A Return to Torah? (Part 1)

By Patrick Hawthorne

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There is a movement that is growing and is picking up steam within the Church.  It is a movement in which the goal posts between grace and the law are easily moved.  This movement is a return to Torah – a return to the Law of Moses.

The Torah is comprised of the first five books of the bible.  According to certain sects within this movement, a return to Torah is a return to a true peace, power and joy with God.  While claiming portions of the New Testament, anything that could be viewed as contradictory is easily discarded with a shrug of the shoulders and a nod of the head indicating, “That is not what that verse means.”  They will then lead the person to the old covenant for the correct interpretation.

While many who follow this path claim the whole Torah of Moses should be obeyed in its entirety, special consideration is made for those regulations which cannot be tolerated by current governmental law such as stoning and animal sacrifices.  Yet, obedience to “touch not, eat not, observe this, don’t do that” are strictly followed.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17 NKJV)

To follow the path that once again leads to obedience of the Torah is to follow after the shadow rather than the Creator of the shadow.  A shadow cannot be touched nor felt.  A shadow cannot know or understand, weep, nor laugh.

Did not the shadow give birth to the Light?  Why then would you want to return to the shadow? As a Christian, are we not the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus?  Why would we disregard the words of Paul, “…Knowing this, the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate…” (1 Tim 1:9).  The answer given is, “Jesus followed Torah.  Therefore, we will follow Torah.”

Did not Jesus appear to Paul?  Do we now discard his inspired words, “If you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations – “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with using – according to the commandments and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh?” (Colossian’s 2:20-23)

Jesus came to redeem us from the curse of the Law (the inability to follow the strict guidelines of the Law).  The Torah served well as our school master to illuminate sin.  It was holy in that it brought us unto Christ so that we might be justified by faith.  However, the strictness of its ordinances has been forever nailed to the cross.  Look unto Jesus for life and life more abundant.  Keep your focus on Him and not the Torah.  He will direct your steps and lead you in the path of righteousness.   Be blessed.

 

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Posted in Christian, prophecy, teaching, writing
18 comments on “A Return to Torah? (Part 1)
  1. Neta Monroe says:

    Good word, I was just reading yesterday in Gal 3 v 24-25…therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor…..

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  2. Jules says:

    I love the Old Testament, I actually love reading the books of the law and rejoice in what they can teach me about what God is like and what He wants from me. I also rejoice that I am freed from its restrictions (especially as a woman) because of the New Covenant in Jesus.
    Abundant life in Him as you so eloquently say!

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  3. Hi Jules…I totally agree with you, especially about the requirements on a woman. Yes, we should cherish and learn from the Old Testament (covenant). However, to want to go back to the impossible to follow restrictions is, to me, a slap in the face of Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patrick,

    I will be interested in where you go from here in this series. In my years in the Messianic Jewish Movement, I had my fair share of encounters with what I called the “Radical Fringe.” Yes, I do believe many of the laws of God contained in the Tanakh are still worthy to be observed. And I certainly enjoy observing many of God’s Appointed Times. I just do it from the perspective that they are pointing to Yeshua.

    Don

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  5. Mel Wild says:

    I have some Hebrew Roots friends (Messianic Jews). Most of them are pretty sane, but some are radical about following Torah. There’s a religious spirit attached to some of this.

    And I don’t think we can use Jesus as the reason to follow the old. While Jesus was born under the Law, He’s the one who told us not to put the new wine in old wineskins. They are not compatible.

    Christ did not bring an improvement to the Old Covenant. He brought something radically new and of a different order. Eating from the Tree of Life (Christ) instead of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (orphan religion). Even the Old Testament prophets said this would take place (Jer. 31:31-34). We will be managed by the Holy Spirit now instead of rituals and precepts. We can learn a lot from the Old Testament, but we cannot live rightly that way. The NT writers made it quite clear that not even their forefathers were successful at it.

    One cannot read books like Galatians, or even Hebrews, and come away thinking we can follow Torah instead of Christ Himself. To follow one takes us away from being able to be led by the other.

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  6. I totally agree. We have a local radio host who is a follower of Torah. He used to be a Baptist preacher. Personally I don’t believe he is born again because he denies the work of the Holy Spirit.

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  7. SLIMJIM says:

    Preach it Patrick! Its astounding that people would want to remove grace…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wally Fry says:

    Well, it’s just typical really Patrick. We insist on providing our salvation under our rules, and our restrictions. May I be harsh here? I hope so. All of these attempts to add things to salvation other than God’s grace are no more then men(humankind) wanting to maintain control of others through “religion.” This not only denies grace, but in fact denies the fact that my salvific relationship is provided by my personal relationship with the savior, and not mediated by any other human. After all, if you define the “rules” under which I must be saved, then by default you have made yourself in control of me.

    Having said that, I do love the Old Testament, as I love the entirety of God’s Word, as ALL of it has a part in the tapestry of the story of Creation and Redemption.

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  9. Patrick, I commented on this post earlier, but my comments aren’t appearing. Why?

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  10. Wow, the comments here are very timely guys.

    I was ministering to a young man and new Christian this morning who could not let go of his past. He understands the concept of grace but doesn’t seem to be OK with not continuing to carry around baggage he could leave at the cross.

    That is why, I think, people like to cling to The Law. Hard for the human mind to wrap itself around godly grace and its sufficiency, I actually struggled with it for a few years myself.

    Mel makes a good point when he mentions Galatians. Galatians 5:1 is one of my go to verses when I witness to people. May seem like a stretch but I think following the Torah is a yoke of slavery people put on themselves.

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