Did Paul Say Unclean or Common

I did not realize it until today that I skipped over Romans 14:14-18.  There is an interesting nugget in here that most people do not know.  If you have not heard it before, you will now:  the translators are bias.  We all have our biases, right?  The translators translated the Bible with preconceived notions and therefore translated the Bible to fit this view.  I am not saying their intent was to deceive.  Far from it, just their preconceived ideas about what the Bible says influenced the translation.

 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.  Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil.  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,  because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. Romans 14:14-18

Many argue this passage is another area where Paul is showing all food is clean.  Is this really what this passage is saying?  Is the word for unclean really used here?  The transliteration of the Greek word for unclean is akathartos.  It is used during Peter’s vision when Peter said I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.  Interestingly enough the word for common is koinos.  The word koinos is what is used in Romans 14.  Instead of translating the word as common as before they translated koinos as unclean.  Why?  To present the idea that all food is clean.  

There are other instances of translators translating words one way in some circumstances and another way in at other times.  There are also times when translators just add words to “help” one understand what is being said.  Some translations will somehow mark these added words, but not all of them.  Just know, what you read in English is not always a proper translation.

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


All Things Are Indeed Clean!

What in the world is Paul saying in Romans 14:20?  Are all things really clean?  Does Paul give permission to eat anything you want, despite G-d’s instructions not to?

For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.  Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense.  It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.  The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.  But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin. Romans 14:18-23

I am going to break from my normal style and link a page.  This is a very good write-up of what Paul discusses about Romans 14 in all and why try and recreate my own piece.  I will also note that I am not endorsing this site that I am linking.  I have not read everything this person has written on the site.  What I have read, I agree with about 95% give or take.

Romans 14 Analysis

Let me know what you think!

To Eat Meat or Not To Eat!

As we head into Romans 14 the beginning of which is used by many to state we can eat what we choose to eat (which is true, you can eat what you choose to, but G-d did not give us this permission) and that no one can tell you which day to regard to the L-rd…in other words which day is the Sabbath.

I have written about this verses before, but will do so again here.

Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.  One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.  The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.  Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.  One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.  He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. Romans 14:1-6

In verse one, Paul starts speaking about those weak in faith, but not judging them on their opinions.  Who the weak are is important, but not for this time.  Remember, we are looking at verses which many believe to be anti-Torah or dismissing the commandments.  It is important to note that we are dealing with opinions here.  This means that we are not dealing with should one follow the commandments.  For that is not an opinion, at least from G-d’s perspective.

Paul says some believe they can eat all things and while those who are weak eats only vegetables.  No where in Torah is it said to eat only vegetables, but it is halacha to eat only vegetables when the meat has been handled by non-Jews.  Why?  There was a concern the meat may have been offered to idols, which was a practice during those times by many gentiles.  The gentiles coming into the Jewish faith system at that time were pagan.  Those believed in pagan gods and idols.  They made sacrifices to these so-called gods.  Even those who had accepted Yeshua as their savior turned back to these elemental things.  Paul deals with this in most of his epistles. Galatians 4 is just one example of this turning back from where they had come.

Therefore, many Jews would not eat meat prepared by gentiles and ate only vegetables.  Paul went on to state that no one is to judge those who eat meat or those who do not eat meat.  Simple enough.

Next Paul makes the statement that so many misinterpret.  V5 – One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.

Now, as I have previously mentioned, the Sabbath is not discussed anywhere within Romans.  Not one time.  Let’s take a look at see what Paul is saying here.  First, remember we were just reading where Paul was talking about food.  To eat or not to eat…meat.  In verse 5, Paul is still dealing with meat.  From a grammar perspective, if one is to change subjects in a letter, do you continue in the same paragraph or do you start a new one?  Notice here, this is the same paragraph as the verses before it.  It is kind of funny that I am discussing grammar, b/c I am by no means a grammar scholar.  Pretty poor in my opinion.  Anyway, v6 clarifies what Paul is revealing here.  I believe Paul is discussing fasting.  Some contend he is still writing about whether one eats meat or not.

Paul is discussing not eating at all on certain days.  Whereas the previous discussion was about eating meat or not anytime.  Can you recall back in Luke 18:12 the discussion about the one bragging about fasting twice a week?  Also, in Didache (an early church document dated by most scholars to be from the late first century AD) which states, “Your fasts should not be with the hypocrites, for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays. You should fast on Wednesdays and Fridays” (Didache 8:1). Interestingly, from the Didache, we see not only that Pharisees fasted on certain days of the week, but that fasting among the early Christians was also a common practice, and that certain days (Wednesday and Friday) were set aside by some for the purpose of fasting. Thus, these days were “esteemed.” Is this activity fact or opinion? Opinion of course.   This is why I see Paul discussing fasting here, but in no way is Paul addressing the Sabbath.

I hope this has been of benefit to you.  Have a question or a comment?  Let me know!

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

Awaken From Your Sleep

Last time we looked at Romans 13:8-10 and this time we will complete chapter 13.  These verses are not necessarily debated from a Torah perspective, but I wanted to point out what Paul is referring to when he says it is the hour for you to awaken from your sleep.

Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.  The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.  Romans 13:11-14

Paul tells us it is time to awaken from our sleep.  Paul is not speaking about physically sleeping, but about attentiveness towards G-d.  There are many verses about rising from our slumber from Song of Solomon to Isaiah to Peter’s epistles to Revelation, etc.  Our salvation is knocking at the door and many times we are to busy with our daily lives.  Between jobs, kids, house chores, activities, and things like tv, where is the time for G-d?  Where is the time to study His word?  Where is the time to pray?  Where is the time to truly fellowship with other believers?

Paul tells us the night is almost gone…you don’t have much time to turn to the L-rd.  Turn from your ways of seeking your own delight and turn towards the L-rd.  Your ways, the deeds of darkness is sin.  Don’t act as the heathens do as they follow the lusts of the flesh.  Previously in Romans 8, Paul spoke about the lusts of the flesh.  We are not to walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  We have previously discussed how walking according to the Spirit is defined (See Ezekiel 11:19-20 & 36:26-27).  The Spirit is going to cause you to walk in His commandments.  All people should Shema – hear and do as Yeshua said.  Put on the full armor of light.  Light is Torah.  If you don’t understand, look into light.  Yes it is Yeshua.  Yeshua is the light and He is also the Word made flesh – Torah.

We are to put on Yeshua.  Isaiah 61:10:
I will rejoice greatly in the Lord,
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation (Yeshua),
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

This is what John was thinking of when He said  Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”  It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” in Revelation 19:7-8.

Please arise and seek G-d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might!

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

Love: The Fulfillment of the Torah

Love!  That is the fulfillment of the Torah.  Words that are so true, but not new.  We have moved from chapter 10 to chapter 13 in Romans and the topic of love fulfilling the Law.  What did Paul mean by this?  Was it to say that if we love then you do not have to do the commandments?  Let’s take a look:

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.  For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  Roman 13:8-10

I think everyone can agree that we should love each other.  Yeshua said the two greatest commandments were to love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, soul and mind and the second to love your neighbor as yourself and on these two commandments hang or depend the whole Torah and the Prophets.    What does love mean?  Is love some feeling you get?  You know, like when you are in middle school and you see that girl and you blush and start to sweat.  Or is love something else?

In 2 John 1:6 we are told love is walking according to His commandments.  Paul says loving your neighbor is not committing adultery, murder, theft, to covet, or any other commandment.  Paul is affirming what John said, love is performing these commandments plus any others that would show love to your neighbor.  Paul is not stating love is the only commandment or love replaces these commandments.  For the two greatest commandments that Yeshua gave were quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18.  To love is all throughout the Torah.  We are to love G-d, to love our neighbors.

For those who may think that when Paul says that these commandments are summed up in this say…Paul is not stating to get rid of commandments.  It is like giving a speech and you state in your conclusion paragraph “to sum it all up”.  In other words, let me compress what I just said in a simple way for you.  The Greek word anakephalaioō does not mean replace, but to sum up, to condense.

To sum this up :), Paul is not stating to have some nebulous feeling for your neighbor, but to love your neighbor through the commandments.  Showing them your love as the MaShiach shows us His love continually.

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

Righteousness Based On Faith

Last time we looked at Romans 8:1-8 and Paul was explaining how the flesh wants to follow things that lead to death while those according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  That those walking according to the flesh cannot fulfill the requirement of the Torah, but those walking according to the Spirit will fulfill the requirement of the Torah.   He then says in verse 9 that those who have the Spirit of G-d (Ruach Hakadesh, Holy Spirit) are in the Spirit and not flesh.

I am going to continue in Romans 10.  Remember the objective of these writings is to help others see the verses that many believe state the Torah is no longer to be followed.

For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”              Romans 10:3-13

I believe Paul is speaking to the Gentiles here, for he is telling them about the Jews who are zealous for G-d, but through their own efforts.  They are following Torah without a circumcised heart.  Paul writes the goal of Torah is Christ.  Many believe Paul is saying once you have Christ you no longer need Torah, but that is not what he is saying.  For the next few verses is quoting Deuteronomy 30:11-14.

If your mind is set on the Torah being disregarded already then you miss what Paul is saying in these verses. In verse 5 Paul quotes Leviticus 18:5 and makes the point that the Torah points to God’s truth and man can thus be saved via Torah, if he follows it in faith.  In verse 6 you can see a translation bias towards the Torah, for those wanting to get rid of it.  The Greek word used is de and can be translated as but.  It can also be translated for, moreover, furthermore, etc.  For the way of the Torah and the way of HaMashiach (the Messiah) are one in the same.  Now, if your righteousness is through Yeshua HaMashiach then your unrighteousness is seen as righteousness.  Why?  Because you are circumcised in the heart and if circumcised in the heart then the Torah is written on your heart and the Holy Spirit will cause you to walk in His commandments (Jeremiah 31:31-33, Ezekiel 11:19-20 and Ezekiel 36:26-27) through faith.

Hence Paul states the word (Torah) is not too far from you it is in your heart and in your mouth.  Paul is quoting Deuteronomy 30:11-14 – “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach.  It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’  Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’  But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.  Paul is equating following Yeshua in faith is the same concept as following the Torah in faith.  They are one in the same.  You cannot have one without the other.

There is more to be said, but time has run out.  If you have any questions or thoughts please post!

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

Set Your Mind On Life

What is your mind set on?  The flesh or the spirit?  Paul discuss this and more in our next passage.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Hamashiach Yeshua.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Hamashiach Yeshua has set you free from the law of sin and of death.  For what the Torah could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, G-d did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward G-d; for it does not subject itself to the Torah of G-d, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please G-d.  Romans 8:1-8.

This chapter starts off with a therefore, so you know this section is really a continuation of the previous chapter.  Paul has just said he is serving the law of G-d with his mind (spirit), but the law of sin with his flesh.  Therefore, there is no criticism or disapproval for those in Yeshua.  Why?  For Yeshua set you free from the law of sin and death.  He paid your penalty.  This is what Paul was telling us in Colossians 2:14 – having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  The certificate of debt was nailed to the cross and therefore we were made free from the penalty.  Freed from the law of sin and death is not saying freed from Torah.

The Torah could not set you free, because this was never the purpose of Torah.  The Torah’s purpose is to help you in your relationship with G-d.  To help you be holy or set apart or uncommon.  When you don’t follow the commandments you become just like everyone else…common.Now, that your debt is paid for you, you can fulfill the requirement of the Torah by walking according to the Spirit.  What Paul is referencing here is Ezekiel 11:19-20 and 36:26-27.

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.  Ezekiel 36-26-27

The mind set on the spiritual things, the Torah, will give you life.  In Deuteronomy 30:15 we are told the Torah is life and you can choose it or not.  You can choose to follow your flesh and therefore receive the curses of G-d.  Or, you can choose life and subject yourself to the Torah of  G-d.  The mind set on the flesh is hostile towards G-d and cannot please G-d.  G-d tells us in Deut. 30:19 to choose life.  So choose life today and experience the difference!

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

Delight In The Law Of G-d

Last time Paul was teaching us that his flesh is at war against with his spiritual side.  The flesh wants to do evil while the spiritual wants to follow G-d’s ways.  As we finish chapter 7 Paul continues his teaching on his flesh warring against the law of his mind.

I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the law of G-d after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank G-d through Yeshua Mashiach our L-rd. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of G-d; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:21-25

Paul is continuing to teach that there is a law within him that even when he does good is present within him.  This law is not Torah.  For clearly this law is evil and the Torah is not evil.  For Paul in the next statement says for I delight in the law of G-d after the inward man.  He delights in the Torah (sounds like King David) after the inward man.  I believe Paul is referencing the new fleshy, not stony, heart one receives when they turn to G-d.  The heart had been circumcised and therefore follows G-d in all His ways.

Yet, Paul knows there is another law warring against what he knows is best.  This law brings us into captivity of the law of sin.  The law of sin is death.  Pure and simple.  There is a penalty for not following the Torah, whether you know to follow the Torah or not (Romans 2:12).  But…But, we have Yeshua our G-d to thank for paying for out debt (Col 2:14).

Paul states even though we have Yeshua’s merciful act, we are circumcised in the heart, therefore serving the law of G-d, our flesh will still want to follow the law of sin.  Some think all is accomplished, but how can all be accomplished if there is still sin in this world?

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

Nothing Good Dwells In Me

Paul tells us believers serve in the newness of spirit and not in the letter of the law.  Starting in verse 14 he gets into the Spiritual a little more before really diving in in chapter 8.

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.  But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.  Romans 7:14-20

Is Paul crazy?  What is he telling the Romans in this passage?  Basically, our spirit is alive in Christ, but our flesh still gives in to sin.  Have you experienced this?  I know I have.  Do something that I know I should not do, but I do it.  The whole time hating that I am doing it, but somehow through my flesh enjoying it as well.  It is a disturbing feeling, at least to me.

Paul tells the Romans those in Christ, through faith, you are no longer the one doing it, but the sin which dwells in you.  Please understand this is not license to sin.  No.  While the obeying of the commandments does not allow us to step foot into His kingdom, we are to obey out of love.  G-d is seeking a people who truly love him and are pure in heart.

Throughout Scripture we are told the doing of good is not within us.  Yeshua himself stated in Mark 10:18 And Yeshua said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except G-d alone.”  

So take heart when you do sin.  Teshuva or return to the L-rd from the path you were out on.  Seek Him with you all heart, with all your soul, and with all your might/resources.  Sometimes we are humbled so that we can rise even higher in our relationship with G-d.

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

Apart From The Torah, Sin Is Dead

Romans 7 is a difficult chapter and last time we to a look at the first six verses and looking at dying to the law and what that meant.  Now, we look at Paul circling the wagons to make sure you do not misinterpret him.

What shall we say then? Is the Torah sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Torah; for I would not have known about coveting if the Torah had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Torah sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Torah; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So then, the Torah is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.  Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. Romans7:7-13

Paul, just to make sure you understand what he previously said in the first six verses wants us to understand that the Torah is not sin.  The only way you know sin is through the Torah.  Paul teaches the same concept at the end of Romans 3 and 5.  The Torah is not sin and we should not continue sinning.  The Torah is good, holy, and righteous.  Sin is the issue in our lives, not Torah.  Through the Torah we understand what is sin and how we are to live our lives.  Sin kills, but through the process of true teshuvah (repentence) we turn from our ways and turn towards the ways of G-d and He forgives our iniquity.

Are we to follow other gods or follow the One and Only G-d?  Deuteronomy 11 comes to mind here.  Following other G-ds means you are not following Him in His ways…not following the commandments:

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:  the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the L-rd your G-d, which I am commanding you today;  and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your G-d, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.  Deut. 11:26-28

So you see that not following the commandments is the same as following other gods.  How?  If you do not listen to G-d then you are listening to someone else whether it be yourself (evil inclination) or someone else.  Which G-d tells us in Deut. 13:1-4 not to listen to those who are telling you to follow other G-ds.

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