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    560
    The Babylonian Circus
    Has the Torah Been Abolished?

    NCW 79, April-June 2003

    Churchianity is a world of hundreds of denominations. We rightly shake our heads at the divisions in Christianity because we all know that such divisions shouldn't exist.

    I am reminded a little of a circus with its various entertaining acts. People enjoy going to the circus but I doubt you would want to go every day - perhaps for a short while, especially if it was free. But like most carnal delights we soon get our 'fill'. A kebab may be great at lunch but you wouldn't want one every hour. You would be glutted. And I suppose that's why most people don't like the thought of going to church more than once a week ... those who do go. The majority go for entertainment ('good' music), some to make them feel better (bad conscience for less than saintly behaviour during the week), some because they have to (Dad says so), some to maintain appearances (to ingratiate a Christian boss, maybe), for many other reasons. Going to church is a lit like going to the circus. Indeed, the word 'church' comes from the Latin circe meaning a 'circus'. Appropriate.

    Most people have no idea why they do things and that includes attending church. They never think to question what they are doing. It never occurs to them to check up in their Bibles to find out what 'church' is.

    Let's take something very basic. In any big city you'll find dozens of 'Christian' denominations. They all have Bible translations divided up into 'Old Testaments' and 'New Testaments'. A lot of these churches will tell you they are 'New Testament Churches'. That means they are 'Matthew to Revelation Christians'. What about Genesis to Malachi (the Old Testament)? Aren't they a part of Christianity too? It seems to me that the New Testament is constantly quoting from the Old Testament. And Yah'shua (Jesus) repeatedly upheld every word of the Old Testament. Indeed in His day it wasn't known as the 'Old Testament' - as a matter of fact it wasn't called the 'Old Testament' by the Apostles and first Christians either. They simply called them 'The Scriptures'. And whenever the New Testament writers spoke of the 'Scriptures' or the 'Word' it was always the 'Old Testament' they were referring to! In other words, the first Christians were Old Testament Christians. Getting confused?

    The confusion lies in the fact that we artificially divide up the Bible into two libraries of books - two 'Bibles', in fact (since the word biblos, from which we get our word 'Bible', means a 'library'). Why this artificial division? It's a bit like dividing 'adults' from 'youth' as though they were two separate species of human being.

    I wonder how many times you have been into one of these churches and been told that the Law (Torah) has been abolished - nailed to the Cross? "We have nothing more to do with the Law," someone may smugly tell you. Really? So you scratch your head a while and ask: "Is it OK for me to marry my sister?" A look of horror greets you. "Oh no!" you are told, "that's not allowed!" You frown stroking your chin. "Who says?" you ask puzzled. "Why, God says so!" is the enthusiastic retort. "Where?" you ask, and he thumbs his Old Testament and shows you a passage of Scripture. "But you're quoting the Law at me!" you cry. "You cannot do that! The Law has been abolished - nailed to the cross - we have nothing more to do with the Law!"

    You see, this silly man is following the Law and yet denying that he does all in the same breath. What do we call this? Well, you can choose any number of words you like. I think I will choose 'hypocrisy'.

    People have no idea what they are saying for the most part. They haven't a clue. They parrot some doctrine they're heard in the pulpit and then go and do something completely different. When people say that Torah has been abolished, they are talking nonsense, and they know it ... deep down. They are divided - they believe a lie and attack you if you say we must obey the Law, and then they go and obey it themselves. Well, some of it. In actual fact, they obey only what suits them. If they don't like something, they cry: "The Law has been abolished!" And when they realise they need the Law, the quietly forget their silly anti-Law doctrine.

    The Torah says that I cannot marry my sister. It's in black at white at Leviticus 18:6. It also says a lot of other things too - just read the verses before and after this passage. There are things there modern 'New Testament Christians' really would rather weren't. They would rather that Yahweh had never said these things. They would like to think that He had a case of Alzheimer's Disease and didn't quite get it right that day. And so they must (as they suppose) 'discern' where Yahweh got it wrong and pick out the parts they think are right. A heavy responsibility indeed! I mean, I can just see some people blushing as they read the preceding verse or the one straight after it. Homosexuals, of course, skip right over verse 22.

    Now we really do have to stop playing games, don't we? Who amongst us would possibly dare tell us which parts of Yahweh's Holy Law we should or shouldn't follow? Yah'shua (Jesus) made some modifications as part of His calling to restore Torah to its complete form. He had the right and authority to do that. So if He says we should love our enemies now, we obviously should do that. But if He has not modified any earlier Torah, should we? Dare we?

    This topic sends Christians into cataplexy. It really does. They get 'paralysis of the brain' and something else - which defies all reason (not to mention Scripture) takes over. In case you didn't know, cataplexy is brought about by intense emotion. Brains shut down and hormones take over. They stop reasoning (like Yahweh told Isaiah - 1:18) and they stop proving all things from Scripture (as the much praised Bereans did - Ac.17:10-11; 1 Thes.5:21) but start reasoning from feelings run amok. Now there's always a reason for this, and the reason is simple: the truth hurts. It offends pride. It challenges comfort zones. It exposes weakness, carelessness, laziness, indifference, and other vices people would rather not have exposed. But, really, as Christians, ought this to be our response? Isn't divine correction supposed to bless us? (2 Tim.3:16) Evidently some people do not think so.

    People really ought to stop and think once in a while. It's really quite good for you, you know. Yahweh is a logical Being. He did give us brains with which to think provided we don't try to be more intelligent than Him by disagreeing with Him. So let's think for a while.

    If the Law (Torah) has been abolished, as the great and wise circus masters keep on telling us, then the following statements are true (be sure to check up the scriptures):

    • There is no sin (Rom.3:20; 4:15; 5:13; 7:7-8)

    Oh my! If there is no sin, I can do what I like. If there is no sin, then there was no need for the shedding of blood under the Old Covenant. If there is no need for the shedding of blood, then there is no need for a Messiah - Redeemer - Saviour. So there's no need for Christianity! Oh my!

    So what are those who say we need no Torah (Law) actually telling us? They are telling us that nobody can define sin. If there is no law telling us what sin is, then how can we know? And if we don't know, how can we repent as Yah'shua (Jesus) commanded? (Mt.3:2; 4:17; 11:20) We are being asked to believe the ridiculous and to repent of the unknown.

    • Romans 3:20 - "For by the Torah (Law), sin is known" (HRV)
    • Romans 4:15 - "For when there was no Torah (Law), also there was no transgression of the Torah (Law)" (HRV)
    • Romans 5:13 - "For until the Torah (Law), sin (although it was in the world), was not counted as sin because there was no Torah (Law)" (HRV)
    • Romans 7:7 - "What therefore are we saying? Is the Torah (Law) sin? Absolutely not! But I did not learn sin except through the Torah (Law)" (HRV)

    Here are some questions for you to answer:

    • 1. Did Yah'shua (Jesus) come to destroy/abolish the Torah (Law)? (Mt.5:17)
    • 2. What is the effect of love in respect of Torah (Law)? (Rom.13:8)
    • 3. Is it possible to bring something to completion ('fulfil it') if has been abolished?
    • 4. How is love defined by Paul? (Rom.13:10)
    • 5. Which commandment of Torah (Law) fulfils or completes Torah (Law) (Gal.5:14)
    • 6. For how long does the Torah (Law) have dominion over us? (Rom.7:1)
    • 7. What is it that compels a woman to be faithful to her husband as long as he is alive? (Rom.7:2)
    • 8. If the Torah (Law) had been abolished, would she be allowed to change husbands while her first husband was alive?
    • 9. What is it that compelled wives to be obedient to their husbands in the Corinthian congregation? (1 Cor.13:44)
    • 10. Would Paul need to quote Torah (Law) to justify a position if it had been abolished? (1 Cor.9:9)
    • 11. What is the first prerequisite to hearing the Gospel? (Lk.16:31)
    • 12. What are Christians to be mindful of? (2 Pet.3:2)
      (Answers: #1. No; #2. It brings it to completion; #3. No; #4. It is the completing (fulfilling) of the Torah (Law); #5. The commandment to love your neighbour as yourself; #6. As long as we are alive; #7. The Torah (Law); #8. Obviously, what would there be to stop her?; #9. Torah (Law); #10. No; #11. Listening to (obeying) Moses (Torah) and the prophets; #12. What the Old Testament prophets wrote).

    Do these (and other quotations) in the New Testament sound as though the Torah (Law) has been 'abolished'? Of course not. It remained authoritative for the 'New Testament Church' and it remains authoritative for us today.

    What do the following scriptures tell us about Torah (the Law)?

      1. Psalms 19:8 Torah is pure
      2. Nehemiah 9:13 Torah is true
      3. Romans 7:12 Torah is holy
      4. Psalms 19:7 Torah is perfect
      5. Hebrews 8:6 Torah is made more excellent in Christ
      6. Romans 2:17-24 Torah is for instruction and truth
      7. Romans 7:14 Torah is spiritual
      8. Romans 7:16 Torah is good
      9. Galatians 3:21 Torah is righteous

    The division of the Bible into the 'Old' Covenant/Testament and the 'New' Covenant/Testament is totally artificial. Catholic priests did that. For one thing, there aren't just two covenants but over a dozen. Ask yourself as you remind yourself of these covenants, which Yah'shua (Jesus) changed and which He did not. The covenants which were unchanged are printed in bold and those which were annulled are struck through with scriptures [numbered in parentheses]:

      1. The Covenant with Noah (Gen.9:10-17)
      2. The Covenant with Abraham (Gen.17:2-4,11-14)
      3. The Covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Lev.26:42)
      4. The Covenant with the Levites (Num.18:19)
      5. The Covenant with David (2 Sam.23:5; 2 Chr,13:5)
      6. The Covenant with Phineas (Num.25:12-13)
      7. The Covenant of Circumcision (Gen.17:10) [1]
      8. The Sabbath Covenant (Ex.31:17)
      9. The Ten Commandments Covenant (Ex.34:28)
      10. The Covenant of Blood (Ex.24:8; Heb.9:18-22) [2]
      11. The Covenant in Horeb (Dt.5:1-3)
      12. The Covenant in Moab (Dt.29:1)

    • [1] 1 Corinthians 7:19; Galatians 5:6ff; Romans 2:25-29; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:11ff
    • [2] Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 8:13; 10:9

    Of the 12 named 'Old Testament' Covenants, only 2 are now 'old', and 2 'new' ones have been put in their place, namely baptism in place of circumcision, and the blood of Christ in place of the blood of rams, goats, doves, etc.. The division into 'Old' and 'New' Testaments is therefore both artificial and misleading. The only use of the term 'New Testament' is to be found in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible where the word for 'covenant' is mistranslated and appears in no other modern English version (see Mt.26:28; Mk.14:24; Lk.22:20; 1 Cor.11:25; 2 Cor.3:6; Heb.9:15, KJV).

    I wonder if you have ever heard ministers preaching that the Old Testament is for the 'Jews' and the New Testament for 'Christians'? And yet what do we read in Scripture? That the New Covenant was given to the House of Israel and to the House of Judah (Jer.31:31; Heb.8:8). The Bible nowhere speaks of two entities - 'Jews' and 'Christians' but of believing Israelites and Gentiles (who becomes Israelites by adoption) and unbelieving Israelites (who cease being Israelites and become Gentiles) and unbelieving Gentiles. Yah'shua (Jesus) the Messiah (Christ) was Himself an Israelite of the House of Judah (a Jew) (Jn.4:9).

    What, then, is the Old Testament/Covenant? Is it the books from Genesis to Malachi? No, the Old Covenant is the Blood Covenant with its Levitical Priesthood and the Covenant of Circumcision, replaced by the Blood Covenant of Yah'shua (Jesus) with the Melchizedek Priesthood (of which He is High Priest), and the Covenant of Baptism. This New Covenant is found in the books from Genesis to Revelation. Yah'shua (Jesus) was our final blood sacrifice (1 Cor.5:7), ending the animal sacrifices of the Old Covenant. This blood cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn.1:7; Jn.1:29; Ac.20:28; Heb.9:12; 1 Pet.1:19; Heb.13:12) which the blood of the Old Covenant could not do, being a temporary covering that had to be repeated every year.

    We are not 'New Testament Christians' but Bible Christians - from Genesis to Revelation. We are Torah Christians saved in the blood of Christ through faith which leads us to be obedient. When the artificial division between the 'Old Testament' and the 'New Testament' - which was created by the Roman Catholic Church - is removed, there will be no need for all the denominations because the Circus (Church) will end and we will once again become Israel - New Covenant Israel.

    Shalom b'Yah'shua!

    This page was created on 7 June 2005
    Last updated on 7 June 2005

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