Torah (first five Books of the Bible) consists of the rules YHWH presented to teach His people how to be clean inside and out/how to live a holy, righteous life according to HIS rules. They weren't Moses' instructions - they were GOD's Divine Instructions in Righteousness without which we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living. Those were never replaced! What would we replace them with?
MAN numbered YHWH's Divine Rules into "613" original commands. But the thing is, most were for the priests, not for the ordinary Joe. Some were only for men, others only for women. Some were only for a certain point in time. Some were "forever" (and "forever" has NOT ended yet!)....But altogether, they are called Torah.
And guess what: NOBODY was ever expected to "keep all of them!" That is a very stupid misperception by the world! And NOBODY was ever expected to "keep Torah" in order to receive salvation. NOBODY!
"Salvation" was achieved through:
- The acceptance of, and obedience to, YHWH (Genesis 4:26, Genesis 12, Genesis 21:33; Exodus 3:13-15, Exodus 20; see also the Books of Leviticus through Deuteronomy).
- The shedding of the blood of innocent animals (Genesis 9:4, Genesis 3: 21, Leviticus 17:11, etc) - in other words, a "sin sacrifice."
- The acceptance of Y'shua as the Final SIN Sacrifice (Ephesians 2:8-9, 5:2; Galatians 3:13, 4:4-5, Romans 8:3-4; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Tim. 2:5; etc.).
Never, ever are we told that Torah equaled "salvation." However, once we have accepted the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we ARE expected to OBEY HIS RULES! If we don't, then WHOM are we worshiping?
So, where did that idea originate? From the writings of Paul, whom every Christian on earth tends to misunderstand and misquote in their attempts to show how Torah was "abolished at the cross" and that Christians supposedly have different rules from "the Jews".....
Baloney! Numbers 15:13-16 reveals YHWH telling ALL they are to "do exactly as" Israel does once they accept Him! Here are some examples of how Paul has been misunderstood: Book of Romans, Let's talk about Galatians, Discussing Hebrews and More on Romans.
So, here is a question:
When you make a pot of stew, do you use only cubed beef and water? Or do you add spices, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables and lots of seasons to make it taste good? Stew isn't stew with only one ingredient! And once you've got stew cooking in a pot, you cannot separate the ingredients....
Same with Torah! Torah consists of YHWH's Divine Rules compiled into an "echad" ("one" in the plural form, such as ONE DOZEN eggs, or ONE BUNCH of grapes). We find the Torah commands in the first five Books of the Bible (which are called "Pentateuch" or collectively the "Torah"). YHWH said, "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it (Gen. 1:22 and 28). That was Torah!
He also said: "You may freely eat from every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are not to eat from it, because on the day that you eat from it, it will become certain that you will die"> (Gen 2:16, 17).
THAT was Torah, too! Can we ignore that He said it? No, of course not! Later on, as the earth's population grew, He added to His commands (don't have other gods, keep the Sabbath, don't lie, don't murder, don't have sex with your mother....), each one designed to help man live a set-apart, holy life. We can't ignore those, either!
Everything YHWH ever said is special! His commands are all part of a whole and, although most of them don't pertain to us today, they exist in what is known as Torah! Yeshua is the "Living Torah" (John 1:14, John 14:6, 1 John 2:7, Matthew 7:23, etc.). If we insist Torah was abolished at the cross, then does that mean Yeshua abolished Himself at the cross?
1 John 2:3 And by this we will be sensible that we know him [Messiah Yeshua], if we keep his Commandments. 4. For he that says I know him, and does not keep his Commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. 5. But he that keeps his Word, in him is the Love of Elohim truly completed: for by this we know that we are in him. 6. He that says "I am in him" is bound to walk according to his halakha. 7. My beloved, I write no new commandment to you, but the old Commandment which you had from the beginning; and the old Commandment is the Word which you have heard.
When YHWH spoke directly to the people, what became the "Ten Commandments" (see Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5) - it IN NO WAY "abolished" the rest of His Torah! When asked in Matthew 22:36, "Teacher, which Commandment in Torah is the greatest?", Yeshua responded: "You should love Master YHWH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest Commandment. And the second is like it. That 'You should love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang Torah and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40) Some Christians insist from these verses that there are only "two commandments" and that's ALL we have to bother with today! But that's not at all what Yeshua said! To love God and love your neighbor - they only ESTABLISH THE REST OF TORAH!
Thus the analogy to Stew! Let's rephrase Matthew 22:36-40: "Teacher, which ingredient in stew is the greatest?", "The cubes of beef. This is the first and the greatest ingredient. And the second is like it. The water. On these two ingredients hang the other ingredients and the spices."
See how Yeshua's words about ALL of Torah are understood now? He did not say there were only two commandments!
Nowhere are we ever told that Torah was abolished! The concept of Torah requires mankind to use some common sense. Some examples:
- YHWH's Word tells us right from the beginning that the "SEVENTH DAY" was special to Him (Genesis 2:2-3)! Later, He tells His people that the Seventh Day REST is a SIGN between Him and His people (Ezekiel 20:11-12, etc.) We see throughout the ENTIRE BIBLE that the Seventh Day Sabbath is to be kept by HIS people: That never, ever changed! It's a permanent Torah command! There is not one scripture to suggest that Seventh Day Sabbath was EVER changed to any other day! EVER!
- Menstruating women in the "wilderness times" of Torah were told they were "unclean" and that they were to "live outside the camp for seven days" (Leviticus 15:19-33, Leviticus 18:19, Numbers 5:2-4, etc.). Why? Because when that command was given, Israel was in the wilderness where there was no running water and no way to properly keep clean during "that time of the month." They didn't have sanitary pads and all our modern conveniences!
If a menstruating woman sat on a chair, she left a pool a blood. If someone else sat in that pool of blood, chances are, they could end up sick from it....Consequently, menstruating women and anyone with a "discharge" was to get away from the general populace for awhile as it made them unclean, and unworthy of entering the Tabernacle. Today, while women are certainly in a "delicate and hormonal condition" during "that time of the month", they are not restricted in their activities and can go wherever they want. Common sense....
A THOUGHT TO PONDER: Your great-great-great-great-great grandparents taught their babies to never touch that kettle hanging in the lit fireplace, because fire is HOT and will burn and even KILL them! Fast forward to our modern kitchens where the stove-top is usually well out of the reach of our toddlers. But does that mean we shouldn't teach our little ones about the dangers of a HOT stove and fire? Was that "abolished" with the advent of modern stoves? NO!
Well, "Torah" wasn't abolished just because "Jesus died!" He didn't come to abolish His Father's Torah, and He didn't come to "bring grace" because "grace" has ALWAYS been around, or else YHWH would have killed Adam and Eve instead of allowing them to live. And - contrary to popular belief - Torah isn't "written on your heart" (Jeremiah 31:31-33) UNTIL you've actually embraced and understand it!
Torah consists of YHWH's behavioral "do's" and "don'ts" for mankind. Without Torah, we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living. Torah is a "package deal", a "stew", that can't be separated or reduced.
It's a "recipe" for holy living and it certainly was never "abolished".....