You Will Live In Them

Matthew 5

16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.


Throughout the ages, mankind has established laws to govern a person's actions in society so that order is maintained. Countries, cultures, and societies have different laws which they choose or force their members to follow. This is no different in modern day christian religions. Catholicism, the largest group, views itself as the universal church and claims that it is the guide and lawmaker for those who follow God. Protestant churches along with others claim that they are not bound by these Catholic rites and they observe their own traditions. Some of these groups believe that only the Bible contains laws that govern believers and that any other laws that a believer follows must be in adherence to it.

The differences in understanding have led to a significant number of denominations which have belief systems that are inevitably incompatible. The liberalization of modern societies has widened the gulf between churches as beliefs such as allowing women to be ordained as congregational teachers, homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, and liberation theology from the so-called liberal churches clash with the older conservative values of the past. Some conservative protestant churches claim that scripture alone (sola scriptura) is the guide for righteous living with the Ten Commandments (Ten Words, Decalogue) as the template. While these churches purport that scripture is the only guide, they observe a number of traditions that were instituted years after the scriptures were completed. They submit that scripture shows them that the Messiah and the apostles gave new laws by which a believer should live and that all or part of the law given in the Tanakh (old testament) has been abrogated.[1] This essay is a summary of the new testament that looks into part of the scriptures to learn what God the Creator is saying to mankind and compares it to the beliefs and practices of modern religious organizations. A majority of these modern churches do not follow all of what is written in the Ten Words (Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5). In fact, Exodus 20:9-11 and Deuteronomy 5:13-15 are modified in meaning (and display) so that they agree with their traditions and observances.[2] These modifications are significant to the extent that they allow these churches to change the understanding, intent, and practical application of the sabbath commandment.

While there are a number of different viewpoints on a number of topics, the justification for the churches including those which adhere to the concept of sola scriptura is that the Messiah changed the day of the commanded sanctified sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week and that this can be seen in the new testament. Another "old" law that almost all say has been changed from the time of the Tanakh is the differentiation between things that are acceptable as food and those that are not. There are also traditions regarding yearly religious holidays that are observed by mainstream groups which are different from those described in the scriptures. Moreover, there are adherents of the belief in a "new" law who submit that the "legalist" who believes and observes these "old" laws is trying to gain salvation by works and therefore is in danger of losing that salvation.

Torah and the Messiah

There are several scriptures in the Torah (Hebrew word meaning: direction, instruction, law) contained in the books of Genesis - Hebrew: Bereshit - In the beginning, Exodus - Hebrew: Shemot - Names, Leviticus - Hebrew: Vayikra - And He called, Numbers - Hebrew: Bamidbar - In the wilderness, and Deuteronomy - Hebrew: D'varim - Words that require observance of a number of commandments for a length of time that is "perpetual" or "for ever." Additionally, since the life of Yeshua the Messiah (also called Emmanuel - God with us) who followed the Torah given in these five books perfectly and His death for the sin of mankind make Him the only way to salvation, His words on the topic of Torah and Torah keeping must be viewed as the foundation.[3] Whatever He says is the basis on which all other statements in the scriptures are compared.

Matthew 5

The blessings given by Yeshua the Messiah are for those described as the salt of the earth and a light unto the world. In verses 16-20, He tells His followers to be a light to the world and warns that He is not coming to destroy anything having to do with the Torah and prophets. He then states how long the Torah and the sayings of the prophets are in force and describes the "reward" given to those who do and teach them and to those who do not do and do not teach them.[4] Finally, He warns that unless one is more righteous than scribes or Pharisees, he will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

These statements give credibility and force to the Torah given to Moshe for the children of Israel and others (gentiles) who attach themselves to them.[5] Therefore, some look to the phrase "till all be fulfilled" in verse 18 and conclude that since He died, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven, all has been fulfilled. Thus, they are free from the "chains" of that Torah.

Yeshua the Messiah says that those who do not do and teach the Torah and prophets are least in the kingdom of heaven and that a person's righteousness must be greater than that of the scribes and Pharisees to enter into it. The scribes and Pharisees knew the Torah and the rest of the Tanakh and were a major force in teaching it to the people. In fact, in Matthew 23:1-3, the Messiah told the people to do what the scribes and Pharisees told them to observe regarding the Torah because they were the authorities regarding the teaching of it (i.e. they sit in Moshe's seat). Nevertheless, He warned the people not to follow their works (unscriptural traditions) and then described the ways they broke the Torah that they taught and what many of them were like as spiritual leaders.

Furthermore, using this concept of fulfillment from Matthew 5:18 to overrule the previous part (till heaven and earth pass) would also then be required in understanding the context of other scriptures to maintain consistency of thought. Matthew 3:15 would then mean that once the Messiah was baptized there is no longer a need for Him to do anything else. Neither then would anyone else need to do anything else after baptism because it would fulfill all righteousness. Obviously, this is not true.

The Messiah is saying that the Torah and prophets describe the attitude and action with which believers should live. He lived perfectly according to the Torah and died as the one and only sacrifice for sin according to the scriptures. Because He lived perfectly according to the scriptures and died for the forgiveness of sin, He perfectly fulfills the Torah and the prophets.[6] His life is the perfect example by which believers in Him should live. Just as Matthew 3:13-17 shows that the Messiah was baptized and wants others to be baptized as an act of righteousness, Matthew 5 also shows that He wants the Torah to be taught and observed.[7] He says that this teaching and observing are to be done until the passing of heaven and earth.

Additionally, in Matthew 12:1-8 and Mark 2:23-28, the Messiah is confronted by Pharisees who accuse his disciples of breaking the sabbath because they took grain from a field as they walked through it. He defends their actions and gives the example of David and his men who were in need and were given the temple shewbread which is allowed only to priests (I Samuel 21:1-6). He then says, "the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day." This indicates that He is authorized to make changes to it. Yet, His statement that none of the Torah or prophets will pass until heaven and earth pass shows that no change is to be made while heaven and earth exist. Also, He says in Mark 2:27 that "the sabbath was made for man." It is not restricted to those who are Jewish or even those of the other tribes of Israel. It is for all of mankind.

Nevertheless, Matthew 18:15-20 is misunderstood by some who see this as giving the assembly the right to change laws by its own authority. This directive given to the disciples by the Messiah does not give them authority to override Matthew 5. He is telling His followers that they have to make judgments on the actions of those in the assembly. They have to make judgments using the proper process and they have to judge according to the Torah which has been given.[8] The incorrect understanding is similar to judges in the United States of America today who are supposed to make judicial decisions based on law that is presently in force and not make new law.[9]

Given His words in Matthew 5 and 23, His description of proper judgment in Matthew 7 and 18, and by His life (i.e. perfect works according to the Torah as described in scripture), Yeshua the Messiah provides a clear example to believers on how they should live in comparison to scribes and Pharisees whom He credited with understanding the Torah and being able to teach what is actually contained within it despite the way many of them lived their lives.[10] He spoke out against their works because they were meticulous about some things while caring little about others, they were hypocritical, some of their traditions (man-made laws) actually transgressed the Torah, and they taught their traditions as religious doctrine (e.g. ceremonial hand washing required before eating - Matthew 15, Mark 7).

The Torah is the commandments of the Father in which the Messiah said that He abides and because of this, He receives the love of the Father. Likewise, He commands that His disciples (talmidim) abide in His (the Messiah's) commandments so that they receive His love (John 5:19, 5:30, 14:15, 15:10). Scripture says that the commandments of the Messiah which He says are His Father's and which He perfectly observed in His earthly life are perfect (Psalm 19:7). The gospels show that He teaches a deeper understanding of them to those who are His and expects them to abide by that Torah in all aspects of life (cf. John 4:23-24). Matthew 5:16-20 is His clear statement of His responsibility to instill this way of life into the hearts of those who are His.

Death and Resurrection of the Messiah

Most modern day christian churches observe a day of worship on the first day of the week. There are scriptures in the new testament that those in these churches use as proof of the "new" church and the transference of the sanctified seventh day sabbath to the first day of the week. One example is the resurrection of the Messiah.

Aside from more general scriptures about the length of time between His burial and resurrection, Yeshua the Messiah says in Matthew 12:38-40 that He would be in the grave for three days and three nights, just as Jonah had been in the belly of a great fish (Jonah 1:17). The scriptures also state the following:

He died in the afternoon around the ninth hour during the time when the sacrifice of the Pesach (Passover) was being killed which was also the preparation day for the sabbath beginning the feast of unleavened bread, called Chag haMatzot in Hebrew (Mark 15:33-37, 42, Luke 23:44-46, John 19:31-33, cf. Exodus 12, 23:15). His body was taken and placed in a sepulcher before sundown of that day and a stone was placed in front of the entrance (Luke 23:50-55, Matthew 27:57-66). The day ended at sunset (Exodus 12:18, cf. Leviticus 23:32). Guards were posted the next day.

After the women had rested on the weekly sabbath in accordance with the Torah, they then went with spices to His grave early the first day of the week in the dark. The stone had been moved, the guards were gone, and the body of the Messiah was missing. According to His own words and using simple mathematics, Yeshua the Messiah had risen sometime before sundown on the weekly seventh day sabbath which was three days and three nights from the time His body had been placed in the sepulcher.

Therefore, in that year, the preparation day for the beginning of the feast of unleavened bread was the fourth day of the week.[11] During this day, Passover offerings were being killed in the temple around the ninth hour. At the same time, the Messiah died outside the sanctuary (cf. Hebrews 13:10-13) with His body being laid in the sepulcher before sundown because it must not remain on the stake during the commanded yearly sabbath day (John 19:41-42). The next day (fifth day of the week), which began at sundown, was the beginning of the feast of unleavened bread and has been set apart as a sabbath (high day) for all of Israel, including Jews, and those who join with them throughout their generations (Exodus 12:1-20, Leviticus 23:4-8). There was then another day (sixth day of the week) which was the second day of the feast of unleavened bread when the women bought spices and also a preparation day (Luke 23:56). It was followed by the weekly seventh day sabbath (also set apart perpetually - Exodus 31:12-18, cf. Genesis 2:1-3) which was the third day of the yearly feast. The Messiah rose to life sometime between the ninth hour and sundown on this day.

Most churches do not agree with this understanding. Nevertheless, this chronology is the only plausible one given the specific length of time that Yeshua the Messiah said His body would be in the grave. He does not lie and other more general statements made regarding the timing of His death and resurrection must be in agreement with Matthew 12:40.

Many assume that three days and three nights can mean any part of three days. Both scholars and laymen go to great lengths to "explain away" this direct statement of the Messiah. This is done to give justification to accepted traditions. When observing Good Friday ceremonies and attending sunrise services on Easter and praying toward the rising sun, they believe that they are observing the times of His death and resurrection. Yet, while Mark 16:2 says that when the women went to the grave, it was at the rising of the sun, John 20:1 says that it was still dark. Therefore, there was still some time before the sunrise when they found the body missing.

If the belief in the resurrection at sunrise of the first day of the week is true, then Jonah must have not been in the belly of a fish for three days and three nights. Perhaps he was not in the belly of the fish at all. Furthermore, maybe the great flood in the time of Noah did not have rain which lasted for forty days and forty nights.[12] Perhaps it also never occurred. Regardless of one's "reason", the belief in a crucifixion on the sixth day of the week and a resurrection at sunrise on the first day of the week is not in concert with the concept of sola scriptura. In fact, this belief is opposed to scripture.

Mark 16:1 says that the women bought spices after the sabbath so that they could anoint the body. Luke 23:56 says that they prepared the spices and rested on the sabbath. Some may submit that Mark 16:1 says "had bought" as is written in the King James Version instead of "bought". This verb is indicative active aorist. In Greek, the aorist tense in the indicative indicates that the action occurred in a past time and is often translated into English as simple past tense. In this instance, Mark is simply saying that the women bought spices after the sabbath had ended. To translate this Greek verb as "had bought" makes it pluperfect tense which indicates that the action occurred before another one. In the case of a crucifixion on the sixth day of the week, it would indicate to the reader that the women had bought the spices on the day of the crucifixion. The assumption that they bought the spices on the day of the crucifixion is not correct and other versions translate the Greek word ήγόρασαν (egorasan - from agorazo) correctly as "bought".[13]

That the women bought the spices after the sabbath that began the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, which occurred on the fifth day of the week that year, and before the seventh day weekly sabbath is also found by understanding the culture of second temple Israel. According to the Mishnah, on the preparation day of the Passover, normal work ceased around the sixth hour of the day (noon).[14] The citizens of Jerusalem and the countrymen who had journeyed there would then be hard at work preparing for the sacrifice of the Passover and the feast day that followed.

The followers of Yeshua the Messiah had no idea that He was to be crucified because they had not yet been given that understanding. After He died around the ninth hour, the women saw His body in the sepulcher (Matthew 27:61, Mark 15:47, Luke 23:55). This was obviously even later in the afternoon. There was no market open for them to buy the spices that they intended to use to anoint His body before that yearly sabbath day commenced. Furthermore, they could not have bought spices after the seventh day weekly sabbath had ended for the same reason. There was no market that was open between the end of that day and early on the morning of the first day of the week while it was still dark. Second temple Israel was unlike the modern world in that markets were not opened after the sabbath ended at sundown.[15]

Therefore, after the yearly commanded holy sabbath of the first day of unleavened bread had been observed on the fifth day of the week, the women bought spices and prepared them on the sixth day. They then rested on the seventh day weekly sabbath in obedience to the Torah and went early on the first day of the week to the sepulcher where they found it empty. Thus, the scriptures show that the body of Yeshua the Messiah was in the grave during two sabbaths which were separated by one day that year; one the commanded yearly sabbath day of the first day of the feast of unleavened bread and the other the commanded weekly seventh day sabbath. This is the only scriptural understanding given the statements of the gospels including His clear statement that His body would be in the grave for three days and three nights.

In Matthew 12:38-40, when the Messiah was asked for a sign, he said that an evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign. Nevertheless, He gave one. His sign is exactly like a contract. In this case, His proof of being the Messiah is based on His body being in the grave for three days and three nights. If this did not happen, then He is not the Messiah and the contract is void.

People agree to contracts for all types of things. For example, one may contract to rent a cabin, a car, a piece of equipment, or a movie for a specific period of time. If the rental agency goes to a renter who has rented for three days and three nights after about a day and a half and demands that the renter return the rental or pay more, the renter will obviously be frustrated. This is a breach of contract by the rental agency because it has broken its agreement. Likewise, if the body of the Messiah was not in the grave for three days and three nights, then the contract was breached. Of course, God is not slack according to His promises (His contract) and as Emmanuel, Yeshua the Messiah is not slack according to His promises (II Peter 3:9). Yet, by their belief, those who believe in a crucifixion on the sixth day of the week and a resurrection on the first day of the week must accept that He did not do what He said He would do and thus, they should conclude that He broke His contract. There is no other way to look at this if His body was not in the grave for the length of time that He specifically said that it would be.

The gospels show that the observances of Good Friday and Easter Sunday are not scriptural. Additionally, in a number of years, Easter does not occur during the week of the Passover and unleavened bread. Also, the first day of unleavened bread (i.e. the day which began a few hours after He died in the afternoon of the previous day at the time the Passover sacrifice was killed) can occur on different days of the week. The death of Yeshua the Messiah is clearly shown in the scriptures to be associated with the Passover sacrifice which is based on a day of the month, not a day of the week called Good Friday. Moreover, His resurrection (not the events afterward) is shown by the scriptures to have occurred sometime near the end of the sanctified seventh day weekly sabbath and not at sunrise or any other time during the first day of the week.

Acts

The book of Acts tells of the spreading of the gospel, the places where this message was delivered, and how it was received. It provides information as to how believers in Yeshua the Messiah directed their lives, what they taught, and how they were taught. It is a good reference for modern day believers because of its record of the introduction of the message of the Messiah to the greater world.

2

A common assumption is that the day of Pentecost on which the Holy Spirit (Hebrew: Ruach haKodesh) was given to the apostles occurred on the first day of the week because it is observed on that day every year. Neither scripture nor contemporary historical documentation supports that understanding. It is clear from verse 5 that this is a feast that was being observed by Jews. Therefore, it was being observed in accordance with the Torah. Since the feast of unleavened bread can begin on different days of the week, the feast of Pentecost (Feast of Weeks - Hebrew: Chag Shavuot) occurs on different days of the week because it is associated with the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread which is determined based on a day of a lunar month in the Hebrew calendar. According to the commandment, this feast occurred on the sixth day of the week in the year Yeshua the Messiah was crucified and resurrected to life.[16]

10-11

These two chapters are cited by modern churches as proof of a change from the old law to a new one. According to this understanding, as gentiles were now accepted into Israel as children of Abraham, so was it acceptable to eat things previously forbidden. The "proof" for this understanding is supported by the statement of the Messiah recorded in Mark 7 where He "declared all foods clean" which is the translation in some versions.[17] These scriptures tell of a time when the Pharisees saw some of the disciples of the Messiah eating without washing their hands. The Pharisees had a tradition that called for ceremonial washing of hands, dishes, cups, etc. before eating. They confronted Him regarding the lack of this observance by some of His disciples.

Yeshua the Messiah reprimanded them saying that they neglected the commandments of God and held to the traditions of men. He pointedly explained to them how they broke the Torah by dishonoring their fathers and mothers when they refused to help them saying that their gifts were offerings for the temple. He then explained that the food they ate would not defile them because the body naturally processes it and the waste is eliminated. The key point of His lesson is that what a man says (or thinks) is what can defile him.

Mark 7:19 contains a phrase in some translations that says "He declared all foods clean". Other translations do not include this phrase. While not within the scope of this essay, the addition of the phrase comes from a grammatical issue with the Greek that resulted in a change of form from masculine to neuter of the word καθαρίζων (katharizon) by some scribes. When some read the phrase which says that the Messiah declared all foods clean, they see it as proof that He abrogated the commands in Torah regarding food and take this to mean that whatever one desires to eat is clean according to this "new" law.

This is not the case. Matthew 5:16-20 clearly shows that Yeshua the Messiah did not break or teach His disciples to break the Torah. Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 show what God considers food for humans and shows that some things are not clean calling some animals abominations.[18] The issue of clean and unclean was very important to the Jews in the second temple times because it is a central part of the Torah and the Pharisees and scribes were concerned about impurities which would defile them.

The scope of this matter, recorded in two gospels, involves the question of eating without the ceremonial washing that came from the tradition of men and not what animals are acceptable as food. A commandment regarding this ceremonial washing is found nowhere in the scriptures. These Pharisees thought that physical substances on their hands that came in contact with their food could defile them and so they washed their hands in a ritualistic manner. They also believed that when they came in from the market, they needed to fully immerse themselves in water to become clean again because any part of their body could have become defiled by something in that market. The word translated wash in Mark 7:4 is the Greek word βαπτίσωνται (baptisontai - from baptizo) which means to baptize (immerse) and is seen in other areas of scripture that speak of baptism. The same English word is used later in the same verse (in a number of translations) when it describes the immersion of pots, etc. The word for simple washing (of hands) is the Greek word νίψωνται (nipsontai - from nipto - see v.3).

In Acts 10, another "proof" is seen that anything can be eaten because Peter was told in a vision to eat common and unclean things. If this were true and one holds the incorrect understanding regarding Mark 7:19 previously described, it must be concluded that Peter (and the rest of disciples) had not learned the intent of Yeshua the Messiah described in Matthew 15 and Mark 7 because Peter said that he had never eaten anything common or unclean. These events happened at some point after the resurrection and ascension of Yeshua the Messiah. Yet, Peter had never eaten anything common or unclean because he said that he never had done so. Peter understood the meaning of the dream after meeting with Cornelius when he learned that God calls whomever He will and blesses those who do what He says to do. This vision had nothing to do with food regulations.

Furthermore, verse 22 says that Cornelius was well respected by the entire nation of the Jews. The Jews, as this chapter shows, thought of gentiles as unclean. They had man-made traditions that forbade them from close contact with the gentiles including eating with them and eating certain foods prepared by them. However, this man was different from many gentiles. He was known to be righteous and a God-fearer. In other words, he, while not observing temple sacrifice like the Jews, followed the rest of the Torah quite closely.[19] This is why the Jews would consider him a God-fearer and speak so well of him. It is also why he could be described as righteous. He also gave much money to others in need.

Those who believe that they can eat whatever they please overlook Leviticus 11:45 where one of the passages is found in which God says to be holy because He is holy. This quote is used by Peter in one of his letters (I Peter 1:16). A gentile convert who read his letter and studied the scriptures of the time which were composed only of the Tanakh would easily understand that Peter was referring to the Torah. A disciple of Yeshua the Messiah would clearly see that Peter was not promoting the eating of unclean things because he used a passage contained in a section of scripture that describes what can be eaten (i.e. what is food) and what cannot (i.e. what is not food) and thus, shows one of the ways to be holy.

It is obvious that some things simply cannot be eaten. In fact, there are a number of plants that are poisonous to eat. Additionally, while a number of modern christians submit that things the Torah forbids to be eaten are clean, they really do not believe this. In other words, they have their own list of clean and unclean things regarding food. For instance, some conservative denominations forbid alcoholic drinks for their members. If those members do drink, they have to hide it from others. Obviously, this belief is not correct. In fact, the first miracle attributed to Yeshua the Messiah in the gospels is the turning of water into wine. Nevertheless, while they forbid this lawful activity, the issue of being grossly overweight is often not seen as a serious issue.[20] Furthermore, they refuse to eat many kinds of food that according to their beliefs have been made clean by God. Yet, in some countries, mostly nonwestern, these animals are acceptable if not common foods. While some not only refuse to eat these foods, they look down upon those who eat such things.[21]

Matthew 5:16-20 clearly shows that Yeshua the Messiah did not eat things that are forbidden. This passage shows that He wants His disciples to observe the Torah, which forbids certain things, because He says it will not pass until heaven and earth pass. He certainly has not ever failed to observe the Torah. In Acts 15, which is used as proof of the nullification of the Torah, the Jerusalem council ruled that the gentiles must not eat blood. This is clear proof that not all things can be eaten. Yet, blood is a component in some things that some christians eat.[22]

In Isaiah 66, there is a description of the return of Yeshua the Messiah. In verse 15, it says that He will come with fury. Verse 16 says that He will come with a sword and fire and that many will be killed. Verse 17 shows that those who will be destroyed include people who engage in idolatrous worship and who eat unclean things such as mice and swine's flesh.[23] Most christians would not touch a mouse, much less eat it, despite their belief that all things have been made clean to eat. However, eating pork is acceptable. In fact, the tradition of eating ham is observed on Easter and Christmas. Nevertheless, the scriptures prophesy that at least some of those who engage in idolatry and eat unclean things will be destroyed at the return of Yeshua the Messiah.[24] Additionally, in Matthew 7:6, He says not to give that which is holy to dogs and swine which indicates to His audience that such people are spiritually unclean.[25] Referencing the words of Yeshua the Messiah from Matthew 15:11 and Mark 7:15, saying (believing) that one can eat something forbidden by the Torah is an example of what He said would defile a man. Even if someone does not eat something forbidden, he defiles himself when he believes it is acceptable because it is against the word of God. This attitude which "comes out" of a man defiles him as the Messiah explains in these two gospel accounts.

13-15

Paul and Barnabas preached on the sanctified seventh day sabbath in the synagogue of the Jews at Antioch. There they accepted an offer by sabbath keeping gentiles to do so again the next sabbath. On the next sabbath, most of the city came to hear them which angered many of the Jews and resulted in more contact with the gentiles. They then went to Iconium and taught in the synagogue of the Jews on the sanctified seventh day of the week. After fleeing because of controversy, they continued to other places including Lystra where unbelieving Jews from Antioch and Iconium came and whose false accusations resulted in Paul being stoned. After his recovery, the company continued to other cities preaching until returning to Antioch for some time to meet with the assembly and tell of their travels.

During this time, men from Judea came and taught that the gentiles must be circumcised after the manner of Moshe or they would not be saved. Paul and Barnabas strongly opposed this doctrine and great dissension occurred to the point that it was decided to send a company to Jerusalem to answer the question. On their way, they continued in preaching and fellowship.

At Jerusalem, a group of Pharisees who believed in Yeshua the Messiah argued that circumcision was required for gentile believers "and to command them to keep the law" given to Moshe. Peter, explaining that the gentiles had received the Holy Spirit, asked the Jews why they would put a yoke upon the gentiles that they themselves could not bear. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke of the great works that had been done among the gentiles.

James the brother of Yeshua the Messiah understood the prophecy of Amos 9:11-12 and decreed that the gentiles should not be subject to the requirement of circumcision and the ritual responsibilities placed upon the circumcised, but that they should abstain from pollutions of idols, from fornication, from things strangled, and from blood.[26] These instructions are a warning to gentiles that while they do not have to become Jews and observe temple ritual, they are not to engage in pagan worship rituals which include these four activities. James added that the gentile believers would learn the Torah given to Israel which was being taught since ancient times in the synagogues on every sabbath day.

The decision of not requiring circumcision of gentiles and thus, by the reasoning of some, not having to keep the law of Moshe is believed to be nullification of the Torah. In the Torah given to Israel, circumcision is required to partake of the Passover sacrifice. Likewise, one had to be circumcised to enter into the temple and offer sacrifices and offerings (Acts 21:27-29. See also Ezekiel 44:6-9).[27] Israel, including the Jews, had not conducted the temple observances according to the instructions of the Torah. Isaiah 43:22-28 tells how God will remove the sins of Israel for His own sake. Malachi 1:6-14 shows that priests were involved with this sin. Jeremiah 7:1-8:3 shows that Israel polluted the temple with abominations and even sacrificed their children in high places (groves). The curse on Israel came about partly because Israel clearly did not sacrifice according to the word of God, just as they did not follow His Torah when they came out of Egypt. It also says that God did not command them to offer all of the sacrifices and burnt offerings listed in the Torah when they came out of Egypt, but He did command them after Israel failed to follow His Torah. Therefore, they did not bear that burden which was placed upon them by God. If one is not doing something he should do, he is not bearing its burden. Peter rightfully wanted to know why gentiles should be forced to do something that the Jews had not done, especially when he knew that it is the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah that removes the guilt of sin that comes from disobeying the Torah commandments that tell one how to live righteously.

By learning the words given to Moshe in the synagogue on the sabbath, whether in Jerusalem or anywhere else, anyone who applies these directives in his life becomes one who obeys the Creator's voice and He will be his God as Jeremiah 7:23 indicates. In addition, by learning about the laws of the sacrifices and offerings which are detailed in the Torah, gentiles can begin to understand the importance and seriousness of the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah since His death is what those sacrificial commandments symbolize. Jews who participated in the sacrifices and offerings of the second Jerusalem temple also gained further understanding of the gift of His death for sin and their contributions in teaching certainly must have enlightened the gentile believers of that time. The Torah was and continues to be the instruction by which a believer lives his life and understands the significance and magnificence of the life and death of the only Savior Yeshua the Messiah.

16

After the council at Jerusalem, Paul went to Lystra and chose Timothy who was the son of a Jewess who believed. Timothy had never been circumcised as his father was Greek. Nevertheless, Paul circumcised him and they delivered the decision of the Jerusalem council to the assemblies. This circumcision showed the Jews that the Torah given to Israel is still in effect and that a Jew (or any Israelite) should do this because it is commanded in the Torah (Leviticus 12:2-3) despite the fact that circumcision is to be performed on the eighth day of life.

Additionally, while one may argue that Paul wanted Timothy to be circumcised so that the Jews would have no reason to quibble, the evidence provided by scripture shows that to circumcise Timothy simply for that reason would be against what Paul was teaching. If Timothy was indeed a gentile, then clearly he did not need to be circumcised. However, since he was a natural born descendant of Israel via his mother, the Torah command of circumcision was required for him as it still is today for the natural born descendants of Abraham (Genesis 17:9-14).

An example for circumcision being performed after the eighth day of life is shown in Joshua 5:1-9 and is evidence of the importance of performing the commandments of Torah despite previously foregoing them. Abraham along with all of his house was circumcised later in life (Genesis 17). Paul's actions and Timothy's acceptance of circumcision are clear evidence of the continued validity of the Torah. They also give credence to the message of the council at Jerusalem. Despite the fact that Israel could not bear the responsibilities which come with it (i.e. sacrifice and offering), the requirement of circumcision still remains for all males of the stock of Israel whether or not a temple exists. Even during the time between the first and second temples, circumcision continued to be practiced and still is today even by those who are not Jewish. Abraham circumcised his house. Moshe could have very well been known to be of Israel when he was discovered by the daughter of Pharaoh because he was circumcised. All of this happened years before the temple was built.

While it is understandable that Jews along with those from the other tribes of Israel and even others who descended from the other children of Abraham would continue this practice, some modern gentile christians observe this practice even though the scriptures show that it is unnecessary for them as Paul indicates in Galatians 5:2-4. If Paul's words are to be believed, then his statement to the Galatians should be accepted by gentile believers and they should understand that they are not bound to observe the commandment of circumcision as a requirement of obedience to God. The choice of circumcision by gentiles for medical and/or hygienic purposes may be a valid reason for undergoing the procedure. However, the gentile who believes will not suffer health problems resulting from being uncircumcised. Scripture shows that a gentile will be blessed if he observes what God says that he must observe. Observance of Torah, which includes observing proper hygiene, and relying on forgiveness made possible by the gift of the Messiah will prevent gentiles from acquiring diseases that circumcision can help prevent because God promises blessings upon those who believe (follow) Him (Deuteronomy 7:11-15, Romans 10:12). Moreover, the procedure does not guarantee prevention of disease when one acts against the commandments of God.

The focus of Paul's actions and statements as seen in the new testament is obedience to God and repentance from unfruitful works accompanied by acceptance of forgiveness which is made possible by the offering of Yeshua the Messiah. While uncircumcised gentiles are physically different, they are no different from the natural descendants of Abraham with regard to salvation. The physical act of circumcision is a symbol of the spiritual circumcision of the heart (i.e. the self control via the gift of the Holy Spirit which guides a believer to obey the Torah given by God and thus, makes him like God). The circumcision (physical) of Timothy is an example where a believer takes on the responsibility of obedience to a commandment of God that he has not observed previously which shows that he is circumcised in spirit. Likewise, the believer today should begin to obey the commandments of God which he has not followed in the past.

Paul then traveled yet again and eventually came to Philippi where he taught once again on the sabbath day (verse 13).

17-18

When Paul went to Thessalonica, he reasoned with the Jews on three weekly sabbaths. The unbelieving Jews again stirred controversy and Paul went with Silas and Timothy to Berea and once again taught in the Jewish synagogue. Some Jews then came and stirred controversy yet again. Paul then went to Athens while Barnabas and Timothy remained. Chapter 17 says that the Bereans heard the gospel with readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily to see if what they had been told was true. Because of this, a number of them believed. Their actions should be followed by all who desire to know what God wants His people to do. This is quite different from hearing someone and following their words without referencing the scriptures.

Paul stayed for some time in Corinth working and teaching Jews and Greeks "every sabbath." New believers were added, both Jew and gentile. Paul had cut his hair in Cenchrea for a vow he had made. The only vow that is outlined in the Torah that requires the cutting of hair is the Nazarite vow. This vow also requires animal sacrifice in the Jerusalem temple to complete it.[28] After a while, Paul went with Aquila and Priscilla to Ephesus where he once again reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue. Believers wanted Paul to stay, but he said that he had to leave. Paul then departed and Aquila and Priscilla remained in Ephesus and became acquainted with Apollos, a Jew, and taught him. Apollos then traveled to Achaia and was effective in persuading some of the Jews that Yeshua is the Messiah.

20-24

The gathering together to eat on the first day of the week described in chapter 20 is cited as a reason to assemble and worship on that day. The believers in the Messiah were gathering together and praising God in Jerusalem daily (Acts 2:44-47). It is likely that those in other places were like their brothers in Jerusalem. The previous chapters of Acts show that Paul fellowshiped in a number of places with Jewish and gentile believers. He preached to these believers at different times. Here, we see that he did so on the first day of the week. However, other scriptures in Acts show that he did a significant amount of preaching in the holy convocation on the sanctified seventh day sabbath.

The understanding of the time of these events depends on when a day begins. If Luke is using the Jewish reckoning in his writing, then the believers would have been eating together after the seventh day weekly sabbath had ended at sundown with Paul then preaching until the break of day. On the other hand, if Luke is using a Roman calendar with the day reckoned from midnight to midnight, then this meal and the preaching occurred during the evening / night hours of the first day of the week (i.e. at the end of the first day) and went into the second day of the week.[29]

If Luke is using the Jewish reckoning, then the first day of the week, at least until midnight, when a communal meal was most likely eaten and a significant amount of the preaching was done did not occur during the time that most modern day christians would consider the first day of the week. It occurred on Saturday night. One would then have to assume that Luke used a Roman calendar. In that case, a significant amount of preaching and a meal would have then occurred on the second day of the week because Paul spoke until daybreak.[30] However, speculation as to what day of the week has been sanctified is not necessary if the previous verses, chapters, and other books of scripture are used to develop the context to understand whether or not the Torah commandment of sabbath observances has been changed.

In verse 6, it says that they sailed from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread. Luke is with Paul and others during this part of the journey. Luke's comments about a feast day that is commanded by the Torah, those in the previous chapters regarding assembling on the sabbath in the synagogues of Jews, and those regarding other feast days commanded by the Torah indicate that neither Paul nor the other believers had changed the days which they observed by commandment of the Torah, regardless of any other time that they worshiped and fellowshiped.

Worship and fellowship are not forbidden on any day of the week. The temple was open for worship and fellowship every day. Believers worshiped there daily and also had frequent fellowship meals. Moreover, there is no reason for Luke to mention the days of unleavened bread if that feast had been annulled.[31] Regarding verse 16, Paul said that he wanted to be in Jerusalem by Pentecost. Using the context of Acts, the feast of Pentecost and others noted in this book are feasts commanded by the Torah and not new feast days ordained by the Messiah or the assembly.

When Paul arrived in Jerusalem, he and his companions met with James the brother of Yeshua the Messiah and others of the assembly of believers where Paul described his ministry and its results. The assembly was pleased and offered praise to God. However, they noted that believing Jews had been told that Paul was teaching the Jews who lived among gentiles to forsake circumcision and the Torah of Moshe. They then told Paul to go with four men who were believers in Yeshua the Messiah and who had taken the Nazarite vow and pay for the animal offerings necessary to complete those vows. They did this so that it could be shown that Paul and the other Jewish believers kept the Torah given to Israel which includes the laws of offering (Acts 21:24). They then reiterated their decision stated in Acts 15 regarding the gentiles which forbade them from four activities prevalent in pagan worship and which also states that those gentiles would learn the Torah given to Moshe in the synagogues on every sabbath (seventh day weekly and yearly).

Gentiles are not expected to keep the part of the Torah which commands circumcision and sacrifice for the natural born citizens of Israel because the Torah does not command it for them. Yet, Paul and the other Jews were bound to observe them. All believers are bound to follow the other commandments of Torah such as the Ten Words. That is why the council of Jerusalem stated that the gentiles would be taught the Torah on every sabbath (weekly or yearly). The misunderstanding regarding Acts 21:25 comes from taking it to mean that all of the Torah has been abolished. The previous chapters of Acts show that Paul and his companions did not believe that it had been. Furthermore, the act of taking a vow outlined in Torah provides further evidence that Paul knew that the whole Torah still applied to him to the extent that he could and did choose to follow a Torah commandment for a vow that was voluntary.

During the seventh day of purification for this vow, a group of unbelieving Jews from Asia created an uproar and dishonestly accused Paul of bringing gentiles into the temple because they had seen him in the city with a gentile. He was falsely arrested after being removed from the temple in a riot whose participants wanted to kill him. After being carried away and queried by a captain of the guard regarding who he was, he stated that he was a Jew and asked to speak with the people. He was allowed to do so and after they were calmed spoke to them "in the Hebrew tongue". This calmed them even more. He then told of his upbringing and how he was taught the "perfect manner of the law of the fathers" by the noted Pharisee Gamaliel and how he had persecuted Jews who believed in the life, death, and resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah.[32] He then told of his conversion on the road to Damascus and his subsequent ministry to the gentiles.

Nevertheless, the people wanted him killed and he was taken by the captain of the guard who was going to scourge him. He then stated that he was a Roman citizen by birth which alarmed the captain since it was illegal to treat a Roman citizen in such a manner. The captain commanded that the Sanhedrin decide the matter. There Paul confronted the high priest about his treatment not knowing his identity. When he learned of it, he noted that he wished he was not the high priest given the Torah commandment not to speak evil of the ruler of the people.[33]

Paul, knowing that the court consisted of Sadducees and Pharisees, cried out, "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question" (Acts 23:6) because he knew that the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead while Sadducees did not (Matthew 22:23). Paul did this to divide opinion which would give him yet another opportunity to teach them about Yeshua the Messiah. However, since a Pharisee was known to believe that he must follow the Torah given to Moshe for Israel, if Paul did not obey Torah and rejected its necessity for those who believe in Yeshua the Messiah, then he made himself a liar when he said this.[34]

That is not the case because Paul never taught that the Torah should be rejected or that it had been changed. This would have gone against the words of the Messiah himself (Matthew 5:16-20) and the decision made by the council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:20-21). In fact, he had said not long before that he was guiltless regarding his responsibility to teach the plan of God to all with whom he came into contact (Acts 20:26-27). It is absurd to think that Paul would now lie to those he was teaching.

Paul's teaching was rejected by the Jews once again and he was taken to Caesarea for a hearing with Felix the governor guarded by a large contingent from those who were planning to kill him. There he was heard along with his accusers. The accusers once again made false accusations against Paul to Felix. Paul defended his actions saying that he had not been disputing or agitating the people in temple, the synagogues, or the city and that his accusers could not prove that he had done such things.

Furthermore, he says in Acts 24:

14But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. 17Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. 18Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult. 19Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me. 20Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, 21Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.[35]

Paul reiterates his commitment to and belief in the Torah given to Israel, the prophets, and all that the scriptures teach. Once again, he says that he has a clear conscience regarding his behavior toward God and man (i.e. he has not rejected the Torah) and that he had gone to Jerusalem to give money and offerings (animal sacrifices) in the temple. He also focuses on his correct understanding of the resurrection of the dead and says that it is the topic at hand. The observance of Torah was not a question in Paul's mind. He knew he was following it in letter and spirit. He skillfully used this forum to attempt to persuade the others how the resurrection of the dead is described in the scriptures (Tanakh) and that the resurrection of believers, as a result of the death and resurrection of the perfect Messiah, entitles them to everlasting life.

Felix was affected by Paul's message and deferred judgment to a later time hoping that Paul would pay him to drop the charges. For two years Paul remained there until Festus came to be the procurator of Judea. Felix then brought Paul to be heard by Festus along with his accusers.

25-26

The accusers again wanted Paul sent back to Jerusalem to try him, so they said, but actually so that they could try to kill him on the way. Festus decreed that Paul would stay in Caesarea. Later, Paul and his accusers came before Festus and once again the Jews accused Paul of things that could not be proven. Paul yet again reiterates his belief in the Torah. Acts 25:

8...Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.[36]

Festus, attempting to satisfy the accusers, asked Paul if he would go back to Jerusalem to be judged. Paul again says that he has not broken any Jewish law and rejects returning to Jerusalem saying that his appeal is to Caesar.

Acts 25:

10Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. 11For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.[37]

Festus gave Paul the opportunity to appeal to Caesar because it was Paul's right as a Roman citizen. In the meantime, Agrippa the ruler of the Jews came with Bernice his sister and Festus told him about Paul and how he was holding him to be sent to testify to Caesar. Agrippa wanted to hear the matter and Festus wanted him to hear the case because he needed to inform Caesar of the charges and his understanding of the matter. He had no crime of which he could accuse Paul and wanted the Jewish leader's opinion.

Paul gladly accepted this new opportunity to spread the gospel of Yeshua the Messiah and told of his upbringing as a Pharisee and how he was teaching the hope and promise that was given to the fathers (from the Tanakh, first described in the Torah) which is the resurrection of the dead. He described his formerly sinful life against the scriptures and the Messiah and how he had persecuted those who believed in Him. He told of his conversion on the road to Damascus and how he obeyed the message which he received on that day and then doing what he was instructed which was to teach the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah. Paul then stated that because of that, some Jews caught him in the temple and wanted to kill him. Paul again says that he was doing nothing against the Torah and the prophets.

Acts 26:

22Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moshe did say should come: 23That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the gentiles.

Festus then accused him of being mad, but Paul said that he spoke words of truth and soberness, that Agrippa knew what the scriptures (Tanakh) said, and that it was not hidden. Paul then told Agrippa that he knew that Agrippa believed the prophets. Agrippa told Paul that he had almost persuaded him and Paul responded that he wished Agrippa and everyone else would become like himself, except for being under arrest. At this point Festus, Agrippa, and Bernice left and discussed the matter determining that Paul had done nothing worthy of death. Furthermore, they understood that he should be set free. He had appealed to Caesar and to Caesar he must go.

27-28

Paul was taken to Italy by ship on a long and difficult journey. Because of the time of year, sailing was dangerous. Luke once again uses a feast commanded in the Torah to show the time of year, writing that it was after the fast (Acts 27:9) which means that they were sailing after Yom Kippur (Day of Covering or Atonement) which occurs in September or October in the Gregorian calendar.[38] Paul perceived the danger and told them, but they did not listen to him. The ship came under high seas and rough winds for a number of days resulting in cargo being thrown overboard to prevent the ship from sinking. During this time, Paul told them that they should have listened to him, but said he had been visited by an angel of God who told him that no life would be lost, although the ship would be. He also said they must land at a certain island.

When they came near that island, they anchored fearing that they would be destroyed on the rocks and dropped boats over the side to escape. Paul told them that if anyone left the boat, they would die and the ropes to the lifeboats were cut. When dawn arrived, Paul convinced those on the ship to eat because of the lengthy period they had not eaten given the rough seas. He then broke bread and blessed it and they ate in good cheer. This "breaking of bread" was not some religious ceremony like those observed in most christian churches which they call the Lord's supper. Paul and the others were simply eating a meal and Paul offered thanks as was his custom. As the day came, they raised the anchors and sailed toward the island, but ran aground losing the stern of the ship. The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners to prevent escape, but the centurion who wanted to save Paul forbade them and everyone arrived safely on the island by swimming or hanging onto pieces of the wrecked ship.

The inhabitants of the island were friendly to them. A fire was built and Paul gathered a bundle of sticks to place on it. When he did this, a snake came out of it and "fastened on his hand." The inhabitants thought that Paul was a murderer that was being punished despite being saved from the shipwreck. When Paul shook the snake off of his hand and there was no injury or death, they thought Paul was a god. However, Paul was simply being protected by God because of his belief in Yeshua the Messiah through faith which was evident by his observance of the Torah which says that those who observe it will be blessed.

While they were there, Paul healed the father of one of the leaders by praying and laying his hands on him. Others on the island who had diseases came and were also healed by Paul. They stayed for three months and sailed on to Italy. On the way to Rome, Paul met with more believers. On his arrival in Rome, Paul was given his own place to live along with a guard. A few days later, Paul met with the Jewish leaders and said:

Acts 28:

17"...though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. 19But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. 20For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain."

These Jews said that no one had come or sent letters informing them about Paul. However, they had heard about these believers and wanted to hear what Paul had to say. Paul again gave his message testifying of Yeshua the Messiah from the Torah and the prophets (verse 23). Some of these Jews believed Paul while others did not, leading him to say:

Acts 28:

25"...Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 28Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it."

The Jews then left debating Paul's message. Paul stayed there for two years boldly preaching the kingdom of God and Yeshua the Messiah.

Summary

The context of the book of Acts does not show that Paul, his teaching companions, or the other apostles were teaching a "new" law or nullification of the Torah. On the contrary, it shows that they were obeying the Torah and teaching it and the prophets because they describe the work of Yeshua the Messiah. They were worshiping and preaching almost all the time, but they were observing the sanctified seventh day sabbath, the yearly sanctified feast days, and the other directives of the Torah.

Luke continually uses the periods of time commanded by the Torah to be observed to relate to the reader events that occurred. He describes how the council of Jerusalem gave four activities forbidden by the Torah while also noting that the entire Torah would be taught to the gentile believers in the synagogues on every sabbath. Despite this, there are christians who believe that worship is necessary on other days and times and that the commandments given to Israel and those who attach themselves to it regarding set apart days along with other "old Jewish laws" have been abolished by Yeshua the Messiah. If this is true, one must ask what usefulness there is in referencing and teaching things that are "old" and nullified and that should be forgotten by believers in the Messiah, especially if observing such things shows a legalistic attitude that is dangerous to salvation.[39]

No matter how much effort one applies, he cannot find that the sanctified times or any other part of the Torah are abolished in the book of Acts. Moreover, Paul is described several times in this book as saying that he was not breaking the Torah of God or the Jews. He also called himself a Pharisee and said that he had a clear conscience toward God and man. If indeed the accounts depicted in the book of Acts are true, then it has to be concluded that Paul was observing the Torah and teaching others to do the same in accordance with Matthew 5:16-20. He was also obeying the direction of the council at Jerusalem in teaching that the gentiles do not have to be circumcised and engage in temple sacrifice in Jerusalem which is also in accordance with the Torah and the other parts of the Tanakh. Therefore, the letters of Paul must be read and understood with this frame of mind, just as Acts is read with the words of Yeshua the Messiah in mind (Matthew 5:16-20).

Romans

Paul's letter to the Romans is often used as "proof" by those who believe that scripture says that believers are now under "new" laws that differ from those of the Torah. By using the proper context based on the Tanakh, the gospels, and the book of Acts, another conclusion may be in order. Paul begins by proclaiming that the gospel is the way to salvation for both Jews and Greeks (gentiles). He also writes how God is angry that the truth is being covered up by the unrighteous behavior of men. He tells how the creation proves God and that it is evident to the things which have been created by God. This gives mankind no excuse for disobedience. Paul describes this disobedience as being seen in people who have vain imaginations and who have become fools while thinking they are wise. He gives a long list describing people who take pleasure in doing evil works and in others who do such things. It is clear that Paul knows that these practices are wrong because they are in opposition to the scriptures that he knew from his youth.

2

Paul then focuses on using judgment in accordance with the words of the Messiah saying that one cannot have proper judgment without proper behavior (cf. Matthew 7 and 18) and describing the penalty for those who act wrongly and the reward for those who do well. Both the penalty and the reward are given to both the Jew and the gentile. There is no respect of persons with God and He will reward all according to His righteous judgment. Paul is showing that there is no difference between the Jew and the gentile here, but he indicates that such penalty or reward first comes to Jews. Paul understood that observance of the Torah results in reward and non-observance results in penalty. His life was centered on the Torah given to Israel. He knew that penalty or reward is given in this life as well as in death. That the Jews would receive this first must be because they had already been given the commandments of God. Most of the gentiles had not.

Verses 12 and 13 contain a significant point often overlooked by modern day christians. Paul's statement shows that one who sins without knowing the law (Torah) will perish apart from that law, while those who do know it and sin will be judged by it because only those who do what it says are justified by it.[40] One must obey the Torah to be declared righteous by God. Only hearing it is unacceptable. Furthermore, one who does not hear it will still die because sin (failure to follow the Torah of God) for whatever reason leads to death.

Paul understood that according to the Torah, man sins whether he acts wrongly by not knowing and not doing or by knowing and not doing something that is commanded by God. Both lead to death. An example of wrong behavior leading to a bad end is a child who is unable to swim and who is unaware of the danger of drowning that wanders too close to a swimming pool and falls into it. He is in danger of drowning. Additionally, if a grown man who never learned to swim and who is not careful falls into a swimming pool, then he is also in danger of drowning. Sin brings death without a doubt. As also shown in the book of Acts, Paul is speaking of the Torah in which he believed and taught to others both Jew and gentile without offense (i.e. not against God, the Jews, or anyone else). This is the Torah given to Moshe for Israel and those who attach themselves to Israel.

Paul says that the gentiles who are apart from the Torah have an idea of right and wrong based on the Torah of God, reiterating part of chapter 1. These gentiles pick and choose what they want to follow while not understanding God or His will. Yet, the ones that they do follow are followed by nature (i.e. they believe that it is just the way things are). This is similar to what most modern churches do. Paul adds that Yeshua the Messiah will be the judge of all regarding obedience to the Torah. He will do this because He observed it perfectly and earned the right to do that.

Verses 17-29 are further proof that the Torah given to Israel is used by God to judge mankind because Paul specifically singles out Jews in his comments. Additionally, he admonishes those who claim their superior understanding because of their knowledge of the Torah; not because it is now wrong to follow it, but because they teach it and do not follow it. He states that a circumcised person who breaks the Torah becomes uncircumcised (in spirit), while one who is not circumcised (a gentile) who obeys that Torah with its righteous instruction becomes circumcised (in spirit). Furthermore, he states that a physically uncircumcised person who does follow the Torah will judge those who are physically circumcised who break (do not believe by their actions and statements) that Torah. Paul also adds that one who is spiritually circumcised has actions that are written in his heart (spirit) and that they are not forced upon him by written code. That is, this type of person understands the plan and way of God and is not constrained by His commandments because they are forced upon him, but because it is what he believes in his heart because he has a God-like spirit. In other words, a believer is working to act exactly like Yeshua the Messiah who perfectly observed the Torah given to Israel through Moshe.

3

In chapter 3, Paul continues his discussion of the Torah and writes of its advantage for the Jews since they have had it since it was given. He adds that the unbelief of some does not nullify the faithfulness of God and that God is true and every person a liar (sinner). Furthermore, Paul writes that if a man's sin demonstrates the righteousness of God, we do not ask if God is unrighteous because He cannot judge mankind if He is.

Despite the advantage that the Jews, along with all of Israel originally, have because they have been given the Torah first, Paul says they are no better than others because both Jews and gentiles have sinned and fall short of God's glory.[41] Additionally, in verses 19 and 20, he adds that the Torah silences everyone who is under (in connection with) it because knowledge of sin comes from that law. This includes all of mankind except Yeshua the Messiah who still gladly paid the price for that sin despite being perfectly innocent.[42]

Paul then writes that righteousness can be obtained by believers apart from observing the Torah perfectly. This is righteous according to the Torah and the prophets because of the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah. Paul reiterates that all of mankind has fallen short of the righteousness of God, but those who believe can be justified (made righteous) by faith because of the freely given grace via the redemption made accessible by the perfect Messiah who was crucified and displayed as the mercy seat which was represented by the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies in the first temple at Jerusalem. Also, by this act, God passed over the sins of believers (symbolized by the Passover) showing His righteousness, His justness, and that He justifies those who believe in Him because they live their lives in faithfulness to Him.

Because Yeshua the Messiah lived a perfect life according to the Torah (and Tanakh) and died as a sacrifice for sin, He redeemed (bought back) those who sin from the penalty that is commanded for breaking that Torah and who accept His gift by living a life like He lived and continues to live. Thus, the believer lives by that Torah and its righteous instruction on how to act in all facets of life and experiences the blessings that it promises. Furthermore, because of the free gift of the Messiah, boasting of one's righteousness is excluded because no one can claim works in perfect adherence to the Torah since all men have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and must accept that gift to obtain righteousness. Paul continues by writing that because of this, both Jew and gentile (all men) who believe can be justified because God will clear all from sin that accept this redemption and thus, follow His commandments. The last verse of chapter 3 is one that clearly supports the Torah and states that acts of faith (belief in His grace and mercy resulting in obedience to what God commands) displayed by believers do not nullify it. In fact, this faith upholds that Torah.

4

Paul continues to explain how faith upholds Torah by the example of Abraham who is called the father of believers (not just of Jews or Israelites). He says that if Abraham is credited with righteousness because of adherence to the works of the Torah, then he can boast, but not before God. Faithful Abraham believed God and that is why he was credited with righteousness (Genesis 15:6). Additionally, Paul says that one who does follow the Torah and claims credit does not receive it because of grace, but because he is due it out of obligation. Yeshua the Messiah is due credit for righteousness because of His perfect obedience to the Torah. However, one who does not have works of righteousness because he has not perfectly followed the Torah of God can, like Abraham, claim that faith is credited to him as righteousness because he believes in the One who gives righteousness to the ungodly via freely given grace. That freely given grace which provides redemption to sinful man shows the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah who provides that gift because of His faithful works.

Paul says that David spoke of the righteousness attributed to man by God apart from works (despite his sin).[43] He then asks if this blessedness can be obtained for circumcision or for uncircumcision because faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness. Paul, knowing the Torah, says that Abraham was credited for faith while he was uncircumcised because he chose to receive physical circumcision as a sign of righteousness while he was (obviously) uncircumcised. This is so that he could become the father of all who believe but have never been circumcised and who are thus credited with righteousness. Moreover, Abraham is also the father of those who are circumcised and who walk in the footsteps of faith that Abraham had when he was uncircumcised (i.e. those who return to obeying what God says to do). Abraham believed God and was attributed with righteousness and displayed it by becoming physically circumcised along with all of his house after God commanded him to do so.

Paul submits that the promise to Abraham and his descendants that they would inherit the world was not fulfilled through Torah (i.e. because of perfectly following the will of God), but because of righteousness through faith (i.e. believing in the redemption available because of the freely given, yet undeserved grace made possible by the death of Yeshua the Messiah who lived a perfect life according to the Torah). In fact, if one obtains righteousness by perfectly following the Torah, then faith is made void (nothing) and the promise of God is nullified. Paul writes this because Torah brings wrath and he adds that where there is no Torah, there is no sin. It is by faith through grace which results in the accessibility to the promise of God by all who are (spiritual) descendants of Abraham, both those who are born under (in connection with) Torah and those who have the faith of Abraham (those who believe God and who then follow Him (i.e. obey His Torah), because Abraham is the father of all who believe in God who brings forth the dead to life according to the Torah (Genesis 17:5-8).

Even though Abraham evidently considered that he would have no heir, he still believed that God is true and that His promises will be kept and thus, gave glory to God. Because of this, he was credited with righteousness at that time being physically uncircumcised. This righteousness is not only for Abraham, but for all who believe that Yeshua the Messiah lived a perfect life and died as the only sacrifice for sin after gladly accepting its heavy price so that He can justify them.

5

Paul continues by saying that believers have peace because of this faith and that they can rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Also, they can rejoice in the suffering caused by persecution that results in obedience to God by observance of the Torah because this produces endurance, character, and hope which will not bring disappointment because of the promises which will be given according to the word of God, as evidenced by the Holy Spirit. He continues by writing that at the appointed time, Yeshua the Messiah died for the ungodly (i.e. those who have not followed the Torah of God). Because of this, those who have been made righteous by that perfect blood sacrifice will be saved from the wrath of God when He punishes the sin of the world. Paul writes that since believers have been reconciled to God (redeemed to righteousness by faith) while being His enemies (breakers of the Torah) and have now been made clean, they will be saved (resurrected to live forever) by the gift of Yeshua the Messiah who provides that reconciliation.

Paul says that sin came into the world by one man and spread throughout the world. This sin was in the world from Adam to Moshe before the Torah was given to Israel because sin is not imputed without Torah.[44] Then he says how much more the gift of grace can be given through Yeshua the Messiah. This is obvious to Paul since the power of Yeshua the Messiah is much greater than that of a man. When the Torah came to man, sin increased even more. However, even as death comes because of sin, grace comes even more and with it everlasting life.

6

In chapter 6, Paul cautions against sinning so that grace may come because one who has died to sin cannot continue to live in sin. Believers are baptized into the death of the Messiah to bury that sin. Because He was raised to life, so will a believer be raised to a new life without sin. Believers are united with Him in death and will be united with Him in everlasting life with the same actions (i.e. living life like He lived His, according to the Torah). Paul warns believers not to sin (break the Torah), but to be instruments of righteousness (observe the Torah) because believers are not under Torah (the penalty of death caused by disobedience as outlined in the Torah), but under grace which is described in the Torah and made possible by faith in God, like Abraham's, that results in obedience to what He says (i.e. following the instruction of the Torah and receiving the blessings that come from it - the Torah of life).

7

Paul's words in this chapter are understood to be proof of the nullification of the Torah. However, if one believes that, then he must conclude that the laws regarding marriage (Leviticus 18) are no longer in force. Therefore, one should have no complaint about any type of marriage between any two, or more, people. Paul is not promoting this belief because he writes that a wife is bound to her husband until death at which she can remarry which is in accordance with the Torah.

Paul is saying that when believers are buried in baptism like the Messiah was buried in death and they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, they are no longer under the penalty of the Torah for breaking the commandments of God. They are no longer under the undefeatable desires that come from natural human flesh. The Torah of death no longer rules over believers because they have the spirit and actions like the perfect Messiah. Paul proves his point further by reminding believers that this does not mean that the Torah is sin. He gives one of the ten commandments as an example of good that is turned into bad because of man's sinful nature. In fact, no one would know what sin is if it were not for the Torah. Torah is meant to bring life, but because of man's inability to follow the will of God, it brings death (Torah of death).

Romans 7:12:

Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

Paul, consistent with the account of his life and teachings in the book of Acts, gives credit to the Torah; not to some of it, but to all of it.

Furthermore, Paul says that the Torah which is good for him does not cause death. Sin does cause death through the goodness of the Torah because the Torah shows that sin is utterly sinful. If Paul had been exactly like the Messiah (i.e. lived a perfect life according to the Torah), he would not have died. In fact, God would have no right to allow him to die. The reason the perfect Messiah died was to give life to those who have not been perfect according to the Torah.

Paul continues by writing that the Torah is spiritual, but because man is natural and is sold into the slavery of sin, he does not know what he is doing and does what he does not want to do and even hates. Therefore, that shows that the Torah is good and the sin inside him is doing what he does not want to do. In fact, nothing done in the flesh is good and mankind does things that he does not even want to do (e.g. addiction). The sin is in control of the person, the person is not in control of himself.

Paul writes that because of this evil nature, his flesh is warring against the Torah of God in his inner being and taking him captive. He understands that he along with mankind is wretched and asks how this inexorable path to death can be undone. Thankfully, all believers have the answer in Yeshua the Messiah who gives His spirit to believers allowing them to overcome the sinful nature of the flesh and one day live in spirit without being tempted by their warring flesh.

8

Paul continues by writing that believers are free from condemnation as a result of the Torah of life given to them by the spirit of the Messiah which sets one free of the Torah of sin and death. A believer learns to overcome his difficulty obeying the Torah of God because Yeshua the Messiah overcame all temptation to disobey it and the Holy Spirit resides inside the believer. The believer's attitude, outlook, and way of life are guided by the Holy Spirit. Thus, he is able to follow the commandments of God and live with a spirit of life and peace.

Also, those who are led by this spirit are sons of God and can call on the Father in heaven as Abba (Daddy). The suffering believers will be glorified by Him. Paul writes that present suffering does not compare to the glory that will be manifested eventually to the extent that the entire creation of God will be set free from bondage and live in freedom. In fact, the creation groans for that freedom just as those who have the spirit of God groan inwardly while they endure and patiently wait to become redeemed. The Holy Spirit also guides and does things for believers that they cannot do alone, interceding before God for them. All of this is according to the plan and purpose of God as He molds His children into the image of Yeshua the Messiah as they are justified and glorified. Paul submits that because of this, nothing can take believers away from God who is most powerful and Yeshua the Messiah who intercedes for those who are His.

9

Paul then writes of the situation concerning Israel, the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, who have been given adoption as sons, glory, the covenants, the giving of the Torah, temple worship, the promises, and from whom came Yeshua the Messiah through the tribe of Judah (Yehudah). Paul recognizes the rejection of God by a vast number of the children of Israel and wishes that he could do something to take their place. However, he realizes that not all of the children of Abraham are called, but the children of promise are called. He then provides scriptural proof.[45]

Man cannot accuse God of being unjust because scripture says that He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy and compassion upon whom He will have compassion. No human effort can change this. Those whose hearts He has hardened remain so at His will. Paul writes that no one can judge God on this matter because the created does not question his Creator. Moreover, because God has created man in this way, He does have to endure the sinful, wretched activities that pour out of man to show His power (i.e. His ability to forgive and make perfect). Moreover, to those whom He has chosen, He gives mercy and knowledge (attributes of God). Paul then quotes scripture showing that God has presently chosen some that are gentiles while rejecting some of the actual descendants of Abraham. He then gives the reason for God's actions. Paul says that those of Israel whose hearts are hardened have sought God by works (i.e. justification by works) and not by faith while the gentiles who pursue God do it by faith.

10

Continuing, Paul writes of his great desire that those of Israel who have hardened hearts will someday obtain salvation. He sees that they are zealous for God, but not according to truth. They have tried to establish righteousness according to their own rules instead of God's. Verse 4 is sometimes used by christians to show that the Torah has been nullified. Once again, this belief is a misunderstanding. Yeshua the Messiah did not end the need for obedience to the Torah. Paul is saying that the Messiah fulfills the Torah of God absolutely and perfectly. His perfect life according to the Torah is the bar against which all people are measured. No one can observe it better. In fact, no man can observe it anywhere close to the perfect way that He observed it.[46] Nevertheless, the believer is to do his best to live according to that standard because living like the Messiah is evidence of belief and faith that His free gift truly provides salvation. Furthermore, if verse 4 means that the Messiah nullified the Torah, then all of it was nullified, not just part of it.

Paul says in Romans 10:

5For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Paul then asks if the Israelites have not heard of this gospel because they have not obeyed it. Scripture shows that they have (Deuteronomy 32:15-21, Isaiah 65:1-5 where idolatry and unclean foods are associated, cf. Psalm 19:1-6). These scriptures are proof that Moshe and Isaiah shared the gospel to the children of Israel. Moshe taught Israel the Torah that God gave him and he told them that they would break it and be provoked to jealousy by a people who were not a people, but who would observe that Torah. This foolish nation is the gentiles who follow the Torah of God that was given to Israel and who accept the gift of grace about which the Torah speaks. Moshe saw the children of Israel break the Torah of God many times. Isaiah experienced the disobedience of Israel also, yet prophesied of gentiles who accept the same gospel that was described by Moshe in the Torah.

11

Paul continues by asking if God has rejected His people. He then submits that this is not true because he himself is of the tribes of Israel. He then reminds the reader of the scriptures that prophesied of these things.

Romans 11:

2God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, {of Elias: Gr. in Elias?}3Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. 7What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded {blinded: or, hardened} 8(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. {slumber: or, remorse} 9And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 10Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

Paul then explains that the people of Israel who have been hardened are not lost for good. He explains that this was necessary for God's plan for the gentiles to be enacted. Paul then tells the gentiles that they should not be conceited because of this plan and describes why that would dangerous. He says that the gentiles should never boast about being grafted into the family of God over those who were born into it and then removed. Otherwise, they will become like those who have been removed. He explains that the children of Israel who are hardened were removed in part because of unbelief and that if gentiles boast of their election, it is against the faith in which they were called and is also unbelief. Moreover, if the natural born of Israel become faithful, they will thrive when grafted back into the family of God, the tree from which they came.

Romans 11:

25For 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. 26And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 29For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: {believed: or, obeyed} 31Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 32For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. 33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

God will save the wayward children of Israel because He made a promise to Abraham that He would. The natural born children of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob are beloved by God and His covenant with Abraham guarantees blessing upon them. He will remove their sin and turn them back to righteousness. God does not lie and is never slack in abiding by His promises (II Peter 3:9).

14

This chapter is also cited by some as giving credibility to the nullification of the Torah regarding the types of animals that may be eaten by believers. However, one must read this chapter in context with other scriptures to determine what Paul is saying. In verse 2, Paul addresses the situation of those who eat animal products and those who do not. He says that those who do not eat animal products are weak. He also states that those who do eat animal products should not despise those who do not, while those who do not should not despise those who do.

In verses 5 and 6, Paul addresses the situation where one chooses to eat on some days while another chooses not eat. Paul is speaking of those who choose to fast and those who choose not to fast. The scriptures give information that shows that some Jews of this time would fast at certain times.[47] Paul allows for this, but adds that those who choose not to do so are also making an acceptable choice and warns those who do differently not to place themselves in judgment of their brothers in this matter.

Some christians believe that Paul's comments regarding the placing of significance on certain days is commentary on which day one chooses to worship and whether or not it matters which day is chosen. This is not what Paul is describing. Paul makes no choice on the matter saying that that if one chooses to observe a day (to fast), then that is acceptable and if one chooses not to observe a day (i.e. not to fast), then that is acceptable. Not many would suggest that it is acceptable for people to select the third day of the week as the day they consider sanctified by God as the day one must assemble for worship. Neither would it be suggested that one could choose never to worship because all days are the same. Paul continues his commentary by addressing partaking of certain foods or drinks and again warns believers to guard against offending others.

Paul does say that he does not consider anything common of itself in verse 14. Verse 15 gives the context showing that Paul's comments are about food (things God says are acceptable for eating). He is not saying that anything can be eaten. The word translated in verse 14 as unclean in most if not all English translations comes from the Greek word κοινον (koinon - from koinos). In the other places in scripture, this word is translated as common or defiled (i.e. something acceptable that has become defiled). The word for unclean in the scriptures is the Greek word ακαθαρτος (akathartos) which does mean unclean. In the Septuagint, this is the word used to describe things that are forbidden to be used as food in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. Additionally, in chapter 10:20-21 of this letter to the Romans, Paul quotes Isaiah 65:1-2. He surely knows the rest of that passage which clearly shows that there are unclean foods (cf. Isaiah 65:4).

There is a difference between these two words and what they mean. Something that is unclean is something not acceptable for the purpose for which one would use it. In the case of things to be eaten, something unclean cannot be eaten. Some, including Jews who believed, saw things that the scriptures (only the Tanakh at that time) said were clean as being subject to becoming common or defiled and thus, to be avoided. One situation regarded by those Jews is the case of some foods cooked by gentiles. In those days, their man-made tradition forbade them from eating this food. This belief is still alive today.[48] However, it is not scriptural.

The older versions of the new testament scriptures (Greek or English depending on translation) formerly used the proper word almost always up until the 1611 King James Version. Since that time, almost every translation uses the English word unclean for the Greek word koinon when it should have been translated common. The use of common for koinon is accurate and prevents the assumption that Paul is saying that no animal is unclean and that anything can be eaten. Furthermore, since Paul is shown to be Torah observant in the book of Acts and continues to promote obedience to it in this letter, he is certainly not saying that anything that one wants to eat is acceptable. The Torah is clear about what is allowed to be eaten as food and what is not. Moreover, the book of Acts gives several instances where he said he was doing nothing against God or the Jews. As noted previously, to eat certain things would certainly offend the Jews ...and God.[49]

Summary

The book of Romans is consistent with the book of Acts and the gospels regarding the way believers are to act. Paul did not reject any part of the Torah and did not expect any believer to do so. In fact, he upheld it and instructed those who are believers to follow it so that they would not sin. He shows that the Torah is necessary for both the Jews and gentiles.

Not all aspects of the Torah are applicable to all people. As noted previously, gentiles are not required to become circumcised and engage in temple sacrifice. Paul himself was also not subject to all aspects of the Torah. He was unmarried and the commandments relating to marriage did not apply to him. Had he chosen to marry, the Torah commandments relating to marriage would be applicable to him, just as the temple sacrificial laws were applicable to the tribes of Israel, including him. Also, the Torah regarding marriage outlined in scripture is still helpful to those who are not married because it teaches man about the way of God as do the laws regarding other areas of living that do not apply directly to an individual believer. While the Jews continued to sacrifice for some time after the temple was destroyed around 70 CE, the practice eventually ceased and thus, one does not observe sacrificial commandments. However, he must observe the other aspects of Torah that do apply to him like the gentile believers of Paul's time did and the Jewish believers did even after the destruction of the temple and cessation of sacrifices. When one does sin according to the Torah, he can rely on the freely given yet wholly undeserved grace given by Yeshua the Messiah to cover it as he returns to Torah observance which guides him.

Paul's letter clearly points to the value of the Torah as the reason why the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah is necessary for believers. He knew that works cannot justify a person because no one except for Yeshua the Messiah has lived, currently lives, or will live during this age a perfect life because of the sinfulness of the flesh. He specifically challenged the Jews regarding this understanding because they claimed that they were justified by their observance of the Torah. They did not observe it perfectly and therefore could not be justified by it. Moreover, he says that whether one knows the Torah and does not observe it at all times or does not know it and therefore does not observe it at all times, the result is the same ...sin which leads to death. Because of the imperfectness of mankind, believers need the freely given grace made attainable by the Holy One of Israel who did observe the Torah perfectly and had to die and freely chose to die so that sinners can be redeemed and one day live for eternity.

The Torah is the law of sin and death to the sinner, but the way of life to the believer (more specifically to anyone who is perfect - Yeshua the Messiah forever and believers when they are resurrected to life). One who is perfect is not tied down or constrained by Torah. An analogy is that perfect observance of the Torah is like breathing. It is involuntary, it just happens, it is simply what one does. Hence, it is the spirit of God.

The act of baptism is specifically a symbolic act of dying to sin and resurrection to sinless life. The believer observes that command because he is becoming a new person that is attempting to act like Yeshua the Messiah acted while He lived as a man on earth and which is how He was before and is now. Likewise, the believer, when resurrected in spirit to life, will live exactly the same way as He did and does. Therefore, the Torah is holy, just, and good. This is clearly stated in Romans 7:12. If the Torah is not useful and necessary and is instead legalistic and dangerous to salvation, then it is not and cannot be holy, just, and good.

Moreover, the act of faith by the believer in admitting sin, repenting (ceasing to break Torah and turning or returning to observance of it), and accepting the gift of grace upholds the Torah. This faith is prophesied in the Torah because the Messiah and his mission are prophesied in the Torah and His works are compared to those who sin against God while claiming that they abide by and teach His laws (cf. Deuteronomy 18:13-22, Acts 3:13-26, 7:37-53). Abraham, the father of all who believe, is the example of the imperfect man who accepted the gift of grace by faith and thus, followed the commandments of God like his children who have been chosen by God and who will one day live forever.

I Corinthians

1-3

In chapter 1, Paul writes about his mission which is to teach the Messiah crucified. He desires to teach the Corinthians the grace made attainable to all who believe in Yeshua the Messiah. He also writes that this knowledge is given mostly to the foolish and the small and not often to the wise and noted. Paul says that the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of man. Giving this knowledge to such people confounds the wise and the mighty and shows that no flesh can glory in His presence. Moreover, Paul writes that his focus on the message of the crucified Messiah came by the spirit and power of God and not by persuasive rhetoric.

He continues by saying that the wisdom of God is hidden in mystery because otherwise, rulers would have understood it and would not have crucified Yeshua the Messiah. Only by the Holy Spirit does one understand the plan and will of God. The spirit of the world cannot comprehend it. In short, spiritual people understand spiritual things. The unbeliever cannot understand these spiritual things, thinks that they are foolishness, and does not understand those who do comprehend them because believers have the mind of the Messiah.

Paul says that because of this, when he first met the Corinthians who became believers, he spoke to them in simple terms which he calls milk. Unfortunately, Paul writes that these Corinthian believers still have spiritual immaturity that is preventing them from understanding and acting in a manner that is spiritual and which results in dissension. Corinthian believers were aligning themselves with different teachers. He tells them that God is the one who causes spiritual growth (I Corinthians 3:7). Men only help according to His will. Believers will receive reward according to how they work and so they must be careful to work in the proper manner as decreed for them according to the gifts they have been given to teach others about God. These works will be tried. If they survive, then the worker will be rewarded. If they fail, the works will be destroyed. Fortunately, the worker will be saved, but only as through fire according to Paul. Therefore, he warns believers not to deceive themselves.

4-5

In chapter 4, Paul writes of the hardship that he and the other teachers endure and how they are basically the "scum of the earth." Furthermore, he says that he is sending Timothy to them to remind them of what they have been taught. Paul also warns that he will address the arrogance displayed by some in the assembly when he arrives.

One of the problems of this assembly is detailed in chapter 5 where Paul admonishes them to judge righteously a serious matter of fornication. This sin is described in the Torah in Leviticus 20:11. He says that the assembly is arrogant by not properly judging this well-known sin. He has already judged the matter without even being with them. He tells them to judge the matter properly using the spirit of Yeshua the Messiah and that he will be with them spiritually also. Thus, he is admonishing them to remove the man who has sinned from the assembly in the proper manner, leaving him to be judged in the day of the Lord when hopefully his spirit will be saved.

Paul addresses the arrogance of the assembly by using the analogy of leavening and how only a small bit of it will leaven a whole loaf of bread. He then uses the feast of the Passover to teach the assembly how to change that attitude. The book of Acts shows that Paul gained converts in Corinth in the Jewish synagogue. They knew about the Passover and feast of unleavened bread because they had been taught about it and were observing it. He tells the assembly that they were made unleavened by Yeshua the Messiah who is the Passover that was sacrificed for them. Then he tells them to celebrate the feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. It is obvious that believers should always be sincere and truthful. Paul also means that they are to be doing this when they are observing and keeping the feast of unleavened bread. The symbols of unleavened bread and wine directly point to the Messiah who is the epitome of sincerity and truth. This feast is to be observed regardless of the lack of a sacrificial animal.

Many modern churches have a "Lord's supper" which they observe at various times in their worship ritual. This ritual is not a topic for this essay. It is plain to see given the context of these and other scriptures that believers in Corinth were removing leaven from their homes and not eating leavened products for seven days every year according to the perpetual (till heaven and earth pass) commandment of the Torah (Exodus 12:15-20).

Paul then tells the assembly that there are certain people with whom they are not to fellowship because they are acting in ways that are shown to be wrong in the Torah. He does not say that they are to disassociate from those outside the assembly. Otherwise, they would basically have to remove themselves from the world. Judgment of those outside the assembly is not for the believer in God. The assembly is to use righteous judgment in situations regarding those who claim to be believers, but act against the Torah. Those sinners must be removed from the assembly if they do not repent. God will judge them.[50] Furthermore, Paul tells the Corinthian believers to resolve their conflicts with their brothers inside the assembly and not to take matters to an outside court administered by those who do not believe.

7

In chapter 7, Paul writes about marriage. Paul again cites the Torah in this chapter giving validation to it. In some modern day churches, these instructions are not followed as those organizations accept divorce and remarriage in circumstances that are contrary to those given in the scriptures. The law of divorce given in the Torah was expanded by the Messiah (Matthew 5:31-32, 19:3-12, Mark 10:2-12).

Paul also discusses another situation in which a believer may find himself. The scriptures are clear in showing that the family is the basis for godly living. They show that God is a family and likewise, the assembly is a family. The most successful way of raising children to become members of the kingdom of heaven is to have a mother and a father who live according to the Torah of God, teach their children the scriptures, and show them how to live their lives by them.[51] However, in an imperfect world, the situation arises where one of the mates is a believer and the other is not.

Here, Paul gives instructions for believers married to those who do not. His comments are directed to those who come to an understanding of truth after being married while the spouse remains unconverted.[52] The believing mate is to continue following the will of God. Paul states that this may lead to the conversion of the unbelieving mate. Regardless of which mate is a believer, he or she is required to live according to Torah and to raise children in it because the Torah does not give license to act differently. This might cause a break in the relationship, but the Torah requires obedience despite this possibility (cf. Matthew 10:35-39, 19:16-30).

When the believer defers to the unbelieving spouse, the way of the unbelieving spouse becomes the way the family is run and how the children are raised. The marriage results in children who Paul says are holy, yet they become lawless (reject the Torah) in most cases when they grow into adulthood. Whereas false teaching in the assembly leads to sin, the false teaching in the home as a result of the believer's acquiescence to the unbeliever leads to the same. Paul knew that the believer married to an unbeliever must adhere to the direction of the Torah in daily life and also teach his children to do so.[53] He also knew that this could lead to a split in the marriage. He knew that if that happened, the believing parent would continue to be a proper teacher of the children and that the children would know where their believing parent stands because they had been taught continually how to live according to the Torah by that parent.

Unfortunately, when Paul's instructions are ignored and one places himself in an unequal relationship where the ways of the world overpower him, the children grow up to be unbelievers leaving the believing parent to be rejected by his children unless he acquiesces to their unlawful lifestyle. As time passes, the children grow more confident that their parent will not confront them about their behavior. Furthermore, the believer's children's children do not learn to live by the Torah and the descendants of the believer down through the generations display none of the wonderful knowledge and gift of grace that their ancestor has been given.[54] The way of the world is simply too influential and the chance that children follow the word of God as adults is very slim when a godly lifestyle is not taught to them while they are in the custody of their believing parent.[55]

8

In chapter 8, Paul discusses eating things that are offered to idols. He says that believers may eat food (that which is acceptable according to the Torah) with no concern, because idols are nothing, unless it would cause someone who is weak to stumble. Also, a believer should not attend and eat in the temple of an idol because it would harm someone who is weak leading him to believe this behavior is acceptable. This can be a member of the assembly or an unbeliever.

9

Paul claims the right to be aided by the assembly in his work. This pay that Paul claims for himself and his fellow teachers is lawful. However, Paul rejects pay so that the acceptance of the gospel is not hindered. His reasoning is given in verses 9-23. According to Philippians 4, he did accept aid on occasion.

Paul wrote previously how he and his companions in teaching were poor. Nevertheless, they rejected payment for their services. This is quite different from modern day so called "servants of the word" who live quite well and do not teach Torah as being necessary to be understood and observed as the proper way of life or even as the way that Yeshua the Messiah lived.[56]

10

Paul writes in this chapter about the children of Israel and their travels in the wilderness. He tells how all of them were baptized into Moshe and how they received spiritual food and drink. They received this from Yeshua the Messiah who went with them. He led them through the Red Sea and set Himself between them and the Egyptians (Exodus 13:21-22, 14:13-31). This spiritual food and drink are the commandments, statutes, and judgments of God contained within the Torah that the Messiah personally gave to Moshe.[57] Unfortunately, many of them disobeyed God and were punished which serves as an example for believers. Additionally, there are those in modern day churches who believe that the God of Israel who spoke to them in the wilderness was God the Father. They understand that He gave them a harsh law and then Yeshua the Messiah came and gave them a "new" law. That is not true according to Paul. The God of Israel and the Holy One who gave all of the Torah to Israel is Yeshua the Messiah as his statements about Moshe and Isaiah in Romans 10 show.

Paul warns the Corinthians to avoid the disobedience of the Israelites and those who went with them in the wilderness and describes their punishment. Paul does this because the Corinthians were under the same Torah as those in the wilderness and committing sinful deeds would result in similar punishment because the Torah commands penalty for wrongdoing. Additionally, Paul warns the people not to be overconfident lest they stumble and reminds them that will not have to endure anything that anyone else, including Israel, had to endure. God will never make a believer endure something he cannot endure, but will provide him an escape from evil.

Paul again admonishes them to flee from idolatry once again referencing the feast of the Passover which is eaten on the first day of unleavened bread. He talks of the breaking of bread and the cup of blessing which are part of the Passover meal.[58] These parts of that meal are available to believers even today as they were to the gentile Corinthian believers then despite the fact that they had no access to a physical temple or an animal offering. Paul even compares this observance to eating sacrifices. He says that those of Israel who eat the sacrifices are partners with the altar of God at the temple in Jerusalem. Therefore, the people who sacrifice and eat at the temple of idols are partners of demons. Paul tells believers that they cannot be a partner with God and with demons.

Paul then further describes the negative effect of idolatry and says that if someone eats food from the marketplace that was sacrificed to an idol, but he is unaware, that is not a problem. If he is told that it has been, he should not eat it. This is so that his example is positive toward an unbeliever who lives in idolatry. Paul is not saying that a believer can eat anything he desires to eat. As stated previously, the Torah clearly outlines what is considered food for humans and Yeshua the Messiah upheld the Torah as binding until heaven and earth pass in His life and words. Furthermore, the book of Acts and Paul's letter to the Romans show that Paul and the apostles did not teach nullification of the Torah and Paul does not write here that any part of it is nullified.

11

Chapter 11 contains a number of topics that can be discussed at great length, but two are briefly noted. Regarding hair length, Paul states that it is a shame for men to have long hair and a shame for a woman to have short hair or to be shaven.[59] Jews observing the Nazarite vow necessarily would grow longer hair, but Paul is not addressing that. In modern day churches, these statements are often overlooked.

The so-called "Lord's Supper" is observed in place of the yearly feast of unleavened bread which is commanded by Torah and which was observed by the Messiah, Paul, the other apostles, and other believers as noted in Acts, Romans, and here in I Corinthians. Moreover, the "feast" which they observe consists of a tiny morsel of bread and a tiny amount of wine or grape juice and lasts only a few minutes. It is nothing like that commanded in the Torah in timing, setting, or duration.

12-13

Paul writes of the different gifts that are given to believers and how each one is necessary. He emphasizes that those who have less honor should be given greater honor and that the assembly suffers and rejoices together. Unfortunately, in modern day churches with a top down organizational structure, this is rarely practiced. Paul describes the necessity and result of love in the assembly providing further commentary on the body.

14

This chapter also contains topics about which much can be said. A brief review of Paul's words bolstered by his claim that they come from the commandment of God clearly shows that many modern day churches are not following these commands. Nevertheless, Paul says in verse 38 that whoever does not recognize these words (understand and abide by them) should be ignored.[60]

15

Paul notes in verse 10 that the grace of God works in him. He is referring to his labor in the gospel. His comments indicate that he worked harder than the other apostles now that he had received the free gift because he had done so much damage to believers before his conversion. This is an example of the gift of grace via the sacrifice of the Messiah which results in good works. As a believer, Paul lived an exemplary life according to the Torah and taught others to do the same.

16

This chapter deals with the collection of money to be given to the believers in Jerusalem who were in need. Paul tells the believers in Corinth that he will come and send the gifts to Jerusalem by those appointed and possibly go himself. Unlike almost all modern churches, Paul was not going to take any of this collection for himself or spend it on improvements and construction of new buildings which will be destroyed.

In verse 2, Paul tells the believers to set aside money on the first day of the week so that it would not have to be collected when he arrived. This is cited as a reason for assembling on the first day. However, business is not to be conducted on the sanctified sabbaths and scripture is quite clear on this matter.[61] Money is specifically used for business. In fact, that is basically its only purpose. The way of the believer and even the observant Jew was to forsake such things on the sabbath. The observant did not spend money on the sabbath during biblical times and do not do it now. Money is not collected on the sabbath either. Paul wanted the collection to be ready when he arrived and so he gave instruction on when it was to be done.

The first day of the week is a good choice for a situation like that of the first century believer. If one were coming from a distance to observe the sabbath with other believers, he would be preparing for the sabbath on the preparation day. After the sabbath, he could set aside his money along with that of the other believers and then make his way back home. Even if the believer lived nearby, Paul's instruction is applicable. Unlike modern times, people were not as mobile as mankind is today and things take longer to do. The preparation day, especially in that time period, was not a good time to be setting aside money (goods). It was the time to be preparing for the weekly sanctified feast day, just as it is today. The sabbath is the time of rest and putting aside of the normal business of life. In the first century after the sabbath had ended and all of the believers were together, it was a good time to have such a collection. Even today, if the believer is setting the gift aside at his home, the first day of the week is a good choice because he is returning to his work after the sabbath day on which he was reminded to love his brother and so he is motivated to set aside a gift for just such a purpose.

The days of holy convocation have nothing to do with money despite what some may believe. Thus, these times are not centered on business. The Creator of the universe has ordained perpetually an entire day every week and special days every year. Therefore, matters of business are to be handled on other days.

Once again, scripture provides evidence that Paul was planning on observing a feast commanded in the Torah. In verse 8, Paul tells the Corinthian believers that he will stay in Ephesus until the feast of Pentecost. Paul would not be in Jerusalem for this feast, but he would still observe it as directed by Torah.

II Corinthians

2

Paul tells the assembly that they should forgive the repentant man whose sin was well known (I Corinthians 5). He writes that they should comfort and love him so that he will not be overwhelmed with sorrow. Here is an example of how the failure to judge properly can destroy the work of God. Matthew 7 and 18 are clear in their instruction that the one who judges must be in the proper spirit. It is likely that the Corinthian believers were overzealous in their judgment of this matter and that this improper attitude was rooted in their own inability to follow the word of God. Paul is admonishing them to accept that this man has been forgiven and show him their love.

In verse 17, Paul says that he and the other believers are sent from God and teaching others in sincerity unlike corrupt teachers who teach deceitfully for personal gain. The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament (Timothy Friberg, Barbara Friberg, and Neva F. Miller) defines the word "corrupt" as "literally, of a petty retail merchant who sells deceitfully; hawk, peddle, be a huckster."

6

Paul warns the Corinthian believers not to engage in unequal partnerships with unbelievers. He asks them what partnership there is between righteousness and unrighteousness, what fellowship there is between light and darkness, what the Messiah has in common with Satan, what a believer has in common with an unbeliever, and what the temple of God has in common with idols. Interestingly, Paul uses the temple of God in Jerusalem to identify believers. This does not fit well with the belief of those who reject the usefulness of that temple after the crucifixion of the Messiah. The temple is commanded in the Torah as the place where sacrifice and offering are to be practiced and it was the center of worship of God during its existence. From experience, Paul knew its purpose and its usefulness because he participated in offering and worship in that temple as a grace filled Jewish believer in God the Father and Yeshua the Messiah.

Unfortunately, some do not follow Paul's instruction and they participate in unscriptural activities. Paul was not saying to disassociate with unbelievers. If that were so, the believer would have to forsake all contact with many people. In I Corinthians 5, Paul specifically told believers that they were not to judge unbelievers. Here, he is telling the Corinthians not to partner with those who do not follow the scriptures. This includes religious observances. He realized that the unequal relationship between the believer and unbeliever was destructive and that the results would be damaging. Yet today, christians do just that when they seek to be ecumenical. It is obvious to most christians that they should not join a group in illegal or unethical behavior. While not all religious activities with those of different denominations are unscriptural, some are and must be avoided.

The believer who partakes in these activities becomes associated with the group and often gets drawn further into it in an attempt to fit in with others. He has a difficult time explaining to others his scriptural belief that the Torah is the foundation for directing one's life because those who have a "new" law view of the new testament see the believer who joins them in their observances as someone with a quirky view of the scriptures who does not seem to find their activities against the will of God because they conclude that the Torah believer would not participate if he sees them as wrong.

Paul and others taught in a number of synagogues of the Jews which is recorded in the book of Acts. In chapter 17, when he was in Athens, he told his audience that they were superstitious. He had seen their altar to the unknown god and used their superstition to teach them about the true God. It is interesting to note how Paul viewed the Jewish synagogues and Jerusalem temple in comparison to this place of worship. His discourse here on Mars' Hill (the Areopagus which was also a court) gained some who joined with him, one being a member of the council of Areopagus.

Because the assembly is like a family, when he participates in religious activities that are not acceptable according to scripture, the believer who acquiesces to such observances while attempting to get along with the majority may even begin to accept beliefs that are not scriptural to the extent that he eventually falls away from God. Even if this does not happen, believers in situations such as these fall short of the standards set by the scriptures for those God has called to righteousness and they are given little credibility, if any, by both believers and unbelievers when they attempt to teach a scriptural lifestyle. Additionally, judgment of others in the assembly made by those who place themselves in these positions lacks the mercy and righteousness commanded by scripture as they overlook their own wrongdoing while they seek to correct others.[62] As with any situation where someone rejects the instruction of scripture, those who engage in such activities will be judged.[63]

Galatians

1

The letter to the Galatians is cited as further proof that the Torah, given by Yeshua the Messiah and later followed by Him during His life on earth, has been nullified. Paul tells the Galatian believers that he is surprised at how quickly they have turned back to living a life against what they have been taught. He calls this another gospel, but says that it actually is not one. Instead, it perverts the gospel of the Messiah. He goes as far to say that if anyone teaches another gospel, he should be accursed (anathema). Additionally, Paul says in Romans 10 that the gospel was taught to Israel and that Moshe and Isaiah were two of those teachers. Given his statements here, this must mean that another gospel which is actually not a gospel must be something different from the Torah and thus, that the true gospel is the Torah.

Paul continues by saying that the gospel is not from men and he did not receive it from men. He received it by the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah. Paul says that when he received it, he did not go to Jerusalem and meet with the apostles for three years. He then met Peter and James the brother of Yeshua the Messiah. Then he went out into the world again with other believers in Judea only hearing about him.

2

After fourteen more years, Paul went with Barnabas and Titus to Jerusalem. There he confronted those who sought to enslave others. Paul and his companions were accepted at the council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) when the group of believers realized that Paul was ordained to preach to the gentiles while Peter, James, and John were to preach to the Jews.

Paul writes that Titus the gentile was not compelled to be circumcised. While he was in Antioch, he found that Peter who had eaten with the gentiles previously would not do so when men sent by James came because he feared those Jews. Other believers including Barnabas committed the same sin. Paul confronted Peter in front of all about this wrongdoing and asked him why he was trying to force the gentiles to act like Jews when he himself was living like a gentile.

Paul writes something interesting here. He says that they are Jews by nature and not sinners like gentiles understanding that they had been born into one of the tribes of people that were given the Torah of God as His people because of the promise to their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, these early believers knew that they were not justified by works of Torah and thus, they had to believe in the faithfulness of the Messiah because of this. This is more evidence that the apostle Paul knew that the Torah is the guide for a believer in Yeshua the Messiah.

The believer must be found to be blameless before God and the Torah shows him how to do that. Since he does not follow the Torah perfectly, he has to accept the grace made possible by the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah to become blameless. He must believe that His sacrifice is the only thing that will wash away the guilt that comes from breaking the Torah that was given through Moshe to the Jews and to the other tribes of Israel and those that went with them by the Creator who later made himself lower and lived a perfect life as a man according to the Torah that He gave.

Paul writes that when man seeks justification through the Messiah, he is found to be a sinner (breaker of Torah). This does not make Yeshua the Messiah a minister of sin. Furthermore, he writes that if he tries to go back and look again to the observation of Torah to justify himself, he is found to be a transgressor once again because the Torah will convict man of sin. Because of what the Torah says, Paul is dead to it (it condemns him), so he can live for God. Therefore, he must have another way to live and he indeed does because he writes that he is crucified with the Messiah and it is the Messiah who now lives inside him. Paul says he lives because of the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah who died for him. He does not reject the grace that he obtains by this free gift because if he could obtain righteousness by following the Torah, then the death of the Messiah is useless.

The death of Yeshua the Messiah is not useless. Neither is the Torah nor any part of it useless. The Torah condemns mankind of sin, the result of which is death according to the Torah itself. A believer must have a way to wipe away this penalty. The death of the Messiah does exactly that.

The Torah is not wiped away. Yeshua the Messiah lived a perfect life according to it. He gave the Torah to Israel. He lives inside the believer. That means the believer acts like Him. Therefore, the believer observes the Torah. When he fails in doing that because he has not yet obtained perfection, the death of the Messiah removes the penalty which the Torah commands because the believer stops breaking the Torah and returns to observing it while also asking for and receiving forgiveness. Given the description of Paul's life in Acts and his own letters, this understanding is the only logical conclusion.

Unfortunately, some of the other Galatian believers had fallen into sin by trying to be justified by the works of the Torah and separating themselves from others. Paul as minister and brother to the gentiles and these Jews would have none of that type of behavior. Claiming justification by works is clearly shown to be a problem believers have in Paul's writings.

3

Paul admonishes the gentiles for attempting to do the same thing that some of the Jews had done. These gentiles thought that they could be justified by observing the Torah. Paul asks whether they had received the Holy Spirit by works according to the Torah or by faith (i.e. believing what they heard). He then describes how their father Abraham believed what he was told by God (Yeshua the Messiah) and that righteousness was credited to him because of that. Paul tells these gentiles that their faith enables them to obtain the same blessing of Abraham. He then reiterates that whoever is under the Torah, that is, whoever seeks justification by the Torah, is cursed (Deuteronomy 27:26). He then adds that no man can be justified by the Torah before God because the righteous live by faith citing Habakkuk 2:4.

Paul's statement in verse 12 is interesting. He says that the Torah is not of faith, but when a man observes it, he will live with its results. This comes from Leviticus 18:5. Certainly, if a man can observe the Torah perfectly, he will be blessed immeasurably because the Torah says he will be.[64] Yeshua the Messiah did just that and received what was promised by God the Father, lordship over the entire creation. The curse which He willingly accepted so that His creation would not be destroyed enables a believer to be made clean from the sin that comes by breaking the Torah and allows him to return again to observing that Torah which promises great blessings. Paul tells these Galatians that this enables the blessings given to Abraham to come to gentiles.

Paul continues by telling them that the promise made to Abraham was not nullified by the Torah because this inheritance comes by the promise of God. The Torah was given to teach man how not to sin. He needs direction because he is natural and not spiritual. God gives him instructions like a parent gives to a child. The child has no idea what is right or wrong and will quickly harm himself without instruction. So too is man in relation to the spiritual nature of God. The scriptures clearly show that mankind has little understanding of what God is like. Only brief glimpses of His true nature are available to the limited understanding that humans possess.[65]

Paul says that this instruction was given to man until the promise came in Yeshua the Messiah. This is understood by some to mean that the Torah is no longer in force because it is no longer necessary. However, the promise has still not been totally fulfilled because the sin of the world has not been removed and believers still must be guided by the Torah and access the gift of grace for their sins to be forgiven. Paul shows this by writing that the Torah is not at odds with the promise of Yeshua the Messiah. Yet, until He came and died for sin, all mankind had was the Torah which condemns. That Torah teaches a person to do right and not to do what is wrong like a schoolmaster teaches a student. When one accepts the gift of grace by faith, he is given the Holy Spirit which enables him to live like Yeshua the Messiah who lived perfectly according to the Torah and whose faith was prophesied by the Torah. A believer still observes the Torah, but the Holy Spirit is guiding him and he is able to do well because he has the power of God inside him. The work of sin is no longer the most powerful thing controlling his life. He is becoming like God and thus, his actions are God-like. Because of this, all believers become part of the body of Yeshua the Messiah as descendants of Abraham according to the promise that He made.

The assertion that Torah is nullified because of Paul's comments in verses 24-25 is illogical. Paul is saying that the believer is following the Torah because of the Holy Spirit's work within him. He learns how God wants him to be because the Holy Spirit is leading him into good works which are outlined in the Torah. He does not have to be taught to follow it because he has grown beyond the basics of learning the way one who is ignorant must learn from a schoolmaster. Furthermore, as he continues to obey the Torah given by God, his understanding of what God is grows deeper and deeper. Thus, with the gift of the Holy Spirit, he is able to follow the commandments of God because that spirit gives him the ability to do so. It helps him overcome the desire to do what the flesh desires, helps him to do what God desires, brings him closer and closer to understanding God, and closer and closer to being like God. Thus, he comes closer to being holy as God is holy.

Those who believe that the Torah has been nullified do not seem to realize that one who continually practices Torah observes it better and better and becomes more like Yeshua the Messiah while those who do not learn what is true or who learn something that is true and then reject it are not able to do other things based upon that truth. The Mars Climate Orbiter from 1998 is an example of a situation where different instructions are used. The systems that controlled the spacecraft were to be programmed to use metric units to place it into orbit around Mars when it received the instructions given by the ground control software. However, one of the ground control systems used was providing information based on United States customary units. When another system expected metric units, this placed the spacecraft in an improper orbit around the planet resulting in its destruction. This example is not an exact analogy in that there is nothing wrong with using either metric or United States customary units for measurement. In the case of that spacecraft, it was agreed that metric units would be used and when part of the system did not do so, the mission was lost. In God's system, His instructions are to be followed by the believer. Any deviation from them leads to wrongdoing and thus, is against God. This is shown to be the case throughout the scriptures.

4

Paul tells the Galatians that before they knew or were known by God, they served gods that in fact are not gods. Some have returned to doing that. They are observing days, months, and years according to Paul. He asks them why they want to return to this way of life. Perhaps they were under the influence of others who saw circumcision and animal sacrificial rites as necessary for salvation. This incorrect assumption very well could have caused some of these believers to reject the Torah and thus, the Messiah resulting in a return to the useless ways of their past pagan observances.

It is a common understanding that Paul is admonishing these gentiles for observing sanctified days commanded in the Torah. This comes from verses 9-10. If that is what Paul meant, then Paul was a hypocrite. The book of Acts and Paul's letters clearly show that he was observing them. He taught on those sanctified days in synagogues of the Jews and used those days and what they symbolize to teach his audience about the purpose of Yeshua the Messiah. No Jew, Pharisee or otherwise, is shown in the scriptures to have accused Paul of forsaking the sabbaths commanded by God in the Torah and observed faithfully by Yeshua the Messiah. Moreover, it is incorrect to say that following the Torah is not serving God. It is commanded by God that His people observe it. Other believers such as Peter, James, and John observed it. Yeshua the Messiah observed it perfectly including becoming the prophet who will bring liberty to His people, thus serving the Father perfectly (Deuteronomy 18:15-19, 30:1-20).

In Verses 8-9, Paul challenges the Galatians asking them why they want to return to weak and worthless things and serve those who by their nature are not gods. The Torah is obviously not weak and worthless. It is the way of God. Otherwise, He would not have given it to His people. Moreover, if the Torah is weak and worthless, then Yeshua the Messiah lived a worthless life because He lived the Torah perfectly. The Torah did not become worthless after His death and resurrection because He told his disciples to continue in what He had taught them in both word and example (Matthew 5:16-20, 28:19-20, Luke 24:46-47). Paul and the other leaders of the assemblies observed the commandments of Torah because they knew that the Torah is the way of life and they were following the commandment to live like Yeshua the Messiah.

The concept of justification by Torah is explained by Paul in this chapter by comparing justification by the Torah given to Moshe for Israel with Hagar, mother of Ishmael, which is contrasted with those born of the spirit which is associated with Sarah, mother of Isaac. Paul is not saying that following the Torah is bondage. He is associating the attempt to justify oneself by observance of the Torah, including physical circumcision and animal sacrifice, with Ishmael and Hagar. Believing in justification by the Torah will only place a man into bondage because the Torah will undoubtedly convict a man of sin. Only the free gift of Yeshua the Messiah will give man freedom because only it clears him of sin. When a man is cleared of sin, he begins to act like Yeshua the Messiah. He returns to observance of the Torah. This concept is simple. It is reiterated again and again by Paul in his letters.

Furthermore, the Torah was given to those of Israel who failed to follow it, but it was also given to some that did follow it. Paul associates the giving of Torah (specifically the promise of redemption via Yeshua the Messiah) and then rejection of it with those of the flesh (the bondwoman Hagar and Ishmael). He associates the giving of Torah and acceptance of it along with repentance and return to it via grace with Sarah (the freewoman) and Isaac. Torah is the common thread between those who seek justification by Torah and those who rely on the sacrifice of the Messiah when they break that Torah. The response to the Torah's direction and its promise of redemption to salvation through faith is the difference between the two groups.

5

Paul continues his warning to these gentiles saying they should not seek to be circumcised. He reminds them that if they do that, then they must observe the sacrificial commandments by which Jews, including himself, were bound and which will not save them. In fact, for them to do this is a rejection of the Messiah because one who does this is seeking justification by the Torah and has fallen from grace. He makes another interesting point by saying that in the Messiah, whether one is circumcised or not, there is faith. As noted earlier, circumcision is necessary for males of the tribes of Israel and while the temple stood, they sacrificed in the Jerusalem temple. When Paul wrote this, he was not telling the Galatians to reject the Torah as some believe. If that were the case, given that the Torah commands Israel to do a number of things perpetually, then believing Jews would be acting differently from other believers in a number of ways. Paul is telling these gentiles that they are the same as the believing Jews and in the same body. They have the same sacrifice from the Jerusalem above of which to take hold to become blameless before God. The Jews (and all of Israel) were bound to sacrifice while the temple stood because the Torah commands it. The gentiles have no such command although they are allowed to make offerings. However, all believers have the other commandments of Torah to follow in their daily lives.

Paul uses the analogy of leaven to warn the gentiles. Observing the feast of unleavened bread as commanded by the Torah teaches the believer how to avoid sin and how to access the perfect sacrifice of the Messiah. Circumcision and animal sacrifices do not give man forgiveness. For the Jew or member of the other tribes of Israel, these commandments certainly would help teach him about that sacrifice, but they would not provide him with forgiveness. The sacrifice of the Messiah can be accessed by all believers, Jew or gentile, man or woman, when they observe the commandments of Torah that tell them how to act in their daily lives and during the commanded seven day feast of unleavened bread.

When the believer accesses the free gift of grace, he is led by the Holy Spirit. As noted earlier, Paul is saying that the believer has this spirit and acts like the Messiah. He follows the way that the Messiah teaches. He observes the Torah because the Messiah observed the Torah. When he fails, he observes the Torah by taking hold of the sacrifice of the Messiah which is prophesied in the Torah and the rest of the Tanakh. He does not do it because he is forced by threat of punishment or because he seeks justification by it (Torah of sin and death). He observes it because the Messiah lives inside him (Torah of life). That spirit turns him back to works that are like the works of his Savior. The spirit of Yeshua the Messiah is not against the Torah. It is the Torah. How the Torah says to live is how He lives (be ye holy, for I am holy). Furthermore, the new testament in no way commands any other way of life except that which is described in the Torah. Whether one seeks to justify himself before God by his works, or believes that he is obeying Him in a way that is actually against what is commanded because his "heart is right" and it is what he and his church believe, the result is the same. The result is sin which leads to death.[66]

Ephesians

2

Paul writes that believers are saved via grace through faith and not through their works. He says that the free gift of the Messiah gives the believing gentile access to the body of believers because Yeshua the Messiah broke down the wall between man and God that comes from the enmity of the flesh against the spirit of God. This is understood to mean the Torah was abolished, more specifically that the Torah commandments regarding days of assembly, eating unclean animals, etc. were abolished.

As in his other letters, Paul is speaking of the enmity that comes from man's failure to obey the commandments specified in the Torah. He does not speak of the abolishment of all the Torah or any part of it. The Messiah clearly states in Matthew 5:16-20 that neither the words of the Torah nor the prophets will pass until heaven and earth pass. He lived His life perfectly according to that Torah. Paul did not believe that the scriptures of the Tanakh had passed away because he continued to observe and teach them.

The scriptures do show that the Jews disputed with Paul regarding the Messiah. Paul rejected their arguments and told them that he was acting within the Torah and the Tanakh. Moreover, if the assertion that the Torah was abolished by Yeshua the Messiah is true, then all of it has been abolished because Paul does not specify that only a part of it has been abolished and those who believe that have no scriptural backing to require adherence to any part of the Torah that they themselves accept. Most modern christians need at least part of the Torah to be abolished and replaced by a "new" law so that they have justification for their beliefs and actions. Paul's letter to the Ephesians does not provide that proof.

Paul wanted the Ephesian believers to understand that they are equal to the children of Israel that had been given the Torah first. He wanted them to know that they as believers had access to that same sacrifice which clears a man from the sin of breaking that Torah. With that forgiveness, a believer is able to repent and go back to observing the commandments of that Torah. He learns to obey it by habit. It is very much like learning to ride a bicycle. Once someone has learned, he can get on a bicycle and ride. With the Torah, the believer does this every day. He becomes like the Messiah who lived as a man perfectly according to the Torah that He gave to Israel.

Philippians

3

Paul's comparison of his upbringing, knowledge, and adherence to the Torah to dung is understood as here to be a rejection of Torah. However, just as in his other letters, Paul is telling his readers that the gift of the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah is most important to him. Verse 9 shows this.

Paul clearly knew of his past sins. He knew that the Torah commanded him to do things that he had not always done. He knew that the act of animal sacrifice did not cleanse him from his wrongdoing. Only the blood of Yeshua the Messiah provides forgiveness and wipes away wrongdoing. Without that sacrifice, there is no usefulness in following the Torah because no man except for the Messiah has followed it or will follow it perfectly and therefore, all are doomed to destruction.

The scriptures show that Paul still made offerings in the Jerusalem temple after his conversion. He even took part in voluntary offerings which demonstrates an advanced form of righteousness in that the vow of the Nazarite is a sign of one set apart to be holy. He did this of his own choosing and paid for others to do it at the behest of the leaders of the assembly in Jerusalem to show Jews that he was not forsaking the Torah and that they should not either. His goal was to show believers in Yeshua the Messiah that they are indeed set apart and that their lives should demonstrate a high standard of holiness.

Colossians

2

This letter, specifically chapter 2, is used as more "proof" of the nullification of Torah. Adherents to this belief cite verses 10-18 as evidence for their understanding, submitting that they now have freedom from these laws which will not save them. Verses 13-14 do not mean that the requirement of following the Torah was removed. It means that the penalty that comes from not following it has been removed for believers by the blood of Yeshua the Messiah. Additionally, the scriptures show that a believer who is forgiven will turn/return to obedience to God which is done by observance of the Torah.

A modern analogy is a situation where a driver gets a speeding ticket. Using this example according to the mainstream understanding, that person would not only be free from any cost as a result of speeding, he could not even lawfully receive that speeding ticket because there is no law regulating how fast he drives. This concept is illogical because speeding can be very dangerous. Likewise, failure to obey the Torah of God is dangerous. It leads to pain, suffering, and death; not only in the future, but in this life also. Furthermore, in verse 15, Paul shows that the free gift of the Messiah makes the leaders and powers of this world nothing and places Him over all of the creation because of His works. No one can compare in power to the Holy One of Israel who lived the Torah of God perfectly and then died so that others can one day experience a life like God Himself.

Paul tells believers that they should not allow those who do not believe to judge them in food, drink, holy days, new moons, or sabbaths. It is understood that Paul is telling believers not to be coerced into "Jewish" observances because christians have freedom in this new life. If this concept of freedom in Christ is correct, then Paul should not have directed believers away from one calendar (Torah based) to another (the one used by most modern day christians). To do so would be to limit the freedom that the believer has. It is interesting that it is submitted that the Torah and its commanded days of observances are heavy burdens and bondage to those who adhere to them ("chains of the law"). Yet, Yeshua the Messiah observed the Torah perfectly, including its days of observance, and tells His disciples that they should follow Him and that the burden which he gives to them is easy and light (Matthew 11:28-30).

Moreover, the scriptures do not give another calendar for christians to observe. The book of Acts clearly shows that believers were observing the days sanctified by God in the Torah and Paul upholds the Torah in his other letters. The only other calendar mentioned in the scriptures is pagan in origin (Galatians 4:9-10). The basis for observance by christians of the first day of the week, Christmas, and Easter is nonexistent in the scriptures. These observances came into the churches years later even though some of the practices had existed from years earlier and idolatrous Israel had engaged in some of them. Additionally, while there is a condemnation of the observance of the seventh day sabbath with this chapter being cited as proof, there is also an understanding that the sabbath was transferred to the first day of the week. If Paul was saying that sabbaths are something that should be avoided in this chapter and that christians should not let others judge them regarding such days, then the so called "sabbath" which has supposedly been transferred to the first day of the week should also be avoided.[67]

The direction Paul is giving to believers is to reject those who try to tell them not to follow the Torah with regard to the observances listed in verse 16. That this list is from the commandments of Torah is clear. Paul followed the Torah and the scriptures clearly show that he did. As stated previously, even the unbelieving Jews did not condemn Paul for observing other days that are not commanded in the Torah and they did not condemn him for failure to observe days that are commanded in the Torah.

Further proof of this is shown by Paul's statement in verse 8 where he warns the Colossian believers to be wary of those who would try to lead them away through deceit and useless pursuit of false knowledge. In verse 7, he tells them to be rooted in the Messiah. He tells them to follow the Messiah and to be like He is. The Messiah observed the Torah perfectly. Paul calls the Torah and its commandments holy, just, and good in Romans 7:12. Therefore, Torah observance cannot be vain and deceitful and it cannot be what Paul was warning the Colossian believers to avoid.

Verse 17 shows how the observances commanded in the Torah and listed in verse 16 are "a shadow of things to come".[68] They are symbols of the kingdom of heaven and what is done in that kingdom. The Messiah observed them and will observe them again (Matthew 26:27-29, Luke 22:15-18). Here again, the concept of food, drink, holy days, and sabbaths as something from which one should refrain is illogical. There is no reason why a believer would want to reject the observances of things that are symbols of what will come in the future.[69]

I Timothy

1

Paul writes in verse 8 that the Torah is good if it is used lawfully. The perfect example of this is Yeshua the Messiah. In verses 9-10, he says that the Torah is for those who do not obey it and lists several sinful actions that are all contained within the Torah. It is easy to understand that laws are for those who do not obey them. For those who obey them, there is no need for them to be enforced because they are already obeying them. It is as simple as that. From verses 3-7, one can see that there were men who were trying to be teachers of the Torah who Paul says did not know it and who were engaging in vain discourse. Paul was not saying that Timothy and other believers should ignore these men because they were teaching something that had been annulled. He warned Timothy about them because they thought they knew the Torah when they did not.

4

This chapter is also cited as justification for eating anything one desires as long as thanks is given to God for it. They see verse 4 as giving them permission to do this. It is saying that a believer may eat anything that was created by God to be used as food (not just animals) if received with thanksgiving. As stated several times previously, the Torah shows what kinds of animals have been created by God as acceptable for food. Acts 15 upholds Torah by specifically forbidding consumption of blood. Moreover, as noted previously, there are clearly a number of things that are not eaten because they are seen as unclean and it is quite obvious that there are things that God has created that will harm or kill a human if eaten. The animals that are considered by God as clean were known to Noah. All of the lawful sacrifices noted in the Tanakh that are deemed holy by God are clean animals.

II Timothy

3

In this chapter, Paul gives Timothy a key to the way of salvation. In verses 14-15, He tells Timothy to continue in the things which he had learned from Paul and from his childhood. Here, Paul tells all who believe where to look to gain the wisdom that will lead to salvation ...the holy scriptures. Of course, when Paul wrote this, the only holy scriptures that were available were in the Tanakh. While some of his letters and other books of the new testament may already have been written, the canon of the new testament was not yet complete.

From this passage, one sees that Timothy was raised in the Torah by his mother and grandmother who were Jewish (Acts 16:1, II Timothy 1:5). They had evidently taught him from his youth the truth from the Tanakh. Paul had circumcised Timothy because as a Jew, the Torah commands his circumcision. There is no evidence that Timothy's father was a believer, so it must be concluded that his mother and grandmother were the driving force in his education of the godly way of life.

It is illogical to conclude that the Torah or the rest of the Tanakh command observance of the first day of the week as the new commanded weekly day of assembly. Neither can one conclude that the holy days outlined in the Torah should be replaced by new annual religious days that are observed by a number of modern churches. Likewise, neither is permission to eat anything one desires found. It must be that Timothy was raised in the proper way through the instruction of the Torah.

The Torah and the rest of the Tanakh prophesy about the Messiah who has now come and who lived His life as a man perfectly according to the Torah that He gave to Israel through Moshe. These holy scriptures tell of His promise to Abraham to make him the father of all that believe by faith which was made possible by His death as the perfect Savior allowing all believers to be washed clean of the sin attributed to them by the Torah (Torah of sin and death) and furthermore, allows them to live a righteous life like He lived as a man and lives as the Holy One of Israel (Torah of life). To use the analogy previously stated, all of the penalties for the speeding tickets of the past are eliminated and the believer lives within the speed limit. Furthermore, in the event that one slips and does speed in the future, that penalty is wiped clean as the believer returns to obedience. Because the believer gets into the habit of acting within the speed limit, he does not continue to break it. It becomes a way of life to him. He obeys the law as a matter of course. It becomes natural to him except that it is spiritual.

This passage in Timothy is a succinct statement of the value of the Torah and the rest of the Tanakh and how these holy scriptures lead a believer to righteousness by faith. To conclude that there is some new method of gaining salvation that is only found by new beliefs and new actions given only in the new testament is not only against the new testament, it is against the Torah (in fact, the entire Tanakh which is incorrectly called the old testament), the words and life of Yeshua the Messiah, and it is incorrect.

Hebrews

The author of this letter to the Hebrews is unknown. Also, while the date of its writing is also unknown, a number of scholars believe that it was written shortly before the destruction of the temple which occurred around 70 CE. It is addressed to the Hebrew believers in Yeshua the Messiah, but it is valuable for the gentile reader like Paul's letters to the churches outside of Israel were and are valuable for the descendants of Abraham via Isaac and Jacob.

4

In the first three chapters of Hebrews, the roles of mankind, the angels, and the Messiah are described. The writer of Hebrews reiterates the reason for the earthly life of the Messiah and describes how the children of Israel were punished for unbelief (i.e. failure to obey the Torah) in the wilderness. Believers are warned not to fall short of the duties incumbent on those who are given the promise that the children of Abraham are given.

Verse 2 once again says that the same gospel that believers in the Messiah have received was preached to the children of Israel in the wilderness. The writer then says in verse 3 that faithful believers enter into rest unlike those in the wilderness who were disobedient (cf. Numbers 14, Numbers 20:1-13, Psalm 95:6-11). Some of the disobedience committed by Israel included the desecration of the sabbath (Exodus 16:21-30, Numbers 15:30-36). He continues in verse 4 by associating this rest for believers with the seventh day of the week sanctified by God by quoting Genesis 2:2. Furthermore, this letter states that believers must still enter that rest and that rest is limited to a certain day according to verse 7. Verse 8 states that if Joshua (Hebrew: Yahoshua. KJV says Jesus, but it should be understood as Joshua) had given the children of Israel rest (in the land of Israel), God would not have spoken about another day.

Verse 9 is important in understanding the mindset of the new testament writers regarding the keeping of the Torah. It states that there still remains a rest for the people of God. The word rest in Greek is σαββατισμός (sabbatismos). This word naturally comes from the Hebrew language. It means "keeping of the sabbath". The association with the sanctified seventh day in this verse is evident by the statement made in verse 4. This Greek word (or form thereof) is also used in other texts and its meaning is clearly shown to be referencing the keeping of the sabbath, specifically the seventh day sabbath.[70]

There are those in modern day churches who believe that there is no commandment to keep the seventh day sabbath reiterated in the new testament while the rest of are. However, even without the obvious statements in the Torah that observance of it is perpetual, the understanding of the clear meaning of Matthew 5:16-20, and the numerous references to the seventh day weekly sabbath in the gospels and the book of Acts, verse 11 clearly indicates that the commandment to observe it was then and still is in force in these latter days since the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah. Furthermore, the statement in verse 8 referencing Joshua comes from Joshua 22:4 and is followed in verse 5 with the warning by Joshua to the children of Israel, specifically those of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh who chose to live east of the Jordan river, to diligently heed the Torah that Moshe had given to them.

This Torah includes the commandment to remember the sanctified seventh day and to observe it and keep it holy. When Israel was told to remember the sabbath in Exodus 20, they were not only being reminded of what had been commanded in Exodus 16, they were being reminded of the creation week because they had knowledge that God rested from His work on the seventh day. Furthermore, the Hebrew believers in the early years of the spreading of the gospel had been taught this because they were well educated in the Torah and its Ten Words. The book of Hebrews continues in this vein with its clear instruction to keep and observe the sanctified seventh day sabbath.

Verses 10-11 admonish believers to work to enter the commanded rest. In fact, the writer warns that this must be done so that a man does not fall into disobedience like that of Israel in the wilderness. The letter continues by stating that the word of God will quickly reveal the spirit of anyone and know his intent no matter how secret he may think it is.

This chapter also describes Yeshua the Messiah, who taught great things on and about the sabbath, revealing His role as judge (word of God - verse 12) which helps to clarify the reason for His life, death, and resurrection, and who gave the Ten Commandments along with others to Moshe to teach the children of Abraham to be like Him. This letter also begins its teaching to all believers about the gift of His sacrifice and how it was reflected in the sacrificial ritual of the Jerusalem temple. This chapter encourages the believer to boldly access the grace provided by His great gift when he does fail to live by the Torah, including desecration of the sanctified seventh day sabbath.

5

This chapter continues with the description of Yeshua the Messiah becoming a high priest after the order of Melchisedec by his death for sin following a perfect life according to the Torah.[71] The writer also tells his Hebrew audience that there is much to say about this, but they are dull in understanding and need to be taught the basic things of God again. He says that those who have learned to discern good from evil from their life experience are able to understand this topic.

6

Continuing, the writer tells the Hebrew believers that if God wills, they will get past the basics such as the doctrine of the Messiah, repentance from evil (as defined by the Torah), faith, baptism, resurrection of the dead, laying on of hands (healing), and eternal judgment.[72] He tells them that one cannot be given salvation and then reject it and then claim it again because it crucifies the Messiah again.[73] He also gives a warning to be diligent in pursuit of the promise given to believers by Yeshua the Messiah who is the high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

7-10

Chapter 7 continues the description of Yeshua the Messiah as Melchisedec. It contrasts Him with the tribe of Levi and tells how He received tithes from Abraham and how even the tribe of Levi gave Him tithes through Abraham. The writer then says that if the priesthood that was ordained to those of the tribe of Levi were perfect, there would be no need to have a priesthood after the order of Melchisedec. Because that is not the case, there is a need for a new priesthood. The priesthood of Yeshua the Messiah was obtained because the priesthood given to ordinary man cannot be perfect and also because He lived a perfect life and then willingly died for the sin of man. Because of this, there is a necessity to transfer the priesthood to Him. Moreover, because He is perfect, this priesthood is inviolable.

Verse 12 is seen as proof that the commandments given in the Torah were changed by His actions. However, the levitical priesthood officiated in the Jerusalem temple until it was destroyed around 70 CE. Paul and other believers worshiped and made offerings in that temple in the years after the resurrection and ascension of Yeshua the Messiah.

As this letter indicates, along with other scriptures, the Torah does not make a man perfect. In fact, it convicts him of sin. The hope and faith in the gift of the perfect Messiah does make a believer perfect because He died willingly specifically for that purpose. He was able to offer this free gift because He did live perfectly according to the Torah that He gave to Moshe for Israel and all that attach themselves to them. Once He offered this gift, He was resurrected, ascended to the throne of God, and sat down. He completed this task once unlike the priesthood described in Torah which has been commanded to perform tasks that must be completed daily, monthly, and yearly, etc. These tasks commanded for the levitical priesthood are valuable in many ways, one being the symbolism shown by the continual offering of sacrifices as an example of the Messiah's continual covering of sin by His one-time sacrifice for those who believe. Eventually, the levitical priesthood must go away and be replaced by the everlasting priesthood of Yeshua the Messiah.

The levitical priesthood in the Jerusalem temple is a symbol of the priesthood of Yeshua the Messiah. This letter to the Hebrews along with other scriptures shows that it is. There certainly are differences between the priesthood that is officiated by imperfect men and that of the perfect Messiah. While the earthly priesthood shows by example what the heavenly priesthood accomplishes, it cannot actually complete the task which it symbolizes because those who officiate in the earthly system are not perfect. The scriptures clearly show that Yeshua the Messiah clears the sin of those called by God once and for all time because He is perfect. Yet, the world today is still full of sin. It was like that in the times in which the temple stood and will be until sin is destroyed. There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

People who are called out by God and who have been given the Holy Spirit still sin. The Jerusalem temple and the activities of the levitical priesthood were instituted to show that God continually clears His people of sin. It is a reminder to those who worship there that they are called to be different. They are commanded to be like God. When they sin, they need to be reminded that sin costs something. The animal, wine, and bread sacrifices that were offered in the Jerusalem temple were expensive. To pay for sin was literally a very costly endeavor for one in this system. This is clearly a good lesson for the repentant to understand.

They learn that sin is entirely unwise by its heavy cost. Moreover, they understand that an innocent life was taken for what they did wrongly. It is quite obvious that a grace filled believer in Yeshua the Messiah who went to the temple and offered a sacrifice for sin that he had committed would have the gift of the innocent and perfect Savior (Emmanuel - God with us) at the forefront of his mind. Knowing that his Savior has gladly offered His life by literally putting Himself into the position of having God the Father turn His face away from Him which had never been done before and never will be done again would weigh very heavily on this sinner (cf. Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34). He would very likely want to cease from sin.

That is the work of the Holy Spirit. The desire of God is clearly like that of the parent to a child in the scriptures. The godly parent does everything he can to raise his child properly. He is willing to punish the child to redirect his ways. He is willing to spend all of the time, effort, and cost to make his child as perfect as possible. If necessary, he will die for his children. Likewise, God the Father was willing to give His son and Emmanuel (God with us) was willing to give His life for His creation. God is happy to do that because His children are a reflection of Him. They are made in His image (Genesis 1:26-28). He will bring sinners to perfect maturity for His own sake (Psalm 106:8).

The Jerusalem temple is designed to teach God's people holiness, to strive for perfection, and to turn back to God when they sin. While the daily service of the temple cannot now be observed, its ability to teach cannot be dismissed. In fact, this facet of the way of God cannot be fathomed by the modern day sinful world. The activities of that temple must be studied so that believers can get a better idea of the magnitude of its service and thus, get a small glimpse of the truly magnificent work that is being done by Yeshua the Messiah. Those who reject the study of this integral part of the plan of God understand little about the works of Yeshua the Messiah.

Even the gentile believers were taught in the synagogues on the seventh day sabbath this part of the Torah given to Israel. While they could not go into the temple, they could learn how the service was administered. Believers like Paul who had sacrificed in the temple could explain their experiences and observations and give their gentile brothers far more insight into the services than any modern man who rejects the usefulness of that sacrificial system can acquire. The temple of Jerusalem where God places His name is truly a place where a believer can learn righteousness because it is His house.

It is not widely understood that the Torah commands a levitical priesthood perpetually.[74] Moreover, the scriptures show that sacrifices will once again be offered in the Jerusalem temple.[75] This is necessary because what can be learned by the services conducted therein is very valuable for man to learn about the work of God.

Furthermore, it is valuable to learn to do those things which are commanded so that these sacrifices are not necessary. While there is something better than the blood of bulls and goats, there is nothing better than having no gods before the Creator of all things. There is nothing better than honoring one's parents. There is nothing better than remembering the seventh day sabbath which was sanctified during the creation to keep it holy. These commandments are not symbols like sacrifices and offerings. They certainly teach and they are certainly God-like, but they are actions (i.e. a way of life). Obviously, Yeshua the Messiah taught the Torah perfectly by His actions. He will do it again in the presence of man. Man will learn to perfectly observe the Torah. There is no need of a replacement for the Torah that tells mankind what and what not to do. There is no better hope for one who follows it perfectly because its commandments are perfect in their intent. However, the sacrifice of animals along with drink and bread offerings are only symbols that teach. These sacrifices, as a teacher, are commanded in the scriptures for the natural born citizen of Israel for the benefit of the offerer and they also benefit the priest (i.e. they are his food). Nevertheless, these sacrifices do not clear a man of sin. The free gift of Yeshua the Messiah clears man of sin.

Chapter 10 continues teaching about sacrifice by showing that animal offerings which are shadows of things to come cannot accomplish the task of the Savior Yeshua the Messiah who will bring the creation to perfection through His works. If these animal sacrifices bring forgiveness, then there is no need for His perfect sacrifice. In verses 16-17, the writer quotes Jeremiah 31:33-34. The word for law in verse 33 is, of course, Torah and the Hebrew who read this passage would understand that the Torah given in the first five books of the Tanakh is being referenced. Therefore, he would know that people in this future time will know and understand that Torah and act in accordance with it knowing that their past sins have been totally removed by the gift of Yeshua the Messiah. Jeremiah 31:35-37 shows that God will do this without a doubt.

In Hebrews 10:24-31, the writer warns that those who sin willfully after receiving truth are in even more danger than one who died without mercy under the Torah of Moshe. This passage says that those who return to disobedience after accepting the living God will be confronted by Him because of their rebellion against the spirit of grace. That punishment by God is much greater than that of man is similar to the expansion on the Torah that is taught by the Messiah in the gospels. Whereas, He expanded the understanding of "thou shalt not murder" and taught that hating your brother is like murder, so will the punishment for breaking the Torah be greater when God administers it (Matthew 10:28).

11

This chapter is often discussed in modern churches in large part because it deals with faith. It describes a number of righteous people of Israel who will be in the kingdom of heaven including Moshe who received the Torah from God (Yeshua the Messiah) and gave it to Israel and all who joined them. These people are those who followed the Torah of God and received forgiveness via the gift of the Messiah, even though He had not lived as a man and died for sin yet. They all knew that they were to obey God, honor their parents, observe the seventh day sabbath sanctified from creation, refrain from murder, stealing, covetousness, and to follow the other instructions that are given in the five books of Torah.

The chapter continues by stating that there are many blessings that were received by numerous faithful people who obeyed that Torah. Many also were persecuted for this obedience to God. Yet, none have yet received the promise because they are resting in death for the time when they will rise to meet the Messiah with all of the other believers that have lived and died along with believers who are alive at His coming. This important statement is basically ignored in modern day churches because they teach that when one dies, he immediately goes to heaven or hell. They speak of dying and going to heaven and tell of how their friends or relatives who have died are in heaven with God. Of course, even Yeshua the Messiah did not die and go to heaven. He lay in the grave for three days and three nights until he was resurrected and then was seen on earth for forty days. The truth of this chapter is far removed from what is being taught in the modern day churches.

12

This chapter admonishes believers, including those Hebrew people to which it was originally written, to refrain from sin by focusing on Yeshua the Messiah. Believers are admonished to endure the temptations that beset and overcome man. The writer reminds believers that they have not had to endure what the Messiah endured. Moreover, believers must endure when they are reproved by God for sin (Proverbs 3:11-12). While it is not something that is pleasing to bear, righteous discipline administered perfectly by God is strengthening and causes the believer to return to actions in accordance with the Torah he has been given. The writer then tells believers that what they are doing is not based upon the fear that forces a man to act in accordance with a ruler and gives the example of when the Torah was given to Israel at Mount Sinai. The believer in this world is working under the influence of the Holy Spirit toward those perfect actions that will be evident in the kingdom of God as explained in chapter 10:16-17.

13

This chapter says in verse 8 that Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This concept is also seen in Malachi 3:6. The writer warns believers not to follow after strange doctrines. A believer who read this letter in the time when it was written would relate it to the Tanakh which was the only scripture in his time. Anything that was not in agreement with the Tanakh would be considered strange. The Torah would not have been seen by the believer as strange given its description of time since the creation of the world and because it was being taught in the synagogues of believers (Acts 15:21).

James

1

James the brother of Yeshua the Messiah was the bishop of the Jerusalem assembly. In his letter, he admonishes believers to endure the trials that come upon them because of their faith in God. He says that believers should ask God for wisdom without doubting. He adds that wavering faith is the action of an unstable person and that such a person should not expect anything from God. He continues by explaining that true faith will not wither away or be destroyed and that a believer must endure trials to gain the crown of life. Furthermore, he says that one must not say that he is being tempted by God because God is not tempted by evil and He does not tempt man. Man is tempted when he is carried away by his own desires which breed lust and then sin and death.

James says that God brought forth believers to be a kind of firstfruits of mankind. He then warns believers to be slow to speak, slow to anger, and to put aside wickedness and receive the word of humility. The word to which he refers is able to save one's soul. James continues in verse 22 by explaining that someone who hears the word of God and does not do it is like a man who looks at himself in the mirror and then goes away and forgets what kind of person he is. Verse 25 says that the believer who intently studies the perfect Torah of liberty and abides by it by being an effective doer is blessed by his actions (i.e. he lives in it). Psalm 119:44-45 clearly shows that the Torah of God as given to Israel by God (Yeshua the Messiah) will give a man who follows it liberty because he lives in it. James knew this because he was an observant Jew and believer in Yeshua the Messiah who along with the rest of the leaders of the Jerusalem council decreed that while gentiles need not be circumcised and offer animal sacrifices, they would be taught the Torah given to Moshe for Israel in the assemblies on the sanctified sabbath which meant that they should direct their lives by it.

2

James continues by warning believers not to show favoritism to others. He says that judgment by appearances is evil and thus, sin. He explains that this is evil because God chooses the poor of the earth to be heirs to His kingdom. Furthermore, he asks why a believer would want to dishonor a poor man when it is the rich who oppress believers and even sue and blaspheme them. Continuing, he says that if a man is fulfilling the royal Torah according to scripture which states that a believer must love his neighbor as himself, he is doing well.

This is understood to be a reference to Matthew 19:19, 22:39, Mark 12:31, and Luke 10:27. That is correct, but that command is not found first in the gospels. Yeshua the Messiah, as usual, gave this to Israel as part of the Torah in Leviticus 19:18. It is not known whether James had read any of the gospel accounts in which the Messiah repeats this command. In fact, it is not known with certainty if they had even been written yet. James knew the Torah and lived by it. He understood that the way of Yeshua the Messiah, his brother, was one of perfect Torah observance. Therefore, he understood that the Torah that he had known all of his life was the way that a believer must live his life.

Verses 10-12 are important in his discourse to believers. James says that a man can observe the Torah given to Israel perfectly except for one point and because of that failure become guilty of disobedience to all of it. Because God is perfect, man must be perfect to be with Him. One sin makes a man unacceptable before God. He gives the example of a man who does not commit adultery, but commits murder to show that he has transgressed the Torah. Some might say that he referring only to the ten commandments. James refers to the whole Torah in verse 10 and wanted all of the Torah to be taught to the gentiles on the sabbath. Moreover, even if James was only referring to the ten commandments, it is clear that all ten are to be observed and they include the commandment to observe the sanctified seventh day sabbath which was and is observed by God and His followers and which is reiterated in Hebrews 4. In fact, James adds that a believer must observe the whole Torah by speaking and acting as one who will be judged by that Torah of liberty.

James then explains that faith is made evident by works according to the Torah of liberty. He asks how one can have faith if he does nothing to show it. He then states that faith without works is dead (i.e. it is not faith). Verse 18 clearly shows that faith is shown by works. Verse 19 continues by showing that even demons believe God is One. Obviously, they do not do works acceptable to God yet, they clearly fear Him. James then reiterates that faith without good works is useless. He then, like Paul, gives the example of Abraham who displayed his faith by doing what God told him to do. He adds the example of Rahab who was justified by her works. James also states that faith without works is dead like a body without a spirit is dead.

I and II Peter

In Peter's first letter, he encourages believers to be sober and hope for the grace of Yeshua the Messiah. He warns them not to fall back into the ignorance of their past, but to be obedient (according to Torah). His admonishment to be holy because God is holy is a reference to the Torah (Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2, 20:7). By reviewing the context of these Torah scriptures, it is seen that commandments are given to Israel that deal with honoring parents, refraining from sexual immorality, refraining from idolatry, and what foods God has made acceptable to be eaten.

Since gentile believers who were attached to Israel were being taught the Torah in the synagogue on the seventh day and yearly sabbaths, it is obvious that they would have a reference to what makes a man holy. In fact, they knew that they had escaped the disobedience that came from the lusts of their former ignorance because they were living very different lives than they had before. Their knowledge and observance of the Torah brought them into the realm of understanding God and into the grace provided by the free gift of Yeshua the Messiah. Peter tells them that they have been purified by their obedience which was brought to them by the Holy Spirit. He adds that believers should love another and be born again by the word of God which Peter says abides forever. Furthermore, that word is what is preached by the gospel. That word, and thus the gospel, contains the Torah and it endures forever.[76]

In II Peter 2, Peter writes about false teachers and prophets who speak evil of things which they do not understand. Obviously, they teach and prophesy things that are not scriptural and that are ungodly. Unfortunately, there are such "leaders" in the modern day christian churches. These evil men have been made to be destroyed. They lead people into error and bondage which Peter says places those who have come out of error in a worse situation than they were before learning the truth. Here again, a description of uncleanness is given by the comparison of such people with dogs and swine.

In some circles, the reference to Noah as the eighth person is seen as a justification of sabbath observance on the first day of the week. For those who hold this belief, the number eight and its association with the righteous Noah is evidence that the first day of the week is now the day to worship God because the eighth day when counting through the days of the week leads one back to the first day of the week. This concept may be understood to have come from the seven day fall feast of tabernacles (Hebrew: Chag Sukkot) with the eighth day feast called Sh'mini Atzeret attached to it. Why those who believe this concept do not observe these commanded feast days which are observed at a time based on the beginning of a month and choose to take the concept and apply it to the days of the week is odd and certainly not justified by scripture.

In chapter 3, Peter makes an interesting statement. He encourages believers to be blameless and longsuffering as Yeshua the Messiah is. He refers to the letters of Paul which also encourage believers to be this way. However, he says that some of the things that Paul writes are difficult to understand. Because of this, those who are unlearned and unstable distort what is being said as they do with the other scriptures and it leads them to destruction.

The words of Paul have been used to convince people to ignore the Torah that was given by Yeshua the Messiah. In fact, they are often the first passages cited for "proof" that the Torah has been abrogated. When presented with the concept of a Torah that will not pass until heaven and earth pass and believing they have been given truth, it is said by adherents of the "new law" understanding that they have read Paul and know that he taught a new way. The scriptures show that Paul and the other apostles and teachers in the early assembly were teaching believers that they must obey the Torah and rely on the gift of grace when they sin because the Messiah lived perfectly according to that Torah as a man on earth and teaches His disciples to observe it properly and to rely on Him when they fail. He even expanded its meaning. Unfortunately, some read the letters of Paul and do just what Peter said they would do.

I John

The apostle John writes in chapter 1 that those who say they have no sin are deceived and that the truth is not in them. He adds that if they say they have not sinned, then they make Yeshua the Messiah a liar and repeats that the truth is not in them. He continues in chapter 2 admonishing believers to refrain from sin, but states that if one does sin, Yeshua the Messiah is an advocate to the Father as the propitiation for sin. He continues by writing that believers know Yeshua the Messiah if they keep His commandments (cf. John 14:15, 15:10). He adds that one who does not keep His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. Furthermore, the love of God is perfected in those who follow these commandments.

Verse 7 shows that those who abide in Yeshua the Messiah will walk (act) in the manner that He does. The scriptures clearly show that the Messiah perfectly followed the Torah that He gave to Israel during His life as a man, fulfilling Matthew 5:16-20. That is what makes Him the only propitiation for the sin of mankind. He taught the ultimate meaning of the Torah while condemning the traditions of men that break it.

In chapter 3, John reiterates a statement written in James 2:10-12 saying that whoever sins transgresses the Torah because that is what sin is. John is in concert with James regarding this concept and in agreement with the decision of the council of Jerusalem as described in Acts 15. He says that those who abide in Yeshua the Messiah do not sin because sin is of the adversary. Moreover, he writes that whosoever is born of God does not sin and cannot sin because he is born of God.

This concept is different from what some modern churches believe. They submit that they are already born again. Given John's statements, this cannot be true. Those who are believers are in the process of being born again. They are begotten to an everlasting life. Unfortunately, they still commit sin. King David and Samson are shown in Hebrews 11 to be part of the many that will be resurrected to eternal life when Yeshua the Messiah returns. The scriptures show that they committed grievous sins after being called by God to the works which they were appointed. Because of the grace of God made possible by the free gift of Yeshua the Messiah, they, along with all others who return to good works according to the Torah, will live forever one day.

John continues by reiterating the expansion of the Torah as taught by the Messiah writing that a man who hates his brother is guilty of murdering him and that no one who is like this has eternal life abiding in him. He tells his readers that believers should help one another and give to those in need by asking how a man can love another yet not help him. He says that believers have to love by their works. This is one of the commandments regarding love that John says Yeshua the Messiah taught. Those who do this dwell in Yeshua the Messiah as He dwells in them by the Holy Spirit. Chapter 4 continues this commentary on love.

In chapter 5, John says once again that those who love God keep His commandments. These commandments are not a burden. Verses 4-5 say that those who are born of God overcome the world by faith because they believe that Yeshua the Messiah is the son of God. Because of faith, He was able to abide by the Torah that He gave to Moshe for Israel without sin as believers are expected to do. The Messiah is the perfect example that John is telling his readers to follow. Verses 6-8 say that Yeshua the Messiah came by water and blood as testified by the Holy Spirit. These three things testify in agreement to prove who He is.[77]

II John

John writes again to tell believers to walk in the commandments which have been given from the beginning. He warns them about deceivers who say that the Messiah has not come and calls them antichrists. John reiterates his first letter saying that one who transgresses the doctrine of the Messiah is not of God, but those that abide in the doctrine of the Messiah are of the Father and the Son. He adds that believers should not associate with those who come into their assemblies and do not believe in the doctrine of the Messiah.

The doctrine of Yeshua the Messiah is rooted in Torah and the gospels show that it is. He lived perfectly on earth like He did in heaven before and will continue to live this way forever. This doctrine of perfect living is what He gave to Israel. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and many others believed His doctrine. He is the God that has spoken to man throughout the Bible. All scripture is His doctrine because He is the Word.[78]

Jude

Jude warns his readers that they must contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. He says that evil men have entered into the assemblies denying God. Comparing this with John's letters, it is understood that these people do not hold to the doctrine of Yeshua the Messiah. Jude says that believers can fall into this error and be destroyed. He gives the example of those of Israel who did not believe (i.e. did not follow the Torah) even after being saved from Egypt, angels who turned against God and who are bound until they are judged, and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah who were destroyed.

Jude compares the evil men who have entered into the assemblies to these groups. He says they are like Cain and Balaam who was greedy for money. Jude calls them spots in the feasts of believers who are corrupt and who complain, following their own desires. These people are empty and do no good. They are fleshly and do not have the Holy Spirit. Believers must help save others from these evil men with fear. Jude compares this to pulling them from the fire and says that the righteous must hate even a garment that is made unclean.[79]

Revelation

This book of scripture written by John contains much that can be discussed. There is only one passage that is a focus of this essay. Revelation 1:10 tells of John being under the influence of the Holy Spirit on the "Lord's day." This is assumed in modern churches to be the first day of the week and it is used as proof for observance of that day.

The new testament scriptures show that if the words of Yeshua the Messiah are true, then He rose from the grave on the seventh day of the week. They do not provide any evidence for the change of the weekly sanctified day of assembly from the seventh day to the first. Only the assumption that this change was made would lead one to believe that John is referring to the first day of the week in this passage. This verse is describing the time frame to which John's revelation is referring. The scriptures show that the Lord's day (usually written "day of the LORD") is describing the time when Yeshua the Messiah will return to earth. Evidence is shown by comparing the following passages with the message of Revelation:

Early Church Fathers

Proof for the nullification of the Torah is sought by looking to the early church fathers for justification. Some of these leaders certainly acted and taught against the Torah and did it based on traditions of men. However, there are others who continued to follow what they had been taught by apostles or teachers who were directly associated with apostles.

Polycarp

Polycarp of Smyrna (ca. 69-155 CE) was taught by the apostle John and along with the bishops of Asia kept the Passover at the same time as the Jews.[80]

Polycrates

Polycrates of Ephesus (died ca. 196 CE) said that he would follow God instead of man along with the bishops of Asia and thus, observed Passover at the time of the Jews.[81]

Ignatius

Ignatius of Antioch - (ca. 35 or 50 - between 98 and 117) is said to have been a student of John the apostle and was possibly connected with the apostle Peter. Some submit that his letter to the Magnesians shows that the first day of the week is the proper day of worship and since he was connected to the apostle John and possibly Peter, he knew what day upon which to worship. This based on the statement in chapter 9 of his letter where he supposedly substitutes observance of the seventh day sanctified sabbath with the first day of the week. This letter has a shorter and a longer version.[82]

When one reviews the Greek text, the word "day" is not found. Yet, it is supplied by the translators in the English text. These letters are included in the Latin codices Codex Montacutianus and Codex Caiensis and are cut short saying "living according to the Lord's [ ]." The insertion of the word "day" must stem at least partly because of translator bias which extends from Catholicism. The oldest extant Greek text uses the word "life" where translators insert "day." Additionally, in the previous chapter (8), Ignatius, while recognizing that one who continues to practice Judaism (the belief that works justify as described by Paul) is without grace, says that the divine prophets (those described in the Tanakh) lived according to Yeshua the Messiah which he reiterates in chapter 9.[83]

It is obvious that the prophets obeyed the Torah given to Israel. Furthermore, it is obvious that Yeshua the Messiah followed the Torah perfectly including His observation of the sanctified seventh day and the yearly commanded feasts. Moreover, Polycarp is shown to have been in concert with the Jews in understanding what days have been sanctified by God and evidently delivered the letters of Ignatius to Philippi.[84]

Thus, when the word "day" is removed from the translation of chapter 9, one finds that Ignatius is contending that believers observe the sabbath according to the way Yeshua the Messiah observed it, which is detailed in the gospels, and not according to the strict Jewish interpretation that had come about by the tradition of men. Thus, a more accurate translation of chapter 9 can be written as follows (words in parentheses supplied for clarification).[85]

If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath (in the Torah breaking way of the unbelieving Jews), but living in the observance of the Lord's life, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him (who was raised on the sabbath day) and by His death-whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Yeshua the Messiah, our only Master-how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for Him as their Teacher? And therefore He whom they rightly waited for, being come, raised them from the dead.

Response of the Churches

Those who disagree with the scriptural proof that observance of the Torah continues to be the way of life that believers in Yeshua the Messiah are to follow will look to their denomination for justification of their beliefs and observances. The following is a review of statements made by writers from the Catholic and protestant churches regarding which day is sanctified as the sabbath and commanded by scripture to be observed.

Catholic

In 1893, the Catholic Mirror published editorials over a four week period regarding the day of sabbath observance. In these editorials, the Catholic church clearly explains that the scriptures neither command nor imply a change of the sabbath to the first day of the week. That church does say that it is solely responsible for the change and that it did so because it has the power to make such changes. A reading of these editorials also shows the attitude of that church towards the protestant churches that have adopted its tradition. The editorials are clearly condescending and derisive toward their "protestant brothers".[86]

Baptist[87]

"There was never any formal or authoritative change from the...seventh-day sabbath to the Christian first-day observance." William Owen Carver, The Lord's Day in Our Day, p. 49.

"There is nothing in Scripture that requires us to keep Sunday rather than Saturday as a holy day." Harold Lindsell, editor, Christianity Today, November 5, 1976.

"There was and is a commandment to keep holy the sabbath day, but that sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the new testament absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week." "To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years' intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the sabbath question...never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated." "Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history...But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to protestantism!" Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual, in a paper read before a New York ministers' conference, November 13, 1893, and reported in New York Examiner, November 16, 1893.

Southern Baptist

"The first four commandments set forth man's obligations directly toward God...The fourth commandment sets forth God's claim on man's time and thought...Not one of the ten words is of merely racial significance...The sabbath was established originally in no special connection with the Hebrews, but as an institution for all mankind, in commemoration of God's rest after six days of creation. It was designed for all the descendants of Adam." Adult Quarterly, Southern Baptist Convention series, August 15, 1937.

"The sacred name of the Seventh day is sabbath. This fact is too clear to require argument. (Exodus 20:10 quoted)...On this point the plain teaching of the Word has been admitted in all ages...Not once did the disciples apply the sabbath law to the first day of the week--that folly was left for a later age, nor did they pretend that the first day supplanted the seventh." Joseph Judson Taylor, The Sabbath Question, p. 14-17, 41.

Christian Church

"I do not believe...that the sabbath was changed from the seventh to the first day, for this plain reason, where there is no testimony, there can be no faith. Now there is no testimony in all the oracles of heaven that the sabbath is changed, or that the Lord's Day came in the room of it...There is no divine testimony that the sabbath was changed..." Alexander Campbell, in The Washington Reporter, October 8, 1921.

Church of Christ

"...the seventh day is the only sabbath day commanded, and God never repealed that command. If you would keep the sabbath, keep it; but Sunday is not the sabbath...It is the Seventh day not the first day that the command refers to." G. Aldridge, editor, The Bible Standard, April, 1916.

"Finally, we have the testimony of Christ on this subject. In Mark 2:27, he says: 'The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.' From this passage it is evident that the sabbath was made not merely for the Israelites, as Paley and Hengstenberg would have us believe...Hence we conclude that the sabbath was sanctified from the beginning, and that it was given to Adam, even in Eden, as one of those primeval institutions that God ordained for the happiness of all men." Robert Milligan, Scheme of Redemption, (St. Louis, The Bethany Press, 1962), p. 165.

Church of England

"The Lord's day did not succeed in the place of the sabbath, but the sabbath was wholly abrogated, and the Lord's day was merely an ecclesiastical institution. It was not introduced by virtue of the fourth commandment, because they (early christians) for almost three hundred years together kept that day which was in that commandment." Bishop Jeremy Taylor, Ductor Dubitantium; cited in Source Book For Bible Students, p. 577.

"There is no word, no hint in the new testament about abstaining from work on Sunday...Into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters...The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands on exactly the same footing as the observance of Sunday." Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments, p. 52, 63, 65.

"Many people think that Sunday is the sabbath. But neither in the new testament nor in the early church is there anything to suggest that we have any right to transfer the observance of the seventh day of the week to the first. The sabbath was and is Saturday, and not Sunday, and if it were binding on us then we should observe it on that day, and on no other." Pastor Lionel Beere, in Church and People, September 1, 1947.

Congregationalist

"...the Christian sabbath (Sunday) is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the sabbath." Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended (1823), Sermon 107, vol. 3, p. 258.

"Much has been made of the attitude of Christ in speech and deed toward the sabbath. Some have imagined that by words He uttered and by deeds He did He relaxed the binding nature of the old command. This view, however, is to absolutely misunderstand the doing and the teaching of Jesus." G. Campbell Morgan, The Ten Commandments, p. 50.

"...it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the sabbath...The sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday...There is not a single sentence in the new testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday." Dr. R.W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York: Eaton & Mains), p. 127-129 (Some editions, p. 106-107).

American Congregationalist

"The current notion that Christ and His apostles authoritatively substituted the first day of the week for the seventh, is absolutely without any authority in the new testament." Dr. Layman Abbot, in Christian Union, June 26, 1890 (January 19, 1882).

Disciples of Christ

"There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day 'the Lord's Day.'" Dr. D.H. Lucas, in Christian Oracle, January 23, 1890.

"The first day of the week is commonly called the sabbath. This is a mistake. The sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change." First Day Observance, p. 17, 19.

"'But,' say some, 'it was changed from the seventh to the first day.' Where? When? And by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is all old wives' fables to talk of the change of the sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage who changes times and laws ex officio - I think his name is Doctor Antichrist.'" Alexander Campbell, in The Christian Baptist, February 2, 1824, vol. 1, #7, p. 164.

Episcopalian

"We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy, catholic, apostolic church of Christ." Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday, Article 12.

"The Bible commandment says on the seventh day thou shalt rest. That is Saturday. Nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday." Philip Carrington, Archbishop of Quebec, Canada, in Toronto Daily Star, October 26, 1949.

"The observance of the first day instead of the seventh day rests in the testimony of the Catholic church and the church alone." Hobart Church News, July 2, 1894.

Lutheran

"They (Roman Catholic church) refer to the sabbath day, as having been changed into the Lord's Day, contrary to the Decalogue...Neither is there any example whereof they make more than concerning the changing of the sabbath Day. Great, say they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments!" Philip Melanchthon, Augsburg Confession of Faith, article 28, approved by Martin Luther in 1530, as published in The Book of Concord of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Henry Jacobs, editor (1911), p. 63.

"The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer the laws of the sabbath to Sunday." Dr. Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian Religion and Church (1843), p. 186.

"But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel. In other words, they insist that Sunday is the divinely appointed new testament sabbath, and so they endeavor to enforce the Sabbatical observance of Sunday...These churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the sabbath. There is simply no law in the new testament to that effect." John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday?, p. 15-16.

Methodist

"The (seventh day) sabbath was made for man; not for the Hebrews, but for all men." E. O. Haven, Pillars of Truth, p. 88.

"The reason we observe the first day instead of the seventh is based on no positive command. One will search the Scriptures in vain for authority for changing from the seventh day to the first." Clovis G. Chappell, Ten Rules For Living, p. 61.

"It is true there is no positive command for infant baptism...Nor is there any for keeping holy the first day of the week. Many believe that Christ changed the sabbath. But from His own words, we see that He came for no such purpose. Those who believe that Jesus changed the sabbath base it only on supposition." Amos Binney, Theological Compendium, p. 180-81.

"There is no intimation here that the sabbath was done away, or that its moral use superseded, by the introduction of Christianity. I have shown elsewhere that, 'Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy,' is a command of perpetual obligation." Adam Clarke, The new testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, vol. 2, p. 524.

"Take the matter of Sunday...there is no passage telling christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish sabbath to that day." Harris Franklin Rall, in Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942, p. 26.

"But, the moral law contained in the ten commandments, and enforced by the prophets, he [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of his coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken...Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other." John Wesley, The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., John Emory, editor (New York: Eaton & Mains), Sermon 25, vol. 1, p. 221.

"When Christ was on earth He did nothing to set it (the sabbath) aside; He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place. 'The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.' It is as practicable and as necessary for men today as it ever was - in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age...The sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word 'remember,' showing that the sabbath already existed when God wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?" Dwight L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting (Fleming H. Revell Co.: New York), p. 46-48.

Pentecostal

"'Why do we worship on Sunday? Doesn't the Bible teach us that Saturday should be the Lord's Day?'...Apparently we will have to seek the answer from some other source than the new testament." David A. Womack, "Is Sunday the Lord's Day?" in The Pentecostal Evangel, August 9, 1959, #2361, p. 3.

Presbyterian

"A further argument for the perpetuity of the sabbath we have in Matthew 24:20, Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter neither on the sabbath day. But the final destruction of Jerusalem was after the Christian dispensation was fully set up. Yet it is plainly implied in these words of the Lord that even then christians were bound to strict observation of the sabbath." Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 4, p. 621.

"The sabbath is a part of the Decalogue--the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution...Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the sabbath will stand...The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the sabbath." T.C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, p. 474-475.

"For the permanency of the sabbath, we might argue for its place in the Decalogue, where it stands enshrined among the moralities of a rectitude that is immutable and everlasting." Thomas Chalmers, D. D., Sermons, vol. 1, p. 51.

Summary

Neither the Catholic church nor the protestant churches which assemble on the first day of the week can submit proof from the scriptures that the sanctified seventh day sabbath or any other part of the Torah has been changed. For anyone to submit that that this has occurred shows at least ignorance and in some cases outright dishonesty. The belief that the Messiah was resurrected on the first day of the week, even if it were true, has no bearing on the commanded weekly sanctified sabbath. Moreover, one must use alternative math to convince himself and others that it occurred on the first day of the week. Additionally, if the Messiah died during the afternoon of the sixth day of the week and rose at sunrise on the first day of the next week, then His claim that He is the Messiah which He said would be proven by His body laying in the grave for three days and three nights is null and void (cf. Matthew 12:38-40, Romans 3:4).

The seventh day sanctified sabbath is not the only commandment of Torah that most modern churches fail to teach and observe. The scriptures show that there are also yearly days of observance commanded and that the believers in Yeshua the Messiah observed them, taught on them, and taught about them. They show that the people of God are to eat only what He says can be eaten. Moreover, there are other commandments that are ignored by most modern churches. This includes directives that are given in the new testament which are obviously derived from the Torah that they do not observe as shown a number of times in this essay.

Some in modern churches wonder why there are so many different denominations for people who supposedly believe in the scriptures. One of the reasons given in the scriptures says that Israel was blinded. This continues today. The scriptures also say that the gentiles did not know the truth of God because they were not given His Torah like Israel. That also continues today. Many of those of the tribes of Israel along with gentiles even today have not learned the truth because they were either never taught it or taught something that is in fact not the gospel.

The concept of a few hours of worship on the first day of the week is an example of this. Basically, no one observes the full day. They go out to eat, work, or play after spending a few hours at church. The scriptures show that this is not how the sabbath day is to be observed. Additionally, those who try to place the directives regarding the sanctified seventh day sabbath on the first day of the week are still without scriptural support and thus, are not following the word of God because the Torah says that man is to work (and go after his own pleasure) six days and rest the seventh. It does not say that he is to "rest" the first day and work the next six.

The leaders of these churches are clearly aware of what they are teaching. Those who attended seminaries or those who have simply read through all of the scriptures and studied the history of the early church know that teachings of the modern churches are not in the scriptures nor are they in accordance with them. The examples previously given regarding the complete lack of proof in the scriptures for worship commanded on or transferred to the first day of the week by numerous denominations and the admission by the Catholic church that it alone has changed the day of weekly sabbath observance by its "authority" which protestant teachers accept is proof of this despite scriptural warning against such authority. These teachers have also learned to avoid and deflect questions that arise from those who actually do try to read and understand the word of God.[88]

Unfortunately, churches which claim an understanding based on sola scriptura along with those of the more liberal organizations teach an unscriptural "gospel" that is basically catholic in origin. They have the same weekly day of worship, at least a few of the same yearly days of observance, and they hold the same view of the trinity. Yet, while protestant organizations object to unscriptural practices of the Catholic church, they continue to follow unscriptural traditions they adopted from Catholicism.[89]

It is difficult for some to understand that their churches are effectively based on the Catholic church because they believe that their organizations were founded to return to scriptural teachings that Catholicism rejected. Additionally, while some protestants see Martin Luther as a father of their way, he was not much different from the Catholic church and he too had beliefs that are not in accordance with scripture. He came to hate Jews because they continued to believe that Torah is to be obeyed. He also wrote contrary to the scriptures which say to resist sin.[90] Nevertheless, scripture shows that the leaders of these churches will be judged if they continue in this way as will their members who are being led into false beliefs by their own desires (II Peter 2, II Timothy 4:3-4).

Reliance on the new testament as a guide for life as a result of the incorrect belief that all of the commandments needed for righteous living are contained within it or arbitrarily choosing to follow some of the Torah while believing other parts are abrogated is misguided as opposed to studying all of the Torah and the rest of the Tanakh and understanding the new testament as expanding on the Torah, prophets, and writings. James 2:10 echoes the words of Matthew 5:16-20 and shows that the Torah stands or falls as a whole. Parts of it cannot be separated. Additionally, the Tanakh is the basis for the new testament whose gospels, letters, and prophecies are filled with quotations from the Torah and other books of the Tanakh. The Torah shows that a man is righteous if he observes it and says that he will be blessed because of his observance (i.e. he will live in it). Yeshua the Messiah is the one perfect example of this. The Torah also shows that the Messiah is the One who brings forgiveness to His people when they accept His free gift and return to good works.

The new testament contains numerous explanations and magnifications of the Tanakh, but does not contain all of the Torah necessary to guide mankind. The rejection of Torah leads to confusion for those who say they believe in God, but have different belief systems because their denominations are different and it does not promote good works. For example, in the late 20th century, the term What Would Jesus Do (WWJD) came into popularity and even had some effect in raising awareness in mainstream culture. Its purpose is to show the love of God by the actions of those who say they believe in Him. However, this cause has basically been forgotten because those who claim that they are attempting to follow after the Messiah do not do what He did and does because they do not believe His words (i.e. the word of God - John 1, Matthew 5:16-20). Additionally, the message is muddled by different observances of the numerous denominations. Nevertheless, a significant amount of money has been made by some of those who merchandise the slogan.

Making a Choice

There are two choices that one can make if he considers himself to be religious. He can learn and follow what the scriptures say (cf. James 1:27) and rely on the free gift of forgiveness for sin provided by Yeshua the Messiah when he sins or he can reject the scriptures and take hold of the belief that he or his church gets to decide what God wants him to do. Unfortunately, there are those who have chosen the latter. If that is a man's choice, he should not be judgmental toward others for anything because scripture says that one who is guilty of breaking one part of Torah is guilty of breaking all of it and proper judgment cannot be made if one is unrepentant of his own sin (James 2:10, Matthew 7:1-5). If it is acceptable to "observe the sabbath" on another day than that commanded by the scriptures and not worship on the day commanded in the Ten Words, then it has to be acceptable to change or nullify any other commandment. If one can eat whatever he desires, he should be able to do anything else that he desires. The man who rightly claims that God does not allow him to do whatever he wants must accept that the scriptures command observance of all things commanded in the Torah. He must also accept that it was observed in new testament times by believers in Yeshua the Messiah because He specifically said that none of it will pass until heaven and earth pass. Scripture is either true and all of it must be followed by the believer or it is simply a collection of interesting stories and the man who thinks that he is religious can decide what he believes God wants from him. There is no other choice.

Of course, any group functioning with the belief that every man decides what is right will eventually disintegrate. It is anarchy. This problem continues to grow in the western world especially as people reject any semblance of morality at an increasing rate. This does not sit well with those in modern day churches who say that they subscribe to a belief of sola scriptura, but do not follow it. Nevertheless, since the scriptures show that the Torah is for mankind until heaven and earth pass and that one sin makes a man guilty of the entire Torah, the solution is to repent from dead works and ask forgiveness for one's sins and take hold of the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah who died gladly for sin after living His life perfectly according to the Torah which He gave to mankind. This is accompanied by learning and following that Torah along with the rest of the scriptures in pursuit of becoming like Him; that is, like God.

This is a great step for one to take because Torah observance makes one quite different from the rest of the world. A look at the Jews and how they have been treated over time shows this. Some may fear being placed in such a situation. Perhaps one might lose his job, he might be rejected by family and friends, or subjected to ridicule (Matthew 10:35-39). After taking the time to read through the scriptures and learn what God wants His people to do while putting aside the teachings of men, he might still reject them because he has had good friends or relatives who have passed who adhered to the traditions of the mainstream churches and who he would now have to believe are in hell burning forever in agony because they did not follow the scriptures. As noted regarding Romans 10 and 11, Hebrews 11, and also in many other scriptures, this belief is not scriptural.

Another reason that one might continue to abide by the traditions of men is that he has done so for so long and feels that he is blessed or that there is no way that he could have been wrong for so many years (cf. Proverbs 14:12). The gospels show in numerous places that this particular attitude was held by some, including religious leaders (e.g. Matthew 23, specifically verses 27-39). This problem was not new in the time of the Messiah. When carefully read, Ezekiel 20 shows that many in Israel continually failed to follow God. In this chapter, it shows that they wanted to enquire of God, but He rejected them because they would not follow His commandments. God tells Ezekiel to inform these people that He will not listen to them and for them to stop polluting His name with their evil deeds (cf. Proverbs 28:9). He also says that (eventually) He will take them and teach them to serve Him. Like those people, there are modern christians who believe that they know what God wants of them, even though His Torah (Word) tells them to act differently. Also, the scriptures say that man is given things by God whether he is just or unjust (Matthew 5:45), that he is to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4), and that He will give His greatest blessings to those who obey Him (Deuteronomy 33:26-29). They also show that God understands that those who are His are not yet perfect and do sometimes sin. His perfect grace brings them back to righteousness through the one and only sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah when they repent from wrongdoing, return to obedience, and request His mercy.

Additionally, some may choose not to observe the Torah because it is "Jewish." Unfortunately, there are still those who simply do not like Jews. While not openly discriminating against them, they stereotype Jews and blame them for the crucifixion of the Messiah. Jews certainly were responsible for the crucifixion, but so were the Romans (gentiles). Paul clearly speaks against this type of judgment in Romans 2:1-3. In fact, the scriptures show that anyone who sins is responsible for the crucifixion because if there is no sin, then there is no need for the sacrifice freely offered by the Savior. Furthermore, Yeshua the Messiah was obviously born, lived, and died a Jew and fully upheld the Torah that He gave to them and the other tribes of Israel. In fact, He is King of the Jews and King of kings (Matthew 2:2, John 19:19-22, Revelation 17:14, 19:11-16).

Conclusion

As mentioned numerous times in this essay, Matthew 5:16-20 says that none of the Torah will pass until heaven and earth pass. Yeshua the Messiah tells his disciples that they must keep His commandments if they love and believe in Him. Aside from that, there are a number of commandments that the Torah specifically says are perpetual.[91] The believer who comes from the tribes of Israel is bound to follow them. Also, whereas Paul says the Jew and Greek are the same in the Messiah, it must be concluded that the gentile believer must follow what the Torah says just as one who is naturally born of Israel. The following is a list of some of these commandments:

Genesis 17:9-14, Leviticus 12:1-3 - Natural born descendants of Abraham are to be circumcised on the eighth day. If this has not been done, it should be done.

Exodus 12 - Observe the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread with its sabbaths on the first and seventh days.

Exodus 20:9-11, 31:12-17 - Observe the seventh day sanctified sabbath.

Leviticus 3:17 - Do not eat blood or fat.[92]

Leviticus 23:9-21 - Eating new grain (wheat) is prohibited until the beginning of the count of the omer and the command to observe the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost).[93]

Leviticus 23:26-32 - Command to observe Yom Kippur.

Leviticus 23:33-44 - Command to observe the seven day Feast of Sukkot with a sabbath on the first day and command to observe a sabbath feast day after the last day of Sukkot which is called Sh'mini Atzeret (8th day of assembly).[94]

Numbers 15:38-41 - Wear a fringed garment with tassels containing a blue thread (cf. Matthew 9:20-22, 14:36).

Deuteronomy 4:39-40, 5:29, 12:28, 29:29 - Like Matthew 5:16-20, these scriptures state that all of the commandments are to be kept continually.

As noted previously, there are other commands in the Torah that are to be observed "for ever" or perpetually that relate to the levitical priesthood and temple practices. A mainstream belief is that the levitical priesthood has been replaced. It is true that laws relating to temple practice are not in force at this time because there is no temple in Jerusalem. This was the case during the time between the first and second temples. Nevertheless, the believers who lived in that time observed the laws that they could just as believers did after the destruction of the second temple and continue to do today. Additionally, while this essay does not address the topic, the scriptures show that the levitical priesthood will function again.

The Torah is the way of God. Yeshua the Messiah taught it to man so that man can be like Him. The Torah is holy, just, and good. It prophesies about His work. He leads His servants in truth. They work diligently to discern the scriptures like the Bereans and learn how to live the Torah the way He wants them to live and which He lives because He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The Holy Spirit teaches them to forsake the ways of those who do and teach things that God has not commanded whether they are totally opposite of what He says or a situation where a righteous commandment has had its requirements loosened or made so strict as to break it or another commandment. In short, believers follow the Torah because they love and believe in God.

The word of God and the Torah contained within it is a light burden. The believer in God takes on that yoke in faith, hope, and love. The Torah is knowledge and truth. The Torah is spiritual. It is the way, the truth, and the light because it is the way of Yeshua the Messiah (John 14:6-12). The following psalms describe what the Torah (laws, statues, commandments, judgments) that Yeshua (Salvation) the Messiah (Anointed) gave to Israel accomplishes in His people.

Psalm 19

1To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 7The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Psalm 119[95]

1ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. 3They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 4Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 5O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 6Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 7I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 8I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. 9BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. 10With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 12Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. 13With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. 14I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. 15I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. 16I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. 17GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. 18Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. 19I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me. 20My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times. 21Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments. 22Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies. 23Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. 24Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors. 25DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. 26I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes. 27Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. 28My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. 29Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. 30I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. 31I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame. 32I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. 33HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. 34Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 36Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. 37Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. 38Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. 39Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. 40Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness. 41VAU. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. 42So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. 43And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. 44So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. 45And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. 46I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. 47And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. 48My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. 49ZAIN. Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. 50This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. 51The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law. 52I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself. 53Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law. 54Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. 55I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law. 56This I had, because I kept thy precepts. 57CHETH. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words. 58I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word. 59I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. 60I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. 61The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law. 62At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. 63I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. 64The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes. 65TETH. Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word. 66Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments. 67Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. 68Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. 69The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart. 70Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law. 71It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. 72The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. 73YOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. 74They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. 75I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. 76Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. 77Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. 78Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts. 79Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies. 80Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed. 81CAPH. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. 82Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? 83For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes. 84How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? 85The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law. 86All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. 87They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. 88Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth. 89LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. 90Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 91They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants. 92Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. 93I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. 94I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts. 95The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. 96I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. 97MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. 98Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. 100I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. 101I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. 102I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. 103How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. 105NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 106I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. 107I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word. 108Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments. 109My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law. 110The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts. 111Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. 112I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end. 113SAMECH. I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. 114Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. 115Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. 116Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. 117Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. 118Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood. 119Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies. 120My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. 121AIN. I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors. 122Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me. 123Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness. 124Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes. 125I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. 126It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law. 127Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. 128Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. 129PE. Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. 130The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. 131I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments. 132Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. 133Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. 13Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts. 135Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes. 136Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law. 137TZADDI. Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments. 138Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. 139My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. 140Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. 141I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts. 142Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. 143Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights. 144The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. 145KOPH. I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes. 146I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. 147I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word. 148Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. 149Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment. 150They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law. 151Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth. 152Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. 153RESH. Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law. 154Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word. 155Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes. 156Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments. 157Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. 158I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word. 159Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness. 160Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. 161SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. 162I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. 163I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love. 164Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. 165Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. 166LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. 167My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. 168I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee. 169TAU. Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word. 170Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word. 171My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes. 172My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. 173Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts. 174I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight. 175Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. 176I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.


Footnotes

1The Tanakh is the name for the sections of the old testament containing the law, prophets, and writings which are called the Torah, Naviim, and Ketuvim in Hebrew. This study uses the King James or Authorized Version of the Bible (KJV) unless otherwise noted. Some of the passages cited contain version notes within the verses. This version was chosen because there is no limit to its use in other works and it is probably the most well-known version of the Bible. Regarding the belief held by some that the parts of the law (Torah) that relate to so-called ceremonial functions are abrogated, it will be shown in this essay that parts of the Torah that are not ceremonial are still believed to be abrogated by modern churches.

2Bing image search for Ten Commandments.

3The name Yeshua used in this essay is an alternative form of the name Yahoshua used in the Second Temple period. See the Wikipedia article on the name Yeshua. It is written as Jeshua in the KJV. In Hebrew, He is called Yeshua haMoshiach. Yeshua is a word meaning salvation as can be seen when using a concordance or lexicon. Genesis 49:18 is the first occurrence of this word (more specifically, a form of it) in the scriptures followed by Exodus 14:13 and 15:2. Other Hebrew words that are translated salvation are t'shua and yesha. When studying the scriptures regarding salvation, this name reminds the listener/reader that the Messiah is named for what He does (e.g. Psalm 62:6). haMoshiach means "the anointed". Thus, the name Yeshua the Messiah means "Salvation the Anointed."

4See also Luke 16:17. The Greek word for law or Torah is νόμον (nomon - from nomos).

5See Exodus 12:38.

6Obviously, there is more that must be fulfilled.

7The concept of baptism was not new in the time of the Messiah. Matthew 3:11 shows that John was baptizing. In Judaism, the body of water or bath used for this purpose is called the mikveh.

8See also Matthew 7:1-5

9Unfortunately, judges sometimes make law which goes against the Constitution and the country suffers from it.

10Examples of the way of the Messiah are found in Matthew 12:8 and Luke 4:16. An example of the way of the apostle Paul is found in Acts 17:1-2.

11The 14th day of the month was the day that the actual killing of the lamb or goat occurred. After sundown of that day, the eating of that sacrifice along with bread and bitter herbs and wine brought in the feast of unleavened bread on the 15th day of the month.

12Genesis 7:1-4 shows that the length of time that rain would fall came to Noah directly from God.

13A discussion of new testament Greek is found here with the discussion of verbs here. The relevant sections are titled Grammatical Voice of Verbs, Verbal Moods, and Verb Tenses.

14Neusner, Jacob (1988). The Mishnah : A New Translation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press., section Pesahim 4:1 "A Where they are accustomed to do work on the eve of Passover up to noon, they do so. B Where they are accustomed not to do so, they do not do so. C He who goes from a place in which they do work to a place in which they do not do work, D or from a place in which they do not do work to a place in which they do do work E they lay upon him the strict rules followed in the place from which he has gone forth and the strict rules followed in the place to which he has gone. F But a person should not vary [from the local custom] so as [to avoid] contentiousness." In Jerusalem which is the only place that the sacrifice can be slaughtered, normal work would cease around noon as the work of completing the removal of leaven and preparation for the sacrifices would be well underway. Additionally, see Chapter 11 - The Passover, section Time of its Commencement from The Temple: Its Ministry and Services by Alfred Edersheim.

15The Jewish custom is that the sabbath day ends when three stars are visible. This is not to say that this is exactly how it was judged to have ended in second temple times. The Jews of that period did not have the near exact time of sunset as does the modern world and weather and topography could affect the ability to determine the end of the day. There was certainly a period of time after the sunset when the sabbath was deemed to have ended. See section "A Typical Shabbat" at Judaism 101.

16If there is a Good Friday to which the scriptures point, the day on which the apostles received the Holy Spirit is a worthy candidate as Pentecost was on the sixth day of the week that year, but that feast is not restricted to one day of the week. An essay on the Feast of Pentecost is found on this site in the article Counting the Feast of Weeks with further information in the article The Meaning of the Waved Firstfruits of Barley - A Re-examination.

17Matthew 15 describes the same event, but does not include the section stating the He "declared all foods clean".

18The Greek word bdelugma (Greek root: βδέλυγμα) is usually translated abomination in English and is found in the Greek old testament (Septuagint, LXX) in Leviticus 11:10, 12, 13, 23, 41, 42, and Deuteronomy 14:3 regarding things not considered by God to be food for humans. It is found a number of other times in the old and new testaments either as the root or a form thereof. Some examples of its use in the LXX are Leviticus 18:22-23, Leviticus 20:13, Deuteronomy 17:1-5, 18:9, 32:16, Proverbs 12:22, 15:8-9, 15:26, II Kings 23:13 (IV Kings in the LXX), Isaiah 66:3, 66:17, Jeremiah 16:18, 32:35, Ezekiel 8:10, 15, Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11. In the new testament, some examples include Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14, Luke 16:15, Revelation 17:4-5, 21:27. Note: The LXX has a different chapter and verse layout in some cases. An online copy of the Brenton translation of the Septuagint is found here. A site which provides a search for individual verses is found here.

19See footnote 5 for Acts 10:2 in the NET Bible. When the page loads, click on footnote 5 in verse 2 on the left side to view the note on the right. Some may point to the Noachide Laws as binding for gentiles without the various other laws outlined in scripture. This concept evidently came into being at a later date and was not considered to be all encompassing by some. See the pdf from Torah Resource. A local copy of the pdf is here.

20See Deuteronomy 21:20, Proverbs 23:20-21, Matthew 11:19, and Luke 7:34. The Messiah was accused of being a glutton and a winebibber. Obviously, both are sinful. However, eating food is necessary and alcoholic beverages are acceptable for believers if consumed, like food, in moderation. Also, wine can be good for the body (I Timothy 5:23).

21Some of the "food" that some do not believe is clean is found here with other links to specific animals. This article contains information regarding some animals that are acceptable for human consumption according to the scriptures. In some cultures and religions, they are forbidden. This shows that people do have a belief regarding things that are suitable or unsuitable for human consumption. Warning: Some of the pictures and descriptions may be deemed unsuitable for some.

22The following links show that some people eat blood. Given some of the countries in which these people live, it is clear that at least some of these people consider themselves to be christian. In fact, food that contains blood is even eaten on Christmas by some. See Black pudding, Blood as food, Full breakfast. Again, some of the pictures and descriptions may be deemed unsuitable for some.

23The connection of what is considered food and what actions are holy including religious observances is connected by the command for God's people to be holy as seen in Leviticus 11:45, Leviticus 19:2-4, and Leviticus 20:1-7. This then means that things that are not suitable for human consumption and observances that are idolatrous are also connected as shown in Isaiah 66.

24While this essay does not cover these topics, it must be noted that the observances of Christmas and Easter were brought into the "new church" in the time after scripture was written. However, at least some of the observances of these two feasts were practiced long before that. That both observances contain practices that are unscriptural, regardless of the intent of those who observe such practices, is clear. First, the teaching of the myth of Santa Claus who is given characteristics that are only possessed by God (in the sense that behavior can be seen from afar) such as the ability to know what someone is doing (He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you're awake), as well as the ability to know behavior (He knows if you've been bad or good), and the directive to have good behavior or suffer punishment (i.e. not receiving the desired gifts). See also Jeremiah 10:1-5. The Messiah was not born on December 25. Nevertheless, pagans believed the sun was reborn on this day because it began to rise higher in the sky at this time of year. Second, the English Easter is possibly associated through Germanic custom with Astarte called Ashtoreth in the KJV. This goddess is connected with fertility. Eggs and rabbits are symbols associated with Easter. Additionally, the mythical Easter bunny is the one who delivers such gifts to the recipients which are normally children. Some insist that Easter and Astarte are not connected. Even if this is the case, these symbols have nothing to do with the resurrection of the Messiah. The scriptures clearly point to Him as the Passover which was sacrificed for the salvation of believers. The asherah pole which is usually translated groves in the KJV is connected to tree worship and the goddess Asherah. The queen of heaven in Jeremiah 7:18 and chapter 44 is also associated with Asherah. Some submit that the old testament writers conflated Astarte and Asherah. Regardless, whether they are separate entities or one in the same, they are associated with idolatry. Furthermore, Ezekiel 8:15-16 in the Septuagint (vs. 15 uses the Greek word often translated as abomination - see footnote 18) shows that the custom of praying toward the rising sun is associated with idolatry and it is certainly not useful to substitute such a practice for scriptural commandments given that the Messiah was not resurrected at or near sunrise on the first day of the week. While it is obvious that His resurrection was shown to be evident on the first day of the week, scripture shows that He was resurrected on the sanctified seventh day of the week. Additionally, since the Torah commands all of Israel and those who attach themselves to it as Abraham's children to observe the commandments perpetually, including those regarding sabbaths (feasts), and scripture indicates that the observance of practices from other cultures along with or in replacement of those that are commanded is looked upon unfavorably by God, and that divergent practices of Jews and gentile believers who are saved by the same sacrifice are also against the scriptures (there is neither Jew nor Greek... - Galatians 3:28-29, Colossians 3:11), the conclusion must be drawn that observance of what the scriptures say to do is the intent of the Creator. Finally, there is no reason to tell children who are said to be like those of the kingdom of heaven stories related to religion that are untrue to induce them into good behavior when the scriptures provide the direction needed for proper upbringing (cf. Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Deuteronomy 11:13-21, Proverbs 22:6, Matthew 18:1-6, Luke 18:15-17, and Revelation 21:8). Despite the lack of scriptural proof for both of these christian observances which include specific practices which are not scriptural, they are probably the two times of year when most christians focus on their religious observances.

25Rending.

26Amos 9:11-12 is different in the Hebrew Masoretic (MT) compared to the Greek Septuagint (LXX). See Amos 9:11-12 in the LXX. The account in Acts 15:15-17 is one example in the new testament where evidence is found that shows a difference in the Hebrew scriptures in the time around the second temple period compared to what became the MT which was finalized sometime between the 7th and 10th centuries. The Dead Sea scrolls indicate that some versions of the Hebrew scriptures of the second temple times are quite similar to the MT. See Masoretic Text and Septuagint.

27Numbers 15:14-16 shows that gentiles are allowed to give offerings in the temple at Jerusalem. Because of the restriction on entering the temple, these offering must have been brought as far as the court of the gentiles and then taken to the altar by someone who was circumcised. Information about the court of the gentiles may be found here (see Court of the Gentiles), here (see Could people who weren't Jewish go to the Temple?), and here.

28Numbers 6:18 indicates that the hair of the Nazir is to be cut at the temple. Yet, Paul's actions are evidently acceptable. The Mishnah (Neusner) Nazir 6:8 D says that "And if he cut it off in the provinces, he would [in any event] cast it under the cauldron." Also, 6:8 H says, "R. Meir says, 'All cast hair under the cauldron except only for one who was unclean [and who cut off his hair outside the Temple] in the provinces'."

29There is indication that another meal was eaten. It was at least eaten by Paul, but others may have also eaten.

30There is one more possibility for timing. If Luke is using Jewish timing and the coming together happened near the end of the first day of the week, then anything that occurred after the sunset of that day would have occurred in the second day of the week. This would include most of the preaching. Also, the term "breaking bread" does not necessarily mean a meal with religious connotations. It certainly can include that as is shown by this fellowship meal. That is not always the case. Also, the Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 5, 1992, p. 855 provides commentary on these events.

31Acts 12:1-5 shows that Peter was in prison and that Herod had decided to keep him there until Passover had past. However, he was miraculously released. The term Passover here is a reference to the entire seven day feast of unleavened bread as shown in verse 3. Also, the KJV uses the word "Easter" here. This is simply a deliberate mistranslation of the same Greek word that is translated Passover every other place it occurs. The translators of the King James Version were evidently trying to obfuscate the fact that the Torah commandment to observe the Passover was something that believers in Yeshua the Messiah described in scripture were obviously doing even after His resurrection and ascension.

32Paul's reference to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers is a reference to the Torah which is perfect, not to the traditions of men which are obviously imperfect.

33Paul's admission that he has done wrong shows that he believes that the Torah is in force (Acts 23:5, Exodus 22:28). Moreover, it also shows that the priesthood that is commanded by Torah is valid even after the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of the Messiah. This evidence is rejected by some today.

34The Greek verb translated "am" in Paul's statement in verse 6 is indicative active present. The description of present tense in the indicative mood at ntgreek.org shows that Paul continues to be a Pharisee at that time. Also, he is not shown to be a liar in the scriptures.

35Emphasis is added by the author. There is no change of the Torah prophesied in the Torah, the Tanakh, or by Yeshua the Messiah. Paul is admitting that he follows the Torah given to Israel in this passage. The "heresy" (according to unbelievers) to which he is referring is the doctrine of Yeshua the Messiah.

36Here again, Paul is referencing Torah and not the tradition of men.

37Desecration of the sabbath brings the penalty of death (Exodus 31:12-18, Numbers 15:32-36).

38Psalm 35:13 shows that one humbles himself with fasting. Yom Kippur (Day of Covering, or Atonement) is a day of humbling oneself so that the believer grows toward being one with God (Leviticus 23:26-32). Deuteronomy 11:13-14 describes the periods of rain that come to the land of Israel by the plan of God. Obedience to His Torah provides the blessing of rain which provides an abundance of crops. One of the periods of rain comes after the fall feast season is complete.

39It should be noted again that the "legalists" include Paul, James, Peter, and all of the believers mentioned in Acts.

40See Leviticus chapter 4, specifically, verses 2-3, 13-14, 22-23, 27-28. See also Leviticus 5:17-19.

41Paul is quoting or alluding to Psalm 5:9, 10:7, 14:1-3, 36:1, 140:3, and Isaiah 59:7-8.

42See Psalm 143:1-2.

43See Psalm 32:1-2.

44This obviously means that the Torah has been in force from the beginning. If this is not so, then the human population who lived up to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai was treated unfairly by God because they died. Certainly not all of the Torah was in force from the beginning. Some of its statutes and judgments came later. The animal sacrifices added to it because of the sin of Israel in the wilderness show this. Nevertheless, the sanctified seventh day sabbath was instituted during the creation week.

45Genesis 18:10, 21:12, 25:23, Exodus 9:13-16, 33:19, Deuteronomy 29:21-23, Isaiah 1:9, 10:21-23, 13:19, Jeremiah 49:17-18, 50:40, Hosea 1:10, 2:23, Amos 4:11, Malachi 1:2-3.

46See Isaiah 64:6.

47See Zechariah 8:19. The observance of Yom Kippur is enjoined by Torah. Paul's statement in Romans 14:5-6 is not intended to mean that the fast of Yom Kippur is optional. Although his ministry focuses on the grace made possible by the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah, he is clearly Torah observant and teaches that it must be observed. Also, Luke references this commanded feast in Acts 27:9. The other fasts, including the fast of the seventh month (Gedaliah) to which Paul is referring here along with more not mentioned in Zechariah, come from accepted tradition. A description of these fasts is found here. See also Matthew 9:14-15. The Messiah fasted (Matthew 4:1-2), as did His disciples (Matthew 17:20-21). Matthew 9 is not saying that they never fasted.

48This is called Bishul Akum. See here also.

49The versions which show the Greek and English for Romans 14:14 may be viewed in PDF (local copy) and other formats at houseofdavidfellowship.com in the archive for July 2, 2011 titled "Romans 14: Fraud in Translation Part 1". See slides (pages) 80-127. This site has an extensive series about the topic of clean and unclean foods that relates not only to Romans 14, but to Matthew 15, Mark 7, Acts 10, I Timothy 4, and other scriptures. See the articles from July 2nd through September 17th, 2011. The presentations include video, PDF documents, and PowerPoint slides (It is not necessary to have Microsoft PowerPoint installed to view).

50This statement by Paul is quite interesting given that some judge others that are clearly not in the body of believers. They are quite sure that people including many notorious criminals are suffering punishment while burning in hell. However, this concept is not scriptural.

51The Shema is part of the services of Jews and believers in the Messiah. It comes from Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Deuteronomy 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37-41. After Deuteronomy 6:4, the phrase "Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever" is added. The Shema commands the believer to teach the Torah to his children continually.

52The Torah forbade Israel from giving their daughters and sons in marriage to those in the promised land because they would be led away from the way of God. See Exodus 34:14-16, Deuteronomy 7:2-4. See also Amos 3:3. Today, this, along with Paul's statements, is understood as a warning about marrying an unbeliever because of serious problems that may occur. No matter what one believes, it is logical that a marriage should be made between individuals who are compatible, especially regarding beliefs that are strongly held. When two people with different religious beliefs marry, it is difficult to have a marriage in which children are raised in truth and then continue to practice the way of God as adults. It can be done, but it is evidently quite rare.

53Paul's teaching companion Timothy is an example of this. His mother and grandmother were believers according to scripture. Evidently, his father was not. Nevertheless, Timothy's mother had done what Paul says to do in that she raised her son in a godly way.

54Believers are to be a light to the world. See Matthew 5:14-16, 10:27, Luke 11:33-36 and compare Matthew 6:22-23.

55See Matthew 7:13-14.

56Some religious teachers teach that the Torah has been nullified and some even teach that the Messiah rejected it. Others teach that He did follow it so that others would not have to do so. They also teach that the believers in the early assembly did not follow the Torah and usually use Paul as "proof" of this. Some of these teachers are rewarded handsomely for their "work in the gospel." For the most part, modern churches spend far more on themselves than they do in spreading the gospel. Most modern churches spend significantly more money paying themselves, producing programs (not necessities) for those who are supposedly already saved, and building or maintaining structures than on spreading the gospel. This is interesting given the widespread belief that there are many people throughout the world that are lost and will be punished forever if they do not accept the gospel. These leaders are certainly different from the godly teachers that are described in the scriptures. A study on church budget priorities conducted for Christianity Today is found here. See page 8 for a breakdown of expenses.

57The book of Exodus shows that the same God who spoke to Moshe showed Himself to Moshe and called Himself the name of God. See Exodus 33:12 - 34:10. That same God is the One who protected Israel as it crossed the Red Sea (Exodus 14:13-31) and it is the same God who spoke in all of the other books of the Torah. He says that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not know Him by the name that Moshe knew Him (Exodus 6:2-3). Nevertheless, the same God spoke with these men.

58The account of the last Passover before the crucifixion of the Messiah is found in Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26, and Luke 22:7-30.

59In the new testament, the Greek word translated shame with regard to women's hair (11:6) is also used in chapter 14:35. It is used again in Ephesians 5:12 where Paul writes that it is a shame to even discuss the unfruitful works of darkness. In the new testament, the Greek word translated shame with regard to men's hair is only used here (11:14) in this particular form. Another form of it is used in other places in scripture such as II Corinthians 6:8 and is often translated dishonor. Different forms of this word are also used in the Septuagint and it is translated using different words (e.g. Proverbs 11:2, 12:16).

60In some English translations, verse 38 reads something like, "But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant." The words translated is ignorant and be ignorant are not adjectives. They are verbs. The concept of this verse should be understood as, "But if anyone be ignorant, let him be ignored." The New American Standard and New Revised Standard versions translate this verse with this understanding. Scripture shows that Paul does not support the right to speak in the assembly (which is teaching according to the context of this chapter, particularly verses 23-32) by someone who does not accept the commandments of God (the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, i.e. they are in control of themselves and act properly). Along with his message of the forgiveness of sin made possible by the Messiah, he worked to teach others to act properly and refrain from wrongdoing. See also verse 37 and compare with I Samuel 2:30. Thus, one who does not act properly is not recognized. Additionally, his statement in verses 24-25 indicates that one who is unlearned (does not understand, uninformed, i.e. ignorant) learns truth and thus, is no longer ignorant. Lastly, the New American Standard version of the scriptures in the BibleWorks for Windows version 5 application has a version note for this verse that states that "Two early mss read 'is not to be recognized.'" Lastly, the Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament (Friberg) gives the meaning of the Greek word including its use in verse 38 as follows: "(1) as lacking mistaken, be in error, not understand (HE 5.2); (3) as due to inexcusable moral ignorance disregard, fail to understand (RO 10.3); (4) as refusal to pay attention ignore (1C 14.38)." An essay regarding proper action in the assembly is available on this site here.

61See Exodus 20:8-11 and Nehemiah 13:15-21 and compare with Luke 13:10-17 and Luke 14:1-6. The blessing of proper sabbath observance is shown in Isaiah 56:1-7 and 58:13-14. Additionally, because of the incorrect opinion that the seventh day sabbath is oppressive to those who observe it because they cannot work to earn money or play games, some might take this to mean that intimate relations with one's spouse are forbidden. However, scripture only places restrictions on this activity for other reasons. For example, one would not go into the area of the temple until he/she had followed the commandments in Leviticus 15:16-18. Intimacy is a gift of God to mankind that produces children and provides a proper expression for two people who have become one. Jewish sages including Maimonides believed that it is appropriate at any time (except, of course, during times prohibited by the Torah). Paul, with permission from God, encourages intimacy between spouses to the point that refraining from it should be done by agreement between the spouses and in times of fasting and prayer as shown in I Corinthians 7:3-6 (this would include Yom Kippur). Given the significant human desire for such an activity, one would assume that a commandment to refrain on the sabbath would have been given if God wanted man to refrain from it. Unfortunately, there seem to be married couples (either one or both) who go to great lengths to avoid this activity at all times and not only on the sabbath. Too many modern christians still seem to be negatively affected by the incorrect belief that intimacy is dirty. This has been promulgated for years by those who claim to be religious authorities. Finally, in some places, blue laws prohibit the sale of certain products like alcohol on the first day of the week. As shown in the scriptures, alcohol consumption is not wrong. Additionally, the only time when it is prohibited by scripture to sell or buy alcohol on the first day of the week is when one of the yearly sanctified sabbath days occurs on that day. As is the usually the case in such situations, those who do not observe the scriptural sabbaths have little understanding of them.

62This condition is explained clearly in the judgment of Pharisees by the Messiah in Matthew 23 (specifically verses 23-28) and describes those who have continual sin which they do not address while sitting in judgment of others.

63Nevertheless, a return to observance of Torah along with acceptance of the free gift of grace will bring a person back into right standing with God.

64See Deuteronomy 28:1-14.

65This is truly amazing given the creation. See Isaiah 40.

66There are several examples in the scriptures where some thought that what they were doing was pleasing to God when it was against what He said to do or that they could act differently than what they said they would do. The golden calf at Sinai was made for a "feast to the LORD" (Exodus 32:1-10). The children of Israel were defeated at Ai because one man did not follow the directives which God had given them (Joshua 7:1-12). Saul was rejected as king of Israel when he did not utterly destroy Amalek (I Samuel 15:1-29). Ananias and Sapphira held back money from something that they sold after agreeing to give all they had received for the use of all the believers. They were struck dead by God because He accepted the group's decision and these two individuals reneged on their commitment and then lied about it (Acts 4:32-5:10). See also Proverbs 14:12.

67The saying, "You can't have your cake and eat it too." comes to mind here. If the sabbath has been nullified, then it cannot be moved to another day.

68Some versions such as the New International Version translate verse 17 as, "These are a shadow of the things that were to come..." The verb should be translated "are" because the Greek morphology shows that it is indicative present active. Additionally, the phrase "were to come" is illogical. The things that the scriptures say are to come are still going to occur (cf. Isaiah 55:8-11). Other translations insert the word "mere" or "only" like the New Living Translation which says, "For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come..." and the New American Standard Version which says, "things which are a mere shadow of what is to come..." in an attempt to lessen the importance of these observances. The bias of the translators in each of these instances is clear when one compares them to the Greek. Also, a discussion of the time schemes in Galatians 4:10 and Colossians 2:16 may be found here from the article Martin, Troy "Pagan and Judeo-Christian Time-Keeping Schemes in Gal 4.10 and Col 2.16," New Testament Studies 42 (1996): 105-119. Copyright statements for the NIV - "THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®, NIV ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide." NLT - "Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved." NASB - "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971, 1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."

69A sports analogy that fits the concept of these verses held by some is one where a team practices international football (soccer) in preparation for an American football game.

70One example is found in Plutarch's De Superstitione. On the page linked, open the Greek text by clicking "load" on the line titled Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1888). Locate footnote 4 in the Greek text and notice that this manuscript uses the Greek word for immersions (baptismous). Click footnote 4 which shows the alternate text, found in other manuscripts of this work, is the word sabbatismous. In the English text on the left in the last paragraph that begins with [p. 171], the first line is translated using, "keeping of sabbaths." Another example of this word is found in The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis. The English translation by Frank Williams translates the Greek word sabbatismos as "Sabbath observance." A screenshot of the relevant page is here and is seen in section 32,1 of page 148 in an online copy of this book available here Note: this page may or may not be available because of restrictions place on use of Google Books. A screenshot of the Greek text is found here. An online copy of the Greek text is found here. When the page finishes loading, use the search function of your internet browser (usually CTRL f) and type in the number 32 followed by a period. The first selection that is found shows "sabbatismos" as the seventh word. Note: some browsers may not show the Greek text properly. This can usually be corrected by selecting view, then selecting encoding, and switching it to UTF-8. Another example of a form of this word is found in Dialogue of Justin versus Trypho with an English translation here. An image of the Greek text with 3 instances of words relating to sabbath is here which shows a form of the word sabbatismos as the third instance. The English text at CCEL translates this form of the word sabbatismos as "observance of Sabbaths." It is interesting to note that Justin, as the footnote (see XXIII) in the Greek text indicates, entirely misses the fact that the sanctified seventh day sabbath was instituted at creation and observed by the Creator (God). In Genesis 2:2, the Hebrew word used for God here is Elohim. It is the plural form of the singular El. Many times in English translations when one reads the word God in the Tanakh, it is translated from the plural form of the Hebrew word. Furthermore, while Jeremiah 7 says that more sacrifices were added after Israel sinned, Justin also says that sacrifice and feasts did not come until Moshe. It is clear that sacrifice came about much earlier (e.g. Abel, Noah, Abraham) and scripture indicates that feasting was in place before the time of Moshe because Genesis 18-19 show that Abraham feasted with the three men and that Lot feasted with two of them. Additionally, they ate unleavened bread (19:3). Of course, this points to the Passover and feast of unleavened bread which clearly memorializes protection of obedient believers by God and destruction of those who would harm those believers which is exactly what happened in the case of Lot and his daughters with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. A number of scholars believe that Justin created Trypho as a foil. The overlooking of the observance of the seventh day sabbath and feasts prior to the Mosaic law by Justin and the lack of response by Trypho showing that indeed such observances took place does lend credence to the opinion of these scholars. Regardless of whether or not Trypho actually existed, Justin's statements show that he was ignorant of what the scriptures say, particularly given that Exodus 20:8-11 commands Israel to remember the day which was hallowed during the creation week. Additionally, comments from the Anchor Bible Dictionary Volume 5, 1992, (pp. 855-856) regarding the meaning of sabbatismos state the following: "The words 'sabbath rest' translate the [Greek] noun sabbatismos, a unique word in the NT. This term appears also in Plutarch ... for sabbath observance, and in four post-canonical Christian writings ... for seventh day 'sabbath celebration.'" Anchor continues with an explanation of the context: "The author of Hebrews affirms in Hebrews 4:3-11, through the joining of quotations from Genesis 2:2 and Psalm 95:7, that the promised 'sabbath rest' still anticipates a complete realization 'for the people of God' in the ... end-time which had been inaugurated with the appearance of Jesus [Hebrews] 1:1-3 ... Also, "The experience of 'sabbath rest' points to a present 'rest' (katapausis) reality in which those 'who have believed are entering' (4:3) and it points to a future 'rest' reality (4:11). Physical sabbath-keeping on the part of the new covenant believer as affirmed by 'sabbath rest' epitomizes cessation from 'works' (4:10) in commemoration of God's rest at creation (Hebrews 4:4 = Genesis 2:2) and manifests faith in the salvation provided by Christ. Finally, "Hebrews 4:3-11 affirms that physical 'sabbath rest' (sabbatismos) is the weekly outward manifestation of the inner experience of spiritual rest (katapausis) in which the final ... rest is ... experienced already 'today' (4:7). Thus 'sabbath rest' combines in itself creation-commemoration, salvation-experience, and eschaton [end-time] anticipation as the community of faith moves forward toward the final consummation of total restoration and rest." Screenshots of the text are located here and here.

71Melchisedec visited with Abraham and Abraham paid tithes to Him. This is obviously proof that Abraham communed directly with God (Genesis 14:18-20). Abraham also feasted with God Himself at his home in Mamre. In Genesis 18, verses 3, 27, 30, and 32, the MT has changed the Hebrew name of God to Adonai which means "Master". This was done by the scribes and information as to where the name of God was changed in the MT in other passages is found in the 134 Passages Where the Sopherim Altered the name of God To Adonai from Bullinger's Appendices to the Companion Bible. Relevant information contained in item 32 of the table of contents. Local pdf file located here.

72The writer of Hebrews places faith and repentance (return to obedience of God's rules which are outlined in the Torah) on the same level.

73This essay does not attempt to determine that any sin by a believer is a "permanent" rejection of the Messiah. Scripture shows that believers sinned grievously, but were returned to righteousness by the power of God via the gift of grace. King David and Samson are two examples.

74This is taken in this essay to mean until heaven and earth pass as stated by Matthew 5:16-20.

75This is not a topic of this essay, but the scriptures show that the feasts commanded in the Torah will be observed after the return to earth by Yeshua the Messiah and a functioning levitical priesthood will be in the Jerusalem temple.

76As noted previously, Paul says that Moshe and Isaiah preached the gospel of Yeshua the Messiah.

77Some translations add "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth" to I John 5:7-8. These words were added to the scriptures at a later date. See footnote 20 for I John 5:7 at the NET Bible site. Additionally, Matthew 28:19 is also used as a proof for the trinitarian doctrine. F.C. Conybeare's research documented in the Hibbert Journal indicates that Eusebius knew of early manuscripts of Matthew that did not include the words "of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost." This is found in chapter 2 on pages 102-108. The complete volume 1 of the journal may be found here. Regarding the doctrine of the trinity, the Anchor Bible Dictionary states that, "The historical riddle is not solved by Matthew 28:19, since, according to a wide scholarly consensus, it is not an authentic saying of Jesus, not even an elaboration of a Jesus-saying on baptism" (Vol. 1, 1992, page 585). Other scriptures show that new believers were baptized in the name of the Messiah as the gospel was spread around the earth. See Acts 2:38, 8:16 (they were baptized again because they had not received the Holy Spirit, not because they were only baptized in the name of the Messiah), 10:48, 19:5, 22:16, Romans 6:3, I Corinthians 1:13, Galatians 3:27. The trinitarian doctrine which came to be accepted by the Catholic church in the second and third centuries has been accepted by many modern christian churches. The Catholic church admits that, "In order to articulate the dogma of the Trinity, the Church had to develop her own terminology with the help of certain notions of philosophical origin: 'substance', 'person' or 'hypostasis', 'relation' and so on. In doing this, she did not submit the faith to human wisdom, but gave a new and unprecedented meaning to these terms, which from then on would be used to signify an ineffable mystery, 'infinitely beyond all that we can humanly understand.'" See section 251 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Additionally, Martin Luther admits that the concept is not from scripture. See section I of The Holy Trinity at the bottom of page 406 which continues on the next page through the second sentence in number 3. (Google books may not display the pages so a cached version is located here). Luther's comments are interesting in that he says that he does not want that festival to be celebrated in vain while admitting that the word "trinity" is not in the scriptures because it has been invented by men. The word was invented by men because the concept was invented by men as the Catechism of the Catholic Church shows. This essay does not take a position on the question of whether there were later additions to Matthew 28:19. It is noted because that verse is used a a "proof" for the trinity. Genesis 1:26 says that man was made in the image of God (Hebrew: Elohim - plural form of the singular El). A human is made by two other humans. There is no third person. The Holy Spirit is the power and influence of God. God the Father raised Yeshua the Messiah (Emmanuel - God with us) from the dead by that Spirit. In human terms from the aspect of parent as teacher, the function of the Spirit can be described as the influence that parents have over a child even when that child is away from them. This influence is based on what the parents have taught the child. The Shema says that God (Elohim) is one in Deuteronomy 6:4. Thus, Elohim is one in spirit and a man and his wife are one in the flesh (Genesis 2:24). God, aside from the physical creation, creates children of the Spirit and man creates children of the flesh and then teaches them about gifts of the Holy Spirit via that same spirit just as God has taught man about those gifts. Scriptural references regarding God and the power of His Holy Spirit in the new testament include John 20:22-29, Romans 8:11, II Corinthians 4:14, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:19-20, and I Peter 1:18-21.

78Obviously, the Father in heaven is God.

79There is no law against unclean garments stated in the new testament. It only expands this concept. The concept of an unclean garment is detailed in the Torah. Jude's statement is yet another piece of evidence that shows that the Torah is in force in these latter days. See Leviticus 13:47-59 and Leviticus 15.

80Biographical information on Polycarp is found at Wikipedia. Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus wrote about Polycarp and Passover. Eusebius also writes about the disagreement over Passover.

81Biographical information on Polycrates is found at Wikipedia. See footnote 80 directly above for Polycrates' view on Passover. Also, in the time of Polycrates, the observance of Easter was connected with the Passover and Feast of Unleavened bread. The Catholic church later further disconnected its observance of Easter from the scriptural feast of Passover at the First Council of Nicaea.

82The writings of Ignatius are controversial. The shorter version is considered to be what Ignatius wrote. A copy of the Greek text containing the shorter version is available here. Chapter 9 of the letter is available in English here. The first paragraph is the shorter version and the second paragraph is the longer version.

83Information on the use of "day" as opposed the correct "life" is found in "History of the Sabbath and the First Day of the Week by J. N. Andrews." The relevant information is found in chapter 13, section - Ignatius Misquoted. A local link to that section is included in pdf form here along with the footnotes for that section. Also, an English translation of chapter 8 of the letter to the Magnesians is located here. Again, the shorter version is the first paragraph and the longer version the second.

84Manuscripts of Ignatius' letters.

85The ellipsis is used for linguistic cohesion.

86An online copy of these editorials is here. A pdf version that does not contain the December 23, 1893 appendix may be downloaded. Note: This is a large file, please download it only once. These editorials are cited to the extent that they are proof that the change of the sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week was made by Catholic church. This essay does not submit that all statements made in the editorials are true. Also, the Seventh Day Adventist position that the scriptures command observance of the sabbath on the seventh day of the week is correct. That is the extent to which that organization is correct according to this essay. There are a number of other beliefs held by the SDA that are scripturally incorrect and many of the teachings of Ellen G. White are also not scriptural.

87Many of these comments are older and organizations listed may have different beliefs now. Also, some of these writings were read by those of other denominations. Words in parentheses are added for clarity.

88See Daniel 7:25. This has to be a reference to the Catholic church because the changing of the sabbath and feast days was originated by this organization. Unfortunately, most other churches have followed it. Additionally, those who continue to press their leaders as to why the scriptures are not being followed are often banned from the organization. Furthermore, the International Critical Commentary has been used for study for over a hundred years and has contributions from noted religious scholars. It is widely used by protestant teachers. This link leads to the entire commentary on Matthew and goes directly to the pages that show the understanding gained from Matthew 5:16-20. The following links are images of the relevant pages. The yellow lines mark the scripture and the orange lines mark the conclusion of the scholars. Image 1 Image 2. Protestant scholars and teachers know what Matthew 5 is saying. The conclusion is unavoidable.

89The Catholic church has taught and practiced things that are against the scriptures basically throughout its existence and has many times treated those who disagree with it in a horrible and ungodly way. There is a vast collection of information that details the cruelty with which it has treated those it considers heretics and numerous popes, bishops, and leaders are responsible. That church continues to practice things that the scripture clearly warns believers to avoid. For instance, they pray to saints instead of God, although some submit that they are praying with saints. Also, I Timothy 4:1-3 warns that some will forbid marriage and command abstention from food that has been created by God for those who believe to be received with thanksgiving. This is a belief in ascetic practices that have an appearance of wisdom, but which have no value (cf. Colossians 2:20-23). The Catholic church does this. As the article shows, it attempts to use the scriptures as evidence for its traditions. However, the fasts described in the scriptures were undertaken because of tragic events that had occurred, in times of duress, in remembrance of them, or as a commandment (Yom Kippur). Contrarily, the acts of the Catholic church are based on the traditions and calendar of that organization, not scriptural tradition or Torah. This article also shows that the Catholic church accepts as food things that the scriptures forbid, including blood. Additionally, that organization gives titles such as Pope (Latin name for father) and Father to its leaders. The Messiah commands His disciples not to call their religious leaders such names. This was practiced even in His time. Unfortunately, many Jews and others have a similar tradition including calling men Rabbi. This term is defined as "my great one." Yeshua the Messiah is the only Rabbi and there is only one Father in heaven (Matthew 23:8-9). One could easily choose to call a religious leader Moreh which in Hebrew means "teacher." Additionally, while it is not specifically forbidden in scripture, the practice of calling a human Reverend is inappropriate. The Hebrew word that is translated "reverend" (in the KJV - Psalm 111:9) does have the connotation of respect which is a proper action toward someone who is deserving. That word also has the connotation of awe and fear as toward God. He deserves such a title and His name should provoke such a response (Matthew 10:28). However, a sinful human should not be given this type of respect or be given such a name.

90See Martin Luther and antisemitism and Let Your Sins Be Strong - item 13. Compare with Romans 6:1-6. Luther's comments may be meant to be understood that the Messiah is more powerful than sin. While that is true, Luther's comments are not scriptural.

91Once again, this essay submits that the Torah is in effect until heaven and earth pass.

92This does not include all fat. If that were so, virtually no meat could be eaten. The type of fat in question is not a topic of this essay.

93A discussion of this commandment is not a topic of this essay.

94The Feast of Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets, also called Rosh Hashanah or Head of the Year) is not specifically said to be perpetual. Matthew 5:16-20 clearly shows it must be kept. Colossians 2 describes observances of new moons and Yom Teruah occurs on the first day of the seventh month. Moreover, there are other scriptures that show observance of this day in the future (cf. Isaiah 66:23 - This obviously includes observance of the other new moons. The Feast of Yom Teruah is a special sabbath (Numbers 29:1-6, Leviticus 23:23-25) while the other new moons are simply days of the new moon as shown by Numbers 28:11-15).

95Psalm 119 is an acrostic containing all of the Hebrew alef bet. There are numerous references to the goodness of the Torah in this passage and the psalmist writes that he will keep the Torah forever and ever.


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