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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fractured Word: Part IV

Identifying ourselves with the Jews is for some people a terrifying idea. After all, they reason, the Jews are the ones who killed Yeshua. But that is not the real root of the problem (and PS everyone who ever sinned, which is all of us, are responsible for the death of the sacrificial lamb). Replacement theology is not even the heart of the matter, but rather a result of it. The real issue is that throughout history people have despised the Israelites. Adonai told them this would happen and it was a direct result of their hatred for Him. The Jews, as his chosen ones, are the scapegoat for that hatred.

This is why, despite the fact that we still keep the majority of the Torah laws, the ones that were seen as specifically setting the Jews apart from their neighbors are the first thrown out. These include the celebrating the Feasts of the Lord (and they are called that, not the feasts of the Jews), dressing so as to be immediately recognizable as part of the elect, and the behaviors that set apart the chosen by what they do or don’t do.

The heresy that we should try to assimilate into society so as not to be instantly recognizable comes from misinterpreting Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 9 that he became like the people he was trying to win in order to convince them. What he is saying is that he put himself in their mindset so as to understand what it was they would argue against. It makes no sense for Paul, an apostle, to ‘become’ a sinner in behavior in order to convince sinners to repent. He was merely considering the position of each person so as to know what would speak to their hearts.

Never are we told in all of scripture to be like the world. Yet the excuses abound- to make us more approachable, to show that believers can still have a ‘fulfilling life (as if salvation wasn’t a million times more fulfilling than the latest fashions), to exhibit our freedom in Christ to do as we wish. As we read before, we are not free to do as we wish. We have died to the law of sinful nature to become SLAVES of righteousness. We are not told to be covert in our evangelism but to be BOLD. Scriptures tell us specifically to come out and be separate.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

Wow- not only are we supposed to be separate, we are also supposed to not touch that which is unclean. How do we know what is unclean? If you search the word ‘unclean’ at Biblegateway, you will find a list of 8 pages of passages. The first 6 are from the Torah, where Yah tells people what is appropriate and not appropriate for them as His people. The New Testament passages that discuss uncleanness refer back to the OT passages!!!!! The word used for unclean here is akathartos, which is translated as religiously defiled. We don’t have a New Testament list of what things are religiously defiled, but we do have an Old Testament list, and a note from Paul about that Old Testament list:

“…thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Too often we look at what the Father gave as a gift to the Chosen People and agree that it is full of wisdom, but refuse to admit that it is forever because then we have to align ourselves with the Jews who observe it. As I was writing this, the perfect example of what I mean was brought to my attention. In the latest issue of No Greater Joy magazine, Michael Pearl discusses the dangers of genetically modified foods. I completely agree with his statements that they should not be used as food. What threw me for a loop was his backing from the Word for this premise that genetically modified anything is a sin because it is changing Yah’s original design. He uses the Old Testament! As could be predicted, he starts in Genesis and how we were made in the image of G-d, who made the plants to be perfect food for us (there was no sin, which meant no death, so we did not eat meat then). But then he goes to the Torah and quotes the prohibitions against sowing diverse seeds in a field and breeding two kinds of cattle together. If the law has been done away with, how can we be guilty of sinning by breaking it? Yah did not create things a certain way until the redemption of man and then plan on us changing the DNA of what he created. He made things perfect in his wisdom, and by changing them we are telling him we are wiser than he.

If these laws still apply, where do we draw the line? Well I would argue that we draw it right where the Word says to- the only Torah laws that are no longer binding are circumcision and sacrifices for sin. Yeshua himself said he did not come to abolish the law, he came to fulfill it, and until heaven and earth pass away we will not see the completion of the fallen state of man. So long as there is still sin, there must still be a law to convict of sin.

Yah has not abandoned the Jews in favor of the Gentiles- he has opened salvation to the Gentiles through the Jews:

“And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” Romans 11:17-21

We are grafted into Israel, not the other way around. And we are warned that we better not act superior to the root of the tree.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” Romans 1:16

And Paul calls those who keep the commandments Jews, not Christians:

“Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

And judgment is reserved for those who call themselves Jews, but are not. Does this mean Christians who are trying to keep the law? Certainly not! As believers grafted into the root, we are now co-heirs with the believing Jews. We are adopted Jews because of the opening of the covenant. This judgment refers to those who are of the synagogue of Satan- those who claim to belong to the body yet do not according to the Word.

“I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan." Revelation 2:9

“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Revelation 3:8-10

If we are to be grafted into a family, should we not take on the attributes of that family? Would an adopted child who is haughty and refuses to lower herself to the status of her adopted family been seen in the eyes of the L-rd as righteous? As for me, I am grafted into that family and gladly associate myself with it (though this is a thorn in the flesh of the non-believing Jew, just as it was intended to be in order to bring them to salvation). I gladly dress so as to be instantly recognized as part of the elect. I touch not the unclean thing because I want to be acceptable in the sight of the Father. I keep the Feast of the L-rd both as a reminder of what He has done for me and as preparation for the Feasts we will celebrate together in eternity. After all he has done for me, can I even begin to think that keeping his commandments is a burden? Heaven forbid!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow great and though provoking post... I am still learning and learning some more on following the ways of the Lord... but each new thing He has shown me is eye opening and convicting and so much so that its makes me say How could I say No... if you understand what I mean...