of it?

  42. Tr.,
    I do not dispute that the Holy Spirit may lead some people to keep Torah law – God’s ways are higher than mine and I would not presume to determine how or why he acts in all cases, though I confess I do not undertand why He would do this.

    Furthermore, I do indeed believe that the Apostles, as Jews, kept the Torah. I also note, however, that post-resurrection they did not have a sense of obligation attached to it (Galatians 2:14, for instance).

    And to others,

    I second Bo in looking forward to that broadcast!

    I’m not sure I understand the question, Ray.

  43. Chapter 3 was a as long as the first two put together. It had a lot of good material in it. A bit of repetition, but mostly new scriptural quotes and ideas. Can’t say that I agreed with everything, but it is worth reading for sure.

    Shalom

  44. Tom, Sometimes the how, and why explains different teachings that are important. One thing to keep in mind is that we are following Messiah, and those first believers where also following Messiah.

    You said, Furthermore, I do indeed believe that the Apostles, as Jews, kept the Torah. I also note, however, that post-resurrection they did not have a sense of obligation attached to it (Galatians 2:14, for instance).

    I say, You are correct they were mostly Jews, but also there were individuals that are called Eloheem/God fearers which are said to be non Jewish physically in blood line, they too did Torah.

    Please notice my quote. Romans 2:25 “For circumcision verily(truly) profits, if you keep the Torah(law)…” This teaching is a constant law even while brother Paul also taught that it is not needful to be circumcised, he also let us know there is profit in being physically circumsized. The profit is quite vast, one is we follow Messiah. Please understand I am not saying you or anyone else needs to be circumcized to be blessed, but I am saying there is more blessing available in following Messiah more so, which is also what the original followers did, by having aman(trust, belief, faith) working by chesed(mercy, kindness, love). No one has a right to forcefully make people to do the different areas of shadow, but they do have a right to explain the blessings of the shadow. shadow(new moon, Shabbath/Sabbath, appointed times(feast days), kosher eating, ect.)

    The apostle Paul told people they didn’t need to do the shadow, but then during his ministry look at what RuachHakodesh/The Holy Spirit told him too do. “But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if Eloheem(God) will. And he sailed from Ephesus. Acts 18:21”

    Here is a clear thought. HaRuach/The Spirit revealed that people didn’t need to do shadow, but they could in Eloheem/God’s will if they wanted too, and/or if led by Eloheem/God too. As you have noted Ruach/Spirit led to go away, seemingly more, and more, from doing Torah/Law during the time of the first believers, which makes sense because it was a time of punishment. When Messiah was killed, and resurrected there had to be a time for the disobedience, in effect it is a time of punishment for the transgressions, so it too was a time for going away from several of the ways of Eloheem/God, more, and more.

    In these last days the restoration of all things is happening, and will happen. “whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:21” So as Eloheem/God goes back to establish, and bring Shalom(wholeness in all areas, peace) to Yerushaliym/Jerusalem the combination that has always happened will continue to happen, that is the Torah and prophets, within this combination is the establishing more so of doing the shadow of Torah, along with the body(substance) of Torah.

    The kohenim/priests in the Tanach/O.C. went against the Shabbath/Sabbath, by working on it, but it was right for them to do it, they were innocent, because there were different aspects that needed to be completed. Likewise Messiah did Torah shadow, and sometimes did other things through the prophets, and the leading of Ruach/Spirit. David ate the showbread which was not lawful according to Torah, but Eloheem/God gave him right too do it. My point is that Yehoshua/Jesus sometimes did Torah, and sometimes not, the apostles sometimes did Torah, and sometimes not, we sometimes do Torah, and sometimes not, but just as Messiah led His believers more, and more away from the shadow of Torah, to only do the substance(Love, mercy, faith, justice, righteous judgement), Messiah also switches around the going away from shadow more and more to going back to shadow more, and more, while we are always to continue to do substance, and abide in the body(Messiah, Christ), and He in us.

    Messiah has already shown He is going back to establish Yerushaliyim/Jerusalem, that means He is blessing the doing more of it. So Ruach/Spirit is leading to do Torah/Law more, and more, while still doing the most important part of aman/faith working by chesed/love. Chayn/graciousness, favor, chesed/mercy, and shalom/peace in Messiah Yehoshua/Jesus, Aman. Does this assist in your understanding?

  45. Tr., I just had a short glance at your comment, I guess it’s a good one, but one sentence caught my eye. You said:

    “The apostle Paul told people they didn’t need to do the shadow”

    –no, that was NOT what Paul was teaching – he simply said that it is not worth the time to dispute about HOW to observe them (which man-made traditions concerning them were important and which ones not. In today’s terms: Which tradition is better: The Sephardic one or the Ashkenasi one. OK, tell me: which one is the better one? I hope you’re getting the picture).

    Paul NEVER taught anyone to disobey God’s Law. This e-book explains this quite lenglthy:

    https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0Bxw4eK-XoK0vYTA2YzUxMWQtYWRlNS00OTg4LWIwYTMtYjBjNDI5YjJhYTc4&hl=en

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