Netzarim, Original followers of Yeshua & His 12
"I give you good instruction:
Do not forsake my Torah!" - God
Ignoring Torah is like ignoring the speed-limit in a curve. If you go too fast, you're liable to slide off and hit a tree and maybe kill yourself. If you obey, you'll make it around that curve in one piece. Unfortunately, most mainstream Christians don't understand what Torah is; they are under the mistaken impression that it's nothing but ancient laws that don't pertain to modern man. They don't stop to think that even the Ten Commandments are part of Torah. If you've ever really studied them, you understand that breaking any one of those Commandments leads to certain heartaches, pains, and ultimately, death. Torah is comprised of God's requirements for Godly living: do this; don't do that. Period. God has His reasons for giving us rules and regulations. What make us think we can ignore them?
Yahweh warned us not to forsake His Torah, but for some reason people think that once He came in the flesh, He automatically negated His original teachings. WHY? Yeshua came to nail our past SINS to the cross so that man would no longer require animal sacrifices to atone for his sins; He nailed our certificate of debt for breaking the Law to the cross - He did not nail His teachings to the cross - the very teachings that save our lives and our souls!
Yeshua said He did NOT come to abolish Torah, so why aren't we taking this seriously? Yeshua didn't abolish - He tightened and strengthened God's original teaching and instruction! Take, for instance, the things He espoused in Matthew:
Matthew 5: 17 Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah – not until everything that must happen has happened.
Matthew 5: 21 "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' 22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
Matthew 5: 27 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 7: 21 Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in heaven wants (ie: Torah) 22 On that Day, many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord! Didn't we prophesy in your name? Didn't we expel demons in your name? Didn't we perform many miracles in your name?' 23 Then I will tell them to their faces, 'I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!' (ie: they did not keep Torah --- they were LAWLESS - WITHOUT THE LAW)
Does this sound like someone who "abolished" God's original teaching and instruction?
Yeshua's intent was not to abolish or weaken or emasculate the Laws of YHWH, revealed in the Old Testament, but to expand and magnify them to their full spiritual intent and conclusion; to show their full meaning, purpose, and relevance; to reveal their spiritual and supernatural nature and basis; to show that the commandments lead us by necessity to FAITH in him as the Messiah. We do not earn salvation by works, but by Faith in Yeshua the Messiah, who died for our sins, and who now gives us his spirit to enable us to fulfill the righteousness of the Law (Acts 2:38; 5:32; Gal.2:20). The Messiah did not replace the Law of YHWH with Faith alone, but rather gave us inward Faith, through his spirit, to enable us to observe the holy commandments of God! Yet, with the advent of Christianity, the "Old Testament", along with God's original teaching and instruction, basically became null and void because they mistakingly think "Torah" equates to "law". BIG MISTAKE!....
The apostle Paul knew this truth and wrote to the believers in Rome: Does it follow that we abolish Torah by this trusting? Heaven forbid! On the contrary, we confirm Torah (Rom.3:31). Not one "jot or tittle", was abolished from the Law of God.
Some have written to The Refiner's Fire to remind us that "animal sacrifices were abolished", and that they used to be part of "the law". To that, we say: "Because Yeshua was our final SIN Sacrifice and we don't have to do animal sacrifices anymore, how does that prove that the ENTIRE Torah was abolished? Yeshua abolished the need for animal sacrifices, and He came to abolish the "rabbinical" teachings of the time that had people so bound up in legalism, that they were afraid to get out of bed on the Sabbath because they feared that, with the effort of rising from bed, they might be guilty of "working". The teachings of the rabbis at the time had made the entire Torah a burden. Acts 21:20-24 tells us:
Acts 21: 20 On hearing it, they praised God; but they also said to him (Paul), "You see,brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Judeans, and they are all zealots for the Torah. 21 Now what they have been told about you is that you are teaching all the Jews living among the Goyim to apostatize from Moshe, telling them not to have a b'rit-milah (circumcision) for their sons and not to follow the tradition. 22 "What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that hear that you have come. 23 So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. 24 Take them with you, be purified with them, and pay the expenses connected with having their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to these rumors which they have heard about you; but that, on the contrary, you yourself stay in line and keep the Torah.
If Yeshua had abolished the "law", then why did the apostle Paul observe it with four other Church men in Yerushalayim 29 years AFTER the crucifixion of the Messiah?
What does this tell us about the true "religion" that Yeshua the Messiah proclaimed? What does it tell us about His true gospel? Paul wrote, Therefore, what are we to say? That the Torah is sinful? Heaven forbid! Rather, the function of the Torah was that without it, I would not have known what sin is. For example, I would not have become conscious of what greed is if the Torah had not said, "Though shalt not covet." (Rom.7:7). He further added, So the Torah is holy; that is, the commandment is holy, just and good. (verse 12). He went on to say that YHWH's Law is spiritual (Rom.7:14) - and that which is spiritual is eternal. Paul also wrote, We concentrate not on what is seen but on what is not seen, since things seen are temporary, but things not seen are eternal. (II Cor.4:18). If the Laws of God were all abolished, as some believe, then Yeshua did away with what was clearly holy, righteous, good, and spiritual....
Those who teach contrary to the Torah, which Yeshua upheld - and Paul also taught - are false preachers and prophets. Paul wrote of them: II Corinthians 11: 13 The fact is that such men are pseudo-emissaries: they tell lies about their work and masquerade as emissaries of the Messiah. 14 There is nothing surprising in that, for the Adversary himself masquerades as an angel of light; 15 so it's no great thing if his workers masquerade as servants of righteousness. They will meet the end their deeds deserve.
So - is "the Law" still valid today? You bet it is! It is a standard for righteousness. Yeshua said that not one yod or tittle would pass away, and that those who love Him will keep His commandments. The Law is not for salvation, but for sanctification (being Holy). No one can keep the Law perfectly, but striving to live as ADONAI commands brings us closer to His desire for our lives. We need to remember that, while God changed the Covenant, He never changed His Torah. Yeshua came to abolish the "rabbinical stuff" and the need to sacrifice innocent animals to atone for our sins; not YAHWEH's Divine Instructions in Rigthteousness. Torah observant believers adhere to both, the "Old" and the "New" covenants without pretending they are allowed to ignore the "forever" commands.
Complements of Refiners Fire