Saturday, September 12, 2009

Berean Challenge

The BEREAN CHALLENGE, Can your Church’s Teaching take a SCRIPTURAL CHALLENGE Commanded in the Bible????
Paul instructed the Church in Berea to TEST every instruction or teaching they received from Him by “Searching the Scriptures (Tanach) daily, to see if my words are true”. And to “imitate me and I imitate Christ”. What did Jesus teach, because Paul’s teachings would have to line up with Christ’s teachings to be an Apostle. What did Christ do on earth, how did he live? Because Paul would have to do the same to be considered an Apostle.
Since we should TEST EVERY INSTRUCTION by the established Scriptures that the Bereans were using, I lay down this Challenge. TEST 10 things by the established Scriptures that the Bereans used. Test what you have been TOLD that Jesus and Paul taught, test your daily diet, daily clothes, items that decorate your house every day, customs you celebrate every year. TEST THESE INSTRUCTIONS the Church and Society has given you, by the Bible that Jesus Read.
What “Scriptures” was Paul referring to, since it would be nearly a century until what we call the “New Testament” was compiled? The only thing He could be referring to is the Tanach (Hebrew for the Books Genesis through Malachi).
What did Paul tell us to use Genesis through Malachi for?
What did He think of Genesis through Numbers? A Burden, a Curse, useless for believers?
Romans 7:12Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23But 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."
If the Law is HOLY, and useful for instruction in ALL THINGS then it would teach us how to BE HOLY. He even said he DELIGHTS IN G-d’s Law. Doesn’t sound like a curse and a burden to me. Who delights in curses and burdens?
According to Paul, it would teach us all we need to know about life on this earth, including what to eat, what to celebrate, when to work, when to rest, and how to do nearly everything G-d’s Way. He also says however, that the “Carnal Mind” is opposed to G-d’s Law. The sinful mind he says, hates G-d’s Law. The lack of G-d’s Law is called “Lawlessness”, and 1st John 3:4 states “Sin is Lawlessness, in fact, anyone who breaks the Law of G-d sins”. So the carnal mind leads us to break the Law of G-d. And this is the mark of Anti-Christ in 2nd Thessalonians, the “man is sin” is the “man of Lawlessness”.
Doesn’t seem to jive with what most of us have been taught about G-d’s Holy Law in Churches does it?
Weren’t we told that keeping the Commands is the opposite of being Saved by Faith? Yes. Did that come from the Bible, from Paul’s writings? NO!!
Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Which “Law” is Paul talking about?
Jesus said that not a “jot nor tittle”/accent mark, could not be removed from the Law unless the skies above your head and the ground beneath your feet ceased to be there. And we are still standing. So, what “Law” could He mean? The only thing written, that could have “jots and tittles” is the books “Genesis through Malachi”, or more specifically since He said “Law”, the Torah (First 5 Books of the Bible).
EVERY MATTER is established by 2-3 Witnesses. So I lay down this challenge, for all 10 items listed below, find 2-3 Witnesses in what Jesus said would NEVER Pass Away and Paul called “Holy, Righteous, and Good, Spiritual, and USEFUL FOR INSTRUCTION in ALL THINGS”. All Things Includes the Items listed Below. Paul praised the Bereans for doing so, could it be bad for us to do the same???
1. Test everything you hear in Church by Genesis through Malachi.
2. Examine every Holiday Tradition you keep by Genesis through Malachi.
3. Examine everything you eat by Genesis through Malachi. Esp Leviticus 11.
4. Examine your work schedule (to include housework and homework) by Genesis through Malachi. Esp Leviticus 23 and the every time the word Sabbath is mentioned.
5. Examine your finances by Genesis through Malachi.
6. Examine everything you wear and decorate your house with by Genesis through Malachi.
7. Examine everything you hear on television by Genesis through Malachi.
8. Examine everything your parents taught you by Genesis and Malachi.
9. Examine the Words of Jesus by Genesis and Malachi (both with a translation that would contradict Genesis through Malachi and one that would line up with Genesis through Malachi, get your concordance out for this one).
10. Examine the words of Paul and the other writers by Genesis and Malachi.

If you come back confused after studying the Words of Jesus and Paul, it is because the translation is way off and out of context.
To understand what they are really saying you need to understand 10 Basic Vocabulary Words that were common at the time, but we don’t have a clue about in the modern world. You also need to know the several possibly translations of the word “Nomos” or “Law”, which must be translated in context to line up with the rest of Scripture.

Most seeming contradictions in the Bible are due mainly to a word with 10 or so meanings being only translated as the same word “Law” over and over and over, despite the context. Even when translating the Greek word “Nomos” as “Law” would make Jesus and Paul seem to completely contradict the established Scriptures.
To see that Jesus and Paul are not calling G-d a Liar, or contradicting themselves (as the Muslims and Jewish Anti-Missionaries preach to invalidate Christianity), you need to understand the usage of the word “Nomos.”

The word “Nomos” is used often in the Bible and is usually given a blanket translation of “Law”. Since Greek was not a language used by people who worshipped G-d for the most part, or kept the Torah, they had no word specifically for the Hebrew “Torah” which means either the “First 5 Books of the Bible”, or “The Teachings of G-d on how to live a Holy Life”. They also had no word specifically for “Legalism”, or words to distinguish “G-d’s Law,” from “Man’s Law,” from “Legalism,” from “Jewish Traditions that later became the Talmud”, from “Principles” from “The Law that gives Liberty”, the “Law of Sin” or the “Law that sin equals death.”
Just like there are 30 words for “snow’ in the Inuit language and only 1 in ours. When we say “snow” that can mean 30 different ideas to an Eskimo. He would have to use the context, the situation, and the previous words of the author to know which meaning of “Snow” someone was referring to.
When the Bible says “Nomos” in Greek, that could mean about ten different concepts to a 1st Century Audience or to a modern English Speaker in the 21st Century. So we have to understand context, situation, and the author’s previous words, promises, and commands, in Genesis through Malachi.
“NOMOS”-with a blanket translation of Law, can mean any of the following, depending on the context: What it cannot do, is contradict Genesis through Malachi, unless G-d didn’t inspire it.
A. “Torah” G-d’s Teaching on how to live the Holy Life, or the First 4 Books of the Bible, or the Commands.
B. “Legalism” the concept, which is trying to get to heaven by your own efforts with “man’s traditions” such as the Traditions of the Pharisees, donations to churches, pilgrimages, crusades, etc or even trying to get to heaven by following G-d’s Law to be righteous instead of Christ. Legalism is NOT the keeping of G-d’s Commands, it is the reliance on them for salvation.
C. “Works of Legalism”, the acts you do in practicing legalism, once again, it is depending on keeping man’s traditions or even G-d’s Commands to get you into heaven without Christ. “Works of the Law” are not the Commands, they are the acts we do in order to EARN our salvation, whether we try to do that by using G-d’s Law or man’s tradition. Using the Torah to earn Salvation is a “perversion of the Torah”. Salvation was not the purpose of the Torah, Salvation is one of the many purposes of Christ. Jesus justifies us and His Commands/Torah Sanctifies us.
D. Roman law, or the law of a man made government.
E. Any principle, like gravity is a Law. There is the “Law of Sin equals Death”, which is the “Curse of the Law”. The natural cause and effect of sin is this. If you break the Law, you die. The “Law” of Sin=Death. The Law is not the curse, you receive the “Curse of the Law’ by breaking it. Psalm 119, G-d calls His Law a blessing. If you try to get saved by keeping it, then you fall under a curse because you have already broken it and failed. Ezekial 33 and 34. The Law that “Murder is illegal” is not a curse! It keeps us safe. However, if you murder someone you experience the “Curse of the Law”, the death penalty, because you broke that Law.
F. “The Perfect Law that gives Liberty”, the Torah, as G-d states that His Laws give us long life and freedom. Deuteronomy 30.
G. The “Law of Sin”. The Law of sin is the compulsion to keep doing it, to the sinner, sinning is like gravity. It’s a law of one’s personal nature that we can’t escape from.
Romans 7:12Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23But 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."

When one “dies” to oneself, then he is released from the “law of sin” and being a “slave to sin” so that he is under the “Perfect Law that gives Liberty” and a “Slave to Righteousness” We are either “Slaves to Sin” or “Slaves to Righteousness”. Paul said we HAVE TO CHOOSE. We are never “free” to just do our thing. That is called “LAWLESSNESS” (A-Nomia). In 2nd Corinthians Paul said that Rigtheousness and Lawlessness are incompatable. “What fellowship can Light have with Darkness? What fellowship can Christ have with Baal? What fellowship can RIGHTEOUSNESS have with LAWLESSNESS?”
See if this lines up better “Through the Torah I died to Legalism”, instead of “Through the Law I died to the Law”. Or “We are not under Legalism but Under Grace”.
Is Keeping the Law out of Obedience the Opposite of Being Saved by Faith? Not according to Paul
Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

“Christ took away the Curse for BREAKING THE LAW”.

VOCABULARY WORD 2. LAWLESSNESS (A-Nomia) Hebrew Transliteration, “Torah-Lessness”.
This is another word that stems from “Nomos” but it has a very specific meaning, as the Bible defines it for us. In 1st John 3:4 we see that ‘Sin is Lawlessness, in fact, anyone who sins breaks the Law of G-d”.

The word “A-Nomia” is often given a vague translation to confuse the reader. It is translated into English as “wickedness”, “iniquity”, “unrighteousness” and many other things to avoid the definition 1st John 3:4 gives of “A-Nomia” and to confuse Paul’s words in 2nd Thessalonians. The Anti-Christ is the “Man of Sin” and a “Teacher of Lawlessness-A-Nomia”. In 2nd Corinthians Paul said “What fellowship can Righteousness have with LAWLESSNESS/A-Nomia?” Many Bible versions says “iniquity” instead of “sin” which is defined as “Lawlessness”, and they say “Unrighteousness” instead of “Lawlessness”.

Anti-Nomians is another word with a very specific meaning. Anti- in Greek means “Replacement or Counterfeit”. So if someone is “Anti-Christ” they can actually claim to represent Christ, be a messenger from Christ, or even be Christ. They are not just an enemy, but a counterfeit, an impostor claiming to be the original.
“Anti-Nomian” is actually a word in English, as well as Greek. It means “one who replaces the Law”, usually with their own tradition or by making their own desires the law they live by.
Paul warned against such men coming into the Church, the English mis-translation says “Beware of false prophets and UnPrincipled Men who will come into the Church in those days”. The Greek doesn’t say “Unprincipled men”, a vague phrase, it says “Anti-Nomians!” which is also a word in English and literally means “those who replace the Law”. “Beware of false prophets and men who replace the Law (with their traditions) coming into the Church in those days”.

Before you can replace something with a counterfeit, you have to “do away with” the original so nobody can compare them and spot a fake. Christ did not “do away” with the Law, He fulfilled it, which is the next part of this article.

In the time of Christ there were mainly two schools of Rabbi’s, the School of Shema, and the School of Hillel. These two schools would come to fistfights, literally, over the issue of HOW to keep the Law of G-d. This is because instead of following G-d’s instructions on how to live the Commands-as shown in the Prophets, they established their own traditions (Matthew 23). For example, G-d gave 7 very basic instructions about the Sabbath. One of them was to do no common labor. The Pharisees took that and made up 32 rules concerning the Sabbath, which they preached as being the very Commands of G-d! (Matthew 23). One school said that you couldn’t lift the weight of a dried fig on the Sabbath, another said that you could untie your horse to give it water but you couldn’t take it any more than a “Sabbath’s walk” to take it to water. The Orthodox Jews in Israel will throws rocks at cars if people drive on Sabbath, and some churches will come into your house to see if you have been watching t.v. on the Sabbath. They took G-d’s Command to keep the Sabbath, and 7 principles on how to do so, and from that made their own traditions which they preached to be the “Commands and G-d” but they are actually, as Paul said “The Commands of Men”. These teachings of the prominent Pharisees were called the “Tanakot/Oral Torah” or “Traditions of the Fathers”, but Paul called them “Jewish Myths”.
They were later written down and referred to as the “Talmud”.

Many people confuse the role of a Rabbi and a Priest. The priests were from Levi, and offered sacrifices and insured G-d was worshipped, they had a ceremonial purpose in the temple. A Rabbi’s job was to FULFILL the Torah. Fulfill means to “properly explain” how to keep a Command. The original Hebrew word was ONLY USED to mean ‘properly explaining how to keep the Torah”. Jesus was a Rabbi and in Matthew 5 He declares that He came to “Fulfill the Law”. He then starts doing just that, He explains what G-d meant when He said “Do not Murder”, “Do Not Commit Adultery”, and “Keep the Sabbath Holy”. This is the exact opposite of Abolishing the Torah, which means telling people the wrong way to keep it, as the Pharisees had done. EVERYONE agreed that G-d intended for people to keep the Torah, and that it is a Blessing. Otherwise the Pharisees would have not even questioned Jesus about being the Messiah, nor would John’s Disciples. If you said the Torah was done away with, then you would disqualify yourself from being The Messiah, the High Priest, The King of Israel, A Scribe, a Pharisee, any sort of Rabbi, and a JEW.

Jesus said “Call No MAN Rabbi” because He sent the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit to reveal to people how to keep the Torah, the “Counselor” that reveals “all truth”. Truth being a synonym for Torah in the time of Jesus. G-d wants those who worship in ‘Spirit AND Truth” (Ruach and Torah) in Hebrew. So they wouldn’t rely on false prophets and teachers of Lawlessness, Popes, self-appointed pastors, apostles, and prophets, to instruct them. The Rabbis in the time of Jesus sometimes gained more authority in the eyes of the people than the Scriptures themselves, and the same is happening today. Put no man in the position of Rabbi, but put the teachings to the test using the Scriptures and the Spirit (Spirit and Truth) not some theologian with a piece of paper on his wall saying another man said he speaks for G-d.

Both schools however, agreed that the Torah was completely valid. They passionately believed this and were willing to die for it. They also met in Synagogues and accused each other of “Abolishing the Torah” all day, and the other side would respond “We,the House of Hillel, are FULFILLING the Torah, it is YOU House of Shema which are ABOLISHING THE TORAH” and they would scream at each other for hours, but that was okay on Sabbath in their tradition, just not leading a thirsty horse to a pool that was more than a “Sabbath’s walk away”.


Abolish has a very specific Hebrew meaning as well, it is a legal term, meaning to IM-PROPERLY EXLAIN HOW TO KEEP THE COMMAND AND WHAT THE COMMAND MEANS IN ACCORDANCE WITH G-D’s ORIGINAL INTENT.Jesus told the people to "repent", when speaking to a Hebrew/Aramaic speaking audience of His Disciples He would say the word "Teshuvah", or "repent" in Hebrew, which literally means "Return to the Torah".

Jesus was a Rabbi and when arguing with the Pharisees He said He came to “FULFILL” the Torah. A fitting job for the One who is the”Torah Made Flesh”, the “High Priest”, “KING OF THE UNIVERSE”, and ofcourse, a Rabbi. Oh, and HE WAS THERE WHEN IT WAS GIVEN TO MOSES. HE WAS THERE WHEN THE SABBATH WAS MADE IN GENESIS.

“Broma” (from Broma-it is, or “clean” in Greek)is a word referring to food which G-d said was meant for man to eat, other things people eat which G-d did not intend to eat are referred to as “Akathertos”-spelling?. In Mark 7 Jesus refers to “Broma”, saying Levitically clean food is clean to eat if you wash your hands and say the ceremonial prayer of the Pharisees beforehand or not. The Pharisees preached that if you didn’t say the “Barucha” before you eat, then no matter what you ate, it was just as unclean as a pig or a lobster or a rat. Paul later talks about the Gnostics forbidding people to eat “food G-D INTENDED to be eaten with Thanksgiving.” Not just anything they put in their mouth, Broma only. You can’t consecrate to G-d what G-d has already called an abomination (disgusting).
Which would explain Peter’s exclamation in his dream, decades later after the resurrection “surely NOT Lord, I have NEVER LET ANYTHING UNCLEAN TOUCH MY LIPS”. If Mark 7 made “all foods clean”, instead of just “Broma”, then Peter didn’t get the memo. Even then, he woke up wondering about his dream, and in Acts 11 we see that G-d showed Peter to “Call no MAN unclean that G-d has made clean” so the unclean animals represented Gentiles races the Pharisees taught were unclean.

The Essenic Gnostics (a Jewish Cult with Greek ideas) had forbidden marriage and also forbidden people from eating any meat or any good tasting food that G-d intended (in Leviticus) for people to enjoy, like honey. They also worshipped angels. Some Christians in ROME had quite eating meat altogether period because in the city all of the butchers were pagan Romans (Jews weren’t allowed in trade guilds very often, such as the Butchers guild). So if someone sacrificed a cow to baal/Mithras, they would give the meat to butcher who would give them some parts and sell the rest. If you accidentally bought some beef sacrificed to baal (eating meat sacrificed to baal is an abomination to G-d), then it was believed that you would keel over and die. Therefore Paul said to “eat with Thanksgiving whatever (Broma) is set before you without raising questions of conscience ( if someone points out that it was possibly sacrificed to an idol before the butcher got it) . Now if someone refused to eat it because of the possibility it was sacrificed to baal and they didn’t believe praying over it would keep G-d from striking them dead, then they were “weak in the faith” and shouldn’t be forced to eat it. This is why Christians started praying BEFORE THEY EAT, in Deuteronomy G-d actually Commands that we pray AFTER the meal.

A “G-d Fearer/G-d Fearing” is a very specific Hebrew Term, much like “Fulfill” and “Abolish” that had a very specific and singular use in the First Century. Since over 1/5 of the world’s population kept the Torah, many of them non-Jews, a term was needed for Torah Observant Gentiles. The word “G-d Fearer”, mistranslated as “G-d Fearing” in the Book of Acts, refers to a Torah Observant Gentile. Rahab the Prostitute who married one of the spies and Ruth the Moabitess were both G-d Fearers and in the lineage of Christ. Cornelius the Centurion “A G-d Fearing Man” was a G-d Fearer. G-d Fearers didn’t eat pork or any unclean food. In Peter’s vision, you notice that in the end the Council of Jerusalem isn’t asking Peter what he had for dinner, they are wondering why he went into the home of Gentile! Since even G-d Fearing Gentiles were considered “Unclean” in the Talmud/teachings of the Pharisees (not G-d’s Law/Torah). Gentiles who believed in G-d believed in His promise to bless them for keeping the Sabbath (Isaiah 58) and all the other Commands (Deuteronomy 30). They also understood that the Israelites were commanded to have “ONE LAW for you and the foreigner among you”. In Romans 10 and 11, Paul rebuts the Pharisees by stating the Gentile G-d Fearers are “GRAFTED INTO ISRAEL” and therefore no longer “unclean”. Still, the Sadducees would have an uncircumcised Gentile killed for entering the Inner Court of the Temple AND the Jew that brought him in there. They tried to have Paul killed for bringing Timothy into the Inner Court, not knowing that Paul had Timothy Circumcised (and since Paul was Rabbi, he probably did it himself). Talk about male bonding!

A Judaizer was a Jewish person who insisted that you must be circumcised in order to be saved. They based this not on the written Torah (first 5 Books of the Bible), but on the “Oral Torah” or “Talmud” which the Pharisees taught. They also believed that Gentiles must keep the Holy Days of Leviticus 23 (which G-d Commanded for all people) but also strictly Jewish Holidays, invented by man, such as Channukah, as well as wearing Kippah’s on their heads.

The Judaizers also believed that a man was not clean unless he was circumcised. If he was a G-d Fearer like Cornelius, that wasn’t good enough. They wanted adult males to not only keep the Torah and Holy Days ( as Paul instructed Gentiles), but in addition, to keep holidays the Jews made up on their own, and to keep other traditions like washing your hands with a certain prayer before you eat, and fasting on Tuesdays and Thursdays (a practice of the Pharisees). On top of this, they had to become a Jewish Proselyte. A Jewish Proselyte was a gentile who not only kept the Torah ( a G-d Fearer), but also followed the teachings of the Pharisees as if they were the Commands of G-d (Matthew 23), and got circumcised AS AN ADULT, in order to be saved. Paul speaks of them “bragging about your flesh” because it takes quite a salesmen to convince a grown man to be circumcised in the age before anesthesia. Once a Proselyte, the gentile was considered native born Jew and had full rights at the temple. If Timothy’s mother hadn’t been Jewish he would have been called a Proselyte, especially since Paul, his teacher, Rabbi Sha’ul, was the 2nd most famous Pharisee in Judaism and remained so until the day he died. Josephus, the Jewish History, was a Pharisee initiate but dropped out in his 2 year probationary period.

Source: Brian Newman, Facebook

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