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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Messages » Torah! Torah! Torah!

Torah! Torah! Torah!

      Click Here to watch the 3-part video of this message!

The message this week has an unusual title to be sure. Those of you who have read the message from Shepherd’s Hill know that I often use titles to get people to actually read the message. It’s sad that we no longer read but skim over and speed read text. We think we know what something says but sometimes we assume and miss the point. I am not writing about a World War II movie today. This message is about the Old Testament Law. The Torah is the name of the first five books of the Old Testament.

            I have watched a phenomenon over the past few years where people who are Christians but have gone back into the Jewish law. It was as if they grasped what Christ did and then went back to what He fulfilled. Some of you may think that we are keepers of the Torah but we are not. I want to make that clear to all.  We might give that impression by the fact that we’ve posted pictures of our Passover celebration. We simply enjoy seeing Christ in the Passover meal. Also, it might confuse some who don’t understand the headcovering and plain dress because we are different. Our faith is based solely on the Blood of Jesus and His works, not ours.

            Let me give a very brief outline of the Old Testament Law. There are three types of laws in the Old Testament. First, there is the Ceremonial Law. These are laws thatIsraelhad to worship God by. They include the manner in which animals were sacrificed and the blood was sprinkled. As you can see these no longer apply to us. We no longer sacrifice animals. This system was pointing to Jesus in every way. The fact that they had to use a spotless lamb that was a male reveals His sinless life. The strict manner in which the sacrificial system took place points to Jesus who had to die on a cross.

            The Second type of Law in the Old Testament (or covenant) is the civil law. Just as we have civil laws today with each country,Israelhad its own laws to deal with civil matters. Examples of these laws would be the ones pertaining to restoring something that you borrowed from someone but damaged it. Also, murder by accident (manslaughter) or theft is covered in the civil laws. As we can observe some of these (some countries have used these in their systems) these are not all kept today. Each person lives under the civil laws of the country that they are citizens of. As Christians we are bound to obey the civil law of our country as long as it does not go against what God has told us to do in the third type of law.

            The third type of law in the Old Covenant is the moral law. Just as each society determines what is moral God gaveIsraelmorality to live by. The moral laws include the Ten Commandments. These ten laws are the foundation of many nations. God’s moral laws and are what I want to discuss today.

            God called a people out from the rest of the world to be exclusively His. Just as a man seeks out a bride to marry God made a covenant with Abraham to live differently than anyone else in the world. Think about it; only God’s people circumcised their male children. Only God’s people had the Ark of the Covenant and Ten Commandments. Only God’s people had His Spirit leading them wherever they were to go in the form of a cloud or pillar of fire. God gave leadership to His people and direction through the prophets. They had dietary laws that kept them healthy. It was all designed to keep His people pure from the world. But they did not stay pure. They wandered away from God and His law. The pagan societies around them proved to be too much temptation for the Jews. They began by blending in with other cultures and then were so much like them that the only way you could tell someone was a Jew was the outward appearance. Soon, even that was gone.

            God’s people under the Old Covenant fluctuated like the oceans tides. If you read through just the Book of Judges you will be appalled at the number of times it says “againIsraeldid evil in the eyes of the Lord”. Chapter after chapter reveals that God’s people kept the law and then broke it. After approximately 1400 years (Moses to Jesus)Israelstill struggled with keeping the law.

             God was preparing for Jesus to be sent all the while. Look in Jeremiah chapter thirty-one. In verse thirty-one God promised that a new covenant was going to take place that was not like the old one. Instead of being written on tablets of stone God said that it would be written on men’s hearts and would be put in their minds (v33). This new covenant was brought in when God sent His son Jesus to die for our sins.

            There are some who debate that the old covenant was not done away with as Jesus stated that He came to fulfill it (Mat5:17). His fulfilling it was finished when the Holy Spirit was sent on the Day of Pentecost. Let me explain in a very oversimplified way that hopefully will help you understand. When someone learns to drive they learn the laws of driving from a book. They take a test and after passing are given a license to drive. After that they will remember most of them. After driving for many years they may assume they have the rules memorized. A police officer may pull them over one day and prove that they don’t know them after all. All of us bend the traffic rules according to our day’s rush. We go over the speed limit, run through stop signs, etc when we get in a hurry.

            Now, imagine if you will, that there is something in your heart and mind about driving the very best you can. Perhaps you had a family member who died in an accident and you became so aware of the rules that you had them in your heart. Maybe you even felt their presence in your automobile encouraging you to drive safely and keep the rules.  In a simplified way, this is the new covenant. Someone did die (Jesus) because you would have failed in keeping the Old Covenant. His Holy Spirit is living inside you to remind you of God’s righteousness. He reminds you that you are uniquely His-His Body, His Bride, His own. Until your Groom comes to get you again you will be sure to be faithful to Him.

            Now, even after understanding all this there are still some who have reverted back to the Old Testament law. Let’s look at a few more passages that reveal what God says. In Romans 7:1-7 Paul states that a man and woman are bound to each other as long as they live. But if one dies the other can marry and not be guilty of adultery. His example of marriage is carried through in verse four. Paul states that we are dead to the Old Covenant through the body of Jesus. In verse six he says that we are delivered from the law. Please study the remainder of this chapter to see that the law did what God intended it to do. It revealed to man that he cannot keep it on his own.

            The Book of Hebrews was written to a group of Jewish believers who had also reverted back to the Old Law. Some believe Paul wrote this, although there is no mention of the writers name in the Book. These Jewish Christians found the walk difficult. They were accustomed to the old ways and were persecuted under the new ones. In chapter seven there is the description of Christ being our High Priest. In verses eleven and twelve the writer explains that if perfection could have been obtained through the priests God would have never sent Jesus. As Jesus is our new Priest (v12) there is also a new law.  

            Paul wrote in Galatians chapter three that the new converts ofGalatiawere confused as to the law and the works in them. We can see that Paul wanted these Christians to keep being guided by the Spirit instead of the Law. Keep reading and you will discover that the Law was a schoolmaster to teach us about ourselves and to lead us to Christ. After Christ, the schoolmaster was no longer needed. Think of it this way; you might read a book to learn something but if the author of that book came to live with you it would be as if the book came alive!

            What about keeping Sabbaths and festivals? Are they still required for Christians to keep? Look to Colossians 2:14-16. Paul said that these were a shadow of things to come. Look at James 2:10. James said that if we keep the law except for one thing, we’ve broken it all. If you are trying to keep the Torah and have missed one thing you’ve broken it all. In Romans 14:5-9 Paul said that each man should be convinced in his own mind about which day is special and what food can be eaten.

The early church fathers wrote repeatedly that the Sabbath was no longer observed but the Lord’s Day was when Christians met and worshiped the risen Savior. Look at these statements:

The Epistle of Barnabas (c. A.D. 120), in discussing such things as incense, new moons, and Sabbaths, says that the Lord “abolished these things” in deference to “the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ” . Later, it is affirmed: “Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead”.

 Justin Martyr (A.D. 140) declared that “on the day called Sunday” the primitive Christians met for worship. He further stated that this was the day on which Christ was raised from the dead.

Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 194) spoke of the one who “keeps the Lord’s day” as “glorifying the Lord’s resurrection in himself”.

 Tertullian (A.D. 200) argued that the “old law” had been consummated; thus the “observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary” (ANF.III.155). Elsewhere he says that “Sabbaths are strange” to Christians, and that they share together “the Lord’s day” .

Eusebius (A.D. 324), known as the “father of church history,” stated that sabbath-observance does not “belong to Christians.” On the other hand, he asserted that Christians “celebrate the Lord’s days . . . in commemoration of his resurrection”

            Finally, I’d like to look at Ephesians chapter two. In verses eight through ten we discover that we are saved by grace and not works. If salvation came by works some would be able to boast. Those who try to keep the law often do boast about their works and condemn those who don’t keep it. They immediately judge others who don’t keep the Sabbath, have been divorced, eat the wrong foods, and on and on. Thank God that none of us are given what we really deserve! We have been set free through the Grace of God!

            I hope that this helps many who seem to be drifting back into the old law. Don’t throw away the free salvation that comes through Jesus. Trust in Him alone. Will there be good works if we are Born-Again Christians? Yes, but not so that you can be saved. I do good things for my wife, not as a requirement of marriage but because I love her. I don’t come home every night because I have to but because I want to. My relationship with her causes me to act out of my devotion to her.  The New Covenant is about our relationship with God and not our requirements to God. May the Lord bless you as you seek Him.

            Prayer-Father, I pray for those who are struggling with the law today. May their eyes be opened today so that they may enjoy the loving relationship with You that Jesus provides. I ask for Your grace to be abundant in them today. Let our love for You dictate our actions and works of righteousness.

                                    In Jesus’ Name-Amen


Written by

Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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10 Responses to "Torah! Torah! Torah!"

  1. Anjii says:

    So does this mean then that we are free from the dietary laws such as not eating pork? Pork is something I have struggled with for awhile now. I used to eat it but feel I may not be doing right and so now if I do eat it I feel quite guilty.

    I want to say I love the new site and all the new info! Just wonderful!


    1. paul paul says:

      That’s correct Anjii-As in all things moderation is the key. I personally limit pork for health reasons but do occasionally eat it. Thanks for writing!-Bro Paul

  2. catherine niedermeyer says:

    Thank you very much. An excellent message, delivered with clarity.
    Congratulations on the precious new member to your wonderful family!

    1. paul paul says:

      Thank you Cathy! I do try to give relevant messages. Let me know if there is something particular you want a message on–Love in Christ-Paul

  3. Thelma C. says:

    Greetings in Jesus Name, Brother Paul,
    I was dismayed this morning when I went online to view todays message
    only to find your site was hacked from Bangladesh. I sure am happy
    you were able to overcome and get your site back up and running again.
    Praise The Lord!!!
    I am so pleased with todays message as I have been studying this very
    subject for the past two years by searching KJV from cover to cover
    as I needed to understand the New Covenant. The only problem I had
    was trying to figure out which day to honor as the Sabbath as I had
    been told Sunday was the Catholic (or pagan) day; not the Christian
    Sabbath as we were raised to believe.
    I had been told by genuine Christian preachers that Christians who
    accept Christ as their LORD and Saviour and live by Faith through
    HIM do not need to attend a church as our bodies become Jesus
    dwelling place. Would you please comment on this one?
    I would love to see your video on the Solar Oven but on dial-up this
    is not easy to do. Would it be possible to obtain a copy DVD of your
    video through the mail as I want to see this so much.
    Thank you for your time. May God bless you folks and your wonderful
    online ministry
    In Jesus Name,
    Thelma C.

    1. paul paul says:

      Thanks Thelma-we were a little surprised also. It seems that the entire server that we get our space from was broken into-not just our site. It was restored mid-afternoon. Let me check and see what the possibility would be of a mail DVD. I will have to check with Sarah (our videographer :-)
      If we have the equipment to make a DVD we will try and get one to you.

  4. Le-Teisha says:

    Thank you so much for delivering a true message as always. Blessings in Christ.

  5. Le-Teisha says:

    Thank you so much for delivering a true message as always. Blessings in Christ.

  6. Angela says:

    I enjoyed your message Bro.Paul and I have a Question I would like for you to answer for me concerning tithing. Is that also under the old law or should we pay tithes weekly for our pay as the churches are teaching today?

    1. paul paul says:

      It’s my belief that we are not under the law of tithing (giving 10%) but that we owe everything to God. Please see 2nd Cor 9:7- In the Old Covenant there was a law against murder and adultery. Jesus gave further clarification that under the New Covenant we are not only to NOT murder and commit adultery but that, as He said, we are to not have hate in our hearts or look on a woman to lust after her. In other words, we are to be completely given over to God now. Christians should have a heart to give to those in need. Again-it should be a personal decision on what to give. I have known of churches that took tithing so far that they actually required someones checkstub or W-2 form before they could join, and then held them to giving 10% of that amount. THAT IS LEGALISM!

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