I've been wanting for some time now to write up a list of questions that we are being frequently asked and put in some of our responses so that others might benefit in some way from our experiences of learning to delight in Torah. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
Anyway, tonight, after listening to a great message by Rico Cortes, I stumbled across THIS LIST FROM 'HEAR AND OBEY' which I think does a really good job in summarising how I feel about most of the questions they have been asked. I say 'most' because of course, I didn't write the answers but overall I agree with them. There might be one or two little things that we differ on but mostly it is close to what I would say in response to these same questions. I hope this may help someone out there to either understand a bit more about where we are coming from or encourage you as you walk along this Torah path.
I'll paste the entire article here with the questions and answers.
Again...this is all copied from the Hear and Obey website. Please visit the link above for more info or you can always leave a comment or question on my blog - I'd love to hear from you!
Q. Hasn’t the Law been abolished?
A. No, Messiah came to abolish the power of sin and death, not to abolish the Law. In fact, in Matt. 5:17, Messiah, Himself, said that He did not come to “abolish the Law, but to fill it up,” AKA “be the Word made flesh.” 1) That He was the One that the Law pointed to, so it is fulfilled in His life, and 2) To live the fullness of the Law, thereby, being an example of how to live it for us. If you diminish the value of the Law, you diminish the existence of the Messiah Himself and all He came to fulfill.
See article: People Say
Q. Didn’t Jesus die to nail the Law to the cross so we wouldn’t have to live it anymore?
A. No—1Cor. 15:3, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 John 3:4-5, tells us He died because of our sin, not to end the Law. Titus 2:14 tells us that Messiah died to redeem us from our Lawlessness. In Col. 2:14, the “decrees against us”—the penalty of death demanded by the Law that was upon us for our sin of breaking the Law, was nailed to the cross with Him. He bore the “decree of death” that we deserved so that we would not have to suffer it. But the Law itself remains. Paul tells us in Rom. 7:7 that we would not know sin except for the Law to convict us of sin. Therefore, if there is no Law, there is no sin, and if there is no sin, there is no need for a Savior. If you dismiss the Law, you dismiss the Savior. If you invalidate the Law, you invalidate the need for a Savior.
See article: People Say
Q. Wasn’t the Law done away because it was too hard and oppressive, and no one could keep it?
A. This is a well-known statement, not from the Bible, but from the teachings of men, that shows a poor understanding of the all-encompassing love and plan of our Heavenly Father. To say such a thing, you’d also have to believe that The Father redeemed His children from the cruel oppression of Egypt just to bring them into the barren wilderness to oppress them Himself with a cruel Law that no one could keep, and then compound His injustice by punishing them for not keeping it! On the contrary, Scripture tells us that the Law is “not too difficult for us,” and “not a burden.” It is a sign of love, and there are blessings for keeping it. It is “our very life,” and more precious than gold! There are hundreds of wonderful Scriptures to support the goodness of the Law / Torah, but here are a few to begin: Deut. 15:5-6, 28:2, 30:11, 32:46-47; Ps. 119:72, John 14:15, 1John 5:3
See article: People Say
Q. Aren’t you trying to be saved by works?
A. Is that possible? We don’t think so. Aside from the saving work of Messiah, there is no salvation. The name, Yahshua, in Hebrew means “Yahweh is Salvation.” There is nothing man can do to be saved of his own merit—it’s Yahshua or nothing. This is what Paul is trying to say in Galatians. He is not dismissing the Law as valid in the lifestyle of believers, he is simply stressing that if that is what you’re trusting in for salvation, you’ve missed the boat. We do not keep the Law to be saved—we keep the Law because we are saved. By faith, we are to establish the Law in our lives! Romans 3:31
Q. Isn’t the Law just for the Jews?
A. Numbers 15:14-16 tells us the Law is for native born Israel and for the Gentiles, eunuchs, foreigners—anyone who desires to be as Ruth and join themselves to the people of Yahweh. And Eccl. 12:13 tells us the commandments of Yahweh apply to all mankind. We are grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel, and Eph. 4:4-6 tells us there is only one body, one Spirit, one faith, one Father over all. So no, there are not two trees, two sheepfolds, two families of the Father, or two rulings about the Law: one for Israel and none for everyone else. The Law is for all of Yahweh’s people who come into His family through faith in His Son, Yahshua.
Q. If Saturday is the Sabbath, why do all the churches keep Sunday?
A. According to both Jewish historical record and Catholic history, the Church of Rome AKA Catholic Church, changed the blessed 7th Day Sabbath as commanded in Scripture to Sunday, and the rest of the Western world simply followed their lead. But Saturday, the 7th day, remains the true Sabbath of our Creator/Savior (Gen 2:3).
Q. Aren’t we in an age of grace?
A. Since creation we have been in an “age of grace.” It was by grace that Yahweh chose to create mankind and give us a world and universe to enjoy. It was by grace He spared Noah’s family and did not wipe out the whole place. It was by grace He made eternal promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was by grace that He redeemed Israel from the cruel captivity of Egypt. It was by grace that He gave us His Torah—His Law, from Mt. Sinai as a way of life. It was by grace He has given us prophets to cry, “Repent!” in hopes of sparing us from the judgment we so richly deserved. It was by grace He sent His only Son to die for our disobedience and sin. And it continues to be by the longsuffering of His grace that He holds back His judgment upon the world so that all might come to repentance. There has never been such a thing as a “Dispensation of Law” and then a “Dispensation of Grace.” As though Yahweh was a man that he would change His mind, or suddenly realize He needed a Plan B. This is Plan A, the plan of which He has known the end from the beginning. These dispensational teachings of men hold no basis in Scripture. Law and grace are not isolated from each other, they have always, and continue to be, hand in glove with one another.
Q. Isn’t keeping the Law trying to earn your way to heaven?
A. This is basically the same question as the one above about “being saved by works.” It’s simply not possible. There may be many people who attempt it, but they do so in vain. It is Yahweh’s heaven and His decision what the plan to be there will be and His plan is wholly dependent upon the sacrificial work of His Son, not on works of man. The Law was given as a means for us to know what sin was so we could avoid it, and to know what the Father expected of us so we could pursue it and be set apart, holy, unto Him. Keeping the Law is a way of loving and pleasing the Father, as Yahshua did, not as a way to “earn” heaven.
Q. Did you pray about all this before deciding to keep the Law? I prayed about whether or not I had to keep the Law and never felt led to do it.
A. Yes, we did pray about it and the Spirit kept bringing us back to the Scriptures that spoke about the Law. Eventually, we got the message that the Spirit should not have to repeat Himself. He has already spoken through His Word that we, as believers, all claim is the 100% accurate, inspired Word of Elohim. So why should we have to “feel led” or “feel” anything at all in order to obey what is clearly spoken in black and white? Believers claim the promises of Scripture everyday without doubting them and waiting to “feel led” before trusting in them. Yet when it comes to obeying Scripture, people want it confirmed through voices and feelings.
Personally, I don’t think people "feel led" to obey because the Spirit knows they are not seeking truth in order to obey—they already have that truth in the palms of their hands. No, the Spirit knows they are looking for loopholes not to obey; therefore, they don’t get the “warm fuzzies” they seek. And then they can say, “See I never felt anything so it must not be for me,” and they happily trot off, clinging tightly to the loophole they think they’ve found. 2Tim. 4:3-4 speaks of those who seek out people who don’t really want the truth, they just want people to tell them what they want to hear. Yet, Is. 66:2 tells us that Yahweh looks upon those who tremble at His Word—only you know on which side you stand.
See article: Voices
Q. If you keep the Law, why don’t you sacrifice animals?
A. The Law commands us to sacrifice animals for many different things, not just for sin. But it also tells us in what manner the sacrifice must be given. Part of the Law of sacrifices is that they be upon a consecrated altar. Without this altar, by Law, we are not allowed to sacrifice. Therefore, since we have no temple and no altar, we are keeping the Law by not sacrificing animals.
Q. Didn’t Acts 10 prove that pork is clean now?
A. No. The vision had nothing to do with food. The animals were a symbol in the vision, just as the sun, moon and stars were symbols in Joseph’s vision. Peter himself said that “Yahweh had shown him in the vision not to call any MAN uncommon or unclean. It was all about the work of Messiah to allow Gentiles into the faith that Israel had been thinking was just for them.
See article: Peter’s Vision
Q. Why can’t I choose any day to be my Sabbath?
A. You can. But keep in mind that if you do, it is just that—your Sabbath. Not the Sabbath of Yahweh. He said His 7th day Sabbath is the only day of the week that He blessed and set apart as His Holy, special day to meet with us. (Ex. 20:10). He delights to meet with us on that day and gave us promises in Isaiah 58:13-14 if we would also delight in His day.
Q. Isn’t Jesus the Lord of the Sabbath?
A. Yes, He is, but if you remove, or change, His holy Sabbath, you make Him Lord of…nothing. And if He is your Savior, Lord and Master, you will honor His day—not your own.
Q. Aren’t you trying to earn brownie points by keeping the Law?
A. We see nothing wrong in obeying the Law in order to please the Father and bring honor to His Name through our good witness of faithfulness to His word, do you? We do not keep the Law in order to be saved, but because we are saved and this is how a people who love their Savior and appreciate what He has done for them live their lives. This is the life our Messiah lived, and we are told to be imitators of Him in 1 John 2:6. Messiah said in John 8:29 that “He always did what was pleasing to the Father,” and we believe we should strive to do likewise.
As for “brownie points,” we’re not crazy about that terminology because it has such an air of mockery about it. But there is nothing wrong with knowing that we will be rewarded for good behavior, since the Father, Himself, is the one that set-up the reward system. We are told to work to build upon the foundation of Messiah for the eternal reward that lasts in 1Cor.3:13-14. In Deut. 11:26-28 we are told we will receive blessings for obedience, and be His special possession, Ex. 19:5. In Phil 3:14 we’re reminded to run for the prize. In 2Tim. 4:8 we are told a crown awaits us. We are told in Rev. 22:12 that when Messiah returns, He brings our reward with Him. There are more, but I’m sure you get the idea. Though we do not in any way work for salvation, we do have the joy and responsibility to do the work of the saved unto the pleasure and honor of the One whose name we bear.
Q. Why are you trying to become Jewish?
A. Is that possible? If I eat pizza am I trying to be Italian? If I attend events for Black History Month am I trying to become African American? It is not possible to change race or ethnicity, and we are not attempting to do so. Keeping the Law—the Torah of Yahweh—is not “Jewish” it is “Biblical.” It is the way of life for believers in Yahweh through saving faith in His Son, Yahshua. We are simply children, obeying our Heavenly Father as He has asked of us through His Word, and that obedience is open to all with a heart to hear and obey.
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articles that encourage believers to live the entire Word of Yahweh
May you be blessed!
Love Lusi x