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Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2003 22:31:20 +0000
From: Jill Putnam
Subject: Are non-Jews to express their faith in YHVH by obeying Torah?
HOW ARE NON-JEWS TO EXPRESS THEIR FAITH IN YHVH THROUGH THE MESSIAH?
To be very honest, something about the extreme Messianic view (requirement for NonJews to live as Jews being circumcised and obedience to laws God gave only to the Jews) and the view from Jim (below) is unsettling in my spirit. (Jim sees an "OLD" covenant as though part of the Word of God died though God says the Word of the Lord is eternal.)
Neither view can be totally correct. Do you relate to this unsettling feeling at all and can you point me to a place to reconcile these views with the truth?
I appreciate your answers so much.
JIM'S REPLY TO JILL
To answer your question in short form and without getting into theological discussion: We embrace many of the Hebrew family-related practices, however, we like the Galatians, do not embrace the Old Covenant Laws, practices (those ceremonial requirements demanded by the Law) or acknowledgement of Old Covenant Feast-days including the Sabbath because Jesus Christ has become our Sabbath rest. That, is in a nut shell, our belief system concerning Jewish/Hebrew practices. We do however, embrace the form of worship, fellowship & covenant-relationship realities that has been demonstrated as examples in the Old Covenant, and see that the many types & shadows all point to the fulfillment Jesus the Christ and His glorious Church/Bride/Body & Temple.
Come and taste and see the manifest Presence of Jesus as we gather together in meetings and fellowship times. You are most welcome.
In Him who is our Life,
Eddie, is their attitude correct?
Thanks for your precious time.
Jim does not have the true Biblical teaching or perspective on this
subject. Neither does traditional Christianity or the Messianic
Jewish movement (MJAA - Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and the
UMJC - Union of Messianic Jewish congregations).
ARE NON-JEWS TO EXPRESS THEIR FAITH IN MESSIAH AFTER THEY ARE SAVED BY BEING OBEDIENT TO THE TORAH ???
To the Apostle Paul, the answer to this question was very simple.
In Romans 3:28-30, Ephesians 2:8-9, he explains that BOTH Jew and non-Jew are SAVED by GRACE and NOT by KEEPING the TORAH.
KJV Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
KJV Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
So, we understand that we are NOT saved by keeping the Torah but are we to follow the Torah AFTER we are saved? Once again, Paul asked and answered this question in Romans 3:31.
KJV Romans 3:31 Do we then MAKE VOID THE LAW THROUGH FAITH? GOD FORBID: yea, we ESTABLISH THE LAW.
For Paul, the Torah doesn't save us but we are to express our
faith in Messiah by keeping His commandments / Torah AFTER we are
saved (establish the Torah).
THE TORAH IS HOLY:
MAN (the FLESH / Evil Inclination) IS THE PROBLEM
Paul saw that the Torah was holy, just and good.
KJV Romans 7:12 Wherefore the TORAH is HOLY, and the COMMANDMENT HOLY, and JUST, and GOOD.
KJV Romans 7:14 For we know that the TORAH is SPIRITUAL: but I am carnal,
sold under sin.
THE CURSE COMES FROM DISOBEYING THE TORAH
Traditional Christianity views obeying the Torah being a curse. However, the CURSE is for DISOBEYING the TORAH.
KJV Deuteronomy 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt NOT hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, TO OBSERVE to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these CURSES shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
The CURSE for DISOBEYING the TORAH is DEATH.
SIN = DISOBEYING THE TORAH
KJV 1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for SIN is the TRANSGRESSION OF THE TORAH.
The "wages" for DISOBEYING the TORAH is DEATH.
KJV Romans 6:23 For the WAGES of SIN (DISOBEYING THE TORAH) is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
KJV Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are WORTHY OF DEATH ...
SIN = DISOBEYING TORAH = WORTHY OF DEATH = CURSE
Messiah redeemed us from the CURSE (PENALTY for DISOBEYING the TORAH).
KJV Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
A REBELLIOUS SON (one who DOESN'T OBEY the Torah) is to be sentenced by dying on a tree.
KJV Deuteronomy 21:18 If a man have a stubborn and REBELLIOUS SON, which will NOT OBEY the VOICE of his FATHER, or the VOICE of his MOTHER, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
KJV Deuteronomy 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of
death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:
OBEY THE TORAH OF YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER
Our "FATHER" is Abba / YHVH. WE are His SONS (John 1:12).
KJV Galatians 4:6 And because ye are SONS, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
KJV Proverbs 1:8 My SON, hear the instruction of thy father, and FORSAKE not the TORAH of thy MOTHER:
Our "mother" in Hebraic thought is the Shekinah / Holy Spirit who is like a "mother dove" who hovers over her young. She is compassionate, merciful and loving.
The Holy Spirit which every believer is given teaches the believers in the Messiah to OBEY the Torah.
KJV Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put MY SPIRIT within you, and CAUSE YOU TO WALK in MY STATUTES, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
THE TORAH IS CALLED TRUTH.
KJV Psalm 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy TORAH is THE TRUTH.
KJV Malachi 2:6 The TORAH of TRUTH was in his mouth,
Our "mother" the Shekinah / Holy Spirit was given to TEACH US TRUTH (the TORAH) and to WRITE IT upon OUR HEARTS.
KJV John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the SPIRIT of TRUTH, is come, he will
GUIDE you into ALL TRUTH:
THE NEW COVENANT IS THE TORAH WRITTEN ON OUR HEARTS
KJV Hebrews 8:10 For this is THE COVENANT that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put MY TORAH into their mind, and WRITE THEM in their HEARTS: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Paul explained that since the FLESH is CARNAL (seeks to DISOBEY TORAH) that we need the strength of our "mother" (Shekinah / Holy Spirit) to lead, us and guide us.
KJV Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am
carnal, sold under sin.
KJV Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
So Paul tells us that he DELIGHTS in the TORAH after the INWARD MAN (the one who is guided by the Holy Spirit / Ruach HaKodesh in following the Torah).
So, Messiah died on the tree because we are "rebellions sons" who
DESERVE death. However, YHVH didn't want ANY to perish (although we
deserve it) and sent Messiah to die on the tree to pay the PENALY for
DISOBEYING THE TORAH.
OUR FREEDOM IN MESSIAH
Our "freedom" in Messiah is forgiveness of our sins, the Holy Spirit given to us to lead us and guide us in all truth (obey Torah) and a new heart given to us to love YHVH with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and express that love by OBEYING THE TORAH.
Messiah said that by OBEYING TORAH (keeping His commandments) is HOW we are to EXPRESS our LOVE to Him.
KJV John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
In order to enter into the gates of the NEW JERUSALEM, we need to SHOW our LOVE to the Messiah by KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS.
KJV Revelation 22:14 BLESSED are they that DO his
COMMANDMENTS, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may
ENTER in through the GATES into the CITY.
IS ONE TORAH FOR BOTH JEW AND NON-JEW?
Historically, what traditional Christianity teaches is that the WAY we are to express our faith in YHVH through the Messiah is COMPLETELY DEPENDENT upon who our PARENTS are. However, traditional Christianity does not phrase it this way. They prefer to use the terms Jew and non-Jew. However, whether you are Jewish or not depends on who are your parents.
In other words, what traditional Christianity and the Messianic Jewish movement teaches is that if our parents are Jewish, we have one expression. If our parents are not-Jewish, we have another expression.
THE TORAH does NOT present this view.
Did YHVH make the way in which we are to express our faith in Him
dependent upon PHYSICAL DESCENT or did the Torah make a provision
that a "stranger" can embrace the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob and "sojourn" with them and keep the commandments of YHVH?
TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANITY AND MESSIANIC JUDAISM SAYS THAT NON-JEWS ARE NOT TO OBEY TORAH
Traditional Christianity and the Messianic Jewish movement (MJAA and UMJC) teaches that YHVH thinks that it is OK for non-Jews to have "bacon breathe" and it is NOT OK for Jews to have "bacon breathe".
The Messianic Jewish movement (MJAA and UMJC) campaigns / teaches that "bacon breathe" and celebrating the birthday of the sun-god in Mythraism given to us from the Roman Empire through the Roman Catholic church (Dec 25th) and identifying with the ancient fertility customs of Ishtar (renamed Easter) are the way in which NON-JEWS are to express their faith in YHVH through the Messiah. However, the Messianic Jewish movement (MJAA and UMJC) teaches that expressing your faith in YHVH through the Messiah is for JEWS ONLY.
At the website: http://www.mjaa.org/resources/teaching/synagogue.html
Messianic Rabbi Michael Wolf (a leader within the MJAA) writes in his article: "The Difference Between a Church and a Messianic Synagogue"
"Our congregations are called to worship God through the JEWISH Shabbat (Note from Eddie: NO WHERE in the Bible is the Sabbath called a JEWISH Sabbath. In Lev 23:1-4, it is called a FESTIVAL of YHVH), festivals, and holy days rather than the CHRISTIAN HOLY DAYS most churches observe (Note from Eddie: NO WHERE in the Bible is 'Christmas' / birthday of sun-god and 'Easter' / worship of Ishtar and sex and fertility called 'Christian holidays').
For Messianic Rabbi Michael Wolf, observing the Sabbath and Biblical Festivals is for JEWS ONLY.
In the article, Messianic Rabbi Michael Wolf states:
"These individuals feel that the local church should be modeled after the Messianic synagogue and that the whole body worldwide should be keeping the JEWISH Shabbat, festivals and kosher laws among other things ... We at Beth Messiah do NOT AGREE with this"
In the paper, "Defining Messianic Judaism" published by the Union of Messianic Jewish congregations it is stated on page 18 of the pamphlet:
"Gentiles are certainly welcome with Messianic Jewish congregations and often essential to the task of building these congregations (Note from Eddie: 'Probably meaning, we like your money') but the congregations REMAIN JEWISH, NOT expressions of "ONE NEW MAN" that is neither Jew nor Greek"
The next sentence in the pamphlet reads:
"Much of their life is based, NOT STRICTLY ON SCRIPTURE or UNIVERSAL PRECEPTS for ALL BELIEVERS but on JEWISH teaching and TRADITION."
The article continues:
"It is NOT the mission of Messianic Judaism to call Gentiles to Torah
and Jewish roots. Indeed, promotion of Jewish roots (depending on
what one means by that Pharisee) could diminish the unique place of
Israel in God's plan"
TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN AND MESSIANC JEWISH STUMBLING BLOCKS TO FAITH IN THE MESSIAH
The "hangup" with traditional Christianity in understanding the role of the Torah for ALL believers in the Messiah is dividing the Bible into TWO separate books where what is written in the "OLD" part of the book DOESN'T APPLY to the "NEW" part of the book. To give practical application, when YHVH said FOREVER and THROUGHOUT YOUR GENERATIONS, He really didn't mean it (which is a nice way of saying that He lied).
The "hangup" for the Messianic Jewish movement is a desire to
follow "Jewish tradition" and using BIBLICAL COMMANDMENTS as a means
of JEWISH IDENTITY in expressing HOW you express your FAITH in MESSIAH.
ONE TORAH FOR ALL BELIEVERS IN YHVH
The Messiah said the following:
KJV John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
"Believing Moses" is believing what is written in the Torah.
What is written in the Torah about how "strangers" who are adopted / grafted into the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are to express their faith in the Messiah?
KJV Numbers 15:15 ONE ORDINANCE shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the STRANGER that sojourneth with you, an ordinance FOREVER in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. 16 ONE LAW and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.
In traditional Christianity and in the Messianic Jewish movement, we believe that the God of Israel is a LIAR. However, we don't say these words explicitly. We "explain away" when YHVH says FOREVER by our theology / religious tradition.
Messiah had this same complaint to the "religious leaders" of His day.
KJV Matthew 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the TRADITION of the elders?
KJV Matthew 153 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the COMMANDMENT OF GOD by your tradition?
The "traditions of the elders" is our theology of how we are to express our faith in YHVH. The "commandment of God" is the Torah.
In other words, when HE said that ONE TORAH is for BOTH the
"stranger" and "native born of the congregation" and that this is
FOREVER, we theologically don't believe it or we explain it away.
MESSIAH DYING ON THE TREE TO DO AWAY WITH TORAH IS A FALSE WITNESS
The reason why we explain it away is because traditional Christianity (through religious tradition and theology) that Messiah died on the tree to DO AWAY with non-Jews following the Torah.
In the book of Acts, this view is called a FALSE WITNESS of the Messiah.
KJV Acts 6:13 And set up FALSE WITNESSES, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
KJV Acts 6:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall CHANGE THE CUSTOMS which MOSES delivered us.
In other words, we believe that Messiah died on the tree to "change of the customs of Moses". One of the teachings of "Moses" is that ONE TORAH is for BOTH the "stranger" and "native-born of the congregation".
However, Messiah said that He did NOT come to "do away with the customs of Moses".
KJV Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
The reason why we DON'T believe the words of the Messiah is because we DON'T believe what Moses wrote. This is what Messiah explained.
KJV John 5:46 For had ye BELIEVED MOSES, ye would have believed me:
for he wrote of me.
MESSIAH KEPT THE SABBATH AND ANNUAL BIBLICAL FESTIVALS
Messiah kept the Sabbath (Luke 4:16). Messiah kept Passover to the day of His death (Luke 22:15). Messiah said that He would celebrate Passover again in the Kingdom (Matthew 26:29). So did Messiah do away with the celebration of Passover?
KJV Matthew 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
The "fruit of the vine" is drunk while doing a Passover Seder.
KJV Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
The Passover Seder ends with a song / chant, "Next Year in
MESSIAH TEACHES TORAH TO ALL NATIONS
In Isaiah 2:2-3, we are told that the TORAH will go forth from Jerusalem to ALL NATIONS.
KJV Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and ALL NATIONS shall flow unto it.
KJV Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us
go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob;
and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for
out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from
THE GREAT COMMISSION IS TEACHING TORAH TO ALL NATIONS
Messiah taught TORAH to His disciples. The GREAT COMMISSION was for the disciples / followers of the Messiah to TEACH what HE TAUGHT to ALL NATIONS. In Isaiah 2:2-3 during the Messianic Era, the Messiah will teach TORAH to ALL NATIONS from JERUSALEM.
KJV Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and TEACH ALL NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
KJV Matthew 28:20 TEACHING THEM to OBSERVE ALL THINGS whatsoever I have
COMMANDED YOU: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
THE NON-JEW IS BLESSED FOR KEEPING SABBATH
The non-Jew (stranger among you) is encouraged and promised great blessing for observing the Sabbath.
KJV Isaiah 56:2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
6 Also the SONS of the STRANGER, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the SABBATH from polluting it, and taketh hold of MY COVENANT;
7 Even them will I bring to my holy
mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt
offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for
mine house shall be called an house of prayer for ALL PEOPLE.
ALL NATIONS WILL CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
KJV Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that EVERY ONE that is left of all the NATIONS which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to KEEP the FEAST of TABERNACLES.
17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come
up of ALL the FAMILIES of the EARTH unto Jerusalem to worship the
King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
THE TORAH WRITTEN UPON OUR HEART IN MESSIAH IS FOR ALL BELIEVERS
Those from among the NATIONS were ALWAYS intended to be "strangers / sojourners" who would be GRAFTED / ADOPTED into the NEW COVENANT made to the HOUSE OF ISRAEL and the HOUSE OF JUDAH (both house of Israel) and OBEY the TORAH having their sins forgiven in Messiah and allowing the Holy Spirit / Ruach HaKodesh to lead them and guide them in their Torah observance.
The redeemed of YHVH in Messiah are ALL a NEW COVENANT
family whose TORAH is written upon our hearts, our King is Messiah
and we are ALL to follow and keep His Torah / commandments.
THOSE GREAT IN THE KINGDOM WILL OBEY AND TEACH TORAH
Those who OBEY the TORAH and TEACH OTHERS to DO SO will be called GREAT in the Kingdom. Those who BREAK the commandments and TEACH men to BREAK the commandments (like the advise given to you by 'Jim' in this article) will be LEAST in the Kingdom. These are the words of the Messiah.
KJV Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall BREAK one of these LEAST COMMANDMEN TS, and shall TEACH MEN so, he shall be CALLED the LEAST in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO and TEACH them, the same shall be called GREAT in the kingdom of heaven.
ALL believers in Messiah are called to be GREAT in the Kingdom (the GREAT in the Kingdom is Messiah's BRIDE). What this means is that ALL BELIEVERS in MESSIAH are to KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS and to TEACH OTHERS to KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.
KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS of the Messiah should not be an "extreme view" for believers in the Messiah. For those who KNOW the Messiah and LOVE the MESSIAH, it should be our LIGHTS that SHINES before ALL MEN.
KJV Matthew 5:16 Let your LIGHT so SHINE before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Our "light" is LOVING MESSIAH and KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS.
KJV Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the TORAH is LIGHT; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
KJV John 8:12 Then spake JESUS again unto them, saying, I am the LIGHT of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the LIGHT of LIFE.
The "Light of Life" is Messiah and keeping His commandments.
KJV John 12:36 While ye have light, BELIEVE in the LIGHT, that ye may be the CHILDREN of LIGHT. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
Knowing Messiah and keeping His commandments make us "children of the light".
KJV Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light
in the Lord: walk as children of light:
OBEYING TORAH IN MESSIAH BRINGS REST TO OUR SOULS
KJV Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the OLD PATHS, where is the good way, and WALK therein, and ye shall find REST for your SOULS. But they said, We will not WALK therein.
KJV Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
"My yoke" is following the commandments of the Messiah which are the "old paths" where we will find rest for our souls.
Jill, I pray that this will help you in your walk and faith in Messiah.
Loving Messiah by keeping His commandments (John 14:15) is NOT an "extreme" position which is "only for Jews". It is for ALL believers in the Messiah.
I pray that I have answered your question and I have helped you to understand how as a non-Jew that you are to embrace your Hebraic roots and how you are to express your faith in Messiah on a day-to-day basis.
Shalom in Messiah,
Hebraic Heritate Ministries Int'l
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