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Is the Law Done Away With?
I do not believe in works based salvation. My link at the end clarifies on that. And as you can see there have been significant changes to this article. Comments below may not fit these changes, so please do not accuse anyone who commented of not reading it unless it is a recent comment.
Are we still bound by the laws of the Old Testament? Are we still to follow the laws, statutes, and commandments? The Christian church doesn't seem to think so. Are they right?
Matthew 5 17 says he fulfilled the law. Fulfill it, or make it known?
"pléroó", a Greek word being incorrectly translated as fulfilled in Matthew 5 17. The word means to fill make full/complete. That is what the Savior did. He made the law known fully against the Pharisees who enforced their own traditions.
Let me ask you a question. Without reading any verse or looking up the definition, what is the definition of sin according to the Bible? You'll find the answer in the next line, but keep your answer in mind.
1 JOHN 3 4
- "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
1 Corinthians 6 9-11. Who will not get into the kingdom of the Almighty? The unrighteous. Those who willingly commit sin and don't have any remorse. Christians acknowledge this verse, yet they don't understand it. Where do we find these standards at? Where in the scripture do we find these laws that says these things are wrong? The Old Testament. The Torah lists these laws.
So when we sin, we transgress the law. But how can we sin if there is no law? You're going to find out that you have been lied to if you think the law is done away with.
JEREMIAH 31 31-34 says a new covenant will be made.
- 32 "not be like the covenant I made with their fathers"
How is this new covenant with Israel different?
- 33 "I will put the law within them, and I will write it in their hearts."
Let's read on. What does this mean?
- 34 "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Notice he says, law. He doesn't mention a few specific commandments, but just his law. And what is his law? The Torah. The way it is different is because the laws would be something they would know and keep indefinitely, not that anything has changed. The covenant beforehand had the laws written on stone and parchment. Here, these laws for his children will be remembered by them in the day of their redemption.
Think of it like this. You know how sometimes you might leave a reminder or an alarm on your phone to do something? Well the laws written down are the same way. But instead of needing an alarm or reminder, you just remember on the spot without needing to be reminded.
Here is some more proof. What word is sued for law in Jeremiah 31 31?
- Strong's Concordance 8451. torah: direction, instruction, law
- Original Word: תּוֹרָה
- Part of Speech: Noun Feminine
- Transliteration: torah
- Phonetic Spelling: (to-raw')
- Short Definition: law
Torah. The same word used to refer to the law of the Old Testament.
How Do We Show the Most High That We Love Him?
John 14:15 says that if you love the Messiah, keep the commandments.
You have to treat it like a relationship. Think about someone you care about. Your spouse, your parent, sibling, child, friend, etc. They say that they care about you. But how would you feel if they said they care about you, but they also treat you badly? That isn't showing care. When you care for someone you show it. A husband will provide for his wife and family, for example. If a husband does not do that, how does he love them? This is why I like the references to the Bride of Savior in the scripture. Because that is what it is like, a marriage. And both the husband and wife have a duty to fulfill. Otherwise there is no point in it.
- "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."
- If ye love me, keep my commandments.
So he said even as he kept his commandments. And we can all agree that he kept the law fully. And he wants us to obey his commandments.
1 John 2:6
- “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
We know he kept the law perfectly. Are we not to try to follow his example and follow it to the best of our ability?
So if you want to show the Most High that you love him you must keep his commandments. Has that ever changed? Let's go into the scriptures.
The Pharisee Doctrine
- "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."
A lot of people think this is referring to the laws of the Almighty. But if this were so, how come this isn't addressed earlier on? By now these laws haves been in effect for over a hundred years. And when we look back into the Torah there is no mention of the Pharisees adding these laws themselves. So why do we see so many times where the Savior scorns the Pharisees? What were they doing wrong? Was it because they taught the law? Or was it for another reason?
Is the law a burden? Many people will quote Matthew 23 4 and say it is. "See? Jesus is saying that the law is a burden because the Pharisees taught the law." They tend to erroneously associate the word "Pharisee" with the law in most cases in regards to arguments against those who choose to keep the law. Before we address this verse in context, we need to go to the Old Testament to see if the law is indeed a burden. Deuteronomy 30 10-16 says this is not too hard for them. Verse 11 says this is not hidden. But what is the proper understanding of this verse? We read in the other translations that it means these commandments are not too hard. "This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach." It doesn't mean it is not hidden as in hiding somewhere. That is obvious as it is being presented to them at that moment. It further explains it when we read the next few verses regarding it to be far. If this was about actual hiding, then how do they know it is in heaven or beyond the sea? These verses are saying the commandments are not too hard. So when someone says they are a burden they are going against the scripture. These words are also from the Creator himself, so by default this would be calling him a liar. If someone says these commandments are a burden, show them these verses where it says otherwise. We see this being referenced in Romans 10 by Paul.
ROMANS 10 5-8
- ⦁ 5 "For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them."
- ⦁ 6 "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring the Messiah down from above:)"
- ⦁7 "Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up the Messiah again from the dead.)"
- ⦁ 8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;"
Why are these things regarding the Savior put in parentheses? John 1 1. The Savior is the Word. Deuteronomy 30 was talking about the Word, the Law. But Paul is talking about the Savior. And he also quotes the exact words in Deuteronomy 30. Are they contradictory? Or is he preaching the same message? It is wise to go with the latter. As verse 8 will show, the faith that the Apostles preached lined up with the same righteousness of faith referred to in the Old Testament. So if these laws were not a burden, what was it the Pharisees were doing? Keep this in mind; many times throughout scripture the Pharisees were called hypocrites. They were ready to point at someone's iniquities, but never their own as well.
MATTHEW 23 1-3
- "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,"
- "Saying, 'The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:"
- "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."
The seat of Moses is a place of position where the teachers preach the law of Moses. The Savior just told them to obey what the Pharisees say. What do the Pharisees preach? The law. But it also says do not do their works, for they say and do not. The Pharisees preach the right thing, but they do not follow the right thing. They are being hypocrites. Example; you're crossing the street, and everything seems clear. But a man stops you. He says, "Don't go yet. There is a car coming." All of a sudden you see a car coming and you do as he says and do not cross yet. But what does he do? Cross the street as the car is coming. That is not only idiotic, but also hypocritical. But you were wise enough to do as he says, but not as he did. He warned you of the car, and you took that warning. But he did not. He went ahead and did it, and what happened? He got hit. He did not follow his own words. Even if a hypocrite is preaching the truth, you are still to listen. While they are being hypocritical and that is a sin, that is no excuse for you to turn away when real truth is being brought out. That would not count as obeying them. That is obeying the scriptures.
Read the rest of Matthew 23 to see proof that the Savior is not condemning them for preaching the law. They themselves put on these heavy burdens, not the Torah. And when you read this chapter, you'll find a lot of things that they're being condemned for doing by the Savior, but not once are they condemned for following and teaching the law. Being prideful, obsessing over wealth (gold and gifts to the Temple), and ignoring the bigger aspects of the law known as justice, mercy, and faith. These are the things they're being condemned for, and more once you read more into the New Testament and see why the Messiah was so condemning of the Pharisees.
Here is some more proof. John 7 14-19. Here he scorned the Pharisees because they did not keep the law, not because they kept it.
Another thing they did was add to the commandments (Deuteronomy 4 2 prohibits this). They taught their own traditions over scriptural law. Turn to Matthew 15. People like to say this verse is saying that whatever food you eat, it does not defile you. But this verse is not even talking about food. Turn to verse 1 and we will read to verse 20. Notice how the Pharisees are asking the Messiah why the disciples are transgressing the tradition of the ELDERS by not washing their hands before they eat. This was not a law. How does he answer? He asks them why they transgress the commandment of the Almighty by enforcing their own tradition and not enforcing a scriptural law such as honoring your mother and father? That's part of the law.
So what does make a man unclean? Verses 16 to 19 tells us. Evil thoughts of murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. Sin makes you unclean. But what does verse 20 say? Eating with unwashed hands does NOT defile a man. This is not about food at all. This deals with what makes a person common, a distinction that finds its origins in man-made tradition, and is not based on the Law. But knowingly indulging in foods that are not good for you? That is wrong.
He wasn't against the Pharisees for preaching the law of eating clean meats. He was against them because they ignored the weightier matters, and they were being hypocrites who enforced their own traditions but always liked to point their finger at others. These were the same guys that Isaiah was talking about in Isaiah 29 13, talking about their love for the Most High with their mouths but their heart is not with him. They are hypocrites. That is why the Messiah came. He came to preach the truth of the Torah to his lost people as they were being led astray by these prophets.
For more info on unclean food, see here: The Unclean Food Deception
Is John 13 34 really a new commandment? Is it really new to love one another as yourself?
- "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
In this verse we see him preaching a message of loving ones neighbor.
Is this something new? No. He is quoting scripture. In fact this is a law from the Old Testament. Leviticus 19:18
- "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."
So this is not new as in a brand new commandment never being taught before. It is new to them because obviously these Pharisees were not teaching this. They were not teaching the weightier matters of Torah.
- "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me."
- "But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”
1 JOHN 2:7
- "Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning."
Did the Disciples Keep the Commandments?
Let's find out. Here are a few instances of them keeping the commandments.
Sabbath (Acts 17 1-3, Luke 4 16, and Luke 23:56) . In one of those verses we even see the ?Savior keeping the Sabbath. Notice what that last verse says.
- "And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the COMMANDMENT."
That last part was after he died. So why are they keeping this commandment? I want you to do some heavy research in the New Testament. You will see many times that they kept the Sabbath.
Dietary (Acts 10 14) Notice how Peter did not eat any of the unclean animals. That is because this vision was symbolic, not meaning he could eat unclean food, which you can read more about in my article "The Unclean Food Deception". Now Peter was there when Mashiach apparently said unclean food does not defile you. So why is he not eating this food in the vision? Go to that article and see why.
So we see that they still kept the commandments.
Matthew 5: 19-20
- "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:"
- "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
So by breaking the commandments of the law, you sin. And if you love him, keep his commandments. And where do we find his commandments? The LAW. He only fulfilled certain laws related to sacrifice and the penalty of death. That is what he fulfilled with his death. All of the other commandments are still to be followed. Dietary, ceremonial, and especially moral. Yes, that includes the Sabbath, dietary laws, etc. If he did away with the whole law then we are allowed to sin all we want. Is that true?
ROMANS 3 31
- "Do we then make void the law through faith? Elohim forbid: yea, we establish the law."
- "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"
- "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
- "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,"
Since we know 1 John 3 4 tells us sin is the transgression of the law, we can conclude that this is indeed referring to the law of the Old Testament as no new basis for law is given in the New Testament.
Now we will debunk the idea that this chapter nullifies the dietary part of the law. Here is what is commanded of them in this chapter.
- Abstain from food sacrificed to idols
- Abstain from sexual immorality.
- Abstain from strangled animals (as all their blood is still in them) and from blood.
Since there is no mention of eating unclean meats here, one might assume this had nothing to do with Torah. But take notice. 1 is based on the first and second commandments, and 2 is based on the 7th commandment. These things are based in the 10 commandments, part of the Torah. Where do we find that third order? Genesis 9 2-4, which says we must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. This is also a law in the Torah. Leviticus 7 26.
Now we will get the proper context. There were Jews that were teaching these people that they would have no salvation unless they were first circumcised. When they brought this doctrine to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, Peter called it a "a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear". Some Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses."
Peter states that all are "saved" through the grace the Savior. As evidenced by this statement, the question they were discussing is whether or not these people were saved through the grace of Christ, or by circumcision and keeping commandments. This was also the original question in Acts 15:1.
His point was that everyone is saved by grace, not by keeping the law or by circumcision. Even Jews who had been circumcised and kept the law didn't have salvation until they believed in the Savior. He also said that to make circumcision or Torah/law observance the requirement for salvation would be to "test Elohim." But how would it "test Elohim?"
So Peter, after detailing the proof that the Almighty had accepted these men in their uncircumcised state, affirmed that they are saved through the grace of the Savior rather than circumcision or any other act of Torah/law observance. The ultimate decision in Acts 15 by James was not to require circumcision for salvation. Circumcision of the flesh is nothing compared to that of the heart. Deuteronomy 10 16 and Romans 2 25-29.
DEUTERONOMY 10 16
- "Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked."
ROMANS 2 25-29
- "For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision."
- "Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?"
- "And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?"
- "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:"
Circumcision is only an outward sign of being set apart to the Almighty. However, if the heart is sinful, then physical circumcision is of no avail. A circumcised body and a sinful heart are at odds with each other. Rather than focus on external rites, Paul focuses on the condition of the heart. Both outward and inward appearance matter when it comes to morals.
Galatians 6:12-13. These "false brethren" were actually Torah breakers themselves but they were most interested in circumcising these men so that they could boast about it. The focus on the praise of men was amongst the notable characteristics of some Pharisees of that time:
Please click here for a more in depth study on how works and salvation come into play.
Many Christians love to reference Paul's writings because they don't know the first thing about them. They take all of his words out of context and put their own interpretation, going against Isaiah 28 10 and 2 Peter 1 20. Let's go into the writings of Paul and see what he says.
2 Peter 3 15-16 shows us that writings that are misinterpreted would lead to destruction, which is exactly what a lot of people are doing. They promote lawlessness instead of the law. Modern day Pharisees, putting their own tradition instead of the Torah (Matthew 15 1-9). So now we are going to uncover the truth behind the teachings of Paul. Get your Bible and read the verses given and then read the text afterwards.
Romans 6 14
Romans 6 14 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."
So we are under grace and don't have to follow the law and sin all we want? No. Read 1-17.
Source: Romans 6 14 by Messianic Apologetics
- "On the basis of passages such as Romans 6:14, many Christian theologians and Bible teachers, in claiming that Believers are not to be “under the Law,” have commonly interpreted it as meaning that obedience to the commandments of the Torah or Law of Moses is not necessary for Messiah followers. While it is very true that Believers are not hupo nomon or “under law,” does this phrase really mean being obedient to God’s Torah? Given the emphasis within Romans ch. 6 on Believers being dead to sin (Romans 6:1-2, 7-13), immersed into Yeshua to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-5), and being crucified with Him (Romans 6:6)—how could an honest reader of this section of Paul’s letter think that he would somehow allow for disobedience to God’s commandments? Paul actually makes the effort of describing redeemed persons like slaves of righteousness, who have the steadfast need to be obedient to the Lord (Romans 6:16-19)."
- "What are we to make of Romans 6:14, “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (RSV)? The Greek verb kurieuō means “to be lord or master of people or of a country” and “to have legal power to do” (LS). Sin not being the master or lord of a Believer is directly connected to: “you are not under law.” It would be a mistake of anyone to somehow equate the sin-master and the Torah as somehow being the same; Romans 7:7 makes it clear, “Is the Law sin? May it never be!” The Torah is something given by God (Romans 7:22, 25; 8:7); the Torah is not the agent of sin. The sin-master is, however, quite capable of using the Torah for the purpose of causing disobedience in weak and fleshly people (Romans 7:6, 8), which in turn will merit God’s condemnation upon such sinners."
- "Sin is never the master over a person who has been spiritually regenerated. Sin is not the master of a born again Believer, because Messiah followers have made that key declaration of “Yeshua is Lord!” (Romans 10:9) and have recognized His supremacy within their lives. By so doing, those who trust in Yeshua are able to receive permanent forgiveness for their sins."
Galatians 5 18
Once again Christians will say this means we can sin all we want. But if we look at our last example, it says otherwise. Read the verse above again, but from verse 17-21. Paul is telling us what the works of the flesh are. So if you commit one or more of these things, you are being led by an evil spirit, not the spirit of righteousness. And if you read back into the Old Testament, all of these things are outlawed there just as they are now.
If you are being lead by the spirit then you are keeping the law. Remember how man was not made for the Sabbath but the Sabbath for man? That's how it is. If you have an earnest desire for righteousness and have received the spirit of The Anointed One, you will keep the laws and commandments. Yes, that includes the Sabbath, dietary laws, etc. The Savior only died to fulfill the law of death and sacrifice. If He fulfilled the whole law then we are allowed to sin all we want.
More info on this verse can be found in Part 2 in the link at the end of the article.
Colossians 2 16
Colossians 2 16 is a favorite amongst many as a last resort when shown the truth. But what does this verse really mean? Paul is talking to believers that are keeping the Sabbath day and the new moons. He is saying to not let anyone judge us for keeping those days. Read it from verse 8 to 17 to get a clearer understanding and see how this is actually condoning the celebration of these days as a mandate. The believers in the Colossian community were being judged for enjoying the festival, as well as eating and drinking in it. Colossians 2 21 says they were told to not handle, taste, or touch. Colossians 2 18 gives an example of asceticism where they participated in self-abasement. They wanted to rob true believers of celebration by claiming that to be holy, you have to deny yourself during the high holy days and Sabbaths.
Paul is referenced a lot when it comes to saying the law and the Sabbath is done away with. But did you know Paul kept the Sabbath? Acts 17 1-2. Did you know he also never said the commandments were done away with? See that here.
Paul was condemning the avoidance of anything enjoyable-which was intended to make its followers more spiritual. He says to the Colossians: "Therefore, if you died with Mashiach from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in this world, do you subject yourself to regulations- 'Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,' which all concern things which perish the using- according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh." (Colossians 2:20-23)."
They had a false humility (verse 23) and were destined to fail because they were based on the "commandments and doctrines of men". Paul encourages the Church to hold fast to its teachings and proper understanding; it is not a treatise on which foods to eat or on which days to worship the Almighty. We must be careful not to read preconceived notions into these or any other scriptures."
Not Under The Law, But Under Grace
You will hear many times where it is said we are not under the law. Now what does this mean? My friend Darionel at Devoted To Yah had this to say.
- "Paul says being under law is under the punishment of the law for breaking the law." Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before Elohim. Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." Remind them that the Savior commanded us to observe Torah."
Romans 10 4
End of the Law
The word "end" can be found in the Strong's Concordance as 5056: telos. "an end, a toll". Also meaning definite point or goal. The Savior kept the law perfectly, and is our example. It is our duty to walk as he did (1 John 2 6).
James 2 10
Now we will address James.
- "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."
They leave out the rest of the chapter and mistakenly took it out of context. To them this is condemning those who obey Torah as they see us all as hypocrites. Read it in context. James 2:5-11. Wwhat is this saying? It is speaking out against those who are in the faith, but are not following all righteousness. It is saying, "So you aren't an adulterer? Great. But you just murdered someone. You are still sinning even though you aren't committing that other sin", not saying that following the law is a bad thing.
The Law Is...
Perfect (Psalm 19 7)
The way of righteousness (Proverbs 12 28)
To be kept (Ephesians 2 15)
Still going to be followed in the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31 33)
Do not have their prayers answered (John 9 31).
Are hated by the Most High (Psalm 5 5)
Will be punished (Revelation 20 15)
Now that we have concluded this, you may say, "Okay, but that was all about the 12 Tribes. I'm a Gentile. Why should I follow it?" I will answer this below.
Noah: If you saw my article The Unclean Food Deception, you see how Noah and his sons were able to differentiate between clean and unclean meats. He was expected to know for himself what is clean and unclean (Genesis 7 2). This implies that they believed in the same law as Moses did. There is no scripture that indicates that this animal was considered unclean for a different reason, given that both clearly state unclean animals such as swine are unfit to eat, and both were also not sacrificed (Isaiah 66 3 gives an example of swine offering being considered a bad thing). So the common argument that they were called unclean only due for sacrificial reasons is faulty.
Abraham: We see that Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed for its sins. But where do we get the basis for sin? Where do we get our commandments for right and wrong? The Torah itself. It lists all types of immoralities; pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. We must also consider the following passage.
GENESIS 26 4-5
- "And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;"
- "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."
So Abraham kept the Almighty's charge, commandments, statutes, and laws. So what Adam, Noah, Abraham, and all followers of the Almighty followed was divine law and standard for all of humanity.
Peace and blessings and all praises to the Most High.
Commentary On The Law (2 Corinthians 3 1-18, Hebrews 12 18-29, and Galatians 5 18).
- Is the Law Done Away With? Part 2
Part two of my previous article where I go over more scriptures used to say the law is done away with, as well as other scriptures that say otherwise.