Encyclopedia Britannica’s entry for Christmas

“There were, however, many speculations in the 2nd century about the date of Christ’s birth. Clement of Alexandria, towards its close, mentions several such, and condemns them as superstitions.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, entry for Christmas)

“Lupi has shown that there is no month in the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned Christ’s birth.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, entry for Christmas)

“As late as 245 Origen, in his eighth homily on Leviticus, repudiates as sinful the very idea of keeping the birthday of Christ ‘as if he were a king Pharaoh.’” (Encyclopedia Britannica, entry for Christmas)

And according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Origen said, “of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below” (Catholic Encyclopedia, entry for Natal Day)

“No evidence remains about the exact date of the birth of Christ. The December 25 date was chosen as much for practical reasons as for theological ones. Throughout the Roman Empire, various festivals were held in conjunction with the winter solstice. In Rome, the Feast of the Unconquerable Sun celebrated the beginning of the return of the sun. When Christianity became the religion of the Empire, the church either had to suppress the festivals or transform them. The winter solstice seemed an appropriate time to celebrate Christ’s birth. Thus, the festival of the sun became a festival of the Son” (Holman Bible Dictionary, entry for Christmas)

“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First because we do not believe in any mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English: Secondly, because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Savior’s birth, although there in no possibility of discovering when it occurred. It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the birth of our Lord; and it was not till long after the western Church had set the example, that the eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known. Probably the fact is that the “holy” days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which our Savior was born it is the 25th of December. Regarding not the day, let us give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.” —C. H. Spurgeon Dec. 24, 1871 (Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, p. 697)

be-separate

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Anti-Semitism of the “Church Fathers”

The next time someone tells you about how the “Church Fathers” did or didn’t believe this or that and because of them, they cannot believe in this or that … remember the following quotes from these sinful, fallen, anti-semitic men and teach these people the truth that they were just men (some many truly been born-again, Yah will judge) and not “Church Fathers”.

 

Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (98-117A.D.) – Epistle to the Magnesians

For if we are still practicing Judaism, we admit that we have not received God’s favor…it is wrong to talk about Jesus Christ and live like Jews. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity.

 

“Epistle of Barnabas” Chapter 4vs 6-7 (between 130A.D. and 138 A.D.)

Take heed to yourselves and be not like some piling up you sins and saying that the covenant is theirs as well as ours. It is ours, but they lost it completely just after Moses received it.

 

Justin Martyr – Dialogue with Trypho (Between 138A.D. and 161 A.D.)

We too, would observe your circumcision of the flesh, your Sabbath days, and in a word, all you festivals, if we were not aware of the reason why they were imposed upon you, namely, because of your sins and the hardness of heart.

 The custom of circumcising the flesh, handed down from Abraham, was given to you as a distinguishing mark, to set you off from other nations and from us Christians. The purpose of this was that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours; that only your land be desolated, and you cities ruined by fire, that the fruits of you land be eaten by strangers before your very eyes; that not one of you be permitted to enter your city of Jerusalem. Your circumcision of the flesh is the only mark by which you can certainly be distinguished from other men…as I stated before it was by reason of your sins and the sins of your fathers that, among other precepts, God imposed upon you the observence of the sabbath as a mark.

 

Origen of Alexandria (185-254 A.D.) – A ecclesiastical writer and teacher who contributed to the early formation of Christian doctrines.

We may thus assert in utter confidence that the Jews will not return to their earlier situation, for they have committed the most abominable of crimes, in forming this conspiracy against the Savior of the human race…hence the city where Jesus suffered was necessarily destroyed, the Jewish nation was driven from its country, and another people was called by God to the blessed election.

 

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Eusebius (ca 275-339 CE) Taught that the promises of Scripture were meant for the Gentiles and the curses were meant for the Jews.  [He] asserted that the Church was the ‘true Israel.’

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Hilary of Poitiers (CE 291 – 371) “Jews are a perverse people, accursed by God forever.”

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Gregory of Nicia (died CE 394) “The Jews are a brood of vipers, haters of goodness.”

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St. Jerome (CE 347 – 407) “[Jews] are serpents, wearing the image of Judas, their psalms and prayers are the braying of Donkeys.”

John Chrysostom (344-407 A.D.) – One of the “greatest” of church fathers; known as “The Golden Mouthed.” A missionary preacher famous for his sermons and addresses.

The synagogue is worse than a brothel…it is the den of scoundrels and the repair of wild beasts…the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults…the refuge of brigands and dabauchees, and the cavern of devils. It is a criminal assembly of Jews…a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ… a house worse than a drinking shop…a den of thieves, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, the refuge of devils, a gulf and a abyss of perdition.”…”I would say the same things about their souls… As for me, I hate the synagogue…I hate the Jews for the same reason.

From “The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism” by Malcolm Hay

 

St. Augustine (c. 354-430 A.D.), Confessions, 12.14

How hateful to me are the enemies of your Scripture! How I wish that you would slay them (the Jews) with your two-edged sword, so that there should be none to oppose your word! Gladly would I have them die to themselves and live to you!

 

Peter the Venerable – known as “the meekest of men, a model of Christian charity”

Yes, you Jews. I say, do I address you; you, who till this very day, deny the Son of God. How long, poor wretches, will ye not believe the truth? Truly I doubt whether a Jew can be really human… I lead out from its den a monstrous animal, and show it as a laughing stock in the amphitheater of the world, in the sight of all the people. I bring thee forward, thou Jew, thou brute beast, in the sight of all men.

From “The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism” by Malcolm Hay

 

Martin Luther – 1543

On The Jews and Their Lies

What then shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of Jews? Since they live among us and we know about their lying and blasphemy and cursing, we can not tolerate them if we do not wish to share in their lies, curses, and blasphemy. In this way we cannot quench the inextinguishable fire of divine rage nor convert the Jews. We must prayerfully and reverentially practice a merciful severity. Perhaps we may save a few from the fire and flames [of hell]. We must not seek vengeance. They are surely being punished a thousand times more than we might wish them. Let me give you my honest advice.

First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honor of God and of Christianity in order that God may see that we are Christians, and that we have not wittingly tolerated or approved of such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of His Son and His Christians.

Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. For they perpetrate the same things there that they do in their synagogues. For this reason they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing.

Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer-books and Talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught.

Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more…

Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden to the Jews. For they have no business in the rural districts since they are not nobles, nor officials, nor merchants, nor the like. Let them stay at home…If you princes and nobles do not close the road legally to such exploiters, then some troop ought to ride against them, for they will learn from this pamphlet what the Jews are and how to handle them and that they ought not to be protected. You ought not, you cannot protect them, unless in the eyes of God you want to share all their abomination…

To sum up, dear princes and nobles who have Jews in your domains, if this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one so that you and we may all be free of this insufferable devilish burden – the Jews…

Let the government deal with them in this respect, as I have suggested. But whether the government acts or not, let everyone at least be guided by his own conscience and form for himself a definition or image of a Jew. When you lay eyes on or think of a Jew you must say to yourself: Alas, that mouth which I there behold has cursed and execrated and maligned every Saturday my dear Lord Jesus Christ, who has redeemed me with his precious blood; in addition, it prayed and pleaded before God that I, my wife and children, and all Christians might be stabbed to death and perish miserably. And he himself would gladly do this if he were able, in order to appropriate our goods…

Such a desperate, thoroughly evil, poisonous, and devilish lot are these Jews, who for these fourteen hundred years have been and still are our plague, our pestilence, and our misfortune.

I have read and heard many stories about the Jews which agree with this judgment of Christ, namely, how they have poisoned wells, made assassinations, kidnapped children, as related before. I have heard that one Jew sent another Jew, and this by means of a Christian, a pot of blood, together with a barrel of wine, in which when drunk empty, a dead Jew was found. There are many other similar stories. For their kidnapping of children they have often been burned at the stake or banished (as we already heard). I am well aware that they deny all of this. However, it all coincides with the judgment of Christ which declares that they are venomous, bitter, vindictive, tricky serpents, assassins, and children of the devil, who sting and work harm stealthily wherever they cannot do it openly. For this reason, I would like to see them where there are no Christians. The Turks and other heathen do not tolerate what we Christians endure from these venomous serpents and young devils…next to the devil, a Christian has no more bitter and galling foe than a Jew. There is no other to whom we accord as many benefactions and from whom we suffer as much as we do from these base children of the devil, this brood of vipers.

Translated by Martin H. Bertram, “On The Jews and Their Lies, Luther’s Works, Volume 47″; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971.

 

Martin Luther – 1543

Of The Unknowable Name and The Generations of Christ

But your [God’s] judgment is right, justus es Dominie. Yes, so shall Jews, but no one else be punished, who held your word and miracles in contempt and ridiculed, insulted and damned it for such a long time without interruption, so that they will not fall, like other humans, heathens and all the others, into sin and death, not up in Hell, nor in the middle of Hell but in the pit of Hell, as one cannot fall deeper…

Even if they were punished in the most gruesome manner that the streets ran with their blood, that their dead would be counted, not in the hundred thousands, but in the millions, as happened under Vespasian in Jerusalem and for evil under Hadrian, still they must insist on being right even if after these 1,500 years they were in misery another 1,500 years, still God must be a liar and they must be correct. In sum, they are the devil’s children, damned to Hell…

The Jews too got what they deserved. They had been called and elected to be God’s mouth as Jeremiah says…Open your mouth wide and I will fill it; they however, kept tightly closed their muzzles, eyes, ears, nose, whole heart and all senses, so he polluted and squirted them so full that it oozes from them in all places and devil’s filth comes from them.

Yes, that tastes good to them, into their hearts, they smack their lips like swine. That is how they want it. Call more: ‘Crucify him, crucify him.’ Scream more: ‘His blood come upon us and our children.’ (Matthew 27:25) I mean it came and found you…

Perhaps, one of the merciful Saints among us Christians may think I am behaving too crude and disdainfully against the poor, miserable Jews in that I deal with them so sarcastically and insulting. But, good God, I am much too mild in insulting such devils…

 

John Calvin

A Response To Questions and Objections of a Certain Jew

Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.

Excerpt from “Ad Quaelstiones et Objecta Juaei Cuiusdam Responsio,” by John Calvin; The Jew in Christian Theology, Gerhard Falk, McFarland and Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC and London, 1931.

 

 

For more information you can refer back to the October 15, 2015 Torahis4Today article: Where the Early Church Fathers Antisemitic Hypocrites?

 

 

Was Jesus really born on December 25th?

Our Prayer

“O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Amen.”

– Samuel F. Pugh

Why would a true believer quit celebrating Christmas?

Should you keep Torah?

Not Convinced?

Questions for Christians who believe they are free from the Law / Instructions / Torah

Below are some questions and Scripture passages that we believe are difficult to understand if the Torah is fulfilled in the sense that God’s children no longer need to follow it. They are passages that compelled us to begin looking into the issue of freedom from the law.

Zech 14:16-19 Have you considered why most Christians no longer keep the Biblical holy days? Most know that God’s people kept these holy days before Jesus came. Yet, the Bible also says His people will keep them again after He returns during the Millennium. If they used to keep them in the past, and we will keep them in the future, why don’t we keep them now? Notice the passage is talking about the nations of the world, not just Israel.

Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which the LORD afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. -Zechariah 14:16-19

Ezekiel 44:10-14 The temple that Ezekiel describes in detail is still future since the second temple did not fit this description and since God’s presence (43:1-5) never entered the second temple. Yet, in Ezekiel’s description, we see both the Levitical priesthood in service and sacrifices being made. If the law (Torah) is fulfilled and done away with, then why would the Prince reinstate it? (See Ezekiel 40-48 for the context.)

But the Levites who went far from me, going astray from me after their idols when Israel went astray, shall bear their punishment. They shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the temple and ministering in the temple. They shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before the people, to minister to them. Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn concerning them, declares the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their punishment. They shall not come near to me, to serve me as priest, nor come near any of my holy things and the things that are most holy, but they shall bear their shame and the abominations that they have committed. Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the temple, to do all its service and all that is to be done in it. -Ezekiel 44:10-14

Jeremiah 33:19-22 If the Levitical priesthood is no longer needed because of the work of Christ, then why does God say that his covenant with the Levitical priesthood can never be broken, even as his covenant which says there will be a son of David (Jesus) on the throne cannot be broken?

For thus says the LORD: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel,  and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, and to make sacrifices forever.” The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: “Thus says the LORD: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time, then also my covenant with David my servant may be broken, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with the Levitical priests my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the offspring of David my servant, and the Levitical priests who minister to me.” – Jeremiah 33:17-22

Leviticus 23 covers God’s instructions to Israel to remember special days every year. These are commonly referred to as the “Jewish holidays” today and include such days as the Day of Atonement, Passover, and Feast of Tabernacles among others. Concerning these days, God tells them to keep them FOREVER. It does not say to celebrate these days just until Jesus comes. It does not say to do this until God tells them to stop or frees them from this obligation. Did God not know Jesus was coming to save sinners? Of course He knew. Was God lying? No. Was God wrong? No. Maybe these commands are only for Jewish believers and not Gentile believers! That rings hollow. Does Christ have two brides? Are there two chosen people of God? Remember that Paul teaches that Gentile believers were grafted INTO Israel (Romans 11:17-24). Here is one example, see the whole chapter for more:

You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the LORD. And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. Lev 23:15-21

Acts 25:7-8, 21:20-24 Most of the NT freedom passages are written by Paul. These passages supposedly teach that Christians are free from the Law of Moses. If Paul was so emphatic on teaching his converts freedom from the Mosaic Law, then why does Luke tell us that the Jews could not prove this charge and that Paul adamantly denied teaching against the Law? Luke also says the other apostles did not believe Paul was teaching against the Law, yet so many today feel he is.

When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him that they could not prove. Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.” – Acts 25:7-8

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, and they have been told about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or walk according to our customs. What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow; 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 also live in observance of the law. – Acts 21:20-24

Deuteronomy 13 This chapter contains instructions to Israel for testing someone who claims to be a prophet. The criteria for whether Israel should listen to the one who claims to be a prophet is NOT whether this person can do signs and wonders (13:1), but rather if this prophet teaches obedience to the Torah. Only a few chapters later Moses tells Israel that God will raise up a prophet like Moses (18:15). Most understand this passage to be referring to Jesus, and even Israel was still waiting for this prophet when Jesus came the first time (Acts 7:37, John 1:21). Thus, this prophet, like Moses, would have to satisfy the Deuteronomy 13 prophet test as well. He must teach obedience to the Torah. Therefore, could Jesus teach that the era for the Torah was over? Could the purpose of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection be to free his followers from the Torah? Would it be acceptable for his apostles to teach disobedience to the Torah?

You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. Deuteronomy 13:4-5

Copyright © CaseforTorah.com 2011-2015

How Many Witnesses?

All too often we see doctrines created with little to no support or study poured into them. The age old declaration from the Protestant Reformation era of Sola Scriptura, or “by Scripture only” was the foundation of Protestantism. It denied any decree or doctrine not found directly within, or by logical deduction of Scripture. But what does Scripture itself say?

The invention of doctrine and theology has plagued Christianity from the start. It has led to so many denominational splits that there are now thousands upon thousands of different denominations. Judaism has this problem as well, as there is Orthodox, Ultra-Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and even Karaite sects within Judaism. In Yeshua’s time, there were Pharisees and Sadducees. Even Paul addresses this in 1 Corinthians 3, as some said, “I am of Paul,” and others, “I am of Apollos.”

But does it really matter? After all, if Scripture says something, isn’t that matter set in stone? This is a bit of a trick question. If Scripture declares something, then it cannot be broken. Messiah Yeshua Himself said this in John 10:35. There are no contradictions in Scripture, either. So if we see what appears to be a contradiction, it means we are not understanding it correctly. That, or it is a simple mistranslation. If we were to simply write up a doctrine based on one Scripture at a time, without further evidence or context, we are then forcing Scripture to say what we want it to. That is not how it is intended.

In order for a matter to be established, it must be declared by more than one witness. That is the Scriptural concept that is declared all throughout Scripture.

Deuteronomy 19:15, “15A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.” Here we have the instruction, written in the Torah, that only by two or three witnesses can a matter be confirmed.

Matthew 18:16, “16But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.” Here Yeshua Himself reiterates what the Torah says about the mouth of two or three witnesses.

2 Corinthians 13:1, “1This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” The same statement made by Yeshua is echoed by Paul. Again, by Paul, we have this statement in 1 Timothy 5:19, “19Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.” Here it is in the context of strife and accusation against an elder, but to what rule does this Scriptural concept hold? That two or three witnesses are required to establish a matter.

A stern reminder from the author of the Book of Hebrews in Hebrews 10:28 says, “28Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Again, the same principle applies of needing multiple witnesses.

We can read in Revelation 11 about the “two witnesses.” Ever wonder why there are two? Why not one? Why not 50? Because “on the mouth of two or three witnesses, every matter is established.”

Even Abba Yahweh Himself has said in Deuteronomy 30:19, “19I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.” Heaven and earth are two witnesses.

Today, all too often, I see where doctrines and beliefs are invented almost out of thin air. People grasp at straws trying to prove things that are not Scriptural. For instance, I could take one Scripture and make an absurd doctrine out of it like so many do today. Take, for example, Leviticus 10:1-2, “1Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective fire-pans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before Yahweh, which He had not commanded them. 2And fire came out from the presence of Yahweh and consumed them, and they died before Yahweh.” Taking just this verse, I could say that burning incense is a heinous sin in the eyes of The Creator. But that would be a lie, because Yahweh Himself commanded that incense be burned in Exodus 30. The (rather obvious) context of this passage is that the fire they offered was not in the prescribed manner. That is, it was offered in a way that was not acceptable to Yahweh.

Another (and possibly better) example could be Isaiah 1:11 which says, “11“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says Yahweh. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.” From this alone I could invent a doctrine stating that all offerings are wrong, and that Yahweh never wanted them to sacrifice animals. Yet this would fly in the face of many Scriptures (Leviticus 1 and others) that say the opposite. The context of Isaiah 1 shows, rather clearly, that it is sacrifices offered without a heart change that Yahweh does not want. He wants true repentance, not just a slaughtering. He wants His people to turn to Him and trust Him.

The invention of doctrines without multiple Scriptural proofs, without TRUE evidence is the problem here. All too often I see or hear things like, “Paul said…” or “Jesus did [blank] when He died, so now…” The most common are, “Jesus kept the law so I don’t have to,” and “Paul said all foods are made to be eaten.” These do not have multiple Scriptural “witnesses” and therefore cannot be established. Of course these statements are way out of context, which is WHY there are not multiple witnesses to support them. Today’s pastors give sermons based on one Scripture verse and get thousands of “oohs” and “ahs.” Modern apologetics includes reading a Bible verse, telling a joke, telling a quick anecdote, and tying it all together with some nice preachy words; but this is, in the end, worthless! Empty and vain babbling (Matthew 6:7) has taken over the “church.”

Simply put, Scripture instructs us to establish a matter only after it has been evidenced by multiple witnesses. We cannot pick and choose our way through Scripture, selecting only the things we want to believe. If you have been taught something and you believe it, you should be able to explain it. If something you have learned or something you have been taught seems like it doesn’t match up with Scripture, then go back and look it up; study it out. Scripture is a package deal and there is no door number two. That is why I ask that readers “test all things, holding fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21) and “prove all spirits, whether they are of Elohim,” (1 John 4:1). I pray this blesses you. Be Berean. Shalom.

Re-posted from:   http://bechirah.weebly.com/common-misconceptions/how-many-witnesses

God is a Trinity or not???

memory-verse-1-cor-8-6

Does God change?

god_of_ot_chartGod the Father and Yeshua are truly “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6)

Is the Law of Moses just for the Jews?

Most Christians, Jews and even Messianic Jews all have pretty much the same answer in regards to the question, “To whom was the Law given?” Their answer is simply, “The Jews!” The buck stops there with most people. They recognize that the Law (Torah) was handed down by Moses while Israel was in the wilderness; after having left Egypt. But there is something missing. Or rather, multiple “somethings” are missing.

To begin, let’s establish what the “Law” really is. The word in our English Old Testaments is rendered “Law,” yet is more accurately rendered “instructions.” The word in Hebrew is Strong’s #H8451, Torah, meaning instructions, laws or teachings. It is derived from Strong’s #H3384, Yarah, meaning to teach, instruct, throw, point or aim. Yarah is actually an archery term. It means, in its original form, to take aim.

So to answer the original question, let’s look at Exodus 20. This chapter is best known for the giving of the Ten Commandments. The Ten were issued from Yahweh, while the rest were relayed by Moses. Not that Yahweh wouldn’t speak to the rest of the Israelites, but rather they begged Him to stop. Verse 19 describes them asking Moses to be the mediator because they couldn’t stand it. Fast forward the next few chapters. Yahweh continues issuing all sorts of commands. These, however, He speaks only to Moses, and instructs Moses to inform all the other Israelites. That is why most instructions begin with the phrase, “And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, ‘speak to the children of Israel and tell them…’” Now chapter 24 is very important.

Exodus 24:3 says, “3Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of Yahweh and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which Yahweh has spoken we will do!” 4Moses wrote down all the words of Yahweh…”

See that? Moses relayed ALL that Yahweh had instructed him, and ALL the people agreed to it! But the next question would be, who is “all?” Exodus 12:38 tells us who came out of Egypt; a mixed multitude, not just those who were Hebrew by birth. It was this “mixed multitude” that left Egypt, and the same multitude that is included in “all” the people. The same rules apply to non-natives as they do to natives. (See articles “What is the ‘Church’?” and “Who is Israel?”). So all the people agreed to keep the commands that Yahweh gave.

I have heard it said by many Christians that the Ten Commandments are the only “laws” from the Torah that still apply today, with all the rest having been “nailed to the cross.” I address “nailed to the cross” in a different writing, but suffice it to say that is not the meaning. A very prominent belief among Seventh-Day Adventists includes the belief that the Ten Commandments are eternal, while the rest of the Torah has passed away. To come to this conclusion they often cite Deuteronomy 31:26, which states that the Levites placed the Book of the Law (the Torah) beside the Ark. The two tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written, however, were placed INSIDE the ark, not beside it (Exodus 40). These same Christians believe that since the Ark could not be opened, it meant that the Ten were eternal. However, they say, the Torah was placed OUTSIDE the Ark, indicating that it could be removed later when Yeshua would come.

This logic, however, is flawed. I could go into how Yahweh says His statutes are eternal (Lev. 16, 17, 23, Numbers 15, etc.) but I will instead use their own line of thinking. It is true, Deuteronomy DOES say the Torah was placed outside the Ark. The reason, however, is not so that it could be removed PERMANENTLY, but rather so it could be removed temporarily. That is, taken up and read aloud, then placed back. The Torah Scroll would have to be reachable in order for people to read it. A king would have to write his own copy (Deuteronomy 17) and we see that the Scroll WAS taken and read in the hearing of multitudes of people (Nehemiah 8, 2 Chronicles 34, etc.). So the whole reason the Scroll was OUTSIDE the Ark was so that it be could easily accessible, NOT so it could be “removed.”

So the Torah (Law) was given to all Israelites. All the people who were in covenant with Yahweh accepted His Torah. But what is the purpose of the Torah? The Torah does three primary things: 1) It blesses those who hear it and obey it. 2) It curses those who hear it and disobey it. 3) Defines sin. Let’s go through and prove these three in order.

So first, the Torah blesses those who hear it and obey it.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2, “1″Now it shall be, if you diligently obey Yahweh your Elohim, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, Yahweh your Elohim will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey Yahweh your Elohim:” 

The next few verses proceed to list some of the blessings with which the Israelites would be blessed for their obedience. Blessings such as offspring for man and beast alike, blessings in produce, blessings in basket and kneading bowl. All these things exemplify daily life at that time. One was considered well-off and wealthy if he had a lot of land, crops, flocks, herds and children.

Leviticus 26:3-13, “3If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, 4then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. 5Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. 6I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making [you] tremble. I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land. 7But you will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword; 8five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword. 9So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you. 10You will eat the old supply and clear out the old because of the new. 11Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. 12I will also walk among you and be your Elohim, and you shall be My people. 13I am Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that [you] would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.”

Same kind of picture here. Blessings for obedience. We see more evidence of this in the Gospels and Apostolic Writings as well.

1 Corinthians 3:7-8, “7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but Elohim who causes the growth. 8Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own work.”

Here Paul speaks of ministry. Teaching is equated to planting and watering, as many of us have heard before. But in verse 8 he says, “…each one will receive his own reward according to his own work.” Same as blessings coming according to your level of obedience. Obedience (in doing what Elohim commands) IS work; good work, like Paul speaks about in Ephesians 2:10, giving the reason we (humans) were created.

Matthew 16:26-27, “26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.” Very similar to what Paul said, right? The level of “work” you put in determines the level of reward.

1 Peter 1:17, “If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;”

Peter says the same thing that Yeshua said and Paul repeated. Last, consider another statement by Yeshua, this time in Revelation. 

Revelation 22:12, “See, I am coming speedily, and My reward is with me; to render unto each man according to his works.” This recurring statement, “each man according to his works,” is not new. It was not a “New Testament” concept. 

Proverbs 22:12, “12If you say, “See, we did not know this,” Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?”

Psalm 62:12, “12And lovingkindness is Yours, O Master, For You recompense a man according to his work.”

These are all examples of a very clear concept. To quote a friend, “It’s not new, just true.” The “according to his works” concept did not originate with the Apostolic Writers, nor did it begin with Yeshua’s earthly ministry. The first occurrence of this that we see is actually in Genesis.

Genesis 4:7, “7If you do well, will not [your countenance] be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” 

This is Yahweh speaking to Cain right before Cain goes and kills Abel. Yahweh tells Cain that “if you do well, you will be uplifted. If you do not do well, then there is sin.”

Now let me be clear. I am not saying this reward is salvation based on work. That is not the point here. “Salvation” occurs at the end, when one is “saved” from the second death. This “reward” is what Yeshua brings at His return (see Revelation 22). When he returns it isn’t the end of time. There is still a long period of time before “the end.” The entire Millennium plays out after He “brings His reward.” This is further evidenced by Revelation 14:12, “12Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of Elohim and their faith in Yeshua.” Also there is Revelation 12:17, that talks about the offspring of the woman (the ekklesia) being pursued by the dragon because they “keep the commandments of Elohim and hold on to the testimony of Yeshua.”

The last point to make along this line of thinking comes from John.

John 3:36, “All those believing in the Son shall have eternal life. But those who do not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of Elohim remains on him.” 

There is a myriad of translations of this verse, but the one closest to the Greek text is as listed above. Again, whether a person gets “delivered” or “saved” at the end of time is dependent upon their faith, but the reward in the Kingdom varies based on one’s work. I will address this issue fully in a different writing. For now, we’ll move on to the second thing the Torah does.

The Torah curses those who choose to disobey it. Going back to the Scripture listed above, Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 show also the curses that come along with disobedience. In fact, Deuteronomy 28:60-61 says that Yahweh would actually bring curses on them WORSE than what He had brought upon Egypt. Curses that were not even recorded in the Torah. The very definition of the word “obey” is to follow commands or carry out instructions. To disobey is the opposite. It is to hear those instructions, and then NOT carry them out.

All the Gospel and Apostolic Scripture listed above applies to those who obey as well as to those who disobey. “Render unto each according to his works” can mean good works or bad works. It can mean obedience or disobedience.

The Torah defines sin.

1 John 3:4 says, “Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness. And sin is lawlessness.” 

John has defined sin for us the easy way. “Lawlessness” means without or against law. So the breaking of the Torah IS sin. Paul says something similar in Romans. 

Romans 7:7, “7What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.”” 

Paul states very plainly that the Law (Torah) itself is NOT sin. He states instead that the Torah allows one to have the knowledge of sin. As with what John said, sin is the breaking of the Torah.

So the three primary purposes of the Torah (bless those that hear and obey, curse those that hear and disobey, and define sin) has been uncovered. But what about who the Torah is meant for? Well, quite simply, it is meant for Israel. I have written other articles on Israel (“The People of Yahweh”) that should help with that. But essentially, if you are a true Believer and follower of Messiah Yeshua, and if you love Him (John 14:15) then YOU are an Israelite, and therefore Torah is for YOU.

Judaism states that non-Jewish converts are only obligated to keep what they have dubbed the “Noachide laws.” These are seven laws that are straight out of the Torah, yet there is so much more than that. As we have seen, the Torah was intended for ALL of Yahweh’s people. Not different little pieces for different people. The whole thing for all of His children because He is perfectly Just and perfectly Fair.

The Torah was not given to “the Jews” as many claim. It was given to ALL the people of Israel (Exodus 20); and ALL the people included not only the other tribes (Judah is only one tribe), but a mixed multitude as well. Kind of like the saying “All Jews are Israelites, but not all Israelites are Jews.” Though Jews (along with anyone else) that reject the Messiah will no longer be part of Israel, but rather will be cut off (Romans 11).

I pray this study has blessed you, and assisted you in seeking and searching it out for yourself. Be Berean. Shalom.

Reposted from: http://bechirah.weebly.com/common-misconceptions/to-whom-was-the-law-given