1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 (KJV)
You almost have to be spiritually blind to be a Messianic – how else can you read the verse above and not understand you shouldn’t keep the law?
We’ve answered most of the Messianic michegoss up till now – let’s revisit them and see if the three advanced explanations for what Messianics think Galatians is about can apply to the verse above.
1). Conversion for salvation – it was a good argument, but it is very clear that while Galatians does address salvation, it talks far more about the law. Conversion is a one time process, so “be not entangled again” can’t apply – it obviously is talking about a day to day activity, and not salvation by circumcision.
2). Two House – The muddled, fanciful thinking of the “Judah-ephraim” nonsense obviously can’t apply here either. According to that silly theory, the Jews are only part of Israel, and the Gentiles are physically the descendants of Israel – in other words, its the Seveth Day Adventist/Armstrongism/Mormonism heresy of British Israelitism. So how can you “be not entangled again” into something you’re supposedly born in?
3). The Oral Torah of the Pharisees – standing a little better here. But we dealt with this one a great deal earlier. If one is supposed to still “keep the Torah as a mandatory requirement for continuing in your salvation” – it seems rather that if we take this verse as an in context extension of the preceding 4 chapters, it is speaking more about ANY Torah observance than just the Oral Torah, which in many ways made the law easier to observe, but with odd twists that allowed one to circumvent the entire law.
This pretty much removes all the arguments of the Messianics, leaving them without an explanation of what Galatians is about.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Galatians 5:2-6 (KJV)
That’s really plain and blunt. Paul again is saying, “if you think you have to keep the Torah to be saved… you’re not saved.”
Paul also addresses the unbearable longing to be a Jew and fit in that happens in Messianic synagogues, where Jews seem to be boasted of and prized, but Gentiles are made to be second class citizens. “Neither circumcision availeth any thing, or uncircumcision; but faith which worketh in love.”
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. Galatians 5:7-10 (KJV)
This verse really should send chills down the spines of James Trimm, Philip Goble, and Avi Ben Mordecai, along with all of the other people in the Messianic movement who teach one may/should/must keep the Torah.
And be advised, yes, it runs in that manner – may, should, must. I’ve watched it happen time and again that all those Messianics who teach Torah move from “I should be allowed to wear a tallis, it’s cool” to “Every Christian should wear a Tallis” to “If you don’t wear one, you won’t enter heaven.”
Look back at verse 1 – that’s exactly what the Lord is talking about there.
Look, if God really wanted you to keep the Law, why did He write Galatians? Why did He write Colossians? Why are there parts in Romans that say the same things? The Lord is telling you plain as day, “Don’t keep the Torah.”
If the Lord wanted you to keep the Torah, why didn’t He make it far more plain in the Bible? If you have to keep the Torah to be saved, or to maintain your salvation, or whatever the current line is – why aren’t there verses that explicitly say, “I tell ye that if ye do not keep the Law, ye will end up in the Lake of Fire”? Why do we need to study the verses in depth, with a particular pre-determined mindset, looking through four pairs of ultra-Jewish glasses, to see it? Why do we need particular translations, unavailable for 2,000 years, to suddenly realize what God wanted?
Doesn’t the fact that nobody seemed to figure this out for 2,000 years until just recently start screaming out, “CULT!!! CULT!!!” While David Stern will have to answer for his deliberate mistranslation of the New Testament to suit his purposes, Philip Goble will as well, as he seems to be one of the pioneers of the whole Torah movement. James Trimm also is one of the protagonists of the Torah Observance movement, and actually has to pass Benny Hinn as the “so-called Christian with the most Ministry Fund Drives in recorded history” award – no kidding, Trimm seems to have no less than three Fund Drives per month, simultaneously, with needs for groceries, rent, car, materials, computers, and actually asks his supporters to pay for his vacation lakeside cabin where he and his family retreat so they can monthly recharge from the demands of internet ministry!
Hey, if that actually works, I’m dumbfounded! I do all this for free, and have never asked for a penny! Well!!!! If you’d like to support “Narrow is the Way Matthew 7:14” Ministries…
…just keep reading.
Whew! That should help me tremendously!
Sarcasm aside (maybe pray the Lord starts removing my tendency to be sarcastic – it’s not good, and I really do need to change… that could serve as a support for my ministry!), the Torah Observant Messianic movement is completely anti-scriptural. Messianics are fond of claiming that to debate them, you need to be able to cite more verses than they do.
Let me put a return challenge – you must cite all Scriptures that you claim support Torah Observance. But this is going to work like a court of law – if you’re going to appeal to the Greek or the Hebrew to show you are an expert, you must list all of the training and experience you have to show you are indeed an expert. It’s got to be MORE than my training in Greek AND Hebrew – that’s one year of formal education in each. And once I’m done with my Bachelors, i’m going to increase that by at least another year of each!
If your training consists of an informal 10 week class in Hebrew at your local messianic synagogue, and that you personally have looked inside the Strongs Concordance, I’m not going to qualify you as an expert, and none of your appeals to Greek or Hebrew will be permitted.
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. 12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you. Galatians 5:11-12 (KJV)
Tomorrow – we’ll deal with the rest of Galatians 5, and we should be finishing our verse by verse examination of Galatians by the end of the week!