In this video, we explore Paul’s rather cryptic discussion in Romans 7:1–6 of being freed from the law of a wife’s husband and how it does not mean what the mainstream church has taught for nearly 1,900 years. Rather “the law of her husband” relates back to Deuteronomy 24:1–4 where Paul ties this into the deeper meaning of Yeshua’s death on the cross and the saints’ spiritual marriage to him. This amazing truth behind the traditional message of the gospel will not only deepen your understanding and appreciation of the cross and the gospel message, but your love for Yeshua as well, along with the rich, interweaving of BibleTruth as it relates to YHVH’s plan of salvation. Prepare to be enlightened, amazed and edified all at the same time!
If you have spent anytime in the mainstream Christians church, you have heard taught that the law of Moses (YHVH Elohim’s Torah-law) was “done away with” or words to that effect. Is this what Yeshua the Messiah and his apostles really taught? How do those who teach that the law of Elohim has been annulled, replaced by the New Covenant and is thus, to a large degree, no longer applicable to Christians reconcile this view with the plethora of Scriptures that say otherwise? They cannot.
No! The false teachers in the Christian church who teach that the law or commandments of Elohim have been done away with have spread before the people of Elohim a table full of vomit and are encouraging, no brainwashing, the people to eat of their fare.
These doctrines and teachings of the mainstream church are nothing more than the traditions of men by which the clear, unchangeable and indisputable Word of Elohim has been made of none effect, which is something for which Yeshua castigated the religious leaders of his day (Mark 7:8–13; Matt 15:3–9), which is a stern warning to every so called follower of Yeshua today.
Yes, as Paul astutely wrote and is as true now as when he penned these words, “the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim; for it is not subject to the law of Elohim, nor indeed can be,” (Rom 8:7). The prophet Jeremiah had something similar to say about the carnal, rebellious and sinful nature of man as well especially when it comes to obeying the Creator’s commandments: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer 17:9).
Yes, sadly, a long time ago, the leaders of the mainstream church chose to follow the inclinations of their evil hearts and contrived cunningly devised and pernicious justifications, philosophies and unbiblical doctrines of men to circumvent many if not most of the commandments of Elohim. These doctrines of men by which the Word of Elohim has been made of none effect were then codified into theologies, institutionalized into catechisms and doctrinal statements, and then taught in their institutions of education to be passed onto successive generations of deceived people. How sad and vile!
This has been a vast calumny against the clear Word of Elohim orchestrated by Satan the devil himself, who was the first one to question the Word of Elohim at the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, thus deceiving the first humans to believe the lie that YHVH did not mean what he said when he gave them commandments to obey. This lying deception led to the first sin and man being cut off from Elohim.
The so-called early fathers starting in the second century A.D. fell for the same Satanic deception and bought into the same lie as Adam and Eve. These lies were largely institutionalized in A.D. 325 at the famous Council of Nicea as led and orchestrated by the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine. This was the nascence of the Roman Catholic Church, which has subsequently passed this false teaching on to all of her harlot daughters and to the spawn that has flowed therefrom.
So why can’t more people see the fact that the mainstream church is incongruent with the biblical Truth they claim to follow? Especially, why can’t the religious leaders with their vast amount of education and advanced degrees including knowledge of biblical linguistics see this? As the saying goes, this is not rocket science! There are many answers to the question why so many Christian leaders are blind to one of the most obvious aspects of biblical Truth. We have already answered this question in part above. Additionally, for many, if not most, its the love of money, or power, or fame, prestige, and the social acceptance that comes from not questioning the status quo. But there is another reason to consider why the erudite have failed to comprehend obvious biblical Truth. It is this: YHVH declared that he would use the foolish and base things of this world (like your author) to confound the wise. Why? That no flesh may glory, and that all the glory should go to Elohim. As we read,
Because the foolishness of Elohim is wiser than men; and the weakness of Elohim is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but Elohim hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and Elohim hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath Elohim chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Cor 1:25–29)
Moreover, those people who are Truth seekers and who go against the prevailing current of the mainstream Christian church and begin to study YHVH’s Torah-law, guess what? According to David, the study of the Torah makes one wiser than one’s enemies and teachers. This includes all of the doctors and professors in all of the Christian seminaries who teach that the law was done away with! Says David of those who study YHVH’s Torah,
Oh, how I love Your Torah-law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts. (Ps 119:97–100)
The psalmist’s prediction was realized when the non-formally educated disciples of Yeshua were arrested and hauled before the Jewish religious elite of their day. In the Book of Acts it is recorded,
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Yeshua. (Acts 4:13)
What were the apostles’ only credentials? They had sat at the feet of the Yeshua the Messiah—a Torah teacher.
What does this mean for the saints of Elohim in our day?
It is now time for the true saints of YHVH Elohim and the disciples of Yeshua to wake up to the hard cold fact, as hard to believe and as unpopular as such a realization may be, that they have been deceived and have inherited lies from the church system, and that they need to come out of the harlot system of the whore of Babylon (Rev 18:1–4). It is high time to get back to the Bible in preparation for the coming of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, who will judge us all on the basis of the whole counsel of his Word including his Torah-law (Matt 5:19).
The following is a list of phrases that the teachers in the mainstream church continually vomit forth to supposedly justify why YHVH’s Torah-law is no longer relevant to the New Testament saint. Read through this list, and then go on and see what Yeshua and his apostles taught on this subject. Then ask yourself this question: Who is right: the church or the Bible? Then go and do the right thing.
We are not under law anymore; we are now under grace.
The law was nailed to the cross; it was done away with.
Christ fulfilled the law for us so that we don’t have to do it.
Christ is the end of the law.
One is either under law or under grace; law and grace are mutually exclusive terms; when it comes to law and grace it is “either or,” “not both and.”
We have been freed from the works of the law.
We are saved by grace, not by the works of the law; therefore, we do not need the law anymore.
The law was against us.
We are obligated to keep the moral aspects of the law, not the ceremonial aspects of the law.
It is a curse to keep the law.
The Epistle to the Galatians offers a convincing argument against the law.
Love is the fulfilling of the law. All we have to do know is to walk in love.
The curse of the law.
We’re dead to the law.
If we keep the law, we have fallen from grace.
The law was for the Jews, not the Gentiles.
Since we are not justified by the works of the law, we don’t have to keep the law.
What does the Bible really say? Was the law of God (YHVH Elohim) given from his lips to man really done away with, nailed to the cross, a curse, anti-grace, terminated, etc., etc. Did YHVH lie, change his mind, change his standards of righteousness for New Testament Christians, or has the church lied to you about this? What does the Bible really say? We give chapter and verse proof of the real Truth of the matter.
Galatians 2:14,To live as a Jew. The Greek word here is Ioudaidzo from which the term Judaizer derives. This is the only occurrence of this work in the Testimony of Yeshua. Biblically speaking, who and what is a Judaizer?
Mainstream Christians label those who believe in the gospel and, at the same time, adhere to the Torah as Judaizers. Is this a correct label and what is the biblical historical origin of this term?
The term Judaizing or Judaizer as the mainstream church understands it to mean is not found in the Bible per se. However, church historians and Bible teachers have applied this term retrospectively to those in the primitive Christian church as well as to modern saints who advocated adherence to the Torah. This is ironic since Paul in many places in his writings advocated Torah obedience to the believers in Rome (who were both Jewish and Gentile) and elsewhere. So while Paul teaches Torah observance on the one hand, many believe that Paul was teaching liberty from the Torah (in book of Galatians, for example) on the other hand. This has led to much confusion about what Paul really believed. Was he conflicted in his beliefs in that it seems that he was both for and against the Torah? Or maybe he gradually changed his opinion from pro-Torah to anti-Torah. This latter proposition seems unlikely since Bible scholars tell us that Romans and Galatians were written nearly at the same time. So the term Judaizer as used by modern Bible scholars seems to be a canard—a fabricated concept or one built on a false premise.
The fact is that the phrase “to become Jewish” from which the English term Judiazer derives is found only twice in the entire Bible. The first place is in Esther 8:17 where the Greek Old Testament (LXX) uses the Hebrew verb Ioudaizon meaning “to become a Jew,” or “to profess oneself to be Jewish.” It was used in reference to those Persians who suddenly “converted” to Judaism to escape Jewish persecution. The second reference is found in Galatians 2:14 were Paul accused Peter, not of being Torah-obedient, but rather of adhering to non-biblical Jewish traditions, which forbad Jews and Gentiles from eating together. In this verse we find the phrase “to live as do the Jews.” This phrase is the Greek word Ioudaizō meaning “to become Judean, to live after Jewish customs or manners.”
In reality, adherence to these extrabiblical Jewish traditions was Judaizing—a fact that seems to be missed by the majority of Christian scholars from the second century to this day! The issue here was not whether YHVH’s Torah-law was still binding on Christians, but whether Christians needed to follow non-biblical or extra-biblical—in some cases, even unbiblical—manmade traditions. This would be like telling a person who has just become a Christian that celebrating Christmas and Easter are required to be a Christian, when, in fact, the Bible requires no such things. Such a requirement would be an extra-biblical, manmade traditions. Such was what Paul was accusing Peter of doing.
Religious systems trying to foist their unbiblical requirements upon their adherents is not a new thing, for Yeshua accused the learned Jewish religious leaders of his day of doing the same thing, that is, of “making the word of Elohim of no effect through your traditions which you have handed down” (Mark 7:15). Earlier he said, “You reject the commandment of Elohim, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:9).
In reality, what Paul was fighting against was not YHVH Elohim’s Torah-laws, which in numerous places in his writings (which we have chronicled and discussed elsewhere) he advocated, defended and claimed to follow himself. Rather he is rejecting the idea that one can be saved by their own good works including circumcision.
After all, this issue was the focus of the debate of the first Jerusalem council in Acts 15. In verse one of this chapter we read, “And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” The fact is that circumcision was never a biblical requirement for salvation going back to Abraham (see Paul’s discussion of this in Romans 4 where he shows that Abraham was justified by faith, not by works, including circumcision). Yet over the course of time, and due to a misunderstanding of the Torah law requiring all males to be circumcised before taking Passover, it became the belief among some Christians that circumcision is a prerequisite for salvation. This and other unbiblical Jewish traditions that were hindering the spreading of the gospel and Gentiles from coming to faith in Yeshua is what Paul was vigorously combatting in his Galatians epistle and elsewhere. For Paul, it never was about Torah-obedience as the mainstream Christian church has made it out to be. To say that it is a bald-faced lie, and the mainstream church has been peddling this lie for nearly 2,000 years! It is time that people wake up and realize this.
In combatting the false notion that circumcision, for example, must be a prerequisite to salvation, Paul opposed this idea in a grand and logical step-by-step manner in his epistle to the Romans, and again in his epistle to the Galatians in a knock-out-the-opponent-quickly manner.
So if we are to apply the term Judaizer to anyone, it must be applied to those advocating a works-based salvation formula, not to those who teach that salvation is by grace alone through faith in Yeshua with the spiritual fruits of conversion being love toward Elohim and one’s fellow man as defined by the Torah—something this author strongly advocates.
Sadly, the fundamental truth of who a so-called Judaizers really were seems to have been missed by the majority of early church fathers and modern mainstream church theologians and leaders, who have continued to repeat their predecessors’ anti-Semitic and anti-Torah theological viewpoints. These traditions of men have been handed down to them by many second century Torah and Jew hating church fathers, incorporated into Roman Catholic theology and subsequently picked and peddled by the Protestants to this day. For one to now go against these institutionalized manmade and unbiblical traditions by which the word of Elohim has been made of none effect carries with it serious implications. These include excommunication from various Christian institutions, rejection by one’s peers, and most importantly, many ministers would lose their financial security. This means that many pastors, Bible teachers and countless others who make their living in Christians ministry sucking off the tit of Christianity Inc. would be forced to go out and get a real job like the rest of us! As Scripture declares, “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim 6:10).
2 Peter 3:15–16, Paul…hard to understand. If the writings of Paul are confusing as Second Peter 3:15-16 affirms, then why did the Holy Spirit write confusing things through Paul and not through others?
Why Paul Is Difficult to Understand
Paul was hard to understand in the first century as Peter states in 2 Peter 3:16–17, and he’s hard to understand now in the twenty first century, as we will discuss below. In fact, it might be said that if it was hard for Paul’s contemporaries (those who knew him and ministered with him) to understand him, then, logically, it follows that it will be even much harder for those of us to understand him who live 2000 years later and who didn’t know him or work with him. To the former point, Peter writes,
And account that the longsuffering of our YHVH is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
Again, if Paul was hard to understand in his day, how much more 2000 years later!
For those living and working with Paul, he was hard to understand because of his intellect and education. He was one of the top Jewish scholars of his day with an intellect to match it. You weren’t taught by Gamliel, the grandson of Hillel the Great, the founder of the Hillel School of Phariseeism and considered by some modern Jews to be the greatest sage of the common era, unless you were the top of your class in Judaism! This was the same Paul who was well-travelled, multi-lingual, could debate with the Greek philosophers of Athens, could quote Greek literature from memory and was from a wealthy and prominent family who were Roman citizens because of their wealth and influence. By contrast, most of Yeshua’s other disciples were from the backwoods regions of the Galilee and were common tradesman. Today it would analogous to a logger from Oregon or a fur trapper from Alaska suddenly linking up into a working relationship with a PhD professor in physics or philosophy from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard or Yale universities.
Now scroll forward 2000 years. Since then, we have nearly 2000 years of church history with all of its institutionalized traditions, syncretistic belief systems, man-made doctrines, anti-Semitic theologies and so on to have to wade through. The very purveyors of these church traditions are also the same people (the Christian leaders and “scholars”) who are translating our Bibles. This means that they’ll often be translating the biblical text in ways that agree with their best (often anti-Torah) understandings of Scripture.
It is this Babylonian mixture of truth and error (man made doctrines and traditions of men along with questionable if not faulty Bible translations) out of which most of us have come. We have to somehow weave our way through this tangled religious theological web and mess and figure out what is truth and what is error, what to keep and what to toss out, who is right and who is wrong, what is wheat and what is chaff. This isn’t easy to do especially when we’ve been indoctrinated, even brainwashed by the church to view Paul, the Torah-law and the rest of the Bible in a certain way through the lenses of those who have taught us their viewpoints be they right or wrong. One’s attempt to separate the precious from the vile and the holy from the polluted promises, justifiably so, to be a daunting and frightening proposition. That’s why the majority of people will prefer to stay in the comfort zones of their churches and man made traditions, rather than to step out into the unknown and unexplored wilderness of being a truth seeker, and, like a modern-day archeologist, to dig down to the bedrock of biblical truth. To step out of the boat of the church system means that, like Peter, you have to have a higher measure of faith than those who will remain safely and comfortably in the boat of their religious traditions. It means that one has to keep their eyes on Yeshua and follow his voice, or else sink into the spiritual watery depths of spiritual confusion. It means that you have to role up your sleeves and get to work, and put on your rubber muck boots and slog through the muddy dung in the barnyard of men’s religious traditions, some of which are good and many of which are vile, to get to the solid high ground of biblical Truth.
Unlocking the Mystery of Understanding Paul
Now let’s discuss Paul specifically to unlock the mystery of how to understand him. This is not a complicated task if done in a logical way. The way NOT to do it is to cherry pick Paul’s difficult-to-understand scriptural passages out of the larger contest of Scripture and then to explain them one-by-one. To attempt to understand Paul in this manner becomes an impossible knot to untie—especially in light of how many Christian scholars have translated his hard sayings through the grid of their faulty understanding and biases.
Rather, the best way to understand Paul is to step back and to view his writings from the larger context of Scripture—to see the whole forest instead of merely focusing on the individual trees. For example, Paul told the saints in Corinth to imitate him as he imitated Messiah Yeshua (1 Cor 11:1). By the way, Paul’s statement here lines up with John’s instructions to all the saints in his first general epistle to do the same (1 John 2:6). If we’re to imitate Yeshua, then we must, logically, ask ourselves what our Master did, so that we can imitate him as Paul (and John) instructs. For sure Yeshua followed the Torah-law. If not, then he was a sinner, for we read in Scripture that “sin is the violation of the Torah-law” (1 John 3:4), that sin is unrighteousness (1 John 5:17) and that YHVH’s Torah-law defines what righteousness is (Ps 119:172). On the contrary, we know that Yeshua kept the Torah, for he was without sin, for if he had sinned, he wouldn’t been our perfect, sin-free Savior or Redeemer. He kept the Torah in all points and never violated a single command, which would have been sin (Heb 4:15; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:22; 1 John 3:5). Not only did Yeshua obey the Torah, but he clearly upheld its validity again and again (e.g. Matt 5:17–21; John 14:15, 21), and he commissioned his disciples to carry his instructions in this regard forward to the whole earth (Matt 28:20, 18–20 for context). So according to Paul, this is what he imitated, and what he expected the saints of his day (and us) to imitate.
Next, we read in numerous places that Paul spoke favorably of the Torah law.
In this blog, we ask and answer the hard questions that few Bible teachers ever ask much less answer including the topic of discussion below. Why is this? For one thing, I have an inquisitive mind and I want answers. Second, I trust the Word of Elohim, and I know that it is the divinely revealed Truth of Elohim and it contains no contradictions; everything in Scripture perfectly dovetails with everything else to form a glorious, unified and indivisible grand picture of YHVH’s plan of salvation for fallen humans. Therefore, I am not afraid to ask the hard questions, because I am assured that I will not be disappointed or disillusioned when the answers are revealed. The Truth will only strengthen our faith in and our understanding of the will of the Almighty Elohim, not weaken it. So I keep asking the questions and seeking the answers. So please enjoy the following study.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matt 7:7–8)
Is there a difference between the Torah and the law of Moses? Technically, no, since the Scriptures use the terms law of Moses and the law (i.e. Torah) interchangeably in many places.
However, many people think that the law of Moses or the Torah originated with Moses. I have emphatically taught over the years, and the Scripture is clear on the fact, that the Torah did not originate with Moses, but from eternity or from heaven where Elohim exists. How can we assert this? This is because the Torah is a reflection of the heart, mind, will and righteous character of Elohim. It is spiritual and is thus eternal as Paul states in Romans 7:14. Moreover, Scripture reveals that the voice of Elohim from heaven gave the ten commandments to the Israelites (Exod 20:1–22), and the finger of Elohim wrote them on stone (Exod 31:18; 32:16), and the rest of the Torah was dictated to Moses directly by Elohim (Exod 13:1; 25:1; 30:11, 17, 22; 31:1, 12 and dozens or more references could be given). Therefore, no one except an ignorant fool or a deceiving, disingenuous liar can ever say that the Torah-law originated from human source or sources.
At the same time, and in a sense, Moses is the originator (by the hand of Elohim) of the law of Moses as opposed to the eternal principles of the Torah, which, again, are a reflection of the heart, will, character, holiness and righteousness of Elohim. What do I mean? Moses is the first person to have written the Torah down in Exodus 24:7 (perhaps that is one reason he needed to be educated in Egypt, so that he was capable of such a task requiring literary skills). He put the Torah into a form that had not existed before: a national constitution for a physical nation state in written form. For the first time, he codified the Torah or turned it into a written legal code. This was necessary because Israel was now a nation with physical borders and not just a large nomadic family or tribe. As such, Israel needed a system of written laws by which to govern their nation. Therefore, Torah had to be expanded and more clearly defined, if you will, to meet the legal requirements of governing a physical nation. The laws of Elohim had to be specifically spelled out and put into a written form. In this form, political leaders, judges, priests and people would know what the law was, so that could be studied, obeyed and adjudicated. Furthermore, the nation could pass no new laws that in any way would contradict the Written Torah, which was the supreme law of the land.
Consider this. The principles of the Torah are eternal, spiritual and endless because Torah is a reflection of the eternal and infinite mind of the Creator, so it has many applications and possibilities and can be expanded to meet the legal exigencies of a physical nation. None of those applications, however, violate the basic principles of the eternal principles of Torah. For example, the Sabbath is a rest day. Though rules and regulations may be enacted that tell us how to keep the Sabbath, nothing can violate the basic principle of resting on the seventh day of the week.
The eternal principles of the Torah may also be likened to the Constitution of the U.S., which is the overarching law of that nation; no state, county or city government can pass a law that violates the U.S. Constitution. They can pass many additional laws, but nothing that goes against or supersedes the Constitution is permitted. This is akin to the law of Moses, which was based on or sprung out of the eternal principles of the Torah. It could contain additional legal requirements that would help to rightly govern a physical nation, but the nation could never pass a law that would contradict or invalidate any principle of Torah. For example circumcision was a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant, but under the law of Moses, it became a proof of citizenship, like a passport, in the physical nation of Israel. It was necessary for the protection of the nation and to prevent aliens from coming in and taking over. Those people who went through the physical ordeal of circumcision were likely serious about wanting to part of Israel. This was a test of the seriousness of their intent. The problem with the believing Pharisees of Acts 15:1 who believed that circumcision was to be a precursor for salvation is that they took the concept of circumcision both as a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant and as a physical act of faith in Elohim, mixed it with the proof of citizenship requirements of the law of Moses and then conflated the two and now made it a salvational requirement for inclusion in the spiritual nation (or body of Messiah) of Israel. Paul corrects this theological error in Romans four and addresses it in Galatians (and elsewhere), and the apostles made a ruling on this issue in Acts 15, as well. Contrary to what many in mainstream Christianity erroneously teach, Acts 15 was not a verdict on the validity of Torah, rather it was a verdict on whether circumcision was a prerequisite for salvation. It was a prerequisite to be a member of the physical nation of Israel, but not for salvation, as Paul states in Romans chapter four.
Another example where the Torah had to be expanded under the law of Moses was in the area of the inheritance laws. Traditionally, the firstborn son received the lion’s share of his father’s inheritance and was responsible for carrying on the family lineage. That’s following Torah in at its ideal level. However, what if your first born son was out of Elohim’s will (such as Ishmael), or was a profane, rebellious and godless man (such as Esau), or was an immoral and power hungry person (like Reuben who slept with his father’s concubine to affirm the his status as the firstborn leader of his tribe), then what? The birthright would then go to the next best male candidate for the position. Now what if one had no sons? Then what? This is what the daughters of Zelophehad faced in Numbers 36. The Torah had to be amended or expanded to accommodate this situation. Moses sought YHVH on the matter, who gave him instructions on what to do. So ideally, and according to the overarching principles of Torah, the birthright would go to the firstborn son, but humans don’t live in an ideal or perfect world, so sometimes adjustments or exceptions were made and the Zeloophehad’s daughters were able to inherit their father’s estate with certain provisos made. The same thing is true with marriage. Ideally, it’s between one man and one woman for life. Period. But what if you were the leader of a tribe or a king and your wife was barren and she couldn’t bear you a son? Then what? You had to get a son somehow or your tribe and lineage would die out or be destroyed or subsumed by a more powerful neighboring enemy tribe. Today the same conditions don’t exist where if one childless, that’s not the end of the world; they’re nomadic or kingly lineage dies out. As nomads in the ancient Near East, one’s tribe was one’s life and security. One couldn’t exist without that community support and protection; without this, one died. So if one’s wife was barren, what did one do? A man had to take another wife who could bear him a son to continue his lineage. The same was true of a king who had a barren wife. Was having multiple wives (polygamy) YHVH’s ideal situation for marriage? Absolutely not. It caused no end to familial problems, as the Bible so poignantly chronicles in a number of instances. Yet, polygamy became a reality for some men, and the law of Moses accommodated this practice and addresses this issue.
The same is true of divorce and remarriage. Yeshua states that, again, marriage was between a man and a woman for life from the beginning. Yet because of the hardness of the human heart, some people simply couldn’t continue to live together in marriage, and so the law of Moses permitted divorce and even allowed for remarriage (Mark 10:2–9, cp. Deut 24). This was not the perfect will of Elohim for marriage, but his permissible will, if you will.
In conclusion, Paul alludes to the good, better and perfect will of Elohim in Romans 12:2. All three are in the will of Elohim, but how much of the time are we ever in his perfect will? What is the perfect will of Elohim? It is the Torah, which reflects his perfect, holy or pure and righteous character. Are even the best intended humans capable of always walking in the perfect will of Elohim, or walking at the highest level of Torah all of the time or even most of the time? Hardly! Nevertheless, we should always be striving to do our best as much as possible. Let’s face it. Life is just plain difficult. That is where YHVH’s grace comes in! If our hearts are right and we are doing the best that we can, then YHVH’s merciful grace will cover us, as long as we do not turn his grace into licentiousness or license to sin (i.e. the violation of YHVH’s Torah, 1 John 3:4), which is what the church has largely done through its misguided and false teaching about the Torah being abrogated. The Bible is clear: there is no grace for willful and knowing disobedience!
Deuteronomy 28:1, Commandments. Most people with whom I have engaged in discussions about the Torah-law of Elohim have a limited understanding of the breadth, scope and purpose of Elohim’s law. If they were to understand the full ramifications of the Torah, they would likely be less inclined to dismiss its validity in their lives. When discussing the Torah with people who have a traditional Christian view of “the law,” it might be helpful to keep the following truths in mind; they help to “blow the lid” off of people’s theological boxes!
The purpose of the Torah is to show man how to walk in right relationship (or righteousness) with his Creator. To do this, we must love YHVH with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deut 6:5; Mark 12:30) and love our neighbor as ourself (Lev 19:18; Mark 12:30). Once one is saved by grace through faith (See my teaching article entitled: The Abrahamic Covenant: The Covenant of Salvation, available at http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/pdfs/abracov.pdf.), Torah helps show man how to walk in the straight and narrow path that leads to blessings and life and avoids the curses of the law (Deut 30:15; 32:47). The Torah shows man how to avoid sin (which is the violation of YHVH’s Torah-commandments, 1 John 3:4), which is walking contrary to YHVH’s instructions in righteousness that are for our blessing and benefit.
The Torah does not set an impossible standard by which to live. We must ask ourselves, would a righteous and just Creator and a loving Heavenly Father give to his chosen people and children a set of standards that were humanly impossible to perform, and then curse them for their inability to meet these standards? Of course not! Rather, the Torah (including both the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants) sets a standard of faith, trusting in Elohim, and of following its system of repentance and sacrifice for obtaining forgiveness from Elohim and restoring a condition of being considered righteous in his sight. After all, Moses, the human instrument through whom YHVH revealed the Torah to the Children of Israel, states in Deuteronomy 30:11–14:
For this [Torah] commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?” But the word is very near unto you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.
Paul quotes this very passage in Romans 10:6–8 where he relates the written Torah to Yeshua, the Living Torah or Word of Elohim incarnate (in the flesh, see John 1:1, 14). He shows that they are one in the same and that Messiah Yeshua came to live and reveal to us the righteousness of the Torah-law (verse 4) that is available to us if we will but have a heartfelt faith in him (verses 4, 9–10) and allow him to live out his righteousness in us through the empowering work of the Spirit of Elohim. In verses 11 through 21, Paul goes on to relate this very truth to being the central message of the gospel that Isaiah prophesied (Isa 52:7) would be preached to redeem both houses of Israel to Yeshua their Messiah.
It might be said that in a sense that the Torah itself is neutral; neither positive nor negative, for it is like a mirror simply reflecting the image portrayed in it. Torah reacts according to human action. Those who obey it are blessed and those who disobey it are cursed. David Stern in his Jewish New Testament Commentary lists both some of the “negative” and some of the positive functions of the Torah.
On the “negative” side:
1) The Torah has the capacity to stir up sin in an individual. This capacity of the Torah to make us sin is not a fault in the Torah but a fault in ourselves. A healthy person thrives in an environment deadly to someone who is ill; likewise, the Torah, beneficial to a believer living by faith, is an instrument of death to these controlled by their sinful nature (p. 375).
2) The Torah can still produce guilt feelings in a believer—as it rightly should whenever he contemplates how his behavior falls short of the standard Elohim sets in the Torah. But these feelings are not irremediable. The remedy is once-and-for-all trust in Yeshua the Messiah’s final atonement for sin (Rom 3:21–26), followed by ongoing confession of and repentance from sins (1 John 1:9) (Ibid.).
3) The Torah also provides a framework of justice by which Elohim, the Just Judge of the universe, will judge the actions of men to determine both their level of punishment for its violation and their level of reward for obedience to it.
4) Because of the righteous standards the Torah sets out, for the sinner it points out the fact that they have sinned and how far they have fallen short of the glory of YHVH (Rom 3:23) and hence their need for a Savior or Redeemer. The Torah actually points the way to Yeshua as Paul points out in the book of Galatians (3:25).