Law of Moses – Yahweh’s Teachings

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Part II   –   The Law in the New Testament


Law To Be Taught

The Messiah expects the Law to be taught, not abolished. “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, whoever shall do them and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17,19).

Yahshua commends those who obey the commandments and teaches them to others so that they might obey. Let’s look at how the law was indeed taught in the NT.

Heb 5:12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles (*logion: see Act 7:38, Ro 3:1) of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
*#3051 ~ logion – KJV-oracle 4; total 4. Definition: a brief utterance, a divine oracle, in the NT the words or utterances of God;  of the contents of the Mosaic law.

1Co 11:2  Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances (paradosis), as I delivered them to you.

Establish the Law

The Apostle Paul wanted to establish the Law, not abolish it.  “Do we then make the Law void through faith? May it never be! Rather, we establish (*histemi) the Law” (Romans 3:31).

Do we no longer need to obey the Law once we have faith in Messiah? Paul says we certainly do continue to uphold the Law. The Greek histemi means to stand, continue, establish, keep its place, to uphold the authority of . W.H. Vine: to cause to stand.

Paul Lived and Taught the Law

Ac 18:18  Paul … sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow. (See Nu 6:5)
Ac 21:24  Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
Ac 24:18  Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.
Ac 25:8  While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended (*hamartano) any thing at all.
*#264 ~ hamartano – KJV – sin 38, trespass 3, offend 1, for your faults 1; total 43. Definition: to be without a share in, to miss the mark, to wander from the law of God, violate God’s law, sin.

Paul defending himself against those who would judge his conduct:

1Co 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?  9  For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10  Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written.
Ro 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.25 So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Ep 6: 1 Children, obey your parents in Yahweh: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

Paul is quoting the commandments knowing full well they still meant something and yet preachers mislead their flocks with the ridiculous notion that he taught that the law was abolished. Paul was the strongest advocate of obedience to the law in all the NT.

 

Yahshua: “I am come to destroy the law”?

This is what is preached from Christian pulpits around the world. Yahshua has abolished the law, nailed it to the cross and rendered it obsolete. But the truth is in what Yahshua really said.

Mt 5:17 Think NOT that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am NOT come to destroy, but to fulfil (plhrow).

There it is in black and white but he must of made a mistake because Christianity insists verse 17 should read like this, “I am not come to destroy the law, but to obliterate it.” But let the truth be known, Yahshua tells us to not even THINK he came to destroy the law, let alone believe it! If you say that he came and abolished the law, then you are saying He came to destroy it. The meaning of fulfill here is to complete or establish.
#4137 ~ plhrow – KJV – fulfil 51, fill 19, be full 7, complete 2, end 2, misc. 9; total 90. Definition: to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full; to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally; to render full, i.e. to complete; to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim; to render perfect; bring to realisation, realise; to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish; to fulfil, i.e. to cause God’s will to receive fulfilment.

If a judge sentences a man to 20 years in prison for a murder he committed but the authorities neglect to take him to prison and he goes free, then justice is denied. Until the sentence is carried out and completed then the law has not been satisfied, it is not completed or fulfilled. When Yahshua said, “It is finished … and gave up the ghost” (Jn 19:30) the law was satisfied, complete, fulfilled.

18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (ginomai).
#1096 ~ ginomai – KJV – be 255, come to pass 82, be made 69, be done 63, come 52, become 47, God forbid + 3361 15, arise 13, have 5, be fulfilled 3, be married to 3, be preferred 3, not tr. 14, misc. 4, vr done 2; total 678. Definition: to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being; to become, i.e. to come to pass, happen; to be made, finished.

Now here is a little trick by the translators. They use the word fulfill here (vs 18) again even though it does not come from the same Greek word as the “fulfil” above (vs 17). They try to get us to believe that since Messiah fulfilled the law, that one jot and one tittle has passed from the law (or been taken away). The Greek word ginomai is translated “be” 253 times, “come to pass” 82 times and fulfilled only 3 times. It is never used in reference to Yahshua fulfilling anything in the law and prophets. Therefore the meaning of this is that not one iota of the law will pass away until everything comes to pass [Both NIV, RSV, SNB and Adam Clarke have “till all be accomplished” JB has “achieved,” YLT has “come to pass.”]

Lu 16:17 It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail (piptw).
#4098 ~ piptw – KJV – fall 69, fall down 19, light 1, fail 1; total 90. Definition: to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall; metaphorically come under condemnation; to fall down; to fall out, fall from i.e. shall perish or be lost; fall into ruin: of buildings, walls etc.; to perish, i.e come to an end, disappear, cease; to lose authority, no longer have force.

Clearly there is more to come. In Yahweh’s coming kingdom, we will then have no need for the law and prophets because we will have no sinful nature. However, we all have this sinful nature that we must fight and overcome by the power of Yahshua in us. Therefore we still need the law to help guide us into the path of righteousness. Many say that we need no law now that we have Yahweh’s Spirit. But truly Yahweh’s words ARE Spirit and are life. (John 6:63) And surely David had Yahweh’s Spirit (Psalms 51:11) and yet he still looked to the Law for guidance. (Psalms 19 and 119)

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.

Are you teaching men it is ok to break these commandments or are you doing them and teaching them? Notice here it says “these” commandments! What are “these” commandments? The commandments found in the law and the prophets Yahshua mentioned in vs. 17.  In verses 17, 18 and 19 He is dealing with the law and the prophets.

Colossians 2: “Handwriting of ordinances”

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Messiah.

This is what the main thrust of Colossians chapter 2 is all about. This theme remains constant throughout but men have tried to change it to Yahweh’s commandments rather than the commandments and traditions of men.

9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.

So we need no other doctrines because we are complete in Yahshua who is the head of all. We are complete in him. We don’t need anything that men might invent.

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Messiah

Putting off [apekdusis #555]: W. E. Vine has “stripping off.”  The JB puts it this way, “the complete stripping of your body of flesh.”  In its notes the JB adds, “Surgical circumcision removes only a piece of skin.”  Clarke says, “It is not a cutting off of a part of the flesh, but a putting off the body of the sins of the flesh.”  A. T. Robertson gives us an interesting tidbit, telling us this phrase was coined by Paul, “In the putting off.” As if an old garment (the fleshly body) and occurring nowhere else so far as known (in all the Greek writings found up to this day).”  He adds, “Paul had as much right to mint a Greek compound (coin a phrase) as any one and surly no one ever had more ideas to express and more power in doing it.”

How do we then strip (metaphorically) this sinful body off ourselves?

12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of Yahweh, who hath raised him from the dead.

Peter, like Paul, writes that water represents the knife that cuts away this body of sin. 1 Pe. 3:20 (RV) …eight persons, were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you,” JB has “That water is a type of the baptism,” SNB “Which water in manner corresponding,” and NIV “this water symbolizes baptism.”  Does the water or the act of baptism itself save you?  Peter continues, (RV) “not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience,” JB & NIV “a pledge made to God of a good conscience,” SNB “the request unto Yahvah for a good conscience,” The Greek word eperotema #1906, wrongly translated in the KJV as “answer” is taken from #1905, meaning to ask for, seek, desire, demand or question, thus giving the meaning to #1906 as “inquiry”. Vine: “Used by the Greeks in a legal sense, as a demand or appeal.”  For Peter said in Acts 2:38 to repent, which is this appeal in good conscience he’s speaking of in his first epistle, and be baptized, or saved by water as Noah was saved by water from the wrath of Yahweh in the ark. This repentance and baptism saves us only because it is done how? Tell us Peter, “through the resurrection of Yahshua the Messiah” [SNB & JB]. Remember, “Many of us as were baptized into Yahshua Messiah were baptized into his death” (Ro 6:3).

We buried the old man and we are now a new creation so we shouldn’t be going back to any old traditions and philosophies

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

You were as good as dead, your sins killed you because the law requires death for any transgression against it. “Uncircumcision of your flesh,” remember he’s addressing Gentiles not Jews. But now you are made alive with Yahshua. How? He deleted all charges against you by paying the price himself and thus delivering you from your transgressions.

14 Blotting out the handwriting (cheirographon) of ordinances (dogma) that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

#5498 ~ cheirographon – KJV – handwriting 1; total 1. Definition: something handwritten; a legal document or bond; a note acknowledging money either deposited or lent. Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi (Sabbath To Sunday, page 348), “A term used in antiquity in the sense of a written agreement or a certificate of debt.” Robertson, (Word Pictures, V 4, pg. 494) “Is very common in the papyri for a certificate of debt or bond.” In ancient times there were no receipt books or cheques, what we might call today an IOU written by hand was sufficient. See how Paul guaranteed Philemon, concerning the slave Onesimus, should he “Oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it” (Phm 17-18).
#1378 ~ dogma – KJV-decree 3, ordinance 2; total 5. Definition: doctrine, decree, ordinance.

The handwritten decree confirming our guilt was nailed above us on the cross spelling out our sins and the debt we owed.

Blotting out what?

Ac 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.

Yes, the charges against you, your sins, your debt, your transgressions, your penalty, your punishment was blotted out! Paul says, “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us.” Is the law “against us” or “contrary to us?” Yes, screams 99% of Christianity! Do you believe Christianity or the Bible?

De 4:8 What nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
Ne 9:13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments.
Ps 19:7 The law of Yahweh is perfect, converting the soul: 8 The statutes of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Ro 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
1Ti 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.
1Jo 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are NOT grievous (barus).
#926 ~ barus – from the same as #922 translated burden. KJV – grievous 3, heavy 1, weighty 1, weighter 1; total 6. Definition: heavy in weight, metaph. burdensome, severe, stern.

There is not a verse in the Bible that says the Law is hard to keep or against us. Paul and John tell us the law is NOT against or contrary to us but is for us. Yahweh gave us perfect commandments to help us, not to burden us. In contrast Yahshua said, concerning man’s laws, the scribes and the Pharisees “They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders.” (RSV Mt 23:4).

When Paul mentions “the Law,” the Greek word nomos (#3551) is used and although it appears 197 times in the NT he never once mentions it here in Colossians.

Look at how other English versions more correctly translate this verse even though some of them are not known for their accuracy.

PNT – He has utterly wiped out the written evidence of broken commandments which always hung over our heads.
ESV – By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.
NLT – “He canceled the record of the charges against us.”
CEV – “God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses.”
TNIV – “Having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us.”
GW – “He did this by erasing the charges that were brought against us by the written laws God had established”
NASB – Having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us.

Look at what Paul is speaking about leading up to verse 14. He’s pointing out with references to circumcision and baptism that we were make alive when Messiah paid our debt. Stand back and look at the picture here. Abolishing the law didn’t take away our sins but blotting out the condemnation the law lays against us does.

Ro 6:23 For the wages (price) of sin is death.

The Messiah became “sin for us” (2Co 5:21) when He was nailed to the tree. Peter tells us Yahshua, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1Pe 2:24), and so when he was nailed to the tree so was the “handwriting,” the certificate of debt, the bond or note, the IOU. When a man commits murder it is not the law of murder that is against him, after all it is a perfectly moral law, what is against him is the charge of breaching the law of murder. When the Queen or the President pardons such a man they aren’t rescinding the entire law but only the single charge of violating that law. Yahweh’s holy ordinances were not nailed to the tree, the certificate of debt resulting in our death sentence was nailed to the tree. That is why Paul told the Colossians you are “dead in your sins,” as did Peter.

Ga 3:10 & 13 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them.” Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree”—

Yahshua took our curse and nailed it to the cross he did not take the law, otherwise murder and stealing would no longer be a sin. He took the condemnation against us, the debt or penalty we owed and nailed it to the cross, marked -“Paid in full!”

15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

In verse 10 Paul said now Yahshua “is the head of all principality and power” and he became head after the resurrection.

Heb 2:14 …that through death He (Yahshua) might destroy him that had the power of death—that is, the devil (See Lu 4:6; Jo 12:31; Eph 6:12; Rev 12:10).

He overcame and disarmed the spirits of darkness, the evil angels. He triumphed over Satan and all his powers, he put them to an open shame by triumphing over them in his resurrection and ascension.

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 [days]: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Messiah

It was the deceivers of verses 4, 8, and 18 that were judging them and imposing their man-made commandments and traditions upon the Colossians. Paul is telling them not to allow anyone to judge them concerning those matters.

In verse 17 the shadow includes everything listed in verse 16, “Which are a shadow.” But what is the object that casts the shadow? The answer: “A shadow OF things to come.” We have been deceived to think verse 17 tells us the “shadow” is the outline or silhouette of the body or substance of Messiah because of the phrase, “but the body [is] of Christ (Messiah).” Let’s look at two examples of objects and their shadows: In the OT the Passover Feast holyday was what is more understandably termed a fore-shadow of Messiah our passover (Jn 19:14, 1Co 5:7, 1Pe 1:19). And the Pentecost holyday was a fore-shadow of the day the Comforter was sent to the 120 in chapter 2 of Acts. Yahshua’s return, the great day of wrath, the Millennium and many other soon to unfold events are foreshadowed by Yahweh’s statutes and judgments in the Torah. Now take another, closer look and read, “Shadow of things to come,” not a shadow of the body of Messiah. This truth is also written in Hebrews, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things” (Heb 10:1).

Heb 8:5 Who (priests) serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Isa 66:22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me,” saith Yahweh, “so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me,” saith Yahweh.

In verses 16 and 17 the translators have added the words in parentheses. This is because the translators did not understand or had a biased opinion about what the Greek text meant. The word “is ” in verse 17 was added, which changes its meaning, implying the thought of shadow vs. reality, leading commentators to interpret this to mean the Messiah fulfilled the shadow of the things mentioned in verse 16. However, if you remove the added word “is”, it declares that we should not let any man outside the body of Messiah judge us in respect to these things. Here is how these verses should be translated for it to be correctly understood: Let no man therefore judge you but the body of Christ (Messiah), in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]: Which are a shadow of things to come.

The word “body” (Greek soma #4983) in verse 17 does not mean substance or reality. The Greek word soma is always translated “body” and never once translated substance but apparently that doesn’t stop preachers from insisting it means what they want it to mean. The truth is it means what it says it is – the body of Messiah (Christ), the group of believers that make up his body, the church, the assembly of Messiah, as can be clearly seen in the following verses: Ro. 12:4 & 5; 1 Co. 10:17, 11:24, 27 & 29; 12:12 (3 times), 13, 14, 20, 25 & 27; Ep. 1:22-23, 3:6, 4:4, 12 & 16, 5:30; Col. 1:18, 22, & 24 and Heb. 13:3.

1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body (soma) of Messiah, and members in particular.

Paul had just explained in chapter 1 of Colossians that Messiah “Is the head of the body (soma), the church” (18) and “His body’s sake, which is the church” (24). In fact, this same Greek word is translated “body” only two verses later (19)! In other words, we should let only the body of Messiah judge us! Can we as brethren in Messiah judge each other? Certainly!

1Co 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man amoung you (NIV). The KJV:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

Notice in verse 17 these things ARE a shadow of things to COME! Not WERE a shadow but ARE a shadow, just as the earthly temple was a shadow of the heavenly temple. Paul wrote this many years after Yahshua’s death and yet he still spoke of them in the future tense, as unfulfilled shadows. The word “days” in verse 16 has also been added by the translators, the Sabbath in this verse is the weekly Sabbath (see Josephus, Ant. III. 10,1 regarding the plural, he clearly explains the seventh day as called “sabbata” – plural form as here, an effort to transliterate the Aramaic sabbathah). Since Paul here uses the word “holyday” (heorte – feasts) to refer to the annual Sabbaths. The RSV has it more correct: “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath.”

Paul is telling the Colossians not to let the pagans, or the Jews, judge them in these things. This indicates that the Gentiles in Colosse were indeed keeping Yahweh’s commandments, as they should have been, otherwise outsiders would not have been hounding them about it. He is saying only the “body of Messiah” (the assembly or fellow believers) should judge each other concerning these things.

18 Let no man beguile (disqualify, defraud, cheat) you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body (soma) by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

The NKJV makes the first line a little more understandable, “Let no one defraud you of your reward, taking delight in false humility.” Verse 18 is a rehash of verse 8. This scripture further proves that Paul is not talking about taking away Yahweh’s commandments in verse 16 but rather the commandments of men, such as worshipping of angels, and here we are talking about the BODY of Messiah again! This is consistent with what we talked about above in verse 17 and why it should be translated “body”. This shows us that the context of what Paul was saying in verse 8 has not changed. Summarized, it could read: Stand fast in Yahweh’s commandments and shun the commandments and doctrines of men.

20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Messiah from the rudiments (stoicheion) of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (dogmatizo).

In verse 14 the Greek word that is translated “ordinances” is the Greek word dogma, which almost always means man-made ordinances. Here the one Greek word dogmatizo (#1379) is translated “be subject to ordinances,” meaning submission to ordinances. This is the only time in the Bible this rare Greek verb is used. “The rudiments of the world,” the identical same phrase he used in verse 8. Why, after Messiah has rescued you from the pagan world, are you still subject to its principles? Paul asks the Galatians the exact same question, “How turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements (stoicheion), whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (Gal 4:9). Some would deceive us to think Paul was condemning the law but read on.

21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

Dogma – pagan, Jewish or other man-made rules (see Mt 15:1-9, 23:4; Tit 1:14). Don’t go back to and certainly don’t start to follow doctrines of men but only obey the commandments of Yahweh.

23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh (NKJV).

To summarize, Paul is saying that we should beware lest any man spoil us through these commandments, philosophies and doctrines of men. Jewish or pagan man-made rules might appear to be wise and have some religious value but do not be deceived, they will only distract from the true commandments of Yahweh. Yahshua took the debt we owed and nailed it “paid in full” to the cross so we are free from the law and no longer under it. We should let no man judge us for keeping Yahweh’s commandments unless they are a part of the body of Messiah. Therefore, we should hold fast to the Head of that body, namely Yahshua, from whom we are nourished and do not subject ourselves to man’s ordinances, for even though they might personally be appealing to you in some sense, they are of no value. So we should set our minds on things above, not on the things of the world.

Days, Months, Times and Years

Gal 4: 8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements (stoicheion), whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Almost every Christian leader tells us verse 10 speaks of the Jewish feast days, new moons, seasons or harvests and their annual memorials, such as what Paul listed in Col 2:16. This is so wrong and ridiculous in such a great number of ways it’s difficult to know where to begin.

Let’s begin at verse 8. It’s apparent Paul is addressing the converted heathens, “Ye knew not God,” they did not know Yahweh but the Jews knew Him (Ro 2:17-18, 3:1-2). He is speaking to those that served gods who were “no gods,” idolaters who worshipped imaginary deities. He could never accuse the Jews of serving gods (plural) because, if there was one thing they did know about God, it was that there was only one. “But now” – that was then this is now – you know God and He knows you, then why on earth “turn ye again,” why resume what you left behind, what you had escaped? Why?

Did the heathen keep any Jewish feast day or new moon? Did they observe the Jewish harvest or jubilee? Of course not! Then how, pray tell, could they return to something they never did?!! A little common sense goes a long way.

What then are these “weak and beggarly elements?” Is the Sabbath a “weak and beggarly element,” or any of Yahweh’s holy days for that matter? The “beggarly elements” (#4747 stoicheion) are certainly not Yahweh’s holy and spiritual commandments. Paul clearly showed just 6 verses back that they were “the elements (stoicheion) of the world” (vs. 3), just as he did in Col 2:8 & 20.

They “desire again” to return to these awful things, not start beginning to observe them, but start again, doing something they had done for years. If Paul meant by “days, and months, and times, and years” to mean “holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath,” like he wrote the Colossians, why did he not say so? Why did he use hemera, which means days, why did he use men, meaning month, why did he use kairos, meaning time or season, and why did he use eniautos, meaning years? Paul was particular to write what he meant and he didn’t fail here. These weak and beggarly observances they were returning to are akin to the false holy days (holidays) we have today, such as Sunday, Easter, Lent, Christmas, Halloween, and Ash Wednesday. The converted Gentiles in Paul’s day had as difficult a time as do new believers in our age purging from their lives the evil pagan holidays held so dear by Christianity.

The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah

Gal 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under law, do you not hear the law?

Tell me, you who want the law to justify and save you, don’t you realize what the law says?

22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise.

Ishmael was born because Abraham for a time lost faith (and patience I suppose) in Yahweh’s promise of an heir. Instead of having a son through faith in the promise he relied on his flesh to hurry the process along because his faith lapsed (Gen 17:17) during this period.

24 Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.

Remember, it’s an allegory. The women are not actually covenants and Sarah is not Jerusalem and Hagar is not Sinai.

25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

Hagar is like the Mount Sinai covenant because it has bound those in it to sin. Whether Paul says those seeking justification through the law are held by the law or bound by the law or under the law he means the same thing, they are subject to its curse or penalty, which is death. Because the law had/has no escape hatch (2Pe 2:19; Joh 8:34; Ro 7:6; Ga 3:23 & 4:5). Take note that Jerusalem was, at the time Paul was writing, not free but under foreign occupation.

26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.

We are free because Messiah provided a way out from under the curse of the law.

Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. 24 and to Yahshua the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling.

27 For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in travail; for the children of the desolate one are many more than the children of her that is married.”

This quote from Isa 54 speaks of the woman with no husband. Yahweh had divorced Israel and the Gentiles never had a husband but both would be brought in through this promise to Abraham (2Ki 17:18). Paul’s question is: Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision (Jews) only, or upon the uncircumcision (Gentiles) also (Rom 4:9)? And the answer of course is “both”.

28 Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.

In Romans Paul explains how we all are free through the promise to Abraham.

Ro 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.

29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now.

Ishmael (born according to the flesh) persecuted Isaac (born according to the Spirit). Now, all we’re told is that he mocked Isaac but whether that was the last straw for Sarah which lead her to have Abraham expel them we are never told the details. And so it is in Paul’s day, as the Jews (which he used to do himself) persecute the believers in Yahshua.

30 But what does the scripture say? “Cast out the slave and her son; for the son of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.”

If you are going to remain bound to the curse of the law you cannot inherit the kingdom of Yahweh. Unless you pay the debt you owe, the death sentence under the law, you can never be free.

31 So, brethren, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

HalleluYah!

Ga 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Yahshua Messiah.
Ga 3:29 And if ye be Messiah’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

We are free through the promise that was Messiah.

5:1 For freedom Messiah has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

The yoke of slavery or bondage is dependence on the law for salvation or justification. Peter said (Acts 15:10) this yoke no one can bear because as great and holy as the law is it does not include a provision for escape. Love and obey the law but don’t expect it to do what it was not designed for. Yahshua is our escape to freedom and the law points us in his direction.

Ephesians 2:15: “Middle wall of partition”

Eph 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Messiah Yahshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Messiah. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.

In verse 11, to whom is Paul writing to in this passage? Gentiles, contemptuously called the “Uncircumcision” by the Jews. Before they came to Messiah they were “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,” (vs.12). In verse 13 and 19 he tells them that through Messiah they are now “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” He writes in verse 14 that Messiah “hath made both one.” “Both,” being the Gentiles and the Jews, the Uncircumcison and the Circumcision. What is this “middle wall of partition” he speaks of? Josephus described it several different times.

Antiquities of the Jews, Vol. 5, 11:5 “Thus was the first enclosure. In the midst of which, and not far from it, was the second, to be gone up to by a few steps: this was encompassed by a stone wall for a partition, with an inscription, which forbade any foreigner to go in under pain of death.”

The War of the Jews, Vol. 5, 5:2 “Unto the second [court of the] temple, there was a partition made of stone all round, whose height was three cubits: its construction was very elegant; upon it stood pillars, at equal distances from one another, declaring the law of purity, some in Greek, and some in Roman letters, that ‘no foreigner should go within that sanctuary’ for that second [court of the] temple was called ‘the Sanctuary.’”

The War of the Jews, Vol. 6, 2:4 “Now Titus was deeply affected with this state of things, and reproached John and his party, and said to them, ‘Have not you, vile wretches that you are, by our permission, put up this partition-wall before your sanctuary? Have not you been allowed to put up the pillars thereto belonging, at due distances, and on it to engrave in Greek, and in your own letters, this prohibition, that no foreigner should go beyond that wall. Have not we given you leave to kill such as go beyond it, though he were a Roman?’”

This “middle wall of partition” Paul mentions was indeed an actual wall in the temple at Jerusalem. The Jews built this wall, not from instructions given them by Yahweh or Moses, but based on their own traditions, as often they did, which Yahshua condemned them for in Mk 7:13. But Yahshua is never said to have gone into the temple and destroyed any part of this wall. So what gives Paul? He didn’t break down the actual physical wall but the real source that caused this division, which is the “enmity,” the hatred and loathing that made them enemies. “Making peace.” How? “Having slain the enmity.”

This enmity thrived as a result of “the law of commandments (entole) contained in ordinances (dogma).” Now entole, translated “commandments,” can be a commandment from any one (see Jn 11:57, Ac 17:15, Col 4:10, Tit 1:14, Heb 7:16), man or God. These commandments were derived from dogma, translated here as “ordinances.” Dogma almost always refers to man-made rules, as we discussed when dealing with Col 2:14. In this case the man-made ordinances were from the Jews.

The law of Moses had no commandment that would advocate a separation of Jews and Gentiles. Actually the law encouraged strangers to take part in offerings to Yahweh and obey the law (Nu 15:14-16; Ex 20:10, Lev 18:26).

Galatians 5: “Yoke of bondage”

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Messiah hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Messiah shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Messiah is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

What is “the yoke of bondage?” In the Bible is the law ever referred to as a yoke? Never! Yahweh tells the Israelites that the law “Is not too hard for you” (De 30:11 RSV). John says it is “not grievous” (burdensome 1Jn 5:3). David insists it is sweeter than honey and in keeping it is great reward (Ps 19:10). Paul explains the law is good and he delights in it (Ro 7:22). We know from the scriptures that many people kept the law with no problem. “They (Zacharias and Elisabeth) were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of Yahweh blameless” (Lu 1:6). So the yoke Peter says is impossible to bear (Ac 15:10) can’t be the law. The yoke he alludes to is “the yoke of bondage” Paul is speaking of here. Paul points out in verse 4 that the law becomes a yoke only when you try to be “justified by the law.”

One of the things that make up “the yoke of bondage” is circumcision. If you believe circumcision is necessary then all the other commandments are also necessary (Ja 2:10). But Paul then makes everything crystal clear with this one phrase, “justified by the law.”

4 Whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Preachers today would have us believe Paul wrote, “Whosoever of you obey the law; ye are fallen from grace,” but he didn’t. You cannot be justified by keeping the law and also be justified by faith. It matters not whether you are being justified by circumcision, Sabbath keeping, moral purity or some other portion of the law. If you are depending on your ability to keep any or all aspects of the law to secure your salvation you are doomed. For then Messiah’s death is no benefit to you and you have fallen out of favour (grace).

One of the main things Paul keeps hammering away at in many of his letters is that the law cannot justify you or take away your sins (Ro 3:20 & 28, 4:4 &13, 8:3, 9:32, 11:6, 1Co 15:17, Gal 2:16 & 21, 3:10-11, Php 3:9). The law can only tell you what sin is (Ro 3:20, 7:7 & 13) and once you are found guilty the law cannot help you but indeed then becomes your primary accuser, for you “shall be judged by the law” (Ro 2:12) because “the strength of sin is the law” (1Co 15:56). Once you break any single commandment of the law (Ja 2:10) you must face the consequences and pay the penalty. Keeping the law perfectly after that won’t help because you will remain guilty until you pay the price. And the payment for sin is death (Ro 6:23).

Galatians 3: “O foolishGalatians”

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Yahshua the Messiah hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Who turned you from the plain truth of our crucified Saviour that was placed before your very eyes?

2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

I’ve got one question for you. Did you receive the Spirit by keeping the law or by faith? Are you so dense as to think you are saved by your fleshly works after being freed by the Spirit?

4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

If that is the case (saved by works) then all you have suffered is for nothing. And basically the same question again, does the spirit and the miracles happen by works or faith.

6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Abraham became righteous, not by circumcision, nor works, but by faith, of course not only Abraham, but Adam, Noah, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel and on and on (Heb 11). If one has faith, as did Abraham, then one is like Abraham and considered a child of Abraham and is justified, just as was Abraham.

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Is this saying that anyone who attempts to keep the law is cursed? Check it out, Paul is quoting De 27:26, “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them.” In De 27:14 Moses tells the Levites to shout out to Israel that “cursed is anyone who”: vs. 15 makes idols, 16 dishonors parents, 17 cheats a neighbor, 18 abuses the blind, 19 mistreats orphans or widows, 20-23 lieth with family members or beasts, 24 slays his neighbor, 25 kills an innocent man, and then in verse 26 (RSV), “Cursed be he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.”

So De 27:26 is telling us the exact opposite of what Christians are taught, you are cursed if you DO NOT keep the law and blessed if you do. Paul used this verse to support his statement that “as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.” If your strength and salvation depends on “works of the law” then you are cursed and lost, because somehow, somewhere you broke the law you are relying on to save you and instead of saving you it demands your death for payment. Because:

11 No man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

This time Paul quotes Hab 2:4 to substantiate his statement, “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith” (NKJV). You can’t be justified by your own righteousness because you don’t have any. We must trust in Yahweh, through faith, that He will justify us with Yahshua’s righteousness.

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

The law does not rest (RSV) or is not based (NIV) on faith but stands on its own and anyone that can possibly do them shall live in or by them. Here yet again Paul backs up his words with a quote from the law, “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am Yahweh.” (Lev 18:5).

13 The Messiah hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

So we have already learned the law itself is not a curse but imposes a curse on those who transgress it. Let’s look closely at the quote from the law Paul uses this time.

De 21:22 If a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;).

“The wages of sin is death” (Ro 6:23) and so we all are “worthy of death.” But that curse or penalty of death by being hung on a tree was lifted from us and placed on Yahshua. Those who don’t accept Yahshua’s payment will carry the curse and pay the price themselves (Mt 25:41, Jn 3:36, 2Th 1:8-9, Jam 1:15, Rev 20:15, 21:8).

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Yahshua the Messiah; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

He redeemed us as well so that we can also partake of this blessing, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Ge 22:18). We see this promise fulfilled when we saw how the Gentiles received the Spirit in Acts 10.

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

Even in covenants of men, no one can take away or add to an agreement after it is signed. This certainly applies to Yahweh’s covenants.

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is the Messiah.

The promise of eternal life was through Messiah, Abraham’s son.

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of Yahweh in the Messiah, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

The promise to Abraham of a son who would save the world could not be dismissed by a later agreement. How come?

18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but Yahweh gave it to Abraham by promise.

If eternal life is based on keeping the law it is not from a promise but by conditions.

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

What then is the purpose of the law? It was brought in because of disobedience. Whenever a new type of crime begins to be committed (such as computer crimes) laws are passed to curtail the illegal activity. This never happens before any crimes are committed but only after they become a problem. Keep in mind, “The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient” (1Ti 1:9), and “By the law is the knowledge of sin” (Ro 3:20). The law shows us what sin is so that we would all realize we are sinners in need of salvation.

There were laws and commandments long before mount Sinai.

Ge 26:5 Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Ex 16:28 Yahweh said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
Ex 18:16 I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.
Ex 18:20 And thou (elders) shalt teach them ordinances and laws.
Ro 5:13a For until the law (of Moses) sin was in the world:

Sin results when a law is broken (1Jo 3:4). So evidently laws existed before Sinai that were broken which resulted in sin (see Ge 4:7 Cain, Ge 18:20 Sodom, Ge 20:6, 9 Abimelech, Ge 39:9 Joseph tempted, Ge 42:22 & 50:17 Joseph’s brothers, Ex 9:34 & 10:17 Pharaoh).

Ro 5:13b but sin is not imputed (counted) when there is no law.

That is a perfectly logical statement. Of course, if there are no laws no one can break any laws. But Paul’s main focus is not with the law in the Garden of Eden, or in Noah or Abraham’s day but with the law of Moses.

So, in verses 17 and 19 what law was added 430 years after the promise to Abraham? Let’s check it out.

Jer 7: 22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: 23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

Yahweh says in the book of Jeremiah that at the time he brought the Hebrew children out of Egypt He only required obedience and love from them. But then came the Golden Calf abomination. So over and above the free offerings, peace offerings, thanksgiving offerings, etc. they were offering there now was a need for sin offerings. So Yahweh brought in the law governing sin offerings and also instituted the Levitical priesthood (up till then there was only the priesthood under the order of Melchizedek) because, as Paul put it, “of transgressions.” These laws were added because of transgressions until the seed, Yahshua, came and caused “the sacrifice and the oblation to cease” (Dan 9:27) as well as the Levitical priesthood. “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (Heb 7:12).

20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but Yahweh is one. [NIV A mediator, however, does not represent just one party, but God is one.]

The law was given through the mediator Moses but the promise came directly from Yahweh.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

The law is a separate thing from the promise. The law of course doesn’t give life because it never was intended to. But, “By the law is the knowledge of sin” (Ro 3:20). That’s its purpose, not giving life.

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Yahshua Messiah might be given to them that believe.

We are all sinners. How do we know? The law shows us, that’s its job. And sinners need help and the promise was that help was on its way.

23a But before faith came

Before we relied on faith for salvation, back when we were striving to be saved through obedience to the law (Ro 9:32; Gal 5:4).

23b we were kept under the law

We were kept under the laws authority (Ro 3:19).

23c shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

In custody, awaiting sentencing, acquittal or pardon. RSV “Kept under restraint until faith should be revealed.”

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster (paidagwgoj) to bring us unto Messiah.

#3807 ~ paidagwgoj – KJV-schoolmaster 2, instructor 1; total 3. Definition: a guardian and guide of boys.

Among the Greeks and the Romans the name was applied to trustworthy slaves who were charged with the duty of supervising the life and morals of boys belonging to the better class. The boys were not allowed so much as to step out of the house without them until reaching the age of manhood. The pedagogue was stern and severe in his discipline. The law was our guardian to keep us in line and lead us to the salvation Yahweh had provided. The law pointed out sin (Ro 3:19-20, 7:7; Ps 19:11) helping us realize we were guilty sinners in need of salvation.

24b That we might be justified by faith.

And faith only! Salvation is only through faith, nothing else (Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17, 4:16). So we were shut up, enclosed from that maturity which could liberate us from our pedagogue that watches over, guides and protects us. The law was continually reminding us that we are weak and sinful, in need of care, keeping us on the correct path. Pedagogues did this same thing for upper class children, always there to compel them where to go, what to avoid, what to do and how to do it because the children were still immature and unable to judge for themselves what was dangerous, unhealthy or wrong.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Faith sets us free from the curse/penalty the law imposes and so it no longer has any authority over us. Messiah was sentenced – we were pardoned (Ps 130:7-8; Ro 6:14).

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Messiah Yahshua.

The fear of what the pedagogue would do kept the children in line, until they were old enough to appreciate and understand the value of his training. The threat, or curse, or penalty of the law, (not the law itself) which we were under, did this for us, in knowing that coveting or lying would put ourselves at risk of eternal death, we were looking for a way out. When we heard salvation preached through Yahshua we were ready and willing to go to Him for deliverance. When we arrived at Messiah we received, through faith, complete justification, pure, as if we never sinned, no longer under the grip of the law, but free.

Just as the children, when reaching manhood and released from the care of the pedagogue, still can’t do dangerous things without suffering the consequences, so we also can’t break the law without paying (Ro 6:15). The law was a threat, or maybe we could say a warning, that if we broke it then the penalty would have to be paid. Just like a warning label on a bottle of poison, the law is a warning, do not steal, do not covet, keep this ordinance, follow these instructions etc. If the label says do not ingest internally or it will cause death, so the law was our warning label to say, do not or you will surly die. Now if we tear off the warning label from the bottle we still can’t drink the contents without being poisoned and as well we can’t start lying, stealing or stop carrying out Yahweh’s instructions and not suffer the penalty. Say for instance everyone was told of the dangers of the contents of the bottle and understood, the warning label would no longer be needed should it fall or be taken off, for everyone would have the warning written in their mind and willingly comply. The danger is still there but the people have faith in their maturity and understanding to always heed the warning now embedded in their minds. As do the former children now living without their pedagogue, they have faith in their maturity to stay out of harm’s way and readily follow their former pedagogue’s teachings. We also, with the knowledge and warning of the law written in our hearts and mind gladly obey, knowing it’s only for our own well-being.

Sin is transgression of the law. (1Jn 3:4) and so what would happen if we continue to sin or break the law? We would then be back under the law and it would once again have to lead us to Yahshua, our Advocate with the Father. This is what the law does, it doesn’t save us, it reveals our sins so that we will repent and come to Yahshua.

So once again, we are left to conclude that the law shows us our sins but does not save us from them. The standard of righteousness for us does not change when we accept Yahshua, but our standing before Yahweh does!

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Messiah have put on Messiah. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Messiah Yahshua.

You “have put on Messiah,” and now Yahweh sees, not you, but Yahshua, justified, pure and righteous. Even though in the flesh some of us are still Jews, some Gentiles, some are still slaves (at least in Paul’s day they still were) the rest free, and certainly men are still men and women still women, but before Yahweh all are equal in Yahshua.

29 And if ye be Messiah’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

By faith in Messiah you become a son of Abraham, grafted into the olive tree that is Israel (Ro 11:17), made a citizen of the commonwealth of Israel (Ep 2:12 & 19), no longer a Gentile but part of the “Israel of God” (Gal 6:16). If you are a citizen of Britain you obey the law of Britain, if a citizen of Israel you obey the law of Israel. So even Gentiles become “heirs according to the promise” so that “the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law (Jews), but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham” (Ro 4:16).

Torah

Torah is the Hebrew word meaning instruction.

When Torah is mentioned it is most often associated with the Torah of Moses, meaning the Torah, or the teaching, which God gave to Israel in the wilderness. However, God uses the word Torah to signify His instructions throughout the Hebrew scriptures, including the Prophets and the Psalms. Since all of His Word is His teaching, all of it is His Torah, including the New Testament.

The Greek translation of the OT, called the Septuagint, translated Torah into the Greek word nomia. We know nomia was used in Greek culture to mean an unalterable law. Following this tradition, the Greek New Testament also used nomia to signify the Torah.

#8451 ~ torah – KJV – law 219; total 219. Definition: a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue [Ten Commandments or the Word] or Pentateuch [5 books of Moses]:- law
#3551~ nomos – (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals); KJV – law 197; total 197. Definition: anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command.

In the NT nomia is used to indicate both Torah and man-made law. Below is a list of the verses where nomia (translated “law”) indicates Torah, laws (man-made) or OT books.

NOMIA = Torah

Mt. 5:17,18,40;  7:12;  11:13;  12:5;  22:36,40;  23:23.
Lk
.  2:22,23,24,27,39;  5:17;  10:26;  16:16,17;  24:44.
Jn. 1:17,45;  7:19,23,51;  8:5;  12:34.
Ac
.  5:34;  6:13;  7:53;  13:15,39;  15:5,24;  18:13;  21:20,24,28;  22:3,12;  23:3;  24:14;  25:8;  28:23.
Ro
.  2:12(3rd&4th),13,14,15,17,18,20,23,25,26,27;  3:19,20,21,28,31;  4:13,14,15,16;  5:13,20;  6:14,15; 7:1,4,5,6,7,8,9,12,14,16,22,23(2nd);  8:3,4,7;  9:4,32;  10:4,5;  13:8,10.
1Co.
9:8,9,20,21;  14:21,34;  15:56.
Gal.
2:16,19,21;  3:2,5,10,11,12,13,17,18,19,21,23,24;  4:4,5,21;  5:3,4,14,18;  6:13.
Ep.
2:15.        Phil. 3:5,6,9.        1Tim. 1:7,8,9.        Tit. 3:9.        He. 7:5,11,12,16,19,28;  8:4;  9:19,22;  10:1,8,28.
Ja. 2:8,9,10,11,12;;  4:11.        1Jn. 3:4.

 

NOMIA = Laws

Ac. 18:15;  19:38;  23:29;  24:6.        Jn.19:7.
Ro.
2:14(4th);  3:27(1st&2nd);  7:3,21,23(1st&3rd);  8:2(1st&2nd);  9:31(1st&2nd);        1Co. 6:1, 6, 7;       Gal 5:23.

NOMIA = OT books

Jn 10:34; 12:34; 15:25; Ro 3:19; 1Co 14:21.

The Law Not Hard to Keep

De 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of Yahweh thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto Yahweh thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden (pala’) from thee, neither is it far off.
#6381 ~ pala’ – KJV- work 18, wonders 9, marvellous 8, wonderful 8, …things 6, hard 5, wondrous 3, wondrously 2, marvellously 2, performing 2, misc 8; total 71. Definition: to be marvellous, be wonderful, to be beyond one’s power, be difficult to do.

Verse 11 (RSV) For this commandment which I command you this day is not to hard for you, neither is it far off.
Verse 11 (NIV) Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.

It would seem the apostle John read the above verse and agrees.

1Jo 5:3 (NKJV) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
1Jo 5:3 (CEB) This is the love of God: we keep God’s commandments. God’s commandments are not difficult.

Most translations have “God’s commandments are not difficult” or “burdensome” or “to hard.”

Many Kept the Law Perfectly

Ge 6:9 Noah was a just (#6662 righteous) man and perfect (#8549 without blemish or spot) in his generations.
Job 1:1 Whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
Eze 14:14 Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith Yahweh.
Lu 1:6 They (Zacharias & Elisabeth) were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of Yahweh blameless.
Ac 23:1 (Paul) I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
Ac 25:8 (Paul) Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

Commandments = The Law

Mt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the LAW, till all be fulfilled. 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.

Yahshua speaks of the law in vs 18 and instantly in vs 19 calls it “these commandments.” Both expressions, “the law” and “the commandments” are synonymous, they’re identical, the same. When you say, obey the law you’re saying obey the commandments and vice versa.

De 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of Yahweh thy God, to keep his COMMANDMENTS and his statutes which are written in this book of the LAW.
1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
1Jo 3:22 Whatsoever we ask, we receive of him (Yahweh vs 21), because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
1Jo 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jo 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
2Jo 1:6 This is love, that we walk after his (the Father vs 4) commandments.
Re 12:17 The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Yahshua Messiah.
Re 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Yahshua.
Re 22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life.
Mt 19:17 Yahshua: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”

When you look at how many times in the NT we are told to keep the law no wonder Yahshua and the apostles kept warning us about being deceived.

1Co 9: 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn (De 25:4). Doth God take care for oxen?

Paul backs himself up with the law as if it was still valid. Does God still care for the oxen or since the law was abolished are the oxen now left on his own? If that is the case we are also left on our own as well, but scripture shows how Yahweh cares for the birds and the beasts in Ps 147:9; Mt 6:26 & 10:29; Lu 12:24.

Ac 23:5 Then said Paul, I wist (knew) not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people (Ex 22:28).

Is it still wrong to speak evil of our rulers or was Paul mistaken to be so repentant?

Mt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Yahweh (De 8:3).

“Every word,” means just that.

The Jerusalem Council

Ac 15:1 Certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Remember the dispute was based on the one question, “Do you have to be circumcised in order to be saved.” Like many others that have followed, these men were wrestling with the argument that salvation is based on Yahshua, plus something else. In verses 3-4 they journey to Jerusalem and are received by the apostles and elders.

5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

Now the question was expanded by the Pharisees in the assembly to include not only circumcision but also include keeping the law. In verses 6-7 the apostles and elders meet to look into these questions and Peter begins to speak.

8 God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them (Gentiles) witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Peter tells of his experience with Cornelius’ group, pointing out that there is “No difference between us and them.” We believed, they believed (vs 7), we received the Holy Spirit, they received the Holy Spirit, we were purified by faith, they were purified by faith, we are saved by grace, they are saved by grace (vs 11). Not a pinch of difference exists between believing Jews and believing Gentiles (1Co 12:13, Ga 3:28, Col 3:11).

10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Peter speaks of a yoke that is impossible for anyone to bear. What yoke is he talking about? In the Bible is the law ever referred to as a yoke? Never! Yahweh tells the Israelites that the law “Is not to hard for you” (De 30:10 RSV). John says it is “not grievous” (burdensome 1Jn 5:3). David insists it is sweeter than honey and in keeping it is great reward (Ps 19:10). Paul explains the law is good and he delights in it (Ro 7:22). We know from the scriptures that many people kept the law with no problem. “They (Zacharias and Elisabeth) were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of Yahweh blameless” (Lu 1:6). So the yoke Peter says is impossible to bear can’t be the law. The yoke he alludes to is “the yoke of bondage” Paul speaks of in Gal 5:1. He points out in verse 4 that the law becomes a yoke when you try to be “justified by the law.” Remember the question at this Jerusalem Council is that salvation requires circumcision and keeping the law. Peter tells us in the next verse just what is required for salvation.

11 But we believe that through the grace of the Master Yahshua Messiah we shall be saved, even as they.

Peter insists that Jews are saved by grace through faith and the Gentiles are no different. In verses 12-19 Barnabas and Paul give account of their work among the Gentiles and then James steps in to summarize and makes a ruling.

19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them (Gentiles), that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

The decision is that the Gentiles will have to begin keeping certain parts of the law immediately. These four abominations were common practice in the three districts involved (verse 23) and had to cease at once. So then, is James saying salvation depends on faith in Yahshua plus these four commandments? No, salvation still only requires faith but a person, after being brought into the body of Messiah and made a fellow citizen of the commonwealth of Israel (Ep 2:11-19), cannot continue to behave like a pagan.

Ac 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

James, even though maintaining “that we trouble not them” (vs 19), still had to insist that these four commandments be obeyed forthwith. He did this with the full knowledge that just as Jewish proselytes had a full year to learn the law, new Gentile Christian converts also would need time to learn. As the scriptures verify, not just in this verse but in many others, the Gentiles would learn the law of Moses in the synagogues as well as hear the preaching of the apostles (Ac 13:42-43; 14:1; 17:1-4, 17; 18:4).

Ac 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, {saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law:} to whom we gave no such commandment.
Ac. 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded {that they observe no such thing, save only} that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

In the above two verses the underlined words in brackets are disputed additions.  Footnotes in 26 translations read, “Now recognized as not adequately supported by original manuscripts.”  See RV and NIV.

Jerusalem Council’s Conclusion

In order to be saved is it necessary to be circumcised was the question that brought Paul and Barnabas all the way to Jerusalem. The council’s conclusion was, no, it is not needed for salvation, however, there are certain things you must immediately stop doing now that you are members of the body of Messiah. Of course they are not required for salvation but are a part of the law that must be applied without delay. The rest of the law you will learn in the synagogues each week. The conclusion wasn’t that the law has been abolished so just have faith and do as you always have. The pagan Gentiles were obligated to learn right from wrong and how to walk as a member of Messiah.

The Rumor Against Paul

Ac 21:17 When we (Paul, Barnabas, Luke) were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. 18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. 19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. 20 And when they heard it, they glorified Yahweh,

James and the Jewish elders in Jerusalem warmly greeted Paul and acknowledged his work and teachings.

20b and said unto him, thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: 21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

James points out to Paul the thousands of Jews who have believed in Yahshua and that all of them still fervently keep the law. However, there is a problem, all these Jews have been told that you (Paul) are preaching to abandon Moses and circumcision and not to keep the commandments. Is this rumor true or false? James doesn’t even question Paul just moves on to a solution.

22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.

“What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come” (RSV). What can we do to clear up these lies about you?

23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 24a Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads:

James says, “We have four men which have a vow on them.” Obviously four Jewish believers in Yahshua having taken the vow of the Nazarite laid out in the law of Moses (Nu 6). Paul is advised to include himself in this vow to prove he upholds the law of Moses.

24b And all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

The reason James gives for having Paul participate in this vow was to demonstrate once and for all “that those things,” the rumors and gossip being spread about Paul, were “nothing,” nothing but lies. James goes on to say that this will also show everyone that Paul doesn’t preach that the law is abolished but that he keeps it himself.