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Frequently Asked Questions About Hebrew Roots

Hebrew Roots FAQ's and Myths

 

Under the Law

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Myth. Christians worship an antinomian or lawless  Jesus, but He was Torah observant, and we are to follow His example of that.

A. The Jesus that Christianity follows is the Jesus of the New Testament, the fulfillment of the promised New Covenant, who is God manifest in the flesh.  Although Jesus was born ďunder the lawĒ, His purpose in coming was to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.  He taught of the Law written on our hearts, which is not Torah, but a new commandment, as Jesus called it.

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38. This is the first and great commandment. 39. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Both the OT and the NT show us that when Jesus came, He would speak for His Father.  He would not repeat what Moses spoke, but a new law that was spoken of by the OT prophets.

Isaiah 42:1-4 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

Isaiah 42:6-7 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7. To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Isa 51:4 Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.

Mat 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. Psa. 2:7; Gen. 22:2; Isa. 42:1; Deut. 18:15

Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

As we see, Jesus and Moses do not have equal billing from the Father.

Acts 3:22-23 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. See Deut. 18:15-16, 19

Notice that it doesnít say Him and Moses

Deuteronomy 18:15-19 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; 16. According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 17. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. 18. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

When Jesus said ďBut I say to youĒ in Matthew 5:22-48, that is exactly what He meant

Hebrews 3:1-8 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2. Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6. But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

7. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

The NT shows us how we are to keep His law Ė it is fulfilled in love, after we believe Him.

1 John 3:23-24 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for
he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Jesus said we are to take up our cross and follow Him. Jesus did not say, take up Torah and follow Him.

Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Nor did He say, Go into the world and preach Torah. He said:

Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Romans 10:12-17 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15. And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16. But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Myth. Paul was Torah observant

A. Paul was a Pharisee, and therefore was well versed in the letter of the Law. Let us examine the actions of Paul after his acceptance of Jesus, and see if he felt that he and other believers should be "Torah observant" or under the law. Let's look at Acts 15 first:

Act 15:1 And 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.

Acts 15:5-13 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. 6. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9. And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 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? 11. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. 12. Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. 13. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

Act 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

Acts 15:22-29 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23. And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 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: 25. It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26. Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. 28. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29. That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Here we see Paul disputed with those advocating that believers needed to be circumcised and keep the law of Moses in order to live for Christ. The dispute was then carried to Jerusalem to the other apostles and elders of the church. And we see that they, in total agreement, declared they had given no such commandment of having to keep the Law of Moses and they sent letters and messengers along with Paul and Barnabas to convey that to the Gentiles. That included the apostle Paul in that meeting and as a 'messenger' of the epistle. In fact, they made it clear they had given no such commandment and rather listed four things to adhere to.  The result of the epistle delivered by Paul and the others:

Act 15:30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: 31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

Prior to this time, we see Paul going to the Galatians when he first started preaching the Gospel, and how Peter, who at that time had been preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, was living as a Gentile, until other Jews came. Meaning---Peter wasn't keeping the law of Moses. Then he separated from them and wanted the Gentiles to live as the Jews. Paul rebuked them all for their hypocrisy and not understanding what being justified by faith in Christ meant:

Galatians 2:9-16 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 10. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

11. But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

13. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, 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?

15. We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 2:17-21 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

19. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

As we see, by Acts 15, their was understanding of living for Christ and not through the keeping of the law of Moses, which commandments were nailed to the cross. It's about faith.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians and Colossians that the law of commandments was abolished by Christ, nailed to the cross.

Eph 2:15 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:

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

The law that was given to Israel had to be removed by Christ's sacrifice in order to make all able to be reconciled to Christ.

Paul likens being under the Law to spiritual adultery.

Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

We cannot thus be under the Law and bring forth fruit for Christ. Paul says there that we are dead to the law and married to Christ. He clearly says we are serving according to the Spirit of the Law not the letter. Attempting to live under the letter and authority of the Law is in direct contradiction to the words of Paul where he says:

Rom 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Passover/feasts

If you look at the Scriptures, you will find that on many occasions Paul did not go to Jerusalem where the Temple was located, which was the center of Jewish religion from Solomon's day until its destruction by the Romans in 70 C.E. This was the only place where sacrifices and certain other rituals of the Jewish religion could be performed, and where the sacrifices were performed every year for Passover, which is one of the appointed feasts, therefore required.  [Exodus 12:14, Leviticus 23:5-8, and Deuteronomy 16:1-8; Also see Deuteronomy 16:16]

There are passages recorded in Scripture that show that Paul did not go to Jerusalem on one occasion for a three year period [Gal 1:17-18, 21-22], and another being fourteen years. [Gal 2:1] Paul spent about 18 months in Corinth on his second journey. He spent over 2 years at Ephesus. There were also many other times he was known to be journeying to or in, other cities, was imprisoned and so on.

Meaning, that the Apostle Paul did not attend many of the feasts at the Temple during those years. Meaning that he was not being "Torah Observant." In fact, if one reads carefully, we see that not only did Paul not advocate the keeping of the feasts as a requirement, he did not 'teach' those who were in leadership with him, or admonish them, that they needed to accompany him to Jerusalem in this passage: [Please note, it does not say what type of vow Paul had.]

Acts 18:18-21 And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow. 19. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. 20. When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; 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.

If keeping the feasts was a requirement for believers, we would have seen the example of Priscilla, and Aquila at the very least, accompanying Paul to Jerusalem, or record of others going with him at those few times he did go. We know this passage is significant because we see Priscilla and Aquila taking Apollos, a devout Jew, aside and teaching about the things of Christ. Certainly if the feasts, keeping the law and all it entails were part of that, it would have been mentioned.

Acts 18:22-28 And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch. 23. And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples. 24. And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. 27. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28. For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

Concerning living it, Paul said:

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Galatians 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God.

Galatians 5:18 But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Gal 2:3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Galatians 3:23-26 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Gal 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?... 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Gal 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

Paul was saying that if he preached circumcision, which was part of keeping of the law of Moses, there would have been no need to persecute him. And with that would mean the cross brought no offence. But he was heavily persecuted, and it was because of the Gospel and the things concerning the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.

Paul instructed that Jesus, our Passover Lamb, was sacrificed for us. Jesus had to be blameless according to God's law to be a pure sacrifice. The Pharisees accused Him many times of breaking the Law, while they continually transgressed it themselves. It was their errant interpretation which was based on their own opinions and tradition, not Scripture, as Jesus illustrated here:

Luke 13:14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.

Matthew 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Did Paul give animal sacrifices?  Myth: Paul sacrificed animals at the temple even after he became an apostle.

Many suggest that Paul did give animal sacrifices and did so because of being 'Torah Observant'. Did Paul or the apostles sacrifice animals at the temple? Many cite an event recorded in the Book of Acts as proof of this. Letís see what the scriptures say:

Act 21:23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;

Act 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.

Act 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.

The above passage does not state that Paul had taken a vow, and merely instructs him to purify himself with them. The "be at charges with them" suggests he had to pay for their rituals in order to join them. We should note this event:

Act 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

Act 21:27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,

Act 21:28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.

Act 21:29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)

Act 21:30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.

Act 21:31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.

Act 21:32 Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul.

Act 21:33 Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done.

From the above passage, we see that Paul was taken on the seventh day while in the temple. Therefore, the sacrifice was not done. Letís see what the scriptures say about a vow, although there is no clear statement that what was being referred to was a Nazarite vow, as described below:

Num 6:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:

Num 6:7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.

Num 6:8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD.

Numbers 6:13-18 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 14. And he shall offer his offering unto the LORD, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings, 15. And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings. 16. And the priest shall bring them before the LORD, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering: 17. And he shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread: the priest shall offer also his meat offering, and his drink offering. 18. And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings.

Note that the shaving of the head took place at the completion of the vow, and after the sin and other offerings were given. There is no mention of Paul giving the required sacrifice or completing the ritual by shaving his head, as was said the four others were going to be doing.

In the event of becoming defiled during the Nazarite vow by a death.

Num 6:9 And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.

Num 6:10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:

Num 6:11 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day.

Even if it was Paulís intent to sacrifice according to a Nazarite vow (of which there is no definitive proof) God had a different plan. Jesus Christ was the final sacrifice. To have allowed Paul to continue, would have overturned that truth, because the priest would have made an offering for sin for Paul. There can be no other offerings for sin.  There is absolutely no Biblical proof that Paul or any of the apostles sacrificed animals at the temple after Jesus died and rose again. The former things were pointed out, only because the current teaching held by some, is that believers need to sacrifice because Paul did. Some are sacrificing Pesach lambs and such. There is no biblical account of Paul sacrificing, so it is merely conjecture.

As far as people today thinking that there is a need to sacrifice still, recall that all sacrifices were done under the supervision of the High Priest. Since Jesus is now the Great High Priest, one merely needs to re-read the book of Hebrews to understand God's direction on this issue. It is totally off limits scripturally.

Hebrews 7:11-17 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12. For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 13. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16. Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 7:20-24 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: 21. (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) 22. By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24. But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

Hebrews 7:25-28 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27. Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 28. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

It should also be noted that the extra Biblical rabbinic writings talk of how the temple sacrifices were not accepted after the time of Christ's final sacrifice (the string did not turn from crimson to white). That is in keeping with the veil of the temple being rent from top to bottom when Jesus gave up the ghost after being crucified. Jesus paid the debt in full once and for all, and to say any different is to mock His finished work on the cross. (it is finished) Accept no substitute.

Mar 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

Heb 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Paul was a Pharisee, and therefore was well versed in the letter of the Law. Let us examine the actions of Paul after his acceptance of Jesus, and if he felt that non-Jews were obliged to follow it:

Did Paul Teach Tithing?
Paul taught about giving according to the heart, and not according to the law, and that it was for the saints rather than for the priests, something that today's church needs to gain understanding in:
From the Hebrew Scriptures or TaNaKh [OT] on tithing:

Numbers 18:26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.

Nehemiah 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.

Compared to what Paul taught.

1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

For more on Tithing and Giving please see the series : Is Tithing Scriptural for New Covenant Believers? Under the Law or Led by the Spirit : Introduction

Or: Hebrew FAQS & Myths > Myth. Paul taught to tithe to the Levites which today would be to 'Torah' teachers.

Myth: Some say that Paul advocated circumcision by advising Timothy to have one done, and therefore if one follows the Mosaic Law, it is part of keeping Torah.

Part of the argument also, for the extreme Messianics, is that unless one gets circumcised one cannot observe Passover - which is Mosaic law as well --------- but most ignore that too or accept their medical circumcision as "real". However, in Judaism, a medical circumcision is not accepted - it must be done by a mohel under rabbinic stipulations.

Leviticus 12:3 And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

Paul taught that believers need not be circumcised to be acceptable, but the Jews could according to the custom:

1 Corinthians 7 :18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ 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, Christ 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 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Galatians 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. 3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

In Galatians 5:11 Paul was saying that if he preached circumcision, which was part of the law and the keeping of the law of Moses, there would have been no need to persecute him. And with that would mean the cross brought no offence.

Gal 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

We see that Paul did not circumcise Titus, and in fact Titus travelled to Jerusalem with Paul and Barnabas.

Galatians 2:1-9 Then fourteen years after  I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. 3. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4. And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5. To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

The passage suggest there was no pressure from the other apostles to have Titus circumcised. Paul did not circumcise Titus, since Titus was Greek. In the case of Timothy, Timothy's mother was Jewish despite his father having been Greek. So that made Timothy Jewish and entitled to having been circumcised had his father allowed it. It also made Paul able to take Timothy with him to the Temple and Jerusalem in order to proclaim the Gospel to them.

This was not deceit on Paul or Timothy's part, as some accuse, since Timothy was of Jewish descent.

With Titus however, since he is not said to be of Jewish descent we can see why Paul would not circumcise him. It is in keeping with the rest of his teaching which says that Gentiles do not need to be circumcised and obey the Mosaic Law.

Paul circumcised Timothy, "because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek." And his mother was a Jewess. [Acts 16:1-3] 

Not as under the Law but to make it easier to witness to his fellow Jews.

Acts 16: Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. [also Acts 11:2-3, 10:28 ]

It was always about furtherance of the Gospel. That was Paul's focus. Winning souls to Jesus Christ. 

1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

That was his example.

Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

In other words, even being Biblically 'kosher' was to be undertaken for the purpose of not being a stumbling block or offense to those who held to those things, such as clean and unclean. It was always for the edification of others in order to share Jesus Christ. See also: Romans 14:2-5; 1Timothy 4:1-6, Romans 15:1, 1Corinthians 9:22, 1Corinthians 10:25, Colossians 2:16

Notice also in the letters to Titus and Timothy, there is nothing about circumcision, keeping the Sabbath or the law of Moses as being the prerequisites for ordaining bishops or elders.

The Christian fulfillment of circumcision is the spiritual removal of sin from the heart.

Col 2:11 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 Christ:
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, in which also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses

The point of physical circumcision has always been about the circumcision of the heart.

Deut 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.

Doesnít this tell us that the uncircumcision of our flesh represents the heart full of sin and isnít the physical uncircumcision in the Old Covenant symbolizing being dead in sin and estranged from the covenant of God? A shadow of things to come...

The change of heart that Paul describes in the image of the heart circumcision is the work of the Holy Spirit, not the result of external obedience to the Law.


In Isaiah 1:10-18 we see this very thing:

Isaiah 1:11-18 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?

13. Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

15. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

17. Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

We see that God condemns external obedience if not the product of, or accompanied by a righteous heart.

Romans 2:25-29 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27. And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 28. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

David knew this when he prayed in Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart ,O God; and renew a right spirit within me." and

Psalms 51:16-17 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Adherence to the letter of the Law without a clean heart was an abomination to God,

Psalms 40:6-8 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

Thatís why Jesus had such issue with the Pharisees, because they loved to boast in their keeping of the letter of the law, but their hearts were far from clean. They were rigorously adhering to the externals yet inside in their hearts all was not well

Psalms 78:36-37 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. 37. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.

Matthew 23:23-28 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Jesus calls us to work on our hearts. Nowhere do we see him commending external observance but countless times he draws attention to the internal heart attitude.

God isnít interested in the outward observance for its own sake but what it points to or symbolizes, the reality that it represents. The shadow of what was to come which was Jesus and the New Covenant.

Those proponents of Hebrew Roots or Messianics or Christians that call for going back to Mosaic law-keeping miss these vital points and donít realize that what they are doing can be offensive to God according to the Scriptures.

Isaiah 1:13. Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

They make people feel guilty by claiming that they are not obeying God by doing the Mosaic commandments and they themselves donít learn the lessons of the OT. In the new Covenant God has dispensed with the shadows, which were the tutor.

1 Timothy 1:5-7 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6. From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7. Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

Galatians 3:22-29 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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 Christ Jesus. 29. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

In the OT God used the physical to teach us about the spiritual. And as teaching, the OT is essential but we are not called to continue practicing the rituals contained within these shadows, that were proclaimed since the time of Moses.

Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

That is why, as recorded in Acts, Paul, a Jew, found it so abhorrent that some Jews were teaching that Gentiles had to be circumcised and keep the law of Moses.  He used strong language condemning them and rightly so, since the physical rite had no value whatsoever in the New Covenant. It was what it pointed to that now takes prominence. We are called to circumcise our hearts, not our bodies. We are called to follow Christ, not Moses.
 

02/25/2011

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