Does Christianity Truly Follow Christ?
- Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
- Part 4
- Part 5
- Part 6
- Part 7
- Part 8
- Part 9
- Part 10
- Part 11
- Part 12
- Part 13
- Part 14
- Part 15
- Part 16
- Part 17
- Part 18
- Part 19
- Part 20
- Part 21
This article will present clear, unambiguous facts from the Bible that for the vast majority of contemporary Christians will be a stunning and disturbing revelation. It is a revelation which proves they have been deceived into accepting grossly unscriptural teachings. I pray that instead of a knee-jerk negative reaction, the evidence is fully reviewed and met with an open mind.
Put simply, the deception this discussion exposes results in what is, perhaps, the most infamous and well concealed institutionalized hypocrisy found in contemporary Christianity – that those who call themselves “Christians” do not actually “follow Christ” and are not being taught to do so by their contemporary Christian leaders.
Before beginning our study – a brief clarification:
Most Christians, whether they realize it or not and despite their sincerity, do not and never have followed Christ, and this includes most who honestly yet ignorantly claim otherwise. Instead, they focus on following their church’s teachings regardless of how contrary to Scripture those teachings may be. It is a terrible yet common tragedy that Christians the world over blindly and often knowingly discard the faith-example and teachings of the very person they claim to follow.
I say “often knowingly” because some contemporary Christian leaders directly teach that Christ’s example is not to be followed, and many Christians who are deceived by such leaders tragically state that they do not consider following the example of Christ to be a necessary tenet of the faith. Such Christians flatly reject Christ’s example when that example is shown to differ with what their church leaders teach, and that difference is generally easy to show.
A misuse and misunderstanding of the apostle Paul’s teachings is largely responsible. By overruling Messiah’s teachings and example with the misinterpreted and distorted teachings of Paul, Christianity has effectively seated their version of the Christ-devoted apostle Paul above Christ. In fact, if the focus within contemporary Christianity upon their distortion of the apostle Paul’s teachings is recognized and admitted, along with how those distortions are used to usurp all other teachings in Scripture (including The Creator’s), then contemporary Christianity is proven to effectively seat their version of Paul on the throne of God. My friend, the word for that is idolatry.
Law vs. Grace
The man-made “law versus grace” debate has been ongoing since the origins of contemporary Christianity in 4th century Rome. (Note: True Christianity/Messianism began in first century Jerusalem and is simply a completion of the original Biblical faith of Abraham. Essentially: Jews that believed Yeshua (Jesus) to be Messiah.) This debate generally and wrongly centers upon the alleged teachings of the apostle Paul. Amazingly, the teachings of the Messiah on this matter are rarely considered within “Christianity.”
Isn’t it odd that contemporary Christianity largely ignores the teachings and faith example of the very Messiah (Christ) it claims to promote?
A universal and very typical argument put forth by most contemporary Christians is that the death of Messiah on the cross “abrogated” or “did away with” the Law (Torah). In order to prove this they must show that Messiah never taught that the Torah would be applicable after his death. If it can be shown to be otherwise, then their argument is nullified.
I will show that Messiah did indeed speak during his earthly ministry before his death of the future relevance of Torah after he died. This means Messiah directly refutes the absurd and false belief that his death put an end to his very teachings, including his pro-Torah teachings.
By bringing Messiah’s own teachings and example into the debate, the question of whether or not Torah is still applicable in the lives of Christians is settled, and debating over what Paul may or may not have taught becomes somewhat immaterial.
It is for that reason that Messiah’s teachings and faith example regarding the “Law” (Torah) are generally avoided by contemporary Christian leaders. I will not ignore them. I will elevate them to the supreme level which they should occupy.
To prevent the reader from missing such information I have placed a stop sign where teachings of Messiah from the gospel undeniably refers to a future scenario of faith after his death. I could have placed the graphic at just about every instance where Messiah addresses the Law since all his teachings are applicable in the lives of his followers after his death; however, I chose to limit my graphic symbol to only those places that are so blatant in their reference to a time after his death and resurrection that they are beyond dispute. That stop sign becomes a barrier of truth that the people who feel the Law (Torah) has been abrogated cannot logically explain away. The only way to get around it is to admit that they do not care what Messiah says. In short, that either they have no interest in following Christ, and/or that they prefer to follow a false Christ.
If you are a contemporary Christian/Messianic who believes that the Torah (Law) has been abolished, superseded, or even made optional, then after reading this article you will have to decide whom you will follow from here. Who do you feel has greater authority? Will you follow Messiah; or, will you follow your Christian leaders who teach you to ignore or discard Messiah’s example and teachings?
“Torah” (toe-RAH’) is the Hebrew word for “teaching” or “instruction” and is often rendered – somewhat incorrectly – as “Law” in English translations of Scripture. Its use in conversation and writing may to refer to:
- The 5 books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) – part of the written Torah.
- The Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (the entire Older Testament) – part of the written Torah. The term “Tanakh” (tah-NOCK’) is an acronym taken from combining the Hebrew words Torah (Law), Neviim (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings). The term “Old” Testament is a covertly irreverent term. Therefore, I generally use Tanakh when referring to what contemporary Christians call the “Old” Testament.
- The traditions/opinions (Oral Torah) of Jewish sages.– I discuss this aspect of Torah in great depth in a separate article in which I prove the legitimacy and necessity of oral Torah.
- All of the above.
Given the four definitions above, I do not completely accept definition Numbers 3 and 4 as being the true Divinely-ordained Torah. However, my differences do not approach the point of large-scale rejection of such material; therefore, in this discussion I will define Torah as number 4 with reservations.
To say all of Torah is simply Numbers 1 and 2 is incorrect, but it is also incorrect in my opinion to accept all of the “Oral Torah.” Definition Number 1, often mistakenly called the “Law”, but which more accurately would be termed the “teachings” or “instructions”, is definitely the core heart-and-soul of Torah along with definition Number 2 in a broader sense.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt in my mind from studying it and from recognizing so much of it present in the New Testament, particularly the “inner essence” of Torah, that Judaic Oral Torah very often does contain Divine teaching passed down from Moses, but not all Oral Torah is of such Divine origin in my opinion.
New Testament vs Older Testament
I discuss the importance of the New Testament elsewhere on this site within the blog entitled, “What Scriptures Did Yeshua (Jesus) Study?”. It is important to note that even in the New Testament it is clear that the writers did not consider their writings to be the Torah of God, even though it is certainly to be considered teachings on the Divine, so long as it is properly interpreted from the Hebraic context in which it was written and its teachings are verified/checked by referencing the Tanakh just as was done by the Bereans of Acts 17:11. As I say in the article mentioned above, I feel strongly that the New Testament is a form of oral Torah.
It is assumed for the purposes of this article that you are already familiar with contemporary Christianity’s teaching that the Law (Torah) is no longer in effect – that it has been annulled, superseded, abrogated, abolished or replaced. In other words, I am assuming you already know that the position of contemporary Christianity is fundamentally anti-Torah. This is such a soundly recognized fact of contemporary Christian ideology that I do not see the need to provide evidence. It may very well be the most foundational doctrine of the Christian religion as a whole, and is generally accepted throughout otherwise differing denominations.
Additional evidence supporting the position taken in this discussion is shown by the fact that most Christians do not even know what “Torah” is despite the fact that the written Torah constitutes the very core of Biblical thought in both the Tanakh (Older Testament) and the New Testament. Indeed, a primary proof of contemporary Christianity’s severe departure from Scriptural doctrine is the fact that “Torah” holds no position of importance whatsoever in Christianity except for its rejection.
Instead of being revered in Christianity, Torah is opposed and often despised.
Such a rejection is actually a rejection of Yeshua (Messiah) and God, since rejection of the Torah that Yeshua embraced is no different than a rejection of Yeshua and The Eternal One (God) who gave those instructions.
Following the Leader
Matthew 10:38-40 (ESV)
38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.
When as a teenager I first dedicated myself to Christ I was under the impression that the primary goal of every Christian was to “follow Christ” and that the church I attended was accurately teaching me how to “follow Christ.” In fact, the very name of the denomination in which I was raised, the “church of Christ”, explicitly distinguishes itself through its name to advocate following Christ. For the 30+ years I was within the contemporary Christian sphere of influence I continued to believe that such was the primary teaching of contemporary Christianity. Indeed, if you ask just about any Christian today they will tell you that Christians are those who “follow Christ” or who should strive to “follow Christ.”
Do contemporary Christians really “follow Christ” by observing the Torah (teachings) of Messiah? More importantly, do contemporary Christian leaders teach Christians of “follow Christ”?
What does it mean to “follow Christ” or to be “Christ-like”?
The third edition of the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament edited by Fredrick William Danker needs no introduction, as it is a standard lexicon for Greek New Testament studies. This lexicon defines the Greek term ἀκολουθέω [akoloutheó (ak-ol-oo-theh´-o, Strong’s #0190), which is rendered as “follow” in Matthew 10:38 and the gospel parallels of Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23, as:
- literally to move behind someone in the same direction, come after
- to follow or accompany someone who takes the lead, accompany, go along with
- to follow someone as a disciple, be a disciple, follow
- to comply with, follow, obey
- to come after something else in sequence, follow
Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by Joseph Henry Thayer, D.D. defines it as:
- to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him
- to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple; side with his party … to cleave steadfastly to one, conform wholly to his example, in living and if need be in dying also
The simple common sense meaning behind the concept of “follower” is that “followers” strive to mimic or copy the characteristics and to practice and promote the teachings of the one whom they claim to follow. Therefore, to “follow Christ” is to:
- Think as he thinks
- Approve of what he approves of
- Oppose what he opposes
- Worship as he worshiped (and Who he, himself, worshiped as his God)
- Learn and practice his teachings
- Revere what he revered
- Obey him
Perhaps the best understanding is to “conform wholly to his [Messiah’s] example” as previously shown from Thayer’s Lexicon.
In short, to follow Messiah is to be like him in every way possible in word and deed and to revere, obey, and practice his instructions while following his example. The ultimate goal of a “follower” of Messiah is to perfectly copy Messiah’s example. That is what being “Christ-like” means.
Does contemporary Christianity teach this?
So, do most Christian leaders teach this? Do they truly teach that Christians are to “follow Christ”? Furthermore, do most Christians “follow” the Messiah in the common sense way just defined?
Most Christians probably object to my daring to even ask such a question and will present evidence allegedly showing that Christians are taught to follow Christ. Such evidence will likely consist of Christian commentaries or teaching materials. For sure such material does certainly appear to instruct Christians to be Christ-like; however, appearances can be deceiving.
Can such evidence be proven illegitimate? Can it be proven that Christianity teaches against following Messiah?
To answer this question let us study Messiah’s teachings and practices concerning the Torah and compare them to the dominant anti-Torah teachings of contemporary Christianity. It is important to remember the foundational anti-Torah (lawless) core dogma of Christianity, as this fact proves crucial to answering the question.
What are Messiah’s teachings regarding the Torah (Law) and the Obligation of Christians to Follow Him?
Matthew 5:17-19 – Part 1
The verses I will present by no means exhaust the evidence of Messiah’s pro-Torah teachings but represent only a subset of more evidence in the gospels that illustrate directly, by example, and in parable form the rock-solid pro-Torah stance of our beloved King Messiah. These verses should suffice to prove how true Christians/Messianics are to adopt the same mindset. Those who choose to reject the beliefs, faith-example, and teachings of Messiah demonstrate a rejection of him. Therefore, casting off Messiah’s example and teachings demonstrates a conscious decision to not be among those who strive to follow him. Instead, the person is shown to prefer to follow the anti-Christ and to be a recipient of the “mark of the beast.”
Each set of verses presented will be broken down and scrutinized on a verse-by-verse basis.
Yeshua the Messiah (incorrectly nicknamed “Jesus” the Christ by Christianity) was a forceful and passionate advocate of God’s – his God and ours – eternal Torah. There is no clearer proof of this fact than his own words as recorded in the gospel of Matthew. Two versions of Matthew 5:17-19 are provided, however the links allow you to view whatever bible version you wish on Biblegateway.com.
Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:17-19 (CJB)
17 “Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot [commandments] and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Emphasis mine.)
“…not to abolish but to complete.”
The word rendered “destroy” in the KJV literally means, as rendered in the Complete Jewish Bible, to “abolish.” Some Christians and Christian leaders cunningly avoid terms like “abolish” when they promote that the Torah has been cancelled, preferring instead terms such as replaced, superseded, annulled, or other similar words that do not sound quite as harsh. However, use of such terms carry the same meaning as “abolish” since the end result is the same: cancellation of Torah. Thus, such Christians and Christian leaders show themselves to be deceitful participants in word games as they attempt to “sugar coat” or conceal the fact that they DO teach the Torah (Law) is abolished and thus directly oppose the teachings of Messiah.
Messiah said his coming did not abolish Torah. Contemporary Christianity teaches that his coming did abolish Torah.
The teachings of Messiah (did not abolish) and contemporary Christian leaders (did abolish) are completely opposite to one another!
Whose teachings should you follow: Yeshua the Messiah’s, or those of the contemporary Christian leaders who directly contradict his words?
Dr. Brad Young, author of the outstanding book, Jesus the Jewish Theologian, points out that in verse 17 Yeshua (Jesus) was actually making use of a common Hebraic expression with the use of “destroy/abolish” and “fulfill/complete”. In the Hebraic context of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) day those who misinterpreted or misapplied Torah were said to “destroy” it, and those who correctly interpreted and applied Torah “fulfilled” it. Therefore, Dr. Young postulates that the intent behind the symbolic use of “fulfill” and “destroy” was:
“Don’t think that I have come to misinterpret the Torah. I have not come to wrongly interpret but to interpret it correctly.”
I personally think Dr. Young may be incorrect in this case since the verse following (vs. 18) seems to support the more literal meaning.
Regardless of whether the common interpretation or Dr. Young’s interpretation is applied, the verse is still proven to be a pro-Torah statement from Messiah.
Matthew 5:17-19 – Part 2
Matthew 5:18 (CJB)
18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened.
This verse needs no in-depth explanation. Even a young child can understand its meaning.
Here we have one of many clear examples where Messiah was direct and unmistakable in teaching that after his death the Torah would still be in force.
It is too obvious to even waste much time on. Nevertheless, despite Yeshua’s clear future reference, most Christians still insists that the Torah has been “abrogated” or “abolished.”
Could those who so boldly declare death to the Law (Torah) please tell me when heaven and earth passed away?
My sarcasm is intentional and used to prove the lunacy and nonsensical nature of the arguments from those within Christianity who directly contradict Yeshua (Jesus) by claiming the Torah is abolished.
Are “heaven and earth” still here?
Would the Torah opponents of Christianity please produce evidence of the destruction of heaven and earth? Would the Pope and his Cardinals, Charles Stanley, James Kennedy, Charles Swindoll, James Dobson, Billy Graham, Benny Hinn, Max Lucado, Jerry Falwell, Robert Schuller, Pat Robertson, Joel Osteen and all others among Christianity’s elite leaders who teach that the Torah has been annulled please prove the past destruction of our planet?
We’re bordering on the ridiculous; however, more accurately stated, Christian leaders are promoting a ridiculous contradiction to the words of the “Christ” they claim to promote. If the planet is still here, which it is, then all aforementioned contemporary Christian leaders are wrong about the abrogation of Torah.
Note: Just so that there can be absolutely no argument that may come from the, “’Heaven and earth’ are metaphors,” crowd… The Greek for those words respectively means the literal sky, and the literal land. So, if you can look up and see blue sky, and reach down and pick up dirt – Yeshua’s words are sill in effect and the Torah stands.
Has Messiah returned?
Furthermore, when were ‘all things fulfilled’? Unless I’m mistaken, Messiah had not yet returned, wars are being fought, people are still going through life’s ups and downs, and with the exception of the extreme northern and southern latitudes, and the sun still rises every morning and sets each night. So it appears to me all things have not yet been fulfilled.
Heaven and earth are still here; therefore, not even the most minor elements (“yud or a stroke”) of the “Law” (Torah) have been annulled. Anyone who claims otherwise directly opposes Messiah’s teachings. Nevertheless, contemporary Christianity claims otherwise and in actuality, would consider Yeshua (Jesus) potentially “damned” since they generally contradict Messiah’s teachings by advancing the doctrine that anyone who seeks to learn and practice Torah is hell-bound – unless such a person “comes to Christ” and repents of their “bondage” to Torah.
Matthew 5:19 (CJB)
19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot [commandments] and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Brackets mine.)
First please notice that he did not say “is called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven” or “is called great in the Kingdom of Heaven”. Instead he said “will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven” and “will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven”. Therefore, even his use of future tense verbs instead of past or present tense proves that he is referring to a time in the future after his death and resurrection.
once again Messiah clearly references future faith practices a person must adhere to after his death.
I think you get the picture; therefore, I will not repeat myself and always alert you each time future references in Messiah’s statements apply. Please simply be watching within Messiah’s words for the frequency of such allusions to the future scenario that would follow his death and resurrection.
Contemporary Christian leaders and most Christians usually do not stop at promoting that the Torah has been simply abolished. No. They often go further by declaring that it is wrong for a person to even attempt to be Torah-observant, which once again directly contradicts the words of Messiah as voiced in verse 19. Ironically, the belief of some Christians that it is “sinful” to strive to observe Torah is proven particularly absurd by the fact that without Torah (Law) there is no definition of “sin.”
Matthew 10:38-40 (ESV)
38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. (Emphasis mine.)
Parallel passages are found in Mark 8 and Luke 9.
Mark 8:34-38 (ESV)
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Emphasis mine.)
Luke 9:23-26 (ESV)
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (Emphasis mine.)
The admonition to “follow” Messiah and to thus conform wholly to his example is unmistakably shown to be a necessary requirement for all who claim to be Christian or Messianic. Do contemporary Christians strive to conform wholly to his example, to:
- Think as he thinks
- Approve of what he approves
- Oppose what he opposes
- Worship as he worshiped (and WHO he worshiped as his God)
- Learn and practice his teachings
- Revere what he revered
- And obey him?
Does contemporary Christianity conform?
So, do contemporary Christians strive to conform wholly to his example? NO! If they did Christianity would not persist in its deliberate anti-Torah position.
It is impossible for a person to have “received” (accepted) Messiah while rejecting his teachings. Amazingly, however, the world of contemporary Christianity has established such rejection as a foundational Christian doctrine. Since such anti-Torah contemporary Christians are obviously “ashamed” of Messiah’s pro-Torah teachings, Messiah may very well be “ashamed” of them when he returns in glory to consummate the promised Messianic Kingdom on earth.
Note: The stop sign was used primarily to emphasize Mark 8:38 and Luke 9:26. Note that in both of those verses Messiah clearly refers to a future situation – a future scenario that will not be fulfilled until the second coming of Messiah.
The stop sign warns that those who reject Yeshua’s words, including his pro-Torah words, will suffer shame when he comes in glory to consummate the Kingdom of God on earth.
Lawlessness & Iniquity
Matthew 7:21-27 (ESV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Emphasis mine.)
A similar warning is found in Luke 13.
Luke 13:24-27 (KJV)
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. (Emphasis mine.)
Verse 21 in Matthew shows the distinction of the Father in heaven while Yeshua (Jesus) was speaking from Earth. Such distinction is common within New Testament passages which provide evidence that Messiah is not God. However, the primary point I wish to make regarding these verses is the strong pro-Torah message Yeshua (Jesus) is proclaiming.
Once-Saved-Always-Saved & Eternal Security
Those who advance an extremely dangerous deception as they promote the “once saved-always saved” (OSAS) or “eternal security” error also have a problem with this verse because it very clearly implies the ones who cry, “Lord, Lord have we not…” unequivocally considered themselves “saved”. Verse 22 leaves little doubt of this:
Matthew 7:22 (KJV)
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
The “eternal security”, “once-saved-always-saved” (OSAS) proponents vainly attempt to extract themselves from these very clear words by claiming that since he said, “I never knew you” they must never have actually been saved. Those same people avoid the clear definitions in the New Testament of what it truly means to “know” Messiah and also (as is frequently the case) completely ignore the context. The definition of “knowing” Messiah is found in 1 John.
1 John 2:3-5 (NASB)
3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him… (Emphasis mine.)
Transgression of the Law (Torah) = Lawlessness
Undoubtedly, the just quoted passages from the first epistle of John show that to “know” Messiah means to keep the commandments or teachings of Messiah (adherence to Torah) which are the very same teachings he, himself, practiced and taught – the eternal teachings of his God and ours – The Eternal Creator’s Torah. Therefore, those who rebelliously refuse to revere the Torah (teachings) do not “know” him. Subsequently, they will be told, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity (lawlessness)!”
The New American Standard Bible and others more appropriately translate the term “lawlessness”. Since Torah is roughly rendered as “law”, the lawless are those who do not keep Torah. In fact from the following verse the point is further confirmed.
1 John 3:4 (NASB)
4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
1 John 3:4 (KJV)
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
The Greek word translated “lawlessness” in the NASB and “transgression of the law” in the KJV is one and the same word – anomia – and is shown from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to be:
Strong’s #458. anomia, an-om-ee´-ah; from 459;
- illegality, i.e. violation of law or (genitive case) wickedness:
- transgress(-ion of) the law,
Likewise, Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines anomia as:
- properly, the condition of one without law — either because ignorant of it, or because violating it.
contempt and violation of law,
It is very important to note the clear implications of the definition from Thayer’s with the proper contextual term of “Torah” applied. The term “anomia” can literally be translated as:
- the condition or being without Torah
- because the person is ignorant of it (which Christians and anti-Paulists are)
- or because it is violated or transgressed (which Christians and anti-Paulists do)
- To have contempt for Torah (which Christian leaders teach Christians to have)
Contempt for the Torah
This is precisely the same Greek word used in Matthew 7:23 where we hear Yeshua (Jesus) say, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (anomia).” In fact, most cases of the word “iniquity” in the KJV are the same Greek word. Christianity shows open contempt of Law (anomia) by brazenly teaching against it. (I describe this further in the article: What is the Mark of the Beast?)
Imagine that! Contemporary Christian leaders demonstrate clear “contempt for” the Torah as they teach as a foundational doctrine of Christianity that the Torah is no longer in effect – that we are in “the condition of without law.”
Therefore my friend, they are directly promoting the very ideology that Yeshua (Jesus) says will result in him saying to those who follow their anti-Torah teachings, “I never knew you, depart from me!”
In case the obvious future reference was missed, allow me to direct your thoughts back to the verses. In both examples of gospel verses we have Messiah directly and unambiguously referring to a future time when he will address those who promoted and embraced lawlessness, iniquity, and Torah-less-ness. His negative opinion of such people at the fulfillment of this future scenario is very clearly displayed.
Furthermore, note the contrast Messiah presents in Matthew’s record between the wise man who 1) “hears” and “does” and the unwise man who 2) “hears” and “does not do”. Even though Messiah is unmistakable in showing obedience to his teachings is obligatory, contemporary Christianity nevertheless “hears” and “does NOT do”, thereby advocating “unwise” doctrines that directly oppose Messiah. So it is actually worse than the “unwise” example since Christianity not only “does not do” his words, they go further by openly rejecting and fervently teaching against his words.
Matthew 12:30-32 (ESV)
30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Emphasis mine).
Here Messiah makes it clear that you are either with him or against him. It is not possible to be “with” Messiah while teaching doctrine that is “against” what he taught. Contemporary Christianity’s anti-Torah teachings are a slap in the face of Messiah and firmly against him. Sadly, millions upon millions are therefore “scattered” in a world of lawless rebellion against God.
Lawlessness doesn’t refer to civil laws.
Messiah further warns against being a “law-breaker” in the parable of the sower.
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-42 (ESV)
24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” 36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 13:36-42, particularly verses 41 and 42, undeniably refer to a future time at Messiah’s second coming when the “law-breakers” will be thrown into a fiery furnace. (We’re not talking about violating the speed limits, folks, or other laws of worldly governments. We’re talking about those who oppose or reject the “Law” or, more accurately stated, those who oppose or reject God’s eternal teachings, the Torah.)
Side Note: The Fiery Furnace
Contemporary Christian leaders and their followers tend to jump on the “fiery furnace” bandwagon when it suits them. It suits them when the threat of an eternity of being burned alive is presented as a primary fear tactic and method of control which is used to scare others into accepting their flawed beliefs. This site does not use such tactics, and never will.
The “fiery furnace” is one of many standard uses of metaphors within scripture. Metaphors and other forms of figurative language, such as “anthropomorphisms”, represent examples of how the Bible is full of passages that follow the dictum, “The Torah speaks in the language of man”. That simply means that Scripture is written in a way so as to be comprehended by human beings. Humans (us) cannot fully grasp the extremely lofty truths that are actually being conveyed, but with a proper awareness of the inner meaning of the terms and phrases present in Scripture, we can at least obtain a basic level of understanding.
Although the “fiery furnace” phrase is not an anthropomorphism, let’s briefly talk that literary technique anyway since it is so often used in Biblical passages.
Typical anthropomorphisms are: the hand of God, the arm of God, the throne of God, the heart of God, the various emotions of God, and basically any other example whereby human characteristics or attributes are applied to The Eternal Creator. Just as with metaphoric language, such anthropomorphic terms or phrases are not to be taken literally. They are figures of speech intended to represent analogy, symbolism, or a rough comparison.
There are many things within the Bible that are meant to represent something much more exalted. Taking such terms or phrases literally results in serious misunderstanding of what the Bible is actually teaching. Unfortunately, contemporary Christian leaders, because they discard Torah and Torah concepts, are often woefully inadequate at being able to grasp a passage’s true intent.
Do you think God’s “fiery furnace” should be taken literally as contemporary Christianity alleges? Absolutely not. It is simply a metaphorical analogy that human minds can understand. It is not meant to be taken literally. “Well, why did he say it?” you ask. If we analyze the words used logically, we might come to a conclusion.
What is a “furnace”? Dictionary.com defines it as “a structure or apparatus in which heat may be generated, as for heating houses, smelting ores, or producing steam.”
First question: Are any of those definitions indicative of malicious intent? Look at it objectively. Do you feel threatened? No. Heating a house, smelting ore, and producing steam are all good things. Useful things.
Pay particular attention to the second definition, “Smelting ores.” Dictionary.com defines smelt as “to obtain or refine (metal) in this way.”
We are told God is just. Justice is one of the primary attributes of God and may be His most fundamental attribute.
Second question: Is it justice to condemn someone to an eternity (infinite) of raging hellfire with no particular purpose besides that of punishment for a finite (limited) amount of sin committed while on Earth?
Third question: Doesn’t it seem more likely that our “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” God uses a ‘fire’ to refine or purify us?
Final question: Is our loving and merciful Creator a god of torture, as contemporary Christianity teaches, who keeps souls alive for eternity only for the purpose of inflicting unimaginable, unrelenting, and unsurpassed pain forever?
If you answered “yes” to that last question I want nothing to do with your god and pity you for being fooled into thinking the One and Only True God has such loathsome characteristics. Portraying God in such a manner is an extreme form of Divine character assassination (blasphemy) and is a primary reason so many people want nothing to do with the “Christian” god. I would not have a problem with that if it were not for the fact such people also think that it describes the True God of the Bible, which is doesn’t.
For more thoughts on this, please read our Is Hell Real? article series.
Matthew 13 – continued…
In Matthew 13 Yeshua (Jesus) is describing the time when he will send forth angels to gather the wicked out of his Kingdom. Visiting that passage again we read:
Matthew 13:39-43 (NASB)
39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
Here we have another instance of the use of the Greek term anomia. The “lawless” (Torah violators) are among those who are gathered first and cast into the furnace. Here and elsewhere Messiah makes it clear that the wicked are gathered before the righteous – a clear and irrefutable contradiction of the silly, outrageous, and dangerous “rapture” theory. Of course, those clinging to a belief in the rapture do so because they want to, and they probably do not care that the person they worship as “Christ” proves the rapture is a false doctrine.
Destination: Kingdom of God
A secondary important teaching relates to where the Kingdom will be. Note that the wicked are gathered out of the Kingdom, and the righteous, who were not gathered will then “shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom.” Obviously, since the wicked and the righteous are right here on planet Earth where the angels are sent to gather, the Kingdom from which the Torah violators are gathered is an Earthly Kingdom in which the righteous will then shine forth. Matthew 13:49 further solidifies this truth as well as more proof against the “rapture.”
Matthew 13:49 (NASB)
49 So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous…
So, we have extremely clear passages where Yeshua (Jesus) specifically describes how those who are “lawless” (violators of Torah) will be told to depart from his presence or gathered out of his Kingdom because by their lawlessness (willful rejection of Torah) they prove to have never known The Creator God. Yet, today in churches all across this land the Torah is openly preached as abolished. Thus, Christianity is largely promoting doctrine that will literally result in the Lord’s stern rebuke.
Christian pastors all over the world are teaching doctrine that will cause those who accept it to fail to know God!
I will not dwell on it; however, the verses immediately following even further confirm this as Yeshua (Jesus) describes how the wise man is the one that hears and acts upon the commandments whereas the foolish man hears but does not act.
More from Matthew 13
There is more within the verses we have thus far covered that needs to be considered. It is a point that leaders of Christianity would particularly do well to consider as well as anyone else who teaches that the Torah is not applicable to Christians.
Let us go back to focus on Matthew 13: 41-42. I will use bold text to indicate the region of the verses that I wish to discuss. I will also include Matthew 18: 6-7 to add additional clarity and support for the point I wish to make. To insure that it is clearly shown, I will be using multiple translations: The New American Standard Bible, the NET bible, the English Standard Version, and the Amplified Bible. If those versions do not appeal to you, use one that does. The same meaning is found in all others.
Here I wish not to focus upon the ones who reject Messiah’s pro-Torah example, but instead on those who cause it to happen – those who teach it.
Notice all the stop signs? It is because these words from Messiah obviously apply then, now, and in the future.
All versions have the same meaning, but the Amplified Bible most clearly describes it when it says “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in and acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin [that is, who entices him or hinders him in right conduct or thought]”. Pay particular attention to “who … hinders him in right conduct or thought”.
These verses present some of the most dire warnings found anywhere in scripture. There may be other warnings equal in severity, but there are none that exceed it. And to whom does this extremely grave and serious warning apply?
It could apply to numerous specific issues, but for sure it also applies to those who teach against following the pro-Torah example of Messiah. It teaches against those who promote an anti-Torah agenda. In fact, there is no more “offense” or “cause to stumble” than is the teaching that the example of Messiah should be ignored and that the very instructions from the Eternal God are abolished and no longer in effect. Nothing is more apt to cause “stumbling” than is that. I need not address these verses in detail since they speak for themselves in a most profound and dreadful manner.
Please heed the warning. Do not risk having to endure the “fiery furnace” of purification because you cause others to stumble by supporting teachings that are against following Messiah’s firm pro-Torah example.
At this point it would be prudent to pause and consider the gravity – the enormous importance – of Messiah’s warnings found in Matthew 7:23, Matthew 13:41-42, and Luke 13:27. Taken together they read:
(Matthew 7:23) 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ (Matthew 13:41-42) 41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Luke 13:27) 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
The primary point to grasp from those verses is this:
Messiah DIRECTLY condemns, in an undeniable FUTURE reference, those who have “contempt and violation of the Law” and/or who promote “the condition without Law (Torah)”.
Those are not my words. Those are the words of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, and individuals who do not like them provide proof of their choice to reject and oppose Messiah.
Anomia & Adikia
Though the precise same Greek word, anomia, is not used in Luke 13:27 for the term of “workers of iniquity” as shown in the KJV, a very similar word is used. That Greek word is adikia. Among Thayer’s Greek Lexicon’s definition of this word is: a deed violating law and justice, act of unrighteousness. Furthermore, given the almost identical nature of the three statements we can be reasonably certain that the same meaning applies to all – that meaning being “contempt and violation of Torah.”
So, Matthew 7:23, 13:41, and Luke 13:27 provide us crystal clear, common sense, unequivocal proof that Messiah vehemently opposes – then, now, and in the future, those who show contempt for his God’s Torah (Law), the Torah that he perfectly obeyed from the God to whom he was perfectly devoted. How much evidence is needed to prove that Messiah personally and repeatedly condemns violation of God’s eternal Law – the Torah? Furthermore, if he condemns Torah violation, what is his obvious feeling for those who actually teach Torah has been abolished?
And of course, the passages from Matthew 18:6-7 also need urgent consideration for reasons that should be obvious.
Messiah absolutely, indisputably opposes the anti-Torah mindset of contemporary Christianity. Contemporary Christianity is promoting an anti-Christ message! (“Anti-Christ” defined as “against” or “opposite of” Christ.)
Sadly, I know that very few Christians care enough to consider Messiah’s words even when those words warn of extreme consequences for what a Christian may practice or believe. Most are too happy with their habitual “freedom” to be lawless that Christianity’s anti-Torah foundation provides. They have become spiritually dead beyond the reach of even Messiah to the point that not even the most dreadful warnings found in Scripture can affect them. Tragically, those warnings eventually will affect them in a most direct manner when what was warned about befalls them.
Just because the “eternal hell” doctrine of contemporary Christianity is false and that any references to punishment after death actaully refer to a purifying or refining process that must occur, that does not mean that the refining process will be pleasant!
The Greatest Commandments
Matthew 22:36-40 (NASB)
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Parallels to these verses are found in Mark 12 and Luke 10. These parallels confirm and elaborate upon the Pro-Torah response of Messiah:
In these verses we see Messiah responding to a question about Torah. Few Christians realize that such questions were very common and that they reflect the Jewish (Hebraic) underpinning of the gospels.
Furthermore, few contemporary Christians realize that Yeshua’s answer is precisely the answer that would be given by virtually any Jewish rabbi today since the passages quoted by Yeshua were from Torah. Specifically, they are taken from Deuteronomy chapter six and Leviticus 19:18.
Deuteronomy chapter six contains the shema, Dt. 6:4, which Yeshua directly quotes and states as being a foremost commandment. The shema and the context within which it is found (Deuteronomy 6), is a fundamental passage of Torah which has, is, and always will be the very core doctrine of Torah belief.
It is no coincidence that it also was, is, and will be when he returns, the very core doctrine embraced and taught by Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
The point is reinforced by Yeshua’s response to the questioner, who himself quoted additional Torah passages commonly considered fundamental teachings of a Torah based faith. You will note that Yeshua displayed complete agreement with the man who posed the question and stated that the individual’s strong Torah beliefs placed him very near the Kingdom of God.
What placed the man who questioned Yeshua so near to God’s Kingdom? His embrace of Torah, which is the very opposite of contemporary Christianity’s rejection and opposition to Torah. What does that suggest, my friend, regarding Christianity’s anti-Torah foundational teachings? Do such teachings place Christians near the Kingdom of God, or far from it? The answer should be obvious. I’ll let your common sense reasoning reveal the answer to you.
These episodes recorded in the gospels is additional strong proof of Yeshua’s firm, uncompromising, and continuous pro-Torah position – a position he expects his followers to also adopt and promote.
Does contemporary Christianity “follow Christ” by adopting and promoting his position?
Shamefully, no, it definitely does not. If it did, it would not continue to oppose his pro-Torah faith example and teachings.
A strikingly similar conversation is recorded in Jewish literature between two prominent rabbis and a potential Jewish proselyte.
Hillel & Shammai
Within the same time frame as Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), actually a bit before his time, there were two dominant rabbinic schools of thought within the Pharisaic sect of the widely varying, pluralistic sphere of Jewish belief – the school of Hillel and the school of Shammai. The lasting impact of these too schools is still heavily felt today in Rabbinic Judaism.
There was a notable rivalry and mutually respectful debate between the two competing mindsets of Hillel and Shammai, with Hillel usually being less strict in his interpretation of Torah.
One day a young man approached Shammai and stated that he would adopt Torah into his life and convert to the Jewish way if Shammai could explain Torah (Law) while he, the young man, stood on one leg. Enraged by what he viewed as an impossible question and irreverent mocking of the Torah, Shammai drove the young man away with his staff.
The young man then approached Hillel with the same request. Hillel responded, “Love the lord thy God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and your neighbor as yourself. The rest is commentary.”
Having received his answer, the young man adopted the Jewish way and began his journey of Torah learning.
This represents but one of many common parallels between Yeshua’s (Jesus’) teachings and Hebraic thought. It is quite possible that since the Hillel/Shammai influence was deeply felt in Yeshua’s (Jesus’) day that the questioner was actually seeking to know with which school of thought Yeshua (Jesus) agreed.
The Point Stands
Regardless, Messiah’s answer was thoroughly Jewish and with the standard, no-need-to-mention, pro-Torah understanding of his day. There is no hint whatsoever of any anti-Torah sentiment in Messiah’s response. In fact, in general the gospels present a very Jewish Messiah who often used standard rabbinic methods, such as parables, to convey truth. Even his arguments with rabbis of his day were rabbinic since spirited debate was and is typical in rabbinic circles.
Delving into Messiah’s Jewishness is beyond the scope of this discussion. An excellent book revealing Messiah’s Jewishness is Jesus the Jewish Theologian by Dr. Brad Young. That book is packed with evidence of Messiah’s pro-Torah Hebraic nature. Though I may not completely agree with Dr. Young’s opinions, I recommend that book to anyone who truly seeks to become Christ-like.
A Final Word from Matthew
Although there is more I could reference from Messiah’s words, I realize this discussion is getting quite long; therefore, I will limit my review to one final passage from the gospel of Matthew. No one can argue its future reference since it is found within Messiah’s discussion of the future scenario after his departure from this world. This passage is found within two entire chapters of Matthew’s gospel in which Messiah provides an answer to a question from his disciples regarding what the future holds:
Matthew 24:3 (NET)
3 As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
The future relevance of their question is obvious. Messiah’s response then follows and, as I stated, encompasses two entire chapters.
I am sorely tempted to delve into a lengthy discussion of the crucially important chapters of Matthew 24 and 25 since they have been severely misrepresented by Christian and Christianized Messianic leaders. The misrepresentation is due to the fact that if these chapters were properly interpreted those leaders would be exposed as the very deceivers to whom Messiah refers in his response. However, I will save that for another discussion.
For now I simply wish to direct your attention to a single verse. It is a verse which further solidifies Messiah’s very negative opinion of the “lawless” (those who oppose Torah).
Here we once again find use of the Greek term anomia, and just as before it is translated as “iniquity” in the KJV and “lawlessness” elsewhere, such as the NET Bible.
Love Grown Cold
Once again Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah is speaking negatively about “Torah-less-ness” or “contempt for Torah”. In his description of the growing wickedness of the last days he specifically mentions how lawlessness (contempt for Torah) is a primary reason why “the love of many will grow cold.” That “love” is love for both God and one’s fellow man since rejecting The Eternal Creator’s instructions cannot possible contribute to love for that Creator and, therefore, also contributes to a growing coldness of heart among mankind in general.
Indeed, a major reason – in fact the major reason, according to Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah – for a disappearance of love for God and for our fellow man is Torah-less-ness. The anti-Torah foundational doctrine of Christianity obviously contributes to the problem.
Without doubt, Christianity’s foundational opposition to Torah is a primary reason for the growth of wickedness in this world.
And please do not fail to notice the irrefutable future reference within Yeshua’s (Jesus’) response to events that were to occur long after his death and resurrection.
When will Christians awaken to the severity of Christianity’s anti-Torah position? When will they repent and strive to repair the damage Christianity’s anti-Torah position has caused instead of contributing to it?
Honoring the son
Continuing with yet more proof that Christianity does not promote “following” Messiah we will now read from John’s gospel.
John 5:23 (NASB)
23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
A fundamental means of showing “honor” to the “son” is to honor his example by following him. As stated earlier, it is impossible to “follow” or “honor” Christ unless his teachings are “honored” and adhered to. Of course, the same applies to God, the “Father who sent him.”
Implicit within Messiah’s statement in the gospel of John is the reverse, which is that “He who DOES honor the Son DOES also Honor the Father who sent him.”, and to do so requires that the “Torah” (teachings) be honored.
Choosing to not honor the pro-Torah teachings and faith example of Messiah is the same as refusing to honor the son. Instead, it is an indication of a willful decision to directly dishonor him.
Believing the son
John 12:44-50 (NASB)
44 And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. 46 I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. 50 I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”
“… He who believes in me, does not believe in me but in Him who sent me. …”
Belief is more than simply an intellectual acknowledgment. It requires devotion and that the one who has a believing faith actually “follows” the object of their faith. Messiah clearly states that to properly believe (demonstrate faith) in him one must demonstrate faith in God the Creator – his God and ours. A common sense basic ingredient of that faith requires devotion to God’s instructions (Torah). Sadly, instead of devotion to Torah contemporary Christianity through its anti-Torah foundational position promotes rejection of the Living God’s teachings.
Choosing to not follow the pro-Torah teachings and faith example of Messiah is the same as refusing to believe, or to believe in, the son.
Seeing the son
“… He who sees (understands) me sees (understands) the One who sent Me. …”
The Hebraic and thus Scriptural meaning of “see” in a Spiritual context is akin to understanding; therefore, to “see” Messiah is to understand him. Elsewhere it is stated that Messiah and God are one. I discuss that in other areas of this website***, but the basic meaning is that Messiah as the perfectly obedient servant of the One who sent him is “one” in purpose and will with Father God. It is also stated that we are to be “one” with Messiah and with God in precisely the same manner. How can we “see” or be “one” with Messiah if we reject his undeniable pro-Torah stance?
To “see” Messiah is to follow him, and to follow Messiah is to revere and observe the teachings to which he, himself, was devoted.
“… I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness. …”
Scripture teaches that the Torah is light. Messiah, as the perfect example of Torah was the Torah made flesh since he lived his life as his God and ours intended all to live. This makes Messiah also “light.”
Choosing to reject Messiah’s pro-Torah teachings and faith example is the same as deliberately closing one’s eyes and refusing to see him – to choose to remain in the darkness instead of the light.
Hearing the son
“… If anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 “He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”
Here Messiah makes mention of hearing his sayings (teachings) and choosing to not keep them. His words are obviously timeless in their application – applying as much today after his death as they did then before his death. This is made particularly clear by his mention of “the last day,” which obviously refers to a future time.
This reminds us of the previously discussed parable of the wise man who 1) “hears” and “does” and the unwise man who 2) “hears” and “does not do”. He states that the one who rejects him by rejecting his teachings will be judged by those teachings (“… the word I spoke …”).
Choosing to reject Messiah’s pro-Torah teachings and faith example is the same as closing one’s ears to his words and refusing to hear him. Anyone who believes or promotes that the Torah is abolished is indeed refusing to hear Messiah’s words.
The point is this: By rejecting and opposing the pro-Torah teachings and faith example of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), contemporary Christians and their leaders are refusing to honor, believe, see, or hear the son.
Walk the Walk
The following verses speak for themselves showing that a true “follower” of Messiah walks as he walked spiritually and that such a walk includes reverence and observance of the eternal Torah (teachings).
We will read from 1 John 2:1-6, 1 John 3:3-4, 2 John 1:6-11, and Ephesians 4:15.
There is of course much disagreement to the position in this article that is expressed from contemporary Christians, and often the disagreement is voiced as …
But the Apostle Paul says…! (The standard non-response.)
This is actually a non-response. It is more truthfully seen to be a trained avoidance and purposeful misdirection of the issue since those using it often realize, despite their likely denial, that they are sidestepping Messiah’s teachings. Therefore, whether explicitly or implicitly users of this non-response recognize that their understanding of New Testament teachings does indeed conflict with the words of Messiah, the one whom they claim to follow – i.e. that their teachings stand against Messiah’s.
Every time I have ever presented Messiah’s unmistakable pro-Torah stance and how it is impossible to “follow Christ” while rejecting Torah the inevitable and immediate standard response of the Torah opposing contemporary Christian is to bring the apostle Paul’s epistles into the discussion. This virtually always happens.
No matter how much evidence is presented showing Messiah’s pro-Torah teachings they flippantly and instantly discard it and redirect the conversation to what they think are teachings of the apostle Paul that allegedly show that the Torah (Law) is no longer in effect.
Of course by redirecting the conversation to what they think the apostle Paul taught, they unwittingly prove that they do not care what Yeshua teaches and thus do NOT wish to be followers of Messiah.
Is Paul anti-Torah?
Those who think Paul is anti-Torah are grossly ignorant of Paul’s intent, largely because they are ignorant of the Hebraic mindset of Paul and are among the very people Peter alludes to in 2 Peter.
2 Peter 3:14-17 (NRSV)
14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. (Emphasis mine.)
It should be noted that although the Greek word rendered as “lawless” here is not anomia, and thus not precisely the same Greek word we previously discussed, it nonetheless has the same meaning. This is because we must apply the context of the time in which Peter was writing as well as his Hebraic mind set. When the proper context is applied and aligned with the rest of the New Testament, it is undoubtedly referring to those who practice Torahlessness – those who oppose or violate God’s eternal Torah.
Indeed, contemporary Christian leaders and most Christians do misinterpret and twist Paul’s writings to their and their followers’ own destruction. Additionally, they are carried away with the error of the lawless – those who oppose Torah. The result is to cause themselves and others to be found with “spot or blemish” instead of without.
Do not casually miss the enormously important information Peter provides in verse 17 – a warning that applies now just as much as then. The lawless (anti-Torah) people are the ones Peter explicitly warns us about when he says we are not to be “carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability.” Furthermore, the stability to which he refers is at least in part the stability provided by reverence and observance of God’s eternal Torah. (Again, in ‘lawless’ we are not talking about speeding fines, jaywalking, or any other man-made law. To think so is utter ridiculousness and naivety.)
The Bottom Line
Regardless of what Paul may or may not have been trying to convey in his writings, Christians, especially Christian leaders, need to realize the following:
- Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah – NOT PAUL
- Yeshua (Jesus) gave himself to innocently endure suffering for the sake of all the world – NOT PAUL
- Yeshua (Jesus) was raised from the dead by the Eternal God – NOT PAUL
- Yeshua (Jesus) will return to rule as King in his Father’s Kingdom – NOT PAUL
- Yeshua (Jesus) is the head of the Messianic (Christian) community – NOT PAUL
- The Messianic community is the body of Messiah – NOT THE BODY OF PAUL
- Ultimate, fully empowered God-given authority was given to Yeshua (Jesus) – NOT PAUL
Christianity or Paulianity?
As I communicate with others I am increasingly made aware of the extent to which a distorted Paul-like figure, or more precisely an anti-Paul (anti defined as “against”, “opposite of”, “instead of”, or “counterfeit”), has become the unofficial yet actual Messiah and even the god of contemporary anti-Torah Christianity. At the very least, the anti-Paul persona invented by Christianity and whose teachings differ considerably with those of the legitimate apostle Paul, is Christianity’s equivalent to Moses. In fact, contemporary Christianity unquestionably considers their anti-Paul’s teachings to be superior to those of God given through Moses, the greatest of all prophets, since the anti-Paul’s instructions are used to revoke what Moses taught.
It is because of Christianity’s unequalled exalting of the supposed teachings of their defective version of Paul that contemporary Christianity could possibly be more accurately labeled Paulianity. Such a label truly is a more realistic term if the fact that Christianity’s use of the apostle Paul’s alleged teachings to overrule all others within Scripture is considered.
I accept and aggressively defend Paul’s writings against the threat of growing anti-Paulism and anti-missionary attack but am certain that he has been grossly misinterpreted and misrepresented by the vast majority of Christians.
The worship of a falsely represented Paul instead of Messiah and God that I observe practiced by contemporary Christians deeply saddens me as I see them attempt to understand Paul from a Greco-Roman mind set then use their incorrect, lawless interpretations to veto Messiah’s teachings and to declare God’s Holy and Eternal instructions abolished, thereby rescinding even The Creator God’s teachings (Torah).
It is because of the flawed misuse of Paul’s writings to overrule Messiah and God that I state again without apology that a distorted Paul-like figure (an anti-Paul) is the unofficial yet actual Messiah and god of contemporary Christianity.
Unfortunately, the Paul-worship attitude common within contemporary Christianity is so deeply entrenched that most contemporary Christians are incapable of shaking its effects – or have no desire to do so since their misinterpretation implies they have freedom to transgress God’s instructions (Torah). It is the spiritual equivalent of a powerful drug addiction that has its victim locked in an almost inescapable psychological dependency.
Instead of interpreting Paul’s writings in the light of Messiah’s teachings and faith example, they toss out or ignore Messiah’s words and example while embracing a faulty interpretation of the writings of Paul. Therefore, if they believe Paul taught that the Torah was done away with then it does not matter how strongly the words and example of Messiah demonstrate support for Torah.
In all cases where contemporary Christians are presented with the sure pro-Torah message of Messiah, they willfully choose to let what they consider to be the teachings of Paul overrule those of Messiah.
Is Paul the New & Improved Messiah? … Or God?
There is another reason why I honestly believe, without sarcastic intent, that Paul – or more correctly the anti-Paul fashioned together from contemporary Christianity’s Torah ignorance and misinterpretation of Paul’s writings – is the de-facto Messiah and even the god of contemporary Christianity:
- Contemporary Christianity incorrectly teaches that Messiah is God, but let us assume for the purposes of this point that it is correct.
- Nevertheless, Christianity openly and without apology elevates the distorted anti-Paul’s alleged teachings above those of the man-god Messiah whom it promotes as God. Of course, Christianity also flippantly and blasphemously elevates the distorted anti-Paul’s teachings above the entirety of instructions given through the prophets by the indisputable God of the Tanakh (Older Testament).
- Therefore, by overruling Messiah’s teachings and example with what they wrongly consider the teachings of Paul, Christianity proves itself to have effectively seated their false Paul on the throne of God!
The entire scenario is absolute spiritual insanity. I continue to be amazed at the lack of true reverence shown to Messiah and God by contemporary Christianity. Sure, there may be some reverence shown, but it is not being totally directed towards the true Messiah and true God despite the insistence some present that it is.
Was Torah “Nailed to the Cross”?
Many Christians are taught and largely accept the horrendously false teaching that because of his death Yeshua’s (Jesus’) teachings are no longer valid. Most of these false teachings are derived from an ignorant, un-Hebraic, and in many cases anti-Semitic misinterpretation of Paul’s writings. Because of this terrible error many Christians zealously blaspheme (scorn or reject) Messiah by proclaiming that all he taught was “nailed to the cross”.
I have personally been present at church services prior to my realization that contemporary Christian teachings are often horribly unscriptural where the preacher boldly stated that because of Messiah’s death many of his teachings, particularly his pro-Torah teachings, no longer apply. Similarly, while watching a popular TV evangelist I witnessed him saying the same thing. Both preachers made sure to point out that Christians are actually to follow the teachings of Paul instead of Messiah.
Whether read or heard there are innumerable references in Christian material that make the same irreverent and blasphemous claim. Need I say more to demonstrate how “following Christ” is indeed NOT the actual position of contemporary Christianity? Do not robotically listen to or read such material and fall lockstep behind Christian leader’s anti-Torah, and thus anti-Messiah teachings.
Effectively, contemporary Christianity teaches, and Christians apparently feel, that Messiah’s teachings died with Him and that upon his resurrection one of the most fundamental aspects of his teachings along with his example as a Torah-observant devotee to the One and Only Living God whom he, himself, worshiped were nullified because of the wildly unscriptural, lawless concept of a new “dispensation of grace”.
How can a person possibly say they follow Messiah or are “Christ-like” while discarding his very teachings? It’s like saying you are a student of Isaac Newton but you reject his observed laws of physics!
The common saying of “What Would Jesus Do” (WWJD) may be better phrased as “What Would Jesus Think” regarding the common “dispensational” teaching that his instructions were abolished upon his death.
In their sloppy zeal to chop the Bible into neat little sections most contemporary Christian leaders and their unknowing followers have brazenly, enthusiastically, and irreverently not spared even Messiah’s own teachings from their theological hatchets!
Freedom in Christ is NOT Freedom to Sin
We earlier proved from the first epistle of John that sin is defined as “transgression of the Law”; or, more accurately stated, it is transgression of Torah.
1 John 3:4 (NASB)
4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
1 John 3:4 (KJV)
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Once again we find use of the Greek term, anomia, used and translated as “lawlessness” in the NASB and “transgression of the law” in the KJV. Recall that we have already shown that anomia can be literally rendered as “violation of Torah” or “contempt for Torah”; therefore, 1 John 3:4 could be more correctly translated as:
1 John 3:4
4 Everyone who practices sin also practices violation or contempt of Torah; and sin is violation or contempt of Torah.
There is only one real reason why a contemporary Christian will allow the alleged teachings of the anti-Paul of Christianity to rule supreme over those of Messiah and even The Living Creator God. It is because he or she prefers to do so due to the fact most contemporary Christians do not want to accept the idea that God’s eternal teachings (Torah/Law) are still in effect.
They prefer the “freedom” of lawlessness that they blasphemously refer to as the “freedom in Christ”.
They want to feed their sinful nature by desiring to believe they are free to sin. They want to “do what is right in their own eyes” just as pre-captivity Israel was shown to do in the writings of the prophets. After all, who needs a concrete rule book when you are “led by the spirit”?
The situation is one of many examples that hearken back to Paul’s warning to Timothy as quoted from the Analytical-Literal Translation:
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (ALT)
3 For there will be a time when they themselves will not put up with sound teaching, but according to their own lusts they will heap up teachers to themselves, itching in the ear [fig. craving to hear what they want to hear], 4 and on the one hand they will turn away the ear from the truth, on the other hand they will be turned aside to myths. (Emphasis mine)
If we also consider the following verse from Proverbs, the eternal spiritual peril caused when contemporary Christians “turn away the ear from the truth” is plainly described. Please note that in the following verse “Torah” is the literal Hebrew word that is translated in English translations as “law”.
Proverbs 28:9 (NET)
9 The one who turns away his ear from hearing the law (Torah), even his prayer is an abomination.
That verse from Proverbs should cause all contemporary Christians who “turn away the ear” from the pro-Torah teachings and faith example of Messiah to somberly reconsider their position. Tragically, and amazingly, it usually doesn’t. Their addiction to the spiritual drug of “lawlessness” (anti-Torah doctrine) that contemporary Christianity provides is generally far too powerful, attractive, and craved.
The situation Paul describes in his letter to Timothy is precisely what has happened and what defines contemporary Christianity. It promotes a willful rejection of God’s teachings and the teachings of the one He anointed as His chosen agent (Messiah) – a choice I discuss more fully in my article on the The Mark of the Beast.
As I prove in that article, acceptance of an anti-Torah mindset is acceptance of the dreaded Beastly mark.
For now, forget Paul existed.
But wait. We are not talking about what Paul said are we? We are discussing what Messiah said; therefore, what Paul may or may not say is totally irrelevant! And with that realization a bright light pierces the darkness of deception and exposes the [often] unwitting treachery and error of those who skillfully attempt to avoid Messiah’s words by redirecting the focus to Paul.
Here is my point regarding Paul: Paul’s teachings, whatever they may be, should never, ever overrule those of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah. In all cases with all personalities introduced in the New Testament the teachings of Messiah are the final authority.
We are to follow Messiah, not Paul, and in cases where Messiah’s and Paul’s teachings appear to contradict there are only three possible choices:
- Reject what Paul said and cling to Messiah’s teachings.
- Realize that you likely misinterpreted Paul’s epistles.
- Consider that scattered statements in Paul’s writings may include some corruption caused by biased Christian scribes making either intentional or unintentional mistakes during their copying copies of copies of copies of the ancient writings. In such cases, those few verses may need to be put aside as potentially flawed.
Of the three choices given above, in the majority of cases the second – “Realize that you likely misinterpreted Paul’s epistles” – is generally the best choice in my opinion. The third choice is also sometimes worth consideration since it is an absolutely proven fact that there exist a small amount of error in the New Testament writings.
Regrettably, many who fall into the same misinterpretation trap as contemporary Christians yet who realize Torah is not abolished, label Paul as a false apostle, reject him, and in extreme cases become fanatical Paul slanderers and anti-Paul activists – a movement I call anti-Paulism and which I passionately and unapologetically oppose. The choice to reject Paul by anti-Paulists is based on either severe ignorance or ulterior motives, or both. However, at least they are wise enough to know that the Torah (Law) of The Living God is not annulled.
Every Knee Shall Bow – Even Paul’s
Under no circumstances should a true Christian or Messianic ever elevate the teachings of Paul above those of Messiah, an error that is so common within contemporary Christianity that few Christians possess the discernment to even realize they practice it. Practicing it is tantamount to utter rejection and usurping of Messiah and therefore embracing the spirit of anti-Christ since “anti-Christ,” if translators had decided to translate the word, is literally rendered in English as “usurper of Christ” or “against Christ” or “instead of (replacement) Christ”.
Elevating Paul’s or anyone’s teachings above Messiah’s “usurps” Messiah, is “against” Messiah, and “replaces” Messiah as the head of the Messianic community of believers.
I will end this segment of our discussion repeating what needs to be repeated and repeated and repeated until traditional anti-Law Christians finally grasp it.
- Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah – NOT PAUL
- Yeshua (Jesus) gave himself to innocently endure suffering for the sake of all the world – NOT PAUL
- Yeshua (Jesus) was raised from the dead by the Eternal God – NOT PAUL
- Yeshua (Jesus) will return to rule as King in his Father’s Kingdom – NOT PAUL
- Yeshua (Jesus) is the head of the Messianic (Christian) community – NOT PAUL
- The Messianic community is the body of Messiah – NOT THE BODY OF PAUL
- Ultimate, fully empowered God-given authority was given to Yeshua (Jesus) – NOT PAUL
If that does not settle the issue and stop the sacrilegious use of Paul’s alleged teachings to overrule Messiah’s then I don’t know what will, and those guilty of continuing such error are tragically beyond the reach of reason or Scripture.
The Absolute Bottom Line:
It does not matter if Paul’s teachings appear to contradict Messiah’s because Messiah’s should always rule supreme. Those who feel otherwise do not follow Messiah, they follow Paul, and should stop making false claims of doing so. They should refrain from the false claim of being “Christians” and should instead just admit to being anti-Christians – followers of the anti-Christ. Or, if that’s too politically incorrect for some people, they should refer to themselves as Paulians, attending The Church of Paul, as members of The Body of Paul, until such a time when Paul returns to reign again. Because making the human Paul the new god of their religion is no different than making the human Yeshua (Jesus) the god of their religion. It is blatant and shamelessly blasphemous idolatry.
In order to reduce the length of this article I have presented only a handful of verses from the Bible. There are many more I could have shown from Messiah’s own words and from areas other than the gospel accounts. However, I see no reason why more evidence is required. Quite frankly, if the material I have presented does not convince the reader then nothing will and the reader proves him or herself to be hardened and deceived beyond the reach of truth. Nevertheless, I may add even more material over time, and I ask you to revisit this article periodically to check for any updates. I also ask that you consider referring others to this immensely important discussion.
The teachings of Messiah (Christ) from which “Christianity” gets its name and those of contemporary Christian leaders could not be more opposite in their view of Torah. They are as far apart on the issue as white is to black and east is to west.
Christian leaders and the overwhelming majority of Christians reject Messiah’s unyielding embrace of Torah. Rejecting Messiah’s teachings on Torah is actually a rejection of Messiah. Christian teaching regarding the Torah (Law) is fundamentally against Messiah (Christ) and therefore anti-Christ.
Yes. Most contemporary Christians are taught doctrines that actually make them enemies of the very Messiah they claim to follow and, according to the words of Messiah, places them in a position of potential eternal condemnation!
Personally, I am convinced that many Christians, particularly Christian leaders, realize their agenda conflicts with the actual teachings of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, falsely named “Jesus” the Christ. (Even the promotion of the false name “Jesus” is proof that Christian leaders do not follow the true Messiah, do not care about truth, and willfully choose to promote falsehood.) “Following” Christ has not been, is not, and will apparently never be the actual message advanced by many contemporary Christian leaders and embraced by many contemporary Christians.
A True Christ-Follower Reveres and Embraces Torah
Simply put, there is no possible way to show oneself to be a follower of Messiah – to be “Christ-like” – while practicing or promoting an ideology that considers the Torah (Law) to be null and void.
A sad irony of history is that the very term “Christianity”, as applied to the contemporary Christian religious system, is essentially phony since it indicates Christianity is a religion that promotes “following” Christ (Messiah), when in fact contemporary Christianity advances an agenda that largely opposes Messiah’s teachings. A more accurate term for the majority of Christian organizations is Anti-Christ-ianity since they are anti (against) the teachings of Christ.
Incredibly, most Christians have dutifully accepted the role of sheep given them by Messiah, but have allowed a new shepherd to run the flock, as they neither flinch nor seriously scrutinize the teachings of their leaders even when those leaders promote doctrines that explicitly contradict teachings of Messiah. It reminds me of a tragic news story I read recently involving hundreds of sheep in the country of Turkey.
A number of sheepherders were sharing grazing land for their sheep. One sheep with an apparent death wish decided to jump from a high cliff. To the horror of the shepherds 1,500 sheep dutifully and robotically followed the “leader” off the cliff. Four hundred and fifty sheep perished, and those that lived did so only because the pile of sheep corpses at the base of the cliff eventually became a large fluffy cushion for those blindly joining the herd in this “blind leading the blind” animal tragedy.
Unfortunately, most contemporary Christians “follow” the lead of their teachers much like the hapless sheep followed their “leader” in the example just given.
Friend, I plead with you to and consider the eternal question of whom you follow. Do you truly follow Messiah or are you following someone or something that promotes an ideology that directly contradicts and opposes Messiah? Please. With and open mind and heart I ask that you calmly, sincerely, and scripturally consider the issues raised in this discussion.
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