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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : the ancient paths

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Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 138

 the ancient paths

There is a growing awakening and hunger amongst many today who are being stirred to 'seek after the ancient paths'.

Jer 6: [16] Thus says the LORD:
"Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.
But they said, `We will not walk in it.'

In contrast to those seeking the ancient paths, there are many more who say 'we will not walk in it'. I believe that response to be coming from what I see to be a misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Paul's writings. I would like to submit the following posts for consideration. Salvation has come to us through the grace of God shown us because of the glorious accomplishments of Yeshua (also known as Jesus) the Messiah. It is through this grace that we are saved, not of works, lest any man should boast.

Two warnings:

Paul warns us:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4:
[1] Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren,
[2] not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
[3] Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition,
[4] who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
[5] Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this?
[6] And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
[7] For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
[8] And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming.
[9] The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders,
[10] and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
[11] Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false,
[12] so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Peter warns us:
2Peter 3:14-17
[14] Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish;
[15] and regard the patience of our LORD as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
[16] speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.
[17] You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability.

In these two portions from Paul and Peter, we have very clear and strong warnings about the gravity of being found in rebellion and thus lawless (anti-nomian). Paul teaches us that there would be a rebellion against the laws of God, instigated by the Man of Lawlessness (someone who teaches against the law, and in fact is without it). This man of lawlessness will also take to himself the highest of authority, and actually even claim to be God. The mystery of lawlessness was already at work in Paul's time.

Peter warns us not be be carried away by the error of the lawless. He takes care to warn us that the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction the writings of Paul, and that we should be forewarned not to be carried away with the error of such lawless ones, those who oppose the eternal Torah of God, upheld throughout the scriptures, but cast aside by the man of lawlessness.

More to come,


 2008/2/7 16:12Profile

Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 138

 Re: the ancient paths

Looking at the writings of John and James:

The Apostle JOHN:

Did not speak against the law of the LORD. In fact, John declares that those who transgress the law are sinning:
1John 3:4 ~ Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.~

The Greek word translated "lawlessness" ,"transgression of the law" - anomia - and is shown from Strong's lexicon to be: 458 anomia AV - iniquity 12, unrighteousness 1, transgress the law + 4160 1, transgression of the law 1; 15

1) the condition of without law
1a) because ignorant of it
1b) because of violating it
2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness

I Jn 5:3 "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome". Amen.

"Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that says, 'I know him', and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:2-5).

JAMES, the brother of Jesus: has no vehemence against the Law, and says we should all be doers of the word!

The second-century writer and historian Hegesippus referred to Jesus' brother as 'James the Just' and characterized him as zealous for the law of God. Martin Luther, founder of the Protestant Reformation, referred to the book of James as an "epistle of straw."

If anyone knew how Jesus lived and what He taught and believed, it was James, a member of Messiah's own household.

James repeatedly upholds the need to keep God's laws. He refers to God's law not as something unnecessary or optional, but as "the royal law". He specifically mentions several of the commandments, then calls them "the law of liberty", as David said in Ps 119: 44,45: "So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts."

James understood that only by obeying God's laws can mankind experience true freedom- freedom from the degrading and painful consequences of sin. He encourages each of us to be a "doer of the law".

James drew an analogy of looking into a mirror to make his point about the importance of God's commandments. "For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:23-25).

In other words, said James, we should look into the perfect law of liberty and evaluate where we stand in relation to God's holy, spiritual laws, which help us understand what sin is. When we look into a mirror and scrutinize our physical appearance, we may see something wrong or out of place. Yet, if we put the mirror away, we tend to forget our imperfections rather quickly because they are no longer visible to us. James shows how this physical analogy reflects an empty faith that requires nothing of us beyond mere belief.

James 2:[18] But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
[19] You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe -- and shudder.
[20] Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren?
[21] Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
[22] You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works,
[23] and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God.
[24] You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
[25] And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
[26] For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.

Next...Messiah and the Law

 2008/2/7 16:15Profile

Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 138

 Re: ancient paths

Jesus our Messiah confirmed and upheld the law of His Father. He did not teach against it, and told us to walk as He walked.

"Think not!" - Jesus assures us that He did not come to destroy the law but to accomplish it. He says also that we are not only to obey the law, but we are to teach others to as well:
Matt 5: [17] Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.
[18] For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
[19] Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said that NO part of the law would disappear until heaven and earth pass away. If that is true, how can the law have been abolished, or nailed to the cross?

The word 'fulfill' - Strongs G4137 - to make replete, that is, (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: - accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.

When my children obey the rules of our home, they 'fulfill' the rules, and do not abolish them.

Most read Matt 5:17b as......'I am not come to abolish, but to abolish'..., missing that it says 'Not to Abolish'.

Nowhere in the Old Testament does it say that Jesus would end the law or even one commandment, such as the Sabbath. Just the opposite is found in Isaiah 42:21, speaking of the Servant: “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will MAGNIFY the law, and make it honourable.”

We are told the law would be magnified and made honourable, not destroyed. In the remainder of Matthew chapter 5 we see how Jesus has magnified the law. (Magnification causes objects to appear closer or larger than they really are, although the object does not actually change. One has to aim at and focus on the object, shining light and increasing resolution, until the object becomes absolutely clear.)

Messiah's intent was not to abolish or weaken or emasculate the Laws of God, revealed in the Old Testament, but to expand and magnify them to their full spiritual intent and conclusion. We do not earn salvation by works, but by Faith in Jesus the Messiah, who died for our sins, and who now gives us the Holy Spirit to enable us to fulfill the righteousness of the Law, writing the Law on our heart.

Jesus the Messiah again stresses the importance of the Commandments:

Matthew 15: [3] But he answered and said unto them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your traditions?

Matt 19: [16] And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?"
[17] And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."
Matt 22: [35] And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him.
[36] "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
[37] And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
[38] This is the great and first commandment.
[39] And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
[40] On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."

Jesus also affirms the Law as taught by the scribes and Pharisees, but flat-out rejects any hypocritical practice of it.:

Matt. 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matt.23[1] Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples,
[2] "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat;
[3] so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.
Here we have Jesus speaking against the doctrines and commandments of man, and those who reject and lay aside the commandments of God:

Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things you do.
Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.

and later...he answered a scribe, never nullifying or speaking against the commandments of God....

Mark 12: [28] And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?"

[29] Jesus answered, "The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one;
[30] and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
[31] The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
[32] And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he;
[33] and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
[34] And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any question.

Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. (speaking of John the Baptist's parents)

The following verses show us that Messiah vehemently opposes - then, now, and in the future, those who show contempt for his God’s torah (Law), the torah that he perfectly obeyed from the God to whom he was perfectly devoted.:

Matt. 7:23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' …

Matt. 13: [41] The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,
[42] and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." …

Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

next ...Paul and the law

 2008/2/7 16:17Profile

Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 138

 Re: ancient paths

I can understand how a certain reading of Paul's words could and has given many the impression that Paul was 'vehemently against' the Law of God. Bearing in mind the warning that Peter gave us that the lawless ones twist Paul's writings to say things that he did not mean, let us examine some of his writings.

I already posted Paul's comments on the Man of Lawlessness and the Mystery of Lawlessness. Very clear there that 'anti-nomian', or 'lawLESSness' is one of the main characteristics of the Man of Sin who will be revealed in the last days.

Further pro-torah excerpts from Paul's life:

Acts 22:[12] "And one Anani'as, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there" -Ananias was the believer that God selected as the agent to restore Paul's sight, baptize him, impart the Holy Spirit, and commission him as an apostle.

Acts 21:[20] "And when they heard it, they glorified God. And they said to him, "You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed; they are all zealous for the law"
Historical sources confirm that Torah-observance was the norm among the Jewish believers in Messiah, and Paul's lifestyle did not differ in that regard. The book of Acts contains ample evidence that Paul continued to faithfully observe the law. Paul very strongly opposed those who said that one had to be circumcised and first convert to Judaism before being saved.

Acts 21:[24] "take these men and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you but that you yourself live in observance of the law".

James and the apostles knew that Paul was Torah-observant. By joining in the purification rites it would become apparent to everyone that Paul had been living in obedience to the law. Clearly there was 'No Truth' in the rumors that Paul was teaching people to turn away from the Law.

Acts 24:[14] "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the law or written in the prophets".

Acts 25:[7] "And when he had come, the Jews who had gone down from Jerusalem stood about him, bringing against him many serious charges which they could not prove.
[8] Paul said in his defense, "Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended at all."

Acts 28:[17] "After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews; and when they had gathered, he said to them, "Brethren, though I had done nothing against the people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans."

1 Tim 1:[8] "Now we know that the law is good, if any one uses it lawfully,
[9] understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
[10] immoral persons, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
[11] in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted".

We are told that we are all sinners, and have fallen short of the glory of God. The law shows us where we have fallen short.

Romans 2:[12] "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.
[13] For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
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."

Romans 3:[29-31] "Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law."

Romans 7:[12] So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

Romans 7:[14] We know that the law is spiritual

Romans 7:[22] For in my inner being I delight in God's law

1 Corinthians 7:[19] Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts.

 2008/2/7 16:19Profile

Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 138

 Re: ancient paths

Paul affirms the message of the Old Testament:

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these things were so (Acts 17:11)

The New Testament had not yet been written, so the Bereans were using the TaNaK to evaluate whether or not Paul's message was true. It is evident from this passage that the message which Paul preached did not contradict the TaNaK in any way; otherwise those noble Bereans would have rejected Paul's teachings. Neither the Old Testament nor Paul's message has changed since that time, so today we should be very cautious of any interpretation that makes Paul's message contradict the Hebrew Scriptures.

As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, " he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.

1 Timothy 4: [13] Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

2 Timothy 3: [15] But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Romans 15 [4] For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.

2 Tim 3 [16] All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
[17] that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Paul constantly affirms the reading of the Hebrew Scriptures, never once undermining or contradicting any part, teaching that everything that Moses and the prophets said would come to pass, which did not include the abolishing of the holy law of God.

Acts 26 [22] To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass:
[23] that the Christ must suffer, and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to the people and to the Gentiles."

 2008/2/7 16:22Profile

Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 138

 Re: ancient paths

Paul and the new believers:

Paul taught the Gentiles to obey the requirements that the elders in Jerusalem had listed in their letter to Antioch (Acts 15:29). Two of those requirements are found directly in the Law given to Moses, and two of them are logical interpretations of the Law which were part of the "fence laws" taught by the rabbis:

-abstain from food polluted by idols -- Interpreted in Leviticus 17:8-9 as also prohibiting the eating of any meat that had been offered in a prohibited manner. Endorsed in Revelation 2:14, 20. "I have this against you..."
-from sexual immorality -- from Leviticus 18:6-26
-from the meat of strangled animals -- Leviticus 17:13-15 interpreted as prohibiting the eating of strangled animals.
-and from blood -- from Leviticus 17:10, 12

It is apparent that the elders did not intend to exempt the Gentiles from the rest of the Law, as they would hear it preached every Sabbath in the synagogue. We are still required not to commit adultery, not to murder, etc

These 4 rulings were chosen as 'emergency regulations' required because of the influx of Gentiles. Jews considered all Gentiles to be idolaters, and idolatry was considered to be one of the worst sins. These new converts were fresh from the Pagan temples and had the baggage of Pagan worship and practice. Each of the four requirements suggested by James was directly related to some aspect of pagan temple worship, which was intolerable in the synagogue. The new believers would later begin to undestand the ways and teachings of the God of Israel.

There certainly would have been more debate regarding those guidelines if the apostles had actually intended to exempt the Gentile believers from the entire law of Moses and replace it with only four guidelines for Messianic behavior. Surely they would not have exempted the Gentiles from "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deut. 6:5) and "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev. 19:18) which Jesus endorsed as the greatest of commandments. Also, Peter had just finished saying (twice) that God did not differentiate between the Gentile believers and the Jewish believers, so we could expect that Peter (along with Paul) would have opposed any decision that created a permanent distinction between the two groups of believers. Obviously they could not practice adultery or any other sins that the Torah prohibited, but all this understanding would come as the attended synagogue with the believers each Sabbath. ~~

Acts 15:21 For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

Notice that the apostles' letter to Antioch does not refer at all to salvation or to any requirements for being saved. Evidently the consensus of the elders and apostles was that the Gentile believers were already accepted as members of God's covenant by faith in Jesus.

The believers in Antioch received the letter as a welcome answer to their original question regarding circumcision for Gentile converts. The men from Jerusalem stayed for some time to minister and teach in Antioch without any new problems developing between the Gentile and Jewish believers.

All are zealous for the law:

Acts 21:17-20 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law.

James couldn't have made it any plainer that at this time the Christian believers in Jerusalem were eagerly observing the law.

The attitude of these believers toward the law may have been caused by their acceptance of the new covenant that was promised by God through Jeremiah the prophet: "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts." (see Jeremiah 31:31-33) These believers may also be an example of "the obedience that comes from faith" that was the goal of Paul's apostleship.

 2008/2/7 16:23Profile

Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 138

 Re: ancient paths

Some final points:

Paul kept the Festivals of the LORD:

Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians 5: 6-8)

Acts 18:21 But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

Paul affirmed the 5th commandment, showing it was not 'nailed to the cross': Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." (Ephesians 6:1-3)

Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. If those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker. A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. (Romans 2:25-29)

"Circumcision of the heart" is an Old Testament concept. (Lev. 26:41; Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4; 9:26; Ezek. 44:7-9) Paul is arguing against the arrogance of some who thought their ancestry, circumcision, and knowledge of the law made them superior to other believers. According to Paul, Gentile believers become Jews at heart, not in some nebulous way, but when the Spirit leads them to actually observe the laws that the literal Jews should have been obeying.

Col 2: [16] Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

At first glance, it sounds as if Paul was inferring that it didn't matter whether or not the Sabbaths and other regulations were observed. But this interpretation relies on the assumption that some believers in the congregation were disregarding the Sabbaths and other Torah laws, and that it was Jews who were causing trouble by teaching the Torah and condemning those who did not follow it. The context of the passage shows that this was not the case. Instead of teaching the Scriptures, those who were causing trouble were teaching "deceptive philosophy", "human tradition", "idle notions", and "human commands". In clear contrast to that, the Sabbaths, feasts, and the Torah diet were created by God himself (Lev. 11 & 23) and were part of the Scriptures that Paul endorsed as "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."

This ties up with the warnings given in Revelation about those who teach the children of Israel to eat things sacrificed to idols: "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication." Revelation 2:14

"Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." Revelation 2:20

When we re-examine the rest of Paul's writings within the context of Paul's lifestyle, we find there are no passages that clearly support the idea that some of God's Torah instructions have been rendered obsolete. While some might appear to say that, but when read in the light of the rest of scriptures, the life and teachings of Jesus the Messiah and the other apostles, and also Peter's warning re those who are Lawless who twist the writings of Paul, we see that Paul's writings are in harmony.

To sum up, the only vehemence of the Law that I see preached by Paul, is against those who would require circumcision and full torah observance of those gentiles who were turning to God from their pagan ways. Paul stressed that these new brethren are accepted into the household of God by their faith and trust in the death and accomplishment of Jesus the Messiah. They would thereafter begin to 'purify themselves as He is pure', and follow in the teachings of the Lord, becoming a set-apart people, and not returning to their old ways, but rather seek the ancient ways, wherein there is life.

Thank you.
And may God bless you,

Sorry about the length!

 2008/2/7 16:26Profile

Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA


Hi everyone.

Wildbranch, I'm not certain I understand you here? Are you suggesting that believers are obligated to observe the entire law of Moses?

In connection with circumcision, you wrote,

"According to Paul, Gentile believers become Jews at heart, not in some nebulous way, but when the Spirit leads them to actually observe the laws that the literal Jews should have been obeying."

Is this what you mean by laws that literal Jews should have been observing? Are you including circumcision here also?

The apostle Paul wrote,

[b][color=000000] Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. [/color][/b]

- Galatains 5:2-4(KJV)

And of the debt of doing the whole law he wrote

[b][color=000000] is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. [/color][/b]

- Galatians 3:10(KJV)

And to Peter he asked

[b][color=000000]If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? [/color][/b]

- Galatians 2:14(KJV)

What exactly are you trying to compell us to do?

Thank you for your time,


Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2008/2/7 20:36Profile

Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA


Hi again Wildbranch,

I noticed also you wrote,

"There certainly would have been more debate regarding those guidelines if the apostles had actually intended to exempt the Gentile believers from the entire law of Moses and replace it with only four guidelines for Messianic behavior."


"Also, Peter had just finished saying (twice) that God did not differentiate between the Gentile believers and the Jewish believers..."

That is in refrence to recieving the Holy Spirit(v8), but after that he says

[b][color=000000]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? [/color][/b]

- Acts 15:10(KJV)

What exactly are you saying should be put upon believers?

Thanks again,


Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2008/2/7 20:59Profile

Joined: 2007/6/14
Posts: 562
Indiana, US


romans 14:17 "for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit"


 2008/2/8 8:44Profile

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