Still, Paul makes both pro-law statements and anti-law statements in
his writings that he never does reconcile. Indeed he can't! Either God
expects us to live by His Law or He doesn't. There is no in-between.
But to be fair, I must make mention the fact of his pro-law statements.
One reason I need to do this is because among the growing sect of
Messianics there is a small number who call themselves "observant"
Messianics. They continue to believe, as Yeshua taught, that the law
stands today. But in their endeavor to try and maintain some semblance
of credibility with other Messianics, (who are really little more than
Christians with a Jewish flair and an umbilical cord attached directly
to mainstream Christianity) these observant Messianics will engage in
bend-over-backwards apologetics for Paul and do everything they can to
argue he was pro-law. Apparently they continue to feel the need to
embrace the picture of an infallible New Testament. We shouldn't be
surprised about the fact that Paul made both pro and anti-law
statements because of things he said like the following.
"...to the Jew I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak, I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." 1Corinthians 9:20-22
At the very least, it is apparent that Paul was a chameleon who blended with his surroundings whatever they were! Paul clearly taught contradictory messages for the purpose of making everybody happy... something you will never find Yeshua doing. As long as there are numerous, clearly anti-law statements made by Paul, Christians and non-observant Messianics alike will always point to them and rest their case against the poor legalistic observant Messianics. There is no simple misunderstanding about it. Even Paul's contemporaries accused him of encouraging others not to practice the law of Moses. They even had him there in the flesh to explain and straighten out the misunderstanding if indeed it was so simple. This I have already established. (See again Acts 21:20-12,28 for an example) As you will see shortly while I display more of Paul's anti-law doctrine, the observant Messianic's endeavors might be better termed... appaulling apaulogetics! They would be better off facing the fact that Paul was a false apostle, call him on it, and suffer the ostracism of Christianity. They aren't having much success convincing anyone that Paul was pro-law anyway.
The book of Romans.
The book of Romans is considered by many Christians to be Paul's masterpiece argument against justification through the law in favor of justification through faith by grace. In trying to deal with Paul's errors in logic one can quickly become bogged down in the very convoluted string of arguments he makes. In dealing with his logic, it is not just a simple matter of untying a series of knots in a long string. His logic is more like one big twisted ball of knots made of knots made of knots! Many of those who believe in Paul have an extremely difficult time following his rambling flow of logic themselves. To deal with all of Paul's nonsensical logic in the book of Romans alone would take an entire book by itself. I'm not going to take the space to do that here. But what I will focus on are the fundamental premises on which he bases his doctrines, and most importantly his ongoing blatant abuse of Scripture to support them. In doing this alone, Paul will be totally disarmed. His building will come crumbling down when these foundations that are built on sand are removed. I will deal with only a portion of his nonsensical logic.
One of Christianity's favorite Pauline passages that clearly suggests we ought not bother trying to keep God's Law comes from the first part of the book of Romans. Right off in chapter 1, Paul tries to establish some fundamental premises on which to continue building his doctrine. He says;
For in it (the Gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith". Romans 1:17
This was a favorite passage of the Christian reformer Martin Luther. He believed, as Paul clearly lays out later in Romans and Galatians, this faith that the just are supposed to live by is as opposed to living by the law. Paul eventually turns it into an either-or... mutually exclusive incompatibility of faith and law. Notice once again that Paul feels compelled to prove his doctrine by quoting Scripture. This observation alone should make it go without saying that the Scripture he quotes had better paint the same picture, or his premise is flawed... or groundless at best. Here again Paul misquotes Scripture albeit slightly. The passage he quotes is:
"Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him, but the just shall live by his faith." Habakkuk 2:4
In its context, and more accurately translated, it is obvious that what God is saying here is that the just person (someone who is righteous) shall live (as opposed to dying) "by" (literally "because of") "his" (personal, as opposed to general) faithfulness: (literally, "steadfastness", ) to righteous living. Let me shorten this up for better understanding. It is this: The righteous person will survive if he is steadfast in his righteousness. Nowhere in this picture is the idea: If an unrighteous person wants to become righteous, he must live by exerting his faith.
This one relatively small mistake of Paul's is only the beginning. From here, he builds on his doctrine by continuing to make more grave errors that end up taking him way off course. It's like an astronaut's rocket being off in trajectory by only a couple of degrees when he begins his journey to the moon. He will eventually find he missed it by thousands of miles. By the end of the book of Romans, Paul is so far off it's hopeless! Watch where he goes from here in chapter 3.
Whenever someone suggests to a Christian (most particularly evangelical Christian) that the law of God still stands today, one of the first things out of their mouths to refute the suggestion comes from Romans 3. We are quickly informed that no one is able to keep the law, and all are guilty of breaking it and forever remain labeled by it... unrighteous. Then we hear this quote:
"There is none righteous, no, not one". Romans 3:10
This passage is again a quote Paul takes from the Scriptures to prop up and prove his case. From verse 10 on through 18 is Paul's apparent direct quote from Scripture that is supposed to prove to us that no one is righteous, but all are full of evil. Please read all eight verses for yourself. Now guess what? No such single passage exists! What Paul quotes is a compilation of no less that six separate passages that have been jerked out of their original context in the Psalms and the book of Isaiah, and they are all strung together in such a fashion that it appears they are one. We have seen this deceptive practice of Paul's before. Remember in Romans 9, where he pastes together two short passages from Genesis and Malachi concerning Jacob and Esau?! And Paul's accuracy in quoting from the Psalms leaves much to be desired. The first passage he quotes in verses 10-12 come from Psalm 14. Here is his version first.
As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one." Romans 3:10-12
Now here is the passage quoted accurately... and in its context.
"The fool has said in his heart, "there is no God". They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none (of the atheistic fools) who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the (corrupt) children of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is non who does good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call on the Lord? There they ( the evil people) are in great fear, for God is with the generation of the RIGHTEOUS. Psalm 14:1-5 (Amplification in parentheses mine)
Guess what? In David's picture there are no atheistic fools who do good! This passage is obviously not speaking of every human being but of a very distinct group of people whom David describes as fools, atheists, workers of abominations, corrupt, ignorant, and workers of iniquity. Of course, not one of them do good. And these evil people are pitted against a second group of real people known as "my people" and "the generation of the righteous". Even in this very Psalm that Paul quotes from, there are obviously those whom God refers to as "righteous"! This is hardly the picture Paul wants us to get from this Psalm. Notice also Paul's embellishment of this passage. He would have us believe the phrase, "no, not one" is used twice when it is only used once. The first time Paul uses the phrase is where it doesn't exist, and it is coupled with the word "righteous" which Hebrew word doesn't exist in this part of the Psalm or anywhere near the words "no, not one". Instead the Hebrew word for righteous shows up later in verse 5 and directly implies that there are those who are righteous! So much for Paul's "no, not one".
In Paul's string of quotes in Romans 3:10-18, he continues in verse 13 to take Scripture snippets out of their context from Psalm 5:9 and Psalm 140:3. In verse 14 he snips from Psalm 10:7. Verse 15,16 and 17 he yanks from Isaiah 59:7,8. And verse 18 he jerks from Psalm 36:1. In each and every case, the people spoken of in these passages are specifically evil men, and in the greater context of these passages, the evil men are contrasted with people who are called "the righteous", "the upright", and "the innocent". Please check for yourself. They are all obvious and easy to see except for the Isaiah quote. In Isaiah, compare 59:7,8 which Paul quotes to the previous chapter... Isaiah 58:6-12 and take special notice of the word "righteousness" and how it is used in verse 8.
Paul wants us to believe that no one becomes righteous through the works of the law. But there are many whom God called righteous. From Genesis 7:1 where He says to Noah, "I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation", all the way through to the New Testament where Yeshua says, "many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it...", there are many references to righteous men. Take an exhaustive concordance and look under the word righteous.
After supposedly proving his premise with his deceptive quoting of Scripture that no one can be righteous under the law, Paul is forced to try and find for us a good working reason as to why God gave man the law at all! Here is his logic.
"Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that (for this purpose) every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:19,20
This begins to defy words to describe the blasphemous lie that it is. But hey, Paul has to come up with some reason for the law's existence after demolishing the truth! Are we really to believe that it's God's purpose to make man guilty before Him? If God intentionally made His law impossible for man to keep, that would make God the author of unrighteousness and guilt! Here's God's version of why He gave man the law.
"Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that (for this purpose) it might be well with them and with their children forever!" Deuteronomy 5:29
"And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that (for this purpose) He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us." Deuteronomy 6:24,25
This blasphemous lie by itself should finish Paul off and nail his hide to the wall as a false apostle. Here, read it now again after having read these words from God's own mouth and compare them closely.
"Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that (for this purpose) every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:19,20
Yeshua never taught anything remotely close to this. But we are still long from being finished with all of Paul's doctrinal errors. He goes on to mention some fringe benefits that go along with his extremely faulty premise. The logic flows that if no man is capable of doing God's law, and salvation is instead granted as a free gift of grace, then nobody can brag about keeping the law anymore!
Where is boasting then? It is excluded, By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Romans 3:27,28
Never mind the fact that it is an important part of the law for man to know his place and humble himself! If people kept all the law they wouldn't be boasting anyway.
"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
Notice also what it says about the man who gave us the law.
Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth. Numbers 12:3
God has never been in the business of making it impossible for man to boast. He just makes it not worth the while by humbling proud men if they refuse to humble themselves. The ironic fact is that in the real world, Paul's doctrine is the source of far more pride and arrogance than any other doctrine! One only need look at Paul himself, and as mentioned before, notice how he lifted himself above the very apostles who followed Yeshua (2Corinthians 11:5, Galatians 2:6,9), and how he even lifted himself above Moses (2Corithians 3:11-13 and notice the phrase, "we use great boldness of speech unlike Moses"), anyone who believes in the concept off destiny, and that before creation God destined some vessels for honor and some for dishonor (Romans 9:20-23), and naturally believes he is one of those who is destined for honor, that person will be extremely conceited in his heart.
But it's Paul's flow of logic from the presupposition that God intentionally made the law impossible to keep that becomes totally absurd. Since in his world, no one can keep the law, man must therefore be justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. At this point he uses Abraham as his cornerstone example.
Abraham justified by faith?
Abraham's supposed justification by faith is Paul's ace-in-the-hole argument for faith apart from the works of the law both in the book of Romans and the book of Galatians. The following passages come from Romans and Galatians and contain his supposed direct quote from the book of Genesis.
What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Romans 4:1-3
...just as Abraham "Believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness". Galatians 3:6
So fundamental is Paul's use of Abraham as a proof-text example for his righteousness "apart from works" doctrine that James became fully aware of it and refuted it in his letter.
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." James 2:21-23
James' logic here is far superior to Paul's, but the disappointing thing about James' rebuttal is that he could have done a better job and perfectly squashed Paul's pet argument! One reason it is obvious that James is directly addressing Paul's doctrine is the fact that James' quote from Genesis is identical to Paul's quotes which are in error... again! It is apparent that James had obtained copies of Paul's letters and had them in front of him when he wrote his letter, and it is obvious that he assumed Paul had quoted Genesis accurately. After all, Paul's version would have sounded very close to what he remembered of it. Consequently, James used Paul's quote and went about refuting Paul's doctrine on other logical grounds. But in doing this, he appears to have agreed with Paul that Abraham was justified by faith. After all, that is what Paul's quote from Genesis indicates. But James argues that Abraham's faith was a faith made of works as opposed to Paul's faith without works. If James had gone down to the local Synagogue and scrolled through the book of Genesis to see if Paul's quote was perfectly accurate, he doubtless would have dealt with Paul's doctrine very differently. The difference is subtle in appearance at first, but it is devastatingly wrong. The accurate quote from Genesis is in the following passage.
Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." And he believed in the Lord, and he accounted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:5,6
Notice the difference that it says, "and he accounted it to him", as opposed to Paul's, "and it was accounted to him". Paul and James' quotes rearranged the phrase and left out the pronoun "he". You might be thinking, "What's the difference? Aren't they still saying the same thing?" Answer; not at all! The question at hand is, who is this pronoun "he" referring to?
Because Bible translators work from the assumption that Paul knew what he was talking about, they assume the particular pronoun here in Genesis is in reference to God. So they capitalized it to indicate that it was God who accounted something to Abraham. But in the Hebrew text there are no such capitalized letters, nor are there any indicators in the word itself (which is actually only one letter) as to who the pronoun refers to. The Hebrew language makes much use of pronouns this way and at times can be confusing for English speaking people. We prefer to have the person identified more regularly. You may have noticed in the short passage above there are seven pronouns and Abraham isn't even named! We know this passage is speaking of Abraham from two verses earlier! The Hebrew language assumes more intelligence upon its readers to figure out who the pronouns refer to from the context in which they are used. The first key to understanding who this particular pronoun refers to comes from the obvious fact that the sentence this phrase is found in begins by changing the identity of the one referred to as "he" from God to Abraham. Read the entire passage again and notice how it changes with, "And he believed in the Lord..." Obviously the Lord didn't believe in the Lord! So at this point the narrative changes and begins to refer to Abraham... and he believed in the Lord. Would it not make sense that the remainder of the pronouns in the sentence also refer to Abraham? The second key comes from the very next word translated "accounted". The predominant meaning of this Hebrew word is to compute, reason, or reckon. Seldom does it mean to credit to someone's account. The far more likely interpretation of this phrase is that "he" (Abraham) "reasoned" that "it" (the promise) was given to him for (because of) his righteousness. Read it again and see if this doesn't fit much better. In a moment I will prove that this interpretation is without question the truth of the matter. So hang in there a minute while we first note something else that happened in the same scene as this one where God promised to multiply Abraham's descendants like the stars of heaven.
On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates..." Genesis 15:18
Now comes the proof I promised. Let's look at something God said to Abraham's son Isaac a number of years later. Notice that God makes reference to everything He had promised to Abraham on that very same day in history. And more importantly, notice why God gave Abraham the promises.
"Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; BECAUSE Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My Laws." Genesis 26:3-5
Nowhere does God say anything to Isaac about Abraham's faith! The promises God gave to Abraham were all because of Abraham's works! God gave Abraham the promises because Abraham was a righteous man... just as Abraham reasoned was the case back in Genesis 15:6. Abraham was not justified by faith as Paul would have us believe. He was justified by works! God couldn't have made that fact more plain to Abraham's son Isaac.
Grace and mercy versus law and works?
In the book of Romans, Paul goes on to try and drive home this picture of grace versus works with more nonsensical, and non-Scriptural logic. The book is sprinkled throughout with this picture based on the assumption he has firmly established its truth on his previous arguments, namely, that no one can become righteous under the law because God made the law impossible to keep for the very purpose of keeping man humble and reliant on His good graces. We have also seen his extremely faulty proof taken from the story of Abraham. Another one of Paul's statements that ultimately makes God responsible for man's sin is this gem.
"Moreover the law entered that (for this purpose) the offense (sin) might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through (faith alone in) Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:20 (amplifications mine)
Again he draws the mutually exclusive picture of Law and grace in the following.
"For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." Romans 6:14
Later on in Romans, Paul uses an analogy from the time of Elijah to make his grace versus works point.
But what does the divine response say to him (Elijah)? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Even so then, (proof by analogy) at this present time there is a remnant (of Israel) according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. Romans 11:4-6
Paul's logic is so stood on its head, and his proof demonstrated with smoke and mirrors here that it's almost humorous. It would be hilarious if so many didn't believe this is the infallible word of God. The only thing that Paul derives from what God said to Elijah is that He had reserved a "remnant" for Himself. Nothing more! Never mind the fact that these seven thousand men had themselves remained true to God's law and not bowed their knee to Baal! Sounds like works to me! But then, to keep the illusion going, Paul states that this new remnant of saved Israel is "according to the election of grace". This he bases on the assumption that he had firmly established the concept of predestination and the election by grace earlier in the infamous passages of Romans 9. This detestable doctrine is itself based on numerous misquotes of Scripture as I have exposed in chapter 5. But now Paul continues to build lie on top of lie with the flow of logic that if salvation is by grace, than it is no longer by works; otherwise grace is no longer grace! What utter nonsense! Where is it written that grace and law (works) are mutually exclusive concepts... other than in Paul's writings? Paul had previously tried to establish the principle that the two concepts cannot go together with this slight-of-hand.
"Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt." Romans 4:4
This deception is accomplished by renaming elements in the equation much the way an abortionist would never call an unborn child a "baby". If Paul can get away with calling obedience to God "work", than he can get away with calling the benefits of that work "wages", and if we continue to follow him down this road we find out that wages are really a "debt" for which payment may be demanded at any time! Oh no! Who would want to be accused of being so presumptuous as to bill God for grace?!! Phew. Let's back up and start over. What Paul calls "work" is really obedience to God. God is the One with the bill! He made us and demands the payment of obedience. His grace and mercy are fringe benefits (not wages) of doing business with Him. No one, no matter how obedient, can presumptuously demand payment of anything from God. To do so would involve disobedience to the law concerning walking humbly with God! Anyone who is obedient and walks humbly with God can have all the "faith" in the world that God will provide the fringe benefits He promised. Now doesn't this sound so much more simple and right? Even a child can grasp this picture. But one must spent years in seminary before they can pretend to comprehend Paul's convoluted mess.
Now let's take a look at Scripture and take notice of who God deems worthy of His fringe benefits of grace, and mercy. Let's start with Noah.
So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I regret that I have made them." But Noah found GRACE in the eyes of the Lord. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:7-9
Then the Lord said to Noah, "Come into the ark, you and all your household, BECAUSE I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. Genesis 7:1
Hmm! No one else on earth found grace or mercy from God except one man and his family because he was "just" and "righteous"! Contrary to Paul's doctrine, Noah being a recipient of God's grace had everything to do with works. Grace and works are not mutually exclusive. In God's view they are inextricably tied to one another. There is more.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. Exodus 20: 5,6
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them. Psalm 103 17-18
And the list goes on and on. Paul's concept of the separation of grace and works is as unscriptural as it can possibly be. Just think about Paul's picture logically for a minute. The concept of grace presupposes there exists law that man is guilty of breaking and he is therefore desperately in need of grace! If there is no more law to break, who needs grace? Absolutely nothing concerning grace and law has changed since Yeshua... or Adam for that matter. Men who lived before Yeshua were no less treated to God's wonderful grace, and man today is under no less obligation to obey God's laws.
Paul, the author of Christian anti-Semitism.
Ever since the gospel story of Yeshua the Messiah left the hands of the Messianic Jews and went with Paul toward the Gentiles under the new label of Christianity, and throughout history, Christianity has had a terribly anti-Semitic dark side to it. Nearly all Jews know the facts of history, but most Christians are completely unaware of the despicable treatment the Jews have suffered in the name of their faith. The Christian leaders who are aware of history have a tendency to sweep the facts under the rug. So rampant was Christian anti-Semitism among both Protestants and Catholics in Europe in the early 20th century that it could easily be argued that the holocaust could not have occurred had it not been the general 'who-cares about Jews' attitude of Christians. So few and far between were the Christians who cared for the Jews that there is only one name that comes to mind among Christians today. It is the Tenboom family. Naturally, Christianity has made much of the Tenboom's sacrifices made on behalf of the Jews, but they were able to save only a few Jews. The movie 'The Hiding Place', which was produced to tell their story spends most of its time focusing on the suffering of the family members in German concentration camps. It does little to portray the even worse suffering of millions of Jews. So pathetic was Christianity's response to the needs of the Jews at that time that God has to raise up a man who had left the church... an alcoholic, womanizing, industrialist by the name of Oscar Schindeler... to do many times the work of all of Christian Europe put together.
Up until this time in history, Christianity had itself been the main perpetrators of Jewish persecution. During the times of the inquisitions, Jews were regularly tortured and killed if they refused to convert to Christianity and prove it by eating pork. Jews were constantly being called "Christ killers" and treated like the scum of the earth. Even today, there are branches of Christianity that continue to consider and treat Jews as "Christ killers"... as if they are the very ones who crucified Yeshua. Many Christians still love to cite Matthew 27:25 were the Jewish leaders said, "His blood be on us and on our children" as though all Jews today are descendants of these relatively few prominent Jews and they are only getting what their parents have asked for. This practice is nothing short of despicable and I have a hard time finding words to express my personal contempt for it. We can be sure that those relatively few leaders of the Jews who pronounced the curse on themselves and their children, who were indeed evil, died, along with their children 40 years later when Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome in 70 A.D. But the sad truth of the matter is that Jewish history has shown that it only takes one wicked king to bring about destruction on the entire nation. But even then, God continues to hold on to those of Israel who are innocent as a remnant through whom He will bring His promises to pass. The point here is that since 70A.D. there has never existed a single solitary Jew who can be held accountable for the crucifixion of Israel's Messiah. Those few who were responsible have long since paid the price. The remnant of Jews that live today should be as furious with the evil Jewish leaders of the first century as they might be with those of earlier history when evil leaders of the Jews lost the promised land of Israel for all Jews. But no Christian has any right to hold accountable any Jew today for what happened in the first century. Those who do are no less evil than the very people who had Yeshua crucified... and they too will pay the price.
The question now is, where did Christianity ever get the idea it had the right to condescend over the Jews in this way and twist the words in Matthew 27:25 to include the descendants of the entire nation of Israel? You guessed it. It's our resident false apostle Paul! For starters, in 2 Corinthians 3, Paul paints the picture of the Law of Moses being given for the very purpose of convicting of sin and causing death... much the same as he teaches in Romans as mentioned above. He even blasphemously refers to the Law of Moses as "the ministry of death" in 2Corinthians 3:7. God calls the Law of Moses His Law, and He calls it life to all who obey it! (See Deuteronomy 4:40, 5:29, 6:24-25 30:15-20) Paul then goes on to say these words.
For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech--unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were hardened. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 2Corinthians 3:9-15
Now take all of these types of passages from Paul and consider them in light of these words.
Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to everyman who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law: you have fallen from grace. Galatians 5:2-4
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them and upon the Israel of God. Galatian 6:15-16
In view of these words from Paul, is it any wonder that Christianity views itself as the new true Israel of God and the former Israel has passed away? It is from this condescending posture that it logically flows... the Jews today are irrelevant in God's eyes and deserving only of contempt. Any true follower of Paul's doctrine should be anti-Semitic. Paul and his doctrine are responsible for the blatant and rampant anti-Semitism that has existed in Christianity throughout history because Paul is the father of Christianity. Yeshua never taught anything remotely resembling Paul's replacement doctrine.
The remainder of Paul's errors I will set aside for now. They naturally come crashing down with the fact that their foundations have been kicked out from under them. So now the question is, if the law stands, what laws are we expected to observe.
Which laws stand?
If one were to ask the average Christian if it were acceptable to murder someone because Christians aren't under the law according to Paul, you would be told; "of course not". Then it would be explained to you that God still expects Christians to live by the moral code as embodied in the ten commandments. How this supposed fact fits with Paul's either/or grace or law doctrine is never satisfactorily reconciled. But nevertheless, they are quite adamant that we must still keep the ten commandments. When you ask them about the forth of the ten commandments which is to honor the Sabbath day, you are told that Paul dealt with that particular commandment in his letter to the Colossians.
"Therefore let no on judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ." Colossians 2:16,17
So I guess there are really only nine commandments that Christians need to observe! But then, if you listen to Christian teachers and especially televangelists, it becomes obvious that in their mind there are other parts of the law that continue to stand. And it seems that they are most adamant about one in particular. The one law that you will constantly hear reinstated is the commandment to give a tenth of one's income to support the ministry of the Gospel! Isn't this an interesting re-inclusion? I guess maybe this one commandment is to replace the one concerning the Sabbath so we are back at ten again... kind of the way Paul is supposed to replace Judas so there are again twelve apostles! Am I mocking again? Yes! This re-inclusion of tithing law should be seen for the incredible self-serving thing that it is. Preachers will quote from the law over and over again to guilt their followers into giving to the church. Their favorite is the following.
"Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now in this," Says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it..." Malachi 3:8-10
When these words hit the ears of the listeners, the wallets and checkbooks pop out everywhere. Who wants to be guilty of robbing God and be cursed for it? And who doesn't want God to bless them so much they can't contain it? When it comes to which of the laws of God are applicable today, it should go without saying that the individual is responsible before God to keep only the laws that God expects an individual to keep. God gave numerous laws to the nation of Israel and to the priests that no individual is capable of carrying out today. For example, I cannot prepare myself and go walking into the Holy of Holies on the day of atonement and make atonement for my home nation... for many reasons. It was the sole responsibility of the High Priest to make atonement for Israel alone, and only then when there is a temple and Holy of Holies in existence in Jerusalem the first place. Likewise, the law of God concerning the tenth of one's income is very clear. It was given as a command to the nation of Israel for the purpose of supporting the tribe of Levi, the priests, who were given no other inheritance in the land of Israel. (See Deuteronomy 14:22-29) God was their inheritance, (See Numbers 18:20-24) so in commanding the other tribes of Israel to give a tenth to the Levites it was considered a debt to God. That is why God saw withholding the tithe from the Levites as robbing Him and took it personally as recorded in Malachi. Guess what people? We don't have a Levitical priesthood today! To claim that the leaders of the modern Christian church are today's priesthood is nothing more than convenient nonsense in light of Paul's false apostleship and the fact that God does not officially recognize any religious institution on earth today. Religious institutions today are bad enough about applying the screws of guilt to their followers to get money out of them, but televangelists as a whole are the worst. They have made a complete mockery of the small amount of truth that they do have. That truth being Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah and coming Judge. I for one would not want to be anywhere near their shoes when the Judge is seated.
But there certainly is a place for giving. If a person still desires to give, and wants to have true reward in heaven, they should do as Yeshua taught and give it directly to help the poor. Matthew 19:21 Luke 19:8,9 Forget the institutions of Christianity. It's money to the wind that will not come back in this life or the next!
The main point of this section that needs to be born out is that there is no consistency to Christianity's rejection of the law. It has obviously become no more than a pick and chose whichever law suits the best interests of institution at the time.
Every "jot and tittle"
Yeshua fully endorsed the Law and the Prophets. To reiterate His say-so;
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill (give official sanction). 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 (heaven and earth) is fulfilled (come to pass). 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." Matthew 5:17-19
Yeshua's reference to "jot" and "tittle" of the law is of utmost significance here. At that time in history, there were two distinct groups of laws. There was the written law, and there was the oral law. It was taught that the oral law was also given by Moses to detail how to carry out the written law, and it was handed down through the ages by word of mouth to special people like the Pharisees. This nonsense is disprovable in light of Israel's history as recorded in 2Kings 22, and 2Cronicles 34. There it is recorded that Israel found the written book of Moses that had been lost for some time. When it was read, it was obviously something those who heard it hadn't heard before. The question is, if Israel had lost and forgotten the written law, how can we be expected to believe there was an ongoing oral law that gave detain on how to carry out the written law?
Yeshua also made these comments concerning the oral law.
He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me, and in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." And He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandant of God, that you may keep your tradition." Mark 7:6-9
The idea that God gave Moses these oral laws and that they have been passed down is simply not true. Yeshua called them the mere commandments of men. But on another interesting side note, the modern Catholic Christian church has borrowed from this successful method of duping and controlling the masses. It is taught that the secret doctrines of Christianity were given by Yeshua to his apostles who were the first bishops. And since the first century, "there has been an unbroken line of Catholic bishops faithfully handing on what the apostles taught the first Christians in Scripture and oral tradition." These doctrines, like the perpetual virginity of Mary, the communion between living and dead saints, the Eucharist, and so on, are taught by the Church in a, 'trust the church, and submit to it because it is God's authority on earth, and you simply cannot comprehend..." fashion. I wonder where the Catholic church got the idea to try this? There is not a shred of truth to these doctrines. And like the notion that the oral law was passed down from Moses, there is not a shred of truth to the notion that Yeshua's secret teachings have been passed down orally by the bishops from the time of the apostles. The only solid piece of truth that anyone has to work with is found in the written words of Moses, the prophets, and Yeshua. And we all, now have access to them and can read them for ourselves. It was the practice of Christianity throughout the majority of its history, especially during the dark ages, to keep the average person illiterate and the Bible out of the hands of the masses. Is it any wonder why it was called the dark ages? Even when more people became literate, the Bible was intentionally kept out of the hands of everyday people. William Tyndale was murdered by the church for translating the Bible into the English language for the average person to read. His pocket-sized Bible translations were smuggled into England, and then ruthlessly sought out by the Church, confiscated and destroyed. Tyndale was condemned as a heretic, and was strangled and burned outside Brussels. This happened in history as recently as 1536. Today, the Catholic church keeps its more literate masses at bay by claiming the most important doctrines were never written down at all, but are mysteries passed down orally and known only to the bishops! Can't seem to win... can we?
Having said this, I must emphasis that I speak against the institutions and hierarchy of not just the Catholic Christian church, but all religious institutions... Christian and otherwise. There is hardly one better than another... and non are recognized in heaven. But as mentioned before, I believe there are many of the every-day type people in these institutions whose hearts are good, who have done well with what they were given, and will still receive some significant degree of salvation. So, in certain cases where it is clear that a good individual cannot make a change, it may be better not to confront them and the errors of their particular institution and spare them the guilt of rejecting the truth. This act of consideration is not altogether without precedence. Yeshua said, "I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now". John 16:12 I would advise people to be careful about getting into just anyone's face with the truth. Be sure your motives are pure, or you may end up doing more harm than good. But I digress. More will be said on this in the final chapter.
Many of the Pharisees of Yeshua's time also intimidated and controlled every-day people with an air of superiority based on their knowledge of oral law. But later in history, the oral traditions they taught became written down and today are know as the Talmud. Most of modern Judaism is really Talmudism much the way Christianity today is Paulinism. So back when Yeshua said, not one "jot or tittle" of the law would pass away, he was intentionally disenfranchising the oral traditions of the Pharisees and speaking only of Moses and the prophets that were in writing at that time. The words "jot" and "tittle" are specific terms referring to something written.
What Part of the written?
As mentioned previously, only the laws that are applicable to the individual are the ones the individual is responsible to keep. The first and greatest law being to love the Lord your God with all your heart. If one truly loves God they will want to do all His will. This must then include the second greatest commandment, love your neighbor as yourself. Every law of God could be listed under these two categories. If you come from a Christian background, and out of love for God want to start walking in His ways, you can start immediately by beginning to observe His day... the Sabbath. This is seen by God as one of the greatest expressions of love for Him because it honors what He has blessed, and it is the ultimate expression of recognizing Him as the six-day creator of heaven and earth. All Christian creationists should automatically recognize the importance of honoring God's Sabbath.
You can also start following God's law by cleaning up your diet, and refrain from eating meat that God says is detestable and unfit to eat. Most Christians believe that God told Peter through a vision that all meat had been cleansed. In no way did He! Please see my articles in the appendix at Dietary Law (Peter's vision) To eat, or not to eat... part 1. And Did Yeshua pronounce all foods clean? To eat or not to eat... part 2
I could go on and write many more pages of what God would want someone who loves Him to observe. But for now, I would like to refer the person who wants to continue to grow in observance of God's law to another group of individuals. There is a Jewish sect living in Israel whose heart is in the right place, and has in my opinion been far closer to observing the unadulterated law of God than any other. They are known as the Karaite Jews. I don't think they could even be considered a formal religious institution of any kind. But if they could, I do not believe God would recognize their institution either. But He does recognize their heart condition and it certainly appears to me to be unadulterated toward Him. They are not officially recognized by any mainstream sect of Judaism because they reject the supposed authority of the Talmud... much the way I reject the supposed authority of Paul's writings. The only big difference I have with them would obviously be with the fact that they do not at this time believe Yeshua is the Messiah. But I thoroughly believe they are no less saved or loved by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob... a point I have made earlier. These dear people are not guilty of rejecting the truth concerning Yeshua simply because they have not been exposed to any reasonable facsimile of it. God won't fault them for rejecting a lie. They will eventually come in contact with the real Yeshua and I am confident they will embrace him at that time. But I would recommend becoming familiar with their other teachings concerning law observance. They can be found on the internet at www.karaite-korner.org/ .