I believe that it is important to obey many of the precepts, instructions and commandments (mitzvot in Hebrew) set forth by God, to Moses, in the Torah. Paul said that the law is holy, and each commandment (mitzvah) is holy, righteous and good
King David said that the Lord’s law is perfect, His statutes are trustworthy, His precepts are right, and His commands are radiant
It generally is accepted that there are 613 Mitzvot or Commandments to follow in the Torah. No one was or is expected to keep all of them, though. For instance, some apply only to men, some only to women, some only to those who live in Israel, and some only to those serving in the Temple, which no longer stands.
The Book of the Covenant
There actually were no sin offering requirements in the Book of the Covenant. Sin offerings were required only after God's covenant with Israel was broken. Once Jesus died on the cross, all the penalties for sin in the Torah were paid in full, enabling believers in Him to gain eternal life without further sacrifices.
Obedience to the Law/Torah, in whole or in part, is not essential for the complete remission of sins, nor for eternal salvation. The ancient priests in Israel offered daily sacrifices, none of which could take away sins.
However, through Yeshua/Jesus, everyone who believes in Him can receive forgiveness of sins and is justified from everything for which the Law/Torah could not justify
Jesus’ death on the cross is the only thing that has paid the penalty for sin (that is, transgression of God’s Law), but it did not eliminate the requirement for us to continue upholding and obeying the original written Law, in conjunction with our faith
Jesus said that He did not come to abolish the written Law/Torah of God but to fulfill it (that is, to live it out and to clarify it); furthermore, this Law will be in effect for as long as the present Creation is in existence
Following Jesus’ crucifixion, it no longer was necessary to offer sacrificed animals as compensation for sins. This is because Jesus’ one-time offering and sacrifice of Himself satisfied that stipulation for all time
Our present offerings and sacrifices begin with sacrificing our pride and acknowledging that we are sinners
We also are to praise God continually and to be self-sacrificing on the behalf of others
Furthermore, we should “slaughter” and “burn” those aspects of our character that we know are offensive to God and replace them with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
Numerous aspects of the first and second comings of Jesus were written about by the ancient prophets in the Old Testament. This included the writings by Moses in the Law/Torah
Jesus (not Muhammad, as Islam claims) was the Prophet, foretold by Moses, to be “raised up” for the people
Calling the Pharisees and teachers of the law “hypocrites,” Jesus said that they honored God with their lips but their hearts were far from Him; they worshiped God in vain, and their teachings were merely rules taught by men
In a similar manner, most modern-day Christians observe and celebrate days that are Church traditions and mere substitutes for days ordained by God. These include the following:
When Moses was a long time in coming down from Mount Sinai, the people got tired of waiting. Finally, they asked their High Priest, Aaron, to make them other gods
Similarly, after waiting a long time for Jesus to return from heaven, the Church—both Catholic and Protestant—grew weary of waiting for Him; and “high priests” created manmade gods/idols, along with manmade festivals and celebrations. These have become traditions that substitute for the real God and His appointed feasts and festivals. Essentially, these are “golden calves” within the Church.
Jesus fulfilled the Hebraic Spring Festivals/Holy Days at His first coming, and He will fulfill the Hebraic Fall Festivals/Holy Days when He returns, first in the clouds and then back to earth. Jesus said that He was the “Lord of the Sabbath”; then He went into a synagogue
Likewise, I also feel that, on some level, believers should observe, or at least acknowledge, the Hebraic feasts, festivals, and holy days of the Lord
I think it is fine for Christians to attend church on Sunday. However, I feel that it still is important for them to accept the Fourth Commandment as written and acknowledge a seven-day Sabbath. For instance, they could join together with other like-minded people for a Bible study on Friday night or Saturday. It also is recommended not to do regular work from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.
Those not observing a seventh-day Sabbath might claim that they no longer are “under the Law of Moses.” Yet, by observing only a first-day Sabbath, in essence they are continuing to be “under the law of Constantine,” who made Sunday the official day of rest in 321 A.D. This may have been an endorsement of what Christians had practiced for nearly two and a half centuries. Much of the early church had adopted Sunday as their day of worship, since Jesus Christ had risen on the first day of the week, even though there was no scriptural basis for doing this.
Nonetheless, the Torah did not “go away” when Jesus was crucified and resurrected. It was not “nailed to the cross,” as some will claim. The Torah is part of the covenant with Israel, which has not been abolished
What was “nailed to the cross,” figuratively speaking, was the record of sins and transgressions of the law, along with their associated penalties, of those who will accept Jesus’ sacrifice on their behalf. Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse or penalty of the law by becoming a “curse” for us on the cross
The penalty for our sin is canceled eternally because the sacrifice for our sin, Yeshua/Jesus, lives eternally. Also “nailed to the cross” was the collection of traditional, man-made rabbinical laws, rules, and regulations, which were advocated by a majority of the Pharisees and Sadduces of Jesus’ time.
Some will point to
However, if we read a little further, we will see that the ultimate fulfillment of the new covenant will be when God puts the Law/Torah in the minds and writes it on the hearts of those in Israel
At that time, Jesus will reside in/on the millennial Temple and Holy Mountain of the Lord in Jerusalem, teaching us His ways; and the Law/Torah and Word of the Lord will go out from Zion
Jesus, the Lord, will sit on His throne in Jerusalem as King over Israel and over the whole earth
We are not required to keep God’s commandments or Torah, nor to become “legally Jewish,” to obtain justification for our sins in His eyes, leading to salvation and eternal life. Salvation from our sins, and an eternal existence with God, can be attained only through our faith and belief in the following things:
It is our faith that brings God’s forgiveness and grace to us. That is, we are justified by faith rather than by works
This does not mean that bad times, and even tragedies, will not occur for us. It simply means that God is more prone to bless us in our lives, on an enduring basis, if we obey His Law. One example of doing this is tithing
The littlest “jot and tittle”—meaning the smallest Hebrew letter (yodh = ) and the tiniest diacritical mark, hook, or point of any Hebrew letter ()—of the Law/Torah will be in effect until the present heaven and earth disappear
John counseled that if we are to abide in God, we will walk as Jesus did; furthermore, John said that he was not writing a new command but an old one
Here are some articles by John Thomley showing how and why the Law/Torah has not been done away with, as many claim, but continues to be applicable today:
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