Articles addressing Scriptural concepts that are misunderstood by many Believers today.
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Circumcision: Has it Passed Away?
Many today believe that circumcision is no longer necessary. Christians simply write it off as being part of the Old Testament that has passed away. However, there are also many amongst the Messianic/Hebrew Roots crowd that believe circumcision has not necessarily been done away with, but rather replaced. Are they correct, or are the Christians? Perhaps the Jews? What if they’re all slightly off? That is what we’ll look at in this study.
The Sabbath: Sign of the Covenant
The Sabbath is one of those areas that seems to be a little bit grey in Christendom. Some denominations keep the 7th Day Sabbath, while others say it was transferred to the 1st Day (in the writings of the early “church fathers” it is usually called the 8th Day instead of the 1st). Another denomination will say that the Sabbath is no longer kept at all, but rather “The Lord’s Day” (1st Day, Sunday) is to be kept instead. I am sure there are other beliefs as well, but we’ll primarily focus on these since they are the most common ones.
The Whole Gospel
When someone says “Gospel,” most of us already know what they’re talking about. Indeed, many of us have had an evangelist come to our front door and say something to the effect of, “Did you know that Jesus Christ died for you? Did you know that if you believe in Him, and say this prayer with me, that you can live forever with Him in Heaven?” As for most of us, that’s about as good an explanation of “The Gospel” as we ever get. Yet there is a lot more to it than simply that. Truly, the Gospel was preached LONG BEFORE Yeshua ever came and died on the stake.
Why No Sacrifices?
I have been asked a number of times by people who do not understand Torah, “Well if you think you can keep the law, then why aren’t you out there offering sacrifices?”
My first response is always, “There is no Temple. So, although Yeshua was the final sin sacrifice, there is no Temple at which to offer other offerings and such that were not for sin” (such as freewill offerings, thanksgiving offerings, peace offerings, etc.). However, once I was told, in response to this statement, “Well you don’t need the Temple, just a cornerstone and an altar. Then you can offer your sacrifices and/or offerings there, as long as it is built from stone and not brick.”
Every Christian denomination out there has a doctrine of salvation. Regardless of the varying doctrines between these denominations, the doctrine of salvation is almost universally the same. It goes something like, “Christ died to take away sin. If you accept Him, you get salvation, which is eternal life. If you do not accept Him, you do not get salvation and therefore you go to hell.” While most of us are familiar with this, how many of us can prove it? There are many often-quoted Scriptures used to “back it up,” but is it possible that it is wrong?
How Many Witnesses?
All too often we see doctrines created with little to no support or study poured into them. The age old declaration from the Protestant Reformation era of Sola Scriptura, or “by Scripture only” was the foundation of Protestantism. It denied any decree or doctrine not found directly within, or by logical deduction of Scripture. But what does Scripture itself say?
What Was "Nailed to the 'Cross'"?
Often times, when speaking to someone who doesn’t follow Torah, they get confused as to why some of us would want to keep it. “The Law is bondage,” they say. “Jesus died to fulfill it, which means we don’t have to do it anymore,” is a very common response. Then they quote Paul who, let’s face it, wrote some very difficult and confusing writings. Usually it’s a quote from Romans or Galatians, saying we’re “under grace and not law.” But what is perhaps the most common response of all is, “Christ nailed the law to His cross, so it isn’t in effect anymore.” But how do they arrive at this conclusion?
Who is 'Israel'?
Israel. The one word that sums it all up. It’s kind of a buzzword, like 'Salvation' or 'Heaven.' I will state now that this writing does not address the “Two Houses” or the “One House” or even British Israelism. The purpose of this article is to hopefully establish a foundation as to who “Israel” was and is.
What is the "Church"?
It seems simple. It seems self-explanatory. But why then is there a large amount of disagreement among denominations and sects and factions? The simplistic, non-theological answer would be, “Church is a building that Christians meet together in.” For all intents and purposes, that is correct. Yet the term “church” as it appears in most of our Bibles is so much more than that. The common Christian response is “Church is the people, not the building.” To be sure, there is a great deal of study that needs to be put into this matter. But where to begin? In this writing, I hope to shed some light or, at the very least, provoke you (the reader) to study this on your own.
J. A. Brown