In this sixth part of the Apostle Paul series, we will examine the book of I Timothy, which some have used to try and negate Torah keeping.
However, as we shall soon see, those who do this have "turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the Torah; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm."
In the first chapter, we will deal with only two verses which have been plucked out of the chapter and used as a mindless club to stifle Torah obedience.
1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
The anti-Torah Christians will say that Paul makes clear the Torah is only for the disobedient, the wicked -- to bring them to full repentance.
This is, however, absurd. If I am righteous, and love Yah, I no longer need the Torah? I can go out and murder, steal, rape and pillage? YAH FORBID!!!
When Paul says that "the Torah is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless" he is saying that the Torah brings sinners to repentance -- it does NOT bring the righteous to repentance.
The Torah has NUMEROUS functions, one of which is to bring the ungodly to repentance. After all, the Psalmist declares that the Torah is perfect in converting the soul.
Obviously one who is righteous and loves Yah, striving to keep the precepts of Torah, does not need the Torah to bring him to repentance or to convert him. In effect, the Torah was not "made" for the righteous man in regards to bringing him to repentance.
This does not imply, however, that the Torah is altogether useless to the righteous man. Far from it.
Now, let us move on to I Timothy 4.
We will deal only with the first 5 verses, as it is these that are most used to say we can "eat whatever we want".
4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Paul opens this chapter by warning of those who:
1. Depart from the faith
2. Give heed to seducing spirits
3. Practice doctrines of devils
Now, does one who keeps Torah depart from the faith? Romans 3:31 says that true faith in YahShua establishes the Torah.
Do seducing spirits attempt to convince people to keep Torah? This should be a no brainer. Why would the devil ever want people to OBEY YHVH? The devil's whole aim is to trick people into NOT obeying YHVH.
Doctrines of devils come in many shapes and sizes, but has there ever been a devil that suggested: "Keep Torah!!!" I don't think you will find one in all of Holy Writ.
So if Paul is not talking about Torah keepers (as many erroneously suppose), who is Paul warning against?
Verse 3 gives us some clues. These are people who:
1. Speak lies in hypocrisy due to their conscience being seared
2. Forbid people to marry
3. Command people to abstain from meats (foods).
Paul was speaking prophetically. He was warning against the Roman Catholic Church. They forbid their priests to marry. They speak lies in hypocrisy, promoting Mary worship and deifying the pope.
The Roman Catholic Church also encourages its members to only eat fish on Fridays. Any other food must be abstained from.
These three insidious characteristics do not apply exclusively to the Roman Catholics, however. Many eastern religions, such as Buddhism, also carry these qualities.
In Paul's own time, the Gnostics promoted these types of teachings.
So, now that we know who Paul is warning against, we can know for certainty that verse 4 and 5 in no way allow believers to break Torah.
4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
The Christians will say, "Ah hah!! You see there! Every creature can been eaten -- even pig and shellfish -- as long as we receive it with thanksgiving!"
Besides the fact that this reasoning totally ignores the context established by the previous 3 verses -- verse 4 IS NOT A COMPLETE SENTENCE.
To complete the sentence, we have to finish by reading verse 5.
For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Do you see now? Paul did not merely say "every creature" as some suppose. Paul said "every creature that is SANCTIFIED BY THE WORD OF YHVH AND PRAYER."
Is pork sanctified by the Word of YHVH? Is shell fish? Leviticus 11 clearly tells us of certain creatures (pig, shellfish, etc.) that are NOT sanctified by the Word of YHVH.
Any creature that is sanctified by the Word of YHVH (passes the Leviticus 11 test), should not be refused and can be received with thanksgiving.
Paul makes this statement to counter the silly Gnostics and prophetically the Roman Catholics who command that certain foods cannot be eaten even though the Word of YHVH says otherwise.
The Pharisees also had a Talmudic tradition. If one were eating clean food according to scripture, that food was still unclean if ones hands were not washed. YahShua condemned this addition to the Torah as a wicked burden. Paul does the same in I Timothy 4.
As we can see, there is no way that I Timothy 1 or 4 can be used to justify Torah breaking. I Timothy 4, in particular, encourages Torah keeping.