9th Response to Legalism
9th Response to Legalism
We begin again with the common understanding of what legalism is, doing works of the Torah, or law, to gain salvation, as defined by the bone of contention around the First Church Council: Acts 15:1, 15 (NKJV) “And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” . . . 15But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.””
In our 8th response, we discovered that the Law of Yahweh is alive and well on planet earth. So, if the Law did not die on the execution stake of Messiah Yahshua, what happened to it? We must turn to the Book of Hebrews for an answer to that question. Hebrews 7:11-16 (NKJV) “Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law [Torah]), what further need was there that another priest [Yahshua] should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. 14For it is evident that our Master arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest [Yahshua] 16who has come, not according to the law [Torah] of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.”
So, we find out that the Torah, the Law, changed, but it did not go away or get nailed to the execution stake. But how did it change? I had to meditate on Hebrews for a couple days, then Yahweh showed me that it was the covenant part of the Law that changed. Under the Old Covenant, humans had to meet the obligations on their side of the covenant. But under the Renewed Covenant, humans have no obligations to meet. The Renewed Covenant was made between Yahweh the Father, Yahshua the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That is the only way the Renewed Covenant can last forever. Humans are not parties to the Renewed Covenant, but we get the benefits of the Renewed Covenant!
Another of the obvious changes is that we no longer need to sacrifice animals to cover sin temporarily. Yahshua’s blood will cover sin for eternity. Hebrews 1:3c (NKJV) “. . . who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Yahshua will also intercede for humans for eternity.
A long time ago, in a place far far away, Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 28:18 (NKJV) “Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand.” Paul said the Law was weak, it couldn’t give life, neither could it annul the covenant promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, according to Galatians 3:17 (NKJV) “And this I say, that the law [Torah], which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by Yahweh in Messiah, that it should make the promise of no effect.” Neither could the Hebrews keep their side of the covenant. But the covenant with death was annulled by the death of Yahshua. As we stated above, the Covenant was renewed and made only between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, sealed with Yahshua’s blood, making it an unalterable perfect New Covenant for all eternity! Yahshua Himself was pledged to execute the covenant forever, Hebrews 7:22 (NKJV) “by so much more Yahshua has become a surety [pledge, bondsman] of a better covenant.” Yahshua Himself is the mediator of the New Covenant, Hebrews 8:6 (NKJV) “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” So now we wait for all the promises to be filled full.
Let’s read some more of what the author of Hebrews has to say, Hebrews 8:7-13 (NKJV) “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8Because finding fault with them [Notice, the fault was with the people, not the Law], He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah– 9not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says Yahweh. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their Mighty One, and they shall be My people. 11None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahweh,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless [anti-Torah] deeds I will remember no more.” 13In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
Obviously, the verse 10 promise is not fulfilled yet. Both houses of Israel still do not know Yahweh, and we don’t have His Laws written in our minds and hearts, otherwise, we wouldn’t be teaching each other today. Notice that the Old Covenant is obsolete, and ready to vanish away, but it is not gone yet. Yahshua said the Torah will remain until heaven and earth pass away, Matthew 5:18. But if Yahweh creates a new heavens and earth, will the Torah ever go away? Isaiah 65:17 (NKJV) “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.” Isaiah 66:22 (NKJV) “For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says Yahweh, “So shall your descendants and your name remain.” 2 Peter 3:13 (NKJV) “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
Look at Yahshua’s teaching in Matthew 5 again, Matthew 5:19 (NKJV) “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” I believe you may also be confusing obedience with legalism. That is a major flaw in the sloppy agape, greasy grace camp. Liberty is not a license to sin, liberty requires responsibility. The founding fathers of America understood these basic principles of life. In our modern anything goes culture, we’ve lost these moorings of our faith. It’s through our obedience that the Holy Spirit sanctifies us and sets us apart unto greater works in Yahshua. Without a framework of law and obedience to it, society and individuals collapse morally. Unfortunately, America is our live example of this right before our eyes today.
Good Torah teachers are few and far between, but they’re out there. Thank Yahweh for the internet, you can readily find some good Torah teachers, if you want them. As always, eat the meat, and spit out the bones.
Gene Benjamin II
February 19, 2013 CE