Does the Law of Messiah abolish the Law of Moses? – Part 1
07/26/14 (04/28) Video Broadcast
It is commonly believed that the Messiah came to teach us a “new law” to replace the old one. This study will prove that most of what He taught was straight out of the law of Moses.
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I want to go ahead and move forward and begin our next study series. It is actually sort of related to the last one in that it addresses an important misconception that is out there.
And we want to go ahead and discuss this at length and see what the Scriptures have to say about this question, which is a very important question: Does the Law of Messiah (commonly called the New Testament) abolish the Law of Moses?
There is a lot of false information out there about the New Testament and the Old Testament contrasts or New Testament/Old Testament differences.
Sometimes it is taught that Messiah came to give us a new law– a Torah 2.0, so to speak– a new and improved law that people could actually keep without being condemned, a law that is based on the heart, based on love, based on the leading of Yahweh’s Spirit instead of a harsh, cold, written code.
For that reason, there are some people who would say that whenever the New Testament speaks positively about keeping Yahweh’s Law, that this is not referring to the old Law of Moses, but a new and improved law coming from the New Testament part of the Bible.
And so, in all that I have shared the last couple of weeks, three weeks, in demonstrating that these words “anomos” and “anomia” are clearly referring to the transgression of Yahweh’s Law, they would simply dismiss the entire thing by saying, “Well, that law it is talking about there that we are supposed to keep is not the Law of Moses.
“It is the new and improved Law of Messiah, the Law of the Spirit of life in Messiah, and the Law of Liberty, the Royal Law.”
Whereas, whenever Scripture talks about something negative, or at least it looks like it might be negative, about Yahweh’s Law and the works of the Law, trying to be saved by the works of the Law, and the written code– “Well, that is the Old Testament.”
“That is the part that is done away with and has been adjusted and revised to suit the New Testament Christian Church that Messiah came to build.” And in support of that belief they make some claims that Yahushua came to teach this new law, and it is vastly different in many respects, vastly different, than the Law of Moshe (the Law of Moses).
Here are some of the differences that you probably have heard at some point in your walk: The Law of Moses says: 1) Physical adultery is wrong. The Law of Messiah: 1) Adultery in the heart is wrong.
So Messiah came and He showed that there is a better way of going about it to focus on the heart. Whereas the Old Testament, well, that was mainly concerned with rites and rituals and procedures and external commandments, and things that, you know, affect the outward.
But the Messiah came and He made everything internal. In fact, He made everything more difficult to keep. And He made it so that we would have to not only be clean and righteous on the outside, but now we have to be clean and righteous on the inside.
That is the mentality that many people have come to as a result of their understanding of the differences between Old Testament and New Testament.
So is this true? We are going to get into that.
The Law of Moses: 2) The Old Testament was all about rules and regulations. That is the Old Testament. The Law of Messiah: 2) The New Testament is about loving Yahweh and loving your neighbor.
The Law of Moses just wanted the rules and regulations– fulfill these rules, these little laws here. Whereas the New Testament, that is loving Yahweh. That is loving your neighbor. Big difference.
The Law of Moses: 3) The Old Testament was about hating you enemy: “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” The Law of the Messiah: 3) The New Testament says love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. “See the differences there,” they say, “between the Law of Moses and the Law of Messiah?”
Now we are told it is time to love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who persecute you. That is the Messiah’s law.
The Law of Moses: 4) The Old Testament law of Moses is all about physical circumcision. The Law of Messiah: 4) The New Testament, Messiah came and taught us circumcision should be circumcision of the heart.
The Law of Moses: 5) Adulterers and sinners put to death: STONED, NO MERCY. The Law of Messiah: 5) Adulterers and sinners given grace and forgiveness, compassion. The Old Testament was all about “law, law, law.” The New Testament is all about grace. Does this all sound familiar to some of you?
The Law of Moses: 6) The Old Testament concerned only with physical sacrifices. Animal blood atones for our sins. The Law of Messiah: 6) The New Testament, now we must offer spiritual sacrifices. Messiah’s blood cleanses us from our sins. The blood of animals, bulls and goats, they do not take away sin. We now need Messiah.
Messiah came to do away with all that physical sacrificing and now everything is spiritual. Everything is from the heart. Everything is about love.
And to support those beliefs, they will quote verses about Yahushua having certain commandments now that we are supposed to observe.
John 14:15 – If you love Me, keep My commandments.
“Keep MY commandments.” HIS commandments, which many suggest are different than the Father’s commandments.
John 15:10 – If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
“See, He had to keep that law, but now He is giving you a new law,” they say, “the Law of Messiah.”
John 15:12 – This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
And so, it is believed, really, sin is not transgression of the Law of Moses. It is transgression of the new and improved law given to us by the Messiah.
And they will quote verses like 1 John 2:1.
1John 2:1 – My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Yahushua Messiah the righteous.
2 – And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
3 – Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
“Oh, not the Father’s commandments! You keep HIS commandments. The Father’s commandments, that is the Law of Moses. The Messiah’s commandments now. Only the ones in the New Testament. If it is not repeated in the New Testament, then it is not the Messiah’s Law.”
And so, they believe this New Testament part of the Bible contains the commandments of the Messiah and they are the only ones now we have to be concerned about. And the only laws from the Law of Moses we have to be concerned about are the ones that the New Testament would happen to repeat.
“The old Law,” they say, “well, you know, it is just old.” It is out with the old, in with the new. A new refreshing law that is not so harsh and condemning and strict. “Now that is the one we are going to promote.”
And those that are promoting Torah observance, well, they are just trying to put an old patch on a new wineskin. “Now we have come to Messiah.”
I am sure you have heard these things. And so, I want to examine these claims in light of the full council of Yahweh’s Word. And, actually, if all I ever read was what is commonly called the New Testament, it would not be too hard to come up with a doctrine like that.
I mean, I could claim I am following Messiah’s Law, the Law of Liberty, the Law of the Spirit of Life, rather than that old Law that just condemned me and brought me to bondage; now I am following the new Law.
And so, let me say, first of all, no law can ever bring you into bondage. It just can’t. There is no way a law can bring you into bondage. For instance, here is a law:
Exodus 20:14 – You shall not commit adultery.
Is that bringing you into bondage by keeping that law? Is that somehow causing you to be afflicted and terrorized because you observe this law not to commit adultery, you are choosing to be faithful to your husband or faithful to your wife? Are you under bondage when you keep this law?
Does the presence of a command to not commit adultery put you in bondage? No! It is simply a command that was given so that we would walk in love toward our spouse, right? So the presence of a law in and of itself does not put you in bondage.
I have never committed adultery, but it doesn’t affect me in any way. The only way it could maybe condemn me or put me in bondage is if I broke it. In other words, it is not the Law itself that puts someone in bondage. It is my sin, my transgression of that Law that puts you in bondage.
That is what puts you in bondage, the transgression of the Law, putting you in bondage– because sin is bondage. Because now you have to face the consequences of your sin.
And it is often said that Messiah’s Law is different and that now you have committed adultery if you have even done it in your heart.
As Yahushua said, Matthew 5:28:
Matthew 5:28 – But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Now probably all of us, as men, have failed in this at one time or another. So, in light of this, if the breaking of Yahweh’s Law brings us into bondage, not the keeping of it, the very presence of laws in the Old Testament supposedly putting us in bondage, wouldn’t the Messiah’s law be even harder for us to keep and put us in more bondage?
Do you see what I am getting at? I mean, it does not add up. They claim Messiah’s burden is easier. They claim His yoke is lighter and that we do not have to do all those laws.
“Oh my! Those 613 laws– how could you possibly keep them all in the Old Testament, which were just so, so hard to do and put Israel in bondage, those poor people? You know, ‘Mo’ came down from Mt. Sinai and put them in this bondage of the Law.”
I mean, is Messiah’s law so much easier? Then why do they make it so much harder in their own perspective? You see, it just does not add up. They claim, “Oh, it was impossible for anyone to keep those old laws. And so, they had to do away with some of them.”
But yet, out of the same breath they will tell you Messiah’s laws of adultery are even harder to keep. It does not make logical sense. The mere presence of commandments does not place us in bondage. It is our sin that places us in bondage.
And you cannot say, “Well, that old law was harder,” when Messiah is making it harder. You talk out of both sides of your mouth when you make that claim.
I mean, the Messiah did not come to do away with the Law of Moses so that we would not be guilty of breaking them. He came to cleanse us of our violations of the Law of Moses and clarify for us what Yahweh’s will for us really is.
And so, let’s look at their first point. They say physical adultery is wrong. Now lust is wrong. And so, let’s look.
In the Old Testament the Ten Commandments say:
Exodus 20:14 – You shall not commit adultery.
Now, wait a minute! Lust was wrong, too. It says:
Exodus 20:17 – You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that [is] your neighbor’s.
What is “coveting your neighbor’s wife”? It is lust, right? I mean, it is, essentially, adultery in the heart. So much for a new and improved law. Yahushua’s teaching was there all along and right there in the Ten Commandments three verses later.
Most Christians are taught by their churches not to focus much on the Old Testament. And so, many people miss this point altogether. Coveting someone else’s wife is nothing more than lust. It is adultery in the heart. That is not a New Testament teaching that Messiah came and internalized. It has always been internal.
Now notice with this commandment here against lust, against covetousness, there is really no punishment for it anywhere in the Law of Moses (in the Law of Moshe). He did not say, “And he who covets shall be put to death.” I mean, how could you legislate that? That comes from inside. He just said not to do it.
No legal punishment ever attached to it. It is just a commandment that really could only be broken in your heart, where nobody can see but Yahweh. And so, Yahweh was always concerned about the heart. And that will bring us to the next false notion.
The Law of Moses: Rules and Regulations, Statutes and judgments and laws. “Oh, the New Testament– Law of Messiah. He replaced all of that. Just love Yahweh and love your neighbor.” I have heard this many times.
And to this, some will say, “Well, you know, Messiah really only gave us two commandments: Love Yahweh with all your heart, soul and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” And some will claim those two commandments actually replace the entire Law of Moses. And they will cite verses.
Romans 13:8 – Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
9 – For the commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet, and if [there is] any other commandment, are [all] summed up in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
10 – Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love [is] the fulfillment of the law.
And that is the part that gets people thinking, “Okay, these other ones, you do not even need them because if you just walk in love, then you will be keeping the Law.” And so, in the mind of many, the commandment that Messiah gave regarding our need to love Yahweh and love one another is really all we need to follow.
We do not need rules and regulations. We do not need Old Testament statutes and judgments. Just love Yahweh, love each other, and everything will be okay. That, some would say, is the Law of Messiah.
Let’s take a look at what Yahushua actually said when He said this. He was asked a question:
Matthew 22:36 – Teacher, which [is] the great commandment in the law?
37 – Yahushua said to him, `You shall love YAHWEH your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 – This is [the] first and great commandment.
This is the one that actually answers the question. That is the great commandment in the Law.
Here comes the second greatest commandment…
Matthew 22:39 – And [the] second [is] like it: `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 – On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
So if you just keep these two commandments, you will be okay.
Now let me get something straight here. These commandments that are given here are not new commandments coming from a new law. They are not. They are the great commandments in the Law. That is what they are.
Because in the Law, Yahweh said:
Deuteronomy 6:5 – You shall love YAHWEH your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
That is coming from the Law (from the Law of Moses).
Leviticus 19:17 – `You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.
“You shall not hate your brother in your heart.” You cannot do it in your heart. Because remember Yahushua said, if you even hate, you have committed murder in your heart? It is not a new commandment.
Leviticus 19:18 – `You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I [am] YAHWEH.
So those are two commandments that were already established in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. And so, we cannot say these are new commandments. These are old commandments rehashed, except Yahushua is answering the question, “Which is the great commandment that is in the Law?”
And He told him: “Love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
And so, look at verse 6:
Deuteronomy 6:6 – And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
So the Law of Yahweh is said to be in the heart of Israel. Not just us. When it says that the Law will be in our heart, it is not like that is a brand new thing that had never been heard of before. He said right here: “These words shall be in your heart.”
So the concept of Yahweh’s Law being in our hearts is not a new concept either. It is written about here in the Torah, in the commandments of Yahweh, because He said:
Deuteronomy 30:11 – For this commandment which I command you today [is] not [too] mysterious for you, nor [is] it far off.
12 – It [is] not in heaven, that you should say, `Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
13 – Nor [is] it beyond the sea, that you should say, `Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
Deuteronomy 30:14 – But the word [is] very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
The word is very near you, in your mouth and where else? In your heart. Why? So that you may do it.
Now if the New Covenant is that the Law of Yahweh is in our heart, what does that mean? That means it enables us to do it. That is the teaching here.
And so, none of these concepts are new concepts. They are not New Testament ideas or new teachings Yahushua gave that had never been heard of before. These things are not part of some new law that Messiah was espousing, some new and improved law that Israel did not know about.
It was there all along for anyone to see who wanted to see it, who were looking for it. And so, in consideration of what Yahushua said, notice He said: “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Let’s now look at that Romans chapter 13. Look at that verse again. It says:
Romans 13:8 – Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
9 – For the commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet, and if [there is] any other commandment, are [all] summed up in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
10 – Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love [is] the fulfillment of the law.
Very true. If you are keeping the commandments here, in verse 9, then you are loving your neighbor as yourself, right? Right, I mean, that is exactly what it is saying. If you love another person, you are, yourself, fulfilling the Law. That means that not only did Messiah fulfill the Law, He also wants us to fulfill the Law.
If you are not fulfilling the Law, then you are not loving another. And so, when Yahushua said what He said about the Law hanging off of the two great commands, this is what it meant: If you are walking in these commandments, then you are walking in love.
Every commandment, every precept, every concept, everything inspired by the will of Elohim regarding how we are supposed to live, has one thing in common: LOVE.
Every statute, every commandment, every precept, every law that Yahweh ever gave had one thing in common: LOVE– love Yahweh and love your neighbor.
1John 5:2 – By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and keep His commandments.
3 – For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
So you cannot even love Yahweh’s children unless you also love Elohim. You have to love Yahweh in order to love your neighbor.
So what Paul said here was true, that he who loves another has fulfilled the Law, because you cannot love another until you love Elohim first. If you do not love Elohim, you will not tell your neighbor about the plan of salvation that comes through Messiah. You won’t even care really.
You cannot even love somebody without loving Yahweh, because if they are on the road to destruction, you will love them by telling them, “Turn to Yahweh. Love Yahweh.”
“So this is the love of Elohim, that we would keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” The only way the Law could be a burden would be if loving is a burden, if loving someone was a burden. The only way the Law could be bondage would be if loving someone is bondage.
But notice here it says “Elohim’s commandments.” “Keep His commandments.” Wait, I thought it was only Yahushua’s commandments we have to be concerned with now. That is what some believe. “Well,” they might say, “Elohim’s commandments are Yahushua’s commandments. And John is not talking about the old law. He is talking about the new law.” Huh?
I mean, Yahushua is talking about the old Law, isn’t He, when He is talking to the Scribe who asked Him the question about love and the Law? He says: “On these two commandments hang (not some) all of the Law and the Prophets.”
My picture of this is: Here are the two Great Commandments up here. They are above us. And then, there are some chains and there are the Law and the Prophets kind of hanging down off of them, you know. And all of the commandments in the Law and Prophets are being held up because they have to do with love. They are descriptions of how to love.
And so, then along comes traditional Christianity and theology with a set of bolt cutters. Chink… chink… Gone! Just two commandments– love Yahweh; love each other. Forget about those old statutes, commandments and laws and written code and stuff. That is all bondage. Now we have this new law. Just love each other; love Yahweh. We will all be okay.
Yahweh could have done that. I mean, He could have given them just two commandments, and said, “There you go. Love each other and love Me, and we will all get along just fine.” But what would have happened? Come on. You know what would have happened.
People would say, “Well, adultery is love.” You know? They would come up with their own definitions of what love is. So He had to list a bunch of laws and commandments so that we don’t have any confusion as to what love is. What love is to one person, is not love to another. What really is love?
So that is why we have commandments, statutes, laws. That is why.
I mean, imagine. Let’s say you are running a daycare center, and you tell all the kids, “Look, just love each other, and we will all get along just fine. Just love each other.” What is going to happen? They will probably get along okay the first day or two. Eventually they are going to need some guidelines of what that really means, right?
It is just the way human nature is. So that is what the law and prophets really are– clarification of what love is. And Yahushua said so.
And so, loving Yahweh and loving your neighbor, that is what the rules and regulations are all about. That is what they are there for. They explain to you: “This is love. This is not love. This is how you love Me. This is how you do not love Me. Do not worship idols.”
I am sure a lot of people thought they were loving Yahweh by making an idol out of Him, but He said, “No!”
Another contrast we hear is: “Hate your enemy. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” Yahushua says: “Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you.”
“That is the law of Messiah, so much different than the Law of Moses,” they say. That is a very popular misconception out there, that somehow the Law of Yahweh was about hating and breaking the other person’s tooth out. “Well, he broke your tooth out. You break his tooth out. You get him back. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.”
Wrong! Wrong! A thousand times wrong! First of all, these verses– an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth– that is not about taking personal vengeance. These scriptures are not teaching you how to deal with an enemy. They are sentencing guidelines for judges to use when someone has committed a crime in Israel. Simple as that.
Like we have punishments for crimes committed in the United States. Right? If someone goes too fast down the highway, there is a punishment. You get a ticket. Pay a fine. We have laws for almost everything that would not contribute to a society living together in peace and harmony and love.
“Do not commit murder.” Somebody in Arizona was actually put to death recently and accidently tortured for a couple of hours in the process. I think it was Arizona. And everybody was up in arms about it. But there was the death penalty for committing murder.
And so, why do we even have these laws? If Yahweh’s laws are done away with, why did the reformers come over here to the United States and create a bunch of laws to bring people into bondage? Because you have to have consequences.
In your own household you have children. If they do something wrong, do you not give them any punishment for the wrong they do because you are under the Law of Messiah now? Do you never discipline your children? I mean, if you carry that thought to its logical conclusion, that is where you are going to go.
But what was Yahushua talking about? What was He really talking about? Let us look at “eye for eye, tooth for tooth.”
Deuteronomy 19:18 – And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, [if] the witness [is] a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother,
Who is supposed to make the inquiry here? It says the judges.
Deuteronomy 19:19 – then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you.
20 – And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you.
21 – Your eye shall not pity: life [shall be] for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
This is the punishment for one who is a false witness. They tried to get somebody else in trouble with the law. They tried to get someone put to death for having committed some crime of murder, or whatever it might have been. And so, they decided to be a false witness before the judges.
It says the judges would catch the false witness, make careful inquiry. If he is found to be a false witness, whatever punishment he thought to do to his brother, he will get– whether it is life for life, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, or a foot for a foot. That is righteous!
This is crime and punishment in Israel. These are sentencing guidelines for judges. Just like we have sentencing guidelines for laws in our country, Yahweh was establishing sentencing guidelines for those who had committed crimes in Israel– murder, adultery, whatever. And they are righteous.
And if our nation would actually punish false witnesses, we would not have such a problem with people lying on the witness stand. We typically get a slap on the wrist or nothing at all. Well, that would eliminate the problem. Put them in jail for it.
The woman who claims someone raped her, what happens to her? She hardly ever has anything happen to her when she is found to be a false witness. And the guy who is innocent goes to prison. What should happen to her? She should go to prison for the exact length of time that he was supposed to be put in prison. That is righteous judgment.
And most people probably would agree with that, but it doesn’t happen. It just doesn’t. Lawyers do not make as much money that way.
All right, Proverbs 25:21– Loving your enemy:
Proverbs 25:21 – If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 – For [so] you will heap coals of fire on his head, And YAHWEH will reward you.
How about that? Is that Messiah’s Law? or is that Yahweh’s Law? These are Old Testament verses right from the book of Proverbs.
So why did Yahushua say, “You have heard it said”?
Matthew 5:43 – You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 – But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 – that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Why did He say that, as if, “Here is what the old folks say. Here is what I am going to say”? Pay close attention to His words. He said: “You have heard that it was said.” I have heard all kinds of things from theologians that are not correct.
Well, there were some purveyors of false doctrine in the first century, too. The Scribes and Pharisees were blasted many times for espousing doctrines that were not from the Scriptures.
And so, He is just telling them: “You have heard this.” It does not mean it came from the Scriptures. In fact, the Torah never says, “Hate your enemies.” The Law of Yahweh says:
Exodus 23:4 – If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again.
How about that? Someone who is your enemy is losing his animal. It is going astray. It doesn’t say to hate them and just let it go, and that way he loses his animal and somebody else finds it and keeps it. He says, “No, if you find that donkey going astray, or that ox, you bring it back to him.”
Exodus 23:5 – If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it.
Help him out. Help him lift that donkey up so that he can bear the burden. So loving your enemy was always a part of what we are expected to do. Always.
Abraham made peace with Lot. Why? He said, “If you go to the left, I will go to the right. If you go to the right, I will go to the left. I do not want to be enemies. I want to be friends. I want to be brothers. Let’s not fight.”
Jacob made peace with Laban by allowing his wages to be changed, ten times it says. Isaac made peace by giving away wells that he had dug. Twice he dug a well and had to give it away.
Being peaceable men is part of being righteous. It has always been that way. It is a part of being sons of our Father in heaven who makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain to the just and the unjust.
Those things were supposed to be self-evident before there was ever even a Law of Moses. Look at the examples of the patriarchs and it is pretty clear.
So moving on here: Physical circumcision. The Law of Moses is all about the physical, so to speak, right? The circumcision now, Yahushua is teaching about the circumcision of the heart. This new Law of Messiah is now about the heart being circumcised. “The Old Testament,” they say, “is all about the outward circumcision.”
And so, we have verses here:
Romans 2:28 – For he is not a Jew who [is one] outwardly, nor [is] circumcision that which [is] outward in the flesh;
29 – but [he is] a Jew who [is one] inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise [is] not from men but from Elohim.
So this circumcision of the heart, is this a new thing? Is this some new law that Messiah came up with, a new and improved Torah? No.
Deuteronomy 30:4 – If [any] of you are driven out to the farthest [parts] under heaven, from there YAHWEH your Elohim will gather you, and from there He will bring you.
5 – Then YAHWEH your Elohim will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
6 – And YAHWEH your Elohim will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love YAHWEH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
To circumcise the heart is to place the heart in such a condition that it is able to love. How about that? An Old Testament teaching from the book of Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 10:16 – Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.
To circumcise your heart is to change your heart’s condition from being closed to being open.
Jeremiah 9:25 – Behold, the days are coming, says YAHWEH, that I will punish all [who are] circumcised with the uncircumcised —
26 – Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab, and all [who are] in the farthest corners, who dwell in the wilderness. For all [these] nations [are] uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel [are] uncircumcised in the heart.
He sees them both as being basically the same. He will punish both the circumcised with the uncircumcised. In Yahweh’s eyes, it made no difference. All that circumcision of the flesh didn’t mean a thing as long as that heart was not circumcised. That is what the New Testament is teaching. It really is.
Deuteronomy 30:7 – Also YAHWEH your Elohim will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.
8 – And you will again obey the voice of YAHWEH and do all His commandments which I command you today.
How about that? This is actually connected to the earlier verse. Have to back up here to verse 6… He circumcises your heart to love Yahweh. Therefore, since your circumcised heart is to love Yahweh, “You will again obey the voice of Yahweh and do all His commandments which I command you to do today.”
Love and keeping commandments are all one and the same. No difference. Beautiful concept.
So what about Paul? Was he against circumcision?
Galatians 5:11, Paul says:
Galatians 5:11 – And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.
He asked that question. He says he still preaches circumcision. So why would he even be persecuted by those who are “of the circumcised”? Because the offense of the stauros (the cross) has ceased. There is no reason to be offended by Messiah dying for our sins. He is not preaching against circumcision.
And, in fact, Paul himself circumcised a man.
Acts 16:1 – Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, [the] son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father [was] Greek.
If his father was Greek, then, biblically speaking, he was not Jewish. His mother was Jewish, but his father was not. Every genealogical table anywhere found in Scripture always follows the father’s line. Always.
Modern Judaism follows the mother’s line– matrilineal descent. But biblically speaking, it is always the father. And, actually, Judaism in the first century, there is strong evidence they followed the father’s line then. But somewhere along the lines, the rabbis changed it.
And it says he (Timothy) was well spoken of by the brethren, who were at Lystra and Iconium.
Acts 16:2 – He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.
3 – Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took [him] and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.
Now some say he only circumcised him so that the Jews would not be offended. Why would they be offended? He was not a Jew. So why would they be offended by him not being circumcised?
Because Paul never taught against Gentile circumcision, and since Timothy from a child knew the holy Scriptures and he was well advanced in his faith, he was well spoken of by the brethren, he would be a candidate, if he wanted to, to get circumcised.
But the folks in Galatians were new. They were just coming to faith. People in Corinthians, for instance, they were a mess. I mean, they needed to get their heart circumcised.
So none of the physical circumcision means anything if the heart is not circumcised.
I know this is a controversial issue, but I am trying to show that spiritual circumcision is as old as the Torah itself. It really is.
And I have a full study on the comments there in Galatians. If you go to: http://www.eliyah.com/galatians.html, there is a full verse by verse study on the book of Galatians.
And there is also a video series, as well, that you can find, which goes into much more detail than the written study. If you go to: http://www.eliyah.com/transcripts/, and you scroll down to way back in 2011, see these dates (11/12/2011 to 12/10/2011). We spent about a month on Galatians– 5 weeks/5 studies.
So if there is some confusion about circumcision, I would encourage you, go through those and spend some time there. We discussed that verse by verse.
But I want to point out that the concept of heart circumcision, spiritually circumcised, that is as old as the Torah. It is in the Torah. It has always been there. It has always been a part of Yahweh’s desire for us. It is not a new thing and a law of Messiah that came along later.
Now there is an allegory in Colossians chapter 2 about circumcision.
Colossians 2:11 – In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Messiah,
So putting off the body foreskin would be physical circumcision. Putting off the body the sins of the flesh would be called this circumcision of the Messiah. That is what Messiah has done for us.
He has caused our body, the old man, to die in the watery grave, as we were buried with Him in baptism, and a new creation rises up out of the baptismal waters. And now we are raised with Him through faith in the working of Elohim, who raised Him from the dead. And so, by that we become spiritually circumcised.
Colossians 2:12 – buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with [Him] through faith in the working of Elohim, who raised Him from the dead.
And so, this is a representation of putting off the body the sins of the flesh. In the same way circumcision removes the foreskin, circumcision of Messiah removes the sins of the flesh. We no longer walk in the flesh. That is our carnal, sinful ways. We now walk in the Spirit.
Some people say, “Well, walking in the Spirit is following Messiah’s law. That is keeping the love laws, not the old laws. That is carnal and fleshy and things that are not having anything to do with the Spirit.” Wrong, again.
Look at Ezekiel chapter 36, verse 24. Yahweh is promising He is going to take them out of their captivity. He says:
Ezekiel 36:24 – For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
25 – Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
This is the baptism right here. This is actually the prediction of baptism.
Ezekiel 36:26 – I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
These are New Covenant promises here.
Ezekiel 36:27 – I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do [them].
“I will put My Spirit within you.” And what? Cause you to walk in a brand new Torah 2.0? No! “Cause you to walk in My statutes.” This is Yahweh talking to the Israelites. They were in the midst of going to Babylon. He says He is going to bring them back.
He says: “You will walk in My statutes, you will keep My judgments, and you will do them.” Because the Spirit of Yahweh leads us to love. And if we are walking in love, we will walk in His statutes and judgments and we will do them. That is the promise of the New Covenant.
See, if the Spirit is within us, then that is why the New Covenant is basically that the Law will be written in our hearts. Because the Spirit of Yahweh is now in us. And now we are able to be empowered to and understand Yahweh’s Law, and we can read Scripture and we can walk in it, and we can do it.
So let’s look at Ezekiel 37. He says:
Ezekiel 37:24 – David My servant [shall be] king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.
This has never happened. David died a long time ago. Who is He talking about? He is talking about Yahushua the Messiah. Yahushua Messiah is King over Israel. They are going to have one Shepherd, Yahushua. And they also shall walk in what? “In My statutes and My judgments, and do them.” Because they have the Spirit, right? We read that in Ezekiel 36.
Ezekiel 37:25 – Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David [shall be] their prince forever.
That is Yahushua.
Ezekiel 37:26 – Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore.
This is the New Covenant here– a covenant of peace. Those are New Covenant promises here.
Ezekiel 44:6 – Now say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, `Thus says the Master YAHWEH: O house of Israel, let us have no more of all your abominations.
7 – When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it — My house — and when you offered My food, the fat and the blood, then they broke My covenant because of all your abominations.
8 – And you have not kept charge of My holy things, but you have set [others] to keep charge of My sanctuary for you.
Ezekiel 44:9 – `Thus says the Master YAHWEH: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary, including any foreigner who [is] among the children of Israel.
It is talking about a future date. This has never been fulfilled. This is unfulfilled prophecy. And if you have never thought to really, really study these, you will not understand the New Testament. You just won’t. You will misapply. You will think there are new laws. You will think all kinds of things that are found in traditional Christian theology.
You have to study from Ezekiel 36 to the end. Read that. Study it. Most people do not. It is talking about sacrifices and laws and statutes and stuff. They do not understand it. They do not see how it all lines up with the New Testament and the book of Hebrews and things.
And He says:
Ezekiel 44:10 – And the Levites who went far from Me, when Israel went astray, who strayed away from Me after their idols, they shall bear their iniquity.
11 – Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, [as] gatekeepers of the house and ministers of the house; they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them.
And so, this prophecy is still awaiting fulfillment. And this idea that we have this new law now where circumcision of the heart is emphasized and replaced for the physical circumcision, it is simply not true. Circumcision of the heart was always emphasized.
It is just that, you know, first century Jews took circumcision and vaunted it to some extreme that was never intended. They would not even sit at the table and fellowship with someone unless they were circumcised. They did not believe you were even an Israelite until you were circumcised.
But Yahweh was always about circumcision of the heart. Circumcision of the flesh was never anyone’s source of salvation. There will be plenty of circumcised people burning in the lake of fire in the age to come. It does not make any difference whatsoever. It does not save you.
Now what Paul was writing about to the Galatians, they were being brought under bondage as if the Messiah’s offering did not matter. It only mattered that you got circumcised. And that is one of the things we are going to bring out here in this study series on Galatians.
Again: http://www.eliyah.com/galatians.html, and in the transcripts page linked from the very top of EliYah.com, in the center there close to the top, click “Archives,” and it is 11/12/2011 to 12/10/20011.
Now I want to move forward here to this idea they have. They say that adulterers and sinners are put to death. There is NO MERCY. Whereas, the Law of Messiah, adulterers and sinners are given grace and forgiveness and life and love and compassion and mercy.
And they say, “Oh, the Law? Sorry, if you break it, you are getting stoned. If you break it, you are getting burned with fire. If you break it, you are being put to death. There is no grace in the Law.” That is where people misunderstand the Law entirely. Grace and forgiveness were not foreign to Old Testament believers. Even within the Torah.
How many times did Yahweh forgive Israel again and again and again? Moshe comes down and there they are worshipping the idols. Did He put all of them to death for worshipping idols? No. Yahweh can choose to have mercy upon whom He will have mercy. That is His call.
And the prophets would call out to Israel, “Come and get stoned! Come and get put under a pile of rocks for all your sins, Israel!”– NO!
Isaiah 1:18 – Come now, and let us reason together, Says YAHWEH, Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
There was always a call for grace to the sinner… always.
David, who committed adultery, why wasn’t he put to death? Why was he forgiven when he humbled himself, repented and prayed? Why was he forgiven? Why wasn’t Yahweh following His own Law– “Stone the man!” Because he repented with a humble and genuine heart.
This is David’s psalm he wrote when he was caught with Bathsheba, and the whole mess with Nathan, and, “You are the man,” and all that. He said:
Psalms 51:7 – Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
He believed in grace. He did.
Psalms 51:8 – Make me hear joy and gladness, [That] the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 – Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.
10 – Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalms 51:11 – Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
He had the Spirit. See, Old Testament men had the Spirit, too. Maybe we have a unique outpouring today. I do not deny that. But to say that there was no such thing as the Holy Spirit until now, that is nonsense.
Mercy and forgiveness are not new concepts found only in the New Testament. Harsh judgment is not absent from the New Testament. Did you know that?
Oh, yeah. There is harsh, harsh judgment from Yahweh in the New Testament. Very harsh. The New Testament is not just all grace, grace, grace. It is also, “I am going to put you to death. I am going to kill you.”
Yahushua is saying, “I am going to kill your children,” in Revelation 2:20. He is talking to Thyatira.
Revelation 2:20 – Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21 – And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
22 – Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
He is going to send judgment. Great tribulation He is going to give them, unless they repent of their deeds.
And get this one:
Revelation 2:23 – I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
Whoa! Grace and forgiveness, indeed, huh? Well, wait a minute. I thought it was all grace and mercy. You are not saved by your works. You are not saved by your works, but unless you have some works, obviously, you are not in a good standing with Him, right?
I mean, remember Ananias and Sapphira?
Acts 5:1 – But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.
2 – And he kept back [part] of the proceeds, his wife also being aware [of it], and brought a certain part and laid [it] at the apostles’ feet.
He was just being a little dishonest about himself, kind of being hypocritical. BLAM-O! He is dead.
Acts 5:3 – But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back [part] of the price of the land for yourself?
4 – While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to Elohim.
SLAP! on the ground. Dead man.
Acts 5:5 – Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
Sounds like judgment in the New Testament after all. Yahweh was doing the same thing with the New Testament church He did with Israel– an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. A false witness put to death. All Israel shall hear and fear, right?
“All Israel shall hear and fear.” What happened? A great fear came upon all those who heard these things. “Hear and fear.” There is judgment. There is in the New Testament Scripture.
1Corinthians 11:29 – For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Master’s body.
30 – For this reason many [are] weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
Many sleep. They are dead.
1Corinthians 11:31 – For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
Sickness, weakness, death for not eating and drinking the body of Messiah in a worthy manner. That is the fruit of the vine and the unleavened bread. So there is plenty of judgment and death in the New Testament. You just have to not have the blinders on when you are looking at it.
Yahweh is just as unhappy about sin going on in the body of Messiah as He was with Israel when they came out of Egypt. And yet, when Israel came out of Egypt, what did He say? He appeared before Moshe, and it says:
Exodus 34:5 – Now YAHWEH descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of YAHWEH.
6 – And YAHWEH passed before him and proclaimed, YAHWEH, YAHWEH Elohim, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
It sounds like a New Testament verse, in the eyes of many. “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,” but, as He says, “by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
Exodus 34:7 – keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing [the guilty], visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.
He is not afraid to issue some judgment as well. And that is why Yahweh visited iniquity upon Jezebel’s children. Yahushua said, “I will kill your children with death,” because of her lack of repentance. Yahushua is still in the chastening and punishing business. He hasn’t changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Grace is found all throughout the Bible– from Noah who found grace in Yahweh’s eyes to this verse in Exodus to the New Testament as well. It is just that through Messiah we understand how He is able to offer us forgiveness of sin. It is because of Yahushua that He is able to forgive our sin and the sin of any man who ever lived from Adam to today.
It is only through Yahushua. Yahushua is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And so, Moshe responds to this.
This is Him proclaiming His name, His character, what He is all about (Exodus 34:5-7).
Exodus 34:8 – So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.
That is what I want to do when I hear about His grace. Okay, there is a chance for me to be forgiven. HalleluYah!
Exodus 34:9 – Then he said, If now I have found grace in Your sight, O YAHWEH, let YAHWEH, I pray, go among us, even though we [are] a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.
10 – And He said: Behold, I make a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among whom you [are] shall see the work of YAHWEH. For it [is] an awesome thing that I will do with you.
So He did forgive. That is because it is who He is.
Psalms 145:8 – YAHWEH [is] gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.
9 – YAHWEH [is] good to all, And His tender mercies [are] over all His works.
This is Old Testament.
Psalms 86:15 – But You, O YAHWEH, [are] a Elohim full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.
So this is not a New Testament idea that Yahweh has suddenly gotten grace. He has always had grace toward those who turn away from their sin.
That is why He is able to forgive Israel, why He is able to forgive them time and time and time again in the book of Joshua and Judges and Kings and Chronicles. It is because of His grace. That is why. It is not a new idea. Not a new concept.
It is just that we know how He was able to that. We know the mechanism, the internal workings, the external, awesome gift that Messiah has done for us, and therefore, we are responsible for believing it. And so, grace and truth we understand comes through Yahushua the Messiah.
Yes, the Law was given through Moshe. Yes, grace is given through Yahushua Messiah. They did not understand that in former days. Before Messiah died for our sins, most of them did not get it. Now we do. Grace has always been there. Always. I just showed you clearly from the Word it is.
Now, final point. The thought is the Law of Moses was only concerned with physical sacrifices, and animal blood atones for our sins. But now we must offer spiritual sacrifices and Messiah’s blood cleanses us from our sins.
Well, before I get into this too much, I want to first show you that spiritual sacrifices are not new at all. It is not some new law that you offer up the spiritual sacrifice now instead of the physical sacrifice. Yahweh always wanted the spiritual. He always did.
In fact, Psalm 141, verse 2, says:
Psalms 141:2 – Let my prayer be set before You [as] incense, The lifting up of my hands [as] the evening sacrifice.
Beautiful. And so, prayer is compared to incense. Lifting up of hands is like the evening sacrifice. There is a comparison here.
Hosea 14:1 – O Israel, return to YAHWEH your Elohim, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity;
2 – Take words with you, And return to YAHWEH. Say to Him, Take away all iniquity; Receive [us] graciously, For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.
Praise. That is not a new idea, not a New Testament idea. You return to Yahweh; ask Him to forgive you of your sins. No bulls and animals and stuff even talked about. Just ask Him to take away your iniquity, to receive you with grace, grace, grace– graciously! And then we will offer what? Blood sacrifices? No. Just the sacrifices of our lips.
When David sinned against Yahweh, did he run down to the temple and start handing the priest all these burnt offerings? No, no he did not.
Psalms 51:16 – For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give [it]; You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 – The sacrifices of Elohim [are] a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart — These, O Elohim, You will not despise.
And so, this is not new. This is old stuff. A broken spirit is a sacrifice. A contrite heart and a broken heart is a sacrifice. He will not despise those.
Psalms 69:30 – I will praise the name of Elohim with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
31 – [This] also shall please YAHWEH better than an ox [or] bull, Which has horns and hooves.
So Yahushua is not bringing some new thing, some new teaching, some new law in the New Testament when we are talking about spiritual sacrifices. This has already been there. It has been known about forever.
I mean, obviously, physical sacrifices were a part of Yahweh’s Law. There is no denying that. Sacrifices are actually much older than the Law of Moses. There were sacrifices all the way back to Adam’s day when he sinned. And he bore children. And we read about Abel:
Genesis 4:4 – Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And YAHWEH respected Abel and his offering,
The fat is what you burn on the altar.
Genesis 8:20 – Then Noah built an altar to YAHWEH, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
How about that? No Levite around anywhere. There wasn’t such a thing as a Levite. Noah wasn’t Jewish. The Jews come from Judah, who was a great-grandson of Abraham.
Abraham wasn’t even born, yet, and here is Noah offering burnt offerings. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all made offerings. Here is Jacob:
Genesis 31:54 – Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread. And they ate bread and stayed all night on the mountain.
So long before there was ever a Levitical priest, there were sacrifices. Sacrifices are not just something found in the Law of Moses, or the Law of Moshe. They are present from the very beginning.
Sacrifices predate the Law of Moshe. So it does not even come from the Law of Moshe. Yes, the Law of Moshe includes them, but that is not where they are getting their origin.
So what about sacrifices now? Obviously, Yahushua’s offering does take away animal sacrifices. The question, though, is when do those sacrifices come to an end?
I have a video study series on this, as well, on the transcripts page at: http://www.eliyah.com/transcripts/. The video study series is recent, actually– was 12/28/2013 to 2/1/2014 (the second month of this Roman year, and the first day of what is called February). And so, we go verse by verse in the book of Hebrews.
So I wanted to kind of go through these because I felt that this was very important for us to understand that a lot of these vast differences that people make out of this Law of Moses vs. the Law of Messiah is as if you have the Law of Moses on this side and the Law of Messiah on the other side and they are just duking it out.
And Messiah comes victorious over the old Law and establishes a new law. It is so, so wrong. So, so wrong-headed. And the only way you can arrive at those conclusions is if you just do not ever study the Old Testament, because anyone who studies the Old Testament will find, yeah, that is not true. The stuff is all repeats.
It is repeats of what Yahweh had already said before. It is just Yahushua was bringing that to light. The disciples were bringing that to light.
And so, I wanted to address those before we move on to discussing the Law of Messiah vs. the Law of Moses (or Moshe), and some of these other things which we are going to be discussing here in the next segment (Part 2).
I want to address the question: What is the “law of Liberty”? Some people believe we are not under the Law of Moses, we do not have to follow the Law of Moses, we are under a law of Liberty now. We are free.
What is the “Royal Law”? That is spoken of in the book of James. Did Messiah give any new laws? We are going to find that in the next segment. The answer clearly is: “Yes, He did.”
Do Messiah’s commandments include or exclude the Law of Moses? We are going to address that question. What is the difference between a covenant and a law? What is the difference? Is there a difference? Some people would say, “Yes.” We will examine that question.
Finally, what does that mean, serving in the oldness of the letter vs. this newness of the Spirit? What is the difference? And so, we want to address this in fullness.
I believe firmly that we have addressed each of those false notions pretty thoroughly, and I hope it has been enlightening for many of you watching and listening to this segment. I am looking forward to sharing some new things next week in the next segment.
Until then, may Yahweh guide us to all truth. May we be lead into all truth and away from false notions, false theology, false doctrines and into the light of Yahweh’s truthful, awesome Word.
May Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh have mercy on us all.