1)I do not understand your belief in the triune godhead as stated 2)Jesus refered to "the father" as being greater than he.
3)Jesus stated that no man knew the time of the end, nor the angels in heaven, nor did he himself, but only "the father"
4)When on the cross, he prayed to "the father" to save him.
5)He stated that NO man had seen god, yet they saw Jesus. God stated to Moses that "no man may see me and yet live" Yet those who saw Jesus continued to live. Now, if Jesus was God, then the scriptures are full of contradictory statements. Even to the point of Jesus telling lies, which we know he didn't.
6)Why must Christendom insist on continuing to insist on Trinity when eveidence shows that this is an adaption of ancient Egyptian beliefs in Triunes. Why can't Jesus be the "son of God", which is what is stated in the Bible, rather than being considered God himself? God said "I your god am ONE God" Seems pretty plain to me.....If the scriptures state one thing...and then to explain your way of believing one must adopt mystical beliefs...which one sounds more credible? Just my opinion. Everyone has the right to believe what they want...
From reading your email, it was unclear whether you are truly seeking information or just wish to argue a point. We will assume you are truly seeking information and therefore take the time to answer. It is never our wish to argue; simply to teach God’s word as He teaches us.
We’ll try to take this point by point, but there is some overlapping due to this centering around one point: “I your God am one God.” We have put numbers into your email for reference as to what part of your email we are addressing.
First, there’s a very important point to make and that is that it is quite dangerous to base your theology completely on the English translation of the Bible. It is much safer and much wiser to go to the original language and make sure that the word in question means exactly what the English translation says. The general meaning of the passage is translated into English, but Hebrew has some very unique properties, including deeper meanings to words than can be translated into our language. Therefore, a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and other study tools are extremely helpful with this if you are not familiar with the Hebrew language.
Borrowing some information provided by dancin4yeshua may help you understand some of the uniqueness of the Hebrew language. Hopefully by the time we are through you will understand our statement.
1)Scripture actually gives us many names for and views of God. To look at these, we need to investigate the Hebrew language a bit. God chose Hebrew as the means to communicate to man what He wished man to know. We highly urge you to study this language. It is fascinating and not difficult to learn to read. Once you begin to study it, you begin to see why God chose it to communicate with us. It has the ability to portray much more meaning than English.
The Hebrew word translated “one” does not mean the number one, or a single unit. The Hebrew word is אחדechad meaning a unity. Strong’s Concordance says:
#259 אחדechadekh-awd’ prop. united. Echad stresses unity/oneness but recognizes diversity within that oneness.
The word “one” translated from the Hebrew echad is used in Genesis 2:24:
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become oneflesh.
And in Numbers when the spies went into the land and returned with a cluster of grapes. The cluster is echad.
Then they came to the valley of Eshcol and from there cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes; and they carried it on a pole between two men, with some of the pomegranates and the figs.
From these references, you can see that echad does not mean a single unit as we define one. Instead, it denotes a unity, with singleness of unity inferred; there is more than one grape in a cluster, yet they are a single cluster of grapes.
We see a unity at the creation as well:
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." Genesis 1:26
This clearly shows that God is not 1, as in a single unit.
In order to get a clear picture of anything, we have to look at all the facts given. Jesus (Y’shua) also stated He and the Father are One:
21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; John 17:21-22
Yet, many things Y’shua did, He for our example in order to teach us how to walk obediently and appropriately with God. 1 John 2:6 tells us:
the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
Y’shua subjected Himself to Yahweh as our example so that we would have a pattern, the example of His life, after which we could model our own.
This example is clearly seen in what is called “the Lord’s Prayer.”
Pray, then, in this way;
Our Father who art in heaven…
Y’shua gave us an example of how we are to address God when we pray. Y’shua also told us not to pray to Him, but to the Father in His name:
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. John 15:16
Y’shua’s example of how we are to walk pleasingly with God does not make Him any less God. He made many “I am” statements to the Jews to let them know His identity. This was a connection someone from a Hebraic culture would immediately recognize. (However we, without this culture don’t see this and many other references in Scripture; it is a culture with which we haven’t familiarized ourselves and therefore, we miss important Scriptural pictures, as you’ll see in point 2.) Making these “I am” statements also motivated the religious leaders to kill Him; they felt He was blaspheming.
I am the bread of life; John
I am the bread that came down out of heaven. John 6:41
I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; John
I am the Light of the world; John
You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. John 8:23
for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. John 8:24
What does “I am,” and “I am He” mean? It means, unless you believe that I AM, (Yahweh)! This refers back to God first giving His name to Moses and these statements were clearly made to establish Y’shua BEING Yahweh:
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Exodus 3:14.
I AM in Hebrew is יהוהpronounced Yahweh, literally meaning “to be.”(You shall tell them Yahweh sent you.)
Y’shua also said:
And He said to them, "I was watching satan fall from heaven like lightning…
How could Y’shua have seen this if He was not God?
Y’shua equated Himself with the Father and the Spirit:
When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me(John )
And Y’shua clearly proclaimed Himself equal with the Father:
He who has seen me has seen the Father; (John 14:9)
2)Jesus refered to "the father" as being greater than he.
In context, the passage to which you refer is as follows:
25..."These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.
26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
27 " Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
28 "You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you. 'If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
29 "Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.
In context, Y’shua is talking about what will happen when He leaves. He is referring to Himself in fleshly form, certainly a more limited position than the Father’s, who was still spirit and thus omnipresent (all present) while Y’shua could only be in one place at one time while clothed in flesh.
We’ll cover more on this under the “trinity.”
3)Jesus stated that no man knew the time of the end, nor the angels in heaven, nor did he himself, but only "the father"
This is a clear connection for the disciples (to whom Y’shua was speaking) to the Jewish wedding custom/ceremony. A very clear explanation is given in a booklet written by Richard Booker entitled Here Comes the Bride:
Before leaving the house of his newly betrothed, the eager young man announces to her that he is going to prepare a place for her. But as soon as it is prepared, he will come again for her. They will not see each other until he comes for her. This long period of separation will be hard, but definitely worth the wait.
The bridegroom then returns home and starts preparing a place for he and his bride to honeymoon. This is usually a room he builds onto his father’s house. (1) In Jewish weddings, the chuppah (tent under which the vows take place) represents this wedding chamber. (2) He wants to make the honeymoon suite as nice as he can. But he is also in a hurry to finish so he can go get his bride.
It might take a full year or more to complete the bridal chamber. Naturally the eager bridegroom works as fast as he can and is tempted to “cut corners.” So it is left to his father to decide when the place is ready. We can certainly see the wisdom here. If someone asks the young man the date of his wedding, he would reply, “I don’t know, only my father knows.” (p. 6)
[Footnotes are mine: (1) John 14:1-4. (2) Song of Solomon]
So, Y’shua is simply giving the disciples a picture they could clearly understand, one that was taken from their culture and tradition and with which they would be very familiar.
4)When on the cross, he prayed to "the father" to save him.
We’re not sure where you get this as this is not biblical. Y’shua never asked the Father to “save Him.” The closest thing to this statement happened in the garden of Gethsemane:
39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."
40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, Matthew 26:39-40
Y’shua, God in flesh, knew the agony awaiting Him on the cross, yet still gave us the example of submitting to the Father, even if it costs us our lives.
On the cross, Y’shua said to the Father:
“At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI? which is translated, ‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAS THOU FORSAKEN ME?’” Mark 15:37; Matthew 27:46
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.’ (Psalm 31:5) And having said this, He breathed His last.” Luke 23:46; Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; John 19:30
The first statement is agreed by most biblical scholars as the point upon which Y’shua took on the sins of the world. Since the Father is holy, and sin is not allowed in His presence, it was at this point that Y’shua was separated from God the Father, taking our punishment upon Himself. However, there is no example of Him asking the Father to save Him.
5)He stated that NO man had seen god, yet they saw Jesus. God stated to Moses that "no man may see me and yet live"
Actually, several people saw God. In context, in the passage cited above, God was telling Moses that no man could see His FACE and live. (Exodus 33:20-23) God let Moses see His back, so Moses did see God and live. Jacob also saw God and lived:
Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Gen 32:24-25
"Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed." Gen 32:28
Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the seventy elders of Israel saw God and lived:
Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel,
and they saw the God of Israel; (Exodus 24:9-10)
Job believed that he would see God in the flesh and yes, the Hebrew does mean in the physical fleshly form.
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at the last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God. (Job 19:25-26)
Y’shua, even as God, took on a fleshly being. The unified Yahweh is spirit, yet Scripture clearly tells us that He took on flesh:
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John (more on this in the next section)
Therefore, since God is no respecter of persons (Acts ) then if these people did see God and live, so could the people of Y’shua’s day have been able to see Him, God in the flesh.
6)Why must Christendom insist on continuing to insist on Trinity when eveidence shows that this is an adaption of ancient Egyptian beliefs in Triunes.
While it is quite true that many pagan religions have a triune god doctrine, it is our belief that these pagan triunes are satanic copies of how Yahweh chose to reveal Himself to man. Let us explain.
In Scripture, God actually has many names, most of which are given in the Hebrew portion of the Bible. Here are a few examples:
El Gibbor—Mighty God.A powerful Warrior God who protects and defends His people.
El Elyon—God Most High or strongest Strong One.
El Roi—the Strong One who sees.
El Shaddai—Almighty God.It means sufficient or enough and refers to God as the
One who sets constraints or limits in the universe.
El Olam—Everlasting God.
Yahweh Yireh—Yahweh will provide.
Yahweh Nissi—Yahweh our Banner.
Yahweh Shalom—Yahweh our Peace.
Yahweh Sabaoth—This Name is translated in most Bibles as “LORD of hosts,” and it
refers to Yahweh as the Leader of a great army. Yahweh Maccaddeshcem—Yahweh our Sanctifier.
Yahweh Raah—Yahweh our Shepherd.
Yahweh Tsidkenu—Yahweh our Righteousness.
Yahweh El Gmolah—Yahweh God of Recompense or Yahweh our Reward.
Yahweh Nakeh—Yahweh who smites.
Yahweh Shammah—Yahweh who is present.
Yahweh Raphah—Yahweh our Healer.A literal translation of this Name is Yahweh
who is our doctor.
Yet, all of these titles/personality traits are encapsulated in the New Testament with three titles: Father, Son (Y’shua) and Spirit. We see all three “forms” of God appearing to man at Y’shua’s baptism:
After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, " This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (Matthew 3:16-17)
Y’shua referred to His Father often, and also referred to the Spirit. For instance:
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth…John 14:16-17
[There are many more examples than just this one. Get a Strong’s Concordance and look up references to the Father and Spirit in the gospels highlighted in red, meaning they were spoken by Y’shua.]
Y’shua did as He promised in the above Scripture. When He ascended to the Father He sent the Ruach Yahweh (breath of Yahweh, also known as the Holy Spirit) who came at the Feast of Shavout (Pentecost) which is detailed in Acts 2.
Once again, these New Testament Scriptures are encapsulating God into three parts or personalities.
Y’shua is clearly portrayed in Scripture to be God:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. John 1:1-3
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'" John 1:14-15
The Word is clearly the one who “dwelt among us” and John said He was of a higher rank and existed before Him. Taking the last point first, Scripture tells us that John was physically conceived before Y’shua, (John, chapter 1) so this has to be in reference to something else. As many other scholars, we believe this to be in reference to Y’shua’s preexistant state as God before becoming God in a fleshly form.
The Word was of a “higher rank” than John. This is found in all four gospels in reference to Y’shua. When something is listed in all four gospels, it is our contention that it must be an especially important piece of information.
Matthew 3:11-17, note v. 11;
Mark 1:7-11, note v 11;
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, note v. 16;
John 1:29-33, note v. 30:
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
30 "This is He on behalf of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'
John has now defined Y’shua as the “Word,” of higher rank than he; John tells us that the Word WAS God and that all things were created by the Word, clearly establishing Y’shua as the Creator. (who became flesh as we saw in the previous point)
For an Old Testament example, Psalm 96 also tells us that Y’shua is Yahweh:
Before Yahweh, for He is coming,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
And the peoples in His faithfulness. Ps 96:13
How do we know who is the judge? Scripture tells us:
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead2 Timothy 4:1
Remember that we’ve already stated that in John 17, Y’shua stated:
“just as We are one;”
Again this lends validity to them being one, yet distinctly individual. After all, when Y’shua stated this, He was in fleshly form on earth while Father Yahweh was in heaven.
Since Y’shua spoke of the Father and the Spirit and the eye witness Hebrew writers of the New Testament also speak of the three as God, we choose to agree with the accounts of these eye witness sources. We are uncomfortable in labeling something pagan that is not portrayed thusly in Scripture.
So, we’ve seen that Y’shua can be God with no contradition since the Hebrew word echad is a unity; that Y’shua referred to the Jewish marriage tradition in relation to His return; that in the past, man has seen God and lived; and that Y'shua referred to the Father and the Ruach or Holy Spirit thus leading us to believe that pagan "trinities" are a satanic, pagan, copying of Yahweh’s revelation of Himself to man. The pagan copies were apparently to discredit His Word, and that the Bible clearly establishes Y’shua as Yahweh. Therefore, with this information we can see the mistake of the original premise that God is 1, as we define one as a single unit, and how this is not verified by either the Old or the New Testament. Hopefully, we have made clear how important it is to study the language in which God chose to communicate with man in order to avoid future mistakes.
These are our opinions based upon Scripture. It is your choice whether to accept this or not. It is never our intent to argue someone into belief, but rather to point out the truth of the Word of God and allow them to make their own– hopefully informed – choice based upon the facts established within God’s Word.
I can't find any Scripture in the New Testament (NT) that validates keeping the biblical Sabbath vs. Sunday, or keeping the feasts or the law for believers in Jesus.
This is a question we have received before and one that isn’t too surprising based upon the history of the church.Yet, "Sabbath" is used 67 times (the vast majority by Jesus), "Feasts" 37 and "commandments" 68. That's a total of172 times in the New Testament, alone. "Sabbath" is used 48 times specifically in reference to Jesus and His keeping it. "Feast" is used 26 times specifically in reference to Jesus (Y'shua) keeping them and the keeping of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Booths, as well as Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication) are specifically mentioned in context with Jesus keeping them. Virtually every mention of the commandments in the NT was mentioned by Jesus in context of keeping the written commandments (see Lawlessness Study). The only commandments in existence at that time were in the OLD Testament (OT). The NT wasn't compiled until (at the earliest) approximately 135 A.D. If Jesus is telling you a different set of commandments and contradicting the OT then He cannot be Yahweh, for He’d be contradicting Himself. (John 14:15; Exodus 20:3,5,6) So, JESUS instructed those in the NT to whom He spoke to keep the Torah commandments. If Christians believe the other things Jesus said to the Jews and the people of His day can be applied them, then why wouldn't these words also be for them? Many only quote Paul's writings. Are they saying Paul has more authority and can contradict Jesus? That would be a difficult stance to take and we also know it's not true because in 1Cor. 5:7-8 Paul tells the Gentile Corinthians how to keep Passover!
The Bible talks about a bride for whom Jesus (Y'shua) will return. Yet the bride our Savior left walked the same practices that He lived. She did not look like the Gentile American Christian church, eating what He calls "abominable" (see Does the Bible Say We Can Eat Anything?), following pagan feasts and practices (Galatians 4:8-11) and keeping pagan "holy days," yet failing to keep His (His “eternal feasts for the people who are in covenantal relationship with Him. See Leviticus 23). One teacher said on national TV, "I submit to you this is not a move of God; this is THE move of God right now.”
So what’s the big deal about the “law”? I thought it was all done away with by Jesus’ death on the cross. How can this be applicable to NT believers?
This is a common misconception, and one that is undertaken at length in the Lawlessness Study. In a simplified version, Paul did not say the law (Torah) was done away with; he said the enmity of the law was nailed to the cross (Eph. ). To paraphrase a New Testament (NT) book, 1 John 3:4, if you don't obey the "law" then you are in sin, for "sin is lawlessness," inferring that obedience is lawfulness [not disobeying the Torah since the Torah defines sin; Rom. 3:20, "for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin." knowledge = Strong's NT:1922, epignosis (ep-ig'-no-sis); from NT:1921; recognition, i.e. (by implication) full discernment, acknowledgement]. He was saying, "for through the Law comes the recognition, the full discernment, the acknowledgement of sin.” So according to the NT it is the Torah that defines what is and is not sin, even for a NT believer.
Therefore, Paul can only be discounting the Torah if you cut out what he said in many places such as Romans 3:31, "Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law." [Strong’s NT:2476histemi (his'-tay-mee); to stand (transitively or intransitively), used in various applications (literally or figuratively): continue, covenant, establish, present, set (up)]. He was saying, “…we continue, establish, present, set up, the ‘law.’” Either the traditional church stance or what Paul wrote can be true, but not both, therefore I'd urge you to go back with reference tools (not commentaries) and look at the original words and see their meanings before basing your belief on the English translation of what those passages are saying. The NT is "framed," like a picture, by the OT through the lives and teachings of the Hebrew men who wrote it and the Hebrew Messiah who lived it in the context of the Torah. The OT is the entire "context" for the new! Indeed, when the "Word of God" or "the Scriptures" are referred to throughout the NT, they are referencing the OLD Testament! There are approximately 500 quotations from or references to the OT in the NT! Therefore, it is clear that the Torah is applicable in the NT when it is constantly referred to as the basis of truth.
Paul also wrote, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16-17) Since there was no "New Testament" when this was written, He's giving validity to the OLD, and saying IT should be used for "teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness" and he wrote this instruction to a NT believer. If Torah is no longer applicable in the NT then why did Paul also tell the Thessalonians to hold fast to the traditions they were taught? 2 Thess. , "So, then, brothers, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or by our letter." [traditions = Strong's #3862, paradosis (par-ad'-os-is), transmission, specifically the Jewish traditionary law: ordinance, tradition]. He was saying, "Hold the Torah which you were taught." You won't see this in the English, but it is what the Greek says. Therefore, how can you say that the Torah and its teaching have no application for a NT believer?
Jesus did take care of our need to be in right relationship with God which could never be done by sacrifices, alone. Yet, He said, Himself, the "law" would not be done away with as long as the earth exists, therefore, how can it no longer be a part of our lives? The earth still exists and according to Jesus' own words, so does the Torah. In the very next verse, Jesus said, "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt ). If we believe our Savior's words (in a NT book) are for NT believers, then these words by Jesus are also for NT believers, making the Torah applicable to us, and those who teach it, wise.
Hebrews 8 is often misquoted to support not being “under the law.” However, Hebrews doesn’t say the “law” is gone, only that the place where it was written would be changed: from tablets of stone to the heart. (Hebrews 8:8-10, fulfilling Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26-27) ☺
If faith alone is the only criteria of God today, then why are all these warnings about "lawlessness" given to us in the NEW Testament? Do you think they are there for no reason and are to be ignored? "Doctrine" cannot be taken from the English. We must return to the Hebrew and Greek to get a clear view of what is being said.
If the OT isn't applicable for today, then to be consistent you should never tell a NT believer to get instruction, direction or information from the OT. Just as those who say certain parts of the NT aren’t for today and we tell them to take scissors and cut out those parts of the NT, you should cut out the OT if you truly hold this belief. You should not take any comfort from the Psalms or instruction from Proverbs or any other OT book since they're OT (with that criteria), they don't apply to you.
I don’t see where it says in the NT that we are to keep the law.
This is a common statement and one that, once investigated, is easily proven false. What you say you can't find in the NT is "hidden in plain sight." We can easily see the law (Torah) lived through the lives and practices of the men who wrote the NT and the lifestyle of the Messiah whom we are told to copy. We are told be "Christ-like," to live as He did, to "walk as He walked" (1 Jn 2:6). Where does He ignore the Sabbath, the Feasts and eat unclean, for example? If He did these things then so can we, but if He didn't, then we cannot. What He did, we do; what He didn't, we don't. (1 John 2:4,6)
You say that no where in the NT does it tell us to keep the Torah. If this is true, then the churches definitely need to refrain from teaching people to tithe nor should they receive tithe offerings because no where in the NT are we told to give tithes!!This instruction ONLY exists in the OT, having originated in the Torah! (Gen. 14:17-24) Indeed the only NT reference to tithes (that are not history about the OT- found in Heb. 7:5-9) are negative and about rebukes to the Pharisees! (Matthew 23:23, Luke ; ) So, if tithes ARE applicable for NT believers, then equally, so is everything else in the OT. We cannot pick and choose what we will accept. Either everything applies or none of it does.
I thought that the law and prophets hung on loving God and that Jesus’ death on the cross fulfilled the law.
Yes, the law and the prophets hang on loving God above all and loving man as you love yourself, and yes, love is a fulfillment of the law, but perhaps not exactly the way you think. The word we’d use today to clarify would probably read like this, “love is the summary of the law.’” If we truly love, then we will live obediently to God by following His instructions on what pleases Him; we will not harm our fellow man, but live in accordance with the law (Torah) commands on how to justly live with God and how to justly treat each other. (Romans 13:8, 10; 14:18) Could this be why the 10 Commandments are almost equally divided between obeying God and living in a godly manner with your fellow man?
Jesus said to love God was the “greatest commandment.” That statement begs this question: How? Only God can determine how we are to love Him in a way that is pleasing to Him (There is a way that seems right unto man, but . . .). This question is answered in 1 John 5:3, "For this is the love of God (this is how to love God) - that we keep His commandments - and they are not a burden." Therefore, keeping His commandments cannot be a burden because He tells us that they are how we love Him. Please note that these are NT Scriptures saying this!
Galatians tells us that the law was a schoolmaster that we are no longer under. Why return to bondage?
Please re-read Galatians with this in mind: Paul wrote it to settle this issue with some believing Jews --keeping the Torah WILL NOT SAVE YOU, only belief in Messiah saves (Romans 3:20). Yet, Paul said the Torah has the purpose of teaching us and pointing us to who the Messiah would be. Otherwise Paul could not have written Romans , Acts 24:14, 2 Thess. 2:15 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17 without contradicting himself. If he contradicts himself then we do not have an inerrant word in which to place our faith.
Jesus told us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Would truth include the things Jesus avoided and didn't do? We think not. Truth would be everything Jesus did. That is the same truth that our Savior lived. How is that bondage, a burden or something for concern?
Are we supposed to not cook on the Sabbath, not make our beds, not travel on the Sabbath as the Torah states.
Jesus IS the Feasts! In celebrating them you celebrate HIM. How can that be something you don't want to do or feel would be an obligatory burden? The feasts are a time of joy and of closeness to God through His Son and multiple layers of who He is are reflected in the feasts. Even though we've done them repeatedly, each year He reveals something more about Himself through our observance of the feast, something that is wonderful and which we treasure. Every feast has been a wondrous time we treasure. There's also an incredible amount we've learned and richness added to the Bible by keeping the feasts. For instance, on the last day of Sukkot (Booths), as the priest was pouring wine and water over the altar, "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.' 'He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, "From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water,"'" tying His words to a symbol of God that was right before their eyes. (John 7:37-39) How do we know this statement was referencing this action? Because this practice is a traditional part of the feast. When Jesus was before Pilate on Passover and the people cried for the release of Barabbas, they were asking for "the son of the father," the Aramaic/Hebraic translation of the name "Bar-abbas." He just wasn't the right one; he was a false one. These and many other hidden treasures in Scripture have come alive to us by keeping the feasts. What’s exciting is that we know there are many more yet to be discovered!
Keeping the Sabbath and the Feasts are not a burden. The feasts are a blast (except for one*) and Sabbath is about rest and spending time with God. (Genesis 2:2, 3, Ex. , -11; 31:17; Lev. 23:3; Deut. ; there are 67mentions of the Sabbath in the NT). Why would resting and spending time with God be considered "bondage" or a burden? God established and kept the Sabbath on the 7th day and repeatedly told us to do so. Jesus kept the Friday night to Saturday night Sabbath. On this issue, no where in Scripture, Old or New Testament, is a change in instruction given to us (Acts , 15, 27, 42, 44; , ). We're not sure where your information on the feasts (above) came from but it is largely incorrect. The information you received is rabbinical, not biblical. This is exactly what Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for: adding to the Word and making keeping God's instructions a burden. [*Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) is the only feast that isn't a celebration of some sort. Some feasts include a day of rest (how is that a burden?). There is no instruction to fast for any feast, though that is what most people choose to do for Yom Kippur. The Scriptural instruction is simply to "afflict you souls" or "humble your souls," the meaning of which is left up to you. Lev. 16:29, 31; , 32; Numbers 29:7; Strong's OT# 6031].
Lest you think the feasts are no longer important to God, most Bible scholars are awakening to the fact that when things of great importance in the world happen, especially concerning the geography called the land of Israel, they happen on a feast day or a significant day on God's Old Testament calendar. Before war began, people asked Bill Cloud if the war with Iraq was prophetically significant. He said if it were, it would begin on a feast day; it did. The Gaza pullout happened on a very important day on God's calendar, the 9th of Av. God hasn't forgotten what He said was "eternal.”
Why all the "Jewish stuff"? I'm not Jewish! I believe we are to support Israel, but not become them.
Whether you realize it or not, this is actually veiled Christian anti-semitism (this is a real oxymoron). This statement says, "I'm a believer in a JEWISH Savior and am grateful to escape hell, but I don't like His life-style and practices, so I really don't want to be anything like Him."
In any event, we're not suggesting you become a Jew. That is impossible since one can only be a Jew if one is descended from the tribes of either Judah or Benjamin. According to Romans 11:11-25, you were grafted into an existing olive tree. You said, "I believe we are to support Israel, but not become them." According to PAUL it is Israel that supports us. Therefore, you were not grafted into a "Gentile American Christian" tree. You were grafted into Israel. (Romans 11, Ephesians 2:11-12, Matthew 10:6, Matthew 15:24, Hebrews 8:8-10, etc.) According to Paul, we don't have a root without Israel; we're just "wild olive branches" cut off with no root of our own. GOD created the root for us to be grafted into and it is Hebraic.
When first coming into the understanding of this information, a friend of ours had trouble reconciling the “Jewish stuff” with NT life until hearing Ralph Messer say, “You’re not supposed to be Jewish; you’re supposed to be Israeland provoke them to jealousy.” Bill Cloud has a wonderful teaching which expounds on what Paul wrote in Romans 11 by explaining what an olive grower in Israel told him: When wild olives are grafted into a cultivated olive root, the wild olive branches stimulate the natural olives to produce even MORE fruit! As part of the same tree, doing the same things, bearing the same fruit (God’s fruit), we will “provoke them to jealousy” and stimulate them to bear MORE fruit, hence the saying that a born again Jew will bring people into the kingdom 10-1 to a Gentile believer. Today, Jews view Gentile Christians as people who have persecuted and killed them in the past; they feel we are untrustworthy. They have no other reference point for us and as we currently are, we have nothing about us that shows that we share the same root. They know that the promised Messiah will keep the Torah, yet we live according to a Messiah who, to them, spoke against the Torah. To their way of thinking why should they have anything to do with our “false god”? (One whose instructions are different from Yahweh’s) How can we “tell it to the Jew first…” with this type of lifestyle? (Rom. ; ) What we’ve been talking about takes care of this problem, is obedient to the NT, as well as being the same type of lifestyle Jesus modeled for us to follow.
28For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.
They did not say and continue to keep the Torah and the Feasts.
This quote is from Acts 15, but appears to have missed the meaning of the passage: the passage is about the Jews saying keeping Torah was necessary for salvation (Acts 15:1) and James and Peter stood up and corrected that idea. However, they did require 4 Torah commands as starters, just like we tell new believers to spend time in the word, pray, get fellowship and find a congregation, again 4 beginning requirements. The second part that you missed is most informative: they gave them only 4 Torah commandments to start with because, "For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath." (Acts ) Acts tells us that the disciples and their followers regularly went to the synagogues, so as the new believers went, they'd learn more just as people today go to church after being saved and learn more. Also, Paul gave validity to keeping the Torah in both Acts as well as Acts 21:18-26, which James instructed Paul to do, so all would know about Paul "that you yourself also walk orderly keeping the Torah." (Refer back to Numbers 6 for the "why" of what he was doing.) For the first 15-17 years after Jesus went to heaven, the NT believers were Jewish! The "in-grafting" of the Gentiles didn't happen until Cornelius' household in Acts 10. When the Gentiles were grafted in, their examples lived a Hebraic life for the untrained Gentiles to follow; the exact same type of life Jesus lived.
I don’t understand why you think New Testament believers have to eat according to the dietary laws. Matthew 15:17-18 tells us that we do not have to.
17 "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?
18 "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.
Thanks for this question because it is one virtually every NT believer asks at one point or another. Every Bible teacher will tell you that the premier rule when studying Scripture is this:
context is king
Therefore, let’s take a look at the context of the passage you cited. The chapter begins with:
1 Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
2 "Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." Matthew 15:1-2
From these verses we can see that the issue under discussion was a tradition, not a commandment of God and it had to do with washing of hands, not what was being eaten. Since we’re also told that the people in the discussion with Jesus were Pharisees and scribes, we know that “unclean” as “food” was NOT part of the conversation! These were the people who added to what God had said, making the commandments a burden (Matthew 23:2-4). However, we can see that this discussion had nothing to do with them considering “unclean” as now clean to eat.
Jesus addressed the issue that was under discussion by saying:
"Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? Matthew 15:3
… And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
Jesus was dealing with their focus on man-made rules vs. the commandments of God, not changing unclean food to clean. The important part of the discussion to the Pharisees was that Jesus and his disciples were making “clean” food "unclean" by eating with unwashed hands. Jesus even tells us this at the end of the passage: that the issues of the heart defile and thus puts into perspective what was the issue under discussion, eating with unwashed hands, not turning “unclean” into “clean” as you suggest.
These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." Matthew 15:20
1Timothy 4 also covers that anything is now clean:
3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;
5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
Once again, thank you for this question since it as an issue of such confusion to “churched” Christians. There is a very detailed study covering every mention of “food” “meat” and “flesh” in the NT, so please be sure to read it to get the complete picture of what the NT is saying. You’ll find it at this link: Does the Bible Say We Can Eat Anything?
Now to see if we can’t give a short answer to your specific question. In the passage you cited, Paul is writing to Timothy saying that in the end times men will tell people to abstain from foods that God created to be received with thanks (gratitude) and that it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer.
First, we can see that this instruction is in the context of what God CREATED to be food. How do we know what God created to be food? By going back to the Old Testament and reading the Torah (“law”) which tells us what is allowed and what is forbidden.
Is there a way to know exactly to what food is Paul referring? Our English word won’t tell us, but the Greek is quite specific. This word is Strong’s NT #1033:
broma (bro'-mah); food (literally or figuratively), especially (ceremonially) articles allowed or forbidden by the Jewish law:
Therefore, this passage is NOT saying that “unclean” has now been okayed by God to be considered “clean.” In fact, quite the opposite is true. The Greek clearly tells us that what God previously said was allowed or forbidden according to the “law” is also the rule for the NT believer.
In reality, even you don't believe what you said, that "anything" is clean. What that statement refers to is what your culture says is clean. You consider shellfish, pork and catfish "food" but wouldn't consider rats, bats, roaches, turkey buzzards, and other things your culture calls disgusting, "food." Thererfore, even you don't really consider "anything" to be food. The true issue is whose definition you choose to live by: that of your culture or God's.
If we obeyed what Paul actually wrote, perhaps the prayer lists that seem to be miles long in most churches would get much shorter! Disobedience has it’s price, even if the disobedience is done in ignorance. God’s laws are not changed just because we don’t know:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
…you have rejected knowledge …
Since you have forgotten the law of your God….
In "Circumcision for Believers" you say the Bible upholds circumcision for Gentiles, yet in Galations 2:3 Paul says that Titus, a Greek, was not circumcised.
Actually, in Galatians 2:3 Paul says that Titus was not compelled to be circumcised. It is imperitive that one understands just what the book of Galatians is actually addressing. In this epistle, Paul is addressing an issue which plagued him during his entire ministry and that was that the Jewish believers continually said Jesus /Y'shua+ something will save you. They wanted to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers by adding to what God said, thus adding requirements of things MEN had to do in order to be saved. Paul continually upheld that salvation was through Jesus/Y'shua's sacrifice ALONE and that men could do nothing to bring about their salvation; it is a gift of God, not a work of men. Paul reiterates this in Galatians 6:12, instructing the Galatians not to let the Jewish believers "compel" them to be circumcised for salvation. He says in 6:14, "But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ..."
But in I Corinthians 7, Paul says that the circumcised should stay circumcised and that the uncircumcised should stay uncircumcised.
We agree that this appears confusing and we continue to stress that this passage is an example of why it is extremely important to study a subject in light of the FULL counsel of the Word of God. If Scripture cannot contradict Scripture and one Scripture doesn't seem to fit the rest, then we must pray and continue to study until we understand the difficult passage in light of all the rest.
That said, let's take a look at the passage you mentioned. Previously in this chapter, Paul is giving instruction for believers who are married to an unbelieving spouse. Then he says:
17 Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches. 18 Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. 20 Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called
23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 1 Cor -20; 23
Here, Paul says that in whatever state the unbelieving male comes to belief, let him remain in that state. He does not have to be circumcised or uncircumcised to be "called" to salvation. He then writes that each man should remain in the condition in which he was called. Why? Because in the middle of this he has said, "...but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God." Paul knows that once a man has come to belief, he will hear Moses (the torah) "in every city since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath." (Acts 15:21) Therefore, don't "freak out" the unlearned gentile upon salvation about circumcision. Once he's saved and begins following God's commandments, he'll run into the commandment that no uncircumcised male may partake of Passover when Passover comes around. (See Are the Feasts and Sabbaths in the Old Testament Applicable to New Testament Believers?) Then, when it applies, he'll be presented with this information when Moses is read. Until something comes up from what Moses wrote, the gentiles had (and have) only 4 torah commands to follow upon salvation (Acts 15:28-29: abtain from immorality, things strangled, meats sacrificed to idols and blood). Like today, once saved, they would learn more as they walked out their faith.
Therefore, Paul is not contradicting the torah or what Jesus/Y'shua said, he is not contradicting himself, nor is he being hypocritical. Paul IS saying not to listen to those who tell you that Jesus/Y'shua + circumcision = salvation: "do not become slaves of men." What Paul wrote is in 100% agreement with the rest of the Word of God.
Once again, believers who say that they are "under grace" and that the law doesn't apply to them are basically saying, "I'm a believer in a JEWISH Savior and am grateful to escape hell, but I don't like His life-style and practices, so I really don't want to be anything like Him." Whether one realizes it or not, this type of outlook is actually veiled "Christian anti-semitism" (a real oxymoron), and we feel sure, breaks our JEWISH Saviour's heart.