Tuesday, June 6, 2017

By Whose Authority?

Matthew 12:48-50 (KJV)
48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

In this brief passage we learn that belonging to the spiritual family of Yeshua means that we do the will of the Father. But how do we know what the will of the Father is? Where can we find what the Father requires? At the time that Yeshua made this comment, there was no New Testament. Therefore, Yeshua's audience could only look to the Old Testament for those answers. They would have searched out the laws and requirements in the Torah.

If we ask ourselves today these same questions do we come up with different answers because we have the New Testament? Many would say, "Yes." Many would say that Yeshua fulfilled the requirements of the Old Testament Torah, so we don't have to. However, doesn't this answer cause a disconnect with Yeshua's audience? Why would Yeshua imply one thing to His audience and something different to His followers throughout the later centuries?

Also, if the requirements of following the Father's will have changed, by whose authority were these changes made? Let's look at some possibilities.

1. Yeshua changed the requirements. In the first place, in order for Yeshua to be qualified to be our Savior, He had to follow the Torah completely and perfectly. If He hadn't, He would have been a sinner and could not have been a qualified substitute for us.  We would not have had a Savior and we would still be held responsible for our own sins. There would be no eternal life! Secondly, if Yeshua had followed the Torah completely, but taught anyone else that the Torah didn't need to be followed, He would then be called, "The least in the kingdom of Heaven," according to Matthew 5:19.

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 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: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Italics mine).

 Yeshua will one day reign as King over the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, it is not possible that He would be "least" in the Kingdom and He did not have any authority to change the requirements of God's will as taught in the Torah.

2. Paul or Peter changed the requirements. Most believers would say that the requirements were changed in the New Testament and that there are many verses that indicate this. One such section noted might be Peter's vision of the sheet and the non-Kosher animals that he was instructed to eat. A careful reading of the text shows us that three times Peter indicated what the vision meant. Each time the meaning had to do with the acceptability of Gentiles coming to faith and never once were the food laws in the Torah mentioned.

Paul also makes statements that have been misinterpreted to say that the Torah has been set aside. It could also be said that Paul received this "new" understanding while he was in the desert for three years being instructed by God. However, there are some serious problems with relying on either Peter or Paul as having the authority to change Torah requirements.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 (KJV)
1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee (Italics mine).

Both Paul and Peter had "visions." If these visions instructed the people to turn away from the way in which God had commanded them to walk in, they were worthy of death. Therefore, if we believe that Paul and Peter wrote parts of the inspired Word of God, it is impossible that they had any authority to change the requirements of God's will either.

So who are we left with? There really is no one. No one has the authority to change what God has required. No one can change what God's written Word has stated.

So, if belonging to the family of Yeshua is determined by the observance of Torah, are you a member of His family?


  1. Hi Mom! I don't believe there is any conflict between the Old and New Testament. I think the main issue is the understanding of the Law. What was the purpose? Restricting mankind because God wants man to be miserable? No! It's because of the Holiness and perfection of God. In order to have a relationship between God and man, a Law had to be given. Because the Law was broken, blood sacrifices had to be made. In order to encourage purity, holiness, and faithfulness to God; there are many other laws and observances as well. The Law of the Old Testament is the Law of the New Testament, that's just not the end of the story. The Old Testament Law is equated to bondage, and knowledge of the Law as leading to death. Why? Because we (collectively) could never perfectly observe it. That's why God sent Jesus to earth. Only Jesus was able to perfectly fulfill the Law. At the point of salvation, we are imputed with Christ's righteousness. The very righteousness that He earned in His perfect, substitutionary life for us. Does this mean that we no longer have to follow the Law? No. It means that we are no longer bound to live it perfectly. It's not about our faithfulness, but about the faithfulness of Christ. It's not about our holiness, righteousness, good works, etc, etc; it is all about Christ. Christ fulfilled the Law, and by His death He paid the penalty for all of humanity to not have to perfectly fulfill the Law in themselves. However, this does not mean that God's Law has gone away. Instead, we are no longer under condemnation from the Law. God sees us through the perfect righteousness of Christ. So what about the Law? We are to follow it. The Old Testament Law? Well, not exactly. We don't have to make blood sacrifices, believer's are instead under the Law of Liberty. Not a liberty to sin, but a liberty to obey the Law of Christ for relationship. We don't do it under the heavy yoke of condemnation or the pressure of the blessing or cursing system of the Old Testament, but because we love God. If we are to live a victorious Christian life, we have to submit to Christ and obey His commandments. To strive toward a Spirit filled life, not one that is characterized by the flesh. Galatians 5:18-25 is fantastic for explaining what this should look like. So, God's Law never goes away. Instead, the burden of completing the Old Testament Law in ourselves has gone away. That is, if and only if we repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, believe in the sacrificial work He has done for us on the cross, and turn over our lives to Him. Otherwise, we would be responsible to follow the Law perfectly in ourselves. Romans 8. That's why I am so grateful to God. He took on Himself the burden that rightfully belonged to me. Instead of making me pay for it, He gave it to me freely, graciously, and lovingly. I can never repay it, but if I love Him; I will keep His Commandments.

    1. DaJoEng! Nice to hear from you!

      I agree with so much of what you say! Your love of God and your understanding of truth makes me happy that you are my son.

      Obviously, we have some differences in our understanding of what Yeshua's work on the cross entailed. This doesn't need to separate us, it just makes us different in some of our beliefs. I'll give my response and then leave it at that.

      One of the reasons Yeshua came to earth was to be an example of how to live out the Torah. He demonstrated this, for example, in Matthew's sermon on the mount. He actually raised the bar, if you will, in showing various laws obeyed in perfect ways. He goes on to say that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees we will not see the kingdom of heaven. He went on to say that we are to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect. However, just as in the Old Testament days, we cannot keep the Law perfectly. None of us can earn our way into eternal life. The only way is by trusting in the work that Yeshua did on the cross. When we repent and turn back to God, Yeshua's righteousness is imputed to us and so that when God sees us, He no longer sees our sinfulness, but instead the righteousness of Yeshua.

      The requirements of the Law are still the same, perfection! Just as in the Old Testament we are to aim for obedience. Since the giving of the Holy Spirit we have added help, since He lives within us and helps us obey in ways that those in the Old Testament didn't have.

      Now let me address a couple of your statements. The Law is not bondage nor does the Law (Torah) lead to death.

      1 John 5:3 (KJV)
      3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (At this time of history there was no New Testament yet. The commandments that are referred to are those of the Torah.)

      Committing sin (which is defined in the Torah) is what leads to death.

      You are right about there being no further condemnation of the Law for the believer. It is because our sins have been forgiven. It's as if we had not sinned. However, if you are not a believer, even though Yeshua has died on the cross, the condemnation of the Law is still very much a problem.

      The blood sacrifices of the Old Testament can no longer be done because they could only be done at the Temple. Since there is no Temple, there cannot be any blood sacrifices. However, once the Third Temple is built there will be sacrifices again. Ezek. 45-46.

      There is a serious misunderstanding that the Law of Christ and the Law of "Moses" (not really Moses' law, but God's) are two different things. As my article shows, no one had the authority to change the Law away from that in the Torah. Therefore, they are the same.

      So, our differences are only nuances of meaning primarily. We divide at my belief that we are still responsible to try to keep Torah. The Law has not changed.

      P.S. Have a good trip!! We're praying!!