(by Christopher Fredrickson from Brutal Planet)
The internet is the cauldron pot of bad theology that gets the golden slipper oh too often. One of the biggest things that Hebrew Roots teacher rail against is the "7 Naohide Laws" for B'nei Noach (a new convert). I had to ask, "why?". The answer however is rather simple, and is a combination of two things. The first is still holding onto a Greek mindset and the other is because of all the profit that would be lost from DVD, CD, mp3, and book sales if a teacher taught students at a slow and steady pace. So, some things have been propagated by the Hebrew Roots in terms of the Noahide laws that are 100% not true. Such as "a person who is not born Jewish should keep these laws and these laws only". Yet they cannot source where their claim is actually documented in rabbinical texts......because it doesn't exist. In fact the book of Jubilees (which is not cannon but is good history) makes note of the Noahide laws In Jubilees 7:20-28 "And in the twenty-eighth jubilee Noah began to enjoin upon his sons' sons the ordinances and commandments, and all the judgments that he knew, and he exhorted his sons to observe righteousness, and to cover the shame of their flesh, and to bless their Creator, and honour father and mother, and love their neighbour, and guard their souls from fornication and uncleanness and all iniquity. For owing to these three things came the flood upon the earth ... For whoso sheddeth man's blood, and whoso eateth the blood of any flesh, shall all be destroyed from the earth."
Also, in the Jewish tradition, Judaism is not only practiced by a certain bloodline tribe like the two housers like to propagate. They take something that has no concept in Scripture nor in tradition but if it is said often enough it is accepted and people think there are two houses based on bloodline. So if you are Jewish then you are from the tribe of Judah. Now this ideal is propagated in one of two theoretical ways. Either A) bad scholarship or B) not knowing the Hebrew language and relying on your English translation. We notice after chapter 12 of Shemos the Children of Israel are no longer called Ibrim (Hebrews) cause at this point they have slaughtered the lamb in Mishrayim that signified a pagan god worshiped in Mishrayim. It is because they had crossed over and had chosen to become Yehud and they are referred to as Yehud through the rest of the Torah and the prophets and the word Yehud's english equivalent is "Jew", and the word Yehud means "one who is consecrated unto Hashem". It has nothing to do with bloodline as the two house theologians say. 1 Timothy 1:4 tells us to stay away from these ridiculous endless genealogies and is a warning against the things to come that Ignatious was trying implement into the theology of the Netzari Jews. We also see Rav Sha'ul make note in Ephesians 2:11 about the former gentiles....former? Kinda hard to consider a faith to be based upon race or skin color or any sort of genetic trait if it is written "former gentiles". And the Hebrew Tanach also spells differently one who is from a tribe of Judah and one who is consecrated unto Hashem. Showing it is not about genetics once again. The word for a Jew is Yehud and the word for a person from the tribe of Judah is spelled with a yud at the end and is pronounced Yehudi. Not the same thing obviously. And it is amazing that Hashem refers to them in the Torah as "Jews" because of the play on of words with the words Yechid and Echad which is another level of interpretation all together which the Zohar makes note of.
In Acts we see Paul make a rabbinical decree with the Sanhedrin which was in his full right given the commandment in Deuteronomy 17.
"Now some stood up, those who believed from the teaching of the Pharisees. And they said that,
It is necessary for you to circumcise them and you should command them to guard the Torah of
Moshe. The Shlichim and elders gathered together to look into this matter. And after a great
debate occurred, Shimon arose and said to them, “Men, brothers, you know that from prior days
from my mouth (mine) God chose that the Gentiles would hear the words of the Good News
and they would believe. And Hashem who knows what is in the hearts testified concerning
them and gave to them the Ruach haKodesh as (he did) to us. And He differentiates nothing
between them and us because He cleansed their hearts by faith. And now, why do you test
Elohim so as to place a yoke upon the neck of the disciples that which not even our forefathers
nor us were able to carry? But by the grace of our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach, we believe
that we are saved as are they.” And all the crowd became quiet and they were listening to Paul
and to Bar-Naba as they were relating everything that Elohim did by their hands - miracles and
wonders among the Gentiles. And after they became quiet, Ya’akov arose and said, “Men,
brothers, listen to me! Shimon related to you how Elohim began to choose from the Gentiles
a people for his name. And to this end the words of the prophets are fulfilled as it is written:
‘That after these (things), I will return and raise up the tabernacle of Dawid, that which fell.
And I will build the thing that fell off from it and I will raise it up. So that the remainder of
mankind and all the Gentiles will seek Hashem, those who My Name is called over them, said
Master Hashem who made all these things.’ The works of Hashem are known from eternity.
19. Because of this (I) say that you should not be oppressors to them from the Gentiles who are
turning to God. But we will send (word) to them that they should abstain from uncleanness
of sacrifices (to idols) and from adultery and from things that are strangled and from blood."
(Acts 15:5-20) (AENT)
Now what we see here in this passage is we have 2 opinions being propagated in the Guf HaMashyach. One side is saying "bring them to the temple now so they may learn the whole Torah and have them apply it now". This is the opinion expressed by the Hebrew Roots today in order to sell more DVDs, CDs, conference tickets, books and subscription services today. Making things a one size fits all approach. And in the internet age, this approach is more destructive than it was in the days of Yeshua. Because today we have infighting over sacred name, calendar, translation, and the list is endless, and today anybody can propagate themselves as a teacher without the proper learning or training. And this is damaging to the new convert, the reason it is, is because of the confusion from one web site saying one thing another saying the opposite, one youtube video saying this another doing this. And we have moved so far away from reading actual books, and using the historical manuscripts as a guide when google is much more convenient but yet many run across blogs from people who do not know Hebrew, do not know Aramaic, rely on greek primacy and do not know the reason for the rabbinical halacha. Instead the conspiracy theories run rapid. And what happens then to the student is amazing confusion which elevates the yetzer hara, causes them to feel they need to fight within the body to validate their own halacha, whether it is right or wrong. This causes depression, anxiety and confusion as well when the student tries to run before they can walk.
There is a reason why Paul makes note of certain laws for the nations to start with before they come into the synagogue. It is a safeguard not only to the people who wish to convert, but also a safeguard so that the Torah is not defiled and so the Bayis Hagmigdash is not defiled as well. I remember teaching at many Messianic synagogues over the past few years and I have found it to be much different than when I taught at orthodox shuls, or Christian churches. The difference is in the two house messianic synagogues is after I would complete my teaching and there would be one on one Q&A with the people who wished to speak with me, I was shown where these gentile believers minds and hearts were, and as a Jewish convert I was saddened. Many wanted to come to me and discuss sacred name and why they were right and to push their authority onto me and to make me "shape up" and start using their version of the sacred name. And usually in this instance there would be 4 opinions each night. Or it would be "I want to send you an article on the Catholic church and what they are doing", my response was "I am not a catholic so I don't care what they are doing, I am a Netzari Jew and I teach Judaism", or I would get hit on, or I would be asked when Yeshua was going to return and these people wanted a date and a year. I saw that the temple was being defiled in these synagogues because of their confusion and their lust for head knowledge or validation or even for their own fleshly lusts. This was much different than the churches and the orthodox schuls. At the churches I saw a love for God, sorry but it is true, I saw it and was blown away by it the questions were usually related to the message I was given, or they wanted to know about Netzari Judaism and why I do what I do. It was not this tactic of "let me show the guest speaker how much smarter I am than he is because I watched a teaching on the internet from a guy on youtube". And in the orthodox schuls the conversation would be "are you gonna join us for the kiddush?" "how long have you been studying Torah", or "I disagree with this point based on ______" but it was never based on ego or a need for validation there would always be a smile and comrodery there. The difference is in the Messianic movement the WHOLE Davar HaTorah is propagated without the balance of the Torah She Be'al Peh and in many cases not even the entire Davar HaTorah either. This is because of the confusion of running before a person can walk.
So Paul says, essentially, no we cannot be irresponsible and throw these people into total submission of the mitzvos chukim and mishpatim laws at the beginning cause he know what would happen. He knew the confusion and infighting it would bring and the defilement of the place where Hashem dwells. So he gives the gentiles 4 laws to start their conversion. And the 4 are a mirror of the 7 Noahide laws in the Torah She Be'al Peh. He even signs this rabbinical decree given by the guf HaMashyach and essentially making it Torah because it was signed by the Sanhedrin and the Shoftim within the Beis Din. Now the Noahide laws are NOT the end game. The ideal is for the gentile to learn to do Torah for the sake of Hashem, and to do these 4 laws for the sake of Hashem, as opposed to for the sake of self and for the sake of Torah. Now at this time a person did not have their own Bibles, they did not have Torah scrolls in their homes, their only access to it was from the Rabbi and through the synagogue. Now in our western minds we say, "these people were keeping people from learning the Torah?", the answer is NO!!!! This was their training period essentially, and as our Melech Mashyach Yeshua said, "He who is faithful in little is also faithful in much. And he
who is unjust in little is also unjust in much." (Luke 16:10). When these new converts do the few laws given to them for the sake of Hashem as opposed to seeking validation or for the reason of ego and haughtiness then they have the proper spirit to learn and to apply more Torah concepts over time because they were faithful with what they were entrusted with and they learned to properly apply it with a balance of chesed and gevurah and the da'at being in the middle of mix which symbolizes the middle pillar of our Melech Mashyach Yeshua.
Also at this time, the Torah cycle was not a one year cycle. It was instead a three year cycle. So on average 4 commandments would be learned each Shabbos in the synagogue as opposed to modern times when we have a one year cycle which the average is 12.3 commandments are learned each week. 4 commandments a week to learn and apply and as our sages say, "to make them a part of you" allows a person to more fully be able to learn and make them a part of themselves and gives them time to apply them through their week so that it becomes second nature and the connection is made. Life is in cycles, for the gentile who is wishing to convert to the faith of our Melech Mashyach this is their first step, and should be their first step so they do not get confused, so they do not get full of anxiety. To try and throw a person into complete observance from the beginning is the "law of destruction" that Paul makes note of several times. He is not speaking against the Torah in any way shape or form, but he is speaking of how the Torah as a whole can be a divisive thing in the hands of the young in their faith. He makes note of this several times. This is why he also advocated for the circumcision of the heart before the physical circumcision. Because the commandments start in the inner being of a person before they are manifest physically through the hands and mouth. This is tied to that of a marriage between soul and body as our sages make note of.
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah at Beit Geulah in Morganton, NC (www.BeitGeulah.com)