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So if we, who are Gentiles, want to keep the Torah (Law of Moses), how will we do it? The Torah is for the Children of Abraham who were led out from the "world system" (Egypt). At Mount Sinai, God made a covenant with the Children of Israel (Gentiles were not even considered), but it was conditional. Deuteronomy 28 discusses the blessings and the curses. But notice the blessings are all about the Jews who took "care to keep His word," and GOD MOVED on their behalf. The Jews were never to live this life without His help. So, is it about keeping Torah? No. It was about Faith in God who could help them obey His word, just as Abraham had help from God to live in a hostile world. We will state that Abraham was the father of their faith and now ours, and Abraham had no law to follow except the command to leave his relatives and home! He did. Gen 12:1-4 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1-40
If you lived during those days, there were so many laws (613) that it was nearly impossible to keep track and required sacrifice. The rabbis created an oral law and tradition on the "how-tos" of keeping the Law. BTW many Torah Keepers use Judaism as the "way" to follow the Law of Moses, adopting their traditions. How do we know those are correct? So, what should their response be to the Law of Torah? Faith and dependence on God. But instead, they decided to focus on their efforts to keep the Law. "Doing the law in their own power" was not the intent of the Law. It was and is to reveal sin and God's righteous character compared to our evil character. Christ made it very clear in Matthew 5, 6,7 sermons that sin is a matter of the heart motive. Sin is missing God's will. Someone who has not committed adultery may have already, in their heart. We all have been in situations where man or woman is cavalier in their comments of "being sexually attracted" to the opposite sex, and even Godly men will be snared by porn, but we laugh it off. Do not laugh this off. It speaks of sin ready to blossom in people's hearts. But they could still say they "kept Torah." God sees the heart where sin lives.
Christ said, "you have already committed adultery in your heart." No one can keep the Law in our flesh which, if we try by doing so weirdly, gives us "pride" to say we are "Torah Observant." Primarily, if we attack the church or other Christians that rightly divide the Word of God in Ephesians 2, which shows the Law was abolished or fulfilled in Christ's sacrifice are we guilty of attacking the very Body of Christ?
How was it fulfilled? First, prophetically. The foretold Christ was coming in prophecy from Genesis to Micah. He has come! Except, He did not come as the then-current Torah Keepers (Jews) were expecting. We see this in John 3 and their eventual attacks on the New Christians who were trying to obey the will of God as Christ was doing. This attitude is eerily the same as the Torah Observant folks of today. Attack the church as lawbreakers. Exactly what the Pharisees were doing. So we have several questions to ask: Are they going to go to Jerusalem to the feast three times per year? That is Torah. Are they going to so dishonor our Lord's sacrifice for all of us that they will sacrifice lambs? Torah. We know Torah people who have sacrificed goats! We also know people who left their marriage covenants because they got caught up in Torah Teachers' web of twisted Scripture and because a spouse would not follow into legalism and fleshly pursuit of the law and out-of-context verses left their spouses! That is breaking God's law! They will also displace other family members who "don't go along with their fear-based legalistic approach to Torah. For anyone to do that is breaking the laws of God. Is Christ our High Priest? If you are claiming to be Torah Observant, is Aaron your high priest vs Your Lord and Master the Torah pointed to? We have a new High Priest who took our sin debt and that of the Jewish people in Christ Jesus! Glory to God!
The second way Christ fulfilled the demands of the Torah was to be the paschal lamb for Passover. Their sin debt for breaking Torah had to be paid. The placing of blood on the doorposts is a type and shadow of Christ's death. And we see another type and shadow of Christ in Exodus 29:39-46. An inspiring picture of those who wanted to be right with God all day long. In the morning and evening, they could look by faith to the lambs God provided that were sacrificed to cover their sin, just like Christ. How? By faith, one could place their sin each morning and evening on the little lambs to be "right with God." We put our sin on Christ by faith, WHO KNEW NO SIN for us. The entire rest of the chapter is a beautiful picture of communing with God! Is this not our goal to commune with God and His goal with us? Or is it to keep the Torah in our flesh versus faith? Faith would have allowed them to see their sin. Paul says in many places that the Law of Moses, for the Jewish nation, is abolished. Yes, that is hard to hear, but Christ paid the price for law-breaking Jews and gathered the Gentiles (us) back to Himself by allowing both Jew and Gentile to have our sins forgiven by FAITH. THERE IS ONE NEW MAN. NO JEW or GENTILE. No works of Torah (that anyone should boast) will save us. Ephesians 2. It is by faith. We often hear from Torah Keepers that, "yes, we are saved by faith," BUT we must keep the Torah... Why the but? Because of poor biblical study methods. We have a course to help learn the best practices of Bible study to live praiseworthy to God. Thus, Christ did fulfill the Law. We are under a New Covenant (the Jews), and we Gentiles are under Christ directly. The whole Bible has much to teach us about God's character. We encourage you to let go of this false focus to keep Torah. Aren't you following a man who is a teacher? Follow Christ instead.
We hear this frequently; "Ric, I am caught up in one of these groups or a family member. What should I do?" If you are in the group, immediately submit your heart and life to Christ. Exercise faith in God's word to change from "study about knowledge of Torah and Judaism practices" to "Lord, how can I learn to do Your will and what sin do you want me to deal with? Please change me according to Your power." (Titus 2:11-12)
Do not submit to men. The Torah Teachers we experienced have inferior biblical study methods. And there are many, with any number ways to: "how to do" the Torah, and oddly they disagree! Start there. For a family member, pray Ephesians 1 earnestly for your family member and yourself, and grab a psalm, and learn to pray them back to the Lord in worship. David went through many tough times and learned to worship God in the midst.
We heard from people who said, "Ric, how will we know what sin is if we don't keep Torah"? Was not Moses God's direct representative to the Jewish people and Gentiles that went out of Egypt? Our answer is the entire New Testament, written by Christ's direct representatives, the Apostles. The New Testament has many "laws" in the form of imperatives and explains the Torah. The old testament was pointing to Christ. Christ came. Now what? Keep Torah? No. The long-prophesied One is here, and He has risen. Follow Him!
Read the Mount of Transfiguration story. Christ showed the disciples His glory. Moses and Elijah were there representing the Law and prophets. What did God the Father speak from a cloud (think cloud in Mt Sinai)? "This is My Son in Whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him" (notice the I AM?). Many have shipwrecked their faith by following Torah Keeping and not Christ. Don't be one of them. Follow Christ, Who is our God. Torah is teaching. Torah is not who we serve! Christ is. Amen.
The bottom line is that in Ephesians 2, Paul lays out for both Jew and Gentiles that we are now "in Christ." Think of an envelope covered in Divine blood. We are now, "in the envelope," in Christ.
When Christ took the wine and broke the bread, representing His Body (may we say our efforts?) and the wine (blood) poured out for our sin (missing God's will for our lives), Christ was able to release us (may we say fulfill?) from our obligations as Jew and Gentiles through the Cross for our sin! Glory to God!
What was the result? Christ said it best: John 2:19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." A change has taken place: A New Covenant is here! While some would say the New Covenant is only for the Jewish people, we can benefit as Gentiles. How? Because we become Born Again. We are made alive eternally "in Christ" by the Holy Spirit of God.
Remember the envelope? Could you think of us as inside of Christ? Christ was able to keep the Law and pay all penalties. We get to "hide" in Him! Paul said: Eph 2: "14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity." Peace; THE WAR IS OVER WITH GOD! Hallelujah!
Is the Law abolished? YES, IN CHRIST. Are our efforts to keep the Law abolished? Yes, because no one could keep it perfectly as humans. Remember His Body was broken for us. All of our efforts are "filthy rags." Our sin debt is paid. The Holy Spirit is now in us and is teaching us "away" from ungodliness! Titus 2:11-12
Mary and I look at it this way. Where are our eyes? On Christ? Or the Torah? We know we better have our eyes on Christ. He is our Maker. If my focus is keeping Torah or any program about us "doing," then my eyes are off Christ. We also will compare ourselves to others. Otherwise, how do we know we are "doing it," right?
We know that people who want to keep the Law are wanting to please God. But is our job to do what the Jewish people could not? No. When my focus is on Christ, I can let the Holy Spirit work on my sin in this body. Do I have sin in my life? Do I Lie? Steal? Cheat? Lust? Work until I drop? Think about allowing the word of God to show you sinful motives. From motives is where sin is born.
Let's walk in the Spirit, letting Him lead us to proper biblical study methods to live a praiseworthy life to God for His plans and purposes!
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Hebrew Roots Cult of Moses https://www.raptureforums.com/pete-garcia/the-cult-of-moses-hrm/
The Story of the Law https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mlEcO-E4nk
Matthew 5:17 https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMdwgpqaK/
HRM Eventually Denies Christ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5od5vGwg19E