News Letter 5845-022
2nd day of the Fifth month 5845 years after creation
The Fifth Month in the Sabbatical Year
The Second Sabbatical Year of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
July 25, 2009
Shabbat Shalom Brethren,
We are going to send this News Letter out a day early to coincide with New Moon day. Here is the report from Israel.
Karaite Korner Newsletter #398
New Moon Report
Fifth Biblical Month
On Thursday July 23, 2009 the new moon was sighted from Jerusalem by Devorah Gordon at 19:50 and shortly thereafter by Rick Busenbark. The new moon was also sighted from Maale Adumim by Roy Hoffman at 19:34 and from Ashdod by Magdi Shamuel at 19:38.
Rosh Chodesh Sameach!
Happy New Moon!
Reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina
Here is an excellent audio by Steven Collins on who Israel is today. Please take the time to listen to this one hour tape. His message was on the Lost Ten Tribes, the identity of the modern USA as being primarily the tribe of Manasseh and his perspectives on Ezekiel 38-39. Here is the audio link if you want to hear what he had to say. It was well-received, and I hope this message spreads to other Evangelical Churches elsewhere! The link is from the church’s website.
It was on this day of July 26 in 2006 that this web site began. It began ‘between the troubles’, which concludes with the 9th of Av. I found it very troublesome at that time, and very upsetting the way this all came about. I always thought that one had to be a trouble maker in order to be put out of a church. But I am very glad it did happen and resulted in the start up of this web site. And I am very pleased to be able to share with you the many things I have come to know, even though I do complain once in a while.
It was just over a year earlier in 2005, that I came to the conclusions about the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, which I presented at the Feast in New England, one month later, in August for the very first time. It was also just one year earlier in 2004 that I first learned about the Sighted Moon calendar. Before this I was just sitting in my pew not growing.
With this issue the web site has now reached over 400,000 hits since starting up. Combining the articles from www.sightedmoon.com and the new site of www.sightedmoon.com . I am truly amazed and humbled at this. Thank you all for coming back each time. Thank you. And then once in while some will say something like this next lady does and it makes it all worthwhile. The following is edited from two emails I have received from her. It is always a pleasure to see someone growing and learning.
Also…… went out to a spot where I knew I could observe and tonight saw the sliver of the new moon !!
It was around 5.45 pm, after sunset of course. I don’t know for sure, the exact time, I was so excited that I forgot to immediately look at the clock in my car. Wow….
I never cease to be amazed just how much the Father has taught me in the past three years since I set my mind to find out the truth about the dark moon, full moon, — whichever – – for His New Moon. But most incredibly of all, what a mind explosion your site is! Frank Nelte [US] has some good stuff, as has Bob Orchard [Oz] www.newbiblicalunderstanding. They both appear to be of the opinion of the conjunction, but that is not what the Scriptures actually say. Frank Nelte has some good points about God blessing Mr Armstrong with a 30% increase year after year, until he rejected the true knowledge of God’s calendar, and kept the Calculated calendar. Food for thought, clearly ….. keeping the RIGHT days, ON THE RIGHT DAYS, is VERY IMPORTANT to Yahweh. Which you teach, and may you be mightily blessed for doing same.
Once again Joe, stay the course brother, we need you breaking ground for us, like no other is doing at the moment. The Law and Grace series is also mind blowing.
G’day Joe from cold and frosty Oz. Hubby and I will be fasting and pretty sure another lady I know will be fasting also on Sabbath the 1st August, just 2 weeks away now. What an incredible reason and information. Can see myself getting into swordsearcher and digging out those Scriptures between now and then. I have asked about these fasts before today, and why it was mentioned and why we didn’t keep them also. Once again you have supplied the awesome answers; and thank you for sending the sighted moon emails, I can hardly wait until Sabbath morning and there it is! Such a blessing, has turned the Father’s Sabbath back into such depth of meaning for us.
Oh and Joe, whilst I have long lamented the violence in Melbourne’s streets at night, folks shot and killed or stabbed and killed and/or beaten to a pulp only to die later from horrific head injuries, it is all making sense now in regard to the seven years, that Sabbatical, for terror, and increases now into the next Sabbatical year. Yep — all makes sense now, and more so each day. Thank you once again for waking me up – it’s incredible – got to keep getting that oil into the lamp! Will leave the rest at bottom of this, God bless you and yours, best wishes in Christian love,
And for this lady and some of you as well here are a few scriptures in Zech.
Zec 7:3 and to ask the priests who were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and the prophets, saying, “Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?”
This is the 9th of Av.
Zec 7:5 “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me–for Me?
This is the 9th of Av and the Day of Atonement.
Zec 8:19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.’
As we come to the end of these 40 days of trial, as we come to the end of ‘between the troubles’, which historically has found Israel wanting, how will Yahweh find you? Will you stand in the gap as Nehemiah did and rebuild the wall of Torah which has been trodden down? Or will you say it is too hard, or too big to do just as the tens spies rebelled and lied about the land of Israel?
What are you going to do? Will you be an Esther and heed the words of Mordecai who said in Esther 4:14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
You do not know what Yahweh will do with you until you start to go with Him. I had no idea this web site would grow as it has. It scares me to know that if I had not done anything, that Yahweh would have found another to replace what He wanted me to do. Don’t go before the throne of Yahweh on that Day of Judgment and have Him tell you all the things He would have done with you if only you had started to do something.
Be a Caleb or be a Joshua, and do His will and go forward. Do not be like the other 10 who died in the wilderness never having known what was in store for them in the Land of Israel. Start teaching Torah to your mother or brother or sister. You learn so much more when you teach.
We need leaders, so stand up Joseph, stand up Israel, stand up each and every one of you from all twelve tribes of Israel and let Yahweh know you are ready to go forward. Make some noise and be heard. Let Judah know Ephraim is coming and that he is keeping Torah more righteously than they are. Stand up Israel and do not be shy, the Creator of the entire universe is with us.
On Wednesday July 22, 2009 there was a solar eclipse which was seen from India and Asia. It was seen by over 2 billion people and they watched the moon pass in front of the sun for over an hour. The actual eclipse lasted over 6 and ½ minutes the longest in over 300 years.
The amazing thing about this Solar Eclipse is that it is the second of three that are to occur just before the 9th of Av in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The Solar Eclipse of August 1 2008 can be viewed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_August_1,_2008. Watch the shadow of the moon as it passes over Russia and Asia. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Solar_eclipse_animate_%282008-Aug-01%29.gif
The eclipse of 2009 can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYhFdKzq6rM&feature=popular And again this one is over Asia. You can learn more at the NASA site. http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/solar.html
The projected eclipse of 2010 during the days leading up to the 9th of Av will be over the Pacific Ocean between Asia and South America.
Concerning the meaning of this Solar Eclipse I have the follow written in the article The Second and Third Curses As They Apply to the USA which can be read at the Article Archives
The fact they are a specific message from Yahweh can be proven in the Torah in the Book of Genesis:
14 And Yahweh said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. (Genesis 1:14-15)
Our Rabbis taught that when the sun is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for the entire world.
This may be illustrated by a parable. To what can this be compared? To a human being who
made a banquet for his servants and put up for them a lamp. When he became wroth with them
he said to his servant, ‘Take away the lamp from them, and let them sit in the dark.’ It was
R. Meir said, Whenever the luminaries are in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel
(http://www.betemunah.org/gen-jew.html) since they are injured to blows.
This may be compared to a schoolteacher (http://www.betemunah.org/teacher.html) who comes to school with a strap in his hand. Who becomes apprehensive? He who is accustomed to being punished daily. Our Rabbis taught, when the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for idolaters; when the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel, since Israel reckons by the moon and idolaters by the sun. If it is in eclipse in the east (http://www.betemunah.org/east.html) it is a bad omen for those who dwell (http://www.betemunah.org/dwelling.html) in the east; if it is in eclipse in the west, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the west; if in the midst of heaven it is bad omen for the whole world.
If its face is red as blood, it is a sign that the sword is coming to the world; if it is like sackcloth, the arrows of famine (http://www.betemunah.org/famine.html) are coming to the world (http://www.betemunah.org/worlds.html); if it resembles both, the sword and the arrows of famine are coming to the world. If the eclipse is at sunset, calamity will tarry in its coming; if it is at dawn, it hastens on its way: but some say the order is to be reversed. And there is no nation which is smitten that its gods are not smitten together with it, as it is said, and against all the gods of Egypt God will execute judgments.
But when Israel (http://www.betemunah.org/gen-jew.html) fulfills the will of the Omnipresent One, they need have no fear of all these omens as it is written, “Thus saith the HaShem, ‘Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs (http://www.betemunah.org/signs.html) of heaven (http://www.betemunah.org/heaven.html), for the nations are dismayed at them, the idolaters will be dismayed, but Israel will not be dismayed.’”
Brethren we have this line from the above to consider ‘when the sun is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for the entire world’. What is happening in the world at this time? We are in the midst of a worldwide recession and financial crisis. We are also on the leading edge of worldwide Pandemic. In the News this week are reports that the here in Canada we have our first case of Tami flue resistant H1N1. We have been warning you from our understanding of the Prophecies of Abraham that a famine is due to start in 2010. Again brethren you are not to be alarmed if you are fulfilling the will of Yahweh. But you need to be aware of the signs and the times that you are living in. I do not want to be like the Jews who lived when the Messiah came and they did not know Him, because they did not know or understand the scriptures, which leads to them not recognizing the times they were living in. Don’t you fall into the same boat.
This week we continue to study the works of Paul.
As I have told you before I am studying under Professor W.A. Liebenberg of the Hebraic Roots Teaching Institute of South Africa and Calvary University.
I have said to you before the more I learn the more I realize how little I know. We have been showing you these past few weeks about the teachings of Paul and how they were as Peter said twisted by those who know not the Torah.
2Pe 3:16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
We have had an excellent article by Ray Foucher and then Maria Merola two weeks ago and last week another by Don Dalhover, all of them on Grace and the Law.
We are showing you how many in the Christian world use grace in order not to keep the law and this is where they have erred. At the same time as we do this, this teaching will cause many in the Messianic groups to become uncomfortable. I know I am when I study this. Why? because we too, need to be reminded that we are not saved because we keep the Torah. There is a line that some cross between keeping Torah for the Love Yahshua and keeping all the other laws to justify themselves.
Consider the following verse in Luke 18:9-14
9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men–extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
What I have come to learn this week as I prepared this study was something that has nagged at me for a long time. Then this week I heard it again on the radio. One of the Christian radio stations used this verse to despise the Pharisee because he kept Torah or the law. The radio host then went on to say that “We are saved by grace”.
What he was doing was putting down the Jewish Torah and he was exulting those who only need to be saved by grace. I am not going to get into his sermon but it reminded me of this theme that both Yahshua and Paul were addressing. In fact now as I think about it Yahshua was addressing it a number of times and we have never gotten it. Paul is more plain and this is where his message gets confused by those who do not know the scriptures.
It is not the Pharisee or the Torah that is being put down. It is the attitude that is being shown as contemptible. The Pharisee thought he was saved because he kept the Law because he kept the Torah. The Tax collector knew he had not and was guilty of sin and he was in a state of repentance.
As you go through this lesson and next week’s lesson on Romans please keep the above scripture in mind. It is not the Pharisee Yahshua is attacking, it is the attitude of self-righteousness.
Law and Grace – Galatians explained
We are looking at this subject as this is the one topic that prevents Judah from coming to know Yahshua. They are prevented because of how they see all those who call themselves Christian trying to do away with the Torah. It is how those who call themselves Christian actually take the scriptures and twist it and try to sell paganism back to those who actually know what Torah says. It is on this subject that those who call themselves Christian become an embarrassment to all of Yahshua’s followers, due to the hypocrisy with the way they quote scriptures. With their lack of understanding of Jewish ways and that Yahshua was a Torah observant Jew and that He never sinned. This means He kept both the law and had grace at the same time.
Unless you know Torah, you cannot understand how grace is applied. So please read the following very carefully and do not rush through it. In fact, many of you should read the following more than a couple of times. Even Monthly until we all get it.
I am again going to quote from Torah Rediscovered by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz. Pages 111-115.
Another factor contributing to the misinterpretation of Sha’ul is the language he uses, especially in Romans and Galatians, in discussing the believers relationship to the Torah. We have two specific phrases in mind: upo nomon (??? ?????, “Under the law”) and erga nomou (????? ?????, “works of the law”). When Sha’ul uses these terms it is generally in a negative light.
Look, for example, at Romans 6:14 which reads “for you are not under law but under grace [italics ours]”. Here Sha’ul is stressing that the believer in Yahshua is dependent on Messiah for his salvation, which he can only receive through the grace of Yahweh. An example of the second phrase, “works of the law”, is found in Galatians 2:16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Yahshua the Messiah”. Whatever “works of law” means, it is clearly being used in a negative sense, denoting something opposed to having faith in Yahshua for salvation. Indeed, Sha’ul rebuked the Galatians for trusting in works of law.
In these passages, Sha’ul was teaching against legalism-the attempt to earn, merit, or keep ones salvation through obedience to law. But there were no sufficient words to express ‘legalism.” Instead he had to use certain phrases which, interpreted incorrectly, could easily lead one to believe that he was against Torah.
C.E.B. Cranfield has shed some light on the meaning of these two Greek phrases, helping us to perceive what Sha’ul actually meant as well as to understand more fully his true stand on the Torah.
‘It will be well to bear in mind the fact (which, as far as we know, had not received attention before it was noted) that the Greek language of Paul’s day possessed no word group corresponding to our “legalism”, “legalist”, and “legalistic”. This means that he lacked a convenient terminology for expressing a vital distinction, and so was surely seriously hampered in the work of clarifying the Christian position with regard to the law. In view of this we should always, we think, be ready to reckon with the possibility that Pauline statements, which at first sight seem to disparage the law, are really directed not against the law itself but against that misunderstanding and misuse of it for which we now have a convenient terminology.’
We encounter the same dilemma in the Hebrew language. There is no Hebrew word which can easily convey the concepts of “legalism” or “legalist”. Thus Sha’ul, whether using his Hebrew-oriented mind or his Greek language, was hindered in his attempts to explain that legalism was not what Yahweh intended.
The next detrimental theological tradition we must bring to light is the long standing misinterpretation of nomos/torah in the Book of Galatians. This is the book that says, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (5:18). Moreover, such people have “fallen from grace” (5:4). In addition, “I Paul, say to you that is you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.” (5:2).
These rather harsh-sounding statements, among a host of others in this letter, have been used for centuries against any believer who desired to follow Torah-especially in regard to circumcision, Shabbat observance, or any other non-moral issue. What are we to make of them?
The explanation is rather simple; all we have to know are two basic facts. The first is the hermeneutical principle established by Acts 21:20. If it appears that Sha’ul was teaching against the Torah in any way, that impression has to give to the truth of how he lived his life. If Acts 21 tells us that Sha’ul lived his life according to the Torah and encouraged other to do the same, then we will miss the boat if we interpret Galatians as coming from an anti-Torah viewpoint.
The second fact to bear in mind is the hermeneutical principle of context, especially the context of the whole book. To be specific, the context of the letter to the Galatians is that of justification by faith. Sha’ul was warning them not to make a “law” out of the Torah. By turning Yahweh`s teaching and covenant into a list of legalistic laws, the Galatians were abandoning the principle of justification by faith and resorting to justification by works. They were using the Torah as a means of earning, meriting, or keeping the eternal salvation which they had received by grace through faith in the finished work of Yahshua.
Sha’ul provides several indications that this was the case with the Galatians. The first was in 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but through faith in Messiah Yahshua, even we have believed in Messiah Yahshua, that we may be justified by faith in Messiah, and not by the works of the law; since by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” The issue on Sha’ul’s mind was Yahweh’s requirement for our justification.
Looking at the Greek of Galatians 2:16, we find that the definite article before the phrase “works of law” has been left out. It is not, as many English versions translate it, “works of the law”. If the translator adds the definite article, it helps the reader to assume that “the law” is a reference to the Torah. In fact, however it is not. “Works of law” is a phrase indicating a man-made system of works, of which performance based acceptance, is the core belief. Ergon nomou should be translated “works of law”
Thus, Galatians 2:16 should read: ‘knowing that a man is not justified by works of law but through faith in Messiah Yahshua, even we have believed in Messiah Yahshua, that we may be justified by faith in Messiah, and not by works of law; since by works of law shall no flesh be justified.”
Galatians 5:4 reads, “You have been severed from Messiah, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Many use this verse to demonstrate that those who follow the Torah have fallen from the grace of Yahweh because they are obeying the “law” instead of Messiah-who, it is argued, set them free from the law. In defense of this position, they cite the context (verse2-3): “Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Messiah will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation to keep the whole law.” They say, “If you do what Torah says and circumcise your sons, you are no longer following Yahshua.”
Our response, Sha’ul himself provides the key for the correct understanding of this passage in verse 4, in which he tells us that anyone who observes Torah while “seeking to be justified by law” will encounter serious difficulties.
Some of the Galatians thought that obeying the Torah (or any set of standards) would cause them to receive their spiritual heritage-justification before Yahweh. However the moment a person believes that obedience can secure righteousness, he has moved from the realm of grace, into that of works. The blessings of Yahweh, he thinks, are attainable as a result of what he does.
Sha’ul, on the other hand, says that such a person has fallen from the principle of grace to the principle of “law.” In effect, when one believes such an erroneous teaching, the atonement accomplished by Yahshua has no value for him, since he is relying on what he does instead of what Yahshua did for him.
The teachings of the Torah were never to be used for such a purpose. Eternal salvation is based on the receiving the promises of Yahweh, which are given by grace to those who do not deserve them. The only acceptable response to this grace is to receive it by faith, rather than to attempt to earn it by doing something. If we obey the Torah in order to enjoy the blessings of the grace of Yahweh received by faith, we are not “fallen from grace”; but rather, we are embracing the grace of Yahweh for our lives. Put another way, if man tries to earn the blessings of Yahweh instead of appropriating Messiah’s life, he has abandoned the principle of grace and fallen to the principle of “law”. To live the Torah is to live our new creation life in Messiah: it is actually His life in us, a life of grace and truth. Thus the Torah is Yahweh’s revelation to those born of Him, concerning how they are to act in line with truth of the Good News. (Galatians 2:1)
Real biblical faith is the kind of trust in Yahweh that always results in a changed way of life. The Torah (as well as the New Covenant-Brit Chadasha) describes what that changed life looks like. It does not cause that changed life. That is the miraculous work of Yahweh, born of His grace.
Our point was to establish the fact that the statements in the letter which seem to teach against the Torah are not against it at all if one use the Torah properly. There were some Galatians who were turning the Torah into ”law” by using it as a means of justification rather than as a way of life resulting from their justification
From another book by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz called Hold Fast we read on pages 143-149 the following.
Even more so than the letter to the Romans, the epistle to the Galatians is cited to discourage those in the body of Messiah who desire to live according to the teachings of Moses.
All of the so called “problem passages” from Galatians can easily be answered in a Torah-positive way if we simply bear in mind the context of the whole book of Galatians. The context is established in the letter’s thesis statement in 2:15-16: “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Messiah Yahshua , even we have believed in Messiah Yahshua, so that we may be justified by faith in Messiah and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
The thesis is this: No person may be justified before Yahweh by obeying any list of rules or teachings. That is legalism. Rather, justification is a gift of Yahweh given by grace to those who rely solely on the person and work of Messiah Yahshua.
One of the problems in the Galatians fellowship was that there were apparently teachers circulating either from within or from without who were saying that justification is achieved by a combination of faith plus works. In other words, they were teaching that a person had to do the Torah in addition to trusting Messiah in order for Yahweh to declare him righteous. Accordingly, we can expect to find many seemingly anti-Torah statements in this letter, which we do! If we remember this background then we can realize that Paul is not teaching against Torah, but he is writing against a legalistic observance of the Torah. Let us examine several passages from this oft-misunderstood letter.
“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
As we have already stated, this passage is the thesis statement for this letter to the Galatians. The issue on Paul’s mind was Yahweh’s requirement for our justification.
There is one more point from verse 16 that we would like to make. Looking at the Greek of Galatians 2:16, we find that the definite article before the phrase “works of law” has been left out. It is not, as many English versions translate it, “works of the law”. If the translator adds the definite article, it helps the reader to assume that “the law” is a reference to the Torah. In fact, however it is not. “Works of law” is a phrase indicating a man-made system of works, of which performance based acceptance, is the core belief. Thus this phrase is Ergon nomou and should be translated “works of law”.
Accordingly, Galatians 2:16 should read ‘knowing that a man is not justified by works of law but through faith in Messiah Yahshua, even we have believed in Messiah Yahshua, that we may be justified by faith in Messiah, and not by works of law; since by works of law no flesh be justified.”
We encounter the same translation mistake in verse 19 which states, “For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to Yahweh.” Here again, in the Greek, there are no definite articles before the words translated “law”, Knowing this permits us to translate this verse: “For, I through law, died to law, in order that to Yahweh I might live.” The point here is that Paul was not saying that he died to the Torah, but merely to “law”. We can paraphrase what he was saying in this way: “It was through legalistic obedience to a set of laws that I realized that I was a sinner. For, I found that it is only through a personal relationship with Him that Yahweh grants a new life. My attempt at legalism backfired! Instead of making me closer to Yahweh, it only served to emphasize my sinfulness. Therefore, in Messiah, Yahweh caused me to die to law that I might live for Him.”
The Torah then, was not in question. Our constant need in the flesh to feel good about ourselves by believing that we have earned righteousness is what is in question! Any time that the Torah of Yahweh is reduced to a system of works, what we have is no longer Torah but a man made system of works-law. Man will always try to reduce Yahweh’s words to laws to be obeyed instead of the Words of Life-what they truly are. We who are in Messiah have died to exactly this abuse of the Word of Yahweh. Now we embrace the Renewed Covenant in our relationship with Yahweh as that which is our very life, our new creation life!
This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
There are some who use this verse to contrast life in the Spirit against a life of Torah. Their argument is that we did not receive the Spirit of Yahweh by following the Torah.
Our suggestion is that the Torah is not even in this verse. Once again, we encounter the phrase ”works of the law”. In the Greek it is the same grammatical construction that was in 2:16. Therefore, it should not read “works of the law”, as it is the Torah that is being referred to, but “works of law”. Hence, this verse is saying that it was not through legalism that we received the Spirit of Yahweh. We could not earn Yahweh’s Spirit. Rather Yahweh gave us His Spirit by faith, at the moment of salvation. Thus, this verse is against legalism, not against Torah.
21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor
Here is a case where the word nomos (?????) is probably being used to refer to the Torah. In the Greek, it has a definite article before it, “the Law” (the Torah). This series of verses concludes a passage where Paul is comparing the covenant with Abraham with the covenant of Sinai. His conclusion is that the Torah was not given to impart life. That was the purpose of the covenant with Abraham. We receive life by faith. He continues to argue that there are only two things the Torah can do for those who attempt to receive spiritual life from Yahweh by obeying the Torah. First, the Torah can point out their sinfulness (Verse 22) and second, the Torah can, then point them to the one who removes sin-The Messiah (verses 23-25).
Verses 23-24 represent only one of the many purposes for the Torah. In fact, the Torah has specific functions for both the righteous (the Saved) and the unrighteous (the unsaved). As far as the righteous are concerned, 2 Timothy 3:16 states, “All scriptures is inspired by Yahweh and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of Yahweh may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Of course, “all scripture” would most certainly have included the Torah.
As far as the unrighteous are concerned, our passage in Galatians indicates what the Torah can accomplish for them. It can serve to point out their sinfulness and point them to Messiah. In this capacity, we should note that 3:25 says, “But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” The tutor” is, in context, the Torah. When a person comes to Messiah and receives Him by faith, that particular function of the Torah has ceased (i.e., there is no longer a need for the Torah to serve as a tutor to lead the person to the Messiah). At that point, the Torah begins to function in a totally different capacity-the capacity for which it was originally designed; it describes the lifestyle of the redeemed.
[The Greek word translated “tutor” is actually “pedagogue”. Paul was drawing upon a very familiar illustration Greco-Roman world of which he was a part. Well-to-do families often hired someone to serve as a protector for their children when they sent them to their teachers. The protector was not the teacher, but merely someone who made sure that a child would safely reach his or her teacher. Paul uses this kind of language in Galatians 3:22 to illustrate how the Torah functioned as a protector.
How does Yahweh preserve such people? One way He has chosen to do so, though certainly not the only way, is through the Torah. According to Galatians 3:22, the Torah can function as a pedagogue, as the Greek word for “tutor” should be translated (verse 24). The pedagogue’s duty was “to conduct the youth to and from school and to superintend his conduct…he was not a ‘teacher’” Hence he was something of a body guard to help ensure the students safety on the way to the teacher.
In verse 23, Paul explains this protective concept with a slightly different image. There he uses a word which has usually been translated as “kept in custody.” However, by rendering the Greek verb sunkleiomenoi (?????????????) in such a manner, translators have unwittingly cast a negative shadow on the Torah, depicting it as something that holds people captive, like prisoners. But the word can have a slightly different connotation. It can also be rendered “close up”, “hem in”, or “enclose” in a positive sense. Seen in this light, the verse emphasizes protection rather than imprisonment. Furthermore, this translation also fits well with the concept of the pedagogue.
Thus the Torah was intended to preserve the mental, moral and social safety of the environment into which an individual was born and raised. The person was protected “until the date set by the Father” (Galatians 4:2) when the Spirit of Yahweh would lead them to the Teacher, the Messiah.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
This verse has often been cited to show that there is no place in the life of a believer in Yahshua for the Torah or anything pertaining to Israel. It has often been said that, in Messiah, there is no room for Jewishness because we are new people in Messiah.
Dr. Daniel Juster remarks in his book Jewish Roots page 111-112, “Paul is not saying that all distinctions between men and women have been obliterated…It is precisely the same Jew and non-Jew in the Messiah. Both may be called to different styles of life and witness, to different fields of service, yet they are spiritually one in Messiah… Note as well, non-Jews are called (in verse 29) not spiritual Israel, but the offspring of Abraham by faith.”
It is interesting how most believers have applied this verse over the years. Erroneously thinking that this verse teaches that there is to be no more Torah expression (“neither Jew…”), many believers have lived non-Torah oriented lifestyles. In doing so, however, they have not realized that they did not practice the second expression of the verse that says, “there is neither Jew nor Greek.” They did not realize that much of their lifestyle reflected that of gentile non-believers. For example, in their attempt to practice the “neither is there Jew” part, they replaced explicit Torah teachings with manmade traditions propagated by some church leaders decades after the Newer Covenant Scriptures were written. In this process, they have failed to realize that such practices would then, also violate the second phrase, “neither is there Greek (gentile)”. In so doing, they have espoused a decidedly culturally non-Jewish life style (and have pressured Jewish believers to do the same.)
This verse actually speaks nothing about Torah observance or non-observance. Rather, it merely emphasizes the spiritual equality of Jewish believers with believers from among the gentiles.
Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24 This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. 27 For it is written, “REJOICE , BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.” 28 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.
This passage is a midrash developed by Paul in order to illustrate the difference between those who trust Messiah for their righteousness and those who are relying on a legalistic observance of the Torah or any set of laws for their salvation.
In our opinion, the key to understanding this midrash is to remember the context in which it is found. The immediate context begins in chapter three where Paul begins to compare the two covenants-the covenant with Abraham and the covenant of Sinai. In this midrash, Paul relates what happens when people reverse the proper theological order of the covenants. In other words, theologically, as well as historically, Yahweh made the Abrahamic covenant before He enacted the covenant of Sinai. It had to be that way because in the Abrahamic covenant, the promises of Yahweh were to be received by faith, while the second covenant was basically one in which those promises would only be fully enjoyed with fruitfulness through obedience.
Abraham’s relationship to Hagar and the subsequent fruit of that bond (Ishmael) is compared to those who put the covenant of Sinai first before the covenant of promise (Abrahamic). Through Hagar, Abraham was attempting to secure the promises through his own efforts instead of relying on Yahweh’s word and trusting in Yahweh’s promises concerning Sarah. Thus it is with those who try to earn their righteousness from Yahweh by obeying the Torah. Faith always must precede obedience. In addition, saving faith always results in obedience.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. 4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we, through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.
This will be the final text from Galatians that we will study. It appears to be a devastating blow to our whole argument, stating that if anyone practices circumcision (or any part of the Torah, for that matter,) he will be severed from Messiah.
The key to the proper interpretation of this passage is the following italicized phrase in 5:4 where Paul states, “You have been severed from Messiah, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” This phrase indicates the motive behind the circumcisions being performed among the Galatians, which were the focus of Paul’s criticisms. It tells us that some people were being circumcised in order to be justified by Yahweh. In other words, legalism was the problem, not circumcision.
We need to remember that Paul of Tarsus lived according to the Torah (Acts 21). He would never have taught against the Torah. Since circumcision was one of the many teachings of the Torah, we can safely conclude, therefore, that Paul was not arguing against circumcision per se. In fact, we recall that he had Timothy circumcised (Act 16:3).
Paul’s problem with circumcision in Galatians was that some were doing it in order to earn or keep their salvation; they were seeking to be justified by it. Herein was the core of the problem He had no problems with practicing circumcision provided it was done with the proper biblical motive (i.e., as the sign of the covenant between Yahweh and Israel).
Verse 4 presents the stark contrast between law and grace. One either attempts to earn or keep his salvation by what he does or he relies solely on the grace of Yahweh for salvation. The two concepts, law and grace, do not and never can mix. Paul said that whenever a person begins to trust in what he does to gain (or keep) his salvation, he has ceased practicing the principle of grace and has gone over to law. In fact some people even attempt to make a law out of Torah (by practicing circumcision, in this context). The plain truth is that whenever someone relies on his works to gain righteousness from Yahweh, he has ceased to function according to grace. No one can be saved in this manner. Salvation is solely by grace through faith in the person and work of Yahshua.
Brethren we have looked at some very hard to understand scriptures and I hope you are able to grasp what is being taught here by Paul. Some of you have told me that the things I teach here at www.sightedmoon.com are way over your head. That I am teaching at a university level and you are just learning at a grade school level. It is the same thing with Paul. Please read these texts carefully and prayerfully.
To help you a little, consider this. You’re going to a new Church or Synagogue. You’re late and trying to find a short cut. Traffic is backed up and you see a street that goes right to the side of the place you’re looking for. You take it, and once you’re on the road you see it is a one way road and you’re going the wrong way. You safely make it to the parking lot of the church or Synagogue and a Police car pulls in right behind you.
You try to justify yourself because you are going to worship at this building. But the officer still takes your license and insurance and goes back to his car. You have driven the wrong way on a one way street. It is going to cost you $350 dollars in fines. Money you don’t have and can’t afford.
The police officer comes back and gives you a warning (go and sin no more) and asks you to be more careful next time. But this time he is not going to charge you and bids you a good day. You have now received grace. You did nothing to deserve it. You did earn the penalty for breaking the law. But you were pardoned and not charged. This is grace.
The law that says the street is a one-way street does not change. It is still a law. You are still not allowed to go the wrong way on it. If you do people could die. Just because you have been given grace this time for breaking a law does not absolve you from obeying it from here on out. The laws still must be kept. Does this law get you into the kingdom? No. Nor are you a legalist by keeping this law.
We do not keep the laws of Yahweh to be saved. We keep the laws of Yahweh because we are saved.
I want to close this study with Jude 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
This word Lasciviousness is From a compound of a (as a negative particle) and a presumed selges (of uncertain derivation, but apparently meaning continent); licentiousness (sometimes including other vices) — filthy, lasciviousness, wantonness.
1. unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence
King James Word Usage – Total: 9
lasciviousness 6, wantonness 2, filthy 1
In Galatians 5:19 we read 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
You become unclean when you sin. You sin when you cave in to your lusts and do not restrain them. So people can do whatever they want, believing that the sin they commit are forgiven by grace because the laws are done away.
We shall talk more on this shortly, but for now consider the warnings of Jude, each one of you, who are turning the grace of Yeshua into a license to continue to sin and to satisfy your own lust of the flesh.
May Yahweh watch over you and guide you in your spiritual growth and to know only the truth.
Joseph F Dumond