Q: Doesn't Mt 23:2-3 command us to obey the Law of Moses? I saw a very compeling video presentation at 119 ministries about this and wonder what you have to say?
A: I am familiar with 119 ministeries -- see the teaching at http://119ministries.com/new-to-119 -- and in a flash it looks like it is just that, we should be obeying the Law of Moses, which is called the TORAH. But WAIT, let's have another look at the verses they quote and take a second look. Sometimes video presentations do not give you enough time to think, to really think, but to just go along and before you know it you miss the truth. So, let's have a look --
(Mat 23:2-3) The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. NIV
Did you see it? What was really the command? It was to OBEY the TEACHERS of the LAW and the PHARISEES. Why? Because they sit in the Seat of Moses. Of course you would think these teachers and Pharisees -- So, are we to give up following YaHshua and the teachings of His Apostles and do whatever the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law tell us? Of course, the teachers in the 119 Ministries want you to do just that, because they are part of the Hebrew Roots Movement and fancy themselves as "Teachers" of the Law. Read the rest of the verses following those quoted above and you will see that YaHshua was not flattering these teachers and Pharisees, not at all.
If you watch the video presentation you will notice the faulty reasoning -- first off the presenter quotes YaHshua saying He was giving a New Command, and then the presenter went into some crazy reasoning that if YaHshua had really said that He would have been committing a sin, and then the presenter quickly flashes Mt 23:2-3 without giving an alternative to what or explaining why this would be a sin. They use suggestive remarks to lead you into thinking something else was meant and want you to believe something that is not true. Let's take a look at the verse and you decide.
(John 13:34-35) A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." NIV
So, did Yahshua give a New Commandment? Of course, a direct command to "Love one another". What, to love all the people of the world? No, this He gave to His closest friend, and He called them Childern and He said this after Judas had left. To suggest YaHshua meant something else or to suggest this would mean our Lord YaHshua would be guilty of committing a sin is ludicrous. How is telling your Children to love oneanother a sin? Because He called it a New Command? Rediculous.
Be very careful with the Hebrew Roots Movement proponents, they would enslave you to serve the Law over the Lord. They want to be Jews, and as Jews you would worship the Law as opposed to God the Father and His Son, YaHshua -- First the Law, everything else is second. During the earthly walk of YaHshua the Jews of then liked to call themselves people of the Temple. The religious rulers had turned the Temple and the Law into idol worship.
Yes, the first disciples were Jews. Yes, the first baptized converts were Jews. After 14 years one of the Aposltes, Peter/Chephas, was led to baptize the first Gentiles -- Cornelius, a Roman officer, and his whole house hold. Read all about it in Acts 10:25-45, and then read how the Hebrew Roots people of that day responded in Acts 11:2-3. There was a real uproar. How dare Peter enter the house of an unclean Gentile, a Roman officer, no less.
Throughout the New Testament you will find this knocking of heads between those on the Jewish side trying to make Jews out of believers -- but not at first. Years went by before our Lord made it clear He wanted the Gospel, the offer of Salvation sent out even to the Gentiles. Even after this had all been decided the struggle continued. In Act 12 we read of a Jewish council convening to decide the issue as Paul and Barnabas are brought before the Church leaders to explain themselves for rebuffing the Jewish leaders insisting the Gentile converts be "circumcised" as prescribed in the Law of Moses. It was decided by the evidence, and with Peter support and report about his part in baptizing the first Gentiles, and this, again, was some years later. No one really took to Peter's revelation, they just kind of ingored it. In the letter by Paul to the Galatians you find Paul making certain remarks pertaining to that time he had been summoned to Jerusalem. It was clearly decided that the Gentile converts did not have to live under the rule of the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law of Moses. Read Acts Chapter 12 then read the Letter to the Galatians, then go back and read Acts 12 all over again.
Today we have this very same thing raising its ugly head. Not to bring you closer to our Heavenly Father but to bring you into their influence. Maybe the Hebrew Roots people are well meaning but they are wrong. No, a believing Jew should not try to be a Gentile just because He believes in YaHshua as Messiah anymore than a Gentile is to be forced into acting like a Jew. This is a battle that will become even more fierce as time moves on and we can see this prophetic statement in a revelation given to John.
(Rev 3:9) Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. KJV
Today we use the term, "church" as a building, but it has another meaning as well, it means "assembly", and assembly of God's people. "Synagogue" has this same meaning, and "assembly", and, of course, the place becomes known for its purpose, where the people of God assemble, so naturally the place of the assembly becomes know by that name, Church or Syhagogue. Now read the verse again. "I will make them of the Church of Satan, which say they are Jews and are not..." They will say they are not trying to make you into Jews, but really, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then what are you to suppose it is?
Be careful with the Word and stay within its boundaries and in so doing do not be so careless with what is being said and how it is being said and not twist it into something else. Do not let anyone steal your crown.
(1Co 4:6) I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. ESV
(Rev 3:11) I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize (take) your crown.
You must work out your own salvation and not leave you Spirit in the hands of someone else, other than our Lord YaHshua.
(Php 2:12) Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,