How I became a Christian that desires to follow Torah while reading the New Testament.
Some definitions before I begin.
YHWH= the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
Yeshua= the Messiah that walked the Earth about 2000 years ago born of a virgin, chose 12 disciples that walked with Him, one of which betrayed Him, He was crucified, rose from the dead then was taken up to be the right hand of YHWH, and therefore fulfilling the first part of the prophecies outlined in multiple books of the Old Testament
Torah= Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy
Seeing the New Testament through my own eyes.
My husband and I came to the desire to follow YHWH’s commands as outlined by Moses after going through the books of Matthew and Acts in the New Testament. During a verse by verse Bible study with friends we began to see the words in the book of Matthew in a whole new light. Most of us in the study had read through Matthew many times before and we had no idea what this study would eventually lead too. As we read, the group as a whole, decided to stick to one portion in Matthew until we all agreed on what was being said. This sometimes meant weeks on the same few verses. We all believed that there was one truth and we should do our best to find it. We cross-referenced New and Old Testament books, did Greek and Hebrew word studies, but most importantly we didn’t quit when we disagreed. We all did a lot of re-evaluating of our previous biblical concepts as we completed Matthew. Below is a summary of my thought process as I read this first book of the New Testament and saw a Messiah who agreed with and supported His Father.
Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Does He really mean the Law will not pass away until all is accomplished and we should not even “relax” (“shall break” in KJV) them before that time? Our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law? The church I was raised in taught me that there were only three commands… love God, love others, and go share the gospel. Are these the commands He is speaking of?
So I started again in Matthew to see if the commands taught by the church were said by Him before making this statement. They are not. So I checked the other four gospels. None of them contain the quote from Matt: 5 17-20. So I searched the phrase ‘abolish the law’ in the KJV and found it only in
Ephesians 2:15-‘ by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,’
This verse, however, when you read the entire chapter, seems to be speaking of an ordinance that separated the gentiles from Israel, the covenant, and its promises.
Eph 2:12 ‘remember that you were at that time separated from Christ,alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers tothe covenants of promise,having no hope and without God in the world.’
I don’t think this can be considered definitive proof the Law/Torah/Commandments are abolished.
Back to Matthew...
- Matthew 7:12-14 NASB - “In everything, therefore, treat - Bible Gateway
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. The Narrow and Wide Gates -
- Matthew 7:21-23 NASB - “Not everyone who says to Me, - Bible Gateway
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will
- Matthew 8:4 NASB - And Jesus *said to him, “See that you - Bible Gateway
And Jesus *said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a
- Matthew 12:3-8 NASB - But He said to them, “Have you not - Bible Gateway
But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate
- Matthew 15:3-9 NASB - And He answered and said to them, - Bible Gateway
And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘HONOR
These verses all include mention of the Law but I can’t find a place where Yeshua says that the Law is gone. So I keep reading.
Matthew 19:16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”
So far I haven’t found where Yeshua says the Law no longer should be followed and now he is telling this person to keep the commandments.
Up to this point Yeshua has pointed continually to Torah and the Prophets. His mention of specific laws included an intensification of those laws in their understanding not a relaxing or abolishing of them.
I have to ask myself, should we be following the Law?
Yeshua is then asked ‘which ones’ and he begins to list the commandments from the Law. I note the He does not list all of them. Why? Is it because they are the only ones that need to be followed? Or... Is it because it is simply a means to the end of the conversation where the man is revealed for being more in love with his things than YHWH?
All the way to the end of Matthew...
Mathew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Here it is, right? These are the commands the church taught me replaced the old Law but I had to keep reading…
Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” ;
All the Law and Prophets... Well this isn’t it. Yeshua is still speaking of all the Law.
Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,;2“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat,;3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you- but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice.
I am now at the end of the book of Matthew and still no mention of the old Law being gone. Even after the resurrection. So now what?
Acts is the story of what happened with the early church. Guess what I found? The early church obeyed the Law. The men who walked with Yeshua still kept the Law. Why, if they weren’t supposed to? The church taught me it was wrong to try to keep the Law because it was like me saying Yeshua’s sacrifice wasn’t enough. Did the apostles believe Yeshua wasn’t enough? In Matthew He is quoted telling them to do as the Pharisees say. I guess they were just obeying Him. Wait! They were obeying Him by following the Law. I think I have discovered the problem. The churches I have been attending and pastors I have been listening to are wrong.