Entries by J.K. McKee

Does God Approve of Slavery?

The most significant event of the entire Torah is the Exodus of Ancient Israel from Egypt, and the deliverance of the Israelites from their servitude to Pharaoh. Moses admonished the people in Exodus 13:3, “Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the LORD brought you out from this place.”There is no doubting the fact that Ancient Israel was removed m’beit avadim (מִבֵּ֣ית עֲבָדִ֔ים) or “from the house of slavery.” [Read more]

Is Paul Opposed to the Torah (Law) in Ephesians 2:14-15?

Ephesians 2:14-15 are challenging verses for many within the Messianic movement, with few being able to even respond to the pastor’s remark “The Law was abolished in the flesh of Christ.” If in Ephesians 2:14-15 the Apostle Paul is saying that Yeshua the Messiah abolished the Torah of Moses, then this would be in flat contradiction of the Savior’s own words regarding fulfillment of the Torah (Matthew 5:17-19)—yet no one can deny the significance of how in Him a “one new humanity” (NRSV/CJB/TNIV) composed of Jewish and non-Jewish Believers must emerge, a clear testament of His grand salvation for all people. We need to look at Ephesians 2:14- 15 a bit more closely, and keep in mind what kind of law is being specifically addressed here. Is God’s Torah actually a cause of enmity or hostility for people, or might something else be in mind? [Read more]

Not under the law: What does it mean?

This article takes a look at Romans 10:14, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” What does it mean to not be “under the law”? J.K. McKee takes an in-depth look at some of the arguments against keeping God’s Law. Learn more about what it means not to be “under the law”. [Read more]

Matthew 5:17-20 – A Thorough Investigation

According to Yeshua the Messiah’s words here in Matthew 5:17, delivered within His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chs. 5-7, the Savior clearly states what His views are regarding the Torah of Moses. Along with Psalm 23 and the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), Matthew 5-7 includes the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12) and the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), the four passages together composing the most frequently read and valued sections of the Bible for most evangelical Christians. Yeshua’s statements about the Torah are not at all hidden away in some obscure place. Jesus says very plainly that His purpose was not to “abolish” the Torah or Law of Moses, but to “fulfill” it. Gain a deeper understanding of Matthew 5:17-20 from a pro-torah perspective. [Read more]

Galatians 5:2-3 | Falen From Grace?

It is true that in various sectors of Messianic Judaism, particularly those which promote a bilateral ecclesiology of the Kingdom of God composing two sub-groups of elect, Israel and “the Church,” that it is believed that only Jewish people are really supposed to follow the Torah. Non- Jewish Believers can keep the Torah if they wish, but it is not required or really expected of them. Galatians 5:2-3 is offered as a proof text in support of this position, as the non-Jewish Galatians who would be circumcised in the First Century, would apparently make themselves obligated, the same as any Jew, to keep the Torah. [Read more]

Galatians 3:23-24 How the Torah Leads Us to Christ

The pastor we are examining is correct when he asserts, “The Law is our tutor to lead us to Christ,” citing Galatians 3:24 as evidence. The challenge with his assertion, though, is not in the need for the Torah’s instruction—and our widespread human inability to keep it—to reveal our sin and point us to the Messiah and the eternal redemption He provides (i.e., Romans 10:4, Grk.). The problem is that (1) when the good news is declared in much of Christianity today, people are only told about the love of God but are often never told about the judgment that is pronounced upon them as sinners, precisely because they are condemned as Torah-breakers (cf. Isaiah 24:5-6). And, (2) it has become far more commonplace in examination of Galatians to read Galatians 3:22- 25 from the perspective of it not speaking of individuals on the road to salvation, but instead of it speaking historically of the Jewish people keeping the Torah prior to the arrival of the Messiah— with the Torah only in temporary effect to be obeyed until His arrival. [Read more]

Ephesians 2:14-15: What has been abolished?

Ephesians 2:14-15 are challenging verses for many within the Messianic movement, with few being able to even respond to the pastor’s remark “The Law was abolished in the flesh of Christ.” If in Ephesians 2:14-15 the Apostle Paul is saying that Yeshua the Messiah abolished the Torah of Moses, then this would be in flat contradiction of the Savior’s own words regarding fulfillment of the Torah (Matthew 5:17-19)—yet no one can deny the significance of how in Him a “one new humanity” (NRSV/CJB/TNIV) composed of Jewish and non-Jewish Believers must emerge, a clear testament of His grand salvation for all people. We need to look at Ephesians 2:14- 15 a bit more closely, and keep in mind what kind of law is being specifically addressed here. Is God’s Torah actually a cause of enmity or hostility for people, or might something else be in mind? [Read more]

1 Corinthians 10:23 – What is Lawful?

The statement, “All things are lawful so we can edify the body” is an extreme stretch of what 1 Corinthians 10:23 communicates. This verse repeats the slogan “Everything is permissible” (NIV) or Panta exestin (Pa,nta e;xestin), which Paul has refuted earlier in 1 Corinthians 6:11, chastising various Corinthians for thinking that they could get away with certain sinful activities, which he has said is something not at all profitable or useful. Later on in the letter of 1 Corinthians, more has to be communicated, and it surely behooves a responsible Bible reader to view 1 Corinthians 10:23 in light of the wider cotext of 1 Corinthians 10. [Read more]

1 Corinthians 7 | Does The Torah Apply to Gentiles?

On the whole, 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, is a passage of elusiveness for most of today’s individual Messianic Believers. Bits and pieces of 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 have been quoted here or there by various writers and teachers, but for the most part it tends to be something skipped over by Messianic Bible readers, much less probed for its theological and philosophical significance. 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 has, however, been examined in some detail by various leaders within Messianic Judaism, and perhaps because of some of the conclusions drawn by them, 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 has been widely avoided or flat ignored by those within the more independent, Hebrew/Hebraic Roots Messianic sectors. The challenges presented by 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, are reflective of a more widescale avoidance, on the part of most of today’s broad Messianic movement, to examine the Epistle of 1 Corinthians—a letter, which in some ways, is even harder to understand than the Epistle to the Galatians. [Read more]

1 Corinthians 6:12 – What Things Are Lawful?

The pastor’s statement “All things are now lawful,” on the basis of 1 Corinthians 6:12, can be a very slippery slope if it is viewed from the perspective that there are no boundaries whatsoever for the conduct and behavior of Messiah followers. If “All things are now lawful” means that born again Believers are not to keep any laws or commandments from God, then could this not be taken as meaning that we are allowed to do whatever we want, regardless of Divine consequences? Would this, at least, not mean that those things which are considered sin in the Torah or Law of Moses—which (poor) Ancient Israel was prohibited from doing, sometimes with violation meriting capital punishment—are now permitted? [Read more]