|Listen to the Bible|
Thoughts and Commentary on Today's ReadingIsaiah is one of my personal favorite books of the Bible. It is truly a book of spiritual "meat" with many gems of Truth awaiting discovery and notice. In our reading from today, I'd like to focus on two key Scripture verses from Isaiah, which show the importance of God's Law (Torah):
Isaiah 8:16 & 20 - "Bind up the testimony, seal the Law among My disciples... To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them."The Law (Torah) is the root system - the origin - the Source Point - of all Truth. This why Isaiah 8 tells us to test all ideas by the Law - and the testimony (Old Testament prophets). the Torah is the roots, the Old Testament prophets are the trunk of the living tree of Truth. While the trunk is connected with the roots (interpreted through the Torah) there is life and truth throughout. And the New Testament is the lovely foliage of the top of the truth tree.
While the foliage is connected to the trunk and the roots, there is life in the "leaves" (individual doctrinal teachings). But if the New Testament foliage is cut off from the roots and trunk (as it is with the "New Covenant" vs "Old Covenant ideas) the life of truth is lost.
Today, the idea that there might be ultimate Truth—Truth that stands of itself, whether recognized or not, existing outside the scope of one’s own personal experience—is a concept as rare as an endangered species. Truth is usually viewed as “relative”. In other words, truth is changing, depending on one’s personal needs and circumstances. Rather than believing in some over-arching, all-encompassing, whether-we-recognize-it-or-not-it-still-stands TRUTH; most say ultimate Truth does not even exist! Instead, people tend to believe that there is “your” truth and “my” truth.
As mystic Fran Hafey explained in her online article titled, “Your Truth is Within You”:
“When your truth unfolds like a flower being born, you will feel it in your heart and know its true.”
(Holistic Living, www.1stholistic.com)
By this popular way of thinking, the path of ultimate Truth has become overgrown by the brambles of disuse. So few seek for ultimate Truth, that this formerly well-trod path of thought, which was once the most important philosophical quest, is now nearly totally out of sight.
Perhaps, more than anything else, this way of thinking is the reason we are in a time of spiritual famine today. Most, even among Christians, don’t really know what the Truth is.
Amos 8:11 - “Behold, the days come, saith Yahweh God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the Words of Yahweh.”It’s a scary thought really. But this is the most fundamental reason many, even among Christians, search for emotional experiences and mystical moments rather than studying the Bible. But, Scripture tells us that there is ultimate Truth. Specifically, the Bible states that the Word of God, in Flesh (Christ) and Book (the Bible), are Truth:
John 17:17 - “Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth.”
John 14:6 - “Yahshua saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”Scripturally, wind is a metaphor used for false doctrine and spiritual deception. These false concepts are powerful and forceful, gusting the biblically unrooted person about; much like a helpless tumbleweed is blown this way and that, in a trackless desert.
Most Christians believe that Paul taught the Law was done away with at the Cross. But, Yahshua clearly stated He had not come to remove any part of the Law. In fact, He went on to state that nothing in the Torah - not even the tiniest punctuation or accent marks it contained - would be done away with until Heaven and Earth passed away.
Matthew 5:17-18 -“Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.”Was Paul actually in conflict with Christ? No! The Bereans were first-hand hearers of Paul’s teachings. Scripture tells us that when they heard him teach, they would then go home to “search the Scriptures daily” to see “whether these things were so,” (Acts 17:10-11). Since the New Testament hadn’t been added to the Bible during the time of Paul, what Scriptures were they searching? The Old Testament! And what did the Bereans find?
They found Paul’s teachings to be in full harmony with the Old Testament Scriptures! Note: had Paul taught anything different from the Old Testament - which was the Scriptures in his day - he would have been called an “apostate” not an Apostle!
Had Paul been in conflict with Christ, he could not have been one of His apostles! The apparent conflict in Paul’s writings versus Yahshua’s has been brought about by misinterpreting Paul’s messages. Just as Peter warned that many were doing, even in his day, Christians wrongly interpret Paul’s meaning, producing these two perspectives that are entirely opposite.
Yet, alarmingly, the twisted understanding Christians get from misinterpreting Paul seemingly holds more weight than even Yahshua’s words! Misunderstood or not, if Paul can effectively “trump” Christ, we can no longer call ourselves Christians (followers of Christ), but “Paulians” (followers of Paul).
And so, with no disrespect to the Apostle Paul, who truly did not teach heresy but promoted the Truth; it is necessary to expose how Christianity has actually morphed into a twisted “Paulianity”. But if we put our “Torah-glasses” on, viewing Paul’s writings and teachings from the standpoint that the Law of God is the basis from which he taught, we will find enlightenment rather than delusion.
Isaiah 8:20 - “To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.”Paul’s own testimony about his teachings and conduct is that he had never done or taught anything against either the Torah (wrongly translated as the “Law of the Jews”) or against the laws of the land (Roman law).
Acts 25:7-8 - “And when he came, the Jews who came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and made many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove. While he answered for himself, Neither against the Law of the Jews, nor against the Temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.”The word “offended” in the above passage is translated from the Greek word hamartano, which means to “sin against” or “trespass”. Paul could only say that he had not trespassed against the Torah if he was a Sabbath-keeper! In fact, he not only kept the Sabbath, but also the Feast days (Acts 18:21; 20:16). And he even left plain instructions for Yahweh’s people to keep them:
1 Corinthians 5:8 - “Therefore let us keep the Feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the Unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth.”Breaking the Sabbath commandment carried a penalty of death (Exodus 31:15) and Paul said that if he had committed anything worthy of death he would accept such judgment (Acts 25:11). Festus said concerning Paul, “I found that he had committed nothing deserving of death.” (Acts 25:25). Thus, the Scriptural record shows Paul to be a Torah and Sabbath-keeper.
Paul wasn’t making up new doctrines, nailing the Law which David and Moses - and Yahshua Himself - upheld. Just as Peter warned, Paul’s teachings have been twisted into strong delusions. But far from teaching that the Law is no longer valid, Paul taught that breaking God’s Law would result in eternal damnation (Galatians 5:19-21).
Ephesians 5:5-8 - “...No whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the Kingdom... of God. Let no man deceive you... walk as children of Light.”To rightly understand Paul’s writings, we must interpret them through the “lens” of the Law.