Why The Law Then

Law, law, law! I am so confused. What is Paul saying in Galatians 3? You could read it and assume every time Paul says law he is speaking of the Torah, the commandments. Unfortunately, that can’t be correct! If you believe that you are wrong! Yes, I am saying that emphatically! How can I be so sure? Let’s take a look at v19 – Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.

If the law came as a result of transgressions (i.e. sins) then it is not possible to sin. You cannot sin if the law did not exist prior to the giving of the law at Mount Sinai by G-d to Israel. Sin is transgression of the law (1 John 4:3), therefore the law (Torah) could not have been added due to transgressions because the Torah needs to exist prior to the sin to sin. You might need to read that a couple times, but one needs to understand the Torah (law) is eternal. It is forever. The law spoken of in v19 cannot be the original commandments given by G-d otherwise there would be no sin before that time period.

Confused? Great. Let’s try and find out what law was added that Paul is referring to in this verse. Initially, all of the sons of Israel were to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:5-6). Something happened though that caused this to change, the golden calf. The golden calf incident changed history forever. No longer were all the tribes going to serve as priests. Now, only the Levites. Prior to the incident HaShem already gave His instructions to the Israelites. Due to the incident new instructions came. The Levitical Priesthood would serve and teach the others. This is the law that was added because of transgressions. This is what Paul is referring to in v19.

Now that the Levitical Priests were setup to lead, for how long were they to lead? What does Paul mean until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. The promise was to Avraham. Not sure of anyone who would disagree with that. So what does “until the seed would come” mean. Yeshua is the seed. Until Yeshua would come the Levitical Priesthood would serve and teach others. We know from Hebrews 7 that the Levitical priesthood was not perfect. We know they did not fulfill their mission of teaching Israel. When Yeshua came (possibly when He comes again) the priesthood changed. No longer were the Levitical priests going to be the teachers of the people. Who is going to be the teacher?

Jeremiah 31:33 says HaShem will put His Torah within them and write it on the hearts of Israel and Judah. They will no longer be teaching, because all will know Him. Ezekiel 36:26-27 says “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

HaShem is going to be the teacher. His Spirit is going to cause you to walk in His statutes and observe His ordinances. The Levites will still have their place in the Temple. In the Millennial they will be serving up sacrifices, including sin sacrifices. The Levites role of teachers ended though with the coming of the MaShiach.

Does Galatians 3:19 make a little more sense now?   There is some detail still to be written, but for the sake of time that will come later.

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem

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To Circumcise Or Not To Circumcise

Galatians 2 can be a confusing passage. There are several topics that are discussed. I argue that unless you understand what was going on in that time period you miss the true understanding. In verses 3 and 4 lots of spirited debate occurs. Does anyone need to follow the Torah anymore? Do Gentiles need to follow Torah? Maybe not all of Torah, but circumcision? Titus was not compelled being a Greek so that settles that right? Words are thrown around without truly knowing the context behind the words. Like bondage and liberty. Let’s take a look and see what is going on.

People today, notably Americans, view everything from their own standpoint. We have trouble seeing events in their original context and instead inject our context into the picture. Unfortunately, many have had a picture painted for them about Jews. The picture is many believe Jews work for their salvation. Another picture that is painted is Torah is bondage. It is a yoke that is unbearable. No one can hold up to the yoke of Torah. Torah is opposite of liberty. If you follow Torah you then Christ is of no benefit to you. All of these are misconceptions. They are all false. These pictures come about due to ignorance. For there is not one verse that states Torah is bondage or the Torah is a yoke that no one can bear. In fact, Scripture states just the opposite. Judaism has always been a faith based system. Are there some within Judaism that believe it is a works based system? Yes. Just because someone believes something does not make it true. Some believe in Amillennialism, but that does not make it true. Many believe in Pre-Tribulation, but that does not make it true. Let’s look at Galatians 2 in the context of when it was written.

Many believe that circumcision is required to convert to Judaism. Today, that is what is taught in Orthodox Judaism. This was not always the case. There was a long standing debate between the different schools of thought at one time. Shammai and Hillel debated this very topic. In Yevamot 46a the viewpoint presented is “A male convert who has been immersed but not circumcised or circumcised but not immersed, is a convert.” Note that immersed is basically a baptism. Paul, who was from the school of Hillel, was taught why a Gentile did not have to undergo circumcision to convert to Judaism. Shammai on the other hand believed a convert must be circumcised to convert. Yeshua’s remarks on how to carry out Torah seem to go along with Hillel’s viewpoint over Shammai most of the time. The one opinion Yeshua did agree with Shammai was on the subject of divorce.

Paul, already versed on why a Gentile did not have to undergo circumcision to be a convert to Judasim, writes in Romans 4 how Avraham converted. He converted through faith, while he was uncircumcised. Avraham later received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith. This very thought is what Paul is trying to get through to the Galatians. Circumcision is not a means to convert. Faith is and always will be the true way.

Let’s look at verse four and into the bondage issue. Does following Torah bring bondage? King David said in Psalms 119:45 and I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts (laws). King David, says because he sought after G-d’s Torah he walks at liberty. James calls the Torah the perfect law of liberty and whoever looks into it he being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work shall be blessed. In James 2:12 he states as they shall be judged by the law of liberty. Everyone is going to be judged according to the Torah per Paul in Romans 2:12.   In 1 John 5:3 we are told for this is the love of G-d, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not burdensome. Yeshua said “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Are we told the same thing in the Tanakh? Yes, in Deuteronomy 30:11 it says “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach.” So Torah is not bondage or too hard. What is the bondage that Paul is speaking about in Galatians 2?

Paul speaks several times about sin being bondage. Per Colossians 2:14, believers are released from the death sentence as a result of sin. Yet some of the Pharisees and teachers of the Torah taught something different than Torah. They taught traditions of man and sometimes these traditions would cause them to break Torah. Some of these teachers and Pharisees held their traditions above Torah. You cannot do this. Traditions are fine, but when you hold them equal to or above Torah then there is a problem. This is what Yeshua contended with during His ministry.

Paul did not have a problem with circumcision. He had a problem with using circumcision as a matter of conversion. This is what the Jerusalem Council was all about in Acts 15. Verse 1 says “Some men came down from Judea and bean teaching the brethren, ‘unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved’”. As I mentioned at first, this was a long debated topic and was not new at the time of Paul’s ministry. Include this info along with the idea that Torah is not too difficult or brings one into bondage and that it is actually freedom or life, then you have a whole new perspective to consider.

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!

A New Creation

A couple of weeks ago we finished Galatians 5 and now we are ready for chapter 6.  Chapter 6 is a short chapter with only one disputed passage in it.  You might be able to guess, based on the rest of Galatians what it is about…circumcision.  Yes, again.  We have taken a look at what Paul is saying in the various other chapters of Galatians and this time is no different.

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.  Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.  But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Yeshua, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.   Galatians 6:11-15

Clearly, Paul is teaching that circumcision is not required for salvation.  I 100% agree!  Some though will use this passage to state that you should not become circumcised even in obedience to G-d.  In my opinion, Paul emphasizes his large writing to emphasize the importance of this topic.  There were those who were pushing salvation by adherence to the Torah…starting off with circumcision.  Yet, this group did not keep the Torah themselves.  Paul then states whether you are circumcised or not what matters is to become a new creation.  We become a new creation once we are circumcised in the heart.  We then and only then can walk the Torah out in obedience.  Trying to perform Torah without G-d is a heavy burden.  Loving others without G-d is difficult.  Our father Avraham followed the same process.  He believed first, then obeyed.  The Israelites were first redeemed from Egypt then given the Torah.  Without a true circumcision of the heart nothing else matters.

All throughout Galatians Paul was stressing having emunah (faith).  Others were stressing performing works in order to be saved.  I believe I have shown in discussing the other chapters of Galatians that Paul stresses salvation first then obedience.  Paul has not forgotten nor dismissed the Torah.  He was Torah obedient his entire life according to his own testimony in Acts.  He had Timothy circumcised.  If circumcision was truly nothing, then why have someone circumcised?

One can read a lot into Galatians.  It is a difficult book, the most difficult book in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) in my opinion.  If one would just take a step back and look at the author, look at his life, look at what all he really said then Galatians becomes a little easier to understand.

With that we are finished with Galatians!  Up next….Romans.

Until next time….kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is Hashem!

Walking By The Spirit

Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh – Galatians 5:16.  As we look to finish chapter 5 of Galatians Paul discusses the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.  We are told in Ezekiel 11:19-20 and Ezekiel 36:26-27 what the Spirit will do once the heart of stone is removed and replaced with a heart of flesh.  The Spirit will cause you to walk in His statutes and to be careful to observe His ordinances.  Let’s see what Paul says:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of G-d.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:16-24.

Paul is speaking to the idea of the Spirit and the flesh are opposed to one another.  Our sinful flesh wants one thing but the Spirit within believers wants another.  Easy enough.  Paul continues to tell us those led by the Spirit are not under law.  We dealt with this phrase in one of the Galatians 4 writings a few weeks ago.  Paul is not saying if you are a believer in Yeshua then you do not have to abide by the law.  No!  The phrase “you are not under the law” is saying because you accepted Yeshua as the Messiah, He paid for the debt of your sins.  Under the law means we have broken the law and the debt has not been paid yet.

Paul gives a laundry list of works of the flesh and then says if you practice such things you will not inherit the kingdom of G-d.  Wait a minute, I thought we did not have to work for our salvation?  Paul wrote this whole epistle about not having to work for salvation.  So, what is Paul saying here?  I believe Paul is saying anyone who continues to do such things does not have the Spirit.  These people do not have the influence of the Spirit.

Paul then contrasts the fruit of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit.  These fruits stem from following the commandments.  If one follows the commandments then the natural result will be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no laws against such things for the fruit of the Spirit is fulfilling Torah.  Last time we spoke about this….fulfillment of Torah is love.  All the commandments can be wrapped up in this one word.  This does not mean love is the only commandment.

Paul continues to express the same message Moses, all the prophets, Yeshua, and the disciples expressed over and over.  Through the commandments if done through the Spirit will reveal love to G-d and to all others.  The result will be a wonderful relationship with G-d.

What do you think?  We have finished the first 5 chapters of Galatians and only one more to go.  I have not heard a lot of comments back so I assume you are seeing Galatians in a different perspective.

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!

Love, Love, Love – Is Love The Fulfillment Of All The Commandments?

Many believe that love is the fulfillment of all the commandments.  They believe that just loving everyone is all G-d wants from us today.  In a way it is, but is not.  Let’s take a look through the verses in Galatians 5:13-15 to see what I am trying to convey.

 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”    Galatians 5:13-14

We are called to freedom.  King David and James wrote about this same freedom.  They both say Torah brings freedom.  All throughout Galatians Paul is mostly dealing with one topic.  Salvation!  Salvation does not come by works but by faith.  Here, Paul is stating as your are following the commandments don’t think you are assuring yourself salvation.  Following the commandments….loving your neighbor, serving your neighbor through love is an expression of our faith.

The next verse is used to support the position that love is the only commandment today.  Is this correct?  Who gave Paul the right to change the commandments?  G-d said in Deut. 4:2 and 12:32 not to add or subtract from His commandments.  He said in ch 13 if someone comes telling you to not follow G-d and His commandments they are not from Him.  Love does not replace the Torah.  If we perform the commandments and do not have love then we do not fulfill the commandments.  This is what Paul is saying.  All through the Tanakh (Old Testament) we are told this.  The prominent Rabbi’s through the time fault our people for one thing…lack of love.  We are told the sacrifices are not what G-d wants.  Why?  Their was no love behind it.  People were going through the motions only.  In 1 Corinthian 13:1-3 Paul is saying the same thing again.  In Romans 2:25 Paul says “If you circumcise your flesh, but hate your brother, you remain as uncircumcised“.  If you are doing something without the love then you might as well not do it.  Your heart matters.

Faith without love is worthless.  For if you truly have faith, your love will spring forth.  I hope you see that love is the fulfillment of all the commandments, but that love is not the only commandment.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Please share!

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!

Circumcision and the Law

Is the sign of the Avraham Covenant important?  The sign of circumcision.  Avraham is told at 99 years of age to become circumcised as a sign of the covenant with G-d.  He is told this covenant is between Me and you and your descendants.  All his servants were also to be circumcised.  Many Christians believe they are a spiritual descendants of Avraham based on Galatians 3:28-29.  So one must ask is circumcision important?  In Galatians 5, circumcision comes up again.  Remember circumcision was an issue in Galatians 2, which I address here, and was the subject of the Jerusalem council in Acts 15.  Circumcision is a sign that one belongs to the covenant of promise with G-d.  Let’s look at what Paul is telling us now.

Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.  And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.  You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.  For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. Galatians 5:2-6

Verses 2 & 3 have been used for many years to state that one should not become circumcised for if you do you are under obligation to keep the whole law.  That is you have to keep it perfectly.  If not, you have been severed from Christ and He is of no benefit to you.  Wow.  Just reading those two verses alone, I would agree that circumcision seems to have passed by the way side.  But, I have to take all of Scripture and view these verses in context.  Did Avraham have to be circumcised to receive salvation?  No.  He had emunah (faith) and then was circumcised.  Why?  G-d said it was the sign of the covenant between them and future generations.  So just like Avraham, you must have emunah first.  For if you think getting circumcised does anything for you then you are sadly mistaken.  If you believe that verses 2 & 3 say not to get circumcised then an issue arises when Timothy gets circumcised and Paul is right there with him.

Paul clears up the message if one would continue reading and not form their thoughts before reading the whole passage.  Verse 4 tells us this is for those seeking to be justified by the law.  In other words, receive salvation by works.  Paul has stated this throughout this epistle.  Salvation is not by works, but by having emunah.  Circumcision of the flesh is a sign of the circumcision of the heart.  Throughout Scripture David, the Prophets, and Yeshua all were saying repent of the heart, come back to Him.  You can make sacrifices all day, but if you heart is not right it does not matter.  You can give all the money you want, but if your heart is not in the right place it does matter.   This is what Paul is saying in v6, circumcision does not mean anything towards salvation.  If you do not have emunah, whatever you do does not matter.

We must remember to read the entire passage.  Sometimes this means reading a few verses, sometimes a previous chapter or two, or sometimes going back into the Tanak to obtain the proper perspective.  We must always have the Torah as our foundation and all other writings are pointing back to the Torah.

Now, I ask you again, is the sign still important?

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!

It Is For Freedom the Mashiach Set Us Free

Galatians 5 starts out with Paul telling us we are free…not to be subject to a yolk of slavery again.  What is Paul writing about?  Freedom?  Wooohoooo!!!  Freedom from what though?  Many believe free from the Torah.  They believe Torah is a ball and chain and we must escape it at all costs.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

If you read this verse by itself with a prejudice towards the Torah, you bet you see Torah as a yoke of slavery.  Yet, King David spoke glowingly about the Torah.  All throughout the Psalms he speaks of it and chapter 119 is all about the Torah.

Psalm 119:
v1 – How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the Torah of the Lord.
v18 – Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your Torah.
v35 – Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.v45 – And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts.
v93 – I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me.
v97 – O how I love Your Torah! It is my meditation all the day.
v105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
v134 – Redeem me from the oppression of man, That I may keep Your precepts.
v143 – Trouble and anguish have come upon me, Yet Your commandments are my delight.
v160 – The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.
v163 – I hate and despise falsehood, But I love Your Torah.

Someone forgot to tell David, a man after G-d’s own heart, that the Torah is a yolk of slavery.  If David was a man after G-d’s own heart, wouldn’t you want to follow in David’s footsteps?  David loved the Torah, he delighted in it, it gave his feet light, the Torah is EVERLASTING, and the Torah contains wonderful things.  David even said he walks in LIBERTY.  Why?  Because he seeks the precepts…another word for commandments.  Hmmm, interesting.

In James 1:25 we are told the Torah is the perfect law, the law of liberty.  If we become effectual doers, we will be blessed.

I am getting confused because the world tells me, the church tells me, the Torah is a yolk of slavery.  Yet, a man after G-d’s own heart, another man who is Yeshua’s brother, both tell us the Torah is liberty, freedom.  So what is Paul writing about?

You have to remember what you just read in Galatians 4:8-9 – However at that time, when you did not know G-d, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know G-d, or rather to be known by G-d, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

When you did not know G-d you were slaves to others and you were dealing with weak and worthless elemental things, enslaved to them.  This is exactly what Paul is referencing in 5:1, not Torah.  When we do anything other than following Torah we become enslaved.  If we would just read in context.  I was once there as well, but thankfully the cloud was lifted and I can see the Torah for what it is.

Baruch HaShem!  If we stop seeing the Torah for what it is not, then you can start to see what Paul is telling the world.  We cannot be saved by our works and we are enslaved to anything other than Torah.  For the Torah gives freedom!!!

What do you think?  Do you agree?  If not, why?

Until next time, kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!

Who Wants To Be Under the Law?

Last time I wrote about Paul wondering if he had labored in vain over the Galatians.  They seem to be having all kinds of issues between the Judaizers (those proclaiming you must follow the Torah to be saved) and the traditions and customs of their previous life.  Next we will look at another passage in Galatians 4 where Paul is again discussing being under the law.  This is a phrase we dealt with before here and here.

Galatians 4:21-31…Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.  But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written,

Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear;
Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor;
For more numerous are the children of the desolate
Than of the one who has a husband.”

 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.  But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.  But what does the Scripture say?

Cast out the bondwoman and her son,
For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.”

So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.

We see the phrase under the law immediately in this passage.  Please refer to the links above where I already discuss this issue of being under the law.  It means you have sinned and you have nothing that has covered that sin.  If you try and go about salvation on your own you will be under the law.  Those who have a true relationship with Yeshua are not under the law because His grace is covering you.  This does not mean you have a license to sin.  Sin is lawlessness meaning you do not observe G-d’s commandments.  One can argue all day the commandments of the Brit Chadasha (what you may call the “New” Covenant) are a different set of commandments, but no where are we told to follow a new set or that G-d changed the commandments.

Paul then provides another drash on the bondwoman and the free woman.  The son born of the bondwoman was works of the flesh and cannot save you.  Avraham and Sarah took matters into their own hands and tried to fulfill G-d’s promise.  The son of the promise, was Isaac.  He came as the promise from G-d.  It is a great illustration of what the Torah is to the promise to Avraham.  One cannot be obtain salvation via their own works, it is only through the Messiah that we obtain salvation.  Torah does not create slavery, but going through life without a relationship with the Messiah is slavery.  You are a slave to the certificate of death that has been decreed against you.

This is the same story as the Exodus.  G-d redeemed Israel.  The Israelites were not able to leave based on anything they did.  It was all G-d.  Then after He redeemed them, He tells the Israelites if you obey my voice I will make you my treasured people among all the nations.  It is always salvation then obedience.  If you are acting in disobedience you cannot claim the promise.  This is what Paul was addressing in Romans 11:17-24 amongst other places as well.

 Paul continues on to say that true believers are of the free woman…of the Spirit and not the flesh.  This reminds me of the drash my Rabbi gave on Ezekiel 11:19 and Ezekiel 36:26 and related those two to Romans 7:25-8:14.  Great drash which I did write up one time.  I will have to post it here sometime soon.  Alright, that takes us through Galatians 4, so next time we will start in Galatians 5.

Any questions?  Do you see this differently?  How so?

Until next time…Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!

Observing Special Days…Wasted My Efforts

Yesterday, we started looking at Galatians 4 with phrases like under the law and the elemental things of the world. Today we will look into the next set of verses that often cause confusion.

Formerly, when you did not know G-d, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know G-d—or rather are known by G-d—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. Galatians 4:8-11

I believe Paul is real clear in this passage, but those with an anti-Torah perspective seem to bring up this passage and believe it says not to follow the Torah. Let’s see.

Paul starts out saying when you did not know G-d, you were a slave to something that was not G-d. Could Paul be speaking about the Torah? The Torah clearly says following Torah is how to choose life (Deut. 30:15-20) and to have a relationship with Him, so if someone did not know G-d, they could not have known Torah. Paul must be speaking about being a slave to another. Then Paul asks his audience, how can you turn back to the weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved all over again? I discuss this in the post regarding v1-7. This cannot be Torah. Torah is never described as weak and miserable. It is from G-d and is anything from Him weak and miserable? I hope you said no. Is the Torah what has enslaved people? Again, we have dealt with this over and over again in Galatians 2 & 3. Sin has us bound (Romans 6) and that is what Paul is referring to. Anything outside of Torah enslaves us, so Paul is saying how can you go back to the weak and miserable things which will enslave you.

What are the weak and miserable things? Paul mentions them next…you are observing special days and months and seasons and years. This is the verse that is referenced to say that see it is Judaism/Torah that enslaves. One, remember Paul is obedient to the Torah. Two, Paul teaches Torah. So, could he be saying the days, months, seasons, and years are from the Torah? If he did it would contradict other passages written about Paul or that he wrote. In other passages Paul is encouraging observance of the festivals – Acts 20:16 and 1 Corinthians 5:6-8. Taking this verse in context, Paul could not be speaking of the Sabbath, festivals, etc.

We do not know for certain what specials days and months and seasons and years Paul is referencing, but we can say without any hesitation that Paul was not referencing the times G-d set aside for us.

Is there anything you can add? Maybe you disagree? If so, let’s discuss.

Until next time…kedosh, kedosh, kedosh is HaShem!

Bondage…Elemental Things Of This World

Are you ready to dive into Galatians 4?  Let’s go!  Let’s remember the writer is Sha’ul/Paul, who is Torah observant based on his own testimony.

Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, G-d sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, G-d has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through G-d. Galatians 4:1-7

Paul is continuing his thoughts from what man has determined as chapter 4.  Take in mind what was discussed in chapter 3 about heirs and guardians.  I proposed in earlier posts that the guardian/disciplinarian was is the curse of the Torah.  Here Paul says we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.  In other words, before we accepted the Living Torah we were in slavery under the influence from some one else.  We know the elemental things of the world is not Torah, b/c one Paul says of this world and in v9 says how can you turn back to those weak and worthless elemental things.  No where in Scripture is the Torah described as weak and worthless.  In fact, the Torah is described in the exact opposite.  The Torah tells us about this guardian/tutor/disciplinarian is the curse of the Torah.  Read Leviticus 26:14-22.  It goes on but you will get the picture.  The curse of the Torah is meant to bring you back to the Torah.  Think about it, when you discipline your child, is it out of anger or love?  You want your child to learn the correct way so you discipline in hopes the child will walk the path you are giving him/her.  The same is of our Father.  The discipline is to bring us back…to see we need Him.

So G-d sent His Son (the Torah) born of a woman who was under the law to redeem those under the law.  The phrase under the law should not phase you at this point.  Based on the previous chapters we know under the law means you have sinned and now have a debt to pay.  So Mary had sinned and Yeshua was sent to redeem all mankind.  In Colossians 2:14, we are told Yeshua came to cancel the certificate of debt.  If you have a relationship with the Messiah, then you are no longer under the law, your debt has been paid, and you have been redeemed.

There is so much more that could be said here, but this should be a very good starting point.

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!