Objections To Torah Observance Answered

Q:Paul speaks of Messiah being the End of the Law of Righteousness (Rom 10:4).

A:Paul does NOT say that Yahshua is the "end of the law of righteousness", but "the GOAL (Greek #5056, TELOS, to set out for a definite point or goal, properly the point aimed at) of the Law to all who believe" (Romans 10:4). The law points us to Yahshua. (Yahshua speaking) "For if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me, since he wrote about Me" (John 5:46). Yahshua's rebuke to the Pharisees is because they thought to earn salvation on their own merits, rather than through the Messiah, whom the Law points us to, and of whom Moses prophesied. But as Luke points out, there were many Jews who did accept Yahshua: "Thou seest brothers, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe: and they are all zealous for the Law." (Acts 21:20b)

Q: When Messiah died He bore the Curse of the Law for us.

A:Correct, and what is the curse of the law?

Leviticus 26:14. If you do not obey Me, and do not do all these commands, [15] And if you reject My laws, or if your being loathes My judgments, so that you do not do My commands, but break My covenant, [16] ....I shall appoint sudden alarm over you, wasting disease and inflammation, destroying the eyes, and consuming the life.... [17] And I shall set My face against you, and you shall be smitten before your enemies. And those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues. [18] And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I shall punish you seven times more for your sins..... [27] And if in spite of this, you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, [28] Then I shall walk contrary to you in wrath.... [33] And I shall scatter you among the gentiles and draw out a sword after you... [38] And you shall perish among the gentiles, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.

This is the curse which Messiah bore for us, so that we could repent (Hebrew, TESHUVA, meaning to TURN AROUND AND GO THE OTHER WAY) and experience the blessing of the Law by keeping it.

Leviticus 26:3. If you walk in My Torah and guard My commands and do them.... [6] I shall give peace in the land, and you shall lie down and no one make you afraid.... [9] I shall turn to you and make you bear fruit, and shall increase you, and shall establish my covenant with you.... [12] And I shall walk in your midst, and shall be your Elohim, and you shall be My people.

This blessing of keeping the Torah is, in turn, the terms of the renewed covenant.

Hebrews 8:10. This is the covenant that I shall make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I shall place My Law in their mind, and I shall write it on their hearts, and I shall be their Mighty One and they shall be My people.

Q:Moses was the Old Law (Romans 10:5). Messiah has fulfilled it (Romans 8:2), or done away with it (Hebrews 7:12).

A:What does the Apostle Shaul actually say in Romans 8:2? We read: "The Law of Life in Messiah Yahshua has made me free from the law of sin and death." There are "two laws". The first is the Law of righteousness (Romans 7:12), which is also known as the Law of life (see Leviticus 18:5; Matthew 19:16). The second is the law of sin and death (see Deuteronomy 27:26, 30:15, Romans 6:23), which is disobedience. The latter (sin and death) is the law from which Yahshua has set us free. After all, why would the "Righteous Servant" of Isaiah 53:11 do away with the Law of Righteousness??? That doesn't make any sense!!!

So what does Yahshua mean in Matthew 5:17 then, when He says "Do not think I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill"? According to Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the English Language, to "fulfill" something is NOT to do away with it or destroy it, but "1) to accomplish, to perform, to complete; to answer in execution or even what has been foretold or promised; as to fulfill a prophecy or prediction; to fulfill a promise. 2) To accomplish what was intended; to answer a design by execution. 3) To accomplish or perform what was desired; to answer any desire by compliance or gratification. 'He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him.' Ps. 145:19) To perform what is required, to answer a law by obedience, 'If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well.' (James 2) 5) To complete in time 6) in general, to accomplish, to complete, to carry into effect."(4) So in other words Yahshua was saying "I did not come to destroy, abolish, or do away with the Torah and Prophets, but to accomplish, comply with, or perform what is required by them; to answer My Father's law by obedience, and to carry it into continued effect."

Q: The Law was against us (Colossians 2:14) and Messiah took it away and nailed it to the cross (Colossians 2:14).

A:What does Paul really say in this verse?

Colossians 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 stake.

The Greek word translated "handwriting" is CHEIROGRAPHON(5) which literally means a certificate of debt. The second word, translated "ordinances", is DOGMA,(6) which means "rules and requirements....carrying a suggestion of severity and of threatened judgment." This verse is referring to the certificate of debt or the list of sins we have committed. This list of sins and impending consequences is what was taken away by Yahshua's atoning death and nailed to the stake.

The other way to understand this verse, as well as Ephesians 2:15 where Paul writes that Yahshua "abolished in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in ordinances (DOGMA)", is in the meaning of the word, DOGMA, as referring to "commandments and traditions of men" (see Luke 2:1 and Acts 17:7 where DOGMA is used in reference to the "decrees of Caesar", and its final and only other occurrence in Acts 16:4 where it refers to the decrees of the apostles.) Under this understanding, and specifically so far as Ephesians 2:15 is concerned, it is the traditions of men or "oral law" of the rabbis (also known as the "leaven of the Pharisees"--see Matthew 16:6-12; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1--which has now been written down as the "talmud") that was burdensome and contrary to us, and which Yahshua taught against. At any rate, Colossians 2:14 is NOT speaking of the Law of Yahweh or "Torah" being nailed to the stake, as the Greek word for Torah--NOMOS--is not even found in this verse! Much to the contrary, Shaul states that Yahshua died on the stake to "redeem us from all iniquity (Greek #458, ANOMIA, meaning the state of being without law or lawlessness) and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, ZEALOUS OF GOOD WORKS. (Titus 2:14; Acts 21:20)

Q:The Law was a schoolmaster that was meant to bring us to Messiah. Since Messiah came, why do we still need to keep the Law?

A:When you completed highschool or college, did you cease to practice the instructions of the "schoolmaster" because they brought you to graduation? If the Torah is a schoolmaster then, why should we cease to practice its instructions once it has brought us to Messiah? Yahshua said, "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15; 15:10). The Father says the same in Exodus 20:6 and Deuteronomy 5:10, and promises a blessing for doing it. Oddly enough, Christianity now teaches that we can reach graduation without the schoolmaster, which is in direct opposition to the words of Paul in Galatians 3:24,25.

Q: Isn't it legalism to teach that we have to keep the Torah?

A:Yahshua said, "If you love Me, guard my commands. He that possesses My commands and keeps them, it is he who loves Me." (John 14:15,21a) Scripture nowhere states that we "have to keep the Torah", but Yahweh has given us a choice between life and death, and loving submission to Yahweh's instruction (or Torah) is the means of obtaining the life in Messiah Yahshua.

Webster's 1828 dictionary defines legality as "lawfulness, conformity to law, or in theology, a reliance on works for salvation." The 1966 edition of Webster's says that "legalism" is "strict, often too strict and literal, adherence to law." This "strict-literal" has been known by the Hebrews for thousands of years as "PASHAT", or the cornerstone of the Scriptural foundation. Yet twenty-first century man would rather do away with the strict-literal PASHAT adherence to Yahweh's instruction and "spiritualize" everything (including Israel) with the excuses that "it doesn't really mean what it says" and "we're under a new dispensation of grace". This is what Webster's 1828 dictionary defines as "illegal", meaning "unlawful, contrary to law (or) illicit", and these type of lawless actions (or works) are what Yahshua defines as "sin".

1 John 3:4. Everyone doing sin works lawlessness: for sin is lawlessness.

Matthew 7:21. Not everyone who says to Me, "Master, Master", shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but (only) he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. [22] For many shall say to Me in that day, "Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and in your Name done many mighty works?" [23] And then I shall declare to them, "I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work lawlessness.

The Greek word translated "lawlessness" in these verses is ANOMIA, meaning "illegality, violation of law; wickedness (or) iniquity",(7) and comes from the Greek word, ANOMOS, which means "lawless, not subject to the Jewish (sic) law; by implication, a gentile (or) something wicked".(8) ANOMIA then, literally means "without Torah" or "Torah-lessness".

Titus 2:14. (Yahshua) gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all Torah-lessness (ANOMIA), and purify unto himself a peculiar people, ardent for good works.1 John 3:5. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins (the "working of Torah-lessness")... [8b] and to destroy the works of the devil.

Q: But didn't Yahshua teach against the "Judaizers" and being "under the law"?

A:Yes, but not in the way which Christianity thinks that He did. Let's start with the phrase, "under the law", and clarify what this means first.

In Romans 6:14 the apostle Paul says, "Sin shall not rule over you, for you are not under the law, but under favor." The Greek word translated "under" is "HUPO", which, in this context, actually means "underneath (or) below (the standard of the law);... of inferior position or condition."(9)

[Vs. 15] Shall we sin then, because we are no longer below the (standard of the) Torah, but under favor? Yahweh forbid. [16] Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves servants of obedience, you are servants of the one whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?

What Paul makes clear is that "being under the Torah", in this context, is opposed to being subject to it.

Galatians 4:21. Say to me, you who wish to be below (Grk. HUPO or "inferior to") the Torah, do you not hear what the Torah is saying?... [5:1] In the freedom with which Messiah has made us free, stand firm, then, and do not again be held with a yoke of slavery.

John 8:34. For truly I say unto you, everyone doing sin is a slave to sin... [36] But if then the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

1 Corinthians 9:19. For though I am free from all, I make myself a servant to all, in order to win more. [20] And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are below (or not living up to) Torah, as one below Torah, so as to win those who are below Torah. [21] to the lawless (Grk. ANOMIA), as without Torah -- not being Torah-less towards Elohim, but under the Torah of Messiah.

The Greek word translated "under the Torah" in verse 21 is ENNOMOS, meaning "legal, subject to, (or) lawful".(10) When Paul speaks of those who are "below" the Torah in verse 20, he is referring to those who have it in their possession but are not living up to its commands. In Yahshua's day these were the Pharisees, who even devised manmade traditions to abrogate it (see Matthew 15:3-9, Mark 7:6-13), and Yahshua called them hypocrites on account of this.

Matthew 23:1. Then Yahshua spoke to the crowds and to His taught ones, [2] saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their place on the seat of Mosheh. [3] And now, all which HE says unto you, that guard and do. But their ordinances and deeds do not do, because they say and do not. [4] For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on mens' shoulders, but with their finger they do not wish to move them. --Shem Tob Hebrew Text

This brings us to the issue of the Jewish proselytizers who held that one must be converted to Judaism (also known as the "circumcision") in order to be saved.

Acts 15:1. Certain men came down from Judah and were teaching the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised according to the practice of Moses, you are unable to be saved".... [5] And some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees rose up saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them and order that they keep the Torah of Moses." [6] And the emissaries and elders came together to look into this matter. [7] And when there had been much dispute Peter rose up and said, "Men, brethren, you know that a good while ago Elohim chose among us, that by my mouth the gentiles should hear the word of the Evangel and believe. [8] And Elohim, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Set-apart Spirit, as also to us, [9] and made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by belief. [10] Now then, why do you try Elohim by putting a yoke on the neck of the taught ones which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? [11] But through the favor of the Master Yahshua Messiah we trust to be saved in the same way as they..... [19] Therefore I judge that we should not oppress those from among the gentiles who are turning to Elohim..... [21] for from ancient generations Moses has, in every city, those proclaiming him - being read in the congregations every Sabbath.

The entire sphere of the debate in Acts chapter fifteen goes beyond the bounds of this chapter, but basically the teaching of the Pharisees was that salvation was obtained by the "works of mens' hands" instead of by promise. What Yahshua and the disciples made clear is that salvation was promised to all mankind at the fall in Genesis 3:15, and was first accepted by faith, upon which works of righteousness followed.

2 Timothy 1:9. Who hath saved us, and called with a set-apart calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and favor, which was given us in Messiah Yahshua before the world began.

Titus 3:5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Set-Apart Spirit.

Neither salvation or works of righteousness, however, required (or were even remotely connected to) joining the Jewish religion.

Romans 3:19. Whatever the Torah says, it says to those who have faith in(11) the Torah so that every mouth might be stopped, and all the world come under judgment before Elohim. [20] Therefore by works of Torah no flesh shall be declared right before Him, for by the Torah is the knowledge of sin.... [23] for all have sinned and fall short of the esteem of Elohim, [24] being declared right, without paying, by His favor through the redemption which is in Messiah Yahshua, [25] whom Elohim set forth as an atonement, through belief in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His tolerance Elohim had passed over the sins that had taken place before, [26] to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He is righteous, and declares right the one who has belief in Yahshua.... [28] For we reckon that a man is declared right (first) by belief (in Messiah / the Torah), and not by (rote performance of its works).

Isaiah 29:13. ...Because this people has drawn near with its mouth, and with its lips they have esteemed Me, but have kept their heart far from Me, and their fear of Me has become a commandment of men that is learned by rote.

This commandment of men learned by rote is the "law" with which Messiah did away.

Ephesians 2:11. Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh, who are called "the uncircumcision" by what is called "the circumcision", made in the flesh by mens' hands, [12] were at that time without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. [13] But now in Messiah Yahshua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. [14] For He is our peace, who has made both one, and having broken down the partition of the barrier, [15] having abolished in His flesh the enmity -- the law of commands in dogma -- so as to create in Himself one renewed man from the two, thus making peace, [16] and to completely restore to favor both of them unto Elohim in one body through the stake, having destroyed the enmity by it.

Romans 3:30. Since it is one Elohim who shall declare right the circumcised by belief and the uncircumcised through belief. [31] Do we then nullify the Torah through our faith (in it)? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.

Q:In Galatians 4:9-11 Paul condemns the Galatians for "turning again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage." He says: "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years! I fear for you lest by any means I have labored for you in vain." Isn't he referring to the "ritualistic" or "ceremonial law", such as the Sabbath and Holydays?

A: If you would, please look up the phrases, "ceremonial law" and "ritualistic" in the concordance. What you will find is that NONE of these words appear ANYWHERE, in any portion of Scripture, so how could a "ceremonial law" be what Paul was talking about? O, what a mixed up mess the church has got us drowning in. The term, "ceremonial law", is just another manmade invention, designed to give true believers a hearty stab in the back. But we Nazarenes are plucky and we bounce back. Let's take a look at the Tanakh to see what "observing times" is really about.

Deuteronomy 18:10. Let no one be found among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices divination, or an OBSERVER OF TIMES, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, [11] Or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. [12] For whoever does these are an abomination to Yahweh, and because of these abominations, Yahweh drives them out from before you.

2 Kings 21:2. And (Manasseh) did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, according to the abominations of the gentiles which Yahweh dispossessed before the children of Israel. [3] For he turned and built the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and raised up altars for Baal, and made an Asherah, as Ahab sovereign of Israel had done, and he bowed himself to all the host of the heavens and served them..... [5] And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courtyards of the house of Yahweh. [6] And he made his son to pass through the fire, and OBSERVED TIMES, and used divination, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the eyes of Yahweh to provoke him. [7] And he placed a carved image of Asherah (also known as Ishtar or Simiramis, the "queen of heaven") that he had made in the House of which Yahweh had said to David, and to Solomon his son, "In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I put My Name forever, [8] and no more shall I cause the feet of Israel to move from the soil which I gave their fathers - ONLY IF THEY GUARD TO DO ALL THE TORAH THAT MY SERVANT MOSHEH COMMANDED THEM. [9] BUT THEY DID NOT OBEY, AND MANASSEH LED THEM ASTRAY TO DO MORE EVIL THAN THE GENTILES WHOM Yahweh HAD DESTROYED BEFORE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.

Here we clearly see that the "observing times" which Paul speaks about is the IDOLATROUS, PAGAN religion of the GENTILES, also known as WITCHCRAFT. In fact, the "Scriptures Version" translates this as a "user of magic", and in second Kings, we clearly see that Israel began "observing times" when they STOPPED KEEPING THE TORAH!!! Now the Galatians were gentiles who had come out of these perverse religions, but horror of horrors, they were RETURNING TO THEM AGAIN. Their problem had nothing to do with the Feasts and Sabbaths at all, except that they probably WERE NOT KEEPING THEM! The sorry truth is that, with Easter (the annual celebration of the ancient fertility goddess, Ishtar), Valentines Day (historically known as Lupercalia, or the annual Roman celebration of nudity and sex), Halloween (originally Christianized as "All Hallowed's Eve", and obtained from the druid feast of ghosts, witches, and the dead), X-mas (or "Christ's Mass" -- originally the birthday of Tammuz the sun deity), and Lent (or the traditional 40-days of weeping each year when he dies [Ezek 8:14]), the church is clearly "observing times" again.

Q: I understand that the commandments are still in effect and I know I need to observe the Sabbath, but I am having trouble finding a good explanation for Colossians 2:16 -- the one about not letting anyone judge you regarding a Sabbath... What does this verse mean?

A: These verses are simple to explain and they harmonize totally with all other Scripture when we simply use a basic grammar principle to analyze them. Quoting from chapter 17 of Doug Trudell's* book on "The Torah":

"Grade school teachers teach their students this basic principle: you can take out descriptive words (adjectives) and descriptive phrases from a sentence and you will still be left with a sentence. Example - The old, red house collapsed. Remove the adjectives old and red and we have 'the house collapsed,' which is a perfectly good sentence. Another example would be 'The house, which belonged to Joe, collapsed.' Take out the descriptive phrase, 'which belonged to Joe' and we still have that same perfectly good sentence. It is true that we wouldn't know as much about the house, but we know 'the house collapsed.'

"We are going to do the same thing with Colossians 2:16-17, but before we do, you need to know something else. If you look at these two verses in the King James Bible, you will see that the word 'days' in verse 16 and the word 'is' in verse 17 are both in italics. That means that there is no Greek word for those words in those verses. Those two words have simply been added by the translators. They really don't exist. We are going to remove them since they really aren't there. Let's look at these verses in steps.

Step #1-The verses as they appear in the KJV:

Colossians 2:16-17 'Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Messiah.' (KJV)

Step #2-Remove the words added by the translators:

Colossians 2:16-17 'Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body of Messiah.' (KJV)

"Step #3-Identify the descriptive phrases which can be removed but will still leave us a sentence (We will place brackets around each of the phrases and use a different font for each one):

Colossians 2:16-17 'Let no man therefore judge you {in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath:} [(Which are a shadow of things to come;)] but the body of Messiah.'

"We see that there are actually two descriptive phrases in these verses. The first, 'in meat or drink?sabbath,' tells us what is being judged or not judged. The second phrase, 'which are? come,' tells us something about those things being judged. Now we can remove those descriptive phrases and see what sentence we are left with.

Step #4-Remove the descriptive phrases and read the remaining sentence:

Colossians 2:16-17 'Let no man therefore judge you but the body of Messiah.' (KJV)

"The Christian church has been telling its people all along that NO ONE should judge others concerning the Sabbath, the Feasts, and other things mentioned in verse 16. Shaul doesn't say that at all. He says that NO ONE EXCEPT THE BODY OF MESSIAH SHOULD JUDGE BELIEVERS CONCERNING THESE THINGS!! That is a big difference."

*Sadly, although Mr. Trudell's book on the Torah was a great resource, it is no longer in print, and the author has abondoned the understanding which he endorsed in it.  This however, does not affect the validity or accuracy of the message which he once proclaimd.  The Scripture states that there is to be a great falling away, even among the elect!

Q:The law with its feast days and holy days were a shadow of things to come (Col. 2:17) and the body that cast the shadow was Yahshua. Now that the Body has come, why follow the shadow?

A: In spite of a translation or two erroneously changing the tense of the verb in verse 17, Colossians 2:17 states that all of these things are STILL shadows of things TO COME, and not things which have already been fulfilled. Yahshua has come, true, but the shadow continues to point ahead----Pentecost to the outpouring of the Spirit on ALL FLESH, the Feast of Trumpets to the Messiah's return, the Sabbath to the Millennium, and the Feast of Tabernacles to His Kingdom. As for the Passover and day of Atonement, we have undoubtedly experienced their fullness at Yahshua's first advent, but did He not command us: "continue to do this in REMEMBRANCE of Me" (Luke 22:19, 1Cor 11:24,25)?

So why follow the shadow? Namely because when the body is come, the shadow continues to follow it. We benefit from the shade when we follow IN THE SHADOW or in the footsteps of the Messiah, keeping the Law in our hearts, as exhibited through our actions, like He taught us to keep it.



4. Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the English Language, under "fulfill"

5. Strongs; Grk. #5498

6. Strongs; Grk. #1378

7. Strongs Gk. # 458

8. Strongs Gk. # 459

9. Strongs Gk. #5259

10. Strongs Gk. #1772

11. Strongs Gk. #1722; a prim. root denoting (fixed) position (in place, time, or state) and instrumentality; i.e. a relation of rest; in, at, (up-)on, by, etc.

This article was published on Friday 16 December, 2016.
by MattithYah
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