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Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 7 "The Book of the Law Disputation"


Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 7 "The Book of the Law Disputation"

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The Book of the Law Disputation


Introduction: In our previous teaching we came to understand some unique principles regarding the cutting of a Covenant. We discovered that a Covenant was a commitment to developing a continuing relationship between two parties and from the ancient prospective a Covenant was such an intense agreement that it required a death penalty if broken. One aspect that must also be stressed is that a Covenant could not be changed or added to therefore we could say that from that prospective each Covenant that we find in Scripture could be considered a New Covenant that further expands the revelation of YHWH but never nullifies or alters the previous revelation that was shown through the other Covenants.


Galatians 3:15 Brothers, as a man I say it: a Covenant even though it is mans, yet if it is confirmed no one sets it aside or adds to it.

Through each of these teaching I have tried to emphasise the centrality of Torah from which we came to understand that the early Assemblies differed little from the Yahudim (the Jews) only in that they now believed in Yahshua as the promised Messiah. Based on the concept of Covenants we will attempt to unravel some disputations that have arisen surrounding the principle of the Book of the Covenant & the Book of the Law. This has stirred up much contention mainly among Messianic groups since Christians in general tend not to regard the Torah commands as written in the Tanakh (Old Testament) as significant based on the belief that they now live under unconditional divine grace enabling them to now determine themselves what is appropriate to obey based on the concept of loving one’s neighbour. The Messianic communities however adhere to a belief that now they live under the Malki-Zedek anointing as Kings& Priests so it is to this that we will turn in our discussion.

Understanding the Word Brit

The moment anyone sees the Hebrew Word “Brit” in the Scriptures one naturally thinks of Covenant which occurs 286 times just in the Masoretic Text but its meaning must be determined from its usage since it can mean: 

Covenant, Treaty, Pact, Agreement, Solemn Promise, Obligation, Alliance or Oath. 

Since the components of a true Covenant do not appear until Abraham we could say the previous were more of an Oath that Yahweh made. An example of this would be that of Noach (Noah) in which we read YHWH made a “Brit” but rather it was an agreement with himself for the benefit of Mankind, the Animals & the plants who did not participate in the process. This was then an unconditional Covenant or Oath. 


Bereshith (Genesis) 8:20-22 And Noach built an Altar to YHWH and took of every clean beast and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the Altar. 21. And YHWH smelled a soothing fragrance and YHWH said in his heart “never again shall I curse the ground because of man, although the inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth and never again smite all living creatures as I have done 22 as long as the Earth remains seedtime and harvest and cold and heat and day and night shall not cease.  

Yahshua fulfils the Oath made to the Fathers:

As we saw last time that according to Bereshith (Genesis) 15 YHWH was making a Covenant with Abram in which he promised to take the death penalty on himself if either party broke covenant and so Yahshua fulfils that promise. 

Luke 1:70- 73 As he spoke by the mouth of his set-apart prophets from of old- 71 deliverance from our enemies and from the hand of all those that hate us. 72 to show compassion towards our fathers and to remember his set-apart covenant 73 an Oath which he swore to our father Abraham. 

Yahshua confirms that when YHWH made the Covenant with Abram & Abram saw him as the torch passing between the slaughtered animals he received a revelation and an understanding of something that would happen in the far future. He not only saw how his descendants would fail to maintain the Covenant but he also saw how YHWH would take the consequences of that debt through Yahshua as we read in:


Yochanan (John) 8:56 Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad.

The Book of the Covenant:

We note that in Scripture there are two distinct unique books mentioned. One that is referred to as the Book of the Covenant & one that is referred to as The Book of the Law (Torah) and they are not the same. At Mt Sinai, in Shemoth (Exodus) 19 through to Shemoth (Exodus) 24 we find recorded the steps Yisrael took to enter into a marital or covenantal agreement with YHWH.

Chapter 19 records the Pre-Marital requirements for Yisrael.

Shemoth (Exodus) 19:5b-6a “…if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Kadosh (holy) nation.” 

Chapter 20-23 records the terms of the marriage covenant (The Ketubah). These were the marriage vows that Yisrael agreed to live by. These conditions were the Torah. If they agreed to those conditions they would be his treasured possession (Am Segulah-chosen people).

In Chapter 24 the marriage contract is committed to writing &ratified. The 70 Elders and the Priests went up to meet & fellowship with YHWH at the Covenantal meal upon the closure of the Covenant.

Shemoth (Exodus) 24:10-11 And they saw the Elohim of Yisrael and under his feet was like a paved work of Sapphire stone and like the heavens for brightness. 11 Yet he did not stretch out his hand against the chiefs of the children of Yisrael! And they saw Elohim and they ate and drank.     

In all this account we discover the complete elements of a true Covenant between YHWH who appears in the form of the D’var (the Word) of YHWH and Yisrael including the agreed upon conditional covenant and the Covenantal meal at its closure. Since we know that none can look upon YHWH and live therefore we see this as the manifestation of YHWH as Yahshua the Bridegroom of Yisrael. 


Ratification of the Covenant

This Covenant at Sinai between YHWH and Yisrael was a blood-ratified covenant. The first blood-ratified covenant that we saw in Torah was Abram’s Covenant with YHWH. 

The Proposal: 

Shemoth (Exodus) 24:7a “Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people.” 

The Agreement

Shemoth (Exodus) 24:7b “All the words which YHWH (the Lord) has said we will do.” 

The Blood Ratification

Shemoth (Exodus) 24:5-6 “Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to YHWH. And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar.”` 

The Covenant-Confirming Meal

Shemoth (Exodus) 24:11b “So they saw YHWH, and they ate and drank.” 

So the Book of the Covenant was blood ratified, meaning whichever party broke the covenant must shed his blood just as the animals that were sacrificed shed their blood. And once ratified, the covenant could not be added to, taken away from, nor changed:


The Covenant Broken

Moses had not even returned from the top of Mt Sinai with the stone tablets of the Covenant before Yisrael had moulded the image of the Golden Calf and was worshipping it. Yisrael had committed spiritual adultery; they broke the Covenant, and the penalty for breaking that blood covenant was the shedding of the blood of the guilty party. That’s why YHWH wanted to kill the entire Nation of Yisrael and start over again with Mosheh (Moses) but Moses interceded:

Shemoth (Exodus) 32:31-32 “Then Moses returned to YHWH and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves an Elohim of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” 

Moses even offered to give his life in place of the people and now we see a word coming from YHWH that reveals something special:


Shemoth (Exodus) 32:33-34 And YHWH said to Mosheh “whoever has sinned against me I blot him out of my book.34 And now go lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. See my Messenger goes before you and in the day of my visitation I shall visit their sin upon them.  

So YHWH their Elohim postponed Israel’s punishment being the shedding of their blood, i.e. DEATH for the Sin of the Golden Calf until as he said “the day when I shall visit their sin upon them for punishment.”


This particular phrase has led to a concept in Judaism as Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki known by Yahudim (Jews) as Rashi a highly respect sage puts it when he writes:

“There is no punishment that comes upon Yisrael which does not have in it some retribution for the sin of the Golden Calf”

It is therefore said in Judaism that wherever National sins are committed they are due in part to the Spiritual residue of the Golden Calf.

However from our understanding of the Covenant with Abram we see a different picture. It leads to one that shows that the day that YHWH would visit punishment on his people was fulfilled when Yahshua took that punishment on the tree at Golgotha. YHWH being faithful to his covenant satisfied the death penalty that he promised to Abram by passing between the slaughtered animals. From all this we have an understanding of the Covenant and now we need to see what is the Book of the Law and its purpose and how has it caused so much division and misunderstanding. 

The Book of the Law

With the Covenant broken, YHWH needed a way to allow Yisrael to postpone her death penalty; this is where the Book of the Law comes in. 

The Rav Sha'ul explains:

Galatians 3:19 “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through Messengers by the hand of a mediator.” 

It is this particular verse that has caused some major divisions even among Messianic Assemblies. When Sha’ul (Paul) uses the word “law” here, it is suggested that he is referring to “the Book of the Law” – that portion of Torah from Exodus 24:12 to the end of Deuteronomy since in the previous verse Sha’ul says that it was added because of transgressions implying the “Golden Calf” sin. In fact, whenever he talks about “law versus Favour (grace)” he is referring to “The Book of the Law” … not the entire Torah. This also explains why Sha’ul’s (Paul’s) writings can so easily be confusing.  In the previous verse we read that the Law was added until the seed would come which was Yahshua. 

It is to that question that I wish to turn to gain us some resolution. No doubt upon this reading most Christians would assume this refers to all Torah apart from those self-perceived morally obvious commands that pertain to a life of loving one’s neighbour.   

These other groups seem to suggest that the Book of the Law had an expiry date & is no longer binding. It is therefore no wonder Sha’ul’s (Paul’s) writings have been so contested: 


The Purpose of the Book of the Law

To help us resolve this dilemma we need to address the general purpose of it as well as its main purpose to establish what Sha’ul (Paul) is saying.  

Since Sha’ul uses the phrase “Law” we need to consider what does he means. Unlike the Covenant that cannot be added to we find that the Book of the Law was added to & imposed as a witness against the people. If we consider the central purpose of the Book of the Law we find that it mainly related to the sacrificial system of dealing with sin. There is however a far more significant purpose that it represented and that was, it was the means by which YHWH in his mercy gave Yisrael to delay the promised judgement upon Yisrael for the sin of the Golden Calf. It could be best represented by a credit card that allows a temporary payment until a prescribed time when the debt must be paid. Based on this concept & our knowledge of the Covenant we know that debt was paid by Yahshua on the tree when he said:


MattithYahu (Matthew) 27:46 And about the ninth hour Yahshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eliyahu, Eliyahu, l’mah sh’baq-thani?” that is, my El YHWH, my El YHWH why have You forsaken Me?”

Those who say that through Yahshua the long held debt was paid and the entire Book of the Law was abolished find themselves in deep water because this section of Scripture gives us many commands that further explain former commands or we could say the added Laws act like fence Laws like that of the Pharisees who introduced “Nikadot” commands to prevent one from breaking Torah much like Halakah today though in the case of the Book of the Law we find specific laws pertaining to areas that were not revealed previously like: 


  1. Tassels on Garments (Bemidbar [Numbers] 15:38)
  2. Two or three witnesses to establish truth (Devarim [Deut] 17:6)
  3. Law against divination, mediums or spiritists or calling up the dead (Devarim 18:10-11) 
  4. The Command to teach one’s children Torah (Devarim 6:7)
  5. Punishment for the rapist etc. (Devarim 22:25)

Plus many more commands against Homosexuality, marrying sisters & whoredom.  


It is my conclusion that Sha’ul (Paul) is not dealing with all areas of the law but particularly the Law to do with sacrifices for sin which were dealt with by Yahshua as we read in the following:

Ibrim (Hebrews) 9:12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Kadosh (Holy) Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

So the Book of the Law was added to assist but not take the place of the Book of the Covenant. And all this was necessary because the Covenant was broken by Yisrael’s idolatrous actions with the Golden Calf. 

The phrase “Book of the Law” does not appear actually until the end of Torah – Therefore Deuteronomy Chapters 29-31:


Devarim (Deut) 31:26 “Take this Book of the Torah (Law), and put it beside the ark of the covenant of YHWH your Elohim, that it may be there as a witness against you;” 

Therefore Elohim imposed the Book of the Law upon Israel since we do not see a two-party agreement and it was his mercy and his way to postpone her death penalty resulting from the broken Covenant. Only a blood sacrifice could satisfy that penalty. The Levitical sacrifices that Israel offered (under the Book of the Law) served that purpose. Every year, on Yom Kippur, the blood of sacrificed animals was offered in place of the blood of Israel to satisfy the breaking of the Blood Covenant. But YHWH, in His Mercy, had a plan:

In Yahshua the Penalty was paid for all those who put their trust & faith in him and so we see that in about 70CE the Temple itself was destroyed since that purpose as revealed in through book of the Law was satisfied. 

Only Yahshua’s shed blood could permanently erase that blood penalty! 

Yahshua was not just the Pesach (Passover) Lamb; He was not just the Red Heifer Sacrifice. His shed blood satisfied the 1,500 year old blood debt that Yisrael owed for their Sin of the Golden Calf. 

The Truth of the Good News:

Those who have not believed in Yahshua still have that death penalty hanging over their head & it is this truth that our Yahudi (Jewish) brethren need to hear since they still believe they are under the residue of that sin. The other groups also fail to see that this part of the Torah is yet of great benefit even though the need for the sin offering has been fulfilled in Yahshua which comprised the central part of the Book of the Law. 


As far as the Christian is concerned if Yahshua has Renewed the broken covenant then there are still certain parts of the covenant that are without question obligatory which come directly under the Covenant before the Golden Calf incident which include:

  1. Obedience to the “Ten Commandments.” 
  2. Statutes about relationship with People & Animals.
  3. Statutes on equal justice in Society.
  4. Commandments on celebrating the Moedim (the Appointed times) ie. The Feasts, The Sh’mitah Shabbat (7 year Sabbath for the land) & Yovel (Jubilee). 
  5. Dietary Laws.

Since all of these are under the Covenant and are doable today this gives us an ability to live an obedient life through faith in Yahshua and obedience to his Covenantal instructions remembering that any short fall is covered by his great sacrifice but that in no ways allows for a total unwillingness to be obedient. We now have the joy of doing them rather than the fear of punishment for failing to do them. This is further emphasised by the words of Yahshua when he said:

Yochanan (John) 14:15 If you love me keep my commandments.



The Revealed Truths Discovered:

  1. Christians & some Messianic groups believe that through Yahshua’s sacrifice they have been freed from the Book of the Law because it was imposed until the seed. 
  2. These believe they are now only under the Book of the Covenant and what it reveals.
  3. The sacrificial system was a means to delay the punishment on Yisrael for the sin of the Golden Calf and was fulfilled by the death of Yahshua.
  4. Within the Book of the Covenant there still remains the obligation of keeping the 10 Commandments, The Feasts, the Sabbaths years and the Dietary requirements. 
  5. The Book of the Law now aids in guiding us in areas of righteous living and acts as a fence to protect Torah. 


The aim of this teaching is to establish that though Yahshua came to pay the debt of sin and renew the Covenant he has also come to cause all believers to desire to live righteously and has imparted the Ruach ha Kodesh (The Holy Spirit) as our helper. As we desire to reclaim the Original Faith we can see that the concept of an expired “Book of the Law” seems to run contrary to what we believe the early Assemblies looked like since they were by all accounts as written by the early Church Fathers very Jewish even to the point of using Hebrew. We therefore must desire to live faithful lives in the joy of obeying all that is written for our benefit that one day the Master himself will declare these words to us: 


MatithYahu (Matthew) 25:21 “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

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Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 6 The Covenant Debate


Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 6 The Covenant Debate

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The Covenant Debate


Introduction: In our last teaching we discovered that the purpose of the “Good News” message was to sift Yisrael out of the Nations but also to draw all those whom YHWH was calling unto himself. We also came to understand how the Priesthood was changed and how Torah played an important role within the early Nazarene Assemblies. The message expressed to the early Assemblies was therefore that Salvation was by faith in Yahshua and that the Works of Torah according to Ya’acov were the evidence of that Salvation working in the lives of believers producing Character & good deeds.

There is however an even graver concept that is causing division among believers whether they are Christian or Yahudim (Jews) including Netzarim or Messianic & Hebrew Roots. It is therefore my desire to gain some understanding in the area of Covenant in what is commonly called the New Covenant or the Renewed Covenant & how these different groups may seek to understand it. Since we seek to establish the truth of Torah it is most important that the concept of Covenant & what has been revealed through Yahshua be explored therefore we need to become Bereans who search the scriptures to see if what is said is compliant to the Eternal Word of YHWH. Through these studies it is important that we know how to reason in a way that explains our stance and that is compliant with the Word of Elohim and does not bend to the whims of Doctrine.

What Truly is a Covenant:


 Many today confuse the word Covenant with Testament. A testament as in last will & testament from a Greek perception always gives maximum weight to the most recent therefore a new Testament makes null and void any previous. We could say a Testament is an agreement between parties that do not trust each other since they relate to disposal of property after death. From this understanding I hope we can begin to understand why many take this sort of approach to the Scriptures since they are suspiciously called the Old & New Testament but is this warranted. 

Covenant however from a Hebrew perspective is far different. It is best defined as an ongoing relationship with no appointed end. Rather than being a legal document, a covenant is a commitment to develop a certain kind of continuing relationship. A Covenant being such an endless relationship & agreement relies on trust even after one party dies. 


It was actually Marcion a post-Apostolic church founder who was considered even by the Christian Church as a Heretic that coined the term Old & New Testament suggesting that the New replaced the Old since he thought the Elohim of the Yahudim (Jews) was an evil Elohim (God) of wrath, judgement and terror. The consequence of using these terms has resulted in an anti-Torah deception and a permissiveness of Covenant breaking that is commonplace.  

Sadly the western mind is programmed to think linear therefore from one point to another but the Hebrew Mindset is rather cyclical therefore the word “Chadashah” as in the Brit Chadashah is best understood as a cycle of restoration or return to a previous state and therefore can be rendered as “renewed”. A more accurate Title for the supposed New Testament would be the “Renewed Covenant” or the “Restored Relationship”. 


We saw in our “Day of Atonement” Yom Kippur message that the teaching highlighted man’s desire to return to the state that Adam was in at the time that Yahweh walked with him in the Garden of Eden before man sinned. This was hoped to be achieved through the Sacrifices and this hope was revealed through the images such as trees on the walls of the Beyth Ha Mikdash (Solomon’s Temple) and the images of the Cherubim (Angels) guarding the Most Kadosh place (The Holy of Holies). 


This is in effect the same truth that is revealed in Hitgalut (Revelations) when Elohim will once again fellowship with Mankind when the New Yerushalayim descends to the Earth.  

The Scriptural Covenants:  

Based on the definition of an ongoing relationship we could conclude that all Scripture is one Covenant beginning from Bereshith (Genesis) & concluding with Hitgalut (Revelations). However within this ongoing relationship there are Covenants with each one adding to the previous and not nullifying the previous as the following states:


Galatians 3:17 Now this I say, the Torah that came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul a Covenant previously confirmed by Elohim in Messiah, so as to do away with the promise.

By definition Covenant means an ongoing relationship agreement with each addition adding to the Revelation until the final revelation is achieved. 


As it stands today we have the following Covenants:

  1. The Edenic Covenant.
  2. The Adamic Covenant.
  3. The Noahide Covenant.
  4. The Abrahamic Covenant.
  5. The Sinai Covenant.
  6. The Davidic Covenant.
  7. The Renewed Covenant.

The Prophetic Picture in the Covenants:

The major truth hidden within the Covenants is the picture of Yahshua so we will consider the Covenant YHWH made with Abram to see how it reveals Yahshua and the Favour of Yahweh:


Bereshith (Genesis) 15:9-12 So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”  10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two.  11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12 And it came to be when the Sun was going down and a deep sleep fell upon Abram, that see, a frightening great darkness fell upon him.

What is most important is to understand the process of cutting a Covenant. There would be two participants, the sacrificial animals and the Agreement. What is remarkable in the Covenant with Abram is how it reveals a Covenant of Favour (Grace) & trust in the following verses:


Bereshith (Genesis) 15:17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.  

What we come to understand by this verse is that Abram did not participate by walking between the slaughtered animals which was the customary means of cutting a Covenant, but as it tells us in verse 12 Abram fell into a deep sleep and a burning torch, the picture of YHWH passed between the slaughtered animals. What this is revealing is that YHWH was declaring that if he or Abram broke the Covenant then he would pay the price, which was death like that of the slaughtered animals and so we see the divine picture of a loving relationship between YHWH and Abram and a beautiful image of the Covenant of Favour (Grace) which saw its fulfilment in Yahshua giving his life on the Tree. 

Understanding “the New” verses “the Renewed Covenant”:

To begin to appreciate the way people have understood what translators have termed the New Covenant we need to step back & look at the Theology:


Christian Quote:

“Christ’s work on the Cross is the New Covenant by which man is reconciled to G_d. The New Covenant is the “Law of Christ” which includes the commands of his Apostles. Thus, the New Covenant is a gracious covenant. Those included in the covenant are reconciled to G_d by grace alone, apart from anything they do. Jesus purchased a people by his death on the cross so that all those for whom he died receive full forgiveness of sins and become incurable God-lovers by the Holy Spirit. They have thus become his new creation. 

This sounds so wonderful but we now need to look to the parts of Scripture that are often quoted:

  1. The Problem of the New Covenant


Luke 22:20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

The problem with this quote is that the components of cutting a Covenant are not present. Yahshua is declaring himself to be the sacrificial slaughtering but the conditions of the Covenant are not established and no participants are confirming their acceptance to it. The result is that Theologians simply conclude that whatever was taught during Yahshua’s ministry and the Apostles are the conditions but conveniently ignore all those parts that clearly teach faithfulness to the Torah. What is interesting is that the Brit Chadashah (the New Testament) contains 1,050 commands based on the Tanakh (Old Testament). 


Secondly there is a problem with the Word New as it is “Chadash” Strong’s Number H2318 in Hebrew that can mean New or Renewed with the Geek word in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) being “Kainos” Strong’s Number G2537 also denoting “New” or “Renewed” or to make fresh again: 

I will also site a few verses as examples to demonstrate its usage:


• Tehillah (Psalm) 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim; and renew (chadash) a right spirit within me."

• Tehillah (Psalm) 103: 4 “Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed (chadash) like the eagle's." 

•MattithYahu (Matthew) 26:29“I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew (Chadashah) with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

• Yochanan (John) 13:34 A (Chadashah) new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

• Yochanan Aleph (1 John) 2:7 Brethren, I write no (Chadashah) new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning.

Yochanan (John) here seems to be Schizophrenic as both verses are about loving the brethren but one appears to contradict the other until we realize he is saying that Yahshua was refreshing or making like new an old Commandment. 

Accordingly, the Word used is the same in all cases and according to the Blue letter Bible the Greek rendering of it can mean new, fresh, unused, and new especially in freshness. 

Therefore the understanding of a Renewal of the Covenant makes perfect sense.

  1. The Conditions of the Covenant

Ibrim (Hebrews) 8:10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares YHWH (the Lord). I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.  

We know that this quote is from YermeYahu (Jeremiah) but when it says that YHWH will put his Laws in their minds & on their hearts what Laws is he talking about. Surely they are not those derived by willy-nilly picking through the Nazarene Writings and allowing each person to selectively decide by themselves what basic moral commands to adhere to since all now are supposedly led by the Ruach (Spirit) of YHWH though failing in many areas to obey his word which is supposed to be Eternal as we read in:

Tehillah (Psalm) 111:7-8 All His precepts are sure. 8 They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. 9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Set-apart and awesome is His name.

At the time of this writing the Nazarene writings were not fully established or canonised so the reading in Hebrews clearly points to the Torah of Mosheh since the writer possibly Sha’ul (Paul) is quoting YermeYahu (Jeremiah) when the only Torah or Law was that as written by Mosheh as dictated to him by YHWH. When Yahudim come into Messiah then they wonderfully sense that in Messiah the Covenant is truly written on their heart in all its fullness.


CorintYah Beyth (2 Corinthians) 3:6 Our competence is from Elohim who has made us competent as servants of a renewed Covenant not of the letter but of the Ruach (the Spirit), for the letter kills but the Ruach (Spirit) gives life. 

From this reading we need to understand that Sha’ul (Paul) is referring to the means by which the Torah was transmitted. With Mosheh it was engraved on stone Tablets which worked death in that it declared people guilty as it did not have in itself the life-giving power of the Ruach (Spirit) that the Renewed Covenant promised. Sha’ul (Paul) therefore is comparing how the Covenant is now written on hearts purified through the blood of Yahshua & empowered by the Ruach Ha Kodesh to create people who are righteous. What Sha’ul (Paul) said would have shocked Yahudim (Jews) as they regarded Torah as an instrument of life: 

Shemoth Rabbah 41:1 Elohim sat on high engraving for them tablets which would give life.  

The statement of Sha’ul (Paul) is in no way disrespecting Torah but rather revealing the nature of man whose heart required a dramatic renewal which is what the Renewed Covenant is all about.  


  1. The Better Covenant

Ibrim (Hebrews) 8:6-8 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, 

The question now arises as to how the Covenant is better:

  1. A better Ministry: We have now a High Priest who is seated at the right hand of the throne of Majesty, a minister of the Sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which YHWH erected and not man & whose ministry is eternal.
  2. A better Sacrifice: Ibrim (Hebrews) 9:12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 
  3. His Death Perfects the Sanctified: For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 

This verse in no way suggests what some might suggest that once saved always saved but rather reveals that his sacrifice is sufficient for all time for those whom he is calling and are walking on the path of sanctification and obedience to the will of YHWH. 


Since we read in the above verses that the covenant was found to have fault because of them the Yisraelites therefore the perfect sacrifice was needed to purify hearts that now the Torah of YHWH could be written on the hearts of the Sanctified. 


From the understanding of Covenant we should now be aware that the Change in the Covenant was to purify those receiving the Torah towrite it on hearts that were purified therefore removing the enmity to Torah through the work of the perfect Kohen Ha Gadol (High Priest) Yahshua who offered the perfect Sacrifice being his own blood with the only part of the Covenant unchanged being the eternal Torah of YHWH which is now written on hearts and not on Stoney hearts as promised by YHWH through Ezekiel.


The Summary of the Matter

Just as the Menorah has seven branches with the “Shamash” the central branch being the source of light so the roots to the tree being Yisrael has seven Covenants being its root system with the central root being the Renewed Covenant of Yahshua the one that gives life or purpose to the other roots that the tree may remain strong and be itself full of life and bear much fruit.

When considering the Covenants it is good to see what Sha’ul (Paul) says when he is talking to the gentiles:

Romans 11: 18 Do not boast against the branches. And if you boast remember you do not support the root but the root supports you.

It is the Yahudi (Jewish) scriptures & the promises of Messiah that support you. All the Torah & the Covenants point to Yahshua and are the roots of our faith so you do not want to cut them off. Sha’ul uses the Metaphor of the Olive tree that we are all now grafted into. Sha’ul equates this family tree of Yahudim (Jew) & Gentile with Yisrael and the roots as the Covenants that reveal Yahshua since he is the Torah in the flesh.

The holistic vision of YHWH never changes so if we neglect all the wonderful heritage of the Covenants we lose the context. Yahshua as the Messiah fulfils all the promises originally given to Yisrael into which we are all now grafted & receiving the benefits.  


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Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 5


Reclaiming the Original Faith - Part 5

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Reclaiming the Original Faith Part 5 

The Torah Controversy

Introduction: In our last teaching we discovered some facts that today have been grossly misunderstood leading many into teachings that have so obscured the faith that it has led to great Controversy. We discovered that through faith in Yahshua there was not a turning away from Torah but rather an increase of zealousness towards Torah. What was most challenging was the fact that it was Ya’acov (James) the half-brother of Yahshua that was elected by the top three leaders as the “Nasi” or Overseer of the Netzarim movement also called the Way and not as commonly thought being Kepha (Peter). 

The character of Ya’acov (James) & his reputation now became of extreme importance as the writings of Jerome confirm. He was known as a Tzadik or righteous one that was so highly respected that even the Yahudi (Jewish) religious leaders had great respect for his strict Torah observance and his extreme prayer vigilance giving him the reputation of having Camel’s knees. This therefore gave us an insight into the early movement of believers revealing that like Ya’acov (James) they were not unlike the Yahudim (Jews) in their observance except that they believed in Yahshua as the promised Moshiach (Messiah) something that caused the extreme persecution.

So influential was Ya’acov that Josephus reveals that the destruction of the Beyth Ha Mikdash (The Temple) was the direct result of his death since the followers of Yahshua had become a great multitude by then.  

We also came to the conclusion that the “Sepher of Ya’acov” (Book of James) was in all probability the first to be written of the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) therefore it displays a very raw or fundamental character about it unlike the later letters of Shaul (Paul) which are very heavily doctrinally centred. 

Finally we found that Ya’acov had the purpose of strengthening the dispersed believers and so had the overwhelming purpose of developing inner character reflected in conduct, behaviour and deeds of Torah and therefore was a very practical work to enhance Righteous living and Covenant relationship with the Elohim of Yisrael. 

The Grander Purpose of the Good News:

To fully appreciate the purpose of the Besorah (the Good News) we need to look at whom the letters were commonly addressed to. We firstly note that it is quite clear at the beginning of the Letter of Ya’acov (James):


Ya’acov (James) 1:1 Ya‛acov (James), a servant of Elohim and of the Master Yahshua Messiah, to the twelve tribes who are in the dispersion:


We should all be aware that during the Assyrian conquest the northern ten tribes were scattered to the four winds and after the Babylonian captivity only a remnant of the southern Kingdom known as Yahudah (Judah) returned to rebuild Yerushalayim. The result was that many Yisraelites still dwelt in what was called the Diaspora or dispersion. After the stoning of Tzephanyah (Stephen) we also discovered that the good news of Moshiach (Messiah) spread and captured the hearts of some of the dispersed of Yisrael so it was to these that the message was sent though some Goyim (Gentiles) may have joined the Kehillot (Assemblies) that this letter was directed to. 


Even Yahshua makes it quite clear what his calling was when a woman of Canaan seeks him for deliverance of her daughter:

Yochanan (John) 15: 24 But he answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael.” 

The purpose of Yahshua therefore was to bring the lost tribes of Yisrael back to the Covenant of Yahweh through obedience to his Torah. It was by his sacrificial blood that he was able to atone for Yisrael’s sin but also at Mount Sinai Yisrael was betrothed to YHWH but after the northern tribes known by the name of Yisrael chased after other Elohim they were given a certificate of Divorce according to:


YermeYahu (Jeremiah) 3:8 Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Yisrael had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce;

Since Sinai is the Betrothal, the land the Dowry, Yisrael was dispersed and since YHWH must obey Torah (Devarim 24) the death of Yahshua enabled him to now remarry the lost of Yisrael and all who would choose to be grafted into Yisrael and enter into the renewed Covenant. 


RomiYah (Romans) 7:1-4 Or do you not know, brothers – for I speak to those knowing the Torah – that the Torah rules over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the married woman has been bound by Torah to the living husband, but if the husband dies, she is released from the Torah concerning her husband. 3 So then, while her husband lives, she shall be called an adulteress if she becomes another man’s. But if her husband dies, she is free from that part of the Torah, so that she is not an adulteress, having become another man’s. 4 So my brothers, you also were put to death to the Torah through the body of Messiah, for you to become another’s, the One who was raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto Elohim.  

Many will suggest to you that these verses show that we are now free of the Torah that held us but the answer is revealed in the next verse:

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5 For when we were in the flesh the passion of transgressions which came through Torah did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

Surely what we are reading is that before Moshiach (Messiah) our passion was to transgress the Torah but now being joined to Messiah the heart to transgress was replaced with a new heart, the heart of obedience. 


Ezekiel 11:19-20 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their Elohim.

Through all of these scriptures we find the centrality of Torah in establishing the faith by which we understand the righteous standard of Elohim.

Be Doers of Torah:

The letter of Ya’acov (James) is challenging the dispersed of Yisrael who have come into the faith of Moshiach (Messiah) to not just hear the Word but to be Doers of the Word. 


Remembering that all Yisrael recite “the Shema” which calls them to hear YHWH we find him challenging them to be doers and not only hearers. What Word of YHWH is he referring to? Surely he is challenging obedience to the Torah since at that time no scripture existed but the Tanakh (the Old Testament):

Ya’acov (James) 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the Torah, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: 24 For he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what type of man he was. 

The Mirror he is inferring is without a doubt the Torah for it is the means by which we know our sins. The doer of Torah therefore is one who diligently study’s his face in the mirror seeking imperfections that he may correct: 

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RomiYah (Romans) 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the Torah transgression? Elohim forbid. No, I had not known transgression but by the Torah: for I had not known lust [as transgression] except the Torah had said, you shall not covet. 

Since Pesach (Passover) represented the Atoning blood of Yahshua that delivered us out of the slavery of sin & Sinai represented the giving of the Torah we have now the challenge to obey YHWH’s Torah but not without his aid through the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) which has been given to us in order that his Torah might be implanted in our hearts. 


The Great Controversy

As we mentioned in our last teaching, the “Sepher of Ya’acov” (the book of James) has been often questioned and at best neglected and many Doctrines derived from misunderstanding the letters of Sha’ul (Paul) so it is appropriate to try to come to terms with these to understand whether there is in fact any differing of teaching.


Ya’acov (James) 2:14- 17 What does it profit, my Yisraelite brothers, if a man says he has emunah (faith), and has not mitzvoth (works of Torah)? Can emunah (faith) save him? 15 If a brother, or sister is naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you says to them, “depart in shalom (peace), may you be warm and filled”; but you give them not those things that are needful to the body; what use is it? 17 Even so faith, if it has not mitzvoth (works), is dead, being alone.  

Are Ya’acov (James) and Shaul (Paul) in conflict here? Luther and the Institutionalized Church would have you believe so. But it’s not an issue of contradiction but rather of contrasts in four particular areas:


  1. The Situation: Shaul was speaking on the way one is justified and by so doing he was countering legalism while Ya’acov (James) was speaking of the life of the Justified and is thereby countering Lawlessness. 
  2. The Meaning of Justification: In Shaul’s writings he means acquittal as the means by which one is justified & uses a Roman legal term while Ya’acov (James) is speaking of vindication therefore the result of laying claim to faith by a demonstration of works of Torah:
  3. The Intention: Shaul was contrasting two opposing ways of Salvation; Salvation by Works of Torah or by Favour (Grace) through faith. The intent of Ya’acov (James) however was to contrast two kinds of faith, a living faith and one that was dead. 
  4. The Place of Works: Sha’ul (Paul) argues against works as a means of Justification while Ya’acov (James) argues in favour of works in the lives of those who are already “Justified” as a proof of their faith. We could say that Ya’acov (James) is saying that a faith that saves is a faith that Works.  

We could conclude that Faith & Works are both involved in Salvation but it’s about the order: 

First- Faith being the means of Salvation.

Second- Works being the evidence of Salvation.  


Both Shaul (Paul) & Ya’acov (James) are in complete agreement that Avraham was counted Righteous by faith but Ya’acov would add that Avraham demonstrated his faith through the offering up of Yitschaq (Isaac) after which YHWH said:

Bereshith (Genesis) 22:10- 12 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son, 11 but the Messenger (the D’var) of YHWH called to him from the heavens and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy, nor touch him. For now I know that you fear Elohim, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 

It is now appropriate to consider what one of the later Assembly leaders said with regards the Works of Torah with respect to the Faith:


Polycarp the personal companion of Yochanan (John) wrote in a letter to the Philippians:

“He who raised him up from the dead will also raise us up- if we do his will & walk in his Commandments (Mitzvot) and love what he loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness.” 

Since in our time the thought of obedience to Torah seems Heretical it is of great interest to consider what group actually taught the Doctrine of Salvation by faith alone. The Heretical group that taught this doctrine was none other than the Gnostics that I have mentioned in my Divine plan series who were very destructive to the early faith since today some of their Doctrines still prevail while all of the Fathers taught a Faith that produces works was true faith. In that we see that the Sepher of Ya’acov (Book of James) in actuality gives us a much better indication of how the believers were taught to live. 


Controversial Scriptures:  

To understand how Torah relates to the Renewed or New Covenant depending on who we are talking about we need to look at some major Scriptures that have caused many misunderstandings:


The following is often quoted to say the Torah has changed but we need to see if this is true by reading in context:

Ibrim (Hebrews) 7:11 If therefore completion were by the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the Torah) what further need was there that another Kohen (Priest) should arise in the manner of Malki-Zedek (Melchizedek) and not be called in the manner of Aaron. 12 For the Priesthood being changed there is made of necessity an adjustment also of the Torah.  

This verse will be often quoted to substantiate that the Torah has changed but if we look to the context we find that it is referring to a transfer of administration meaning that the High Priesthood is changed to Yahshua. It is therefore his position as eternal Cohen Ha Gadol (High Priest) that has secured for us a better Covenant through who he is:


Ibrim (Hebrews) 7:26 For such a Kohen Ha Gadol (High Priest) was fitting for us, who is Kadosh (Holy), innocent, undefiled, separate from transgressors and made higher than the Shamayim (the Heavens) who need not daily as those High Priests to offer up sacrifices first for his own transgressions and then for the people’s for this he did once when he offered up himself.   

Ibrim (Hebrews) 8:1-2 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: we have such a Kohen Ha Gadol (High Priest) who is seated at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in the Shamayim (Heavens) 2 a minister of the Sanctuary & of the true Tabernacle which YHWH erected & not Man.   

From this context we discover that the entire portion is about the Superiority of Yahshua’s Eternal Priesthood that guarantees a better Covenant with better promises since he ministers in the Heavenly Sanctuary and not the Shadow and his ministry is forever. 


The Unnecessary Trainer:

Galatians 3: 24-25 Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by faith. 25 And after faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer.

Rather than implying what many have suggested that Torah is unnecessary once one comes to Messiah, Sha’ul (Paul) is suggesting that when faith comes there is a spiritual maturity since just like a child that has the discipline of the rod as he is taught the laws of the house there comes a day when he is perceived as mature and is free to exercise those laws that have been given him. We could say the letter of the Torah was the rod of discipline but as faith comes this is replaced by the Spirit of the Torah or the maturity that faith brings that causes one to love Torah. This verse in no way suggests the Torah is unnecessary but rather that the individual has had a heart renewal in Torah obedience through the work of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit). 


The Yerushalayim Council Resolution: 

One of the major contentions that Christians will use to validate an anti Torah observance is found in the gathering at Yerushalayim of Ya’acov (James) and the Elders of the Kehillot (the Assemblies) of the believers regarding the conversion of Goyim (Gentiles) into the faith. With much dispute the Assembly concluded that the Goyim (Gentiles) as well as the Yahudim (Jews) were all saved by the loving Kindness (Grace) of the Master Yahshua Ha Moshiach (the Messiah). Christians will argue that Salvation is by faith & not Ancestry or obedience to the Law of Mosheh. To this point there is no question but before we get too carried away we need to look further. We firstly read the basic conditions whereby Goyim (Gentiles) could enter the Assembly of believers:


Acts 15:19-20 Therefore my (Ya’acov’s) decision is this, that we trouble them not, those returning to Elohim from among the Goyim (Gentiles):

20 But that we write to them that they should abstain from pollutions of idols and from whoring and from things strangled and from blood.

Many translations will have the word “turning” but in many contexts this word is “returning” and in Greek it is the Strong Number G1994 “ep-ee-strefo” which means to come again or return: The Hebrew being “Shuv” as in T’shuvah. 

The content therefore in this juncture of time is generally referring to the dispersed tribes of Yisrael who had become Goyim or Gentiles which again is a reference to their heathen practice in Paganism from which many had since turned to Elohim. 

All these prohibitions were stated in Torah so these were the minimum requirements to fellowship with Hebrew believers, to eat and sit with them & learn in the Synagogues then they would be referred to “Ger Toshav” or returning Aliens. 

The answer to whether Torah was to be observed is best revealed in the verse that directly follows as it shows that even these believers came to the Synagogue on Shabbat and heard the words of Mosheh in order that they progress in Torah observance and become what was called a “Ger- Tzadik” a Righteous Stranger. 

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Acts 15:21 For the Torah of Mosheh has been proclaimed in every city and read weekly in the Kehillot (Assemblies) each Shabbat (Sabbath).  

This clearly reveals that the believers were keepers of Shabbat & that the Torah of Mosheh needed to be studied and we see that nothing had changed apart from an acceptance of Yahshua as the Messiah.


“Under the Torah (Law)” 

This is possibly the most common attack to Torah observance so we need to take time to correct this. This statement comes from the following scripture:

Romans 6:14-15 For sin shall not rule over you for you are not under Torah (Law) but under favour (Grace). 

In anticipation that some will construe Sha’ul’s (Paul’s) words to mean that you can break the law because you are under grace, he says, “Shall we sin (break the law) because we are not under law but under grace? “Certainly not!” 

Being under the Torah however has a different meaning than many think because it refers to being condemned by the Torah.

Since in Moshiach (Messiah) scripture teaches that we are free of the curse or condemnation of Torah according to the following:

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Romans 8:1 There is now no condemnation to them that are in Messiah Yahshua, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  

However a believer in Yahshua has been empowered by the favour of YHWH working in his life giving him the desire to obey the Torah of Elohim out of exceedingly great thankfulness so the favour of YHWH is in no way a licence to transgress Torah. 

An Example:

Suppose a murderer has been sentenced to death in the electric chair. Waiting for the execution, the man would be “under the law” in every sense of the word—under the guilt, under the condemnation, and under the sentence of death. The governor reviews the condemned man’s case and, just before the execution date, gives him a full pardon. Now the man is no longer under the law but under Loving Kindness (grace).  Can we say that he is free to break the law? Indeed not! Yet he has another reason to keep the law this time—as a loving response to the pardon. In gratitude, he will be careful to remember and honour the law of the state that granted him grace.

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Romans 3:31 Do we then Nullify the Torah through the faith? Let it not be! On the contrary we establish the Torah. 

The Summary:


  1. The Grand purpose of the “Good News” was to sift Yisrael out of the Nations which also included those who through faith in Yahshua would be grafted into Yisrael.
  2. Ya’acov (James) declares we are to be doers of the Torah & not just hearers.
  3. The apparent Controversy between Ya’acov (James) & Sha’ul (Paul) is resolved when we realize it’s about the order:

First- Faith being the means of Salvation.

Second- Works being the evidence of Salvation. 

  1. The Controversial verses teach us the following:
  • That the Administration of the Priesthood was transferred to Yahshua but the Torah remained unchanged but adjusted.
  • Faith brought Maturity in Torah obedience by the Ruach (Spirit) of Yahshua. 
  • The Acts 15 dispute was about the minimum entry into the fellowship and not a rejection of Torah for converts who had believed in Yahshua as the Messiah.
  • Under the law- relates to being condemned by the Torah since Yahshua bore the condemnation:



The aim of this message is to show us that YHWH used the Torah to bring us to the feet of our Messiah who through his sacrifice atoned for our sin. As a result of his cleansing from sin all who receive him have been given a new heart from YHWH empowering them to now walk as Yahshua walked in Torah obedience. 

This journey should now become a delight & not a burden & sprout out of an exceedingly great thankfulness to YHWH & that of Yahshua his beloved son.

The “Good News” therefore is about a renewed relationship with YHWH through his son Yahshua our Master & Saviour and a return to his Righteous principles as revealed in his Torah. Torah ultimately is our window into the very heart of YHWH our great Elohim & Creator who has always desired to dwell with us in fellowship. Though Yahshua is the Torah that became flesh more importantly he is the express image of the invisible Elohim so he declared “if you have seen me you have seen the Father.” 

“This revelation alone should be enough to transform our lives that we begin to live in total accord to his will.”


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