by John Greene
The debate is on! There are some Christians that believe that Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah came to do away with ritual and law. There are other Christians that believe that Yahshua [Jesus] came to amplify and add to the law. Who is right?
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:17-20, NKJV
The law covenant was designed to point sin out, to set YHWH’s people apart from the nations about them and to convict the hearer of the need to repent, to turn aside from sin in order to stay in YHWH’s favor, on His track of righteousness. It was the baseline for what was expected of a nation freshly released from the confines of Egypt. Man continued to add to those laws starting with the Babylonian captivity, giving birth to a new religious order of ritual that could never achieve YHWH’s purposes. Instead of looking to relationship with YHWH, they looked to ritual in an attempt to satisfy a Law that could never be satisfied and turning YHWH into another god of their making. The Jews had lost the kind of righteousness and relationship with Elohim that Abraham lived as he sought the Almighty. (Romans 4:1-5; “Understanding Sin“; “The Unpardonable Sin“; “Sin & the Law of Liberty“)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” – John 14:15-16, NKJV
Yahshua [Jesus] released mankind from laws that could not be followed because of human imperfection. Instead, discipless are to be obedient through YHWH’s Word in their hearts as temples of the Most High, rather than festering in legalism and reveling in the judgment and control of others.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5, NKJV
The Pharisees and Sadducees in the time of Yahshua [Jesus] would be judged by the law that they promoted and cast on others. The same is true for Christianity today. How you judge others, you will be judged. James speaks in line with the Master when he gives this recommendation that the Bible is your personal mirror:
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” – James 1:22-25, NKJV
Messiah pointed out that in this day, the law covenant is fulfilled spiritually through Him and the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than in slavish rituals and extraneous teaching that man’s religion has adopted. (Matthew 5:21-28; 12:7) Disciples of Messiah would do well to take the same advice by ignoring extraneous teaching and seeking Bible truth in all they do. (“Leaven of the Pharisees; Leaven of the World“; “Condemnation, Dogs & Hogs“)
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice. ’For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” – Matthew 9:13, NKJV
Since all mankind is composed of sinners that are descended from Adam, all mankind is called to repentance. (Romans 3:23; 5:12)
Yet, the requirement of sacrifice in order for sins to be forgiven is still in effect where the law is concerned, but the requirement has been fulfilled by Messiah’s death. Do you believe Yahshua [Jesus] that fulfilled the Law or the Law itself? That is your decision. He met the requirement, but did not remove the law, which stayed the same. This is confusing only to those that wish to add or subtract from the Word of YHWH. (“Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“; “Purity Starts Inside: A Lesson Through the Ages“)
Yahshua [Jesus] fulfilled the law because the Mosaic Law could not fulfill itself through imperfect mankind. The Messiah fulfilled the demands of the Mosaic Law, which called for perfect obedience under threat of a curse. Disciples of Messiah are no longer under a curse of judgment from the Law of Moses, but only suffer from any lack from being brought closer to Him in personal relationship through the Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit]. (Luke 24:44; Galatians 3:10, 13) The time given for this relationship to grow is YHWH’s grace, deliverance from a Law that could not save and obedience through the Holy Spirit that will save. Like Abraham, disciples of the Messiah are justified by their faith and set apart to the Father. The difference is that modern disciples can have the benefit of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 4:3; “The Abomination That Causes Desolation“; “Abiding With YHWH in Quiet Places“; “How to Receive the Holy Spirit“)
Does this mean that Christians should ignore the writings of Moses and the prophets? Is the Old Testament merely useless history and background for the Words of Yahshua [Jesus]? To this we say, “no way!” Bible writings that came before the Messiah are not only valuable insights, but provide the basis for how Christians need to operate in the Holy Spirit! The entire Bible helps disciples to get to know YHWH better and what He wants from His people, His sons and daughters. This especially important to those that seek deeper truth and understanding. (“Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“; “Discernment the World Doesn’t Have“)
“But answering, He said, ‘It has been written ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of YAHWEH.’” – Matthew 4:4, HRB
As disciples of Messiah operate in trust, they consider the writing of Moses and the prophets in the Old Testament. They weigh their personal trust against the old covenant to better themselves as they bring their mind and heart into closer alignment with the Will of YHWH. What YHWH recommends to His people today through the Words of Yahshua [Jesus] and the New Covenant, He recommends through His Word in the Old Covenant. This is a matter of respecting YHWH’s commandments, which are written for all to see. This needs to be considered, despite what the dark kingdom of the world may tell you. That is why you need spiritual discernment through the Holy Spirit. (“Holy Spirit 101“; “Listening to the Holy Spirit“; “Wisdom & the Battle of Two Kingdoms“; “YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“)
“Beloved ones, do not believe every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of Elohim, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of Elohim: Every spirit that confesses that יהושע Messiah has come in the flesh is of Elohim, and every spirit that does not confess that Yahshua Messiah has come in the flesh is not of Elohim. And this is the spirit of the anti-messiah which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world.
You are of Elohim, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world, therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of Elohim – the one knowing Elohim hears us. He who is not of Elohim does not hear us. By this we know the Spirit of the Truth and the spirit of the delusion.” – 1 John 4:1-6, ISR98
John reminds disciples that they need to be aware and discerning regarding YHWH’s Spirit and the spirit of the world. Once again, this is where the Counsel of the Holy Spirit comes into action. Even the antichrist [antimessiah] of the world may teach a similar gospel, of which John was reminding the reader in verse 3. That is why discernment and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are needed. Christians are not Jews, but they use all Holy Scripture to balance the attitudes and issues that life throws at them. They seek the mind of their Heavenly Father, to know Him and to do what is pleasing to Him. That is the foundation of the new man in Messiah. When you are abiding in the Messiah, you have the fruits of the new man! (“Playing It Safe With Another Gospel“; “The Reality of the Antichrist“; “The Antichrist & the War on Reality“; “Spiritual Warfare: “Genetics” That Rule Your Life“)
“So that if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17, HRB