That is a question that has many facets in its answer. Many will say that it is the memory of treatment that the Jewish people suffered under “supposed” Christians. Some will say that Jesus was a false prophet, or that Jesus tried to change Judaism. Others will tell you that tradition says that Jesus is an enemy of the Jewish people. And still, others will say that Jesus is part of a group of gods and that the Torah says that we should only serve Yahweh, the One God.
I’d like to offer another answer that may have alluded many Christians where this topic is concerned. This answer is simple to give and it is done innocently and by a lack of proper doctrine that many Christians boldly proclaim in front of everyone. That doctrine is that the Cross of Yeshua puts an end to the Torah, that the Law is replaced by Grace and that the Torah was nailed to the Cross of Yeshua and made ineffective by His sacrifice.
If you’ve read prior posts to this blog you know that we have clearly shown that when Paul talks about the LAW in the pages of his Epistles when we have read ALL of the epistles we realize that Paul actually mentions that there are 7 different laws:
- Law of God: Romans 3:31, 7:22-25 and 8:7
- Law of Sin: Romans 7:23-25
- Law of Sin and Death: Romans 8:2
- Law of The Spirit of Life: Romans 8:2
- Law of Faith: Romans 3:27
- Law of Righteousness: Romans 9:31
- Law of Christ: 1 Corinthians 9:21
We came to the conclusion, using scripture that the Law that Yeshua took away was the “law of sin and death,” and this only becomes apparent to those who receive His gift of freedom through accepting His sacrifice and atonement as the Lamb of Yahweh, the only one who could take away the sins of the world.
The Law of God is still in effect. Even Paul says that we still uphold the law and that faith does not nullify it. We still acknowledge that there is sin in this world, that men are born into the sin nature and that sin exists. The Law of the Spirit of Life is the atoning sacrifice that frees us from the Law of Sin and Death. The Law of Faith affirms what faith really is and how it works. The Law of Righteousness shows us that it is through the righteousness of Yeshua that we are free from the Law of Sin and Death. The Law of Christ is “grace” which enables those without the Torah to understand and accept salvation. Grace enables us to teach the need for the Law thus allowing us to show those not under the Law the need for Grace because of the Law.
Yeshua said that he came to “Fulfill the Law,” not abolish it:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:17-18
One must realize and accept that Yeshua fulfilled the Torah, He didn’t nullify it. The Torah is the working model of love. Yeshua came not only to show Yahweh’s love for us, but to teach us how to love. He said that Love was the fulfillment of the Law, not the end of it. When you exhibit love, you obey the Torah and affirm it to be true. When we are in Yeshua, and we love the unlovable we show ourselves to be disciples of Yeshua and the love that we show we can only show through him and Torah is fulfilled. Let’s look at the Ten Commandments and see how they apply to love, shall we?
- I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: Acknowledging who Yahweh Elohim is, shows love because we affirm Him.
- Thou shalt have no other gods before Me: Fidelity is a wonderful form of showing Love
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: Revering His Name and using it properly shows love and respect.
- Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy: Obedience is a form of Love.
- Honor thy father and thy mother: Respect is an attribute of love.
- Thou shalt not murder: Murder is to take a life: Giving life is the opposite of taking it and is an offer of unmerited love.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery: Love your spouse and none other.
- Thou shalt not steal: Stealing is an act of jealousy: Praying for your neighbor’s prosperity is an act of love, even when they have more than you do.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor: Telling the truth is an act of love.
- Thou shalt not covet anything that belongs to thy neighbor: Coveting often leads to stealing. Being thankful for what you have shows love and faith in Yahweh.
Everything that we do in love affirms the Torah and that it is still active. If the Torah has been abolished then our good deeds could not be seen as love because they would be done out of pompous and self-serving intentions and not out of love for Yahweh who made and upholds the Law. To say that the Torah no longer exists is absurd and has no merit.
Time plays a big factor in this whole Torah vs. Grace argument. We are told that Yahweh pretty well planned out everything before the foundation of the world (creation). Yahweh sees everything at once, past, present, and future; before time and after time is ended too. From where He sits, his whole plan is worked out already. Didn’t Yeshua say, “It is finished,” just before he died? He said that because the atonement aspect of Yahweh’s creation was now complete and as far as atonement for sins was concerned, He is that atonement. He fulfilled the part of the Torah that called for the ritual sacrifice of animals to atone for sins, becoming the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
Think about your own salvation experience for example. All of were once unclean sinners because we had no atonement for our sin. The atonement existed, but we hadn’t recognized it or accepted it yet. Then one day we become saved through faith in Yeshua’s sacrifice and we become new creatures in Him. Paul talked about the “old man,” the “flesh,” that constantly plagued him. That sin was the old nature that was under the Torah. He was not immune from the Torah and he battled his old nature so much that he constantly mentions it in his epistles. He states many times that he’s thankful for Yeshua and for salvation through Mashiach. But let me ask a question if I may. If Paul, who was the authority on Torah vs. Grace thought that the Torah had been abolished than why did he focus so much on it? Why did he constantly have to stress that he battled sin if sin had been nailed to the cross? Why did he call himself a “wretched man,” if everything was covered by grace? Why did Paul talk about his Flesh causing him to do the things that he didn’t want to do and to not do the things that he wanted to do? The answer is that Paul recognized that the Torah still stood firm, and it was there as a constant reminder of the unclean fleshly vessel that he (we) all live in. Paul also talks about Yeshua being a constant intercessor for us.
If the Torah had been abolished or nullified because of the Cross then why would Yeshua have to constantly intercede for us? The answer is that Satan is constantly condemning us because he knows (even in his insane state) that the Torah is still in effect. If the Torah had been totally abolished and/or nullified then Satan would have no reason to be before the Father accusing us and there would be no need for Yeshua to be our intercessor. No, he has a legal reason to be in front of the Father accusing us of sin; that reason being that the Torah still is in effect and it shows our sin. For instance, if there was no law for running a stop sign would a traffic cop have a reason to write you a ticket for doing so? No, he wouldn’t because he would have no legal precedence to do so. On the flip side of the coin, if a cop pulled you over and tried to give you a ticket for taking more than 20 respirations a minute he would be laughed out of court when you appeared to appeal to the judge. If the Torah was null and void and there were no infractions anymore than Yahweh could legally tell Satan to go away and never come back because his accusations were unfounded. When Satan accuses a believer in Yeshua of sin he’s told that the believer has been offered immunity and says that his debt has been paid in full. It does not, however, protect the believer from the physical consequences that can be incurred because of Yahweh’s law of reciprocity and/or because of the physical law of entropy that exists on earth today.
I know that we’ve gotten off the track a little, but it was necessary to enforce that the Torah hasn’t been abolished and/or nullified. It is important to show that in thinking that ALL of the Law has been taken away and done away with, many believers in Yeshua live sinful lives by denying that what Yeshua showed clearly exists, they say doesn’t exist anymore. And, it is also important to remember this when trying to lead a Jew to salvation in Yeshua. Why? Let me show you:
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. Deuteronomy 13:1-4
So you want to know why that Jewish friend might not be listening to you when you try to tell him about Yeshua (Jesus)? Look at the words in the above scripture and it might give you a hint. Here’s the scenario. You have presented Jesus to your Jewish friend. You have shown him or her all of the miracles that Jesus did, and the prophecies that he fulfilled and your friend is intrigued. You show them how Jesus talked about peace, love, joy, and grace and they find that appealing. Then you make a fatal error that you believe because you have been mistaught about the Law. Instead of teaching that Jesus fulfilled the Law regarding the Law of Sin and Death and has abolished this for everyone who accepts Jesus as the Lamb of God, you tell your friend that Jesus nailed the entire Torah to the cross. When you do that Deuteronomy 13 pops up in their mind and they deduce that you are trying to get them to deny the Torah which is going against a firm commandment that Yahweh gave to our people. Had you been educated correctly, you Jewish friend could have accepted that they could be freed from their sin. As a matter of fact, they’ve probably wondered why we don’t sacrifice animals anymore and have never gotten a proper answer from the Rabbis. However, you tell them to do something that is not taught in any part of scripture and has been mistaught for centuries if not for millennia. You’ve had the referee throw up the one yellow flag that no Jew can ignore and the one that might make them decide to never accept Yeshua as their Mashiach, King, and Savior.
Things like this are why people like myself, Jim Wilhelmsen and others versed in scripture and those of us who study original languages stress several things. We stress that you read the Bible for yourself, cover to cover and several times. We stress that when you hear a message from anyone else, even us, that you check it with scripture to see if it is correct and that it can be backed up by two or more scriptural verses that are in proper context. We also stress that you look at the original words in their original languages. Some scriptures have not been translated in proper context and/or wordage and much truth can be found out if one bothers to check everything with scripture. And, we stress that you don’t just sit in pews like mindless drones, saying amen all the time and agreeing with everything that a pastor says. The only infallible shepherd is Yeshua our Lord. Only trust Him when it comes to your salvation because your eternal security could depend on it.
You are a voice for Yahweh. He’s made us all ambassadors to speak to the people of this world. If we bring a corrupt message then we can do more harm than good. If you feel that you don’t think that you have earned your degree in ambassador training then keep your mouth shut until a time when you feel that you have been taught correctly and can move out on your own, approved by Yahweh for the task at hand. Frankly, I’m tired of hearing Jews who are ripe for salvation talking about how their friends wanted them to give up their Judaism for Christianity. Jews who believe in Yeshua aren’t converted, we are called completed Jews. We’ve had two thousand years of forced conversions, inquisitions, pogroms and every other deception under the sun. If you don’t know the truth about Torah and Grace then please just be quiet. Things are hard enough; we don’t need ill equipped, ill informed, ignorant but well-meaning people turning our people all around and getting them more confused. Thanks, we consider it a favor.