King James Version (KJV)
“2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit (Manifestation) by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
In the verses that follow verse 2 above, Paul is seen unhappy with some who were crossing a line of demarcation – likely in their growing roles as leaders, in similar fashion to when YH’shua confronted the Pharisees; Paul here trying to shake them in such a way that they would return to humbleness and not continue on an unsanctioned path; a message to not elevate themselves over YHWH’s thoughts – that they not cross over their given lines of ministry and do as others around them were doing, that of pagan customs or worse pagan practice: Paul was concerned they would do as Israel’s leaders did and become estranged from YHWH’s true message and what the Hebrew Roots movement tries to address today.
An example of this can be seen in what Paul faces in Acts 14:8 were Paul and Apollos are seen reacting to a response that seemingly new converts have to the healing of a crippled man; among these being addressed were priests, Jews, and gentiles, but most importantly, citizens of Greek and Roman culture.
With established cultural norms, which include religion and philosophy, these people were convinced that what they had seen was an act from “above”, the issue? their definition of “heaven” was the Greek definition of “above” and not the Hebrew heaven, a reality we see in how they began to call Paul and Apollos deities, an example that is true even until today, the influence culture has on belief systems, and clearly one of the greater challenges that Paul faced; for us today the culture of religion is a worldwide phenomena to contend with: Once Paul and Apollos hear they have been promoted to Greek deities they are seen desperately looking to denounce their newly coined titles /names, knowing this would become a curse and not a blessing to YHWH.
Regardless that Paul had made the disclaimer that the healed man was healed by his faith, that did not register with them, instead after Paul and Apollos leave the supposedly new converts immediately revert to their cultural /religious mindset, celebrating them as Greek deities incarnate, a truth that is seen in YH’shua’s body today.
Here Paul was addressing a growing problem that needed to be confronted, that of humility to YHWH – in their leadership, that of following YH’shua’s example and not man’s. Even today we can see the influence Greek culture has had on many religions world-wide, Jewish and Christian without exception. Could it be we are all being lead by a Greek messiah? A discussion for another day.
In Paul’s argument he confronts followers that seem to have gone astray, and something that had proven to happen to Israel in times before: A self-inflicted wound. Unfortunately, and as Peter taught, many would take Paul’s words and twist them, adding, “to their own destruction”. Has anyone, for example, ever taught you that the law was done away with? A teaching that speaks of a progression from “heavy yolk” to “lite yoke”? Likely so, unfortunately for many, a misleading statement that in fact Paul never taught, for him and other Hebrew followers of Messiah, to be under law meant one thing, the person under law was being marked for sinning under that law, never that we are no longer under law, as in cancelling law! The law was and continues to identify sin, without it sin would go unidentified.
Does that sound right anyways? think about it, in this argument sin is no longer a problem because there is no law to identify it as such, doesn’t that sound like something Satan himself would love to preach; “hurrah we are free from sin for it has been abolished!” I don’t think so, and neither does Paul, and I venture to say, neither do you.
The law does just that, it defines sin and Paul never said otherwise; a message that Messiah connected to the ten commandments (the Law), arguing that he did not come to do away with it nor the prophets – referring to what they had prophesied about him. In fact YH goes as far as drawing a covenantal distinction that Paul also understood perfectly well, how certain laws that were defined by Moses belonged to Moses’s covenant, that of bringing a people back to YHWH, laws YH’shua can be said to have challenged, to some extent, but in no way abolish, for to abolish any prior covenants or laws is to abolish (erase) the full Word of the Father, a Word that speaks of a child’s progression from the self-inflicted imperfect man back to the eternal perfect man: A word that if abolished would have also abolished YH’shua’s role, which was prophesied within it.
Here are some distinctions YH’shua made. He worked on Sabbaths to which Pharisees denounced him as a commandment breaker, yet the Sabbath law which Moses was given does not supersede the second greatest law YH’shua spoke of, which encompasses the last 6 of the ten commandments that order us to love our fellow-man. In other words, he was not doing anything wrong by doing YHWH’s works on a Sabbath. Another law that falls into the category of regulations and statutes, is that of eating pork, or any other unclean animal. In Luke 10 we see YH’shua telling 72 disciples to not turn down any type of food given them, while out preaching the good news. This of course also confirms what the Bible, history and archaeology confirm, that early followers of YH’shua were Jews and didn’t eat these animals.
How do we get from A to B? Simple, there is no reason for YH’shua to tell them they can eat any food that is presented before them, if they didn’t follow dietary regulations; that would be the same as telling someone who eats McDonald’s every day, that he is allowed to eat MacDonald’s, it simply would not make sense.
A SIDE NOTE:
“In fairness to the scriptures, the Luke argument may not be as precise as we all care to believe it is. Many today argue the book of Luke and Mark were written well after the death of YH’shua, likely as much as 60 years or more later: Books that seem to manifest a more mystical, similar to Greek writings, style of writing. When we consider what Paul was facing, it begs the question, “were the books of Luke and Mark embellished by a Greek scribe? Many today say the koine-Greek Septuagint was. It is there that the name of YHWH was taken out of scripture and replaced with L-rd (Baal) (~200 BCE).”
Mathew and John are believed to have been written during or immediately after YH’shua’s death and resurrection. They claim YH’shua was the master of the Sabbath, not because he cancels what he never said he cancels; if not, for two reason, reason number 1, as explained above, he was doing YHWH’s work and not his own, and reason number 2, according to the Hebrew calender (not the Gregorian) he was resurrected on the Sabbath: Thus he is the master of the Sabbath. HalleuYH!!!!!
OK, BACK ON TRACK:
That said Mathew, Luke, Mark, and John in no way show evidence that YH’shua cancelled the ten commandments (the Law), instead YH’shua is shown defending them (see: Mathew 19;17, Mark 10:19, etc..), were Paul and the others did the same. In the evolution of Galatians 3 Paul’s harsh words were directed at certain early leaders of “The Way” – those he found were not following YH’shua’s example of humility to the Father, perceptions likely garnered from culture or examples of more ancient teachings like that of the Sanhedrin’s rule, the oral law.
The story of YH’shua, he who Paul repeatedly refers to as maran (master), proves to be the perfect example to follow, one of obedience to a Father’s word – which includes that which Messiah taught; Paul would follow an anointed leader we are all called to follow, indeed, the path we must take in order to cancel Adam’s sin, a truth that would never entail going against anything YH’shua would disagree with, including matters which defined law – and isn’t that what YH’shua came to do, that of proving complete obedience to the Father’s Will (the prophets and law), that we may learn and follow? For many of us the question must be, who are we following, a Hebrew perspective that puts his time and works in its original form or a Greek perspective that deals with a foreign form, a sacrificial lamb that somehow cancels sin in anyone that so much as says a dedicatory sentence or two (an abolisher of sin?).
The idea that Paul was claiming the law was abolished, is no different from to say that YH’shua cancelled Moses’s or Noah’s or Abraham’s covenants, a downright non-biblical perspective; the Son’s message always proving to be the Father’s and the Son’s true follower’s message proving to be the Son’s, one built upon another but none any lesser in value than the other. Paul loved the Father YHWH from childhood and believed YH’shua was and is the begotten son of YHWH Elohim. He proved to serve until his death as YH’shua did.
Today too many teachers are trying to preach that only one message counts, that of the so-called new testament, when in truth the message is and ongoing compilation of many messages that evolve according to the subject matter, such were Noah’s needs were met in order to save an elect seed from the great flood, and Moses’s needs were met in order to bring Noah’s seed, Jacob (Israel), out of 430 years of bondage to Egypt – and her deities /culture – and so on and so on up to YH’shua, an evolving story we know offers One (Echad) Word of salvation but varying experiences in an evolving child’s life: A child that no different to our children can be very stubborn, yet a Father that would not give up on them: Paul was no different.
Ultimately? One (Echad) Father with many lessons from, Adam to YH’shua. A free message of salvation that is left for us to learn and apply, or not. My prayer for us all? That we remain humble to His full message, that which starts and ends in Hebrew, a message that calls us to individually seek that we may find, His truth and not ours. Please seek His truth.
Shalom in YH’shua (YH’s salvation) 🙂