Little children, let no man deceive you, he that doeth righteousness, is righteous, as he is righteous. -1 John 3:7
Q: Yeshua, in the beginning you co-authored “The Law” with our Father in Heaven, Yahuah. Is that right?
Y: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Q: So, when you came to Earth, did you abolish the law?
Y: 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.
Q: So, by ‘fulfilling’ the Law, you mean, you abolished it, right? So we don’t have to do the commands in Torah?
Y: … Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law…
Q: Seriously though, everyone says the Law isn’t for Christians except for you! What gives?
Y: For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Q: OK, ok, but I’m stubborn. I don’t have time to follow silly commands like “take a day off once a week” or “wear tassels to remember your commands”. I want to live life MY way, not yours. What do you say to that?
Y: Anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Should We Keep the Commandments and Follow The Law?
The example above is obviously a cutesy way of saying it, but those are the exact words of Yeshua copied from the NIV version of Matthew 5:17-19. So yes, we should be keeping Torah.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Do you really want to bet your eternity on your understanding of the word πληρόω (fulfill)?
We’re saved by faith, but as Yeshua told us in Matthew 5:19, those who do the commands and teach others to do so will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. So be great! Do the commands (until Heaven and Earth pass away of course). I’m not sure why there is even a debate here. Yeshua lived a perfect life and fulfilled Torah to its fullest extent. If you choose a different definition of “fulfill,” then I would suggest that you are ignoring the context of the verse entirely. He literally tells us that the Law isn’t going away until Heaven and Earth pass away in the very next verse. So in my opinion, go ahead and cross off “complete” as an option to define the word “fulfill.” One of the things people seem to forget is that the context surrounding a verse is what gives the meaning. So what does “fulfillment” mean in this case? (feel free to look it up https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g4137) He obeyed the law perfectly all the days of his life. Not an ounce of sin. So if you transgress the Law you are sinning. But Paul teaches us in Romans 6:1-2:
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
And then in Romans 3:31
Do we, then, nullify the Law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
So to recap,
- Yeshua says we should keep the commands
- Yeshua says the Law isn’t going away until Heaven and Earth pass away
- Paul taught that those following “the way” establish the law
- Paul taught that we shouldn’t sin, and we know that sin is transgression of the law (1 John 3:4)
Where did we learn that we shouldn’t follow the law?
3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
How did Jesus live? He was from the tribe of Yahuda (Judah). He followed Torah perfectly without screwing up even once. So is John saying “We should abandon Torah, but still live as Yeshua lived”? No! He absolutely is not saying that. He is literally saying:
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
And Yeshua lived in full observance of Torah. I just don’t see how there is any other way to interpret this. Also one needs to remember that Jews are not Israel. Yahuah gave all of his followers the Law not just the tribe of Yahuda. Yeshua taught from the old testament and to keep Torah (Mat 5:17), Paul taught to keep Torah, but also taught us the WEIGHT of one command vs another in the context of people you are trying to bring the Messiah. Paul’s teachings are amazing, but he is the ONLY apostle that comes with a warning label from Peter (2 Peter 3:15-16).
15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Do people distort Paul’s words and follow Torah, or do they twist Paul’s words and abandon Torah? It’s one or the other. But back to Mat 5:17, there are 2 classes of people. Those who keep the commands and those who don’t. I choose to follow the words of Messiah AND the words of Paul because they are in perfect harmony. “There is no Jew or Greek…”
What Does The Council at Jerusalem Have To Say About The Law For New Believers?
James is pretty clear on this in Acts 15:19-21
“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
In other words, you should IMMEDIATELY stop eating food polluted by idols, meat of strangled animals, blood, and cease sexual immorality. These were all pagan traditions at the time, and rather than become circumcised immediately upon conversion, these 4 commands were what James deemed most important for a day 1 convert. But the part people seem to ignore is where he say:
“For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.“
What does he mean by this? Clearly he is saying “The Law of Moses is preached every week and they will hear the Law and do it eventually. So stop worrying about circumcision right now, just worry about the pagan stuff.”
The video above describes a group of people who were keeping the commands and accepted Yeshua as their savior.
26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
Here is the endurance of the set-apart ones, here are those guarding the commands of Elohim and the belief of יהושע. -Revelation 14:12