Friday, January 18, 2019

Get Back to The First Century: Change Doesn't Change the Changeless

Change Does not Change the Changeless

Isn’t it Ironic that the very nature of change makes it consistent, and therefore change is one thing that stays the same?

However, as far as change goes, times have changed. This is not the “Brady Bunch” world of our Mothers, or the “Leave it To Beaver” world of our Grandmothers, or “The Walton’s” of our Great-Grandmothers, nor is it the “Little House on the Prairie” of our Great-Great-Grandmothers. No doubt about it, times have changed.

Technology has changed from smoke signals, to Morse Code, to the telegraph, to the telephone, to the cell phone, to Face Time; technology has definitely changed.

Sholomo Ha Melek (King Solomon) argued in his book called, Ecclesiastes, that there is nothing new under the sun, and it is true, what seems new is just a recycled or an improved upon idea.

So in essence, even though the package may change, the core is virtually the same. Yet this illusion of change makes one believe that the changeless changes; and therefore, one excuses oneself from so-called moral and religious entrapments.

I have found three things that never change:

1.    God (Mal. 3:6, Titus 1:2)
2.    The Human Condition
3.    God’s Torah (Law)

Just because times have changed and technology has changed does not mean that the three things mentioned above do. Changing times only causes the illusion in the spirit to rationalize that these three things change.

Since the downfall of our parents Adam and Chava (Eve), we have inherited this predisposition to sin, and it will not change until we are in the World to Come. We fight and struggle between the choice of good and evil every day, in every aspect of our lives. Even after one is “saved” one still fights the old nature; Rav Sha’ul (Apostle Paul) did (Rom. 7:13-25). The Human Spirit changes not.

God said Himself that He does not lie, and He does not change (Mal. 3:6, Titus 1:2). Yet this is precisely what most Christian’s claim when they say the Torah is irrelevant, it has been done away with, or at best, they try to divide the Torah up into subjects or special classifications and say, “Oh, the religious and ritual laws have been done away with and the moral code is still in effect for us today.” The Scriptures say there is ONE Torah (Law), not three (Ex. 12:49, Lev. 24:22, Num. 15:16). God does not change, and therefore, His Word, His Torah does not change.

Some try to argue that the Torah, by necessity, has changed because of the changing times and the changing technology. NO, because the human spirit and God are a constant, this predetermines that His Torah does not change. As I have stated before, time and technology come in different packages, yet the core of it is essentially the same.

Just look at God’s Word and we will see the times change, yet the message, the Torah remains a constant. You have the leadership or the governmental structure of Israel change, yet the Torah that guides them never changes. From the Patriarchs, to Moses, to the Judges, to the Kings and to the Prophets, the message of absolute and resolute obedience to Torah changes not. Yet, after the closing of the Scriptural canon, people claim that we are too far removed from those times, and that the Torah is outdated. Therefore, the secular state of Israel runs without the Torah of their ancestors. One may also say, “Besides, we are in the age of Grace, right!?” Since the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden we have always been in the age of Grace! And, the Torah will never be outdated.

Let me attempt to put this into perspective. I stand firm in saying that the Torah is relevant and applicable for today and none of it has been “done away with,” even after the advent of Messiah Yeshua. However, because times have changed does not mean the Torah changes, but that certain commandments are unfulfillable at this time in history.

I like to give the example of the outdoor public pool in the little village that I live in. On the wall of the pool house there is a giant sign that lists all the rules of the pool. No running, no diving, no horse play, no foul language, etc., etc. In the summer time, when the pool is open to the public and there is water in the pool these rules can be followed. But in the winter, when the pool is drained and no one can swim in the pool, such rules cannot be adhered to. Does this mean such rules have been done away with or abolished? No, it just means that the prerequisite for following such rules (the pool being filled with water and the weather agreeable) are not in place and thus the rules temporarily can’t be followed. This is just like the Laws governing the Temple. Because there is no Temple standing in Jerusalem at this present time, and because there are no working Levitical Priests in the Temple, the laws regarding the priesthood and the sacrificial and Temple services are temporarily put on hold, or suspended until the time of the building up of the third Temple. The Prophets tell of a time when the third Temple will be rebuilt, and the sacrifices will resume, and at the time of Messiah’s reign no less (we will explore this more later)! So, Just like you can’t obey pool rules when the pool has no water you can’t obey the laws of sacrificial worship when there is no standing Temple.

We also live in a monogamous society despite the Torah making provisions for polygamy, because the Law was given in a time and culture when polygamy was practiced. We can’t live by the laws of polygamy that Torah dictates because the Western society we live in is not geared or set up to accept or to practice such a lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean they are done away with, because they are very applicable in an African culture that still practices polygamy, and any Christian missionary ministering to such people would do well to know and teach what the Bible says to them regarding polygamy, instead of trying to squeeze them into a monogamous Western cultural mold and construct. Trying to change a foreign culture to look like one’s own in the name of, and under the guise of Biblical obedience has had devastating effects and repercussions on such a culture, especially on women and children. They are the ones who usually suffer because of this.

The Torah also makes provision for the proper treatment of slaves, but as you know in our society the practice of slavery has been abolished and so such laws do not directly apply, but such laws would still be very applicable in the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia where slavery is still practiced and culturally acceptable. However, here in the West we can make them applicable for the Employers fair treatment of Employees.

We need to sift rabbinic decrees regarding Torah commands, Jewish literature, customs and traditions of Judaism in regards to the Law. We need to filter it through the words of Torah itself and the Words of Messiah who in Matthew chapter 5 proclaimed that He didn’t come to do away with the Torah but to show us how to live it correctly. If the Rabbis uphold Yeshua’s words or if we see that the protective fences the Rabbis have erected around the Torah are wise, needful, and maybe necessary in some circumstances, we need to graciously and joyously abide by them. If they do not measure up, then we must not fear to toss them aside, despite what men may say.

Then you have those who say the Law is divided into three sections, the Civil Law, the Ceremonial Law and the Moral Law, and all but the Moral Law has been eradicated.

“This threefold explanation is flawed… and does not withstand serious scrutiny. There are not three different Torahs. The Torah itself exclaims, “One Torah and one manner shall be for you…” (Num. 15:16, KJV)... The distinction between moral, civil, and ceremonial is artificial and arbitrary.” – Ascend Magazine, Issue 2, Volume 1, p. 5, Summer 2003

On this basis of artificial and arbitrary divisions of the Torah, Christianity keeps “Old Testament” moral laws and claims society for the most part has adopted the “civil laws,” and has totally thrown out the so called “ceremonial law” except when it’s convenient for them such as the law of the tithe! They claim the letter of the Law has been done away with so as to give way to the freedom in the Spirit, thus spurning the very source from which the moral laws stem. God’s Commandments have become a cafeteria style smorgasbord of “keep what you like and ignore what you don’t,” despite Numbers 15:16 that states that there is ONE LAW for the Jew and Gentile with no divisions of civil, moral and ceremonial categories.