JESUS/YESHUA AND THE LAW OF MOSES/TORAH/TANAKH/OLD TESTAMENT, 21.06.18
“Integration of Old And New,” by Verna Crowther, 25.10.17, https://www.vernasstudycorner.ca/2017/10/integration-old-new-25-10-17/
Dr. Michael L. Brown, AskDrBrown, posted May 11, 2018,
So much of Christianity teaches that Torah/Old Testament/Tanakh has been nullified by the New Covenant, that believers need only subscribe to New Testament teachings. What these teachers fail to realize is that, not only has Torah/Tanakh/Old Testament not been replaced, abolished, or shelved, but the New Covenant/Testament simply, and logically, builds on the Old. The Old Testament forms the foundation upon which the New has been installed. Yeshua came to demonstrate how to incorporate all His teachings into real life. That is the very reason that He makes the statement: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill” (Matt.5:17). Remember, also, that Jesus/Yeshua, was the “Word,” as declared in the first chapter of John, before that chapter was written.
Interpretations of Matthew 5 are largely biased towards the abolition of all Old Testament Laws/Torah; however, when the Scriptures are interpreted from the Hebraic context, it becomes clear that nothing of the sort was ever intended by Jesus/Yeshua’s Words, when He said: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”(Matt.5:17-19). Messianic leaders and scholars assess the interpretation from the Greek to Hebrew, comparing Greek to English, and discern that context is often altered, compromised or lost, in the translation. This is the case with Matt. 5:17-19.
In a rebuttal to Andy Stanley’s recent message about “unhitching ourselves from the Old Testament,” Michael L. Brown, Messianic teacher/leader/believer in Messiah, (https://askdrbrown.org/ ) refutes much of what Dr. Stanley says, with a teaching on Matt. 5:17-19. He points out that: “In other words, He did not cancel, He confirmed . . .” (Michael Brown, May 11, 2018), and he refers to Paul’s statement, “For I declare that Messiah has become a servant to the circumcised for the sake of God’s truth, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy. As it is written,“For this reason I will give You praise among the Gentiles, and I will sing to Your name” (Rom.15:8-9), to verify this. “He did not remove the foundations, He strengthened the foundations,” Brown explains. “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law” (Romans 3:31), Paul verifies. It is also necessary to look at various sets of Scripture to complete the intended meaning of passages such as Matt.5:17-19.
Brown points out, also, that, “contrary to Pastor Stanley’s claim that the early Church leaders made it easier for Gentile converts by unhitching their faith from “the Jewish Scriptures,” the New Testament writers called Gentile believers to follow the moral ethic of these very Scriptures” (Michael Brown, May 11, 2018). As a matter of fact, “Paul used Old Testament texts to warn the Corinthian believers to live holy lives,” emphasizing that “these things happened as examples for us, so we wouldn’t crave evil things . . . not be idolaters, as some of them were . . let’s not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day 23,000 fell . . . . let’s not test the Lord, as some of them did— . . . And let’s not grumble, as some of them did—and were destroyed by the destroying angel. Now these things happened to them as an example, and it was written down as a warning to us . . .” (1 Cor.10:6-11). So what is taught in New Testament times is solely based on God’s teaching in Old Testament, for “All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness, so that the person belonging to God may be capable, fully equipped for every good deed” (2 Tim.3:16,17). Suffice it to say that at that time, Paul only had the Old Testament on which to base his teachings. And why would Paul continue to teach doctrine from the Old Testament if it didn’t count for anything anymore?!
It would be absurd, also, to think that Jesus/Yeshua was abolishing Torah/Tanakh, in the face of His many quotations from that very source, a prime example being when He rebuked Satan (Matt.4) by quoting Deut.8:3. Do you suppose He just subscribed to a few select tenets and discarded others? By the way, He did not have a copy of the New Testament, so what scrolls was He reading when He read Scriptures in the Synagogues (Luke 4:17-21).
If Jesus/Yeshua was not upholding the Laws of Torah, and was at odds with the Father’s statutes, laws, and commandments, why on earth would He have agreed to come to earth as a man to be a sacrifice? The misinterpretations and misunderstandings don’t even align with common sense! “In response to one of the Pharisees who came to Him saying “Teacher, what good shall I do to have eternal life?” (Matt.19:16), Yeshua redirected him to the Laws of Torah: “if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt.19:17). Again in Luke, the example reads: “Now a certain Torah lawyer stood up to entrap Yeshua, saying, “Teacher, what should I do to gain eternal life?” Then Yeshua said to him, “What has been written in the Torah? How do you read it?” (Lk.10:25,26). . . . Not only does Yeshua redirect the man inquiring about eternal life to Torah, He gives the entire Gospel/Redemption plan right out of Torah. It’s been there all along; it’s not even a new message! What is new is that Yeshua/Jesus came down to earth to demonstrate how it could be lived out, and to bring the ultimate resource and gift to equip humankind – the Ruach-Ha-Kodesh, His Holy Spirit; and to ultimately, create the formation/integration of that “One New Man,” His heart’s desire so fervently expressed when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are” (John 17:11).
Oh, foolish unbelieving believers, God has not changed. His laws have not been altered. Obedience is an expression of our love for Him, not legalism. Walking in God’s Ways/Laws is a manifestation of our love for Him, not an effort to earn salvation” (taken from previous Study Topic, “INTEGRATION OF OLD AND NEW, “ 25.10.17 https://www.vernasstudycorner.ca/2017/10/integration-old-new-25-10-17/ ).
Brown points out that: “What the early Church leaders made clear in Acts 15 was that Gentile believers were not required to become Jews and take on the yoke of the Torah in order to be saved. They were not required to keep the dietary laws or the laws of ritual purity. And they were not to seek to be justified by the Law. As Peter explained, they, like the Jewish believers, were all saved by grace (Acts 15:7-11).” But this did not negate the need to honour the law, by the power of the Holy Spirit which had been given in order for His followers to walk as the Master had walked, in purity, holiness, and righteousness, for “throughout the New Testament, Gentiles believers were called to live holy lives, based on Old Testament teaching (see also 1 Peter 1:13-17, quoting from Leviticus; it is possible that 1 Peter was written first for Jewish believers, but it was shared with the whole Body)” (Michael Brown, May 11, 2018).
My friends, lay this issue to rest, I pray. Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, Messiah King, came to save, to sanctify, to wash us with His Word, as well as with His Blood; and He also came to model for us how to take up our cross and follow Him (Lk.9:23,24). Walking in the footsteps of Jesus/Yeshua means living out Torah, because He became the Living Torah, the only One Who could live it out perfectly, thereby fulfilling all that it contains. He modelled what that looks like, showing us The Way to honour Him. No, He did not come to abolish it, but to fulfill it by making it real for us – i.e., here’s what it “looks” like. No; following rules is not what saves us; of course not. But if you are in fact saved/born again, are you not desirous of being like Him? Are you not desirous of following His example to the extent possible during this lifetime on earth? If you actually follow His footsteps you will abide by all that is in Torah/Tanakh/Old Testament/New Testament, without looking at any lists of commandments, but simply abiding in “every word that comes out of the mouth of God” (Deut.8:3;Matt.4:4). That is how you will bear fruit for the Kingdom; that is how you will live in supernatural peace, victory, and freedom. Are you merely in this to be saved; or are you part of His Kingdom to honour, serve, and live victoriously? We are to be in this for a purpose, not for selfish gain, for “He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor.5:15).
© 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.