One of the contentions of many Messianics is that we are saved by grace – but then are required to keep the law afterwards to maintain our salvation.
That’s a major heresy. It implies that the Lord began the work of our salvation – but that we must then do the rest.
Again, I have to ask – did the Lord say on the Cross, “It has begun!” or “it is finished!”
Now, among Messianics, this covers all territories from “You must earn your salvation by keeping the Torah” to “We’re saved by faith through grace, but you should evidence this by wanting to keep the Torah.”
And I guarantee that you cannot pin a Messianic down on his position accurately, as they’re caught in a logical dilemma – they know we’re saved by grace through faith, but by reading the Bible through brainwashed eyes and cultism, verses that speak to us of grace, discipleship, and growing in the Lord speak to them of bondage, slavery to obsolete sets of rules, and legalism. Entire chapters in the Bible become neglected (entire books!!!), such as Romans 5-8, Galatians, Colossians 2&3, verses in Ephesians, all in favor of isolated verses in Matthew, James, Revelations, etc.
It’s funny how Messianics can in the same sentence speak of being required to keep the law, but we shouldn’t be under legalism!
Here’s the question I can’t seem to get answered, because they ignore it, or give evasive answers – so if someone is saved, and because the New Testament tells them they don’t have to keep the law, they decide they don’t want to – are they saved? What will happen to them?
In short, WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR NOT KEEPING THE LAW?
A great deal of Messianics are convinced the answer is, “Hell.”
Others don’t answer the question, or answer it evasively.
Because if you’re going to tell me that it means a loss of rewards, then you’re telling me that Torah observance is mandatory, and not voluntary.
The Bible, as I pointed out several times in Galatians, comes right out and tells you that you do not have to keep the law, that you have died to it. One of the issues of Galatians is that all we are told is that the Galatians had turned to Torah observance, and Paul argued with them for an entire book.
We really aren’t told why the Galatians turned to Torah observance. It’s as if God didn’t want that preserved, although we can guess some reasons from the text. The bottom line, someone came to them and told them they should be keeping laws that they had already died to.
The Law is for those who are still alive to it. If you’re born again, you are not under it any longer.
1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. Romans 7:1-2 (KJV)
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:3-4 (KJV)
Any questions? Remember, don’t skip over the verses!!! You have toi read the Bible! This is the Bible! This is what it says about your born again state! If you are born again.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Romans 7:5-6 (KJV)
Six consecutive verses, all from the same book, that specifically state that once you are born again, you are beyond the law. You are no longer required to keep it.
8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Galatians 4:8-11 (KJV)
While many of these “Torah teachers” claim we should WANT to keep the law, Paul comes right out and questions the Galatians salvation for doing so! That should give everyone in the Torah movement pause.
Look, what were the things that the Lord spoke about on the earth? Those things should be the important considerations!
Let’s ask the average back row Baptist, the ones that the Messianics make fun of. You know, the “I just know Jesus died for me” crew. Biblically illiterate. Has kind of read through the Bible once or twice, and depends on the Pastor to study it (I hear people like this exist – I’ve never met any in my church! Matter of fact, I’ve found many of the Baptists in my church almost seem to fester to talk about the Bible!)
“What was important to the Lord?” “Uh, let’s see, ummm… He wants people saved, and doesn’t like the poor to go hungry. I guess.”
Good answers. The Lord specifically spoke against people worried about making sure their tsitsis were long enough and their tefillin was an appropriate size, and completely neglecting charity, forgiveness, loving their neighbor. Where was ahavat Yisrael, the love for other Jews?
14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Matthew 23:14 (KJV)
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Matthew 23:23-24 (KJV)
IT’S FAR MORE IMPORTANT TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST THAT YOU LOVE OTHER CHRISTIANS, THAT YOU ARE FORGIVING, THAT YOU GIVE TO THE POOR – THAN WHETHER YOU WEAR A TALLIS OR NOT! And these were the words of the Lord to UNSAVED MEN!!!
We can hem and haw, point to isolated verses and say, “But what about this????” Or we can read the entire message of the Bible, which can be boiled down to the essential, “Get saved, tell others about the Gospel, love one another as I have loved you.”
nothing in that about Tallises, tefillin, mezuzot, kashrus, shomer shabbos, etc.
Again, I point out, if Torah observance was something even at the level of “you should voluntarily want to do this”, then WHY ARE THERE SO FEW VERSES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT CAN BE TWISTED TO READ THIS?
Yes, twisted! The plain sense reading of Romans is that you are DEAD TO THE LAW! The plain sense reading of Colossians and Galatians is that you should NOT KEEP IT ANY LONGER! So if that’s the “pshat” (plain sense reading), why are you searching for “hints” and “secret readings” and “midrash” (allegory) that you should be keeping it?
Because here’s the truth – you want all the pretty toys. You want to be able to say, “I’m a jewish believer!” – especially if you’re not one!
The messianic Gentile who talks about being ingrafted INTO a called out assembly is closer in truth to those who espouse a doctrine about either two house nonsense, or that by faith in Jesus you’ve converted to a form or sect of Judaism, or worse the geneology searchers!
I’ve already spoken very highly of Gentiles. Your nature is to set up a lump of carved stone and worship it. But you overcome that to accept Jesus Christ, and do by nature the things of mercy commanded in the law, without any worry about keeping rituals. Rituals are DEAD! Don’t put yourself under a system that causes you to lie, and secretly feel an anguish you weren’t born a Jew, in some kind of exclusive Hebrew-Calvinism!
If the Temple and the ritual observances are so important, why is there no temple in the New Jerusalem?
Gentiles are great. As you can tell, I’m something of a fan. Yay! i’m not kidding. Jews should be lined up at the altars in every Baptist church every sunday, pushing and shoving to be the next to make a profession of faith. But who’s there? Gentiles. It’s not in the Gentile nature to seek God. The Judeo-Christian culture of the United kingdom, Canada, and the United States all contribute to Gentiles knowing of the Lord, and knowing they need to be saved – but still, in Katmandu and in Bombay and in Tokyo, there’s FAR MORE Gentiles lined up at altars to make confessions of faith than Jews.
And so, you Torah teachers want to take this away, and place a heavy, stifling burden on them?
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:25-28 (KJV)
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Matthew 23:38-39 (KJV)