Yeshua kept the Torah as it is written “He was tested as we are yet without sin” (Heb 2:18) and John 8:34 Yeshua answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. According to Yochanan (John) Sin is transgression of the Torah (1John 3:4). We are called to be imitator of the messiah(1Cor 11:1)
What are the Torah purposes? First the Torah was never a way of salvation as we read in Hbakkuk 2:4 “The just shall live by faith” and Rav Saul says in Rom 3:20 “By the works of the Torah (or any system) no flesh will be justified in his sight” It is to be a lifestyle for the redeemed.
Torah reveals our sins (Rom 3:20) “for through the Torah comes the knowledge of sin.
Torah helps to bring God’s wrath and judgment (Rom 4:15). No one can be justified by keeping the Torah. The Torah bring judgment on the sinner.
The Torah is a protector guard us in the messiah (Gal 3:23) and lead us to the messiah, since all what Moses taught is about Yeshua (John 5:46,Luke 24:27). Bring all to the Fa- ther(Deut 4:7-8)
Torah keeping results in life and blessings (Deut 30:16)
Torah reflects God’s holiness, goodness and righteousness (Rom 7:12)
Torah instructs us in God’s ways (2Tim 3:15-17)
Yeshua prophetized that in the later day antinomianism (anti law ie Torah) will be the cause of lost of love (Matthew 24:12). Yeshua told us that the Torah is eternal and that not the small- est part of it will pass away, and that no one who himself, or teach other to break the less of the commandments shall be least in God’s kingdom, and that our righteousness shall ex- ceed those of the pharisees (Matthew 5:18-21).
Yeshua was the giver of the Torah , and the living Torah, and its essence (John 1:1,45, 5:37, 46,Luke 24:27,44, Rom 10:4-5). Yeshua told us that the Torah is the way to eternal life (Mat- thew 19:16-22)
In Deut 13:1-5 we are told that anyone going against the Torah is not of God and should be put to death. Therefore Yeshua and the apostle could not break the Torah or their message would have been rejected. (John 8:46)
The disciples waited until the Sabbath was over before going to the tomb (Mark 16:1). The sign of a good believer was his zeal- ousness in keeping the law(Acts 21:20).
However most Christians believe that the Law is done away and fulfilled by Yeshua (Matthew 5:17) as the Hebrew Christi- an Arnold Fructenbaum teaches in Israeology Page 643 “The clear cut teaching of the New Testament is that the law of Mo- ses has been rendered inoperative with the death of Christ: in other words, the law in its totality no longer has any authority over any individual”. This is contrary to Yeshua own teaching on the Torah. This passage uses rabbinical terminology stat- ing that Yeshua interpretation bring the true meaning of the Torah. This usage of fulfilled is also used in Galatian 6:2.
The antinomian teaching is mostly based on misunderstand- ing of Rav Saul (Paul) teachings. This is nothing new as Simon Keifa (Peter) warned us that Rav Saul teachings can easily be misunderstood(2Pet 3:16). We will examine some of the mis- understood passages. But before doing so we need to see what Rav Saul says about it.
Rav Saul in his own words
” I am a Jew...brought up ... at the feet of Gamliel,instructed in the exactness of the Torah of our fathers, zealous for God as you are all today. Acts 22:3).
“I am a pharisee the son of a pharisee... and the pharisees so no evil in him” (Acts 23:6). If he disregarded the Torah, he would have been rejected.
Before Festus he stated “neither against the Torah of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar did I committed any sin (Acts 25:8). There was a rumor that he himself, and taught other to disregard the Torah, and circumcision, and was asked by the elders in Jerusalem to disprove it by offering a Nazarite vow, which he did before on his own. He was happy to oblige and by so doing prove his alliegance to the Torah (Acts 21:21-24, 18:18).
“Do we nullify the Torah though faith and trust in God , Let it not be. On the contrary, we establish the Torah (Rom 3:31)
“For the messiah is the goal of the Torah unto righteousness, to everyone that believe, for Moses wrote about the righteous- ness which is of the Torah “the man that does these shall live by them (Rom 10:4-5)”
Yet some teaches that God gave the Torah to prove to all that they are sinful, and that no one could ever keep it. This is con- trary to what Yeshua said through Moses that the Torah was at our own level and a source of life (Deut 30:11-16). Yochanan (John) the baptizer parents kept the Torah (Luke 1:6)
In light of this we should read and understand Rav Saul teach- ings that seems to put down the Torah. Baring in mind that he would not contradict himself or go against Moses and Yeshua teachings.
The most abused scripture of Rav Saul is “we are not under law but under grace (Rom 6:35). This is a good example of taking a snippet of scriptures out of context and building a wrong understanding and doctrine from it. Those words are preceded by “for sin shall not rule over you”, and “ he who has died has been made right of sin (Rom 6:7), and followed by “The Torah of the Spirit of life in messiah Yeshua, has set me free from the law of sin of sin and death”. Rav Saul was saying that Yeshua freed us from bondage to sin and through his spi- rit allow us to keep the Law of the messiah which is the Torah.
Another passage which is mistranslated with an antinomian bias is Roman 10:6. Most translations start with the word “but” thus distinguishing between the righteousness of the Torah and the righteousness of the messiah. The Greek propo- sition used is “de” which means “and, moreover”. This is clear from the quote from Deut 30. Rav Saul substitute the com- mandments for the messiah who is the living Torah. There is only one divine righteousness.
Next major misunderstanding is from the letter to the Gala- tians. The major error Rav Saul was facing is that of the so called judaizers. They taught that in order for the nonjewish believers to be saved, they need to officially convert to Juda- ism (Acts 15:1,5). This was according to the Pharisees belief that the only way to be saved is by either being born Jewish, or by conversion. Rav Saul was saying that if one believe that he need to be converted to be saved, than his faith in Yeshua is of no value to him, since he believe that it is not sufficient (Gal 2:16, 3:10,29). There is no word in Greek for legalism, so Rav Saul use the term the works of the law.
First let us understand some verses in chapter three. Verse 9 is misunderstood by many to mean that the Law was a curse that Yeshua freed us from. The NIV reads” All who rely on the law are under curse” of cause no one can depend for his salvation on the Torah. What the verse actually says “For as many as are outside the Torah are under a curse”. Rav Saul is quoting Deut 27:26 “Curse is everyone who does not contin- ue to do all things written in the Torah”. The curse is due to our sin, breaking of the law. Yeshua took our penalty on him- self, freeing us from that curse (Gal 3:14 ).
Next verse 19 states that “the Torah was added for our trans- gression until the Seed should come. ant it was ordained through messengers.” The question is what Torah was added. It cannot be the one received by Moses during the first 40 days and nights, since he was face to face with Yeshua. They were added during the second 40 24 hours period, due to the sin of the golden calf. YHWH wanted to dwell in his people directly, but our sin made it impossible. God provided the Levitical sys- tem and the tabernacle until Yeshua came and made perma- nent atonement for us. This is clear by verse 20 “Is the Torah against the promises of Elohim, let it not be”.
Another misunderstanding is regarding the nature of the Tor- ah. Antinomian. It is most evident in the NIV rendering of verses 23 and 24. “We were hold prisoners by the law,...Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law”. The proper tanslation should read more like “before faith (in Yeshua) came, we were kept in guard under Torah, being...So the Torah has become our pedagogue to lead us to the messiah, so that we may be declared righteous by faith. But now that faith has come, we no longer under a pedagogue. The pedagogue was a trusted servant caring for the child edu- cation, guarding him on the way to his teacher, and insuring he did his homework and put the teaching in practices. The Torah lead us to the messiah, who now wrote it on our heart so that we no longer need to be guarded, but act maturely in free- dom.
The last verses I will address from Galatian is 4:9-10, which some interpret as referring to God’s appointed time. The pre- vious verse “you serve those who by nature are not mighty ones” make it clear that it refer to pagan Gods, and festivals ruling the asters.
The final verses I will address are in Collosian 2 verses 13, and 14 which read “And you being dead in your trespasses...he made us alive in him, having forgiven all our trespasses, hav- ing blotted out the handwriting that was against us, by the dogmas which stood against us, and he has taken it out of the way nailing it to the stake.” Many interpret those verses say- ing that Yeshua nailed to the tree the Torah which was against us. However, the Father never give bad gift to his children. The Sabbath and the Torah was given to man as a blessing not a curse. The Greek speaks of “certificate of debt” . It refers to the sins that are recorded against us in the heavenly records, washed away by the blood of Yeshua.
For more verses and more detailed discussion refer to the ex- cellent work of John K. Mckee “The new testament validates Torah “ available at tnnonline.net.
In conclusion the Torah is Gods gift to man to give him life Yeshua wrote it on our heart. We follow it not to get saved, but because we are, and want to do the desire of our Father.