Monthly Archives: February 2013

11th Response to Legalism

11th 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.””

 

Zechariah 14:16-21 (NKJV) “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 17And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, on them there will be no rain. 18If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which Yahweh strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 19This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 20In that day “HOLINESS TO YAHWEH” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in Yahweh’s house [Temple] shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to Yahweh of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite [pagan] in the house [Temple] of Yahweh of hosts.”

 

I have yet to meet one Replacement Theology proponent who can answer the above passage of Scripture. Read all of Zechariah 14. This passage is post cross of Messiah. This passage is post Great Tribulation. This passage is post Yahshua Advent 2.0. This passage describes conditions on earth DURING the Millennial Reign of Yahshua on earth. If the whole Torah was nailed to Yahshua’s cross, why will Yahweh punish whole families and nations who fail to go up to Jerusalem from year to year to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles? The Feast of Tabernacles is so Old Covenant! Could it be that we will be celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles annually during the entire Millennial Reign of Messiah, simply because Yahweh is then tabernacling with mankind on earth?

 

Wow, this passage seems to be in direct contradiction to Paul’s teaching in Galatians 4. Let’s look one more time at Galatians 4:1-11 (NKJV) “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world [not elements of Judaism]. 4But when the fullness of the time had come, Yahweh sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law [Torah], 5to redeem those who were under the law [Torah], that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6And because you are sons, Yahweh has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of Yahweh through Messiah. 8But then, indeed, when you did not know Yahweh, you served those which by nature are not gods [not mighty ones, but are idols]. 9But now after you have known Yahweh, or rather are known by Yahweh, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements [of the world, which is idolatry], to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.”

 

Replacement Theology proponents would have you believe that in verse 10 Paul is talking about days = Sabbaths and Holy Days of Yahweh, months = New Moon Festivals, seasons = Yahweh’s Moedim, or Seven Holy Feasts, and years = Sabbatical Years or Jubilees. But in the context, you can see that Paul is talking about the Gentiles coming out of idolatry, the beggarly elements of the world (not Judaism), and then desiring to go back into such idolatry! That sounds just like the Israelites, when they came out of Egypt, built the golden calf, and immediately fell back into the idolatry of Egypt. Apparently, Paul is talking about pagan days, months, seasons, and years, on which to worship idols, not Yahweh’s Holy Days and Feasts. So, Paul is not in contradiction to Zechariah!

 

Read the rest of Galatians 4, Paul does say that wanting to live under the Torah is bondage, because you had to keep the whole law to get saved! We adopted sons of Yahweh are not under the Torah to gain salvation, we are sons of promise, sons of the New Jerusalem, which is above, the mother of us all. So, once the New Jerusalem comes down to earth, will we then still observe the Feast of Tabernacles? Yahshua said the Torah could pass away AFTER heaven and earth pass away, Matthew 5:18 (NKJV) “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law [Torah] till all is fulfilled.” But will it pass away? Revelation 21:1-3, 10 (NKJV) “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem [remember, this is our mother of all freedom!!], coming down out of heaven from Yahweh, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of Yahweh is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. Yahweh Himself will be with them and be their Mighty One. . . . 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from Yahweh,” So, here’s the New Jerusalem, and Yahweh in His tabernacle on earth, AFTER the 1,000 years millennium. Revelation 21:27 (NKJV) “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” So, if the Torah is gone, how do you know what defiles, or causes an abomination, or what is a lie?

 

Revelation 22:3 (NKJV) “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of Yahweh and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.” Whoa, what did John just write? Oh yeah, no more curse in the New Jerusalem, what we’ve been saying all along!! That’s right, the curse from the Torah was nailed to Yahshua’s cross, just like Paul taught!! Amazing how all the Scriptures tie together! Don’t you just love Yahweh’s plan of redemption? I do. Revelation 22:4 (NKJV) “They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.” Whose family are you grafted/adopted into? It does make a difference, for all eternity.

 

Revelation 22:12-14 (NKJV) “”And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work [works of righteousness done AFTER you’re saved]. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” 14Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” Replacement Theologians, you can twist the Scriptures any way you desire, to your own destruction, but from the beginning of the Book, to its very end, one theme is the same, obey Yahweh’s commandments. Why did the Holy Spirit have John write this if the Torah is done away with, or nailed to Yahshua’s cross? Obedience to Yahweh proves our rights in His Kingdom, our right to the tree of life, and our right to enter into the New Jerusalem. Throw out verse 14 and His commandments if you want to, at your own peril, but please leave us Torah observing believers alone. Revelation 22:18-19 (NKJV) “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, Yahweh will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy [like 22:14], Yahweh shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” See you at the gates! But on which side of the gates will you be found? Revelation 22:15 (NKJV) “But outside are dogs and [drug] sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie [workers of iniquity, Torahlessness].” So, if you throw away the Torah, how will you know on which side of the gates you’ll be found? Praise Yahweh for the blood of Yahshua!

 

I just don’t know how Yahweh could have said it any plainer than in Revelation 22:3 and 14. It’s not rocket science, it’s a way of life. Yahweh’s plan of redemption for mankind will be filled full. Drink up! We’ll close with the words of James 2:17-20 (NKJV) “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19You believe that there is one Yahweh. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! 20But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” Choose life.

 

See you all at the gates,

 

Gene Benjamin II

February 23, 2013 CE

 

 

 

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10th Response to Legalism

10th 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.””

 

Romans 3:19-31 (NKJV) “Now we know that whatever the law [Torah] says, it says to those who are under the law [Torah], that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before Yahweh. 20Therefore by the deeds of the law [Torah] no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law [Torah] is the knowledge of sin. 21But now the righteousness of Yahweh apart from the law [Torah] is revealed, being witnessed by the Law [Torah] and the Prophets [means the entire Tanach], 22even the righteousness of Yahweh, through faith in Yahshua Messiah, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of Yahweh, 24being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Messiah Yahshua, 25whom Yahweh set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance Yahweh had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Yahshua. 27Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law [Torah]? Of works [law or Torah of works]? No, but by the law [Torah] of faith. 28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law [Torah]. 29Or is He the Mighty One of the Jews only? Is He not also the Mighty One of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30since there is one Mighty One who will justify the circumcised by faith [this is the “and so”, or in like manner from Rom. 11:26a] and the uncircumcised through faith. 31Do we then make void the law [Torah] through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law [Torah].”

 

The Torah never went away, it only changed location, from being written on stones and parchment to being written on our hearts and in our minds. Jeremiah 31:33 (NKJV) “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put My law [Torah] in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Mighty One, and they shall be My people.” Ezekiel 36:24-28 (NKJV) “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your Yahweh.” Notice verse 27, under the New Covenant, we now have the Holy Spirit of Yahweh inside of us. Why? For what purpose do we have the Spirit of Almighty Yahweh inside of us today? So we can walk in His Covenant, following His statutes and judgments, walking with Him in His way. We now have the power within us to love Yahweh and love our neighbor as ourselves, according to the Scriptures. Notice the Torah never goes away, it is only internalized, and we are given the power within to walk in it, not to gain salvation or right standing with Yahweh, but because we have been made righteous and saved.

 

Do you understand that speaking in tongues, worshiping in the Spirit, raising people from the dead and healing people is all a part of this New Covenant experience? It is loving Yahweh and our fellow man in truth and spirit. John 4:21-26.

 

Ephesians 2:4-22 (NKJV) “But Yahweh, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Messiah Yahshua, 7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Messiah Yahshua. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of Yahweh, 9not of works [of the law, or Torah], lest anyone should boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yahshua for good works [instructions of Torah teach us what these are], which Yahweh prepared beforehand that we should walk in them [remember Ezek. 36:27 above?]. 11Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh–who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands– 12that at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without Yahweh in the world. 13But now in Messiah Yahshua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. 14For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law [Torah] of commandments contained in ordinances [Remember, these are the enmity, the hostile, antagonistic code of law that was against us, from Col. 2:14.], so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16and that He might reconcile them both to Yahweh in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity [the code of law, or Torah, that was against us, the curses and death penalty, was put to death on Yahshua’s execution stake]. 17And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of Yahweh, 20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahshua HaMashiach Himself being the chief corner stone, 21in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in Yahweh, 22in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of Yahweh in the Spirit.”

 

James 2:14-26 (NKJV) “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
16and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19You believe that there is one Mighty One. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! 20But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed Yahweh, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of Yahweh. 24You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

 

James is saying that because Abraham had faith in Yahweh, he obeyed Yahweh with his works of sacrificing Isaac. The same with Rahab, she believed in the Mighty One of Israel, so she worked with Israel, against her own people! New Covenant salvation is an equation: Salvation = Grace + Faith, which produces Works of righteousness (fruit). It is not this equation: Salvation = Grace + Faith + Works of Torah. That was the error of legalism that was corrected in Acts 15 at the First Church Council.

 

Isn’t it beautiful how James brings perfect balance to Paul’s teaching in Romans 3:28, we are justified by faith apart from the works of Torah, but once we’re justified, our faith produces good works of Torah! In other words, faith brings us into loving obedience to our loving Heavenly Father. Good deeds prove our love for Yahweh. Good deeds are our obedience. Yahshua said in John 14:15 (NKJV) “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Grace and faith bring us into the salvation experience of reconciliation with and justification before Yahweh, so that we can now obey Him out of a heart of love, not through fear of punishment or threat of death. Once we’re adopted into Yah’s family, we want to please our new Father. We do that through obedience. Yahshua made us righteous, so now we do righteous things, because that’s who we are. We get a new birth certificate, showing our citizenship in the heavenly Zion. We get new DNA. We get a new ID. We get a new name written in stone. We get new brothers and sisters. We get to walk in the Spirit, not in our flesh. We get to do greater works than Yahshua. And soon, we’ll get resurrected or raptured immortal bodies. Redemption, it’s a wondrous thing. Praise His holy Name forever and ever!

 

1 Corinthians 3:5-17 (NKJV) “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Master gave to each one? 6I planted, Apollos watered, but Yahweh gave the increase. 7So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but Yahweh who gives the increase. 8Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9For we are Yahweh’s fellow workers; you are Yahweh’s field, you are Yahweh’s building. 10According to the grace of Yahweh which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation [Yahshua HaMashiach], and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Yahshua Messiah. 12Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
15If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16Do you not know that you are the temple of Yahweh and that the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you? 17If anyone defiles the temple of Yahweh, Yahweh will destroy him. For the temple of Yahweh is holy, which temple you are.”

 

A final warning to those who think they stand, lest they fall: Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! [Torahlessness!]’” Yahweh’s will is revealed in all His eternal covenants with Israel, from Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to David, to the New Covenant believers. Whosoever will are invited to enter this New Covenant, but it is an Israeli, Hebrew Covenant. Yahweh is faithful to keep all His covenants for all eternity. Bless His holy Name forevermore! Replacement Theology is blasphemy!

 

Gene Benjamin II

February 22, 2013 CE

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

8th Response to Legalism

8th 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.””

 

It is an absurd and foolish statement to claim that all the law of the Torah, or the entire Tanach, was nailed to the execution stake. Think about it. Yahshua taught and demonstrated giving and receiving, sowing and reaping. Paul taught and demonstrated sowing and reaping, giving and receiving. If the law of the tithe, the foundational law of giving and receiving, was nailed to the execution stake, the entire corporate Church around the world would collapse. If the law of sowing and reaping were nailed to the cross, humanity would have gone extinct shortly after Yahshua was crucified. Grace embracing pastors and teachers still teach tithing, and hopefully demonstrate giving and receiving, and sowing and reaping. Why teach tithing if the law is done away with? Do you see the absurdity of an unscriptural extreme grace teaching? So, are grace Christians hypocrites? Well, we’re all hypocrites on some points. We all just need better understanding of the spiritual Kingdom of Yahweh.

 

Romans 7:1-25 (NKJV) “Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law [Torah]), that the law [Torah] has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law [Torah] to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law [Torah] of her husband. 3So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law [Torah], so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law [Torah] through the body of Messiah, that you may be married to another–to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to Yahweh.”

 

We are the ones who were nailed to the execution stake with Messiah, along with the death penalties and eternal curses that were against us! We were sown in sin and are raised with Yahshua to continue sowing and reaping in the spirit, making disciples. Pretty cool, huh? The Law didn’t die, we did. So reckon yourself dead to the Law of sin and death, but alive to Messiah.
5For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law [Torah] were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6But now we have been delivered from the law [Torah], having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. 7What shall we say then? Is the law [Torah] sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law [Torah]. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law [Torah] had said, “You shall not covet.” 8But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law [Torah] sin was dead. 9I was alive once without the law [Torah], but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died [condemned to eternal death by the curses and penalties of the Torah]. 10And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12Therefore the law [Torah] is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. 13Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14For we know that the law [Torah] is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law [Torah] that it is good. 17But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22For I delight in the law [Torah] of Yahweh according to the inward man. 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law [Torah] of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

 

Whereas the law of sin was dealt a death blow at the execution stake, it is obviously still running rampant on earth. We won’t be able to rest from our war against sin, until the law of sin is thrown into the Lake of Fire.
24O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25I thank Yahweh–through Yahshua HaMashiach our Master! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law [Torah] of Yahweh, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

 

See, I told you Paul was Torah observant!! We must agree with Paul and reckon ourselves as crucified with Messiah, dead to the law that was against us, the death penalties, and eternal curses of the Torah. The whole teaching of death to self, death of self, is what brings balance to the law of grace, faith, and liberty in Messiah.

 

Galatians 2:19-21 (NKJV) “For I through the law [Torah] died to the law [Torah] that I might live to Yahweh. 20I have been crucified with Messiah; it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of Yahweh, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of Yahweh; for if righteousness comes through the law [Torah], then Messiah died in vain.”

 

We know Messiah did not die in vain. Now we know that WE DIED, NOT THE TORAH, OR LAW, OF YAHWEH!! Messiah’s death on the execution stake, along with our death with Him, proves the justice, holiness, and goodness of the Torah! If Yahweh did not reckon us as dying on the cross with Yahshua, we’re screwed, for all eternity! Do you understand that if the Law, or Torah, of Yahweh were not eternal, NONE OF THE GOSPEL WOULD WORK, EVER? The Law has to outlast sin, or we might as well give up now. Messiah had to meet the justice side of the Torah, and we reckoned in Him on the stake, or we could NEVER experience the grace side of Yahweh’s Law. Yahweh’s Law, His Torah, His Word, is eternal, and I’m glad it is. Praise His Holy Name, Yahweh!!

 

Gene Benjamin II

February 18, 2013 CE

 

7th Response to Legalism

7th 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.””

 

Now we come to our next passage of Scripture that relates to this issue of legalism. Romans 14:1-23 (NKJV) “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2For one believes he may eat all things [most grace church folks], but he who is weak eats only vegetables [some denominations promote a vegetarian lifestyle]. 3Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for Yahweh has received him. 4Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Yahweh is able to make him stand. 5One person esteems one day above another [like Sabbath and holy day observers]; another esteems every day [some believe in ministering every day of the week, like Messiah did.] alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who observes the day [like Sabbath or a holy day], observes it to the Master [I do this]; and he who does not observe the day, to the Master he does not observe it [some do this]. He who eats, eats to the Master, for he gives Yahweh thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Master he does not eat, and gives Yahweh thanks. 7For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8For if we live, we live to the Master; and if we die, we die to the Master. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Master’s. 9For to this end Messiah died and rose and lived again, that He might be Master of both the dead and the living. 10But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Messiah. 11For it is written: “As I live, says Yahweh, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to the Almighty One.” 12So then each of us shall give account of himself to Yahweh. 13Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. 14I know and am convinced by the Master Yahshua that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Messiah died. 16Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17for the kingdom of Yahweh is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18For he who serves Messiah in these things is acceptable to Yahweh and approved by men. 19Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20Do not destroy the work of Yahweh for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before Yahweh. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”

 

I do not see how I could improve on what Paul has written here. We just need not judge each other. We must give each other grace and mercy to practice their religion according to the dictates of his own conscience in Yahshua. Forgive me if I have judged or offended you. I forgive you if you have judged or offended me.

 

Notice that eating or not eating, esteeming or not esteeming a day, are not things we do to obtain salvation. We do or don’t do these things to please our Master and show our love to Him. This is our living unto Him.

 

You may eat more freely than I do. I eat more freely than my wife does. You may Shabbat more freely than I do, and I Shabbat more freely than my wife does. We just don’t need to argue or dispute over these things. We need to get ready for the persecution that is about to be poured out on American Christians in 2013 CE. America’s end is at hand. It’s time to prepare for martyrdom and witnessing under extreme conditions. Thank you for slapping me around and keeping me looking into the Word.

 

Onward and upward my brother,

 

Gene Benjamin II

February 17, 2013 CE

 

6th Response to Legalism

6th 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.””

 

Oh my brother, I thought you could handle the Word of Yahweh more accurately. Let’s move on to Acts chapter 10, Peter and Cornelius, the first non-Hebrew family, or home group, to experience New Covenant salvation. Acts 10:1-48 (NKJV) “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2a devout [Sabbath-keeping] man and one who feared Yahweh with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to Yahweh always. 3About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of Yahweh coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” 4And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before Yahweh. 5Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” 7And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout [Sabbath-keeping] soldier from among those who waited on him continually. 8So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.” I’m not even going to explain the word devout, that’s a whole other Bible study. Just notice that some Romans living in Israel followed Judaism as their religion. These folks were already seeking Yahweh and Yahweh saw they were ripe for harvest. Now Yahweh has to prep Peter for the evangelistic outreach to Gentiles. This whole chapter is about evangelizing Gentiles, not about food, or non-food, whether clean or unclean food or non-food. Please get that in your thinking.

 

9The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour [high noon]. 10Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.
13And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.””

Notice that Peter, a mere man, immediately rebukes the King of the universe for speaking something that he KNOWS is against Yahweh’s own commandments. Peter was always a little hasty with his mouth, not waiting to hear all that Yahshua wanted to say to him.

 

15And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What Yahweh has cleansed you must not call common.” 16This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.” Yahweh is not changing His mind about non-food or unclean food items with this vision. Yahweh is testing and preparing Peter’s heart. Yahweh is preparing to show Peter that NO MAN IS TO BE CONSIDERED UNCLEAN. Look at verse 28b (and verses 34-35) to verify that Peter GOT AND UNDERSTOOD THE LESSON, “. . . But Yahweh has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” Yahweh was not giving Peter a new law or command on food vs. non-food, He was teaching Peter that no human is unclean. Peter already understood clean and unclean food, just from his Jewish upbringing, but Peter DID NOT UNDERSTAND that no human was unclean. Yahweh did the sheet from heaven thing three times as a sign for Peter to recognize when the three men from Caesarea arrived at the door. Yahweh got Peter’s attention with food/non-food/clean/unclean, because Peter was hungry and knew kosher/non-kosher food when he saw it. Unlike many Christians today, Peter GOT THE LESSON, no human is unclean before Yahweh. It’s foolishness to think this vision was about clean or unclean food/non-food.

 

17Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. 18And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. 19While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you. 20Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.” 21Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, “Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?” 22And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears Yahweh and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.” 23Then he invited them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” 27And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation [a man-made oral tradition of Judaism, hence Peter’s misunderstanding about no man being unclean before Yahweh]. But Yahweh has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” Remember Galatians 2:11ff? It took awhile for Peter to fully get over this old man-made tradition of Judaism that considered all non-Jews as unclean. Paul had to rebuke him at least once more for his hypocrisy. Very few of us learn our lessons the first time Yahweh tries to teach them to us.

 

29Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?” 30So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of Yahweh. 32Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.’ 33So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before Yahweh, to hear all the things commanded you by Yahweh.” 34Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that Yahweh shows no partiality. 35But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” Please read and meditate on verses 34-35 for as long as you need to. Peter now understood the TRUTH of the vision that Yahweh had given him, that it pertained to men, not clean or unclean food/non-food.

 

36The word which Yahweh sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Yahshua HaMashiach–He is Master of all– 37that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38how Yahweh anointed Yahshua of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for Yahweh was with Him. 39And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40Him Yahweh raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by Yahweh, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42And He commanded us to preach to the people [NOW Peter understood that the Gospel was to go to all mankind.], and to testify that it is He who was ordained by Yahweh to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” 44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45And those of the circumcision who believed [Messianic Jews!] were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify Yahweh. Then Peter answered, 47“Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Master. Then they asked him to stay a few days.”

 

This is truly an amazing chapter in Christian history. Cornelius’ home group became the first non-Jewish Messianic congregation/assembly in human history!! Notice they were saved by grace through faith in Yahshua alone and filled with the Holy Spirit, just like the Jewish brothers were at that first Pentecost after the resurrection! Yahweh is wonderful, amazing, and so good. We should be thankful He’s not partial towards any human, but truly wants whosoever will to come in to the Family of Yahweh. The playing field is level at the execution stake of Yahshua. We love you Father! We praise you Yahshua! We are thankful to you, Holy Spirit! Acts 10 is a great family photo.

 

Gene Benjamin II

February 17, 2013 CE

 

5th Response to Legalism

5th 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.””

 

My brother, you seem to have a real habit of taking Scripture out of context and/or misinterpreting, or misapplying, what is stated in some passages. Take your statement about bitter and sweet water from the same fountain, from James 3. James is talking about the evil tongue, Lashon Hara, or loshon hora, we are not to bless Yahweh and curse man from the same tongue, but which most do anyway. I do not see where James is here talking about anything like doing works of righteousness to get saved, legalism. He does give a good teaching on what the fruit of our lips should be. Yahshua taught that what’s in a man’s heart is what comes out his mouth. It should be good fruit for a believer. James also gives a good word about wisdom. The last verse of James 3 may be relevant though: (NKJV) 18Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” Righteousness is a fruit of getting saved. Fruit of righteousness is good deeds and service to mankind and Yahweh. That’s not legalism, that’s our righteous lifestyle. Random acts of kindness bless Yahweh’s people, and bless Yahweh’s heart.

 

Now, if there’s ever a book for today’s carnal pagan Christian church, it’s the book of Corinthians. There is a wealth of wisdom to be gained just in 1 Corinthians 10:1-33 (NKJV) “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Messiah.” Isn’t that beautiful? Our Creator, Yahshua, walked with the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can still eat and drink of Yahshua in His Holy Spirit! He’s our fountain of right speaking and right living.

 
5But with most of them Yahweh was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”” So now that we have all this liberty in Messiah, is idolatry ok today? Idolatry is manifesting in so many ways today, it makes me gag to start listing them all. I can only imagine how Yahshua feels about it. I’m sure you know that liberty in Messiah is not license to sin.

 

8Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;” So, was sexual morality replaced with the New Covenant? Is that why we have homosexual pastors today? Or is it just because rebellious children still want to do what they want? Homosexuality will always be an abomination to Yahweh, His Law, His character, His nature, never changes.

 

9nor let us tempt Messiah, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents [Numbers 21]; 10nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but Yahweh is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 14Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” Remember the story in Numbers 21, when the children of Israel spoke against Yahweh and Moses, complaining about not having enough food and water, and actually loathing Yahweh’s supernatural provision of manna. Sounds a lot like Yahweh’s kids today. Always wanting more stuff. Never satisfied. And why in this age of grace and liberty does Paul say there are some things we have to bear? That sounds like work, but not work for salvation, work like bear one another’s burdens.

 

15I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Messiah? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Messiah? 17For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. 18Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to Yahweh, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Master and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Master’s table and of the table of demons. 22Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? 23All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. 25Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake;
26for “the earth is Yahweh’s, and all its fullness.” 27If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake.
28But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is Yahweh’s, and all its fullness.” 29“Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? 30But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks? 31Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of Yahweh. 32Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of Yahweh, 33just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”

 

Wow, this passage is becoming quite relevant to Americans. Are you aware of how much food in America is now being processed according to the Islamic law of halal? Their food is dedicated to the little fat demon allah. Paul is just saying be careful what you eat. We live among our enemies in our pagan culture today, similar to Paul’s day. Everything has spiritual implications. If you don’t know a food was dedicated to an idol or demon, don’t worry about it for conscience’ sake. I apologize if you feel I am judging your liberty. Not trying to do that, just trying to teach folk how to live a safe, healthy, Christian, biblical lifestyle. Notice Paul is not talking about eating non-food items. Muslims sacrifice to demons, and their food processing is cruel to animals. Just be aware of the spiritual world we live in.

 

I find it interesting your aversion to law. We live in a universe designed around laws, especially Yahweh’s laws. Law of love, law of liberty, law of grace, law of faith. What was it Yahshua said? John 14:15 (NKJV) “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Now what commandments could He possibly be referring to, years before the New Testament was written? I can think of at least 10. My brother, I think you may be confusing obedience with legalism. Maybe we should go back and look at Matthew 5:17-20 (NKJV) “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19Whoever 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. 20For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Look at verse 18 again. IS HEAVEN AND EARTH STILL IN EXISTENCE? Yes, of course they are. Then nothing has passed from the Law of Yahweh. The universe would fall apart if Yahweh’s Law was done away with.

 

Yahshua satisfied the curses and penalties of the Law so we have access to our Heavenly Father. Beyond that, the entire creation awaits the fulfillment of ALL of Yahweh’s promises, the Patriarchs, the Christians, even Messiah Himself is waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool. Not one promise has been completely filled full . . . yet.

 

I end this response with the following verse we came across in fellowship yesterday, during Sabbath. Revelation 14:12 (NKJV) “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of Yahweh and the faith of Yahshua.” You see, John believes that those who walk in the faith of our Messiah also walk in Yahweh’s commandments. It’s not an either/or proposition, it’s AND, always has been, always will be. Without a framework of law, we have nothing but anarchy. This misunderstanding of Yahweh’s grace may explain why the Church is such a mess today.

 

We only do one thing to GET saved, turn to Yahshua in repentance and faith. But once we ARE saved, we enter the whole realm of discipleship, persecution, and suffering for His Name’s sake. Is that why most Christians choose to disobey Yahweh? afraid of suffering shame and humiliation for Yahshua? I got saved back in 1973. It’s been a long and winding road since then. I’ve been praying for persecution to come to America for about 40 years now. We need it to grow up. I believe my prayers may be finally answered in 2013 CE.

 

Blessings in the Kingdom,

 

Gene Benjamin II

February 17, 2013 CE

 

THIRD RESPONSE TO LEGALISM

THIRD 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.””

 

So we come to our Scripture for this response: Romans 11:5-7 (NKJV) “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6And if by grace, then it [salvation] is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it [salvation] is of works, it [salvation] is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. 7What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks [salvation by works of the Torah]; but the elect have obtained it [salvation by grace through faith in Yahshua], and the rest were blinded.”

 

Why does Paul write the pronoun it instead of the noun salvation? because chapter 11 is just a continuation of chapter 10, his discussion of the salvation of his brethren, Hebrew Israelites. Let’s take a look at some of chapter 10: Romans 10:3-10 (NKJV) “For they being ignorant of Yahweh’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of Yahweh.
4For Messiah is the end of the law [Torah] for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law [Torah], “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ “ (that is, to bring Messiah down from above) 7or, ” ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ “ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead). 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9that if you confess with your mouth the Master Yahshua and believe in your heart that Yahweh has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

 

Notice there are two aspects of righteousness. There is a righteousness of the Law, or Torah. That is works righteousness. There is no faith involved in works righteousness, therefore it cannot bring us to life, or salvation in Yahshua. Yahshua is the only Person in all of human history to fulfill all the righteousness of the Law. We have no chance of making it into the Kingdom of Yahweh by works righteousness. We can’t do it because of our sin nature, we are weak spiritually. Trying to work your way into the Kingdom of Heaven is futile legalism.

 

Then we see the righteousness of faith. We believe in Yahshua and confess Him before men, then we obtain salvation by grace through faith in Him alone. Abraham believed Yahweh, he was declared, or reckoned, righteous on Yahweh’s ledger. The same applies to us. We believe Yahweh, we believe in Yahshua, and what He has already done for us, we are declared, or reckoned, righteous before the judgment seat of Yahweh. We receive Yahshua’s righteousness. When Yahweh sees us, He sees the blood righteousness of His Son, Yahshua. Yahshua is our Robe of Righteousness. Without that robe of righteousness, we will not enter, or remain , in the marriage supper of the Lamb. We cannot stand before Yahweh in our own righteousness, our righteousness is as filthy menstrual rags before Yahweh.

 

Ok, so look at Romans 10:4 again. This is a fascinating verse. Yahshua is the termination of the Torah IN REGARDS TO RIGHTEOUSNESS, for believers. But there is much more depth to that Greek word for “end”. We already learned from John 1:1-2 that Yahshua is the Word, which means He is the Torah. Yahweh is His Word, the Torah is Yahweh. Yahshua is the living Torah. Romans 10:4 also says Yahshua is the eternal Torah. Yahshua is the aim, the goal, the target of, the purpose of Torah! The whole point of the Torah is Yahshua! Torah teaches us about Who our Savior is, how He lives, by what principles He lives and runs His universe. Yahweh and Yahshua live by their own Word, the Torah. It is a family Kingdom that lives by the family rules of life. By learning Torah, we learn how to treat Yahweh and each other. These basic family life principles will not change throughout all eternity.

 

The beauty of Romans 11 is that Paul shows us how we can enter into that family of Yah. We get grafted into the natural olive tree, the root of which is Yahweh Himself. The grafting in principle is another way of stating we are adopted into Yahweh’s family by what Yahshua has done for us. We must be grafted into the correct, or Hebrew, family tree. This is the calling and election that Paul says we must make sure of. Are you grafted, or adopted, into the right natural Hebrew tree? The Yah family is a Hebrew family. It is not a Greek family. It is not a Roman family. It is not a European family. It is not an American family. It is not a Muslim, Hindu, Catholic, Protestant, or Baptist famly. The family of Yah is a Hebrew family, and Yahweh wants to adopt every human ever born on earth.

 

Romans 11 blows away the heresy of once saved always saved:

 

Romans 11:19-32 (NKJV) “You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21For if Yahweh did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22Therefore consider the goodness and severity of Yahweh: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for Yahweh is able to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
26And so [The Greek means: in like manner as you are saved, by grace through faith in Yahshua] all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” 28Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29For the gifts and the calling of Yahweh are irrevocable. 30For as you were once disobedient to Yahweh, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32For Yahweh has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.”

 

For further study on the grafting of our wild olive branch into the natural olive tree, may I refer you to Pastor Ralph Messer, of www.torah.tv, or Simcha Torah, in Denver, Colorado. Search around for his teaching on the two olive branches.

Gene Benjamin II

February 15, 2013 CE

SECOND RESPONSE TO LEGALISM

SECOND 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.””

 

Apparently, Yahweh is not finished with what we discussed in our First Response to Legalsim article. Holy Spirit has prompted me to go back and look further at Yahshua’s teaching in Matthew 22:34-40 (NKJV) “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law [Torah]?” 37Yahshua said to him, “‘You shall love Yahweh your Mighty One with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40On these two commandments hang all the Law [Torah] and the Prophets.””

 

Of course, when the Rabbis, like Yahshua, say the Law and the Prophets, they mean the Writings are also included, in other words, the whole Old Testament, the whole Tanach. But the whole Old Testament hangs on just two commandments, loving Yahweh and loving your neighbor as yourself. That word all means all, whole, completely, every whit. Yahshua is saying that every jot and tittle of the Tanach hangs intact on the two primary principles of Yahweh’s Kingdom. He did not leave out the penalties, or negative aspects of the Torah, that would later be nailed to His execution stake.

 

Try to get the love triangle into your mind. At the top is Yahweh as seen in 1 John 4:8 (NKJV) “He who does not love does not know Yahweh, for Yahweh is love.” Yahweh, as love, defines the Kingdom of Yahweh. Below Him are the two basic principles, forming the two arms of the triangle, Love Yahweh, and Love your Neighbor. Below these two principles, Yahshua says all of the Tanach hangs on this lower bar of the love triangle. Basically, what Yahshua does in Matthew 22 is draw a word picture of the constitution of the Kingdom of Yahweh, showing which law rules, at least until heaven and earth pass away. Which brings us right back to Matthew 5:17-19 (NKJV) “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets [Tanach, Old Testament]. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law [Torah] till all is fulfilled. 19Whoever 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.”

 

Our common Christian belief is that at the execution stake of Yahshua, all the penalties and curses of the Torah were fulfilled by Yahshua’s perfect sacrifice for our sins. This is Paul’s explanatory teaching in Galatians 3:1-29 (NKJV) “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Yahshua HaMashiach was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4Have you suffered so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? 5Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He [Yahshua] do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?6just as Abraham “believed Yahweh, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8And the Scripture [Tanach], foreseeing that Yahweh would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. 10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of Yahweh is evident, for the just shall live by faith.” 12Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” 13Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Messiah Yahshua, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah. 17And this I say, that the law, 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. 18For if the inheritance is of the law [Torah], it is no longer of promise; but Yahweh gave it to Abraham by promise.
19What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but Yahweh is one. 21Is the law [Torah] then against the promises of Yahweh? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Yahshua Messiah might be given to those who believe. 23But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law [Torah], kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Messiah, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [Torah]. 26For you are all sons of Yahweh through faith in Messiah Yahshua. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Messiah have put on Messiah. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Yahshua. 29And if you are Messiah’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

 

The Torah was given to show us what sin is, in Yahweh’s eyes. It was never intended to bring us into right standing with Him, or into righteousness, or justification before His Court. Salvation comes to us by grace through faith in Yahshua alone. Once you are saved, your good works may earn you some rewards when Yahshua returns, but a Christian’s good works will never earn righteousness points, or justification points, or salvation points with Yahweh. We obey Yahweh’s law now out of a heart of love and gratitude for all He has done for us, not to get on His good side, so we’re safe on Judgment Day. Doing righteous acts will never get you saved. Once you are saved by grace through faith in Yahshua, doing good works shows Yahweh you love Him and respect His Word as the authority in your life.

 

Remember Yahshua’s teaching to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:23 (NKJV) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law [Torah]: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” Did you catch all that? Yahshua, the King of the universe, declares that justice, mercy, and faith, what we would call the elements of SALVATION, are the weightier matters of the TORAH!! This one teaching would take volumes to explain and we still would not plumb the depths of understanding to be found here. Everything we hold dear to our belief system, Yahshua considers still under the control, command, and authority of His Law, or Torah!! He wants us to not only take care of the minor aspects of the Law, like tithing itty bitty grams of mint and cummin that we might grow in our garden, but He also demands that we understand and deal honestly with salvation by grace through faith in Him.

 

Yahshua and Paul agree about the Law, it is good, holy, righteous, and it is ETERNAL!! The Law of Yahweh is the framework by which the Kingdom of Yahweh has always operated, and it is the framework by which it will operate for all eternity. There is love, joy, peace, grace, faith, mercy, justice, and salvation, all found within the framework of Yahweh’s Law, for all time and to all ages to come. Yahshua’s death on the execution stake FULFILLED the demands of Yahweh’s Law. Somebody had to pay for all the sin of all the fallen humans for all time. I’m glad Yahshua volunteered to do that for you and me. Aren’t you glad He did it? Praise His blessed Name for ever and ever!

 

Following Yahweh’s way after getting saved is called discipleship, which is lawful obedience, not legalism.

 

Well, let’s move on to the next response to legalism.

 

Blessings,

 

Gene Benjamin II

February 15, 2013 CE

FIRST RESPONSE TO LEGALISM

FIRST RESPONSE TO LEGALISM

 

Colossians 2:8-17 (NKJV) “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Messiah. 9For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
10and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Messiah, 12buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of Yahweh, who raised Him from the dead. 13And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Messiah.”

 

All I recall stating about Sabbath was that violating it is a capital crime. We all would be condemned to death if it weren’t for forgiveness found in Messiah. No one ever has nor can any fallen human ever keep the 10 commandments or the 613 laws of Torah. Paul taught that we are all condemned equally, so we can all come to Messiah equally. Torah was given to point us to Messiah and teach us His ways and standards of the Kingdom of Yahweh. Notice verse 14 above, it was the requirements of the Torah that were AGAINST US, CONTRARY TO US, that were taken away and nailed to the execution stake. The PENALTY OF ETERNAL DEATH for capital crimes was taken away. Eating kosher food is not against us, who doesn’t need to eat healthy? Sabbath is not against us, who doesn’t need more rest? Taking care of widows and orphans is not against us. The negatives of the Old Covenant were taken away. Now we don’t need to kill little animals and sprinkle their blood on the altar to obtain temporary forgiveness. We have permanent, complete forgiveness in Messiah, because His blood sacrifice for our sins was a once for all done deal!! Of course, no one gets forgiveness without repentance from sin and faith toward and in Messiah.

 

Those folks with resurrected/raptured immortal bodies in the future Millennial Kingdom and then on into eternity will not NEED to eat, but we can if we want to. We won’t NEED to rest, because we will live in a permanent state of rest, like our Maker! We do these things now as a shadow of the Kingdom to come. We learn to live like our Creator, our Heavenly Father. We’re learning to take on His nature, His character. Yahweh doesn’t need to eat or rest, but He rests every seventh day, because that’s Who He is. We don’t HAVE to Shabbat, we do it because that’s who we are, members of Yahweh’s family. It has always been and always will be the seal of the children of Yahweh’s family.

 

You recall Peter’s vision in a trance in Acts 10, where he was called to minister to Cornelius. Look at Acts 10:13-14 (NKJV) “And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”” This scene takes place several years AFTER the Acts 2 Pentecost Holy Ghost filling. Peter is still living a kosher lifestyle!! Yahshua was about to teach him that no man is unclean or unworthy to hear the Gospel of the Kingdom.

 

Let’s move on to Acts 15, the first Church council. Acts 15:1 (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.”” The bone of contention was doing Torah TO GET SAVED, legalism. Verse 5, “But 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 [Torah] of Moses.”” Believing Pharisees, doesn’t that sound like the Church today? Religious spirits don’t go, just because you get saved. I discovered that with my X. Acts 15:10-12 (NKJV) “Now therefore, why do you test Yahweh by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11But we believe that through the grace of the Master Yahshua Messiah we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” 12Then all the multitude kept silent and listened . . .” Apostle James’ conclusion? Acts 15:19-21 (NKJV) “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to Yahweh, 20but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. 21For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

 

If some religious Christian needs a list of dos and don’ts, there it is in verse 20, combined with Yahshua’s words in Matthew 22:37-40 (NKJV) 37Yahshua said to him, “‘You shall love Yahweh your Mighty One with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40On these two commandments hang all the Law [Torah] and the Prophets.” So there you have it, Yahshua’s easy light yoke. Pure worship of Yahweh, moral lifestyle, kosher eating, service to Yahweh and mankind. Is that too much to ask of a disciplined one, a disciple? Does that offend your sense of grace? It really shouldn’t. It’s a simple non-religious righteous lifestyle.

 

You don’t have to go to synagogue and learn Torah if you don’t want to, but 5/6 of your Holy Scriptures are about Israel. There is much to learn and much to be gained by immersing yourself in the whole of Yahweh’s Word. Yahweh is so much Greater than what we learn in sun-god-day churchianity. You won’t learn it in Sunday School, Christian college, Bible school, or seminary. I know, I’ve been there, done that. The Church virtually ignores 5/6 of their Scriptures, to their detriment. Shallow, weak, pitiful. Buying land, building pretty buildings, and funding preacher retirement accounts misses the boat of Yahweh just a little, don’t you think? It helps explain why we’ve lost Amerika. Forgive me if I’ve judged you, but I’ve earned the right to judge the Church, since I’ve been a part of it for so long, expending the prime years of my life in it. The apostles say you aren’t supposed to judge me if I choose to learn Torah on Shabbat. Fair enough?

 

Loving Him and you,

 

Gene Benjamin II

February 14, 2013 CE