Part 2 of the Hard Sayings of Paul
Objections people "think" they have for not obeying the Heavenly Father's Law.
I remember years ago the first time it was brought to my attention that the Heavenly Fathers' Laws, such as the food laws (Lev 11; Deut 14), the feast days (Lev 23; Deut 16), and Sabbath day (Ex 20:8-11), had to be obeyed today as much as they were the day they were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. At the time I thought to myself, how could anyone possibly believe that, don't they read their bibles? Clearly Paul tells us,
"we're not under the Law, we're under grace" (Rom 6:14). And,
"no man can be saved by the works of the Law." (Gal 2:16)
And doesn't Paul also say in Col 2:16-17, that we should not let anyone judge us concerning these very things, the feast days, foods, and Sabbath days?
Just as many of you who are reading this now might be thinking, I thought at the time that I knew what the bible said concerning the subject of the Almighty's Law. But after considering some of the things that Paul said, that is the things that Peter tells us are "hard to understand,'(2 Pet 3:14-17) I came to realize that I would have been among that great crowd on Judgment Day who will hear those final words of the Savior, "Depart from me I never knew you, you workers of Lawlessness" Matt 7:23
Sin IS LAWLESSNESS
1Jn 3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
If the Heavenly Father's Law is to be obeyed today, again, meaning such things as the 7th day Sabbath, the food laws, and the feast days, of which I'm confident it will become clear in this set of articles that it is to be obeyed, then a "worker of Lawlessness" would be someone that's not obeying those commandments. Whether they're disobeying them intentionally or whether they've been deceived into thinking the Law has been done away with (Matt 15:14). In either case they would fit the description of a "worker of Lawlessness" mentioned my the Savior.
We're told in Proverbs "it's a shame for a man to answer a matter before he hears it (Prov 18:13).
So please don't disregard this article in thinking you know already what Paul meant by some of the things he said concerning the Father's Law. The fact is Paul made it clear that it will only be those that obey the Law that will be justified on Judgment Day.
Rom 2:13 ....the doers of the law shall be justified.
Don't find out when its to late that Satan's deceived you into believing that the Almighty, who 'changes not' - changed his mind concerning His perfect Law (Mal 3:6; Ps 19:7). And that it no longer has to be obeyed. Just as we've read in Part 1 how those 1,000's of Jews misunderstood Paul in thinking that he was speaking against the law, so does much of Christianity and Messianic Judaism today.
The difference between those 1,000's of Jews and the Christians of today is that the Jews, who knew the Scriptures,realized that the Law will endure "Forever" got upset with Paul when they 'thought' that he was talking against the Law, but they never stopped obeying it.
Christianity on the other hand, because they're taught by their ministers that the Almighty's Law no longer has to be obeyed, embrace the idea of a salvation where all that's required of one is to bow their head and say a prayer, rather than heeding the words of the Messiah when he tells us, "unless you lose our life, you'll never see life." In other words we have to die to ourselves and allow the Messiah to live his life in us and through us. (Luk 9:23-25; Gal 2:20; Rom 12:1-2). At which time we would, as he did, be walking in obedience to the Father's Commandments (1 John 2:6)
In this article we're going to be taking a look at some of the things Paul said that people often times 'misunderstand.' Again, the things Peter tells us that people 'distort' due to their lack of understanding of the Scriptures (*the Tanak), and for which, as Peter tells us, they will "be destroyed." (2 Pet 3:16). Such statements as: (click on any of the links below to read the article)
(In a separate article I'll discuss the misunderstanding people have of Paul's words in Rom 7:19 "....I practice the very evil I do not want to do." A very misunderstood passage that many people look to as an excuse to continue in their sin. Hopefully they'll find out before it's to late how wrong they are. (Matt 7:23; Heb 10:26-27 Gal 5:19-21)
According to the Torah, the Law, as was mentioned in an earlier article, if someone sinned unintentionally they could and would be forgiven for that sin by offering up a sacrifice (Lev 4:20,26,31,35; Num 15:29-30). But if someone sinned "intentionally", that is a sin unto death, such as violating the Sabbath day, or not keeping a feast day, cursing father or mother, blaspheming the Almighty's Name, and so on (Ex 31:15-17; Deut 28:15, etc), that person was completely cut off from among Yahuweh's people Israel, the penalty wasn't a sacrifice it was death (Num 15:29-36; Rom 6:23). And according to the Law there wasn't anything a person could do to be reconciled back to the heavenly Father. In other words, according to the Law, there wasn't any way for a person to be 'justified.' The penalty for such a sin wasn't an animal sacrifice, it was death.
Since we're told numerous times throughout the Scriptures that "all" men (mankind) have sinned, all men are under the death sentence. And consequently "could never be justified by the deeds of the Law."
(All men have sinned: 1Ki 8:46; Job 9:2-3; Psa 130:3; Psa 143:2; Ecc 7:20; Rom 3:23).
All a person could do was to live righteously in obeying the commandments (Deut 6:25; 1 John 3:5-10) and trusting that the Father would make a way for that person, you and I, to be reconciled back to Himself for the sins we committed unto death. In other words an individual had to "live by faith" (Hab 2:4; Rom 1:17; Gal 2:20 etc).
Did Yahuweh make that way? Yes he did, he sent his only begotten Son, the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, into the world to die for the sins of Israel, and those that would join themselves to Israel (Rom 9:1-4; Rom 11:16-25; Eph 2:11-13). He died to justify us from that which we could not be justified from according to the Law (Act 13:38-39).
He fulfilled the 'requirement of the Law,' that being death, for us (Rom 8:3-4). That is for those of us who will receive him, and allow him to live his life in us and through us (Gal 2:20; 1 Pet 4:1-2; 1 John 3:4-6)
Can you imagine the horror of standing in front of the Messiah on that final day (Act 17:30-31) and hearing the sentence of death pronounce against you (Matt 7:23), before being thrown in to the 'Lake of Fire?' Can the 'Death' sentence be turned aside? Can anyone argue, as I'm sure some would try to if they were able, to 'justify' themselves by weighting their 'good' deeds against their sins? Would our obeying the Law perfectly for the rest of our lives have canceled out the sins that we committed? Paul answers that question in a language that would be hard to misunderstand:
Consider the following example.
Let's say a man is found guilty of stealing and he's sentenced to ten years in prison, he can indeed be justify by serving out his time. After serving the 10 years, he would have fulfilled his obligation and would be completely 'justified' under the Law. In the same manner a murderer, given a fifty year sentence, could be justified "under the Law" by serving his fifty years. But suppose that instead of fifty years the sentence was death. Can the prisoner 'justify' himself by serving time? Would fifty years of being a 'model' prisoner 'justify' him under the Law? NEVER! If he worked a 100 years at hard labor it wouldn't matter, the sentence wasn't 10, 50 or 100 years it was DEATH.
And as we've seen the same is true according to the Torah, Yahuweh's Law. The wages of sin, is not 5, 10, 15, or even a life time of good works, the "wages of sin is DEATH." This is why a sinner can never be 'saved' by the 'works of the Law.'
"...that soul shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity (sin) shall be upon him" (Num 15:29-31).
We had to live by faith, trusting that Yahuweh would make a way. And he did make that way, his first born, his only begotten Son, Yahoshua our Messiah. He paid the price for the sins that we could not be forgiven for "under the Law."
As our beloved brother Paul stated in:
Act 13:38 "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,
Act 13:39 and through Him everyone who believes is justified from all things, from which you could not be justified through the Law of Moses.
And again in Rom 8:3-4, "For what the Law could not do (that is 'justify us from sin) Yahuweh did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh. That the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us. Who no longer walk after the flesh but according to the spirit."
Allow me to make the point again concerning the two choices Yahuweh had in doing away with sin. I believe it's a point that all those professing a belief in the Messiah MUST understand.
Yahuweh had two options in doing away with sin.
1) Since sin is the violating of His Law (1 John 3:4), He could have eliminated sin by doing away with His Law. OR
2) the Father could send His only begotten Son in to the world to be mocked, spit at, tortured, by being beaten with a whip made of broken glass and bone, by having his beard plucked from His face, thorns driven into His head, and finally left hanging naked on a tree to die, to pay the penalty for the times that you and I violated the Father's Law - when we "sinned." Rather then doing away with His Law, The Father chose the latter, and His Son paid the price, so that the Father's Law might stand.
Think it through for a moment. Yahoshua had to die because the Law had been broken. Sin demanded death. If the law could have been annulled, the penalty of sin would have been set aside also.
"For where no law is, there is no transgression." Rom 4:15
So strong was the authority of the unchangeable law that Yahuweh Himself would not abolish it, not even to save His own Son. It cost something to uphold the Law and pay the maximum penalty. No one will ever know how much it cost the Heavenly Father in having to watch His Son suffer and die. But how thankful we should be that His love was as perfect as his justice. The Savior in his own body He bore the penalty, satisfied the law, and justified the transgressor. That's if we turn from our sins and allow the Messiah to live his life in us. (Gal 2:20; Gal 6:7; 1 Joh 2:6).
In all the universe the heavenly Father, Yahuweh, could not have displayed a more convincing and irrefutable argument in favor of His Law. Many today fail to understand that the law is a reflection of His holiness and righteousness, and it will never be done away with.
Rom 6:14-15; "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace?" Often times we hear the argument, in an attempt to belittle the heavenly Father's Law, "Well since we are not under the law but under grace, we do not have to obey the Law any longer." Is this the way Paul meant for this to be understood? Is Paul, after just telling us that "we establish the Law through faith" (Rom 3:31) now saying that since we are under grace and not under the Law, that we are free from the obligation of obeying the Law?
After stating that we are not under the law but under grace, Paul asks the question, "What then?" (vs. 15) This simply means, "How are we to understand this?"
Rom 6:15 What then? Shall we sin (break the law), because we are not under the law, but under grace? Yahuweh forbid!
In the strongest possible language Paul states that being under grace does not give us a license to break the Law. Yet this is exactly what millions today are being taught by their ministers, and they totally ignore Paul's specific warning, of "Yahuweh Forbid!"
If being under grace does not exempt us from having to obey the Law, then what did Paul mean by saying that believers are 'not under the law?' He gives the answer in
Rom 3:19, "Now we know that what things so ever the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before Yahuweh."
Here Paul equates being 'under the law' with "being guilty before Elohim*." In other words, those who are "under the law" are guilty of breaking it and are under the condemnation of it. This is why Believers are not under it. They are not, or at least should not be, breaking it - and are no longer guilty or condemned by it. Therefore, they are not under it, but are under the power of grace instead. A grace that is sufficient.
Later in his argument, Paul points out that that power of grace is greater than the power of sin. This is why he states so emphatically, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace." (Rom 6:14) Grace overrules the authority of sin, giving us the power to obey the Father's Law. This is the effective reason that we are not under the laws guilt and condemnation (Gal 3:13) and also why Paul states that we will not continue to sin (Rom 6:1-2).
To better understand the principle here let's take the example of a murderer that has been sentenced to death in the electric chair. Waiting for the execution the man would truly be 'under the law' in every sense of the word - under the guilt, under the condemnation, under the sentence of death, etc. Just before the execution date the governor reviews the condemned man's case and decides to pardon him. In the light of extenuating circumstances the governor exercises his prerogative and sends a full pardon to the prisoner. Now he is no longer 'under the law' but under grace. The law no longer condemns him. He is considered totally justified as far as the charges of the law are concerned. He is free to walk out of the prison and there's not a policeman in the country that can lay their hands upon him. But now that he is under grace and no longer under the law, can we say that he is free to break the law? Definitely Not ! In fact, that pardoned man will be doubly obligated to obey the law because he has found grace from the governor. In gratitude and love he will be very careful to honor the laws of the state which granted him grace. And according to Paul this is exactly how True Worshippers today should esteem the Law.
Rom 3:31 "Do we then make void the law through faith? Yahuweh Forbid: yea, we establish the law."
In the same way you and I were that prisoner, we were "under the Law," under the guilt, under the condemnation, under the sentence of death. And then on Judgment Day when our lives will be reviewed (Act 17:30-31) there will be an "extenuating circumstance" and his name is Yahoshua. Because we've surrendered our lives to the Messiah and allowed him live his life through us, his sacrifice, his death, will satisfy the requirement of the Law. And we will be given a full pardon. (Rom 8:4).
This is the answer to the entire problem. When Paul asks the question as to whether the law is nullified for us just because of our faith, his answer is that the law is not only NOT been done away with, it is ESTABLISHED in the life of the grace - saved believer
And just as the prisoner who was so close to death and found 'grace' in the eyes of the governor will be extra cautions in obeying the Laws of the land, so we also in realizing the price that was paid to redeem us back to the Father, will be extra cautious in obeying His Law. Which is why the apostle John can so empathically say, "By this we know that we have come to know Him, " if " we keep His commandments The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; (1John 2:3-4)
Paul's reasoning here should be so obvious to all that are willing to hear, but because of Satan's hold on some who have been so conditioned to avoid obedience to the Heavenly Father's Law, let's press the point a little further.
Have you ever been stopped by a policeman for exceeding the speed limit? It's an embarrassing experience, especially if you know you are guilty. But suppose you really were hurrying to meet a valid emergency, and you put forth your convincing explanation to the officer as he's writing you out a ticket. Slowly he folds the ticket and tears it up. Then he say, "All right, I'm going to pardon you this time, but..." Now what do you suppose he means by the word "but"? Surely he means , "but I don't want to ever catch you speeding again." Does this pardon (grace) open the way for you to disobey the Law? On the contrary, it adds compelling urgency to your decision not to disobey the law again. Why, then, should any true believer try to rationalize his way out of obeying the Father's Law ? "If you love me, keep my commandments" Jn 14:15.
"The Law is our Tutor..." Gal 3:24
I must confess that in the past I've been somewhat amazed with some of the explanations people come up with concerning the fact that the "Law is our Tutor."
What is the sole purpose of a 'Tutor?' Well, a tutor is a Teacher, or Instructor, often times a tutor is referring more specifically to a 'private' instructor, a one on one type relationship. Let's take the example of a Carpenter, someone that served in an apprenticeship for let's say a four year period. While as an apprentice, or student, he studied under a 'tutor' which in this case would be the 'master' Carpenter for his four year apprenticeship. Learning all there is to know about the art of carpentry, being taught by the tutor, that is the 'master' carpenter.
After the four year apprenticeship is over and the student has learned all there is to know concerning the art of carpentry, and is sent off on his own, what does the former student do with all that he was taught while under the tutor? Does he abandon all that he was taught while under the tutor? Of course not, he applies all that he's learned while under the tutor to his life, and in the exact same sense the "Law is our Tutor..."
Gal 3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Messiah, so that we may be justified by faith.
Contrary to what many today are taught by their ministers, which is to simply 'bow your head and say a prayer.' The Savior tells us that no one can come unto Him until they have first been
"...Taught of Yahuweh, Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to me" John 6:45.
At the time the Messiah spoke these words, in that we have to all be "taught of Yahuweh" in order to come to him, what was the only way anyone could have learned of the Father's will in their life? By reading His Law, the Torah.
The Law is our 'Instructor' or 'Tutor', it shows us how our Heavenly Father expects us to conduct our lives, and once having been instructed from the Law, it "...leads us to Messiah" (Gal 3:24), that we might "walk in the same manner as He walked." 1Jn 2:6
Once the Law brings us to Messiah, we are free from the Tutor, for we've been "Taught of Yahuweh" we've learned His will and now we have Yahoshua, 'our Example' ( 1 Pet 2:21) of perfect obedience to the Father's will.
As the Law was on the Messiah's heart (Ps 40:7-8), it should be on our hearts as well (Isa 51:7: Psa 37:30-34). And someday soon it will be on the hearts of all mankind. (Jer 31:33).
Gal 3:25-26 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For (or 'because') you are all sons of Yahuweh through faith in Messiah, Yahoshua.
You see, as was mentioned earlier;
"to know Yahuweh is to Love Him and to Love Him is to obey Him" (Ps 19:7; 1 John 5:3)
To know and obey Yahuweh's Law is essential to our Salvation.
Rom 2:11-13; "For there is no partiality with Yahuweh For all who have sinned without the Law will also 'perish' without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before Yahuweh, but the doers of the Law will be justified."
"The Law is the will of the Heavenly Father and Grace is the power to do His will"
But aren't we under the law of Messiah (Christ)?
How many "different" laws are we commanded to obey? The answer is "One". There aren't two laws today, as so many ministers like to teach. They say there's the Law of the Heavenly Father and the Law of the Messiah, or the Christ, as it's typically called.
When the Messiah Yahoshua walked the earth he made it clear on numerous occasions that he did not come to do "his will" but the will of the One who sent him, namely His Elohim and Father, Yahuweh (John 20:17)
Joh 7:17 "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of Elohim or whether I speak for Myself.
Messiah was NOT speaking for himself, he was 'commanded' by the One who sent him as to what to say and what to speak.
Joh 12:49 "For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.
And the Father did not 'then, now, nor will He ever' say His Perfect Law was going to be changed or done away with. "I am Yahuweh, I change not...." Mal 3:6.
Mat 5:18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from (My Father's) Law until all is accomplished.
Is it possible for the Savior to have made it any clearer? Has 'heaven and earth' passed away yet?
(These passages, Matt 5:17-19, will be discussed in detail in Part 3.)
Jer 6:16 Thus says Yahuweh, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'
Jer 6:19 "Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, The fruit of their plans, Because they have not listened to My words, as for My law, they have rejected it.
And Even though Israel at times lived righteously by obeying the Law, many times they did not, and they suffered the consequences of their sin. But Yahuweh promised to send a "Redeemer" to die on behalf of Israel's transgression, he laid down his life for all the sins of those that would choose to give their life to him. (Luk 9:23; Gal 2:20) He came to save His People from their "sins" not from the Heavenly Father's Law.
The Messiah tells us that it's "those who do the will of the Father" that are his brothers, sisters, and mothers. (Mat 12:50). What was the "will of the Father when Yahoshua spoke those words? Clearly it was his "perfect, holy and just Law" (Ps 19:7; Rom 7:12). As it is today.
The Messiah also warns us that if we do not do the "will of the Father" we will be turned away on Judgment Day.
Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
Mat 7:22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
Mat 7:23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice Lawlessness (sin).
In both of these instances above (Matt 12:50; 7:21), what was the "will of the Father" at the time Messiah made these statements? Clearly it was obeying His Commandments, His Law.
There is "one Law" and "one Lawgiver", not two, and that One is the heavenly Father, Yahuweh. (James 4:12)
The Messiah, as every prophet before him, came to tell us to "repent" stop sinning, or we will perish (Luk 13:3,5; 2 Kgs 17:13). And he suffered and died for those who would obey him
Doesn't Rom 10:4 say the Messiah is "end" of the Law
Rom 10:4 For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
How was the Messiah made the 'end' of the Law for us? I think if we take a look at how this word 'end' is used in other passages and then at how it is that the Messiah is the "end" of the Law for us, it will become clear that Paul is in no way implying that the Law has 'ended'.
The word 'end' used here is the Greek word "telos", and it's #5056 in the Strong's Concordance,
In all of the following examples the same word 'telos' is underlined. We'll compare the King James Version (KJV) with the New American Standard Version (NASV).
1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: (KJV)
1Ti 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (NASV)
1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls (KJV)
1Pe 1:9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (NASV)
Jam 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of Yahuweh (the Lord); that Yahuweh is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (KJV)
Jam 5:11 We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of Yahuweh's dealings, that Yahuweh is full of compassion and is merciful. (NASV)
Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of Yahuweh: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. (KJV)
Heb 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of Yahuweh to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. (NASV)
So we see that we could have just as correctly translated this word "telos" as "goal, outcome, or result", any one of which I believe would have made the passage much easier to understand.
Let me explain why I say that.
The apostle Paul in writing to the Romans said to them a number of things concerning the Law, for instance:
In chapter 2 of Romans Paul makes it extremely clear that if someone, that would be one of the saints in Rome (Rom 1:7) "and us", does not obey the Law they will perish. It will only be those that actually obey the Law that will be justified on Judgment Day.
Rom 2:11 For there is no partiality with Yahuweh. (meaning the same applies to the Jew and gentile alike)
Rom 2:12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
Rom 2:13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before Yahuweh , but the doers of the Law will be justified.
How may different ways are there in understanding what Paul just said? The answer is one, and that is, if you don't obey the Law you will perish. Does this in anyway sounds as if he's telling the saints in Rome, or us, that the Law "ended"?
On to Romans chapter 3, after explaining how we're justified by 'faith' (Rom 3:28) and realizing how people would distort his words, Paul goes on to ask the question,
Rom 3:31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? Yahuweh forbid! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
In Romans chapter 6, which is written to the same people that chapter 10 was written to, Paul sounding somewhat excited, asks the question
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
Sin is a violation of the Heavenly Father's Law (1 John 3:4), and it was because we've sinned, that is violated the Almighty's Law, that the Messiah had to suffer and die as he did. If we understated that then I believe we might get as excited as Paul seems to have gotten when as he answers his own question.
Rom 6:2 Yahuweh Forbid! How shall we who died to sin still live in it any longer?
I'll repeat that one more time for those that might not have heard it the first time, "Yahuweh Forbid" that we should continue to violate the Law, it was because of our sins that Messiah had to died a torturous death, and Yahuweh will not tolerate those that continue to sin.
Does anything we've read thus far in Romans sound as if Paul's telling the Romans that the Law has "ended"? Of course not.
We could, but we won't, go on to take a look at other things Paul said to the Romans concerning the Law, such as:
"sin shall not be master over you" (Rom 6:14),
"Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Yahuweh Forbid! (Rom 6:15),
"For the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23),
"the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good." (Rom 7:12),
was it the Law that brought death? "Yahuweh Forbid! ...it was sin," our breaking of the Law (Rom 7:13)
But if you would turn now to Rom 8:3-4 and we'll take a look at the reason Paul tells us the Messiah is the 'goal, outcome, or result' of the Law.
Rom 8:3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, Yahuweh did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
Rom 8:4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
The Law 'required' the death of the sinner, and Messiah 'fulfilled' that requirement.
It was "sin" the Messiah died to save us from, not from the Law itself?
So in realizing the Messiah died to "fulfill the requirement of the Law in us," and the fact that we are to obey the Law even as the Messiah obeyed it (1 John 2:6). To say, "the Messiah is the 'goal' rather then the 'end' of the Law to all that believe" (Rom 10:4), would clear up a lot of the confusion some people have concerning Rom 10:4.
Let no man judge you.... Col 2:16-17
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath day:
Col 2:17 things which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Messiah.
I hope you don't mind but I'd like to tell you what I think is a somewhat humorous story concerning this passage. Maybe 20 some years ago I was discussing the feast days, food laws and Sabbath day with a co-worker. And he mentioned in our conversation that in Col 2:16-17 it states that those things no longer had to be obeyed any longer. So I brought my bible to work. It's always better to show someone from the Word, rather then simply give your opinion about what the bible says.
I asked him to read the two passages along with me to make sure I wasn't taking anything out of context. So he followed along as I read them. When we got to the word "are" in verse 17 I intentionally read the word "were" instead of "are, and said, "things which 'were' a shadow of things to come". He corrected me and said, "no, it doesn't say they 'were' a shadow, it says that they 'are' a shadow.' I disagreed and said, "No they 'were' a shadow, they use to be." Getting a little frustrated he said, "what are you looking at? It doesn't say they used to be, it says they still are a shadow." I said, "Oh, you mean at the time Paul wrote this he was saying, 'the feast days, food laws and Sabbath "are" still a shadow of what is to come?" Although my co-worker could clearly see these things, the Feast days, Food Law and the Sabbath Day, not 'were' but "are" a shadow of things to come, he was unwilling to change. My prayer is you won't be the same way.
The fact is this passage is often times twisted, by those that have been mislead in thinking the Almighty did away with His Law, to say the exact opposite of what it's actually saying, "the feast days, food laws and Sabbath day" were never done away with, they still "are" a shadow of things to come. They were when Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians in approximately 62 A.D., 30 some years after the resurrection and they still 'are' today.
What Paul is saying here to the saints at Colosse is that they shouldn't let any man judge them concerning the feast days, food laws, and Sabbath day, the 'judging should be done by the body of the Messiah. The end of verse 17 should read, "the body of Messiah."
A brother years ago paraphrased verses 16 -17 this way.
Col 2:16-17 "Let no man therefore judge you but the body of Messiah. In regard to meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath: things which are a shadow of things to come..
Paul warns the believers in chapter 2 not to be carried away "through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, rather than after Messiah." Col 2:8
Let me ask you are the feast days, Passover, the Day of Atonement, Tabernacles, etc, "traditions of men" or commands of the Almighty (Lev 23:2)? Speaking of the feast days in Leviticus chapter 23 we're told 4 different times that these feast days are to be a "statute forever, throughout your generations"
(Lev 23:14, 21, 31, 41).
And the Almighty didn't change His mind.
In Leviticus chapter 11, the Almighty tells us 11 times that certain animals are an "abomination" not fit to be used as food. (Lev 11:10,11,12,13,20,23,41, 42).
Again Yahuweh did not change His mind.
The Sabbath day, the 7th day of the week, is one of the 10 commandments that almost all of Christianity refuses to obey (Ex 20:8-11; Deut 5:12-15). Yahuweh tells us that the Sabbath day is to be a sign between Him and His people "forever". (Ex 31:14-17)
And He did not change His mind.
"I am Yahuweh and I change not" (Mal 3:6)
The Sabbath day, feast days and food laws "are" a shadow of things to come, "and He did not change His mind."
Wasn't the Law nailed to the Tree? Col 2:14
While we're here in the book of Colossians let's take a look at another often times misunderstood passage,
Col 2:14: Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
What are the "ordinances that were against us"? I'd like to take a moment here to explain something that some people may not be aware of. In the Torah there are, commandments, statutes, and ordinances (Deut 8:11).
A "commandment' is a law such as "thou shall not" or "thou shall" do a certain thing.
A "statute" is a condition pertaining to that 'commandment' in how it is to be observe.
and the 'ordinance' is the "judgment" in the event that commandment "is not" obeyed.
Let's take for instance the 4th commandment, "keep holy the Sabbath Day," the 7th day of the week. That would be the "commandment".
The statutes pertaining to that commandment are,
1) we should not bake and/or boil any food on the Sabbath Day. The food should be prepared ahead of time, on the 6th day of the week. (Exo 16:23)
2) We should not 'kindle' or start a fire on the Sabbath Day (Exo 35:3)
3) We shouldn't do any work on the Sabbath Day, it is to be a day of rest. (Exo 20:10 )
4) We should not seek our own pleasure on the Sabbath Day. It's a 'sanctified day that belongs to Yahuweh (Isa 58:13-14)
Again, these 4 rulings dictating how to observe the Sabbath are called 'statutes.'
In the event that someone should violate one of these statutes governing the Sabbath Day, there are what's called "ordinances" or "judgments."
If the entire congregation, or a priest, or any individual, should 'unintentionally' violate one of the 'statutes' pertaining to the Sabbath Day then a sacrifice could be made that person or group of people could and would be forgiven for that sin (Lev 4:20,26,31,35; Num 15:29-30). That is the "ordinance" or "judgment" pertaining to someone 'unintentionally' violating of the Sabbath day.
If someone "intentionally" violated the Sabbath day, by working when they shouldn't have, or 'baking or boiling' on the Sabbath day, or kindling a fire on the Sabbath day, the "ordinance" or "judgment" for such an act was "death." and there wasn't anything, "according to the Torah" that a person could do to change that. (Exo 31:14-16; Num 15:32-36)
And that is one of the "ordinances against us" that the Messiah died for. He did not die to do away with His Father's Law, he died for the "ordinances, or judgments, that were against us," because we violated that Law.
In other words the Messiah died to redeem us from the 'curse' of the Law, the 'ordinances that were against us,' NOT from the Law itself.
Gal 3:13 Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:
You can read of many other 'curses' in Deut 28:14-61, and keep in mind as you read them,
"the Almighty did not change His mind"
If we have to obey the Law why do we not sacrifice animals today ?
A common question among those that do not obey the Heavenly Father's Law is, "Well if you keep the Law why don't you sacrifice animals today?"
The reason is rather simply. ONLY the priest were allowed to offer a sacrifice.
Num 18:7-8 "But you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything concerning the altar and inside the veil, and you are to perform service. I am giving you the priesthood as a bestowed service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.'' Then Yahuweh spoke to Aaron, ""Now behold, I Myself have given you charge of My offerings, even all the holy gifts of the sons of Israel I have given them to you as a portion and to your sons as a perpetual allotment.
So you see the sacrifices HAD to be done by the priest and they had to be made in the Temple, we, the laymen, were never allowed to offer up the sacrifices. And since the priesthood is not with us today, and because of the destruction of Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70, no sacrifices are made today.
And that is the reason we do not sacrifice today.
Allow me to explain a little further.
Some people don't realize that Yahuweh commanded sacrifices for a variety of reason in His Law. For instance, when a baby was born after the days of purification, which was 33 days for a male and 66 days for a female (Lev 12:4-5) a lamb and a turtledove or 2 turtledoves were to be offered by the priest (Matt 2:24; Lev 12:6-8).
Or when a leper was cured of his leprosy he was commanded to go to the priest to present an offering (Matt 8:4: Lev 14:10-14)
These sacrifices along with the sacrifices for "unintentional" sin had to be made exclusively by the Priest. If someone other then a priest were to approached the alter, like you or I, they would be put the death (Num 18:7-8). Such sacrifices as these continued to be offered even after the death of the Savior.
For instance Paul himself, continued to make sacrifices in the Temple long after the death of the Messiah. For example in Acts 21:17-26 (which was commented on in Part 1), when Paul, who was under a Nazarite vow (Act 18:18) came to Jerusalem, the apostle James who was the head of the assembly in Jerusalem at that time, informed Paul how there were literally 1,000's of Jews who had come to faith in Messiah and they "mistakenly" thought that Paul was speaking and teaching against the Law. So to prove to these Jews that there was "nothing to the things which they thought" concerning Paul (Act 21:24), James had Paul and 4 other men who were also under a Nazarite vow, go to the Temple to complete their vow by 'purifying themselves and offering up the required sacrifices.'
Act 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.
There's no question that it was a Nazerite vow that Paul and these four men were under, and there were 3 sacrifices that had to made at the completion of the Nazarite vow. That's 3 sacrifices for Paul and the 4 other men that were under the vow. (Num 6:14-20). Again keeping in mind this was approximately 17 years AFTER the death of the Messiah. (Gal 1:18; 2:1)
Why were these sacrifices still offered after the death of the Messiah? Because the Messiah did not die to become a substitute for 'all' the sacrifices, such as the sacrifice for 'purification' of a new born child, or the sacrifice of a leper being healed, nor any of the other sacrifices. He died to became a sacrifice exclusively for the SINS we could not be justified for by the Law (Num 15:30-31).
Heb 10:12 "...but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of Yahuweh."
All other sacrifices ceased when the Temple was destroyed in AD 70 and the priesthood temporarily ended. When the 3rd Temple is build, which the Messiah, Yahoshua, himself will build (*Zech 6:11-13), all the sacrifices will be brought back (Ezek 44; Jer 33:17-18), except the sacrifice for sin which the Messiah died for.
And that is why we don't sacrifices animals today, because the Priest were the ONLY ones allowed to make the sacrifices and it had to be done in the Temple.
The Messiah, Yahoshua, did not die as a substitute for "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons" when a child was born (Luk 2:24) or for the "two male and one female lamb" that had to be offered in the cleansing of a leper (Lev 14:10), he died as a sacrifice "for sin" once and for all (Heb 10:12)
What did the Savior mean by "I came to fulfill the Law" Matt 5:17-19
In Matt 5:17-19, the Savior could not have made it any plainer when He stated that not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law until heaven and earth pass away. And yet Satan, through his ministers today (2 Cor 11:13-15), has people completely twisting the words of the Messiah into saying just the opposite of what the Master said.
Mat 5:17 Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
Mat 5:18 For truly I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished
Mat 5:19 Whosoever 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 whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (NASV)
In the past I've heard ministers quote these very passages and then go on to explain that what the Savior actually meant when he said he came to 'fulfill' the Law, was that in his 'fulfilling' it, he put an end to it, or did away with it. In other words because he obeyed the Law, or fulfilled it, we no longer have to. He brought the law to an end.
Could this possible be what He meant by the word 'fulfill?' In order to show that word 'fulfill' could not possibly mean to "destroy" or "put an end to," we'll read verse 17 again and substitute the term, 'fulfill,' with the words "do way with", and see if the verse becomes any clearer.
Verse 17, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, ... I am not come to destroy, but to 'do away with' the Law.
The very thing that the Messiah is telling us not to do, that is, "Do not think" that He came to destroy or do away with the Law, is the very thing that Satan has so many people today believing. And they use the 'Hard Sayings' of Paul to try to promote this 'No Law' concept. And because of the carnal or fleshly nature of man, there are many people who are very eager to embrace such an unscriptural doctrine as Salvation 'without' obedience.
Verse 18, For verily I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter of stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
To the honest individual, it should be clear that 'heaven and earth' have NOT passed away yet, therefore according to the Messiah, NOTHING, not the smallest letter, has at this time, been done away with from the Almighty's Law.
Notice closely the word 'all' in verse 18. Some 'ministers' say that since the Messiah fulfilled, or accomplished 'all' the law, he did away with it and therefore no one else has to obey it. But is that true? Did the Messiah obey or accomplish "all" of the Law. This statement my sound shocking to some but the answer is "no", he did not 'fulfill' or obey "all" the law. As a matter of fact he didn't even fulfill half of the commandments contained within the Law. I'll explain why I say that below in "613 Commandments - "Did the Messiah obey them all"?
Back to Matthew verse 19, Whosoever 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 whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Who is going to be called 'great in the Kingdom?' It's the one that keeps the Heavenly Father's Law, and teaches others to do the same.
Do you believe that, you who think the Law has been done away with? Will those that are teaching others the need to obey the Law be called great in the kingdom of Heaven? Then where will you be that are telling people it no longer has to be obeyed? (See Matthew 7:21-23).
Those that break, or don't keep even the least of the commandments and teach others to do the same will not be "in" the Kingdom, but they'll be called least "by" those in the Kingdom of heaven".
This word in Matt 5:19 which is translated "in" could have just as easily been translated "by." Meaning those that will not even keep the least of the commandments will be called least "by" those in the Kingdom of Heaven".
You see the 'little' sinners will not inherit the kingdom, but rather it will be those that "are in" the kingdom, the ones who are walking as the Messiah walked, that will be looking down on these people who could not even keep the "least of the commandments" and referring to them as the "least among men."
Matthew 5:19, Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least by the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great by the kingdom of heaven.
Does it really make sense to anyone that someone "teaching men" to break the commandments is going to be "in the kingdom"? As our beloved brother Paul likes to say, "Yahuweh forbid!"
The Messiah died to set us free from sin, that is "all" sin, even the so-called little ones. (Gal 5:21; 2 Tim 2:19; Tit 2:14; 1 John 3:5-9)
(Here are a few of the dozens of times the word translated "in" in Matt 5:19 is used as "by" Mat 5:34; 5:35; 5:36; 12:24; 12:27; 12:28; 14:13; 17:21; 21:27; 23:21; 23:22)
Did the Messiah obey "all" of the Law? The answer will surprise you.
A 12th century Rabbi, named, Moshe Ben Maimonides, also know by the acronym, Rambam, is usually credited with dividing the Torah, the 5 books of Moses, into 613 commandments, 248 positive commandments "thou shall," and 365 negative commandments, "thou shall not." (actually the Torah, the Law, was broken down into 613 commandments prior to the Rambam)
The statement is often made, and correctly so I might add, that "no one can keep 'all' the commandments". And the fact is that "no one was ever expected to keep all the commandments."
Let me to explain.
Most of the 613 commandments, well over half of them, apply directly and specifically to the Levitical priesthood. Laws pertaining to the Temple service, the sacrifices, how they, the priest, were to dress and conduct themselves while officiating in the Temple and outside the temple.
Other commandments apply specifically to women, others to men, some to children. There are laws pertaining to lepers, others to the upkeep of livestock and so on. In other words 'most' of the 613 commandments "do not" apply to each of us as individuals. But the ones that do apply to every man, woman, and child, are to be obeyed by every man, woman, and child, as much as today, as the day they were given.
Did the laws pertaining to the Levitical priesthood, women, husbands, lepers, and livestock apply to the Messiah Yahoshua? No, of course not, none of those commandments would have applied to the Messiah. Did the Messiah obey the Law perfectly? Absolutely he did, the commandments "that applied to him" that is. But the fact is that he "did not" obey all the Law, for "all" the Law did not apply to him. In other words he never did fulfill "most" the Law.
Let me repeat that, the Savior "DID NOT" fulfill all of the Law, because "all" the Law did not apply to him.
Therefore when the Savior tells us in Matthew 5:17 that he came to 'fulfill' or 'obey' the Law, he "did not" mean he came to fulfill, or obey "all" of the Law, he meant quite simply he walked in obedience to all the commandments that applied specifically to him. And not the laws that applied to the Levites, women, husbands, lepers, livestock, and so on.
The reason for mentioning that is because so many ministers today, in an attempt to belittle or try to do away with the Law, say that since the Messiah tells us in Matt 5:17-19, that he came to "fulfill" the Law that somehow means that we no longer have to obey it. Hopefully you can see the Messiah did not fulfill, or obey, "all" of the Law. As a matter of fact when we consider that approximately half of all the commandments applied specifically to the Levitical priesthood, some to woman, some to husbands, lepers, and livestock, none of which would have applied to the Messiah, he "fulfilled" a very small fraction of the 613 commandments mentioned in the Law.
So the next time a 'ministers' tries to tell you that because the Messiah "fulfilled" or obeyed the Law, that somehow means you and I no longer have to, you can show him how that makes no sense whatsoever.
This ends Part 2 of the Hard sayings of Paul
* Tanak is an acronym 'T' 'N' 'K', meaning the entire "Old" Testament.
The 'T' which stands for 'Torah' which is the first five books of the bible, which is the 'Law'.
The 'N' is for the Hebrew word 'Nevi'im,' translated as Prophets.
And the 'K' is 'Ketuvim', the 'writing' such as Psalms, Proverbs, etc.
The Messiah comments on the Tanak in
Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses (Torah) and the Prophets (Nevi'im) and the Psalms (Ketuvim) must be fulfilled." .
* the word "Elohim" is #430 in the Hebrew and is usually translated 'G-d', but is also used to describe angels (Ps 8:5), the judges (Ex 22:8,9; Ps 82:6), Moses (Ex 7:1) and the prophet Samuel (1 Sam 28:13-14).
* The "Yahoshua" (Joshua) spoken of in Zech chapters 3 and 6 is prophetically speaking of Yahoshua our Messiah, who is to be a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec (Ps 110:1-4) . According to the Torah, the priest were to be from the line of Levi, and the kings were to be taken from the line of Judah. A priest after the "order of Melchisedec" is referring to priest who will also hold the office of a 'king and a priest'. And that will be our high priest, king Yahoshua, our Messiah.
There was a priest named Yahoshua (Joshua) at the time of Zechariah but he was not a "king". There wasn't, nor would there be, another King in Israel until the Messiah returns to set up his Kingdom.
In conclusion let me say that the Almighty Yahuweh did not change His mind about His perfect holy and just Law, but if you've been mislead in to thinking it's been done away with, it's not to late "for you to change your mind."
Because "Yahuweh is not changing His"
If anyone has any questions as to something I've said here, or if you feel I've overlooked something, please let me know and I'll be sure to included it in an updated article. Or if someone has questions concerning the feast days, food laws, or Sabbath day, such as Romans 14, or Peter's vision on the roof, please ask. If I don't already have an article posted on the site I will type one up and list it with the others.
In the Hard Sayings of Paul Part 3 we'll take a look at the "New" Testament and the Law. I think many will be surprised to hear what the "New" Testament says concerning the Law.
May Yahuweh bless the honest heart that is seeking to serve Him in spirit and "truth".