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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Is Every Day “Alike” & Are All Foods “Permissible?” A Study in Romans 14

By Maria Merola אריאל
© Copyright Double Portion Inheritance, January 2010
http://www.DoublePortionInheritance.com

Whenever I am discussing the Sabbath day, the biblical feasts or eating a biblically clean diet with Christians, they almost always refer to the 14th chapter of Romans, supp-osing that they have found “proof” that the Apostle Sha’uwl (Paul) was somehow able to “over-ride” the commandments of our Creator and that he “single-handedly” had the auth-ority to change what had already been written in the inspired scriptures for thousands of years.

I always find it fascinating that while Sha’uwl (Paul) was not at all taking such liberties, most Christians are willing to toss out the words of our Messiah in Matthew 5:17-19 where he adamantly declared that one “jot or tittle” (punctuation mark) of the Mosaic Law shall in no wise pass away until “heaven and earth passes away.” Do they bother to look outside to see if heaven and earth are still here? Why do they ignore the Messiah that they claim to follow? And yet they have Sha’uwl (Paul) on this uncon-ditional pedestal whereby he could preach the most blasphemous heresy and they would swallow it no matter what---hook, line, and sinker!

Well, I want to state for the record that I believe that the Apostle Sha’uwl (Paul) was one of the most prolific Towrah teachers and a theological genius who was way ahead of his time. This is precisely why our Messiah chose him, of all people to be a preacher of the Gentiles. It was because Sha’uwl (Paul) was an expert in the Towrah (Mosaic Law) and he was the most qualified in his day for the job.

But Paul’s epistles are one of the most misunderstood of the entire Bible. The Apostle Keefa (Peter) explained that Paul’s letters were hard to be understood, and that many men would twist Paul’s letters out of context to their own destruction:

2nd Keefa (Peter) 3:

15 And consider that the longsuffering of our Master is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the scriptures.

17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

In order to accurately understand Paul’s letter to the Romans, we must first define the two words he uses for “meat” in this chapter. The two Greek words used for “meat” are as follows in the Strong’s Concordance:

# 1033broma bro-mah from the base of 977; food (literally or figuratively), especially (ceremonially) articles allowed by the Jewish law:--meat, victuals.

# 1034brosimos bro-sim-os; eatable (by Jewish Law):--meat

One must understand that Elohiym did not create pig, shellfish, (lobster, shrimp, crabs etc.) or other unclean creatures (mice, rabbit, ostrich, etc.) to be consumed as food. These were never considered “food” by the Hebrews, and so whenever Paul is discussing food, he would never include these unclean animals by calling them food. These creatures were specifically created to clean up the waste and garbage from our environment, and YaHuWaH calls them an abomination to eat (Leviticus 11). Also see my other article entitled: “Did ‘Jesus’ Make All Foods Clean?”

Secondly, in Romans 14, Paul was addressing those Jews who had chosen to eat only vegetables when eating in the home of Gentiles, because they did not know for sure if the meat that they were partaking of had the blood properly drained according to the dietary laws. The Towrah requires that all of the animal blood be drained from the meat before cooking it. This means that even cooked blood in the meat is still forbidden. You see, the DNA of the animal is carried to our human DNA when blood is ingested and this alters our DNA!

Blood-borne diseases from the animal are also carried to the human blood, even if the blood is cooked. To properly drain the blood from an animal, it must not be strangled, but the animal must be butchered a certain way to insure that the blood is completely drained. Soaking one’s meat in water and kosher salt is another way to draw all of the blood out of the meat and will make the meat permissible to eat.

What we put into our bodies is very important, because we must be a proper vessel for the dwelling place of the Ruwach ha’Qodesh (Holy Spirit). Our bodies do not belong to us, for we have been bought with a price---the blood of Messiah.

1st Qorintiym (Corinthians) 6:19 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Ruwach ha’Qodesh (Holy Spirit) which is in you, which you have of Elohiym, and you are not your own?

In addition to the issue of the animal blood in the meat, Jews customarily did not eat meat served by a Gentile, because there was the possibility that it had been offered to an idol. Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 10:

25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

26 For the earth is YHWH’s, and the fulness thereof.

27 If any of them that believe not (an unbeliever) bid you to a feast, and you be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

*Note: Paul was not saying that you can eat unclean animals here. 

28 But if any man say unto you, this is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is YHWH’s, and the fulness thereof:

Because these new Gentile converts had not been trained in Towrah yet, the Jews did not trust the food that they served. And so to be on the safe side, they chose to eat only vegetables when eating with Gentiles. 

But some of these Jews & Gentiles were judging one another and insisting that it was not necessary to forbid the eating of kosher meat in the home of a converted Gentile. Gentiles felt insulted that these Jews would not eat their meat, and Jews were insulted that Gentiles expected them to eat meat at their own risk (not knowing if the animal sold in the market place had been offered to an idol).

When Paul wrote this letter to the Romans in the 1st Century, there were no Christian Churches in Rome. All places of worship were either Messianic Jewish Congregations or pagan temples. The new Gentile converts went to the Jewish Synagogues to learn the Mosaic Law every Sabbath day (Acts 13:42; 15:21). And so there were disputes that arose between the new Gentile converts and the Jews who were already trained in Towrah. It was not until the 2nd Century, that the Gnostics began to blend the true faith of Messiah into paganism by incorporating it into their idolatrous temples, and thus began “Christian Churches.”

Before we continue dissecting Romans 14, (line upon line), it is important to get some background information about the book of Romans. The following research was taken in part by Rebbetzin Sherry Hord of “Down Under True Name Ministries,” but I re-worded her article into my own words:

The book of Romans, and almost all of Apostle Sha’uwl’s (Paul’s) writings are greatly misunderstood by the Christian Church. The reason behind this is that all of Sha’uwl’s writings are written from a Hebraic perspective based completely on expert Towrah understanding.

Therefore, his letters must be read and understood from Towrah wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. So, it is understandable that most Christians misinterpret the writings of Apostle Sha’uwl (Paul) because they have not been taught sufficiently from Towrah nor have they gained a Hebraic perspective of the scriptures. The Book of Romans is a good example of a Towrah-based writing that is greatly misinterpreted by most Christians.

Before beginning the study, I would like to point out that Sha’uwl was a Towrah-observant Messianic Jewish teacher, and that alone has also been greatly misunderstood by Christianity. To verify this, we must go directly to the scriptures. We find in Acts 21:24 that Sha’uwl lived in obedience to Towrah (the law). Acts 21:26 shows that he went so far as to take the Nazarite vow in accordance with the Towrah instructions found in the 6th chapter of Numbers. In Acts 16:3, Sha’uwl circumcised young Timothy in accordance to Timothy’s heritage as a descendant of Abraham as specified by YaHuWaH in Genesis 17:9-14. Apostle Sha’uwl also kept Shabbat (Sabbath) on his missionary journeys. This is supported by Acts 13:14-15. With this understanding now about “Paul,” we can progress to the teaching on Romans chapter 14.

The Apostle Sha’uwl begins his letter to the Messianic Congregation meeting in the city of Rome with the following statement:

Romiym (Romans) 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of Elohiym, called to be set-apart: Grace to you and peace from Elohiym our Father, and YHWH Yahuwshuwa Mashiyach (Messiah).

In order to keep the continuity of this statement running throughout his letter, Sha’uwl advised the believers in Rome to love one another, and behave in a manner worthy of their calling as qadowshiym (set-apart ones). Romans 14 carries this same thought pattern throughout its instruction. Sha’uwl (Paul) was simply telling the set-apart ones in Rome to stop judging and criticizing one another and to be tolerant of one another’s beliefs concerning vegetarian versus kosher meat diets.

To properly understand the book of Romans and Romans chapter 14 in particular, one must understand that the congregation in Rome was diverse in such a way that it was comprised of three categories of believers:

1). Messianic believers who were descendants of the House of Yisra’el or the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Yisra’el, and the House of Yahuwdah (Judah) of the Southern Kingdom of Yisra’el that had been scattered among the “nations” as punishment by YaHuWaH for their sins (Deuteronomy 28:64-68). These were the descendants of Yisra’el that Sha’uwl referred to as “Greeks” in Romans 1:14-16. He did so because these were Yisra’elite descendants that had fully assimilated into Greco-Roman culture prior to salvation; so he equated them with the “Greeks” or “Hellenized” people of that type of culture. But upon hearing the “besowrah” (good news) of YaHuWaH’s forgiveness of their sins through the blood atonement of Yahuwshuwa ha’Mashiyach, they came out of the “nations” and “Greco-Roman” culture and returned to YaHuWaH and His Towrah to become members of the Messianic Congregation in Rome.

2). Messianic Yahuwdiy (Jewish) believers from the House of Yahuwdah (Judah) of the Southern Kingdom of Yisra’el which had also been scattered among the “nations” by YaHuWaH for their sins (Deuteronomy 28:64-68 applies to all twelve tribes). Prior to salvation, these Yahuwdiy (Jewish) believers had retained Towrah observance as they sojourned “among the nations” but when they heard and believed the “besowrah” (good news) of Yahuwshuwa ha’Mashiyach’s blood atonement for their sins, they left traditional Judaism to become members of the Messianic Congregation meeting in Rome, but they were a minority within the congregational numbers.

3). Gentile converts (non-Yisra’elite descendants) to the Messianic faith of Yahuwshuwa ha’Mashiyach who had come out of the world of paganism. They became “qadowshiym” (set-apart ones) by accepting Yahuwshuwa ha’Mashiyach as their “savior,” and they were transformed in their minds by obeying Towrah instructions.

Thus, there would be differences among the believers in the congregation at Rome according to their spiritual growth and knowledge of Towrah-obedience.

In Romans 14, Apostle Sha’uwl addresses two issues that were dividing the Messianic Congregation in Rome. The first issue concerns vegetable versus meat diets, and the second issue is regarding “fasting days“ considered special to the Yahuwdiy (Jewish) believers and not to the other believers within the congregation.

When scrutinizing Romans 14, we find that apparently, the Yahuwdiy (Jewish) believers, who ate meat in their diets were looking down on and judging or criticizing those that did not have their faith fully resting on the foundation of Towrah, and YaHuWaH‘s implementation of meat into man‘s diet. Apostle Sha’uwl tells the Jewish believers that it is alright that the others eat only a vegetarian diet, because both diets came from YaHuWaH. YaHuWaH first prescribed a vegetarian diet for mankind in Genesis 1:29, and later included meat in man’s diet in Genesis 9:3. But YaHuWaH gave no restrictions against eating the vegetarian diet that he first gave to mankind. Apostle Sha’uwl wanted to correct the Jewish believers on this point. He also understood the others point of view of eating only vegetables.

One thing that the reader probably should take into consideration regarding the issue of vegetable versus meat diets in this chapter is that the Gentile believers, and possibly some Messianic Yisra’elites who had sojourned among the Gentiles, had come out of the nations that maintained vulgar eating habits such as eating meat from animals that had been strangled, whereby the blood became “backed up” in the body of the dead animal and became tainted or “poisoned” due to the manner of gentile or pagan slaughtering of animals for their food. Pagans often drank the blood from dying or dead animals as part of religious ceremonies, and superstition that the life of the animal, (including the animal‘s strength), would enter into their bodies so that they could become like the “gods.” They also offered “unclean” types of animals to their pagan “gods” that were an abomination to YaHuWaH, and consumed these unclean animals in their diets.

The purpose of the Council at Yerushalayim (Jerusalem)’s letter to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia was to inform the new Gentile converts not to continue to eat as they had done before their salvation (Acts 15: 23-29). When they converted to Towrah-obedience, it was very possible that they deeply repented of their disgusting ways and choose to stop eating meat entirely and to eat only a vegetarian diet so that they would not take a chance of offending YaHuWaH. The Jews on the other hand ate meat that was butchered according to “kosher” instructions learned from the Levitical priests of their past heritage. It would be understandable then that Apostle Sha’uwl would point out to the Jewish believers not to look down on and judge those that did not choose to eat meat like they did. However, Apostle Sha’uwl also reminds the Gentile converts not to judge or condemn the Jews for eating meat in their diet. Both diets are within Towrah boundaries and YaHuWaH will be the judge as to the individual’s belief, and the thanksgiving that he gives to YaHuWaH for his food provision.

The second issue in Romans 14 deals with a certain “day” that is considered to be “sacred” or “relevant” to one group within the congregation and not the other. What is this “day” that Apostle Sha’uwl is referring to? The Church has traditionally taught that this “day” mentioned in Romans 14:5-6 is justification for Christians to consider “Sun-day” as their worship day rather than the 7th day Shabbat (Sabbath). But is that what Apostle Sha’uwl is talking about? If it is, then he is supporting division within the body of Mashiyach. He would be supporting one day of worship for the believing Jews (Sabbath), and another day for the believing Gentile converts (Sunday).

Yet, Sha’uwl stresses in this chapter that division is not the way in a congregation and that everyone should be tolerant of each other‘s personal beliefs. By having a loving attitude and good behavior towards each other within the congregation, then unity, peace, and mutual edification are maintained within a body of believers.

It is a grave error for the Church to insert the subject of a pagan day set aside for sun-god worship or “Sun-day” in Apostle Sha’uwl’s correction to the Congregation at Rome. It is absolutely absurd to even suggest that Sha’uwl points to this idea when many believers within the Congregation of Rome had come out of pagan sun-god worship that was prevalent in the “nations” at that particular time, including Rome and their “multi” sun-gods and goddesses.

We must understand that Romans 14 is a correction about eating habits of two groups within the Congregation of Rome that are bringing conflict to one another. In staying with the food subject in this chapter, the only “day” that would have any relationship to the subject of food would be a “fasting day” when one chooses not to eat food. In actuality, the whole chapter is about food and how some in the congregation had certain beliefs that incorporated “fasting days” into their spiritual lives. Apostle Sha’uwl corrected both sides on their views on the subject of “fasting days.”

The “day” that Sha’uwl was referring to in this chapter would be one of the traditional Jewish “fast days” that the Yahuwdiy (Jewish) believers continued to keep, and the Gentile believers did not and probably did not understand why the Yahuwdiy (Jews) continued to do so. These “fast days” were not Towrah commanded but were times of remembrance special to the House of Yahuwdah (Judah). They were times for the Yahuwdiy (Jewish) believers to remember their ancestors’ captivity in Babylon. Thus these times had no relevance or cultural interest to the Gentile believers in the same congregation. The “fast days” that Apostle Sha’uwl was referring to were the House of Yahuwdah’s (Judah’s) “fast days” found in Zechariah 7:5-6:

1.)         The fast day in the 4th month of the Jewish calendar was in remembrance of the destruction of the Wall of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).

2.)        The fast day in the 5th month was in remembrance of the burning of the Great Temple in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).

3.)        The fast day in the 7th month was in remembrance of the killing of Gedaliah which brought about their ancestors’ exile into the nations.

4.)         The fast day in the 10th month was in remembrance of the siege of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).

In this second issue, the Gentile believers were judging the Yahuwdiy (Jewish) believers for keeping “fast days” that were not commanded by Towrah. Apostle Sha’uwl again corrects the congregation about judging and criticizing one another regarding their beliefs on “fast days” in the same manner as he did regarding their eating habits. As a descendant of the Tribe of Benyamin (Benjamin), assimilated into the House of Yahuwdah (Judah), Sha’uwl would understand the Jewish tradition of fasting on those days considered to be “special” to the Jewish people. Because those days did not violate Towrah, but were a part of the House of Yahuwdah’s (Judah‘s) history, Sha’uwl understood then that the Jewish “fasting days” were acceptable to YaHuWaH when observed in a right attitude. Thereby, one cannot in anyway insert the subject of “Shabbat vs. Sun-day” into these verses without breaking the continuity of Apostle Sha’uwl’s correction.

*The article by Rebbetzin Sherry Hord ends here and Maria Merola’s article begins again:

With this new background information, now we can read Romans 14 with a better understanding.

Romiym (Romans) 14:

Receive one who is weak in the faithbut not to disputes over doubtful things.

2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.

*Note: those who were “weaker” in the faith were the new Gentile converts who had recently repented of eating unclean animals, and animals that had been strangled, causing there to be blood in the meat. They were taking extra precautions to insure that they did not accidentally eat something forbidden, so they became vegetarians. This is why Sha’uwl (Paul) writes “receive one who is weak in the faith.” When he says “one believes he may eat all things,” this did not include unclean animals because unclean animals were never classified as food to begin with.

Romiym (Romans) 14:

Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for Elohiym has received him.

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Elohiym is able to make him stand.

One person esteems one day above anotheranother esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

He who observes the day, observes it to YHWH; and he who does not observe the day, to YHWH he does not observe itHe who eats, eats to YHWH, for he gives Elohiym thanks; and he who does not eat, to YHWH he does not eat, and gives Elohiym thanks.

*Note: As we can see, Sha’uwl (Paul) was trying to bring unity to the Congregation at Rome by telling these believers not to judge one another. When he says “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike,” he was by no means talking about the feasts or the Sabbath days. As I already pointed out, the entire chapter was about “food,” as some were compelled to abstain from during fasting days, while others were okay with eating meat, and others only ate vegetables. The only “day” that Paul could have been speaking of was a “day” when food was being abstained from. It is obvious because he makes the statement about esteeming “the day” in verse 5, but in verse 3, he just finished addressing the topic of food. It makes no sense for Paul to jump from the subject of food in one verse and then switch to the subject of the feast days and the Sabbath days, in the very next verse, if that is indeed what he was addressing. But it is obvious that the subject of the feasts and the Sabbath was never mentioned. Keep in mind that this was a letter in which Paul was responding to questions that had been sent to him in a letter from this congregation. We don’t have the original letter that was sent to Paul, so we don’t know what questions Paul was responding to.

Paul was in no way, shape or form canceling out the Towrah as he would then be in direct contradiction to the words of Messiah in Matthew 5:17-19, when he said that not one “jot or tittle” (punctuation mark) of the Mosaic Law shall in no wise pass away until heaven and earth are passed away! If Paul was giving believers permission to violate the feast days the Sabbath days, dietary laws and the Towrah in general, then he would also be in direct contradiction to his own words in Romans 3:31 where he wrote:

“Do we then make void the Towrah (law) through faith? Elohiym forbid: yea, we establish the Towrah (law).”

Continuing in Romans 14:

7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.

8 For if we live, we live to YHWH; and if we die, we die to YHWH. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are YHWH’s.

9 For to this end Messiah died and rose and lived again, that He might be Master of both the dead and the living.

10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Messiah.

11 For it is written: “As I live, says YHWH, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to Elohiym.”

12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to Elohiym.

13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

14 I know and am convinced by the Master Yahuwshuwa that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

*Note: Once again, Paul was not calling pork or unclean animals suddenly clean. He was not giving us the freedom to make up our own laws. But how do we know that he was not including unclean animals in this statement? Because then he would be a false prophet because he would be going directly against the Towrah commandments in Leviticus 11 which tells us that unclean animals are an “abomination.” When he said “there is nothing unclean of itself,” he is saying this in the context of “broma” (foods allowed under Towrah).

The issue being addressed when Paul said “there is nothing unclean of itself” was about meat that had been purchased in the market place, and the buyer was not sure if that animal had been offered up to an idol or not. If the person knows about the animal being offered to an idol, then they cannot eat it, for then it will violate and weaken their conscience (1st Corinthians 10:25-28). But if the buyer or the eater does not know one way or the other, Paul’s advice was “there is nothing unclean of itself” meaning “the clean animal does not suddenly become unclean by itself.” It only becomes unclean when it is offered to an idol and we know about it. But if we don’t know about the food being offered to an idol, then it cannot affect our conscience. That is why Paul said “to him who considers anything to be clean, to him it is unclean.” Paul was not giving us permission to set our own standards regarding unclean animals when Leviticus 11 already sets those standards for us.

You see within Judaism, there are man-made Talmudic laws that cause the food to be considered “unclean” by rabbinic standards. The Pharisees invented man-made rules about not mixing meat & cheese together in the same meal. This idea comes from a prohibition in the Towrah against boiling the baby calf’s meat in his mother’s milk (Exodus 23:19, 34:26, Deuteronomy 14:21). The pagan sun-god worshipers believed that if they boiled the baby’s calf’s meat in the mother’s milk that this would produce fertility in women and make their crops more abundant. In other words, this was a ritual to the goddess of fertility and YaHuWaH did not want the Yisra’elites to imitate any of the customs of the pagans. As a matter of fact, when Abraham entertained YaHuWaH himself along with two angels, who appeared to him at Mamre, they ate “butter, milk and meat” all in the same meal!

So you see, Paul was not suddenly declaring unclean animals as “clean” here in Romans 14:14. The dispute involved a “clean meat versus vegetarian diet” and it also involved “foods knowingly offered to an idol.”

Let us continue in Romans 14:

15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in loveDo not destroy with your meat (broma---food allowed under Towrah) the one for whom Messiah died.

16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;

17 for the kingdom of Elohiym is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

18 For he who serves Messiah in these things is acceptable to Elohiym and approved by men.

19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

20 Do not destroy the work of Elohiym for the sake of meat (broma, food allowed under Towrah)All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.

*Note: When Paul says “all things are pure,” he is saying this in regard to all “broma” (foods allowed under Towrah). He is also stating that meat offered to an idol, is not going to affect a person unless he knows about it for then it will weaken his conscience. He goes on to admonish those who eat kosher (clean) meat not to offend those who have a weaker conscience and thus they avoid meat. His message was “don’t destroy a person’s faith over this petty issue of eating kosher meat versus eating vegetarian.”

Romiym (Romans) 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

*Note: Paul is saying “play it safe” just in case someone new to the faith is present and his conscience is weak. Don’t eat meat at all (even meat permissible under Towrah) nor drink wine if you think that someone present might stumble because of you. There may be someone present who is a recovering alcoholic, and so the loving thing to do is to give up your own personal desires by not to drinking wine in their presence, thereby causing them to be tempted. The bottom-line of Sha’uwl’s message was that believers walk in love and unity with one another while at the same time, not violate Towrah commandments regarding food. His admonition was for each man to decide for himself when it comes to non-Towrah issues surrounding food. 

The Law of First Mention

There is one more very important principle that I would like to address before I conclude this lesson in Romans 14. The first time that a commandment or a doctrine is first mentioned in the Bible, it then becomes the “foundation” for which we will continue to apply it throughout the rest of the scriptures. As an example, at creation, YaHuWaH established that the role of the marriage relationship would be the husband as the “head” who would “rule over his wife.” This has not changed. The Apostle Sha’uwl (Paul) explained in Ephesians 5:22 & Colossians 3:18 and that “wives should submit unto their own husbands.” Where did he get this from? Paul was obviously taking this from the “law of first mention” in the scriptures:

Bereshiyth (Genesis) 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.

You see, in order to establish “continuity” throughout the scriptures and to accurately portray our Creator as one who “changes not,” (Micah 3:6, Psalms 15:4, Hebrews 13:8), we cannot make him out to be “schizophrenic” and unstable. To “invent” brand new doctrines in the Briyth Chadashah totally undercuts the true nature and character of who he is. His word “endures and abides forever:”

1st Keefa (Peter) 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of Elohiym, which lives and abides forever.

Tehilliym (Psalm) 119:160 Your word is true from the beginning: and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever.

1st Keefa (Peter) 1:25 But the word of YHWH endures foreverAnd this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

The Hebrew word for “forever” in Psalm 119:160 is Strong’s #H5769:`owlam which means: 
long duration, antiquity, futurity, forever, ever, everlasting, evermoreperpetualoldancient, world; ancient time, long time; of pastof future; alwayscontinuous existenceperpetualindefinite or unending futureeternity.

Most often we think of the word “forever” to mean “from here on out” into the future. But this Hebrew word “owlam” literally means “past, present & future” in the realm of eternity!

In the “Renewed Covenant” the word “forever” in the Greek Strong’s Concordance is:

#G165: aiōn: foreveran unbroken ageperpetuity of timeeternity, the worlds, universe period of time, age.

This means that once our Creator “speaks” his word never changes!

When our Messiah was being tested in the wilderness by Satan, he rebuked him by declaring:

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Elohiym.

Luqas (Luke) 4:4 And Yahuwshuwa answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of Elohiym.

At the time when our Messiah spoke these words, there was no “New Testament” in print yet. And so the only “word” that he could have possibly been referring to was the TaNaKh (Law, Prophets & Psalms)!

One of the most important things that we must consider when establishing any kind of doctrine from the Briyth Chadashah (Renewed Covenant) or what many call the “New Testament,” is that we can never presume to “invent” brand new doctrines. When reading the Renewed Covenant writings, we must first consult the “Towrah, Prophets & Psalms” to find corroborating witnesses, and then we can accurately establish what the “New Testament” is actually telling us.

Our Messiah gave us the formula for establishing a matter (including doctrine). When establishing doctrine, we must never use only one verse from the “New Testament” to establish doctrine. That is one of the biggest problems with Christianity today. They use “one verse of Paul’s epistles” without using the foundational principles of the Towrah to establish exactly what Paul is saying.

In Matthew 18:16, listen to what our Messiah said about establishing a matter:

Matthithyahuw (Matthew) 18:16 But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

But this is not a “New Testament” concept. The idea of establishing a matter by the witness of “two or three” is seen many times throughout scripture in various contexts:

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.  

2nd Qorinthiym (Corinthians) 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

1st Timotiyos (Timothy) 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

Ibriym (Hebrews) 10:28 He that despised Mosheh’s Towrah (law) died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

The most important evidence that Yahuwshuwa is indeed the true and genuine Messiah of Yisra’el, is the fact that all three witnesses of scripture testify of him:

Luqas (Luke) 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Towrah (law) of Mosheh (Moses), and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Without these three witnesses, we don’t have the litmus test for how to identify the true Messiah! And thus we cannot establish his true doctrine without these very same three witnesses!

And so this brings me to my final point in this lesson. When reading any of the epistles of Sha’uwl (Paul), you must always consult the “first mention” of the subject matter in the scriptures and then find “two or three” other corroborating witnesses in the Towrah, Nebiym (Prophets) & Ketubiym (Writings).

Any other method of exegesis or interpretation of the scriptures makes our Creator a liar, and the result will be the establishment of false doctrines.


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2 comments:

  1. [ Acts. 15:7-10 ] -7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

    [ Acts. 15:28-29 ] -28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

    [ Acts. 21:25 ] -25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

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  2. Acts 15 Explained

    Leviticus 17, 18, 19 is what the Rabbi's called the "Heart of the Law" This was the minimum that a prostelyte needed to observe when they entered the congregation. The Apostles required that gentile converts observe Leviticus 17, 18, 19 and would then attend synagogue and learn all of Moses Teachings. Don't take my word for it. Re-read Acts 15:24-29 and then read Leviticus 17, 18, 19. It speaks for itself. Acts 15:19-21 (19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”) Verse 21 is a part of 19-20. You cannot separate it. You can try but you will be changing the Word by doing so. New Converts were expected to learn the Word of God. Which at the time of Acts 15 was the Torah and the Prophets. (- basic Church History 101).

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