27 June 2010 (Rishon/Pesach)|
Day #104, 5934 AM
Abolished or Established?
The Truth About Yahweh's Law Today
A mighty strange doctrine arose in Christendom soon after the apostles' death that claimed that Yahweh had, somehow, abolished His own Law and that He specifically sent His Son to do it. The implication was that Law was somehow defective and that Yah'shua came to fix it. The Bible disagrees:
An artificial distinction is made by some evangelicals between the 'moral law' and the 'ceremonial law' though neither term is found in the Bible. You will not find one collection of laws called 'moral law' and one called 'ceremonial' but many evangelicals would like there to be so that they are only obliged to the moral. However, it must be conceded (using these designations for the sake of discussion) that any rule that Yahweh gives which interprets the moral law, or expands upon it, must of necessity make it a part of that moral law. Thus each of the Ten Commandments is expanded upon in the Torah to make them plain and practically applicable:
"The law (Torah) of Yahweh is perfect (tamiym - complete, without blemish), converting the soul" (Ps.19:7, NKJV).
And as I said yesterday the fourth commandment 'contains' all Yahweh's moedim or festivals. If, as evangelicals claim, the statutes are no longer binding, then what you get is idolatry, because the effects of negligence are the same upon the people. Remove the statutes and you are striking at the foundations of families and nations.
The statutes and judgments define the Ten Commandments and are inseparable from them. The whole Torah is an integral whole, leaving no loose ends. It was, and still is, a perfect Theocratic Rule for man. And if ancient Israel needed such security, then we need it more. The judgments exist so that Israel's elohim or judges can judge righteously! Without them, there are numerous interpretations and the risk of injustice.
If Yahweh keeps covenant for a thousand generations, and if, let's say, there are 20 years to a generation (to be generous), then over 6,000 years there will be about 300 generations. Even if you include the Millennium, making a total of 7,000 years, that's still only about 350 generations. How can Yahweh keep covenant, statutes and judgments for a thousand generations if, according to evangelicals, He abolished the lot after only 200 generations (2,000 years ago)? If He is going to keep covenant for a thousand generations then we are forced to conclude that Torah will be effect long, long after the Millennium! And even if you claim that a "thousand" is just a 'large number' to represent a long period of time, the sense is still the same - the laws are permanent.
"Therefore know that the Yahweh your Elohim, He is Elohim, the faithful Elohim who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand (eleph) generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face. Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them" (Deut.7:9-11, NKJV).
Some object that Torah the could not have applied to those who came before Moses because Yahweh hadn't yet 'given' the Torah. Not true. The Torah has always been around. How do we know? Because Abraham knew them before Moses. For Yahweh said:
There you have it - he had the lot even before Moses wrote it down.
"Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws" (Gen 26:5, NKJV).
And so did the New Covenant believers. They had the lot too, quoted it, lived by it, were judged by it. They cited it as their law by which they lived. There are dozens of examples in the New Testament but here are just a handfull to illustrate:
|1 Corinthians 5:1
|2 Corinthians 6:14
||Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17|
Let us once again be clear as to what has been abolished in the Torah: the sacrificial system and offerings - the animals and the wine and grain offerings that accompanied the sacrifices, the priesthood that administered it, and circumcision. That's it.
Moreover, the sacrifices and offerings were bound to the physical temple at Jerusalem. They could not be offered anywhere else. To make sure believers understood the this system was over, Yahweh ensured that the physical temple, along with the city that housed it, was destroyed after Yah'shua's death and resurrection. Anything bound to the temple was a part of that law which was abolished because we now have a new temple and a new Jerusalem! That's it.
So where does this idea come from that Yah'shua came to abolish the Torah or Law altogether? It comes from a twisting of the Scripture:
What we are being asked to believe by these Scripture-twisters is that the word "fulfil" actually means 'abolish' or get rid of. We are, moreover, being asked to engage in some very complicated etymological gymnastics. We are being aksed to interpret the Scripture this way: "I did not come to destroy but to abolish" in the sense that since the Torah has been 'fulfilled' it isn't needed any more. Quite honestly I don't see much difference between 'destroy' and 'abolish'. If you 'abolish' slavery, you 'destroy' it too. And Yah'shua said He did not come to "destroy".
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law (Torah) or the Prophets (Nevi'im). I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law (Torah) till all is fulfilled" (Matt.5:17-18, NKJV).
So what did He mean? Well, let's see how He uses this word "fulfil" elsewhere:
John hadn't wanted to baptise Yah'shus because he felt unworthy, but Yah'shua said it was necessary so that what was right could be done. Did Yah'shua suddenly abolish or get rid righteousness so that we didn't need to be righteous any more? Of course not.
"Yah'shua answered and said to [John the Baptist], 'Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness'" (Matt.3:15, NKJV).
Has the Word of God, the Bible, been abolished too? Of course not. So let's stop the monkey-business. Torah, the Prophets, Righteousness and the Word of Elohim are here to stay. So what exactly does the word "fulfil" mean? Does it mean to 'finish'? Or maybe 'complete'? I once thought so. Yes, that's part of it. Yah'shua does indeed bring to completion. But pleroo also means to 'make more glorious' and 'establish more firmly'. Don't you think that that is what happened when John baptised Yah'shua? Didn't that happen as a result of Paul's life and ministry? Didn't that baptism give more glory to Yah'shua? Didn't it establish Him as Messiah? Didn't Paul's life and work give glory to Messiah and establish the Gospel more firmly in the world? Beyond question! And if this is so - which it must be (unless you're living in a parallel universe where words mean the opposite of their definitions), what Yah'shua the Messiah did in dying on the Cross and being resurrected was to make Torah even more glorious and establish it even more firmly as Emet or Truth! That is what "fulflled" means, not 'abolished'.
"I (Paul) now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Messiah, for the sake of His body, which is the messianic community (church), of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from Elohim which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of Elohim (God)" (Col.1:24-25, NKJV).
If the Torah could have been abolished as the lawless, disobedient believers so much want it to be so that they can live a liberal, promiscuous 'gospel' fashioned after their own fleshy lusts, then Yah'shua need not have died to establish it.
So I ask the question again: WHAT was abolished at the Cross? And this is what the Bible actually teaches was abolished:
It need not be supposed that just because civil governments have assumed the rôle of dispensers of justice that any person can escape the Torah penalties. If, for instance, you die an unrepentant murderer or adulterer, having only served a prison sentence in a secular jail, you will still be judged by Yahweh 'on the other side'. And don't think you can escape stoning for disobeying the Sabbath. If you are a Sabbath-breaker when He returns (or just before), you will be stoned to death by Yahweh Himself at the time of the Seventh Plague:
- 1. The system of animal sacrifices and oblations/offerings required to pay for man's sins - we don't need them anymore because Yah'shua Himself paid for all of our sins at Calvary and we can go to Him for forgiveness and cleansing upon proper repentance;
- 2. The Levitical Priesthood - we don't need intermediaries between man and Elohim anymore - we can go directly to Yahweh viâ Yah'shua who is our Eternal High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek - now all of us are priests (Rev.1:6);
- 3. Circumcision as a sign of the Covenant because the sign of the New Covenant is inwardly the New Birth and outwardly water baptism (1 Cor.7:19);
- 4. The Old Covenant Temple services and Jerusalem because now believers are themselves the Temple of Elohim and our home is the New Jerusalem which is above (Rev.3:12; 21:2); and
- 5. The civil penalties (such as execution for murder, rape, adultery, etc.) in the absence of a Theocracy because in exile we are under human governments who assume that responsibility until Yah'shua returns, however unjust their laws may be (Jn.8:3-11; Mt.22:21; Ac.5:29).
Twice as many sacrifices were required under the Old Covenant for the Sabbath (Num.28:9) because people were constantly breaking it, and the penalty for breaking it was death. If you think Yahweh has 'gone soft' on that, think again. He has not changed the Torah as far as the Sabbath is concerned so you would be very unwise to take a liberal or promiscuous attitude towards it. Remember, the Sabbath is part of Yahweh's Seal along with the annual festivals.
"And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed Elohim because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great" (Rev 16:21, NKJV).
Very clearly the Torah has not been abolished but even more firmly established! It has been changed in certain respects because of what Yah'shua has done for us on the Cross but otherwise it continues as it was in the beginning, but even more firmly established. My advice: study your Torah and then do it!