University of Truth Emails

Page 2

Contact Us

1. Katlyn reacts to my response.  Her comments are in bold, and my answers follow.

From: Katlyn
Date: 3/24/10

(1) You believe that Jesus was not perfect, not God, and probably needed to reconcile himself with God too because he sinned. What does 1 John 3:5 mean to you? ‘You know that Christ appeared in order to take away sins, and that there is no sin in him.’

First, the verse given may be taken a few ways. For instance, “Christ appeared in order to take away sins” – what if it read “Isaiah appeared in order to take away sins” – would we say that Isaiah is a type of garbage man, and his job is to remove our trash? No, we would say that he brought the words which turned us towards repentance. So, we must ask ourselves, did Jesus Himself say, “I come to take away sins” or did He say “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand”? Christ “appeared” (that is, came with a message from God) in order to take people from doctrine and tradition and bring them back to truthful righteousness (Torah). Any other translation makes Christ a radical bomb-thrower, even against the Law of God, but He was not and said so.

Second, as to “there is no sin in him,” this may be explained by saying that true repentance makes all men sinless. You cannot accept Christ without repentance – it is an empty acceptance, is it not? However, you say that you cannot repent without Christ – but this is untrue, for before Christ existed men repented and were accepted by God. We know that Enoch was translated, Elijah was taken up in the chariot, and Moses met Christ on the mountaintop. In fact, “the righteousness of God is shown from faith to faith” so that true repentance in front of the one God is the one way to God. All men who do this have no sin in them. Jesus was certainly “perfected” but whether he was “perfect” from the moment of His conception until His death is debatable and, frankly, not important.  Of greatest relevance, however, is that He was resurrected, but I will leave it to you to discover why.

Third, simply speaking, I say that I repent in front of the one God. You say that is not good enough. I ask you if you think Jesus is God. You say, Yes. I say that you repent in front of God, who you call Jesus, and that we repent in front of the same God. You say I am correct, it is the same God, but I have not acknowledged His name as Jesus. I then ask you – Is “knowing God” realizing that He is Supreme and that I am a sinner according to His Law and that I repent... or is “knowing God” a belief that He has a name? If so, then I say His name is Jealousy, for that this is a given Biblical name for God. “Knowing God” is not ascribing to a name to Him. In fact, the true name of God (the tetragrammaton) should never be spoken, according to Sages.

“and 2 Corinthians 5:21- Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God.’ He took our sins on himself when He was on the cross.”

I cannot argue against doctrine, since doctrine is self-contained. It would be like me saying your feelings aren’t valid, but they are – to you. However, factually, the book of Hebrews tells us the blood of bulls and goats never had the power to take away sins. Seeing that Christ is called the propitiation for these sacrifices, He would by analogy have no power either, for the propitiation must be equal in nature and stature. This is logical. Otherwise, you must say that Christ is *different* than those animal sacrifices. In that case, He is not a propitiation, not a substitute, not a stand-in, but a different thing altogether, never prescribed by Law. You must remember that “propitiation” was used in order to convince the Jews that Christ could replace the animal sacrifices but, if the book of Hebrews is correct, there was nothing to replace!

The problem here is that the doctrine wants to disable the Law but use it at the same time. According to Locke, who said that a thing cannot be an not-be at the same time, this is not possible. According to Christian doctrine, Christ is the exception to every rule, including this one. This makes the doctrine appear foolish, even if the intentions of the doctrine are, in the end, compassionate.

(2) “What about the many passages that show that Jesus is God and that Jesus is the Savior? (This is easily proven by Christ's own words!)”

You quoted many passages, and they first need to be classified into categories. The first category is “passages not spoken by Christ” and these include John 1:1, Luke 2:11, John 4:41, Acts 5:31, Acts 13:23, and 1 John 4:14. I exclude these as being suspect, for they are opinions of men.

The second category is “passages spoken by Christ which do not have any implicit meaning to someone who does not already believe.” These include John 5:17.

The third category are dependent on your identification of Jesus. I say Jesus is the Torah made flesh, you say He is God made flesh. The problem here for you is manifold. First, “God is not a man... neither the son of Man” (Numbers 23:19). The Greek and Hebrew meanings from Strong’s agree: “man” in these verses is the animal man, and “son” is the carnal offspring. To overcome this, you must say that Christ is the exception. Second, Jesus prays to God, meaning that He is humbled before Him. God does not have a need to pray to anyone, and neither can this be construed as God “teaching” us to pray, as a father telling his child, “Watch me pray.” When Christ gave the Lord’s Prayer, He did not say, “This is me praying to myself.” When Christ prayed to God, it was as a man prays to God. Now, you may ask, Why would the Torah (Christ) need to pray to God? This I know not, but my ignorance here does not prove that Jesus is God. Third, regarding the identification of Jesus as God: Isaiah tells us that “God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength” (12:2). Are you saying that Jesus is Jehovah? Isaiah also says: “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour” (43:11). Are you saying that Isaiah is speaking of Jesus? Or, are you saying that Isaiah is a false prophet? Or, are you saying that I cannot heed Isaiah anymore because Christ has come? If the latter, how is the every word of the Bible true?

Now, let’s get to the passages which remain. John 5:23 is an extrapolation of the word of Christ vis-à-vis the Torah. John 8:24 is a less-Jewish way (which John espoused) of saying that Christ points us to God. John 8:58 does not concern Christ but God, for it is true that “before Abraham was, I am” refers to God. But if you say that Jesus means Himself, then I say this is true, that “before Abraham was, Torah was.” John 10:30 is another extrapolation and analogy, between the Word of God and God, and also between the word of prophets (the same as the Word of God, if provable) and God. Christ’s response to them is proper, even as they stone Him for bringing the truth. John 14:16 refers to Torah, not a person. Torah is the way (Law), the truth (word), the life (repentance given therein). It is unfortunate that people ascribe the *personage* of Christ as more important than the *message* of Christ. John 14:9 is an extrapolation again, but is truth. Why do you need to see the Father when you have the Word of God both in print (Torah) and in person (Torah made flesh)? John 4:25 concerns Messiah. If Christ was that Messiah of whom the woman spoke, Israel would have been restored. But Christ was a different Messiah, not the one of accepted doctrine.

(3) “The passage Matthew 25:31-46: I do not see that this passage says that eternal life is not attained solely upon faith in Christ. All believers will get into heaven though some will inherit eternal life differently than others (those who suffer for Christ will be joint heirs with Christ). This is also mentioned in Romans 8:17”

You have not said anything to either refute me or prove yourself. Matthew 25:31-46 is a distinction between eternal life by good works and eternal punishment by rejection of those opportunities. Romans 8:17 does nothing to remove the precondition of good works.

(4) “As far as ‘faith without works is dead,’ I do not think that James is saying that those who do only works will be saved. You must also believe that Jesus is your savior and that He died for you. Charles Stanley has written: ‘James has no quarrel with faith. He understands that faith alone can save someone. What he opposes is a phony faith, the kind that supposedly exists without giving any practical confirmation of its existence.’ I don't like a phony faith either- this would be a ‘dead’ faith.”

First, “faith without works” is not James’ only statement on the matter, so you must further your discussion with his entire opinion. Second, a “practical confirmation of faith” is the same as saying “faith alone” does not work. It is not effective to place the stipulation and yet deny its necessity. As evidence of this, notice that Christians who sin are sometimes called “backslidden” but then at other times are called “lost” – and even worse, they may be deemed at will “never saved to begin with.” We consider such gradations of states of salvation to be parsing at best. Third, the idea that good works spring from only the saved is neither true nor exclusive. Unfaithful people often do great works to the letter of the Law. This does not save them, of course. Will you say that a person who “accepts” Christ but is otherwise without good works has any interest in Christ? Of course not, for the works are the evidence, as you said. And these works are only worthy if they please God, which means they must be of Torah proof and not of someone’s good intentions. Helping a little old lady across the street is not a “good work” per se. Feeding the hungry is a Torah commandment and a good work. So is teaching the Torah. Christ said that those who *do* and *teach* the Law are called the highest in heaven (Matt 5:19). Therefore, to be called highest, Jesus taught the Law. And so should we all.

(5) “Romans 12-15 is talking about Christian conduct and the ‘works’ that are expected once becoming a Christian. These works alone are not going to make things right between you and God.”

First, Paul cannot rewrite the Torah according to his desire. These are his opinions. If you think he has the right to tell you what to do, then you must think he has the right to tell you what not to do. Does he? What does he mean when he says to stay away from “inordinate affection” (Col. 3:5)? Must we not consult the Torah to see where he is right or wrong? What if he included something not of Torah? Must you do it to please God? Of course not. Second, we do not say that works alone save you – that is only half the equation – you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul – just as Jesus loved God.

(6) “Romans 9:30- So we say that the Gentiles, who were not trying to put themselves right with God, were put right with Him through faith; while God's people, who were seeking a law that would put them right with God, did not find it. And why not? Because they did not depend on faith but on what they did. And so they stumbled over the "stumbling stone" that the scripture speaks of: Look, I place in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall. But whoever believes in him will not be disappointed (Isaiah 28:16). My brothers, how I wish with all my heart that my own people might be saved! How I pray to God for them! I can assure you that they are deeply devoted to God; but their devotion is not based on true knowledge. They have not known the way in which God puts people right with himself, and instead, they have tried to set up their own way; and so they did not submit themselves to God's way of puting people right. For Christ has brought the Law to an end, so that everyone who believes is put right with God.”

First, notice what Paul says: “They have tried to set up their own way.” This indicates that their way was set up contrary to Torah. “Their own way” cannot mean Torah – for Jews who follow Torah are not in violation of anything. If this is what he meant, however, Paul is neither a Jew nor a Christian, for anyone who teaches against the Law of God is by Christ called lowest in heaven (Matt 5:19). Thus, Paul must have meant that the Jewish people were deep into doctrine. But “doctrine” does not mean Torah – for Torah is God’s Law. Second, my KJV says not “Christ has brought the Law to an end” but “Christ is the end of the law.” This is a huge difference. It means to me that Christ’s message is the absolute basis (the end) of the Law, the finality of its reality, nowhere else to run. But what if Paul really meant that Christ made the Law non-essential for certain persons? Again, ANYONE who teaches the Law is at an end, so that you can break the least commandment, is called lowest in heaven. Is Christ lowest in heaven? Is Paul? Third, if the Jews “set up their own way,” what of the current Christian doctrine? Is that “their own way” or is it according to Christ (Torah)? This you must answer for yourself.

(7) “Romans 10:9- If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from death, you will be saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved. The confession saves us by God's grace, a gift! Once saved, the Holy Spirit can do its work in us to convict us of wrongdoings and help us along our life as Christians and to have good Christian conduct (‘works’ if you want to call it that). It continues on to say ‘This includes everyone, because there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; God is the same Lord of all and richly blesses all who call to Him. As the scripture says, Everyone who calls out to the Lord for help will be saved. But how can they call to Him for help if they have not believed? And how can they believe if they have not heard the message?...So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through preaching Christ.’”

First, my KJV says “If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus” – meaning that if you will confess what he taught, which is Torah. It is by our “confession” we are saved – we must confess sins – against Torah, and by no other basis or set of rules. Second, I’m glad you noticed that good works ("Christian conduct") are necessary.  This conduct is "Christian" when it follows Torah.  Third, “no difference between Jew and Gentile” means that the Gentile does as the Jew, not vice versa, for the Jew is chosen and is given the Law, but the Gentile is a pagan until he/she accepts Christ (i.e., Torah, which is an expression of God – but the difference here is for you to discover).   Fourth, "Everyone who calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.  But how can they call to Him for help if they have not believed? And how can they believe if they have not heard the message?...So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through preaching Christ."  What does it mean to "preach Christ"?  That "He died for us"?  What about the "message"?  And is that message not to repent?  Therefore, if a man repents in front of the one God, has he not heard the message of Christ whether or not He accepts other doctrine?  If the idea is to bring people to true repentance (sorrow, confession, and change), is not Christ's message heeded?  Now, there is only one God, and it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of Moses, of David, and of Christ.  So, if a man confesses to any concept other than God, it will not be accepted.  It is thus that the non-Jew must come to the God of the Jews, not that the Jew must come to a non-Jewish god.  Therefore, one must not tell a Jew to "come to Christ" for any reason other than to confess sins in front of that singular God.  It will be argued that to confess in front of Jesus Christ is the same thing, but it is not - it may be true that Christ is God's judge, but He is not God.  It will be argued that God died on a cross, but He did not - the Son of God died on the cross.  It will be argued that the Law died on the cross at Calvary, but if it did, it was resurrected - you cannot kill the Law!

(8) “How about Paul's letters to Timothy? These letters were written after Romans and Galatians when he was a more mature, aged apostle of Jesus. The second letter was written when he was in prison.

In 1 Timothy 1:8 he says "We know that the law is good if it is used as it should be used. It must be remembered, of course, that laws are made, not for good people, but for lawbreakers and criminals, for the godless and sinful, for those who are not religious or spiritual, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the immoral, for sexual perverts, for kidnappers, for those who lie and give false testimony or who do anything else contrary to sound doctrine. That teaching is found in the gospel that was entrusted to me to announce, the Good News from the glorious and blessed God."

Does this not prove my case?

1 Timothy 1:14- And our Lord poured out his abundant grace on me and gave me the faith and love which are ours in union with Christ Jesus. This is a true saying, to be completely accepted and believed: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of them, but God was merciful to me in order that Christ Jesus might show his full patience in dealing with me, the worst of sinners, as an example for all those who would later believe in him and receive eternal life.

Is this not a confession of faith in repentance from sin against God’s Law?

1 Timothy 4- The Spirit says clearly that some people will abandon the faith in later times; they will obey lying spirits and follow the teachings of demons. Such teachings are spread by deceitful liars, whose consciences are dead, as if burnt with a hot iron. Such people teach that it is wrong to marry and to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten, after a prayer of thanks, by those who are believers and have come to know the truth. Everything that God has created is good; nothing is to be rejected, but everything is to be received with a prayer of thanks, because the word of God and the prayer make it acceptable to God.

First, non-Jews who are Christians are allowed to eat non-kosher. Jews, even Christian Jews, may not (Acts 15, Acts 21).  Second, Christ taught against doctrines (eating with unwashed hand and pots), not against Law. If you say He did, then He is not perfect (and thus not fit to be a sacrifice).  Neither did He have any "right" to break the Law, even if you say He is God; God does not change His Law - the Law itself tells us this. If you say He did, then He was a liar against His own words, that is, those who teach against the Law of God are lowest in heaven. How can He teach to break God's Law and yet claim to be at the right hand of God?  The only escape from this logic is to say He was exempt from His own words and God's own Law, but such is blasphemy.

1 Timothy 6:3- "Whoever teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the true words of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching of our religion is swollen with pride and knows nothing. He has an unhealthy desire to argue and quarrel about words, and this brings on jealousy, disputes, insults, evil suspicions, and constant arguments from people whose minds do not function and who no longer have the truth. They think that religion is a way to become rich."

Interesting language. “A different doctrine”? Doctrine is doctrine, to be questioned – as Jesus did. “Our religion”? What religion would that be? Paul’s? Remember, before Paul, Christianity was the religion of the twelve apostles. Are you saying the apostles had it wrong but Paul had it right? Who made Paul boss?

2 Timothy 3:16- "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed."
Christians can use the Scriptures to show us when we have sinned and how to live a godly life.

First, I’m happy to see you have properly translated “Scripture” as Tanakh (Old Testament). When Paul wrote this, no other writing would be called “scripture.” Second, you have at least taken half a step towards what is true – that Torah alone will guide your way in righteousness. We cannot do it on our own. We cannot do it with the assent of other people. We cannot do it with the permission of a church, a doctrine, or a religion. It must be God’s unbreakable Law. Paul agrees. Third, however, when you say “Christians can use the Scriptures” - in addition to what? Your heart? Isn’t that what gets you in trouble in the first place?

9.) About your response to faith: You said "Faith in Christ, which is faith in what He stood for, which is proper application of Law."
What about Romans 3:28? "For we conclude that a person is put right with God only through faith, and not by doing what the Law commands." I'm confused. If you are correct, that faith in Christ means following the Law, then this verse above is a complete contradiction within the same verse!
Faith in Christ is: Romans 10:5- Moses wrote this about being put right with God by obeying the Law: Who every obeys the commands of the law will live. BUT what the scripture says about being put right with god through faith is this: ... If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved. The scripture says, Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed. This includes everyone, because there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles.

You have misinterpreted. First, what I said stands on its own. Jesus taught proper application of Law, and is called highest in heaven for this. Second, Romans 3:28 is addressing non-Jews. “We” is defined in 3:29-30, for there is “circumcision by faith” and “uncircumcision by faith” – and this shows two types of faith which are acceptable to God – Jewish and non-Jewish. But 3:31 says the Law is not invalidated by faith. In fact, it is “established” for the Gentile. Established for what end? To do it! Therefore, the non-Jewish faith neither invalidates the Law, nor the faith engraved by doing the Law (e.g., circumcision). Jews are saved by their faith in God through the law. This distinction is a good one, and Paul is to be commended for it. Non-Jews may do likewise (follow the Law), but they must somehow need Christ to do so. This is a mystery to which I currently subscribe. If, on the other hand, a non-Jew wishes to follow Law without Christ, I would advise against it, and advocate Christ for conversion; or else conversion to Judaism. Third, I do believe God raised Jesus from the dead, and I do believe He is the “Lord” (master of the Law). Thus, I am saved by my faith in both resurrection (a Jewish concept anyway) and His specific mission and place in the hierarchy. I understand that “hierarchy” is offensive to you.

10.) You did not respond to Romans 3 and 4. There are a few very important verses there that cannot be overlooked:
Romans 3:19- Now we know that everything in the law applies to those who live under the Law, in order to stop all human excuses and bring the whole world under God's judgment. For no one is put right in God's sight by doing what the law requires; what the law does is to make man kow that he has sinned. But now God's way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. God puts people right through their faith in jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence. But by the free gift of God's grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus who sets them free. God offered him, so that by his sacrificial death he should become the means by which people's sins are forgiven through their faith in him. v.27- What, then, can we boast about? Nothing! And what is the reason for this? Is it that we obey the law? No, but that we believe.
Romans 4:1- What shall we say, then, of Abraham, the father of our race? What was his experience? If he was put right with God by the things he did, he would have something to boast about-but not in God's sight. The scripture says, Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous. A person who works is paid his wages, but they are not regarded as a gift; they are something that he has earned. But the person who depends on his faith, not on his deeds, and who believes in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is his faith that God takes into account in order to put him right with himself.

I did not respond because the verses in question address those same issues we have discussed. First, “faith” is based on works. If you believe something, you follow through. Faith without works is dead. Abraham was saved not by belief but by action following belief.  Second, the Jewish people are chosen, but are not exempt from some punishment if they believe only in being Jewish and not the Law (the same if a Christian believes in being Christian but not works by the Law – as you agreed). Third, there is no boasting. For the Law is broken every day, and repentance must be daily as well. Thus, we are humbled by the Law, not made arrogant. Any conclusion that faith in the Law causes all to be arrogant is a Gentile conclusion, for the Jew is from birth a Jew, and taught (in the true Jewish home) to revere God and Torah, to love your neighbor and to be charitable, even tolerant to a fault.  But the Gentile must convert to be like this, for no one is born a Christian.  The difference is that no Jew can be altogether a pagan in the sight of God, and so a Jew (having the greater responsibility) who walks away from God’s Law is a worse criminal than a non-Jew who remains a pagan. Being “chosen” is a burden – this Paul describes in Romans 11. It’s a good lesson.

11.) In response to Acts 21 in the previous email: Isn't Paul a Jew?
You said, "After Jesus was ascended, the Church in Jerusalem followed every commandment of God. As it says in Acts 21, many Christian Jews zealous for the Law were there, and considered to be the essential members of the Church."
Yes, that is a historical fact that they followed the Law. Just because they did doesn't mean that they were doing the right thing. In the next verse, does it not say that Paul has been telling Jews that following the Law of Moses is not how they are saved? (Acts 21:21). He was beaten in Jerusalem for telling the Jewish people to stop being so zealous over the Law. This man was a messenger for the Good News of who Jesus really is. What are your feelings about what Paul is saying to the Jewish people, his people?

What about what Paul says in Acts 26:22- But to this very day I have been helped by God, and so I stand here giving my witness to all, to small and great alike. What I say is the very same thing which the prophets and Moses said was going to happen that the Messiah must suffer and be the first one to rise from death, to announce the light of salvation to the Jews and to the Gentiles.
If you are a Jew and follow the Law of Moses but do not accept that Jesus died for your sins, then you are not doing what Paul, a Jew and apostle of Jesus, has been appointed by God to tell all men. (Acts 22:14- The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord).

First, you are incorrect. Acts 21:21 tells that the people were claiming this of Paul. In verse 22, the leaders of the church ask him if it’s true. Then, he takes a vow that he did not. Second, anyone who teaches against the least commandment is called lowest in heaven. Paul is not exempt from Christ's proclamation.  Third, Paul is an apostle to the Gentiles, not the Jews, so he has neither the authority nor the message for the Jewish people. I am a believer in Jesus, not Paul; and if Paul disagrees with that, I agree not with Paul. My arguments with Paul have nothing to do with my belief in Christ, only my denominational affiliation. Those who subscribe too deeply to Paul are in danger of accepting opinion over fact. Fourth, your opinion of Jews and their duties are not relevant. Gentiles get the opportunity to be Jews (Christians) only because Peter received this message from the Holy Spirit, not because Paul said so.

12.) What about Acts 15:1-11? "Some men came from Judea to Antioch and started teaching the believers, You cannot be saved unless you are circumcised as the Law of Moses requires...After a long debate Peter stood up and said, My brothers, you know that a long time ago God chose me from among you to preach the Good News to the Gentiles, so that they could hear and believe. And God, who knows the thoughts of everyone, showed his approval of the Gentiles by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he had to us. He made no difference between us and them; he forgave their sins because they believed. So then, why do you now want to put God to the test by laying a load on the backs of the believers which neither our ancestors nor we ourselves were able to carry? No! We believe and are saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they are."
The way a person is saved is the same whether you are a Jew or a non-Jew.

First, you have removed the edict of James, the true head of the early church, who said that non-Jewish Christians had minimum basic standards (15:20) which were less than the standards for Jewish Christians.  That is absolutely factual.  Was James wrong to do this?  Why?  Why did Paul agree to this for a time, then suddenly change his mind?  Is it because Paul had it right, or is it because Paul wanted it his way?  Who is Paul?  Was he not at one time a persecutor of Christians?  Did he not stand by while Stephen was stoned?  In Romans 7, does he not complain that he has little self-control?  One must not dismiss this, or make Paul an icon for it.  I think Paul has great opinions, but his words must be proved next to Christ and, primarily, Torah.  Jesus agrees with Torah always - Paul does not, and furthermore disagrees with Christ at times.  Christian scholars agree, and their apologetic is that one cannot know Christ without hearing Paul.  That is a poor way to shield Paul from criticism.  Second, the passage you quote neither describes nor absolves Jews of their responsibility to Torah.  Again, Paul agreed.  Simply that he changed his mind in other letters does not make him correct and James incorrect.  Third, your conclusion is correct: Both Jew and non-Jew are saved by repentance for their sins against the Law of God. However, the difference between the two is great, as Acts 15 and 21 tells. Now, why this distinction came to be is unknown – it seems that Paul made it his personal cause, for we know of no non-Jewish Christian who complained about the religion before Paul stood up. But we shall for the moment grant it as from God. If so, then the non-Jew is permitted to be in the religion without becoming a Jew, and may accept Christ by faith – but not without those minimum basic standards (as well as those standards of behavior which you say Paul establishes).  Notice also that Acts 15:21 hopes that non-Jews will become more immersed in Torah.  Thus, the non-Jewish Christian is as much responsible for his behavior as is the Jew or Jewish Christian. To be clear, when the Gentile accepts Christ, the Gentile becomes a Jew, not vice versa. Fourth, but is the Jew required to become a Christian? No, for the Jew who follows Torah *is* a Christian through “circumcision by faith.” Now, you may say this is incorrect but you are then judging God’s chosen people, and are teaching against His Law. Note this.

13.) 1 Cor 10-11- "You are free to eat anything sold in the meat market, without asking any questions because of your conscience. For, as the scripture says, The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord....Imitate me, then, just as I imitate Christ." It looks like to me that only if a food has been offered to idols, it can be eaten. Doesn't that go against the Law? If Paul is imitating Christ, then isn't Christ going against the Law?

Incorrect. First, Paul said this, not Christ. Christ *never* broke the Law... ever. Ever. Remember this well. For if anyone breaks the least commandment *and* teaches others to do so, they are called lowest in heaven. Christ neither broke nor taught to break. Second, commandments may be broken accidentally and be forgiven. Some intentional sins can be forgiven. But to teach others to do so is not forgiven. It is a sin against the Holy Spirit, and the unforgivable sin. The unforgivable sin is not rejecting Christ (the person) but Christ (Torah). This is also His message. Third, Paul is speaking to non-Jews, and he is correct: it is permissible for them to eat non-kosher, even as Christians. But Jews, even Christian Jews, may not.

14.) What about Peter's vision in Acts 10:9?

First, this does not concern eating food, but acceptance of non-Jews into the fold. Food was the metaphor, but no release to other foods is given. Second, it is not an agreement that the Law is dead – for the early church which accepted Gentiles expected them to do the entire Law. Then, the Council at Jerusalem still had minimum basic standards, and an expectation to do the rest *voluntarily.* This is the only difference in expectations between Jews and non-Jewish Christians. Current Christianity is far from this understanding.

I do pray that you both find the joy and hope that can be found when turning your life over to God and trusting that His grace through Jesus' death is sufficient to cover your sins. Only then can you find true freedom, joy, and contentment in this world.

First, I have already done this. But I have found further understanding. I am saved through Christ because He brought me back to who I am and what I am supposed to be doing. I would neither be alive without Him, nor would I be doing anything of consequence without His leading. He is the guide. We only differ in that I no longer call God by the name Jesus.

Second, I thank you for your prayer. Even so, this world is the place which needs help. We ought to be providing a word of truth. This word is Torah. If you say Torah is Christ, we agree.

Concluding, I think you will not find anyone like us, who believe that Jesus was both real, powerful, and supernatural (the Son of God) but not supreme (God), and who believe that His real identity was Torah, which is also His only message (repent) and His most powerful teaching (those who teach against the law are called lowest in heaven).


Go To Next Letter