I found myself caught up in a conversation about the Law (Torah,Instructions from YHWH) recently and wanted to share with you some of what was said. I also would like to say that it was not a profitable conversation and I regret the way it took place. Paul says to “avoid strivings about the Law for they are unprofitable and vain” and this was definitely one of those times.
One section that was brought up was:
Matthew 5:17-19. Think NOT that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am NOT come to destroy, BUT to fulfill. For 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. Whoseover 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 whoseoever shall do and teach , the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
My main question was how that could be ignored. I was told that the Greek word in the verse is LOGOS, which means “The Word”, which I didn’t think was correct, so I came home and looked it up to refresh my memory and it is NOMOS, which means “The Law’. I never did get a solid answer as to how our Messiah could say He did not come to destroy the Law, (not even the smallest dot of the Law) and command us NOT to teach against it, and yet we say He sinned by breaking that Law, He broke the Sabbath of His Father and He came to do away with the Law. How is that different than destroying the Law? I pointed outside that heaven and earth were still there and that until they are not, the Law will not pass away.
A second part of the conversation that stands out to me, was when I was told the Law was given to Israel and I said that we (disciples of the Messiah) are Israel (based on what Paul said about us being grafted in to the Commonwealth of Israel) Someone said, “I thought Israel was grafted in to the Church”. That answer concerns me greatly.
Another person had a list of verses from Deuteronomy saying that the Law was given to the Israelites specifically for when they were going to occupy Israel. Does that mean it is NOT for Jews, unless they are in Israel? Does that mean it IS for Gentiles who are in Israel?
What do we do with all of the “forevers”? (not an exhaustive list)
- Exodus 12:14 This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to YHWH; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
- Exodus 12:17 and you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever.
- Exodus 31:16, 17 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days YHWH made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.
- Leviticus 3:17 It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood.”
What about the following situation?
- 2 Kings 17: 1-21 Israelis are exiled from their land for being disobedient. Yet, while they are in exile and not in their land, they are expected to obey the Law and YHWH sends prophet after prophet to them in this regard.
- 2 Kings 17:22-33 I find this part very interesting. The king of Assyria places people (foreigners) from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim in the land which was promised to Israel and these foreigners are punished by YHWH for not keeping His Law. A priest is brought in to teach them the Torah (Law, Instructions). IF the Law is only for Israel, why were these non-Jewish people punished for not obeying it?
- 2 Kings 17: 34-39 To this day they do according to the former manner. They do not fear YHWH, and they do not follow the statutes or the rules or the Law or the commandment that YHWH commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel. YHWH made a covenant with them and commanded them, “You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, but you shall fear YHWH, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm. You shall bow yourselves to Him, and to Him you shall sacrifice. And the statutes and the rules and the Law and the commandment that He wrote for you, you shall always be careful to do. You shall not fear other gods, and you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not fear other gods, but you shall fear YHWH your Elohim, and He will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.
Part of the covenant to Israel was that they do not fear other gods, bow to them, sacrifice to them… so if ALL the Law was given only to Israel and only while they were in the land, does this not also apply to all who follow YHWH today no matter where they may be? So, does this mean we who are not Israel or who do not live in Israel can worship other gods, sacrifice to them, and serve them? May it never be!
If that is not the case, then how can we pick and choose which Laws were only while they were in the land and which ones were for His people even when they were scattered… or which ones are only for the Jews and which ones are for everyone who follows YHWH?
What about the following verse?
Romans 9:4 They are Israelites. Theirs is the Adoption as sons; theirs the Divine Glory, the Covenants, the receiving of the Law, the Temple Worship and the Promises.
If the Law, the Divine Glory and the Temple Worship, mentioned in this verse, was only for Israel, then why aren’t the Adoption, Covenants, and Promises, also mentioned in this verse, only for them? Shouldn’t it all go together?
And finally, we can see from the following passages that the Law was always intended to be for anyone who joined themselves to Israel.
- Numbers 15:15, 16 For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before YHWH. One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.”
Isaiah 56:1- Thus says YHWH: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon My salvation will come, and My deliverance be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to YHWH say, “YHWH will surely separate me from His people”; and let not the eunuch say,“Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says YHWH: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, who choose the things that please Me and hold fast My covenant, I will give in My house and within My walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.“ And the foreigners who join themselves to YHWH, to minister to Him, to love the name of YHWH, and to be His servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast My covenant—these I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” YHWH Elohim, Who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,“I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”
Isaiah 14:1 YHWH will have compassion on Jacob; once again He will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Strangers will join them and unite with the house of Jacob.
Ezekiel 47:22 You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the strangers who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.
Acts 2:39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom YHWH our Elohim will call.”
Ephesians 2:11-22 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from the Messiah, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without Elohim in the world. BUT now in the Messiah Yeshua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the Law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to Elohim in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of Elohim, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the Messiah Yeshua Himself being the Cornerstone, in Whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a set apart temple in YHWH. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for Elohim by the Spirit
Ephesians 3:2-6 Surely you have heard about the administration of Elohim’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of the Messiah, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to Elohim’s set apart apostles and prophets. This mystery is: that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in the Messiah, Yeshua. –
Below are some recent sermons by modern men who believe we are still to obey the Law.
NOTE: neither of these men are “Messianic”
Joe Morecraft “Biblical Law and Natural Law” (this one has to be purchased, but it is very good)