103 Comments
  1. Not really Tr, because I have a few points of contention with your explanation.

    1) I used the word Apostles for a reason. The Apostles (the 12 plus Paul) according to all evidence were 100% Jewish in make up. So your statement that they were MOSTLY Jewish but including some “God-fearer” Gentiles is not accurate. I note that if you meant “disciples” you are correct, but semantics is very important here, and the distinction should be noted.

    2) Regarding the profit of being circumcised, certainly there is profit in BEING circumcised (i.e., a Jew), but Paul was very clear that there is NO profit in BECOMING circumcised in the flesh – see Galatians 5:2, cf. Gal 2:3, and especially 1 Cor 7:18.
    Yes, circumcision has advantage, that of being a Jew as one of God’s covenant people (Romans 3:1,2). If someone chooses to become a Jew, submitting to circumcision and the law as required for such, I will question their motivation for such an act (see again 1 Cor 7:18), but ultimately it is perfectly within their freedom and rights to do so.

    HOWEVER, when told that this is a necessary part of the Christian transformation in order to be found in Christ I oppose the idea completely and universally. Is God the God of the Jews only? Is He not the God of the Gentiles also? Yes, of the Gentiles also. And if the God of the Gentiles, then what is man to say that one must become Jewish? Will God not justify the circumcised and uncircumcised by the same faith?
    Certainly the Christian walk is one of obedience to the law. But if I, as a Gentile, do by nature in Christ the things required in the law: submit to the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength, and love my neighbor as myself; will I then be called lawless because I enjoy a slice of bacon?

    3) Yes, Paul kept the law to win those under the law (1 Cor 9:20). He also “broke the law” to win those without it (1 Cor 9:21).

    4) You say that the Holy Spirit is leading people back to the shadow. Scripture states that the work of the Holy Spirit is to testify to and lead people to Christ. How now can the Spirit lead us back to the shadow, which by nature is not Christ? And if I truly have in Christ the reality, why would I go back to the shadow? Why would He want me to? At best, it can only distract from the reality – at worst it can steal you from the reality (a result Dr. Brown points out and I have witnessed for myself).

    There is more I could say, but I think I’ve made my disagreements sufficiently known.

    Take care,
    Tom

  2. Tom,

    You wrote, “when told that [becoming circumcised] is a necessary part of the Christian transformation in order to be found in Christ I oppose the idea completely and universally.”

    Absolutely right!

  3. Hello Erika, let us consider some of the scr.s that brother Tom spoke of. “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. Gal. 5:2” This shows us Paul taught people they didn’t need to do Torah, in other words the not as weighty part of Torah, rather Paul was teaching them, they had to do the most weighty parts of Torah, but he said they didn’t have to do the shadow. “Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. 1 Cor. 7:18-20”

    This next scr. is about those that didn’t do Torah that believed, Paul instructed those that didn’t the shadow of Torah, that they shouldn’t do the shadow of Torah, He recognize body(the most important part) of Torah is what is required for those that didn’t do the shadow of Torah. “And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. Acts 21:21”

    So when I said “The apostle Paul told people they didn’t need to do the shadow” I was not lying that is correct. He let people know that didn’t do the shadow of Torah that they didn’t need to do the shadow of Torah.

    Brother Tom, I will reply to your responses, thank you for commenting brother. 🙂

  4. When I said mostly Jews, I was thinking about the possibilities of other apostles that were around the time of the original twelve apostles. In other words the original twelve apostles, and brother Paul, established other apostles, whomsoever they established.

    The God fearers I was using as a separate issue. I was referring to other believers that did the shadow of Torah before they believed, so they continued to do the shadow while serving Messiah.

    Please notice apostle Paul said, “Christ shall profit you nothing. Gal. 5:2″ It didn’t say circumcision has no profit, it said “that if ye be circumcised, Messiah(Christ) shall profit you nothing. Gal. 5:2″ In other words people need to realize Messiah is our profit, and He is our leader, not the letter of Torah/Law, rather the Ruach/Spirit of Torah/Law, Ruach/Spirit of Torah/Law can lead to doing the circumcision in His way, and time.

    “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. 1 Cor. 7:18-20″ Please notice right after saying that circumcision is nothing, then is said uncircumcision is nothing, so the scriptures explain through those two negating parts, that neither of those two things are the issue.
    Rather the issue is keeping the relevant commandments Yehoshua/Jesus gave, and continues to give. Those that are His sheep hear His voice. That means whatever RuachHakodesh/The Holy Spirit desires is what matters. Certainly the more weightier matter of Torah/Law matter, but I will also show you that the less weighter matters of Torah matter too, May Yahuweh reveal this to you.

    “What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. Romans 3:1-2” First notice the scr. says “Much in every way!” that means there is profit for being circumcised physically Much in every way!
    The other part that we can see from Romans 3 is the main reason is to the Jews, those who are circumcised, the Words of Eloheem/God were given to them. That is not only talking about the Words being given, it is also about since they were given the Words, they have more promise from Eloheem/God to establish Yerushaliyim/Jerusalem, and Mount Tziyon/Zion again. The promise is established through obedience, the meek shall inherit the earth. The first part of the earth that shall be inherited in a fully righteous way, is Jerusalem, and Mt. Tziyon, then from there. “For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the Word of Yahuweh from Yerushalayim.” Yeshayahu/Isaiah 2:3″ What I am saying is the Jews in the spiritual, whether physical Jews, or not, are the chosen Jews in the Brit Chadasha/N.C., and they can receive the promises if both the body(Messiah), and shadow(Shabbath/Sabbath, new moon, appointed times, kosher eating, tithe and offering, the not as weighty matters of Torah), are embraced, and done. “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Ruach(Spirit, spirit), and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of Eloheem(God). Romans 2:29”

    This scr. doesn’t change. Romans 2:25 “For circumcision verily(truly) profits, if you keep the Torah(law)…”

    “But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. 1 Cor. 7:18” You are correct that is what apostle Paul did, so people didn’t need to change, they could stay the way they were, and still can, and they will all be baruk/blessed if they obey the weighter matters of Torah. During that time Eloheem/God was providing a leading by Ruach/Spirit that didn’t require to do the shadow, but there was still a profit to do the shadow even though some may not know what profit, because Eloheem/God was punishing Yisrael/Israel for the disobedience that some of them did by killing Messiah, also it was to establish more of His perfect will.

    I am also saying Eloheem/God is starting to restore all things, by establishing Yisrael in Yerushaliyim again that shows He is doing that. There is even more profit if someone wants too be circumcised and obey the relevant areas of Torah, that is what the scr. says, it says there is profit in doing that while obeying Messiah, in the past, present, and future, but the profit that is experienced can be different throughout the times. The profit from Messiah, and in His shadow is starting to restore all things now, and will continue, until death is destroyed. The combination of body, and shadow defeats all death.

    The shadow can be an influencial part that is a part of the presence of Yehoshua/Jesus, so it can still be a part of Messiah. You do know that during the 1,000 year reign Messiah will rule, and He will establish the shadow of sacrifices again in righteousness in the Temple that will be built. That Temple will be righteous, and a part of Eloheem/God’s will in Messiah.
    Another possible understanding is the body(Messiah) is what is perfect, and He can still use what is not as perfect, but is still a blessing the shadow. As a matter of fact, the shadow of the Tanach/O.C. established the body of the Brit Chadasha/N.C., but also the body of the Brit Chadasha/N.C. will establishh the shadow of the Tanach/O.C.

    Here is another understanding the body represents the Melek/King, the shadow represents the Kohen/Priest.

    Yes, Ruach/Spirit leads to Messiah, and The Father, to be and do whatever He wants us too.
    Here are some scr.s about Eloheem/God going back to establish the shadow of Torah/Law. The last chapter of Isaiah, Ezekiel,Zechariah, also Isaiah 56 and 58 speaks of the profit of doing the shadow of Torah/Law.
    Isaiah 66:15-18 is next, it talks about judgement for not doing areas of the shadow of Torah.

    15 For behold, the LORD will come with fire
    “And with His chariots, like a whirlwind,
    To render His anger with fury,
    And His rebuke with flames of fire.
    16 For by fire and by His sword
    The LORD will judge all flesh;
    And the slain of the LORD shall be many.
    17 “ Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves,
    To go to the gardens
    After an idol in the midst,
    Eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse,
    Shall be consumed together,” says the LORD.

    18 “For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.

  5. Just for the fun of it…

    About…hmmmm….let’s say 10 years ago I was listening to the radio. Low and behold…Paul Harvey was doing his usual thing and he mentioned…of all things…circumcision. He was discussing the fact that there was less (uterine I think) cancer in women that were married to circumcised men. Now, I do not think that one must be circumcised to be saved, but if there is truly decreased risk to our wives…wouldn’t it be laying down our lives for their sake…or maybe even loving our “closest” neighbors as ourselves to get circumcised as an adult if we haven’t been already? Isn’t it a good thing to have our 8 day old males circumcised for the sake or their future wives?

    Did YHWH know this already? Didn’t He say that if we would obey all His Statutes, judgments and laws that it would go well with us and that He would not allow the diseases of the Egyptians to come upon us? Didn’t He say that if we obeyed His rules, the people around us would marvel at what wise laws we had and realize that YHWH was close to us?…..Just wondering…would it be a good work to have our baby boys circumcised at 8 days, which is when medical science has determined that vitamin k (necessary for blood clotting)is at it peak.

    What if someone simply read the scripture about circumcising 8 day old boys and thought, “I bet there are good reasons to do this, or YHWH would not have come up with the idea.”

    So, what if one were to think that they were grafted into Israel and proceeded to have their 8 day old babies circumcised because it was a statute of YHWH and they experienced YHWH’s blessing for obedience even though they didn’t know about the medical studies? If they were doing circumcision, as the scripture specifies, and not for salvation…what is the problem?

    As long as it is not to get saved or become an Israelite, there seems to be no problem. The problem seems to occur when one is getting circumcised in order to obtain salvation. As we know, Paul thought that the OT was good for us to get our doctrine about good works.

    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.

    Here are some other NT scriptures about us doing scriptural good works:

    Matthew 5
    16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

    Ephesians 2
    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    Titus 2
    14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

    Titus 3
    8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

    Hebrews 10
    24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

    1 Peter 2
    12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

    Is circumcision of 8 day old babies a scriptural good work?

    Shalom

  6. Bo,

    For the babies of all believers? No.

    It is a specific covenantal sign given by God for a specific purpose to a specific people, and for Gentile believers to do it for any spiritual profit has no basis in scripture. If they choose to do so for health purposes, fine, but otherwise, it should be discouraged as being a step in the direction of spiritual confusion.

  7. “It is a specific covenantal sign given by God for a specific purpose to a specific people, and for Gentile believers to do it for any spiritual profit has no basis in scripture.” [see above]

    I’m really kind of surprised by this statement. Thirty-one years ago I had my son circumcised on the eighth day out of faith in God. I wasn’t thinking at all about “Jews versus Gentiles.” I considered the Bible to be for all mankind, and I was just acting out of faith in God — the same God who created all the peoples on the earth. Even if all these peoples had in time forgotten Him and He decided to choose out of them all one specific people “for His Name,” He is still the Creator of all mankind. Salvation came through the Jews, but it came directly from God Himself. We are all but clay, He is the potter, and no one should boast in his flesh. As He inspired the prophet Isaiah to write:

    “This is what the LORD says:
    “Maintain justice
    and do what is right,
    for my salvation is close at hand
    and my righteousness will soon be revealed.

    Blessed is the man who does this,
    the man who holds it fast,
    who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
    and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

    Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say,
    “The LORD will surely exclude me from his people.”
    And let not any eunuch complain,
    “I am only a dry tree.”

    For this is what the LORD says:
    “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
    who choose what pleases me
    and hold fast to my covenant-
    to them I will give within my temple and its walls
    a memorial and a name
    better than sons and daughters;
    I will give them an everlasting name
    that will not be cut off.

    And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD
    to serve him,
    to love the name of the LORD,
    and to worship him,
    all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
    and who hold fast to my covenant-

    these I will bring to my holy mountain
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
    Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
    for my house will be called
    a house of prayer for all nations.”

    [Isaiah 56:1-7]

    How can any act of faith in God be considered to be without spiritual profit?

  8. Ruth,

    Do you think God gave the sign of circumcision for a specific people and a specific purpose? And, in the Messiah, do you think that the NT expects or requires or desires that believers, in particular Gentile believers, make an issue out of circumcision?

    As to my specific comment re: spiritual profit, please take it in light of the comments that immediately preceded it.

  9. Ruth,
    There is no discounting of your choice to have your son circumcised, as to your heartfelt decision. The NT, however, states that it is unnecessary to followers of Jesus Christ (per Paul the Apostle).

  10. Ruth, I should also say that I generally read what you share with a sense of care developed of a great appreciation for your openness of heart toward our Father shown in comments shared over time. Perhaps it is because we seem to be contemporaries, perhaps it is because of enjoyment of your thought development and culture of life ongoing confession and attitude that I look forward to your remarks found in these blogs. It remains a delight to know that what God has started he works at completing and some are able to share that ongoing result.

  11. Hi, Tom,

    This is a response to your post #30. I apologize for the delay but I pastor a church, am a husband and father of 5 home schoolers, and work full time… It’s difficult to find time for web forums, but I enjoy it 🙂

    I agree with you on Acts 15:5. This is why I made the points in an earlier post about the Gentiles in this text. They were turning to God and the entire Torah didn’t need to be placed upon them all at once.

    I believe the evidence that the Oral Torah was in view is not tenuous at all. Remember it was the Pharisees (Acts 15:1) who were making the assertion. To these Pharisees the “law of Moses” consisted of both that which was written and that which was Oral. However, this is why I wrote before that the issue was two-fold. The primary issue was the question of whether a person had to be circumcised to be saved (Acts 15:1). The Pharisees were of the mindset that in order for the Gentiles to have salvation in Messiah they had to first be circumcised and then instructed in the entirety of the law. This would be telling the Gentiles that they would have to bear the weight of their own transgressions. In other words – salvation by works.

    Now, here’s what most people miss. Later in this chapter we see the elders ruling that the Gentiles did need to begin to practice 4 aspects of the Torah. If the Torah was not meant for the Gentiles (as most people interpret the passage as saying) why did they lay upon the Gentiles 4 categories of Torah observance? Let me further point out that there were many, many more commandments that fell up under these 4 headings. It wasn’t just 4 laws and that’s it; these 4 contained within in them many other laws. Take for example the issue of sexual immorality. This would cover all the laws in Leviticus 18 and many in Leviticus 20. All these commands needed to be obeyed by the Gentiles.

    Another point that many people miss is Acts 15:21. Directly after the four laws are settled upon James continues by saying, “For since ancient times, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, and he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath day.” This verse is rarely commented upon by those who use Acts 15 to teach the “no law for the Gentile” doctrine today. James’ point is that the Gentiles will begin with these four laws and as they attend synagogue service on Sabbath they will listen to the reading of Moses (Torah) and grow in grace and knowledge in their walk with God in the commandments. This clearly shows that the Gentiles would be observing the Sabbath.

    It should be obvious that the 4 laws given to the Gentiles here were not the only laws they needed to obey. Nothing is said here about coveting, honoring parents, taking God’s name in vain, theft, etc. Surely we don’t believe that the Gentiles were free from these?

    There is no way that the yoke of slavery is the law. All one needs to do is read Psalm 119. To think that David though the law was a yoke of slavery is wishful thinking. The yoke of slavery is rather when a person tries to tell someone that they must keep the law in order to have salvation. That places the burden of sin upon the person – a burden which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear. I believe a person is saved by grace through faith apart from any works at all. We should teach obedience to the law to people as a loving response they give to the Mighty God who saved them by His grace.

    Concerning your point about “bridging the gap” between Jew and Gentile for fellowship, I believe that understanding is not found in the text itself. The text directly speaks about the Torah as it pertains to Gentile believers. The decision is that the entire Torah should not be laid down upon them all at once, but instead, they are to begin with the sins they are steeped in, attend synagogue service, and learn the remainder of the Torah over a period of time.

    I deal with the same thing today that the early church dealt with, and you probably have too. I have people at church who want to take a sinner off the street who comes to visit and tell him everything at one time and expect him to obey in every area. I remember growing up in the Pentecostal denomination and seeing people try to witness to women about wearing pants before they ever talked about Christ and His work on the cross. It’s amazing…

    Hopefully, I will get a chance to respond further soon.

    Your friend,
    Matthew Janzen

  12. Dr. Brown,

    I too, had my 5 sons circumcised on the 8th day as a matter of simply reading it in the scripture and responding in faith. Now, of course, it was the medical version and not the rabbinical version. For 4 out of my five boys I had no idea that I had been grafted into Israel, but YHWH laid it on my heart to do it on the 8th day instead of on the second day as is commonly done in the medical system. Babies born in the hospital get a vitamin k shot so that they will not bleed too much when circumcised. (Even the girls get this routine shot though they will not be circumcised. Man’s wisdom pales in comparison to YHWH’s.) What is the point in doing it man’s way when we have the Designer’s word on the correct way?

    I do not intend to make it mandatory for all believers to get there sons circumcised. It was an act of faith on my part. If it is not of faith it is sin. If it is doing works to get saved it is wrong. If it is the out working of ones salvation and trust in the only wise Elohim there is nothing wrong with this sort of obedience.

    Is it wrong to be baptized more than once in ones lifetime? Would the subsequent times be the same thing as getting circumcised after one is saved in that it would be failing to trust that the first time was sufficient? Would the later baptisms be works salvation or would they still be a n answer of a good conscience? Or would you say that it is fine as long as it was only for health reasons?

    Shalom

  13. Bo,

    Circumcision is different than baptism (your last question is too absurd to be taken as serious), and obviously, I have a very different take than you do on Gentiles being “grafted into Israel.” I trust you’ve read what I have previously written on this in other books, but when I address the issue of the Torah for today on the Line of Fire in more depth, I’m sure this question will come up.

  14. Brother Michael Brown said, “It is a specific covenantal sign given by God for a specific purpose to a specific people, and for Gentile believers to do it for any spiritual profit has no basis in scripture.” [see above]

    I say, the idea that we are talking about comes from Avraham/Abraham. “And if ye be Messiah’s(Christ’s), then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29” So just as Abraham received the seal of righteousness Romans 4:11, any and all people that are led by Eloheem/God can receive the seal of righteousness. Just as brother Paul had to keep the feast, we too can be led to do the shadow. “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 God will. And he sailed from Ephesus. Acts 18:21”

  15. The main problem comes along when individuals think that believers that don’t do that shadow can’t be saved, and blessed dramatically, because they can, and are, yet also believers that do that shadow can and are saved, and blessed dramatically too.

    When considering all of those things, Eloheem/God can lead to do more of the shadow, as long as it is prevalent, if someone goes to much into shadow they end up going out of the will of Eloheem/God. As scr. and I have stated, circumcision does profit if we keep the prevalent parts of the shadow of Torah, as long as we are abiding in, and doing the body of Torah. There is more profit that can be experienced in the shadow of Torah if done correctly, while having love, and being led and considering what in all circumstances Eloheem/God desires, sometimes He may require that we do something against the shadow of Torah in order to establish love, the example of David eating the showbread. Also Avraham/Abraham before circumcision can be an example, then realizing again the shadow does have blessing will again help us to follow Messiah more, a continuous listening is required, a continuous seeing is required.

  16. Tr.,

    Abraham is the father of all who believe, not all who are circumcised. (Muslims and other ancient peoples practice male circumcision as well.) Jew and Gentile are united in him by believing in Yeshua, not by being circumcised, and Paul explicitly counsels Gentile believers against the latter in his letters, as you know.

  17. “And if ye be Messiah’s(Christ’s), then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29″ Abraham is the father of all those who believe in Messiah, if someone is Messiah’s then they are Abraham’s seed, meaning anyone and everyone in a spiritual sense, that includes Arabs, and other all other people, all become Abraham’s seed in Messiah, just as Messiah is Jewish, we also in Ruach/Spirit, in Messiah become Jewish. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28” “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
    Colossians 3:11”

  18. Tr. — the NT does not say that all who are in the Messiah become Jewish. Please see my book Our Hands Are Stained with Blood, chapters 12-14, and notice how Paul addresses the non-Jewish believers in Romans 11. He calls them Gentiles. No insult here!

  19. Hi, Tom!

    In this post I will respond to the points you’ve made in your post #31. I will only deal with the parts that I have not dealt with when I responded to your post #30.

    What I’d like to respond to here is your addition to the allegory I used. I’m not criticizing you for adding to “my allegory,” it is just that I do not agree with what you have written concerning the things in Acts 15 being merely cultural in nature.

    If, as you’ve said, members of this Church in Texas want this native New Yorker to wear snakeskin boots, blue jeans, and carry tobacco, they are certainly desiring him to conform to their culture for they couldn’t find anything in Scripture that would instruct this New Yorker in these areas.

    However, to say that the Gentiles needed to do the 4 necessary things to comply with Jewish culture is incorrect. The 4 laws mentioned are commandments from Yahweh, not just Jewish culture. How is sexual immorality merely Jewish culture? Same goes for the other three. We can find all four of these laws in the holy law of Almighty Yahweh.

    You’ve said you have an answer for this, so I will look forward to reading it!

    Also, I’d like to hear what you are speaking about when you say the “Psalm 119 argument breaks down.” It is abundantly clear when reading Psalm 119 that David did not view Yahweh’s Torah as being burdensome, a yoke, slavery, temporary, saddening, etc. This is in stark contrast to how I hear most preachers today talking about the Torah. Bring the Torah up to them and they automatically begin speaking negatively as though Yahweh didn’t know what He was doing when He gave certain laws to His people.

    I would encourage you again to order the book “The Law and Grace” by Todd Bennett. I just started reading it for the second time yesterday and it is wonderful. I believe it will help clear up many of the misconceptions people have about the law, and at the same time give balance by still teaching that the law is not obeyed for salvation, justification, etc.

    Shalom my friend!
    Matthew Janzen

  20. Dr. Brown,

    Please note that Paul says in Ephesians that we were (not are) gentiles. We used to be strangers and foreigners. We are now adopted in and grafted in so that we are partakers in the covenants (plural) of promise and the commonwealth of Israel. We are fellow citizens. We are created anew to do the good works that were before ordained that we should walk in them. That sounds a lot like Torah to me. Paul says that the Torah reveals the good works that we are to walk in. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

    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.
    11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
    12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
    13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ…
    17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh…
    19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

    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.

    I think throughly furnished means throughly furnished. I think instruction in righteousness (right living) is what it says. Y’Shua and Paul did not toss Torah out the window, but they did teach that no one can get saved by doing it and that those that are saved keep YHWH’s commandments. John would agree.

    Shalom

  21. Tom,

    I haven’t forgotten you…I’ve just been quite busy. I did have to take a few moments to shoot off a comment or two regarding some of these other posts though. Your posts require a bit more effort to answer properly. I’ll try to respond soon.

    Shalom

  22. Bo,

    Romans 11 is explicit, and the fact is you are no greater or lesser in Jesus whether you are Jew or Gentile. Rom 10:12-13!

    I’ll be dropping out of this thread again because of other priorities, but in case there are any new folks joining in, I do not see your position as tenable in any way based on the overall testimony of Scripture, although I respect your commitment to the Lord and your love for His Word.

  23. I’m feeling that it is a little insulting to be charging Gentiles with “trying to become Jewish” through faithful observance of certain aspects of the OT commands. It’s not about the flesh! Really!

    Being respectful, being faithful to God, following what also seems to be quite good, sensible, and loving advice from our Creator does not mean that Gentiles are trying to become Jewish.

    Remember that it is the Father that draws people to the Messiah. [John 6:44] Personally, I can bear witness to that, because I found the “Father” first — in the Old Testament; and my faith in God was solidified when I first believed in Father God. Only after that did I begin to wonder where “the Son” fit into all of that, and I asked Him to please teach me the truth about Jesus. I am still learning, but after that prayer, because it was in accordance with His will for me, I began to see Jesus in a completely new light and eventually had a life-changing baptismal experience for which the term “born again” is timelessly apt.

    I “received with meekness the engrafted word” which was “able to save [my] soul” [James 1:21]but never felt that now I had “become a Jew.” Oh, I did kiddingly chide my then-agnostic Jewish friend Jake that I was ‘more of a Jew’ than he was. I meant that as an elbow to the ribs, as in, ‘I believe more in the words of the prophets than you do, and you should, because it is a part of your heritage.’ He took it in the spirit in which it was given, which was meant as a kind of goad to make him think deeper. And despite DNA patterns (testing prompted only by general curiousity, believe me) which would seem to paint a portrait of both Sephardic and Ashkenazi and Semitic ancestry on both sides of my family, my heart has only broken (along with many other believers) for the general disbelief seen in Israel. I am actually very grateful to have had clear access to the entire Bible in my upbringing, because there were no added cultural stumblingblocks to belief to overcome — though we must remember that for God, overcoming these is not at all difficult! All in His good time!

    This same dear Jewish friend asked me once if I would “be willing to convert to Judaism.” I told him that if converting would mean denying Jesus, I could never deny my Lord. It grieved me that the question could even be framed in that way at all. Praise God, shortly after that conversation, I found Messianic Judaism, and rejoiced that the two (Christianity and Judaism) were not mutually exclusive! My Jewish friend, too, has happily discovered he doesn’t have to stop being a Jew to believe in Jesus, and continues to learn more about this through this ministry.

    Of course, I am only a student, only learning the truth, and certainly not having ‘fullness of knowledge’ at this point in my life. But I just think it’s not being entirely fair to Gentiles to imply that Torah observance (whether partial or complete) means anything other than a genuine desire to just be faithful to our wonderful, awesome God…

  24. The Brit Chadasha/N.C. does say that true Jews are spiritual Jews, the only way we can be, and are spiritual Jews is through Messiah. “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Romans 2:28-29”

    Messiah is Jewish, so anyone that abides in Him, and Him in us is spiritually a Jew, and the spiritual is the body(substance, what is most important, the weigher part of Torah), the other part the shadow(the physical, is important, but less important, is not as weigty, but is still weighty) in Torah. As a matter of Fact Messiah is said to be Yisrael, and from Him comes the true tribes of HaYahuweh/The Lord.

    Now certainly there are physical Jews that don’t believe in Messiah, and abide in Him, and He in them, they are of the shadow(important, but not as important), as those who are in the body(Messiah), both Jews, and others are of the body, thus obedient and Have the Ruach/Spirit.

  25. Ruth,

    Your belief in God the Father first is understandable, and obviously it’s true that the Father draws us to the Son; but keep in mind also that “No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” (Matt 11:27, Luke 10:22)

    Bo and Matthew,

    I feel your pain, for it is my own! I’m also a busy man currently, but I’m just as committed to this dialogue, I will reply in due time!

  26. Tom,

    I’ll cover what I can this time around.

    Going all the way back to your post #37:

    You wrote:
    “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.”

    This is a great statement/commitment! It is this commitment that has caused me to come to keep Torah. What did Y’shua uphold as righteousness and holiness? Torah…kept from the heart! This kind of righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees which tries to be righteous by adding intricacies/commandments of men to the torah. Not one jot or tittle of the law or prophets will change until all is accomplished.

    1 John 2
    1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
    2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
    6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
    7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

    What is the old commandment that we had from the beginning? Torah. Love is perfected through obedience. Walking as He walked is keeping the Father’s commandments and thus abiding in His love.

    John 15
    10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

    Are we really only supposed to abide in the Son’s love or are we also to abide in the Father’s love as Y’Shua abode in His Father’s love? Would walking as He walked include keeping the Father’ commandments? I think yes. Now if we sin we have an advocate with the Father. So what is the definition of sin?

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

    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.

    So the law does not have dominion over us, but we are still not supposed to break the law (sin). Grace does not make it alright to sin (break the law).

    Romans 6
    19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity (torahlessness) unto iniquity (torahlessness); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
    20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
    21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
    22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

    There is that word “holiness.” It is connected to keeping torah. Iniquity (Gr. anomia=lawlessness=Torahlessness) and uncleanness (the torah explains what uncleanness is) are the opposites of righteousness (living right) and holiness. If we yield our members to keeping torah we have fruit unto righteousness and holiness. Being made free from sin is not only being free from its punishment but also freedom from its hold on us. Before we believed in Messiah we were slaves to sin…we couldn’t stop sinning. Now we do not have to sin. If it was sin to break torah before we were saved it is still sin. The definition of sin has not changed. Our ability to walk free from it has changed.

    1 John 3
    4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
    5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
    6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
    7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
    8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
    9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
    10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

    Please read the above quote closely. Transgressing of torah is the opposite of righteousness. He who is truly righteous does righteousness (keeps torah). Y’Shua was manifested to take away our sins…this does not only mean forgiveness, but also means that we are new creatures that can live righteously. The sin is not taken away if we continue to walk in it. In Him is no sin…we are supposed to be in Him.

    This is probably getting redundant. I hope you can see my, or rather, John’s point.

    I will try to deal with some of your other points soon.

    Shalom

  27. To answer your question directed at me, Dr. Brown, yes, it is obvious that circumcision was a specific covenantal sign between God and His chosen people. It was necessary to set apart a people for His Name — it was (and is) a very brilliant plan!

    But I do think that Isaiah 56:1-7 clearly shows that God’s intention for all people is that we ALL “hold fast” to His covenants. What would be the point of being ‘a light to the Gentiles?’ Nobody sets up a light upon a lampstand to draw others to it and then covers it. God either desires Gentiles to be faithful and true to Him also (in all His manifestations) or it’s an empty lure. A cruel bait and switch. A “Jews Only” segregated drinking fountain or a “one God, one people” concept. All the evidence points to it being the latter. Jesus offered the Samaritan woman seated at the well ‘water’ so special that through the drinking of it she would never thirst again. She was not a Jewess. But she was offered the water of life.

    Now, I must admit, I do regard the Jewish people as special. And I do long to see the day that “all Israel” is saved. I know the Kingdom of God is a hierarchy, not a democracy. If there can be a “least” and a “greatest” then there are probably also degrees in between — so obviously, it isn’t a circular, egalitarian construction with no “up” or “down.” There is also the matter of God’s “elect.” This would definitely appear to be a special group within the special group whose names are found in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Whomever God holds to be special; whomever He chooses to exalt — is His choice — He is God. I’m confident in His judgments. (I’m not being deliberately self-effacing here, but I honestly would be happy to be even a snail in His garden — if I could just be there in His garden, if you know what I mean.) I have no problem regarding Jews as particularly set apart and special — and just to see them all — all the righteous ones through the ages on up through the then-latest of times all standing before the Throne — what a great sight that will be! Just to see it — what an incalculable blessing. God had a specific plan in mind and He is constantly working it out, and every word of His will be fulfilled. But He also makes it plain in various verses that he is no respecter of persons. Should a righteous Gentile have a better future than a sinful and unrepentant Jew? Then what is within is truly what matters most.

  28. Tom,

    You wrote:
    “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:
    “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.”

    And:
    “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.”

    The underlying concept that will solve our somewhat opposing ideas is:

    What does our being adopted, grafted into the olive tree, and being made fellow citizens/partakers of the covenants of promise mean as it concerns our relationship to Israel? (When I say Israel I do not mean the county in the middle east or the Jewish people.)

    So, what does it mean to be the bride/body of Messiah? Does YHWH the Father have a different bride/body/assembly? Are the Father and the Son one Elohim or somehow separate entities?

    This is about how we view YHWH and His betrothal to His bride, as the wedding feast is yet to come. We are legally His wife, but the consummation is in the future.

    YHWH divorced Israel and is calling her back to Himself. This is what the new covenant is. A marriage contract. That is what the old covenant is too. Is YHWH abandoning His first wife and marrying someone new or is he reestablishing his relationship with His first wife to be? The new covenant is offered to Israel not to other peoples. To participate in this marriage one must be joined to Israel in some fashion. The Pharisees said it was through circumcision and obeying all the oral rulings that had been passed down through time. The Apostles said it was through faith in Israel’s Redeemer.

    The new covenant puts the law of YHWH in our hearts instead of leaving it on a physical document. The marriage contract (law) does not get broken when we love it…when we truly love our bridegroom. This is what having the law written on our hearts means…loving to please our Bridegroom by obeying His wishes. I doubt that you disagree with the basics of this concept.

    So are we Israel of some new entity.

    Romans 9
    6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

    Romans 11
    13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
    14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
    15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
    16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
    17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;…
    25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

    Come in to what? Israel!

    Ephesians 2
    11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
    12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
    13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
    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;

    We are no longer gentiles, strangers and foreigners. All the covenants are ours now. We are part of the household of YHWH. What does He call His people…Israel. This passage does not say that Israel was alienated and in need of being grafted in or adopted. They are the natural branches and YHWH’s firstborn.

    Exodus 4
    22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

    Jeremiah 31
    7 For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.
    8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
    9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

    Hebrews 12
    23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

    There is more, but I am out of time again.

    What parts of Torah are applicable to us that have been adopted/grafted in? I will try to cover that soon…YHWH willing. For now, suffice it to say…if we have been made part of Israel we have the same instructions/torah.

    Shalom

  29. hello there guys loving the discussions going on. i would just add by saying the law is summed up by jesus to ‘love god witn all our hearts and strenths’ and to ‘love your neighbours’. we are living in the new covenent which is far more glorious than the old, and jesus himself has given us new commandments. for eg, the law says not to commit adultery but I say not to think about the women in a lustfull way. so i personally believe TORAH AWARENESS is important but not TORAH OBSERVANCE.

    shalom

  30. Here I would like to consider what the natural branches(Israel in the physical), and the wild olive(other nations) means. Romans 11

    Everyone stays in the olive tree by aman(faith, trust, belief) in Messiah.

    Israel in the physical the natural olive branches that stay grafted in, correspond to “Judah, Melek/King, Obeying relevant shadow of Torah/Law” also correspond to the time that Abraham was in physical circumcision, the time of the person Israel, also time of resurrection of Messiah.

    The wild olive corresponds to Joseph, His son Ephraim(He is said to become a multitude of goyim/nations), Kohen/Priest, Obeying the weightier matters of Torah which are(mercy, love, faith, justice, righteous judgement), the weightier matters of Torah are not the shadow of Torah. Also corresponds to the time Abraham was not circumsized, the time that Israel was called Jacob, also the time of the suffering, and being lifted up on the cross.

    Continuing the discussion, the Messiah is both called the Lion of the tribe of Yehudah/Judah, that is the understanding of natural branches, then the understanding of the wild olive is Him being the Lamb of Eloheem/God that takes away the sin of the world.

    Lets consider more understanding of what the natural, and wild can mean.

    As we can see Messiah as the Lamb is for all the world, so we see the context of Abraham not being circumcised yet, that is the wild olive understanding. The natural olive understanding is the Lion of the tribe of Yehudah/Judah is one that specifically focuses on Yehudah/Judah to save Judah who in general terms is physically called Israel, the time of Abraham being circumcised.

    “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered… Tehillim/Psalms 68:1” can correspond to the natural, and wild olive, in varying ways.
    Yeshua/Jesus talked about when He is lifted up, then He would draw all people to Himself.
    In one understanding the wild olive is about Imanuel Messiah being lifted up on the cross, in other words it is a time of Eloheem/God arising also corresponding to Ephraim/the Lamb. Now when Imanuel Messiah resurrected that is the natural olive understanding when He caused His enemies to be scattered, that is Judah/the Lion.

    A different context. The Lamb of Eloheem/God to take away the sin of the world is about the goyim/nations referring to Joseph/Ephraim, Joseph in His time ruled over all the world, receiving a double portion, the double portion is several things, but part of it is the willingness to correctly suffer on the cross, and then be resurrected. Joseph/Ephraim spiritually suffered, and was resurrected.

    Judah(natural branches) during that time represented the ruling of the tribe of Yisrael/Israel, but in order for that ruling to take place Joseph/Ephraim(wild olive) had to first be established.

    The wild olive is about Abraham not being circumsized, still applies today, this is also true for Jacob before He was called Israel. That is the wild olive area of understanding, believers can be blessed fully as long as they continue to have aman(belief, trust, faith) even when they don’t do that shadow of Torah.

    The natural olive is about Abraham during and after circumcision, and also when Jacob was called Israel.

    We need to notice that Abraham is in both positions on the olive tree understanding, so also is Israel, so also is Messiah.

    Even though they are in both position, they didn’t allow themselves to stop at just the wild olive spiritual understanding. They did more of the will of Eloheem/God. So both the believers that do physical circumcision(the shadow of Torah(Messiah)) and don’t do it, both do the body, and are in the body(Messiah) of Torah(Messiah), through Messiah.

    What I am saying is that Abraham was accepted and blessed, and had a good relationship with El/God before circumcision, and after. He is the father of us all. Then also we can see Abraham continued to listen to Eloheem/God, and when Eloheem/God called to be circumcised which also represents the doing of all relevant shadow of Torah, he chose to be circumcised(for our understanding doing the relevant areas of the shadow of Torah).

  31. Tom,

    You wrote:
    “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.”

    I think you have a point that there may be some things that are Jewish but not universal. I will take issue with your use of the term “Jewish” and think that we should be talking of “Israel”… the name that YHWH gave his chosen people. There is a difference in meaning and conception.

    Israel was called by YHWH to represent Him and His ways to the world. The Jews are the only intact tribal unit that is recognizable to the world today. Those of the Jewish religion follow rabbinic oral commandments/judgments of men and see them as the proper interpretation of keeping the Torah. This is not much different from the first century C.E. In a sense, the Jewish people are required to follow these precepts in that they are commanded to obey their judge’s rulings…the rabbis being the judges by “default.”

    Peter was made aware of a wrong ruling in Acts 10. He was obeying the rulings of the rabbis in not going into a gentile’s house. This is not a command in Torah. YHWH showed Him that not every gentile was unclean. The Jewish judges had made a ruling contrary to YHWH’s instruction. Circumcision of gentile converts to Judaism was considered mandatory by Jewish rabbinical authorities. The Torah only says that circumcision is required if a gentile wants to partake of the passover lamb. Otherwise, the foreigner that has joined himself to YHWH and His people has the same responsibilities and privileges as the home born Israelite.

    This simple law in Torah became a huge set of imposing intricacies in the hands of rabbinical agents.

    There are probably not a “thousand questions” begged as to the subject at hand, but there are a few. I wouldn’t be so certain that the NT witness has no indication of Torah observance being applicable to both Jewish and gentile believers in Messiah.

    First, the principle of YHWH being no respecter of persons mitigates against there being different statutes for the Jewish and gentile believer.

    Romans 10
    12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

    Acts 10
    34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
    35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

    Note that those of every nation are accepted if they “fear him, and work righteousness.” Judgment comes on all equally too.

    Romans 2
    6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
    7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
    8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
    9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
    10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
    11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

    So, only those that work righteousness will receive the honor of YHWH. Torah is divine revelation on what YHWH considers righteous behavior. (1 Tim. 3:16-17)

    Continued below.

  32. Continued from above:

    Tom

    Second, there is one law (Torah/instruction) for the stranger and the home born. Anything less is not justice. YHWH is Just.

    Exodus 12
    49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

    Leviticus 24
    22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.
    Nu 15:16 One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.
    Numbers 15
    29 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.

    Third, here is a sampling of torah being upheld as applicable in the NT:

    We were dead in our trespasses and sins.
    Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
    Sin is the transgression of YHWH’s Torah/law.
    1Jo 3:4b …for sin is the transgression of the law.
    We would not have known sin except for YHWH’s Torah/law revealing it.
    Ro 7:7b …Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law:…
    Y’Shua was made to be sin for us.
    2Co 5:21a For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;…
    He died to take away our sin (Torah violations).
    1Jo 3:5a And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins;…
    While we were yet sinners (Torah breakers) Messiah died for us.
    Ro 5:8b …while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    We receive forgiveness by grace through faith in His sacrifice.
    Eph 2:8a For by grace are ye saved through faith;…
    Faith does not nullify YHWH’s Torah/law.
    Ro 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
    Grace does not give us freedom to sin (break YHWH’s Torah).
    Ro 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
    In Y’Shua is no sin.
    1Jo 3:5b …in him is no sin.
    We are to walk in His steps.
    1Pe 2:21b-22a …leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin,…
    If we sin (break the Torah/law) we have an advocate.
    1Jo 2:1b …And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
    If we live in sin (transgressing the law) we do not know Him.
    1Jo 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
    Unrighteousness is sin (transgression of Torah).
    1Jo 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin:…
    Those that are righteous do righteousness.
    1Jo 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
    The unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom.
    1Co 6:9a Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
    We are to be doers of the Torah and not hearers only.
    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    The Torah is righteous, just and good.
    Ro 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
    The law is not sin.
    Ro 7:7a What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid.
    It is sin to transgress the law.
    1Jo 3:4a Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:…

    Here is a good summation of the above principles and that we are grafted into Israel.

    Isaiah 56
    1 ¶ Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
    2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
    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.

    This passage goes on further in this regard:

    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.

    Salvation is near to come…those that work righteousness will be accepted by YHWH. I did not say that our works will save us, but there will be those that have been done miracles and call Y’Shua/YHWH “Lord” that will be rejected for there Torahlessness.

    Matthew 7
    22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
    23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    Shalom

  33. Erika,

    You Wrote:
    “I see that you have disabled me to further comment on August 6. Is there a reason for this?”

    You probably posted a link form a website that is blocked by Dr. Brown. This has happened to me when I try to post a link to a website called eliyah dot com. If I had posted the above web address in the normal manner you would not be reading this as it would be blocked.

    Shalom

  34. Since there is only ONE judge with whom any of us have to deal, whatever we do as regards the observance of the Torah is a matter of each one’s own private conscience before God.

    If anyone sincerely desires to please Him, they will find that they have all they need in the Holy Scriptures and in the Holy Spirit to guide them to that noble goal.

  35. Yeshua stated more than once, “you have heard it stated of old, but I say unto you…,” where He was Lord over and above the Mosaic law He was addressing as was fuxed in the minds of his hearers. Torah refers to instruction, new instruction of the greater covenant said unto us….Obviously the Apostles then did not pursue what had been stated of old as the common thread of Luke’s hsitorical account of their ministry.

    The message was the Gospel of the Atoning and Risen Messiah King and His then spiritual Kingdom. Read all of Acts and any related history in the Pastoral letters of the New Covenant. It is a massive indicator of no priority for the Mosaic Law in the business of the New Covenant.

  36. Doing well, Bo, thanks! I will re-join the conversation soon – just have to make it through this work-week.

    Tom

  37. Jabez,

    Here we go again 🙂

    After the list I posted above, it is a bit pretentious to state:
    “Read all of Acts and any related history in the Pastoral letters of the New Covenant. It is a massive indicator of no priority for the Mosaic Law in the business of the New Covenant.”

    On the topic of the “You have heard it said by them of old time” statements of Y’Shua please realize that our Messiah was addressing what those of old time said about the Torah. Messiah says, “it is written” when dealing directly with the Torah. So just after he says that our “righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees” he launches into what the scribes and Pharisees teach. He shows that outward impositions multiplied ad nauseum will not produce true righteousness. The true can only come from the heart that loves YHWH and His word…and we all know that in the new covenant YHWH’s Torah is written on our hearts. Not some new law, but the same Torah that Jeremiah had in mind when he penned the passage.

    Keeping the Torah because of YHWH causing us to love to do His statutes is proof that we really have entered into the new covenant.

    1 John 2
    3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
    6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

    So, our love for YHWH is perfected by our obeying his Torah. Our love grows cold when we stop keeping His commandments.

    Matthew 24
    12 “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

    What is it when someone rejects the idea of keeping YHWH’s commandments, out of love for Him and His word, as a good thing to do?

    Romans 8
    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    The carnal mind is at war with YHWH and can never subject itself to YHWH’s Torah. I would consider it a good testimony if one were to say, “I want to keep YHWH’s Torah and He gives me the ability to do so. I like to do His commandments. They are not a burden to me anymore.”

    1 John 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.

    We know we love the children of YHWH when we keep YHWH’s commandments. When we break Torah we show that we do not have our brother’s best interest in mind. We not only might be stealing from him and such, but we might be causing his love to grow cold by our Torahlessness. We may be causing him to stumble so that he thinks it is fine to disobey YHWH’s word when he sees us do it with seemingly no immediate consequences.

    Shalom

  38. Tom,

    In post 51 you wrote:
    “Certainly the Christian walk is one of obedience to the law. But if I, as a Gentile, do by nature in Christ the things required in the law: submit to the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength, and love my neighbor as myself; will I then be called lawless because I enjoy a slice of bacon?

    3) Yes, Paul kept the law to win those under the law (1 Cor 9:20). He also “broke the law” to win those without it (1 Cor 9:21). ”

    It is not a matter of being declared lawless because of committing a sin…it is a matter of continuing in a lawless/unlawful action. If we sin we have an advocate. If we live in sin we or keep on sinning (1 John 3:6) after we have come the knowledge of the truth (Heb 10.26), that is another matter. Though we have an advocate we must repent from our sinning. One who lives in sin is lawless. One who commits a sin and then repents is not. When we continue in sin (transgressing the law) after we know the truth we are lawless. The bacon is just a matter lusting for the forbidden. It is really no different than Eve desiring the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The fruit/bacon itself is not the problem…it is our lust to rule our own lives instead of submitting to YHWH’s rules.

    If we fall into sin we can be forgiven. If we cannot, or do not, stop sinning it shows that we are still carnally minded. (Rom. 8:7) We need to renew our minds. (Rom. 12:1-2; Ps. 19:7; 2 Tim. 2:16-17)

    As far as Paul breaking the law, I offer the following:

    1 Corinthians 9
    8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
    9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
    14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
    16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
    18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
    19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
    20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
    21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
    22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
    23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
    27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

    Paul applies the Torah to his situation…preaching. If we look at the context of Paul’s statement about being without the law we find that he is still on the same subject in which he applied the Torah in principle…preaching. It would seem that Paul adjusted his way of preaching in such a way as to make the gospel understood to the different categories of people he listed above. Did he steal with the thieves, get drunk with the drunkards, worship at pagan temples, or eat buzzard with the pagans so as to fit in and be a better witness for Messiah? Did he change like a chamaeleon in how he dressed, what he ate, or what day he kept holy, etc. to fit in?

    Continued below.

  39. Continued from above:

    Tom,

    Romans 3
    4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
    5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
    6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
    7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
    8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

    From the above passage, we get an answer. Paul did not sin that grace may abound to others. Paul did not sin (transgress the law) to bring the gospel to the lawless. Paul did not practice unrighteousness with the lawless that by any means he might save some. Paul kept his body under subjection (regulated his actions according to Torah) so that he would not be come a cast away. It is still commonly reported that Paul broke Torah, but is a slanderous statement. Here is what Paul said of himself:

    Acts 25
    8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

    Acts 23
    1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

    Paul did not break the law and he maintained a good conscience before YHWH. A purpose of the commandments is to act loving to others for YHWH’s law is the revelation of how to love one another. Not only did Paul keep the law from a pure conscience, he instructed us to do the same.

    1 Timothy 1
    5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
    6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,
    7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

    When we stray from keeping the commandments from a pure heart we turn aside unto idle talk and want to start teaching things about the very law we have turned away from keeping. What would we teach in this case? What is this idle talk? Some teach that the law is not in effect. Some teach that Paul broke it so we can too. Paul taught that the law is still in effect and that we use it lawfully to instruct those that break it by showing them they that need to repent.

    1 Timothy 1
    8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,
    9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
    10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

    Paul said that the law was good for correcting anything against sound doctrine…and he also said that the man of YHWH should get this sound doctrine from the Torah. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

    1 Timothy 1
    19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

    Paul did not want to become a cast away. He did not want us to become shipwrecked either. He kept the commandments from a pure heart and good conscience. We wanted us to do the same. He got His doctrine form the OT. He told us to get ours there too.

    Shalom

  40. Tom,

    Let me know if I have not addressed anything that you have brought up as it is getting increasingly difficult to go back look at all the posts.

    Shalom

  41. Here’s something I was wondering about:

    Suppose a man was caught in adultry at the time of Moses and was brought to him to be stoned.

    And the man says something like,”It’s true I’ve sinned against God and man. O, wretched man that I am. Who can save me from this wretched miserable condition, (?) for I know the law is good, but I am carnal, sold under sin which has taken it’s occasion against me. For I knew to do good, but I found that evil was present with me.

    I wonder what they would have done.

  42. Ray,

    If the man was caught in the act the woman would also be caught. Both would need to be put to death. If there were not 2 witnesses there could be no death penalty imposed. Other than that, I know that David was found out by YHWH, but there were not 2 witnesses so the death penalty was not imposed. Did he and Bathsheba deserve death? Yes. Do many of us? Yes, but without 2 witnesses we escape the physical death penalty. There are still consequences in this life and the one to come for our treacheries.

    Would the caught ones be exempt if they confessed and repented? I doubt it, for one of the reasons for the death penalty was to discourage others from rebelling against YHWH. So the truly repentant adulterer would die with their sin covered. This is not a bad thing. It is quite merciful on YHWH’s part. Physical death comes to us all at some point. To die in a state of true repentance is good. The bad thing is to die having not repented. There are many that never get caught and never repent.

    YHWH’s law actually gives us the impetus to repent and die with our sins covered. It deters others from falling in the same manner as the one put to death. It keeps us from the gradual decline of civilization as we see in our land today. Our man made laws allow for the erosion of true morality. When we think that we have a better way than YHWH we are wrong. His ways are higher than ours. His law is perfect.

    Shalom

  43. Bo and Matthew,

    I’ve been thinking a great deal about what you both have said – the two of you are obviously well-versed in the Scripture and have brought up some convincing, well thought out points.

    That said, I’ve been doing some soul-searching and deep communing with God, praying for Him to show me His will; the truth is what I’m after, not winning any debate. Honestly, I have a fresh perspective now, and a peace and joy that tells me the Holy Spirit is doing what He does best.

    I’ll write in later to elaborate further, but since I hadn’t posted over the weekend I wanted to send off a little status report.

    Take care ’till next time!
    Tom

  44. Tom,

    Thanks for the note.

    Hopefully this is all about pulling down strongholds and every high thing exalts itself against the knowledge of YHWH and not just a debate. I’m still thinking about the idea that the Jewish people may have a calling that would be somewhat different than the grafted in gentile. The NT has many passages that refer to “the saints.” Many of these times it seems to be speaking of the home born Israelite as they are “the set apart ones.”

    1 Corinthians 1
    2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

    So the verse above could be saying that the gentile that has been sanctified (set apart to YHWH) is still called to become “a set apart one” in the way that they live, i.e. learn the Torah and walk in its statutes. This concept would give this next verse a different flavor also:

    Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

    What is the “faith which was once delivered to the saints”? Could it be the Torah? If the saints are YHWH’s chosen people “Israel” then it would seem so. The above passage speaks of the “common salvation” and the body of truth that these saved ones are to walk in. This sounds similar to these passages:

    Revelation 12
    17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    Revelation 14
    12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

    It seems that both the keeping of YHWH’s commandments and trusting in Y’Shua are the attributes of the believers in the last days. Christianity has emphasized faith in Y’Shua’s atonement to the exclusion of Torah. Judaism has done the opposite. Is it possible that it should be both for YHWH’s “Saints”?

    Shalom

  45. Shalom, Tom and Bo,

    Yahweh bless both of you! I’ve been reading everything written on this forum and have yet to answer many of the posts you’ve written Tom. For the most part though I have refrained from doing so because Bo has done a masterful job at responding both exhaustively and with gentleness and reverence. Bo and I are on the same page from what I’ve read so I would only be echoing his responses.

    You guys have a great day!
    Matthew

  46. Matthew Janzen,

    Thanks for the kind words. I am sure we would have our differences if we were to converse on some topics…iron sharpening iron I would hope. Some people say that I have the tact of a heat seeking missile. My aim is the truth. I have enjoyed the interaction on this forum as it causes me to think and study the scripture.

    Shalom

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