What parts of Torah can we still keep today?
Many people have written to The Refiner's Fire to ask about the parts of Torah that apply to them today, and they are especially curious as to whether "being Torah observant" means they have to keep all "613" original commands.
YHWH (Yahweh) gave us many rules/commands/"laws" that can be found scattered throughout the Torah, the first five Books of the Bible, which contains His Divine Instructions in Righteousness. We must understand, however, that the "numbering" of the original commandments was done by man, not by YHWH (Yahweh) Himself, which means there is no reason to worry about trying to keep "all 613 commands." Not to mention that most of those "613" commands were directed at the cohens (priests) of the day; some were only for men; some only for women, and some were only for a certain timeframe.
But some were meant to last FOREVER, and for ALL to obey - and those are the ones that believers must pay attention to.
While YHWH eventually recorded ten in stone, we must remember, these ten are just part of the larger picture taken from YHWH's Torah which He said would stand forever. Many Christians balk at this idea because they are under the erroneous impression that they don't even have to bother even keeping the TEN Commandments anymore (let alone the "613"); but, rather, just two - and they cite the following as "proof":
Matthew 22: 36. "Teacher, which Commandment in Torah is the greatest?" 37. And Y'shua said to him, that "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." 38. This is the first and the greatest Commandment. 39. And the second is like it. That "You should love your neighbor as yourself." 40. On these two commandments hang Torah and the prophets. (Aramaic English New Testament)
We would ask those who insist they only need to keep two commandments to please re-read verse 40 with the help of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit). Does verse 40 imply that all of God's original instructions have been done away with? NO! The Torah and the Prophets HANG/ARE DEPENDENT ON those two commands! There's more to it than just "loving God and loving your neighbor!
Anybody who proclaims to love God must begin to realize there is more to God than what is taught in Christian churches. They should recognize that nobody including Yeshua (whom Christians call "Jesus") had the right to negate any of the Father's original commands or to insist that His Divine Instructions to mankind are a curse. Without Torah, we would have NO blueprint for holy living (1 John 3:4)! (You can read on this page exactly what Yeshua came to do.)
The verse below from Numbers shows that EVERYONE who accepts the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is to be Torah observant:
Numbers 15: 13 "'Everyone who is native-born must do these things in this way when he brings an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 14 For the generations to come, whenever an alien or anyone else living among you presents an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD, he must do exactly as you do. 15 The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD: 16 The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.'"
The "aliens" included anyone who wasn't a Torah observant "Hebrew" (a word which means "to cross over"...When Abram obeyed YHWH in Genesis 12, he "crossed over" both spiritually and physically when he left his homeland). "Aliens" include anyone who is "grafted-in" through the blood of Messiah Yeshua. Yeshua Himself was Torah observant - as were all of His Apostles and disciples - yet somehow Christians have decided that "the law is a curse"; that Gentiles don't have to bother with Torah, and that God treats His adopted children differently from His natural ones....
So, what parts of Torah can we still keep today? The chart below is by no means a complete list of what we are to observe today, but it will give you a good start and a lot to think about. For a complete list of the "do's" and "don'ts", please see 613 original commandments.
How much of Torah still applies today?
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20 and 34 - which included several "forever" commandments). We need to pay attention to ALL of YHWH's Torah; but - as mentioned above - "we" cannot possibly "do" all those commands. So we DO what we can!
The Seventh Day Sabbath (Exodus 31:13; Exodus 31:16-17; Leviticus 23:3). God told us that the Sabbath would forever be a sign between Him and the children of Israel (which includes every believer, grafted-in or otherwise!) In the end times (which we are in now) the seventh day Sabbath will distinguish TRUE believers from the "lukewarm" - especially when the Antichrist starts putting pressure on people to conform to his rules:
Exodus 31: 13 "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you."
Exodus 31: 16 "Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.'"
The Mo'edim/feasts/Appointed Times are outlined in Leviticus 23 which states after each feast: "it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations."
Keeping kosher. Yes, eating "clean" foods was a "forever" commandment. You can search the Bible through, but you will never see that command negated. Kosher Law always was, and still is, YHWH's Law. He never said pork, shellfish, etc. were food! People called it food in rebellion against God. The NT passages (which Christians like to use as proof that appear to suggest we can eat whatever we want) deal with animals God gave us to eat and whether they are ceremonially clean and can be eaten at that time. Even in Peter's vision (Acts 11), Peter would never have eaten the kosher animals that had been in contact with treife (non-kosher) animals. Peter's vision was to show that the kosher animals were no longer considered unclean because they were among the treife. This was illustrating that the Gentiles were now to be accepted! The rest of the passage in Acts 11 shows that this is the correct interpretation and what the vision was all about....
For a complete outline, See Deuteronomy 14:1-21 and Leviticus 11.
Wearing tzit-zit, the "tassels" on the four corners of our garments. Today, we don't have "four-cornered" garments, but we can loop them through our belt loops or wear special shirts that have tzit-tzit attached. (Google tzit-tzit for more info.) Please see our articles on tzit-tzits and tallits.
Numbers 15: 37 ADONAI said to Moshe, 38 "Speak to the people of Isra'el (this includes women!), instructing them to make, through all their generations, tzitziyot on the corners of their garments, and to put with the tzitzit on each corner a blue thread. 39 It is to be a tzitzit for you to look at and thereby remember all of ADONAI's mitzvot and obey them, so that you won't go around wherever your own heart and eyes lead you to prostitute yourselves; 40 but it will help you remember and obey all my mitzvot and be holy for your God. 41 I am ADONAI your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt in order to be your God. I am ADONAI your God."
Christians insist that "Jesus abolished the law" and that all one has to do today is to "believe in Jesus." Hardly anyone seems to realize that, what Yeshua attempted to "do away with" was not the Father's divine instructions, but the rabbinical, man-made "stuff". Even Paul verified this when he said: Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. (Romans 3:31). You will find Yahweh's original commandments sprinkled throughout Torah in places like Genesis 26:2-5; Exodus 15:25-27, 16, 20:6; Leviticus 22, 26, 27; Numbers 15 and 36; and Deuteronomy 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31.
God said His Torah would stand FOREVER (2 Chronicles 7:14-22), and that's why we are to do our best to try to discern His "do's" and "don't's" because they are all for good reason. Most Christians seem to think Torah was abolished, which is a major misunderstanding because Torah is God's blueprint for moral behavior! Why would that have been abolished on the cross?
Matthew 5: 17 Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. 18 Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah - not until everything that must happen has happened. 19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot (words/commands) and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness is far greater than that of the Torah-teachers and P'rushim, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Has everything happened that must happen? Have heaven and earth passed away yet? Yeshua even said He didn't come to abolish but to complete/fulfill. That did not mean "put an end to"...
Rev. 12:17 - And the dragon was enraged against the woman; and he went to make war upon the remnant of her seed who keep the Commandments of Elohim and have the testimony of Y'shua. (AENT)
Rev. 14:12 - Here is the patience of the Set Apart believers who keep the commandments of Elohim, and the faith of Y'shua. (AENT)
Some versions use "saint" as opposed to "God's people." But who exactly is a "saint"? Certainly not someone who refuses to be Torah observant! Without Torah we have no blueprint for moral, godly behavior (as is amply evident in our fallen world, including throughout the various churches.) Who are those who obey God's commandments? They are the Jews and Messianic believers. Who are those who hold to the testimony of Yeshua and remain faithful to Him? The Messianic Believers! Jews don't believe in Yeshua and Christians don't believe in being Torah observant; and therefore Christians don't adhere to the commandments/Torah - which include the keeping of the Seventh Day Sabbath and the seven feasts, and eating only "clean" foods. Both Jews and Christians are missing "the rest of the story"....
An interesting aside: Most bible versions will say: 14 How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city!
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they who do His (Master YHWH's) Mitzvot, that they may have a right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city. (AENT)
Footnote: Very important! Y'shua is talking, so these are YHWH's Mitzvot (Commandments), not his. This is also the original reading in Revelation. The "wash your robes" line was substituted later, as a way to downplay the obvious pro-Torah message at the end of the NT. This is, in effect, the last speech Y'shua gives to the world. There are actually two ancient Greek witnesses that are split on the matter, and one may have arisen as a scribal error to the other between poiountes tas entolas (do his commandments) and plunontes tas stolas (wash their robes).