I read a lot of stuff on Facebook about Paul being a false apostle, “the 13th Apostle”, who taught differently to what Yahshua did. This comes especially from people who are Torah observant. Paul wasn’t perfect, but I personally don’t think he was a false apostle. If Paul was false, then he deceived Peter, who refers to him as a “dear brother” too:
2 Peter 3:15–16 (NIV): 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
This whole argument is set alight by the fact that some people misinterpret what Paul writes about the law to mean that we are not to obey the commandments. Simply put, I believe Paul uses the phrase “under law” to refer to those who try to practice the law without it being written in their hearts. The Letter Writer, written by Tim Hegg is a good analysis of this.
Luke 17:20–21 (YLT): 20 And having been questioned by the Pharisees, when the reign of God doth come, he answered them, and said, ‘The reign of God doth not come with observation; 21 nor shall they say, Lo, here; or lo, there; for lo, the reign of God is within you.’
We aren’t under subjugation to the law in the same sense as a child in a school being taught by someone, about things they often don’t know about, (Gal 3:24-26), because we are to know the law inwardly by nature.
34 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahweh; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more. (Jer 32:34)
The New Covenant says the the law will be written in our hearts:
33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people: (Jer 31:33)
Romans 2:14–16 (CJB): 14 For whenever Gentiles, who have no Torah, do naturally what the Torah requires, then these, even though they don’t have Torah, for themselves are Torah! 15 For their lives show that the conduct the Torah dictates is written in their hearts. Their consciences also bear witness to this, for their conflicting thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them 16 on a day when God passes judgment on people’s inmost secrets. (According to the Good News as I proclaim it, he does this through the Messiah Yeshua.)
The key to understanding what Paul is saying about the law is Romans 8. We obey the law by Yah’s spirit in us, it is His work in us that enables us to understand and do – that’s not an excuse to be lawless.
Don’t let the common misinterpretation of Paul’s narrative put forth by “the church” sway you from understanding what he is saying. You will find Peter’s words are 100% correct, because those people who misinterpret Paul also misinterpret the other scriptures, they don’t misinterpret Paul only. This happens because of the spirit in people, we can read the same text and come to many different beliefs from it, but the spirit of Yah is not divided, Yah is one.
The second commandment says:
You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, ADONAI [Yahweh] your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot. (Exodus 20:4-6 CJB).
This so called “Star of David” (also known as “The Shield of Solomon”) has no biblical references or biblical authority. It’s interesting to note that its use appeared to spring up as late as 16th century in Europe, so both in terms of time period and place it is out of context with scriptural truth. So, whether it is a star with no biblical origin, an idol of a figure known as “Jesus” standing in a church who looks nothing like the true Messiah, a Christmas three, or the doctrines of men (or demons), these are all things “added to” (Duet 4:2) Yah’s commands and instructions and do not reflect Yah’s desire but man’s.
Looking at the context of Amos 5, also speaking of a star god symbol, a chapter which is disturbing to read, it speaks of Israel’s rebellion, lack of justice and imminent exile from then land Yah promised to their forefathers. This is totally in keeping with the old covenant (Deut 28:63/64).
They key is, abandoning Yah’s commands leads to an environment of godlessness and oppression. It doesn’t matter how well we sing, or how many festivals we keep (Amos 5:21) – justice and love are the goal of Yah’s commands, singing praises and keeping festivals without justice is hypocrisy.
It is with a heavy heart that I look out onto a world where oppression has been normalised and where people use aggression to establish their “rights”. All oppressive regimes have departed from Yah, whether it be the European’s racism, colonialism, expansionism, genocide, neo-fascist and neo-colonialist exploits (which virtually all of their media normalises), Hitler’s massacre of the Jews or even hateful Jewish treatment of Palestinians, they are all born of the wrong spirit.
The lack of justice we often see to redress such situations happens because of the conceit of nations who believe they are above any law, that they have an entitlement to act with injustice. Some nations even punish those who point out their crimes, but Isn’t it true, that if you can’t accept criticism or even punishment for something you have done wrong, you will never learn from it. Indeed the minor crime committed today and not repented of or not atoned for, creates the environment for the major crime of tomorrow, for which no shame will be shown.
The scriptures say:
For Tziyon’s sake I will not be silent,
for Yerushalayim’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out brightly
and her salvation like a blazing torch.
The nations will see your vindication
and all kings your glory.
Then you will be called by a new name
which ADONAI [Yahweh] himself will pronounce.
You will be a glorious crown in the hand of ADONAI [Yahweh],
a royal diadem held by your God. (Isaiah 62:1-3 CJB).
Does Israel and Zion (Tziyon) shine like this, or is it hated? Can we even look to western so called democratic nations to lead the way? Haven’t one and all become corrupt? One can be hated for unrighteousness, and who will care, but if we are hated for righteousness, it is then we are blessed (Matthew 5:10-12). Let’s consider what the scriptures say about who is a real Jew.
But if you call yourself a Jew and rest on Torah and boast about God and know his will and give your approval to what is right, because you have been instructed from the Torah; and if you have persuaded yourself that you are a guide to the blind, a light in the darkness, an instructor for the spiritually unaware and a teacher of children, since in the Torah you have the embodiment of knowledge and truth; then, you who teach others, don’t you teach yourself? Preaching, “Thou shalt not steal,” do you steal? Saying, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? Detesting idols, do you commit idolatrous acts? You who take such pride in Torah, do you, by disobeying the Torah, dishonor God?— as it says in the Tanakh, “For it is because of you that God’s name is blasphemed by the Goyim.” For circumcision is indeed of value if you do what Torah says. But if you are a transgressor of Torah, your circumcision has become uncircumcision! Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the Torah, won’t his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? Indeed, the man who is physically uncircumcised but obeys the Torah will stand as a judgment on you who have had a b’rit-milah and have Torah written out but violate it! For the real Jew is not merely Jewish outwardly: true circumcision is not only external and physical. On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal; so that his praise comes not from other people but from God. (Romans 2:17–29 CJB).
For neither being circumcised nor being uncircumcised matters; what matters is being a new creation. And as many as order their lives by this rule, shalom upon them and mercy, and upon the Isra’el of God! (Galatians 6:15–16 CJB).
It is not exclusively physical Jews who are the true children of Abraham, if that were the case, why did Messiah call some of them sons of Satan? The true children of Abraham are those who walk in the spirit of Messiah, justice for all people, not tyranny is The Way.
Here, I will give you some from the synagogue of the Adversary, those who call themselves Jews but aren’t—on the contrary, they are lying—see, I will cause them to come and prostrate themselves at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you. (Revelation 3:9).
Sadly, many people are focused on Israel that is physical, but not those who have Yah’s word in their hearts, wherever we are, from whatever physical earthly nation we come, we are the “yeast that works through the whole batch of dough” (Matthew 13:33) until Yah’s law, justice and love shines brightly for all nations, by lifting up the name and teaching of Yahshua as a pathway to salvation.
Think carefully about the doctrine of Christianity, as opposed to “The Way”. If Messiah “abolished the law on the cross”, as many people claim, then the new covenant could never have been established and Messiah’s own words were unfulfilled (Matt 5:17-20). How can people put their hope in a saviour whose words have apparently failed? How will that affect our trust if what The Messiah has said cannot fully be trusted?
The new covenant is Yah’s laws written in our hearts – Jer 31/Heb 8 makes this clear. Don’t think Yah found fault with his law, no, scripture says he found fault with the people. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be possible to write what had already been abolished in our hearts. Christians, logically, really must believe that the new covenant will never be established. Maybe I’m over-thinking it, but the way I see it, the doctrines of Christianity are entirely confused. The Apostle Peter (Kefa) said this:
2 Peter 3:15–16 (CJB): And think of our Lord’s patience as deliverance, just as our dear brother Sha’ul (Paul) also wrote you, following the wisdom God gave him. Indeed, he speaks about these things in all his letters. They contain some things that are hard to understand, things which the uninstructed and unstable distort, to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
Lawfulness and obedience to Yah’s commands doesn’t lead to destruction or death (Rev 12:17 & 14:12), but rather it is sin that leads to death (Rom 6:23).
However, we aren’t “under law” as Paul/Sha’ul puts it, because being “under law” means you don’t have the law written in your heart and/or neither have you accepted the Messiah. One who is under law is obeying the law under their own effort, and not because it has been written in their heart by Messiah. This effort to obey that which is external to us not only applies to Yah’s laws, but also the man made traditions which also form another branch of “legalism”. Yah never made traditions so he will not write them in our hearts.
Consider that Paul’s use of the phrase “the just shall live by faith” (Gal 3:11) is a reference to Habakkuk 2:4 – which talks about the Babylonians/Chaldeans. Revelation prophecies the fall of Babylon, and Habakkuk 1:11 describes one of the The Babylonian’s chief characteristics thus – “they become guilty, because they make their strength their god”. The mark of the Babylonian is a people whose own power to keep the law, and/or laws given from their own power is what they declare makes them righteous.
Really Paul/Sha’ul says it so eloquently in Romans 8 we must be renewed by the Spirit of Messiah, not of our own works but of His in us. When something is written in our hearts we do it by nature (Rom 2:14/15). We don’t need laws to tell us to open our eyes to see, laws to remind us to breathe, etc, we do these things by nature – and so it is with the law for those who have been renewed by Yahshua Hamashiach. This is why scripture states “his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3) and Messiah said “my yolk is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).